Take all my free time… please

Im a gamer. I have said this before and it still is true. I’ve tried to quit: no gaming PC in over 4 years (but I do have a Xbox One).  And now this

Cities: Skylines has come out.  I haven’t bought the game (yet – as I just bought Watch Dogs 2 since it is part of the Gold discount package this month) but wow does it look like fun. It really brings me back to one of the best simulation games of all time: Sim City

I spent hours as a kid playing that game and this new incarnation (conceptually) has all the bells and whistles. Planning power grids, setting garbage collection schedules and city planning: so much fun!  I will be buying this one for sure.

And Watch Dogs 2 is also a spectacular.  The first one was one of the best (most fun) games I have ever played and the new one does not disappoint. I have really grown to like sandbox games like this. It has some great new vehicles to control (like construction equipment and armored cars), more options of things, and ways, to hack and lots of great new story content too.  That was one of the best parts of the first game and they really picked up the gauntlet with this one.

Gauntlet… now there is another game.. but that will have to wait for me to get more free time – yeah, right

Good game!

More hibernation

Here is the second part of the hibernation post. This time we are looking at Windows 10.

  1. Starts off similar to Windows 7 with either going to Control Panel (if you can find it in Windows 10 – it is still there!) or by typing “Power Options” in the search box
  2. Click on “Choose what the power buttons do”
  3. If the choice are not all listed then you may have to select “Change settings that are currently unavailable”
  4. Scroll down and check “Hibernate”
  5. Now when you shut down you will have the Hibernate option as well
  6. Side note: using the keyboard shortcut Alt-F4 still works and brings up a list of all the available shutdown/logoff options – and hibernate is there too!
  7. rtsS cvbClciIf th choice ssdfsNow

Winter is over but hibernating is still happening

One of my many nicknames is D-bear cause you don’t bother the bear when he’s sleeping (shout out to ICCYCC friends present and past).  This next post is all about hibernation. It is a great feature of the OS. It takes the contents of RAM and dumps them to a file called hyber.sys on the C: drive. Layman’s terms: When you power up you get all your files back more quickly.

In Windows 7

  1. Go to Control Panel -> Power options
  2. Left hand side -> Change when computer sleeps
  3. At the bottom of the sleep plan window click on “Change advanced Power settings”
  4. Scroll through the options until you find Sleep->Allow Hybrid Sleep
  5. Turn this off – it seems counter intuitive.  Make sure it is off for both battery and power when using a laptop (not needed but just highlighting that there are 2 choices for laptop users so configure them properly)
  6. Click OK
  7. Now on your start menu you will see the hibernate option

But wait! There’s more! In my next post will show you how to do the same thing in Windows 10

Stay tuned!



Maintainable, scalable and replicable

This is the mantra of IT – or at least it should be.  We put lots of effort into this in terms of our infrastructure but what about documentation. I know to most techs that is a four letter word but its true. Why not make it easy?  We all have a list of emails that we send out on a regular basis and instead of typing them out each time why not use a template? Here’s how to do it in Outlook 2010

  1. Create a new email
  2. Fill in the To, Cc, Subject, body and add a signature
  3. Now, instead of sending go to file and select Save As
  4. In the “Save As Type” select Outlook Template (OFT) and give the file a memorable name (“Khan”? – no, something that will tell you what it is in the future)
  5. MAKE SURE TO NOTE WHERE YOU ARE SAVING THE FILE as you will need it in one of the next steps
  6. Now you will need to back into Outlook and find the developer tab
    1. If you don’t see that tab go to File ->Options -> Customize Ribbon -> and in the right side pane select “Developer tools”
  7. Click Okay
  8. Here comes the sneaky bit.  That path from step 4. above? You are going to need it.
  9. First create a folder called Templates (or something more creative if you have the caffeine levels for that)
  10. Open the folder
  11. Now open File explorer and browse (or copy-pasta) to the path where you saved the template.
  12. Copy the file to the new outlook folder you created in 9. above and voila
  13. The email should show up in that folder and it will stay there
  14. Jut open it like a normal email and send – it will send – but will also stay in that folder

Ta da, magic!  Emails that stay in a folder even when sent

Keep your stick on the ice!!

Delegate mailbox access: 2 steps to make it easier

Well actually there is 3 steps. The one I will not cover in this article is convincing the higher-ups that you need an assistant. Once you have won that fight you will want them to manage your inbox and calendar for you as well as getting coffee and picking up the laundry. I mean, they are there to help, right 😉

Ok, so, step one.  Setup the mailbox permissions

  1. Open Outlook
  2. Go to File tab -> Info -> Account settings -> Delegate access

    Delegate Access

  3. Click Add
  4. Find the user
  5. In Outlook 2010 the permissions pop-up automatically so select your choices and then click okay
  6. Done part one

Step two add the mailbox to the assistant’s computer.

  1. On the assistant’s computer Click File -> Open -> Other User’s Folder
    Other User's Folder

  2. Enter your name (the name of the person who setup the delegate access in the first part).
  3. Select what you want to see and click Okay

Make it so, delegate 🙂

Email Rules: The client is not always right

It is a long standing mantra in customer service: “The client is always right”.  Well the axiom does not apply to Exchange.  In some recent work we had to look at rules and compare server rules to client rules and see who wins the resulting fist fight

Here is the long and short: The server side rules take precendence. Client side rules only apply when the client is running. Now there is one exception here and that is that rules setup on a client PC can be client rules or server rules depending on what options you select.

Now this is particularly important as client side rules only apply when the client (PC and Outlook) are running.  So these rules can be a bit “finicky” since they have more dependencies than the server side rules.  If you are on another PC and in Outlook your client side rules do not apply. Rules like moving email to a folder, moving email to a PST or playing a sound when email arrives will only work on your PC when Outlook is running.

Server rules run no matter where you are and Outlook does not need to be on for them to be active.The easiest place to setup these rules (as a user) is in OWA (Outlook Web Access – webmail for Exchange users).


One rule to rule them all 🙂

Lost file recovery

It has happened to the best of us. We finish our thesis/doctoral essay/blog post and somehow the file disappears or is incomplete.  Frustration!  There are many ways to solve this but first – an ounce of prevention 🙂

Always make sure that the autorecover is set to save the file every XX minutes – I use it a 5 mins (10 on my work machine).  This is found under file-options-save

This location also begins our file recovery journey.  Note that a fewl lines lower is  the autorecover file location.  Click on browse and it will show files it has saved there.

The reason for the blog is I just found something that I had not been aware of before and that is the file- info- manage versions button.  This is another place to go and see if your lost data has been hiding there.  Just click on the “Recover Unsave Documents” button and it will open a new location which may hold the missing info.

I’m sure there are tons more ways to find lost files but these ones are quick and easy


Happy hunting!


Installing apps on their own drive in Windows 10

I hate clutter. My house is full of it and it drives me nuts on a daily basis. I try to keep that clutter from affecting my PC but it creeps in.  If you wanted to keep your apps separate from your OS in pervious versions of Windows OS it was a bit of a task to remember to change the install directory and sometimes you couldn’t!  That drove me nuts-er…

In Windows 10 all you have to do is navigate

  1. Setting
  2. System
  3. Storage
  4. Save locations
  5. Select the drive that “New Apps will save to”

If the app is already installed you can move it too!

  1. Setting
  2. System
  3. Apps and features
  4. Click the app,
  5. Click move
  6. Select the new location
  7. Click move (to confirm)

Note that this only applies to Store Apps but it is nice none the less 🙂

Happy cleaning!

I hate to say it but…

Ballmer may have been right.  Ugh, he had a vision (one OS for all devices) and it was not ready in time and Windows suffered for it.  It really suffered – and we (MS fan boys)all bore the brunt of it.  But, (there is always a but), the vision was admirable and I clung to that for dear life amidst ridicule, scorn and pariah-ism (ok , I’m playing the victim card here a bit).  But now there is a new rumor. Cshell: One OS on all devices.  Sounds familiar, right?  Well maybe the tech is there now and maybe MS will wait until it is ready to released until they release it (what a concept!)

Composabe Shell (cshell) will scale to the device and performance of the hardware.  Hand held devices running full blown W10 installs on ARM could be coming. Combine this with a folding screen patent and we really could be onto something here 🙂

Rumors and patents and tech – oh my!

Customizing icons on removable drives

Using external media is more popular than ever.  It can become a bit confusing to look at “This Computer” and see 5-6-7 drives listed. Here is a tech walk through on how to customize the icons and labels for removable media:

  1. Connect the device
  2. In the root add a new text document and name it autorun.inf (use Windows -> view -> file extensions if this is not working
  3. add this text as the contents
  4. Copy the icon file you wish to use to the root directory as well
  5. The name “icon-name.ico” needs to match the icon file name in 4. above
  6. The label is what the drive will be called
  7. You can make this hidden file if you want