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Wednesday, April 26 2017 @ 07:37 AM EDT
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Microsoft Education Labs Releases Chemistry Add-in for Word

General News

As announced on the Microsoft External Research Team Blog, MS Education Labs in collaboration with the University of Cambridge has released a chemistry add-in for Word (2007 & 2010) that "makes it easier for students, chemists and researchers to insert and modify chemical information, such as labels, formulas and 2D depictions, from withing Microsoft Office Word." It uses the Chemical Markup Language (CML), which is based on XML, and as such should easily allow other technologies to take advantage of the open document format.


Eventually, the developers plan to release a CodePlex version of this project later this year, hoping to build a community around the add-in and increasing the number of molecules available to use. I hope this takes off!


Anyone interested in how it looks and works can head over to the How-To Geek website (which, BTW, is definitely a site you should keep in your RSS feeds) and check out their article Create Chemistry Equations and Diagrams in Word.

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What My Users Have Taught Me - Part 1

Havening Problems

The logical is of course illogical. User's suppositions are truth. Common sense is for the herd and must be shunned. Part 1.


I am fortunate to be in the position where most of our users are a pleasure to work with and even if they aren't completely computer savvy, they tend do very well with what knowledge they have. Still, we all have our off days and sometimes I see actions or receive comments that illicit a "huh?" response. Most of the time when I respond with a "have you tried..." they realize what happened and we have a good laugh and go on our merry way. Other times... well, go ahead and read on.

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Microsoft Releases Updated Microsoft Baseline Configuration Analyzer 2.0

General News

Microsoft has released version 2.0 of the Microsoft Baseline Configuration Analyzer.



Microsoft Baseline Configuration Analyzer 2.0 (MBCA 2.0) can help you maintain optimal system configuration by analyzing configurations of your computers against a predefined set of best practices, and reporting results of the analyses. Best practices are developed by a product development team or domain experts, and are packaged in the form of a best practice model. Models are available as separately-downloadable packages that can be run and analyzed by MBCA. MBCA lets users work with best practice models in a consistent, user-friendly way.


The new version adds support for the newer Windows operating systems: Windows 7 Enterprise; Windows 7 Professional; Windows 7 Ultimate; Windows Server 2003; Windows Server 2003 R2 (32-Bit x86); Windows Server 2008; Windows Server 2008 R2; Windows Vista Business; Windows Vista Enterprise; Windows Vista Ultimate


You can download it from

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Orca MSI Editor Crashes When Deleting Rows from a Transform


Orca is Microsoft's database table editor for directly creating and editing Windows Installer (previously Microsoft Installer) packages and merge modules. You are most likely familiar with these installation packages as MSI files.


You may have noticed, though, that Orca would freeze when you dropped a row at times. This is because the version that comes with the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 SDK (and Vista Platform SDK as well, I believe) would crash if you deleted some rows from a transform, such as registry entries. The newer versions of Orca seem to fix this, beginning with the version from the Windows SDK for Windows Server 2008. Last I checked, there's an even newer version - version 5.0 - included in the Windows 7 SDK.


Well, that's the answer to your crashing issue, but there are more questions that now arise:

  1. The Windows 7 SDK is huge. Where exactly can I find the Orca.exe program in it?
  2. How do I go about downloading just the portion of the SDK that contains Orca?
  3. Are there any good alternatives to using Orca to edit MSI tables directly?

Read on for the answers to these questions!

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A Truly Universal Print Driver from Samsung

General News

While universal print drivers (drivers that support multiple printer models) are nothing new, they've had a history of being fairly limited. One example would be HP's UPD that comes in PCL 5, PCL 6, & PostScript flavors, but they only work across HP branded printers. On the other hand, Xerox's Mobile Express Driver can print across manufacturers and models, but it only supports printers that allow the PostScript page description language (PDL).


Late last year, though, Samsung announced a print driver that not only is compatible with their own models, but any network printer that uses SPL, PCL6, or PostScript languages. Here at The Grim Admin, we wanted to find out how well these claims hold up. Read on for our review & test run of the driver and, of course, the download link since you'll definitely want to give this driver a go yourself...

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Today Is Clean Out Your Computer Day (Feb 8, 2010)

General News

I was just reminded through an article from that today is National Clean Out Your Computer Day! Originally sponsored and created by the Institute for Business Technology, National Clean Out Your Computer Day comes around every second Monday in February.


So clean up those old files, uninstall those old apps you never use, vacuum the stale chips from keyboard, and if you haven't defragmented your platter-based hard drives all year, get to it!

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VBScript: Delete Old Files and Folders

Scripts & Tools

Here is a simple VBScript that you can schedule to run nightly that will clean out files and folders in a selected path older than a specified number of days. Maybe you have a shared temporary working space for documents or a location where scanned or faxed documents are dropped. This VBS script will ensure that these locations don't get clogged up or overly cluttered. Read further for the code...

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20 Apple Snow Leopard Annoyances (and their solutions)


Luis Villazon has submitted an article at TechRadar UK that outlines some of the more annoying issues that people may run across while using Apple's Mac OS X Snow Leopard operating system (next to the issues with NTLM, of course). It's a nice compilation with some of the solutions being the harder ones to figure out (e.g., tracking down a corruption issue with Smart Groups in Address Book). The annoyances:


  1. Exposé leaves windows in the background
  2. Can I stop the screensaver from closing?
  3. I can't log in as root user when using Terminal
  4. My Time Machine backups are broken
  5. Files don't open in the right application
  6. How can I change the Stacks display?
  7. How do I get a Stack's items to be highlighted on mouseover?
  8. Can keyboard shortcuts open applications?
  9. Address Book and Mail crash at the same time!
  10. Exposé doesn't work on the Dock when I'm using Spaces
  11. Where have some of the preferences gone?
  12. How can I find and open a single hidden file?
  13. How do I get rid of the blue glow in Exposé?
  14. The icons from the menu bar have vanished
  15. Snow Leopard won't install on the hard disk
  16. Can line breaks be added in Text Substitution?
  17. I can't change application icons
  18. QuickTime X won't auto-play
  19. I can't run Windows apps via Parallels
  20. QuickTime videos simply refuse to play

 If you want the solutions, you'll have to head on over to and read the article 20 Snow Leopard annoyances solved.

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30 Second Delay During Windows 7 Logon When Using a Solid Color Background


[Update: Microsoft has released a fix in the Windows 7 April 2010 stability/reliability update. Link: KB980408]

Those who prefer performance & productivity over eye candy will often eliminate anything that could distract them or take up [what used to be] precious RAM. If you're one of these enthusiasts you may even choose not load a desktop wallpaper and have only a solid color as your background. No one could have guessed, though, that if you are running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2, by doing so you would be reducing your performance by introducing a 30-second delay to your logon time.


Read more to get the details and resolution...

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Easy Custom Address Lists in Exchange 2003


So, you need to make a custom address list (address book) for your Microsoft Outlook users with Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. This is one of those things where it's pretty easy to get what you want until you need a list with more than just one object type (users, contacts, groups, etc.). If you want an address list to include more than just one type, you'll have to do a custom LDAP query. Another reason you may have to do a custom LDAP query is if you want an "OR" in your conditional statement; in other words, you need to have an "either/or" condition (e.g., you want users who are part of either Group A or Group B).

Most of you probably don't want to have to learn all about LDAP query writing just to get the right items to appear in your Outlook address list. This article should get you going quickly by showing you a couple shortcuts to getting the query you want. We will outline:

  • Where & how to create custom address lists in Microsoft Exchange 2003
  • How to quickly get a basic outline for your LDAP query
  • A couple basic LDAP query syntax rules to make the changes you need

Read on for the tutorial...

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