Increase the number of pinned items allowed in the Windows 7 taskbar jump lists

If you right-click a program on the Windows 7 taskbar, a box pops up with a list of actions.  This is the “jump list” for the program.  If your app stores history or “recent items”, you can right-click an item and pin it.

You may notice that there is a limit to the total number of items in the “recent” and “pinned” lists.  If you start pinning things and reach this limit, you won’t see the recent items anymore.  For me, I was running into this limit at 15 items in the pinned list.

It turns out that the number of items allowed in the list is determined by the height of your Start Menu (for some reason).  To increase the number of items, increase the height of the Start Menu.  You can do this by right-clicking the Start Menu and choosing “Properties”, and then the “Customize” button.  Increase the “number of recent programs to display” to make the Start Menu taller.

Once this is done, you can add more items to the “pinned” section of the jump list.  If you pin more items and then go back and reduce the height of the Start Menu, the pinned items will remain (but you won’t be able to add any more without repeating this trick).

Mummy-Me Maze Forever

Did you complete all of the secret objectives in Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker?  Mummy-Me Maze Forever is your reward, the most difficult level in the game.

I completed this level after about 15 tries over a few days.  I thought I would share my thoughts and strategies along with some information about the floor composition, because I haven’t seen much analysis online yet.  Lots of people find this level to be frustrating, but I thought it was a lot of fun to work out.  There are several YouTube videos showing playthroughs to completion though, so those might also help you out if you’re stuck.

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Getting started with C# COM objects in Corepoint (ItemInvoke)

(Cross-posted on the Corepoint Health community site.)

I need to hash a string in Corepoint, but it doesn’t seem to have any hashing functionality built in.  An easy way to do this is to call a stored procedure to have the database do the hashing.  This works fine, except for that SQL Server will toss an error if the length of the string being hashed is more than 8000 characters.  To hash an arbitrarily long string, using Corepoint’s ItemInvoke action to call external code seemed like a reasonable next step.

Corepoint’s ItemInvoke allows you to call code stored in a COM object. I’ve done a fair bit of software development but I can’t say I’ve ever been asked to write a COM object. I needed to learn how to write a COM object, and more specifically, how to do it in such a way that it will work with Corepoint.

I searched the documentation and the community site for information to get me started. Corepoint’s documentation has about the bare minimum that you would need to pull this off and assumes some degree of familiarity with COM objects. On the community site, I found some mentions of things like, “Hey, I found this COM object that does such-and-such-a-thing,” but not much on actually creating them. So, I thought I would put together a “Getting started with COM objects in Corepoint” tutorial, the target audience being people who have experience with software development and just need to figure out the part where you need to get Corepoint and your code talking.

It’s possible to write COM objects in a number of different languages.  I’m using C# for this tutorial.  If you are interested in using a different language, there still may be bits of information here that will be helpful to you.

You will need installed…

  • Corepoint Integration Engine
  • Microsoft Visual Studio
  • Microsoft GUID Generator, aka guidgen.exe
  • sn.exe (you probably already have it — details below)
  • regasm.exe (you probably already have it — details below)

I’m also assuming that you have some basic knowledge of the Corepoint Integration Engine, Visual Studio, finding files on your system, using the command line, interpreting error messages, and so forth.

Continue reading Getting started with C# COM objects in Corepoint (ItemInvoke)

Sound broken in VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker

New life experiences bring new challenges.

I’m the proud owner of a VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker.  After two or three months, the sound stopped working.  The device was otherwise functional, in that the lights would light up and it would respond to input.

After finally getting around to doing some research online to see if this was a common problem, one user named sunshine4u4ever noted that it could be fixed by opening it up and using a soldering iron to re-attach a wire leading to the speaker.

I was able to pull this off successfully, and judging from other online comments and reviews, it looks like this is a common problem.  In case you’ve ran into this, I’ll share some photos of the procedure.

Continue reading Sound broken in VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker

Multiple spaces between sentences in WordPress

I type in “typewriter-style” — that is to say, I prefer to leave two spaces after the period at the end of sentences.  In HTML, a series of whitespace characters is rendered in the browser as a single space, so you typically don’t see two spaces following a sentence unless extra measures are taken to preserve them.

I use WordPress for this blog and I noticed that, indeed, the two spaces are preserved.  However, there is an issue.  If a line happens to break at the end of a sentence, the second space will be carried over to the next line.  (See image above.)  In this article, I will explain what is happening and present a possible solution.

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OneNote now available for free on Windows, OS X

From yesterday, Microsoft OneNote is available for free on Windows and OS X.  OneNote was previously available for Windows as part of the Microsoft Office suite (or standalone, for a price).  The OS X version is brand new and available from the App Store, but from what I’ve seen so far, it works well.  There are also versions available for a variety of mobile devices, which were already free.

OneNote makes it easy to throw a document together.  The “page” and “tab” system allows for quick and easy organization of material.  You can use it to make a simple “wiki” to store documentation on projects.  With OneDrive for syncing, you can easy share or collaborate with others and keep your data consistent between devices.

OS X support was a missing piece before and the main reason I couldn’t use this more globally in the office.  Glad to see them finally make it available (and free at that).

Google Drive cuts rates

I previously posted about choosing a cloud storage solution.  I’ve been using Google Drive, and seriously keeping an eye on OneDrive, thinking about switching if they ever implement co-owned folders (it’s not useful to me without a feature like that).  OneDrive offers better integration with Windows 8.1.

However, yesterday’s Google Drive rate cuts pretty much have me settled on their solution, unless OneDrive makes similar cuts.  With the price for the 1 TB plan at $10/mo, I may well switch to that and increase the amount of stuff that I keep there for backup purposes.  Still, I’ll wait a few months to see if OneDrive has any response, and enjoy the $2/mo price for 100 GB in the meantime.

VLC for Windows 8 now available

It still needs work, but it’s nice to see that there is something for people to try out now.

In my case, I’m interested in trying this as a front-end for watching videos on my HDTV, as I haven’t found anything that I quite like yet.  Also hoping that they eventually work out Blu-ray navigation in VLC, and that makes it into the Windows 8 version.

Two “A”s in my name gets me onto the first page of the credits.  :-)


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