Category Archives: Software

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).

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

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

Update, March 6, 2015: These directions were written for Corepoint 5.2.x.  Updated directions for Corepoint 6.0 are available on the Corepoint Health community site, linked above.

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)

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.

Continue reading Multiple spaces between sentences in WordPress

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).

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.  :-)


Can’t access Office 365 in Outlook: “The name on the security certificate is invalid or does not match the name of the target site”

Ran into this one recently.  When accessing Office 365 via Exchange from Outlook 2013, an error pops up.

There is a problem with the proxy server’s security certificate.  The name on the security certificate is invalid or does not match the name of the target site

Outlook is unable to connect to the proxy server. (Error Code 0)

Continue reading Can’t access Office 365 in Outlook: “The name on the security certificate is invalid or does not match the name of the target site”

KB2843630, KB2917929, and KB2923528 retracted from Windows Update?

After the “Patch Tuesday” updates this month I started having an issues with my PC, having to do with entering sleep or returning from sleep.  It would just hang at a black screen, and I would have to hold down the power button to shut down the machine.

After a couple of days, I removed the non-security updates, and the problem seemed to have been resolved.  I waited a few days to be sure, and then ran a full backup.

Continue reading KB2843630, KB2917929, and KB2923528 retracted from Windows Update?

Moving a single-instance MySQL server to MariaDB Galera Cluster

I’ve been keeping an eye on MariaDB for a while.  Since MySQL was acquired by Oracle, there have been concerns in the community about how Oracle will manage it going forward.  MariaDB is a fork of MySQL, run by some of the people who originally created MySQL, that was created to address these concerns.  It’s recently been picking up a fair amount of attention, in particular with some Linux distributions choosing to use it as a replacement for MySQL.  (This reminds me of what happened with LibreOffice a couple years back.)

Anyway, I work with a MySQL system and I now have a need to get it running on a cluster of some sort, for scalability and redundancy.  Since MariaDB Galera Cluster appears to be a little easier to set up and more flexible than MySQL Cluster, I figured that this would be a good time to put it to the test.

The purpose of this post is to document the process that I went through getting a MySQL database moved over to MariaDB and set up in a cluster.  I hit a few snags along the way, so I figure that this could be useful to others.

Continue reading Moving a single-instance MySQL server to MariaDB Galera Cluster

Unable to enable BitLocker on Windows 8 – “Element not found”

I’ve ran into this a few times.  When trying to enable BitLocker in Windows 8, it starts out working but the vague error message “Element not found” quickly appears and it is not possible to proceed with the encryption.

For me, this happens after cloning the Windows install onto a new drive.  According to Microsoft, when using a TPM module to store the keys, using UEFI to boot, and the boot drive has changed, this error will appear.  It’s most likely the same with Windows 7 as well.

Fortunately, the solution is simple.

Open an administrative command prompt and run this command to reinitialize the boot loader:

bcdboot %systemdrive%\Windows

Then reboot the machine and try to start BitLocker again.