Chernobyl Pictures

If you get 5 minutes today I’d check out the following blog http://villageofjoy.com/chernobyl-today-a-creepy-story-told-in-pictures/ Personally I find this kind of stuff very interesting (much like abandoned underground stations) The title of the blog says it all creepy, very creepy indeed.

Things I learnt today

Back away from aggressive bears slowly, if provoked throw sticks and stones and make loud noises, don't play dead; if you fight back you'll statically stand a better chance.
I’d love to know who tested the play dead theory!
If attacked by a Shark, claw at its eyes and gills
If you happen to be swimming with a pencil, I’d suggest using that... I suppose the thing I’ve really learn is to always take a pencil into the water with you!
Apply vinegar to box jelly fish stings and remove any barbs with a credit card
I’m assuming a MasterCard works best?
Let a hippopotamus know you’re coming by making lots of noise.
There’s not a lot you can do if attacked by a hippopotamus other than getting out of the way. I suppose it would die soon enough if you jabbed both its eyes out with a pencil!
Charging Elephant? See above
Crocodiles major jaw muscles are used for closing, so sit on its mouth and then it can’t bite you!
Finally a real useful benefit from being a fatty?
 Stare large cats directly in the eyes, if they are close enough punch and kick them in the face.
I don’t know how best to define a ‘large’ cat, I’ll assume that means overweight, and I’ll also assume that those sounds its making are threatening! Die Kitty!
A king cobra can rear up so it looks you directly in the eye!
Good news! I can proceed to stab it with a pencil!


How to Remove the Popup Ads in Avira Antivir

I came across the following article on wikiHow http://www.wikihow.com/Remove-the-Popup-Ads-in-Avira-Antivir, which gives details on possible soluitions on remove the popup adverts in Antivir, I belive this will break the terms and conditions of using Antivir, and again if it is a product you like and find useful I’d recommend spending the money and purchasing it legally.
I’ll reproduce the information here from the wiki for ease of access and future referencing.
Windows XP Pro

1. Go to Start > Run.
2. Type gpedit.msc and click OK.
3. Navigate through User Configuration > Administrative Templates > System.
4. Double click "Don't run specified Windows applications".
5. Enable it and click show.
6. Add "avnotify.exe".
7. Click OK on all open windows.
8. Restart.

Windows XP Home

1. Boot into Safe Mode (Press F8 while your system is booting up)
2. Log in as administrator.
3. Open C:\Program Files\Avira\AntiVir PersonalEdition Classic.
4. Right click on avnotify.exe and go to Properties >  Security > Advanced.
5. Click on Edit-> Traverse Folder / Execute File-> deny-> OK.
6. Repeat for all users.
7. Reboot your computer normally.

Windows 7 or Windows Vista Business/Ultimate

1. Open the control panel  through Start > Control Panel.
2. Go to Administrative Tools > Local security policy.
3. Click on Software Restriction Policy > Action > Create new restriction policy.
4. Right-click, and go to additional rules > new path rule.
5. Click Browse and navigate to C:\Program Files\Avira\AntiVir Desktop\ and double-click avnotify.exe.
6. Set the security level to Disallowed.
7. Click apply and OK.

The wiki gives details on removing the popup from Vista home so if you are running Vista home please hop on over to the wiki and check it out. I’m not yet able to confirm if these steps work but will no doubt check it out at some point in the future.

Free Antivirus

I see a lot of personal laptops of work colleges and friends and I am always surprised by the number of people not running an anti virus. Now days it seems you need a good antivirus and a good anti spyware. Very few antivirus packages provide both.

There are a now a number of free antivirus products on the market; many years ago it was just AVG but recently products like Avast! and Avira’s AntiVir
I always take online antivirus statistics with a pinch of salt, and I much prefer to go with personal experience. If you have the cash I’d recommend going with ESET NOD32 and also something like Prevx, I happen to be a reseller for both these products (Surprising that I’m recommending them then?) However if you don’t have or want to spend money, then I’d recommend going for Avira’s AntiVir. The only drawback to the free version of their product is the rather annoying popup adverts.
Check out the AV Comparatives tests at  http://www.av-comparatives.org/comparativesreviews/main-tests

If you have any questions or concerns over security feel free to pay me a vist at http://www.atp-software.com and I'll be happy to arrange home visit of service on your IT equipment.


Corrupt profiles Windows 7 (Domain users)

This is the first real problem I’ve come across in Windows 7. My work college has been having some issues with his laptop, installers have been complaining that his ‘My Documents’ folder (redirected to H:\) doesn’t exist. After pushing and poking some settings I decided the quickest and easiest thing to do would be to recreate his user profile.
Reboot the system and login as another use (preferably Administrator) then browse to C:\Users and rename the user’s folder.
Normally when the user logs in next Windows will create a profile automatically, however under Windows 7 it decided to create a temporary profile.
It turns out Windows 7 stores the path that a user should be using for their profile under the following registry folder;-
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
Look through the various folders listed until you find the one with your pesky profile, delete it and then login as normal.


"Ravens Night II" - Planning - Part 1

I am feeling slightly guilty while I write this blog, I figure I should really spend some of my spare time planning and sorting things out for my Wedding, however I decided I’m not going to feel guilty. Laura has her wedding to plan... I have my Ravens Night!
The schedule got released yesterday and I was initially worried by reports I’d heard that we would only be getting a solitary prime time game, I am however very pleased and massively excited about the season starting.
Ravens @ Jets
Monday 13th September 7.00PM

Ravens @ Falcons
Thursday 11th November 8.20PM

Steelers @ Ravens
Sunday 5th December 8.20PM

Ravens @ Texans
Monday 13th December 8.30PM

That’s right, the Ravens opening game against the jets is going to be show live. Fantastic news, I’d recommend to my fellow NFL fans (and previous “Ravens Night” participants) to select this game as their preference for the next “Ravens Night”

This weekend is the NFL draft, which will no doubt see me constantly refreshing the draft page on BlackBerry


5-Minute Management Course

I recived this via email earlier today and liked it enough that I though I'd steal it and share it with the rest of you.

5 Minute Management Course

Lesson 1 :

A priest offered a Nun a lift.

She got in and crossed her legs, forcing her gown to reveal a leg.

The priest nearly had an accident.

After controlling the car, he stealthily slid his hand up her leg...

The nun said, 'Father, remember Psalm 129?'

The priest removed his hand. But, changing gears, he let his hand slide up her leg again. The nun once again said, 'Father, remember Psalm 129?'

The priest apologized 'Sorry sister but the flesh is weak.'

Arriving at the convent, the nun sighed heavily and went on her way.

On his arrival at the church, the priest rushed to look up Psalm 129. It said, 'Go forth and seek, further up, you will find glory.'

Moral of the story:
If you are not well informed in your job, you might miss a great opportunity.

Lesson 2 :

A sales rep, an administration clerk, and the manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp.

They rub it and a Genie comes out. The Genie says, 'I'll give each of you just one wish.'

'Me first! Me first!' says the admin clerk.. 'I want to be in the Bahamas , driving a speedboat, without a care in the world.' Poof! She's gone.

'Me next! Me next!' says the sales rep. 'I want to be in Hawaii , relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of Pina Coladas, and the love of my life.' Poof! He's gone.

'OK, you're up,' the Genie says to the manager. The manager says, 'I want those two back in the office after lunch.'

Moral of the story:
Always let your boss have the first say.

Lesson 3

An eagle was sitting on a tree resting, doing nothing.

A small rabbit saw the eagle and asked him, 'Can I also sit like you and do nothing?' The eagle answered: 'Sure, why not.'

So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the eagle and rested. All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.

Moral of the story:
To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high up.

Lesson 4

A turkey was chatting with a bull. 'I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree' sighed the turkey, 'but I haven't got the energy.'

'Well, why don't you nibble on some of my droppings?' replied the bull. It's full of nutrients.'

The turkey pecked at a lump of dung, and found it actually gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree.

The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch..

Finally after a fourth night, the turkey was proudly perched at the top of the tree.

He was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot him out of the tree.

Moral of the story:
Bull Shit might get you to the top, but it won't keep you there...

Lesson 5

A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field.

While he was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him.

As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to realize how warm he was.

The dung was actually thawing him out!

He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy. A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate.

Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him.

Moral of the story:
(1) Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy.

(2) Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend.

(3) And when you're in deep shit, it's best to keep your mouth shut!


Upside down Printing in Word

So the decision was made that for some of our wedding invites we would design and make them ourselves. Laura also wants to put a poem on a card inside the invite and we decide to make the most out of the situation we could print directions and contact details for the venue on the back of the poem.
That’s easier said than done. The card itself is A6 in size which means we should be able to get 8 cards from a single piece of A4 paper; you would think Microsoft Word or even Publisher could handle easily? Sadly it has turned into a major three way battle, Me versus Microsoft versus HP Printer.
For the actual wedding invite I was able to use an A5 template that Publisher provided me with, I made some A5 templates from regular paper as to not spoil / waste our more expensive paper and managed to figure out which way to insert the paper and after a few attempts I managed to rotate and resize the text accordingly so the prints were coming off perfect.
Well that seems all well and good, fairly simple. Now not to the printing the A6 inserts. My original idea was to setup a document with 2 pages (front and back of the insert) and on each page have 8 textboxes to house the text for the insert. I created the 8 textboxes and divided the A4 document up equally on screen and printed a test. Despite reducing the page margins to as close to 0 as possible the document just didn’t look right and things got worse when I tried to duplex the document.
After several failed attempts with Publisher I moved onto Word to see what options that would offer me. I setup an A6 document entered my text and told it to print 8 pages per sheet of A4, very impressive but my document only has 1 page so my print preview only has 1 insert. At this point my brain went into overdrive, how do I tell the print driver I want 8 copies of page 1 on 1 page? Well, I could have made my Word document 8 pages long and simply copy the original page 7 times, that’s a little bit too Neanderthal for me (an IT guru don’t you know?) After about 15 minutes trying to work out what the best way would be to resolve the issue I thought ‘Why not look online?’ well that would have been too easy and this is something I wanted to work out for myself then BINGO! I’d found it...
I could simply specific the range of sheets to print as 1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1 and trick the printer into thinking it needs to print page 1 8 times, ingenious I hear you cry. Don’t stop reading there my printing situation becomes even more farcical.
My original word document had 2 A6 pages (front and back of the insert) and as I’d discovered above I would be unable to use the built in duplex unit of the printer (it was even worse in word, as the bottom of each page has a large margin that you cannot change, what is difficult to understand [as I write this] is why this caused such a big problem? Surely the margin would be on the bottom of both pages respectively [front and back]? Anyway it wasn’t) so the solution to all of this? Print the one side as above then put the paper back into the track but flip it around so the text is upside down as you look at, then I can simply invert the textbox (turn it upside down) in Word and it will come out perfect. Wait a second! You can’t turn text upside down in Microsoft Word? What the hell are you talking about? Of course you can, I’ve done it before... haven’t I? After much frustration I went online to find a solution and it turns out you can’t. You can turn text on either of its sides but you can’t turn it upside down. You can invert word art, but who the fuck uses that? Kid’s making posters for school? It’s huge and would ridiculous on a wedding invite. The best solution I found online was to convert the text to an image via paint and insert the image back into the document, real convenient right?
There’s a reason I didn’t buy a real cheap shitty printer, I remember being ridiculed by family for having such a massive home office printer (they forget quickly when its spewing out documents and pamphlets for their organisations and meetings with minimal effort required from me)
What are my requirements for a printer? Reasonably fast, networkable, a duplex unit (that works) and fairly cheap to run, so what printer did I buy? A HP 2430dn, considering the work it’s done it has been a good value purchase to date, when it dies I’ll definitely consider buying another one (perhaps even new)
That’s enough side tracking, the reason for the over joyous chorus of self delight is that within the HP driver for that printer I can actually enable an option to print upside down. Bloody brilliant! 2,2,2,2,2,2,2,2