Feb 23

Today: 23-Feb-2009: Internet Explorer, Outlook and Office Fun

Category: today

So I upgraded to IE7 today to try and work through some strangeness that has been happening with the presenter software from last week. I decided I didn’t want “Live Search” to be my default search engine for it and get sent to a list of searches I can use. Most annoyingly this spawns a completely new window to display the list of search engines instead of using tabs. Wouldn’t that be cool to demonstrate how useful tabs are straight off the bat? No? Shame.

So the regular search engines are there like AOL, ASK, Google, Live Search, Lycos and Yahoo but then there is Rediff which is “Search India as it happens”, Sify which appears to be “India News” and under Topic Search there are items like “India Times”, “Naukri” (“Top Jobs in India”) and then one Australian: News Corp Online. At first I thought that for some reason I’d chanced onto India so I selected Global Sites and reselected Australia to be regreeted by India. Virgin.com appears to be there and out of curiosity I installed it only to find it didn’t actually work. I searched for contact and it didn’t appear to actually find anything. If I type ‘contact’ into the search box in the page it does go to it finds results. Clearly Microsoft is on the ball with IE7.

But once I had IE7 installed on my system I found that this alone wasn’t causing the problem. We traversed over to desktop support and pinched their present desktop dev machine to do some extensive testing to see if it was broken as well. Surprisingly once we managed to get it all set up, it wasn’t broken. Unlike the current lecture theatre PC’s that crashed when trying to use the tool, this desktop system worked perfectly fine. Bizarrely the older software, IPLOD (not sure what it means but somehow its getting replaced) appears to have still been installed in PowerPoint’s configuration which lead to a charming error every time we loaded PowerPoint which was independent of our own error. Instead of issue once we had a non-crashing desktop was that the add-in registration only occurred for the current user with the developer’s supplied installer not within the local machine context. Whilst I haven’t quite had the chance to prove it yet, I actually believe that the registry install procedure does nothing however PowerPoint is in fact the thing creating the relevant entries when it starts and notices the DLL newly registered, as the correct entries appear to be created under PowerPoint however the developer’s registry strings refer to Word. Other issues include GPO fun with Windows causing issues with the C: not appearing, background issues and weirdness of the IPLOD system recurring. Unfortunate really, however hopefully it gets resolved by Thursday for when they want to demonstrate it. Fortunately for me however its not my problem any more. Yay. As part of rebuilding the installation instructions for the software for the desktop support team to something that works I sent them an email with the registry file, two executable files required and the DLL COM add-in. Outlook managed to let me upload and send them without warning however actually refused to send the email. Some how the email disappeared and never got to its destination even though I have a copy of it in my sent box. It appears that some how the email got eaten. Looking at it in Outlook, I noticed that the other attachments had been blocked by Outlook’s “You’re an idiot” protections that for some reason don’t appear to be easily able to be disabled. As an experiment I forwarded the email externally and something called “MIMEDefang” decided it wanted to remove the sole remaining attachment the DLL file. Eventually I got sick of it and resent the email with the instructions without any of the attachments. Microsoft Office: Productivity destroyer.

On the topic productivity destroyers, Word bullet points don’t appear to work properly in 2007. I’m used to hitting enter twice to escape from a collection of bullet points however for some reason this doesn’t appear to want to work properly. I end up hitting delete around three times to get back to where I was, which is far more annoying than hitting enter a few times in a row, at least I know it doesn’t have any side effects.

The last item on my list for Monday actually happened over the weekend. What I love is how people complain that Windows is so easy compared to Linux. After my last ATI driver experience with Linux, I’m not particularly disinclined to this case however after what I had with Windows I’m not quite sure which is worse. After having the computer hard lock (probably heat issues), I decided to try to update the drivers. I downloaded the latest drivers off the nVidia web site, installed them, restarted and ended up with 640×480 256 colour display. No problem I thought, I’ll try to revert the driver – but didn’t see any easy way of doing this with the driver option not working properly. Ok, lets try to get a slightly older version of the driver. Load up Firefox and decided to hit the nVidia site and then Firefox crashes. This is weird because the page starts loading fine and then just crashes. So I tried IE and the similar case occurred. It then occurs to me that the Flash player is available in both cases and is perhaps crashing the browsers. Boned. I grabbed the original driver install CD, reinstalled it, rebooted and magically everything is back to scratch. This actually reminded me of how I did the same thing with the ATI driver except that my Linux box was a bit easier to handle switching drivers. Why does Windows make life so hard?

No comments

No Comments

Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: