A replacement for Jasc Image Robot?

xnconvert-win-01Had an email recently from a reader

I found your page on Google (Jasc Image Robot – October 2009) and was just wondering if you still have Image Robot or if you know where I can get a copy of it?

No, and no.

But a quick look at Google shows that XnConvert might do what they want.  It will read 500+ image formats, and output to 100+ formats.   

And it’s freeware.

I also briefly looked at Advanced Batch Image Convertor, but the two problems I had with it were that a) it won’t read PaintShop Pro images (PSP) and b) only 5 export formats.

That picture looks odd …

Subscribe girl I was looking at the picture on the right, and was thinking, there’s something wrong with it.

But I didn’t know what.

So I did a check on TinEye*, and found several close matches.

This one is the closest, it’s from shutterstock.

By the looks of it, the first image was rotated left, so the display board was level; and it has been cropped.

* yes, I wrote about TinEye 3 years ago.  I’m still impressed with the service.

Fixing a sticky Lockwood Deadlock.

There hasn’t been many blog posts of late, as I’ve moved into a new apartment in South Melbourne, and the processing of moving has taken up a bit of time.

One of the first problems in the new apartment was with the lock.  I’d put the key in the lock, turn the key to deadlock the lock, then take the key out.

Except the key wouldn’t come out.

Ah, it’ll need some graphite to fix the sticky lock.  Off to the local locksmith to buy some.  The local locksmith is called Local Locksmiths.

Naahhhhh, you don’t need graphite, your actual problem is that the screws holding the key barrel are loose.

Lockwood Lock

By jove he was right.  Tightened the screws up, and the problem was fixed.

How to open a WD Elements USB2 External Drive

You carefully lever the bottom of the case, out of the case.  Here are a couple of photos which demonstrate this:

WD Elements USB2 - Open WD Elements USB2 - Open - 2

After I got the case open, I was impressed by the amount of shock absorption that Western Digital provided.  The blue mounts in the second picture are the shock mounts.

If you are looking for a replacement, you can still buy drive these drives Western Digital WDBAA0010HBK drives on Amazon.

Office 2010 SP2 install issues.

I’m getting ready to deploy Office 2010 Service Pack 2 out to my customers desktop fleet.  I’m going to journal the list of problems I find along the way.

Issue 1- Open File – Security Warning

Open File - Security Warning

I’m surprised that I’ve not stumbled across this issue before.  It’s caused by the “Zone Identifer” feature.  In short, if you download a file from the internet, you’ll probably see this warning.  I’m running the SP2 install from a VBscript file, which is why I’m seeing it.

There are a couple of ways around this:

  1. Copy the file to a FAT formatted drive.
    This causes the Zone Identifier flag to be stripped off.
  2. Change the SEE_MASK_NOZONECHECKS environment variable
    As documented in Microsoft KB889815
    It works.
  3. Don’t use VBscript “Use a command script”
    Also from KB889815.  Not an option for me unfortunately
  4. Use the Microsoft Sysinternals Streams utility to remove the Zone Identifier flag.
    Bit of a brutal approach, particularly if you have other information stored in the alternative data streams.
  5. Use the ZoneStripper utility.

Next (potential) issue: "Error 1718. File was rejected by digital signature policy"

Finding device drivers with the PCIDatabase

Imagine you have a “No name brand” Ethernet card, without a driver disk or CD.

You plug it into your computer, and Device Manager can’t find the drivers for it.  If you get the Vendor ID and the Device ID from the Hardware ID Property Field in Device Manager:
Device Manager

And then you take those ID’s; and do a search with the Device ID on PCIDatabase.com

After you press Search, you get results like these:

You can see multiple devices were returned for Device ID 1681.  But if we check the Vendor ID, we can see we have a Broadcom 57xx Gigabit Integrated Controller.  So we can now go to the Broadcom site and grab the correct Ethernet driver.

VS2010 & .Net 2 Framework Selection

.Net 2 is not the default framework option …  No, you get .Net 4.  To change it, you select Project / <your project name> Properties / Compile / Advanced Compile Options, and select the Target Framework you want.
WinXP SP3 WS2010-2012-03-07-12-50-14

I prefer to use the .Net 2 Framework as it’s the lowest common denominator on the systems I write code for.  And yes, I documented this, as I can’t remember where the option is, and Google Search wasn’t my friend at the time.

Files to delete when imaging a system.

Such as when you use the GHOST disk imaging product.  This is a revision of a post I wrote back in November 2009, and it’s about time to update it.

So here is the revised list I files I delete when I GHOST/image a system:

Directories to clean up:

%PROGRAM FILES%\CA\SharedComponents\PPPPRealtime\Logs
%PROGRAM FILES%\CA\SharedComponents\PPPPRealtime\Logs
%PROGRAM FILES%\CA\SharedComponents\ScanEngine\Logs


Files to delete
Dos data.sf

System Restore Points.
The best, and safest way I have found to clear the System Restore cache is to
a) Turn it off, click ok on the “System Restore is going to delete it’s restore points” and then
b) Turn it back on.