Tag Archives: Microsoft

Moved to a new Hosting Service

As I mentioned in a previous post, “Moving to Windows 7“, I have completed a second major task that I’ve been meaning to do for a long time.

CrystalTech and fastCGI

2011 Chester County Balloon Fest 098
2011 Chester County Balloon Fest 098

This task has been bittersweet, in the sense that I’ve been with my previous host, CrystalTech, for 10+ years and they have always been very responsive during that time, but ever since I moved to a WordPress environment, I’d been having issues.

By no means, do I mean to slam CrystalTech in any way shape or form.

The hosting service has done me well for well over a decade, and I have set up many of my clients with them during this time.

My issue with their hosting at this stage the game is purely technical.

CrystalTech’s main mission is to provide Microsoft based Hosting services, which was great for me during my early days of HTML, FrontPage and DotNetNuke adventures, but as I move to WordPress, it became apparent that their Linux/Unix emulation services left a little to be desired.

Again, I do not blame CrystalTech directly because they are offering WordPress in an emulation mode in a Microsoft environment.

Where I see the major issue in this, is the reliance on the little piece of software called fastCGI.

Since I did not have direct access to the error logs, I can only make this inference based on the errors that were coming up in my browser screen, and they seem to indicate more times than not, that fastCGI was the culprit, and I surely do not want to offend anybody that has not had any issues at all.

Again, during my time with CrystalTech, I was never aware of any major outage, and the tech support staff was readily available during instant messaging session, and were always courteous, and I would recommend them for someone wishing to host a pure Microsoft environment.

Inmotionhosting.com

As mentioned previously, I have been investigating a new hosting service for some time, and during some research for new client of mine, I discovered Inmotionhosting.com.

After setting up a new domain registration and hosting requirements for my new client, Filec Services, LLC, I got my first taste of what it was like to be in a purely Linux/Unix environment.

I was first struck by the speed in which I was able to install a brand-new installation of WordPress, and from there, the installation of my various required plug-ins seem to take seconds to install compared to that of my previous hosting service.

When it became time to actually add content, I could just add the information as needed and my WordPress installation just seem to flow with each new page.

Based on this initial experience, I prepared my old site for the migration to Inmotionhosting.com.

Again after doing numerous backups, of both my content and my database, and reviewing as much information on the topic as possible, I made the import of my old website into my new hosting environment, and was extremely pleased to see that nearly everything transferred without any issue whatsoever!

Once in place, I started to tinker around and was still greeted with the new speed that I had just gained for my web site!

In reading further of SEO, Google has announced that website response times are now linked to your ranking, so hopefully I can get my site further up the scale when potential clients are searching for my services!

In the meantime, please take a look at my various posts and pages and see if you do not also agree that the site seems faster than it was a few days ago.

Update

I still find it amazing, how many little bits and pieces need to be reconnected when one moves to a new host, especially after 10+ years!

In reviewing my Google Webmaster Tools account, it seems to indicate that prior to my move to my new host, my page load times were nearly 20 seconds!

It will be interesting to see how those load times will change during the course of the next several months, but already I know, or I should say, that they ‘feel’ a lot faster!

– Andrew
§ § § § §
[adrotate banner=”1″]

How to Add LinkedIn Icon to email signature

Requirements

  • Active Account on LinkedIn.com
  • Microsoft Outlook XP, 2003 and 2007
  • The ability to see file extensions in Windows Explorer
  • Administrator or Power User access to the User Profiles
  • Basic Knowledge of HTML and CSS

Notes

I have tried to use more advanced W3C CSS techniques (boxes with shadows, etc.), but Outlook 2003 does not render them correctly.

DISCLAIMER

One should always have a current backup of their system before trying any modifications to the Operating System or Applications.

Step by Step Details

1) Close Microsoft Outlook

It is HIGHLY recommended that you Close/Quit your active session of Outlook.

2) Locate Microsoft Outlook Signatures directory on the Local machine

This can be found at: “C:Documents and Settings%username%Application DataMicrosoftSignatures

%username%Is the name one uses to Login/Logon the local machine, WITHOUT the “%” signs.

3) Create desired BASE Signature file in HTML

Right click in the “Signatures” directory.

Select “New > Text Document“.

Rename the file to “LinkedIn-Icon.htm“.

The OS is going to ask you if you want to change the file type, click “Yes”

Open/Edit “LinkedIn-Icon.htm” with a Text Editor (like NotePad)

Right click the file; “Open With > Notepad”.

Copy the following basic HTML code into “LinkedIn-Icon.htm” and “Save“.

<!–DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN”>
<HTML>
<HEAD>
<TITLE>MS Outlook eMail Signature</TITLE>
<META http-equiv=Content-Type content=”text/html; charset=windows-1252″>
<STYLE>
P.HorBar {FONT-SIZE: 10pt; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0.1in; FONT-FAMILY: “Arial”}
P.Name {FONT-SIZE: 10pt; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0in 0.1in; FONT-FAMILY: “Arial”}
P.Address {FONT-SIZE: 7.5pt; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0in 0.1in; FONT-FAMILY: “Arial”}
P.Phone {FONT-SIZE: 7.5pt; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0in 0.1in; FONT-FAMILY: “Arial”}
P.eMail {FONT-SIZE: 7.5pt; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0in 0.1in; FONT-FAMILY: “Arial”}
P.WebSite {FONT-SIZE: 7.5pt; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0in 0.1in; FONT-FAMILY: “Arial”}
</STYLE>
</HEAD>
<BODY>
<P CLASS=HorBar ALIGN=left>_____________________________</P>Firstname Lastname<P CLASS=Address>123 Main Street</P>
<P CLASS=Address>City, State Zip</P>
<P CLASS=Phone>MAIN: (123) 456-7890</P>
<P CLASS=Phone>CELL: (123) 456-7890</P>
<P CLASS=eMail>eMail: <A HREF=”mailto:UserName@domain.com”>UserName@domain.com</A></P>
<P CLASS=WebSite><A HREF=”http://www.domain.com/”>http://www.domain.com/</A></P>
<BR>
<!– Insert LinkedIn Icon Code Here –>
</BODY>
</HTML>

When “Personalized”, the previous code should look like (with a White Background (Silver):

_____________________________
Firstname Lastname
123 Main Street
City, State Zip
MAIN: (123) 456-7890
CELL: (123) 456-7890
eMail: UserName@domain.com
Web: http://www.domain.com/

4) Add LinkedIn Icon code

Login/Logon to your LinkedIn profile.

Click the “My Profile” tab in the Top navigational area.

Near the top section of “Profile” page, you will see a section called “Promote your profile with customized buttons“, click on the link.

Link (Need to be Logged In): Promote your profile!

On the “Promote your public profile” page, select the icon you want to be on your signature.

HINT: Keep it fairly small (160×25)

You can either copy/save the code to the right of the icon to a local file (using NotePad), or leave the window open.

Note: This is the code to be added to the HTML signature file

At the end of the HTML Comment “<!– Insert LinkedIn Icon Code Here –>“, Add a “Line Break” by pressing either the “Enter” or “Return” key)

On the new line “Paste” the contents of the LinkedIn code.

Save” the current file.

The HTML code should look something like:

<!–DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN”>
<HTML>
<HEAD>
<TITLE>MS Outlook eMail Signature</TITLE>
<META http-equiv=Content-Type content=”text/html; charset=windows-1252″>
<STYLE>
P.HorBar {FONT-SIZE: 10pt; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0.1in; FONT-FAMILY: “Arial”}
P.Name {FONT-SIZE: 10pt; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0in 0.1in; FONT-FAMILY: “Arial”}
P.Address {FONT-SIZE: 7.5pt; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0in 0.1in; FONT-FAMILY: “Arial”}
P.Phone {FONT-SIZE: 7.5pt; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0in 0.1in; FONT-FAMILY: “Arial”}
P.eMail {FONT-SIZE: 7.5pt; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0in 0.1in; FONT-FAMILY: “Arial”}
P.WebSite {FONT-SIZE: 7.5pt; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0in 0.1in; FONT-FAMILY: “Arial”}
</STYLE>
</HEAD>
<BODY>
<P CLASS=HorBar ALIGN=left>_____________________________</P>
Firstname Lastname

<P CLASS=Address>123 Main Street</P>
<P CLASS=Address>City, State Zip</P>
<P CLASS=Phone>MAIN: (123) 456-7890</P>
<P CLASS=Phone>CELL: (123) 456-7890</P>
<P CLASS=eMail>eMail: <A HREF=”mailto:UserName@domain.com”>UserName@domain.com</A></P>
<P CLASS=WebSite><A HREF=”http://www.domain.com/”>http://www.domain.com/</A></P>
<BR>
<!– Insert LinkedIn Icon Code Here –>

<IMG SRC=”http://www.linkedin.com/img/webpromo/btn_viewmy_160x25.gif” WIDTH=”160″ HEIGHT=”25″ BORDER=”0″ ALT=”View Your Account’s profile on LinkedIn”>
</BODY>
</HTML>

When “Personalized”, the previous code should look like:

_____________________________
Firstname Lastname
123 Main Street
City, State Zip
MAIN: (123) 456-7890
CELL: (123) 456-7890
eMail: UserName@domain.com
http://www.domain.com/View Your's profile on LinkedIn

5) Open Outlook to generate New Code (rtf and txt files)

Open the MS Outlook application

Go to the “Tools” menu and select “Options“.

In the “Options” window, select the “Mail Format” tab.

In the “Mail Format” pane, near the bottom in the “Signatures” section, click on the “Signatures…” button.

In the “Create Signature” window, select the “LinkedIn-Icon” file, and click the “Edit…” button.

Note: There is NO “.htm” extension visible.

In the “Edit Signature – [LinkedIn-Icon]” window, use the slider to verify your signature code.

Click the “OK” button in the “Edit Signature – [LinkedIn-Icon]” window.

Click the “OK” button in the “Create Signature” window.

Click the “OK” button in the “Options” window.

The above actions will have cause MS Outlook to create two additional files:
LinkedIn-Icon.rtf” and “LinkedIn-Icon.txt“.

To verify this, check:
C:Documents and Settings%username%Application DataMicrosoftSignatures

6) Edit txt signature file (Optional)

This is a completely Optional step, and mainly depends on your usage of Text based emails.

It is recommended that you completed this step for “Just-in-Case” situations.

With the “Signatures” directory open, “Right” click “LinkedIn-Icon.txt“, and select “Edit“.

C:Documents and Settings%username%Application DataMicrosoftSignatures

With the Text Editor open, you should see something like:

_____________________________
Firstname Lastname
123 Main Street
City, State Zip
MAIN: (123) 456-7890
CELL: (123) 456-7890
eMail: UserName@domain.com
http://www.domain.com/
View Your Account’s profile on LinkedIn

Remove the extra “Line Breaks” to shorten the signature.

_____________________________
Firstname Lastname
123 Main Street
City, State Zip
MAIN: (123) 456-7890
CELL: (123) 456-7890
eMail: UserName@domain.com
http://www.domain.com/
View Your Account’s profile on LinkedIn

And add your LinkedIn URL below the “View Your Account’s profile on LinkedIn” line.

You might also want to change the grammar of the line: i.e. “View my profile on LinkedIn.com”

_____________________________
Firstname Lastname
123 Main Street
City, State Zip
MAIN: (123) 456-7890
CELL: (123) 456-7890
eMail: UserName@domain.com
http://www.domain.com/
View my profile on LinkedIn.com

Save the changes, and exit/quit your Text Editor.

7) Test in MS Outlook

With MS Outlook open and active:

If you have made the “LinkedIn-Icon” signature your default, create a new email, and your LinkedIn signature should appear as you created it.

If you have another default signature, create a new email, and then “Right” click in the signature section.

A pop-up window should appear with signature selections.

Select “LinkedIn-Icon“, and your LinkedIn signature should appear as you created it.

§ § §
Version: 1.4
Page Created: October 17, 2007
Lasted Modified: September 20, 2009
- Andrew
§ § § § §
[adrotate group="1"]

Microsoft RichCopy

TechNet Utility Spotlight – RichCopy

In the April 2009 print version of Technet magazine, one of the Utility Spotlights is RichCopy.

In another posts, I have mentioned that I have had some issues getting Robocopy to copy files from one internal HD to and external HD on a W2K8 box, so I decided to give RichCopy a test drive.

After the ‘no-brainer’/default install, and a quick setup for repeatable jobs, I was able to do the needed “poor-man’s” backup that I was NOT able to do with Robocopy!

Another very interesting aspect of RichCopy, is that multiple “treads” can and are used to reduce the copy time between source and destination.

I am still testing RichCopy, but for an out-of-the-box experience, I would recommend it!

In another interesting side note, take a look at the read me that comes with the unzipped/installed package!

– Andrew
§ § § § §
[adrotate banner=”1″]

Corrupt .Net (dotNet) files

Recently, I have been running into some applications errors that can be traced back to corrupt .Net (dotNet) file(s).

In some cases, using the “normal” Add/Removed (appwiz.cpl) will work, but in some EXTREME cases, you might need a little more.

Aaron Stebner has an application for you!

.NET Framework Cleanup Tool User’s Guide

As Aaron mentions in his blog and guide, this tools will get rid of EVERYTHING, so before you use it, make sure you have installers available to you for the versions that you are deleting!

– Andrew
§ § § § §
[adrotate banner=”1″]