Take my advice: Before you even think about installing Adobe trial software, do a full mirror backup of your computer’s hard disk, and be prepared to use it. I had horrible problems with Adobe Creative Suite 4 (CS4), and according to the three tech support guys in India that I spent hours on the phone with today, I am not the only one.
Here’s the whole sad story, with the ultimate solution.
Continue reading Problems Removing and Installing Adobe CS4
I’m the maintainer for the phpFreeChat module on Drupal. Which is to say (lay person’s translation), I maintain the software that allows people using the Drupal content management system to add the excellent phpFreeChat instant messaging program to their Web sites.
People have been nagging me to update the module for Drupal 6.x. But, you know, I’m busy and trying to make a living. I like open source philosophically, but it takes a lot of time to do this work. Then someone took the highly persuasive tack of depositing some money into my PayPal account. That worked. phpFreeChat for Drupal 6.x has just been released.
If you use phpFreeChat with Drupal and have feature requests, consider the PayPal approach. I’m open to any reasonable offer.
FlashChat is a mature, full-featured chat program that is free without source code, $5 with. It can be integrated nicely with Drupal, but it’s not easy to figure out how. Here’s how.
The current version of FlashChat (5.0.10) contains a configuration file for Drupal integration (drupalCMS.php) that doesn’t work. So for starters, download the Drupal 5 & 6 Integration Kit.
That solves many problems, but not quite all.
Continue reading Integrate FlashChat in Drupal 5 or Drupal 6
If you’re running Drupal on a Web site and want to integrate chat software, check out the phpFreeChat module, which integrates the standalone phpFreeChat program into Drupal 5.x. I’m the current maintainer of this module, and just uploaded v1.3.
There’s a copy of the phpFreeChat module on my own Web site because I shared it from there while I figured out CVS, and don’t want to break the link. There’s also a phpFreeChat-compatible theme on my site that I haven’t uploaded to Drupal yet.
phpFreeChat is a great program (I added an “away” feature in the Drupal version), but has a limitation that may be a problem for some people: it conflicts with jquery if it’s on the same page. For most people this isn’t an issue, but if it is for you, you can use FlashChat – another feature-rich chat. I figured out how to integrate this with Drupal 5.x, and will post the configuration file and instructions shortly.
I keep encountering an annoying error message as I try to set up my new 64-bit Vista laptop. Often when I try to install a program, I’m told that another installation is already in progress and I must complete that one first. But no other installation is in progress, and simply rebooting doesn’t help.
I googled this problem, and found some complicated advice about failed installations and the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility. But I find that this error occurs when a program installs just fine in every respect except that it leaves the Windows Installer Service running.
There’s a easy way to fix this.
Continue reading Another Installation Already in Progress (But it’s Not)
Here the solution to an annoying problem that took me some time to track down. I’m posting the problem and the solution to help any other fellow sufferers there may be out there.
I have a brand new ThinkPad running 64-bit Vista. But when I tried to install Microsoft Office 2007, no joy – it would copy the files from DVD then stall until I cancelled it. Same thing happened with Office updates. When I tried to install the Java Development Kit (JDK), I got an error message saying that another install process was running and that had to complete first.
After much pain, I finally tracked this down to the Brother XP spl Service (BrSplService – brsvc01a.exe), installed with the software for my Brother MFC 420CN. I still have no idea what this does, but I did find a patch for the problem on the Brother site. Problem solved.
In the old days, before everyone had a personal computer, paper appointment books provided a permanent record of what we did when. Sometimes that’s useful – sometimes you need to refer back. Today, I use Outlook on the PC and Pocket PC to keep track of my appointments. And when things are electronic, there is the potential for problems.
I have a recurring weekly appointment in Outlook, and I wanted to change the time of the appointment. That should be easy, right? You’d think you could change all the times going forward? But noooooo. Outlook warns you that if you make a change, all exceptions will be lost. But actually, it’s worse than that. It changes the time of every appointment – including appointments that occurred in the past. Happily I found a workaround.
Continue reading Change Outlook Recurring Appointments without Losing Your History
I use the open source, instant messaging client Pidgin to connect to multiple IM services at once. From my home computer, I had no problem configuring the program to work with AIM, SMS messaging (my cell phone), MSN Messenger, Google Talk, and Yahoo Messenger. But at work I encountered firewall problems with the last three.
Here’s how I was finally able to connect (listing only the changes from the default). I’m running Pidgin 2.5.2. All the setting changes are on the “Advanced” page of the account setup dialog. Of course, what worked for me might not work for you, but hopefully it will help.
Continue reading Configuring Pidgin from Behind a Firewall
I’m still trying to decide how I will use this blog, now that computer technology is no longer my main focus. But yesterday I installed the latest WordPress software, imported posts from my old MovableType blog, and wrote an .htaccess file to preserve the old MT links, so I have computer technology on the mind. Here are two great utilities – one for programmers, one for everybody.
What Color Is That?
I use Dreamweaver 8 (Macromedia version) for Web development and while I like it a lot, it’s a resource hog – so much so that I can’t launch my bitmap editing program at the same time to access its color selection feature.
I wanted a color selection program with a tiny footprint – something that does everything I need but nothing more. After looking at over a dozen of them, I finally found one that’s just about perfect – all the more so because it’s free: Color Cop. (Voluntary donations are accepted.)
Color Cop lets you identify any color on the screen, enter a color code to see what it looks like, use a standard Windows color selector to find a color, determine whether a color is Websafe, snap to the closest Websafe color, and sample colors using multi-pixel averages. It’s nicely designed, intuitive to use, and the entire executable is just 96K.
The elegance of Color Cop reminded me of another very elegant program I found that has nothing to do with programming.
Continue reading 2 Elegant Little Programs
Ever since Microsoft pushed Version 5 of Windows Update onto my XP SP1 system, I have been unable to access Windows Update – until just now. I found it!! I just accessed Windows Update and successfully downloaded and installed updates to my system.
The particular error message I was getting was 0x80072F78 (appeared when Windows Update tried to find the updates for my system), but I think this solution will fix the problem on systems getting other error messages as well. If your error code starts with “800”, I think there’s a good chance this solution will help.
Continue reading Fix for Windows Update 5 Errors