Category Archives: How To Guides

Push Feedly articles to Microsoft Teams

Are you an informationholic? Do you wish you can share interesting stories with your teams to help extend their knowledge as well? Well now there is! After much trial and error, I figured out how to push articles from Feedly (my most favorite digital media aggregation tool) to Microsoft Teams (Microsoft’s answer to Slack with Office 365 subscriptions). For this solution we will use the following services:

  • Feedly Pro or Feedly Teams, sadly, cannot use Feedly Basic as it does not support the next requirement
  • IFTTT (If This, Then That), free, but to link to Feedly service, you need Feedly Pro or Feedly Teams.
  • Microsoft Teams
    • NOTE: you can use a similar configuration below but have output to Office 365 Groups or general email as well if you prefer or do not use Teams in your office. This article, however, focuses primarily on MS Teams.

The general concept is, when you see an article you are interested in, you can add notes and highlights to the article, then finally save the article to a personal board.  These features are actually new to Feedly and you can read more about them here (this is actually what finally got me to buy a subscription to Feedly Pro) – https://blog.feedly.com/boards/

Once the article is saved to a personal board, the IFTTT service will automatically pick it up, then POST a message immediately to the Microsoft Teams channel of your choosing.  An important note: In IFTTT we will be using Applets which are much easier to build compared to a full recipe which IFTTT provides support for as well. This means we will be limited to creating one applet per channel. If you want a single article to push to many channels, you will need to create separate applets or create a recipe without using the GUI (i.e. developer method, and beyond my current skill :-P)

Ok, let’s dive in and see what we have.

Continue reading

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How to Kill (Hide) Status Bar in Firefox (without Add-Ons)

If you are taking screenshots for marketing collateral or grabbing the video for your next show and tell, there is nothing more annoying than the status bar that displays at the bottom of your Firefox window.  The status bar causes a loss of professionalism and must die! Ok that was a little overdramatic, but seriously folks, it looks better without right?

Remove Status Bar

status bar gone.png

With the following simple steps, you can be a magician as well! I came across these steps from a variety of sources, and for your convenience, I merged them together. The secret sauce is the creation (or edit of) your userChrome.css file (http://kb.mozillazine.org/UserChrome.css).

NOTE: Following steps are using Firefox 40 but are valid for older versions as well.

  1. Open Firefox.
  2. Click on the menu hamburger in top right menuhamburgerfirefox.png and then click on the ? mark icon questionfirefox
  3. Now select Troubleshooting Information 
    troubleshootigninformationfirefox
  4. Locate Profile Folder under Application Basics and click Show Folder to display your local folder in your file system.
    profileshowfolderfirefox
  5. In the folder shown, see if a folder called chrome exists, if not create the folder:
    createchromfolderfirefox
  6. Look inside chrome folder and create a userChrome.css file
    • To create a CSS extension, enable File name extensions under the View tab of your file explorerFilextensionsfirefox
    • File is case sensitive, so properly name it.
  7. Open the file in a text editor and add the following lines:@namespace url(“http://www.mozilla.org/keymaster/gatekeeper/there.is.only.xul”); /* only needed once */

    statuspanel { display:none!important; }

    • If the file already exists, search for statuspanel to see if that line exists. If not, add just that line, as the @namespace should already exist in the file.

Restart Firefox, and poof, the bar is now gone! If you want to add extra layer of magic, you can define which cases to display the bar and hide the bar by inserting the below lines instead:

/* only hide some messages */
#statusbar-display[label^=”Looking”] { display:none !important; } #statusbar-display[label^=”Connect”] { display:none !important; } #statusbar-display[label^=”Waiting”] { display:none !important; } #statusbar-display[label^=”Transfer”] { display:none !important; }

NOTE: After some searching, it appears that the same capability is not possible in Google Chrome as their position is that it opens a security risk to hide the URL (unconfirmed position 😉 )

How to Upgrade from Office 2013 to Office 2016 and fix Activation Error

Have you heard the exciting news?  Office 2016 is now passing Google Apps providing real-time co-authoring in their desktop apps!  Read more about it in this great write-up from The Verge. Excited as I was, I immediately began the download process and waited “in just a moment” (more like couple hours) for the download to complete. It finished, installed and kept all my previous settings, awesome! BUT (there is always a “but”, right?) I got stuck with a stupid activation screen request. That is where this article comes in.  In this article, I will walk through the upgrade process and how we (thanks to Microsoft support) fixed the activation error. Let me set the stage first:

  • OS: Windows 10 Pro (current PUBLIC release)
  • Current Office installed: Office 2013, 15.0.4753.1003
  • Type of Licensing: Office 365 Home

To start, we need actually to download and upgrade our office application. You can see the official KB here from Office.com. The upgrade is not automatic which I think disappointing, why not drive Office updates through the Windows Update mechanism? Instead, you need to go to your My Account in Office.com and then select Install to initiate the upgrade process.

Step 1: Select My Account

Myaccount

Step 2: Login if not already (no visual as I am already logged in)

Step 3: Select Install

Install2016

Step 3: Select Install again. NOTE: this will install the 32-bit English version. If you want the 64-bit or different language, make sure you select Language and install options to change up options. I will not go further on this route b in visuals but when you click on it, you can select a language. If you REALLY want 64-bit, then click another link Additional install options to choose 64-bit.

Install2

Step 4: A download will kick off which is the installation shell, about 2MB in size. When finished the download, launch it, and full download and installation will begin.  DO NOT BELIEVE the “in just a moment” message, it took hours for mine to download and install but you can still use Office during this process.

Step 5: When done it will let you know in a dialog (sorry forgot to get a screenshot 😦 )

Woohoo, all installed and ready to go, or so I thought. Excitedly I opened Word and immediately received a prompt: (sorry image below is not from my computer, grabbed from Google Images, but only difference is software is just Office 365, not Office 365 ProPlus)

ActivationOffice

When I say Next, it failed with message

We’re sorry, something went wrong and we can’t do this for you right now. Please try again later. (0x8004FC12)

If I click cancel (many times though) the window goes away, and I can use the application, but it always comes back randomly.

I did some quick searching on Web and could not find other reports, so I turned to Microsoft Chat Support. After trying a couple things, they fixed it! I asked him what was actually issue and he only said “when you upgrade to 2016 there are just some few settings that has changed”, followed by “The settings are on the Windows 10, so we just changed it”.

Weird…. anyway, it is fixed 🙂

So here is what he changed using remote access, maybe someone more technically sound can help clarify what is going on:

In Regedit:

HKEY_Local_Machine -> Software -> Microsoft -> Windows -> CurrentVersion -> Policies -> ActiveDesktop

  • Changed key NoAddingComponents from 1 to 0

HKEY_Local_Machine -> Software -> Microsoft -> Windows -> CurrentVersion -> Policies -> Explorer

  • Changed key NoActiveDesktop from 1 to 0
  • Changed key NoActiveDesktopChanges from 1 to 0

In Command Prompt, run the following commands

  • net localgroup Adminisrators localservice /add
    • should see message “The command completed successfully”
  • fsutil resource setautoreset true C:/
    • should see message “The command completed successfully”
  • Tried to run, but failed netsh int reset resetlog.txt
    • again this failed, with message “The following command was not found: int reset resetlog.txt”
  • netsh int ip reset resetlog.txt
    • Receive series of messages as shown below
Resetting Global, OK!
Resetting Interface, OK!
Resetting Neighbor, OK!
Resetting Path, OK!
Resetting , failed. (yes there was a blank after the word Resetting in this line)
access is denied

Resetting , OK! (yes there was a blank after the word Resetting in this line)

We then restarted the computer.

After Restart, the support technician relaunched the Office application Word 2016 BUT as Run as Administrator. This time, the activation prompt does not appear.

So there you have it. That is how we solved the activation error in my case.  Again, I am not clear what the registry and CMD changes did, or maybe it all was fixed by simply running the application as Administrator for the first time.  I suggest if you see the same issue, try to run one of the Office applications first as an Administrator –

RunasAdmin

Sound off in comments below as to your experience in the Office 2016 upgrade!

How to massage that poo out… for newborns! **Updated**

IElsa and Daddy am a very proud new pappa, welcoming my first child (ahem, she would go crazy if I did not say… first Princess) to the world, just 6 weeks ago. I know EVERYONE says this but wow is she just a cutie!! I’m still waiting for my gold jacket as a reward though, but having the joy with her in my life is enough reward in itself. 🙂

Having a new one in one’s life also brings its own set of challenges and lessons. As I go through many, I will try to share my experiences, starting with a basic that affects all fathers (and mothers) to both save money and make our princesses and princes rest easier… help them poo!

There are many methods I have learned and it comes to trial and error what your little bundle of joy likes best. I’ll explain 2 methods below what works well for my princess. One common theme you will see is massage the tummy! (in clockwise motion 😉 )

Method 1: The I Love You ( I – L – U)

**Updated** Sorry mistake in first to images of series below… now fixed.

I really like this one because it becomes more of a game then method 2 below. The I Love You technique take the action of writing I = I…. Love = L…. You = U on the baby’s tummy. Below is a visual of each step (in this visual I am using my princess as the model when the umbilical cord is still attached)

I
LetterI2

Love
LetterL2

You!
Letter U

In this process you:

  • Take two fingers and press on the tummy moving it in the direction of each step.
  • If you perform 2 “I”‘s then follow immediately with 2 “L’s” and 2 “U’s”.
  • You can do as many times of the motion you want as long as you do the same for the other 2 steps.
  • Repeat as many times as you want (especially when you see her trying to push).
  • NOTE: Be careful of the umbilical cord! You should never pull on it, just let it fall off on it’s own (even if it is just hanging by a thread).

Method 2: Fly Bird

Not as fun as Method 1’s I Love You but equally successful. In this case you are passing your right and left hand fingers over the top of the abdomen in an arc like direction going left to right one after the other with one hand running at a time.

LefttoRight

I hope this was as useful for you as it was for me! If you know another method that works for your little one, sound off below in the comments! 🙂

How to test Analytic tags (i.e. Omniture and Google) from Mobile Apps

Have you ever been tasked to test your company’s (or client’s) analytic tracking in the app but never knew how to even start?  Well I have great news of how to easily test it by following these simple steps.

Case 1: Adobe Omniture over HTTP

In this example, the development team have embedded Adobe Omniture tags for both click action and page views within an iOS app and we want to validate the output.  For Omniture, these messages are sent over the HTTP protocol. These instructions also assume you are running Windows machine, though same technique should work on Apple OSX as well.

  1. Go to Fiddler2.com (NOTE: not fiddler.com, goes to a private web site 😉 ) and download the free web debugging tool. I am currently running Windows 10, so I chose the .Net 4 version.
  2. Run Fiddler. In my case it was not listed in my Start menu (woohoo for start menu coming back officially in Windows 10!!!!), but you can easily run it by going to run command (Win+R) and running fiddler.
  3. Now we need to configure it to listen to traffic from your phone. To do so, follow these steps
    NOTE: For this to work, the phone must be running on Wifi, on the same subnet (router) as your computer.

    1. In Fiddler
      1. click on Tools -> Fiddler Options
      2. Select Connections
      3. Enter a unique Port. The default 8888 is an acceptable option but if multiple people are testing multiple devices in same network, you might want to change it.
      4. Additionally, we want to enable the option Allow remote computers to connect.
        Fiddler2ConfigWhen you select Allow remote computer to connect, you will receive the following dialog:
        warningaboutremoteconnectionClick OK
      5. Click OK to the options window, close Fiddler and reopen.
      6. You will be prompted about a Firewall access request, select to allow access.
        firewallaccessrequestYou have now configured fiddler, now, to configure your device. Before we do though, we need to get your computer’s current IP Address.
      7. Open Run command by hitting Win+R
      8. Enter CMD and hit run
      9. now type ipconfig in the command window.
      10. Many entries will appear, identify which connection you are currently using (wifi, ethernet…), basically whichever one has IPv4 Address populated and save the details for this entry –
        iPAddresslocation
    2. On your device (following is based on iOS)
      1. Go to Settings on your device
      2. Select WIFI
      3. On the WIFI network you are connected to (this must exist on same router/subnet as  your computer you configured above), tap the blue i on the left side of the bar. This will open the detailed settings of your wifi network.
        NetworkSettings
      4. Scroll to bottom of screen and tap Manual for the HTTP Proxy section of the screen. In the Server entry box, enter your IPv4 address you copied in an earlier step, and Port will be the entry you entered in Fiddler port configuration above.
        HTTPS2

Jump back to Fiddler and you should now begin seeing data entries displaying in Fiddler, these are from your phone.

Now that we have configured HTTP sniffer action, we now need to figure out how to read it.

  1. In Fiddler, you will notice many entries in the left frame –
    FidlerResults1
  2. Notice the entries listed in blue above, with the Host = *.sc.omtrdc.net This is Adobe Omniture calls.  Depending on your Omniture account, the Host URL could be slightly different.
    OmnitureResutls1
  3. Tap on one of these entries, and on the right frame of the application, tap Inspectors then Web Forms. This will display the HTTP call in a more easily read table format.
    WebView1
  4. In this app example, we are making 2 types of calls to Omniture, Page View and Click Action. Both examples are shown below:

    Page View
    PageName
    Click Action
    ClickActionsteps

Filter to display only Omniture entries

In Fiddler, you can easily filter future results by applying a filter. To do so

  1. In right panel, click on Filters and select Use Filters at top of screen.
  2. In the second drop down under Hosts select Show only the following Hosts
    FilterHeaderselection
  3. Enter your host your URL you identified above that calls Omniture in the box below the drop down.
    HostsURLsave
  4. Click on a different entry in left frame to save.
  5. In the action bar, click the black X and select Remove All, this will reset the results pane and only show Omniture calls.
    ClearResults

Case 2: How to receive HTTPS calls

In some (or many cases) a call is made using HTTPS, not HTTP (Google Analytics for example). To set this up, we need to perform additional steps to install a certificate on the device to decrypt HTTPS traffic.  This is done by completing these steps – http://docs.telerik.com/fiddler/configure-fiddler/tasks/ConfigureForiOS 

When Affected Version and Fixed Version says “None”, short guide to Versions in JIRA

Today a coworker approached me what some might think is simple question, but others may not truly know… Where does the Fixed Version/Affected Version values come from? You see, in JIRA, by default in any JIRA deployment, is 2 attributes called Fixed Version and Affected Version as shown below.

Issuewith NoVersion

Before we jump into how to create values for these attributes, lets have a short discussion on WHY you want them. Versions provides a several benefits:

  1. Provides another method to organize (group) issues in your JIRA project, in conjunction with Components and Labels.
  2. Identifies key milestones in your projects.
  3. Gives each ticket a time reference based on business cases.

Who would use Versions, of course the obvious is Software Development teams, related to a point in time when a scheduled release occurs, usually resulting in clear scope for QC (QA depending on your team’s term), Marketing team for promoting the delivery, and release notes for end users, to list a few. But it is not only for Software Development teams, it can also be used for:

  • Office Managers can use it to identify schedules for ordering supplies.
  • Management Teams can use Versions to identify which topics to discuss in scheduled meetings.
  • Versions can also identify enrollment periods for school Admissions.

Anything that relates to milestones can be grouped using Versions, and what is great is that Versions are not limited to the traditional method of a series of numbers and periods (i.e. 1.10.123), they can be text as well.

So now the question is HOW to create versions. I am a believer in why reinvent a wheel (unless you are keeping it from going flat when you hit that pot hole, ouch). Atlassian documentation already provides a great article on how to manage versions. Do note that you need to be a member of the Administrators role in order to manage (CUD, Create, Update and Delete) versions.

If you are a proud user of JIRA Agile, you might also like to know that you can create and update versions directly from the Agile interface as described here. NOTE: Although you can create a version and modify version details such as name, description and Start Date/Release date from Agile, you are not able to modify the order or delete the Version from this view, instead go to the Administration view of the associated JIRA project.

Have fun playing with versions!

Mysterious/Cool Feature hidden in LinkedIn… Accessibility mode

So I was jumping through various tabs currently open in my Chrome browser when my finger appeared to have slipped when hitting the key combo in LinkedIn tab and suddenly a blue bar appeared –

Mystery Accessibility

As soon as it appeared, it flew away though 😦 But after playing around with it some more, the Accessibility feature came back! The secret combination of keys are:

Tab + Spacebar

Wala, the Accessibility Navigation bar thingie opens up.  You can continue to use your keyboard to navigate the options such as hit Enter to view the navigation menu, or hit arrow to right to place focus in search box or hit Esc to close the menu.

Here is an example of what you see when you open the “Jump To” menu

MenuofAccessibility

I attempted a search in LinkedIn help for more details about the Accessibility bar, but found no resources, closest information I found was a blog from LinkedIn here. Maybe this is a standard key combination for accessibility standards such as 508? I am a great supported of providing accessibility tools to help all people, but why hidden with little information of how to access or use such feature?