**Updated** Skype misbehaving? Upgrade today! and a helpful tip for the future

UPDATE:  Appears that the Check for Updates in the Skype app is not pushing version 7.18 automatically (i.e. it is not marked as a “recommended update” yet from MS), you have to manually download the update from Skype.com for now.


 

So I forgot to post a notice a month ago (shame on me) but at the time, Skype version 7.17.X (for Windows) had 2 crippling issues:

  1. Messages would appear our of order for different individuals, and,
  2. Messages refused to mark as read, unless you manually right click on the contact and select “Mark as read”.

Personally, I saw issue #2, not so much issue #1, but many saw one or the other (or both). At the time, the best solution was to download an older build and go back to 7.16.X.

Continue reading

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Hidden Gem: Creating GIFs with SnagIt

Recently I have been on a kick with creating GIFs to help provide visual reproduction at work, but did not want to deal with MP4s. I originally used SnagIt desktop app to create the video (I LOVE SnagIt, and Camtasia at that) then I used an online tool to convert. This worked but, way too many steps. But what if I could do it with SnagIt directly?

I did some searching on SnagIt community site and came across this blog  Techsmith has a free (YES FREE) extension for Google Chrome browser that lets you capture either screen grabs or videos (more details here). And now (well back in November 2014), one of the export options is GIF (if video is recorded under 20 seconds).

Sadly, this feature is not built into SnagIt Desktop or Camtasia, too bad… hopefully in future release it will be added. At least there is a workaround. 🙂

PSA: Windows 10 1511 Update Could Break Features & Apps and Storage screens!

Problem

Accessing Apps & features or Storage in the System screen of Settings app hangs.

Apps and Features Not Load

As you can see, it just completely hangs! Every other option in System works fine… so odd.

Background

Let’s take a step back and discuss what I have… I am running

  • Hardware: Macbook Air (Fall 2013 edition)
  • OS: Windows 10 Pro (running with Apple Boot Camp)
  • OS Version: 1511
  • OS Build: 10586.17

Latest update ran just a couple days ago:

1511updates

(Used for Search Engine) KB3122947 and KB3116908

Solution

I did some searching online, but did not see anyone else with similar issue, so I jumped over to Microsoft Support App, starting a chat session with Microsoft. I spoke with a very helpful and friendly support member, Tony (Hey Tony!). Although MS Support is a paid service (?!?) he was more than kind to help without fee. Couple things he tried:

  1. Create a new local account (as an Administrator) and try to access Apps & Features, still no luck.
  2. He then ran Command Line, running:
    sfc /scannow
    This resulted in an error about corrupted files, though it appears that was a dead end as well (?) as he did not do a lot of reading in the log files.
  3. Lastly he attempted to run DISM /Online /cleanup-image /restorehealth but it failed saying it cannot locate source file.
  4. After little bit of time, he came back and reported (after speaking with an Engineer) appears a known issue with latest update to build 1511!

Sadly they reported the issue could possibly not be fixed (by Windows Update) for an upward of 2 months!!

So to fix this, we discovered that you can still access the OLD Program and Features found in the right click menu on the Start icon.
ProgramFeaturesstartment

Wala!! we are in!

installedappssuccess

Sadly if you are an active Windows 10 Modern Apps user (I am not currently) this will not help you.

Potential solutions if you need to access uninstall Apps is simply right click on app –
App Uninstall

If you need to access Storage, it is more complicated, and you have 3 POTENTIAL solutions (but not verified)

  1. Perform a Reset found in Update & Security -> Recovery. WARNING: this will remove all desktop applications and require reinstall of all applications (but files will remain untouched)
    ResetWindows
  2. Perform a Windows 10 Repair (launch Windows 10 installer and select Repair. This will preserve all files AND applications. (NOTE: Take about 1+ hours to complete)
  3. Go back to an earlier Build. In Update & Security then Recovery and select Go Back to an earlier build. NOTE: This will remove any files/applications or system changes after your last system update.

Have you seen this issue? Any different solution you can provide?

Recap of Week of November 30 (Sorry forgot to post this!)

Around the Blogosphere

Another nail in the coffin for Internet Explorer.

Late last week, Microsoft has announced the ending of support for all versions of Internet Explorer (IE) with the exception of IE 11 (announcement here, https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/WindowsForBusiness/End-of-IE-support). This decision ends years of heartache and suffering of our talented Front End Development team as earlier versions used unique rendering engines, causing excess hours, tears and sweat. But this move is not to push IE 11, but it’s more powerful and well-planned heir, Microsoft Edge.  If you are not aware, Microsoft Edge is the new browser that was released with Windows 10 earlier this year. Unlike Internet Explorer’s rocky history with excess bloat, Edge is very light, and extremely fast (beating out the likes of Firefox and Chrome!). As mentioned, this is a well-planned browser by Microsoft, with that said, Edge currently does not provide all the same features and capabilities that you would find in Chrome and Firefox, one of the biggest missing features is Extensions, but just like Windows 10 OS, Microsoft is continually enhancing it, and we should see Extensions introduced by mid next year with Windows 10 “Redstone” release. To learn more about MS Edge, check out this video – http://www.winbeta.org/news/windows-10-depth-microsoft-edge-video

Adobe admits death of flash by reinventing Adobe Flash Professional

We are a step closer to complete and utter destruction of Adobe Flash with the announcement that Adobe will be launching a rebuild Adobe Flash Professional to become Adobe Animate CC. http://techcrunch.com/2015/12/01/adobe-puts-another-nail-in-flashs-coffin/

Rumor: iPhone 7 ditches headphone jack… Really?

Although I agree the headphone jack is one of the largest ports left on the iPhone, but do we really need a thinner iPhone? Doesn’t that just mean the camera sticks out even more? Chinese paper thinks Apple’s next goal is to kill off the headphone jack like they successfully did with the CD-ROM (yes, I really did write that!)

Source: http://www.theverge.com/2015/11/30/9820416/apple-rumors-headphone-jack-lightning-port-iphone

Great Site for Deal Tracking

Lifehacker has an awesome deal tracking site called Kinja Deals, highly recommend following them.

http://deals.kinja.com/

Best Interview Questions, Provided by the CEO’s of the world

I have to say, my most favorite one is Jeff Zwelling:

“A hammer and a nail cost $1.10, and the hammer costs one dollar more than the nail. How much does the nail cost?”

http://www.businessinsider.com/famous-execs-share-favorite-interview-questions-2015-11

UX Development Tool for iOS and Android

Interesting new platform called Fuse that helps with UX development by providing real-time streaming to your devices.

https://www.fusetools.com/

Apple has Swiftly moved their Swift Programming Language to Open Source

Like how I played on words there 😉 Read more here – https://swift.org/

Everything about Nothing Recap

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

See past articles here.

Hybris Blank

No new articles published this week, but see past articles here.

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 😉 )

Surface Book: Initial thoughts on storage and why OneDrive failed us

First off…. kudos to MS for building what looks like to be an amazing machine (sorry, not “work of work” due to the weird “snake hinge” as commentary at The Verge called it).  The Surface Book is beyond what I imagined and a real surprise as many were just expecting a larger Surface tablet. If  you are not familiar with the Surface Book, read up on Microsoft, or as I prefer more, The Verge.

you can see my feedback during the unveiling below

surfacebookannounce

Once they detached the screen, I completely freaked out as many and many others did so as well.  I’ll be queuing up to order one for sure… this leads us to ordering of the Surface Book and my dilemma/frustration with MS.

Microsoft states HD sizes include:


Storage1

Solid state drive (SSD) options: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB.


But current preorders currently list following combination options:

1tboptionnotice 1 TB option is mysteriously omitted.This is not my real problem with MS though, but an interesting side note.

My real problem is how 128GB and 256GB are the ONLY options for lower priced editions!  MS promotes their new Surface Book as the ultimate laptop with a premium feel and quality, but if so, why such small hard drive options?

There are options to make up for the lack of storage including SD card slot, and cloud… wait, cloud? You don’t mean OneDrive which I get a full 1TB of storage with my Office 365 account right?  If so, forget it. Why? Sadly when Windows 10 was launched, the OneDrive team ditched Smart Files.  Smart Files were cool as they allowed you to access files from your desktop that could either be online only, or downloaded locally. This saved valuable space on the computer while still providing the convenience of accessing the files anytime from your applications. In Windows 10, you now have to have entire folder set downloaded to your machine, killing your storage, sooo sad. 😦

So here is my plea to MS… please bring back Smart Files to OneDrive!

In the end, this whole rant might be mute anyway when the additional options (if any) is revealed later this month when 1TB is introduced to the line up.

Favorite International, Inspirational Videos

I have been lucky to see some great inspirational videos recently produced from a variety of Asian countries and would like to share them with you. I think each one speaks to itself. Take a short break from your busy day and have a look:

and lastly, my most favorite