Tag Archives: Microsoft

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.

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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.

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!

Microsoft’s Vision of the Future… one word… AMAZING!

I have always been a fan of vision of the future. it does not matter if it is just a dream, or seem completely unreal, but the ability to view possibilities without limits and think outside the box… that is what results in actual possibilities. Microsoft is one of those companies that envisions great things!

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