Archive for May, 2012

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Can’t see the AppData folder?

May 29, 2012

I’ve had a couple of instances recently where clients or colleagues haven’t been able to install their corporate Microsoft Word template into the Templates folder (C:\Users\[user_name]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates). And the reason has been that they couldn’t see the AppData folder. That’s because Windows hides the AppData folder by default, and you have to ‘unhide’ it before you can see it.

Here’s how to show hidden folders etc. in Windows.

  1. Go to Windows Explorer.
  2. Open the C: drive.
  3. Click Organize on the menu bar.
  4. Select Folder and Search options.
  5. Select the View tab.
  6. Under Files and Folders > Hidden files and folders, select the option to Show hidden files, folders and drives.
  7. Click OK.

Your AppData folder should show, and you should now be able to add your template into the Templates folder.

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MYOB v2011: Registry entries

May 22, 2012

I think I’ve found a reason why MYOB v2011 is SO DAMNED SLOW…

I had installed it on my Windows XP machine back in December 2011, but didn’t get to do more with it than test it on the sample company files. After the debacle with the release, I decided to continue using v19.6.

Anyhow, I’ve retired that Windows XP PC, and this weekend I used Revo Uninstaller to uninstall a heap of programs from that machine. Most of the software I uninstalled had fewer than 10 Registry entries, with only a few pieces of software having more than 100. Google Desktop had a tad under 400 Registry entries left after uninstallation. And most pieces of software I uninstalled left very few files after the removal of the software — typically fewer than 20 files, if any.

Not MYOB v2011. After uninstalling MYOB v2011, Revo Uninstaller reported that there were still 1762 Registry entries lurking! 1762!! And after I deleted those via Revo’s interface, it reported another 2163 MYOB-related files that weren’t uninstalled. NONE of these files were my data files; many were individual Help files, graphics files, DLLs, etc.

Unbelievable. No wonder the application is so darned slow if there are 1762 Registry entries left over AFTER uninstallation — makes you wonder how many are installed in the first place.

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Visual edits: Power to the people

May 21, 2012

My colleague, JC, sent me these photos of a billboard advertising a new beachside housing development on some old industrial wasteland that is fronted by a dog beach (a place where owners can run their dogs freely). Over the past few years there have been moves by the local authority to shut down or shrink the size the dog beach, probably because the sight of dogs spoil the million-dollar ocean views from the high-rise apartments. The dog-loving residents have always turned out in mass protests, usually accompanied by local celebrities and the problem the goes away for another year or so.

JC said: “This morning I noticed this artistic edit to the large poster on the way to the beach. The original image had the boy running towards his ball lying on the sand. Now he is holding a yellow bag, which is the color of the dog droppings bag the City provides. The ball is now painted over with a silhouette of a dog doing what dogs do at dog beaches…”

Billboard

Close-up of billboard 'edit'

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Keyboard not working

May 16, 2012

My new Windows 7 computer (and new keyboard) is only a month or two old, but this morning when I booted up, the keyboard was dead. How did I know? I used a trick I learned back in the early 1990s when I worked for my first-ever software company — I pressed the Num Lock key above the numeric keypad.  if the light stays steady when you press that key a couple of times, or if the light doesn’t come on at all (as was the case for me this morning), then the keyboard is dead.

But it may not be truly dead, as in you have to replace it. Sometimes, it just isn’t ‘seen’ by the computer, as was the case with mine this morning.

Here are the steps I used to determine if the keyboard was really dead, or just not ‘seen’ by the computer — do these steps in the order below to troubleshoot the issue; at any point where the Num lock key responds, you’re done!:

  1. Make sure the computer is turned on (yes, I know that should be obvious, but let’s make sure the reason is not a switched off computer!).
  2. Test if the keyboard is ‘live’ by pressing the Num Lock key several times. If the light is steady or doesn’t come on at all, then the keyboard and computer aren’t talking to each other.
  3. Unplug the keyboard then plug it back in to the same place. If you’re using a PS2 connection, you only have one place you can plug it into. Try pressing Num Lock again to see if there is connection.
  4. If your keyboard uses a USB connection, plug the keyboard into another USB port and try pressing Num Lock again.
  5. If you have another keyboard, try plugging it in and pressing Num Lock to see if it responds. If it does, but your main keyboard doesn’t, then your main keyboard might be faulty. If the spare keyboard doesn’t respond, then it’s likely an issue at the computer’s end.
  6. Plug your main keyboard back in to the computer and reboot the computer. Press the Num Lock key again. If it responds, all is right in your world again. If it doesn’t, then you may need to talk to a computer technician.

In my case, rebooting my computer with the main keyboard plugged back into its usual socket worked.

Oh, and if it’s a wireless keyboard, replace the batteries!

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More labeling woes

May 9, 2012

Sometimes you just wonder how people decide on the names for their company/product…. Their website gives you no clue as to the origin of the name either. And searching Google brought up a lot of hits totally unrelated to chilli sauce…

Update from one of my readers:

They have now a new product called “Jerk Sauce”. I’ve got a bottle of this and on the back label it says “tested on humans. Bon appetite!” One questionable labeling after another and it does not seem to stop! Apparently they have another sauce product called something “rub”.

My assistant Linda was there with her family and they approached the lady at the stand and asked about the name. The owner knows that the name is rather inappropriate (as their friends keep on pointing out to her), but apparently this is a family recipe and that’s what they always called it, so they decided not to change the name.

At least the stand gets the crowd talking and it appears to work as a marketing gimmick. Linda bought $50 worth of sauces from them and the entire time she could not stop giggling.

 

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Another strange label

May 8, 2012

This time, quite a different mixed message that still has me puzzling.

I live in the south-west corner of Western Australia not far from several famous wine regions (Margaret River, Geographe, and Blackwood Valley, in particular). When we go out for dinner in a restaurant, we try to buy local wine — really local if possible, then south-west wine or Western Australian wine in general, before we look at a wine from other areas of Australia. Many of the local wines are from boutique winemakers who don’t make wine in export quantities. There are exceptions, of course, and some winemakers have a healthy export market.

So that’s the background to this label:

Frankland River is in the lower south-west of Western Australia; the 3 Oceans Wine Company is in the Margaret River wine region in south-west Western Australia, about an hour’s drive from where I live. The restaurant where I had this wine is about a 45-minute drive from the winery.

So why on earth is there an ‘Imported from Finland’ note on this bottle???

My husband thought it must be a mis-labeling and that perhaps a batch of wines from the winery got the wrong labels. It’s the only logical explanation, because why else would a Western Australian restaurant be purchasing a Western Australian wine from an importer in Finland?

That said, there are Australian wines that Australians can buy cheaper in the US than in Australia (Penfolds Bin 389 springs to mind…). The reason is that these large companies export massive quantities of their wine in big vats/bladders. The wine is then bottled in the importing country and the label is applied.

But Finland???

Anyone got any other ideas? I’m still confused by the mixed messages on this label.

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Mixed messages

May 1, 2012

This was last Friday’s weather forecast: ‘Cloudy with patchy light rain’. However, the forecast and the images just don’t match. The lesson here for technical communicators: Make sure your messages are consistent, be they via text or images.

The image on the far left indicates rain, and a fair bit of it (if it’s light rain or occasional showers, they use a different symbol).

But it’s the radar image, which covers the entire south-west of Western Australia, that tells the real story. Lighter green is ‘rain’, darker green is heavier rain. There’s nothing ‘patchy’ or ‘light’ about the radar image.

So, do I trust the forecast, the left image or the radar image? I’ll go with the radar as it’s updated every 10 minutes!

Inconsistent messages between images and text

And yes, that temperature is hot for us for late April when we should be in the middle of autumn and heading into winter; the day before was 29C, which is even hotter.