Windows 8, Office 2013, and Visual Studio 2012

I finally took the jump to Windows 8. I wanted to get used to the experience so I can answer questions about the new operation system.

Windows 8


The modern interface and its live tiles are interesting, but I have not found any compelling reason to use the modern start menu over the desktop. Most of the modern applications that I tested had less features than their desktop version. For example, Skype for the desktop has additional proxy settings that I require for the office, but these settings were missing from the modern Skype application.

Office 2013


The new office has a much clearer interface, but it still runs on the desktop. I had some problems with the new Outlook application freezing when working offline. The ability to edit PDF files is a big plus.

Visual Studio 2012

I love the new Visual Studio. The only issue I had with my older applications is that my setup projects are not compatible. The new SCRUM templates with TFS are nice.


PowerPoint Storyboarding is a big time saver.

One excellent resource that I discovered is the Microsoft Virtual Academy. There are many excellent free classes and resources to explore. Take a look at:

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Asus TF300 Transformer Pad

Picked up the Asus Transformer Pad $350. It’s a solid device and I am getting use to Android now.
The goal is to replace my laptop as much as possible.

Interesting Apps
Syngic – Offline maps, navigation with GPS.
2X Client – Remote Desktop with support for Desktop Composition.
Pulse – News reader
IM+ Pro – Chat with multi protocol support.

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How To Open More Than One Instance of Microsoft Excel 2010

Microsoft Excel defaults to using a single window for all open workbooks. This is not the idea situation when working with multiple monitors. If you want to have each workbook open in it’s own instance of Microsoft Excel, click on “File” then “Options”. Under “Advanced” check the box “Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE).


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Extract Images From a Microsoft Word Document

You can easily extract images from a Microsoft Word Document by choosing “Save As” and selecting “HTML” as the output format. Microsoft Word will create an HTML file with the text and a folder that contains all the images in the document.

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Enable a Windows fileserver to support Linux filenames with invalid characters.

Enable a Windows fileserver to support Linux filenames with invalid characters.


We have a Windows Server 2008 R2 fileserver that has the “c:\data” folder shared as “data”. We use this share as a repository for files from both Windows and Linux operation systems. We noticed that some network file copy operations would fail and discovered that the files that were failing all had colons in their filename. The colon is an invalid character for Windows filenames and renaming was not an option.



Windows and Linux have a different set of invalid characters for filenames. A Window filename cannot contain any of the following characters:

\ / : * ? ” < > |


On the Windows server, turn on NFS sharing and enable character translation. Access the NFS share instead of the Windows share from the Linux operating system.

Instructions (Windows Server)

On the Windows Server we need to install support for NFS shares, create an NFS share for our Linux users, and enable character translation.

Add “Services for Network File System” under the “File Services” – “Add Role Services”.


To create a new NFS share, right-click on the folder to share then click the “NFS Sharing” tab. Click the “Manage NFS Sharing” button.


Click the “Share this folder” check box and enter a “Share Name”. Now click the “Permissions” button.


Select the “Type of access” and press the “OK” button. When you are returned to the “NFS Advanced Sharing” window press the “OK” button, then press the “Close” button.


Your NFS Share is indicated with two green icons.


The next step is to enable and setup character translation. Create a text file and add the following text:

0x3a : 0x2d ; replace client : with – on server


Save the text file. In this particular case the file is saved as “C:\trans.txt”, but you can use any name or location.

Open the “Registry Editor” (Start – Run – regedit) and add the path to the text file you created to the “CharacterTranslation” string at the following Key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Server For NFS\CurrentVersion\Mapping


Character translation is now enabled for your NFS shares.

Instructions (Linux)

On the Linux operating systems we need to enable the NFS client and mount the NFS share hosted on the Windows Server.

Launch the “Synaptic Package Manager” and install the “nfs-common” package.


We need to create a folder to serve as a mount point to the NFS share on the Windows Server. You can use any folder name you want. Open a terminal window and issue the following commands:

sudo su

mkdir /nfs


Connecting to the NFS Share

To view all available shares on a server issue the following command:

showmount -e servername


Replace servername with the name or IP address of your server. This will return a list of NFS shares. On the server at there is a single NFS share called “data”. To mount this NFS share to the /nfs folder, issue the following command:

mount -o soft,intr,rsize=8192,wsize=8192 servername:/sharename /localfoldername


Replace servername with the name or IP address of your server; sharename with the name of your NFS share; localfoldername with the name of the local folder you want to use as your mount point.

You can now access the share and copy files; even if the filenames contains charters that are invalid for Windows.


On the Windows Server, the invalid characters have been translated (as per the character translation file). Notice that the files still retain their filename on the Linux side.


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Adobe PDF Printer Outputs Scrambled Text


When printing documents to PDF using the “Adobe PDF Printer”, sometimes the text is scrambled.



This issue appears to be caused by improper font mapping and can be resolved by unchecking the “Rely on system fonts only; do not use document font.” option on the “Printing Preferences” screen.


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How to launch Zenmap as root from the Ubuntu ‘Applications’ menu

Issue: After installing Zenmap under Ubuntu; you attempt to launch it from the ‘Applications’ menu, and receive an error that you are running Zenmap as a nonroot user.

Fix: To fix this issue, simply

1. Right-click on the Applications menu and choose ‘Edit Menus’.


2. Right-click on ‘Zenmap’ and choose ‘Properties’.


3. Change to ‘Command’ field to: ‘gksu zenmap %F’.


The ‘gksu’ command can be prefixed to any Gnome launcher to run as a root user.

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