Batch Geocode Addresses Using Bing Maps API and an Excel Worksheet

One of the projects that I’m working on nowadays, required me to batch geocode almost 8,000 addresses into latitude and longitude coordinates, and then display it on a Google map, using Google’s fusion table. All my data lives in an Excel worksheet. I’m not familiar with this world of geocoding, Google Maps API, etc. but I had to find a solution in order to make this process easy.

I thought about the idea of having a macro as part of my excel worksheet, that will connect to Google Maps / Bing maps and will pull data from my worksheet, geocode it using the API and will return the latitude and longitude coordinates.

While researching the web, I found out that someone already thought about it, and created a wonderful tool, based on an Excel worksheet and Bing Maps’ API. It’s called Excel Geocoding Tool.

How to batch geocode addresses with Bing Maps and Microsoft Excel

So the process is pretty simple:

  1. Download the Excel file from the Excel Geocoding Tool website.
  2. If the file is opened in “Protected View” (yellow bar on the top of the page), click “Enable Editing”.
  3. Enable Macros:
  4. Enable macros in Excel 2013 (Office 365): File -> Options -> on the left side, choose “Trust Center” -> click on “Trust Center Settings”.
  5. Enable macros in Excel 2007,2010: Click on the Office button -> “Excel Options” -> “Trust Center” -> Trust Center Settings” -> “Macro Settings”.
  6. Under “Macro Settings” choose “Enable all macros” and check the “Trust access to the VBA project object model”.
  7. When you’re done using the Excel Geocoding Tool, don’t forget to disable the macros.
  8. In order to use the tool, you need to create a Bing Maps API key.
  9. Once you get your key, copy and paste it in the “Bing Maps Key” field:
Batch Geocode Addresses Using Bing Maps API and Excel Worksheet
Paste your API key here

Now all you have to do, is navigate to the next sheet called “Geocode”, paste your addresses in the “location” column and click “Geocode all rows”, or “Geocode selected rows”:

Don’t forget that if you get the Bing Trial API key, you’re limited to 10,000 addresses in total. If you need more, just create another account (hotmail.com, outlook.com) and get another key.

How To Extract Videos And Images From a PowerPoint Presentation File

Sometimes we embed media and objects in PowerPoint files. These files and objects could be images, videos, sounds, documents, etc. One of my colleagues had an old PowerPoint 2010 file, with a video file embedded in it. In order to reduce the final file size (when there is media embedded in a PowerPoint file, the file size increases dramatically, based on the media’s size. This include embedded images as well), he asked me to take the video clip out of the PowerPoint file and upload it to YouTube.

Honestly I had no clue how to do that. I was trying to right click on the video preview, but there were no “save as” or “export” options. Interesting.

So I researched the web, and found a beautiful trick to solve it.

Extract pictures and video clips from a PowerPoint file

By default, Windows Explorer is set to hide file extensions. In order to extract media, we first need to make sure Windows Explorer is set to show file extensions.

This is how to set Windows Explorer to show file extensions (Windows 7):

  1. Open Control Panel: Start -> Type “Control Panel” -> Enter -> Choose “Control Panel” under “Programs”.
  2. In the Control Panel, Click on “View By” and choose “Category”.
  3. Click on “Appearance and Personalization” and then click on “folder options”.
  4. Click on the “View” tab and then make sure to clear the “Hide extensions for known file types” check box.

Now that Windows Explorer is set to show file extensions, let’s go to the folder where the PowerPoint file is.

1. Right click on the file and choose “rename”.

2. Change the file extension from ppt / pptx to zip.

3. Windows will ask us “If you change a file name extension the file might become unusable. Are you sure you want to change it?“.

If you change a file name extension the file might become unusable
If you change a file name extension the file might become unusable

4. Click “Yes”.

5. Double click the new renamed file, in order to view its content.

6. Double click on the “ppt” folder and then go to the “media” folder, and here are all the images, videos and files of this PowerPoint file.

Don’t forget to rename the file extension back to ppt / pptx in the end, in order to open or edit the PowerPoint file.

Lync Error Message “This message may not have been sent to because the server timed out”

Microsoft Lync has great potential as a chat and collaboration tool, especially for busy and large offices. The problem is – I find this tool to be really buggy. It will take some time until Microsoft comes up with a decent – stable – version.

The other day, one of my colleagues had a problem with Lync. Sometimes when she tries to send a chat message on Lync, she gets the following error on the chat screen:

“This message may not have been sent to because the server timed out”

Lync - This message may not have been sent to because the server timed out - error message
Lync – This message may not have been sent to because the server timed out – error message

Usually this message shows up when the server doesn’t succeed in sending the message, due to server error or when the other user has gone offline.

The Solution

So after uninstalling Office 365 64bit and installing Office 365 32bit which didn’t solve the problem, I tried to run The Office 365 Repair feature, with no success either.

I then called Microsoft and they recommended to clear Lync’s cache.

This is how it goes:

1. Go to “C:\Users\Username\Appdata\Local\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Lync\” and delete the specific user’s sip (Session Initiation Protocol) folder.

2. Go to “C:\Users\Username\Appdata\Local\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Lync\ Tracing\Delete All files. DO NOT DELETE ANY FOLDER.

3. Open the registry editor (Start + R -> type regedit -> Enter), go to “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\office\15.0\Lync” and delete the specific user’s expandable sip profile folder (the one that contains the user’s email address to sign in to Lync):

So far so good. Will keep you posted if it doesn’t solve the issue.

 

How To Fix “We Can’t Verify Who Created This File” Security Warning On Windows

So let’s say you have a Microsoft Access Database file, which you need to have 5 employees working on, at the same time. A great way to achieve it, is by creating a network drive, or in my case – shared folder.

In our office, we use Microsoft Access to manage our PO (purchase orders) system. We have 5 employees putting data in. The file itself is located on a “server” which is basically a local machine with Windows 7 premium installed. It has a shared folder, and they all work on this Microsoft Access Database (using Access “shared” open mode).

For 4 of the 5 employees everything goes pretty smoothly. One employee encountered a problem, where while trying to open the file – while others were using it – he got the following error:

“Open File – Security Warning: We can’t verify who created this file. Are you sure you want to open this file?”

We Cant Verify Who Created This File - Security Warning
We Cant Verify Who Created This File – Security Warning

The Solution

The problem here, is that the user is trying to open a file which is not located on the local drive. Windows thinks that the file is not safe (an intranet location) and tries to block it.

In order to resolve it, all we need to do is add the file’s location to the “trusted area”/ “safe zone”. To do that, follow these steps:

1. Open Control Panel, and go to “Internet Options”.

2. Click on the “Security” tab.

3. Click on “Local Intranet”.

4. Click on “Sites”.

Internet Options - Security - Local Intranet - Sites

5. Click on “Advanced”.

6. Click on “Add”.

7. Type in the shared folder address where the file is, for example \\home-pc\users\admin\documents\.

8. Click “Add”.

Windows 7 - add local intranet shared folder to zone

9. Click “Close” and then “OK”.

10. Try to open the file again, and you will be rid of the security warning.

How To Enable Google Analytics Demographics And Interest Reports In WordPress

If you’re running a WordPress blog, and have Google Analytics installed in order to track and analyze the traffic to your blog, you probably noticed that when you go to Google Analytics and click “Audience -> Demographics -> Age / Gender” it says that you need to validate tracking code after you have made this one-line, one-time update.

So I was trying to add this one line with my analytics plugin with no success. I also followed all of the instructions Google provides in order to make it happen.

Then, I tried to install a couple of different Google Analytics plugins for WordPress, even ones that declared they support demographics.

In the end, I succeeded in enabling it by playing around with the plugin’s code (Google Analytics for WordPress).

WordPress Demographics and Interest Reports support

Using this method, you can enable the demographics report on your WordPress blog. Please remember that since we’re going to change the plugin’s source code, every time you update the plugin, you’ll have to modify the code again, until some developer develops a decent analytics plugin to support demographics and interest reports.

Let’s begin:

1. Uninstall each and every analytics plugin from your blog.

2. Add this plugin to WordPress.

3. Activate the plugin, and go to “Settings -> Google Analytics”.

4. Authenticate the plugin with your Analytics account (just follow the instructions on the plugin’s settings page).

5. Using FTP software, go to “wp-content/plugins/google-analytics-for-wordpress/frontend/” and edit the file “class-frontend.php”.

6. Go to line 293, or search for ga.src.

7. Replace the following code:


ga.src = <!--?php if ( $this--->options['gajslocalhosting'] && !empty( $this->options['gajsurl'] ) ) {
echo "'" . $this->options['gajsurl'] . "';";
} else {
$script = 'ga.js';
if ( current_user_can( 'manage_options' ) && $this->options['debug'] )
$script = 'u/ga_debug.js';
echo "('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/" . $script . "'";
}
?>;

with the following code:

ga.src = <?php</pre>
if ( $this->options['gajslocalhosting'] && !empty( $this->options['gajsurl'] ) ) {
echo "'" . $this->options['gajsurl'] . "';";
} else {
$script = 'dc.js';
if ( current_user_can( 'manage_options' ) && $this->options['debug'] )
$script = 'u/ga_debug.js';
echo "('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://' : 'http://') + 'stats.g.doubleclick.net/" . $script . "'";
}
?>;

8. If you have any cache plugin installed, clear the cache. Otherwise it won’t work.

9.Go back to Google Analytics -> Audience -> Demographics -> Age / Gender and click “Validate tracking code“.

10. If everything goes well, you should get this:

Google Analytics Demographics And Interest Reports In WordPress
Success!

Sync issues with OneDrive (SkyDrive Pro)

Recently I migrated our office from exchange server 2003 on premises to office 365 (mid-size business plan). I used the old-safe way of exporting all the mailboxes (.pst files) and importing them into Office 365, since we have only 30 mailboxes.

In terms of file sharing, we used a mounted drive located on the server. When the migration was done, I got rid of the server, and in terms of file sharing system, I purchased a 100 GB Dropbox account, which I installed on each and every computer.

Microsoft Office 365 comes with Sharepoint and file sharing features (based on Microsoft OneDrive, used to be called “SkyDrive Pro”), which means every user gets 25 GB of personal storage. The files are hosted on the cloud, and basically accessible from every computer that’s connected to the internet, where you can also set files to be accessible offline, by syncing folders to the computer).

I chose Dropbox because I didn’t have the time to train the employees on how to use OneDrive.

Recently I decided to migrate the whole file sharing system from Dropbox to OneDrive, so I started playing around with it, and testing it, before we switch to the new system.

The problem

While everything went smoothly in the beginning, as soon as I restarted my computer, OneDrive aut0-started, and there was a yellow exclamation point on OneDrive’s icon in the taskbar and an error message saying “we ran into problems syncing”, and also Microsoft Upload Center said “upload failed”.

Checking the error log, I found this:

ICsiError: csierrOdc_ScopeIntersectionUnresolvable (0x7B)

Error code=0x80004005; Error source=Groove

The solution

To solve this problem, we have 2 options. Option 1 is the shortest and most of the time solves it pretty fast. Option 2 takes more time, so use it as a backup if option 1 fails for you.

Option 1

1. Open the Task Manager and end every Office process (MSOSYNC.EXE, GROOVE.EXE and MSOUC.EXE).

Sync issues with OneDrive - SkyDrive Pro
Sync issues with OneDrive – SkyDrive Pro

2. Open Windows Explorer, navigate to the following locations and delete everything (files & folders):

C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\Spw

C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\15.0\OfficeFileCache

3. Go to Office 365 online, click “sync” in OneDrive, and OneDrive app should start running again and sync normally.

If this method didn’t help you, try the following option 2, and at the end repeat step 1 to 3 of option 1.

Option 2

1. Right click on OneDrive’s icon in the taskbar, and choose “stop syncing a folder”.

2. Open windows explorer, and look for the OneDrive folder (usually on the left side, under “favorites”). Right click on the folder and delete it (all the content + the folder itself).

3. Go to Internet Explorer (even if you’re not using it), and clear browsing history (Settings -> Internet Options -> “Browsing History” -> Delete).

4. Run Disk cleanup (right click on your system drive -> Properties -> Disk cleanup).

5. Repeat Option 1.

Good luck!

What is Trello and How to Use Trello

Trello is currently being marketed as a collaboration tool that can help to organize various projects and make it easier to get things done on time. You can use it to organize your tasks, create checklists and search assignments- among other things- and the possibilities are virtually endless when it comes to using this website. It can be used in a variety of different ways.

If you are looking for a better way to keep yourself organized, then Trello really can help. It is not only fun to use, it is practical- and best of all it is free to download!

Trello Example Board
Trello Example Board

Using Trello for Project Collaboration

Trello was originally created as a project collaboration tool. It uses boards, checklists, cards, and various labels to assign tasks to members of your team, and you can also see what is in progress and who is working on what assignments. It is one of the easiest ways for you to handle the task management in your workplace, or in your home environment. It can help with both large and small collaborative projects.

Whether you are trying to set up a large project for a large number of freelancers that work remotely, or you are just trying to set up a chore list for the people in your household, Trello can help! If you haven’t already started using this great tool, then you don’t know what you are missing out on. Let’s go over some of the information about how it works, and how it can help you.

Add members to Trello
Add members to Trello

Understanding the Components of Trello

It is important to understand the three basic components that make up Trello. They include the boards, the lists and the cards.

Boards: Boards are actually used to help when it comes to managing large projects or campaigns. You use it board to build your project on the program. You may have a separate board for various projects that you have going on, to keep them separate and keep them on track. You can manage the board, and determine how small or how large you need it to be. It really is completely customizable, and it makes it easy for you to stay on track with your goals.

  • On the right of your board, you will notice that there are various different functions that you can choose from. You can add members, change settings, and filter.
  • You can also take a look at the activity feed within your board, just to see how much progress is being made, and by whom.

Lists: Lists are used along with the boards, and they separate and track the tasks into columns- based on categories. This helps you to see what is going on with the project, and how many tasks are required to finish the project. You can modify your lists as needed to make sure that you are on the right track with everything.

Move cards on Trello by dragging them from list to list
Move cards on Trello by dragging them from list to list

Cards: Cards are actually the components that fall under the lists. They are the individual tasks that are assigned to the lists within your boards. Each card is a task that is assigned to certain members of your team, and you can track progress on the cards as well. This is basically a small ‘checklist’ of sorts.

  • If you click on a particular card within your list, you will be able to see properties. You can also add due dates, team members, files, or checklists to the card.
  • You can also take a look at the progress on the card, if you take a look at the progress bar that is located on the bottom of the card.

Now that you have a better understanding of the basic components of Trello, are you ready to get started with it? This gives you a bit of a background on the program, but using it is something that you will actually learn best through first hand experience. Sure, you can watch tutorials and learn various tips and tricks, but many things you will actually be able to learn by simply playing around with the website.

Who Can Use Trello?

Trello can actually be used by both professionals and individuals. It helps to make it easier to manage time, and get things done. For people that procrastinate, this can actually be a life saving tool! Don’t let yourself get backed up with projects, or spend time trying to figure out how to effectively manage your projects! Instead, why not just give Trello a try? It has really started taking the world by storm, and many people are finding it to be a tool that they just can’t live without now that they have tried it and found it effective at helping with time and project management.

Trello Card
Trello Card
Trello iOS app
Trello iOS app

How to Use Trello

Using Trello is actually quite simple, at first glance. You can use it to make lists within lists, and you can drag and drop tasks, and it is really just a fun tool to use. While it appears really simple, there are various features that may make your experience with this tool a lot smoother. In fact, you can use certain features to help you when it comes to switching boards, editing cards, uploading attachments, and much more. There are also shortcuts that you can use to make it easier for you to get things done.

All in all, Trello seems to really be making a positive impact on the world. In a world where it seems like the days just get shorter and shorter, it makes sense that we would need to find a way to make things just a little bit easier. This is perhaps one of the main reasons why Trello was introduced- and definitely one of the main reasons why it has been such a hit!

Sign up to Trello

Invite All Friends to Like a Facebook Page / Event – 2014

Recently I started a new website about The Best Flea Medicine For Dogs. The website is all about flea treatment and flea control for dogs.

When I created the Facebook Page for the website, I needed some initial likes in order for the page to become viral. I had 2 options:

1. Create ads on Facebook (recently I read and watched a video says that the audience that you get from advertising on Facebook is pretty much useless).

2. Invite all my friends to like the page.

We, or everyone who’s in the social media business, know that Facebook won’t let you to invite all your friends to like a page / invite to an event, since it’s a “spammy” action, which is pretty much true, but this is not the issue right now. So if Facebook won’t let you to invite them all together, there’s probably a hack, workaround to get it done. And there’s one.

Until recently, we used to copy some JavaScript code, paste it in the browser’s address bar, click “enter” and we got to invite all of our friends. The other method was to copy the code, paste it in Chrome’s console and run the code. This is not working anymore and if you try to do that, you’ll get this message: “SyntaxError: Unexpected token ILLEGAL error”. Facebook has blocked this method, but not totally.

How to invite all friends to like a Facebook Page / invite them to an event

So I found out there’s a solution to invite all of your friends to like a Facebook page, and you can all use it for your marketing efforts and needs, but I must warn you that you’re using this code at your own risk.

In order to get it to work properly, follow the following steps.

1. First – use Google Chrome. I haven’t tested it on other browsers, but I know it works for sure on Google Chrome.

2. Visit this page – a warning by Facebook about JavaScript console and why it is disabled by them. PLEASE READ IT CAREFULLY and approve it. Without accepting this page, it will not work. This is what the page looks like:

Facebook Self XSS message
Facebook Self XSS message

3. Copy the following code:


javascript:var inputs = document.getElementsByClassName('uiButton _1sm');

for(var i=0; i<inputs.length;i++) {

inputs[i].click();

}

4. Go to your Facebook page and make sure you’re using Facebook as yourself, and not as your page.

5. In the top area, go to “Build Audience” and click on “Invite Friends”.

6. Make sure the dropdown is set to “All Friends”.

7. Now you get to see a list of some of your friends. Since we want to invite them all, scroll the list down to the end. TIP: use your mouse’s auto-scroll button (if it has it) instead of manual scrolling.

8. When you get to the bottom of the list, click CTRL + SHIFT + J, to open Chrome’s Developer Tools, and click on “Console” on the very right:

Google Chrome Console
Google Chrome Console

9. Paste the code you have copied in the Console.

10. Press “Enter” and let the magic happen!

If you have many friends, this process can take some time. You’ll notice that your friend names are being “checked” one by one, which means they’ve been invited.

You’re welcome, and if I helped you, please like my page below:

 

What is Dropbox And How To Use Dropbox

Dropbox is a cloud storage program that offers a great way for you to store and access your data from virtually anywhere with an internet connection. It is designed for people that want to access their files from anywhere, but don’t like to carry around a thumb drive or email files to their own email address. It has become increasingly popular, as more and more people are moving to the cloud. If you are looking for something that will help you to manage your files easier, then it may be something worth looking into. Let’s take a closer look at how it works, and how it may benefit you.

How Dropbox Works

When you create a Dropbox account, it gives you a folder that will sync with all of your devices. When you save a file, you will simply add it to your Dropbox folder on your desktop, or on any of your other devices. It doesn’t require you to have a large storage space on your desktop, because the data is stored virtually through the cloud. It works on a variety of devices, including PCs, Macs, iPhones, iPads, and many Android devices, among others.

Accessing Your Dropbox Account

Accessing your account is not difficult. In fact, when you set your account up, you will be able to sync the folder on all devices. Then, when you login to your account, whether you are on your desktop or on your mobile device, you will be able to view the folder and open the documents. You can even log in from another computer, go to Dropbox.com, and login to your account to view your folders. You don’t even have to keep the icon on your desktop, although this is the easiest way to drag and drop files to be saved and synced. It is really quite simple, and anyone with any background with computers should be able to do it.

The Benefits of Using Dropbox

Dropbox offers a variety of benefits. While it is obviously a great place to store your data because it allows you to access it anywhere, it has other benefits that you should consider as well:

  • You can store audio, video, photo, and other document types.
  • You can sync devices across the globe, with just the click of a button.
  • You can recover your deleted files for up to 30 days, or longer with a paid account.
  • You can use the software to share files and folders with friends and family.
  • You always have a backup of your data, even if you lose it on a particular device.

As you can see, Dropbox is really an effective tool that can be used for a variety of different reasons. If it isn’t something that you have tried before, then it may be time for you to take a look into it. It could really prove beneficial to you- even if you just use it as a way to backup your files virtually so that you don’t have to worry about losing important documents in the event that your computer is stolen, damaged, or compromised. It is also safe to use, and your data is always secure.

Share Files Easily

One of the biggest advantages is the file sharing. Any time you want to share a file with someone, as long as they have a Dropbox account, you can just click share and choose the folder or file. It shares instantly. You can even make shared folders that you share with everyone in your family, which is a great way to share family photos. It is also great for business use, because it allows you to share your information with everyone in the workplace with ease. It is an essential tool for businesses, for sure, as well as individuals.

Pricing Structures

So, just how much does Dropbox cost? If you look into it, you will find that they offer a free version. This gives you up to 2GB of storage space, and you don’t have to pay anything for it. This is sometimes enough for some people, and they even have a great referral program that allows you to earn more storage space.

They also offer paid memberships, and they are as follows:

  • 100GB for $9.99/mo or $99/year
  • 200GB for $19.99/mo or $199/year
  • 500GB for $49.99/mo or $499/year

For teams that need a great deal of storage space, they also have the Dropbox Teams option, which costs roughly $795 annually. It can be used by up to 5 users, and it offers a terabyte of storage space. It also offers 200GB of additional storage space for any new users that may be added later. These added users are $125 annually.

How to Get Started

To get started with Dropbox, you will start by downloading the software to your computer. You will also want to get the apps on your mobile devices. Register for your account and install the folder onto your desktop. You will then be ready to start using the program, and start reaping the benefits. It only takes just a few minutes to download it.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, Dropbox can really be a great tool. It is easy to download, and easy to use. It is designed so that just about anyone that uses a computer should be able to use it. It offers free storage options for those that want to try it out, or those that just simply don’t need a lot of storage space. It is something that people wish they had around many years ago, because it really just helps to make life a lot easier. You always have your files on the go, and you can share with just a few clicks. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.

Sign up – start using Dropbox today!