How To Set Outlook 2013 Calendar Reminders To Stay On Top And In Focus

Recently I migrated our company to Office 365. It was a big change, since we used to use Office 2003 that was connected to Exchange Server 2003 Onsite. One of the biggest changes about Outlook 2013, is that when the Calendar reminder window “pops up”, it usually stays “hidden” behind many other windows. It does play a sound and the window “blinks” yellow in the task bar, but if you’re concentrating on something else, it’s easy to dismiss it, and you could find yourself running late to a meeting.

The Problem

Microsoft has designed it to work that way, so that if you’re in the middle of something and don’t see the pop up window, you won’t press “Enter” by mistake, confirm the reminders and make the window disappear. Hence, when Outlook 2013 calendar reminder window pops up, it becomes hidden since there are other open windows covering it.

The Solution

One simple solution is to set a different – more noticeable – sound to the reminder window. You can do that by opening Outlook -> File -> Options -> Choose “Advanced” on the left side -> Click “Browse” and choose a different sound under the “Play Reminder Sound” field.

Of course – this simple solution won’t help you set Outlook reminders to stay on top.

The real solution here is a VBA based code (Don’t freak out, it’s pretty simple and easy to create) that pops up a customizeable message box that stays on top of every other window, and you can’t ignore it. The only con I find for this solution, is that this message box comes before the reminder window, and in order to view the reminder window, you need to click “ok” on the message box.

This guide is related to Windows 7 and Office 2013 / Office 365, althoug h I assume it will work in Windows 8 as well. So here we go:

1. First – we need to create a Digital Certificate:

How To Find And Create Digital Certificate In Office 2013:

I read on many websites that you need to click “Start” and type “Certificate” and then choose “Digital Certificate for VBA Projects”, but it will not work in Office 2013 / Windows 7.

In order to Create a Digital Certificate, we need to run the file “SELFCERT.EXE”. Here is the file location: “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office 15\root\office15”.

When you run the file, you’ll get this window:

Office 2013 "Create Digital Certificate" window
Office 2013 “Create Digital Certificate” window

2. Name your certificate and click “OK”. “outlookreminder” for example [without the quotation marks].

3. You’ll get a message says “Succesfully created a new certificate for outlookreminder”. Click “OK”.

4. Go to Outlook, and press ALT + F11 to open the VBA Editor.

5. On the left side, you’ll see “Project 1”. Double click, it will expand and you’ll see “Microsoft Outlook Objects”. Double Click it, it will expand and you’ll see “ThisOutlookSession”. Double click it.

6. On the window on the right side, copy and paste the following code [You can always change the text ‘This is a friendly reminder…’ and the title “Attention!”]:

Private Sub Application_Reminder(ByVal Item As Object)<br /><br />If TypeOf Item Is AppointmentItem Then<br /> MsgBox "This is a friendly reminder about upcoming meeting!", vbSystemModal, "Attention!"<br /> End If<br /><br />End Sub

7. Your final window should look like this:

8. Click Save [Don’t exit yet!].

9. In order to run the macro, we need to “sign” it. To do that, go to Tools -> Digital Signature -> Click “Choose” and select the certificate name we’ve created before [I named it “outlookreminder”, remember?].

10. Click “OK”, save again and close the window.

11. Now – since this is a macro, we need to allow it in Outlook. I’ve tried to allow this macro specifically with no success. I had no choice but allowing all macros. It’s not risky in my opinion, but do it at your own risk.

12. In Outlook, Go to File -> Options -> Trust Center -> Trust Center Settings -> Macro Settings -> Check “Enable All Macros”. Click “OK”, close Outlook and open Outlook again.

13. From now on, every time there’s a calendar reminder, you’ll get a message box that will stay on top of each and every window, and trust me, you WON’T ignore it.

14. You welcome:

The Final Result
The Final Result

How To Setup A Linksys E3000 Router As An Access Point

I have a 3 room apartment (Living room + 2 Bedrooms). Since we’re only 2 people, we made the second bedroom into a home office. We have a nice setup there with a very big desk, docking station for Dell laptops, HP All In One printer and a queen size bed, in case we have guests over, or if we ever (god forbid [girlfriend’s addition]) fight (which I’ll always be to blame for [girlfriend’s addition]) 😉

In our house, we have Verizon FIOS as our Internet Service Provider, and we use their wireless router to have Internet all over the place. The router they provide is pretty decent and we installed it in the living room, but the wireless signal is insanely low in the office. I decided to make it better, by using another – stronger – router as an Access Point.

Setup Cisco Linksys E3000 Router as an Access Point

Access Point is a device (in our case – Linksys E3000 router) that allows wireless devices to connect to a wired network using Wi-Fi. The new setup is pretty simple. The Low-Signal Verizon router is located in the living room, and the Linksys E3000 is connected to the Verizon router via LAN cable. Since the Linksys E3000 has a stronger and better signal strength, we will use it as a wireless router and will connect to it in our home office.

Setup Linksys E3000 as Access Point
Setup Linksys E3000 as Access Point

In order to make it happen, follow these 6 steps:

  1. Use a LAN cable to connect the Linksys router to your comouter (use the regular 4 LAN ports, not the yellow “Internet” port).
  2. Use your web browser in order to access your Router’s Control Panel (Usually by going to 192.168.1.1). The default username and password are “admin” for username, “admin” for password (without the “”). If you can’t access the Router’s Control Panel, reset the router’s settings by pressing the Reset button for 10 seconds. Obviously, if you reset your router, you are going to lose all the settings.
  3. Go to “Setup” and then “Basic Setup”. Change the default IP Address (192.168.1.1) to a free IP Address in your existing LAN. If your LAN’s IP structure is 192.168.1.x, change it, for example, to 192.168.1.55. If you’re LAN’s IP structure is 10.0.0.x, change it, for example, to 10.0.0.14. Make sure the address is free by accessing the main router. If you want, you can assign and reserve a static IP to the Linksys E3000 in your main router’s settings.
  4. Change “DHCP Server” from “enabled” to “disabled”.
  5. Save settings and reboot router.
  6. It’s now safe to unplug the router from your computer, and plug the Linksys E3000 (regular LAN port, not the yellow “Internet” port) to any free LAN port in your main router.

Congratulations! Your Linksys E3000 is now acting as an Access Point. Don’t forget to setup all the wireless settings in the router’s wireless settings page.

How To Change / Assign / Re-Assign License key On Office 365

One of the best features of Office 365, is that every machine can serve multiple users just by signing in and out. Let’s say I’m in the confrenece room in my my office, and I want to use some document / presentation located in my SkyDrive. Office 365 is installed on the computer, and all I have to do, is to open some Microsoft Office program, click on “Sign In”, put my username and password and I get access to my private SkyDrive. When I’m done, I log out and every other user (employee) can log in and get access to their files.

So that was the situation with one of our computers, until at some point, when a user tried to log in, Office said there’s a problem.

I guess Office got confused with all the users / licenses assigned to that machine, so the solution is to re-assign a license to a user to a machine. Usually when it happened, I used to uninstall Office 365, since nothing else helped in this situation, but after researching the web, I found a great – quicker solution than uninstalling Office. By the way, after uninstalling, I also used to run CCleaner, just to make sure the registry is clean and healthy.

So this is how to change / assign / re-assign license key On office 365:

Last 5 Characters Of Product Keys
Last 5 Characters Of Product Keys
  1. Run command prompt by clicking on Start -> Start typing “cmd“, right click on “cmd.exe” -> Run as administrator.
  2. If you’re using the 32bit (x86) version of Office 365, type “cd\” -> Enter -> type “cd C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15” -> Enter. Go to Step 4.
  3. If you’re using the 64bit (x64) version of Office 365, type “cd\” -> Enter -> type “cd C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15” -> Enter. Go to Step 4.
  4. Type “cscript ospp.vbs /dstatus” -> Enter. This command will display the status of the current licenses, by showing the last five characters of each license (see picture above).
  5. Now all we have to do is to remove all the licenses that are attached to this machine. We are going to do that by typing “cscript ospp.vbs /unpkey:<last five characters of every product key from the list above>” -> Enter.
  6. Run the above command as many times as you need in order to remove all the product keys (one product at a time, not all together).
  7. Restart Windows, and after restarting Windows, try to run any Microsoft Office program, and it will ask you to sign in, in order to activate Microsoft Office 365.
  8. Done!

How to access The BIOS in Toshiba Satellite

Last week, a co-worker of mine asked me to fix her little son’s laptop. It’s a pretty basic Toshiba Satellite L645D-S4056, one of those common models you can find at Walmart for less than 400 bucks.

The problem was not that complicated – the Hard Drive was about to die, so she bought a brand-new Hard Drive online, and asked me to install it, and then re-install Windows 7. If you know what you’re doing, it’s pretty simple. You open the laptop, take out the old Hard Drive, install the new Hard Drive, Access the BIOS (or access the boot menu), set the BIOS to boot from the DVD drive, install Windows and you’re done.

So that’s exactly what I was about to do, but as soon as I installed the new Hard Drive and turned the laptop on, all I got was a black screen and a blinking cursor. There was nothing else on the screen, no “Access BIOS” option or Boot Menu. That’s weird. I tried to reset the BIOS by pulling out the CMOS battery, but it didn’t change a thing.

I then decided to plug in the old Hard Drive, and everything was perfect. I reset the computer, in order to access the BIOS, but I noticed that there is no option to access the BIOS (by pressing ESC, F2, F10, F12 whatever) even with the old Hard Drive connected.

After researching the web, I identified the problem: Toshiba, for some stupid reason, decided to allow access to the BIOS only from Windows (and from Windows you can set it to have regular access to the BIOS).

How to access The BIOS in Toshiba Satellite

Assuming you have Windows installed, run the Toshiba HWSetup (Stands for Toshiba Hardware Setup). This software comes pre-installed on Toshiba Satellite models. Finding this piece of tiny-yet-super-important software was so complicated in Toshiba’s support website, so I made your life easier and uploaded it to my server. You can download Toshiba HW Setup Utility here.

HWSetup provides a graphical front end for modifying BIOS settings within Windows, but also – contains the option to disable access to the BIOS (they call it fast boot). Once you install Toshiba HW Setup Utility on Windows, you can run the program, go to the “Boot Priority” Tab, Choose “Normal” in the “Boot” section, restart your computer and you’ll have an option to access the BIOS. Remember – if it’s set to “Fast” you have no option to access the BIOS.

How to access BIOS in Toshiba Satellite
How to access BIOS in Toshiba Satellite

Now I assume you have access to Windows. Otherwise, I don’t see any way you can change this setting outside Windows, but if you do, let me know and I’ll update the post.

Google presents: how to identify noisy tabs in Google Chrome

You know how it feels when you’re using Chrome, you have like 5 to 10 tabs open, and then, out of the blue, you hear some sound or music coming from your browser? Turns out one of your tabs is playing an annoying advertisement, auto-playing a YouTube video, or background music started rolling. Yes, sometimes it scares the shit out of you, especially if you use headphones.  Then you start browsing through the tabs, trying to figure out which one is playing what. Sometimes it’s even worse because you have to scroll down / up to find the exact element / player and push stop – doesn’t that drive you crazy?

Well, if Chrome is your default and preferred browser – it won’t drive you crazy much longer. Google just made our lives easier.

How to identify noisy tabs in Google Chrome

With the latest Chrome beta release, you can now visually scan your tabs to identify the noisy ones. Just look for the speaker icon on the right side of the tab. In the same way, you can identify which tabs are using your webcam or broadcasting to your TV.

Using your webcam
Using your webcam
Playing audio
Playing audio
Casting to your TV
Casting to your TV

In addition – until now, when using safe mode, Chrome would notify the user if they tried to visit a malicious website or download a malicious file or program. From now on, Chrome’s beta will automatically block malware sites. If you see the following message in the download tray in the bottom, you can easily click “Dismiss” and you’re done.  Protected.

Google Chrome Warning
Google Chrome Warning

Silence your tabs – get the latest Chrome beta release here.

How to get folder size in Windows

Having a Solid State Drive (SSD) is a great idea. SSD contains no actual “disk” of any kind, nor motors to “drive” the disks. It is a data storage device using integrated circuit assemblies as memory to store data persistently (Wikipedia)

As a matter of fact, imagine your regular hard drive, but on steroids. SSD drives are very fast and reliable, but there are two major problems with them nowadays: Price and Size.

SSD drives are pretty expensive in comparison to regular hard drives, and if that’s not enough, they are pretty small. A decent GB120 SSD costs USD99.99, while 1TB regular drive costs less than USD65.

So when you have a SSD in your laptop, you gotta keep it tight with the space consumption. It’s very easy to run out of space with SSD. My SSD became almost full this week, so I had to clean it up a little bit. The best way to start cleaning up your hard drive, is by identifying fat folders, and start digging in.

How to get folder size in windows

Back then, in Windows XP era, we were able to add the “folder size” column to the explorer window. For some reason, Microsoft decided to cancel this option with windows Vista, Windows 7 and 8. God knows why. I find this feature very important especially when you want to clean your hard drive, and you wanna know which are the biggest folders.

So I found a small program called “Folder Size“. As simple as that. Folder Size shows sizes of folders seen in Explorer windows.

Go to the download page, install the program and you got it:

Folder Size - Get folder size in Windows
Folder Size – Get folder size in Windows

Filezilla Site Manager – Cannot remember password

Almost every web developer I know uses FileZilla. FileZilla is free and cross-platform FTP software, consisting of FileZilla Client and FileZilla Server. Binaries are available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. According to Wikipedia, at 2011, Filezilla FTP Client was the 7th most popular download of all time from SourceForge.net.

I recently got a new computer, and had to install Filezilla on it. Usually when I get a new laptop, I remember to backup almost everything from the old one. This time, I forgot to backup The Site Manager. The Site Manager allows FileZilla client users to store information about their FTP sites, so they won’t have to remember a lot of info, such usernames, passwords, ports etc.

I had login details of almost 20 sites, so it was kind of annoying to store the details all over again.

The problem:

I started typing in the first server’s details – host, username and password. Simple one. I hit “ok” to save this entry and all I got was this error: “Site Manager – Cannot remember password: Saving of passwords has been disabled by you. ‘Normal’ and ‘Account’ logotypes are not available. Your entry has been change to ‘Ask for password”. Filezilla Site Manager cannot remember password.

Filezilla: Site Manager Cannot remember password
Filezilla: Site Manager Cannot remember password

Since I’d just installed it, I didn’t remember that I set this option during the installation process. I tried to think about any other solutions, including User Access Control of Windows 7, etc.

The solution:

Apparently, FileZilla – for some reason – sets this option by default. The solution here is pretty easy. I spent 30 min on this, just because there was no solution on Google. You spent only 2 minutes reading this post 🙂

To make Filezilla’s Site Manager save passwords, all you have to do is to go to Edit -> Settings -> on the left side click “Interface” -> On the right side, uncheck the “Do not save passwords” checkbox under “behavior” section.

FileZilla - Save passwords option
FileZilla – Save passwords option

Bored? Here Are 85 Silly, Funny, Pointless, Weird, and Quick to View Websites

Guest post by Tali Schwartz.

So you already refreshed your Facebook timeline 20 times, searched for interesting tweets, browsed the news, laughed at some classic memes, and are still bored? Or maybe your workday is bringing you down and you need a 15 minute pick me up? Enjoying some quality couch time while watching TV and the unavoidable commercials are on? Here’s a list of 85 silly, funny, pointless, weird, and quick to view websites.

Admittedly, some are better than others. I recommend clicking through the list and checking out bunch of them. My personal favorite? #42. You’ll thank me. So there you are, have a good laugh and leave us a comment to share your favorite!

Featured image by jakub_hla
  1. http://heeeeeeeey.com
  2. http://eelslap.com
  3. http://www.staggeringbeauty.com
  4. http://www.omfgdogs.com
  5. http://burymewithmymoney.com
  6. http://www.fallingfalling.com
  7. http://ducksarethebest.com
  8. http://www.republiquedesmangues.fr
  9. http://www.trypap.com
  10. http://www.hristu.net
  11. http://www.partridgegetslucky.com
  12. http://hectorsalamanca.com
  13. http://www.rrrgggbbb.com
  14. http://www.movenowthinklater.com
  15. http://www.sanger.dk
  16. http://www.geodu.de
  17. http://beesbeesbees.com
  18. http://breakglasstosoundalarm.com
  19. http://www.koalastothemax.com
  20. http://grandpanoclothes.com
  21. http://www.everydayim.com
  22. http://www.haneke.net
  23. http://instantostrich.com
  24. http://www.leduchamp.com
  25. http://r33b.net
  26. http://cat-bounce.com
  27. http://www.sadforjapan.com
  28. http://isitchristmas.com
  29. http://www.taghua.com
  30. http://chrismckenzie.com
  31. http://randomcolour.com
  32. http://hasthelargehadroncolliderdestroyedtheworldyet.com
  33. http://ninjaflex.com
  34. http://iloveyoulikeafatladylovesapples.com
  35. http://ihasabucket.com
  36. http://www.feedthehead.net
  37. http://corndogoncorndog.com
  38. http://www.oppositeofpoop.com
  39. http://giantbatfarts.com
  40. http://www.ringingtelephone.com
  41. http://chickenonaraft.com
  42. http://www.pointerpointer.com
  43. http://www.nullingthevoid.com
  44. http://www.pleasedonate.biz
  45. http://imaninja.com
  46. http://willthefuturebeaweso.me
  47. http://salmonofcapistrano.com
  48. http://www.ismycomputeron.com
  49. http://www.ooooiiii.com
  50. http://agitatedchicken.com
  51. http://www.wwwdotcom.com
  52. http://www.ouaismaisbon.ch
  53. http://iamawesome.com
  54. http://www.pleaselike.com
  55. http://crouton.net
  56. http://www.clicktoremove.com
  57. http://dastardlydigitofdestiny.com
  58. http://www.riddlydiddly.com
  59. http://www.electricboogiewoogie.com
  60. http://www.muchbetterthanthis.com
  61. http://www.nelson-haha.com
  62. http://www.wutdafuk.com
  63. http://unicodesnowmanforyou.com
  64. http://tencents.info
  65. http://cloudappreciationsociety.org/
  66. http://intotime.com
  67. http://leekspin.com
  68. http://minecraftstal.com
  69. http://www.patience-is-a-virtue.org
  70. http://whitetrash.nl
  71. http://www.theendofreason.com
  72. http://www.ismycomputeron.com/
  73. http://donottouch.org/
  74. http://drunkronswanson.com/
  75. http://canyoubelievethisdomainwasavailable.com/
  76. http://badum-tish.com/
  77. http://theinternetfireplace.com/
  78. http://thisisnottom.com/
  79. http://www.thepointless.com/zebratest
  80. http://pleasewait.co.uk/
  81. http://www.trevorvanmeter.com/flyguy/

How to open old PowerPoint presentation files

A coworker told me he couldn’t open a couple of PowerPoint presentation files, because they are really old. He said he’s trying to open the presentations with Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 with no success. “How old are they?” I asked him. “Pretty old” he said. “Send it over” I told him.

Once I got the files, I realized they are really, really old. 1998 old. Yep.

I also tried to open them, thinking that every newer version of PowerPoint – newer than 1997 – is supposed to open older versions’ files. No luck. The files were created with Power Point 4.0 (Released 1993). When I tried to open the files, all I got was the following error:

PowerPoint can’t open the type of file represented by [filename]

PowerPoint can’t open the type of file represented by [filename]

The problem:

Newer versions of Microsoft PowerPoint (2007, 2010, 2013, Office 365) won’t support and open older versions’ files.

The solution:

This is how to open old PowerPoint presentation files in Office 2007, Office 2010, Office 2013 and Office 365. Zamzar is a website for file conversion. It allows users to convert files without downloading a software tool, and supports over 1,000 different conversion types.

The process is pretty simple:

1. Go to Zamzar.com.

2. Select files or URL (where the file is located) to convert.

3. Choose the format to convert to (in our case – convert to ppt (1997-2003).

4. Enter your email address to receive converted files.

5. Click “convert” and wait. Within a couple of minuets (might be more than that) you’ll get an email with a link to download your converted file.

How to invert colors in Google Chrome

For some people it’s really hard to use Google Chrome – or any other browser – with the default color scheme. At night in bed, as an example, you’re better of using dark colors instead of bright colors so you won’t hurt your eyes. So this is how to invert colors in Google Chrome for easier reading.

Google Chrome’s high contrast extension

If you’re using Chrome (and you better be), Google has a great extension for color inverting, which leads to a high-contrast webpage and easier to read text. After installing this extension, it adds a small button in the toolbar. Pressing the button causes webpages to become “inverted”, which means white becomes black, and black becomes white:

How to invert colors in Google Chrome
How to invert colors in Google Chrome

The extension has 6 modes:

  • Normal
  • Increased contrast
  • Grayscale
  • Inverted Color
  • Inverted Grayscale
  • Yellow on Black

Unlike other extensions which try to change the default colors, this extension is unique in that it applies filters to the page, inverting everything except photos.

Having trouble reading in the dark? Try using Google Chrome’s High Contrast extension.