Archive for the ‘Technical’ Category

Blackberry does not offer to “Send” new mails

24 April 2012

I have found some Blackberries where “Send” option is only available when replying to an email.

The solution to restoring “Send” for new emails is as follows:

1. In the message view, select options>general options.

2. Set the “Show recent contacts when composing email” to “no”. exit and save.

3.Try testing a new mail
When testing please note that you need to enter an email address or something that looks like an email address like, the scroll down to subject before trying out the Blackberry key.

4. If this does not work, toggle it back to “yes” and try again and then back to “no” and try once more!



iTwin – keep documents synced between computers

22 April 2012

Quite recently there has been a rave about iTwin  – a USB device that you connect to two computers resulting is a shared documents link. Without the device you cannot see the documents.
This interesting concept is in some ways comparable to other cloud sync programs like dropbox and sugarsync.

Many have raved about this product and it has got good ratings. The biggest argument in favour is to save on annual subscription fees to cloud services like dropbox.

Personally, I will not be recommending the device to my clients. I think all users would be better off with a cloud service even if there is an annual fee.

My reasons:

1.    iTwin does not keep track of document versions.

2.    iTwin does not directly act as a backup service, so if you want to use it as such you need to at the very least keep two computers constantly on and locate in totally different locations.

3.    With iTwin you always need to use a dongle. In all honesty, with the cloud, we should be not be carrying around more devices!

4.    iTwin is limited to approx. 20 computers.

So who is iTwin good for? One example that I can think of is someone who has at least two computers with large hard disk space in different locations with MASSES amount of data and wants to ensure that the data is not accessible without the dongle. In this case iTwin would be excellent since it does not charge extra for more storage.

Favourite antispyware tools – March 2011

13 March 2011

As for March 2011, my current favorite anti spyware tools are:

1. Spyware Doctor from PC Tools (click link on RHS)

Use discount code friedman15 for 15% off

If you are VAT registered, add the VAT registration code to remove the VAT charges

I do not recommend auto-renew in case something better comes along, but I do recommend the two year license which covers three computers

Remember that with increased protection there is usually a trade-off with speed. If the computer becomes too slow then turn off inteliguard

Also recommend setting “Auto Fix” when scanning

2. Malwarebytes Antimalware

Very effective in removing spyware infections – in particular in safe mode.

The paid version will automatically update and scan.

Sharing a set of contacts with other people

13 March 2011

Sharing a set of contacts with other people

I wanted to share a specific set of contacts on my phone and Outlook with my employees.

This is possible with a dedicated Exchange account for the contacts.

Create a new exchange account e.g.

Outlook 2010 will let you open more than one exchange account.

Iphones  and Android phones (together with a third party mail application like Enhanced Email) also support multiple Exchange accounts, the specific account can just be added to the phone!

Mail stuck in Outlook Outbox

13 March 2011

“My emails are not being sent. They are stuck in the outbox but incoming mail works fine”

I gets calls about this a few times a year.

The first thing to do is check the your computer still has internet access – can you do a Google search?

Typically, the Internet is fine and mails are coming in.

In this case, it is often a large email that got stuck in the outbox.

Here is what to do:

1. In Outlook 2003 / 2007 click File and then “Work Offline”. In Outlook 2010, click “Send / Receive” and then “Work Offline” (far right).

2. Click on the Outbox.

3. Drag all mails in Outbox into the Drafts folder.

4. Go back to the “Work Offline” option and click it to take Outlook back online.

5. Click on “Drafts” and double click on each individual email to send them. Any large ones should not be sent.

This should get your outgoing mails out.

In future, try to avoid sending emails above 4 megabytes. Many email accounts will not accept emails larger than this.

Solutions to sending out large mails include You send it and Dropbox (which allows you to create a “Public Link”).

Alternative to Windows Live Sync – DropBox and Sugarsync

27 February 2011

Windows Live Sync was an excellent and completely free tool that could synchornise documents between computers.

Sadly on 31 March 2011, Microsoft will be stopping this service.

They have already launched Windows Live Mesh to replace it. This release has been a massive disappointment. Live mesh does not support Windows XP, has serious effects on computer speeds and is susceptible to crashing.

Fortunately, there are alternatives out there. The two that have interested me the most are: Dropbox and SugarSync

There are lots of different articles reviewing the two and different sites select different winners (see links below). Both synchronise and backup multiple version of files across computers (PC and Mac) and allow access on mobile phones/IPAD’s.

In summary:

Dropbox is far simpler to use, integrated into Windows/Mac and reportedly faster. The biggest advantage is it’s simplicity.

SugarSync is more sophisticated, more features and cheaper. The biggest advantage from my perspective is, Like Live Mesh, it can support folders in any location.

If you are happy to store your files in one location, I would personally recommend Dropbox.
If you need to syncronise files in various locations then go for SugarSync.

You can (as I do) use both, but this will reduce computer performance.

Various reviews of both:


Blackberry sync issues

27 February 2011

Often we are faced with Blackberry cable sync issues with Outlook.

There are two things in particular to avoid:

1. Always ensure that your contacts have at least a name or company name. While Outlook will let you have a contact without a name, Blackberries cannot deal with that!

2. If your contacts have email addresses, ensure that the “email” field is populated before “email 2”. Similarly, ensure “email 2” is populated before using “email 3”. Once again, Outlook can allow you to have “email 2” without “email” being filled in, but Blackberries do not cope with this logic.

For more information on point 2, see this article to see how to scan your contacts for this issue.

Personally, I think RIM (Blackberry) should make their phone software more malleable and mirror the capabilities of Outlook. People use Outlook in all sorts of ways and RIM should take this into account.


Microsoft Outlook cannot open window

3 March 2010

I don’t know the cause yet, but I have had a lot of queries about Outlook 2007 not working in the last two weeks.

The error message is “Microsoft Outlook cannot open window”.

The solution is simple:

Click Start

In run type: Outlook.exe /resetnavpane

32 bit versus 64 bit

28 February 2010

Up until the release of Windows 7 in November 2009, most versions on Windows were 32-bit versions. This is now changing – 64-bit architecture is now becoming the common standard and that is a good thing.

64-bit can support more memory than 32 bit (which is typically limited to just 4 gigabytes of memory) – this is crucial since more computers of the future will roll-out with more memory. Also, 64-bit (given the right software) can perform more operations at the same time.

Although 64-bit computers could have been released more commonly with Windows XP, a lot of software did not support 64-bit so it was not practical. Fortunately this has changed and most popular software and devices (such as printers) will now support 64-bit. With the advent of Windows 7, a large number of computer / laptop manufacturers decided to roll out models with 64-bit and I generally recommend you try to go for this unless you are running some very bespoke software that will not support it.

Archiving 2009 emails!

28 February 2010

It has been more than three months since my last blog post, so I have a lot to catch up on!

In the new year I typically recommend it is time to archive those 2009 so that your Outlook or other email client is not too bloated. I often see Outlook PST files above 2 gigabytes – recently I saw one close to 10 gigabytes and although Outlook 2007 will support this, it is not sensible to let it get to this size for various reasons:

1. The bigger your main outlook pst file, the slower it will become.

2. The bigger your main outlook pst file, the more challenging it will be to backup

3. The bigger your main outlook pst file, the more likely it will generate errors

So why not put the 2009 emails (both inbox and sent items) in their  own PST file that is still easily accessible but will take some bloat away from the main pst file.

Below I am copying and pasting instructions I emailed blogged about last year:

1. Create a new outlook file (known as a pst). Give it a name like “Archive 2009”.
2. Once you confirm the creation of this pst file, a new folder should appear on the left hand side.
3. Right click on the new folder and select the option for “New Folder”. Create two new folders called “Inbox 2009” and “Sent Items 2009”
4. Ensure all emails in your inbox are sorted in date order.
5. Select three months of emails from 2009 in your main inbox emails. Do this by using the SHIFT key – which will select all emails in between the first email you select and the last. e.g. select first email from 1 January 2009 and then while holding shift, click on an email dated 1 March 2009.
6. Right click on the selection of emails and drag them all to the new folder you just created called “Inbox 2009” which will be on the left hand side. Select the move option. Note that this can take some time.
7. Repeat this procedure for the next three months of emails and so on. You may want to leave the last three months of you 2009 emails in your inbox for ease of reference.
8. Repeat steps 5 -7 for 2009 sent emails.
9. Finally it is essential to compact the original Outlook pst. In Outlook, right click on “Personal Folders” on the left hand side of the screen, then click on “properties”, then “advanced” and finally click on “compact now” (note that this could take a few hours but you can always stop and start another time).

that if compacting does not progress for some time, it may be necessary to run a scanpst.exe on your main pst file. Typically scanpst.exe can be found in a folder like C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12 and it can take some time to find and fix errors in your pst file. Just follow the process through. Typically, your outlook pst file will be stored in C:\Users\Gab\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook  (for vista or Windows 7 users) and in documents and settings for Windows XP users. You may need to unhide hidden files and folders to see these locations!
This should keep your outlook pst file smaller in size, healthier and easier to backup!
Happy archiving!