Word documents are really ZIP files!? How to extract photos from a Word doc

Did you know that a Word document is really just a ZIP file presented as a .docx? Give it a try by renaming a .docx to .zip and you’ll see you can open it and see the contents.

I needed to extract several images from a Word doc and by doing this you will find a Media folder in the zip file that contains the original images (that Word may have compressed).

Credit to http://www.thewindowsclub.com/extract-images-word-document for the tip


.NET Framework 3.5 doesn’t install. Windows 10 – Error code: 0x800F081F

After mulitple tries at getting error code 0x800F081F when trying to install .NET Framework 3.5 (and downloading the associated files for 2.0 and 3.0) on Windows 10, I was finally able to get it working.

Go into RegEdit and locate the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU folder. Double click on UseWUServer(UseWindowsUpdateServer) and change the value to 0.  If the value is already 0 this fix may not work for you. I had to reboot and then try to install .Net again, then it worked.

Via https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/vstudio/en-US/4ea808e7-c503-4f99-9480-aa8e6938be3d/net-framework-35-doesnt-install-windows-10-error-code-0x800f081f?forum=netfxsetup 

A guide to Amazon Fire TV, Kodi, MythTV, and Mythbuntu

It looks like Kodi (formerly XBMC) is the best possible media center platform available today. The big question is what hardward to run the application on. After trying out a Matricom (insert link)  and not being happy with the overall user interface and apps from the Google Play store that were made for a touch screen device, I decided to try running Kodi on an Amazon Fire TV (2015).

Out of the box the UI is great. There are many popular apps available directly from the Amazon Fire TV app store and easy access to Amazon Prime videos. All the supported apps and UI work perfectly with the included and simple to use remote.

One of the easiest and best ways to install Kodi and control your Fire TV is by using the Fire Starter app (link). Once you have Fire Starter installed it is easy to install and keep Kodi updated with one click.

After installing Kodi, you will want to take advantage of the many available add-ons. One of the easiest ways is by installing many add-ons with a single click from a zip file, like the method from tvaddons.ag (link).

MythTV and Mythbuntu

If you really want the best experience of live tv, it is highly recommended setting up a PVR backend like MythTV. Doing this will give you access to over the air live live TV from your antenna with multi-room DVR capabilities. This setup guide will be extremely helpful in setting up a MythTV Backend with tv guide listing data via Schedules Direct (Link to setup guide).

I chose to install Mythbuntu which is a version of Ubuntu Linux that has MythTV already installed and ready to go. I had first installed Mythbuntu 14.04.2 32 bit but later decided I should have gone 64 bit. I decided to do a fresh install but repeatedly received mysql database errors while trying to configure a clean install of Mythbuntu 16.04 64 bit. I then tried Mythbuntu 14.04.2 64 bit and everything worked on the first try. Even doing the upgrade to v16 through the automated software updater after installing v14 caused major issues for me (mysql and permission errors).

When installing the OS from the ISO files, I found that Rufus was a fantastic tool for easily creating bootable USB drives instead of burning installation DVDs.


Additional Links

Images in Outlook are Blurry After Sending

I recently had an issue when I would embed an image in Outlook and it would look great. However, after sending the email the image became noticibly blurry and pixelated. I tried using the image as both .jpg and .png and neither worked.

I then came across this article http://www.howto-outlook.com/faq/unsharpimages.htm which solved the issue. The short answer is that the image needs to be created at 96 dpi because Outlook will reformat it to 96 dpi anyway. If it is not already at 96 dpi then it will become distorted. Check out the more detailed explanation below.

This issue usually happens when you are using a picture other than 96dpi.

When inserting a picture, Outlook will rescale the image as if it was a 96dpi image. This means that if you have a picture of 150dpi with a height of 88px, it will be displayed as an image of 56px high;
88px/150dpi * 96dpi = 56px

It even gets worse; upon sending, Outlook will convert and compress (re-render) the images to 96dpi with the new dimensions permanently! This means that all the “detailed” picture information is lost and you’ll be sending an image of 96dpi which is 56px high. This is of course a severe and very visible quality loss.

If your picture is less than 96dpi, then the opposite happens. A picture of 88px high with a dpi of 32 would then result in a 96dpi image of 264px high. So the result will be a very large image (but this time you can resize it back without the image becoming blurry).

This is a long outstanding issue/function/design choice which goes back all the way to Word 6.0 from 1993.

While this issue might not be a real issue when inserting pictures (which are usually too big anyway), it will become an issue when you have a carefully designed graphic to be used in a newsletter or signature; quality loss and unexpected changes in graphic sizes is not what you want then.

Excel Password Remover

If you have ever forgotten or needed to unlock an Excel document but forgot the password, here is an easy fix.

Straxx has provided a simple plugin that will run a VBA script that will crack and remove the password from any protected sheet or workbook. Just download the add-in, open it, then open your excel file and look under the Add-Ins tab for options to unprotect the sheet or workbook.


Check it out at http://www.straxx.com/free-excel-password-remover-2012/.

Pro Tip: Use Google Calendar “Sync Select” to choose the calendars that are available on your mobile devices (now includes sports schedules)

I’ve been a long time HUGE fan of Google Calendar but for several years there has been one limitation that bothered me. Google give you a great easy to use interface for adding other interesting calendars (including just about every sports team you can think off, except NCAA lacrosse) but you were not able to view these calendars on your mobile devices.

They have now removed that block and by going to https://www.google.com/calendar/syncselect you can now choose which of your Google calendars are available to see on your iPhone.

Cleaning out my bookmarks

I was recently cleaning out some old bookmarks and came across some hidden gems I haven’t used in a long time but wanted to jot down before clearing them out.

Netwrix Automatic Password Expiration Alert Emails for Active Directory

As part of my job as a network admin we are constantly running into the issue of users letting their passwords expire (no thanks to Windows 7’s terribly small password reminder pop up that can easily be missed). I had been looking for an automated solution that would email users a warning that their password was going to expire, hoping that it would serve as a more obtrusive reminder.

I found several complex powershell scripts that could be properly configured to tap into an email server to get this working, but I wanted something easier that would not be a pain to support. I finally came across Netwrix Auditor which has a component that does just what I had been looking for.  Continue reading

Pro Tip: Print Presenter Notes with Multiple Slides on One Page from PowerPoint

This is the best kept secret in PowerPoint. Being able to print your presenter notes with slides (with multiple slides per page) seems like an obvious feature that Microsoft left out…however it is there (it’s just hiding).

In PowerPoint 2010 go to File > Save & Send > Create Handouts. Then choose Notes next to slides on the prompt. This will convert the PPT to a Word document with the notes next to the slides with three slides to a page.

Continue reading