Error 12031 or Similar When Updating Quickbooks 2009

When updating Quickbooks 2009, I've had situations where the "Maintenance Releases" won't update. I get an error #12031 or similar error. Looking in google and the quickbooks sites gave some suggestions about making sure IE was my default browser (ugh!), making sure IE security settings were low enough, etc., but nothing helped. It was also suggested that you do the update manually, which I did, but that didn't fix the error when updates were tried again.

I finally figured it out!

Goofy Mouse Selection Issues with Excel 2003

I had a user ask me how to get out of a goofy Excel 2003 issue: the mouse cursor would move around, but it always acted like the left button was pushed so that it was constantly selecting cells. Other programs were not affected.

Here's what we tried as possible solutions, any one of which may work for you, but it was only the last one that did it for us:

Where Did My Outlook Email Addresses Go?

Some Outlook 2003/2007 users don't create contacts for their email addresses, they just use the "TO: cache" in the TO: box. This is where you can start typing a name and the email address shows up for you. This isn't a good idea because you can't easily remove entries from the cache (if they are wrong) nor is the file backed up or in a common place.

However, sometimes you have to deal with it. For instance, you might move someone from an old machine to a new one and they'll ask you, "where did all my email address goes?"

Here's how you find the cache file and move it to another computer:

  1. Quit Outlook.
  2. Click Start, and then click Search.
  3. In the Search Companion left-side panel, click All files or folders.
  4. In the All or part of the file name: box, type *.NK2.
  5. In the Look In box, click to select your local hard disk.
  6. Click More advanced options, click to select Search hidden files and folders check box.

Outlook 2003 Stops Displaying Images in Preview or E-mail Windows

Some day you may find that Outlook 2003 stops displaying images in preview or E-mail windows. It may have to do with the Outlook Temporary Items folder (OLK*). You just have to clear it out. Close Outlook before preceding.

  1. Locate the Outlook Temporary Items folder. You can find it by opening an attachment and seeing where it tries to save it to if you do a "Save As...". You can also find it by opening the Registry and finding HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook\Security. Double click on the OutlookSecureTempFolder key. Right click the Value Data field and select Copy. It should be in the form of %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\OLK6 where OLK6 is some randomly generated string that always starts with OLK. If you know the command line, you can open a command line window and do:
    cd "\%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\OLK*"
    and that will usually work, unless you have more than one OLK.

Problem with Embassy Wave Trust Suite on Dell D620

A few weeks ago, my finger scanner stopped working on my Dell D620 laptop. I use the Embassy Wave Trust Suite that came with the scanner on my laptop to login multiple times a day, but for some reason, probably a Microsoft automatic update, it stopped working.

When I finally had a few minutes to work on it, I downloaded the latest software from Dell and tried upgrading. That didn't work because I was going from an older version of the Suite and the newest version refused to go from 1.x to 2.x. So, I uninstalled the old version and started the install again. It ran for awhile, but right near the end, it threw the error:

"The Wave Installer could not install the prerequisite Wave Infrastructure. Reason: Could not run installer. Fatal error during installation."

Then it proceeded to roll back the entire software installation. There was an error in eventvwr.msc that reported:

Source: MsiInstaller
Type: Error
Event ID: 11722 is Awesome!

I've been using for over a year. Copilot is a website with two software download components that allows you to take over a remote computer and help the remote user with whatever issues they might have (at least as long as both of you can get connected to the internet).

I used it a little during the beta program in 2007 (or was it 2006?) 2005 and have used it many times since. Awhile ago, I found out that during weekends the service is FREE!

Here's how it all works...

Three Moves

“Methodical thinking is of more use in Chess than inspiration”
-- C. J. S. Purdy, chess International Master

A real chess player would laugh at the title of this chapter, but "thinking three moves ahead" is what I'm talking about with respect to managing IT. A great chess player is thinking about the entire game, not just in terms of three moves. They typically don't process the game like a computer would, first evaluating all possible legal moves, then ranking them, then ranking possible responses, etc. They see patterns and have previous games played or observed in mind as well as keeping the end game in mind.

Actually, I don't know what I'm talking about. I used to be a so-so player and now I'm terrible at it. What I do know is that when you work in IT and have decisions to make and work to do, keep in mind that you should be thinking at least "three moves ahead".

Carpe Diem

Tu ne quaesieris, scire nefas, quem mihi, quem tibi
finem di dederint, Leuconoe, nec Babylonios
temptaris numeros. ut melius, quidquid erit, pati.
seu pluris hiemes seu tribuit Iuppiter ultimam,
quae nunc oppositis debilitat pumicibus mare
Tyrrhenum: sapias, vina liques et spatio brevi —
spem longam reseces. dum loquimur, fugerit invida
aetas: carpe diem quam minimum credula postero.
Leuconoe, don't ask — it's a sin to know —
what end the gods will give me or you. Don't play with Babylonian
fortune-telling either. It is better to endure whatever will be.
Whether Jupiter has allotted to you many more winters or this final one
which even now wears out the Tyrrhenian sea on the rocks placed opposite
be smart, drink your wine. Scale back your long hopes
to a short period. While we speak, envious time will have {already} fled
Seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the future.
  Horace (23 BC)

"Carpe diem" is a latin term that translates to "seize the day". It is generally understood to mean, "take advantage of opportunties now, before time passes".

One of the skills any IT person should develop is an "eye for opportunity".

Client Gets Blacklisted By Their Customer's System, After Customer's System Sends Bad Emails!


the story of...

"The Amazing Bouncing Notification Emails!"

I have a client whose customer's Websense anti-spam server was blacklisting them. No amount of convincing would get the techs at my client's customer to whitelist my client.

That meant we had to figure out, with limited information, why we were getting blacklisted. The techs weren't very helpful. They just kept saying, our server is seeing your backscatter and you won't drop off until 24 hours after you stop spamming us...

The Golden Rule: Variations

"And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
-- Luke 6:31 (KJV)"

The "Golden Rule" is generally stated as, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you". As long as you are a relatively normal person, to treat others as you would want to be treated reflects your true character, puts your ethics into action, and makes the world a better place at the same time.

However, many people miss the logical extension of this rule. Don't just treat other people the way you want to be treated, "treat others as they would like to be treated."

The difference here is that, before you can treat people the way they want to be treated, you must put some thought into what the other person wants or needs. You can't just think about things from a self-centric point of view. You need to start thinking about things from the viewpoint of others. Walk a mile in another person's shoes.

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