OneDrive – Stop Auto Importing Photos

After an update on 12/22/2014 OneDrive started magically importing photos and videos from my iPhone (my Windows Phone is managed by Phone App for Desktop). Microsoft refers to the process as “Auto Save”. This is the second OneDrive update in a row where the change has silently occurred (or I missed it twice!).

Issue:OneDrive “Auto Saves” any new pictures or videos to a folder on your computer named after the phone or device you’ve connected. This change appears to happen after any of the recent 2014 OneDrive updates and happens without asking the end user for their preference. Specs in my case – Windows 7 with OneDrive version 17.3.1229.0918 and an iPhone 6 running iOS 8.1.2.

Solution: Change your AutoPlay settings.

  1. Right click the OneDrive icon in the Notification Area of your Taskbar
  2. Choose “Settings”
  3. Click the “Auto save” tab
  4. Click “go to AutoPlay Settings”
  5. Locate your phone under “Devices”
  6. Change the setting to your preference: Open Device to view files, ask what to do, import using Windows etc.

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Adrian Belew – Guitar Virtuoso

Adrian Belew was playing in bar & cover bands going seemingly nowhere and hitting thirty. Then Frank Zappa’s limo driver was asked for a live music destination in Nashville. They were covering the stones when Frank tuned in, stayed and made Adrian an offer.  Playing for Zappa opened doors and provided music industry schooling. From there Adrian played with Bowie and Eno. Then met David Byrne while touring with Bowie and ended up with the Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club. Then on to King Krimson, The Bears and recently with the Power Trio and Nine Inch Nails. The guitar virtuoso from Covington, KY coming to you all thanks to a limo driver…

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Remote Desktop – Black Screen

The Issue – Using Remote Desktop the remote screen turns black right after login. The issue appears to be caused by Screen Caching and accessing a system with different display resolution or RDP window sizes.

The Solution(s)

  1. While logged in at the black screen
    1. press CTRL + ALT + END  (or CTRL + ALT + FN + END). This will bring up Task Manager in most cases and you’ll immediately see the desktop.
    2. If only Task Manager appears try running Explorer: File > New Task > Explorer.exe
  2. Try connecting at a different resolution.
  3. Access the remote computers Computer Management or Services MMC and cycle the Remote Desktop Services service.


  1. Disable bitmap caching for your RDP connections
  2. Access the remote computer using consistent resolution – Full screen may help
  3. Confirm video drivers are up to date
  4. Confirm RDP account has full administrative rights on remote system


  1. 2012 Hotfix for “Black screen during a Remote Assistance session in Windows Vista, in Windows Server 2008, in Windows 7, or in Windows Server 2008 R2”  – Hotfix
  2. Disable Bitmap Caching
Remote Desktop Black Screen - Disable Bitmap Caching

Remote Desktop Black Screen – Disable Bitmap Caching

How to take a Screenshot – Lenovo X1 Carbon Adaptive Keyboard

Adaptive keyboard sounds cool right?  It does make for a very clean, uncluttered and easy to use keyboard. But it also makes accessing functions harder, more time consuming and without knowing the special hidden keys (see Lenovo video below) you’d be forgiven for thinking some functions were completely dropped.

Print Screen is a common function that appears to be missing. Print Screen for entire display captures (depending on your keyboard: Prnt Scrn, Prt Scn, Prt Scr)  or ALT + Print Screen for capturing just the active window or a dialog box (on many laptops a mini keyboards –  FN + ALT + Print Screen). These are fast, light and effective tools that we all know and love. But where are these screen capture key commands on the Lenovo adaptive keyboard!? They’re there, just hidden! Lets find them and check out some other commands and screen capture options – Welcome to Planet Lenovo!

Using the adaptive Keyboard

  • Press and hold the FN key, tap the T key for a full screen capture
  • Press and hold the FN key, the Alt key and tap T for an active window capture
  • See the Lenovo video below for all six hidden key commands
    • FN + B = break
    • FN + I = Insert
    • FN + K = ScrLk
    • FN + P = Pause
    • FN + S = SysRq
    • FN + T = PrtScrn

Using the Snipping Tool

  • Launch via FN + Scissors key, or via the Programs > Accessories menu , or search for it
  • Choose from the options: Free-form, Rectangular, Window or Full Screen

Using the On-Screen Keyboard

  • Search Programs for Keyboard & launch the On-Screen Keyboard
  • Click (or press on touch screen) the Alt + PrtScn keys

Hidden Keys! This video reveals the magic keys which work with FN on planet Lenovo.

Create Database Model From Existing Database – MySQL

In case I’m not the only one who had trouble figuring out how to create a Database Model from an existing Database using MySQL WorkBench.

Database – MySQL
Database Tool – MySQL WorkBench v 6.1
Documentation – Database Modeling using MySQL Workbench

Steps to create a Model of an existing MySQL Database

  1. Launch MySQL Workbench
  2. From the Home window click the > icon to the right of Models at the bottom of the Window
  3. Choose “Create EER Model from Database”
  4. The Reverse Engineer Database Wizard starts
    1. Connect to your DBMS (Local instance / TCP/IP in my case)
    2. Select Schema (the database you wish to model)
    3. Import the Table Objects
    4. Option “Place Objects on the Diagram” will auto generate the ERR diagram. If this doesn’t work for you run the wizard again and deselect then manually create the ERR Diagram via drag and drop of your tables.
  5. Save your model
  6. You can now add relationships and or modify tables
  7. That’s it !
Create Model From Existing Database

MySQL – Create Model From Existing Database


New Orleans – Frenchmen Street – Bourbon Street

Pics from two quick two night trips to New Orleans. I’d never visited, now twice in month for the NCTM and IRA conferences at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center. One over a weekend that had me missing my daughters return from School and Mothers day.

Bourbon Street was an experience as you’d expect. The mood, music, open containers, happy people and cobbled streets with beautiful old architecture reminded me of Dublin. The people delivered and I saw some excellent street music, great art and fun performers. The music in bars & clubs was very polished and packed with tourists enjoying a good time out… but I like to hear more than Lynyrd Skynrd, The Doobie Brothers and Aerosmith when in a land of great original music. When I travel I like my food, beverages and music local. If you’re with me then make the trek east down Bourbon Street (or Royal or Dauphine), through the French Quarter and onto Frenchman street for some local color and great music. It’s a great walk and you will be entertained, see some history and end with many options for good music and good times.

I also snuck in a quick 14 mile bike ride when I had two hours free – Buzz Nola – New Orleans bike rental gave me a great cruiser for the ride and the New Orleans City Park was an excellent destination.

New Orleans picture gallery

Windows Phone – Stop Facebook Birthday Reminders

Social Media integration on Windows Phone is excellent but can have some downsides. One issue I’ve experienced and heard others note is due to Facebook integration.

During installation of the Facebook app you’re asked to connect FB with your phone. This integrates Facebook with your People hub, calendar, photos, allows for FaceBook photos on the lock screen etc. This is an excellent Windows Phone feature but… the down side can be a lot, A LOT of Birthday reminders cluttering up your calendar and popping up reminders left and right.

Here are two ways to disable Facebook birthday reminders.

Disable Facebook Birthday Reminders

  1. Open your Windows Phone Calendar
  2. Open the Calendar options (three dots at lower right)
  3. Settings
  4. Uncheck Birthdays under Facebook

Disable all Birthday Reminders

  1. Open a web browser
  2. Log into the Microsoft Account used to setup your Phone
  3. Go to your Calendar
  4. Click the Gear icon at top right
  5. Uncheck Birthday Calendar

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Ghost Drop Down Menus – stuck on screen

Ghost drop down menu’s that stay on your screen until you reset your resolution, logout or reboot. At first you think – no problem, I’ll just ignore that. Then like a dripping tap on a quiet evening you find you’ve suddenly lost all focus to this little sliver on your screen and you cannot move forward until it is elminated! I’ve experienced this issue on and off over multiple versions of Windows on laptops & desktops with onboard integrated or massive discrete gaming  graphics cards with many different type of monitors, resolutions and setups.

My current setup that drove me to make this post: Lenovo T440p laptop running a  3.7ghz i7 4800MQ 6mb cache processor with 8gb ram, 256gb SSD and Intel 4600 HD Graphics card running on Windows 7 Enterprise pushing dual Lenovo 21.5″ 1920×1080 displays  via DVD-D cables.  That’s after having just come off of a Dell Latitude E6410 With a gigabyte NVidia graphics card driving a single monitor that also experienced the issue. This should get better with new OS’es, displays cards, drivers ram, memory and throughput pipes right? RIGHT!?

So how to fix this little monster of an annoyance?  Two methods presented here. The first removes the current ghost menu item, text or window but does not resolve the issue. The second resolves the issue, unfortunately by disabling rich UI features.

Solution #1 – Temporary fix to remove current Ghost menu, text or window items.

  1. Open a command prompt
    1. Click Start > type CMD > right click on CMD > choose Run As Administrator
  2. type: net stop uxsms
  3. type: net start uxsms

You can create a batch file to automate the above process

  1. Open Notepad (or download and install Notepad++)
  2. Enter these two lines
    net stop uxsms
    net start uxsms
  3. Save as FixGhosting.bat  (make sure the extension is BAT)
  4. Run any time you have a Ghost object by right clicking the file and choosing “Run As Administrator”

Soution #2 – permanently prevent Ghost menu’s, text or windows items.

  1. Click Start and type: Adjust the appearance
  2. Open “Adjust the Appearance and Performance of Windows”
    1. Alternate direct route:  Go to Control Panel > System > Advanced Settings >System Properties > Performance
  3. Turn off “Fade or slide” for both menus and ToolTips
  4. Turn off the “Fade out menu items after clicking”
Ghost Menus - Performance options fade

Ghost Menus – Performance Options – fade settings

Screen Menu Ghosting

Example Screen Menu Ghosting

Windows 8.1 Update 1

The mighty keyboard and mouse have roared and Microsoft has listened. Windows 8.1 Update 1 is out and has some (some!) nice changes for content creators and other non touch screen users. Most notable is that instead of forking the OS into mobile/touch & desktop/mouse + keyboard versions they’re detecting the hardware and adapting the experience appropriately. This is what should have happened from day one but I’ll assume ship dates and probably some star crossed  marketing folks who hallucinated a pot of gold at the end of the Metro Rainbow prevented logical decisions and implementations. Windows 8.1 was a glimmer of hope, Update 1 is a start, lets hope it continues.

This update requires windows 8.1 and the the install takes about 30 minutes. Available April 8th 2014 via Windows Update or download now: KB2919355

The update contains cumulative patches and other changes, but we’re here for these:

  • Default boot to desktop for non touch devices. 8.1 introduced boot to desktop as an option, update 1 detects your hardware and default boots to the desktop for non touch. Worked perfectly on my 4 year old Lenovo test laptop.
  • Desktop actions wont open Modern apps – YES!!! Now when you open an image you won’t be whisked off to a faraway land with no idea how to get back nor ability to navigate to the next image.
  • Other changes for desktop users – faster startup, improved battery life for laptops, better security (including Trusted Boot for UEFI systems), the File History automated backup and versioning utility, clearer task manager and file move dialogs, and the ability to mount disk image files as virtual drives.

What’s lacking and still needed? Here’s some reasons why Windows 7 is still gaining OS market share 18 months after the release of Windows 8.

  • Start Menu. Rumors are this is coming as a blend of Windows 7 and Windows 8 features and functionality. For now I still use Classic Shell and it rocks.
  • A rich UI for the desktop. I have a 24″ LED display and a gigabyte graphics card but I’m staring at horrid Windows 3.1 style dialog boxes, windows and applications. No rounded corners, no transparency, giant kludgy widgets, options and menus.
Windows 8.1 - Update 1

Windows 8.1 – Update 1

CS-Cart – Page Speed and Optimization

Some simple steps to reduce CS-Cart page load times.

Prep Steps

  1. Optimization references
    1. Best Practices for Speeding Up Your Web Site – Yahoo
    2. Optimize caching – Google
    3. Increasing Application Performance with HTTP Cache Headers – heroku
    4. Speed Up Sites with htaccess Caching – Ask Apache
  2. Image optimization tools
    1. PNGGauntlet (Win) or  ImageOptim (Mac)
  3. Test your website with a speed analyzer
    1. – Online speed analyzer
    2. YSlow – Website performance browser extension


  1. Backup your .htaccess file (located in the root of your CS-Cart install)
  2. Edit your .htaccess file
  3. Below the default CS-Cart code in your .htaccess file add rules for
    1. ETag – disable so we can control with Expires
    2. Expires – Set so browser caches
    3. Compression – compress to optimize

Example code that I’ve used to move my site from an 81 “B” YSlowscore to a 92 “A” score.

## -- Optimization -- ##
# Turn on Expires and set default to 0
ExpiresActive On
ExpiresDefault A0

# Disable ETag - force browsers to rely on your expires settings for caching 
Header unset ETag
FileETag None

# Set up caching on commonly updated files for 1 Month (far future)
<FilesMatch "\.(ico|pdf|flv|jpg|jpeg|png|gif|js|css|swf)$">
ExpiresDefault A2419200

# Set up caching on media files for 1 year
<FilesMatch "\.(flv|ico|pdf|avi|mov|ppt|doc|mp3|wmv|wav)$">
ExpiresDefault A29030400
Header append Cache-Control "public"

#Gzip - compress it!
<ifmodule mod_deflate.c>
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/text text/html text/plain text/xml text/css application/x-javascript application/javascript

Before and After YSlow test results

SPF records for Office 356

Some excellent resources if you’re hosting your own domain with Office 365. When doing so you’ll need to create a TXT SPF record for email. The SPF Generator Framework Wizard below was very helpful generating an SPF record that accounted for my webhost generated email (web forms) and email on 365 servers – 
v=spf1 ip4:xx.xx.xx.xx -all

Office 365 DNS – Details of External DNS records for Office 365 including SPF

Sender ID Framework SPF Record Wizard – Generate simple or complex records

Validate SPF – with these excellent SPF Record Testing Tools

IP Address – How to Designate an IP Address as Permitted Sender

Example DNS settings – SPF TXT record with IPV4 for my webhost and for user email: v=spf1 ip4:xx.xx.xx.xx -all

Exchange Hosted Email DNS Settings

Exchange Hosted Email DNS Settings

The most beautiful Derny Race you may ever see

The Legendary Lightness – World Full Of You (Official Videoclip)
Music by The Legendary Lightness
Directed and edited by Adrian Winkler
Photographed by Simon Huber and Mario Winkler
Color Grading by Christian Müller
Production: PiXiU Films, Laurin Merz
Supported by Migros-Kulturprozent

Windows Phone – Not Recognized by Windows 7

Twice within the first month of using the wonderful Nokia Lumia 1020 running Windows Phone 8 with the Black firmware update my computer has been unable to recognize the device using the standard Nokia USB cable connecting to Windows 7 on a desktop computer. Unfortunately I’ve been here before with multiple iPhones, Blackberries and even a Handspring Visor with various Windows OS’es and devices over the years. Windows has come a long way from the days of Windows 95/98 “plug and pray” but still occasionally struggles to recognize or support devices.

Issue:  I detached my phone from the cable in the morning and 10hrs later when reconnected nothing happened, for the second time in two weeks.  I check Device Manager and see a generic MTP USB Device icon in the Portable Devices group with a yellow exclamation mark. When I check the properties of the device it lists the issue as – USB Error This device cannot start (Code 10). Code 10 is a generic error indicating an issue with a device. Sigh….I’ve been here before and know it can be quick and easy, or I’m about to loose an hour or two.

Solution: Restarting the phone.
Yes indeed that’s what’s solved my issue twice now. Of course that’s not what I tried first, because, well why would the device generate what appears to be a OS Device driver issue? I went through the normal steps which you may need to as well if a restart doesn’t work.

If a phone restart doesn’t work, these are the standard steps for any USB device and are often the solution for phones, cameras and similar devices.

  1. Delete the Device, unplug the device and re-connect. If that doesn’t work try it again and reboot before reconnecting the USB device
  2. Delete the USB Devices – “WinUSB” for Windows phone, then Delete the “MTP USB” Device and reboot
  3. Delete the upper or lower filter keys for the device in the registry, see step 6 in the link below for details.


Windows phone USB device cannot start code 10

Windows phone USB device cannot start code 10