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how to do technology in ten moves. (or less.) A Loose Wire production

How to Use Google Reader Offline

Web-based newsreader Google Reader now works offline, thanks to Google Gears, a plug in which promises offline usage of Google’s web-apps.

1. Go to Google Gears and download the installer:

Ggears1

2. Close all browser windows you have open and restart the browser. Open Google Reader.

3. A dialog box will pop up:

Ggears2

Click on the box and Allow.

4. The Reader will load (taking a little longer than usual) and you’ll see another message in the top right hand corner:

Ggears3

5. Clicking the green arrow will begin the download of 2,000 items:

Ggears4

I‘m not sure why 2,000, and which 2,000; there doesn’t seem to be any way to configure what is downloaded and what isn’t.

6. Once the download is complete you will see the following dialog box (If the download gets stuck click Cancel and then cilck on the green arrow again):

Ggears8

7. Thereafter you can browse as you would with Google Reader online (the 2,000 collected seem to be the most recent from each feed.)

8. To go back online just click on the green arrow again.

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Filed under: medium

How to Fix iTunes Ordinal 21 Error

Anyone having problems installing iTunes 5.0 (or later versions) and encountering the error message 

The ordinal 21 could not be located in the dynamic link library MAPI32.dll

might try the following. It worked for me:

1aLocate Fixmapi.exe (it’s usually in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. More details here and here

Two

Run it (double click on it).

3Not much visible will happen but next time you load iTunes you should not have any problems.

(This originally appeared on the Loose Wire Blog.)

Filed under: medium

How to Fix a Broken Installation File

If you have problems ni Windows 2000 or Windows XP installing a driver, with the folllowing error message:

The required section was not found in the INF

this might save you hours of fiddling around. In this case it happened with my vodafone/Globe Trotter 3G PCM card but I’ve seen people with scanners, printers etc experience the same problem. Basically the drivers won’t install, and that’s that.

1. Open your C:\Windows\Setupapi.log file, and look around for the “INF” reference. You should see something like

#E067 Could not locate section [ClassInstall32].
#E142 Class: {4D36E971-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}. Install failed. Error 0xe0000101: The required section was not found in the INF.

This tells you the section that is missing in the installation file. So now you need to find that file.

2. Go back up the log and see what INF file (a file with the last three letters, after the period, as inf, like c:\windows\inf\oem126.inf.)  

3. That’s the file that’s causing the problems. Open the file in notepad (in some cases you can do this simply by pasting the full path and file name into Start/Run. Sometimes this won’t work.

4. Save a backup of the file in question.

5. Then in the original, add a section with the name of the missing section. In my case: 

 [ClassInstall32]

6. Save the INF file. Close it, remove the hardware and connect it again. Keep your fingers crossed. Now the installation should proceed normally.

(Here’s where I got some information for this from. An earlier version of this was posted on the Loose Wire Blog.)

Filed under: medium

How to Recover Firefox Bookmarks

If you’re using Windows XP, recovering from a crash or whatever, and find that your Firefox bookmarks (and bookmarklets and bookmark toolbar) have disappeared, here’s what to do:

1. Find your profile in c:\Documents and Settings\[your XP user name]\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles

2. There should be a subfolder there called bookmarkbackups. Find the most recent bookmarks html file in there (usually with a date after the ‘bookmarks’ bit.

3. Copy it to somewhere safe and rename the existing one bookmarks.html.

4. Copy it to the default profiles folder (up one level from the bookmarkbackups folder, deleting the existing bookmarks.html file.

5. Close Firefox if it’s running.

6. Run Firefox. Your old bookmarks should be restored.

(And, while I’m at it, here’s a solution if your Firefox browser refuses to remember any of your changed settings in toolbars etc when you close it, resetting everything back to what it was before. The same bug — likely to be fixed soon — also deletes your search engines in the search box to the right of the address box. This fix will fix both problems:

  • Locate the localstore.rdf file in the same place as above.
  • Delete it.
  • Restart Firefox. You should be good to go. Thanks, GreenKri.)

(An earlier version of this guide can be found at Loose Wire Blog.

Filed under: hard

How to Add a Photo to an Outlook Contact From the Web

It’s easy enough to add a photo to an Outlook contact if you’ve got all of their mugshots on your computer. But what happens if you don’t? Here’s how to quickly add a photo to a contact from the Web (Windows only):

1. Create a subfolder in your My Pictures folder called ‘headshots’.

2. Search for the person’s picture on the Internet (Google images is probably best. Use the person’s name and company/organisation to narrow down the search.)

3. Select a picture and open the page. 

4. Click on the ‘see full-sized image’ link.

5. Open the person’s contact in Outlook.

6. Click on the ‘Add Contact Picture’ button:

Outcon1

7. Click through to the ‘headshots’ folder you created earlier.

8. Drag the photo from your browser into the headshots folder window. The photo should appear in that folder. (This won’t work in Opera.)

9. Click on the name of the folder and rename it to the contact’s name:

Outcon2

10. Select the photo and click OK. The photo will now appear in the contact’s photo box.

 

Filed under: medium

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