Rick Hurst Web Developer in Bristol, UK


Category: windows

windows stuck in insert mode – vmware/apple keyboard

I’ve done this before – running windows XP in vmware fusion on a mac(book), using the an apple super thin usb keyboard, somehow accidentally get myself into insert mode. Following the keyboard mapping advice on the apple site got me nowhere, but eventually found the solution as a post in the vmware forum:-


“On my Apple USB keyboard, I found that the zero key on the keypad (that is, the wide 0 key to the left of the period key) toggles insert mode in Windows XP.

If pressing this key generates a zero instead, try toggling Num Lock. On my keyboard, the “clear” button (just above the 7 and just below the reduce-volume button) functions as Num Lock.”

archived comments

Hey man, I feel your pain!! (But me on Parallels!) Thanks for sharing!

Btw – i recognize that view of Tobacco factory garden in ur twitter background! i worked there last year 🙂

benjee 2009-01-30 11:07:51

On the Apple Macbook Pro the key combo for getting out of insert mode while using Parallels is “fn + m”. This would correspond to the zero key in num lock mode.

Sterling 2009-05-22 17:08:45

IIS, basic authentication, permissions and include file

Occasionally I have a problem to solve that burns some serious time and makes me doubt my ability in my chosen field, and this was one of them until a “eureka” moment a few minutes ago..

I had been struggling with using basic authentication (over https) with IIS to lock down access to a particular (classic) asp script. Not really an expert in windows permissions, I had been trying all sorts of combinations of folder and file permissions to get this to work, but I was getting a permission denied error whenever I tried to login using an account I had set up. After far too long and realising that I could get it to work with a plain text file, but not my asp file, I realised that my asp script had a load of include files which sat in a different folder, and I needed to give execute permissions for my trusted user to these too.

If only it hadn’t taken me something like eight hours to work that out, I might just be in bed now!

Recent windows update “monkeys” with Plone as service

A bit of an exaggeration maybe, but I thought I would blog this just in case anyone encounters the same problem. A client phoned yesterday to say that his Plone (2.0.5 on W2K3 server) intranet wasn’t working and could see that the python/zope service was not starting. As it had been running fine for months previously (albeit a bit of memory leakage), my first question was if anything had changed on the server. Other than windows updates, nothing had changed. Not being a windows expert and having burnt through hours trying to resolve a previous plone issue on their old windows server, I threatened to go over there and install vmware and give him a virtual machine running linux or FreeBSD to run the Plone intranet on. At that moment, the unix-phobic client spotted that where he had previously set the IIS https/ssl service to manual startup, the recent updates had reset it to automatic. This was stopping Zope binding to one of the ports (or something like that), hence the service failing on startup.

This was a fairly obscure, but it just goes to show that sometimes the mere mention of unix can sometimes solve windows problems 🙂

archived comments

Of course it monkeys with Plone! Plone is one of those software projects that makes Microsoft executives wet their pants!

Yaro 2008-07-24 18:46:56

freeSSHd – ssh and sFTP server for windows

Being as paranoid as ever I decided that normal ftp was too insecure for my windows server (particularly when developing using dreamweavers ftp-on-save on an open wifi network), so I am experimenting with freeSSHd, to provide me with an sFTP server. This appears to be right up my application, as it has a GUI for managing the users, home folder etc. and a nice easy button to press to start and stop it. It also runs as a windows service.

Mobile web and AJAX

I tried out a friends pocket pc (or is it windows mobile now?) smartphone recently – a cool little device with a slide out QWERTY keyboard (I think it was a variation of this htc device). It also had wifi support so I thought I would try to blog from it. However, he hadn’t got opera installed and the wordpress gui completely failed to work in pocket internet explorer. I’m sure there is a solution to this, but I was disappointed that the wordpress online admin didn’t gracefully degrade.

This is something to consider when designing web apps – whilst AJAX could potentially be used to provide huge usability enhancements to people using mobile web devices with small screens – the majority of people are going to be using windows mobile with pocket internet explorer – your app should work with no javascript support at all. and then be progressively enhanced with AJAX as a seperate consideration.

return of the mac

i’ve now gone full circle and am using my powerbook (plus second monitor, keyboard, mouse etc) as my main work machine. The windows laptop now sits on the edge of the desk so I can reach over for IE testing. Using windows as my main machine drove me mad. unexplained freezes, random system tray frenzied disco icon action, “insufficient ram” messages, despite me having over a gig of it and only using about 200mb of it. Flakiness.
Being back on the mac feels lovely, even if I do have to skate a couple of miles with it in my backpack to get it here. The battery now only gives me about 30mins – new one on order (wait, did I already blog that?).

Someone else here is using an intel mac mini with a stack of ram and parallels for windows testing. works a treat. need to distract them and steal it!

archived comments

I have new 24inch Intel Core2Duo Mac. Supersize me! Not about to skateboard it anywhere though. 🙂 Your old PC will gradually get shoved further along the desk and have phoned books stacked on it 🙂

Have you looked at SightSpeed as alternative to Skype ? I’m only on dial up but I can see it produces a far superior pic through the built in iSight camera. Video is a nonsense on dial up though.

I’ve been making use of mpeg Streamclip to convert stuff – brilliant little program and a freebie.

Judith Hall 2006-12-18 06:40:26

Initialise thunderbird spellcheck

As I have a fresh install of windows on my work laptop, I also have a fresh install of thunderbird. When I started using it, it was underlining everything I typed as if misspelled. It obviously wasn’t initialised or didn’t have a dictionary installed. I couldn’t see anything under options, so I tried installing an extra language to see if that would kick it into life. First mistake, I accidentally installed the language pack into firefox instead of thunderbird – make sure to read the instructions before installing, which does warn you of this -but I hardly ever read instructions.. Anyway that didn’t fix it.

What did get it working in the end was pressing the spellcheck button within a message compose window and choosing a language…

archived comments

Cheers Rick. I have just solved the same problem on my pc after finding this post. 🙂

Chris 2007-03-24 23:58:33

ubuntu on HP nx6110

I needed to reinstall windows on my work laptop as it was getting a bit sketchy and unreliable in that undefinable way, so I took the opportunity to repartition the disk and set it up as a dual boot machine, with ubuntu. I created a primary 15gb partition for windows and installed win xp in the usual way, then used the partitioning tools in ubuntu to create a 15gb partition for data (Ext3 to be shared between windows and linux, by installing these ext3 drivers in windows), and a 6gb partion for the ubuntu install. It all went fine, but the wireless card isn’t recognised by ubuntu. I’ve looked into it – apparently I can get it working using some windows driver voodoo that goes by the name of ndiswrapper. I haven’t tested how/if ubuntu handles sleep and dual monitors yet, but will do at some point.

archived comments

Did you ever get the Wi-Fi card to work?


Aris 2007-05-14 19:41:42

Yes I did, or rather I got someone else to get it to work – they had to download some firmware I think? I suspect a more recent version of ubuntu might make this easier as it allows you to install proprietary drivers, and the network select dailogue thing is working

Rick 2007-05-14 20:07:39

IE7 plays peekaboo to a new level

The first site i’ve had to fix for Internet Explorer 7 is our very own www.netsightmcc.co.uk (Netsight Metropolitan Colocation Centre – the website for our Bristol datacentre). It appeared that in IE7 RC1, none of the content of anything other than the homepage was visible. We were only alerted to this by a potential customer phoning up for more information, which the site seemed to be lacking.

The reason for this appeared to be an even more aggressive version of the so-called peekaboo bug found in IE6, although this site works fine in IE6. By applying a (hack) of a 1% height to a div that contained the missing content, it now appears to be working OK in IE7 RC1. I haven’t filtered this hack out into an IE7 specific stylesheet yet, but will if I spot any undesired side effects. Maybe there’s a better way of fixing this? Time will tell, or maybe a stranger will.