Internet Explorer Exploit. Update Now.

There’s a very super serious absolutely critical patch for Internet Explorer that you need to download right away. I usually (never?) blog about this type of thing, but this exploit is a rather serious exploit (they disabled Internet Explorer on all of our campus computers, which they’ve never done before). Anyway, Microsoft issued a patch today and I’m pleading with you to go and download it:\

Alternatively, you may consider downloading and using:
Mozilla Firefox:
Google Chrome:

If you already use Firefox or Chrome, you still should install the patch, just in case.

If you’re using a Mac, you’re okay and don’t need to do anything.


Opening the New Office Document Formats

Several months ago, I received a question about opening up an excel file:

why can’t i open this attachment?

is it an excel file? my mac doesn’t recognize it?

The attached file had a .xlsx extension and that was the giveaway.

When Microsoft introduced Office 2007 (and 2008 for the Mac), they revamped the formats for all of the Microsoft Office file types. To differentiate the new file types, they added an ‘x’ to the format. So anything that ends in ‘x’ (.docx, pptx, xlsx, etc) were created by the new version of Office.

Microsoft has released a knowledge base article about it: How to use earlier versions of Excel, PowerPoint, and Word to open and save files from 2007 Office programs.

They have also released a compatibility fix, at least for Windows-based machines: Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats

Update: You can also use this free online conversion utility: Zamzar

Transfer Contacts from/to Microsoft Outlook

A very good friend of mine wanted to know how to transfer contacts he kept in Outlook from one computer to another. Another thought is that you can export as a Comma Separated Values (Windows) file instead of a Personal Folder File (.pst) . You can then open the file up in Excel and delete the rows Bob doesn’t need/want. Save as a CSV again and Bob can then import that. Note: I created this walk-through based on Microsoft Outlook 2003. However, this method should also work for other versions of Outlook as well (excluding Outlook Web Access).


  1. Click File> Import and Export…
  2. Select Export to a file and then click Next >
  3. Select Personal Folder File (.pst) and then click Next >
  4. Select the Contacts folder and then click Next >
  5. Click Browse… and select the location where you want to save the file (I would suggest the desktop) and click OK.
  6. Set the options as you see fit, then click Finish.
  7. A window called Create Microsoft Personal Folders will come up. You can just click OK.
  8. Transfer file to Bob.


  1. After receiving file from Alice, click File> Import and Export…
  2. Select Import from another program or file and click Next >
  3. Select Personal Folder File (.pst) and then click Next >
  4. Click Browse… and select the file that Jeff gave you and click OK.
  5. Set the options as you see fit for importing regarding duplicates, then click Next >.
  6. Select the Contacts folder and click Finish.
  7. You may get an warning mentioning something about Unicode. You can disregard this warning and click OK.

Updated 12/19/2008: Please note: I actually don’t use Outlook 2007 (well, I don’t use any version of Outlook), so I can’t really help many of you. I do read every comment posted and if I know the answer, I’ll post it. You’re still welcome to post here and other may be able to help you, otherwise I’d suggest you call Microsoft for more support. If, by some miracle, this page is helpful to you, please consider making a donation to my coffee break fund.

Updated 8/5/2009: Please only send me an email if you are intent on hiring my services to help you.

Fighting with OneNote

I’ve been fighting with my computer all afternoon to try and get inking to work in OneNote 2007. I kept getting an error about OneNote needing Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 with Service Pack 2 in order to work. Well, I have the RC2 of Service Pack 3, so I was thinking that may have been the issue.

So I uninstalled SP3 (build 3311). That ended up screwing even more things up since it decided to basically uninstall all my drivers. So I rolled back using system restore to Monday. That got me back to where I was this morning: working but still no love on the OneNote inking.

I tried a couple of things I found on the internet, including Daniel Escapa’s trick of of running cd %ProgramFiles%\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Ink\
regsvr32 /s inkobj.dll
and trying to the KB900722 patch.

No joy.

I trying running the OneNote diagnostics tool.

Again, no love.

I finally break down and get ready to send an email to Microsoft support. I’m entering in my details and I notice that the inking panel is active again.

Figures. As soon as I try to contact Microsoft, the program works again. No rhyme or reason.

By the way, I seriously was thinking about just getting another computer. I have less then 2GB of free space left and things are starting to fail (such as the motherboard). Lenovo has an awesome Outlet site and I priced out a MacBook that would have been nice. Problem is, I don’t have have $1500 lying around. Although I suppose I could get a pretty penny for my current Tablet…maybe $500? So I guess I would only need $1000. I still don’t have it.

End of Sony Ban

Two years ago, I banned new Sony devices from my life. As of now, the ban is over.

It’s been an interesting two years. Justifying the ban to myself wasn’t hard, however when people would ask my opinion on a device I would have to explain to them why I was not recommending any Sony products. I’m not Consumer Reports, but I’m also not oblivious to the fact that many people look to me for guidance when making technology purchases.

I was hoping that the last two years would be a time for Sony to make amends with the people of Earth and promote healing.

I am sad to report that this has not happened. Just over one year ago today, Sony released the Playstation 3 with their new Blu-ray format. There was hope that it would be Sony’s saving grace and everyone knew what the stakes were. Sony is now number three in the console wars with Nintendo’s Wii and Microsoft’s XBox 360 duking it out for first. Many things led to the P3’s failure and I believe that Blu-ray and high prices were part of that formula for disaster.

Sony now has the option of having my business, but I doubt I will be buying anything from them soon.

Windows 3.11

In my attempts to procrastinate homework, I decided to relive some childhood memories and install Window 3.11. I’d forgotten how much of a pain in the ass it was to install it.

First, you need a boot disk. This is actually pretty easy to get, just head over to and pick the one you need. Then you need to fdisk and then format c:. These are the two critical steps that I always seem to forget, even Back in the Day™ when Windows 3.11 is what I actually used.

After that, it’s pretty easy. Pop in the MS-DOS disks and install that, then pop in Windows 3.11 disks and install that.

What amazes me is how fast it starts up. Including the BIOS, it takes 9.46 seconds to get into Windows. 9.46 seconds!!!

I’m going to try to get networking and Internet Explorer setup and installed…could be interesting.

For those who care, I’m doing this all in Virtual PC 2007.

I Remember: Goldeneye for N64

I remeber playing Goldeneye on the Nintendo 64. I think I first played during a lunch break at school in 6th grade. It was the game to play until Halo came out. I think it would be cool to make a version of the original Goldeneye for Xbox 360 with the original graphics, especially now that Microsoft owns Rareware.