Outlook and Fiddler Problem

Last week, my company updated Outlook on all PCs. After that, on my PC, Outlook couldn’t connect with the Exchange server. It’s been caused by Fiddler starting before Outlook and meddling with the LAN settings in the internet options.

I didn’t find a real solution to this connection problem.

A workaround goes like follows:

  1. Make sure that Fiddler starts some seconds after Outlook. If you are autostarting both, you can reach this easily with a small batch file like this to start fiddler:
    timeout 10
    start fiddler.exe
    
  2. That’s not all, though. After awakening the PC from sleep mode, Outlook is disconnected again. I’ve written a small batch file to close both Outlook and Fiddler and restart them again. Whenever I wake the PC up, I need to run this batch file.

@echo off
rem Need to use taskkill here. With pskill, fiddler wouldn't restore 
rem LAN settings and then Outlook could not connect when starting. 
taskkill /IM fiddler.exe
taskkill /IM outlook.exe
start outlook.exe
echo .
echo Soon fiddler will be started ...
timeout 7
start fiddler.exe

If anybody who reads this found a better solution, I’m quite interested!

Keyboard Gone Crazy on Fujitsu Siemens Lifebook

How to Switch off the Number Block on a Fujitsu Siemens Lifebook S7220 or 7210

Somebody at Siemens or Fujitsu had the fantastic (not) idea to put something like a fake number block onto their notebooks.

You won’t ever need it. But you’ll accidentally switch it on and then you’re helpless. Some of your keys around k,l,o then will just not print k,l or o but 2,3,*,/ and 5.

123 instead of jkl and 56* instead of iop and so on.

You’ll doubt your senses are working correctly. You’ll think you should have stopped taking those pills long ago.

But your brain and your senses are working fine. The problem is, you’ve switched on accidentally the F*ck Fake Number Block.

At first you won’t know that you’ve switched on the number block, as you never knew of its existence. You’ll just see that the keyboard on your Lifebook has gone bat shit crazy.

You can switch it off by pressing the Fn key, releasing it and then pressing the Num Lock key. Pressing Fn and Num Lock together won’t work.

Bash, Awk on Windows: Git-Bash and ConEmu

Every developer who has worked for some time on Linux or another Un*x system will miss the bash, some of the other unix tools like find, cat, grep and awk and a decent console bitterly.

There are several ways how to get some of the unix power back to windows.

  • Cygwin. It is sometimes a bit complicated to install and handle and there are often problems with line endings. I have used this but never was really totally content.
  • MinGW, MSYS and MSYS2. I have never used them and cannot tell much about them.
  • Git-Bash and ConEmu. Lately I have detetcted these tools and it seems they are working quite well. In this post, I’ll go a bit deeper on them. Git-Bash is a version of mingw32, as far as I know.

Git Bash

Git is a well known source control system. And its installation kit for windows contains bash, awk, grep, find and several other unix tools. So even if you don’t want to use git on your windows machine, you can install this package. It is free software.

Installation (with Git 1.9.5 from 2015/03/19) goes like this:

  1. Download the git package for windows.
  2. Run the installer.
    • Install it to tools/Git. Next.
    • Leave away Windows Explorer integration. Do not associate file endings. Next.
    • Do not create a start menu folder. Next.
    • Use Git from Git Bash only. (Other options didn’t work as intended anyway.)
    • Next. Check out Windows-style, commit Unix-style line endings.
    • Next. Wait. Finish.
  3. Create a home directory for your unix tools where you like it. Create an environment variable called HOME pointing to this directory.
  4. Add to your PATH environment variable the directory C:/tools/Git/bin.
  5. Into the directory pointed to by HOME, put a .bashrc with some aliases.
  6. Make sure that your .bashrc contains this line:
    PATH=/bin:$PATH
    This makes sure that the bash tools find and sort are in the PATH before the windows tools with the same names.
  7. Set the Double Commander terminal command to C:/tools/Git/bin/bash.exe.
  8. Done and works. Now you’ve got a usable bash with pipes and filters, awk, find, grep etc available.

ConEmu

ConEmu is a very fine terminal emulator. Download the ConEmu portable package. It’s got dozens of settings and it can be used for any consoles on windows, not only the bash. E.g. it can be used with the ordinary cmd, too.

Here is how to install it:

  1. Download the portable version of ConEmu.
  2. Extract it beneath the Git directory, to C:/tools/ConEmu.
  3. Run ConEmu.exe or ConEmu64.exe, depending on your system. Delete the other one.
  4. Select as settings location C:/tools/ConEmu/ConEmu.xml
  5. As startup task select {Bash::Git bash}.
  6. Done. Now you’ve got a nice looking console window with your git-bash inside. And for the occasional case you still need a cmd console, you can start this also inside ConEmu.
  7. And the best, you have all these things in the console you’ve missed your whole life:
    • You can copy text to the clipboard by just marking it.
    • You can insert text by typing Ctrl-v. Yes, really. No need to Alt-Space-Edit-Paste.
    • You can resize even the width of the window by dragging at the corner. Shocking.
    • ConEmu remembers its position and size and reopens at the previous place
    • There are dozens of other settings and possibilities for configuration with which you can play if you’d like to.
  8. Set the Double Commander terminal command to:
    C:/tools/ConEmu64.exe -here

000005

I’ve got the idea of combining ConEmu with Git on Windows from this post.

Things I like to have in my .bashrc:

PATH=/bin:$PATH

alias cd='pushd'
alias -- -='popd'

alias ..='cd ..'
alias ...='cd ../..'
alias ....='cd ../../..'

alias ls='ls -ACF'
alias ll='ls -l'

alias no='notepad++'

How to Move Thunderbird to Another Computer

It is very similar to moving Firefox to another Computer.

  1. Run a new installer of Thunderbird on the new computer, in this case 38.1.0. On my old computer I had in use version 31.7.0
  2. Locate the Thunderbird profile folder on the old computer. For this, open menu-help-troubleshooting information-profile folder-show folder.
  3. The content of your profile folder will be shown in an explorer. The name of the folder will probably something cryptic like 6wm13muk.default and the location somwhere below AppData.
  4. Locate the Thunderbird profile folder on the new computer.
  5. Close Thunderbird and empty the profile folder on the new computer.
  6. Copy the content of the profile folder from the old PC into the profile folder on the new computer.
  7. Done. This worked perfectly for me. All settings, connections, mails and addresses all the addons with all their settings are used on the new computer now.

Time needed: 5 minutes for finding the solution on the internet, 5 minutes for executing it. Next time I’ll be 5 minutes faster :-)