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dailyPostings, Free Software

Backup tools

Options abound nowadays for backing up files. For instance, with the one drive for Microsoft, you can drag and drop a copy of the file you work on your PC. Or when backup is needed because hard drive is fragile and will break from time time, most people just drag and drop the files onto an external disk or USB stick.

A better way exists, however, to perform these simple tasks. I found two backup tools which work great for backing up folders and any changed files, new files or deleted files in a folder. These two program, one for window and another one for Mac, work basically the same. Once I set up the pairs to copy files from one folder on my PC/Mac, and onto another folder on the external hard drive, each time I need to update or backup, I connect the external drive, and hit run. The program will perform the checking and updating. No matter how many files I have changed on my PC/Mac, the files will be updated or backed up on the external hard drive. No select, copy and drag any more.

For Windows, it is Synctoy, made by Microsoft and free to download. Setup is easy and after the installation, the only thing you need is to tell the program which folders on your PC to back up to which folder on the external drive.

For Mac, it is called Silver Keeper made by Lacie, also free. It works basically the same as the Windows program: you pair and run, and the program takes care of the rest.


Technology and its role in closing the justice gap

The points raised by this piece that technology makes it affordable for middle class people to gain access to justice by empowering them to make deals on their own which in turn can encourage more cooperation and lessen the litigious environment may or may not be true, but there is no denying that technology definitely makes knowledge and legal templates widely available online and can be at the finger tips if you know how to find it and critically, how to use it.


A few useful tips and tricks for the upcoming semester

1. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to remove password protection of a PDF document so you can edit it, use this easy to use online site: All you need to do is to upload the locked PDF and then download the unlocked PDF.

2. In Follow Me Print, students can upload a document anywhere online and then print the documents on any of the public printers. The potential problem is that if they need to print the document on single sided not the default double sided printing, it can not be be done. There is no option to set single sided printing. The option available on the printer itself is disabled even if you can set that option. The only way around is either to put the file on a stick and then print it out at one of the public computers or you print the document out on your own printer, but you have to map a printer to the follow me printer. The steps to accomplish the later: a. in windows, under run, type: \\ust-pm2p and the enter; b. choose the FollowMeBlack (\\ust-pm2p). Now when you print to the followmeBlack printer, you can define the print options.

2a. You might ask that if I can print to the pm2p, I can definitely print to the physical printer, so why the bother? No answer. I am still try to figure it out myself.

3. Lastly, for the just completed exam sessions for last semester, we experienced a lot of Examsoft problems, for PCs. Some of the problems include: PC failed to start, wifi failed to connect, restart button missing, etc. etc… I have been successful in restoring the computers with the help of Examsoft support. If you continue to experience problems with your PC, feel free to come and talk to me. You have reasons to be mad, not at me though.


PDF problems between Mac and PC and Macro Assignment of Word in Mac

Mac’s Preview program can edit PDF, such as filling in form field in a PDF document, but it keeps the form field as hidden element in the document. If you later open the same PDF on a PC, the form field will display both the hidden form field information as well as the text one enters into the form field, so you end up with a jumbled display. The fix is easy, but is hidden so deep that can elude most average users of Adobe Acrobat program. If the document contains hundreds of form fields, to fix each form field is a painful process.

The fix is: to click on remove all hidden fields on the right pane of the PDF screen. The form fields will then be detected and displayed in the left pane. Select all the form fields in the form fields pane, not the document pane and right click to show the properties. Change the color to whatever color you like under Appearance, say red, and then change back to its original color, most likely black. This will fix the display problem, weird but true. Three clicks is worth tens or dozen hours of work.

On a totally different topic: assign a shortcut key to a macro. In PC, it is under options and customize and then customize keyboard, and then find the macro and select the macro you want to assigne a new shortcut key. In Mac, it follows a different path. It is under Tools and then customize keyboard. From there, it is the same as PC.


Problems encountered in launching Office 365

Office 365 follows the footsteps of all other cloud computing or Software as a Service approach. Theoretically this could work well that your Word documents will follow you and it makes no difference if you work on a Mac or PC, in Minnesota or Mongolia. But my experience in encouraging faculty/staff members to adopt this Office 365 has some unexpected surprises, most of them bad which caused hesitation on my part to push for its adoption.

Surprise No. 1: Once installed, and next time you use it, despite the fact that you have already activated the product, it still asks you to activate it. It usually is not a problem if the computer is connected on the network. If the network connection is off, it will fail the activation.

Surprise No. 2: Even if activation is completed the first time a Word document is opened, the next time the document is opened and when the computer is not connected online, Word automatically make it a read only copy, with no savings, or other editing tools available. Frustrating for a faculty/staff who needs to work on a paper and no internet connection comes handy.

Surprise No. 3: If you work on Mac, the laptop will continually ask you to provide the key chain password which most people probably forget about it long time ago ad there is no way to get rid of the persistent prompting of this need for key chain password.

More surprises to follow.


Test the requests from student government

Student government wants a forum where:
1. comments are anonymous
2. only visible to the student government members

Here is the test:

Enter comments below. Expected: should not be visible to the public.

[Test result]Success and it is a go.