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Installing IIS 7.5 on Windows 7 from the Command Line

by Steve Syfuhs / July 25, 2010 04:00 PM

This is more of a place for me to store something I use fairly often, but can never remember off the top of my head.  This script, when run as administrator, will install all the features of IIS for developing on Windows 7.  Mind you, this is the prettified* version so it’s web-readable.

START /WAIT DISM /Online /Enable-Feature
/FeatureName:IIS-ApplicationDevelopment
/FeatureName:IIS-ASP
/FeatureName:IIS-ASPNET
/FeatureName:IIS-BasicAuthentication
/FeatureName:IIS-CGI
/FeatureName:IIS-ClientCertificateMappingAuthentication
/FeatureName:IIS-CommonHttpFeatures
/FeatureName:IIS-CustomLogging
/FeatureName:IIS-DefaultDocument
/FeatureName:IIS-DigestAuthentication
/FeatureName:IIS-DirectoryBrowsing
/FeatureName:IIS-FTPExtensibility
/FeatureName:IIS-FTPServer
/FeatureName:IIS-FTPSvc
/FeatureName:IIS-HealthAndDiagnostics
/FeatureName:IIS-HostableWebCore
/FeatureName:IIS-HttpCompressionDynamic
/FeatureName:IIS-HttpCompressionStatic
/FeatureName:IIS-HttpErrors
/FeatureName:IIS-HttpLogging
/FeatureName:IIS-HttpRedirect
/FeatureName:IIS-HttpTracing
/FeatureName:IIS-IIS6ManagementCompatibility
/FeatureName:IIS-IISCertificateMappingAuthentication
/FeatureName:IIS-IPSecurity
/FeatureName:IIS-ISAPIExtensions
/FeatureName:IIS-ISAPIFilter
/FeatureName:IIS-LegacyScripts
/FeatureName:IIS-LegacySnapIn
/FeatureName:IIS-LoggingLibraries
/FeatureName:IIS-ManagementConsole
/FeatureName:IIS-ManagementScriptingTools
/FeatureName:IIS-ManagementService
/FeatureName:IIS-Metabase
/FeatureName:IIS-NetFxExtensibility
/FeatureName:IIS-ODBCLogging
/FeatureName:IIS-Performance
/FeatureName:IIS-RequestFiltering
/FeatureName:IIS-RequestMonitor
/FeatureName:IIS-Security
/FeatureName:IIS-ServerSideIncludes
/FeatureName:IIS-StaticContent
/FeatureName:IIS-URLAuthorization
/FeatureName:IIS-WebDAV
/FeatureName:IIS-WebServer
/FeatureName:IIS-WebServerManagementTools
/FeatureName:IIS-WebServerRole
/FeatureName:IIS-WindowsAuthentication
/FeatureName:IIS-WMICompatibility
/FeatureName:WAS-ConfigurationAPI
/FeatureName:WAS-NetFxEnvironment
/FeatureName:WAS-ProcessModel
/FeatureName:WAS-WindowsActivationService

*Interesting that “prettified” is a word according to Live Writer.

A Trip to the Microsoft Store

by Steve Syfuhs / January 03, 2010 04:00 PM

While I was in California last week I decided to visit the new Microsoft Store in Mission Viejo.  While there, the managers graciously allowed me to take pictures of the store.  Frankly, they probably thought it was a little creepy.  But nevertheless, they said go for it, and I did.

Now, Microsoft did one hell of a job making it known that the store existed while I was at the mall.  While I was grabbing coffee in the food court, these stickers were on each table:

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Following that, as you head towards the store you see two large LCD screens in the centre of the walkway.  On one side you have a Rock Band - Beatles installation running XBox 360 over HD.

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On the other side was a promotional video.

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Microsoft designed their store quite well.  Large floor to ceiling windows for the storefront, with an inviting light wood flooring to create a very warm atmosphere.  While there were hundreds of people in the store, it was very welcoming.

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Along the three walls (because the 4th is glass) is a breathtaking video panorama.  I’m not quite sure how to really describe it.  It’s as if the entire wall was a single display, running in full HD.

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In the center of the store is a collection of laptops and assorted electronics like the Zune’s.  There’s probably a logical layout, perhaps by price, or performance.  I wasn’t paying too much attention to that unfortunately.

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At the center-back of the store is Microsoft’s Answers desk.  Much like the Apple Genius Bar, except not so arrogant.  Yes, I said it.  Ironically, the display for customer names looked very iPod-ish here, and in the Apple Store, the equivalent display looked like XP Media Center.  Go figure.

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One of the things I couldn’t quite believe was the XBox 360 being displayed overlay the video panorama video.  The video engine for that must have been extremely powerful.  That had to be a 1080P display for the XBox.  As a developer, I was astonished (and wondered where I could get that app!)  A few of the employee’s mentioned that it was driven by Windows 7.  Pretty freakin’ sweet.

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Also in the store were a couple Surfaces!  This was the first time I actually had the opportunity to play with one.  They are pretty cool.

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And that in a few pictures was my trip to the Microsoft store.  There was also a couple pamphlets in store describing training sessions and schedules for quick how-to’s in Windows 7 that I walked away with.

Microsoft did well.

Deleting Temporary Internet Files from the Command Line

by Steve Syfuhs / November 22, 2009 04:00 PM

A quicky but a goody.  Sometimes you just need a quick way to delete temp files from IE.  In most cases for me its when I’m writing a webapp, so I’ve stuck this in the build properties:

RunDll32.exe InetCpl.cpl,ClearMyTracksByProcess 8
RunDll32.exe InetCpl.cpl,ClearMyTracksByProcess 2
RunDll32.exe InetCpl.cpl,ClearMyTracksByProcess 1
RunDll32.exe InetCpl.cpl,ClearMyTracksByProcess 16
RunDll32.exe InetCpl.cpl,ClearMyTracksByProcess 32
RunDll32.exe InetCpl.cpl,ClearMyTracksByProcess 255
RunDll32.exe InetCpl.cpl,ClearMyTracksByProcess 4351

It doesn’t require elevated permissions, and has been tested on Vista and Windows 7.  Each command deletes the different types of data: temp files, stored form info, cookies etc.  Enjoy.

Free e-book: Windows 7 troubleshooting tips

by Steve Syfuhs / October 26, 2009 04:00 PM

Originally found on the Microsoft Press blog…

Free e-book: Windows 7 troubleshooting tips

Mitch Tulloch, a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional and lead author of the just-published (and hot-selling) Windows 7 Resource Kit (Microsoft Press, 2010; ISBN: 9780735627000; 1760 pages), has created a short e-book called “What You Can Do Before You Call Tech Support.” Here are the opening paragraphs:

Your sound card has stopped working, your computer seems sluggish, the network is down, your hard drive is clicking, you can’t view a website, your monitor is hard to read, your new webcam isn’t working, your favorite program won’t run, and a funny burning smell is coming from your computer. What can you do on your own to try to troubleshoot the issue before you pick up the phone to call tech support?

If you’re running Windows 7, quite a lot. Microsoft has included a lot of self-support tools in Windows 7 that you can try using before you seek the help of others, and we’ll examine these in a moment. Then there are the tools you were born with—your five senses (see, hear, smell, taste, touch) and most importantly your brain. And by brain I’m including your memory, experience, and capacity for logical reasoning. Finally, there is ancient and sacred lore passed on in secret from Master to Disciple over the millennia. We’ll see shortly how your brain, your senses, and the secrets of the Wise Ones can be very helpful for troubleshooting computer problems. But first let’s look at what troubleshooting tools are built into Windows 7.

You can download the e-book in XPS format here and in PDF format here. Enjoy!

Ultimate Windows 7 Keyboard Shortcuts List

by Steve Syfuhs / October 20, 2009 04:00 PM

Got this list in an email earlier today.  Not sure the original source, as it was a copy/paste job, but holy crap what a list.  If someone can point out where it originated I will attribute it as necessary.

Ease of Access keyboard shortcuts

  • Right Shift for eight seconds: Turn Filter Keys on and off
  • Left Alt + Left Shift + PrtScn (or PrtScn): Turn High Contrast on or off
  • Left Alt + Left Shift + Num Lock: Turn Mouse Keys on or off
  • Shift five times: Turn Sticky Keys on or off
  • Num Lock for five seconds: Turn Toggle Keys on or off
  • Windows logo key + U: Open the Ease of Access Center

General keyboard shortcuts

  • F1: Display Help
  • Ctrl + C (or Ctrl + Insert): Copy the selected item
  • Ctrl + X: Cut the selected item
  • Ctrl + V (or Shift + Insert): Paste the selected item
  • Ctrl + Z: Undo an action
  • Ctrl + Y: Redo an action
  • Delete (or Ctrl + D): Delete the selected item and move it to the Recycle Bin
  • Shift + Delete: Delete the selected item without moving it to the Recycle Bin first
  • F2: Rename the selected item
  • Ctrl + Right Arrow: Move the cursor to the beginning of the next word
  • Ctrl + Left Arrow: Move the cursor to the beginning of the previous word
  • Ctrl + Down Arrow: Move the cursor to the beginning of the next paragraph
  • Ctrl + Up Arrow: Move the cursor to the beginning of the previous paragraph
  • Ctrl + Shift with an arrow key: Select a block of text
  • Shift + any arrow key: Select more than one item in a window or on the desktop, or select text within a document
  • Ctrl + any arrow key + Spacebar: Select multiple individual items in a window or on the desktop
  • Ctrl + A: Select all items in a document or window
  • F3: Search for a file or folder
  • Alt + Enter: Display properties for the selected item
  • Alt + F4: Close the active item, or exit the active program
  • Alt + Spacebar: Open the shortcut menu for the active window
  • Ctrl + F4: Close the active document (in programs that allow you to have multiple documents open simultaneously)
  • Alt + Tab: Switch between open items
  • Ctrl + Alt + Tab: Use the arrow keys to switch between open items
  • Ctrl + Mouse scroll wheel: Change the size of icons on the desktop
  • Windows logo key + Tab: Cycle through programs on the taskbar by using Aero Flip 3-D
  • Ctrl+ Windows logo key + Tab: Use the arrow keys to cycle through programs on the taskbar by using Aero Flip 3-D
  • Alt + Esc: Cycle through items in the order in which they were opened
  • F6: Cycle through screen elements in a window or on the desktop
  • F4: Display the address bar list in Windows Explorer
  • Shift + F10: Display the shortcut menu for the selected item
  • Ctrl + Esc: Open the Start menu
  • Alt + underlined letter: Display the corresponding menu
  • Alt + underlined letter: Perform the menu command (or other underlined command)
  • F10: Activate the menu bar in the active program
  • Right Arrow: Open the next menu to the right, or open a submenu
  • Left Arrow: Open the next menu to the left, or close a submenu
  • F5 (or Ctrl + R): Refresh the active window
  • Alt + Up Arrow: View the folder one level up in Windows Explorer
  • Esc: Cancel the current task
  • Ctrl + Shift + Esc: Open Task Manager
  • Shift when you insert a CD: Prevent the CD from automatically playing
  • Left Alt + Shift: Switch the input language when multiple input languages are enabled
  • Ctrl + ShiftL: Switch the keyboard layout when multiple keyboard layouts are enabled
  • Right or Left Ctrl + Shift: Change the reading direction of text in right-to-left reading languages

Dialog box keyboard shortcuts

  • Ctrl + Tab: Move forward through tabs
  • Ctrl + Shift + Tab: Move back through tabs
  • Tab: Move forward through options
  • Shift + Tab: Move back through options
  • Alt + underlined letter: Perform the command (or select the option) that goes with that letter
  • Enter: Replaces clicking the mouse for many selected commands
  • Spacebar: Select or clear the check box if the active option is a check box
  • Arrow keys: Select a button if the active option is a group of option buttons
  • F1: Display Help
  • F4: Display the items in the active list
  • Backspace: Open a folder one level up if a folder is selected in the Save As or Open dialog box

Windows logo key keyboard shortcuts

  • Windows logo key: Open or close the Start menu.
  • Windows logo key + Pause: Display the System Properties dialog box.
  • Windows logo key + D: Display the desktop.
  • Windows logo key + M: Minimize all windows.
  • Windows logo key + Shift + M: Restore minimized windows to the desktop.
  • Windows logo key + E: Open Computer.
  • Windows logo key + F: Search for a file or folder.
  • Ctrl + Windows logo key + F: Search for computers (if you’re on a network).
  • Windows logo key + L: Lock your computer or switch users.
  • Windows logo key + R: Open the Run dialog box.
  • Windows logo key + T: Cycle through programs on the taskbar.
  • Windows logo key + number: Start the program pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number. If the program is already running, switch to that program.
  • Shift + Windows logo key + number: Start a new instance of the program pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number.
  • Ctrl + Windows logo key + number: Switch to the last active window of the program pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number.
  • Alt + Windows logo key + number: Open the Jump List for the program pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number.
  • Windows logo key + Tab: Cycle through programs on the taskbar by using Aero Flip 3-D.
  • Ctrl+Windows logo key + Tab: Use the arrow keys to cycle through programs on the taskbar by using Aero Flip 3-D.
  • Ctrl+Windows logo key + B: Switch to the program that displayed a message in the notification area.
  • Windows logo key + Spacebar: Preview the desktop.
  • Windows logo key + Up Arrow: Maximize the window.
  • Windows logo key + Left Arrow: Maximize the window to the left side of the screen.
  • Windows logo key + Right Arrow: Maximize the window to the right side of the screen.
  • Windows logo key + Down Arrow: Minimize the window.
  • Windows logo key + Home: Minimize all but the active window.
  • Windows logo key + Shift + Up Arrow: Stretch the window to the top and bottom of the screen.
  • Windows logo key + Shift+ Left Arrow or Right Arrow: Move a window from one monitor to another.
  • Windows logo key + P: Choose a presentation display mode.
  • Windows logo key + G: Cycle through gadgets.
  • Windows logo key + U: Open Ease of Access Center.
  • Windows logo key + X: Open Windows Mobility Center.

Windows Explorer keyboard shortcuts

  • Ctrl + N: Open a new window
  • Ctrl + W: Close the current window
  • Ctrl + Shift + N: Create a new folder
  • End: Display the bottom of the active window
  • Home: Display the top of the active window
  • F11: Maximize or minimize the active window
  • Ctrl + Period (.): Rotate a picture clockwise
  • Ctrl + Comma (,): Rotate a picture counter-clockwise
  • Num Lock + Asterisk (*) on numeric keypad: Display all subfolders under the selected folder
  • Num Lock + Plus Sign (+) on numeric keypad: Display the contents of the selected folder
  • Num Lock + Minus Sign (-) on numeric keypad: Collapse the selected folder
  • Left Arrow: Collapse the current selection (if it’s expanded), or select the parent folder
  • Alt + Enter: Open the Properties dialog box for the selected item
  • Alt + P: Display the preview pane
  • Alt + Left Arrow: View the previous folder
  • Backspace: View the previous folder
  • Right Arrow: Display the current selection (if it’s collapsed), or select the first subfolder
  • Alt + Right Arrow: View the next folder
  • Alt + Up Arrow: View the parent folder
  • Ctrl + Shift + E: Display all folders above the selected folder
  • Ctrl + Mouse scroll wheel: Change the size and appearance of file and folder icons
  • Alt + D: Select the address bar
  • Ctrl + E: Select the search box
  • Ctrl + F: Select the search box

Taskbar keyboard shortcuts

  • Shift + Click on a taskbar button: Open a program or quickly open another instance of a program
  • Ctrl + Shift + Click on a taskbar button: Open a program as an administrator
  • Shift + Right-click on a taskbar button: Show the window menu for the program
  • Shift + Right-click on a grouped taskbar button: Show the window menu for the group
  • Ctrl + Click on a grouped taskbar button: Cycle through the windows of the group

Magnifier keyboard shortcuts

  • Windows logo key + Plus Sign or Minus Sign: Zoom in or out
  • Ctrl + Alt + Spacebar: Preview the desktop in full-screen mode
  • Ctrl + Alt + F: Switch to full-screen mode
  • Ctrl + Alt + L: Switch to lens mode
  • Ctrl + Alt + D: Switch to docked mode
  • Ctrl + Alt + I: Invert colors
  • Ctrl + Alt + arrow keys: Pan in the direction of the arrow keys
  • Ctrl + Alt + R: Resize the lens
  • Windows logo key + Esc: Exit Magnifier

Remote Desktop Connection keyboard shortcuts

  • Alt + Page Up: Move between programs from left to right.
  • Alt + Page Down: Move between programs from right to left.
  • Alt + Insert: Cycle through programs in the order that they were started in.
  • Alt + Home: Display the Start menu.
  • Ctrl + Alt + Break: Switch between a window and full screen.
  • Ctrl + Alt + End: Display the Windows Security dialog box.
  • Alt + Delete: Display the system menu.
  • Ctrl + Alt + Minus Sign (-) on the numeric keypad: Place a copy of the active window, within the client, on the Terminal server clipboard (provides the same functionality as pressing Alt + PrtScn on a local computer).
  • Ctrl + Alt + Plus Sign (+) on the numeric keypad: Place a copy of the entire client window area on the Terminal server clipboard (provides the same functionality as pressing PrtScn on a local computer).
  • Ctrl + Alt + Right Arrow: Tab out of the Remote Desktop controls to a control in the host program (for example, a button or a text box). Useful when the Remote Desktop controls are embedded in another (host) program.
  • Ctrl + Alt + Left Arrow: Tab out of the Remote Desktop controls to a control in the host program (for example, a button or a text box). Useful when the Remote Desktop controls are embedded in another (host) program.

Paint keyboard shortcuts

  • Ctrl + N: Create a new picture
  • Ctrl + O: Open an existing picture
  • Ctrl + S: Save changes to a picture
  • F12: Save the picture as a new file
  • Ctrl + P: Print a picture
  • Alt + F4: Close a picture and its Paint window
  • Ctrl + Z: Undo a change
  • Ctrl + Y: Redo a change
  • Ctrl + A: Select the entire picture
  • Ctrl + X: Cut a selection
  • Ctrl + C: Copy a selection to the Clipboard
  • Ctrl + V: Paste a selection from the Clipboard
  • Right Arrow: Move the selection or active shape right by one pixel
  • Left Arrow: Move the selection or active shape left by one pixel
  • Down Arrow: Move the selection or active shape down by one pixel
  • Up Arrow: Move the selection or active shape up by one pixel
  • Esc: Cancel a selection
  • Delete: Delete a selection
  • Ctrl + B: Bold selected text
  • Ctrl + +: Increase the width of a brush, line, or shape outline by one pixel
  • Ctrl + -: Decrease the width of a brush, line, or shape outline by one pixel
  • Ctrl + I: Italicize selected text
  • Ctrl + U: Underline selected text
  • Ctrl + E: Open the Properties dialog box
  • Ctrl + W: Open the Resize and Skew dialog box
  • Ctrl + Page Up: Zoom in
  • Ctrl + Page Down: Zoom out
  • F11: View a picture in full-screen mode
  • Ctrl + R: Show or hide the ruler
  • Ctrl + G: Show or hide gridlines
  • F10 or Alt: Display keytips
  • Shift + F10: Show the current shortcut menu
  • F1: Open Paint Help

WordPad keyboard shortcuts

  • Ctrl + N: Create a new document
  • Ctrl + O: Open an existing document
  • Ctrl + S: Save changes to a document
  • F12: Save the document as a new file
  • Ctrl + P: Print a document
  • Alt + F4: Close WordPad
  • Ctrl + Z: Undo a change
  • Ctrl + Y: Redo a change
  • Ctrl + A: Select the entire document
  • Ctrl + X: Cut a selection
  • Ctrl + C: Copy a selection to the Clipboard
  • Ctrl + V: Paste a selection from the Clipboard
  • Ctrl + B: Make selected text bold
  • Ctrl + I: Italicize selected text
  • Ctrl + U: Underline selected text
  • Ctrl + =: Make selected text subscript
  • Ctrl + Shift + =: Make selected text superscript
  • Ctrl + L: Align text left
  • Ctrl + E Align text center
  • Ctrl + R:: Align text right
  • Ctrl + J: Justify text
  • Ctrl + 1: Set single line spacing
  • Ctrl + 2: Set double line spacing
  • Ctrl + 5: Set line spacing to 1.5
  • Ctrl + Shift + >: Increase the font size
  • Ctrl + Shift + <: Decrease the font size
  • Ctrl + Shift + A: Change characters to all capitals
  • Ctrl + Shift + L: Change the bullet style
  • Ctrl + D: Insert a Microsoft Paint drawing
  • Ctrl + F: Find text in a document
  • F3: Find the next instance of the text in the Find dialog box
  • Ctrl + H: Replace text in a document
  • Ctrl + Left Arrow: Move the cursor one word to the left
  • Ctrl + Right Arrow: Move the cursor one word to the right
  • Ctrl + Up Arrow: Move the cursor to the line above
  • Ctrl + Down Arrow: Move the cursor to the line below
  • Ctrl + Home: Move to the beginning of the document
  • Ctrl + End: Move to the end of the document
  • Ctrl + Page Up: Move up one page
  • Ctrl + Page Down: Move down one page
  • Ctrl + Delete: Delete the next word
  • F10: Display keytips
  • Shift + F10: Show the current shortcut menu
  • F1: Open WordPad Help

Calculator keyboard shortcuts

  • Alt + 1: Switch to Standard mode
  • Alt + 2: Switch to Scientific mode
  • Alt + 3: Switch to Programmer mode
  • Alt + 4: Switch to Statistics mode
  • Ctrl + E: Open date calculations
  • Ctrl + H: Turn calculation history on or off
  • Ctrl + U: Open unit conversion
  • Alt + C: Calculate or solve date calculations and worksheets
  • F1: Open Calculator Help
  • Ctrl + Q: Press the M- button
  • Ctrl + P: Press the M+ button
  • Ctrl + M: Press the MS button
  • Ctrl + R: Press the MR button
  • Ctrl + L: Press the MC button
  • %: Press the % button
  • F9: Press the +/’“ button
  • /: Press the / button
  • *: Press the * button
  • +: Press the + button
  • -: Press the ‘“ button
  • R: Press the 1/x— button
  • @: Press the square root button
  • 0-9: Press the number buttons (0-9)
  • =: Press the = button
  • .: Press the . (decimal point) button
  • Backspace: Press the backspace button
  • Esc: Press the C button
  • Del: Press the CE button
  • Ctrl + Shift + D: Clear the calculation history
  • F2: Edit the calculation history
  • Up Arrow key: Navigate up in the calculation history
  • Down Arrow key: Navigate down in the calculation history
  • Esc: Cancel editing the calculation history
  • Enter: Recalculate the calculation history after editing
  • F3: Select Degrees in Scientific mode
  • F4: Select Radians in Scientific mode
  • F5: Select Grads in Scientific mode
  • I: Press the Inv button in Scientific mode
  • D: Press the Mod button in Scientific mode
  • Ctrl + S: Press the sinh button in Scientific mode
  • Ctrl + O: Press the cosh button in Scientific mode
  • Ctrl + T: Press the tanh button in Scientific mode
  • (: Press the ( button in Scientific mode
  • ): Press the ) button in Scientific mode
  • N: Press the ln button in Scientific mode
  • ;: Press the Int button in Scientific mode
  • S: Press the sin button in Scientific mode
  • O: Press the cos button in Scientific mode
  • T: Press the tan button in Scientific mode
  • M: Press the dms button in Scientific mode
  • P: Press the pi button in Scientific mode
  • V: Press the F-E button in Scientific mode
  • X: Press the Exp button in Scientific mode
  • Q: Press the x^2 button in Scientific mode
  • Y: Press the x^y button in Scientific mode
  • #: Press the x^3 button in Scientific mode
  • L: Press the log button in Scientific mode
  • !: Press the n! button in Scientific mode
  • Ctrl + Y: Press the y√x button in Scientific mode
  • Ctrl + B: Press the 3√x button in Scientific mode
  • Ctrl + G: Press the 10x button in Scientific mode
  • F5: Select Hex in Programmer mode
  • F6: Select Dec in Programmer mode
  • F7: Select Oct in Programmer mode
  • F8: Select Bin in Programmer mode
  • F12: Select Qword in Programmer mode
  • F2: Select Dword in Programmer mode
  • F3: Select Word in Programmer mode
  • F4: Select Byte in Programmer mode
  • K: Press the RoR button in Programmer mode
  • J: Press the RoL button in Programmer mode
  • <: Press the Lsh button in Programmer mode
  • >: Press the Rsh button in Programmer mode
  • %: Press the Mod button in Programmer mode
  • (: Press the ( button in Programmer mode
  • ): Press the ) button in Programmer mode
  • |: Press the Or button in Programmer mode
  • ^: Press the Xor button in Programmer mode
  • ~: Press the Not button in Programmer mode
  • &: Press the And button in Programmer mode
  • A-F: Press the A-F buttons in Programmer mode
  • Spacebar: Toggles the bit value in Programmer mode
  • A: Press the Average button in Statistics mode
  • Ctrl + A: Press the Average Sq button in Statistics mode
  • S: Press the Sum button in Statistics mode
  • Ctrl + S: Press the Sum Sq button in Statistics mode
  • T: Press the S.D. button in Statistics mode
  • Ctrl + T: Press the Inv S.D. button in Statistics mode
  • D: Press the CAD button in Statistics mode

Windows Journal keyboard shortcuts

  • Ctrl + N: Start a new note
  • Ctrl + O: Open a recently used note
  • Ctrl + S: Save changes to a note
  • Ctrl + Shift + V: Move a note to a specific folder
  • Ctrl + P: Print a note
  • Alt + F4: Close a note and its Journal window
  • Ctrl + Z: Undo a change
  • Ctrl + Y: Redo a change
  • Ctrl + A: Select all items on a page
  • Ctrl + X: Cut a selection
  • Ctrl + C: Copy a selection to the Clipboard
  • Ctrl + V: Paste a selection from the Clipboard
  • Esc: Cancel a selection
  • Delete: Delete a selection
  • Ctrl + F: Start a basic find
  • Ctrl + G: Go to a page
  • F5: Refresh find results
  • F5: Refresh the note list
  • F6: Toggle between a note list and a note
  • Ctrl + Shift + C: Display a shortcut menu for column headings in a note list
  • F11: View a note in full-screen mode
  • F1: Open Journal Help

Windows Help viewer keyboard shortcuts

  • Alt + C: Display the Table of Contents
  • Alt + N: Display the Connection Settings menu
  • F10: Display the Options menu
  • Alt + Left Arrow: Move back to the previously viewed topic
  • Alt + Right Arrow: Move forward to the next (previously viewed) topic
  • Alt + A: Display the customer support page
  • Alt + Home: Display the Help and Support home page
  • Home: Move to the beginning of a topic
  • End: Move to the end of a topic
  • Ctrl + F: Search the current topic
  • Ctrl + P: Print a topic
  • F3: Move the cursor to the search box

How UAC Actually Works

by Steve Syfuhs / October 20, 2009 04:00 PM

This post has had a few false starts.  It’s a tough topic to cover, as it’s a very controversial subject for most people still.  Hopefully we can enlighten some people along the way.

From a high level perspective, the UAC was developed to protect the user without necessarily removing administrative privileges.  Any change to the system required a second validation.  On older versions of Windows, an application running with administrative credentials could change any setting on the box.  Viruses and malware became rampant because of this openness, given that the average user had administrative credentials.  Most average users balked at the idea of having a limited user account, so Microsoft came up with an alternative for the new OS, Vista – a second form of validation.  You told the computer you wanted to make a change, it asked “are you sure?” 

Logically it makes sense.  Consider an instance where a devious application wanted to change some setting, and because Windows wanted to verify it’s ok to make this change it asked “are you sure?”  If you responded no, the change didn’t happen.  Simple enough.  However, here we start running into issues.  There are three perspectives to look at. 

First, the end user.  Simple changes to basic settings required validation.  This annoyed most of them, if not all of them.  They didn’t care why it was asking, they just wanted to delete shortcuts from their start menu.  Their reaction: turn off UAC.  Bad idea, but security loses when it comes to usability in the case of the end user.

Second, the irate IT Pro/Developer.  Most people working in IT make changes to system settings constantly.  Given that, the UAC would be seen many times in a day and it would, for lack of a better word, piss that person off.  They didn’t care what security it provided, it was a “stupid-useless-design” that shouldn’t have been created.  Their reaction: turn off UAC.  Once again security loses when it comes to usability.

Third, the knowledgeable IT Pro/Developer.  Not a lot of people fell into this category.  However, these tended to be the same type of people who fit into the Lazy Admin category as well.  When managed properly UAC wasn’t all that annoying because it wasn’t seen all that often.  Set-it-and-forget-it and you don’t ever see the prompt.  If you created the system image properly, you don’t have to constantly keep changing settings.  It’s a simple enough idea.

But…

Application compatibility is a pain.  Most applications didn’t understand the UAC, so they weren’t running with a validation and generally broke when they tried to do things they really shouldn’t be doing in the first place.  These are things like manipulating registry keys that don’t belong to them, writing to system folders, reading data from low-level system API’s etc.  This was reason #1 for disabling UAC.

And now…

With the general availability of Windows 7 in about 2.5 hours from now, it seems like a good time to discuss certain changes to UAC in the latest version of Windows.  The biggest of course being when Windows decides to check for validation.

Windows 7 introduces two new levels of the UAC.  In Vista there was Validate Everything or Off.  Windows 7 added “Do Not Notify Me When I Make Changes to Windows Settings”.  This comes into effect when the user makes a change to a Windows setting like display resolution.  Windows is smart enough to realize it’s the user making the change, and allows it.  It’s second additional level is the same as the first, except it doesn’t hide the desktop.

Now we get into some fun questions. 

  • How does Window’s know to not show the prompt?  It’s fairly straightforward.  All Window’s executables that were released as part of the OS are signed with a certificate.  All executables signed with this certificate are allowed to run if user started.  This is only true for Window’s settings though.  You cannot implement this with 3rd party applications.  There is no auto-allow list.
  • How does Window’s know it’s a user starting the application?  Lots of applications can mimic mouse movements or keyboard commands, but they occur at a higher application level than an actual mouse move.  Input devices like mice and keyboards have an extremely low level driver, and only commands coming from these drivers are interpreted as user input.  You cannot spoof these commands.
  • Can you spoof mouse/keyboard input to accept the UAC request?  No.  The UAC prompt is created in a separate Windows desktop.  Other well known desktops include the Locked screen, login screen, and the Cardspace admin application.  No application can cross these desktops, so an application running in your personal desktop cannot push commands into the UAC desktop.

Mark Russinovich has an excellent article in TechNet Magazine that goes into more detail about changes to the UAC.  Hopefully this post at least covered all sides of the UAC debate.

Pictures from Techdays and FailCamp in Toronto

by Steve Syfuhs / October 12, 2009 04:00 PM

After getting my camera back from Mitch Garvis after Techdays and FailCamp in Toronto, I decided to upload photos from the events, and to my surprise there were some pretty good shots.  Here is what I came back with:

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4007406358

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The Boston Tea Party has gone Batty

by Steve Syfuhs / August 25, 2009 04:00 PM

This morning I saw an interesting post on Twitter.  Which in-and-of-itself is kinda amazing, but that’s not the point.  The post was on something called the Windows 7 Sins site.  It is a campaign created by the Free Software Foundation to highlight everything that is wrong philosophically with Windows 7.  Now, I’m all for philosophical debates, but this is just plain batty.  So what did I do?  I acted!  I emailed the FSF people at campaigns@fsf.org the following email:

Ya know, if you sold software, you wouldn’t need to keep asking people for money. Basic principle of economics. Just sayin.

Also, a widget provides functionality and interaction. An image doesn’t. See the Windows 7 Sins “widget”.

Now, what I don’t get is this whole Boston Common thing. Is this an attempt at recreating the Boston Tea Party, except with (what I hope is) more regard for the environment and not tea, but software, as the “widget” proposes? If this were the case, in order to get a hold of said software, legally, you would need to buy it. Sounds counterintuitive.

Unless you are proposing people illegally obtain, as per license agreements define, the software and do what they will with it. Which is pretty much just plain ol’ illegal. “So was the Boston Tea Party” is an excellent counter argument. However, the Tea Party was about rebellion from a Government, not a company. The government makes laws, a company does not. The rebellion was against unfair taxation, something the Government controls. Unless of course you are rebelling against the government too. Which I guess is ok, except the government has already ruled against Microsoft in many cases regarding such topics as anti-trust, anti-competitive nature, etc. They don’t like ‘em either. Well, the justice department doesn’t anyway.

I just don’t get it.

Regards,

Steve Syfuhs
Software Developer and/or Architect Guy

I wonder how many people I annoyed with it.  We shall see.

Move Their Cheese! (and Change the Design)

by Steve Syfuhs / August 17, 2009 04:00 PM

I tend to complain a lot.  Which frankly, doesn't do much for what I'm complaining about.  In most cases, it comes down to "okay, here is a problem, now someone else go and fix it."  There is a direct correlation to how many people I annoy too.  The number of people I annoy increases as the magnitude of my complaining-ness (hey, a new word) increases:

upGraph

If I wanted to change something, obviously I’m going about it the wrong way.  However, there is a direct correlation between how often I do something wrong and the likelihood I will get it right.  See previous image.  What that means is if I keep screwing something up, eventually I am bound to get it right.  However, what is not necessarily apparent in the chart is that if I do nothing, I won’t improve upon my actions.  Maybe it is apparent, I don’t know – I’m still working on it.

The reason I bring this up is because I keep hearing people bash/complain/hate the Office Ribbon and application Ribbons through Windows 7:

ribbon2007 The major complaint has been that people couldn’t find what they are looking for anymore.  There aren’t any menus, so they can’t figure out how to set [insert obscure property].  It doesn’t make sense to them.  They now have to change the way they think about the application.  What is unfortunate about this is that menus are a horrible interface.  You shouldn’t have to dig through 6 layers of menus to change a single property, and that’s what Office 2003 became.  The Ribbon has it’s own problems, but it also increases user productivity greatly when the user knows how to use the Ribbon effectively.  Which in lies a major problem.

Most end-users don’t like when you move their cheese.

Well now we have a problem because people also want improved systems.  Improve the system, but don’t change it.  This paradox is why fundamentally different – game changing – designs aren’t seen all that often.  We stick with what we already know because if we deviate people will complain.  It’s a very tough way to create a better interface.

So how do you create a better interface?  You keep changing it.  Guaranteed the first couple of designs are going to annoy people: i.e. the Ribbon.

This is good.

If you keep failing at designs, that means eventually you are bound to figure out what kind of interface works best.  You will never figure it out if you never change.  Without MicroBating MasterSoft’s (hey look, two new words) ego, I must say that Microsoft is doing well in this area.  They keep making lousy design decisions.  See Expression Blend UI, and listen to most non-technical office workers using Office 2007.  I’m sure there are quite a few instances in other applications as well.  However, and I must make this clear, Microsoft is doing the right thing.  They are actively trying to create better interfaces.  Yes, it will piss people off (it’s pissed me off quite a few times), but at least they are making the effort.  And that’s what counts.

EDIT: P.S. I do like the Ribbon.

Poor Quebec, This is Terrible

by Steve Syfuhs / July 14, 2009 04:00 PM

void

Microsoft certainly isn’t to blame here, it’s a law in Quebec that prevents contests from happening.  Better chance for me to win it though!

// About

Steve is a renaissance kid when it comes to technology. He spends his time in the security stack.