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Plain text emails appear in a white (invisible) font in Outlook 2013

Shortly after upgrading to Outlook 2013 from Outlook 2010, one of my users complained that some of his emails were showing up with invisible text in the message body. He knew there was text there, because he could highlight the invisible text and copy & paste it into Word.

I quickly determined that it was only plain text emails that were affected (rather than those with HTML or Rich Text formatting), which led me to investigate the font options. Sure enough, somehow the font option for reading and composing plain text emails had been set to a white font.

You find this option by going to File > Options > Mail > Stationery and Fonts, then clicking the Font button under Composing and reading plain text messages.

White font in Outlook 2013

The font colour should normally be set to Automatic, and in our case it was inexplicably set to white. Setting it back to Automatic immediately solved the problem.

Bizarrely, even though the Font color was set to white (as shown in the above screenshot), you can see that this was not reflected in the preview on either the Font dialog or the preceding Signatures and Stationery dialog. I’m also 99% sure the user didn’t change this himself, since the aggravation it was causing him far outweighed the value of doing it to wind me up.

For fsck sake

“Why is this remote restart taking so long?” I wondered, watching a successive stream of Request timed out messages being returned from PING.

One long walk to the server room later…

GAAAAH CTRL+C

Say what you want about Windows, but Windows Server doesn’t spontaneously decide to do a disk check during restart.

Converting your multicast IPTV Freeview to HTTP unicast using udpxy

So, by now you’ve read my previous guides about streaming Freeview/DVB-T channels to your network using VLC and dvblast:

  1. The Angry Technician’s Guide to streaming Freeview via VLC, you Idiots
  2. How to stream EVERY channel from Freeview onto your network
  3. How to stream Freeview HD (DVB-T2) over multicast using dvblast, you Idiots

If you haven’t, you are slacking a bit, as they’ve been up for a while and are the top 3 posts ever on here by pageviews. According to the WordPress.com stats, #2 has been viewed more than 33,000 times, which is frankly a ridiculous number.

Anyway, after all that reading, you might be thinking yo yourself “well, multicast streaming is all nice and fancy, but what I want is some good old-fashioned unicast”. It’s a question that has come up a few times, especially as dvblast will only output multicast streams, so if you want multiple channels per tuner, you are stuck with multicast. There are a few reasons this might not suit your needs, however:

  • Not all of your network supports multicast (especially true if you have cheap and nasty edge switches).
  • You want to view the streams on clients that don’t have multicast software available (e.g. smartphones).
  • You want to access the streams from a different network (e.g. streaming from one location to another over the Internet or a WAN/VPN).

Well, you are in luck. There is another bit of totally free open-source software that will make that conversion for you.
Read More…

Yes/No/What was the question again?

In today’s edition of “Stupid Error Messages from Exchange”, we have this gem of idiocy from the Exchange 2010 Management Console:

If your Exchange 2010 organization is also running Exchange 2003, disabling this connector may cause routing loops. Exchange 2003 will not recognize that this connector is disabled and may continue to route messages to it.

Yes, Yes to All, No or Cancel. But… Yes to what? Am I saying, “yes, I want to continue,” or perhaps, “yes, I agree that is a silly idea so don’t continue?” Am I suddenly in the middle of an MCSE exam and have to decide whether this is the expected behaviour or not?

ASK ME A BLOODY QUESTION IF YOU WANT A YES/NO ANSWER.

No more spreadsheets. Long live spread sheets!

Really, Microsoft? This is a spelling mistake? The dictionary term that you use on your own website to describe the function of Excel is marked as a spelling mistake?

Yes, we’ve been here before with the grammar checker. But this is just depressing.

Dear SMART Technologies

If you are going to put required fields on your online registration forms, it really does help if you actually mark it as required, so I don’t have to see stupid red error messages when I click submit.

And you know what? Actually labelling the field at all would be a good start. Read More…

Oh, the irony: Google Maps gives wrong address for Google offices

If you search on Google Maps for the address of Google’s offices in London Victoria, you’ll be taken to the correct address. However, if you then click on the location marked ‘Google London’, the address it gives you is for a different office building in Soho about 2 miles away:

(The address given is the location of their separate sales offices that opened last year, but that hardly excuses the place marker being 2 miles out of place).