Tag Archives: microsoft

Delete Empty Folders

I recently found that I had a lot of empty folders in my MP3 folder after a wayward ripping session. So I whipped up this quick DOS one-liner to remove all empty folders.

From a command prompt, just change to the folder containing all the empty folders and enter the following:

FOR /f "tokens=*" %G IN ('dir /ad /b /s') DO rd /q "%G"

The command "rd /q" will be executed on every folder, but "rd" only deletes empty folders -- "rd" does not delete non-empty folders.

Microsoft Outlook 2007 Supports OPML

Not that I'll ever use it, but it looks like Microsoft is supporting the use of OPML subscription lists in Outlook 2007. I tried NewsGator's Outlook extension, and I think Outlook is the worst conceivable way to consume the large volume of information I have in my modestly sized subscription list. But at least Microsoft is going to let Outlook users get their subscription lists out of Outlook (and into a better aggregator). They even have a step-by-step guide for exporting your RSS feeds from Outlook.

HOWTO: Create a Perl Shortcut That Acts Like a Drop Target In Windows

UPDATE: I recently installed ActivePerl on a new Windows XP system, and I did not need to take any special actions to make perl scripts into drop targets. YMMV.

If you use perl on Windows, you've probably got at least one script that you'd like to be able to put on your Desktop and drag-and-drop files onto to perform some function on the dropped files. There are at least two ways to accomplish this.

  1. If you've installed Active State Perl, every perl script with the ".pl" file extension on your system is associated with perl. You can make every one of these perl scripts a drop target by creating a Drop Handler as follows: Create a new registry key "shellex" under the "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT -> Perl" key with a default value of {86C86720-42A0-1069-A2E8-08002B30309D}. You can do this manually, or save and run this .REG file to modify your registry automatically.
  2. Alternatively (or in addition), you could create a shortcut to Perl and add the path to the perl script as an argument, e.g., in the "Target" field of the shortcut properties, type "C:\Perl\bin\perl.exe" "\PATH_TO_YOURSCRIPT\YOURSCRIPT.pl". The shortcut will automatically be a drop target whether or not you implemented the registry change above. (You could also create a shortcut to wperl.exe, rather than perl.exe, and eliminate the DOS box.)

Disable Balloon Tips

HOWTO: Disable Notification Area Balloon Tips in Windows XP

Warning If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

  1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then press ENTER.
  2. Navigate to the following subkey:
  3. Right-click the right pane, create a new DWORD value, and then name it EnableBalloonTips.
  4. Double-click this new entry, and then give it a hexadecimal value of 0.
  5. Quit Registry Editor. Log off Windows, and then log back on.

These steps disable all Notification Area balloon tips for this user.

There is no way to disable balloon tips for specific programs only.

HOW TO: Disable Notification Area Balloon Tips in Windows XP

Scheduled Tasks - Running Tasks Without A Password

For XP Pro: Go to Start/Administrative Tools/Local Security Policy/Security Settings/Local Policies/Security Options
Accounts: Limit local account use of blank passwords to console logon only. This is enabled by default, disable it.

For XP Home: (Keith Miller) Go to Start/Run/Regedit and navigate to this key:

Value name: limitblankpassworduse, Type: REG_DWORD, Data: 0 (disabled) 1 (enabled)

For Home: Run Scheduled Task without a Password (Line 67)

Windows XP FAQ

Turn Off Internet File Association Service

Screen Capture

In Windows XP, when you try to open a file of unknown type, Windows offers to search the Web for the appropriate program to handle the unknown file before offering to let the user choose which program should be used. To bypass this annoying step, use the Group Policy Editor, which should be located at C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\GPEDIT.MSC, navigate to:

Local Computer Policy->
  Computer Configuration->
    Administrative Templates->
        Internet Communication Management->
          Internet Communication settings->
            Turn off Internet File Association service

Then open the Properties dialog and select the "Enabled" radio button.

Outlook 2002 Holidays Update

Very annoying. The holidays in Outlook 2002 (aka Outlook XP) only extend through 2005. I guess that's part of Microsoft's planned obsolescence, but I need to schedule beyond 2005, and I intend to keep using Office XP as long as possible. Strangely, Microsoft released a calendar update for 2007, but only for Outlook 2000! Well, even though the Outlook 2000 holiday update available here won't update Outlook 2002, you can use the data in the update to update your holidays. You can download this file, which has updated United States holidays through 2007, and replace your current holiday data. I suggest you backup your current file that this download replaces.

  1. Locate the file "outlook.hol" on your harddrive (usually in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office10\1033)
  2. Backup your current "outlook.hol" file (for example, save as outlook.hol_original)
  3. Save the new outlook.hol file in this directory
  4. Open Outlook and delete all holidays (try viewing by category)
  5. From the "Tools" menu, select "Options". On the "Preferences" tab select the "Calendar Options..." button, then the "Add Holidays..." button on the next screen and select the United States holidays