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Thoughts on many things Posts

Word: “Track changes” shows up as “Author” instead of author name

A user called in, reporting that Word’s Track changes-function tagged her as “Author”, instead of her name. I opened a remote session, and started out by confirming that everything else was working correctly, and that her name had been set as the author in the settings for Microsoft Word. Stalling for time while I researched the issue, I found that it seemed to be a problem affecting particular documents. Knowing this set me on the path to the solution, as follows:

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My travel caffeine fix

As most anyone who knows me can attest, I love coffee. Most days I start with a cup of coffee of some sort; most often either a pour-over or aeropress. When travelling, and in particular if I’m staying in a rented apartment, rather than in a hotel with breakfast service, I bring the basic equipment to make a few cups of coffee. This sometimes elicits giggles from the security staff at the airport, as it is something that goes in my carry-on, rather than my checked luggage.

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Excel freezes on 10 MB file

A few months ago, I had a user call in complaining that Excel would freeze and become completely unresponsive when she was working in a specific workbook. It was fairly large (10MB), but well within what the computer should have been able to handle. I opened a remote session to the computer, and started troubleshooting. My first step, as always in these cases, was to look at the event logs, which showed no relevant entries. Next, I inspected one of the files in question.

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AD Group member does not show up in Exchange address book

A couple of months ago, a customer sent us a ticket, complaining that a mail group was incomplete. Specifically, his manager was not listed among the recipients. The mail group in question contained all managers, and membership was gained through dedicated active directory (AD) organisational units (OUs), one for the manager of each business unit (BU). I checked the Exchange address book in Outlook, and sure enough; the manager group for his BU was not listed among the recipients.

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Groups and shared mailboxes – the important differences

Some time ago, a user sent a request specifically for a new shared mailbox, that all users should be able to access. When we asked why they didn’t simply use one of the already existing addresses for the use, they said something to the effect that, while there should be no restrictions on accessing the mailbox, only those who wanted to receive email to it should do so. At this point, we started questioning why they had ordered a shared mailbox, rather than a mail group.

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Limit login to specific computers

As much as we might want to prevent them by policies, odds are that a shared user account will be created at some point. In order to mitigate the potential issues with such accounts (lack of accountability, lack of control, account available to just about anyone to mention a few), there are a number of steps we can take, including limiting what network shares can be accessed, logon hours, and what computers the account may log on to. By default, user accounts can log on to all computers in Active Directory. This can be limited on a per-user basis. Here is how:

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BitLocker hangs during encryption of drive

There is an encryption policy in effect, limiting writing to flash drives to those drives that are encrypted with BitLocker. From time to time, a user will call in, reporting that the encryption process has stalled, and does not seem to want to continue. Invariably, this occurs on drives that already contain data, and the encryption stalls when the process starts encountering actual data. A workaround is easy enough to enact, if a bit fiddly. Here’s how:

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