IT Fixes..

Solutions to common IT related issues

Creating and Merging PDFs.. and much more

Posted by Daman Dang on June 11, 2008

PDF995 is a freeware that can create pdf files from any file that can be printed. It gets installed as a printer driver in your system. To create a pdf, just print the file using PDF995 printer driver by pressing “ctrl P” and choosing PDF995 from the drop-down list.

Ever wanted to merge two pdf files into one without paying a dollar !! Pdftk is a free command based toolkit that can do that and much more with pdf files. Pdftk allows you to manipulate PDF easily and freely. It does not require Acrobat, and it runs on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, FreeBSD and Solaris. It can Merge, Split, Decrypt, Encrypt, Apply a Background Watermark, Update PDF Metadata, Burst a PDF Document into Single Pages and much more.

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Compressing video files

Posted by Daman Dang on June 10, 2008

I often make video clips with my Canon S2 IS. The quality is awesome but at the same time the size of the video file created is enormous. These videos were eating up all my hard disk space until I found these tools to compress those files. I won’t say that there is no loss in quality at all but I played with the settings to achieve the best possible results which I am sharing with you here.

The best video compressing software that I came across till date is Super. It is a Freeware that gives you complete control over the conversion process. I played with the settings and the following screenshot shows the settings that worked best for me.

Super configuration

My clips were shot at 30 fps so I selected that. Choose the same frame rate and the resolution as that of the original clip.

Stoik Video Converter is another free video conversion tool that is pretty simple to use with very decent output. There are few options when you convert the video but the output format “WMV for LAN (1 Mbps)” works best for me considering the quality vs size ratio.

Stoik video converter

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Compress JPG Photo files – Batch process (Full Folder)

Posted by Daman Dang on June 10, 2008

Digital cameras brought a revolution in Photography. I don’t think about the processing cost of a photo anymore so there is no stopping when I start clicking. But it is a pain when I have to share hundreds of photos with my friends online because of the huge size of the JPG files.

I experimented with a few JPG compression softwares and found Visualizer Photo Resize to work the best. It can handle JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TGA, TIFF, PSD and PSP files. You can specify the resolution you want and it can process a complete folder at a time.

Visualizer Image Resizer

Visualizer Photo Resize

Another good image resizer is FastStone Photo Resizer. It is an image converter/resizer intended to enable users to convert, rename, resize, crop, rotate, change color depth, add text and watermarks to images in a quick and easy batch mode. It supports JPEG, BMP, GIF, PNG, TIFF and JPEG2000 file formats.

FastStone Photo Resizer

These will help you save a lot of space with very little or no loss of image quality.

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Display HTML code on a website

Posted by Daman Dang on June 9, 2008

HTML is used to design a website but what if you want to display a sample HTML code in a website?? The browser will consider your sample code just as the rest of the HTML code and parse it in a similar way, removing all the tags before it displays the content on the website.

To display some HTML code, you need to use escape characters for all the special characters defined in HTML. The following link has a HTML Encoder/Decoder which can generate the code that should be inserted to achieve the desired HTML code form as output.

HTML Encoder

Just input the code you desire to display and copy paste the encoded code in your HTML file.

Enjoy !!

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Internet blocked (running Norton Internet Security or similar)

Posted by Daman Dang on June 9, 2008

I came across a few instances where people complained that they were unable to access Internet any more. There can be many reasons for that varying from hardware failure to some problem in settings.

One of the very common reason that I have seen in recent times is if you are using some Security program like Norton Internet Security that has some firewall which prevents a program from accessing the internet. Following are the steps for Norton Internet Security:

Start Norton Internet Security.

  1. In the main window, click Norton Internet Security tab.
  2. Click Settings.
  3. Under Web Browsing, click Personal Firewall and then click Configure.
  4. In the left side of Norton Internet Security Options window, click Personal Firewall and then click Program Control.
  5. In the Program Column, select the specific program (Internet Explorer or any other browser that you use).
  6. Change the Access from Block or Custom to Allow.
  7. Click OK.

This should enable the internet access for you. For other programs, visit the following website to learn more:

Firewall Blocking Internet

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Network card problem in new Dell notebooks

Posted by Daman Dang on June 9, 2008

Problem: You turned your laptop on and connected the network cable but the system is not connecting to the network. The network interface card (NIC) is not there in the device manager either as if it is not installed.

When turned on with Power cable unplugged (running on battery), the Quickset utility in the newer Dell notebooks disables the network card by default thinking that you are on the go and won’t be connecting to a network cable.

Solution: Open the Quickset utility and select “Internal Network Card Power Management”. The “Internal Network Card Power Management” dialogue box will appear. Select the option “always activate on battery” and then click “Apply” and Restart your laptop.

Internal Network Card Power Management

Posted in Technology | 1 Comment »

Configuring PHP and MySql on IIS (For Windows XP)

Posted by Daman Dang on June 9, 2008

I was once asked to develop a web based database project which I had to do either using PHP or Java and I was not familiar with either of them. I searched on Google and felt that PHP is easy to learn and use. So I started learning PHP using the tutorials available online and building my project on the same time. Today I feel PHP has everything that one may need for any kind of web application which may require a back end database.

Installing PHP can be a mess so here are the instructions are for the following versions: PHP 5.2.3, MySql 5.0 and IIS 6.0

Steps may change a little with other versions.

Installing PHP

Step 1: Create a folder on C: called “PHP” and unzip the files from the PHP download into that folder.

Step 2: Open IIS6 Manager Right Click -> Default Website -> Properties -> Select Home Directory -> Select Configuration. On Application configuration check to see if .php is in list. If not click “Add”. For executable browse to “c:\php” folder and select “php5isapi.dll”. Click “OK” and then “OK” again.

Step 3: In the “C:\PHP” folder copy the file “php.ini-recommended” to your C:\WINDOWS folder. Rename this file to “php.ini”

Step 4: Create a test file in the root of your web folder called “phpinfo.php” and insert the code below:


Step 5: Click Start –> Run and type IISRESET and press enter.

Step 6: Open Internet Explorer and type “; and you should see it give you information about the PHP version.

If you see a page with all sorts of information about your PHP version that means your installation was successful.

Configuring MySQL Server

While running the setup you will need to configur an Instance. You can choose the following options while following the wizard.

MySQL Server Instance Configuration Wizard –> Detailed Configuration –> Developer Machine –> Non-Transactional Database Only –> Decision Support (DSS)/OLAP –> Check Enable TCPIP Netwokring –> Port 3306 –> Standard Character Set –> Install as a Windows Service –> Give it a password –> Execute!!

Configuring PHP for MySQL

Step 1: In the C:\PHP folder copy the file “libmysql.dll” to your C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 folder. Make sure you don’t overwrite any existing file in this folder. If file exists, first rename it so you can go back.

Step 2: In the C:\PHP folder copy the file “php.ini-recommended” to your C:\WINDOWS folder. Rename this file to “php.ini” (You already did this.)

Step 3: Edit this file “php.ini” using a text editor like notepad. Find the line where it says “extension_dir = ***”. Uncomment this line by removing the preceding semi-colon. and set it to:


Step 4: In the same file “php.ini” also un-comment out 2 other where it says: extension=php_mysql.dll and extension=php_mysqli.dll by removing the semi-colon.

Step 5: Click Start –> Run and type IISRESET and press enter.

You are good to go!!

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Dynamic IFRAME Resizing

Posted by Daman Dang on June 9, 2008

IFRAMEs are generally not considered a good idea to use but sometimes it really helps. But resizing an IFRAME as per the content is a big issue and I found a piece of code after some search which can resolve this issue.

In the head of your document enter the following JavaScript code:

<script language=”JavaScript”>
function calcHeight()
//find the height of the internal page
var the_height=

//change the height of the iframe

and in the body create the iframe tag:

This will create an IFRAME of width=700 and the height will depend on the content it stores.

Reference: Guymal Code

Posted in Developer | 2 Comments »

IIS 5.0 error message: Service Unavailable

Posted by Daman Dang on June 8, 2008

Problem: You are hosting a website using IIS 5.0 and the website is giving an Error message saying “Service Unavailable”.

1. Open the IIS Manager, right click Web Sites on the left panel and select properties.
2. Click on the Service Tab.

IIS Properties Isolation Mode

3. Check “Run WWW Service in IIS 5.0 Isolation Mode”.
4. If asked to Restart of IIS then click yes else click Start –> Run –> type ‘iisreset’ and press Enter.

Try opening the website again and you will be perfectly fine.

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Outlook 2003 Calendar Printing – “The messaging interface has returned an unknown error”

Posted by Daman Dang on June 8, 2008

Problem: When you try to print another user’s shared calendar in Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, the calendar does not print. Additionally, you receive the following error message:

“The messaging interface has returned an unknown error. If the problem persists, restart Outlook.”


Disable the TaskPad option
1. On the File menu, click Print.
2. Click Page Setup.

Outlook Page Setup Taskpad 

3. On the Format tab, click to clear the TaskPad check box.
4. Click OK to close the Page Setup dialog box.
5. With the Daily Style print style selected, click OK to print the shared calendar.

and u are good to go!!

Posted in Software | 6 Comments »