Technical Tips


Sending Outlook calendar invitations to iPhone / iPad

When sending Outlook Calendar event invitations to iPhone / iPad, it is best to select the "Send meeting requests using iCalendar by default option (Tools, Options, Calendar Options), as otherwise they may sometimes be handled inconsistently.



Microsoft Outlook 2000 QuickFind crashes

If clicking on the Outlook 2000 QuickFind window crashes the application:

  • Run regedit
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER
  • Software
  • Microsoft
  • Office
  • 9.0
  • Outlook
  • Contact
  • QuickFindMRU         <= delete this



Microsoft updates no longer seem to support the Office 2000 suite automatically

As far as I can tell the updates you need are (install in order of name):

  • MS Office 2000 Suite Updates
  • Access
  • ALL
  • Excel
  • Office
  • Outlook
  • Powerpoint
  • Word
After this further updates seem to be updated automatically.



Turning on your WiFi

If you can't turn on WiFi from a limited account in XP, the following may help:

  • Log in as an administrator & set up that profile exactly as you want it (desktop icons, wireless connections etc).
  • Log in as a different administrator & copy the user profile from the previous step to the default user profile (you may need to set folder options to show hidden files and folders).
  • Delete the limited user's profile.
  • Log back in as the limited user & they should be able to enable WiFi.



Technical Quips We Hold Dear
  • Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.
    Thomas Edison (1847-1931).
  • I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my telephone. My wish has come true. I no longer know how to use my telephone. (Bjarne Stroustrup.)
  • If you code to the limit of your ability you will end up debugging beyond the limit of your ability. (Unattributed.)
  • In theory, practice & theory are the same – in practice they tend to be rather different! (Unattributed.)
  • Not specifically technical but an excellent maxim for all would be project managers:
    "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."
    George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950).


Preprocessor Directives

For conditional compilation #ifdef may be compact but the defined syntax is more flexible, consider:

#if (defined OPT1 && defined OPT2) || (defined OPT3 && !defined OPT4)




Short of scope channels when debugging serial receive

Here’s a nifty idea for squeezing more information onto a scope channel when debugging serial receive. Set up spare outputs to indicate receipt of start pattern, start edge, bit sampling, etc. Diode OR them into a multi-level resistive divider such that each output causes a different voltage. Ensure that the signal on which you wish to trigger gives rise to the highest voltage.

The circuit & scope trace shown below are a real-world example. The option DIP switch was temporarily disconnected & the micro pins thus freed were wired up as shown. The firmware was modified so that the outputs pulsed briefly as follows:

  • PB0 - packet start (no edges detected for "blanking" period)
  • PD7 - start bit edge
  • PD5 - start & data bit value

The previously intransigent bug was quickly found.

   




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