“Pausing” SkyDrive in Windows 8.1

For whatever reason, Microsoft did not see fit to include a way of pausing SkyDrive’s sync in Windows 8.1, which is a problem, because I keep a large number of photos in my SkyDrive and the sync on my new laptop is taking up a large chunk of bandwidth at work and I’d like to avoid that during business hours. There is a work around that involves setting the network connection to be “metered”, however ethernet connections do not have that option.

So for now, what I’m doing is “suspending” the SkyDrive.exe process using SysInternals Process Explorer.  You can download it here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx

Just open it, right-click SkyDrive.exe, and click Suspend.  When you want to re-enable SkyDrive, go back in and unsuspend the process.  Hopefully MS comes up with a built-in solution sometime soon, but for now, this works for me.

Better NetBeans icon for Ubuntu

For whatever reason, the icon that ships with NetBeans (version 7.4 at the time this was written) is only 32×32 pixels and looks fuzzy in when it shows up in the Unity launcher.  After looking around, I found a higher resolution version (128×128):


To use this image for the launcher icon, go to [your NetBeans install directory]/nb and replace the current netbeans.png file.


Removing (or hiding) a Sharepoint 2010 workflow without deleting it

I had a case where I took over a project and needed to have a Sharepoint workflow not show up for users anymore.  However, I didn’t want to delete it in case we needed it in the future.  What I ended up opening the workflow in Sharepoint Designer, unchecked all of the “Start Options”, then saved and published it.  The workflow still exists, but it doesn’t show up for users anymore, which is just what I wanted.

Pandora app in Android being slow?

If you notice that the Pandora app takes a long time to load songs, there is a fix (although it’s counter-intuitive). Go into the Pandora app settings, tap Advanced, then check the box that says “Higher Quality Audio”. Your songs should load much more quickly.

Deleting an optional section from an Infopath 2010 form via code

I was using an optional section in a web-enabled Infopath form to add a new item to the data connection for a dropdownlist, and could not for the life of me find out how to delete the section after adding the item to the list. There was one solution that involved conditional formatting, but that hid the section completely, including the button to insert the section.


I managed to figure it out on my own, and basically you just tell the optional section to delete itself.  Here’s the code:

nav.SelectSingleNode(“/my:myFields/my:OptionalSection”, this.NamespaceManager).DeleteSelf();


Fix for ClearType fonts looking bad in OpenOffice and LibreOffice

If your running Ubuntu or some other Linux variant, and ClearType fonts like Calibri or Cambria look jagged and thin (or just ugly) in Open/LibreOffice, there is a fix. The problem is that for small font sizes, these fonts use bitmaps instead of antialiasing, which just doesn’t look particularly good. To stop this from happening, create a file in your home folder called .fonts.conf (if it doesn’t already exist) and put this in it:

<match target=”font” >
<edit name=”embeddedbitmap” mode=”assign”>

Save it, and then log out and log back in again. Your fonts should look great now.

How to disable the Workspace Switcher in Ubuntu Unity

It’s pretty simple, actually. Install MyUnity from the Software Center, or run this command in a terminal:

sudo apt-get install myunity

Then open MyUnity, go to the Desktop tab, and set the number of vertical/horizontal virtual desktops to 1. Log out, and then log back in. The Workspace Switcher should be gone.

Firefox 9 being a bit slow?

I installed Firefox 9 a few days ago and I’m loving it so far. In fact, it has replaced Chrome (which had replaced Firefox for me awhile back), which says a lot for the progress that Mozilla has made in the last couple of years.

Anyway, I was having this issue where resizing the Firefox window was really choppy and slow. Not a huge deal, but still annoying. The solution was to go into the Options, go to the Advanced tab, and uncheck “Use Hardware Acceleration”.

Getting rid of Compiz lag in Ubuntu

One of the problems I’ve had with Ubuntu on pretty much every machine that I’ve ever put it on is that Compiz (Desktop Effects) does not run smoothly.  It’s always slightly laggy and jittery, and it’s especially noticeable when you’re moving a window around.  Fortunately, there is a fix that I discovered awhile ago that has worked every time.  The short version is that you need to install compizconfig-settings-manager and turn off the setting to auto-detect your display’s refresh rate, bump up the frame rate manually, and disable vertical sync (optional, but seems to help to).

Here’s a quick how to:

  1. Open a terminal and type this command: sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager
  2. Once it’s installed, run it.  It should be in the System menu if you’re using Gnome 2, or you can type “compizconfig” in the search box in Unity.  You’ll get a window like this:
  3. Click the Composite button on the top.  You should see this screen: 
  4. Uncheck “Detect Refresh Rate” and set the refresh rate to 60 (or whatever you’re screen’s refresh rate is, if you know it).  It should look like this:
  5. Click Back.
  6. Click the OpenGL button near the top.  You should see this screen:
  7. Uncheck “Sync to VBlank”.  It should look like this: 
  8. Close CompizConfig-Settings-Manager and reboot your computer.  You should notice that the performance is much smoother now.

Fix for wobbly Lenovo S10-3t screen

The screen hinge on my Lenovo S10-3t netbook/tablet was getting loose to the point where the screen was wobbling back and forth whenever I moved with it sitting on my lap.  Also, the screen was falling forward a half inch or so when I was holding it in tablet mode.  I was worried that the hinge itself was wearing out, but last night I decided to see if I could fix it anyway.  It turned out to be pretty simple.

If you’re having this problem, all you need to do it tighten two screws located on the bottom of the screen.  They’re hidden beneath two rubber pads, which I’ve highlighted in this picture:

Lenovo S10-3t hinge screw location

The pads are glued on, so you should be able to pry them off easily with your finger nails.  Once you’ve tightened the screws enough to eliminate the wobbling, you can cover them back up with the rubber pads.