Saturday, December 7, 2013

Start the Wireless Zero Configuration (WZC) service

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Today, my neighbor handed me a ten year old Dell XP computer and said she was unable to get a wireless connection. We received the following message when trying to connect to a wireless network:

The following is how I resolved the issue. I went to the Microsoft site and pulled up the following documentation:

Wireless Zero Configuration is a Windows service on Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 that is used to configure and manage wireless network connections on a wireless adapter. The service name for Wireless Zero Configuration is WZCSVC. On Windows XP, the display name for the WZCSVC service is Wireless Zero Configuration. On Windows Server 2003, the display name for the WZCSVC service is Wireless Configuration.
The Wireless Zero Configuration service is normally started at boot time. The programming interface for the Wireless Zero Configuration service can be used only if the Wireless Zero Configuration service has been started. If the Wireless Zero Configuration service is not started, then the Wireless Zero Configuration functions will return an error.
To enable the Wireless Zero Configuration service so it starts up automatically, go to the Start button. Select the Settings option and then select Control Panel. If you are using the Windows XP view, select thePerformance and Maintenance category and then select Administrative Tools. If you are using the Classic View, then select Administrative Tools. Click the Services icon in the left pane. Click the Wireless Zero Configuration icon in the right pane and change the Startup Type dropbox to Automatic. This setting will set the service to start automatically at boot time. Then click the Start button to start the Wireless Zero Wireless Zero Configuration service and click the OK button.
The Wireless Zero Configuration can also be started and stopped from a command prompt. To start the Wireless Zero Configuration, run the following command:
net start wzcsvc
To stop the Wireless Zero Configuration, run the following command:
net stop wzcsvc
Note: Once you enable the WZC Service and reboot, it might not stay enabled. The following could be the reason. The following is from a Microsoft MVP:

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

SQL Maintaining Tables

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Table Creation

When creating a table, you should normalize the data attributes you want to store in the table. See SQL - Data Base Basics of SQL to find out about normalization.

Decide on a table name, column names, primary key, and data types.

Create a query to track the employees in your company. You need to track employee birthdays, age, and salary. Create a table to store employee name, department, and phone numbers.

Table name: Employees
Column names: EmployeeID, FirstName, LastName, Department, HomePhone, WorkPhone

Next, go through the normalization steps to make sure you don't include data that is better suited for another table.

Create a table:

EmployeeID CHAR (50) Primary Key NOT NULL,
FirstName CHAR (50) NOT NULL,
LastName CHAR (50) NOT NULL,
HomePhone CHAR (20),
WorkPhone CHAR (20),
Department CHAR (20)


Sunday, April 7, 2013

SQL Inserting Data

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INSERT: Inserts data (rows) into an existing table using the INSERT, INTO, and VALUES keywords.
  • The INTO keyword indicates the table name. 
  • The VALUES keyword indicates what to insert. 
  • You can insert a partial row or an entire row. 
  • The NULL keyword indicates no value.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

SQL Table Joins

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A SQL JOIN combines data from two or more tables based on matching keys indicated in the SELECT statement. The matching keys are what creates the relationship between tables and uniquely identify the rows in a table.

INNER JOIN: This is the most common type of join and is considered the default join type. The inner join, sometimes referred to as an EQIJOIN, only brings back data that is a match between both tables being joined. In the example below:

SELECT statement states that we want all (*) columns from both tables.
FROM indicates the first table wanted.
INNER JOIN keyword specifies the other table we want to join to, the Orders table.
ON keyword is used in conjunction with the INNER JOIN keyword to indicate how the two tables are to be joined, in this example, the CustomerID of the Customers and Orders table. Customers.CustomerID and Orders.CustomerID is the format because the CustomerID name column is the same in both tables.


FROM Customers
On Customers.CustomerID = Orders. CustomerID

note: If you fail to indicate the relationship between the two tables, you will end up with a Cartesian product. A Cartesian product causes each row from the first table to be multiplied by the total number or rows from the second table.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

SQL Subqueries

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Tremblant, Quebec
It is possible for SQL queries to contain other queries, called subqueries. The values of one query are passed to another query.

Subqueries can be utilized in SELECT statements, as well as the INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE statements.

Subqueries allow you to connect queries together, so that you can query more than one table at a time.
Subqueries can either be nested within another query or it can be connected to another query using a keyword. When the subquery is nested in a SELECT statement, the innermost query is processed first. When a subquery is connected to another query using a keyword, the last subquery is processed first.

note: MySQL versions that are prior to version 4.1 do not support subqueries. MySQL uses JOINS to accomplish the same thing as subqueries.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

SQL: Summarizing and Grouping Data

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Data Summarization

SQL has aggregate functions that allow you to summarize large volumes of data. Summarizing data helps to determine trends. Many times data needs to be summarized with reports. Aggregate functions
take the values of multiple rows grouped together, i.e., values stored in a column, and returns a single value. 

Common aggregate Microsoft SQL functions:

AVG(): Returns the average of data stored in a column

COUNT(*):  Counts the rows in a table (including NULL values)

COUNT (Column name):  Counts the rows in a column (excluding Null values)

FIRST():  Returns the first value stored in a column

LAST():  Returns the last value stored in a column

MAX():  Returns the highest value stored in a column

MIN():  Returns the lowest value stored in a column

SUM():  Returns the sum of values stored in a column

Sunday, January 27, 2013

SQL - Calculated Fields and Functions

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Customer Table

To create a new database in Microsoft Access:
  • Open Microsoft Access and click Blank Database under the New Blank Database heading. 
  • Name the database in the File Name box on the right side of the screen. Click the folder icon to place the database where you want. 
  • Afterwards, click Create to save the database you just created.

To create a query using Microsoft Access 2010:
  • Switch to SQL View by clicking Create from the menu running across the top of the screen.
  • Click the Query Design button, causing the Show Table dialog box to appear. 
  • Click Close in the dialog box without selecting a table. 
  • Locate the View drop-down button near the top left. 
  • Click the down arrow and select SQL View. This is the place to type the SQL script. 
  • To execute the script in SQL View, click on the Run button.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

SQL - Sorting, Retrieving, and Filtering Data

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Query Terms and Syntax Rules

query: a command that you use to retrieve data from one or more tables.

clause: a component  of an SQL statement.

keywords: reserved words.

statement: keywords and data in the SQL query.

FROM keyword: to indicate the table to retrieve data from.

SELECT keyword: gives you the ability to retrieve data from the table by telling the database which column(s) to display.

Monday, January 21, 2013

SQL - Data Base Basics of SQL

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SQL is a computer language used to retrieve and manipulate data from relational databases. Some of the functions of SQL:

  • Modify a database's structure
  • Change system security settings
  • Add user permissions to databases
  • Query a database 
  • Update a database

Important terms

  • client: a single-user computer that interfaces with a multiple-user server
  • client/server database system: system that divides time between a client and a database server
  • database: collection of related data stored as organized files
  • server: multiple-user computer that holds the actual database and provides shared database connection, interfacing, and processing services

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Internet Explorer encountered a problem and needs to close

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A recent install of Windows 7 on a Toshiba laptop started producing error messages each time I closed Internet Explorer 9.

This was not a random situation. Without fail, Internet Explorer generated a message saying that Internet Explorer encountered a problem and needs to close.

I hate when that happens. At first, I ignored the error, but, after awhile, it became annoying.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Cursor jumps all over screen on a Macbook

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If you think Macs don't get malware, you are sadly mistaken. There are plenty of free antivirus software on the Internet, so please find and download the security on your Mac computer as soon as possible. If you or your kids download music on a regular basis from nefarious sources, you are prime for infection. Or, if you do not have your own personal home network, you are leaving yourself wide open by connecting to open Internet connections in your neighborhood. Beware of network names like linksys or hpsetup. If there is no lock symbol beside the network name, that tells you it is an open network and anyone can connect to the network.

This morning as I was feeding my dogs, Danny and Daisy, my friend Lisa texted asking if she could call me about a computer problem. "Sure", I texted back, as I continued to feed my always seemingly starved ravenous pets.

Lisa complained about a problem with her Macbook cursor jumping around, moving involuntarily, and windows randomly opening. I asked if she had antivirus installed on her computer, "No, I never installed one on the Mac". It goes without saying Lisa, along with everyone else I know, thought MacBooks immune from virus problems.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Unable to install your printer?

A Lexmark printer
Image via Wikipedia
You are not able to install a new printer you purchased for your computer. The instruction manual tells you to "Choose the local printer attached to the computer", but that option is not available. The only option that is available is "a network printer, or a printer connected to another computer". What is the likely cause of the problem?

You have not been granted permissions to install printers. To install permissions, you must be a member of the Administrators group or the Power Users group.

In Windows, you have a security component called UAC or User Account Control, which is the method used in Windows Vista and Windows 7, for elevating privileges in order to do certain Administrative tasks. This is a good thing because previously malicious software could install "silently" just because a user was logged on as an Administrator. Administrators have privileges over everything in a computer.

Now, when a user logs on to a Windows Vista or Windows 7 computer, the user is automatically given the security token of a standard user. The built-in Administrator is disabled on new installations of Vista. If the user needs to perform any administrative tasks, UAC prompts for an administrator password.

If you are an admin, enter YES to continue. If you are not an admin, enter the administrator password to continue.

If you are in Windows XP, you might be logged onto a Standard User Account and need to switch to an Administrator Account or Power User in order to install the printer. See the Microsoft link below for instructions in assigning rights to a Power User using Group Policy.

Why use a standard user account instead of an administrator account?

Understanding and Configuring User Account Control in Windows Vista

Power Users and Windows 7

Assign User Rights to a Group in AD DS

User Account Control Step-by-Step Guide

Non-admins unable to install Network Printers: Windows 7

Allowing Vista Standard Users to install printer drivers

Install printer without being administrator

Monday, October 15, 2012

Looking at BranchCache for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008

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BrancheCache gives users of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 increased network responsiveness, by reducing wide area network (WAN) utilization when accessing files from a branch office that are located in a central office.

Enabling BranchCache causes a copy of the file that is accessed from a file or Web server and located in a remote office to be cached in the local branch office. The next time a client requests the file, BranchCache first attempts to retrieve it from the local BranchCache.

BranchCache makes sure clients are authorized by the content server and the files are up-to-date, so  clients never have to worry about retrieving files that are not current.

  • BranchCache clients must be running Windows 7 and the BranchCache feature has to be enabled. 
  • Web servers must be running Windows Server 2008 R2 with the BranchCache feature enabled.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

How to Make a Conference Call on your IPHONE

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Below is the procedure to make a conference call while using the iPhone. If you are like me, the need will arise spontaneously, and inevitably you are stuck and have to discontinue the call because you never took the time to figure out how.

The iPhone lets you conference up to five different callers.

  1. Make your call.
  2. Tap Add Call and call the other line. The first call is put on hold when you do this. You can talk privately with the second call before merging the calls.
  3. Tap Merge Calls to bring the current call into conference with the other call(s).
  4. Perform step 2 and 3 to bring other calls into the conference.

If you have an incoming call and would like to merge the call into the conference:

  • Tap Hold Call + Answer; then tap Merge Calls.

Drop a call from the conference:

  • Tap Conference and type the red phone symbol next to a call; then type End Call.

Talk privately with a call in the conference: 

  • Tap Conference and tap Private next to a call. Tap Merge Call when you are ready to return the call to the conference.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

How to Manage Access to Shared Folders in Windows 7

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What does Authentication and Authorization mean?

  • Authentication: Authentication is when you provide some type of proof to access a computer or a computer resource, and the proof you provide verifies your identity. Usually you authenticate with your user id and password. If the infrastructure is critical, then a user id and password will not be enough and digital certificates are issued and verified by a Certification Authority. 
  • Authorization: Determining if you have the permission to access some particular type of resource.
  • Access: Determine what type of action, based on a permission level, that can be performed on a resource.

What is Windows Authentication?

  • Kerberos v5 Protocol: Windows 7 clients and Windows Server 2000 or later uses Kerberos as its default authentication method. Kerberos(protocol)
  • NTLM (NT Lan Manager): Used to provide backward compatibility with pre-Windows 2000. NTLM is a suite of Microsoft security protocols that provide authenticity, integrity, and confidentiality to users. NTLM
  • Certificates: Rely on a third party to verify who you are (PKI Infrastructure). Public-key_infrastructure.