Saturday, January 30, 2016

How to temporarily clear the maintenance required message on an HP LaserJet P4010 / P4014 / P4015 / P4510 / P4515 printer

If your HP LaserJet P4010, P4014, P4015, P4510, or P4515 printer is displaying the "REPLACE MAINTENANCE KIT" message, you can temporarily clear that message until you are able to replace the maintenance kit and reset the counter.

To temporarily disable the maintenance message:

- Press the Menu button
- Scroll down to CONFIGURE DEVICE
- Press the OK button
- Scroll down to RESETS
- Press the OK button
- Press the OK button

This method will clear the maintenance message for about 10,000 copies, which should be plenty of time to get a new maintenance kit and install it.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

How to log out of unused apps on Facebook

Facebook may not seem like it's that secure, but there are some things you can do to increase your personal security when using Facebook.  One thing you can do is to log out of apps that you aren't currently using.

From a web browser:
- Log into your Facebook account at
- Click on the downward-facing triangle in the upper right corner.
- Select Settings.
- Select Security (on the left side).
- Select Where You're Logged In.
- At the top of the list you'll see "Current Session."  Below that will be any other sessions/devices/apps that you are currently logged into.  Click End Activity next to any of them to log out.

From the Facebook iPad app:
- Tap the down arrow in the upper right corner.
- Tap Settings on the drop-down menu.
- Tap Security.
- Tap Active Sessions.
- Tap the X next to any session that you want to end.

From the Facebook iPhone app:
- Tap the Menu icon in the lower right corner.
- Tap See More....
- Scroll down to Settings.
- Tap Account Settings.
- Tap Security.
- Tap Active Sessions.
- Tap the X next to any session that you want to end.

From the Facebook Android app on a tablet:
- Tap the Menu icon at the top of the screen (next to the globe icon).
- Scroll down to Account Settings.
- Tap Security.
- Tap Active Sessions.
- Tap the X next to any session that you want to end.

Friday, January 22, 2016

How to create a test print batch file on a Windows computer

Many network printers use a web interface to allow you to remotely monitor them and their status.  For some brands of printers, including Sharp and HP, you can send test print jobs from the printer's web interface to see if the device is functioning.  Other brands don't offer this capability, but if you have a Windows PC, you can use the LPR (Line Printer Remote) protocol and batch programming to set up your own test print program.

Create a new text file by right-clicking on your desktop, selecting New, and then Text File.  Designate this file as a batch file by saving it with the extension .bat.  You can name the program whatever you want -- testprint.bat, LPRtest.bat, etc. -- as long as it has the .bat batch file extension.

The same thing can be accomplished from the command prompt by typing:

edit filename.bat

The only difference that you'll notice by creating the batch file from the command prompt instead of from the desktop is that Microsoft's DOS text editor program will open, instead of Windows Notepad.  (If you want to open the file in Notepad from the command prompt instead of the DOS text editor, type notepad filename.bat instead.)

Copy and paste the following commands into your batch file:

@echo off
set /p printername= Printer to test:
lpr -S %printername% -P lp "test.txt"

Now save the batch file and open a new text file.  (This can be done from within the editor/Notepad by selecting New from the File menu.)  This file will be the file used to test printing, so you can type whatever you want here.  Something short and sweet like "test" is sufficient, but you can type whatever you want.  When you are done, save the file with the name "test.txt."  It's important to use this name so that your program can find the file.  Alternatively, you can modify the batch file to change "test.txt" to whatever file name you want to use.

Exit the program and make sure that both files -- the batch file and the text file -- are saved in the same directory.  Now you can test your program by double-clicking on it in Windows or typing the filename (with or without the ".bat" extension) from the command prompt.

A prompt will appear asking which printer you want to test.  Select a printer on your network to test by typing in either it's IP address or host name, then pressing ENTER.

You won't be notified if the print job is successful, so go to the printer's web interface before hitting ENTER to check the page count, then refresh the page to check it again shortly after sending the print job.  If the counter doesn't go up by one (which may take a minute or two for slower printers, or printers that need to warm up) the test print may have failed; otherwise, you can be reasonably sure it succeeded -- unless someone else printed one page at the same time that you sent your print job.

This test print program can be useful for remotely troubleshooting printing problems.  It bypasses the print driver, so it can also help to narrow down problems caused by a faulty, incorrect, or corrupted driver.

If you try to run the test print program and you get a message stating that the LPR command is not recognized, you probably just need to enable LPR on your PC.  This article will walk you through how to do that.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

How to disable conversation view in Gmail

When you first set up a Gmail account, it will probably be defaulted to using conversation view for showing your messages.  Conversation view groups email chains together for easier reference.  Some people prefer conversation view while others don't.  If you don't like conversation view, you can disable it easily by following the steps below.

- Log in to your Gmail account
- Click on (or tap, for touch screens) the gear icon in the upper right corner
- Select Settings
- Select the radio button next to "Conversation view off"

- Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Save Changes

Monday, January 18, 2016

How to show hidden files and folders in Windows 10

Windows 10 has a lot of similarities to previous versions of Windows, but it can still take some getting used to.  Most of the same settings and options are still there; they can just be a little harder to find the first time.  If you need to set your Windows 10 PC to show hidden files and folders, here's how.

- If you have an open folder, click on it to make it the active window.  If you don't have an open folder, press <CTRL> and <E> to open up the File Explorer.

- Press <ALT> and <F> to bring up the File menu.

- Press <O> for "Change folder and search options."

- Select the View tab.

- Select the radio button next to "Show hidden files, folders, and drives."

- Click OK or Apply.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

How to find the MAC address of an iPad

To see the MAC address (called the "Wi-Fi Address") on your iPad, follow these steps:

- From the home screen, tap Settings
- Tap General on the left side

The MAC address will be displayed on the right side of the screen, labeled Wi-Fi Address.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

How to add a web page shortcut to an iPad Mini 2's home screen

In addition to using bookmarks in your web browser, another way to "save" a web page on your iPad Mini 2 is to create a shortcut to it directly from the tablet's home screen.  To create a home screen shortcut for a web page:

- Open Safari
- Go to the web page you want to create a shortcut for
- Tap the square with the arrow coming up out of it (to the right of the address bar)
- Tap the + icon (Add to Home Screen)
- Tap Add

These steps were written for an iPad Mini 2 with iOS version 9.1.  For tablets running other versions of iOS, the steps may vary.

Monday, January 11, 2016

How to enable JavaScript in Chrome

By default, JavaScript is enabled in Chrome.  However, if it got disabled somehow, it's very easy to re-enable JavaScript.

- In Chrome, click on the Menu icon in the upper right corner of the browser window (the icon with the three horizontal lines)

- From the drop down menu, select Settings

- Type "javascript" and in the search results, click on the Content settings... button

- Under the JavaScript heading, click the radio button next to Allow all sites to run JavaScript (recommended)

- Click the Done button

Saturday, January 9, 2016

How to turn off conversation view in the Yahoo! Mail app for iPad

If you use the Yahoo! Mail app for iPad, you've probably noticed that it defaults to conversation view to display your inbox messages.  In conversation view, emails sent back and forth on the same subject are grouped together, so they only show as one entry by default.  If you want to disable conversation view, so that emails show up individually, you can do so easily:

- In the Yahoo! Mail app, tap the icon in the upper left corner that looks like an avatar of a person (next to the menu icon).
- Tap Settings.
- Tap General.
- Tap Preferences.
- Tap the slider next to Conversations so that it goes from green (on) to white (off).

Thursday, January 7, 2016

How to solve Chrome not allowing you to attach files in Outlook Web App

If you are using a version of Outlook Web App (Outlook Web Access) to access your email and you can't use the Attach button in Chrome (because Silverlight and certain other plugins are no longer supported -- see this article) here is a JavaScript workaround that brings the attachment functionality back.  Without this workaround, your options are limited to either using the light version of OWA or using a different web browser.

This workaround is very easy to set up.  It allows you to attach files to emails, but it does not enable attaching to a specific, already-existing email.  Therefore, when you use it, it will attach your file(s) to a new draft email, and from there you can add the recipient(s) and subject/text.

To use this function, JavaScript must be enabled in your web browser.  Chrome comes with JavaScript enabled by default, but if it's been disabled somehow, you can see how to re-enable it here.  You won't need to enable pop ups.

You should also have the bookmarks bar enabled for easiest access.  If you use the bookmarks bar, this JavaScript bookmark can give you one-click access to attach files to email.  You can enable the bookmarks bar through Settings as well, by searching for (you guessed it) "bookmarks bar".

To set up the attach button bookmark, right click on an empty space in the bookmarks bar and select Add Page....  The Edit Bookmark screen will appear, where you can create a new bookmark.

In the Name: field, you can call your bookmark whatever you want, such as Outlook Attach or OWA Attach File, or any name that works for you.  In the URL: field, type or paste the following:


The above code is a JavaScript command that will open the Outlook Web App attach window in a new browser tab (assuming you're already logged into your email account).  Replace emailServerName with the URL that your OWA uses for web access (ie. "").

Once you have entered the name and URL for your bookmark, click Save at the bottom of the window.  Your new bookmark will be added to the bookmarks bar.  (If you have a lot of bookmarks, you may not see it unless you click on the expand arrow on the far right side.)  For easier access, you can drag the bookmark wherever you want on the bookmark bar.

To use the bookmark as an Attach button, click on it when you want to send an attachment with an email.  The file attachment window will open in a new browser tab, and you can browse for and select the file(s) you wish to attach.  Once you've selected all of the files you want, click Attach (all the way down in the lower right corner).  A new email will be created with your files attached.  To find this email, go to your Drafts folder.

This workaround isn't perfect, but it does allow you to use the attachment function in Chrome without having to go through the light version of OWA.  It may not work with all versions of Outlook Web App, but it works with versions that require Silverlight for the attachment feature.  (This workaround does not work if you are logged into the light version of OWA, but in that version you can attach files normally.)

If you are having trouble attaching files in Outlook Web App when using Microsoft Edge, this workaround will help with that as well.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

New type of Javascript-based ransomware reported

A new type of ransomware based on a Javascript framework has been reported. describes Ransom32 as utilizing NW.js (fka node-webkit) to encrypt a computer's files and demand a BitCoin ransom in order to unencrypt those files.

Ransom32 would still need to be executed for it to take effect, and it's odd file size of 32 MB would hopefully deter otherwise-unaware potential victims.  It has been seen so far packaged as a self-extracting RAR file.  You can read more about this ransomware, as well as see screen shots of it, at

Monday, January 4, 2016

How to print an envelope from Microsoft Word 2003

Microsoft Word 2003 can print other things besides just documents.  If you need to print an address or return address (or both) on an envelope, you can use Word to do it by following the steps below.

Word can only print envelopes to the default printer.  So the first thing you have to do is make sure that the printer you want to print envelopes from is set as your default printer.  Go to Printers and Faxes (in newer versions of Windows, go to Devices & Printers) and change your default printer if you need to.  Right click on the printer and select Set As Default Printer.

Next, open Word 2003, go to the Tools menu and hover over Letters and Mailings.  A submenu should appear showing several options.  Click on Envelopes and Labels.  In the dialogue box that appears, make sure you are in the Envelopes tab.

There are two text boxes, one labeled "Delivery address" and the other, smaller one labeled "Return address."  Fill in the address or addresses you want to be printed on the envelope.  (If you have a Microsoft address book set up, you can click on the book icon to insert an address from your contacts.)  You can adjust the font, text size, or text style by highlighting the text you want to change, right clicking on it, and selecting Font.  Then, once you've made the changes you want to make, click OK to go back to the Envelopes screen.

Once you have the address filled in, make sure your printer is turned on and ready.  Place the envelope you want to print to in the paper tray in the correct orientation.  The orientation may vary by printer model.  Usually you can find this information in the user guide, but if not, you can click the picture of the envelope shown in the box labeled "Feed" in the Envelopes screen, and Word will show you how it recommends you set the envelope.  The orientation Word suggests isn't always right, so it's a good idea to run a test print first, either on an envelope or a plain piece of paper.

If you are using a non-standard envelope size, or if you want to change the alignment, click the envelope in the box labeled "Preview" and adjust any of the necessary settings.  Then click OK to save them.

Now that the envelope is in the tray and the address information is filled in, all you have to do is click Print.  If you've entered a return address, Word will ask you if you want to save this address as the default return address.  If you choose Yes, every time you go to print an envelope, the return address field will already be filled in for you.

(Originally posted on, May 2010)

Friday, January 1, 2016

Dealing with web browser click delay when developing apps or web pages for mobile devices

When developing apps or web pages for mobile devices, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration: operating system, device manufacturer and model, web browser, etc.  One thing that I recently discovered is that there can be a 300ms delay when using the touch screen on many mobile devices.

If you develop code and test it on a laptop or desktop, you won't notice this delay, and may think everything is working perfectly (as I did).  That delay may not be noticeable for some apps or web pages, but for others (especially ones that require a quick response, like a game) it can cripple the functionality or destroy the gaming experience.

This article on has several good solutions for dealing with this delay.  Some of them will work for some devices, operating systems, or web browsers but not for others.  I can attest that the touchend method works great for the iPad and iPad Mini... it completely removed the delay that occurred when using the onclick attribute.  It's possible that you may run into a problem eventually if you include both the onclick and touchend attributes calling the same function, but I haven't had that happen yet.