Useful Programs

Office 2007 Error: Compile error in hidden module: distMon

If you receive this error while opening Excel or other Microsoft Office programs, it is usually caused by an Adobe PDF addon that is having problems. According to Microsoft, this can happen if:

1. The Microsoft Office Startup folder or the Microsoft Excel Startup folder contains either or both of the following Adobe Acrobat PDFMaker add-in template files:
2. Norton AntiVirus software is installed.

To fix it, delete the files from the startup Office folder. There are a few locations it might be, in my case it was in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\XLSTART. See this Microsoft KB Article on fixing the error.

How to Schedule a Windows Reboot at a Later Time

Updated on 8/26/2008 with corrected information!

Window’s simple shutdown command works well, but has some major drawbacks. The major one is that it will only schedule a reboot up to 10 minutes into the future (600 seconds). Linux’s shutdown command makes this easy, just issue the command ‘shutdown -r +60’ for example to reboot an hour in the future.

No such luck in Windows, you need to download a separate program to do this. It is a sysinternals program, you might remember sysinternals from such utilies like FileMon and ProcessMonitor.

The program we use for this is called PsTools and more specifically the file psshutdown.exe.

[Download PsTools here]

Place psshutdown.exe into a directory for future use, for this example we will use c:\tools\.

Easiest Method:

Type the following command into the command prompt:

c:\tools\psshutdown.exe -r -f -c -t 02:00 /accepteula

PSshutdown will respond with:

PsShutdown v2.52 - Shutdown, logoff and power manage local and remote systems
Copyright (C) 1999-2006 Mark Russinovich
Sysinternals -

Local system is scheduled to reboot in 15:08:00.

If all goes will, Windows will reboot at 2:00am, or your specified time. This command will start a system service with the psstools scheduling program, PSSDNSVC.EXE.

Alternate Method:

Then open a command prompt and type the following command:

at 2:00am c:\tools\psshutdown.exe -r -f -c -t 10 /accepteula

This will result in:

Added a new job with ID = 1

You can verify this task has been added by looking at the Scheduled Tasks – the job name will be At1 if you haven’t scheduled any other tasks via the command line.

Firefox Blinking Cursor Issue

For some reason, Firefox started to display a blinking cursor, like web pages I have been viewing were editable. Thinking that some errant plugin was causing this behavior, I manically disabled a few I had recently installed. However that didn’t fix the problem.

Good ole Google to the rescue.

Firefox has a ‘feature’ that lets you select text with more visual feedback. I guess the little one must have been hitting keys and turned this on.

Turning it off is easy! Press F7 to turn off caret browsing.

Alternatively, type “about:config” in the URL area, then filter for “caret“. Change accessibility.browsewithcaret to “false”.

Windows Mobile IM and Battery Life

A Typical Cell Phone BatteryIf you are like me, as soon as you start using Instant Messaging (Octrotalk, Windows Live Messenger, IM+, Palringo) on your Windows Mobile Device – your battery life goes out the window. I’m talking, 12 hrs max. That is not a good thing for a mobile device where you need it to last at least a full day, if not multiple days.

The problem is that IM networks need to remain connected – a ‘heartbeat’ signal is sent over the network to ensure the client is still online, and so that if you receive any instant messages they are delivered to you, well, instantly.

The reason text messages do not eat up battery life is because the cell phone network does not require your phone to have a heartbeat data connection to the cellular network – if a text message is sent to you, your phone picks it up when it communicates with the cell phone towers over the “control connection” – which all cell phones use to keep track of which cellular tower it is in range of (for more information on how SMS text messages work, see Howstuffworks).

Apparently this problem is due to IPv4 and how most devices use Network Address Translation to route traffic to your phone. This is where your phone has a private IP and keeps a connection open with a main server, using a keep alive signal, to maintain connectivity. According to this talk from Nokia, IPv6 solves this problem since there are enough IP addresses to assign each device a unique one. No longer will they need to juggle this IP, meaning that there is a substantial savings in battery time.

It can’t come a moment too soon. This has really made me look forward to the coming IPv6 transition. Even though IPv6 is a few years away, services are slowly coming online and eventually a ‘critial mass’ will propel adoption of the new protocol across all installation.

Uninstalling Symantec Antivirus Corporate Edition – Needs Password

Clients using Symantec Antivirus Corporate Edition requires a password while uninstalling the client. The default password out of the box is symantec. If you have changed this password within the Symantec System Center – then you need to use that password. If you have changed the uninstall password and you no longer have access to this password – well then shame on you. Fortunately there is a workaround:

1) Open Regedit

2) Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\INTEL\LANDesk\ VirusProtect6\CurrentVersion\Administrator Only\Security\

3) Change the value for this key from 1 to 0


4) Close the registry and retry the uninstall

[From Experts Exchange]

Using a shared network printer on an MS-DOS based program.

For those of you, or those of you with clients, who have MSDOS based programs like Wordperfect and you want to print to a networked printer, this is all you need. This also works for other printers who use USB ports or something other than LPT.

The solution was to map the share to an LPT port using [I]net use[/I]. For example:

[I]net use lpt1 \\printserver\sharename /persistent:yes[/I]

If the USB printer is on your local machine, you can share it and then map this same printer locally to an LPT port.

From Microsoft KB314499