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Tue, Jul 31, 2007 10:28 am

Rosetta Stone

Someone on the solaris-l mailing list mentioned the Rosetta Stone for Unix webpage today as an informative source for determining which commands are available on the various flavors of Unix systems to perform common administrative tasks. When I checked the webpage, I found it had information for the operating systems listed below.

[/os/unix] permanent link

Mon, Jul 23, 2007 10:26 pm

Invalid MAC Address for SiS 900-Based NIC

When I installed a new firewall at a site, the domain controller could not ping the firewall nor access the Internet through the firewall, yet it could ping and access all other systems on the LAN. The problem was due to the domain controller using a SiS 900-based PCI Fast Ethernet network adapter, which had a physical, aka MAC, address of all zeroes. When I assigned a non-zero address to the adapter, the problem disappeared.

[ More Info ]

[/network/arp] permanent link

Mon, Jul 23, 2007 6:01 pm

No Display on Monitor

One of my wife's aunts was not getting any display on her monitor. I replaced the AGP video adapter in her system with another AGP adapter, but still nothing would appear on the monitor when the system was booted. I tried a PCI video adapter instead, but the results were the same. The original AGP adapter from her system worked in another system, so it appears the problem is a fried motherboard; she said the problem happened after a storm, though the system was plugged into an UPS. The motherboard in the system is an EliteGroup Computer Systems (ECS) K7S5A motherboard.

For anyone having video display problems, there is a flowchart, Troubleshooting a Video Adapter and Computer Monitor by Morris Rosenthal that lists steps you can take to isolate the problem.

[/hardware/pc/video] permanent link

Tue, Jul 17, 2007 10:13 pm

Adding a Column to a MySQL Database

To add a column to a MySQL database, you can use the following steps:
  1. Start the text-based MySQL client

    $ mysql -u testacct -p

    The -u testacct parameter specifies that the client should be started using the account named testacct, while the -p parameter indicates that the system should prompt you for the password.

  2. At the mysql> prompt, enter the command use dbname;, where dbname is the database name. If you don't know the name of the database, you can see a list of available databases with the show databases; command.

  3. Use the alter table command to modify the appropriate table. If you need to see a list of tables in the database, you can use the show tables; command. E.g. to add a column, delivered, which will hold a delivery date for a shipment, to the table requests, you could use the command below:

    ALTER TABLE requests ADD delivered DATE;

    That would put the new column at the end of the existing columns. If you want to add the column after a specific column, you can specify that column with AFTER colname. E.g., suppose I wish to add the column delivered after the column orderdate. I could use the command below:

    ALTER TABLE requests ADD delivered DATE AFTER orderdate;

    If you don't know the names of the existing columns, you can use the command SHOW COLUMNS FROM dbname;. E.g., if the table is named requests, I could use the command below:

    mysql> show columns from requests;


  1. Add a column to an existing MySQL table
    Created: February 8, 2004
    Updated: July 17, 2004

[/software/database/mysql] permanent link

Sun, Jul 15, 2007 10:33 pm

QuarkXPress 7.0 on Windows Vista

I needed to install QuarkXPress 7.0 on a new system running Microsoft Windows Vista. When I attempted to install it, I received the message below.

QuarkXPress 7.0 - Setup
Warning - exclamation mark   QuarkXpress 7.0 requires that your computer is running Windows XP or Windows 2003


I found numerous people complaining about the same problem at Cannot install Quark installer 7.2 on VISTA. The solution listed on that page was to download the 30-day evaluation version of QuarkXPress 7.2 installer. Unfortunately, Quark forces you to register to download the installer. It doesn't matter that you may haver registered with them previously. You will have to register again. Then you have to wait for an email message with a link in it to download the software. Although the evaulation version is labeled as an "evaluation version", it is fully functional and will accpet the 7.0 validation code. The link to download the software is

Quark states at Updating to QuarkXPress 7.2 on a computer running Windows Vista which DOES NOT HAVE a version of QuarkXPress installed that "Before trying to use QuarkXPress 7.2 after installing it, please be sure to run the QuarkXPress license transfer function (Help> Transfer QuarkXPress License) on your old computer and follow the steps provided."

To transfer the license, take the following steps in QuarkXPress:

  1. Click on Help
  2. Click on Transfer QuarkXPress license


  1. Cannot install Quark installer 7.2 on VISTA
    First Posting: April 5, 2007
    Quark Forums
  2. Microsoft Windows Vista Support
    Date: 2007
    Quark, Inc.
  3. Updating to QuarkXPress 7.2 on a computer running Windows Vista which DOES NOT HAVE a version of QuarkXPress installed.
    Date: 2007
    Quark, Inc.

[/os/windows/software/quarkxpress] permanent link

Sun, Jul 08, 2007 9:01 pm

Creating a Watermark on an Excel Spreadsheet

I wanted to put a watermark of "Paid" on a one-page Excel 2000 spreadsheet I had created as an invoice form. I found instructions on how to do so at Print a Watermark on Excel Worksheet. To do so, take the following steps in Excel with the spreadsheet open.
  1. Click on View.
  2. Select Page Break Preview.
  3. When you see the "You can adjust where the page breaks are by clicking and dragging them with your mouse" window, click on the OK button.
  4. Click on the WordArt button, which is represented by a blue "A" tilted slightly to the right, in the Drawing toolbar at the bottom of the Excel window. If you don't see this toolbar, click on View, select Toolbars and check Drawing by selecting it.
  5. When prompted to pick a WordArt style, pick the one at the top left corner of the rows of different styles, which will give you a simple outline style.
  6. Click on OK.
  7. Pick the font and the size you want for it or accept the default values, then type the text you want in the "Text" field, e.g. "Paid" to have that word as the "watermark".
  8. Click on OK.
  9. You will then see the word appear as an outline off to the right of the spreadsheet with small sqaures along the edge of the text that serve as handles where you can grab the text. You can click in the middle of the text to grab it and then hold down the left mouse button and drag it where you want to place it on the spreadsheet. You can also grab the text at one of the squares along one of the sides with the cursor and stretch it to make it larger, if you wish. On the WordArt toolbar there is also a "Free Rotate" button, which is represented by a curved arrow. You can use it to rotate the text by clicking on that button and then grabbing one of the corners of the text.
  10. The watermark may obscure some of the text on the spreadsheet when you've placed it where you want it. To fix that problem, right click on the watermark text and choose "Format WordArt". You can change the color of the fill and the line color. I left the fill color as white, but checked "semitransparent" and changed the line color to gray.

    Excel WordArt semitransparent

  11. You can go to View and select Normal View now, if you want to better see how the page looks with the watermark on it.
  12. If you only have a one-page spreadsheet, you are finished. If you have multiple pages, right-click on the watermark, choose Copy. Then go to other pages and choose Edit and Paste.

[/os/windows/office/excel] permanent link

Sun, Jul 08, 2007 1:47 pm

Windows Not Genuine

I moved disk drives from a system with hardware problems to another system. I had to repair Windows afterwards, since the hardware was different. But then I got messages that my copy of Windows was not genuine and that I might have a counterfeit version of Windows, which I did not believe was true. I spent several hours trying to resolve the problem including speaking to several customer service personnel working for Microsoft without getting anywhere.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/xp] permanent link

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