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2009 May

Archive for May, 2009:

Custom Image Resizing Through the Context Menu in Vista

If you're familiar with Power Toys for Windows XP, you know that if you install the Image Resizer Power Toy, resizing images for the web or email can be accomplished by selecting 'Resize Pictures' in right-click context menu. Not so in Vista. For whatever reason, Microsoft has decided not to include such functionality in the context menu, nor was I able to locate a 'Power Toy' for Vista that did this.

I tried out a few free image resizer tools but really didn't like any of them until I found one called Prish Image Resizer, made by a gentleman named Prish. You can find his Windows Live! blog about this tool here. If you'd prefer to download this cool, free tool directly, you can get the Prish Image Resizer here.

Microsoft still needs to work on getting some XP-equilvalent functionality like these XP-only Power Toys provide into Vista as well. My second favorite Power Toy is the TweakUI for Windows XP Power Toy. With this tool, you can adjust many core and even hidden Windows settings, all from one easy-to-use interface. You can adjust menu pop up speed, the icon overlay image on shortcuts, whether or not to prefix 'Shortcut to' on all shortcuts, and even hide user accounts on the Welcome Screen. You can get TweakUI for Windows XP here.

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Windows Update – SQL Server Express SP3 fails

I kept getting a Windows Update notice that SQL Server Express SP3 was ready for installation. Every time I ran the install process, it would fail. There are a lot of posts out there regarding this issue, but I did manage to find one that worked for me, and wanted to share it.

Other failed installations or problems with programs that you are unable to uninstall can be fixed by using Microsoft's Installer Cleanup Utility. This will purge the entries and files for programs that you can not uninstall automatically because some files are missing or corrupt. An installation that does not fully complete can create such issues as well. Just make sure that you are careful in selecting what to clean up because the changes are irreversible without using System Restore or the like!

I have posted a solution that includes this info and that worked for me on the TechArena website here. But consider yourself forewarned: My solution involved cleaning up only the SQL Server Express Installer files, NOT the actual installation itself (MSSMLBIZ).

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