How to fix Outlook and Windows if it removes the ‘+’ from your International phone numbers

Another piece of brilliance from Microsoft where if you accidentally triple click on a phone number and bring up the dialing verification screen, Windows decides that you are using their own dialing rules and unhelpfully removes the ‘+’ from all of your phone numbers.  In order to fix this, you need to go to the Control Panel (search ‘Dialing Rules’).  From there, set the dialing region to ‘International Freephone Service’.

How to exclude a category from the wordpress default home page

Go to the wordpress theme top level directory eg:

yourdomain.com/httpdocs/wp-content/themes/twentytwelve/index.php

Replace:

<?php if ( have_posts() ) : ?>

                     <?php /* Start the Loop */ ?>

With this:

<?php if ( have_posts() ) : ?>

                         <?php query_posts($query_string .'&cat=-31'); /*EDIT TO REMOVE PRIVATE CAT 31*/ ?>

			<?php /* Start the Loop */ ?>

Where Cat = [whatever category you want to exclude].

Recovering an IOMEGA 2TB NAS drive

I experienced a complete failure of my 1 year old iomega external NAS drive and, after a quick web search, found this to be a common problem.  The issue manifested itself when I accessed the drive one day and it showed a completely empty drive structure as if it was the first time I had turned on the drive.  All the data that was present on the drive the day before but it was now no longer visible.  I contacted Iomega who were unhelpful and put me in touch with their recovery team who said they’d charge me around £400-£800 to recover the files depending on how long it took.  I will never buy another Iomega product again as this was a software failure from Iomega which it made no effort to rectify but should have.

I was not going to part with another cent to Iomega so I followed Tom’s Hardware forum and recovered all of the data using a tool called Universal File Explorer.  For my Iomega NAS drive (Iomega 34571 Home Media 2TB USB 2.0 Gigabit Network Drive), the files were stored as XFS so I bought the xfs recovery tool for €26.  To use this recovery software, the hard drive needs to be pulled out of its Iomega housing and connected to a PC using a SATA disk caddy.  I bought an Icy Dock from Amazon (Icy Dock MB981U3-1SA SATA Docking Station) for £44.

Bulk renaming files in Windows using the command line

This task is tougher than it should be but I found an excellent reference which helps decipher how the windows ‘rename’ command interprets the wildcards ? and *.  There are lots of examples to follow but I found the following works well in cases where you want to append a text field to a set of files without messing up the .jpg file type.

Example: rename the files called file1.jpg, file200.jpg to file1_edit.jpg, file2_edit.jpg.

>rename *.jpg ???????_edit.*

(where the number of ?’s equals the maximum characters before the ‘.’ in the files you want to rename).