Daily Archives: 24 May 2016


Skype: Disable notifications for a specific group chat without leaving the group nor changing the status of the account

In cases where you are part of a Skype group chat and you do not want to receive notifications for the messages that arrive you can mute most of the notifications without leaving the group and without changing your account status to Do not disturb.

Method A

Use the Skype chat command /alertsoff that will disable message notifications. To use the command, type in the chat window /alertsoff and press Enter.

Method B

Right click on the group chat name or avatar, select View Profile and in the popup window uncheck the option Notify me when something new happens. This method will have the same effect as Method A.

Note

Both methods will disable message alerts, notifications for incoming files and pictures will still be displayed.

To enable the message notifications

Reverse Method A

Use the Skype chat command /alertson that will enable message notifications. To use the command, type in the chat window /alertson and press Enter.

Reverse Method B

Right click on the group chat name or avatar, select View Profile and in the popup window check the option Notify me when something new happens. This method will have the same effect as reversing Method A.

Additional info for Method A reversal

If you do not want to enable all message notifications but you would like to be informed when specific buzz words appear in the chat you could enable notifications only for those words.

For example, if you are interested in getting notified when the word Goal appears in the chat, type in the chat window /alertson Goal. Any other chat message will be ignored while the messages containing the buzz word Goal will create notifications.

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Windows: Kill a service that Windows Task Manager does not stop

In some cases, Windows Task Manager cannot stop a certain service. When the user right clicks on the service and selects the Stop Process option, the status of the service becomes Stopping but never actually stops. This happens when the developer of the service did not handle properly the signal instructing the service to shut down properly.

A way to stop it by force is to use the taskkill command with the help of the task manager. Press at the same time the keyboard keys Ctrl+Shift+Esc this will show the task manager. In the new window, switch to the tab Services. Find the service you want to stop and copy from the column PID the process ID number of the service. In the following example, if we wanted to kill the WinVNC4 service we would copy the number 1828.

TaskKill-Manager

Then, press at the same time the keyboard keys Windows+R that will pop up the Run Command screen. In the input line type the following:

taskkill /pid PID

and replace the PID with the PID we copied from the task manager before. In our example the input will become:

taskkill /pid 1828

and then hit the OK button.

Run-TaskKill


Windows: How to start “Remote Desktop Connection” without the icon shortcut

On a Windows machine we were using recently, all shortcuts icons to system applications got corrupt and they were not linking to the applications they were supposed to link to.

We needed to use Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection without the shortcuts icons. To do so we used the shortcut key of the Run Command screen that allows us to start any application that Windows knows where the binary is.

We pressed the keys Windows+R on the keyboard together and that showed the run command screen. In the input line we typed mstsc and hit the Enter button (you can also click on the OK button on the screen).

Run-mstsc

mstsc is the name that the executable file of Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection application holds in C:\Windows\System32. The easiest way to find the name of a binary is to check the icon shortcut on a machine that it is not corrupted or just search the internet for it.

Using all monitors

If you have multiple monitors that are arranged to form a rectangle, you can instruct mstsc by using the /span parameter to match the Remote Desktop width and height with the local virtual desktop and span across multiple monitors if necessary.

Executing mstsc /span will create a bigger window to the remote machine that will cover all your local monitors. Unfortunately, this window will not operate as if it is composed of multiple monitors. If you set a window to full screen, it will fill ALL local monitors as if they are one.


WordPress: Google AdSense Plugin 3

Recently, we were trying to changing the position of the Google Ads that are shown on a website using the Google AdSense plugin for WordPress.

After clicking on the Manage Ads button at the configuration page (http://example.com/wp-admin/options-general.php?page=GooglePublisherPlugin) we would get an error that another theme had set the active ads and that the plugin cannot proceed to modify them unless they are disabled from the other theme (Specifically we would get the following error: Due to a theme change, ads are not being shown. Please reconfigure your ads or restore the previous theme.).

(a) Disabling the plugin, (b) Uninstalling the plugin (c) Reconnecting with another AdSense account did not help at all.

What we did at the end was to remove the GooglePublisherPlugin entry from the wp_option database of our installation.

DELETE FROM `MyDatabase`.`wp_options` WHERE `option_name` = "GooglePublisherPlugin";

Next time we visited the configuration page, we were disconnected from the previous account and we had to reconnect.

GetStarted-AdSense
After reconnecting, we followed the configuration procedure, we pressed the Manage Ads button, the website was analyzed, we got the confirmation message and we clicked on the Save & Activate button to store the changes.

For a few hours, no ads were shown on the site. We did not take any action and on the next day that ads started appearing as expected.