So was I. This summer I bought a laptop with Windows Vista 64 on it. When I tried to connect to a printer on a networked PC (running XP) via the simple “Add a printer” command it didn’t work and I got the error below:
After much searching of Windows forums on the internet I found the following fix on Tech Support Guy (additional notes and screenshots mine):
- Select: Control Panel, Printers, Add Printer
- Choose Add Local Printer.
- Uncheck the box marked :Automatically detect my PnP printer (Vista only).
- Click Next
- Select Create a New Port and leave the default in the drop down selection as Local Port.
- Click Next
- Windows displays a small dialogue box asking a port name.
- Key in: \\<computer_name>\<printer_name> See note below.
- Click OK
- Windows will show a list of printer vendors and models. The list looks just like the Windows Add Hardware Dialog. Select your printer manufacturer and printer model from the list. If your specific printer isn’t shown, you can click on Have Disk and browse to the folder where you have the unpacked drivers for your printer.
The above procedure worked like a champ for me. More recently I upgraded the laptop to Win7 64. I naively hoped that Microsoft had fixed this problem in Win7 but no such luck: I had the same issues I had with Vista. Fortunately, the above workaround also did the trick on Win7 and I’m now happily printing to my Canon i850 attached to an old XP machine.
Life is, once again, good.
(Note: Click any image to enlarge – all images from Win7)
Backing up the data on your PC ranks right up there with getting a root canal. Or so you’d think based upon how few people have a good backup system in place for their irreplaceable data. Yet today, with so much of our lives in digital form, it’s more important than ever.
This issue was brought sharply into focus for me on 15 October when I returned home from a meeting to find the screen of my eight week old laptop black with the ominous message: “No OS found”. I tried numerous times to get it to boot but to no avail. Diagnostics confirmed that the hard disk had failed. I guess I shouldn’t have been as surprised as I was, as electronics typically will fail in the first 90 days or they’re good for years. But my heart fell when I saw that message. Why? Because I had not yet backed up any of the data on my “new” laptop – I figured I had time to do that later.
Fortunately for me, I was able to start the laptop using a bootable Linux CD (from Knoppix). And, though the laptop’s HD would no longer boot, it spun up and I was able to copy all of my data off onto another network computer (“and there was much rejoicing”).
I got lucky. This time. I should have had a backup system in place. I do on my other PCs but had not yet set something up on the laptop. Valuable life lesson learned.
Backing up data is not unlike saving for retirement: both are most successful if automated. I use a simple system to do this: I have each PC on the network copy any new files to a different PC on the network every night using one of two free utilities: Abakt and Cobian Backup. It’s simple and automatic. Large media files I back up manually every so often to writeable CDs or DVDs. I do the same with any downloaded software I wish to back up.
But what if you don’t have multiple computers or, even if you do, they are not networked together? As I see it you have two decent options: utilize an online/internet backup service (PC Mag has a review of several here) or a removable external drive. Several of the former services offer a free option with 5GB of storage; cost of the latter option has plummeted to where you can now pick up 640GB of external USB storage for about $70. Spending a little more will typically buy you a drive with included, automatic backup software. Trust me – automatic is good.
One final backup option I’m partial to is a network attached storage (NAS) solution employing either RAID 1 or X-RAID® (to be fair, there are RAID solutions available for inside your PC but that gets much more complicated). These RAID configurations write your data to two physical hard drives which are mirror images of each other. When one of the drives fail (which it will do – drives are electromechanical devices with a lifespan of 3-5 years) you just replace the failed drive with a new one and the RAID software will mirror the data on the good drive onto the new one and you are back in business. To insure the safety of your data if you go this route, you must either save all of your critical info only on this drive array OR you must use one of the previously discussed back up software programs to copy key data to the RAID system on a daily/nightly basis.
It has gotten so easy and inexpensive to automatically back up your data that there is no excuse to not have a system in place. Don’t wait until it is too late.
It’s natural at this point to breathe a sigh of relief and want to take a day off. Maybe two. Don’t do it! No matter how well the interview went, or how much you desire to work for that company, you should keep applying to other positions to keep your “pipeline” full.
Why? That plum opportunity may not turn into an offer. Or it may not turn into an acceptable offer. If you let your pipeline go dry while you wait, and bad news comes, you could set your job search back by weeks. Not good, right?
If you keep it full, the worst case is that you’ll receive multiple job offers. Oh wait – isn’t that the best case? And before you write in saying “No one gets multiple job offers in this economy,” let me tell you that is precisely what happened to two friends of mine during their job searches this year.
As of this writing I am awaiting news on the results of interviews with three different companies, the oldest dating back to the first half of September. What am I doing while I wait? I am continuing to network and apply to other companies. In fact, I have an interview with a fourth company this coming Tuesday.
I’ve also attended the Career Navigator job search “boot camp” to brush up on my job search skills. And I’ve been giving presentations on social media and job search to keep my presentation skills up, blogging to keep my writing skills up… you get the idea.
It’s easy to drop your guard during your job search when you have landed one or more interviews. Don’t do it – keep your pipeline full.
[This week I'm utilizing my blog for a public/community service announcement.]
Each fall the Avon High School Tech Club (some of you may recall I blogged about the Tech Club before, regarding their wooden bridge competition entry) holds a bicycle drive for charity. This year it is on Saturday, 31 October (yep – Halloween), from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM at the Avon High School parking lot (only about 35 minutes south of Rochester and a lovely opportunity to enjoy the fall foliage).
Adult-sized bikes, bike frames and parts are accepted in any condition. As a community service the Tech Club students rebuild/recondition the bikes to be fully functional. Bikes are then distributed through “Second Life Bikes” to Rochester area individuals with no other means of transportation.
If you have a bike to donate it may be dropped off at the Avon High School parking lot on Saturday afternoon. Tech Club members will be there to accept your donation and thank you. If you are unable to drop off your bike on Saturday, pick up arrangements can be made. Please contact the Tech Club adviser, Mr. Bob Castle, at 226-2455 x1604 or at email@example.com.
Thanks to Mr. Castle and the Tech Club members for supporting folks in need!
I’ve never been big on self promotion. Funny how things change when you’re in job search. Not only have I learned to self promote now, but I’ve realized that I need to do so for the rest of my career (for some tips, read Brag!: The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn without Blowing It).
This week I thought I’d talk about my experience being on the radio. Seven of the local Clear Channel radio stations have been running a promotion during the last few months called “Radio Resume”. This is a free public service they initiated to help unemployed folks advertise their availability.
I learned of this promotion a few weeks before it started and immediately applied. On 22 July I received a call from the WHAM general manager saying I’d been chosen and on 23 July they called to record my Radio Resume.
What’s a Radio Resume? It’s a 30 second spot (5 second intro & 25 second pitch). About 3-4 sentences. It closes with a request to see your resume on the station’s web site, where all of the Radio Resume participants’ resumes (past and present) are hosted.
Last I checked the promotion was still going on so, if you are unemployed and live in the Rochester area, I recommend you consider applying. The application process is simple – just enter why you feel you should be chosen – in 300 characters or less. For those of you on Twitter or LinkedIn, that’s just over two tweets or status updates.
If you are fortunate enough to be called, here are my recommendations:
- Repeat your name twice
- Give your title or function
- Tell the employer what value you will bring to them (this is WHY they hire you, right?)
- Refer them to your resume on the radio station’s web site (call to action)
Things not to say (either because no one cares or you’re just wasting precious seconds):
- When you were laid off (or how long)
- Personal financial details (like bankruptcy or foreclosure)
- Marital status, number of children, etc.
Write out what you want to say, bold the words you want to emphasize, and add hyphens anywhere you want to pause. Then practice, practice, practice. Time yourself. Whittle it down to a punchy delivery of the bare essentials. This is radio – your message is only as good as the delivery. Oh wait! Isn’t that true of all of your self-marketing materials?
Is a Radio Resume worth the effort? Absolutely! Worst case, people in your network will hear it and you will be top of mind with minimal effort on your part. If they hear of a position that fits you they will remember (and think of) you. Best case, it can lead to an interview and, possibly, employment. I know of two people, including myself, that received interviews as a direct result of someone hearing their Radio Resume.
So stop sitting around reading blogs and go apply for a Radio Resume. And best of luck!