Erroneous “This modification will affect transactions from closed periods…” prompt in Quickbooks

May 8th, 2015

I was highly disappointed to discover that a current version of QuickBooks will give this error message:quickbooks-depends-on-computer-date-format

 

 

If you have your Windows user date format set differently from the other users of QuickBooks – I assume that it would work on some days and not others! At this particular client’s site, 2 users were using a mm/dd/yyyy date format, and the 3rd, the person who couldn’t make postings, was using dd/mm/yyyy. I was able to triage this to a Windows user issue, since other QuickBooks users using this fellows Windows login also were not able to make postings.

It took a few tries while searching Google to find the magic search terms to confirm that I wasn’t the first to find this particular issue.

It is 2015, I would have bet that a very common software package from a large firm would have had time to learn to convert dates to a single standard, maybe UTC,  prior to applying business logic. But… I would have lost that bet with QuickBooks.

Meh, I guess this gives us something to point to when people find bugs in our websites. :)

Oscars Bingo for reddit.com/r/movies 2015

March 1st, 2015

A little belated, but, worth posting anyways. For the second year in a row, the moderators at the movies subreddit approached us, via our custom bingo cards to help with their Oscars Bingo contest. Over 3 times as many of the cards were claimed this year! This years live contest thread is here. It looks like it worked out for everyone! It’s a fun use of our site – but highly customized – we host a custom mini-site to distribute the custom bursted and logo’d cards to the reddit users.

Google Drive broke itself? Deleting the user settings…

February 2nd, 2015

About 3 weeks ago, I think Google Drive tried to update itself and broke itself. This happened on multiple computers running at one of our client’s businesses. These were Windows XP Pro computers, in Workgroup mode, and the users are running in Limited User accounts. I’m not 100% what the trigger to the problem was – it didn’t seem to be a  wide spread problem, since, my brief web searches on the topic didn’t turn up anything recent.

I tried an uninstall and re-install of Google Drive, but that didn’t work. In hindsight, I should have tried disconnecting the drive from a Google user account, and then re-connecting it.

What I actually did was to delete the Google Drive user level files (and, as it turns out, the settings). As far as I can tell, this seems to reset the software. It looks like Google Drive doesn’t really use the Windows Registry – this makes sense, it makes it easier share code across platforms like OSX or Linux (if such clients exist).

So, I renamed this folder, to “break” Google Drive:

C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Drive

I think Windows Vista and later would have it here: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Google\Drive

 

Upon re-opening the Google Drive client, I was prompted to do the initial setup. And after entering the Google Account username and password, and pointing to the original drive folder, it started to work. There was an initial sync check, where all the files were compared to the cloud copy, and then a prompt to correct any discrepancies.

I’m not impressed that this happened, it makes me wonder about all these automatically updating programs, like Chrome (which has also caused me grief after an automatic update).

Expect some Downtime on a few Perceptus Websites

November 9th, 2014

We’re doing some house cleaning on our web servers. Some of our websites have been, and will be, moving around over the next couple weeks. If you happen to get an error about the server being down, this would be the reason. For our more important websites, we will be taking great care to minimize the downtime.

Control Your Music Playback from an iDevice without using iTunes? Yes!

October 26th, 2014

For a variety of reasons, I prefer not to run iTunes on the old Windows XP computer that I have connected to the TV and amplifier at home.

Kids these days might call it a HTPC (home theatre PC), but in my case, it really is just a generic used computer – in fact, it doubles as the box I infrequently use for tasks like testing a hard drive, trying to image or salvage data from a disk, or testing other desktop computer components.

By number of hours of use, the machines #1 job is to be a physically enormously MP3 player. For the last couple years, I have used the trusty old WinAmp and either the wired keyboard, or the wireless keyboard, or remotely connected via VNC to add and remove tracks. It wasn’t ideal, but it generally worked fine. I really wanted a way to add items from the library to the playlist from my phone, though. Either an App or a functional mobile web page would be great.

It had been a couple years since I had thought about this, so I did some research and tried a few things. I tested both MusicBee (totally free), and the free edition of MediaMonkey. Both are highly rated, and quite good, media players. However, neither had built-in web sites for web controls or iPhone controls. There were plugins or extensions that offered these features, but, either they didn’t have an interface that worked for my needs, or they just didn’t work on my setup. This box runs XP, and the media playing runs under a Limited User account in Windows, these were at least part of the the problems. Admittedly, I didn’t want to spend too much time on this project, so I didn’t spend too much time trying to get these working.

Thanks to browsing the plugin library of MediaMonkey, I did learn the term DACP, this is the proprietary standard that Apple created to control iTunes (and other media devices) from iOS, i.e. the free Apple Remote app.

With the term DACP in hand, I was able to find out that there was a plugin for Foobar2000 that provided DACP support. I am somewhat familiar with Foobar2000, so, giving this DACP plugin, foo_touchremote, from http://wintense.com/plugins/foo_touchremote – was a no-brainer.

It worked. Surprisingly easily (given my troubles with the other packages that I had tried yesterday).

And, even better, the Apple Remote user interface on my iPhone is fantastically better than anything I could hope for from a web based interface. There are, apparently, Android DACP apps too.

So, the moral of this blog post? I would think that remote control of music (even just volume controls and pause/play) would be a high priority feature of media players by now – I don’t really understand why these highly rated media players don’t have built-in, well-tested, support for either a mobile web controls or a app controls.

Anyway, I’m happy for now with Foobar2000 + foo_touchremote plugin.