Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Zoom meetings vs webinars



Meetings are designed to be a collaborative event with all participants being able to screen share, turn on their video and audio, and see who else is in attendance.

Webinars are designed so that the host and any designated panellists can share their video, audio and screen. Webinars allow view-only attendees. They have the ability to interact via Q&A, Chat, and answering polling questions. The host can also unmute the attendees.

Main characteristics

Feature comparison

Further information

Meetings & Webinars – Zoom Help Center

Meeting and webinar comparison – Zoom Help Center

Monday, 28 June 2021

Stopping Cortana/Search with Software Restriction Policies

If you need to stop Cortana/Search from running in Windows 10/Server 2016/19 you can use a Software Restriction Policy, provided you have the Pro/Enterprise/Education version of Windows.

To do this go to the Start menu and type secpol

This brings up the Local Security Policy window.

Right click the Software Restriction Policy entry in the left-hand column and select New Software Restriction Policy

Double click on the Additional Rules folder in the right-hand pane and select New Path Rule...

In the Path field put C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy

Select Disallowed in the Security Level box.

Then enter a description, click Okay.

Now you can kill the Search process (Windows 10) or the Search and Cortana application process (server 2016/2019) in the Task Manager and the operating system will not be able to run it again.

To reenable the search facilities just delete the rule.

Monday, 23 November 2020

Stopping Apple Time Machine Encryption

When setting up a hard drive for Apple Time Machine backups in OS X or macOS, if you enable the  encryption option the drive may perform this incredibly slowly, sometimes taking days to encrypt even a small percentage of the drive.  

Provided you are running a version of the operating system from 10.9 or newer (Mavericks through to Big Sur) then you can stop the encryption process running by entering the following in Terminal and save your hard drive from failing due to continuous access.

diskutil cs revert /Volumes/drive_name -passphrase

To find the drive_name then type diskutil list and use the Volume name. 

When you enter the command you will be prompted to enter the passphrase you set when enabling the encryption.

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Outlook (2016/365) warning "The properties of the message have been changed. Want to save your changes to this message?"

This warning/notification appears generally when replying to or forwarding an email message with or without an attachment. For some, it has appeared with new messages too.

Reason: In this case, the cause relates to an 'Add-in' from Adobe and disabling this can provide a cure.

Open Outlook and select File > Options > Add-ins and select Go (see below):

The ‘COM Add-ins’ options box (see below) opens and in this, find and uncheck the ‘Adobe Document Cloud Outlook add-in’. Select OK and then close/re-open Outlook and test with an email that has an attachment in particular

NOTE: as I don’t have Acrobat installed, the add-in does not show and also, it may require other Adobe add-ins to be unchecked should the problem persist.

Friday, 18 September 2020

Connecting to RLAB remote desktop servers on Ubuntu Linux

Open the builtin Remote Desktop Client

In the Remote Desktop Preference window ensure the following field is set:

Protocol: RDP - Remote Desktop Protocol

On the Basic tab ensure the following fields are set:


Username: username (NOT RLAB\username)

Password: password


Colour depth: True colour (32bpp)

On the Advanced tab ensure the following fields are set:

Quality: Poor (fastest)

Sound: Off

Security: Negotiate

When connecting you are prompted to accept a security certificate. Accept this certificate.

Monday, 8 June 2020

Apple OS X controlling sleep mode

You can use the Energy Saver setting in the System preferences in OS X but you may find that the system still manages to invoke a power saving mode, this is especially painful when you require the machine to be fully up for an extended time, for example when running your first synchronisation of cloud storage. So to control the sleep functions of OS X there is a nice terminal command CAFFEINATE, this can be used to keep all aspects of the system live.

For example typing caffeinate -i -d will prevent the system and hard drive from sleeping. When you do not need to have the machine running fully you just CTRL Z the terminal window and quit terminal.

If you go to the following link you will find the help page for this command,

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Internet Connectivity Troubles [esp. Wi-Fi on laptop/tablet PCs] Post Windows 10 Update 1903

At the time of writing, we have experienced this issue on a small range of laptops. This includes the Dell XPS/Inspiron range and some Asus laptop laptops also and appears to occur following the Windows 10 1903 update. 

A quicker fix may be possible by carrying out a Network reset (option in Network Status page).

Symptoms: Loss of internet access via Wi-Fi specifically with very limited Ethernet access if connection option is available on your device.

The Network Status icon (in the Taskbar right-hand end) may indicate no connection, an incorrect connection or it may be missing altogether.

The first step is to check the status of the network: press the Windows Start key and type ‘network’; this should bring up ‘Network Status’ in the list displayed. Select this to open it and if it looks like the image below… on.

Ensure you are logged on as an administrator or have access to the password. In reference back to the Network Status icon in the task bar and the above Network Status screenshot, select Change adapter settings so that the Network Connections window appears and, as you will see below, the Wi-Fi connection status appears to show that a connection exists despite our experience. Close this window and carry on to the next step.

Hold down the Windows Start key (between CTRL and ALT keys) and press the R key
  1. Type 'services.msc',the Services app icon appears, right click it and select 'Run as Administrator and select 'Yes' or enter the administrator credentials (as required) should a dialog box appear
  2. The Services app will open with services listed in Name order (apart from the 2 Microsoft Edge ones) and to ease readability, select the Standard tab at the bottom of the second viewing pane

  3. We need to view the status of the Network List Service therefore, select any of the services and press ‘N’ in order to bring you to the start of all those that start with ‘N’ and scroll down until you see this

  4. Select Network List Service, right-click it to open the sub menu and select Properties
  5. Find the Startup type selection halfway down and you will see that it's set to Disabled  and the Service status shows Stopped which, is the issue here
  6. Set the Startup type to Manual and then click Apply after which, move to Service status and select Manual

  7. Go back to Service status and click Start; a Service Control box appears and the service starts. Once the Service status hows Running, click OK and close the Network List Service properties box and the Services app

Return to Network Status window and you should see the full path between your device and the internet, problem solved hopefully!