How to Recover Default Groups in Google Contacts

The official stance on the three default groups in Google Contacts (Family, Friends and Coworkers) is that they cannot be renamed nor can they be removed.

Now I am not going to argue this point, mostly because, unlike Google Alphabet, I am not worth some half a trillion dollars.

What I will say is that, if you have been using anyone’s service long enough, you will find it possible to be an edge case, where the regular rules don’t apply, and suddenly you have figured out how to get around the official stance, and naturally, no one else has come across the exact some problem. Luckily, there is a way to solve this particular issue. At least, until they close the loophole.

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Keep TiVo Premiere Recording Suggestions

Not long ago, I wrote about how I had to reset our TiVo Premiere to get suggestions working again. It worked great – suggestions came back, for the first time in months. Essentially the first time since we had had the unit.

The problem is that they soon went away again. I was about to scream. I would have pulled out all of my hair, but I really don’t have any. So I went back to the drawing board.

I didn’t want to go through all that process again, especially since I had just done it, and I figured that I was close, so I started thinking about all that I had heard previously. One thing that kept coming up was the timer. Apparently if you put your tuning adapter on a timer, it would bring back suggestions.

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Tuning Adapter Stops TiVo Premiere Suggestions

Back in late October, we decided to finally take the plunge with a TiVo Premiere. While we have had a TiVo for a while – and in fact have had two for some time now – the writing is now on the wall that we’ll need to upgrade at some point to be able to pull in HD channels, so we figured now was a good time.

The Premiere made the choice a bit easier to swallow, as we could use just about any combination to get our channels: The existing analog cable, a cable card and/or an over-the-air (OTA) antenna. Life was good as long as we kept the analog cable, and even with the OTA antenna or a cable card. Unfortunately, when we added the tuning adapter (required by Time Warner Cable), suggestions stopped cold and though both TWC and TiVo were polite, neither could help get them going again.

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Root Your Nook HD and Remove Bloatware

Not too long ago, the Barnes and Noble Nook HD created quite a stir when the company announced that it would get the Play Store installed natively – this means that instead of trying to go up against Amazon and the Fire by creating its own ecosystem, the Nook would now be more akin to a regular Android tablet. Not exactly an Android tablet, but almost. And what’s more, you didn’t have to root the tablet in order to get the tablet connect to Google services.

The stir became even more interesting when the company dropped the prices from $229 to $179 and most recently to $149 (this is for the 16GB model). The Nook HD+ has had similar drops, but that strange dongle thing on the corner meant that I really didn’t want one of those, even with the larger screen. Regardless, I decided to take the plunge.

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Cannot Link to Secure Site in Movable Type

I recently had a client where everything was working fine – but they were unable to link to any secure (https) sites when creating entries in Movable Type. Unfortunately, there were no messages to be found, and everything worked just fine – as long as there were no https links in the entry.

To make matters worse, just changing the https link to http made it work just fine – which at first seemed to make no sense whatsoever. It’s like that one character put the database over some sort of size limit or something. Alas, even that wasn’t it – bunches of (other) characters would work fine, just not those particular characters, making it seem like that site itself was the issue, and that is what eventually led to the answer.

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Continuity Matters in Applications, Too

A few days ago, I discussed the importance of continuity – generally as it related to movies and television. But continuity is important in applications, too – perhaps even more so.

Let’s take a look at LinkedIn as one example. For a long time, LinkedIn has offered recommendations, but those are free-form endorsements, and as such they are not as easily searched and indexed, so the company decided to add “skills” to profiles. You can add skills yourself to your profile – as many as 50 individual skills that you believe represent your skill set.

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Disable License Logging Service in SBS 2003

There is a (somewhat outdated) SBS 2003 server on our network, and as we have discovered, the License Logging Service keeps wanting to restart. It is generally not possible to stop it for any length of time. Even disabling it doesn’t work – it keeps coming back on. It isn’t that we’re trying to get around any licensing requirements, but we are trying to upgrade to a new server, and it seems that SBS doesn’t want any part of that process.

Luckily there is actually a way to stop it, get rid of the warnings and keep SBS from complaining.

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Why is Everything so Complicated?

Enough talk about government. Instead, let’s look at software. Specifically, why does it have to be so dang complicated? Take updates. It has become fairly commonplace to get them. If you use Windows, there is even a utility helpfully called Windows Update. On a regular basis, it provides updates to Windows – or something. Generally we have no idea what it updates, but we are simply to sit back and suffer through updates (and often the associated restarts). As an aside, I have been working in this industry long enough that I recall when we were told that installations and updates would not require as many reboots. I can only imagine what it would be like if it required more. But I digress.

As a recent gift, we passed down a laptop to one of our kids. Don’t give me that look. There is nothing wrong such a thing. The laptop is perfectly fine for regular use, and in fact should serve him just fine for a while, and means we don’t have to go out and buy a new one.

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Fix Quicken Loan Calculation Error

I noticed the other day – okay, it has probably been a couple of months and I’m just getting around to addressing the problem – that Quicken has started to miscalculated the principal and interest on a loan (specifically a mortgage – I don’t know if it’s a problem on all loans).

So I did the first thing most people will do: I searched online for the solution. The most common suggestion was to remove the loan and add a new one. While that will work, it means at best that you get a new loan, and I don’t like that. It’s messy.

Luckily, there is another answer.

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What a Long Strange Trip It's Been

Nearly ten years ago – seriously! – I heard about this blogging thing and decided I would figure out what it was all about. So I installed Movable Type on a hosting account I had sitting around collecting dust. At the time, it was running on version 2.64. At least, I think it was 2.64 – it’s been ten years, so cut me some slack here.

Then I upgraded the installation. A few times. I created a business. I added a few additional categories. Then they became so big – by volume, not necessarily traffic – I moved these categories to their own blogs. Using Movable Type, that was fairly easy. Eventually I even moved a couple of these blogs to WordPress, just because that’s what all the cool kids were doing.

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