Sep 15, 2014

How To Add Barcodes To Envelopes in Microsoft Word

For years I've used Microsoft Word to prepare envelopes for mailing. It is pretty easy to do, and generally gives your letters a little more of a professional polish than handwriting addresses, or even using rubber stamps.

Before Office 2007, you used to be able to type in an address and easily add a POSTNET barcode to your labels, but according to Microsoft's KB897290 that codes is now obsolete, and so they stopped including it in the Microsoft Office Suite. This doesn't mean you can't still do add it, it just means you need to do it slightly differently.

The following was tested in Microsoft Office 2010, and I'm sure the process is similar in Microsoft Office2013 (If it isn't, let us know in the comments).

  • Download and install uspsEncoderMsOffice-1.3.1.zip
  • In Microsoft Word go to Mailings > Envelopes and enter your delivery and return addresses like usual, then click Add to Document.
  •  Set your cursor under the delivery address, and go to Insert > Quick Parts > Field
  •  Select BarCode and check the Bar code is US zip code check box, then enter in the delivery zip code then click OK.

  • A new barcode will now be shown beneath your delivery address, and you can print like usual.
  • Here is a picture of mine, of course it looks jacked up because my printer's envelope feed is poorly designed, but what can you do right?

Did this help you out in your mailing tasks? Let us know in the comments!

Sep 11, 2014

How To Remove A Password or Security Restriction From a PDF Document

The other day I had to send a letter out and I wanted to include another PDF along with my letter. I wanted to combine both documents into one single PDF. The trouble was that the PDF I wanted to include had a security restriction preventing it from being printed for some reason.

I needed that restriction removed if I was going to combine both documents into one easy to use PDF. Well I found a simple website that will remove the restriction for you. It will also remove any passwords on PDF's if they have one. It's called PDFUnlock!


To remove the restriction I uploaded the original, and after only a few seconds a pop-up to download the unlocked version was ready to go! After downloading the original version I was able to combine the documents like I needed to!

After combining the two I was able to add my own restriction to prevent if from printing (Although you can see it is almost pointless) so we were back to the same level of "security" we had before.

Have you used a tool like this to unlock or remove PDF passwords? If so, what did you use? Did it cost money? Was it free? Let us know in the comments!

Sep 9, 2014

Amazon CPM is definitely the closest you will get to Google Adsense revenue

So I mentioned the other day that I thought Amazon's new CPM advertising network was the best Adsense alternative yet, and I wanted to give an update on that with some numbers you could see and compare them to Technorati Ads which I had thought was the best up until now.

It is only 9 days in this month and already I've made $13.13, and here are my earnings for the last 30 days:


Now it certainly wasn't what I was making with Adsense, but it is starting to get pretty close. I've only had Amazon CPM for less than a month now and already the daily average is getting close to what I used to see with Adsense when I first started using it. My traffic has also declined a lot since my Adsense days because since I wasn't making that much from the blog anymore, I stopped blogging as much. Since I'm not blogging that much, that means less fresh content and that means less traffic.

Here is a report from Technorati for my performance in June when I was pretty much using them exclusively:


It may be a bit hard to read, but I didn't even make $8.00 from Technorati, and my CPM was only $0.17. Pretty pathetic right? Amazon is clearly the winner in the advertising revenue department when you are looking for an Adsense Alternative!

My only issue with Amazon CPM ads right now is that they only offer the following ad sizes which don't all fit everyone's blog templates:


I have had the opportunity to chat with the Amazon CPM team since this is a new product they have and they wanted my feedback. I let them know that having more ad sizes would be nice so you can put them in more places on a website.

What do you think so far? Are you going to give Amazon CPM a shot? Let us know in the comments!

Sep 5, 2014

Our New Project: Survival and the great outdoors!

I know I don't post a heck of a lot to Bauer-Power these days. I guess my focus has been in other places. I did want to take this opportunity to introduce you to one of my new projects though and it has nothing to do with technology or software!

It's a new weekly blog called Bauer vs Wild where I write about survival primarily, but I also talk about hiking, camping and other general outdoor activities including geocaching!


If you didn't know, I grew up in the mountains of Colorado and spent a great deal of my childhood exploring the woods by my house. Getting into the outdoors is something that is near and dear to my heart. I also really like the idea of living off the land, and roughing it in the outdoors and that is what this blog is all about.

If you are into wilderness survival, hiking, camping or other outdoor activities where you may get caught in a survival situation, then check Bauer vs Wild out. There will be new posts every Monday!

Sep 4, 2014

Windows Server 2012 R2 Getting Error 800B0001 While Checking For Updates

I recently added some new Windows Server 2012 R2 servers to my environment for a project I'm working on. So far I really like this operating system, and I'm getting used to where everything is. That being said, I have ran into a few issues and one of them is an error I've been getting when trying to update these servers from my Windows 2008 R2 WSUS server.

When I check for updates I get an error numbered 800B0001 that looks like this:


To fix this error here is what you have to do:
  • On your WSUS server install  WSUS-KB2720211-x64 and WSUS-KB2734608-x64 
  • Open your WSUS management console and manually perform a  synchronization
  • Next, on your affected servers run the following:
net stop wuauserv
rd /s /q %windir%\softwaredistribution\
net start wuauserv
The issue should be fixed now. If you have a lot of servers/workstations with this issue you might want to run those commands as a part of a start up script.

Did this fix your issue? Let us know in the comments!

Aug 29, 2014

Best Money Making Adsense Alternative Yet!

A few years ago I was abruptly kicked off of Google Adsense with very little explanation. If you search around the Internet you will find that it is a pretty common occurrence. Since Google is the number one name in the game of CPC advertising, they really don't care if they lose a few bloggers here and there. They also don't offer any live support with real people you can talk to to try to get re-instated. In short, once you get booted from Adsense you are screwed!

Since then I've been trying to find a decent alternative to Adsense that pays as good, and I just haven't found it yet. The last article I wrote on this subject was about Technorati Media ads, and that was back in 2012. I also wrote about Media.net which operates the Yahoo/Bing advertising network, but their ads look like crap. Neither of those has performed even half as well as Adsense.

Well I started using Amazon's new CPM advertising system on top of my Amazon Associate affiliate links and I'm now starting to see some decent revenue. It's still not as good as Adsense, but it's doing way better than Technorati or Media.net. If you are making money from Amazon Associate links, then adding their CPM ads to your site will give you some good supplemental revenue for sure.

So as of now, my pick for the best Adsense alternative is Amazon's Associate network mixed with their CPM ads!

Aug 12, 2014

Configure XenServer for SNMP

Monitoring your virtualization cluster is very important. I mean, they run most of your critical servers for crying out loud right? Well besides VMWare in my company's environment, we also have XenServer. Since we just added another node to our XenServer cluster I thought I would write about how to configure it for SNMP monitoring.
  • SSH into your XenServer
  • Edit: /etc/sysconfig/iptables with your favorite text editor. (I like nano)
  • Add the following lines AFTER the line “-A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -p udp –dport 5353 -d 224.0.0.251 -j ACCEPT”
    -A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -p udp --dport 161 -j ACCEPT
    -A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -p udp --dport 123 -j ACCEPT
     
  • Execute: service iptables restart
  • Edit: /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf with your favorite text editor
  • Replace the community with your current SNMP community if you have one.
    # sec.name source community
    com2sec notConfigUser default public
  • Execute: chkconfig snmpd on
  • Execute: service snmpd restart
That's it, now you should be able to do an SNMP walk using your monitoring software. We happen to use Zenoss Core and it is able to pick up everything we need to monitor our XenServers!

What do you use for monitoring? Do you like it? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments.

[Via Gimpland]

Aug 11, 2014

The Most Amazing Wearable Tech of 2014

Hoodies that send text messages, wristwatches that run iOS and contact lenses that protect against the harmful rays of the sun were all once considered gadgets of the future. However, recent advancements have turned these tech tools into a reality. Some consider this to be the beginning of the end of humanity, where the line between human and machine begins to blur, whereas others believe that it is an extraordinary advancement that will turn is into more powerful humans. Regardless of where you stand on this issue, one thing is for certain: wearable tech is here to stay.

Smart Hoodie

Imagine a world where a sweater can both keep you warm and send text messages for you. The Smart Hoodie, created by NYU grad students Rucha Patwardhan and Alina Balean, is technically still in demo mode. The plan is to create a hooded sweatshirt with a GSM radio sewn in that responds to a person's gestures. In other words, if you want to send a text that says "I love you" to your significant other all you'll have to do is roll up your sleeve or touch the hood, explains The Verge. This Smart Hoodie also may be able to save lives with the text-to-911 feature that is currently in the works.

iWatch

Apple is known for its sci-fi inspired creations—the iPad looks almost identical to the tablets seen in Star Trek. And, the company has done it again with iWatch. It's believed that the official introduction for this wearable tech will take place in late 2014, comments Mac Rumors. Little is known about this long awaited tech tool, but it is likely that the iWatch will be an iOS-friendly watch that is compatible with the iPhone, reports Tech Radar. That means that this wearable tech will make it easier to check incoming notifications and messages without having to pull out your devices. However, it's expected that the iWatch won't be as sophisticated as the iPhone 6, which, according to Apple Insider, has a release date of October 14, 2014.

Speaker Clutch

We've got futuristic clothing and accessories, what more do we need? Well, apparently Rebecca Minkoff thought we needed a more modern version of the clutch. Created for the brand Stellé Audio Couture, edgy clutches with Blutooth-enabled wireless speakers inside are already available at Nordstrom. This conversation piece comes in navy blue, forest green, hot pink and silver and has a retail price of $400, says Cosmopolitan. If you want to bring the music with you wherever you go, this speaker and clutch hybrid is for you.

UV-Protection Lenses

The Acuvue Oasys brand has developed contact lenses that protect against harmful UV rays by blocking 96 percent of UV-A rays and 99 percent of UV-B rays, says Vision Direct. In addition, contact lenses create a full barrier over a large part of the surface of the eye and the entire cornea as opposed to many sunglasses that do not protect the eyes from solar radiation that comes in from the sides or around this type of eyewear, says the American Optometric Association.
It is difficult to predict exactly where wearable tech will take us simply because it has the potential to encompass many aspects of our lives. It is reasonable to expect that this type of technology will improve various industries, particularly the medical and communication sector. Business Insider mentions that the goal of wearable tech has always been to improve our awareness without getting in the way of social interactions. If this proves true, wearable technology will inevitably allow us to have more control of our surrounding environment.



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