Turning off “Disable applications to help improve performance” notifications

I have been running Windows 10 for a while now and every other day or so, I get the Security and Maintenance notification shown above regarding “disable apps to help improve performance”.

My machine has 12 cores and 32GB of RAM – I  really am not experiencing any kind of noticeable slowdown, and all the apps running in the background are ones that I explicitly want to be running in the background to improve performance in my daily workflow. When you click on the notification it takes you to the Startup tab in Task Manager, where you can disable items in the startup, which I don’t want or need.

After a bit of hunting around, I have finally discovered how to disable this notification from appearing any more. The process is very simple once you know it!

Press the windows key, type “Security” and click on the Security and Maintenance link (or alternatively, find it in Control Panel):

You will immediately see the “problem” highlighted in the Security and Maintenance window:
Inline images 1
 Simple click on “Turn off messages about startup apps” and you will never be bothered by that pesky notification ever again!

This article was first published on http://www.dba-resources.com.

Using older Fujitsu ScanSnap scanners with Windows 10

A number of older ScanSnap scanners released by Fujitsu are no longer supported and the official line from Fujitsu is to buy new hardware. However, the ScanSnap range isn’t cheap and you can avoid spending a large sum by utilizing Compatibility Mode built into Windows to get your older scanner working with the latest versions of Windows.

Note: This advice is essentially the same as in my previous post Using a Fujitsu ScanSnap with Windows 8 (fi-5110eox2 or S500) but updated for Windows 10 and with more generic advice for getting other models to work.

Step 1 – Download Software

All drivers and software are available directly from the Software Downloads section of the Fujitsu website, organized by model number. Click through to your model (we’ll be using the fi-5110exo2 in our examples) and you’ll see a table similar to the one below:

Software downloads example

Software downloads for the fi-5110exo2

Download the setup program for “ScanSnap Manager” and then select the Update tab to find the most recent software update made available by Fujitsu.

Obtain the latest software update

Software update for the fi-5110exo2

As you can see above, the last update made available for the fi-5110exo2 is for Windows 7. Download it anyway and make a note of the version of Windows as you’ll need to know that when entering compatibility mode:

Step 2 – Install the Setup program

Firstly, ensure that the scanner is turned off and the lid closed.

Now run the ScanSnap Manager setup program that you downloaded in Step 1, which will extract the software to a subdirectory. Once extracted, navigate into the directory and run setup.exe to install ScanSnap Manager.

Step 3 – Reboot

Reboot – If you don’t, the next step probably won’t work (it didn’t for me with the fi-5510exo2)

Step 4 – Install the Update using compatibility mode

This is the final and the most important step. You need to tell Windows to run the ScanSnap Manager Update in compatibility mode for the version of Windows that it was created for.

Right click – do not double-click – on the Update program that you downloaded in Step 1, and Select  “Troubleshoot Compatibilityfrom the context menu that appears.

Select Troubleshoot compatibility

Select “Troubleshoot compatibility”

Windows will launch the “Program Compatibility Troubleshooter, with options to use recommended settings or to manually choose compatibility settings. Select the second option, “Troubleshoot program

Select "Troubleshoot program"

Select “Troubleshoot program”

We know that the update program was written for a prior version of Windows, therefore you should select the first option “The program worked in earlier versions of Windows but won’t install or run now” and click “Next”


Select the version of Windows that the update file was designed for (which you noted down in step 1) and click “Next”.
In the case of the fi-5110exo2 this was Windows 7.

Select the appropriate version of windows

Select the appropriate version of windows

Click “Test the program…” and the update program will run.

Select "Test the program"

Select “Test the program”

After finishing the installation, click “Yes, save these settings for this program“.

Click "Yes, save these settings for this program"

Click “Yes, save these settings for this program”

Step 5 – Turn on your ScanSnap

Finally, turn on your ScanSnap scanner and it should be detected correctly. Perform a test scan to confirm everything is working as expected.

… and finally.

I plan to keep the table at the top of the article updated with details of which ScanSnap scanners have been tested. If you have successfully tested as scanner which is not listed, please post a comment below confirming the model number, version of windows the update is working on and the version of Windows chosen in the Compatibility troubleshooter.

Happy scanning!

This article was first published on http://www.dba-resources.com.

Dot Underscore ._ files in Dropbox

Recently, all my files stored in Dropbox suddenly acquired a “dot underscore” file in addition to the original file, as shown in the screenshot above:

As a result, the total number of files in dropbox doubled from ~45,000 to ~90,000! To make matters worse, all the “._” files were then immediately synced to my other computers with Dropbox installed.

So why were all these files suddenly created after years of using Dropbox without any issues?

Well “._” files are created to store extended information that would normally be stored as an extended file attributes within modern filesystems such as HFS+ (Apple native), NTFS (windows) or Unix/UFS. In other words, these files are only created on filesystems that do not support extended file attributes – which in most cases means FAT, FAT32 or exFAT.

In my case, I had purchased a Transcend JetDrive 12GB SD card for my Macbook Air to extend the storage capacity to 256GB, and it had arrived pre-formatted with the exFAT filesystem. When I then moved my Dropbox folder from the internal drive (formatted as HFS+) and on to the JetDrive, OS X had created “._” files to store the extended attributes for each file. These were then synced up to Dropbox automatically.

The solution was therefore to…

  1. Move my Dropbox files off the JetDrive
  2. Reformat the Jetdrive as HFS+ (“Mac OS Extended – Journaled” as it is called within OS X).
  3. Move the files back onto the JetDrive
  4. Run the dot_clean command against the JetDrive :

    dot_clean /Volumes/Trascend/Dropbox

The dot_clean command merges all attributes stored within the “._” file back into the master file and then removes the “._” from the filesystem. The fact the file has been removed is noticed by Dropbox, which then means they are removed from all synced copies on other computers (and the web interface).



This article was first published on http://www.dba-resources.com.

Fixing the cursor keys in OS X for Windows users

I’m a longtime Windows user who recently purchased a Mac. Overall I’m very impressed with the machine, but it does have a learning curve, especially for the key bindings.

As a DBA and programmer, I use the Home, End, PageUp and PageDown and CTRL keys extensively to quickly navigate code and text documents. And don’t get me started with Cut, Copy and Paste – my muscle memory for these keys is so well established as to be unbreakable.

Both at work and home I use full size PC keyboards, so I became desperate to find a way to map the PC keys for cursor control to their Mac equivalents and I think I’ve finally found a solution that I am happy with.

Note: These are the changes I have made to allow me to use a full size PC keyboard with a Mac. You will need to experiment with different options if you want to remap an Apple keyboard due to the differences in the ordering of the Control, Option and Command keys.

First, download and install  Karabiner, a very powerful keyboard customizer from pqrs.org. Launch Karabiner from Launchpad and it will add itself to the menu bar (a little square icon). Bring up preferences and you will be greeted with a huge list of pre-defined customizations as shown below:


Scroll down (past halfway) to find the For PC Users section (highlighted) and click to expand it. From here, choose the following Key Mappings to make the cursor behave the same in OS X as it does in Windows when using a PC keyboard.

  • Use PC Style Home/End #2
  • Use PC Style Control+Up/Down/Left/Right
  • Use PC Style Copy/Paste
  • Use PC style Select All
In addition, I recommend the following settings for some of the most common Windows system shortcuts that you are likely to use on a Mac without really thinking about it (such as undo, save, find, etc):
  • Enable PC Prev/Next Media keys
  • Use PC Style Undo
  • Use PC Style Redo
  • Use PC Style Save
  • Use PC Style New
  • Use PC Style New Tab #2
  • Use PC Style Find
  • Use PC Style Open



This article was first published on http://www.dba-resources.com.

Reflect for Evernote – reviewing your notes in bitesize chunks

One of the most powerful features of Evernote is how quickly and easily you can add content to your notebooks. Sometimes however, this is both a blessing and a curse because there is no review process for removing old and outdated notes. Sometimes you come across a note that could do with more context around it as the original reason for writing/clipping it was not recorded at the time.

Well luckily, there is now a nice neat solution for reviewing your notes – meet Reflect :


You simply sign-up and link your Evernote account to the webapp, then create a schedule consisting of what notes to review and you’ll get an email reminder (based on the frequency you set) that you can click through to start each review.

Within the schedule, you can set the frequency (daily, weekly or monthly), the number of notes to review in each session (I suggest 5) and which notebook/tags to use to pick the notes.

During the review process you can add or remove tags, change notebook, etc.


I’m been using Reflect for a couple of weeks now to do the following and I’m finding it extremely useful:

  • Refresh my memory of interesting articles
  • Delete obsolete notes.
  • Find fugly notes which I then assign to my “inbox” notebook for re-work later
  • Remind me of things that perhaps I should be doing or researching (e.g. some Oracle feature, blog idea, holiday destination, etc)

I have experimented with various different schedules, but have settled on 5 notes a day, as that only takes a few moments to do. I’ve found that when I increase this to 10 notes I’m more inclined to think “Oh, I’ll do it later“, which means it sometimes doesn’t get done and then before you know it there is a stack of reminder emails sitting in my inbox!

As this is a responsive web app, you can view it on practically any device – even a device with a small screen such as an iPhone.

Check it out at http://reflectapp.io/

This article was first published on http://www.dba-resources.com.

Excel: Graphing a list of values by Month & Year

The aim of this article is to show you how to turn a straightforward list of date/values into a pretty graph where we can easily compare values from previous years on a month by month basis.

First we need some data – here are some meter readings taken every month for the past two years. The third column (“units used”) contains a formula to calculate the difference between a reading and the previous reading to calculate the number of units used.

1. The first step is to highlight the data that you want to graph, select the Insert tab and click on PivotTable > PivotChart as shown below.

Tip:  Include a range of empty cells at the bottom if you will be adding more values in the future as it means you won’t have to regenerate the graph every time.


2. The dialog box that appears will contain the range of cells you selected, and the default option is to insert the PivotChart into a new worksheet (which you can change to the existing worksheet if you want to). Click OK to proceed.


3. A simple bar chart will be added to the worksheet, and a pane will appear on the right of the screen containing the column names and a series of boxes. Ensure only the columns that are to be displayed in the graph are ticket (“Date” and “Units Used”) in our example.


4. Now comes the fancy part where we group the data by month and year.

a) Start by placing the cursor on the first date cell in the pivot table.
b) Select the Options tab under PivotTable Tools
c) Click Group Selection


5. In the dialog that appears, hold down the shift key and select both Months and Years then click on OK.


6. In the Pane of Pivot Options on the right hand side of the screen, drag the Years field from the Row Labels box to the Column Labels box.


7. At this point, you can see that the PivotTable has been updated to show the months down the side of the table, and each year in the data set will be shown in a separate columns. The PivotGraph has also been updated to display the data in groups, with multiple bars per month to indicate the year on year values.


8. The final step is to change the graph type from a bar graph to a line graph by selecting the Design tab under PivotChart Tools and then clicking on the Change Chart Type button.


9. The finished graph is shown below. You can style various elements of the graph individually, or you can select from the range of pre-built styles in the Design tab.


This article was first published on http://www.dba-resources.com.

Lightroom not syncing changes made on an iPad

On the whole, I’m very impressed with the Lightroom app on the iPad and I’ve been using it a lot recently to catch up with the backlog of photos that need minor editing (crop, exposure, etc) and sorting into collections. Unfortunately, after working perfectly for a while I had just finished a batch of changes on the iPad when I discovered that the desktop was no longer syncing the changes being made.

Resolving the syncing issue

The first, and easiest step is to determine whether the syncing issue is between Creative Cloud (CC) and the iPad, or CC and the dekstop. Simply visit http://lightroom.adobe.com/ and sign in. If all the collections and changes are showing correctly on the web then the issue is with the desktop sync, and can be quickly and easily resolved using the method below.

Note: this process will NOT cause you to lose the changes that you have made on the iPad, and which are stored in CC.

  1. Close lightroom (and make a backup of your catalog if desired, always a good idea!)
  2. Navigate to the following folder:
    Mac: /Users/$USER/Library/Caches/Adobe/Lightroom/Sync Data/
    Windows: %USERPROFILE%AppDataLocalAdobeLightroomCachesSync Data 
  3. Delete “Sync.lrdata” (or rename it to “Sync.lrdata.old“)
  4. Restart Lightroom

At this point, the identity plate at the top of Lightroom should show “Syncing <xxx> photos”. It won’t take long for this to complete (as it’s only syncing the metadata, not the previews). When finished you will find that the sync has completed successfully.

You can use this method to force lightroom dekstop to resync with Creative Cloud – useful for any number of syncing issues!

This article was first published on http://www.dba-resources.com.

MS Word: F3 != Find Next

I don’t know about anyone else, but I find it incredibly annoying that the Microsoft Word doesn’t use F3 as the shortcut key for finding the next occurrence of something that you have previously searched for. It’s an unwritten standard across a huge number of windows applications and I find myself pressing F3 in Word out of habit.

The Correct (out-of-the-box) shortcut key

When you are working on a document and need to find text (a specific word or phrase), pressing CTRL + F pops up the “find” dialog box and lets you search for that text. Now, let’s say you found it and kept working on that document, and now you want to find the same text again. Pressing CTRL + PageDown will instantly take you to the next instance of that text! No need to open the “find” dialog box again (Keep CTRL down and press PageDown to move to the following instances of that text).

Changing the shortcut key to F3

To its credit, Word allows customization of its keyboard shortcuts. Unfortunately, I just could not locate the “FindNext” keyboard shortcut in Tools -> Customize Keyboard to apply customizations to. Turns out it’s actually named “RepeatFind”, as opposed to “EditFindNext”, which you’d expect when the “Find…” command is simply “EditFind”.

This article was first published on http://www.dba-resources.com.

Logging PuTTY sessions

As a DBA, it is generally a good idea to log all your activity when working on Unix/Linux servers. Logging provides an audit of changes that you have made to a system as well as being a valuable resource for notes and documentation. This article describes how to log all PuTTY sessions and how to automatically maintain the resulting log files in a logical directory structure based on date as follows:

Directory Structure

Directory Structure

First off, you need to enable logging as the default. Launch PuTTY and navigate to the Logging section and configure the options as shown. Unfortunately, we can’t specify the directory structure within PuTTY as it won’t automatically create directories if they don’t already exist.

PuTTY Logging options

PuTTY Logging options

Finally, navigate back to the Sessions list, highlight “Default Settings” and click Save. Annoyingly, if you have any saved sessions already, you will need to load each one, set the logging options and save it again (as there isn’t any way to  change logging globally).

PuTTY sessions

PuTTY sessions

At this point, all your PuTTY sessions will be logged to a single directory. However, after you’ve logged a few hundred sessions you’ll wish there was a nice easy way to keep the files organised. The easiest way is to create a BAT file with the following code, which you can either put in your startup folder or schedule to run (via the windows scheduler) on a regular basis:

@echo off
cd C:logs
for %%a in (*.*) do (
for /f "tokens=1,2,3 delims=/ " %%x in ("%%~ta") do md %%z%%y%%x&move "%%a" "%%z%%y%%x"

This article was first published on http://www.dba-resources.com.

How to backup your Evernote notes regularly

So you’ve saved a lot of notes into Evernote and you’re wondering how to back them up in case something goes horribly wrong. Some might call you paranoid, but a glitch in a client update could wipe out your notes (and because Evernote syncs to the cloud it would wipe out all your notes in the cloud too).

Even if you’re not worried about Evernote causing you a headache (and they certainly have a good record for data reliability), you should worry about yourself. There is no system in place powerful enough to protect you from accidentally or misguidedly deleting your own stuff. Once you drop the hammer on your own data, Evernote (like any other automated synchronization tool) isn’t going to judge you, it’s just going to carry out your orders and wipe your data.

So how can you backup your data?

Firstly, you will need to install the Evernote for Windows client onto your machine (not the Windows 8 app, but the full client).

Now with that done, the easiest way is to create an export of all your notes in Evernote’s ENEX format, which will allow you to pick and choose which notes you want to recover when the time comes. This can be done from within the Evernote client, but we want to automate this so that it happens regularly and without human intervention.

This is where the Windows scheduler comes in. Simply schedule a task to run at whatever frequency you wish, and have it run the following command (you may need to adjust the path to your ENscript.exe file, depending on where Evernote is installed on your system):

“C:Program Files (x86)EvernoteEvernoteENScript.exe” exportNotes /q any: /f c:usersRobertdropboxmy_evernote_backup.enex

So bring up the Task Scheduler, and add a new task similar to the one below (click each screenshot to see full size):

General Settings

General Settings





In my case, I write the export file to my Dropbox folder so that the file gets automatically backed up to the cloud (providing yet another backup of this important data).

Keeping multiple backups

I have created a batch file  (to be called from the scheduler) which not only performs the export but which also maintains a specified number of backups (deleting old ones). Using this script you could, for example, schedule a weekly backup and keep 4 weeks  worth of backups available in Dropbox with older backups being deleted automatically.
[wpdm_file id=3]

Evernote Backup.bat and open it with a text editor (such as Notepad) to update the location of the Evernote installation (line 14), destination directory for backups (line 17) and the number of backups to keep (line 23) as appropriate for your installation.

Change the scheduler configuration you added earlier to run the bat file rather than the ENscript executable. As an example:


As an aside, running a bat file from the Windows Scheduler has the annoying effect that a DOS window suddenly appears in the middle of the screen for the duration of the backup. If you want to avoid this, see my related post Starting a Batch (DOS) file minimized .


This article was first published on http://www.dba-resources.com.