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How to Enable the Preview of PDF Files in 64-bit Windows September 11, 2013

Posted by Bilal in Windows.
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I am currently using a x64 machine running Windows 8. For opening the PDF file I had been using Adobe Reader. Later, I shifted to PDF-XChange Viewer by Tracker Software, mainly for its light weight and tabbed interface. This light weight  Installing PDF-XChange Viewer disabled the thumbnail view of the PDF files in the windows explorer. Things went on until I got stuck in a situation where I have to search for a PDF file. I had no clue about the file name; all I had was the idea about the thumbnail of the file, it was a colored document.

At this point, it became a requirement to re-generate the thumbnails for the PDF file. I tried the plain old trick; make Adobe Reader the default program for PDF file. But it did not helped …

I searched for different options but no result. Based on the search result, it seems that this issue is mostly appearing on x64 machines and running 64bit version of Windows 7 (and 8). In the meanwhile, I came to notice that if I change the folder view to Medium icons, the thumbnail of PDF file appears. If the icon size is increased by just a single unit (Crtl + Mouse Scroll Up), the thumbnail reverts back to the icon.

On further exploring, I came across a post on Adobe Forum about the same issue. The Adobe support engineer gave a workaround to check the thumbnail

1. Run Acrobat Reader. In Reader, click File > Open and navigate to the folder(s) containing your PDF file(s). If necessary, move the slider to show all your PDF files.

2. Cancel out of Open and exit Reader.

3. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the folders(s) containing your PDF file(s).

4. Click Views and move the slider until you see PDF thumbnails

It was okay to get the thumbnail for a certain folder but u need to repeat the same process for each and every folder.  So, its also not a permanent solution.

On the same page, another user has shared his own solution blaming the Adobe for being too lazy to fix the issue. The comment is dated more than a year ago (Apr 15, 2012) and I am still facing the issue. A side question, does it mean Adobe is more busy in the {newly} purchased products than its own products ??

I simply tried the solution offered (link below) which is in the form of installer and it worked like a charm.

The solution, made by an individual and available for free can be downloaded from the link:

Thumbnail for PDF on x64

Additional Notes:

I tried to make the XChange Viewer back as default but doing so again shifted the thumbnails to icons. Well it was not a good change. I tried to make Adobe Reader back as default and the thumbnails were restored. It seems that the XChange Viewer does not support this feature. So after installing the fix, if you need the thumbnail, Adobe Reader should be made the default; else you can continue with the tabbed browsing of XChange Viewer with no thumbnails.

Another option is to give other PDF viewers a try e.g. Foxit PDF Viewer, also a freeware.

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SharePoint 2013 Developer Boot Camp – Jeddah May 2, 2013

Posted by Bilal in Events, Jeddah.
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On April 30th, 2013 Microsoft Arabia arranged a mega event in the coastal city, Jeddah. The main focus of the event was the latest version of SharePoint, SharePoint 2013. The first event on this topic was conducted in Khobar on 28th of April. The third and the last event will take place on 5th of May in Riyadh. In Jeddah it was a male-only event.

SharePoint Developer Camp Jeddah

The agenda of this event was as below:

Time        Session Details

08:00 – 09:00    Registration and Breakfast

09:00 – 10:00    Keynote

10:00 – 10:15    Break

10:15 – 11:15    What’s new in SharePoint 2013 for Developers

11:15 – 11:30    Break

11:30 – 12:30    Overview of Enterprise Social

12:30 – 01:30    Prayer and Lunch

01:30 – 02:30    Create Cloud-hosted apps for SharePoint Part 1

02:30 – 02:45    Break

02:45 – 03:45    Create Cloud-hosted apps for SharePoint Part 2

03:45 – 04:00    Break

04:00 – 05:00    Building Windows 8 Apps with SharePoint 2013

05:00 – 05:30    Closing and Prize Draw

Session 1 – Keynotes

The keynotes were delivered by Ammar Abuthuraya, Platform Strategy Manager at Microsoft Arabia. During the keynotes, the main focus was on Office 2013 and Office 365. Office is one of the most matured products. In Office 2007, there was a huge facelift and the concept of ribbons were introduced ( instead of classic menus). In office 2010, there were minor alterations in main user interface with an attempt to reduce the gap between office 2003 and the latest version of office. In office 2013, the main user interface is almost same office 2010. A lot of improvements have been implemented in the backend of the latest version of office e.g. the startup is noticeably faster as compared to the previous versions. Many other highly level (advanced) features have been added i.e. now we can open videos inside the office, open in a browser is no more required. An OCR engine has been implemented that will attempt to open the PDF files as text, if the conversion is unsuccessful (i.e. in case of Arabic) the file will still be displayed but as images.

Office 365 is a new (or reintroduced) subscription based Cloud version of office. It starts for as low as 4$ (~15 SR) per user per month. The user setting and customization is linked with his/her Microsoft Account. It is possible to start writing a document on your office machine and leave it in the middle, when you reach home, you can continue from where you left.

Office 365 Home Premium offers a very economic package of 100$ per year. Also, a user can use his subscription on up-to five devices (desktop, laptop, tab, mobile etc.). If a user is interested in native application instead of web version, a download of common applications is available for different platforms.

Microsoft Office Apps and Lync where also described briefly.

Session 2 – What’s New in Sharepoint 2013

This session was delivered by Ali Khawaja, Architect, Microsoft USA. As the title suggest, in this session Ali tried to cover the NEW or Improved features of Sharepoint 2013.

Some of the features mentioned are:

  • Apps: The concept of apps have been introduced. Apps are much improved form of WebParts. Using apps we can display any type of contents on a SharePoint page with a possibility of an external data source. The concept of apps is basically the brainchild of the social network, Facebook. The apps are rendered as iFrame in SharePoint page.
  • Office and SharePoint Store
  • SharePoint Client Side Object Model [CSOM]
  • SharePoint Server Side Object Model [SSOM]
  • Workflow: The workflow engine in SharePoint 2010 is based on Windows Workflow Foundation 3.5. In SharePoint 2013, it is based on WF 4.0 and 4.5. These newer engines have been re-written from scratch and provide very much improved functionality
  • Access: Access service was already available in existing versions, it has been packed with new features.
  • Fedration, Security and Deployment

Session 3 – Overview of Enterprise Social

This session was also conducted by Ali Khawaja. In this session Ali described about utilizing social network inside an enterprise.  The main benefits of utilizing the social network in a corporate environment can be summarized in these four points:

  1. Employee Engagement
  2. Team Collaboration
  3. Connected Organization
  4. Business Agility

In 2012, Microsoft acquired the Yammer service, a private social network and now it is also available in an integrated environment of SharePoint and Office 365. For startups, a free version is also available. One thing to be noted is that Yammer is a cloud ONLY service yet. It is very easy to start and adopt Yammer as compared to SharePoint with has heavy software + hardware requirement.

Session 4 & 5 – Create Cloud-hosted apps for SharePoint

These sessions were conducted by Shoaib Barry, Applications Developer at ISC Saudi Arabia. To host an app there are three options:

  1. SharePoint Hosted
  2. Auto Hosted
  3. Provider Hosted

Each of the hosting environment has its own merits and demerits. To begin with SharePoint app development, the installation of SharePoint is not required. It can be built and tested using emulators and cloud support. Office 365 developer account is available with a free 30 days startup period.

To consume an app, there are three options:

  1. Full Page
  2. App Part
  3. Custom Action

With the highly revamped security model and available of apps, we can seamlessly populate the menus in a SharePoint page from an external source.Hosting apps in the cloud provide global exposure for all the SharePoint users scattered worldwide.

Different demos where shown by Shoaib to elaborate the new and the enhanced features.

Session 6 – Building Windows 8 Apps with SharePoint 2013

This session was conducted by Fauzan Khan, from Microsoft Arabia. Sharepoint SDK for Windows Phone 8 has been released recently. It provides the Out-of-The-Box (OOTB)support for building apps  for Windows Phone 8 liked with SharePoint server.

Push Notification Stores/Service [PSN] has been provided to handle push notifications. Users can implement receivers for different app events like Upgrade, Install or Uninstall. Different demos where performed to explain these features.

Session 7 – Prize Draw

It was also conducted by Fauzan Khan, the event coordinator. User entry coupons were selected randomly and the selected attendants were presented with different prizes i.e. Microsoft Keyboard, Microsoft Mouse, Microsoft Headset etc.

Finally, this day long event came to an end around 6 PM.

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Fujitsu Lifebook UH572 – First Boot Up December 13, 2012

Posted by Bilal in Fujitsu Lifebook UH572, Product.
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In this post we are going to discuss about the very first boot-up of the Fujitsu LIFEBOOK UH572 right after unboxing. Although it has been a while since I have been enjoying with my LIFEBOOK, this stuff has been delayed for other high priority tasks. A lot of stuff has been shared about the LIFEBOOKs during this campaign but I haven’t found any post regarding the very first system start-up and I believe it is still worth sharing.

 

In the first boot up, system installs drivers and devices, does some housekeeping and get it ready for the first use by applying the OEM additions along with the system components.

 

Applying OEM settings, is mainly related to drivers/configuration for additional hardware devices and features available in the system. Different elegant pictures appeared in this duration with message Please Wait … in different languages.

 

And we are ready to explore

 

 

The first thing to do with a new machine is to check its performance that how well it performs in different aspects. Windows Experience Index (WEI) is a good place to start: