April 24, 2018

By Joe Winett


Last month, I published my first issue of Karen's Power Tools Newsletter.  Your response was overwhelming, but recovered after a few weeks.  Terry and I sincerely appreciate your kind messages and monetary support!  Enough of you licensed Karen's Power Tools, or donated funds, to get the needed code signing certificate, return about 10% of Terry's losses to her, join the Microsoft Store Developer Program, and for me to eat for nearly a month.  I'd like to specifically thank Stephanie and Darryl at SYI Studios for continuing to defer rent and letting me do a few household chores, secure the perimeter, perform tech support, and feed the animals.

There is a reason Karen used to disclaim that she, "receives thousands of messages and cannot reply to everyone, sorry."  Several hundred emails arrived in the first hours after publication last time.  I apologize that I wasn't able to reply to every email.  Since every newsletter was transmitted with the same email subject line, all your replies ended up being concatenated into one long conversation thread.  My email reader wasn't able to tell me to whom I'd already replied and so I replied to some more than once and some not at all.  After three weeks, I gave up.    

Today’s issue is being sent with your email address in the subject line.  Some spam detection algorithms score such negatively.  If this message was marked as Spam or Junk, please add joe@karenware.com to your address book or contacts list to ensure future delivery.


Power Tools Update

Karen's Power Tools will be available for installation and updates through Microsoft Store, so I'm currently reworking (replacing) Karen's installation paradigm with a modern Microsoft installer configured using the WiX Toolset. 

In addition to bug fixes for the Visual Basic 6.0 versions, I'm also rewriting for .NET using Microsoft's Visual Studio 2017 Community Edition.  I look forward to upgrading to the Professional Edition when feasible.  Thank you, Microsoft for use of your excellent integrated development environment and software development kits.

The first new program to be released will be Directory Printer. 

While Karen had already been integrating a cool C library able to read ID3 strings directly from .MP3 files using VB6, I’ll be using .NET's facilities, instead.  

That means version 10.0 will be able to print any value that Microsoft was able to glean on its own for display in Windows File Explorer.

In other words, if Microsoft has a column for it in Explorer, then Directory Printer will be able to print it, values like Title, Artists Names, Album, Genre, and Length.


Copying Dialog Box Text


Have you ever wanted to know something?

Every day, tens of thousands of people turn to the World Wide Web for answers, and I'm one of them.  I've come to depend on the comfort and convenience of logging onto my favorite Internet search engine, and telling it what I need to know, and what I hope to accomplish. 

Have you ever been desperate to fix an annoying problem on your computer, the kind of problem that pops up a dialog box in Windows -- along with a nagging ding! -- spouting off about a cryptic error condition?  Isn't it frustrating that Microsoft didn't provide you with a way to select that text and now you must transcribe the message by hand into the Internet search box -- the all-seeing answer machine?

CTRL+C is your friend.

By holding the Control key and then pressing C, Windows will copy the text from the dialog box that currently has the focus.  Windows focuses or sends keyboard strokes to one place at a time, normally.  The dialog box that just popped up probably has the focus.  If it is a "modal" dialog box, then it is probably stopping you from clicking on any other control of the application you're using, so it will have the focus until you close it.

If you need to copy the text from a different dialog box, you would need to give the focus to that sucker by clicking on it with the mouse to make it the active window of the system.

That ding! after you do CTRL+C doesn't necessarily mean that you've copied the text -- that really means that the dialog box does not accept that particular keyboard input. It's going to ding! no matter which keys you press unless it's one of the predefined keys that work with the dialog box, for instance: ESC to close it, or ENTER to accept it, or TAB to move to a different button (if there is another button).

To paste the text into another program, use whatever method you normally use. I like to use the classical keyboard accelerators* for clipboard operations:

  • CTRL+X Cut
  • CTRL+C Copy
  • CTRL+V Paste

* Windows API programming calls a keyboard shortcut for a WIN32 message an accelerator.


Windows 10 Compatibility

Karen's Power Tools are compatible with Windows 10 v.1709, Fall Creators Update.
Which version of Windows am I running?.

One known exception so far:
Windows Explorer "Print with DirPrn ..." won't go away!


Seeking Beta Testers

If you want to test new versions of Karen's Power Tools, please click here subscribe to the Power Tools Beta Testers mailing list.

The number of invitations to join in the initial closed beta program will be limited.  If you ever licensed from or donated to Karen, or recently on KarenWare.com, then you’re going to be invited, but you still need to sign up for the mailing list to indicate your interest.


Free Desktop Wallpaper

This month's free desktop wallpaper is Green Ice Network by Joe Winett.

To download an image, right-click and choose "Save link as..." or an option like it.


Please Support KarenWare.com

Perhaps the best way to help is by licensing Karen's Power Tools.

We're grateful for your donation. No amount is too small nor too large.

To use any of Karen's Power Tools for work, we require that you pay for a license.

If you would prefer to license one Power Tool instead of the whole CD, for yourself or everyone in the office, please inquire by emailing me at support@karenware.com.


Thank you!

Please take a moment today to smile towards Heaven and think of Karen. Be sure to wave and say, "Hi!"



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