The Case of the Failing Focus (or How I Fixed the Calculator Button on My Keyboard)


Ahh, my good ol’ Microsoft Wireless Laser Keyboard 6000 v2.0. I settled upon this keyboard many years ago, and have used it both at work and at home ever since. One of the handiest features is the conveniently-placed calculator button. It’s a simple thing, really, and isn’t exclusive to this keyboard, by any means. Tap the calculator button, wait for the calculator app to launch, move your hand down to the number keys, and start calculating.

On Windows 7, the calculator key (or more appropriately, the software driving the key) was a bit hit and miss. On some computers, hitting the key would open a new calculator instance each time. By that I mean, instead of pulling into focus a calculator app that is already running, it would instead keep opening new calculator apps. On others, it would follow the preferred route and bring into focus the currently open calculator, or open the calculator application if it wasn’t already running.

Well, with Windows 10, things have made a turn for the worse. Hit the calculator key and the calculator will open, but it won’t quite be in focus. It’s selected, but if you start typing, nothing will happen. You have to select the entry area with your mouse, then start typing. Frustrating, to say the least. Additionally, the key will open a new instance of the calculator each time it’s pressed.

This just won’t do. So, how do we fix these issues? Keep reading for the answer…

Continue reading

The Dell, Bluetooth, and Microsoft Office Compatibility Conundrum

Microsoft Office 2003. Are you still running it? You really shouldn’t be, as Microsoft is ending support of the product in less than a month. Well, since I know many are still running Office 2003, and are likely to (unwisely) continue to do so for a while, this bit of info may prove to be of help to someone, somewhere, sometime.

Dell laptops have long come with built-in Bluetooth capability. This is great for those of us who enjoy the use of Bluetooth headsets, mice, keyboards, etc. With built-in Bluetooth, you don’t need an extra USB dongle. This is especially important on certain Dell laptops, as the number of available USB ports is rather limited. In fact, this port limitation is exactly what led me to revisit a rather old Bluetooth compatibility issue.

Continue reading

Expanding DPM Storage with the Dell MD1000

MD1000 Front

I’m a fan of Microsoft’s Data Protection Manager (now a part of System Center 2012). Data Protection Manager (DPM) is a data protection and recovery application, designed to protect an entire network. The protection of network data is absolutely essential in any business, regardless of size. DPM is a great system, but really uses up disk space. What do you do when your DPM server runs out of space? This article will discuss one approach to solving the space issue: the use of a Dell MD1000 (connected to a Dell server) to expand available storage. Continue reading