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.

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Outlook 2003 and Its 99th Attachment Problem

I recently discovered an interesting little problem while troubleshooting an Outlook 2003 issue, and figured it might be of help to other users out there. I’d come across the problem before, but didn’t remember the solution. So, this article is just as likely to help me in the future as it is anyone else.

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Installing Microsoft Office Data Connectivity Components

Pretend for a second that you are an application developer, developing in VB.Net, and you find yourself needing to work with an Office-based data file (like Access or Excel). So, you write your code, put together your connection string, and go to run your program. Maybe the program works on your workstation, maybe it doesn’t. The real problem is that the code bombs out when you run it on your web server. You get an error that looks like this:

The ‘Microsoft.ACE.OLEDB.12.0’ provider is not registered on the local machine.

Now what? Well, the error should be pretty clear to anyone working with OLEDB or ODBC connections. Whenever you go to make a connection to a database, using a database API to do so, you need to have the appropriate drivers installed. If you have the latest version of Office (2007+) installed, then you may already have the necessary drivers. If you don’t (and you really shouldn’t on a server), then you’ll need to separately install the drivers. They can be a bit hard to track down, but here is what I’ve found.

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