Saturday, October 20, 2012

SOLVED! HOW TO - Silent Install and Uninstall Google Pinyin

If you know how to type Chinese characters, Google Pinyin Chinese Input Method shouldn't be something new to you.

For network administrator though, a headache is how to deploy such a good Chinese input method to users. Here're the steps & tips on how to silent install and silent uninstall Google Pinyin.

To silent install:

          \\server\share\GooglePinyinInstaller.exe /s
  • Include this in the login script for your network users, or simply send a shortcut of that batch to your users by email

To silent uninstall:

  • Look for the uninstaller file at "C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Google Pinyin 2\GooglePinyinUninstaller.exe" for 64-bit Windows or just "C:\Program Files\Google\Google Pinyin 2\GooglePinyinUninstaller.exe" for 32-bit Windows
  • Just copy this file to your network share
  • Similar to silent install, make a batch statement, which looks like this
          \\server\share\GooglePinyinUnInstaller.exe /s
  • Include this in the login script for your network users, or simply send a shortcut of that batch to your users by email

Saturday, October 13, 2012

HOW TO - Choose Your Laptop Computer

With so many choices available, I was often being asked, "I want to buy a laptop computer, what is your suggestion?" In essence, the answer depends on your answers to the following questions:


Let's discuss them one by one.


Many people looking for a laptop actually already had an old laptop. They are actually looking for an upgrade, a replacement. So, what is your experience with your old laptop? Are you happy with some special features or stylish design of your laptop brand. Different laptop manufacturers build their laptops, often with their unique "signature" features and style. That's why, often times Lenovo users love Lenovo. And, Dell fans love Dell. The opposite is also true, users of a certain brand name may hate a certain thing of that brand and promised not to buy from that brand name again.

Well, this could be very subjective, sometimes even unfair, as manufacturers may have improved their technology and design over time. A loved feature may have become obsolete. Still, your feelings should be respected. I love Lenovo, but I won't insist a Toshiba-lover to change over.

Are you looking for a performance upgrade? You may feel that your old laptop is tooooo slow. You may be surprised that simply buying a new computer may not solve your problem.


  • It's not uncommon that Windows XP users when upgraded to their new computers running on Windows 7, can't feel much improvement
  • If a laptop user tries to run his same applications on a Atom netbook, he's going to suffer a lot
A more scientific way to evaluate a performance upgrade is by comparing the processor speed. Though not precisely accurate, still you get a general idea of what does it mean in performance gain.

  • Suppose you are currently using a Pentium 4, 1.7 GHz CPU laptop computer, with a CPU benchmark of 202; your upgrade to a laptop with a Core i3 2330M 2.2 GHz CPU, with benchmark 2589, means an upgrade of processing speed about 12 times*
*Note that this DOES NOT mean that your computer will actually faster 12 times. Factors like hard disk drive bottleneck, network bottleneck, software getting more complicated, OS loading more features, etc. will slow down your new machine.

For a list of CPU benchmarks - http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_list.php

That's also why the different names - a NETBOOK and a LAPTOP. You will find most NETBOOK runs on CPU with processor benchmarks below 1,000. Even an entry level LAPTOP computer has 2 or 3 times higher in processor benchmarking.

What could affect the performance of a laptop? A number of factors, here are some items should look at.
  • CPU benchmark (as explained above); not just the "GHz", which is very misleading
  • Hard disk type, SSD (Sold State Drive) surely out-performs a SATA disk
  • For SATA-disk laptop, check the rotation speed; a 5400 rpm HDD is slower than a 7200 rpm HDD
  • Laptop with a separate graphic card generally speaking has higher performance than one with integrated graphic card
  • Chipset technology, which may be difficult to compare, but can have a great impact on your system's performance

... to be continued.

Friday, October 12, 2012

HOW TO - Set Permanent Environment Variables in Windows 7

Sometimes, certain programs may need to set and read user or system environment variables. However, the problem is if you just run a batch to set those values, they'll only be available in the command prompt session. We need a way to write permanently the environment variables.

Some may suggest using Power shell scripts, modifying registry, or writing VB codes. However, I found using the built-in command of Windows - the setx command - the easiest and cleanest in doing the job.

Here's what Microsoft said, "[setx] Creates or modifies environment variables in the user or system environment, without requiring programming or scripting. The Setx command also retrieves the values of registry keys and writes them to text files...


  • Setx provides the only command-line or programmatic way to directly and permanently set system environment values. System environment variables are manually configurable through Control Panel or through a registry editor. The set command, which is internal to the command interpreter (Cmd.exe), sets user environment variables for the current console window only."


Setx command applies to Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista and Windows 7, these are platforms very widely used.

The exciting thing of setx is, especially for network administrators, that it supports setting environment variables remotely. Otherwise, you will have to go to each machine and adjust the Environment Variables in the Computer Properties. You may also put these setx commands in your login scripts for your Windows users to run when they logon Windows.

Monday, October 8, 2012

HOW TO - Remove Personal Information from Microsoft Office Documents

Often times, you may want to remove personal information from your Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, etc. This is especially true when you're going to send such a file to someone else, and you don't want to tell people who has prepared the document, or other internal comments, tracking information, template names, even internal email address headers, etc.

In Office 2010 and also 2013, you have a handy tool for sharing files with others without exposing such "confidential" or hidden information in your Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Follow these Steps:

  1. Go to "File", select "Info".
  2. Look for  "Prepare for Sharing" and the big button "Check for Issues", select "Inspect Document".
  3. Check everything and press "Inspect" button.
  4. If hidden data (personal information) found, a button named "Remove All" will be available, Press it to remove the hidden data

For more information, check this out:

For example, Office Starter Word has limitation of certain hidden data will not be able to be removed.

SOLVED! - System Error 2221 has occurred

For some reason, a user suddenly cannot use the "NET USE" command to map network drives. Windows logon is working, but accessing network shares become very strange, with "System Error 2221 has occurred" message. This probably is a stored credential problem.

SOLUTION: Press your Windows' Start / Launch, in "Search programs and files" field type "Credential Manager" and you should see it shows up on the list. Run it.

Check the stored credentials and remove related credentials, by click on the "Remove from vault". Now, try your NET USE command to map drives again.