Source for Microsoft ISO's and Install Media

You'll need to have a legitimate license key to install them, but hard to find install media for Microsoft products, particularly those they may be a version or two past their prime, can be located through the download tool here at

Now I'll admit I was pretty skeptical about this, but searching on the reputation and safety of raised no red flags, and their tool actually generates download links on the website.  I even went so far as to cut and paste the link and manually re-type the Microsoft domain address to be certain that there were no character set tricks making a non-microsoft site look like a Microsoft site.

Given that the downloads are coming from Microsoft, I'm calling them legit.  Remember, if you don't have a legit license key to install them, these downloads give you nothing but bandwidth consumption.

Database MySQL

Incomplete Dates in MySQL

Sometimes you can't store the year portion of a date in MySQL because it's not available, such as when people are willing to provide their birthday but not the year of birth.

You can resolve this by entering "0000" in MySQL, but that won't work will all databases.

Another solution is to provide the year 1200 as a placeholder for those dates.

Using the year 1200 works because it it a leap year, so date formatting and calculations that are sensitive to leap years will work, but you'll have to filter out the year for certain queries and calculations.



Defining image shown when linked in Facebook

When a link is shared in Facebook, Facebook will choose an image to show in the post.  However, the image FB chooses may not be the best one for the purpose.

The Facebook Sharing Debutter at can help you troubleshoot this.

Adding a link <link rel=”image_src” href=”preview-image-here.jpg” /> to the page header will define the image you choose here.

Alternatively, there are plugins to handle this for you.

Here are some links to help manage this issue:


Converting vCard (.vcf) files to Comma Separated (.csv)

Sometimes a contact list exports as a .vcf file, which can be difficult or impossible to import into another mail system.

This link provides a way to easily convert it;

'nuff said.

DOS & DOS Scripting

Batch Parameter Extensions

These examples use modifiers to modify parameter %1

  • %~f1 Expand %1 to Fully qualified path name
  • %~d1 Expand %1 to Drive letter
  • %~p1 Expand %1 to Path only e.g. \utils\ (ncludes a trailing \) Some commands will interpret this as an escape character.
  • %~n1 Expand %1 to a file Name without file extension C:\utils\MyFile or if only a path is present (with no trailing backslash\) – the last folder in that path.
  • %~x1 Expand %1 to a file eXtension only – .txt
  • %~s1 Change the meaning of f, n, s and x to reference the Short 8.3 name (if it exists.)
  • %~1 Expand %1 removing any surrounding quotes (")
  • %~a1 Display the file attributes of %1
  • %~t1 Display the date/time of %1
  • %~z1 Display the file size of %1
  • %~$PATH:1 Search the PATH environment variable and expand %1 to the fully qualified name of the first match found.

You can also combine these as shown below:

  • %~dp1 Expand %1 to a drive letter and path
  • %~sp1 Expand %1 to a path shortened to 8.3 characters
  • %~nx1 Expand %2 to a file name and extension only
  • %~dp0 The folder from which the script is being run