Free Microsoft eBooks

Microsoft has put a long list of free eBooks on the net. Some of them are sort of 101 basics, some of them are really interesting.
The site for it is Largest collection of FREE Microsoft eBooks ever. Cause of some reasons stated on the author's blog page there is no "download all" zip file, but there is a list of single files to download them all, using tools like powershell, wget or similar. This list can be found here.

Digitally signed Office macros (VB)

Most times, when using small but handy macros written and embedded in Office programs, there is a complaining about potential risk when opening files containing macros. And if you often use them this somewhen starts being a pain in the ass. Or, even worse, you're not able to open your own file since it's containing macro stuff.

But there's a quite simple solution coming around this - why not signing the macros?

All you need is an Office installation bringing along. There's a programm called selfcert.exe in the Office directory (in my case that's c:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\).

When staring this you will be prompted for a certificate name, give it a meaningfule, like hl_vba_signature. The certificate will be generated in an instant. Then, all you need to do is going to the developer tab, open Visual Basic Editor and in "Extras" (whoops, what is it called in the English version?) you can select Digital signatures. There you can select your generated certificate for signing your own macros. When done, don't forget to save your word file as .dotm so the macros are stored along with it.


Loopback adapter in Win7

Doing a lot of development based on socket connections I've found it always hard to do offline development the moment it came to testing. No WiFi, no eth connection, nothing available - giving me no network interface up and running. Same problem when having a virtual machine installed and the wish to exchange IP packets beween host and guest operating system.

Luckily, there's something called "loopback" adapter, which can be perfectly used for exact that reason - always available, always up and running.

The only thing - there is no way to install it, since everything seems to be based on previously detected real hardware. So I found out, it's quite a simple thing invoking the hardware wizard by calling "hdwwiz" from the start menu manually.

install loopback adpater - step 1 install loopback adpater - step 2 install loopback adpater - step 3
install loopback adpater - step 4 install loopback adpater - step 5

Choose manual hardware selection, then coose network adapters, the one you're searching for can be found in Microsoft, it's name is Microsoft loopback adapter. Clicking some more continue/finish/ok is bringing you thru the installation.

When done, using the network adapter settings this adapter can be given a meaningful name and an IP address, preferably from a private IP address range, like 172.x.x.x or 10.y.y.y.

Ah, one thing, just to have mentioned that, too - do not fill in a gateway address for that NIC, there shall always be only one gateway stated in a network configuration, even if running multiple network interfaces!