Monday, April 4, 2011

Microsoft Word Timer - How does it work? (Answer below!)

I was trying to understand the "Total Editing Time" information in a Word document.  After a lot of searching online, I came up with one blog post which alas, was wrong.

After a bit of work, I found the answer.

Here is a letter I sent to the original blog author:
I ran a test on a spare HP laptop I have.  I can give you the gory details if you want, but the bottom line, is that on my test computer with Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 Pro SP3, the timer didn’t work on my test laptop the way you describe.

In my test environment, the Word document “Total Editing Time” timer will run under these conditions:
-          The Word document needs to be open.
-          There cannot be another Word document open as the primary document.

With a new MS Word document, the timer continued regardless of if I opened a web browser and surfed for a while, regardless if I minimized the Word document, regardless if I opened up an Excel spreadsheet and worked on that.  The only way I could stop the MS Word timer was to create another Word document, and have that new Word document be the primary document.

If you want to see my hand-written notes on this (archaic, eh?), see the gory details here.

HP 8440p video driver problem solution

If you have an HP Elitebook 8440p (and specifically, model WH256UT#ABA, but possibly others), there is a bug in the Windows XP 32-bit nVidia driver that causes the screen to appear to lock up when it blanks.

To test this, set the screen to blank after 1 minute.  Your screen will go blank, but will not come back to life.

If you plug in an external monitor, voila!  it does come back to life.

The problem is the video driver.

Either use an old video driver, or use one that HP hasn't released yet, version 261.55 (shows up in device manager as, dated 3/9/2011).

Here is the driver:

Note:  HP's support site should have the latest, but for now, I have the latest.