Monday, January 25, 2010

Fix: Thinkpad using Wireless LAN even when connected via wire

This morning, I noticed that my work laptop, a Thinkpad T60 running Windows XP, was using its wireless network connection, even though the machine was docked and plugged in to the wired LAN.  In Control Panel | Network Connections, the “Wireless Network Connection” showed “Connected,” but the “Primary Network Connection” showed “Disabled.”

Right-clicking the “Primary Network Connection” and selecting “Enable” from the context menu resulted in a “Connection Failed!” message in a popup window, with no further details on the problem.

I’m not sure how my “Primary Network Connection” became disabled in the first place, but I was able to re-enable it as follows:

  • In Control Panel |  Network Connections, right-click on “Primary Network Connection” and choose “Properties”
  • In the “Primary Network Connection Properties” dialog that appears, click the Configure button (near the top of the dialog).
  • In the dialog that appears, if a message appears stating that the device is currently disabled, click the “Enable Device” button.

That fixed the problem for me.  The wired connection started successfully, and the wireless connection disconnected automatically (as it normally does when the wired connection is active).

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Microsoft Office 2003: Ctrl+F1 closes the task pane

Just because I couldn’t find this information when I was searching for it now: In Microsoft Office 2003, the keyboard shortcut to close (hide) the task pane is Ctrl+F1.  (The task pane in Office 2003 is the panel on the right side of the window that is usually hidden, but opens to show certain information such as Help (upon a press of F1), “Getting Started”, the Office clipboard ring, and other items.) 

This shortcut applies to Word 2003, Excel 2003, and PowerPoint 2003 (possibly among others).