Solving the Sorry PowerPoint can’t read ^0 error

So there I was opening a PowerPoint file from my OneDrive folder when I got this error message: Sorry, PowerPoint can’t read ^0.

What was happening? Well first some background.

My iMac’s fusion drive had failed, I had it replaced and then reinstalled OS X before using the migration assistant to restore my iMac files, applications and preferences.

Well there I was thinking everything had gone so well. I had virtually no data loss, so was pleased I had managed to get things sorted. However I was annoyed when opening a PowerPoint file from my OneDrive folder I got an error message.

I got this error message: PowerPoint found a problem with content in <file name>. PowerPoint can attempt to repair the presentation. If you trust the source of this presentation, click Repair.

The word trust made me think that this was a permissions issue rather than corruption.

I clicked Repair and then this message appeared: Sorry, PowerPoint can’t read ^0.

I wasn’t sure what was going on.

As part of my back up back in April I had backed up the files from the OneDrive folder onto my external hard drive. I hadn’t updated it since, as far as I was concerned I didn’t need to back up the OneDrive folder as it was already backed up in the cloud.

Going through the OneDrive files I realised that virtually all the files I had created or edited since the back up weren’t working and “needed repair”. I was as you might imagine rather annoyed. What was worse was the files had also synced across the cloud and my laptop.

I did some Google searching for a solution, and to be honest it wasn’t too much help. I did try and reset OneDrive but this didn’t work.

I was convinced that this was a permissions issue rather than file corruption or data loss. The file sizes looked fine for example.

In the end though I did come up with a solution.

In Finder right click the file and select Version History.

Note that this option is only available for files on OneDrive.

As you can see I had two versions of the file with the same date and timestamp.

This reinforced my opinion that this was a permissions issue.

Right click the three dots.

Then select Restore (or Download).

This then creates a new version, which will open.

The file can now be opened normally.

I’ve not worked out how to do this for multiple files, so am having to do it for each file that doesn’t open.

This process also works on Windows computers as well.

This has demonstrated that despite having an online cloud and a physical backup there was still the potential for data loss after a hard drive failure.

 

Not updating yet…

high sierra

So Apple have released their latest operating system, well actually they did it a few weeks ago.

I still have yet to update my iMac (and my MacBook) to the new operating system. The main reason is not that I really like Sierra and don’t want the new features of High Sierra. Nor is it because I have really slow internet and it would take days to download the update, on the contracts, now I have fibre, my download speeds are respectable and it now takes minutes rather than hours or days to download large updates, such an operating system upgrade. It’s just that I have had my fingers burnt before when applications I use on a regular basis suddenly stop working on the new operating system.

The main culprit for my is usually Adobe’s Creative Cloud, however I am hoping now that they have moved to a subscription model that my regular Apps will be updated automatically and quickly. I also heard people were having problems with Microsoft Office, but I have also heard that Microsoft have released updates for these programs as well.

Sometimes it is the smaller software houses and struggle, but part of the issue is me! If a piece of software is working for me, and there is an application upgrade, I really need to justify paying for the upgrade.

So the following packages stopped working for me in the past following operating system upgrades, Screenflow and Parallels. So if I upgrade the operating system, which is free, I then need to spend real money upgrading certain applications. I am expecting Comic Life 2 to stop working with this upgrade, so then needing to upgrade to Comic Life 3.

So having waited a few weeks I think I may do the upgrade soon.

MS-DOS Mobile

This made me smile.

Today Microsoft launch MS-DOS Mobile, a new OS designed especially for Lumia smartphones.

Microsoft are going back to where productivity started for millions of people, launching a beautifully simple OS.

The MS-DOS Mobile preview is an essential download for those who remember life before Windows, those who want to go back to BASIC, or even those looking to boot into DOS for the first time.

Note today’s date.

Don’t be a Fanboy!

Me by Heloukee

I do get very disappointed with people who get so agitated by fanboyism, so much so that they ignore potential solutions as they are not made by their favourite “manufacturer”.

Often I get accused of being an Apple fanboy, which is not too surprising when I sit there at an event with my iPhone, Macbook and iPad. I must be, I am using all Apple equipment…

Uh no…

I use what I think is the best equipment for me in the context of budget, where I am, what I need to do, etc…

What I don’t do is constantly defend Apple regardless of the context. Likewise I don’t “attack” other companies on their products. It doesn’t achieve anything and isn’t helpful.

So what is the difference between constructive criticism and fanboyism?

If you hate everything that Apple makes then you are a fanboy. If you would never touch Windows or Android, then you are a fanboy. If someone criticises a product and the criticism is a valid criticism, and you defend that product regardless, then you are a fanboy. If you choose one company for everything you use (and importantly recommend too) and then attack everyone else for using different things then you are probably a fanboy.

I remember back in the first few years of the 2000s I was telling people about how I liked using OS X, but was told many a time that we shouldn’t be using OS X in education as Windows XP was the industry standard and used by businesses, therefore education should only use OS X. What I found rather amusing was when it came to choosing tablets, those same people who said we must use the “industry standard” of Windows XP, said we shouldn’t use iPads as they were a closed proprietary product… even though by most measures they were the industry standard! The true colours of those people as Microsoft “fanboys” came out.

There isn’t anything really wrong with choosing products from a single company, the reality is if you then spend time attacking choices by others, or defending the company’s products all the time, then that’s fanboyism.

At the end of the day, I will choose and use products that make my life easier, I will write and talk about those products, and I will also make valid criticisms about products I and others use. I am writing this blog article (in draft) using a MacBook and Pages (from Apple). I will publish it online using WordPress (open source) and using a 3G connection via an Android powered Google Nexus One phone. I know people will be able to read it using a variety of platforms and browsers.

So are you a fanboy?

Photo via Heloukee

How to sell a Windows 8 laptop, or not…

Back in August 2011 I wrote a blog article about how awful the customer experience was at Staples when you wanted to try out anything in the store.

Well Staples could learn a lot from Apple about how best to present the kit they sell they have on display. I was in there the other day and they had a really nice range of tablets on display, most were Android, but there was also the HP TouchPad.

Most had power, but not all. None had anything on them except the default install, so no apps to try, no content to view or look at. Though all had wifi, none could be used to access the internet as none of them were connected to the internet! Really what was the point of having them on display, when the average consumer is going to have no idea about how they work and how they could fit into their lifestyle.

I was in their last week buying some sticky labels and noticed that they had a Windows 8 display.

How to sell a Windows 8 laptop, or not...

Well I thought to myself, though I had “played” with the WIndows 8 Beta, here’s an opportunity to try out, not only the release version, but a piece of dedicated Windows 8 hardware.

So looking at the piece of HP kit, I looked at the screen…

Automatic Repair and that it couldn’t repair the PC.

Automatic Repair and that it couldn’t repair the PC.So not only was it unusable, it was also broken. Hardly a good advert for Windows 8.

I have no idea if this was a Windows 8 problem, an HP hardware problem, however it was a problem for Staples.

Again I ask the simple question, as a customer why on earth would I buy anything from Staples if not only can I not try out a piece of hardware (as I can at the Apple Store) but why on earth would you have on display a piece of broken hardware?

There are very good reasons why Apple can make so much money from every square foot of retail space they have, other companies need to send not only their staff there, but also the managers of such companies like Staples need to go to the Apple store and then go to their own stores to see what a vastly different experience it is.

Also companies like Microsoft and HP need to do so much more to ensure that companies like Staples don’t scupper their efforts in selling laptops and software.

Is this the future?

I always like these videos from Microsoft on the future of “productivity” and interfaces. They say this is 5-10 years into the future….

The thing is most of us are probably still using Windows XP ten years after it was first released, I can imagine in ten years time a lot of us will still be using Windows 7 on our work machines!

I do like the concept of pushing stuff from one device to another, for me that is still a bit of a hassle even with services such as AirDrop and Dropbox. However I do wonder how easy it would be using the interfaces in the video to “accidently” push content from your device to some stranger’s device…

So is this the future?

Bing adds visual search, Google Flips

BBC reports

Software giant Microsoft has introduced “visual search” to its Bing search engine to try to further set itself apart from market-leader Google.

and in other news

Google has unveiled a service called Fast Flip to let users consume news more quickly and to boost the flagging fortunes of the news industry.

The product is designed to mirror the way readers flick through magazines and newspapers.

Now you don’t need to read the news online anymore, you can just look at the pictures!

Seadragon Mobile

In an interesting move, Microsoft Labs have released an application for the iPhone.

Seadragon

Seadragon is designed to provide next-generation visual experiences, regardless of the size of the screen, size of the file or speed of your network. It’s already available on a number of platforms, including Microsoft Surface, and in Photosynth and Silverlight. Now we’re bringing that same graphical smoothness right to the iPhone in your pocket.

Probably the best way to describe it, as a Google Maps but for any large scale image.

Find out more.

Download the app from the iTunes Store.

Microsoft to offer free security

BBC reports on Microsoft’s new free security offering.

In a surprise move, Microsoft has announced it will offer a free anti-virus and security solution from the second half of next year.

The new software, code-named Morro, will be a no-frills program suited to smaller and less powerful computers.