How to setup a newsletter subscription page in WordPress using shortcode

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If you have a WordPress site and want to setup a newsletter subscription page just like ours here, then there is a very simple way of doing this.

Just create a post or a page in WordPress and then click on the Text tab of your post editor:

How to setup a newsletter subscription page in WordPress using shortcode 1

Then just add the following short code to your editor (remember to put it in square brackets though):

blog_subscription_form

Do not click back into the visual tab once you have added the short code, just click the Preview or Publish button.

Go to this page or post you have just created and you should now see something similar this:

How to setup a newsletter subscription page in WordPress using shortcode 2

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Exclude Certain Categories from the Homepage on WordPress Blogs

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If you are using WordPress for your blog then you will probably be using your latest posts to make up your home page.

By default, all categories of posts are included in your home page, but what if you want to exclude a category or multiple categories of posts from displaying on your home page?

Well, it is pretty simple…

First you need to edit your themes functions.php file. To do this, login to your WordPress Dashboard and click Appearance > Editor:

Exclude Certain Categories from the Homepage on WordPress Blogs 3

Then on the right hand side are the files you can edit. You should click on “Theme Functions (functions.php)“:

Exclude Certain Categories from the Homepage on WordPress Blogs 4

You should then add this code:

function excludeCat($query) {
if ( $query->is_home ) {
$query->set(‘cat’, ‘-6,-9,-17’);
}
return $query;
}
add_filter(‘pre_get_posts’, ‘excludeCat’);

Here you will see -6,-9,-17, these are the important numbers that you need to amend. These are actually the category ID’s of the categories that you want to exclude from showing on your home page.

So how do you find your category ID so that you can amend them in the above code?

All you have to do is click on Posts > Categories:

Exclude Certain Categories from the Homepage on WordPress Blogs 5

Once in the category section you will see all your categories listed on the right hand side:

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If you right click on the category you want to exclude and open in a new tab, you should now see in the address bar of your browser tag&categoryID=:

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Next to this will be a number – this is the number of this category. In our example, the number is 9.

So, you would then enter the code with a -9 to exclude that category. So as per our example, the code would then be:

function excludeCat($query) {
if ( $query->is_home ) {
$query->set(‘cat’, ‘-9’);
}
return $query;
}
add_filter(‘pre_get_posts’, ‘excludeCat’);

One you are happy that you have the correct code in place you can go ahead and save the functions.php file in your theme.

Now, when you load your home page, the category you added to the functions.php file will now not show on your home page.

Note

This is a theme edit so any updates will over write it. So, you either will need to re-add it after any updates or what you really should do is your a child theme so you only have to carry this out once without fear of a theme update wiping out all your hard work!

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Adobe MSI Package Archive

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We have today added to our site an Adobe MSI package archive…

This will allow you to easily and quickly access all the MSI packages that we provide for Adobe software including Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash Player and Adobe Shockwave Player.

To access this archive, just simply hover over the “Downloads” link at the top of the page and this will bring up the Adobe MSI Packs link:

Adobe MSI Package Archive 8

This will then load the archive page for all Adobe MSI packs for which you can scroll through and download.

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If you have any questions on this or if you would like something adding to the Adobe archive, please leave us a comment below.

How to Download from our Website

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We have recently had a few people contact us about not being able to download from our site due to them have Ad-Blocker. We have also been accused of disabling download links if you have ad-blocker!

Well, I’m afraid that none of this is true – if you have any ad-blocker or not, you can still freely download from our website. All we ask is that your kindly whitelist our website on your ad-blocker but you do not have to, to be able to download from our site.

The simple fact is that after looking into these issues, we have only found that some visitors are trying to click the text of “Download Link” instead of the download icon to the right of the text as per below:

How to Download from our Website 9

So please try that before leaving us comments or emailing us. If there is a genuine issue then press feel free to raise it.

Adobe Flash Player MSI Installers v24.0.0.221

Adobe Reader DC version 2001

Adobe Flash Player MSI Installers v24.0.0.221 10Adobe have released another update to their Adobe Flash Player software, this time taking it up to version 24.0.0.221.

As always, you can download the executable file but if you want the MSI files so that you can load it into your Configuration Manager Software Catalog, you can get that here.

The update is also now available to import through System Center Update Publisher (SCUP) so you can inject it into your WSUS or Configuration Manager systems.

You can the download the MSI installers for Adobe Flash (ActiveX, Plugin, PPAPI) by clicking the download link below:

DOWNLOAD

Download Flash Player MSI Package

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Guest Bloggers

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We have recently had a few guest bloggers post some content on our website and we are looking at expanding this out further…

So, we are looking for quality guest bloggers to write posts on our site and submit for approval to go onto our site. Guest bloggers on our site can include a short bio of themselves and also include a link to their own blog or website. However, this is not a free for all on advertising any old website so please do not submit to us if it is just one big advert!

To become a guest blogger on our site and to have the access to be able to write and submit posts, please register on our site here which will make you a subscriber by default. Then email us on guests@techygeekshome.info with your email address so that we can promote your subscriber account to a contributor account. You can then write your post on our site directly and submit to us for review. Once reviewed by us, we will schedule it for posting to our site and info you of the date and time that the post will go live.

So if you are looking to share some of your knowledge or writing skills or just wanting to take advantage of our high traffic to push to your site, go ahead and sign up as a contributor!

Follow Posts, Site Notifications and Newsletters

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We have now made some changes to the site which include the removal of our old phpList newsletter system and we have moved to a built in WordPress system.

You can now sign up to get emails whenever we post something new on the site or just to receive our newsletters.

There are three ways to sign up to our notifications:

  • Click the Newsletters link on our top menu bar
  • Enter your email address and click the subscribe button in the right side column of our site
  • Click here and enter your email address and click the subscribe button
  • Leave a comment on any post and tick the box to sign up for notifications

Once you have signed up you can then you can change your notification settings by clicking here including unsubscribe should you wish to do so.

System Center Operations Manager – Apply Licence using PowerShell

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If you are using System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) then you will find that you will need to apply your correct licence key to take it from an evaluation version up to a full version.

To make this a simple process, you can run the following PowerShell command on your Operations Manager server:

#Import Module
import-module operationsmanager

#Set License Key
New-SCOMManagementGroupConnection
Set-SCOMLicense -ProductId "YOUR LICENCE KEY"

#Restart Services
Stop-Service OmSdk,HealthService,CsHost
sleep -Milliseconds 10000
Start-Service CsHost,HealthService,OmSdk
sleep -Milliseconds 10000

#Show Current License Status
Get-SCOMManagementGroup | ft skuforlicense, version, timeofexpiration –a

It is best to open PowerShell ISE (ensure you elevate and run as admin) and this should then look like the below. Ensure that you enter your own Product ID licence key.

System Center Operations Manager - Apply Licence using PowerShell 11

Click on the Green go button and this will then import the operations manager module to begin with then it will create a connection to your Management Group, it will then apply your licence key. You will get a message pop up asking you to approve the change:

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Click Yes to continue.

It will then restart the required services and once complete, the final step will show you the licence status of your server.

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Note that if it is still showing as “Eval” you should reboot the server and manually run the final command. This should then show as being correct.

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System Center Operations Manager – Pre-Requisites Powershell Script

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If you are installing System Center Operations Manager, there are a number of pre-requisites that you need to install before running the installer.

To make the pre-requisites installation easier, you can run the below Powershell command which will download and install all of the pre-reqs for you.

Import-Module ServerManager
Add-WindowsFeature NET-Framework-Core,AS-HTTP-Activation,Web-Static-Content,Web-Default-Doc,Web-Dir-Browsing,Web-Http-Errors,Web-Http-Logging,Web-Request-Monitor,Web-Filtering,Web-Stat-Compression,AS-Web-Support,Web-Metabase,Web-Asp-Net,Web-Windows-Auth –restart

##This section will download the Report Viewer and System CLR Types for SQL Server 2012 for Windows Server 2012R2 to folder called C:\SCOM\2012R2\Prereqs. Once files has been downloaded it will automatically install

$dwnld = ‘C:\SCOM\2012R2\Prereqs’
if (!(Test-Path -path $dwnld))
{
New-Item $dwnld -type directory
}
$object = New-Object Net.WebClient
$RPTurl = ‘https://download.microsoft.com/download/F/B/7/FB728406-A1EE-4AB5-9C56-74EB8BDDF2FF/ReportViewer.msi’
$object.DownloadFile($RPTurl, “$dwnldReportViewer.msi”)

$RPTurl = ‘https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=239644&clcid=0x409’
$object.DownloadFile($RPTurl, “$dwnldSQLSysClrTypes.msi”)

Start-Process -FilePath “$dwnldSQLSysClrTypes.msi” -ArgumentList ‘/q’ -Wait
Start-Process -FilePath “$dwnldReportViewer.msi” -ArgumentList ‘/q’ -Wait

Thanks to Mai Ali for this script.

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Microsoft Dynamics AX: Making Sense of Automated Retail Consolidation

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One of the major challenges that retailers encounter is meeting the extensive range of requirements of the target audience. As a result, offering a seamless customer experience across omni-channel is the secret ingredient to master the art of managing complex supply chains with enterprise efficiency, IT cost management and customer engagement. Enterprise efficiency comprises of making sure successful merchandise, POS solutions, store productivity, campaign analytics and store productivity. Some of the most effective ways to ensure customer engagement is through social media listening, customer analytics, omni-channel commerce, loyalty management and promotions. IT cost management extends the necessary support to network and infrastructure, AMS (Advanced Marketing Solution) and Data Centre Management.

What makes Dynamics AX relevant in Retail

Due to the technology boon and rapid internet penetration, customers have evolved and are now open to new trends, like social media and consumerization of IT. This has helped the retail sector to leverage the power of technology through omni-channel to capitalize on the situation. However, it also poses a challenge for retailers to keep a close tab of the ever-changing customer behavior and buying pattern for more effective reach among their target audience and ensure brand loyalty.

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Image Courtesy: Axapta Masters

Microsoft Dynamics AX, also referred to as AX7, offer streamlined IT solutions for online as well as in-store retail. It oversees the retail processes right from the front office to the back-end office services. From ecommerce, store operations, multi-channel management, replenishment and logistics, financial management and customer care are Microsoft Dynamics AX. This makes customized IT solutions through unified technology a reality for the Retail Industry.

Dynamics AX enables seamless workflow and operational processes in retail through its single window flat application, an vast improvement from AX2012, its multi-window predecessor. This makes it user-friendly to retailers, ensuring a smooth customer service. Retail IT organizations that are equipped with Dynamics AX application can effectively run on a browser like Chrome and Safari (for MAC).

Point of Sales (POS), also known as Point of Purchase (POP), requires an organized process for ensuring smooth customer experience. POS refers to the location and time of completion of a transaction. The modern merchant calculates the amount payable by the customer as opposed to the traditional way of transactions when the merchant would make a list of the products to be purchased by the customer and calculate the price of each manually. Due to the phenomenal transformations that the retail industry has undergone, there are several electronic devices, such as barcode scanners, which scan the barcode on the product price tag or product packaging automatically and display the price on the screen. Then, he prepares an invoice that mentions the loyalty points and discounts availed by the customer to arrive at the final value.

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Image Courtesy: Ignify

When the methods of payment available are reflected on the screen, he opts for the option that suits the customer’s preferred method of payment. After the completion of the transaction, he issues a receipt or sends the payment details in the form of a message to the customer’s registered email or number or contact email. The barcode scanners, which has proved to be one of the most preferred options in the POS process, allows retailers to simply scan the unique barcode which indicates the selling price of the product. This ensures that the inventory is automatically updated whenever there is a change in pricing, besides being effective in smart stock control management.

Dynamics AX supports two Point of Sales (POS) systems – Cloud POS and Modern POS (MPOS). Cloud POS and Modern POS (MPOS) are similar in their feel and appearance. Apart from being compatible with the laptops and traditional desktops, they are also compatible with other electronic devices like smartphones and tablets. Cloud POS, which does not need installation, serves as an effective solution when a smartphone or tablet is paired with a fixed hardware placed anywhere else in the same store. Microsoft will continue to support Enterprise POS (EPOS) for retailers who would prefer to continue with it for their standard support cycle, and introduce technological updates and enhancements only to MPOS gradually.

What makes Dynamics AX score over its predecessors?

The AX database runs on SQL Azure, which allows the database to be replicated in just 5 seconds on its deployment in a production setting.  When a retailer loses its database because of an unforeseen situation, this feature makes it possible for him to retrieve the data automatically after the loss.

As Dynamics AX is an automated consolidation tool, unlike its predecessors like Hyperion or Cognos/TM1 that entals the IT team to manually manage the tool, it a comparatively complex software. It is also a vast step ahead from software like FRx/Management Reporter or Excel. The modern retail industry needs updated technology for instant and accurate results to meet the increasing demands across multiple channels.

The automated Microsoft Dynamics AX is an updated and effective solution for effective Financial Management. It is not only serves as a boon for retail companies in helping them meet unique standards specific to each country globally but also enables currency conversions like International Financial Reporting Standards to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (IFRS TO GAAP) adjustments with accuracy.

Bio

Amelie Kensington is a Senior Technical Writer. She has over 5 years of experience in software product development, IT solutions, IT consulting, Retail Technology and Digital Transformation.

Motorsport Manager – Now Free

Motorsport Manager iOS

There is an excellent motor racing simulator manager game called Motorsport Manager which you can download on iOS and the good news is that it is now completely free!

This has to be one of the best iOS games available at the moment so you should go and grab it now while it remains free.

You can click the button below to go straight to the iTunes page for it to download and install:

Motorsport Manger iOS

Quick tip for some free cash on the game, like the game on Facebook and Follow on Twitter (through the game portal) and you can get $500,000 complete free!

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Exchange – Hide Contacts from Address Book

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If you have mail contacts in your Exchange environment then you may want to hide them from your global address book if you are using them as forwarders.

To do this, open up Exchange Management Shell (EMS) and run the following command:

Get-MailContact -OrganizationalUnit "ADOU" | Set-MailContact -hiddenfromaddresslistsenabled $true

where:

  • “ADOU” = Organisational Unit
  • $true = set all contacts to hidden (change to $false to un-hide)

This will set all the mail contacts within the stated Active Directory Organisation Unit to hidden and will not show in your global address book.

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