Persistent ‘No Default Printer’ Error in Virtua

This was one of those awful errors that have no real connection to the real problem. We’re running on XP SP3 and Virtua 38

If you run into a problem where the Virtua client cannot access the printer dialog box to setup the printer, always throwing you a ‘No Default Printer’ error, here is how we solved the problem.

First, login to the computer as an administrator.

Navigate to the C:/Program Files/VTLS folder and remove the ‘Read Only’ flag.

Navigate to your ‘Printers and Faxes’ page on the Start menu, and change your default printer to the Microsoft XPS document writer.

Try to set a default printer in Virtua again, (while logged in as an adminstrator).

Now, switch your default printer back to your normal printer.

Virtua seems to read and write within the Program Files directory itself.


Linking to Reserve Detail Screens in VTLS Virtua

A tip of the hat to my colleague in New York, she comes up with some of the best questions and gets me to explore Virtua in more detail.

Here is how to link to a reserve detail screen in VTLS Virtua.

First, I’ll show you how I figured this out.

Here is a unaltered link to an individual instructor in Virtua

The majority of the detail on this link can be removed. The most important parts are

the search=, function=, rootsearch=, u1=, and t1= portions.

This search leads to a page where you can see the individual faculty member. As we see from t1=, they are identified by an individual number, not by their name.

Here’s the fun part. Virtua seems to use the cache to link to the detail screen. It’s not clear that the Reserve Detail URL is a search of any kind at all.

An unaltered link to a detail screen looks like this.

Here’s the difference: function=RESERVEDETAIL

So all we do is switch out the fuction=RESERVESCAN element on the first search with function=RESERVEDETAIL

To create additional search strings for individual faculty members, you can do a search in the ‘Reserve Search’ search box for the faculty member. Copy the URL into Notepad and find the t1= number for that faculty member. Then using the base URL

http://<Your Virtua System Here>?search=RESERVEINTR&function=RESERVEDETAIL&rootsearch=RESERVESCAN&u1=2015&t1=

you can plug any faculty identifying number on the end, leading to a direct link to a list of that faculty members reserve items.

You can link to a specific course as well

URL Patterns for EbscoHost Mobile Databases

EbscoHost, like much of the library Electronic Database world uses a session based architecture to serve up their content.

While it has advantages for the provider, it is a constant source of frustration to users because URL’s are dynamic.

It takes some sleuthing to find the correct way to directly link to session based sources.

Here’s the URL pattern for EbscoHost. Yours will likely differ, but the principles are the same.

We’ll use Business Source Complete as an example.

Your URL will likely start with

Group and profile are something that you will have set up behind the scenes with the Ebsco admin panel. These are likely customized to your institution.


Now, the codes for the databases. These differ for each database offered in EbscoHost Mobile. You can build a URL that works, then just change the database identifier to point to different databases


Here are all of the codes I’ve collected

Business Source Complete: bth

CINAHL : c8h

Education Research Complete: ehh

GreenFile: 8gh

LISTA: lxh

Regional Business News: bwh

(Edit) A fellow librarian pointed out the full list of short product codes on the Ebsco Knowledge Base

Thanks Craige!

Very Large Text Files

If you’re dealing with very very large text files, like from a large SQL query from your database, MARCedit can handle gigantic files. The text editor in MARCedit only loads a portion of the file at a time, giving you a chance to run Search and Replace functions,  do editing and put the data in a format you can then open in Excel.

One more (very simple) use for the most kick-ass piece of code for Libraries.