Getting a CD collection onto an HP Touchpad #
with album artwork and organization intact turned into an adventure. Abortive attempts were made with:
until finally stumbling onto the magic combo: FreeRIP (CD to MP3 with track details) and Mp3tag (album artwork & track details, even for Japanese discs).
/misc | Apr 28, 2012
Two tiny image browsers #
imv(stb) "is an extremely lightweight and fast image viewer/browser ... Inspired by vjpeg, imv(stb) offers a very simple, no-frills image viewer with a minimal interface." (via Mike Mills)
/windows | Apr 24, 2012
Windows and boot disks larger than 2TB #
Windows' Support for Disks with Capacity Greater than 2TB:
In order for a system to fully support capacities greater than 2TB, the device must be initialized using the GPT partitioning scheme to support addressing the full range of capacity. If the user is intending to boot from one of these large disks, there is an additional requirement that the system's base firmware interface must be using UEFI and not BIOS.
Windows and GPT FAQ:
Q. Can Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2008 read, write, and boot from GPT disks?
So to create bootable partitions larger than 2TB for Windows-based OSes:
A. Yes, all versions can use GPT partitioned disks for data. Booting is only supported for 64-bit editions on UEFI-based systems.
It may be possible to non-destructively convert or migrate a Windows boot disk from MBR to GPT:
- UEFI instead of BIOS
- GUID Partition Table (GPT) instead of Master Boot Record (MBR)
- 64-bit version of Windows Vista, 7, or 2008
Rod Smith, the author of GPT fdisk, offers detailed GPT documentation, including:
- GPT fdisk can "convert an MBR disk to GPT format without data loss ... although doing so will require you to re-install your boot loader (if it's a boot disk). Do not attempt to convert a Windows boot disk from MBR to GPT form unless you're an expert!"
- Gptgen "is a tool to non-destructively convert hard disks partitioned in the common, 'MSDOS-style' MBR scheme (including extended partitions) to use a GUID partition table (GPT)." Walkthru
- Macrium Reflect can apparently clone an MBR disk to a GPT disk.
/windows | Apr 22, 2012
Windows cannot connect to the printer #
Windows Vista workstation had been happily sharing a USB printer with a Windows 7 guest for months. Suddenly the Windows 7 guest started displaying "Windows cannot connect to the printer" error messages. Resolved by going to Devices and Printers > Add a printer > Add a local printer > Create a new Port > Local Port > Next, entering the share path as the port name (e.g., \\computername\printername), and completing the printer wizard.
/windows | Apr 22, 2012
Two newly-listed apps #
/mac | Apr 22, 2012
On money #
While a bit dense (paragraphs were evidently doled out stintingly, if at all, in the 1800s), this passage from John Martin's An Account of the Natives of the Tonga Islands, in the South Pacific Ocean is worth the effort. For those who prefer the tl;dr version, check out the last few sentences - that's where the meat is.
Whilst Finow was yet at the Hapai islands, he often held conversations at his cava parties with Filimoeatoo, respecting the state of affairs at Tonga. Among other things, this chief related, that a ship from Botany Bay had touched there about a week before he arrived, on board of which there was a Tonga chief, Paloo Mata Moigna, and his wife, Fatafehi, both of whom had left Tonga before the death of Toogoo Ahoo, and had resided some years at the Fiji islands, from which place they afterwards went along with one Selly (as they pronounced it), or, probably, Selby, an Englishman, in a vessel belonging to Botany Bay, to reside there. At this latter place he and his wife remained about two years, and now, on their return to Tonga, finding the island in such an unsettled state, they chose rather (notwithstanding the earnest entreaties of their friends) to go back again to Botany Bay. The account they gave of the English customs at this place, and the treatment they at first met with, it may be worth while to relate. The first thing that he and his wife had to do, when they arrived at the governor's house, where they went to reside, was to sweep out a large court yard, and clean down a great pair of stairs. In vain they endeavoured to explain, that in their own country they were chiefs, and, being accustomed to be waited on, were quite unused to such employments. Their expostulations were taken no notice of, and work they must. At first their life was so uncomfortable, that they wished to die ; no one seemed to protect them ; all the houses were shut against them ; if they saw any body eating, they were not invited to partake. Nothing was to be got without money, of which they could not comprehend the value, nor how this same money was to be obtained in any quantity. If they asked for it, nobody would give them any, unless they worked for it ; and then it was so small in quantity, that they could not get with it one-tenth part of what they wanted. One day, whilst sauntering about, the chief fixed his eyes upon a cook's shop, and seeing several people enter, and others again coming out with victuals, he made sure that they were sharing out food, according to the old Tonga fashion; and in he went, glad enough of the occasion. After waiting some time with anxiety to be helped to his share, the master of the shop asked him what he wanted, and, being answered in an unknown language, straightway kicked him out, taking him for a thief, that only wanted an opportunity to steal. Thus, he said, even being a chief did not prevent him being used ill, for, when he told them he was a chief, they gave him to understand, that money made a man a chief. After a time, however, he acknowledged that he got better used, in proportion as he became acquainted with the customs and language. He expressed his astonishment at the perseverance with which the white people worked from morning till night, to get money ; nor could he conceive how they were able to endure so much labour.
After having heard this account, Finow asked several questions respecting the nature of money ; what is it made of ?--is it like iron? can it be fashioned like iron into various useful instruments? if not, why cannot people procure what they want in the way of barter?--But where is money to be got?--if it be made, then every man ought to spend his time in making money, that when he has got plenty, he may be able afterwards to obtain whatever else he wants. In answer to the last observation, Mr Mariner replied, that the material of which money was made was very scarce and difficult to be got, and that only chiefs and great men could procure readily a large quantity of it; and this either by being inheritors of plantations or houses, which they allowed others to have, for paying them so much tribute in money every year ; or by their public services ; or by paying small sums of money for things when they were in plenty, and afterwards letting others have them for larger sums, when they were scarce ; and as to the lower classes of people, they worked hard, and got paid by their employers in small quantities of money, as the reward of their labour, &c. That the king was the only person that was allowed to make (to coin) money, and that he put his mark upon all he made, that it might be known to be true ; that no person could readily procure the material of which it was made, without paying money for it ; and if contrary to the taboo of the king, he turned this material into money, he would scarcely have made as much as he had given for it. Mr Mariner was then going on to show the convenience of money as a medium of exchange, when Filimoeatoo interrupted him, saying to Finow, I understand how it is:--money is less cumbersome than goods, and it is very convenient for a man to exchange away his goods for money ; which, at any other time, he can exchange again for the same or any other goods that he may want ; whereas the goods themselves may perhaps spoil by keeping, (particularly if provisions), but the money he supposed would not spoil ; and although it was of no true value itself, yet being scarce and difficult to be got without giving something useful and really valuable for it, it was imagined to be of value ; and if every body considered it so, and would readily give their goods for it, he did not see but what it was of a sort of real value to all who possessed it, as long as their neighbours chose to take it in the same way. Mr Mariner found he could not give a better explanation, he therefore told Filimoeatoo that his notion of the nature of money was a just one. After a pause of some length, Finow replied that the explanation did not satisfy him ; he still thought it a foolish thing that people should place a value on money, when they either could not or would not apply it to any useful (physical) purpose. "If," said he, "it were made of iron, and could be converted into knives, axes, and chisels, there would be some sense in placing a value on it ; but as it is, I see none. If a man," he added, "has more yams than he wants, let him exchange some of them away for pork or gnatoo. Certainly money is much handier, and more convenient, but then, as it will not spoil by being kept, people will store it up, instead of sharing it out, as a chief ought to do, and thus become selfish ; whereas, if provisions were the principal property of a man, and it ought to be, as being both the most useful and the most necessary, he could not store it up, for it would spoil, and so he would be obliged either to exchange it away for something else useful, or share it out to his neighbours, and inferior chiefs and dependents, for nothing." He concluded by saying, "I understand now very well what it is that makes the Papalangis so selfish--it is this money!"
/misc | Apr 21, 2012
Resolving post-malware problems #
BleepingComputer.com member Farbar has created two incredibly useful tools for resolving post-malware issues:
As with most BleepingComputer tools, there is very little information available about them (hence the direct download links above), but I've seen both resolve very stubborn problems. Farbar kindly replied to my request for details about the tools by saying only a few BleepingComputer members are granted access to that information. Concern about such secretiveness is largely allayed by BleepingComputer's record of altruism (and reticence), along with the near-miracles I've seen Farbar's tools perform.
- Farbar Service Scanner helps restore network access after a malware infection.
- Farbar Recovery Scan Tool (x32 | x64) helps resolve blue screens following malware removal (it can be run from Advanced Boot Options > Repair your computer > Command Prompt).
/windows | Apr 16, 2012
Increase hard disk size in VirtualBox 4.x #
(UPDATE: See this post for a far easier and faster method.)
If your VirtualBox virtual machine is running low on disk space, here's how to allocate more:
0. Shut down virtual machine & quit VirtualBox
1. Locate VDI file
$ VBoxManage list hdds
Parent UUID: base
Usage: XP (UUID: yyyyyyyy-yyyy-yyyy-yyyy-yyyyyyyyyyyy)
2. Backup virtual machine
There are two methods:
- Simply copy the VDI file to another location. (If you try opening this copy in a new VM later, you may receive a "Cannot register the hard disk ... with UUID ... because a hard disk ... with UUID ... already exists in the media registry ..." error. This can be resolved by assigning a new UUID: $ VBoxManage internalcommands sethduuid XPcopy.vdi *)
- Or use the clonehd command, which creates a cloned copy with a new UUID automatically:
$ VBoxManage clonehd XP.vdi XPclone.vdi
3. Resize drive
Specify the new size in MBs. In this example, we'll expand a 10GB virtual disk to 40GB:
$ sudo VBoxManage modifyhd XP.vdi --resize 40960
The process should complete in a few seconds.
4. Allocate new space †
- Download Parted Magic
- Open VirtualBox and select your VM
- Go to Settings > Storage to select the Parted Magic ISO image:
and then to Settings > System > Motherboard to set the boot order.
- Start the virtual machine. Once Parted Magic is booted, double click "Partition Editor" on the Desktop. You'll see something like this:
- In this example, you'd resize /dev/sda1 to take up the additional 30GB and click Apply:
- * In versions prior to 4, setvdiuuid was used instead of sethduuid
- † There are a number of other ways to allocate the newly-created space; Disk Management (diskmgmt.msc) in Windows, diskutil in OS X, parted in *nix, etc. Parted Magic has the advantage of being nearly universal and also working on virtual machines that will no longer boot due to low disk space.
- Image resizing was added in VirtualBox 4.0.
- While these instructions were written for an OS X host and Windows XP guest, they should be applicable in most any environment. The path to VBoxManage.exe under Windows is C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxManage.exe
/misc | Apr 12, 2012
Yep, still updating the Palm OS apps... #
Stopwatch 2.0 [48k] Digital stopwatch for Palm OS 3.0 and higher.
/palm | Apr 06, 2012
"A duplicate name exists on the network" #
error messages in Windows XP can be caused by:
- two or more computers with the same Computer Name
- a Workgroup Name which is identical to the wireless router's SSID
- a Workgroup Name which is identical to a Computer Name
/windows | Apr 04, 2012
E Ink computer monitor #
Still waiting for an E Ink monitor? Use your Kindle DX as a second display.
Additional keywords for the bleary-eyed:
- E-Ink computer screen
- Kindle external keyboard
- E Ink monitor for computer
- E Ink word processor
- E Ink display for writing
- Kindle as computer monitor
- Writing on Kindle
- An external keyboard for your Kindle
/eink | Apr 02, 2012
iCloud and Dropbox alternatives #
Host your own:
Hosted by someone else:
- ownCloud "gives you easy and universal access to all of your files. It also provides a platform to easily view, sync and share your contacts, calendars, bookmarks and files across all your devices ... Photo albums are automatically created for uploaded photos and make it easy to scroll through your pictures." Open source; supports WebDAV, CardDAV, and CalDAV.
- iFolder - Open source Dropbox alternative. Linux, OS X, and Windows clients available.
- SparkleShare - Open source Dropbox alternative. Linux, OS X, and Windows clients available.
- Syncany "is an open-source cloud storage and filesharing application. It allows users to backup and share certain folders of their workstations using any kind of storage, e.g. FTP, Amazon S3 or Google Storage."
- fruux - "Contacts. Calendars. Tasks. Always in sync." Free for up to 3 devices (no paid plans available yet); supports CardDAV and CalDAV.
- Pogoplug PC - Host your own cloud using your PC or Mac. One time $29.95 payment; though files are hosted locally, login is through Pogoplug service.
- Tonido - Host your own cloud from your Linux, Mac, or Linux computer. Login is through Tonido service.
/misc | Apr 02, 2012
iTunes: find all missing / broken / dead tracks #
That is, those which should display an exclamation point:
(via Paul Mayne's September 2009 update from Lee McKay)
- Make a playlist called "Good" and drag your entire library into it.
- Make a smart playlist called "Bad" with two rules: "Playlist is Music" and "Playlist is not Good" (uncheck the "Live updating" option).
- "Bad" will display all dead tracks.
- Delete if desired: Edit > Select All > Option+Del (Mac) or Shift+Del (Win).
/misc | Apr 01, 2012
Converting Windows Registry hex to ASCII text #
Convert REGEDIT4 (ANSI, single-byte) and Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 (Unicode, double-byte) hex strings to text with hex2text. ImagePath in this ver 4 example
becomes \SystemRoot\system32\drivers\iaStorV.sys and in this ver 5 one
becomes \ S y s t e m R o o t \ s y s t e m 3 2 \ d r i v e r s \ i a S t o r V . s y s.
/windows | Apr 01, 2012
Download just imagex.exe (568k) #
instead of the entire Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK) for Windows 7 (1,782,580k):
- Download and install Bo Brantén's HttpDisk-7
- C:\>httpdisk.exe /mount 0 http://download.microsoft.com/download/8/E/9/8E9BBC64-E6F8-457C-9B8D-F6C9A16E6D6A/KB3AIK_EN.iso /cd w:
- C:\>expand w:\Neutral.cab /f:F3_imagex c:\
- C:\>ren F3_imagex imagex.exe
GetWaikTools offers an even faster option; neither a driver nor admin rights are required - downloading imagex, oscdimg, dism, etc directly from Microsoft takes just a few seconds. Download GetWaikTools.zip
/windows | Apr 01, 2012
Troubleshooting Windows 7 Startup Issues #
sourceDaddy.com offers a comprehensive guide to troubleshooting Windows 7 startup problems that covers:
- What is New with Windows Startup
- Boot Configuration Data
- BCD Stores
- System Recovery
- Windows Boot Performance Diagnostics
- Understanding the Startup Process
- Power-on Self Test Phase
- Initial Startup Phase
- Initial Startup Phase for BIOS Computers
- Initial Startup Phase for EFI Computers
- Windows Boot Manager Phase
- Windows Boot Loader Phase
- Kernel Loading Phase
- Control Sets
- Values for the Start Registry Entry
- Value Descriptions for Type Entries
- Other Registry Entries in the Servicename Subkeys
- Session Manager
- Logon Phase
- Important Startup Files
- How to Configure Startup Settings
- How to Use the Startup And Recovery Dialog Box
- How to Use the System Configuration Tool
- How to Use BCDEdit
- How to Interpret BCDEdit Output
- How to Back Up and Restore Settings
- How to Change the Default Operating System Entry
- How to Change the Boot Menu Time-Out
- How to Change the Order of Boot Manager Menu Items
- How to Create an Entry for Another Operating System
- How to Remove a Boot Entry
- How to View and Update Global Debugger Settings
- How to Remove the Windows 7 Boot Loader
- How to Configure a User Account to Automatically Log On
- How to Disable the Windows Startup Sound
- How to Speed Up the Startup Process
- The Process of Troubleshooting Startup
- Startup Troubleshooting Before the Starting Windows Logo Appears
- How to Start the System Recovery Tools
- How to Run Startup Repair
- How to Use BootRec.exe
- How to Diagnose Hardware Problems
- How to Use System Restore
- How to Manually Repair the Boot Sector
- How to Manually Update the BCD Registry File
- How to Manually Replace Files
- How to Reinstall Windows
- Startup Troubleshooting After the Starting Windows Logo Appears
- How to Restore the Last Known Good Configuration
- How to Enable Boot Logging
- How to Start in Safe Mode
- How to Identify Failing Drivers and Services
- How to Analyze Startup Problems in Safe Mode
- Event Viewer (Eventvwr.msc)
- System Information
- Error Reporting Service
- How to Use Device Manager to View or Change Resources
- How to Analyze Boot Logs
- How to Roll Back Drivers
- How to Temporarily Disable a Service
- Troubleshooting Startup Problems After Logon
- How to Temporarily Disable Startup Applications and Processes
- How to Disable Startup Applications Using the Shift Key
- How to Disable Startup Programs Using the System Configuration Utility
- How to Disable Startup Applications Configured Using Group Policy or Logon Scripts
- How to Permanently Disable Startup Applications and Processes
- Manually Remove the Entry
/windows | Apr 01, 2012
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