Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Future Social

I wonder if the future Social Media incarnations will be as popular as Facebook and Twitter?

There is this futuristic vision of people 'jacking in' to their systems and becoming part of a virtual reality world, but somehow even though that would be an advantage in some things, a replacement for actual social media?

I personally think VR would be great for Gaming and Education, taking online Gaming to a new level, Education to a more level plane with more interactivity.

Social media on the other hand is more to do with communication than visuality, if you were to enter a VR version of Twitter of Facebook I believe it wouldn't be as spontaneous or as good an experience as they are now. After all, if you want to virtually meet people visually, there's a better place to do it even now in the present, out THERE.

Facebook and Twitter as they stand at present spawn friendships that span continents, and an eventual meet up (TWEETUP) is a spectacular thing, the effort alone of physically meeting people whom you've only ever chatted with through keyboard and possibly Skype is worth it.

No! VR will never take the place of proper social media, it will become the TV of the virtual world, something you jack into to relieve the boredom in a visual way, the ultimate 3D TV in fact, total immersion, but that's another story altogether...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, 17 August 2012

Well, I have to say, I love KeePass

It's a password manager, a very good one, and what's more its free.
Now you may think that yes, it's free but is it good enough to trust with your critical and personal account information etc... The databases are encrypted using the best and most secure encryption algorithms currently known (AES and Twofish). So I would say a resounding YES!

Not only is it a linux program, but, it runs on windows too, there are Mac OSX and IOS versions as well as Android etc. in short you can use it cross platform from PC to Mobile to tablet.

Yes amazing eh? It's open source honest...

Heres how I use it.

I use it in conjunction with DropBox, another greatly useful thing to sign up for, sign up Here.

I created a new Database using a password and a key file.
I then dropped the database into my DropBox so that I could synchronise across all my computers and devices (yes DropBox is also cross platform)

Now you may think "wait a minute, it's out there in the big bad interweb, isn't that a bit unsecured?" No, it's not, because the file is encrypted for one with your password, but this is not enough as you would be aware, so remember that key file? Well copy this file to all your devices, you need this to open the database file, without it you will not be able to access the file.

For your desktop computer, just copy the key file to a USB stick, install the software on your PC and point it to the file when you use your password database, then remove the USB Stick for double security as its not permanently on your system.

Et viola! You have a free cross platform, cross device password manager you can trust in.

Never get caught short when you access a website you can't remember the password for.

KeePass also has features that you can use when it's running on the desktop where you can get it to open the URL you've included in your password entry in the database, also you can configure it to automatically log you into the site without actually having to type in your details.

Great stuff!

Oh! Just a reminder, put the key file manually on the devices you want KeePass on, do not make it available anywhere, no key file means no access, therefore even if someone knows your password they will not be able to access your database.

Hope you enjoyed this article, it's been a while I know...

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Windows 8 or Windows Server 8 installation to VHD (Not a VM)

Okay, so you want to preview Windows 8 Consumer Preview or Windows 8 Server Beta but you dont want to use a VM or wipe out or do any repartitioning of your systems. Well your in Luck... heres how to go about it.

This is not for any XP based system unfortunatly, but for any system with Windows 7 or Vista installed as we are going to make use of the newer BCD store, though there are ways of using this with a native XP installed, but thats another story.

So first things first. if you havent already got your copy of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview make your way to here:

Help yourself to the ISO of chioce and take note of the key, you will need it for Windows 8 install. Burn the ISO to a DVD and away we shall go.

I will be using Windows 8 Server Beta to do this, but the initial preperation for the drive is identical whether you use Win 8 Server or Win 8.

Shall we start?
Okay, the usual boot option when booting froma DVD Drive, hit a key at this point as always if you want the DVD to boot.

When the DVD has booted choose your Time and currancy format and click next.

When you are at this screen do not continue right away.

Use the key combination of SHIFT - F10 to bring up a command prompt and type 'diskpart', this is what you should see.

Now here is where the magic happens.
The first thing you want to do is list the available Hard Drives by entering 'LIST DISK'.

Now we need to select the disk you wish to use for this procedure, enter 'SELECT DISK 0', where '0' is the drive you want to use, I'm usin the only one on the system so '0' it is.

Next list the Volumes on the now selected disk by entering 'LIST VOLUME'. As you can see there are a few here, the one you want is the volume that holds the Win 7 install, in this case the biggest one at 39Gb, take a note of the drive letter it is using.

Now, this is where we create the VHD for our installation. there are various options for creating a VHD file, but ill not go into this for this article, just to say that the following command will create the VHD needed for Win 8 to install into one.

Execute the following command to create a 20Gb VHD file that is not Dynamic:
Notice that the location of the file uses the letter of the volume I want it to be in.

Now we need to select the newly created VHD file, execute the following comand:
'SELECT VDISK FILE=d:\win8.vhd'

Next we attach the VDISK so the current environment sees it as a drive, execute the comand:

Now we need to partition the virtual disk: 'CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY'

And format it: 'FORMAT FS=NTFS QUICK'

A drive letter needs to given to the VDISK now, not entirly sure if this is necessary but it doesnt hurt.

To see what all that has done do a 'LIST VOLUME' and you will see a new volume with the letter V ready to be used.

If you want, you can do a 'LIST VDISK' to see the attached Virtual disk you have created.

Type 'EXIT at the prompt twice to return you to the windows setup screen.

Now you can start the install.

As I was installing Windows 8 Server Beta is was not asked at any point for a serial number, but be assured that the Windows 8 Consumer Preview will, so at some point you will need the serial from the download page.

I decided to install the full GUI version of Win 8 Server.

Accept the usual Lic Terms.

Go for the Custom Install to do a full installation.

and when you cat to the part asking where you want to install windows, you now choose the Virtual Drive you created, in this case its Drive1 Partition 1. You may notice that there is a warning that it cannot be installed there, but it will anyway so ignore it.

And off it goes

let it reboot

then let it reboot again, here you can now see that is now in the selectable options for booting between Windows 7 and Windows Server 8 Beta.

Windows Server now askes for a password for the Administrator account

It goes through a finalisation phase.

And here it is ready.

CTRL - ALT - DEL and your ready to log in.

Win 8 Server starts at the Desktop screen and starts Server Manager by default.

Server Manager Dashboard

As you can see Server 8 has the same METRO UI as Win 8 and acts in the same way.

And you shutdown the same way as do Win 8

Click on Power

You get to Shut Down or Restart

It will ask in the usual server way why you are shutting down

Though now there are more options.

Hit Continue.

And it surprisingly shuts down. :)

Well lets hope this was informative and useful to some.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

XPMode on Win 7 Home and Home Premium

I have discovered a way to install XPMode's Virtual PC onto the Home versions of Win 7.

Make your way to and select one of the Professional/Enterprise or Ultimate OS selections and then your language.

You will now be able to download the files to your system. the only one you need to worry about is the third step, Windows Virtual PC Download. Install this component and then reboot, you now have Virtual PC installed onto your system. if you still have the media and a license for XP you can now go ahead and install XP then install the Integration Components, and viola you now have XPMode in the Home and Premuim versions of Win 7.

You could download the Windows XP Mode step 2 but you will find that it will not work as XP Mode detects your underlying OS version and will not run under the Home and Premium versions of Win 7.


I have been lax, very lax in this little blog...

No matter, i shall endeavor to do better.

I have a few things I would like to put up, like Windows Developer Preview stuff.
I have for instance managed to install it into a VHD file on Windows 7 to boot in native mode fom the Windows 7 boot options.

Still lets hope i make better use of this blog in the future.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Acer Aspire One AO5150 charging problem

I have recently been ignoring my little Acer Aspire One netbook, it's been languishing in a corner for the last five months.

I picked it up and found that the battery was dead (no surprise there), but when I plugged it in to charge it would not.

So off I went in search of solutions, it turns out that that the BIos for my model would not support the high capacity battery that I bought, so time to update the Bios. Here's what you need to do:

You will need the following things:

Acer Aspire One Netbook of course.
A USB Thumb Drive,
And an Internet Connection.

Okay on a separate computer, go to and navigate your way to the drivers download for the AO5150, find the latest BIOS and download.

Open the .zip file and extract the two files located under the DOS folder: "3310.fd" and "Flashit.exe" onto your thumb drive. Rename "3310.fd" to "zg5ia32.fd"

Now take your thumb drive to your powered off Netbook and insert it.

You will need to press and hold down the "Fn" and "Esc" keys and turn on the Netbook while still holding these keys for about 30 seconds, then let go.

Your Netbook should stay black for up to 2-4 minutes or so. Once it restarts, safely remove the thumb drive, and charge it for a while. It should successfully hold a charge from now on.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Today I have done techies things

I did techie things, as is my want, the cursing was phenomenal, M$ has a lot to answer for, as do some software companies who live in the tech dark ages of the 1990's

This day and age you would think that they would cater for at the very least XP, but Noooo! I have had the privilege of installing an application into a student computing lab, an application which they tell you needs to be installed and run as Administrator, even have the UAC disabled, and they class this as a Windows 7 compatible application.. Oh and when they say administrator they mean the Administrator account not the group or a user with admin privileges... grrrr!

Still, all in all I'm off for three days now. Next week I'll probably go insane, but then to anyone who knows me on Twitter that's not news :-)

I must now RDP into a server at work to set some permissions on a labs computers so that the lackeys can get on with some work while I'm way :-)


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad