Showing posts with label O/S. Show all posts
Showing posts with label O/S. Show all posts

Hiding Adobe Acrobat Reader DC Toolbar Pane

With the new Windows 10 roll out this year, I've also updated my PDF reader to Adobe Acrobat Reader DC version. With this update though the interface looked more up-to-date, but why, oh, why must they move those handy buttons about? Instead it was a step backwards on productivity. What use to be just a click away like the comment tools, now take several steps to achieve the same thing. In addition, the right side tool panel is always set to open by default and there was no settings to stop it from appearing!

Removing the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC right side tool pane

My Internet was blocked by bad DNS

My internet connection was working fine just the day before. And this morning when I powered up my PC, no connection could be established. I didn’t know I have a bad DNS problem and was wondering what could be wrong.

I checked my other PC in the LAN network including my mobile phone and they all could connect online. Looking at the error message, it said it was blocked by my browser. So the first thing that came to mind was my PC firewall. The quick way to test it was switching off the firewall. Unfortunately, no connection could be established.

The next step was to try disabling the anti-virus. Even that didn’t work.

Trying to pinpoint the error, I tried running other browsers. Perhaps my current Google Chrome browser was getting cranky. Unfortunately, Mozilla Firefox and Opera browser didn’t work either.

Finally, after giving the error message a second look, I realized the error message came from Open DNS. In my bid to overcome the blocking of certain sites by the Malaysian government, I have switched from TM net DNS primary/secondary servers to those of overseas.

A quick change on my Local Area Connection properties TCP/IPv4 Primary and Secondary DNS server address to another one, voila! My connection was established. This time I switched over to Google’s DNS server.

So most likely the Open DNS gateway servers were down, or they too started implement some kind of blocking procedure. Fortunately I still have some other alternate choices to try.

Well that solved my problem, though it took me about 2 hours to figure it out! What a time waster!

Nested Cloud Storage and NTFS Symbolic Link

Having a bunch of free cloud storage from the likes of Google Drive, SkyDrive, Dropbox, Box.com and many others, you could embark on a synchronization strategy to back up to your precious files up in the cloud and even give you a convenience or two.

Scrounging around the internet I found you could do some rather interesting sync and backup using the cloud storage on offer.

As of this writing, I have:

Google Drive = 15GB variable with email storage
SkyDrive = 7GB plus a free 1 year 20GB storage for being a Windows Phone user
DropBox = 2GB, can be bump up by doing various task, and recently a link from my mobile Samsung Note 2 gave me a bonus 48GB storage for two years!
Box.com = 10GB
Ubuntu One = 5GB
Amazon = 5GB
Apple iCloud = 5GB


Wordpress is still the top blogging platform

Of all the blogging platform that I have tried, Somehow Wordpress is still the best. Having just moved my website with Wordpress to another web hosting, I decided to find out just what was its market share. It didn't take me long to find out.

The information was fairly new, published around mid of 2013. Information was compiled from Technorati top 100 blogs annual study. Looking at the pie chart, Wordpress has a whopping 52% usage as compared with other blogging platform be it self-hosted or from the Wordpress.com website.

Android Phone is the most popular OS for Smartphones

The Android onslaught has made it the most popular smartphone O/S. The recent IDC figures shows a whopping 79.3% market share domination! Leaving the other competing platform in the dust. The nearest contender from Apple IOS only managed a miserably 13.2% market share. And my second favourite Windows Phone platform still has a lot of catching up to do standing at 3.7%.

Smartphone OS market share for 2nd quarter of 2013

DNS Servers in Malaysia and Overseas

Every now and then, I would tinker with my router modem and network adapters. In most cases DHCP would be fine. But some of the legacy devices like my very old HP Laser Jet 5000 series printer as well as our re-cond all-in-on Ricoh photocopier machine (although fairly new, but uses some very old network communication protocols) worked better with a fixed network IP protocol.

For small office like mine, manually configuring each PC to a fixed IP was not such a big issue. However when setting the Internet Protocol TCP/IPv4 from DHCP to manual settings, the "obtain DNS servers address automatically" sections gets grayed out.

So I would need to key in the DNS servers manually in order for internet connection to work. Scrounging around the internet, I managed to gather all the local DNS Servers as well as some international ones too! I set up this list because I can't remember the DNS server address, so this post was made as sort of a note for me for quick access!

Default Cluster Size for NTFS, FAT32, exFAT

I needed to reformat my SanDisk 16GB USB flash drive to NTFS file format as I wanted to transfer a large 9++ GB movie file to view it on my media player box. So when the format dialog box came up, I was wondering what would be the best default cluster size for NTFS and what did the "default allocation size" meant.
 
Although I would like to keep my thumbdrive in its default format of FAT32, it was not able to handle any files larger than 4 GB. NTFS filesystem although has more features (encryption, compression, ownership, etc.), it would also mean using up more computer resource in Windows when processing files. Hence I still prefer the simpler FAT 32 drive format, but I have no choice here as the file size was greater than 4 GB. (Note: exFAT or extended FAT can store files larger than 4GB but this disk format is not supported by many media boxes, unfortunately! It was introduced to overcome the 4GB limit but due to lack of support from many devices, access to the files would be limited to Windows Vista/7 onwards.)

Firefox 5 breaks Google Toolbar

The latest Firefox 5 update inadvertently broke the Google Toolbar. Frankly the version 5 came too fast in the wake of Firefox 4 which broke the Delicious bookmarking plugin.

Since I have several PC's, looks like i'm not going to update the rest of my PC's to Firefox 5 until Google comes up with an updated plugin.

--- [update 27/6/2011]

Found this thread in Mozilla support. By using this compatibility reporter extension, you could make Google Toolbar to work with Firefox 5. I gave it a try and it works! It also made my Trend Micro toolbar working in Firefox 5 too! Nice fix!

And finally I gave the Delicious toolbar a go too, and voila! It works! No need to wait for update from Delicious. Anyway, with the breaking of Delicious I found a better bookmarking service from Xmarks.com. Since I still got many bookmarks in Delicious, I guess I will be keeping both service for now.

The Google Toolbar 7.1.20110512W version works in Firefox 5.0 by using the Compatibility Reporter extension.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/add-on-compatibility-reporter/

Reinstalling my Windows

I guess my office PC Windows was getting way to cranky and it was time to blast it to smithereens and reinstall Windows again. It had a good run of 3 years but now it is like a wheel that is no longer round giving a very rough ride whenever I was using it.


The reinstallation was a tedious process. Although reinstalling windows was quick taking only a couple of hours. Putting back the necessary software like Microsoft Office, the various browsers, anti-virus, and various tweaking, configuration, updating… while still doing sales work at the same time is really complicated!


This time round I figure I won't be using the POP3 for my email and use the alternate IMAP instead so that wherever I may be whether at home, at work or on the road I will see the same email logging in either with Outlook, Windows Live Mail, Linux Evolution, Android phone or just logging in via Webmail.


However my current office web hosting company do not have IMAP but I did set up an alternate email storage in Google App using a sub domain. So I will try this for awhile. The only problem with this method is that all my outgoing email will have the "…send on behalf of…" which makes the email headers looked kinda ugly. Tried several options but still ended up with the ugly headers. Well no choice, google wanted to make sure spammers won't spoof their email address when using the gmail email system. Only way to avoid it is to send via the original account, but I won't be able to keep the outgoing email in the Google App account. Will just have to see which way to go about it.


Meanwhile it has taken about two days of installing back the necessary software. There may be some other less often used software that were not installed. Well if I need to use them I will install them, so in the meanwhile, my Windows reinstallation is breezier and faster when all the gunk has been cleared out from the PC with a clean install. So no more blue screen of death and warning messages of not shutting down my PC properly. Yes!

My PC is rather slow on certain aspects

I'm not sure whether it is due to Windows 7 which is rather slow in my AMD 64 computer or whether my 2 year old hardware is aging, but I feel the hardware part is rather unlikely as I tried booting up the system using Ubuntu Linux and making a comparison. Although I don't get to use Windows 7 in my office, a quick check on my colleague's Windows 7 and her PC is running quick as a breeze. Not every job or application is slow in my house box, only certain aspects of the PC is slow. Boot up speed is expected whether at home or at work, Windows always loads up lots of applets and services which tend to take up some 5 minutes before you are ready to go.

I have two issues with my AMD/Windows 7 setup, large file transfer and shutdown process. My external hard drive, the WD My Book using firewire connection is especially slow when it comes to large file transfer. And the Windows 7 shutdown also takes ages! It takes as long as 10 minutes to quit! Now that is far too long! Even my Windows Vista at work takes less than 3 minutes to shutdown.

Strangely when I tried my PC with Ubuntu Linux live CD, the file transfer was so much faster. With my Puppy Linux, it was blazingly fast! Perhaps too fast as it started to have errors when transfer huge amount of files. So I decided to stick back with Ubuntu Linux for a more stable file transfer environment.

I suspect installing Windows 7 in the 64bit mode is not as good as I thought and might have compatibility issues with an AMD system. The only way to know for sure is to reinstall Windows 7 in 32 bit mode or change my hardware to an Intel based system. I'm neither keen on either mode the former being tedious and time consuming while the latter cost money and I'm not ready to throw in good money for a hardware upgrade just yet.

Since the issue is just file transfer and shutdown, I opted in to install a Linux system using Ubuntu to resolve the former while I just have to grit my teeth and wait for the shutdown process for the latter. I could always just flick the off switch on the mains if I didn't want to wait which is not always a good idea as Windows 7 may be writing something into the hard drive and might risk corrupting the data.

Anyway, just have to work around the slow Windows 7 issues and a good excuse to install Ubuntu 10.10 which I have not come around to do!

Xperia X10 Android 2.1 Update coming soon

My current Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro is running on Android phone version 1.6. Heard about the update/upgrade to Android phone version 2.1 will be released on week 38 or end of Q3. Somewhat earlier than the Q4 released mentioned.

Quick search found the SE blog about the upcoming release for Xperia X10 not just for the X10, but for the entire X10 series, the X10 mini pro and X10 mini.

Ran through the Sony Ericsson website and it seems I can upgrade the X10 Android phone software by ourselves instead of handing it over to the SE service center. If so that would save time but I wonder what are the caveats of doing my own software upgrade?

Windows 7 RC is free! For awhile anyway.

Microsoft is releasing a preview version of Windows 7 RC (release candidate) which you can use until it expires in June 2010. That means about 13 months free usage from current date (May 2008).

PC World reported that this is the longest trial usage ever given by Microsoft. The Vista trial usage was given about 7 months usage from release till its expiry in June 2007. Once it expired Windows Vista will auto reboot every two hours to remind users to get a paid copy. I guess Windows 7 will be of a similar vain.

Anyway 13 months is quite long. And for some of us, we do reformat the hard disk every year or so, and 13 months seem like a good duration. In fact I was already thinking of reformatting my hard drive so it might be a good time to give Windows 7 RC a try. Only problem now, Microsoft server is swamped from too much download request. Guess I will wait awhile before going for a download.

PC World article reference:
Use Windows 7 free (for awhile)

Format FAT32 big partition using Linux

I was attempting to format big partition size >100GB for a FAT32 file system for the WD My Passport portable hard disk. Turn out to be very tedious because the FAT32 format utility provided by Western Digital could not work in Windows Vista. So I tried to find alternative way, but to no avail, until...

There is limit to the FAT32 partition on your hard disk. It cannot exceed more than 32GB. To format larger than 32GB I will need to use the manufacturer software. Turn out it cannot run in Windows Vista. So I searched around for alternatives.

I found one software called SwissKnife, but turn out that this too was outdated and could not run in Windows Vista. It could only run in Windows 2000.

There were many post in forums about using command prompt to format large size partition. Many said it was very slow, you can't do a quick format, and there seem to be limit to the format size. NOt sure about the actual limit, but I believe it could not exceed 100GB. Since I need it bigger than 100GB I decided not to try this way.

In the end, I have to fire up my old PC running in Windows XP to install the WD FAT32 formatter program. It requires at least the dotNetFx 2.0 version so again I have to take time to install a .Net software. Than installed the WD FAT32 formatter. Finally got them all installed.

But... it wouldn't allow me to partition it!

So in the end, I used Ubuntu Linux Gnome partition manager. Before using it, I have to delete the partition using Windows Disk Manager. For some unknown reason I couldn't delete the partition in Gnome partition manager. Using the Ubunto Linux Gnome partition manager, I could partition the WD My Passport portable hard disk and format a FAT32 partition bigger than 100GB size.

Thank goodness for Linux!