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32xIconsThese are my tweaked or custom Datacad toolbar icons. I have moved primarily to 32x pixel toolbars now so most of these have been redone. I also have included PSD Photoshop files with layer support for those who might want to steal parts from one icon to another. The actual icons are much sharper than the animation, as the animation doesn’t support full alpha channel transparency. I haven’t updated everything I have yet and there are a few I am not happy with just yet so there will probably be another update at some time in the future, but for now this is it. Next on my waste time late at night list is a set of High DPI Datacad folder icons. 🙂 I know, I’m a nerd. Thanks to for the great online GIF maker. My old Ulead Gif Animator gave up the ghost finally.

Download Datacad Toolbar Icons – 2.7 mb

New 32x Icons - Datacad

New 32x Icons -SunShader

New 32x Icons -O2C

Often I will stroll into my office, drop my gear and power up my computer. Then I’ll buzz around taking care of the normal mundane stuff to start my day. I have Windows set to auto login my password secured main user account using netplwiz.exe which is kind enough to start all the processes that don’t start until a user is signed into the system. Gets my system all ready to go so when I sit down my system is as ready to get to work as I am. I also have my PC and HTPC setup to boot up after a power failure state to make sure my servers are running when the power returns. With the autologin in place it leaves my system open to mischievous co-workers to put pictures of grown men in diapers on my desktop. So I have an event setup in Task Scheduler that gets triggered when any user logs on C:\Windows\System32\rundll32.exe with the arguments user32.dll, LockWorkStation to lock my desktop immediately to keep my systems safe from outside influence. So I get the benefits of the auto logon, and the security of the password prompt to login.

So here’s the rub. Windows 10’s ( and apparently Windows 8 & 8.1, yuk) Lock Screen has a 1 minute timeout where if you don’t interact to the screen it powers off your display. I don’t know how much strain is put on my monitor powering up, then powering it back down, and then powering it backup if I bump something while sitting down, and then powering down a min later because I still haven’t logged in yet, and then powering back up when I finally log back in. On an almost daily basis, I just don’t think that can be good on the guts, and I can’t be plunking down $$$ on a whim for a new monitor. I want it to power up and stay up for a decent amount of time, and then if I still haven’t logged in yet, then go ahead and save the whales and power down.

Windows doesn’t by default give you a way to adjust the power down wait time at the lock screen. After digging around the net, I found a some gents had shared what I needed. You have to really dig down there into the guts of the registry to


and set Attributes to a value of 2.

Add Option to Adjust Lock Screen Timeout In Power Settings

Once that’s set, open your Power Options, and under Display you should have a new power option ‘Console lock display off timeout’.
Lock Timeout


Get out of my explorer tree OneDrive!

Browse or search the registry to:

Set Dword value System.IsPinnedToSpaceTree to 0 (zero)












Tip provided from – Thanks guys and gals, and go check them out!

How to remove OneDrive icon from Windows 10 File Explorer

My H2100 headset just locked up on me for the first time. These are my daily drivers and I usually don’t like messing with stuff I need day in and day out if possible. Thankfully for me there is Youtube! Worked great! Few things to note:

  • The Ear muffs remove well by using the thumb from the inside gently lifting up out of the groove as the video shows. Be mindful of the thinner synthetic leather material as it seems to be the weakest point. Gently working around the unit works well and the material gives enough to get them on and off fairly easy but take your time to protect the materials life span.
  • I would recommend something along the lines of a thin guitar pick instead of the razor blade to remove the inner lining. Just have to get it started at one point, and then work your way around. It is held on with a tacky glue that once removed and the headphones are fixed, will aid well in making sure the lining will stay where it should just fine. My headset is about a year old and I would guess this glue should remain tacky for a few more years or so allowing for several more removals if needed. Once the glue is too old to be reused, I am sure I could clean the mounting surface easily and find a similar glue product to replace it with.
  • Really watch those cables when pulling the driver up. They are short and thin!
  • Also when pulling the 3 wire cable from the PCB inside to reset the device, pull on the plug, not the wires and ever so gently rock a bit to wiggle it free. A set of fine needle nose pliers or tweezers might be handy for bigger fingers.

Windows 10 includes several apps that Microsoft feels that you should have whether you want them or not. Not on my PC homie! You can force uninstall them using Powershell with admin rights.

Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.3DBuilder | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.Getstarted | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftOfficeHub | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftSolitaireCollection | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.SkypeApp | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.WindowsMaps | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.BingWeather | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.Office.OneNote | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.XboxApp | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.ZuneMusic | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.ZuneVideo | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.BingSports | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.BingNews | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.WindowsPhone | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.BingFinance | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.WindowsSoundRecorder | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.Windows.Photos | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.WindowsCamera | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.WindowsAlarms | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.People | Remove-AppxPackage


If your Windows 10 upgrade has not started yet or you want to install from different media so you don’t have to wait for the download on each system you are upgrading, you can use the Windows Media Creation Tool to either manually start the upgrade, or download the installer to a USB drive or ISO file. To get the free upgrade, you will need to preform the upgrade via the media creation tool directly or run the install media from an existing Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 install (vs. doing a boot clean install from the ISO or USB drive) so the installer can use your existing Windows 7, 8, 8.1 product key to grant the free upgrade.

Get the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool

Just a little list I am putting together of tweaks that go beyond the normal for Windows 10 that I have decided to use. These will all be filed under the ‘Windows’ tag, so you can click the tag below to get to them all as I add more. Hope they help others out.

First set of tips will be for cleaning up Explorer. All I want is my drives nice and neat, is that too much to ask for?

Clean Explorer



Image Source:

Folder Groups: ‘Like gag me with a spoon dude!’ First eye sore on my list is the Folders group that is seemingly just tossed into the mix. We can use Quick Access to add custom jump points to things we want, no reason to have things listed twice at the root of the computer.

I found this tip floating around a few sites, but over at they have a nice set of registry files to help get things done fast.
Blog Post:
Folder Group Registry Files:

Using their registry files you can easily remove all of the entries from Explorer. You will need to reboot after running the registry edits or end all instances of Explorer.exe via the Task Manager for things to work. One other thing to note. For some reason if you enable hidden files, sometimes the Desktop Folder will reappear. Usually disabling Hidden Files and closing Explorer will re-hide everything. I would guess that there is one more registry value floating around for that, but for now I don’t have hidden files turned on by default so I can live with it.

HomegroupHomeGroup: HomeGroup is a nice feature and most home networks would probably benefit from understanding how it works and using it. It’s like network sharing for dummies. I use normal Workgroup sharing with normal user account credentials on my home network because I have some special share requirements with how I communicate with work so using HomeGroup doesn’t work out for me and is just taking up space. If you don’t use/need HomeGroup either, you can ditch it too. This tip will work for Windows 7, 8, 8.1 & 10. To disable HomeGroup completely so it’s removed from the Explorer list you need to disable the services that run it. hit you Windows key and type in Services.msc and hit ENTER. Locate the Two entries for HomeGroup, right click on them and STOP them. Then Right click on each one again and click Properties. Set The Startup type for each service to Disabled, and click OK. Reboot or end the Explorer tasks and your all set! If you need to re-enable HomeGroup at anytime reset the both HomeGroup Services’ Startup Type to Automatic and reboot.


Folder OptionsFolder Options: There are a few new options added to the Windows 10 Folder Options dialog, and most of them I want turned off :p Since I only want Quick Access to show links to folders I pick specifically vs. it guessing what I want based on my recent usage, I uncheck both Show Recently used files/folders in Quick Access. With both of these set, if I were to select the Quick Access at the top of the list, it would now only show me the links I setup on the main explorer window instead of a list of recent folders and files which is useless. By Default Windows 10 opens Explorer to this Quick Access location which doesn’t make sense to do anymore since I disabled it’s core functions. So to make sure it opens up to a more useful location, I set Open File Explorer to: This PC. This is where I personally want it to open up but maybe you would like it to open up somewhere else by default? Unfortunately there is not an option to change the default option to a custom path at this time. There were some work arounds for Windows 8 but they don’t seem to work at this point. For now if you want Explorer to open to a location other than This PC or the Quick Access location, you will have to use a custom shortcut that points to the location.






Color Title Bars: Thank the maker for this little gem. Tired already of staring at the stark, eye blinding white title bars? Add a little color by installing a theme that supports colors. Download these Color Theme files and copy them to C:\Windows\Resources\Themes. Once the files are copied to the folder, double click on the color.theme file to launch it. Once the theme launches you can use the new Desktop, Personalize, Colors picker to set a custom color for your Title Bars.
















If you want a more custom RGB color selector to set any color you want for the Title bars, you can create a shortcut to the old color picker:

rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL desk.cpl,Advanced,@Advanced



Shared from Keegan’s Blog

OK so here’s how to disable Office from opening read-only documents in Reading View:

1) Open Word. Then open a new document.

2) Click File – Options

3) Under the General tab, there will be an option that says “Open e-mail attachments and other uneditable files in reading view”. Simply uncheck this, and its disabled!

Common Core

subtractionSo here is a common core math sheet from back when Brandon was just learning to subtract 2 digit numbers. The instructions:

“Use the numbers in each jellyfish to  make a subtraction problem.  Check by adding.”

It expected him to work out the logic of knowing that they first needed to start with the largest number at the top, then make sure they subtracted the next largest number in order to make the problem work to get the smallest number last. No instructions on the sheet about even trying to explain the logic. I asked Brandon if they had been doing this type of work in class filling out the boxes or dealing with why the larger numbers would go on top etc. and he said no. Knowing what level of math problems we had been doing at home, it was clear they had pretty much just learned about borrowing for simple double digit subtraction.

Next in the first example they needed to take the last number (presuming they correctly filled in the first three boxes), move it up to the top box of the addition problem and then leave them to try to figure out which number would go into the second box that would equal the last box. Obviously this could be done by trial and error and explained with some help by a parent, but it doesn’t teach them the “why” or reinforce something they have been learning at school. How many kids across this country don’t have a parent who is helping along side nightly at home to help explain this logic? That should be a big factor for these take home sheets. They should primarily reinforce what is being taught in the class.

Had this work sheet been a couple months after learning double digit subtraction I would understand that they should hopefully have enough of an understanding about the logic behind how the numbers relate, but this is what was being used to teach the core principles of how to work a double digit, simple level subtractions problem. From this and the other shared examples I’ve seen being shared online, (see this link for a great example) there seems like there is this overshadowing desire to try to get the kids to think abstractly about how to get their answers. These types of principles should be taught only after they have a primary understanding of the basic “mechanics” of the type of math they are learning. This is really going to mess up their problem solving skills later. When they need to do a type of math to solve a problem, they are sure to find situations where these fluffy abstract visual methods are not going to be able to be applied and it’s going to create a mental hurdle for them to get over. They will have to learn a new way to think about how to do the same problem yet another way instead of the simple basic method that have been used for centuries that can be applied to almost anything. Is the original style of subtraction still being taught. Sure it is, we have seen those worksheets too, but it’s a big gap between those and this sheet.

Don’t hear what I am not saying. I like the idea of common core. Having a national standard of work to be done and learned that we can study the results of and adjust slowly over time as needed to improve learning as a whole is smart. I think is a good idea. And think of all of the indoctrination and history re-writing that could be taught all across the nation with common core 😉 but that’s another battle to be had later.

Current User Paths: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders

System User Folder Paths : HKEY_USERS\(User SID#)\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders\

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