Category: Computers


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

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Power\PowerSettings\7516b95f-f776-4464-8c53-06167f40cc99\8EC4B3A5-6868-48c2-BE75-4F3044BE88A7

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:
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{018D5C66-4533-4307-9B53-224DE2ED1FE6}

Set Dword value System.IsPinnedToSpaceTree to 0 (zero)
Value0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tip provided from TheWindowsClub.com – 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

Capture

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

 

OldFolders

Image Source: howtogeek.com

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 HowToGeek.com they have a nice set of registry files to help get things done fast.
Blog Post: http://tinyurl.com/p6yyk2a
Folder Group Registry Files: http://tinyurl.com/q3jxnus

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

RGBColors

 

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!

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\

I am having my first go at getting my son’s iPad setup with LAMP Words For Life  (LWFL) setup. It’s exciting thinking about how this may open up better communication between all of us. I will be posting little bits of info as I come across them and hopefully it will help others who may be digging for the same info I am. I will be updating each post topic as I work thru things.

iPad Icon Size

One of the key factors I was concerned about before getting started was that I knew that this app was displaying a lot of images and that the images that came as part of the default vocabulary files are from an era where HD displays were not even dreamt of yet. The icons are low res, pixelated and often don’t look much like their real world counterparts. I knew I needed to make things as familiar as possible for my son as he is very much a creature of habit and accepts things that are familiar much easier than something he may have not had contact with yet. When picking out our device I knew that loading up detailed images of real world objects might be a issue, not so much because of hardware limitations since I figured the iPad could pump out the horsepower needed, but maybe the software might have some bottlenecks either for being fairly new or bringing legacy issues forward. We picked the iPad Air since it was the fastest unit at the time hoping it’s faster processor would help keep things snappy when switching between pages. LWFL imports images from the iPad’s camera roll. during the import process, it presents your with a crop tool but I didn’t know if the software was simply cropping the image on the fly, or was it actually creating a nice small icon adjusting the resolution and dimensions or what. I started a test vocabulary file to play with, and began replacing images. I used large +900px images and things seems to be running pretty good. I then removed some of the images from the Camera Roll, and the images stayed in the software so I knew it was at least storing the images within the program, which was good so didn’t have to worry about my son deleting images and breaking things. But I had only replace a few test images. Would the speed keep up as I loaded more and more images? I didn’t want to get weeks into setting up Daniel’s core custom vocabulary file only to be hit with a performance issue and have to start all over.  I posted a question over on PRC’s Facebook page [because any company worth it’s salt will respond to someone questioning the quality of their product in an open forum in front of millions of potential customers to keep up their company’s image up 😉 ] and with  PRC’s speedy response, I found out that the internal icon size is 5/8″ x 3/4″ (0.625″ x 0.75″) or a  1:1.2 ratio. “Cool!” I thought, “They are creating their own images and resizing them down so I should be good to go.” So I started to create my son’s custom vocab file. I edited my images on my PC & upload them to my website. Then on the iPad I would refresh the page in Safari, save the image to the Camera Roll and then import the image in LWFL. Using the 1:1.2 ratio though I was getting outlines showing up on the edges of the image. It seems a square image usually works better. I got about 50 images in when things . . started . . . to . . . . slow . . . . . . .down. I though “Ahhh crapo. They are cropping, but not resizing.” I exported a standard 84 full vocab file and my custom vocab file to iTunes and compared their sizes. About 20 MB’s difference. All of my custom jpeg images only added up to about 4MB total. So I am left to deduce that either the image processing on the iPad is creating some larger files or there is some sort of overhead or meta data going on inside.

(I have posted a question on Facebook about this and will update this when I have a answer.)

So after hitting this snag, I have gone thru and tested multiple formats, sizes and resolutions.  I am getting best results using 450X450 px and 600 PPI which results in an image about 30-40kb per image. I am going to go forward now using these sizes, adjust my existing images and go on from here. I know the iPad Air has a screen resolution of 264 PPI, but I compared 264, 528 and 600 (600 just to try a nice round number) and the 600 looked the sharpest. I tried 792 & 800 but didn’t any difference in clarity, so I stuck with 600 PPI.

LAMP Words For Life Key Colors

Color Chart

 

 

 

 

 

Getting transparent icons into the iPad app seems like it is going to require building the vocab file/icons using the PASS software and purchasing a license to the iShare account service to sync with. The PASS software is pretty rough (old & clunky like the Vantage Lite units), I am not quite ready to setup a iShare account. Will probably end up needing to sync my son’s personal and school device up using iShare with the teachers, but not ready to do that just yet. These colors match the standard app colors but unfortunately it seems the colors used when editing icons within the app have a gradient so they don’t quite blend in naturally, but these colors will get you pretty darn close. I am going to just color my standard icons and forget about trying to do transparency as I can probably get these color added as fast as trying to convert the vocab PVF files in and out of the PASS software.

Hex Color – Color Name or Color Description
█ FFFFFF – White
█ FFBB92 – Very Light Orange
█ FF9966  –  Atomic Tangerine
█ CC5F00 – Strong Orange
█ FFDCB8 – Pale Orange
CF9F69 – Slightly Desaturated Orange
█ 9D7033 – Dark Moderate Orange
█ 6F4924 – Very Dark Orange
█ FFFFCC – Very Pale Yellow
█ FFFF98 – Very Light Yellow
█ FFFF66 – Unmellow Yellow
█ FFFF00 – Yellow, Electric yellow
█ CCFF99 – Very Light Green
█ 00FF66 – Pure Cyan – Lime Green
█ 009C00 – Dark Lime Green
█ 006600 –  Pakistan Green
█ CCFFFF – Very Pale Cyan
█ 8CFFFF – Very Light Cyan
█ 0CC0C0 – Strong Cyan
█ 088080 – Dark Cyan
█ CCE0FF – Very Pale Blue
█ 99CCFF – Very Light Blue
█ 5588FF – Light Blue
█ 0000FF – Blue
█ E0CCFF – Very Pale Violet
█ CC99FF – Very Light Violet
█ A767FF – Very Light Violet
█ 7F00FF – Pure Violet
█ FFC5EA – Very Pale Pink
█ FF8AD7 – Very Light Pink
█ FF0099 – Pure Pink
█ B00072 – Dark Pink
█ FFCCCC – Very Pale Red
█ FF7777 – Very Light Red
█ EE0000 – Pure Red
█ 993333 – Dark Moderate Red

 

Color Information Provided by ColorHexa

Here is my collection of fonts from around the net.

Download Fonts.zip


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