Tag Archive: programming


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

 

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


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