Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Windows7 At Home

Starting with a Dell Inspiron 660s with pre-installed Win7 64bit

Agree to startup questions except
 - no don't register with macafee

Run windows update and restart
 - no don't register with macafee
 - no don't accept dell digital delivery

Run windows update and check for updates (many times)

 - eBay
 - mcafee
 - dell digital delivery
 - microsoft office
 - microsoft sql server
 - skype
 - windows essentials 2012 (everything but movie maker)
 - dell datasafe local backup (requires restart, also uninstalls datasafe support software)

Turn Windows Features Off
 - Games

Run windows update and check for updates

Click flag in system tray > Open action center
 > Run windows defender
 > Turn off messages about virus protection

Run Adobe Reader > Update

Run IE > Use Recommended settings
 set homepage
 download and install Firefox

Run Firefox
 set homepage


   Always ask me where to save files
  Don't remember passwords for sites
  Don't check my spelling as I type
 Adblock Plus > Install > close the adblock plus added bottom bar


[right-click] Desktop > Personalize
 > Windows7 Basic (i.e. don't use the Aero transparent theme)
 > Desktop Background > Browse...
 > Change desktop icons > [uncheck] Recycle Bin > Ok

Unfortunately this means there is no longer any easy navigation to the recycle bin.
You can right-click blank space in the left-pane of windows explorer, then select
"Show all folders" which will reveal the recycle bin but uglify the left-pane. Next
click on the recycle bin then right click favourites then add the recycle bin, then
uncheck "Show all folders".

Delete all icons from the Desktop

Start > Avatar > Change your picture > Browse...

[right-click] Language Bar (in systray) > Settings > Language Bar > Hidden

[right-click] IE in Taskbar > Unpin this program from taskbar
[right-click] WMP in Taskbar > Unpin this program from taskbar

Start > [right-click] Properties > Start Menu > Customize
 [uncheck] Highlight newly installed programs
 [uncheck] Open submenus when I pause with the mouse pointer
 [uncheck] Use large icons
 Number of recent programs to display: 0
 Number of recent items to display in jump lists: 0

On WinXP I had some dual-monitor software that let you bounce windows between monitors and was dying witout it until I realized this is native functionality in windows7. Just grab a maximized window's top bar and drag it. It will convert to non-maximized. When on the next monitor drag towards the top of the screen. It will convert to maximized. Release.

If you're canadian and you accidentally hit Left-ALT+SHIFT, you'll toggle to a french keyboard. This is because of the following setting: Control Panel > Region and Language > Keyboards and Languages > Advanced Key Settings > Hot keys for input languages > Between input languages: Left Alt+Shift. Change this to (None) to avoid that trap.

Download And Install

First fetch these files, then run on them, then install them as described, then pin most of them to the start menu.

  Download Notepad2 4.2.25 Program Files (x64)
- just drop this into Program Files and add it to your sendto

  Agent Ransack - 64-bit Version 	Download (3.6MB)
- run the installer

- run the installer and agree to shell extensions

- just drop these into Program Files (x86) and create shortcuts
- here's how to customize the config
  Saved Sessions > yourConfigName
  Host: yourServerIP
  Port: usually22
  Type: SSH
  Bell > None (bell disabled)
  Columns: 155
  Rows: 36
  Lines of scrollback: 3000
  Colours > Use system colours
  Data > Auto-login username: ec2-user
  SSH > Auth > Private key file for authentication > Browse: YourKey.ppk
 Session > Save

  WinSCP 5.1.5 Installation package
- run the installer, don't install the bundled chrome
- Preferences > Preferences > Editors > Add > External editor > Notepad2 > Up, Up

- run the installer but don't agree to shell extensions

  Download Audacity 2.0.3
- install audacity, then install lame, then install ffmpeg

- run installer, don't set as default, don't install bonjour, do automatically update
- run safari and set homepage (gear > preferences > set to current)

  Download Now
- agree to installer

  Download Now
- agree to installer
- [top-left-dropdown] > Show Menu Bar
- View > Show Sidebar
- Controls > Shuffle > By Albums

  Download Chrome
- agree to installer, set homepage
- extensions > Ad Block Plus
- extensions > Home Button At Top Right

Google Drive
  Download Google Drive > Accept And Install
- create folder C:\Data\Music\GoogleDrive
- run installer > Advanced Setup
 Folder Location > Change >  C:\Data\Music\GoogleDrive > Ok
 Sync options
  Only sync some folders to this computer
   [check] Music
   [uncheck] Sync Google Docs files
  Start Sync

 [not a free download]
 - install with no shell extensions, no browser, no animation shop
 - note that screen capture may crash win7

- it says you can create a full backup on an external drive
- then plug that drive into your new computer and run the restore executable
- and choose a new location for the dataset
- then install picasa
  Download Picasa
- run installer

- Download Handbrake 0.9.9 For Windows XP or later
- HandBrake-0.9.9-1_x86_64-Win_GUI.exe
- Allow and agree to install
- Launch Handbrake
- Source > Open Folder > VIDEO_TS > Select Folder
- Presets > Devices > AppleTV3
- Destination > Browse > whatever.mp4
- Start

When you want to migrate your picasa from one computer to a new computer and you can't keep the files in the same location because the new computer doesn't have the same drive letter as the old computer, the documentation says it should work despite many blogs of it failing to maintain albums and/or face tags for many users on versions of picasa older than 3.9.

When you run PicasaRestore.exe, it lets you choose a new location, so that for example "Z:\images\..." becomes "C:\Data\[Z]\images\...", and it shows you the complete list of files it will copy. One hopes that during the copy it also updates all the album pointers, etc. You can't avoid the [driveletter] in the new path.

After the restore is complete, you are supposed ot install Picasa for the first time on the new computer. During first launch it displays the standard "Only search My Documents" / "Search my whole computer" prompt. It doesn't matter which you answer. Answer only search my documents, then immedately go to "Tools > Folder Manager" and remove everything from the search. Note: it's okay to answer "Dont' use Picasa Photo Viewer" to the second prompt.

In my case there were no photos in "My Documents", so all it displayed was "No photos found." When I opened "Folder Manager" it showed "My Documets" as "Scan Always" which I changed to "Remove From Picasa". Finally I selected my new root as "Scan Once".

At first this looked like a complete failure, as it was scanning and just displaying the image folders it was discovering but as it scanned folders that contained images that were in blue albums, it started adding albums to the list.

However, after "Sign In with Google Account" all the albums re-gain their web-ablum status, but "Sync To Web" has been turned off on all of them. Turning "Synch To Web" back on for each web album seems to work correctly. For the first one, you have to choose you upload settings, and "Original Size" isn't the default, so choose carefully, but it takes no time at all to sync so it clearly isn't re-uploading the folders. Newly added photos are uploaded to the existing web album correctly. Note that photo order still doesn't sync.

Paying closer attention, there is a minor bug. It appears that many of the albums don't have all their photos. For example an album that has 43 photos online may appear to only have 2 photos on the desktop. The source photos do exist on disk. When you select "Synch To Web" on that album, it says it's "Downloading" and the disk album is updated correctly. Checking the files on disk confirm they were always there and they haven't been modified.

It seems that as Picasa scans your folders, when it finds a folder that contains files that were in one of your albmus, it creates the album, but if it has yet to scan other folders that also contain files from that album then those files are deleted from the album. As long as it was a web-album, re-synching the album will re-add the files without actual upload/download. If any of your albuums were offline and from multiple folders, then you're out of luck.

Windows Explorer


Make everything except the following hidden

Alt > Tools > Folder Options
 [check] Automatically expand to current folder
 > View
  [uncheck] Hide extensions for known types

Delete the contents of "Libraries"
Remove the contents of "Favorites"

 remove stuff you don't like
 add Notepad2

Note: SHIFT+[right-click] gives additional context menu options such as "Open command window here", but I find that too cumbersome.

Start > regedit
  delete the tag named "extended"
  delete the tag named "extended"

[right-click] Command Prompt (actual window, not shortcut) > Defaults
 [check] QuickEdit Mode
  Screen Buffer Size: 1000 x 3000
  Window Size: 120 x 40
  Font: Lucida Console
  Colors: Black, White, Blue, White

// remove unwanted items from the explorer/desktop right-click "New" menu
Start > regedit
 CTRL+F > shellnew > ... F3
 // rename ShellNew folders to ShellNew_
 HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT/.bmp/ShellNew_      // bitmap
 HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT/.contact/ShellNew_  // contact
 HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT/.jnt/ShellNew_      // journal
 HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT/.rtf/ShellNew_      // rich text
 HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT/.zip/ShellNew_      // zip
 HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT/Briefcase/ShellNew_ // briefcase

Start > Control Panel > Auto Play > [uncheck] Use Autoplay...


Open Action Center > Setup Backup > External HD > Let Me Choose > Select Everything > Schedule Every Sunday at 7pm > Save settings and run backup


The iTunes updater delete the previous iTunes shortcut thus orphaning the one pinned to the task bar. Adding the new one causes it to be named "iTunes (2)" because the orphaned one still exists at the following location. To fix this, delete the orphaned one then add or rename the new one.

C:\Users\yourName\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar

If you installed office365 you get a "Send To OneNote" nag box at every startup. You can disable this by OneNote > File > Options > Display > [uncheck] Place OneNote icon in the notification area of the taskbar.

LibraOffice Draw

A good vector drawing program for diagrams, etc.
You'll also want the export as image extension.


Either it is shared by some systems by default or it gets shared as a result of sharing something else, but on several Windows7 systems, I've seen the entire C:\Users\ folder shared will full permission to everyone. Gak! Microsoft says:

Go to Control Panel / Folder Options / View TAB...scroll down to where it say's "Use Sharing Wizard (Recomended)" and remove the check mark. Doing this will prevent the Users directory from being automatically shared whenever any folder is manually shared.

Then right-click on your C:\Users\ folder and select Properties > Sharing > Advanced Sharing > [uncheck] Share This Folder > Ok > Yes [disconnect connected users] > Close.

To see what is shared on your system, enter \\YourComputerName into windows explorer. If you don't know your computer name, right-click on Computer an select properties. It's near the bottom on the right.

{ "loggedin": false, "owner": false, "avatar": "", "render": "nothing", "trackingID": "UA-36983794-1", "description": "", "page": { "blogIds": [ 426 ] }, "domain": "", "base": "\/michael", "url": "https:\/\/\/michael\/", "frameworkFiles": "https:\/\/\/michael\/_framework\/_files.4\/", "commonFiles": "https:\/\/\/michael\/_common\/_files.3\/", "mediaFiles": "https:\/\/\/michael\/media\/_files.3\/", "tmdbUrl": "http:\/\/\/", "tmdbPoster": "http:\/\/\/t\/p\/w342" }