Another useful Windows Trick

August 28, 2008 at 11:49 am (Programming/Development, Technology)

Have you ever had an application that somehow corrupted during install, update or removal? Would you get that stupid “Windows Installer” dialog box popping up every time you booted up your machine or attempted to complete a certain task? What makes it worse is that it fails each time and there’s seemingly no way to stop it… until now (Well, more like, until I Googled it a bit ^_^ )

Anyway, the fine folks over at Microsoft made a utility specifically to remedy this problem. It’s called the “Windows Install Clean Up” utility. It will detect which applications were installed (or otherwise modified) with Windows Installer. Using the tool, you can choose the one that’s giving you a headache, click the magic “Remove” button, and all your pesky installer problems will disappear! Hooray!

Note though, that this does not remove the application or anything… the best thing to do after using the clean up utility is to reinstall the application in the same location you had before. This will create new copies of previous files and prevents duplicates.

You can read more about the utility and download it from Microsoft here.

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Quirks – Editing Your “hosts” File in Vista

July 12, 2008 at 12:46 am (Programming/Development, Technology, Uncategorized)

I thought I would post this little snippet of information because it helped me.

If you’re looking to modify your ‘hosts’ file in Windows Vista, you won’t be able to by default. If you happen to come by it, Windows will say that the file doesn’t exist (or a similar message) when you try to save it.

In order to edit it follow the instructions below:

1)  Browse to Start -> All Programs -> Accessories
2)  Right click “Notepad” and select “Run as administrator”
3)  Click “Continue” on the UAC prompt
4)  Click File -> Open
5)  Browse to “C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc”
6)  Change the file filter drop down box from “Text Documents (*.txt)” to “All Files (*.*)”
7)  Select “hosts” and click “Open”
8)  Make the needed changes, save, and close Notepad

I’m not against Vista – or Microsoft for that matter – like some (many) developers that I’ve talked to, but this is one of the little quirks in Vista that can just drive me nuts!

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SplashTop

May 14, 2008 at 1:52 pm (Technology)

This is very interesting:

A company named DeviceVM has created an instant-on, embedded version of Linux for certain Asus motherboards. What this means is that when you boot your machine you have the option of running a small, purpose built Linux OS called SplashTop instead of your traditional operating system. SplashTop is very basic in that it only includes a custom version of FireFox, Skype and some preferences. Access to the other drives is not an option either…

…but the best part about SplashTop is the fact that it boots up in seconds! No more waiting for your OS to boot and spool up drives and waste energy. SplashTop will be up, literally, in just a few seconds and doesn’t use nearly as much power as a traditional boot would. The browser is even Flash enabled!

This is great news for those of us who only need to quickly check something online or make a call using Skype. More applications are apparently in the works, as well.

The power savings and the convenience of a quick boot time make this a package that’s hard to refuse. Initially it was only offered on Asus’ high-end motherboards, but they have officially announced that it will be on all of their motherboards soon, even notebook motherboards! No more hurrying to finish web-based work because your battery is about to tank!

Here are a couple videos from http://www.splashtop.com. There’s more information there as well, including a SplashTop blog.

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