Windows Photo Gallery: Beige Color Fix

This seems to be a pretty common problem in Windows Vista, related to invalid/corrupt color profiles – if you’re experiencing this issue, you’ll see a beige color bleeding through the image from the background where a white background should be. Here’s an example (thanks to matthewrowan.spaces.live.com!):

y1peejIUGYPM8zDoJaegMIgj9nEaEGrjRanJxPnScs5Sp86J0gPCSgjq4-F7gqit588xrwVgylDrYKa16ExRjk-rH7GnOfOvTwy

And, what it should look like:

y1peejIUGYPM8xXMUvoFe67RkGS6QClTfxgodJ5jY8KXI_1qvGbg__j3RMzUqSl2adkwpVBj27SDeswgKQAQqhgVDGBdIRqtaU6

Luckily, there is a fix (again, via matthewrowan.spaces.live.com):

After a little searching for how to change the background color, I found other people with this symptom describing it as an off color, yellow tint, orange or yellowish tinge, beige, cream colored background which, shows through the picture itself, distorts the colours, or bleeds through pictures. In most situations the problem went away in slide show mode. This was an annoying issue, making me avoid looking at pictures whatsoever in Windows Photo Gallery. This wasn’t that much of an issue because I do not use photos or pictures often on my development machine. But before I was going to install Vista on my other computer where I view photos constantly, I needed to ensure that I would not have this issue.

The solution can be found here:
Windows Vista Photo Gallery Yellow Tint Background Problem

(via Windows Photo Gallery background color bleeding through pictures)

VirtualBox: Free Virtualization Software

800px-VirtualBox

I’ve been using VMware Player for quite some time, and it’s quite good, but recently, I stumbled upon another free virtualization tool which also allows you to create new VM images (VMware Player only plays back VMware images created with a purchased version, such as VMware Workstation, or through a website such as EasyVMX: http://www.easyvmx.com/)

According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VirtualBox):

VirtualBox is an x86 virtualization software package originally created by German software company Innotek and now being developed by Sun Microsystems as part of its Sun xVM virtualization platform. It is installed on an existing host operating system; within this application, additional operating systems, each known as a Guest OS, can be loaded and run, each with its own virtual environment. For example, Linux can be guest hosted on a single virtual machine running Microsoft Windows XP as the Host OS; or, XP and Windows Vista can run as guest OSes on a machine running OpenSolaris.

Supported host operating systems include Linux, Mac OS X, OS/2 Warp, Windows, and Solaris, while supported guest operating systems include FreeBSD, Linux, OpenBSD, OS/2 Warp, Windows and Solaris.[1]

According to a 2007 survey by DesktopLinux.com, VirtualBox is the third most popular software package for running Windows programs on Linux desktops.[2]

So far, so good, with the exception of a little glitch I experienced while installing FreeDOS. Ubuntu runs quite well, and quite fast, as far as I can tell.

A particularly cool element of VirtualBox is the “Seamless Desktop” mode, similar to what is found in Parallels or VMware Fusion on the Macintosh:

750px-Virtualbox15seamless

Considering the level of functionality given for free, which is quite similar to the functionality you’d have to pay for in VMware or Parallels, I’m tempted to stick with VirtualBox for the near future and put it through its paces.

If you’re curious about VirtualBox yourself, you can find a copy here:

http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads

and more directly, here:

Sun xVM VirtualBox 1.6 Download

Update:

Here are some links to download pre-made VirtualBox images:

http://virtualbox.wordpress.com/

http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=213555

Play Oregon Trail The Way You Remember It

Great article from How-To Geek about playing classic Oregon Trail on Windows…

33

2 I am a sucker for nostalgic computer games.  Oregon Trail was the first computer game I ever played on the Apple IIe system.  With the help of the Enhanced Apple IIe Emulator and some virtual floppy discs we can relive those golden memories on your current PC.  I am playing this on my Windows XP box.  I am not sure if it works with Vista.

The first thing you need to do is download AppleWin 1.14.0 This is a zip file so just go ahead and extract it where you like.  I just put it on my desktop.  Open the folder and double click on the AppleWin.exe icon to launch the emulator.  To start the virtual machine click on the Apple button on the upper right side.

(continued via Play Oregon Trail The Way You Remember It)

Hard Link vs. Symbolic Link

In reference to the last article I posted about NTFS Junction Points, here’s some more related information:

Hard link – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In computing, a hard link is a reference, or pointer, to physical data on a storage volume. On most file systems, all named files are hard links. The name associated with the file is simply a label that refers the operating system to the actual data. As such, more than one name can be associated with the same data. Though called by different names, any changes made will affect the actual data, regardless of how the file is called at a later time. Hard links can only refer to data that exists on the same file system.On Unix-like systems, hard links can be created with the link() system call, or the ln utility.On Microsoft Windows, hard links can be created only on NTFS volumes, either with fsutil hardlink or mklink. Also, the Cygwin set of utilities has a Unix-like ln command.The process of unlinking disassociates a name from the data
on the volume without destroying the associated data. The data is still accessible as long as at least one link that points to it still exists. When the last link is removed, the space is considered free. A process ambiguously called undeleting allows the recreation of links to data that is no longer associated with a name. However, this process is not available on all systems and is often not reliable.

NTFS symbolic link – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An NTFS symbolic link (symlink) is a file-system object in the NTFS filesystem that points to another file system object. The object being pointed to is called the target. Symbolic links
should be transparent to users; the links appear as normal files or directories, and can be acted upon by the user or application in exactly the same manner. Symbolic links are designed to aid in migration and application compatibility with POSIX operating systems.Unlike an NTFS junction point, a symbolic link can also point to a file or remote SMB network path. Additionally, the NTFS symbolic link implementation provides full support for cross-filesystem links. However, the functionality enabling cross-host symbolic links requires that the remote system also support them, which effectively limits their support to Windows Vista and later Windows operating systems.

NTFS junction point – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

NTFS junction point – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

An NTFS junction point (JP) is a feature of the NTFS file system version 3.0 or later. It is a type of NTFS reparse point. Junction Points can be used in a similar way to symbolic links — allowing the creation of a link to a folder that is, for most intents and purposes, the same as the folder itself. This has many benefits over a Windows shell shortcut (.lnk) file, such as allowing access  to files within the folder via Windows Explorer, the Command Prompt, etc. Junction points can only link to directories, and moreover, local directories only; junction points to remote shares are unsupported.[1] For linking to files, possible alternatives to junction points (aside from shortcuts) include hard links (which have the restriction that the file must belong to the same logical volume), and symbolic links (which are only included in Windows Vista and newer, but do work over network shares). The Windows 2000 and XP Resource Kits include a program called linkd to create junction points; a more powerful one named Junction was distributed by SysinternalsMark Russinovich.[1]

While I’m still limited to using NTFS Junction Points (versus Symbolic Links, available in Windows Vista), I do really like the idea of having C:\Users\ link to C:\Documents and Settings\ (who the hell came up with that naming convention anyway?) – similar to how C:\Documents and Settings\ is a symbolic link to C:\Users\ in Windows Vista.

Luckily, there is a utility for just that purpose, available here:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/ntfslinkext/

(more info, including earlier code and screenshots here: http://elsdoerfer.name/=ntfslink)

Run Windows Apps from your Existing Windows Partition in Linux « Mohammad Azimi

Found this article from a linkback to my post “Feature: Seamlessly Run Linux Apps on Your Windows Desktop“…

I saw a post this morning showing you can run Windows applications from a virtual Windows install on your Linux Desktop. Although this may seem like it’s not that big of a deal, anyone who virtualizes another OS such as Windows from within VMware knows it can
sometimes be a hassle to switch between your Linux desktop and the Windows one since you only have access to application windows within each OS and your Guest OS is limited to running within the VMware window. The advantage of integrating the guest OS into your existing desktop allows you to easily switch between different applications and use applications side by side regardless of what OS they are on. As you can see in the pic above (click to enlarge), this method gives you access to the StartMenu from your Linux desktop as well as placing guest OS applications in the Gnome panel. The original website provided a method that needed some modification to work for me. Additionally, the following guide will show you how to safely set this up on an existing Windows partition.

(more via: Run Windows Apps from your Existing Windows Partition in Linux « Mohammad Azimi)

Download Squad: Windows Steady State Bulletproofs Your System

This is well worth the read and download if you’re in IT or tend to your family’s computer(s) on occasion. (Probably more useful in the latter scenario, anyway.)

win-steady-state1

So you’re thinking, “Hey, I want to be totally irresponsible with my computer and load it up with crapware!” Really, isn’t everyone getting tired of having to be so stinking responsible on the Internet all the time? We certainly are. We’re ready for system protection that isn’t afraid of our reckless browsing, indiscriminate downloading, and general apathy towards good computer usage habits.

…Which is why we love Windows Steady State. It creates a cache file in which your operating system operates, meaning any harmful changes can be undone by simply emptying the cache. After downloading it’s a snap to install – just a few obligatory clicks and the usual EULA mumbo-jubmo and you’re set.

Our first test was pretty a pretty low-intensity workout. We surfed, bookmarked, set up a POP account and downloaded a few messages, and cluttered up the desktop with a dozen or so hilariously named folders. After issuing the old Windows – U – R we waited anxiously for the system to reboot.

There it was, just as it had been before – no trace of any of our activity. The desktop was still tidy, no favorites or emails were anywhere to be seen. So far so good, but let’s try some real abuse!Do your worst! Fire up Internet Explorer and go on a malicious web-surfing bender. Download rogue applications! Install 16 browser toolbars! Download obviously fake songs with Limwire! When you’re spent, reboot and check the results. To the dismay of Trojans everywhere, not a shred of your misdeeds will remain.

(more via Windows Steady State Bulletproofs Your System)

How-To Geek: “Terminal Server Has Exceeded the Maximum Number of Allowed Connections” (Remote Desktop)

Great fix for a problem I commonly have at the office:

If you’ve worked on a network with Windows servers, you’ve encountered this error message at least 37,000 times:

“The terminal server has exceeded the maximum number of allowed connections. The system can not log you on. The system has reached its licensed logon limit. Please try again later.”

This problem happens because Windows only allows two remote terminal services connections when you are in administrative mode, and you’ve either got two people already on that server, or more likely, you’ve got a disconnected session that still thinks it is active.

The problem with this error is that you have to actually get on the server console to fix the problem if the server isn’t in a domain. (If you are in a domain, then just open Terminal Services Manager and log off or disconnect the sessions)

(keep reading via Command Line Hack for: “Terminal Server Has Exceeded the Maximum Number of Allowed Connections”)

Lifehacker: Sysinternals Live is One-Stop Shop for Launching Must-Have Utilities

Another awesome post from Lifehacker…maybe I should just add their RSS feed as a widget on the sidebar. 😉

sysinternals-live.pngIf you’ve ever done any serious Windows troubleshooting, you’ve no doubt come across a freeware utility or two by Sysinternals—like the excellent, previously mentioned Process Explorer. You may also know that Microsoft eventually bought up every Sysinternals utility and bundled it into a single suite of apps. Now Sysinternals has launched a new way to access their library of must-have utilities quickly and easily from any internet-connected PC.

First, you can point your browser to http://live.sysinternals.com/ for no-nonsense access to any Sysinternals tool. Even better, though, you can open up Windows Explorer and point it to \\live.sysinternals.com\ to browse and launch any Sysinternals app as though you’ve already downloaded and installed it on your computer. That means next time you’re doing tech support for friends and you forgot your PC Rescue Kit, you can quickly get to any Sysinternals tool for help. At the very least, though, it’s a quicker way to start the BlueScreen screen saver on a friends computer.

(via Sysinternals Live is One-Stop Shop for Launching Must-Have Utilities)

Channel9 (MSDN): Windows XP on Flash-Based Ultra Low Cost PCs

Great post from Channel9 with video about Windows on ULPCs, like the Asus Eee:

How does Windows perform on ultra low cost PCs with less than 2GB of storage? Mark Light and Bohdan Raciborski from the Unlimited Potential Group discuss the challenges and opportunities with flash-based storage and getting Windows XP and Office 2003 up and running—surprisingly quickly—on this new class of devices, including the Asus Eee PC. Today Microsoft also released design guidelines to help hardware manufacturers enable a quality Windows experience for this emerging class of low cost computing machines that will help to democratize personal computing by providing a powerful and full version Windows-powered device for low income markets.

(via Windows XP on Flash-Based Ultra Low Cost PCs)