Archive for May, 2015

The New (and Old) Screen Savers Wallpaper

May 28, 2015

The TWiT Webcasting Network premiered The New Screen Savers on May 3rd, 2015 to the delight of geeks everywhere!

The show is partly based on the original ZDTV television program that ran from 1998 until 2005.

The original Screen Savers wallpaper 640x480 (click to enlarge).

The original Screen Savers wallpaper 640×480 (click to enlarge).

The original Screen Savers computer wallpaper was later updated to a more streamlined logo and formatted for newer widescreen monitors.

The old New Screen Savers wallpaper 1920x1080 (click to enlarge).

The old New Screen Savers wallpaper 1920×1080 (click to enlarge).

The new New Screen Savers wallpaper incorporates elements of both previous designs to create a familiar, yet distinctive aesthetic that combines the nostalgia of the old show with TWiT’s own modern take on this classic program.

There are two small problems with this new wallpaper.  First, it’s proportioned for a 4:3 aspect ratio computer monitor.  My computer monitor is 16:9.  So I resized and cropped the image to fit my desktop resolution (1920 x 1080).

The TWiT New Screen Savers green wallpaper 1920x1080 (click to enlarge).

The TWiT New Screen Savers green wallpaper 1920×1080 (click to enlarge).

That’s better, but not really what I wanted.  As they have said on Star Trek several times, “It’s green.”  My desktop theme is predominately blue.

The solution to this second problem is to use a free and open source graphics manipulation program (available for Linux and Windows) called mtPaint.

Once installed, simply launch the program and open the file.  Then go to Effects > Transform Colour:

mtPaint colour tramsformation dialog box

Move the Hue slider right or left until the desired colour is achieved.  Click the OK button and then use Save or Save As from the File menu to complete the project.

The TWiT New Screen Savers blue wallpaper 1920x1080 (click to enlarge).

The TWiT New Screen Savers blue wallpaper 1920×1080 (click to enlarge).

Or perhaps red is more to your liking:

The TWiT New Screen Savers red wallpaper 1920x1080 (click to enlarge).

The TWiT New Screen Savers red wallpaper 1920×1080 (click to enlarge).

No?  Purple then:

The TWiT New Screen Savers purple wallpaper 1920x1080 (click to enlarge).

The TWiT New Screen Savers purple wallpaper 1920×1080 (click to enlarge).

Whichever custom colour you want, mtPaint can create.  It’s not called a Personal Computer (PC) for nothing.

You’re welcome, TWiT fans!

That just leaves one unanswered question:  Which classic ZDTV program will the TWiT Network revive next?

Call For Help Logo

We can only hope.

 

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Running Classic Solitaire On Windows 10

May 12, 2015

Okay, what’s the big deal?

Running the classic Microsoft game Solitaire on Windows 10 requires only two files extracted from any Windows XP installation.

Files needed to run Solitaire on Windows 10

These two files (sol.exe and cards.dll), found in the C:\WINDOWS\System32 folder, placed in a folder together on a Windows 10 computer will allow users to play Solitaire.  No installation is needed.  Just double-click on the EXE file and it launches.

Windows 10 in VirtualBox running Solitaire

Windows 10 in VirtualBox running Solitaire (click to enlarge).

Winning Solitaire on Windows 10

Not a big deal!

__________

UPDATE:

Can I extract game files from Windows 7 and run them on Windows 10?

No.

Copying the folders (Minesweeper, Solitaire, SpiderSolitaire) from the Windows 7 directory C: > Program Files > Microsoft Games and running the EXE file within these folders on Windows 10 results in the following error message:

Error message on Windows 10

Extracting game files from Windows XP is the simplest solution.

 

The Case of the Disappearing WordPress Images

May 2, 2015

Image failed to load error.

It’s a mystery that has baffled WordPress bloggers for several years.

Graphics that once displayed proudly suddenly vanish from random pages.  The images are not visible even within the blogger’s own media library in their WordPress account.

Speculation and theories have been postulated to explain this strange anomaly.  However, none of them to date have conclusively identified the cause of the problem.

Some claim that  various WordPress plug-ins are to blame.  Others maintain that embedded file permissions prevent the images from being displayed.  A few even accuse recent WordPress upgrades of changing graphics codecs to new standards incompatible with older formatted files.

This site had a total of nine image files that suddenly would not display in a multitude of different browsers.  The images were still there; they took up measurable space on the WordPress server but could not be rendered on the page.

The solution is quite simple:  Convert the images to a different file format.

Any graphics manipulation program, like Microsoft Paint, can be used to convert file formats by using the Save as feature under the File menu.

Delete the old graphics files from your WordPress media library, upload the newly converted images, and edit the appropriate pages to embed the new pictures.  Preview and update the page.

This process is a bit inconvenient, but it does fix the problem.

Oh, by the way, you have been backing up your WordPress blog pages, right?