Archive for the ‘Links’ Category

[Solved] Windows 10 Anniversary Update Epic FAIL

November 26, 2016

Windows Refresh Tool IconI bought a computer,
It cost a thousand pound;
But every time I switch it on
It keeps on falling down.

I used to think it was my friend
But now it drives me ’round the bend;
You’d be surprised the time I spend
Reinstalling Windows.
— Les Barker

OMG!  After twenty-five previous versions of Microsoft Windows, still the only way to fix a Windows error problem is to reinstall the operating system.  Seriously?

Well, at least it’s much easier than it used to be.

Starting with Windows 10, Microsoft offers full-install disc images available for download.  You can burn the image to a single-layer blank DVD or load the image on a USB flash drive.  Or simply use the Microsoft media creation tool.

Or you could do what I did and download and run the Microsoft Refresh Windows Tool.

Windows Refresh Tool (License Terms)

Click “Accept” to continue.

Windows Refresh Tool (Choose what you want to keep)

You have two options.  You can lose everything or almost everything.  That’s like asking someone, “Would you like to be shot in the head or the heart?”  What difference does it make?  Dead is dead.

All of my data files are always backed up, so I opted to keep nothing.  I wanted a complete clean install.

Click “Start” and pray.

The program downloads the latest version of Windows 10 that matches your system before installing.  Depending on the speed of your Internet access, this process can take some time.

From this point on, you don’t need to do anything until the installation is done.

If everything goes right, you will not need your Windows license key code.  Windows will automatically activate the new install.

You will need to supply some information about settings options, Cortana options and your Microsoft account (if you have one or if you wish to create one).  I don’t use a Microsoft account on this machine, so I just skipped it.

Success!  I went from 1511 to 1607.  The Anniversary Update is now up and running.  Yay.

The solution is the ultimate solution.  Wipe it all and start again.  Thanks, Microsoft.  Thanks a lot.

Extract Program Files From Linux Mint 13/17 For Use In Mint 18

July 29, 2016

Linux Mint 18 isn’t perfect.

It’s not what’s in Mint 18, it’s what’s missing from the new release that makes it so frustrating.  The problem of missing dependencies and programs was first discovered in the Beta release.

The solution, however, can be a bit complex for newer users.  Extracting .deb files from either an installed copy of Linux Mint 13/17.x or from the Live DVD version takes a bit of time, but does not require any command line knowledge.

Picasa, which is no longer supported by Google, is still a fantastic program that is absent from the Linux Mint 18 repositories.  Despite that fact, Picasa will run on Linux Mint 18 if you have the .deb file.

Step 1:
Boot an Internet connected computer into Linux Mint 13 or 17.x.

Step 2:
Go to the Main Menu > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager.  If required, enter your password.

Step 3:
Click on the Search button at the top to locate Picasa.  Then click the other Search button.

Search for Picasa in Synaptic

Step 4:
Locate Picasa in the list.

Picasa listed in Synaptic

Step 5:
Right-click on the entry and select “Mark for Installation.”

Mark Picasa for installation

Step 6:
Don’t let this worry you!

116 dependencies required to install Picasa

Many Linux programs can require huge numbers of dependencies to be installed.  You only need one of these 117 files.

Click on the Mark button.

Step 7:
Click the Apply button at the top of the Synaptic screen.

Click Apply to download the file(s)

Step 8:
Place a check mark in the box next to “Download package files only” and click the Apply button.

Download package files only

Step 9:
Wait for the package files to download.

Downloading Package Files

Step 10:
Right-click again on the Picasa entry and select “Unmark” from the list.

Select Unmark to remove Picasa from the download list

Step 11:
If you receive an error message, click the Mark button and ignore it.

Warning dialog box

Step 12:
Close Synaptic.  If you get another error message, click the Quit button and ignore it as well.

Quit and discard marked changes conformation dialog box

Step 13:
Open the Home folder (usually located on the desktop) and select “File System” from the list on the left-hand side.

Select File System from within your Home folder

Step 14:
Navigate to the var > cache > apt folder.

Inside the var > cache > apt folder

Step 15:
Right-click on the archives folder and select “Open as administrator” from the list (unless you are using a Live DVD).

Right-click and select "Open as administrator"

Step 16:
Click and drag the .deb file called Picasa out of the folder and drop it on the desktop.

You can also right-click on the file and select “Copy” from the context menu and then right-click anywhere on the desktop and select “Paste” to access the file.

The Picasa deb file can be found in the archives folder.

You can now move this file to a flash drive or external hard drive or use NitroShare to transfer the file to your Linux Mint 18 computer for installation.

Close the Home folder.

Step 17:
If you are extracting files using a Live DVD, you’re done.

If you are extracting files using an installed version of Linux Mint 13/17.x, you can use Ubuntu Tweak to safely delete the 117 downloaded files still in the archives folder.

Clean cached files from your system using Ubuntu Tweak

I was able to easily install Picasa on Linux Mint 18 using this method.  All the dependencies that were required were in the Linux Mint 18 repositories.


Gnubiff is a wonder program that notifies users when new email arrives.  Unfortunately, the version currently included in the Linux Mint 18 repositories doesn’t work worth a flip!

I recommend you download and use version 2.2.15 under the heading of The Wily Werewolf.


PCLinuxOS 2016 Repository List

March 30, 2016

PCLinuxOS logo

The following is a list of current software repositories used by PCLinuxOS.

This list was extracted from PCLinuxOS KDE 2016.03 Live DVD through Synaptic > Settings > Repositories.  Not all repositories may be in use.  Some repositories may not be accessible from every country.  Each individual repository may contain different versions of the same software or contain different software packages.

It is recommended that users access only one repository at a time.

These links are provided for historical and research purposes only.

Creating a Single Flash Drive With Multiple ISO Images Using MultiBootUSB

March 2, 2016

MultiBootUSB is a free software tool for Linux and Windows that creates a bootable flash drive containing multiple ISO images.  Any one of which can be run on a compatible desktop or laptop computer from a simple user interface.

Insert a FAT32 formatted flash drive.

You will find the installed program under the heading of “System Tools” in your main menu.

Enter Password Dialog Box

Enter your super secret password.

MultiBootUSB Main Dialog Screen

Click on the “Browse ISO” button to locate and select the image you wish to add to the flash drive.

Click the Browse ISO Button

Click the “Create” button.

Persistence Size Chooser Dialog Box

Persistence is additional space allocated to the ISO image.  You can think of the flash drive as the operating system’s hard drive.  Anything you add to the OS while running in Live mode will be written to the flash drive.

It’s a good idea to give the ISO image at least a minimum of half the amount of persistence relative to the size of that image.  So if the image is 1GB in size, set the persistence size to 512MB.  More would be better.  It just depends on how much free space you have on the flash drive.

Click the “Choose” button.

Review Selection Dialog Box

MultiBootUSB gives you the opportunity to continue or cancel the operation.

Click “Yes” to continue.

Installing New ISO to Flash Drive

The ISO image is now being added to the flash drive.

Install Finished Notification

Click “OK” when finished.

New ISO Added Screen

The new ISO image is now displayed in the list of the main screen.

To remove an ISO image, click on the image you want to remove to select that image and click on the “Uninstall Distro” button.  You will be given the opportunity to change your mind.  Click “Yes” to continue.

Uninstall Complete Dialog Box

If you want to install only a single ISO image, click on the “ISO Imager” tab.

ISO Imager Dialog Box

The process is similar, but you will not need to set the persistence size.

That’s all there is to it.  Your flash drive is now ready for booting.

Upgrading To Windows 10

June 4, 2015

Windows 10 Logo


Free upgrades for Windows 7 and 8.1 users to Windows 10 will be available beginning July 29th, 2015.  You may be tempted to be first in line.  Don’t!  Wait at least six months (February 1st, 2016) to do the upgrade.  Giving Microsoft’s developers some time to work the bugs out of the system will save you many headaches and heartaches.

If you are happy with your current version of 7 or 8.1, you can remove the upgrade reminder by simply uninstalling a recent Windows update.  Keep in mind that Windows 7 will be supported until January 14, 2020 and Windows 8.1 will be supported until January 10, 2023.

You have up to one year to complete your free Windows 10 upgrade.

However, if you just can’t live with Windows 8.1, reserve your upgrade now.  I’ll understand.

Before Upgrading:

Is your computer capable of handling Windows 10?

Does your system meet the minimum requirements necessary to run Windows 10?

The minimum system requirements are just that.  This will allow Windows 10 to run but the performance may not be very smooth.  The cardinal rule is to take the minimum system requirements and double it.

* Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC (System on Chip)

* Processor: 2 gigahertz (GHz) dual-core or faster processor

Windows 10 can run on a single-core processor, but the performance is sluggish.  Even running the 32-bit version in VirtualBox works better when allowed to access two CPU cores.

* RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit

* RAM: 2 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 4 GB for 64-bit

The minimum requirement is just to run Windows.  Additional programs (word processor, media player, games, etcetera) also need a fair amount of RAM.

* Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver

If you are upgrading from Windows 7 or 8.1, your graphics card or chip shouldn’t be an issue.  The drivers, however, may be a problem.

Windows 10 is basically Windows 8.x.  Any drivers loaded in 8.x should be compatible with 10.

Windows 7 software drivers may or may not be compatible with 10.  It’s best to check with your hardware manufacturer for updated Windows 10 drivers before upgrading.

What’s still in Windows 10?

Long-time Windows power users will find some familiar utilities that are still integrated into the newest version of Microsoft’s operating system.


Run msconfig on Windows 10

msconfig dialog box in Windows 10

The Task Manager:

Task Manager in Windows 10


regedit on Windows 10

And, believe it or not, a holdover from the dark days of DOS/Windows 3.1x.


sysedit still in Windows 10

Disk Compression:

Disk drive properties in Windows 10

Another holdover from the early days of DOS when hard drives were measured in megabytes, usually 512 or less, compressing the drive was a necessity for some users.  Today, however, relatively cheap multi-terabyte drives has made this feature obsolete.

Missing In Action:

There are a few programs and features that past versions of Windows users may find annoying.  These can be easy replaced or transferred from Windows XP.

Solitaire can be copied and moved.  Spider Solitaire (spider.exe) can be extracted from XP using the same method.

Spider Solitaire from Windows XP running on Windows 10

Spider Solitaire from Windows XP running on Windows 10 (click to enlarge).

The Start Menu will be the biggest disappointment for those moving from XP or 7 to 10.

Windows 10 is a compromise between those who hate Windows 8.x and those who developed the Metro user interface.  The Start Menu is the Metro UI with links to installed programs, apps and functions.

The free solution is to install Classic Shell:

Classic Shell running on Windows 10 (click to enlarge).

Classic Shell running on Windows 10 (click to enlarge).

To remove those ugly shortcut arrows from your desktop icons, use Ultimate Windows Tweaker 3.  Although this free software was designed for Windows 8, the registry structure of Windows 10 has changed little since its predecessor.

To create an automatic login account, use method one.  This will allow you to undo the automatic login if you should ever change your mind.

 The Bottom Line:

Windows 8.1 users should strongly consider upgrading to Windows 10.

Windows 7 users who are content with their current operating system should not upgrade to Windows 10.  Wait until you need to purchase a new computer before making the switch.

Windows XP users need to buy a new computer as soon as Windows 10 machines become available.

Anyone still running Windows 95, 98, 98SE or ME — what the hell is wrong with you?

Mac users who overpaid for a computer that does less than any other system on the market can rejoice in the fact that they own a useless status symbol.

And finally, Linux users can gloat to their heart’s content since they got it right the first time and don’t have to deal with all of Microsoft’s nonsense!


According to Ed Bott, you can still upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or 8.1 for free (as of May 26, 2017).

Update (June 12, 2017):

You can still upgrade to Windows 10 for free if you have either Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 by going to this Microsoft webpage.