Archive for the ‘windows Tips’ Category

Windows 8 Nightmare : Worse Than You Think

May 10th, 2013 No comments

I’ve unfortunately been using W8 for months now this is my experience so far. (I am using it mouse & keyboard and not using touch-screen) I only bought it because it was much cheaper than Windows 7 and hadn’t done my research. It starts with the Metro GUI which is a horrid Smart Phone like interface, cool for teens they can single-click, Facebook, YouTube , Twitter and so on but the serious user asks where is the Start Button, where is the Control Panel, how do I add a Printer , how do I set a program to Start Up automatically (haven’t worked this out yet)? I am gradually learning how to convert the GUI back to Windows 7 but it is frustrating.

Sometimes you click an App and it goes Whole Screen and you don’t know how to get out, sometimes you open an App and see an Advert! Another dumb feature is that if you click an email link to FaceBook it goes to your Browser and not the FaceBook App. Yuk Yuk Yuk.

To add items to Start Up in Windows 8

Type shell:Startup into Windows Explorer (Brilliant)

Windows Vista Horror, Windows 7 Great, Windows 8 Disaster Windows 9 Super or Microsoft bust??

Tonight I had to Google “How to print a PDF file in Windows 8” the solution? Control-P!

I don’t need another steep learning curve, imagine if you bought a new car and found you had to re-learn to drive! Hating Windows-8

Was feeling suicidal had enough trouble restoring my data from previous crashed computer without having to fight Windows 8. Downgrading to Windows 7 is expensive if you don’t have Windows 8 Pro so I decided heck I would just buy a new PC with Windows 7 and sell my new Windows 8 PC on eBay, my time is worth money so any money lost would be worth it. But then I installed Classic Shell

Classic Shell™ is a collection of usability enhancements for Windows. The main features are:
Highly customizable start menu with multiple styles and skins
Start button for Windows 7 and Windows 8
Toolbar and status bar for Windows Explorer
Caption and status bar for Internet Explorer

This restores the functionality I expect and is good enough so I will say for the while with Windows 8 though if I could press a button I would revert to Windows 7.

Categories: Uncategorized, windows Tips Tags:

Solution: How to install Service Pack 1 on Windows 7

January 19th, 2012 No comments

Your Service Pack fails to install error given 80246007 or may be 80070003.

See here for official Microsoft solution (but see my additional information in red) :-

To change or restart the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS)

You must be logged on as an administrator to perform these steps.

Open Administrative Tools by clicking the Start button , clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Maintenance, and then clicking Administrative Tools.


If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

Right-click the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) service, and then click Properties.

On the General tab, next to Startup type, make sure that Automatic (Delayed Start) is selected. If it is not, select it and then click Apply.

Next to Service status, check to see if the service is started. If it is not, click Start.


Service Pack 1 will now install.

Categories: windows Tips Tags:

Vim, Cygwin, docx2txt, catdoc and antiword view Microsoft Word Documents as Text

October 10th, 2011 No comments

I wanted to quickly compare two versions of a Word document and realized I didn’t know how to do it. A quick Google revealed that catdoc was available with Cygwin (and I guess elsewhere) .

> catdoc report1a.doc > report1a.txt
> catdoc report1b.doc > report1b.txt
> diff report1*.txt

Alternatively use antiword
place the following 4 lines in your .vimrc file

” use antiword to allow VIM to view the text of a Word Document
autocmd BufReadPre *.doc set ro
autocmd BufReadPre *.doc set hlsearch!
autocmd BufReadPost *.doc %!antiword “%”

> vim -d report1a.doc report1b.doc

Remember neither catdoc or antiword allow you to update your word documents.

catdoc also works with PowerPoint etc.

Just found out that these don’t work with the XML based docs eg report.docx for these you need Perl based docx2txt

Categories: Cygwin, vim, windows Tips Tags:

Software Update Hell

July 18th, 2011 4 comments

Software seems to need constant updating these days here’s what I’m updating:-

  • Windows 7 service pack 1 : keeps refusing to install for various reasons
  • WordPress 3.2.1 but some of my sites only had Mysql 4.x so I had to first upgrade to MySQL5.x
  • Blackberry Curve 9300 : Although the phone is new, I’ve been downloading huge updates
  • Virus Checkers etc etc

I was also bedeviled by those warning screens “Are you sure you want to continue” which disappeared behind other windows and left me wondering why an update was taking so long!.

I always say yes to updates if only to get rid of them, but gosh I would actually like to use my Netbook, Blackberry etc!!

Categories: windows Tips Tags:

QuickBooks Simple Start saving invoices as PDF files

May 27th, 2011 2 comments

How can I save my QuickBooks Invoice as a PDF

As a freelancer I only need a simple bookkeeping package so QuickBooks Simple Start Free Edition is perfect.

Quickbooks is very quick to set up and I soon had my invoices entered and now wanted to email them but oops there is no way to save the invoice as a PDF. Never mind I can email them to my client but no QuickBooks Simple Start only recognizes either Outlook or Windows Mail as email client and these are not available on Windows 7. I download, install and configure their replacement Windows Live Mail but QuickBooks stubbornly refuses to acknowledge it. I now trawl through QuickBooks own community forum and see people moaning that Windows Live Mail is ignored; apparently it will be or is available in QuickBooks 2011 .

Finally breakthrough I install CutePDF Writer it is completely free. Now all I have to do is print my Invoice and select CutePDF as the virtual printer, CutePDF asks me where I want to save the Invoice PDF. I can then manually email my invoices (PDFs) to customers using my conventional email client allowing to add a personal message and also with the advantage of leaving me with an audit trail.

CutePDF Instructions: Using CutePDF Writer to create PDF document:

Select Print to bring up Print dialog box.
Then select CutePDF Writer as the Printer to print.
You will get a Save As dialog box prompted for saving created PDF file.
Select a folder to Save in and enter a File name, then click on Save.
Go to that folder to find your PDF file.

CutePDF Writer supports Microsoft Windows 98/ME/2000/XP/Vista/7 (x32/x64).

Categories: windows Tips Tags:

Activate Windows 7 Recent Documents

January 3rd, 2011 4 comments

Years ago Microsoft announced that Windows would be Data Driven rather than Application Driven. In your Start Menu you could see a list of recent documents worked on images, spreadsheets,databases. You just had to click on one of them to re-open it. Strangely hardly anyone used it, and Microsoft, as is their wont, forgot about it as well. It was however extremely useful, here is how to reenable it in Windows 7.

Right click the Start/Win button, select Properties
Click the Start Menu tab (it should be select as default)
Click the Customize button
Scroll down and check the Recent Items check box
Click Ok
Click Apply
Click Ok
You should now have a “Recent” option in the start menu.

Locking/Protecting Tabs in Firefox

September 18th, 2010 No comments

You have probably known the frustration of accidentally closing a tab you really need eg one where you have been patiently completing a form.  Fortunately there is a Firefox add on Tabberwocky which allows to lock and or protect a tab. I’m not sure of the difference yet but I think one of them means that the tab will reopen the next time you close/open Firefox.

Categories: windows Tips Tags:

Great Tip : Opening Multiple Instances of an Application from the Windows Taskbar

April 25th, 2010 No comments

Tip 1:-
I always need several Cygwin Windows open so I was very frustrated by Windows 7 only allowing me to open one Cygwin from the Windows 7 Taskbar. This is because once you click on an icon it disappears from the Taskbar! This is different to the behavior of the previous XP or Vista Taskbar and often prompts users to select the Vista Taskbar compatibility. There is fortunately a work around depress the SHIFT button and then click the existing open icon on the taskbar and voila you will spawn a application window!

Tip 2:-
The Properties Tab is HIDDEN on the Windows 7 Taskbar and had me hating it until I found it. Rightmouse click the relevant Application Icon on the Taskbar then hover over the revealed tab and Right Mouse Click this and there magically is the Properties Tab!!