Technology Posts…

Creating Linux Desktop Shortcuts (3/27/2021) - In the previous post about how to hibernate your Ubuntu machine I touched on the concept of creating a desktop shortcut for the hibernate command to make it easy to run the command. That post can be found here. But since then I have been playing with desktop shortcuts some more and so in this…More
Enabling Hibernate on Ubuntu (12/1/2020) - Personally I prefer to hibernate all my machines instead of shut them down as I find it more efficient being able to carry on from where I left off than to start a fresh. One annoyance with my Ubuntu installation is that Hibernate is not a first class function and needs some tweaking to get…More
Ubuntu Intermittent Freezing Fixed with Swappiness (11/18/2020) - Having run Ubuntu on my Dell XPS 14z for years I have been increasingly plagued by an intermittent freezing problem which causes the UI to freeze (mouse still movable) for anything from 5 to 30 seconds. I’m not sure when this started (maybe Ubuntu 19.04 time) but it has gotten worse with each subsequent Ubuntu…More
Java keystore certificate missing after Jenkins upgrade (6/7/2020) - Following a tricky upgrade to a Jenkins server it was found that the server was no longer able to communicate with the Git server, although SSH access with private keys was stil working correctly. On invrestigating the Jenkins logs (found at Logs at: http://YOUR-JENKINS-SERVER-URL/log/all) this error was found to be the problem: Failed to login…More
Free SSL encryption on Azure with Cloudflare (3/13/2020) - I have a small Web Application site (running ASP.net Core) hosted on Microsoft Azure under a shared plan. Azure shared plans are budget friendly whilst providing features like custom domain names. Until recently the site was HTTP only which was initially fine for my use case but as HTTPS is becoming increasingly a minimum standard…More
RunAs Issue? Check Secondary Logon Service. (6/2/2019) - On Windows if you are having problems trying to perform an action as a different user via the RunAs command then it might be due to the ‘Secondary Logon Service’ not running. I recently had this problem on Windows Server and after some investigations found that the ‘Secondary Logon Service’ had been disabled, starting the…More
Linux Home Server Build (3/2/2019) - On this blog I have posted many times about my home server configuration and seeing as I’ve recently updated it I thought I’d give a quick overview of the changes made and provide some tips for setting up a Linux home server. My home server (an HP MicroServer) is used for NAS file storage, running…More
Vertical Monitors (2/5/2018) - Whilst I’ve been using a multiple monitor setup at home and work for many years only for the past year have I been using one of the two in vertical/portrait mode, and I’m hooked. The benefits for using multiple displays over a single display has been researched numerous times over the years. Estimates on the…More
Calculate a file hash without 3rd party tools on Windows & Linux. (9/15/2017) - If you need to generate a hash of a file (e.g. MD5, SHA256 etc) then there are numerous 3rd party tools that you can download but if you are restricted to only built in tools or don’t need to do this often enough to install something then there are built in OS tools for Windows…More
Building a Python Flask Web UI For Raspberry Pi Sure Elec LCD (3/24/2017) - In an earlier post I outlined how I setup a Sure Electronics LCD screen with my Raspberry Pi 3 using a Python driver. Whilst updating the LCD via command line is immensely useful I decided to build a UI to control the LCD send messages too it. By using a browser based UI I could…More
Using a Sure Electronics LCD with the Raspberry Pi using Python (3/14/2017) - After receiving a new Raspberry Pi 3 at Christmas I quickly set off looking for uses for this wonderful machine, and quickly found myself hooking it up to an LCD display. This post covers the Python driver I used and modified, as well as some other useful resources. Firstly as an owner of the original…More
Archiving Adobe Lightroom Back Ups with PowerShell (12/19/2016) - If you are an Adobe Lightroom user it is critical to have regular backups of your photo library catalogue. Luckily this is a simple task thanks to the fact that Lightroom has features built in to regularly taka a backup for you (which in effect means making a copy of your current catalogue file into…More
Disable Start Menu Web Search in Windows 10 (8/11/2016) - If like me you like the Windows 10 “start” menu to only provide applications and Windows settings in the search results and not web search results you need to configure it using these steps. Using the Start Menu find “Cortana & Search Settings” , then click the settings icon (the cog),  turn Cortana off, and…More
Allow PowerShell Execution (8/11/2016) - By default PowerShell’s execution policy is very restrictive which is a good thing for security. If you are editing or running scripts on your machine you may want to relax it slightly. As I often forget to do this on new machines I’m making a note of the command in this post: Open PowerShell prompt…More
Refreshing the Nexus 7 (1/15/2016) - Google’s Nexus 7 table caused quite a stir when it was released in 2012 with its low price combined with the excellent specifications it offered. It proved very popular and rightly so. Fast forward to 2015 and the Nexus 7 is very much, sadly, showing its age. Google have proved good to their word and…More
Backing Up Your Blog Content Using HTTrack (5/20/2014) - I’m pretty strict on making sure I have my data backed up in numerous places and my blog content is no different. I would hate to lose all these years of babbling. In this post I cover how I back up this blog, and this will apply to any blog engine or indeed any website.…More
How to Backup To USB Drive Only If It’s Connected (2/28/2014) - A key part of most personal data backup strategies involves backing up data to an external USB drive but I don’t want to leave it constantly connected. In this post I cover how to backup to an external drive using a scheduled automated process but only if the external drive is connected at the time.…More
Boot into Safe Mode With Windows 8 (11/12/2013) - My laptop running Windows 8.1 decided not to boot this week but instead gave me a blue screen with the error “System Thread Exception Not Handled”. As I’d not installed anything new recently I guessed it could be related to a Video Driver issue, so I tried to Safe Boot – but wait where is…More
Full Screen Remote Desktop Sessions (11/6/2013) - Sometimes if you are on a new machine or using Remote Desktop for the first time you might find that the display size is not correct when you connect to a remote machine. If the remote machine session won’t go Full Screen it can be annoying. To resolve launch Remote Desktop (tip: Start > Run…More
Setting a Custom Domain Name on an Azure Web Site (9/15/2013) - I recently decided to add a custom domain name to a free Azure website that I use for development purposes. As the FREE Azure web site model doesn’t support custom domains (a shame but hard to complain as it’s FREE) I needed to upgrade the site to the ‘Shared’ mode. This is easily done by…More
The End Of TechNet Downloads Raises The Barrier To Entry For MS Techies (9/7/2013) - Microsoft unfortunately recently announced the demise of the TechNet Subscription. Whilst I appreciate that TechNet download abuse must contribute towards the availability of pirated products, I still think that this is a short sighted move by Microsoft. The MSDN subscription will continue  (for now) and anyone making money from privacy will be able to cover…More
Using Ubuntu via VirtualBox Seamless Mode (1/30/2013) - I like Ubuntu and I enjoy using it, although I’m still a windows guy at heart (at least for the time being anyhow but we’ll see if Win8 ever grows on me) and I use a lot of Windows only apps. The approach I’ve been using for the last few months with great success is…More
Renaming your Team Foundation Service Account (1/21/2013) - If you haven’t checked out TFS Service from Microsoft then I thoroughly recommend trying it out. It is basically a TFS instance in the cloud and at the moment its free for everyone to use and there’s an official a free plan for small projects up to 5 users. I run a small TFS instance…More
PIN Protect Those Android Purchases (11/3/2012) - Kids love playing on tablets and smart phones, and I think the excellent Nexus 7 will be a popular choice for Christmas Stockings this year. Apparently though in-app purchases for children’s mobile games are costing parents around the world nearly $1.5 billion a year, and there are often stories in the press of individual children…More
Using SlickRun For Fast PowerShell Commands (11/15/2011) - I’m a big fan of SlickRun and if you’ve not used it I recommend you download it and give it a try. I find it an invaluable tool not only for launching apps but also web sites, collections of applications and directories etc. It’s the simplicity of SlickRun that makes it so powerful. Sure there…More
Installing Team Foundation Server on Windows Home Server 2011 (7/12/2011) - Twelve months ago I wrote a post documenting “installing Team Foundation Server 2010 on Windows Home Server” which has proved very popular. Well things move on and since then Microsoft have released a new version of Windows Home Server (WHS 2011). There are many differences between V2 of WHS compared to V1 but the main…More
Hello Linux – Again (6/30/2011) - I’ve been increasingly interested in the Linux OS again recently and have re-discovered it’s power and flexibility. I’m a Windows guy primarily, always have been, but I’m writing this on the new Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) release and I must say I am enjoying the experience. This is by no means my first foray into…More
The Case Of The Missing TFS Office Add-In (5/24/2011) - This week my Team Toolbar Office add-in for Team Explorer disappeared preventing me from uploading any new Work items to Team Foundation Server. After some searching in Excel (and MS Project) I accepted it wasn’t just hiding and turned to Google for help. Luckily I found this helpful post on the Team Foundation Server Team’s…More
Android Remote Desktop Client (3/14/2011) - I find that I am increasingly relying on the computing power of my Android smartphone (a HTC Desire) and finding novel ways of using it to make my IT life easier. Sometimes I just want to connect to my PC that is in another room, or more often for me it’s my headless Windows Home…More
Software KVMs (3/14/2011) - Recently I have acquired an additional desktop machine on my desk and quickly saw the potential to expand the amount of screen real estate at my disposal (you can never have enough screens). So imagine I have a laptop physically connected to two screens and a desktop PC, with one screen connected, on the same…More
Windows PowerShell Console Fun (3/12/2011) - Whilst watching Die Hard 4 the other day I noticed the funky transparent console windows that were being used to battle out cyber warfare, and being a traditional geek I immediately liked the idea of doing the same for my PowerShell console. Sure I know these guys are using Linux and transparent consoles have been…More
The Future of Windows Home Server (12/7/2010) - Microsoft’s recent announcement that the key Drive Extender feature is to be removed from the new version of Windows Home Server codenamed ‘Vail’ has resulted in much dismay within the community. Many commentators, including the vocal WHS user community itself, have started to question the future of this product. In this post I give my…More
BigTrak Is Back (10/19/2010) - The 1980’s iconic “programmable electronic vehicle” BigTrak is back and in the shops now. I always wanted one of these when I was a boy and now I finally get to buy one, and I can also justify the purchase by buying it as a Christmas present for my son. Having boys is great! Below…More
Backing up TFS 2010 with new Power Tools Backup Plan (9/12/2010) - At last – backup is built into the TFS product, well via the Power Tools at least. Backing up TFS has always been difficult and non-intuitive without a SQL DBA in your pocket, even the documentation is at best extensive but at worse confusing. But all that’s history as the September 2010 TFS Power Tools…More
Backing Up TFS 2010 Using PowerShell: Part 2 (7/30/2010) - In my previous post (“Backing Up TFS 2010 Using PowerShell: Part 1”) I covered how to backup up the TFS SQL Server databases using Windows PowerShell and the SQL Server Management Objects (SMO) API. In this post I’m going to take it one stage further and add another layer of backup for the paranoid amongst…More
Installing Team Foundation Server 2010 on Windows Home Server (7/9/2010) - Last October I posted about the fact that Microsoft’s Team Foundation Server 2010 was going to be shipping with a “Basic” configuration that more light weight and seen as more of a Visual SourceSafe replacement. In that post I also pointed out that it seemed possible to install this version on a Windows Home Server…More
Installing PowerShell on Windows Home Server (7/6/2010) - Whether you manage thousands of Windows boxes in an enterprise environment or you just want a more powerful shell environment with which to manage your backup scripts on your PC, Windows PowerShell is an excellent free tool at your disposal. PowerShell V2 comes pre-installed in Windows 7 but how do you get it up and…More
New Intel Core i5 Desktop Build (5/27/2010) - After my trusty Pentium 4 home build finally bit the dust I’ve invested in a new desktop. Whilst performance was important for this build (as it’s my main desktop) it had to be cost effective. Luckily Intel’s new Core i3/5/7 CPUs are now mainstream and getting excellent reviews making them the ideal choice for this…More
‘Java Update Secret Warning’ or ‘You WILL Auto-Update’ (12/7/2009) - The Java Runtime on my Dev machine prompted me to Update with a new Version. It didn’t prompt nicely via a little notification popup in the System Tray but instead blows straight into a full UAC prompt. Anyway in a moment of revenge I decided to turn off the ‘Auto Update’ feature. I opened the…More
Capturing your Camcorder DV Video with Windows Live Movie Maker & Windows 7 (11/11/2009) - I have five years of Mini-DV Camcorder tapes stacked up on my shelve. My plan has always been to transfer the video off onto my PC and then reuse the tapes, but for various reasons this never quite happened, instead the pile just grew bigger and bigger. Not for any longer though as I am…More
Team Foundation Server ‘Basic’ Edition (10/12/2009) - Many development teams still regularly use Visual SourceSafe for their source control which can stimulate heated debates between those that have used it for many years without problems and those that have suffered some pain with it. Regardless of this debate there is no denying that SourceSafe is coming to the end of it’s useful…More
‘Windows Home Server’ Build & Setup (10/7/2009) - I recently setup a new Windows Home Server and this post covers why I chose this operating system and how I setup my server. Requirements: My requirement was for an extendable ‘always on’ network attached file storage solution that would allow me to access my files from any machine in the house (and ideally remotely…More
Windows Home Server (10/6/2009) - I have recently set-up a home server using the Windows Home Server Operating System. The details of the set-up will follow in a future post but firstly I thought I would quickly introduce the Windows Home Server (WHS) product and provide some useful links. Windows Home Server was released by Microsoft in 2007 and is…More
Nokia E71 – An update (10/3/2009) - In May posted an entry about my new Nokia E71 smart phone. This is a quick update post and I can confirm that the novelty factor has still yet to wane. I’ve found more uses for my E71 than I originally expected. In addition to the applications listed in my original post I have since…More
Folder Based Toolbars on the Windows Taskbar (9/4/2009) - Recently someone asked me how I managed to access a list of files on my machine from a pop-up list on the Windows Taskbar. The ability to add folder links to the Windows Taskbar has been around for many versions of Windows I guess still not everyone realises how easy and/or useful it is. I…More
Bing (without the Bling) (7/3/2009) - You want to try out Microsoft’s new search engine, but you don’t quite trust it yet so you’re worried it might miss something which means you search on both – right? Well check out http://www.google-vs-bing.com. This allows you to search both at the same time and displays the results side by side in a split…More
IIS Host Headers, Secure Bindings, Wix & Custom Actions (7/3/2009) - Whilst trying to host multiple WCF Services in IIS, each within it’s own web site, I discovered an issue with secure host headers and IIS6. The requirements were to securely install each WCF service inside it’s own web site, with its own application and application pool instance. In order to setup multiple sites I needed…More
Accessing ‘Live Mesh’ From Your Non-Windows Mobile (5/23/2009) - Microsoft ‘Live Mesh’ provides the ability to synchronise your data across all your devices via ‘the cloud’. This means you can access your files no matter which PC you’re using, and also extends to Windows Mobile devices. But what if you want access to these files from a non-Windows mobile such as a Nokia Symbian…More
Nokia E71 (5/20/2009) -   I’ve recently purchased a Nokia E71 and I am very impressed with it. If you’re an E71 owner then check out this list of useful links: http://www.E71blog.com NokiaE71.wordpress.com/ thesymbianblog.com http://www.S60.com http://www.symbian-guru.com These sites provide lots of info on the phone and links to applications you can download. Also check out the Nokia support page…More
Extract Contents of an MSI (3/18/2009) - Sometimes you want to be able to access the contents of an MSI without having to install it. This is possible by running the Windows Installer MSIExec program with a few chosen parameters: msiexec /a FilePathToMSI /qb TARGETDIR=TargetFolder Where FilePathToMSI is the file path to the source MSI file, and TargetFolder is the path to…More
Wii as a Media Centre (11/25/2008) - Using your games console as a media player is not just for PlayStation or X-Box owners, its also possibly with the Wii. You can consume all your media (play music, view photos etc) using your television and your Wii. As long as you have your Wii connected to the Internet, all you need is to…More