Tag Archives: windows

Windows 7 Public Beta First Impressions

People call me a Mac fanboy, but deep down inside I still want Windows to be a great OS one day. Maybe the time has come. I went to download the public beta and installed it on my desktop. The boot time was decent, but not as quick as I thought. On my first boot, I was greeted by a fishy wallpaper:

capture

What’s with the eye-pleasing fishy wallpaper? Has Microsoft turned to feng shui this time round? Maybe it did work.

I was surprised my wireless driver wasn’t installed, this may prove troublesome to people who have no access to a dual boot installation or another PC to download the necessary drivers, or perhaps a network that allows LAN access.

Sound driver not detected as well, but that’s fine given that not many people own a Razer Barracuda AC-1. I mean, Ubuntu didn’t detect the driver anyway – and it didn’t support my audio at all the last time I tried looking for the driver (Ubuntu fans, start flaming).

After installing my wireless driver, I was pleasantly surprised that the interface for connecting to a wifi is simple just like the one on Mac’s. I don’t remember this was the case for Vista, but then again I use Vista maybe once every full moon. My only Vista installation is in my MacBook Pro that I only boot when some LAN gaming is needed.

wireless

Let me know if you see a similar list of wireless networks, maybe we can have dinner sometime.

Another thing I discovered about Windows 7 is the ability to easily do split screen for 2 different windows. I just have to move a window to the left corner and wha-la, it resizes itself to exactly half of the screen. And if you want it to occupy the whole screen and is to lazy to click on the Maximize button, you can drag it upwards and it’ll do the trick.

halfscreen

And if you haven’t noticed yet, that’s right, now the taskbar has the resemblance of a MacOS X dock. It now revolves all around icons, I love it very much. Hover over one icon and it’ll show you the windows that belong to the application. Microsoft has seriously taken usability into interface design – and not hideous “eye candy”. Kudos.

dock

Overall, I gotta say I like Windows 7 much more than Vista. In fact, this post is written live from Windows 7.

On the other hand, Vista gave me terrible first (and last) impressions, it made me want to delete it after using for a few hours and I have done this a few times even with Service Pack 1.

Have you tried Windows 7 yet? Would you?

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Resize Your Boot Camp Partition in a Few Steps

As the release dates for games like Red Alert 3, Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 are nearing, I saw the urgent need to increase my boot camp partition which holds my Vista 64-bit installation.

Normally, people would need to destroy their current Windows partition and then make a fresh new installation after using Boot Camp assistant to make a new bigger partition.

However, being lazy as usual (one of my lecturers used to say “lazy is good engineering!”), I did a lil research into resizing my boot camp partition easily without much hassle.

The easiest way is to spend 25 pounds and get iPartition and let the app do the resizing for you. But, what about a more affordable way of doing it?

Enter the Winclone method. Winclone is basically just an app that makes an image of your current boot camp partition and saves it as a file that can be restored later on to a different partition. Below are the few steps you need to resize your boot camp partition using this way:

1) Download Winclone (free, donation can be made for appreciation)

winclone 1.jpg

2) Use Winclone to make an image of your boot camp, save it somewhere (i.e. Desktop or an external drive if space is an issue)

3) Launch Boot Camp assistant and restore your hard disk to its original state that has no boot camp partitions

4) Launch Boot Camp assistant again but now let it help you make a new larger (or smaller) boot camp partition

winclone 2.jpg

5) Now, use Winclone to restore the image you’ve made to the new boot camp partition

6) Done! Restart into Windows and check if all is well

That’s it, you’ve successfully resized your boot camp partition without having to destroy your Windows installation. Till the next tech tip! ;)

Feel free to post any questions or comments.

Solution to Windows Vista’s Wireless Spikes

So I have been toying around with Vista 64-bit on my new MacBook Pro. Using it mainly for weekend LAN parties. But one thing that annoys me the most about Vista is that it tends to have a lag spike every minute or so. My hero in DotA was literally doing a break dance every minute.

Having done a lil bit of research into this matter, I have finally found a solution. A lil app called WLAN Optimizer has solved my problem. What it basically does is disable Vista’s periodical (every 60 seconds to be precise) wireless network scan that was causing the lag spikes.

I recommend that you have this app running in the background and have it run automatically on startup if you use Vista for online gaming. Good luck and may the latency be with you.

Download WLAN Optimizer

Meet MacBook Air’s Long Lost Brother

Introducing Voodoo Envy 133.

envy 1.png

envy 2.png

Heck, they even spec almost the same. Except that this one runs Windows, and have an integrated Linux OS they call Voodoo IOS. It allows you to surf porn even when your Windows has break down. Talk about convenience.

Adding Windows Shared Printers on Mac Using Hidden Advanced Options

Today I’ve discovered two ways to add shared Windows printers using unordinary ways. One is by accessing CUPS thru http://localhost:631 which I won’t explain in detail. Another is by accessing the hidden Advanced options when adding printers.

To access this hidden option, first go to Print & Fax in System Preferences, click the + sign at the bottom left, right click the toolbar right on top and you should see something like this:

printer1.png

Drag the Advanced icon to your toolbar and voila, there you go. Now you can almost any shared printers under the sky using this option. This is extremely useful when your Windows shared printer doesn’t appear when you try adding them.

printer2.png

To add a Windows shared printer, enter smb://IP.Address.Of.PC.Sharing.Printer/PrinterShareName as the URL and make sure Type is Windows.

One thing I note about this is it might take up to 10 seconds for the fields to un-gray so be patient. Got any questions? Feel free to post in comments.

Till the next tech tip, hope you found much use with this one!

UPnP: Port Forwarding that’s Fool Proof

UPnP. You probably heard about it or seen it lurking in your router settings, or while you fiddle around Windows‘ built-in firewall. So what the hell is it?

I myself didn’t bother to look up on it as it didn’t sound appealing to me compared to lamb curry. Not until I read about Port Map. Port Map is basically a Mac app that allows easy port forwarding WITHOUT accessing your router. Now now before you stop reading on thinking this is some shitty Mac praising post, don’t regret if I tell you how this will actually let you play C&C3 online without opening 80% of all available ports from 1 to 65535.

portmap.png

So I was thinking, What the f**k? How is it possible to port forward without actually setting it up in the router? Wouldn’t it be a (local) security issue? After a little googling, turns out that UPnP has been around long before I even graduated from high school.

UPnP is basically a technology that allows devices (such as your computer) to tell the router it needs to allow connection thru a certain port number so that it can communicate properly with the other internet client. Some of the most popular software I could think of that could utilize UPnP is Skype and uTorrent. For the past few years, I have been wondering why in the f**k uTorrent has an option to RANDOMIZE your port number each time it starts? Wouldn’t that mean you have to port forward all over again? Now I know. It’s UPnP that’s allows such voodoo to exist.

So how can you get this voodoo to work? First of all, you need to access your router (just this once to set it up). Every router setup differs so you may have to read your manual to find out how to enable UPnP. Some routers that are too old might not even have UPnP. Also, I notice that some Belkin routers do not have UPnP as well.

upnp-router.png

For the purpose of introducing UPnP, I’ll use screenshots from popular BitTorrent programs for example.

upnp-ut.png

upnp-trans.png

Notice there are options to allow these programs to utilise UPnP. And that’s it, enjoy UPnP.

Few things to note: If you have multiple routers on the same internet connection, make sure the ‘parent router’ forwards ALL ports to the next router. UPnP doesn’t communicate router to router unfortunately (at least this is the case for home routers, correct me if I’m wrong).

Also, I have the feeling that enabling UPnP might cause potential security dangers especially to Windows machines. Make sure you have anti-virus/spyware installed before you utilize UPnP.

Hope you enjoy this tech tip, because I have. For the first time since C&C3 launch I could finally play it online, just to get owned by someone who claims to be a noob.

Accessing Internet Explorer-only Sites on a non-Windows PC

Recently, a friend asked me if there was a way to access IE-only sites on his Mac. Off the top of my head, there are two options – one is to use IE itself thru virtualization methods and secondly is to spoof your User Agent in Firefox.

Every browser has its own designated user agent that tells the website what browser you’re using. Therefore, you can actually trick the website to think that you’re actually using a different browser such as Internet Explorer.

Enter User Agent Switcher – this Firefox add-on does just that.

This add-on is extremely easy to use. First, download it here

After installing, you will see the option to switch between different user agents in Tools => User Agent Switcher

useragent1.png

As you can see, there are 3 different user agents to choose from. The add-on itself is also easy to use.

useragent2.png

Here, using IPChicken to check my user agent and indeed the add-on spoofed it to IE7. Neat stuff.

This tip works on any computer that has Firefox. Doesn’t matter if it’s running Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD etc.

Hope you found much use with this tip. Cheers ;)