Author Archives: Ray Woodcock

Exploring Tools (WinSetupFromUSB, Easy2Boot, MultiBootUSB) to Create a UEFI Multiboot USB Drive

This post talks about using USB drives to boot computers with something other than the installed operating system. The alternate boot system might be a Linux “live” CD; it might be a diagnostic tool, or an ISO made from a … Continue reading

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Trying CentOS Linux as a Desktop Solution

As discussed in a previous post, I decided to try using the CentOS distribution of the Linux operating system (OS) on my laptop computer. This post describes the process of installing and tweaking CentOS as desired. This effort failed, in … Continue reading

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Setting Up a Wired Connection Between Linux and Windows Computers (aborted)

This post consists of two parts. Part 1 illustrates what happens, in networking, when your head is not in networld, and you follow advice that is not necessarily on target. Part 2 presents a more succinct and seemingly well-guided route … Continue reading

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Choosing CentOS Linux to Replace Windows

As discussed in another post, Microsoft’s heavy hand in forcing the unwanted switch from Windows 7 to Windows 10, followed by a major Windows 10 update that left some of my key software nonworking, persuaded me to return to a … Continue reading

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Linux Mint: Restart Unresponsive Desktop, Recover Missing Terminal Icon, Restore to Menu

I was using Linux Mint 18.3 Cinnamon. I edited the Menu. Among other things, I made a copy of the Terminal icon. Then I decided I didn’t want the copy. I deleted it. Unless there was something else going on … Continue reading

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Creating an Alternate Linux Mint Start Menu

Linux Mint 18.3 Cinnamon offered a Menu button, at the lower left corner of the screen. That name was potentially confusing: Linux actually had many menus. “Apps” might have been more distinctive. As a longtime Windows user, I was comfortable … Continue reading

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Editing Video by Converting It to Single-Frame Images and Back

I had a video file, in .avi format. As detailed in another post, it came from a screen capture of a Google Street View route. This video had some problems. It seemed that one way to alleviate those problems, while … Continue reading

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How to View Your Google Maps Route (Street View) as a Movie

No guarantees as to how long this will last before links or features change. But for the moment, here’s how it works. Google Maps allows users to view features (in this example, bike routes) and plot out a desired path. … Continue reading

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Using ImageMagick to Combine Left and Right Segments of 2,700 Images

As detailed in another post, I had cropped about 2,700 image files into left-side pieces and right-side pieces, so as to get rid of the center. Now that I had 2,700 left-side segments in the Left folder and 2,700 right-side … Continue reading

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Creating a Bootable ISO from a Bootable USB Drive

Contents Preliminaries The Mission at Hand Using ImgBurn to Create the ISO Finding etfsboot.com Getting etfsboot.com from WAIK Getting etfsboot.com from Another USB Multiboot Problems Wrap-Up; Further Possibilities . Preliminaries I was using Windows 10. I had a couple of … Continue reading

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Multiboot USB Tools: YUMI vs. MultiBootUSB on a Legacy System (aborted)

I had long been using YUMI to assemble multiple bootable tools into one USB device. For example, I could use a single USB drive to run “live” versions of Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Puppy, and a number of other Linux distributions, … Continue reading

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SSD Overprovisioning in Linux: The Case of a Samsung 850 EVO

As detailed in another post, I was in the process of installing and configuring Linux Mint on a solid state drive (SSD) in my Acer laptop. During that process, I needed to decide how to allocate space on the SSD. … Continue reading

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Returning to Linux, Seven Years On

On New Year’s Day 2011, I wrote a post titled “Farewell, Ubuntu.” It said that, after several years of trying Linux, I was returning to Windows. That made sense at the time: Windows 7 was turning out to be a … Continue reading

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Defeated by Windows 10: Choosing and Setting Up an Acer Aspire 5 A515-51-563W (Kaby Lake) Laptop

This post describes the steps I took, in an attempt to get my customized Acer Aspire 5 to run Windows 10. A separate post discusses the choice and installation of hardware to upgrade this system. The steps described here were … Continue reading

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A Complete Cluster: Trying to Transfer Windows 10 from HDD to M.2 SSD on an Acer Aspire 5

As described in another post, I was attempting to customize and configure an Acer Aspire 5 A515-51-563W laptop. The task at hand was to transfer the original Windows 10 installation from the stock 1TB hard disk drive (HDD) to the newly … Continue reading

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Acer Aspire 5 A515-51 Laptop: Hardware Upgrades (Adding RAM, SSD, etc.)

As discussed in a companion post, I bought an Acer Aspire 5 A515-51-563W Core i5-7200U laptop, from among the offerings in Acer’s Aspire 5 family, and set about the process of tweaking it. This post focuses on my hardware adjustments. First, … Continue reading

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Suckered Again! More Time Wasted on Windows 10

In February 2016, I tried upgrading an existing Windows 7 installation to Windows 10. As described in a previous post, that proved to be a complicated and frustrating experience — partly because, at that point, Windows 10 had not yet worked … Continue reading

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A Windows 7 User Installs and Tweaks Windows 10 (rough cut, incomplete)

Introduction As described in another post, I postponed the shift from Windows 7 to Windows 10 for a couple years, but then finally decided to give it another try. This post describes the steps I took to achieve that. This post … Continue reading

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Cleaning Up the Windows 10 Context Menu (aborted)

This post describes steps I pursued to prune and organize the Win10 context menu. At this writing, the project is incomplete, due to my decision to back away from Windows 10 for the time being. * * * * * … Continue reading

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Using VMware to Run Software When Windows 10 Won’t

A previous post discusses my efforts to use VirtualBox to run software that ran fine in Windows 10 — until, one day, something (a Windows 10 update, apparently) caused that software not to run anymore. Unfortunately, the VirtualBox effort also ran … Continue reading

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Using VirtualBox to Run Software When Windows 10 Won’t

Note: this is the long version. The Summary has a short version. Another post may eventually provide a more detailed short version. Contents Summary Introduction VM Software Options for Choosing and Installing the Operating System Windows 7 Licensing and Activation … Continue reading

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Choosing the Best Benchmarks: A Comparison of VirtualBox vs. VMware Virtual Machines

As described in (1 2) other posts, I was looking at VirtualBox 5.2.6 and VMware Workstation Player 14.1.1 as possible ways to run certain software in a Windows 7 guest virtual machine (VM) on a Windows 10 host computer. The … Continue reading

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Windows 7 Licensing: A Few Questions and Observations

As detailed in another post, I was in the process of developing a Windows 7 virtual machine (VM). While researching various aspects of that process, I saw a number of statements about Windows 7 licensing. Those statements provoked me to … Continue reading

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Understanding VirtualBox Snapshots

Contents Introduction Summary Testing Snapshots Merging Changes Back into the Original VM . Introduction VirtualBox was a widely used and appreciated free tool for creating, configuring, and using virtual machines (VMs). This post discusses snapshots in VirtualBox 5.2.6. The VirtualBox … Continue reading

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A Windows User’s Plan for Creating a Linux Mint System

(This post summarizes the situation I faced in summer 2016, as I wavered between Windows 7, Windows 10, and Linux Mint. I did not publish it at that point because some related posts were not yet finished.) As detailed in … Continue reading

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A Linux Mint 18 Virtual Machine to Replace Windows 7

I was in the process of transitioning from Windows 7 to Linux. For reasons provided in another post, I decided to try doing most of my work in a Linux Mint virtual machine (VM) in VirtualBox, rather than in the underlying native Linux installation. … Continue reading

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Converting an Acronis TIB Drive Image to a Virtual Machine

Contents Summary Converting an Acronis TIB to VHD Creating a VHD via Disk Management on a Windows 7 Computer Creating a VHD via Disk Management on a Windows 10 Computer Creating a VHD via ATI 2011 Conversion Option Creating a … Continue reading

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Microsoft Office 2016 Won’t Run in Windows 10 After Updates

Contents Introduction A Manual Uninstallation Script: FAIL A Hybrid Easy Manual Uninstallation Method: FAIL Seeking Help from Microsoft: FAIL Understanding Windows 10 Updates A Partial Solution: Reverting & Postponing Updates . Introduction I dreaded the switch from Windows 7 to … Continue reading

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Debug.Log: Error: Range: Fully Unreadable

I kept seeing a debug.log file open on my desktop, in Notepad, containing this text: [0120/175101.863:ERROR:process_info.cc(632)] range at 0xaabf36c600000000, size 0x155 fully unreadable [0120/175101.863:ERROR:process_info.cc(632)] range at 0xaabf372800000000, size 0x155 fully unreadable [0120/175101.863:ERROR:process_info.cc(632)] range at 0x0, size 0x155 fully unreadable My … Continue reading

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O&O RegEditor: While Importing, an Error Was Detected on Line 1

I was using Windows 10. I had a registry edit (.reg) file that I wanted to add to the registry. I was using O&O RegEditor as my default registry viewer. When I double-clicked on the .reg file, I got an … Continue reading

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Windows 10: Task Scheduler: Trigger: On a Schedule: OK Grayed

This is a dumb one, but I’m going to blog it because it managed to tie me up for at least ten minutes, and a search didn’t come up with an answer. The situation is this: I was using taskschd.msc … Continue reading

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Excel Ran Out of Resources While Attempting to Calculate One or More Formulas

I was using Excel 2016. I was attempting to finish adding formulas throughout all rows of a large spreadsheet. In this spreadsheet, column A contained data, and all remaining columns contained formulas that would make incremental changes, going across, to … Continue reading

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Combining Thousands of Screenshots into a Slideshow or Video Without Losing Quality

Another post describes my travails in converting thousands of photos into IrfanView self-executing (.exe) slideshows, Acrobat PDF slideshows, or video, so as to watch that sequence of photos tell its story without requiring me to open each image file manually. … Continue reading

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Video Formats: Choosing Among Codecs and Containers: MP4, AVI, MKV, etc.

I had been using Adobe Premiere Elements 12 and other video editing software for some time. Such software allowed me to choose the output format for each video file I produced. I had a rough sense of some differences among … Continue reading

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Considering Hardware Upgrades on an Old Windows XP Machine: CPU, RAM, Drive, Battery

I came into possession of a Hewlett-Packard (HP) Mini 110-1023NR. The HP Mini line was marketed from 2007 to 2012. I was thinking about upgrading the hardware on that unit. This post presents what I learned in that inquiry. Current … Continue reading

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A Batch File to Do Things Silently Every Hour (e.g., Check Up on Antivirus)

Now and then, I experienced the rude shock of discovering that my antivirus software was not running, when I assumed it was. Maybe I had intended to turn it off temporarily, so as not to interfere with a program installation, … Continue reading

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Zero Result Searches

Every now and then, I would run a search (almost always in Google) that would produce no results. This post was inspired by one such search. I remembered, and wanted to take a look at, a video I had heard … Continue reading

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Explorer AWOL: File Does Not Have a Program Associated, etc.

I was using Windows 10, though I’m not sure the specific operating system (OS) mattered. I was also using Q-Dir, a replacement for Windows Explorer (or File Explorer, as it was known in Win10). Q-Dir gave me the option of … Continue reading

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Why Is SuperUser Designed to Be Hostile to Outsiders?

This post contains the text of a question that I originally planned to post on SuperUser, a StackExchange website. By the time I finished it, however, I realized that its style and substance would draw hostility at SuperUser. So I … Continue reading

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Choosing an M.2 SSD: Data Rot, PCIe, NVMe, and Other Issues

As detailed in another post, I wanted to add a solid state drive (SSD) to the M.2 slot in my laptop. The laptop already had a hard disk drive (HDD) in its standard 2.5″ drive bay, so there was a … Continue reading

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Adding Light to a Non-Backlit Laptop Keyboard

I had an Acer Aspire 5 A515-51-563W Core i5-7200U laptop. Its keyboard was not backlit — that is, there were no lights in its letters, to help me put my fingers on the right keys in dark conditions. This post … Continue reading

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Smartphone Newbie’s Extensive Guide to TracFone Samsung Galaxy Core Prime S820

I was looking for an entry-level, pay-as-you-go smartphone. This post describes the process I went through in choosing and setting up the Samsung Galaxy Core Prime S820L smartphone from Walmart. This post includes some descriptions of my own learning and experiences, … Continue reading

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Database: All Billboard Hot 100 Hits 1955-2013

(Note: subsequent examination raises questions as to whether this spreadsheet and/or the Singles Chronology are accurate. I will leave the material now, until I have a chance to review it, in case others find it useful.) John Michaelson’s Singles Chronology … Continue reading

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A Better Heat Index Chart

The Heat Index (HI) is a familiar concept, often encountered in the media on hot summer days. The popular understanding of this concept is simply that humidity, not just temperature, affects a person’s experience of heat. The U.S. National Weather … Continue reading

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229 Very Low-Cost Cities Around the World: Data Sources

I was considering the possibility of becoming an expatriate (“expat”) — that is, of moving outside the U.S. to live cheaply. I wanted to make an informed decision on whether to do it and, if so, where I should start. … Continue reading

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Finding Low-Cost Places to Live in the U.S.

I was interested in learning which places in the United States might offer the lowest cost of living. Although people would vary in their freedom and willingness to move anywhere, it seemed that the sources of data I found in … Continue reading

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Using a Car Battery to Power Laptop and Desktop Computers

In a previous post, I explored the possibility of using a car battery to recharge a laptop computer. This post summarizes several answers to the question of how to keep a desktop or laptop computer running when the lights go out. The … Continue reading

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Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM CPU & RAM Upgrade Options

I was thinking about buying an Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM laptop. I decided not to. Initially, I was attracted by its low price tag for great features and a high rating on Amazon. But as I dug into users’ comments, … Continue reading

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