Tag Archives: Windows

Revisiting virtual desktops for Windows

It must be something about the slightly warmer air in Spring time because the last time I looked at virtual desktops for Windows was almost exactly two years ago.

Back then I tried an app called Desktops and mentioned VirtuaWin in passing but I honestly don’t remember why I stopped using Desktops and barely remember using it at all.

I installed VirtuaWin last Friday and I’ve been using it over the weekend and it’s a fine replacement for the same Linux functionality I used for many years. I have browsers in desktop 1, MTPuTTy in desktop 2 and I’m experimenting with xchat and Skype in desktop 3 so if you ping me on either of those and I don’t react it’s probably because the status bar icon doesn’t flash.

There’s also Dexpot but I’m in no hurry to try it just yet.

TCPEye: Windows network software to list Internet usage

If you use Windows and you’re curious about what’s using your Internet broadband then the free TCPEye tool will probably help you.

I used it a few weeks ago when something was sucking down gobs of data and making everything else slow. Turns out it was Windows Update, but not on my desktop machine, a laptop on my network was updating.

The odd thing with TCPEye is that CNET Downloads is in the number 1 place when searching for this tool. Reviews even link there instead of the author’s homepage!

Hibernate your Windows 7 Desktop

Windows 7 on desktop machines doesn’t have a hibernate button. It does have a sleep option which in fact is a “hybrid sleep”, a half way house between hibernation (RAM copied to disk) and sleep (RAM kept alive by a small voltage).

Hybrid sleep is a good compromise but I really prefer to have the machine turned off but I like to keep the state recorded. I need hibernation and that’s where this FAQ came in. It has a good explanation of the different sleep states, how to enable hibernation and most importantly, what to do when your machine won’t stay in hibernation (chances are your mouse is waking up your PC).

It didn’t mention “powercfg -h on” which I found recommended on several forums like this one. Odd. I ran that from an Adminstrator’s cmd shell so I can’t say for sure if it’s required or not any more.

In a nutshell:

  1. Turn off hybrid sleep in the Power Options advanced settings.
  2. In your mouse device properties disable the checkbox that allows it to wake up the computer.

Also, if you right click on the Shutdown button you can change the default action to Hibernate, sleep or any of the shutdown options. When updates are to be installed it changes back to “Shutdown”.

Scroll like you mean it in Windows

One of the most annoying aspects of Windows after using Linux on the desktop for 10+ years was how the mouse wheel scrolled windows.

On Linux desktops I could hover over a window and scroll it without focusing. It was really useful when I had a browser window with instructions behind a terminal or just comparing the contents of two windows. The same happened when scrolling panes in file managers. I could scroll directories when hovered over that side of the window and files when over on the other..

So, imagine my frustration when I realised I had to click the side of the Explorer window I wanted to scroll in Windows? It was doubly annoying if I had selected files as I’d have to click an empty area or CTRL click an already selected file to select that side of the window.

Well, there’s a simple solution. Alex Leonard found and blogged about Wizmouse. It simply does what I expect, it scrolls the window under my pointer, whether it’s focused or not.

Wonderful!

Windows screenshots on a Macbook Pro laptop

Creating a screenshot in Windows is normally simple. Press Print Screen, fire up paint and paste it in. However what do you do when you have a laptop keyboard without a PRT SCN button?

It’s rather simple actually, thanks macrumors people.

To create a screenshot on a Macbook Pro laptop press either fn+shift+F11 or fn+ALT+F11. The latter one grabs a single window. Fire up paint and CTRL-v those pixels in!

Virtual Desktops for Windows

One of my favourite things about the Linux desktop is that virtual desktops are a standard feature of just about every window manager. Mac OS X has Spaces and I have a vague memory of using some sort of virtual desktop in Windows years ago.

It isn’t a standard feature of the Windows experience but there are apps you can download to do that job. Desktops v1.02 is one that I tried, but there’s also VirtuaWin. Desktops is basic but works fine in Windows 7!

Have you tried any other ones?

Windows 95 is the best Windows

I used to believe that Windows 95 was the best version of Windows. Compared to previous Microsoft operating systems and software like Windows 3.1, how could I not think that way? DOS was great, it did the job it was supposed to and got out of the way when playing Doom 2 but Windows 95. Damn, that was a whole new ball game. Marvelous.

Now I’ve found something better. It’s a souped up version of Windows XP. Check out the screenshot. I’m getting rid of Linux. Ubuntu? Bah. It’s gone.

You can check out a fully functioning demo too. I know you’ll be as impressed as I was.

Donncha's Thursday Links

  • SMPlayer is a nice front end to the mplayer movie player. .deb packages available for Ubuntu! (via)
  • Gamma Goblin has an innovative solution to the new learner driver laws here in Ireland.
  • Meanwhile, Grandad introduces his how to drive in Ireland series.
  • Recommended tags for WordPress – just one of the new plugins springing up to make tagging in WordPress easier. This Blog Herald post lists lots of other similar plugins too.
  • I really like this picture.
  • Kae got hit by a truck! No damage done thankfully.
    Tomorrow, I’m buying a bike. An upgrade from walking. See, I’m sneaking up on the 21st century, but very slowly.

    It’ll be a BMX, so I can use it in that skatepark that opened recently.

  • Yesterday morning I got another Shelfari invite, but this time from Bernie Goldbach which made me think it was legit as I fished it out of the Junk folder. Not so. As James reports, mass invitation spam is becoming the default because Bernie accidentally spammed his Yahoo address book when he signed up to Shelfari. Bad, bad, bad. I hope Shelfari get kicked for this.

Joseph found this collection of Windows startup screens and sounds. Wow, Windows 3.1. I remember the install disks for that although I can’t remember how many 3.5″ floppy disks it came on now. AFAIR, they ended up being Linux boot disks.

Liking the links?