Miscellaneous [22 post(s)]

22 November 2013 - 13:45

C/2012 S1 aka ISON

Discovery date : 21 September 2012 - objects flying into our Galaxy at the speed of light...

(0) Comments ·
15 April 2010 - 15:21

Commands from prompt, batch files and backups

I was asked recently to do a course on DOS-commands and on RUN-commands, i.e. commands you can type at the run prompt.

And although I scoped it somewhat to the most used and/or basic ones, there are people coming up with huge lists of them:

This course really felt like 'closing a cycle', as my very first IT manual ever was a DOS manual which came along with a Commodore PC - one without even a harddisk, that was, back in 1986.
And speaking of DOS commands of course brings us to batch files.
If ever you want to try some:

Actually I'm using a batch files for my daily backups to external harddisks, with log files on top of it.... All thanks to good old DOS and a double click of a shortcut on my desktop :-)
Here's what I use:

set LogPath=e:\Backups\
set LogFileExt=.txt
set LogFileName=Backup%LogFileExt%
::use set MyLogFile=%date:~4% instead to remove the day of the week
::set MyLogFile=%date%
set MyLogFile=%date%
set MyLogFile=%MyLogFile:/=-%
set MyLogFile=%LogPath%%MyLogFile%_%LogFileName%
::Note that the quotes are REQUIRED around %MyLogFIle% in case it contains a space
If NOT Exist "%MyLogFile%" goto:noseparator
echo.%Date% >>"%MyLogFile%"
echo.%Time% >>"%MyLogFile%"

xcopy d:\data g:\data /d/s/c/h/r/y/f/k >>"%MyLogFile%"
xcopy d:\2013Website g:\2013Website /d/s/c/h/r/y/f/k  >>"%MyLogFile%"
xcopy d:\Graphics g:\Graphics /d/s/c/h/r/y/f/k /EXCLUDE:e:\exclude.txt  >>"%MyLogFile%"
xcopy d:\Images g:\Images /d/s/c/h/r/y/f/k /EXCLUDE:e:\exclude.txt  >>"%MyLogFile%"

xcopy e:\Audio h:\Audio /d/s/c/h/r/y/f/k  >>"%MyLogFile%"
xcopy e:\Video h:\Video /d/s/c/h/r/y/f/k  >>"%MyLogFile%"
xcopy e:\VideoAudioTraining h:\VideoAudioTraining /d/s/c/h/r/y/f/k  >>"%MyLogFile%"

(2) Comments ·
10 April 2010 - 05:14
08 April 2010 - 06:54

WP for DOS

short cut to WP DOS

I had never thought to still get involved in a Wordperfect for DOS project in the year 2010 !
And once going into it, I soon discovered there's still a good amount of people using this system for all kind of reasons.
I even discovered two very precious resources in setting up and configuring WP for DOS :

browsing in WP DOS

As it concerned a very specific installation on top of being a DOS program (a Dutch language version with both azerty and US international qwerty keyboards) all kind of issues occurred ...
And getting the keyboards to behave with special accents was probably the most difficult task to tackle.

But end well, all well, and here are some specific links if ever it help someone out too:

typing in WP DOS
(0) Comments ·
31 December 2009 - 19:00
29 December 2009 - 08:05

On the topic of manuals, books, training and … pedagogy

When doing trainings, mostly IT trainings, a couple of questions pop-up from time to time.
Like : do you have some suggestions for a good book? Or which book do you use during your training? Or how to you organize your training?

Well firstly I have to say I don't really follow or use a manual or book when I teach.
At several occasions over the years, people personally expressed their gratitude for that, so this only fortified this conscious choice of course.

Of course this doesn't mean that I don't use a structure and/or the structure doesn't or couldn't match a manual or book.
I actually work with detailed mind-mapped structures for all of my course contents - this gives me great flexibility and the possibility to concentrate fully on the learning process itself.
I always start a course by feeling the pulse and asking participants what they want to learn. I then present the overall course contents - tailored and adapted to the level and specific questions or desiderata.
But I keep a great amount of margin to be able to surf and adapt to what the group dynamics actually bring in - in my personal view it's exactly here the magic of the pedagogical process hides.

Even when examples and structure may be identical, I always inspire questions, reflections and exchange to a maximum possible and address them with mind-mapped content.
Pedagogically that implies that I envisage to focus energy on the learning process itself more and that yet another input source as a book, manual or powerpoint content generally isn't really appropriate.
So practically every course is rather or completely different as every group and group dynamic process 'of course' always differentiates.

Now I do understand the (psychological?) need of having a written manual or book and generally refer to those as an 'after course implementation' resource.
But then it always seems hard to me to come up with suggestions which fully satisfy me - what is a good book anyway?
But even if haven't fully figured out what a 'perfect IT Manual or book' for me would be I know in which direction I'm looking: resources which focus on conceptual learning and transfer of knowledge, which don't contain overloads of written text, and use a lot of schemes and mappings, as this is the way we program our brains basically ...

Some miscellaneous links in the margin of this topic

(0) Comments ·
18 December 2009 - 12:28

Prevent forced reboot after Windows Update operations

If you don't like to be forced to reboot after yet another Windows Update, then know you actually have a way out.

windows update message

There's several fields to play on actually, depending on what you want to achieve and on the Operating System itself.

  • You can fine-tune the behaviour of the 'Automatic Updates' feature through the 'Security Center' in your Control Panel.
  • At any given moment you can also intervene on the Service triggered off, by removing it or by changing it's settings ; it this case the 'Automatic Updates' (wuauserv service)
  • You can intervene on the Group Policy settings through the Local Security Settings in the Administrative Tools; eg the path to walk on XP is: Local Computer Policy - Computer Configuration - Administrative Templates - Windows Components - Windows Update, then set to no auto-restart for scheduled updates
  • Finally, you can also add a registry setting to change the behaviour through Regedit at the Run command prompt: NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers registry value in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU with dword value to 1.

A nice overview actually of how you'd typically approach more advanced interventions on a Windows system.
You'll find all detailed explanations on the above pathways at following sites:

(1) Comments ·
06 December 2009 - 15:12

On windows explorer tooltips and thumbnails

It's amazing how many different settings can be encountered on computers ... and how confusing or complex it can all turn out for the 'normal' end-user.

Like recently during a PowerPoint course in a course room with identical computers. When browsing images to insert into the slides, some participants see the thumbnails of the images, as well as the pixel dimensions, others see thumbnails without the pixel dimensions, and still others don't seem to be able to activate the thumbnails altogether.

To start with the last one: if you don't see the thumbnails for images when you should, it's most likely linked to a setting in the folder options Windows Explorer - in the View Options, you have to make sure the option 'Always show icons, never thumbnails' is un-checked.
Remark that the word 'Thumbnails is not used anymore in Vista, but Large and Small Miniatures should then just do what they say.
If ever this is not the cause of not seeing thumbnails in your folders, you could try-out the procedure as described by the Microsoft Knowledgebase, as indeed there are issues with thumbnails: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/928572

The specific information (size, pixel dimensions, file type, etc) appearing in the tooltips are actually dependant on some registry settings; it seems a bit of a mystery how some of the settings sometimes get updated and sometimes not, probably to installation of certain software, but if you want to master it yourself you'll find the keys in following articles: http://www.ghacks.net/2008/02/10/customize-windows-explorer-tooltips/.

Happy tooltipping !

(0) Comments ·
17 July 2009 - 13:23

One & Other

An interesting art experiment is captivating more than one these days in the UK.

Under the working title "One & Other" artist Antony Gormley is inviting about 2400 people to stand for one hour on one of the empty plinths on Trafalgar Square in London, the so-called empty 'Fourth Plinth'.
Each hour, non stop 24h/24h, from July till October 2009, one person becomes the master of the Fourth Plinth and can do with the space and time slot as he or she likes.

one and other

The aim is to create a kind of a living representation and monument of the UK population and to "reflect on the diversity, vulnerability and particularity of the individual in contemporary society".

It"s definitely also an expression of our internet / blog/ twitter generation, as many camera's, blogs, internet exchanges and an internet site focus on the happening and allow massive participation of people in the UK and in the world. Quite an interesting 'curiosum' already only because of the use of the internet medium as such

Is it really art?
And isn't there a hidden but explicit message referring to the need people have for attention? - the 15' of individual glory?
Also: Big brother is watching you again, isn't he?
And many more questions could come up...

But from the other side: isn't it giving art something 'accessible' again?
Isn't the idea alone already a marvelous expression of genius creativity?
And of the most wonderful melting pot of expression we really represent?

And above all, isn't life art after all - continuous creation?

So judge for yourself and have a look - not without some reflection of course as to whether you've discovered your self already as the artist and creator of your life, and if your creation is in the 'doing' or in the 'being' :-)

Fourth Plinth

For more photos - click through...

[Read more on One & Other...]
(3) Comments ·
16 July 2009 - 12:09

Arrange USB sticks - drive letters

The drive letters of the hard disks in my PC sometimes change after a reboot ... DVD drives then take priorities. Althought there's many articles and comments on the topic on the net (link this one) haven't really come to terms fully, but so far I come to the conclusion that it's probably linked to the way the cables have been connected into the motherboard (as DVD drives come first in the link as masters)

As often whilst looking for something you then find somethings else which is really interesting. Like these links explaining how to get rid of the fact that USB sticks get drive letters allocated (also a possible input for drive letter switching): http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=1676&page=9

(0) Comments ·
29 May 2009 - 05:12

2013 - read: twenty thirtheen

It could be part of the site's FAQ (which does not exist (yet?) ), as it's a question coming up regularly :
where does the name of the domain 2013.net come from?


third eye symbol on Maya ruin

Well it hasn't really to do with the year 2013. Perhaps indirectly, as you'll come to see, as a symbolic reference to the times 'after' the over hyped 22 December 2012 date, the so-called Mayan 'end of time' date (or better end of the big Long Count wheel)... .

It was in 1996 indeed that I made a trip to Mexico, more precisely to Yucatan in order to visit the pyramids over there and get to know more about the Mayan civilization. I had already been aware of the concept of cyclic time, but had never gone into more depth about the Mayan approach of cyclic time.
And so it became a memorable trip, where I got to see the inscriptions in Palenque referring to a big cyclic time phase calculated by the Mayan, starting at 3113 BC (august 13th) going up to 2012 (December 22th) (dates recalculated to Gregorian time and subject of (mis)interpretation).

But what intrigued me the most, was the way the Mayan did their calculations. So through some reading and study afterward I came to realize more about their famous 13 x 20 matrix, or 'divine key', or 'universal DNA', on the basis of which all their calculations are based.
13 stands for 13 moon cycles or energies, and 20 stands for 20 sun energies or sun cycles. The Mayans were still able to capture, label and use those energies, made it the basis of their mathematics (the vigesimal system) and applied it to time calculations.

Palenque's famous tomb of Pacal Votan

As at that time I had been introduced to the internet already, and I was looking for a domain name, I just inverted the 13:20 digits which brought me to 20:13. Omitting the colon gave me an acceptable DNS name, easy to recall and communicate (as only numbers) and a symbolic reference to the time period 'after'the current cycle which is obviously spinning to a 'catharsis'.... but also allowing lots of renewals - and that's where I see the focus and purpose of my being.
Then also, as I was and am still focused on the primary task of the net, i.e. to exchange, I didn't really envisaged a .com domain (moreover it was taken already then) and .org wasn't covering what I intended either... so besides .edu, .gov and .mil there were not really other choices then, than .net - Although completely inappropriate too, it covered the purpose however very nicely and symbolically in the keyword 'net' .

In summary

So that's how 2013.net saw the light :-)

As a summary you could say it's very much a symbolic set of digits, symbolizing a matrix code and the start of a new period or time, integrating science and meta-science, math and intuition, left and right brain, yin and yang...consciousness and matter...
a visualisation of the road ahead .

Now if you're interested in a bit more substance behind all this reasoning, about the 13:20 matrix and Mayan cyclic time... read on.

17 April 2009 - 11:23

April fool

For a good one celebrating the April Fools' tradition on 1/4 : http://labs.opera.com/news/2009/04/01/

12 February 2009 - 14:37

Hearts of Space

Slow music for fast times

Actually it has been a long time since I thought I should put up this suggestion.
And just when the thought came up again and I decided to start writing this entry, I got a mail from Hearts Of Space, announcing their new 'next generation' player and additional services....

Synchronicity indeed.

Hearts Of Space is an awesome service and site. It started in 1973 as an Californian radio program offering uninterrupted spacy and other music, craftily selected and prepared. During the 80's it spread throughout the US as a one hour radio program on many stations, and then of course also found it's way on the net from 2000 onwards.
It now offers an online music experience, with free and very cheap subscription plans, offering some of the best available music out there in genres such as Electronic Space, Orchestral/Chamber, Ambient/Downtempo, Ethno/Ambient, Piano, Space Jazz, Cinematic/Soundtrack, World Fusion, all kind of world music and many more.

Stephen Hill, who runs the program, is definitely a pioneer in his field - with vision, clarity, and fine taste he and his team have composed almost a thousand one-hour quality programs allowing all kind of audiences to get to know music which actually also bring an 'inner experience of slowing down in these fast times' .

hearts of space

Music and consciousness just match at HOS.
The openness to all kind of instruments and waves inspires tolerance.
An oasis in hectic times spreading tranquility and self-reflection. Without a word.
Heart touching and definitely worth a journey.

(1) Comments ·
28 January 2009 - 15:51


If you speak french or german and live in West-Europe, the chance is real you know about the French-German cultural TV chain Arte. Not only Arte has high standards in terms of programs they diffuse, they manage to combine vision and quality.

They also set standards in terms of internet though.

Arte TV 7+

Actually I don't have TV cable, so I'm not really able to watch ARTE nor any other TV chain at all.
Well... "was" in case of Arte.

Because of course they have a site - and moreover: they provide online TV for 7 days after emissions. This approach of re-diffusion of a whole series of qualitative programmes for one week is actually outstanding. Not only the user interface of Arte+7 is very well conceived, it's definitely also a good, if not an exceptional, example of how flash technology can enhance user interaction.
Initially looking at their programs was reserved for inhabitants of France and Germany only, but since shortly they've managed to open the frontiers totally.

Do visit their subsite Arte+7 - I'm sure you'll find it a worthwhile passage and you'll be able to grab away some interesting documentary or two.

(0) Comments ·
01 January 2009 - 11:39

Happy New Year

Very best wishes for a happy and successfull 2009 !

best wishes for 2009
May each of your aspirations, plans, projects or undertakings be filled with transformative power -
because isn't it the strenght "to change greatly the appearance or form", as says the WIkipedia definition, which truly brings happiness to the self, courage to those with whom we live and come into contact with and thus hope to the world ?
(0) Comments ·
16 December 2008 - 04:07

Windows Explorer crashes when selecting or previewing AVI files

If ever you run in this problem this is the solution:

Launch 'Regedit' from the Run command - Then navigate to following entrees:
  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\ : If there is a key in there with the name DivX in it, you can delete it.
  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\.avi\shellex\ : If there is a key called PropertyHandler in there, delete the value (Default). Then it will appear as an empty value.

Finally close the registry editor and reboot the computer; .avi files should now not cause explorer to crash anymore.
You'll find more on simular topics at this source url: http://finalbuilds.edskes.net/faq.htm

(0) Comments ·
02 August 2008 - 11:20


They are small, appear at hot weather creep in and love TFT screens... - when they get in, they might disappear, or die and fall off the inside of your screen, but in the worst case they die being stuck nicely 'in front of your nose but behind the glass' on top of the inside support, screwing up your monitor !
Thunderflies - they are a pest !

And of course PC and Notebook manufacturers don't consider this as part of the guaranty or responsibility ...

There's several YouTube video fragments available on the topic...(insect or bug in my lcd or TFT or screen...

Get flash player to play to this file

These are the two most interesting posts on the topic i found after several frustrated searches : http://lifeinhex.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=47 and http://www.sudhian.com/index.php?/forums/viewthread/101716/

If you want to add YouTube video materials to your pages which validate, have a read here

(1) Comments ·
30 December 2007 - 17:34

Screen Recording Software

If ever you’re looking for some screen recording software, here are some places to start evaluating:

(0) Comments ·
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