Posts Tagged ‘wise idea’

Change Windows 8 Start menu look like in Windows 7 or How to get back good old start menu back in Win 8

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

Classic shell add Windows 8 classic start menu

Whether you just installed to try Win 8 or received an office work notebook configured to work with Microsoft Windows 8, you certainly are already annoyed by changed Mobile phone like interface. First time I saw Windows 8 interface I was in shock what kind of mess this interface is. I understand Microsoft's desire to make Windows Mobile ready,  but maybe it was wise idea to allow the user with option to revert back to old Windows XP / Vista /7 interface for the sake of some compitability and user friendliness. Even for young people who already worked with computers this "chopped" interface is surely horrible. I even can't imagine how hard it is for older people to get used to this weird interface.

Windows 8 terrible Graphic interface interface fake Start screenshot
Today in my work place, the husband of our Second Executive, brought to me a relatively new Sony VAIO notebook bought with pre-installed Win 8.
Just like any normal person, he was in shock with Windows 8 weird interface and he asked me to explain him the interface. Well I will immediately after someone explain me the interface 🙂
He so much didn't like Win 8 that he even asked to re-install computer with Windows 7. I'm a lazy person plus I like saving my time. So looked quickly online if it is possible to make Windows 8 interface with Start button similar to older Windows releases. Actually there are plenty of ways to do it via both, Free and paid Software.
I'm a Free Software supporter, so I didn't even considered checking non-free or freeware ones. And I sticked directly to Open Source – Classic Shell.

Windows classic shell start menu screenshot Windows 8

What Classic Shell does is it turns interface of Internet Explorer to look like IE 9, adds a Start Menu button With Programs etc. to left Win corner (of course it doesn't place Windows Start button as this one is patented and forbidden to use in Free Soft).

.

Here is main list of current Classic Shell  features:

  • Highly customizable start menu with multiple styles and skins
  • Start button for Windows 7 and Windows 8
  • Toolbar and status bar for Windows Explorer
  • Caption and status bar for Internet Explorer

Program is in very active development (last beta released is from 2 days ago) meaning it is very popular among Windows users. As of time of writting its stable release is at ver. 3.6.8. It has even translations in in 18 languages including (my native Bulgarian)

There are plenty of things to configure on how Classic Shell behaves;

Settings for classic start-menu windows 8

I was a little bit scared it might break up Win 8 first time I installed it, but installation went quite smoothly and even there was no need for restart for new Win start menu to appear.
Classic Shell, Search option works fine too and is quite fast (dunno if it is due to Windows indexing) or it use some custom acceleration. It has also a number of Skins to choose from to change appearance of Start Menu button.

To sum it up Classic Shell does well what it is meant for, I guess in any future Windows install it will be the first program to install and save myself those terrible Windows 8  UI!
 

How to convert Postscript files to PDF on Debian GNU / Linux with ps2pdf

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

convert ps to pdf linux,Free as in Freedom book cover - Richard Stallman GNU and Free Software Father

I’m currently reading Free as in Freedom (2.0) R. Stallman and the Free Software Revolution
The book includes a reference to Eric S. Raymond ‘s famous The Cathedral and the Bazaar which does makes a point about the important of Open Source . I’ve read the The Cathedral and the Bazaar paper some very long time ago (in my young days so to say) and hence I couldn’t resemble much of the document so I jumped in after the footnote in the FAIF book and decided to take a quick look on The Cathedral and the Bazaar once again to bring up some memories. I was stunned to find the paper is available in many formats but officially not included in PDF . Since i’m a GNU / Linux user I’ve never managed to get into the habit to read postscript documents which from modern day stand point are also already a bit of obsolete and therefore I found it as a wise idea to convert and mirror the POSTSCRIPT (PS) version of the document to PDF on pc-freak.net

Happily the ps2pdf command to convert the ps to pdf on my debian gnu / linux is really easy:

ps2pdf cathedral-and-the-bazaar-Eric_Raymond.ps Cathedral-and-the-bazaar-Eric_Raymond.pdf

ps2pdf is part of the ghostscript deb package, so if you can’t find the program you will need to have it installed with apt-get first.

By the way the Postscript file is easily readable using my default gnome PDF reader evince , but anyways I converted and mirrored the paper for all those windows users who might like to take a look at the document in PDF.
I’ve also made a mirror of the original Cathedral and the Bazaaar postscript document here , for all those who want to check out The PDF version of the Cathedral and the Bazaaar is for download here

Even though the “open source” movement is an interesting idea and it had some major impact on the development of some free software the idiology of open source which was very much influenced by this document is very weak compared to the philosophy Richard Stallman indcuded as of the great need of the software to be free.

To be honest looking back in time for a long time being a Linux user I did not make any distinguishment between “Free Software” concept and “Open Source”, even worser I considered to evangelize on Open Source not realizing that initially what attracted me to free software was the idiology of open source and not the real values on which ground free software is built.
This kind of miss understanding between perception of “open source” and “free software” I got and spread for years now I fully realize and I seem like when I red back then The Cathedral and the Bazaar document I didn’t looked any critical at the document but it had a major, I would say “bad” impact on my idiology on software for a long time. So for all those who had not checked it it’s worthy checking but only in case if one fully understands Richard Stallman’s concept of Free Software, without this understanding one can easily slip into the wrong believe (just like me back in thme) that open source is the same as free software. Even though open source can be free software it is not presumably that an open source is free software and that it guarantees that the published source will be free. But I’ll stop now as I slept away from my goal of the article to just log here how a convertion of postscript to pdf on gnu / linux is done.
Just to close up this article I warmly recommend on all people interested into hacking and the history of Free operating systems and Free software as FreeBSD and GNU / Linux the Free as in Freedom (2.0) book ! Its truly a remarkable and great inspirational reading for all people like me involved into free software realm of ICT.

List and get rid of obsolete program core dump files and completely disable core files on FreeBSD

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

My FreeBSD router has started running out of space, I looked for ways to clean up some space. So I remembered some programs are generating core files while they crash. Some of these files are really huge and ban be from 1Mb to > 1G.

I used find to first list all my produced core files starting from root directory (/) , like so:

find / -name core -exec du -hsc {} ;
....

Having a list of my core files with the respective core file size and after reviewing, I deleted one by one the cores which were there just taking up space.
It’s a wise idea that core dumps file generation on program crash is completely disabled, however I forgot to disable cores, so I had plenty of the cores – (crash files which are handy for debug purposes and fixing the bug that caused the crash).

Further on I used an /etc/rc.confdumpdev=NO , variable which instructs the kernel to not generate core files on program crash:

freebsd# echo 'dumpdev=NO' >> /etc/rc.conf

Next, to make dumpdev=NO , take affect I rebooted the server:

freebsd# shutdown -r now
...

There is a way to instruct every server running daemon to know about the newly set dumpdev=NO by restarting each of the services with their init scripts individually, but I was too lazy to do that.

Selecting Best Wireless channel / Choosing Best Wi-FI channel for Wireless Routers or (How to improve Wireless Network performance)

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Wireless AP
Below are some valuable advices on Wireless Access Point initial install and configuration to better off your Wireless connection.It’s worthy to note that the 2.4 GHz

Wi-Fi signal range is divided into a number of smaller bands or “channels,” similar to television channels. I decided to run my wireless on channel 12 since this there was no other wireless routers operating on that frequency, though most routers are preconfigured to spread it’s signal on channel 6.

There is a difference in channels available for setup for 802.11b and 802.11g wireless networks in the United States and the European Union. In the USA the wireless channels available are from (1 to 11) whether in the EU it’s in the range of (1-13). Each of the Wireless channels run on a different frequency.

The lower the number of the channel is the lowest the radiating frequence band on which data is transmitted .Subsequently, increasing the channel increases the frequency slightly. Therefore the higher the channel you select on your AP the lesser the overlap with other devices running on the same channel and thus the lesser the possibility to overlap and interference.
It’s quite likely that you experience problems, if you use the default wireless channel which is 6.
If that’s the case it’s recommended to use either channel 1 or channel 11. In case of interference, i.e. overlap with other wireless networks, cellphones etc., there are 2 possible ways to approach the situation. In case of smaller interference, any change in channel on which there is no wireless device running could fix it up. The second way is to choose a wireless channel for your router in between 1,6 or 11 in (The USA) or 1,7,13 in Europe.
Up to 3 networks can run on the same space with minimum interference, therefore it would be a wise idea to check the list of wireless routers in your and check if there are others running on the same frequency.
As I mentioned in the beginning of the post I initially started running my wireless on channel 12, however after I discovered it is recommended to run your wireless router either on channel 1 7 or 13 in Europe I switched my D-Link DI-524 wireless router to transmit it’s signal on Channel 13.

I should testify that after changing the wireless channel, there was quite an improvement in my wireless connection.For instance before I change to Channel 13 (when my wireless internet was still streamed on channel 12) my wireless had constantly issues with disconnects because of low wireless signal.

Back then My wireless located physically in like 35 meters away set in another room, I can see my wireless router hardly connected on like 35%, changing to channel 13 enhanced my connection to the current 60% wireless router availability.

It’s also an interesting fact that Opened Wireless networks had better network thoroughput, so if you’re living in a house with a neighbors a bit distant from your place then you might consider it as a good idea to completely wipe out Wireless Router security encryption and abandon the use of WEP or WPA network encryption.

In case if all of the above is not working for you, you might consider take a close look at your Wireless Wireless LAN pc card and see if there are no any kind of bumps there. Another really interesting fact to know is that many people here in Bulgaria tend to configure there Wireless Access Points on channels either 1,6 or 11 which is quite inadequate considering that we’re in the EU and we should use a wireless channel between 1, 7 or 13 as prescribed for EU citizens.

Another thing not to forget is to place your wireless in a good way and prevent it from interferences with other computer equipment. For example keep the router at least few meters away from PC equipment, printers, scanners, cellphones, microwaves. Also try to put your wireless router on some kind of central place in your home, if you want to have the wireless signal all around your place.

At my place I have a microwave in the Kitchen which is sometimes an obstacle for the Wireless signal to flow properly to my notebook, fortunately this kind of interference happens rare (only when the Microwove is used to warm-up food etc.).Upgrading 802.11b wireless card / router to a better one as 802.11g is a wise idea too. 802.11g are said to be like 5 times faster than 802.11b.

You can expect 802.11b wireless network to transfer maximum between 2-5 Mbp/s whether 802.11g is claimed to transfer at approximately (12 to 23 Mbp/s). If even though the above prescriptions there is no wireless signal at some remote place at your home, you might consider adding a wireless repeater or change the AP router antenna.

By default wireless Routers are designed to be omni-directional (in other terms they broadcast the wireless signal all around the place. Thus is quite unhandy if you intend to use your Wireless net only in certain room or location at your place. If that’s the case for you, you might consider upgrading to a hi-gain antenna that will focus the wireless signal to an exact direction. Let me close this article with a small diagram taken from the net which illustrates a good router placement that will enable you to have a wwireless connection all over your place.

improve wireless router placement diagram