A while back, I posted about how IBM i has some lessons to teach about command line interfaces and how to make them discoverable, over on my former mastodon.social account. However, that thread has been rotting, and I wanted to get my posts into a blog post for posterity. Unfortunately, posts from other people in the thread are missing, and they did add some context. At a later point, I’ll do some editing on this post to restructure it for my blog, rather than for social media.Continue reading “Thoughts on command line interfaces and discovery”
Windows XP PXE booting of first-gen VIA EPIA boards, and how not to get a BSOD
If you found this article, you’ve probably gotten a DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL (aka STOP 0x000000D1 or 0xD1) error on fetnd5.sys when PXE booting Windows XP on a VIA EPIA 5000 or 800, or any other motherboard with a VT6103 ethernet controller. This may even apply to any other VIA Rhine ethernet controller. (Really, I’m writing this blog post because I ran into this for the second time, and want the answer to be in search engines, instead of buried in years-old IRC logs.)Continue reading “Windows XP PXE booting of first-gen VIA EPIA boards, and how not to get a BSOD”
Thoughts on content warnings, the Fediverse, and how to do better, with the power of tags
You may have heard of Mastodon, a federated microblogging platform that’s being pitched as an alternative to Twitter, and interoperates with many other platforms using the OStatus and ActivityPub protocols. Continue reading “Thoughts on content warnings, the Fediverse, and how to do better, with the power of tags”
Web 1.0, and this blog
You may notice that this blog looks a lot older than it did last time you looked at it. Continue reading “Web 1.0, and this blog”
Benchmarking Microsoft BASICs
I decided it’d be an interesting project to try to benchmark the Microsoft BASICs – I’ve always seen the claim that QBASIC was slower than QuickBASIC, and I thought I’d put that to the test. Continue reading “Benchmarking Microsoft BASICs”
Is Tesla actually a car company?
It might seem crazy to ask whether Tesla’s a car company – they certainly make cars, and on paper, cars are about 82% of their YTD revenue as of the third quarter of FY2017. However, I’m going to argue that they might not be a car company, but rather an energy company that makes cars, and there’s a few things that make me believe that. Continue reading “Is Tesla actually a car company?”
Flashing linear flash cards – quick notes
I recently bought an HP OmniBook 430 that needed a system ROM card, which has to be on a linear flash card. Continue reading “Flashing linear flash cards – quick notes”
Windows 10 DPI scaling and window positioning issues on laptops
If you’re using a Windows 10 laptop at anything other than the default scaling factor for your display, you may encounter an issue where closing the lid causes your window positions and sizes to be forgotten. I discovered this on my MacBook Pro Retina, which I run at 100% scaling (the default is 200%). This may also apply on Windows 8.1, but I haven’t tried it on this hardware. Continue reading “Windows 10 DPI scaling and window positioning issues on laptops”
Quick guide on upgrading a WinBook TW700 to Windows 10
It’s rather tricky to get Windows 10 onto a WinBook TW700, between WIMBoot’s inefficiency, the inability to delete things from the preload, and the limited storage available on a TW700, so I thought I’d write this quick guide on how to get the device updated. These instructions should work on any WIMBoot device – or, for that matter, any Windows 8.1 Update (and possibly earlier versions of Windows, I’m not sure if Win10 will run from 8.0 or 8.1 pre-Update) device that’s short on space. Please note that your profile and apps will NOT be migrated – I’d use User State Migration Tool, from Windows 10’s Assessment and Deployment Kit, to save profiles, and then restore them after you have the device reloaded. I’ve not used USMT in quite a few years, though.
Following this procedure will result in the loss of all data and applications on the device, and I will not be held responsible for data loss as a result. You are responsible for ensuring that you can get everything restored.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Two USB thumb drives of 8 GiB or larger capacity (one of these may not be necessary)
- A MicroSD card or a third USB thumb drive of 8 GiB or larger capacity
- A USB hub, keyboard, and mouse (shouldn’t be necessary, but it’s useful in case something goes wrong)
Here’s the procedure that I followed in a nutshell:
- Create a USB recovery drive and put it in a safe place. This will allow you to go back to the factory preload at any time. This is a good practice even if you plan on staying on Windows 8.1.
- Reset your PC (Microsoft directions, go to “Remove everything and reinstall Windows”). This is necessary to get free space back.
- When the Out-of-Box Experience comes up, connect to a wireless network, but do not log in using a Microsoft account (you don’t want any OneDrive data downloaded), and disable Windows Update (you do not want updates taking up the storage space you just freed).
- Use the Media Creation Tool on another Windows machine to create a install USB drive for Windows 10 Home 32-bit English (US), then connect that USB drive to the tablet and run setup.exe on it. You may not need to do this, it may be possible to use the Media Creation Tool’s ability to update the computer it’s running on, but I played it safe.
- The Windows 10 installer will mention that you need more space to install. Either use a USB hub to connect another thumb drive, or insert a MicroSD card, and select that drive in the installer.
- I personally chose to change the settings that would have migrated my profile and apps, and chose to only install the OS. This one’s up to you, though.
- Proceed to wait a while, while Windows 10 is installed. There may be a few points where the device freezes during boot, just shut the device off by holding the power button down, then release the power button, wait 5 seconds, and press it again, it will proceed normally.
- Go through the Out-of-Box Experience and adjust settings to your liking. Once this is complete, the device may be sluggish for a while, as it’s performing a lot of background tasks (updates, driver installations, and the like). Let it complete these before continuing.
- Delete your previous version of Windows. Why keep it around, when it’s just the preload missing the software that came with it, and you’ve got a thumb drive with the USB recovery drive?
- Somewhere along the way, a driver update will have happened, and Windows will have decided to run at 125% zoom. If you like this, leave it alone. If you don’t, go to Settings, System, Display, and change the size of text, apps, and other items to 100%. Do note that Modern UI apps are rendered smaller than in Windows 8 (and currently don’t appear to respect the system scaling setting), and Universal apps tend to have smaller UI elements than Modern UI apps did in Windows 8. However, Win32 apps are rendered the same at 100% as in Windows 8. This one’s up to personal preference, really.
That’s all there is to it. (Well, there may need to be a Bluetooth driver update, I haven’t checked that fully yet…) There’s still some glitches in Win10 (the on-screen keyboard only really works the way it did before when in a Universal app – Modern UI apps at 100% don’t quite behave right, and Win32 apps don’t move out of the way at all), but generally, things should work. And, it’s faster, lower RAM usage, and lower disk usage than before (Win10 has a much better compression mechanism).
WinBook TW700 first impressions, survival guide
So, Micro Center is selling Windows 8.1 tablets for $60. No, really. That includes a Windows license, a quad core Atom (that’s right, this isn’t even RT), an IPS display, and a friggin’ Office 365 Personal license (even with rights to install on a desktop or laptop)! Now, it does only have 1 GiB RAM, and worse, only 16 GiB of eMMC, so there were corners cut. However, even with those limitations, the price really does seem a bit too good to be true.
Then again, it’s only $60, and Micro Center does take returns (and there are plenty of open box units for $48, although I strongly suggest avoiding those for a couple of reasons), so… I ultimately couldn’t resist (if nothing else, it’ll be a decent device for running the excellent VCDS Volkswagen diagnostic tool by Ross-Tech), and I’m typing this post on it. Continue reading “WinBook TW700 first impressions, survival guide”