How to dual-boot Windows 8 and Windows 7
Posted by Mike J L dot com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 December 2012, 1:57 pm
How to dual-boot Windows 8 and Windows 7:
One of the big barriers to upgrading to Windows 8 is that Windows 7 is so good. For keyboard-and-mouse users, Windows 8 isn’t a hugely compelling upgrade — and without judicious use of third-party apps to bring back the Start menu and other core Windows 7 features, Windows 8 can actually make the desktop experience worse.
But what if you want to try out Windows 8? What if you want to take the Metro Start screen for a spin? (Who knows, maybe you’ll like it.) What if you want to give Windows 8 a chance?
One method you could use is virtualization, where you quite literally have Windows 8 open in a window on your Windows 7 PC. Virtualization isn’t really viable if you’re looking to truly experience Windows 8 and everything that it entails, though. For that, you need to dual-boot.

How to dual-boot/multi-boot Windows 8 with Windows 7

This guide assumes that you already have Windows 7 (or XP or Vista) installed. If you’ve already got Windows 8 installed, and you want to install Windows 7 as an additional OS, this guide might still work — but no guarantees.
First things first, you should backup any important documents. You shouldn’t lose any files during this process, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. See our Backup Masterclass for tips on how to backup your data efficiently and securely.
Windows Disk Management, shrinking a volumeWith that out of the way, hit Start, type diskmgmt.msc, and press Enter. This will open the Disk Management console. You should see a big (or small) list of all the drives currently attached to your computer.
Find the drive that Windows 7 is installed on (it should be marked as “Boot” or “System”), right click it, and click Shrink Volume. In the window that pops up, you ideally need a figure that’s around 50,000MB (50GB). If your hard drive is very full, this might not be possible. In theory the minimum install size for Windows 8 is around 20GB, but I really wouldn’t proceed without at least 30-50GB. If Disk Management refuses to shrink your volumes, you may need to try a third-party tool such as Paragon’s Hard Disk Manager.
Once the volume has been shrunk, a black, “Unallocated” region will appear at the end of the drive. Right click this and select New Simple Volume. Click through the dialog windows and give the new volume a memorable name such as Windows 8. Don’t change any other settings. This process will format the new partition, which may take a little while.

Installing Windows 8

At this point, all you really need to do is install Windows 8. You might opt to install a full version of Windows 8, or you can grab a 90-day evaluation copy. Either way, you want to slot the DVD (or USB stick) into your computer, reboot, and begin the installation process. (You may need to change the boot priority of your DVD drive/USB stick, which can be done in the BIOS).
Windows 7/8 multi-boot boot menuWhen given the option, select a Custom install (not Upgrade). On the next screen you’ll be shown a bunch of partitions/volumes. Select the one that’s labeled Windows 8 (or whatever you called it). Be absolutely certain that you’ve selected the right volume, then click Next.
The slick Windows 8 installer will now do its thing. It will reboot once or twice, but eventually you’ll be greeted with a multi-boot menu that allows you to select which OS you want to load (Windows 8, Windows 7, or any other OSes that’re installed). Windows 8 will load by default after a few seconds, but you can change it back to Windows 7 by clicking “Change defaults or choose other options” at the bottom of the screen. Voilà: You now have a PC that dual-boots Windows 8 and Windows 7.
Now read: Under the hood of Windows 8, or why desktop users should upgrade from Windows 7, or check out more Windows 8 tips



5 Incredible Wallpapers of Earth at Night from a NASA Satellite
Posted by Mike J L dot com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 11 December 2012, 2:49 pm
5 Incredible Wallpapers of Earth at Night from a NASA Satellite:
NASA image of USA at night
Wallpaper time! But first, some backstory: NASA and NOAA joined up last year to launch the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite, and other than delivering tons of interesting scientific details of the Earth’s atmosphere and surface, that satellite has provided some incredible imagery of our little blue dot at night. That aforementioned imagery makes for some stunning wallpapers, and the resolutions provided are gigantic sizes at up to 8192 x 8192 pixels for squared images, and a whopping 12150 x 6075 pixels for the rectangular images, meaning you won’t have any trouble finding wallpaper with freakishly high resolution goodness. That means whether you have an iPad or MacBook Pro with a retina display, a 27″ iMac, or just an iPhone or normal PC, you’ll be able to spruce up the desktop and home screens with these amazing images.
There are flat views available of the planet and USA (the eastern half of the USA looks like some crazy incarnation of The Grid from TRON), and globe views available for everywhere on the planet, including the Americas, Europe, Asia, Australia, Middle East, and Africa. Click on any of the links below to jump to NASA’s Flickr page so you can grab the high-resolution versions.


USA at night

USA at night nasa wallpaper

Earth at night

Earth at night, NASA wallpaper

Europe, Africa, and the Middle East at night, globe view

Earth at night, Europe, Africa, Mid East, NASA wallpaper

Asia and Australia at night, globe view

Earth at night, Asia, NASA wallpaper

The Americas at night, globe view

Earth at night, Americas

NASA imagery always makes for some fantastic wallpaper, if you’re looking for something more colorful than Earth at night, check out the recent shot of aerosols on the planet, or check out our past wallpaper posts for a huge variety.



9 Command Line Tricks for Mac OS X You Should Know
Posted by Mike J L dot com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 5 December 2012, 4:30 pm
9 Command Line Tricks for Mac OS X You Should Know:
Command line tricks for OS X you should know
The command line is often considered the realm of advanced users, but that doesn’t mean every usage of Terminal has to involve rocket science. This collection of terminal tips should apply to a wide variety of Mac users, and everyone from beginners to advanced users should find something worthwhile here.
Some of these tricks may require Xcode to be installed on the Mac, Xcode is a free download from the App Store.

Prevent Screen Savers and Sleep with “caffeinate”

New to OS X Mountain Lion, caffeinate is like a command line version of everyones favorite Caffeine utility. Usage is simple, with caffeinate running the Mac will not sleep, and screen savers will not activate. At it’s simplest, it can be run alone, but it’s probably best used with a time limit attached to it like so:
caffeinate -t 3600
The -t flag specifies the time in seconds, the example above runs caffeinate for an hour.

Extract PKG Files with “pkgutil”

Need to grab a file out of a .pkg file? Maybe you want to see what’s inside of a pkg without installing it? No sweat, pkgutil does the job:
pkgutil --expand sample.pkg ~/Desktop/
This will dump the entire pkg contents into the specified directory, without installing it.

Use “purge” to Free Up Memory

The purge command forcibly flushes the disk and memory caches, having an effect similar to when you reboot a Mac. Though some say that purge only offers a placebo effect, it absolutely does work to send system memory from the “Inactive” category back to the freely available RAM, and in situations where you are running low on real memory, it can provide a speed boost.
Using purge is simple, type the following at a command prompt:
purge
Wait a minute or so for changes to take effect, the process is usually much faster on Macs with SSD drives.

Launch Multiple Instances of Apps with “open”

You may already know that you can open applications in the OS X GUI from the command line with the ‘open’ command, but did you know that you can run multiple instances of apps by attaching the -n flag to the open command? It’s easy to use, here’s all you have to do:
open -n /Applications/Safari.app/
The example runs another instance of Safari. Change the app name accordingly, and don’t forget to include the .app extension.

Updating OS X without the App Store

Want to install system software and updates without bothering with the Mac App Store? You can do that directly from the command line instead with the help of the softwareupdate command. To install every update that is available, just run the following:
sudo softwareupdate -i -a
You can read more about softwareupdate command here, it has been bundled in OS X for years and works the same regardless of which version you’re using.

List Everything You’ve Ever Downloaded

We’ve all been there; you downloaded something a while ago from a domain you sort of remember, but you can’t quite remember what or from where. You’re in luck, because Quarantine Services keeps a database of everything that has ever been downloaded, and you can query that database to find what you were looking for. Use the sqlite3 command as follows to see everything:
sqlite3 ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.LaunchServices.QuarantineEventsV* 'select LSQuarantineDataURLString from LSQuarantineEvent' |more
Of course you can also delete that list if the existence bothers you.

Hide Files or Folders from Finder with “chflags”

Got a secret file or folder you want to keep hidden from the Finder? Use chflags to turn any file invisible from the OS X GUI file system, it works the same whether you’re pointing it at a file or a directory:
chflags hidden /path/to/file/or/folder/
Lucky (or unlucky) for us command line folks, the file will still be visible with ls, but it will remain hidden in the Finder until the “nohidden” flag is attached like so:
chflags nohidden /path/to/unhide/
Changes are immediate in either event.

Automatically Type Long Paths with a Drag & Drop

Did you know you can drag and drop any file from the Finder into the command line and the entire path to that file will be automatically printed? This isn’t exclusively a command line tip, but it’s so useful that it has to be included. This is probably best used in conjunction with a command to prefix the path, like so:
sudo vi (drag file here to print the full path)
This works anywhere in the command line, even when you’re already in an app.

Create a Password Protected Zip Archive

If you’re sending a file through an unsecured medium or hosting it publicly, yet want to provide some level of protection, you can create a password protected zip archive with the -e flag:
zip -e protected.zip /file/to/protect/
Without the -e flag you’ll just be creating a standard zip file without a password.



How to Exclude Holiday Music from Your iTunes Genius Playlists
Posted by Mike J L dot com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 December 2012, 11:51 am
How to Exclude Holiday Music from Your iTunes Genius Playlists:

Click here to read How to Exclude Holiday Music from Your iTunes Genius Playlists
With the holidays coming around, you might have your iTunes playlist packed full of a ton of holiday music, but that doesn't mean you want those holiday tracks sneaking into the rest of your playlists. Macworld shows off how to keep "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" out of the rest of your mixes. More »




Batch Resize Images Quickly in the OS X Terminal
Posted by Mike J L dot com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 November 2012, 3:40 pm
Batch Resize Images Quickly in the OS X Terminal:

Click here to read Batch Resize Images Quickly in the OS X Terminal
OS X: Several applications can resize a bunch of images, but it often takes some time and fiddling. Like with most Terminal commands, it just takes a little string of text to get your images down to size fast. More »




Browse better: How to make your internet connection faster and more reliable
Posted by Mike J L dot com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 November 2012, 2:05 pm
Browse better: How to make your internet connection faster and more reliable:
The internet is a vital part of our lives. Just like your car, body, and robot underlings, your internet connection can be fine-tuned and made to work more efficiently. With just a little bit of effort, your surfing experience can be noticeably improved.

DNS

The quickest and easiest way to improve your internet surfing is to change your Domain Name System (DNS) service to OpenDNS. Not only are you very likely to see faster DNS resolution than your ISP’s DNS service, but it comes with a whole host of features. Anti-phishing, usage reports, and parental controls are built right in, and it’s as simple as changing a few numbers in your router or computer’s settings.
OpenDNS LogoIf there is a specific server or two that is always slowing down your page loads, you can simply keep your computer from reaching them by editing your hosts file. Hosts is a simple text file that can override your DNS service’s resolution to specific IP addresses. If you’re tired of an ad server or third-party service like Twitter wasting your resources, just set their domains to hit your localhost (127.0.0.1). Now when your favorite website tries to load that Twitter iframe, it will appear as if that server is offline.
Hosts Editor
If you’re running OS X, there is a very neat preference pane called Hosts that allows you to change your hosts file within System Preferences. Everyone else just needs to find the file, and customize it in your text editor of choice.

Traffic shaping

On heavy-traffic networks, sometimes the best you can do is triage. Many routers, especially those designed for businesses, have Quality of Service (QoS) settings. This allows specific types of traffic to have priority over others. For example, if your peers are flooding the router with BitTorrent traffic, you can configure the router to prioritize web traffic so you’ll be less inconvenienced. This is also extremely important if you’re planning on using VoIP. You don’t want that HD video downloading on iTunes to take priority over your important business call, so QoS will certainly come in handy.

Speeding up DSL

If you’re a DSL user, you might have heard about interleaving and FastPath. Interleaving is an error correction mechanism that makes sure you get all of your packets in an uncorrupted form. If your connection is bad, it can make a big difference when left on. However, people with good DSL connections might want to consider asking their ISP to turn this setting off, thus enabling FastPath. For example, you might want it off if you’re a big gamer because it can lower your ping time, and it’s not vitally important that every packet is received properly. The pros and cons vary heavily depending on your situation, so don’t assume turning it off will make your connection better.
DSL users may also have the option of changing their profile to more aggressive settings. If you are close to the local telephone exchange, there is less line noise, and thus higher connection speeds are possible if your ISP and router are correctly configured. To change your line profile you will generally need to contact your ISP (and you may need to speak to an engineer, rather than a customer service rep).

Compression

Not all of us can have FiOS or Xfinity. Some people are stuck with slow DSL, satellite, or even dial-up internet connections. For these poor souls, there is a way to dramatically decrease your load times: compression. While there are a few services that offer this, the simplest way to get dynamic image compression is with Opera Turbo. Install Opera, turn on the Turbo feature, and it will automatically detect when you’re on a slow internet connection. It will then start passing every website you visit through their servers, and squashing the elements on the page. The quality of the images will suffer, but at least your bad connection will be usable.

Extend your wireless network

If your internet connection is fine, but you lose WiFi connection in certain parts of your house, this can be fixed too. What you need is a wireless bridge. Using the Wireless Distribution System (WDS), you can use a second wireless router to extend your WiFi range. When you’re shopping for a bridge device, look for terms like “Wireless Bridge” or “WDS” in the product description. If you have a router laying around, and the official firmware doesn’t support what you want, you can consider a third party firmware to make your life easier. Something like the Tomato firmware can make locked-down consumer routers easier to configure and use for just such purposes.
Bear in mind that simply plugging your computer into a physical, wired connection can also significantly reduce latency and increase throughput.
If your surfing is slow, these tweaks and services can make a big difference. However, these won’t solve every problem under the sun. Try these out, and hopefully it will cure what ails you. If not, your best bet will be calling your ISP, and asking for help. Even the nerdiest among us can’t get around that sometimes, so don’t feel bad.
Now read: The Global Internet Speedup initiative
[Image credit: Ben Sutherland]



Spotlight keyboard shortcuts
Posted by Mike J L dot com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 October 2012, 11:07 am
Spotlight keyboard shortcuts: When viewing Spotlight search results, there are a number of shortcuts you can use to quickly perform actions or your search or its results. Simply move your cursor over an item, or use the arrow keys to navigate, to select items.
  • View the search term in Dictionary: Command-D
  • View the search term in a Quick Look "look up" dictionary window: Command-L
  • View the search term in Wikipedia: Command-W
  • Perform a web search for the search term: Command-B
  • View a selected result in a Quick Look window: hover cursor over an item
  • Reveal selected result in Finder: Command-R
  • Open the Top Result: Command-T
  • Open a selected result: Command-O, or Enter, or Return
  • Display a Finder Info window for a result: Command-I




Nine tips for taming text in Pages
Posted by Mike J L dot com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 August 2012, 10:01 am
Nine tips for taming text in Pages: Nine tips for taming text in Pages Apple's Pages is full of powerful, time-saving features that help you make great word processing documents quickly. Here are nine tips to get you started.







Fine-tune volume and brightness in OS X
Posted by Mike J L dot com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 9 July 2012, 11:11 am
Fine-tune volume and brightness in OS X: Fine-tune volume and brightness in OS X Normally, when you use the volume and brightness keys on your keyboard to adjust those output levels, your adjustments are made in whole steps on a scale of 1 to 10. But there's a keyboard shortcut that lets you adjust them more finely--and that keyboard shortcut has returned in OS X 10.7.4.







Seven iPad keyboard tricks
Posted by Mike J L dot com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 10 May 2012, 10:28 am
Seven iPad keyboard tricks: Seven iPad keyboard tricks If you use the iPad's keyboard, here are seven tricks--for entering special characters, ending sentences quickly, splitting the keyboard, and more--that you ought to know about.







How to share an external drive between a Mac and a PC
Posted by Mike J L dot com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 February 2012, 11:42 am
How to share an external drive between a Mac and a PC: How to share an external drive between a Mac and a PC Want to use a single external drive with both a Mac and a Windows PC? Follow our guide to learn how to do it.







Seven ways to free up drive space
Posted by Mike J L dot com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 20 March 2012, 9:22 am
Seven ways to free up drive space: Seven ways to free up drive space Maybe it's because your media collection is growing, or perhaps you've got a small-but-fast SSD drive. Whatever the reason, if you find yourself reaching the limits of your drive's capacity, these tips will help you clean house and give your data some virtual breathing room.







Eight tips for OS X's Quick Look
Posted by Mike J L dot com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 February 2012, 10:16 am
Eight tips for OS X's Quick Look: Eight tips for OS X's Quick Look Quick Look lets you view a file's contents by selecting it in the Finder and then pressing the spacebar. There's no need to wait for the file to open in an application—it appears immediately. Here are eight tips for using this OS X time-saver.







Creating freeze frames in iMovie '11
Posted by Mike J L dot com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 February 2012, 2:01 pm
Creating freeze frames in iMovie '11: Creating freeze frames in iMovie '11 Freeze frames are helpful for letting a viewer take a longer gander at your subject or for extending a scene to accommodate a too-long audio track. Here's how to create them in iMovie '11.







Five keyboard shortcuts you should set up now
Posted by Mike J L dot com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 February 2012, 10:10 am
Five keyboard shortcuts you should set up now: Five keyboard shortcuts you should set up now Why are you opening the same menus and submenus, looking for the same commands again and again? Access menu commands across apps with these time-saving tips.







Welcome
Posted by Mike J L dot com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 27 December 2011, 9:13 am
Links at the top... Items of Interest posted to blog. 

About Me:

Married, farther of two, college grad (Masters in CIS). U.S. Navy veteran and currently a software engineer and part-time college professor. Interests in PC gaming, drawing fantasy art and rocketry. 




Female Orc WIP3
Posted by Mike J L dot com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 31 January 2012, 3:50 pm
Female Orc WIP3: Been some time since I hit the Wacom and ArtRage Pro I had little time tonight so I deiced to work more on my Orc Female. Worked on wood spear and started the armor top.

Female Orc WIP 3



Till Her Last
Posted by Mike J L dot com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 31 January 2012, 3:51 pm
Till Her Last: Finished the Female Orc Defender retitled "Till Her Last". iPad sketch and ArtRage Pro painting. Some final lighting work in Corel Painter.

Till Her Last



Six unexpected uses for the Application Switcher
Posted by Mike J L dot com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 31 January 2012, 3:52 pm
Six unexpected uses for the Application Switcher: Six unexpected uses for the Application Switcher From hiding and quitting applications to transferring information between documents, the Application Switcher can help you throughout the day.







Six tips for mastering Siri
Posted by Mike J L dot com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 31 January 2012, 3:52 pm
Six tips for mastering Siri: Six tips for mastering Siri Siri is certainly fun to show off, but it can also help you get more done with your iPhone 4S. If you can learn a few of Siri's nuances, you can turn the artificially intelligent assistant into an impressive productivity tool.







Into The Pixel 2011 collects incredible works of gaming art
Posted by Mike J L dot com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 31 January 2012, 3:53 pm
Into The Pixel 2011 collects incredible works of gaming art:

Concept art is often beautiful, but even with a growing number of art books being bundled with collector’s editions, it’s just as often work that will never be seen by anyone outside of a game’s development team. The Into The Pixel collection tries to change that. Organised by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences and the Entertainment Software Association, each year it selects some of the best pieces of gaming art, whatever the reason for its creation.


The 17 new pieces to be displayed at this year’s E3 have just been released, and I’ve posted the PC-relevant images below, including work from Bioshock Infinite, Mass Effect, Dragon Age 2, Alien Swarm and the unreleased Drawn 3. So pretty.



Click each image for bigger versions, and find more work from previous years at the Into the Pixel site.



Alien Swarm

Incident at the Workshop by Ivan Simoncini



Mass Effect

Normandy by Mikko Kinnunen



Orcs Must Die!

Dead Walking by Chris Moffitt, Brad Crow, Nathan Stefan, Bart Tiongson



The Dream Machine

The Bridge by Erik Zaring & Anders Gustafsson



Bioshock Infinite

Market Fire, Columbia by Ben Lo



Drawn 3

The Cottage by Hamzah Kasom Osman



Dragon Age 2

Flemmeth by Matt Rhodes



Drawn: Dark Flight

The Dragon Play by Brian Thompson and Hamzah Kasom Osman



Mystery Case Files: 13th Skull

The Swamp Skull by Jeff Haynie




Lone Orc
Posted by Mike J L dot com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 31 January 2012, 3:54 pm
Lone Orc: Done. Was gong to make an Orc Viking however just this ended up awesome so just call it the Lone Orc. ArtRage Studio Pro with Wacom Intuos 4.




Seven cool and useful iPhoto '11 plug-ins
Posted by Mike J L dot com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 31 January 2012, 3:54 pm
Seven cool and useful iPhoto '11 plug-ins: Seven cool and useful iPhoto '11 plug-ins Apple's iPhoto is a powerful tool on its own, but it can do even more with the right plug-in. These tools will help you share, edit, and manage your iPhoto library.







Haste .. Completed.
Posted by Mike J L dot com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 31 January 2012, 3:55 pm
Haste .. Completed.: Some touch ups and its done. ArtRage Studio Pro w/ Wacom Intuos 4. Lighting in Corel Painter.

Mortal enemy of the Orc attack.. only superior martial skills and haste will make our Orc warrior the victor.





Secrets of Lion’s Spotlight menu
Posted by Mike J L dot com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 31 January 2012, 3:56 pm
Secrets of Lion’s Spotlight menu: Secrets of Lion’s Spotlight menu Looking for something? Lion's handy Spotlight menu offers new ways to work with your search results.







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