Posts Tagged ‘Windows’

I Learned Something New About Screen Captures

19 June 2011

I learned something new about Windows XP just now. I do a lot of screen captures (what used to be known as a screen print) to get map data to a place where I can edit it with notations, or to crop it. Most of the time, I do the screen capture (it’s Ctrl-Print Scrn on most keyboards).

Right now I am running with my laptop as the primary display, and a flat panel as my secondary display. I’m looking at stuff on the primary, and annotating a captured map on the other.

I accidentally did a Shift-Print Scrn, and when I did the past, I got the capture from the secondary display. That’s pretty cool. I verified the behavior a couple times.

So add that one to the list of keyboard shortcuts. I know it’s probably documented somewhere, but it’s cool to find it out inadvertently.


Windows Vista

24 March 2011

Vista can be very frustrating to me. I have it on the laptop that the Air Force issued me to work with. Internet Explorer has bouts of being Internet Exploder, just hanging up and dying. IE (version 7 in this case) just cannot display Facebook pages correctly, and it complains incessently about web pages, by displaying a little “error” indication in the lower left of the window.

I’ve complained before about the picky instability of Outlook with Exchange.

Tonight, the video driver on the computer died and BSODed the machine. Twice. I suspect it is related to the fact that I am using two monitors with the machine (which, BTW support for which is built in). This video driver issue happens every couple weeks. One of the times it happened with a Microsoft Word 2007 document open, and that caused Word all kinds of heartache.

I finally finished what I was working on, and needed to save it to CD. Well, every version of Windows up to this one, you just drag the files to the CD/DVD drive, and it wrote them out fairly quickly. Not Vista, first, it has to format the drive. Except that it complained that the CD/DVD drive was under the control of another program. A little examination of the taskbar reminded me that Media Player was running.

Now, Media Player wasn’t doing anything remotely needing the CD drive; it was playing a TV show that I was streaming from the den of the house. But apparently, Media Player wants Total Control Over All Your Computing Assets. I shut it down and now I could access the drive, but it still wouldn’t format the disk, and shortly thereafter the second video driver BSOD forced a computer reboot. That cleared everything up. I just now got the damn data onto the disk, 30 minutes after I started.

I am continually frustrated by Microsoft. It took them a couple times to get XP right, and I would rather run it than Vista (or even W7, although I admit I have little experience with it).

NSIS (Nullsoft Scriptable Install System) and VB6-NSIS Converter

15 September 2009

I just love Open Source software. I have a number of Visual Basic 6 projects that I use quite often for work and school. I move them to different computers.

I usually use the VB6 Package and Deployment Wizard to build an install package for these. However, at least three of these VB6 packages have cratered while trying to get them to install on the target system. One time, the target system was a computer on the E-4B, and I was trying to help a guy get it to install, with little luck. The errors being reported were (1) random and not consistent, and (2) cryptic, to say the least.

I can hand-install most any Windoze program with a little patience, but in that case I was 1400 miles away, and it needed to be installed that day!

I searched around on the web and found NSIS. Just a bit more searching and I found a companion to NSIS that acted as a VB6-NSIS Converter. The way it works, you run the VB6 Package and Deployment Wizard. If the installer fails, then run the VB6-NSIS converter, point it at the VB6 “SETUP.LST”, and it creates a script for NSIS. Then run NSIS, point it at the converted script, and it builds a nice setup.exe file. Burn it to CD or email it to it’s destination, or copy it to a flash drive, and you are on your way.

In every case where the built-in VB6 tool at trouble, NSIS/VB6 converter got the job done. Great stuff.

Almost forgot: