A Better Windows Command Prompt

This month I have been fooling around with ConsoleZ. ConsoleZ by Christophe Bucher is the open sourced Windows Command Prompt replacement and is a fork of the more popular replacement application, Console2 by Marko Bozikovic. Since I was already using Console2 I already had customized tabs for Windows Command prompt, Ipython, Powershell, MinGW shell, and some custom DOS/Powershell applications. One of the tabs I wish I had was a DOS prompt with Administrator access. So I searched the web and found that Ben Garrett had solved that problem and few others I did not know I had in his post, Create A Better Windows Command-line Prompt. So I added an Administrator console tab, ANSI color, a DOSKEY macro to start Notepad++, GOW, and a colorized version of ls. It is almost as functional and colorful as a Linux prompt now. 😉 Here is what it looks like.


Fixing a Blank Icon in the Start Menu for Evernote

I am not sure when this happened but I have a blank icon for Evernote in my Start Menu. It is one of those Start Menu shortcuts that does not allow you to change the icon. Someone called it a “msi shortcut”. Today I finally got annoyed with it to fix it. I tried re-installing Evernote but I still had a blank icon. I found the icon in a folder under C:\Windows\Installer so I don’t understand why the re-installation did not point to the icon. This is how I fixed it.

  1. I opened Explorer as an Administrator
  2. Since I had a good Evernote shortcut(i.e. one with the correct icon) on my desktop I copied it into the folder, C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Evernote, and replaced the existing shortcut that had the blank icon.
  3. Now when I open the Start Menu Evernote has the correct icon.

Is the end of Internet Explorer closer than we think?

I have been using Google Chrome for the last month at work. It started out as a frustrated response to Internet Explorer crashing random tabs. Then it became an experiment since although it was much faster than IE there were some applications that did not play nicely with Chrome. Now that I have worked through the problems, it is my production browser. On the other hand I still use Internet Explorer at home since I do not have the crashing tab problem. Considering the size of the smartphone and tablet market, if Internet Explorer cannot decisively when the desktop market the end is drawing near.

Error code "0x80070646," "646," or "1606" running Windows Update

Windows Update was failing to install several updates Office 2003( KB2502786, KB2509503, KB2522981, and KB2464588). I eventually found the answer. I opted to manually update the registry. I only had to apply the first registry change described in KB2258121 for the updates to work.

This article (KB2258121) provides a fix for a problem in which you receive error code 0x80070646, error code 646, or error code 1606. This update issue occurs when you install Office updates by using Windows Update or Microsoft Update. For detailed information, see the “Symptoms,” “Cause,” and “Resolution” sections of this article.

Error code "0x80070646," "646," or "1606" running Windows Update

How to remove the Windows.old folder that is generated when you install Windows 7

I am not sure how I got this 2.2 GB folder on my “C”  partition but it was not necessary. With free space on my “C” partition down to 5% it was time to clean house. The Vista instructions will work as written if you run the Disk Cleanup utility as the Administrator. If you happen to run the utility as a “mere mortal” there is a button in the Windows 7 version to restart the utility as an Administrator if you want to “Clean up system files”.

How to remove the Windows.old folder that is generated when you perform a custom installation of Windows Vista

Q-Dir – Multi-Pane File Manager :: the How-To Geek

I found when I was updating our web site I would run a VB script to open three Explorer windows. I have chosen to use Q-Dir to replace the script since it actually does a better job with screen real estate and allows me to open four windows. I use the the portable version to avoid installation headaches.

Sometimes when looking through a file manager, it would be nice to have more than a dual-pane view. Now you can manage your files with up to four viewing panes at once with Q-Dir.

Note: Q-Dir is available in regular install and portable versions.

Q-Dir – Multi-Pane File Manager :: the How-To Geek

Welcome to Windows 7

Last weekend I took the plunge and installed Windows 7 RC. The hardest part was freeing up some disk space and partitioning the hard drive. After a few defrag runs I was ready to partition. Dual booting is the way to go. There are no special tricks. Just let Windows 7 install in the unpartitioned space. The installation was pretty uneventful. My laptop is about three years old, it has 2 GB of ram, and it passed the Windows 7 compatibility check. The installation found drivers for everything although it had to get the Ricoh drivers off of the Internet.

The part I was most interested in was what would I install first. The first four programs were were the virus checking software, FeedDemon, Windows Live Writer, and Flash. I chose a trial version of AVG available at http://free.avg.com/download-avg-anti-virus-free-edition. I like AVG but it triggers a PC issue message in Windows 7. I guess AVG and Windows have a few things to work out. It did not take to long after running FeedDemon that I ran into a web page requiring Flash. When I decided to write a post about my Windows 7 experience I installed Windows Live Writer. To setup Windows Live Writer I needed KeePass since that is where I store my passwords.

To transfer files from Window XP into Windows 7 I am using two methods. With the first method I created a shared folder at the root of the Windows 7 drive and copied files into the folder using XP. I could not browse the XP version of the “My Documents” folder using Window 7  and was not into the “take ownership” thing. The second method uses Dropbox.

So far my experience has been very positive. The interface is nice and the computer seems as fast as it was under XP. I think Microsoft has a winner if they price it right. The interface of Linux and the Mac are nice, too!

Win32 cheat sheet

Here are two favorites from this post I found via Del.icio.us. The first tip I knew about one of these but forgot how to do it. The second tip I never knew about it.

Win32 cheat sheet
Thu, 13 Mar 2008 13:00:00 GMT