Archive for the ‘Windows’ Category

7-zip Theme Manager

Monday, April 18th, 2011


7zip Theme Manager

7-zip Theme Manager

If you have seen my alternative 7-zip icons I made and have liked them and wanted to use them then I have something even better to tell you about and that is the new 7-Zip Theme Manager built by Mark “KillerCookie” Keller and Marco “MAD’S evilution” which goes even further than just replacing the icons, it provide the ability for you to also replace the overall look of 7-zips file manager and its icons with many themes and file type icons to choose from. (more…)


Replacement Icons for 7-Zip (ver3)

Friday, June 25th, 2010

I have had quite a few people download the 7-zip icons I have created and with that a few comments to say there are missing archives and that it does not work for the 9.x series of 7-zip.

So I have now updated the zip file with new archive formats and I have tested this on Vista (32-bit and 64-bit) and Windows7 (32-bit and 64-bit) with 7-zip 9.15.  I have now also tested the same files on Windows XP Pro 32-bit and it works just the same – so what are you waiting for?  Update your 7-zip icons now 🙂 (more…)


TopStyle replaces Homesite

Monday, July 13th, 2009

If you read my earlier post about Adobe killing of Homesite you may have thought so what will I (and others) use now.  I am very happy to say and recommend a great product called TopStyle.  Initially developed by Nick Bradbury of whom was the original developer of Homesite, TopStyle is now being further developed by Stefan van As.

As a long time user of TopStyle Lite that was included with some Homesite installs I can happily say that the latest version, TopStyle 4, is a remarkable product.  Originally designed to be for css documents, Topstyle 4 has now been expanded to cover most web code formats from html, xhtml, php, asp and so many more.



Internet Explorer 6 must be killed off!

Monday, July 6th, 2009

I am sure many out there that develop web sites have had the annoying need to keep tweaking styles and code for Internet Explorer 6 (ie6), I know I have and enough is enough.

There has to be a time where web developers must make a stand and say no more.  For me this is now, I feel people have had more than enough time to update to a better browser and for those that still use ie6 (or less) then they need to be told to update.

My reasons are simple, I have better things to do with my time than to keep trying to tweak web sites to suit a smaller group that continue to choose not to update their web browser.  There are many other obviouse reasons that if your nodding your heading you are already aware of, if not then go and read up on why by doing a Google search for ie6 hacks…



Adobe kills off Homesite :(

Thursday, June 25th, 2009
Adobe kills off Homesite :(

Adobe kills off Homesite 🙁

It is sad news, my beloved XHTML editor is now dead no thanks to Adobe with them announcing the death of Homesite as of the 26th May 2009.  They acquired Homesite from Macromedia (2003) and simply let it die, without even a hint of updating it or letting anyone know it would be abandoned since they took it over.

While other editors exist and will have to take the place of Homesite, at this stage there os no product (yet) that is as good as Homesite.   Adobe have simply said use Dreamweaver, but if I wanted to use Dreamweaver I would already be doing that.  The benefit Homesite has over Dreamweaver is that Homesite is light weight and very customisable – which is very different to Dreamweaver which is well over priced (as are all Adobe products) and is over bloated with extensions and tools and add-ons that for the most part are not needed.



Export Mail from Thunderbird to Outlook 2007

Monday, June 1st, 2009

I have been a long time Thunderbird user and while it still works fine I like the new Outlook 2007 interface and it plays nicer with Windows Live accounts 🙂

So I set out on a path to work out how to get mail from TB to Outlook… and boy was it a task and a half… not satisfied I played around with it all a bit more and use the following method that keeps all the mail fully intact without any date changes etc 🙂

I have Vista, so this applies to Vista users – I have not tested this method on XP or Windows 7 but can see no reason why it would not work with them as well.  Note use Windows Mail and NOT Windows Live Mail for this process.

1. OK 1st up you will need the Import/Export add-on for Thunderbird (see:

2. Once you have that you will want to export any mail you wish to move to Outlook into a folder for each folder or mailbox you have in Thunderbird… depending on how long you have been using TB this may take a while.  You need to export them in EML format.

3. Once the exporting is done you will need to go to where you exported them and then you will find that within each folder is a folder called messages.  This Messages folder will contain all the EML files.  Rename that Messages folder to the name you want it to be (usually the same as the folder above it but without the numbers etc.

4.  Now copy that folder with the EML files to your Windows Mail Profile folder, something like C:\Users\<Username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Mail\Local Folders.

5. Open up Windows Mail, and it should now find each folder and message within it, it may take a little while so give it time….  be patient, there is no bar to watch it happen but it is happening so give it time… wait until it finishes finding them.  If you want to import them as all Read you can tell Windows Mail to mark them as read under the EDIT menu for Windows Mail.

6. Then go to Outlook (2007 is what I have and use) and set up an initial email account – any account just make it a POP account as that is what worked best for me – if you do not have one get a temp Hotmail one and set it up for POP and not HTTP.

7. Now within Outlook select FILE from the menu and select Import and Export…  From the pop up window select Import Mail and Addresses.  Select Next and untick Import Address book and select the Outlook/Windows Mail option from the above list.  Then select Finish and woot all your mail you put in that folder now imports into your inbox (or the folder names you used) of your Outlook account.

8. Now move that mail wherever you want it within Outlook – even to another account if you want.

9. Ok now for the next trick we want to delete the mail we just imported, you cannot just delete it via explorer (I tried), reopen Windows Mail (if it is not open already) and select the first message you want deleted and use CTRL D – hold it down and it will quickly delete all the mail in that list – do not use your DELETE key as you will (not sure why) get errors.

10.  Close Windows mail and your now ready to use Outlook – sweet

Seems long winded but it is simple to follow once you have done it a few times and it keeps all your mail, attachments and dates all correctly.

Happy mailing all 🙂


Back to Windows… for now :(

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

Yes the title is correct, and while I was a 95% convert to linux (Ubuntu) I have had to return to windows.  Why you ask?  Well various reasons but mainly due to time and the need to keep dropping back in and out of Windows too often.  I need to make it clear first up that it is not linux or the linux communities fault for my return to Windows but more a lack of support from the larger software companies to support a growing linux market.

So let me get down to my reasons as I am sure any hard core linux user is shaking his/her head in disbelief 🙂

Web browsing and e-mail – worked flawlessly as I was able to use the same applications as I did in Windows (Firefox and Thunderbird)

Web Development – HTML/XHTML – I was generally happy using Bluefish to replace my long and well used Homesite, and while it was not in my opinion as good as Homesite it was still usable and I could live with it.

Web Development – CSS – This is one of those things that really bugged me, I have been a long time user of Topstyle Pro as it fits great with Homesite.  On my hunt for a comparable product in linux the best that could be had was CSSed, not bad but far from a great CSS editor.  While other editors existed I did not find one that even came close to TopStyle, however in the attempt to remain with linux I utilised the CSS functions within BlueFish.

Graphics Work – I have been a long time Photoshop (and previously Paint Shop Pro) user, so this was one area I thought I would have trouble with.  However to my surprise Gimp provided a very effective and fully functional comparable (or even better) product.  I must hand it to the guys over at Gimp land for a fantastic product – excellent work.  So if your in need of a graphics or photo application save your money and get Gimp.

PDF Creation and editing – This was a big issue for me as I constantly had to command line options (ImageMagick) to convert files from PDF to other formats as there appeared to be a bug in the conversion process (Poppler) that would cause quite poor gradient and transparency conversions, especially if you wanted to convert from PDF to PNG/JPG.  Creating PDFs was a breeze as you can do that from any application, however editing them is a little more difficult.  There is simply no editor that is as feature rich as Adobe Acrobat and for what I need I needed that ability to be perfect.  This is probably my main reason for having to go back to Windows for now.

Accounting – While GnuCash is there and it works well I find Quickbooks to be more intuitive and easier to use (I am not an accountant and don’t wish to be).  I will have to admit here though I did not give GnuCash a good enough chance to grow on me.

DVD Backup – This might be more my lack of experience with linux than an issue with the selection of linux applications, however where my time is limited I needed a simply backup solution that worked.  I tried various solutions available but I ended up having to boot back into Windows to make the copies needed – I now have plenty of coasters….. This would have to be the second main reasons for going back to Windows.

Video Capture – One of the things I do is convert video to DVD (tape to DVD) and I have a solution here to do that that I was not able to get working well in linux.  While I got it to work and recognise the USB connection that connects to the Video player the streaming through to the recording and then to DVD was not equal to what I could do on Windows – again this might be my lack of knowledge with the linux command line options, but again I did not have time to learn it all at this time.

HD Video Capture – First was to try and get linux to recognise my HG21, ok did that.  Then to download the videos which seemed to take forever but the same in Windows also – they are very large files.  Now to convert to other formats for SD and YouTube etc.  This took a heck of a lot of time, so much that I had to stop, however I will say that the end result was so much better than windows that I am setting up a dedicated machine just for this.  Kino is just great 🙂

Printing – wow and fantastic – CUPS makes sharing printers a snap – great work 🙂

Office – While it is not MS Office 2007 I found that Open Office was more than sufficient, however sharing files with others in the office would be a little annoying having to save as .doc and .xls etc so that they can be shared.  I actually liked the more simplistic layout as it gave me what I needed without having to fumble around with the Office 2007 ribbon trying to find how to format, replace and modify content.

Audio editing – Audicity works just as good in Linux as it did in Windows 🙂

Wacom Tablet – Arghhh this was a real pain.  I tried everything to get this working in linux as it does in Windows – maybe that is the issue I cannot get it to replicate what it does in Windows.  I read through and (tried) to follow the tutorials on how to set it up from the wacomproject, I even contacted Wacom support with little help.  While I got the pen to work, the buttons and the circle of my Bamboo Fun did not and could not get to work.

FTP – This was a pain initially I started to having to use gFTP but wanted to use FileZilla but I was using the 64bit version of Ubuntu and FileZilla would not install, however I found a way via the online forums to get it to work – wonderful 🙂

Synchronise/Backup – A major requirement for us is the ability to synchronise/backup our data.  Now having all been Windows to now having a linux box in the mix I still needed to be able to synchronise two machines on a regular basis.  While a storage server (it is coming) would be a better option we at this stage (budget) backup each others data to each others alternative computer.  In Windows I have used SyncBack for years – works flawlessly on every file, hidden and system and also open files.  Unison was what I tried to get working as the alternative which worked after many tedious attempts at configuring it.

The rest of what I used I got use to in linux quite quickly… so why did I convert back to Windows you ask as the above seems quite convincing to stay with linux.

Well computability was the main issue, second is time for having to go back to the terminal to run command line options that I could do in Windows with a single click (yes I know I could script but the options would change nearly every time) as well as the main two points above being my work with PDF files and video capture.  While I did run a dual boot and could also use virtual Box for Windows the need to either boot back up into Windows or use the virtual window was becoming more a pain than an asset.  I know it might seem like a minor reason but that is that.  I still have a Ubuntu (and I am about to try Mandriva) boot option my daily computer work is with Windows.

I will I am sure make the permanent move to linux over the next 12 months as I need to keep my costs down and to be totally honest my PC ran swifter, faster and well… just nicer under linux.

So you can call me a just about linux user, it nearly had me converted and as it continues to mature with the fantaistic community it has more people like myself will move over to linux as the preferred OS of choice.


95% linux user :)

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009

Following on from last post I thought I’d add a new post to say I am now a linux (ubuntu) convert.   I have given it a real go and so far I am very impressed with it giving my PC a new lease on life with far superior execution times and file handling.

As the title suggests I am 95% converted as I still need Windows for a few applications, although I am sure I will soon find replacements for them soon.

What I was using to what I am using;

Firefox -> Firefox
Thunderbird Email -> Thunderbird Email
Photoshop CS4 -> Gimp
Filezilla -> gFTP
Homesite -> Bluefish
MS Office -> Open Office
Syncback SE Pro -> Unison
MSN -> Pidgin

What I am still looking for are;

Quickbooks -> while GnuCash is there I prefer Quickbooks and so does my accountant, probably simply use WINE to run it in Windoes mode within ubuntu 🙂
TopStyle -> I am using cssed but it is far from TopStyle, might just be a case of get use to it 🙂
Adobe Premier and Encore -> not yet replaced… have an idea?


To go Linux or stay with MS Windows?

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

One of the things I often do is read many of the forums for both Microsoft Windows and also Linux and read through the debates on what is better for what.  There is no question that if your a gamer MS Windows is the choice OS to use, but what about everything else non game?

I am tired of the fanboi Linux users that simply bag Microsoft as the evil business just for the sake of doing so and trying to make themselves appear geeky by saying linux rules.  Don’t get me wrong I am not an MS fanboi, or linux for that matter.  I have used Mac OS’s Linux OS’ and of course the Windows variety with my main PC now running dual boot Ubuntu and Vista.  But at this stage I am probably using Vista more than I use Ubuntu.

It is not that I don’t like Linux it is the familiarity of the applications I have and continue to use on Windows.  There is also this niggling fact that I own a paid for version of Vista and I kind of think well I own it so why not use it.

It is also a case of comparing what linux is trying to be, now lets face it the GUI is based on MS Windows with a little Mac OSX thrown in.  Will linux just become a Windows clone which in turn is becoming a Mac clone?  If I take ubuntu 9.04 as an example it really is an OS that is probably smack in the middle of both the Mac and MS OS’s – but is that a good thing or not?

To try and define what is better that the other is a personal choice.  I will say however that for general use the Ubuntu 9.04 install is very fast compared to Vista, but with Vista to try and compare I have many background processors running – these mainly being the firewall. virus scanner, malware checking and spyware watcher – apart from that it works a treat.  This is where linux does shine, in that if I was to go pure linux the need for those scanners is pretty much gone as linux is not as open to those issues as windows is.

So my dilemma is do I continue to use Windows Vista and when its released update to Windows 7 or do I start the major switch to linux….. tough call really and I am not sure where I stand (yet) – so what do you use and why do you use it?  I am not interested in the fanboi issues, I want to know the real reasons for your choice of OS.

There is obviously a cost factor here, in that to continue operating windows I will need to update at a cost to me , whilst with linux the updates will always be free – so long as they keep providing those updates.

Hmm to go linux or stay with MS Windows?