From TaiChimd
Jump to: navigation, search


Beautiful desktop

License key/Reinstall

Move to a new computer

How to set up your new computer

How to Migrate Your Windows Installation to a Solid-State Drive

How to Upgrade to a Larger Hard Drive Without Reinstalling Windows

OEM license

Watch Out For These Dirty Tricks From Discounted Software Resellers

Cheap Windows 10 Keys: Do They Work?,

How to install Windows on an external drive

How to Find Official Windows Drivers for Any Device

AppData folder

What Is the AppData Folder in Windows?

Libraries in Windows 7

The full path to the hidden Libraries folder is below.

# Or

On my Windows 7 machine, the Libraries include


Note that the Pictures folder in Libraries is not exactly the same as C:\Users\(User-Name)\My Pictures folder. Similarly, the Videos folder in Libraries may not be the same as C:\Users\(User-Name)\My Videos. In fact, each one of folder in Libraries contains more than 1 folder: one is 'My' one and the other is 'Public' one. For example, the Documents folder in Libraries contains My Documents and Public Documents subfolders.

It seems Windows 8 does not have 'Libraries'. On Windows 10, 'Libraries' becomes 'Quick access' and the libraries idea is gone now; for example, the 'Downloads' is actually means the 'Downloads' folder. The 'Quick access' consists of


Share files over internet

Testing on <> shell script. Goal is to use wget to download the file.

  • Github: choose 'View Raw' to get the url for the file. The con is the url will be changed whenever the file is updated.
  • Google Drive: cannot get the raw file, only the html version.

Delete files with long filenames

Long filename

What Does a Windows Folder Icon With Double Blue Arrows Mean?

Administrator vs standard account

Administrator vs. Standard: Which User Account Should You Use in Windows?


How Do You Reopen a Windows Firewall Prompt?

Remote Desktop

How to Access Windows Remote Desktop Over the Internet


Customize the Send To Menu in Windows 10, 8, 7, or Vista. Open the Explorer window and type


Create a new shortcut to the program you want to add to the Send To menu.

Battery status

Open a command line prompt using administration. Then type powercfg /batteryreport. In my Windows 8 tablet, it will create a report in C:\Windows\system32\battery-report.html.

Read Mac-formatted drive


What’s The Difference Between Bluetooth A2DP And aptX?

Output audio to bluetooth

  1. control panel
  2. bluetooth
  3. click on the device (e.g. BA-500)
  4. click A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile)

You shall see the bluetooth device is checked now under the Control panel-> Sound box.


Share files with Android over bluetooth

Bluetooth Android Windows.png

Log on automatically on Windows 7 or 8

  1. Click Start, type netplwiz, and then press Enter.
  2. In the User Accounts dialog box, click the account you want to automatically log on to.If it is available, clear the Users Must Enter A User Name And Password To Use This Computer check box.
  3. Click OK.
  4. In the Automatically Log On dialog box, enter the user’s password twice and click OK.

Automatically Log in

How to Make Your PC Shut Down at Night (But Only When You’re Not Using It)

Manage mobile broadband connection

Network discovery

  1. Start -> Control panel
  2. Network -> Network and Sharing Center -> Change advanced sharing settings.

What’s the Difference Between Private and Public Networks in Windows?/if you want your computer to be discoverable or not by other computers. Lots of screenshots are given there.

Show all mapped network drives

net use

Command Prompt in Administrator mode doesn't see mapped drives

Since mapped drives are user-centric, that Admin user context will not have the (same) drives, and you'll have to map them for that user context once the command window is open as Adminsitrator; see

net use Z: \\SuperServer\SuperShare

Network traffic monitor & Resource Monitor

Task manager -> Performance -> Open Resource Monitor -> Network.

See a screenshot from the #3 from the bottom.

How to Add a Static TCP/IP Route to the Windows Routing Table

Convert/Save web pages as ebook format

The ebook device uses e-link. It is friendly to human's eyes. Although these ebook devices are usually small for easy to carry, reading pdf articles are not suitable. However if articles are available online as web pages, we can save these pages and read them on devices.

  1. For Kindle device, we can use bookmartlet from After installing bookmarklet, we can click it and send any webpage to kindle device (we have to enter the Kindle email address and add [email protected] to the approved personal document email list from Amazon Account -> Manage Your Kindle. The saved file is in mobi format and it contains images too. However, pages contains tables may be lost (eg this page, but it may be the website's problem). Note that in order to read the article on my kindle device, I still need to go to website -> Your Account -> Manage Your Kindle -> Click 'Actions' from the corresponding book -> Deliver to my Kindle (select one device). No extra charge over this method. See lifehacker's article.
  2. For Kobo device, one option is to use dotepub bookmarklet. However, it has a limit on the number of images in an article to save. In fact, the bookmarklet has an option to output in epub format. It will download the epub file immediately. It works perfectly.

Create epub or mobipocket format by using pandoc


Acrobat reader

  • To hide the 'sign in' export PDF right panel, click 'Tools' word on the menu bar.

Convert pdf to ebook format

  • - not work well with pdf files from
  • Calibre - when I test the pdf files from, the conversion does not recognize the 3-column mode. So the conversed article will mess up.
  • k2pdfopt - an article from After several tries (command line & GUI), I did not find it particularly useful. The only one case that may be useful to convert an article from multiple-column to a single column.
k2pdfopt xxx.pdf -mode fp -c -col 3

This will generate a new file called <xxx_k2opt.pdf> by converting an article with 3 columns. Note that the new pdf file will have very wide space on two sides.

Trim/Crop pdf using briss

  • briss is available for Windows, Mac, Linux and it depends on Java.
  • It works great when I use it to crop IRanges package vignette.
java -jar briss-0.9.jar -s [SOURCEFILE] [-d [DESTINATIONFILE]]

Convert PDF to HTML format PdfMasher

Sign a PDF

How to Sign a PDF: The Best Tools for Electronic Signatures

Web to pdf

Convert Kindle azw to other format

Note: it does not work:(

RSS and Kindle

Reabble, help. Users should have a web-based content and RSS feed reader account on Inoreader. Very nice work. Free accounts got 15 reads per day using Reabble.

Install IIS on Windows 7/Vista

Burn Windows 7/10 ISO to USB in Ubuntu

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt update
sudo apt install woeusb

WoeUSB also supports a command line operation.


  • dd command and Etcher can write the iso file to a USB stick, but the stick cannot boot.
  • UNetbootin cannot find the USB stick.
  • WoeUSB works. Note: umount USB drive before hitting the 'Install' button.

Boot from the network with PXE

Create a bootable USB

Clean boot

How to Perform a Clean Boot in Windows

Dual boot of Windows and Linux

Windows Update Deleted Linux! What to Do and How to Prevent It

Best solution: Install Linux Operating Systems on Separate Hard Drives.

Undelete files


Remove crapware

PC Decrapifier

Uninstall tools

  • CCleaner
  • Revo uninstaller

Uninstall a Linux from dual-boot

Install open-source software

Consider Ninite.

Install ubuntu on my 64GB USB drive

$ df -h
Filesystem Size   Mounted on
/cow       3.9G   /
udev       3.9G   /dev
tmpfs      1.6G   /run
/dev/sdb1  61G    /cdrom
/dev/loop0 672M   /rofs
tmpfs      3.9G   /tmp
none       5.0M   /run lock
none       3.9G   /run/shm

If we check the drive's partition table using gpart, we will see the drive has only a fat32 partition.

Internet connection sharing (ICS)

Suppose a laptop can connect to the internt through wireless. We want to use its ethernet port to share internet on another device (e.g. raspberry pi where the device has only ethernet port).

  1. control panel - network & sharing center
  2. manage network connection
  3. right click wireless network connection and select property
  4. click 'sharing' tab and check 'Allow other network users to connect through this computer's internet connection'. For the home network connection, select 'Local Area Connection'.
  5. reboot raspberry pi.

When my host machine is xubuntu, the guest machine (raspberry pi) shows eth0 has ip and the host machine shows

[email protected]:~$ ifconfig
eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:22:19:ea:10:3d  
          inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: fe80::222:19ff:feea:103d/64 Scope:Link
          RX packets:284 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:383 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 
          RX bytes:19038 (19.0 KB)  TX bytes:85493 (85.4 KB)
          Interrupt:43 Base address:0x2000 

lo        Link encap:Local Loopback  
          inet addr:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
          UP LOOPBACK RUNNING  MTU:16436  Metric:1
          RX packets:972 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:972 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:0 
          RX bytes:90336 (90.3 KB)  TX bytes:90336 (90.3 KB)

wlan0     Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:17:c4:62:a0:35  
          inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: 2601:a:3780:6a:217:c4ff:fe62:a035/64 Scope:Global
          inet6 addr: fe80::217:c4ff:fe62:a035/64 Scope:Link
          inet6 addr: 2601:a:3780:6a:a4b9:d314:4790:a0a1/64 Scope:Global
          RX packets:6300 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:4812 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 
          RX bytes:6042745 (6.0 MB)  TX bytes:659980 (659.9 KB)

[email protected]:~$ 

How to use your Windows 10 PC as a mobile hotspot



WannaCry ransomeware

Secure web access from anywhere using secure tunnel

Meltdown and Spectre CPU flaws

How to Check if Your PC Is Protected Against Meltdown and Spectre

What every Browser knows about you

Security and privacy apps

5 Popular Security and Privacy Apps You Should Uninstall and Replace May 1, 2018

How to Opt Out of Personalized Ads from Google

Cloud Computing

Microsoft Azure

$200, one-month free trial

Google Cloud Platform

$300, 2 months free trial

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

12 months free trial

Access cloud storage

Amazon cloudDrive

It has a plan of $11.99/year for unlimited storage for photos and 5GB for videos and files or $59.99/year for unlimited everything. My plan (free) is unlimited storage for photos from fire device and 5GB for photos, videos, and files. Files shown in are not the same as -> digital content -> manage your content and devices -> your content -> Docs.



Google Drive




  • To enter the presentation: In the top right click 'Presentation' button. Or Menu > VIew > Presentation. From the current slide, the presentation will become full screen.
  • To exit the presentaiton: Esc key.




Fetch any file on your PC

Mount/map onedrive as a local drive

How to Configure OneDrive to Sync Only Certain Folders in Windows 10

Windows Power Shell

Windows command prompt

  • rmdir foldername /s /q to delete a folder

Return a short name for the current folder

for %I in (.) do echo %~sI

For example

c:\Program Files (x86)>for %I in (.) do echo %~sI
c:\Program Files (x86)>echo c:\PROGRA~2

c:\Program Files (x86)>cd "C:\Program Files (x86)\ArrayTools\Sample datasets\Pom
eroy\Pomeroy -Project\Fortran\ClassPrediction2/"

C:\Program Files (x86)\ArrayTools\Sample datasets\Pomeroy\Pomeroy -Project\Fortran\ClassPrediction2>
C:\Program Files (x86)\ArrayTools\Sample datasets\Pomeroy\Pomeroy -Project\Fortran\ClassPrediction2>for %I in (.) do echo %~sI

C:\Program Files (x86)\ArrayTools\Sample datasets\Pomeroy\Pomeroy -Project\Fortran\ClassPrediction2>echo C:\PROGRA~2\ARR

# OR starting from any folder and replace the . with the full path of the file/folder
c:\>for %I in ("C:\Program Files (x86)\ArrayTools\Sample datasets\Pomeroy\Pomero
y -Project\Fortran\ClassPrediction2") do echo %~sI

c:\>echo C:\PROGRA~2\ARRAYT~1\SAMPLE~1\Pomeroy\POMERO~1\Fortran\CLASSP~2

Split/break a long command in a batch file

Use the caret to break a long line.

For example

copy file1.txt file2.txt

would be written as:

copy.exe file1.txt^

Open control panel

  • System properties (including environment variables) - control sysdm.cpl
  • See for a complete list.


Open Command Prompt window. You must run it with administrative privilege. Enter the following command.

shutdown /h

Privilege manager from BeyondTrust PowerBroker Desktop client

It will create an item (Run w/ Elevated Permissions) on right-click menu.

Package Manager


Qbs from Qt

Onscreen keyboard and Narrator

Go to Control Panel classic view Ease Of Access.

Keyboard shortcut

Windows 8

Keyboard shortcut.

  • Win + C: charm bar
  • Win + w: search


  • +/-: faster/slower speed
  • Alt + arrow keys: skip 10 seconds by forwarding/backwarding
  • Ctrl + arrow keys: skip 1 minute
  • Ctrl + Alt + arrow keys: skip 5 minutes
  • Ctrl + Up/Down: Volume
  • M: mute
  • F: full screen
  • space bar: toggle play/pause
  • A: toggle aspect ratio

Keystrokes logger

How to Check if Your HP Laptop Has the Conexant Keylogger

Windows 8

Swapfile, pagefile

Boot from USB on Windows 8

HP stream 8


  • UEFI vs Legacy BIOS Booting: What’s the Difference?
    • Legacy BIOS is run by option Read Only Memory (ROM’s), which collectively is limited to 64 KB of storage. The option ROMs that legacy systems run will only work if they are compatible with the hardware that is running with it. If you upgrade your hardware, you have to update the option ROMs to make sure every aspect of the booting process is compatible.
    • UEFI solved this problem by incorporating drivers into their system in place of option ROM. The drivers have virtually no space limitations and are compatible with upgraded forms of hardware. Drivers are written separately and can be uploaded using a flash drive. The information uploaded onto the system is then processed by UEFI’s programming interface, which configures the data to ensure compatibility.
    • UEFI uses C-language. Legacy systems use assembler.
    • UEFI boots faster than Legacy systems.
  • What Is UEFI, and How Is It Different from BIOS? The traditional BIOS still has serious limitations.
    • It can only boot from drives of 2.1 TB or less. UEFI uses the GPT partitioning scheme instead of MBR.
    • The BIOS must run in 16-bit processor mode, and only has 1 MB of space to execute in.
    • UEFI is packed with other features. It supports Secure Boot, which means the operating system can be checked for validity to ensure no malware has tampered with the boot process.
  • What You Need to Know About Using UEFI Instead of the BIOS
    • Many computers with UEFI firmware will allow you to enable a legacy BIOS compatibility mode.
    • In this mode, the UEFI firmware functions as a standard BIOS instead of UEFI firmware. This can help improve compatibility with older operating systems that weren’t designed with UEFI in mind — Windows 7, for example.

Access UEFI Firmware Setting on Windows 8

UEFI and Ubuntu

How to Check if Your Computer Uses UEFI or BIOS

How to Disable UEFI Secure Boot to Dual Boot Any System

Secure boot

Secure Boot is a feature enabled by UEFI – which replaces the traditional PC BIOS – but Microsoft mandates specific implementations for x86 (Intel) and ARM PCs. Any computer with a Windows 8 logo sticker has Secure Boot enabled.

(From HP support website), Secure Boot Configuration is a new feature of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) in BIOS 8 that helps a computer resist attacks and infection from malware. When your computer was manufactured, UEFI created a list of keys that identify trusted hardware, firmware, and operating system loader code. It also created a list of keys to identify known malware.

To enter the secure boot, follow

If I disable the secure boot and exter/exit the UEFI (not sure it is related to secure boot or entering/exiting UEFI), the BitLocker will ask me to enter the recovery key (48 digits). Very annoying! The bitlocker is related to device encryption. To turn it off, go to PC settings > PC and devices > PC info > Device encryption. Click 'Turn Off'. Google: turn off bitlocker.

How Secure Boot Works on Windows 8 and 10, and What It Means for Linux (11/1/2016)

How to access a BitLocker-encrypted drive in Linux?

How to Change the Primary Email Address for Your Microsoft Account

Windows 10

  • Microsoft quietly woke up update KB 3035583 from hibernation, and thus began a massive effort to get millions of Windows 7 and 8 users to ditch their existing operating system for a free copy of Windows 10. All they have to do is reserve their Windows 10 upgrade within the first year of the OS’s availability, something they can do from the comforts of their desktop via the Get Windows 10 upgrade prompt.
  • Install Windows from a USB drive. Media Creation Tool software

How long can I use Windows 10 without activation?

How to Run Portable Versions of Windows

Differences with Win 7

Differences with Win 8

Windows 10 Tips

Upgrade to Windows 10 with Windows 7 or 8 + Ubuntu dual boot

How to Change the Windows 10 Update Download Folder Location


Creators Update (version 1703)

How Windows 10’s “Builds” Are Different From Service Packs

How can Windows 10 Function With as Little as 32 GB of Disk Space?

From my observation on Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 tablets, the system takes about 12GB space. So my 32GB tablet has 14.6GB free out of 23.5GB for example.

Command prompt keyboard shortcuts


You Can Now Test Windows 10’s Timeline Feature

Booting problem

Windows 10 Won’t Boot? Try These 12 Fixes to Get Your PC Running Again


How to use a Project Fi data-only SIM with a Windows 10 PC

Bash Shell & Ubuntu Linux

# Change the color of directories from blue to cyan that was used to represent symbolic link files/directories in regular Ubuntu OS
export LS_COLORS=$LS_COLORS:'di=1;36:'
# assuming we have already run xming
export DISPLAY=:0
  • Run Ubuntu (or any) Desktop Environment in WSL
    • How to run the native Ubuntu desktop on Windows 10. Especially it discusses the socket support and D-bus issue on WSL)
    • Use XcXsrv instead of Xming to avoid an error.
    • If we have installed Unity Ubuntu, we can start it by typing compiz. If we have installed xfce4 Ubuntu, we start it by typing xfce4-session or startxfce4. Note that unity does not respond to keyboard and mouse but xfce4 has a good response.
    • Use Alt+Tab to switch between Ubuntu desktop and Bash Shell. To exit Xfce4 just log out.
    • To install other desktop environments
sudo apt-get install xfce4      # standard XFCE desktop environment
sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop  # Xubuntu’s customized XFCE desktop environment localhost DESKTOP-TC9HSRG
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install packagename
sudo apt-get remove packagename
sudo apt-cache search word
sudo apt-get upgrade # download and install the latest versions of your installed packaes
  • To quickly launch a program, execute a command, or run a script, you don't need to launch the Bash environment first. You can use bash -c to directly execute a Linux command. Bash will simply run the command and then qit.
bash -c "vi"
  • You can use lxrun command to reinstall the Ubuntu environment and get a fresh Linux slate.
lxrun /uninstall /full

To install the Ubuntu, use either (the command will ask you a new username/password)

lxrun /install

or ("root" is the default username without a password)

lxrun /install /y
  • Oracle Java cannot be installed directly through PPA method. However, we can download the tarball and extract the files into somewhere. See here. In my testing of running SAMtools, I extract the tarball to /usr/java. Then I modify .bashrc to include 'export PATH=$PATH:/usr/java/jdk1.8.0_112'. After that, BRB-SeqTools works fine.
  • Note that the htop output shows 50% CPU are used for each core. That does not match with what the 'Task Manager' gave (2% used). See this posts.

Windows10 seqtools OK.png Windows10 ubuntu htop.png

  • Mounting drives. For example I assign Z: drive for the shared folder. But the Z: drive does not appear under /mnt directory.
  • Limitations (from the Anniversary Update):
    • There is no way to actually launch a Windows program or run a Windows command from within a Bash script or the Bash shell.
    • This won’t work with server software.
    • It’s intended for developers who want to run Linux command-line utilities on Windows.
    • Mount virtualbox shared folder in Ubuntu
  • Interop between Windows and Bash (Build 14951)

Insider Preview


  • If we do not log into the Microsoft account, the desktop wallpaper will be kept to the default.
  • If we log into the Microsoft account, the desktop wallpaper will be changed but still cannot be modified by users.

openSUSE or others

Removable drives and network drives

How to Mount Removable Drives and Network Locations in the Windows Subsystem for Linux


How to Find Out Why Your Windows PC Crashed or Froze The article mentions two tools.

  1. Reliability monitor (built-in)
  2. Event viewer(built-in)
  3. BlueScreenView (NirSoft)

Securely transfer files to Linux on Windows command line

PuTTy & PuttyND

Use psftp or pscp with a script.

PuttyND gives a chrome style with multiple tabs for Putty Suite.

Use winscp with script or in command line


C:\Program Files\WinSCP\winscp.exe" /console /script=YOUR_SCRIPT_FILENAME 

Example from

# Automatically abort script on errors
option batch abort
# Disable overwrite confirmations that conflict with the previous
option confirm off
# Connect using a password
# open sftp://user:[email protected] 
# Connect
open sftp://[email protected] 
# Change remote directory
cd /home/user
# Force binary mode transfer
option transfer binary
# Download file to the local directory d:\
get examplefile.txt d:\
# Disconnect
# Connect as a different user
open [email protected]
# Change the remote directory
cd /home/user2
# Upload the file to current working directory
put d:\examplefile.txt 
# Disconnect
# Exit WinSCP

See for use winscp with Windows scheduler.

winscp and rsync


Change colors

Go to Configuration > Window > Colours. Select from the list that contains the blue color. Click the 'Modify' button.

Strange characters

Go to Configuration > Window > Translation. Choose 'Use font encoding' or 'UTF-8' in "Remote character set".

Putty with tabs

  • Putty nd Works well
  • MTPuTTY/Multi-Tabbed Putty Has a problem with cursor. Need to specify the location of the PuTTy program. Note that you can split the screen by docking any of the windows on top of MTPuTTY.

Increase font size with keyboard shortcut

Ctrl + mouse wheel does not work!


10 PuTTY PLINK Examples to Automate Remote Linux Commands from Windows Batch Files

Comparison of ssh client

Putty, ClisterSSH, SecPanel, Secure Shell

X Servers



Find public IP address

Create a VB script text file "" with a content like

Option Explicit
Dim http : Set http = CreateObject( "MSXML2.ServerXmlHttp" )
http.Open "GET", "", False
Wscript.Echo http.responseText   'or do whatever you want with it
Set http = Nothing

Open a command line and run

cscript ip.vbs

The output will look like

C:\Users\mli>cscript ip.vbs
Microsoft (R) Windows Script Host Version 5.7
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

  • On windows, open a command prompt. Type 'ipconfig' and look at IPv4 Address. But 'ipconfig' cannot show only one adapter. Another choice is netsh
x <- shell('netsh interface ip show addresses "Local Area Connection"', intern = T)
y <- strsplit(x[grep("IP Address", x)], " ")[[1]]
# [1] ""

PATH copy copy

What is the Equivalent of the (Linux) bin Directory in Windows?

System wide: the \Windows\System32 directory, or PATH

Personal: account’s PATH environment. For example, create the directory in your own profile (%USERPROFILE%\bin) and add it to your account’s PATH environment variable.

PATH environment variable

In R, by using strsplit() and shell() functions we can quickly get the information of the PATH environment variable.

> x = shell("PATH", int = TRUE)
> strsplit(x, ";")
 [1] "PATH=C:\\Program Files (x86)\\VNI\\imsl\\fnl600\\Intel64\\lib"             
 [2] "C:\\Program files\\MPICH2\\bin"                                            
 [3] "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\VNI\\imsl\\fnl600\\IA64\\lib"                     
 [4] "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\VNI\\imsl\\fnl600\\IA32\\lib"                     
 [5] "C:\\Program files\\MPICH2\\bin"                                            
 [6] "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Intel\\ComposerXE-2011\\redist\\intel64\\mkl"     
 [7] "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Intel\\ComposerXE-2011\\redist\\ia32\\mkl"        
 [8] "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Intel\\ComposerXE-2011\\redist\\intel64\\mpirt"   
 [9] "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Intel\\ComposerXE-2011\\redist\\intel64\\compiler"
[10] "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Intel\\ComposerXE-2011\\redist\\ia32\\mpirt"      
[11] "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Intel\\ComposerXE-2011\\redist\\ia32\\compiler"   
[12] "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Intel\\ComposerXE-2011\\compiler\\lib"            
[13] "C:\\Windows\\system32"                                                     
[14] "C:\\Windows"                                                               
[15] "C:\\Windows\\System32\\Wbem"                                               
[16] "C:\\Windows\\System32\\WindowsPowerShell\\v1.0\\"                          
[17] "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\QuickTime\\QTSystem\\"                            
[18] "C:\\Program Files\\cvsnt"                                                  
[19] "C:\\Program Files\\ActivIdentity\\ActivClient\\"                           
[20] "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\ActivIdentity\\ActivClient\\"                     
[21] "C:\\Program Files\\TortoiseSVN\\bin"                                       
[22] "C:\\graphviz\\i386\\bin"                                                   
[23] "C:\\graphviz\\x64\\bin"                                                    
[24] "C:\\gtk\\bin"                                                              
[25] "C:\\gtksourceview\\bin"                                                    
[26] "C:\\libxml2\\bin"                                                          
[27] "C:\\Users\\USERNAME\\Downloads\\binary"                                     
[28] "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Miktex\\miktex\\bin\\"                            
[29] "C:\\Pandoc\\bin"                                                           

An open source program to edit PATH variable is available from

On my computer, I need to open a Windows prompt with admin privilege and then type 'sysdm.cpl' in order to change the PATH variable.


Difference of "P" and "U" when running an update on WinCVS.

It means "Patched", which in effect is exactly the same as "Updated". The only difference is that the server did not send the complete file but only a diff (aka patch).

Notepad++ (text editor)


Go to Settings->Preferences -> Print. Check 'Print line number' and check 'Black on white' instead of no background color.

Line wrap works too. About 62 lines per page in my case. Cannot change font size though.

Other editors like Sublime and Atom do not even have the print function.

But sometimes it shows a message 'Before you can print, you need to select a printer. If you need to install a printer, either double-click the Add Printer icon or click the Find Printer... button located on the General tab of this dialog.':(( In this case, I just need to re-start notepad++.

Font size

How to increase font size? Just hold Ctrl and use scroll wheel. See here. It even save the status when you restart Notepad++.


Setting > Style Configurator > Select theme dropdown list > Zenburn.

If we download other themes from internet, those themes do not have a support for R languages so the syntax highlight will be lost.

Default language

And for convenience, we can change the default language to R in Notepad++'s Settings.


? > Set Updater Proxy.

Text Editor


See above for the printing problem on my Win 7.


Does not support to print line numbers

GEdit (Linux/Windows)

  • Check the option of print line numbers.
  • Uncheck the option of syntax highlight.
  • Adjust font size used in printing.

On Windows 10, the print function does not work well though the print preview looks good.

Qt Creator

No option to support print line numbers


Line printing works. But some characters are lost in long lines.


No way to print line numbers.


When printing line numbers, it cannot support line wrapping. So a long line becomes several lines (line numbers).

Image and Photo Editors

Visual Studio

Visual Studio 2010

  1. Create simple form using VS C++

Visual Studio 2013

Visual Studio 2015

Download offline version

vs_community.exe /layout


For something we cannot find a good Windows version of program; for example, cvs client. See my notes in Linux page.


Use desktop client like minitube which can eliminate the ads and allows downloading videos.

Powerful usage of VLC


Toggle mute sound

  1. free utility called nircmd
  2. create a shortcut: "C:\Michal\Code\Mute Sounds\nircmd.exe" mutesysvolume 2
  3. set up shortcut key by right click the shortcut and choose property

Record Skype calls

Calibrate your speaker

How to Calibrate Your Computer Speakers Without a Fancy Microphone

Mind mapping software

  • Free mind
  • Mindmap (web based)
  • MindMup (web based). It can export to Freemind .nm format. No registration is required.

Command line

find date/time

@echo off
For /f "tokens=2-4 delims=/ " %%a in ('date /t') do (set mydate=%%c-%%a-%%b)
For /f "tokens=1-2 delims=/:" %%a in ("%TIME%") do (set mytime=%%a%%b)
echo %mydate%_%mytime%

Then save it as <datetime.bat> and run

C:\Program Files\R>c:\users\brb\Desktop\datetime.bat
2015-09-16_ 908

@echo off
echo %time% < nul
cmd /c %1
echo %time% < nul

Then run your program as an argument to this script...

timer myprogram.exe

and for arguments...

timer "myprogram.exe -sw1 -sw2"

Examine your system’s energy efficiency: powercfg

Reconnect to the internet with a new IP address: ipconfig

'C:\Program' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file


Set up Outlook with Office 365

How to Configure Outlook for Mac for Office 365

How to Reduce the Size of Your Outlook Data File

Different panes

  • Navigation pane
  • Reading pane
    • Inbox/Message List pane: See on how to change the font size of the message list. Mail -> VIew -> Current View -> View Settings. Click 'Other Settings' -> Row Font or 'Conditional Formatting' -> one rule.
    • Preview pane
  • Calendar pane: See on how to keep the Calendar in Mail pane. Mouse over (not click) on Calendar located on bottom-left. Click the Pin button to dock it to the right edge of the Outlook window.

Change theme

File -> Options -> General. Select the drop-down list from the 'Color scheme'.

Change view: Messages vs Conversations

Go to View > Conversion.

On the web version, there is no menu bar. The same option is at Filter > Show as. We can also uncheck the option of 'Show Focused Inbox' from Filter.

How to increase the font size in the reading pane

Use ctrl + mouse scroll wheel. This will affect the current email message.

Or use the Magnification bar at the right-bottom corner (on the status bar). There is no way to lock the zoom level for all messages.

How to change all message font size

See this post. The con is the messages have to be converted to plain text (images in the email will not be shown).

Outlook 2010:

  1. Click File > Options > Trust Center (category) > Trust Center Settings... (button) > E-mail Security (category)
  2. Under 'Read as Plain Text', check the box next to 'Read all standard mail in plain text' > click OK once to return to Outlook Options.
  3. Click Mail (category) > Stationary and Fonts... (button).
  4. Under 'Composing and reading plain text messages', click Font... (button).
  5. Adjust the font size/settings as desired (how to you want to see new messages?) and click OK when done, then OK to exit the Signatures and Stationary window, and OK again to exit Outlook Options.

Note - You will have to click off of whatever email you had selected while changing the settings, then click back on it to see the changes you've made.

How to send an encrypted email

New Meeting Request

Click Calendar first and you will see these two options. New appointment will be saved under my own calendar. New Meeting Request will let you to specify To, When, Where, and Subject.


Auto delete emails from meeting request

Calendar with email

What's New

MS-Office alternatives

The 7 Best Microsoft Office Alternatives


Plot Excel data

Sort data in Excel

  1. Select a range of columns
  2. Click Sort & Filter button and select 'Custom sort'. Select the header of 'Column' of "sort by". Click the OK button. Done

Remove password protection

Remove password protection from Excel sheets using R

Excel has detected that filename is a SYLK file but cannot load it

This problem occurs when the file that you’re trying to open has uppercase letters “I” and “D” as the first two characters.

For example, your file contains:

ID, Patient, Name
100, John, Smith
101, Mike, Doe

To fix it, either update ID to lower case “Id”, or you can add an apostrophe at the beginning of the first line of text.

Prevent auto convert to dates in Excel

Excel Options -> Advanced -> uncheck 'Enable AutoComplete for cell values'.

How to insert a line break in Excel cell

Ctrl + Enter.

Creating macros

Hidden worksheets

7 Fun & Weird Things You Can Create With Microsoft Excel


Excel print the header row on each page

  1. Click page layout tab on the ribbon
  2. Switch to the tab for Sheet and spot the section for Print titles. It hosts a row and a column option.
  3. In the 'Rows to repeat at top', enter '$1:$1'.


How to Print the Gridlines and Row and Column Headings in Excel

How to freeze a row or column in Excel

Excel Pivot Tables: How to create better reports

If function

=if(exact(E2, "M"), 1, 0)  # Compare E2 cell and "M" string value, return 1 if TRUE.

Create a plan with Excel

How to Create a Marathon Training Plan With Excel

Excel Add-ins

Some favorites for you to try, and some are free

Remove green triangles

Windows: File > Options > Formulas > untick checkbox Enable background error checking.

Mac: Preferences > Error Checking > untick Turn on background error checking

Rotate a page in Word files

3 Microsoft Word Formatting Tricks You Should Really Know

Hide rows or columns

Split Screens, Freeze Frames, Quick Cut and Paste, Format Painter

Avoid change simple quote to smart quote (autoformatting) in Word

Uncheck two options in Options -> Proofing -> Autoformatting.

8 MS Word Templates That Help You Brainstorm & Mind Map Your Ideas Quickly

How to use Word to create holiday cards and other projects

Avoid broken hyperlinks from web address containing space

Office Mobile

Free for devices less than 10.1 inch screen on Windows 10.

Office home use program (HUP) $9.95

Change languages

How to Change the Language in Microsoft Office 2016

Office 2016 Preview Scheduled 9/22/2015.

The executables (EXCEL, WORD, ...) are located at C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16.

On Windows 10, I did not see Excel (Under 'E' or under 'M') at Startup menu. Under 'Microsoft Office 2016 Tools' in the start menu, I see Database Compare 2016, Office 2016 Language Pref..., Office 2016 Upload Center, Skype for Business Record..., Spreadsheet Compare 2016, Telemetry Dashboard for Office, Telemetry Log for Office 2016. I did see Word 2016, Publisher 2016, OneNote 2016, Outlook 2016 in the startup menu. Anyway, I can type excel.exe in the search box to launch Excel 2016.

Office 365

Office 365 is a subscription plan to current and future versions of Microsoft Office that offers other productivity services enabled over the internet (Cloud services) including Exchange Online - hosted email for business, and additional online storage with OneDrive for Business.

Screenshots from different MS-Excel

  • 2016. The quick access toolbar and menu have a green color as the background. The current selected menu item has white background color so its color is consistent with the Ribbon and the worksheets. The top-left has an 'X' icon as Office 2013.
  • 2013. The quick access toolbar and menu have a white color as the background. The current selected menu item has green background color.
  • 2007. The background color of quick access toolbar, menu and Ribbon is blue by default. There is a big circle Windows icon on the left-most quick access toolbar.
  • 2003 No Ribbon. No quick access toolbar and the location is used to show 'Microsoft Excel' and the file name.
  • 2002/XP or this one. It looks the same as 2000.
  • 2000 Simple.

Use a black color as background for easy reading on screens

On the ribbon go to "Page Layout" and then "Page Color" - select black.

Flow Charts

To create a flow chart in Word,

  1. View > Gridlines
  2. Insert > Shape/Line or Text Box

Note that though I can create flowcharts in Word or PowerPoint, I can not export the flowchart to a png file from Word or PowerPoint on my Mac. So I end up using LightShot to take a screenshot.

But Word highlights words with mis-spelling:( The fix that, click 'Review' > Spelling and Grammar. Click 'Ignore' for every words it finds.

  • It has an online and offline (open source) versions.
  • For offline uses, it has a docker version too.
  • The default file extension is an XML. We can export the graph to PNG, SVG among others formats.
  • It includes several templates to use.
  • Manual & tutorials
  • The connector can be created directly from the shape itself through the blue triangle; see Tutorial 1: Creating a Diagram
  • To create a text within an object, just double click it. To create a text outside objects, double click somewhere and start to enter the text. After that, just move the text to the location we want.
  • It supports layers. Click View > Layers. The Layers panel/menu will be shown up.
    • The default one is a 'Background'.
    • If we add a new layer, the new layer will be shown on top of the 'Background' in Layers panel. It also uses light blue color to highlight the currently working layer.
    • Small triangle next to each layer in the Layers menu allows users to move a layer to 'Back' or 'Front' relative to its neighbor layer. Of course, the top layer cannot go 'Front' and the bottom layer (eg Background) cannot go 'Back'.
    • Use the checkbox to hide/show layers.
  • Even in the same layer, we can move an object to back or front.
  • There are different categories of shapes to use.
    • The default one is 'General'.
    • Misc category includes lists, tables, linked text, curly bracket, et al
    • Flowchart category.
    • Arrows category
    • Android, iOS, ...

Calendar Templates

The Best Free Microsoft Office Calendar Templates for the New Year

How to Fill Text Color With an Image in Microsoft PowerPoint

How to Convert PowerPoint Slides to Flashcards for Better Study Results

Powerpoint Presenter View

  • The screen has to be extended instead of duplicated.
    • LibreOffice Impress also support presenter screen. Presenter can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+2 to view notes on RHS of your own screen and Ctrl+3 to get an overview of all slides and Ctrl+1 to switch back to the normal view (just see the next slide in PC's screen).
    • LibreOffice Impress screenshots (no need to install anything extra at least on Ubuntu 16.04 and actually no need to remember the keyboard shortcuts)
  • Presenter View in PowerPoint
  • How to Add and Print PowerPoint With Speaker Notes
  • Presenter View in Google Slides. Just click in the text box beneath the main slide area to type your notes, or go to Tools > Voice type speaker notes, click the mic button and start dictating. Your notes will be viewable by only when you select “presenter view” from the Present drop-down menu.

How to Black (or White) Out a PowerPoint Presentation

Google Slides

3 Chrome extensions for better presentations

Google sheets

Reference management software



Folder synchronization

cwRsync Just unzip.

VirtualBox + share folder

Pick a light weight linux distribution.

rsync from Rtools

C:\Program Files\R>where rsync

Got an error (tried 3.2 and 3.3)

rsync: Failed to exec ssh: No such file or directory (2)
rsync error: error in IPC code (code 14) at /home/lapo/package/rsync-3.0.9-1/src/rsync-3.0.9/pipe.c(84) [Receiver=3.0.9]
rsync: connection unexpectedly closed (0 bytes received so far) [Receiver]
rsync error: error in rsync protocol data stream (code 12) at /home/lapo/package/rsync-3.0.9-1/src/rsync-3.0.9/io.c(605) [Receiver=3.0.9]

rsync from cygwin

Got a permission error when the target is a network drive.

Got an error: connection unexpectedly closed.

Windows sync toy

For some reason, it does not find the missing files so it does not copy files from source to target.

Another bad thing is there is no way to uninstall it.


For some reason, I cannot download it successfully. If I manually copy it from a linux machine to windows, it just get deleted. Probably there is a security reason.


I download Windows binary version. However, it does not work. It depends on GTK but it still complain it cannot find libgtk-win32-2-0.0.dll even I downloaded/installed/change PATH variable.

DirSync (NO installer is there)

Internet Tricks

View all steps from instructables

Just add ?ALLSTEPS after the url's forward slash. See here

How to Set Up Your Own Home VPN Server

How to See If Your VPN Is Leaking Your Personal Information


Keep tabs open from last session

Settings > Folder Tabs > Tab Management tab

  • uncheck the box "Close all not locked tabs when the program ends."
  • check the box "Keep current tabs if open layout"

7zip to open zip files

Back up to external drive or another computer

Turn off Ipod nano 4th generation completely

The steps are

  1. Center + Menu
  2. Center + Left
  3. Sleep, Deep sleep

Hide a Windows program

Especially the RBTray program works well. When it was launched, we can use 'right click' on any program's minimize button to minimize it to the tray. To exit the program, just right click on any tray icon created by RBTray and click Exit RBTray in the popup menu. Or run RBTray.exe with the --exit parameter.

ProgramData folder

What Is the ProgramData Folder in Windows?

Windows XP mode in Windows 7

Screenshot Annotation

Evernote Skitch, Snipit, SnagIt (commercial), hotshot GNU written in C++ & Qt, Jing, Picpick (commercial), Paint.Net, szoter online annotation, IrfanView, Open office, Shutter for linux.


Printing will truncate the top and bottom. So when we want to print, switch to Window's Paint program.

Back up

Backups vs. Redundancy: What’s the Difference?


How to Sync Only Specific Folders With Dropbox

Evernote backup

Record screens

This guide tells how to record you screen on different platforms (windows/mac/linux/android/ios).

Adobe Illustrator

The 8 Best Free Browser-Based Adobe Illustrator Alternatives


  • Tutorial basic
  • List of tools shown on the left hand side.
  • Tutorial from youtube (tutor4u)
  • Transparent text
  • Select the arrow key when we want to change an object property (eg enlarge).
  • The straight line tool is located two above the Text tool. When we draw a line, we can use ENTER key to stop continuation.
  • When we want to enlarge an object, we want to hold the CTRL key so the size will be changed proportionally.
  • Keyboard shortcut. For example, Ctrl+d to duplicate selection.

Note Taking

  • KeepNote: cross platform (pro: tab for different notebooks, export to HTML)
    • Notebook is saved in a folder format (Folder name = notebook name)
  • CherryTree: cross platform (pro: still under development, one file only, recent documents)
    • File extension is .ctd
    • I use version 0.28.5 for ATtasks\Doc\RServe, GSE6861 Projects
  • Zim: cross platform

X11 server


Check web change

Screenshot of a big webpage

Screengrab add-on for Firefox


ReminderFox is an add-on for Firefox

Tile of webpages

TileView is an add-on for Firefox

Download Bing wallpaper

Windows Virtual Machine download These virtual machines expire after 90 days. Recommend setting a snapshot when you first install the virtual machine which you can roll back to later. The password to your VM is "Passw0rd!"

The guest machine seems to be working out of box. Desktop zoom in and copy/paste work.

Specs: 4GB memory, 40GB virtual storage.

Audio out recorder

Total Recorder. The standard version ($18) already allows to record by schedule. The Professional version (+$18) allows to capture streaming audio directly without opening another application.

PDF file

Windows Movie Media

I got a message Another program is preventing Windows Essentials from installing when I was installing Windows Essentials 2012 on Windows 7 Enterprise w/ Service Pack 1.


This article from



Camstudio works in Virtualbox guest machine too while Screencasting 101 gives me an error. Also the Virtualbox's built-in video capture function does not create videos correctly (I only got a blank/green screen and the video's length is wrong).

Make sure to install Camstudio lossless codec too.

Useful settings:

  • Region -> Fix region 1024*720 (screen will create 4 corners when you hit the record button or F8)
  • Options -> Video. Camstudio lossless Codec v1.5.
  • Options -> Cursor. Highlight cursor.
  • Options -> Audio.
  • Options -> Program Options -> Keyboard shortcut (F8=record, F9=Stop)
  • Toolbar icon -> 6th one is to toggle flv, avi, mp4. Avi is good.


How to blue a region.


30 days trial is free to download. It is possible to blue a region with Camtasia. Check out this page or some videos like this.

Video Editing Tools

4 Free Video Editing Tools: VSDC (Windows free/pro) and Shotcut (cross-platform)

The best video editing software (Sep 2017)

VideoPad Video Editor

How to Edit Videos Like a Pro With VideoPad Video Editor

Cyberlink PowerDirector

Got blue screens when I import video files (tested on Windows 7 VM, PD v12).


  • Text annotation is easy and more variable
  • Audio fade out does not work. Alternatively we can use Audicity to fix this problem.
  • Export video is very slow (at least on the Free version). 1 minute video takes 1 minute to export. So it does not make sense if we just want to make a small adjustment.


  • Text annotation is too simple to be useful

Create a symbolic link

cd "YourDirectoryContainingSymLink"
mklink -d "Foldername" "RealPathToFolderName"

Default location of TurboTax and HRBlock

Documents\TurboTax with a file ext name like .tax2014.

Documents\HRBlock with a file ext name like .T14.

Storage/disk space problem on Windows tablet

Some ideas:



MBR vs. GPT: Which One Is Best for Your SSD?

Convert Fat32 file system to NTFS

It is know Fat32 has a file size limit of 4GB. That means it is impossible to use Fat32 partition to transfer a >4GB virtual machine file (ova) to a fat32 USB drive.

The ntfs partition created by Gparted program may not be recognized by Windows OS. So if a drive has been used/partitioned in Linux machines, it is recommended to keep using Gparted to partition the drive to FAT32 first and then bring the drive to Windows OS for ntfs conversion/re-partition.

Command line

To convert a fat32 partition to NTFS, run the following in the command line prompt (or type help convert to get help).

convert <drive_letter>: /fs:ntfs 


Use HP USB Disk storage format tool (96KB) <HPUSBDisk.exe>. The USB drive still needs to be assigned to a drive letter first.


It provides trustworthy temperature readings.

CPU fan control

How to Auto-Control Your PC’s Fans for Cool, Quiet Operation

Paper size: A4 vs US letter

  • A4 8.26 x 11.69
  • US Letter 8.50 x 11.00

See a comparison here and Wikipedia.

Printer IP

Right click the printer icon -> Printer properties (not Properties) -> Ports. Widen the first column (Port). The IP address is shown there.


The old printer is not shown as an option from Brother. I need to click the 'Windows Update' button to update all lists.

Hard drive

Hard drive monitor/benchmark tools

Has an advantage about the size than the internal drive. For example, my Dell Precision 3500 can support up to 2TB.


See the internal link Linux -> GParted.

Hard disk monitor tools

  • HWMonitor (freeware) from CPUID. Need to be run as admin; otherwise it only shows brief info about CPU. It does show temperature from cpu, memory, internal hdd and graphical card. Does not include External hdd.
  • SpeedFan (freeware) from This required an installation. It will be installed under C:\Program Files (x86)\SpeedFan. This can detect my ext 4TB hdd (WD4003FZEX). It shows the temperature 40C for this ext hdd (under the Readings tab or more details under the S.M.A.R.T. tab). My other 2 int hdd temperature is 34C and 40C currently.
  • Crystal Disk Info (freeware). Support USB connection and RAID. This looks very good too and it only focuses on HDD/SSD. It has both installer & portable versions. Explanation of the interface. The source code is on Give Your Hard Drive a Check-Up from The best and fastest USB3 Flash Drives of 2016, comparison, benchmark.
  • smartmontools. Windows can run it through cygwin.
  • HMonitor (shareware).

The hdd temperature is OK in the range of 25C to 46C. See

Hard disk space monitor



Speed Up Your Solid-State Drive by Re-Aligning Its Partitions


Fast, lightweight, advanced system information tool for your PC. It also displays the temperature from CPU, MOBO, fan speed, et al.

Use WinPatrol to Monitor Your Windows PC for Changes

Wireless network watcher

NirSoft’s network tools

Share your wifi with friends


  • WebEx Below is a screenshot when the camera is off and microphone is muted.

Webex audio.png


Intel Boot Agent GE

Logitech M510

Go to and download 64-bit full installer (not smart installer) of SetPoint.

SetPoint software can be used to re-program forward and backward buttons on the mouse. For example, I can set the forward as 'j' and backward as 'k' for website.

Amazon digital credit balance

Note that the credit has a short expire date. So go to the email and search "Your Promotional Credit". Good luck keeping track of them.

Amazon Prime Is More than Free Shipping: Here Are All of Its Extra Features

Watch web videos without flash

Firefox Developer Edition for private browsing

How to Identify a Song on Any Smartphone, PC, or Tablet


Similar to Conky in Linux.


It uses Alt+Space to launch anything.

Note that it has Linux (binary and source) and Mac versions too.


I downloaded the portable version (without the installer) from More Downloads >> link. (xampp-portable-win32-5.5.28-0-VC11.7z).

Note that xampp has to be extracted to the top level directory such as C:\.

When I start the Apache server, Windows' firewall will pop up. Since I am not the system admin, I can only click the 'Cancel' button.

The virtual machine can use the host's IP to get an access to the Apache web site. But the other computer cannot.

More help.

Window Services

How to Run Any Program as a Background Service in Windows from Plex is used as an example.

View Running Processes

See also Which Windows Account is Used by the System When No One is Logged In?

Process Hacker

Process Explorer

Console Window Host

Google account permission for webs, apps and devices

Go to account settings -> Sign in and security -> Connected apps and sites.

How to Play Your Favorite NES, SNES, and Other Retro Games

Online games

How to delete Yahoo account

It’s Time to Leave Yahoo: How to Quit and Move to Gmail Right Now

How to delete Gmail or Google account

How to Download Wikipedia for Offline, At-Your-Fingertips Reading

The Best Places to Find Free Audiobooks (Legally)

PIV card

ActivClient v6.2 program