Friday, April 30, 2010

New Home Server

Over time, my home made Home Server has been slowly dying with the backup service rarely working and recently one of the HDDs have been display with errors and potential failure. So rather than trying to repair it, I went with my alternative… buy a new one.

I was hoping that my current server would hold out until the new version of Windows Home Server was released (hopefully later this year) but I was worried that mine would die in the meantime. So through work I bought a new HP MediaServer Home Server.

I will be posting pics up of my process of transiting to the new server but it will be a slow old process moving near 500GB of videos and pictures.

Remove EFI Partition in Windows 7

Scenario is that you have external Hard Drive that you were using in Mac OS X as perhaps a Time Machine backup drive and you now want to erase this drive in Windows. But you find that you cannot remove the 200MB EFI System partition. Here is how:
1)On the command prompt type diskpart and answer to any possible UAC prompt.
2)On the new diskpart prompt, type list disk. Note the Disk Number column.
3) Type, select disk no. (with no. being the partition you wish to delete. Usually partition 0 and with those 200 MB of size)
4) Finish by typing, clean.
This should only take a short moment and it will be complete. There is no message letting you know this has been done. Just quit from the command prompt after a moment.
You should have a fresh hard drive ready for format and Windows use.

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Girlfriend making the switch from Mac to PC: Part 3

So she has just discovered that the HP Envy does not include a optical drive.

Admittedly I had overlooked this feature (or lack of) of the optical drive. Although in most situations these days I hardly use a CD or DVD but she might be different. when pointing this out to her, she was a little set back as the main point of her getting a Windows PC was gaming, and her games are on DVD.

Although this can be easily solved with an external optical drive, this maybe a big set back and may force her back to the drawing board for her next laptop.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Support Over for Windows XP SP2

Microsoft has annouced on their TechNet blog that come April Windows XP SP2 and a string of other versions of Windows will no longer received support.

On 13th April 2010, Windows XP SP2, Windows 2000 (Professional & Server editions) and Windows Vista RTM will come to the end of life according to Microsoft and will no longer be supported by Microsoft nor receive updates from Microsoft/Windows Update.

For Windows XP SP2 users the solution is easy. Install Service Pack 3 (32-bit only). Same for Vista folks. Installing the latest service pack will help you to continue receiving support from Microsoft.

For Windows 2000 users, for both desktops and servers it has now come to the point where you need to start seriously thinking about upgrade or buying new equipment. Windows server is now up to Windows Server 2008 R2 and is released on alot of major hardware vendors servers. For Windows 2000 Professional users, you unfortunately do not meet the upgrade requirements of Windows 7. If you prefer to upgrade, you will need to upgrade first to Windows XP before proceeding to Windows 7, according to Microsoft.

For more information, read the post here.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Drag’n’Drop Attachments come to GMail

gmail-logoAnnounced on the Officially GMail blog, users of Gmail can now  drag and drop attachments from their desktop on to their new message.

Previously, users would have to open a separate window and locate their files one-by-one. No longer.

Check out the post by Google here.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Girlfriend making the switch from Mac to PC: Part 2

So I have gone and asked my girlfriend some questions about why is is considering making the switch between platforms and what is making the decision hard.

1) Why are you now thinking about getting a new laptop?

My old one is too small, and isn’t suited to what I want to do anymore, for example, [Adobe] Photoshop etc.

2) What have you liked about your current Apple Mac Book

The layout of the whole thing. The machine itself is clean, simple, elegant. The desktop and finder are also very clean and easy to use. It’s faster than the pc’s I’ve used in the past.

3) What do you mainly use your laptop for?

Internet and listening/downloading music. But I will be doing a lot more work with Photoshop with my new laptop.

4) Is there anything you haven’t liked about your laptop?

The main thing is the compatibility, or lack of, to be more accurate. A lot of the games I would want to play and programs that I would use, I can’t because they’re only Windows compatible. Another thing is the size of the screen, but that can be fixed regardless of what platform I go with.

5) Any particular reason you are considering a Windows PC?

Same thing. Compatibility. I’d love to be able to do everything without needing a virtual machine or another machine altogether. And I’ve found a PC that isn’t completely hideous, which is an issue I’ve had with a lot of PC’s.

6) Is PC Gaming an issue for you?

Like I said, there’s a lot of games I want to play, but can’t on my mac. There’s a whole stack of games at home that I would install straight away if I chose a pc.

7) Is there something that you wished the Mac could do that the PC does? And Vice Versa?

I wish Mac was more compatible with more programs. I wish Windows, from my current level of experience, was more elegant and basic. I also wish Windows had the multi-screen function that Macs do.

8) The newer MacBook Pro laptops are claiming up to 7-8 hours battery life. Is this a compelling feature for you?

In the grand scheme of things, with a lot of what I would be doing, and currently do, there wouldn’t be too big a difference in battery life between the MacBook Pro and a pc of the same size.

9) Will price be a major deciding factor?

Not really. The MacBook Pro and PC that I’m looking at are a similar price. I’d rather pay a bit more for a machine I’d like more.

10) Lastly, What will be the deal breaker? What will be the deciding feature that will help you make the decision on your new laptop?

As bad as this sounds, probably the Trackpad. I’ve said this before. I'm starting to lean more towards the PC, because of the compatibility issues. As much as I love everything about Mac’s, what’s the point of having all these programs and games that I want to use but can’t. The HP Envy has a very similar elegance about it’s look to a Mac, so that’s not an issue. But if I don’t like the feel of the Trackpad, I will not be getting the Envy. I am not going to pay that much for a machine I’ll dread using. And unless another pc notebook is presented to me that I don’t loathe the look of and that I won’t want to use due to the Trackpad, I’ll be getting a MacBook Pro, and then just deal with using a virtual machine or something for my programs that aren’t compatible.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Twitter growth is exponential

Posted back in February, Kevin Weil blogged about his position at and his recent finding.

Kevin Weil is apart of the analysis team, analysing and measuring growth of the use of Twitter.

The graph he posted shows that shockingly over the past two years, the use of Twitter has grown exponentially. Since January 2007 to January 2010, the amount of tweets per day has grown to approximately 50 Million.

Between July 2009 and January 2010, tweets increased from 10 Million to 30 Million tweets per day.

Please read more here:

Follow Kevin Weil on Twitter: @kevinweil