Saturday, March 7, 2015

Windows Explorer Opening to a Particular Folder

Dumb Windows Things annoy me, which means I'm annoyed a lot :-)

One thing is that opening Windows Explorer always opens to the user's "home" directory. As a developer, that's almost always the last place I want to be. What I really want is to have a shortcut that opens Windows Explorer on a specific folder, or on the root of my C: drive.

Turns out, this is trivially easy. Open properties on the link and add the folder to the end of the "Target":

      %windir%\explorer.exe C:

Voila...

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Laptop Sleep Versus Shutdown after a Windows Upgrade Failure

I have a Dell XPS laptop running Windows 7. Recently, MS pushed out an update which, for some reason, never really completed - I was left with a message about Windows shutting down after the upgrade was complete.  I had left the machine on to perform the upgrade overnight, so it was a surprise to see this the next morning.

Well, not figuring out anything else to do, I pushed the power off button and then again to restart the laptop. Every time I did this, I would end up at the same place - with the message that Windows would restart after is was complete. I tried to get into safe startup mode (F8), but that never worked. I was getting a little concerned and called an IT guy to help.

He suggested that when I power off the laptop, I hold the power button down and not just press it. Well, that worked fine. I should have realized it, but simply pressing the power button puts the laptop in sleep or hibernate mode and then pressing it again starts back where it was left off. I knew how this worked in normal operations, but was surprised (though shouldn't have been?) to find the same during an update. So - lesson learned...

Friday, February 6, 2015

Internet Connection Failure...

Weirdest thing happened. After starting my laptop (Dell XPS 17, Windows 7), I had no internet connectivity. The network connections were fine - I could see other machines on my domain, but no connect out to the internet. My laptop is set up with an external monitor (LG Electronics 34UM94-P 34-Inch LCD - waaay cool!), mouse and keyboard. And the keyboard and mouse are USB connected to the monitor, which in turn is connected to the XPS laptop.

Did a bunch of poking around for possibilities. In the end, what worked was shutting down the laptop, unplugging the USB and the monitor, and then restarting the laptop. It came up fine, with full network and internet access. Then plugged in the monitor - still had internet; and then the USB. Internet and network access was fine and the keyboard and mouse worked.

Don't know why, but recording this for posterity!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Installing Oracle Java in Ubuntu, Something I seem to do a lot!

I create Virtual Box Virtual Machines for just about every project, so I end up installing Java on them a lot. I like the Oracle JDK, but for licensing reasons, that install is not available as part of the "normal" apt repository.

I installed Java via a PPA (http://askubuntu.com/questions/4983/what-are-ppas-and-how-do-i-use-them) by webupd8team (http://www.webupd8.org/2012/01/install-oracle-java-jdk-7-in-ubuntu-via.html). I ran these commands to add the PPA to the apt-get repo and update that repo, install Java7, and set up the various java 7 environment variables.

add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java

apt-get update
apt-get install oracle-java7-installer
apt-get install oracle-java7-set-default

This installs the java 7 version. Same commands work with 8 by changing the version number.