Launching unindexed programs in W8.1

With windows 8.1, my usual desktop metaphor for calling programs and the optimal alternative are less easy to implement; this is especially true for programs that are only occasionally used. I have historically created a folder called “More” and placed favourite’s to the program into the folder. (This is in order to keep my desktop and wallpaper clean.) This doesn’t work so well on smaller screens when you want the whole screen to display the working program. Continue reading “Launching unindexed programs in W8.1”

File Transfer & Windows 8.1

I want and need a better, faster interface for ftp and my blog server. Obvs needs to be encrypted. It seems that Windows 8.1 does not offer sftp natively but recommends WEBDAV. On my various clients I have multiple operating systems, but mainly Windows.

I had a quick poke around to see how to do this. Firstly I have an RTU for WISE-FTP through 1&1 which has great windows desktop integration but I usually use filezilla. (1and1 have moved away from WISE-FTP)

MS offer a One Drive cloud service as do Dropbox, but I want to use my 1and1 file system. (Perhaps the answer is wise ftp since that’s what they offer). Have Microsoft left this gap to enable third party products to fill it as part of non monopolistic behaviour, but surely doing the desktop integration requires the licensing of engineering rights and documentation.

Anyway Google doesn’t seem much help. Odd

I have for the moment decided to use filezilla with the –site-manager command line item. NB the — is what is used on windows as well as shell based command lines. I can find ways to go straight to my site but these require placing the password inside the shortcut.


I have made this icon –

filezilla menuThis is a .png version, I used convertico to make a .ico

Shell Scripting on Windows

I want to write bash scripts to be emulated using cygwin. This has a problem in that XP uses spaces in its file folder hierarchies and the environment variable initialisation process isn’t good enough. This is actually a snip on writing shell script using cygwin. The virtual boix commands are just the use case which led to me doing the research. Continue reading “Shell Scripting on Windows”


Not just for file sharing, but also supports printing and name services. I now make it part of my standard Linux builds within Virtual Box. I can then use VB shared folders or the host OS virtual file systems. (Is this true for Mac OS? Need to test it).


Some useful links,


The 5.2 Centos Deployment guide has a Chapter on SAMBA


Dell Dimension 5150c

This was originally entitled “Our New XP Box”. I changed the title when I copied the snip across to WordPress in July 2013.

The snip is called our new box. It isn’t so new anymore, but is about the Dell Dimension 5150c.

As of 30th Dec 2008, the User Manual is available as a .pdf. You might need to be logged into the site to read/get this.

Archiving the Pictures

Some years ago, I bought a Freecom DVD writer and decided to back up the pictures to DVD. XP did not originally support DVD writing and I have no idea if that’s changed so I needed to use Roxio Creator to do this.

Making Videos

In the Spring 2008, I decided to try and make some talking heads videos. My endeavours are documented on below Spring 2008


I am not sure where this comes from, but I have been trying to use it to make videos with a USB webcam. Basicaly I can’t get the sound to work. Google helped me find this FAQ.

I can now hear the sound on a Video. The key is to use the volume control to turn up the Recording volume.

Dell Forums

The mucked around with the forums again in Dec 2008. I am not sure the links below work any longer.

They now have an XP Support Centre & self help forum. They also have an all my posts page.

Dell Forums and Safe Mode

I also had reason to create  Windows Boot Menu page on this site. I was doing some housekeeping on my Dell Dimension 5150c and discovered that yet again the Dell Support site had been improved. There used to be tech support articles about the various systems they sold and are in use, but I finally found a reference on to how to bring the system up in Safe Mode, which I have documented. It implies that this is no longer different for each model and that Dell have standardised on F8. Anyway that’s what works on my machine. Interestingly hard to find I tried both Google and Exalead, but eventually found it using Google, of course.

External Disk

I installed an external disk to hold the pictures, music and maybe videos, i.e. the home directories.

Using the Fax

On 14th Sept 2009, I tried to send a Fax to Spain. This was after the new hub/router line was set up. The fax failed several times; I had tried to enter the hotel into the windows address book with a phone compatible fax number i.e. +34… I solved the problem by entering the destination as a one-off and specifying the destination country using a pull down menu. The fax console reported the destination number as 00 34 …., not +34. I used hyperterminal to test the line. This is a nuisance. It seems I need to store the fax numbers as UK specific, although I don’t use the phone much as a fax transmission device.

Action: The computer modem external wiring needs tidying up when the old btconnect line is terminated. i.e. It is currently using the old data line.

Desktop Icons

XP does not have “My Documents”, “My Computer” or “My Network Places” on the desktop. They can be placed their using

        Desktop -> Properties -> Customize Desktop

Security Center (sic) on XP aka the state of my box!

Written shortly after purchase, dated 7th Feb

It seems that XP can only have one security centre solution. The system comes with McAfee and I need Norton. Sadly I didn’t understand this and have had to restart the rebuild.

I have therefore had to trash certain pieces of work. With help I have managed to resolve my W98 systems network problems. (This was caused by one of the auto exec programs blocking the port on the W98 system). The W98 system is now acting as the print server. This came back OK.

I misread the screen configuration parameters and the drivers work out of the box. I have a lovely 19″ flat screen, which seems to be working fine.

Paintshop Pro is now owned by Corel and I have a trial licence. I wonder if my one & one subscription still entitles me to a PSP right-to-use. I need to track this down. Otherwise I need to discover the best way to obtain a right-to-use, otherwise maybe I should bite the bullet and buy Photoshop.

I expect I shall put OpenOffice on the box first, since some of the .doc files I have are too old for MS`Works’ word processor to read. (I shall be installing MS Office Educational Edition, in order to ensure that the MS file types have default methods that invoke the Microsoft programs.)

I need to go back to in order to download some more wall papers.

I have also lost some of the file transfers from the laptop and old W98 system.

Other snips here

See also Help & Support, &  I now have an Audio snip, which deals with installing a Microphone, and the CTMBHA.DLL driver issues as well. Xmas 2006


At about the same time that I bought the Dell I also bought an Alienware Aurora, which worked fine for two and half years and then developed a frustrating problem