Add a batch file to Windows 8 Start Menu

Okay – maybe I’m old school, but I still find batch files useful, so it’s annoying (one of many annoyances) that in Windows 8 you can’t pin them to the new start menu.

Well, fortunately, Flavien Charlon has the answer. Put a shortcut to your batch file in %ProgramData%MicrosoftWindowsStart MenuPrograms

You should then be able to add it from ‘All Apps’ on the start menu.

That’s one annoyance dealt with. Sadly, Windows 8 seems to have plenty more.

“I got 99 problems but a batch ain’t one”

Add a batch file to Windows 8 Start Menu

WinSxS folder – WTF?

So, I’ve been using Vista quite happily for a fair while now. All the doomsayers complaining about how it would use so much more resources were wrong – provided your turn off the transparent borders on windows it still runs just the same (it seems to me) as XP. I guess I’ve always said to friends that it’s alright – I wouldn’t pay to upgrade to it (it doesn’t seem to offer much), but if I was buying a new PC, I’d be okay with it. The only problem I had doing just that was with blackhole detection in the new TCP/IP stack, and that was… exotic.

However, I think I’ve just found my first big gripe. Performing standard system maintenance on my desktop, which is used pretty much exclusively as a VM host, I noticed that my primary drive was using 40Gb. That seemed rather high for Vista, Office ’07, SharePoint Designer and Adobe Reader. Naturally, I broke out Treesize:

So, 28% of my drive is being taken up by the winsxs folder. What the hell is that? Continue reading “WinSxS folder – WTF?”

WinSxS folder – WTF?

What's wrong with Scunthorpe?

A requirement that I’ve seen appear a few times recently is for:

Automatic filtering of content that is deemed to be harmful, threatening, unlawful, defamatory, infringing, abusive, inflammatory, harassing, vulgar, obscene, fraudulent, invasive of privacy or publicity rights, hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable is filtered.

Yes, we all love a good jolt of lawyerspeak that is completely unconnected with what is possible for a computer to do ‘automatically’. I mean, let’s ignore that the court cases for what counts as, well, any of those things can be less than clear cut – if they were, cases would be short, and lawyers would earn less.

(As it happens, I am legally an ethnic minority in England – which I object to!)

Anyway, obviously complex decisions that require the judgement of human intelligence (let alone Judges) are beyond the wit of a computer program – hell, if it can’t find my printer, how’ll it find a bit of text ‘defamatory’? Continue reading “What's wrong with Scunthorpe?”

What's wrong with Scunthorpe?

Quite Impressed by Camtasia

Okay, so many of my colleagues are away on holiday at the moment, and that can make getting everyone into one room to show them a presentation difficult.

Unfortunately, I wanted to show some of out Sales and pre-sales guys some of the ‘standard’ customisations to search that I was working on last month. I could do screenshots and Powerpoint – but it’s slower to create, and not as easy to see as a video.

Well, I’d heard of Camtasia, and it transpires they’ve a 30 day free, so I thought I’d give it a go. Well, it is very good. Clearly, there is a lot to the program – much more than I’ve used – but I was able to get a video recorded showing my stuff in an hour. Not bad when the film itself is 20 minutes long!

It has some really neat features, too, like zooming and panning to where you’ve clicked, so that if you’ve only got a small video resolution you can still see the important bits on an activity at 100% zoom.

What I would say is that the documentation and introductory videos do seem to gently suggest that planning what you’re going to demonstrate might be useful – and they’re right. I’d say from my short experience that planning what you’re going to do is essential. As is a decent mike – my seemed to struggle a bit.

Anyway, would I pay $300 for it? Well, for the company, yes, it’s a snap. It isn’t something that a ‘home’ user is likely to pay that for, but for business quality screen recordings, I wouldn’t look any further.

Quite Impressed by Camtasia

Not impressed with WordPress 2.5

I’ve just upgraded to WordPress 2.5 – my blog was complaining that I should upgrade – and it feels rather like a downgrade.

I can deal with the fact that the Admin UI isn’t as good as it was – although the Dashboard has improved – but authoring posts has got worse:

  • Uploading an image – didn’t work out of the box. I had to install a plugin to make that work. Now it reports that the upload failed, though it succeeded.
  • Image thumbnailing is not as good – my thumbnails keep getting their left and right edges cut off.
  • Creating links in the WYSIWYG text editor just shows me a blank box – I have to switch to edit HTML view and put them in there.

Come on chaps, this isn’t release ready – you shouldn’t have been advising users to upgrade yet. Everyone, steer clear until these issues are fixed. Perhaps it would be a lot easier to not use Flash, eh?

Not impressed with WordPress 2.5