Simon Wyndham on RedShark News on him considering leaving the Mac for Windows Editing

Simon Wyndham at RedShark News has a good read on why he is considering moving back to PC after the lackluster Pro Laptops and the lack of a real Pro Mac.

Now I have been saying this for years now. I don't want to leave Mac, as I like it much better than Windows, but Windows has really become superior for Professional Computer work. There is not the choice with Mac, and the fact that the MacPro is from 2013 and itself has no upgrade ability really limits the Mac. Sure I could go Hackintosh, but working on a Quo at work I have seen the issues with upgrading, and don't really want to deal with it.

Apple has given up on the creative professional, and Microsoft has stepped up. Look at the next Windows Update for Creatives, and the Suface, Surface Book, and Surface Studio are really for creatives!

I think Apple is making a huge mistake by not making machines for the market that kept them afloat through all the bad years, but Tim Cook doesn't seem to agree, and Apple will suffer for it.

Installing Boot Camp on High Capacity Disks

Other World Computing has a great article on how to install a bootcamp partition on disk larger than 2.2TB.

I wish I had seen this earlier. As I recently replaced my 2TB that had bootcamp on a partition on it with a 3TB drive that I took out of my Synology, and I could not restore my old BootCamp partition using WinClone because I could not make the partition. I could do it again now, but would have to reback up the drive and then move it back afterwards, and am not sure I have enough hard drive space for this, unless I wipe out the old disc with BootCamp on it. And I have yet to do a WinClone Restore so I am not sure it will work and don't want to lose the BootCamp partition just in case.

Batch Converting Pages Documents to Word Documents with Applescript

So if you read this blog you already know that I have pretty much come to the decision that my next computer will not be a Mac. I love my old MacPro 4,1 but it is getting long in the tooth, and I haven't even been able to do the Firmware Upgrade to get it to 5,1, so the next OS Sierra will not work on my current MacPro as it will only work on a 5,1 (I haven't tried putting in my old video card before the upgrade, which might help, but it looks like El Capitan makes it harder).

Unfortunately in 2007 I moved over to Pages to do my invoices, resumes and cover letter. Now you can individually export your documents to the modern word format docx, but I am talking hundreds and hundreds of files that I may want to access at some point, so I wanted a way to batch those files.

This requires applescript, and while I used to be OK at Applescript all those skills have since gone away.

A quick google search showed one page dedicated to scripting the iWorks suite, and it is iWorkAutomation. Specifically there is a script to Export to Word, but it is not a batch export, just a single use, and so not of use to me, except for stealing some of it's commands.

So then I went back to the old faithful applescript forums MacSpripter, and did a search. And I found an awesome script from Yvan Keonig, which automates the process, allowing you to pick a folder with you pages documents and then chose a destination folder, and it batch converts to PDF files.

Luckily my limited Applescript skills and the fact that the script was so well written, let me use the Microsoft Word commands from iWork Automation and combine them to make a script to convert to Word documents.

Just copy this script and paste it into Script Editor and run the script. You can also save the script to your scripts folder.

set theSourceFolder to (choose folder with prompt "Select a folder whose files you wish to convert to word:")

tell application "Finder"
set filesArray to every file of theSourceFolder whose name extension is "pages"
end tell

set theDestinationFolder to (choose folder with prompt "Select a folder where you want the converted files to be placed: ")

tell application "Pages" to activate

repeat with aFile in filesArray
tell application "Finder"
set fileAlias to aFile as alias
set fileName to name of fileAlias
set fileExtension to name extension of fileAlias
end tell
set theOriginalName to fileName
-- remove extension
set prevTIDs to AppleScript's text item delimiters
set AppleScript's text item delimiters to "." & fileExtension as string
set fileName to first text item of fileName
set AppleScript's text item delimiters to prevTIDs
-- prepare desktop folder path and name
set docPathAndName to (theDestinationFolder as text) & fileName & ".docx" # EDITED
tell application "Pages"
-- open the file
set targetDocument to open fileAlias -- EDITED : was aFile which is a Finder reference, not what Pages requires
repeat 10 times # I added a loop which may be useful if the original document is very long
export targetDocument to file docPathAndName as Microsoft Word
exit repeat
on error
tell me to delay 0.5
end try
end repeat
-- close it
close targetDocument saving no
end tell
end repeat

tell application "Pages" to quit

display dialog "Done!"

Awesome, now I have batch updated all my pages documents to Word documents. Sure the formatting needs some updating, but at least they will all work on a PC!

Davinci Resolve 12.5.1 Supports Quicktime ProRes on Windows, death knell for Quicktime

BlackMagicDesign's Davinci Resolve 12.5.1 has been released and it includes Quicktime ProRES decoding on Windows! You can check out all the new features here.

With Apple having ended Quicktime support for Windows, and now Adobe and DaVinci adding Quicktime Pro Res playback on Windows, that basically means that you can use all the old ProRes files you have, but it is time to move on. And it is unfortunate as ProRES HQ had really become a great intermediate format and ProRES 444 is an awesome alpha format.

And it looks like it is time to move to AVID's DNxHD format, since like ProRES it is pretty much visually lossless at higher bitrates.

Simple Background Music Player App for the Xbox One

Well a company called TroubleAcres has an app that can play music off a USB stick on your XBOX one. It is free and it works, but it is very simple. It only plays MP3, WMA and FLAC files on a FAT32 or NTFS USb drive within a folder called "Xbox Music Library" and it has a limitation of only 200 files and plays them in alphabetical order. It does read files in folders, but only to add to the alphabetical list.

It works and I can finally play my own music. Just have to keep it to 200, and put music on I want at the time.

I am on a Mac and use ALAC files, which are not supported, but luckily the $5 M3Unify app from the awesome Doug's Scripts will convert to MP3 and put files in folders by artist and album. Of course for now those folders are useless, but hopefully it will work at some point. And ALAC support would be great too, since the One does support AAC in it's Media Player app (which also supports a DLNA, and folders, but for some inexplicable reason doesn't support Background Music making it next to useless).

Moving from Rapidweaver to a PC Web Site Creation Tool, any help would be appreciated! MacPro 4,1 EOL, so time to move to PC.

So if you have been reading my posts you know that my MacPro is nearing the end of it's life. The next version of OS X, macOS Sierra, officially does not support my MacPro 4,1. Now it does support the MacPro 5,1, and I can do a firmware flash and make my Mac think it is a 5,1, since the only different was a firmware upgrade and newer processors. So I will be able to Install Sierra, but the writing is on the wall and Sierra will likely be the last OS to support a 5,1 MacPro.

And it is not like I have a stock 4,1, it has an SSD, an NVIDIA GTX 670 with 4GB of RAM, and a ton of Hard drives, but the big issue is that Adobe Creative Cloud big updates tend to only work with the latest Mac Upgrade so my MacPro has maybe a year or at best 2 before it can no longer get OS upgrades, and will literally be a paperweight. Sure I can still run it for some things, but it won't be getting security upgrades, and software will stop working on it.

Now for most software I can easily move it to a PC, or if not easily it can at least be done. I can resave all my Pages files to word docs, and things like that, but for Web Site Creation it is not so Easy.

I run Rapidweaver 6 for web site creation. I used to make my own web sites in HTM, and have run many many programs from Net Objects Fusion when it was Mac, to Dreamweaver, but I don't want to code anymore, as basically when the web moved heavily to CSS I moved to WYSIWYG completely and gave up on coding for the most part.

So now I run RapidWeaver 6 (I know 7 is out, but do I really want to upgrade, when in the next few years I will be likely be moving to windows? Not really!) and do my 2 web sites, as well as my mom's web site for her business.

Of course RapidWeaver is unfortunately Mac only. So the question becomes what to rebuild my web sites in that would work on a PC. The obvious choices are not so obvious.

I already run Adobe Creative Cloud, so Dreamweaver makes sense if I wanted to code HTML, but I don't.

So I recently took a look at Adobe Muse, it's WYSIWYG web creation tool, that was created not by the Dreamweaver team, but by the Indesign team. And MUSE looks fantastic and powerful, except for one major thing, BLOGS!

And it is blogs that hurt the whole equation! I have one local Wordpress Blog, my Movie review blog, and 4 google blogger blogs. Now I know that not having a blog local means that it won't show up in search for the site, though I get around this in RapidWeaver by user the Loghound SiteMap plug in, which scans all of your blog entries and gives them local entries in your siteindex.xml. And honestly if I had to I could move all those Blogger blogs to local Wordpress blogs, to have all the entries show up as local pages, but even that doesn't help with Adobe Muse.

With Adobe Muse, there are no blogs. Sure a few third party plug ins have been made to make local blogs, and you can show blog entries from RSS, but there is literally no way to show your whole blog. Not even a local Wordpress blog! And it sounds like even if they do it will have to be blog posted on Adobe Business Catalyst and not on your own hosted web site.

If Adobe would let you use locally published Wordpress Blogs I would be fine, and could move my Blogger blogs to their own Wordpress blogs, and publish locally, but that doesn't sound like it will happen.

And so the point of this point, to ask, does anyone have a solution for me. The best solution would be a cross platform WYSIWYG solution that lets me remake my sites on my mac before I move to PC, and lets me integrate my Wordpress and Blogger blogs into the site easily. Now I could also go for a PC Only solution, and run it in either Bootcamp or Parallels ( I currently have both, so I can do that), but then I need a powerful WYSIWG web site editor that can incorporate outsite and local blogs, and is something like Rapidweaver.

Any input would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

Xbox One Background Music still can't play your own music, WTF!

This is my second post on this subject, but I just can't believe that Microsoft has released background music and not updated Media Player to work with it, so you basically can't play your own music on the XBOX ONE. This was a release feature on the Xbox 360, WTF Microsoft!

The first app was a damn Podcast app! What is that? And now I guess that Groove Music, Microsoft's paid music service will work in the background. And supposedly it will play music you have copied to your OneDrive, if you have enough space, but you seem to have to have a paid account for that to work (though I could be wrong on that). The thing is that the 360 worked off a DLNA server from your computer, so with the help of an app, I could stream all my music from my Mac to my XBOX and pick tracks and play them. I want to play my own music, not paid music, and not even Pandora (which is supposed to work soon). I want my own music!

And honestly the fact that Microsoft's paid music service GROOVE will work soon makes me very wary! WTF! Let me play my own music! Hell if I have to I will rip CD's to my One as I could with my 360! It is better than just streaming or paid music! Hell even if I have to put them on a USB stick and do it that way, it is at least my music, but again that would require Microsoft to update their Media Player app!

Xbox One Background Music released with only one app, and it isn't Media Player

Microsoft released it's summer 2016 update, and finally after 2 years they have released Background Music, which was released late on the original Xbox and a release feature on the Xbox 360. The problem is, they didn't update their own apps! Seriously the only app that supports it is CAST, an app to listen to Podcasts! WTF!

Now they have announced support for the crappy Microsoft Groove, it's paid app, and Pandora, but no word on Media Player and that is the rub! On the Xbox 360 you could stream music from a dlna server on your computer, and control it via the app or via a quick pop up. The Media plays music from DLNA servers or USB, though you can't rip music to the hard drive like you could on the 360, but no the app does not support Background Music, and there is no world when it will.

Trying to figure out what programs I will use if I move from Mac to PC

I have been talking about it for ages, and have used Apple Computers since I was 7 and got an Apple IIC. I love my Mac, but it getting old, and the next macOS Sierra has end of lifed my 4,1 MacPro. Luckily I can hack it to become a 5,1 with a simple firmware hack, so I can install Sierra, but it is likely the last Mac OS my computer will run. And big Adobe updates usually require the latest Mac OS. And the new "MacPro", the trashcan is a joke that has not been upgraded since it's release in 2013. It isn't upgradeable, nor can it have more than one harddrive internally, so it isn't pro. And it's use of a Xeon processor is not a boon. Xeon's are usually a few generations behind on technology, the big difference is that Xeon's don't have an integrated graphics processor (which doesn't affect you if you us a high end graphics card) and they 2 processors! But the trashcan can only use one! And yes it can have 12 cores (for an insane price), but i7's have now reached 8 or 10 cores and are newer tech, so why not use those if you are only using one processor. I really don't get it!

And yes I could build a Hackintosh, but I have been using a Quo at work,mand while it is great, upgrades are never too fun, and you must disable security features to even install El Capitan.

So it is looking like my next computer is a PC, cause I can put an NVIDIA Geforce 1080, but I need to figure out moving away from many of my current programs.

I know I can move iTunes to PC, though I hear it doesn't work as well on the PC, but my library and ratings will make it over.

I can export and move my mailboxes, browsers and the like pretty easily. There is nothing to easily move my Photos library to Windows, but I can import my Library into Adobe Lightroom and it will take my Keywords, then move to PC so it will work there. Pages and the whole iWorks suite is a pain as I need to open each file and save it out to word (hopefully I can automate it).

Making my web sites is more of a pain. I have used many programs over time, starting with Net Objects Fusion before it went Windows only, and I have even used Dreamweaver, though my HTML skills have gone to hell, and I don't want to code anymore. So currently I use Rapidweaver, which makes it easy and I have 2 different web sites for me and my mom's web site, which can link to much web site content. Now I am starting to look at Adobe Muse as an alternative, but I am not sure it will easily plug into all the content I currently use, from YouTube, Vimeo, 500px, or Flickr, so sites you can easily upload things and have them automatically show up on your web site. And it looks like there is no way to embed my blogger blog into muse, as I have done with Rapidweaver. Might be able to do my self hosted wordpress, but not my blogger blogs. Damn!

Then I will of course have to figure out a bunch of other programs, and especially system tweaking, and a new backup system, as I can't use time machine anymore.

It is surprising to me how little info there is online for moving from Mac to PC. Any info or even programs to help seem to be made to go the other way.

Oh well, when it happens I will likely be running both machines for a while, until I am sure everything is moved over.

And I am sure I will miss my Mac in many ways as I have Windows 10 in parallels and bootcamp on my mac, but it works, and honestly is a more pro system nowdays.

Should the XBOX ONE be called the XBOX ZERO?

I have been a gamer since I was a kid, and have had a lot of game systems through the years, but as of the Original XBOX I have really been a Microsoft Gamer. Sure I had a Sony Playstation 3, but I had only 3 games for it, and really only used it as a blu-ray player.

I went from the Original XBOX to the XBOX 360, and had 6 Red Ring of Death failures on it, before it finally went out of warranty and died and I moved to a slimline XBOX 360 finally with HDMI out. I loved the system and it's online capabilities or I would have given up with all of it's failures.

And I was so excited for the XBOX ONE, and even luckier that my mom ordered me one for my birthday (getting it on release day). It sounded like a great idea, a center for your media in your living room. You can even play television through it, and it would really be the main thing you need, but just hasn't quite worked out that way, even if it is a good game system.

First off the ONE has been $499 VS $399 for the PS4. And the excuse was that it was because of the Kinect it came with, which was integrated into the system for motion and voice control. The problem is that there was no killer Kinect game that showed the need for it. It should have come with Kinect Sports Rivals at least, but even that is only a decent game (not better than the previous XBOX 360 Kinect Sports Games). And the system control with the Kinect is not even that good. You have to repeat yourself, and the movement controls are awkward at best.

Sure the ONE is a very good gaming system, but the fact that Microsoft went for a cheap video card, means it is much less powerful than the Sony Playstation 4, and really isn't capable of doing 1080P output. More like 720p. And that is really unacceptable in this day where basically everyone has a 1080 HDTV. Really it should have been able to do Rock Solid 1080P 3D out of the box.

And the ONE has huge overhead, running literally 3 OS's at once. For the system there is the Gaming Layer, the system layer, and the TV layer (which is not a DVR, but will just let watch TV and control it somewhat with a new guide and vocal commands, but they don't work very well). So you are running 3 OS's at once, and having to run the Kinect as well, further eating performance. Sure it is really cool to be able to instantly jump out of what you are doing and into the main menu and then jump back, but it does eat system power, which would be fine with more power, but since for raw power the system is already behind it's cheaper rival the PS4 (I know not anymore), you are eating more performance. And the ability to snap other apps on the screen is interesting, but is not really something you want to do while gaming, since it shrinks your screen and resolution further.

And to add insult to injury Microsoft has announced that they are releasing a $399 system with no Kinect. So it seems the integral system component is not so integral. Maybe this will mean that in the future developers can have the power back from the system that the Kinect functionality was using within games, but with cross platform games it seems unlikely except for exclusive titles. And it means less Kinect games will be developed, and makes it seem less important. Microsoft should really have eaten the price of the Kinect, and made the system $399 at launch with the Kinect. Now the Kinect has been moved to the sidelines, and can never be a guaranteed part of games or the system, so it will likely not get the attention it deserves.

And for me I haven't yet gotten to the worst of what is missing from the ONE. This system which is supposed to be the "ONE" system that you need has so much less functionality than it's predecessor the XBOX 360. In fact even less than the 360 had at launch since it added many more features along it's life span! Xplore Gaming has a great article on this.

For me the biggest and worst thing, is a feature that was added late in the life cycle of the original XBOX. That is the ability to play your own music during games. In fact with the 360 you could plug in your iPod and play music right away, since you needed something to serve a music from Mac (though you could do it from Windows right away) and control the music from your XBOX controller by just hitting pause. Sure some games you listen to the music when playing, as some games have great music, but most of the time you eventually get sick of it. Especially with racing games or online multiplayer games. I mean who hasn't wanted to blast some heavy rock or electronica during a multi-player online match to get pumped up!

With the XBOX One, it is possible to get music to play from your Windows computer t the XBOX ONE, but only with the XBOX MUSIC app being open! And you can't control it from your XBOX ONE, you have to control it from the computer. Some people have managed this with a music server n their computer and using an app on a smartphone to control the music, but I haven't gotten it to work on my setup. And even with this you can't play the music in the game only in the app, unless you want to snap the App onto the screen, taking up a good portion of the side of your screen and shrinking and lowering the resolution of your game, which is totally unacceptable. Plus the game would still be playing it's own music and sound as well.

And even the paid XBOX Music App can't do it. It has the same restrictions and can only play from the app be it full screen or snapped.

Why can't these apps play in the background and through existing games as you have been able to on XBOX games for years?

And the second biggest feature, which may be bigger for many if you really want this to be the center of your media functionality is the ability to act as a head for Windows Media Center! This would allow your music and shows to play through your ONE and be able to control them, just like you have been able to with the XBOX 360 for years. Not having this functionality basically makes the name ONE not work at all.

The Third would be the XBOX 360's power management features. The ONE has an instant on setting that allows you to turn it on with the Kinect, but this literally eats power, and even it's power saving settings still drain a lot of power. I have had to add a switch that lets me kill the power completely to save power. The 360 on the other hand had settings to allow it to fully power down, and you could even let it do it after it finished downloading files it was downloading.

And Fourth is really the lack of Apps! The 360 has a ton of apps, and it has been out a long time, but the One as the center of your media needs to have more apps. Especially with reports that it takes less than a day to port a windows 8 app to the XBOX ONE. If that is the case, we need a ton of more apps and choices, and we need them now!

And honestly backward compatibility with 360 games would have been amazing, because it really can't be the one system if you need to keep your 360 to play your old games.

And finally the ONE just doesn't have many games and they seem to be coming out very slowly. At least Microsoft is finally moving it's free GAMES WITH GOLD where they release 2 free older games for free every month to the ONE next month, though unfortunately they are changing it a bit. On the 360 version the games are yours free and clear forever if you download them in the 2 week period where they are available. With the ONE they are by subscription, so they are only yours as long as you are a gold subscriber. And I do get that, but it still means more restrictions on a system that already has enough issues.

Yes the XBOX ONE has some great games, and the games look great. I have greatly enjoyed Assassin's Creed 4 and Titanfall (though it's lack of a single player game is a huge problem for me), and they do look great. I just think that if Microsoft wanted to expand their focus from games to being the center of your media center, they need to not cut features, and instead include everything that the 360 could do with the new features like TV control and Blu-Ray. And if they are planning to add these features back, they need to talk about it and give a timeline, because right now the XBOX ONE seems misnamed. It is not the ONE system you need and it really does lack focus as to exactly what it is.


Got Windows up last night then ran Advanced System Optimizer and it tanked my system

In fact it was the same problem as before, so it seems that it was the Registration Optimizer that killed my BootCamp install to begin with, or at least once I managed to get it to reboot one time. It seems the Registry repair just doesn't work!

I just tried a system Refresh, and the computer came back up, and ran the Bootcamp installer, and on it's restart it went back into the system repair loop failure. So I am trying a Refresh again, and hope the computer makes it. I could do a full install again, but I want my documents, only because all of the downloads are already there, so I can quickly re-install them.

Now I have been considering moving to Windows because of the lack of expansion in the new MacPro, but honestly if Windows is this picky, I might not. 

I was going to make a Recovery DVD when I got my system back up, but it was a 55 Gig backup, and that is a shitload of DVD's. I need to do this, but I need to use a hard drive to make the backup, so when I screw the system up, I can recover back to exactly my system, and not go through all this crap again!

Never got Windows to boot again, just had to wipe and re-install

So I was never able to get my Bootcamp Windows 8.1 install to boot again or get it to repair, so i finally just used. Bootcamp Assistant to wipe the partition, and re-partition.

Now I ended up having to do this 7 times, as 6 times windows on it's first restart it came to an error message loop saying "The Computer Restarted unexpectedly or encountered an unexpected error. Windows installation cannot proceed. To install Windows click OK to restart the computer, and reinstall Windows." I finally found a fix for this ( ) but the Windows install had totally tanked by that time, and on the next re-partition and re-install, the install actually worked.

Have spent the day upgrading, and am now installing 8.1. Then time to re-install everything, and make a backup disc!

What a pain in the ass!

After one good restart Bootcamp Partition is toast

So after coming up yesterday and me running utilities, Windows needed to restart to fix Registry issues, and I never got it back up. It would not let me re-install over the old partition, and it would not let me do anything that would fix it, and the problems seemed to get worse until it is totally tanked, I am going to have to re-install. Activation will require a call to microsoft, but hopefully it will work, and they will let me re-install. Might be a problem because it is an OEM version, but those have to be re-installed.

What a total pain in my ass! I am mean seriously, I can't believe how they make it to repair windows if there is a problem! The tied down OS is really such a pain. With Mac I can easily use another hard drive with another system install on it and run repairs at least.

After restart Windows was caught in a loop again

So after I ran the utilities Smart PC Care on Windows it needed to restart to finish fixing the registeries, and the computer got caught in a restart loop to Windows install dvd. I zapped the PRAM a couple of times to try and reset the startup disc, but that didn't work, so i also reset the SMC, buy that didn't work so I had to open the computer to eject the dvd from the tray and then the computer wouldn't start at all.

Eventually i reseated all the hard drives and swapped out my PC GTX 670 for my GTX 270 and that managed to boot into OSX, and I set it as the startup disc. 

Windows is going in Automatic Repair again, and will likely fail, wonder if the MBR thing will work?

Got Windows 8.1 in BootCamp to boot, though not with USB Install

So I tried the whole re-install the system and it said that the USB Windows 8.1 was not right, so I was not able to use it, though I don't know why. They are both Windows 8.1 Professional 64 Bit installs.

I then tried the command line, but 'sfc /scannow' failed and wouldn't work. So I did more googling and tried 'bootrec /fixmbr' to fix the Master Boot Record and it quickly said it succeeded. Still I restarted into Mac and made a Windows 8.1 install DVD in my Parallels install and set the restart disc to it, to try to use repair off of it, but amazingly when I restarted it restarted into my Bootcamp, which seems to be working fine now.

I plan on running Smart PC Care on it, but it isn't starting now, so I am going to re-install it and run some utilities, just as soon as my NVIDIA GeForce Experience update finally manages to finish! Then I am installing my CalDigit drivers so I don't kill BootCamp if I happen to have something installed in it. And then I am making a backup DVD so I can try and repair from that.

I am actually amazed that there are no Utilities to run from a second hard drive installed in your Windows PC to fix another install. I guess it is finicky about that, but I easily boot into my Parallels, so I could run a Utility on my BootCamp install, but am not allowed to.

And today it is Windows 8.1 Bootcamp Issues

So I tried to boot into my Windows 8.1 Bootcamp Partition and it was a no go. Showed the green windows window then went black and restarted back into Mac.

I think the problem is that because of my USB issues I had moved my keyboard and mouse to the USB 3 Ports of my CalDigit SATA and USB 3 PCI card, but I have not installed drivers as of yet in Windows. It was fine without them before because I never plugged anything in, but without the drivers, it sure was not happy, and would not restart. So I need to make sure to install those drivers if and when I get Windows working again.

Now I am lucky in that I also have a separate Windows 8.1 Parallels install, for those times when I don't want to fully boot into Windows, or do anything Graphics intensive. With that I was able to use a USB Key to create a recovery partition, and let it run it's utilities to fix Windows, but they didn't work, neither the auto fix or going to a backup.

So then i downloaded the Windows 8.1 Setup program to try and create an ISO so I could have a Windows 8.1 Installer and wipe my drive except my data (a pain, but I don't have that much installed), but I ran into another problem. The program only works with a Windows 8.1 Serial number, not a Windows 8 serial number, though it was a free upgrade to 8.1! WTF!

Luckily with a little google searching I was able to download the Windows 8.1 ISO thanks to PC Advisor. You basically have to download the Windows 8 Install program, and enter your license number, and get it to start downloading, then quit the program. Then from the same link download the Windows 8.1 installer and run it, and it won't ask for your serial. When the program finishes you can either make a USB by clicking install by creating media, or create an ISO, which you can use multiple times.

To do the ISO to a USB stick you need to download the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool, and install that, and point it at the ISO you saved. Once that is done you need to copy a file to it as explained by PC Advisor or it will make you use the same serial number as the one you used to download, instead of whatever one was used for your install (since I have 2 installs).

Once Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool finishes, it is time for me to try again. I will restart into Windows with the Recovery Partition in, and tell it to re-install but keep my data, and will insert my painfully created USB stick with the Windows 8.1 Installer, and then it is time to re-install all of my programs! YIPEE! And I have had to use a 3rd USB key to use Boot Camp Assistant, to redownload the latest Bootcamp drivers so I can get my mac working once Windows does a mostly clean install!

Will update and let you know how things go.

My Microsoft Trackball Explorer is dying!


I am a trackball user, and have been for a long long time. Back with my Mac Classic I used a trackball (kensington) and have used them every since. Eventually I ended up with the Microsoft Trackball Explorer, the greatest trackball ever created. Of course Microsoft stopped making them years back and no one has made a similiar or even OK replacement. Luckily back in the day I had bought 3 of them, and one of them died, but since then a second is not working so well and my main one keeps shorting out. The lights flicker and then the trackball dies. Now I have gotten it to work again for the time being, but there just isn't anything in my future as a replacement.

Yes I also have a Kensington Expert Mouse that I bring to work with me, and I like it and can use it, but it isn't as ergonomic and just not as well designed as the Trackball explorer.
And I do really like Kensginton as when one of the plastic rollers broke off on one of mine they gave me a new one for free.

Now Logitech used to make the Logitech Cordless Optical Trackman (I never understood the need for a wireless trackball, it is not like you move it around much!). It looks like the closest thing I have seen to the Microsoft, except they have moved the second button to the right of the trackball and the back and forward buttons to the thumb position and not quite as well shaped for your hand, but even if it is, they don't make it anymore, so…

Now I have found a web site that talks about fixing a trackball explorer on your own, which I might have to do soon, and their is a seller on ebay selling repairs including upgrading the bearings to ceramic, refinishing the ball, and for on top of the $60 they will fix the electronics and plastic parts. So I might have to at least send in one of my 2 failing trackballs to fix them, as I have never found a good replacement for the awesome Microsoft Trackball!

PC World on Windows 8 Improvements

PC World has a good article on improvements in Windows 8 over Windows 7. This is needed, as mostly I am hearing complaints about windows 8 and it's Metro style, which is great for touch screens, but awful for desktops (I mean getting rid of the Start menu, WTF Microsoft).

And it is great that Microsoft has looked at Apple and brought down the price of Windows 8, but I think I will stick with 7 in my Parallels Virtual Machine for the time being.
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