Tag Archives: windows

Going Grayscale

It is said that using black and white (grayscale, in fact) screens help you focus and makes learning stuff easy. Today I suddenly had the urge to make my desktop go grayscale. Some googling led me to a piece of software called Grayscale Desktop (this is a Windows app). There’s no need to install, just double click on the Grayscale_fullscreen.exe, and there you go! To close the app you have to manually delete the process from the Task Manager.

P.S. The app eats CPU power a lot. At least that’s the case with my netbook. It’s good as long as what you’re doing is reading some book or browsing the web etc.

Linux to Windows transition

So I had to install Xilinx 13.1 for our final year project and only the Windows version was available. Which means I had to install Windows 7 in the laptop alongside Ubuntu.

Oh, the woes in Windows. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, you get totally bewildered and frustrated in this proprietary operating system.

First, there’s no Compiz. The desktop and windows look pretty ugly. Thanks  to aero the ugliness is reduced a bit.

Then there are no multiple workspaces. Can you just imagine? Having to work in a single desktop?! But thankfully there’s a solution available, albeit a less-than-perfect answer to the problem. You can install this little piece of software and it will give you something similar to multiple desktops. Not as good or native as in linux anyway.

And the next problem was the lack of double-finger scrolling. Again a small software comes to the rescue. Still it’s less-than-perfect.

Viruses? Yes, you have to be wary of those creatures in this less secure operating system. Installed Microsoft Security Essentials just in case.

I hold no grudge against Windows. I’ve used it since the 95 version and I won’t hesitate to say it’s a good operating system. It’s just that you don’t get the good feel or ease you get in linux. Hope they learn from peers like linux and OS X and improve the OS in the upcoming versions at least.

Fixing the Windows MBR using a Ubuntu Live CD or USB

This friend of mine had installed Windows and Fedora side by side on his laptop and wanted to remove the Fedora installation. Removing Fedora is quite easy. All you have to do is to go to Disk Management from Windows (Run -> diskmgmt.msc), find the Fedora partitions, delete them and format as new drives.
However, this also removes the MBR of the machine. To restore the MBR, the accepted method is to use a Windows CD. We didn’t have that luxury. Fortunately we had a Ubuntu Live USB in hand.

The method to fix the MBR is:
1. Boot the machine using the Live USB/CD.
2. Install lilo

sudo apt-get install lilo

3. Fix the MBR using lilo using the command:

sudo lilo -M /dev/sda mbr

Works like a charm!

Windows woes

My laptop’s power pack is broken. Gave it to a repair place, but there’s little hope. A new one would cost at least 3.5k. 🙁
So I move to the desktop computer which the others of the family use. It’s evil, it runs Windows XP.
First, you have to manually open an app and connect to the internet, while Ubuntu automatically connects once plugged in.
Once connected, it started downloading something. I was baffled for some time until I found out it was updating the antivirus. Antivirus! And you don’t have multiple workspaces to work in.
For the work I was going to do, I wanted to keep an instance of Notepad always on top. But apparently there’s no option when you right click on the title bar.
I turned off the computer and wrote this blog post from the phone.