Posts Tagged ‘Computers’

Learning OSX

January 19th, 2010 Comments off

I’ve finally managed to get around to updating my 2nd hand macbook to Snow Leopard and getting a replacement battery for it. Whilst I’m not convinced I’ll ever switch to it fully from Ubuntu as I want to start doing iPhone development I need to start learning my way around OSX.

One of the things that has always really annoyed me using OSX is not knowing the keyboard shortcuts to do things, in Ubuntu I can do pretty much everything without touching the mouse so having to continually move my hand away from the keyboard is frustrating.

Today I found a couple of useful articles that go through some shortcuts for OSX…

The short cut I’ve found most useful so far is Command-Spacebar which opens up spotlight’s search facility so I can quickly launch programs without browsing menus.

Next mission to work out the shortcut key for deleting files in Finder, dragging them to the waste bin is really starting to get annoying.

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Taking Apart the Intellimouse Explorer

September 16th, 2006 3 comments

For ages I’ve been using a Microsoft Intellmouse Explorer. It fits my hand perfectly is smooth to use and has two button on the side just where my thumb is. These are perfect for driving bikes and aircraft in GTA, switching to different weapons in FPS’s or just going back and forward through the history of my browser. I know other mice have these buttons but I’ve never found one that fits my hand so perfectly.

About a month ago the middle mouse button started getting a bit didgy… sometimes it wouldn’t work at all othertimes it would register a couple of click resulting in tons of tabs opening under firefox. I started trying to find a replacement but cannot find any mouse that works as well. I decided to have a look at taking it apart and giving the mouse a good clean, I ended up having to resort to looking on the internet for instructions to taking it apart and all I found were postings for people trying to find a post by “johnny5dm” that explained how to take it apart. I finally managed to find the post in the reviews of the mouse on The post can be found here but I’m going to repeat the instructions here just in case it gets deleted.

  1. Pry the pads off the bottom of the mouse using a knife
  2. Under each pad you’ll find a small screw, undo all of these and the top will come off easily

So simple yet I never thought of taking the pads off. I’ve now cleaned the insides of my mouse out and all is good in the world. All buttons are responsive and I don’t have to worry about finding a new mouse.


Re-ordering Hard Drive Partitions

October 16th, 2005 Comments off

I’ve been getting more and more annoyed with my Windows box recently… it keeps on crashing and is just going slower and slower. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve noticed that none of the work I do is specifically for Windows… most of it is on servers, so I decided to install Linux on there.

Friday evening I took my machine home, resized my main windows partition and created a load of extra partitions. The partitions under Linux are numbered in the order created, not the order they exist on the hard drive. So my partitions were not in the following order on the disk…

  1. 30Mb Boot Partition – /dev/hda2
  2. 25GB Windows Partition – /dev/hda1
  3. 1GB Swap Partition – /dev/hda3
  4. 10GB Root Partition – /dev/hda4
  5. 14GB Shared (FAT32) Partition – /dev/hda5

Now being the really anal guy I am I wanted my partitions to be numbered as they exist on the hard drive… basically I wanted /boot to be hda1 and windows to be hda2. So I booted up a gentoo live CD, ran fdisk on the disk and used the f command (under advanced options) to re-order the disks… Excellent nice and simple… or not…

Next time I tried to boot windows up Windows came up with some helpful error message saying it couldn’t find some dll or something… After a couple of seconds of crapping my pants… convinced I’d just destroyed my windows partition and was going to have to re-install windows I thought about why this had happened…

It all comes down to the boot.ini file. This file is hidden in the system root (usually c:) and looks something like this…

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS=”Microsoft Windows XP Professional” /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

The important part is the partition(1) section… for some reason partitions are indexed from 1 unlike the rest of the items which are indexed from 0. All I had to do was change that to partition(2) (as it was hda2) and Windows started booting fine…

Hopefully this information will be useful if anyone else has the same problem.

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