Archive of "Windows"

Archive for the "Windows" Category

Windows Media Streams on Ubuntu

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Since I did all the research on this yesterday to get it working, I figured I’d share it with the world in case someone else is having problems with it too! These instructions assume Ubuntu, but should work on pretty much any Linux system with minor modifications.

1) You must have a GStreamer player installed. Totem (the defaul GNOME movie player/media player) is what I used because it was already installed.
2) Install gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad with Synaptic
3) Go to MPlayer and download the binary codecs for Linux. Unpack the file into either the /usr/lib/win32/ directory or the /usr/lib/codecs directory (depending on your system, I put it in both to be safe).
5) Install gstreamer0.10-pitfdll with Synaptic (if available) or get it from a mirror.
4) Install gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly with Synaptic

That should be it! You should now be able to listen to Internet radio stations in the Windows Media format.

Windows XP Recovery Console

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Well this is a bit of a different-style post for me, but this discovery struck me as extremely useful and so I thought I’d share it with any of my readers who may not have seen it yet.

On the transition to Windows XP I was horrified to discover that the ’emergency boot disk’ that XP creates cannot read NTFS partitions. It boots to MSDOS7.0 and then if your computer is NTFS you can do nothing. This essentially destroyed any chance of accessing your data if you could not boot to Windows. Many times during computer repair this was a hindrance and either elaborate workarounds had to be devised, or I fell back to the cure-all ‘reformat and reinstall’.

Yesterday I tried to get cheap Excel, but discovered an incredibly useful tool from Microsoft in an incredibly obvious place: the Windows XP install CD. If you boot from the CD and press ‘R’ at the ‘Welcome to Setup’ screen you are taken to the Windows XP Recovery Console. This is exactly what I had been looking for for so long: a reformulation of MSDOS that can access NTFS partitions! I was able to use it to run CHKDSK (scandisk seems to be out) and fix the minor problem the drive had — saving potentially hours of work to fix the problem any other way. There are even some XP-centric commands for dealing with user accounts etc.

What this does not help is users of many preinstalled systems, especially laptops. Most (if not all) of the ‘restore disks’ sent with such systems do not have the Recovery Console. However, techies who have a copy of the install disks can use their copy to run the Recovery Console on another person’s system. No activation procedure 😉 Even XP Professional install disks’ Console will work just fine with XP Home systems 🙂