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Saturday, December 19, 2015

installation of linux goes smoothly on hp pavilion but boot manager won't start?

A funny little thing happened 
on my HP Pavilion TS 14 Notebook ...

I have windows 10 installed
(as an upgrade for the windows 8.1 the laptop came with)
and i am slowly, but steadily learning to really dislike windows 10.

It reached enough height today that i decided to install a dual-boot linux mint... for sanity's sake...

It has been a relatively long while since i installed dual-boot machines on a regular basis. 
the last time was when i installed ubuntu, as dual-boot to the windows 10 release candidate (when i realized the rtc was really far from being ready for work... )

Linux mint's installation worked as smoothly as one can ask for
but afterwards, the dual boot did not work .

It was maddenning because everything seemed to be ok, and yet, for some reason, all i could see was windows boot-manager, or the laptop's uefi os-selector. 

I took quite some time (and some rather unnecessary apt-get of the grub-efi-amd64  package and playing around with the efi boot manager) before i took a long hard look at the bios setup, and discovered/recalled that in the past, to install ubuntu as an alternative to the windows 8.1, I enabled the legacy support. 

So, a new lesson: if legacy support is on, both windows 10 and mint 17 will tell you everything is ok, but when time comes for boot time, your grub won't work. 

After - 

  1. disabling the legacy support on the efi-bios, 
  2. booting into linux mint and executing grub-install 
Everything was ok.

Now the computer starts-up into the grub boot menu, 
and all options from that menu - linux and windows,
work as they should. 

Further reading 
a good guide for efi/uefi which inspired me to take another look at that bios/efi configuration 



Thursday, December 17, 2015

Microsoft mstsc (remote desktop connection) on windows 10 won't connect to a remote virtualbox machine

An old power supplier, maybe the most common end-of-the-line malfunction for personal computers, has brought the need for strategic planning of the house grid of computers... as one could expect, that type of supplier is hard to get nowadays (it was a 7 year old PC), and certain planned changes and related exertions meant that it would not be the wisest thing to buy a replacement at the moment. 

This was the prologue that made my computer become my wife's, and at the same time remain the house's main server, running all sorts of virtual machines. I was forced to move to my laptop, and was surprised to discover that the remote desktop connection of windows 10 just would not connect to any of my virtualbox machines.... 

It tooks some digging before I got to this virtualbox tickect about this issue, and learned that Microsoft made a certain change in the client, and the virtualbox VRDP server was too strict in his checks. 

Upgrading virtualbox and virtual box extensions pack from 4.3.26 to 4.3.34 did the trick.

Which is good, one would say, unless one was getting tired of windows 10 and a great excuse to dump it was just eradicated by this solution... 

[update, 9/5/2016: I had some other problems with .34, and found myself downgrading my virtualbox back to .26 a few months ago. As this happened together with my spontaneous move to mint as my primary workstation, I did not discover until today that mstsc on windows 10 is now capable of connecting to a remote virtualbox machine. Considering circumstances, the only logical conclusion is that Microsoft corrected its end - but I'm only guessing. What I am not guessing is that all of a sudden I can work on Windows 10 and connect to remote virtualbox machines ! ]

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The tidbits corner: how to create a round image using only MSword and MSpaint

It is a silly little thing, but sometimes those little possibilities make you smile, don't they?

When designing a web page, or some other interface, it is frequently desired to add images, and lets face it - rectangular images are not the most convenient form. 

It is quite simple to create a non-rectangular round image even without a sophisticated graphics tool 
(either commercial or free). If you use windows and office, you already have all that you need - MSword and MSpaint. 

1. open ms word
2. create a new word file 
3. insert a shape 
   (i prefer the rectangular with round corners, but any shape will work) 
4. draw the shape to the needed size 
5. while the shape is selected, choose from the drawing tools menu, the format section, 
    and there, choose the shape fill tool.
6. choose picture and load the one that you need.
7. right click on the shape and choose format autoshape.
8. from the colors and lines tab, choose lines "color" and select "No color". 
9. copy the image to the clipboard. 
10. open paint. 
11. mark on the select tool, "transparent selection" 
12. paste 
13. adjust the size of the image to the pasted image.
14. save. 

for a more elaborate explanation, including images, see:guidingtech's guide

ותקציר שימושי בעברית - איך ליצור תמונה עגולה רק באמצעות וורד וצייר: 
1. פתח וורד
2. צור קובץ חדש 
3. הוספה/צורות - הוסף את הצורה הרצויה 
4. צייר את הצורה לגודל המתאים 
5. בחר את הצורה ובתפריט "כלי ציור" בחר עיצוב אובייקט ושם בחר "מילוי צורה" 
6. בחרה תמונה והוסף את התמונה הרצויה 
7. קליק ימני על הצורה ובחר "עיצבו צורה אוטומטית" 
8. ב"בצעים וקווים" בחר תחת "קו" את "צבע" ושם בחר "ללא צבע" 
9. העתק את הצורה אל לוח-העריכה (זה השם העברי ל-clipboard)
10. פתח את צייר 
11. בתוך תוכנת צייר, לחץ על "בחר" וסמן את "בחירה שקופה" 
12. הדבק 
13. התאם את גודל התמונה לגודל של מה שהדבקת
14. שמור 
(וכרגיל, כשמדברים בעברית, עם הקוראות הסליחה על לשון הזכר בהדרכה).