Tag Archives: How To

Installing and Using Windows XP In The Year 2017

Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft. Installing it will usually result in a less than satisfying experience, until some fixes are applied manually. This article will explain why and how to do that.

It’s 2017 For Crying Out Loud, Are You A Madman?

Yeah, yeah. Windows XP has it’s flaws. Microsoft doesn’t support it. Everyone says move to Windows 7/10. Security concerns and marketing scare tactics aside, there’s a whole lot of computers and laptops out there with Windows XP still, and here are a few reasons for maintaining such a machine:

  • The computer is a hand-me-down for a family member or kid. Nothing expensive to worry about if it gets damaged. You did pay for this thing, remember? You did purchase software and games for it back in the day, remember? Might as well squeeze out that extra ounce.
  • The computer cannot be upgraded to a newer version of Windows due to hardware requirements. You did pay for this thing, remember? Just because Microsoft doesn’t support it doesn’t mean you need to trash it. The computer still computes.
  • A service technician needs to interface with an old machine (like an office copier or PBX phone system), using an older cable interface such as 9-pin serial, or older software program such as MS-DOS. Sometimes Windows XP is the only solution here.
  • The computer is part of a legacy system or network environment that cannot be replaced without incurring overhead, downtime or fees. Chain restaurants like Subway may still use Windows XP for taking orders. These are typically disk imaged to make fast deployment and repair possible, working as a turnkey restaurant solution.
  • You want to run a virtual machine (VM) with a licensed copy of Windows for whatever reason.
  • You’re a cheapskate and thought it was a good idea to buy a computer w/ original media on eBay or at a pawn shop for $50. I won’t say that was a good idea, but you may still be in luck.
  • The computer is kept around for preference, nostalgia or cyberpunk/cypherpunk reasons. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!

For these reasons it is a good idea to always save your Windows XP disc and serial number. These are things you paid money for, and there is no way to recover them if lost. Another important thing to save is the driver disc, because as these computers get old it becomes more difficult to find the drivers online.

Now let’s walk through the steps necessary to get this antique operating system up and running.

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Benchmarking Node.js, Apache and .NET Sockets

abThe preliminary benchmark started out simple enough. In the client app, I set up a for…loop with a start/end timer to see how many requests the server app could handle within a given time period. Surprised by the results, I decided to re-tool the server app into a proper HTTP web server that could handle a GET request and return an HTTP 200 OK with “hello world” to the client. The results didn’t change much from before (still very promising) so I decided to install Node.js in Windows 7 and run a more thorough benchmark using ApacheBench, comparing against Node.js and Apache.

This is a simulated benchmark which should not be taken as a conclusive real-world test. However, the results are fascinating and worth looking into further. Continue reading

Getting Started With Node.js in Windows 7

nodejsSeveral years ago I built a very high performance event-based asynchronous TCP server using .NET sockets. Looking back on this project I realize it was literally Node.js in disguise (minus the js part), so I decided to revisit and release it as open source on Github. Node.js probably did not exist when I was building proof of concept chat apps using this server as the framework, and there might have been a good portion of fanfare to be had if I released the code sooner. I wasn’t too big about open source back then, and it’s not the first time I’ve unknowingly had “big tech” collecting dust in my project bin. Boohoo, am I right? With a renewed interest in this project, I decided to do some benchmarks and see how well the .NET server compares to Apache or Node.js.

In this article I will show how to get started with Node.js in Windows 7. In a follow up article I will include the benchmark results and tips on how to set that up. Continue reading

A Proposed Git Workflow

It was my first time collaborating on a software project over the web, so I set out to design a Git workflow for the development team that would offer a good amount of flexibility.cc-workflow

 

 

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How to Disable Outbound Links in Embedded SWF

SWF IconOver the last couple months I’ve been developing some digital signage kiosk software for shopping malls in Southern California. One requirement of this software is that it should cycle content (advertisements, coupons, videos, etc) and provide touchscreen features (print coupons, signup for mall events) on-demand without ever being interrupted.

The kiosks should NEVER be instructed to navigate to an external website or URL because this would break the automated content cycle.

As we progressed through several development phases, what initially seemed easy – keeping the kiosk cycle running 24/7 – soon became a difficult task. We also had the problem of getting people to actually use the kiosks. Who wants to be sucked into an advertising loop anyhow? So we started adding more features in order to bring awareness and attention to the usefulness of the kiosks.

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DIY Shovel Guitar

What if I told you that to craft your own guitar, all you need is a shovel, a drill, a few bits of guitar hardware, and some patience!? I wasn’t able to find out the original crafter’s name because the source is in Russian, but the series of pictures and accompanying Youtube video were straightforward enough. Here’s the final result:

Shovel Guitar!!

The article where I found this only had a series of pictures and I’m by no means a skilled guitar crafter, so I’ve added descriptions where I could.

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Using ROBOCOPY to Avoid Downtime During File Migration

downtimeSometimes I need to migrate a large amount of shared files on a network from one drive or system to another for better organization, more space, security concerns, or whatever the reason might be. However, a migration like this can interrupt network users who need access to those files. In this post I’ll show you a better method for file migration, which is now a staple in my IT arsenal, as it has proven useful many times.

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How to Install Blackberry Enterprise Server on Windows XP Pro in a SBS 2003 Environment

Contrary to what RIM and other people might have you believe, it is very possible to install and run Blackberry Enterprise Server (including BES Express) on a Windows XP Professional computer. To further complicate the problem, these same folks will also tell you that there is no way to install the Exchange System Manager using the Small Business Server 2003 CD’s.

Of course, all of this is simply not true, and the setup is smooth as long as you know what to do. RIM won’t provide technical support for this configuration, but we don’t really care, now do we?

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