Project Spartan released

Like many features promised in the new Windows 10, Project Spartan has finally debuted in the newest build of Windows 10 – build 10049.  In using Project Spartan in writing this very post, I so far have found it very useful. I have used strictly Chrome for the last few years, and I do find that Project Spartan is missing a few important features that I will be waiting on before making the switch official.

Some of the features available is reading lists (which I will no doubt use heavily), Cortana integration (which I have yet to find), and a completely new interface.

I personally have found a few quirk and things that I miss from Chrome.. I have used an ad blocker for the past couple years called Adblock for Chrome. I haven’t had any annoying popups and garbage all over my screen. Now that I no longer have that add-on, I am seeing ads every where!  A feature that I also miss since I utilize dual (actually triple) screens, is that I cannot drag tabs around anymore. You can right click on the tab and click “Open in new Window”, but that actually closes the tab and opens the URL in a new window (Like pressing F5).

But as with any Technical Preview product, all we can do is give our feedback and hope the Redmond giant listens.

I’m sure I will find more bugs, let me know if you find any!

BitLocker using all of your hard drive space?

Today, I set up a new laptop for a user. As a standard practice, we always BitLock the laptops that we issue out. I was in the middle of copying the user’s data over and it kindly hung while I was BitLocking at the same time. The files finally copied over, and I went to My Computer and seen there was only 6GB left of a 500GB hard drive, and I only copied 3GB of data over! I jsut knew there was something wrong with the file system of the hard drive since it hung.

After doing some digging, I found that BitLocker uses up all but 6BG of your hard drive space UNTIL its done bitlocking. After it is done, all the free space will be shown as free again.

But why does it do this?

Because it is also encrypting the free space for security reasons! Since when you delete a file, it is not really removed from the hard drive, BitLocker encrypts the free space so that none of these files can be recovered. You can read a more technical description here!

Where have you been? Google knows!

Google Location History Map

Do you have Google anything installed on your phone? Computer? Tablet? If so, chances are Google knows – and records – everywhere you have been!

Google will save this data if you have these two settings turned on:

  1. Location Reporting
  2. Location history

Now your thinking, if I have the option to turn this on or off why would it even be on? There are many things Google uses (and collects) this data for. Ever searched for a pizza place like “Papa Johns” and Google somehow magically showed the results for your location rather than some random place in the world? Google uses your location data to narrow down the results.

Maybe you use Google Now. Google now HIGHLY integrates with your location data. In fact, every so many minutes, it scans for your location and reports it so you can get interesting cards on your Google Now interface.


Google offers step by step instructions on how to remove all your location history and how to turn it off. You can find the instructions to turn off Location History by clicking HERE.

Now comes the fun part – you can actually see where all Google knows you have been by ensureing you  are logged in to your main Google account, and clicking the following address:

Here are a couple example screenshots (click to enlarge):

Google Location History 1
Google Location History 1
Google Location History 2
Google Location History 2

So you decide, is it worth leaving this on for the cool features that Google offers? I love the features of Google Now, but it is a little scary to see just how often Google tracks your location for this feature.

Change the default attachment link to setting

When setting up my blog, I was deciding on how to setup links in the attachment settings. I really don’t like pointing directly to the jpg file (which is the default) for a couple reasons. One, I cannot get an accurate reading of the analytics. Two, it does not get the pretty header and footer and links of my site. So I found the option to link to “Attachment Page”. I got to digging around, and there was no option to set the default link to! I found this:

There is a secret settings page in wordpress that allows you to change many settings that are not found in the regular wordpress setup. Point your browser to this address (of course replacing with yours):

Once you are there, look for the option “image_default_link_type”. There are three possible values for this field (notice they are all lower case).

  • blank – leaving the field blank will default to the “none” setting
  • file – this links directly to the file. I do not like this because you are not able to perform any analytics or visual styling of the view.
  • post – I use this one. This shows a page with the usual header and footer with the image only in the center.

As you can guess, some of these options mis-configured can cause your site to crash, so be sure to use caution when editing these settings!

MySQL – Too many files open

I run my servers on CentOS using cPanel/WHM. When I first started running my own server, it did not take long for me to see how little I know about Linux. I had a funky problem with my MySQL dropping out after so much time. It seemed like the more people I had on my sites, the faster it would go down. But after I rebooted the server, it all started working fine again… For a while anyway.

I got to looking around to see if there is a error log for MySQL. And sure enough there is. By default, the error log is located at:


The **HOSTNAME** would be your server’s hostname, (if you do not know your hostname, simply use the command “hostname” and it will output your hostname)

To view the last 500 lines of your error log, simply use:

tail -500 /var/lib/mysql/**HOSTNAME**.err

In my error log, I began to see this:

130925 12:39:23 [ERROR] Error in accept: Too many open files
130925 12:43:39 [ERROR] Error in accept: Too many open files
130925 12:47:55 [ERROR] Error in accept: Too many open files
130925 12:52:11 [ERROR] Error in accept: Too many open files
130925 12:56:27 [ERROR] Error in accept: Too many open files
130925 13:00:43 [ERROR] Error in accept: Too many open files
130925 13:04:59 [ERROR] Error in accept: Too many open files
130925 13:09:15 [ERROR] Error in accept: Too many open files
130925 13:13:31 [ERROR] Error in accept: Too many open files
130925 13:17:47 [ERROR] Error in accept: Too many open files
130925 13:22:03 [ERROR] Error in accept: Too many open files
130925 13:26:19 [ERROR] Error in accept: Too many open files
130925 13:30:35 [ERROR] Error in accept: Too many open files


Did a little bit of googling, and discovered that by default, centOS has a hard limit of the amount of files that can be opened at a time, which causes MySQL to error out until you reboot the server. However, this can be fixed by running the doing the following:

nano /etc/sysctl.conf

Add this line at the bottom of the config file:

fs.file-max = 100000


Save and close the file, then reboot the server.

After you rebbot your server, you will want to run the following command to verify that your settings was saved and correct:

sysctl fs.file-max

If it reads 10000, then your server is now ready to handle MySQL!

Convert From FAT32 To NTFS Without Losing Data

I have had a 1TB external HDD that I bought a while back that I formatted the other day. After I started copying all of my data to it, I realized that I accidentally formatted it over to FAT32 and it only had 430GB of the 1TB that I could use because of FAT32 restrictions. But I already started copying the data over and didn’t want to have to restart it. I found out there is a way to change the format of a HDD without loosing data!


NOTE: Although this method worked perfect for me, I would suggest you backing up your data first just in case!

  1. Go to Computer, and note the name of the drive whose file system you wish to convert.
  2.  Click on Start.
  3.  Type cmd in the search bar if you use Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 or Windows Vista. If you use Windows XP, click on Run and then execute cmd.
  4. Execute “chkdsk h: /f ” (without quotes) where H is the letter of the drive to undergo conversion. This checks the drive for errors and fixes them automatically.
  5. Execute “Convert H: /FS:NTFS” (without quotes). H is again the letter of the drive to be converted.
  6. The command prompt will start the conversion process and after a few minutes, CMD will say that conversion was successful.
  7. You can check it in the properties of the drive through right click<Properties.

A viola! You know have a drive that is NTFS with all your data still on it!

Printer Status Notification

The other day, I hooked up a printer to USB that had the option for network. The client wanted it USB rather than network. So I hooked it up and before I left, I got the following text printed out a couple times:

GET /DevMgmt/DiscoveryTree.xml HTTP/1.1

I figured it was just a one time thing so I left. A couple hours later, I got a call from her saying that she got the same message every time she printed a page. I went and looked at it and found this to be a fix:

Go to devices and Printers and right click the culprit printer.  Click printing preferences and click the advanced tab, you should see a similar window:


Printer Status Notification


Disable “Printer Status Notification” and the issue should be instantly resolved!

Creating cron jobs in Windows 8 and Server 2012 (or any version of Windows)

I recently made the switch from a Linux LAMP server to a Windows Server 2012.  It didn’t take me too long to figure out I forgot to transfer my cron jobs for my PHP pages. I went to start the transfer and I soon realized that Windows does not support cron jobs. However, I did find the Windows version of Cron jobs. Below is what I did to create these cron jobs so my PHP crons will continue run on scheduale. This trick will really work in all versions of Windows, but you must get to it different methods.

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