Thursday, March 28, 2013

A geeky calendar

To continue a little bit with some of the geektool things, i was browsing around and came across a page with a small list of common user commands at and found a calendar script.
The script they reference there is

cal | sed -e '1d' -e '2p;2p;2p;2p' | sed -e '$!N;s/\n/ /' -e '$!N;s/\n/ /' -e '$!N;s/\n/ /' -e '$!N;s/\n/ /' | sed "s/^/ /;s/$/ /;s/ $(date +%e) /\|$(date +%e)\|/" 

and that will give you a nice little plugin that looks like this

With some slight tweaking to the sed script you can make the dates line up nice and pretty, but i felt that the calendar in that format was a little too long for me, and I always perfered the square date.
So using sed I was able to take the above script and warp it slightly to this

cal  | sed "s/^/ /;s/$/ /;s/ $(date +%e) /\[$(date +%e)\]/"

and that gives me the following calendar with [ ] around todays date.
 Now this isnt anything advanced, there are some ruby scripts around that add color to the bars around the date, but I like the simplicity of this.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Format what now

This is something that keeps coming up so I thought I would do a few self notes on it.
There are a few assumptions here, at least on your part.
1. You have purchased/downloaded a ISO from Microsoft of Windows 7/8
  • I dont care what version that is on you.
  • I will not help you "acquire" any version so do not ask 
2. You are a computer that can support boot from USB 
  • This should really be a no-brainer you are trying to make a USB boot stick
  • You need to find your motherboard/computer manufacture to find out how
  • I will not help you with this step, I do not know your hardware 
3. Your computer is capable of running Windows 7 

Creating a Windows 7 USB Installation drive

1. Start by inserting your happy little USB drive into your computer, I recommend an 8GB drive, you should be able to do it with a 4GB
* BACK UP ALL YOUR DATA!!! if you have anything on that USB stick that you want to keep make a copy now

2. Right click on the drive and select Format. Choose NTFS and Quick Format, it will take a few moments but it will take a lot longer without the Quick Format selected
Well that didnt work as advertised. So I had to insert the USB drive, and then open a command prompt as administrator, then run the diskpart tool.
Once diskpart opens you want to find your USB drive, mine was disk 2 and i used "list disk" to find it
Once you find it type
create partition primary 
and then you can format it by right clicking on it in explorer to NTFS.

3. Extract the ISO that you purchased to a folder. I used 7-zip for this. Right click choose 7-Zip > Extract to  ... and choose a folder.

4. Copy the files that you just extracted to your USB drive. My copy is about 3.1GB and it took about 10 minutes to copy, your mileage will vary.

5. Next step is to make sure you have set the USB drive as Active and Assigned

Open an command prompt as administrator (start>cmd> right click run as administrator)
run diskpart and type list disk 
you will see several disks listed, find your USB drive, mine is Disk 2 

6. Run the bootsect.exe command to make the USB drive bootable.
Open an command prompt as administrator (start>cmd> right click run as administrator)
Go to the location that you extracted your Windows 7 ISO from the command prompt, in my case it was my Downloads folder.
cd \Users\smcgroarty\Downloads\Windows7Install\boot\ 
run  the command BOOTSEC.EXE and it will install the Windows Boot Manager onto the USB drive so that it can be booted from.

F:\Users\smcgroarty\Downloads\Windows7Install\boot>bootsect.exe /nt60 E:
Target volumes will be updated with BOOTMGR compatible bootcode.

E: (\\?\Volume{af2d4079-8e6a-11e2-a08c-001d7d09aba5})

    Successfully updated NTFS filesystem bootcode.

Bootcode was successfully updated on all targeted volumes.

7. You should now be able to boot off the USB drive and install Windows 7

Gone, all gone

Well my soon to be pervious hosting company was able to get my host upgraded to the proper and new version of, but it did come at a small price.
I have lost all my historical data for 
So none of my old stuff is there, and I am oddly ok with this.
That leaves it up to a new choice, do I want to rebuild on that same platform that just lost a couple of years worth of data, or move the hosting account, and email, to another provider.
I think I am going to move it to a new provider and I have weighed the options. seems to be working well enough for me. It is simple enough to use from my desktop and there is even an android app that I havent gotten too deep into yet.
There is also the WordPress option. That one seems to be more popular amongst most of my friends and colleagues, and there is also an android app for it.
Now the real reason I went with blogengine in the past was I had more time. I could customize the theme the way I wanted. I could do things like hide the login box, and limit user accounts easily. I do not have this this type of time anymore, so I am looking for something that does the heavy lifting for me.
The next part is cost. I do not advertise, I do not like banner ads, I do not have any ad clicks. My site generates less than 100 hits in a busy month, so I do not intend to make any money from the site, but I do not want it to cost any more than $100 a year, that is domain registration, hosting, and email accounts.How much would you pay for a brain dump site of your own?
My previous provider thought it would be a nice touch to register for me, "First year free!" and then start charging me. So I have had this domain for about two years without noticing it because of them. I had set it to expire after the first year, but they renewed it for me, as a courtesy.
So I think my next steps are to move the domain to (formerly tu-cows hosting) and then migrate velcrohurts email and blog site to google.
Yes, google, because they already know more about me than everyone else combined.

Sunday, March 10, 2013


As a newish user to the mac world, there are some things that I really liked about windows, one of them was Rainmeter. It was a good desktop plugin with a lot of community driven themes for displaying all sorts of items. I have even had some friends that spent a night or two making their own theme.
I was looking for something simular in the Apple world, and found GeekTool. I have it display the time, weather batter status on my laptop. On my desktop it just displays the date.
Lets review the simple settings for it here

This is the default Apple menu bar. I mean seriously there is a lot of stuff on there, do I really need the admin module? The BlueTooth? Time Machine? I know how to get to the System Preferences, so no, I do not need all that stuff.

There we go, much better. Now you might ask what about the time?
Well lets get to that next. I happen to run dual screen at home, so it is not a big deal here to turn off the time on the menu bar.

With GeekTool, I can setup a simple location on the desktop to display the time and date.
I know what you are thinking, and that is "but it is right there in the menu bar, why would you want to change it?" The short answer to that is "because I can" but the better answer is, on my laptop the menu bar is not that long, it has a resolution of 1280x800, so every pixel of space up there is precious to me.

So here is how the time looks on my second screen.
Now we are going to get to the fun parts of this, the simple code behind.

There are two shells behind the date and time.
First one is for time, and the second shell is for the date. I wanted a larger font size for the time.
Time: date +%I:%M
Date: date +%A,%" "%d%n%B,%" "%Y 
And I think that is all I have for the night.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Slightly Annoyed

What ever happened to dates on posts? I mean I can expect blogs not to always be dated, but what about journals? And some paper publications? Seriously, when I want to look something up, I check the date to make sure that is the most current source. If I don't see a date then I just move on thinking "it is so out of date, why bother?" I should specify, that this is mainly for technical things, like How to Add your domain to gmail for email.
the first entry on google, funny enough, is a blog from 8 years ago and I know it has changed since then.
So please people, put a date on your articles.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Here we go

Since I said this was a simple test of the blog, let me start out that way.
I have recently become an Apple user. I have an iMac on my desk at work, a Macbook Pro for work, and I am borrowing an iPad for some general testing. I am not planning on getting an iPhone, or becoming a full on Apple Fanboi any time soon. I still love my android devices and will continue to use them. But one of the difficult parts about all this was keeping notes and tasks in sync.
I dont need to share these notes or tasks with anyone, but I do have the options.
I found an app called WunderList, and it is pretty nice.
By default it gives you serveral lists, and you can add/edit those lists and share your "work" list with one set of people and your "personal" list with another set.
Another example is that I can be in a meeting with my Android phone, type the take aways from that meeting, go to my desktop, open the app or web page there, and start working on them.
I had tried to use Catch.Com  for this, but it wasnt as well rounded, like it does not have a mac or windows client, just the mobile platform clients. I am old, I like having separate applications for this stuff.
That should be a good, albeit badly, written first start on this blogspot.

Hello World

Since I have this nifty neato test domain,, I think it is time I actually start using it.
This is my first post with Blogger, and if i like it i will repoint my domain here, but in the mean time lets get started.