Jul 012015

CoverThose more observant among you might have noticed there is a books tab up there. Yep, I am a published author now.

While both books are more of a reference material than what you would usually consider a book they did require quite a lot of work – especially getting formatting and publishing just right. Those interested in that aspect can view what raw sources looks like and what goes into making a proper e-book.

(73) AF7RG

Jun 252015

VMware: Internal ErrorAs I went through one of the many Windows 10 beta updates, my VMware Player started throwing “Error while powering on: Internal error.” After reboot everything started working again so I just assumed it was simply some fluke in the upgrade process. And then it happened again a bit later. This time a single restart didn’t help but it did start working after a few of them. Every restart was like a coin toss. It smelled like a race condition.

One of things I checked was status of VMware’s services. There I noticed that, although startup type was set to Automatic, VMware Authorization Service was not running at times. And I could match the times when it was not running with the error. Even better, error would disappear as soon as I would manually start that service. My best guess, based on observed behavior, was that VMware Authorization Service needed some other service to start beforehand. However, dependencies for that service were missing. All VMware’s service needed was a bit more time.

Fortunately, Windows has one great feature enabling just that ever since Windows Vista. All needed is to change startup type to Automatic (Delayed Start) and your service will wait a bit extra time before starting. Original idea of this feature was to alleviate system load at startup by postponing some tasks for just a bit later when CPU had a chance to breathe. But, as a side effect, we can be sure that pretty much all important system services are already up by the time delayed start kicks in.

Might not be an ideal solution but I had no issues with it.

PS: Proper solution would be to find the missing dependency and add it to service. But setting up dependencies is not an easy task and pretty much becomes just trial-and-error adventure unless you know the product on the source code level. Not worth it.

Jun 192015

MagiWOL 3.40It was a long overdue task to release new MagiWOL. Changes have been small but noticeable.

Finally there is a high-DPI support with multiple icon sizes to make application presentable on all these new displays out there. If you use classic display only difference will be in what icons you see. But if you are using anything that makes Windows want to scale icons, you should be able to enjoy extra crispy icons.

Those using import functionality will be happy that, beside ranges, now you can defined network subnet size. Not a big change but it will make life easier for some.

Other changes are pretty much just bug-fixes and cleanup of my development environment.

As always, download is available on these pages or from within application.

Jun 132015

Uni-ball Signo 207I often write and speak about gadgets I get for myself and how I use them. However, there is one gadget I never wrote about and I use it pretty much every day ever since I got my first one in the late 1997. Those knowing me personally are aware how rare I remember year when something happened so this is something special to me. It is my pen.

There are many like it, but this one is mine. :)

As with many drugs, first one I got as a gift. It was an Uni-ball Signo DX with a 0.38 tip. Compared to roller pens I used before this one was just sliding without any conscious effort and lines were as thin as a spider web. I watched with dread ink level getting lower and lower. Fortunately I was able to secure the new source before it came to worst. And, in times before Internet, this was a feat.

Then miracle happened and store in my town got quite respectable assortment of Mitsubishi pens. Over the years I tried many of them finally settling on Signo 207 RT (0.5 mm tip) a few years ago. It is quite a similar pen to DX with an advantage of being retractable so I couldn’t lose cap anymore. And switch to a slightly larger tip brought another level of sliding bliss.

I am sure there are pens other find better and have I tried many of them. However, this one works for me and that is all that matters.

Maybe I am an old-fashioned guy but writing and sketching really helps me to think and solve problems. Having a comfortable pen in hand makes a ton of difference.

PS: Those interested in Uni-ball pens can check their godawful web pages. I only wish their pages would be as good as their pens.