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Beautiful desktop

Make Windows 11 Look Like Ubuntu

How to Smoothly Make Windows 11 Look Like Ubuntu

License key/Reinstall

Activation script

Move to a new computer

How to set up your new computer

How to Migrate Your Windows Installation to a Solid-State Drive

How to Upgrade to a Larger Hard Drive Without Reinstalling Windows

OEM license

Watch Out For These Dirty Tricks From Discounted Software Resellers

Cheap Windows 10 Keys: Do They Work?,

Generic keys

What Are Windows 10 Generic Product Keys? Here's How to Use Them

Reset password

Microsoft Store device management

Microsoft Store device management. You can use up to 10 devices with Microsoft Store.

How to install Windows on an external drive

How to Find Official Windows Drivers for Any Device

Blue Screen

How to Solve Blue Screen Errors Using WinDbg and BlueScreenView

AppData folder

What Is the AppData Folder in Windows?

Libraries in Windows 7

The full path to the hidden Libraries folder is below.

# Or

On my Windows 7 machine, the Libraries include


Note that the Pictures folder in Libraries is not exactly the same as C:\Users\(User-Name)\My Pictures folder. Similarly, the Videos folder in Libraries may not be the same as C:\Users\(User-Name)\My Videos. In fact, each one of folder in Libraries contains more than 1 folder: one is 'My' one and the other is 'Public' one. For example, the Documents folder in Libraries contains My Documents and Public Documents subfolders.

It seems Windows 8 does not have 'Libraries'. On Windows 10, 'Libraries' becomes 'Quick access' and the libraries idea is gone now; for example, the 'Downloads' is actually means the 'Downloads' folder. The 'Quick access' consists of


Share files over internet

Testing on <> shell script. Goal is to use wget to download the file.

  • Github: choose 'View Raw' to get the url for the file. The con is the url will be changed whenever the file is updated.
  • Google Drive: cannot get the raw file, only the html version.


Long filenames

255 characters for VFAT file system from Windows 95.

Delete files with long filenames

Long filename

Delete a non-empty folder/directory

  • DOS: rmdir /s DIRECTORY
  • Powershell (can remember history): rm -r -force DIRECTORY

What Does a Windows Folder Icon With Double Blue Arrows Mean?

Administrator vs standard account

Administrator vs. Standard: Which User Account Should You Use in Windows?



How to Remotely Control Windows PC with AnyDesk on iPhone


Customize the Send To Menu in Windows 10, 8, 7, or Vista. Open the Explorer window and type


Create a new shortcut to the program you want to add to the Send To menu.

Battery status

Open a command line prompt using administration. Then type powercfg /batteryreport. In my Windows 8 tablet, it will create a report in C:\Windows\system32\battery-report.html.

Quick format

How to Reformat an External Hard Drive Without Losing Everything on It

Read Mac-formatted drive


What’s The Difference Between Bluetooth A2DP And aptX?

aptX vs. LDAC

aptX vs. LDAC: What's the Difference?

Output audio to bluetooth

  1. control panel
  2. bluetooth
  3. click on the device (e.g. BA-500)
  4. click A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile)

You shall see the bluetooth device is checked now under the Control panel-> Sound box.


Share files with Android over bluetooth

Bluetooth Android Windows.png

Subsystem for Android

How to Play Android apps

How to Play Android Games on Windows 11

Log on automatically on Windows 7 or 8

  1. Click Start, type netplwiz, and then press Enter.
  2. In the User Accounts dialog box, click the account you want to automatically log on to.If it is available, clear the Users Must Enter A User Name And Password To Use This Computer check box.
  3. Click OK.
  4. In the Automatically Log On dialog box, enter the user’s password twice and click OK.

Automatically Log in

How to Make Your PC Shut Down at Night (But Only When You’re Not Using It)

Manage mobile broadband connection

Network discovery

  1. Start -> Control panel
  2. Network -> Network and Sharing Center -> Change advanced sharing settings.

Show all mapped network drives

net use

Command Prompt in Administrator mode doesn't see mapped drives

Since mapped drives are user-centric, that Admin user context will not have the (same) drives, and you'll have to map them for that user context once the command window is open as Adminsitrator; see

net use Z: \\SuperServer\SuperShare

Network traffic monitor & Resource Monitor

Task manager -> Performance -> Open Resource Monitor -> Network.

See a screenshot from the #3 from the bottom.

GPU usage monitor

How to Monitor GPU Usage in the Windows Task Manager

How to Add a Static TCP/IP Route to the Windows Routing Table

Convert/Save web pages as ebook format

The ebook device uses e-link. It is friendly to human's eyes. Although these ebook devices are usually small for easy to carry, reading pdf articles are not suitable. However if articles are available online as web pages, we can save these pages and read them on devices.

  1. For Kindle device, we can use bookmartlet from After installing bookmarklet, we can click it and send any webpage to kindle device (we have to enter the Kindle email address and add [email protected] to the approved personal document email list from Amazon Account -> Manage Your Kindle. The saved file is in mobi format and it contains images too. However, pages contains tables may be lost (eg this page, but it may be the website's problem). Note that in order to read the article on my kindle device, I still need to go to website -> Your Account -> Manage Your Kindle -> Click 'Actions' from the corresponding book -> Deliver to my Kindle (select one device). No extra charge over this method. See lifehacker's article.
  2. For Kobo device, one option is to use dotepub bookmarklet. However, it has a limit on the number of images in an article to save. In fact, the bookmarklet has an option to output in epub format. It will download the epub file immediately. It works perfectly.

Create epub or mobipocket format by using pandoc


Acrobat reader

  • To hide the 'sign in' export PDF right panel, click 'Tools' word on the menu bar.

Convert pdf to ebook format

  • - not work well with pdf files from
  • Calibre - when I test the pdf files from, the conversion does not recognize the 3-column mode. So the conversed article will mess up.
  • k2pdfopt - an article from After several tries (command line & GUI), I did not find it particularly useful. The only one case that may be useful to convert an article from multiple-column to a single column.
k2pdfopt xxx.pdf -mode fp -c -col 3

This will generate a new file called <xxx_k2opt.pdf> by converting an article with 3 columns. Note that the new pdf file will have very wide space on two sides.

Trim/Crop pdf using briss

  • briss is available for Windows, Mac, Linux and it depends on Java.
  • It works great when I use it to crop IRanges package vignette.
java -jar briss-0.9.jar -s [SOURCEFILE] [-d [DESTINATIONFILE]]

Convert PDF to HTML format PdfMasher

Sign a PDF

How to Sign a PDF: The Best Tools for Electronic Signatures

Web to pdf

Print to Pdf

How To Fix a Missing Print To PDF Feature In Windows 11/10

Convert Kindle azw to other format

Note: it does not work:(

RSS and Kindle

Reabble, help. Users should have a web-based content and RSS feed reader account on Inoreader. Very nice work. Free accounts got 15 reads per day using Reabble.

Install IIS on Windows 7/Vista

Burn Windows 7/10 ISO to USB in Ubuntu using WoeUSB

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt update
sudo apt install woeusb

WoeUSB also supports a command line operation.


  • dd command and Etcher can write the iso file to a USB stick, but the stick cannot boot.
  • UNetbootin cannot find the USB stick.
  • WoeUSB works. Note: umount USB drive before hitting the 'Install' button.

Boot from the network with PXE

Create a bootable USB

Run Windows 10 From a USB Drive

How to Run Windows 10 From a USB Drive

Clean boot

How to Perform a Clean Boot in Windows

Dual boot of Windows and Linux

Windows Update Deleted Linux! What to Do and How to Prevent It

Best solution: Install Linux Operating Systems on Separate Hard Drives.

Undelete files


Remove crapware

PC Decrapifier

Uninstall tools

  • CCleaner
  • Revo uninstaller

Uninstall a Linux from dual-boot

Install open-source software

Consider Ninite.

fosshub: Safe, Fast and Free Software Download

Install ubuntu on my 64GB USB drive

$ df -h
Filesystem Size   Mounted on
/cow       3.9G   /
udev       3.9G   /dev
tmpfs      1.6G   /run
/dev/sdb1  61G    /cdrom
/dev/loop0 672M   /rofs
tmpfs      3.9G   /tmp
none       5.0M   /run lock
none       3.9G   /run/shm

If we check the drive's partition table using gpart, we will see the drive has only a fat32 partition.

Internet connection sharing (ICS)

Suppose a laptop can connect to the internt through wireless. We want to use its ethernet port to share internet on another device (e.g. raspberry pi where the device has only ethernet port).

  1. control panel - network & sharing center
  2. manage network connection
  3. right click wireless network connection and select property
  4. click 'sharing' tab and check 'Allow other network users to connect through this computer's internet connection'. For the home network connection, select 'Local Area Connection'.
  5. reboot raspberry pi.

When my host machine is xubuntu, the guest machine (raspberry pi) shows eth0 has ip and the host machine shows

xubuntu@xubuntu:~$ ifconfig
eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:22:19:ea:10:3d  
          inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: fe80::222:19ff:feea:103d/64 Scope:Link
          RX packets:284 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:383 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 
          RX bytes:19038 (19.0 KB)  TX bytes:85493 (85.4 KB)
          Interrupt:43 Base address:0x2000 

lo        Link encap:Local Loopback  
          inet addr:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
          UP LOOPBACK RUNNING  MTU:16436  Metric:1
          RX packets:972 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:972 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:0 
          RX bytes:90336 (90.3 KB)  TX bytes:90336 (90.3 KB)

wlan0     Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:17:c4:62:a0:35  
          inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: 2601:a:3780:6a:217:c4ff:fe62:a035/64 Scope:Global
          inet6 addr: fe80::217:c4ff:fe62:a035/64 Scope:Link
          inet6 addr: 2601:a:3780:6a:a4b9:d314:4790:a0a1/64 Scope:Global
          RX packets:6300 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:4812 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 
          RX bytes:6042745 (6.0 MB)  TX bytes:659980 (659.9 KB)


How to use your Windows 10 PC as a mobile hotspot



WannaCry ransomeware

Secure web access from anywhere using secure tunnel

Meltdown and Spectre CPU flaws

How to Check if Your PC Is Protected Against Meltdown and Spectre

What every Browser knows about you

Security and privacy apps

5 Popular Security and Privacy Apps You Should Uninstall and Replace May 1, 2018

How to Secure Your Accounts With 2FA


Passwords Are a Thing of the Past: Why Passwords Are Phasing Out in 2023

File access

Telemetry 遙測

How to Opt Out of Personalized Ads from Google

Cloud Computing

Microsoft Azure

$200, one-month free trial

Google Cloud Platform

$300, 2 months free trial

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

12 months free trial

Access cloud storage

Amazon cloudDrive

It has a plan of $11.99/year for unlimited storage for photos and 5GB for videos and files or $59.99/year for unlimited everything. My plan (free) is unlimited storage for photos from fire device and 5GB for photos, videos, and files. Files shown in are not the same as -> digital content -> manage your content and devices -> your content -> Docs.



Google Drive


Click View -> Show Document Outline. This will bring a TOC on the left hand side.



  • To enter the presentation: In the top right click 'Presentation' button. Or Menu > VIew > Presentation. From the current slide, the presentation will become full screen.
  • To exit the presentaiton: Esc key.




Fetch any file on your PC

Mount/map onedrive as a local drive

How to Configure OneDrive to Sync Only Certain Folders in Windows 10

Windows Power Shell

Windows command prompt

  • rmdir foldername /s /q to delete a folder

Open Command Prompt from File Explorer

Click the path and type "CMD". Enter.

Return a short name for the current folder

for %I in (.) do echo %~sI

For example

c:\Program Files (x86)>for %I in (.) do echo %~sI
c:\Program Files (x86)>echo c:\PROGRA~2

c:\Program Files (x86)>cd "C:\Program Files (x86)\ArrayTools\Sample datasets\Pom
eroy\Pomeroy -Project\Fortran\ClassPrediction2/"

C:\Program Files (x86)\ArrayTools\Sample datasets\Pomeroy\Pomeroy -Project\Fortran\ClassPrediction2>
C:\Program Files (x86)\ArrayTools\Sample datasets\Pomeroy\Pomeroy -Project\Fortran\ClassPrediction2>for %I in (.) do echo %~sI

C:\Program Files (x86)\ArrayTools\Sample datasets\Pomeroy\Pomeroy -Project\Fortran\ClassPrediction2>echo C:\PROGRA~2\ARR

# OR starting from any folder and replace the . with the full path of the file/folder
c:\>for %I in ("C:\Program Files (x86)\ArrayTools\Sample datasets\Pomeroy\Pomero
y -Project\Fortran\ClassPrediction2") do echo %~sI

c:\>echo C:\PROGRA~2\ARRAYT~1\SAMPLE~1\Pomeroy\POMERO~1\Fortran\CLASSP~2

Split/break a long command in a batch file

Use the caret to break a long line.

For example

copy file1.txt file2.txt

would be written as:

copy.exe file1.txt^

Open control panel


Open Command Prompt window. You must run it with administrative privilege. Enter the following command.

shutdown /h

Command prompt replacement

The 6 Best Command Prompt Alternatives for Windows

Windows Terminal vs PowerShell

Windows Terminal vs PowerShell: What Makes Them Different?

Privilege manager from BeyondTrust PowerBroker Desktop client

It will create an item (Run w/ Elevated Permissions) on right-click menu.

Package Manager



Qbs from Qt

Onscreen keyboard and Narrator

Go to Control Panel classic view Ease Of Access.

Keyboard shortcut

Windows 8

Keyboard shortcut.

  • Win + C: charm bar
  • Win + w: search


  • +/-: faster/slower speed
  • Alt + arrow keys: skip 10 seconds by forwarding/backwarding
  • Ctrl + arrow keys: skip 1 minute
  • Ctrl + Alt + arrow keys: skip 5 minutes
  • Ctrl + Up/Down: Volume
  • M: mute
  • F: full screen
  • space bar: toggle play/pause
  • A: toggle aspect ratio

Keystrokes logger

How to Check if Your HP Laptop Has the Conexant Keylogger

Windows 8

Swapfile, pagefile

Boot from USB on Windows 8

HP stream 8


  • UEFI vs Legacy BIOS Booting: What’s the Difference?
    • Legacy BIOS is run by option Read Only Memory (ROM’s), which collectively is limited to 64 KB of storage. The option ROMs that legacy systems run will only work if they are compatible with the hardware that is running with it. If you upgrade your hardware, you have to update the option ROMs to make sure every aspect of the booting process is compatible.
    • UEFI solved this problem by incorporating drivers into their system in place of option ROM. The drivers have virtually no space limitations and are compatible with upgraded forms of hardware. Drivers are written separately and can be uploaded using a flash drive. The information uploaded onto the system is then processed by UEFI’s programming interface, which configures the data to ensure compatibility.
    • UEFI uses C-language. Legacy systems use assembler.
    • UEFI boots faster than Legacy systems.
  • What Is UEFI, and How Is It Different from BIOS? The traditional BIOS still has serious limitations.
    • It can only boot from drives of 2.1 TB or less. UEFI uses the GPT partitioning scheme instead of MBR.
    • The BIOS must run in 16-bit processor mode, and only has 1 MB of space to execute in.
    • UEFI is packed with other features. It supports Secure Boot, which means the operating system can be checked for validity to ensure no malware has tampered with the boot process.
  • What You Need to Know About Using UEFI Instead of the BIOS
    • Many computers with UEFI firmware will allow you to enable a legacy BIOS compatibility mode.
    • In this mode, the UEFI firmware functions as a standard BIOS instead of UEFI firmware. This can help improve compatibility with older operating systems that weren’t designed with UEFI in mind — Windows 7, for example.

Access UEFI Firmware Setting on Windows 8

UEFI and Ubuntu

How to Check if Your Computer Uses UEFI or BIOS

How to Disable UEFI Secure Boot to Dual Boot Any System

Secure boot

  • Secure Boot is a feature enabled by UEFI – which replaces the traditional PC BIOS – but Microsoft mandates specific implementations for x86 (Intel) and ARM PCs. Any computer with a Windows 8 logo sticker has Secure Boot enabled.
  • (From HP support website), Secure Boot Configuration is a new feature of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) in BIOS 8 that helps a computer resist attacks and infection from malware. When your computer was manufactured, UEFI created a list of keys that identify trusted hardware, firmware, and operating system loader code. It also created a list of keys to identify known malware.
  • To enter the secure boot, follow
  • If I disable the secure boot and exter/exit the UEFI (not sure it is related to secure boot or entering/exiting UEFI), the BitLocker will ask me to enter the recovery key (48 digits). Very annoying! The bitlocker is related to device encryption. To turn it off, go to PC settings > PC and devices > PC info > Device encryption. Click 'Turn Off'. Google: turn off bitlocker.
  • How Secure Boot Works on Windows 8 and 10, and What It Means for Linux (11/1/2016)
  • Secure Boot: this is not the protection we are looking for 2022/11/30

How to access a BitLocker-encrypted drive in Linux?

Windows 10

  • Microsoft quietly woke up update KB 3035583 from hibernation, and thus began a massive effort to get millions of Windows 7 and 8 users to ditch their existing operating system for a free copy of Windows 10. All they have to do is reserve their Windows 10 upgrade within the first year of the OS’s availability, something they can do from the comforts of their desktop via the Get Windows 10 upgrade prompt.
  • Install Windows from a USB drive. Media Creation Tool software

Download iso

How to Download a Windows 10 ISO Without the Media Creation Tool

Support end date

Support end on Oct 14, 2025

How long can I use Windows 10 without activation?

How to Remove the Activate Windows 10 Watermark

How to Transfer a Windows 10 License to Another Computer

How to Reactivate Windows 10 After a Hardware Change

Local accounts

Automatic log in/sign in

3 Ways to Automatically Sign In to a User Account on Windows 10

3 Ways to Disable Windows 10 Automatic Restart

3 Ways to Disable Windows 10 Automatic Restart (Especially After Update Installation)

Separate User Accounts

How to Safely Share Your Windows 10 PC With Separate User Accounts

How to Run Portable Versions of Windows

Differences with Win 7

Differences with Win 8

Windows PE (recovery)

5 Bootable Windows PE-Based Recovery Discs That'll Save Your System

Windows 10 Tips

Upgrade to Windows 10 with Windows 7 or 8 + Ubuntu dual boot

How to Change the Windows 10 Update Download Folder Location


Creators Update (version 1703)

How Windows 10’s “Builds” Are Different From Service Packs

How can Windows 10 Function With as Little as 32 GB of Disk Space?

From my observation on Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 tablets, the system takes about 12GB space. So my 32GB tablet has 14.6GB free out of 23.5GB for example.

Reject USB drives

Format USB drives

  1. Use SD Formatter (Windows and Mac) to format a flash drive. The drive will be formatted to the FAT format.
  2. Right click the drive letter in File Explorer. Select Format > exFAT and click OK.
  3. diskpart Windows (built-in command) drive recovery.


How to Configure the Windows Sandbox

How to Format a Write Protected USB Flash Drive

Command prompt keyboard shortcuts


You Can Now Test Windows 10’s Timeline Feature


Booting problem

Windows 10 Won’t Boot? Try These 12 Fixes to Get Your PC Running Again


How to use a Project Fi data-only SIM with a Windows 10 PC


Windows 11

Bootable USB

Install directly in Windows 10/11

Windows 11 正式发布 “Moment 3” 最新版!9大新功能很亮眼,附免费升级安装教程! 零度解说. Either from Windows OS or start from Rufus/USB drive.

Rufus, unsupported hardware



4 Ways to Clear the TPM on Windows 11

Language/keyboard input

Search: language. Windows 11 超级精简版,速度贼快!

Download browsers

How to Download a Browser Without a Browser After Installing Windows

Local accounts

Setting up a local account in Windows 11 is tricky. Here’s how to do it 5/19/2023

Access Your Linux Partitions From Windows

3 Ways to Access Your Linux Partitions From Windows

Bash Shell & Ubuntu Linux

# Change the color of directories from blue to cyan that was used to represent symbolic link files/directories in regular Ubuntu OS
export LS_COLORS=$LS_COLORS:'di=1;36:'
# assuming we have already run xming
export DISPLAY=:0
  • Run Ubuntu (or any) Desktop Environment in WSL
    • How to run the native Ubuntu desktop on Windows 10. Especially it discusses the socket support and D-bus issue on WSL)
    • Use XcXsrv instead of Xming to avoid an error.
    • If we have installed Unity Ubuntu, we can start it by typing compiz. If we have installed xfce4 Ubuntu, we start it by typing xfce4-session or startxfce4. Note that unity does not respond to keyboard and mouse but xfce4 has a good response.
    • Use Alt+Tab to switch between Ubuntu desktop and Bash Shell. To exit Xfce4 just log out.
    • To install other desktop environments
sudo apt-get install xfce4      # standard XFCE desktop environment
sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop  # Xubuntu’s customized XFCE desktop environment localhost DESKTOP-TC9HSRG
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install packagename
sudo apt-get remove packagename
sudo apt-cache search word
sudo apt-get upgrade # download and install the latest versions of your installed packaes
  • To quickly launch a program, execute a command, or run a script, you don't need to launch the Bash environment first. You can use bash -c to directly execute a Linux command. Bash will simply run the command and then qit.
bash -c "vi"
  • You can use lxrun command to reinstall the Ubuntu environment and get a fresh Linux slate.
lxrun /uninstall /full

To install the Ubuntu, use either (the command will ask you a new username/password)

lxrun /install

or ("root" is the default username without a password)

lxrun /install /y
  • Oracle Java cannot be installed directly through PPA method. However, we can download the tarball and extract the files into somewhere. See here. In my testing of running SAMtools, I extract the tarball to /usr/java. Then I modify .bashrc to include 'export PATH=$PATH:/usr/java/jdk1.8.0_112'. After that, BRB-SeqTools works fine.
  • Note that the htop output shows 50% CPU are used for each core. That does not match with what the 'Task Manager' gave (2% used). See this posts.

Windows10 seqtools OK.png Windows10 ubuntu htop.png

  • Mounting drives. For example I assign Z: drive for the shared folder. But the Z: drive does not appear under /mnt directory.
  • Limitations (from the Anniversary Update):
    • There is no way to actually launch a Windows program or run a Windows command from within a Bash script or the Bash shell.
    • This won’t work with server software.
    • It’s intended for developers who want to run Linux command-line utilities on Windows.
    • Mount virtualbox shared folder in Ubuntu
  • Interop between Windows and Bash (Build 14951)

Insider Preview


  • If we do not log into the Microsoft account, the desktop wallpaper will be kept to the default.
  • If we log into the Microsoft account, the desktop wallpaper will be changed but still cannot be modified by users.

openSUSE or others

Removable drives and network drives

How to Mount Removable Drives and Network Locations in the Windows Subsystem for Linux


How to Find Out Why Your Windows PC Crashed or Froze The article mentions two tools.

  1. Reliability monitor (built-in)
  2. Event viewer(built-in)
  3. BlueScreenView (NirSoft)

Remote Desktop

How to Access Windows Remote Desktop Over the Internet

mRemoteNG Multi-Remote Next Generation Connection Manager

Securely transfer files to Linux on Windows command line

PuTTy & PuttyND & pscp

Note Windows 10 PowerShell has scp already but it does not have rsync.

Transfer files and folders from Windows to Linux with PSCP

Use psftp or pscp with a script.

PuttyND gives a chrome style with multiple tabs for Putty Suite.

scp command built in Windows 10

Open a command line window or PowerShell window. Tested on Windows 10 20H2.

scp -r user@hostname:Documents/Dirname Documents\Project

Use winscp with script or in command line


C:\Program Files\WinSCP\winscp.exe" /console /script=YOUR_SCRIPT_FILENAME 

Example from

# Automatically abort script on errors
option batch abort
# Disable overwrite confirmations that conflict with the previous
option confirm off
# Connect using a password
# open sftp://user:[email protected] 
# Connect
open sftp://[email protected] 
# Change remote directory
cd /home/user
# Force binary mode transfer
option transfer binary
# Download file to the local directory d:\
get examplefile.txt d:\
# Disconnect
# Connect as a different user
open [email protected]
# Change the remote directory
cd /home/user2
# Upload the file to current working directory
put d:\examplefile.txt 
# Disconnect
# Exit WinSCP

See for use winscp with Windows scheduler.

winscp and rsync


Change colors

Go to Configuration > Window > Colours. Select from the list that contains the blue color. Click the 'Modify' button.

Strange characters

Go to Configuration > Window > Translation. Choose 'Use font encoding' or 'UTF-8' in "Remote character set".

Putty with tabs

  • Putty nd Works well
  • MTPuTTY/Multi-Tabbed Putty Has a problem with cursor. Need to specify the location of the PuTTy program. Note that you can split the screen by docking any of the windows on top of MTPuTTY.

Increase font size with keyboard shortcut

Ctrl + mouse wheel does not work!


10 PuTTY PLINK Examples to Automate Remote Linux Commands from Windows Batch Files

Comparison of ssh client

Putty, ClisterSSH, SecPanel, Secure Shell

X11 Servers



MobaXterm: Enhanced terminal for Windows with X11 server, tabbed SSH client, network tools and much more.


Find public IP address

Create a VB script text file "" with a content like

Option Explicit
Dim http : Set http = CreateObject( "MSXML2.ServerXmlHttp" )
http.Open "GET", "", False
Wscript.Echo http.responseText   'or do whatever you want with it
Set http = Nothing

Open a command line and run

cscript ip.vbs

The output will look like

C:\Users\mli>cscript ip.vbs
Microsoft (R) Windows Script Host Version 5.7
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

  • On windows, open a command prompt. Type 'ipconfig' and look at IPv4 Address. But 'ipconfig' cannot show only one adapter. Another choice is netsh
x <- shell('netsh interface ip show addresses "Local Area Connection"', intern = T)
y <- strsplit(x[grep("IP Address", x)], " ")[[1]]
# [1] ""

PATH copy copy

What is the Equivalent of the (Linux) bin Directory in Windows?

System wide: the \Windows\System32 directory, or PATH

Personal: account’s PATH environment. For example, create the directory in your own profile (%USERPROFILE%\bin) and add it to your account’s PATH environment variable.

PATH environment variable

In R, by using strsplit() and shell() functions we can quickly get the information of the PATH environment variable.

> x = shell("PATH", int = TRUE)
> strsplit(x, ";")
 [1] "PATH=C:\\Program Files (x86)\\VNI\\imsl\\fnl600\\Intel64\\lib"             
 [2] "C:\\Program files\\MPICH2\\bin"                                            
 [3] "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\VNI\\imsl\\fnl600\\IA64\\lib"                     
 [4] "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\VNI\\imsl\\fnl600\\IA32\\lib"                     
 [5] "C:\\Program files\\MPICH2\\bin"                                            
 [6] "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Intel\\ComposerXE-2011\\redist\\intel64\\mkl"     
 [7] "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Intel\\ComposerXE-2011\\redist\\ia32\\mkl"        
 [8] "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Intel\\ComposerXE-2011\\redist\\intel64\\mpirt"   
 [9] "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Intel\\ComposerXE-2011\\redist\\intel64\\compiler"
[10] "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Intel\\ComposerXE-2011\\redist\\ia32\\mpirt"      
[11] "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Intel\\ComposerXE-2011\\redist\\ia32\\compiler"   
[12] "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Intel\\ComposerXE-2011\\compiler\\lib"            
[13] "C:\\Windows\\system32"                                                     
[14] "C:\\Windows"                                                               
[15] "C:\\Windows\\System32\\Wbem"                                               
[16] "C:\\Windows\\System32\\WindowsPowerShell\\v1.0\\"                          
[17] "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\QuickTime\\QTSystem\\"                            
[18] "C:\\Program Files\\cvsnt"                                                  
[19] "C:\\Program Files\\ActivIdentity\\ActivClient\\"                           
[20] "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\ActivIdentity\\ActivClient\\"                     
[21] "C:\\Program Files\\TortoiseSVN\\bin"                                       
[22] "C:\\graphviz\\i386\\bin"                                                   
[23] "C:\\graphviz\\x64\\bin"                                                    
[24] "C:\\gtk\\bin"                                                              
[25] "C:\\gtksourceview\\bin"                                                    
[26] "C:\\libxml2\\bin"                                                          
[27] "C:\\Users\\USERNAME\\Downloads\\binary"                                     
[28] "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Miktex\\miktex\\bin\\"                            
[29] "C:\\Pandoc\\bin"                                                           

An open source program to edit PATH variable is available from

On my computer, I need to open a Windows prompt with admin privilege and then type 'sysdm.cpl' in order to change the PATH variable.


Difference of "P" and "U" when running an update on WinCVS.

It means "Patched", which in effect is exactly the same as "Updated". The only difference is that the server did not send the complete file but only a diff (aka patch).

Notepad++ (text editor)


Go to Settings->Preferences -> Print. Check 'Print line number' and check 'Black on white' instead of no background color.

Line wrap works too. About 62 lines per page in my case. Cannot change font size though.

Other editors like Sublime and Atom do not even have the print function.

But sometimes it shows a message 'Before you can print, you need to select a printer. If you need to install a printer, either double-click the Add Printer icon or click the Find Printer... button located on the General tab of this dialog.':(( In this case, I just need to re-start notepad++.

Font size

How to increase font size? Just hold Ctrl and use scroll wheel. See here. It even save the status when you restart Notepad++.


Setting > Style Configurator > Select theme dropdown list > Zenburn.

If we download other themes from internet, those themes do not have a support for R languages so the syntax highlight will be lost.

Default language

And for convenience, we can change the default language to R in Notepad++'s Settings.


? > Set Updater Proxy.

Text Editor


See above for the printing problem on my Win 7.


Does not support to print line numbers

GEdit (Linux/Windows)

  • Check the option of print line numbers.
  • Uncheck the option of syntax highlight.
  • Adjust font size used in printing.

On Windows 10, the print function does not work well though the print preview looks good.

Qt Creator

No option to support print line numbers


Line printing works. But some characters are lost in long lines.


No way to print line numbers.


When printing line numbers, it cannot support line wrapping. So a long line becomes several lines (line numbers).

Image and Photo Editors

Visual Studio

Visual Studio 2010

  1. Create simple form using VS C++

Visual Studio 2013

Visual Studio 2015

Download offline version

vs_community.exe /layout


For something we cannot find a good Windows version of program; for example, cvs client. See my notes in Linux page.


Use desktop client like minitube which can eliminate the ads and allows downloading videos.

Powerful usage of VLC


Toggle mute sound

  1. free utility called nircmd
  2. create a shortcut: "C:\Michal\Code\Mute Sounds\nircmd.exe" mutesysvolume 2
  3. set up shortcut key by right click the shortcut and choose property

Record Skype calls

Calibrate your speaker

How to Calibrate Your Computer Speakers Without a Fancy Microphone

Mind mapping software

  • Free mind
  • Mindmap (web based)
  • MindMup (web based). It can export to Freemind .nm format. No registration is required.

Command line

find date/time

@echo off
For /f "tokens=2-4 delims=/ " %%a in ('date /t') do (set mydate=%%c-%%a-%%b)
For /f "tokens=1-2 delims=/:" %%a in ("%TIME%") do (set mytime=%%a%%b)
echo %mydate%_%mytime%

Then save it as <datetime.bat> and run

C:\Program Files\R>c:\users\brb\Desktop\datetime.bat
2015-09-16_ 908

@echo off
echo %time% < nul
cmd /c %1
echo %time% < nul

Then run your program as an argument to this script...

timer myprogram.exe

and for arguments...

timer "myprogram.exe -sw1 -sw2"

Examine your system’s energy efficiency: powercfg

Reconnect to the internet with a new IP address: ipconfig

'C:\Program' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file

cmder: Portable console emulator for Windows (git, awk, cp, curl, find, gawk, ...)

How to Change the Primary Email Address for Your Microsoft Account

8 Ways to Email Large Attachments


See Outlook.

MS-Office alternatives

The 7 Best Microsoft Office Alternatives


See Excel.

Reference management software


When we find an article in PubMed, we can choose "Send to" and select "Citation manager" and then click the "Create File" button to download the reference. After the citation file is downloaded (*.nbib, an ASCII format), we can double click it to open the file in EndNote. The reference will be inserted into our library file (e.g. ~/Documents/My EndNote Library.enl). We can delete the *.nbib file now.

Now in Word click "EndNote X8" on the menu. It will bring up a Ribbon at the top. Before we click "Insert Citation" button, change the Style from its default 'Annotated' to say "APA 6th". The default 'Annotated' style will insert the abstract in the reference area. After clicking "Insert Citation", we can enter a keyword and if the match is found, we can insert it to our Word document. We can also use "Edit and manage citations" to remove citations.




Zotero: An Open Source App to Help You Collect & Share Research

Folder synchronization

cwRsync Just unzip.

VirtualBox + share folder

Pick a light weight linux distribution.

rsync from Rtools

C:\Program Files\R>where rsync

Got an error (tried 3.2 and 3.3)

rsync: Failed to exec ssh: No such file or directory (2)
rsync error: error in IPC code (code 14) at /home/lapo/package/rsync-3.0.9-1/src/rsync-3.0.9/pipe.c(84) [Receiver=3.0.9]
rsync: connection unexpectedly closed (0 bytes received so far) [Receiver]
rsync error: error in rsync protocol data stream (code 12) at /home/lapo/package/rsync-3.0.9-1/src/rsync-3.0.9/io.c(605) [Receiver=3.0.9]

rsync from cygwin

Got a permission error when the target is a network drive.

Got an error: connection unexpectedly closed.

Windows sync toy

For some reason, it does not find the missing files so it does not copy files from source to target.

Another bad thing is there is no way to uninstall it.


For some reason, I cannot download it successfully. If I manually copy it from a linux machine to windows, it just get deleted. Probably there is a security reason.


I download Windows binary version. However, it does not work. It depends on GTK but it still complain it cannot find libgtk-win32-2-0.0.dll even I downloaded/installed/change PATH variable.

DirSync (NO installer is there)

Internet Tricks


5 Alternative Ways to Change Your DNS Server in Windows 11

View all steps from instructables

Just add ?ALLSTEPS after the url's forward slash. See here

How to Set Up Your Own Home VPN Server

How to See If Your VPN Is Leaking Your Personal Information

How to Auto-Connect to a VPN for Specific Apps in Windows 10

How to Auto-Connect to a VPN for Specific Apps in Windows 10

Cloudflare Warp

Cloudflare WARP 免費 VPN 測試版 Windows、macOS 下載

Search Tools

The 17 Best Free Search Tools for Windows 10

DocFetcher search for MS-Office files too.

File Manager/explorer


Group by date

Why the Files in Downloads folder are grouped by date in Windows 10?


Keep tabs open from last session

Settings > Folder Tabs > Tab Management tab

  • uncheck the box "Close all not locked tabs when the program ends."
  • check the box "Keep current tabs if open layout"

7zip to open zip files

Back up to external drive or another computer

ACPI Power Modes

What Happens When You Put Your PC to Sleep?

Hide a Windows program

Especially the RBTray program works well. When it was launched, we can use 'right click' on any program's minimize button to minimize it to the tray. To exit the program, just right click on any tray icon created by RBTray and click Exit RBTray in the popup menu. Or run RBTray.exe with the --exit parameter.


Select which icons appear on the taskbar

Settings -> Taskbar -> Select which icons appear on the taskbar. In my case, I like the 'task manager' to always appear on the taskbar instead of being grouped in the hidden icons.

ProgramData folder

What Is the ProgramData Folder in Windows?

Windows XP mode in Windows 7

Take a screenshot

Screenshot Annotation

Evernote Skitch, Snipit, SnagIt (commercial), hotshot GNU written in C++ & Qt, Jing, Picpick (commercial), Paint.Net, szoter online annotation, IrfanView, Open office, Shutter for linux.


This hugely popular screenshot app is a privacy nightmare. Flagged by cbiit.

It works on Mac and Windows. On Windows, I just need to click the "Prt Sc" button and the app will show up to let me select an area to take a screenshot. Before I save it, I can annotate the screenshot.

When saving the screenshot using Lightshot, it automatically creates the filename based on date/time. In contrast, the snipping tool from Windows OS can not.


Printing will truncate the top and bottom. So when we want to print, switch to Window's Paint program.

Back up

Backups vs. Redundancy: What’s the Difference?


How to Sync Only Specific Folders With Dropbox

Evernote backup

Record screens

This guide tells how to record you screen on different platforms (windows/mac/linux/android/ios).

Adobe Illustrator

The 8 Best Free Browser-Based Adobe Illustrator Alternatives

Adobe Illustrator vs. Photoshop

Adobe Illustrator vs. Photoshop: What's the Difference?


  • Tutorial basic
  • List of tools shown on the left hand side.
  • Tutorial from youtube (tutor4u)
  • Transparent text
  • Select the arrow key when we want to change an object property (eg enlarge).
  • The straight line tool is located two above the Text tool. When we draw a line, we can use ENTER key to stop continuation.
  • When we want to enlarge an object, we want to hold the CTRL key so the size will be changed proportionally.
  • Keyboard shortcut. For example, Ctrl+d to duplicate selection.

Affinity Designer

Why Affinity Designer Is the Best Adobe Illustrator Alternative

Note Taking

  • KeepNote: cross platform (pro: tab for different notebooks, export to HTML)
    • Notebook is saved in a folder format (Folder name = notebook name)
  • CherryTree: cross platform (pro: still under development, one file only, recent documents)
    • File extension is .ctd
    • I use version 0.28.5 for ATtasks\Doc\RServe, GSE6861 Projects
  • Zim: cross platform

Check web change

Screenshot of a big webpage

Screengrab add-on for Firefox


ReminderFox is an add-on for Firefox

Tile of webpages

TileView is an add-on for Firefox


Windows 10

How to Change the Wallpaper on Unactivated Windows 10

Download Bing wallpaper

Windows Virtual Machine download These virtual machines expire after 90 days. Recommend setting a snapshot when you first install the virtual machine which you can roll back to later. The password to your VM is "Passw0rd!"

The guest machine seems to be working out of box. Desktop zoom in and copy/paste work.

Specs: 4GB memory, 40GB virtual storage.

Audio out recorder

Total Recorder. The standard version ($18) already allows to record by schedule. The Professional version (+$18) allows to capture streaming audio directly without opening another application.

PDF file

Windows Movie Media

I got a message Another program is preventing Windows Essentials from installing when I was installing Windows Essentials 2012 on Windows 7 Enterprise w/ Service Pack 1.


This article from



Camstudio works in Virtualbox guest machine too while Screencasting 101 gives me an error. Also the Virtualbox's built-in video capture function does not create videos correctly (I only got a blank/green screen and the video's length is wrong).

Make sure to install Camstudio lossless codec too.

Useful settings:

  • Region -> Fix region 1024*720 (screen will create 4 corners when you hit the record button or F8)
  • Options -> Video. Camstudio lossless Codec v1.5.
  • Options -> Cursor. Highlight cursor.
  • Options -> Audio.
  • Options -> Program Options -> Keyboard shortcut (F8=record, F9=Stop)
  • Toolbar icon -> 6th one is to toggle flv, avi, mp4. Avi is good.


How to blue a region.


30 days trial is free to download. It is possible to blue a region with Camtasia. Check out this page or some videos like this.

Video Editing Tools

VideoPad Video Editor

How to Edit Videos Like a Pro With VideoPad Video Editor

Cyberlink PowerDirector

Got blue screens when I import video files (tested on Windows 7 VM, PD v12).


  • Text annotation is easy and more variable
  • Audio fade out does not work. Alternatively we can use Audicity to fix this problem.
  • Export video is very slow (at least on the Free version). 1 minute video takes 1 minute to export. So it does not make sense if we just want to make a small adjustment.


  • Text annotation is too simple to be useful


Create a symbolic link

Default location of TurboTax and HRBlock

Documents\TurboTax with a file ext name like .tax2014.

Documents\HRBlock with a file ext name like .T14.

Storage/disk space problem on Windows tablet

Some ideas:



MBR vs. GPT: Which One Is Best for Your SSD?

Convert Fat32 file system to NTFS

It is know Fat32 has a file size limit of 4GB. That means it is impossible to use Fat32 partition to transfer a >4GB virtual machine file (ova) to a fat32 USB drive.

The ntfs partition created by Gparted program may not be recognized by Windows OS. So if a drive has been used/partitioned in Linux machines, it is recommended to keep using Gparted to partition the drive to FAT32 first and then bring the drive to Windows OS for ntfs conversion/re-partition.

Command line

To convert a fat32 partition to NTFS, run the following in the command line prompt (or type help convert to get help).

convert <drive_letter>: /fs:ntfs 


Use HP USB Disk storage format tool (96KB) <HPUSBDisk.exe>. The USB drive still needs to be assigned to a drive letter first.


It provides trustworthy temperature readings.

CPU fan control

How to Auto-Control Your PC’s Fans for Cool, Quiet Operation

Paper size: A4 vs US letter

  • A4 8.26 x 11.69
  • US Letter 8.50 x 11.00

See a comparison here and Wikipedia.

Printer IP

Right click the printer icon -> Printer properties (not Properties) -> Ports. Widen the first column (Port). The IP address is shown there.


The old printer is not shown as an option from Brother. I need to click the 'Windows Update' button to update all lists.

Hard drive

Hard drive monitor/benchmark tools

Has an advantage about the size than the internal drive. For example, my Dell Precision 3500 can support up to 2TB.


See the internal link Linux -> GParted.

Hard disk monitor tools

  • HWMonitor (freeware) from CPUID. Need to be run as admin; otherwise it only shows brief info about CPU. It does show temperature from cpu, memory, internal hdd and graphical card. Does not include External hdd.
  • SpeedFan (freeware) from This required an installation. It will be installed under C:\Program Files (x86)\SpeedFan. This can detect my ext 4TB hdd (WD4003FZEX). It shows the temperature 40C for this ext hdd (under the Readings tab or more details under the S.M.A.R.T. tab). My other 2 int hdd temperature is 34C and 40C currently.
  • Crystal Disk Info (freeware). Support USB connection and RAID. This looks very good too and it only focuses on HDD/SSD. It has both installer & portable versions. Explanation of the interface. The source code is on Give Your Hard Drive a Check-Up from The best and fastest USB3 Flash Drives of 2016, comparison, benchmark.
  • smartmontools. Windows can run it through cygwin.
  • HMonitor (shareware).

The hdd temperature is OK in the range of 25C to 46C. See

Hard disk space monitor



Speed Up Your Solid-State Drive by Re-Aligning Its Partitions


Fast, lightweight, advanced system information tool for your PC. It also displays the temperature from CPU, MOBO, fan speed, et al.

Use WinPatrol to Monitor Your Windows PC for Changes

Wireless network watcher

NirSoft’s network tools

Share your wifi with friends

Use Wi-Fi and Ethernet at the Same Time

How to Use Wi-Fi and Ethernet at the Same Time on Windows

Be On Ethernet And Wi-Fi At The Same Time



Intel Boot Agent GE

Logitech M510

Go to and download 64-bit full installer (not smart installer) of SetPoint.

SetPoint software can be used to re-program forward and backward buttons on the mouse. For example, I can set the forward as 'j' and backward as 'k' for website.

Amazon digital credit balance

  • which gives expiration dates on credits.
  • Note that the credit has a short expire date. So go to the email and search "Your Promotional Credit". Good luck keeping track of them.

Amazon reward points

Stop Spending Your Amazon Reward Points on Purchases for Better Cash Back

Prime membership

Amazon two factor authentification

How to Turn on Two-Factor Authentication For Your Amazon Account

LDAP/Lightweight Directory Access Protocol

What is LDAP Authentication?

Watch web videos without flash

Firefox Developer Edition for private browsing

How to Identify a Song on Any Smartphone, PC, or Tablet


Similar to Conky in Linux.


It uses Alt+Space to launch anything.

Note that it has Linux (binary and source) and Mac versions too.


I downloaded the portable version (without the installer) from More Downloads >> link. (xampp-portable-win32-5.5.28-0-VC11.7z).

Note that xampp has to be extracted to the top level directory such as C:\.

When I start the Apache server, Windows' firewall will pop up. Since I am not the system admin, I can only click the 'Cancel' button.

The virtual machine can use the host's IP to get an access to the Apache web site. But the other computer cannot.

More help.

Window Services

How to Run Any Program as a Background Service in Windows from Plex is used as an example.

View Running Processes

See also Which Windows Account is Used by the System When No One is Logged In?

Process Hacker

Process Explorer

Console Window Host

Google account permission for webs, apps and devices

Go to account settings -> Sign in and security -> Connected apps and sites.



9 Apps and Websites You Can Use to Download Games

How to Play Your Favorite NES, SNES, and Other Retro Games

Online games

How to delete Yahoo account

It’s Time to Leave Yahoo: How to Quit and Move to Gmail Right Now

How to delete Gmail or Google account

How to Import and Manage Multiple Email Accounts in Gmail

How to Download Wikipedia for Offline, At-Your-Fingertips Reading

The Best Places to Find Free Audiobooks (Legally)

PIV card

ActivClient v6.2 program

Best laptops