How to Change File Access Rights With Take Ownership on windows 7

Posted in Windows on January 17, 2010 by fitusv

File permission problems are more common in Windows Vista and Windows 7 than in Windows XP. That’s something that Windows XP users for instance notice when migrating to those operating systems. A common problem encountered by many users is for instance the inability to write specific files like the Windows hosts file or settings of portable programs that have been transferred to the new operating system as well.

The standard way of dealing with file access rights is to change them so that files can be edited in Windows. This is done by right-clicking the file or folder, selecting properties from the context menu that is appearing and switching to the Security tab in the window that opens afterwards.

This window displays a list of user names and groups and their file access rights. Setting the file permissions this way is a lengthy process that becomes more than a nuisance if it has to be done for a lot of files and folders.

Take Ownership is a portable software program for Windows Vista and Windows 7 that can add an entry to take ownership of the selected file or folder to the context menu of Windows Explorer.

Changing ownership of a file or folder basically gives the new owner full file access rights so that the files can be modified. It is possible to change file ownership in the Properties menu as well but this requires quite a few clicks before the changes can be made.

Take Ownership simplifies that process making it extremely easy to change the owner of a file or folder.

The program will display a small window upon execution that can be used to install the shell extension so that the Take Ownership context menu entry appears in Windows Explorer. The application will automatically switch the install to an uninstall button after installation which can be used to uninstall the shell extension again.

The software program is mostly helpful for users who encounter file access rights errors regularly in their operating system. Take Ownership can be downloaded directly from the developer’s website.


Stop UAC From Dimming The Desktop on Windows 7

Posted in Windows on January 15, 2010 by fitusv

If you are a Windows XP user who recently switched to Windows 7 you must have been getting annoyed by the blacking out of the screen every time the User Account Control kicks in. Microsoft calls this dimming the screen.

What actually is happening is that the Windows dims the screen to bring the user’s attention to the UAC prompt that has been opened. This happens for instance during software installations and there is no option to continue working with the operating system until action has been taken in the UAC prompt.

Most advanced users might not need the extra eye-opener when a program tries to change data on the computer system, especially not during software installations that have been initiated by the user.

Windows 7, and Windows Vista as well, provide an option to disable that UAC dims the desktop during prompts. This will still display a notification in the form of a normal window so that it is possible to interact with other elements on the desktop.

To change that setting type in UAC into the start menu run box. This will open the User Account Control Settings. All that needs to be done is to move the slider down one step from the default position .

This new setting is helpful for users who regularly install new software or make other changes to the operating system that display an UAC prompt.

This will make working with windows 7 life easier.

How to Fix Missing Desktop Icons on Windows 7

Posted in Windows on January 14, 2010 by fitusv

A strange thing happened the other day on my Windows 7 computer system.

All of the desktop icons that had been placed on the computer desktop were not visible anymore. No application or feature was changed to hide the visibility of the desktop icons manually and it is still not clear why it happened.

The missing desktop icons can however be displayed again easily. Some users might think that they have lost all of their desktop icons, they should however be visible in Windows Explorer for instance in the Desktop directory that is by default listed under Favorites in the left quick navigation menu in Windows Explorer.

The missing desktop icons can be displayed again by right-clicking the computer desktop and selecting View > Show Desktop Icons. They should appear immediately after making the change in the menu. A check mark  should be visible after selecting the entry.

The same menu contains additional options like displaying or hiding gadgets, aligning icons or changing the size of the desktop icons.

It would be nice to hear if someone else has noticed that problem in Windows 7.

Differences Between a Window Manager and a Desktop Environment

Posted in Linux on January 13, 2010 by fitusv

Many of my friends new to linux have asked me to explain what is the difference between a window manager and a desktop environment so here is my explanation about the differences.

To answer this question, it might be useful to think of the entire user interface as a stack of layers. At the bottom of the stack we have the computer’s hardware such as the monitor and keyboard. At the top of the stack we have the beautiful desktop that the user interacts with and in the middle we have the real workhorse.

The bottom stack is the X-System (sometimes simply called X). X is an application that sits above the hardware, but below the window manager. X does all the talking to the hardware. The window manager (or indeed the end user) need not be aware of what X is doing. It quietly and invisibly takes care of the nitty-grittyhardware interaction.

The middle stack is the window manager (like Fluxbox, IceWM, and BlackBox) that sits between X and the desktop environment. A window manager is responsible for individual windows only. It is not responsible for any type of interaction between multiple windows on a desktop. Therefore, the window manager displays the window and perhaps puts the close, minimize, and maximize buttons on it and does things like controlling which window is ‘on top’ as well as a myriad of other tasks.

The desktop environment (like KDE and Gnome) sits on top of the stack (or arguably between the window manager and the user). One of the tasks of adesktop environment is to provide the interaction between multiple windows on a desktop. Things like cutting and pasting from one window to another are the responsibility of the desktop environment, not the window manager. Additionally, desktop environments generally come with flashy things like wallpapers, screensavers, and a suite of applications.

So, in short, as a desktop user you will spend most of your time interacting with your desktop environment while X and your window manager quietly work their magic in the background.

hope this is clear enought for anyone.

A very cheap mp3 player

Posted in Personal on January 7, 2010 by fitusv

The $20 Centon Craze audio player also plays WAV and Ogg but not FLAC formats

yes today I went shopping and bought a $20 dollars mp3 player I was surprised to find out that this player could pay 3 file formats, well here is my little review.

The $20 Centon Craze 4 GB “MP3 player” I picked up a few days ago, is billed as only playing MP3 and WMA files. Well, I neither have any WMAs nor want to have them, but I decided to test which other audio formats, freedom-loving and otherwise, this cheap little device can handle.

Here are my results:

Ogg: The Centon Craze plays Oggs with no problem. The Centon company would probably sell quite a few more of these if they let the freedom-loving world know.

FLAC: I got some “sample” FLAC files, both 16- and 24-bit, from the excellent Pristine Classical Web site. I dropped them into the Centon, but they didn’t show up in the player. Hence the Centon does not support FLAC.

WAV: The Centon Craze does play WAV files. WAV is the format that audio comes in on standard CDs. Curiously, you can’t “see” the WAV files on your Centon Craze in the “usual” view, by which I mean the “MSC” or Music view.

But you can see them through the “RPL” or Replay view. Just press and hold down the “M” button on the player until you get the main menu, then arrow over to the “RPL” icon and press the “M” button again. Then you’ll be in your file tree, and WAVs will both show up in that tree and play if you “M” on them.

I did say this player’s user interface is awful. It’s no iPod. But it does allow for direct drag/drop onto the player’s flash memory, and it requires no specialized application to do so. And you can drag/drop files from any computer you wish. You can also go the other way, drag/dropping files from the player onto any number of PCs — anything that’ll mount a USB flash drive, in fact.

Use any computer with any OS, play MP3, Ogg and WAV, cost only $20? Beautiful.

I’m in.

Now I’m not saying I won’t seek out a better player, possibly a SanDisk Sansa Clip or Fuze that will play FLAC files.

But for now getting Ogg and WAV in addition to MP3 is a huge bonus I didn’t expect for my $20.

How To Compile Software From Source Code In Linux

Posted in Linux on January 6, 2010 by fitusv

Compile and Install applications from source files
One of the most FAQs for linux newcomers is how to compile and install application they found on the internet.  You can pretty much tell that they are source files because it is indicated on the page where it is located. These files usually end with tar.gz or tar.bz2.  Depending on how the developers intend the application to be compiled, the steps can take several forms.  Let’s go through this process one step at a time. as always the code needed to be typed into terminal is color coded.

Download the file and uncompress it.  If you do it using a web browser, you can tell it to save or open it in xarchiver or any other unrar / unzip utility.  If you open it in xarchiver, extract it to a place where you can access it and make sure you check keep the directory path. I usually choose to save it.  If you save it, open up your favorite terminal cd /to/source/file/location/ and issue either of these commands:

for tar.gz files.

tar xvf filename.tar.gz

for tar.bz2 files

tar xjvf filename.tar.bz2

Please note that the v after the tar command is optional. Use this if you want to look at the output of the process. The v following tar command stands for verbose.  Also, you can just uncompress tar.gz and tar.bz2 files with tar xf. Historically, the above commands are what you have to use.

Once it is uncompressed, it is usually contained within a directory.  Go to that directory. Use ls to find it and then cd to change directory

ls cd directory-name

First thing you need to do here is read about how to compile and install the application. There are two files you want to read either using geany or any text editor or  from command line. Sometime you can find the information on the application’s website as well.


make sure you have all the requirements before proceeding. If you don’t have it, use your software package manager and see if the requirements are available.

In most cases, the process to compile and install an application is this: ./configure, make, and make install. However, there are variations.  Let’s stay with the most common ones for the moment.  The first thing you want to do after reading README and INSTALL is find out what options are available to you to compile it.  To do this

./configure –help

Read through the options and see what you want to add or eliminate.  When you have decided what you want to do, for example, do this

./configure –prefix=/usr –disable-debug –without-libiconv

Now you can proceed with


to install, you have to be root user, if you are not already assuming root user, issue the command su  or sudo give password  and then

make install

If you want to keep track of where it installs the files, use the following command

make install 2>&1 | tee Your_app_name-install.log

save the log in a place you can access in case you delete the source file directory. This will help you in locating the files manually and deleting them. I usually keep the application source files in case I want to uninstall it.

To uninstall, you have to go back to the application source file directory and use this command as root user

make uninstall

Final note:
There are other ways to compile and install applications, but if you read the README and INSTALL file, you will get the idea of how to do it.  Some developers use python, so you might have to do it this way, for example:

python build
python install –prefix=/usr

Others may use scons, so please take care to read the documents before building the applications.  And…. once you are familiar with this, you should try using buildpkg (available via netpkg buildpkg). Read about how to use it (man buildpkg) and it will help you greatly in building a packaged application that you can install and uninstall easily.  This is how I compile and install applications these days.

Automatically Download Youtube Videos (And More)

Posted in general technology on January 5, 2010 by fitusv

With the popularity of video portals like Youtube

came the desire to download the videos to the local computer system to be able to watch them (again) offline or to convert them to burn them to DVD and watch them on TV. Hundreds of applications and software programs have been designed to fill that gap and we already reviewed many of them in the past including popular download manager like Orbit Downloader or the Firefox add-on Download Helper.

Yahoo Downloader is another Firefox extension that has been designed to download videos from portals like Youtube, Yahoo or CNN but also music from sites like Pandora, or Imeem. Probably the most interesting feature for many users is the ability to automatically download videos from these websites.

The Firefox add-on places an icon in the Firefox address bar. Some users might not like the location of the icon as it is placed on the left side of the address bar. This can however be easily changed by right-clicking blank space on that toolbar and selecting the customize option. The Yahoo Downloader icon can then be dragged and dropped to another location, toolbar or even removed completely as it is not needed for most of the functionality.

A left-click on the icon will display the window of the download that will list all the videos that have been discovered in open tabs in the Firefox web browser.A click on the download it button will start the download. This can be automated if automatic downloads have been enabled in the options of the Firefox add-on. This setting makes it very comfortable to download youtube videos or videos and music from the other supported audio and video portals.

All videos will be downloaded to a location on the local computer system which can also be changed in the options of the add-on. Yahoo Downloader is a great add-on for users who download many videos or music and want to automate the process as much as possible.