how to convert a dynamic disk to a basic disk in 5 minutes without data loss

This afternoon, STARSCREAM, my trusty Windows 2003 server, breathed his final breath. He was due to be replaced but I did not yet have all the parts to build a new server. Sad times.

One of the big problems with which I was immediately faced is this: due to being an idiot, I had made several of STARSCREAM’s hard disks Dynamic Disks. This means that I couldn’t just plug them into another computer and use them. I couldn’t access my data.

After a bit of forum reading and googling, I came across a life-saving post at My PKB entitled How to non-destructively convert dynamic disks to basic disks. Within 5 minutes I was happily copying my data to another server, a happy boy indeed. All standard warnings aside, it is a testament to the documented process that my Thank You comment was #294.

in love with the 960 grid system

I have been working on some new sites and designing them with the 960 Grid System, and I am officially in love. It drastically reduces the effort required to layout a page, and also reduces the amount of maths that you have to do in your head. To completely eliminate the maths, I have created an image that shows the grid sizes for the 12 column grid. Click the image below for a 960px wide version.


If, like me, you want to print this out and put it on the wall, I have created an A4 PDF that will have nicer fonts when scaled to print size. The boxes and pink lines are slightly blurry, so if you are a fancy graphics person please feel free to fix it and I will upload your better version here.

Download the PDF here.

Now I have to redesign Pinkjoint using 🙂

How to change the logon wallpaper image in Windows 7

I have been using Windows 7 since RTM and I have to say that I am impressed. It seems quite solid and there have been many “that’s nice” moments.

data-8 One default that I have disliked is the logon wallpaper image. It is a bit, how do you say, ghey. I tried out a few methods of changing it involving manual resizing of images and registry editing and it all seemed a bit too hard for such a minor thing. Then I found Logon Changer for Windows 7 and my life changed for the better. Within 2 minutes I had a beautiful background from my wallpaper folder and am already impressing everyone around me.

The process couldn’t be easier. You download the file, unzip it, and run the single executable file contained within. You press Change Logon Screen, choose your image, click Test, and voilà, you have a lovely new logon screen. If you ever change your mind, you can always run Logon Chnager and click the “Revert to Default Logon Screen” button and return to the factory setting.

imageWell done, 4½ stars. Logon Changer for Windows 7

Download here

F1: Legard isn’t good, needs to go

The BBC’s biggest mis-step this year in their otherwise excellent Formula 1 coverage is Jonathan Legard.

His commentary just doesn’t work: it’s repetitive, he frequently gets things wrong, and he’s generally just not entertaining. Martin Brundle seems to put up with him, but if I hear his tone right, doesn’t think he’s doing a great job either.

For my money, James Allen did a fantastic job with Brundle back on ITV, and I’d love to see (well, hear) him back on the F1 commentary.

But really, just about anyone other than Legard would be good. Put DC and Eddie with Brundle in the commentary box, see what happens?

Please, Aunty Beeb, lose Legard.

Fuck you, Hulu

Content is not available in my region.

Fuck you and your region. Typical “we are the world” US-centric bullshit.

Hulu seems to be a digital remnant of the old school network model. They’re trying to make themselves the default, easy option for US people to view US content, and thus retain their existing advertising models, by claiming to the advertisers that stuff seen on Hulu counts as much as it woulda on the networks.

I plead with content producers: disintermediate. Find another non-iTunes system that lets you collect payment directly from your patrons, and lets anyone in the world watch your shows.

Or failing that, let overseas users buy Hulu licenses – like Beeb licenses (fuck you too, BBC) – that let non-regional audiences tune in.

Geography ain’t what it used to be.

Foldershare to users: please enjoy our competitors

I just got an email from FolderShare the other day, here it is, emphasis mine:

Dear FolderShare user,

We’re contacting you to let you know what’s next for FolderShare, and to make you aware of some important changes.

In December, we plan to announce a product called Windows Live Sync. You can think of it as FolderShare 2.0. It’s going to look familiar and offer the same great features, plus:

  • More folders and files—sync up to 20 folders with 20,000 files each.
  • Integration with Windows Live ID—no more extra sign-in stuff to remember.
  • Integration with the Recycle Bin—no more separate Trash folder to fiddle with.
  • Unicode support—sync files in other languages.

A huge part of Sync’s success story depends on FolderShare users like you. When Sync releases, FolderShare goes into retirement. That means your FolderShare software will stop working and will ask you to upgrade to Sync. Once you do, Sync will automatically rebuild your personal folders. We expect a lot of new users when Sync is released, so if you can’t sign in right away, please give it a little time.

Here’s the part you need to pay attention to: Sync will not be able to rebuild your shared libraries. If you have a lot of shared libraries, you should hop over to the FolderShare website while it’s still available and copy all that information. You’ll need it to rebuild your shared libraries in Sync.

Thanks for being a FolderShare user! We’re excited about delivering an even better file-synchronization experience to customers like you. We hope you’ll come along as we move forward with Windows Live Sync.


The Windows Live Sync (formerly FolderShare) team

Don’t they have at least one spare developer who could have worked on the migration script? Imagine if, when they went from Hotmail to Live Mail, they had advised that everyone print out their emails because they won’t be migrated?