Computer Software, Windows Vista

Is Windows Vista okay?

Windows Vista has had a bad press online. This was because it is not compatible with many programs written under Windows XP. However if you are using Vista on a machine will only has more modern software installed then it will be okay. Much software written for Windows 7,8,9,10 will install on Vista, so that’s a reason for keeping it.

If you have Vista should you upgrade to Wjndows 10? Probably not – your printer and scanner may no longer work. However your scanner will continue to work under Vista.

Check printer drivers,  camera software and so on for compatibility with Windows 10 before abandoning Vista.

Computer Software, Repair Windows with Linux, Ubuntu 10.10, Windows Vista

Fix Windows with Linux

If your Windows partition will not boot, but you can still boot into Ubuntu using your dual boot option, then there is away to repair your Windows partition from within Ubuntu.

Check with Synaptic Package Manager to see if you have “ntfs-3g” installed. If you have not, install with Synaptic or type the following lines in the terminal:

 sudo apt-get install ntfsprogs
 sudo apt-get install ntfs-3g

After that, right click on your Windows partition on your Ubuntu desktop and unmount it.

Then type:

sudo fdisk -l

This will tell you what volumes exist on your system.

You will see an entry such as:

/dev/sda1 * 638 12312 93773824 7 HPFS/NTFS

Next, type: sudo ntfsfix /dev/sda1

This command will repair and re-mount your NTFS at sda1. If your windows volume is at “sda2”, then put “sda2” instead. It does not matter if you make a mistake here, use of this command on a volume which does not need repair does no harm.


Ubuntu can also be used to repair the Master Boot Record, but I would advise against the use of this method.

See link below for detailed intructions with screenshots:


Computer Software, Free Video Editors, OpenShot, Windows Media Center

How do I convert a Video?

Do you find videos you’ve created on another device won’t work when you transfer them to you Windows machine?

There’s an easy answer:


A Handy Audio/Video Converter for Ubuntu

Not got Ubuntu Yet?  You don’t know what you are missing!   This stuff’s  all free.  Follow the procedure for installing it either on Virtual Box, or on WUBI, then follow the method below.

The procedure for installing Winff is Accessories>Terminal:

 sudo add-apt-repository ppa:paul-climbing/ppa
 sudo apt-get update
 sudo apt-get install winff

In the winff program under “convert to” select WMV, and it couldn’t be easier.
Original post is here:

A Handy Audio/Video Converter for Ubuntu

Works for 10.10, 11.10. Tried it.

Computer Software, Strange Linux Distros, Windows Vista


If you would like an interesting and ultimately timewasting evening, then TopologiLinux is for you.

What is “Topologilinux”?

Ah, well, it is a Slackware Distro, which you install as a Windows application. It is similar to Portable Ubuntu Remix, except that it doesn’t work.

The procedure for installing is very entertaining, and I am sure you’ll enjoy it. It only when you boot up for the first time that things start to go down hill.

Verdict: An interesting Distro which has absolutely everything included bar the kitchen sink. There’s KDE and GNOME desktops and a bunch of other stuff. All sorts of compilers and junk that you’d never need. It is just there to gobble up disk space. Why would you want all that stuff accessible from Windows? Portable Ubuntu Remix does this job, much better.

Need I say more?

Well there is a bit more to say. The thing that is interesting about this distro, is that it can be booted as a full Linux boot as WUBI Ubuntu does, or it can boot from within Windows as Portable Ubuntu Remix does.

The drawback with Portable Ubuntu is that any application you start can only appear inside a Windows Pane. With Topologilinux, a view of the Linux desktop appears in the Windows Pane, and the application appears on a Window within the Linux environment. This approach allows programs which would not work on Ubuntu Remix to be used. However, being Slackware-based, you can’t use Deb packages directly – you have to install them manually, which is not really serving any purpose when Ubuntu will do the job for you with the Software Center.

When you boot Topologilinux directly, it does seem quite quick, but it quickly bombs on you. I got into an awful mess the the wrong screen resolution, and the sound card wasn’t recognized. I never had any of this with Ubuntu.

Stay with Ubuntu, live long and prosper…





Windows Media Center, Windows Vista

Windows Vista Blog

Windows Media Center does not work.

Resolution: re-install Windows Vista from scratch.

Why is this necessary?

Windows Vista has security on it which prevents you from removing “dll” files which have messed it up.

Method: use the manufacturers “reset to factory settings ” disk and then use Windows update.

a) If your machine did not come with Windows Vista Service Pack 1, you can download this off Microsoft’s web site, burn it to a CD and install it that way, which saves some time.

b) You can use “Gizmo” to burn the CD, if you have no other program for converting the “iso” to a real disk.

c) One you have reset your machine to its “factory settings”, you use “Backup and Restore” in control panel, to create a “Restore point” for your “C” drive. If you have a “D” drive as a second partition, you should create a restore point for this at the same time.

d) Some installers created for use with Windows XP etc., place “dll” files on your Vista “C” drive which mess up Media Center and prevent it from working. So, always make sure you have a “restore” point you can go back to!


Operating Systems such as Windows Vista and Linux are modelled on the UNIX operating system. This uses the idea of a “root” which ordinary users do not have access to.  Although you can gain access to to the “root”, it is more trouble than it is worth, so that’s where the “re-install” is the easiest way…