Thursday, February 18, 2016

Logging into Windows 10 with a black screen and a white arrow cursor

I've been using Open Broadcaster Software's OBS Studio to capture the display output, audio output, and audio input on my Windows 10 computer. While experimenting with it, I changed the resolution of my display. After doing that and using my computer for while, I shut down my computer. When I came back to turn on the computer again, I saw a black screen with a white arrow cursor that moved when I moved my mouse. What to do? Fortunately I found this article on Microsoft's site. Just in case this article disappears for some reason, I'll quote the important part here:
At the black screen, press the Ctrl key once on an attached physical keyboard. (You won’t see any visible change, but pressing the Ctrl key will place the cursor in the password box that you’re currently not able to see.) Now type the password of the user that just signed out and press Enter.This will sign you back into Windows and the desktop will appear. If you failed to sign in because you mistyped the password, press Enter once more. Then retype the password and press Enter.
Thankfully the advice above worked for me.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Automated compacting and copying of Microsoft Outlook PST files

Here's a way to automatically compact and backup all of your Microsoft Outlook PST data files on your Windows PC using only free software, AutoIT and PowerShell. AutoIT is freeware, and PowerShell is included in Microsoft Windows. Compacting your PST files before you back them up can reduce the amount of disk space required both at the source and destination locations of your backup.

So, to get started:

  1. Get the free AutoIT Full Installation and AutoIT Script Editor from the AutoIT Downloads page.
  2. Ensure PowerShell scripts that you create can run on your computer.
  3. Create an AutoIT script that, when the Mail control panel is open, will compact all PST files and then close the Mail control panel.
  4. Create a Powershell script that opens the Mail control panel and then executes the AutoIT script.

Here below are the AutoIT and Powershell scripts that I am running on my Windows 8.1 PC with Outlook 2013. I have a Windows Shortcut to my PowerShell script so that every time I log into my PC, my Outlook PST data files are compacted and backed up before Outlook is opened. I use the PowerShell script to also open other applications so that I may work on them while the Outlook PST data files are being backed up. Please feel free to copy the scripts below and modify them to work for you.

I am using Synology's Cloud Station to keep most of the data files on my laptop in sync with a Synology NAS, but Cloud Station doesn't work well with Outlook PST data files, which is why Cloud Station is configured by default to exclude the synchronization of files with a PST extension.

AutoIT script


PowerShell script



Tuesday, April 28, 2015

School and Study Tips, LinkedIn Tips, Sony, SCU, SJSU, and Del Mar Posts Have Moved

Are you looking for content on this site and got the error "Sorry, the page you were looking for in this blog does not exist."? If so, then these links may help:
  • For LinkedIn tips: The content that was on this site was either deleted because it was obsolete or updated and moved to the LinkedIn Notes blog.
  • For downtown San Jose residents and visitors: The content that was on this site was either deleted because it was obsolete.
For techies: Yes, I know I could have used 301 redirects to make the transition of content from one place to another as seamless as possible for machines doing search engine optimization (SEO) as well as humans. But there are a lot of reasons I didn't do that. To start, I saved some money by moving my web site content with low traffic to Blogger sites. I might further elaborate on the reasons I didn't use 301 redirects in a future post.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Updated Personal Blog, Added Picture in Title

I started this blog in 2005, so 10 years later it seemed like a good time to update it to take advantage of features that Blogger makes easy to add to a site. Most of the features were probably available in 2005 with WordPress plugins, but I wasn't that serious of blogger. I just wanted a decent looking place where I could occasionally share information that I think might be useful to others. The same holds true today, but I thought it might be fun to take advantage of features that are now easy to implement in Blogger.

So during this upgrade of this personal blog, I figured out one thing that might be useful to you if you're using Blogger: How to put a picture next to the title.

You can see in the upper left corner of this page that my picture is next to the title "Rick Upton". It took a little experimentation to figure out how to do this.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Taking Video from DVD+RW Discs to an MPG file to YouTube

I recorded video to a DVD+RW disc. When I open the disc on my computer, I see a number of files, including files with the extension VOB. Each VOB file is a segment of the complete video that I want to be able to play on my computer and upload to YouTube.

To combine five VOB files on my DVD+RW disc into one file called newfile.mpg on my computer's hard drive, I executed the following command:

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Combining VTA Light Rail or Bus Schedules into One Personalized Schedule

On the Santa Clara County's Valley Transit Agency (VTA) website, schedules are available in text format. The problem is that I want one schedule that shows me when the next light rail train is coming at a station I am going to depart from, but the VTA site doesn't provide such a schedule. You might want a single schedule to show you when the next bus is coming for a stop that serves multiple bus lines. So here below are some rough instructions as to what I do to combine two schedules into a single schedule, two times (one for northbound, and one for southbound). If you have any questions about the process, post a comment and hopefully I'll have some time to make the instructions clearer.