Increasing Netbook Screen Size

March 21, 2016

I’ve got an old Acer Aspire One 521 netbook that I’ve had for ages. One of the downsides of netbooks is that their screen resolution is 1024×600 – which is too low for a lot of programs. In particular, all the interesting buttons of the MFJ-226 control program “T-Series Vector Impedance Analyzer” are below the bottom of the screen.

I found a workaround that appears to work on Windows 7 and higher. I found it here:

The solution: use regedit to search for all instances of “Display1_DownScalingSupported” and change the value 0 to 1. (According to various things I’ve read, you’ll need to do that for all instances, not just one.) Then reboot. When I did this, I ended up in 1024×768 (which looks strange).

Strange isn’t bad, though. Now I can change resolutions to 1024×768 or 1152×864 if an inconsiderate programmer decides he wants to use more than my screen.


Using Cygwin git on Samba

December 23, 2014

When I last updated the Cygwin git, it stopped working on my Samba drive. Normally running git on a network drive is not recommended, but I do it anyway. After a git upgrade, I started seeing:

error: invalid object 
error: Error building trees

when I did a commit. After a little searching, I discovered this Stack Overflow post which suggested one answer:

git config --add "core.createobject" rename

This appears to have solved the problem for me.

Solving Firefox “window sent to back” when opening new window

June 2, 2013

Since I’ve had Firefox on my Windows 7 machine, I’ve noticed that with certain websites when you open a new window, it will be opened, but then moved behind the current window. Not life-threatening, but an annoying quirk. Tonight I finally was annoyed enough to find the solution.

I found an answer on this post at the support forum for Mozilla – which in turn pointed me to this article from Adobe.

Short answer: disable “protected mode” on Flash to prevent this behaviour. It’s frustrating to have to make Flash less secure to solve this, but I rationalize it by saying it’s no less secure than Flash on XP.

How to do this? From the Explorer, navigate to c:\windows\system32\notepad.exe and select “Run as Administrator”, then open:


(or c:\windows\system64\flash\mms.cfg if you’re on Windows 64 bit).
Add the following to the end of the file:


Save the file and you’re done.

Error 1303 upgrading LibreOffice 3.5.3 to 3.5.6

September 30, 2012

It looks like LibreOffice prompts you now when there’s an upgrade. I ran into a problem, though, when trying to upgrade on Windows 7.

When I tried the upgrade, I was told that I didn’t have enough permissions – even when I was running as administrator. I’d get an “error 1303: Installer has insufficient privileges to access C:\Program Files\…” and the install would always fail.

Even when I tried to take ownership of the files in that directory, I couldn’t. It was a puzzle. After a while messing about, I decided to nuke the whole thing from orbit. Finally that gave me a clue: when I tried to delete the files, some were left because a process was holding them open. (There were a couple of files – under share\config\soffice.cfg\modules\sglobal\toolbar) and whatever was running must have restarted at boot because it survived a reboot.)

That gave me the hints I needed. I booted into safe mode and deleted “C:\Program Files\LibreOffice 3.5” and its subdirectories. That worked, then I rebooted into normal mode and installed the 3.5.6 installer files. Now LibreOffice is upgraded and working again.

Rooting the Samsung Infuse with SuperOneClick

May 6, 2012

After spending ages trying to root my Samsung Infuse (i997) running Android 2.2 with SuperOneClick on my Windows XP box, I finally did the right thing: blew it away and installed Windows 7. With that, I was able to root the Infuse this afternoon.

I used:

After rooting, I rebooted the device. It worked with no problems. I shot the developer of SuperOneClick a donation ’cause why not.

Later I installed TitaniumBackup, which gave me a warning message about the access rights to su and offered to correct it. I said to go ahead and it did:

Access rights on the “su” binary were successfully correced from “0:2000 [6755]” to “0:0 [6755]”. Please reboot your device for the changes to apply.

I think that changed it from to root.root.

At any rate, now I know I can root the Infuse.

I wasn’t able to root an Infuse running 2.3.5 Gingerbread. Instead I had to use this XDA post, Odin, and reflash a new ROM.

Creating directories under Program Files on Windows 7

November 25, 2010

Windows 7 has locked down the “Program Files” directory so that regular users can no longer create subdirectories. This presents a problem if you have an executable but no installer, and you want that executable to live under “Program Files”.

The way around that is pretty simple:

  1. Open the Explorer
  2. Navigate to C:\Windows and select explorer
  3. Right-click and select “Run as Administrator”
  4. Give permission to make changes to your system

At this point, the new Explorer that opens has enough rights to create subdirectories under Program Files (and also to hose your system in a number of interesting ways, so be careful).

Naturally, if you’re more command-line oriented, you could navigate to cmd.exe or sh.exe (assuming you’ve got Cygwin installed). If you’ve enabled the Administrator account, it’s possible to do all this using the RUNAS command:

runas /user:Administrator cmd