Looking for a cheap and reliable USB Type-C Cable?

I was on the hunt for a cheap, some-what long USB Type-C cable. Well, to be specific it’s standard USB to USB Type-C, end to end.

My criteria for this was pretty simple.

  • Long – long enough to reach my power source to my bed.
  • Able to do Fast Charge – My phone is able to do fast charge, it makes life easier, specially when you have a short time to fill as much as you can before you leave.
  • Cheap, I just need the two above because I’ll be using this while traveling as well and if it breaks or gets lost, I’m not too fussed.
  • Finally, this is something I’ve not confirmed, but I believe it should be enough, but reasonable data transfer speeds. I use wifi to move my data cross the phone (I got tired of plugging in every time I needed to move something), but for super large files, it would come in handy.

After looking around, going to eBay to Amazon to aliexpress and other chinese export websites, I found the cheapest on Amazon. Take a look below.

https://amzn.to/2THF8y7

Creating Symbolic Links

I’ve been meaning to create a post about symbolic links and how to set them up, the benefits of them, pros and cons, however I’ve not had the time and I might just come back to this post one day, however it’s been a while and I think it’s worth just starting and leaving it where it is.

I sometimes reformat my Windows drive or as you do, upgrade to say another drive. Backing up your files is one thing, but have you ever thought, what about just using scripts to run once you re-install everything to point to the files so it’s almost plug and play?

So for example, in this situation we have the Steam userdata folder that resides in the Program Files within the C drive. Setting up a symbolic link to then automatically have that folder divert to a location on say a Steam dedicated drive, would mean no need to ever do large copies, but to just run the script after a reformat and you’re good to go. Especially handy when you forget to make a back up and reformat your Windows anyway!

This also comes in handy when the times your drive fails, however that doesn’t mean the drive you’re creating the link to doesn’t fail, make sure you have a plan for that.

Anyway, here’s the way to do it:

Step 1, run command prompt)

Start Command Prompt. Press start, type “command prompt”, right click on it and run as the administrator.

Step 2, copy paste your symbolic link)

You can just type “mklink” to get a list of details on what each parameter does. In this case we’re going to link one folder to another.

mklink /J “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\userdata” “D:\Steamuserdata”

And that’s it, we’re done.

I did a quick Google search to find more details on it, Microsoft have a page on symbolic links, you can find that here.

Uplay likes to save your screenshots to C:\Users\xxxxx\Pictures\Uplay another idea would be to divert those to your preferred location.

How to download the latest Windows 10 (any version) directly from Microsoft

It’s always best to make sure you’re downloading a legit and untampered version of your operating system you want to use. Here’s a simple three step guide to download a copy of Windows 10 directly from the Microsoft website.

(For a tried and tested method, I used Microsoft Edge web browser, but other browsers also can do the same, as long as yours has a way to simulate a phone).

Step 1) Go to: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

Step 2) Press F12 and go to “Emulation”. Choose browser profile as “Windows Phone”

Step 3) Page should reload and you’ll want to select Windows 10, your preferred language, preferred architecture (32 or 64 bit) and start your download.

Now, you could just load that onto a USB and be on your way (using rufus to create a bootable USB drive), but maybe you want to actually verify what you’ve downloaded? Here’s how:

Download IgorWare Hasher, which basically verifies the files SHA-1, MD5 and CRC32 hashes. Using that you compare it to a known list of verified ISO’s.

You can do that by using heidoc.net/php/myvsdump.php which basically dumps all the hash codes, similar to how MSDN Subscriber Downloads area used to do, but now gets it from my.visualstudio.com – unless you have access, in which case, just go there.

Oh and for your information, “English International” is the British English, supposedly.

Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds: Red zones are shit. This is how I would change the red zones.

The red zones are clearly flawed in this game. They need to change. On one hand I completely agree the red zones should just be removed. It just seems bad. On the other hand, if it’s there to add a bit of a twist (for example playing the game for the first time and suddenly experiencing a bombardment, or being caught out to it) then it needs fixing.

The first thing for me is in terms of the world we are in, who is doing the bombing and why? We don’t seem to know and so it just breaks down the suspension of disbelief that there’s a round circle on the map, it’s red and in that zone, you get bombed randomly. Give it a story for one.

Games are all about storytelling and you (as in the developer of the game) never bothered to tell the viewer (the gamers/players) the story behind it. I can’t even be bothered to go dig a quote where someone from Bluehole tries to explain why it needs to stay. What I heard just did not sound right. Oh and calling players bad for dying to it is just plain stupid.

How would I change it while accepting to keep it in-game? Well, instead of a circle, change it to more like a line and have the bombs explode in a certain direction. Soon the mini-map, the red zone would look more like a thick line across the map in random directions. Ensure that it never spawns in the same exact area twice in a row.

Alternatively, if it’s going to be more like mortar fire, have the minimap reflect that and be a bit more random shaped. Have the bombardment come at an angle also. Again it all depends on the story behind this and how to then design it.

Out right hypocrisy – Why is it acceptable to say the N words in music videos, but be offended other times?

So last month a Twitch streamer made a public apology after supposedly accidentally saying the N-word. Here’s the tweet to that. I would provide you a link to the video in which he lets loose the word nigger or nigga (not sure), but to be fair I personally and honestly can’t hear it properly and so I’m not sure if I even managed to find the video! But that’s beside my point here.

What gained my attention was the hypocrisy of society to go into this guy is what I find very much hypocritical. Why is it that we are so shocked for people to use the nigger or nigga like this when we have mainstream music literally repeating the word over and over again… Is nobody else questioning the hypocrisy literally being played out here? Here’s an example:

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not here championing that we should all be free to use such words, but I think we need to not find it acceptable to use it in the examples in the video. What I am trying to say here is, we need to be equally angry at the use by the music artists like the above, why are we being selective? I understand the offence, so I want to know what gives Kanya West that free pass? What’s the difference?

I don’t mind outright banning the word, the offence caused in the past would be fitting to actually remove a word from our vocabulary to signify the regret that is felt. Or society can take the opposite and release this word and remove that meaning, to move on from such effects it had. Just not both.

Combine PDF files with a context menu option

I needed a way to quickly combine two or more PDF files without having to run a program or click mutiple times. This solution basically allows you to right click and automatically combine your PDF files then delete them once it’s finished combining.

First download a program called pdftk, once installed head over to where you actually installed it, copy two files; “pdftk.exe” and “libiconv2.dll” to a new folder (preferably where you will not accidently delete it).

Create a new text file and rename it to “PDF Combine.cmd”, edit the batch file and copy paste the below code:

@echo off
setlocal enabledelayedexpansion

for /f “tokens=2 delims==+-” %%i in (‘WMIC OS Get LocalDateTime /value ^| findstr “=”‘) do (
set _Date=%%i
set YY=!_Date:~2,2!
set MM=!_Date:~4,2!
set DD=!_Date:~6,2!
set HH=!_Date:~8,2!
set MIN=!_Date:~10,2!
set SS=!_Date:~12,2!
)
set today=20%YY%-%MM%-%DD%-%HH%%MIN%%SS%

FOR %%A IN (%*) DO (set command=!command! %%A)
D:\pdftk\pdftk.exe %command% cat output “%~dp1CombinedScan_%today%.pdf”

del %command%

The output file names for mine is “CombinedScan_DATE&TIME.pdf”. Make relavent changes preffered to you and save.

Now we want to set up the context menu for it so you can right click on files.

  1. Right click on your “PDF Combine.cmd” file, create a shortcut.
  2. Press your Windows key + R to bring up your run dialog. Type “shell:sendto”, which should open up your Windows SendTo folder. Move your shortcut you just created to this folder and feel free to rename your shortcut to whatever you prefer, I personally named it “Combine PDF’s”.

Now go ahead and test your automated method out. I recommend you use some spare PDF’s that are backups just in case you did something wrong. If you prefer to just skip downloading and copying the files, I’ve done that already and made a zip folder for you below.

Download pdftk.

Using AutoHotkey to display an overlay when microphone hotkey is used.

This simple AutoHotkey script will basically show a muted microphone overlay above your application, such as a game you are playing whenever you hit your microphone muted hotkey.

 

Download here – https://github.com/savasfreeman/MuteMicOverlay

You may need to change the hotkeys, as I use different keys probably to you.

Also for anyone concerned about getting banned.

How to fast switch between resolutions using a batch file.

Here’s a quick way to switch between Windows desktop resolutions using a batch file and an executable file. I needed to do this in order to have a better overview in the game Age of Empires HD (on Steam). Let me visually show you what I mean. Have a look at the screenshots below, you can clearly see a more broader view as you up the resolution.

For some reason the viewing distance is different to the one in the original game.. A few years ago I tested to see if there is a difference in resolution compared to the old Age of Empires and there is so they have in fact made your viewing distance closer. As someone who’s played Age of Empires for a long time this was a problem for me. Now in the original you could change your resolution so simply enabling DSR Factor via your graphics control panel and changing the resolution in-game could resolve this issue for me, in this version the ability is not there (I assume poor development). Anyway, you will first need to enable DSR Factor, I currently prefer x1.75 as shown below.

Then you’ll need to download the file below. Tweak the resolution settings for what you prefer and run the game. If you have the option you can play around with the smoothing, essentially it’s anti-aliasing between the pixels so it doesn’t look pixelated due to the difference of your monitors resolution capability and what’s being scaled.

Now I was under the impression that a batch file can’t actually do this (on its own), I still think this is the case, but with simple help from a file you can still achieve it. The benefits of this way is you can change your preferred resolutions and simply run the batch file with as less clicking as possible, while an executable would require a bit of extra clicks.

At the time I could not find the source code for QRes (and I downloaded it from a separate site) so I did a virus scan on it – here’s the result. Secondly I used Sandboxie and launched the file in a sandboxed environment and looked at what – if any – files were executed along with it.. It left zero trace and the file size also indicates to me it’s pretty simple.

Now here comes the actual batch file.

QRes.exe /X 1920 /Y 1080

Yup, that’s it. So in the folder there is the ‘QRes.exe’ file, then there’s ‘RC 1920×1080.bat’ and ‘RC 2560×1440.bat’ files which I run to switch between the resolutions. All these files must be in the same folder for it to work and by the size of the QRes.exe file it looks to just simply run based on the resolution that’s provided in the batch.

Download Resolution Changer version 1.0 here.

 

My PC System Specifications 2016

As of writing, this is my current PC system specifications:

CPU: Intel Core i7 950 @ 3.07 GHz
Motherboard: Asus P6X58D-E
Memory: 6GB Corsair
Storage: SanDisk SSD PLUS 240 GB Sata III 2.5 inch Internal SSD (£39.99 – Amazon.co.uk)
Graphics Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 460
PSU: Corsair HX850W
Case: LIANLI PC-8FI
Operating System: Windows 10
Monitor: LG 32LF580V
Internet: 80Mbits (Plusnet)

OLD (2015)

CPU: Intel Core i7 950 @ 3.07 GHz
Motherboard: Asus P6X58D-E
Memory: 6GB Corsair
Storage: OCZ 120GB Vertex 3 2.5 SSD (£169.34 – Scan.co.uk)
Graphics Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 460
PSU: Corsair HX850W
Case: LIANLI PC-8FI
Operating System: Windows 10
Monitor(s): 24″ Samsung SyncMaster 2493HM
Internet: 17Mbits (Plusnet)