Rest Relax Reminder Released

The Release Candiate of the Rest Relax Reminder application is now available.

You can use this Windows application to time breaks from the computer screen. It will detect when you are working, and will adjust itsself accordingly, so you are not being annoyed by breaks when you dont need one. There are many more features you can check out on Rest Relax Reminder’s main page.

Feel free to give it a go! Let me know what you think, and if you find any problems.

Rest Relax Reminder Icon

Fix: “Configuration system failed to initialize”

If, like me, you have tried the most popular fixes for the error “configuration system failed to initialize” when you run certain application(s), and the problem is still persisting, then my rather drastic fix might help you too.

Warning: Back up your system before attempting any of these sorts of fixes. And try them at your own risk. I have not tested this fix on other systems.

Here is what I did that fixed the error:
1. Open File Explorer as Administrator
2. Navigate to This PC – your system drive (usually C:) – Windows
Microsoft.NET folder
3. Rename the Framework folder to something else, eg. FrameworkOLD
4. Rename the Framework64 folder to something else, eg. Framework64OLD
Note: You might get some warnings and messages about some apps are still running and using the framework. Stop as many as you can find. Worst case, restart in safe mode to do steps 3 and 4.
5. Start a command prompt as administrator
6. Run the command sfc /scannow
7. When that is finished, open the Control Panel / Settings window
8. Search for Update
9. Choose Check for Updates, and press the button Check for Updates
10. When the Update has finished, reboot the PC.
11. Test the app out, and hopefully the problem is resolved!


Wallpaper Modes/Fitting Explained (with Examples!)

Trying to figure out the difference between the choices that Windows (and other OSs) gives you for wallpaper modes, can be very confusing. Even nicely summarised explanations like this and this, can still be confusing without some illustrations to show how wallpapers with different aspect ratios affect these different modes.

So, here are example pictures of each of the modes, with different sized and shaped wallpapers. This is particularly handy to know if you are using LAWC (Wallpaper Changer), and want to change how your wallpapers are displayed.

Wallpaper Modes Explained

Original Images
Centre
Fill Width
Fit / Fill Height
Stretch
Tile
LAWC**
1280x720
720x1280
481x481
3840x2160
2160x3840
Wide Screen Test Pattern3840x1080
Here are example pictures of each of the modes, with different sized and shaped wallpapers. This is particularly handy to know if you are using Windows Wallpapers and LAWC (Wallpaper Changer), and want to change how your wallpapers are displayed.

* The source images are 1280x720 (720p), 481x481, and 3840x2160 (4k). The desktop resolution is 1920x1080 (1080p).
** LAWC mode is only relevant to the LAWC Wallpaper Changer application. Not available in standard installations of Windows, iOS, Linux, etc

Try LAWC – a wallpaper changing application for Windows

Light Adjusting Wallpaper Changer (LAWC)

LAWK256I’ve released the BETA of my handy little tool for Windows which allows you to change your wallpaper images, not only just at random, but it will also adjust the images for a Day / Night cycle which can be set to any time of the day. LAWC stores the library of pictures catalogued from user selected folders, and will select randomly from those images.

It also supports multi-monitors, showing different images on each screen, as well as many more features.


Best of all, its FREE!! But feel free to support me, and the application, by Donating whatever $ you can spare.

Click here to Read More about, and Download LAWC…

Great Free Windows Apps For All New PCs

oh-yes-its-freeIve been meaning to post up a list of the great (completely) free apps out there…. and here it finally is…

  1. http://ninite.com/ This site / tool is great!  You just tick off all the FREE apps you want to install, then download the installation tool.  This little program will download and install all of the software you ticked off, skipping unwanted toolbars, ads, and other annoying stuff.  It will also automatically skip things that you have already installed.  The programs in Ninite that I reccommend are:

    1. Chrome Browser
    2. Auslogics – Disk Defragmenter
    3. CDBurnerXP – for burning CDs / DVDs
    4. Classic Start – a Start Button for Windows 8 users
    5. Skype – well, a lot of people seem to use it
    6. VLC – video / audio player that doesn’t require any Codecs to be installed
    7. Audacity – if you want a good sound file editor (MP3, Wav, etc)
    8. Media Monkey – Music / Video organiser (like iTunes but with much more)
    9. Java – Needed for some other apps eg. LibreOffice
    10. .NET – Needed for some other apps (not necessarily in Ninite’s list)
    11. WinRAR – great for creating / opening compressed files of many types
    12. Inkscape – handy vector drawing program, similar to CorelDraw, Adobe Illustrator, etc.
    13. Adobe Reader – lots of PDFs out there
    14. LibreOffice – for editing / viewing word processing, spreadsheets, presentations etc (Similar to MS Office)
    15. PDFCreator – for creating PDF documents (incase the title wasnt obvious 😛 )
    16. Avast – Decent anti-virus software thats not too annoying.  Just remember to turn off the sounds!
    17. MalawareBytes – a different sort of malware detection / scanning software.  I usually check things with both an anti-virus program and MalawareBytes
    18. uTorrent – do you have to ask…. ?
    19. Evernote – great tool for managing notes, recipes, information.  It will sync to lots of different devices (Android, iPhone, PC)
    20. Google Earth
    21. Steam – Great platform for browsing / buying games.  Lots of free games on there too.
    22. DropBox – my preferred web storage too.  Integrates very well into Windows 7 / 8
  2. HTC Home:  This is a stylish weather / clock for your Windows desktop
  3. Coming Soon…..ish

Setting Up for Media Center Part #2 More on Metadata

Okay – so I got the tv shows’ metadata updated with Media Center Master, and have now started work on the movies.  The time consuming part is getting the folders structured correctly so the metadata can be saved properly.  It makes sense to me to do it this way, but its a little painful.  For anyone else stumbling across this article, the folder structures basically need to be:

TV Shows:

X:\My TV Shows\TV Show X\Season 01\xxxx.avi

Movies:

X:\My Movies\Movie X\xxxxx.avi

Where X: is the drive letter (not important for this exercise).  My TV Shows / My Movies are the folders that contain all of your collection. Each TV show needs to have a folder for each season, even if it only has one season.  Just a quirk of how it all works.  For the few shows that go over 10 seasons, its easier to just get in the habit of making all the season numbers prefixed by zero if its less than ten.  Ie. Season 01 instead of Season 1.  Both do work though. The xxxx.avi is the actualy video file.  If its a movie, it should be the title, and preferrably the year (ie. MyMovie (2010).avi).  If its a TV show then it should be Season + Episode codes.  To hard to describe, but obvious once you see it.  Ie. S01E01 – MyMovie Premier.avi).  Dont worry too much about anything after the SxxExx part as Media Center Master can fix up the filenames as long as it know which one its looking at.

I found this brief guide on getting metadata set up if anyone needs more info. Another guide here for using Media Center Master.

Setting Up for Media Center Part #1 The Metadata

After visting a mate and seeing how well he set up Media Center with metadata, I decided to look into it myself.

The process is to basically get an application to look through your TV / Movie folders and grab all the pertinent information about the show, the actors, ratings, description of episodes, artwork (poster etc), and so on.  Once the application has set up your folders with the extra info (metadata) then Media Center can look at it and display it nicely for you.

There is a popular tool to do this called MetaBrowser, which now requires registration and a fee to use.  The old version works, but is far from user friendly.  But, in looking around to find instructions on setting up metabrowser, I came across Media Center Master.

So far it looks promising.   Looks like it does a decent job, and even has facility to download shows / keep them up to date via torrents.  Im yet to test out Media Center to see the final result.

If you are interested, grab version 1.25 as its completely free and unlimited.  The later versions have a free/paid option with a number of restrictions on the free one of course.

Worth a look anyway 🙂