Scheduled backup of your user folder to a network location

One can never have enough backups. Backups are important and you shouldn’t let one day pass without having them. I recommend creating system-wide backups (either the entire system partition or the entire hard disk) periodically.

But for that bit of data which is frequently changed/updated/replaced, you’ll need a more often backup schedule. This can be easily achieved with an archiver and a bit of scripting…

WD hard drives jumper settings and SATA 1.5 Gbps limit

Hard disk jumpers where a necessary nuisance in the IDE/(P-)ATA days. Jumpers made the difference between a functional and a non-functional hard drive.
Fortunately, they disappear in the S-ATA age. Well, almost… While totally unnecessary nowadays, jumpers are still needed to fiddle modern S-ATA drives to make them compatible with some early SATA implementations motherboards.

Restoring classic toolbar mode in FoxIt Reader

I’m one of those maniacs who hates the Office 2007+ / Windows 8 “ribbon” interface on programs.

I consider that on a wide screen using an interface where up to a third of the height is filled up with useless huge buttons is just stupid.

Thankfully, FoxIt Reader (still) offers the option to return to the old non-“ribbon” toolbar mode…

Restarting USB subsystem in CentOS

After a long uptime specific (cheap) devices or components connected to the USB ports lock up or malfunction. Unplugging and plugging them usually fixes issues, but physical access to the system (especially a remote server) is neither always possible or desirable.

In cases like this, Linux (unlike Windows) can trigger a USB subsystem restart by deactivating and reactivating the USB controller(s).

Source engine games error in shaderapidx9.dll

This error affects all Source engine based games, including Left 4 Dead 2, Portal 1 & 2, Team Fortress 2.

In my case the issue was caused by using LapLink PCMover to transfer stuff from a 32bit (older) Windows PC to a 64bit one. This broke part of WMI, triggering some rather weird errors later down the road.

Connect to a VPN server in Windows and Android

A VPN connection is still mostly regarded as “business solution”, only useful to connecting employees to the company network. But this is no longer true nowadays.

VPNs can be very useful in protecting the integrity and security of data transfers, no matter who the two communicating parties are. To learn how to set up a connection and connect to a VPN server…

Gaining ownership of protected files in Windows 7

Since Vista, Microsoft implemented a more serious protection system concerning core operating system files.

Because of this, replacing, editing, deleting or making any changes to protected files is a tedious task, requiring the additional step of obtaining the appropriate rights and permissions on the files first.

Low framerate with Aero/Flash on ATI/AMD Radeon in Windows 7

At random times, especially after a long computer uptime (over 2 weeks), all windows animations and especially any Flash-based video player would become sluggish and render at about 10-15FPS.

This happens independent of where using the computer or letting it idle while it is running. The solution…

Compiling libtorrent-rasterbar and qBittorrent on CentOS 6.5 x64

I finally found the proper uTorrent (wine/Server) replacement for Linux (preferably headless) systems – qBittorrent.

Unfortunately there seems to be no repository out there providing qBittorrent for CentOS 6, so I had to compile it from source – not the easiest task I have to admit.

Bash script to monitor and (re)start Webmin

Webmin (Virtualmin) has great service monitoring capabilities, restarting any failed services that it detects. Unfortunately, it cannot and does not monitor or restart itself it it crashes.

Still, since on (most) Linux systems it comes with a service manager, this can be used to check its status. The included bash script does this and restarts it if necessary…