windows 7

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A while back I started converting an older laptop, Dell M1730, and had the best intentions to setup a media center with Ubuntu.  I stumbled into problems right away with the graphics card, but was able to overcome then. At least I thought.  I setup a VNC server, plex, and started into setting up a VPN account.  But no matter how little memory and processor throughput that I used the computer simply could not play a video without skipping.  After a lot of work I discovered that there where issues with the graphics card causing hardware interrupts.  After way too much time, I’ve finally tossed in the towel.

So rather than continue to eat up more time I’ve wiped the computer and loaded Windows 7.   With a fresh install I started updating all the drivers and wham, my pc started going so slow, unusable slow.  Again the culprit was the graphics card, specifically the Aegis physics processor.  Even after an uninstall the computer couldn’t recover.  Fortunately, I was able to revert back to all the defaults.  I also found out that one of my external USB hard drives had failed and was causing windows to lock up.  After some work on that I found out the drive really did fail and fortunately the drive was still under warranty and Seagate replaced it in 4 days.

Now I have a very simple pc setup as a media server with two 3TB external hard drives.  I used Plex to share my videos.  I have UltraVNC Server setup to remote into the laptop when I need to do something as I keep closed up and tucked under the entertainment center.  I use GoodSync to backup from our computers and cell phones to an external drive and mirror the content to the other external drive.  Finally, I have setup SoftEther for a VPN server so that I can get into our home network remotely.  I would have to say this setup was much much easier than Ubuntu and it is working.


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A while back I was trying to do symbolic links in Windows 7 like you can do in Linux.  I didn’t try too hard as I really didn’t have a good need for it at the time.  Well I recently found a good need for symbolic links so I looked a bit harder.   Not too long later I came across several sites that recommended Link Shell Extension.  After messing around with this a while I can say this does exactly what I want….almost.

For my use I want to be able to share some pictures on FTP for friends to download, but I don’t want to let the FTP program, Filezilla, have access to all my pictures.  I also dodn’t really care to have pictures in two places (my pictures folder and in the FTP folder).  With symbolic links I am able to keep the pictures in my personal pictures folder and then create a symbolic link in the FTP folder.   Now I only have one copy of the pictures on my computer and my FTP folder can only see the pictures that I’ve linked.

Before using this I did a quick test.  If you delete the symbolic link the files are not deleted, but if you go into the folder that is linked and delete a file within it the actual file is deleted.    For how I don’t think I need to use hard links as programs seem to work fine with the symbolic (or soft) links.

The one thing that I was hoping to do was to link files from my external hard drives shared through my ww-drt flashed router.  It seems though that the link shell extension program will only work with local files.  For now not a big deal, but I’ll probably keep my eyes out for a solution.


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