Saturday, October 14, 2017

How can I create images with transparent backgrounds?

I needed a simple image with a transparent background. I found this Stack Overflow post that worked well for me, "How can I create transparent images in MS Paint?"

Try Paint.NET for size. I tried GimpShop before, but did not like it. Paint.NET is to MS Paint what Notepad++ is to Notepad :)
To change an image to have a transparent background:
  1. Install Paint.NET
  2. Download AlphaMask plugin
  3. Extract AlphaMask.dll to \Paint.NET\Effects (note you will likely need to unblock the file)
  4. Open Paint.NET
  5. Open your file
  6. Copy the content you want to make have a transparent background (ctrl+a, ctrl+c to select all and copy)
  7. Effects Menu > Alpha Mask...
  8. check Invert Maskcheck Mix Alpha, leave checked Paste from Clipboard
  9. Click OK
  10. File Menu > Save as, save as type PNG (*.png)
  11. Defaults are fine, OK one last time
These are the steps I took to create a 16x16 sized icon.

I found a larger example with a white background.
I used snipping tool to get a semi-square size from it
I used this to convert it to a 16x16 ico file.
I renamed it to a png. 
I used this stack overflow post and paint.NET to make the background transparent.

Friday, September 15, 2017

How to Coil Cables

How to embed a FaceBook video on a web page

From Facebook's Embedded Video

"With the embedded video player you can easily add Facebook videos and Facebook live videos to your website. You can use any public video post by a Page or a person as video or live video source."

In the "URL of video" textbox, paste in the url of the public FB video you want to share.

Click the "Get Code" button.

For blogger add a "HTML/JavaScript" Gadget and add the step 2 code. I like to move it to the bottom.

Paste the Step 3 code in the html of your web page.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Changing your own password on a RDP session on Windows Server 2012 R2


1. Click Start
2. Type osk (to bring up the on screen keyboard)
3. Hit enter
4. Once the on screen keyboard is open, hold ctrl+Alt on your physical keyboard, then click on the  del key in the on screen keyboard.
5. Minimize the on screen Keyboard
6. Click Change a password.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Invert Image Colors Online

Change this

To this

Windows 7: How To Adjust for Best Performance

This is how to set your Windows 7 installation to "adjust for best performance"

- Click start button
- Right click on computer, choose properties
- Click Advanced system settings
- Click the Settings button in the Performance section
- Select the "Adjust for best performance" radio button and apply

See also,

I check "Use visual styles on windows and buttons" because I think it looks too much like Windows 95 otherwise.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Javascript and 'undefined'

I like this course on JavaScript. Yesterday, I remembered what I learned about 'undefined'. He recommends not ever setting a variable to 'undefined'. When I searched the project I am working on, I saw many, many cases where it was being set in the jquery and modernizr libraries.

Either way, is it a valuable distinction to know the difference between "is not defined", null and undefined.

If you have an account you can find this lesson after you have logged in by going here.

You can find it in the course overview in the "Execution Contexts and Lexical Environments". The lesson is called "Conceptual Aside: Javascript and 'undefined'"

Monday, July 17, 2017

How to Pick Your Default Apps and Reset Them

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Default File Location on Android for Downloads

I use ES File Explorer on Android. When downloading files from Chrome, there are times I want to save them for later. This is the default location where Android puts them on my Moto X Pure.


Friday, January 27, 2017

How to run Plex Media Server as a Windows Service

in case their post goes away sometime in the future
I previously wrote a blog about setting up Plex Media Server as a service in Windows. However, since then I have come across a new 3rd party service manager that is, in my opinion, easier to setup and use. 
You first need to download the NSSM (Non-Sucking Service Manager) exe from here. The file will be a zip file.  Extract this zip file to a folder on your desktop. 
Inside the extracted folder, you will see a win32 and win64 folder. If you are using Windows 32-bit then you want the nssm.exe file from the win32 folder. If you are using Windows 64-bit, you will need the nssm.exe file from the win64 folder. Copy the correct nssm.exe file for your Windows OS to C:\Windows\system32 
Now, run a command prompt as Administrator. The easiest way to do this is click on start and type cmd. When you see Command Prompt appear in the search results, press CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER or right click on Command Prompt and select “Run as Administrator”. 
Inside of the Administrator Command Prompt, eneter the command: nssm install 
This will launch the NSSM Service Installer.  You now simply need to fill out the needed fields as follows: 
1. On the Application tab, enter:
  - For Windows 32-bit:
     - Path: C:\Program Files\Plex\Plex Media Server\Plex Media Server.exe
     - Startup Directory: C:\Program Files\Plex\Plex Media Server
  - For Windows 64-bit:
     - Path: C:\Program Files (x86)\Plex\Plex Media Server\Plex Media Server.exe
     - Startup Directory: C:\Program Files (x86)\Plex\Plex Media Server
2. On the Details tab, enter:
  - Display Name: Plex Media Server (or whatever you would like the service to display as)
  - Startup Type: Automatic
3. On the Logon tab, enter:
  - Choose “This account” radio button.
  - Enter the username under which Plex should run. If you are in a domain, enter your username as: DOMAIN\Username. If you are on a standalone workstation (most likely) then enter your username as: .\Username.
  - Enter your password.
4. In the Service Name box, enter the desired service name.  I used “PMS” for a short name with the long name as the display name.
5. Click on Install Service.
6. If you don’t get any errors, then you should now be able to star the Plex Media Server like a normal service. 
Be sure that you have disabled the Plex Media Server startup entry so that you don’t end up with two PMS instances when you log onto the PC.  Keep in mind that when an application is run as a service like this, there will be no interaction with the user desktop.  This means, if you want to install updates, you will have to stop the service and run the applicaiton manually to receive the update prompt.  Alternatively, you can stop the service and manually download the latest setup file and run it to upgrade Plex. 
If you receive a login error or Access Denied when trying to start the service, then post a comment on here and I’ll provide additional instruction.