Tag Archives: windows 7

Dual Monitors

I was back in the office last week and picked up a machine they had for me. First time in more than 10 years I won’t be using my own equipment but that’s ok. With the machine came a monitor and a video card supports dual monitors via a 1 to 2 DVI cable. That gives me to LCD’s the 20′ wide screen with the machine and my 19′. I’ve never had dual monitors but always wondered if the extra screen real estate would be worth it. At this point I’d say maybe.

Back in my support days I’d have 3 to 5 terminal windows open at once and 10 plus applications. Today the number of applications I might have running at once is 6 to 10 and a few of those are always minimized. One thing that is nice is if you have an app that opens multiple windows inside it’s program window moving that app to it’s own monitor can be a plus.

Time will tell if they both stay.

GnuCash XML Parse Error

Some time ago I found GnuCash to replace Quicken for keeping track of finances. It escapes me how long I’ve been using it but regardless it has served us well. Yes Kay is using it too. So last year when I moved back to Windows, Win7 RC, for a work machine I installed the Win32 version of GnuCash. I don’t need it for work, Kay was using it too. It worked well accept for a dll error we click past when starting which has not been a big deal. But do to the end of life on the release candidate I needed to load a production version of Win7 or get a new machine. I mentioned in a in a previous post I’m not to keen on $300.00 for Win7 Pro so the option of a new machine seemed reasonable. In the end I chose a new machine. I hadn’t anticipated a problem just install on the new machine, copy the folder that held the compressed xml file backups and transaction logs, run and open the compressed xml file and were done. That’s not exactly how it went.

I now realize why I was probably getting the dll error now. I’d been running the 2.3.7 development branch not the 2.2.x production. I’m not sure how I did that, none the less it seems to be the reason for my troubles. When opening the compressed xml in the version I just installed, 2.2.9, I received a parse error. At first I didn’t get to excited as I’ve yet to run into real problems with open source where there hasn’t been an answer. So the research began.

I found many posts on the problem but nothing that pointed to a solution. A solution that didn’t include reverting to a previous backup and then re-running transaction logs that is. I have enough trouble entering receipts I’d hate to think what I’d screw up re-running umpteen transaction logs… I don’t think so. After more searching I came across GnuCash to QIF a Java conversion utility that takes the existing xml file and converts it into a QIF (Quicken) file. Seeing as though opening the compressed and extracted xml both failed I figured lets see if we can convert it to a Quicken file and then import it back in.

And what do you know …. it worked like a charm.

Thank you GnuCash to QIF. A “bone head” move on my part running the development branch code on our “real” data. I’ll need to pay attention in the future but once again open source and the internet have taken care of me.

Windows 7 RC expiration date

I’ve been running Windows 7 since last June after downloading the release candidate and it’s been going well. Since then on the plus side Microsoft released the Security Essentials anti-viris product so no need for Norton, MacAfee, etc but on the down side the “release candidate” I’m using will expire soon. This is disapointing as I’m not to keen on forking over $299 for Win7 Professional. I have a XP Pro license but it’s not installed on anything so I’m hoping I can use the Win7 Pro upgrade with the XP Pro license from that CD. If so it will save me a $100. JOY !!!

Windows 7

A few weeks ago I downloaded a trial version of Windows 7 Ultimate to give it a whirl. At the time I thought it might be a way to get away from XP for work yet still run inside of VirtualBox. If it worked I could always load it to the hard drive and not worry about the SATA driver issue I had with XP. Loading was initially a problem as I don’t have a DVD burner but thanks to VirtualBoxes ability to create a virtual machine from an ISO I was in luck.

The UI is better, visually kinder to the eye but functionally similar. Some changes in the control panel area have me wandering a bit, but what’s already on the web has helped. I get the impression Microsoft is moving to helping the average or not so informed user with some of what it’s doing. I don’t blame them there’s more numbers in users that need education than those that already have it. Personally though I could do without the wizards, that’s probably “old school” mentality.

The only problem I have at the moment is after starting the VM I can’t join the domain at work. The version of Cisco’s VPN Client (5.0.4) I’m using doesn’t offer an option to start before the windows login. So far the searching I’ve done hasn’t yielded any solutions. I’m thinking I should be able to VPN into the network at work in Ubuntu, which gets me on the network but not on the domain, then login to the VM with my domain credentials… that should do it. But it hasn’t worked. I’m sure Cisco will come out with an update, just need to be patient.

For a preview you can look at some screens on crunch gear.