Turn Off Compatibility Mode for Steam

Sometimes when Steam crashes or there is a problem with it (or a game running from it) Windows 7 thinks that Steam needs to run in compatibility mode. This is a problem, because Steam doesn’t need to be in compatibility mode and shouldn’t be. Compatibility mode can cause issues with some games. Unfortunately turning this off isn’t […]

Field of View (FOV) Fix for Flight Simulator X (FSX)

I recently fired up Microsoft’s FSX a few days ago to try it out with my Eyefinity setup. I hadn’t done any virtual flying since before I purchased my third monitor, so I was looking forward to a more immersive experience. Unfortunately when I started FSX I noticed that the field of view (FOV) was […]

Play an Enhanced Version of Descent FreeSpace 2 with FS2Open

Screenshot of FS2 Open in Eyefinity 3

Descent FreeSpace 2 needs no introduction to most PC gamers who grew up in the 90s. To this day it’s one of the best space combat simulation ever made in my opinion. I don’t think it tops the X-Wing and TIE Fighter games, but it’s still a must-have for sci-fi and space simulation fans.

If you were to install FreeSpace 2 without any modifications, it would still hold up OK. However, thanks to the release of its source code several years ago, the FreeSpace 2 Source Code Project (FSSCP) has made a ton of enhancements to the game, culminating in the current version of FreeSpace 2 Open (FS2Open – 3.6.12 as of this writing). With a little extra work, you can enjoy FreeSpace 2 with modern graphics and audio, several additional campaigns, and even the entire FreeSpace 1 campaign. (more…)

Run the Steam Version of Doom 3 in Widescreen

One of the great things about playing PC games that are a few years old is the fact that you can usually crank the graphics up to the max and still get a silky-smooth framerate. When you couple this to the fact that I’m a sucker for video game package deals on Steam, you can see how I end up playing a lot of older PC games.

Screenshot of Doom 3 zombie in 1080p resolution.
Doom 3 running at 1080p HD resolution

One of my latest purchases was the QUAKECON pack that included a smorgasbord of games from id Software and Bethesda Softworks for pennies on the dollar. I hadn’t played Doom 3 since 2005 or 2006, so I figured I’d give it another go. Back in the day (am I really calling 2005 “back in the day”?) my GeForce4 Ti 4600 couldn’t really handle the brand-spanking-new “id Tech 4” engine that Doom 3 used, so I went out and bought a mid-range GeForce 6600 GT that did the trick very nicely. At the time I was rocking a 19″ CRT from Dell, which was an awesome monitor at 1280 x 1024 resolution. I had a great gaming experience at the time, but even with the newer video card I couldn’t run the game on “Ultra” settings without serious drops in frame rate.
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Access Ubuntu VM Files from a Windows Host

I do most of my WordPress development using a test environment that I installed on a Ubuntu Virtual Machine (VM). This let’s me play around as much as I want without any risk to my production website or my computer; everything is contained within the VM, and it costs me nothing because I only use open-source and/or free software (read about it at http://wp.me/p1iF71-4x).

However, I prefer to do the actual development and testing from Windows 7 because I prefer using it to any other OS. While my VM is running my WordPress installation, I can access the files from my Windows host OS and use development tools like Notepad++ to access the WordPress files via my home network.

To accomplish this, Ubuntu will need to install a sharing service so Windows can “see” it using the virtual network adapter. When we’re finished, the VM will appear to be just another computer on the network.

Enable Sharing

First, navigate to opt/lampp/htdocs and right-click on the wordpress folder. Select “Sharing Options” to open the Folder Sharing window.

Select "Sharing Options" for the wordpress folder.
Select "Sharing Options" for the wordpress folder.

Check the box for “Share this folder” and click the Install Service button when prompted. You’ll need to enter your password. (more…)

Transfer iTunes Library and iPhone Data from Mac to PC

I recently built a PC for a friend of mine using some old parts I had lying around along with a few new components. She’s had an older Mac notebook running OS X v10.4 for a few years, but it’s just too slow and too old to run a lot of newer software or games, including the latest version of iTunes (which means she can’t update her iPhone to the latest iOS version).

Her new PC is running Windows 7 x64 Home Premium and the latest iTunes so it’s fully capable of keeping her iPhone updated. However, she can’t just plug her iPhone into the new computer without making sure that iTunes is set up properly and all of her purchased music/apps/etc. are on the PC to avoid losing those purchases. There are numerous tutorials on the web that cover transferring your iTunes music and iPhone data from PC to Mac. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any tutorials about transferring from Mac to PC, so I decided to write up a simple tutorial documenting the process we used.

Transfer Mac to PC
Transfer iTunes from OS X to Windows 7

There were a few steps involved in transferring the iTunes library from Mac to PC, but overall the process was fairly simple because all of her music was organized by iTunes (rather than being scattered across multiple folders on the hard drive). This article has instructions on organizing and consolidating music into the iTunes folder if your library is not already organized by iTunes (e.g. if you have music downloaded from amazon’s mp3 service or another music download service). (more…)

Windows Live Writer Impressions

Windows 7 and Live Essentials include a blogging tool called Windows Live Writer. I thought I’d try it out as a way to blog offline and then easily post into my site. This article is being written with it and is the first time I’ve attempted to use it. So far it seems pretty cool, although it has its limitations.

Setting Up Windows Live Writer for WordPress

Before you can use Windows Live Writer, the XML-RPC remote publishing protocol must be enabled (Settings > Writing). I already had this enabled in order to use the WordPress for Android app (see my last blog post). After that it is a simple matter of downloading Windows Live Writer from Windows Update, selecting “WordPress” as your blog during setup, and entering your username and password for your WordPress admin account.

Initial Impressions

Windows Live Writer loaded my site theme, categories, tags, and a few other bits of data automagically when I fired it up. I was presented with essentially a blank article placeholder using my site theme (minus the header, footer, and sidebar) on which I could start typing. Pretty good stuff right there!

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Set Up an HTPC Using Windows 7 and Windows Media Center

Home theater PCs (HTPC) are a great way to bring digital media to your living room. You can access your music, photos, and digital home videos from the comfort of your sofa. In addition to your own media, you can use an HTPC to access internet content like streaming movies on Netflix, streaming TV shows on Hulu or major network websites, YouTube videos, internet radio stations, and more. This article will walk you through the process of setting up Windows Media Center (WMC) on a Windows 7-based PC. Without getting into specifics, your HTPC should have at least 2GB of RAM, a dual-core processor, a Windows Media Center remote control and USB IR receiver, and an HDMI or DVI output that supports HDCP to get the best experience.
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