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Monday, March 26, 2012

Tech Tip of the Day: How to mount a virtual hard drive (VHD) in Windows 7

Description: This article describes how to mount a virtual hard drive (VHD) in Windows 7.
  1. VHD is a file extension in Windows that stands for Virtual Hard Disk. It is a publically available image format specification that allows the encapsulation of an entire hard disk in one file. It is capable of hosting several formats such as NTFS, FAT, exFAT and UDFS and may be used as a boot drive by programs such as Microsoft's Virtual PC. One may wish to access the contents of a virtual hard drive without actually booting it up. This is natively possible in Windows 7 by mounting the image to appear as another hard drive.

  2. To mount a virtual hard drive in Windows 7 click on the Start orb.

    Start Button

  3. Click Control Panel.

    Control Panel

  4. Click System and Security.

    System and Security

  5. In the Administrative Tools category click Create and format hard disk partitions.

    Administrative Tools

  6. Click the Action menu and select Attach VHD.


    Attach VHD

  7. A new window will open. Click the Browse button.


  8. Browse to the location of the VHD file, select it and click Open.


  9. The path will now appear in the Location box. Click OK.


  10. The VHD file now appears as a new hard drive attached to the next available drive letter in Windows Explorer.

    New Hard Drive
For more assistance contact Technical Support click here.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Tech Tip of the Day: How to network a Windows 7 PC to a Mac running OS X Part 3: Accessing the shared files

Description: This guide will walk through two different ways of accessing the files on your network: Accessing the files on your Mac from your Windows 7 PC and accessing the files on your PC from your Mac.

Accessing Mac files from the PC

  1. Click Start and select Computer.


  2. In the Address bar at the top, type two back slashes and the IP address of the Mac noted
    earlier and press Enter.

    IP address

  3. A box asking for user credentials will pop up. Type the user name of the Mac and enter the appropriate password then click OK.

    user credentials

  4. Browse to any files you wish to view or transfer to the PC from the Mac.


Accessing PC files from the Mac

  1. Click the Finder icon in the dock.


  2. On the left side of the Finder window, click the name of your PC.


  3. The connection will fail. This is due to invalid credentials. Once the connection fails click the
    Connect As... button.

    Connect As

  4. Enter the User Name and Password for the user account on the PC and click Connect.


  5. Browse the shared folders and transfer files as desired.

For more assistance contact Technical Support click here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tech Tip of the Day: How to network a Windows 7 PC to a Mac running OS X Part 2: OS X Setup

Description: Now that the Windows side of things is set, this guide will walk through how to set up OS X on the network.
  1. Click the Apple button in the upper left then select System Preferences.

    System Preferences

  2. Within System Preferences select Sharing under the Internet & Wireless heading.


  3. Click the Options button in the Sharing window.


  4. Make sure both Share files and folders using AFP and Share files and folders using SMB (Windows) are checked along with the current account and click Done.


  5. Select which items are to be shared on the left including File Sharing.

    File Sharing

  6. Make note of the IP address of the Mac listed for future reference listed in this window.

    File Sharing On

  7. Click the + below Shared Folders to add any additional folders to be shared.

    Shared Folders
Now both the Windows 7 machine and the OS X machine are set to share files and folders on the network. Check out our third and final article in this series for a walkthrough on how to access files between the two computers.

For more assistance contact Technical Support click here.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Tech Tip of the Day: How to network a Windows 7 PC to a Mac running OS X Part 1: Windows Setup

Description: Windows 7 introduced users to the Homegroup for networking and file sharing. Homegroups make things much simpler when networking multiple Windows 7 machines, but what if you want to have a computer on the home network that isn't running Windows 7? Better yet, what if that computer isn't running Windows at all?

This series will walk through how to network a Windows 7 PC to a Mac running OS X for the purpose of file sharing. The series begins with Windows 7 network settings. Before you begin, make sure the Mac and the PC are both connected to the same network. You may also need to temporarily disable or create an exception in your firewall to allow sharing.
  1. Click Start then select Control Panel.

    Control Panel

  2. Click Network and Internet.


  3. Click Network and Sharing Center.

    Network and Sharing Center

  4. On the left side of the window, select Change advanced sharing settings.

    Change settings

  5. Within the options window, select Turn on File and printer sharing and click the Save changes button. Close the options window.

    Turn on file

  6. Click Start, then select Computer.


  7. Browse to the folder you wish to be shared, right click on the folder and select Properties.


  8. Within the properties window select the Sharing tab and click the Advanced Sharing button.


  9. Check the box for Share this folder and click OK

Repeat steps 6-9 for any additional folders you wish to be shared on the network. The next part in the series is setting up the Mac for file sharing in Part 2.

For more assistance contact Technical Support here.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Egyptian Case Mod - Part 4 (Overview)

A scarab mouse and system overview

Building a better mouse? The Egyptian theme might be considered a bit ponderous
and dry with all of the historical references, no matter how fancy its jewels
or ornamentation. I'm not saying that adding a themed accessory will lighten
the mood, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Starting with a basic wireless mouse...

Bright blue hot glue is built up on the battery door and buttons. Since the
surface of the mouse button is rigidly attached at the back, and uses the flexibility
of the plastic instead of a hinge, I need a shield of clear plastic (cut from
the package bubble pack), to allow the buttons to click when I'm done.

Layers of hot glue are built up to create the shape, and then smoothed down while
the glue is still fluid. The edge of the glue gun is used to create the stepped
ridges on the wings (AKA battery compartment).

The blue hot glue used on the scarab-style mouse closely matches the color of

A left-over limestone tile has non-skid rubber glued to the back, and the inlayed
carnelian, malachite, lapis, and brass rods are added to match the door detail.

The completed case mod with guardian

Product summary:

Rock Solid: Back at the beginning of this article I gave the case weight
as 34 pounds. With the spiffy new limestone slab skin, the system now weighs
over 96 pounds! I have removed the side panels at times to move it from room
to room when a furniture dolly is not available. (Lugging the thing up and down
stairs is the worst...)

The system board is a low-power notebook style design in a standard desktop

Memory is SODIMM and the CPU is a low-power Mobile Intel Core Duo.

Motherboard used: AOpen i945GTm-VHL Core Solo/Duo 479 ATX Motherboard. This
board is one of AOpen's MODT series (Mobile On a Desk-Top),
and uses a low-power Mobile Intel Core Solo or Core Duo socket 479 CPU. It also
supports up to two 1GB DDR2 SO-DIMM memory modules, so is limited to 2 GB maximum RAM, and shares some of that with the onboard video. The board does include
some support of the new Intel VIIV platform, but only if you are installing
Windows XP Media Center Edition. This is not a high-performance gaming system,
but could easily work as a solid business or home entertainment solution. One
thing I do like about the board is the low-power operation and therefore the
minimal amount of heat produced. AOpen included a low-profile CPU heat sink,
although this board will take a standard socket 478 style cooler just as easily.
The result is a system that runs very cool and quiet, without having to resort
to huge heat sinks or water cooling.

What I didn't care for was that the floppy and parallel port headers on the
board are notebook-style small-pitch headers. This means the pin size is slightly
smaller and the spacing is closer together, so you cannot use standard off-the-shelf
cables; AOpen does not include a compatible cable or adapter for these devices.
I ended up making a floppy cable adapter from a 2.5" to 3" hard drive
adapter (works fine), and found an adapter for a Shuttle Computer that connects
to the parallel port header (which should work, but I have not tested yet.)
There are two standard 9-pin serial port headers on the board, so these may
be a little easier to come up with adapters for those of you who, like me, may
still use some legacy devices.

All five of the drive bays are filled with something. Wires to the hard drive
LED, Meteor LEDs and the power switch are visible with the lower door open.
The aluminum is painted brown in this image, I later covered this with some
stick-on vinyl floor tile that closely matches the limestome appearance.

The five drive bays hold:

  1. DVD-RW optical drive

  2. CD-RW optical drive

  3. Fan speed control panel (for front, rear,
    CPU, and power supply)

  4. Matrix MX2 LCD programmable info panel

  5. 3.5" floppy drive with a (red LED
    reset button on the left, and two USB ports on the right of the adapter

Matrix Orbital MX212 Blue LCD with Black Face. This is a programmable USB
panel similar to those used on some Media Center PCs. The software included
with the panel allows the user to program the display with personalized messages
displays of system settings, diagnostic monitoring, or current activity such
as Audio Track or TV Tuner details just for starters. I haven't played with
all of the features yet, but it also appears that temperature sensors are
available that can connect to several jumpers on the rear, and there are also
several fan speed control and monitoring connections as well.

Egyptian Case Mod: front door view

Egyptian Case Mod: hunt scene side view

Egyptian Case Mod: chariot scene side view

Egyptian Case Mod: theme view

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tech Tip of the Day: How to change Mouse Settings in Windows 7

Description: This article will detail how to change common settings for how the mouse interacts with Windows and installed programs. This is useful for changing how fast the cursor moves in response to mouse movement, changing scroll speed, and changing how fast two clicks on the mouse need to be in order to be recognized as a double-click.
  1. Click the Start Menu Start menu in the lower left corner of the Screen.
  2. Click Control Panel

    control panel

  3. In the upper right corner of Control Panel, if View By: is set to Category, click the drop down arrow next to Category, then select Large Icons.

    Large Icons

  4. Scroll down and click on Mouse.


  5. The Mouse Properties window will open. To change how fast the cursor moves in response to movement of the mouse, select the Pointer Options tab at the top of the Mouse Properties window. Under the Motion heading, drag the slider bar towards slow or fast until the desired speed is accomplished.

    Pointer Options

  6. To change the speed at which the scroll wheel scrolls, click the Wheel tab at the top of the Mouse Properties window. Move the slider bar towards slow or fast until the desired scroll speed is selected.


  7. To change how much distance a fast scroll will cover, click Advanced.


  8. The Accelerated Scrolling window will appear. Move the slider bar towards slow or fast. This is useful to change how quickly a fast scroll will go through a large document or web page. Click OK when finished.


  9. To change how quickly two left-clicks will be recognized as a double-click, select the Activities tab at the top of the Mouse Properties window. Move the slider bar towards slow or fast.


    • A slow double-click will allow for more time in between each click in order to be recognized as a double-click. A fast double-click will require little time in between clicks in order to be recognized as a double-click. To test the desired double-click speed, double-click on the folder in the Test Area . When the desired double-click speed is selected, click OK.

For more assistance contact Technical Support here.