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  • Jay Versluis 10:27 am on October 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply  
    Categories: Windows ( 16 )

    How to auto-start programmes in Windows 


    Remember the humble Autostart folder in Windows 3.1? You could simply add shortcuts to your favourite “apps” or documents to it which would automatically launch when Windows started. Except we didn’t call them “apps” in those days.

    It’s still possible to use this handy feature in Windows XP, Windows 7 and even Windows 8.1 – however the way to accomplish the same goal has changed slightly over the years.

    In this article I’ll show you how to do it. Before we start, have a shortcut to the programme in question ready on your Desktop. We’ll drag it into the appropriate folder in a moment.


    Windows XP

    • right-click START, then select EXPLORE
    • double-click Programs, revealing several shortcuts and a Startup Folder
    • double-click Startup
    • drag your shortcut into this folder

    The next time you restart Windows XP, your shortcut will be executed, starting the programme. Likewise, if you’d like to remove something from the auto-start routine, simply remove the shortcut from this folder. Happiness.

    PS: Windows XP has had its day and is no longer supported since April 2014.


    Windows 7

    Very similar to Windows XP (see the animated gif at the top for a demonstration):

    • click START, then select All Programs
    • find the Startup folder and right-click it
    • a new window will open up
    • drag your shortcut into it

    Next time you start Windows 7 your “app” will be started automagically. Remove the shortcut if you no longer need it to prevent it from being launched on startup.


    Windows 8.1

    Things have drastically changed in Windows 8.1, but with a bit of finesse we can get there just the same:

    • open Internet Explorer (not a joke)
    • type the following into the URL bar shell:startup
    • a new Explorer window opens up
    • drag your shortcut into it

    And again, if you no longer need it, simply remove the shortcut from that folder. This also works on Windows 8.


    Further Reading

    • cheesypt 6:45 am on November 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      on Windows 8.1, you say “a new Explorer window opens up”
      I just got thrown into Bing search

      • Jay Versluis 7:01 am on November 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Very good point cheesypt, there was a colon missing. Try it again with
        I’ve corrected the article.

    • Alexander Zonov 2:56 am on January 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      You can use standart windows explorer for that too

      • Jay Versluis 4:51 pm on January 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Excellent, thanks for the tip Alexander!

  • Jay Versluis 10:18 am on September 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Categories: How To, Windows ( 29 )

    What are the credentials to your AirPort Time Capsule 

    AIrPort Time Capsule

    There is something I keep forgetting time and time again: the credentials to my AirPort Time Capsule. It serves as my router, Time Machine Backup disk and even as shared storage for internal use, thanks to an attached USB drive.

    All our Macs connect to both drives automatically and without fail – but every once in a while we want to access something on the shared drive, either via Windows or another app like GoodReader. And every time I forget what those credentials are – particularly the user name.

    Because there just isn’t a dialogue to set it up.

    The password is fairly obvious because it’s something you’ve added when you set the device up. Chances are you can remember it. You can even reset it by pressing the reset button at the back of the device for one second – but not longer, or it’ll reset to factory settings). AirPort Utility will help guide you through this.

    But the user name? What is it? Something generic maybe? The name of the attached drive? Steve Job’s daughter?

    Turns out there isn’t one. Put anything you like. Seriously. I know it’s weird, and it’s just not how a computer brain works. The user name can’t just be arbitrary – but on Time Capsule it is. So use any user name you like.

    It doesn’t matter what as long as you put something into that field. Your uncle’s boyfriend’s pet name, or the day of the week. Anything. Just for heaven’s sake don’t leave it blank or the universe as we know it will seize to exist in a moment’s notice.

    But I guess nobody tells you this in the shiny brochure.

    And in case I forget how to connect those drives in Windows, here’s a quick reminder for completion:


    Connecting to the Time Capsule drives (Windows)

    Technically you can connect to the Time Capsule drives via two protocols: Samba and AFP. The latter however is only used on Apple computers. So with Windows and Linux, Samba it is.

    In Windows we can map a network drive by heading over to the

    • Windows Explorer
    • find My Computer (Windows 7)
    • or This PC (Windows 8.1)
    • select Map Network drive at the top of the window

    This will bring up a dialogue that shows a drive letter drop down and asks for a server path:

    Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 20.27.51

    The browse option won’t find your Time Capsule – instead find the IP address on your network (usually it’s, but AirPort Utility will verify this for you in the “LAN IP” field). Add it into the path/folder field like this:




    Two backslashes, followed by your IP address, followed by your drive name. If you don’t specify a drive name the operation will fail. If your drive name has spaces (like “Shared Data”) then just write them out – no need to escape them. CapItaLisAtiON is important here though.

    Hit finish and your drive should be accessible.

    To find your drive names, consult your friend the AirPort Utility. GoodReader on iOS will find those names automatically – but Windows does not.

    And that’s that: another puzzle solved. There is no user name when accessing a Time Capsule drive.

  • Jay Versluis 4:15 pm on January 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply  
    Categories: PHP, Windows ( 26 )

    How to test if your server is running Windows from PHP 

    If we’re executing shell commands via PHP we need to know if the server is running Windows or Linux. Thanks to a magic constant in PHP we can find out like this:

    echo PHP_OS;

    This will give us a single value like

    • Linux
    • Darwin
    • Windows
    • WINNT

    With that info at hand, we can write a function that delivers a boolean result (courtesy of the PHP manual):

    if (strtoupper(substr(PHP_OS, 0, 3)) === 'WIN') {
        echo 'This server is running Windows!';
    } else {
        echo 'This server is NOT running Windows!';

    This takes the output of PHP_OS and looks at the first three characters turned into upper case. If those are identical to WIN it’s Windows – and if not we assume it’s a Linux flavour.

    If you need a more detailed information about your environment consider using php_uname():

    echo php_uname();

    This will give you the above, plus server name, kernel version, release and local server time.

  • Jay Versluis 12:04 pm on December 6, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    Categories: Bookmarks, Windows ( 17 )

    How to boot Surface Pro from an external Recovery Partition

  • Jay Versluis 12:02 pm on December 6, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    Categories: Bookmarks, Windows ( 17 )

    How to create a USB Recovery Drive in Windows 8

  • Jay Versluis 5:14 pm on December 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Categories: How To, Windows ( 29 )

    Workaround: Parallels Desktop is not seeing my DVD Drive in Mountain Lion 

    Today I wanted to install Windows 7 using Parallels Desktop 7 on my Mac, but sadly I always got an error message every time I tried. It was saying it could not connect to my DVD drive – which clearly my Mac could.

    Doing some research it turns out that several people had this problem, however I didn’t understand the instructions given by Parallels very well. Getting frustrated I decided to write my own, and give you some pointers where else to look for help.

    For this scenario I’m using a DVD copy of Windows 7 Home Premium and the latest version of Parallels Desktop 7.0.15107. Parallels Desktop 8 is already out but I’ve decided not to upgrade at this point.

    (More …)

    • Tim 5:56 pm on August 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you so much – this is an amazingly helpful article! Great work – Really clear and a much better job than Parallels code word instructions!

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