Sunday, October 4, 2015

How to dual boot Windows 10 with Elementary OS Freya

If you're a Windows user and wanted to try out different operating system on your computer, Linux is definitely a good choice to give it a go. Linux is open source operating system and it's free, so why not?

elementary OS Freya based on the rock solid Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, is best known of its nice UI - sleek, simple and minimalist design. It is compatible with Ubuntu's repositories and packages. You will have a wide range of compatible Linux software that can be install on elementary OS.

Partition Hard Disk for elementary OS

Most of the Windows computer has 2 hard drives, C:\ and D:\. The C drive is important where Windows 10 installed. Whereas the D drive (relatively larger size than C drive) is an empty drive that you can save all your personal file. I partition my D drive for elementary OS. The following is how to partition D drive:

  1. On Windows 10, press the Windows key and type partition and enter Create and format hard disk partitions.
  2. Disk Management window appears, right-click on D drive and select Shrink Volume...
  3. 100 GB or more of free space for elementary OS will be just nice, it's your choice. I allocate 130 GB.
  4. Click Shrink. This process is ridiculously fast.

Create Bootable USB drive for Installation

  1. Download elementary OS Freya ISO image file.
  2. Download and open Rufus.
  3. Insert USB flash drive (at least 1 GB of free space) and select it in Device list.
  4. Select ISO Image in Create a bootable disk using and open elementary OS Freya ISO file.
  5. Click Start and wait until it is finished.

Booting from USB drive

Restart your computer, press Esc or F10 function key before it boots Windows 10, this allows you to choose to boot USB drive or hard disk. The key may vary, but all computers have this features. Refer the computer user manual for the correct key. Choose your USB drive to boot elementary OS.

elementary OS Installation

After finish loaded the elementary OS splash screen, wait for the installer window appears. Like other Linux distros, installing elementary OS is easy to understand and straight forward by just following its instructions. Below are the screenshots:

Be careful when creating partitions in elementary OS. This is a key process which enables dual boot Windows with elementary OS.
  1. Select Something else and Continue.
  2. The installer will show you all the partitions in hard disk. elementary OS will install in the free space (grey bar) which previously created using Windows 10's Disk Management. In the picture shows I have 136.3 GB. Click + button to create partitions for /, swap and /home.
  3. / is a partition for file system, it is not necessary to have so much of free space. I give it at most 40 GB of free space.
  4. Swap is used when the physical memory (RAM) is full. The amount of swap space should be equal the double amount of your RAM. I have 8 GB of RAM so I allocate 16 GB for swap.
  5. /home space is the partition which can store documents, pictures, videos, and etc. You should allocate all the free space left available for this partition.
  6. Double check all partitions to make sure everything is right. Click Install Now and follow its instructions.
  7. After installation completed, reboot computer. Next startup GNU GRUB menu will appear with a list of OS selection to Windows and elementary OS.
So there you have it, Microsoft Windows 10 and Linux elementary OS Freya both right in you computer in perfect harmony.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Solved: How to fix AppleSoftwareUpdate.msi missing in iTunes 12.3 installation

Apple is ridiculously focus on every little detail of their products, from the hardware to software, it had to be just right. However, they are clumsy at times. There numbers of iTunes users are having trouble upgrading to iTunes 12.3 on Microsoft Windows 64-bit. During the iTunes installation process, an error message pops up:
There is a problem with this Windows Installer package. A program required for this install to complete could not be run. Contact your support personnel or package vendor.
First, you may diagnose which Apple program is the root that cause the error by uninstalling all Apple programs in Control Panel. In my case, I was unable to uninstall Apple Software Update because a file called AppleSoftwareUpdate.msi is missing.

To fix it, click Repair button. If it still doesn't work, you have to workaround in the Windows Registry Editor (Regedit) as below:
  1. Press Windows key + r and run Regedit.
  2. Click Edit and Find...
  3. Type applesoftwareupdate.msi and start the search.
  4. In the left pane of Regedit, right click the Shell Folder of Apple Software Update and click Delete.
  5. Install iTunes 12.3. The iTunes installer will re-install all the required software successfully.
Note: Be careful working in the Regedit, it is important to know what are you doing.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Control your bandwidth: The Dropbox download and upload rates

Doing college assignments, blogging or software coding. Having Dropbox installed is super helpful to save your works in the cloud storage securely. It syncs the files automatically in background. While syncing larger file may drag down the network speed, especially noticeable when streaming videos. To avoid Dropbox eating up too much of your bandwidth at one time, you may take a look at controlling Dropbox's download and upload speeds:

  1. Right click Dropbox Badge.
  2. Click the Wrench icon.
  3. Click Preferences...
  4. Go to Bandwidth tab.
  5. Set the Download rate and Upload rate. By default, the Download rate is 50 KB/s and Upload rate is 10 KB/s.
  6. Click OK when it is done.

Vice Versa you feel Dropbox is syncing too slow, don't limit the Download and Upload rates. This features gives you more control on your computer's network bandwidth.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Enable Microsoft Windows 10 Cortana in any unsupported country

Microsoft's Cortana is an intelligent personal assistant that recognize users' natural voice to perform tasks and answer questions. Cortana integrated into Windows 10 but the English speaking Cortana is currently available for regions like United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and India.

If you're outside of the supported regions and eager to test how good is Cortana compare to its competitor iOS's Siri, simply slide out Windows 10's Action Center on the right and click All settings.

  1. Choose Time & language.
  2. Go to Region & language, select United States as country or region.
  3. You may now start Cortana from taskbar.
  4. Follow the instructions to personalize Cortana and it's ready for your command.

You can also enable the features of "Always on" of Cortana in settings. Just say: "Hey Cortana" to bring up Cortana.

Cortana did failed Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on stage:

I have tried Cortana on my laptop, it misinterprets occasionally. It takes a few attempts to get it right. Maybe I have a bad microphone or English is not my mother tongue. However, I believe Cortana will improve over time via learning users' voice and system update.

When Cortana is available in your country, just change back to your country in the Settings.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Gone Free: Command & Conquer Red Alert 2 and Yuri's Revenge

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 is free to download in EA's Origin. All you need to do is download the game with Origin account and it's yours for lifetime.

Command & Conquer: Yuri's Revenge, the expansion pack for Red Alert 2 is also included in the download. So, you can own a full classic real time strategy computer game at no cost.

Go grab it in Origin's On the House without any hesitation because it is free for limited time only.