Blog Posts

Windows slow startup? Or running a little slow in general?

Windows taking a little longer than usual to start up or running slower than usual?

I get this from time to time.

What usually happens is this:

>I’ll install programs throughout the months for testing purposes or for one or two-time uses.

>Forget they’re installed.

>Then, wonder why my computer is running or starting slower than usual.

One built in Windows utility that can help, and is often overlooked, is MSCONFIG.

With MSCONFIG you can change the way your PC boots, what programs to run at startup, what services to run, and more. For the purposes of this post I’ll take a quick look at Startup and Services.

Click ‘Start’ and type ‘MSCONFIG’ in the search then hit enter. You should get this:


Go to the ‘Startup’ tab and disable any items that you do not need at startup. Be cautious as to what items you disable. Be sure you know exactly what you’re disabling. If you’re unsure just Google it. Otherwise, leave it alone. Personally, I like to keep things to almost a bare minimum. When I saw items such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Citrix Client, Mikogo, etc. enabled, I unchecked them. If I want them, I’ll start them manually.


The same applies under the ‘Services’ tab. Be cautious what you uncheck. Use Google if you aren’t sure or just leave it.

Once you’re done, hit ‘Apply’ then reboot. Hopefully, your startup time is reduced a little bit.

Hope this helps.

Blog Posts, Tutorials

Running Linux Mageia – Pt.1

Mageia is on DistroWatch’s top 10 list of Linux distributions so I decided to get it up and running to try out. One of the main reasons I chose this distribution is because of its beginner-friendliness.

Before I can try it out I need to install it somewhere. For this small project I used Oracle’s VM Virtual Box. This allows me to spin up multiple VM’s on top of my Windows desktop. I already had VB installed running Mint and Windows 10 beta (I set this up last year). What I’ve done was completely delete both of these VMs, uninstall VB, and reinstall VB v5.0.16.

My goal is to go through, step-by-step, how I did this setup. There is more than one way to go about this. I am going to run through how I got it to work for me.

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Blog Posts

Completing the Cisco ICND2 – CCNA

I recently completed the 200-101 ICND2 (CCNA) exam. There is a lot of material that this exam covers. The Cisco website provides a blueprint that covers most of the topics you may encounter. I say most  because that list is not exhaustive, as you may notice by reading paragraph two of that blueprint.

You can take two paths to achieve the CCNA – the 1 exam route (CCNAX) or the 2 exam route (ICND1 + ICND2). I decided to take the 2 exam route simply because I was fairly new to Cisco. There were a handful of concepts I was already familiar with but I thought breaking all the material down into two separate exams would maybe help me learn better. I have some points I jotted down for my completion of the ICND1 saved on my computer and will try to put those into a post in the near future.

Below, I put together the resources I used as well my approach. Then, I provide a brief review of all resources.

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Blog Posts

Outlook 365 & Canon’s ULM

Just a quick note…

I  encountered an issue while configuring Canon’s ULM v5.1.2.5 (Universal Login Manager): there is an issue with compatibility for Microsoft Office 365 email when enabled.  When ULM is disabled, however, regular scan to email works without any issues.

I made sure all the communication settings were set correctly on the machine, through the RUI:

  • Server:
  • Port: 587 (set at the machine in Svc Mode Lvl 2)
  • Correct username and password for authentication

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Blog Posts

3D Printed Wrist Brace

We had the chance to print off a wrist brace using the CubePro Trio. The .STL file was downloaded online, imported into the CubePro software, then exported out as a .cubepro file extension (this model 3D printer will read and print only a .cubepro or .creation type). One common mistake is to completely bypass converting the .STL into a .cubepro for the printer to read. You should go through the CubePro software and “Build” the project, which essentially saves and exports as a .cubepro. Once you have your file ready for printing, you can save it to a USB flash drive and plug it into the printer or you can send the job wireless.

The print job took 2hr 49min.

The project is printed flat using PLA material. Then, you dip the printout into hot water and mold it around your wrist/forearm. The material hardens after a few seconds. Velcro straps (not shown) are looped into the brace for extra support. Not bad!


Blog Posts, Tutorials

Washed out effect with Sony Vegas

Adding a washed out effect can be a nice touch to photos and videos. It can be pretty simple to add this effect if you already have it as a color preset or filter in your editing software. Or, if you don’t have it, you may be looking into Red Giant products such as Magic Bullet Looks or Colorista, just to name a few. This can become expensive in a hurry.

I was able to successfully find a way to come pretty close to producing the washed out effect with just the stock video effect presets within Sony Vegas. This can be done very quickly. No need to wrestle with trying to find and add a plugin just to get this look. You simply use “Color Curves.”


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Blog Posts, Tech News

AT&T bringing fiber-optics to NC

I heard and read about this yesterday. AT&T plans to bring its U-verse GigaPower gigabit fiber-optic services to several parts of the state including Carrboro, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh, and Winston-Salem. It also plans to get 100 businesses and 100 public sites connected. Below are 2 links on this topic.

Blog Posts, Tech News

Firefox sync

Mozilla used a mechanism where you had to enter a pairing code shown in one browser into another browser in order to sync up devices. Now they are testing a new version of Firefox Sync where you enter a username and password. You can safely and easily use your bookmarks, opened tabs, and passwords between multiple devices with a simple password sign-in. This can be important for those who use PC’s, tablets, smartphones, etc. Pretty interesting.