Overriding Web Page Styling

I have a hard time reading MSDN comfortably--the fixed-width layout is WAY too wide to be comfortable on the eyes. And when I increase the text size, it's too wide for my laptop. Well, there's a way to fix that.

Now, I used to hit F12, find the div containing the text, and manually adjust the width in the Styles pane, every time I opened a particularly long page. But I found a better way: a feature called User Style Sheets. All browsers implement this, but I read MSDN in Chrome, so this is how I did it.

Remove Localized Folder Names in Windows

So you know how your "My Documents" folder in Vista/Win7/Win8 is actually named Documents, but sometimes it shows up as My Documents?

Yeah. I don't like that.

This is the script I run to fix it once and for all. It strips out the localized folder resource name, but leaves the icons and other options intact.

@echo off
for /F "delims==" %%A in ('dir /s /a:s /b desktop.ini') DO (
attrib -H -S "%%A"
findstr /v LocalizedResourceName "%%A" > a.temp
del "%%A"
move a.temp "%%A"
attrib +H +S "%%A"

Windows 8 Upgrade Lessons Learned

Before Upgrade
* UNINSTALL your antivirus software completely before upgrading.

Issues During Upgrade
* If you have problems during the upgrade, suspect your installation media first. Keep a known good USB installer key on hand.

Issues After Upgrade
* UNINSTALL your third-party antivirus if you didn't already.
* Take ALL Windows Updates, and Store updates if possible
* Windows Update problems: try taking the updates one at a time.

Windows 8 Editions

There are only four versions of Windows 8.
Windows RT: Only available on a new tablet. This is Win8 for the ARM platform.
Windows 8: Only available on a new PC. This is the basic client SKU.
Windows 8 Pro: Adds domain join, Hyper-V, Bitlocker, EFS, and Remote Desktop Services.
Windows 8 Enterprise: Only available through Volume License agreements.

On Resume Writing

tl;dr version: Here's your template. http://cs.wisc.edu/~strommen/Strommen.Daniel.Resume.pdf

Installing the Microsoft Codec Pack on Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012

Meet the Microsoft Codec Pack.
For extra credit, read the excessively long blog post where they announced the release. Try not to choke on all the filler.

Replacing your only Active Directory Domain Controller

Here's an official reference, but it's a bit dated: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555549
Here's how to do a D2/D4 restore in Win7/Win8: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2218556

I had some problems replacing my 2K8R2 DC with a WS2012 DC, because of replication problems. Here's the lessons I learned about DC migration, FRS, and DFSR.


  • Familiarize yourself with dcdiag.
  • Bring up the second domain controller: Install Windows, add DC role, use the new Install-DomainController or whatever it is now PowerShell.

Windows 8 Resolves Names Differently

Change: DNS Client now resolves names using the fastest DNS server. It does not treat the DNS server list as being a preferred/failover order anymore.

Impact: Do not configure external DNS servers as backup name resolvers in your DHCP config, because they will probably return NXDOMAIN extremely quickly for your internal AD infrastructure records. This may cause intermittent or complete AD failure from the viewpoint of your Win8 client.

Adding a new VHD in Server Core

  1. Create and add the new disk in virtmgmt.msc
  2. Add the appropriate line to your VM reconstruct script:
    Add-VMHardDiskDrive bowser SCSI -Path D:\vhd\Bowser-MediaFiles.vhdx
  3. RDP or VMConnect to the VM:
    list disk
    select disk (id)
    online disk
    attributes disk clear readonly
    convert gpt
    convert dynamic
    create volume simple
    list volume (Make sure the new one is selected)
    format fs=ntfs label=(label) quick
    list volume (discover the drive letter)
  4. Share 'er out:
    mkdir X:\m
    New-SmbShare -Name Media -Path X:\m

Ruby on Rails on Windows

  1. Download RubyInstaller and Development Kit.
  2. Install RubyInstaller into a path with no spaces.
  3. Unpack the Development Kit into C:\devkit.temp.
  4. Open the Ruby cmd prompt elevated. cd \devkit.temp and run:
    ruby dk.rb init
    ruby dk.rb install
  5. Install Aptana Studio
  6. Install Heroku Toolbelt
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