The New Napster and Launchy

Rhapsody, the long-suffering little brother streaming music service, recently rebranded itself as Napster. Same app, different name. Big deal.

I noticed that I could not start the app with the great Launchy in my new Windows 10 install. Not sure if it worked in Windows 7.

Looking at Properties of the launch shortcut, in C:\Users\Me\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Rhapsody International Inc, I noticed that the shortcut has a weird extension, .appref-ms. Having come of age in the era of .com and .exe, this was unknown. Seems it is the launcher for the new  style Windows apps, and Launchy did not know how to find them.

Screenshot (3)


So I opened the Launchy options panel, and found the Start Menu folder was already in the search path for catalogs. The extension was missing. So I added “*.appref-ms”


Rescan, index increased by one. Works. Nice.

Screenshot (4)

Welcome to Windows 10

Finally beat the July 28th deadline for upgrading Windows 7 to Windows 10.

Made backups with Macrium Reflect first.  Paid for that one, got rid of the perpetually flaky Acronis.

Both machines (Intel Core Duo 2Ghz dual-core and old AMD dual core) upgraded successfully. AMD box slow, but it worked, with install apps and files in place. A little juggling the start menu to lose the junk, and we are back in biz.

A potential issue came up where the audio was crackling.  One post suggested the LatencyMon app from Resplendence Software.   Way cool. Said I had serious latency issues and could not host real-time software – like audio. Duh.

This post, Speakers Crackling since Windows 10 update, suggested I reinstall the old audio driver.  Not trying that yet.

Ultimately, this YouTube video, How to FIX Windows 10 Audio/Sound Problem , worked by running the non-low-power power profile. Not sure why that matters – tries to starve the CPU? Seems to work.

Then I replaced the CPU with Intel Core 2 Quad Q9650 3Ghz from eBay for $65. Windows 10 rebooted and barfed a few times; I had to reset the BIOS to even have Windows 10 detect the new CPU. Then I had an issue with the CPU fan, but I think that was related to the dust buildup. 5 minutes with the compressor outside cleaned it out, and using the great HWMonitor program,  cores are running 100-110F. Not bad. The machine runs very smoothly with the new two cores, for very little coin.

Git Bash – where’s my flash drive?

I spend my day in the magnificent Git Bash shell. Recently I started bring work home by pushing the project to a bare Git repository on the flash drive at B:

git remote add flash /b/circdesk-android.git
git push flash

If the flash drive was not mounted before Git Bash is launched, it can not be seen. Some Googling resulted in folks saying there was no way to make this happen, some said setting MSYS_WATCH_FSTAB=1 works, some said mounting the drive and accessing it as \\machine\flash.

I tried closing all the Git Bash shells and restarting. Still nothing. But then I remembered that the ssh-agent is run by .bashrc (if not already running) and that might use the same runtime and drive table. So I killed the ssh-agent process and restarted the shell. Yay!

Not sure which, but I set the environment and will kill the ssh-agent first. Now I can push…

Windows 7 Start Menu

So where are the Start Menu shortcuts stored?

In XP, C:\Documents and Settings\me\Start Menu was where mine lived, and C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu was where the shortcuts for all lived. It seems to have changed in Vista and Windows 7. Where have I been?

Actually I like the way the new dir structure is in Windows Vista and 7. Much more sensible, with no spaces in pathnames. Now if we could get rid of C:\Program Files (x86) to something like /usr/bin or even better /Applications/MyApp 🙂

Sniffing around I found “All Users”

C:\Users>dir "All Users" /a
07/13/2009 11:08 PM <SYMLINKD> All Users [C:\ProgramData]
08/16/2010 12:19 PM <DIR> Dave
07/14/2009 01:12 AM <DIR> Default
07/13/2009 11:08 PM <JUNCTION> Default User [C:\Users\Default]
07/13/2009 10:54 PM 174 desktop.ini
11/09/2010 11:31 AM <DIR> notadmin
07/14/2009 01:45 AM <DIR> Public

What’s in C:\ProgramData?

C:\ProgramData>dir /a
07/13/2009 11:08 PM <JUNCTION> Application Data [C:\ProgramData]
07/13/2009 11:08 PM <JUNCTION> Desktop [C:\Users\Public\Desktop]
07/13/2009 11:08 PM <JUNCTION> Documents [C:\Users\Public\Documents]
07/13/2009 11:08 PM <JUNCTION> Favorites [C:\Users\Public\Favorites]
08/12/2010 02:02 PM <DIR> Microsoft
08/13/2010 09:29 AM <DIR> Microsoft Help
07/13/2009 11:08 PM <JUNCTION> Start Menu [C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu]
08/16/2010 08:33 AM <DIR> Sun
08/17/2010 10:42 AM <DIR> TEMP
07/13/2009 11:08 PM <JUNCTION> Templates [C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Templates]
08/04/2010 11:32 AM <DIR> VMware

So my shortcuts are in
C:\Users\notadmin\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu

and All Users are in
C:\Users\All Users\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu

Microsoft File Transfer Manager

Today I was using this to download 4Gb ISO files from MSDN. Browsers failed, even the Firefox DownItAll! Plugin. It was slow, bursts of 100K with 10 second intervals. The speed was that of a bad modem. And it would hang up every 10 minutes and require a manual resume command.

After 10 hours and much hair pulling, found a post recommending disabling the SSL connection (Options…, Connections Tab, Uncheck HTTPS).

Wow. Download complete in 10 minutes. All in one piece. AArrggghhh.


I bought an old computer from Steve, dual core, better that I have now. Anyway, I am reinstalling a retail Windows XP onto it, and want to install SP2 fresh, not SP1 and upgrade. Creates a lot of junk. So we slipstream, merge SP2 into SP1 install CD. Can do it with lots of steps. How about easy?

Enter nLite. Pick a folder, with two dvd drives creates a bootable iso. Burn and go. Easy.

Used it many times. Recommended

UPDATE: now, I can try SP3 without upgrading SP2 first. I have heard bad things — this might avoid some of them.



I wrote a utility called clip many years ago — you pipe output from a DOS program into it and it puts it on the clipboard. Then you can paste it somewhere.

e.g. dir > clip

I found a link to Copy Command Line Output to Windows Clipboard Directly. Turns out Microsoft had the same idea and put a clip.exe into Windows 2003 and Vista. He links to a site, but not trusting them, I checked out a local Windows 2003 install, and yes, there it was!

The MD5 is B265B924104C248FB94C3B6D7E8D4050, CRC (zip) is 0C7584A7 — just as shipped from the great god Microsoft. I would use a local copy, if you have one, but it looks safe enough.