How to run the Command Prompt under the SYSTEM account.

Yet another thing that may be useful to the IT people out there – a guide on how to make Command Prompt run under a system account.

 Quick note & disclaimer- this guide assumes that your user account has the rights to create, edit and manually start services. Without these rights, this process guide will fail. As for the disclaimer, this account pretty much provides ‘god rights’ on your computer. What you do with it is entirely up to you, but I’m in no way responsible for you breaking your system.

Moving on…

To get command prompt to run as an admin account, you will need to create a service where the command is to launch command prompt, then launch another command prompt window from there. This is because directly launching command prompt will start it and then close it almost straight away. Launching the second window will give you a window that remains open until you decide to close it.

The command to do this is as follows (and will most likely need to be run via an admin command prompt, depending how your system is setup):

sc create SysCMDPrompt binpath= “cmd /K start” type= own type= interact

Note that all spaces in the command line above are required. Taking and spaces out may result in a failure to launch.

There are two methods to running the service (and thus system CMD).

First Method

– Launch a command window with an account that has permission to launch services

– Enter the command line sc start SysCMDPrompt

Second Method

– Launch the Services control applet with an account that has permission to launch services

– Find the SysCMDPrompt service

– Start the service

Which method you use depends entirely on personal preference.

I’ve bodged together a quick program that creates the service, launches the service and then deletes the service. You can find it here:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/64814714/System%20CMD%20Launcher.exe

Running under XP is flawless as far as I can tell, however in Windows 7, you will get a message about Interactive Services Detection. Click View the message and you’ll be able to run it – only flaw is that it runs in its own bubble, where you cannot access other programs at the same time (unless run via the command prompt window).

Note in my testing, Windows 7 had to restart explorer most times, upon reverting back to the standard desktop view…

HTC have confirmed ICS to come to the HTC Desire S

I’ve actually known about this for a couple of weeks, but since my screenshot guide for the Desire S is easily the most viewed blogpost, I thought I’d put a link up for HTC’s announcement.

The only date mentioned is ‘later this year’, but I’ve heard a few rumours that we’ll be looking at a couple of months before release.

Other older phones mentioned are the EVO 3D, Incredible S and Desire HD.

Click below for the HTC’s facebook post regarding ICS
http://www.facebook.com/notes/htc-uk/update-on-android-ice-cream-sandwich-upgrades/362002257162595

Entering long file / directory names into Command Prompt quickly…

It’s amazing how few people know this. If you need to enter a long file or directory name into command prompt, you can press the tab button and command prompt will cycle through all the files and folders below the current directory.

Better still, if you start typing in the file that you need, then press tab, the field will generally autopopulate closer to what you need. 

I’ve tested this on XPSP3, Vista and Windows 7. While it ran straight off the bat in all three systems, you may get issues initially with XP. Microsoft have put a knowledgebase article up which you can find below:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310530

So there you are – a solution to the frustration that incorrectly typing long file names can cause.

Is the humble MP3 player a dying breed?

So I was sitting at my desk the other day doing some sort of work. I’ve got my phone sitting in it’s holder and I’m happily typing along, with my MP3 player plugged into my ears, listening to music.

Enter some random person. He asks…’why are you using an MP3 player.’  The man does kind of have a point. I’ve got my phone sitting on the desk, which is capable of doing everything but the dishes and yet I’m using my Creative X-Fi for music instead.

It’s for the same reason that I don’t belive that the MP3 player is a dying breed. Aside from the fact that some MP3 players produce better quality sound and that some people just don’t want to take the jump to a smartphone, there is another reason…

.. we have phones now that can do everything and sometimes that’s a little too much. Allow me to explain:

Bob is working in an office,writing up a report on the efficiency of something or another. He has his MP3 player plugged in to drown out some of the background noise and so that he can concentrate better on the task at hand.

After listening to the same album on repeat for a while, he decides that something else would be good. He picks up the MP3 player, changes album and continues working on time.

Bob gets the work done, gets promoted and gets a fat pay rise.

Now meet Eve. She’s also writing a report on something or another. Let’s call this report ‘Procrastination for the Masses’. Like Bob, she has music on to drown out the background noise. A minor note is that she’s using her iPhone for it instead.

Like Bob, she just put one album on initially and it begins to grate after a while. She picks up the iPhone to change track. While she’s got the phone in hand, she replies to a text message and notices she has an email. The email is from Facebook, saying that Herp McDerpington has invited her to an event. Naturally she goes to Facebook to accept the event invitation. Then she goes onto Twitter to let others know of the event.

The cycle continues. Eve misses the report deadline. She gets fired. Then loses all her money. Then dies due to Hypothermia, as she can no longer afford the heating bills.

So the example was a little..over dramatic and exaggerated. But I think that the MP3 player has a place. A place for the Luddites who won’t get smartphones. A place for the people that just want to get stuff done. A place for the audiophiles that want to listen to higher quality music. But most of all, I belive it has a place in history – as the item that began the steady decline of the CD. The item that succeeded where MiniDisc failed.

Taking screenshots on an HTC Desire S

If anyone out there has an HTC Desire S and wants to take screenshots on it without going to the effort of rooting the phone, this should work for you.

As far as I know, your phone needs to be on at least Android 2.3.5 and have HTC Sense 3.0 (I’ve only had this since the last update – not sure if it’s the android or sense  update that has given me the ability to take screenshots)

For UK based Desire S phones on O2, you should be able to update your phone to the required level. Other networks may vary though.

To take the screenshot, press the power button.While the power button  is pressed, click the Home button (furthest left touch button). You’ll hear the camera click, and the screenshot will be in your gallery.

I’ve added one of mine below to show it can be done. I think this will work on the Sensation as well as the OS is pretty much the same…

HTC Desire S Screenshot

Preventing Word 2007 from showing document markup by default

Note: Apparently this can also apply in Word 2010

A minor annoyance of mine is when Word 2007 automatically shows document markup, every time you open a document with markup in it. I put my somewhat useless google-fu into action and failed to bring back any worthy results, so spent a fair amount of time digging through the options in Word. Because of my google-fu failings,  I’ve done a quick write-up and put it on here in the hope it helps at least one other person. Check out below for a quick guide:

1. Open Word and click on the Office Button

2. Go to Trust Center

3. Then click Trust Center Settings

4. Go to Privacy Settings

5. Untick the box labelled Make Hidden markup visible when opening or saving

6. Restart Word

Voila! Problem solved. And if you ever need to return to the messy looking thing that is document markup, just recheck the box.

On a side note if anyone from Microsoft is watching, but apparently Word 2010 has the option in the same place. Could you please move it to somewhere a little more logical in the next version. I’d personally suggest Options > Display

Spotify…keeping the silence out of mind…

Out of all the things I run whilst I’m on the internet, this one gets the most use. Essentially it’s a music player that has access to millions of tracks, all potentially for free.

The free service does have a few drawbacks – main one being that you get the occasional advert between tracks, but it’s a lot better than commercial radio in terms of frequency. Ads are few and far between and to be honest I don’t even notice them anymore – if I go back to the commerical radio reference, I can’t remember the last time that the radio in my car tuned into one, and there wasn’t an advert playing at the time. Spotify Free (the invite version of free), has around a 90% music, 10% advert split for me – that said apparently it also depends on what you listen to.

There is a free version that doesn’t need an invitation (Spotify Open), but it caps your streaming to 20 hours a month. If you can still get it, and have a friend with invites availible, I suggest you go for spotify free. There is no cap.

You can find entire CD’s to listen to – meaning you can try before you buy, without the more paranoid among us worrying that the RIAA are going to sue for piracy. The amount of people I know that have bought a CD based on a few tracks, and then found they’ve shelled out for 3 good tracks, and 10 tracks of dross is unsuprisingly high.

You can also connect it to Facebook, after which you can see the public playlists that your friends have made availible, which comes in handy – especially when you want to recommend a song or artist to another person. Apparently you can do this without Facebook, but it’s not something I’ve bothered to do.

One other perk is that the interface if friendly and easy to get to grips with. If you’ve used iTunes, you can see where some of the inspiration has come from, but it’s a fresh take on a old trick.

That said, there are paid for versions that I’m told are excellent – they allow compatibility with certain smartphones for music on the move, offline mode where you cache some of your tunes and other bonuses. I’ve not taken the plunge in this because I’m a cheapskate – which is pretty much my only excuse.

So that’s a very brief look at Spotify for you. It probably doesn’t cover half the basics, but then again this post was thrown together in about ten minutes 🙂

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