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[Nim] cross-compile under Linux to Windows

October 23, 2018 1 comment

Problem
You are under Linux, and you can produce an executable binary with the Nim compiler. However, you would like to produce a Windows EXE too. We want to stay under Linux and we want to produce the EXE on Linux. How to do that?

Solution
On Manjaro, I had to install this package:

$ yaourt -S mingw-w64-gcc-bin

It’s a cross-compiler that we’ll use for producing the EXE.

Let’s take a simple Nim source (hello.nim):

echo "hello windows"

Now cross-compile it:

$ nim --os:windows --cpu:amd64 --gcc.exe:x86_64-w64-mingw32-gcc --gcc.linkerexe:x86_64-w64-mingw32-gcc -d:release c hello.nim

And you get hello.exe .

$ file hello.exe
hello.exe: PE32+ executable (console) x86-64, for MS Windows

If you copy it on a Windows system, you can run it there without any problem. Or, you can also run it under Linux with wine :)

$ wine hello.exe
hello windows

Credits
I found this idea in the following blog post: Writing a 2D Platform Game in Nim with SDL2.

Update (20181028)
I found info about it in the official docs too: https://nim-lang.github.io/Nim/nimc.html#cross-compilation-for-windows.

maximize a window

October 13, 2018 Leave a comment

In Manjaro (XFCE) it’s “Alt+F10”. In Windows it’s “Super key + up arrow”.

In Manjaro, you can find and edit all window manager shortcut keys from Menu → Settings Manager → Window Manager → Keyboard tab.

Originally, I wanted to figure out how to maximize a VS Code window (reddit question here).

[Office2007] Configuration starts every time

Problem
Office 2007 worked well for me. Then, suddenly, it started to configure itself every time I wanted to open a document / presentation / etc. The process took minutes and it was very annoying.

Solution
I found the solution in this video. In short: locate the file “C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\microsoft shared\OFFICE12\Office Setup Controller\SETUP.EXE” and rename it to something else, for instance “SETUP_old.EXE“. The stupid configuration won’t appear again.

Categories: windows Tags: ,

connect your laptop to your TV

December 30, 2017 Leave a comment

Problem
You want to connect your laptop to your TV. For instance you have Netflix / HBO GO / etc. subscription and you want to watch movies on a bigger screen.

Story time
We have an old LG HD-ready television (32LG3000) whose resolution is 1366×768. I had an old (and small) laptop connected to the TV via a VGA cable that worked well with movies (avi, mp4, etc.). This laptop had Manjaro on it and its resolution was 1024×768. When it was connected to the TV, the screen was cloned and the TV also had the same resolution. The image quality was very good. However, this laptop was weak for videos running in the browser, so for instance I couldn’t watch Youtube videos in full screen.

A few days ago I decided to try HBO GO. It’s similar to Netflix. It’s not expensive (7.66 USD/month), the first month is free, and you can cancel it any time. It was clear that my old laptop won’t be enough for this.

I tried another laptop, a Toshiba C55 that has a VGA and an HDMI output too. Strangely, the VGA output was not recognized by my TV, so I couldn’t use it. And when I tried HDMI, the image quality was shit. The colors were terrible and the image was blurred. The text on the screen was ugly and the whole thing looked pixelated. I tried every resolution, but it was the same shit :( I even changed the HDMI cable to a gold-plated one. Nothing. With a software I could adjust the colors but I wasn’t satisfied with the colors at all.

Solution
I don’t know the exact reason of the problem. Maybe our TV is old, maybe a full-HD TV would be better, who knows… It was clear that there is something wrong with the HDMI connection.

So, let’s get back to VGA. I had yet another laptop, a Dell Vostro 2510 (also old). It worked well for me and it only had a VGA output. I installed Windows 7 on it, connected to the TV, but the TV only showed a black screen. And when I changed the resolution down to 1024×768, the screen appeared on the TV! Yes! And the quality was good! Later I figured out that the resolution 1280×720 was even better for this TV. This laptop is sufficient for videos running in a browser. It took me 3 days to find the best solution…

I also made some experiments. With VGA, I tried different resolutions, but they looked ugly. The result was similar to the HDMI. However, 1024×768 and 1280×720 were good. Then I tried HDMI again with these two resolutions and they were ugly again. I don’t get it but fine…

TL;DR: Via VGA I got better quality on the TV. On the laptop I put Windows 7. The resolution 1280×720 worked well. HDMI produced shit quality but I couldn’t figure out why. I’ll stay with VGA.

[windows] Xpadder: play any game with your controller

December 29, 2017 Leave a comment

Xpadder allows you to map keyboard keys and mouse button actions to your game controller buttons. Xpadder also allows you to map the mouse pointer to your game controller sticks. Xpadder can also handle combinations, sequences, toggles, triggers, shift sets, multiple controllers and more.” (source)

So, if you have a game that doesn’t support controllers, then with the help of Xpadder you can still use your favorite controller.

These two videos will give a good introduction to the program:

Short press: A; long press: B (from the advanced tutorial)

 

What are set selectors? I found a good explanation under this video by Hugo Freitas. I copy his answer here:

For those who couldn’t understand, i’ll explain: Xpadder does not directly support the scheme of pressing two buttons for one keyboard stroke (Under the circumstances of using One Set Only), So what happens in order to make this possible is a sort of trick: Xpadder divides it’s variety of commands on different sets (those sets are clearly noticeable on the bottom side of the software window). If a person wants to perform a command requiring two buttons, What such person needs to understand, is that the first button usually works as an “enabler”, so the Second Button can have it’s behavior changed to perform the command.

In order to make things more comprehensible, i’ll give an example: In Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland, there’s a trick called “Caveman”, on the ps2 version, in order to perform such command, the player needs to hold “L1” then press “R1” (Note that L1 being held acts like an “enabler” , so the R1 can have it’s behavior changed to perform the trick). For instance However, in the PC version of the game, all the player needs to do is press “E” on the Keyboard.

Given this Situation, In order to reproduce the “L1 + R1” combination on Xpadder, what you need to do is select the “L1” button, click on it, go to the “Advanced” > “Set Selector” and choose: “Selects Set 2 while HELD”, as a consequence, when holding “L1” button, it will switch to/enable the Second Set which will have empty assignments, and while holding “L1” down, select “R1” button, click on it and assign the “E” button to it.

And that’s it, Regardless the controller you’re using, if it’s compatible with Xpadder, I believe the Set Selector will work on all of them.” (quote from Hugo Freitas)

Profiles
I collect here the profiles that I made / customized. The profiles can be found here.

  • Need for Speed Hot Pursuit 2
Categories: games, windows Tags: , ,

[windows 7] unauthorized changes on the firmware, operating system, or UEFI drivers

September 25, 2017 Leave a comment

Problem
A friend called me last week that he has a problem with his PC. He has Windows 7 and after installing some updates, the system couldn’t reboot. He got the following error message:

(Screenshot from here.)

Solution
I found the solution here. In a nutshell: enter BIOS -> Boot -> Secure Boot. Next to “OS Type” you must have Windows. Change it to “Other OS”. Save and reboot.

Categories: windows Tags: , , , ,

simplescreenrecorder

September 24, 2017 Leave a comment

Problem
Under Linux you want to do some screen capturing. For instance, you want to do some tutorial videos.

Solution
I used gtk-RecordMyDesktop for a long time, but my current favorite is simplescreenrecorder. With gtk-RecordMyDesktop I could only save in .ogv format that I had to convert to .mp4 with ffmpeg. simplescreenrecorder can save directly in mp4 format.

Adobe Premiere Pro CS6
For editing my videos, I started to use Adobe Premiere Pro CS6. First, I asked my friends, and most of them suggested this. Second, I found some good and detailed tutorial videos for this software. I’m a newbie in video editing, so I needed some tutorials that showed everything step by step.

However, in Premiere Pro I ran into a problem. You need to import a video file and pull it to the timeline if you want to edit it. However, when I pulled an mp4 file, the audio track didn’t appear on the timeline. I had a workaround solution: from my .mp4 I extracted the audio in .wav format (with ffmpeg), and pulled it to the audio track. Strangely, the audio track was often a little bit shorter than the video track. But it was just annoying, it didn’t cause a problem.

So I tried some other screen capturing tools next to gtk-RecordMyDesktop, and that’s how I found simplescreenrecorder. After several trial and errors, I figured out why the audio track was missing. Whether the audio track appears or not depends on the audio codec! If you save the audio in AAC format, then Premiere Pro will like it and the audio track will appear when you pull such an .mp4 on the timeline. The good news is that you can select in simplescreenrecorder what audio codec you want to use!

Screenshots
Here are some screenshots of my simplescreenrecorder setup:

Alternatives
For some more screen capturing tools, see this post: 5 Best Screen Capture Tools for Linux.