Monday, May 19, 2008

Windows without Windows...

I am a die-hard Windows fan. OS X is too weird, and Linux is too crappy... Recently I've been under fire about not using the Windows GUI manager (Under the process tree as "explorer.exe"), I've been told, "Why are you using Windows without Windows Explorer? It kind of defeats the purpose of using you favorite operating system...".

The essence of this comment was that this person defined the GUI manager of any given operating system as the operating system. I will admit, Windows Explorer is a nice little thing to have, but I prefer, on occasion, to use Windows without the GUI manager.

Now I'm not talking about DOS, or strictly command line OS interface, but something in between the CMI and the full-blown GUI...

What I use is this funny little program called the "Task Manager". Anyone can easily access this program by hitting (in Windows) Ctrl+Alt+Del. From there I proceed to end the "explorer.exe" process, which will then kill the task bar, desktop, and any pesky explorer windows that I have open. Once all of these features are gone, how does one go about running programs??

Funny thing here, most people only use the Task Manager to End tasks, but it is, after all, a task "manager", not just a task executioner... Those witty programmers at that Microsoft place decided to put in a few tools to /Run/ programs as well.

Up in the top-left hand of the Task Manager window, one will see a "File" menu. When opened, this menu system reveals a "New Task(Run)" command who's sole purpose is to "Run" programs...

This tool gives the user a nice little dialog box, with the optional browser window, to search for and execute programs. If using the browser it is also possible to switch the folder view from "Programs" to "All Files". When this change has been made in the drop-down menu box one can also open an file with an application associated with it.

Now the obvious question is, "Why would anyone want to use this method over simply using the Explorer, Explorer is so much easier!!". The answer, my friend, is processing power and RAM. I'm a power freak, I use a lot of processor a lot of the time. The explorer process can have a heavy tax on the system's resources. I don't need it, so I don't use it...

Also, without explorer running, Windows is a lot less vulnerable to viruses, but that's for another post...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Microsoft Voice Command Tutorial

I have noticed over the past few months that I have been getting many hits on my MS Voice command tutorial... So I have decided to update it hive new comments and support for more compilers. As of right now the current link to the tutorial is not working, I will be re-posting the new one during Christmas break. Until then you can email me (BriansAccount(at)Gmail(.)com) to get the current version.

Thanks for your interest, I try to reply to emails as promptly as possible!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

New Job

I recently acquired a job at a local ROBOTICS company! I am doing light assembly work for now, but it will get more involved the more experience I gain. Wow, I haven't posted for a while.

I haven't been able to get much work done and my projects, been really busy with other projects (more important ones)...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

It has been a long time...

Yesterday I got my robot's wheels turning. Now I am working my way through the programming of the driver software and the ultrasonic range finder. After I do a little more mounting my robot will be complete (Took me long enough :) )...

I might post some images later...

In other news I have recently created a SourceForge project. It's called Getix (dx-voice-conf). Getix uses Direct X extensions for voice conferencing. The goal of this project is to create a program (for Windows) that will allow lobbiable multi-user voice conferencing over LAN or the Internet.

You can check it out at and the project HomePage at

Thursday, October 06, 2005

PBasic, C++, and Oodles of fun!

Recently I have been programming a converter tool from MicroChip's MPLab's C++ "stuff" to PBasic, so that we (my FIRST team, can program the old-style IFI Controllers ( in C++, instead of using their PBasic language. It's pretty complicated, and I know I won't be able to get all of C++'s features, but it'll do for some simple programming.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Some Good news, Some Bad...

Well, I haven’t updated in a while, so I figure I will fill y’all in…

Today I received a letter from a school district in California telling me that I have officially passed the NASA Ames robotics course I took this summer. That was some good news! I have finished the control system for my robot, but was having some problems with it, so I broke it down and am working from the ground up, trying to find what is wrong. Unfortunately I do not have an oscilloscope to read the waveforms. I am going to try to get that working, and then I’ll be in good shape!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

More Control...

Well, I finally finished the conrtol board for my robot, I am getting ready to plug it all in and test it. I have some pictures, but they are really blurry...

Here is another picture:

Friday, September 02, 2005

The Rise of BriOS, Mr. Gates, be very afraid!

I am sure all of you are wondering why I have not posted in a while. Well, I have been playing around with Operating System Development. It is very fun stuff!

Right now I am doing a pure Assembly OS. I have my OS based off of the EasyOS structure. I have been able to accomplish some basic command line instructions. Right now I am developing a simple GUI structure to operate on…

Friday, August 19, 2005

This is what I have so far with the control systems for my robot:

The IC socket is for my PIC 16c57
The IC on the board is my dual half driver chip from TI
I also have a 20mhz resonator and a 5vdc regulator

This is only the beginning, I still have a lot of items/wiring to do...

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005


As many of you don't know I am an aspiring 3D artist. To showcase some of my projects, I have created another blog. Here's the link. I will also be adding a link to it under my "Links". I will be updating that periodically ,so check it out every now and then.