VMware Player Updated

VMware Workstation 12 Player Released

VMware Player has been a popular way to run virtual machines on Windows, and other, operating systems. A new version, now called VMware Workstation 12 Player, was released on August 24, 2015.

The new version supports Windows 10 both as a guest and also as host operating system. If you were hesitant to upgrade to Windows 10 for fear that your virtual machines would be impaired, this should solve that concern.

Download page



© 2015 Ludwig Keck

Posted in Virtual Machine, VMware Player, Windows 10 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Microsoft Survey

Have I been too critical, Microsoft?

The relationship between Microsoft and myself goes back nearly three decades. During that time I developed software for fun and for industrial applications,  Microsoft-manualsmuch of it for PCs, and mostly Windows PCs at that. Microsoft tools and software figured, and still figures, high in my “toolshed”. To show you, I dug into my archive for some illustrations, here a couple of books from the last millennium.

Often I have expressed admiration for the many Microsoft products that I have relied on. At times I have been outspoken in my opinions, “I calls ‘em as I sees ‘em”, as the expression goes. You may have seen some of my rants here at This ‘n That.

I am no longer in the Microsoft Developer Network, having retired from paid work some years back. But I still do have friends inside Microsoft, and there are many others there whom I hold in the highest regard.

I am still on a number of mailing lists. So it was no surprise when I got an email earlier today from Microsoft.

I did get a surprise, and quite a chuckle, however, when I tried to respond to it.

So first the email:


Make your Voice Heard” it said boldly. Naturally I wanted to share my thoughts on the “products I love”.

And this is what I got by clicking “Go to Survey” or “share your thoughts”.


Sorry, you are not invited to appear for this survey.” So the invitation to “Tell us what you think about Microsoft” was not meant to include me. Come on, my friends, I haven’t been that harsh in the past, have I?

Oh, well, my feelings are only bruised a little. Winking smile Angry smile


© 2015 Ludwig Keck

Posted in Microsoft | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Windows 10 is coming!

Windows 10 is on its way

Microsoft has started the free upgrade process to Windows 10 for PCs running Windows 7 (SP1) and Windows 8.1. The date of the installation will happen some time after July 29, 2015. That is the announced starting date for rolling out the new operating system.

Win10-U-02There is already, or will be soon, a little icon in the notification area of your taskbar. A little Windows logo that says “Get Windows 10” when you put the pointer on it.

Click on it and the “reservation” process for your upgrade is set in motion. You will see this announcement:


It explains “How this free upgrade works”. You can make a “reservation” to get notifications and installed updates. To get on the list, and near the head of the line, just fill in your email address and send the “reservation” on its way.


The download package is about 3 GB, quite a large file. The installation process will also take a while. With the preview releases on my test machines it can take several hours, so be prepared to let your computer spend some time on this upgrade.

Windows 10 looks very promising from what I have seem. The latest preview version (Build 10130) is being rolled out at this time (June 1, 2015).


© 2015 Ludwig Keck

Posted in Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8.1 | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Blogging from Word

For a couple of months I have been testing the preview version of Office 2016. Each time I open Word I am intrigued by the templates that are offered:


Preparing blog posts is supported in Word! The prior versions of Word are totally useless in they way they “support” blogging. Maybe this has been improved in the new version of Word 2016. Word-02

The first step is register the blog. The dialog looks awfully familiar. OK, I proceed.

Word-03The second dialog is just as familiar – it looks the same as in older versions of Word, just the cleaner, simpler look of the new Windows 10 offerings.

Sadly, this is followed by the same error dialog from before. Word cannot successfully connect to my blog. Word-04

In Word 2010 I had, and still have, the same problem. It just doesn’t work cleanly and correctly.

You’d think such a know problem would not have been moved verbatim into a new product. I am not disclosing any secrets here. Just that Microsoft has not really paid any attention to bloggers. Nothing new here.

The last Microsoft effort to support blogging is the superb and unsurpassed Live Writer, not updated since 2012. Of course it works like a charm. This post is prepared on it running in Windows 10 Technical Preview.


© 2015 Ludwig Keck

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Windows 10 – Is it soup yet?

Importing Photos in Windows 10

The latest Windows 10 Technical Preview, Build 10041,  already looks much more professional than the “for toddlers only” feel of Windows 8 and 8.1. The full screen Start page is gone as is the full screen “All apps” page in the default installation.


Win10-10041-20Clicking All apps in the Start menu now brings up an alphabetical listing (see yellow arrow in illustration) so you can scroll down to what you are looking for. The full screen Start page can still be the better choice, especially on small hand-held devices. The default properties settings are shown in the illustration here. On my version of Windows 10 TP, running in a virtual machine, checking the “Show Start …” box did not do so.

For me and my fellow photo-enthusiasts there are some more important things, however. Importing , managing, enhancing and sharing photos is high on our list.

One of the faults in Windows 8.1 is the malfunctioning AutoPlay feature. That, sadly, has not yet been fixed in the Technical Preview.


Win10-10041-26In the AutoPlay setup menu the choices for Pictures media type or Camera storage show View pictures (Photo Gallery) but not an import option. When set to Ask me every time, the only options are Open device to view files  File Explorer, or Take no action.

Hey Microsoft! TAKE ACTION! Fix this!

It is understandable that in a Technical Preview codecs for photo files might not yet be supplied. Back in Windows XP a missing codec would not only be detected, the system would go out and find the file and install it with just a few clicks. Not so in Windows 10 TP.  Installing the Nikon codec for my Nikon camera (see Resource page) worked without any problem or complaint.

Photo Gallery has a manual import option which works fine. It detects the camera and goes out to find the photos. Importing works smoothly as it has in Photo Gallery for many years. Win10-10041-31

Using the Resize option for bulk conversion to JPG format also works as expected. Photo Gallery adds the new picture size to the end of the file name. To clean up my file names I have used a BAT, batch file, for many years. I am delighted to report that BAT files work as nicely in Windows 10 as the have worked in earlier Windows versions, indeed, in PCs since before Windows.


To sum up, Windows 10 Technical Preview is a useful platform for photographers. The tools, especially Photo Gallery, work well. Codecs have to be installed manually, however.

And AutoPlay, well, it ought to play but doesn’t. So Windows 10 Technical Preview is on its way, it isn’t soup yet, but the water is getting warm.


© 2015 Ludwig Keck

Posted in Digital Photos, Photo Gallery, Photography, Photos, Windows 10 | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Images in Posts

Originally posted on Live Writer Basics:

Images In Posts – Sources and Methods

This is a revisit of this topic with updates and a look at how Live Writer works with the current versions of WordPress and Blogger.

Many new features have been implemented in the latest WordPress themes, and Blogger templates. Much is not supported by Live Writer since it has not been updated in the last three years, yet it still offers the best and easiest means of preparing blog posts. With higher resolution monitors and especially smart phones, tablets, and other devices, new questions arise on how to best deal with images.

LW-Images-01Live Writer has a number of ways for inserting images. In Inserting a picture from your computer

this article the options will be covered in turn. Both the Home and the Insert tab provide an Insert – Picture option. There are four option in the drop-down menu:

  • From your computer…
  • From…

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ICE-2 Distortion and Correction

Originally posted on Café Ludwig:

This is my second look at ICE 2.o, the Microsoft Research Image Composite Editor version 2.0. In this article we will take a look at distorting and correcting images and more.

ICE-2-D C-11

If you just open ICE you get mostly advertising. This front page is the only one soliciting. Microsoft Research has fallen on hard times, but at least they are still there and turning out superb tools.

The way I operate, I never get to see this opening screen, but I am getting ahead of my story. ICE-2-D C-05First some very good news. ICE 2.0 work perfectly in Windows 10, that is in the Technical Preview, but tit should work just as well in the final version. It does require a C++ Runtime Library. It tells you that and the installation is just a matter of clicking along.

Once installed, it can be called right from Photo Gallery. Yes, Photo Gallery…

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