Google Chrome – Your Preferences cannot be read

Logged into my Linux computer today and got this error as I tried to start Chrome. Tried the basics and it did not work, searched Google and saw many others having this same issue so I decided to document the process of fixing this issue here. I’ll start with the basic stuff first then will get into the more detailed steps.
Continue reading Google Chrome – Your Preferences cannot be read

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Using Google Public DNS

Most people connect to the internet via their ISP’s DNS servers which more than likely are not the best and more than likely is slowing down your browsing. Using a 3rd party service not only speeds up your experience online. A while ago we wrote about OpenDNS, today we’re going over Google’s DNS service.

Important:
Make sure to write down your ISP’s DNS servers.

Google Public DNS IP addresses

IPv4 addresses are as follows:

  • 8.8.8.8
  • 8.8.4.4

IPv6 addresses are as follows:

  • 2001:4860:4860::8888
  • 2001:4860:4860::8844

Making the changes

Windows

  • Start the Network and Sharing Center (this process varies by windows version)
  • Click Change adadpter settings
  • Right-click Local Area Connection or Wireless Network Connection slelect Properties
  • Type in your administrator password if you are promted for it.
  • Click the Networking tab
  • Under the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) or Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) and click Properties
  • Click Advanced and select the DNS tab, write down any IP’s that are listed here for future reference in case you want to revert later on.
  • Select Use the following DNS server addresses
  • Enter the IP’s from above
  • Restart your computer

Mac OS

  • Click the Apple menu ()
  • Click System Preferences and click the Network logo.
  • Select the connection you want to configure (Thunderbolt Ethernet or Wi-Fi or Display Ethernet) then click Advanced
  • Select the DNS tab
  • Click the + icon to enter the IP Addresses (repeat for each address)
  • Click Apply then click OK

Linux

I will go over doing this in Ubuntu since that is one of the more common flavors.

  • Start System Preferences and click Network Connections
  • Select the connection you want to configure Wired or Wireless tab, then select the appropriate network.
  • Click Edit, and in the window that appears, select the IPv4 Settings or IPv6 Settings tab.
  • If the selected method is Automatic (DHCP), open the dropdown and select Automatic (STATIC) addresses only instead.
  • If the method is set to something else, do not change it.
  • In the DNS servers field, enter the IP addresses, separated by a space:
  • Click Apply
  • If you are prompted for a password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

If your distribution doesn’t use Network Manager, your DNS settings are specified in /etc/resolv.conf.

Edit resolv.conf:

sudo vi /etc/resolv.conf

If any nameserver lines appear, write down the IP addresses for future reference. Replace or add, the following lines:

nameserver 8.8.8.8
nameserver 8.8.4.4
nameserver 2001:4860:4860::8888
nameserver 2001:4860:4860::8844

Save and exit

:wq

Restart any Internet clients you are using.

sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart

Routers

Every router uses a different user interface for configuring DNS server settings; we provide only a generic procedure below. For more information, please consult your router documentation.

Note:
Some ISPs hard-code their DNS servers into the equipment they provide; if you are using such a device, you will not be able to configure it. Instead, you can configure each of the computers connected to the router, as described above.
  • In your browser, enter the IP address to access the router’s administration console.
  • When prompted, enter the password to access network settings.
  • Find the screen in which DNS server settings are specified.
  • If there are IP addresses specified in the fields for the primary and seconday DNS servers, write them down for future reference.
  • Replace those addresses with the IP addresses from above
  • Save and exit.
  • Restart your browser.

Mac like mouse scrolling in Windows

If you’ve ever used a Mac computer you quickly start getting a feel for the natural scrolling system that makes it more natural, scroll up to move the page up and scroll down to move the page down just as you would if you were moving piece of paper on your desk.

Back when the mouse was king, scrolling down to move the page up made sense because the scroll-bar would move down; basically it mimicked the movement of the marker in the bar. With the advent of touch screens and two finger scrolling on Macs, it made perfect sense to move toward natural scrolling; but many complain that on a computer it doesn’t make sense nor does it feel natural. I personally beg to differ, it feels quite natural to me; I think of the scroll pad as a flat version of the screen, like with the dual screens on a Nintendo DS or having a small tablet surface. Now that I have been using natural scrolling for a while I can see how the old way is actually counter-intuitive and needs to change.

I’ve gotten so used to it at work that I had to change my mouse wheel scroll settings in Windows to be the same and now I’m sharing it with you so you can start to be more natural with your scrolling.

Open Notepad, Notepad++, or any other text editor. No, Microsoft Word will not work.

Type in the following lines for Windows 7:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\HID\VID_045E&PID_00F9&MI_01&Col02\7&319870ac&0&0001\Device Parameters]
"FlipFlopWheel"=dword:00000001

Type in the following lines for Windows 10:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\HID\VID_045E&PID_00F9&MI_01&Col02\7&319870ac&0&0001\Device Parameters]
"FlipFlopWheel"=dword:00000001
"ForceAbsolute"=dword:00000000
"Migrated"=dword:00000001
"HScrollPageOverride"=dword:00000000
"HScrollUsageOverride"=dword:00000000
"HScrollHighResolutionDisable"=dword:00000000
"VScrollPageOverride"=dword:00000000
"VScrollUsageOverride"=dword:00000000
"VScrollHighResolutionDisable"=dword:00000000
"FlipFlopHScroll"=dword:00000000
  • Click File → Save As
  • Choose Desktop as the location to save and name the file InvertMouse.reg

Go to your desktop and double-click the InvertMouse.reg file to make the entry into the registry then restart your computer.

Now if mice makers would start to use the Magic Mouse technology or Apple would allow their mice to be used on other OS systems.

Windows 10 will be a free upgrade

We are upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10.” Windows operating systems chief Terry Myerson told Reuters on Wednesday Mar 18. The plan is to “re-engage” with the hundreds of millions of users of Windows in China, he said, without elaboration. Hundreds of millions of users in the country are running a pirated version of Windows; with this move, Myerson says, Microsoft plans to “re-engage” those users.

Myerson said Windows 10 would be released globally sometime “this summer“. That is the first time Microsoft has put a time frame on the release, although it has been expected in autumn, based on Microsoft’s release history.

“Anyone with a qualified device can upgrade to Windows 10, including those with pirated copies of Windows. We believe customers over time will realize the value of properly licensing Windows and we will make it easy for them to move to legitimate copies.”

The catch is that Windows 10 will be free for the first year; after that, users will need to pay.

Windows 7 SP1 Main Stream Support Ends tomorrow

What does this mean?

You may have been reading this all over the internet already and many articles make it sound like the Windows 7 world is coming to an end just so they can get your clicks, not here. Basically Microsoft has a timeline for their support to their software and tomorrow marks the end of support for Windows 7 SP1.

From Microsoft

End of support refers to the date when Microsoft no longer provides automatic fixes, updates, or online technical assistance. This is the time to make sure you have the latest available update or service pack installed. Without Microsoft support, you will no longer receive security updates that can help protect your PC from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software that can steal your personal information.

Windows lifecycle

Client operating systems Latest update or service pack End of mainstream support End of extended support
Windows XP Service Pack 3 April 14, 2009 April 8, 2014
Windows Vista Service Pack 2 April 10, 2012 April 11, 2017
Windows 7 * Service Pack 1 January 13, 2015 January 14, 2020
Windows 8 Windows 8.1 January 9, 2018 January 10, 2023

* Support for Windows 7 RTM without service packs ended on April 9, 2013. Be sure to install Windows 7 Service Pack 1 today to continue to receive support and updates.

Basically Microsoft is putting Windows 7 to a slow death but you will still be receiving security updates, patches and such until 2020, just like they did with Windows XP; so if you have service pack 1 installed you are good to go.

On a side note. I would personally hold off upgrading from Windows 7 until Windows 10 drops. There is a huge difference from 8.1 to 10 and it’s well worth the wait. If you are buying a new machine, you have no choice as OEM machines now come with Windows 8.1 installed.

How to assign a static IP address in Windows

Having a home network is awesome, getting your devices to have a static address so you know exactly what devices are connected to your network and to ensure that they keep the same address is even more so. This comes in extra handy if you run a home server to share music or files for example. An extra benefit is that you will no longer get IP conflicts.

In this series (yes, it will be a series as we’ll show you how to do it for Linux and Mac as well), we’ll assume you are already connected and have an IP assigned to the device and that this will be on a wired connection. If you have wireless the process should be the same, just make amends for whatever your wireless connection is on your machine. Continue reading How to assign a static IP address in Windows

Creating your Own Minecraft server – EASY!

We showed you how to create a Minecraft server on Linux, here’s how to do it on Windows. Go have fun 🙂

Minecraft has many qualities that assisted it to turn into a gaming phenomenon: ever-expanding environments to explore, the freedom to craft complex things from simple materials. But one of my favorite aspects of Minecraft is how easy it’s to host your own Minecraft server. With only a Windows computer, a decent internet connection (with a static IP), and some computer knowledge, anyone can build a private world for a few friends to share.

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