Understanding Existence http://understandingexistence.net Technology. Philosophy. Mon, 21 Apr 2014 19:09:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1 Michael Shermer on humans as pattern seeking, story telling animals http://understandingexistence.net/2014/04/21/patternseekers/ http://understandingexistence.net/2014/04/21/patternseekers/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 09:24:07 +0000 http://understandingexistence.net/?p=1715 Continue reading ]]>

Humans are pattern-seeking story-telling animals, and we are quite adept at telling stories about patterns, whether they exist or not
Michael Shermer

Michael Brant Shermer is an American science writer, historian of science, founder of The Skeptics Society, and Editor in Chief of its magazine Skeptic, which is largely devoted to investigating pseudoscientific and supernatural claims.

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THEY’RE MADE OUT OF MEAT -by Terry Bisson http://understandingexistence.net/2014/04/19/theyre-made-out-of-meat-by-terry-bisson/ http://understandingexistence.net/2014/04/19/theyre-made-out-of-meat-by-terry-bisson/#comments Sat, 19 Apr 2014 13:43:11 +0000 http://understandingexistence.net/?p=1709 Continue reading ]]>

“They’re made out of meat.”


“Meat. They’re made out of meat.”


“There’s no doubt about it. We picked up several from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, and probed them all the way through. They’re completely meat.”

“That’s impossible. What about the radio signals? The messages to the stars?”

“They use the radio waves to talk, but the signals don’t come from them. The signals come from machines.”

“So who made the machines? That’s who we want to contact.”

“They made the machines. That’s what I’m trying to tell you. Meat made the machines.”

“That’s ridiculous. How can meat make a machine? You’re asking me to believe in sentient meat.”

“I’m not asking you, I’m telling you. These creatures are the only sentient race in that sector and they’re made out of meat.”

“Maybe they’re like the orfolei. You know, a carbon-based intelligence that goes through a meat stage.”

“Nope. They’re born meat and they die meat. We studied them for several of their life spans, which didn’t take long. Do you have any idea what’s the life span of meat?”

“Spare me. Okay, maybe they’re only part meat. You know, like the weddilei. A meat head with an electron plasma brain inside.”

“Nope. We thought of that, since they do have meat heads, like the weddilei. But I told you, we probed them. They’re meat all the way through.”

“No brain?”

“Oh, there’s a brain all right. It’s just that the brain is made out of meat! That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you.”

“So … what does the thinking?”

“You’re not understanding, are you? You’re refusing to deal with what I’m telling you. The brain does the thinking. The meat.”

“Thinking meat! You’re asking me to believe in thinking meat!”

“Yes, thinking meat! Conscious meat! Loving meat. Dreaming meat. The meat is the whole deal! Are you beginning to get the picture or do I have to start all over?”

“Omigod. You’re serious then. They’re made out of meat.”

“Thank you. Finally. Yes. They are indeed made out of meat. And they’ve been trying to get in touch with us for almost a hundred of their years.”

“Omigod. So what does this meat have in mind?”

“First it wants to talk to us. Then I imagine it wants to explore the Universe, contact other sentiences, swap ideas and information. The usual.”

“We’re supposed to talk to meat.”

“That’s the idea. That’s the message they’re sending out by radio. ‘Hello. Anyone out there. Anybody home.’ That sort of thing.”

“They actually do talk, then. They use words, ideas, concepts?”

“Oh, yes. Except they do it with meat.”

“I thought you just told me they used radio.”

“They do, but what do you think is on the radio? Meat sounds. You know how when you slap or flap meat, it makes a noise? They talk by flapping their meat at each other. They can even sing by squirting air through their meat.”

“Omigod. Singing meat. This is altogether too much. So what do you advise?”

“Officially or unofficially?”


“Officially, we are required to contact, welcome and log in any and all sentient races or multibeings in this quadrant of the Universe, without prejudice, fear or favor. Unofficially, I advise that we erase the records and forget the whole thing.”

“I was hoping you would say that.”

“It seems harsh, but there is a limit. Do we really want to make contact with meat?”

“I agree one hundred percent. What’s there to say? ‘Hello, meat. How’s it going?’ But will this work? How many planets are we dealing with here?”

“Just one. They can travel to other planets in special meat containers, but they can’t live on them. And being meat, they can only travel through C space. Which limits them to the speed of light and makes the possibility of their ever making contact pretty slim. Infinitesimal, in fact.”

“So we just pretend there’s no one home in the Universe.”

“That’s it.”

“Cruel. But you said it yourself, who wants to meet meat? And the ones who have been aboard our vessels, the ones you probed? You’re sure they won’t remember?”

“They’ll be considered crackpots if they do. We went into their heads and smoothed out their meat so that we’re just a dream to them.”

“A dream to meat! How strangely appropriate, that we should be meat’s dream.”

“And we marked the entire sector unoccupied.”

“Good. Agreed, officially and unofficially. Case closed. Any others? Anyone interesting on that side of the galaxy?”

“Yes, a rather shy but sweet hydrogen core cluster intelligence in a class nine star in G445 zone. Was in contact two galactic rotations ago, wants to be friendly again.”

“They always come around.”

“And why not? Imagine how unbearably, how unutterably cold the Universe would be if one were all alone …”

the end

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Setting up outlook.com mail on Android http://understandingexistence.net/2013/01/30/setting-up-outlook-com-mail-on-android/ http://understandingexistence.net/2013/01/30/setting-up-outlook-com-mail-on-android/#comments Tue, 29 Jan 2013 22:33:43 +0000 https://understandingexistencedotnet.wordpress.com/?p=1272 Continue reading ]]> For some reason, configuring Outlook.com mail on android isn’t as straight forward as it should be. Here’s a quick guide with screenshots to help you along.

Step 1 ) Open Email app and enter your ID and password:

Go to the your app drawer, find and open the android Email app(not the native Gmail client) and sign in.


Step 2 ) Select Exchange:


Step 3 ) Configure the setting for the exchange server:

The android Email app will fail to auto configure the settings so they will have to be done manually. The following screenshot and the subsequent table show what values need to be filled in the fields so that your android device can talk to the exchange servers.







Enter your full email ID



Enter your email password



In case the setup fails with m.hotmail, try again with each of the following without altering any other fields: snt-m.hotmail.com OR debug-m.hotmail.com

Use secure connection

Check this box


Accept all SSL certificates

Check this box





If successful, you will get the following screens:




NOTE: If Microsoft exchange refuses to accept your setting even after you did everything right OR if you have a outlook account which was originally a @live.com or @hotmail.com account and was renamed by you after outlook mail was launched in 2012 then the following could work:

1.) Go to your app drawer, open ‘Settings’, you would find the ‘Accounts’ section.

2.) Select ‘Add account’, select ‘Corporate’

3.) Now, repeat the above steps listed above.

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Asus P8P67 pro Hackintosh Audio http://understandingexistence.net/2013/01/15/asus-p8p67-pro-hackintosh-audio/ http://understandingexistence.net/2013/01/15/asus-p8p67-pro-hackintosh-audio/#comments Mon, 14 Jan 2013 19:19:16 +0000 https://understandingexistencedotnet.wordpress.com/?p=1064 Continue reading ]]> My original Asus P8P67 pro Hackintosh guide was not very clear on how to get your P8P67 pro based hackintosh’s audio working. Here is a much simpler guide on P8P67 pro hackintosh audio:

Part A ) Install your hackintosh using this guide: http://understandingexistence.net/2012/08/28/asus-p8p67-pro-hackintosh-guide/

Part B ) Once OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.0 is installed:

1.) Download and install the latest Mountain Lion MultiBeast from tonymacx86.com

2.) Run MultiBeast. Select and install non DSDT drivers for ALC 892. Reboot.

Hackintosh AudioCongratulations! Now your hackintosh has audio.

3.) Mountain Lion 10.8.2 Update: Upgrade your hackintosh to the latest Mountain Lion 10.8.2 from the app store. The 10.8.2 update will break your hackintosh audio but you can easily fix that simply by repeating step 2.

Done. Enjoy your hackintosh.


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Avoiding Google’s forceful Google+ upgrade http://understandingexistence.net/2013/01/05/avoiding-googles-forceful-google-upgrade/ http://understandingexistence.net/2013/01/05/avoiding-googles-forceful-google-upgrade/#comments Sat, 05 Jan 2013 15:18:37 +0000 https://understandingexistencedotnet.wordpress.com/?p=1056 Continue reading ]]> Google is being evil. Anyone who hasn’t already created(or has deleted) a Google+ account, is now being forced into one by a ‘upgrade’ to their account. Now there are many reasons why you may not want a Google+ account. No body is a fan of forced upgrades. I am in no mood of another online social network. Google is primarily an advertisement company. I don’t think it’s a good idea to give all your info to a company whose primary source of income is via you personal information.  I have been a fan of Google products and services since the time it was underestimated to be just a “a one-trick pony” in the early 2000s..but since they dropped the motto ‘Don’t be Evil’ they have become kind of naughty..

So basically in an attempt to inflate the number of users on Google+, Google has severely reduced the functionality of YouTube till such time you give in and ‘upgrade’ to Google+. Thankfully there is way out.


YouTube users who aren’t interested in a forced upgrade to Google+ can do this:



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Microsoft’s Design Language http://understandingexistence.net/2012/12/29/microsofts-design-language/ http://understandingexistence.net/2012/12/29/microsofts-design-language/#comments Sat, 29 Dec 2012 00:48:22 +0000 https://understandingexistencedotnet.wordpress.com/?p=1019 Continue reading ]]> Microsoft’s new typography-based design language(internal codename Metro), originally for use in Windows Phone 7 is based upon the design principles of classic Swiss graphics design. A key design principle of Metro is better focus on the content of applications, relying more on typography and less on graphics (“content before chrome”). Early uses of the Metro principles began as early as Microsoft Encarta 95 and MSN 2.0, and later evolved into Windows Media Center and Zune. Later the principles of Metro were included in Windows Phone, Microsoft’s website, the Xbox 360 dashboard update, and Windows 8.


The evolution of Metro UI / Modern UI / Microsoft’s new Design Language:

The story goes back to the mid 1990’s. We can actually see the design philosophy evolve through Microsoft’s products. Early glimpses of this style could be seen in Windows Media Center for Windows XP Media Center Edition, which favoured text as the primary form of navigation. This interface carried over into later iterations of Media Center. In 2006, Zune refreshed its interface using these principles. Microsoft designers decided to redesign the interface and with more focus on clean typography and less on UI chrome. The Zune Desktop Client was also redesigned with an emphasis on typography and clean design that was different from the Zune’s previous Portable Media Center based UI. Flat colored “live tiles” were introduced into the design language during the early Windows Phone’s studies. Microsoft has begun integrating these elements of the design language into its other products, with direct influence being seen in Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows Phone 7.8, Windows Phone 8, Skype, Xbox dashboard, Office 2013, and all* of Microsoft’s websites (bing, MSN, Xbox, Store, Outlook, Windows Phone, Windows, Office  MSDN etc.)

Evolution Of Microsoft's Design Language 02

Quick History:

Before Windows Phone 7 was released in late 2010, Windows Mobile 6.5 looked like most other software interfaces. Most software interfaces basically looked the same as they used the exact same metaphors. If we trace the history of modern User Interface, it all begins with Vannevar Bush’s Memex machine. In a 1945 letter to the editor in The Atlantic Monthly, Bush described a machine built in to a desk, that would allow its owner to store, annotate, and link documents and media. The interface to the desk was two displays; one would display information, and the other was a surface for taking notes, annotations, or linking to other material. The machine would help humans organize larger collections of knowledge, and is regarded by some as one of the original blueprints for the modern web. At the very least, the Memex was an important inspiration for the first computer designs at SRI and Xerox PARC, which are the foundation for the PC’s we use and live with today. In 1973, the first graphical user interface was built at PARC, using the desktop as a metaphor. The UI introduced windows, icons, menus, file management, and tool palettes. Looking back at the first screenshots of this first GUI, the designs feel familiar even now. In 1974 PARC developed a What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get cut & paste interface, and in 1975 the demonstrated pop-up menus. The desktop concept was pushed quite a bit further by 1981 in the commercial Xerox Star PC interface, which was an important influence for the PC UI’s created at Microsoft, Apple, NeXT, and Sun Microsystems in the 80’s and 90’s.

Xerox Star UI


Fast forward years later to modern PC interfaces and you can see those same initial metaphors and design patterns have firmly cemented themselves. Icons – some of which represent objects from the real world, and some don’t – are rendered in increasingly greater detail. Media, like books, photos and music, are packaged and presented with outdated details, shading or textures to simulate the look and feel of real world artifacts. Apple’s skewmorphic design approach for most of its UI demonstrates this the best.  The first interfaces were built on a need to communicate what they were. They were like a desk, but better. They were completely new, so an approach of direct representation was appropriate. Today it’s not necessary, and yet, it’s the path that most software interfaces seem to continue to follow. We don’t need to make an eBook look like a book for people to understand how to use it. The book isn’t the cover and binding, it’s the images and the text that make the story. With an increasing amount of digital content, we don’t have a good metaphor to render anymore – just information, text and images. What do you make a UI look like when it’s just information?

mountain_lion_notes app


Metro enters the scene:

At some point Microsoft realized that it needed to dump Windows Mobile and start afresh with Windows Phone. When it was decided to reset the design path, the Windows Phone team didn’t look at the existing mobile or PC User Interfaces; instead took inspiration from the best works by the pioneers in the International Style. This even included the designs inspired by the NY Subway. This could be one of the reasons why the internal code name for the new design language was  Metro.

Metro inspired from subway

Enough History!

Here are the Metro Design Principles:

In words of Mike Kruzeniski [Former principal design lead (Windows Phone)], the following are the key Design Principles of Microsoft’s Design Language:

Clean, Light, Open and Fast

We took an approach that we call “Fierce Reduction” to remove any elements in the UI that we felt were unnecessary; both visual elements and feature bloat. It allows us to shine a focus on the primary tasks of the UI, and makes the UI feel smart, open, fast, and responsive.

Alive in Motion

The transitions between screens in a UI are as important the design of the screens themselves. Motion gives character to a UI, but also communicates the navigation system, which helps to improve usability.

Celebrate Typography

Our design inspiration is very typographic, and it felt like it was time for User Interfaces to be uncompromising about type as well. Type is information, type is beautiful.

Content, Not Chrome

It’s the content on the phone that people want, not the buttons. Reducing the visuals on the phone that aren’t content will help you create a more open UI, and it also promotes direct interaction with the content.

Authentically Digital

Finally, we believe in honesty in design. A user interface is created of pixels, so in Metro we try to avoid using the skeumorphic shading and glossiness used in some UI’s that try to mimic real world materials and objects.



“Panoramas are like Magazine Covers. They expose only a few top pieces of content.”


Panoramas are for content consumption. From both a visual and user experience point of view, the panoramas in Metro’s style are intuitive and allow a developer to attractively bundle up content.  The hint of content horizontally beyond the screen provokes a user to naturally navigate web stores, infographics, and so on without limiting itself into a narrow column or taking up screen real-estate with unnecessary arrow buttons.

To design Panoramas, think of them as full spreads of content, not as single Pages but as a whole large spread. For inspiration, look at well designed magazine covers.


“Pivots are data friendly. You have large lists of information to present to the user? Use Pivots, not Panoramas.”


Pivots are mostly for content consumption and in some cases for content input.Pivots are another UI interface that are essentially nicely animated tabs. But they allow a developer to provide a great deal of information and lists under headings, which can be easier to navigate through than a huge panorama.


“Pages are best for content input and content generation. ”

Pages are for one dimensional (one view) content consumption scenarios (whether lists or video, audio, images/photos…), great for content input and great for content generation.

Pivots and Panoramas are great for content consumption. Pages are best for content input and content generation.

Pages are the best for receiving input from users. Think of a calculator (multiple buttons), forms that users will fill out with information and other heavy input scenarios. Perhaps configuration or settings and other scenarios with a number of input controls like sliders, text boxes, checkboxes, radio buttons.

01 RunKeeper

Pages are great for content generation. Think of note taking apps, drawing or sketching, chat or communication apps and games as well.

03 FantasiaPainter

If you only need to present a set of data without multiple views use a Page. If you need multiple views, a Pivot might work much better, or a Page linking to other Pages.

02 PageListOneView

Pages are great for showing details of a previously selected item in a list or another object in a Panorama or Pivot.

04 Details_Small

Pages are like pawns in chess, there are many of them, they are usually not the star the show but, they are essential for an app to function.


When accessing an app, the user is presented with a “turnstile” animation similar to a page flipping over. This not only provides a good sense of change to the user, but also naturally leads into the horizontal scrolling motion of panoramas.

When designing navigation through content, the design team also encourages developers to keep elements a page somewhat fixed, while the rest of the content wipes away. This provides continuity of headings and other elements, while still giving the strong message of motion through the content.

A Suggestion, not a Requirement

All in all, Metro is a baseline for designing and developing apps. If it makes sense to use it, then following the pure metro principles can create an intuitive, seamless experience. That being said there are no requirements to follow these principles– and there are plenty of apps, like games, that should create their own experience.

Apps Demonstrating Microsoft’s Design Language:

Note: Credit for these apps/designs/mock ups go to the original creators.

Apps Demonstrating Microsoft’s Design Language 002 mykindofphonedotcom 003 windows-8-tablet-app-coffee-shop-manager-metro 004 windows-8-tablet-app-coffee-shop-manager-metro-style 005 windows-8-tablet-app-coffee-shop-manager-metro-style-ui 006 windows-8-tablet-app-coffee-shop-manager-metro-design 007 reddit-app-metro-style-design 008 gaming-metro-design-style-app 009 reddit-frontpage-metro-design-style-app 010 the-verge-metro-style-web-design-680x437 011 xbox-metro-style-web-design-680x434 012 live-tiles-start-windows-8-metro-style-app 013 metro-style-splash-screen 014 metro-style-app-behance 015 metro-grid-style-design 016 metro-style-design-app-grid 017 metro-ui-style-design-tablet 018 metro-style-app-project-view 019 metro-style-behance-app-details 020 metro-design-windows-8-app 021 windows-mobile-phone-behance-metro-style 022 behance-app-metro-style 023 behance-style-metro-design-app 024 layout-metro-design-ui 025 minimal-metro-design-style-app 026 metro-style-ui-behance-app 027 realistic-mockup-metro-style-ui 028 metro-style-wordpress-theme 029 metro-style-responsive-wordpress-theme 030 metro-style-windows-8-design 031 metro-style 032 metro-style-design-template 033 metro-style-website 034 metro-ui-design-template 035 patient-records-app-metro-design 036 tablet-microsoft-metro-style-design-app 037 medical-app-metro-design 038 gaana-metro-style-app-design-680x441 039 windows-8-tablet-metro-style-app 040 metro-style-music-app 041 metro-style-design-music-app 042 windows-8-metro-app-japanese-680x455 043 windows8-metro-style-app-japanese 044 japanese-social-network-metro-style-app 044 touch-metro-style-wordpress-theme 045 mixcloud-windows-8-concept-modern-metro-style 046 mixcloud-metro-style-modern-ui-hubpage 047 mixcloud-metro-design-app 047 mixcloud-metro-style 048 mixcloud-metro-app-details 049 windows-7-app-metro-style-ui 050 metro-style-windows-7-apps 051 metro-style-pinterest-app 052 pinterest-metro-style 053 pinterest-app-windows-phone-metro 054 metro-style-splash-screen-windows-phone 055 metro-style-splash-screen-windows-phone-cool 056 metro-style-splash-screen-windows-phone-girly 057 freethrow-dribbble-app-for-windows-phone 058 freethrow-dribbble-app-metro-style-ui 059 freethrow-dribbble-app-metro-style-design 060 kayak-app-metro-style-ux-ui 061 kayak-app-metro-style-ux-ui 062 sneak-peak-metro-wordpress-theme 063 metro-layouts-xbox 064 metro-layouts-surface 065 metro-layouts-windows-8-phone ]]>
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Converting MBR disk to GPT disk http://understandingexistence.net/2012/12/06/converting-mbr-disk-to-gpt-disk/ http://understandingexistence.net/2012/12/06/converting-mbr-disk-to-gpt-disk/#comments Thu, 06 Dec 2012 11:12:29 +0000 https://understandingexistencedotnet.wordpress.com/?p=975 Continue reading ]]> Note: This method of converting MBR to GPT is destructive, ie you will loose all data on the physical hard drive this is being done to.

Step 1) Boot to command prompt as admin

In order to convert your MBR disk to GPT, you first need to boot into the command prompt as admin. Simply running it from within Windows will not work for this. You need to boot to it. Use the following guide to boot to the command prompt as admin:




Step 2) Once in command prompt, do the following:

The following will convert disk 1 to GPT disk.

1. In the command prompt, type diskpart and press enter.

2. Type list disk and press enter.


3. Type select disk 1 and press enter.(If you have just 1 physical HDD attached the select disk 0)

4. Type convert gpt and press enter.


5. Type exit and press enter.


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Booting to DOS + Cheat sheet for common DOS commands http://understandingexistence.net/2012/11/27/booting-to-dos-cheat-sheet-for-common-dos-commands/ http://understandingexistence.net/2012/11/27/booting-to-dos-cheat-sheet-for-common-dos-commands/#comments Mon, 26 Nov 2012 23:57:56 +0000 https://understandingexistencedotnet.wordpress.com/?p=954 Continue reading ]]> Booting to DOS:

There are 3 possible scenarios here:

1.) Booting to command prompt when you have Windows 8 (or newer) installed:


2.) Booting to command prompt when you have Windows 7 (or earlier) installed:


 3.) Booting to DOS on a HDD without a functional OS:

1.) Download the latest version of rufus from its website. Plug in a USB flash drive. Run rufus as administrator.

2.) Make sure the following options are selected and finally press ‘start’.


3.) Reboot your computer, make the the USB drive as the first boot priority device in BIOS/UEFI. You will now boot to FreeDOS setup screen. Follow the simple instructions on screen.

Here’s a cheat sheet of common DOS commands:






APPEND [d:]path[;][d:]path[…]

APPEND [/X:on|off][/path:on|off] [/E]

Displays or sets the search path for data files. DOS will search the specified path(s) if the file is not found in the current path.


ASSIGN x=y […] /sta

Redirects disk drive requests to a different drive.


ATTRIB [d:][path]filename [/S]

ATTRIB [+R|-R] [+A|-A] [+S|-S] [+H|-H] [d:][path]filename [/S]

Sets or displays the read-only, archive, system, and hidden attributes of a file or directory.


BACKUP d:[path][filename] d:[/S][/M][/A][/F:(size)] [/P][/D:date] [/T:time] [/L:[path]filename]

Makes a backup copy of one or more files. (In DOS Version 6, this program is stored on the DOS supplemental disk.)


BREAK =on|off

Used from the DOS prompt or in a batch file or in the CONFIG.SYS file to set (or display) whether or not DOS should check for a Ctrl + Break key combination.


BUFFERS=(number),(read-ahead number)

Used in the CONFIG.SYS file to set the number of disk buffers (number) that will be available for use during data input. Also used to set a value for the number of sectors to be read in advance (read-ahead) during data input operations.


CALL [d:][path]batchfilename [options]

Calls another batch file and then returns to current batch file to continue.


CHCP (codepage)

Displays the current code page or changes the code page that DOS will use.


CHDIR (CD) [d:]path

CHDIR (CD)[..]

Displays working (current) directory and/or changes to a different directory.


CHKDSK [d:][path][filename] [/F][/V]

Checks a disk and provides a file and memory status report.


CHOICE [/C[:]keys] [/N][/S][/T[:]c,nn] [text]

Used to provide a prompt so that a user can make a choice while a batch program is running.

CLS (Clear Screen)


Clears (erases) the screen.


COMMAND [d:][path] [device] [/P][/E:(size)] [/MSG][/Y [/C (command)|/K (command)]

Starts a new version of the DOS command processor (the program that loads the DOS Internal programs).


COMP [d:][path][filename] [d:][path][filename] [/A][/C][/D][/L][/N:(number)]

Compares two groups of files to find information that does not match. (See FC command).


COPY [/Y|-Y] [/A][/B] [d:][path]filename [/A][/B] [d:][path][filename] [/V]


COPY [/Y|-Y][/A][/B] [d:][path]filename+[d:][path]filename[…][d:][path][filename] [/V]

Copies and appends files.


COUNTRY=country code,[code language=”page”][/code][,][d:][filename]

Used in the CONFIG.SYS file to tell DOS to use country-specific text conventions during processing.


CTTY (device)

Changes the standard I/O (Input/Output) device to an auxiliary device.


DATE mm-dd-yy

Displays and/or sets the system date.


DBLSPACE / automount=drives

DBLSPACE /chkdsk [/F] [d:]

DBLSPACE /compress d: [/newdrive=host:] [/reserve=size] [/F]

DBLSPACE /create d: [/newdrive=host:] [/reserve=size] [/size=size]

DBLSPACE /defragment [d:] ]/F]

DBLSPACE /delete d:

DBLSPACE /doubleguard=0|1

DBLSPACE /format d:

DBLSPACE [/info] [d:]


DBLSPACE /mount[=nnn] host: [/newdrive=d:]

DBLSPACE /ratio[=ratio] [d:] [/all]

DBLSPACE /size[=size] [/reserve=size] d:

DBLSPACE /uncompress d:

DBLSPACE /unmount [d:]

A program available with DOS 6.0 that allows you to compress information on a disk.


DEBUG [pathname] [parameters]

An MS-DOS utility used to test and edit programs.


DEFRAG [d:] [/F][/S[:]order] [/B][/skiphigh [/LCD|/BW|/GO] [/H]

DEFRAG [d:] [/V][/B][/skiphigh] [/LCD]|/BW|/GO] [/H]

Optimizes disk performance by reorganizing the files on the disk.


DEL (ERASE) [d:][path]filename [/P]

Deletes (erases) files from disk.



Deletes all files from previous versions of DOS after a 5.0 or 6.0 installation.


DELTREE [/Y] [d:]path [d:]path[…]

Deletes (erases) a directory including all files and subdirectories that are in it.


DEVICE=(driver name)

Used in the CONFIG.SYS file to tell DOS which device driver to load.


DEVICEHIGH=(driver name)

Like DEVICE, DEVICEHIGH is used in the CONFIG.SYS file to tell DOS which device driver software to use for devices; however, this option is used to install the device driver into the upper memory area.


DIR [d:][path][filename] [/A:(attributes)] [/O:(order)] [/B][/C][/CH][/L][/S][/P][/W]

Displays directory of files and directories stored on disk.


DISKCOMP [d:] [d:][/1][/8]

Compares the contents of two diskettes.


DISKCOPY [d:] [d:][/1][/V][/M]

Makes an exact copy of a diskette.



Used in the CONFIG.SYS file to specify the memory location for DOS. It is used to load DOS into the upper memory area and to specify whether or not the upper memory blocks will be used.


DOSKEY [reinstall] [/bufsize=size][/macros][/history][/insert|/overstrike] [macroname=[text]]

Loads the Doskey program into memory which can be used to recall DOS commands so that you can edit them.


DOSSHELL [/B] [/G:[resolution][n]]|[/T:[resolution][n]]

Initiates the graphic shell program using the specified screen resolution.


DRIVPARM= /D:(number) [/C] [/F:(form factor)] [/H:(number)] [/I][ /N][/S:(number)] [/T:(tracks)]

Used in the CONFIG.SYS file to set parameters for a disk drive.


ECHO on|off

ECHO (message)

Displays messages or turns on or off the display of commands in a batch file.


EDIT [d:][path]filename [/B][/G][/H][/NOHI]

Starts the MS-DOS editor, a text editor used to create and edit ASCII text files.


EMM386 [on|off|auto] [w=on|off]

Enables or disables EMM386 expanded-memory support on a computer with an 80386 or higher processor.


EXE2BIN [d:][path]filename [d:][path]filename

Converts .EXE (executable) files to binary format.



Exits a secondary command processor.


EXPAND [d:][path]filename [[d:][path]filename[ . . .]]

Expands a compressed file.


FASTHELP [command][command] /?

Displays a list of DOS commands with a brief explanation of each.


FASTOPEN d:[=n][/X]

Keeps track of the locations of files for fast access.


FC [/A][/C][/L][/Lb n][/N][/T][/W][number] [d:][path]filename [d:][path]filename

or (for binary comparisons)

FC [/B][/number] [d:][path]filename [d:][path]filename

Displays the differences between two files or sets of files.



Used in the CONFIG.SYS file to specify the number of file-control blocks for file sharing.


FDISK [/status]

Prepares a fixed disk to accept DOS files for storage.



Used in the CONFIG.Sys file to specify the maximum number of files that can be open at the same time.


FIND [/V][/C][/I][/N] Ã’stringÓ [d:][path]filename[…]

Finds and reports the location of a specific string of text characters in one or more files.


FOR %%(variable) IN (set) DO (command)

or (for interactive processing)

FOR %(variable) IN (set) DO (command)

Performs repeated execution of commands (for both batch processing and interactive processing).


FORMAT d:[/1][/4][/8][/F:(size)] [/N:(sectors)] [/T:(tracks)][/B|/S][/C][/V:(label)] [/Q][/U][/V]

Formats a disk to accept DOS files.


GOTO (label)

Causes unconditional branch to the specified label.


GRAFTABL [(code page)]

GRAFTABL [status]

Loads a table of character data into memory (for use with a color/graphics adapter).


GRAPHICS [printer type][profile] [/B][/R][/LCD][/PB:(id)] [/C][/F][/P(port)]

Provides a way to print contents of a graphics screen display.


HELP [command] [/B][/G][/H][/NOHI]

Displays information about a DOS command.


IF [NOT] EXIST filename (command) [parameters]

IF [NOT] (string1)==(string2) (command) [parameters]

IF [NOT] ERRORLEVEL (number) (command) [parameters]

Allows for conditional operations in batch processing.


INCLUDE= blockname

Used in the CONFIG.SYS file to allow you to use the commands from one CONFIG.SYS block within another.


INSTALL=[d: ][path]filename [parameters]

Used in the CONFIG.SYS file to load memory-resident programs into conventional memory.


INTERLINK [client[:]=[server][:]]

Connects two computers via parallel or serial ports so that the computers can share disks and printer ports.


INTERSVR [d:][…][/X=d:][…] [/LPT:[n|address]] [/COM:[n|address]][/baud:rate] [/B][/V]


Starts the Interlink server.


JOIN d: [d:path]

JOIN d: [/D]

Allows access to the directory structure and files of a drive through a directory on a different drive.


KEYB [xx][,][yyy][,][d:][path]filename [/E][/ID:(number)]

Loads a program that replaces the support program for U. S. keyboards.


LABEL [d:][volume label]

Creates or changes or deletes a volume label for a disk.


LASTDRIVE=(drive letter)

Used in the CONFIG.SYS file to set the maximum number of drives that can be accessed.


LOADFIX [d:][path]filename [parameters]

Ensures that a program is loaded above the first 64K of conventional memory, and runs the program.


LOADHIGH (LH) [d:][path]filename [parameters]

Loads memory resident application into reserved area of memory (between 640K-1M).


MEM [/program|/debug|/classify|/free|/module(name)] [/page]

Displays amount of installed and available memory, including extended, expanded, and upper memory.


MEMMAKER [/B][/batch][/session][/swap:d] [/T][/undo][/W:size1,size2]

Starts the MemMaker program, a program that lets you optimize your computer’s memory.



Used in the CONFIG.SYS file to set the colors that will be used by DOS to display text on the screen.


MENUDEFAULT=blockname, [timeout]

Used in the CONFIG.SYS file to set the startup configuration that will be used by DOS if no key is pressed within the specified timeout period.


MENUITEM=blockname, [menutext]

Used in the CONFIG.SYS file to create a start-up menu from which you can select a group of CONFIG.SYS commands to be processed upon reboot.


MIRROR [d:]path [d:] path […]

MIRROR [d1:][d2:][…] [/T(drive)(files)] [/partn][/U][/1]

Saves disk storage information that can be used to recover accidentally erased files.


MKDIR (MD) [d:]path

Creates a new subdirectory.



MODE LPT#[:][n][,][m][,][P][retry]

MODE [n],m[,T]

MODE (displaytype,linetotal)

MODE COMn[:]baud[,][parity][,][databits][,][stopbits][,][retry]

MODE LPT#[:]=COMn [retry]

MODE CON[RATE=(number)][DELAY=(number)]

MODE (device) CODEPAGE PREPARE=(codepage) [d:][path]filename

MODE (device) CODEPAGE PREPARE=(codepage list) [d:][path]filename

MODE (device) CODEPAGE SELECT=(codepage)



Sets mode of operation for devices or communications.


MORE < (filename or command)


Sends output to console, one screen at a time.


MOVE [/Y|/-Y] [d:][path]filename[,[d:][path]filename[…]] destination

Moves one or more files to the location you specify. Can also be used to rename directories.


MSAV [d:] [/S|/C][/R][/A][/L][/N][/P][/F][/video][/mouse]

MSAV /video

Scans your computer for known viruses.


MSBACKUP [setupfile] [/BW|/LCD|/MDA]

Used to backup or restore one or more files from one disk to another.


MSCDEX /D:driver [/D:driver2. . .] [/E][/K][/S][/V][/L:letter] [/M:number]

Used to gain access to CD-ROM drives (new with DOS Version 6).


MSD [/B][/I]

MSD [/I] [/F[d:][path]filename [/P[d:][path]filename [/S[d:][path]filename

Provides detailed technical information about your computer.


NLSFUNC [d:][path]filename

Used to load a file with country-specific information.



Used in the CONFIG.SYS file to specify the state of the NumLock key.



PATH [d:]path[;][d:]path[…]

Sets or displays directories that will be searched for programs not in the current directory.


PAUSE [comment]

Suspends execution of a batch file until a key is pressed.


POWER [adv:max|reg|min]|std|off]

Used to turn power management on and off, report the status of power management, and set levels of power conservation.


PRINT [/B:(buffersize)] [/D:(device)] [/M:(maxtick)] [/Q:(value] [/S:(timeslice)][/U:(busytick)] [/C][/P][/T] [d:][path][filename] […]

Queues and prints data files.


PROMPT [prompt text] [options]

Changes the DOS command prompt.


RECOVER [d:][path]filename


Resolves sector problems on a file or a disk. (Beginning with DOS Version 6, RECOVER is no longer available ).


REM [comment]

Used in batch files and in the CONFIG.SYS file to insert remarks (that will not be acted on).


RENAME (REN) [d:][path]filename [d:][path]filename

Changes the filename under which a file is stored.


REPLACE [d:][path]filename [d:][path] [/A][/P][/R][/S][/U][/W]

Replaces stored files with files of the same name from a different storage location.


RESTORE d: [d:][path]filename [/P][/S][/B:mm-dd-yy] [/A:mm-dd-yy][/E:hh:mm:ss] [/L:hh:mm:ss] [/M][/N][/D]

Restores to standard disk storage format files previously stored using the BACKUP command.


RMDIR (RD) [d:]path

Removes a subdirectory.


SCANDISK [d: [d: . . .]|/all][/checkonly|/autofix[/nosave]|/custom][/surface][/mono][/nosummay]

SCANDISK volume-name[/checkonly|/autofix[/nosave]|/custom][/mono][/nosummary]

SCANDISK /fragment [d:][path]filename

SCANDISK /undo [undo-d:][/mono]

Starts the Microsoft ScanDisk program which is a disk analysis and repair tool used to check a drive for errors and correct any problems that it finds.


SELECT [d:] [d:][path] [country code][keyboard code]

Formats a disk and installs country-specific information and keyboard codes (starting with DOS Version 6, this command is no longer available).


SET (string1)=(string2)

Inserts strings into the command environment. The set values can be used later by programs.


SETVER [d:]:path][filename (number)][/delete][/quiet]

Displays the version table and sets the version of DOS that is reported to programs.


SHARE [/F:space] [/L:locks]

Installs support for file sharing and file locking.


SHELL=[d:][path]filename [parameters]

Used in the CONFIG.SYS file to specify the command interpreter that DOS should use.



Increases number of replaceable parameters to more than the standard ten for use in batch files.


SORT [/R][/+n] < (filename)

SORT [/R][/+n] > (filename2)

Sorts input and sends it to the screen or to a file.



Used in the CONFIG.SYS file to set the number of stack frames and the size of each stack frame.


SUBMENU=blockname, [menutext]

Used in the CONFIG.SYS file to create a multilevel menu from which you can select start-up options.


SUBST d: d:path


Substitutes a virtual drive letter for a path designation.


SWITCHES= [/K][/F][/N][/W]

Used in the CONFIG.SYS file to configure DOS in a special way; for example, to tell DOS to emulate different hardware configurations.


SYS [source][/source] d:

Transfers the operating system files to another disk.


TIME hh:mm[:ss][.cc][A|P]

Displays current time setting of system clock and provides a way for you to reset the time.


TREE [d:][path] [/A][/F]

Displays directory paths and (optionally) files in each subdirectory.


TYPE [d:][path]filename

Displays the contents of a file.


UNDELETE [d:][path][filename] [/DT|/DS|/DOS]

UNDELETE [/list|/all|/purge[d:]|/status|/load|/U|/S[d:]|/Td:[-entries]]

Restores files deleted with the DELETE command.


UNFORMAT d: [/J][/L][/test][/partn][/P][/U]

Used to undo the effects of formatting a disk.



Displays the DOS version number.


VERIFY on|off

Turns on the verify mode; the program checks all copying operations to assure that files are copied correctly.


VOL [d:]

Displays a disk’s volume label.


VSAFE [/option[+|-]…] [/NE][/NX][Ax|/Cx] [/N][/D][/U]

VSAFE is a memory-resident program that continuously monitors your computer for viruses and displays a warning when it finds one.


XCOPY [d:][path]filename [d:][path][filename] [/A][/D:(date)] [/E][/M][/P][/S][/V][/W][Y-Y]

Copies directories, subdirectories, and files.



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Windows 8 activation error 0xc004F061 : This is an Upgrade only key http://understandingexistence.net/2012/11/20/windows-8-activation-error-0xc004f061-this-is-a-upgrade-only-key/ http://understandingexistence.net/2012/11/20/windows-8-activation-error-0xc004f061-this-is-a-upgrade-only-key/#comments Tue, 20 Nov 2012 10:22:52 +0000 https://understandingexistencedotnet.wordpress.com/?p=931 Continue reading ]]> I recently purchased Windows 8 Pro activation key for 40$. Now, this being a upgrade only license, it wont activate Windows 8 in the case of a clean install. As activation service in Windows 8 looks for any traces of the previous Microsoft OS on the system, when an upgrade only key is being used. In case of a clean install, it obviously fails to find any, hence it refuses to accept your key.

So the correct* way to successfully activate your Windows 8 with the upgrade key would be to first install/have Windows 7/Vista/XP on the computer and then insert your Windows 8 Pro DVD/USB and upgrade to Windows 8 Pro. I was installing Windows 8 on my new hard drive and didn’t have the time to install Windows 7 first. Here’s what I did to activate my Windows 8 with its genuine key in the case of a clean install.

*NOTE: Only follow these steps if you have a VALID Upgrade (I.e.: You legitimately own a licence for a previous version of Windows) Else, according to DRM, it would be considered a sort of piracy.

1. Do a clean install of Windows and during the installation, skip the step of entering the licence key, else simply enter your upgrade licence key.

Widows 8 setup

Once you’re in Windows, you’re going to have to do some tweaking to “trick” it into letting you activate Windows with the Upgrade key.

2. Once you’re at your desktop, run Command Prompt as Administrator (Go to the start screen, type ‘cmd‘. You should see Command prompt on the list. Right-click it and click “Run as Administrator”. Click “Yes” on the Security Prompt).

cmd as admin

3. At the command prompt, type: regedit and press Enter.

4. Once in Registry Editor, in the registry tree, navigate to this key:


5. In that folder, look for the item MediaBootInstall. Double-click it and change the value to 0


6. Close the Registry Editor. You should still have the Command Prompt open. Now, at the Command Prompt, type the following and press enter:
slmgr /rearm

Note: The slmgr tool is discussed in detail at the end of the post.

7. It should show something that tells you the command was successful.

8. Restart the computer. Go to the Start Screen, type ‘activate’, click on the settings tab, click on ‘Windows


9. Enter your Upgrade product key and it should activate successfully!

Note: Here is a list of commonly used options along with the general syntax of the Software Licensing Management Tool (slmgr.vbs).

[tabgroup][tab title=”smlgr syntax”]


slmgr [MachineName [Username Password]] [Option]


machinename The machine to administer, by default the current local machine.

username An administrator equivalent user account for the remote computer.

password The password for the user account on the remote computer.


/ato Activate Windows license and product key against Microsoft’s server.

/atp Confirmation_ID Activate Windows with user-provided Confirmation ID

/ckms Clear the name of KMS server used to default and port to default.

/cpky Clear product key from the registry (prevents disclosure attacks)

/dli Display the current license information with activation

status and partial product key.

/dlv Verbose, similar to -dli but with more information.

/dti Display Installation ID for offline activation

/ipk Key Enter a new product key supplied as xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx

/ilc License_file Install license

/rilc Re-install system license files

/rearm Reset the evaluation period/licensing status and activation state of the machine

/skms activationservername:port

Set the Volume Licensing KMS server and/or the port used for KMS activation

(where supported by your Windows edition)

/skhc Enable KMS host caching (default), this blocks the use of DNS priority and

weight after the initial discovery of a working KMS host.

If the system can no longer contact the working KMS host, discovery will be attempted again.

/ckhc Disable KMS host caching. This setting instructs the client to use DNS auto-discovery

each time it attempts KMS activation (recommended when using priority and weight)

/sai interval

Sets the interval in minutes for unactivated clients to attempt KMS connection.

The activation interval must be between 15 minutes and 30 days, although the default (2 hours)

is recommended.

The KMS client initially picks up this interval from the registry but switches to the KMS

setting after the first KMS response has been received.

/sri interval

Sets the renewal interval in minutes for activated clients to attempt KMS connection.

The renewal interval must be between 15 minutes and 30 days.

This option is set initially on both the KMS server and client sides.

The default is 10080 minutes (7 days).

/spri Set the KMS priority to normal (default).

/cpri Set the KMS priority to low.

Use this option to minimize contention from KMS in a co-hosted environment.

Note that this could lead to KMS starvation, depending on what other applications

or server roles are active. Use with care.

/sprt port

Sets the port on which the KMS host listens for client activation requests. The default TCP port is 1688.

/sdns Enable DNS publishing by the KMS host (default).

/cdns Disable DNS publishing by the KMS host.

/upk Uninstall current installed product key and return license status back to trial state.

/xpr Show the expiry date of current license (if not permanently activated)





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End of the line for Motorola Xoom–No android 4.2 update http://understandingexistence.net/2012/11/16/end-of-the-line-for-motorola-xoomno-android-4-2-update/ http://understandingexistence.net/2012/11/16/end-of-the-line-for-motorola-xoomno-android-4-2-update/#comments Fri, 16 Nov 2012 10:12:47 +0000 https://understandingexistencedotnet.wordpress.com/?p=921 Continue reading ]]> There is no support for 4.2 on Nexus S and Xoom. Those devices should continue using 4.1.2. I can’t comment about the future of Nexus S and Xoom, sorry.”-Jean-Baptiste Queru, AOSP lead, Google

Moto Xoom

A quick refresher course:

To recap, the XOOM was Motorola’s first tablet, and the world’s first tablet to run Google’s Honeycomb tablet-specific OS. Even 18 months after its introduction, it still packs some serious heat. As far as internals go, you get an NVIDIA Tegra 2 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of DDR2 RAM and 32GB internal storage. The entire alphabet of Wi-Fi protocols is present as well as Bluetooth 2.1. On the exterior, there’s a 10.1-inch 1280×800 capacitive display, 5MP rear-facing shooter (dual-LED, autofocus, 720p video) and a 2MP front-facing camera. A 3.5mm headset jack and an SD card slot which adds an optional extra 32GB of removable storage. At the bottom, a Micro USB 2.0 port as well as a mini HDMI out jack provides physical connectivity options. On the back you’ll find the power on/off/sleep button as well as two stereo speakers. The volume rockers appear on the left of the device.

No more official updates for Motorola Xoom from Google/Motorola anymore. This is sad, but what an incredible run the Xoom has had. The Wi-Fi version of Xoom was released in the US on 27th March 2011. I managed to get one from the US in April 2011. This was a GED (Google Experience Device) and this helped my decision in buying this over waiting another month for the upcoming competitor, with a revolutionary design, the Asus Transformer. Thank fully, I didn’t get the transformer. As I would have had to wait much longer or altogether miss some major Android updates.

Being a GED device, the Xoom was equivalent to a Nexus. Thus this device received more official updates than any phone/tablet I or my friends have owned. Here is a list of all the updates:

Android 3.0 Honeycomb:

The first ever device to ship with Google’s bold but highly unpolished android tablet OS – Honeycomb 3.0. Although it looked cool, and was designed from grounds up as a tablet OS, it had some performance issues. It would frequently hand, and have significant latency in animations. Other than performance issues, even the SD card slot on the device was non functional till a future update. Over all Android 3.0 seemed unfinished. As it it was rushed out to the market before it was ready.

Android 3.1 Honeycomb:

The 3.1 update was available in less than a month(10th May). It made a lot of performance improvements and made the SD card slot functional.

Android 3.2 Honeycomb:

The android 3.2 update brought in significant performance improvements, nearly eliminating all the lag. The device didn’t hang, force close anymore and seemed snappy*.

By snappy* I mean the ‘Android snappy’ which was no way near the new level of snappiness introduced by Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7(released Q4 2010). I managed to get a Windows Phone(HTC Mozart) in Jan 2011 and just couldn’t believe the significant difference in polish to the OS among my primary ultra portables; namely Xoom running Android and HTC Mozart running Windows Phone. Anyway android 3.2 surely did help.

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich:

The first ever device to get ICS along with Nexus S. Android 4.0 update rolled out in Jan 2012 with major updates to UI, completely new typeface (hello Roboto!) and more performance improvements.

Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich: With sight improvements bringing quicker screen rotation, a new setting to “immediately lock the screen,” improvements on the camera and a few other minor advancements; android 4.0.4 rolled in April 2012.

Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean:

With Google’s code name project Butter, the Jelly Bean update made the device very smooth and lag free. Operating at 60 fps during all OS animations. Google Now introduced a voice search capability comparable to Apple’s Siri by significantly improving Goole Voice Actions. Improved Text-to-Speech, better stock keyboard, expandable and actionable notifications, improved UI and response. Over all this was the best ever update Xoom received. 

Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean:

This brought some under the hood improvements to the Jelly Bean. I never actually found this update’s change log for Xoom. Released Oct 15th 2012.


So in 17 months of ownership, Xoom got 6 major updates and finally when the Android update train made a stop at Android 4.1.2, the Motorola XOOM Wi-Fi got off. All hope isn’t lost. Xoom being a GED device, which is equivalent to a Nexus for all intents, the custom ROM community around it is strong and further updates can be easily installed. Ill try making a guide every time, I manage to get a custom ROM installed. Anyway, its time for me to get a new tablet. May be a Windows 8 tablet, but everything depends upon what Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie brings to the table.


Motorola Xoom Jelly Bean Home screen

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