Spell check in Evernote

EvernoteI find Evernote a very useful tool, especially the ability to sync the notes taken in one device with every device you own. If you for example happen to get an idea when on the go, or just before sleep usually your mobile phone is easily accessible, so you can write the idea and save the note. Then when you return to your computer you can sync Evernote and access the note.

When using the mobile version of Evernote the device’s keyboard is responsible for the spell check, but on Microsoft Windows the application has an integrated spell check. Even though it is really useful the integrated spell check has a limited number of languages supported. Now if the language you use is included there is no problem. However you may want to keep notes in a different language that it is not included in the Evernote spell check, like Greek in my case.

It seems that Evernote uses MySpell’s dictionary files, so as long as the language dictionary exists for MySpell then you can also use it with Evernote. My own source for the dictionaries is the Debian Linux package site. Search for myspell-lang (for example el_GR for greek). After you finish downloading the folder you have to extract the contents. You should have an .aff, a .dic file and a read me file. You have to copy the files to the Evernote dictionary folder C:\Program Files (x86)\Evernote\Evernote\Dict on a 64bit version  and C:\Program Files\Evernote\Evernote\Dict on the x86 (32bit) version.

When you copy the files in the Dict folder you have to go to Evernote and enable the spell check for the language you just installed. To do so go to the Menu and select Tools and Options. Then go to the Language tab and find the Spelling group box. Then select the Select preferred languages radio button and along with the English or whichever language is checked, check the language you just installed. After clicking on the OK button you should have spell check on the language you just installed.

Use Resource files with Eclipse and wxWidgets

While developing with Eclipse  C++ CDT and wxWidgets & MinGW I run along an issue. In Windows wxWidgets requires an MS resource (.rc) file to be compiled along with the project. The file contains the location to the application icon along with an include to the wx resource file. One issue I came across when compiling without including the Resource file to the binary was the rendering of the toolbar. The application would render the toolbar in Windows 95 style.

The resource file content looks like the following:

aaaa ICON "wx/msw/std.ico"

#include "wx/msw/wx.rc"

In order to include the resource file in the binary you first have to use Windres (Windres should be in the PATH system variable as a part of the MinGW suite) through the command prompt:

windres --use-temp-file -isample.rc -osample_rc.o -Iincludepath

You have to replace includepath with the path to the wxWidgets header folder (parent of the wx folder which contains the msw folder).

After you successfully compile the resource file you have to go to Eclipse, right click on the project and open Properties. Once there go to C/C++ Build, and then choose Settings, then go to MinGW C++ linker, and select Miscellaneous. Then go to Other Objects and add the sample_rc.o file. After this you are done and the sample_rc.o should be part of the binary. If you kept the default wxWidgets Resource file, like above you should see the application icon being the default wxWidgets Icon. Also the toolbar should have the proper style, and not the Windows 95 one.

How to change The Windows 7 Logon Background

While I was bored playing around with StumbleUpon, I found an interesting article on groovyPost.com about how to change your logon background on windows 7. It’s rather interesting, because after a while I somehow did get bored of the default windows 7 Logon screen background, though I have to admit that I only see it a few times every few days when I reboot my PC, but still a change would actually be welcome.

In the beginning I decided to re-post the howto guide on my blog linking to the site, and also to the specific post I was re-posting (Links have been removed since the last edit). Apparently the owner of the site didn’t actually like my re-posting of his work so he send me a request to remove the re-posted content. Well I can not judge him for wanting the guides/howtos he made only posted on his site for whatever reason (the reason he gave me was about the time he spend in gathering/creating the howtos and guides and maintaining his website, well I can’t argue with that and I can understand his point on this, and that’s why usually when I re-post something I mention my source), that’s his right. So I complied with his request and completely removed the re-posted howto. Probably it is my fault for re-posting content without checking the site for any guidelines on this subject or sending a mail to ask if I can actually do something like this.

However the info provided in his guide are generally part of a lot of guides, some of them dating back to the period of the Release Candidate versions back in the spring/summer of 2009. On of the most popular guides is the one at withinwindows.com by Rafael. Since the steps are pretty simple I’ll present the info here in my own way based on the info supplied by the post linked above.

So to begin with:

You have to start the regedit application. For this you have to open the Start Menu, go to the search box and type “regedit”. Regedit.exe should appear on your results. Click on it to open the regedit.

You have to locate the:

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI\Background

key. There you have to check for a DWORD(32-bit) value with name OEMBackground. OEMBackground gets boolean values of 0 (disabled) and 1 (enabled).

Then you double click on the Key to change the value from 0 to 1.

According to the various guides there is a possibility that this value will be nonexistent, which means that you will have to create it.

The images are stored in %windir%\system32\oobe\info\backgrounds. Paste that to the address bar of the windows explorer and press enter to open the folder. In some systems this folder might not exist so you go to %windir%\system32\oobe\ create a new folder created info and inside that another one named backgrounds.

The image must be placed inside the %windir%\system32\oobe\info\backgrounds.The images file size can’t be larger than 256KB.

This is a list of the image names supported in the folder. It is sorted by width-to-height ratio (taken from withinwindows.com)

  • backgroundDefault.jpg
  • background768x1280.jpg  (0.6)
  • background900x1440.jpg  (0.625)
  • background960x1280.jpg  (0.75)
  • background1024x1280.jpg (0.8)
  • background1280x1024.jpg (1.25)
  • background1024x768.jpg  (1.33-)
  • background1280x960.jpg  (1.33-)
  • background1600x1200.jpg (1.33-)
  • background1440x900.jpg  (1.6)
  • background1920x1200.jpg (1.6)
  • background1280x768.jpg  (1.66-)
  • background1360x768.jpg  (1.770833-)

It seems according to that post that the backgroundDefault.jpg image is actually stretched to fit to the screen when a resolution/ratio specific isn’t found. So my best guess is that if you want a non stretched image better add one in your monitors resolution. I am sure it will actually look better that a stretched one.

I also found that another way to do this is through the Group Policy Editor. Though I am not really sure if it works with every Windows 7 or just with Ultimate.

So to change the logon screen background this way you have to go to the Start Menu and type Group Policy on the search box then click on Edit Group Policy.

After opening the editor navigate to Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> System -> Logon.

Then double click on Always use custom logon background and set it to enable, by default it is set to not configured.

After this part you can go up to the folder creation part (if the folders don’t exist) save the image in he folder with the proper name as mentioned above etc.

Both the ways mentioned in the above might actually be hard for the inexperienced people. However there is also another way, which is easier. You can achieve the same results with the use of a free application called Logon Changer For Windows 7 by tweaks.com.

This option is a nice solution for the non tech-savvy people, as it is really easy compared to the other solutions.

Enjoy! 🙂

Replacing Notepad with Notepad++ in Windows 7

For some time now I prefer the use of Notepad++ instead of the Windows default notepad, so lately I decided that I wanted to replace the default notepad with notepad++. With some searching on Google I found a way to do it. There is a link to the original article at the end of the post.

So according to the original article you have first to disable the Windows UAC. You can follow this guide to do it

Then you have to get Notepad++ from it’s official website: http://notepad-plus.sourceforge.net/ and install it.

The next step is to download the Notepad++ launcher which allows you to replace Notepad completely by Notepad++. Then you have to extract the zip’s contents in a new directory, and create a batch script with the following contents:

rem START BATCH COMMANDS
rem PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT USER ACCOUNT CONTROL (UAC) IS TURNED OFF AND PC HAS BEEN REBOOTED FIRST!
rem If you are using VISTA x32 version, then edit this file first by adding “rem ” in front of every line that contains the phrase “syswow64?. Then run the script again.
@echo off
PAUSE

takeown /f c:\windows\syswow64\notepad.exe
cacls c:\windows\syswow64\notepad.exe /G Administrators:F

takeown /f c:\windows\system32\notepad.exe
cacls c:\windows\system32\notepad.exe /G Administrators:F

takeown /f c:\windows\notepad.exe
cacls c:\windows\notepad.exe /G Administrators:F

copy c:\windows\syswow64\notepad.exe c:\windows\syswow64\notepad.exe.backup
copy c:\windows\system32\notepad.exe c:\windows\system32\notepad.exe.backup
copy c:\windows\notepad.exe c:\windows\notepad.exe.backup

copy notepad.exe c:\windows\syswow64\notepad.exe
copy notepad.exe c:\windows\system32\notepad.exe
copy notepad.exe c:\windows\notepad.exe
@echo on
rem END BATCH COMMANDS

Then you have to save the batch script and execute it. The script backups the original notepad just in case.

The source for this guide is the following article: Replace Notepad in Windows 7.  The original article was for replacing notepad with notepad2 but it can also work for notepad++ as described above.