This is a weblog where I write technical stuff, most of which is about computers.
Please notice that all contents within this site are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless stated otherwise. unless stated otherwise.
Making ACE2 to work on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
ACE2 is (or was) a software package for contrast transfer function (CTF) estimation and correction. It was written in an early version of objective-c and linked to several libraries of very old versions. As such, on a modern Linux system, such as Ubuntu, you have to do some extra work to get it working after downloading and extracting the ACE2 package.
Insert in-line citations temporarily without superscript using EndNote
When writing scientific manuscripts, we typically insert citation marks following a specific journal guideline. For instance, many journals use a superscript number:
Configuring Veeam Backup --Preparing the Windows Client
Environment: Veeam server installed on a Windows Server (VS), a Windows 10 Client (C) is set to be backed up. Both are in the same domain controlled by a DC.
Time Machine with Windows Server? --Setup An Ubuntu Server with Hyper-V
There are tons of network backup solutions available for Windows and Linux. However, as Apple likes to make their own wheel so much, Time Machine is officially supported only by Apple’s own hardware and a few commercial NAS providers.
Migrated to GitHub Pages, Goodbye Google Sites
As Google Sites is winding down its classic/legacy service in 2021, I finally migrated this website from there to the GitHub Pages platform. This decision is mainly because (1) the new Google Sites is based on a poorly customizable system that offers too few functionalities, and (2) all contents will be hosted on Google Drive, which might cause accessibility problems in certain countries.
Blog Archive (Migrated from Google Sites)
Force updating graphics driver to resolve "driver stopped responding"
My current ThinkPad laptop is a T440p equipped with a NVidia graphics card. The graphics driver to this system is an OEM-customized one because of the NVidia Optimus technology  that enables switching between the integrated intel graphics (inside the CPU) and the dedicated graphics card.
Integration of Office 2013 and OneDrive in Windows 8.1
When you save files to OneDrive in MS Office 2013 without the OneDrive desktop app, Office will open the server destination for you rather than the local synced folder. That means your document would be uploaded by Office to your OneDrive directly, and if you want to see it again on your computer, you must download again! The OneDrive desktop app fixed this problem. However, when you go to OneDrive’s website seeking for a solution for Windows 8.1, you will be notified that
Virtual Store location for programs saving files without the administrator privilege
There are many locations that programs without the administrative privilege cannot alter. For example, the “Program Files” folder and its subfolders. Such feature has been introduced as part of the User Account Control (UAC) since Windows Vista to prevent unauthorized changes of critical files. However there are many old programs in the pre-UAC era which save configurations and other stuff in the root path of the program or at the root of the disk (like
C:\). If these programs are installed in the “Program Files” folder in newer systems, it can lead to a problem when they are not running with administrator privilege.
Force upgrade to Office 2016 apps when using Office 365 Education/University/etc
Now that students and faculty members in major US universities and colleges have got MS Office 365 Education subscription, many of you may found that you are still getting the “out-dated” Office 2013 apps rather than the newest Office 2016 suite. The reason is that by default, the update branch for the educational subscriptions is a slower and more stable one called “Current Branch for Business”.
Latex Error: unknown graphics extension .png
pdfLaTeX supports using PNG files when using graphicx package. But today I encountered an error that one of my PNG graph “had an unknown graphics extension” compiling with pdfLaTeX.
An alternative cause of VPN Error 809 in Windows (8.1)
I have not been using the integrated VPN interface in Windows for quite a long time. These days I tried to configure a L2TP VPN connection on Windows 8.1 as I did before, however I kept receiving Error 809 from time to time on my computer. On my phone, the connection goes pretty well, so it must be a configuration problem with my PC system.
- Cisco AnyConnect may fail to connect when Internet Connection Sharing is enabled
Compile pidgin-lwqq in Fedora 19 x86_64
lwqq is a library based on webqq protocol which provides a chance for third-party clients to communicate with Tencent QQ. pidgin-lwqq (https://github.com/xiehuc/pidgin-lwqq) is a forked library for pidgin.
Tex Live 2014 released: a few issues concerning availability
Tex Live 2014 has been released by TUG on https://www.tug.org/texlive/ on 14 June 2014. Packages and the DVD installation image are only available on TUG by the time I wrote this post.
Compile 2.6.32.x kernel under ubuntu 10.04 LTS
I have a very very old laptop (Thinkpad i series 1300) which was produced around the years 1999-2000. Maybe I will mention it in many later posts because I spend quite a lot of time playing with this old machine.
Porteus: a highly modular portable Linux environment
Portable Linux is very useful when you want to carry a handy operating environment as well as your private data and settings along with you. There have been already some Linux distributions which focus on the portable mode, i.e. LiveCD/LiveDVD/LiveUSB. I have been using puppy Linux and one of its Chinese variant (called veket) on my USB stick for some years. They use squashfs (sfs) to store the file system. However, once compiled the sfs cannot be easily revised (or use the squashfs-tools to unpack & repack it). Puppy can “mount” additional sfs files to add software packages, whereas the main sfs file (usually contains everything from the kernel to the web browser) remains immutable unless there is a major upgrade. Also, you receive the distribution as a whole. If you want change something, for instance a different web browser, all your changes can only be saved into another file which must be loaded every time you enter the system and be written every time you leave. The whole system must also be completely loaded to RAM when boots up. These bring unnecessary time wastage in daily use.
Solving Wi-Fi connection failure “Can't connect to this network” on Windows
Today I met a very strange scenario with my computer running Windows Server with a wireless card connected to the network. The connection suddenly dropped and the system refused to connect to the router again. It kept saying “Can’t connect to this network” without explicit error message. I tried to reset adapter and IP settings but neither worked.
A revised Endnote Style for Angewandte Chemie, and how to revise it
Many people use Endnote to manage citations and references in their manuscripts, and we rely on the Style files in order to generate them. Angewandte Chemie and associated journals from Wiley share an Endnote Style according to the Author Guidelines, which is linked to the download site at Endnote. This file has also been included in your Endnote copy released later than Dec 2009. However, this file seems to have an error on reference style.
Sync Multiple Calendars of Google Calendar to Phones
There is a long history of complaint that users of Google Calendar don’t get all the calendars synced to their mobile devices. Actually, there is a setting to select which calendars to sync, although it defaults only your main calendar and few others, and it is very difficult to find either on PC or on phone.
【This post is for Chinese TeX users.】
Why sometimes proxy setting does not work in Internet Explorer in Windows?
Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) uses the “Internet Options” settings embedded in Windows. Many people would access to the proxy setting everyday with their own needs, e.g., get access to the worldwide web from their enterprise networks. I have seen many people complaining that sometimes proxy setting does not work properly in IE, which means that all the internet activities in IE goes directly through their network despite of proxy. Why does this happen?
Changing synced library path in EndNote after you moved/renamed your main library
Sometimes you may need to move your main EndNote library to a different location or just decided to give it a fancier name at some point. However, after doing so, the EndNote software stops syncing that library. If you check with the preferences, you will find that the path to the synced library is still the old one and you can not edit it.
Step-by-step: Upgrading Nokia Lumia 1020 to Windows 10 Mobile Anniversary (build 14393)
Only limited Windows Phones are eligible to be upgraded to the latest Windows 10 Mobile release. The second generation Lumia (x2x series) are unfortunately no longer supported by M$ to run Windows 10. I recently upgraded my own Lumia 1020 to the latest stable release of Windows 10 Mobile (build 14393) following the posts by ssmb212 (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=68222283&postcount=3) and Stealing_heart (http://forum.xda-developers.com/windows-10/windows-10-mobile/installing-windows-10-mobile-tech-t3431454). I would like to share my experience step by step here.
How to fix the displaced AF boxes in the viewfinder in a Canon EOS DSLR
In preparation of the total solar eclipse that just happened in August, I bought a EOS 500D from eBay. Everything was in excellent conditions except that I always saw a defocused view from the viewfinder by eyes, although the images were at focus. What is more, the boxes and circles around the AF points are slightly off from where they are supposed to be. The image below shows what I saw through the viewfinder. The centers of all the boxes are slightly above the corresponding AF points. A horizontal line can be also seen at the bottom of the view.
Windows: Sound in a web browser not played through the default device
When you have multiple playback devices, the Windows system lets you to choose which one is the default. Usually, sounds from most programs will be played on that device if there is no specific customized settings in these programs. However, sometimes you may notice that when you tries to listen to streaming music/video from your web browser, the sound is directed to another device other than the default one set by Windows.
Error when installing GSAS-II: matplotlib cannot import name cbook
GSAS-II is a fantastic crystallography package developed by the ANL written in python: https://subversion.xray.aps.anl.gov/trac/pyGSAS
Binary PAL Palette (Colormap) Files for OriginLab Origin(Pro)
Recent versions of Origin has shipped with a number of palettes that are significantly better than the previous version which essentially uses a default Windows color scheme. However, many “more scientific” and visually more pleasant schemes are not available in Origin because the latter uses a binary PAL file format. Thanks to Peter Karpov (http://inversed.ru/Blog_2.htm) a collection of reasonable colormaps are available in the CSV format, including several improved ones with methods described in his blog post. Here I converted all these colormaps into the binary PAL file format which can be directly imported into Origin and be used. The recommended way is to copy all .pal files into your <User Files Folder>\Palettes\ folder. More information on Origin PAL can be found at https://www.originlab.com/doc/Origin-Help/CustomizeOrigin-NewColorPal.
Enable Windows BitLocker on the System Drive in VMware Player with a Virtual Key Storage Drive
The VMware Player which is free for non-commercial use does not support the virtual Trusted Platform Module (vTPM), and thus does not officially support BitLocker on the system drive in a Windows guest OS. Here a workaround is provided to enable BitLocker with minimal disturbance to normal user interaction by creating a virtual USB disk for boot-time authentication.