#Tools – Add ZoomIt to Windows 10 Start Menu #Windows10

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Hi !

Here it goes another post reminder, just for me. Every time I install a new Windows 10 instance, I need to search on how to add a .exe file as an application to the Windows Start Menu. So, I’ll use ZoomIt as the sample one and here are the steps.

Disclaimer: if you share your screen often, zoomit is a must have !

  • Right click on your ZoomIt executable file and create a shortcut on your desktop
  • Open the location [%AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs]
  • Move the shortcut you created on the Desktop to the previous location
  • Done!

Now you can search for ZoomIt on the Start Menu Programs:

start menu and zoomit

Happy coding!

Greetings

El Bruno

Resources

#Tools – Using an old #Android tablet as an additional monitor

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Hi !

Please don’t ask me why, however today I was in the need to have a 3rd monitor to my current setup.

And, somewhere during these days, I remember that someone commented about using an old iPad / Android tablet as an external monitor.

We don’t do Apple at home (again, don’t ask me why!), however I still have some old Android tablets, and I decided to try some of those apps.

Note: You know the feeling about installing Android apps, you never know what’s there.

So, after a couple of tests, I found a super cool and decent solution:

SpaceDesk (see references)

I won’t bother with detailed instructions;

  • Install the app on your PC, that will be the host.
  • Install the app on the Android tablet (client)
  • Both needs to be in the same network
  • and done !

Some settings to arrange the screen

And, in the Bottom left corner you may see a new screen

3 monitors

Awesome !

Happy coding!

Greetings

El Bruno

References

#Windows10 – Can’t remove a device ? Let’s try with “Show hidden devices”

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Hi !

Saturday off-topic post.

I’ve been a Windows user for a long time, and I consider myself smart enough to solve the most common issues. However, while I was installing a new Bluetooth 5.0 dongle in my brand new Windows 10 installation, I face an error:

I could not uninstall some devices. These devices where paired to my Windows 10 machine using an older Bluetooth 4.0 dongle.

And, even weirder, when I try to remove the device from the Control Panel, I got a cryptic message:

Can’t remove device.

No extra details, no details in the Event Viewer; just that simple message.

I was afraid that I will need to manually clean up entries in the Windows Registry, until I read that the non-used devices can also be accessed in the Device Manager. Just following these steps:

Press Windows key + X. and open Device Manager

device manager

Click on View // Hidden Devices.

show hidden devices

Search for desired device and click uninstall

uninstall a hidden device

And, that’s it ! 5 minutes later, I finally have all my devices connected using Bluetooth 5.0 and up and running in Windows 10 !

Windows 10 installed devices

Happy coding!

Greetings

El Bruno

#Anaconda – How to List and Remove Virtual Environments (get back some disk space!)

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Hi !

I already shared how to create Virtual Environments using Anaconda, and also how to create shortcuts to use them directly in Windows Terminal (see references). This task is easy an amazing, however, at some point you may want to clean your environment.

That’s an easy task. I’m currently using Anaconda version 4.8.3. You can check your version with the command

conda -V

To show your virtual environments, you must use the command

conda info --envs
anaconda display version and virtual environments
Anaconda PowerShell display conda version and virtual environments

Before deleting any of this, I checked them and … they use some space.

anaconda virtual environments disk size

As you can see in the previous image

  • drone02, disk size is 2GB
  • p38, disk size is 1.4 GB
  • telloOpenCV, disk size is 2.6 GB
  • tfenv, disk size is 1.76 GB

I didn’t even check the other virtual environments. Right now I’m only using 2 from the total of 6 on the list, so I’ll delete the non used ones.

To delete a virtual environment we must use the command

conda env remove --name ENVIRONMENT

And with a simple command like this, I can remove the unused ones

conda env remove --name drone02
conda env remove --name telloOpenCV
conda env remove --name tfenv

And, after this I get some space back to my disk!

Happy coding!

Greetings

El Bruno

References

#Personal – USB Hub with On/Off switch, one of the best ideas ever !

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Hi !

Every single day I have connected to my main PC at least 5 or more different USB devices. In example:

  • Logitech Brio WebCam
  • SENNHEISER SP 30 Speakerphone
  • USB BT and Wifi Dongle
  • and more…

And, depending on my current work, I also connect and disconnect extra devices. These days, I’m playing with Thermal Camera, so an extra camera, a Raspberry Pi and other devices are part of the pack.

Thermal detection as soon as a person is detected

So, several devices connected and, I also think about security. How a connected camera 24×7 may be an entry point for an attach. My Logitech Brio has a nice lid to cover the entry, but the old LifeCam is just a plain camera.

Microsoft LifeCam and Thermal Camera

And, these cameras also have microphones, so that’s another entry point that I can hardly connect. I mean, I can open my Device Manager settings and disable each device, however this is not an easy and pleasant task to do.

This is my device manager configuration at any time of the day for my Audio Devices, and I only need the selected 2.

Audio Devices in Windows 10
Audio Devices in Windows 10

I created a couple of PowerShell scripts to disable the extra devices, however these are not very reliable and in random times, I get an amazing Green Screen Of Death (Windows Insider version of BSOD)

windows 10 insider blue screen of the dead
Windows 10 Insider G Screen Of Dead

After doing some digging I found what is the best solution for my pain

An USB Hub with On/Off switchs for each entry

Usb hub for PC with also chargers

As you can see on the image, I have the USB with several connected devices to my PC (blue lights) and I’m also using one of the Power entries to power one Raspberry Pi (red lights).

USB Hub Ports

The USB hub also have an optional 12V/4A power adapter that can provide charging power up to 2.4A.

And, this is not an sponsored post, however I’m so happy to found a simple solution to enable / disable devices that I think it will make sense to share !

Happy coding!

Greetings

El Bruno

References

#Tools – AutoHotKey + Display Changer II to quickly change screen resolutions with a hot key

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Hi !

A couple of weeks ago, wrote a post where I explained how we can use Display Changer II to quickly change between monitor / screens configurations. Quoting myself:

I mainly share my landscape monitor, however my default resolution in this monitor is 2560×1080. So, every time I share my screen, I found myself in Windows 10 Display Settings, to change the monitor resolution to 1920 x 1080.

My self sometime ago.
Bruno Office

I have 2 BAT files to change between ShareScreen mode and WorkMode. And, chatting with Frank Boucher (@fboucheros), he mentioned an amazing app for Windows: AutoHotKey (see references).

You can do several tasks with AutoHotKey, however the hotkey / keybindings part is important:

Define hotkeys for the mouse and keyboard, remap keys or buttons and autocorrect-like replacements. Creating simple hotkeys has never been easier; you can do it in just a few lines or less!

AutoHotKey Key Bindings

I created a AutoHotKey file with the following content:

+!s::
run, %comspec% /c "d:\Program Files\dc2\ShareScreenMode.bat",,hide
return

+!w::
run, %comspec% /c "d:\Program Files\dc2\WorkMode.bat",,hide
return

This file, will hook up to the following keys combination

  • Shift + Alt + S, change resolutions for Share Screen
  • Shift + Alt + W, change resolutions for Default Work Screen

I may mention that I’m using the command

run, %comspec% /c "d:\Program Files\dc2\WorkMode.bat",,hide

to run the command without displaying any window. Another option is to run the following command, where you will see the command prompt for a couple of seconds.

RunWait "d:\Program Files\dc2\ShareScreenMode.bat"

And, my next step will be to hide the clock in the system tray when I’m in share screen mode. This is work in progress

; Simulate Press Windows Key
Send, {Ctrl down}{Escape down}
; type on the search
Send, turn system icons on or off
; hit return
Send, {Return}
; activate and wait for Settings windows
WinActivate, Settings 
WinWaitActive, Settings
; crappy sleep code
Sleep, 2000
; enable / disable the 1st item, time
SendInput, {Space}
; crappy sleep code 
Sleep, 2000

Happy coding!

Greetings

El Bruno

Resources

#Tools – Display Changer II, change your monitor configuration with 1 click

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Hi !

These remote working days, I’ve found myself sharing my screen several times a day. My desktop setup is standard with an UltraWide Landscape monitor and a “Normal” Portrait monitor.

home desktop with my 2 monitors

I mainly share my landscape monitor, however my default resolution in this monitor is 2560×1080. So, every time I share my screen, I found myself in Windows 10 Display Settings, to change the monitor resolution to 1920 x 1080.

windows 10 display settings

And, as you can imagine, this is not a super happy task.

During the last couple of days, I read a lot about people using StreamDeck (see references), to automate actions. Mostly for video productions, and to share videos in Twitch, YouTube, Mixer, etc. And this posts, I found an amazing tool:

Display Changer II

And the author really explains how and why this is a necessary tool:

Display Changer II changes your Windows display resolution, runs a program, then restores the original settings. This is useful for games and home-theater computers. I wrote Display Changer II because many programs run best under a particular resolution (e.g., 640×480 with 8-bit color depth or 1920×1080 with a 24 Hz refresh rate). I grew tired of manually changing the Windows display settings manually, so I wrote Display Changer II to do it automatically.
Display Changer II changes your Windows desktop width, height, color depth, refresh rate, and rotation temporarily or permanently (via a configuration file). Display Changer II can run another application in a specific display resolution and return to the previous resolution when the application finishes. It can change the resolution permanently and rearrange the monitors in a multiple-monitor setup. Display Changer II can also duplicate (clone) your monitors, extend the desktop to multiple monitors, configure only the primary PC screen, and configure only the secondary screen.
Display Changer II uses configuration files to specify display settings. It can create configuration files from existing settings, which eliminates the need for you to edit the files yourself. The configuration file specifies every setting for each monitor, including the very precise refresh rates needed for home-theater systems.

Following the instructions, I’ve created 2 configurations files: ShareScreenMode.xml and Default.xml. The command to create these files is

.\dc2.exe -create="ShareScreenMode.xml"

And I also created 2 bat files to run DCV2 with each specific the configuration. the bat content is:

.\dc2.exe -configure="ShareScreenMode.xml"

Ant, that’s it! I got my 2 files to quickly change my screen resolution with an amazing and free tool.

Important: The author have a commercial license for the tool, and also support donations. I’ll give it a try for a couple of weeks, and if it works, I’ll be happy to share some CAD with the author. I hope you can do the same.

Happy coding!

Greetings

El Bruno

Resources

#Windows10 – How to Install Connect app (yes, somehow is not part of my Windows 10 installation)

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Hi!

I’ve been using the Connect App for several years. It’s super useful when you need to share your Android screen to your Windows device, or any other device sharing screen scenario.

However, today I realized that I don’t have my Connect app installed in my Windows 10

no connect app

I don’t know why, maybe one of the Insider Builds remove the App, or any other crazy ideas. Moving on, I put my focus to figure out how to install this app. I really need it!

There is not much information about how to install this, but I found that I had the [Projecting to this PC] feature in Windows 10. Which was disabled for me.

windows 10 settings projecting to this pc

Now it’s time to add this, in the Optional Features section in Settings.

Browsing the optional features, I found [Wireless Display]. That should be the one:

windows 10 add wireless display feature to w10

Warning, after the install time, is also REBOOT time! Windows being Windows.

windows 10 installing wireless display

And, now I had the connect App up and running to rock some Hololens demos

windows 10 connect app as new app

Happy coding!

Greetings @ Toronto

El Bruno

References

#Tutorial – Record a #Zoom conversation with #Camtasia and produce an Audio output for your podcast !

Hi !

Some time ago I wrote a post about how to use Camtasia and Skype to record an audio conversation and later create an audio file for your podcast. Today we live in Zoom days, so it’s time to update this post to perform the same task using Zoom and Camtasia.

Disclaimer: Zoom, in their free mode, provides the feature to host and record your meetings. With a limit of 40 minutes of meeting duration and the audio quality is decent, not so good, but decent. This post, is an option if you want to have more control over this.

The main premise to record this is

  • We will record the local microphone in one channel
  • We will record the input audio for the meeting in another channel

I use a Bose NC 700 connected via cable to my computer for the incoming audio, and a Jabra Puck for the microphone. (see references)

Disclaimer 2: I know, there are much better microphones. I even got a Yeti one, but, the Jabra have an amazing and quick mute button. That’s why I use it.

Zoom Settings

Let’s open Zoom and update some of the settings.

In Zoom settings, I have the following settings

  • Computer Audio goes out by monitor. And I have my headset connected there.
  • Incoming audio, aka microphone, is set to the Jabra Puck.
Zoom audio settings

And that’s it for Zoom, now it’s time to check Camtasia Settings.

Camtasia Recorder

Camtasia Recorder

Once we launch Camtasia Recorder, we need to change the following settings

  • Audio device: The same Microphone device you defined in Zoom. The Jabra Puck.
  • Check [Record system audio]. This will record the output of the audio in a different track, and this output will be the voice of the other participants in the Zoom Meeting
camtasia audio settings

You can also make this quick selection directly from the Camtasia Recorder interface. Remember CHECK THE [Record System Audio] OPTION

camtasia audio recording options quick

So now you can start the recording and have some fun!

Audio Output in Camtasia

Once you finish your recording, you’ll be prompted to save this recording. And also to edit the recording using Camtasia Studio. Once you drag the recorded file to the track section you will see both recordings.

  • One track for your voice
  • One track for the Zoom meeting

Camtasia studio audio options are good enough to make some good audio improvements. If you right click on one of the tracks you can select the [Edit audio] option and

  • Enable volume leveling
  • Enable noise removal
  • Mix to mono

You can also [Add audio point] in one track to manage the volume in the track. In example: You can add a background music in a new track, and volume down the music using audio points, once the track for the Zoom Meeting is added into the mix.

image

Finally, once you are happy with your project, you can create an audio file. To do this, you must select the option [Share // Local File] and select the location for your M4A file.

And that’s it! Now you can record your Zoom conversations using Camtasia.

Happy coding!

Greetings

El Bruno

References