Forcing Windows 10 to update to version 1511 (build 10586) and solving the “A language pack isn’t available” problem

Four blue, square panes of glass in a white, wooden window frame on a bright yellow wall.

A Windows 10 Pro machine at work, that had been upgraded from Windows 8.1 Pro, was refusing the 2015 “November” update and also wouldn’t install the UK language pack. This greatly distressed the graphic designer since it swapped the ” and @ symbols around on his keyboard and stopped him from typing £ easily (thanks US input!). Continue reading “Forcing Windows 10 to update to version 1511 (build 10586) and solving the “A language pack isn’t available” problem”

Disable Windows 8.1 hot corners and charms bar

I just had a question of how to disable Windows 8.1 hot corners and the charms bar from a desktop user running multiple monitors. A quick bit of google-fu brought up the solution (

To save the user from themselves, I put this into a registry file that you can double click to import the settings into the registry. I also disable the top left and right hot corners for good measure as this user is in an entirely desktop environment and never uses any metro apps. Also, since this machine is sometimes used in a hot desk manner, I also disabled the Windows 8.1 “new user animation” which tends to take forever.

Here’s the details of the .reg file:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

; Get rid of mouse gestures for purely desktop machines.

; Disable the animations upon first login for new users.

Please note that you need admin access to import these settings into your registry. Furthermore, if you find yourself needing access to the Windows Charm Bar, you can still access it with the keyboard shortcut Win+C.

[download id=”190761729″]

Setting mixed Chinese/English in Adobe InDesign

Ever since they came out in CS4, I’ve been fascinated by GREP styles and the amazing things you can do with them.

The problem

One small part of what I do involves setting a mixed Chinese/English publication and I have been on the look out to find some way to use just one base paragraph style for both the English and the Chinese content. The problem is that a lot of Chinese fonts have absolutely horrible Latin characters, and so I need to be able to switch between two different fonts depending on whether the characters are English or Chinese.

GREP styles are at least on the way to making this happen for me. After creating a Character Style for the Chinese font, I then assign it to the standard English Paragraph Style as the following GREP Style which I found on the Adobe Forums ad then tweaked with some additional goodness:


That even handles some of the slightly more obscure “non-Chinese” characters that I’ve only ever come across in Chinese text such as Fullwidth Colons (:) and Fullwidth Commas (,)!

So what this actually does is prevents and of the dreaded crossed boxes.

Better smartphone battery life please

ZTE Blade battery drained to 22% in 7 hours on CM7 nightly

I used to think this is my own fault but really, I’m not that intensive a user on my phone. From the information provided below I’d say it’s more of a wifi hardware/software issue. I’m not complaining about Cyanogenmod specifically, as reading around it seems that a lot of smartphones (not just Android-based) suffer from battery life issues. CM7 is a massive step up on the ZTE Blade compared to Orange’s horrific 2.1-based stock ROM, especially once you replace the default CM7 launcher (ADW) with LauncherPro.
Continue reading “Better smartphone battery life please”

Divide by Zero with TeamViewer

I’m sure the developers at TeamViewer did this the very first time they had their software up and running, but hey, this is the most fun you can have with their software bar none 😉

Divide by Zero
Divide by Zero

Just to explain, I connected remotely to a machine of mine, then, from that machine a friend of mine. Finally, I remotely connected from my friend’s machine back to mine – wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

It’s not often I get time to do utterly pointless things any more, so I’ll treasure this for a while to come 🙂

P.S. if you are the family/neighbourhood geek, TeamViewer can be very handy when you actually need to show someone how to do something, or just outright fix something for them on their computer. VNC without the hassle.

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