Category: Home IT

Setting up my new laptop

So, I’ve bought a new laptop (MSI GPTS 6QF Leopard Pro). I was looking for a high-end mobile desktop machine which was good fmsi-gp72-2qe-leopard-pro-gaming-laptopor coding and also for graphics processing. Hence I bought a gaming laptop, guaranteed to be fast and powerful for the next few years.


The box says  plug and play, and after some initial settings like timezone and region you can pretty much do whatever you want. But I want to transform this gaming rig into a solid developer machine, so I still had some work to do.

The basics

System restore point: My system works fine now, but in the future, I might install some piece of software or a virus that destabilizes my work environment. Creating restore points gives you a fallback. You can then return to the situation before the last piece of corrupting software was installed.

Here’s how for windows 10. It was turned off on my new laptop, so I turned system protection on, and reserved around 11gigs for restore points.

Windows updates I found out that my new rig was created and installed about 100 days before I bought it. So that’s 100 days off windows updates that I’m missing.

How to: Settings -> Update & security -> Windows update

Only 7 update packages. I was expecting more, but I guess that the ‘cumulative update’ package conceals a lot of it. It sure took it’s time downloading them all.

For developers This enables more third party install options, more network features and more diagnostics…For Developers

How to: Settings -> Update & security -> For developers

Unhide file extensions and hidden files Go to ‘file explorer -> view’. and then check the two boxes on.

  • file name extensions
  • hidden items

UnInstalling bloatware

I changed my mind, lets start by uninstalling all the bloatware first.

First, I removed bloatware through the normal ‘uninstall a program’ application

  • Magix photo manager
  • Magix music makes silver
  • Magix content and soundpool
  • Nahimic 2
  • WinZip 17.5
  • Norton Security (I think Norton is good, but It was only meant to work for 60 days, after which I had to pay, so bye bye Norton )
  • Norton online backup
  • Cyberlink PowerDVD

I decided to keep the software from MSI itself, since it is written to alter the specific hardware I’m working on.

Next up, is the bloatware from microsoft itself. I have a laptop, not a tablet, so all the fullscreen Microsoft store apps just have to go. It’s a real nuissance that you can’t uninstall them through the normal way, instead, you have to go through a list of all your applications, right click and select uninstall

  • 3D-builder
  • Get Started
  • Candy crush soda saga (why??)
  • Get Skype
  • Microsoft solitaire collection
  • Microsoft Wi-Fi (this is not the important wifi utility, but rather something useless)
  • Music Maker Jam
  • Money
  • News
  • Skype Video
  • Sports
  • Telephone Assistent
  • Twitter
  • Sway

Most of the above will never be used and some of them are actually trying to get me to buy something. Anyhow, they’re all gone now, never to be seen again.

Installing software


Edge: already installed by windows. I will not use this for personnal use, but it’s very handy for testing new websites
Chrome: My personal favorite
Firefox: As good as Chrome, also on my system for testing
Developer Firefox: Has the best tools for debugging and stuf

Small utilities

Keepass: You should use a different password for every application or website which you use. Most people don’t do that, but if you do, then Keepass is an excellent way of storing all those passwords without having to remember them.

If you’ve used it on your previous pc like I did, then you need to copy the file with all your passwords, otherwise you’ll have an empty safe.

F.lux: Ever looked at your computer at night and felt you were staring directly at the sun? Yeah, me too! Well, F.lux fixes this by adjusting the color scheme of your display. When the sun is up, it looks the same, but when its dark outside, then it removes a lot of the blue tints from your vision. This improves the strained feel of your eyes. Oh, and for those that do graphic work, you can turn it off too, for when you need to evaluate your art in normal conditions

7-zip: It’s like winZip, but better.

Notepad++: is a notepad replacement with support for different coding languages. (colored keywords and so on…)

Fiddler: is a tool which looks and records your network traffic. thus allowing you to debug websites, do performance testing, and manipulate packages and so on. A must have for every web developer.

Virtuawin: Do you want a setup with 16 screens, but without the cost and effort of actually buying and installing them.

Greenshot: Make your ‘Print Screen’-button usefull.

Developer software

Gimp/Photoshop: This will satisfy all my grafic needs.

Visual Studio: .net coding and so on (+ Resharper addon)

WebStorm: front-end coding environment. It’s like notepad++ on steroids.


I like to make my own theme with pictures of my family. In the background settings, select a map with pictures that you like, and then set the time to around 30 minutes.

Personalize the start button, add you favorite programs, and remove everything irrelevant.

The last thing I need to do is copy all my important files from my old pc to my new laptop. Luckily, most of my stuff was already on an external drive or in the cloud.

How to block your own WIFI

I recently did a lot of construction work at my home to improve my living standards. I planned out everything in excruciating detail, unfortunately I didn’t thought about my wireless wifi. Which is now a lot worse than it was before. Read on if you want to know what I did wrong and how to avoid my mistakes.

Before I started working
  • My router was in the open (not in a closet)
  • My desk was one room above my rooter and there was only a wooden ceiling and an OSB floor in between.
After my fix-up job
  • My router was in a closet. And the closet panels were made of MDF
  • My desk was in a room which was further away from the router, and I added floor isolation and layer of parquet.

After this, I noticed a significant drop in my internet’s speed and responsiveness. Before, I could easily play an online game, but now I get dropped constantly because of my slow connection.

What did I do wrong.

First, the placement of the router. It was downstairs in the living room, and it was ugly. So I needed to place it in a closet. Which is like putting an extra wall in front of the signal. And worst of all, I made the closet out of MDF, which has a high wifi blocking factor.

Then, I thickened the floor with two extra layers. and the isolating one has reflective materials inside it. Which is very positive if you want to retain heat, but it also blocks wifi.

With the recent heatwave, I noted that at the warmest moment (more than 30C), my wifi was constantly dropping out, this could also be due to the reciever, but still.

Possible solutions to unblock wifi

Since the MDF closet is the biggest problem, I could tear it down and build a new one. Or I could somehow put the router outside the closet. (but my cables are too short)

I could also pull a cable from the router to my desk, this does involve drilling holes into my house, which is something I rather avoid if possible.

I could also set up a wifi repeater, to broadcast the wifi from a different location, since I cannot change my routers location. But the original signal would still pass the MDF wall and thus, it will not be optimal.

Another solution is a wifi powerline extender which sends the wifi through the powerline. It comes with two adapters, you connect one with a wire to the router. and you put the other one in the room where you need wife. It recieves internet through the powerline and then broadcasts it.

I just ordered this and will update this post with its effectiveness.


Convert Video files for playing on tv

Last week, I had a problem for wich I needed to convert video files. I don’t know much about encoding videofiles, but since I work with computers, I’m the designated guy to fix this (for free) and I’m supposed to know everything computer related.

Play a Video on tv from a harddrive, sure thing! what could possibly go wrong?

I wanted to play a movie from a USB harddrive on my TV. So, I connected the cable, turned on the tv and accessed the file. It started playing, but I didn’t hear any sound. I tried some other files and they all had the same problem. Great image, but no sound.

A fancy tv which can’t play audio from a .mp4 file. I couldn’t believe it. So, I did what I do best, fix the problem. First, I went to a pure audio file and played that. The music came out beautifully. I now knew that my tv can play sounds from my harddrive.

I then turned to the web for answers, and after a little research I found that my television was unable to play audio with high bitrates. The presented solution is to lower the audiobitrate: suggested was 128kb/sec. When I checked my files, it showed that they had a bitrate of 265kb/sec.

To do this, I need to convert video files to a different format and so I need a video converter program. I found a very good one. It’s good because it works, and it’s very good because it’s completely free.

Format Factory

Format Factory is a multifunctional converter that’s able to convert all types of video, audio and image files.

The install comes with some unwanted software, so be carefull before you click next.

FormatFactory - convert video files

How does it work
  1. Select to which filetype you want to convert. (So if you want .mp4 files, click on that)
  2. Next you’ll get a pop-up screen in which you can add files
  3. In the same pop-up screen you set the options and requirements of the new file (this is where you change the audio bitrate)
  4. click OK, and then click START

Your video files are now converting to the new filetype.

One word of caution: FormatFactory converts your files as fast as possible, this means it doesn’t throttle your cpu usage. Expect it to use 100% of your cpu when you do this. Every process uses 1 core. For example, my pc has 4 cores, so it’s converting 4 files at the same time.

Filenames on your tv

I like to give my files long describing names, so that it’s easy to see what they represent. This works on a computer where I can see the full name. Unfortunately, my tv only shows 10 characters per file, this had the consequence that I had to guess filenames based on the position they had on the tv-screen.

For Example: Let’s say you copied one of your cd onto you harddrive for personal use. All the filenames are like this: “VeryLongBandName_songname”.  On the computer, no problem. On the tv: “VeryLongBan…”

So, I renamed everything to fit the lenght of my pc. I removed the bandname, since I use it in the foldername and so on…