VirtualBox

https://www.virtualbox.org/

VirtualBox is a cross-platform virtualization application. What does that mean? For one thing, it installs on your existing Intel or AMD-based computers, whether they are running Windows, Mac, Linux or Solaris operating systems. Secondly, it extends the capabilities of your existing computer so that it can run multiple operating systems (inside multiple virtual machines) at the same time. So, for example, you can run Windows and Linux on your Mac, run Windows Server 2008 on your Linux server, run Linux on your Windows PC, and so on, all alongside your existing applications. You can install and run as many virtual machines as you like — the only practical limits are disk space and memory.

VirtualBox is deceptively simple yet also very powerful. It can run everywhere from small embedded systems or desktop class machines all the way up to datacenter deployments and even Cloud environments.

The following screenshot shows you how VirtualBox, installed on a Mac computer, is running Windows 8 in a virtual machine window:

vm-vista-running

HDD to SSD for OS and Windows 7 Key Recovery VB Script

HDD to SSD

I recently purchased a 250GB Solid State Drive made by Crucial to replace my 150GB VelociRaptor Hard Disk Drive for my Operating System.   There are two routes I could think of to go about installing the OS on the SSD.

  1. Copy image from HDD to SSD
    • Pros:  Would allow a fairly seamless transition from one drive to another.  No need to migrate files to a third disk and then reload to the new SSD.
    • Cons: Any inefficiencies/growth Windows has created (software bloat), or any disorganization I have created will be carried over to the new SSD. Any corrupted files or disk sectors would be carried over to the new drive.
  2. Install fresh copy of OS on SSD
    • Pros: A fresh OS always runs better because it has not had time to bloat.
    • Cons: Time; I will have to migrated any files I want to keep to another drive, install Windows, install any applications/drivers I had previously, then migrate files back to main drive.

I decided to go with option 2; installing a fresh copy of Windows 7 to the new SSD.  One of the cons of doing this is having to move the files you want to keep to another drive and then back to the main OS.  This does not impact me because I already back up to google drive, a cloud service, and I also have a secondary 1TB disk drive where I save almost all files.  Also, my current installation of Windows 7 has bloated quite a bit.  I have done some work to remove the bloat but I like the idea of starting over with a new copy of windows.

Since I am reinstalling windows I will need the windows license key.  Microsoft likes to make it difficult to find your license key.  It is not located in any convenient place unless you have the original packaging or purchased a computer with the OS already installed and the sticker is still on the computer case which would contain the windows key.  They probably claim to make it hard to find so that the key can not be easily stolen.  However, if this were truly the case the key would not be placed on a sticker on the outside of many store bought cases.  I personally believe they make it difficult to find the key so that it is hard to keep track of and then many users will just buy a new copy or if they are buying a new computer opt with bundling the OS with the new computer.

One way to find your windows license key is to use a VB script to read it from your registry and then decode it.

Below is the script I used which I obtained from howtogeek.com.
Direct link to article: http://www.howtogeek.com/206329/how-to-find-your-lost-windows-or-office-product-keys/
This article has much more information on this process, and also other processes for recovering your windows key such as third party software.

Paste the code into a text document, save the file with a “.vbs” file extension, close, and then double click the new file to run it.  It should present you with a popup window that contains your windows key.

Set WshShell = CreateObject(“WScript.Shell”)
MsgBox ConvertToKey(WshShell.RegRead(“HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\DigitalProductId”))

Function ConvertToKey(Key)
Const KeyOffset = 52
i = 28
Chars = “BCDFGHJKMPQRTVWXY2346789”
Do
Cur = 0
x = 14
Do
Cur = Cur * 256
Cur = Key(x + KeyOffset) + Cur
Key(x + KeyOffset) = (Cur \ 24) And 255
Cur = Cur Mod 24
x = x -1
Loop While x >= 0
i = i -1
KeyOutput = Mid(Chars, Cur + 1, 1) & KeyOutput
If (((29 – i) Mod 6) = 0) And (i <> -1) Then
i = i -1
KeyOutput = “-” & KeyOutput
End If
Loop While i >= 0
ConvertToKey = KeyOutput
End Function

DIY Hi-Fi Phono Turntable w/ Magnetically Suspended Tonearm

DIY Hi-Fi Record Player

Project Source: http://diyaudioprojects.com/Phono/DIY-Turntable/

This DIY turntable project was completed by Nandor Szabo, a very  talented DIYer who is located in Hungary.  Parts were sourced from a Dual 701 direct drive turntable.  This projects shows for to reuse the sourced parts, create a base from wood, support feet, base suspension, electronic controls, and a magnetically suspended counterweight and tonearm.

Cafe Racer

I bought a 1979 Honda CX500c in 2014.  It was my first motorcycle and I really enjoyed riding and working on. Between having a child, buying a house, and keeping my significant other happy, I will not find time in the near future to continue this project.  So instead here are some pictures and a link to the forum I was posting on.

http://cx500forum.com/forum/cx-customization-mods-forum/21831-cx500c-rear-cowl-mock-up.html

Here’s the bike when I bought it:

cx500_old

Here is the bike in the summer of 2016:

cx500-now

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