Programming: line numbers in Notepad

Tutoring programming, you might still use Notepad (I do). The tutor shares an observation.

Some text editors have the option to display line numbers, so you can see the exact line you’re on. Since compilers often mention problems in code by their line numbers, having them displayed is helpful.

I don’t know how to display line numbers in a column on Notepad, but it does have its own way of showing where you are:

  1. Across the top, click View. A dropdown will appear.
  2. If Status Bar is unchecked, check it.
  3. The Status Bar appears along the bottom. At bottom right, you’ll see something like Ln 44, Col 2, which would indicate your cursor is on Line 44, Column 2.
  4. You may need to uncheck Word Wrap, under Format, before Status Bar is available.



Windows: file permissions: what does Bypass Traverse Checking mean?

Researching file permissions can mean self-tutoring. The tutor relays the idea of Bypass Traverse Checking.

Bypass Traverse Checking (file permission)

This permission allows a user to access a specific file that is not protected, but which resides in a folder the user does not have clearance to examine.

Under the Bypass Traverse Checking permission, the user can navigate to that specific file by its full path designation, without the operating system checking the user’s clearance regarding the containing folder. However, without the necessary clearance, the user cannot simply enter the folder.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Navigating the file system from the terminal (aka Command Prompt): how to enter a two-or-more word directory or file name

The tutor shares a hint he noticed recently.

When I started with computers, I don’t believe you could have a folder name like this folder: as I recall, you couldn’t have a space in the name. (You could have an underscore as in this_folder).

I don’t know for sure, but I’d say Windows opened up the possibility of having a space in the name of a folder (or file). Nowadays, on people’s desktops, you commonly see folders with two-or-more word names, such as Road Trip Summer 2016 or Kitchen Reno. (I wonder if anyone else realizes what computer users seem to take for granted:)

On the desktop, two-word names don’t matter: you can just double-click the folder to open it. In the terminal, though, you need to type the folder (aka directory) name to enter it. Will the terminal know what you mean when you type a folder name that contains a space?

The terminal (aka, Command Prompt) in Windows 7 does understand a two-word name. For instance, if you want to enter the Kitchen Reno directory, just typing

cd Kitchen Reno

will work.

In the Linux terminal, from my experience, the command

cd Kitchen Reno

won’t work. However, you’ve got two options that will:

  1. cd “Kitchen Reno”
  2. cd Kitchen\ Reno


cd “Kitchen Reno”

works in both Windows 7 and Linux:)

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Comp Sci: command prompt testing (Windows 7): how to kill a runaway program

The tutor brings up a couple of “emergency procedures” for stopping a program.

I don’t write many big programs; rather, I’ll often write a page or so of code (with lots of white space) to test a utility from a given language (lately it’s been Java). Such a program is usually run from the command line.

Some programs end up “hanging”; therefore, I like to know how to stop a program before I run it. If the program really gets out of hand (and assuming it’s running from the command line), there are two ways I know to stop it:

  1. The key combination Ctrl+C
  2. From the Task Manager

The Task Manager is easily started by right-clicking the taskbar, then clicking Start Task Manager. There are several tabs to choose from; the Applications one will show the Command Prompt. If the program is running from there, just click it, then End Task at the bottom.

The two methods work equally well on my system:)


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Home computer use, technology: what is SoC?

The tutor shares a discovery he made while researching Windows 10.

In my June 26 post I began about the possibility of upgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 7. I’ve heard the deadline to do so for free is July 29; with Microsoft encouraging the switch, I continue to research it.

Lately I went to check the system requirements (you can see them here.) The Windows 7 computers I use easily passed; however, what piqued my curiosity was the phrase “or SoC.” I decided to look it up.

Apparently, SoC, in this context, means “system on chip.” Put simply, it means that not only the CPU, but all the other inner devices of the computer sit on the same “chip” (“wafer” might be easier to imagine).

SoC is different from the traditional way computers were designed. Before SoC, the CPU sat on its own chip; wires connected it to the graphics unit, USB controllers, a power management module, internet receivers, etc. The CPU constantly communicated with the other devices to “run” the computer as the user demanded.

In desktop computers, the traditional setup makes sense. Inside the box, there is lots of room. From the wall plug-in, there is lots of power available.

Compared with desktop computers, however, modern smart phones need miniaturization – and minimal power usage. SoC is today’s solution. It puts the CPU, the graphics unit, USB controllers, internet receivers, power management module, etc, on the same “chip”, so there’s no “space between”. At the same time, power usage is reduced, partly because the wiring between the internal devices is much less.

I looked up the ten best tablets of 2016 and found a list here. Then I looked up the CPU for each one; I believe they are all SoC.

I’ll be discussing more about computing devices from a home user’s perspective:)



Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Home Computer Use: Windows: Operating system install date

The tutor brings up a useful command for Windows.

The 2015-2016 academic year over, I’m looking into the Windows 10 upgrade. Today I began gathering information: For example, when was Windows 7 installed on this computer?

Searching the internet, a method was suggested: the user can open the Command Prompt (some might call it the terminal) from Start→All Programs→Accessories. Then, the command


will yield, among many other infos, a line Original Install Date. It reveals, for this computer, Dec 6, 2012, 11:30am.

I’ll be talking more about computer statistics and the Windows 10 upgrade in coming posts:)


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Windows 7: accessories: the calculator: standard deviation

The tutor brings up another great find from the Windows Start menu.

I’ve rediscovered the Windows 7 calculator. It can be opened by typing calc.exe into the search box (Start Menu), or else at the Command Prompt. It’s also available from Start→All Programs→Accessories.

If you want to calculate the standard deviation of a set of numbers, open the calculator, then click View and choose Statistics. After keying in each number, click Add. Then, to find the standard deviation that you prefer, click σn or σn-1.

To enter a negative number, it seems, you must key the number first, then the ± key. To clear all your entries, do a right click, then Clear dataset.

I find the Statistics Mode of the Windows 7 calculator very simple and convenient. I hope you’ll agree.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Home computer use: Computer security: Bitdefender re-install

Amid a busy life and Bitdefender’s solid reliability, it wins again.

Coincidentally, on this first day of Christmas break, my Bitdefender 2015 subscription finally expired. Back in my Dec 6 post, I told of plans to get out to check the computer security software options. While I did so briefly online, I never got to the stores. Bitdefender seems still to be at the top anyway, so I don’t feel remiss about sticking with it.

The package we have is Bitdefender Total Security. It comes with a license for 3 PCs, which is fortuitous because that’s how many Windows ones we have. Today I renewed Bitdefender on all three of them. For those curious, here’s the renewal process as I recall it:

  1. If you renew online, you get an email from Bitdefender. It includes your license key (which likely is the same one you had before, if you’re renewing) and links to the renewal downloads. One link is for Windows 7 and up, while the other is for XP and Vista.
  2. You copy the link (whichever you need), paste it to the address bar of your browser, then go there. In my experience (I use Google Chrome), the download starts immediately.
  3. I clicked on the downloaded file, then chose Open. When asked if I wanted to allow the program to run, I chose Yes.
  4. First, Bitdefender needs to uninstall the previous version. After allowing it to do so, you need to let your computer restart.
  5. Interesting: After the restart, on two of my computers (one Windows 7 and one XP), Bitdefender reappeared front and centre, prompting to start the new installation. However, on one of them, (the other Windows 7 one) it didn’t; I had to go back into the Downloads folder, reopen the program I’d downloaded from the link, and run it again. From then, it went fine.
  6. On one of the computers, I had to tell it to use the installation key detected onboard. For the other two, I just had to tell it I had one – or else just click Finish.
  7. With two of the computers, I had to login to Bitdefender to complete the install. However, with the other one (which was the same one for which I had to re-open the file after restarting), I wasn’t asked to.

Although re-installing Bitdefender is easy, it takes time. I spent around 15 minutes per PC.

In my experience, it’s unwise to do any computer-related task in a hurry:)


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Modern manufacturing: brandless products

The tutor asks: Is this a modern phenomenon?

During 2005-2010, I’d occasionally go to Future Shop just to see what was new. Ironically, I’d usually end up buying something “old” – aka, outdated – that was offered for cheap because it would soon be obsolete.

Back then, my kids were young. I hadn’t time to research new trends or products, so didn’t know when something sitting new on the shelf was already passé. Technology was improving so quickly, things that seemed hard for me to imagine were already on the bargain table. When I saw such a thing there that seemed useful to me, I bought it.

One such purchase was a 60gb (I know: you’re laughing) usb external hard drive. It’s not a pen drive; rather, it’s about 8″ by 5″ by 1″ and probably weighs over a pound. I’d estimate I bought it around 2009, long before a 64gb pen drive seemed a consideration. For the capacity, the drive seemed cheap; it might have been 50$. Thinking I might need the storage someday, I picked it up.

At home, I got the drive working and got familiar with it. It’s as simple to use as a pen drive anyway; not much to learn. I didn’t need it just then, so in a corner it went, and collected dust for about six years.

Recently I retrieved the drive in order to back up some files. I was immediately very pleased with its speed: since it’s formatted ntfs, moving stuff from Windows onto it is very convenient. I don’t know whether, when I got it, I formatted it ntfs, or it just came that way. Whichever the case, it works great for me.

I’d planned to write this post about what a great little rig that external hard drive is. Surprisingly, I can’t identify it to you; the drive has absolutely no brand markings on it anywhere. When, under Properties, I search its manufacturer, Windows classifies it as Standard disk drives. Years ago I threw out the product documentation. I have no way of identifying this external drive that sits on my desktop.

Before the new millennium, manufacturers all seemed to want us to know, without any doubt, who they where. Electronics manufacturers seemed especially proud. After all, the new products they made were often so impressive. The companies didn’t just make those products for profit; perhaps more importantly, they made them to impress us.

Nowadays, apparently, we have factories making quite good products anonymously. I wonder why they didn’t put a brand name on the drive. Possibly, the factory only produced it for a few months before switching to a different product. They likely knew the drive itself would be obsolete in a short time, with new technology soon to arrive. Why put your name on something that will just be “old” in a few months?

Whoever made the external drive, I’m happy with it. I trust that, whatever that factory is making now, it’s likely worth buying. I wonder how many workers who helped produce my drive, are still there today?

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Computer use: solving an email problem

The tutor reveals how he solved a problem with Windows Live Mail.

As the in-house computer troubleshooter, I received the following request from my wife today: “I can’t open .pdf attachments from within the email program, but I always could before. Now I have to copy them to the desktop and open them thence. Please fix it so they can be opened from within the email program like before.”

My wife rarely brings me a computer problem. We run Windows 7 with Bitdefender, and update our software regularly. However, the rare occasion I learn of a problem seems just as often after an update. I know that Windows did an update a few days back; perhaps an unanticipated change resulted.

The problem of not being able to open .pdf attachments from within the email program, so having to copy them to the desktop to open from there, is commonly reported on the Web. I looked at several solutions, none of which turned out to be the fix for my case.

After an hour’s digging around, I opened Adobe Reader XI from the Start menu. On the toolbar I clicked Help; the resulting dropdown menu includes the choice Repair Adobe Reader Installation. I clicked that, and was greeted with the question Do you really want to repair? Nervously I informed the program that, indeed, I did want to repair it. The repair began. After a couple of notices and progress bars, I was informed that, to complete the repair, I had to restart the computer. After doing so, the email attachments could once again be opened from within the email program.

That’s how I fixed the problem.

Good luck with your computer troubleshooting: )

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.