Disabling Windows XP Ballon Tips

And it’s time for an aide-mémoire for a fact that seems to be disappearing into the ether.

Windows XP bubble tips can be disabled by:

  • Opening Regedit
  • Navigating to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
  • Creating a new String value of ‘EnableBubbleTips’.
  • Setting this value to ‘0’.
  • Restarting Windows.

Headless RDP for Fun and Profit

This solution has been checked on Windows 2019 fully patched as-of spring 2022. Other Windows variations may require tweaks. Those on *nix-based platforms looking to create a headless connection to a Windows host should skip the Windows related initial instructions.


Some applications are just not suited to running as a Windows Services – indeed some applications, such as those which require a full Windows desktop context, cannot be run as a plain Windows Service. One of the possible ways to get around this limitation is to run them under a fully scripted remote desktop instance – the remote user receiving a standard Windows Desktop experience with all the pros and cons this entails – however the default client available on Windows does not allow such a headless connect. Fortunately, newer releases of Windows – including Windows 2019 and Windows 10 – are able to run several versions of Linux as applications.

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Time Machine

Apple’s Time Machine is a neat little utility to automate onsite backups. However its machinations are, like so many of Apple’s products, completely opaque to the end user using the standard user interface and so troubleshooting can be rather difficult. Fortunately for us, this is one of those circumstances where Terminal commands can come to the rescue.

Our first magic spell is…

log show --predicate 'subsystem == "com.apple.TimeMachine"' --info

This will show logged message from the past and can be useful if you’re trying to troubleshoot an issue that’s already in progress. Run this command and macOS will display the last few weeks of Time Machine logs before exiting

The second magic spell is…

log stream --style syslog --predicate 'senderImagePath contains[cd] "TimeMachine"' --info

This command will run – and will remain running until you explicitly exit it – and will display any log messages that Time Machine writes out to the system log.

Prettier Blog Listings

The Jekyll’s introductory tutorial suggests using…

  {% for post in site.posts %}
      <a href="{{ post.url }}">{{ post.title }}</a>
  {% endfor %}

…as liquid code to display a programmatically generated, bullet-pointed list of blog posts titles each with a link to the post in question.

However, a more useful list of blog posts titles can be generated with a little extra effort.

The following code block will generate a bullet-pointed list of posts with a link to the post in question. Next to the post title it will add the canonical date of the post – formatted in a human friendly style – and, below, will append a generated excerpt from the post to tease any potential reader.

  {% for post in site.posts %}
      <a href="{{ post.url }}">{{ post.title }}</a>  ({{ post.date| date: "%B %d, %Y" }})
      {{ post.excerpt }}
  {% endfor %}

The end result is something like this:

  • Photography (January 30, 2019)
    As part of moving away from other people’s flaky, terms-terms-of-use changing sites (cough… Flickr!) I have started to add various image galleries to this site.