Windows 7: How do you stop programs from automatically running when Windows Starts?

In this blog-post, we would see how you can stop programs from automatically running when windows start. We’ll see how you do that using MSConfig. Before we begin, let’s discuss why would you want to stop few programs from automatically running when windows starts? Well, programs consume memory and thus lowers overall system performance. So by switching unwanted (or infrequently used) programs – you are increasing system performance. So ready? here are the steps:

1) Start > type “msconfig.exe” > open msconfig.exe

2) In MSConfig.exe > switch to “startup” tab

3) Disable the programs by unchecking the check-box.

Note: Before Disabling, please verify what a program is. You do not want to disable programs like Microsoft Security Essentials or third part firewall. That would be bad!

4) So I unchecked check boxes for Google Toolbar, Skype and Spotify on my netbook – and so these programs would not run automatically when my net-book starts.

disable startup programs msconfig windows 7

5) When you’re done – Click OK > And You can choose to restart your computer – changes would be applied only after the restart.

That’s about it.

Note that here are other methods too like one’s listed here, research and use the method that suits you – But do NOT forget to switch off the unwanted programs from running automatically when windows starts.

Visualizing MapReduce Algorithm with WordCount Example:

In this blog-post, we would visualize how MapReduce Algorithms operates to perform a Word Count on a Text Input:

First of all, for all programmers out there, Here is the code (Javascript):

var map = function (key, value, context) {
    var words = value.split(/[^a-zA-Z]/);
    for (var i = 0; i < words.length; i++) {
        if (words[i] !== "") {
            context.write(words[i].toLowerCase(), 1);
            }
        }
};
var reduce = function (key, values, context) {
    var sum = 0;
    while (values.hasNext()) {
          sum += parseInt(values.next());
    }
    context.write(key, sum);
};

Courtesy: Microsoft Hadoop on Azure Samples

Now, let’s visualize this using an example.

Suppose the Text is “Hadoop on Azure sample Hadoop is on Windows Azure Hadoop is on Windows server” – Then this is how you can think of what happens to your input when it is processed first by Map function and then by Reduce function:

INPUT MAP REDUCE

Hadoop on Azure sample

Hadoop is on Windows Azure

Hadoop is on Windows server

Hadoop 1 Hadoop 3
On 1
Azure 1 on 3
Sample 1
Hadoop 1 Azure 2
Is 1
On 1 Sample 1
Windows 1
Azure 1 Is 2
Hadoop 1
Is 1 Windows 2
On 1
Windows 1 Server 1
Server 1

Conclusion:

In this blog post, we visualized how MapReduce Algorithm operates for a WordCount Example.

Let’s Install R & RStudio on Windows Machine!

I was recently searching for a way to do some text mining on Twitter Data. I was interested in a tool that has some “library” that helps to fetch twitter data & later, I wanted to create visualization like say word cloud, time series. etc. Turns out that “R” perfectly suited my needs because of libraries/packages such as TwitteR and ggplot2 - And so, I downloaded and installed R and RStudio on my windows machine. Here are the steps (I am using Windows Server 2008 R2 machine 64 bit):

1. Download R for Windows:

Install R for windows twitter analytics

2. After downloading it > Install it by leaving all options to default.

3. Download RStudio Desktop for windows:

install R studio for windows desktop

4. Install RStudio > leave all options to default.

5. Open RStudio > In the Bottom Right Pane, switch to Packages Tab > Click on Install Packages > In the packages box, type in ggplot2 and > click on Install.

ggplot2 package R Rstudio

5. Check that ggplot2 successfully unpacked and installed > Now similarly install the package: twitteR > make sure it is successfully unpacked and installed.

twitteR package R Rstudio windows analytics6. And I quickly created a chart of Twitter UserName vs Number of Tweets for #sqlpass:

we can do much mire but just wanted to show how you can do social media analytics with R!

Twitter Analytics with R Studio windows Bar Plot

Conclusion:

In this blog post, we saw a step by step process to download and install R and R studio on a windows machine.

 

Why would I not bother “REFRESHing” my Desktop ever again..

Out of the blue, a question popped in my head: “why do I click on refresh button when I am staring at my Desktop?” – I didn’t know the “Technical” reason and since curiosity got better off me – I read this, this and this and I learned that: It does nothing! Neah, it does something – it redraws the icons on desktop. What does it mean? Have you ever changed the view of the desktop and messed up the icons? I remember I have and If you “refresh” your desktop at that moment – it would redraw the icons on the desktop. other than this, it does nothing!

I just learned that and so I thought I would share that with you!

anyhow, I also wanted to see the “negative impact on performance” of “keeping the F5 (refresh) on hold while on Desktop”. See what It did to my machine:

Before:  10-25% CPU Usage

performance before refersh the desktop

With other things constant (Ceteris Paribus), I kept the F5 key (refresh) on Desktop on hold. Result? 50-65% CPU Usage. 

performance after refersh the desktop

Conclusion:

So unless I want to redraw the icons on my desktop, I would not bother refreshing my Desktop ever again..

 

Productivity Tip: Assign Keyboard Shortcut to open a program (in windows 7)

Keyboard shortcuts are a great way to save few precious seconds. In this blog-post – I’ll show you how to assign a keyboard shortcut to open a program.

Keyboard Shortcut to open a program is efficient way when you compare it to:

1) Searching for icons on the desktop:

not organized and messy desktop xp

Image Source: http://www.redplanner.co.uk/2011/10/23/how-content-digitisation-is-changing-consumer-self-expression/

2) Or opening the program via start menu:

finding a prgoram via start menu

Am I Right, here?

Alternatively, you can also consider “pinning” program shortcuts to taskbar. you can see that I have pinned few program shortcuts.

Now, let’s assign a keyboard shortcut to a program. And what program(s) to choose and not to choose is entirely up-to your need. for me, 4-5 shortcuts works best.

 

Here’s a step by step:

For the purpose of step by step, I am going to assign shortcut key to “snipping tool”

 

1) Choose the program

2) Go to program properties (you can do this by right clicking on program icon and selecting properties)

3) Switch to Shortcut Tab

4) Assign Keyboard shortcut in the Shortcut key

I chose ctrl + alt + s for snipping tool because “snipping tool” starts with S and that way it’s easier for me to remember the shortcut.

Note: you cannot assign something like ctrl + alt +del because those are default keyboard shortcuts for windows. For a complete list search “keyboard shortcut for windows”

snipping tool program shortcut key properties

5) click OK

And Test your shortcut.

 

And that’s about it!

Everyone time you save a second or two – you know who to Thank, don’t you ;)

 

[SSIS] unzip a file in SQL server Integration services (SSIS) package

An assignment I was working on recently required me to unzip a file in an SSIS package. I didn’t knew it – so I asked my mentor Rushabh Mehta sir about it and he was kind enough to email me a demo. Now based on the deemo, my next task was to input couple of configuration’s like location of zipped file and then i was good to go! And so i learned something new, and I just thought of documenting it.

Aim: To unzip a file in an SSIS package

SSIS Task used: I’ll be using the Execute process task to carry out the task.

Now, here is the configuration of the Execute process task.

Executable: C:\Program Files\WinRAR\WinRAR.exe

[complete path of the executable. I have used WinRar to unzip a file – you could any valid tool you wish]

Arguments: e voila.zip  -o+

[General format: e <filename> –o+]

WorkingDirectory: D:\blogpsot\

[Path of the working directory. The file will be unzipped at the same location. If you wish to unzip at different location, you could use something like:

e “D:\blogpost\voila.zip” “D:\blogpost2\” –o+

and leave the WorkingDirectory blank, Then in this case the file will be unzipped at D:\blogpost2\ ]

Now,  here is the screenshot of the configuration. Just in case:

image

So yeah, happy unzipping!

Related links:

Execute process task