Welcome to Mightor Industries, Inc. ™

Welcome to our little corner of the internet.  We’ve actually been around on and off for the last 10 years (Read about our history).  In that amount of time, there have been several versions of the site.  I believe this iteration is the best yet.

Mightor Industries is a site that is focused on all kinds of computer technology, both old and new. We cover a variety of topics, including computer support issues (either that we’ve encountered or that another user may have run into), the latest news in computer technology and issues related it, and commentary on different areas of IT and computer technology (because every once in awhile, you just have to vent).

The staff at MI (currently just Greg and I) are both very passionate about technology, having worked with it in detail for quite a few years (started in MS-DOS and worked our way forward).  Fortunately for both of us, not only is technology our hobby, but also our job.  Every day, we get all kinds of exposure to a wide variety of computing technology, as well as our fair share of issues that plague both IT experts and end users alike.  We’re not experts in every area of IT, but chances are, if we don’t know the answer, we’ll be able to point you in the right direction.  Our goal is to share our computing knowledge with you.  We know full well how it is to have an issue and spend hours and hours trying to find a solution (because let’s face it, as good as Google is, if the documentation isn’t out there, solving the problem can take a lot more time).  We want to provide you with good, detailed information and knowledge about the issues we’ve come across during our adventures (or misadventures) with these machines.

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A-PDF CHM to PDF Conversion

Forum Discussion - A-PDF CHM to PDF Conversion - 1 post(s)

A-PDF CHM to PDF – http://www.a-pdf.com/chm-to-pdf/

CHM – or Compiled Html Help – is a technology that I’m sure we’ve all come across at some point or another when reading through documentation for various software packages.  I seem to come across a CHM file at least once a week.  However, I find it particularly cumbersome when it comes to printing. When CHM content is rendered into print format, it really looks pretty bad.  Thats where this software comes in.

There are quite a few free utilities online that will allow you to do this already.  I really haven’t come across one yet that satisfies my own needs in that the format of the resulting PDF needs to be at least as clean as what is in the CHM. A-PDF CHM to PDF renders the CHM into a format that is pretty clean.  With the trial, they put a watermark at the very top of the first page only, which I thought was reasonably fair.  However, if you pay the $40 licensing fee, the watermark will disappear.

In addition to simply converting the CHM to a PDF, you also get some control over HOW the PDF is converted.  Page size, PDF security, watermarks (such as a custom logo), and page numbers are among some of the options you have control over. You also have the ability to run this utility from a command line, which could be useful for software companies who want to distribute their documentation in multiple formats.  I know in the company that I work for, we generate all of our documentation in CHM format.  This would actually be a cool option for us to also distribute the documentation in PDF format, very easily.

The actual conversion of a PDF seems to not take a lot of time.  However, I believe this to be a result of my system setup.  When the software runs after the installation, you are prompted with a request for placement of a temp directory to use during conversion.  My recommendation would be to point it to a fast disk, such as a SSD.  Might also keep an eye on disk growth, just in case a bug pops up.

The software appears to be a few years old (the Help documentation provided is dated 2011).  The only other downside that I really see, and this is certainly a matter of perspective, is that its very task centric.  This software only really accomplishes one particular task – converting CHM files to PDF.  If you deal with CHM on a regular basis, then this is your tool.  If you only need to convert one file, I might suggest either use the free tools or deal with the watermark.

11-14-2014 12-23-14 PM

Hiatus Update

Forum Discussion - Hiatus Update - 1 post(s)

As you can see, we haven’t posted much.  It doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon.  As a result, I have decided to disable registration to the site, as well as to locking the forum.  Sorry folks, we’re just not maintaining the site right now and with all the spam we’re getting hit with right now, I’m just not interested in plaguing the site any longer.

Thanks for understanding.  I’m sure we’ll be back.

Tech Talk: Windows 98

Forum Discussion - Tech Talk: Windows 98 - 1 post(s)

Windows 98?  Yes, I am going to be talking a little bit about this operating system of long past.  After all, MI’s statement is “the rants and ramblings on computer technology, old and new.”  Since Tim and I have been extremely busy, and unable to make any new posts on current technology, gadgets, or software, I decided to dig into the past and take a moment to write about my experiences with Win98.

Originally released on June 25, 1998, Windows 98 included several new enhancements over its predecessor, Windows 95.  The biggest improvements were more stability than Windows 95 (debatable back then) and better USB support (although I still remember people talking about how evil USB was going to be).  Overall, I did think it was a better OS than Win95, even though I did have my share of issues with it.

My first computer (an AMD K5 PR-133 with 32MB of RAM, which I bought in May of 1996) had DOS 6.22 and Windows 3.1 on it.  I was happy with that setup, and decided to skip over Windows 95 for home (I did get to use it a lot in the office at the high school where my mom used to work).  I remember when my dad brought home a copy of Windows 98 (on CD), and I spent that entire evening installing it.  It was cool using a new operating system, but I was very disappointed, as 15 minutes after installation complete, it BSoD’d on me, and corrupted all the data.

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Not Much Going On Here. . .

Nobody likes stale food, myself included.  I also don’t like stale websites, and unfortunately, that happened again here at MI.  I had planned to write something up on Windows 8, but I’ll leave that to Tim, as I just can’t stand even looking at that OS.

However, I have some plans for the site.  Either by the end of this month, or in early 2013, I will have my hands on some new(er) products that I would love to review, and give detail on my experience with them.  I’m excited and can’t wait to try it out.  Also, I have some stuff I want to post that deals with some of my past experiences on older technology.

So, start expecting some new articles by the beginning of the new year!

Windows 8: First Impressions

Forum Discussion - Windows 8: First Impressions - 4 post(s)

I finally decided it was time to install Windows 8.  Waiting until RTM was probably a good idea, just so I didn’t have to reinstall after GA.  There will be a more detailed article to come, but I wanted to list some first impressions.

  • I do NOT care for the Metro Interface.  I get it, but I am not crazy about it.  It is basically a replacement for the Start Menu, geared toward tablet use.  The only advantage I see for it is that now there will be a consistent interface between the PC and the mobile device (regardless of the platform).  This also allows Microsoft to get into the tablet market.  Once you figure out how the interface works, its not too bad.  The Start Menu was incredibly easy to use, but I also remember what it was like when they changed the interface in Windows 95 and how big of a change the addition of the Start Menu was.  Funny how that comes back around.
  • True to tablet and mobile form, Windows 8 tries to get you locked into using the system via some Microsoft account (Hotmail/Live/etc).  This is not terribly surprising and is set to get you to link a Microsoft account by default.  To create/use Windows accounts, you have to pay attention to the screens during the setup of the OS, as it isn’t exactly obvious.  There will definitely be more on this later, as the initial configuration of Windows 8 is rather interesting.
  • The addition of the ribbon bar in Explorer (now called File Explorer) is probably my favorite change so far.  Rather than navigating through a menu to turn on the ability to show file extensions and hidden files, there are now checkboxes that allow you to turn these options on.  Very easy.  Also the ability to cut, copy, delete and rename files/folders is now right in front of you.
  • The Task Manager now has a much cleaner interface that I really like.  It certainly looks much cleaner than it did in Windows 7.  I feel like even with the changes made to make Windows 7 pretty, the Task Manager just falls short.
  • Powering down/rebooting the system is much less obvious because of the Metro Interface (this is really a sub point to point 1 about the Metro Interface).  If you drag your mouse to the top right of the screen and select Settings, you can power the system down, as well as access the control panel and various other system parts.  I thought the addition of a two click shutdown (Start –> Shutdown) in Windows 7 was much better myself.
  • I also preferred the one click search, which was not a direct replacement for the run command of old, but it was pretty damn close.  The Windows Key + R still works for accessing the Run command though, as do many of the old keyboard shortcuts (so far I haven’t found one that doesn’t work).
  • One thing the Metro Interface can do is keep the “Desktop” cleaner of some of the clutter that is typical of some users.  Desktop icons are still created as usual, but the Start Screen will allow for some ease of access to applications without having to navigate through a clutter of icons/documents.
  • The boot loader changed again (and has since every version of Windows since XP).  So far, I think I like this version the best, as it is a more visual representation and gives you a few more options to change the wait time for booting into Windows, as well as selecting the default OS to boot into.
    • Note: This only applies to dual boot systems, which is how I am currently running.  Note here, if you haven’t partitioned your system to separate your data and OS, its probably a good idea to do so, just to save yourself some hassle of backing up and restoring data in the future (as part of a multi-boot strategy.  Multiple partitions does NOT replace a good backup strategy in the event of a disaster).

I’m sure there’s more to come.  I’ve only been using this a few hours and have managed to be semi productive as a result.  It’s still Windows, but it’s definitely a change from the last version.

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