Category: Web tips and tricks

Download Windows Movie Maker–Essentials 2012

Windows Movie Maker was one of the easiest to use and most stable movie makers out there.  The last version was included in Windows Essentials 2012 and has been discontinued, and went out of support in Jan. 2017.  I’ve looked for alternatives in Windows Store and other places, and frankly all of the Windows 10 movie maker free or low cost software options SUCK.     As mentioned, Microsoft no longer supports the software and all links to download Windows Essentials 2012 have been discontinued.

After some search, I was able to find some ‘web installs’ of the program, only to be disappointed that the download catalogs online are discontinued too and the installs would fail.

Luckily,  I did find a version out on the inter-webs that is a full version and requires no downloading during the install.  It’s an ‘all-in-one’ download, just like they were when I was just a hatch-ling.

The risk of this software going completely ‘extinct’ is high,  so I uploaded the install file and you can download it below!  Works just fine in Windows 10 on my computer. At this point I have no intention of ‘evolving’ to a more modern movie maker, I like it just the way it is.  So I will continue to make low cost, cheesy graduation slideshows, wedding slideshows and other cretaceous creations.

Download the Windows Movie Maker software here!


At the time of this posting, I ran the file against and everything looked great.  Below is the SHA-256….you can never be too careful.

SHA-256 072424c82f942f2b43b68b9154e1f3e0c61b7ee39a08372048ed34e09bd2554a



Dynamic Lock Windows 10 using Bluetooth

Security haters beware–here’s a useful security feature you might just like–it’s call Dynamic Lock.  This new feature adds a touch of security to your desktop without all the fuss and hassle of having to remember to lock your screen when you walk away.   Gone are the days of co-workers turning your screen upside-down when you take a trip to the rest room, or commandeering your computer while you aren’t looking to send emails to the CEO just because they can…(grrr…jerks….but I digress…).

I recently became aware of a useful new security feature in Windows 10 called ‘Dynamic Lock’.   This feature automatically locks your computer when a chosen paired bluetooth device is no longer reachable.  Walk to the kitchen–COMPUTER LOCKED!  Go out for a vape-break–LOCKED!  Visit the neighboring cubicle–well…errr….not quite far enough, but if someone is gutsy enough to sit in my chair while I still  have visual…more power to ’em!

Here’s how to set it up starting with Windows 10 v. 15031  (to check what version of windows 10 you have, type ‘winver’ in the search and select run command).

  1.  Go to Settings
  2.  Go to Accounts
  3.  Click on ‘Sign on options’
  4. Under Dynamic Lock, check ‘Allow Windows to detect when you’re away and automatically lock the device’
  5. If you haven’t already, set up a bluetooth device that the computer can connect to such as your smartphone.
  6. Test it out by walking away, or turning off bluetooth on your smartphone.

Enjoy gloating in your new secure haven.  Well, on second thought…not quite…but every little security control helps.  It’s just one more layer of your defense in depth!

 and that’s today’s word… from the nerd….

Office15 ‘couldn’t install’ problem

I recently ran across a very frustrating problem with Office 15 (Office 365/ Office 2013).  After uninstalling office on a Windows 7 computer, I could not reinstall it.   The error I received was ‘Couldn’t Install’.  We’re sorry, we had a problem installing your Office programs(s).  I could not find any additional errors or issues in the event viewer, or on the filesystem.

ms office15 install error

Here are things I tried:

1.) Ran MalwareBytes, and Combofix to check for malware.

2.)  Disabled AV and Firewall.

2.) Ran the MS Fix It Tool from here:

3.) Manually uninstalled Office using

4.) Restarted the computer after turning off all non-Microsoft services and startup apps by through ‘msconfig’.

5.) Thinking that my D: drive (that was low on disk space) was causing problems, I resized the partition using EaseUS free.

After all this, I was getting the same error:

The Solution

I looked through the file system and found a couple folders that were office365 related and deleted them.  The folders were under the ‘ProgramData’ folder (they are hidden, so you need to unhide them through Windows Explorer).  Here are the folders I deleted:


(anything that started with office was put in the recycle bin).

After deleting these files, the install immediately ran–no need to reboot.

Hopefully that saves you a few hours of frustration, I know I would have liked this info earlier in my troubleshooting!!



Fun with Gimp, Cats and Bo Pelini

I’ve been working with some web images, and decided to have a little fun to learn how to use Gimp and InkScape better.  So I took a picture of my cat after she jumped into a tiny cardboard box.   Somehow she defied the laws of physics getting into that thing. After ‘photoshopping’ her several different backgrounds she really defied the laws of physics (and nature).  I used Gimp to remove the background of the photo, then superimposed her in interesting places! Here is the original image:


cat in box







After taking the image, I opened it in GIMP and started removing the background.  To do this, grab the magic wand tool and select an object in the background that you want to disappear, then choose “Layer | transparency | add alpha channel”.  Hit delete after each selection to remove it.   Keep working until all the background is gone, then clean up by selecting the background with the box tool or lasso tool and hitting ‘delete’ on the keyboard.   You should end up with only the object you want, and a checkerboard background.

Cat in small box








Now the fun begins.   Select an image from the internet that you want to use for your background and copy it.  (In Chrome, just right click and choose ‘copy image’).  Then open Gimp, and select file | create | from clipboard.   This builds a new Gimp canvas that matches the image you copied earlier.

Now go to your image with no background (in my case, the cat in a box) and select it with the Rectangle select tool and copy it.  Now go to your background image and paste it in.   You may have to resize your image to match, do this by going to the menu and choosing layer | scale layer…

Below are some fun images I created.  It’s a great exercise in creativity and fun!  Some of the images I used the ‘eraser’ tool to cut off parts of the bottom of the box to get a better perspective. I also copied and pasted a few nearby parts of the image to make it look a little better.

smokey surf small













Lebron with Cat in box








Cat in box in eagles nest








Cat in Box frisbee golf








Mordor cat in box







Cat in box meme







cat in box litterbox

I had to flip Smokey horizontally to get the right look on this one..  🙂








and finally, a little fun with Bo Pelini and his love for cats….

Bo Pelini with cat in box







Bo Pelini cat in box









Have fun with it!


Build your own DIY IPChicken alternative

ipchickenIP Chicken ( is a website that will display the IP address of your computer, tablet or phone. While it is very popular, there are actually several useful websites out there that show you your IP address. This can come in handy when you are behind a firewall or router, and need to know the outside, NAT’d IP address. Just browse to the site (, or–pick your animal, there are lots out there) and up pops your ip address and browser information. Did you ever wonder how that works and if you  could ever build a cool website like that!??  Well, it’s a basic PHP script that pulls the information from your client when you are using your browser.


Here’s an example:

Display IP address:

More detailed host address:

Display browser info:
CCBot/2.0 (
Where you came from (if you clicked on a link to get here):
Page was directly requested


sweet, huh?
You can put some very simple code in your html site (or in this case WordPress) that makes your visitors IP address and information show on the page or post.
I used a WordPress plugin called “Shortcut Exec PHP” to allow the code to run in a post. You can also display it in a wordpress widget, but it requires an additional plugin.
Put the following code in your post:

ip address code

Here is a txt version for copying and pasting

Of course, you will want to tweak the code, add some relevant content  and make the site look somewhat interesting, but its a good start.  IP Chicken has owned the IP address finding market for a long time, and now that even Google will tell you your IP address (just type “ip address” in your search bar) the site may be losing some of it’s popularity.  Even so it would be hard to compete with the name-brand, but it’s a fun nerdy project anyway!

Find your IP address