Convert FAT Disks to NTFS

This article describes how to convert FAT disks to NTFS. See the Terms sidebar for definitions of FAT, FAT32 and NTFS. Before you decide which file system to use, you should understand the benefits and limitations of each of them.

Changing a volume’s existing file system can be time–consuming, so choose the file system that best suits your long–term needs. If you decide to use a different file system, you must back up your data and then reformat the volume using the new file system. However, you can convert a FAT or FAT32 volume to an NTFS volume without formatting the volume, though it is still a good idea to back up your data before you convert.

Note  Some older programs may not run on an NTFS volume, so you should research the current requirements for your software before converting.

Choosing Between NTFS, FAT, and FAT32

You can choose between three file systems for disk partitions on a computer running Windows XP: NTFS, FAT, and FAT32. NTFS is the recommended file system because it’s is more powerful than FAT or FAT32, and includes features required for hosting Active Directory as well as other important security features. You can use features such as Active Directory and domain–based security only by choosing NTFS as your file system.

Converting to NTFS Using the Setup Program

The Setup program makes it easy to convert your partition to the new version of NTFS, even if it used FAT or FAT32 before. This kind of conversion keeps your files intact (unlike formatting a partition).

Setup begins by checking the existing file system. If it is NTFS, conversion is not necessary. If it is FAT or FAT32, Setup gives you the choice of converting to NTFS. If you don’t need to keep your files intact and you have a FAT or FAT32 partition, it is recommended that you format the partition with NTFS rather than converting from FAT or FAT32. (Formatting a partition erases all data on the partition and allows you to start fresh with a clean drive.) However, it is still advantageous to use NTFS, regardless of whether the partition was formatted with NTFS or converted.

Converting to NTFS Using Convert.exe

A partition can also be converted after Setup by using Convert.exe. For more information about Convert.exe, after completing Setup, click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then press ENTER. In the command window, type help convert, and then press ENTER.

It is easy to convert partitions to NTFS. The Setup program makes conversion easy, whether your partitions used FAT, FAT32, or the older version of NTFS. This kind of conversion keeps your files intact (unlike formatting a partition.

To find out more information about Convert.exe

1.After completing Setup, click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then press ENTER.
2.In the command window, type help convert and then press ENTER.
Information about converting FAT volumes to NTFS is made available as shown below.
Converting FAT volumes to NTFS

To convert a volume to NTFS from the command prompt

1.Open Command Prompt. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Command Prompt.
2.In the command prompt window, type: convert drive_letter: /fs:ntfs 

For example, typing convert D: /fs:ntfs would format drive D: with the ntfs format. You can convert FAT or FAT32 volumes to NTFS with this command.

Important  Once you convert a drive or partition to NTFS, you cannot simply convert it back to FAT or FAT32. You will need to reformat the drive or partition which will erase all data, including programs and personal files, on the partition.

Commodore Computer History Archive

As I train new our computer systems engineers I have found that few of them know anything about the Commodore home computer systems. In the early 1990s, when I first started getting into electronics and computers, Commodores were everywhere. By the mid 90s they were ancient relics. I always had five or six laying around the shop. Most were given to me for spare parts from customers. The majority of them had no issues, they were just out dated. For fun and to train new guys, we repaired many of them over the years. Over the years, less and less of our computer systems engineers had any experience on Commodores. Today, virtually no one under 35 knows what a Commodore computer system is.

The MOS 6502 chip

The reason why a 15 year old could work on a Commodore was that the systems were all based around simple CPUs. The MOS 6502 was very easy to diagnose issues with and repair. All I needed to work on the circuits was a simple analog volt meter and a reference voltage. Digital voltmeters were very expensive in the 1990s, I don’t think we had one until the late 90s.

For example, most prominent home computer systems and video game systems in the 1980s and 1990s had a MOS 6502 or a derivative within them. These derivative chips were called the 650x or the 6502 family of chips. The Commodore VIC-20, Commodore 64, Apple II, Atari 800, Atari 2600 and NES all had a 6502 or 650x chips in them. Almost everything made from the mid 1970s to the mid 1980s had a connection to the 6502 family. By the late 1980s newer and faster chips by Motorola and Intel replaced the MOS 6502 family as the primary go to processor.

Commodore History Disappearing

While I train new field engineers here at Karls Technology I have been looking online for reference materials about Commodores. Back in the 1990s reference material was available at the library, in hobby magazines and BBS’s. Today, I find very little good reference material about Commodores, MOS or the 6502 family of chips. Previously, you could find people that worked for MOS, Commodore or GMT around the internet. As those engineers of yesterday pass way their knowledge of the history of computing leaves us.

Before the days of blogs, much of the early computing history was recorded on early engineer’s personal websites. Those websites have gone offline or were hosted by companies that not longer exist.

Computer History Archive

Due to this knowledge leaving us and much of it only existing in an offline capacity; we decided to start archiving Commodore, 6502 family and other early computer history information. Therefore, we will scan and post below any knowledge we find in an offline repository. In addition, any historical personal websites about early computer history from yesteryear will be archived here. Our goal is to document as much early computer history as possible.

Text Editing Device TED 7360 Datasheet

Commodore Plus/4 Specifications

Commodore Plus/4 Service Manual

Commodore Semiconductor Group’s Superfund Site from the EPA

Designing Calm Technology by Mark Weiser, Xerox, 1995.

Designing Calm Technology

by Mark Weiser and John Seely Brown

Xerox PARC
December 21, 1995

Introduction

Bits flowing through the wires of a computer network are ordinarily invisible. But a radically new tool shows those bits through motion, sound, and even touch. It communicates both light and heavy network traffic. Its output is so beautifully integrated with human information processing that one does not even need to be looking at it or near it to take advantage of its peripheral clues. It takes no space on your existing computer screen, and in fact does not use or contain a computer at all. It uses no software, only a few dollars in hardware, and can be shared by many people at the same time. It is called the “Dangling String”.

Created by artist Natalie Jeremijenko, the “Dangling String” is an 8 foot piece of plastic spaghetti that hangs from a small electric motor mounted in the ceiling. The motor is electrically connected to a nearby Ethernet cable, so that each bit of information that goes past causes a tiny twitch of the motor. A very busy network causes a madly whirling string with a characteristic noise; a quiet network causes only a small twitch every few seconds. Placed in an unused corner of a hallway, the long string is visible and audible from many offices without being obtrusive. It is fun and useful. The Dangling String meets a key challenge in technology design for the next decade: how to create calm technology. 

We have struggled for some time to understand the design of calm technology, and our thoughts are still incomplete and perhaps even a bit confused. Nonetheless, we believe that calm technology may be the most important design problem of the twenty-first century, and it is time to begin the dialogue.

The Periphery

Designs that encalm and inform meet two human needs not usually met together. Information technology is more often the enemy of calm. Pagers, cellphones, newservices, the World-Wide-Web, email, TV, and radio bombard us frenetically. Can we really look to technology itself for a solution?

But some technology does lead to true calm and comfort. There is no less technology involved in a comfortable pair of shoes, in a fine writing pen, or in delivering the New York Times on a Sunday morning, than in a home PC. Why is one often enraging, the others frequently encalming? We believe the difference is in how they engage our attention. Calm technology engages both the center and the periphery of our attention, and in fact moves back and forth between the two.

We use “periphery” to name what we are attuned to without attending to explicitly. Ordinarily when driving our attention is centered on the road, the radio, our passenger, but not the noise of the engine. But an unusual noise is noticed immediately, showing that we were attuned to the noise in the periphery, and could come quickly to attend to it.

It should be clear that what we mean by the periphery is anything but on the fringe or unimportant. What is in the periphery at one moment may in the next moment come to be at the center of our attention and so be crucial. The same physical form may even have elements in both the center and periphery. The ink that communicates the central words of a text also, though choice of font and layout, peripherally clues us into the genre of the text. 

A calm technology will move easily from the periphery of our attention, to the center, and back. This is fundamentally encalming, for two reasons.

First, by placing things in the periphery we are able to attune to many more things than we could if everything had to be at the center. Things in the periphery are attuned to by the large portion of our brains devoted to peripheral (sensory) processing. Thus the periphery is informing without overburdening.

Second, by recentering something formerly in the periphery we take control of it. Peripherally we may become aware that something is not quite right, as when awkward sentences leave a reader tired and discomforted without knowing why. By moving sentence construction from periphery to center we are empowered to act, either by finding better literature or accepting the source of the unease and continuing. Without centering the periphery might be a source of frantic following of fashion; with centering the periphery is a fundamental enabler of calm through increased awareness and power.

Not all technology need be calm. A calm videogame would get little use; the point is to be excited. But too much design focuses on the object itself and its surface features without regard for context. We must learn to design for the periphery so that we can most fully command technology without being dominated by it. 

Our notion of technology in the periphery is related to the notion of affordances, due to Gibson by popularized by Norman. An affordance is a relationship between an object in the world and the intentions, perceptions, and capabilities of a person. The side of a door that only pushes out affords this action by offering a flat pushplate. The idea of affordance, powerful as it is, tends to describe the surface of a design. For us the term “affordance” does not reach far enough into the periphery where a design must be attuned to but not attended to.

Three signs of calm technology

Technologies encalm as they empower our periphery. This happens in two ways. First, as already mentioned, a calming technology may be one that easily moves from center to periphery and back. Second, a technology may enhance our peripheral reach by bringing more details into the periphery. An example is a video conference that, by comparison to a telephone conference, enables us to attune to nuances of body posture and facial expression that would otherwise be inaccessible. This is encalming when the enhanced peripheral reach increases our knowledge and so our ability to act without increasing information overload.

The result of calm technology is to put us at home, in a familiar place. When our periphery is functioning well we are tuned into what is happening around us, and so also to what is going to happen, and what has just happened. We are connected effortlessly to a myriad of familiar details. This connection to the world around we called “locatedness”, and it is the fundamental gift that the periphery gives us.

Examples of calm technology

To deepen the dialogue we now examine a few designs in terms of their motion between center and periphery, peripheral reach, and locatedness. Below we consider inner office windows, Internet Multicast, and once again the Dangling String.

inner office windows

We do not know who invented the concept of glass windows from offices out to hallways. But these inner windows are a beautifully simple design that enhances peripheral reach and locatedness. 

The hallway window extends our periphery by creating a two-way channel for clues about the environment. Whether it is motion of other people down the hall (its time for a lunch; the big meeting is starting), or noticing the same person peeking in for the third time while you are on the phone (they really want to see me; I forgot an appointment), the window connects the person inside to the nearby world.

Inner windows also connect with those who are outside the office. A light shining out into the hall means someone is working late; someone picking up their office means this might be a good time for a casual chat. These small clues become part of the periphery of a calm and comfortable workplace.

Office windows illustrate a fundamental property of motion between center and periphery. Contrast them with an open office plan in which desks are separated only by low or no partitions. Open offices force too much to the center. For example, a person hanging out near an open cubicle demands attention by social conventions of privacy and politeness. There is less opportunity for the subtle clue of peeking through a window without eavesdropping on a conversation. The individual, not the environment, must be in charge of moving things from center to periphery and back. 

The inner office window is a metaphor for what is most exciting about the Internet, namely the ability to locate and be located by people passing by on the information highway.

Internet Multicast

A technology called Internet Multicast may become the next World Wide Web (WWW) phenomenon. Sometimes called the MBone (for Multicast backBONE), multicasting was invented by a then graduate student at Stanford University, Steve Deering.

Whereas the World Wide Web (WWW) connects only two computers at a time, and then only for the few moments that information is being downloaded, the MBone continuously connects many computers at the same time. To use the familiar highway metaphor, for any one person the WWW only lets one car on the road at a time, and it must travel straight to its destination with no stops or side trips. By contrast, the MBone opens up streams of traffic between multiple people and so enables the flow of activities that constitute a neighborhood. Where the WWW ventures timidly to one location at a time before scurrying back home again, the MBone sustains ongoing relationships between machines, places, and people.

Multicast is fundamentally about increasing peripheral reach, derived from its ability to cheaply support multiple multimedia (video, audio, etc.) connections all day long. Continuous video from another place is no longer television, and no longer video-conferencing, but more like a window of awareness. A continuous video stream brings new details into the periphery: the room is cleaned up, something important may be about to happen; everyone got in late today on the east coast, must be a big snowstorm or traffic tie-up. 

Multicast shares with videoconferencing and television an increased opportunity to attune to additional details. Compared to a telephone or fax, the broader channel of full multimedia better projects the person through the wire. The presence is enhanced by the responsiveness that full two-way (or multiway) interaction brings. 

Like the inner windows, Multicast enables control of the periphery to remain with the individual, not the environment. A properly designed real-time Multicast tool will offer, but not demand. The MBone provides the necessary partial separation for moving between center and periphery that a high bandwidth world alone does not. Less is more, when less bandwidth provides more calmness. 

Multicast at the moment is not an easy technology to use, and only a few applications have been developed by some very smart people. This could also be said of the digital computer in 1945, and of the Internet in 1975. Multicast in our periphery will utterly change our world in twenty years.

Dangling String

Let’s return to the dangling string. At first it creates a new center of attention just by being unique. But this center soon becomes peripheral as the gentle waving of the string moves easily to the background. That the string can be both seen and heard helps by increasing the clues for peripheral attunement.

The dangling string increases our peripheral reach to the formerly inaccessible network traffic. While screen displays of traffic are common, their symbols require interpretation and attention, and do not peripheralize well. The string, in part because it is actually in the physical world, has a better impedance match with our brain’s peripheral nerve centers.

In Conclusion

It seems contradictory to say, in the face of frequent complaints about information overload, that more information could be encalming. It seems almost nonsensical to say that the way to become attuned to more information is to attend to it less. It is these apparently bizarre features that may account for why so few designs properly take into account center and periphery to achieve an increased sense of locatedness. But such designs are crucial. Once we are located in a world, the door is opened to social interactions among shared things in that world. As we learn to design calm technology, we will enrich not only our space of artifacts, but also our opportunities for being with other people. Thus may design of calm technology come to play a central role in a more humanly empowered twenty-first century.

Bibliography

Gibson, J. The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1979.

Norman, D.A. The Psychology of Everyday Things. New York: Basic Books, 1988.

MBone. http://www.best.com/~prince/techinfo/mbone.html 

Brown, J.S. and Duguid, P. Keeping It Simple: Investigating Resources in the Periphery. To appear in Solving the Software Puzzle. Ed. T. Winograd, Stanford University. Spring 1996. 

Weiser, M. The Computer for the Twenty-First Century. Scientific American. September 1991.

Brown, J.S. http://www.startribune.com/digage/seelybro.htm 

Weiser, M. http://www.ubiq.com/weiser


This is an archive of Mark Weiser’s ubiquitous computing website (ubiq.com) which disappeared from the internet in 2018 some time after Mark Weiser passed away. We wanted to preserve Mark Weiser’s knowledge about ubiquitous computing and are permanently hosting a selection of important pages from ubiq.com.

Creator’s Update coming to Windows 10

Microsoft just unveiled a plethora of products and updates to their hardware and software coming in 2017.  One of the most interesting announcements was the Creator’s Update coming to Windows 10 Spring of 2017.  The Creator’s Update features it’s first integration of 3D technology.  Starting with one of those oldest pieces of software from Windows, Paint 3D aims to scan objects from the real world and bring them to life in an all new 3D environment.  The update is largely meant for the new Surface Studio desktop that aims to ease professional artists into these realms. Look to see the Windows 10 Creator’s Update coming to all Windows 10 supported devices for free this Spring.

To read more about Creator’s Update visit the upcoming features sections of Microsoft.com.

Creators Upgrade for Windows 10

Apple Refreshes the MacBook Pro

It has been four years since Apple has overhauled the design of the MacBook Pro and today Apple aims to breathe new life into the series. Designed for developers, the MacBook Pro has always featured top of the line specifications to push the limits of computing of its time. Now thinner, more powerful, and seemingly more innovative than ever before. Apple aims to bring simplistic, easy to use controls at your finger tips. The new OLED display between the keyboard and screen (which used to be function keys) dubbed the Touch Bar utilizes taps and gestures to perform a wide array of tasks. The bar includes Touch ID powered by the company’s very own T1 chip for security. Touch ID can be used to make purchases as easy as a finger press with Apple Pay.

Updated MacBook Pro 2016

One of the biggest changes of the device is it’s inclusion of all new USB C ports. Any slot doubles as a charging port for the device. Long gone is the need to worry about where you are to get a comfortable charging area. These ports can be used for anything. Thunderbolt, USB, HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA, you name it. The downside? No more specific ports. You will need an adapter to get the compatibility with your older devices.

The device launches in many types of configurations and and claims no matter which model you get, it will be twice as fast as it’s previous generation. Learn more about the different specifications and configurations at Apple’s website here. Pre-orders expected to ship in 2-3 weeks.

Apple sues Amazon over fake chargers

According to a recently filed lawsuit by Apple, about 90% of the chargers sold on Amazon are fakes. Company Mobile Star LLC is being suited for trademark infringement, on allegations that the company has been selling fake Apple chargers as Genuine. In light of recent news, of some Apple devices catching fire, it is strongly advised that you use a Genuine Apple Certified cable to ensure not only your device safety, but yours as well.

Apple wrote the following:

“Consumers, relying on Amazon.com’s reputation, have no reason to suspect the power products they purchased from Amazon.com are anything but genuine. This is particularly true where, as here, the products are sold directly “by Amazon.com” as genuine Apple products using Apple’s own product marketing images. Consumers are likewise unaware that the counterfeit Apple products that Amazon.com sourced from Mobile Star have not been safety certified or properly constructed, lack adequate insulation and/or have inadequate spacing between low voltage and high voltage circuits, and pose a significant risk of overheating, fire, and electrical shock. Indeed, consumer reviews of counterfeit Apple power adapters purchased from Amazon.com and from the above ASIN report that the counterfeit products overheat, smolder, and in some cases catch fire:”

Apple goes further on to say that they purchased around 100 of these chargers and personally tested them in their labs to find that they were “poorly constructed, with inferior or missing components, flawed design, and inadequate electrical insulation.” Amazon has since then turned over their entire inventory back to Mobile Star LLC for further investigation and has pulled the chargers off the website.

More information about the lawsuit can be found here.

1TB SD Card

SanDisk just announced a new 1TB SD card (specifically a SDXC card) that is currently in prototype phase. The new card is aimed at the storage market for 4K and 8K video recorders or any other device that needs ultra high resolution video files (i.e. tons of storage space, like Virtual Reality VR playback devices).

SanDisk is one of the best flash and SD card manufacturers on the market.  It is one of the top brands we at Karls Technology recommend to our clients.  You can read more about the new cards in this article.

Was there a major Google algorithm change this week?

We started noticing last week that most of the websites we do SEO services for started changing in position in google search.  Google has finally made a statement that the massive fluctuations in page values is not a major algorithm change but is part of “normal fluctuations.”

There seems to be a consensus forming in the SEO community that despite what Google is saying they made a major algorithm update this last week.  We are seeing a lot of movement in positions especially for our clients that were effected by the last Google Penguin update.  I think this shows that content is king as our higher quality content sites see to be less impacted and possibly even boosted.  Time will tell if this event is considered Penguin update 5.0 (or maybe what Google is saying is this isn’t a major algorithm change but it is Penguin update 4.5) or not.

Microsoft ending Windows update patches for Windows 7 and Windows 8

Microsoft announced, last week, that they will end the normal Windows update patches for Windows 7 and Windows 8 in October 2016.  The normal Windows Update process will be replaced with a single monthly rollup that patches both security and reliability issues in a single package.  Each month’s rollup package will contain previous months rollups so only one package will need to be installed to bring your Windows operating system up to date.

https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/windowsitpro/2016/08/15/further-simplifying-servicing-model-for-windows-7-and-windows-8-1/

There are some clear cut advantages and disadvantages to this new updating patching system.  You will now only need to install one update if you ever need to reinstall your operating system.  Windows 7 updates go back years and can take hours of rebooting, downloading and installing to bring a new computer up to date.  One big disadvantage is if you currently skip any updates (for instance the much disliked auto update to Windows 10 update) they will be installed with the first month’s rollup package.  There will also be no method to test or remove individual updates and patches that cause issue with older software or hardware.  This Windows 10 like all or nothing update method can cause a issues after each monthly rollup is released.

If you have any questions post a comment or contact the office at 480-240-2950 and If you have any issues with your computer after an update give us a call and we can fix your system for you.

How to prolong the life of your Computer!

KTI’s tips on how to prolong the life of your computer

1) REGULAR MAINTENANCE
– clean windows registry
– clean out temporary files, downloads, history and cookies
– run virus and malware scans regularly
– clear recycle bin
2) UPDATES 
– keep all the software on your computer up to date, including
antivirus software and the operating system
3) DEFRAGMENT HARD DRIVE
4) STEER CLEAR FROM HEAT AND DUST
– Keep your computer out of the heat and instead in a well-
ventilated area
– Dust can clog up your fan and accumulate on circuits inside,
which in turn can overheat your system leading to various
malfunctions
– Clean your computer regularly

KTI’s tips for Macbook users:

1) Clean off your Hard Drive – Make sure you have sufficient free disk space (exhausting your disk space will significantly slow down your system), Clean out unnecessary files and/or upgrade to a larger disk
2) Stop applications from automatically launching upon login –> clean out Startup items (go to System Preferences to reconfigure your settings)
3) Clean out “Other” System Preferences that you do not use or need
4) Upgrade your MAC’s RAM
5) Check your Apple Activity Monitor to find info on CPU usage, virtual memory usage and RAM requirements 
6) Use “Fan Control” to keep your Mac running cool, thereby maximizing its performance
7) Manage and evaluate your Widgets properly – disable the ones you do not need to enhance your computing efficiency

KARLS TECHNOLOGY is devoted to giving your computer a long and healthy life!