Thursday 30 April 2015

Get the day of the week from grub4dos

The next E2B 1.67 Beta c will include the grub4dos batch file dow.g4b

dow.g4b takes 3 parameters:   year    month    day-of-month
and returns the grub4dos variable dow which is a number from 0-6 (0-Sunday, 1-Monday, etc.).
This means you can call it to test what day of the week it is.
For instance, you can call dow.g4b like this:

call /%grub%/dow.g4b   %@date:~0,4%    %@date:~5,2%   %@date:~8,2% 

and test dow like this:

# only allow use at weekends
if not "%dow%"=="0" if not "%dow%"=="6" halt

# don't allow at weekends, just shutdown!
if "%dow%"=="0" halt
if "%dow%"=="6" halt

Tuesday 28 April 2015

E2B 1.67 Beta available

As well as recognising $HOME$ in .txt and .mnu files, E2B now will replace $NAME$ with the filename of the .txt or .mnu file.

This means that a .mnu file can contain $NAME$ and all you have to do is make sure the .mnu file has exactly the same filename as the ISO that it uses.

e.g. before we had this type of .mnu which we had to edit, in order to use a different ISO file.

iftitle [if exist $HOME$/precise-5.4.3.iso] Puppy Precise 5.4.3\n Puppy with persistence (save on reboot/shutdown)
set ISO=$HOME$/precise-5.4.3.iso
if "%E2BDEV%"=="" set E2BDEV=hd0 && pause E2BDEV forced to hd0!
partnew (%E2BDEV%,3) 0x00 %ISO%
map %ISO% (0xff) 
map --hook 
root (0xff) 
kernel /vmlinuz pmedia=usbhd psavemark=1 fix=fsck 
initrd /initrd.gz 

It can now be re-written as:

iftitle [if exist $HOME$/$NAME$.iso] Puppy Precise ($NAME$)\n Puppy with persistence (save on reboot/shutdown)
set ISO=$HOME$/$NAME$.iso
if "%E2BDEV%"=="" set E2BDEV=hd0 && pause E2BDEV forced to hd0!
partnew (%E2BDEV%,3) 0x00 %ISO%
map %ISO% (0xff) 
map --hook 
root (0xff) 
kernel /vmlinuz pmedia=usbhd psavemark=1 fix=fsck 
initrd /initrd.gz

As long as the filename of the .mnu is identical to the filename of the .ISO file, you do not have to edit the contents of the .mnu file to use it on different ISOs - just copy it and change it's filename.

Monday 27 April 2015

E2B v1.66 released

Basically same as v.1.65 with + a few Spanish/German tweaks and the E2B_Editor.exe added.

Sunday 26 April 2015

E2B_Editor update (v1.0.53-v1.065)

More changes - I can't stop tinkering!
  • If you tick 'Other E2B options -  AUTONUM'  then the display now reflects the changes in the menu (i.e. numbers are removed from the menu)
  • Can now click on CENTREHD and bdwidth fields to auto-increment/cycle the values
  • v1.0.58 - mouse tooltip displays RGB value under cursor
  • v1.0.61 - CTRL+Z Undo added + help button
  • v1.0.65 - file + extension show in menu items (no file extension if EXTOFF=1)

Saturday 25 April 2015

E2Bed now reads and writes UTF-8 .cfg files

                                               Checkout the accent over the Ú  in  MENÚ PRINCIPAL.
  • ANSI language sets supported (not Chinese/Japanese/Persian glyphs)
  • %@DATE% and %@TIME% now interpreted by E2Bed
  • Improved parsing of color commands
  • standard (console) color now supported
  • (config file path) - click on text to edit the .cfg file in Notepad
  • (image file path) - click on text to launch the file (view\edit) - depends on Windows file association for .bmp on your system
  • Extra dropdown list options added

Note that the grub4dos password will never be ticked after  loading a .cfg file (even if it has a password set or reset in it). Before saving the .cfg file you must tick the 'No grub4dos password' checkbox each time if you want that option.
Also note that the AUTONUM=0 will be ticked if your .cfg file contains any type of AUTONUM setting (it assumes you have set AUTONUM=0 even if it was set to something else!).

Tuesday 21 April 2015

New E2B_Editor version available

Latest beta version now does not need the OCX file.
Can load any .cfg file or .bmp file.
Keep checking for the latest version!

OneDrive download area
Google Drive download area

Monday 20 April 2015

Easy2Boot Menu Editor

If you are feeling adventurous, try the new E2B Menu editor (written in VB6).
A Beta version can be found in the E2B Alternate Download pages.
Note: the first version required COMDLG32.OCX control - there is a separate ZIP file to install and register this. Subsequent versions don't require the OCX.

Thursday 16 April 2015

The Cheryl's Birthday problem and others

The 'Cheryl's Birthday' maths test for the top 15/16 year olds in Singapore - can you solve it?

Here is a link to the problem that's taken the world by storm and a video on how to solve it.

For the 'What colour hat am I wearing' puzzle - click here.

Two students arrange to meet - both thought they had arrived at the correct time, but one was 29 minutes late - how come? Click here.

Want some more? Click here.

E2B v.1.65 and MPI Tool Kit 0.048 released

E2B v1.65 2015-04-16
  • New background
  • set CENTREHD=1 will now auto-centre menu headings. 
  • Menu hotkeys changed in all STRINGS.txt files
  • AUTOMENU feature added - can now press first letter of a menu entry to select it, 
  • Current language displayed in footer HELPTEXT (can be changed in MyE2B.cfg). 
  • grub4dos letters, e.g. p for password entry and c and e now only work if SHIFT is pressed at same time. 
  • Small speed improvement in counting Windows ISOs. 
  • New version of hotkey utility (thanks chenall!). 
  • New version of grub4dos 0.4.6a.
See previous blog posts for details.

The new MPI Tool Kit now centres the heading and payload description in the CSM menu and the \menu.lst is re-organised to help you make modifications more easily. It also now has hotkeys for F7/F9/F10 and first-letter menu hotkeys too. New grub4dos 0.4.6a is used too.

If you want your own background and menu for the CSM menu, just use the CUSTOM folder in the download to add any new or replacement files.

Tuesday 7 April 2015

E2B website now in Klingon

I had an email from a very cross guy called Khan today, asking me to provide instructions on how to make an Easy2Boot USB drive that are written in Klingon, as his Earth-English is not very good.

So Khan, please click HERE.

 (OK, not really)... ;-)

E2B 1.65d Beta available

  1. Chenall has fixed a few bugs in new grub4dos and the new hotkey utility.
  2. The Menu hotkeys have changed (they all use Ctrl key now).
    The Windows Install Menu is now Ctrl+I not W plus some others have changed!
  3. New wallpaper to signify change of hotkeys
  4. Grub4dos password entry now needs SHIFT key before pressing p. Same for c, b and e.
  5. Changed the way I detect Admin rights in Make_E2B_USB_Drive.cmd and QEMU_MENU_TEST.cmd.
  6. Grub4dos 0.4.5c/0.4.6a menu and USB driver menu moved from Main menu to Utilities menu.
As soon as chenall fixes and releases new grub4dos 0.4.6a I will release this new version.

Spot the changed hotkey assignments and new wallpaper!

Monday 6 April 2015

E2B v1.65b with auto-hotkey feature

This new Beta has the updated grub4dos hotkey utility which chenall has kindly enhanced for us!

I have also improved the speed of the code that counts Windows ISOs.

Menu on my E2B drive used for testing, etc.

The new AUTOMENU hotkey jump feature is now enabled by default. e.g. press the f key and the Fedora menu #18 will be selected (but not run). Press the f key again and Fedora menu #19 will be selected.

Sunday 5 April 2015

Which is the best Portable app. Launcher for your USB drive?

It is often useful to have portable apps on your USB drive, so that you do not have to install any applications or drivers on the system that you are trying to use or fix.

Portable apps launchers are great, but most often you will need to run a launcher from a WinPE environment rather than a full Windows OS with .Net and WoW64 (the Windows-on-Windows 'thunking' which allows Windows to run a 32-bit application in a 64-bit OS).

Many of the portable apps themselves are 32-bit only apps (and thus require a full 64-bit OS or WoW add-ins), but what about the Launcher apps? If these require a full blown OS to run in with .Net, etc. then we cannot even run the Launcher app to choose a portable app!

Note: Check out PEStartup for a 32-bit and 64-bit alternative for WinPE OS's here. - A 'library' of all free portable apps with links. Useful for finding and adding portable apps to your launcher!

Friday 3 April 2015

E2B v1.65a (Beta) supports centered headings

After making the YouTube video about configuring the menu and centering menu headings, I thought that maybe I should support automatically centered menu headings. This would save having to manually modify all the STRINGS.txt files just to have centred menu headings.

So E2B v1.65a will now centre Menu headings if you add


to the \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg configuration file.

If the value is 1, then E2B will use the menuw  (menu width) setting to calculate where the centre point of the menu is. This would be the normal use for it. So if menuw is 65 then E2B will use 65 as the menu width for centering the headings.

However, you can specify your own value for CENTREHD. For instance if your menu width is 65 characters, but you want your menus to appear a little bit to the left of centre, use a CENTREHD value of say, 60 instead of 1.

The Beta is available in the Alternate Download areas. Let me know if you find a problem!

Tidbit: Freda, a female acquaintance of mine, named her red setter puppy Heathcliff because she is a big fan of Emily Bronte. However, it turned out not to be such a good idea, She takes it for walks on the Chiltern hills, and if it gets lost, she goes wandering all over the hills shouting 'Heathcliff, Heathcliff'! The other dog walkers look at her like she has just escaped from the local asylum!

New E2B YouTube video - how to change the menu position, colours and headings

I have had a few requests by people to make a MyE2B.cfg for them and also a request on more info on how to change and/or center headings.
So here is a new (quite long!) video.
Hope you don't fall asleep watching it!