Monthly Archives: November 2012

Warning: Linux, multi-boot, the clock

If you wish to install Linux in a multi-boot configuration along Windows, be advised: Your computer’s clock is going to need a lot of attention.

Windows loves simplicity: It sets the clock to the local time. Linux however likes it rough and complex: It sets the clock to UTC time and then calculates current local time by adding the time zone difference and daylight saving difference to the UTC time. (Perhaps some people have considered writing the time zone in the file metadata but some thought that doing so might compromise the user’s privacy by giving his international audience a free shot at guessing his geographic location.)

In a multi-boot scenario, where a Windows is partnered with a Linux, automatic adjustment of hardware time should be left to Windows and Linux must be told not to bother the clock.

As for virtual machines however, VirtualBox is equipped to handle this situation. For more information, see VirtualBox manual.

Decompiling CHM help files

Perhaps you are told that to edit a CHM file (Compiled HTML Help file, bearing .chm file name extension) on Windows, you will need to download HTML Help Workshop. This is only partly true. Windows can decompile a CHM file and extract its contents. To do so, run the following command:

hh.exe -decompile <extracted> <filename.chm>

This will decompress all files embedded in <filename.chm> to <extracted> folder.

This method is tested and confirmed to work on Windows 8 Enterprise Edition (32-bit, IA-32, RTM, build 9200).

If you prefer a graphical user interface, 7-Zip opens CHM files as archives, allowing access to their content. A lot of people have 7-zip.

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