Expanding a Windows ex_ file in Ubuntu Linux

Today I was asked to install Windows Solitaire for a friend from her Windows XP CD.

On the cd I found the executable as sol.ex_ a compressed file.

A quick search on Google for how to uncompress or should I say expand it on Ubuntu achieved nothing useful.

The suggestion was to download sol.exe from the Internet. A dodgy thing to do as you did not know if the download file contained any malicious code.

I had to resort to native guile and cunning in which I am sadly lacking so it had to be ‘suck it and see’

The first thing I tried actually worked, so here it is:

  1. Copy expand.exe to a suitable directory on you computer, for example: games
  2. Copy sol.ex_ to the same directory
  3. Open a terminal in the directory
  4. Type: wine expand.exe sol.ex_ sol.exe and hit enter
  5. Type: wine sol.exe &

There you have it.

Now to create an icon on your desktop:

Right click on the desktop and choose: Create Launcher

In the name field type : Solitaire

In the command field click on the browse button and select sol.exe

Now here is the important bit, in the command box prefix the command with: wine followed by a space.

Choose a suitable icon, select: Use Startup Notification and click Create.


Of course you can use this process to expand any ex_ file

If you have any problems just leave a comment and like me 🙂 and I will get back to you.


Posted by on December 6, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Getting developer mode on a Google Nexus 7 Android 4.2

Getting developer mode on a Google Nexus 7 Android 4.2








I eventually took the plunge and got myself a 32Mb Google Nexus 7

My choice was based upon the following

  1. Google backs it.
  2. Canonical have chosen it to release Ubuntu 12 on it
  3. It is easy to root
  4. It is easy to revert to the shipped O/S
  5. It is cool, and the right price (I.M.H.O.)

I turned it on and found developer mode so that I could root it, and went to bed.

The next day I switched it on and great, it upgraded to the new release of the OS that shipped that day.

Not so great, I went looking for developer mode to do my dirty deeds and lo and behold, it had gone.

I looked everywhere, but could not find it. Stumped!

I even tried R.T.F.M. – Computer support people will know what that means.

After much searching on the Internet I resorted to posting the problem on various BBS’s, sorry, users groups 🙂

Oooh just I hate doing that, it’s so not me. (I sound like a girly there) 😉

This is the solution for anyone lucky enough to be in the same position:

Go to settings -> About Phone, and tap it
Scroll down to build number
Tap it seven times, after the third tap you will see a dialogue that says “You are four steps from being a developer”
Keep tapping and you have got your developer settings back.

It couldn’t have been simpler 🙂

Thanks to for the info.

Now where is that spanner and wire cutters…………….


Posted by on November 15, 2012 in Uncategorized


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A free money saving tip from me.

Since the EU  has dictated to us that we can no longer buy washing machines with both a hot and cold feed, I thought I would share with you my  Martin Lewis type money saving tip.

The EU says cold fill washing machines are more environmentally friendly than dual feed machines.

Huh, what do they know about washing 🙂

It costs approximately 3 times more money to heat water using electricity than gas so to get around it try the following:

Do you know what the pipe from the Poundshop costs? If so:

Ring 0909 123 456

choose from the following options:

1.    A carrot

2.    A Pound

3:    A teapot

Calls should not last longer than 60 minutes and not cost more the £200

You could win Britney Spears for a night, losers a get a week.

Johnnie foreigner knows nothing about British ingenuity 🙂

Lines close 1st Jan 2022, don’t wait,


1 Comment

Posted by on October 29, 2012 in Uncategorized


A payment experience – Ya, cool man, or what.

I was look at setting up a Paypal merchant account today. When going through the wizard I was offered the following:

paypal payment experience

Wow, what is a payment experience?

Do I get one when buying a tin of beans from Tesco?

“Hey man, I bought Some beans today and had a mind blowing payment experience. It was like dude,  an orgasm of monetary proportions”

Thank you Paypal, its no more crack, shit, weed, hash or vodka tampons for me!

Is it me, or do these guys live on another planet?

No, on second thoughts, don’t answer that.

1 Comment

Posted by on October 14, 2012 in Uncategorized


Big Bill is watching you.

Some of you may not have noticed that Microsoft have altered their terms and conditions regarding their services such as Bing, Hotmail etc, so for those people here is  a potted guide to it:

Microsoft on personal information:

Your privacy is important to us. We use certain information that we collect from you to operate and provide the services. Additionally, as part of the services, we may also automatically upload information about your machine, your use of the services and service performance

What Microsoft will do with your information:

You expressly consent and agree that Microsoft may access, disclose or preserve information associated with your use of the services, including (without limitation) your personal information and content, or information that Microsoft acquires about you through your use of the services (such as Internet Protocol address or other third party information) when Microsoft forms a good faith belief that doing so is necessary

What Microsoft does with your content:

When you upload your content to the services, you agree that it may be used, modified, adapted, saved, reproduced, distributed and displayed.

Microsoft and your voice:

If you use the voice activated search feature in the Bing application, you expressly consent to Microsoft recording and collecting your voice input.

Full terms and conditions:

Click here for the full terms and conditions.

1 Comment

Posted by on September 12, 2012 in Uncategorized


Aren’t People Funny

I don’t mean funny like a comedian, I mean strange, Like Bob Monkhouse, not funny 🙂

They agree that in the lottery, any number is is likely to come up as any other, but when you ask them why they don’t choose: 1 2 3 4 5 6, they say:

“Oh, they aren’t like to to come up.”


They throw away cream that has gone off, then go to the supermarket to buy soured cream.

They pour away sour wine then buy it to put on their chips.

They check the use by date on the bottle of spring water, but not when they drink it from the spring.

They boldly split infinitives where no man has split infinitives before.

They spend the first two years teaching their babies to talk and then afterwards telling them to SHUT UP!

The list is endless, any contributions gratefully received, Oh, and a joke what I have wrote (Hinckley Speak):

It is said that there are only two types of joke in the world, and Bob Monkhouse does not know any of them 😦


Posted by on September 9, 2012 in Uncategorized


The small world problem.

The other night I was watching my favourate TV program: Numb3rs, and Charlie Eppes was talking about the small world problem, which states:

‘The algorithmic small-world hypothesis” states that not
only are pairs of individuals in a large social network connected
by short paths, but that ordinary individuals can
 find these paths.’


You may know of this as ‘The Six Levels of Separation’, i.e. you can link any two people with just, six steps or less.

I thought I would try this out with Me and President Obama, so here goes:

Step 1 – I used to work with a man called Mansell Thomas.

Step 2 – His wife was once introduced to the Queen.

Step 3 – On the 11/5/2010 the Queen met with David Cameron 

Step 4 – On 13/3/2012 David Cameron met with President Obama

Wow, it works, just 4 steps between Me and Obama 😉

Give it a try, I would love to see the results.


Posted by on August 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

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