Photo Slideshow to Video; the easy way

Recently I was asked last-minute (as always) to come up with a solution to have a photo slideshow loop all day on a TV during an event. The supplied TV supported playback of various video files, including images, from a USB device, but it did not support playing photo slideshows on repeat. For video files it did, but for the crucial photo slideshow in question it did not. Sure I could’ve hooked up a laptop to the TV and have the slideshow loop on the PC, but since this was at a fair, I didn’t want to take the risk of my laptop being stolen.
Therefore, I came up with the idea to save the slideshow as a video file. This turned out to be easier said than done. I knew that Microsoft PowerPoint had the option to export PowerPoint Presentations as video files, but the output file had a codec the TV didn’t support. Since this was the only method I could come up with that met my requirements, i.e. no external equipment, I came up with the idea to convert the video to a different format, hoping the TV would play the file. To do so, I had to find a free video converter.
Usually I use a free online video converter, so I don’t need to download any software. But since this slideshow contained about 100+ high resolution photos, it would take too long to upload the video file and to figure out using trial and error which format/codec would run on the TV. Therefore I went on a quest to find a decent free video converter without any restrictions in terms of time or size limitations. After many fake and ad-infected downloads, I finally found Freemake Video Converter, which is available for free at

According to its own homepage, Freemake Video Converter converts between 500+ video formats, without any trials or limitations. It has been around since July 2010 and has currently over 93 million users worldwide! Surely 93 million users can’t be wrong, right? (ha-ha)

Freemake Video Converter does indeed live up to its promise. It’s free and has no limitations in terms of formats or time restrictions. Using Freemake Video Converter, I was able to convert the exported PowerPoint to the correct video format for the TV to recognize. Apparently it’s either MP4 or the build-in ‘Samsung’ preset, both do the job.
However, Freemake Video Converter also has the option to create its own photo slideshow and allows you to directly convert it to a video format of your choice. It even lets you add an audio track! Sadly the other options in terms of photo slideshow are quite limited; there is just one transition effect called ‘the panorama effect’, also known as pan and zoom, and you can change the interval between photos if you like.

However, to unlock its full potential, for example to remove the Freemake logo from the video, you need to pay a small yearly or one-time fee, depending on which feature you want to unlock; each feature has to be unlocked using its own appropriate ‘pack’. For example, there is one ‘pack’ to enable conversion for internet videos such as YouTube, also known as YouTube ripper/downloader, and another ‘pack’ to add subtitles to your video file. If you like, you can also unlock all packs at once by purchasing the ‘Mega pack’, which contains all five packs for one price.

All in all, Freemake Video Converter is a great free tool. It’s fast, powerful and easy to use. Additionally, it’s quite feature rich, although some features are locked behind a pay-wall. Should you ever need to convert a video last-minute and you don’t know what the right format is, I recommend taking a look at Freemake Video Converter.

PicoTorrent; a BitTorrent client without the bloat.

Remember the good old days when BitTorrent clients were just exactly that; BitTorrent clients? Nowadays BitTorrent clients are packed with loads of unnecessary features. Take uTorrent for example; it started as a lightweight BitTorrent client, but nowadays is bloated with features such as streaming but also advertisements. Roughly the same happened to qBittorrent, so I switched to Baretorrent. Sadly development of Baretorrent stopped in 2013 and is getting outdated in terms of encryption protocols, hence I started looking for an alternative and behold; PicoTorrent, the true lightweight BitTorrent Client. Basically it’s an updated version of Baretorrent; It has no unnecessary features, no advertisements, IPv6 support and it’s open-source!

Get it here:

TeamSpeak Server 3.0.13 not starting? Install Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015!

Recently I encountered issues starting my TeamSpeak server after updating it from version to; it would immediately crash with a blank error log.
Apparently TeamSpeak Server 3.0.13 onwards requires the 32-bit Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015 to be installed. Yes, the 32-bit variant, even if your OS is 64 bit. So, should you encounter immediate server crashes after updating your TeamSpeak server to version 3.0.13, try downloading and installing the 32-bit variant of Visual Studio 2015 run-time from here:

PS. In case you missed the release notes of TeamSpeak Server 3.0.12, as of that version, the server binaries file names do NOT contain platform suffixes any more. They’re all called “ts3server” now, so don’t forget to delete the old/obsolete binary including the platform suffix from your TeamSpeak Server installation folder (else it will crash as well…)

HostsMan: Pi-hole without the pi (DNS-based adblocker)

If you’re tired of AdBlock Plus slowing down your browser and you don’t have a spare Raspberry Pi lying around to run Pi-hole, HostsMan is a great alternative that runs on Windows. One way to keep malware and advertisements outside is to block the servers that serve this content. This can be done by adding the IP numbers of these machines into the hosts file and redirect them to ‘localhost’. Updating the hosts is time-consuming and prone to errors, but this is when HostsMan comes into play. This free program can retrieve current lists of websites known to serve advertisements and malware and combine with the existing hosts file. Furthermore, it checks the hosts file for incorrect, duplicate or malicious entries. It also features a built-in editor and can be used to empty the DNS cache.

Download link:

Unlike AdBlock Plus, however, HostsMan doesn’t make it obvious which hosts file sources you subscribe to. Enabling all of them sounds like a good idea, but doing so hoses some functionality such as social sharing bookmarklets. For information on which sources to use in HostsMan, visit:

Also, for a comparison of AdBlock Plus and HostsMan, visit:

FREE automatic backup solution for Windows (Live) Mail and Outlook?

Backing up Windows (Live) Mail and Outlook automatically to a NAS or cloud storage provider can be a pain. A simply robocopy does not suffice, as the .PST file will be in use when the client is opened. Luckily there are some free tools out there that can help you automate this task for you.

For Windows (Live) Mail:

For Outlook:


[Update 9-1-2017]  The domain name got dropped because it wasn’t renewed. As of today, I’m the new owner of to continue the legacy.

I’m currently in the process of migrating our Call of Duty 2 servers from Linux to Windows. Why? Well, I made a small oopsy which would take me a long time to fix, so I decided to migrate the COD2 servers to Windows, but let’s not go into details. If you must know, my /boot directory was full so I had to clean it up. Accidentally, I deleted the wrong kernel files, so the server didn’t want to boot anymore. Of course I could fiddle around with the rescue option my VPS had, but I was a bit tired of messing around with the command-line.

Anyway, we used to run our Call of Duty 2 servers before on Windows as well, back in 2010. The main advantage of running your COD2 servers on Windows is that you can use Statsgen2, a free statistics generator. Of course one can also use Statsgen2 with your COD2 servers running on Linux. You would just have to (automatically) FTP the logfiles over to your Windows box running Statsgen, but that would require 2 servers, which is silly. So naturally during the migration I decided to go and download statsgen2 from its official website, just to find out that the website no longer exists :-(

Almost every link I tried on Google was dead, but in the end I managed to download a clean copy of Those of you who have used statsgen2 in the past know that you need more than just the program itself; Without the imagepacks, your stats website will look like crap. Finding a working link to the imagepacks turned out to be a real pain in the ass. I couldn’t find a working link anywhere, so I had to use my reverse engineering skills to download the images from stats pages created by statsgen2 in the past. Basically what I did was search on Google for clans still hosting an (old) statsgen2 generated stats page and used DownThemAll to download all images on their stats pages. Doing so, I managed to recreate complete imagepacks for Call of Duty, Call of Duty 2, Call of Duty 4, Call of Duty 5, Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory and the base images (i.e. Home button etc).

According to the official website, archived by, I am still missing the files for other games like MOHAA and Enemy Terrirory: QuakeWars but this was the best I could do. At least you have the files for the complete Call of Duty series and the program itself to get you started J Should you have these files, please email me so I can put them up for everyone else to download.

Statsgen 2 is a Statistics Generators for Call Of Duty 1/2/4/5, MOHAA, Spearhead, Wolfenstein/Enemy Territory and Quake Wars. Statsgen automatically downloads the server logfiles, processes them using a flexible template system, and then transmits the resultant webpages to the webserver. Templating allows the pages produced to be very flexible to fit in with the style of your clan website. Additionally, it can send messages to your game servers stating who are the top scorers (COD1, COD2, COD4, QuakeWars).


Latest Statsgen2 Release:
Version 1.9.3 (23 November 2009) –

Image packs:
Basic Statsgen Images – Required for all server types –
COD 5 Specific Images – Supplied by Odin –
COD 4 Specific Images –
COD 2 Specific Images –
COD 1 Specific Images –
Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory Specific Images –

Unzip the contents and upload them to the root of your statsgen2 output folder of your webserver.
Note: I am still missing the imagepacks for other games like MOHAA and Enemy Terrirory: QuakeWars but this was the best I could do. Should you have these files, please email me so I can put them up for everyone else to download.

Upgrade files:
No idea what these are for, but I saved them just in case. Personally I’ve never used/needed them.

Custom Templates:
ArcadeKnight’s CoD2 Template


Consult the included README.txt for a quick installation guide. Consult the detailed documentation, which can be found in the, for more information.
To get you started, it basically comes down to this:

– Create a directory statsgen2 and unzip its contents
Contents should include:
libmySQL.dll – This is a library used to connect to MySQL databases (Note: A MySQL compatible template is not included! I could not find a working download link)
upgrade.ini – Upgrade files, used when upgrading from an older statsgen version to the latest one (Never used it myself).

– Run statsgen2.exe – On first run various files / directories will be created including the default templates. This can take a while, please be patient.

– Click on Run –> First Time Configuration – Again, this can take a while. DO NOT CANCEL THIS OR INSTALLATION WILL NOT COMPLETE

– Setup statsgen2 to your liking, upload the corresponding imagepack and you’re done!

Statsgen2 is even compatible with Windows Server 2012 R2! Just make sure to run it in compatibility mode (XP SP2/SP3) with Administrator privileges.
Additionally, I also had to hack together this .bat file, which basically just deletes the database before the stats are parsed. Else, my webpage would have missing data. Deleting the database before the statistics are parsed ensures the database is completely rebuilt from the start instead of being appended, which apparently gives issues on Windows Server 2012 R2. I’ve scheduled this .bat file using Windows Task Scheduler to be run before the stats are parsed:

taskkill /F /IM statsgen2.exe
del “D:\statsgen2\statsgen2.db”


Statsgen2 is created by Shaun Jackson –
I’ve mailed Shaun and requested permission to re-host the files. Sadly I never received a reply. It’s a great shame as many still use it since no one has created anything near as good.

How to: Move a TeamSpeak 3 Server from Linux to Windows

There are lots of tutorials online that show you how to move, or migrate if you will, your TeamSpeak 3 server from Windows to Linux, but there’s no guide that shows the other way around. One could say that this process is simply the same, only executed backwards. However, since most of them are outdated, for example most guides let you execute SQL queries to replace all the linux directory standards with windows standard which is no longer needed, I felt the need to write this up-to-date tutorial, in which I will explain how to move a Teamspeak 3 server from Linux to Windows. The process is no rocket science, so don’t worry.

In this particular tutorial, I will be moving TeamSpeak on Ubuntu Server 12.04.5 LTS to TeamSpeak 3.0.11 on Windows Server 2008 R2. You can even migrate between versions, i.e. TeamSpeak to TeamSpeak 3.0.11. That’s right, there’s no need to do an in-place update before you can migrate…. Now, let’s get going!

First, we need to copy the following files from our TeamSpeak 3 Linux server to our new Windows machine:
licensekey.dat – Only applicable if you own a TeamSpeak 3 license.
query_ip_whitelist.txt – Whitelisted IPs for the query interface
query_ip_blacklist.txt – Blacklisted IPs for the query interface
files/ – Any Icons, Avatars and files that were uploaded to the server. Be sure to copy the entire folder including any subfolders and files inside.
ts3server.sqlitedb – The database, this file is the most important one and contains all the information about virtual servers, users, permissions, channels, groups etc. All Settings of the server instance and its virtual servers are contained in this file.

Hold your horses!
In my introduction above, I mentioned that you can migrate between TeamSpeak versions withouth having to do an in-place update before. However, this *only* holds if you’re using a SQLite database, which is the case by default.
This is because as of TeamSpeak Server 3.0.11, the MySQL database plugin has been replaced by a MariaDB plugin. Which means that if you were using a MySQL database for your TeamSpeak server, you need to migrate it to MariaDB, else your database will be incompatible with the latest TeamSpeak Server version.
As SQLite is used by default, this is outside the scope of my tutorial and thus I will not be covering this. Here’s a free hint though: Read doc/update_mysql_to_mariadb.txt for instructions on how to update.  Also note that the default character set for the database is now ‘utf8mb4’, which means the server needs to be at least MySQL 5.5.3 or MariaDB 5.5.
Let’s continue :)

1) Login to your Linux server, navigate to your TeamSpeak 3 installation folder and copy the files listed above to your new Windows machine using your favorite method, i.e. flash-disk etc, to a temporary directory, for example C:\TS3Migration

2) Login to your Windows machine and download the latest available TeamSpeak 3 server version for your platform, i.e. 32-bit or 64-bit from:

3) Unzip the contents to a folder of your choice, for example C:\teamspeak3-server_win64

4) Paste the files you’ve copied earlier from your TeamSpeak 3 Linux server to the folder you used in step 3.

5) Start your TeamSpeak 3 Server by running the ts3_server.exe file.

6) Done! Your TeamSpeak 3 Server should now be reachable at the new IP address of your Windows machine and all settings should be exactly the same!

That wasn’t so hard, was it :) ?