Man and rice

This man was preparing rice for the Karen New Year festivities in a rural village. The celebrations continued long into the night. This was a few miles from Hpa An, Myanmar (Burma). Photo taken in December 2014.

The ad-riddled crippleware called Windows 10 Pro Anniversary Update

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

Windows Pro will no longer be so “pro”. I’m calling it ad-riddled crippleware. It’s a shame. I’m considering a jump from Microsoft OS to Apple for my next machine.

Joy and sadness in Iraq

There I was, in southern Iraq, just a few miles from the Iranian border. It was another hot day, and I was standing outside the structure called Ezra’s Tomb. Nearby, three kids were peeking through a doorway, their faces in obvious delight at the interest being shown to them by my camera. But the countless horrors of people killing other people will touch their lives in countless ways, and I wonder if they still smile.

Outside Ezra’s Tomb

Reconnect mapped network drives in Windows OS using Command Prompt commands


Sometimes when booting into Windows, the OS does not reconnect mapped network drives even though the mapping was configured with the “Reconnect at sign-in” option.

Although there are free Third Party software available that can automatically reconnect your mapped network drives, I would rather be able to do this using built-in tools than add more unnecessary software to my system. I came across a response someone had written in a blog about using Third Party and showed how you could use a few Command Prompt commands using the “net use” command. I’ve lost the link to that blog article, but I did copy that code and built my own batch script around it. The key change I wanted to make was to put in a limited number of attempts just in case the NAS drive was down.

This is the code I use which I’ve put in a .CMD batch file which is executed by Task Scheduler at user log on.; this is better than executing it via a shortcut from within the Windows “StartUp” directory as I have flexibility in adding delays without needing to change the code. Talking of the code, I recognise that it is a bit ugly and some of you scripting experts can make it far more elegant. But it works for me and I didn’t want to spend too much time on this when I could be doing other more fun things! Note that this has only been tested in Windows 10 Pro 64-bit.

SET me=%~n0
SET parent=%~dp0
TITLE Mapping network drives
@ECHO Please wait whilst we reconnect your network drives.

SET neterror=0

SET counter=1
SET loopvalue=11
SET /A trueloop=%loopvalue%-1
ECHO _____________________________________
IF %counter% EQU %loopvalue% (
 ECHO Connection to D:\ drive timed-out
 SET neterror=1
ECHO Attempt %counter% of %trueloop% to D:\ drive
 ECHO Attempt %counter% successful.
 SET /A counter=%counter%+1
 GOTO Start

SET counter=1
SET loopvalue=8
SET /A trueloop=%loopvalue%-1

IF %neterror% EQU 0 GOTO Endofscript

ECHO _____________________________________
SET /P userinput="Errors were found. Do you wish to try again [Y/n] " 
IF /I "%userinput%" EQU "y" GOTO Start
IF /I "%userinput%" EQU "" GOTO Start
IF /I "%userinput%" EQU "n" GOTO Endofscript
GOTO userconfirm

ECHO _____________________________________
@ECHO Please wait, script is closing.
@EXIT /B 0

Central Afghanistan

So I found myself smack in the middle of Afghanistan. It was cold, remote, and desolate. A couple of buildings served as a resting place for truck drivers hauling their goods across the country. It was a welcome relief after spending so much time on the road (dirt tracks mostly), a chance to stretch the legs and seek shelter from the dust. And onward, our goal to reach the fabled Minaret of Jam.

Novice Buddhist monk

I took this photo in January 2014 of a novice Buddhist monk during the Ananda Pagoda Festival in Bagan, Myanmar (Burma). It was early in the morning, a slight chill in the air, with many hundreds of monks and novice monks; the largest gathering of monks I’d witnessed. And there, a boy, with that look.
Novice Buddhist monk

Long neck Padaung

When I took this shot I thought that the photo would be a failure due to the extreme dynamic range involved. It was hand-held, shooting into the sun with the main subject being the Padaung woman in the shade. I revisited that photo this weekend and found, to my surprise, that it had a lot of information, and that it was close to my vision. So here it is in all its glory.

Padaung woman