windows


Windows: How to start “Remote Desktop Connection” without the icon shortcut

On a Windows machine we were using recently, all shortcuts icons to system applications got corrupt and they were not linking to the applications they were supposed to link to.

We needed to use Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection without the shortcuts icons. To do so we used the shortcut key of the Run Command screen that allows us to start any application that Windows knows where the binary is.

We pressed the keys Windows+R on the keyboard together and that showed the run command screen. In the input line we typed mstsc and hit the Enter button (you can also click on the OK button on the screen).

Run-mstsc

mstsc is the name that the executable file of Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection application holds in C:\Windows\System32. The easiest way to find the name of a binary is to check the icon shortcut on a machine that it is not corrupted or just search the internet for it.

Using all monitors

If you have multiple monitors that are arranged to form a rectangle, you can instruct mstsc by using the /span parameter to match the Remote Desktop width and height with the local virtual desktop and span across multiple monitors if necessary.

Executing mstsc /span will create a bigger window to the remote machine that will cover all your local monitors. Unfortunately, this window will not operate as if it is composed of multiple monitors. If you set a window to full screen, it will fill ALL local monitors as if they are one.

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Windows with ffmpeg — recursively convert all *.mov movies to .mp4. with fixed resolution for android 1

We needed to convert a bunch of mov files to mp4 and while doing that we wanted to shrink them down so that they would fit the screen of an older android device.
We did that both to save space on the internal memory and to make the device perform as efficient as possible as it would not have to shrink the video on the fly.

We downloaded the windows binary for ffmpeg from https://ffmpeg.org/ and copied it to the folder we wanted to execute the command from using Windows Explorer.
After that, while holding the Shift key we right clicked in the Windows Explorer empty area to popup the menu. From the menu we selected Open command window here, that opened a Command Prompt that was already navigated in the folder we placed the binary.
To convert the movies we executed the following:

for /R %f in ("*.mov") do (ffmpeg.exe -i "%~f" -s 864x486 -acodec copy "%~pf%~nf.mp4")

What the above command did was, direct command prompt to find recursively all the files that their name ends in .mov (this is the part that looks like this for /R %f in ("*.mov")) and then execute for each a command, in our case was to convert the file to mp4, resize the video while preserving the audio as is and produce a new file that has the same name but different file extension so that new files will have the mp4 extension instead of mov.