What I’m Up to

I want to install MinGW and MSYS on my computer so I can compile some open source programs. I have only a small amount of experience with Unix from school, and my time with Kubuntu to rely on. It should be a fun learning experience, but setting up a build environment with MinGW / MSYS is quite complicated.

I’m not taking anything away from the MinGW guys, because the work they do is very hard, and greatly beneficial to those who use open source software on Windows. Even so, I feel it necessary to blog about this, if only as a record of my attempts for my own future reference. Please don’t assume anything I post about MinGW / MSYS is authoritative, or necessarily even correct. If you want to know the truth, try downloading MinGW / MSYS and working with it on your own.

Relevant Links

http://www.mingw.org (Home page of MinGW and MSYS)

http://sourceforge.net/projects/mingw (Project page of MinGW and MSYS on Sourceforge)

http://www.vim.org (Vim home online)

http://www.eng.hawaii.edu/Tutor/vi.html (“Mastering the VI editor”: University of Hawai`i, College of Engineering, Computer Facility)

http://gcc.gnu.org (Home page of the GNU Compiler Collection)

http://www.ee.surrey.ac.uk/Teaching/Unix/index.html (UNIX / Linux Tutorial for Beginners)

My Computer

HP Pavilion dv8135nr, Windows XP Media Center Edition (Service Pack 3)

About Package Versions

I’m downloading the versions of each package that are available as I write this. In the future there will be newer versions of these packages, so don’t expect your experience to be the same if the version numbers aren’t the same. By all means please download the latest versions, and find your own way as you go.

MinGW Installation

Note: It is advised to install MinGW first. The MSYS installer will normalize to your existing MinGW installation.

Download the Automated MinGW Installer, version 5.1.4 as of this post, from the link below:


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Create the folder C:\MinGW and save the downloaded file there. Now you sould have the file C:\MinGW\MinGW-5.1.4.exe.

Important Note: Never install MinGW or MSYS on a path containing spaces!

Double click the MinGW-5.1.4.exe file to run the Automated MinGW Installer.

Note: When the installer runs for the first time, it will perform a quick update check, and then create the mingw.ini file to record information about your installation.

Follow along to answer the prompts as shown. Prompts are shown in italics, and actions you should take are in parentheses.

Welcome to MinGW . . . (Click Next)

Install or just download files? (Choose Downlaoad and install, then click Next)

License Agreement (Click I Agree)

Choose Package (Choose Current, then click Next)

Choose Components (Checkmark MinGW base tools and g++ compiler, then click Next.)

Note: Do not checkmark MinGW Make!

Choose Install Location (Note the default location of C:\MinGW and click Next)

Choose Start Menu Folder (Click Install)

Note: If the Automated MinGW Installer fails for any reason, check your Internet connection, and run the Automated MinGW Installer again.

Downloading . . . (Wait and observe the process)

Extracting . . . (Wait and observe the process)

Installation Complete (Note the intallation log, then click Next.)

MinGW has finished . . . (Click Finish.)

Note: The Automated MinGW Installer has downloaded and extracted all required packages to the C:\MinGW folder.

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Note: The Automated MinGW Installer has also placed shortcuts in the Windows All Programs menu and Add or Remove Programs applet of the Control Panel.

MSYS Installation

Download the MSYS Base System installer from the link below. Be sure to get the Current Release, version 1.0.10 as of this post.


Note: It may be necessary to scroll your browser window, or drill down the menu, until you find Current Release: msys-1.0.10.

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Create the folder C:\MSYS and save the downloaded file there. Now you should have the file C:\MSYS\MSYS-1.0.10.exe.

Important Note: Never install MinGW or MSYS on a path containing spaces!

Double click the MSYS-1.0.10.exe file to run the installer, and answer the prompts as follows. Prompts are shown in italics, and actions you should take are in parentheses.

This will install “Minimal SYStem”. Do you wish to continue? (Click Yes)

Welcome to the “Minimal SYStem” . . . (Click Next)

License Agreement (Click Yes)

Information (Read the information, then click Next)

Select Destination Directory (Note the default location of C:\msys\1.0, then click Next)

Select Components (Accept the default of i386 based CPUs, and click Next)

Select Start Menu Folder (Click Next)

Ready to Install (Be sure the installation settings are correct, then click Install)

The installer now runs a small batch program to complete the installation.

MSYS Post Install Process

The batch program will open in a command line window, and prompt you to answer a few simple questions. You must be especially careful in answering the prompts because the batch program may misunderstand a mistyped response.

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Note: Be sure to follow along carefully as the batch program will not give you a chance to correct any mistakes!

Read the texts in the command window fully, and answer the prompts as follows. Prompts are shown in code style, and actions you should take are in (parentheses).

C:\msys\1.0\postinstall>..\bin\sh.exe pi.sh

This is a post install process that will try to normalize between
your MinGW install if any as well as your previous MSYS installs
if any. I don't have any traps as aborts will not hurt anything.
Do you wish to continue with the post install? [yn ]

(Type the lower case letter y, then type the enter key)

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Note: By type I mean you should press and quickly release the key.

Do you have MinGW installed? [yn ]

(Type the lower case letter y, then the enter key)

Note: Pay special attention to the path delimiters used in the next prompt because we are expected to use the forward slash, usually found on the same key as question mark.

Please answer the following in the form of c:/foo/bar.
Where is your MinGW installation?

(Type the full path of the MinGW folder in the format shown by the prompt.)

Note: Recall that we chose the location C:\MinGW during the MinGW installation process.

Note: If you typed the path incorrectly, perhaps by using anything other than the forward slash as a path delimiter, then you’ll be required to manually edit the /etc/fstab file after completing MSYS installation.

There will be no further interaction with the batch program after you press the enter key. If you typed all responses correctly up to this point, then the command prompt window will look like the image below.

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(Type the enter key.)

Creating /etc/fstab with mingw mount bindings.
Normalizing your MSYS environment.

You have script /bin/awk
You have script /bin/cmd
You have script /bin/echo

You have script /bin/egrep
You have script /bin/ex
You have script /bin/fgrep
You have script /bin/printf
You have script /bin/pwd
You have script /bin/rvi
You have script /bin/rview
You have script /bin/rvim
You have script /bin/vi
You have script /bin/view

Oh joy, you do not have c:/MinGW/bin/make.exe. Keep it that way.

Press any key to continue . . .

(Type the enter key one time to proceed)

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Note: Observe that we are advised not to install MinGW Make.

Now we go back to the Setup – “Minimal SYStem” installer window. The process is complete.

Setup has finished installing “Minimal SYStem” . . . (Click Finish)

Note: If you left the two boxes check marked, as you should have, you will see two document windows with important texts which you should now read.

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Note: You can read the MSYS documentation again later. They are located at C:\MSYS\1.0\doc, if you’ve followed along.

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Note: MSYS is installed to the path C:\MSYS\1.0, which will become the root of the MSYS virtual file system.

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Note: Shortcuts for MSYS have been added to the Windows desktop, All Programs menu, and Add or Remove Programs applet of the Control Panel.

Write a Test Program

We’ll create a simple C program and compile it with GCC to test our installation.

Start by double clicking the MSYS icon on your desktop, or clicking the MSYS icon in your Start menu’s All Programs sub menu. Alternatively, you may also start MSYS by executing the C:\MSYS\1.0\msys.bat batch program.

MSYS opens an rxvt terminal with a Unix command prompt. If you are not familiar with Unix, then you’ll need a good tutorial on the subject. I’m not teaching Unix here, but I encourage you to learn Unix if you have the patience.

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I’ll be using the Vim text editor which is included with MSYS. Be advised that the MSYS package has omitted the Vim documentation. If you don’t know Vim, then I strongly advise you to read a good tutorial first. Teaching you to use Vim is far, far beyond the scope of this post.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Many people have floundered hopelessly on their first encounter with Vim, myself included. Some people love Vim for it’s power and efficiency, and justifiably so, but I am not one of them. I’m hoping to successfully compile Emacs later, but feel free to use Vim all you like if it suits you better.

In the MSYS terminal, create a directory named hello in your home directory and change to the new directory.
mkdir ~/hello
cd ~/hello

Now enter the command vim hello.c to begin editing the C source code file.
vim hello.c

Type in the code, shown below in preformatted style. Write the file to disk, and quit from Vim.
#include <stdio.h>

int main(void) {
printf("Hello, World!");
return 0;

Note: If you have any difficulty editing the source code in Vim, then please go to the tutorial and read it. Don’t say you weren’t warned!

Now compile the code with GCC:
gcc -ohello.exe hello.c
Test the compiled code by running the generated executable:

If the hello message is printed and no errors are reported, then you’re good to go with MinGW and MSYS!


Volume 3: The Long Hair in the Attic

a.k.a. The Horror World of Junji

Volume #1: Tomie ( 1997 )

  • Tomie
  • Photograph
  • Kiss
  • Mansion
  • Revenge
  • The Basin of the Waterfall

Volume #2: Tomie Part 2 ( 1997 )

  • Tomie Part 2
  • Basement
  • Painter
  • Murder
  • Hair
  • Orphan Girl

Volume #3: Flesh Coloured Horror ( 1997 )

a.k.a. Niku-iro no Kai
a.k.a. Flesh Colored Horror
a.k.a. Flesh-Colored Horror
a.k.a. Flesh-Coloured Horror

  • Long Hair in the Attic
  • Approval
  • Beehive
  • Dying Young
  • Headless Sculptures
  • Flesh-Colored Horror

Volume #4: The Face Burglar ( 1998 )

a.k.a. Kao Dorobou

  • The Face Burglar
  • Scarecrow
  • Falling
  • The Red Line
  • Our Honourable Ancestors
  • The Hanging Balloons

Volume #5: Souichi’s Diary of Delights ( 1998 )

a.k.a. Souichi no Tanoshii Nikki

  • Fun Summer Vacation
  • Fun Winter Vacation
  • Souichi’s Diary of Delights
  • Souichi’s Home Tutor
  • Cloth Teachers
  • Souichi’s Birthday

Volume #6: Souichi’s Diary of Curses ( 1998 )

a.k.a. Souichi no Noroi Nikki

  • Souichi’s Selfish Curse
  • The Silent Room
  • The Coffin
  • Roumors
  • Fashion Model

Volume #7: Slug Girl ( 1998 )

a.k.a. Namekuji no Shoujo

  • Slug Girl
  • Out of its Element
  • Mold
  • Coldness
  • Ryokan
  • The Groaning Drain
  • Biohouse

Volume #8: Blood-bubble Bushes ( 1998 )

a.k.a. Chi Tamaki
a.k.a. Chitamagi

  • Blood-bubble Bushes
  • Unbearable Labyrinth
  • Sword of the Re-animator
  • The Will
  • The Bridge
  • Demonology
  • The Conversation Room

Volume #9: Hallucinations ( 1998 )

a.k.a. Kubi Gensou

  • Hallucinations
  • Bog of the Living Dead
  • Penpal
  • Further Tales of Oshikiri
  • Further Tales of Oshikiri: The Wall

Volume #10: House of the Marionettes ( 1998 )

a.k.a. Ayatsuri no Yashiki

  • Ice Cream Bus
  • Gang House
  • The Smoking Club
  • Second-hand Record
  • The Sleeping Room
  • The Gift Bearer
  • House of the Marionettes

Volume #11: The Town Without Streets ( 1998 )

a.k.a. Michi no Nai Machi

  • The Town Without Streets
  • Near Miss!
  • Maptown
  • Village of the Siren
  • The Supernatural Transfer Student

Volume #12: The Bully ( 1998 )

a.k.a. Ijimetsu Musume
a.k.a. Ijimekko

  • The Bully
  • House of the Deserter
  • Father’s Heart
  • Memory
  • The Back Alley
  • Love by the Book
  • In the Soil

Volume #13: The Circus is Here ( 1998 )

a.k.a. Circus ga Kita

  • The Circus is Here
  • Gravetown
  • The Adjacent Window
  • Sleuth Kids: The Second Daughter’s Lover
  • Sleuth Kids: The Assembly of Fallen Ghosts

Volume #14: The Story of the Mysterious Tunnel ( 1998 )

a.k.a. TONERU no Tan
a.k.a. Tunnel Kidan

  • Long Dream
  • The Story of the Mysterious Tunnel
  • The Bronze Statue
  • Drifting Spores
  • Blood Sickness of the White Sands Village

Volume #15: Lovesick Dead ( 1998 )

a.k.a. Undying Love
a.k.a. Shibito no Kowa Zurai
a.k.a. Shibito no Koiwazurai

  • The Beautiful Youth of the Intersections
  • The Anxious Woman
  • Shadows
  • Screams in the Night

Volume #16: Frankenstein ( 1999 )

  • Frankenstein
  • A Doll’s Hellish Buial
  • Memories of Real Shit


These programs are specifically intended for reading comic books or manga. All are either open source or free or both. I use CDisplayEX, but each program has its own strengths and weaknesses.


Sequential image viewer intented for reading manga and comics. You can drag and drop folders, images and arhives in it and it can read images from within nested archives (.zip inside .rar).


Loads JPEG, PNG and static GIF images which are automatically ordered and presented for viewing one at a time or two at a time. Automatic page sizing: none; fit to screen, fit to width of screen, fit to width of screen if oversized, display at specific height, or display two pages.


CDisplayEx is a Comic reader based on CDisplay. It use the popular 7-zip plugins to read many archives types like cbr cbz cbt rar zip tar 7z lzh arj cab tar.gz tar.bz2. It supports jpeg png gif and bmp images.


The updated program adds support for rar’s, bookmarks, viewing text files embedded in chapter archives, handles ‘odd’ file names well, ignores unexpected, non-supported/non-image/non-text files, fixes flicker problem viewing ‘Gif’ images, has an optional more streamlined viewing screen, has improved browsing for manga folders and manga folder management.


Comix is a user-friendly, customizable image viewer. It is specifically designed to handle comic books, but also serves as a generic viewer. It reads images in ZIP, RAR or tar archives (also gzip or bzip2 compressed) as well as plain image files. It is written in Python and uses GTK+ through the PyGTK bindings.


Comical is an easy-to-use, featureful GUI comic book viewer, written in C++ using wxWidgets.


It is an all in one solution to read your eComics and also manage your library. You can think of it as a kind of ITunes for eComics with lots of the same functionality.

Find more on the Z-Cult FM Ziki.

Welcome to my personal list of anime which I love and wish, probably in vain, would get sequels. My broad definition of sequels includes new series, and spin offs as well as direct sequels. In no particular order, here goes:

Azumanga Daiou

Tomo-chan is one of my favorite anime characters of all time, and I think a spin off with her would be great. I imagine a grown up Tomo-chan would find life in the real world less care free than high school, but I’m sure she’d find her way, if clumsily, into a somewhat respectable member of society. Of course I really miss seeing Osaka, Sakaki, and Kaorin too, so it’d be great to see them as secondaries in the Tomo-chan show. The rest of the Azumanga girls could make cameos whenever they like, of course.

Fruits Basket

Tohru is perhaps the cutest anime character of all time, and her charm has never worn off even after watching the series three times. The real world could use more people with her limitless devotion to friendship and her love for people in general. The most compelling argument for a sequel to Fruba is that the anime never caught up with the manga, so we never see what happens next with dear Tohru and the Soma family.

Ghost Hunt

Simple the very best mystery / horror / suspense anime I’ve seen to this day. A couple of these stories left me feeling so creepy I couldn’t sleep. Any anime which can do that has got to be a real work of art since I’m normally so jaded. I’ve found nothing comparable since, and really long for more from this genre to reach the same level of excellence.

Kaibutsu Oujo (Princess Resurrection)

Okay, it’s really a very silly plot, and the characters aren’t treated very seriously at all. The horror, and drama elements of the series have a for kids style that doesn’t normally appeal to me at all. Even so, I was intrigued by the comedy, and somewhat original mix of story elements. I guess you’d call it a horror / drama / harem / shounen / romance / comedy anime, if you wanted to categorize it. Even so, the extraordinarily high fun factor of this series was enough to leave me wanting more, and there’s no reason why the story couldn’t continue right where it left off.

Cosmo Police Justy

Yes, it’s quite an ancient relic in the history of anime, but the single episode OVA had a level of style and quality that breath taking back in the day. There have been nine manga volumes published by Shogakuken, so there’s more than enough story to release new OVA episodes.

Strawberry Panic

Although very frustrating at times, it’s probably the best yuri anime I’ve seen to date. This one sets the standards for non pornographic yuri, in my opinion. If you’ve seen better yuri, please tell me about it.

Seikai no Senki

Okay, I know there are 4 other series and two movies for the Seikai universe. Sadly, that’s not enough to satisfy me. I could simply watch this epic sci-fi until my eyes pop, and then some more. The greatness of this anime is that it doesn’t do anything to mess up the story, or the characters. By means of carefully paced revelations we experience the lives of the characters in their universe, seemingly first hand. This is no crappy slice of life show though, it’s a kick ass action flick and a wonderful romance too. Some episodes are better than others, but when it’s good, it is in fact great.

How to clean mold

March 26, 2008

It’s been a cold, wet winter, and now that spring is here it’s time for cleaning. Open the drapes and let the sunshine in. That sunshine may reveal an unwelcome presence has invaded your home over the winter. Mold grows in warm, damp places like basement walls, on walls beneath windows, and in the bathroom around the shower.

Cleaning mold isn’t necessarily simple or easy, and if you aren’t careful you can make yourself sick. Some molds are toxic, and some of the chemical concoctions people use to clean are even more toxic. The best remedy, prescribed by both mold specialists and experienced cleaners, is probably borax.

Some people use bleach alone. Bleach will kill many things, including people, but it may not work on mold. If the mold has taken root in a porous material, like a painted wall, then bleach may not kill the roots. It can whiten the mold, leaving the impression that the job is done, but the experts say don’t rely on bleach alone.

Most recipes for mold killing involve borax and water, and some even add vinegar to the mix. Consider the surface type you are cleaning, how bad the mold is, and how to apply the cleaning solution. If you are spraying, you’ll use more water. To make a paste, use less water. As a bonus, borax kills ants and roaches too.

The links below lead to pages discussing borax solutions and effective mold remedies.

How do I clean mold off the painted walls in my bathroom

Common Mistakes in Mold Cleaning

Natural Cleaning Recipes

Aarons Media Reviewer: Movies, TV, Music, Books, and Podcasts: QUICK MUSIC UPDATE: Paris Hilton, PARIS

You know sometimes I just want to ram nails in my head.

Some people have pointed out to me, “Well, Johnny Cash is Country, how come you like him?” Let me explain. Country music today is essentially pop music with a “twang”.