Automate Game Screenshot Capture: Windows API SendInput Function with C++

I am trying to write video game reviews after I have finished a game and I like to add some impressions in the form of screenshots to the reviews. There is one problem though: sometimes it is impossible to press the keyboard shortcut to capture a screenshot because the game requires my full attention – and all my fingers. Therefore, I miss out on a lot of action sequences. What does a programmer do in such a situation? Write a tool that scratches the itch.

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Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) Docker: error storing credentials – err: exit status 1, out: Cannot autolaunch D-Bus without X11 $DISPLAY

Recently at work, when copying an application from our internal Docker Registry to Azure, I ran into the following error in my WSL Ubuntu installation.

Login at
Error saving credentials: error storing credentials - err: exit status 1, out: `Cannot autolaunch D-Bus without X11 $DISPLAY`
ERROR: source registry login failed

The easiest fix I found was to install the gnupg2 and pass packages.

sudo apt install gnupg2 pass 

One important thing to note regarding security: the output mentioned storing the credentials in plain text as a result somewhere in the WSL user’s /home directory. If you are very conscious about where passwords are stored, do not use this solution or remove the password file afterwards. That’s good enough for me at the moment, I just needed to get this to work somehow.

The Linux Experiment: One Month Later

It has been roughly a month since I switched from using Windows 10 as my main operating system to Linux. The reasons for that have all been detailed in The Switching Windows to Linux Experiment blog post. Now I will share a few of the experiences I have made during the first month (it’s been that long already) and what I think about how well it is going.

Let me address the elefant in the room first, the distribution. I think that is likely the first question you, the reader, would ask. The short answer is Pop!_OS by System76.

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Writing a Custom Backup Solution

If you are a user of any form of computer and care one bit about your sanity, then you probably have a backup strategy. Otherwise, if all hell breaks loose and your whole computer burns to ash or the hard drive melts to a heap of metal, turning it into an ugly door stop, you’ll likely be kinda angry, maybe slightly pissed, your pulse most definitely at 180, that you’ve lost all your data. I’d certainly be, especially about all my pictures of all the festivals and places I’ve been to. 

(And maybe some family 😅)

But, to be honest, I’ve been a bit lazy about backups for some time now. I do have copies of all my important files, but that’s not a backup. It’s a copy. A backup lets you go back in time and get an older version of a file or folder, not just the most recent one that has been synced.

So why is it, that I’m not as diligent as I should be? There are a few factors in that equation. It’s laziness for one, knowledge that I do have at least one copy, the fact that I haven’t had any data loss so far and stinginess. Why the latter? Up until now, being a Windows user (not any more though, on my main machine), I was relying on Acronis True Image, a commercial backup software. However, the version that I own – 2014, I think – stopped being reliable in one of the past Windows 10 versions. I simply don’t want to spend the money any more.

I’m not here to tell you that I have changed my mind on that. No. I’m, of course, coding my own solution. Why wouldn’t I? Everything is done multiple times in the Open Source community.

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Windows 10: First Impressions (Preview Build 10041)

While I was grooming my unicorn on Crazy-Talk Island I read on the Internet about a thing called Windows 10. Curious as I am, I went out to watch the huge presentation on Jan, 21 where Microsoft officially unveiled the mobile version of Windows 10 and the cool hardware stuff. There’s also a very nice set of videos by Scott Hanselman on YouTube that show the changes from version to version.

Actually I’m very much aware of Windows 10 since the beginning, as a developer I’d be crazy not to, so I registered as a Windows Insider yesterday and downloaded the technical preview build 10041. Here’s a summary of my first impressions.
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Windows 8.1: One Year Later – I Get It Now

Windows 8 wasn’t all too well received, hardly a secret if you follow the tech press, neither by customers nor by businesses. There are a few folks who like it but they are, like those Windows Phone enthusiasts (that really do exist), a very minor minority (without report).


About a year ago, I started using Windows 8.1 as my main operating system (which I’ve written about a few months later). Before, it was just a necessity to get the Soundblaster audio card to work. However, going through the same positional-sound problem again after upgrading from 8.0 to 8.1, I’m sure using Windows 8 fixed the problem by accident. Creative’s drivers are just a bulk load of crap, as they’ve always been. Had I not had the iMac as a work computer at that time, I’m not sure I would’ve installed Windows 8 instead of 7, but rather gotten rid of the Soundblaster Z. If you’ve read the post about the sound card, you know I was one of the many people that had an axe to grind with this OS.
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Windows Phone: 3 Months Later

What started out as a reasonable decision at the beginning of 2014 now reached its climax with the Surface Pro 3: switching away from Apple, in every regard, and move to the Microsoft platform. First the PC, then the phone and lastly the tablet. Since having a Windows based PC is nothing unusual (although I might be one of the few that actually came to like Windows 8 – just as I was one of the few that liked Vista over XP; what does that say about me?) and the Surface is still too new to write about it in any meaningful way, that only leaves us with the phone.
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Switching From iOS to Windows Phone (Pt. 1)

As I have already mentioned in a previous post (8th paragraph), the Windows Phone platform had me hooked since day one. There was something to it that made it more interesting than iOS or Android. However, at that time the competition had been more mature – not only the OS but also the devices – and therefore I chose a Samsung (from now on called Copyshop) Galaxy S2 as my first smartphone. Android seemed the best fit back then (around 3 years ago), simply because of all the possibilities this platform offered on a technical level (I’m a programmer, that’s how I think). As it turned out, I basically used none of those things I found so interesting (like widgets) but rather tried to get a vanilla Android experience without the Copyshop bloatware – not to mention regular software updates.

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My Preferred Approach to Touch on a Computer

With Windows 8 now finally released, there comes a new generation of hardware with a strong emphasis on the input device – the fingers. Touch as we know and love today has been around in common perception since the release of the first iPhone which was in 2007. The first smartphone like phone was actually released in 1994 by IBM, the IBM Simon. Based on todays standards you can imagine this wasn’t a device one would call “a beauty”. In fact, the Wikipedia page lists the form factor as “brick”. From a current point of view you probably wouldn’t want to use and play around with such a type of touch interface.

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