Saturday, March 31, 2012

Speaking of touch-enabled devices....

If you don't have a touch-enabled monitor, but you do have a Wacom tablet with
its own pen and wireless mouse, then using the pen on that Wacom tablet is pretty-much the same thing as having a touch-sensitive monitor, except you're doing your thing on the tablet surface, not on the monitor screen.

But the same sorts of actions apply. You tap to click, tap-and-hold for a right-click menu, and you can select or drag very much the same as if you were doing it with a finger on the screen. In fact, the guys who invented the touch monitor were probably using a Wacom tablet when they got their bright ideas.
That's my theory anyway, and I'm sticking to it......

After a month, how do we like the Windows 8 Consumer Preview?

Before starting this today, I did a bit of surfing to look for reactions to Windows 8 on the web, and of course, there's lots of the usual complaining from those who don't engage brain before opening mouth - or in this case, hitting the old keyboard. A lot of that would be avoided if only they would try to familiarlize themselves with the program before simply assuming it doesn't work. It works very well, but it doesn't work like your old XP, or your (Ugh!) Vista, or even your Windows 7 - but it is using a lot of Windows 7's goodies under the hood, and if you're paying attention, you'll pick up on that almost immediately.

In case you are one of those who have tried it, ran into familiarization problems, and didn't like the results, and couldn't find some answers for your problems, (possibly because the 'Help' section is largely unwritten in this test version!) you should click on this link for some very useful help from someone calling himself 'Dr. Z's Blog' because in it there's a list of common problems that newbies may experience, and the answers to those, to get you going again quickly and easily.

And lest we forget, this program has only been out of its cage now for barely a month amongst us unwashed masses, and it is still very much a work-in-progress, as Microsoft will quickly remind you, so try to give them a chance to finish it before you start composing its epitaph. Reports of its demise may be grossly exaggerated, to put it mildly.

A lot of fuss has been made over the accent on the touch interface, and experts have gone on record as saying that it can't compete with the simpler and better iPad designs. I can't comment on that, because I have never owned an Apple product. That's because I don't like to mix religion with computing. The technician who works on my computer whenever it needs any fixing or new hardware upgrades was an Apple dealer for many years, and then one day, he got smart and realized that he was trying to survive on the business he got from an enterprise that had only about a 10% market share. By switching from iMacs to PCs, he opened up his market from 10% to 100%, because he can now fix and sell computers to everybody. He has sold me three already, and will sell me another whenever I need one. He knows how I like to install various third-party programs, especially freebies, from around the web, and he once told me that I'd probably hate a Mac. When I asked why, he said "Because there's only a limited number of programs available for Macs, due to the fact that the vast majority of programs are made for PCs, and programmers are making new ones for those instead of for Macs, which use a different O/S. So most of those freebies you love wouldn't work on a Mac." 

I don't know how successful Windows 8 will be in its final incarnation, but so far, I don't see any reason why it can't be a raging success. I haven't found any glaring problems or even irritating aggravations in it, and I think once people understand how to easily switch between its touch interface and its desktop interface, they will get over the idea that it needs a major overhaul. It's in the process of being built right now - so wait for it! It isn't finished yet. Even in its unfinished state, it's a hell of a lot better than Vista, and let's shut the hell up about XP. That was four operating systems ago, and it's history. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Attention Cybernauts and Web Surfers.....

If you're surfing the wild wild web, and suddenly a pop-up appears telling that "Windows Anti-virus 2012 has detected a problem and needs to scan your system" and then it tries to begin another operation, such as installing a file called "Setup.exe", just do a reboot or whatever to get the hell off that page immediately. It's a virus trying to take over your computer.

Your first clue is: there's no such thing as 'Windows Anti-virus 2012' - it's called Windows Defender. Your second clue is: No regular anti-virus has to install any "Setup.exe" before doing its thing. Your third clue is: When you try to get away from it, it tries to prevent that action and keep you connected to it. So do a reboot or shut down your computer or whatever you need to do to get clear of that before it can perform whatever it is trying to do. Then do a scan of your system with a reputable anti-virus like Avast 6.0 to make sure you're clean. And try to stay away from the webpage you were on when it showed up with those pop-ups.

Windows 8 - the saga continues.....

Windows 8 has been working quite well so far, and I haven't found any snags to complain about yet, except for one or two minor annoyances related to features which remind me of the paranoiac redundancies that were built into Vista. Do I really need three steps including confirmation to get from looking into the Recycle Bin to then emptying it? I don't think so. That reminds me of the old "You must have Administrator rights to perform this operation", or "Are you sure you really want to do this?" or "Did you bring a note from your Mother authorizing you to do this?" or "Do you now or have you ever known Osama Bin Missing?" That kind of totally superfluous crap that nobody needs and nobody wants at a hundred and some bucks a slice for the program. We're buying a useful computer program, not a goddamned lecture from some distant authority figure with too high an opinion of his or her own worth to the system. If we want parental guidance, we will consult a parent, not someone we're paying to presumably make our lives easier, rather than more complicated. All you Microsoftians listen up here. This is your paycheck speaking.

And if, like me, you've just added some improved hardware to your pet PC and aren't terribly anxious to trash it in favor of a fancy new all-in-one with a price that could choke a horse, there's good news. You can buy a reasonably-priced touch screen monitor that simply plugs into your pet PC and gives it touchscreen features, once you connect a USB cable to it so the monitor can talk to the PC and share its touch configurations with the main system. And around $300 beats the hell out of $1100 to $1800 or so for a new all-in-one with all the bells and whistles clanging and whistling for you. Would I lie to you?

P.S. -
Wondering why I wouldn't get a new all-in-one instead of getting a new monitor with touch to plug into my existing pet PC?  Because: Some of these sexy new all-in-ones don't have the same quality of graphics cards (for example) that I have in my old Acer AM5100, so I can expect better performance from adding a new touch-enabled monitor to this existing PC than I'd get from a new all-in-one. 


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Those tiles again....

These change as you add new programs or features, and you can drag them around on here to rearrange them for convenience. You can also delete them in case you don't want them here. The demo of Win-8 includes some that may not work in your local area. Some of those are specific to certain test regions and if you are not in one of those, then you may as well throw it out to make room for one that's more useful. 'Window Dressing' isn't why we're here, Kiddies. We're trying to see how this works and with what else it can do that. And it is surprisingly adaptable to older programs, which is something I've been trying to talk them into making possible for years.  Since back in the days of (Ugh!) Vista! 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Where Apps come and go

Just a reminder, Folks - there's nothing sacred about this selection of Start Screen Apps. Feel free to add or subtract as you wish. It's your Start Menu after all. And as I learned recently, not all those demo Apps that came with it will be working in everyone's own regions, so some may be useless to you. They can be replaced on this real estate by others that you have added yourself, which work.

Once again, if you have downloaded a program off the web (or from a disc) and you would like its tile on the Start Menu Screen, here's the file path to get to the spot into which you should drag a copy of its shortcut:- Users\Your Username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Windows Accessories. All you'll need to place in there is a copy of its shortcut. You can copy that from its desktop shortcut, or make a new one. Then, you'll have it handy with all the others already there.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Gourmet dining, bachelor style....

I buy a lot of those frozen dinners in a bag from the frozen section of the local supermarket, and it's no secret that the pictures on the packages look more appetizing than the real stuff ready to eat. So I like to experiment with them, and try to improve on the basic ingredients.

Tonight, I cooked up a bag of "Home Style Chicken With Vegetables and Gravy". The gravy comes frozen in little discs about the size of a silver dollar or a 'Loonie' in Canadian, and these pellets of gravy never quite seem to amount to enough of it to properly cover the other things. I usually add a small quantity of boiling water, but tonight I tried something different: half a cup of no-pulp Tropicana orange juice and about three tablespoons of 'I can't believe it's not butter'. Just delicious! That orange juice makes really flavorful gravy. You ought to try it.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Another new graphics card for another computer....

Changing the graphics card in this older quad core made a big difference. The other card, with 512 Mb of built-in RAM gave me a Windows Experience Index score of 3.6, and this new card with 1024 Mb has almost doubled that. So it was worth it for sure. The graphics are better now, and so is the performance.

I mentioned the CMOS Battery in a previous post, and I was wrong about its voltage. It's a 3 volt battery, so mine at 2.5 wasn't all that wasted yet, but it was changed today while the new card was being installed. So it's good for another five years or so, more or less.  I have yet to find out if I am.....


More Musings from Oldest Living Beta Tester ( that would be me!)

Today's 'Question Everything' -

"Will Touch Computering be like Touch Typing?" Will the 'hunt-and-peckers' take over the world? Could a majority of touch-screens in use result in a new meaning of the term 'computer virus' as our germs trade hosts via the screens?

And a peek into the old Crystal Ball....

It's the future - that brave new world we struggled to get to during all those semi-delightful marginally-interesting or barely-survivable yesterdays we're now looking back on. We are almost all using Windows 12, except those few religiously dedicated die-hards of the Apple persuasion, rendered impotent by Microsoft's latest touch and voice and gesture-activated operating system which can watch you with its camera, and listen to you with its microphone, and anticipate your every desire, electronically speaking. Those dark ages while we struggled with keyboards and mice versus pokes and pinches and digital gymnastics of various skill levels and degrees of complexity all seem so remote now that we're using these latest wonderful Made-In-China, Assembled-In-India
Personal Assistants. We don't call them computers, because they're so much more than that......

After all, did you ever have a computer that said, "Ooooh! Your hands are cold this morning, Darling. You should wrap them around a nice hot cup of Seattle's Finest before you try to turn me on......" Or one that murmured "Mmmmmm......
you have such a gentle touch! Oh! I like that! Mmmm - Yes! Maybe a little lower down, Darling - leave room for the news up there...."

And that's entirely enough future for now...... but you see where it's heading.
So stay tuned, Kiddies - as a famous entertainer used to say, "You ain't seen nothin' yet!"  

Thursday, March 22, 2012

About the Apps in Windows 8 .......

I've seen comments, and not nice ones, in some of these forums pages where self-proclaimed experts calling themselves 'technical writers' have criticized the
Apps (among other things) in Windows 8. So let's take a look at one:

This is the Map App, and I've dragged it around (Yes, your mouse can do that!) to show us parts of Vancouver, B.C., which it does quite well - but wait......

It lets me zoom in on my own neighborhood's six residential high-rises until I can practically smell the flowers and count the branches on the trees! And critics be damned, I think that's something pretty spectacular. I like it - a lot!

Most of those who are throwing criticisms at this unfinished beta program are being both premature and unkind, and doing that probably because they haven't really got into it deeply enough to understand what it's trying to do for us. And what it's trying to do for us is drag us into the 21st century and let your fingers do the walking, so to speak. Let's give it a fair trial before we try to shoot it at sunrise, shall we? It just might surprise the hell out of all of us. This ain't your Mom's Windows 95, Kiddies. It's 'way beyond that.... and you really ought to try it. 

Please Note:

Re: Windows 8 Consumer Preview Apps -

If you have tried using an app and you received an error message, such as one that says Account/Location Mismatch - C00D1353, here's what Microsoft says: "Typically, this error occurs for one of the following reasons:
* You're trying to sign in to the app in countries or regions where the service is unavailable, or -
* The computer that you're trying to sign in on is in a different Windows region than where your account is based."

More Information:
The Apps affected by this issue include XBox Companion, XBox LIVE Games, Music, and Video. Note that the Windows 8 Consumer Preview Apps are only available in the following locations: United States, Japan, Germany, and France.

(This would seem to eliminate most of the civilized world! I wonder why???)
I stumbled onto this juicy little tidbit after I had written that glowing report above, suggesting that perhaps being impulsive isn't one of my best qualities.


The Inner Sanctum Story......

This monitors the temperatures and fans and etc. inside the box for you.
You can get your copy right here.

Please Note:

In the top section, Voltages, the last on the list reads 'VBat'. Unless I'm mistaken, that's the CMOS Battery, which is about the size of a nickel and similar to a watch battery. It keeps your system time running accurately during periods when the computer is shut down or unplugged, and its normal voltage is about 3.5 volts. So if that voltage reading gets much lower than that, you should probably have that battery changed. Usually, it will last about five years. When it starts to die, your system clock will begin losing time, but it's not a great idea to let it get that low if you can check on its voltage with a monitoring program like this one above.


Missing in Windows 8 -

This is what's missing from Windows 8 - that oh so handy Feedback icon on the desktop, to keep all those nice folks at Microsoft from getting lonely, or maybe wondering if anyone loves them, or if anyone had any suggestions about the program which weren't X-rated, or maybe which were, depending on your level of pleasure or frustration at that moment. 

They got so many comments, the reason this icon isn't included in Windows 8 is simply because they're still wading through all those comments about Windows 7 from three years ago, which they've estimated may take them another 15 to 20 years. (just kidding!) But seriously - they got so many bits of feedback during that Windows 7 testing, they couldn't believe it, and so this time, there's no cute little icon to click on for an instant message to headquarters about the new operating system, or how you might improve it if you were doing the deciding. 

But now, where do we send a suggestion for Windows 8? Or ask questions of its designers, in case they have time to offer a quick answer - like "Why does it take three clicks to dump the Recycle Bin if I go into it first, instead of just right-clicking on its icon and choosing "empty Recycle Bin"?  Was that feature included by a former Vista designer who wasn't chased out of town when Vista proved to be such an embarrassment to the whole establishment? I wonder....

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring will be a little late this year........

Seagate vs Windows Backups.....

For quite a while now, I've had a Seagate FreeAgent Desk external hard-drive for back-ups, and it works OK.  I haven't been using it much, because if I'm changing programs or operating systems, it just doesn't make a lot of sense to be constantly creating new back-ups of such things. But I'm open to change, so today I gave it another go.

Here's what I learned: It has a management program called Seagate Manager, and that told me it has its latest update. So I said, "Fine - show me your back-up drive, and let's get started here." It looked at my system for a while, and then told me "There is no external drive connected to this system." Liar! The damned thing is sitting right here on top of the tower of the PC, all lit up like Christmas, and hot and running - or capable of it.

So much for Seagate's Manager program for its otherwise nice little back-up drive. I deleted that in Programs and Features, or so I thought until I looked in the Programs folder to see it was still there and very much alive and well, or appeared to be. So again, I deleted it from there, and this time it actually went. Persistent little bastard, I must say. Too bad it didn't work that well.

Then, having got rid of that useless Manager program, I went into Windows where I should have started in the first place, and used the Windows Back-up to make an image of this complete drive. The Score: Windows - 1, Seagate - 0.

If you want to format that external drive before starting this system image back-up, you can go to Control Panel\Administrative Tools\Computer Management\Disk Management, and in the main window, right-click on the rectangle for that external drive, and then choose 'Format', and it will wipe that drive and format it for a fresh install. It does that quite quickly too. Then, when you put the fresh image on there, you don't need to worry about other stuff contaminating it. 


Keeping your Windows 8 clean and tidy......

Here's something I've been using since Windows 7, the original Windows 8.....
(before it got optimized for the thumb-typing crowd) and this works just as well in Windows 8 as it does in Windows 7. The whole story's in the image, so just click inside that to enlarge it for easier reading. And try this - it works!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Can't find a subject for monitor backgrounds?

Open the window and take a few shots of the clouds for a nice relaxing set of backgrounds. These are nice on a day when the weather's nasty. Positive reinforcement, that's the trick! Do-it-yourself brainwashing. Works for me!

Can't believe everything you read.....

The magazine Money Sense claims to have rated our cities for the best places to live in the Great White North, and it picks Ottawa, Ontario as number one.

I've lived in Ottawa, if you can call that living, and I'm here to tell you that you can spend three weeks there in a single afternoon! It makes three-day-old cow pies seem absolutely scintillating. Would I lie to you?


Fun with Stellarium......

When looking for an object which may be difficult to see next to brighter objects you can turn the sky back to its normal deep space black for easier viewing. Or, you can change your viewing base to one of our other planets perhaps. But looking at the heavens from one of those isn't like our view of it. I'm not sure how they did that, but it's a neat trick. Viewing Earth from Mars, for example.

"E.T., call home!" Those little green men are us.....

U.S. Politics: Have they really thought about this?

A headline in the Washington Post quoted on Google reads: 'A confident Mitt Romney expects to tighten grasp on GOP nomination after Illinois primary.'

I have to wonder - let's assume Mitt is it - he rises to the top of the septic tank of politics, and his given name is still 'Mitt', even though he's now in s**t..... see where that could all go when things don't please the unwashed voters? Has he really thought about this? Let's face it - 'Dumb-assed Dubya' was nothing compared to a slogan like 'Mitt The Shit'. Maybe he should change his name to  Ralph or Fred or Archibald or something - anything but 'Mitt'. 'Glove' maybe?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Today's weather - Blah!

You can do fun things with Stellarium....

Jupiter and some of its satellites.

Stellarium: - On Mars this morning, Earth hasn't risen yet....

Click inside the image to enlarge it for detail.
(There isn't much this morning!)

More programs working in Windows 8......

Google Earth works fine, and I can see my place here.

And Stellarium works fine, and I can see the moon this morning...
The marvels of science!

An idea whose time has come....

iBallz for your iPad - does your iPad have balls? 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The snow line seems to be getting lower.....

Not an average mid-March around here. The early stages of another Ice Age?

Global Warming = increased evaporation = more precipitation = increased cooling = more snow = the next Ice Age. That's my theory, and I'm sticking to it. 

Examples of "I Want One Of Those".....

I'd comment, but I haven't read the paper yet.......

"I want one of those!" - a website for you?

In case you don't yet have everything, and do have a place to put it, and the means to pay for it all, have I got a website for you! Check this out....

"Dear Mr. Microsoft" -

I am enjoying the testing of Windows 8, and everything has been working just wonderfully so far, even old programs made back in the early days of XP, and I'm quite happy with it, except........
 I can't get this Windows 7 Logon Screen Background Changer to work, no matter what I try - 'run as administrator' or whatever - it just doesn't want to replace that gawd-awful solid-color logon screen with something more visually appealing.

So please consider this a "Dear Santa" letter, and have a look at this while you are considering the final features for the RTM version of Wonderful Windows. Thank you profusely in advance for your help with this minor annoyance that has been bugging me. If you would like to download a copy of this program, you can find that on Julien's website.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

About those pictures in the previous post.....

This being St. Patrick's Day, and me being half Irish, I like to think it's the better half, I felt I ought to do something to celebrate the occasion, and since I think green beer is totally ridiculous and an insult to Coors Light, I thought something like a special theme for Windows might be nice....

I've been accused of being anti-religion, and I'm really not - I'm just anti presumption. Some of the most obnoxious people I've ever met were devout Christians totally convinced they were on a direct path to Heaven  and had God's permission to dump all over the rest of us as they pleased. On the other hand, just because we choose to believe something doesn't necessarily make it true. But I won't give you my favorite rant on that just now. 

Looking at that first image below, can you write a caption for it? How about this one: "Watch out for these Shamrocks, Baby - This is killer weed!" That second one shows St. Patrick and St. Brigid, and there's some evidence suggesting they were the Brad and Angelina of their day. See what I mean about 'jumping to conclusions'? It works both ways, Kiddies.

Theme pictures for St. Patrick's Day - stained glass windows

Friday, March 16, 2012

Tonight's Sunset

Working in Windows 8.......

Zoombrowser EX, installed from an old Canon disk that came with my Canon G9 back when, and today updated from their website, is once more doing its thing in Windows 8. Also working nicely is the Image Resizer for Windows 7, the clone of that old XP Powertoy for Windows, and the program Irfanview that I was yapping about the other day is now acting as my default image handler program, and doing very nicely at it. Irfan does good work over there in Bosnia. 

Today's ski report.....

And we thought that Spring was just around the corner. Woof!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Yes - You Can!

Yes, you can install and run Windows 7 Themes quite happily in Windows 8. I have proof.... and several new themes now.

And here's another graphics program....

Adding programs to Windows 8, 64-bit....

Yes, Irfanview runs in Windows 8, and if you have the 64-bit Win-8, it will be installed into the "Programs x86" folder on your drive. Irfan lives in Bosnia, and he's not only a very smart fellow, but he's also a nice guy, and he does appreciate your donations and your compliments on his excellent work. When he says that his is one of the most popular viewers world-wide, he's not kidding. There's an excellent 'Help' section of FAQs, and lots of separate Plug-ins in addition to the standard ones that come with the program. Most of us will find the built-in ones quite adequate. This program does a lot of things with images, including batch resize/rename and making your own slideshows. You should try it!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Today's project....

Today, I put 64-bit Windows 8 on a spare partition in the quad-core computer which has 32-bit Windows 7 on it. There was a little re-arranging needed at first to get the boot priority set to the DVD drive, and get the empty partition set at a default, so Win-8 would notice it, and not try to tell me it couldn't do 64-bit on a 32-bit system (Yes, we can!) and then things went along quite smoothly. The 64-bit Windows 8 runs old 32-bit programs just fine, and I'm suitably impressed.
It also runs the 64-bit version of the Vista Shortcut Arrow Remover, and that's why there's no arrows on these shortcuts on the desktop. Works for me!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

This isn't how I planned it when I tested Blogger's 'dynamic template'....

But I can't seem to find a way back to the original that I had before, and I just want to let Google know how very much I appreciate having this whole layout trashed by their half-assed and only partly-working latest attempt at remaking a template for these things. If you can't get it right, then leave the goddamned thing alone, you idiots! And this means you in the back rooms at Google! Some of us put some thought into what we choose for elements on here, and then we get invited to try your wonderful new and improved scheme, and it screws everything all to hell on us, and you turkeys are sitting there and probably smiling a lot, because you're getting paid for all this. Well, I'm not! And from the looks of it, you shouldn't be either! Try testing your brainwave next time before you say it's ready to use. And finishing what you start might be a hell of a good idea too. If we wanted half-assed, we'd ask. Did any of you guys work on the Edsel? Can you count to 21 without dropping your drawers? Prove it, Hotshot - fix that goddamned 'dynamic template' so it doesn't eat the one we had before it.

Today's Snow Report - Spring has not yet sprung

Google's 'New Look' for Blogger..... Is it ready for Prime Time?

I tried their new 'dynamic template' this morning, and I'm sorry I did that. It definitely isn't ready for Prime Time yet. I couldn't find the information for how to edit the various elements such as the header text, and had to revert it into the old original to do that editing. 

And it still has the annoying habit of reverting to its ugly little default font every time I change to adding in a picture or positioning for a new paragraph, and I have to wonder - don't they test this stuff before they throw it out here into the streets for us kids to play with? Maybe it's hazardous to our health - how do we know? 

And why does previously composed text above the line I'm working on suddenly decide to fracture into weird broken lines of fractured text for no reason except that I've moved the cursor to a fresh line, for example? Then I have to go back, line by line, using the backspace key and the other controls to get it all together again. If the New York Times had to do that while writing their stuff, we'd still be waiting for the daily papers for the 22nd of July, 1933! What the hell's the problem at Google? Can't they ever finish one thing properly before starting in on some other half-baked and half-assed project? Apparently not! Today's Question Everything has to be "WHY???"

I like it....Reading the papers with Windows 8

Here's what USA Today looks like after I click on its App in the Start Screen, and then choose an article from its opening page, and then click and drag that a little bit to get that article to open in full-screen mode....

Back at the movies, when I was a kid, every show opened with a Newsreel, the main features of which were big, beautiful, in-your-face images of whatever was making news at that moment. Your 'Cousin Weakeyes' loved it, and so did you, because it was just like you were there, in person, seeing it for yourself. This is very much like that, especially if you have a good-sized screen. If fact, this is even better, because it's in living color, and can have surround sound.

If I had a chunk of the cloud reserved for my own use, and had Windows 8 installed in that, and could punch it up on my hand-held, from wherever, I could do all this while waiting at the bus stop, or eating breakfast at Denny's, or wherever...... and that, Kiddies, is why we have Windows 8. And if you forgot to finish something at the office before you left, you could access that just as easily, and get a head start on today before anyone finds out you didn't finish off yesterday before it became tomorrow. Get the picture? Sure you do! In living color, with surround sound. Isn't technology wonderful? 

Monday, March 12, 2012

More from EMCO Software....

 I've received another email from Igor at EMCO, to say that there will be a newer version of MoveOnBoot available soon. It will be changed to make it compatible with the .NET Framework 4.0, so please be patient, Folks... It's worth waiting for. I've even used it to clean out a malware that had locked its own file to prevent that from being done. MoveOnBoot got rid of it during a reboot, and I think that's just wonderful. I wouldn't be without it. 

Please Note:
I just tested MoveOnBoot in Windows 8 by creating a read-only folder inside the Windows folder, and then using MoveOnBoot to delete it during a reboot. The test folder is gone, and not just into the recycle bin either - it's gone completely! Without a trace. I then did a Search for it, and the search found nothing. But if Igor says this needs some fine tuning, I certainly would not question his word. But it works for me. I have version 2.2.8 released on 27 February 2012.  

Note to Tommy - Virtual install of Windows 8

Hi, Tommy -

In case you haven't seen this one, here's a useful link about all that stuff... A freebie download with directions for how-to.


Here's why I like Firefox - its very useful Add-ons....

I just installed this into Firefox in Windows 8, and I've had it on Windows 7 for years. This little add-on provides you with the ability to manage LSOs, or Local System Objects, better known perhaps as 'Supercookies'. Why? Because.....

These 'Supercookies' don't show up in your regular cookie-handling programs, they never expire, they can contain 100 Kb compared to regular cookies 4 Kb, they can perform executable operations like sending your personal data back home to their home base, and you don't even know they are in there unless you have this little program, which is a free add-on for Firefox. I wish Internet Explorer had one of these. (Dear Mr. Microsoft: Please Read!)

After I installed it, I opened its window to see what it had found, and this list shown is missing three entries that I've already deleted prior to grabbing the screen shot of it. You can set this to work in conjunction with your normal Firefox privacy settings and cookie-handling, so that it will clear these along with regular cookies according to however you've chosen to configure that, so you do not need to do this separately, unless you prefer to do it that way.

Some of these LSOs do perform useful tasks, but it has been my experience that everything seems to work just fine if I have this feature set to dump the LSOs along with other cookies each time I close the browser. These little muckets don't exactly breed in the dark corners, but they know enough about arithmetic to be able to multiply like rabbits if you give them half a chance, so I don't. This add-on provides exactly what it promises: Better Privacy. If you use Firefox, you should have one of these. 

This just in from Igor in Iceland at EMCO Software....

As some of you may know, EMCO Software in Iceland (Yes, Iceland!) makes some excellent software, and they also make some very useful little freebies, like MoveOnBoot, which can move, rename or delete locked files or folders that you otherwise can't get at. It works during a reboot (hence the name) while things are momentarily not locked up by the system in active memory. And let me add that it also works in Windows 7 and Windows 8. But that's not why I wrote to EMCO with some feedback on Friday.  I was trying to test their other little freebie called UnlockIT, but it wouldn't work in Windows 8 yet. Here's Igor's reply:-

And I'm pleased to note that as usual, they are right on top of this, and will be ready when Windows 8 goes RTM, which is more than we could say of some others when Windows 7 came along. Some rather popular third-party programs from other software companies weren't quite ready for that, and had to be asked to please do an update. EMCO did not need to be reminded.  My thanks to Igor for this reply. 


New Clock Gadget

Is this a great looking clock gadget, or what?

A friend asks: "How do you like Windows 8?"

A long-time friend asked me in an email "How do you like Windows 8? How does it compare to Windows 7?"

I had to stop and ask myself how best to answer those questions, because in the excitement of discovering what the new operating system has in it and what it's all about, I hadn't really stopped to ask myself those very questions. And let's face it - these are important questions.

My Start Screen is slowly filling out with its cute (and handy!) little tiles.....

 And there's more Free Apps available now, including useful ones like 'USA Today' and 'The LA Times', and of course a scattering of games, games, games for all those with nothing better to do..... which prompts yet another burning question: "Who the hell's actually working to pay this phone bill if all you boobs are playing your mindless little games on these cute little toys?" - Or should I ask? Who's getting richer right now - computer software companies or the phone company? Are we all going to end up working for the phone company so we can pay for all this air time in cyberspace? One wonders, Kiddies!

But I digress - sorry about that. In answering my friend's question, I had to ask myself some hard questions, like "What am I doing with Windows 8 that I couldn't do just as well with Windows 7?" And the answer is: "Nothing!" But let me qualify that, lest you think I don't like this new iteration of Windows. I like it fine, but I can't do a fair and equitable test of it without having a touch enabled computer, which mine isn't. Without which, I can't really make full and intended use of these newest features in Windows 8 centered around the touch features which are becoming more popular and therefore more important to an operating system.

I bought a new quad-core computer while testing the first beta of Windows 7, which as we all know runs best on multicore processors with lots of RAM and a graphics card having its own separate RAM as well. I'll spare you my rant about 'engineered obsolescence' here, but let's say you shouldn't try to put a forty dollar saddle on a ten dollar horse. Been there and done that - the horse died anyway. Anyhooo - getting back to Windows 8, Windows hasn't been re-invented so much as evolved. This isn't about preaching to those of us among the converted, but rather it's an evangelical effort aimed at those darlings with the cute little hand-helds who are desperately in need of better programming for those gadgets, and more ways to use one, and all of that being above all easy, quick, dependable, and hopefully affordable.

Windows 8 therefore is Windows 7 optimized for the mobile market - all those people everywhere seemingly always doing something on their phones or their tablets, while ignoring us traditional computer users with our bulky PCs and our keyboards and our mice. In other words, it's carefully aimed at you of the thumb-typing generation, you precious darlings whom we've spoiled rotten with these essential toys and gadgets. Now, Kiddies, it's "payback time" and we want you to actually perform some useful work on those time-consuming toys. And Windows 8 will connect you and your hand-held to a cloud in which you will have pretty-much everything at your fingertips that we of the PC crowd have enjoyed since the invention of the byte, kilobyte, and megabyte, and now hopefully, this technology is going to byte you, and get you into the productive phone-bill-paying crowd of self-supporting cybernoids. Get the picture? Good! So go get Windows 8! Put those thumbs to work... Do I look like your mother? And get the hell off the couch! - Any questions? 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Windows 8 - It's what's under the hood.....

Wondering what's so 'special' about Windows 8? You're not alone... So I've been looking, and here's part of what I found:-

So, just as we suspected, there's a lot more going on than just what you see on that busy little Start Screen with its colorful tiles you can poke and drag around. And the pundits who inevitably yield to the temptation to minimize the efforts of Windows 8's design team might be well advised to do their homework before throwing anything smelly.

Not the best day

Friday, March 9, 2012

A home-made theme ready to use in Windows 8 Themes

When you make your own Theme, and give its folder a name, there's always another folder you must have inside the named one, and it is always called DesktopBackground, because your Themes program always looks for it as the one to actually use for the working folder while changing your theme images like in a slideshow. The DesktopBackground one is the one that makes it all go, and your Windows looks for that exact folder name to start the theme running. That's why every theme folder has one inside named DesktopBackground. And that's the big secret to successfully making your own themes. Each different theme needs a  different name, but its pictures always go into a folder inside called DesktopBackground. 

Is this my next PC ?

If you change the graphics card....

Don't forget to uninstall the other old card's driver, and get the latest updates for your new one, so everything's trying to contact its own stuff and not having any conflicts. One brand's installer won't remove another brand's installed drivers, and yet one would assume it ought to be made to do that for sure, because nobody is going to have two brands of graphics cards installed together. I got the new AMD/ATI Radeon HD 5450 because the original nVidia card was barely able to do the job on Win-7 never mind Win-8 with even more whiz-bang graphics. When I want 'Zippity-Doo-Dah' I don't want Zippity limping in on crutches...this is not why we're here! ATI Radeon understands that, and delivers for you. This card has a full gig of its own RAM, unlike the 256 Mb on the nVidia.