TAG: Windows

3 Ways To Automate The Backup Of TrueCrypt Containers

Truecrypt LogoFor some, 2013 has been the “year of encryption”. Leading the rise of all things security. Among the best of these, the tool TrueCrypt, allows you to create entire encrypted drives and “containers”, that may include one or more drive volumes. While the validity of TrueCrypt is currently being tested, many are flocking to TrueCrypt in an effort to keep their important files secure. With that, comes the challenge of keeping these secure files and containers backed up regularly. This isn’t exactly easy when the TrueCrypt file may actually be in use. I’ve compiled a list of things you can do to keep these files backed up.

Would Windows 8 Have Succeeded As Two Versions?

Windows 8 LogoWhen I’m asked about “What if” scenarios, it often turns to thinking of the supposed failure that is Windows 8 (and 8.1, to a degree). Many users and technology enthusiasts alike have theories as to how the the failure of Windows 8 in 2012, could have succeed if only Microsoft did something different. From creating different versions, to allowing the Start Menu from boot to an alternative patch of Windows Phone 7. The more intriguing question, however, is if Windows 8 would have succeeded if Microsoft branched its “Metro” and “Classic” interfaces into two distinct products.

Microsoft buys Nokia Devices & Services business

Nokia LogoToday, the Internets blew up with news about Microsoft buying Nokia’s devices and services business:

…a transaction whereby Microsoft will purchase substantially all of Nokia’s Devices & Services business

I’m not sure that anyone knows what “substantially all” means, is that everything or just mostly everything? I also find it interesting that less than two weeks ago Ballmer announced his retirement. The timing seems oddly orchestrated. Nokia and Microsoft might seem like a logical union to take on the likes of Apple and Google who already have hardware divisions.

Wait, what? Being Good And Useful Is Apocalyptic?

Windows XP LogoIn a series of odd, bordering on stupid news stories leading up to Microsoft’s end of support for Windows XP, another article has popped up from a tech press so totally out-of-touch with the real word of what they cover. Whether is be a “Windows XP Problem” or a full scale “Windows XP Apocalypse” – those still using Windows XP are in for a new kind of hell when Microsoft stops offering security patches for the operating system on April 8, 2014 (of course, assuming this isn’t extended). It seems abundantly clear to these folks that using these operating systems past available patches is akin to something like an extinction event.

Microsoft Releases a Number of Software Previews

Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview LogoWith Microsoft’s Build Conference 2013 set to start tomorrow morning, Microsoft is about to hit us with a flurry of new and preview bits of its biggest software packages. Of the biggest previews tomorrow, we’ll likely see the big “Blue” Windows 8.1 preview released for us to test. Late yesterday and today, however, Microsoft made a few other packages available for download and preview.

Stick A Fork In It, Windows

ZDnet LogoIn a serious dose of bullshit, I point you to a blog post on Zdnet by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols. The title of this post tells you exactly where this one is going: Windows: It’s over. So, Windows is dead? Windows 8 is Dead? Windows and the PC is dead? Certainly, Steven gets much of his fuel from recent reports of a huge decline in PC sales. But, wait; read a little further along and Steven essentially negates the stupid title:

Yes, we are entering a post-PC world. Tablets and smartphones are becoming more important… to sales. PCs are no more going to go away than mainframes did. We’re still going to be using them in offices and homes for the foreseeable future.

Well, clearly he knows PCs are still useful. Windows is still, err, enjoying a more than 90% market share on the desktop – not to mention Windows on the server side. So, what part of Windows is “over”? Is it possible that “not growing” does not equal “death”? It doesn’t seem like Steven got that memo. But, whatever. He likes the Aero interface. Claim Chowder, indeed Mr. Gruber

First Look: Copy – a new Cloud Storage Service

Copy LogoIf the number of cloud storage services is making you go batty, my mention of Cloud is probably not going to help that. The recent explosion in cloud storage options has been nothing less than insane. Here on the blog we’ve discussed all sorts of tools like MegaDropbox, Cubby, Insync, and even Bitcasa. When I heard Barracuda Networks was getting into the cloud storage game, I was curious how this might look. I’ll show you more about Copy, how it compares to Dropbox and what features make it unique. At the end of the article, I’ll show you how to double your initial storage space of 5 GB (for a limited time).

Extract Files From Windows Easy Transfer (MIG) Archives

MIG ViewerThe Windows Easy Transfer Tool is wonderful. Over the years, I’ve come to find it’s utility and function improves with each use. As a migration tool, it’s support for Outlook and Office configurations is useful. The ability to migrate a computer in-place for profiles changes is handy. And, as a profile backup tool, it may be worth a look. Introduced in Windows Vista and available for Windows XP, the Windows Easy Transfer is a tool of many uses, but one of the lingering drawbacks has been the inability to extract files from the generated .MIG archives. Not to worry though, I’ll show you how to do it.

Overall Impressions: Microsoft Office 2013

Office2013-1You’ve seen my thoughts on Outlook 2013, Word 2013, and Excel 2013 previously – now, I wanted to take a step back and look at the entire suite itself. The “fat” Office application suite has been with us so long, it’s almost easy to forget that this was a very non-cohesive set of programs not so long ago. Microsoft has certainly made gains in that regard as it integrates and includes no less than 9 different tools in the full Office 2013 package. Let’s take a look at the bigger picture.