TAG: Windows

Windows 8’s Success Depends On One Simple Thing

Windows 8 LogoWe’re all a part of unprecedented times. The computing choices around us are are almost as varied as our interests for consuming and creating information. One new choice on the horizon will be Windows 8, and the certain upheaval it represents. Much has been made of this new version of Windows (available October 26), and how many will not “get it” and fewer still will shell out cash to purchase the product that almost no one likes. I think this is a sound theory since Windows 8 is almost universally being panned. Even the expected positive review from Walt Mossberg is, well, not so much.

Can Technology Blog Titles Get More Misleading?

Mislead-1Sherri L. Smith, writing for Laptop Magazine created an article titled “Samsung Windows 8 PCs Will Have Start Menu After All” that has to be one of the most bizarrely misleading titles I’ve seen in a while. The article is based entirely on a piece of software by Samsung that will imitate “Windows’ familiar Start Menu” and yet the title says “Have Start Menu” not ‘Have a kind of  Start Menu’ or ‘Have a mimicked Start Menu’, the title is talking about the actual Start Menu, but that’s false. There isn’t one in Windows 8.

It gets better though, Sherri goes on to relay from Zdnet that “the S Launcher wouldn’t make it into the final shipping product” and that it would be a download. So, then, now her title should be something like:

Windows 8 won’t have a Start Menu, but Samsung is making one that will imitate a Start Menu, but that probably only be downloadable until after you buy the computer – oh, it looks nice’

Seriously. What the hell?

Microsoft Surface RT Gets Priced – Can It Compete?

Surface PricingThis is interesting. Microsoft’s new RT-Based tablet devices have been priced and are available for pre-order online in the US. Pricing is is $499 US on the low end (with 32 GB) and $699 on the high end. My thoughts are this device can’t possibly compete on that pricing. This tablet is more analogous to the iPad than a PC – and the low end iPad (16GB) starts at $499. Many expected this device to undercut Apple by at least $100 to gain market share- but that’s not happening – well, it does, see below. It still looks like a non-starter.

And, remember, this is an ARM Cortex-A9 CPU that will not run any of your current Windows x86-based applications. This also includes Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview.

The “Why You Need Windows 8” Template

Take heed all, I have found the template for the many, many blog posts and articles that you’ll read leading up to, and after, the October 26th launch of Windows 8. This template, found here, simply states that all of the “Windows XP/Vista/7” components have been done better in Windows 8 –  and – for that reason,  you should install Windows 8, adding:

“If you’re truly happy with Windows 7, stick with it. But if you’re willing to try something new for some seriously awesome desktop-side improvements, I suggest giving Windows 8 a shot.”

That may be simply what Windows 8 was meant to be, a better, faster, cooler, awesome-r version of Windows 7. If you pretend the formerly-named-Metro apps don’t exist, do you really have a worthy Windows upgrade?

Free Tool: Schedule A Reboot In Windows With Reboot Now

Renow1Today we have another free tool for you. In the same category as the Reboot, Log Off, and Shutdown – Reboot Now can be used to force a computer to reboot on a set schedule. Once that time you setup is reached, Reboot Now will force the computer to reboot as cleanly as possible.This small utility sits in your Windows System Tray out of the way doing it’s thing inconspicuously. Read on for more details and download links.

Free Tool: CRcutil – Basic File Compare And Text Encryption

crcutil1The landscape for encryption tools today is incredibly dense. Certainly, this process is done in many novel ways and with tools that far surpass that of the simple. One of the most amazing encryption tools (for example) is TrueCrypt – I covered it in a recent “That Great Tool” post. While tools like that offer a great deal of options and uses, I’ve always thought there was room for the simple too. CRCutil is just that – a simple way to compare two files or encrypt and decrypt small amounts of text. Read on for more details and a download link for this free tool.

Basics: How Do I Find My Computer Name?

ComputerNameWhen asking a Tech Support person, or someone you trust to remotely assist you, they may ask you “What is your computer name?” or “Please find me your computer name”. This process can be quite challenging for some people since every new operating system seems to change the process ever so slightly (while manufacturers, don’t).. Well, fear not – I’m going to list the simplest of ways to get that information so you can supply the details you need and move on.

Automating Reboot, Log Off, And Shut Down With Free Tools

ShutDown2While thinking of free tools to add to the growing list available here, I thought of a specific problem I attempted to solve many times over the years. essentially, I wanted to find various ways to automate the log off, shut down and reboot processes of Windows. In a more fragmented way, these tools were borne of  necessity and never grouped together while I created them in the late 1990s – until now. Today, I give you three new tools to download and I simply call them Reboot / Log Off / Shutdown. Read on for download links and details.

Set Windows’ interface To BASIC For Better Performance

TurnOff04One of the biggest casualties with Windows versions after XP, was the loss of all those settings you could control in the  “Display” applet in XP’s Control Panel. They allowed you to turn off a bunch of things that would improve performance for slower computers – and in some cases – take an unusable machine and make it useful again. Are you looking for those settings that will let you “Turn off Window Contents while Dragging” or how to turn off the “Aero” interface? look no further, all the details are here.

Extending The Windows Mobility Center Tool

WMobile01New with Windows Vista (and included in later versions) was the Windows Mobility Center. This great little tool typically allows mobile users to see and control many of the most obvious and useful settings on a Windows machine. The settings are arranged as tiles on a single window with each tile containing a specific setting. Also possible by OEMs, is extending the interface to include other tiles for controlling a system. I thought, this is cool and useful but really, really ugly. I thought, there must be other stuff I can do with this.