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April 8, 2014

Adios, Windows XP

Filed under: News — admin @ 9:48 am

Microsoft support for Windows XP officially ends today. It’s done. Finished. Adios.

The operating system still works; software never goes obsolete. Microsoft will not, however, offer updates, security patches, or provide “help” for Windows XP users effective today.

Yes, they really want you to upgrade. No, you probably won’t. If you’re using Windows XP, then you most likely have it running on a very old computer. That computer will die. Then you will update. That’s how it works.

From a business standpoint, I believe Microsoft is making a huge mistake. They haven’t made much money from Windows XP users, but they could: Simply offer a $10 or $25 update. But, no. So, Adios, Windows XP, perhaps the best version of Windows ever.


April 7, 2014

One Cable to Rule Them All

Filed under: News — admin @ 8:29 am

The best comment I’ve read about USB cables goes like this:

You have a 50 percent change of plugging the cable in correctly but get it wrong 80 percent of the time.

O how true!

Apparently, the new Type-C USB 3.1 attempts to solve that problem. Such a solution would be a blessed relief. Even so, let’s not harken back to the pre-USB days of random and various PC connectors. That was truly hell.


Welcome to Las Vegas!

Filed under: Main — admin @ 12:01 am

I can’t claim to be an expert on Las Vegas or gambling, but I do have an inkling on how the slot machines work.

April 4, 2014

Evil Nerd Roundup

Filed under: Main — admin @ 12:01 am

Evil nerds are a dime a dozen. In fact, it’s too much of a stereotype to be a limited category. Just about every Bond villain, for example, is pretty much an Evil Nerd Genius. Cartoon villians, are quite the same. I mean, any bad buy from the original Johnny Quest is a nerd genius. So how can I narrow down the list?

April 2, 2014

What I Must Deal With

Filed under: Main — admin @ 12:01 am

A For Dummies book is successful when it demonstrates the ability to connect with the reader. That’s a high bar for any technical book.

March 31, 2014

Surely You’ve Heard Of . . . ?

Filed under: Main — admin @ 12:01 am

Once people get over the fact that I’m still writing books, they want to know what’s happening on the bleeding edge of technology. To be frank, I have no idea.

March 28, 2014

Some Hard Drive Cleaning

Filed under: Main — Tags: , — admin @ 12:01 am

Recently I received an email from a reader. He was concerned about duplicate files all over his hard drive. How many duplicate files? Oh, about 89GB worth.

March 26, 2014

Image Mass Seletion

Filed under: Main — Tags: — admin @ 12:01 am

Mass image manipulation best takes place in the Gallery app on your Android phone or tablet. And the best way to remove a swath of images is to view them all in an album. This is a far superior approach to sharing or deleting individual images one a time.

March 24, 2014

Here’s Your 92-Digit Code Number

Filed under: Main — admin @ 12:01 am

After my computer Monster X died, I bought a new system and re-installed my software. That process included re-installing my copy of Microsoft Office 2013. Alas, the product key — which I dutifully kept — was not longer valid.

March 21, 2014

Microsoft Admits to Reading User’s Hotmail

Filed under: News — admin @ 7:46 am

Well, this is disappointing: Microsoft has fessed up that it peeked into a blogger’s Hotmail email account. The blogger had obtained some pre-release code for Windows 8. The issue for the courts to decide is whether this snooping was in line with Microsoft’s license, which states that they can review materials on its communications services, but did that targeted snooping violate the blogger’s right to privacy.

Microsoft has long freaked out about its code getting out there, which is odd because they basically give you the code when you buy the software. Well, technically you are “licensed” to use the software, and that use does preclude you from jamming the code through a debugger — but you can still do that and Microsoft would never be the wiser. In fact, peeking inside Microsoft code is one way to find undocumented features and options. I used to do that all the time.


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