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October 1, 2014

Why It’s Called Windows 10

Filed under: News — admin @ 4:34 pm

This may seem like a dumb reason, but apparently Microsoft skipped Windows 9 for fear of sloppy programmers.

You see, if a program is designed to look for, say, Windows 95 or Windows 98, then it may simply search for the text “Windows 9” and stop there. If so, the program could misidentify Windows 9 as Windows 95 or Windows 98. At least that’s the reason postulated by the article, link below.

I’m not buying it.

My reason is that programmers use the internal Windows version number, or vernum, to determine which Windows version is being used. Now some just might use the Windows name, but that’s not the coding practices I’m familiar with. There is historical evidence for this reasoning as well.

When DOS 4.0 came out, it was terrible. Many programs wouldn’t run, so the programmers began coding a DOS version test. The problem was that DOS 4.1 was okay, but the version tested only for the “4” and not any “.1” part. Also, numerous developers checked for only a single version of DOS or perhaps only the current version and any earlier versions. This version-checking nonsense drove people nuts as programs wouldn’t run or would refuse to run, despite the DOS version being okay.

To counter the version correction madness, Microsoft introduced a new command for DOS 5, SETVER. It would fool a given program into accepting the current DOS version. I wrote about this command years ago in various books. Anyway, if Microsoft were serious about the “Windows 9” issue, I would think it could devise a similar solution.

Regardless of the reason, the next release of Windows will be known as version 10, not 9.

Gizmodo

Android App Undo

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

I had an interesting email the other day: A user wanted to know how to disconnect an Android app from Facebook. She tried uninstalling the app, but that trick didn’t work. What did work was to clear the data.
(more…)

September 30, 2014

Windows 10 Debuts

Filed under: News — admin @ 2:45 pm

Skip version 9, possibly because Windows 8 stinks so bad. Sometime next year Microsoft will release the mea culpa version of Windows, Windows 10.

C|net

Today’s the Day for Windows Next

Filed under: News — admin @ 8:56 am

Sometime today, in San Francisco, Microsoft will show the next version of Windows to an exclusive group of attendees.

No, I didn’t get an invite. Honestly: Microsoft doesn’t know who I am.

While lots of speculation about Windows Next has been running the rumor mills, Microsoft is still tight-lipped about the name. And I confess that it’s kind of sad that the only big deal here is the operating system’s name.

So far, Windows X appears to be used internally. Again, Microsoft is simply copying the Mac, although Mac OS X (ten) did come after Mac OS 9.

Most everyone out in userland is calling it Windows 9 because the current version is called Windows 8. But remember that Windows Vista preceded Windows 7, so Microsoft is free to choose whatever name they like.

Me? I prefer Windows Apology.

The Verge

September 29, 2014

End of the Internet

Filed under: News — admin @ 1:47 pm

You’ll find eerie parallels to the Internet and early radio.

Way back when radio first came out, most folks owned a transceiver — a radio that both broadcast and received. Eventually, big business (RCA) convinced the government that broadcasting must be licensed. So the transceivers were confiscated and all radios became receive-only.

Enter the Internet.

For the past few decades, the Internet has been a transceiver. Anyone can access the Internet to either receive or send information. Anyone can build their own website or start up their own online business. That’s great!

What isn’t great is the propensity for governments to curtail that freedom. You already see it happening in the totalitarian states, where Internet access is severely limited or censored. Despite the insistence of some techies, that could happen in a first world country as well. The goal is government control as much as it’s profit-making by the major corporations.

Seeing how the US Government is beholden to the interests of big corporations over individuals (refer back to RCA in the history of radio), my guess is that the era Internet as we know it is drawing to a close. While Mr. Berners-Lee’s thoughts (link below) are relevant and I agree with them, the power to make a buck reigns supreme.

Enjoy the ‘net while you can!

Yahoo! News

Ello, the Anti-Facebook

Filed under: News — admin @ 8:16 am

Anyone remember how fresh and fun Facebook was? Those days are gone, now that advertising and other garbage liters your Facebook news feed. Multiple alternatives exist for social networking, and I’ve even noticed my kids spend less and less time on Facebook and more time on other sites.

The latest challenger to Facebook’s dominance is a networking site called Ello. It’s manifesto is as follows:

Your social network is owned by advertisers.

Every post you share, every friend you make and every link you follow is tracked, recorded and converted into data. Advertisers buy your data so they can show you more ads. You are the product that’s bought and sold.

We believe there is a better way. We believe in audacity. We believe in beauty, simplicity and transparency. We believe that the people who make things and the people who use them should be in partnership.

We believe a social network can be a tool for empowerment. Not a tool to deceive, coerce and manipulate — but a place to connect, create and celebrate life.

You are not a product.

I wholeheartedly agree!

Currently Ello is in beta testing, so becoming a member is by invite-only. I have requested a membership, but am not currently a member.

As far as Facebook goes, my guess is that it will eventually become the AOL of online networking: It will exist for a while longer, populated by people who don’t like to change things or who are unaware that something better exists. That’s because I just don’t see Facebook getting any better. It serves a need, but Facebook too often gets in its own way.

Yahoo! News

Ello

Merging Labels in Word 2013

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

Mail merge is one of those things you expect a word processor to do. Word takes the concept a step further, letting you create mail merge letters, email, and mailing labels, among others. Of the lot, merging labels seems to work the weirdest.
(more…)

September 28, 2014

The iPhone 6 and `Bendgate’

Filed under: News — admin @ 8:44 am

They’re calling it “bendgate,” the alleged undesirable ability of the recently-introduced Apple 6 phones to bend under normal use. While the fans and media are all abuzz over the issue, according to Consumer Reports, the iPhone 6 — even the larger iPhone 6 Plus — does rather well under pressure.

It’s nice to see that CR included the Galaxy Note 3 in its tests. The results may surprise you.

Consumer Reports

September 27, 2014

Online Life in the 1980s

Filed under: News — admin @ 8:01 am

Just in case you weren’t around for the 1980s in computerdom, here’s a clever review of random access memory lane:

Gizmodo

September 26, 2014

Underscore or Space or Even Dash

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

It’s not really a debate, but it’s a serious question nerds have about file-naming conventions: Should you use a space in a filename or use an underscore? Or should you go all rogue and opt for a hyphen?
(more…)

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