Tag Archives: windows

Microsoft: Tasmania secedes from Australia – istartedsomething

kinect-rollout

Microsoft’s map graphics, which are known to be highly accurate, highlights that while the Kinect for Windows hardware is currently available in mainland Australia, it is neither available in Tasmania or coming soon.

via Microsoft: Tasmania secedes from Australia – istartedsomething.

Seems like Microsoft has updated the original article with an updated (read: more accurate) map. Grabbed this from a MetroTwit developer’s blog.

Windows Phone 7 Update Insanity

In a perfect world, all our phone updates would be released when the phone manufacturer said so, not at the whims of hardware manufacturers and certainly not at the discretion of telecommunications companies. Yet that’s exactly what’s happening with the (somewhat minor) Windows Phone 7 update, with delays globally as carriers and hardware manufacturers stumble over numerous “testing and verification” stages. And even when Microsoft finally approve the update, it “might take several weeks” before users even see the update? Well, there’s a joke if I’ve ever heard one.

I’m impartial to a little bit of shiny every now and again; so sue me.

shiny gui

shiny gui2

via Sleek Interface Designs from DeviantART.

Okay, I’ll admit it – being a Mac user, I usually prefer to having things that work, even if that means sacrificing a little bit of customisability here and there. Every so often though, I like to go all out with UI customisations and tweak every setting/interface I can.

I didn’t even realise it until just now, when I saw the two pics at the beginning of this post. For some reason, they reminded me of the dark old days when I used to used  Windows ME machine with a little program called Musicmatch Jukebox, which was almost infinitely skinnable and could be made to look pretty similar to the screenshots above.

If I’m honest, it’s one of the things I miss about “the Apple experience” – the ability to customise UIs to however you want. Then again, I’m kinda glad – Apple gear (usually, haha) lets you get stuff done, without worrying about all of that kind of stuff. It’s probably one of the reasons it’s more user-friendly as well, but we wont’ go into that.

Yet, even after being a “true Mac user” for the past three years or so (PPC is so dead to me), I’m not ashamed to say I’ve relapsed once or twice. I jailbroke my iPhone 3G and installed a different font (which, interestingly, made it slightly less readable, but so much more enjoyable on the eyes), I’ve experimented with Enigma for Windows, and more recently, I’ve also considered changing the standard Mac UI scrollbars to something a little more, er, modern.

Bottom line? It’s not that I don’t like having control over how I think things should look – far and away, themes are great. However, it’s the time required to make everything “just right” that kinda puts me off – one of the main reasons I didn’t stick with Enigma was that as powerful as it was, I wasn’t really prepared to go diving into lots of customisation files for all the tweaks I needed to make, which is also one of the reasons why I haven’t tried GeekTool yet, either.

As I’ve said before – Linux is only free if your time is worthless, and that still holds true for (most) of these customisations, as well. Be content with what you have – experience has always told me there will always be a better version out there, but oh wait – did you just waste an hour trying to get it to work?

😉

Deep inside the Windows 7 Public Beta: an in-depth tour

Let’s just cut to the chase here: Windows 7 is built on top of Windows Vista. It doesn’t roll back the major changes that Vista made; it doesn’t reduce system requirements (for example, it still needs Direct3D graphics and 1 GB RAM to be worthwhile), it doesn’t undo security decisions like UAC, and, except for specific scenarios like booting, it doesn’t really perform significantly better. If you have software or hardware that’s incompatible with Vista, it’ll almost certainly be incompatible with Windows 7 too. The things Redmond did in Vista were not mistakes to be rectified; they were necessary upgrades to the platform.

[…]

That said, Windows 7 does bring some low-level improvements of its own. The graphics driver model has been updated, resulting in markedly lower memory consumption when lots of windows are open. ZDNet performed some benchmarks which purport to show Windows 7 being faster than XP SP3 and Vista SP1 (they also show Vista being faster than XP in a number of tests, but of course, no one cares about that…), but the differences in most cases are pretty slight (10% or less) and so are unlikely to be felt in practice. However, the main thing is that even if it’s not noticeably faster than Vista, Windows 7 also isn’t any slower. The new features all come at zero performance cost, and that can only be a good thing.

via Deep inside the Windows 7 Public Beta: an in-depth tour.

This approaches an antique-level of age, but it’s still something to think about if you haven’t made the switch. Do you really want to be stuck with using an operating system that’s almost TEN years old? I bet you’ve even upgraded your hardware within that time – why not the software, then?

This post is tagged “awesome” for a reason, you know 😉

Have a solid colour background in Windows 7? Enjoy your delayed boot-up!

The Welcome screen may be displayed for 30 seconds during the logon process after you set a solid color as the desktop background in Windows 7 or in Windows Server 2008 R2

via The Welcome screen may be displayed for 30 seconds during the logon process after you set a solid color as the desktop background in Windows 7 or in Windows Server 2008 R2.

You know what, in this day and age, this is ridiculous. How was this even necessary in the first place? Why was it necessary? Who let this code ship?

…at least there’s a hotfix. /sigh

Windows 7 Shenanigans

…well, that didn’t go as planned.

What happened yesterday was completely different to what I actually thought (or had planned) to happen. My original, original plan was to move as much freshbytes stuff over to here as possible, but then I decided to use my time more wisely and play Dragon Age: Origins instead. 😀

If only that had been what actually transpired.

You see, I have this file system scheme with my Windows machine where as much as possible is moved off the OS drive. As I format my machines regularly, it just makes sense to dedicate a hard drive to Windows, and have two 1TB drives for storage – one for installed programs (okay, just Steam) and another for all my media, legally acquired or otherwise.

The way that it worked before I decided to play with it was that my User folder was on my OS drive, but the Documents, Videos and Pictures folders underneath that were moved to the Program drive. Truth be told, there’s nothing wrong with this setup.

However, I must make a special mention to those developers who think a special hidden folder in my User folder is an excellent place to store save games and other important info. Usually games store their save information, profiles etc, in either their own program folder, or under the Documents folder, or even under the My Games folder in the Documents folder. Such is the case with games like Dragon Age, BioShock, TrackMania, Rainbow 6 Vegas (1 and 2), and so on. There are certain games, however, that decide the hidden folder AppData is an excellent place to store this information instead, and without naming names, we’ll just say that a certain indie physics puzzler inolving Goo and a recent driving arcade game involving Paradise are the main culprits here.

Continue Reading →

How to get along with geeks: A seven-point guide

#2 You’re in the Windows or Mac camp

There’s no room for indifference when it comes to being a Mac fan or a Windows defendant. To be less biased about it, you need to be in one camp or the other. And this isn’t a battle waged only by die-hard Mac fanbois and girls – both Apple and Microsoft have run million-dollar campaigns based around the meme. (See the YouTube clip above.) It is still possible to be a Windows fan and own an iPhone, just make sure you bitch about its poor battery life. And often.

via How to get along with geeks: A seven-point guide | Article | The Punch.

Update on Windows 7 RTM – Windows 7 Team Blog

We are close, but have not yet signed off on Windows 7. When we RTM you will most certainly hear it here. As we’ve said all along, we will RTM Windows 7 when it’s ready. As previously stated, we expect Windows 7 to RTM in the 2nd half of July.

[…]

How do I get a 64-bit copy of Windows 7?

The Upgrade and Full packaged retail product of Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, and Windows 7 Ultimate will come with both 32-bit and 64-bit DVDs. With Windows Vista, the 64-bit version was only available with Windows Vista Ultimate. Due to the incredible adoption of 64-bit today and customer feedback, we decided to change this for Windows 7. Now all copies of Windows 7 in developed markets will ship with both 32-bit and 64-bit DVDs.

via Update on Windows 7 RTM – Windows 7 Team Blog – The Windows Blog.

1. There’s a Windows blog?

2. Good news for those that want a 64-bit version of Windows 7, now you don’t have to buy both copies!

Windows Security Just FAILS.

The malware records the magnetic stripe information on the back of a card as well as the PIN (Personal Identification Number), which would potentially allow criminals to clone the card in order to withdraw cash.

The collected card data, which is encrypted using the DES (Data Encryption Standard) algorithm, can be printed out by the ATM’s receipt printer, Trustwave wrote.

The malware is controlled via a GUI that is displayed when a so-called “trigger card” is inserted into the machine by a criminal. The trigger card causes a small window to appear that gives its controller 10 seconds to pick one of 10 command options using the ATM’s keypad.

[…]

A criminal can then view the number of transactions, print card data, reboot the machine and even uninstall the malware. Another menu option appears to allow the ejection of an ATM’s cash cassette.

via Cybercriminals refine data-sniffing software for ATM fraud – Network World.

Whoa. This is BAD.

Seriously, though – DES? Cmon, any first year computing student learns that DES has already been outdated by it’s bigger and badder brother, the Advanced Encryption Standard.

See? I do learn things in Introduction to Systems! 🙂

However, the REAL WTF here is why ATMs all over the world are running WINDOWS in the first place. I’m no Apple fanboy (har, har), but even I recognise that Windows isn’t the most hacker-proof OS out there.

A Week Without Apple – Day Two, A Lesson in Understanding

Now there are many things Mac OS X does better than Windows 7 and vice-versa. I’m not taking advantage of either OS and it’s features. I’m sure Windows 7 has lots more up it’s sleeve than I know about. Ditto Mac OS X – I know I don’t use all the things in Mac OS X like I should because I’m too lazy to seek it out. The aim of this experiment isn’t to choose a winner, or declare Mac OS X THE BEST OS EVAR SCREW YOU MICRO$OFT! It’s to see what Windows is, how it works, what it does and what it does differently. Everyone’s computer use is different, so you need to make up your own mind as to whether Windows 7 or Mac OS X is for you. It’s great to have competition and choice. Windows 7 is way better than I expected and very competent.

[…]

So while the HP is much cheaper, has better specs, a built in card reader, HDMI and digital TV, loads more ports and a snazzy webcam, it has some real livability faults. The LCD is rubbish and even a layman can tell it looks awful, it’s that poor. The trackpad is virtually useless with it’s total lack of glide. If the screen was slightly higher quality and the trackpad not so crappy, it would be a vastly better experience. I’m actually confused as to why HP sent me this laptop to replace the MBP. The MBP retails for $3,199 – you’d think they’d send something a bit more upmarket.

via A Week Without Apple – Day Two, A Lesson in Understanding | MacTalk Australia.

I concur wholeheartedly.

This is why I use a Mac – even though I’m more than proficient at using both either/all OSs well.

The ‘X Character Finder’ Crapfest

So, Java, huh?

It’s not so bad, actually.

As a first language, Java is okay – especially when it is taught right (inside joke there).

Anyway, hot on the heels (somewhat cold, actually), of the Windows Shutdown Crapfest, comes the X Character Finder crapfest, courtesy of yours truly.

First, a little background to this – at Uni I’m doing a subject called programming and problem solving. It involves Java.

Our first assignment was to calculate some variable. Or something. Anyway – one of the things we had to do was find out if the user’s name had the ‘x’ character in it – in either upper or lower case.

This is what I managed to come up with – I’ve commented the code so you understand what it does. I’ve also used Pastie to embed the code, because this is the one time WordPress has failed me. Right, everything seems to be failing hard on me tonight, so I’ve just linked the Pastie… 🙁

If you don’t really get what’s going on, I wouldn’t worry. Here’s the english explanation: Get a username. Count the letters in that username. Look at the first character – if it’s an X or an x, then we have an x in the username. If it’s not an X or an x, then we look at the next character in the username, and perform the same “Is it an X or and x check” again. We keep doing this until we either find an X, or we’ve run out of characters in the username. If you just want to know why this is the X Character Finder crapfest, well, it’s just because I’m re-inventing the wheel here, man – there’s a heaps easier way to find if a particular word/string has a particular character in it, and that’s via use of methods.

The real code that I submitted looks like this. Thanks again to Pastie. 🙂

See? Much easier.

This was the X Character Finder Crapfest, brought to you by Benny Ling.

Comments below.