News: Windows on Chromebooks

Windows 10 on Chromebook

The Chromebook with its’ Android-derived Chrome OS is Google’s answer to the the Windows laptop. No onboard storage and a setup for cloud-based computing means no Windows-based applications like MS-Office, Notepad, or anything by Adobe. Except you can now run Windows 10 on Chromebooks – in a virtual machine. Continue reading

How-to: Remove Text-Enhance adware

Image: Text Enhance adware

Text Enhance is one of those pesky ad-ware browser hijackers that takes over pages in your web browser and overlays ads based on keywords in the page text. Underlined keywords are hyper-linked to pop-up boxes containing coupons in ads clearly identified as Text Enhance. A relatively benign and easily removed example of ad-ware, it is nonetheless an invasion of your privacy.

Text Enhance is a bundled add-on for Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome and is typically installed alongside other free programs. As well as injecting ad links into your web pages, it also infiltrates search forms on Ebay, Google, Facebook, Amazon or any website it can to display a box containing related keyword suggestions,ads and sponsored links in the right of your browser window. It can also collect search terms and other keywords from your search queries. Continue reading

How-To: Remove Rvzr-A.Akamaihd Pop-Up Virus

Rvzr-A.Akamaihd.Net Pop-Up ad-wareA colleague just got hit by another one of these insidious little blighters. We know how it got in – Internet Explorer 11 – but not the source. I suspect my colleague clicked on a close or cancel button in a pop-up which actually ran some malicious code. We know what and when it was installed – a program in this case masquerading as Rich Media Viewer, on May 16th. We got the full range of initial symptoms. We also got rid of it inside ten minutes, before it could do any further damage.

Rvzr-a.akamaihd.net is another unauthorised adware client; using a full range of false pages and pop-ups, it highlights web page text for adware popups, opens tabs onto Trojan pages when you open your browser, and initiates more popups when you open a new tab.

Fortunately it is relatively easy to exterminate, but do be aware there are new variants hiding under new names, so check for updated instructions on the web whenever you come across an instance of infection. Continue reading

How-to: ChromeOS Desktop Part 2 – All in the Apps

Chrome Store Offline AppsThe second part of our look at the ChromeOS desktop.

On paper, ChromeOS gives you a very flexible working environment; within the browser, you have access to all the Google Apps, a huge selection of extensions to enrich the browser itself, and the Chrome Store sitting on top of that, providing a vast array of third party apps and games.

Such is the selection of apps – tens of thousands of Chrome-optimized applications, including “hundreds” of off-line apps – I find it difficult to find what I want. The home page displays a bottomless list of apps, in a jumble of tiles of various sizes. You’re better off using the search in the top left or select from one of the app categories listed down the left-hand side, including ‘popular’ and ‘trending’ and a heading for the apps you’ve installed. Continue reading

How-to: ChromeOS Desktop Part 1

ChromeOS Desktop launcherChromeOS: lightweight web-based alternative for the Internet Age? Or browser with ideas above it’s station? The engineers at Google thought they had it right when they looked at the majority of computer users’ actual usage and concluded that 90% of it was spent in-browser. So they put everything on-line in the Cloud and wrapped a thin operating system layer around a browser so you can get at it.

It seems Google bet on the right horse by backing the Cloud. But more than two years on, can we say the same for its’ ChromeOS desktop? Is it worth trying if you don’t have a Chromebook laptop on which to run it?

If you followed our first three parts to installing and running ChromeOS using the builds by Hexxeh (http://chromeos.hexxeh.net/), you will now be looking at a desktop that consists of more than a Chrome web browser. Continue reading

Opinion: Where Next Chromebook?

Acer ChromebookI’m promoting a conversation with Chromebook Enthusiast from a previous post in order to look further at the implications of the Chromebook Price cut.

“The Chromebook is a great concept as a thin client… for education, in the classroom, with Internet access, and access to my VDI infrastructure, it’s a very compelling solution. The total cost of ownership is really nice. They’re also not throwing in the towel just because the price is dropping. They’re actively developing new products, enhancing the operating system and management systems.” [Chromebook Enthusiast]

CE: granted the concept is sound, particularly where the infrastructure is in place to support the Chromebook with reliable, always-on Internet connectivity. You may be right in that the education market may save it. But only if it achieves momentum through market penetration. It has to reach into education, business and consumer markets in order to continue. I recall from my education we had the RM Nimbus and the BBC Micro, neither of which could resist the home and business market domination of the IBM PC clone. Perhaps it’s a bad comparison, but one sector by itself will not guarantee continued sales. Continue reading