How-to: Stop Windows 10 Dialling Home Part One

Stop Windows 10 dialling home

Almost every piece of software you touch is sending data back to someone. Many of whom then send it to someone else. Microsoft has ‘trusted partners.’ Through the operating system and various applications, they seem to collect an awful lot of data. Maybe it’s time to stop Windows 10 dialling home.
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How-to: Secure the Weakest Link behind the Keyboard – Part II

Image: chain link 2 by unknownNow for the seriously weak link – you.We busy little bees rush in, skim-read, ignore warnings, know better than everyone else, are highly suggestible, insatiably curious and when on-line, generally risk-blind.

And that’s on a good day. The rest of the time we go skipping through the online minefield with gay abandon and the kind of blasé wilfulness that would get us killed crossing the street. Continue reading

How-to: Troubleshoot Windows with Another User Account

Sometimes you can get problems with Windows applications; non-starters, inability to File-Save or Save-As, in-app settings. This can happen after install or spontaneously after months of regular use.

The truth is, all versions of Windows can be brittle, thanks to a complex combination of settings in .ini files, the Windows Registry and file system permissions (read, write, delete). Settings can get corrupted, .ini files overwritten, temp files left behind in your user’s working folders that can’t be overwritten or easily deleted.

When you get problems with Windows applications, it is worth trying to run them under a different user account than normal. This at least provides a basic level of diagnosis. Continue reading

Opinion: Discovery as a Painful Process in Windows 8

Windows 8 Mail settingsGlad we sorted out how to synchronise Hotmail with my Windows 8 machine using the Mail app. Or rather, it sorted out itself.

I have two issues, though.

First: Modern-UI is no more intuitive than any other computer interface, you have to go through that process of discovery. I suspect smart-phone users will have an advantage from a couple of years of poke-and-swipe around the screen. Non-technophiles and existing Windows users are going to be confused as hell with this change. Continue reading

Review: 10 Annoying things about Windows 7

Windows7 logoNot everything in Windows 7 is plain sailing. Sometimes just finding what you want is a task in itself, other times, Windows just won’t get out of the way and let you get on…

Naming of Parts
Microsoft is getting more tenuous with its naming. Defender was it’s last good name. Now User Account Control has nothing to do with that operation. Then there’s Action Center. It means nothing. Device Manager was good, why now Devices and Printers? Were printers feeling neglected? Continue reading

Review: Windows 8 Metro Interface

Windows 8 Developer Preview Start screenQuestion #1: Steven Sinofsky, President of Microsoft’s Windows Division stated in his keynote at the Windows Build Conference:

“We reimagined Windows. From the chipset to the user experience, Windows 8 brings a new range of capabilities without compromise… a bold re-imagination of what Windows could be”

Which, in translation, means the Metro user interface on everything from Windows Phone 7 and the Xbox 360 console – including the Desktop PC. It’s about a Microsoft ecosystem to compete with Apple, connecting all platforms through Windows Live, Skydrive and an ‘app store’ (court cases notwithstanding). Discuss… Continue reading