About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

June 15, 2015

2015-06-15 Show Notes

Welcome back to the podcast and show notes for today.  Remember the third Monday of each month at 9 am on WSVA radio you can find myself and Jim Britt talking tech.

Below are some of the things we mentioned on the show.  Use the links to go directly to the site.

Tech News
Windows 10 Free – you heard it right!

Microsoft is making Windows 10 free to licensed/registered Windows 7, 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 users.

  • You must download and install in first year after release.
  • Year starts, July 29, 2015.
  • Licensed to that specific machine for the life of the machine (not clear on what happens if you rebuild it in the future.)
  • Rumored to also be free to people with an unlicensed copy, but that remains to be seen.

I have tested it out and some findings are…

  • For those that loved Windows 7, you will most likely like this.
  • For those that hated Windows 8.1, you will most likely like this.
  • The much hated Metro screen is gone and just showing up a little in the Start Menu but can be rearranged, in the test version I had you could not totally remove it but no one knows for sure about final version.
  • MSIE is gone now you get Microsoft Edge.
  • Cortana has arrived in all platforms. Named after Cortana, an artificial intelligence character in Microsoft’s Halo video game series. Now Cortana is your personal digital assistant. (Think Siri or OK Google, but not quite as smart yet.)

Microsoft to Introduce $149 Windows 10 Notebooks

Despite a lackluster start, Chromebooks are becoming relatively popular in the super-budget end of the portable market. This has worried Microsoft for some time. After all, with a Google-centric experience, not to mention an operating system in the form of Chrome OS, there’s little if anything to be gained here by Microsoft and everything to lose. That’s why it’s targeting the Chromebook specifically, with a most likely Windows 10-based $149 laptop.

I am using my Chromebook now and it does most everything I need…not all but I guess 95% of everything I do…not at work. The prices are killing lots of other “low cost” notebooks. Say, $150 compared to $350.

Ron’s Windows App Recommendation
FileHippo App Manager
Application Updater
The App Manager does what, “Windows Update” does for the Windows Operating system. The difference is that FileHippo has created this for many of the other applications on your computer.Go to the link above and click the green, “Download Latest Version” button and install.

Portable Apps is the world’s most popular portable software solution allowing you to take your favorite software with you. A fully open source and free platform, it works on any portable storage device (USB flash drive, memory card, portable hard drive, etc), cloud drive (DropBox, Google Drive, etc), or installed locally. With millions of users all over the world and a full collection of open source software as well as compatible freeware and commercial software and partners in the software and hardware industry, is the most complete solution for life on the go.

The only article I have ever written that the papers refused to PRINT next…

God Mode
This is a longstanding trick for Windows computers and although. I have not tried it in Windows 10; however, I hear it works in all versions of Microsoft OS’s back to Vista (only some versions of Vista).

Basically when you follow these directions you can adjust anything in Windows OS in one place. You do not have to go to each area of the Control Panel to get to them.

Be warned that you can mess stuff up, so I suggest only Geeks use this
(which they probably already know about this) or calm, self-controlled normal people.

    To create the God Mode function do the following in order.

  1. Pick a place to put it, I like my desktop.
  2. Copy the following not including quotation marks, “GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}“.
    • “GodMode may be changed to anything you want to title the folder. That is the title the geeks-of-yore named it, I call mine Super User (spaces are OK too.)
  3. Right click and chose, “New/Folder”.
  4. Paste the copied text as the blank folder’s name.
  5. Click off of the newly made folder, which will change it’s icon.
  6. Double click the new “app” to launch it and take a look.
  7. Again, read carefully and only change what you intend to, one at a time and test after making more changes.

If you want to create it and look, just don’t change any items. Then when you are done all you need to do is delete the folder. GodMode Window

That is all for this month. I hope to see you back here next time, July 19, 2015 at 9am. Ron

January 26, 2010

Portable Programs

Filed under: Columns — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Ron @ 5:33 am

Several of you continued the USB line of thought from the last column and mentioned portable applications.  I thought I had written about these years ago.  However, after a search of over 750 columns I’ve written I realized that I had not mentioned them, so here we go.

A quick definition is needed here for what portable applications are and how are they used.

A portable application is a “stand alone” program that does not need to be installed on a computer’s hard drive.  When you install a regular program there are files that are written all over your computer.  For instance, many entries may be made in your windows’ registry file along with other folders somewhere else.  A portable application is installed in one main folder and no other entries are written anywhere else on the system.  This is like a step back in time.  In the DOS days and the originating days of windows all programs were installed like this; however, things are now different.

The first and predominate portable applications site is called, appropriately enough, “Portable Apps“.  If you go there you can install the basic program on your USB stick and it will provide a lot of good “little” programs.  It creates a menu system so that when you plug your USB stick in it will pop up and you can run your portable applications from there.

There are three different Portable Apps from which to choose.  The differences are in size and  what programs you get with each one.  The first choice, “Platform Only” will only install the basic program.  I don’t find this one to be very useful.  It  is only 1.3MB in size but it doesn’t do much to help you out.

The other two installs are called “Suite Lite” and “Suite Standard”.  These two are respectivelyimage 150MB and 355MB in size.  The minimum recommended sizes for your USB device is 256MB and 512MB, again depending on which version you choose.

Each of the larger versions include most of the Mozilla apps like the FireFox browser, Thunderbird email, a messaging program, an antivirus program and several other apps.  The difference between the two is that the larger version includes Open Office Portable version.  That is an excellent substitute for Microsoft Office on a budget…it is free as are all of these apps.  You can look for other portable programs online too.

Why would you want to install these or a USB stick?  You go to a friend’s house and want to do some work on your newspaper column or your personal budget.  You can perform everything you need to on your USB stick after plugging it into their computer.  None of your information is left behind on their computer since you have used your portable “system” to do your work and store your files.  You can check your email, surf the web, etc. without leaving behind any of your private information on someone else’s system.

It provides a good use for your USB thumb drive other than using it for storage only.  There are other portable app sites online – Google for them.  Even so; “Portable Apps” is the first, and in my opinion the best.

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