Posts Tagged 'Microsoft'

Windows95 As An App – FreeFile Review

This is not a normal FreeFile Review. I like to present useful software, but this review is for a program that has no useful function. I’m not even sure of what to call it. On its GitHub page, it is referred to as “Windows95” and “Windows95 in Electron”. I’ll just call it “Windows95 as an app”. Whatever you call it, Windows95 as an app is simply Windows95 operating system running in a virtual machine.

What’s Good – It is a trip back to a simpler time for nerds. It is available as a standalone app, so nothing gets installed to your pc – just download and run. It is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It is well sandboxed, so no harm can be done to your computer.

What’s Bad – It is well sandboxed, so it cannot connect to the internet. However, nobody should be surfing the internet with a 22 year old version of Internet Explorer 3. Just like Window95 of 20 years ago, it is not exactly stable. It will often freeze up, requiring a restart of the virtual machine.

— — — — The Bottom Line — — — —
No real work can be done with this app, but if you are nostalgic for old software and old computers, there is no easier way to go back 20 years.
Download Windows95 as an app HERE

Read more FreeFile Reviews on DanKostecki.com

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How Well Did The Tech Giants Do In 2017?

Engadget published this round-up of the good and the bad from Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, and Samsung as well as what to expect in 2018.

Go to the article.

Security For Windows 10 – FreeFile Review

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This review addresses how an average user of Windows 10 can easily and effectively maintain security. These are my experiences and observations after more than a year using Windows 10, your mileage may vary.

Antivirus Protection – Many security pros feel that zero-day threats greatly reduce the effectiveness of antivirus programs. Overall, I find Windows 10 to be reasonably secure, and today, most security threats focus on internet browsers. Windows Defender is a lightweight, efficient program, pre-installed with Windows, that operates unobtrusively and effectively. It runs in the background with no user input needed and it receives frequent updates. Use Windows Defender – no additional antivirus is needed.

Browsers – Both Firefox and Chrome are good choices. The best malware blocker add-on is uBlock Origin (available for Firefox and Chrome). Keep your browser up to date and install uBlock origin and you’re good to go. Bear in mind that smart surfing is still the most important thing you can do – no app can help with that.

Malware Scanner – The free version of Malwarebytes does not provide realtime protection, but it is effective when run every week or two, or when a problem is suspected.

Disk Imaging – This is the most important piece to achieve real security. All of the previously mentioned steps can fail, so the ability to quickly recover is key. Imaging software makes an exact copy of the entire C drive, so that the entire PC can be quickly restored after disaster strikes. This will protect you from not just virus and malware attacks, but also from hardware failures and Windows issues. Ideally, the image should be stored on an external drive, so it may require spending about $50. The best free imaging software is Macrium Reflect. It is very fast and reliable.

— — — — The Bottom Line — — — —

1.Use Windows Defender (no additional antivirus programs are needed) 2.Use Firefox or Chrome browsers, with uBlock Origin add-on 3.Get Malwarebytes 4.Consider disk imaging.

Read more FreeFile Reviews on DanKostecki.com

Microsoft Windows Just Turned 30 – A Short History Of Everyone’s Favorite OS

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ZDnet published this short history of Windows – from its humble beginnings in 1985 to today.

ZDnet article HERE

Windows 10 Free Upgrade — Yes or No?

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Should I upgrade to Windows 10? For most people the answer is yes. If you are currently running Windows 7 or 8.1, you undoubtedly know that Microsoft is offering a free upgrade to the newest version of Windows – Windows 10.

—  My Experience – I have been using Windows 10 for the past month on my main PC, and have experienced very few issues. I upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10 on a new self-built PC. The upgrade was practically perfect, with only the video driver needing to be re-installed; everything else worked flawlessly. With the correct video driver installed, my new PC hummed along for 3 weeks … and then, Microsoft began issuing updates. One of these updates failed, and daily attempts to re-install also failed. A week of Googling did not find a solution. The Windows 10 subreddit finally provided a cure and all is well once more.

—  The Good – It’s difficult to find any features that make Windows 10 a must-have. The most important thing is that Microsoft did not mess up anything too badly and they rolled back most of the Windows 8 changes that users hated. The Start menu is back and most of the ‘Metro’ touch interface has been hidden. A Windows 7 user will not feel completely lost on Windows 10.

—  The Bad – As with every new version of Windows, Microsoft moved around and hid numerous features and controls. They did an especially good job hiding the Control Panel. It cannot be found in any of its old locations, but it is easily accessed with ‘Windows key + X’ keyboard shortcut. The Start Menu may be back, but it isn’t the Windows 7 type menu. I didn’t like the tiles on the menu, nor the inability to customize the menu, so I installed Classic Shell. It brings back the classic Start Menu, with tons of adjustments, and it’s free.

Who should not upgrade – Anyone running Windows Media Center should avoid Windows 10. Windows Media Center has been removed from Windows 10 and is no longer supported.

—  —  —  —  The Bottom Line  —  —  —  —

Windows 10 is the future, so resistance is futile. However, you may want to wait. The free upgrade is being offered until July of 2016, and a major update to Windows 10 is scheduled for November 2015, so waiting a couple months may be prudent. Much has been written about privacy issues with Windows 10, but I feel these concerns are overblown. Some default privacy setting may be less than ideal, but they can be changed. I think most users will be happy with Windows 10. If not, you can revert to your previous version of Windows anytime in the first 30 days.

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com

FreeFile Review – Document.Editor

Document.Editor is a word processing program. It is an open source project which gives a very good first impression, but with closer inspection, it becomes clear that this project is far from complete. It is for Windows only.

Installation is rather unusual; an .application file is downloaded and when clicked it downloads the program and installs it (I would prefer a simple .exe). Installation is otherwise quick and painless. The program’s interface is an exceptionally well done version of Microsoft’s ribbon interface. Here’s a screenshot. It has Spell Check, Text-to-Speech, and Definitions (Bing look up). Tabs allow opening multiple documents. Unfortunately, the positive impression ended there.

The list of negatives is long. The program can open and save only the most basic formats (.txt .rtf .xdoc). Page layout functions are non existent and printing is very basic. Those two shortcomings make Document.Editor unusable for most users. The program is not stable – it crashed after about 30 minutes of inactivity and it does not remember its window size and location after being minimized to the task bar. The Translation button seems to be non functioning. Most of the links in the program are dead (WTF?). User options are limited.

– – – – The Bottom Line – – – –

I cannot recommend Document.Editor – it is simply too incomplete at this time. I hope this project continues to improve, as I see potential in it. For a better free word processor, see my review of AbiWord.
Document.Editor can be downloaded HERE.

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com

The Nerd Life According to Conan O’Brien

One of the co-founders of Microsoft has purchased a Russian fighter jet.

He said, “If this doesn’t get me laid, I give up.”

 


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