Is the Adobe Flash Player really dead?

June 25th, 2016

Flash PlayerBy now, you’ve probably heard that Adobe’s Flash Player is going the way of the dinosaur. Except, wait… No, it’s not. It’s still around, and it still works.

No, wait… Yeah, it’s dead. No it’s not. Yes it is.

You could be forgiven if, like most of us, you’re really, really confused about what’s happening with the Flash Player.

Okay, so, seriously: WHAT THE HECK is going on with Flash?

Is it alive? Is it dead? Is it a zombie?!

Read more…

Computers , , , , ,

How to improve your online security

June 12th, 2016

Improve your Online SecurityI’ll be honest: I didn’t think I had to explain any of this, because I thought it was obvious.

Given the number of recent online security breaches – including the release of really, really bad passwords – clearly it’s not so obvious.

Well, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. After all, I think about this kind of thing as part of my work. Most people don’t. It’s my job to program things that work, but a big part of it becomes making things that other people will find difficult to exploit.

Otherwise, what’s the point? No one cares if it “just works” if some evil person out there can break it in 5 minutes! The way to go about doing this is to not program a single line of code until you’ve got the whole thing sorted in your head. Then, think about how you would hack it.

You don’t do this by thinking like yourself; you must think like someone who wants to attack you. Unless you’re a Russian chess master, you probably don’t think this way very often.

But, not to worry! The following are a few tips that will greatly increase your online security without making your brain catch on fire. Which is nice…

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Computers, Networking , , , ,

Delete an old Windows folder the easy way

May 30th, 2016

Delete old Windows FolderEvery now and then, you upgrade your puter.

Let’s say you add an SSD. You copy your old hard drive’s contents to your shiny new SSD, and use your old HDD as a data-only drive. You boot from the new SSD, and poof! You’re done.

Well, sort of…

Your new E: drive is now only a data drive, but alas, there is still an E:\Windows folder, and it’s taking up lots of space.

So, you try to delete E:\Windows… Access Denied, you need permissions, and so on…!

There are a million and one articles out there about how to delete an old, unneeded Windows folder, but they usually involve some piece of software or complicated shenanigans.

Well, forget that! This method is a piece of cake…

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Computers , ,

Microsoft gives you Windows 10 whether you like it or not

May 23rd, 2016

Windows 10 Upgrade, either you like it or not!Ooooh, man…

Well, it’s finally happened: Microsoft is basically tricking users into installing Windows 10.

That’s right. You now have to be VERY careful if you don’t want Win 10 to automagically download and install.

By now, we’re all used to M$ making decisions for us, but this one is just a bit over the top.

For the time being, there are still ways around it – but I’m not holding my breath…

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Computers , ,

Fix Language Bar missing after Windows 10 update

May 15th, 2016

Missing Language BarIf you speak more than one language, then you probably also write in more than one language.

In that case, you’re probably using Windows’ Language Bar.

In Windows 10, it appears in the system tray (lower-right corner of the taskbar by the time and date) as a 3-letter abbreviation, such as: ENG

There is a common problem that’s been around for awhile, and it’s back with a vengeance in Windows 10: Windows automatically applies some updates, and after your puter reboots, POOF!

No more Language Bar!

How do you get your Language Bar back? Read on!

Read more…

Computers , ,

Scroll inactive windows: The best reason to upgrade to Windows 10

May 8th, 2016

Windows 10: Scroll inactive windowsFor those of you who have been avoiding the free upgrade to Windows 10, there is one very good reason why you might want to rethink your plans.

The most obvious reason is that apparently, Windows 10 will no longer be a free upgrade after July of this year. And one way or another, eventually you will get a new puter, and the only supported OS will be Windows 10, anyway…

But if that doesn’t convince you, how about this: Windows 10 let’s you scroll inactive windows just by hovering the mouse pointer over the window.

What on Earth am I talking about?

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Computers , ,

Windows 10: Can’t uninstall Microsoft Security Essentials? No problem!

April 30th, 2016

Microsoft Security Essentials vs Windows DefenderYou upgrade to Windows 10. All seems to be going well.

There’s only one problem: Every time you reboot, you get an error message about Microsoft Security Essentials.

“No problem!” you think. I’ll just uninstall it. Nope!

Worse yet, Windows 10 is very confused, since Windows Defender is basically the same program. Defender won’t run, and neither will Security Essentials.

What to do? Read on!

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Time to ditch QuickTime for Windows

April 17th, 2016

Windows + QuickTime = Uh-oh!Here’s a fun one:

The Department of Homeland Security (??) announced that QuickTime for Windows has 2 nasty security flaws.

They also say that Apple is no longer providing updates for QuickTime for Windows, so they are recommending that QuickTime be uninstalled from Windows machines.

So… DHS? What?!

Read more…

Computers , , , ,

The Windows 10 Summer Update will include… Linux?!

April 3rd, 2016

Ubuntu Bash + Windows 10This summer, Windows 10 will be 1 year old. Microsoft recently announced that they’ll be releasing another “major” update for their latest OS around this time.

Most of the new features are nothing terribly earth-shattering. Probably the most impactful change to most users will be a slight modification to the Start Menu.

For power users, however, they’ve got something rather big planned: Windows 10 will soon include the Ubuntu Linux Bash shell (probably as an optional app/download).

What in tarnation is going on here?!

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Computers, Programming , , , ,

The SSHD: Hybrid hard drives that are both big and fast

March 20th, 2016

SSHDYou’ve probably heard of SSDs (solid state drives). These are hard drives that use a type of very fast and very robust flash memory for data storage instead of a spinning magnetic disc.

SSDs are very fast, and until recently, their storage capacity was limited relative to old-fashioned mechanical spinning HDDs. They were also rather pricey.

You probably haven’t heard quite as much about SSHDs: hybrid mechanical hard drives with a small amount of SSD-type storage built-in. The idea here is that the SSD part of the drive can be accessed very quickly, so it acts as a very fast buffer between your puter and the slower mechanical part of the drive.

The result? SSHDs are faster than a mechanical HDD, not as fast as an SSD, but still offer 2TB, 4TB, or even more storage space – all at an affordable price.

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Computers, How Does it Work? , ,