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?!

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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? , ,

Change the display language in Windows 10

March 13th, 2016

Windows 10 Language SelectionIn the olden days, you were quite often locked to one language in Windows, unless you had Windows 7 Ultimate.

These days, with Windows 10 you can change the display language in most cases.

There are a few exceptions, like if you buy a puter with an OEM version of Win 10. Some OEM versions of Windows 10 only allow certain languages.

For example, a new laptop purchased in France with OEM Windows 10 may allow only UK English, French, and German. Still, that’s better than nothing!

So, how do you change languages and get all the settings just right?

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Windows + Linux dual boot: How to shrink a Windows disk the easy way

March 6th, 2016

Windows-Linux Dual BootLet’s say you want to dual-boot between Windows and some flavor of linux.

You might think that you need some kind of fancy partitioning software like Paragon Hard Disk Manager 15 Suite to free up disk space for the linux partitions.

You might also think that your linux installer will do everything for you automatically.

As it turns out, neither of the above are always true!

Sometimes, you need free space on your drive in order for the linux install (even Ubuntu) to be happy.

Fortunately, there is a very easy and built-in way to shrink a partition in all modern versions of Windows without any fancy software!

Read more…

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How to download videos from the internet

February 21st, 2016

Download Videos from the NetEverybody watches videos online. I mean, who hasn’t heard of YouTube, right?

If you have a “less good” internet connection, or if you just want to be able to watch some vids offline when it’s more convenient, it’s very handy to be able to download videos from various web sites.

Well, not all of us have 200Mbit FTTH (fiber to the home)…

There are a few different ways to grab online videos for offline viewing. Some work better than others, some depend on the web browser you’re using, some depend on the OS you’re using, and some are just downright awesome!

So, let’s take a quick look…

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Fix the grey X on shortcut icons in Windows

February 7th, 2016

Evil Grey X'sThere you are, minding your own business, when suddenly you realize that all the shortcut icons on your desktop have changed somehow…

You look closely, and finally you realize that all the little “shortcut arrows” that indicate an icon is a shortcut have been replaced (magically, of course) by a grey “X”.

Sometimes, it’s not a grey X, but another weird symbol.

In any case, this problem is really annoying, and you’d like to fix it.

What to do?

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Optimize PNG and JPG images the easy way

February 1st, 2016

TinyPNG Rocks!So, you’ve got some images. You need to plop them on a web site or something.

Abnormally, you’d be a Photoshop Master.

By using approximately 750 secret keystroke combinations and seemingly random clicks, you’d have yourself some images that have been optimized for minimal file size and maximum quality.

But you’re not abnormal.

And like me, you are not a Photoshop Samurai.

What to do, what to do?

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Make the Windows 10 Upgrade Notification go away

January 24th, 2016

Kill the Get Windows 10 (GWX) NotificationsYou’ve got Windows 7 or Windows 8, and you’ve decided not to upgrade to Windows 10.

Carry on, then!

If you have Windows 7, you will still get security updates until 2020. If you have Windows 8.1, you’re safe until 2023.

There’s only one problem: That damn GWX (Get Windows 10) notification keeps bugging you about upgrading to Windows 10!

How to make it go away? Read on!

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