Windows OS Support

As of right now, all of the programs that I make available on this web site and any future programs will continue to support older versions of Windows including versions of Windows going back to Vista. Windows XP support will be phased out starting with System Restore Point Creator. The amount of people using Windows XP is dwindling fast so at this point I feel that keeping support for Windows XP is an undue burden on me to continue.

As I stated before, older versions of Windows including Windows Vista will continue to be supported. If that means I can’t move past utilizing Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0, then so be it. .NET 4.0 is the oldest version of .NET that’s still supported on Windows 10 and Windows Vista. Yes, there’s a lot of things in future versions of .NET that could make my life easier but that would eliminate support for Windows Vista and that’s something I simply don’t want to do.

I need to maintain support for as many versions of Windows as I can. Despite Microsoft’s heavy handed approach to upgrading users to Windows 10, there will always be people who will choose to stay with an older version of Windows and I intend to support these people now and in the future for as long as I can.

Posted in Software, Windows, Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8 | Leave a comment

Downloads were broken…

Yes, I know downloads were offline much of today and a part of yesterday. I was working on the download count script that I use to track how many people download my programs.

Right now, downloads are fixed so things should be back to normal.

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EaseUS Todo Backup Review

I was asked by a visitor of this site to do a review of EaseUS Todo Backup made by EaseUS. Anyways, without further ado, the review.

Creating backup plans are as simple as it comes. You have four different types of backup plans that can be performed by the software; Disk/Partition Backup, File Backup, System Backup, and Smart Backup. Disk/Partition Backup is self-explanatory, it backs up the whole disk which is good if you want to back up a whole system drive but in most cases that’s overkill. If you are just going to be doing a backup of your system drive, go with the System Backup option instead. There is the File Backup option and that allows you to backup individual files as versus the whole disk, this is great if you want to do nightly backups of certain files on your system.

This is the example of the File Backup option. As you can see you can select certain folders to backup.
easus file backup

Scheduling backups is as simple as it comes. Simply choose a time and away you go.
easus scheduling

Setting up the kind of backup method and how many versions of the backup you want to keep is also just as simple. EaseUS Todo Backup takes the complicated parts of doing version-based backup out of the equation and makes it as simple as it can get.
easus backup scheme

For those people who need a simple to use, no frills backup program, EaseUS Todo Backup Free will be more than capable of performing the backup needs of everyone from the regular home user to the advanced home user who needs a little fine tuning of how the backup is going to be done. Best of all, EaseUS Todo Backup explains it all in a “no tech speak” kind of way that makes the program very easy to use.

Now that we have the good parts out of the way, there is one minor thing that I don’t like about the program and that is that backups seem to take much longer than competing programs. Doing your first full backup will seem like it will take ages to complete but more often than not your backup will probably take place at night when you’re sleeping so the amount of time that a backup takes is probably not a big deal.

Overall, 4.75 out of 5 stars. If it wasn’t for the slow backups I’d give this program a full five stars.

You can find this software and other software made by EaseUS at http://www.todo-backup.com/products/home/free-backup-software.htm.

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The biggest mistake Google made was…

Unfortunately, when Google licensed Android to their OEM partners they made one fatal mistake; they didn’t put anything in the licensing agreement that the OEMs had to agree to to use Android stating that they had to maintain their devices. Google can release all the Android versions that they want but the OEMs can turn around say… “Meh… We don’t care.”

Proof of this is that you can still find new devices being sold today with Android 4.1 Jellybean. No, I’m NOT kidding here! Yes, Android 4.1! How Google is even allowing devices to be sold with an OS that old should be not allowed. Oh.. but wait, Google doesn’t have any control here.

If we look back in history Google was releasing Android right around the time Apple was releasing the iPhone 3G. In order to get a leg up on the iPhone Google decided to license Android to their OEM partners at the time with a very open-ended licensing agreement which, if you ask me, gave the OEMs way too much control leaving Google with very little.

Google has no control over the destiny of Android, the OEMs do. They’re the ones that ultimately decide if Android is going to die or not. But wait.. I know, you’re going to say that I’m stupid for saying that but read on and you’ll find out why I said that.

As of right now, Google has no control on whether or not your device will be updated or not. Lately they’ve been trying to take back some of the control that the OEMs have by putting a lot of things into what’s known as Google Play Services. That’s good for consumers because that’s the one thing Google has ultimate control over. But, Google has to tread carefully because if they move too fast in trying to take back the control they never should have given up to begin with, the OEMs can turn around and say “Fine Google, you want that control back? Here it is, we’re going to make our own mobile OS or we’ll just move to Tizen.” And what would happen if that scenario played out? Android would experience an instant death.

You see, without the OEMs Android is virtually dead. Yes, Google does have their own devices but they make up such a small piece of the Google Android marketshare that you might as well not even say that they exist. The biggest players in the Android ecosystem is Samsung, HTC, Sony, and a few others. If Google were to piss these players off it would be the death of Android.

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Windows 10… Very good Microsoft!

Well, I upgraded all on my computers to Windows 10 and so far it been an excellent experience. Well done, Microsoft, well done; you’ve really pulled through with Windows 10!

The Windows 10 Start Menu

My Windows 10 Start Menu

That above is my Windows 10 Start Menu.

I spent about five minutes customizing it, pinning program icons, and categorizing them under headers on my Start Menu. All of my most used programs and apps, all there, pinned and ready to go.

This new Start Menu is actually more useful than the Windows 7 Start Menu. You couldn’t do the kind of categorizing I did on Windows 7’s Start Menu, hell… you couldn’t pin that many apps to the Windows 7 Start Menu. The Windows 10 Start Menu is infinitely more useful than Windows 7’s Start Menu because everything you need can be right there, ready for your click.

Yes it takes some time to set it up to be the way you want it to be but once it’s set up, it’s excellent!

 

Posted in Windows, Windows 10 | 1 Comment

Upgrading to Windows 10 under very adverse conditions…

I installed Windows 10 as an upgrade from Windows 7 on my father’s notebook and it went perfectly. Note, this is a machine that flat-out refused to run Windows 8.x because the notebook has one of those funky dual-GPU setups in which it has an ATi/AMD Radeon GPU and an Intel GPU (yes, I said it was a funky setup).

Under Windows 8.x the ATi/AMD and Intel GPU drivers never meshed right under Windows 8.x which resulted in video card support being well… completely FUBAR.

I said, what the hell… it’s a free upgrade, might as well try it. I did a Macrium Reflect disk image of the system disk just in case Windows 10 resulted in a FUBAR video situation. But, much to my surprise, Windows 10 supports this dual-GPU setup flawlessly.

WELL DONE MICROSOFT! God, I can’t believe I just said that. Let me go wash out my mouth, it tastes bad now.

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Windows 10’s release date is near…

Windows 10’s release date is near and I’m excited. The moment Windows 10 is released on July 29th is the moment I’ll be telling my computer to start downloading Windows 10.

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Windows 10 Build 10166, A “Hail Mary” if I’ve ever seen one

A month ago I talked about how I thought that Windows 10 wasn’t going to be ready by July 29th because of how many bugs still existed in the older Build 10130. I also said that Microsoft would have to pull off a Hail Mary of a miracle to get this thing together for the July 29th release.

Well, with Build 10166 it appears that Microsoft managed to do just that, pull off a Hail Mary of a miracle because Build 10166 is stable, rock-solid stable. I didn’t at all think it was possible but they did it, they actually did it! I even ran 10166 as an every-day use OS for some time before I went back to Windows 8.1 to reserve my free Genuine copy of Windows 10. (To see why I did this, read this post)

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A warning to those people thinking about upgrading to Windows 10 Technical Preview…

Those people who have upgraded to Windows 10 Technical Preview WILL NOT be eligible for the free upgrade to Windows 10. Those users will be forced to reformat and reinstall a prior version of Windows (Windows 7 or 8.1) before they can get their free version of Windows 10. Not only that but their prior version of Windows 7 or 8.1 MUST BE A GENUINE license or they WILL NOT be eligible for the free upgrade to Windows 10.

If you want to upgrade from Windows 10 Technical Preview to Windows 10 RTM, you have to ask yourself these three questions…

* Do you want to continue as a Windows Insider and keep getting preview builds after 7/29?
* Or do you want to upgrade your Genuine Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 system that has been getting Windows 10 Insider Preview builds to the 7/29 release and stop being an Insider?

I want to continue as a Windows Insider!
If you want to continue as a Windows Insider past 7/29 there is nothing you need to do. You’re already opted in and receiving builds in the Fast or Slow ring depending upon your selection. This is prerelease software and is activated with a prerelease key. Each individual build will expire after a time, but you’ll continue to receive new builds so by the time an older prerelease build expires you’ll have received a new one. Since we’re continuing the Windows Insider Program you’ll be able to continue receiving builds and those builds will continue to be activated under the terms of the Windows Insider Program. We provide ISOs for these builds for recovery from any significant problems, but they are still pre-release software. As part of the program we’ll upgrade Insiders to what is for all intents and purposes the same build as what other customers will get on 7/29, but that will be just another build for Insiders, and those who stay in the program will simply get the next build after as well.

I want to opt out of the Windows Insider Program on 7/29.
If you decide to opt-out of the program and upgrade to the 7/29 build you will be subject to exactly the same terms and conditions that govern the offer that was extended to all Genuine Windows 7 and 8.1 customers. This is not a path to attain a license for Windows XP or Windows Vista systems. If your system upgraded from a Genuine Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 license it will remain activated, but if not, you will be required to roll back to your previous OS version or acquire a new Windows 10 license. If you do not roll back or acquire a new license the build will eventually expire.

The problem with the second scenario is that this only holds true if your machine had a prior version of Windows installed (7 or 8.1) and it was a Genuine License. How will Windows 10 know that you had a Genuine version of Windows 7 or 8.1 installed prior to the installation of Windows 10 Technical Preview? It won’t, therefore you will not have a genuine version of Windows 10 after the RTM upgrade.

Those users will have to go back to a prior version of Windows with a Genuine license of Windows before going to Windows 10 to get a free version of Windows 10.

I don’t know how it’ll work for OEM machines that have a key for a prior version of Windows tattooed on the motherboard in BIOS/UEFI but for those of us who have vanilla home-built machines with no OEM key tattooed on the motherboard, those users will have to go back to a prior version of Windows before going to Windows 10 to get a Genuine version of Windows.

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My iPhone Experience… Four Months Later

I have had my iPhone 6 Plus for four month now and like anything there’s some things that annoy me about it.

The biggest issue is that sometimes, for no reason at all, Safari on my iPhone 6 Plus will trigger a full page refresh of tabs in Safari. Some people say that it’s because the iPhone still only has 1 GB of RAM whereas most Android phones have 2 GBs of RAM and sometimes even 3 GBs of RAM and that often times is one of the biggest criticisms that hardcore Android users say about the iPhone.

I have done a lot of experimentation on my iPhone. I’d open two tabs in Safari and then go back to the home screen. I would then proceed to open an app, play with the app for a couple of seconds, close it, open another app, play with it, close the app, open another app, lather, rinse, repeat. Every five apps I’d open and play with I’d go back to Safari and check it, my tabs would still be there and not cause a page refresh. Strange. So I would repeat the open app and play with it scenario with five more app and then check Safari again, no page refreshes. What’s going on here? I would have thought by now that I would have exhausted the system RAM and would have triggered a page refresh in Safari; but I didn’t. Very weird, very weird indeed.

Sometimes these Safari tab refreshes would be completely random and the strangest part is, I can’t manually trigger a page refresh in Safari even though I pushed the device pretty damn hard.

One of the greatest thing that I love about the iPhone is that it gives the best battery life I’ve ever seen in a mobile device.

Let’s take a look back at the time I had a Samsung Note 3. I would wake up in the morning after having the phone charging all night. I would go to my computer and put the phone next to me on my desk. I would most often do this on my days off from work. I would just let the phone sit there; I wouldn’t touch it, I wouldn’t do anything with it. It would sometimes sit there for two to three hours at a time without anything being done on the phone. And what was the battery life? 95%, sometimes even 92%. What the hell?! I wasn’t using the device, it was just sitting there doing absolutely nothing. Why did the battery drain that badly? I’ll never know. There’s no reason on this Earth that a device that was just sitting there doing absolutely nothing with no one touching it for hours on end should be down 5% to 8% on the battery.

Compare that experience to the iPhone. I unplugged my iPhone at 10:30 AM this morning. It’s 2:30 PM now. Same exact scenario plays out, nobody touched the phone for four hours. What’s the battery life on my iPhone 6 Plus? 100%. Yes, 100%! I have been able to go as much as three days on a single charge on my iPhone 6 Plus. Last night my battery was at 27% and that was after three days and during the third day I was streaming NetFlix for nearly an hour on LTE and we all know how LTE can chew through your battery like a child to a juice box.

Overall, the Apple iPhone has got to be hands down one of the best mobile devices I’ve ever owned. The battery life is one of the best in the industry. Everything just works. I can’t say that about Android. Android is a hot mess; it’s garbage.

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