Windows 10 and Microsoft’s Bullying

There’s been a lot of buzz around the internet lately about the tactics Microsoft is using to get users to update to Windows 10. For much of the summer, it’s been “automatic downloads” this and “automatic installation” that. But Windows 10 is better than Windows 7 or Windows 8(.1), isn’t it? True, I’ve heard plenty of testimonials from people who’ve gotten the new OS and love it. It has a completely rebuilt browser, Microsoft Edge, that allegedly blows Internet Explorer out of the water (not that Microsoft is above scaring novice computer users when they try to switch to Chrome…

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Full Circle: WordPress.com Adopts Windows Live Spaces

Four and a half years ago (give or take a few days), I started blogging on what was then known as MSN Spaces. My first post—just a few sentences about Wi-Fi issues I had with my Pocket PC—went up on March 27, 2006. Since then I’ve gone from writing a few dozen words to writing a few hundred words (and occasionally a few thousand) and transitioned to two different platforms. I because Spaces was far too clunky. Blogger served me well until I between late October 2009 and mid-January 2010. I kept a curious eye on Spaces, observing the transition…

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Credit to St. Kate’s Computing Services

A while back, I about an annoyance in update scheduling on the computers at St. Catherine University. While my experience was disrupted for that one night, I don’t think I made it clear enough that overall, the St. Kate’s IT department runs things very well. Because of when that incident occurred—during —I wasn’t in the best of moods, and I think my writing the following day reflected that. Compared to other institutions at which I’ve had the privilege of computing, St. Kate’s actually leads the pack in most areas. Augsburg College provides an especially good contrast to St. Kate’s: Operating…

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A Thought About Efficient IT Administration

I’m kind of calling out St. Kate’s Enterprise Computing Services department in a way, because I want to know why they would schedule a restart-required software deployment an hour before the computer lab is to close. Can anyone with experience in Information Technology and management of company/school computer networks tell me why the times chosen to deploy new software are chosen? My experience last night of a new software deploy completely disrupting my very limited time on the computer happened at Saint Catherine University, which has a generally great library (unlike Concordia University in Saint Paul, though Concordia used to…

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Microsoft Word’s Grammar Checker

Just in case you haven’t noticed, I generally like to hold my writing up to high standards. Perfect spellingg, Ccapitalization, punctuation, etc. are all things I aspire to. (Ending sentences with prepositions is fine by me, though. 😉 From all those feeds I subscribe to in Google Reader, one of them brought me an amusing screenshot that shows Microsoft Word’s grammar checker mid-mistake. I shared that item and it showed up in my FriendFeed, where my mother (who just started using the site) saw and commented on it. Incidentally, I just started sharing things in Google Reader in addition to…

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Microsoft, Lay Off Yahoo!

This is not a business analysis. I am not using any fancy tools or statistical programs to calculate what might happen if Microsoft acquires Yahoo!. All I’m writing is straight opinion, with some links to other posts I’ve read on the subject. First, I’ll cut to the chase: I do not want Yahoo! bought by Microsoft. Ever. End of story. Obviously not really, or else I would have just tweeted about this. 😉 I used to use only Microsoft products several years ago, back when the Internet was a new thing to me. At twelve, I didn’t really care what…

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Windows Vista: Problems and Advice for Microsoft

I’ve been sitting on this post idea for a while, since about the beginning of last month, if not a few days before that. In that time I’ve tried to come up with some good answers to the question Chris Pirillo posed at the end of his “Windows Vista’s Rants” video (it starts around 16:30 into the clip). Here are my thoughts on Vista (rather than ) and, if I’m lucky, a few good ideas that Microsoft would do well to take to heart. The Complaints Don’t take this post the wrong way; I haven’t forgiven Vista in the least…

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Why I Oppose Microsoft’s OOXML

It was recently announced that the ISO has approved a draft standard based on Microsoft’s OOXML format, which was developed for Microsoft Office 2007 as a smaller alternative to the original binary-format files used in previous versions of the suite. I am personally opposed to Microsoft’s format becoming a standard. That’s a simple fact. The reasoning is more complex, and has (I freely admit) been influenced over the last several months by articles I have read on the subject. A good deal of those articles were (and are) hosted at NoOOXML, which also hosts a petition against the standard. The…

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StartClock: Save Taskbar Space

You know how Windows has that clock in the taskbar? It takes up a good 50 pixels on my screen, and that’s valuable space where taskbar buttons or tray icons could be. And I know exactly what that big (green) button in the lower left does, so why do I need it to say “start” all the time? With the freeware StartClock, you can change this: to this: What it does, through some AutoHotKey magic, is put a clock where your computer’s taskbar usually says “start”. The Start button functions normally; it just has numbers in the place where letters…

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GIMP Script to Make SW Robotics Thumbs

After making a whole bunch of thumbnail images for the member and mentor profiles on the Southwest Robotics site this past season, I finally decided last night to automate the process with a GIMP script, in preparation for next year’s new people. So, what does it do? It takes the image it is run on, scales it (gimp-image-scale) to 120px x 90px, and utilizes script-fu-drop-shadow to add a correctly-positioned drop-shadow. (Correctly is, in this case, the same as all the other images I did manually.) It’s a rather simple script; here’s the code: ; Script-Fu script to automatically; resize and…

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