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Showing posts from June, 2012

Stop Windows Update Force Restarting

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The recommended and default setting for Windows 7 is to automatically download and install important system updates. This makes sense from a security point of view. Usually after these updates are installed, the user is prompted to restart the computer, and is given an option to postpone the restart anywhere between 10 minutes and 4 hours.

You can keep clicking postpone until you're ready to restart, which works most of the time. Unless you're not at your computer when the timer reaches zero, in which case Windows will take over and force-kill all your applications and restart without your blessing. This can also happen if you happen to miss the restart notification, so after 10 minutes you may be halfway through typing a word in a long email that you've been wring for the last half-hour, when Windows suddenly restarts without warning.

This happened to me earlier this morning. I was copying some large files from an external HDD when Windows suddenly killed everything and r…

Windows 8 Initial Impressions

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Disclaimer: this post is about the Release Preview, which is not a final version.

The Windows 8 Release Preview just went public earlier today and I decided to give it a go.

Initial Impressions - The Bad
The Metro Start screen looks...cheap and old at first. It's very high-contrast and very minimalistic. Everything is a bright colored rectangle, with sharp edges and zero chrome. It gives the appearance of a cheap mock-up interface.Getting to the desktop, the first thing that stands out is the missing Start button. Having been there in the bottom-left of the screen constantly for the last 15 years, it feels like a missing appendage. The pinned task-bar item that takes  its place feels like an intruder. This icon happens to be Internet Explorer by default, which I quickly replaced with Chrome (and hence the impulse to click the missing start button now drives me towards Google services, how's that for irony MS?) Moving the mouse pointer all the way to the bottom-left triggers an i…