TO-Tech Blog Todd Ogasawara’s Tech Blog


Windows Live Essentials 2011 Service Agreement Expired Aug. 31, 2010

WindowsLive2011_expiredWhile checking to see which Windows Live Essentials components were installed on my new notebook, I noticed that the Microsoft Service Agreement for it expired on August 31, 2010. Does this mean that we are no longer bound by the agreement? Smile


Uninstalling EasyBits & Other Add-ons in Skype

skype_1Blog Technical has an item about removing an unasked for and unwanted Skype add-on named EasyBits.

[Update] Skype installs EasyBits Go CrapWare on your systems without users’ prior knowledge

My recollection is that there are a bunch of add-ons that can be declined when installing Skype. However, that aside, the Blog Technical articles goes on to provide instructions for removing this particularly sticky add-on. The first step is to remove it from Skype itself. I had to scan the Skype for Windows window for a minute or so before I finally saw the link in small type at the bottom of the window. You can see it in the screenshot to the the left.


I did not see EasyBits in the add-ons list for Skype on my PC. However, if you do, it would be somewhere in the list of software that has access to Skype’s API Access Control. You can see what my list looks like in the second screenshot here.

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Microsoft Fuse Labs Social Gadget: Why Does Justin Bieber Show Up in an H1N1 Topic Search?

I'm taking a look at Microsoft Fuse Labs' SocialGadget which provides a way to visually explore Twitter topics. I used the search term "H1N1." You can see the result in the screenshot to the left. It turned out that "Justin Bieber" and "H1N1" were tweeted together 19 times in the past 3 days. That was enough for that name to show up in the tag cloud. Go figure.

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Windows 7: Hibernate vs. Hybrid Sleep

I've been running Windows 7 on my home PCs for a long time (since early beta releases). But, I finally got around to getting my office PC updated from Windows XP to 7 this week (new-ish PC with old OS). I noticed that hibernate was not available as a shutdown option on the upgraded PC. It turned out that "Hybrid Sleep" was turned on. Turning it off enabled the ability to choose Hibernate.

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Bing Translator & Translation Bot for Windows Live Messenger


Reading through the version update note for WritePad for iPhone, one item stood out of its short list: Support for Bing Translator. I had not hear of this before (or have forgotten) and went searching for it. You can find this web-based written language translator at: too. But, it just redirects to It can translate anything from a single word/phrase to an entire web page (just enter the site's URL). I liked the way it places the original and translated web page side-by-side (see screenshot above).

Microsoft also provides a Translation Bot that can be used with Windows Live Messenger. Add as a contact and invite it into a conversation for translation assistance.

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Microsoft Removing Custom XML Feature from Word 2007 & 2010

I can't say I understand exactly what "Custom XML" is used for in Word 2007 and 2010. However, Microsoft lost the patent lawsuit over it to i4i.

Microsoft loses i4i appeal; must pay $290M and alter Word

ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley (back in August) seemed to be puzzled by it too. So, I'm not alone in trying to understand what the removal of this feature means.

'Custom XML' the key to patent suit over Microsoft Word

Matt Asay commented 9also back in August) that it may affect working with the ODF format.

Microsoft's 'Custom XML' patent suit could put ODF at risk

Here's Microsoft's MSDN overview of XML in Word in general with comments throughout about "custom XML".

Introduction to the Word 2007 XML Format


How Microsoft Counts-1,3.11,95,2000,XP,Vista,Windows 7

I know several people (including me) have wondered how exactly Windows 7 got its "7" designation. My count was:

1. Windows 1
2. Windows 2
3. Windows 3
4. Windows 95
5. Windows NT
6. Windows 98
7. Windows Me
8. Windows 2000
9. Windows XP
10. Windows Vista

I was also tempted to throw in Windows for Workgroups 3.11 and Windows 98 Second Edition which I consider significant releases. So, how did Microsoft figure out the current release is "7"? This item from their Higher Innovation blog might explain it...

Microsoft Windows 24/7

Microsoft does not "count" Windows 2, 3 (they skip to 3.11), and 98. Windows NT is mentioned but apparently not included in the family line. So, there you have it. This is how Microsoft counts Windows versions:

1. Windows 1
2. Windows 3.11
3. Windows 95
4. Windows 2000
5. Windows XP
6. Windows Vista
7. Windows 7

The mystery is officially solved.

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Quick Test of Windows Vista Touch Interface (video)

Noticed a Dell all-in-one PC with a touchscreen running Windows 7 Vista in a local Costco yesterday. Recorded a bit of me playing with the touch UI. I was very impressed by its responsiveness and ease of use. Was tempted to buy the Dell desktop PC. But, I don't really want an all-in-one desktop PC at the moment. I would like to get a touchscreen LCD display that can be used with existing desktops running Windows 7 though.


Windows 7 Compatible Multitouch Devices List

Microsoft has a list of all current multitouch devices compatible with Windows 7...

Where the Multitouch Devices Are

Most are tablet, netbook, notebook, and all-in-one desktop computers. However, there are also touch capable monitors including a 42-inch behemoth from HP.

The list includes the Asus Eee PC T91. However, my understanding is that this model is a single touch device. The T91A (not released yet) is the multi-touch model. I tried to post a comment on the On10 blog. However, it requires a sign-in and did not have a way to create an account. Why doesn't this Microsoft site use Passport?

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Microsoft KB974332: Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Application Compatibility Update

Booted my Windows 7 64-bit Edition PC for the first time in a week and noticed a single update available titled:

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Application Compatibility Update

You can find its description in: KB974332

This compatibility update says it fixes issues for Alcohol 52%, Altiris and Symantec Virtual Software up to version 6.1.499, ZoomText version 9.18, Dell Printer Driver (Models-V105, V305 and V505), Trend Micro Internet Security 2007/2008/2009, Trend Micro VirusBuster 2008 , YiDongFeiXin version 2.2.x and version 3.5.x, PGP Desktop up to version 9.x and Microsoft's own Windows Live Photo Gallery.

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