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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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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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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Upgraded Desktop from Vista Home Premium to Windows 7 Ultimate: Much Happier Now!

I finally got around to upgrading my desktop (quad-core, 4GB RAM) from Vista Home Premium to Windows 7 Ultimate Edition (RTM) - both 32-bit Editions. Wow! What a difference. Under Vista, the PC's drives constantly thrashed for reasons I never understood (4GB RAM not enough)? The PC's hard drive is now virtually silent. No thrashing. It runs and feels like a completely different (better so far) PC.

The only thing I've noticed lost so far is support for the Bluetooth USB I have on a hub. I rarel use it. And, it was always flaky under Vista anyway. I should probably invest in another USB Bluetooth stick.

Filed under: Microsoft, Windows 7 1 Comment

AMD Dual Core Better Deal Than Intel for Windows Virtual PC Testing

The still-in-beta Windows XP Mode and Windows Virtual PC for Windows 7 needs hardware virtualization assist. However, many (most) Intel's low-end processors (even quad core models) do not support Intel VT-x. I recall spending a lot of time checking various comparison tables before buying my Dell quad-core PC last year to make sure its CPU supported VT-x.

When I thought my old PC running Windows XP died (or so I thought - see previous blog for its revival) a few weeks ago, I went to Costco and bought the cheapest PC they had - an eMachines (yes, I know I swore off them a while back, but $340 is a good price) PC with an Athlon X2 4050e processor. Generally speaking, none of the sub-$400 PCs with Intel Core Duo or Core 2 Duo processors I looked at a year ago supported Intel VT-x. So, I didn't expect this ultra-cheap AMD based one to provide AMD-V hardware virtualization. But, a quick check of its BIOS configuration shows that it does have that feature and that it is turned on by default.

I still haven't gotten around to installing Microsoft's in-beta virtualization products under Windows 7 RC yet. But, it is nice to know that I can since I didn't expect to do be able to test it for a long while.


Windows 7 RC Pushing Us to Go Green?

I mentioned a few days ago that migrating an old desktop PC from Windows 7 Beta to Windows 7 Release Candidate seemed to result in a noticeably slower system. I think I know why now.

Taking a look at Win7RC's power options on the desktop showed just the "Power Saving" and "Balanced" settings visible. I had to dig into the Advanced Options to find the "High Performance" power setting. Selecting this seemed to restore the desktop's performance to what it "felt like" with Win7Beta (I haven't performed any actual performance tests).

I wonder if Microsoft is trying to force users to go green (or buy faster PCs) by thinking that Balanced is the faster processor performance option available after a quick glance?

If your PC seems slower after migrating from Win7Beta to Win7RC, check your power options and hunt for the High Performance power setting.

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