Tuesday, September 15, 2015

I wanted Windows 10 to be so much better than the polished Windows 8 that it is...

What is Windows 10? A Windows 8 that has proper desktop user-interface akin to Windows 7 back in place. What it isn't? A fix to the problems introduced with Windows 8 - and a few new extra problems which turn your laptops into stumbling pieces of junk for most of the time you want to use it.

I've mentioned this before, Windows 8 had the habit of running maintenance endlessly locking up laptop hard drives, well - it's still there in Windows 10, and worse - now you can't turn off Windows Update. So add that to the layer of things your laptop does that you don't want it to do while you try to check the weather quickly.

Here's a quick use-case, I open a laptop lid, click on a browser, check the weather, close the lid. How fast should that be? If you are a Windows 10 user - you will have to wait until the System stops churning up the hard-drive at 100% usage. Which could take several minutes. Also, your internet will probably not work properly for a few minutes due to Windows Update, Windows firewall and Windows' own anti-virus doing who knows what.

I keep running this test almost every day since Windows 10 was installed on my several laptops - how long does it take until the Disk usage at Task Manager shows 0% and turns to light color instead of red. It takes forever, and no one can guess what it is doing. It just "does", what ever - it just keeps churning, because that's probably healthy for the magnetic hard-ware, to be constantly read and written, for the internal stuff to move up and down over the discs there. Surely that can't be helpful to battery usage either.

Seriously, Windows 10 makes me miss DOS. Because DOS is the only product from Microsoft where you can understand what the computer is doing, which is 100% of the time only what you want it to do.

I can't advise other people to risk their computers' security, but the only hacks I found to make a dent in Windows 10 horrendous performance are as follows:
* Find services management (not easily done since Windows 8/10) - and turn off windows update there
* Disable Windows Anti-Virus and Firewall, as well as all notifications regarding these
* Install free Ad-Aware Anti-Virus, it doesn't suck as bad as Microsoft's

And pretty much that's it - there are more hacks, such as finding the schedule tasks that keep trying to defrag your laptop hard-drive, but that one too is elusive and Microsoft keeps restoring it for you behind the scenes.

Also, I'm not a fan of the new Edge browser:
* Can't drag a link to the desktop
* Having the search/address bar change locations and being non-responsive or randomly responsive is a pain in the ass.
* Defaults all your attempts to enter an address to a bing search

Let's talk Cortana. I'm not a fan! Just another bloatware you can't remove which takes time loading up and lets Microsoft and its NSA pals spy on you. What's the point? How is this helpful?

Since Windows 8, Microsoft has pushed its own cloud document upload thing on you called at various times different names, which again takes time loading up, consumes network bandwidth and you can't find where to get rid of it. So once again - thanks for making me miss DOS.

That's it - my two cents on Windows 10.


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Windows 8 worse feature: auto-maintenance that can't be disabled or stopped

What is it? Auto-Maintenance does a "variety of things" which Microsoft won't elaborate about, and you won't find any information about anywhere. When does it happen? Anytime during the day when you try to work (unless you leave your computer on over-night, like everyone with a laptop that's not connected to the power most of the time does...). The "Action Center" user interface doesn't give you an option to disable it, and people on the net would advise you to go to a "Task Scheduler" and disable it there. And you do, and guess what? 2 Minutes later windows enables it back without telling you.

So what you'd say, sure - just as much as I like to change car oil every 2 miles while on a road trip, I'd like my laptop to spike its CPU usage with odd services, and spend hours plowing through the hard drive doing who knows what, rendering your own processes and software helpless as they try to access IO. I mean, who's hardware is this? Yours or Microsoft's? Who decides when and how to use it and spend its power? Is it really that hard to open a web-page?

Auto-Maintenance kills laptops, and there's no way to disable or avoid it - so the only thing left to say is: Thanks Microsoft for truly  - the worst OS you've ever created. I own several PC-s and laptops and I wish those were all Chrome or Mac now.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

DelayedExec has a new HomePage

Hello everyone, I'm happy to announce that I moved the freeware DelayedExec to its new home page!


Download and try it out. It can help your PC boot faster, even brand spankin' new Windows 8 ones!


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Goodbye Google-Reader, Try "Free Stocks Ticker" as your alternative!

My Ticker app is a Windows Desktop scrolling headlines tool. You add the RSS URLS, and just let it feed you with your favorite site headlines. Very easy, very cool, try it out!



Thursday, May 9, 2013

Win 8 blue; what I would have wanted...

Everyone with a keyboard can put this kind of list on the net. Here's my 2 cents:

  • Open Win-RT to desktop .net apps installed outside of Microsoft's store
  • Add a Microsoft sponsored desktop apps store, yes - just like Apple has one for Mac OS
  • Figuere out how to produce hardware that's as high quality as Galaxy and iPad and costs less (unlike the current opposite)
  • Allow control settings of everything through desktop or "metro" seperately. If one is choosing to use emersive touch, he should never be forced to use desktop tiny buttons and links
  • Add "Explorer" to "metro", see prior bullet point
  • Rethink the whole design of the emersive apps - way too simplistic for may different tasks. A phone UI is not a 1080 desktop and vice-versa
  • Good old desktop freecel and mine-sweeper, bring them back
  • Allow relpacing tiles with icons, meaningful and colorful icons with rigid alignment that doesn't hurt the eyes
  • Add fixed, recognize-able buttons to the start tile screen: Turn Off, Desktop, Settings
  • Dump swipes. They suck, no one gets it, no one likes it, not as touch, not as mouse
  • Disallow laptop touch-pads acting as swipe zones, it renders that device unusable
  • Invest harded in letting gaming industry into the Microsft-Tablet realm. With a winning market of XBOX, Microsoft initiated some leveraging there, but stopped mid-way. If you buy the game on XBox and download, why not allow you to use it on your tablet too? Why not flood the tablet store with awesome XBox games?
  • Speaking of games, I haven't tried out Wii-U, or am a fan of their idea, but surely surface+xbox could have produced a less awkward solution than Xbox-Smart-Glass. 
  • Why does it take so long to start "metro" apps on an intel i7 laptop or tablet? I don't like staring at a green or orange screen with a white icon, no one does. It's wierd
  • Work with Unity3D to bring that development community faster into the Windows 8 tablets and phones market.
  • How about free Angry-Birds? Come'on big giant MS corp, you can afford it. 
  • Consider that Apple's winning iTunes is still a huge advantage for the iPads, I don't know who is buying Music subscription, I used to (netscape, rhapsody etc) but no longer do. Perhaps if Microsoft would just allow MP3 purchases through some awesome Win 8 metro interface? Don't expect Amazon to do the job for you, they are doing a great job carving their markets with Kindle Fire (if only they would return to turning profits again)
  • Finally obviously: desktop start menu
Expect none of it. 

Microsoft is about to make some announcements pretty soon, it will be interesting to see where Win 8 and Xbox will head.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The odyssey of a new Dell Windows 8 Laptop owner

I'm a proud owner of a brand new laptop. Hurray for me. After 8 years with my loyal Gateway laptop chugging along, upgraded from Vista to Win-7, replaced power suppliers twice, battery once, had the touch-pad die on me and the current power-supply/battery combo flaking again, having had enough with an aging laptop - I took a leap of faith.

Dell has an outlet online store, did you know? And occasionally cool stuff goes on insane clearance, like my brand new 17" laptop for half the price. Lucky me.

Only problem? It comes with Windows 8, McCaffy, Dell Back-up, and won't allow updating the "windows 8 store app". That's from the box.

5:30PM: After spending 5 hours trying to remove all the unwanted crap, realized the Windows 8 apps won't update/install any new. Read some other blog post suggesting "refresh", and now I'm back to square one, again with McCaffy, Dell Back-Up, no windows update patch, and non of the customizations I tried to apply.

Super frustrating.

Will update this post later....

7PM: No progress, things aren't getting any better. Apps still don't install. Windows update is taking forever...

9PM: 2nd restart after waiting for Windows Update restarts, apps still won't update or install... still hadn't installed the stuff I need or moved my files from older laptop.... this sucks, big time

10:37PM Finally returned from what I hope is the last windows-update reboot, good news - apps began installing

12:09AM Yes! Everything is finally working properly.

1:37PM Day After: Working on setting up my build environment... starting to like my new laptop.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

How to "un-suck" Windows 8

What a blunder. I've never seen a product so instantly hated by users.

Step 1: Install Classic-Shell (but deselect the other 3 features in the installer). You want your start menu, you rarely would want the "metro start", or whatever they call it now.

Step 2: Disable edge-swipe on laptop touch-pads, check out these links: a or b

And there you go, your usable windows laptop is back, just two seconds before you were going to smash it up against the wall...

your welcome

Friday, November 2, 2012

Windows 8 basics

It's not intuitive, let's face it. We're all conditioned to use the start menu, and now that it's gone - we're asking - why, oh why?

So, a few basics to get anyone up and running in seconds, for mouse users:

  • Start tiles: Either move mouse to bottom-left corner and click, or press the "windows key".
  • Control Panel: From desktop, move mouse to bottom left corner, wait for the "start" image, right click it and select control panel
  • Shutdown/Restart: Ctrl+Alt+Delete, Click on the "Power Icon" (or click Esc to return)
  • Desktop Icons: Right click on desktop, Personalize, Desktop Icons and do your self a favor and add the computer
  • Computer Management/Device manager: Either from the left corner/right click, or from your computer desktop right-click menu
  • All my program icons: Click start, right click on non-tile area, select all apps
  • Network & Sharing Center: Right click on the network icon and select Network & Sharing Center
  • Shutdown trick 2: click on "windows button + c", select the settings charm, select the power icon
  • Close metro app, or desktop window: Alt+F4
Touch users:
  • Close an app: press and hold from the top edge of screen, all the way down the middle (took me days to figure this out)
  • Charms/Start menu: quick scroll from right edge, select start or other charm. The settings change based on the app you are using, as do the search options
  • Switch app: quick scroll from left edge
  • Select running app: quick scroll from left and back
  • Shut down: quick scroll from right edge, select settings, select power icon
  • Calibrate touch: using desktop, reach control panel and search touch (not easily done), click on the calibrate link and do your best...
Where the heck are Freecel and Mine-weeper? You can't use these old and loved free games anymore, instead you need to download from the Windows-Store Microsoft's own Solitaire Collection and Mine-Sweeper. Which only run in full-screen windows-app mode. There are blogs out there detailing how to hack original windows 7 games to run on windows 8. 


TMSLA = Too Much Shit Laying Around

Ok, so I own an iPad 1 which I bought a month before they announced iPad 2. That's the way of the world, you wait to buy the new gadget, only to realize it is then out-dated, was overpriced and well... why the heck did I need it to begin with?

And now, Microsoft-Surface tablets and Acer windows 8 tablets running out of stock everywhere - while the world is sinking into a global depression, and in New York, in the wake of a hurricane people are dumpster diving for food - you can't find a fricken tablet - for business use (of course).

So - I think people around are subject to a new condition I choose to label TMSLA. Seriously, you don't need it. You know you don't. Most people for some reason own several laptops, computers, tablets, e-readers, dsla cameras, digital cameras, film cameras, smart-phones, xbox, wii, play-station, ipod, ipod touch, nintendo ds, smart tv, smart blu-ray, 5 channel surround 18 pieces suite, house wiring, over the power networking, over the wireless networking. Hell - at least the toaster isn't network connected (yet).

Well, maybe I'm just describing my self here. I'm definitely matching the TMSLA definition. But the device I most often question why I have - is the iPad 1. And yet - the stores are running out of iPad mini and Microsoft Surface. Go figure.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

New look and status update

As some might have noticed, I haven't posted in this blog for a while. Recently I changed the look of both this blog and "Freestocksticker.blogspot.com".

 I continuously track comments and emails with suggestions regarding the software I published. So do check those out and comment if you like.

As far as blogging is concerned, it depends on having something important enough to say - with the knowledge that not many people will read it anyhow. Perhaps a better approach would be to consider it as a public diary of bookmarks and thoughts regarding interesting software aspects and economic tidbits.

It just happens that as far as the economy is concerned, we are all still in the same hole we were for 4 years now. Europe still is on the verge of collapse yet doesn't ever actually collapses. I guess they found the money tree, or printer and keep issuing bonds without a buyer to fund their lavish social system. Good'on'ya moochers.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How to setup OpenCV with Visual Studio 2010 without recompiling source

The tutorial documentation is a bit out-of-date. I thought I might share the process for anyone who might be interested:

OPENCV development environment setup

1. download and install opencv into c:\intel\opencv  ; http://sourceforge.net/projects/opencvlibrary/
2. download and unzip TBB into c:\intel\tbb ; http://threadingbuildingblocks.org/file.php?fid=77
3. download and install Path-Editor ; http://www.redfernplace.com/software-projects/patheditor/
4. open computer properties->advanced settings->advanced->environment variables
5. set the following variables:
TBB_DIR=C:\Intel\tbb\tbb40_20111003oss (or other relevant version folder)
6. run path-editor, add the following:
7. Run Visual Studio 2010 and make new console c++ application with empty-project checked
8. From Menu, select View->Other Windows->Property Manager
9. Add new sheets to Debug and Release seperately for OpenCV
a. under c/c++ / General, set:
Additional Include Directories=$(OPENCV_INST)\build\include
b. under Linker / General, set:
Additinoal Library Directories=$(OPENCV_DIR)\lib
c. under Linker / Input, set:
Additinoal Dependencies:

for the release property sheet, delete the "d" letter at name of each such lib file
10. The newly created .prop files for the property sheets can be reused in future projects
11. Add one of the .cpp files from the opencv cpp samples directory to verify it compiles properly
a. consider the file: C:\Intel\opencv\samples\cpp\tutorial_code\introduction\windows_visual_studio_Opencv\Test.cpp


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Missed your Black-Friday xbox deal? Check this out: 250gb with kinect and two games: $296, includes 3 months gold

And I woke up at 4:30 to stand in line and get my $199 kinect 4gb bundle, one game only. Hmm.. Where's that receipt, I see a better deal....

That's $296 on Amazon, without pressure, lines, or click-quick-within-2-minutes-or-lost-it rush sale.

Now that I do have my own though, I must say - this thing is awesome, so much better than wii. We haven't even turned the wii on since buying the xBox...

Oops, tiny caveat, you have to buy it from an Amazon partner: best4sale, costs $291.95+$3.99 shipment. Hmm, is this new or open boxed? They would mention if not new, right?


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

German bond auction a disaster, new world debt markets freeze?!

What could be worse than sub-prime mortgage global meltdown? Sovereign debt meltdown, in the country you least expected.
German 10-year bond auction a "disaster"
A "disastrous" sale of German benchmark bonds sparked fears on Wednesday the debt crisis was beginning to threaten even Berlin, with the Bundesbank forced to dig deep into its pockets to ensure the auction did not fail.

In one of the least successful debt sales by Europe's powerhouse economy since the launch of the single currency, the low returns offered -- just 2 percent annually over 10 years -- deterred investors made uneasy by the escalating cost of the crisis to Germany.

That meant the central bank had to pick up 39 percent of the 6 billion euros ($8 billion) of debt Germany had hoped to sell after commercial banks bought just 3.644 billion euros of the issue.

"It is a complete and utter disaster," said Marc Ostwald, strategist at Monument Securities in London.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Black Friday event, all week on Amazon

I don't know about you, but I'll skip pushing and shoving at 5am at local Meijer, Best Buy and Walmart. Consider checking every hour or so Amazon for great deals instead, every day.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Apple products on Amazon cost less than Apple store, no sales tax

Yep, Mac Mini-s, iMac-s etc... not cheap, and for Windows fan - you'll have to deal with extra steps and costs, but if you are a fan and want to buy right now, I think Amazon's is your best choice.

iMac - $1,125.92

Mac Mini - $568.95
Meanwhile, I'm shopping around for a new PC. Which is how I came across this little fact regarding prices of Mac-s. It turns out that brand new Dells desktops were selling for $200 discount and an extra percentage discount with a coupon on the outlet store. Which means - the Dell desktop outlet inventory was swept clean.

Lesson learned, you see something you want in the right price and you should be able to afford - don't procrastinate. Good deals really don't last long.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs, RIP. Among most admired businessmen of our generation

You can't argue with success, after success, after success. His genius was in producing items the consumers really wanted, and making them even cooler with each new release.

PS. Yes, his autobiography is on sale.

Interesting to review the following video, Steve Jobs giving a commencement speech at Stanford: "How to live before you die".

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New Amazon Fire tablet only $199, cheaper kindle devices, most exciting tech news this year, undercut Apple and everyone else

With Amazon's very own implementation of a web browser too...

I'm looking forward to a hands on review. Meanwhile, they are all available to order.

Check-out Wired's opinion: Playing with Fire: Amazon Launches a $200 Tablet, Slashes Kindle Prices
One year ago, almost to the day, Jeff Bezos gave me the reason why people should carry around a Kindle in the age of the iPad. No Angry Birds.

“The number one app for the iPad when I checked a couple of days ago was called Angry Birds—a game where you throw birds at pigs and they blow up,” Bezos told me in September 2010. “The number one thing on the Kindle is Stieg Larsson. It’s a different audience. We’re designing for people who want to read.”

Today at a New York City press event Amazon is releasing a $199 color 7-inch tablet device called Fire. It plays Angry Birds.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

In case you missed it: Market is a-crashing

Yea... not good for anyone's savings. No safe haven, at all.

Recession Almost A Certainty, Says Advisor — Stocks Could Crash Soon
n the past few months, investors have gone from being generally bullish about the economy and stock market to increasingly concerned that we may be headed for another recession. For now, however, the consensus is still that we'll trudge along with slow growth but avoid an actual downturn.

One advisor who thinks that a recession is almost a certainty, however, is Lance Roberts, the Chief Economist at Streettalk Advisors, a $400 million advisory firm.