Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dinosaur Sightings: Microsoft Arcade for Windows 3.1

In 1993, Microsoft released a game package called Microsoft Arcade that contained re-creations of 5 classic Atari arcade games from the 1980’s:

Missile Command

Take a trip back in time with this picture gallery of five classic arcade games.

Save time and keystrokes with the Windows Vista IP Configuration Tool

When you’re troubleshooting TCP/IP connectivity problems, chances are good that you shell out to the command line and use the IPConfig command. While this is indeed a powerful tool, using it can be a painstaking operation that requires you to type the IPConfig command over and over again with a different switch for each operation.

To alleviate some of that tedious labor, I created the Windows Vista IP Configuration Tool, which presents each of the IPConfig command-line tool’s switches in one dialog box.

Microsoft adamant we use the Ribbon interface in Vista and beyond

Rumors are running rampant on the Web that Microsoft is planning to ribbonize Windows Vista’s built-in applications — WordPad and Paint. If you have been using Windows for a while, you surely recognize this as an extremely odd play for Microsoft. When have they ever taken a new technology designed for new applications and put it in older applications? Unless, it was supposed to have been there all along? If Ribbons had appeared in WordPad and Paint before Office 2007, would the UI transition have been as tough?

In this edition of the Windows Vista and Windows 7 Report, I’ll analyze the rumor that Microsoft is planning to add Ribbons to Windows Vista. As I do, I’ll explore the idea that it could be possible that Ribbons were supposed to have been a part of the Windows operating system’s built-in applications before they appeared in Office 2007.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Weird Error Messages

When something goes wrong in Windows, you would hope that the error message dialog box would contain some helpful information to assist you in finding the solution to the problem. Unfortunately, that's not always the case. In fact, sometimes the error messages are downright confusing or at the very least, simply weird. In this gallery, we’ll take a look at 24 confusing or weird error messages.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

10 ways to get the most out of Bing

Using Google to search for everything is so ingrained into our computer-user personas, it’s hard to imagine using anything else. Even so, Bing does offer a lot of features that make it a worthy addition to your Internet browsing toolkit, once you learn more about what the site has to offer. Here are 10 things you should know about using Bing.

Configure a USB flash drive to be a Windows 7 installation platform

I recently discovered a technique on the Microsoft TechNet Magazine site that describes how you can use a USB flash drive to install Windows 7.

This technique is very cool for two reasons: First, a flash drive is much more responsive than an optical drive since it doesn’t rely on physically moving components, so the installation procedure will be faster. Second, it provides an easy way to install Microsoft Windows 7 on a system that doesn’t have a DVD drive, such as a netbook

In this edition of the Windows Vista and Windows 7 Report, I’ll show you how to use the DiskPart utility to configure a bootable USB flash drive that you can then use to install the Microsoft Windows 7 operating system.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Change the registration information in Windows Vista with this handy tool

When you install Windows Vista, a part of the installation procedure prompts you to enter your name and you company’s name. This information can then be displayed in the About dialog box, which you can access by pulling down the Help menu and selecting the About command in any native Vista application. You can also display the About Windows dialog box by typing Winver in the Start Search box or in the Run dialog box

This registration information is stored in the registry and can be changed by carefully editing the data with the Registry Editor. However, not everyone is comfortable with firing up the Registry Editor and delving into the registry.

That’s why I created the Vista Registration Changer utility, an HTML Application (HTA) that combines HTML, Windows Script Host, and VBScript to create nice little GUI application for easily changing the registration information. Read more.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Classic Microsoft commercials and videos you may have forgotten

Everybody is now familiar with the Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld Vista commercials as well as the I’m a PC commercials that Microsoft began using as retaliation to the Apple’s Hello, I’m a Mac series of commercials. However, Microsoft’s advertising campaigns have a long history.

In this blog post, I’ll take a look back at some of Microsoft’s classic Windows commercials. I’ll also toss in a host of other Microsoft related videos for your entertainment pleasure.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Elevate privileges automatically with Elevation PowerToys

I recently received an e-mail from a reader who asked me if there was a better way to elevate privileges when running scripts in Microsoft Windows Vista. He went on to explain that the only existing procedure for doing so was kludgy and removed the convenience factor inherent in using a script to automate a task.

That’s when I realized that I hadn’t written about the Elevation PowerToys for Windows Vista, which were specifically designed to address this problem.

In this edition of the Windows 7 and Windows Vista Report, I’ll introduce you to the Elevation PowerToys for Windows Vista and show you how to use them to more easily launch scripts that require elevated privileges

Friday, August 7, 2009

Input this: Wild and wacky keyboards

Who says that keyboards have to be boring?

In this gallery, I’ll present a collection of 19 very interesting keyboards and one accessory that you can use to spice up your plain old white keyboard.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

10 cool things you can do with a USB flash drive

Transporting your data is probably the most common use for a USB flash drive. But there’s a world of other things you can do with these handy pocket-size drives. Here are 10 ways you can use that USB flash drive to do more than just move data.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Microsoft Windows 7 final pricing is revealed and analyzed

Well, the Windows 7 pricing saga has come to an end. On Friday July 31, Microsoft tied up the loose ends by revealing the prices for the rest of its Windows 7 products — Windows Anytime Upgrade and Family Pack Pricing — on the Windows 7 Blog. Let’s take a look at the details.