Windows 95 Tips, Tricks, and Tweaks

November 17th, 2012

Windows 95 Tips, Tricks, and Tweaks.

Didn't we all, deep down, know the awful truth all along.

My favourite:

The Backup is almost complete...

[Via MetaFilter]

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Uninstalling Windows 8

August 23rd, 2012

This withering review of Windows 8 may or may not turn out to be representative of how the average desktop or laptop PC user is going to feel when they sit down in front of their new or upgraded computer, but it does suggest that Microsoft had better have Windows 8.1 prepped and ready to go very soon after the launch of Windows 8:

The Calendar is unworkable

I've given up entirely on the calendar, because it's terrible. Changing to a week or day view requires a right click to make the control interface appear. I can't work out how to edit an appointment, nor can I work out how to delete an appointment. There's no way to show events from just one calendar. I think it may well be easier to alter my own birthday than to edit when it's currently set for in the Windows 8 calendar. I really want to be making this up.

There's a lot more where that came from.

Remember when Windows 95 came out, and every serious national newspaper1 devoted acres of space2 to the launch of the product that was going to change the face of computing? I wonder what they're going to do for Windows 8, what with it being the most radical shift in how Windows users work since 1995.

[Via Daring Fireball]

  1. In the UK at least – I don't remember how far they went overboard in the USA.
  2. Whole supplements in some cases, and Microsoft even paid for that day's entire run of the Times.

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My eyes, my eyes!

August 1st, 2012

A Tribute to the Windows 3.1 "Hot Dog Stand" Color Scheme.

[Via Build & Analyze #88]

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Not Tetris 2

September 10th, 2011

Not Tetris 2. To quote the author:

It's got all the upsides of Tetris and all the downsides of physics

Available for Windows, Linux and MacOS X, and well worth a look IMHO.

[Via The Tao of Mac]

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Putting on a carnival show

December 11th, 2008

The organiser of the Helios Project, an initiative that promotes the use of Linux by schoolchildren, received a fabulously clueless letter from a local teacher by the name of Karen who had:

"…observed one of my students with a group of other children gathered around his laptop. Upon looking at his computer, I saw he was giving a demonstration of some sort. The student was showing the ability of the laptop and handing out Linux disks. After confiscating the disks I called a confrence (sic) with the student and that is how I came to discover you and your organization. Mr. Starks, I am sure you strongly believe in what you are doing but I cannot either support your efforts or allow them to happen in my classroom. At this point, I am not sure what you are doing is legal. No software is free and spreading that misconception is harmful. These children look up to adults for guidance and discipline. I will research this as time allows and I want to assure you, if you are doing anything illegal, I will pursue charges as the law allows. [Emphasis added]

Two thoughts:

  1. I think the first line of the first comment nailed it: "Absolutely goes to show the mindset billions of dollars of PR money will buy."
  2. The very best line came later in the email: "I am sure if you contacted Microsoft, they would be more than happy to supply you with copies of an older verison (sic) of Windows and that way, your computers would actually be of service to those receiving them…" Wanna bet?

As it turned out, this wasn't the end of the story: Karen got in touch to discuss the matter and is having Linux installed on her PC this weekend. Even so, to my mind it's not an entirely positive outcome to the story: I'd like to know more about why, exactly, Karen was so "tearful [and] frightened" that she was on the verge of going to law to protect her privacy. Did some idiot post her contact details on line and tell Linux supporters to explain the error of her ways? Was it that she ended up having an uncomfortable discussion with her school's principal when he or she started receiving enquiries about the story?1

[Via Memex 1.1]

  1. In fairness, it may also simply be that Karen is not used to being talked about online by total strangers and reacted badly to being the centre of attention for a bunch of total strangers, some of whom – if a few of the comments on the linked article are anything to go by – clearly have a few issues of their own with public schools/teaching unions.

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Bill Production Softwares

December 9th, 2008

Would anyone care to take a guess what this software does? 1

[Via Daring Fireball]

  1. My guess is that it takes input from a file, a serial port or a TCP connection and redirects it to an application running on the local PC. (Note the direction of the arrows running into and out of that central dialog box.) I take it the idea is to allow a programmer to set up a file that echoes the keystrokes used to execute a sequence of commands so that a complicated set of functions can be executed. A macro execution tool of sorts. Ugly, horribly error-prone if the user hasn't left the local application in the expected state, but possibly quite useful in some circumstances.

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August 24th, 2008

I do believe I've found the perfect desktop wallpaper for my PC at work.

[Via The Daily WTF]

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