The bad news first..

Today, I got a call from a client of mine who recently bought a Windows 8 infested Lenovo laptop. I use the term ‘infested’ because it is what I would say if a new laptop failed like this one did. The client uses it for ISP home page based mail, and a small amount of surfing on a criminally slow connection that should have been automatically upgraded by her ISP when the Ultra-Lite packaged was dropped.. The good news.. Fortunately, F8 at power up took me to repair options, and System restore to 8 days ago got it working again … Continue reading The bad news first..

DPC Watchdog Violation

This is the first time that I have seen the associated blue screen, and only recently since I have been able to make out what the blue screen has wanted to tell me. Gone is all of the harshness and lines of text which don’t stay around long enough to make reading a possibility. Windows 8.1 puts up very clear blue screens, a nicer blue, clearer font, the minimum of blurb and a line which informs the user of the problem. DPC Watchdog Violations are a ‘bring the machine to an abrupt end and start over’ type of blue screen, … Continue reading DPC Watchdog Violation

The ‘desktop’ tile is to your right..

.. in the All Programs section if you have a new Surface RT. Reported here.. While Bill was around, Microsoft used to ask “where would you like to go today?”, and after a bit of pointing and typing, you would get there. It isn’t like that at all these days. Microsoft tell you where and how you will get anywhere. Ideally, Microsoft wants you to leave greasy paw prints all over the glass and, when you get to your destination, then pay a monthly ’parking’ fee. It isn’t about where you want to go anymore. It is about how … Continue reading The ‘desktop’ tile is to your right..

Website compatibility..

(This post applies to any browser version which has been released recently) Twenty years ago, we accessed the Internet via this. It is the iconic Mosaic browser.. You will notice the complete lack of graphics. The Internet and modems were not fast enough to handle graphics, simple as that, but I can tell you that using it was like hearing your first Beatles song back in 1963. It was a magical experience. The Internet has come a long way, and now we view the online world through very sophisticated browsers and high speed modems. We have colour, animated graphics, videos, … Continue reading Website compatibility..

Case mods..

My Coolermaster CM690 case got an upgrade today. I sent off for the USB 3.0 case top and panel a few days ago which replaces the 2 x USB 2.0 ports and a Fire-wire port which I will never use, and today it arrived. Apart from the niggle of having to re-cable and re-fit the new top which took maybe 30 minutes, I now have 2 x USB.3.0 and 2 x USB 2.0 on the top. 1 x USB 2.0 on the front panel card reader, 4 x USB 2.0 and 2 x USB 2.0 high power outlets on the … Continue reading Case mods..


Do you really need this level of encryption? I say this because if anything untoward happens to the drive which is Bitlockered and/or you forget the password, you can also forget whatever is on the drive. Bitlocker is not like other Windows utilities. There is absolutely nothing lightweight about it. Unlike media players and anti-virus solutions, nobody else markets anything like it at small business and consumer level. There are no pending lawsuits regarding Microsoft’s hard core encryption system. Think hard and long about it before committing to setting up Bitlocker. If something goes wrong, there is NO return. Nobody … Continue reading Bitlocker..

Windows 8.1 is available..

It is for FREE if you already have Windows 8 via the Windows 8 store. If you can’t see it there just yet, don’t worry because it will appear in time. It is a major update, so ensure that you have backed up any important stuff to external media before attempting to install it. If you are looking to install Windows 8.1 over Windows 7 or Vista, it will cost you FULL price now. No offers this time around because any chance of getting Windows 8 cheap ran out many months ago. You should kick yourself if you didn’t take … Continue reading Windows 8.1 is available..

MSE – A breach of trust, in my opinion..

In 2009, Microsoft introduced us to Microsoft Security Essentials, a small footprint, non-invasive anti-virus solution that did not have an adverse effect on any system  to which is was applied, and effective too. In recent times, and with little or no fanfare, Microsoft have demoted it to the bottom of the pile. You can read more here.. To cut a long story short, for whatever reason, Microsoft has lost interest in Microsoft Security Essentials and is now suggesting that computer users find a 3rd party solution which is more effective. ALL of my clients are running MSE because I … Continue reading MSE – A breach of trust, in my opinion..

My Windows 8.1 doesn’t like the NTI Echo 3 cloning utility..

When attempting a clone of one drive to another, the program being used did not like the ATAPI bridge that I was using, in actual fact claiming that it didn’t like any ATAPI bridge. So, when I saw somebody recommend NTI Echo 3, I thought that I would give it a go. The software was downloaded, paid for and installed, and it duly started with no issues. I closed it down, not wanting to do the clone at that time, and all appeared well. Between then and now, I have upgraded Windows 8 to 8.1 and, after having done so, … Continue reading My Windows 8.1 doesn’t like the NTI Echo 3 cloning utility..

Another graphic(s) story..

My old production machine, still very much in use by my grand-daughter, has been running an aging MSI nVidia N6600 graphics card. All was well until recently when it decided to feed a signal to the monitor most of the time but not all of the time. The fix was simple enough, pulling the power out of the back of the monitor and then reconnecting, but for a five year old wanting to watch ‘My Little Pony’ clips on YouTube, it was a nerve jangling experience. I assumed that it was the monitor for a while, but recently came across … Continue reading Another graphic(s) story..