How to Create a Windows 7 Firewall Shortcut

How to Create a Windows 7 Firewall Shortcut
Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall! (But just for a sec while I check something out.)

Ever wondered how to create a Windows 7 firewall shortcut? If not, you’re probably wondering why anyone would do such a thing. Maybe you’re just smiling and nodding, not even sure what in the heck a firewall is in the first place. Well, without going into too much detail that might bore you before we even get started, a firewall can be hardware or software that monitors your computer’s incoming and outgoing traffic to prevent nasty things from happening to it. Windows includes a software-based firewall as part of its operating system. Normally, this is a good thing.

But if you encounter network problems, one of the first things you should do is disable the Windows firewall to see if it’s the cause of the problem — it’s pretty common. However, disabling the Windows firewall entails so many steps, and you’ll want to enable it again once you’ve identified and resolved the problem.

To make it easier to enable and disable the Windows firewall, you can create a Windows firewall shortcut, as described here:

  • Right click on the desktop, point to New, and click Shortcut.
  • In the shortcut location box, type the following: netsh firewall set opmode disable.
  • Click Next.
  • Type in a name for the shortcut (one that makes it easy to identify what the shortcut is for, like Windows Firewall Shortcut: Disable, for instance).
  • Click Finish.
  • Right click the new shortcut on your desktop and click Properties.
  • Select the Shortcut tab and click the Advanced button.
  • Select the Run as administrator option and click OK.

Now, by double clicking the new shortcut, you can disable the Windows firewall. You should also create a similar shortcut to enable the Windows Firewall. Simply repeat the steps outlined above, only adding the following command in step 2: netsh firewall set opmode enable and naming the shortcut something like Windows Firewall Shortcut: Enable.

Of course, you could name it something like Moose Dandruff Odor Shampoo Paternity Test, but that would be totally silly.

Image: from Child-Land, by Oscar Pletsch and M. Rictor via Project Gutenberg

Add a Videos Link to Your Start Menu in Windows 7

Add a Videos Link to Your Start Menu in Windows 7
You don’t have to use The Force to add a Videos link to your Start menu in Windows 7. Just follow these simple steps.

No Videos link in the Windows 7 Start menu? As some green dame once exclaimed in surprise when things weren’t quite going her way, “What a world! What a world!”

Even many of the bookworms among us would confess that videos — especially in the age of the Internet, serve a pretty broad number of purposes. Videos can be used to instruct others, clarify points, document daily life, entertain, convey information with nuances lost in the written word, solve crimes, plan art museum heists, keep a clandestine eye on your belongings when you’re away, and the list goes on.

Online streaming services like YouTube and Ustream have taken off like gangbusters over the past few years, and their popularity shows no sign of stopping. Since we don’t (yet) have holodecks or truly 3D, interactive television, videos are the next best thing to being there. The quality of video has improved vastly since Thomas Edison’s day, but its ability to delight the child in all of us has never diminished.

And as most of us are consumers of video, there are those who must create that video. And those people who frequently work with videos may have noticed that the Windows 7 Start menu does not include a link to the Videos folder. The Start menu only includes links to the Pictures and Music folders. Not very convenient if you create, save, or watch a lot of videos. Why isn’t there a Videos link in the Windows 7 Start menu? Heck, we could ask “why?” about a lot of things that operating systems designers do and do not do, but that’s probably better addressed elsewhere. Let’s focus on how we can get a Videos link in your Windows 7 Start menu, shall we?

If you use the Start menu to access these folders, you can add a Videos link to your Start menu by using the steps described below.

How to Add a Videos Link to Your Start Menu in Windows 7

  • Right click on the Start menu button and click Properties.
  • Verify that the Start Menu tab is active. Click the Customize button.
  • Under the Video section, select either the Display as a link or Display as a menu option.
  • Click OK to close the Customize Start Menu dialog box.
  • Click OK.

The biggest irony of all? At the time of this writing, there’s no video to accompany this post. This will likely change, but in the meantime, somehow, you’ll manage. Might I recommend checking out the Pirillo Vlog? Or even coming to VloggerFair in Seattle this June? We’d love to meet you!

Image: Sith shared by Juliana Coutinho via Flickr

Should Android and Chrome Be Combined?

Should Android and Google OS Be Combined?A few years ago, I was one of the lucky few who received the Google Cr-48 Chromebook laptop computer. The original model came with Chrome OS installed, which was rather a plain-Jane, vanilla rendition of an operating system. The Chrome OS was extremely limited and those who used it soon recognized these limitations. Though Google has improved the Chrome OS immensely during the past two years, there is one thing that the operating system still lacks, and that is touchscreen technology.

As Google has improved its Android operating system, climaxing with its latest version known as Jelly Bean, Chrome OS took a surprising turn about six months ago. The Chrome OS stopped being a browser only operating system and took on a semblance of looking just like Android. Not only did the Chrome OS start to look like Android, but Google also tossed in a taskbar, which added a little flavor of Windows.

When I proposed writing about the Chrome OS and Android merging, some of my fellow writers here at LockerGnome were quick to express their concerns.

Ryan Matthew Pierson: “Chrome OS has a far better browser. I’m skeptical if only because Android would ruin that minimalistic approach that makes Chrome OS so interesting.”

Harold James Johnson: “Never tried Chrome OS, but I have used Android and just began using Joli OS (and Joli has some similarities to Chrome OS). I understand the desire to simplify things but there this strategy of trying to make ‘all in one’ devices leaves something to be desired. I say no to Android and Chrome OS being integrated.”
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Chris Pirillo: “I would be curious to see how it could do this better than Microsoft did with 8/RT – touch vs. non-touch, and you have to speak to that problem if you’re suggesting Google could somehow do it better. How?”

Gentlemen, let’s start by saying this: The main differences between Google Chrome OS and Google Android have become blurred over the years. I see the main difference today as being that Android supports touch, which works its magic on a multitude of devices including smartphones and tablet computers. Google Chrome OS still needs a keyboard and trackpad or mouse to work.

I personally believe that Google has an easier row to hoe than Microsoft has. Microsoft has a wide array of legacy software to support, while at the same time adding touch capabilities to Windows. Windows 8 is a disaster, in my opinion. Having two different operating systems — Modern and the old Windows — is lame and is going to hurt the sales of Windows on either RT or Pro machines. In my opinion, this is counterproductive and frustrating for most of us and is going to be a major reason why some consumers will shun Windows.

Google, on the other hand, has improved its Android system tremendously, to the point where it is a pleasure to use Jelly Bean on either a smartphone or a tablet computer. In addition, I have used a keyboard with my Nexus 7, and have basically turned the 7″ tablet into a fully functioning laptop computer. Now that Google has a Nexus 10 model, adding a keyboard will be just as simple and, as I did with my iPad, it is economically possible to turn either into a fully functioning laptop.

I believe that Google and its suppliers Samsung and Acer, which have low-priced Chromebooks for sale, can see a day when a touchscreen will be advantageous in addition to having a keyboard. But unlike Microsoft, Google will have a single fully functioning operating system that supports touch and a keyboard, mouse, or trackpad without having to resort to two separate GUIs. The blending of the Chrome OS and Android has been in process for two years and I believe the time has come to take the best of both and combine the separate systems into a single OS.

What do you think?

Comments are welcome.

CC licensed Flickr photo above shared by BlubrNL

How to Install XP Mode in Windows 7

How to Install XP Mode in Windows 7When it’s 2012 and you’ve gone through the trouble (and paid the cost) of installing Windows 7, you might wonder (and rightfully so) why you might want to use something called an “XP Mode.” After all, when you went through the upgrade process, didn’t you figure that XP was something you’d be leaving behind as a quaint relic of a bygone age? Why regress when the high-paced world of high tech is constantly screaming at you to progress?

With Windows 8 on the horizon (or already on your beloved system if you’re a brave preview consumer), who needs XP? Who needs Vista (aside from your worst enemies, of course)? Who even needs Windows 7, anymore? It’s so yesteryear. Geeks like new things! Geeks want shiny, happy operating systems! Bring us tomorrow, today!

Well, the need for such a thing isn’t Windows’ fault. It’s not even Microsoft’s fault. Of course, it’s not your fault, either. But just as you can’t play an old VCR tape of home movies that you made in the ’80s on a DVD player from the ’90s, there are some programs and applications that simply won’t run natively on Windows 7. Blame progress or the passage of time, if you must. As a result, you may find the need to trick your shiny, new, but oh, so naive system into thinking that the PIM (personal information manager) you’ve been using since December of ’01 (and three computers ago) should be allowed to run in Windows 7. Windows XP Mode is the ticket that’ll allow your obsolete, but beloved application to sneak past the bouncer and into Windows 7 just like it belongs there. (The attitude! The confidence! Now there’s an operating system that’s going places, man!)

Before installing XP Mode, verify that your computer meets all the hardware and software requirements.

  • Assuming that your computer meets all the hardware and software requirements, the steps for installing XP Mode are described below.
  • Go to the Windows Virtual PC website.
  • Select your edition of Windows 7 and the desired language for installation.
  • Click the Windows XP Mode download button.
  • Click Continue for Windows Validation. Then click Continue to download XP Mode.
  • Save the executable on your computer.
  • Once the download is complete, double click the WindowsXPMode_en-us.exe to begin the installation.
  • Click Next.
  • Click Next to accept the default installation directory.
  • Once the installation is complete, click Finish.

Now that you’re an expert in the art of installing XP mode in Windows 7, you probably have a few uses in mind for this old bird. Maybe you need to run some ancient software you’ve had sitting around in a box in your garage since Vista hit the fan shelves. Maybe your computer’s a resource hog and never really played well with the whole Windows 7 experience. Maybe you just like the Windows XP way of doing things better and we should just get off your back because who asked us, anyhow? Well, for the sake of our fellow LockerGnome readers, we’d love it if you’d share your reasons in the comments below. Not only is it something with which we’re fiercely interested, but it’s something that might just give our community members at large some new ideas for their own uses. We’re all about sharing — join the party!

7plus for Windows 7

7plus For Windows 7We all know that there just aren’t usually enough hours in the day to get the constructive things done that we’d like to cross off of our to-do lists before heading off to enjoy the leisure activities of our choosing or — most blessed leisure activity of all — sleep. It’s a sad fact of life that labor saving devices designed to give us back this precious time often operate counter to this goal and cause us to take on more work. Don’t have to churn your own butter? Excellent! Then surely you’ll have more time to compile this very important report and have it for the boss by tomorrow morning. No longer need to hang out by the river to scrub clothes clean because one of those new-fangled washing machines will do it for you now? Perfect! Surely you can put stamps on these 1,000 letters begging for fundraising at the nonprofit where you volunteer and have them out by this afternoon! Did Laura Ingalls and her family have to worry about this kind of nonsense in their little house on the prairie?

If you like trying new things that might actually make your constructive time more so, take a look at 7plus for Windows 7. 7plus is a project that adds additional features and functionality to Windows 7 in an attempt to help you be more productive. For example, it lets you upload files to an FTP server from within Windows Explorer using a single hotkey. I know may people who would find this feature alone to be very useful.

There is a lengthy list of features included with 7plus. Here is a quick highlight of some of the features you can expect to see:

  • Upload content to an FTP server within Windows Explorer using one hotkey
  • Create new folders and text files by pressing F8/F7
  • Paste text or image from the clipboard as file
  • Set Windows to always be on top by right clicking the title bar
  • Add tabs for Windows Explorer
  • Show free space and selected file size in the status bar

Download 7plus here and see a complete list of features included with 7plus.

Can Your Apple iPad Replace Your Laptop Computer?

Six weeks ago I bought my wife an first generation Apple iPad refurbished 16GB Wi-Fi only model from the Apple Store. The unit was priced at $349.99 with free Fed-Ex shipping. My wife loves her iPad. Apple still has these units available for the same price, which includes a new case, new battery, manual, and charger unit. In addition these refurbished iPads also come with a full one year warranty.

Last year I bought my wife a new Toshiba laptop for her personal use. She basically uses a computer for checking her email, surfing the Internet, staying in contact with family and friends on Facebook, plus she enjoys playing games. Her favorite games are Mahjong and solitaire card games.

As an experiment I wanted to see if I could get my wife’s Apple iPad to replace her laptop, becming her only mobile computer. For this to work, the iPad needed to perform all of the basic functions of her laptop. I started looking for free gaming apps that would keep my wife content and happy. This was actually a very easy process. I located and installed 8 free games on her iPad.

My wife had been receiving her email from our ISP via her laptop system. I wanted her to have a Gmail account for her primary account instead of the ISP email. I personally like Gmail and have been using the free account for several years. I enjoy the fact the Google has a fairly good spam catcher and if a spam message does slip through the cracks, I can go back into my Gmail account and tag the offending message as spam. After I setup a new Gmail account for her I setup up Mail on the iPad to use the new account. She sent out an email from our ISP account to all of her contacts stating she had a new email address. I later imported all of her contacts from Outlook over to Mail on the iPad.

We had previously sent up Facebook in the iPad Safari browser and she also had bookmarked her favorite sites. I bookmarked Google Docs for her just in case she needed to create a document. We both rarely, if ever, use our Microsoft Office software any longer.

Is replacing a laptop with an iPad something anyone can do? I don’t believe the iPad is the solution for everyone. I know in my own situation this would not work very well for me. In my wife’s case, she has found this change over from a laptop computer to an iPad uneventful. It just works for her.

Comments welcome.

The Bubblies Are Flowing At Microsoft As Windows 7 Bypasses Windows XP

Microsoft has been trying to get users of Windows XP to dump their old computers or to buy a new system with Windows 7 installed. Most of the older Windows XP machines could not be upgraded to Windows 7 because of the steep hardware requirements. So Microsoft has patiently been waiting for the day that Windows XP would finally be over taken by Windows 7. That day has finally arrived but the numbers are very, very close. Windows XP users garner 31.56% and Windows 7 now stands at 31.71% for users in the United States.

It is hard to believe that Windows XP was released almost 10 years ago in August 2001. It is also hard to believe how long Windows XP has remained a viable operating system. I had previously mentioned that both my dentist’s office and local TV stations still were using Windows XP. So it still may take Microsoft another 10 years before they see the last of Windows XP.

So what does this tell us about Windows XP? I believe it demonstrates Microsoft’s ability to build a reliable operating system that just flat-out works. I know that over the years we hear about how wonderful Mac OS is, but the fact is that even Windows XP has double the amount of users compared to all those who are running all versions of the Mac OS. That in itself says quite a bit about a 10-year-old operating system.

But there is one statistic that might not make the folks at Microsoft happy. Worldwide use for Windows XP still remains at about 48%. So while the people in the US may be buying new computers with Windows 7 installed, the rest of the world is hanging onto their old computers using Windows XP.

How long do you think before Windows 7 over takes Windows XP for worldwide use?

Comments as always are welcome.

Source – Royal Pingdom

Source – Statcounter

Google Chrome OS On The Cr-48 Will Eventually Be On Tablets

This afternoon I received another update from the folks at Google, which involved tweaks for their Google Chrome OS currently running on the Cr-48 I am beta testing. During the past 14 weeks that I have been testing the notebook computer, Google has improved the performance and stability of the OS on the Cr-48 notebook computer. One of the main issues that has been resolved is the speed of the Wi-Fi connection, which originally had been very slow. With each of the subsequent updates this is now a non-issue.

What is interesting about the Cr-48 is that it does not rely on traditional hardware. The Google Chrome OS Cr-28 notebook does not have a hard disk like the traditional laptops use for storing of information. Instead the notebook is designed using a browser GUI and storage of everything that is created is stored in the cloud. Some consumers gave been very vocal in their lack of confidence on allowing Google to store their stuff. Google in the mean time has continued the Chrome OS project which has gathered support by some major computer companies with a tentative release date of June, 2011.

Up until today, Google seemed to have a direction in their Chrome OS and Android OS. Google Chrome OS would be used on netbooks and Android would be used on tablet computers. There are some in the technology industry who questioned the wisdom of supporting two competing operating systems. I felt that each of the two operating systems served different hardware and devices.

So today when news broke that Google is working on a Chrome OS version for the tablet computer, this changed my thinking and previous assumptions. It now appears that Google will be using Google Chrome OS on tablet computers. So where does that leave Android? I am not sure.

Maybe there is room for both Android and Chrome.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source – CNet

Does Microsoft Windows Need To Do More Or Less In Future Versions?

There is little doubt that over the years we have seen Microsoft Windows continue to grow, into what some claim is now bloated beyond belief. Some have claimed that Microsoft has followed a pattern in their growing spurt as hard disks grew bigger, processors became faster and memory became cheaper. Microsoft also had no qualms in sharing the super sizing even for their prized software Microsoft Office.

Some have stated that this increase in size was needed as the operating system carried more of the load, offered my options, included more software such as DVD writing and other applications. Microsoft Office was also called upon to do more for their clients which in turn added to its growth in size. So if you run both Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office latest editions, you saw a definite increase in size.

What also is bringing attention to Microsoft is that while the bigger computer cousins like desktop and laptops can handle the load, smaller hardware like netbooks and tablets struggle pushing the Windows code. Even though Microsoft has shrunk Windows down to a bare minimum these devices still struggle. While over at Apple and Google their operating systems thrive on lean hardware.

However, if it was that simple to compare Microsoft Windows to Apple iOS or Google Chrome, the argument would be easy. Except that there are distinct differences that separate these operating system for the specific needs of the consumer. So putting this argument aside and also the argument that Windows contains outdated code etc. , is Windows too bloated?

Hold on say some to this notion. They like the way Windows 7 functions plus they enjoy all of the new bells and whistles. They argue that they do not care how big Windows is because Windows works just fine on their desktop or laptop computers. In addition some want Windows to increase what it does and add more features. With the new hard drive sizes they feel that Windows getting larger is a none event.

One comment that I found of interest was from those who have chosen to put Windows on a SSD drive and store their data on a traditional hard disk. They complain that this type of system doesn’t function perfectly since Windows seems to feel that all software should be installed in the Programs file directory. Microsoft would have to address this problem, which some feel will not happen anytime soon.

How this idea? The user gets to choose what gets installed on a system and where it gets installed? This suggestion, coupled with a modular type of Windows, seems very popular.

Personally I don’t care. Windows 7 runs great on my systems and I have no complaints. The days of calling Windows or Office bloated make no sense, since the hard disks we have become so huge, and performance hasn’t suffered because of faster processors and more memory, the argument is a moot point to me.

So what do you think?

Source – Windows 7 News Forum

If Motorola Xoom Can’t Take On The iPad Can Any One Else Beat Apple?

Last week I mentioned that I had been at Best Buy playing with the Motorola Xoom, and found it a great product. It is a slick device and the Android Honeycomb operating system is very, very sweet. I had also mentioned that I bought my wife the original Apple iPad on sale at the Apple store, refurbished for $349 and that she loves. So today it was back to Best Buy to play with the newest Apple iPad 2. I am fortunate to have an in at our local Best Buy and I was able to have the new toy all to myself for some 30 minutes.

The unit I was able to latch onto was the Apple iPad 2, 64G, Wi-fi & 3G Model: MC775LL/A, priced at $829.99 which is  just about the same price as the Motorola Xoom. I was able to set up my Verizon wireless account on the unit and took her for a spin. The Apple unit is fast and nimble, but so was the Motorola Xoom when I tried it. So I wondered why, according to one associate I spoke with, were the sales of the Motorola Xoom slow?

This afternoon I found an article over at ZD-Net that described some of the problems being associated with the Xoom. Apparently the Android Honeycomb system is a bit buggy and folks are experiencing crashes. That isn’t good. The problem must be fairly common since some customers have returned their Xoom. Interesting.

But there is something that I think is going to be more interesting for 2011. Is anyone, anywhere, with any type of tablet going to be able to beat out the Apple iPad 2?

There is one thing that Apple has that is going to be difficult to duplicate. An operating system that just flat-out works. Others may be able to duplicate the hardware. They may be able to duplicate the applications. They may even be able to challenge Apple on pricing. But a better OS? I think not.

I’m not even an Apple fanboy, but just using other devices from Apple has shown me they are light years ahead of the competition and all others need to work hard to try to catch up. Even my little Google Chrome Cr-48 has some needed fixes to even equal or surpass Apple.

Just my opinion and I am sure others will differ. But today, the tablet market belongs to Apple.

Opinions and comments welcome.

Source – ZD-Net

I Use Four Different Backup Programs – Am I Paranoid?

My main computing laptop, which I use exclusively to communicate with the world, is operated by Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit with the new service pack number one installed. This system is tweaked to my liking with multiple tweaks, extensions, add-ons, themes, visual enhancements, and gadgets that suit my computing lifestyle. I am a stickler for a clean desktop and it drives me insane when I see a laptop or desktop system with a desktop loaded with icons of any sort. Another of my pet peeves are fingerprints on the monitor screen or what appears on some systems to be leftovers from a recently consumed peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

For anyone who has suffered a catastrophic system failure, no matter what your operating system is, you know how devastating this can be. You awoke one morning only to find a black screen, maybe with some white cryptic text, that basically indicated you were in deep trouble. There are a multitude of reasons this can happen including but not limited to a hardware failure, virus or malware attacks, or corruption of your operating system. No operating system is 100% immune to any of the failures described above, so the “buy a Mac” or “use Linux” crowd can slither away.

Over the past few decades of using personal computer, I have either experienced a failure myself, or have read the horror stories of others who have been the victims of a failure for various reasons. I have also either experienced or have read about those who have had their backups fail as well. I recall an incident many moons ago when I was using tape to back up my entire hard disk. After an issue with my system, I don’t recall the exact nature of the problem, my backup tape failed to repair my system. I also remember that I had multiple backup tapes that all failed to do anything to fix my system. The memory of that incident still stings and I will forever recall the frustration that I felt. Here I was religiously making backup tapes only to have them all not work.

I don’t trust any one type of software to meet all of my backup needs. I use multiple lines of defense just in the rare event that my system fails. My main line of defense is Acronis Backup software. I also make a disc image using the built-in software provided by Microsoft on Windows 7 Ultimate. The external hard disk I purchased came with backup and restore software from Seagate and I use the free version of Paragon backup and restore software as well. All of these backups are made to an external hard drive and also to DVD disks.

Oh, did I mention I also make a manual backup of my personal files as well to DVDs?

Am I paranoid?

What is your backup strategy?

Comments welcome.

What To Do Before You Install Software On A Windows PC

If you have never had software fail to install properly on a Windows PC, then the computer gods have blessed you. But someday, somewhere, at sometime in your computing career, most of us will experience a failed software installation. The first one we want to blame is Microsoft because it made this crappy OS! Wrong. Over the years I have tangled with technical support over software installs and have heard the entire gambit of excuses of why software will not install. I recall I was working on the installation of software to upgrade the accounting program of one of my clients that was a garbage company. No matter what I tried I could not install the software. I called the software company and one person told me it was Microsoft Windows 2000 that was the problem. I told him to stop right there. His software was supposed to work with Windows, not Windows to work with his software. We together eventually found the problem. It seems that sometimes we forget the basics of installing software and the problems the installation of any new software can cause. Even with Windows 7 we can have issues. So here are a few of the things I do before installing software:

  • Create a restore point. Also a backup image, online backup service, or other type of backup.
  • Do a backup of your important stuff. You should be doing this on a regular basis anyway.
  • Make sure your computer is 100% malware and virus free. I recommend using Malwarebytes.
  • If you are already having a problem with a program, doing an upgrade is not going to fix it. Fix the problem first.
  • Make sure that Windows is updated and as well as all of your drivers.
  • Confirm the software is compatible with your versions of Windows, security software and so forth.
  • During installation disable your firewall and security software.

I am sure there are other suggestion out there, but these are the basics you should do. With that being said, most of us don’t bother and just proceed full steam ahead until we run into problems. So that restore point may fix the problem. What do you recommend? What steps do you take before installing software? Comments welcome. Malwarebytes free download can be found here.

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Reader Needs Our Help – IE 8 Install Fails – Windows XP Is Screwed Up

A few days ago reader Buffet asked me my opinion about upgrading his computer to IE 8. He is using Windows XP and was concerned about problems IE 8 had caused when it was first released. I mentioned that I had not used IE in over five years so I did not have the expertise about IE, but I would find an answer for him. I did some checking with other MVPs who are experts in IE and Windows XP and learned those issues had been addressed and all should be well. So I recommended that Buffet do the upgrade.

Last evening he got a hold of me in the comments section and stated:

Ron, for some reason now, my ‘right click’, ’save picture as’ won’t work now. This is after using System Restore to take me back to before I attempted the IE8. EVERYTHING ELSE seems to work. What could possibly have happened? Any suggestions?

While I was checking for an answer Buffet posted this as well:

…make that ALMOST everything – The “delete” key on my keyboard won’t work.

But it was this disturbing comment from Buffet that really concerned me:

Ron, my Acronis True Image says ACCESS DENIED when I try to open it. I’m starting to get worried!

I advised him to download and run Malwarebytes on his system in safe mode, because this was beginning to sound like a critter invasion. He stated he did run Malwarebytes and that it did find a few things, but I haven’t found out what they were. He was tired and was heading to bed as was I when our conversation ended. This AM I found a few IE 7 repair options and linked those to him via email.

This morning I set him a couple of links on how to repair and reinstall IE 7 to get it fixed.

He will be getting a hold of me this evening after work, so I need some suggestions on what he needs to do to get his system back to normal. He did do a system restore before trying the failed IE 8 install. The restore did nothing. I told him to try a previous restore point, before the failed install, but I haven’t heard the results as of yet.

Tonight. when Buffet emails me, I would like to have some suggestions available for him. Any help here would be highly appreciated.

PLEASE! Do not tell me that he should change browsers. I have already covered this subject in a previous post here at Lockergnome.Link is here.

Comments welcome.

Should Google Combine Chrome OS And Android?

I was greeted on Saturday morning by some 200 email messages from Google referencing the Cr-48 pilot program. As I learned later, there had been a coding error on a forum that Google was setting up and the results were a mass mailing to not only Cr-48 users, but also to some who were still waiting to receive a unit. Needless to say that there was a bit of mass confusion until Google finally cleared things up on Saturday afternoon, explaining the screw up.

For those of you who may be unaware, Google currently has 3 operating systems they are using. Google has Android for smartphones, which I have used and it was very easy to navigate without any instructions. Google also has the Chrome aka Chromium operating system currently being tested on their Cr-48 netbook computers. Recently Google has announced Android Honeycomb which was specifically designed for tablets and will be featured on Motorola’s Xoom tablet scheduled for release in early 2011.

One lengthy post on the Google Cr-48 pilot program forum was one persons belief that Google Chrome and Android should be merged into one single operating system. Their thinking was that applications would than be available for the one OS being used on smartphones, tablets and the future netbook computer using the Google Chrome OS.

During my travels around the Internet I have read comments from others stating a similar opinion. I disagree. Each of the devices require their own specific software to function properly. I believe trying to make a single operating system and trying to port it to all devices is what Microsoft tried and met with limited success. Microsoft was forced to use Windows XP on the first notebooks since neither Vista nor Windows 7 would run fast enough. Neither Vista nor Windows 7 could provide for sufficient extended battery operations. Currently my Cr-48 will run for 8 hours on one single charge. It is claimed that the Xoom could run for 10 hrs. on battery power alone.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source – Google Cr-48 pilot program forum

PS I did learn that Google states we get to keep the Cr-48. :-)

Linux Mint 10 And My Experiment With Oracle VM VirtualBox

In my last review of Linux Mint 10, I described my first 45 days using this Linux distribution, as well as one readers concern about trying either VMWare or VirtualBox. In that article Richard Krohn stated that:

“The only question I’m asking myself now is if it is worth the effort.  I probably need another Windows screw-up to motivate me.  It’s a lot of work.”

I agreed with Richard because I also knew it was going to be time-consuming. My assumption proved correct and I wanted to share my experience with you.  This past weekend, Saturday the 4th and Sunday the 5th, I set aside some time to work on this project.

I opted to choose  VirtualBox from Oracle, version 3.2.8 r64453, which is available for Linux Mint 10 through the Software Manager utility including in the distribution. I downloaded and installed VirtualBox without incident and had the virtual drive up and running in about 30 minutes.

I decided to use Windows XP and not Vista or Windows 7 for one simple reason. Windows XP uses the least amount of RAM and I was able to allocated 512MB exclusively to be used by Windows XP. In addition Windows XP is like an old friend from the past, with simple interface, and easy to use. plus the 3 Window based softwares I wished to use all work perfectly with Windows XP.

I was fortunate to have a slipstreamed version of Windows XP with SP2 that I used for the install, which is volume licensed, so I wouldn’t have to worry about registration issues. The Install took about 45 minutes. I also had to install the SP3 update for Windows XP, which required another 30 minutes, plus all additional updates from Microsoft. Next came the issue of updating drivers to match my newer hardware and also adding an anti-virus program. I also opted to upgrade Internet Explorer to version 8. This seemed to satisfy Windows XP and I was no longer nagged to update, upgrade, or install any additional software.

I would venture a conservative estimate that the entire process took me about 4 hours for both the installation of VirtualBox and Windows XP. Whew!

On Sunday during the Super Bowl game, I tackled the installing of the three pieces of software I needed.

The most problematic software installation was Dragon Naturally Speaking 10.  Dragon running natively in Windows 7 is slow. In a virtual environment it is even slower. It took me awhile to stop and wait for the words to be typed on the screen. I seriously doubt this is going to be a pleasurable experience, but I’ll give it a try just the same.

I am still playing with my other two software programs designed for Windows. They seem to be working OK, but I’ll report back any issues that I may stumble upon.

My overall experience with Linux Mint 10 continues to be positive.

Using Linux Mint 10 gives me a sense of security when surfing the Internet.

Comments welcome.

My first 45 day review of Linux Mint 10