Posts Tagged ‘Windows’

Windows 10 Installation Notes

I downloaded Windows 10 as an ISO from Microsoft. To make a bootable USB disk, I followed the instructions in this article, basically using the Boot Camp Assistant.

The installation went on without a hitch. I was never asked for any product key, presumably because Windows 8 Pro did boot on my device once, before it was wiped to replace it with Ubuntu a few months ago.

Updating software makes sense of course so I did that. I found it odd that you could login to Windows using your Microsoft ID (i.e. your email address + password). Good thing it supports setting up a PIN, because I use a password that I can’t remember (hello 1Password).

Setting up Chrome and ensuring you’re logged in means you get a similar environment everywhere (so for me, this is the same across the Mac and the Chromebook).

The Lenovo ThinkPad X240 comes with a fingerprint reader and once your PIN is setup, you can ensure that the fingerprint reader works as well. I followed the instructions on the Lenovo forum.

Figuring office software would be important, Office 365 was installed in a rather quick fashion. To save a license seat, I removed it from the Mac using AppCleaner, saving 7.61GB of space!

Drivers seem to be something one needs to install (which is unfortunate). Lenovo requires their System Interface Foundation, and the Lenovo Settings application, since the battery management benefits from it (otherwise you get a famous message, “plugged in, not charging”). Lenovo Battery Gauge is another from Lenovo’s support site. Shockingly, you have no idea what you need to install to get things going.

Windows does have an app store now but it’s not complete so to speak (i.e. some apps require things outside the app store so you get it via a browser). Installing software that affects the system naturally means you go through a reboot cycle fairly often (which is still an annoyance in Windows land it would seem).

I enjoy my Caps Lock key being an additional Control key, and the easiest way to do this is via Ctrl2Cap. Unsurprisingly, this also requires a reboot to take effect.

Unfortunately travel beckons, and I am only planning to take one laptop with me, so till the next month till I provide updates on my Microsoft Windows adventures.

Microsoft’s reaction to open

It’s interesting to follow what Microsoft has been doing, especially in relation to their reactions to the open world.

The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project was always interesting. It ships with Linux as a default, and it didn’t take long for Microsoft to offer Windows on this device. Though its likely that there were never any large deployments for this.

Now, you find that Microsoft Windows 10 is basically a free upgrade for users from the days of Windows 7. And it looks like upgrades are going to be free going forward. This follows what Apple has done with OSX, and if you look back even a decade, this seemed like an odd choice – there was money to be made with the OS. This will adjust some TCO calculations for sure.

Now there’s the Raspberry Pi 2. It is also the first Raspberry Pi to be able to run Windows for IoT devices. Apparently this will also be free (for makers; whatever that means). You’re buying a $35 computer, and using the SD card as an easily swappable OS.

I should probably also mention that you can run Linux on Azure, their cloud platform.

So all in, it’s interesting to watch Microsoft, the company once the epitome of being proprietary, now learning to embrace open.

Switch to Linux if Windows 8 is a hassle

Retreat in sales of PCs turns into rout – “‘At the beginning, retailers don’t know how to explain it to customers,’ says Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. ‘Marketing the new [operating system] to consumers takes extra effort.’”

Well, skip Windows 8 altogether and just switch to Linux. And for more elegant hardware, there’s always the Mac.

P1 W1MAX Wiggy: Using VMWare to get it working on a Mac

So, I promised a bunch of people I’d write up how I used the P1 W1MAX WIGGY on my Mac. The gist behind this is VMWare hosts a guest OS that is Windows, and the host OS can be either Mac OS X or Linux, and all should be well, in terms of sharing the Internet connection, out to the host OS (via bridged networking). This will work if you have Linux as your host OS as well – you just need a Windows guest (since the bloody Wiggy drivers only work using Windows).

First up, I downloaded a modern VMware Fusion. Without realising this, I actually had a license for the 1.x product lying around, and I just upgraded it, for free. Win. You’re probably wondering why I didn’t just use VirtualBox? Its because for some reason, I can’t seem to get Windows Vista running in it — I’ll work on it later, but I just use what works and gets the job done.

So once Windows is installed (a very streamlined process, I didn’t even have to do anything, and it was ready in about 20 minutes), I proceeded to getting my Wiggy working on my Mac.

Create a wireless network on the Mac

Click the airport logo, click “create network” and just have a random network created, with the default channel. You now have a “computer-to-computer” network, on your Mac.

Change VMWare settings to allow for bridged network

Click on the settings of your particular virtual machine, hop over the the network, and select “Connect directly to the physical network (Bridged)”.

bridged network

Plug the Wiggy in

Now, the Wiggy should be detected in Windows, and it will install the driver. Once that is sorted, it will attempt to make a connection and it should just work, provided you have WIMAX in your area.

Go to Control Panel -> Network Connections, and select the second connection (in my case, Local Area Connection 2). Hop on over to the properties, and make sure you turn on Internet Connection Sharing.

Windows Vista ICS

You may have to disable Local Area Connection (1) and re-enable it for all this magic to take effect. But at this point in time, you should be able to, on your Mac, browse the web, with no problems, whatsoever.

You just have to keep Windows running…

Anything else?

I tend to keep a really tiny VM running for Windows. Yes, the standard 1GB might make sense, but that’s too much, if all you have is about 2GB of RAM… Windows Vista seems to plod along just fine with 512MB of RAM. I’m told that with Windows XP, you should be ahead, with 256MB of RAM even…

Some more semi-useful screenshots:

vista, wiggy, my home...
Some wimax info, at my residence – that’s the Windows VM, and a Mac backround

Also, if you care how fast the Internet is at my residence, is a paltry 6.9mbps. Upload speeds aren’t that hot, but the download speed definitely is – so I’m wondering if I should be getting WIMAX in my house now…

Microsoft blackouts… Software Freedom

Are you a user of Microsoft Windows? Are you a user of a non-licensed copy of Microsoft Windows? Does it happen to be Windows XP Professional? Have you seen “blackouts“?

Apparently, from about the end of last month (August 27 2008, to be precise), users of pirated copies of Microsoft Windows XP Professional that also happen to be connected to the Internet will see their screens go black, and have no icons visible.

The esteemed folk at Microsoft Malaysia seem to think that there are 8.6 million users of Windows XP Professional in Malaysia (seems like a huge number, considering the population), and about three million will suffer from these “blackouts”. Only 35% of Windows XP Professional users are pirates?

Its a most interesting tactic. Annoy the user by allowing them to change their background, and 60 minutes later, give them grief again. After all, an original copy of Windows XP Professional only costs RM580. That’s about 227 litres of unleaded petrol, at the current rate of RM2.55/L. Or nearly 6 tanks of petrol, in a more fuel efficient car. No wonder, people prefer paying RM5 for pirated media.

I don’t see why anyone in their right minds will be paying for last generation software, that already reached its end-of-life. Even industry pundits seem to think its a tactic to get people to upgrade to Windows Vista, which amongst corporations seems to have a slow uptake (read: massive failure for Microsoft’s coffers).

Software Freedom Day is this weekend (September 20 2008). Why not tell Microsoft to keep their software (and their “Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA)”), and go the open source route? There’s an alternative to almost everything they provide. I think the open source world might only be deficient for hardcore gamers (but even that’s being looked into, thanks to CodeWeavers).

Microsoft Open Source
Windows (operating system) Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSolaris
Outlook Thunderbird
Internet Explorer Firefox
MSN Messenger Pidgin (supports Yahoo!, AIM, GTalk, etc.)

Tiny table of equivalents

That pretty much covers desktop productivity, I think. There are alternatives to IIS (Apache), MS SQL Server (MySQL), Visual Studio .NET (NetBeans, Eclipse), and the list just goes longer and longer. There is really no excuse in today’s world to be bogged down by Microsoft’s “Genuine Advantage”. Don’t even let me get started on open standards (which Microsoft flouts or doesn’t practice, period).

Don’t worry about piracy. Don’t bow down to another corporations silly moves. Think open standards. Think freedom. Just go open source.