Archive for February, 2012

Setting up accounts for Windows 8

February 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Today (29 Feb 2012) is the release day for Windows 8 Consumer Preview. One of the great features of Windows 8 is that you can stop creating local user accounts for every individual in the household and start signing into your computer with your Windows Live ID. This is a major benefit in that you no longer need to sign into each networked application individually. Plus as time goes on more and more websites will take advantage of this already signed in behavior. But when setting up a Windows 8 computer for the first time I really think that you should not configure it with your Windows Live ID.

When configuring a fresh installation of Windows 8 here’s a screen shot of what you’ll see (note: these screens are from the Consumer Preview release of Windows 8 and may change by the time Windows 8 hits RTM):

Note in the text in the bottom left hand corner that says “Don’t want to sign in with a Microsoft account?” This text is a button and you should press it. The reason why? I’m a firm believer in keeping the computers admin account separate from the account that’s used for personal data. Windows Live ID’s are connected to your personal data (email, pictures, etc). So click on the “Don’t want to” text and progress to the next screen.



The next screen you’re taken to is one which explains the differences between the two account types. Again it encourages you to select “Microsoft account”, but don’t do it. You want to select the “Local account” button.






Finally you get to create the local account. This account is the one that you’ll use as your administrator account. This account should be kept separate from your daily usage of your computer. You should rarely log into this account. You’ll primarily only interact with this account your UAC dialogs during the installation of new programs. You keep it separate from your daily usage so that malware don’t have the credentials to do lasting damage to your computer.

Now that the local administrator account is setup how do you take advantage of the tie in with Windows Live? On the Windows Start Screen type “user”. The first “Setting” which will appear will be the Users app. Select it and you’ll see an “Add a user” button on the right side of the screen. Press that button and you’ll see this:

Add the email address of everyone you want to have a user account on the system (don’t forget to include yourself). Then, the next time you sign into the computer sign in with your Windows Live ID. Make sure to not associate a Live ID with administrative privileges on your computer; doing so is asking for a disaster to happen with your personal data.

I love how Windows 8 makes use of Live ID’s. I think it reduces the burden of using a computer in this increasingly interconnected world. I understand why Microsoft is pushing using Live ID’s in the computer setup, it’s a new paradigm for most people, but I don’t like how doing so at setup results in Live ID’s becoming admins on local systems. Windows 8 is the beginning of a shift in the ease of usability of interacting with our computers, but let’s make sure we do it right.

Why doesn’t my Windows Computer go to sleep?

February 18, 2012 Leave a comment

I’ve noticed that regardless of how I configure my Windows 7 computer that it will never go to sleep. The screensaver will turn on and the screen will turn off eventually, but nothing more than that. I’ve disabled media sharing and the other usually suspects, but they haven’t helped. Tonight I figured out why.

Running powercfg –REQUESTS returned

C:\Windows\system32>powercfg -requests

[DRIVER] High Definition Audio Device (HDAUDIO\FUNC_01&VEN_10EC&DEV_0887&SUBSYS_
An audio stream is currently in use.

Something had requested that the audio driver prevent the system from going to sleep. Turns out it was Windows Media Player 12. I’ll listen to music, on and off, and when I need to turn it off I press the biggest control on Media Player, the pause button. This way, the music will resume where I’ve left off, the next time I want to listen to music. Turns out by pausing the song, instead of stopping it, Windows Media Player will keep the requesting that the device prevent the computer from going to sleep! Most annoying.

All hope is not lost though. Zune will release its handle eventually. I don’t know exactly when, but I just ran a little experiment and it showed that Zune does the right thing.

Fox News will have an identity crises should Romney win the nomination

February 8, 2012 2 comments

I get most of my news from NPR or CNet. Occasionally I’ll surf to other websites for news should something big have happened I’m curious to see how different sources report it. Something which I’ve noticed recently in the 2012 Republican presidential candidate race is that Fox news doesn’t what to acknowledge that Mitt Romney is running. On the morning after a primary/caucus I’ll check out the different news websites and they all are headlining the same thing, except for Fox news. If Romney won the primary there won’t be a single story on the main Fox news page about the primary. All of the other news websites in the world will be headlining the primary results and Fox figures that no news is good news. Should Romney not win the poll/primary/caucus Fox news will make sure that you know that the latest result is the most important thing ever. Today, the morning after Rick Santorum won three non-delegate primaries/caucuses, Fox news has it headlined with multiple stories repeating about how great and wonderful this is. Given how anti-Obama Fox news is I wouldn’t be surprised if they effectively didn’t cover the Presidential election at all, should Gov. Romney win the 2012 Republican nomination. They’ll be too busy having an identity crises.

Categories: News and politics