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Archive for August, 2012

Don’t get prompted to delete in Windows 8

August 28, 2012 Leave a comment

I remember reading Improving our file management basics: copy, move, rename, and delete and being so excited that they decided to not prompt you when deleting a file in Windows 8. The reason is because Microsoft user guidelines mention how programs shouldn’t prompt for actions which are easily undoable. Restoring a file from the Recycle Bin is easily undoable. Yesterday I was deleting some files (some old wallpapers I’d picked up over a decade ago that weren’t so interesting anymore) from a Windows 8 computer and I noticed that I was being prompted to send files to the Recycle Bin. What the crap, that’s not supposed to be happening!

I right clicked on the Recycle Bin and selected it’s properties. There I saw a check box for “Display delete confirmation dialog”. While I’m not positive why it was checked, I suspect that the reason was because that particular computer was an upgrade from Windows 7. I don’t know for sure but I suspect that computers upgraded from a previous version of Windows will have that check box checked, but new installs of Windows 8 will not have it checked. Some form of consistency from upgrades. Windows will still prompt if you’re pressing shift + delete (don’t send to recycle bin, actually delete), and I guess since that’s an action which isn’t easily undoable, so I’m okay with that. For a moment there though, I was taken aback that a feature I was excited about in Windows 8 didn’t make it into the RTM version; thankfully it did.

To reduce one source of annoying prompts in Windows 8, right click on the Recycle Bin, select properties, and uncheck “Display delete confirmation dialog”. I highly recommend it.

Where is FreeCell in Windows 8?

August 19, 2012 140 comments

Since the very first copy of Windows, there have been some default games that came with each copy of Windows. Games like Solitaire, Minesweeper, and eventually FreeCell. But Windows 8 doesn’t come with any games. Even if you upgrade your computer from Windows 7, the default Windows games are removed. Does Windows 8 provide any free games?

Yes, there are games you can get with Windows, but they don’t come preinstalled. You need to go and get them yourself. I imagine this was done to help companies that want to block the installing of games on their systems.

To get FreeCell, go to the Start Screen and type ‘FreeCell’, and then click on Store icon. One of the results should be the “Microsoft Solitaire Collection”. Download this “app” and you’ll see that it contains five single player card games and one of them is FreeCell. The other games are: Solitaire, Klondike, Spider Solitaire, TriPeaks and Pyramid.

Windows 8 Loading Colors

August 16, 2012 Leave a comment

Windows 8 Loading Colors

The Colors that Windows 8 shows you on loading it for the first time are pretty psychedelic.

Catalyst Control Center is a reason to not buy AMD graphics cards

August 16, 2012 Leave a comment

Catalyst Control Center (CCC.exe) is a user mode program that was originated by ATI. ATI was purchased by AMD, and now all (that I’m aware of) AMD graphics cards use Catalyst Control Center. I don’t know exactly what CCC does, given that it runs in user mode, and a graphics card is going to communicate with software in kernel mode, but I suspect that CCC lets users tweak certain settings for higher end games. Given that I’m not a hard core gamer, and have never tweaked anything in CCC, I wouldn’t know for sure.

I’ve had a few times where all of the windows on my Windows 7 desktop, are very sluggish. Programs won’t start, user actions take forever, etc. One of the times this was happening Resource Monitor was open, but it wasn’t pointing out a single resource that was being a system wide bottleneck. I noticed a few times that CCC had an abnormally large amount of page faults, but that was fluctuating. After some time of this continuing on, I decided to kill the CCC.exe to see if that made any difference. Boy did it! The second it was killed my desktop becomes alive and active with programs starting and everything becoming responsive. Given that all of the graphics on the computer seemed to have still been operating just fine without CCC.exe running, I’m inclined to think that it’s not that important. For my next graphics card purchase, I think I’m going to go with one that doesn’t use CCC, because I don’t want a poor system wide experience because of some user mode program.

Strangest Farming Game yet

August 11, 2012 Leave a comment

I like playing The Farming Game. I own it, but I have yet to win it. Normally what happens is that my wife pulls together enough resources to buy some fruit orchards, gets lucky (or at least doesn’t get unlucky) that it starts to pay off, rockets ahead of everyone else, and wins the game. I played last night with my brother, his wife, and my wife, and the game we played did not follow our typical experience.

The game got to an interesting point where my wife had money and few assets; my sister-in-law had an array of assets but a load of debt; and my brother and myself had some fruit, some other assets, and a little bit of debt. The only thing that was holding my wife back was that she wasn’t landing on spaces which were letting her draw Option To Buy cards, so she had lots of money, but nothing to buy. This was very odd, and statistically quite improbable. I have to wonder if one of the reasons why she was able to get out of debt was that she was landing on spaces which were giving her little sums of cash, but not landing on spaces which were giving her options to buy.

My sister-in-law sold some options-to-buy to my wife and then the game really got moving. Both my brother and I were in positions to really sling shot ahead and win, but somehow that wasn’t happening. We weren’t landing on the right spots, and then when we were we weren’t getting good harvests, it was aggravating. Then something strange happened, my sister-in-law started to come from behind really quickly with all of her assets and it looked like she was going to pay off her debt and win in nearly one swift stroke.

My wife ended up winning, but not without some confusion first. She called the end of the game, but counted her assets and came up short. We counted my assets and I met the exact minimum requirement of assets to win. So we thought I won. Bothered that she mis-calculated my wife had me recount some of her assets and it turns out she had more than I had, and won. Oh, I was so close to my first victory. Would have happened to, if my sister-in-law hadn’t sold my wife those Option to Buy cards. Ah well, there’s always next time.

Categories: Hobbies

My wife’s official review of Windows 8

August 2, 2012 Leave a comment

We had the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and Release Preview installed on our home computers. After using them for a few months now (and we’ll soon be upgrading to the final build), my wife’s review of Windows 8 is: “Meh, it’s not like they changed much.”