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Posts Tagged ‘ Microsoft ’

If you were a child in the nineties, you probably were on your computer for the sole purpose of getting on Microsoft Paint. Sadly, the iconic graphics tool that defined some of our earliest computer experiences will be omitted from the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. The newly-deprecated tool first existed as a 1-bit monochrome feature during the Windows 1.0 era in 1985.


While many of us are mourning its impending removal, Microsoft does say that Paint will be integrated into its spin-off, Paint 3D. Further, Microsoft has not specified as to when the tool will be removed.


Paint is not dead yet, so we should make the best of it while it’s still around. If you just can’t say goodbye to Paint, there’s always the option not to install the update when it’s available.


Apple is one of the most profitable companies in the world. It generates so much profit that the latest reports indicate that its cash reserves have swollen to over US$250 billion, with the actual number of its cash reserves expected to be revealed later this week during its earnings call.

To offer some perspective, that’s more than the foreign currency reserves held by the U.K. and Canada combined. The next richest tech company is said to be Microsoft, which has US$126 billion in cash.

Another interesting tidbit is that Apple has doubled its cash hoard in just over 4.5 years. And in the last three months of 2016, it made US$3.6 million per hour.

But like many other big U.S. companies, most of this cash is parked overseas. However, President Trump’s proposal to offer a one-time tax holiday on corporate cash brought home has sparked fresh speculations that Apple could hand back more money to shareholders or make more acquisitions.

The report also says that Apple could, theoretically speaking, acquire both Tesla and Netflix and still have plenty left to spare. Apple is said to be exploring the automotive industry and has also started producing its own original TV content.

Lee Pinkowitz, a Georgetown University professor of finance, also said that Apple’s cash reserves are more than sufficient for its needs. He said, “If this a rainy-day fund, they’re saving for a millennial flood.”

If you were Apple and were allowed to bring all that cash home, what would you do with all money?

If your daily routine involves accessing Gmail through Google Chrome on a system that’s running on Windows XP or Vista, you might want to consider transitioning over to newer pastures soon, as Google has recently announced that Gmail will no longer support Chrome browsers that are running on version 53 and below beginning December 2017.

Why are Gmail users on Windows XP and Vista being singled out? Because the most recent (and very last) Chrome version that was released for the aforementioned two operating systems is version 49. Google officially stopped churning out updates for Chrome browsers on Windows XP and Vista in April 2016.

Of course, if you’re still adamant on sticking with Windows XP and Vista, you will still be able to access Gmail via Chrome, just that you will automatically be redirected to the basic and less secure HTML version of the service in December 2017.

Not entirely sure if your Chrome browser is updated to the latest version? Google will prompt you to have it updated via a banner that will be displayed at the top of the Gmail web interface beginning this Wednesday, February 8, 2017. If you don’t see it, it could mean that your browser is already running on version 53 and above – or that you’re running on Windows XP or Vista.

 Screenshot taken from Nick Lee (YouTube)

When Apple said the S1 chipset of the Apple Watch has a miniaturized computer architecture, it is not kidding at all!

Developer Nick Lee detailed on his blog how he hacked his Apple Watch to run Winows 95 in emulation. The process is fairly technical and in a nutshell, Lee said that it is possible to patch certain files within a WatckKit app to load an app code rather than Apple’s.

Screenshot taken from Nick Lee (YouTube)

Screenshot taken from Nick Lee (YouTube)

Lee also stated that it took an hour for the Apple Watch running Windows 95 to boot into a usable state. There is nothing you can do on the Apple Watch, but this demonstration only shows that the Apple Watch is as powerful or even more powerful than the desktop we had in the 1990s.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella today announced that his company will donate $1 billion in Microsoft Cloud services to nonprofits over the course of the next three years.

The plan is to support a total of about 70,000 nonprofits on Microsoft’s cloud platforms like Azure, Office 365, PowerBI and CRM online through this program.

“Microsoft is empowering mission-driven organizations around the planet with a donation of cloud computing services — the most transformative technologies of our generation,” said Nadella in today’s announcement. “Now more than 70,000 organizations will have access to technology that will help them solve our greatest societal challenges and ultimately improve the human condition and drive new growth equally.”


In addition, Microsoft plans to expand its grants for free access to Azure storage and computing resources for university researchers. Currently, about 600 research programs are in this program and Microsoft plans to expand its donations program by 50 percent.

Microsoft also plans to combine access to these services with “investments in new, low-cost last-mile Internet access technologies and community training.” In practice, this means supporting projects like the use of TV white space for internet access in Africa, for example. The company plans to support at least 20 similar projects in 15 countries by the end of 2017.

Ever the cynic, I can’t help but wonder what will happen after these three years are over. Often, these kinds of programs are also meant to get people on a platform and then hopefully keep them there after the initial free program runs out. The same goes for programs aimed at universities. After students graduate, they are likely to continue using the services they were familiar with in college, after all.



Microsoft today launched PowerApps, a new service that allows business users to easily create a basic mobile or Web-based app without requiring codes.

Available in preview from today, the idea behind it is to take more business apps to mobile, instead of being tied to the PC as they have been traditionally.

Users can access data from cloud services like Office 365, Salesforce, Dropbox or other on-premises systems through PowerApps and use that information to create their app.

For example, if you export a file from Salesforce tracking employees performance, you could create an app to follow that, instead of exporting and analyzing a file every week.

PowerApps also comes with sample apps and templates, so users don’t have to come up with an a design or layout from scratch.

The apps are designed on a PC and can then be accessed on-the-fly through the PowerApps app for iOS, Android and Windows Phone. Apps can be shared with other people through a URL link and they can collaborate on the project as well.

Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of app platform Bill Staples said in a statement today that the aim of PowerApps is to bridge the innovation gap in the business apps sector.

And while Microsoft may not be the first to come up with this idea, it’s already at an advantage as one of the most recognizable business brands in the world and as first choice for many in-office software around the globe.

The company has not released pricing information while the service is still in preview.

Image source: OneDrive.

Office 365 Home and Personal subscribers rejoiced when Microsoft announced that they will be receiving unlimited cloud storage as part of the package last year. More recently, however, the company has decided to rescind the offer.


Microsoft’s excuse is that some paid customers are taking their word that the storage is unlimited and is using it to its fullest potential, effectively using the space that they paid for.


“Since we started to roll out unlimited cloud storage to Office 365 consumer subscribers, a small number of users backed up numerous PCs and stored entire movie collections and DVR recordings. In some instances, this exceeded 75 TB per user or 14,000 times the average. Instead of focusing on extreme backup scenarios, we want to remain focused on delivering high-value productivity and collaboration experiences that benefit the majority of OneDrive users,” said The OneDrive Team in their statement.


The result is that there will no longer be unlimited storage for Office 365 Home, Personal, or University subscribers; 100GB and 200GB paid plans will soon be replaced with a 50GB for US$1.99 per month; and the storage space of free OneDrive users will be downgraded from 15GB to 5GB. These changes will take effect early 2016.


“OneDrive has always been designed to be more than basic file storage and backup. These changes are needed to ensure that we can continue to deliver a collaborative, connected, and intelligent service. They will allow us to continue to innovate and make OneDrive the best option for people who want to be productive and do more,” added The OneDrive Team.


In other words, Microsoft was not ready to put its money where its mouth is, and seeing a tech behemoth making ‘take backsies’ like this, unprepared to deliver what they promised, is a disturbing fact.

window server 2008

This is the first time that I actually come into deep on Microsoft Window Server 2008 RS Enterprise Edition setup after the fresh installation done. There are about 10 new machines that I need to configure with, so initially I plan to come out with my own checklist, but finally manage to found out the following check list which help me to save up my time.

The list focuses on windows server 2008 as its relatively new but can to some extent apply to older windows 2003 servers. The following checklist is very simple and you can always use this as your guideline to kick start your configuration after the fresh installation of Window Server 2008.

Network Connections

  • Set IP
  • Subnet Mask
  • Gateway
  • DNS

System Properties

  • Change computer name and description
  • Performance – Set visual effects to “Adjust for best performance”
  • Remote – Enable Remote Desktop

Date and Time

  • Check servers date and time zone.

Windows Update

  • Download and install the latest windows updates
  • Configure automatic updates
  • Download and install any optional windows update software.
  • e.g. .Net Framework 3.5 SP1

Server Manager

  • Check “Do not show me this console at logon”
  • Configure IE ESC – Turn off IE Enhanced Security Configuration

Taskbar properties

  • Lock the taskbar – Enable/Disable
  • Task buttons – Always combine or Never combine on the taskbar
  • Notification area – Select which icons and notifications appear in the taskbar. Note: Notification icons on the desktop can have fairly expensive refreshing mechanisms. Generally, it is best to disable unnecessary notification.

Start Menu Properties

  • Customize how links, icons, and menus look/behave

Screen Resolution

  • Set your preferred screen resolution

Screen Saver

  • Normally set to blank with “On resume, display logon screen” checked.
  • If the server is a virtual machine you might want to disable the screen saver entirely to save some CPU resources. For further detail refer to the VMware KB articles Disabling the Windows logon screen saver


  • Disable sounds on the server. Select the “no sounds” scheme in the control panel. Alternatively, disable the sound card completely in the bios.

Desktop Icon settings

  • Configure which icons are shown on the desktop. Depending on which version of Windows 2008 your using this setting can be hard to find. Just type “desktop icon” in the start menu search box and you should see “show or hide common icons on the desktop“.

Explorer Folder Options

  • Some common configurations:
    • Always show menus – checked
    • Display file size information in folder tips – unchecked
    • Show hidden files – checked
    • Hide empty drives – unchecked
    • Hide extensions for known files types – unchecked
    • Hide protected operating system files – unchecked
    • Show pop-up description for folder and desktop items – unchecked
    • Show preview handlers in preview pane – unchecked
    • Use sharing wizard – unchecked
  • Click “Apply to folders” when finished
  • The desktop.ini file on the desktop can be deleted

Internet Options

  • Launch IE and configure first time run options
  • Set Home Page – set to blank or other
  • Advanced – Enable page transitions – uncheckedAdvanced – Reuse windows for launching shortcuts – unchecked
  • Advanced – Show friendly HTTP error messages – unchecked

Drive Indexing

  • Open the properties of the C Drive and uncheck “Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties
  • When prompted apply changes to the root of the drive only and not to subfolders

Remote desktop sessions host configuration

  • Run tsconfig from a command prompt (or find it in start-admin tools-remote desktop services menu) to configure the default options for all remote desktop connections to the server. You can mandate RDP client settings for colour depth, drive, printer and com port redirections etc..

Power Plan

  • Microsoft recommends leaving the power plan on balanced but this is something you will have to decide based on your server’s role and application requirements.
  • An extract from Microsoft’s Performance Tuning Guidelines for Windows 2008
    • “The default power plan for Windows Server 2008 is Balanced. This plan is optimized for maximum power efficiency; it matches computational capacity to computational demand by dynamically reducing or increasing CPU performance as workload changes. This approach keeps performance high while saving power whenever possible. For most scenarios, Balanced delivers excellent power efficiency with minimal effect on performance. Microsoft highly recommends using the default Balanced power plan, if possible.”


  • To disable hibernation and delete the large hiberfil.sys file from the C drive open a command prompt as admin and type: powercfg -hibernate off


  • Microsoft recommends placing the pagefile and operating system files on separate physical disk drives. Place the pagefile on a drive that is not fault-tolerant. Note that, if the disk dies, a system crash is highly possible. If you place the pagefile on a fault-tolerant drive, remember that some fault-tolerant systems experience slow data writes because they write data to multiple locations.


Last but not least most admin like to defrag the C Drive after they’ve finished optimizing everything. Before running a defrag you might like to set the paging file to “no paging file” and reboot your server. After the defrag is complete you can re-enable the paging file and restart. This will allow for a full defrag of the C drive and the creation of a nice fresh pagefile on reboot.

This list is by no means a complete list of all the configuration and performance optimizations possible for Windows 2008. Please feel free to share if you have any idea about the configuration or anything that can make the server perform better and more secure


The Tzu Chi Foundation, an international charitable foundation that first opened its branch in Malaysia in 1993, recently announced that it has successfully deployed a comprehensive stack of Microsoft technology to help achieve its humanitarian mission more effectively.


Tzu Chi KL-Selangor Branch Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Sio Kee Hong said that implementing Microsoft’s technology has greatly improved their ability to respond to humanitarian needs. He added that gathering resources and information, a task that used to take three hours, can now be done within an hour, thanks to Microsoft.


Previously, Tzu Chi used a mix of open source and proprietary technology and software. However, they found that the lack of uniformity and standard impedes their work. They also realized that the mix of technology creates a lot of restrictions and hindered their productivity.


Earlier this year, Tzu Chi took advantage of a special licensing arrangement that allowed for software donations to charitable organizations, standardized its entire infrastructure on an up-to-date Microsoft stack, which include Windows, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Active Directory and Windows Server.

The new Microsoft Window 8 which changed a lot from the previous version Window 7, it make the operating system more smart, easy to use as well as cutting down some step. One of the example of the cutting step is the confirmation before deleting any file from your window when you press the delete button. It will directly send your file to recycle bin without any confirmation or extra action require.

This maybe a good for those observant people, but not me. In this post, I will show how to enabled back the so call “extra step” for deleting any file in your Window 8.


1. Right-click on Recycle Bin and select Properties


2. In Recycle Bin Properties dialogue, enable Display delete confirmation dialogue option and click OK to apply the change.


3. Now when you delete a file or folder, it will ask you to confirm the action before sending the item to Recycle Bin.