One of this weekend’s top stories on InfoWorld was an article where they invited 14 best selling authors of Windows 8 books to share their honest opinion about this operating system. The list of authors includes yours truly alongside famous people like David Pogue, Ed Bott, Andy Rathbone or Woody Leonhard. Learn what we all had to say about Windows 8 and don’t hesitate add to the conversation by sharing your view.
Tutorials, how to guides, books, apps, hardware and reviews for Windows 8.
Microsoft has taken great steps in improving startup times in Windows 8. While you’ll certainly notice the snappy get-up-and-go time in the beginning, you’ll still find that, over time, performance will degrade. The primary reason that a computer slows at startup is the lengthening of the list of startup applications and services. As you install more and more programs, they sneak themselves or their agents onto the startup list. Windows is forced to load more and more before it can take input from you. To help you keep things manageable, Microsoft has added in Windows 8 a new tab to the Task Manager. It enables you to monitor startup apps, their impact on the time it takes to load everything and keep them under control. Here’s how it works.
Have you ever heard about environment variables? Maybe some IT admin or geek was mentioning them or some program started malfunctioning and returning errors mentioning such variables? Whatever the reason you want to learn more about them, you arrived at the right place. This article will share everything you need to know about what they are, how they work and why they are important.
Depending on the smartphone you are using, creating custom ringtones for it might not be that easy. Unfortunately, on systems like Windows Phone or iOS, the process involved is a bit more complicated, as ringtones need to meet specific requirements in terms of format, length, etc. But what about creating ringtones, for free, for any smartphone platform? We did some research and we found a great application named Ringtone Maker. It is small, free, very easy to use and it is compatible with all major smartphone platforms, including Windows Phone. Let’s see how it works and how to create custom ringtones for just about any smartphone.
Even though System Information is a tool that shows all there is to know about your system’s components (hardware and software), I don’t like the way it displays the information. Personally, I prefer a much simpler tool, named Device Manager. Why? Because, with very few clicks, it allows you to see and manage the devices installed on your system, view devices for which you did not install their drivers, view and manage "hidden" devices, etc. If I made you curious to learn more, read this tutorial, as it shows all you need to know about using the Device Manager in Windows 7 and Windows 8.
The Task Manager has always been a quick first stop for technicians trying to diagnose performance issues on a Windows PC. Prior versions of the Task Manager have always provided useful, if general, information about what’s going wrong in their Performance tabs, which offered a place to start looking, but it’s always missed a lot of vital information. In Windows 8 the Task Manager has been improved significantly. The Performance tab now provides detailed graphs and charts that allow you to see precisely what resources are being taxed. This makes diagnosis much easier and faster.
I have a Toshiba NB505 10.1 inch netbook which has served me well, but I’d be the first to say that it’s awfully slow. I’m not sure whether this is due to my installing Windows 7 Professional on it, in place of its Windows 7 Starter Edition, or whether it’s just woefully underpowered to begin with, or both, or something else.
In any case, since Windows 8 is designed to run on more underpowered hardware, I thought I would experiment with a Windows 8 installation to see how that would work. Follow me as I take this adventure in geekery.
József Vass is a 25-year-old graphic artist and illustrator, living in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. He is of Hungarian origins and his name – József - is the Hungarian for Joseph. He graduated with a Bachelor of Design and Fine Arts and he is now working as a graphics designer for iOS games. We stumbled upon his freshly created Facebook page and very much enjoyed his work. Therefore we invited him to join our series of interview and Windows themes.
We were asked to provide a simple solution to the problem of removing obsolete notification icons (i.e. icons for programs that are no longer installed) from the notification area on the Windows taskbar. While you can do this with dedicated software tools, a simple trick is to remove two registry values and then restart the explorer.exe process. Doing this will basically reset the icons cache for the notification area and keep only those icons used by active applications. Since editing the registry is a rather complex task, we decided to provide a simple tool to assist all our readers.
XPS files or XML Paper Specification files, are Microsoft's direct competitor to Adobe's PDF format. XPS Viewer is the tool used to view XPS files, similar to Adobe Reader. While XPS might not be as popular as PDF, it is used by some Windows users. For those of you who use it or would like to try it out, we decided to show what are the main qualities of the XPS format, how to create XPS files and how to work with the XPS Viewer, a tool available both in Windows 7 and Windows 8.
We’ve covered how to configure Windows Update from the Control Panel when Windows 7 was released. That process has changed little with the release of Windows 8, so there isn’t much use in revisiting that in depth. There is however, a new way to work with updates in Windows 8, that you’ve never seen before. Using the new PC Settings window, you can check for and install updates on your computer without having to work your way into the Control Panel. Read on and we’ll show how it works.
Did you know that you can connect your Windows Phone 8 smartphone to your Windows 8 computers or devices via Bluetooth? Once connected, you can transfer files between devices, remote control devices and do many other cool things. But, before doing this, you need to pair them, so that they "speak" to each other.