Category Archives: Microsoft

Microsoft Details it’s Online Safety History

While Apple is today busy burying it’s head deeper into the sands, Microsoft chose to detail it’s track records with Online Safety initiatives of its Trustworthy Computing Policy efforts. What a marked difference between the two Internet giants. One is too busy denying they’re vulnerable, the other is accepting the fact that any system is vulnerable, you just do your best to protect your users.

Go see Microsoft’s efforts through the years on their Trustworthy Computing page. The fact that they chose today to come out with this news in contrast to Apple could be purely a coincidence, or genius plan of Microsoft to contrast itself since it gets neglected and ridiculed for its amazing efforts on security. Just download the Safety Milestone report alone (PDF), you’ll be amazed how far back this company has been dealing with security issues. The file is a treasure trove of information and a worthy perusal.

Now if only those in the distortion field would just wake up and read it. But then, it will remain a dream, for now.

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OneNote Power-User Tips – Part 2

I have decided to publish my compilations of tips on efficient use of OneNote. I published Part 1 a few weeks back.

  • On low-powered x86 devices like Dell VP8 use the OneNote MX only, even if you could install the Desktop version. Desktop Apps are not battery efficient avoid using them on these devices if you could.
  • OneNote MX doesn’t allow you to attach files for now. But it allows you to use or access attached files. So attach needed files via OneNote Desktop then let it sync to OneNote MX and use them there. (File attachment now supported with latest updates to OneNote)
  • Keep High Volume, Low Access Notes only online and on principal devices. Create a low volume version that you can have on all devices from which you can move sections and items to the Online Archives.
  • Keep an eye on your OneNote size, move sections out for very large volume OneNote into new Notebooks
  • Make judicious use of Sections to organize thoughts and Categories
  • Keep number of Notebooks on low capacity tablets to absolute necessary, sync has cost for data if you have mobile data connection.
  • Identify mobile data connection on your tablet as Metered Connection so OneNote doesn’t sync on that connection. Sync preferably on WiFi only. This is important if you’re using your smartphone as WiFi Access Point to your tablets etc.
  • If you’re not sure of Sync times, choose to sync manually by turning Auto-Sync off in the settings.

You may not realize it, but OneNote comes with a powerful OCR built-In. This is one of the area where OneNote separates itself from competition.

  • This can come in handy when you need to get data out of a picture, and it is a boon to students who exchange screenshots etc. Right click on any picture and choose Copy Text then paste to any app or in OneNote itself for further edits. You’ll notice mis-recognition here and there depending on the quality of the text in the picture, these you have to manually correct.

Import Slides from PowerPoint:

  • If you search for this topic online you’ll get various hits all mentioning to import slides via PrintOuts or the so called “Print to OneNote” feature. Since Office 2010, you can actually copy and paste slides directly into OneNote.
  • There is a bug in OneNote MX that will prevent you from pasting more than one slide from PowerPoint. The first slide in your selection is always pasted. I have made this known to Microsoft, lets hope they’ve got a fix for it.

Watch out for Print-Outs, they’re top-heavy and costly in terms of space: Original PDF file:

PrintOut OneNote file container of the same file:

The original PDF file of 2.54Mb size in now a humongous 25.9MB folder of printouts. Now that OneNote MX supports file attachment, you don’t need to printout anymore unless you need to annotate. Printouts will make your OneNote database unnecessarily large, thereby affecting sync efficiency.

I will continue to update this list with new entries as they come to mind. You can also pass your favorite tips to the community via comments below.

Apple Painted itself into a Corner

With all the nude leaks going on these last days, all linked to iCloud breach, and the thundering silence of Apple to respond officially to the allegations, I am smelling a rat. It is two days after the fact, and Apple is yet to go to town with their manipulative attitudes. That smells to me fishy. It is unlike Apple to keep quiet for so long. Even with a single gram of salt, they would have gone to town in damage-control mode.

All these points as far as I am concerned to the fact the damage is so tremendous, that it requires special handling. You see the problem is, this is Apple that told the world they are the “most secured” platform on planet earth. The SwitcherAds adage still rings in the ear with “We are Apple, we don’t get viruses” pompous exclamation.

This very hubris is turning out now to be the Apple’s downfall in security. When you’ve conditioned the world to accept that you’re invincible and all bullets just bounce off you thick hide, then it is difficult to now turn around and confess to the world that your platform is as porous as any other’s on the planet.

Once is an accident, twice is a curiosity, thrice is a habit. The number of Security breaches taking place in Apple’s paradise is becoming epidemic. The laxity of Apple to build security into it’s product at foundational level is now coming back to bite them where it hurts most.

We’ve told the masses that there is not a single company that knows security like Microsoft. When you’re the planet’s atlas, carrying 90% of the world OS usage on your shoulder, you’re the big target for malicious hackers. Microsoft has learnt its lessons by pressing the reset button with its Secured Computing initiative in the Vista timeframe. Right now, they are centuries ahead of competition in security. We’ve told you all along, now we’re being vindicated.

Who are you going to trust with your precious data in the Cloud. Well my choice is clear. My choice goes to that company that has been battle-tested, and so should yours. Now let’s continue to wait on Apple’s spin-doctors, to see which diversionary tactics they’re going to employ this time around.

Image Credits:

From <http://thestickmanspeaks.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/painted-into-a-corner.jpg>

Windows Fundamentals For Legacy PCs

 

In this bonus episode, I take a look at Windows Fundamentals For Legacy PCs (“FLP”), a little-known official Microsoft modification of Windows XP, designed for businesses still using hardware designed for Windows 9x to be able to run a more modern, safe and stable OS on their PCs. I end with a little fun trying to run the system on 64MB and 32MB RAM to see what happens. Continue reading

Windows XP Build 2481: “The Homestead Run”

In this video I wrap up our tour of the development of Windows XP with build number 2481, a pre-RTM build that heralded the completion of the GUI and out-of-box hardware compatibility for Windows XP, and was handed out to testers on 1st June 2001. Over the next few months, compiled builds were virtually identical and their primary function was to root out any last minute bugs that might wreak havoc on the projected release date of 25th October 2001. Thankfully, XP shipped as planned on this date, and firmly took its place in history as one of the most well-loved Windows operating systems. Continue reading

Windows XP Build 2475: “XP Finds Its Identity”

In this video I demonstrate the setup and UI of Windows Whistler build 2475 – one of the first builds of Windows Whistler to identify itself by the operating system’s recently-announced official name, “Windows XP”. This build was released to testers on 24th May 2001. Continue reading

Windows XP Build 2428: “Welcome To Windows, Luna”

In this video I demonstrate the setup and UI of Windows Whistler build 2428 (beta 2) which would eventually evolve into Windows XP. This build was shown to reviewers on 9th February 2001 – the same day that Microsoft announced the official name of Whistler – “Windows XP”. Continue reading

Windows XP Build 2419: “Hello World!”

In this video I demonstrate the setup and UI of Windows Whistler build 2419 – the third post-Beta 1 build of Whistler – which would eventually evolve into Windows XP. This build was first released to testers on 23rd January 2001 and was one of four post-Beta 1, pre-Beta 2 builds. Continue reading

Windows XP Build 2416: “Merlin’s Stage Entrance”

In this video I demonstrate the setup and UI of Windows Whistler build 2416 – the second post-Beta 1 build of Whistler – which would eventually evolve into Windows XP. This build was first released to testers on 16th January 2001 and was one of four post-Beta 1, pre-Beta 2 builds. Continue reading

Windows XP Build 2410: “Chartreuse Mongoose”

In this video I demonstrate the setup and UI of Windows Whistler build 2410 – the first post-Beta 1 build of Whistler – which would eventually evolve into Windows XP. This build was first released to testers on 4th January 2001 and was one of four post-Beta 1, pre-Beta 2 builds. Continue reading

Windows XP Build 2250: “…And The Ghosts Of Neptune”

We continue our investigation into the development of Windows XP with Windows Codename “Whistler” build 2250. This build of “Whistler” was compiled on the 28th June 2000 and was shown at the Professional Developers Conference 2000. This makes it the first “Whistler” build to be shared with developers outside of Microsoft. But 6 months on from Neptune, are we truly able to say goodbye? Continue reading