Windows 8 Natively Running Windows 3.1 Game – Unprecedented Compatibility

This video demonstrates the power of Windows 8′s support for legacy software. Windows 8 is perfectly able to natively run a game designed for Windows 3.1 and Windows 95. The game was released in 1994, and I am running the original, unmodified version of this game. This software has not been remastered; it’s running the original code.

This game had two exe files, one 16-bit and one 32-bit. I ran the 16 bit version on Windows 3.1 and the 32-bit version on Windows 8 64-bit. The 16-bit version does work on the 32-bit version of Windows 8.

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Why Metro Apps on a Desktop or Laptop

If you have been following McAkins Online, you know that we are dedicated to bringing to you the latest from the Windows Store and are here to feature some great Metro Style (aka Windows Store) apps for you to check out. But the question remains is why should you care about Metro Style apps, especially if you are using traditional, non-touch, desktop or laptop? I want to take a quick break from featuring apps to talk about why you might sometimes want to use Metro Style apps instead of classic Windows Desktop apps even on traditional hardware. We believe that if you understand the advantages of using Metro Style apps over desktop apps for some occasions, the content of this site will be of even more value to you.

I want to discuss some of the advantages of using Metro Style apps over desktop versions of similar apps by covering some key areas. But before I get to that, I will quickly brush through the most controversial topics in regards to Metro Style apps. There is ongoing debate about Metro Style apps being fullscreen and optimized for touch make them unusable on desktops and laptops without touch and a productivity killer. This is a heated topic and one that needs more than a paragraph for discussing. I will hold of discussing this topic in depth for another time. All I will say is that some apps work great on the desktop, with mouse and keyboard, and others work better in Metro, like Netflix, games, and painting apps. Again, I will be talking more about this topic alone in the future. For now, putting the fullscreen issue aside, let’s talk about how Metro Style apps offer advantages in other areas that might make some more compelling than their desktop counterparts.

No System Degrading Over Time

One problem that has plagued Windows since beginning of time is that the system degrades over time. While the problem has gotten significantly better since Windows 9x, it still exists. Today, the biggest cause of the system degrading is the installing and/or uninstalling of many software over time. This happens because as you install desktop apps, these apps can make changes to the registry, add files to various places in the system, and add services (sometimes unnecessary ones) that take up system memory. Some apps have hidden startup files that slow down boot files. And we are only talking about the good apps. Because desktop apps are not curated, you might install a malicious app pretending to be good but one that significantly damages the system after being run. This problem still exists for desktop apps in Windows 8. Installing too many desktop apps can cause system performance to be reduced, performance that might not be regained even if you uninstall all of your desktop apps.

Metro Style apps do not suffer from this issue—at least not in a significant way, if at all. When you install a Metro Style app from the Windows Store, they are curated by Microsoft. Thus, you won’t likely be installing malware. Secondly, Metro Style apps won’t change the system registry, add startup files, change system files, or anything else that might damage the system. All this is because Metro Style apps acquired form the Windows Store don’t have the right to mess with system files. You can install as many Metro Style apps as you want without slowing down your PC.

Clean Uninstall (No Leftovers)

When you uninstall a desktop app, chances are that it is not completely wiped from the PC. Some files associated with your app still might remain on your drive. Registry items created by the app when installed and run don’t always get removed when uninstalled. Some desktop apps install additional apps and services that might continue to run in the background even if you uninstall the app. For example, if you install iTunes, you can opt in to install QuickTime player with it. However, if you uninstall iTunes, QuickTime remains installed. You have to manually go and run the QuickTime installer.

Metro Style apps uninstall cleanly. No traces are left when you uninstall these new apps. They won’t leave hidden files lurking in the system nor install additional apps or services. So, you can install and uninstall lots of Metro Style apps as many times as you like without degrading your system’s performance.

Security and Sandboxing

Windows desktop apps in Windows 8, like those in previous versions of Windows, are not Sandboxed. This means, desktop apps have access to other apps and system files. Though this is less of an issue with modern security measures in place in Windows, it’s still not as effective as true sandboxing.

Metro Style apps are sandboxed from one another. They can’t directly touch the system or other apps. They communicate with the system and other apps mainly through the Windows 8 contracts. If one app is misbehaving, it can be more easily contained if it is a Metro Style app. Also, I will say it again because it is so important: Metro Style apps are curated by Microsoft, so you will likely not get a malware on your PC if you download them.

Updating

The Windows desktop apps are Win32 apps that have been conceived in the early 90’s. They are dated, and it shows. There have been layers upon layers added to Win32 apps to make it play along with modern time. One such “layer” is terrible update mechanisms. Back in the 90’s, software updates through the internet wasn’t common; thus, Windows didn’t have a built-in mechanism to automatically update all Win32 apps from the internet. As we entered in to the modern era, each developer built its own updating system on top of their Win32 app. This meant that updating each app was a different experience and a cumbersome process. The Windows OS still doesn’t provide an integrated way to updated most modern Win32 apps.

Metro Style apps, on the other hand, was created for today’s era and with software updates in mind. The Windows OS handles updates for all Metro Style apps. They are seamless and painless. They don’t require downloading EXE files or running an app updater with admin privileges. The Windows Store makes the process easy and automatic.

Conclusion: Metro Style Apps Provide a Better User Experience

We looked at the many ways in which Metro Style apps are much better for you and your system in terms of performance, security, and seamless updating. The big point that should be taken from this is that you don’t have to be afraid to try lots and lots of Metro Style apps. Go ahead and give all of our featured apps in this site a try because your system won’t degrade in performance. If you don’t like an app, you can uninstall it easily. The same cannot be said for desktop apps. We don’t want to install and uninstall too many desktop apps for performance and security concerns.

The one tip I would give when deciding whether to get a Metro Style or a desktop app is to ask yourself if you really need this app for regularly. If so, you will likely be keeping this app and you trust the app. So install the desktop version if you like. Good examples of this are Office, Photoshop, Adobe Reader, Visual Studio, After Effects, etc. However, if you would like to try an app or want to use an app less often, you will likely want to use a Metro Style app. Examples of these types of apps can include bandwidth measuring apps, format converters, web video downloaders, etc. Installing too many desktop apps that you won’t use regularly is not worth the performance downgrade. Also, if you are likely to uninstall an app or are concerned about malware, definitely download a Metro Style app from the Windows Store.

Well, I hope this can give you some insight on how some apps and utilities might be better suitable for you as a Metro Style app than a desktop app. With that, I conclude this article. We have some more great Windows Store apps we would like to show you; so stay tuned on McAkins online for updates. Some apps that are not blogged about on this site immediately are mentioned on the McAkins Online twitter account. So be sure to follow @McAkins. You can also follow me on twitter @NazmusLabs.

Have a great day and keep surfing!

Here’s how Steam and Minecraft can Play Nicely with Windows 8 Metro

Before we start the discussion, let’s recap on some basic topics, including a quick look at Steam and Minecraft and, also, the whole issue regarding these products and Windows 8. If you are familiar with the matter discussed in the overview, please skip to the next section, as it will contain more valuable insights that haven’t really been discussed much. Continue reading

iOS Update 5.1.1 is Released and Ready for Install

A minor update for your iOS devices have been released by Apple today. iOS version 5.1.1 is an update to version 5.1 that was released alongside the new iPad. This software is available for free on any iOS devices running 5.1 and 5.0. If your devices is running an older version of iOS, you may or may not be able to upgrade to the latest operating system, depending on how recent your device is. To see if you can get the update, just follow the procedure below to get the update. If you can get the update, following the procedure will get you the update; if you can’t, you will get a notice saying that no update is available for your device.

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Tip: Ninite Makes Installing Windows Apps Easier than Ever

One of the most annoying things about installing desktop apps on Windows is that they take you through a huge process of unnecessary steps. These tedious steps involve clicking through “Next”, “Next”, etc. most of the screen have option we never need to touch, like choosing a install destination. Furthermore, many installer also require you to go through screens that asks you to install other, unnecessary, software (also known as crapware), where we would have to uncheck items to prevent from those software from being installed.

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Hudl [App & Software Review]

 

One of the many things I love covering here at Techtronica is sports. For a long time know I’ve been wanting to do a review not only on Hudl itself but I’ve been waiting for Hudl to release their App to the public on the Apple App Store. The time opened up for me to do this on November 15th, 2011. I’ve given the app some time to fix the starting flaws and now I’m starting the review:

Hudl has involved not only football, but basketball, volleyball, soccer, wrestling and many other sports. So what exactly does Hudl do? Hudl stores a team’s film online for only coaches and players to view with an account login. Coaches have the ability to give other coaches accounts, give players accounts and give parents access to their athlete’s account if wanted. Hudl just doesn’t store your film either. Coaches have the ability to break down film into plays by down, yards gained, type of play, result of play, play name, and defensive formations. Players also have some major benefits by using the software as well. Once coaches register their players into their roster they can enter in tons of valuable information about the player including Height, Weight, Awards, Other Activties, Academic Info, Weight Room stats and much more. Not only does Hudl allow for the players to be recognized by their coaches, it allows for major colleges and recruiters to see their stats and all the information that I already listed above. Coaches can choose whether or not to share highlights with the public or only allow coaches and registered recruiters to do so. Another huge thing for football teams is not only just one angle of film but multiple. Hudl allows you to upload film instantly, Replay off camcorder, Import from DVD and about any other way you can think of.

One of the things I absolutley love about Hudl is the way the stats are set up. Once you enter in stats like Down, Distance, Yard Line, yards to go, yards gained, who carried the ball, who threw the ball, who caught the ball, [general stuff like that] it will also appear on “reports”. Reports are coach-created documents that show general stats that look just as professional as somethign you’d see on ESPN. Once these reports are finalized they can be shared with the players if the coaches choose to do so. Once this is done players can go straight to the report and click on a ceratin stat and it will show all the plays related to that stat. Don’t understand that? Will here’s an example:

*Say Kevin Ellison has 2,123 rushing yards on the season, 235 of 403 passes completed, 3 INT’s and 28 TD’s. If you were to go to the report page and click on that 28 under TD’s you would be lead to every play Ellison has scored on. Sweet right?

As Hudl likes to say, “You’re in good company” and guess what? They’re not lying. Teams like Boise State, Oregon, Michigan, Nebreska and NFL tems like the New York Jets. They’ve been talked about by about everyone, this is including; The New York Times, ESPN, and The Washington Post.

As a videographer and film manager for our local high school I can personally say Hudl has not only saved us time but saved as the pain of video editing. [Another one of Hudl’s catch phrases; “Video Editing Sucks”. I say Amen to that now. One thing that really stuck out to me about Hudl was the support team’s quick response time. It was my first year doing videography for the football team and we had some simple problem. I called Hudl’s support line number and was answered within about 20 seconds of making the call. When the guy answered me my first reaction was like, “Holy cow! I’m talking to a real person!”. That’s just another reason Hudl is on top of the food chain. Hudl is among the top ranks of the most inovative software in this current century. Prices are low for the software and can range anywhere from a price range for a youth football team to an NFL team budget. If they keep it up they’ll have everyone else out of business.

Below is the actual App Review that I decided to do on Hudl’s new iOS App. Keep in mind that not only do they have an App on the Apple App Store but also on the Android Market also. Like I said. They’re taking over. I’d like to end on this note: Video editing sucks. Buy Hudl and you’ll not only be supported by the best but you’re always going to feel like the best.

[review pros="Free on the App Store, Low price of actual software,Ability to download playlists directly to your device, Immediate access through logging in using your email & password, Mutliple Angles Allowed, Ability to sort by categories, Devices- iPod, iPhone, iPad, Android " cons="Cannot Play or Create Highlights, Cannot edit player profiles, No support information within App " score=90]

Internet Access: Yours, Mine & Egypt’s

Nation in crisis! Egypt has attempted to block all Internet connections, coming both in and out of their nation. Well guess what everyone? That is still impossible, but I do give credit to Egypt for trying. I understand there has been all of this talk about how the USA could do the same but they can’t.

Egypt’s attempt to do so has failed to an extent also, seeing how you cannot shut off satellite Internet. So, what did Egypt do? Egypt’s government has what is called a “hub” it is like a gate between you and the actual Internet. Yes, they closed it but you can’t do that to everyone and like I said earlier, there is still satellite Internet.

Let me give you a little bit of information on this controversy. The Internet used to be ran off of what some refer to as “the Internet backbone.” The government had it and it pretty much managed all the Internet activity in the USA, but that was when it was first invented. Welcome to the new Internet! The Internet is now running off of individual servers. With that being said, every person in the nation would have to literally turn off their servers to get the Internet to actual shut down. So all of these images in your mind of the president of the United States sitting in his oval office flipping the Internet on/off button just see what it does, can be erased. Final thoughts are these:

  • Egypt has somewhat failed at shutting down the Internet.
  • There is still satellite Internet in Egypt.
  • You would have to turn off your Internet (literally) -or- your Internet Service Providers would have to be shut down to have the Internet to even become close to “off.”
  • There is satellite Internet in the USA too, so don’t worry.

What Do You Use for Virtual Video Recording? Try Webcam Max

Webcam Max Splash Screen

Post Update for 2012: Ah yes…Webcam Max, undoubtedly one of the best virtual webcam applications out there. I use many applications to help produce my web show Landor Industries Live. Such as IRC clients and some other virtual webcams. But nothing comes close when it comes to Webcam Max. This program has all you can think of and more!

Webcam max screenshot 1What is Webcam Max?

As if I hadn’t said it enough, Webcam Max is a virtual webcam program that allows you to be creative with your video productions. You are able to add different effects to your videos such as different signs that say you’re away or busy as well as the ability to apply backgrounds. You can also add a special touch to your videos by type up your own custom text and displaying it on your own video as well as dozens of other features including PIP (Picture In Picture) display, the ability to show movies and much, much more!

Why Webcam Max?

It doesn’t get any better than Webcam Max when it comes to using virtual webcams on Windows based computers. There are some available for OS X, but when it comes to windows, Webcam Max is you best bet!

Well, How Much Is It?Webcam max screenshot 2

Well, it varies. The license prices varies for how long you want to have the product. Instead of me explaining this, here are the official prices:

  1. $19.95 ($3.33/month) 1 Year
  2. $29.95 ($2.50/month) 2 Years
  3. $39.95 ($1.66/month) Lifetime
  4. $49.95 (enjoy it forever)

I’ve heard all this stuff about Webcam Max, but I want to know where I can get it?

That’s an easy one. If you would like to try out the software for 30 days or even to order the software license, head over to the Webcam Max website. There you will be able to access Webcam Max resources and other cool stuff. So what are you waiting for? Head on over to the Webcam Max website to start your own Webcam Max experience! Once you get it, make sure you tell your friends all about it. You never know! They may be interested too!


I have to say, personally, the software is pretty good. It has everything you need for a basic web show.

Personal Review

In the future I hope to see RSS capabilities implemented, an extra PIP function, and a temperature option. These are my only quips I have with it. If those options are to be available in the future, then I would be satisfied. Webcam Max is very good software and gets the Landor Industries Live Techtronica seal of approval!

If you liked this review, you should head over to the Webcam Max website and get the program for yourself and see how great it is!