Category Archives: Software Review

Windows 8.1: A service pack or a new OS?

Is Windows 8.1 an update for Windows 8 or an upgrade? In other words, is it a service pack or is it a new version of Windows?

Windows 8.0 in comparison to Windows 8.1.

Windows 8.0 in comparison to Windows 8.1.

Let’s find out.

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Wiping out remnants of deleted files… with Windows itself

Update: Bad link fixed

In computers, deleting a file is analogous to tossing a piece of paper into a trash can. Anyone could simply retrieve that piece of paper from the trash can; so could anyone undelete the file.

Cipher.exe, having performed data erasure on volume E (a USB flash drive)

Cipher.exe, having performed data erasure on volume E (a USB flash drive)

Proper data erasure, however, is possible; it is analogous to tossing a piece of paper into a shredder or burning it. Read the rest of this entry

Detached lines in Notepad++

The default text style in Notepad++ v6.6 and its past versions (as far as I remember) adds an inconspicuous amount of white space between each line, preventing the block characters in each line to connect to the ones on the top or bottom. This problem also appears with two of the other themes, namely “Hello Kitty” and “Viberant Ink” but not in any other theme.

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I normally wouldn’t care for a slight amount of space as I am not a consumer of ASCII art and don’t use table characters in my source codes either. But as with any other curious human, I wanted to know why, just out of curiousity and not because of practical need. So, I set out to investigate. Read the rest of this entry

Internet Explorer 11 cannot connect to local host – Redux

Updated 11 November 2013

In a previous blog post, I detailed how Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 8.1 Preview fails to open http://127.0.0.1 while it has no problems opening http://localhost, given an appropriate web server is installed. Well, here is an update.

Screenshot - 1. IE11 cannot connect to 127.0.0.1

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Internet Explorer 11 cannot connect to local host

If you think everything compatible with Windows 8.0 is also compatible with Windows 8.1, I am afraid you should reconsider. Perhaps if you have been with me so far, you are now aware of this fact. My latest experiments with Windows 8.1 Preview shows that Internet Explorer 11 has problems connecting to local system.
Screenshot - 1. IE11 cannot connect to 127.0.0.1

Let’s see what’s the problem and how we can resolve it.

Windows 8.1 latent apps

Microsoft reports it has released Windows 8.1 to manufacturing (RTM), but is not supplying Windows 8.1 to anyone but original equipment manufacturers (OEM) before the general availability date. At this stage, Microsoft should be cooperating with manufacturers to issue specialized patches for device-specific problems. I hope it is so, because I have spotted a latent app bug in preview version of Windows 8.1.

Preparing to uninstall

Preparing to uninstall

Today, I am going to use my right of uninstalling Metro-style apps in Windows 8.1 Pro and uninstall them all. I have selected all installed apps and I am poised to press the Uninstall button. What do you think is going to happen?

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Internet Explorer comes last in standard compliance

According to HTML5Test, Internet Explorer offers the worst web standard compliance among the top famous web browsers. Meanwhile, the best standard compliance is not offered by the famous five, but by Maxthon Cloud Browser v4.0.

Screenshot of HTML5Test.com showing its desktop browser comparison page

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Inside Windows 8.1: File and printer sharing protocol

While browsing Windows Features applet in Windows 8.1 Preview’s Control Panel, a new “feature” caught my attention: SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support. For those who know what it is, it bears a very clear message. Those who do not, however, might want to read on and find out.

A dialog box whose title reads "Windows Features". List a lot of items, including "SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support"

Windows 8.1 Preview – Features applet contains SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support


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Inside Windows 8.1: Compatibility

This is the fifth article in my series of articles on Windows 8.1 Preview, but this one is short.

Yesterday, I decided that I needed a DaRT recovery disc (DaRT stands for Data Recovery Toolset) so I grabbed the nearest copy of Microsoft Desktop Optimization Toolkit (MDOP). What came into my hand was MDOP 2012. But as I ran the setup program, I was stopped cold: An error message said that the copy of DaRT  needed Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012. But I was running it on Windows 8, wasn’t I?

Installer information: Microsoft DaRT 8.0 requires that your computer is running Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012. Windows 8.1 Pro Preview. Evaluation copy. Build 9431

MDOP 2012 which requires Windows 8 does not run on Windows 8.1 Preview

Yes, and no. I was running it on Windows 8.1 Preview, to be accurate. Let me remind you guys: Windows Vista’s version number (regardless of whatever service pack you install on it) is 6.0. Windows 7’s version number is 6.1. Windows 8’s version number is 6.2. Windows 8.1, however, would change the version number to 6.3, effectively telling every single app that you are running a version of Windows significantly different from Window 8.0.

Net result: With Windows 8.1, Microsoft has brought you the Start button that you wanted… along with a potential application compatibility nightmare. I’ll go find myself either a Windows 8 PC or a copy of MDOP 2013, whichever is the nearest.

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