Believe it or not, we nerds will die, too!

February 14, 2011

Originally published on The Eight Forums.

According to an old saying, the only certainty in life is that it always ends, sooner or later. In this digital era we currently live, clearing your stuff after you are gone can be almost impossible to those left behind.

Making a will divides people very clearly on two sides. The vast majority of people do not have a will when they die. Reasons are many; some think making a will is like a bad omen, some others think they are still young and have time to leave it for later.

In my opinion a will shows you care about your loved ones, the people you some day leave behind. It shows you wanted to take care of certain things so your kids, wife, husband, parents or others do not have to decide for you. I leave it to you to decide to whom you want to leave your car or PC or that ring you got from your grandmother. I want to give some ideas on how to tell about your digital, intellectual inheritance and property.

Everyone of us geeks has at least a few email accounts, a website or two, accounts in Twitter and Facebook or MySpace or LinkedIn. Hidden and encrypted drives containing personal files, documents, photos and so on. Some have made it practically impossible to others to access the personal computer and everything it contains. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to take care of your digital inheritance if those left behind have no clue how to access it? Here’s an article telling about how difficult it can be, and what those left behind have to do.

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The Seven Forums – My home on the Internet

February 9, 2011

I have never been interested in so called social media. I have a Facebook account where I update my status regularly 😉 about twice a year, this Windows 7 blog is my second try to blog. Not counting the forums I had to belong because of my work, I had never joined any forums before summer of 2009. Then I got a minor problem with Windows 7 RC, build 7100, and searched the net to find a solution. I stumbled upon a Windows 7 themed forum but was disappointed after joining and asking my question. The answers were arrogant, even impolite and did not help me to solve my issue, and the site was in my opinion too much pro piracy. It seemed to me they wanted to keep their forums to themselves.

Did some more searching and found the Seven Forums. I joined on June 12th, 2009, presented my issue, got help and was hooked. Today the Seven Forums is my home on the net, the site I check first every day when waking up my PC from sleep, and the last site I check before putting PC to sleep again. It is a vast source of information, telling you everything you need to know about Windows 7.  Currently with its over 125,000 members, almost 1,200,000 posts in over 120,000 threads and hundreds of tutorials from A to Z, Abort Shortcut – Create to Zip Folders – Enable or Disable Windows Explorer View, the Seven Forums is the biggest and most extensive source of Windows 7 information outside Microsoft owned sites.

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Transfer your Windows 7 installation to a new PC

January 25, 2011

(Originally published on the Seven Forums)

Windows 7 System Preparation Tool is a powerful, native Windows tool. When for instance used in so called Audit Mode, it let’s you to freely configure Windows 7 to be then deployed to other computers as hardware independent image.

In this tutorial we use System Preparation Tool (sysprep) to prepare your Windows 7 installation to be moved to a new computer, keeping all your installed applications, program settings and user profiles. You can use this method for instance when you have bought a new PC and want to transfer your existing setup completely, without need to reinstall everything, or when you want to make major hardware changes like change the motherboard or GPU, which would usually cause Windows to stop booting normally.

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Calling home

November 17, 2010

(Originally posted on the Seven Forums)

Like ET in Spielberg’s epic movie, today’s computers want to call home. Like ET, they would like to do it without us humans knowing but are forced to ask our help. Reasons are many, from validity checks and crash reports to check if software or OS needs updates installed. One common reason is various Customer Experience programs, software companies collecting information on how we users use their software and which problems we might have with it.

Most of these home calls are completely automatic once we have opted-in, given permission to an application or OS to call home when need arises. Choosing automatic updates in Windows gives it a permission to call home to Microsoft, check if Windows and other Microsoft software is up to date, and install updates when needed. Most well designed, well coded third party applications can also do the same if we have enabled automatic updates.

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Audit (log) Access to Shared Folders

November 16, 2010

(Originally published on the Seven Forums)

Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate and Enterprise editions have a powerful built-in tool to control the working environment of user accounts and computer accounts. The tool is Group Policy Editor, gpedit. Later on I’m going to tell you more about gpedit, this time we look into how to start auditing (logging) access to your shared folders using Group Policy Editor.

Auditing access to your shared folders makes it possible to keep track of what’s happening; who visits the shared folders, when, doing what. It might not be needed on a “Me and my laptop” networks, although in my opinion it adds a bit to general security of your system and network. When needed, the information is there. Auditing logs are very small files, taking almost no space on hard disk. Auditing does not “eat” the resources of your computer, does not make it slower.

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Relocate user folders during Windows 7 installation

November 16, 2010

(Originally published on the Seven Forums)

There are several methods to move user profiles to another disk or partition after you have installed Windows 7. The easiest way is to use Audit Mode and System Preparation Tool, both built-in Windows 7 features, to permanently move the location of the folder Users.

When Windows 7 is installed, 5 or 6 system folders are created depending on chosen bit-version:

  • PerfLogs (Performance Logs), where Windows stores performance and reliability logs
  • Program Files, where applications and software are installed. Windows x86 (32-bit) stores all applications here, Windows x64 (64-bit) only native 64-bit applications
  • Program Files (x86), only in Windows x64. All non-x64 applications are stored here
  • Windows, which contains core operating system files and drivers
  • ProgramData, where some applications store application and user specific settings and configuration files
  • Users. This is the “home” of all user folders. When a new user account is created and this new user logs in first time, Windows creates a set of user specific folders (Users\New_User\)

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Hello World!

November 16, 2010

Windows 7 is easy. It is a marvellous operating system, bringing computing to a new level, integrating the world of Internet to your life in a way you have never before experienced.

I want to share my Windows 7 tips and tricks with you. Not only my tips and tricks, but also those I’ve found on the net or heard about from my friends and colleagues.

Please feel free to contribute when and as you like. If you have found out something you think is useful, share it. You can use links provided to send me an email, and I will publish your tips, always mentioning the source.

I want to welcome you, novice and pro alike. I am a PC and Windows 7 was my idea 😉