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Messages - dr_andus [ switch to compact view ]

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I've tried a few software for this but I keep sticking with WinSplit Revolution v.11.04. It gives you controls both for mouse clicks and keyboard shortcuts. It is no longer being developed, but if you're lucky, you might be able to find it on some download site. I run it in Windows XP compatibility on a Win7 64-bit system.

General Software Discussion / Re: The Outlook is disappointing
« on: September 01, 2016, 11:24 AM »
I was curious so I did a search and it turns out that MS still hasn't migrated all accounts to the new interface, so one can have different experiences (and URLs) with different Hotmail/Outlook/Microsoft accounts: Migration Status
Yes, the migration is still on, but with some 400 million accounts to move, it will continue well into 2017. (...)

How do you know if the account was moved to the new server? Log into the account at and look at the banner above the Inbox. If it says "Outlook Mail", it's on the new server. Accounts still on the old server say "".

I've still got an "" banner, so that's why I'm still on the old "" domain. Though I'm not sure if this is impacting your situation, Miles. But it might explain the differences between your two accounts.

General Software Discussion / Re: The Outlook is disappointing
« on: September 01, 2016, 05:15 AM »
P.S. Although I also see in your URL that you're using "owa" (Outlook Web App), which might be another reason you're defaulting to that view.

I also need to use OWA for my work email but I make sure to click "light version" when logging in, as I hate the full version (I found it painfully slow, a terrible drain on productivity).

So if you can't get away from OWA, I suggest you log out, clear your relevant cookies, and then tick the "light version" box.

But OWA is a completely different thing from the (post-Hotmail) interface, AFAIK.

General Software Discussion / Re: The Outlook is disappointing
« on: September 01, 2016, 05:08 AM »
Here's a screen shot

Your URL says "" Could that be the problem? I go in via a Chrome bookmark that has "" as the link and I don't get your problem. Perhaps try changing your link to "" and see what happens (though you might need to log out and clear some cookies--unless the problem is that somewhere within Outlook you have unwittingly opted for that interface? But then there should be an option in Outlook's settings to get out of that).

If you want to be able to directly print from a Chromebook, you will need a printer that is Google Cloud enabled (as Chromebooks don't come with drivers for printers and it's not possible to install drivers on them). Chromebooks do not support printing from local printers via USB port.

Otherwise you will need to use Google Cloud Print on a printer that needs to be on and connected to a PC (Mac, Linux etc.) that is on and which is connected to the internet (all of which is a bit of a pain and sometimes producing funny results in terms of the margins of the printed page and so on).

Weren't there also some Google plans to scrap ChromeOS in a year or two, replacing it with their Android product?

It's still not entirely clear what is going on, but for now it looks like Chrome OS is here to stay (if for nothing else, because it's become the leading OS in the US school sector) and it is Android that is going to run on Chrome OS machines instead.

It's already available on developer channels but the reception seems to be quite muted, i.e. people who've tried it don't seem to be blown away by it and many end up using web apps in the browser instead of their Android variants.

P.S. As for ending support for Chrome apps, it's a pity, as there have been some web services such as WorkFlowy that used Chrome apps for providing offline support, which now will disappear, and so those won't be available without an internet connection.

As for Chromebooks, [..] what's not to like?

everything stored/processed/modified online?
-- or am I wrong there that everything has to be stored and edited online?

It is possible to work locally and store locally (especially if you install Linux alongside it) but that's not the idea.

Chromebooks are made to be used as quasi dumb terminals ("quasi" because they do actually work as standalone processing units), so you can have access to the exact same data and applications using multiple Chromebooks and any Chromebook, which also allows access to the data from other platforms as well. Everything syncs automatically.

Besides the aforementioned flexibility, if your unit gets damaged or stolen, you just get another one, log on, and have hassle-free access to the same data.

I know of the cons, but it's a "cup half full or empty" situation. For me, having worked with Chrome OS for years, the cup is half full. The convenience is just incredible, compared to dealing with Windows machines. And the importance of the "instant on" feature cannot be overstated. My 10 month old core i7 16GB Windows ultrabook takes 15 min to boot up properly. My Chromebook is on by the time I open the lid.

My experience with Google (and Chrome OS) has been positive so far. I block the hell out of ads on my Chromebooks, so they never bother me, and get excellent service from the various bits of the Google ecosystem (Calendar, Gmail, Gdrive).

I'm not quite sure how they still manage to make money out of me, but as long as I don't see an ad ever, and they don't force me to do things I don't want to do (such as "upgrade to Windows 10 or else..."), I'm happy with the trade-off.

As for Chromebooks, they are a dream to use (compared to my Windows laptops and netbooks). Open the lid and it's on, everything works super fast, battery lasts all day long, no maintenance needed, what's not to like?

This was to be expected, after all, as economists like to say, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Users need to weigh up what's in the deal for them for selling their souls and eyeballs to MS.

I think this will crystalise for a lot of people the benefits of the alternative deal Google is offering with its Chrome OS (i.e. Chromebooks, Chromeboxes, Chromebits, and Chromebases), soon to be integrated into the Android ecosystem. Moreover, you can replace Chrome OS with Linux or dual-boot it or run both alongside each other (with Chrouton).

Once you install a decent adblocker such as uBlock Origin, you will practically never come across an ad, you can log on anonymously as a guest if you need to do some sensitive work, and gone are the hassles with MS updates, driver problems, software updates, increasingly long bootup times etc.

I still need to use my Win7 machines for stuff that I'm locked in (such as some MS Office features and other specialist software or for printing and scanning), but Chrome OS has taken over a big share of my computer use and helps delay future Windows purchases.

General Software Discussion / Re: Windows 10 Announced
« on: July 29, 2016, 07:39 PM »
It took me 2 hrs to sort out my problem with MS over the phone. So be prepared for that and make a judgement whether that's worth your time.

Considering that this is crunch time, it might be the luck of the draw as to what kind of support person you get at the other end. I was passed onto one that was a good one. The only problem was that the phone line quality was terrible, I could barely hear him, so he had to repeat everything three times, until he finally figured he needed to remote into my machine in order to communicate with me...

Good luck!

P.S. Oh, yeah, you could try the chat support I linked to, as a way to avoid the phone call.

Anand, you truly understand me  ;)

Many thanks for all the suggestions!  :up:

I tried everything but nothing worked. Looks like I misunderstood the upgrade and product key validation process and got rid of my Win7 Starter before actually upgrading the key, so there was no way to recover from that.

But it also could have been a malfunctioning (outdated) hardware element (according to the MS support person I talked to) that just prevented MS from validating the product key.

In the end I went with Ath's suggestion and tried to find out how to validate it manually via MS support.

I followed the process described here:

Activate Your Windows 10 License via Microsoft Chat Support

First it put me through an automated service that couldn't validate the product key. Then I talked to a customer support person who also couldn't validate it through her system.

So I was put through to technical support in India, over a terrible quality phone line, where I spent an hour and a half trouble-shooting with an otherwise very helpful technical guy.

He had to remote into my machine eventually to carry out the upgrade. As far as I can tell they just gave me a new product key for a slightly different version of Win 10 Home. It didn't look like they managed to truly validate my old one.

In the end it wasn't for free, as I spent 2 hours on the phone getting this sorted (and time is money, right?). Still, I'm impressed with the huge resources MS seems to be throwing at the support end.

I didn't have to wait at all to get through, and then the guy was willing to stay with me for almost 2 hours over a toll-free number, and even called me back to check whether it's all worked out, while he was telling me that they are getting a huge volume of support calls of this nature.

It's all hunky-dory now, and I'm glad I managed to rescue this old kit, so at least I got one Win10 machine in the house to experiment with.

Thanks again, everyone.

I was hoping to upgrade an old (2011 make) Acer Aspire One netbook from Windows 7 Starter edition to Windows 10 Home, to take advantage of the free offer.

I did a clean install from a USB stick, in the process wiping everything from the netbook.

Win10 Home managed to install, but it would not allow me to activate my product key, giving me the error code: 0xc004f210

I looked for a solution and one thing that seems to have worked for some people was to upgrade to Win 10 Pro version and then try the activation again. Unfortunately it didn't work in my case, I keep getting the same 0xc004f210 error code.

Would any of you know a way out of this situation? What are my options?

It seems that I can no longer downgrade back to Windows 7 Starter, as I wiped that from the system. I'd prefer not to reinstall it (unless that's my only option), as Win7 Starter was never that great.

I don't want to invest more money into this machine either, so buying a Win10 product key is not an option (the whole point was to try to take advantage of the free offer).

I suppose I could try to install Chromium or Linux on it, as last resort?

This was my first ever try to install Windows 10, and this experience is not encouraging me to upgrade my other devices at this point.

Any idea why MS doesn't want to recognise my legit product key with a legit upgrade path?

Any thoughts, suggestions would be appreciated, especially as there are only a few days left before this free offer disappears.

PBOL / Re: I lost all my progress bars of life
« on: June 18, 2016, 06:49 PM »
Could they be hidden in the system tray?

Sorry, didn't realise we're talking AUD.

Besides which, it's more cost effective to install ChromeOS on your existing equipment.

NeverWare's CloudReady is a good solution in terms of cost and usability, but keep in mind that it is not identical with Chrome OS (that is Google's brand and version that is specifically made for Chromebooks), though it is also based on the open source Chromium OS.

AFAIK it does look indistinguishable from Chrome OS in most respects but there are a few features that don't work on it (can't remember if it was Netflix or something like that), so it's worth checking it out first. And I'm not sure if the security is comparable to Chrome OS--that's another thing to look into.

But anyone I've heard of that tried it was raving about it, as it can breathe new life into decrepit laptops, so CloudReady does seem very useful and interesting.

...I'm not coughing up hundreds of dollars for a new machine...

You can pick up a new one from Amazon for a hundred and a bit (and refurbished and used ones from various manufacturers' outlets probably for less)

...I'm looking for some recommendations that don't involve replacing a perfectly good machine...

Maybe it's not a "a perfectly good machine" for the given use and user, if it's causing you so much trouble.

Depending on how many hours you spend on supporting this machine, and what your hourly rate is, you can calculate at which point might a Chromebook pay for itself.

But that's me done bigging up Chrome OS.  :)

First rule of security, is to never assume you are safe.
-Stoic Joker (May 10, 2016, 06:47 AM)

I'm not saying that Chrome OS is undefeatable (there have been a few rogue extensions, and Google makes some effort to weed them out), but it eliminates a lot of sources of threats (such as .exe or Java, which is not allowed to run on Chrome OS, or not storing your personal files locally).

There are just very few things currently that can go wrong when compared to other OS's (especially once kitted out with adblockers), which makes it ideal for less savvy users, and especially to those who are providing the IT support.

All I can say is that since I've replaced Windows machines with Chromebooks in my family (young and old), support requests dropped to zero, viruses dropped to zero (and everybody is super-happy with their machines), while before I had to deal with all kinds of Windows emergencies or cryptic pop-ups, spending hours on the phone or dealing with them in person.

You're right (it's mainly the blocking of google ad links that might be offputting to a beginner). Adblock Plus might be better then.

The suggestion to add adblockers to her browsers still stands. I had good results with uBlock Origin in Chrome and Adblock Plus in Firefox.

You could also add Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to complement the a/v software.

Ransomware targets the user to get them to compromise their own files. Click here...boom! Your stuff is gone (/encrypted). Now what?
-Stoic Joker (May 09, 2016, 12:54 PM)

How would that work on Chome OS though? You don't normally keep your files on the Chromebook, you keep them in Google Drive. So a hacker would need to hack Google's server to be able to access and encrypt the files. At that point it would also become Google's problem, so the user is not entirely alone to face the problem, like when it's your Windows machine that gets infected.

While it's possible to keep files locally in a Chromebook, it is not encouraged, and there is not a lot of space (a typical Chromebook comes with 16GB local drive). But it's not possible to run an executable in Chrome OS, so the risk of ransomware seems remote.

Chrome OS probably is just fine for less adept users...but assuming that it will magically defend against ransomware just because it isn't Windows is a very very risky strategy.
-Stoic Joker (May 09, 2016, 12:54 PM)

Actually security by obscurity worked well enough for quite a few years for those on the Mac and Linux platforms. So if Chrome OS is obscure and its obscurity gives it some safety, maybe there is some value in that, even if it's temporary and not absolute.

Just make sure you're running uBlock Origin and there is very little chance of coming across any advertising whatsoever. That should reduce the chance of ending up on some ransomware website.

Chrome (keeps itself and flash updated) along with a good adblocker

Yup, that's essential. uBlock Origin is a good one, and also Magic Actions for Youtube.

Here is a list of suggestions I came up with the other day for setting up a Chromebook for first-time users who are not very computer-savvy:

  • Set up their favourite daily services to open in tabs at launch automatically
  • Set up the bookmark toolbar for them with bookmarks for their most used services (Google Calendar, Gmail, Google Drive etc.)
  • set up Speed Dial 2 for new tabs to make it easy to access content sites such as news and online TV
  • Show them how to use full-screen button and the bottom shelf to auto-hide to make screen area bigger
  • Show them how to save, keep and organise their files on Google Drive (rather than on the local drive - or how to upload downloaded files such as PDFs from the local drive to Google Drive)
  • install uBlock Origin and Magic Actions for Youtube to get rid of all the advertising
  • install Tab Activate (to open new tabs immediately instead of in the background)
  • teach them some basic trackpad gestures (two-finger scrolling, right-clicking, opening links in new tabs)

Trying to hide in/on an obscure platform ultimately makes one more vulnerable because in the new platform agnostic attack age everybody gets a turn, and the ones that think they're 'safe' tend to get hit the worst.
-Stoic Joker (May 09, 2016, 07:00 AM)

Are you calling Chrome OS an "obscure platform"?  :)

It might not be the most widely used platform, but it's now used in over 50% of US schools, and part of that is (besides it being idiot-proof) the security. You can't run a .exe file on it. Enough said. How confident is Google about this security? See exhibit 1:

Google Will Pay You $100,000 to Hack a Chromebook

And it's not about just hiding in the platform. It's genuinely easier to use and less hassle to maintain, and quite possibly a faster and better browsing experience. Perfect for minimising service calls from in-laws... I'm speaking from experience.  ;)

Or get her a Chromebook. No more viruses or ransomware, no more support requests. The thing just works.

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