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Monday, March 26, 2012

Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Microsoft is finishing work of Windows 8 and should be completed by the end of this summer, setting the stage for PC and tablet sales for late October according to the MS release schedule. Microsoft has had the Consumer Preview version available to download since Febuary 28th here.
The consumer preview version is NOT a final version of the operating system, and it will expire on January 15, 2013. DO NOT INSTALL OVER YOUR CURRENT version of Windows. It's advisable to create an ISO image for a bootable CD so you may install on a separate drive or partition. Follow the directions closely on the Microsoft download site.

Windows 8 users will find the new Metro desktop getting used to. Chris Perrilo has his father test drive it, which he found the desktop a little confusing at first. For anyone who has ever used Windows Media Center, it's along the same lines. It's the first OS from Microsoft designed for ARM achitecture. It's the technology which also contains a wide set of instructions for tablets. Touch screen technology, rotating screen...etc.

So that in mind, a couple of videos for eye candy.

A very thorough video of the OS.

Chris Perillos ("Lockernome") video of his dad trying out Windows 8. Gives you a good idea of what regular computer users may encounter here.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Task Manager - how to use it

If you find that your system is running slow, before assuming that you have a virus or spyware, first examine what programs are running in the background. It's true that a slow computer which freezes may be the result of viruses and/or spyware, but lets not jump the gun and assume that automatically. Lets just open up Task Manager first
Task Manager is a Windows utility that's been around since Windows 2000. It provides detailed information about background programs, processes, users logged in, services currently running or stopped, network activity as well as CPU and memory usage.'s a pretty decent tool.

1. How exactly do you open it up? There are various ways, but the easiest it holding down CTL+SHIFT+ESC. Some will use the CTL+ALT+DEL, but that open up a menu with several selections including Task Manager. Lets just keep it simple shall we? :D

2. When you open Task Manager up, you'll see 6 tabs....Applications, Processes,

Services, Performance, Networking, Users.
3. Click the Processes tab
4. This tab will show you what programs and processes are running in the background.
5. You can kill/terminate one by RIGHT clicking and clicking End Process.

Now... you may ask... which ones can I end?......Thats a good question......and it takes a keen eye to determine which ones to End, however the ones listed as a System or Administrator process should not be stopped such as 'explorer.exe', 'winlogon.exe' or 'services.exe'.

'Spooler.exe' is a safe one to end only if you
don't plan to print anything. Ones like 'iTuneshelper.exe', 'Jusched.exe' or 'iPodservice.exe' are pretty safe to end as well.
The ones listed as a (your user name) usually are safe to end.

If you find any strange named processes such as "xtshbysa.exe' or 'yzghwtr.exe' chances or that you either have a virus or spyware (or both).
You'll see 'Svchost.exe' likely ALOT. This is a small executable that allows DLL's to communicate with Windows. Many programs will use this file, however if you see one using excessive memory, end it.

One word of note: Killing ANY of the processes will not damage your computer. End any of these processes and you'll likely free up memory. At worst you 'll have to restart the computer. Ending processes in the task manager is only a temporary way of freeing up memory.

For a more permanent solution use System Configuation. I'll cover that in my next entry.

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