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Mike's Window

Mike's 'unwanted additions' warning service..

Foxit Reader (good) is currently attaching Search Protect by Conduit (not good). Uncheck the option because it is a pest.

Java (marginal, but a necessary evil for far too many things) is attaching the Ask Toolbar and associated junk. Uncheck it if you value decent Internet searches.. . 

ImgBurn (Good), but you have to be on your toes to stop the unwanted stuff. Basically, uncheck anything that isn't for ImgBurn, and go for the custom install each time that it is offered to you to ensure that you get to uncheck and skip the junk.. 

A commonly held 'view.. '

 "Well, it worked in Windows 95!"

MVP Award years

2005 - 2006 - 2007

2008 - 2009 - 2010

2011 - 2012 - 2013


The original MVP logo

My Favourite Utilities

Speedfan is a great hardware monitor which can automatically control fan speeds, warn when temperatures are rising in the case, and do a SMART scan of your hard drives. A 'must have'.. 

Piriform Speccy tells you what is inside the box and with great accuracy..

Networx shows download/upload bandwidth used..

Piriform Recuva is probably the best file recovery utility around and is free too.. 

Treesize shows you what you have got, where it is, and how much space it is all using..

Windows 8 alternative start menus.. Classic Shell..

Stardock Start8..

Aomei Partition Assistant is the best free utility of its type..



When Microsoft decided to go ‘Metro’, it shocked a lot of people. The Start screen was full of tiles and that was about it. A user would click on a tile and the screen would fill up with whatever content the tile had to offer. ‘Wow, it looks good’, but when it came to shutting down the ‘app’ and looking at something else, there was no obvious way to do it and NO instructions.

Windows 8.1 is no great improvement, essentially the same view but with a small arrow pointing down which takes the user to a mass of tiles. The second impression, assuming that they click on the arrow? ‘Holy Mother, now it has shrunk them”. It isn’t funny really..

Ninety per cent of computers used are either desktops or laptops running a version of Windows with what has come to be known as the classic start menu. The users of these computers have become accustomed to the classic start menu for nearly TWENTY years!!

The reaction was OBVIOUSLY going to be SHOCK & HORROR, followed by negative press and rumours that Windows 8 is a pile of junk. Windows 8 may never recover.


Yahoo recently changed the layout and design of their email webpage. You may or may not like it, but one of my clients most certainly didn’t, and as he was convinced that it was something I had changed, I have lost him as a client. To be honest, I don’t need people like that anyway, but he was not the only one who didn’t like it.

Rogers Internet support lines were full of callers disgruntled with the changes, and Rogers even piped a recorded message about Yahoo changing it before the caller was connected to a representative. Rogers can do nothing about it, being as how they contracted all mail services to Yahoo some years ago, but this is another example of change, in this case Yahoo,  after years of a particular format and general layout. I will add that I don’t like the Yahoo change either, but I don’t use web access to mail, so it doesn’t really affect me.

General design:

There are some OEM desktop cases around that have power buttons and optical drive eject buttons carefully sculpted into the case ‘features’. I have had one or two calls from computers users who tell me that there is no way to turn the computer on or put in or eject the CDs. The cases look nice, shiny black mirror finishes et al, but if the people can’t find the switches and buttons to make it work, what is the point of designing them in that way? When the most obvious way to turn off a desktop is to use the switch on the back of the power supply or pull the plug out of the wall, something is wrong with the design.. 

Change is always necessary, BUT don’t change the way that the user accesses the changes. First impressions count for a lot and if the first impression is ‘WTF’, you have immediately LOST them..

Posted Mon, Dec 2 2013 16:04 by Mike Hall
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