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December, 2013

Stupid Windows 8.1 tricks (or how not to upgrade your PC’s hard disk)

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Business laptops 428There has been a bit of a burst of action lately with engineer’s utility updates. No, come back! This is important.

You may think that “engineers” are a vanishing species and it’s all about just unwrapping the latest Chromebook, which will immediately solve every computing problem you ever had, but it’s not: despite the dire forecasts of the death of the PC, other forces are at work, including both the growing demand for data storage and the relentless pace of hardware improvements.

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Play it again: Berlin’s Computer Game Museum

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Pong and... whatever this game is

For someone whose first computing experience was a clunky corporate laptop my dad brought home from the office for us to use, I’m always surprised how intrigued I am by ancient PCs – as regular PC Pro readers will have noticed, I’ll never turn down a chance to visit Bletchley Park or the Science Museum.

So last week, while on a wander around Berlin, when my friends and I stumbled across the Computerspielemuseum – the Computer Game Museum – I couldn’t resist.

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Posted in: Random

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Switching from iPhone to Android: what I miss, what I don’t

Monday, December 9th, 2013

HTC One Dual SIM

A few weeks ago I jumped camp from iPhone to Android, in the form of the HTC One. It’s a move I’d been contemplating for a long while but over which I dithered, largely down to that same institutional fear that stops us switching bank accounts or broadband provider.

Now I regret not making the move sooner. Here, for those considering making a similar move, is what I miss about the iPhone and what I don’t.

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Posted in: Hardware

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Tech City: Easy to score when you move the goalposts

Friday, December 6th, 2013

londonmap

Today is the third anniversary of the government’s Tech City project — I know, I’m excited too — and with that comes another report crowing about the success of the Silicon Roundabout project.

Among other stats, the report suggests that 27% of new jobs in London since 2009 were created off the back of Tech City. That’s right: all those ironically moustachioed, fixed-gear bike-riding hipsters are saving the economy.

Well, not quite.

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How to remove SkyDrive from the Windows 8.1 Explorer

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

When it comes to lightweight laptops and compact tablets, space is often at a premium. For this reason, Microsoft has chosen to downplay local storage in favour of SkyDrive, and your libraries are no longer shown by default in the navigation pane in Explorer windows.

However, the libraries are still there, and can be easily restored to their former place: all you need to do is right-click in the pane and tick Show Libraries to restore the familiar dropdowns.
If you want to get rid of the SkyDrive dropdown, things are trickier. One way is to turn off the feature entirely by going to the PC Settings app, selecting the SkyDrive pane and disabling the “Save documents to SkyDrive by default” setting.
Annoyingly, there’s no officially supported way of hiding the dropdown from Explorer while keeping the service working, but it’s possible via a Registry hack. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t try this unless you’re comfortable making technical tweaks, and you should back up your Registry first, in case you make any mistakes.
If you’re willing to take the plunge, open regedit.exe (from the search interface or a command window) and navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{8E74D236-7F35-4720-B138-1FED0B85EA75}\ShellFolder. In order to edit the contents of this Registry location, you’ll need to take ownership of it – right-click on the ShellFolder icon, then select Permissions | Advanced | Change, enter your own username and click OK three times to close all the open requesters. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be able to edit a DWORD value called Attributes. By default, its value should be set to f08004d; to hide SkyDrive, simply modify this to f09004d and restart your PC. The dropdown will no longer show up from your Explorer windows, but you still will be able to access SkyDrive via your user profile folder in C:\Users.SkyDrive1

SkyDrive1

On lightweight laptops and compact tablets, space is often at a premium. For this reason, Microsoft has chosen to downplay local storage in Windows 8.1, in favour of SkyDrive. Your libraries are no longer shown by default in the navigation pane in Explorer windows.

The libraries are still there, however, and can be easily restored to their former place: all you need to do is right-click in the pane and tick Show Libraries to restore the familiar dropdowns.

If you want to get rid of the SkyDrive dropdown, things are trickier. One approach is to go to the PC Settings app, select the SkyDrive pane and disable the “Save documents to SkyDrive by default” setting. This turns the feature off entirely, however, which may not be what you want to do.

(more…)

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