Archive for the ‘Windows’ Category

I had a problem where I would create data sources in BIDS but they wouldn’t show up in the ODBC administrator.  Today I learned that there are 2 ODBC administrator programs…one 32-bit and one 64-bit.  The 32-bit system files folder is called SysWOW64.  The 64-bit folder is called System32.  Of course it is.  (WOW stands for Windows On Windows.)  Making things worse is the fact that the 64-bit ODBC administrator executable is also called odbcad32.exe.

Sean’s PC kept waking up from sleep during the night no matter what I did.  I think I finally found the causes.  The network card in Windows was set to wake for magic packets on the network and scheduled task were allowed to wake the PC with wake timers.  I disabled both of these and it’s fast asleep!  Sssshhhhhhhh.

Windows 7 kinda depends on you being right-handed for alt-tab.  They assume you’re going to alt-tab with your left hand and use your right hand to pick the application you want from the list.  There are right-hand equivalents of copy/paste…why not alt-tab?

Windows 8 tile icons are simple white icons on a single color.  Microsoft also reflected the look on their main site as well as in Visual Studio 2012.  PlayStation Store’s new look: the same hard-edged simple icons on a single background color.  A bunch of sites and applications are doing this…ironing out and de-colorizing their icons.  Is this good or not?  I guess the eyes scan such things quickly and they work better in peripheral vision…but color may convey some information too. Time will tell, I guess.

Old Windows icon

Let’s iron it out, shall we?

Well, I tried it so you don’t have to.  I upgraded Sean’s machine from Windows XP to Windows 8 to try out the cheap $40 deal they have going on.  The most annoying part is that it assumes that because your old version of Windows was only 32-bit that you want the new version to be 32-bit.  Of course, you actually want the 64-bit version so that you can have more than 4 GB of memory if you want.  As far as actually using Windows 8, it’s snappy and responsive.  However, half the time it thinks it’s Windows and half the time it thinks it’s an iPad.  You switch back and forth with the Windows key on your keyboard.  In Windows mode, you have all the stuff you’re used to like a red X to close your programs and so on.  But in the iPad mode, you have apps from the *App* I mean Windows store.  They take up the whole screen and are weird to use with a mouse.  For example, you have to drag an app down to the bottom of the screen to close it.  Microsoft eventually wants all programs to become apps, going through rigorous Microsoft approval.  Some developers are telling them to get lost, like the Minecraft guy.  After 2 days, we’re seeing lots of driver problems with a legacy 4000 series AMD HD Radeon card.  The only official drivers out for it are Windows 7.  Here’s a video of the Windows 8 wackiness:


Windows 8 comes out Friday.  It’s only $40 for the upgrade version (for a limited time).  We have a couple of XP machines that I may upgrade, but I’ll leave the Windows 7 machines alone.  I figure Windows 8’s at least gotta be better than XP.  I hear one of the most annoying parts is that they got rid of the red X that you use to close applications.  Instead, you have to grab the top of the window and drag it downward to shrink the window out of existence.  Cause, hey, everybody loves dragging.  Hopefully the Alt-F4 close shortcut still works.  Replacing a single click with click and drag sounds like they were too obsessed with the touchpad interface.  The start menu is now an entire start screen.  I guess I like that idea.  You can get to administrative tools with the Windows key-X shortcut, which is also good.  But if this turns out to follow the “every other Windows version is a lemon” rule, you should definitely get it if you’re on the Windows ME-Vista upgrade path.

Windows tip.  Yes, the scroll wheel on your mouse acts like a button.  It’s called the middle-click.  You can middle-click on a link in a web browser and it will open the link in a new tab.  You can also middle-click in any window to set your focus on the Window without interfering with what you’ve selected in it.

I just realized I’ve been wasting my thumb while typing.  Looking down, I notice that I have two thumbs!  Who knew?  Anyway, the ergonomic keyboard I use often have a split spacebar.  In their new ergonomic keyboard, Microsoft is going to allow you to assign the left spacebar to backspace…no more awkward pinky stretching.  It’s not split though, so I’ll pass.

I noticed a little arrow in my system tray at work and hovered over it. Microsoft Office Upload Center. It might have come with my install of SharePoint Designer. But when you google a program and the 2nd link on the page is about how to get rid of it, you probably have a feeling of sadness as a developer.