Doing a little fall cleaing and ran across a Nokia Treasure Tag (WS-20, I think) in a drawer. Am wondering if there is an iOS app that would make it useful with iPhone. Anyone seen anything? My quick search turned up nothing. Otherwise, I'll do a quick check of ebay to see if it is worth listing. If not, its going in the trash as it seems pretty useless.
I think Microsoft has been successful in creating a truly premium brand with its Surface hardware. I recently went through and sold a couple of Surface devices I had–Surface 2 and Surface Pro 3. I have to say that both sold quickly and both fetched respectible values. I was surprised the Surface 2 sold at all. The big surprise was that my SP3 sold for nearly $140 more than I was shooting for.
In my eye, this is a sign that the Surface brand is both premium and respected by the market. I certainly don’t have any hard numbers to throw out. But from my limited experience buying and selling Surfaces and MacBooks, it seems like the Surface brand holds its value similar to MacBooks. This makes me feel a little better about paying a premium price as I know the device will hold its value better than non-Surface devices.
Curious if others have seen their Surface hardware hold its value well.
By the way, I snatched up a used SB2 on Swappa and had to sell the S2 and SP3 to justify the purchase with my wife. 🙂
I haven't seen many articles published by Mehedi lately. Did Mehedi resign? Was he an intern? Taking vacation? I must have missed something.
I liked the short articles he was publishing. They fit nicely into the time I have between things and help to keep tabs on tech.
I know Windows Home Server is an outdated model for backups, but I have to admit, I’ve been reluctant to let mine go. Mine has rescued me on more than one occassion when other backup/restore options simply didn’t work (primarily during a few drive replacements and crashes). Most recent rescue was just this past week.
I discovered that I’ve somehow managed to lose quite a few music files from my music library. Many of them were songs I ripped from the collection of CD’s I’ve purchased since the 1980’s. I no longer have many of those CD’s. Others were from iTunes purchases (which I can recover from the store). My guess is that I screwed up an iTunes install on one of my machines, pointing it to the wrong OneDrive location for music and mistakenly telling it to copy music to the library when adding. Or perhaps it’s the other way around, I’m not sure. Could have also been Groove/Xbox Music. Throw some Windows resets in along the way for good measure. I really don’t know.
I use OneDrive extensively–I thought my data was safe. I thought as long as all my data is on OneDrive, I’m good to go. I took a few manual backups here and there just to be extra safe with precious pictures and video of the kids and family. Apparently that strategy was okay, except for music. I’ve always known video would present a special case as well.
As Paul noted recently, OneDrive still doesn’t allow you to manage music within it. You can’t choose to use OneDrive as your music folder instead of the local machine location. That sucks. I’ve always worked around that by manually copying my music to OneDrive and trying to be sure I kept new music going to it instead of the default location. I point all my machines–desktop, laptop, SP3–and apps to my music folder on OneDrive. I guess I didn’t do that so well after all.
Since January, I’ve been working on shutting my WHS down–slowly moving files to my desktop and then up to OneDrive. I’ve cleaned up my office, removed clutter, and rearranged some. The small WHS box is in the way and it hasn’t been serving much of a purpose, at least that’s what I thought until this week.
When I discovered my MP3’s were missing, my first thought was a few portable hard drives I had used for manual backups. I checked those and found the files were missing on them too. So I fired up my WHS dashboard and looked at the backup history for my desktop. Found backups going all the way back to 2011 when I built and fired up my WHS. You know what else I found? Those missing MP3’s!
I used to use Carbonite, but dropped it when Microsoft starting throwing OneDrive data at us. I was also having some upload bandwidth issues (I can’t get fiber). Things have improved a little on the upload bandwidth front, but still nothing like fiber.
I had hoped to get away from WHS backups and rely on OneDrive to keep most of my data safe. Before I can completely eliminate my WHS, I guess I’m going to have to take another look at cloud backup solutions. Wish Carbonite were still around for consumer.
Does Google WiFi stealth closed WAN ports? I cannot find any information on their product info pages.
I picked up an AmpliFi HD router recently to replace my Apple Airport Extremes. Using Steve Gibson's ShieldsUP, I found that it does not stealth the closed WAN ports. Not sure if this is still a best practice, but it makes me nervous with all the devices we have sitting behind the router. I guess that's a question to throw out to Steve.
AmpliFI support said they'll add to the requested features list and stealthing may appear in the future. Who knows when that will be. It's disappointing that it is missing, considering the cost.
I'm not a fan of Google, so that's why I didn't go the Google WiFi route to start. I think Google WiFi is just another way for them to spy on my activities for advertising.
Picked up v2 of the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter while on sale at Best Buy. Was thinking it might be a good option to help reduce some wires in our study.
Attached to my Dell monitor, which runs natively at 1920x1200. Noticed that the image is fuzzy when connecting my Surface Pro 3. I tried my wife's Surface Laptop too. Both were fuzzy.
I checked that the display properties were set to 1080p, which as I understand, is the adapters max resolution. I also checked that my monitor was not stretching the image. Even made sure the adapter firmware was updated. Everything was good.
Anyone using one of these on a monitor that has a higher than HD resolution? Are you able to get text/image to display clearly? Is this thing just mean for connecting to HD TV's?
I guess the better option is to get the Surface Dock, but that still leaves us with more wires than we would like.
On a last minute decision, I got my wife a Surface Laptop (i5, 8 GB, 256 GB) for Christmas since they were on sale at microsoftstore.com. Had read many reviews stating the SSD was slow, so I was a bit nervous. The first thing I did was check it out. Right away, I noticed the drive was an Intel drive (INTEL SSDPEBKF256G7), not Toshiba like those that were reviewed early on. I then installed CrystalDiskMark and ran the benchmarks. Results were much better than the early reviews reported. Has Microsoft made a permanent hardware change or did I just get lucky due to some shortage of Toshiba hardware?
Crystal Disk Mark Results
CrystalDiskMark 6.0.0 x64 (UWP) (C) 2007-2017 hiyohiyo
Crystal Dew World : https://crystalmark.info/
* MB/s = 1,000,000 bytes/s [SATA/600 = 600,000,000 bytes/s]
* KB = 1000 bytes, KiB = 1024 bytes
Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 1061.970 MB/s
Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 506.214 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 8,T= 8) : 287.911 MB/s [ 70290.8 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 8,T= 8) : 402.133 MB/s [ 98177.0 IOPS]
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 273.979 MB/s [ 66889.4 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 415.507 MB/s [ 101442.1 IOPS]
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 33.789 MB/s [ 8249.3 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 107.097 MB/s [ 26146.7 IOPS]
Test : 1024 MiB [C: 15.7% (37.3/237.2 GiB)] (x5) [Interval=5 sec]
Date : 2017/12/25 20:15:00
OS : Windows 10 Professional [10.0 Build 15063] (x64)
Any recommendations for 4K HDR TV's to use with Xbox One S/X for media consumption and game play? I'd prefer something sub $1000. Many reviews I've read for sub-$1000 HDR TV's suggest the HDR isn't that great because the panel brightness isn't enough.
I don't completely understand the point of Premium and Standard comment separation on the site. What is this supposed to do?
It seems like this is an attempt to maybe separate the fluff from legitimate comments, but that isn't quite the way it seems to work. I see great and crap comments under both. Also, it seems the site recently switched from showing Premium comments by default to showing Standard. Where should I post a comment?
Honestly, I value seeing them all, in one place. I appreciate the thoughtful, differing perspectives. Yes, there are the usual crap comments and personal attacks that have to be weeded through, but that's the nature of the Internet beast. And it does seem like up/down votes, combined with a report abuse or ignore button, could help deemphasize or outright eliminate those.
My suggestion to the site product owners and developers is to combine the two unless I'm just totally missing the mark on the purpose of separating the two.
Anyone seeing issues with Family Safety recently?
I use Family Safety to control what my kids do on the PC, when they can use it, and for how long. In the past week or two, I've noticed my son has been playing on his PC longer than he should be.
I checked the Family Safety site to make sure his Screen Time settings were correct. I logged into the machine as him and the FS tray icon tells me that screen time settings are off until 9:10 PM on his PC. I verified the date, time, and time zone are correct on his PC.
I logged into our main family PC as him and it tells me he'll be locked out at the correct time based on usage and the allowed window. In this case, 3 hours from the time I logged in on the main family PC. That is the max time he is allowed to use it on weekends.
So it appears FS is not working correctly on his PC. It is not even tracking his usage time. It was working just after Christmas. We built the machine on Christmas day. I had been getting automatic requests from him to extend the time. So it was working at one time. He is not an admin on the machine.
Any suggestions on other things to check?
Yes, I can just track the time manually, but I find this reduces arguments with my kids. They accept they have a budget of computer time just like an allowance they earn for helping around the house.
What's the secret to getting apps, or Windows on behalf of the apps, to remember their monitor placement in a multi-monitor setup using Windows 10?
I have two external monitors hooked up to my Surface Pro 4 at the office using a Surface dock. The external monitors are 24" HD displays (so non-High DPI). I use them plus the Surface display.
At least once a day, I return to my desk, unlock the device, and find that the app windows have all switched to a random display and resized themselves. Everything is fine at other times. It is absolutely infuriating and interrupts my dev flow.
I'm not concerned about where they are when I start the apps. I just want the running apps to remain on the monitor I placed them on across a lock/unlock. That doesn't seem like too much to ask.
I feel like this is a Windows bug, not a problem with the apps themselves. It seems like Windows is, at some point, briefly losing knowledge of multiple monitors being attached. Maybe the Surface is actually going into a sleep state and that's what is confusing Windows.
I haven't written any Win32 desktop apps in 10 years--I'm pretty much web app exclusive these days--so I don't know if detecting and remembering which monitor an app is running on is something expected of an app dev. Seems like Windows should manage that, especially across a lock and unlock. I could see expecting the dev to do that across restarts of the app.
Found a few things on the web, but most are hacks or apply to W8. Appreciate any help.
I picked up a Play Anywhere game during the sales around Christmas. My thought was my son and I can play on the XB1S. We built his first budget gaming PC on Christmas day. I was hoping that since he is associated with me in MS Family, that he’d be able to play the Play Anywhere game on his new PC. He cannot. Attempts to install using his account prompts him to purchase it.
In hindsight, I should have first used the code with his account instead of mine. He'll play it far more than I and I can just play on the XB. But my account is the primary account on the XB (which is tagged as our home XB), so not sure if that would work.
He can always stream from the XB to his PC. That works.
Is there any way to transfer this to his account? Is there no family sharing of these Play Anywhere games? Appears so.
With the sales and bonus offers leading up to Christmas, Microsoft finally lured me into purchasing an Xbox One S to replace my Xbox One (which I plan to sell). I set it up yesterday and commenced to downloading games and apps.
One of the things I immediately noticed is fan noise--a pretty noticeable clicking noise. It is loud enough to be annoying. Our Xbox One fan is loud, but it is a constant whir. There is no clicking noise.
I checked out videos on YouTube to see what others were hearing with their XB1S fan. There were some like mine. Some folks say it is normal and nothing to be alarmed with. Others say they returned theirs or sent in for repair. What is normal? I'm still in the window to take it back to the store and exchange. Think I'll actually get one that doesn't have the fan click?
Also, while waiting for games to download, my son and I decided to watch an Amazon movie using the XB1S. The video signal kept dropping out every few minutes for about a second or so. The TV acted as though there were brief moments of no signal on the HDMI cable. I initially dismissed it as an issue with the Amazon app and disruptions in the stream due to the Xbox downloading games at the same time. Although, I have 50 Mbps down and the Wi-Fi connection tested good on the XB1S and on my SP3. After the movie, we started playing limited content--the content you play before the game is fully downloaded--from Star Wars and it did the same thing.
There are no video issues when just navigating around the dashboard, store, or settings.
I used the HDMI cable that came with the XB1S instead of the cable that I was using for my XB1. Could be the XB1S cable, but I doubt it. Worth trying another cable to see. I also plugged it into the same HDMI port on the TV. Pretty sure it isn't the port. I could also switch to a wired network connection.
I never saw this video signal dropout issue with the XB1. Anyone else seen this issue?
Anyone experienced delays getting their Band 2 repaired/replaced?
I recently sent my Band 2 in for repair/replacement due to the strap cracking. Microsoft has had it for over two weeks now and I have not received a replacement or gotten any unsolicited update. Their standard email indicates a turnaround of a few days. We're well beyond that.
I chatted with a support person this past weekend to check in on it. I was told they were having a difficult time finding replacement parts or devices. She said they may just issue a refund based on recent pricing. She couldn't tell me when they would arrive at a decision on repair, replacement, or refund. That's frustrating. She did escalate the repair, whatever that means.
Between my Band 1 and Band 2, I've gone through this process five times. This is the first time I've seen a delay like this. I guess they cleared everything out when they decided to discontinue the device. If they can't repair the device within 7-10 days, they should just issue a refund. That's the right thing to do.
With Amazon dropping their Windows Store Kindle app, I'm suddenly finding that my Surface Pro 3 with W10 is not so attractive as a tablet/2-in-1. Reading and browsing the web were my two primary uses of SP3 as a tablet.
I understood that W10 wasn't ideal in the tablet role. W10 was a step back from W8; although, things improved a bit in the Anniversary update. The bigger problem is the app gap, which is just as bad on "big Windows" as it is with W10M/WP. I just didn't realize how much the Kindle app meant to me and how much it defined my tablet experience with the SP3 and W10.
I knew Amazon wasn't actively doing anything with the Kindle app, but it was useable and I could tolerate the lack of new features. I just never expected them to screw us over, or screw MS over, and completely drop the app. I'm curious why MS isn't courting them as much as they have Facebook to keep their store/UWP app going.
The desktop Kindle app is a joke. It always has been. I've never enjoyed using it, even before W8 came along. I tried it again when Amazon announced that they were dropping the store app. It definitely isn't very touch friendly. For example, I can't highlight with touch. And full screen mode is a kludge. It doesn't behave in the way we've grown to expect full screen apps to behave since W8.
Does this signal the end of Windows as a viable tablet/2-in-1 OS for typical consumers? While it was never an easy recommendation, this one app removal really changes my entire stance of recommending the Surface line to a "normal" user.
Is this also the beginning of an accelerated end to Windows as a consumer device OS? I sort of feel like it is.