Windows 10 Technical Preview — Good for Everyone

WIndows 10 TP
Courtesy of Microsoft 2014

I did not like the first release of Windows 8, I changed my mind with 8.1 update, and I’m happy with Windows 10 Technical Preview build 9841, because now it is all about desktop (when we talk about PC) and things look good. I understand it could be buggy, but I’m not afraid to be a bit vulnerable. Besides, it runs smoothly and I can do whatever I used to do before without a glitch. Of course, it is a prerelease software, and as Miscrosoft warns “trying out an early build like this can be risky. […] don’t install the preview on your primary home or business PC. Unexpected PC crashes could damage or even delete your files, so you should back up everything.”

So, please make an extra backup if you choose to install it.


Windows 8 Media Center Pack for Free

Windows 8 proConfused with Windows 8 versions? Here’s a good explanation on on that, describing all four flavours of the new Microsoft operating system. In short: Windows RT (limited to built-in applications), Windows 8 (for most users), Windows 8 Pro (like Win7 Ultimate with  encryption, extra networking features, and similar features like to connect to a domain through a work network), and Windows 8 Enterprise (for corporate users). But here we also have mysterious Windows 8 Pro Pack, which seems to be more than just upgrade from Windows 8 to 8 Pro. It was also mentioned that you can have Windows 8 Pro Media Center Edition for those who want to record or watch live TV shows through a TV tuner with Windows Media Center and also play DVDs.

I would go for Windows 8 Pro anyway, but I just realized that Microsoft is giving away product numbers for Windows 8 Media Center Pack here. Just type your email and hit Enter. It seems that sometimes you have to wait for a couple of days for the key to arrive. But there is a hidden secret. Some people reported that it is enough to install Windows 8 Pro  (x86 or x64) with public KMS client setup key (Microsoft Technet source), activate it, and then just follow the sequence:

Culture & Entertainment

Stanford School of Engineering Extends Free Online Courses. Full List.

nlpIn 2012 Stanford School of Engineering (USA) extends the list of free online courses. We love free and quality stuff, so here’s the full list of classes available to anybody who wants to enroll. Because they are online, you can be physically anywhere in the world, just make sure a reliable internet connection is present. Important: You will NOT get a Stanford university credit for taking this course, but you might get a completion statement at the end, if you pass thru all the tests successfully. Most courses start in February, but some of them in just few days, so be quick to register. Don’t underestimate the burden of learning—it is almost impossible to take several courses at the same time unless you can fully dedicate yourself and your 25 hours a day. On the other hand, the homework is not obligatory, so you can browse freely.

Computer Science 101
By Nick Parlante
CS101 teaches the essential ideas of Computer Science for a zero-prior-experience audience.
Class starts February 2012

Machine Learning
By professor Andrew Ng
Machine Learning – is the science of getting computers to act without being explicitly programmed.
Class starts February 2012

Culture & Entertainment

Free Online Classes from Stanford University School of Engineering

Stanford Artificial IntelligenceStanford University’s School of Engineering is offering three cool online courses this fall:

You can enroll for free. All classes start on October 10th and finish in December 2011. Contrary to a learning through simply watching video courses available, you will be asked to do homework and pass mid-term and final exams — so this is going to be interactive. At the end you will be able to receive a statement of accomplishment from the instructor (i.e. an document to describe how well you did and how your performance compared to other online students)—so this is not a Stanford certificate or grade unfortunately.

As for the courses content:

Machine learning is taught by Professor Andrew Ng. The course is about the science of getting computers to act without being explicitly programmed. In the past decade, machine learning has given us self-driving cars, practical speech recognition, effective web search, and a vastly improved understanding of the human genome.

The link


Direct download links to Windows 7 SP1 ISO images

win7-birdIf you reinstall Windows 7 frequently, it is handy to keep an image of the installation DVD as a backup. So here’s the direct “official” download links below from Digital River servers. The files are bootable images that vary in languages and 32/64 bit option to choose:

Let’s see the most advanced ULTIMATE edition of Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Media Refresh edition – click the links for downloading directly:

English x86
English x64
French x86:
French x64:
Spanish x86:
Spanish x64:

Computer Power User — March 2011


Good stuff! March 2011 issue of Computer Power User magazine is here, available as a free download in PDF format (33 MB).  Chris Trumble, CPU Publication Editor, predicts at first how difficult it will be to keep buying CPUs with discrete graphics cards once Sandy Bridge CPUs are available, that beat the 980X in game benchmarks, video transcoding, for about a third of the price, and use significantly less power and generate less heat. Will 980Xs and X58 boards be put aside in 2011? That’s a big question. Looks like in CPU magazine April 2011 release there will be a comparison on Sandy Bridge-ready motherboards (talking about 32nm Intel’s new H67 chipset) versus AMD Fusion boards.


Computer Power User — February 2011

cpu-feb-2011As usual here is the February issue of Computer Power User magazine, available as a free download here in pdf format (32 MB). 

Some interesting topics inside with my little editing:

“Avast Software Goes Viral—In A Bad Way”: funny story about stolen licence for Avast Pro product (14-user license Avast issued June-30-2009 for a Tucson company, Arizona) mushroomed up to almost 800’000 active users by late 2010. I just wonder why Avast waited for so long to slam it.

Chrome OS is characterized as provoking “careless computing” and predicted to die next (2011) year — opinions from Richard Stallman and Paul Buchheit.

New AMD based 890GX & 880G Motherboards.

AMD Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition – the latest top chip in AMD’s six-core line. Clocked at 3.3GHz, the 1100T also sports a slight specification bump up from the 1090T (3.2GHz).

SandForce SF-2000: New Family Of SSD Processors Promises Impressive Performance.

But anyway, what is going on with Computer Power User magazine? Where is Anand Lai Shimpi with his Anand’s Corner? Alex St. John (The Saint) with his cigar and game-oriented picking at Microsoft? Where are Alex “Sharky” Ross, Mike Magee, Barry Brenesal, crazy Chris Pirillo, Rahul Sood, and Rob “CmdrTaco” Malda with his articles.txt?? Where are all these people who contributed a lot to CPU in the past?


Computer Power User — January 2011

cpu-mag-jan-2011What’s the rush? It is January already for Computer Power User magazine. Here is a fine new release of January 2011 issue, available as a free download here in pdf format (84 MB). 

Some interesting topics inside with my little editing: 

• What Motivates Consumers to Engage With Companies Online? — number one reason is discounts and giveaways (77%)
• Better With Age — Two Years Later, X58 Is Still Intel’s Champion (ASRock X58 Extreme6 gets 4.5 point, i.e. “perfect”)
• Nvidia GeForce GTX 580 — Fermi Shows Its True Colors
• The Radeon 6800 Series. New Display Options Highlight AMD’s Latest Graphics Cards
• White paper: Toggle Mode NAND Flash. Samsung, Toshiba May Open More Markets For NAND
• The 2010 CPU All-Star Team. The Parts You Care The Most About: 

The best CPU: Intel Core i7-875K, 2nd is AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition

The best Motherboard: Evga X58 FTW3, 2nd is Gigabyte 890FXA-UD7

The best Graphics Cards: Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 (1GB), the 2nd is AMD Radeon HD 6850

The best Storage Devices: OCZ Vertex 2 (240GB), 2nd is Crucial RealSSD C300

• The hardcore software winners: Norton Internet Security 2011 (?, I don’t understand this), Paragon Hard Disk Manager Professional 2010, Apple iTunes 10, Cloudmark DesktopOne.

And other interesting stuff!


Computer Power User — December 2010

cpu-dec-2010New issue of my favorite technical magazine — Computer Power User December 2010 — is available as free download here in rich pdf format!

Chris Trumble (CPU Publication Editor) is talking in the Editor’s Note: [The last issue] represents the completion of nine full years of CPU magazine, which is simultaneously awesome and terrifying.
I hope they won’t be closed.

Interesting topics with some of my editing:

• Does Xbox Chip Modding Violate DMCA?
• Windows 8 Release Rumored For 2012
• Steam active accounts reached more than 30 million
• In Facebook Era, Email Remains the most popular way of sharing content (Facebook is second)
• Enclosure Disclosure – review of new set of computer chassis
• AMD Radeon HD 6870 & 6850 – The $200 Sweet Spot’s Never Been Sweeter
• Motherboard Gigabyte X58-USB3
• The PC Modder Holiday Gift Guide – Hardware For The Naughty & Nice
• White Paper: Intel Sandy Bridge – 32nm “Tock” Is Aimed At Mainstream Users
• CPU’s 2010 Graphics Card Buyer’s Guide
• Can Web Browsers Really Cover Your Tracks?
• Big failure of Uniblue Systems Limited PowerSuite 2010
• Ubuntu One: Streaming Music, Winning Hearts
• Game of the month: Civilization V, Dead Rising 2, World of Warcraft expansion Cataclysm, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions
• A Brief History Of Linux Text Editors
• Interview with Brad Wardell (the founder and CEO of Stardock, a software development firm that designs and publishes applications and games)


Plan Z. Destroy all your data with DBAN.

Sometimes you need to quickly destroy all your data, for whatever reason. In this case Darik’s Boot And Nuke bootable CD can help. What you need to do is download the file image dban-2.2.6_i586.iso (last version 2.2.6) and burn it without unzipping. Then to deploy it, simply reboot and follow the prompts. Important to mention, that in your PC BIOS booting order must be set to start from DVD(CD)-ROM. Beware though, as this program is designed to look for any hard drives, not only the system one, and to wipe out everything without any possibility to restore. Therefore, be extremely careful with that CD. DBAN is a good way to recycle your old computer, making sure that no identity theft is possible if you sell your PC, for instance. It is also a good way to totally sanitize your hard drive before new Windows (or whatever OS) installation, especially if you suspect it was compromised with virus or rootkit infection. Creator of this tool claims that “DBAN prevents or thoroughly hinders all known techniques of hard disk forensic analysis.” It is free to use. Just be aware that good cleaning of large volume of data takes time.