Keep Surface RT up to date

People tell me that updates are annoying, and slow… but they are for your protection. Windows, Android, iOS, Wii U, Xbox 360, whatever… you should keep them up to date. Sometimes new features emerge, sometimes it is a behind the scenes security enhancement, but you should always install updates, and uninstall them only if necessary.

To keep your Surface tablet updated, you should go to the Start Screen and type “Windows Update” – then, click Settings on the right side, and click on “Install optional updates.” Then search for and apply the latest. If you haven’t done this since buying your Surface RT tablet, it will update your Office 2013 to the full Home and Student edition, along with applying several updates to keep you safe on the internet!

1993 – The Nightmare Before Christmas

It’s that time of year… when you get together with family and friends and watch films you love. You know what I love? The Nightmare Before Christmas. I have it on VHS, DVD, BluRay, digital, I have the soundtrack, and I have a few little collectables from the movie.

Most everyone knows the story, but the quick outline is that, in this universe, the world is divided by Holidays. Each holiday lives in their own town. In this one, the biggest celebrity in Halloween Town gets bored doing his job, finds Christmas Town, and tries to do Christmas in Santa’s place. It’s a bit strange being explained, but everybody knows that The Nightmare Before Christmas really pulls it off. They got it right, they tell a great story, with lovable characters and memorable music.

The stop-frame Claymation movie took a lot of work, but the new hi-def BluRay release is beautiful. The shimmering snow in the backdrops and so many little details are beautiful. There are a few things that show up in the BluRay version, for example wires here and there that were used to hold up flying objects things afloat. I’ve said enough, you know what this is, go watch it already!

My Life's Story: in video game consoles

I wasn’t that kid. I knew I was getting my N64 for Christmas. But, hey, since the world is supposed to end and all, I figured today would be a good day to wax nostalgic about video games – and my awkwardly vivid memories of each and every console I’ve ever owned.

Age 3: Commodore 64: though not a console, it had a ton of games and was the first electronic gaming system we had in our household. It was Christmas eve, I think. The whole family waited for dad to unveil his big secret. The door to my parents bedroom was closed while my mother, my sister, and I sat on the couch listening to Christmas music, with the lights off, admiring the Christmas tree. Then the door opened. My dad had attempted to load a floppy diskette (yes, we said that back when they really were floppy) that would display a “fireworks show” on the screen. I don’t think it worked correctly. But there it was. The family computer. And so began my journey. Continue reading “My Life's Story: in video game consoles”

Let's all blame violent video games!

Well all know where this will end up. Do I even have to get in to the ring? It’s obvious where I stand in this fight. Be warned, below is an EDITORIAL blog post – it has nothing to do with the rest of this site or anything else I do with the remaining hours in my day. You’re reading at your own risk. Continue reading “Let's all blame violent video games!”

Trackage for Windows 8 – track packages easily

Trackage is a handy app that lets you list and literally “track” packages from various shipping companies like UPS and FedEx. It’s a simple idea, really, but you can label each package and with one touch see where things are. For instance, if you have two or three things coming from Amazon and eBay all at the same time, you can simply enter a title for the item, and have it appear. Clicking on any item will bring up a more detailed tracking history and current information.

To add an item, swipe up from the bottom, or on a traditional mouse, just right click. An Add button appears in the lower right and you can track your packages to your heart’s content! Simple, useful, and free! I love it! It’s an early release, but I believe it will only continue to get better.

Virus hid files, "Hidden" Attribute grayed out – Solved!

This thing is nasty. I’ve seen what I can only believe is a variant of WORM_VOBFUS.SMIS as defined by Trend Micro. Here’s what’s happening: an infected computer on your network looks for any shared folders (network shares, USB flash drives, etc…) and hides all of your real files. It then will replace the “hidden” files, with .EXE’s of the same names, to try and trick people in to clicking on them, and causing the worm to spread further. I’ve already seen this thing a few times and have developed a good plan of action for fighting it off.

Finding the infected computer and Cleaning the Infection

Skip ahead if you want to unhide your files, but I want to cover this virus a little further in depth. Continue reading “Virus hid files, "Hidden" Attribute grayed out – Solved!”

1994 – My Neighbor Totoro

I don’t know what’s taken me so long to write about this one, maybe it’s just the sentimental time of year that got me on this. But one of my all time favorite movies is the early English dub of My Neighbor Totoro. That’s right, the 1994 20th Century Fox version of the Miyazaki original. In 2010, a re-dub was released starring some bigger name celebrities – but it’s the amature, yet perfect acting of the 1994 release that I connect with so well.

In this anime children’s film, two young girls and their father move out to the country to prepare a new home. Their mother is in the hospital with an un-named illness, but when she is well enough to return home, she will still need the peace and quiet of the countryside to rest. The young girls have a hard time coping with their mother in the hospital, and turn to the mystical spirits of the forest to watch over them while she is away. Enter characters like Totoro, Catbus, and Dust Bunnies / Soot.

When I was growing up, my sister and I went to the video store on a Saturday night and rented this on VHS. Upon our first watching, my sister commented on how the main Totoro character was similar to a friend of mine who was also somewhat tall and quiet. We laughed every time the Totoro would open his mouth and let out a roar. But apart from our own in-jokes, the movie really had a great balance of moments that made you smile and others that made you really feel for those characters. A year later I would own it on VHS, and now on DVD. Other Miyazaki films are memorable and enjoyable, but there’s something special about Totoro.

I haven’t brought myself to watch the Disney Presents version of the film, because the annoying yet bold voices of the 1994 English dub just seem too perfect. I never want them to change. When young Mei is crying her eyes out with her face stuffed in to her sisters dress, I never want to hear another upset child. It’s acted so perfectly, I don’t want to hear another performance! I absolutely love My Neighbor Totoro, but only one version, so far.

A guide to setting up Xbox Live Security Proofs

I received a message from Xbox Live this week, letting me know that security proofs are being made mandatory. Yes, the message is legitimate and is really from Microsoft. I had a post before which had a video explaining security proofs and a link to the page where you set them up. Unfortunately, Microsoft has taken down the video. I’ve recently found this newer video on Xbox Supprt, but who knows when that’ll change as well. So, to help you out, below the video, I’ll walk you through setting up a few security proofs! Continue reading “A guide to setting up Xbox Live Security Proofs”