Microsoft Windows is 30 years old today



In 2012 I did a fun 27 year retrospective of official Microsoft version history information. Changelogs were shorter, back then. I grew up using BASIC on a Commodore 64 and a 128. My first computer had Windows for Work groups 3.11, and DOS 5. I still remember preferring DOS to Windows through Windows 98. But Windows kept growing on me, and has left an impression ever since. I was one of the few who resisted Windows XP, sticking with Windows ME, even upgrading to the business platform of Windows 2000 before finally getting onboard with Windows XP. But since those days, I’ve always enjoyed tinkering and experimenting with whatever Microsoft has to offer. I toyed with several builds of Longhorn, ages before Windows Vista launched. I used Vista with few if any issues. I quickly upgraded to Windows 7, pre-ordered the original Surface RT hours after pre-orders opened, and was an early adopter of Windows 8 / 8.1. Now that Windows 10 Threshold 2 officially launched earlier this month, Windows 10 is pretty much ready for prime time. I’ve been using it since some of the earliest previews and am a huge proponent of Windows 10. I’m proud to say I’ve been onboard with Windows for a long, long time.


I’m the kind of oddball fan who had a Windows Mobile device. Windows Mobile 6 upgraded to 6.1, learned some tricks on XDA Developers and hacked my own builds of Windows Mobile 6.5 on to HTC “Vogue” phones. I went on to use Windows Phone 7, 7.5, and 7.8, then another couple of phones with Windows Phone 8 and 8.1. Windows 10 Mobile should be available for my Lumia 640 in the near future and here I go, yet again, sticking with Windows and my strong desire to toy with the latest and greatest.


It’s an operating system. With a 30 year history, I’m actually older than Windows, even though I wasn’t exposed to it until I was almost 10. It seems strange that I would care what’s on my computer so much. But as someone who has owned Android devices, and iOS devices, and who has had lots of exposure to OS X, and loves tinkering with various Linux builds (Ubuntu, CentOS, Linux Mint, Debian, Fedora are all builds I’ve had installed to at least a VM if not more in the last year or two)… I love tinkering. But I genuinely love sticking with Windows. I feel right at home, even when they change everything you think you know about it, like they did with Windows 8, I was happy to learn all about it.


Microsoft has been keeping up with updating the History of Windows page and does have some fun geek trivia, so give it a look!

Apple’s insane profits from the iPhone are not an anomaly, it’s a business model

A friend asked me, this morning, if it was true what he had heard about Apple having less than 20% of sector shipments, but over 90% of smartphone profits. I replied with a simple: “can confirm.”

Wall Street Journal reported those numbers yesterday, and other sites have been discussing ever since. It’s been pretty widely discussed believed, but this is the first time such numbers were confirmed – and they were even higher than many people suspected. Continue reading

My Wii U has a virus, how do I clean it!?

Good news! Your Wii U is CLEAN.


Let me explain… my website recently received a search query asking how to remove a virus from a Nintendo Wii U. I did some digging and see that people have pretty much been asking questions about Wii U viruses since the system launched. I was able to put the pieces together and figure out what’s going on!


People state that they are receiving messages from Nintendo that their machine is infected. What you have received is a FAKE message. It may have either appeared in your web browser, some thing similar to this image:


just one example of many I could provide

Or it may have been delivered by a system message, like this one:




It’s important to know that both of these messages are fakes. One is a pop up ad on the internet, designed to trick computer users into buying fake antivirus programs, or downloading things which normally would infect a regular computer. These are just advertisements on the websites you are visiting, they are not genuine messages from the system itself. The second, “message type” warning is no different than a chain-letter, or forwarded email. It’s spam! It’s just a person with nothing better to do with their time than send these messages to random “friend codes” and usernames it has encountered in games or seen online. This is a mean spirited prank and nothing more, I promise you.


Think about it, when did you see the “virus” alert? Only when you were in the browser, nowhere else on the machine? That’s just because it loaded a page with a fake “alert” trying to make you think that your computer was infected. Or even if you received a message – do you think that if Nintendo wanted to alert you that your system was infected they would do it via the normal messaging system? Highly unlikely. That would be like your computer’s antivirus not alerting you, just sending you an email. I can even provide some more technical reasoning, below, but before I get to that, why not give you your own way to find peace of mind:


If you’re still convinced that you do have a problem, don’t take my word for it: check out Nintendo’s online support documents. A search for the word “virus” didn’t return a single result – but to ultimately put your mind at ease, you can contact support as well, and ask them about it.


It is generally accepted that there are no viruses on the Wii or Wii U because not enough is known about the Wii and Wii U architecture to exploit it with some kind of virus (in short, “Wii’s can’t run Windows “.exe” files). Even if you visit a web page that would infect your regular computer, it can’t infect the Wii U because they are designed to behave completely differently. While it is true that the same things that allow for homebrew applications to be installed on it, or pirated games downloaded to the old Wii are of course things that could potentially be used for evil, those communities are filled with people trying to help each other, not hurt each other. We should never say it’s completely impossible to get a virus, but it is just completely undocumented. There is no evidence of an actual virus being installed on one of these game consoles – only evidence of a message showing up on people’s screens (and almost only EVER in the Browser). That is not cause enough for concern. So relax and get back to your games!

Will the government notify you that they read your emails? Eventually… maybe.

Recently, my sister, a Bar-certified lawyer in the state of California, asked me a great question with regards to all of the recent talk about email privacy. She noted that the article says that, if these amendments take hold, that the government is supposed to notify you within 3-business days that they had snooped in your email. But she wondered, what constituted notification? This brought several other questions to my mind, so I did some digging. Continue reading