Microsoft

 

Microsoft is "suspending" emails (because of the Canadian SPAM law effective 7/1). I found these REALLY useful. I’m sure others did as well.

 

Notice to IT professionals:

As of July 1, 2014, due to changing governmental policies concerning
the issuance of automated electronic messaging, Microsoft is
suspending the use of email notifications that announce the
following:

* Security bulletin advance notifications
* Security bulletin summaries
* New security advisories and bulletins
* Major and minor revisions to security advisories and bulletins

In lieu of email notifications, you can subscribe to one or more of
the RSS feeds described on the Security TechCenter website.

For more information, or to sign up for an RSS feed, visit the
Microsoft Technical Security Notifications webpage at
»technet.microsoft.com/security/dd252948.

 

So then I looked at the page referenced above. My "quick and dirty" very basic ‘Security Notifications from Microsoft Feed Reader’ app is now available in the Windows Store. http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/app/security-notifications-from/f5459c09-6233-4100-bfe1-d198111fc30b

 

 security app main menu

I hope that Microsoft reinstates the emails after they figure out how to exclude Canadian customers who don’t want to receive this important information.

 

Things always blow up on a holiday weekend. Just when I thought the replacement HP Envy was the machine I’d be using for the next (hopefully) 5 years or so, trouble came knocking at my door. Yesterday morning, I had breakfast, hibernated the machine. Took a shower, got dressed. Maybe 45 minutes elapsed time. When I turned on the machine again I saw this ugly blue UEFI you’re totally screwed screen.

uefi crash

Burnt a Ubuntu DVD to run Ubuntu FROM DVD on my server. It seemed to indicate a hibernate issue (?).

ubuntu

 

I sent the blue screen image to my new contact (the Director Signature Experience Labs) from Microsoft Store within minutes of seeing it appear. He called me. Yup, on a Sunday, a holiday weekend, 7am Redmond time, within 15 minutes of my emailing the sad news. While were talking, I booted to advanced recovery and tried to run some powercfg cmds to delete the hibernate file, but they are apparently no longer supported. However, when I exited the machine surprised me and BOOTED into windows. I immediately started copying my data off (and spent the balance of the day yesterday getting my data copied off the HP onto two separate external devices to have redundancy).

I had met with him personally (the Microsoft Director, Signature Experience Labs), just last Wednesday when he came to collect the two machines that were “rejects” (one was the original bad hardware HP Envy 17 and the second was a miss-shipped 15 inch laptop from the same family). During lunch last week, we were discussing various laptops and I had mentioned that I had also been looking at the ASUS ROG 17 incher with the same specs (except for the touch screen) but since there weren’t any in the stores (mail order only I guess, I wasn’t all that keen on getting something sight unseen. Even Best Buy didn’t have any from that family to check out (just to look, feel, etc., not to buy from them). We discussed whether there is an issue with this HP ENVY TouchSmart 17-j141nr model machine (they don’t have enough data on returns) which is now my feeling. He is replacing this HP machine with the ASUS ROG-G750JS-DS71. (We agreed that two lemons are more than enough and trying to see if a third unit would be disaster free wasn’t a good game plan).

ASUS

 

The reviews of the AUS ROG G750JS-DS71 everywhere are pretty awesome. I had looked at this computer before purchasing the HP but couldn’t justify the additional $$ for the ASUS. I’m going to have to go through all the setup stuff again, upgrade to 8.1 update 1, update to the Windows Media Center Pro feature pack, install my apps, copy in my data. Will probably take two days plus to set up the ASUS. Which I am hoping will arrive this week. I’ll hopefully have shipping details tomorrow.

The BBC filmed just a small piece of the amazing tech found on the MS Redmond campus in the Home of the Future. I’ve been pretty happy with my two TouchSmart PC’s, but I’m drooling again.

I’m especially craving the whole wall interactive piece at the end of this video.

There is a Big Brother is watching you aspect to all of this though…

Acer refuses to provide a 64 bit winphlash. I finally figured out a quick and easy solution (not wanting to buy a USB floppy). Acer adamantly refuses to acknowledge that 64 bit users want to update their BIOS. And the Ferrari 4000 doesn’t support booting from a USB flash key.


So I figured it out. Ingredients, hardware, and instructions:


Hardware


1. Acer Ferrari 4000


2. USB Flash Drive


3. Vista 32 bit DVD


Instructions


1. download the BIOS from ftp://ftp.support.acer-euro.com/notebook/ferrari_4000/vista/BIOS/ 


2. Unzip to root of USB flash drive (mine was formatted as FAT32)


3. Unplug the USB flash drive and power down.


4. Insert the 32 bit Vista DVD and boot from it (you are not actually going to end up installing it or doing anything, this just gets you to the 32 bit WinPE environment)


5. Click through until you get to the screen with the activate online checkbox and uncheck it.


6. Connect the USB flash key to the computer


7. Press Shift-F10 to open a command prompt


8. Change to the correct drive for the USB flash drive


9. type winphlash and press enter


10. browse to the correct wph file and go for it!


11. after the flash is complete, before letting the machine restart, EJECT the DVD. (remember, nothing was installed and nothing really happened except you had access to a 32 bit WinPE environment which you needed to flash the BIOS).


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