Finally some of us back up our files

For decades, tech journalists and IT professionals kept telling us to back up our files.

Mostly, we didn’t.

It was just too much hassle.

Now, finally, a more powerful motivator has arisen. Malware. Especially ransomware (even pretend ransomware).

All over the world, millions are backing up their data.

Once.

Then, when the media tells us once again that the internet will die, we back it up again. Once. And get back to whatever social media we use.

A small minority will take some thought to the issue of backing up, and decide to use some cloud drive for some important files. Purely for the purpose of being able to stop worrying about backing up files – or because the files are legally important.

However, many of us will just have some old backups that correspond to the time of global ransomware attacks.

Finally some of us back up our files

Windows 10 S – the future of Windows

Eventually, Windows will not allow installation of .exe apps.

For many Windows users, there will grinding of teeth, and suffering at the hands of change. Yet most users will be unaffected by this change, because they will no longer have any need for .exe apps, and not have any installed.

For security and other reasons, the “sandboxed” app model will fully replace all .exe apps. App developers will all port their .exe apps to store apps. Store apps are called “sandboxed” because they have restricted access to the OS and to other apps – and gain access in a controlled way by requesting “permissions”. However, .exe apps don’t have these restrictions and have the power to do a lot of damage.

Note that Microsoft has NOT officially stated that this will happen – but I am pointing out the steady progress toward this outcome.

The app package model is easier to manage, keep secure, control battery life and things that cost the user money. It has many other advantages over .exe apps.

It will be possible to install apps from outside of the store, but they must be application packages like store apps.

When most popular .exe apps have been ported to the store, Microsoft will likely start pushing the transition to ending .exe app installations. This may take a few years. There are many widely installed apps that are available only as .exe, and this even includes the Microsoft software used for making store apps.

There’s no need to panic. It will take a while to happen – and most people wont be inconvenienced.

Windows 10 S – the future of Windows

A Beautiful Android Home Screen IS Possible

People spend incredible amounts of time making their Android home screen just how they want it.2017-05-08 android home screen

Not I.

And I will share with you the secret of making a beautiful home screen.

NO ICONS.

It really is that simple. Icons are just ugly. There’s no avoiding this simple fact.

On the right is my current home screen. Nice, huh? Because its not spoiled by ugly icons.

It only has one widget, the word clock (FiveTime). Most widgets are also pretty ugly, and just cant be on my home screen.

But I still have icons. just a swipe to the left and I have all that ugly stuff. 2 screens of things that I need to access quickly. I don’t mind an extra swipe to open apps – it prevents the trauma of seeing icons when I only want to use the pull down menu.

I used to have the camera icon at the bottom right so that I could open the camera from the lock screen, but it was SO UGLY that I had to get rid of it – and let go of that easier way to open the camera.

Disclaimer:  I haven’t really sacrificed much – I have an old windows phone with a dedicated camera button and OIS, and I just use that as my camera. Even when I had the ugly camera icon on my Android home screen, it was still easier to just grab my windows phone and hold the camera button until it is ready to take a photo or video.

There’s no going back to a device without a dedicated camera button, and not forever missing it.

A Beautiful Android Home Screen IS Possible

HTC Accessories Quality

This isn’t really a review, more of an anecdote.HTC 2010 headphones

My HTC headphones died today. They no longer play any sound. Probably because I started winding them more tightly recently, and broke the wires.

They worked perfectly as my main headphones, for 7 years.

The screenprinted branding had almost worn off. The mesh covers had many dents. And they kept on, until now.

They came in the box with my first smartphone, a HTC Wildfire running Android 2.2 Froyo.

HTC Accessories Quality

Windows fan site recommends android phone for those leaving Windows Mobile

This really amused me. It also shows the mood of those watching the current decline of Windows Mobile.

The fan website Windows Central, has published an article to recommend a specific android phone, to windows phone users that are leaving – especially those not familiar with android.

Recently, a shift happened in the WinMo community. I mean April 2017. It felt like their hope for WinMo10 just slid off them, and they had finally stopped hoping for a recovery of the platform they love to use.

The same thing happens to me at the same time, I really noticed it.

From reading others comments and comparing my own impressions, I put this collective shift down to:

1. Lack of information about Microsoft intention for the platform. They just repeat the same line of being committed to it, without actually producing anything to convince anyone they really are committed to it. Its not enough for people, for too long. Personally, I think they are as they say, they have a strategy, but nothing concrete to announce.

2. An absence of new devices running WinMo10. It has been a while since anyone released a new device for this platform. This says to the world that manufacturers aren’t sure they can make a profit of of it.

3. The latest "creators update", wont support a few older devices (years and years old!), yet there aren’t new devices to take their place. The range of choices is shrinking. Perhaps this was the thing that triggered the recent shift.

Microsoft hasn’t much to show at the moment, but it has made its intention clear, repeatedly. It knows mobile is a huge deal and its looking for a way to get back in. It clearly wants windows running on mobile devices.

Currently MS is doing something successfully by providing its services on all the major mobile platforms. This will help future platform uptake.

What will actually cause people in large numbers to change to WinMo in this unusually poor economic climate? Maybe now is just the wrong time.

Its worth looking back at the very successful windows phone, the Lumia 520. That single device was responsible for so much platform growth. It got people started with windows mobile. Tizen is repeating this right now with budget devices that get people into their new platform, selling millions.

"Its cheap, I’ll try it. If its actually decent, I’ll tell"

Maybe Microsoft needs to return to this with mobile, and get some new fans. A great browser experience with extensions for social media would help too.

Windows fan site recommends android phone for those leaving Windows Mobile

Visual Studio Error: Registration of the app failed. Another/The current user has already installed a packaged version of this app.

This error in Visual Studio has some complicated solutions online, but a simple way can fix the problem. Only the package causing the problem needs to be deleted.

  1. Login to the user account causing the problem
  2. Open PowerShell as administrator
  3. PS C:\> get-appxpackage -all   to find the FULL package name
  4. PS C:\> Remove-AppxPackage example1_1.0.0.0_neutral__8wekyb3d8bbwe

More Information:

This error can happen if you deploy your app for testing in multiple users, or you use different users to build and test apps. Or if you decide to play around with your user accounts.

You will see this kind of info in the error message – copy it to notepad or something:

The conflicting package is <<YourApp package short name>> and it was published by CN=<<publisher ID>>. (0x80073cf9)

Using only PowerShell opened as administrator, this package can be removed.

If the error says “ANOTHER USER”,  rather than “THE CURRENT USER”, then login to the other user that you think is the one that has the package installed.

Then, use the PS command to get all the app packages. you may need to >cd C:\

PS C:\> get-appxpackage -all

There will be so many – best to copy the whole output text into notepad or something, and search for the app name in the Visual Studio error message. Copy the FULL app name.

example: package1_1.0.0.0_neutral__8wekyb3d8bbwe

Then use this command to delete the package

PS C:\> Remove-AppxPackage package1_1.0.0.0_neutral__8wekyb3d8bbwe

Try again to deploy the app from Visual Studio.

Visual Studio Error: Registration of the app failed. Another/The current user has already installed a packaged version of this app.

Should I return to Android?

I have been enjoying over 2 years of having the experience of not hating my phone. I have been using 2 Windows Phone 8.1 devices. Before that, I had about 5 different Android devices and had the experience of hating all of them after a few months – except the first.

Should I return to Android?

Recently, some Windows Phone and Windows Mobile users have been lamenting about the lack of progress of their platforms. Some have moved on to Android or iPhone.

Even I have considered getting an Android device to use as my daily driver. Because Android can do a lot more than Windows Phones. Ive had Windows Phone devices for over 2 years.

What has kept me with Windows Phone is this:

I have had about 5 Android devices. My first was a HTC Wildfire running Android 2.2 and it made me feel that Android was so great. But I upgraded to Android 4.x devices to get bigger screens, better features, etc. Sony, ASUS, Chinese brands. Device after device gave me an awful experience. Nothing came close to the reliability and “it just works” of my original HTC. Until I got a Windows Phone.

Also, my WP has a dedicated camera button and a nice camera. I REALLY like having a dedicated camera button and I am REALLY reluctant to have a daily driver without one.

Except for my first phone, which was really reliable – I have hated every Android device since then. It takes a few weeks to a few months, and I just hated it. There were so many issues, so many workarounds to get things done.

Then I tried a windows phone device, and I was really surprised how easy it was to get things done. It couldn’t do as many things as an android device, but it just worked. Occasionally it would frustrate me, but …

I never began hating my Windows Phones.

As I reconsider having an Android in my life, I’m very wary, because of my past experience. Especially, the very obvious trend of Android getting progressively worse to use from ICS, to JB, to KK. All of the Android devices I have hated have been version 4.x

Its worth noting that I haven’t tried any Android devices of 5 or higher. But what I have read from others complaining about their devices, indicates to me that the trend of Android getting more issues as it gets more features is still continuing.

On the other hand, there are those who say, on Android websites, that Android is good now, its smooth and properly integrated. Issues are usually blamed on the Manufacturer of the device.

Can anyone shed any light on the state of Android 5 and 6? Are these never versions really fixed? Should I return to Android? – or will I find that I quickly hate it?

Should I return to Android?