Category Archives: Windows

GEGeek Tech Toolkit Fixes Windows Computers and Updates Itself

GEGeek Tech Toolkit Fixes Windows Computers and Updates Itself

If you’re the person friends, family and coworkers count on to fix their computers, you already know a portable USB toolkit is essential for repairs. GEGeek TechToolkit downloads hundreds of programs and updates itself.

We’ve covered portable app suites before, but GEGeek designed Tech Toolkit for computer repair technicians. It includes apps for finding malware and diagnosing computer problems. It also has portable versions off popular apps like Firefox and Reader, but mostly focuses on system diagnostic, malware removal and windows repair apps. The downloaded kit has over 250 apps.

Best of all: the suite always stays up to date. It uses Ketarin to find the latest updates for the included programs. Check it out at the link below.

GEGeek Tech Toolkit | GEGeek via GHacks

Microsoft’s rejigged developer program increases appeal to the wrong developers

Microsoft has unveiled a revamp of its developer program today, ending the annual fees to have apps published in the Windows and Windows Phone stores, in favor of a single up-front payment. Individuals can pay about $19 and companies about $99 to gain perpetual access to both storefronts.

The company is also promoting a new reward scheme for developers. Registered devs are divided into three categories, Explorer, Export, and Master. The Explorer category, open to all, offers design and architecture guidance for developers. Developers can upgrade to the other categories by having successful apps; the more downloads and revenue apps receive, the better the status that’s earned. Expert level gives improved ad terms, and Master level adds marketing support and early access to future SDKs.

The new scheme is clearly a nice gesture towards one developer demographic: the hobbyist. While $19 a year was never going to break the bank, scrapping the annual fee partially addresses one of the more paradoxical aspects of the platform: if Microsoft is so desperate for apps, why does it charge people to publish them? From a pure cost of entry perspective, this change clearly makes Windows and Windows Phone somewhat more attractive than they were before, and substantially more attractive than iOS.

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Get a Free PC Tune-Up and Tech Support from the Microsoft Store

Get a Free PC Tune-Up and Tech Support from the Microsoft Store

If you’re running Windows and run into a problem, don’t take it to a store that charges for repairs. You can get tech support, diagnostics, virus removal, and tune-ups for free at any Microsoft Store.

For comparison, these services cost $200 just for virus and spyware removal from Best Buy’s Geek Squad.

The free in-store services cover any software-related issues. Other services cost $49: hardware upgrades or installation, app installation, data backup migration, Windows 8.1 upgrades or installations, and OneDrive setup.

Even if you didn’t buy your computer from the Microsoft Store, you’re still eligible—including if you’re running Windows on your home brewed PC (I called Microsoft to check).

If there are no Microsoft Stores near you, you can get remote tech support services from Microsoft, but they start at $99.

Answer Desk. At your service. | Microsoft Store

Photo by COLLINS.

Android apps on Windows Phone would be an ugly capitulation

Prolific leaker evleaks, whose stock in trade is smartphone-related rumors, has said that Microsoft is going to produce a Lumia phone running Android, branded “Nokia by Microsoft.”

This isn’t the first time that this kind of rumor has been floated, with both Windows and Windows Phone talked of as candidates for running Android apps. The logic is very simple: developers aren’t writing apps for Windows’s Metro environment or Windows Phone. They are writing apps for Android. Put those apps on Windows and Windows Phone and the app problem is instantly solved.

Of course, the downsides of this approach are quite clear. If Windows Phone or Windows can run Android apps, why should developers looking at Microsoft’s platform bother writing Windows Phone and Windows apps? Might as well just write Android apps and have an app that works both on Microsoft’s platform and beyond. This logic applies even to those developers who have taken the plunge and created Windows or Windows Phone apps; why bother maintaining them when an Android app could target the very same users plus many more?

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WinDock Customizes Snapping Sizes and Locations in Windows

WinDock Customizes Snapping Sizes and Locations in Windows

Windows: Most Windows users are aware of the built-in "snapping" tools that have been around for a while which let you drag a window to the edge of a screen and snap it into a predefined shape. WinDock lets you go a few steps further, customizing window sized based on your own needs.

The app is relatively easy to use. First, you define an area or hotspot to trigger a particular window snap (you can choose a corner, edge, or custom area), and then choose the size that the window should snap to when dragged there. WinDock can remember a number of different configurations, which should make it super easy to quickly place your windows where you want.

WinDock | via AddictiveTips

Atom, the Text Editor from GitHub, Is Available for Windows

Atom, the Text Editor from GitHub, Is Available for Windows

Windows: Atom, the free text editor from the folks at Github (and one of our favorite text editors), now has an official Windows version. It’s an alpha release, but it brings all of Atom’s features to Windows, including support for the packages that make the tool so extendable.

To use Atom on Windows, you can either download a zip directly (linked below) or install chocolatey (a utility for Windows that’s a lot like Homebrew for OS X or apt-get for Ubuntu) and install it from the command line. The latter approach also makes it easy to install packages and third-party utilities (and Atom updates) as they become available, so it’s the Atom’s team preferred solution. They have instructions on how to do it below.

Beyond that, once installed Atom works like a native Windows application, so it should act like any other program on your system. Hit the link below to grab it and give it a whirl, or head to the main project page to read more about the project.

Hello Windows | Atom Blog

The Microbus Desktop

The Microbus Desktop

We’ve highlighted a few of joergermeister‘s desktops before, but this one has "get in the party bus and hit the road" written all over it’s flat, minimal look. Here’s how he set it up, and what you’ll need to set it up yourself.

We love the look of the whole thing—borderless, flat shapes, and customized Explorer windows and Start Menu add to the charm. It’s not for everyone, but if you like the way it looks, here’s what you’ll need:

That’s the bulk of the project. It all fits together well, and while it’s certainly not going to be everyone’s taste, it’s original and interesting in a way you won’t get with Windows 8.1 right out of the box. If you like what you see, or are missing details, head over to joergermeister’s Flickr page (linked below) and ask your questions! Let him know we sent you.

Do you have a good-looking, functional desktop of your own to show off? Share it with us! Post it to your personal Kinja blog using the tag Desktop Showcase or add it to our Lifehacker Desktop Show and Tell Flickr pool. Screenshots must be at least at least 640×360 and please include information about what you used, links to your wallpaper, skins, and themes, and any other relevant details. If your awesome desktop catches our eye, you might get featured!

Pimp My Desktop | Flickr

The Microbus Desktop

The Microbus Desktop

We’ve highlighted a few of joergermeister‘s desktops before, but this one has "get in the party bus and hit the road" written all over it’s flat, minimal look. Here’s how he set it up, and what you’ll need to set it up yourself.

We love the look of the whole thing—borderless, flat shapes, and customized Explorer windows and Start Menu add to the charm. It’s not for everyone, but if you like the way it looks, here’s what you’ll need:

That’s the bulk of the project. It all fits together well, and while it’s certainly not going to be everyone’s taste, it’s original and interesting in a way you won’t get with Windows 8.1 right out of the box. If you like what you see, or are missing details, head over to joergermeister’s Flickr page (linked below) and ask your questions! Let him know we sent you.

Do you have a good-looking, functional desktop of your own to show off? Share it with us! Post it to your personal Kinja blog using the tag Desktop Showcase or add it to our Lifehacker Desktop Show and Tell Flickr pool. Screenshots must be at least at least 640×360 and please include information about what you used, links to your wallpaper, skins, and themes, and any other relevant details. If your awesome desktop catches our eye, you might get featured!

Pimp My Desktop | Flickr

The Microbus Desktop

The Microbus Desktop

We’ve highlighted a few of joergermeister‘s desktops before, but this one has "get in the party bus and hit the road" written all over it’s flat, minimal look. Here’s how he set it up, and what you’ll need to set it up yourself.

We love the look of the whole thing—borderless, flat shapes, and customized Explorer windows and Start Menu add to the charm. It’s not for everyone, but if you like the way it looks, here’s what you’ll need:

That’s the bulk of the project. It all fits together well, and while it’s certainly not going to be everyone’s taste, it’s original and interesting in a way you won’t get with Windows 8.1 right out of the box. If you like what you see, or are missing details, head over to joergermeister’s Flickr page (linked below) and ask your questions! Let him know we sent you.

Do you have a good-looking, functional desktop of your own to show off? Share it with us! Post it to your personal Kinja blog using the tag Desktop Showcase or add it to our Lifehacker Desktop Show and Tell Flickr pool. Screenshots must be at least at least 640×360 and please include information about what you used, links to your wallpaper, skins, and themes, and any other relevant details. If your awesome desktop catches our eye, you might get featured!

Pimp My Desktop | Flickr

The Microbus Desktop

The Microbus Desktop

We’ve highlighted a few of joergermeister‘s desktops before, but this one has "get in the party bus and hit the road" written all over it’s flat, minimal look. Here’s how he set it up, and what you’ll need to set it up yourself.

We love the look of the whole thing—borderless, flat shapes, and customized Explorer windows and Start Menu add to the charm. It’s not for everyone, but if you like the way it looks, here’s what you’ll need:

That’s the bulk of the project. It all fits together well, and while it’s certainly not going to be everyone’s taste, it’s original and interesting in a way you won’t get with Windows 8.1 right out of the box. If you like what you see, or are missing details, head over to joergermeister’s Flickr page (linked below) and ask your questions! Let him know we sent you.

Do you have a good-looking, functional desktop of your own to show off? Share it with us! Post it to your personal Kinja blog using the tag Desktop Showcase or add it to our Lifehacker Desktop Show and Tell Flickr pool. Screenshots must be at least at least 640×360 and please include information about what you used, links to your wallpaper, skins, and themes, and any other relevant details. If your awesome desktop catches our eye, you might get featured!

Pimp My Desktop | Flickr