thoughts from shawn keene: analyst, technologist, microsoft mvp, skywarn storm chaser, fitness freak, and nerd

Windows 8 Myths, Busted

It’s time to have a frank discussion busting the myths of Windows 8. If you receive nothing else from this, I want you to understand that Windows 8 does not take anything away from you. Anyone claiming otherwise is either trying to spread FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt), quite likely for profit, or is simply unaware of the truth.

Read More

Testing Early AntiSpyware Software

After Microsoft purchased GIANT Company Software, Inc. in 2004 (ahem, who’s giant now?), I decided I needed to test out* the Microsoft Antispyware program by giving it a chance to remove some junk, namely Bonzi Buddy. Bonzi Buddy is actually a close relative to the infamous Clippy** and Rover in Windows XP.

Read More

My hard drive crashed, and yours will too

A crash is often the result of a software error, either faulty programming or the work of malware, malicious software like a virus. While these can sometimes be overcome, when your hard drive itself malfunctions, you have a physical failure on your hands that can be devastating. Here’s how I recovered thanks to SkyDrive.

Read More

What I Use

I get a lot of questions about the hardware and software I use and recommend, so I’ve decided to publish the list. Here’s the devices and services I use the most.

Read More

Open SkyDrive as a Desktop Folder in Windows RT

With limited storage capacity, it’s not surprising that RT tablets do not sync your cloud-stored files for offline access. Take my SkyDrive for example, which holds over 60 GB of my stuff. While Windows RT does provide a SkyDrive app for access, there are times when it would be useful to open this cloud storage as if it was a local folder or drive.

Read More

Pin Your Stuff All Over Windows

Today it occurred to me that the pin action has really taken off at Microsoft across all products and divisions.  Just like the physical version, pins are used to personalize and post your stuff in-place, wherever you want to place it.  Here’s just a few places you can find this metaphor in Windows, and how to use it effectively.

Read More

Weather Apps 2013

It’s once again Severe Storm Season, and this year I’ve made several changes that will directly or indirectly require me to adjust the weather apps, software, and services I use to stay alive, safe, and at all times chasing storms (rather than being chased).  Here’s the apps and sites I use the most.

Read More

Sync Unmoveable Folders to SkyDrive

I’ve shown you how to make SkyDrive the storage location for your Windows libraries, as well as sync your desktop and other shell folders to SkyDrive and your other PCs. But what if you have files that need to stay on another drive, or that can’t be moved to the SkyDrive folder?

Read More

Sync the Desktop across all your PCs with SkyDrive

If you’ve been following me here or on twitter, you know I’m a huge proponent of SkyDrive, the online storage space service from Microsoft. SkyDrive makes sharing files a breeze – whether it privately among your private personal computers and devices, discreetly with individuals and colleagues, or publically with the world. SkyDrive is a great addition to (or starting point for) backing up your personal files and documents, safely off-site and yes, in the cloud.

Read More

Progress and Next Steps – March 10, 2013

It’s been quite some time since I’ve published an update on my fitness project. This has been for few factors beyond my own pessimism. In short, I haven’t been making the types of progress I expected, and it’s been really bringing me down. I’m not doing terrible, but I feel like I’m spinning my wheels, stuck doing the motions while only making slight, if any, gains or strength increases. Although I have added some mass, my bodyfat has crept up as…

Read More

Visual Effects and Performance Options in Windows 8 and 10

I’ve written before about the non-intuitive nature of visual effects in recent versions of Windows, where offloading the desktop rendering duties to the graphics card can result in considerable performance improvements.  While this is true for nearly any modern PC, including those with ‘integrated’ graphics cards, there are still steps one may take to enhance performance.

Read More
Windows Phone group chat options

Verizon Cripples Group Communication

Sorry Verizon, there’s no easy way to say this. For a communications company, you really suck at enabling your customers to communicate with their world.  In a day where real-time collaboration is a necessity, consumers expect a certain level of functionality. This includes the ability to communicate in text conversations with a group of colleagues.

Read More

Remove Recycle Bin from the Desktop

I do not suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder, but I do display some OCD tendencies.  One of these is habitually emptying the Recycle Bin on my desktop — I just cannot stand to see those virtual papers in there (if only I took out the trash at home with as much fervor).

Read More

Consider Services as Gifts this Christmas

This Christmas, consider tech services gifts for your non tech friends and family. Because they provide access to services and content year-round, they’re sure to be gifts that keep on giving. You don’t need to be a geek to appreciate these fine services that make great gifts for anyone.

Read More

More Commands in the Quick Access Toolbar [Video]

Pinning submenu commands to the toolbar not only provides more direct access, but also serves as a status indicator to a state that may otherwise be hidden. For example, now I can tell at a glance the status of my Excel workbook calculations, and change it if necessary before I make an edit that would trigger a lengthy calculation.

Read More

Sync Your Libraries to SkyDrive [Video]

With this tip, you can tell your Libraries to save to SkyDrive for seamlessly enabling any app to save to the cloud.  SkyDrive lets you keep your files in the cloud and your computer in constant sync, and allows for access anywhere from your smart phone or any browser.  You can even remotely fetch files that you didn’t sync as long as the remote computer is powered up. To have your files on your computer automatically sync up to the…

Read More