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PostHeaderIcon Microsoft Windows and Office ISO Download Tool

I haven’t tried this myself yet, but ghacks posted about a program called Microsoft Windows and Office ISO Download Tool. It makes it pretty easy to download ISOs of all of the different Windows versions. You still need a licence key to activate them properly, but if your computer didn’t come with a restore CD, or you’ve lost/damaged yours, this may be a way to get around that.

PostHeaderIcon Macrium Reflect Free


I haven’t tried this yet, but if you are interested in a free Windows disk cloning software package, check out Macrium Reflect Free. According to the site, the free version will do the following:

  • Macrium Fast Imaging
  • VSS Support for Data integrity
  • Drag and drop user interface
  • Reorder & resize partitions
  • GPT support
  • UEFI Support
  • Comment backups
  • Differential Images


PostHeaderIcon A few good WordPress tutorials

I run WordPress on half a dozen blogs. None of them get a lot of traffic, but they allow me to post about things I’m interested in, as well as keep in contact with certain people.

Here are a some links to some good tutorials to do various things with WordPress.

PostHeaderIcon Penguin Penalty Analysis Tool

I used to get a lot of traffic on my Niagara Falls Blog and Update blog. However, at some point it dropped off significantly. The Update blog certainly may have been my fault, as I wasn’t posting often, but I was posting a lot on my Niagara Falls Blog. I’m sure that it was because of changes to Google’s rankings. Penguin was the name of one of the Google updates. They adjusted the way the calculated rankings, so some sites dropped.

The Penguin Penalty Analysis Tool purports to show you how your site has faired over time in Google. It looks like I got hit!


PostHeaderIcon Convert Windows XP to a virtual machine with VirtualXP

Ghacks has a nice article about a tool that will convert a Windows XP computer to a virtual machine

VirtualXP is a free for personal use software that can turn an existing Windows XP system into a virtual machine that you can run on a newer version of Windows afterwards.

It works by converting the operating system to a Microsoft virtual disk which you can run on all client and server versions of Windows starting with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008.

PostHeaderIcon Find your Windows Experience Index scores in Windows 8.1

C|Net has a nice article about how to find your Windows Experience Index in Windows 8.1. I followed the steps, and mine is 5.9 because of the hard drive.

PostHeaderIcon Windows 8.1 Group Policy to Force Domain Logon as Default?

I just started using Windows 8.1 at work, and whenever I restart my computer, it defaults to logging into a Microsoft account. I have to click something extra in order to login to the domain. I found some references in a Microsoft forum to a couple of group policy settings that I will need to try.

  • Computer ConfigurationWindows SettingsSecurity SettingsLocal PoliciesSecurity Options: Accounts: Block Microsoft account
    Click this option, and select” Users can’t add or log on with Microsoft account”
  • Computer ConfigurationAdministrative TemplatesSystemLogon :Assign default domain for logon
    Set the option to Enabled, and add the Default Logon domain.

PostHeaderIcon Google hires camel for desert Street View


It’s given us robot cars and internet-enabled glasses — but when it came to creating a “Street View” of a desert, Google hit on a low-tech solution.

It hired a camel.

The beast has become the first animal to carry Google’s Trekker camera, which is typically hoisted by humans to capture 360-degree images of destinations inaccessible to its Street View cars.

PostHeaderIcon Implementing powerful and flexible login scripts!

At work we’ve always had separate login scripts for each user. However, we recently changed that to use a login script that checks for group membership. We used the “Implementing powerful and flexible login scripts!” and it works great.

PostHeaderIcon If You Think You’re Anonymous Online, Think Again

I’m a little behind in my podcasts, but today I listened to a Fresh Air broadcast from 6 weeks ago about all the data that online services know about you.

Investigative reporter Julia Angwin was curious what Google knew about her, so she asked the company for her search data. “It turns out I had been doing about 26,000 Google searches a month … and I was amazed at how revealing they were,” she tells Fresh Air’s Dave Davies.

From NSA sweeps to commercial services scraping our Web browsing habits, to all kinds of people tracking us through our smartphones, Angwin says we’ve become a society where indiscriminate data-gathering has become the norm. Angwin has covered online privacy issues for years, and in her new book she describes what she did to try to escape the clutches of data scrapers, even to the point of creating a fake identity.

“I want all the benefits of the information society; all I was trying to do is mitigate some of the risk,” she says.

Angwin’s book is called Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance. She considers dragnets — which she describes as “indiscriminate” and “vast in scope” — the “most unfair type of surveillance.”

If you are interested in this sort of thing, I highly recommend that you listen to the podcast