Tag: windows

When Software Applications Go Bad

Have you ever had a newly installed software application go bad? I just did. Just before I decided to download two legal torrents — LibreOffice and Ubuntu Desktop (both open-source software). Stupid me had (earlier) decided that the current stable qBitorrent 3.1.8 was better than my installed v3.1.4 as 10+ bugs had been fixed. Except some new bugs seems to have made it into the Windows version because qBitorrent kept crashing every 15 seconds!

So it sometimes a step forwards is really a step backwards. And this time when updating the software I didn’t backup the older version as I usually do (I admit that was stupid too considering it only needed 15 MB and I had just over 50 GB free). Still, lesson learned.

The good news was that I hadn’t installed the official installer; just updated my portable build with an updated version. I use portable apps (there’s a great collection of system utilities, games, media tools, Internet stuff etc at PortableApps). On Windows its often better to use an MSI build vs an EXE one. I don’t know why. Maybe a reader can enlighten us why MSI are more stable.

Anyway, why portable apps? Because I don’;t like software storing their data in strange places within my user profile. It makes backup so much harder. With portable apps, all I need to backup is the main folder and I can transfer software and settings across computers as I please.

And here’s the silver lining: It’s possible to download any portable app from SourceForge. All you have to do is get to the Portable Apps section, look for the app you need, click its link and see all stored versions in ascending (aka latest) order. If you don’t use portable (why not?) applications, you can try FileHippo who also have older versions archived.

In general be discerning in where you go to download software. The public file sharing sites allow anyone to share files; some of which may be infected by viruses because the person sharing the file usually has an infected system. Or the sharer is an anarchists who want to ruin the Net experience for everyone else.

Windows 8 using PS2 devices

New Windows 8 users panicking that their PS/2 devices don’t work within Windows, there is a quick fix. But first a short history lesson 🙂

If you’ve recently upgraded an existing (legal, activated) Windows XP system to Windows 8, the first time you restart after the install you may find that your PS/2 keyboard and/or mouse no longer work! Panic is understandable. And its all Microsoft’s fault 🙂

When Windows XP is upgraded, for some reason incompatible drivers are retained. You have to beg or borrow a USB keyboard and mouse just to access your new Windows 8 setup, connect to the Internet and download new drivers for your hardware. In my case its was a Microsoft Wired 500 keyboard (sold for the past 4+ years with a PS/2 port).

Once did all I just wrote about then downloaded and installed the Wired 500 driver (oddly, its not included with the keyboard packaging), hot-plugging in the PS/2 keyboard miraculously enabled it. That was first for me with any PS/2 device. I remember shut down-plugin-restart with cross fingers as my SOP.

So all’s well that ends well: I can continue to use my favorite keyword (its low cost; soft touch, can take an incredible amount of abuse, includes multimedia functions, and on average lasts 2-3 years per unit) even though its got a dinosaur interface.