You already have the latest Java Platform on this system

Image Credit Stirling Noyes via Flickr

In the spectrum of categorically silly error messages this one has got to top the list.

Before I go on, I think the funniest error message of all time is this classic:

Keyboard not found: Press F1 to resume.

You may remember this humorously paradoxical message from a decade ago.  It’s one of those things that makes you stop and scratch your head:

If you can’t find the freggin’ keyboard, how do you expect me to press F1 to continue?

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Posted in Windows, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 Tagged with: , ,

How to instantly (and safely) shut down your Windows 8.1 PC

Image Credit Robert Scoble via Flickr

Let’s face it: yanking the plug is the quickest way to shutdown your computer.  Nothing beats it; however, it’s obviously not the best idea.

The cardinal reason techies admonish people not to do this is because of file corruption.

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Posted in Windows, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 Tagged with:

How to make password asterisks visible in Linux

Image Credit Marc Falardeau via Flickr

Coming from a Windows world, Linux is an entirely different beast.

  • Everything is a file
  • Files don’t have extensions.
  • And I promise you: the vi text editor is more recondite than Albert Einstein’s mind.

All this stuff just makes learning Linux a positively daunting enterprise.  And it’s part of the reason why Linux is beloved by rarefied geeks who dream in binary and speak in code.

But it doesn’t have to be that way!  Linux is really easy if you slow down and forget about the wonky world of Windows.  Once you get the hang of it, the operating system is very coherent and is actually a joy to use.  In this guide, I want you to partake of that joy.

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Posted in Linux Tagged with:

How uninstall (rollback) Windows Updates

Image Credit Walmart via

On August 12th, Microsoft quietly pushed a new Windows 8.1 update, colloquially known as Update 2, to millions of PCs.  It was purported to bring back the beloved Start Menu but instead it was a huge disappointment and only added mundane features such as precision touchpad improvements, less login prompts for SharePoint Online and Ruble symbol update (for Russian currency).  There were about seven additions in the update and bunch of bug fixes but nothing substantive.

But new features weren’t the only thing inaugurated by the update.  It also brought a bevy of bugs that broke font rendering behavior and in some cases the update crashed computers with a 0×50 stop error.

That’s why today I want to show you how to rollback an unruly Windows Update.

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Posted in Windows, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 Tagged with: ,

Why the Microsoft Windows Store seriously sucks

Image Credit Marcin Wichary via Flickr

The other day I posted an article rhapsodizing about how the Windows Store is burgeoning.  I boasted about all the apps being added daily and how Microsoft is becoming a contender as it vies for hegemony over Apple and Google.

But today I’ve got something to share with you.  I’ve got some bad news, news that will most likely engender new animosity toward Microsoft or at the very least cause you to distrust its motives.

You might want to sit down for this one…

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Posted in News, Windows, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 Tagged with: , , , ,


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