Ever wonder where the Windows XP default wallpaper came from? The man behind the camera is American photographer Charles O’Rear. Don’t let his name fool you into thinking that the photo was in fact taken in Ireland. Bliss, as it turns out, is in.....
Awesome music using only sounds from Windows XP and 98, just what it says on the tin
Microsoft, browbeaten by criticism over Windows Vista, demoed a new operating system code-named Project Mojave to a group of Windows XP users. An overwhelming majority of the XP users liked what they saw. It was then that Microsoft told them they were
drinking Folgers Crystals, er, using Windows Vista. [more inside]
If you tried to validate a legitimate copy of XP or Vista today before 2pm, you were in for a nasty suprise. It seems that all Windows Genuine Advantage servers failed at once sometime today. One BoingBoing reader who contacted Microsoft was told to try again on Tuesday, as they expected the servers to be down for a few days. Rob Knop of the ScienceBlog Galactic Interactions responds with an entertaining rant.
Compromise any Windows XP machine (that you have physical access to) with one single line of code. Even if you're logged on as guest, this cmd line text will upgrade your account to root level on the fly, after which time you can do anything you wish to the machine, (even reformat the drive & install linux!). ACHTUNG: Link goes to video that, for inexplicable reasons, has Limp Bizkit for the soundtrack.
Windows XP booting on Apple hardware: confirmed. The $14000 contest to get Windows XP to boot on the new Intel hardware from Apple is over as of today. While considerable work in the realm of device drivers needs to be done, (and the rumored method may violate the Windows EULA) much of the hardware is straight Wintel. Considering that the MacBook Pro and Intel-based iMac (not currently working) both pack ATI Radeon X1600s, serious PC gaming on Apple hardware via dual-booting may finally be in the realm of possibility. [Via: slashdot, engadget]
Perhaps you'll remember one of the most popular bits of actual home robotics from the distant past, the venerated Heathkit Hero -- as seen on the teevee show Whiz Kids and other geek-facing programming. As I kid I thought they looked RAD and would nearly killed for one. Those days of everyman robo-lovin' I thought were well past, their niche filled with Aibo and other toy-based robots. Until today, however. The White Bot Robotics 914 rekindles dreams of a telerobotic presence lovingly slaved to robust hardware. Sadly, reports put the pricetag enticingly out of reach at $10K and the thing by default runs on XP, but in theory it's expandible. Also, the same report cites an $1,200 "less featured" model that "may" be forthcoming. Via
Securing public computers isn't easy, but a Microsoft kit to do that may also help families share home computers. If you share a Windows XP Home or Professional computer with other users, particularly, children, or family members, you may find the Shared Computer Toolkit beta an interesting idea. But caveat emptor: this is free "beta" software, has a spooky "validation" process to confirm your copy of Windows is "genuine," and installation is not for the faint of heart. Then again, neither is re-installing Windows after a friend/relative/SO inadvertently trashes your computer.
Lightspeed is a fun little shareware game that I stumbled across today. It's one of those "bounce stuff off mirrors to light up stuff" puzzle games, but with nice graphics, and additional features like a level editor and such. Warning: windows only download, shareware fee to unlock many levels and features.
Messenger Spam, for those of you on Windows 2000/XP, you might want to check this out. I don't think it's going to be an isolated phenomena, seeing as how other bloggers (link has a link to a picture) are reporting it. Luckily, the first link has an easy solution to the problem, non-savvy users might be quite perplexed with the "important" looking dialogue box.
Windows XP Pro for $40! Microsoft is running a special offer where 'partners' can buy Windows XP for >85% off the retail price (free baseball too); all that's (realistically) needed is a .NET passport account. Since the MeFites had such fun buying cameras, I figured I'd throw this out for discussion; it does seem to involve a wee bit of misrepresentation to take advantage of.
Microsoft must include Java with XP and IE. Sun sues Microsoft for including Java, then sues Microsoft for not including Java. Fascinating.
How to Remove Linux and Install Windows: Just in case you were wondering... heheh. :) Ah, the fun never stops, now does it?
Not even the duckie escapes co-optation No one disputes the XP GUI is cool. "Good Artists create, Great Artists STEAL, and Real Artists Ship" [link from nofuncharlie]
FBI warns Microsoft XP users "The FBI is urging computer users to unplug and don't play when it comes to addressing serious security flaws found in Microsoft's new Windows XP program." "Microsoft admitted this week that there are several serious glitches in the new software. " Really?
XP demonstrates "Intelligent design." You mean they didn't evolve it with genetic algorithms? Boy, I could swear the past versions were composed of randomly generated code fragments. (Do read the original article.)
Is Microsoft finally doing things right? According to this usability study putting Win98 and XP side by side, the answer seems to be affirmative - on favour of XP. Won't make me trade my Mac for a Wintel machine though.
Slate's Mickey Kaus and the Washington Post ask the question: For all the claims of illegal monopolies and unfair advantage, is the tech industry counting on Microsoft and Windows XP's Oct. 25 release to save its bacon?
NY Senator wants XP's release delayed and The Register writes a somewhat humourous article about it (as usual). Excerpt: "It appears that Microsoft intends to maximize its monopolistic power, using XP as a platform to enter new lines of business while encumbering competitors," Schumer said, rooting deep into the 'I just sussed out Redmond's business strategy; let's arrange a press conference' archive.
Win XP's Product Activation as a breeze to hack. Provided that RC1 still ships as is and you keep your RAM locked at a fixed number of sticks, it's simply a matter of keeping a backup of a DBL file. For all the ballyhoo, it's amazing that something this obvious slipped under the cracks. With WPA this sloppy, is this the only half-hearted facet of Windows XP?
Someone reverse engineered the Win-XP activation mechanism. It's not as bad as many people thought. It's certainly no cause for paranoia.
Microsoft XP Unvevils Blah Blah Blah Oh Who Cares. The full-press marketing blitz, in the face of slumping PC sales, a sluggish economy, and all common sense, will gloss over the fact that you now need 128 megs of RAM to run Microsoft's craptastically ill-conceived OS. Can't wait, Bill - I'm already gripping the sink!
Windows XP inserts its own links into any page on the Web. I especially like the part about their fear that some pages are "underlinked". The implications behind this are huge.
Microsoft to cripple MP3 capabilities I don't think anyone has posted this yet; Microsoft's new Windows XP operating system is set up so as to cripple MP3 copying, in order to nudge users into using Windows Media Player format for all their music files. Of course, the latter is a proprietary format with copy protection built in. Not only does the built-in software not copy MP3 files at a higher sampling rate than 56kps, but third-party MP3 software apparently does not work properly. --As usual, this will not stop knowledgeable users from finding workarounds, but the goal is to make unprotected copying too difficult for the average Joe.
Windows XP unveiled... why does it look so bloopy? And all those bright colors and rounded edges! It's like Fisher Price OS! (via K10K.)
Microsoft announces the product names for the next version of Windows and Office. They'll be called "Windows XP" and "Office XP", respectively.