Tag Archives: internet explorer 8

Take Control – Stop Windows Update Prompts

Do you get a little bugged out when Windows constantly reminds you of an update that you have decided you don’t want to install? Want to put a stop to this annoyance?

Guest writer TechPaul, my tech wizard friend, a CompTIA Certified computer technician, and the owner of Aplus Computer Aid, shows you how.

Sometimes we need to tell Windows Update to stop prompting us to install a particular Update.

When Microsoft has released important and/or critical Updates (aka “patches”) for us, Windows has various ways of letting us know, including a System Tray icon.

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Note: The normal route for accessing Update choices is Start >Windows Update, or Start >Programs >Windows Update. Click “View available updates”.]

I am a big fan of Updates. I (almost) always install them the moment I become aware of them. I use Secunia’s Personal Software Inspector to keep an eye on all my installed programs’ update state.. and I recommend you do too. Updates are ‘good’, and you want them.

Manage Windows Updates prompts

Currently, Microsoft Update is annoying me by continuously nagging me that there are Updates available. And when I click on the icon to see just what these updates are…

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.. and I see that there is just one Update Microsoft wants me to install (the others only rate “optional”) – Internet Explorer 8.

Now, I understand why Microsoft wants us to be using a more secure browser (and I understand why it’s considered “important”) and I will upgrade from IE7 on most of my machines – but not all. Not yet.

So I right-click on the Update I don’t want to be nagged about and then click on “Hide update”.

That’s it. I’m done. Windows Update will no longer prompt me to install this (now) ‘hidden’ update. At a later date, to see Updates that I’ve hidden, I just click on “Show hidden updates”. I can undo my change.

Note: This technique can be used on troublesome Updates that cause incompatibility issues such as a BSOD.

If a Windows Update install causes you trouble, and you need to uninstall it, the “Hide” tip won’t help you (it’s too late). Please refer to the 3rd answer in this article, IE’s Menu bar, Taskbar icons, and bad Updates*, to see how to remove Updates.

After you get that Update uninstalled, (then) use the Hide feature to prevent Windows Update from re-installing it on you again.

To uninstall IE 8: Uninstalling IE 8 will automatically restore your older version. Please see Microsoft’s official How To, here, How do I uninstall or remove Internet Explorer 8?

This is a guest post by Paul Eckstrom, a technology wizard and the owner of Aplus Computer Aid in Menlo Park, California. Paul adds a nice humorous touch to serious computer technology issues. Why not pay a visit to his Blog – Tech – for Everyone.

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved*

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Filed under Computer Audit Applications, Don't Get Hacked, Freeware, Guest Writers, Security Rating Applications, Software, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Update

Microsoft Releases Internet Explorer 8 Today

internet-explorer-8 I know one shouldn’t run a Beta in a production environment, but despite this old truism, I have been running Windows 7 as my main, at home OS, for several months. I’m not unusual in this; virtually all of my tech associates have been doing the same thing.

Since Internet Explorer 8 (beta), is the onboard Internet browser packaged with Win 7, I have had ample opportunity to run IE 8 and put it through its paces.

Quick verdict:

In my view, this offering from Microsoft will not close the gap with FireFox. It’s still slow, and cumbersome; Microsoft at its best. There’s just not enough here to convince me to change from FireFox 3.

Internet Explorer 7 has had its fair share of problems, so it is advisable that you update to IE 8 if you are an IE 7 user.

IE 8 Personal

Quick facts: (From Microsoft)

  • Accelerators – Accelerators let you map directions, translate words, email your friends, and more in just a few mouse clicks.
  • InPrivate Browsing – Browse the web without saving your history with Internet Explorer 8’s InPrivate Browsing.
  • Web Slices – Keep up with changes to the sites you care about most. Add a Web Slice and you won’t have to go back to the same website again and again for updates on news, stock quotes, online auctions, weather, or even sports scores.
  • Search suggestions – Search smarter with detailed suggestions from your favorite search providers and browsing history. See visual previews and get suggested content topics while you type in the enhanced Instant Search Box.
  • SmartScreen Filter – New security features help to protect you against deceptive and malicious websites which can compromise your data, privacy and identity.
  • Redesigned New Tab page – The New Tab page loads quickly and provided links make it easier to get started on your next browsing activity:
  • Reopen closed tabs – Reopen a tab that you’ve closed in your current browsing session, which can be helpful when a tab is accidentally or prematurely closed.
  • Reopen your last browsing session – Reopen all tabs that were open when Internet Explorer 8 was last closed, which can be useful if you accidentally close the browser.
  • Improved Zoom – Adaptive Page Zoom improves upon traditional zoom-in/zoom-out functionality in the browser by intelligently relaying out the page content and eliminating the need to scroll left and right.
  • A better back button – When using rich applications such as mapping on the Internet, you may be taken to the beginning of the application instead of the previous page when you hit the back button. Now when you hit the back button, more pages will behave the way you expect.

Download at: Microsoft

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Filed under Browsers, Don't Get Hacked, Freeware, Interconnectivity, Internet Explorer, internet explorer 8, Productivity Software, Software, Windows Tips and Tools

A Tech’s First Impression of Windows 7 – Part 3 – Improvements over Vista?

This is a guest post by Paul Eckstrom, a technology wizard and the owner of Aplus Computer Aid in Menlo Park, California.

Why not pay a visit to his Blog Tech–for Everyone.

I have now been using Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 7, for a week. I configured it to my taste (aka “preferences”), and installed my primary applications (and a few games) and done lots of things to try to break it.

bell_x-1 Yes, you read that last part correctly – I said “try to break it”. You see, there simply is no better way (many people feel) to test a thing than to fill it up with High-Octane, put the petal to the metal, use the gears to keep the RPM’s well into the red, and go! go! go! until a piston sails up and through the hood. Of course.. for this to really mean anything.. you must do this several times in a row.

Not only is this method fun, but this is how “limits” are discovered. Ask Chuck Yeager. (Geeks call this “benchmarking”).

Some findings: I have found that it is fairly easy to get a fail on IE 8, the newest release of the venerable Internet Explorer web browser (which is still a beta also). Open too many tabs (6+), or a Microsoft.com page using Silverlight, and you’ll get a “Not responding” fairly quick. But, I have also found that it is extremely difficult to get Windows 7 itself to fail. Win 7 is fast and it’s stable.

In fact, despite my best efforts and determination, I have yet to have a lockup, or BSOD¹. Improved multi-processor/multi-threading ability is noticeable. No Windows Update fails either, as still befalls Vista SP1 (you know the ones.. you have to reboot 3 times and/or use Startup Repair to get to your Desktop?)

After my admittedly amateur and unscientifical-style testing, I would be willing to quite prematurely guestimate that Windows 7 is one-hundred and thirty two point six times (132.6x ) more stable than Vista was, and at least .. oh, um, let me say, one magnitude more stable than Vista w/SP1.

All jocularity aside, only time will tell how accurate my estimates and impressions are. But I’m impressed. Quite impressed. This is a beta, after all. (I’m willing to wager that this is a historic first — “beta” and “stable” are never used in the same sentence. I’ll come back to some of the reasons for this.)

Plus number 6.

Other differences: While retaining most of what we’ve come to know in Windows, (such as, by default, the Taskbar is on the bottom, Start button on the left, everything “interesting” is found in Control Panel, etc.) there are some changes.. changes that affected me in my daily usage. First up on that list is the Taskbar has changed in appearance and behavior.

The Taskbar (aka “Superbar”) is similar to Vista’s in that it has a “hover” feature, as shown below… though it has been enhanced to show thumbnails of the program’s open windows (or tabs, as in this case) for easier selection, and direct-action “maximize”.

win_7_superbar

Windows 7 “Superbar”. (Click pic for larger)

But look closer. Quick Launch and tabs are combined into “pinned” icons, and the System Tray (the icons down by the clock) are now an “up arrow”. To make a program a “Quick Launch”, or visa-versa, you simply drag-and-drop (and select “pin to taskbar”, no more “lock”/”unlock”), and open programs – “tabs” – ’stack’ to the right.

It’s weird how much I miss the by-the-clock icons.. though they’ve never really served any truly practical purpose (except maybe as a source for context menu shortcuts). I find myself clicking the arrow, to make the System Tray visible, and reassure myself – yes, they’re still there.
I’ve been running (and troubleshooting) Microsoft operating systems since Windows 3.11, and I just expect those things to be there…

Speaking of things that are missing: menus have been consolidated and “pruned”. They seem to me less cluttered, more intuitive, and easier to navigate. This is most noticeable when trying to access system tools and the elements that make up the Control Panel. Long-time Windows users and über geeks may feel that Microsoft has unnecessarily moved a few things (and occasionally get annoyed, at first), but newbies and flexible-types will find things “friendlier”… IMHO.

Plus number 7.

And Defender is nowhere to be found in Programs or the Start menu: it’s in Control Panel.
(Don’t ask. Haven’t even a guess.)

And, when you first get started, “Network” is missing from the Start menu.
But that’s a topic for Part 4..

Link for Part 1 of this series, A Tech’s First Impression of Windows 7 Part 1 of a series
Link to Part 2, A Tech’s First Impression of Windows 7 Part 2 — Transferring Your User Account To Windows 7

¹ Blue Screen Of Death (see Troubleshooting the Blue Screen Of Death)

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved

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Filed under Beta Software, Free Full Versions, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Operating Systems, Personal Perspective, Productivity Software, Software, Windows 7