Pre-2022 content, Uncategorized

Windows 11 Announced by Microsoft

June 24th has come and gone. Thankfully, Microsoft has fulfilled upon its promise of details regarding the upcoming version of the Windows Operating System. The cancelled Windows 10X, and Windows 10 Sun Valley projects, have been replaced by Windows 11. The day before the announcement, I had the happy opportunity to try out the leaked build in a Virtual Machine. Here’s Microsoft’s YouTube video introducing Windows 11:

And here’s a 60-second summary of the June 24th Event, also released by Microsoft.

Here are the main points to remember:

All-new appearance

The appearance of Windows 11 resembles a cross between Windows 10X and the Sun Valley interface, with maybe one or two whole new things showing up. Perhaps the most immediately noticeable difference is that the Start button and Taskbar icons are now positioned at the center, rather than the left hand side. Don’t worry… you can change this back if you like. There’s also a widgets flyout, all-new themes, and a few of the apps have been totally redesigned.

New Microsoft Store

There’s going to be an all-new Microsoft Store on Windows 11 – with Android Apps as well. Yes, Android Apps on Windows 11, through the Amazon Appstore, which brings apps like TikTok and Kindle to Windows! That’s not all, though: Microsoft is going to allow app developers to use their own commerce engines within the Microsoft Store – and if they use the Microsoft Commerce Engine, Microsoft will only take a 15% cut from their profit, compared to Apple’s 30%. If a developer uses their own commerce engine, Microsoft takes 0%! Another important thing to note is that now, Win32 apps can also be distributed through the store. Microsoft, at the event, did flash Zoom showing up in the store for a second, so that’s rather exciting!

MS Teams integration

This one hasn’t showed up in the Insider Preview build yet, but based on the released information, it looks like there’s going to be a videochat icon on the taskbar which will allow you to instantly chat or meet with your Teams contacts. For Microsoft, this is a very strategic way to get lots of people to use Microsoft Teams.

Here are a few other minor points to notice:

The Taskbar can now only be positioned at the bottom of the screen.

Tablet mode has been completely removed from Windows 11.

The right side of the Taskbar looks a lot like Chrome OS now. The Action Center has been replaced by two separate Quick Actions and Notifications panels. The Quick Actions panel has some very strong Chrome OS vibes…


That’s all for now, and see you next Windows Update!


Using Windows Media Center on Windows 10

Windows Media Center was an application included in most editions of the much loved Windows 7. However, with Windows 7’s end of support, people must upgrade to stay supported. Thing is, newer Windows versions don’t have WMC! For a brief period of time, it could be purchased as an add-on for Windows 8 Pro, but now that’s gone. While WMC wasn’t used much in general, it developed a small but extremely loyal following. If you’re among that following or just want to try WMC on your new PC, fear not. I have a way for you.


Installing & Setting Up WMC

WMC installation itself is pretty easy. You just need to download the installer, run it, and then open it from your Start menu. The current version is WMC 8.8.5, the only version compatible with Windows 10 20H2. Don’t try to look for WMC 13, as although newer, it is incompatible with Win10 20H2. To download it, just click the link below:

Once you have downloaded the zip, unzip it to C:WMC. Then, right-click on Installer.cmd, and click “Run as Administrator”. It will then ask you to confirm the operation. Click “Yes”. From there, you just have to watch as the Command Prompt installs WMC. Once WMC is installed, you should find it in your Start Menu like any other app.

From here, setup is simple. WMC, when first launched, has you set it up. From there, you can perform any of the tasks you could perform using WMC before. Note: in the future, I will publish more articles on how to get the most from WMC.


It’s been a year. Windows 7 users, upgrade now.

On January 14th, 2020, Microsoft officially ended support for Windows 7. Now, it’s January 14th, 2021. A year has passed, and Windows 7 shows no sign of dying. However, if you are still using Windows 7, then you really need to upgrade. Thing is, it’s actually really easy. There’s no real reason to hold out on the update. Any apps that ran on your Windows 7 should run just fine on Windows 10! Media Center holdout? Yes, you can run WMC on Win10. Meanwhile, you should likely upgrade, because most major browsers are soon to end support for Win7.

How to Upgrade

While Microsoft’s free upgrade period ended in 2016, it’s actually still perfectly usable from the link below:

This utility will open up, and then all you have to do is accept the license agreement and select “Upgrade this PC Now” and click next. From here on, you should have no trouble upgrading your PC to Windows 10.

What are the stats?

The stats are quite positive. According to the United States Government Digital Analytics Program, when support ended for that ancient OS, 75.8% of PCs were running Windows 10, while 18.9% were were still holding on to Windows 7. Admittedly, Windows 7 seemed to be on the path to becoming the next Windows XP, but a much more positive outlook is shown by the stats at the end of 2020. At this point, Windows 10 has gone up 12%, to 87.8%, while Windows 7 has dropped by 10%, to 8.5%. Win7 is disappearing. Still, don’t think that it’s any closer to dying. I mean, look at Windows XP. Although tiny now, it is still alive.

Apps dropping support

Indeed, Windows 7 users will soon find themselves without too many supported apps. The fall of Windows 7 is going a lot faster than the fall of WinXP. Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge will both stop supporting Windows 7 on July 15, 2021. Win7 users are truly running out of time.


How to get the Weather Forecast on a Windows or OS X Computer

While you may not use your computer primarily for checking the weather, it’s a pretty important function for your Computer to have. So, which Computers support the Weather Checker function? Well, here’s a list of Operating Systems on which you can get quick access to the Weather:

  • Windows Vista
  • Windows 7
  • OS X Tiger to Mohave
  • OS X Yosemite to Catalina
  • macOS Big Sur
  • Windows 10
As you will notice, Windows 8/8.1 is not on the list. This is because Microsoft has discontinued Weather for Windows 8/8.1. Sorry Win8 users!

Let’s start with the Weather on Windows Vista / Windows 7. If you use Windows Vista or Windows 7, there is a Desktop Gadget called Weather. However, you may have noticed that now, when you try to use this Desktop Gadget, it produces an error that the service cannot be found. Don’t worry, though. It’s easy to get past this error by downloading the working version of the gadget, where somebody took the pains of creating a virtually identical Gadget that uses the still up and running MSN Weather service. Download here. Then, load this Gadget onto your desktop to get quick access to the Weather.

Now, let’s move on to how to get the Weather on a Windows 10 Computer. Open the Microsoft Store up. Search for "MSN Weather". Find the app called MSN Weather and install it. Then, pin it to your Start Menu, and turn on Live Tile to get the Weather Forecast in a Live Tile. To get a more detailed forecast, just click the tile and it will open up the MSN Weather app.

Now let’s move on to how to get the weather on a Mac which is running an OS from OS X Yosemite through Catalina. To start, you’re going to open up the notifications center and click "Edit". Then, you’ll find "Weather" waiting on the right side. Click the green plus button to get a Weather Widget. It’s as easy as that! Running Big Sur? The Weather Widget should already be in your sidebar.

What about using the OS X Dashboard? As people who use OS X Tiger to macOS Mohave may have noticed, the Dashboard Weather widget is no longer functional. Well, this is because the Dashboard is discontinued, so Apple has removed internet connectivity from the widget. However, similarly to the Vista/Win7 fix, somebody took the trouble to fix the APIs and create a working version of the OS X Dashboard Weather Widget. So how do you install the patch? Well, you download it from here. Then, find the .wdgt file and copy it. In finder, open the folder /Library/Widgets. Delete the Weather.wdgt file there and paste the other, patched one. then, open your Dashboard and click +. Select the Weather icon and get a totally working Weather Widget on your OS X Dashboard.


How to use Windows Contacts




If you use a Windows above XP, you’ve probably seen all the special folders in File Explorer. All of them make sense, like the Documents folder for your Documents, and Pictures for your Pictures. But maybe you’ve also come across the Contacts folder at some point. Quite simply, it’s for storing your Contacts. To get to it, you just need to type wab.exe in the run dialog, accessed with Windows Key + R.

To see how to use it from the Run dialog, type “wab.exe /”.

To create a new contact, you can click the “New Contact” button. It brings up the "New Contact" dialog.

You can store any contact information in this, like phone numbers and more. To start, create your contact. Fill in all your information and click ok. Then, right-click on the new file and click the context menu item “Set as my Contact”.

Now, do the same for all the people you want to have in your Address Book (just don’t set them as your contact, obviously.)

That’s how to use the basic capabilities of Windows Contacts. In future posts, I will give you more tips on how you can use the Contacts folder on your Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, or 10 computers.


How to get Blogger to work in Windows Live Writer

In my last post, we talked a bit about Windows Essentials. When I mentioned Windows Live Writer, I said that if your blog was on WordPress, then you could use Writer. However, some people may have been confused, because when they opened Windows Live Writer, they may have seen other providers listed. For example, under Other, it said Blogger, Typepad, and more. If you try to add a Blogger blog, however, it gives an error message of User Name or Password is incorrect. This is because Writer uses an sign-in technology which Google no longer supports. So, here, I will explain how to get your Blogger Blog set up in Writer.




1. Download this:

There is an open-source fork of Windows Live Writer called Open Live Writer. Newer versions of it aren’t yet verified by Google, but a slightly older version is still supported. To download it, click here. Run it to install the version of Open Live Writer which supports Blogger. When done running it, open the app from the start menu.


2. Set up Blogger

1. When you get to the setup wizard, select “Google Blogger”. Click Next. 

2. It will have a button that says “Sign in”. Press it. 

3. It will open a browser window where you will sign in with your normal Google Account that you use for Blogger. 

4. It will ask you to give Open Live Writer some Google Account permissions. Click Allow. 

5. It will then close the tab and you will go back to the app. 

6. If you have multiple blogs, it will ask you to choose which one to set up. 

7. It will then download the blog to your computer. 

8. It will ask you to send a temporary blog post so that it can download the editing theme. Click yes. 

Then, you’ll be able to edit your blog from Open Live Writer!


How to use Microsoft Windows Essentials in 2021

                We are here to talk about a discontinued piece of software, Microsoft Windows Essentials. In this article, we explain how to download it, set it up, and use it. Remember, only install the working components: don’t install Messenger. Anyway, what is Windows Essentials? Windows Essentials 2012, the successor to Windows Live Essentials 2011, was a software suite which included the OneDrive Desktop App, Windows Live Mail, a free mail client, Windows Live Writer, a piece of Desktop Blogging software, Windows Live Messenger, a discontinued IM app, Windows Live Photo Gallery, which was a Microsoft competitor to Google Picasa, and finally, Windows Movie Maker, a basic, but not too basic, Video Editor.

How to download it:

Use the TechToday download link below. Keep in mind that Tech Today does not host any downloads, it simply has links to external downloads at the creator’s website. This is the original installer from Microsoft using the Wayback Machine. Click this link.

How to set it up:

1. Run the installer.

2. On the next screen, click "Choose the programs you want to install".

3. Now deselect the following: Messenger, Microsoft OneDrive, and Outlook Connector Pack. The reason: Messenger will not work, there’s a newer version of OneDrive available, and the Outlook Connector Pack is useless and just a waste of space.

4. Now click "Install". It will ask you to allow Windows Live Essentials to make changes to your device. Click "Yes".

It is now installed. Now, set up the applications:

Windows Live Mail

This one is simple. Simply use your provider’s IMAP settings. Here are links to support articles for IMAP settings for certain providers:




(Yahoo does not have a support article on IMAP configuration, so I added a link to Lifewire’s)

Windows Live Writer

If you have a WordPress Blog (I don’t, this is Blogger) then you can use Windows Live Writer to blog right from your desktop. When you first launch Windows Live Writer, it will open the blog setup wizard.

1. Select "WordPress".

2. Now fill in the following information:

Web Address: the link people use to access your blog

User Name: your WordPress Acount Email Address

Password: your WordPress Password

Now, it will download your blog so you can edit it in Windows Live Writer. Start Blogging!

Windows Photo Gallery & Windows Movie Maker

Windows Photo Gallery will ask you which folders to use. Just select the ones you want to. As for Windows Movie Maker, it doesn’t need any setup. So enjoy using Windows Essentials!