What You Get When You Get WackGet

Rarely a day goes by when you don’t download something. Pictures, music, videos, podcasts, software, hamburgers, and a whole host of other things, right? In most cases, your browser’s download feature will work just fine (although it might get stuck on the hamburger). However, if you’re downloading large or a lot of files and or have a bad internet connection, you’ll want to use a dedicated download manager.

 

Different browsers have different ways of handling downloads. But what they all seem to be really bad at is

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Everything You Need to Know About Everything

Okay, maybe that was a misleading title.  I can’t tell you everything, as that would negate your purpose in the universe.

Maybe this would all make more sense if I told you that everything is a noun.  On the other hand, every thing is a noun, so that might just make things more complicated.

What is Everything?  Everything is a lightweight search utility which enables you to find anything you might have lost on your computer’s harddrive.

Now, I know what I’d be thinking if somebody told me this – I have Windows 10, which has a convenient search feature built in!

Search is Accessible from the Start Menu

That’s great, in theory, but not in practice.  There are some key problems with this search function which sent me hunting for a better solution. 

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Making The Most of Animated GIFs

What is an animated GIF?  I sent this question out to my email list, and many responded.  Most people had approximately the following idea:

An animated GIF is a looping picture animation which is not quite long enough to be a video.

While that’s not wrong, it’s not entirely correct either.

Strictly speaking, an animated GIF consists of two or more frames (separate images), played in sequence.

boring animated gif of Menasheh typing text

 

 

While the vast majority of animated GIFs do repeat indefinitely, a GIF can also play any x number of times and stop.  And while GIFs are most commonly used for entertainment or in place of emojis and the like, their use is not limited to that.

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How to Configure And Forget About Unchecky

When circumstances give me a few minutes with other people’s Windows computers, the first thing I check for (after looking at the hardware specs) is bloatware.  Bloatware is the extra, unnecessary, third-party software which many computers come pre-bundled with.  In most cases, I advise people to uninstall everything that isn’t directly from Microsoft, and in the case of Windows 10, many of the things that are.  However, there was one piece of “bloatware” I found on a friend’s Acer laptop which I immediately went and installed on all my computers.

Introducing Unchecky:

Unchecky aids in the prevention of the installation of potenUnchecky Logotially unwanted programs (PUPs) by automatically unchecking additional offers it detects in installers.  PUPs which try to trick you into agreeing to install them through checkboxes in other software’s installers are called bundleware.  If you’ve never heard of bundleware before, chances are pretty high you have some.

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How to Set Up Automatic WiFi Captive Portal Login on Windows

While some WiFi setups are either insecure and open or secured with a password, many schools, hotels, stores, and other WiFi-providing entities have a third setup – The WiFi is open, but 99.99% of the web is blocked until you authenticate on the wifi’s captive portal.  In web terminology, a portal is a page from which you can get to other pages.  The captive portal is a portal to every other page on the internet:  Captive refers to the fact that it grabs all http connections – capturing you – and sending you to the portal for authentication.

Sometimes the captive portal is used to inform you of terms or rules, and sometimes it even collects exorbitant sums of money (case in point – planes).  If you’re looking to bypass wifi cost, I can’t help you.  But if you’re logging into a free wifi such as in your school, we can automate that process to make it less of a hassle when you move around and your computer starts communicating with a different router.

To do this, we will install Lynx and OpenSSL, create a script for lynx which logs in to the wifi, create a batch file which runs lynx and passes the script, and then bundle the two files together with iexpress to run in the background.  Finally, we’ll schedule a task in the Task Scheduler to automatically run this program when you connect to WiFi.

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Hololens Demo Review

“I’m going to try Hololens next Friday,” I told a friend in one of my computer science classes.  

“To try what?”

 

“I have an appointment at the Microsoft Store today,” I announce to some friends at breakfast.  A few raise their eyebrows.

“Hmm?”

“I’m going to try Hololens.”

“What’s that?”

“Is it like, holograph?” another pipes in.

I do not roll my eyes, but I get very close to doing so.

 

Apparently nobody knows what Hololens is. 

Microsoft Hololens

(image credit: Microsoft)

In a nutshell, Hololens is Microsoft’s take on Augmented Reality.  That is, Hololens integrates virtual three dimensional objects with your physical surroundings which yields a “mixed reality” of physical and virtual objects. 

Last Friday, I demoed the Hololens at Microsoft’s fancy new store on 5th Avenue. 

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