Microsoft OneDrive

Microsoft OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) is available as a free program that emulates a portable flash drive, with 5 GB of free space available. Files and folders can be added to it. Your Windows Live account and password are used to maintain security for OneDrive. Additional password protection for confidential files is recommended.

Once installed, the OneDrive Synch Engine Host program remains loaded in memory and appears as a Windows tray icon. Files are synchronized from your Windows 8 PC’s folder C:UsersUserNameOneDrive (or C:UsersUserNameSkyDrive) up to the Microsoft OneDrive servers. Any additional PCs that have OneDrive installed with your Windows Live account will have access to the same set of files. This is an easy way to back up and share files between PCs.

You can log in to OneDrive to access your files at

OneDrive is intended for personal and home use.  Microsoft has a separate corporate product: OneDrive for Business.

You may be able to recover a deleted OneDrive file or folder from the OneDrive Recycle Bin.

Competitors to OneDrive include Google Drive, Apple iCloud, and Dropbox.

Windows GodMode

You can add use a “hidden” feature on Microsoft  Windows 7 and 8 PCs  that places customization settings in one location: GodMode. Here are the steps to create this:
On the Windows Desktop, right-click and select “New – Folder”.
Create a folder named “GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}”.

Click on the new GodMode desktop icon:


You will see a list of Windows configuration settings ordered in functional groups:GodMode2


There are no new features listed.  Instead, GodMode organizes settings from Control Panel and other settings into a single list.
You can sort by clicking on the column headings, or use a column filter by clicking on the column heading’s drop-down list.


Windows 10 upgrade may set Microsoft Edge as Default Browser

PC users who upgrade to Windows 10 may find that Chrome or Firefox is no longer the default web browser.

To set Mozilla FireFox as the Windows 10 default web browser, follow these instructions:

Some general instructions on how to set Google Chrome as the default Windows browser:

Windows 10 Versions and Free E-Book

Microsoft has announced the seven different versions of Windows 10 at

The Windows editions are:
· Windows 10 Home – for home PC users
· Windows 10 Pro – additional features like Windows Update for Business
· Windows 10 Enterprise – includes Device Guard for extra security
· Windows 10 Education – for Academic users
· Windows 10 Mobile – for Windows Phone users
· Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise – Windows Phone with Update management for businesses
· Windows 10 IoT Core – ATM and industrial use

A free Microsoft Press e-book – “Introducing Windows 10 for IT Professionals, Preview Edition” is available as a PDF download from, which documents the April 2015 Windows 10 Technical Preview version. Further updates will be done on the e-book as Microsoft makes further changes to the upcoming Windows 10 versions.

Windows 10 Free Upgrade now available for Windows 7, 8, and 8.1

Microsoft has released the Windows 10 upgrade for general download in 190 countries, for existing PCs with a legal installed version of Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 that meet Windows 10 system requirements. This upgrade will be free until one year from today (July 29, 2015).  You can start the upgrade process by clicking the “Get Windows 10” notification in the Windows Taskbar.

Some of the new features include:
·    Microsoft Edge – a browser that replaces Internet Explorer
·    Microsoft Cortana – a virtual assistant similar to Apple Siri
·    Microsoft Continuum – device independent Windows

More information is at

Microsoft Security Essentials and Safety Scanner

Microsoft Security Essentials is a free antivirus program for Windows 7 and Vista PCs. It cannot be installed with any version of Windows 8. Windows Defender handles the same functionality within Windows 8.  This security update is available for download at


Microsoft Safety Scanner is a separate free virus scan program that can be downloaded and run once, or as needed. The resulting file is msert.exe, and will expire in 10 days.  It can be downloaded from

Free Database Development Software

Some of the most commonly used free databases include:

Microsoft SQL Server Express Edition only runs on Windows-based PCs, and user database size is limited to 10 GB. This is radically smaller than the paid versions of SQL Server, at 524 petabytes.

MySQL is the popular open source database that is now owned by Oracle. It can run on Linux, Unix, Mac and Windows operating systems. Paid commercial versions with additional support are also available.

Oracle Database Express Edition runs on Windows and Linux operating systems, but the database size is limited.  It can be downloaded from here.

Oracle SQL Developer is a free integrated development that makes it easier to administer both paid and free versions of Oracle databases.

Notepad++ and Large Text Files

Notepad++ is a popular open source editor for text files (TXT, HTML, CSV, XML, etc.), which can be downloaded from

One issue with Microsoft Window’s editor Notepad is that it will automatically wrap data for files wider than 1024 characters. This is true even if Word Wrap is not set on the Format menu. Notepad++ does not have this limitation, To view the file in its correct column width, make certain Word Wrap is not selected on the View menu in Notepad++.

Windows Notepad will also perform poorly with large text files, or may not load them at all. Microsoft recommends using another editor to edit files larger than 45 KB. Notepad++ generally can handle these larger text files, up to about 800 MB or so. For frequent use of very large text files (1 GB or more), you may wish to purchase commercial software such as Ultra Edit. Another option is to import a large text file into a database table, using a database engine like SQL Server.


On startup, Notepad++ will automatically load the last file used in memory. To turn off this feature, select Settings >> Preferences >> Misc. Tab. “Remember current session for next launch” should be unchecked.


Notepad++ can also record and play macros. It can also repeat a macro multiple times. It can can be customized to show coding syntax for various programming languages, and show or hide hidden characters such as line feeds.