Mattia Campagnano

Mattia Campagnano

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Windows & Piracy: a die-hard mindset. Is it worth it and does it hurt knowledge?


Windows is the most used operating system in the world and, for this very reason, is also the world's most pirated operating system.

The reasons for this are varied.

In poor countries the cost of a Windows license can be too high and people can not afford it. For many people around the world their first computer often runs a pirated Windows versions.

Others believe it's ethically OK to rob a thief.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Computer Cleaners - When the treatment is worse than the disease

Problem

While surfing the Web, you may often stumble upon a bunch of programs claiming to optimize and speed up your operating system, often brought to you by annoying and sometimes malicious pop-up windows.

The producers of these programs often use a very aggressive marketing language on their websites, promising to deliver whopping performance improvements.






The wording of these websites should raise a red flag for you right away.

This software is a real cancer. In the best-case scenario, it's but crapware/adware/bloatware; in the worst case, downright malware/spyware.

Keep off fake cleaners!!! The fewer third-party software you install, the better.

These programs can harm your system by corrupting system files, or filling up your hard drive with bloated applications, often running in background. Sometimes they might even mess up your OS so badly that you have to re-install everything from scratch.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Mattia’s Dummies' Corner - How to superscript/subscript in Microsoft Office Word

Right-click the word/number you need to superscript/subscript and select Font.

From there you'll have the below menu. Under Effects tab, you can superscript, subscript and do other fun stuff.




Enjoy!

NOTE: Screenshots are related to Office for Mac, but the Windows version works the same way, with regard to this functionality.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Mattia’s Dummies' Corner - What’s a hash value?

I've decided to start a new section of this blog, where I will explain the meaning of specific IT terms, be them common or not.

I'll try explaining them like I talked to a fifth grader.

Hope it'll be helpful and you guys will enjoy it.

Friday, August 14, 2015

OS X 10.10.5 More reliable, more secure.

Apple has released last night the update to OS X 10.10.5, which improves stability and performance.

None of the issues I reported so far has been fixed (check OS X 10.10 Yosemite issues - Bugs for all. Wake up, Apple!).

The update:
  • Improves compatibility with certain email servers when using Mail
  • Fixes an issue in Photos that prevented importing videos from GoPro cameras
  • Fixes an issue in QuickTime Player that prevented playback of Windows Media files

More importantly, the 10.10.5 update patches a critical vulnerability linked to the DYLD bug.

Until now, a hacker could, by gaining root permissions through this privilege escalation bug, silently install malicious software without need for an administrator password.
For more details about this update, see Apple Official page.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Windows 10 got me deadlocked. The only winning move is not to play.

In a few weeks I'm starting my school over for the Fall semester and will have to use my laptop, upgraded to Windows 10, more often.

Microsoft's new privacy policies scared me to death and got me deadlocked in a dilemma.




Monday, August 10, 2015

Die-hard IT misconceptions

I've been listening to misconceptions throughout the course of my IT career, and I'm sick and tired of having to read this stuff all over the place in forums and (supposed) expert websites:
  1. Windows is for computer experts who know how to tweak their settings, Macs are for basic user: A bunch of bulls. Windows simply doesn't work (or doesn't work the way we want) and the "tweaking" is often due to mere troubleshooting. I've supported Windows computers for 12 years and going through all this "tweaking" didn't make me happy at all. Windows users think Mac users aren't advanced because they don't have to do any of that. Untrue. OS X can experience problems, too (though less commonly than Windows). Moreover, for you to solve very complicated situations, you need to use Terminal. If you're not an expert, UNIX shell commands can screw up your system beyond recovery because, unlike Windows, you're supposed to know what you're doing.

Windows 10 A free upgrade, paid for by your data - Tweak Windows 10 to protect your privacy


Last updated:12/28/2015.

I've recently upgraded my Windows 8.1 laptop to Windows 10 and I have initially enjoyed its refreshed look and its high performance.

My honeymoon, though, ended abruptly after realizing the extent of the total privacy violation Microsoft has implemented with this operation.

Windows 10 contains numerous settings allowing Microsoft to collect a huge amount of information on your activity and, what's worse, on your network connection.

Some settings are pretty accessible, others are deeply hidden inside the OS, or require the user to flip through a bunch of windows to be disabled.

Such an invasive operation has never been attempted before.



The most threatening and deeply insecure feature is called Wi-Fi Sense and allows your contacts to access your network automatically without a password, with obvious concerns.

In fact, you could even be a friend of mine, but that doesn't mean I have to let you access my network and view my personal files. Even though you're my neighbor and we go along, you can't use my connection for you to do your stuff.

The foregoing are maybe the least alarming scenarios possibly resulting from this ill-advised feature.

Troubleshooting steps

Thursday, August 6, 2015

OS X El Capitàn Beta 3 released

Apple has recently released El Capitàn Public Beta 3.

No consistent change can be registered, confronted with the previous two versions.

The Beta 3 appears to be more stable, but some bugs I noticed since Yosemite early Betas are still present. However, this time I've reported them both through feedback Assistant and by emailing Tim Cook (I found his email address on Quora).
One of the most annoying ones is about QuickTime Screen Recording.


If you want to test the Beta, enroll your Mac, so you can have the new builds right off App Store.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Windows 10 Review - A clear sky after a storm, possible sprinkles. Part 4 (Final thoughts, should you upgrade?)

Wrap-up

Windows 10 is the bigger and better overhaul Microsoft has realized in years.

It can be compared to the radical rethinking that led to Windows 7, after Windows Vista resulted to be a total disaster.

Windows 10 Review - A clear sky after a storm, possible sprinkles. Part 3 (System functionalities)

System functionalities

Pros
  • No more Metro Interface: Microsoft finally removed the hated Metro Interface, or Start Screen, that forced users to flip back and forth between Universal Apps and their desktops. I had already tweaked my laptop to totally bypass it, so this is a no-brainer to me and most Windows users. Totally worthless crap, that now belongs to the past.

Windows 10 Review - A clear sky after a storm, possible sprinkles. Part 2 (Cortana & Edge browser)

Cortana & Edge browser

Pros:
  • These two features make Windows 10 a major overhaul, a must-have, confronted with previous versions. Edge is much faster and more reliable than Internet Explorer has ever been. Edge's strict integration with Cortana is the best functionality Microsoft has introduced in years.
  • Cortana is a very fast search engine, When used with regards to websites like restaurants, or local businesses, it supplies helpful information (hours of operation, map, Yelp reviews, etc.) within Edge browser.

Windows 10 Review - A clear sky after a storm, possible sprinkles. Part 1 (First impressions)


Microsoft has officially released Windows 10 on July 29.

Though I'm a Windows Insider, I upgraded my Windows 8.1 laptop by installing it right away, without waiting for Microsoft's notification.

For more details about my installation diary, check Windows 10 installation guide - A smooth DIY upgrade

First impressions

Windows 10 is much faster and reliable than Windows 8.1, or Windows 7.

The new Windows version works much smoother and faster and I have registered only a couple of freezes so far, surely way less than before. In fact, though I've backed up my previous configuration, I don't think I'll go back.

All my previous programs and files work the same way as before and so far I haven't experienced backwards compatibility issues, much to my (pleased) surprise.

  

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