think martinopia!

March 27, 2015

Bringing Alt-Tab back to life on Lenovo T440s with Windows 8

Filed under: Uncategorized — Martin @ 1:52 am

regeditAfter years using a Mac it’s always hard to believe what kind of user experience nightmares can appear on a Windows Machine – even for features we are used to for a decade or even more.

I bought my Lenovo T440s a year ago mainly for Visual Studio development and testing purposes – and to just revisit the Windows platform again after such a long time on Mac OS X. Some things are good as always – even my beloved Total Commander still works, with the same license I bought years ago (a tool which is by far out of reach to any of the Mac Norton Commander Clones, but that’s the topic for another post). But one thing which I just could not believe from the beginning and which has driven me crazzzzzzy every time I used my Lenovo machine:

When pressing Alt-Tab and just holding the Alt Key the application in the background switched to the currently selected one in the Alt-Tab list – instead of just switching the selected icon in the Alt-Tab list as it has been the standard behavior since at least Windows 3.0 (yes, I’m already that old). After ways too much browsing the web and reading potential problems for that in Lenovos Bluetooth drivers (!!!!) and other software conflicts of some drivers which seems to lead to the problem I finally found a solution/workaround.

I can’t remember the source anymore, it’s mentioned on several sites, so the credits for this go to all the other folks out there. I mainly write this post as a personal reminder for me if I ever have to reinstall Windows on my Lenovo machine (and to be honest as a kind of mental hygiene therapy to myself). So the solution lies in the good old Windows Registry, a relic of the Dark Ages of Windows, but one which will certainly continue to exist even if a horde of aliens will have successfully completed their Mars Attack:

1.) Open Regedit (Windows Key – R > “regedit”)

2.) Browse to HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Explorer

3.) Add a new key “AltTab” (right click on the white canvas and use the popmenu)

4.) Add a new DWORD 32bit value:  name = LivePreview_ms  and set the value to #ffffffff

5.) Save & Restart Windows

6.) Get a beer.

This solution is for a modern Lenovo T440s computer with the latest Windows Version (8.1) with all updates installed from both – Microsoft and Lenovo (March 2015). The fact that such a solution is needed makes me still speechless. No wonder Apple had such a tremendous success – they just don’t have a real competitor at the moment. Let’s hope that 10 years from now regedit.exe will finally be debundled from Windows 2025 Pro Edition…

August 12, 2008

Customer service experiences in one day: Swisscom top – Cablecom flop

Filed under: Uncategorized — martinopia @ 4:09 pm

Today I seem to have been in contact with customer service reps from two planets: After one hour of normal working on my PC with internet connection suddenly my Internet connection by Cablecom was broken. As always in situations like that I disconnected both – the cablemodem and my Zyxel router from the power suppy for around one minute and reconnected then.. well for this time that did not help, so I contacted Cablecom on their help line. After a music listening happening of more than 20 minutes the phone was finally picked up by a Cablecom employee who of course wanted to disconnect and reconnect the cablemodem.. 😉 Well, after some time he found out that my cablemodem was “not active”.. the reason for that: they sent me a new cablemodem today. And because of some “optimizations in their processes” they had to disactivate my old (and still working) cablemodem in the moment when they sent out the new one. Knowing exactly that so I will have no internet access till the new cablemodem arrives. The sales rep even gave me a tracking number for that parcel – but that tracking number seems to be incorrect or the modem was never sent out – at least the Swiss Post which is supposed to be in charge for delivering the parcel does not know about that number.

After having asked if there is no alternative to get internet access till I get the new modem – e.g. by reactivating the old modem and waiting for one week with activating the new one – I was told that was not possible. Also my sorrows that I’m unable to work without internet connection just did not interest Cablecom at all. They sent out a new cablemodem which is active – so there is no reason for them to act in any further form to help their customers.. hmm.. I was pretty upset, but what should one do.. I needed a solution..

So I went to Swisscom to buy an Internet Unlimited USB card to access the internet by UMTS. Within less then 20 minutes I had a new mobile contract with such a UMTS/GPRS/Edge-card to access the internet anywhere I am for really cheap prices (I couldn’t believe how cheap mobile internet has become in Switzerland). But even better – when I was in the Swisscom shop I asked for my reserved iPhone which they managed that I got my new iPhone today – although I was not on top of the waiting list – but more about that in an upcoming post.

Being back on my PC I wanted to install my new Mobile USB card – which did not work (I got a connection error). So I had a kind of déja-vu regarding not working internet connections on the same day but still contacted the helpline, for this time the one of Swisscom. After less than 2 minutes I was talking to a help agent who could not solve the problem immediately. So another after one more minute of music I was talking to a *real* competent tech supporter who checked all possible options. After he did not recognize the problem at first sight he proposed to check internally and to call back later. Well – to be honest, after my Cablecom experience I was already planning to pass my day drinking Starbucks coffees and using their WLAN… but how wrong I was – less then two hours later I got a call back and my connection was and is working.. That is customer service how it should be..

So let’s see how long I have to work on that Mobile solution because of Cablecoms incompentence..

August 16, 2007

Skype offline – ein Lehrstüƒck, wie man nicht kommunizieren sollte

Filed under: Uncategorized — martinopia @ 10:22 pm

Der Skype-Dienst ist seit Stunden offline. Wenn man bedenkt, dass Millionen User täglich Skype benutzen und Skype selber auch immer mehr versucht, Business-Anwender zu gewinnen, ist die Kommunikationspolitik geradezu ein Schlag ins Gesicht: die Statusmeldung spricht lapidar von 12-24h, bis man das “Softwareproblem” behoben habe. Kein Hinweis, warum dieser plötzliche Aufall – nichts. Die Gerüchteküchen in den IT-Foren brodeln über und das Vertrauen schwindet von Stunde zu Stunde.

Damit manövriert sich Skype gleich doppelt ins Abseits: man beweist, dass das vielgelobte P2P-Netz eben doch nicht so redundant ist, wie immer angenommen und zeigt auch gleich noch die eigene Unfähigkeit, proaktiv zu kommunizieren. Ich werde mich auf jeden Fall nach Alternativen umsehen.

May 31, 2007

Bill and Steve

Filed under: Uncategorized — martinopia @ 11:08 pm

One just must have seen Bill Gates and Steve Jobs at the D5 conference.

May 1, 2007

At her majesty’s pleasure

Filed under: Uncategorized — martinopia @ 10:48 am

Peter Kurth in einem Salon-Artikel über seine Zeit als Terrorverdächtiger in Wormwood Scrubs, Muslime aus Sicht eines Gefangenen und die britische Art der Terrorbekämpfung (all die ach-so-USA-und-Bush-kritischen Europäer scheinen hier sehr gerne wegzuschauen, hat man doch mit Bush ein so perfektes Feindbild gefunden).

February 4, 2007

Software is hard

Filed under: Uncategorized — martinopia @ 5:29 pm

Ein Softwareprojekt, das über die Komplexität einer Hello world-Applikation herausgeht, wird nicht innerhalb des vorgesehenen Zeitplans fertiggestellt werden, geschweige denn auch nur annäherend den ursprünglich geplanten Funktionsumfang enthalten. Die Räder werden mehrfach neu erfunden und die Leute ausserhalb stehen kopfschüttelnd da und fragen sich – warum.

Nun, Antworten, wie dieses Phänomen zu verhindern sein könnte, findet man zu tausenden in jeder Buchhandlung in der Abteilung für Projektmanagement. Doch noch selten habe ich eine so lustvoll geschriebene Darstellung des Phänomens als solches gefunden, wie bei Scott Rosenberg. Kein Wunder, dass man bereits von Rosenberg’s law spricht…

Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One Quest for Transcendent Software

Powered by WordPress