Windows 10 Release Date Announced

Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 will be released on July 29!

I’m running Windows 8.1 on my desktop right now.  When I logged in this morning, I noticed something new.  There’s a little icon in the taskbar tray area that looks like a little Windows icon.


“That’s new,” I thought, so I hovered my mouse over it to see what it said.  It said “Get Windows 10.”

So, I clicked on it.


Interesting.  So I gather that the plan is that you can reserve your free upgrade, and when Windows 10 is released, you’ll automatically get it.  Just wake up one morning and suddenly Windows 10 is on your computer.  Nice!


We’ll see how this works!

By the way, I’ve been running a preview version of Windows 10 on another computer for a while now, and I’m excited about this release.  This is also the first time I remember a Windows upgrade being available free.  Windows 8 was available for a limited time for $40 when it first came out.  That was a good deal, but Free is even better!

(Note: you must be running Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 to get the free upgrade. If you’re still using XP or Vista, you’re probably better off with a new computer anyway. “Old Faithful Iron Sides” from the early 2000s probably won’t run it.  But, if your computer is relatively new, you shouldn’t have any problems running it.)

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Weather Radios

Weather Radios

Midland Weather Radios now in stock at Hamilton B.A.S.E. Come by the shop at 2223 Military Street South in Hamilton or call (205) 952-9884 to get yours today! I’ll even program it for you!

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Java Zero-Day attack now in the wild

Security researchers have recently found a vulnerability in Java that can allow an attacker to take over your computer without your consent.  Unless you have a mission critical use for Java, it is recommended that you disable Java in your browser or uninstall it completely from your computer.

A Zero-Day vulnerability means that even with a fully updated computer, you can still be infected, because vulnerability has not been patched.  In this particular example, Java version 7 update 10 is the latest version.  I’ve read that Java version 7 update 11 will fix this new vulnerability, but it has not as of this writing been released.  Even when it is released, there are still many more known vulnerabilities in Java that make another Zero-Day attack likely just around the corner.

So, as of right now, my recommendation is to disable Java in your browser, or uninstall it completely.

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Welcome to Tech Notes

Welcome to Tech Notes, a new blog by Hamilton B.A.S.E.  In this blog, I plan to publish tips, tricks, and useful information as I come across it.

Someone asked me a question today about how to speed up their computer.  My answer was simple, and I’d like to share it here.  Add memory.  If your computer has 1 GB or less of memory, adding more memory can really improve performance.  To find out how much memory your computer has, right-click “My Computer” in Windows XP, or just “Computer” in Windows Vista and 7, then click Properties.  On XP, it’ll be at the bottom of the “Properties” window, on Vista and 7, it’ll be somewhere in the middle.

The reason adding memory helps performance is basically that the computer has “more room to work.”  There are two main types of storage on a PC, memory, which is sometimes called RAM (Random Access Memory), and the Hard Drive.  Imagine a desk and a filing cabinet.  The filing cabinet is the hard drive, and the desk is memory.  All your files are stored in the filing cabinet, and the stuff you’re currently working on is spread out on your desk.  The bigger the filing cabinet, the more files you can store.  The bigger the desk, the more stuff you can work on at once without a trip to the filing cabinet.  Going to the filing cabinet to retrieve a file is slower than just looking at it on your desk.  Imagine an office with a small desk; there’s just not much room to work on more than one thing at a time.  Now imagine an office with a desk twice that size; there’s room to work on several projects at once.  A computer functions in a similar manner, the bigger the desk, or memory, the more work it can do at once without the slower trip to the filing cabinet.

Adding memory to a PC is usually an inexpensive upgrade for most computers.  And if you’re buying a new PC, make sure to get as much memory as you can to start with.  It’s usually less expensive to get more memory to start with than to upgrade later.

Note: while on most PCs it’s inexpensive to upgrade the memory, if you have an older PC with an early-mid model Pentium 4 processor with RDRAM memory, it may be expensive or impossible to find a memory upgrade.  Also some older Dell PCs and a few other “name brand” PCs use proprietary memory that’s expensive or hard to find.  In those rare cases you may be better off considering a new PC.  However, for most PCs, upgrading the memory is a fairly inexpensive way to get the most out of your PC.

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