Windows 8 is out – how to upgrade?

Windows 8 is now out in retail and if you are a legit Windows XP/Vista or 7 user you are entitled to a 39.99 USD upgrade. You can visit this link to download the Upgrade tool. Assuming you are still running the original Windows version your PC came pre-installed upgrade to Windows 8 will be straight forward. Apparently its even possible to upgrade if you have the Release Preview installed and a valid Windows XP/Vista/7 key (which is usually printed on a sticker on your laptop or desktop).

Unfortunately In my case I installed Windows 8 Enterprise Trial when RTM came out which is valid for 90 days (and has almost expired by now). That version cannot be directly upgraded and there’s no way on earth I will reinstall the bloated version of Windows 7 that came pre-installed on the laptop by Asus (I did create re-install media and probably have it somewhere but as i recall Asus tool filled 5 DVD’s). The only upgrade path I could take will involve re-installing the Release Preview and use my Windows 7 key; but I’d rather not lose the configuration and apps I have installed on the current installation which is after all final but just time-limited.

It seems you can still download the Release Preview ISO directly from Microsoft here for 64bit and here for 32bit. Now all its left is to find a way to trick it into downgrading Windows 8 Enterprise Trial RTM into Release Preview (which could possibly be done by changing cversion.ini)and then using the upgrade tool to purchase a Windows 8 license and upgrade to Windows 8 Pro retail.

I’ll run my experiments tonight after work and hopefully post a step by step guide if I get it done.

FineUploader: A well-thought HTML5 file upload component

FineUploader is a modern open source file upload component available for free to use in any web project. It uses the HTML5’s XMLHttpRequest2 object which allows asynchronous file uploading through the browser and has progress report (i.e. you can see how much of the file has been uploaded at any instant) without the need of server-side support or Flash. It also works with older non-HTML5 browsers down to IE7 by using the hidden iframe upload method – so no backward compatibility problems.

I’ve been using plupload until now but I’m giving FineUploader a go in my current project, plupload even though its extremely powerful its very heavyweight and its licensing is not as open as FineUploader’s. It’s very quick to setup, just include one CSS, one JS file and instantiate the uploader with a single Javascript statement and you are good to go. On the server-side, they provide out of the box file receiver implementations for PHP, node.js, Python, .NET, Java and even Coldfusion (People still use that?).

Latest version can be obtained from its Github page and you can view demos at

Google plans to compete on every price range – $99 tablets on the way

Apparently Google is planning to undercut the competition and add another price point for Android tablets. The rumor which is not far from reality is that Google will release a tablet by Christmas for 99 USD. Its not the first tablet to hit that price range, Chinese companies have been flooding the internet for more than a year with capable devices at that price point but this is the first time it will be backed by Google and carry the Nexus brand name.

The rumor says that the tablet will be based on a single core Chinese SoC by WonderMedia Technologies and we can safely assume it wont have a screen larger than 7inch. It sounds under-powered compared to the current batch of Nexus 7 which runs on NVidia’s Tegra 3 Quad Core Soc, and this is coming from someone who already owns a couple of single core Chinese tablets. What we don’t know though is what optimizations and cut backs Google might plan to make to their OS to keep things running smoothly.

Either way if the screen is bearable and browser speed is decent for the cost of a night out you could own a tablet with full Google services support.


Microsoft Surface RT pricing and full specs revealed

Prices starting at 499 USD for the 32GB version (probably around the same price in Euro for Europe and a lot more for Cyprus as always). Keep in mind these are the ARM based version of Surface which means normal PC software will not run on it unless the developer recompiles it and assuming it doesn’t need any specific hardware support that is not present on the tablet. From the point of view of specifications it uses the same CPU as the latest Asus Transformer Pads, Nexus 7 and HTC One X phone with just another GB of RAM. The big plus over iPad and the rest of the competition is that it comes with the magnetic cover-keyboard and a full license for Microsoft Office 2013 (the latest version with a touch optimized UI) which on its own almost costs as much as the tablet.

This is a decent device for anyone who wants to have a fully blown Office experience on the go. Personally as a developer I’d rather get an x86 based tablet even though we can safely bet it will cost a lot more.

Specs according to Microsoft:

  • Software – Surface with Windows RT comes with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview (2) (which includes Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote)
  • Exterior – 10.81 x 6.77 x 0.37 inches, 1.5 pounds, VaporMg casing, dark titanium color, volume and power buttons
  • Storage – 32 GB (3); 64 GB
  • CPU – NVIDIA T30, 2 GB of RAM
  • Wireless – Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0 technology
  • Cameras – Two 720p HD cameras, front- and rear-facing
  • Audio – Two microphones, stereo speakers
  • Ports – Full-size USB 2.0, microSDXC card slot, headset jack, HD video out port, cover port
  • Sensors – Ambient light sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass
  • Power Supply – 24W power supply
  • Warranty – One-year limited hardware warranty
  • Apps (included) – Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview (2) (Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote), Windows Mail and Windows Messaging, SkyDrive, Windows Internet Explorer 10, Bing, Xbox Music, Xbox Video, and Xbox Games

Title definitions in software engineering

  1. Project Manager is a Person who thinks nine women can deliver a baby in One month.
  2. Developer is a Person who thinks it will take 18 months to deliver a Baby.
  3. Onsite Coordinator is one who thinks single woman can deliver nine babies in one month.
  4. Client is the one who doesn’t know why he wants a baby.
  5. Marketing Manager is a person who thinks he can deliver a baby even if no man and woman are available.
  6. Resource Optimization Team thinks they don’t need a man or woman; they’ll produce a child with zero resources.
  7. Documentation Team thinks they don’t care whether the child is delivered, they’ll just document 9 months.
  8. Quality Auditor is the person who is never happy with the PROCESS to produce a baby.
  9. Tester is a person who always tells his wife that this is not the Right baby.
  10. HR is a person who thinks that a donkey can deliver a human baby if given 9 months.
p.s. I found this in a funny image. I don’t claim I own the copyright but I really don’t know if anyone does!

CYTA is still using Internet Explorer 6


I recently had to work on a web project for Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CYTA) and to my surprise they still use Internet Explorer 6 in all their internal PCs. The default hard drive image installed across all their employee PCs includes Windows XP & Internet Explorer 6. The reason they keep using the now pre-historic version of Internet Explorer is that some of their legacy software still requires it to work properly. What’s annoying about it though is that the particular software is only being used by around 50 people while the rest 2950 employees have to suffer viewing the 1999’s state of the art web.

Apparently if you call the support help desk and beg they can agree to install Firefox for you but actually getting it done may take days.

Steve Jobs is not dead


Yesterday Steve Jobs sent his resignation to the board of directors of Apple and the internet went crazy. Everywhere you look, there’s people ‘crying’ about his decision. There’s articles about his life’s work, of how much he left behind, and of what kind of person he was. Everyone is looking back as if he is dead. I don’t hide the fact that I am not very fond of Apple and Steve’s reality distortion field, which makes me immune to all the trauma people have seem to be experiencing since the announcement of his resignation. I just feel like pointing out that:

1. He is still alive. Stop posting articles as if he’s dead (Read this for example.)
2. He’s still working for Apple – just not at the position of CEO.
3. He was just the CEO of Apple, a company that has tens of thousands of employees and each and everyone contribute to what makes their sum successful. Actually if you read this article you’ll see he’s not even the most important one.
4. Apple will continue making the same products.


Update: Well I guess now he is dead but at the time of writing he was not!