Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 10525

Today Microsoft released Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 10525.  Anyone running Windows 10 can opt into getting preview builds by signing up for the insider program and enabling preview builds in Windows Update.

You can read more about the new build and how to get it at Microsoft’s blog

This build fixes two of the issues I complained about in my previous blog post.


Active Window Title Bars will now be colored based (somewhat) on your selected accent color if the “Show color on Start, taskbar, and action center” option is enabled.

As you can see in the preview image above the title bar color will be a much brighter variant of your accent color.  I’m personally not a fan of how bright it is, but it’s a step in the right direction.  I’ll write Microsoft some feedback about it and maybe they’ll change it to look a little nicer.



The other issue they fixed is that Inactive Window Borders are no longer transparent.



Microsoft is going to be updating windows much more frequently than they have in the past.  So many small issues like this will likely get ironed out over the next couple of months.

Unless you’re like me and like being on the cutting edge and can tolerate these growing pains I’d recommend waiting a little while to move to Windows 10.  Anyone currently running Windows 7 or 8 can upgrade for free anytime until the end of July 2016, so take your time.

Biggest gripes with Windows 10 so far

White Title Bars for desktop applications
Boo1There’s a hack to have them use your accent color

But it’s not perfect

Although the border of windows appear to be 1 pixel thick they seem to actually be as thick as they were in Windows 7/8 so you can still grab them, but they’re invisible.

I have a nifty utility that lets you snap a windows to the edge of another window or the edge of the desktop.  Because of the invisible borders windows that are snapped to each other have a small space between them.

The window border turns mostly transparent when the window is out of focus.
I often use the Aero Snap feature to have two windows side by side and now one of them will have a 1 pixel line of my desktop background showing through around it and it bothers me so much.

Left side: window in focus with accent colored window border.
Right side: unfocused window with no or mostly transparent border showing obnoxious checkerboard desktop background I made to highlight the issue.Zoom

No Windows Media Center.
I have a TV tuner card and watch/record over the air TV, and Windows Media Center is by far my favorite application for doing that. All of the alternatives I have tried don’t work nearly as well and are poorly documented and difficult to set up.

Hearing Test and Mini Headphone Review

After taking my dad to get his hearing aids last month I wanted to see how my own hearing was, so I downloaded uHear for my iPhone and when though the test using my Etymotic er3 headphones (since they are supposed to be fairly accurate) and was a little worried with the results. It showed that I had some mild hearing loss in lower frequencies.

Etymotic mc3

Etymotic mc3 uHear results

I then tried my Klipsch Image s4i which I generally prefer over the Etymotic’s and got somewhat better results.

Klipsch Image S4i

Klipsch Image S4i uHear results

I can’t really say if the Etymotic’s really suck at lower frequencies (although that is a common complaint about them) or I’m just a little deaf, but at least I have some visual proof of why I prefer my Klipsch headphones.

And lastly a tiny rant about my dad…

Why did we go through all the trouble of getting you hearing aids if you’re never going to wear them?  I know they are tiny and you can’t figure out how to turn them on, but all you have to do is ask me to do it for you.  Getting really tired of super loud TV at 3 am.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

I had been hearing so much about Skyrim and how awesome it was but I couldn’t afford to buy it when it came out November 11th.  So to satisfy my Elder Scrolls game cravings I installed TES3: Morrowind which I’ve owned since it came out in 2002 but I didn’t play it much back then because my computer wasn’t quite up to running it well, so I never got around to finishing the main story quest line. This time I was determined to get though the main quest, which I did after getting quite a ways though the game then deciding to create a new character and starting over.  I also did something else that I hadn’t done in Morrowind before which is to actually use some mods.  I won’t get into which ones since much of this post is going to be about the mods I’m now using for Skyrim.

Around the same time I also watched all of HBO’s Game of Thrones series which only served to further put me in the mood for Skyrim.

So finally Thursday December 29th I came home from work and decided that since I’ve got a four day weekend why not spend all of it playing a video game, so I went on Steam and bought Skyrim.  I then spent my whole weekend playing Skyrim like it was my job.  From Thursday evening to Monday night I got in about 52 hours playing this game.  One of the neat and at the same time depressing things about Steam is that it keeps track of how much time you play games you’ve purchased through it.

Anyways after playing this game a few weeks and trying out some mods I wanted to list the mods that I’m currently using and why.  Red comments added June 20th 2013

Glowing Ore Veins 300 this was probably the first mod that I added right after walking though the first mine that I found in game that I couldn’t see any of the ore veins.  Now that I don’t really do much mining I’ve decided to turn this one off since ore veins are actually everywhere out in the world and seeing glowing bits of ground while out wandering about can be distracting.
After using this mod for awhile I’ve gotten so I can recognise ore veins without it fairly easily now, so I no longer use it since it somewhat ruins immersion to have some glowing bit of ground way out in the distance.

Calientes Female Body Mod Big Bottom Edition -CBBE- gotta have naked ladies none of that ugly underwear when you take off someones clothes that the vanilla game has. I’m using the Slim version of this since the regular version the breasts are just a tad ridiculous, and since my character is a lady I prefer her with small boobs.  I am anxiously awaiting new armor/clothes meshes that fit these new body meshes.

No More Blocky Faces simple does what it says.
Not really needed anymore for anyone that is using Bethesda’s HD texture DLC or and of the many mods that change the face textures including CBBE. 

SkyUI this one is a pretty big deal, especially the latest version that was made available last weekend.  It changes many of the menus (inventory, magic, container, and barter) to be much more mouse friendly than the consolized menus that the game comes with.

TESV Acceleration Layer this helps speed up the game in some CPU bound portions of the game which is a big help for me since my computer is about 3.5 years old now and this is really the first game that I’ve played that it struggles with.
Skyrim has gotten several official patches that have much improved performance to the point where it’s not as CPU bound as it was, and this isn’t as effective as it was.  That and I’ve upgraded to a high end video card so the game runs quite smoothly for me now.

A Quality World Map – With Roads or World Map – Skyrim Hold Borders this adds all the roads to the map and the second one which is based on the first adds the roads and borders of the various holds.

Dovahkiin Hideout this adds a nice big basement with lots of weapon racks, armor mannequins, storage, all the various crating tables and is connected to all of the houses that you can own in the game which serves as a nice way to quickly get from one house to the next.
This mod was made before the creation kit was available and hasn’t been updated since and is buggy as a result.
If you insist on still using it, go get a compatibility patch here.
Sharlikrans Compatibility Patches

JaySuS Swords adds quite a few high quality swords to the game.  I got this since I’m not really a fan of how many of the swords in game look.
This mod hasn’t been updated in awhile and also requires a compatibility patch.
Sharlikrans Compatibility Patches

So that’s it I’ve still got quite a lot to do in the game and it should keep me busy for at least a few more weeks.  Although I’ve already got all the gear I wanted since I focused on leveling my smithing and enchanting early in the game and I have a pretty sweet set of enchanted Daedric armor.  It’s rather rare that I run into anyone that can hurt me much if I’m wearing that, even with the difficulty on the hardest setting.

Here is a shot of my character in my fancy around town outfit. (I think the body mod was turned of for this)

The Silly Reasons I Don’t Use Firefox

One of the main reasons I don’t use Firefox and still use Internet Explorer has to do with how Firefox deals with drop down lists in web pages.  Drop down lists are often used on web forums to navigate to different sub forums.

Here you can see in Internet Explorer that items above and below the currently selected item are displayed meaning you’re less likely to have to  to scroll up and down if what you want is a few items down on the list.

In Firefox once you have moved to the middle of the list the currently selected item is at the bottom forcing you so scroll down to select lower items.

Since I spend a fair amount of my time on the Internet reading web forums and I use these drop down lists as my primary method of navigation though web forums this small difference really annoys me.

The other small thing I don’t like about Firefox is that the bookmark menu will close if I middle click to open the page in a new tab.  In Internet Explorer the menu stays open when middle clicking allowing me to open many pages quickly.  While I can do this in Firefox by opening the bookmarks side bar, I don’t like doing that as much since the side bar is a bit cluttered and I have to manually close it once I’m done opening pages.

So those are the admittedly silly reasons I still use IE, if it weren’t for those minor dislikes I would be using Firefox as it is an overall better browser.

Update July 1st, 2009

Firefox 3.5 was just released yesterday, and while it’s fairly awesome I’m still sticking with Internet Explorer for the reasons mentioned above.  Also as strange as it may sound to most, I actually (mostly) like the layout of the interface in Internet Explorer.

Update March 8th, 2010

I’m giving Google’s Chrome browser a try as my preferred secondary browser now that AdBlock is available for it.  Also I’m trying out LastPass as a replacement for Ai Roboform since it supports IE, Firefox, and Chrome since Roboform only supports IE and Firefox also because Roboform caused some minor graphical corruption in IE’s tab bar when it was setup to work properly with Firefox.

So far my only major complaint with LastPass is that it has crashed a few times in Chrome.

Unfortunately Chrome has the same favorites menu and drop down list behavior as Firefox that I mentioned which it preventing me from using it as my main browser.