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Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day - A Few Quick Notes

Hopefully everyone is enjoying their unofficial "Last Weekend of Summer." Just wanted to post a few quick items before I go back to watching baseball and golf while eating grilled meat.

Windows 8 - Assign Default Programs

A few days ago I mentioned that Windows 8's handling of the default programs assigned to different filetypes was a little weird. If you've got multiple options for opening something like a picture or video, this window pops up:

Media files are opened in Metro apps by default, which is pretty annoying. Luckily there's a way to edit the programs assigned to each filetype en masse. Open the Start page and type in "default programs" - the resulting Control Panel options let you switch things around.

Windows 8 - Antivirus Programs

Another thing I touched on the other day was the fact that MSE is basically baked into Windows 8 in the form of Windows Defender. That sounded great to me since I already use MSE in Windows 7, but I wasn't sure if a conflict would arise if you were to use a separate AV program. To see what would happen, I downloaded and installed AVG Free.

After installing AVG, everything works as expected - Windows Defender is turned off and AVG takes over all of the protection detail. After uninstalling AVG and restarting, I checked the status of Windows Defender; the program told me it was still disabled. A couple of minutes later Windows finally prompted me to re-enable virus protection. Everything looks good here.

Windows 8 - Tips, Tricks, and Customization

Throughout the past few days I've stumbled across several articles that had some pretty useful tips and tricks for Windows 8.

Unfortunately the "bypass the Start screen and boot directly to the desktop" workaround doesn't work in Windows 8 RTM. You're still only a Windows key away (or a mouse click if you prefer) from the desktop, but it's still mildly annoying. No one boots into Windows 7 with the Start menu open by default.

Black Mesa Source

In the Weekend Reading a couple of days ago I linked to a Polygon article that talked about the Black Mesa project, a community remake of the original Half-Life inside a modern engine. Yesterday, the team gave us a release date - sort of.

The team at Black Mesa is releasing a major chunk of the game on September 14th. This first installment apparently equates to around 8 hours of gameplay and covers basically the first 3/4 of the game. Considering they've been plugging away at the project since 2004, it's good that the game is finally seeing the light of day. I hope that this isn't an effort to just release what they have finished before they give up; hopefully they see the project through to completion.

Labor Day Deal Alert

Green Man Gaming has Borderlands 2 available for pre-order for $49.99 today. There's a 25% off promo code floating around that takes the total to $37.50. Apparently both GMG25-LABOR-DAYGO and GMG25-1BW0K-K1A3G give you the discount.

That's it for now - enjoy the rest of your Labor Day.


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