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WinCustomize Monthly Wrap-up - March Edition

Monday, March 30, 2020 by Island Dog | Discussion: WinCustomize News

I feel like we had just started the month and here we are closing it out already. This has been one crazy month for sure, and I don't think April is going to give us much relief. We still have news coming out and since plenty of people are stuck at home, this has been a great time to get our desktops fixed up and interact more with the community. 

Stardock News:

CursorFX 4 announced!

"CursorFX makes it easy for Windows users to customize their mouse cursors by applying skins, shadows, motion trails, and sounds. Users can also import .PNG files into the CursorFX theme editor to create brand new cursors from scratch. 

The new version of CursorFX adds support for Windows 10 and high DPI monitors, several new cursor packs, and more. Thousands of additional cursors are also available for download on WinCustomize.com."

CursorFX


Community Posts You Might Have Missed:

Community Covid-19 Check-in Post!

Post your Desktop Workstation Setups!

Getting More Wallpaper Content Added to WinCustomize

Coronavirus Pandemic Leads To Gaming Surge

WinCustomize Update: Make Use of the Skin Tags!

 

New and Updated Master skins:

Emerald Green by don5318

Naked Noir WB by vStyler

Trio by LightStar

Lucid by basj

Tech news of interest:

Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10 Zero Day Vulnerability

Google Provides Learn from Home Options Amid Covid-19 Pandemic

 

Edge to Get New Features

Side tabs, tab grouping, cut and paste gouping, password breach alerts are coming.

Thursday, April 2, 2020 by DrJBHL | Discussion: Personal Computing

Edge is going to get some excellent new features:

1) Side tabbing and tab grouping which are designed especially for 16:9 displays.

2) Cut and paste grouping by subject in "Collections".

3) Password breach warnings.

 

For a more detailed description, look here: http://www.infopackets.com/news/10737/edge-browser-gets-new-features-based-chrome

For a quick peek at how it'll look, go here: https://www.theverge.com/2020/3/30/21199819/microsoft-edge-vertical-tabs-feature-chromium

And...stay safe and well while having a good weekend...here's some amazing free stuff to do, and see: https://chatterpack.net/blogs/blog/list-of-online-resources-for-anyone-who-is-isolated-at-home

 

A Tour of Stardock Plymouth

Monday, March 30, 2020 by Frogboy | Discussion: Personal Computing

With our state on lockdown, our offices are empty. 
This gives me a rare opportunity to give a little tour of our offices with almost no one here.

 

A little bit about Stardock

So I started Stardock from my dorm room back in 1991 and incorporated it in 1993.  The building we’re in now, we bought in 2005.  We own it, so we are able to do whatever we want with it.  It’s about 20,000 square feet and we’ve had the opportunity to try out various working area styles.

 

The Welcoming Committee

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As you enter the main lobby of Stardock...

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This is Cheesecake.  An essential employee.  We allow dogs at work. Smile

 

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Stardock has 3 floors.  This is the lower floor in an area called Lab-2 (Lab-1 is upstairs).  The team is working from home.  We let people check out their PCs and take them home.

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This is also part of Lab-2.   Lab-2 has the workstation area. It’s not an open floor plan, but rather a hybrid, where everyone gets their own workstation area.  There are also 3 offices connected to it – Senior Producer (oversees schedule) – Senior Publisher (oversees the “biz” side) and Senior Designer (the lead designer on the project).  We mix the artists and engineers together so that they can work seamlessly together.

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This is the office I’m occupying down here.  I’m currently on a new project that won’t be ready for a couple years.  This is the first time I’ve been the senior designer on a game project since GalCiv II from the start.

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This is part of our Cafe. 

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Sitting area for the Cafe.  The nice thing about this area is that there’s a presentation area up front.

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This is on the main floor.  This is where the Impulse team used to be back in 2011.  We occasionally use it for podcasts, but it’s been unfilled since 2011.

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Also on main floor.  Has been empty since we sold Impulse to GameStop.

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Biz Conference room.  I spend a lot of time here, unfortunately.

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The fitness room.  Empty. So sad.

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My office.  Empty now that I’ve moved to the senior designer office.

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Gamer’s Bill of Rights.

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Wife and kids. Smile

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Back of my office.  There’s a little framed box of the “contract” between Chris Taylor and I on Demigod.  It’s on a napkin.

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Upstairs Lab-1 with Agile wall (Scrum wall).   So empty.

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Kristy’s workstation isn’t empty at least!

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Cleanest this area has been in years. The IT area.

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Play-testing lab.

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Derek Paxton, upstairs in Lab-1’s Senior Designer office.

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The kids of the QA area. Today, just making sure everyone else is able to work from home.

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Obligatory picture of gender neutral bathroom. We have gender-specific bathrooms on every floor but we also installed this along with an area for employees who have just had children to take care of things (and we did this back in 2005).

The general goal is to create an environment that is welcoming and comfortable.  We have extremely low turn-over and I think a big part of that is our company environment.

And with that, back to work!

Google Provides Learn from Home Options Amid Covid-19 Pandemic

Wednesday, March 25, 2020 by Tatiora | Discussion: Personal Computing

Over the last few months, the Covid-19 Pandemic has changed the way of life for millions of people around the world. Recently in the United States, schools have been closing across the country, prompting educators to do their best to get resources up online so that all learning doesn’t stagnate. 

 As children and their parents adjust to this temporary new normal, teachers have been working on setting up remote classrooms and teleconference lessons. To help, Google and YouTube have stepped up to the plate by providing new resources for helping teachers to keep their classrooms running.

Google’s page, called Teach From Home, provides several recommendations for how teachers can teach remotely using Google products. Right now, the page features ideas like doing a video call with a class using Hangouts or creating an online quiz using Google Forms. There’s also a “Teach from Home” toolkit, which has a series of slides with resources on how to teach remotely.

The toolkit suggests that teachers can use google calendars to schedule 1:1 appointments with their students, host video conferences using Hangout Meets (which Google has provided a free premium membership to through July), and make a class website. Google’s accessibility settings also make closed captioning possible and help teachers accommodate those with additional learning needs.

The Learn@Home resources highlight educational YouTube channels that students can watch at home. The page categorizes the channels with recommendations for families with kids 13 and older, families with kids five and older, and for families with preschoolers. YouTube has established a partnership with Khan Academy and other educational creators, featuring channels such as Discovery Education, PBS Kids, Cool School, and Sesame Street. Both Learn@Home and Teach From Home are currently available in English, and will be available in other languages very soon.

Google is also launching a $10 million Distance Learning Fund as part of the company’s $50 million contribution made through Google.org, to COVID-19 response efforts. To begin, Google.org will donate $1 million to Khan Academy’s fund to assist them in providing remote learning opportunities for affected students.

Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10 Zero Day Vulnerability

The fix/mitigation until there's an official fix

Thursday, March 26, 2020 by DrJBHL | Discussion: Personal Computing

Seems as if all we do is about viruses, anymore, eh?

Well, there's a new zero day vulnerability in Windows and you really should fix it as you could end up infected with ransom ware as a result of its exploitation. MS has found two cases of that, and now that they have described the exploit, chances are much higher of getting hit by it. To get a good description of the problem, check the linked article. If you wish to read the original MS notification, it's here.

"On 23rd March, Microsoft acknowledged a zero-day vulnerability that affects all the Windows computers. The list of affected computers includes the most-updated Windows 10 including the insider builds; Windows 8.1 and 8; Windows 7 which has reached its End of Life, and many versions of Windows Server. However, the vulnerability is a limited targeted attack which means it’s not that widespread and only a certain number of users can be affected — mainly those who deal with font files and the preview pane.

Microsoft has zeroed down the attack to two exploits in the Adobe Type Manager Library which the attackers are taking advantage of. Having said that, the sad part is that Microsoft will be releasing the security patch next month, most probably on April 14, 2020. So until then, you can take a series of actions by yourself which can fix Windows Zero-Day vulnerability on Windows 10 and 7 computers right now."

I'm including a snip of the 'how to fix' article because I added how to deselect the two panels in Windows explorer...it's done with Alt+P, then proceed to the Options, etc.

(from Beebom linked article)

Don't forget to disable the Web client service (at the bottom of the linked article), and then to reboot.

And have a good weekend!

Community Covid-19 Check-in Post!

Monday, March 23, 2020 by Island Dog | Discussion: Everything Else

This is certainly an interesting time right now. I know many of us around the world are social distancing, self-quarantining, or whatever phrase you are using for it. 

So let's take a moment and check-in here and let the community know how you're doing during all this.

 

Getting More Wallpaper Content Added to WinCustomize

Monday, March 23, 2020 by Island Dog | Discussion: WinCustomize News

The wallpaper gallery here on WinCustomize is one of the most searched areas of the site. It's content though can sometimes be lacking when searching for a specific thing, or just the fact not a lot of people upload to that gallery anymore.

Well, we're working on changing that! We have a dedicated account that will be bringing new wallpaper content to the site. It's already started and you might have noticed a bunch of new wallpapers already. We'll try to bring a wide variety of styles, but if you think there's a specific type or category needed, please let us know.

We'll be expending this to add additional animated wallpapers to our DeskScapes gallery as well!

For now, check out some of the new wallpapers in the gallery here.

https://www.wincustomize.com/explore/wallpapers

Post your Desktop Workstation Setups!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020 by Island Dog | Discussion: Personal Computing

We always posts screenshots of our desktops, but lets take it a bit further and post images of your desktop setups!

 

The Most Popular CursorFX Themes on WinCustomize!

Monday, March 16, 2020 by Island Dog | Discussion: WinCustomize News

CursorFX 4 was announced last week, and I wanted to go through the cursor theme gallery on WinCustomize and find some of the popular themes that might be fun to check out.

If you happen to be looking for some of the legacy cursor themes that used to be included with CursorFX, then you'll be happy to know we uploaded them to WinCustomize. You can find them here: https://www.wincustomize.com/explore/cursorfx

Black Fire by vampothika

 

Piranha FX by neone6

 

Trident by theAVMAN

 

neovision by jester382

 

Sharingan Cursor by Hakudos

Windows 10 v. 2004 cometh

Actually is feature rich.

Saturday, March 14, 2020 by DrJBHL | Discussion: Personal Computing

This spring, Windows10 v. 2004 or 2020 first half year update (code named 20H1) will be coming and it's feature heavy, with some meaningful changes such as those in Cortana  and notepad, Windows subsystem for Linux (WSL 2), Windows explorer with much better local search and tied to OneDrive, sandbox and virtual desktops, and a beefed up Task manager.

There are more, and I suggest reading up on them in the link above.

And have a good weekend! 😉

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