Windows 10 on ARM

Microsoft is releasing Windows 10 on the ARM platform.  It will start with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with devices initially being released by HP and Asus.  They will come loaded with Windows 10S, with a free upgrade (for a limited time after purchase) to Windows 10 Pro if desired.  Windows 10S supports built-in and Windows Store native 32-bit (x86) applications and UWP apps.

Due to the nature of the Snapdragon processor, it will support cellular connectivity and gigabit Wi-Fi.

All of this allows for significant battery life and brings the mobile device world into the traditional computing (e.g. laptop) world.  In short, it gives consumers more choice with another device dimension.  Through emulation, it can run native x86 Windows applications as well as natively run Windows UWP applications.  It appears there is no x64 emulator.  For the most part, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Specific top x86 applications are being tested (such as Google Chrome, Adobe Products, Microsoft Office, etc.  Hopefully (hint, hint Microsoft!), Visual Studio 2017 will be included in the mix to allow .NET Core and UWP apps to be developed.  While many, if not most, developers will still favor Intel-based processors for maximum device coverage (they could, for example, run Windows 10S in a Virtual Machine), there is a segment of the market that could benefit from a long battery life, less expensive device.  This includes students who can be influenced to make a career in the development industry.

Exciting times!

The New Firefox (Quantum)

In November, Firefox Quantum (Version 57) was released.  It is a big deal (at least to me now, and those that have always liked Firefox).  It is fast.  It is beautiful.  It is on a wide range of platforms (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux).  And it has brought me back (at least for now) to Firefox after 6 years of being on Google Chrome (I was a Firefox devotee for many years before Chrome).  Yes, I still like Chrome (for the most part) because it is still the most used (right now) but it has become stale and bloated.  Yes, I like Edge (for the most part) because it is also fast but it is only on Windows 10 and with limited add-ons.

It feels fast when I launch the application for the first time.  It feels fast when I use it.  It has nice built-in themes (Default, Dark, and Light).  Firefox once again defaults to Google’s search engine (instead of Yahoo!).  It has a new browsing engine that takes advantage of multiple cores in modern devices.  It has moved to a unified address and search bar (sometimes I like the separate bars when searching for something it believes is a domain name), drops legacy extension support, implements stronger security (better sandbox, for example), and more touch device friendly.

I am still testing Firefox with all my websites and using as a debugging tool.  Right now, it is doing great (for the most part) and it is my default.  It will be interesting to see what the others do in response.  In the meantime, it is great to see a standalone initiative (the non-profit Mozilla Foundation) releasing such a quality product.

OneDrive for Business 101-ish

I have been a long time Dropbox user.  I also have been a long time Office 365 Business User.  OneDrive was always subpar to Dropbox, but I kept an eye on it because I would like to eliminate the redundant expense for 1TB storage.  With the introduction of Files On-Demand with Windows 10 1709, OneDrive for Business and Personal are now much stronger contenders.  Dropbox Plus doesn’t have this feature via Smart Sync.  At double the cost, you have to upgrade to Dropbox Professional to get this service.  This means that if you synchronize a subset of folders/files (Selective Sync) to your local machine, you have to use a browser to determine if a folder or file in the cloud exists and set it up to sync.  A lot of extra steps.

Dropbox still has a simpler experience in general.  Managing the OneDrive client is confusing especially if you have multiple OneDrive accounts and have folders shared and synchronized (which creates landing folder separate locations).  It is made additionally confusing, but powerful, if you synchronize SharePoint Online files locally.

If you like simple, stick with with Dropbox or other favorite file sync software.  Dropbox also offers long term file retention option (at an extra cost) in case you delete a folder or file and don’t check often.  If you have Office 365 (and all of its services) and are wiling to spend time to  learn its configuration, OneDrive is very useful.

Configuration OneDrive for Business

If you have OneDrive for Personal Setup

To add an Office 365 account (which accesses OneDrive for Business) or right-click on OneDrive in your Windows tray (typically on the lower right corner).  Select Settings.  Click Add an account button.  Enter in the credentials for your Office 365.

If you don’t have OneDrive for Personal Setup

OneDrive for Personal doesn’t need to be setup.  Open the OneDrive application (click Start and start typing OneDrive).  When it prompts for an account, enter in the Office 365 credentials.

Once OneDrive for Business is setup

A new OneDrive icon will appear in your Windows tray (it is currently a blue cloud icon).  Hovering with the mouse on the cloud icon will indicate which account is associated with the specific tray icon.  You can configure settings for each of the accounts by right-clicking on the cloud icon and selecting Settings.  This includes setting up Files On-Demand (currently not enabled by default with Windows 10 1709), Selective Sync, etc.

Accessing OneDrive files

This is where it gets a little weird until it becomes ingrained.  There are essentially three folders when using OneDrive for Personal, OneDrive for Business, synchronizing shared folders in OneDrive for Business (done by going to, selecting Shared with me, opening a desired folder, clicking Sync button) and synchronizing folders in SharePoint Online (opening the desired folder and clicking the Sync button).  Assume your Office 365 directory is called RecursiveGeek.  Your Windows profile will have the following folders:

  • OneDrive
  • OneDrive – RecursiveGeek Directory
  • RecursiveGeek Directory

The first folder is for OneDrive for Personal (folders and files setup to sync and, if enabled, Files On-Demand).  The second folder is your OneDrive for Business synchronized folders (folders and files setup to sync and, if enabled, Files On-Demand).  The third folder is your Sync folders from shared content (by other OneDrive for Business users) and SharePoint Online.


OneDrive for Business is really useful and has come a long way.  It would be nice if they cleaned up the UI with the OneDrive client in the Windows tray (single icon, single application that is managed in a single interface).  Files On-Demand is awesome, allowing you to conveniently and seamlessly access files in the cloud when not on the local drive to save space.  Dropbox Plus is no longer a compelling reason for me to use them and thus I will be dropping them once it is time to renew.

Windows 2016 without UWP

Microsoft would like greater UWP (Universal Windows Platform) acceptance.  Right now, only Windows 10 supports UWP.  One operating system out of many present.  Not so universal.

While it may be understandable to not go back and support older Operating Systems, such as Windows 8.1, 8, and 7, Microsoft has continued to bypass Windows 2016 (which was released after Windows 10).  Developers use Windows 2016.  Developers create UWP apps.  There is a desire to make UWP more accepted, but it doesn’t support the latest server OS.  The reasoning given is that UWP support is often updated, which is counter to server OSes.  Yet there is the push to use the most secure and fastest browser, which is Edge and not Internet Explorer 11 (talk about sending contradictory messages).

Windows Server 2016 only supports Internet Explorer from Microsoft (as well as Chrome, Firefox, Opera, etc.).  Yep, still scratching my head on this one.  And yes, still not developing UWP apps because of it.

Hello world!

Welcome to the new website.  This is being setup to talk about geek things.  Typically it will be about the Microsoft Platform.  But it won’t be limited since their ecosystem is expansive and there are other interesting technologies.

This blog may go no where.  It may go everywhere.  It is a test of my willingness to post content despite the numerous shiny objects and life living objectives.  Regardless, I hope you enjoy your visit and come back soon (provided I keep updating).