Scott Hanselman

Totally unsupported hacks - Add Windows Terminal to the Win+X Shortcut menu

August 27, 2019 Comment on this post [9] Posted in Win10
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You shouldn't do this and if you choose to do this you may hurt yourself or one of your beloved pets.

You have been warned.

The Windows+X hotkey has been around for many years as is a simple right-click style context list of Developer/Administrator stuff that your techies might need in the course of human events.

There's one obscure setting in Settings | Taskbar where you can set the main option for the Command Prompt to be replaced with PowerShell, although that was flipped to "on" by default many years ago.

Replace Command Prompt with PowerShell

I want Windows Terminal in that Win+X menu.

Fast Forward to a world with lots of alternative console hosts, Linux running on Windows natively, not to mention cross-platform open source PowerShell Core, AND the new open source Windows Terminal (that you can just go download right now in the Windows Store) we find ourselves in a middle place. We want to replace the default console with the Windows Terminal everywhere as the default but that's gonna be a while.

Until then, we can integrate the Windows Terminal into our lives in a few obvious ways.

  • Pin Windows Terminal to your taskbar
  • Train yourself to Win+R and run "wt" rather than "cmd.exe" at wt.exe is a shim that launches the store-based Windows Terminal.
  • Add Windows Terminal to the Win+X menu.

It is that last one that concerns me today.

The Win+X implementation is a totally bonkers thing that I just don't understand with its origins lost to the mist of forgotten time.

You can go check out C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WinX and find it full of LNK files. Just drop yours in there, right? Well, I say nay nay!

They didn't want just anyone dropping stuff in there so to add a new application to Windows+X you need to:

  • Make or find a LNK file for your application.
    • BUT! Your lnk file can't (today?) be a LNK to a Windows Store app - more on that later. They appear to be ignored today.
  • Store a special hash in your LNK file per Rafael's excellent writeup here so that they are considered "Approved Links."
  • Make a new Group 4 folder in the \WinX folder above OR update Group 3 and copy your link in there considering the numbering scheme.
    • Note the ordering in the registry at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ShellCompatibility\InboxApp

OR

Here's my WinX\Group3 folder . Note the shortcut at the top there.

image

I wanted to find a link to the Windows Terminal but it's harder than it looks. I can't find a real LNK file anywhere on my system. BUT I was able to find a synthetic one and make a copy by going "Win+R" and running "shell:AppsFolder" which brings you to a magic not-a-folder folder.

Not a folder folder

That is a folder of lies. I tried making a copy of this LNK, moving it to my deskop, hashing it with Rafael's util but it's ignored, presumably because it's a Windows Store LNK. Instead, I'll head out to cmd.exe and type "where wt.exe" to find the wt.exe shim and make a link to that!

C:\Users\scott>where wt.exe
C:\Users\scott\AppData\Local\Microsoft\WindowsApps\wt.exe

These files are also lies, but lies of a another type. Zero byte lies.

Zero Byte Lies

Right-click wt.exe and Create Shortcut. Then drag that shortcut out of there and into somewhere else like your Desktop. You can then use hashlnk and move it to the WinX folder.

OR, you can use this scary and totally unsupported utility hosted at a questionable website that you have no business visiting. It's called Win+X Menu Editor and it was a chore to download. So much so that I'm going to hide a copy in my DropBox for the day in the near future when this utility and website disappear.

Be careful when you go download this utility, the site is full of scary links that say Download Now but they are all lies. You want the subtle text link that points to a ZIP file, just above the Donate button that says "Download Win+X Menu Editor."

In this utility you can add an item that points to your new WT.LNK file and it will use Rafael's code and copy the LNK file to the right place and re-number stuff if needed. Again, be careful as you never know. You might mess up your whole life with stuff like this. It worked for me.

Win+X Menu Editor

And there you go.

Windows Terminal in the WIN+X menu

Lovely. Now IMHO in some ideal future this should just happen out of the box, but until then it's nice to know I can do it myself.


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About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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August 29, 2019 6:41
Awesome tip. You did not mention though, that a restart is needed after doing this. Rafael's article does though ;);
August 29, 2019 7:45
Ah, sorry, just a restart of Explorer.exe from task manager. ;
August 29, 2019 8:16
Nice trick and let's hope it gets integrated offically but I don't see the benefit of having the win+X shortcut instead of having it in the taskbar and using win+1 (or any other number depending on the position).;
August 29, 2019 9:30
Reading about wt.exe here allowed me to add Windows Terminal to the Command Line options in Visual Studio like this:
cmd.exe /c start "" "wt.exe"
but it seems you can't just launch wt.exe directly without going through cmd.exe, and there doesn't immediately seem to be any way of passing any other information to the terminal (such as current directory). Still, a step forward, thank you!;
August 29, 2019 10:59
FYI placing an ampersand in the shortcut name will set the keyboart accelerator for that entry to the following letter - did this to replace Win+X,A with PowerShell 7!;
August 29, 2019 12:31
trade penguin shrimp yell neil crows http://oudi.tw/bbs/home.php?mod=space&uid=10906 footprints reported helene won ;
August 29, 2019 14:39
AutohotKey Script for alt/shift/ctrl/t to start development windows terminal or bring it to the front.
+!^t:: ;{ <-- Windows Terminal
Process, Exist, WindowsTerminal.exe
NewPID := ErrorLevel
If NewPID <> 0 
	WinActivate, ahk_pid %NewPID%
else
	Run "C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\WindowsApps\wtd.exe"
return
;
August 29, 2019 17:39
That "questionable website" (Winaero) is very trustworthy and it's been around for years and they do nothing but help people with their free tools, tips and tricks. It would nice to give them a little respect rather discouraging people by saying "no business visiting it".;
August 29, 2019 17:50
For giggles I added a ssh profile with the commandline "ssh.exe username@linuxmachine" and created a new guid for the "guid" field. Works great! I Like have multiple terminal windows in one place rather than multiple windows...;

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dotnet new worker - Windows Services or Linux systemd services in .NET Core

August 23, 2019 Comment on this post [6] Posted in DotNetCore Open Source
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dotnet new workerYou've long been able to write Windows Services in .NET and .NET Core, and you could certainly write a vanilla Console App and cobble something together for a long running headless service as well. However, the idea of a Worker Process, especially a long running one is a core part of any operating system - Windows, Linux, or Mac.

Now that open source .NET Core is cross-platform, it's more than reasonable to want to write OS services in .NET Core. You might write a Windows Service with .NET Core or a systemd process for Linux with it as well.

Go grab a copy of .NET Core 3.0 - as of the time of this writing it's very close to release, and Preview 8 is supported in Production.

If you're making a Windows Service, you can use the Microsoft.Extensions.Hosting.WindowsService package and tell your new Worker that its lifetime is based on ServiceBase.

public static IHostBuilder CreateHostBuilder(string[] args) =>
Host.CreateDefaultBuilder(args)
.UseWindowsService()
.ConfigureServices(services =>
{
services.AddHostedService<Worker>();
});

If you're making a Linux worker and using systemd you'd add the Microsoft.Extensions.Hosting.Systemd package and tell your new Worker that its lifetime is managed by systemd!

public static IHostBuilder CreateHostBuilder(string[] args) =>
Host.CreateDefaultBuilder(args)
.UseSystemd()
.ConfigureServices((hostContext, services) =>
{
services.AddHostedService<Worker>();
});

The Worker template in .NET Core makes all this super easy and familiar if you're used to using .NET already. For example, logging is built in and regular .NET log levels like LogLevel.Debug or LogLevel.Critical are automatically mapped to systemd levels like Debug and Crit so I could run something like sudo journalctl -p 3 -u testapp and see my app's logs, just alike any other Linux process because it is!

You'll notice that a Worker doesn't look like a Console App. It has a Main but your work is done in a Worker class. A hosted service or services is added with AddHostedService and then a lot of work is abstracted away from you. The Worker template and BackgroundService base class brings a lot of the useful conveniences you're used to from ASP.NET over to your Worker Service. You get dependency injection, logging, process lifetime management as seen above, etc, for free!

public class Worker : BackgroundService
{
private readonly ILogger<Worker> _logger;

public Worker(ILogger<Worker> logger)
{
_logger = logger;
}

protected override async Task ExecuteAsync(CancellationToken stoppingToken)
{
while (!stoppingToken.IsCancellationRequested)
{
_logger.LogInformation("Worker running at: {time}", DateTimeOffset.Now);
await Task.Delay(1000, stoppingToken);
}
}
}

This is a very useful template and it's available from the command line as "dotnet new worker" or from File New Project in Visual Studio 2019 Preview channel.

Also check out Brady Gaster's excellent blog post on running .NET Core workers in containers in Azure Container Instances (ACI). This is super useful if you have some .NET Core and you want to Do A Thing in the cloud but you also want per-second billing for your container.


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About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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August 28, 2019 6:24
Hi Scott, thanks for the post! How about a service running on macOS? Is there any specific package available?;
August 28, 2019 6:47
Hi! Have you heard of TopShelf? Is it obsolete for .NET Core now, because of this new worker concept?;
August 28, 2019 10:16
How does this apply to netcore console apps running in Linux Containers? Should SystemD still be used?;
August 28, 2019 13:42
Thank you so much, Scott! It's very valuable on "dotnet new worker". For users of .NET framework, it's very useful article to know about new services. Just a small question, what do you think for which is it beneficial more- Windows or Linux?? Thanks again and keep sharing!! ;
August 28, 2019 15:23
Maciek: If running in a Linux container, you should continue to use a normal console application and define that app as your entrypoint. Systemd, like windows services, run in the OS background. If for no other reason, you'd need something else in your entrypoint just to monitor the systemd and keep running. Otherwise the Docker container would exit.;
August 28, 2019 18:27
Hi Scott. There are some ways to create a Hosted Service without thinking about the OS production environment? What happens if I have two environments with differents OS? Best;

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Review: UniFi from Ubiquiti Networking is the ultimate prosumer home networking solution

August 20, 2019 Comment on this post [19] Posted in Hardware Reviews
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UniFi mapI LOVE my Amplifi Wi-Fi Mesh Network. I've had it for two years and it's been an absolute star performer. We haven't had a single issue. Rock solid. That's really saying something. From unboxing to installation to running it (working from home for a tech company, so you know I'm pushing this system) it's been totally stable. I recommend Amplifi unreservedly to any consumer or low-key pro-sumer who has been frustrated with their existing centrally located router giving them reliable wi-fi everywhere in their home.

That said...I recently upgraded my home internet service provider. For the last 10 years I've had fiber optic to the house with 35 Mbp/s up/down and it's been great. Then I called them a a few years back and got 100/100. The whole house was presciently wired by me for Gigabit back in 2007 (!) with a nice wiring closet and everything. Lately 100/100 hasn't been really cutting it when I'm updating a dozen laptops for a work event, copying a VM to the cloud while my spouse is watching 4k netflix and two boys are updating App Store apps. You get the idea. Modern bandwidth requirements and life has changed since 2007. We've got over 40 devices on the network now and many are doing real work.

I called an changed providers to a cable provider that offered true gigabit. However, I was rarely getting over 300-400 Mbp/s on my Amplifi. There is a "hardware NAT" option that really helps, but short of running the Amplifi in Bridged Mode and losing a lot of its epic features, it was clear that I was outgrowing this prosumer device.

Give I'm a professional working at home doing stuff that is more than the average Joe or Jane, what's a professional option?

UniFi from Ubiquiti

Amplifi is the consumer/prosumer line from Ubiquiti Networks and UniFi (UBNT) is the professional line.  You'll literally find these installed at business or even sports stadiums. This is serious gear.

Let me be honest. I knew UniFi existed. Knew (I thought) all about it and I resisted. My friends and fellow nerds insisted it was easy but I kept seeing massive complex network diagrams and convinced myself it wasn't worth the hassle.

My friends, I was wrong. It's not hard. If you are doing business at home, have a gigabit network pipe, a wired home network, and/or have a dozen or more network devices, you're a serious internet person and you might want to consider serious internet networking gear.

Everything is GREAT

Now, UniFi is more expensive than Amplifi as it's pro gear. While an Amplifi Mesh WiFi system is just about $300-350 USD, UniFi Pro gear will cost more and you'll need stuff to start out and it won't always feel intuitive as you plan your system. It is worth it and I'm thrilled with the result. The flexibility and customizability its offered has been epic. There are literally no internet issues in our house or property anymore. I've even been able to add wired and wireless non-cloud-based security cameras throughout the property. Additionally, remember how the house is already wired in nearly every room with Cat6 (or Cat5e) cabling? UniFi has reintroduced me to the glorious world of PoE+ (Power over Ethernet) and removed a half dozen AC wall plugs from my system.

Plan your Network

You can test out the web-based software yourself LIVE at https://demo.ui.com and see what managing a large network would be like. Check out their map of the FedEx Forum Stadium and how they get full coverage. You can see a simulated map of my house (not really my house) in the screenshot above. When you set up a controller you can place physical devices (ones you have) and test out virtual devices (ones you are thinking of buying) and see what they would look like on a real map of your home (supplied by you). You can even draw 3D walls and describe their material (brick, glass, steel) and their dB signal loss.

UniFi.beginner.950

When you are moving to UniFi you'll need:

  • USG - UniFi Security Gateway - This has 3 gigabit points and has a WAN port for your external network (plug your router into this) and a LAN port for your internal network (plug your internal switch into this).
    • This is the part that doles out DHCP.
  • UniFi Cloud Key or Cloud Key Gen2 Plus
    • It's not intuitive what the USG does vs the Cloud Key but you need both. I got the Gen2 because it includes a 1TB hard drive that allows me to store my security video locally. It also is itself a PoE client so I don't need to plug it into the wall. I just wired it with a single Ethernet cable to the PoE switch below and left it in the wiring closet. There's a smaller cheaper Cloud Key if you don't need a hard drive.
    • You don't technically need a Cloud Key I believe, as all the UniFi Controller Software is free and you can run it in on any machine you have laying around. Folks have run them on any Linux or Windows machine they have, or even on a Synology or other NAS. I like the idea of having it "just work" so I got the Cloud Key.
  • UniFi Switch (of some kind and number of ports)
    • 8 port 150 watt UniFi Switch
    • 24 port UniFi Switch - 24 ports may be overkill for most but it's only 8 lbs and will handle even the largest home network. And it's under $200 USD right now on Amazon
    • 24 port UniFi Switch with PoE - I got this one because it has 250W of PoE power. If you aren't interested in power over ethernet you can save money with the non-PoE version or a 16 port version but I REALLY REALLY recommend you use PoE because the APs work better with it.
      PoE switch showing usage on many ports

Now once you've got the administrative infrastructure above, you just need to add whatever UniFi APs - access points - and/or optional cameras that you want!

NOTE/TIP - A brilliant product from Ubiquiti that I think is flying under the radar is the Unifi G3 Flex PoE camera. It's just $75 and it's tiny but it's absolutely brilliant. Full 1080p video and night vision. I'll talk about the magic of PoE later on but you can just plug this in anywhere in the house - no AC adapter - and you've got a crystal clear security camera or cameras anywhere in the house. They are all powered from the PoE switch!

I had a basic networking closet I put the USG Gateway into the closet with a patch cable to the cable modem (the DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem that I bought because I got tired of renting it from the service provider) then added the Switch with PoE, and plugged the Cloud Key into it. Admin done.

Here's the lovely part.

Since I have cable throughout the house, I can just plug in the UniFi Access Points in various room and they get power immediately. I can try different configs and test the signal strength. I found the perfect config after about 4 days of moving things around and testing on the interactive map. The first try was fine but I strove for perfect.

There's lots of UniFi Access Points to choose from. The dual radio Pro version can get pretty expensive if you have a lot so I got the Lite PoE AP. You can also get a 5 pack of the nanoHD UniFi Access Points.

These Access Points are often mounted in the ceiling in pro installations, and in a few spots I really wanted something more subtle AND I could use a few extra Ethernet ports. Since I already had an Ethernet port in the wall, I could just wall mount the UniFi Wall Mounted AP. It's both a wireless AP that radiates outward into the room AND it turns your one port into two, or you can get one that becomes a switch with more ports and extends your PoE abilities. So I can add this to a room, plug a few devices in AND a PoE powered Camera with no wall-warts or AC adapters!

NOTE: I did need to add a new ethernet RJ45 connector to plug into the female connector of the UniFi in-wall AP. Just be sure to plan and take inventory. You may already have full cables with connectors pulled to your rooms. Be aware.

There are a TON of great Wireless AP options from UniFi so make sure you explore them all and understand what you want.

In-Wall AP

Here's the resulting setup and choices I made, as viewed in the UniFi Controller Software:

List of Ubnt devices

I have the Gateway, the Switch with PoE, and five APs. Three are the disc APs and two are in-wall APs. They absolutely cover and manage my entire two story house and yards front and back. It's made it super easy for me to work from home and be able to work effectively from any room. My kids and family haven't had any issues with any tablets or phones.

As of the time of these writing I have 27 wireless devices on the system and 11 wired (at least those are the ones that are doing stuff at this hour).

My devices as viewed in the UniFi controller

Note how it will tell you how each device's WiFi experience is. I use this Experience information to help me manage the network and see if the APs are appropriately placed. There is a TON of great statistics and charts and graphics. It's info-rich to say the LEAST.

NOTE: To answer a common question - In an installation like this you've got a single SSID even though there's lots of APs and your devices will quietly and automatically roam between them!
Log showing roaming between APs

The iPhone app is very full-featured as well and when you've got deep packet introspection turn on you can see a ton of statistical information at the price of a smidge of throughput performance.

iPhone StatsiPhone Bandwidth

I have had NO problem hitting 800-950Mbs over wired and I feel like there's no real limit to the perf of this system. I've done game streaming over Steam and Xbox game streaming for hours without a hiccup. Netflix doesn't buffer anymore, even on the back porch.

a lot of bandwidth with no drops

You can auto-optimize, or you can turn off a plethora of feature and manage everything manually. I was able to twitch a few APs to run their 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi radios on less crowded channels in order to get out of the way of the loud neighbors on channel 11.

I have a ton of control over the network now, unlimited expandability and it has been a fantastically stable network. All the APs are wire backed and the wireless bandwidth is rock solid. I've been extremely impressed with the clean roaming from room to room while streaming from Netflix. It's a tweakers (ahem) dream network.

* I use Amazon referral links and donate the little money to my kids' school. You support charter schools when you use these links.


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About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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August 23, 2019 7:55
What would need to be different if the network wiring in the house is limited? Say a few rooms have good wiring, but some areas are not covered by wire. Would it be fine to mix a setup like yours with some pure wireless extensions of some kind. Would UniFi products support that in some way?;
August 23, 2019 8:39
I love deep packet inspection. I use it to monitor if my children sneak on the internet when they're not allowed. I have a Synology router which keeps a log of several months of usage. Sadly the router is not that reliable. Can you drill down to a specific client's usage over time in the Ubiquity app?;
August 23, 2019 8:45
Technically you don't need a USG or a UniFi switch either; I started with just a couple of Ac Pros, running the UniFi software in a docker container on my Synology NAS, using the supplied POE injectors into a standard Netgear switch I had. I added a USG and UniFi switches later (a 24 port non PEO, then an 8 port POE to make the cabling neater and remove the POE injectors). You still get some of the benefits, but without a switch or USG you don't get the DPI, which frankly is half the fun!;
August 23, 2019 8:46
How big is your house that you need 5 APs? UNIFI usually have good coverage...;
August 23, 2019 9:11
Does this let you define multiple SSIDs, one with IPV6 enabled, and another with it disabled? That's one thing I've been looking for.;
August 23, 2019 9:20
Hi John Embretsen, I've got a similar scenario, as I don't have cables between the basement and the ground floor. The AP on the ground floor is connected to the basement AP via Wireless Uplink (https://help.ubnt.com/hc/en-us/articles/115002262328). Obviously there's a performance loss here, but you can extend wifi range that way.;
August 23, 2019 10:20
Scott welcome to the unifi family! Glad you found it just like i did 3 years ago. What i don't get is why you have to use so much AP's. I have a 3 AP's in the house on each floor, because it is all concrete. Also one in the garden because it is large garden and i wan't full coverage. American houses are mostley wooden build or not, so why so much ap's? Personaly i love the unifi products, i can manage the network of my home and of our vacation house everywhere from the same controller software. The cool thing is that you can also select in the controller software which firmware feed you want to be a member of. I like living on the edge so Beta feed is good for me. If you like you can also be a member of the test team for the iOS App. New features every two weeks, cool stuff. You can get access here: https://community.ui.com/questions/UniFi-Network-iOS-app-beta-access-feature-issue-tracking/856d3786-b0ab-4855-8f47-65ef246d3731 or https://testflight.apple.com/join/Pkd9a658 You have to make an account to get access first. ;
August 23, 2019 13:00
Do the AP's work well sitting on a desk or table? I don't have the wiring for ceiling mount. In my eero system today, several of my nodes just sit on a table or tall cabinet. ;
August 23, 2019 13:40
This is very cool and I looked into this, but like you originally, it seemed like way too much work. So I got the Netgear Orbi system. I'm able to routinely get 800+ Mbps wired and 400-500 Mbps wireless with it, so I'm happy.;
JB
August 23, 2019 13:41
Just a small correction: the USG is a router; you don't need to plug your router in there.;
August 23, 2019 14:55
I can just confirm. Using Ubiquiti since ~3 years now. For people in Germany, setup using any provider + Fritzbox as Modem + the following parts works totally fine and is bit cheaper: - Switch 4/4 POE - Raspberry to host the Controller (there are official packages available) - AC PRO (I am using 3x PRO and 1x LITE). PRO benefit is that you do not lose the network plug BR, MKO;
MKO
August 23, 2019 15:27
I had a small unifi network in our previous house. A USG, Cloud Key and two AP Lites. Worked great. Building a new house. 2 stories and a basement. 3000 sq feet + basement. I plan on 3 AP Lites in the center of each floor for broad 2.4 GHz coverage. Then add 2 or 3 Wall APs for added 5 Ghz in the office, den and master. Possibly in the garage. The best ah-ha moment for me was when my 12 yo called me last year saying that his school bus arrived early (which does sometimes happen) and he missed it but had left the house at his normal time. I quickly looked up the time his phone left our house network and he had left the house 15 minutes late. I drove the 15 minutes back to the house to give him a ride and we had a nice chat.;
August 23, 2019 15:42
So you want to off load your Amplifi? I'll be your huckleberry. :);
August 23, 2019 23:37
It's true that you don't need the cloud key to run the controller. A friend of mine ran his on a raspberry pi, which is a little bit more hassle to set up but I'd have thought it might have been right up your alley, Scott. I bought the cloud key because I just wanted everything to work out of the box with minimal fuss.;
August 24, 2019 10:09
nice article. keep it up;
August 24, 2019 10:32
I have a very similar setup and it works great. I do have to add few more APs to get better coverage in some rooms. Initially I thought one AP pro in the center of each level of the house should do it which is what I have now. But certainly that's not enough. But ubiquity hardware and management software is great for sure.;
August 26, 2019 0:22
Personally speaking, I'd want to see 2-4 10 GbE/SFP+ ports on my next home switch. It'd probably raise the price ~$200 (for a 24 port switch), and it's a slightly different use case. Right now I have a 24 port GbE dumb switch (no PoE/10GbE), with about half the ports in use. PoE & 10 GbE both fall into chicken/egg upgrades for me right now. ;
August 29, 2019 0:36
Scott! I too recently switched over from Netgear Nighthawk X6 and redid everything to a Unifi System. Unluckily my home was not pre-wired, so I had to run some new wiring from the attic down to the office where the rack cabinet is located. System Setup - Gateway - Cloud Key Gen 2 - 24 Port PoE Switch - 2 AP NanoHD - 2 AP Lite My provider gives me 300 MB/30 Up, I will be switching to Gigabit in the next few weeks and upgrade my plan as well. Ever since the switch, the Wifi experience has been amazing. I am still considering getting 2 In Wall HDs as well. Looking forward to hearing more of your experience with Unifi! ;
August 29, 2019 11:29
We were using a Cloud Key at work, and were thinking that UniFi felt glitchy and unreliable at times. Ports on switches would suddenly lose all information about what was connected, it was slow to bring up the list of devices (we only have like 20 switches and 2 USG acrosss 2 sites, as we user Meraki for wifi still), and just seemed glitchy. Then we migrated to a Ubuntu VM with docker container for unifi-controller and all those issues went away instantly. And I've heard similar reports on reddit. Maybe not applicable to a small home network, or thew second generation cloud keys, but I'll mention it for others.;

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SharpScript from ServiceStack lets you run .NET apps directly from a GitHub Gist!

August 15, 2019 Comment on this post [10] Posted in DotNetCore Open Source
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I've blogged about ServiceStack before. It's an extraordinary open source project - an ecosystem of its own even - that is designed to be an alternative to the WCF, ASP.NET MVC, and ASP.NET Web API frameworks. I enjoy it so much I even helped write its tagline "Thoughtfully architected, obscenely fast, thoroughly enjoyable web services for all"

ServiceStack is an easy drop-in that simplifies creating Web Services in any ASP.NET Web App, but also in Self Hosting Console Apps, Windows Services and even Windows and OSX Desktop Apps - supporting both .NET Framework and .NET Core. The easiest way to get started is to create a new project from a ServiceStack VS.NET Template.

ServiceStack has released a new and amazing project that is absolutely audacious in its scope and elegant in its integration with the open source .NET Core ecosystem - #Script (pronounced "sharp script.")

Scripts IN your app!

There are a number of .NET projects that simulate REPL's or allow basic scripting, like "dotnet script" as an example or ScriptCS but I'm deeply impressed with #Script. To start with, #Script is somewhat better suited for scripting than Razor and it doesn't require precompilation. #Script is appropriate for live documents or Email Templates for example.

Here's a basic example of embedding a ScriptContext in your app:

var context = new ScriptContext().Init();
var output = context.EvaluateScript("Time is now: {{ now | dateFormat('HH:mm:ss') }}");

Where ServiceStack's #Script really shines is its use of .NET Core Global Tools. They've nabbed two global tool names - web and app (sassy!) and allow one to create SharpApps. From their site:

Sharp Apps leverages #Script to develop entire content-rich, data-driven websites without needing to write any C#, compile projects or manually refresh pages - resulting in the easiest and fastest way to develop Web Apps in .NET!

The web tool is cross platform and the app global tool is great for Windows as it supports .NET Core Windows Desktop Apps.

Your app IS a script!

You can write interactive SharpScripts or SharpApps that uses Chromium as a host.

You can literally run a "desktop" app self contained from a GitHub Gist!

Sharp Apps can also be published to Gists where they can be run on-the-fly without installation, they're always up-to-date, have tiny footprints are fast to download and launch that can also run locally, off-line and cross-platform across Windows, macOS and Linux OS's.

There's also a "gallery" that maps short names to existing examples. So run "app open" to get a list, then "app open name" to run one. You can just "app open blog" and you're running a quick local blog.

SharpApps

Easy to develop and run

The global tools make SharpApp a complete dev and runtime experience because you can just run "app" in the source folder and as you make code changes the hot-reloader updates the site as you Ctrl-S (save) a file!

If you've got .NET Core SDK installed (it's super quick) then just grab the local tool here (app on Windows and web anywhere else):

dotnet tool install --global app

And if you have a existing .NET Core web app you can launch it and run it in a Chromium Embedded Framework (CEF) browser with "app foo.dll" Check out this example on how to make and run a .NET Core app on the Windows Desktop with #Script.

ServiceStack CEF App

Then you can make a shortcut and add it to to the desktop with

app shortcut Acme.dll

Slick!

Code in #Script is done in markdown ```code blocks, while in Razor it's @{ } but it does use mustache template style. Go try out some of their Starter Projects!

#Script and SharpApps is an extraordinary addition to the .NET Core ecosystem and I'm just touching the surface. Do check out their site at https://sharpscript.net.

What do you think?


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August 21, 2019 10:32
Bu there is already a Script# language. That will get confusing );
August 21, 2019 11:28
What are the licensing implications/usage restrictions/long term support implications of using this? ServiceStack is commercial as I recall.;
August 21, 2019 11:34
@Harry #Script can be used for free without restriction, I've answered questions about its free usage and licensing on the HN thread: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20755929;
August 21, 2019 20:18
WOW this is awesome!;
August 21, 2019 21:38
I prefer the ClearScript project much more than this, for the simple reason it runs JavaScript, and not a custom language. This one is a nice idea, with lots of great features, but it comes to the language, this is crucial to define adoption in an ecosystem. Going the JS path is much more appealing to the dev public, since they can reutilize their existing skills.;
August 21, 2019 21:42
Just complementing, it would be great if MS or the community would apply the same ideas of SharpScript into ClearScript.;
August 21, 2019 23:51
#Script is modelled after JavaScript and supports JavaScript expressions including support for some JS Objects like JavaScript Arrays. It adds additional features which make it more suitable for usage in templates, e.g. it adopts Handlebars block helpers syntax for its script blocks which is an important feature to be able to easily generate dynamic markup like dynamic HTML since it represents a majority of its use-cases. The pipe operator allows for more readable code as found in Vue.js Filters and Angular Template expressions. #Script is also highly extensible where there aren't keywords baked into the language per-se, all functionality is added via script methods and script blocks, e.g. the `to =>` assignment is just calling the `to` C# script method and all methods and blocks can be easily removed, shadowed or replaced to create your DSL language. The ability to run in a controlled sandbox that can define all functionality available to #Script's is also an important property to be able to allow safe execution from untrusted sources as well as elevated access to Protected APIs in safe contexts.;
August 22, 2019 6:51
@Johann @Demis Bellot I don't get the comment about using JS? This all seems to be about running C# in a script like fashion which is not the same as running JS - which is already a script language.;
August 22, 2019 8:30
@Peter Right, they allow scripting in .NET Apps. The usage of JavaScript is for familiarity and because it's also better suited as a dynamic scripting language. But JavaScript isn't ideal as a template language so #Script also adopted Handlebars syntax for its statement blocks. The pipe operator is also popular in templating languages (e.g. Angular Templates/Vue Filters) because it's much more readable and wrist-friendly to transform values with a pipe chain: {{ a | b | c }} then to use method invocations {{ c(b(a())) }} So #Script is essentially = JS Expressions + Handlebars blocks + Pipe operator It does add some of its own convenience syntax like its short-hand lambda syntax where you can use an implicit `it` param (from Kotlin) for single param lambda expressions, e.g:
{{ [0,1,2,3,4,5] | where => it < 3 | map => it + 10 | join }}
as an alternative to specifying explicit formal parameters for each lambda:
{{ [0,1,2,3,4,5] | where(it => it < 3) | map(it => it + 10) | join }}
Allowing all script methods being called as extension methods also adds to readability, so install of calling method with their normal positional arguments:
itemsOf(3, padRight(reverse(arg), 8))
you can call them as an extension method when it improves readability and better expresses the codes intent:
3.itemsOf(arg.reverse().padRight(8))
and #Script's code feature is common in template languages to switch from "template" mode to "code", e.g:
Razor:
@{
    var a = 1; 
    var b = 2; 
}
Basic Calc
a + b = @(a + b)
#Script:
```code
1 | to => a
2 | to => b
```
Basic Calc
a + b = {{a + b}}
Which is useful in code-only scripts like Shell Scripts and Live Documents as popularized by Literate programming, which I'd love to see more of.;
August 27, 2019 12:46
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I miss Microsoft Encarta

August 13, 2019 Comment on this post [51] Posted in Musings
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imageMicrosoft Encarta came out in 1993 and was one of the first CD-ROMs I had. It stopped shipping in 2009 on DVD. I recently found a disk and was impressed that it installed just perfectly on my latest Window 10 machine and runs nicely.

Encarta existed in an interesting place between the rise of the internet and computer's ability to deal with (at the time) massive amounts of data. CD-ROMs could bring us 700 MEGABYTES which was unbelievable when compared to the 1.44MB (or even 120KB) floppy disks we were used to. The idea that Encarta was so large that it was 5 CD-ROMs (!) was staggering, even though that's just a few gigs today. Even a $5 USB stick could hold Encarta - twice!

My kids can't possibly intellectualize the scale that data exists in today. We could barely believe that a whole bookshelf of Encyclopedias was now in our pockets. I spent hours and hours just wandering around random articles in Encarta. The scope of knowledge was overwhelming, but accessible. But it was contained - it was bounded. Today, my kids just assume that the sum of all human knowledge is available with a single search or a "hey Alexa" so the world's mysteries are less mysterious and they become bored by the Paradox of Choice.

image

In a world of 4k streaming video, global wireless, and high-speed everything, there's really no analog to the feeling we got watching the Moon Landing as a video in Encarta - short of watching it live on TV in 1969! For most of us, this was the first time we'd ever seen full-motion video on-demand on a computer in any sort of fidelity - and these are mostly 320x240 or smaller videos!

First Steps on the Moon

A generation of us grew up hearing MLK's "I have a dream" speech inside Microsoft Encarta!

MLK I have a Dream

Remember the Encarta "So, you wanna play some Basketball" Video?

LeBron James from 2003

Amazed by Google Earth? You never saw the globe in Encarta.

Globe in Encarta

You'll be perhaps surprised to hear that the Encarta Timeline works even today on across THREE 4k monitors at nearly 10,000 pixels across! This was a product that was written over 10 years ago and could never have conceived of that many pixels. It works great!

The Encarta Timeline across 3 4k monitors

Most folks at Microsoft don't realize that Encarta exists and is used TODAY all over the developing world on disconnected or occasionally connected computers. (Perhaps Microsoft could make the final version of Encarta available for a free final download so that we might avoid downloading illegal or malware infested versions?)

What are your fond memories of Encarta? If you're not of the Encarta generation, what's your impression of it? Had you heard or thought of it?


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August 18, 2019 6:17
I remember Encarta fondly. I can't remember exactly which it was, but used to spend hours playing a mini-game that, if my memory isn't failing, was like an RPG that you needed to answer trivia questions to proceed to the area you wanted to go to. That and aimlessly browse information about all kind of animals.;
August 18, 2019 6:20
Wilson - Encarta Mind Maze! There's videos on YouTube;
August 18, 2019 6:29
Yes! Thats the one! Spent so many hours, I don't recall ever getting to the end, or if there was any!;
August 18, 2019 6:36
I lost many hours to Encarta Mind Maze. Encarta was multimedia in the greatest form back then. The fact that it was "edutainment" meant my parents were completely ok with me spending hours in front of that CRT. Thanks for the nostalgia Scott! Brings back some great memories.;
August 18, 2019 6:55
I also have great memories of Encarta. I don’t remeber the version, but I spend weeks exploring the maps. It was a great way to learn something about the world.;
August 18, 2019 8:57
I still have a copy of Encarta 98. I spent many hours browsing through it, much like I do with Wikipedia now. Now, why doesn't Wikipedia have those fun movie clips?;
August 18, 2019 9:30
I bought my nephews a whole World Book 2018 set (hardcover). I feel like nothing beats the tactile feel of books.;
August 18, 2019 11:33
I used to have Microsoft Student 2006. It had Encarta and Microsoft Math in it. It runs on .NET Framework 1.1. So, it probably won't work in Windows 10. Its installer has a progress bar that does nothing for a very long time, before jumping to the end. I remember having tried to use Encarta's globe to show everyone where the Bermuda triangle was located, and through it, show them how ridiculous the whole allegation was. (Of course, the triangle that I drew encompassed the Bay of Pigs and the entire Dominican Republic.) I also used to show its super-biased article on 9/11. Though all of us sympathized with the victims of the incident, we found its ultranationalistic bias very comic. Eventually, whenever I want to make it a point that Microsoft has never been good at handling the consumers market sector, Student and Encarta are among my examples. The Microsoft Math component was a keeper though. I still have it.;
August 18, 2019 15:29
I remember growing up and using Encarta more of as a fun learning/entertainment, rather than primarily for research papers. Encarta '97 was my library. Sometimes I'd spend hours just sifting through the content, and even discovered a love for classical music due to it. There's something about the lack of instant gratification that makes the days of dialup and Encarta so wonderful. Maybe I'm just feeling nostalgia of my best days where I could be freshly fascinated and mind blown by technology everyday. ;
August 18, 2019 17:09
Well, in 2002 Encarta was probably the best tool in our Language Learning Lab in my high school. The teachers were visionary; they had Sims installed on the computers, there was a Computer Club whose members were developing basic language learning programs, and there was Encarta. I remember I was listening world music, including Roadhouse Blues from Albert King. Just a short sample but enough. I wish I could remember the version we had back then. ;
August 19, 2019 6:58
I have a vague recollection of getting a version of Encarta free with a shop built desktop PC. I swear I remember finding a brief clip of Jaws on it where Brody is shovelling chum over the side of the boat, looks away whilst doing it and then looks back as Jaws briefly rises out the water - "We're gonna need a bigger boat" I remember as a 15/16 youth working in a local independent computer build/repair shop on Saturdays. I had about a 20 minute conversation with someone trying to figure out why their Encarta "wasn't working" - turns out they had put the disc in - but get this - had not closed they tray! Literally - eject button, put disc in, left tray out and wondering why it wasn't working. Unfortunately the rise of touch screens and accessibility to technology and some people are just as bad as this caller was.;
August 19, 2019 10:56
Yup - have still got (and regularly use) the (very large) Encarta dictionary, which came with the CD (or was it a DVD? - must dig it out and check) My memory of the whole Encarta experience was watch the footage of the Hindenberg disaster, and hearing the genuine despair in the voice of the commentator.;
August 19, 2019 16:04
Glad I'm not the only one who liked the Mind Maze. For the last few years, I've been wondering if there's something like it that's still kept up to date. Is there anything like that today? "The idea that Encarta was so large that it was 5 CD-ROMs (!) was staggering, even though that's just a few gigs today." Back in my day, Encarta came on ONE CD! (95) Now get off my lawn! *wheeze*;
August 19, 2019 16:21
I was 9 when my family bought our first PC in 1999. It ran Windows '98 and we got Encarta '98 in the bundle. Several things blew my mind about Encarta and I remember navigating that medieval castle for hours in MindMaze. Perhaps the most mind blowing of them all - the articles for famous sites around the world (e.g. St. Paul's Cathedral in Rome, if I remember correctly) included 3D panoramic photos that you could click-and-drag in all directions. This was in 1999 - long before we took Google Earth and Streetview for granted! Encarta helped with all sorts of school projects too - I was one of the first in my class to even word process and print my work, let alone include images I found in Encarta!;
August 19, 2019 17:46
The Timeline was my absolute favorite feature of Encarta! Would love Amazing.;
August 19, 2019 18:07
Thanks for remember! It is a nice memory that you made me recover. Happy days for you.;
August 19, 2019 18:28
I remember encarta. I was in class of other kids that had it. They were able todo their research for homework by printing off articles. A printer too?! Wow! By the time my parents could afford to get encarta we got dial up internet! So I was never a user at home but used it at friends a once or twice;
August 19, 2019 18:37
I like to collect self-contained software. The software/content is static and it doesn't change unless you want it to. Being offline is useful because you can disconnect from the internet and go into hermitage, to enjoy silence and creativity... - Encarta 2009, Britannica 14, pocket wikipedia and the oxford english dictionary application for pc - Many offline tools and books. My philosophy is that my computer is a personalized system shaped by my hand. Like a piece of my mind it is very personal. ;
August 19, 2019 18:54
Oh, please post the timeline in full resolution. I'd love to be able to read it. ;
August 19, 2019 19:01
The day Microsoft announced the end for the Encarta product, I reached out to Microsoft in order to discuss a freely licensed version and/or a release of the Encarta software in order to allow Wikimedia volunteers to pick up where Microsoft had left it. After a few weeks in May of 2009, we unfortunately received word from Microsoft that they had come to a negative decision: " Thanks for offering to meet in July. Since you and I first spoke, we've decided internally that we won't be sharing Encarta content with Wikimedia, nor with any third party. We expect to leverage Encarta content in future Microsoft products and believe that sharing the content externally would diminish the value of the asset. I'm sorry we're not able to satisfy your request for this material." Best of my knowledge, Microsoft hasn't used Encarta content in any product since then and certainly not right now. I reached out to Microsoft in 2014 to explore the possibility re-discussing the issue and found out that two of the three Microsoft employees that were part of the discussion with Wikimedia no longer worked there. Maybe 10 years later, a third attempt could be made. ;
August 19, 2019 19:08
The year was probably 1996. My dad had just bought his first Windows 95 PC and was excited to show it off to me. He picked me up from boarding school and drove me to his house. I remember it was a Fujitsu machine with a massive 800 MB drive, a quad-speed CDROM, 4 MB of RAM, something that could play FM for MIDI and had Encarta 95 on just one disk at that time. Being totally blind, my usage of windows at that time was severely limited. We didn't have access to a screen-reader, and back then, such things didn't come with the operating system, so we learnt as we went. My dad taught me how to get Encarta 95 to load once I inserted the disk, I believe it was as simple as pressing enter and that thing we all love to hate these days, autorun, kicked in. When I heard the disk had spun up to speed, I'd wait about 10 seconds, press enter, and wait for the introduction. I believe the non-standard interface to pull up a search from the keyboard was CTRL+S, where upon I'd type something vaguely multimedia-related, hit enter and hopefully get something to play. I don't quite recall how that occurred now, perhaps a second enter, or space? I can't remember, but I was absolutely blown away by Encarta and how much information it contained even on one disk. When I couldn't get it to play nicely, my dad would take over, and we'd explore different music, national anthems played as MIDI via the FM synth, and the sounds of animal calls, tribal chants, Reggae music and random videos. He also taught me to pull up the find command and search the drive or CD for *.wav, avi, mid etc, which would play either in Sound Recorder or Media Player. This meant that if he wasn't available to help me, I could still enjoy this new powerhouse of a computer without too much input. I'd literally spend hours playing random sound files as that was about the most I could do at the time, but I loved it. With the Encarta CD in the drive of course, the options were greatly improved, and every day I'd find something new. I got through all the internal C: Drive content in pretty short order. Windows didn't have as many sound schemes and things that it has today, of course, so it didn't take long. In any case, I have very, very fond memories of Encarta 95 in particular and was very glad to have come across this article today.;
August 19, 2019 19:12
This goes back a bit further, but I miss the physical feel of encyclopedias in my hands. I also miss the visual of seeing different publishers’ encyclopedias lined up in rows. It’s great to have more information than I can imagine accessible from my phone. However, that tactile feel... nothing can replace it. ;
August 19, 2019 19:17
I worked on the pop-up dictionary/thesaurus that was built-into Encarta. Microsoft licensed it from Franklin Electronic Publishers. I put an "easter egg" into the dict/thes app. If I remember correctly, type "paul_bartholomew" into the pop-up app, and a window would pop up with info about the author. It's possible I'm mis-remembering the text to type that causes the pop-up. If I'm remembering it correctly, and if the author of this article doesn't mind giving it a try, I'd love to see that ancient pop-up with my name on it! :) Thanks! - Paul B.;
August 19, 2019 19:23
My family didn't have Encarta, but we did have World Book 2000. The best feature was the "historical world wide web"; a series of on-disc web pages supposedly maintained by various civilizations throughout the ages.;
August 19, 2019 19:31
I used Encarta in 95 in a Brazilian government company that bought hundreds of computers. Wonderful. Maybe in the future will not come an immersive vr version for xbox? Of course looking at the wall, seeing encyclopedias, I know I can touch them, smell them, but I still prefer the ancient songs around the fire where our story was told in verse by the elders and the good paintings we made on the wall.;
August 19, 2019 19:40
Connectivity has caused much more than the loss of Encarta. Its the loss of portable curated lists or databases. In the Palm Pilot era I had multiple reference documents for all kinds of topics. I had several special purpose searchable lists eg.:
    List of Hazard code for transportation ( modern equiv https://pe.usps.com/text/pub52/pub52apxa.htm).
    List of Radio stations by Interstate and Exit. (almost like https://radio-locator.com/)
and other very niche lists that other people have made. Most were in the same format and one DB tool front ended all of them. One search form and one result report. All where downloaded once and then use without connectivity. With our modern devices having 64G and more free storage you could get an awful lot of static data on to a hand held device. I guess my own answer is to write and app that does this with a modern look and feel and in-app charge for databases and their updates. ;
August 19, 2019 20:04
A very important reality that Scott Hanselman and likely most of the commenters to this article is that any technology geared toward education that puts the control squarely in the hands of one or a very few commercial, proprietary entities will inevitably fail. As time goes on, educational technology must move towards "Open, International and non-proprietary Standards, and every corporation, government and academic institution that ignores or attempts to circumvent this reality - born of historical facts, is delusional. Even Microsoft has had to eat it's arrogance and stubbornness in accepting and adhering to these standards, as is exhibited in products and services like Wikipedia. The author and readers may have been naive to this situation in 1990s, and/or a but those of us in technology of a universal world knew better, even if it took longer than anticipated. ;
August 19, 2019 20:19
I live on a small island lost in the middle of the pacific ocean (Tahiti) and remember we looked our island in Encarta with my dad, they had a full article about us with an old song/video I never heard but my dad knew it and started singing along. For me as a kid this was the coolest thing ever.;
August 19, 2019 20:46
Encarta was one of my first CD-ROM bundle I've used. I remember spending hours browsing through the video, articles, facts etc. In the age of information overlod - i don't remember browsing Wikipedia with such passion at all. Good old days.;
August 19, 2019 20:59
daammmmm man... Encarta... i remember when i was going to school's IT rooms to see virtual visits in Encarta. <3;
August 19, 2019 23:16
I remember I had to put Encarta into my CD-ROM caddy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caddy_(hardware) Good times!;
August 20, 2019 0:51
Yep I remember Encarta. I also remember sprawling on the floor for hours with volumes of Britannica piled around me. Was an excellent idea. I'm annoyed every time I hear a travel company, that has captured the name, advertising. What we have now is worse, in many ways. Plenty of it but
  • shallow,
  • not thought through,
  • careless
  • and so full of disinformation and propaganda.
And so very fragile, all this streaming content and too much ET phone home. Devolution, not evolution.;
August 20, 2019 2:07
Fuck you shill. ;
August 20, 2019 4:18
I had good time with Encarta. I have to admit, my copy was a pirated one. I think Microsoft should open source this product so others can improve it and continue it. ;
August 20, 2019 10:36
Actually they should offer it as a free download open-source version and in addition make it open-source and donate the data and assets to Wikipedia, that would help improve the quality and content accessibile to all users on the internet.;
August 20, 2019 13:26
I can't remember in which version of encarta, but when I was young I spent hours on those 3D recreations of famous places travels. I live in a developing country and the access for internet was too expensive, encarta was the best alternative to do my homeworks, find cool images to print, and have a look of the world. It would be great it could become free for the development of those kids that still don't have access for good quality information. ;
August 20, 2019 13:49
I still run it occasionally on my 15 yr old desktop that runs win xp. It was awesome 10-15 years back, with people still buying 12 volume books. I don't have the cd now, but managed to get the iso and load it using daemon tools, the pages are professionally done and I feel better than wikipedia sometimes. ;
August 20, 2019 16:23
I still remember somehow learning that the word "dollar" came from the German word "Thaler". And that segueing into the proverb "wer den Pfennig nicht ehrt, ist den Thaler night wert" (roughly: if you don't watch your cents, you're wasting your dollars).;
August 20, 2019 17:51
I remember Encarta on the Mac. Microsoft also had a CD Moviemania that was like IMDB complete with clips of various movies. Both were amazing. It is interesting how much of the modern web was anticipated and just waiting for the technology to catch up. I have an old Magellan - that was the name of the startup - CD of catalog PDFs back when people ordered using catalogs. I have a set of digital remote sensing explorer disks that were released anticipating satellite maps. I have an old DeLorme US Atlas anticipating so many things. Wow, this brings back memories. ;
August 21, 2019 5:42
This is actually very interesting. I have never head of Encarta, but I will download and try it out.;
August 21, 2019 12:34
Great content that remember old memory. I have tried once time in my friends's PC. I miss Microsoft Encarta. ;
August 21, 2019 22:35
Strange coincidence - I miss it too and have often been on the look out on ebay for a 1994/1995 edition like the one I had. I recently found one and bought it - a new condition Encarta 94 with its glossy white box and manuals and CD intact. It arrived all the way from the US a couple of weeks ago (I'm in the UK) and I'm now trying to get it to work on a Windows 95 VM. I was 14 when I bought my original copy and it was probably my first software purchase, and I was very proud of it and spent hours browsing it. I spent a lot of time on the videos and interactive features, out of interest but also the pure joy of them - like nothing I'd seen/used on the PC or any other computer back then. Stupidly I destroyed the copy and its box in my 20s when I thought it was a relic I would never use again. I think MS was wrong to bin the 'Microsoft Home' suit. It reached a lot of consumers and got them early. Obviously the web rendered much of the content obsolete but I sometimes wonder, with today's security concerns (especially for what our kids are browsing) and the web's choice/information overload, with much of it being poor quality or badly curated, whether there is not again a market for Encarta-style curated products.;
August 22, 2019 8:46
Such good memories of Encarta, the go-to tool for homework and bringer of dust to the encyclopedia brittanica collections commonplace in the early 90’s... When I was at secondary school, before using the Internet was commonplace,but most people had access to a computer Inevitably everyone had the same quotes and references in there history homework. I also spent many hours playing the game bundled in it and attribute at least partially to Encarta my love now for getting lost for hours in Wikipedia and filling my brain full of mostly pointless knowledge! Anyone remember Microsoft space simulator too, equally as many hours where lost to me! I feel so blessed growing up in this era and have the most fond feelings for Microsoft and its products, almost like a father to me that keeps giving and providing, even now in my day job as a Microsoft stack developer. Love you guys and you are an inspirational to me Scott, keep up the good work!;
August 22, 2019 17:20
Since the article is about playing with dead technology, the author playfully appends ".aspx" onto the URL.
n-gate.com;
z
August 23, 2019 10:33
Very informative content Regards, HindiMei ;
August 23, 2019 11:12
Great idea man, they should open source it!;
August 23, 2019 11:44
This is my favorite memory from Encarta: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKCb1LyH7J8;
August 23, 2019 12:45
I remember reading from Microsft Encarta and learning a lot from it.;
August 24, 2019 20:23
Encarta was one of the first CD-roms I got and it was amazing. I remember making a music video in the late 90s with a lot of footage from Encarta. Internet access was slow, and restricted since it was expensive and occupied the household's only phone line. Having access to the vast content of Encarta on-demand was fantastic. The music video qualified for the finals in the competition it entered. It was a special time. ;
August 25, 2019 6:41
20% discount for music with code SMILE20;
August 27, 2019 8:03
I miss the Mastering Series. Talk about training on steroids for the real world. But yeah, Encarta was classic.;

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.