Reset tiles in the “Start menu” screen on Windows 8

If you ever want to wipe the slate clean of tiles, so to speak, try this:

  1. Start key
  2. Gesture from right to activate the charms menu. For non-touch devices (PCs), do an Alt+C and click Settings:image
  3. Tilesimage
  4. Under “Clear info from personal tiles” click the Clear buttonimage

Done!

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Figure 1

 

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Figure 2
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Figure 3
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Figure 4
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RSS subscriptions in Windows and Internet Explorer

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Feeds tab in Internet Explorer under the Favorites menu on Windows 8 desktop mode

Sample

| INFORUM | Fargo, ND

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Subscribe

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Subscribe to this feed

This will add to the list of your subscriptions.

Outlook also has RSS support.

Action Center automatically checking for driver updates

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Notification Area

I got a message in the notification area that there was some kind of scheduled event running.

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Action Center icon when no current issues are detected

Hovering over the Action Center icon will invoke a tooltip stating “no current issues detected”:

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Tooltip

Action Center

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Screenshot

Software Update

Software that got updated was interesting:

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After the update completed the Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center appears.

So far, everything is working fine.

High disk activity suspected in Music app playback skipping

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Resource Monitor

The song I was just listening to started skipping and I don’t know exactly why. Just that the only thing in Resource Monitor that I could find is a spike like the ones above. Particularly the second highest spike in disk activity.

If it’s disk activity then it would be either:

  • Samsung hard drive
  • External Maxtor USB drive

I always suspect the external to be the bottleneck based on previous experiences with performance lags on Windows 8.

Prescription

Close all apps. If that doesn’t work, try logging off [Windows] by going to Start and clicking on your name on the upper right, then click Sign out:

Press the Start key on the keyboard, swipe from the right [if you’re on a tablet], or

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Click Sign out to log off your user account. This will terminate the current user session and start you off with a clean slate in terms of what Windows loads from the user profile when you login. It saves a reboot and thus less wear and tear on moving parts like hard disks if you don’t have a solid state drive (SSD).

  • Close apps
  • Log off
  • Reboot
  • Shut down

If I really want to go the extra mile I’ll disconnect the drive and test. But it probably won’t get to that. The drive, I believe, is USB 2.0. Will need to verify that later.

Root Cause

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Ran into the issue again today and noticed the song is still downloading. I’m not sure if the song yesterday was having the same problem.

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Receive/Transmit appears fine for a 10MB Ethernet connection. The bottleneck is in the cross connect cable from the computer’s NIC to the DSL Actiontec modem

WWAHost.exe is the process I check under the Overview tab in Resource Monitor.

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When I check that I’ll also get another process in the Network tab that I’ll check called BackgroundTransferHost.exe.

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Don’t think it’s a network issue on my end since regular internet is working and the TCP Connections and Network counters appear normal (above). It’s either with the ISP and/or XBOX in the cloud.

The only thing I could see Windows developers do to remedy situations like this would be to better buffer the packets as they come down. But in this case it’s just easier to play another song and wait for the song to download. In this case, I waited until the download box disappeared. Then it played fine without skipping.

Solution

Wait for song to download. You can play another song in the meantime. Once the download box disappears go back to the song exhibiting the problem earlier and play.

Internet Explorer throws alert on my Twitter “Discover” page

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https://twitter.com/i/discover

When trying to hit the above site I get the following error message:

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Internet Explorer blocked this website from displaying content with security certificate errors.

There’s a Show content button with an x next to it.

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Continue reading “Internet Explorer throws alert on my Twitter “Discover” page”

The My Music section of XBOX Music on Windows 8.0

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Music app tile on the Windows 8 Start screen. Live tile is off.

There’s an interesting command I discovered several weeks ago that exposed an even more interesting and previously unused feature of the [XBOX] Music app on Windows 8. In this post, all the screenshots were taken either with the print screen key [Prt Scn] or the Start + S combo [OneNote required] to get those tight lasso shots like this next photo below.


Collapse icon

There’s this little hyphen icon in the lower right portion of the screen in the Music app:

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Mouse pointer needs to be moved to this portion of the screen to activate and display
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The my music section of the Music app on Windows 8.0
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Arranged by Genre
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Date added is default
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The arranged by drop down box in-line with the little carrot pointing downward

This is the easiest, best way to get that same record store style experience. Especially with the new touch devices. Even on a non-touch PC like my Dell it’s a nice feature. In some cases, preferable to the built-in search that you get in all metro or modern apps in Windows 8. You just type and the search kicks in. When finished typing you just hit enter. You also get that same integrated search functionality from the Start screen and you can choose which app to use to search from. For example, the Bing app.

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Bing app in Windows 8

Continue reading “The My Music section of XBOX Music on Windows 8.0”