Setup and Commands for Uploading/Downloading files from Objectstorage in Windows using Swift CLI

On Mac it is quite simple to upload and download files from object storage in bulk ,but on windows it is quite difficult since we dont have any available documentation for this.
I use Windows 8 and once I need to do a backup of all the files from object storage container .There are around 5000 pdf files and there is no option where we can directly download all these in a single go from object storage.We need to select one by one.
So then I thought of using Swift CLI and after long struggle I succeeded on windows.So hope this helps someone.

First we need to have Swift CLI set up on your local machine.
For that we need to install Python,PIP,Swift client and keystone client.

First we need to set up virtualenv since on windows it doesnt support the openstack version 3 and Object storage is based on V3 .
But fortunately, python provides a way to install various version of command via “virtualenv” mechanism. It is possible to run various version of python in a virtual environment. And surely it worked for Bluemix Object Storage service too.

First we need to download python on your local machine and then install it and set the path

For window python installation you can refer this

https://github.com/BurntSushi/nfldb/wiki/Python-&-pip-Windows-installation

Then we need to install pip. Even for that you can refer the above link.

Then open cmd in the browse to the folder where you have pip installed and then u need to install virtualenv

>pip install virtualenv

>virtualenv virt

Then go to virt folder location

>cd virt

Capture1

Then install python swift client,python-keystoneclient and ndg-httpsclient module.

>pip install python-swiftclient

>pip  install python-keystoneclient

>pip install –upgrade ndg-httpsclient

Capture2

Capture3

Environment is set now and we can use the swift commands.

Firsy we need to  set the environment variables to access the object storage which you can get those from object storage service credentials

osmask

The values like <user-id>, <password> and <project-id> can be obtained from Bluemix Object Storage service UI. Once the details are correct u are authenticated and connected to object storage.

Then we can see the containers list using the following command

swift list

Capture6

Below are the Swift commands for downloading and uploading

Download a particular file from container

>swift download <container-name> <file-name>

 

Download all the files with in a container

>swift download <container-name> .

 

Uploading file in to a container

Go to the folder location where you have these files

>swift upload <container-name> <filename>

 

Uploading all the files in a folder to a container

>swift upload <container-name>

 

 

 

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Uploading a file in to object storage container using node js application

In the earlier blog I’ve showed  how to generate authentication token for our object storage .In this blog I will show how to upload file in to object storage using that token.
So once we have our token we can use that to store files in the container.
In this blog I will create an api , using which we can upload a file in to object storage container.
For uploading any file through api , it is better that the file data should be passed to api as base64.Then it should be decoded and stored in object storage.

For uploading a file to objectstorage an api is provided which is,

API_ENDPOINT + ‘/’ + pdf_container_name + ‘/’ + pdfFileName
METHOD : PUT
headers: {


‘X-Auth-Token’: token,


‘Content-Type’: ”

}
Here API_ENDPOINT is mentioned in the previous blog

Here token is the one which we generated and Content-Type depends on the file type.

First we will create a function which would accept the base64 data and the name with which it should be stored in object storage(eg: document.pdf)

function storepdf(basedata, pdfName) {
    var filename = pdfName;
    var promise = new Promise(function(resolve, reject) {
        var pdf_container_name = "accountdocs"; //containername in objectstorage
        var bufferString = basedata; 
        var pdfFileName = filename;              
        getAuthToken().then(function(token) {
            getStringAsStream(bufferString).pipe(Base64.decode()).pipe(request({
                url: API_ENDPOINT + '/' + pdf_container_name + '/' + pdfFileName,
                method: 'put',
                headers: {
                    'X-Auth-Token': token,
                    'Content-Type': 'application/pdf'
                }
            }, function(error, response, body) {
                if (!error && response.statusCode == 201) {
                    return (pdfFileName);
                } else {
                    return (error);
                }
            }));
        });
    });
}

We are passing the base64 data as Stream and then we are decoding the base64 data and pipe() that data to our request.
Then in our main api we will call the above function as below :

app.post('/storepdf', function(req, res) {
    var data = req.body;
    var basedata = data.base64;
    var filename = data.filename;
    var fileUploadtime = (new Date).getTime();
    var file = filename.split(".")[0] + "_" + (new Date).getTime() + "." + filename.split(".")[1];
    storepdf(basedata, file);
    res.send(file);
});

Here we are appending timestamp to the filename ,storing the file in object storage and then we are sending that as response to this rest call.

Then we call use this api at our client side and server side and then upload your document.

Hope it helps someone.

Object storage:How to generate credentials and token using Node js application on bluemix

Object Storage

It is one most useful service if you are developing applications on bluemix .It provides unstructured cloud data storage. You can store and access your content using this service.

You can store your files such as pdf,txt,mp3 etc. Also you can connect to another apps and services.

How can we store files

First thing you need to have a bluemix account.Then login to your account and select your particular space.In data and analytics you can find object storage service and create it.Creating a service is nothing but an instance of that service getting created in your space.Once you create your service, create a container. This can be easily done from Manage tab.Below image shows it

 Creating a container

Once the container is created you can directly upload your files using the bluemix GUI.But in the real time we need our files to be uploaded through our application may be using some rest apis..

How can we use this service through application ?

IBM Object storage is based on SWIFT api . The service uses OpenStack Identity (Keystone) for authentication and can be accessed directly by using OpenStack Object Storage (Swift) API v1 calls.
So first we need some authentication keys to be generated for this service to use through our application.

Creating service keys for authentication:

Login to your bluemix account using cloud foundry using cf login

Then use the following command:

         cf create-service-key Objectstorage_servicename My-Service-Key

Now we will list this credentials since we need this by our application to authenticate to the object storage.

cf service-key My-Object-Storage My-Service-Key

Once we have these details we can focus on our application.Object storage is developed in such a away that if we want to use any api it requires an authentication token which is generated using the above values.

So the most important thing is generating a token.To generate this token we have an api for  region specific where we need to perform a post call with auth details of userid,password,project_id
Below is the api for UK region and for US region we need to replace lon with dal

  https://lon-identity.open.softlayer.com/v3/auth/tokens

Using the generated token we can upload or download any file from the container.
Generating token through post man or soap ui is simple.But we need to generate this using our node js application.Below code snippet shows you how we can generate that using our node js application.

Generating this token using NODE JS Application

// Create a config object
var config = {};
// Specify Openstack as the provider
config.provider = "openstack";
// Authentication url
config.authUrl = "https://lon-identity.open.softlayer.com";
config.region = "london";
// Use the service catalog
config.useServiceCatalog = true;
// true for applications running inside Bluemix, otherwise false
config.useInternal = true;
// projectId as provided in your Service Credentials
config.tenantId = "8fa4009784be465fa601ddc998a05ba0";
// userId as provided in your Service Credentials
config.userId = "b30caec05e054063b3ac52ec4844586c";
// username as provided in your Service Credentials
config.username = "admin_c62585ab7f8d4322654d09db3871c0195389040a";
// password as provided in your Service Credentials
config.password = "o()V]9=tz)~.d7Mu";
var API_ENDPOINT = ['https://lon.objectstorage.open.softlayer.com/v1/AUTH_', config.tenantId].join('');

config.auth = {
    forceUri: "https://lon-identity.open.softlayer.com/v3/auth/tokens",
    interfaceName: "public",
    "identity": {
        "methods": [
            "password"
        ],
        "password": {
            "user": {
                "id": "b30caec05e054063b3ac52ec4844586c", //userId
                "password": "o()V]9=tz)~.d7Mu" //userPassword
            }
        }
    },
    "scope": {
        "project": {
            "id": "8fa4009784be465fa601ddc998a05ba0"
        }
    }
};
//console.log("config: " + JSON.stringify(config));
var getAuthToken = function() {
    if (AUTH_TOKEN === '') {
        return new Promise(function(resolve, reject) {
            var authUrl = config.authUrl;
            var authInfo = {
                auth: {
                    identity: {
                        methods: ['password'],
                        password: {
                            user: {
                                id: config.userId,
                                password: config.password
                            }
                        }
                    },
                    scope: {
                        project: {
                            id: config.tenantId
                        }
                    }
                }
            }
            request({
                url: authUrl  + '/v3/auth/tokens',
                method: 'post',
                body: authInfo,
                json: true
            }, function(error, response, body) {
                if (error)		
                    reject(error);
                else {
                    resolve(response.headers['x-subject-token']);
                }
            });
       });
    } else {
        console.log("AUTH_TOKEN" + AUTH_TOKEN);
        return AUTH_TOKEN;
    }
}

Once the token is generated we can interact with the object storage through our node js application. In the next blog I will show how to use this token to upload file in to object storage container through our app.

Hope it helps someone!

Architecture of IBM BPM

There are number of functional components in IBPM Iam going to tell the basics of those components.

processcenter

 

Process Center:

It is the brain of BPM.We cannot work without a process center because that’s where development happens.The process center is called as a shared model.It means that,no matter what is being done with the over all solution,there is only one common repository and a single representation of that solution.Because of this, it is impossible to get two phases of the same solution out of synch with each other.

For example two people are working on same artifact at a time(eg:bpd).For one who works first will be editable and for the other it will be read only until the first person saves.Thus the data will always be in synch.

The process center is actually comprised of three components:

Process Center Server:

Enables you to run the processes as you build them.When your process is ready you can run that on test,production environments.Thus the process server will provide different run time environments where the developer can run the processes at different stages.

Process Center Repository: It is responsible for managing the solution’s artifacts.

Performance Data WareHouse:

It is responsible for collecting and managing the historical data of all the BPD’s and tasks that are run in the process server instances or the process center environment

What is BPM and the history of IBM BPM

BPM:

It will help your business to grow whatever it may be healthcare,finance,banking,insurance etc.,Everyone has some business process and they want management of that business process so that they can track it,make themselves aligned with the SLA’s and finally they can work efficiently on their business so that they can grow.

In technical terms,it can be defined as a field of operation management,that focuses on improving the corporate performance by managing and optimizing the company’s business process.

It will help to grow your business because you are going to do management of your business using the technology,what ever the technology it may be.

IBM BPM:It provides a platform where the business processes can be easily described,implemented,executed and monitored.

History of IBM BPM:

In 2005,IBM released a Business process management product called WPS (Websphere Process Server).It was designed to meet all the needs of a customer  from BPM perspective.It followed Service oriented architecture(SOA) paradigm.It means that customers would have business services and those would be aggregated together to build business solutions.

WPS came along with new open and business standard called Business Process Execution Language(BPEL).BPEL would solve all the business choreography needs.

(Choreography:There is no requirement that services need to be hierarchically composed.That means,two services may talk to each other.The protocol running between them is choreography)

This language can be visualized in a flow chart style diagram.The WPS provided IBM’s implementation of BPEL.So, with both SOA integration and BPEL IBM product,WPS came in to market.

But, unfortunately ,WPS could not capture 100% business market.WPS is more focusing on SOA principles. But competetors on more focussing on business users rather than technology users.It is more technical stuff and a business user could not sit and develop/capture their business process.To overcome this problem IBM came up with a new product called (IBM WebSphere Business Modeller) aimed at business users.But the problem is that WPS requiring migration from modeler to WPS for execution.

Acquisition of Lombardi:

A third party company called Lombardi called Teamworks which was a stiff competetor for  IBM WPS.

In 2010,IBM acquired Team Works and renamed as WebSphere Lombardi Edition(WLE) and the first release was in june,2010 i.e., WLE 7.1.In Dec,2010 WLE 7.2 version released.Although WLE replaced TeamWorks,we can still see the original name in few places.For example variable name starts with tw (eg:tw.local.text) .

WLE was successful but,customers were confused because IBM provides two products,i.e WPS and WLE.So to overcome this problem IBM came up with a single product,where they integrated the best parts of WLE and WPS in a single run time environment called IBM Business Process Manager(IBPM) and they released IBPM version 7.5.To maintain compatibility with the previous WPS and WLE customers,they kept many concepts of WPS and WLE by themselves.

Strength of IBPM:

Business processes are usually studied and captured by the business analysts and Bpm analysts.But they will have very less technical knowledge and they could not spend extensive time to translate business process in to automation design or implemetation.

But the biggest strength of IBPM is that with in few sessions anyone can capture the process in an intuitive diagram. After capturing the process,it can be play backed(run) to validate whether the process is fine or not.If we found any errors or misunderstandings we can easily make changes in real time in can be play backed again.This can be repeated until the correct process is captured.

The biggest differentiator of IBPM with other products is that it has interactive and real time iterative walk throuh capability.

 

Windows 10 Review: New, Yet Familiar

With Windows 8, Microsoft dared to reimagine desktop and mobile computing. The future, it envisioned at the time, would revolve around touch interfaces. The company introduced its Metro UI (since re-branded to Modern UI) to address the growing touch-capable devices market. Unfortunately, its ambitious bet didn’t sit well with users.

The problem was simple. had put so much emphasis on the touch interface, that it made the operating system hostile for traditional keyboard and mouse users – the vast majority of its user base at the time, and even now.

In the three years that Windows 8 has existed, the company has released two major updates to its desktop operating system: Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Update. To give you an idea of its impact (or lack thereof), all versions of Windows 8 put together have a market share of under 25 percent. In comparison, the six-year-old Windows 7 and decade-old Windows XP combine to power around 70 percent of all computers, as per the latest stats from marketing research firm Net Applications.

windows_market_share_by_version.jpg

Microsoft hopes to change that with Windows 10, which is now available across 190 countries. The new operating system represents several major strategic changes for Microsoft. To ensure that there’s no repeat of the Windows 8 fiasco, the company has taken many precautions and bold new steps. Hoping to attract users and convince people to upgrade from older versions, it has made Windows 10 free for the vast majority of users.

But that’s not all. In an unprecedented move, on September 30 last year, Microsoft announced the Windows Insider program for developers and eager beta testers, and also released a premature developer preview of Windows 10 nine months ahead of the final release.

windows_10_new_screenshot.jpg

The reasoning was simple: in order to make sure Windows 10 was well received, Microsoft wanted to let users decide and suggest the things they would like to see in the final release and what things they could live without. With Windows Insider, Microsoft tempted enthusiasts to try out the new operating system and provide feedback. Over the course of the last nine months, the company has carefully listenedto users and has also made lots of useful changes.

But that’s not all. Microsoft is making a huge bet on Windows 10. It says that the new operating system will be the last version of Windows it will ever sell. It is changing its stand on how it perceives and distributes its desktop operating system. Instead of being sold as a product, Windows will soon become a subscription service, with constant incremental updates rather than major new versions. But how that pans out won’t be clear for a few years.

Getting Windows 10
If you are an existing Windows 7 or Windows 8.x user, you can get Windows 10 for free via Microsoft. Hopefully, you reserved your copy in advance. If yes, the update should show up soon, though there are some things you can do to speed up the process. If not, you can download the Windows 10 ISO or buy a fresh copy off retail, probably on a USB drive.

Installing Windows 10 is as easy as installing any other recent version of Windows. It is also pretty fast. Once the download is complete, or if you are installing it from a USB drive, it should not take more than half an hour

As always, there are various variants of Windows, though the choice is not as complicated as before. Here’s a little something we wrote earlier to help you decide.

Initial setup doesn’t take long either. Much like Windows 8, there aren’t many things that Microsoft forces you to bother with. The activation process should also ideally not be any problem. Microsoft says that it will automatically activate PCs upgraded from licensed versions of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. Windows Insider members will also get the final Windows 10 build for free that will come pre-activated.

The company announced that users who don’t have any prior version of Windows installed on their computers, and those who are using pirated versions of Windows, will also be able to download and install Windows 10, but those copies won’t get activated until a valid Windows license is entered.

Design and interface
Before we look at the design changes and user interface in Windows 10, it is important to first look back and see how we got here.

Eight years ago at the D5 conference, veteran journalist Walt Mossberg asked Bill Gates and Steve Jobs if either of them were working on bringing a radical change to the desktop user interface. The Windows and OS X UIs had largely remained unchanged over the years.

Sure, icons and layouts have become more pleasant to look at, and thanks to ever-increasing pixel counts, more information can fit on one screen. But it is still largely the same interface Xerox showcased decades ago.

windows_95_ui_zdnet.jpg

It was Microsoft that took the bold step to reinvent the user interface three years ago. Modern UI was the best shot – perhaps the only shot – at giving us a new perspective on what desktop operating systems can be.

“Touch, ink, speech, vision – those things come in, but they don’t come in as radical substitutes. I think you’re underestimating the degree of evolution because you have lived with it year by year,” said Gates in reply to Mossberg’s question. “These natural interface things are the revolutionary change.”

That’s true. Many don’t realise this, but the reason the current user interface became an instant hit had a lot do with its striking resemblance to real-life hustle and bustle. The overlapping windows on your desktop feel at home because that’s how things look in the physical world. You have a table with plenty of documents lying on top. You look at one page and that page holds the centre of your attention. Later, when you pull out a different page, that’s where your attention shifts. This underlying congruity between physical and visual aspects is what makes the UI work.

And it seems we will be stuck with it for years to come, which should be a good news to many. Microsoft is making sure that Windows 7 and Windows XP users don’t see Windows 10 as an operating system that brings crazy design changes. In fact, in a recent promo video, Microsoft touted the similarity between Windows 10 and Windows 7 as one of the USPs that it hopes will convince users to upgrade.

To do so, Microsoft is undoing many of the things people hated about Windows 8. The Start Menu, which got the axe in Windows 8, is making a return in Windows 10. The new Start Menu comes with some handy new features. For instance, it is now also home to Live Tiles that can live side-by-side with traditional application icons.

For those unfamiliar, Live Tiles are icons for Modern apps. They automatically update and display contextual information without the need to be clicked on. For instance, the Live Tile for a weather app will show you the temperature and forecast right there. Also, you can customise the size of the Start Menu as you see fit.

The logon screen is finally dumping the traditional square frame with a user’s photo plastered over a plain background. Instead, the company is making things visually appealing in the logon screen in Windows 10.

The taskbar has undergone a visual revamp as well. It now sports a more flat and metallic look. The Windows/ Start icon has been revamped as well, but perhaps the most significant addition to the taskbar is the inclusion of a search box. This could come really handy to users.

windows_10_taskbar.jpg

Windows themselves have become flatter than ever. The File Explorer looks refreshing. The ribbon menu tab in it now sports more options, as a result of which it looks denser and more organised. It now offers quick shortcuts to view the properties of a folder and to create a new folder.

Windows_10_review_file_explorer.jpg

The navigation buttons have become wider and flatter, and they look more elegant this way. The taskbar is also getting a minor makeover. In addition to the pinned and on-screen applications, the taskbar is now also the home to new system functions such as Cortana, Action Centre, and Task View.

Features
An operating system is as useful as its built-in features. This is another area where Windows 10 fares with flying colours. Here are some features that you will find interesting.

Cortana
Formerly exclusively available on Windows Phone, Cortana is easily one of the most fascinating features of Windows 10. The digital voice assistant amazingly understands your general queries. It accurately understood when we asked for the weather by simply saying “What’s the weather like?” and cracked corny jokes when we asked it to. You can also ask it to do mathematical calculations and look up bits of information.

windows_10_cortana_review.jpg

In Windows 10, Cortana is your go-to search box for anything and everything. It is always ready for queries that you can make by typing in the text box or clicking on the microphone button and speaking out loud. You can also use the phrase “Hey, Cortana” to initiate a search query without moving your hands. By default this option is disabled, but you can enable it from the settings. Just ask Cortana to open “Cortana and Search Settings.” The first few hours could be annoying as Cortana might not pick up your accent and inflections, but it quickly adjusts and starts recognising your voice.

You can also use Cortana to set reminders for meetings and perform other tasks. One friendly reminder: be careful about the timings of reminders and appointments, as once you have saved that information, Cortana doesn’t let you edit it.

Cortana automatically checks things like weather and traffic conditions and suggests that you should leave early for your appointment if necessary, though this feature may not be available in all regions. Microsoft says that Cortana can become even more useful if you also use it on your smartphone. It will also be arriving on Android and iOS soon, in case you don’t own a Windows Phone device. In fact, an Android beta was leaked earlier this month.

That’s not all. You can have Cortana write emails for you. It can understand your dictation pretty well. You can also use it to open applications, play music and do a plethora of other tasks. Cortana can also keep you from getting bored. Much likeGoogle Now, it also maintains a dashboard that contains information such as updates from ongoing sports events, weather information, a curated list of stories recommended for your taste, and updates from the stock market.

Microsoft says that it is expanding Cortana’s functions to a handful of regionsincluding India. Once that happens, Cortana will be able to understand more local accents, idioms and phrases. We are looking forward to the rollout, though it needs to said that even without official support, Cortana seemed to work pretty well for us. Having Cortana significantly improves the computing experience. It doesn’t take long before you realise that.

Microsoft Edge
Windows 10 ships with a new Web browser called Edge. When it was announced, the company claimed that Edge is designed to handle modern Web design technologies. We can confirm that Edge doesn’t disappoint and works flawlessly.

Microsoft says that Edge is faster than Chrome, a conclusion it reached by pitting the two browsers against each other in three different benchmarking tools.

In our time with Windows 10, Edge worked just as fast as Chrome. It loaded Web pages without any layout problems. Edge also lets you annotate and doodle on Web pages, and comes with quick sharing option that can help you share pages you like with your remarks intact with friends and co-workers.

The new browser also has a reading mode that can strip distracting elements out of a page and create a clean layout with just the story text and images. Edge also integrates with Cortana, and there are several voice commands that you can use while browsing.

There’s one problem, however. While Microsoft claims that Edge will run Chrome extensions, it hasn’t shared when exactly will it push that support for public usage.

Modern apps
One aspect of Windows 10, which is a continuation of the Windows 8.x era, is the availability of Modern apps. Apps including Mail, Calendar, News, Music, and Photos can be downloaded from the built-in Windows Store. They still feel largely aimed at touch capable devices and don’t look so great running as desktop programs. Things haven’t really changed since their introduction in Windows 8, but Microsoft still hopes that users will give them a try.

The Photos app offers a number of handy new editing features, while Music sports a nice interface. The same can’t be said about the Maps app, which lacks depth. You can only view the map in aerial view or live traffic view, and there’s no way to send the directions to your phone.

The Windows Store too feels immature at this point of time. Microsoft touts features such as Universal Apps, apps that work on both desktop and mobile with the same binary. The idea is that you don’t have to purchase the same app twice on your phone and PC/ tablet, and it’s less work for developers as well. Unfortunately, there’s no indicator on the store right now to suggest if an app is universal.

windows_10_store_new_new.jpg

Virtual Desktops
A major feature that can bolster your productivity, Virtual desktops lets you create and compartmentalise different virtual spaces in which you can group program windows together however you see fit.

Virtual desktops can be controlled using the Task View icon on the taskbar. You can drag-and-drop windows between virtual desktops, allowing you to quickly switch between them. Microsoft says you can create as many virtual desktops as you like.

windows_10_virtual_desktops.jpg

 

To make it work, click on the Task View button (shaped like overlapping rectangles) available on the taskbar. It will open the a new pane. You will find the option to addNew Desktop in the bottom-right side. You can switch between different desktops by using the keyboard shortcut Windows Key + Tab. The Task View doesn’t yet let you change wallpapers in different desktops.

This is a feature power users will love, and anyone who doesn’t want to use it can ignore it. Several Linux distributions and OS X have offered similar features for many years.

Action Centre
Action Centre is one of the handiest features that Microsoft had introduced in Windows Phone 8.1. And now it is bringing it to the desktop platform.

The Action Centre shows all your system-level notifications and application updates in one place. It also gives you quick toggles for settings such as Airplane mode. You can also do handy things like activate your VPN and check network settings right from the Action Centre, just like a smartphone’s notifications panel.

windows_10_action_center.jpg

t is quite similar to the Notification Centre available in OS X. It doesn’t look half as slick, but offers twice as many features.

Continuum
Hybrid 2-in-1 devices are amazingly useful, but going back and forth between tablet and desktop modes can feel jarring. With Continuum, a Windows 10 feature, Microsoft aims to fix that. As soon as you unplug your keyboard from a touch-capable device or fold it away, you will be prompted to switch the system into tablet mode.

The moment you do that desktop icons change their size, and other UI elements are adjusted to make things easier for you to operate by touch alone. For instance, when you switch to tablet mode, you won’t see the same Start Menu when you tap the Start button; instead you will be shown a full-screen panel of live tiles just like the Windows 8 Start screen, which is more convenient in that context.

Snap Assist
Another handy feature that we liked in Windows 10 is Snap Assist. Windows has had the capability to place different app windows next to each other for some time now. With the new operating system, Microsoft is taking it to the next level.

windows_10_review_snap_assist.jpg

The new Snap Assist feature allows users to tile up to four apps side-by-side. To try this out, drag a window to any corner of the screen. If you still want only two apps to be placed side-by-side, drag each window to opposite edges of the screen.

Security
Security is one of the headline features in the new operating system. While a large chunk of security features – such as Passport and Device Guard – are designed for business and enterprise users, a couple will come in handy at home as well.

Windows Hello is a new security feature that lets you sign into your PC without typing in your password. Using your computer’s built-in camera, the system will be able to detect if it’s actually you trying to sign in or someone else. It can also let you in using a fingerprint or iris scan.

The feature requires specialised hardware, for example Intel’s depth-sensing RealSense 3D Camera, which isn’t available on many computers yet, and a Trusted Platform Module chip on the motherboard.

Other than that, several built-in features have their own security layers. Microsoft Edge, for example, includes a feature called SmartScreen that can detect and block access to malicious websites.

Other stuff
There are plenty of other parts that are moving forward. For instance, the new operating system supports DirectX 12, which should please gamers. The latest version of Microsoft’s API to make use of your system’s graphics card and processor holds the potential to significantly improve how games perform. There isn’t any game that supports DirectX 12 as of now, but there will be by the end of 2015.

Speaking of gaming, Xbox One users will be able to mirror their games onto their PCs using the Xbox app. You can find more information about that here.

Windows 10 also comes with a tool that can let you record your on-screen activities. It’s a handy feature that could help a lot of people make videos without needing a third-party app.

Inconsistencies 
As well as Windows 10 has shaped up in the last year, it still doesn’t seem fully ready yet. There are noticeable glitches all around the new operating system. At times, the volume button, the Start button, and the Action Centre icon become unresponsive. In addition, the company’s stand on pushing updates to Home users, which recently broke some computers, suggests that those who value stability should wait a while before making the jump.

There’s also the question of app compatibility, since some legacy applications may not be compatible with the new OS. Check Microsoft’s compatibility centre to see if an application you depend on will work with Windows 10.

Verdict
Windows 10 is a welcome updated to the world’s most popular PC operating system update that should please a lot of users. Features such as Cortana, the new Start Menu, and Continuum make it very tempting to jump at the chance to upgrade for free. But the inconsistencies are a bit of a downer, and perhaps many will be better off holding out until the first major update to the OS is out, as it is likely to address many of these problems.

If you grew up with Windows, you should feel right at home in Windows 10, with the new features really adding to your overall experience. If you are amongst the minority you actually liked running Windows 8, the additions shouldn’t take away much from the things you enjoy right now.

 

Gmail gets ‘undo’ button

Google inserted the “undo send” feature last month into an email management application called “Inbox” designed for mobile devices.
Gmail gets 'undo' button

Gmail gets ‘undo’ button

SAN FRANCISCO: Google is making it easier to steer clear of the trouble that can be caused by a misdirected or inappropriate email.

An option to cancel the delivery of an email within 30 seconds of hitting the send button is now a standard safeguard in Google’s Gmail as part of a settings change made this week.

The “undo send” feature had already been available for the past six years in Google’s experimental labs, but that required Gmail users taking extra steps to get it.


Gmail account holders will now be able to activate the protection in Gmail’s settings. The tool delays the delivery of emails from five to 30 seconds after the send button is pressed to give users a fleeting chance to retrieve an email mistakenly sent to the wrong person or an ill-conceived communique.

Google inserted the “undo send” feature last month into an email management application called “Inbox” designed for mobile devices.

Gmail, started 11 years ago, is the far more popular email service. It now boasts more than 900 million account holders worldwide, according to statistics that Google released last month.