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Windows 10 Activation Technology January 8, 2017

Posted by Steven in Software.
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Microsoft attempted to make a lot of things very easy and straight forward with Windows 10. This operating system of the cloud-age is supposed to be a no brainer for everyone. Easy to upgrade, initially offered as a free upgrade and not to forget fast and safe for everyday use.

When I recently contemplated the upgrade to Windows 10 for an older living-room PC myself I found some aspects that are quite complicated. Thus today I’d like to talk about Activation.

I believe Microsoft’s intention was to make the upgrade process very smooth end easy for everyone. However this lead to more activation options and to an more complex situation overall if things go wrong.

More Activation Options

  • Microsoft provides a nice overview here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/12440/windows-10-activation
  • Today there are two activation routes (Windows setup will chose which one fits your situation).
  • First possible route: Digital Entitlement / Digital License
    • Rule of thumb: everyone who used an activated previous version of windows and took Microsoft’s offer for a free upgrade will get a digital license.
    • There are other cases where the setup will chose digital license (explained in detail by Microsoft)
    • So what is a digital license? Basically it is a digital marker, a license which microsoft creates when you use one of the free upgrade offers or when you are a windows insider. In order to fix issues with that methodology Microsoft has built a functionality to link your digital license with your Microsoft account (and this should help with re-activating Windows after hardware change).
    • Additionally it is important to understand: The digital license is build in such a way so that it is tied to your current hardware configuration
  • Second is the classic Product Key Method
    • What is it and when will it be used?
    • It seems quite obvious: the other more expensive ways to get Windows will in most cases use a Product Key and the classic transfer of some PC data and product key to Microsoft for activation. These more expensive ways include: buying a Windows 10 copy, buying a digital download for Windows 10 or getting Windows 10 with a new Laptop.
    • With the Product key that you acquired there should be no issue re-activating Windows.

As you can see the different routes may make for more options and maybe more issues when changing hardware. The following links can also provide some guidance if you run into issues:

License FAQ

Versus. Background Info

Preparing for hardware change

Windows 10 Setup Considerations when using a free upgrade


German consumer advice center offers portal for shipment issues December 12, 2016

Posted by Steven in Freetime.
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It’s Christmas time and thus the biggest period for retail and online retail. In case of online retail this also means extreme traffic on the logistics and shipment services industry. I myself have experienced an increasing amount of hick-ups even with large companies like DHL. Thus this portal might be a good idea to keep in mind. It promises to analyze and list the issues in a neutral way and also outlines that companies will be approached with the list of issues and a request for comment.


German ISPs to monitor volume and cap bandwidth October 10, 2013

Posted by Steven in In-Media.
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There are recent discussions in Germany: Triggered by biggest German telecommunications service provider volume caps shall be introduced for regular DSL internet contracts.

I would like to keep an eye on this movement in this developing post. Especially interesting: what is the current status and which big telecom providers plan to introduce caps.


  • Kabel Deutschland
  • Already uses caps
  • Details: If a user loads more than 10 GB per day, then the bandwidth for file sharing use cases (peer to peer file sharing and share hosting file sharing) will be reduced for the rest of the day to 100 KBit/s
  • Introduction: currently the cap is in place with a daily allowance of 60 GB – the strict 10 GB rule will be rolled out soon
  • Source: http://www.kabeldeutschland.de/internet-telefon/
  • Additionally – there are reports that the overall bandwidth of Kabel Deutschland gets reduced unless a speed testing site is opened, source: http://stadt-bremerhaven.de/kabel-deutschland-mit-absichtlicher-handbremse/




T-Mobile Germany issue: Stop calls from their marketing departments May 24, 2013

Posted by Steven in In-Media.
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Deutsche Telekom GmbH and their various brands in Germany reach out to many households. From TV service provider to the popular mobile phone services, chances our you came in contact with “the Telekom” in one or the other way.

If you even have a contract for one of their products, chances are even higher that you automatically opted-in to be contacted for marketing and product-offer purposes.

With this post I would like to give a bit of background how annoying that can be and how you can opt-out.

First of all what is Telekom trying to do? Well in my case the used the toll free numbers 08007238102 /103 to contact me and try to persuade me to buy additional SIM cards “for my family”. The calls were very frequent and spread out through the whole day (from early mornings to almost bed-time).

I contacted Telekom support and I received the shallow answer: I need to go into my customer center to deactivate the information service.

So after several tries for me as a mobile phone customer this helped:

  1. go to https://mein.t-mobile.de/
  2. on the left hand side navigation pane – select: “InfoCenter”
  3. on that page (“Information und Betreuung”) uncheck all the contact measures you see
  4. you need to confirm the request and after an unspecified amount of time the Telekom should stop bugging you


In my personal opinion that so called service of the Telekom is more than questionable. Why is every online client automatically opted-in?

Furthermore European and German regulations have clearly moved towards explicit confirmations by the clients before a company can call us and talk to us about any offers.

German court (LG Bonn) even clearly set up a fine for companies contacting fellow citizens without permission.






Compare UK Pay-as-you-Go Tariffs March 18, 2013

Posted by Steven in gadgets.
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I just stumbled across a nice website comparing the conditions and prices of UK pay as you go services. The website is simple, you can put in how much voice minutes, texts and data you need. The site can also take you directly to the deals it has found. Give it a try if you need a UK SIM.


[Update 1] And I found a very nice review of the GiffGaff in terms of service quality and pricing one could absolutely recommend GiffGaff.


Facebook / Twitter: Perfect Profile Images with Social Media Image Maker March 17, 2013

Posted by Steven in In-Media, The-Web.
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I stumbled across this handy little tool. It’s amazing and beautifully designed and it lets you crop / create perfect images for social networks like Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

The tool itself is a website optimised both for mobile or regular use. It’s dead simple to use just pick what kind of service / image you want to create for and the tool guides you through the steps.



Windows 7 Installation – User folders to different drive June 4, 2012

Posted by Steven in In-Media, The-Web.
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Recently I had to work my way through the task to re-install Windows 7 and to do that properly I wanted the quicky stuff on the primary SSD and the User and Configuration stuff on a regular large hard drive.

I came across this nice article describing the process at length:

Here is the quick rundown of what I’ve done:

  • New Windows 7 installation
  • When setup asks to confirm computer / user name: don’t. Press CTRL SHFT F3 instead. This will launch “Audit Mode”
  • In audit mode get the above script. Save it / name it: folders.xml and put into easy accessible location.
  • Reboot using this command: sysprep.exe /audit /reboot /unattend:U:\folders.xml
  • Then reboot into “OOBE” Out of the box experience
  • should be all done.


Here is the copy’able version of the XML:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
 <unattend xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:unattend">
     <settings pass="oobeSystem">
         <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
     <cpi:offlineImage cpi:source="wim:h:/sources/install.wim#Windows 7 ULTIMATE" xmlns:cpi="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:cpi" />

Gravis Germany Discount Project for Banking January 16, 2012

Posted by Steven in Apple, Internal.
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Next to the usual Apple EPP the German “Authorized Reseller / Authorized Service Provider” Gravis has come forward to announce a corporate discount program.

In comparison with the roughly 9% of Apple’s EPP the 8% that Gravis is offering sounds rather strange. However they usually carry a large selection of in-store accessories for Apple products and there you may get a good deal using this discount program.

Attached you can find all the details in their German PDF sheet.

Gravis PP

Protected: Medion ERAZER X5332 D – my support information January 2, 2012

Posted by Steven in gadgets, Internal.
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Issues with the Gravis SPP Safety Pack Plus October 24, 2011

Posted by Steven in Apple.
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