Microsoft switches to Black Screen Of Death (BSoD) for Windows 8

Microsoft has switched to the color black for it’s system stop error messages in Windows 8.

The software giant’s notorious Blue Screen bug check, or error screen, is now black inside the latest Windows 8 builds. Microsoft has used the Blue Screen of Death since early copies of Windows 1.0. The first Windows error screen composed of code page 437 symbols against a blue background. The first proper Blue Screen was present in Windows 3.x. Microsoft started using a Red Screen of Death inside early Windows Vista builds. The company also used Red Screens inside early beta copies of Windows 98.

The switch to a Black Screen of Death could be a temporary one, similar to the switch in Longhorn build 5112. Microsoft has only ever used a Black Screen of Death in Windows 3.x when DOS-based applications failed to execute correctly. Microsoft typically uses Black screens when its operating systems are attempting to load following the power-on self-test (POST). The switch, noted by MyDigitalLife user canouna, is an interesting one and comes as Microsoft prepares its first beta copy of Windows 8 later this year.

Microsoft is currently working on various Windows 8 features and is expected to deliver an early copy to developers at its Windows Developer Conference (WDC) in September. Here’s a round-up of the latest Windows 8 news:

Cloudy Skies Ahead

This was a big week for the borough as it relates to IT. This week brought the beginning of email cloud computing. After a couple of months of investigation and discussion we headed into the cloud earlier this week!

After migrating myself on Tuesday to “the cloud”” a few other were migrated as the week came to a close. The first “victims” included the Police Records clerks, Communication Officers Widmayer, Jones, Lt. Morris and finally Staci King. All were migrated into the Microsoft Cloud without incident. Next week I hope to move the Housing Office, Finance Office, Recreation Office, Borough Council, and a couple more communication officers into the cloud.

Many have asked me recently “why are we moving into the cloud”? Here are some quick answers to these questions:

Why Move Into the Cloud?
1. Less cost to the borough because of reduced hardware and licensing.
2. More efficent data protection.
3. Improved archiving (14 days to 10 years).
4. Ability to continue sustaining a strong ROI (return on investment) for IT.

As I go through this process I will meet with everyone to talk about this exciting change

Backing Up Your Files with MOZY

All this talk of the cloud has me revisiting cloud services for the home user. One of the most popular “cloud services” today is in the area of remote backups. As the earthquake and tsunami in Japan has sadly demonstrated, natural disasters do strike, usually without warning. If a natural disaster, fire or theft was to occur to you and your computer was unavailable or destroyed are your files safe?

Because our computers are becoming more and more critical remote backup service providers have been cropping up everywhere these past few years. The Borough of West Chester has been remotely backing up critical data files for years. Should you?

If you store financial files, tax documents, letters, family photos and video you probably should be backing up remotely. There are many providers with many price points. Be sure to check these providers out and protect your files today.

What about Mozy?
Mozy is a great backup service. This service lets you store files online and retrieve them remotely, which is all you really need from an online storage service.

The real reason that Mozy is attractive as an online storage solution is the price; this service’s subscription is practically unbeatable. Another advantage for using this service is the strong security features. Because it is designed to be a backup service, this service has a lot of security measures in place that other online storage services don’t have. If you want to make sure that your data is safe, this service is one of the best places to store it.

Regardless of what you call the service or what it was initially designed to be, this service is a spectacular choice. The combination of cheap storage space with useful features and strong security make this service the perfect place to store files, photos, videos, documents and anything you want to safely store outside of your home computer.

Another great ability of Mozy is that you can back up to 3 computers and remote (usb) drives. Many services such as Carbonite charge additions fees for devices and drives outside of the primary computer. This cost can add up.

Cost for Mozy’s Services
2GB for free
125GB, up to 2 computers for $9.99 per month
You can learn more about Mozy at