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Hm. Something’s missing.


I don’t usually bring work home with me, but I did this weekend. I set aside Saturday night, so my Sunday would be clear for loafing, sat down, cracked my knuckles and…Windows update!

If you haven’t had this one yet, it’s a ball-buster. It took two hours and forty-five on my machine, though I’m pretty sure it locked up halfway through. Sure enough that I did a hard reset and crossed my fingers that it wouldn’t mess up the whole business.

It didn’t, I don’t think. Most of the things it has updated are (apparently) things I don’t give a shit about — like touchscreen issues. But it did move everything around my start menu (um, thanks?) and look at my clock. JUST LOOK AT IT!!!

Black type on dark gray. Yes, it’s a known issue. Yes, easy fix. But isn’t that just Windows Update all over?

Budget time carefully before you let this one start.


Comment from Can't Hark My Cry
Time: October 3, 2016, 9:57 pm

What I totally hate about the updates for 10 is that every single time it does an update it changes my default programs (pardon me, apps) so that some dumb Microsoft product is the default for opening .pdfs. So then I have to go through the fiddly process of changing the default. And it whines at me about how I should just try the damned program because: new. Or something.

Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: October 3, 2016, 10:19 pm

Windows 10.

I had to decide, get off the net, or get a new computer. Prices seemed reasonable, especially since the hardware was in advance of what I had, so…

I expected that the new hardware would immediately do an update. Windows 10 update is between 6 and 12 GIGABYTES. I don’t really know how big windows office 365 is; 3GB maybe, for each user account on your desktop. and what is the point of having office if you can’t use it but only on one user account because it seems that when you need it, all your stuff is under the ‘other’ user account.

I don’t have high speed broadband internet. I have Verizon at about 1-2MBs (actually bits per second)

It takes DAYS to download 12GB over Verizon. And it’s a shared family account, and all my family hate me for hogging the bits and going over the user cap, and running up the ‘phone bill.

Yes I’m sorry I spend all that money. I hate Windows, and I swear this is the last time.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: October 3, 2016, 11:21 pm

I was smart enough to see this sort of crap coming when Vista fell out of the garbage truck, and tried a few Linux distros. But I was too stupid to actually dump MSFT for personal use. I have no excuse: I know how to set up virtual machines and for those occasions when there’s something so perverted that only Windows will do I could maintain a Win VM.

But now I’m retired, and so I have none of those old work-related tasks hanging over my head. Also, I’m not a gamer (sorry Stoatie). And last summer when for family business reasons I had to travel to a third world corruption cesspool and was unwilling to risk taking either my laptop or smartphone across international borders, I bought a cheap Chromebook. $131.00 on Amazon. I use it for “normal” stuff (mail, web browsing) and there are a number of my kind of games available (card games, backgammon). The only thing about it that is significantly poorer than my 17″ Dell XPS is its smaller display.

Anyway, what I’m getting at is that for an awful lot of mundane tasks, you can dump Windows. Yeah, I know Chromebooks put you in bed with the “don’t do evil” *snicker* Google crowd, but I’ve found that there are a lot of setting you can change that greatly reduce their spying/tracking stuff. And the low-end books are CHEAP.

I’ll likely end up with a high-end notebook running whatever Linux distro is popular the day I do the installation, but actually move around with a Chromebook.

Food for thought if nothing else…

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: October 3, 2016, 11:43 pm

I officially ended my relationship with MS when we spent mega mucho bucks on a fancy laptop with Win 8 and Mrs Vegetable found it unusable. After a month we realized we hated the damn thing and sprung for an Apple Airbook. Poof! All the headaches vanished.

I inherited the Win 10 machine so I’m still an unofficial user but I don’t use it very much; usually I just carry my iPad around. So it seems that ever time I use it, something’s wrong and/or updating. Worse, I mistyped a URL one day and then fell for the fake Java update screen scam – had to buy Malware Bytes and restore to an older date. This is my last MS OS. It seems all I ever do is fight with h the software. Too much hassle for no added value

Comment from OldFert
Time: October 4, 2016, 3:04 am

Uncle Al — a third world corruption cesspool? Where did you have to go? Visit the .gov in DC?

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: October 4, 2016, 3:14 am

@OldFert – Heh! No, I was in San Isidro de El General, Pérez Zeledón, Costa Rica.

I lived in DC for some years after I got out of the Army in 1971 and moved out when they got home rule and immediately banned handguns. I last visited over 20 years ago and I have every intention NEVER to set foot in the place again.

Comment from Bob B
Time: October 4, 2016, 4:18 am

Uncle Al, I really like chromebooks (actually they have chromeboxes and all-in-ones now too). If you save your work on your google drive, your backup problems are solved. Your chromebook gets lost or stolen? No big deal, it was less than $200, so get a new one and you are immediately back in in business. Want a new one? Buy it ’cause they’re cheap and there’s no need to waste time transfering files.
Sadly, I have a requirement to scan documents, so we still have a dedicated linux computer ’cause chrome doesn’t scan. But the cloud-connected scanners are getting better, so I hope the next scanner will solve that for me.

Comment from technochitlin
Time: October 4, 2016, 12:24 pm

Well, I guess I’m THAT GUY. I like Windows 10 quite a lot, and have had little or no problems with it. It was a pretty big paradigm shift from 7 so it had a learning curve, but overall I’m really impressed with what MSoft has done. Can’t please everybody, I guess.

Comment from F X Muldoon
Time: October 4, 2016, 12:26 pm

Windows Rule #1, regardless of version: Turn off automatic updates. Windows Rule # 2: Never install updates.

Comment from AliceH
Time: October 4, 2016, 3:24 pm

I declined (and declined, and declined, and…) the free “upgrade” from 7 to 10. None of the things 10 does better seemed useful for me, but many of the new functions, particularly with security/privacy, truly freaked me out. Also, my policy of never using the first generation of something vital, ruled it out.

They say 7 will be supported for 8 or 10 more years. I figure I’ll be in the market for a new computer/notebook before then, so that’s not a problem.

Every learning-curve postponed or avoided feels like a little victory to me.

Comment from OldFert
Time: October 4, 2016, 5:31 pm

I stuck with XP up until I bought this box in December 15. Came with 10, haven’t had any trouble (yet). Hope I didn’t just jinx it.
Used to do desktop support and network & exchange admin, don’t want to mess with it any more. Was going to try linux, but couldn’t remember how to pronounce it.

Comment from Subotai Bahadur
Time: October 4, 2016, 9:46 pm

As it happens, I have been largely offline for 5 days because Friday night, as I was within 20 words or so of finishing a 3000 word piece for a local newspaper, my old XP box went . . . dark . . . with no warning. It was painful for me as the writer, and my editor’s intake of antacids went up. I am writing this on an OLD laptop from the wrong side of the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary that I re-activated with necromancy that Hildemort won’t touch. The box is with my boffin who is trying the “give my creature life” scene from Young Frankenstein. And at the very least, to recover the files from my hard drive.

There is the comforting thought that he has several XP towers ready and waiting that can be loaded with that recovered data if my latest incarnation of MYCROFT cannot be fixed. It seems that the last trouble-free version of Windows, unsupported and therefore un-buggered with by Microsoft, is a sufficiently desired commodity that backdating computers to run it is a profitable endeavor.

I will learn Linux before I have to leave XP. Just in passing, I spent some time today helping a daughter with her Win 7 laptop. She had updated her Windows Security Suite, and the svchost process promptly started using 100% of her ram and CPU cycles. The Windows Updater would not stop looking for new updates, even with a hard reboot. The solution to that is to go into the processes and manually turn the automatic updater off. The laptop runs fine now. Microsoft is its own [and our] worst enemy.

Comment from The Neon Madman
Time: October 5, 2016, 3:06 am


That svchost bug is a nasty one. Just went through it on my mom’s machine. Search on the Microsoft website, it’s a known issue.

I am running a Win7 setup now and will not go any further with Microsoft. I have run Linux in the past (Fedora) and that is what I will go to rather than anything from Microsoft.

Comment from Niña
Time: October 6, 2016, 4:21 am

I just updated my apple products, and it took, what? 15-30 minutes max. I’m glad I’m not tied to the PC at work!

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: October 6, 2016, 5:14 pm

Today I asked the ubiquitous “Cortana” for the price of a first class stamp. The answer was 47¢, except the correct answer is 49¢.

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