* Posts by Carl D

159 posts • joined 3 Feb 2016

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51 years after humans first set foot on the Moon, a deepfaked Nixon mourns how Armstrong and Aldrin never made it home

Carl D

Wow, to think that these two brave men relied on a single engine in the Lunar Module ascent stage to return them from the moon's surface back up to the Command and Service modules in lunar orbit.

No other options available to them if that single engine failed to operate, they would have been stranded with no hope of rescue. From what I've read, the plan was to cut off all communications to the 2 astronauts once it was determined that there was no hope of them getting off the Moon. They would have died a lonely death out there.

In fact, they were very lucky after Buzz Aldrin accidentally broke the circuit breaker switch for arming the Lunar Module ascent engine - they used a pen to activate the broken circuit breaker switch although I have heard that they may have had other options available for fixing the problem if it became necessary.

Wow, Microsoft's Windows 10 always runs Edge on startup? What could cause that? So strange, tut-tuts Microsoft

Carl D

Certainly.

https://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/disable_chromium_microsoft_edge_from_running_in_the_background.html

Not sure if this is where I downloaded it from a while ago but it is available from many places.

After downloading, unzip the file and there will be 2 registry files, the first one is for disabling pre-loading of Edge and the second one undoes the change if needed. Just double click on the .reg file to use.

This is for the "new" Chromium Edge so I don't know if it works with the original Edge - probably does but I'm not sure - but I think you can still download the .reg files for the original Edge with a quick Google search.

Carl D

Edge has always "preloaded" into memory at Windows startup (and again after a short time when you've actually used and closed Edge so I've heard).

Just one of Microsoft's "little tricks" to make it look like their products are faster than the competition "Oooh, look... Our fabulous Edge browser opens a full half a second faster than our nearest competition.... blah... blah...".

Looks like they've now gone a step further and made Edge run completely on Windows startup because, as we all know, the first thing we all want to do is start using Edge as soon as we turn on our PC's. (rolls eyes).

(Oh, I have a .reg file in my Windows 10 'box of tricks' that stops Edge preloading into memory at Windows startup)

Windoze 10: New levels of tedium reached with latest Insider build while 'stable' release still a bit wonky

Carl D

Have an upvote on me :)

Actually, I'm waiting to see if my 2 printers are "forgotten" and disappear from Printers and Scanners in Settings as well as Devices and Printers in the 'old' Control Panel in 2004 after about a week of not having them turned on and using them like they did in 1909. The drivers and printer utilities were still there and both printers would "reappear" by turning them on (Windows 10 would "helpfully" change the default printer back to Microsoft Print to PDF when my 2 printers "disappeared", of course).

Someone on another forum suggested leaving the printers turned on all the time - nah, never done that and I don't see why I should have to. I only turn them on when I need to use them and turn them off when I finish.

Been over a week now on 2004 (clean install) and my 2 printers are still there. Fingers crossed.

Oh, this never happened in any previous version of Windows before Windows 10 as far as I'm aware.

Carl D

You'd think that 5 years after the general release of Windows 10 Microsoft would have most of the 'bugs' ironed out by now.

The one (new to 2004) where Defragment and Optimize Drives "forgets" that it has been run after a reboot - actually, I've heard that if you wait a while it "forgets" even without a reboot is a particularly interesting one. If Windows 10 "forgets" something like this, what else is it "forgetting"?

I know its been said many, many times over the past 5 years but Microsoft need to stop this insane 6 month release cycle and concentrate on giving us home users a single, stable version of Windows 10 with a major new release every 2 years or so. Perhaps they would have more time to devote to this if they spent less time trying to cram more and more unwanted (cr)apps and ads into Windows 10.

From WordPad to WordAds: Microsoft caught sneaking nagging Office promos into venerable text editor beta

Carl D

Now that there's no more security updates for Windows 7 we've now reached the "moment they've been waiting for" at MS.

We're about to see what they've had planned for Windows 10 right from the start except, up until now, that "pesky" Windows 7 has always given people a much better alternative.

From here on it'll be ads, ads and more ads stuffed into almost every part of W10. And, don't be surprised if we start seeing a monthly bill in our email inboxes for the "privilege" of continuing to use Windows 10.

No Mo'zilla for about 100 techies today: Firefox maker lays off staff as boss talks of 'difficult choices' and funding

Carl D

Re: Don't be Evil

I don't have to wonder why Google Chrome grows. It's been included (and ticked to install by default) on just about every bit of software for years. Even motherboard driver install discs. And, we know how most people just click OK... OK... OK... through software installation screens without reading.

I've had a few family and friends who have asked me "what's this Google Chrome and how did it get on my PC?"

If Mozilla had the money to be able to do what Google's done with Chrome I'm sure they would be the #1 browser today by a huge margin.

If Google compared the number of Chrome installs (which is obviously the figure they use) to the number of people that actually use it I bet there would be a huge difference in numbers.

Y2K? It was all just a big bun-fight, according to one Reg reader

Carl D

Ah, yes. Y2K. Brings back a few memories.

I recall a friend of mine who worked in IT telling me in mid 1998 that the whole upcoming Y2K thing was going to be a big non event.

And, he was right, at least for here in Australia.

But, I do remember a rather "enterprising" person who was trying to sell Y2K insurance for all of your household appliances (computers and anything with a digital clock, VCR's, microwave ovens, etc.) in the last half of 1999. They even advertised in the TV magazine that came with our weekly Sunday Times newspaper in Perth.

Don't know if anyone bought this "insurance" but I wouldn't have been surprised if there were a few suckers.

Engineer grumbles and user gripes do little to slow down Nadella's trillion-dollar Microsoft

Carl D

Re: Settings

>> Why the fuck couldn't they just leave the Control Panel as it was.

Meddling bastards. <<

Change for the sake of change. If they weren't making the never ending mostly cosmetic and useless changes to Windows 10, they wouldn't have a job.

Same reason why we also have the never ending security updates (no security issues = no jobs for the "security researchers").

Same reason why browser makers (I'm now looking at you, Firefox) keep adding useless features and accelerated release schedules.

Its all about money and jobs.

Creators Update meets its maker: It's 1903 or bust for those clinging to Windows 10 1703

Carl D

"El reg comments for years have been suspicious that "SaaS" meant software as rental. i.e. that ultimately we'd have to pay annually for our Windows to keep working fully."

That might be why it is becoming more and more difficult to install Windows 10 with a local account instead of a Microsoft account (hint: make sure the PC does not have an Internet connection during the install).

After MS make it almost impossible to install W10 without a Microsoft account (they will then claim no-one uses local accounts anymore, of course) the next step will be to introduce monthly or yearly fees - with the added 'convenience' of being able to set up direct payments to them through your MS account, naturally.

If you really can't let go of Windows 7, Microsoft will keep things secure for another three years

Carl D

I find it quite amusing that Microsoft have been telling us for the last 4 years that if they can get everyone onto Windows 10 then they can concentrate on supporting that without having to spend the time and money providing patches for older operating systems like Windows 7.

But... they will STILL be spending time and money writing security patches for Windows 7 for another 3 years. But, not for Joe Average anymore. We can't have them so tough luck for us if a major security issue hits Windows 7 after next January as I'm sure it will - I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft (in cahoots with it's security company "mates") have a whole list of 'major' security flaws stockpiled ready to try and persuade all the Joe Averages still on Windows 7 to move to 10.

I think it's time for me to go back to an online Linux Mint / offline Windows 7 setup like I was trying out a couple of years ago.

Happy fifth birthday, Windows Insiders! We'd bake a cake, but it might explode without warning

Carl D

Wonder if all those people who lost their files in the botched first release of Windows 10 1809 a year ago ever got their files back?

From memory, one person lost over 200GB of photos which were irreplacable (yes, we all know he should have had a backup).

Last I heard (which was shortly after the brown stuff hit the whirly thingy) there was an "official" announcement from MS (might have been from Dona Sarkar, not 100% sure) that stated (in true MS speak): "We have the tools in place to get these people back to a good state" (whatever that means?).

So, I'm still wondering a year later - did any of these poor unfortunates get all or any of their deleted files back? Because, I didn't hear anything further after MS's "announcement" (Spoiler alert: I'm guessing the answer was NO).

Business PC sales up as suits flee looming end of support for Windows 7

Carl D

Re: Not only am I going to continue using Windows 7 on my main PC...

Funny about that.

On another forum, a member looks after about 130 client computers with Windows 7. They will not "upgrade" to Windows 10 under any circumstances.

None of the 130 client PC's have had a single Windows update installed since May, 2017, nearly two and a half years ago. They all also use a top rated antivirus product.

Not one of the 130 computers have had a single security issue since May, 2017.

I've always said that these so called security companies have been in cahoots with MS for quite some time now... finding every little *alleged* flaw in Windows (and, profiting handsomely from finding these "issues" - most of which never see the outside of the security companies' offices).

And, MS love it as it enables them to keep a 'leash' on customers' computers with the never ending so called security updates.

Carl D

Re: Keeping Win7, can pry it out of my cold dead hands...

With my 2 year old Gigabyte B250M-D3H motherboard and Kaby Lake processor the Windows 7 drivers supplied by Gigabyte are *only supposed* to work with 6th generation processors and not 7th like Kaby Lake.

Windows 7 will install fine from DVD - SATA connected DVD only, USB external drive won't work (...a required device driver is missing... blah..blah) but W7 won't install from a USB stick - even with the USB2 ports, not just the USB3 ones. Same "error" message about missing driver.

I recently found a utility for this motherboard on Gigabyte's site that allows USB3 drivers to be included in the W7 image - just copy the W7 DVD contents into a hard drive folder, run the Gigabyte utility to include the USB3 drivers then create an ISO file and copy it to a USB stick with something like Rufus. I'm also guessing that this is only supposed to be used with 6th generation processors but, like the motherboard drivers, it works with my Kaby Lake processor.

Hey, presto - W7 now installs perfectly from a USB stick. I used a USB3 stick and plugged it into a USB3 port. And, W7 installs "lightning fast" compared to DVD.

As for MS's "Unsupported Hardware" Windows Update sabotage - there are a couple of ways of getting around that, as has already been mentioned.

Samsung reminds rabble to scan smart TVs for viruses – then tries to make them forget

Carl D

Ah, brings back memories of the days when all a TV had was a (rotary) channel selector, a brightness, contrast and volume control on the front.

Not even color or a remote control - you had to get up and walk to the TV to change channels.

And, all it had on the back was a power cord and a 300ohm ribbon connector or a 75ohm cable antenna socket.

Here's a picture of me sitting next to one of our long lost TV friends - and a black & white one as well (taken around about 1971 or 72, we didn't get color TV in Australia until 1975).

https://i.imgur.com/GgJWPvC.jpg

I miss those days... only had 3 channels to choose from back then. But, at least the programs on all 3 were worth watching unlike today with dozens of channels and rubbish on all of them most of the time.

Flight Simulator 2020: Exciting new ride or a doomed tailspin in a crowded market?

Carl D

Still using Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002 Professional occasionally which, surprisingly, still works with Windows 10 (1903).

The only thing that doesn't display is the 'rotating' 3D model of the aircraft you've selected to fly before beginning the simulation. No biggie - doesn't affect anything else at all.

Also play the original Microsoft Train Simulator from time to time which also works fine in Windows 10.

I'm more than a little surprised that these simulators work in Windows 10 since both of them were supposed to be incompatible from Windows 7 - or was it Vista? - upwards (and they both worked in Windows 7 and 8.1).

Bad news. Asteroid 1999 KW4 flew by, did not hit Earth killing us all. Good news: Another one, Didymos, is on the way

Carl D

Back in 1979, a friend and I started playing a doubles game of (arcade) Asteroids at about 5:30pm on a Saturday evening.

We were still playing the same game when they had to turn the machine off at midnight because the place was closing. Lucky for the owners that there were 3 Asteroids machines side by side or they might have asked us to leave.

We lost count of how many times we 'clocked' the score over - it went back to 0 at 100,000.

We also became quite skilled at keeping games of Missile Command and Joust going for hours as well over the next few years. Never quite got the hang of Defender unfortunately although a few of my friends did.

Those were the days... I still try to relive them on the MAME emulator from time to time. I can keep Missile Command and Joust running for a fair while after a bit of practice.

'Evolution of the PC ecosystem'? Microsoft's 'modern' OS reminds us of the Windows RT days

Carl D

What ads?

.....In other words, ads with everything, and lots of telemetry to ensure you see "relevant ads". (I love it when you uncheck an option to see "relevant ads", only to be told, "You'll still see ads, but they won't be relevant".)....

I love it too... because I never see any ads - relevant or not - in Windows 10 anyway (thanks to going through all the settings with a 'fine tooth comb' and the use of a couple of W10 privacy programs (not APPS!!!).

It's 50 years to the day since Apollo 10 blasted off: America's lunar landing 'dress rehearsal'

Carl D

Wow, 50 years already? I was 11 years old when Apollo 10 went to the moon.

I always find it amazing that NASA deliberately 'short fuelled' the ascent stage of the Lunar Module for Apollo 10.

The Lunar Module descended to about 15km above the moon's surface then the descent stage was dropped and the ascent stage returned to the Command/Service Module in lunar orbit.

The ascent stage was deliberately 'short fuelled' to ensure that the Apollo 10 LM crew would not try to make the first lunar landing before Apollo 11 - if they did land there wasn't enough fuel in the ascent stage to make it back into orbit. NASA really thought the Apollo 10 crew might try and land. Really shows the incredible courage and willingness to take risks displayed by the Apollo crews back then.

I salute them all.

File Explorer tweaked and Your Phone borked. A fresh Windows 10 Insider build arrives

Carl D

Is Windows 10 ever going to be considered suitable for general release?

A new build every day (or that's what it looks like). Fix this, break that. How can anyone have confidence in an operating system that, after 4 years of general release is, at the very best perpetual beta grade software? It might help if MS stop adding useless junk with every release just so they can say "oooh, look... we've added another couple of nice features... try them, you'll really like it. We promise."

How I miss the days when I could walk into a shop and buy a copy of Windows on CD or DVD, install it on my computer, run Windows Update, install my programs (yes, PROGRAMS, not APPS - apps are for 'smartphones') and have a relatively stress free computing experience for several years. Not anymore.

Put a stop to these damn robocalls! Dozens of US state attorneys general fire rocket up FCC's ass

Carl D

Here in Australia I've have a Telstra Call Guardian 301 Mk2 cordless phone/answering machine for the past 12 months.

Its a rebranded BT call blocking phone that's been available in the UK for quite some time.

My attempted scam calls has dropped to almost zero since I've had this phone.

At the moment I have it on the 'strictest' setting - the only numbers that can get through are the ones I've entered into the phone (work, family, friends, etc.). Everything else is blocked, the phone doesn't even ring but the phone and the modem/router it is plugged into keeps a log of the attempts.

I like to Google some of the numbers occasionally when I'm bored and they're always reported scam/survey/etc. numbers.

I'm keeping it on the 'strictest' setting until the Australian Federal election is over after May 18th because some of the pollies are getting clever and instructing their live callers to press the # key after the announcement in the default Call Guardian setting then they leave messages on the answering machine.

They must know there's a lot of these Call Guardian phones in use these days where most owners just keep them on the default setting where unknown callers need to press # to be connected.

Someone's spreading an MBR-trashing copy of the Christchurch killer's 'manifesto' – and we're OK with this, maybe?

Carl D

The "Streisand Effect" is in play here as I sadly suspected it would be.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect

They're BAAACK: Windows 10 nagware team loads trebuchet with annoying reminders to GTFO Windows 7

Carl D

"we are reaching out with information and resources" (from Matt Barlow's blog).

Reaching out?

Reminds me of one of those horror movies where the hand and arm suddenly burst out of the ground (usually in a graveyard when you think the monster/zombie/whatever has finally been killed) just so the movie makers can give you one last huge fright.

Carl D

Re: Phuque 10

To avoid the install of Candy Crush Saga (and Disney's Magic Kingdoms, March of Empires, Bubble Witch 3, Dolby Access, etc.) make sure your PC is not connected to the Internet when you install Windows 10 - no matter how much it insists that you should.

For version 1809 it actually asks you TWICE for Internet access during the install of Windows 10 Professional (once during Home) following a 2 or 3 minute "pause" where it is obviously desperately trying to get Internet access.

And, after finishing the Windows 10 install, remain disconnected from the Internet until you turn off and remove the live tiles from the Start Menu (the empty ones, at least) or you will STILL end up getting the abovementioned rubbish installed. Also, it is a good idea to go through and adjust all of your privacy settings, etc.

It is then "safe" to allow Windows 10 to connect to the Internet.

Are you a Windows 1 in 10 (1809)? Or a mighty 80 percenter (1803)?

Carl D

Here's a perfect example of why Microsoft's 6 month upgrade cycle is madness:

I just checked the Gigabyte website and notice that new motherboard drivers for Windows 10 version 1809 have just been released for my motherboard (which is only 18 months old).

So, 1809 was supposed to be released in September 2018, actually got released in October, pulled and re-released in November and new motherboard drivers are finally available at the beginning of February 2019.

And, another "new" version of Windows 10 is just around the corner - March or April from what I hear. I'll probably see another new set of motherboard drivers around about July or August. Just before the next new release.

Total insanity.

It’s baaack – Microsoft starts pushing out the Windows 10 October 2018 Update

Carl D

By the time MS has 1809 (which really should have been 1811 by the time they fixed the file deletion bug in the original release) more or less suitable for general use they will be churning out the next "big" update with it's new associated problems - 1903 or 19H1 or whatever they decide to call it.

This 6 month upgrade madness needs to stop. And, how about they go back to the proper "Patch Tuesday" system with Windows 10. Seems like every day of the week is patch day. I'm sure people have better things to do than sit looking at "Installing Updates - Do Not Turn Off Your Computer" all day.

Just updated Windows 7? Can't access network shares? It isn't just you

Carl D

Just waiting for the 'official' comment:

"Microsoft is aware of this issue and a fix will be released in a future update"

Just like last year when one of their Windows 7 Meltdown/Spectre patch attempts caused blue screens with any processor that didn't support SSE2.

After 3 months of faffing around with comments like "a fix is on the way" they finally decided to go with "nah, stuff it - we can't be bothered trying to fix it".

Same thing will happen here, I reckon. Anything to kill off Windows 7 and get everyone onto 10.

Why they haven't been heavily fined for all this BS (especially GWX except for a couple of individual cases) is still beyond me...

Windows 10 can carry on slurping even when you're sure you yelled STOP!

Carl D

>> Which firewall? If you're meaning "Windows Firewall", on Windows itself, you're dreaming.

It'll be one of the first thing they changed so it never blocks telemetry, regardless of the settings you plug into it. <<

- AC.

I'm sure there are a lot of things that Windows Firewall never blocks (even if you think it does).

As an example, the latest versions of CCleaner were showing a 'flyout' ad for a Black Friday special in the bottom right hand corner of the screen a few weeks back.

The recommendation to stop it from a lot of people was to block CCleaner's access to the Internet - I set up Windows Firewall to block CCleaner (and yes, I did have it set up correctly - I rechecked several times) and the ad still appeared.

Using One Click Firewall (based on another recommendation) solved the issue for me. No more CCleaner ads.

Why is my Windows 10 preview build ticking? Microsoft reminds users that previews have timebombs

Carl D

Re: Also in this build...

As I think I've mentioned once or twice before...

... to avoid the installation of Candy Crush, March of Empires, Bubble Witch 3, Disney's Magic Kingdoms etc. make sure your computer is NOT connected to the Internet when installing Windows 10.

And, no matter how many times W10 insists on having an Internet connection during the install (once for W10 Home and TWICE for W10 Professional that I've counted so far) just refuse, wait and stay disconnected from the Internet until the install has finished.

I also turn off and remove all the flipping and flashing tiles which I have no use for, install all of the necessary drivers (from the manufacturers' websites) and adjust all of my privacy settings, etc. before connecting to the Internet.

Of course, disconnecting from the Internet isn't possible if you're doing, say, an 1803 to 1809 upgrade through Windows Update but what I would do in that case is download the new 1809 ISO and put it on a thumb drive or DVD and upgrade from that (with the computer disconnected from the Internet, of course).

Oh, and a "heads up" about a new sneaky trick in W10 1809 Home Edition after a clean install - the option to turn off "Allow downloads from other PC's" in Windows Update is 'greyed out' and not able to be turned off UNTIL you check for Windows Update for the first time. As soon as Windows finds and starts downloading updates the option to switch off "Allow downloads from other PC's" 'magically' becomes available.

OneDrive is broken: Microsoft's cloudy storage drops from the sky for EU users

Carl D

My OneDrive has been 'broken' for some time now... it was deleted along with 99% of the other useless bloat that comes with every Windows 10 installation.

It's a patch bonanza as Microsoft showers its OS platforms with update love

Carl D

Whatever happened to Patch Tuesday?

Was nice while it lasted. Just one day a month to worry about installing Windows Updates (plus a day or two afterwards to deal with all the usual WU issues).

Now, it seems every day of the month is Patch Tuesday. Especially if you're using Windows 10.

Euro consumer groups: We think Android tracking is illegal

Carl D

My Android phone is never connected to the Internet so I don't have a tracking problem.

I use it for... well, making and receiving phone calls. And taking pictures occasionally plus listening to MP3's when I'm walking to and from work.

Black Friday? Yes, tech vendors might be feeling a bit glum looking at numbers for the UK

Carl D

Re: It's worse than Christmas...

The Black Friday nonsense has also started here in Australia the past few years.

Same as Halloween (do you get that stupidity in the UK as well?)

Any excuse for the shops to sell more junk that no-one probably really wants or needs.

Does anyone remember when Sales used to be something the shops would have just a few times each year? Now the sales seem to be on 24/7/365 in every shop.

And, Christmas apparently started before the end of September in Australia with all the trees and decorations appearing in shops... Santa's even been in some of the major shopping centres here since before the end of October.

Actually, we seemed to have had a bit of a conflict in some of the shops before October finished - walk in the door and the first thing you saw was the 'horror' of Halloween with all the ghouls, skeletons, bats, etc. and right behind all that was the 'joy' of Christmas with trees, cards, decorations, etc.

No wonder people seemed so confused these days, especially impressionable young kids.

I'll also be waiting for Easter eggs to appear in the shops shortly after Boxing Day - possibly the next day (don't laugh, I've seen it happen).

Microsoft slips ads into Windows 10 Mail client – then U-turns so hard, it warps fabric of reality

Carl D

Wonder how they intend to inject ads into my Windows 10 email client (I use Thunderbird) when I've removed it and most of the other (cr)apps that come with Windows 10?

I also made sure I have no "advertising ID" and my privacy settings are locked down as much as possible with W10's own settings and the use of third party tools.

And Cortana has been 'neutered' so it behaves just like normal Windows Search.

Solid state of fear: Euro boffins bust open SSD, Bitlocker encryption (it's really, really dumb)

Carl D

Fed up with these nonstop security issues

"Fundamental flaws in the encryption system used by popular solid-state drives (SSDs) can be exploited by miscreants to easily decrypt data, once they've got their hands on the equipment. A paper [PDF] drawn up by researchers Carlo Meijer and Bernard van Gastel at Radboud University in the Netherlands, and made public today, …"

And, therein lies the problem.... the "miscreants" would probably never know anything about this let alone exploit it if these issues were never made public to begin with.

And, I'm still waiting for Meltdown and Spectre exploits to appear nearly a year following the big panic epidemic after they were announced. Maybe by the end of the decade? Probably not.

Nowadays, every time I see another (alleged) major security issue splashed all over the Internet I just chuckle and carry on with life.

Microsoft tells volume customers they can stay on Windows 7... for a bit longer... for a fee

Carl D

Re: Or, if your pockets are deep enough...

"Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB is the least obnoxious version"

Actually, I am running a little experiment at the moment. I have Windows 10 Home on my main PC in a dual boot with Windows 7. Windows 10 is installed second so it can be removed if necessary without affecting my Windows 7 install.

When installing Windows 10 Home here's what I did:

1. Made sure there is no Internet connection during the install. Then, after the install is finished, turn off and remove all of the live and other tiles on the Start Menu (I have no use for tiles, thank you). By doing this, I have no Candy Crush, March of Empires, Disney Magic Kingdoms, etc. They don't even appear after running Windows Update. Then I adjusted all of Windows 10's privacy settings, etc. before connecting to the Internet.

2. Removed most of the other 'bloat' (XBox, Skype, OneDrive, etc.). I use the Tools option of CCleaner to do this.

3. After running Windows Update, I use O&O's ShutUp10 to 'tame' W10's privacy and other settings even further than the ones that come with W10. I especially like the way it shuts up Cortana and turns it back into an ordinary search function like in previous Windows versions.

3. Used a little utility called Windows Update Blocker to make sure Microsoft doesn't download and install updates when you're not expecting it. This utility stops Microsoft from switching Windows Update and other related services back on again after you disable them (I just love the way MS 'magically' changes the Windows Update service from Disabled to Manual in W10 when it feels like it - "never mind what the Windows user wants, we'll do what we like"). Malware and virus writers would be proud of the work MS has put into this.

After doing all this, I have a Windows 10 Home Edition that's been running solidly for a few weeks without 90% of the 'bloat' and no forced updates (so far, at least). But, I'm sure it won't last. Pity MS doesn't put as much effort into the quality of their updates these days as they seem to do into finding ways to stop W10 users (especially Home Edition) running the operating system the way the USER wants.

Carl D

Considering the quality of the so called support customers have been receiving from Microsoft over the past few years (especially since the beginning of this year) with it's seemingly endless parade of faulty patches - a lot of which I am sure was deliberate, especially for Windows 7, I think we'd be better off without any form of extended "support", thank you.

I think Microsoft should start paying us for the "privilege" of using their "support", not the other way around.

It walks, it talks, it falls over a bit. Windows 10 is three years old

Carl D

Re: Windows 10 is a dog

>> And no, Microsoft, I don't want effing Candy Crush in my start menu. Grow up.<<

I've found that if you install Windows 10 (both Home and Professional) without an Internet connection you don't get Candy Crush and all of the other 'rubbish'.

If you make another user account after the install of W10 then make sure you're disconnected from the Internet when you sign into the new account for the first time or that account will get Candy Crush, etc. even if the main Administrator account didn't get it.

I'm not sure if running something like O&O's ShutUp10 before connecting to the Internet has something to do with it as well but that's how I've done it and so far no sign of Candy Crush and it's ilk returning. The next major update to W10 may be a different matter, of course.

That'll learn ya! Data watchdog spanks two Brit phone botherers

Carl D

I have the Telstra Call Guardian 301 cordless phone/answering machine here in Australia. Don't know if anything similar is available in the UK?

Never get any telemarketer/scammer phone calls because once you have the names and numbers of all family and friends, etc. programmed into the phone (they get straight through without being "screened") all other callers get a recorded message saying they must say their name after the beep then press the # key. When they do this the phone rings and tells you who is calling and you can then choose to accept or refuse/block the call before you talk to the caller.

The telemarketers and scammers with their robodiallers can't/won't announce themselves and press # so they get disconnected without you even knowing they've tried to call unless you check the missed calls log later. If you want to go "full nuclear" with blocking you can select the option to totally block all calls from anyone not on the phone's contact list. In this case the blocked callers get a recorded message saying their call is not being accepted.

Perfect for elderly friends and relatives who are the ones most vulnerable to phone call scammers (I have an 88 year old relative living with me).

My previous phone had the option to block calls showing as Private or Unavailable which would only work for Unavailable calls with no caller ID but these days the scammers are all using "fake" caller ID's which show up as Unavailable so the phone would still ring and you had to manually block the number (which was practically useless because the scammers would just change to another fake caller ID so you would be manually blocking numbers for eternity).

Which? calls for compensation for users hit by Windows 10 woes

Carl D

Re: Dickman

When you 'upgraded' to Windows 10, your key was also converted. After a short grace period during which you could revert back to Win7 that change became permanent and it will no longer be possible to activate a Windows 7 install with it.

So you have to either resort to cracking the Win7 install to make it work, which depending on your local laws may or may not be illegal, it's also definitely a violation of the EULA but that's not worth the paper it's written on anyways.

Or you have to buy a new Win7 license, which of course Microsoft no longer supplies.

Since when?

I've never had a problem activating Windows 7 when reinstalling it after trying Windows 10 using the W7 keys for the 'upgrade'... on my main PC or my laptop.

And, I've done it quite a few times since the release of Windows 10 three years ago (I'm a sucker for punishment sometimes but I think I've finally learned my lesson - no more trying out W10).

Microsoft pulls the plug on Windows 7, 8.1 support forums

Carl D

Re: I concur with those above!

"Like the good old days of being told to reinstall Windows at every turn."

Isn't that the standard advice for Windows 10 problems these days?

Microsoft patches problematic OS to deal with SSD woes

Carl D

"So now fixing a previous fuckup counts as good news for Windows 10!? Bit like the captain saying the plane is crashing but the good news is we'll be landing early..."

Signed in just to give that an upvote.

Wanted that Windows 10 update but have an Intel SSD? Computer says no

Carl D

Re: Stand in the far queue Winshit 10

"After the last Update I am now getting a popup telling me that I have Unsupported Hardware and your system will miss important security updates."

Easy enough to get around. Couple of ways actually. Easiest for me was to use the Simplix Pack which conveniently doesn't include the checking update that blocks Windows Update for new processors. Also doesn't include all the telemetry updates.

I've been running a "Windows 7 Unsupported" 7th generation Kaby Lake on Windows 7 for nearly a year now. The Gigabyte motherboard I'm using has Windows 7 drivers and even has newer ones on their website.

I can go to Windows Update and see the "Windows is up to date" message. I guess Microsoft decided not to push too hard with this seeing as I'm sure they've been sailing close to class action lawsuit territory after their borderline illegal GWX campaign (which is STILL ongoing, in my opinion).

The Sun will blow up into a huge, glowing bubble of gas during its death

Carl D

>>The one with the SPF 1000 sunscreen in the pocket.<<

First thing that came to mind for me:

"Anybody not wearing two million sunblock is gonna have a real bad day."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2BlUN-h8-I

Microsoft's latest Windows 10 update downs Chrome, Cortana

Carl D

Anyone else besides me still wondering why Windows 10 seems to be getting progressively worse nearly 3 years after it's general release despite all the telemetry Microsoft collects from insiders and millions of unpaid beta testers?

For goodness sake Microsoft, stop adding more useless "features" to Windows 10 and start working on making a stable operating system that doesn't introduce radical changes every 6 months like you used to have with Windows XP and Windows 7.

A nice big "Telemetry Off" button (that really works) would be good as well.

Press F to pay respects to the Windows 10 April Update casualties

Carl D

"The Windows 10 April Update has begun seeping out from beneath the Redmond bathroom door"

Yes, and it looks like a lot of people are already getting it even though they don't want it yet.

https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/many-reports-of-win10-1709-users-getting-pushed-onto-1803/

I've already got the popcorn out... I'm sure we'll be seeing another "Oops, sorry, we made another mistake" announcement from MS shortly (gets a bit boring after a few years of hearing the same thing over and over).

Firefox to feature sponsored content as of next week

Carl D

Re: Not buying it - This is a badly timed Slippery Slope

"It'll be interesting to see if Firefox stays bundled with Linux installs..."

One of the first things I do these days after a Linux Mint install is remove Firefox and install Pale Moon.

Windows 10 April 2018 Update lands today... ish

Carl D

Yep, and my 12 year old HP laptop used to run Windows 7 perfectly (and XP before it).

Couldn't be something Microsoft is doing to sabotage Windows 7 by any chance? Nah, not our old buddy MS... such a pillar of virtue with outstanding performances like GWX, the eternal wait while scanning for Windows updates in Windows 7, followed by 8.1, changing the "X" to mean "go ahead and install Windows 10", blocking Windows Update for new processors with 7 and 8.1 and so on...

Oh, and I'm running Windows 7 on Kaby Lake and it is fully up to date with Windows Updates - the Simplix author is kind enough to remove the processor blocking update(s) from his packs. Such a considerate gentleman he is.

Carl D

Re: "again with MInt, no slowdown for my PC"

Really? Do I make IT dangerous?

Funny how in the 16 years that I've been using the Internet I have NEVER had a single virus or malware issue.

The main thing that makes IT dangerous these days is MIcrosoft and their "Swiss cheese" bug and security issue riddled excuse for operating systems.

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