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  • Controlling updates in Win10 Home

    Posted on November 10th, 2016 at 13:45 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I’m going back and forth – forgive my indecision – on which method I should recommend for blocking updates in Win10 Home without Wi-Fi internet. (With Wi-Fi, just set a metered connection and you’re done.)

    I see three options:

    1. Manually edit the registry (or use Chris Hoffman’s How-To Geek REG file or Michael Pietroforte’s 4sysops PowerShell script) to set the DefaultMediaCost key.
    2. Disable the Windows Update service – type services.msc in the Cortana box, in the Services (Local) list, double-click on Windows Update, select Disabled and click OK. That’s the approach Noel Carboni favors, but abbodi86 notes that there are various scheduled tasks that will flip the setting back to Automatic, and that manually running Windows Update also flips the setting to Automatic.
    3. Advise people to just buy a Wi-Fi dongle, and use it for internet access. That approach has all sorts of problems, especially for folks who want (and pay for) speedy connections.

    Does anybody have a definitive take on the situation?

  • Everything you need to know about the new Surface Studio

    Posted on October 27th, 2016 at 05:37 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Peter Bright has a Surface Studio review on Ars Technica that’s worth reading, if you’re the least bit curious about where Microsoft hardware and Win10 are heading.  It’s a thorough review from somebody who knows Windows and hardware. (Peter also has the distinction of being the only person who’s dropped a Surface Studio screen and lived to tell the tale, but I digress.)

    My takeaway: Meh. If you need a minimalist desktop PC with a gorgeous screen that doubles as a drafting table, and don’t mind shuffling the keyboard out of the way, have at it.

    Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s wonderful that you can rotate a 3D drawing interactively inside a PowerPoint presentation. It’s just that I can’t imagine myself scouring the web looking for suitable 3D graphics – and I’m not nearly talented enough to create anything like that. Besides, I wouldn’t want to put my audience through that kind of torture.

    As for the hockey puck, hey, some of you spend a lot of time doing freehand drawing and I’m happy for you. But the rest of us can probably find better ways to spend all that money – $3,000 for older-generation Skylake i5, 8 GB, GTX 965M with 2GB, 1 TB hybrid drive, 4 x USB 3; up to $4,200 for i7, 32 GB, GTX 980M with 4 GB, 2 TB hybrid drive.

    For that price you could buy… well, let’s see what Apple’s about to announce. Although Windows users have a few hoops to jump through, if they want to watch the live broadcast, I’m going to start by simply navigating to TWiT.tv live. Starts at 10 am west coast time.

  • Watch the Windows 10 Creators Update rollout

    Posted on October 26th, 2016 at 09:25 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Leo LaPorte, Paul Thurrott and Ed Bott did a Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment of the live Win10 presentation. You can relive the snark on Thurrott.com. Well worth watching.

    Bottom line:

    Windows 10 Creators (no apostrophe) Update version 1703 (apparently planned for release in March)

    Slight bump in Surface Book specs, with claimed 16 hour battery – and no change from the much-maligned Skylake processor

    Lots of 3D, holo, glitzy stuff

    $3,000 for the new Surface Studio: Skylake i5, 8 GB, GTX 965M with 2GB, 1 TB hybrid drive, 4 x USB 3; $4,200 for i7, 32 GB, GTX 980M with 4 GB, 2 TB hybrid drive; both gorgeous 3:2 screen @ 4500 pixels, Surface Dial free with purchase, limited time only.

    My take: Let’s see what Apple announces tomorrow.

  • Don’t install any updates yet – but here’s where to find them

    Posted on October 11th, 2016 at 12:11 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    We’re going to be discussing today’s patches, but DON’T ASSUME THAT YOU SHOULD INSTALL THEM.

    You have plenty of time to wait and see if they break anything.

    With that as prolog, addobi86 just provided info for the two patches that’ll be on everyone’s minds.

    The security-only Win 7 Oct 2016 patch is KB3192391. You can find it here:


    The security-only Win 8.1 Oct 2016 patch is KB3192392. Find it here:


    There’s also a security Win 8.1 patch for Flash, KB3194343 and it’s here:


    Windows Update in Win7 now showing Oct 2016 “Security Monthly Quality Rollup” (in other words, the security + non-security cumulative update) KB 3185330 and Oct 2016 “Security and Quality Rollup for .NET” KB 3188740. No surprises.

    And our good friend KB 2952664 – the detested snooping patch – is back, as a Recommended, optional patch.

    Look but don’t touch, OK?

    The Security Bulletins are up. They don’t include KB numbers, as expected, but I continue to wonder… how will Vista users install security patches?

  • New Win10 beta 14901 is out

    Posted on August 12th, 2016 at 07:14 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I was going to write up the new Windows 10 beta branch – Redstone 2, build 14901 – but Microsoft somehow forgot to send me a copy. I’m sitting here, early Friday morning, with my long-time trusty beta testing machine and it’s still stuck on 14393.67.

    Oh well. I hope I’ll get a chance to look at it over the weekend and let you know how File Explorer looks with its new “suggestions” and step through the new Network status settings page.



  • Anybody out there with a late model Kindle?

    Posted on August 8th, 2016 at 07:20 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    … who’s willing to beta test a game?

    Asking for a friend… 🙂

    Email me, woody@askwoody.com


  • Win10 cumulative update KB 3172985 is out

    Posted on July 12th, 2016 at 13:15 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Build 10586.494

    The KB article is now available.

    Details soon.

  • New Get Windows 10 dialog – I haven’t seen it, have you?

    Posted on June 29th, 2016 at 10:15 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    We’re supposed to be getting a new Get Windows 10 dialog this week:


    I haven’t seen it yet. Have you?

    Most people expect it to arrive with a new version of KB 3035583, the notorious “Get Windows 10” patch. I’m not so sure.

    My theory is that Microsoft constructs the Get Windows 10 dialog on the fly – as one of the commenters here said, it’s a lot like a polymorphic virus technique. Could MS change the dialog without changing Windows 7 or 8.1?

    I have an inquiry into Microsoft about the behavior of the “Decline free offer” option. Simply put: Does that decline all future offers, or is it just “Delay and ask again”? Mary Jo Foley on ZDNet has received clarification from MS that the “X” in the upper right corner doesn’t stop the upgrade. It merely defers asking about it for an undetermined amount of time.

    If the red-x is selected on this new dialog, it will dismiss the dialog box and we will notify the device again in a few days.

    Stay tuned.