• MS-DEFCON 2: The maintenance window for Windows closes

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    ISSUE 19.49.1 • 2022-12-08
    MS-DEFCON 2

    By Susan Bradley

    This is your last call to install updates.

    Businesses typically have a concept in their information technology divisions about maintenance windows. It’s a period of time set aside to install updates, review computer systems, and in general ensure that everything is working as it should.

    Consumers and home users should follow a similar concept. Devote a period of time, no matter the platform, to ensure that your devices are working as they should. Then let your maintenance window close. That’s why I’m raising the MS-DEFCON level to 2 — with fresh updates due next week, get the current updates installed now.

    Everyone can read the full MS-DEFCON Alert (19.49.1, 2022-12-08).

  • Why can’t Windows provide their own drive partition tool?

    Tonight I will ask the pondering question of why…. why can’t Microsoft/Windows provide a native tool that properly partitions drives?

    If you want to merely expand a drive and there’s no other space next to where you want to expand, no problem. But if the drive isn’t quite set up right, you have to go to a third party Linux based tool to resize, expand, etc etc.

    Some of the ones I’ve used include:

    MiniTool

    EaseUS

    Paragon

    All of them work well.

    But why, Microsoft?  Why can’t in the year 2022, why can’t you natively include a tool to handle what I consider to be … well…. basic?

    When have I used tools like this?

    On physical machines where I’ve moved to a new SSD drive and suddenly I find that I can’t expand the bigger area because of some OEM partition left behind.

    On virtual machines where it won’t let me expand the C drive.  (Just had to do this the other day on a domain controller)

    To me this just seems like something you should be able to do at 37 years of age.

    What do you think?

     

  • December 2022 Office non-Security updates have been released

    The December 2022 Office non-Security updates have been released Tuesday, December 6, 2022. They are not included in the DEFCON-3 approval for the November 2022 patches. Unless you have a specific need to install them, you should wait until Susan Bradley (Patch Lady) approves them and any problems have been reported.

    Remember, Susan’s patching sequence and recommendations are based on a business environment that has IT support and may have time constraints on the updating process. Consumer patching should be more cautious due to limited technical and mechanical resources. The latter is the reason for the AskWoody DEFCON system.

    Office 2016
    Update for Microsoft Project 2016 (KB5002193)

    There was no update for Office 2013.
    On April 10, 2018, Office 2013 reached End of Mainstream Support. Extended Support ends for Office 2013 on April 11, 2023.
    Office 2016 also reached  End of Mainstream Support on October 13, 2020. EOS for Office 2016 is October 14, 2025.

    Updates are for the .msi version (perpetual). Office 365 and C2R are not included.

    Security updates for all supported versions of Microsoft Office are released on the second Tuesday of the month (Patch Tuesday).

  • Microsoft Insider: Pros, and the many cons

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    ISSUE 19.49 • 2022-12-05

    MICROSOFT 365

    Peter Deegan

    By Peter Deegan

    Microsoft pushes its Insider versions of Office software very hard, promising the latest features faster than the public at large receives them.

    But it doesn’t mention the downsides of using beta software, the confusing and ever-changing labels, and the real reason why the company promotes the Insider editions of Office and Windows so strongly.

    Anyone can become an Office or Windows Insider. Microsoft pushes the various levels of test software for Office and Windows with phrases such as “Get the scoop on our newest builds and features” and “Help shape the future of Office.” As usual, that’s stretching the truth, hiding the real purposes of Microsoft’s Insider program.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.49.0, 2022-12-05).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.

  • Bankrupt technology: How FTX crushed $40 billion to bits

    PUBLIC DEFENDER

    Brian Livingston

    By Brian Livingston

    The world’s fifth-largest cryptocurrency exchange, FTX, was valued by investors at $40 billion in early 2022 but wound up in bankruptcy last month and is now almost worthless.

    FTX, short for “Futures Exchange,” launched its service in 2019 and minted its own digital token with the ticker symbol FTT. With almost 250 million FTT units available to the public, FTX’s CEO and majority owner, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF, as he’s known) had a net worth of $26 billion in early 2022.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.49.0, 2022-12-05).

  • Randy’s remedies: Oops! — I called the scam number

    SUPPORT

    Randy McElveen

    By Randy McElveen

    The fact that you got tricked into calling a scammer’s phone number does not mean you’re stupid. It means the world has gotten stupid.

    I remember the vacuum salesman coming to the door when I was a kid. Of course, my mom and dad let them in. They were just people doing their job. They showed my parents what this new vacuum could do, and my parents made a decision to buy a vacuum or not. If they said no-thank-you, the salesman didn’t put a padlock on our old vacuum. He didn’t set any booby traps in our front yard as he left. He just told my parents to have a great day and moved on to the next house.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.49.0, 2022-12-05).

  • It’s time to install Windows 10 22H2

    PATCH WATCH

    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    Unless you have a pressing need to stay on 21H2, Windows 10 22H2 has proven stable enough to be my new recommended version for Windows 10.

    However, I can’t say the same for Windows 11 22H2. I’m still tracking numerous issues with it and thus do not recommend it.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.49.0, 2022-12-05).

  • Is technology a good gift for Christmas?

    Ehhhhhhh …. typically not.  For several reasons. You never know how someone might feel about the tech you are giving them. It may bring up privacy issues that they would rather not deal with. Or like me in the case of a laptop, the keyboard isn’t quite right. So often you may wish to opt for tech gift certificates rather than technology itself.

    What you can consider is a gift certificate to a streaming service (to see if they want to cut the cable on TV) or maybe a gift certificate to learn something new.  Something like ContextLearning or maybe even a virtual pastry class?

    Bottom line, often I give something that needs technology, but not the technology itself. Too often that’s a personal decision. What’s your thoughts?

  • 9th Chrome Zero day being patched

    Just a kind reminder, it’s that time of the year where depending on which hemisphere you are in it’s either a bit nippy, a bit tropical or a bit warm. But regardless of where you are located, it’s also that time of the year to ensure that whatever browser you use is fully up to date.

    Chrome is releasing a fix for the 9th zero day patch of the 2022 year. An exploit has been used in the wild. It’s unsure if this bug has been used in targeted attacks or widespread. The details are being withheld until we all get patched up.  Which also means that Edge will get it’s update soon. While you are there, make sure Firefox and any other browser you use is up to date especially given this is holiday surfing time.

    I was just online finding a recipe for a grilled cheese sandwich that looked really good and also saw the alert about the zero day.  Let’s be careful out there while we find good recipes for grilled cheese sandwiches!

  • A major change to our newsletters

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    ISSUE 19.48 • 2022-11-28

    FROM THE PUBLISHER

    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    We’re developing new, bonus content!

    When I acquired the AskWoody business, I felt that we would face difficulty in publishing our newsletters every week, 52 weeks per year. One of my first decisions was to change the publishing schedule to 48 times per year, approximately four issues per month. That remains our official policy.

    However, that’s not actually what we did.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.48.0, 2022-11-28).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.

  • How our little business is run

    FROM THE EDITOR

    Will Fastie

    By Will Fastie

    The operation of a small business isn’t usually the subject of a paper in the Harvard Business Review.

    Neither is AskWoody Tech LLC.

    In one of our regular and routine conversations, Susan and I talked about our respective operational roles, the things we regularly do, and — more to the point — the technology we use every day. The surprise was that despite common links, we do dramatically different things.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.48.0, 2022-11-28).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.

  • Behind the scenes: The site

    COMMENTARY

    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    A newsletter about Windows isn’t run on Windows.

    I’ve always found it interesting to see how something works, and I’ll bet many of our readers do, too. So I’m going to use my space in this bonus issue by giving you a peek into the technology we use to run the site and our forums, to prepare the newsletter, and to get it to your inbox.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.48.0, 2022-11-28).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.