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  • Mind boggling: SpaceX Falcon Heavy

    Posted on February 6th, 2018 at 15:10 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Unbeleeeeeeeevable.

    Look here starting about 35 minutes

    And a live view of Starman:

    To hear about the center booster (which, I fear, may not have landed on its drone ship), follow The Guardian’s coverage.

  • February 2018 Office Non-Security patches have been released

    Posted on February 6th, 2018 at 13:17 PKCano Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    In the middle of all the January patching chaos we have MORE patches. But you don’t want to install these February Office patches yet, unless you want more upheaval in your life. WAIT a while!!

    Office 2010

    Update for Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 (KB4011187)
    Update for Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer 2010 (KB4011191)

     Office 2013

    Update for Microsoft Excel 2013 (KB4011700)
    Update for Microsoft Office 2013 (KB4011646)
    Update for Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 (KB4011676)
    Update for Microsoft Project 2013 (KB4011679)
    Update for Skype for Business 2015 (KB4011678)

    Office 2016

    Update for Microsoft Excel 2016 (KB4011684)
    Update for Microsoft Office 2016 (KB4011664)
    Update for Microsoft Office 2016 (KB4011668)
    Update for Microsoft Office 2016 (KB4011685)
    Update for Microsoft Office 2016 Language Interface Pack (KB4011566)
    Update for Microsoft OneNote 2016 (KB4011571)
    Update for Microsoft PowerPoint 2016 (KB4011663)
    Update for Microsoft Project 2016 (KB4011672)
    Update for Microsoft Word 2016 (KB4011681)
    Update for Skype for Business 2016 (KB4011662)

    There were no non-security updates for Office 2007 which is out of support.
    Security patches for all supported versions of Office are released on Patch Tues. (2nd Tues. of the month).

  • Universal Windows Programs (“Metro apps”) aren’t dead yet, but there’s a better alternative on the horizon

    Posted on February 6th, 2018 at 11:56 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Microsoft just announced that it’s going to start building Progressive Web App support into Edge and Win10.

    Progressive Web Apps aren’t so much Google’s much-better alternative to Win10-only Universal Windows Programs (formerly known as “Metro apps” or “Universal apps” or “Windows Store Apps” or any of a half-dozen other monikers) as they are a genuine attempt to make browser-based applications look and feel more like regular ol’ apps.

    Chances are very good you’ve never seen a PWA in action. But they’re definitely coming. At some point.

    The theoretical benefits of PWAs over UWPs are enormous. Just for starters, UWPs can only run in the stripped-down Win10 environment. PWAs, on the other hand, should be able to run on just about anything that supports a browser — particularly Chrome, or ChromeOS. Yeah, that includes Chromebooks, at least at some point.

    The browser requirement has vanished in the past couple of years, banking on a concept called service worker. Horrible name, but web folks are good at horrible names. Paul Thurrott described service workers months ago:

    Google’s initial take on PWAs wasn’t that compelling: The full resources of Chrome needed to load each time a PWA ran, and there was no minimal user interface or runtime. But when Google introduced the notion of service worker, the technological core of what we now know as PWAs, it was a big differentiator. With service workers, PWAs could work like native apps, offering features like offline support, background processing, and more.

    It now looks to me as if there’s going to be a headlong dash into developing PWAs — and that UWP’s days are numbered. Time will tell.

    UPDATE: Mary Jo Foley has a calendar for future developments in Microsoft’s side of the PWA wars, in her ZDNet blog.

  • I just turned off threading in the replies

    Posted on February 6th, 2018 at 11:17 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    The server’s way overloaded. In a (possibly vain) attempt to reduce overhead, I eliminated threaded replies in the comments, and switched to paged replies. You can now see 10 replies per page – and you can change pages in the upper right corner.

    I apologize for the abrupt change. Just hope that, after a little bit of settling-down, we’ll be able to get the site responding again.

    For those of you keeping score, last month we were running 9,000 to 15,000 “visits” per day (using AWstats). This month, we started around 15,000 visits per day and we’re headed upward quickly. If we can keep the site going, I’m sure we’ll hit a new record before the afternoon’s in full swing.

    Sure wish the advertising revenues were keeping pace. Sigh.

  • Report of a bug in January’s Outlook 2010 patch

    Posted on February 6th, 2018 at 09:49 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    From @mazzinia

    Possible bug report post patches installation :
    Outlook 2010 went unresponsive once when trying to open an email with inside lets say ads ( official from my phone provider ), killed the process after letting it stay at 25% for 10 minutes.

    It tried to lock up a 2nd time (on a different, simple email), subsequently, but it resumed after 30/40 seconds

    I’m going out on a limb and assuming this is in reference to KB 4011273. There’s no reference to which operating system is involved.

    @mazzinia, please enlighten us!

  • A quick overview of January patching recommendations for Windows

    Posted on February 6th, 2018 at 08:11 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    This web site is getting hammered. Sorry about that, but there’s a reason why the main discussion thread for installing January 2018 takes a long time to load – lots of comments, lots of people. We’re redlining the server again, folks, and it’s the beefiest one currently available from our host.

    For those of you looking for the bottom line on patching Win7 and 8.1, I’d like to repeat the posts from @PKCano and @MrBrian.

    Starting with @MrBrian:

    For any manually-installed Windows update from January 2018 and later: If you use antivirus, you must ensure that the antivirus-related registry item was set by your antivirus before proceeding with manual installation. If you don’t use antivirus, set the antivirus-related registry item, so that Windows Update won’t blacklist relevant updates.

    Windows 7 Monthly Rollup (“Group A”) – recommended:

    If Windows Update offers KB4056894 then install it. If Windows Update doesn’t offer KB4056894, then if Windows Update offers KB4057400 then install it. If neither update is offered, then wait for the February 2018 Windows updates.

    Windows 7 Security-only patch (“Group B”) – for those who only want the security update, and none of the additional patches:

    Manually install KB4073578. Manually install KB4056568.

    Windows 8.1 Monthly Rollup (“Group A”) – recommended:

    If Windows Update offers KB4056895 then install it. If Windows Update doesn’t offer KB4056895, then if Windows Update offers KB4057401 then install it. If neither update is offered, then wait for the February 2018 Windows updates.

    Windows 8.1 Security-only patch (“Group B”) – for those who only want the security update, and none of the additional patches:

    Manually install KB4077561. Manually install KB4056568.

    @PKCano has a slightly different approach – with observations for Windows 10.

    As a prelim:
    1. Update your Anti-virus to the latest version of the PROGRAM. Check to be sure the ALLOW Regkey is set.
    2. Verify whether your CPU is Intel or AMD.
    3. Backup your computer!!!!!
    4. Rule: DO NOT CHECK ANYTHING THAT IS NOT CHECKED BY DEFAULT

    The following are only my choices. Make the choices as applies to your case.

    Windows 7 Monthly Rollup (“Group A”):
    I installed KB4056894 Monthly Rollup. If you have AMD and you feel unsure, download KB4073578 and install it manually first then the Rollup. See AKB2000003. EDIT: See @abbodi86 ‘s comment at #165285. Normally it is not recommended to install unchecked Preview patches, but in this case KB4057400 Preview probably contains the AMD fixes found in KB4073578.
    I installed MSRT
    I installed all the Office 2010 updates
    I have .NET 4.7 on all machines. I did not install .NET 4.7.1 (unchecked).
    My choice for .NET has always been the Rollups offered by WU.

    Windows 8.1 Monthly Rollup (“Group A”):
    I installed KB4056895 Monthly Rollup. If you have AMD and you feel unsure, download KB4073576 and install it manually first then the Rollup. I suspect the PIC/APIC problem will be fixed in the Feb Rollup. See AKB2000003. EDIT: See @abbodi86 ‘s comment at #165285. Normally it is not recommended to install unchecked Preview patches, but in this case KB4057401 Preview probably contains the fixes found in KB4073576 and KB4077561.
    I installed the IE Flash update
    I installed MSRT
    I installed all the Office 2010 updates
    I have .NET 4.7 on all machines. I did not install .NET 4.7.1 (unchecked).
    My choice for .NET has always been the Rollups offered by WU.

    Win10 1703
    Using wushowhide I hid KB4023057, KB4073543, and KB4056254
    I installed CU KB4057144 Build 15063.877
    I installed all the other non-driver patches.

    Win10 1709
    I have KB4056892 Build 16299.192 installed.
    I was not offered KB4058258 Build 16299.214 through WU and I did not try to manually install it. It seems to have an installation problem as noted here.

    @PKCano’s approach to Win7 and 8.1 patching is slightly more aggressive than @MrBrian’s. Both ways are valid (and better than the directions I gave in the Computerworld article). You should choose @MrBrian’s approach if you aren’t overly concerned about a looming Meltdown/Spectre attack. But if you’re worried about an imminent attack (which is to say, one that happens before the February patches have time to stew), go with @PKCano’s approach.