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Monthly Archives: April 2021

  • MS-DEFCON 4: Patching is approved

    Posted on April 30th, 2021 at 01:02 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge
    AskWoody Plus Alert Logo
    ISSUE 18.15.1 • 2021-04-30
    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    Proceed to update.

    I’m separating my patching guidance into two categories — one for consumer or home users and one for business users. And I’m changing our MS-DEFCON level to 4. At this time, I’m not seeing major issues with updating.

    Consumer and home users

    The April updates have been much better behaved and I’m not seeing any major issues with the releases. Problems identified in 2004/20H2 as impacting performance in games have been automatically mitigated by Microsoft, using its Known issue rollback process. The April updates also resolved the lingering issues with printing triggered with the March updates. Importantly, the April updates install the new, Chromium-based Edge as the default browser and remove the old, “legacy” Edge. Be aware that this update will reset default programs, such as your PDF reader, to the new Edge; you’ll need to make manual adjustments to restore your preferences.

    Note: Going forward, when AskWoody mentions “Edge,” you should assume we mean the new, Chromium-based Edge. Otherwise, we will refer to legacy Edge.

    If you are still using Windows 10 Home or Pro 1909 you have only until May before that version is no longer supported. If you have not already upgraded to 20H2, I recommend taking this opportunity to do so. Remember, my favorite way to upgrade is to use the Update now button on the Software download page.

    Business users

    Coming with the preview releases for Windows 10, and included in the May Security releases, Microsoft will be including a new “News and Interests” taskbar item that will feature topics of interest to your users. If you want to proactively block it, use the Group Policy editor or adjust registry keys.

    References

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Alert 18.15.1 (2021-04-30).

  • 21H1 is getting closer

    Posted on April 29th, 2021 at 20:55 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    You’ve probably seen the news that the release of 21H1 is getting closer.

    You know how I feel about the initial release of feature releases. I prefer to hold back a bit. Remember we have ways now to better control when feature releases are installed. The good news is that even for “seekers” the 21H1 release won’t automatically install. You’ll have to approve it being installed.

    The updated features included in it are underwhelming even for businesses. Windows Hello improvements and Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG) performance improvements are the two often touted.  For me the big advantage is the  life cycle support.

    But bottom line, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered and will let you know when it’s safe.

  • So can you fix line spacing please?

    Posted on April 28th, 2021 at 14:23 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    You can always tell when the Microsoft marketing department comes into full swing. There is something in the news that makes you raise an eyebrow.

    Today’s edition is “Microsoft wants to know what font you prefer as the new default for Word”. You can even vote on it.

    Seriously. You can read about it on the Thurrott blog or straight from their site.

    I have always said that Word can take 10% of your time to compose a document and 90% of the time to get it formatted and printed. Here’s some things I’d love to have Microsoft work on before a new font:

    Stop autocorrecting certain things like HSA into HAS. If I typed in HSA because it’s an accounting term for a Health savings account, I really meant HSA.  You need to be smarter about autocorrect. Many times you are not helpful.

    My fellow peeps often fondly remember PFS write.  It allowed you to type and got out of the way. There needs to be a PFS write mode – something that would make it not autocorrect, not try to be helpful in formatting and numbering and just let us type.

    Numbering: OMG the number of times I have to fix formatting of bulleted lists because things get indented in such weird ways that make no sense.

    Line spacing: Sometimes Word is just possessed in how it things you want things spaced. Often we need things double spaced and oh no Word thinks I want instead EXACTLY  18.5PT stuff that pops up every now and then? The number of times I have to use the format paint (the paintbrush icon) to copy the format that works to a place where it’s not …. well just say I’ve done it a lot.

    What about you? What drives you insane about Word?

  • New PC? Lost your Microsoft account password?

    Posted on April 26th, 2021 at 01:10 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge
    AskWoody Plus Newsletter Logo
    ISSUE 18.15 • 2021-04-26

    MICROSOFT

    Ben Myers

    By Ben Myers

    If your dog ate your Microsoft account credentials, Microsoft will welcome you to the tenth circle of hell.

    You probably don’t want to hear this, because you’ve been nagged this way before; but make sure you have a safe record of your user credentials for every online account you maintain. Just do it.

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.15.0 (2021-04-26).
    This story also appears in the AskWoody Free Newsletter 18.15.F (2021-04-26).

  • New M1 devices from Apple

    Posted on April 26th, 2021 at 01:08 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    APPLE NEWS

    Will Fastie

    By Will Fastie

    Last week Apple welcomed more models into its family of M1-powered devices, including two new iPads!

    I listened to last Tuesday’s Apple event announcing a new iMac and the new iPads as well as several other less important products. I have a lot of thoughts not only about the products, but also about how Apple might interact with us in the future.

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.15.0 (2021-04-26).
    This story also appears in the AskWoody Free Newsletter 18.15.F (2021-04-26).

  • The coming battle for control of the Internet

    Posted on April 26th, 2021 at 01:06 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    LEGAL BRIEF

    Max Oppenheimer

    By Max Stul Oppenheimer, Esq.

    The Supreme Court is not required to explain itself.

    It decides cases by majority vote, and it is up to the justices to decide how much or how little information to provide to explain why they voted the way they did. Typically, there is one opinion explaining the Court’s decision (and, if the decision is not unanimous, a dissenting opinion explaining the disagreement) and an indication of which justices join in the decision. When a justice takes the additional step of writing a separate opinion, it does not change the outcome but does provide valuable information. Not only does it give us insight into nuances of that justice’s view, it also tells us that the justice considers it so important that it is worth the extra work of explaining it.

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.15.0 (2021-04-26).

  • RAID 0 error = Total data loss!

    Posted on April 26th, 2021 at 01:04 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    LANGALIST

    Fred Langa

    By Fred Langa

    RAID — Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks — is an old technology that offers few real benefits on today’s standard PCs — but man, does it have drawbacks!

    Today’s first reader-submitted letter illustrates the case. A system problem rendered essentially all the user’s data inaccessible and unrecoverable, across the entire RAID array!

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.15.0 (2021-04-26).

  • Freeware Spotlight — Complete Internet Repair 8

    Posted on April 26th, 2021 at 01:02 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    BEST UTILITIES

    Deanna McElveen

    By Deanna McElveen

    The tools on your flash drive save you time — and the time of your client.

    In my former life as an elementary school teacher, I was never opposed to kids using calculators to skip some of the basics and get right to more advanced math skills. Let’s face it, using a calculator to do the easy stuff so you can get a head start on figuring out how to get us to Alpha Centauri is not cheating. Punch in 7 times 8 a few thousand times, and you’re going to learn it.

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.15.0 (2021-04-26).

  • Computing should adapt

    Posted on April 26th, 2021 at 01:00 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    PATCH WATCH

    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    Even though the 21H1 version of Windows is not yet officially released, Microsoft is already planning on changes for the next feature release.

     We’re getting hints of what Microsoft has in store for 21H2. BleepingComputer reports that many of the changes will be in the Start Menu, Taskbar, Action Center (notification center), and File Explorer, among others. One of the most visible changes will be to icons, as Microsoft itself has hinted. In fact, if you want to obtain the icons without going through the insider program process, there are websites where you can download the bundle of icons and install them on your computer running 20H2 and perhaps earlier versions.

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.15.0 (2021-04-26).

  • Tasks for the Weekend – April 24, 2021 – changes to New Edge

    Posted on April 24th, 2021 at 22:47 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Youtube here

    Included in the April updates is the installation of New Edge and the removal of old Edge. But already Edge has changed: The download location has moved from the bottom left to the top right. Now for those of you that are Firefox and Chrome users you’ll say… yeah? And? As that’s where it’s been for you. But for Edge, this wasn’t where the download used to be. Unfortunately there’s no way to change it back to the bottom left.

    Also you may have had your PDF reader changed to Edge. You’ll want to click on the search box, then type in default apps, scroll down to find file type, now file PDF and change it to what program you want it to be. (It will make more sense if you watch the video).

     

  • Windows 10 gaming issues fixed with known issue rollback

    Posted on April 24th, 2021 at 12:32 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    “A small subset of users have reported lower than expected performance in games after installing KB5000842 or later updates. Most users affected by this issue are running games full screen or borderless windowed modes and using two or more monitors,” Microsoft stated in the Windows 10 2004 and Windows 20H2 known issues and notifications site.

    This fix is being rolled out using Microsoft’s Known Issue Rollback (KIR) feature to send out a minor fix via Windows Update, which should propagate to affected users within 24 hours.

    “This issue is resolved using Known Issue Rollback (KIR). Please note that it might take up to 24 hours for the resolution to propagate automatically to consumer devices and non-managed business devices. Restarting your device might help the resolution apply to your device faster.”

     

    AH that Known issue rollback is kicking in.

  • Coming soon to a Windows 10 near you

    Posted on April 22nd, 2021 at 15:02 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    This is the time of the month that we normally see preview updates for Windows 10.

    Per the ITpro blog, included in the preview updates will be a new “News and interests” on the task bar.  The official announcement is here, but the IT pro blog gives a bit more information about the timing and roll out….

    News and interests on the taskbar will begin rolling out to Windows 10 users today. We are taking a measured approach starting with the April 2021 Cumulative Update Preview for Windows 10, and broad availability will occur in phases. Devices running Windows 10, version 1909 (and later) who have installed the May 2021 Windows monthly update (or later) will be included in this phased rollout.

    So as I’m reading between the lines, if you have the April preview or main May update installed, this new task bar will start showing up.

    For the record I have a person in the office that I STILL find the Vista era gadgets and install them on his Windows 10 because he prefers the date and clock in his sidebar. Which if you remember they got rid of because they found that attackers could sneak things in there and they were vulnerable.

    Bottom line know that your task bar will change. Don’t know when…. but it will…

    P.S. I will be investigating if there is a registry key available for Home users to turn it off, stay tuned.

    TenForums has a tutorial on how to disable the taskbar “News and Interests” via group policy or registry key file. (Thanks to Bruce for pointing that out)