Monthly Archives: April 2023

  • Microsoft… I’m not in the mood for this

    Buried in the latest insider edition is this little nugget….

    Changes and Improvements


    • We are continuing the exploration of badging on the Start menu with several new treatments for users logging in with local user accounts to highlight the benefits of signing in with a Microsoft account (MSA). If you see one of these treatments, give us feedback on what you think. As a reminder, it is normal for us to try out different concepts in the Dev Channel to get feedback.
    Different treatments of badging on the Start menu highlighting the benefits of signing in with a Microsoft account for users logged in with a local user account.
    Different treatments of badging on the Start menu highlighting the benefits of signing in with a Microsoft account for users logged in with a local user account.

    So being that this is nearly the end of the unofficial tax season for me … long story short those of us in California really get until October 16 due to our flooding earlier this year, but we’re still doing tax extensions to be proactive and ensure the IRS handles these right… but I digress, and this is patching week, and well… I’m tired!  My patience is at absolute ZERO.  So needless to say this is not going over well with me tonight.

    Here’s what I tweeted to @brandonLeBlanc on twitter tonight

    Sometimes we WANT the choice we have gone OUT OF OUR WAY to select.  If we wanted a Microsoft account, we would get that Microsoft account.

    I guess I should look at the bright side, there are enough folks using the workaround that they are taking the time (and developer effort) to code this up.

    More about this as we know more about this. As always we’ll keep you up to date in the newsletter.

  • Master Patch List April 11, 2023

    I’ve updated the Master Patch list for the April releases.

    Remember to always review the known issues we are tracking on the Master Patch List. I will keep the latest info there.

    So far trending issues are:

    Business patchers – weird Google chrome issue after installing kb5025221 if your group policy is used to set Chrome as default

    Also I’ll update the list for the SQL updates but I wanted to get the other updates out for you

    I am recommending at this time that you install Apple updates, I’m not recommending Windows updates at this time. I’ll have more details in the newsletter on Monday.

    • Windows 11 22H2: Not recommended
    • Windows 11 21H2: If you have a Windows 11 PC, recommended
    • Windows 10 22H2: Recommended
    • Windows 10 21H2: Recommended (if a vendor won’t support 22H2)
    • Apple Ventura – Recommended for newer hardware – as always check with the applications you rely on if they recommend this release.

    As always, thank you all for supporting the cause! Remember a donation will give you access and if you donate $50 or more you’ll get a special code to enable text messages sent to your phone each time the Master Patch List gets updated and when I change the MS-DEFCON level.

  • The patching showers of April

    Apple did their patching showers yesterday – another zero day fix

    📱 iOS and iPadOS 15.7.5 – 2 bugs fixed
    💻 macOS Monterey 12.6.5 – 1 bug fixed
    💻 macOS Big Sur 11.7.6 – 1 bug fixed

    Now it’s Microsoft’s turn….

    97 vulnerabilities, 7 critical, 1 exploited

    Also out today… The AD team at Microsoft is proud to announce that with today’s Patch Tuesday updates, our new Windows Local Admin Password Solution (aka Windows LAPS) is available in all in-market builds of Windows – Win10 & Win11 clients and Server 2019 & 2022 SKUs!

    As usual, time to sit back, watch the testing occur and see what shakes out this month.

    Note that Windows 10 21H2 drops out of support in June unless you have edu or enterprise – so check what version of Windows 10 you are on. There’s no big changes for Windows 10 so I honestly don’t anticipate seeing any side effects. As always I will keep you up to date on the Master patch listing.

    This is interesting… there is only a security release for Publisher this month.

    No non security Office updates were released either. A VERY light Office release this month.

  • The Three Laws of Robotics

    newsletter banner

    ISSUE 20.15 • 2023-04-10


    Will Fastie

    By Will Fastie

    Along with its recent announcement of Copilot, Microsoft made a point of mentioning “responsible AI.”

    Undoubtedly, part of the reason for bringing the matter up was the almost instant controversy surrounding Bing AI, Microsoft’s integration of its AI engine into Bing and Edge, especially its apparently threatening behavior toward a reporter.

    What does “responsible AI” mean?

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.15.0, 2023-04-10).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.

  • Ten top forum topics — Support


    Talk Bubbles

    The section of the forums devoted to support has long been the most active area of all. Did you know that the Support section alone accounts for over 158,000 topics with over 885,000 comments?

    We appreciate both the questions and the ongoing willingness of forum members to offer their knowledge, experience, and assistance to help others solve their problems. So check out the Support section from time to time — you never know when you might have that unique insight that will help someone else.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.15.0, 2023-04-10).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.

  • Your call is very important — to you


    Max Oppenheimer

    By Max Stul Oppenheimer, Esq.

    You may have had the experience. You sign up for a service simply by clicking on a link, then wait on hold endlessly to solve a problem or cancel the service.

    It may be small comfort, but you are not alone. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has recognized the pervasiveness of the phenomenon and has proposed a new rule to deal with it.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.15.0, 2023-04-10).

  • Opal — Now I need a nap


    Randy McElveen

    By Deanna McElveen

    Last year, a Gallup survey of over 3,000 adults in the U.S. reported that only 32% of us get “excellent” sleep; 35% get “good” sleep, and 33% of us get “poor” or “fair” sleep.

    The one thing that has helped calm my mind so I can fall asleep is sound. There is simply no way I can fall asleep in a quiet room. Give me that pan flute CD from the swap meet, or an episode of “Frasier,” and I’m out in 10 minutes!

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.15.0, 2023-04-10).

  • How do you install and patch your new computer?


    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    I’m doing something vastly different this week.

    Right off the bat, you’ll notice that this article is a bit shorter than I usually write. That’s because it describes the actual writing task to which I’ve set myself. I’ve prepared two checklist documents about setting up a Windows PC, one for Windows 10 and one for Windows 11.

    Both of these documents are targeted at the ordinary consumer, the home user.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.15.0, 2023-04-10).

  • Dynamic or Static? Which do you choose?

    First off – if you are in the Northern Hemisphere – Happy spring.

    The tulips are in full bloom at my house.

    Speaking of houses – and more specifically, of home networks: The other day where I have a peer to peer network at home consisting of hard wired computers, a scanner/printer and another dedicated printer along with wifi, laptops, ipads, iphones, iwatches, kindles, an galaxy tablet, roku devices, rachio sprinkler device… well you get the idea. And for most of these devices I’ve left them to pick up their IP addresses from the router I have that sits between me and my Comcast modem. Until the other day. When I was trying to scan something from the scanner to my computer and it kept failing. The scanner is not set up via USB, rather it’s set up via a wired connection. So is my computer. And most of the time these two devices pick up the same IP address over and over again even though, in theory they can pick up any available IP address.

    This is also how I set up my network at the office, but there at the office there is a server called a domain controller that handles a specific role (called DHCP server) that hands out the IP addresses to each workstation or device. Once again most of the time each computer picks up exactly the same IP address it has had in the past, or you can exclude that IP address from the range being handed out and statically assign an IP address – as I typically do for printers at the office.

    Well you can probably see what’s coming next. The Lexmark MC2426 scanner/printer was working just fine and finding my computer to scan to, just fine, until it didn’t. I realized that the scanning shortcut I had built into the interface of the scanner was pointing to what I THOUGHT was the IP address of the computer. Clearly a reboot of the router had caused it to move the IP address on that computer. So I went into the settings of both the computer and the printer and set a static IP address to make sure it wouldn’t “move” on me again.

    So how do you know what settings to put into your computer?

    It’s pretty easy to figure out what your router is handing out to your computer.

    Open a command prompt on your computer and type in ipconfig /all

    In the window you will get a listing of all of the potential network connections on your computer. If the wireless port is active, that’s where the IP address will be.

    Typically in a home setting it’s based on a range with the router probably being at the or position in your home network.

    In my case my router is at (see that Gateway setting?)

    The main IP address that I’ve assigned to it is

    The subnet mask is a setting that tells the computer how big of a network it can talk to. Normally in a home private network you limit your IP range to 253(ish) devices (I say 253 because at least one is going to be your router itself taking up one of the spots.)  If that subnet mask is set to that means it will “talk” to a larger pool of devices.  You then go into the ethernet settings, change adapter options and manually set the ip4 address to a static IP address.

    Note I don’t recommend this for most home configurations, it’s MUCH easier to let your router do it’s thing, but I happen to mention it because when you start adding on a bit of home tech like printers, sometimes setting things statically does help especially in a peer to peer setup.

    Also note that the setting of the DNS server comes down to personal preference and sometimes recommendations from your ISP. Some ISPs mandate that you use their DNS, I have moved around over the years to various DNS providers based on various recommendations and speed.  Currently that is Cloudflare’s DNS servers.

    Also go into the control panel/network connections and make sure all of your computers in a home setting see that they are on a private network.

    There has been a couple of times I have been trying to do something shared on a peer computer only to find that our Microsoft patching overlords have sometimes flipped that to public. Whenever you can’t do something on a peer to peer network – check that “private network” setting in the control panel just to make sure.  Monthly patching does NOT normally touch this, but on rare occasions I do see that flipped, so make sure it says “private network”.  If it says public, just change the setting to private.

    So what about you? Do you use the IP addresses set up by your router or do you set up static IP addresses on your home computers? What DNS setting do you use? Share in the comments why you set up your home network the way you do.

  • Apple emergency updates

    (First off Good Friday, Happy Passover, Happy Ramadan, Happy near the end of the weekend to everyone)

    Apple pushed updates for 2 new zero-days that may have been actively exploited.

    🐛 CVE-2023-28206 (IOSurfaceAccelerator):
    – macOS Ventura 13.3.1
    – iOS and iPadOS 16.4.1

    🐛 CVE-2023-28205 (WebKit):
    – macOS Ventura 13.3.1
    – iOS and iPadOS 16.4.1


    💻 macOS Ventura 13.3.1 – 2 bugs fixed
    📱 iOS and iPadOS 16.4.1 – 2 bugs fixed

    On the Apple platform when you read “may have been exploited” that’s usually geek speak for “was used in a very targeted attack and has not been widely used”.

  • MS-DEFCON 2: Prepare for April showers

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    ISSUE 20.14.1 • 2023-04-06

    By Susan Bradley

    The next round of updates is coming soon and may be confusing.

    For one thing, it now appears that Windows 10 and Windows 11 updates will diverge. That is reason enough for me to raise the MS-DEFCON level to 2.

    Any confusion instantly causes me to recommend deferring updates.

    It does not appear that the forthcoming updates for Windows 10 will introduce any changes. They will include only security patches. Microsoft stated:

    After March 2023, there are no more optional, non-security preview releases for the supported editions of Windows 10, version 20H2 and Windows 10, version 21H2. Only monthly security update releases will continue for these versions.

    Anyone can read the full MS-DEFCON Alert (20.14.1, 2023-04-06).

  • 48 years and counting

    Love ’em or hate ’em, you have to admit… as we start another year – this company has dramatically changed computing.

    Microsoft was founded on April 4, 1975.

    I remember tax season when I first started at my firm – personal computers were relatively new and we filled out these paper input forms in order to prepare tax returns. The forms were then picked up by a courier, driven to the Airport, flown to Torrance, California where someone at CCH/Accutax/other tax vendors would input the information that we had entered on the input forms. They would print out the tax return, put them in envelopes, put them back on an airplane, flown back to Fresno and then a courier to drive around and drop them off at our office a few days later. If we messed up and got something wrong, we would have to enter a “revision” form and send them back for reprocessing. Once again having a courier pick up the change form, having it flown down to Los Angeles, and then back again with the revised tax return.  If the issue wasn’t THAT bad we would take whiteout liquid, cover up the error and type in the revisions ourselves. (I would ruin suit jackets getting not quite dried whiteout on the sleeves every tax season).

    Then came a tax year where farmer deadline was looming on 3/1 (Farmers get the ability to skip estimates if they file by 3/1) and the software company was behind on implementation of the tax changes that year and couldn’t get the farmer tax returns back in time. With four days before the looming deadline we installed a SINGLE IBM 8088 computer and a beast of an HP III printer.  The printer had to have tax font cartridges in order to print out a tax return (remember THOSE DAYS?) and we set up Lacerte tax software on that IBM 8088 (no, not built by Rene Lacerte of – but second cousins of his), and within a day we were cranking out our own tax returns and no longer relying on meeting the courier deadline, nor facing doing the farmer tax returns by hand.

    We have come a long way in technology in the years in between. Farmers this year are no longer facing a lack of water in Calfornia thanks to the storms we’ve had this year, but in some places too much water. As an aside, if you want to see the California wildflowers or extremely full waterfalls in Yosemite, this will be the year for it. When the snow finally starts melting up there it is going to be the year that will be picturesque for sure.

    I have no idea what the next 48 years will bring. However, I do know that all of us wouldn’t be here without Microsoft. For small businesses and individuals, it has been a game changer for sure. For all that the company can be annoying, it’s also been a dramatic game changer for how we interact with each other, with how we do business, with how we just deal with our daily lives.

    Here’s to the next 48 years.  Stick around and we’ll all see what happens.