Monthly Archives: August 2023

  • Chrome moves download indicator

    Susan BradleySo my 95 year old Dad calls me up this morning and says “I need help”.  He was on his computer and working on a tax return (yes he still works on returns at 95 years of age) and says “The zip file download isn’t working”.  He’s on the cloud version of tax software which downloads zip files of pdfs and he uses Chrome.

    Well as you can guess recently as I’m sure many of you know, Chrome moved the download indicator from the bottom left to the top right. Now if you are used to using different browsers you’ll know that many of them use top right (Edge) as well as bottom left.

    You CAN change it back.

    You can also merely deal with the change and cuss at software developers that love to change things as my Dad did when I pointed out that the zip file REALLY was being downloaded but now look for that bubble in the top right.

    “Dumb a-……s”  is what Dad muttered. I figured many could relate to my tale. And yes, just a reminder, you CAN change it back.

    Public service announcement for the day:

    Launch Chrome and go to chrome://flags/.
    Search for “Download Bubble” or “Download Button”.
    Disable both flags.
    Click on “Relaunch” to restart Chrome.
    After following these steps, the downloads bar should be moved back to the bottom of the Chrome window.

  • A t-AI-l of two cities

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    ISSUE 20.35 • 2023-08-28


    Max Oppenheimer

    By Max Stul Oppenheimer, Esq.

    Generative artificial intelligence is the latest of the “we’ve never seen anything like this before — something must be done” technologies.

    Earlier examples are biotechnology, the personal computer, the video recorder, the record player, and probably fire — none of which caused the world to end.

    Multiple players are deciding their opening moves in reacting to the sudden entry of this technology into the public consciousness. Not surprisingly, their approaches differ because their interests differ. That certainly applies to the Microsoft Services Agreement.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.35.0, 2023-08-28).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.

  • SMB security changes in Windows 11 might affect your NAS, too

    WINDOWS 11

    Mary BranscombeBy Mary Branscombe

    It’s going to get harder and harder to connect to your NAS as a guest with SMB. That’s a good thing for security, but it could be a problem if your hardware is older.

    The Server Message Block (SMB) network file-sharing protocol lets Windows applications read and write files stored on servers in your network, including Network Attached Storage (NAS) systems. SMB underpins a lot of Windows network technologies, such as Storage Spaces Direct and even network printing. The print spooler is essentially just a file, after all.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.35.0, 2023-08-28).

  • DeviceRescue — So long, Device Manager


    Deanna McElveen

    By Deanna McElveen

    As frustrating and non-frustrating changes happen to Windows over the years, I wonder whether Microsoft just forgets about Device Manager.

    I doubt that 1998 Deanna (better hair) would find much difference between the Windows Device Manager in Windows 98 and Windows 10 or 11.

    The differences are primarily cosmetic, matching the overall changes in the Windows UI design. The functionality has not changed much in 25 years.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.35.0, 2023-08-28).

  • Ready to retire your servers?


    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    Last week, I urged users to review their software needs and consider options other than sticking with outdated and unsupported operating systems for their personal PCs.

    This week, I’m going to discuss what businesses need to think about when it comes to server operating systems. They have a lifecycle that should be reviewed, just like workstations. For example, October represents the end of the road for Server 2012 and 2012 R2. It’s time to look ahead and plan accordingly.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.35.0, 2023-08-28).

  • Streaming is an absolute mess

    Susan BradleyInspired by this. The other night my Sister wanted to CONTINUE watching something she started to watch on Amazon prime. We have access to it via our Comcast interface. She couldn’t find it in her recently viewed items. I ended up going online on a computer which had the right recently viewed items and then manually add it to the “my stuff” section. It seems like nightly we have to go “hmmm where was that being streamed on? And do we have a subscription to that?”

    Of course you can go the antenna route and watch various old shows on rerunned networks. What I’ve been doing lately is seeing if I can add a streaming service inside my Amazon subscriptions so they are – in theory – all on one interface. These days you can even find old movies and shows online on youtube.

    What about you? Do you find yourself struggling to find things you like to watch? And where and what to watch it on?

    P.S. as an aside we are now hooked on “Murder in…” and fortunately I can link it under my Amazon video account.

  • MS-DEFCON 3: Patch carefully

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    ISSUE 20.34.1 • 2023-08-22


    By Susan Bradley

    August can be a weird month where patching is concerned.

    I’m lowering the MS-DEFCON level, but with caution. I usually hope to give time near the end of the month for patches to be applied, by lowering the level to 4 and sometimes 5. This time, I’m wishy-washy. Caution is the order of the day, so I’m lowering the level to just 3.

    In my house, August represents a tradition — things occur that make me think technology wants to take a vacation, just like the rest of us.

    Anyone can read the full MS-DEFCON Alert (20.34.1, 2023-08-22).

  • Your worst Windows 11 irritations — solved!

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    ISSUE 20.34 • 2023-08-21


    Brian Livingston

    By Brian Livingston

    Despite all the wailing and gnashing of teeth that Windows 11 users have directed at Microsoft, the tech giant still hasn’t corrected the OS’s most common failings. Fortunately, we can fix the problems ourselves.

    Microsoft plans to end technical support and security patches for Windows 10 on October 14, 2025. (Redmond might extend that date — if big corporate users howl loudly enough — but don’t count on it.) It’s likely that we’re little more than a year away from being forced to run Win11, like it or not. You might as well make it work the way you want it to. Why suffer the dumbed-down user interface that you get out of the box?

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.34.0, 2023-08-21).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.

  • How to use Google Labs to experiment with AI


    Lance Whitney

    By Lance Whitney

    Want to see how AI can work with Google Search, Docs, Gmail, and other tools? Google Labs will give you a taste.

    Google has a lot of AI projects in the works, all designed to bring or expand AI to Search, Gmail, Google Docs, and other services. For now, several of these projects are experiments that you can try out only through the company’s Google Labs service. With Google Labs, you’re able to check out AI features in Google Search, Gmail, and Google Docs. You can also play with an AI-based notebook and a musical AI that will turn your words into music. Read on to see how to access and use these different projects.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.34.0, 2023-08-21).

  • Working with USB 3 and 4 in Windows


    Ed Tittel

    By Ed Tittel

    The Universal Serial Bus, most commonly known as USB, has been a basic staple of computing since it first arrived on the scene in 1996.

    It’s a widely used computing-industry bus standard that’s overseen by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), an industry consortium that publishes and maintains standards for USB4, USB 3.2, USB 2.0, USB ports, cables, connectors, and more. I haven’t seen a PC that didn’t include multiple USB ports since the early 2000s.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.34.0, 2023-08-21).

  • Can I install that on that?


    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    I’m going to see how well the applications and tools I regularly use work on vastly different platforms.

    Can we install a contemporary Linux distribution and still run our favorite Windows applications? What about Windows applications on a Mac? Do you think we can?

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.34.0, 2023-08-21).

  • Preparing for a hurricane

    Clouds coming in at 5 p.m Saturday

    Clouds coming in at 5 p.m Saturday

    First off, while many of you know I live in Calfornia, fortunately I’m far enough away from Southern California that I will probably receive a bit of rain from Hurricane Hilary and not much else. But it will be an impact to grape and other fruit growers in the area as this isn’t the greatest time to have a couple of inches of rain. But it’s a reminder that all of us around the world are having extremes in weather and we should remember that sometimes there are outages in Power, Internet, etc. With all of our Internet of things, don’t forget to have something as basic as a radio that runs on batteries. We do have earthquakes in California and need to be just as aware of the side effects of that on a daily basis. has a prep list of things you should have on hand in case of emergency. I’ll be digging out and charging up my external power brick just in case.

    What other things do you do to prepare yourself for a possible weather disaster that might disrupt Power or Internet? What alternatives do you keep around? Do you have everything on that list?