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  • Clearly they didn’t get my feedback

    Posted on September 22nd, 2021 at 11:15 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    The Surface Go device is one of the lightest, best devices for traveling if you need a Windows device.  But there is a BUT in there.  The keyboard is a little too small/off and I kept hitting the wrong keys. So I traded up for a Surface Pro 7 + but it is a little heavier.

    The Surface event is being held today and the Surface Go 3 doesn’t look like it got a larger keyboard.

    Next up Surface 8 devices.

    Interesting change that I didn’t realize was happening … my favorite business way to buy Surface devices WAS through the Liftforward/Surface all access program that you paid over time and then could upgrade/swap out as needed.  Looks like this shut down in March of 2021. Now they have Klarna as their partner.

    You can watch the recording here.

  • New format to Firefox annoying you?

    Posted on August 17th, 2021 at 23:19 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I’ve seen several people ask about this so I’ll showcase the workaround here from AskVG and thePlannerGuy:

    Planner guy said:

    Firefox 91 – You can still maintain the look and feel of the classic Firefox interface in Firefox 91 and do not have to resort to the ESR versions. I don’t pretend this is for the faint of heart, but I’m not a programmer at all and was able to make this work.

    First make a complete backup of your Firefox profile before attempting this. If it fails, you’ll want to restore this profile.

    Locate your profile folder
    Click the menu button, click Help and select More Troubleshooting Information. The Troubleshooting Information tab will open. Under the Application Basics section next to Profile Folder, click Open Folder. Your profile folder will open.


    (Note this is just a sample from my computer – your profile name info will be different)

    Backing up your profile
    To back up your profile, first close Firefox if it is open and then copy the profile folder to another location. Locate your profile folder, as explained above. Close Firefox (if open): Click the Firefox menu and select Exit.     Go to one level above your profile’s folder, i.e. to %APPDATA%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\ Right-click on your profile folder (e.g. xxxxxxxx.default), and select Copy. Right-click the backup location (e.g. a USB-stick or a blank CD-RW disc), and select Paste.

    Go up one folder and copy the folder to another location

    Just go to where you can click on the link “Classic.”

    There you can download the “userchrome.css” file (or use the one I’ve uploaded to this posting – just change the file name to userchrome.css). Unfortunately, you can’t just download the file (why make it easy for us?). You’ll need to paint and copy the entire file to a text file on your computer — and name the file userchrome.css. If you replace the userchrome.css file in your Firefox profile with this one, you can restore the classic Firefox interface.  (Or you can download the stylesheet from the ASKvg site extract it to your computer and copy and paste as noted below)

    Note: This assumes that you have already set up this custom style sheet option before, if not, merely download the file from the ASKvg post linked here.  Unzip it and you’ll need it in the next step. Find your profile folder as shown above. Right mouse click on new and make a new folder called chrome if there isn’t one there already.

     Copy the userChrome.css under this folder

     Next you will need to you must go into about:config and set “toolkit.legacyUserProfileCustomizations.stylesheets” to “true” to enable these customizations. If you don’t, Firefox will ignore your userChrome.css and userContent.css files.

    Click through the warning

    In the search box look for toolkit.legacyUserProfileCustomizations.stylesheets

    Change to true by clicking on those funky arrow keys on the right hand side.

    This file is built on the old add-ons <span class=”pl-c”>Classic Theme Restorer & Classic Toolbar Buttons. You can activate specific lines by deleting the “/” at the beginning of a line. Among a slew of customizations you can make to the classic Firefox interface this css file provides, you can move the bookmarks toolbar above your tabs as the gods originally intended. You can control the toolbar buttons,  customize back and forward buttons, tab appearance and position, and customize a slew of other interface features.</span>

    Note the instruction in the file to enable this preference or custom styles will not be loaded:
    about:config > toolkit.legacyUserProfileCustomizations.stylesheets > true

    I stress, however, make a backup of your Firefox profile before replacing the existing userchrome.css file and keep a backup of the userchrome.css file you download from GitHub. You will need to experiment — a lot — with the changes you make to this customized userchrome.css file. Keep very close track of the changes you make so you can reverse those you don’t like. It takes some time, but you can use this to make Firefox look the way you want as Mozilla updates the browser again and again.

    If I was able to make this work, anybody who reads AskWoody can.

    (thank you Planner guy for the detailed info!)

  • Is your next PC a cloud?

    Posted on July 15th, 2021 at 01:06 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Alex in the forum posts about Microsoft’s latest announcements about their “Windows 365” product.

    (yes yet another groaner of a name from Redmond, let’s not confuse it with Microsoft 365 that is merely the suite of Office apps, Windows 365 is a hosted desktop running Windows that includes Microsoft 365 apps)

    This week is Microsoft’s partner event called Inspire and they often make announcements and product releases.  Mind you in this era of cloud nothing is really “RTM” or in the old days “release to manufacturer and thus code complete, now days it’s called public or private previews and then later on general availability.

    Windows 365 is a hosted desktop that you can log into from anywhere/anything … sort of like Remote desktop protocol/RDGatewaying into your desktop at home or the office. It remains to be seen if this is offered to consumers. It will be interesting to see how this patches up on a monthly basis. Similar to Surface machines where in theory this should be the BESTEST/MOSTEST/FANTASTIC patching experience EVER, we shall see how well this goes. These machines should have ZERO patching issues.  None.  Zilch. In theory at least.

    Other announcements impacting small businesses – or rather the Managed service providers that support small businesses – Microsoft Lighthouse.  A remote tool for a partner to manage many clients.  Yes, right now attackers are sooooooo going after the consultants that manage lots of businesses because it’s easy picking. Just the other day the remote management company Kaseya had their product used as a means to launch ransomware against consultant’s customer base.

    Another tool is called Project “Orland” and is touted as “…. is a new experience in Partner Center to help cloud solution provider (CSP) partners grow their cloud businesses by sharing Microsoft-powered insights about their customers to improve account management. CSP partners will get recommendations from their existing customer base such as customers with trial conversion potential, customers who may need follow-up engagements or customers ready for new workloads to deploy.”  I raised my eyebrow a bit on that description. Okay Mr. or Ms. Consultant, you are explaining to your customer that you are spying on them, yes? It will be interesting to read that eula.


  • Windows 11 announced

    Posted on June 28th, 2021 at 02:45 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge
    AskWoody Plus Newsletter Logo
    ISSUE 18.24 • 2021-06-28
    Watch for our special issue on July 5!


    Will Fastie

    By Will Fastie

    Why this? Why now? And what the heck is going on?

    On June 24, 2021, Microsoft announced Windows 11. I have no idea why. It is surely not for the cobbled-together reasons the company gave during its rather brief briefing on Thursday.

    Windows 11 Bloom Visit our new Windows 11 section in the forums and these topics:
    Questions about Windows 11
    Hardware questions relating to Windows 11

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.24.0 (2021-06-28).
    This story also appears in the AskWoody Free Newsletter 18.24.F (2021-06-28).

  • Reminder: What’s next for Windows?

    Posted on June 22nd, 2021 at 11:50 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Microsoft’s live event entitled “What’s next for Windows” is set for Thursday, June 24 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Watch here. You can also visit that page to get a reminder.

  • The Next Windows

    Posted on June 7th, 2021 at 02:44 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    Will Fastie

    By Will Fastie

    What is it? We don’t really know.

    By now, the news is out that Microsoft will host a livestream event on Thursday, June 24, 2021, at 11 a.m. Eastern Time. The event does not have a title; the livestream page on Microsoft’s site just says, “Join us to see what’s next for Windows.”

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.21.0 (2021-06-07).
    This story also appears in the AskWoody Free Newsletter 18.21.F (2021-06-07).

  • Windows 7 “not dead yet”

    Posted on December 30th, 2020 at 17:34 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Nearly a year after Win7’s EOL, Ed Bott has been diving into how many might still be using the OS. He hints it’s a big number.

    …as December 2020 draws to a close, the proportion of PCs running Windows 10 has gone up 12%, to 87.8%; the Windows 7 count has dropped by more than 10 points, to 8.5%, and the population of Windows 8.x holdouts has shrunk even further, to a minuscule 3.4%

    If my calculations a year ago were on the mark, that means more than 100 million Windows PC were retired, recycled, or upgraded in the past 12 months.

    It is somewhat reassuring to hear that WinXP is now in the region of a “fraction of a rounding error”. And of course, that doesn’t quantify how many of those Win7 machines are or aren’t enrolled in the ESU program.

    You can read Ed’s write-up on Zdnet here.

  • SolarWinds impact getting a bit larger

    Posted on December 17th, 2020 at 17:01 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    As someone just said… 2020 is turning out to be lovely….  I’ll post more tonight

    Statement from Microsoft….  “Our investigations, which are ongoing, have found absolutely no indications that our systems were used to attack others”

    So first off…. what does this mean?  SolarWinds is an enterprise monitoring tool that is used by Government systems and by a who’s who of businesses.  Assuming this post is right, you’ll see quite a few names on this list of clients that you recognize.  A piece of code with an intentional backdoor was inserted into the development of this monitoring software.   This monitoring software was then installed on networks.  So that – in theory – as the bits and bytes flew by this attacker could see everything on the network.   As the CISA document spells out, someone was hiding inside the networks of major companies for many months.

    Does it mean they are in your computer – that they’ve compromised EVERYONE’s computer?  No.  And most of the big a/v vendors have put in detection for this backdoor code, so if you did have it in your system you’d be getting a strange notification from your antivirus.  But it is disturbing to say the least that an attacker (theorized to be Russia at this time) had potential access for months into many key systems and we are only finding out about it now.  More as we know more….


  • Is Firefox in danger?

    Posted on December 12th, 2020 at 18:43 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    From Zdnet: 

    After looking at the numbers, I really don’t know how long Mozilla can make it. Oh, the revenue stream is there for now, but with fewer and fewer Firefox users can Mozilla count on it tomorrow? The company also had, at the end of 2019,  $785 million in cash and investments. But, with its ever-shrinking market share and vastly smaller development teams, you have to wonder how long Mozilla can keep going with its current leadership and plans.

    Cuts alone of infrastructure and its best developers won’t save Mozilla. And, with Firefox’s ever-shrinking market share, it won’t be able to count on future hundred-million-dollar annual advertising deals to save it. For Mozilla to continue to matter it needs new management and a new strategic plan.


    So?  What browser do you use?  Do you think Firefox is near death?

  • Edge and Trend Micro are fighting one another

    Posted on December 2nd, 2020 at 20:39 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge 

    Günter Born shares that Trend Micro is having issues with Edge.

    There are other users there who have the problem that the Chromium Edge 87.0.664.52 will not start. In the course of the thread it turns out that affected users have installed Trend Micro OfficeScan, which blocks the start of the browser. Addition: Trend Micro is aware of the problem, by the way, because they answered the following to a user who opened a ticket there:

  • It’s official 20H2 is now out

    Posted on October 20th, 2020 at 12:03 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

  • Microsoft experiments with pushing Office progressive web apps onto Win10 machines – without your permission

    Posted on October 14th, 2020 at 19:12 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I like PWAs, but this is no way to get the ball rolling. (There’s a good discussion of Progressive Web Apps on Wikipedia.)

    Microsoft has PWA versions of five apps: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote. You can manually install the PWA versions of those apps on your Win10 machine by using Edge (navigate to the app in the Windows Store, click Settings, Apps, Install this site as an app). You end up with Start menu entries for each. Click on one of the Start entries, and the web-based version of the app appears, inside a minimal browser shell.

    Mayank Parmar over on Windows Latest noticed:

    Microsoft now appears to be experimenting with a new feature that will add [the PWA version of] Office apps to your Windows 10 device without your permission.

    The rollout isn’t happening on all machines. Says Parmar:

    Over the weekend, Microsoft updated the Chromium Edge (Stable) for Windows 10 to quietly install four Office web apps on some devices. This ‘feature’ appears to be rolling out to select testers in the Windows Insider program, but it could also show up on non-Insider machines.

    Günter Born calls them “Windows 10 behavior as a malware?” He’s got a good point – although, to be fair, it looks like the only machines being targeted right now are actively in the Insider Program.

    Lawrence Abrams at BleepingComputer says:

    Those who do not wish to have these PWAs installed can uninstall them directly in Microsoft Edge through the edge://apps URL or via the Programs and Features Settings page [in Windows 10].