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  • Muslims unite to repair Jewish cemetery

    Posted on February 22nd, 2017 at 10:05 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Credit: KTTN

    St. Louis Muslims are raising money to repair Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery, which was trashed over the weekend.

    Donate here. I did.

  • Cut through the bafflegab of Windows 10 versions, branches, updates and builds

    Posted on February 14th, 2017 at 12:17 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Here’s a very down-to-earth description of Windows 10 and how it’s being upgraded.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

    Interesting. The tech press is only now (15 Feb) picking up on the news that Win10 1507 goes end-of-life in May. That’s not a huge deal as most people aren’t using 1507 any more, but it gives a guidepost for how future versions of Win10 will live and die.

  • No, you don’t want KB3216755, the Insider Preview Ring version of the next cumulative update

    Posted on January 25th, 2017 at 12:10 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Repeat after me: No, you don’t want the latest Release Preview of Windows 10.

    Last night, Microsoft rolled out KB3216755 for PCs and 14393.726 on Win10 Mobile. You will only see the patch in Windows Update if you’ve signed up for the Insider Program, and set your Insider ring to Release Preview.

    I’ve said it before, many times: The Release Preview ring is an arcane place. Unless you are specifically testing future Win10 cumulative updates for an overriding reason – perhaps you’re supporting or developing an application for Windows 10, or you’re charged with distributing cumulative updates to a zillion machines – you do NOT want to be on the Release Preview ring.

    In fact, the situation’s so confusing, I rate it as one of the top 6 things wrong with the Windows Insider program.

    4. Release Preview ring builds aren’t beta builds and need a different name

    No doubt it was easier for Microsoft to roll the Release Preview function into the Windows Insider beta build machine, but that commingling has led to endless confusion.

    On the one hand you have beta builds — test copies of the next version of Windows. Right now, those builds are numbered 14931, and they’ll keep getting larger.

    On the other hand, you have Release Preview builds — precursors to the next cumulative update for the current version of Windows.

    The Windows Insider program caters to both those who are beta testing the next version of Windows and those who are testing the next cumulative updates to the current version of Windows. You bet it’s confusing — and the discrepancy contributes to the “Release Preview and Slow ring” misidentification.

    The fixes distributed in KB 3216755 for PCs (and 14393.726 on Win10 Mobile) will show up, some day. They’ll likely emerge as the non-security part of Win10 1607’s next Patch Tuesday cumulative update. But unless you really want to be an unpaid beta tester, stumbling with known problems in KB 3216755, steer clear.

    Repeat after me: No, you don’t want the latest Release Preview of Windows 10.

  • Windows 10 upgrade version timing

    Posted on January 23rd, 2017 at 11:08 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Why you may have been upgraded from 1511 to 1607 over the weekend, and what you can do about it.

    Important reading for anyone who wants to take control of forced version upgrades. There are lots of niggling details.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

  • Using the Reliability Monitor

    Posted on January 20th, 2017 at 05:36 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Is your machine feeling a little flakey? Check out the Reliability Monitor. Easy, fast and uncannily accurate. It won’t give you solutions, but it will pinpoint problems.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

  • If you want to buy a new Win7 system, look at this

    Posted on November 16th, 2016 at 17:04 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I generally avoid “sales” like the plague, but I just couldn’t pass this by.

    Dell OptiPlex 3040 Micro (that’s the little one – 7 in x 7 in x 1.4 in, only room for one 2.5-inch hard drive). $399 with i3-6100T, 4 GB, 500 GB hard drive (which takes up the only slot), 4 x USB 3, 2 x USB 2, RJ-45, HDMI 1.4, No Wi-Fi.

    Windows 7 Pro with Win10 Pro license.

    That’s a bare-bones, but fully capable non-WiFi, Win7 Pro system. For $399.

    UPDATE: Reader poohsticks has a link for a Dell Inspiron 3000 laptop, Win7 Pro, for less than $300. Check it out if you want a Win7 laptop.

    Details on this and other great hardware deals await in the comments…. And if you find a deal that’s utterly fantastic, post away!

  • Controlling updates in Win10 Home

    Posted on November 10th, 2016 at 13:45 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I’m going back and forth – forgive my indecision – on which method I should recommend for blocking updates in Win10 Home without Wi-Fi internet. (With Wi-Fi, just set a metered connection and you’re done.)

    I see three options:

    1. Manually edit the registry (or use Chris Hoffman’s How-To Geek REG file or Michael Pietroforte’s 4sysops PowerShell script) to set the DefaultMediaCost key.
    2. Disable the Windows Update service – type services.msc in the Cortana box, in the Services (Local) list, double-click on Windows Update, select Disabled and click OK. That’s the approach Noel Carboni favors, but abbodi86 notes that there are various scheduled tasks that will flip the setting back to Automatic, and that manually running Windows Update also flips the setting to Automatic.
    3. Advise people to just buy a Wi-Fi dongle, and use it for internet access. That approach has all sorts of problems, especially for folks who want (and pay for) speedy connections.

    Does anybody have a definitive take on the situation?

  • Everything you need to know about the new Surface Studio

    Posted on October 27th, 2016 at 05:37 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Peter Bright has a Surface Studio review on Ars Technica that’s worth reading, if you’re the least bit curious about where Microsoft hardware and Win10 are heading.  It’s a thorough review from somebody who knows Windows and hardware. (Peter also has the distinction of being the only person who’s dropped a Surface Studio screen and lived to tell the tale, but I digress.)

    My takeaway: Meh. If you need a minimalist desktop PC with a gorgeous screen that doubles as a drafting table, and don’t mind shuffling the keyboard out of the way, have at it.

    Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s wonderful that you can rotate a 3D drawing interactively inside a PowerPoint presentation. It’s just that I can’t imagine myself scouring the web looking for suitable 3D graphics – and I’m not nearly talented enough to create anything like that. Besides, I wouldn’t want to put my audience through that kind of torture.

    As for the hockey puck, hey, some of you spend a lot of time doing freehand drawing and I’m happy for you. But the rest of us can probably find better ways to spend all that money – $3,000 for older-generation Skylake i5, 8 GB, GTX 965M with 2GB, 1 TB hybrid drive, 4 x USB 3; up to $4,200 for i7, 32 GB, GTX 980M with 4 GB, 2 TB hybrid drive.

    For that price you could buy… well, let’s see what Apple’s about to announce. Although Windows users have a few hoops to jump through, if they want to watch the live broadcast, I’m going to start by simply navigating to TWiT.tv live. Starts at 10 am west coast time.