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  • Defcon X , "Red Light, Green Light"

    Posted on Nibbled To Death By Ducks Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums Outside the box Fun Stuff Defcon X , "Red Light, Green Light"

    This topic contains 9 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  bbearren 1 week ago.

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    • #2084454 Reply

      For some reason tonight (probably my flu fever) going from Defcon 5 to Defcon 2 reminded me of something a friend told me about being a kid growing up in L.A. … “Engineer Bill” held a cartoon show known to all Los Angelenos:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Stulla

      “In addition to the usual cartoons, the show included a game called “Red Light, Green Light” where children were given glasses of milk which they would drink when the announcer said “green light” and stop drinking when he said “red light”. If they finished their glass before the game was over, they lost and were referred to as ‘gulpers’.”

      Bet there are darned few patch “gulpers” in here… 🙂

      Guy quit the biz in 1966, became a stockbroker, and died at 97.

      There’s a lesson in here somewhere, but I’ll be darned if I know what it is…”Don’t gulp your patches?”

      Win7 Pro SP1 64-bit, Dell Latitude E6330, Intel CORE i5 "Ivy Bridge", Group "Wait for the all-clear", Multiple Air-Gapped backup drives in different locations, "Don't check for updates-Full Manual Mode."
      --
      "...All the people, all the time..." (Peter Ustinov ad-lib from "Logan's Run")

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2084466 Reply

      bbearren
      AskWoody MVP

      If one is not riding herd on a small business network and maintains a conscientious, regular drive image regimen, there is no need for a MS-DEFCON anything.

      I’m a seeker/cannon fodder and gulp every patch offered to my systems.  So far, so good.

      Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
      "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
      "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

      • #2084478 Reply

        Well, it’s called “Fun Stuff”, and I was just trying to be light and, …fun? Looks like it fell flat. Just trying to be jocular in the right forum. 🙂

        Win7 Pro SP1 64-bit, Dell Latitude E6330, Intel CORE i5 "Ivy Bridge", Group "Wait for the all-clear", Multiple Air-Gapped backup drives in different locations, "Don't check for updates-Full Manual Mode."
        --
        "...All the people, all the time..." (Peter Ustinov ad-lib from "Logan's Run")

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2084961 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        If one is not riding herd on a small business network and maintains a conscientious, regular drive image regimen, there is no need for a MS-DEFCON anything.

        The problem is that it’s a little harder to make sure you have a backup of right before the update when the update starts whenever it darn well feels like it.  I do the same as you do with my Linux installation, taking all the updates as they come, even the level 5 ones that have some of the Mint people worried, but it won’t start installing the update until I tell it to, and by then I would have created a new Timeshift snapshot and/or a new Veeam image.

        In fact, the more recent Mint versions have a neat feature that would be quite helpful to Windows 10 users if MS would implement it.  If the user enables it, Mint will automatically create a snapshot before installing an update, so that any botched update can easily be reverted.  Timeshift can even revert version updates, like 19.0 back to 18.3 or 19.3 to 19.2, and it is quite robust.  System Restore, when I used 7 and 8.1, would frequently fail to restore when I wanted it to.

        From what I have read, it seems that System Restore always ends up turned off in Windows 10, from what people have been saying, and it can’t back out a feature update (it is probably the feature updates themselves that turn it off).  If they made it so that System Restore never turned itself off and could revert anything, even feature updates, that would make a lot of people’s lives easier.

        Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.5).

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2085031 Reply

          bbearren
          AskWoody MVP

          The problem is that it’s a little harder to make sure you have a backup of right before the update when the update starts whenever it darn well feels like it.

          That’s not my problem.  Not once has an update started without first being initiated by me.  Not one time, and I have used every version of Windows 10 since its initial release.  The sky is not falling.  Yes, I’ve read such stories, and no, not one of the “horror” stories has happened to me.

          We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do.  Windows 10 for me is much more stable, efficient and reliable than any previous version of Windows (not speaking for Vista; never used it).

          The latest drive image I have is never older than one week, so I always have a recent image at the ready.  My installations of Windows are now and have always been fully patched with every update Microsoft has offered my systems.

          My OS, since XP, has always been on a separate drive and partition from my Users partition and my Program Files partition, (where the majority of my programs are installed except for Office and Defender and other MS apps; they are hard-coded for C:\Program Files).  Any problem in the OS partition has no effect on the other drives/partitions on the system.  In my tinkerin’ I’ve pooched it enough times to have full confidence in that statement.

          To reiterate, not once has Windows 10/Microsoft initiated an update on its own.  I’ve always had to initiate them myself.

          Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
          "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
          "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

          • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by  bbearren.
          • #2085071 Reply

            Ascaris
            AskWoody_MVP

            To reiterate, not once has Windows 10/Microsoft initiated an update on its own. I’ve always had to initiate them myself.

            I’m more concerned about the regular folks out there who don’t understand the update process.  I’ve had it happen to me, and I don’t even use Windows 10.  I’ve booted it a handful of times for various tests (and formerly to run Macrium Reflect backups of my Linux partitions, which is now handled by Veeam natively), but even then it’s taken it upon itself to update without me initiating it.  Of course, I knew this is what it would try to do by default beforehand; I’ve heard all the same stories that you have, and I wanted to see for myself what it would do.

            I’ve since installed an update blocker, but it’s really a strange state of affairs that there would ever be a need for an update blocker.  I’m generally in favor of prompt updates, but they must be on my terms on my hardware.

            Now, it’s true that in those setups where I’ve had updates begin by themselves, I have not set any of the update options. They’re inadequate, and are insulting to boot.  The thought of having to submit my humble request to Microsoft that they please let me have control over my own PC turns me cold.

            My home PCs are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so there’s no such thing as predefined “active hours.”  If Microsoft let me set them to what they actually are, which is “all the time,” this would not be a problem, but they’ve decided that I’m not allowed to set them to 24/7/365.  It’s not good enough.

            I have not set a metered connection either.  Not only do I not have a metered connection (and it bothers me to have to justify my wish to not have updates whenever Microsoft wants me to have them), but Microsoft has also said that they will override the setting if they deem it important enough, and that’s not good enough.  When I say OFF, that’s an order, not a request.

            If people had full control over updates, that would take away a lot of the angst that a lot of users have regarding Windows 10.  I consider the lack of full control over updates to be its most serious flaw.

            Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.5).

            • #2085336 Reply

              bbearren
              AskWoody MVP

              I’ve had it happen to me, and I don’t even use Windows 10. I’ve booted it a handful of times for various tests

              Let’s recap.  You have one installation of Windows 10 that you say you don’t even use.

              I have five installations, all fully updated with every patch that Microsoft has to offer, with the exception of driver updates, the only update I have blocked on all installations.  All of them I use at various and sundry times, my daily driver dual boot mini-tower all the time.  Of the five, three are on 24/7 so that Task Scheduler can take care of my drive imaging and other routine maintenance work.

              Of those five, not one has ever had an update that I did not have to first initiate myself.  Not one, in all these years since Windows 10’s RTM.  That’s an anecdotal 5 to 1.

              I, along with some 900 million other Windows 10 users, own a license to use Windows 10.  That license, by virtue of my agreeing by using the OS to the terms of service, gives Microsoft a number of rights to update/modify the OS at their discretion on my hardware.  I own the hardware, but only Microsoft owns Windows.

              For those who disagree (in any and all iterations) with the EULA, have an option.  “If you do not accept and comply with these terms, you may not use the software or its features. You may contact the device manufacturer or installer, or your retailer if you purchased the software directly, to determine its return policy and return the software or device for a refund or credit under that policy. You must comply with that policy, which might require you to return the software with the entire device on which the software is installed for a refund or credit, if any.”

              That’s it.  Yes, I own the hardware.  No, I don’t own Windows; I license the use of Windows.  Through that use, I have agreed to all the terms of service.  Call it unfair, undemocratic, an abuse of rights, whatever else might come to mind, but none of those considerations change the terms of service, or the only remedy available; don’t use it.

              Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
              "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
              "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

              2 users thanked author for this post.
            • #2085457 Reply

              Ascaris
              AskWoody_MVP

              Not one, in all these years since Windows 10’s RTM. That’s an anecdotal 5 to 1.

              Yes, and as we know, the plural of “anecdote” is not “data.”  I merely provided a single counterpoint, but it’s far from unique.  Windows 10’s function as far as forced updates is well established and documented, and is in fact the intended behavior of the product.  If you don’t take some action to block it, that is what it is going to do, because that’s what it is supposed to do.  I really do not know what you may have done to prevent this, but there wouldn’t be the plethora of update blockers and what not if getting Windows 10 to stop updating was a simple task.

              You’ve written that you’re a seeker, I believe.  Perhaps there’s a period between the update being published by Microsoft and the auto-update beginning in which you are consistently triggering the updates manually.  Most people do not do that, though.  I certainly didn’t in the times I booted Windows 10 (I have it on two PCs, btw, not that it matters in context here).  As a result of the actions I took, which were (intentionally) to leave things alone and just to use the PC to see what would happen, it took it upon itself to install updates.  This is the way that regular users operate, and it is for them that I am concerned.  Techies like you and I will always find a way.

              If one simply uses a preinstalled Windows 10 setup from the hardware vendor with the default settings, never pressing the update button, it is going to update itself whenever it feels like it, and for people who would like to be able to create a system image first to protect themselves against the possibility of disaster, there’s no easy way to start the imaging process right before that, and it would be really nice if that was not the case.

              Of course, you keep regular backups, as do I, whether or not our OSes are subject to update.  I have an entire PC on my LAN dedicated to backups, with 11 TB of storage on about five hard drives in total.  It just sits there, in standby, waiting for a sign that it needs to come to life and perform the backup.  In addition, I have three external USB hard drives totaling 6TB upon which I create redundant, persistently offline backups in case something happens to the backup server (like a huge power surge that takes it out at the same time that it takes out the PCs it is meant to protect). I’m pretty fanatical about backups.

              We’re not typical PC users, though.  Most people don’t do full system images, and if they do, they’re sporadic and not very timely.  These are the people that could use an automated backup that would initiate before any update.  You don’t need that, granted.  Neither do I.  You had written, though, that if a person does regular backups, the “red light, green light” or MS-DEFCON is not needed.  I agree with that, but getting the typical user to the point of being able to do the regular backups before the updates start by themselves is the sticking point.

              Most regular users have Windows set up as the hardware OEM set it up, which is to say that \Windows, \Users, and \Program Files* are usually all on C:.  You have a different setup, and so did I with my Windows setups that I used, but most people aren’t like us.  They just use the PC the way it came out of the box, and if they perform a restoration to fix a borked Windows update, they’re going to lose all the personal file changes between that backup date (which may be a while back for users who have not had the experience that we have!) and the present.  They do not necessarily have the knowledge to be able to go in and rescue the changed files before performing the restore operation as we would.  That’s why it would be a really good idea for these kinds of users to perform the imaging operation right before the update was started, and there’s no easy way to do that when the updates start whenever they feel like it.

              Again, the EULA is completely irrelevant as far as what I am writing here.  Windows 10’s behavior is what it is, and I am evaluating that behavior in reference to my own opinions of what I think an OS should do and what an ethical software vendor would do, and the contract involved doesn’t even enter into it.  I agree, the EULA essentially states that MS has the keys to the store and will do whatever it feels like doing, and that matches the behavior of the product.  That doesn’t make it okay.  It’s a legal document, not a moral or philosophical one.

              Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.5).

            • #2085530 Reply

              bbearren
              AskWoody MVP

              For Christmas of 2015 I bought my wife a Dell Inspiron 15 5558 laptop.  When she opened it Christmas day, she wanted it known that it was her laptop, and she didn’t want me messin’ with it or taking it over.  I heartily agreed.  The laptop had Windows 10 Home version 1507 installed.

              My wife passed away in June, 2018.  My son has used it quite a bit since that time.  He also has a Dell Inspiron 15 7559 laptop, also received with Windows 10 Home version 1507, as well as an Alienware desktop.  The Inspiron 15 5558 and the Inspiron 15 7559 have both managed to upgrade to version 1809 over the years, stay fully updated, with no one the wiser.  No disrupting updates in the middle of something, no interruption of anything at any time.

              Let me reiterate that I don’t use, maintain, or have anything else to do with either of these laptops.  Yet both, in the hands of “ordinary folk”, have managed to stay available, reliable, updated and upgraded without any complaints whatsoever.  The sky has not fallen.

               

              Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
              "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
              "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

    • #2084624 Reply

      Myst
      AskWoody Plus

      growing up in L.A. … “Engineer Bill” held a cartoon show known to all Los Angelenos:

      On a side note, had some inside connections and have an autographed picture of the mighty Engineer Bill the day we met him. Thanks for the memories NTDBD

      Win7 SP1 Home 64-bit, GrpA

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