Category Archives: upgrade

Cable and Wireline

So, at long last I ran a new outdoor cable for my telephone service.

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Microsoft screwup in Windows 10, v. 1803


I just installed Windows 10’s April 2018 update, version 1803.

Part of this update entails removing XPS reader software that was part of all previous versions of 10, and instructing us to find an app in the Store for it.

I download Microsoft’s “Reader” app and install it from the Store.

Opening an XPS file with the new app brings up an error message… that I have to use XPS reader (the one installed with Windows).

Agfh! Is Microsoft trying to annoy me?

New street light

Not a huge event, but the distribution company that serves my town replaced the street light across from my apartment building.

The old one was a probably 40+ year old HPS cobra head affair that had a bad lamp or ballast and kept turning on and off all night. I put in a work order for it, and in a surprizingly short time, they not only fixed it, but replaced it with a new LED full cutoff fixture.

I like the new white light cast. To my mind, sodium yellow I always associated with ugly neighborhoods you didn’t want to be in after dark. I have no idea if there is actually any correlation or not.

WTH Microsoft!

Having forgotten to go back to Windows 7 before my month was up, I’m still on Windows 10. Just now I installed the so-called “November update” or version 1511. To my annoyance, Windows Update scurrilously changed the default PDF reader from SumatraPDF (a third party PDF reader), to their so-called web browser, Edge, without even asking!

I thought Microsoft was over that kind of backdoor boogie.

Second thoughts on Ten

After updating my little tablet to Windows 10 (previously Windows 8.1) I have to say that it’s actually a step backwards.

For pure touch devices like tablets, 8.x was really good. The swipe in charms bar and Start screen were really intuitive and useful. Windows 10’s setup is sortof a bad remerge with the pure-Desktop design of 7.

Aside from that though, it oddly decided that I no longer had a touchscreen. On a tablet, that’s bad. It would still register touches, but wouldn’t bring up the touch keyboard when tapping on a text field. This is most annoying when you are trying to type in your password and have to use Ease of Access’s On Screen Keyboard or OSK.

I recommend sticking with 8.x if you are using a tablet. On a regular PC, 10 seems to be working fine.

Going up to… ten

I bit the bullet and let Microsoft update my Windows 7 to Windows 10. So far it is OK. I don’t know that it is so much better than Windows 7 really. The upgrade process was quite smooth and the UI was gorgeous really.

One note: It tried to keep the Windows 7 theme I had, but since the taskbar is now black, this resulted in black text on a black background! I had to reset the theme to the Windows 10 default.

The biggest complaint I have so far is that you can’t see what Windows updates are being installed; you’re forced to accept them all without any control.

I am trying to get it to install on my Windows 8.1 tablett, but it is stuck at 96 percent for some reason. This might be because I let it go to sleep in the middle of the upgrade, but it appeared to recover from that without trouble.

A cautious recommendation, so far.

EPSON does a quiet good

Note: I have nothing to do with Epson and did not get any reward for this post. Same thing for the software I mentioned. I also edited this post in 2019 to note Windows 10 as well as fix the links and categorys.

I have an old Epson scanner (Perfection 1650) that I have used for ages whenever I needed to “reverse print” a document. On getting a newer, bigger SSD hard drive for my PC I reinstalled Windows 7. Evidently previously I was on x86, because now that I’ve installed x64, my scanner would no longer work!

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