Windows messed up my icons unneededly

I just exchanged my monitor of many years for my grand father’s. The one I had been using was almost exactly square, this one is closer to 2:1 horizontal to vertical. After turning my PC back on and signing back in, I find my desktop icons are all scrambled around, even though the old arrangement could have been maintained within the new default resolution.

New theme for accessibility / a11y

I have changed themes to one that is “accessibility ready” per WordPress, so persons with screen readers and others can hopefully have a better use of it.

Otherwise, I have been transcribing image content into captions for screen readers. This makes it easier to decide what to write there and excuses me from writing insolent captions about bad user interfaces.

Question to screen reader users: is it better that the descriptions of the images go in the “alt text” or caption? If they end up in alt text, sighted persons rarely see them, which is why I have been avoiding them for now.

Jumpin’ jivin’ dumpster divin’

For no reason I have found yet, someone threw out an EPSON Perfection 4990 Photo scanner device. FireWire didn’t seem to work, but big deal. USB connection is fine and I can directly scan from Windows instead of using a 3rd party tool. My older one is a 1560 Photo, so this looks like an improvement.

I forgot to mention: this one has a power switch! The old one didn’t, you had to unplug it or buy an external switch! YaY!

Second update: Unlike the 1560, the power cord is hard wired and the supply fully internal!! It doesn’t have a power “brick” like the old one!! This is cause for great celebration.

What I did recently – today and yesterday

This may sound bizzare, but I sorted + cleaned/emptyed my Recycle Bin and Downloads directorys on Windows. For I don’t know how long I had been letting things pile up in both and finally decided that I should inspect them and either save in the right place or completely delete each file left in them. I did so and hope to keep them from piling up in the future.

Similarly, I rented an overly large safe deposit Box at one of the bank branches in town. It was tiresome to sort out what I should put in it, and I got tired because I was sitting in this little windowless purpose built room maybe a meter each way with one corner chamfered off for the door. There was a vent in the cieling but I am not sure what it did. So now my birth papers, insurance policys, prooves of ownership and similar are there instead of here, hopefully less easily lost/stolen/destroyed.

While there, I pickt up a freebie that I will use in the next post, about art and the spirit of the time.

Microsoft screwup in Windows 10, v. 1803

SO!

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.