Me$$y$oft’s Windows Update Process Sucks Sewage

So, since I was closing in on 10,000 wins and no losses in what I call “Zen Freecell” (the “classic” Windows 7 version), Me$$y$oft decided to kill it on my Win10 box. Naturally. That’s not so bad, since I only played it while doing other things (watching a movie, listening to music, whatever) for relaxation. It’s not as though it were any kind of challenge. But it’s just a symptom of the kinds of things Me$$y$oft has taken to doing to users of Windows, such as the REALLY irritating things like resetting all the associations with non-Me$$y$oft software to only Me$$y$oft versions, if included with any sort of Me$$y$oft OS build. No thank you. Re-associating programs each time I open something Me$$y$oft wants me to use one of its crappy programs/apps to open is only likely to encourage me to move this box off their OS, too, no matter how much I need Windows to use ONE particular piece of software.

And all of that is after clearly and specifically designating a day and time for updates to be installed and having Me$$y$oft just effectively say, Screw you. I’m gonna wait until you are doing something productive and kill what you’re doing by rebooting to install “updates” no matter what I agreed to in the scheduling process.”

Me$$y$oft is trying to make me hate it and its products. And, you know, it’s working.

Thought Experiment in a RW Situation

So, my Wonder Woman’s lil personal notebook began exhibiting some serious problems.

The “Black screen after login” issue
When video regained, extremely slow non-response (click, wait several minutes, whatever was invoked finally displays, etc.).
Hard drive light on, solid. Task Manager (again, problems loading TM) showed 100% hard drive usage, almost constantly.

So, I knew what the problem was, generally, but thought to meself, “Self, approach this as a moderately intelligent non-techie would approach it,” and searched the web on those behaviors. Sure enough, failing hard drive was the consensus among views.

Now, I could have dragged out some serious tools, but decided again to limit myself to the above parameters and just used whatever hard drive repair tools are built into Windows 10, invoking a hard drive scan and repair the easy way by shutting the computer down mid-boot a few times (it was taking almost 10 minutes to get to the login screen anyway,
so I just emulated the behavior of a frustrated non-techie, to wit:
“Maybe if I shut it down and restart it. . . ” *heh*
).

Continue reading “Thought Experiment in a RW Situation”

The Continuing Search for a New Web Browser

Since more and more sites are becoming even ruder about browser use–going well beyond simply browser sniffing, now–Opera 12.18 is starting to become a little more difficult to use as a default browser. It still does work fairly well, apart from aggressive attempts to lock “old” browsers out by some sites, but only in Windows 7 and 8/8.1. Windows 10 seems to simply not “like” it.

Sad, because it has many features other “modern” browsers–including Opera ASA’s “Chopera” (an Opera browser based on the Chrome rendering engine)–either lack or do not implement as well. Mouse gestures as clunky or just weird in most other browsers that implement them natively, and mouse gesture extensions have uniformly proven to be crap. Newsreader integrated into the browser, no add-in required? Nope. Granular–really granular–control of features/customization? Nope. Bookmarks that really work and can be easily organized? Nope. Even the best at importing Opera bookmarks and allowing organization requires laboriously reorganizing each separate folder and sub-folder, one at a time. That’s a bit tedious when one has a couple of hundred folders and thousands of bookmarks. (I treat bookmarking sort of like a library card file catalog: I want everything saved where and how I want it, organized into subject folders and searchable any way I want. Yes, I weed my “catalog” pretty regularly to eliminate dead links. Doesn’t everyone? ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

I could go on and on, because there are many, many features baked into the “old” Opera that are just not present or are poorly implemented in all the other browsers I have tried. The one that comes sort of close to being a replacement, but even it doesn’t allow real customization, has clunky mouse gesture implementation, lousy bookmark organization, no built-in newsreader, and doesn’t let me choose my preferred default search engine, even though it shows a procedure for doing so! #gagamaggot

OK, so just checked again. Since the last time I tried and became disgusted with it, Vivaldi Browser at least does now import my bookmarks and does–almost–sort them, at least closely to their original organization. Manual sorting thereafter looks straightforward (though still tedious). But the rest? *meh* Notsomuch, it seems. *sigh* For example, it limits the number of “Speed Dial” columns to six. I prefer ten. Why bake in such stupid limitations? That’s just one of many such dumb ideas.

Still hunting.

OS Gymnastics?

Nah, just some light calisthenics. Not even breathing hard(ly). *heh*

So, I started testing out Win10 on some old hardware about seven months ago on a box that had had WinXP, then Win7. *meh* Apart from all the “phone home” junk, as long as Classic Shell’s installed, not too bad compared to Win7/8/8.1, so when I got a new playcompy (the lil notebook I’m writing this on), I went ahead and installed Classic Shell to make its Win 8.1 more usable, then “upgraded” to Win10 and locked it down.

It works OK, for a Windows box.

So, my Wonder Woman kept asking me when she should upgrade her Win8.1 notebook (a sibling to this lil playcompy). This last weekend I said, “OK, if you want it, fine.” *heh*

So, clicked on the Win10 upgrade icon in her system tray and. . . Windows Update. Search. . . search. . . search. . . No updates found and. . . no Win10 upgrade, either. #gagamaggot.

So, downloaded the M$ Media Creation Tool and am now installing Win10 on her computer with that. Probably should just have downloaded the ISO, but just don’t really care all that much. Maybe later.

Even though the M$ Media Creation Tool works, this upgrade was no faster than any other Win10 upgrade I’ve done, clocking in at around 2.5 hours from start to mostly finished. Another hour locking it down, uninstalling crap apps my Wonder Woman will NOT use, configuring Windows Update to NOT update w/o a user request, etc., will take another hour or so, counting double-checking to make sure the configuration actually takes. (Win10’s kinda sneaky about changing configs behind the user’s back, sometimes. No, really.)