* Posts by Jakester

73 posts • joined 9 Feb 2016


Before dipping a toe in the new ThinkPad high-end, make sure your desk is compatible


Re: Why does a large touchpad serve no purpose?

I've tried using the Track Point in the past and can't stand them. Track Pads would be easier to deal with if they were at the top of the keyboard and not the bottom to keep from erratic cursor positioning while trying to type. But, everyone has their preferences and I prefer to not use either a track pad or cursor stick if there is any other option (mouse, even on a pant leg, is better than a stick mouse or track pad for me). Use whatever floats your boat.

Time for a cracker joke: What's got one ball and buttons in the wrong place?


A home user had to move her computer and didn't want to bother anyone, so she 'disconnected' all the cables herself. She ran into a problem removing the VGA cable from the computer. However, she pulled until it came free. She didn't realize it had screws to help keep it in place. She managed to pull the screw connectors that had been 'riveted' into place on the motherboard bracket. Fortunately, the motherboard wasn't damaged and the cable still worked, once the retainers were unscrewed from the cable. The cable is now held in place just by friction.

Memo to Microsoft: Windows 10 is broken, and the fixes can't wait


No, Windows 3.0 was not terrific. On a computer with Windows 3.0, Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel (forgot what the version was), would get sever unrecoverable application errors daily, causing a loss of data and a reboot. Win 3.1 was much better. NT was the first Microsoft OS that wasn't a toy operating system and had any level of security built into it.


Re: Please Please

Window 7 updates only worked "perfectly" if Windows 7 was installed at the correct time. I believe if you installed during early 2017 for a few month period, some of the updates broke the update system. Updates would only work again after one or two specific updates were installed, which could be installed by Windows update, but that only worked if Windows update was working, which it wasn't.

Microsoft points to a golden future where you can make Windows 10 your own


Re: Commerce

Sage hasn't even been able to get one of their accounting software packages to work properly with Win 10 rel 1803. I had to roll-back to rel 1709 because of all the lockups and other issues a user was having. I don't think they have the time to port to any other platform because they have to expend so much energy to try to get their software to work with Windows.

Microsoft Windows 10 October update giving HP users BSOD


The problem with turning off feature updates is that Microsoft is only supporting each release for 18 months from date of release for all but the enterprise and education versions.

Microsoft deletes deleterious file deletion bug from Windows 10 October 2018 Update


Not only is moving user files off the OS partition sensible, it is idiotic for an OS be designed to put user files on the OS partition. I like to have my data files on a data partition (sometimes even on a separate physical drive), or on a server - yes I have a home server using Linux. If I have to reinstall Windows, then I only have to worry about restoring Windows from a backup image and adding/updating programs and hardware drivers for hardware that may have changed since the last backup. Unfortunately, many software manufacturers like to put user data files on the OS partition and not always in the user directories, but buried in the program directory tree. I put the ones that I can into a non-os partition. Even worse, I use one program where I can put most of the user data on a non-os drive/partition, but some of the data is put into the Windows registry.

Scottish brewery recovers from ransomware attack


Don't have server write to backup shares, have backup device pull data..

The approach I use for backups is to have a backup system (Linux running 'backintime') pull data from the servers. The backup systems do not have shares on them, they only attach to shares on the server. I have nightly and hourly backups - some kept locally - and at least 2 backup media kept off-site. Standard portable hard drives (currently using 2 TB) keep nightly backups for 3 weeks, then a couple months of weekly, and finally monthly backups kept. Periodically phasing in a new drive allows years of monthly data readily available. Using this approach, the chance of any backup getting infected is reduced by orders of magnitude.

HP Ink should cough up $1.5m for bricking printers using unofficial cartridges – lawsuit


Re: On the other hand...

Back in the Epson R200 and R300 days, Epson was really pushing this line of printers to the point that you could buy a new printer with a set of full-capacity cartridges for less than a set of replacement cartridges. I had purchased about 6 of these before they were discontinued and Epson started selling printers with a "starter set" of cartridges.


Re: Lexmark next

... and on some Epson printers, when the waste-ink pad is "full" according to their algorithm, the printer will no longer print until you send to an Epson repair station to replace the pad and reset the counter. Epson says this is to "... prevent personal injury and/or property damage."

Seagate passes gassy 14TB whopper: He He He, one for each of you


Re: Every cloud...

Years ago I managed a small server I had configured with RAID 5. One night the controller failed and all data was lost. Fortunately, one of two independent nightly backups had completed before the controller went titsup. I was able to restore the data to a temporary server before the company opened the following morning (it was an all-nighter to do it).

Microsoft gives Windows 10 a name, throws folks a bone


Re: "LibreOffice only does a majority of what home users need"

Don't know how good O365 is at reading old Office 95/97/2003, but Office 2007 and 2010 really screwed up a few documents that I was able to fix with Libre Office (I tried to fix with MS Office first, but shouldn't have wasted the time I did and just gone to Libre Office).


Re: Java

Java is required for Base in Libre Office. I don't use Base in Libre Office and I don't have Java installed, but I use Word and Calc often and have no problems. There are probably some features that may require Java, but I haven't run across them. I will not use Oracle's Java willingly on any computer because of their decision to require purchase of a license in a business environment (home use licensing to follow???).

I prefer Libre Office over Microsoft Office because when I get a call for support from Microsoft Office users where they can't open a spreadsheet or other document or formatting is wonky, I have always been able to open in Libre Office, fix the problem, and save the file so Microsoft Office will open it. Formatting isn't perfect going from Libre Office to Microsoft Office and vice-versa, but it is pretty good. I also use Libre Office in my preferred OS, Ubuntu. Because there is also a Mac version of Libre Office that is the same as the Windows version, there is more consistency in a mixed OS environment, although I personally don't use a Mac.

Skype Classic headed for the chopping block on September 1


Re: Micros~1 never met a canard it didn't like.

The content of this blog reminds me of a what an IBM salesman said to a prospective customer on a large PC purchase a little more than 30 years ago while trying to seal the deal, "We realize that standards are very important to you, so we constantly update them." I just wonder if he worked at Microsoft before he went to IBM, or did he quit IBM and get hired at Microsoft.


Re: People still use Skype?

I quit using Skype when I couldn't figure out how to start a session without having to use a Microsoft account. I have a MS account because I had to for some task a few years ago, but I will not use it again for any purpose. I don't trust MS. My cell phone allows me to make video calls to family, without having to get anywhere near Microsoft nor trying to get connected to a WiFi. The pre-Microsoft Skype was a good, reliable product, but Microsoft fixed that problem.

Submarine cables at risk from sea water, boffins warn. Wait, what?


Re: Not really a big issue

It would not be a big issue if the idiot engineers took things like flooding, storms, tides, tsunamis, and fires into account when designing a facility.

It walks, it talks, it falls over a bit. Windows 10 is three years old


Re: "the Windows 7 hold-outs should finally feel able to make the upgrade"

In addition to the problems still in Windows 10, each "feature upgrade" breaks too many things. One finance related piece of software has to be run as an administrator in 10, but worked fine in 7 (I never deployed Windows 8.x systems because just 2 weeks of testing revealed too many insurmountable problems with applications and training).

The 1803 release broke a local business' accounting package requiring a roll-back to rel. 1709. Fortunately only one of the five accounting computers was on 10, the others were on 7.

The new release every 6 months and only 18 month support is a pain in the ass to try to keep things running.

PC shipments just rose, thanks to Windows 10


Re: android

Microsoft does not support Windows 10 (put in your release version), they support each release for only 18 months (a new release is scheduled every 6 months). While each release is called Windows 10, it is a new OS and the feature upgrade performs a new install. Unfortunately, each new release tends to break programs that may have worked in a previous release. This is problematic when the application you are trying to run is an accounting program or database. Release 1803 broke our accounting program (frequent lockups), so we rolled back to release 1709. On one blog I read recently, the 1803 release also broke some SQL databases, which was finally resolved in late June. Fortunately, only one of the five accounting computers we use was running Windows 10, the others are still on Windows 7. It would be nice if Microsoft would make Windows 10 compatible with Windows 10 programs.

Trainee techie ran away and hid after screwing up a job, literally


Another Screw-Up...

A former boss of me told of a time many years ago when he worked for a large computer company and had the task of having to add some equipment to a running main-frame. Unfortunately, there were screws of multiple lengths and he put a long one into where a short one belonged. The screw was long enough to create a short with one of the power busses. He said the sound was spectacular and the system came to a halt. He said he quickly removed the screw and went to another location in the room to keep from getting caught.

IBM loses mainframe docs down the back of the web, customers cry 'sabotage'


Relevant is relative...

"... to trim outdated, unused and duplicate pages from the hundred millions URLs it manages and to generally make relevant documentation more easily discoverable."

I appreciate that IBM's goal is to remove documentation someone at IBM deems irrelevant. What may be determined by some schmuck at IBM could be a critical piece of information needed by an admin in the trenches trying to fix a problem. It reminds me of a wireless keyboard that didn't have a <ScrollLock> key, because some "engineer" at Logitech (I think was the brand of the keyboard) didn't think they needed to have such a key on their keyboard because "it wasn't used very often". Unfortunately, where I wanted to use it required a <ScrollLock> key to change computers on the KVM switch.

Microsoft pulls the plug on Windows 7, 8.1 support forums


Might as well pull it for Win 10 as well.

Most of the technical issues I have tried to find an answer to could not be found in the Microsoft forums. The Microsoft techs who respond mostly don't understand the question. If they do, one of the popular responses from them is "Why do you want to do that?". In the unlikely event a Microsoft tech does understand the question, the user can't get past step 2 or 3 of a 10 or 20 step process because the option listed is not in the program or operating system.

Half of all Windows 10 users thought: BSOD it, let's get the latest build


Re: They say history repeats itself.

I've had pretty good luck with Windows 10, as long as I don't install any applications or try to use Edge or Internet Explorer.

The really big problem is the short support cycle for Windows. Complex software, especially the vertical software applications, can take many months to certify for the operating system and server OS's so they may be obsolete on non-functioning before release because of of the frequent "feature updates" and rapid drop of support of each release.

Microsoft faces Dutch crunch over Windows 10 private data slurp


Re: Blaming North Korea?

The only reason anyone should send a document in a Microsoft Word or Excel format is if the person receiving it needs to edit it. Unless the recipient has the same version of Office, installed fonts, and model printer as the sender, the format may change when the document is opened at the receiving end. Documents should be converted to a common format, such as a PDF, which modern versions of Microsoft Office, Open Office, and Libre Office all support.

About to install the Windows 10 April 2018 Update? You might want to wait a little bit longer


Re: Windows Schrödinger edition

The only way you can be sure that Windows 10 will not update is to never expose your computer to the internet.


Re: PC Updated itself last night

First - I have experienced issues of locking with Ubuntu and lubuntu 18.04. I suspect you would have the same issue with Mint 18.

I have been using Ubuntu 12.04, then 14.04, then 16.04 and also lubuntu 16.04 without issue on several home computers and a home server. I also use Ubuntu/lubuntu 16.04 for a couple business servers and backup systems. If you have to run Windows for some reason, such as the 'wife unit' and any programs that you just have to have Windows, put in a virtual machine using Virtualbox. My wife is more comfortable with Windows. I make a snapshot of the Windows VM's about once a month. If ever hit by a virus, or I suspect there could have been a virus installation attempt, I just restore to the snapshot I want to go back to. The process takes only a few seconds and will get you exactly to the state the VM was in when the snapshot was made. This came in handy when Win 10 rel 1803 recently installed and broke my wife's installation. Just a simple click stop the VM and restore to the last snapshot, reboot - job complete. I manually installed 1803 from the disk iso later without problem.

Windows Notepad fixed after 33 years: Now it finally handles Unix, Mac OS line endings


I haven't done any Microsoft programming in many years, but when I did do assembly programming in the days of DOS, I could not find a Microsoft editor that reliably would edit and save a file. The saved file would have a significant percentage of the lines ending with <CR><CR><LF> instead of <CR><LF>. The assembler (also Microsoft) would see the first <CR> as the end of line, as it should, then ignore the next <CR>, then when it saw the <LF>, it would treat the next line as a comment and not compile. This is just one of the many data points why I follow the philosophy that any Microsoft solution is not a solution, but the problem.

Six months on, and let's check in on those 'stuttering' Windows 10 PCs. Yep, still stuttering


Re: There's you problem right there...

re: What card are you running? Nvidia actually have impressive legacy support for their GPUs

Except for the nVidia's I have...

What the @#$%&!? Microsoft bans nudity, swearing in Skype, emails, Office 365 docs


The U.S. has some towns with names Redmon minions might not like...

Boar Tush, Bald Knob, Bush, Clam Gulch, Blue Ball, Clam Beach, Woody, Butts, Cumming, Dickshooter, Lick Creek, Intercourse, Ding Dong - just some of the unusual name found on:


I don't know how accurate the list is.

Microsoft loves Linux so much it wants someone else to build distros for its Windows Store


I learned a long time ago that a Microsoft solution is not a solution - it is the problem. Look at the long list of products Microsoft introduced then dropped or just plain broke a few years later. I know people who wasted thousands of man-hours developing using Microsoft tools then had to abandon the approach because Microsoft dropped support or vendors were unable to support and had to drop their support of their customers (Front Page server extensions, for example).


Re: What's in it for distros?

I have no desire to do anything with Linux in Windows. My main OS is Linux and for the few things that I currently prefer to do in Windows (the list is quite short now and getting shorter), I will either use Windows in a VM or reboot and load Windows in another partition.

Windows 10 to force you to use Edge, even if it isn't default browser


Re: Fucking idiots

I have a couple friends who switched to Linux a couple years ago. They had older computers and I recommended they try Linux, Ubuntu, rather than waste money on a new Windows computer. They have very responsive computers that have been problem free and should be good for a few more years, as long as there is no hardware failure. The best part is I get no more requests for help for incessant Windows issues.

Airbus ditches Microsoft, flies off to Google


Re: Exporting to any spreadsheet is trivial

ODF may not help - I've found Excel often can't handle opening an ODF from another spreadsheet program.

Windows Mixed Reality: Windows Mobile deja vu?


Re: Mixed reality ?

The 'new lingo' reference reminds me of when I was looking through an IBM service manual and found a reference to 'change the AMD'. I had to look in the glossary to find that an 'AMD' is an 'air movement device'. The term 'fan' would have been more appropriate. Not on topic, just wanted to share.

Bloke sues Microsoft: Give me $600m – or my copy of Windows 7 back


Re: Re:Figure out your next step...

re: If formatting is important, a PDF should be required rather than a word document.

As far as I know, a PDF document will print the same on any computer, unless you print using Microsoft Edge, then numbers can be substituded (unless Microsoft fixed that bug already).

Amen - too often a document created in one version of Office will not format the same with a different version of Office. I don't know if Microsoft ever fixed this, but in earlier versions of Office, formatting was different (even on the same computer) if a different printer was selected. I never felt like wasting the time during the last 20 years to see if that is still an issue.


Re: Re:Figure out your next step...

I have a few computers (both laptop and desktop) running Linux and using Virtualbox to host a Windows 10 virtual machine for my wife. If she suspects a virus, pup, or other malware, I click back to my latest snapshot - problem fixed in seconds, not days. I do a snapshot usually about every 1-3 months and just before a new software install. There is a speed penalty, but it is not noticeable for web surfing, e-mail, word processing, spreadsheets. I also have a couple applications that require Windows and generally use in a Virtualbox virtual machine.

Linux isn't perfect, by any means, as the Virtualbox supplied by the Ubuntu repository broke when a recent kernel update came down the pike. I had to remove the old, install the latest from Virtualbox's website, and do a little Googling to get it to work.

Mozilla extends, and ends, Firefox support for Windows XP and Vista


Re: Let's be fair

Unfortunately, I have to keep an XP computer on the ready to download audio tracks from a 24-track digital recorder. XP is the only supported operating system for the software.

It gets worse: Microsoft’s Spectre-fixer wrecks some AMD PCs


Re: Exactly which AMD processors are getting hosed?

Not sure if the Phenom's are on the hit list, but casualties in my organization with AMD:

Ath 64x2 4450 - BSOD stop screen, could not repair - reinstalled Windows 7 and updates - still running

After learning of this brick through Windows:

Ath 64 x2 5200B BSOD stop screen - automatic repair fixed today

Ath 64 x2 4450e BSOD stop screen - automatic repair fixed today

Ath 64 x2 4450b - Unknown at this point - instructed user to not shut down at end of day so I could move data to another computer. Can't access remotely and it is not responded to WOL. I suspect the room it is located in has a blue nite light at the moment. I'll find the status of that machine when I go in tomorrow.



Had 3 computers running Win 7 Pro on Athlon processors with BSOD Monday morning (stop screen). They were planned for replacement in the next year, but this is still very inconvenient.

What will drive our cars when the combustion engine dies?


Re: fossil fuel - we're addicted. - @DainB

And assuming that 130KWh delivered to the road requires about 370KWh of energy at the generating station to generate that 130KWh of energy for your electric car (assuming 35% efficiency at the power station) - and that doesn't include the energy to mine the energy source or deliver it to the electric generating station. That also is not a good ratio. So, don't ignore the inefficiencies on your side of the IC/electric debate.


Re: fossil fuel - we're addicted.

No, all that energy can't be used to charge batteries. In 2016 in the U.S., sources for electricity were about:

1% - Petroleum

15% - Renewable (geothermal, hydro, biomass, solar, wind)

20% - Nuclear

30% - Coal

34% - Natural Gas

source: https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=107&t=3

So, that electric car is belching fossil fuel by-products from at least 65% of its energy sources. Mining of coal, nuclear feedstock, natural gas all take energy. Electricity production from various heat sources appears to be about 35% from what I could glean from the U.S. EIA data.

I didn't look long and didn't find reliable data on efficiency of internal combustion (IC) engines, but they are probably in the range of 20 to 36%. So, in the best case of comparing the electric to IC, they are about equal in converting heat into energy. Electric cars will have the advantage in slow stop and go traffic as energy is only used as needed. The IC engines typically will be constantly running in all types of traffic. Modern IC engines are quite clean, although here in the U.S., not as clean as other countries because of stupid laws that require emissions measurement in percentage rather than gm/mile.

So, yes, you could use all the energy to charge batteries, if you didn't have to use it to generate electricity and mine energy sources to generate the extra electricity to charge those batteries.

Your electric car burns coal, natural gas, biomass, etc. My IC car burns just gasoline. I know of several individuals who have converted their cars/trucks to run gasoline, natural gas, or LP, depending on what is available. Natural gas and LP are much cleaner than gasoline and decreases engine wear.

Pick your favorite, but don't force me to use your choice.

It's 2017 – and your Windows PC can be forced to run malware-stuffed Excel macros


The obsolete Microsoft Works provided a degree of safety because the native word processor and spreadsheet applications did not have macro capability. Microsoft fixed that problem by starting to ship Word with later releases. The word processor was light on features, but certainly more than adequate for most home users.

Munich council: To hell with Linux, we're going full Windows in 2020


Re: Not sure about Office?

Okay - Linux and Libre Office is free the first year. The price doubles every year after that. So, if you have busines with 500 computers, after 3 years that comes to $0 + 500x2x$0 + 500x2x2x$0 .... which comes to, let me see now ... carry the 1 ... hmmm ... that's $0 ...

I've been using Libre Office exclusively since shortly after the split from Open Office Org (just didn't trust Oracle when they acquired it). The only time I use Microsoft Office is when I have to provide tech support. The usual solution is to open the problematic document with Libre Office, reformat as necessary, and save it back into the Microsoft format to fix the errors Microsoft puts into document.

Sure, there is some difference in operation between Libre Office and Microsoft Office, but usually less confusing with Libre Office with the massive moving of menu items, hiding functions, removing features, etc. It's one thing to have to deal with the headache of the new Microsoft 'features' with each release, but another to pay for those headaches.

Seldom used 'i' mangled by baffling autocorrect bug in Apple's iOS 11


A more plausible explanation of how the 'i' error happened is if Apple lured former Microsoft programmers into their midst.

Malware hidden in vid app is so nasty, victims should wipe their Macs


Re: A complete wipe?

What's wrong with a complete wipe? Sometimes that is the most efficient and effective way to eliminate most malware (except for those that installed into the firmware on the hard drive). Windows 10 is much easier to start from scratch compared to Windows 7. Once I was having issue with my one of my Ubuntu installations - that was even easier to reinstall. I have notes on each Linux installation I maintain (basically descriptions of partitions, software installed from the store, special configurations, mount points, etc) that are usually less than a page in length. My Windows reinstallation notes take a little more space, about 3 pages, but make starting from scratch much easier and less frustrating.

Another reason to hate Excel: its Macros can help pivot attacks


Re: Waddyamean 'Another reason to hate'?

Nice comparison ... comparing Excel and Word with Visio. Take a look at the Microsoft Store reviews of Visio:


7 of the 14 reviews give it a 1-star rating for an average of 2.5 (as of today). Basically, a bucket of bovine excrement appears to have more value than Visio. Years ago, I did use a pre-Microsoft version of Visio, and it was an excellent product. Microsoft appears to have fixed that problem.

I don't use Word or Excel, except when providing tech support for those unwilling to use a better, less costly product, or who have to use it because a government agency, insurance company, etc, requires them to run macros and a very specific version of Office. To be fair, I haven't bothered to experiment with recent versions of Word to see if formatting changes when another printer is selected or if when placing more than 4 or so pictures in a document caused all the images to change position (even if they were anchored). My time is too valuable to me than to do this type of meaningless exercise just for the fun of it.

Migrating to Microsoft's cloud: What they won't tell you, what you need to know


Re: Hmmm

The long file names are precisely why I don't use Windows for servers - I have had to struggle file copies with Windows aborting because of a path\filename that was too long. With Linux as the server, I have never had that problem copying on the Linux side (even to NTFS formatted drives). Of course, most businesses are locked into Microsoft on the client side. Fortunately, few users ever do a copy that encounters this path\filename length issue. If they do, then we can deal with it then.

Pack up, go home to your family: Google Drive is flipping out


Re: Do your own - it's safer

Multi site resilence, global access and real-time sync are worthless if Google has a problem with your data or your local internet access is down. It is hard to beat multiple on-site backups paired with an off-site backup. One company I provide guidance insisted on putting a critical application "in the cloud" (no option for local backups or local cloud service). In the last year, that application was down two times for an entire day each time because of an issue with the cloud service servers.

In the last 20 years with all local servers, they were down for one day to deal with a ransomware attack that came in through an e-mail attachment. Most of that time was to ensure that none of the other computers and servers on the local network were infected with the ransomware.

If at first you don't succeed, you're Microsoft trying to fix broken Excel 2016


Re: Good luck with that

I don't know about recent versions of Microsoft Office products, but many years ago, stores the working temporary file in the same location as the file you opened for security reasons. I guess the rationale is if the temporary file is stored on the local hard drive, another user who shouldn't have access might be able to access the file. So, yes, if there is a network issue, changes can be lost, unless the recovery process in Office works. Based on 'oldtaku's' comment, Microsoft has not changed their philosophy. It would be nice if a journal of file changes were kept in memory until a spreadsheet or other document is saved to the destination. A good software company with good programmers would be able to give the user an option to save the journal of changes and apply it to the original file when communication is restored.

Windows 10 marks the end of 'pay once, use forever' software


Re: Linux

I have been using Ubuntu as my primary OS for a little over 5 years on desktops and laptops. Is also use it on servers. I recently started using Lubuntu on servers because of better support of video cards found on older servers (yes, I use the gui interface, rather than the default text screens in the server editions).

There are plenty of flavors of Linux out there are geared to various groups of people (students, engineers, musicians, etc). There are only 2 flavors of Win 10, both seem to be geared to people who like to bang their heads against a brick wall.


Sure, Windows 10 is an improvement over Windows 8.x, but so is Windows 95, 98, NT, XP, 7. Ok, that is a stretch, but the one thing Microsoft did improve over Windows 7 is the speed of detecting, downloading, and installing updates. On the flip side - there is little control over timing of updates -- I'm tired of attempting to install new software and have to deal with updates installing while performing a mandatory reboot as part of a new software package install.


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