Coping: Apes-that-Press-Lights & Surveillance

I just wasted half an hour thanks to Microsoft’s “Anniversary Edition” of Windows 10.

You may not have the same issues because I am a very cranky old geez when comes to people making changes to my computing environment without a) asking my permission at the time and b) giving me reasonable options. Worst of all c) Don’t change things I don’t want changed.

Admittedly, we are not “normal computer users.” We may have more computers per person than most households.

Over at the house, we have a writing station for me. “Samtop” is a 17” Samsung portable, “ElaineLT” is Elaine’s laptop, a 17” Toshiba, “Media” is what drives the television with streaming content, and “Tab2” is a 10” Win-10 tablet. So four computers there.  Now counting phones, Kindles and such in this.

Then in the palatial (lol) UrbanSurvival office there’s “BigBox” and there’s “SFF” (small form factor) which is the refurb Win-10 box I told you about a couple of weeks ago.

Happy Windows 10 user until this update rolled in.

Problem is?

We are finally (out here at the end of the civilized world – Deliverance country of East Texas where you hear the banjoes on the wind now and then – finally getting this “gift” from the gnomes of Redmond.

Here’s what they got wrong from my perspective.

1.I don’t want anything to do with Cortana. When I want to speak to a computer, I do it with a high performance voice package (Nuance Professional is the new version of the DragoonSpeak 13 I used to run).

That way I can land on apps, start talking and for things like email, I can jam through it in no time. I don’t want Cortana having anything to do with my Speech to Text.

A few years ago, I spent 4-days trying to get Microsoft Narrator and another voice product to play nicely…and I finally gave up. I still like Natural Reader for reading…but it ended up in the “Too Hard” pile because at 67 I’m starting to ask reasonable questions.  Like “When I look back at this block of time from the grave, is it adding joyful memories and spreading love?”

No. It has just pissed me off. When I have to do regedits (because the setting menu no longer works to turn Cortana off) they’ve gone too far. Oh, wait, is that  a feature?

2.I liked the Beach picture on the lock screen.  Reminds me of Oregon. Again, without asking something like “Want to see Zen rockpiles and other such?” No, I just got a stupid picture I didn’t want. Pisser #2.

3.Start Menu buggered. Oh, yeah. Used to be when I clicked on the Start Menu, I got just the apps I want and that was that. Now, no matter what I do (since the settings don’t set things like they should, anymore…like Cortana, right?) I can’t seem to get rid of the useless alphabetical list of idiot things like “Alarm clocks” or “Connect” that are worse than useless time sinks.

Just because part of a screen is blank, doesn’t mean that it has to be filled with icons.  GMAFB.

Strike 3 against Redmond.

4.And if all THAT isn’t enough, some GAMES that I went to all the trouble of uninstalling previously, just showed up uninvited!.

I hate games except when I’m gaming and then it’s something like a Nintendo with a balance  board and numchucks, right?  If I want to play cards, I’ll go over to Boosier City and hit Jimmy Buffet’s joint.

I don’t want to whine too loudly. I know everyone is trying to carve out their own “space” in how humans communicate with the computer environment.  It is, after all, the new frontier with other tools than the keyboard and the mouse.

Competition is stiff, too.  We saw Apple come along with “Siri” and then it was whatever Android had, then Amazon has their voice environment with Echo/Alexa and now Cortana is trying to carve a piece for Bill the and crew.  Little late…

Better late than never…I get that. See, I’m waving my MBA. I know what the ecosystem approach to user environments is and I know that Apple wants Applelites to live just on Apple Products and shop only Apple Stores. Amazon is doing the same, and now so is Microsoft.

But the problem is that when hapless people with no brains get Cortana shoved down their throats, it may not be easy for them to see the way ahead. So why not give them some value? OMG even Amazon/Alexa does grocery and todo lists.

Even better though (and this may be why Jeff Bezos will overtake God in the net worth department shortly), Amazon has a prominent “Turn off mic” button on their voice listening/snoop potential products. Conveniently? The Amazon Echo and even the little puck or tab thingy both turn bright red to let you know you can discuss the pending palace coup safely…

Didn’t me to get cranky at this hour, but BigBox hasn’t been hammered with the updates yet…and I’m in no hurry to get there.

Computer users come in two or three flavors. Let me run it down for you.

1.The serious business user. Strip out all the fluff and give us PowerPoint, Access, Excel, CorelDraw, Word, and OpenLiveWriter. For voice in or out? Nuance Professional. No games, no music, or minimal Windows Media Player (not Groove!!!) for the 3TB of MP#s on the NAS… We basically just want a screaming SSD-based 4 TB/slow storage machine that can nearly keep up with the speed of thought.

2.Then we have the semi-recreational computer people. They like the bigger screen, faster keyboarding than a stupid pad or phone, and they are generally lower IQ people who are easily distracted. They are the Link Fodder who click on trolling content on the right-hand menus. You don’t want to be that person, ‘cuz you’re smarter than that. But do you have any idea how many people will chase cookie bait ads like “17 Pictures Kardashians would like to forget…” and other crap like that?

3.Then we get down to computer idiots. They have a computer, but they don’t really have a purpose in life. They play games on the computer because it’s visually appealing. They don’t have much net worth but they have high scores and the whole Billion Dollar Gaming biz is built around these people.

Whenever I see people playing PokemonGo, I think “I wonder if off-planet aliens have thrown us an assortment of sparkly boxes to see if we will poke at them like the apes did when they were here last time?”

I can hear the conversation on the transdimensional craft overhead as we speak: “OMG,  You gotta see this: There’s a cluster of test apes in Cupertino that are pressing an that holographic Apple icon, Gazrorp, yah see that?  ROFLOL…”  I assume you know its possible to do 3-D on a Retina display, right?

Yeah, tough things to run through, but it all comes back to living a purposeful and personally-directed life with objectives, timelines, and goals.

People are withdrawing from the physical world. I mentioned to Peoplenomics readers the other day that we have 23% fewer private pilots in America today than we had just 9-years ago.

Why is that?

Because the brainwashed phony pseudo-humans we are cranking out with useless educations (*and no particular ability to create value) don’t want to live in the “real world.”  Fly?  Sen d a drone.  Shop?  Online.  Visit a friend?  Text ‘em.  The digital walls of our prison are constructed with every click…

But hey!

I won’t continue because it’s a work day around here – just like the other six days in the week.

But I wanted someone in Redmond to know that at least one crazy man in the woods is pissed about them changing all kinds of things my computer without asking first.  And when things in my airplane don’t work, I have to tag them IN-OP.  Be nice to do that with this Start display preferences, wouldn’t it?

If they don’t wise up, they will eventually drive another block of people to open source.

There is serious work being done on voice recognition for Linux, but I expect it to be much cooler than Cortana in a key way:

It’ll be easier to turn off.

Panama Bates: Homeowner

I am pleased to report that Mr. and Mrs. Bastes have closed on their new home and the former owners will be out by Monday.

When they get moved, Elaine an d I aren’t sure what will happen, exactly.

When someone has bad luck of this magnitude, it sometimes strikes me almost like a “cloud”” that hangs over them.

Just to be safe, when my life-long friend  from Gig Harbor, WA (and wis wife) come down for a few days in about three weeks, I will lean on him to do some “subtle energy clearing” around the place.  He’s very accomplished at clearing psychic effects from people and places but that’s a story for another day.

For now, my only planned activity Monday is to go to an eye appointment.

And oh, yeah.  Buy a couple of lottery tickets on the way home.

Speaking of Woo-Woo

From our Chief Astrologer (she has a free website here), this is of interest if you follow politics:

Now, here is something you might find of some interest/or not.

If astrologers want to find a short way to describe someone, they will use the person’s Sun sign, Moon sign and their Ascendant, to do so. In applying these three position of our recent presidents and candidates, four signs [out of twelve] keep showing up. Those four signs are Leo, Libra, Gemini and Aquarius.  Can this be called a pattern?

Hmmm…what do you make of it?



Why yes, I think I can see a pattern there…but will voters?


Coping: Apes-that-Press-Lights & Surveillance — 35 Comments

  1. Window 7 on every PC and laptop in the house. Updates made impossible by registry edit, moderate security, no troubles so far and important data is multiply backed up on unattached storage just in case.

    The two phones are older Androids. Calls and texts only. No shopping or banking info on them. They CAN’T be updated, so getting a forced update is no issue.

  2. George, it amazes me that you are just now finding out that M$OFT has screwed you with unwanted updates to Win 10. That was big headlines a month back or so. And IF you are going to continue to use M$OFT and Winblows then you should be smart enough to download and install one of the several small programs that set your system update settings so that M$OFT can NOT do an uninvited update. Last I checked Steve Gibson had a good small package for that.

  3. Hello, George. Well, thanks for giving us financially poor tower users the upturned snobnose with your ‘three types’ BS. You really should get out more to the damn-near bankrupt small towns in the rural areas of the rest of the USA. My favorite game is playing ‘how long will it take for my browser to launch THIS time’! Lubuntu 16.04 64-bit (faster than the 32-bit was), Firefox 49, boot device is USB 3.0 32GB thumb drive, 2GB RAM, 3GHz P4 dual core, NO HARD DRIVE! I curse it hundreds of times daily for being so slow.

    Robert in WA state

    • boot device is USB 3.0 32GB thumb drive, 2GB RAM, 3GHz P4 dual core,

      Doesn’t matter if the USB memory device is 3.0 spec if the computer doesn’t have a 3.0 or 3.1 port. A P4 isn’t typically going to have a 3.0 port.

  4. I doggedly stay with Win 7 after seeing and hearing nightmares about 10.
    with all the updates that come with Win 10 I see there are some KB’s that force Win 10 in.
    I went online (not sure how reliable that is) to get a list of updates that Microsoft hides the Win 10 data in;
    When those particular updates come(sneak) in I delete them.
    Well, the last set of updates has the same two/three KB’s and when I try to install the basic updates and uncheck the drones, NONE go through unless I install the Win 10 force-thru drones.
    Does anyone have an updated list of updates to avoid or a solution with this?
    My laptop seems to run like crap now. It could be Firefox or Microsoft or both.
    Not sure I want to compromise with Win 10 or save my pennies to get Apple.
    Linux is above my mental/computer/skill sets. I am a retired healthcare professional not a techie.

    • If you use Linux Mint you will find it user friendly and you don’t have to be a techie.

  5. People get caught-up in the game and forget today’s computer is only a tool. Honestly, I don’t do anything on my computer any longer, except watch an occasional YouTube video, which couldn’t be done perfectly competently on a Win95OSR2 box.

    The Redmond concept is to eventually put a Star Trek bridge computer in every public, and every private space. To this end, they will add features which perform every conceivable task, until AI matures enough that the computer can learn new tasks on-the-fly. Once this maturity is realized they’ll then work toward a universal hive.

    Unfortunately, the Micro$oft dev crowd ain’t exactly known for their ability to churn out clean code. True geeks marvel at elegant efficiency, whether it is a 1950s Porsche FI system (with, to quote one of the GM engineers who tried to reverse it: “Too few moving parts to possibly function…”) or a 1990s hack which neutered DVD copy protection using just 15 lines of code.

    Geekdom NEVER marvels at Redmond’s code…

    • Geekdom NEVER marvels at Redmond’s code…

      oooh I like that, that belongs on a T-shirt

  6. Another option – use Server versions, e.g. Windows Server 2012. It is expensive ($500-$600 for essential/basic edition), but has no crap by design.

  7. Hey George, Regarding your Brother -in-law, he might benefit from seeing a shaman or a Brennan healing science practitioner to clear out that bad luck, it sound like a lineage issue.

  8. George, Get your bro in law a copy of Edith Fiore’s book “The Unquiet Dead”. Chances are that with his combat experience he has picked up some hitch hikers. This is especially likely with the “No man left behind” commitment.

  9. Dear George, let me who is much lesser geek than you help with the Start menu irritation. There is a small software program called “Classic Shell”. They ask for a support donation, but it is free. Load that puppy in and you can reset your Start menu to Win 7 version. It also has other appearance tweaks that really help.

    I too hated that latest “upgrade”. It deleted the graphics driver on my notebook and replaced it with a crap MS one. Sadly, my hardware source, AMD, is no longer updating drivers for their older hardware, so I am stuck with sucky appearance on the notebook.

    If I were more of a geek, I would go to Linux. I just don’t have the mental oompf to do that.

    • I wr4ote a small batch file to trash Cortana out at the registry level (Cortana = 0_) and you can find those aps on the web free…minimized bloatware as it’s a onetime batch against the registry and there are restore Cortana routines with the batch files on the net… but good idea.
      On the screen, go into your personalization and check that screen resolution is set to “recommended” size which may be different than what you have – MSFT does an OK job of setting the video drivers and I’ve had nightmares with video card vendors (NVIDIA for one) who want to install all kinds of crap that I don’t need want (who needs a 3D spreadsheet viewer for gawd’s sake?) so I tend to run the MSFT video drivers and trash the card creator stuff. I have two high-powered dual channel cards and I am not giving the flashby graphics people ANY of my 12 G of Ram unless they rent it…
      Still we shouldn’t have to hack the reg to clean stuff out that we had set the way we wanted. And it would be nicer if they could make their own U.I. conform to what it’
      s alleged to do…just saying.
      Sometimes, I think these billionaires in code and fb ought to do a “year with a real person” and find people from the web who are not fanatics, but represent the cross-section./ Pay them for good input and please…LISTEN TO THEM.
      Test products with a representative sample of the customer based, not the marketing department picks and NEVER release a product that will need patches later…which this obviously 9to me anyway) is.
      I could go on, but I still like windows and I still hater spyware. I’m in the Software Fjord that ends in Linux if they can’t get it right.
      IJ would pay for Linux if it had drivers for ERVERYTHING. Much less pro9cessor intensive and easy at the GUI level. KI don’t like sudos an d command line work anymore, but at this rate… wait. My blood pressure alarm just went off.
      So How about Bill and his boffettees? OOps…there went the BP alarm again.
      Where’s my crack pipe?

      • To make living with Windows 10 easier, I also wholeheartedly recommend Classic Shell. It’s been around since Windows Vista (at least), and restores ORDER to Windows after Microsoft randomly changes things with each release.

        Shutup10 is a small utility that will disable Cortana, telemetry, and much of the nasty stuff in Windows 10. You can toggle Cortana on/off, without opening regedit or running batch files. It is free and effective.

      • George, I’ve a niece who’s been running Ubuntu for nigh onto 8 years now. Her son set it up when he got tired of reloading her OS every three months. She thinks she’s running Windows — can’t tell any difference — he installed (or built) a counterfeit WinXP icon set (probably u/g to a Win7 or 8 icon set by now) and set up the GUI to exactly mimic Windows, only without the crashes, corruptions, and BSOD. When she gets a new ‘puter, he loads it up.

        She’s blissfully ignorant, he gets more time with his wife and fam.

        The open source geeks will write a driver for anything. All ya has ta do is ask…

      • I’m in the Software Fjord that ends in Linux

        You can run BSD via MacOSX or straight up FreeBSD. And with bhyve (BSD Hypervisor) you can run FreeBSD as the base OS and Windows 10 as a ‘hive instance.

    • You should try Linux Mint. User friendly, easy to learn/use and works all the time. Not near as much mental stress as Winblows.

  10. If they don’t wise up, they will eventually drive another block of people to open source.

    Open Source has already “won”. FreeBSD userland makes up part of Apple’s OSes. 1/3 of evening internet traffic via NetFlix is via FreeBSD. The Playstation 4 – FreeBSD 9.3 I believe. BlackBerry now sells Android – that is a fork of GNU/Linux. And the poison pill of Sun being consumed by Oracle – they released the ZFS source code. ZFS+ECC memory == error correcting storage on your magnetic media. What is more important – the tool to look at/manipulate the data or the data itself on the hard drives? “Real Business” cares the data isn’t corrupt. While you can get ZFS on Windows, if you run a REAL operating system for ZFS, the storage pool with auto-store the commonly used files in DRAM on the system, then on fast SSD storage and wire out and get the “original” file from magnetic media. FreeNAS is an option in case one doesn’t want to make the move to FreeBSD on the desktop and keep that globalist Windows crapware. (and this doesn’t cover Microsoft selling your metrics) Because you have the relative down the road, you can buy a Raspberry pi 3, add a motion/light sensing hat along with switches (way to secure case/shut down to maintain security), place in a box with a gel lead-acid battery and require the decryption password on boot-up and use the remote ZFS backup to keep an off-site secure copy of your data at oh, say, the Bates estate.

  11. Ubuntu. I am building a media server and am seriously thinking about promoting it to my one and only desktop and say goodbye to Windows forever.

  12. Had MS Anniversary edition install itself (my computer is set up to ask me first, but obviously, MS has an override) on both of our computers —- I HATE when they make changes I don’t or didn’t want or ask for. No only was the install time consuming but it took like forever to ‘fix’ all the crap that came with it.

    And then, just yesterday, an Apple iphone upgrade – screwed everything up – once again, stuff I didn’t/don’t want and now no way of getting rid of their ‘upgraded stuff’ that is driving me crazy and turned my ‘easy to use’ iphone into a phone that I hesitate to even turn on, cuz every time I do now, I get really pissed off at Apple.

    Why do these companies insist on upgrade crap that the majority of users don’t want – or at least give us the option of NOT upgrading? True, there are the computer geeks that love all that stuff, but for the technologically challenged individuals that just want something that works and is relatively easy to use?

    • There are a number of small useful programs that you can install and run on you Winblows computer and they will set it up so M$OFT can NOT do an uninvited upgrade. Last I looked Steve Gibson, Security Guru, had one on his site.

  13. Windows 8.0 was the 21st century’s ME, though I admit Windows 10 is close. My wife and I have both desktops and laptops, and backup laptops (its a nuke thing to have backups of your backups). Plus have older desktop for printer services and for running backups. And also have a laptop in a pelican case with a tuner, Signal Link, and a Yaesu FT-857d for emcom. And finally another laptop for controlling telescopes and other astronomy aps. So that makes what 9? And if MS Office alternatives worked better, and there were some decent Linux versions of astronomy and ham radio apps I use, I would put Linux on most of them.
    MS Windows, the only Trojan masquerading as an operating system.

    James Johnson, ex-nuke

  14. And I hate Microsoft. The keep changing things that don’t need to be changed, and make things “more efficient” for me by taking 4 clicks to do what used to take 1 click.

    I think this is because they have entire office buildings full of software engineers who need to be kept busy writing code. XP and Office 7 were the best products they ever put out. But then they couldn’t just fire all the programmers, could they?

  15. I’m still on Windows 7. Didn’t leave XP until kicking and screaming my tax software forced me to move. Won’t leave 7 until the same happens in a few more years. I don’t play games, don’t let the internet run scripts, and don’t install “airfare tracker” or shopping apps that run ALL THE TIME. You don’t get on my wifi unless I add your device to the white list and give you the 128 character password.

    I don’t get bugs, don’t get hijacked and my shit works 100% of the time all the time. Because my livelihood depends on my shit working 100% of the time all the time.

    My wife calls our computer environment “fort knox.”

  16. I know someone who went to high school with Hillary and was in the Young Republicans Club with her. She has been bitterly waiting a long time for this moment…Scary

  17. People who talk to computers when there is no physical need to do so have issues far worse than software shortcomings. These are the same kind of folks who also name their cars and plants.

  18. Try DoNotSpy10. Don’t install the free one, it loads an ad product Chromium. If you donate $5, you get the free product. Test it on a computer that you don’t use that has Win 8 and above and see if you like it. It shuts down everything, updates and Cortana and all, with one click. I’ve used it since Win 10’s inception and have had no glitches with it. This is not computer advice: I repeat: This is not computer advice and I hold myself harmless!

    • Oh, there’s plenty of information on Hillary. I was merely including those who had the Sun, Moon and/or Ascendant in one of those 4 particular signs. She does not, hence the dotted lines. She has the Sun in Scorpio [the most secretive of all the signs], and the Moon in Pisces. Pisces likes to work behind the scenes, hence tends to be “invisible and opaque,” the opposite of open and transparent.

      Yet, there is something missing: We have no definitive information on her time of birth [in this day and age!], which determines what sign is rising. That leads me to go along with those astrologers who say her Ascendant sign is also Scorpio, because it adds to the strong secretive manner in which she operates.

    • This may be a duplicate. I attempted to reply and my message disappeared on me!

      We have plenty of information on Hillary. I was simply attempting to show that she did not have either the Sun, Moon, or Ascendant in any of the 4 signs, hence, the dotted lines.

      Hillary has the Sun in Scorpio [the most secretive of all 12 signs] and the Moon in Pisces, which likes to work behind the scenes, hence tends to be both hidden and opaque. We are missing her time of birth, which determines the Ascendant sign. Therefore, I tend to agree with those Astrologers who say her Ascendant is also Scorpio. This reinforces the secretive manner in which she operates.

  19. I left the PC World for Apple about 6 years ago. Although saddened that a word processing program and a spreadsheet must be purchased, I am happy that stupid games and such are not included. And the software always works. Microsoft seemed to be the Ford of the computer world for me. That is, since I’ve had a German car for so long, I’ve become really rusty at rudimentary car repair. Likewise, going to Apple made me rusty at fixing problems, because it’s been so long since I’ve had one.

    • . Although saddened that a word processing program and a spreadsheet must be purchased,


  20. “I spent 4-days trying to get Microsoft Narrator and another voice product to play nicely…”

    Besides none of the programs worked like they should Quicken.. ( I use quickbooks.. doesn’t work and doesnt’ add or subtract and with windows ten you had to do a daily call to quicken support to save your work)
    I finally said the heck with the whole microsoft thing and went back to windows seven.. right wrong do I need to shut the internet off.. windows 10 ranks right up there with ME ……