A Useful Tech Note: Win 10-1903

While I wasn’t going to write (free) columns on Wednesday, I just had to give some high praise to Microsoft on the recent update to Win-10 v. 1903 which was released a couple of weeks back.

It’s stable, love the new features, but there are also a couple of install snags that we ran into that may save you some time.

First, we have a lot of computer gear around here.  There’s one in the studio, one in Elaine’s office, one driving the big screen in the living room, one in the guest room, four in my office…so lots of things that can go wrong, among them.

The installations on the desktops was generally OK, but do remember before you do this upgrade to get up through the previous major release – 1803 – working to make things flow smoothly.

On laptops, though, this is where some manufacturers (Samsung for one) are dropping in an unwanted “Disable_WindowsUpdate.exe” as part of their bloatware.  What manufacturers seem to do is add bloatware to make it feel like Windows is theirs.  Bloatware that I’ve had to remove doesn’t add news features – it just shuffles things around and makes it unfindable (if that’s a word).  If you discover (as I did) that your update to 1903 is failing, then look for manufacturer bloatware as your prime suspect.

The best tool for getting rid of the bloatware I’ve found is https://revouninstaller.com.  If you look at the website, the pro version is really inexpensive (and it’s on my “production” machine) because it let’s you look for programs by manufacturer.

I am still working on removing the update blocking bloatware on my Samsung but was able to use RevoUnistaller on it, and then uninstall most of the manufacturer software.  Make sure to set restore points along the way, but I didn’t break anything on either a Samsung or Toshiba l/t.  The Toshiba runs much nicer.

The next hip shot is if you use the onboard “Windows Update Check” (Apps and Features>Windows Update) you may find it says “You’re all up to date” even though 1903 has obviously not installed.

Workaround:  Click over the Microsoft support site and download the Win 10 Update Assistant from here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10.

The last thing to do is be prepared to spend a little time, especially if you have a limited pipeline onto the web.  Not sure if it’s still the case, but usually MSFT limits updates to 45% of your bandwidth so you can minimize the download and effectively keep working.

With those notes aside (no, we don’t offer tech support, you twiddle and you take the risk…not us!) we have found it is a much smoother-performing and generally great update.  The update to the snipping tool is good and if you use “Sticky Notes” as your “poor man’s Kan Ban” board, you can view the notes either all over the screen OR as a neat row across the bottom (until it gets too big!).

I wanted to share our experiences with this because if your life/income/and future depend on solid computing, nice to see that (at least so far) Build 1903 of Win-10 is a great update.  Unless you have a Sumsung i7 laptop…in which case, I’ve got it narrowed down to a couple of suspects now, after doing all the web-discoverable workarounds.

CCleaner or ZookaWare?

Different topic here, but I did a side-by-side of CCleaner and ZookaWare while cleaning the HD’s and getting everything “spiffed-up” prior to the updates.

Turns out the ZookaWare picked off 6 pieces of spyware that CCleaner had missed.  But, don’t fault CCleaner:  The spyware in question was on an selcom-used archival HD on the “big box” and as a result, was likely not being scanned.  Point for ZW.

On the other hand, the deep ZW clean also changed the UHD video settings, so had to dance through that.

Thus, we answer the important question for seniors:  “How will I find enough to do when I retire?”

Answer?  Get three networks, 7 PCs and subscriptions to a half-dozen anti-virus, malware removing, PC tuning, registry refurbishing programs.  You’ll never have time for anything else.

We’ll keep you posted.

Oh, should mention that MSFT also seems to understand the transition to the “Rent Your Life” economy better than most.  We have a 5-user copy of Office 2016 which costs us about $25 per year per computer, but that’s actually an expression of rational economics.

They keep adding value to their core tools – and even though we can’t input any faster than when we were running the old Ashton-Tate MultiMate program (and font modules which my buddy Gaye had some number of, I was an Epson dot kinda guy back in our Halt and Catch Fire days…) and even though VisiCalc did much of what Excel does, the ongoing updates are very-much worth $150 per year per household if the OS updates under it all continue to be this good.

There’s still some prodigious brainpower in Redmond, despite what the Cupertinites would have you believe…

More on the ‘morrow…back to the Peoplenomics article now…

9 thoughts on “A Useful Tech Note: Win 10-1903”

  1. I use Office 2010 which I own. It does everything I need. If the day comes when it is banned, I shall switch to freeware. Same with other software. I refuse to rent.

    • I agree! I have older copies of Office and I can use the current net version courtesy of the University, but unfortunately MS uses far too many resources for what should be essentially a correcting typewriter.

      My go to Office equivalent installed on my main machines are Open Office and Libre Office. The latter is more up to date. They are IMHO better behaved, and if you always save as an older version of a file(.doc from 2003 or earlier), you’ll have near absolute compatibility with the MS software. I have the same idea about renting anything – unless it’s a one time use only tool, I’ll buy the thing.

      I don’t have Win 10 on anything. I’m still using Win XP and 7, and let’s not forget OS/2 and Linux(Yes, I have IBM PC-DOS in the closet somewhere). They all work and are paid for. When you’re retired, life is too busy for software updates and debugging. I’ll get to Win 10 when someone gives me a machine with it already installed. Obviously, this doesn’t apply to those who need bleeding edge compatibility for their income.

      Renting is reserved for F, F & F things, and not always then.

  2. I go both ways – with computers, at least :-)

    I prefer Macs to PCs. I am a long time Mac user – iPhone,iPad and an iMac at home. I’ve used Macs since the late 80s, when the USAF provided Macintosh desktops for work desk use.

    My current work Dell computer has Windows 10 Enterprise installed. The only reason I don’t use Mac at work is Bill and Linda Gates donated hugely to our campus and so we defer to buying largely MS products. I’m fine with Microsoft. They just make everything more difficult to find/do. Thank the maker for Google search.

    I have a Mac version of Office on my iMac at home – its got some quirky differences but is very compatible with recent MS Office versions if I send a document (Word, Excel, Powerpoint) from home to work or vice versa). I consider it good for my brain to transition from Mac Office to MS Office. It keeps me sharp but I do lose ‘some’ time remembering the functional differences.

    I recently installed a Netgear Nighthawk wireless router at home and it easily handles X-Box gaming, two laptops, three iPads, one iMac, four cell phones and video streaming, all on 5 & 5G bands. Impressive range and upload/download speeds as well.

    • Bear in-mind, Macs ain’t, any more. WinTel won the battle. Apple computers abandoned their Motorola and MIPS RISC CPUs for Pentium CISC CPUs, and Microsoft has authored both MacOS (now a *NIX hybrid) and most AppleApps since v10.(4?)

  3. One of the best “all-in-one” programs I ever encountered was “Appleworks” back in the mid 80’s. I ran it on my Apple IIc back in the days before hard drives. It was a marvelous program. Today because I’m a cheap SOB I use “OpenOffice”; much better than paying MS because it’s FREE!

  4. I run OpenOffice at home. I do have a copy of Office 2013, but Outlook is the only piece of it that I regularly use. I got the license for MS Office Pro through a company discount (like 19 bucks total.) Running Windows 10 as well, for now.

    I’ve been running several VMs testing different flavors of Linux, trying to find a good one that suits me. Even though I’ve made a long living on MS products and all their derivatives in the workplace, this perpetual leasing of software is not where I want to go. IT’s become the same in the Apple world, too. Had my share of macs. it’s gotten much worse, as you’ve described – the almost total rental of life and property. And now we’re expected to move stuff up to the “cloud” which is just renting other people/company’s computers by the byte/iop. Guess I’ve become “that old codger.”

  5. Hi George,
    On your 85 DMA chart, the red line is not a streight moving average. Is it some kind of oscillator? Also, way isn’t the second peak of the double top higher than the first peak of the blue line?

  6. Started out as a Mac Man then started building PC’s, became addicted. Have every windows OS made and 8 PC’s. Office 360 was 100 bucks a year, my key had unlimited home PC’s. Have tried Linux, and own Zorin 12.4 and Mint 19.1. They are both very similar to windows and very functional. Open Office was my favorite but the best is Libre Office, very functional and great for Graphics work. I just swap out hard drives using the 5 1/4 caddy. The Wine program really does work and is aimed at MS Office, so you can load your Office software on compatible linux distroe’s. The company that makes wine has a high end program crossover that lets you use megaloads of programs across many platform OS’s. Codeweavers. The possibilities are endless. Also check out Linuxcnc.

  7. “Need” is a strong word. I’ve saved every word processor document I authored or edited since about 1995 as a Rich Text document. My patience with M$ got thin, when Word grew from two floppy discs to a CD ‘cuz they crammed it with 300MB of bloat. I’ve had absolutely no patience for M$ software since they “fixed” Word to make it “not backwards compatible” with previous versions.

    Sorry if I sound a little like Steve Gibson. There’s a lot of us who got crosswise with Microsoft, 25 years ago because of their Swiss cheese security and “never write a line of code, when 2000 will do” policies. The only thing I use a newer version of Word for, is to export a document into *.RTF…

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