Coping: Advice to Microsoft

Please, brethren of the software forest, pay attention.  Ure is not happy  with ya’ll.

Not that I don’t love Windows 10.  I like it – lots.  And, for that matter, I totally “get” the Office 365 product which we run on our machines here.

But there are multiple areas where you need some guidance from real people and not “professional beta testers.”  You need to fire them and put up a real, more direct path into product development.  Let me give you some examples:

(Continues below)

 

Let’s begin with Outlook.

It was a great program.  Note the past-tense was.

When the newest versions of Win-10 Outlook (in 365) came out three things went completely off the rails here.

First, the program decided (rather than the user – moi) that we needed to convert to IMAP for email.  No, no, and HELL NO.  POP is fine…or was.

I don’t want my emails which may contain things like, oh, user issues, account balances, passwords and such, left on a server managed by a bunch of half-wits at CenturyLate.net.  Dear God…save us from that fate.

It took me hours to get rid of IMAP email.  Which gets me to the…

Second Point:  Who the hell dreamed up the double-thinking piece of crap called the “Mail and Calendar” App?  That turns out to have been one of the hang-ups in getting rid of IMAP (spawn of the IT Devil itself) from my machines.

Workaround:  I think Microsoft, in the interests of Transparency, ought to include in all future updates something like this BEFORE the installation happens:


“Hi Microsoft User (Paying Beta Testers)

We’re going to screw up your computer in the following ways with our latest attempt to lock you into our computing environment.

  1. We are going to put in Xbox compatibility all over hell and gone.
  2. We’re going to screw up your mail by making Mail/Calendar fight it out with Outlook for supremacy.  Not going to explain how that battle will take place, either.  We’ll just guess at what’s best for you.
  3. When you burn a DVD of data, we’re going to leave a message laying around “You have files waiting to be burned” the will persist until the Second Coming or later.
  4. When you get new software directly from a trusted source (CCleaner, Nuance, etc.) we’re going to put up another horrible nag screen about not getting it from the Microsoft Store so can you trust them any more than us?  If we can get you out of manufacturer-direct habit, we can build another revenue stream!  Adds cost to you, but gives us a story to tell investors at the next dog and pony show for investment firms and that’s a Biggy if you’ve been watching the market here lately.
  5. No!  Stop asking!  We’re not taking the damn App Store off your machine or put it in some place where you can find it to delete if you want.
  6. We’re expanding the useless roles of Cortana.  We won’t go over and have lunch with Bezos’ crew and use a good, existing voice platform like Alexa (Echo, Dot, Spot, etc.) and bridge right to Skype because instead we wish to be a “own a software eco-system” trying to make it in audio Vegas.  Sure: Siri’s class, Alexa rocks, and the recognition rates of Nuance are spot-on.  But we don’t support cooperative computing if it costs us on the story side or in Accounting.  We want it ALL.  Like North Korea.  Following?
  7. We’re not going to turn off every SVHOST call until you specifically approve it because you’re a victim, not a customer and you can’t be trusted.  We know best.  You don’t.
  8. We’re not going to hold vendors like NVIDIA from running more than one app at start-up in their efforts to cram 3D rendering into the marketplace despite the fact that in Ford and Chevy Land, there’s no product worth installing yet. May never be.  But come on, don’t you want to see you’re kid’s face when you open the fridge?

If you agree to us screwing with your computer, please click “Agree” and make our day.  We’ll hop to it.  Otherwise, do nothing and we will screw with it anyway at the next update time which we’ve made about non-apparent to override.  Seriously, you can’t be trusted to decide how you want a computer to work.  It’s not up to you.  Go buy an Xbox and stop all that bothersome thinking in your life…

[   ] Agree        [   ]  Decline  (System may puke)


There are answers.

I was able to get part of my PST contacts back from a backup.  But the method of adding one PST to the current PST file in Outlook makes as much sense as Barney Fife who may have moonlighted.  Remember how simple field-level imports are in SQL?  Not in email, lol.  Ask Apple how it’s done.  See how Open Source works?

Now to the useful part of this morning’s rant.

To get rid of the files to burn nag, try this: Hit Google’s results here and go shopping.  The “Shell:CD Burning” option didn’t work for me – but going into the drive and removing stuff did…but then they came back.  So good luck with that.

Huge amounts of data on the SSD being eaten by updates?  Oh yeah…

I gained 4.2 GB by removing the Windows Update temp files. That’s a decent gain. Why am I having to do othat?

When done with your clean up, do a whole fresh system restore point…can’t be loose on those.  The more the better.  But even with a fresh one, I’ve had a computer fail to restore.  Go figure. Do another backup to the NAS (network attached storage) and go to church.

Then I got rid of unwanted programs (the mail/calendar that fights with Outlook, the Xbox junk, the App Store, and more) by using the remove programs tool in CCleaner. But some came back.  What to do? Ah…

If you use CCleaner, look for the Tools tab (on the left) and then visit the Uninstall tab on the top.  This will get rid of lots of stuff.  I know, 3D mixed reality sounds like fun, but seriously?  Where are the Bluetooth head-on displays that make this work wirelessly in my office for under a zillion bucks and a processor upgrade?

Go to www.piriform.com and look for CCleaner links.  Defraggler is good, too, if you’re on an (ofd-fasioned) hard drive.

If you find nuisance programs keep re-appearing, there were some things on my system that I had to remove manually using PowerShell (be sure to right click to run as Administrator) and then get rid of offending junk.  Great resource is and How-To over at:

https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/easily-remove-bloatware-windows-10/

Well, now that your computer is screwed up, it won’t matter that last week was a four-day workweek, will it? I mean, if your computer’s down for maintenance, can’t work can you?

April Fool’s Day

Judging by the headlines, it has been extended to this morning.

Was it a coincidence Easter was April Fool’s this year?

Off to see the open…maybe stocks will be “risen.”

Write when you get rich,

George@ure.net

Comments

Coping: Advice to Microsoft — 29 Comments

  1. No one is gonna break the monopolies held by a specific blood lineage, within the worlds most powerful, corrupt entities. Microsoft, amazon, pay-pal, fed reserve, ebay, google, YouTube, facebook, etc.

    These monopolies are here to stay and the bloodlines that control them, will continue to gain more and more monopolies.

    • Exactly; can’t everyone see how the game is done (not won). They use the federal reserve and all central banks to buy out, kill, or fund/takeover the idea/patent/company, etc., and then put one of their own in to run it. No one can compete with them once they start, no one can get the loans, no one can get the promotional coverage. They wash and repeat this over and over and over again. There isn’t any competition in almost every single big or large endeavor or area. Once it is ALL controlled, it is a true slave economy.

  2. I’m still in the Windows world at work. Running Win 10 there and on my home machines as well, but I’m about done with it personally. I’ve got Office 2013 at home (big discount through work) and I hate it but sometimes need it for others. I use Open Office for all my personal stuff. Been looking at various flavors of Linux. I used to be a Sun Unix tech back when they existed so I’m familiar with UNIX, just haven’t toyed around in Bash or CShell for some time. I understand your pain, I deal with it daily. or more accurately, I tell others to deal with it while I go off to meetings. :)

    Might have to do something else for a living soon too. Big push at work now is to remove local admin from every PC and server (no matter your position at the company), and run through a Big Brother software that “allows” you to run software on PCs and servers, and genuinely records all your activity forever, for “compliance and security” purposes. Every mouse click and key stroke will be kept. So much for reading Peoplenomics on lunch hour. :(

    This is likely the last straw that’s going to break this camel’s back. I just don’t know what else to do besides look for lower paying and less intense work where integrity still matters for something. :)

    • Get out of debt, get out of Austin, pick a small town where you can open up a business doing something you are good at, OR partnering with someone else already established. BUT don’t give up! There are millions of homedwellers who need someone with your computer/software expertise; put up a shingle. My .02.

  3. I’ve used Windoze 10, but don’t own it and won’t unless I run out of better choices. All my machines run Win 7, Win XP, various flavors of Linux, and even OS/2. On Win 7 and XP, I’ve disabled any ability to do updates of any kind at the services level, and including Update and BITS. Obviously, I’ve disabled the higher level stuff, and I’ve got things disabled at the HOSTS level too.

    I own my machines, and I have the absolute right to run whatever variations on a theme that I choose. Security is at the firewall and services levels, among other things. Security is inconvenient, but at least I’m not dealing with a constantly changing environment. Backups are super important, but it’s tough to back up many large volumes.

    I understand that China has written their own OS. It probably has the same invasiveness, but from a different perspective. The only way to really own your machine is to write your own OS and apps, but that’s time prohibitive. That goes double for smart phones and pads.

    For now, I do the best I can.

  4. Sounds like Apple and Microsoft are still at war on customer’s devices, only now they just fight the customer instead of each other. I had to delete the apple push system to stop them from using it as a key logger on secure sites. That also stopped apple from using my computer like it belonged to them but eliminated some apple apps and services. My computer is fast and secure but now I’m once again getting cornered into updating a system several versions behind. Not looking forward to several days or weeks of work to straighten out a new system.

  5. I froze out Cortana wherever I could find it (don’t want Alexa or Siri either). I use Classic Shell so my desktop and Start menu resemble Win7. CCleaner and Defraggler are great; I use both.

    I am happy to admit that I am not a geek and therefore rush in where angels fear to tread when it comes to computers. So, whenever I cannot turn off or get rid of something, I sabotage it by using regedit and mucking around in the registry. Most of the time that works.

    I previously used free or subscription proprietary email services which I finally abandoned out of frustration. As much as I hate Google outright, they do make highly functional products, so I have Gmail, GCalendar, Google Earth, an Android phone and Android based OS in my Amazon Fire tablet. They all work smashing well.

    I can’t afford Apple products so I continue to use Windows based PC’s. There are lots of simple ways MS irritates me but I am stuck in a contentious relationship with them.

    Also, I use older versions of software that still function and which I own. I adamantly refuse to “rent” software. In the future, if the industry forces this, I will disconnect my machine from the web and let it happily function as a stand alone, then use the cheapest machine available to connect with the web and use none of the rented offerings.

  6. “Not that I don’t love Windows 10”

    I think windows 10 sucks A@#.. had it dumped it went back to windows 7.. nothing worked with it.. let me see I thought..
    Windows ME and Vista was a hundred percent better..

    • Yeah just when we were getting good proficient and just like getting out of the bed on the the side that you normally get out of and then they changed it was like gosh this is the wrong side of the bed the toilets not in the same room now where’s the car at gosh we’re not even in the right City yeah it’s really messed up when they changed everything

      • When you think about China India and all the other countries that’s been around you know at least three thousand six thousand years whatever they done everything a certain way and it was taught to them by their parents or grandparents and so you can go from one place to another and know what you have to do if you decided you wanted to leave home but here and USA it ain’t that way

  7. George, we live in a world that has firewalls, and those firewalls have to be guarded by men with code. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, George? They have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Outlook and you curse Microsoft. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what they know, that bloatware, while annoying, probably saved money for you and all other customers. And the existence of such, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves money! You don’t want the truth, because deep down in places you don’t talk about on your blog here, you want Microsoft on that machine of yours. You need them on that machine. They use words like “quality”, “code”, “customer experience”. They use these words as the backbone of a life spent providing something of value. You use them as a punchline. They have neither the time nor the inclination to explain themselves to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very productivity that their tools provide, and then questions the manner in which they provide it! Microsoft would rather you just said “thank you”, and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a keyboard, and a copy of Linux, and build your own OS. Either way, they don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to!

    • Grand set of observations.
      But, I have my consigliere going through the revised User Agreements coming up.
      If any lay ANY claim to the CONTENT I create in email or in Skype, PowerPoint – or whatever – they will see a massive Software Rebellion the likes of which has never been seen before.
      A man is entitled to privacy in “his papers and letters” and this includes outlook, skype,m powerpoint, word, etc.
      There’s a damn fine reason that Open Source is flourishing…and it’s not hard to learn. Ubuntu etx –
      I am sure you are aware of Windows replacement (open source) ReactOS?
      https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/reactos-open-source-windows-clone/
      So there are options – other than Linux out there.
      As I say, time will tell, but unless I am compensated DIRECTLY any and all of my Content is a proprietary work.
      FireFox, Thunderbird and lots of other product will fill the void along with OpenOffice if the softrware giants start screwing with We the Peeps

      • I reread my MS TOS. MS does not claim ownership of user material when MS is formatting it for broadcast by the user on the various MS platforms such as the example of Skype mentioned by another commenter. What MS is saying would be that if the Skype receiving party takes off with “your content” then that’s your problem not MS’.

        The corollary that comes to mind is when one walks into a restaurant and see a sign stating allergenic food types avoided in meal prep but not guaranteed, and an added rejoinder if that’s not acceptable then to consider dining at another establishment.

        I’ll be curious too to see how your consigliore weighs in on this.

    • You’re kidding, right?

      Surely you wouldn’t transmogrify Jack Nicholson’s diatribe from A Few Good Men into a Microsoft defense, and expect to be taken seriously…?

      • Only you took it seriously. Did you leave your sense of humour on your other computer?

    • Come on Phil? If Ford disabled your car key because their security team decided it was better to have a 3 key system, you wouldn’t question it? You would think to yourself, “well this car makes me a living, and I should be thankful?” “They must know best”

      As a practical matter, one would say… How the f@#& am I supposed to get to work now. Kinda like when your email goes down from a forced imap “upgrade”.

  8. Good old Outlook 2010 is still working for me and I will likely use it forever. Acruto has a sync app where for $2.99 a month, all of my contacts, tasks and calendar sync with the 2 iPads and 2 iPhones in my electronic universe. It has never bleeped. Like people (who me?) sometimes older is better. Sorry for your woes, George.

  9. Assume there are at least 4 copies of every email you send or receive. Senders copy, sending servers copy, receiving servers copy and receivers copy (+nsa copy). So unless you are encrypting, (very hard end to end with current infrastructure) assume email is never private. Easiest case is to zip with encryption anything you want more private and attach to email. It may make you feel better to think you are not “storing” emails on MS servers, but that is not very likely no matter how you configure your email client. Many giant security sensitive organization now outsource their email to cloud providers like MS or google. There is risk both ways, but it is hard to hire people that really know and practice security at a level to compete with global bad guys. I have more trust that MS can hire and retain those type vs others in this business.

    • email has never been private..
      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/01/new-york-police-terrorism-pressure-cooker
      https://www.techhive.com/article/2037632/don-t-freak-out-but-the-government-records-and-stores-every-phone-call-and-email.html
      there are many instances where someone said the wrong thing and had an invasion by police.
      nothing you do online is private.. encryption.. my guess is after spending billions on a facility in Utah that they can decrypt anything that comes through the wires instantly.
      when I worked in waste disposal.. it was funny.. up till then I had never even thought that there would be a need to shred anything. but all the time.. I mean all the time there would be people that would go through peoples garbage at random.. not garbage men either.. and the rude comments they made.. it was sickening. they would just pick a place and go through it.. see a rubber or a pregnancy test strip and the comments would fly.. the same thing on the computer.. the only way would be to do away with the internet no cell phones no phones.. do away with facebook.. twitter any form of communication etc. search the available wifi on your cell phone.. see what is available.. did you know you can triangulate the position of that router. now go to google maps..do a virtual tour or see the road if that house has been up for sale in the past twenty years you can do a virtual tour of the whole neighborhood and the house and now do facial recognition.. see anything funny about what you just discovered.. you have the list of the residents and the face pictures and facebook listings of everyone at that residence do one step further you have their occupations and whole history and that is what is available to us now figure the multi billions of dollars that the government is spending what is available to them… nothing is private my friend nothing.

  10. I deleted Skype off my computer years ago; no one, including myself needed to see my ‘bod’ – especially ‘middle-of-the-night stark-nude’ . . . computers should be easy to customize!

      • Love it; stay with the original one and you can grow old together! It’s fun. I’m losing my hair, he’s losing his. He takes his glasses off, he can’t see my chin hairs and tells me how beautiful I ‘still’ am and how lucky he is to have ‘all of me’ (that’s another great song). He has aches and pains, I have aches and pains. He helps me up, I can take off his work boots and socks. He cooks, I clean. We both like shopping together and doing just about everything together. He snores, I snore. He’s been the best husband and I am blessed. So don’t worry about getting older, in so many ways, too numerous to count, you are getting better and better and better.

  11. so what about the recent story I have seen that Microsoft, in the new service agreement, owns all info in any outlook emails?