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?