Category Archives: Uncategorized

Windows 10 (Now that I’ve been using it)

What is Windows 10 like?

How shall I compare thee?  Oh wait the Bard’s words aside what is Microsoft’s latest Windows offering really like?  Well my initial impression was that it was more like Windows 7 with a functional Start Menu once again, but also having some of the Tile features of Windows 8.1.

Today I don’t feel much different from that initial impression.  I have hit a few little things that bother me, but they are just nuisances not anything that is a total bust.  In fact there may be a better way I just haven’t found it yet.  Honestly I am finding more ways to change settings and customize than I can remember how to use.  I have access to the old Control Panel but there are a few other “settings” screens I stumble across from time to time as well.  Sometimes it can be overwhelming.  “Where was that screen that sort of looked like this one but had settings for X or Y?”

I am using Windows 10 on a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 a very sweet piece of technology, but with it’s own little hiccups.  I was so hopeful in the combination of these technologies working smoothly together and they almost do.  When I remove the keyboard it wants to switch to tablet mode which is great but it doesn’t always transition smoothly or switch back when I plug the keyboard back in.  Granted I can manually switch, but I should not need to do that.

The first main sticking point I have hit is the login screen that can’t be customized.  You get the Windows “Hero” picture and the only way I’ve seen so far to customize is a registry hack.  Fine, but what about the causal user that might want to customize.  I find it rather sloppy to have customizations for every other screen but that one.  The first week or so that image was fun and exciting now I find it rather dull and repetitive.

Another frustration (or irritation) is the way you connect to a VPN.  I am used to Windows 7 and Windows 8 where I can quickly connect using the Network icon in the system tray.  Click on the VPN I want to connect and click the connect button.  Now the VPN is listed there but when clicked it opens a network settings window and I have to click the VPN once again and then click connect and now I have an extra Settings window open!?

OK I know I am being picky but come on a new Operating system should simplify things not add more complexity.  I know UAC wasn’t simpler but there was/is a reason for that.  What is the reason to not customize the login screen or make the VPN connecting/disconnecting require a full settings screen.  I am sure there may be other ways to connect to a VPN, I will have to look.

Windows 7 users, I wouldn’t worry too much about upgrading just yet.  If you plan to keep your computer for another 5 years you may want to upgrade before the FREE upgrade to windows 10 offer is over next year in August.  However if you are happy with where you are at and don’t anticipate this being your computer for another 5 years just stick with windows 7.  The reason I recommend updating if you plan to keep your computer longer is the dreaded “End of Life”.  I am sure sometime in the next 5 years Microsoft will inform us of the End of Life for Windows 7 and then you will wish you had upgraded.   Don’t upgrade just yet though.  Let’s let windows 10 mature a little more.  The new “Thresholds” are sure to bring new features and perhaps some clean up to my complaints…

Are you falling prey to this terrible new internet ploy to get your personal…


Have you been falling prey to this terrible internet ploy to gain your personal information?  There is a terrible thing on the internet right now and you are likely to have been affected.  Whether we like it or not we are prone to fall for this trickery being practiced on the innocent participants of the internet.

OK scary intro paragraph done.  You have indeed fallen prey to what I want to talk about by simply clicking this article.  It is not as terrible as I made it out to be, however it is not fully innocent either.  Facebook in particular is full of “Click Bait“.  Articles that simply want you to open them.  The title and intro are full of subject matter that makes you want to open the link but no substance, promising that if you just click the link you will be “in the know” or get to see something you have always wanted to see.

These articles are actually formulated by trending search results on the internet.  Meaning that if a lot of people are searching for “Taylor Swift” and maybe “Apple” on Google, then lots of Click Bait articles will be either written by hand or in some cases even computer generated and posted to social media like Facebook.


Oh no REALLY!  Who got into a FIGHT on the RED CARPET!  MUST CLICK!!!  (Oh wait just another example of Click Bait, I hope you didn’t try to click that image)

SO what do Click Bait articles want from us?  Well have you ever tried to read the articles?  I know from te many times I have gotten sucked in that it almost impossible to even read the articles or complete the quiz to figure out which Eight is Enough character I would be…  The sites that host these “articles” and quizzes are so loaded with advertisements it is incredibly frustrating!  I mean I came to this article to find out who got in a fight and all I get is an Advertisement for facial cream!!!  Worse yet Google, Amazon and other websites are spying on you and will give you targeted advertising.  So remember that time you searched to see if anyone makes “electric monkey trimmers” as a joke well forever more now you get targeted advertising for Laser Hair removal clinics (insert *GASP* here).

OK there could be worse things than advertisements right?  Well yes unfortunately.  These sites get money from advertisers for every unique visitor they get, but this amount is very small per visitor.  They want hundreds of thousands if not millions and billions of views/unique visitors to their crappy articles.  Also they overload the pages with a lot of advertising space and many times even advertisements that take over the face of the page.  They are also gathering information about you when you visit the page.  Nothing major, but over time they can start to build a profile on what you click on and are interested in seeing.  Also since they sell that much advertising real estate on their pages they don’t pay that close attention to the advertisers they sell space to and sometimes those advertisers get infected by Malware advertisements that can infect your computer/mobile device/tablet  (an no your are no immune just because you have a MAC).


What can you do to stop this madness?  Stop clicking on Click Bait articles.  I know it is hard and they are so tempting but eventually if enough people stop falling prey to these formulated articles they will fade.  I know Facebook is trying to weed them out too, but they need our help.  Stop reposting dumb articles.  I know it is hard not to post the results of the latest “Which Teletubby would you be?” quiz, but DO RESIST!

Only you can prevent Forest Fir…  Oops I mean Only You can prevent Click Bait only you!

-Teh Torbs…

New weird/unexpected “Get Windows 10” icon in your system tray, What it means

If you see this it is legit, read on to know what it means.

Get Windows 10 Icon in System Tray
Get Windows 10 Icon in System Tray

(This is legit)


Some of you may be seeing a new icon in the lower right of your home computer screen, don’t worry this is not a virus, malware or spyware but actually Microsoft informing you that you can get a FREE upgrade of your windows to Windows 10 their soon to be released new Operating System.


You will not see this on your work computer due to the fact we are on a business network and things like this are managed by the Administrators of the Network (like Travis and I).


What does it mean for you at home?

  • You can get a free upgrade of your operating system within the first year that Windows 10 is released.
    1. July 29th Microsoft will release Windows 10 the latest Windows Operating system
    2. If you choose to upgrade within a year of that date you can get Windows 10 for free
    3. If you upgrade during that period of time you will NOT be required to pay for it later, it will remain on your computer for free as long as you own that computer
    4. You will be opted into taking every update that Microsoft pushes out for windows without being able to deny patches, this is the price of free
      1. In my opinion this should not be a problem, unpatched computers tend to be a bigger problem so automatically updating your computer should be a good thing
  • Accepting this offer will get you access to the new software July 29th
    1. I am not sure of the specifics on this, but it appears that they will make the upgrade available to all the people who opt in using this Icon
    2. You are also supposed to be able to access some method of doing a FULL (fresh, clean) install, again I am not sure of the details on this yet
  • You can ignore this Icon for now or forever if you want
    1. This is an offer, not a requirement
    2. You have 1 year to decide whether you want to take the free offer, though I wouldn’t wait for July 29th 2016 to decide
    3. You can disable this icon, but the method is not exactly easy
      1. I think over time, someone will develop an easier method to remove the icon

My Opinion:

I think this is a great offer by Microsoft.  I have been running a preview version of Windows 10 and like it, but keep in mind this is my business to work with software.  I like how it brings back some of the desktop workability to windows that Windows 8 took away.  The biggest thing I like is the return of the “Start Menu”, when you click the windows icon in the lower left of the screen you get that familiar list of programs (though it looks very different).  Windows 10 Start Menu has the tiles right in the Start menu, so it can be useful if you know how to configure and use those live tiles.

Windows 10 Start Menu
Windows 10 Start Menu

If you are not a techie and don’t like a lot of change I would not upgrade right away, unless you are struggling with Windows 8.  If you consider yourself a techie or are tired of not having a real start menu in Windows 8/8.1 then perhaps you should consider this upgrade fairly soon.  I would expect when Windows 10 becomes available there may be some hiccups so if you are not one that wants to be on the bleeding edge maybe wait a week or two to see if there are any huge problems.  I have not seen any huge problems with the early release that is available for testing, so it may be perfectly fine when it goes live.

For those of you who might be slower to upgrade, I would seriously consider how long you plan to keep your current computer.  If you plan to have this computer for another year or more I would consider upgrading to Windows 10 likely around September/October once more people are using it and bugs have been worked out more.  I can give better advice once we get to that time and I have more experience and answers to questions.