Windows 10

W10 PrivacySince that last post my opinion of Windows 10 has changed.

I pretty much use Windows for two applications: FamilyTree Maker and FrameMaker. They run well under the new system but there’s a more to the “upgrade” than meets the eye.

There are a whole host of privacy problems, look here, and some annoying general issues which are all over the internet.

Let’s get it clear, I’m not paranoid about sites gathering information about me, I just want them to be open about it.

I have AdBlock installed along with Ghostery in my browser and they take care of most intrusive browsing stuff but Windows 10 has a heap of things that are nothing to do with the web, they just send info about me and my internet usage to Microsoft. worse still, I need to switch these off rather than accept the default install settings.

If you have doubts about this, search Google for “Windows 10 privacy”, I suggest you read those results carefully!

For your information: I use BitDefender free edition for antivirus and Malwarebytes for malware protection, those seem to work well together and rarely intrude on my computer use while keeping my computer clear of problems.

These precautions alone don’t stop Windows “phoning home” so I suggest you check the links given above to protect yourself.

Windows 10

I was sitting quite happy with Windows 7. In fact I only used it at all for FrameMaker and Family Tree Maker.

For a while I had a preview version of W10 on my Mac Mini, as a virtual machine, and therefore had access to the release version early. The update on the VM went very easily and somehow got started on my main PC!

I have no idea how it happened, I just clicked to say I’d like the option to have it and had every intention of waiting ’til everyone else had tried it and reported back. For whatever reason, my machine decided to download and instal it without allowing me to to stop/interrupt it. Anyhow, everything went well and my old W7 installation seems to have transferred everything across and intact to W10.

That’s not to say I like what I now have though. It all works pretty well but, what is it with this flat look? and where is the Start Button we were promised?

I liked having dividing lines between various sections of open windows, but now they’ve all gone. The old control panel was pretty much perfect as it allowed me access to all those fiddly bits from one place. The original W7 Start Button was OK but I had installed Classic Shell to get that old Start Button/Menu back – the promised W10 Start Button is dreadful, it looks like W8 and takes up far too much space. I installed the latest version of Classic Shell and have things back (pretty much) to how they were.

At least all my applications run as they did and there does seem to be a bit of a speed improvement.

It’s not OSX and I doubt it ever will be but until something approaching FrameMaker appears on the Mac, I guess I’ll always need a PC with Windows ;(

Good Bad Day?

In this random world we get to think things are infallible well, thats until they fail; and then, well, we expect the worst.

Sometimes, a bad day, starting with the failure of something we have learned to trust and rely on, turns out to be a good day as we put the solution to the problem firmly on the shoulders of somebody else and rely on them to fix it. Well I had one of those days a couple of weeks ago.

I was in Portsmouth collecting some bits from a powder coating company. They’d done great job on about half a ton of mild steel leaflet dispensers. they were loaded onto the van and I went to leave… thats when things changed. I couldn’t get a gear, the van wouldn’t move and I was stuck. It got worse, during my attempts to move away, the van wouldn’t start and it appeared to be stuck in gear (although it wasn’t). After a few minutes, I decided to look for a garage that could help. Asking a passerby, I was directed to a unit on the same industrial estate.

Sometimes luck is on your side and it was for me. The garage, B-A-R Garage & MOT Services, offered to tow me in and to get on with a repair almost immediately. Fantastic, that just left me with a taxi ride back to Portsmouth ferry terminal, not a problem, Brian at the the garage sorted that too!

A day later, the van was fixed – the IW Citroen garage quoted over £720 just for parts and B-A-R Garage & MOT Services did the lot for £580 all in and they were more than happy to explain exactly what had gone wrong and show me the bucket of bits which caused the problem.

Excellent service, so if you are near Portsmouth and need the services of a garage, give the B-A-R a shout, a proper garage with people who care. Thanks guys.

Spark Energy…. Again!

The liars at Spark Energy have now tried to take over my gas supply as well!

During my last call with this bunch of idiots, I was told that they would not be trying to take electricity or gas from the suppliers I had chosen. I’m on the phone right now having just received a note from British Gas that says somebody is trying to change my supplier – that someone is Spark Energy.

I’ve had it with these tossers and will be making every effort to make as many people as I can aware of their deceptive sales and marketing schemes.