Bye Bye Windows, I’ve had enough…..

Well sort of: Apart from Framemaker, I have no real use for Windows anymore. I’ll keep a machine for that to continue to produce the local astronomy club newsletter. Otherwise, all I need is available on my Mac. That interface is easier on the eye as it still has some colour even though it too has become “flatter” over the years. Perhaps more important, all settings are in one place, and easily found.

I did offer a Windows support/repair  service but now the time has come to end that too. I spend far too much time looking for things that used to be towards the top of menus in W7, I struggle to understand why things which used to be in plain view, now seem to be hidden in Windows 8 and 10. This all makes it uneconomical to repair machines on an hourly rate as I waste so much time trying to sort out where things are.

Sorry to all my clients but, it really isn’t worth my while to even attempt to fix this stuff any more. Life is too short to try to understand the logic behind Microsoft’s latest changes and assumptions. Take a look at this screenshot:

Stupid W10 start menu

Where the heck are the links to my applications? This abomination takes up a big chunk of screen real estate and offers nothing that I need, it shows fluff. The real stuff is available, but it’s displayed in a ridiculous alphabetical list, in fact no, that’s not true, Control Panel is still hidden.

Do I need apps? No. Do I need games? No. Social media? Not on your life. I’m old, I’m boring but I just need control.

All in all, having spent the best part of a year with Windows 10, I’ve had enough, I’m closing the Microsoft book forever. Sorry to those who’ve depended on my support over the years but this really is the end.

I guess all I really wanted was a re-engineered version of XP. Just as I’d hoped BMW would re-engineer the original Mini. Both seem to have ended up as bloated triumphs of design over content.

Windows in the bin!

Windows 10 Update

Seems that some have come a cropper after updating Windows 10

Oh how good it feels not to have to bother with all this……

Step-by-step advice from Virgin Media

Click start, power and restart (not shut down).

Try the internet connection once it’s booted up again.

If this doesn’t work, you need to reset your IP address.
To do this, you need to open up the command prompt by following these instructions:

  • Click start
  • Click run
  • Type in “CMD” and press enter
  • This should open up a command prompt window
  • Now type in “ipconfig /release” and press enter
  • Finally, type in “ipconfig /renew” and press enter
  • Now try to go online to see if the connection is working

If this hasn’t done the trick, you can also try clearing the DNS settings.

  • To do this, open the command prompt window again
  • Now type in “ipconfig /flushdns” and press enter
  • Again, try to go online to see if your connection is working

Heart Internet – UPS System? I don’t think so!

UPS MultiModule System
UPS MultiModule System

A few years ago, after an altogether unsatisfactory “dalliance” with FastHosts as my webhosting provider, I decided that Heart Internet were a better bet. All has been excellent until this last month or so. Recently I have been treated to a couple of prolonged service problems. Today’s has been the worst example – not only have all my sites been down due to a UPS problem but so has the entire email service to them.

What went wrong?

At first Heart blamed the problem on a DDOS (Distributed Denial Of Service) attack, but then suddenly changed the reason to an unexplainable problem during scheduled maintenance!

The maintenance was supposed to be the change of a “Voltage Monitor” in their Uninterruptible Power Supply, OK that sounds fine, but why on earth was the work done during normal working hours? As an experienced UPS engineer, I know that any decent UPS system would be resilient as an N+1 or N+2 configuration. That means that, as a minimum, the system would comprise enough UPS modules to support the load with 1 or 2 module(s) out of service.

As an example, let’s assume the entire load was about 1000kVA (approx 1000kW), A sensibly configured UPS would be 5 units of 250kVA (this is a minimum, there could easily be 6 modules, N+2), one/two online but acting as standby(s) should any other fail. This also allows for one/two module(s) to be taken out of service for maintenance should that be required.

It seems today’s failure happened when the entire system was switched to bypass (meaning servers were supplied by the mains) while the “Voltage Monitor” was attended to. That should never have been considered. A properly configured/specified UPS should have been able to remove one or two modules from service without compromising the entire system.

That of course assumes that the faulty item was not in the overall system monitoring component. If that had been the case, the work should not have been done during normal working hours and should have been done as “planned maintenance” out of hours and customers warned.

As it happened, the entire system appears to have been compromised during normal hours. Something interrupted the mains supply while the UPS was in bypass and thus the entire Heart Datacentre lost supply. Completely unacceptable under any circumstances!

How to solve the UPS problem?

A message to Heart Internet: Contact me if you want to know how to configure a proper UPS System, and, if this kind of failure happens again, don’t bullshit your customers…..

Windows 10 – pt.3 Nagging Upgrade Notifications

Running Windows 7 or 8 and fed up with continued upgrade nagging messages?

Well there is a solution 😉

Say no to Windows 10 - stop nagging


Stop the nagging with GWX Control Panel

This is a free tool that can remove and disable the ‘Get Windows 10’ notification area icon on Windows 7 and Windows 8. Recent versions can also disable ‘Upgrade to Windows 10’ behaviour in the Windows Update control panel and do much more. See the user guide at the Ultimate Outsider blog. You can still download GWX Control Panel as a standalone executable if you don’t like installers.

I’ve installed it on a couple of machines running W7 and it works! The nagging stops.