Windows 10 – pt.2 (privacy problems)

Windows 10 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 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 – pt.1

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 Windows 10 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 ;(

Welcome 2015! – with a new theme…

It’s 2015 – Happy New Year! and yes, it’s another change of look for this blog.

The previous theme, Hemmingway, which was only adopted in June 2014, looked pretty good at first but I have realised it didn’t really fit. After a little help from Noupe, I stumbled on this one. It’s called GeneratePress and it looks much better to me – read the reviews and I think you’ll see why.

I had the basics set up in about 30 minutes and then decided to pay $30 for the full version which allows a lot more custom options than you’d find in most other themes, and it’s very easy to understand what’s happening (not always the case). There’s also a good website which guides you through all the options.

No doubt I’ll be playing with settings for a while before I get it to look just right but, for now, what’s there is good enough to start a new year…

More Humax fixing…


A few years ago I reported a problem with a Humax Freesat receiver which I successfully repaired. Well, until yesterday, the box has behaved itself perfectly.

The fault symptoms were very similar this time, a constant whirling display on the front panel with an occasional display of [APPL]. Humax Display

I also noticed something strange when I started to disconnect the box, the space below the TV has gained a load more cables and connections since I last had to look at it! It really was a mess.

Anyhow, all untangled now and the Humax fault was indeed another capacitor failure (not the same one though) so the details in the original post will help if you get the same problem.

All is now fixed, and for the princely sum of 54p (for the 680µF 25v high temperature capacitor from Maplin) and about an hour of my time – most of that spent untangling!