Getting a new computer

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John F
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Getting a new computer

Post by John F » Sat Sep 22, 2018 1:28 pm

After 12 years with my Dell desktop and Windows XP, I'm finally moving on. As long as my computer and Windows did what I needed, I had no reason to upgrade. But now YouTube clips are being formatted with HTML5 rather than Adobe Flash, and that's incompatible with WinXP and the version of Firefox that still works with XP.

I'd like some information and advice from any geeks out there with some time to spare and who know what they're talking about.

The desktop computers I'm considering - one Dell, one Hewlett-Packard, no tablet, no smartphone - come with some options to choose from. First, Windows 10 comes in two versions, Home and Pro. I bought WinXP Pro because it offered more control over Windows settings, but reading the Wikipedia article on Win10, I gather that Pro is mainly about functions that businesses care about that I don't. So I'm inclined to get Win10 Home. Any comments from Win10 users of either version?

The two desktops I'm considering, from Dell and Hewlett Packard, offer storage that's not just on the 1tb hard drive but is supplemented with a 128gb solid state "drive," similar to whatis in thumb drives. I don't quite see the advantage, except that if Windows and other programs are installed on the solid state drive, they would survive a hard drive crash and wouldn't have to be reinstalled - only the data would be lost, and that's easily backed up. But maybe I'm missing the point. Anybody care to comment?

I have quite a few utilities, applications, and games that are designed to run on earlier versions of Windows or even in DOS. Also two pieces of hardware, a 10-year-old all-in-one printer/scanner and a trackball which I prefer to a mouse. Am I going to be able to use these under Win10? I know I'll need new drivers for the hardware, and wonder if either the original vendors or Microsoft will provide them.

Finally, if your Win10 computer was not your first, and you had to migrate data and programs from an older machine, were there any difficulties (other than the time and effort, which in my case will be big) that you would warn me about?

And are there any other issues that I haven't thought to bring up, that you can tell me about?

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me in planning and bringing off this big job.
John Francis

jserraglio
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Re: Getting a new computer

Post by jserraglio » Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:56 pm

I'm just a longtime Windows user, not an expert. Others here will advise you better, and I shall eagerly cherrypick their ideas for myself since come November I too am in the market. But I do have some opinions I'd like to share for whatever they are worth, and also to see if anyone would challenge them or or have a better idea.

As you will gather from the opinions that follow, I am a cheap sonofabitch who comments on and grades all his students' essays on a 7-year-old iPad2 and has no plans to replace it.

Drives: SSDs are significantly more expensive but much faster and more reliable than HDDs. I have a SSD that replaced a HDD on my workplace-provided laptap and the difference when I am watching streamed videos (YouTube) is noticeable if not overwheming. And since you say the 128 gb SSD is supplemental to a mechanical HDD on the unit you are considering, I don't see why as a general user you would need to spend the extra cash. I take it you use YT a lot, not Netflix, Amazon Video and the like.

So, if it were I making this purchase (I soon will be purchasing a new computer for my wife who likewise is running XP Pro), I would get the best of both worlds by buying her a unit with only 1 HD, a smaller-capacity SSD for the same price or less than a larger-capacity HDD, since she really doesn't store a lot of big files on site--just text docs and NYT crosswords, and she does watch a lot of brief streaming video clips. If need be, she can always use a free Cloud service to store larger files.

I might devote the money I save by opting out of a supplemental, superfluous and very expensive SSD hard drive to buying a faster Web service.

Win 10 OS: In all versions of Win I've owned, and I go back all the way to Windows 3.x, I've always used Pro when available rather than Home but only b/c that's what my school gave me. If I were buying, I don't see why I as a general user should spend extra on the Pro version of an OS I don't much like anyway. Graphically, I think WIN 10 is a horror story, but I'm used to Windows now after 25 years of using it. Like you say, Windows Pro's more for enterprise networks.

Peripherals: You should have no trouble finding a driver for your printer/scanner. I bought my ancient Canon scanner under Win 2000 Pro and it still works great under Win 7 Pro after I tried out a few drivers. So too with my wireless B/W Canon Laser printer which works just fine under pretty much any version of Windows, XP going forward.

John F
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Re: Getting a new computer

Post by John F » Sat Sep 22, 2018 7:08 pm

Thanks for your comments - they are helpful. Anybody else want to share their experiences and opinions?

Since you say you'll be buying a new computer this fall, I'll mention the models I've narrowed down to. Hewlett Packard Pavilion 590-p0055qe with 1tb hard drive and 16gb solid state, priced at $700, and Dell Inspiron (no model number) with 1tb hard drive, M.2 128GB PCIe SSD is $50 extra, priced at $600, both running Windows 10 Home.

https://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c06001592

https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/dell-de ... mmtcfl407s

Of course, by November both may have been discontinued and replaced by other similarly priced model.s
John Francis

jserraglio
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Re: Getting a new computer

Post by jserraglio » Sat Sep 22, 2018 7:28 pm

Thanks, I'll take those models as a starting point. My wife's Dell is slow now but built like a tank. So is the Dell Latitude E 6410 laptop I am typing this on, even though I did a lot of resource-hogging work on it back when I was teaching computer graphics and desktop publishing of our school's literary magazine.

I too hope that others with more expertise than I respond with different suggestions.

Forgot to mention Memory. I believe in maxing it out. It is affordable and you will notice the performance difference right off the bat.

John F
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Re: Getting a new computer

Post by John F » Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:28 pm

I was thinking of that, but am undecided. Both computers come with 12gb of RAM, which would seem plenty for the software I use (all 32 bit except Win10 which is 64 bit) and how I use it - Firefox is my only memory hog, taking up to 600k when I have several web pages in tabs as I do now - but RAM is cheap.

Looking at the specs, I'm leaning a bit toward the HP. It's marginally more powerful - an i7 Intel core processor compared with Dell's i5, and so on. But I'm just starting to think about it.
John Francis

jserraglio
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Re: Getting a new computer

Post by jserraglio » Sun Sep 23, 2018 4:37 am

John F wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:28 pm
I was thinking of that, but am undecided. Both computers come with 12gb of RAM, which would seem plenty for the software I use (all 32 bit except Win10 which is 64 bit) and how I use it - Firefox is my only memory hog, taking up to 600k when I have several web pages in tabs as I do now - but RAM is cheap.

Looking at the specs, I'm leaning a bit toward the HP. It's marginally more powerful - an i7 Intel core processor compared with Dell's i5, and so on. But I'm just starting to think about it.
RAM: I was thinking not so much of software but that more would yield a better streaming experience--of course, so too would a faster internet connection. But 12 GB RAM should be plenty for a general user. I didn't realize standard setups came with that much RAM these days. I am running 4 GB of RAM on a 64-bit Win7 machine, and that has been more than enough for me to use Photoshop, Illustrator, In-Design, QuarkXPress and Maya in a secondary-school teaching environment.

Models: Dell is fine but I think I would look elsewhere today. I've heard good things about HP. ASUS is known for their excellent motherboards (my gamer students like 'em).

Re: HP. My very first calculator (in fact, the first pocket scientific calculator on the market) was the HP-35, costing $300. Please don't ask what a student of English Lit needed with a scientific calculator: the credit manager did that when confronted with my attempt to charge this exorbitant purchase to my store credit account. I still own that vintage calculator, considered a tech marvel when first issued around 1972.
Last edited by jserraglio on Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

John F
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Re: Getting a new computer

Post by John F » Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:27 am

Thanks again. Looks like either computer should have plenty of what I need right out of the box - but I'm still open to suggestions from anyone here who wants to make one.

Talking about ancient history, back in 1985 I became a pioneer, in my family anyway, buying an IBM PC and a daisy-wheel printer. I was editing a journal at the time, had to produce camera-ready copy, and typewriting didn't look professional enough. :) The specs:

Intel 8088 processor, 4.77 MHz
monochrome display (green on black)
128 Kb RAM
5.2" floppy disk drive
15 MB hard drive (installed by the store; not the PC-AT)
PC-DOS 2.0
Microsoft Word (DOS version)

I don't remember what it cost me; online sources give list prices ranging from $1,500 to $2,600. Those days are gone forever - thank heavens! I'm now on my 4th PC, each has been more powerful and less expensive than the last, and the new ones I'm considering would have been unimaginable in 1985.
John Francis

jserraglio
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Re: Getting a new computer

Post by jserraglio » Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:40 am

Slightly less ancient history: My first real computer was an Atari 800, purchased from a techy student around 1986. Total RAM equalled 48K! I used that machine to log into university networks, legally via BBSes via phone line and modem, long before Internet browsers had a GUI. Tons of useful info there, and in those early days there were no trolls. I recall showing my school's principal, now president, how to log in. My family would scream at me b/c the line was always busy when they tried to call out or in. Then I migrated to Windows in the '90s and could intuitively navigate it on the fly. The Atari game console had made me computer literate.
John F wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:27 am
I'm still open to suggestions from anyone here who wants to make one.
Yes, please.

lennygoran
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Re: Getting a new computer

Post by lennygoran » Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:24 am

jserraglio wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:40 am

Yes, please.
I got into computers so late and can barely manage to keep up with things-you guys talk like you've got so much to learn-yet reading your conversations I can see there's no way I can help on this matter-you're light years ahead of me--it's too bad I can't offer a single suggestion-maybe those people in the CS tech forum could offer advice-after all John F taught me so much over the years on the subject all I can do is buy him another ale! Regards, Len [fleeing] :lol:

John F
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Re: Getting a new computer

Post by John F » Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:26 am

You've probably seen that I posted the same query in Forumania's Tech Sector forum. Dale Shields, who was in CompuServe's Windows User Group forum for decades, is one who has answered. His and jserraglio's comments and suggestions have pretty much sorted out what my options are and which ones matter, so I'm glad I asked!
John Francis

lennygoran
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Re: Getting a new computer

Post by lennygoran » Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:43 am

John F wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:26 am
You've probably seen that I posted the same query in Forumania's Tech Sector forum. Dale Shields, who was in CompuServe's Windows User Group forum for decades, is one who has answered. His and jserraglio's comments and suggestions have pretty much sorted out what my options are and which ones matter, so I'm glad I asked!
John haven't been to that forum for a while but Dale has helped me in the past. Regards, Len

John F
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Re: Getting a new computer

Post by John F » Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:35 am

Is anybody here using Windows 10? It will be on my new computer and I'd like to know what I'm in for, though I can't do anything about it.

Win10 is unlike all previous versions of Windows in that twice a year Microsoft forces the download and installation of a new "build" of the program, as much as 20 gigabytes. This is in addition to the monthly updates with security patches and bug fixes which have been provided since WinXP. The semiannual updates are so big because they include new features that weren't in the first release and require revision of Windows. We users can't prevent or control these updates, which take over the computer for potentially a long time. When installation is completed, in effect we have a new version of Windows.

My question is what this system is like in practice. Does Microsoft force the download, installation, and reboot at any time of day, regardless of whether you're using the computer and what you may be doing? And what if an update has bugs or is otherwise defective? I always thought I owned my copy of Windows but Microsoft now calls it a "service," meaning I don't really own it, and indeed Microsoft's new update policy acts as if they owned my computer.

Any comments from experience will be appreciated.
John Francis

jserraglio
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Re: Getting a new computer

Post by jserraglio » Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:53 am

You own the hardware but Microsoft owns the software, the OS system, that makes your hardware run other pieces of software. Without Windows, or Linux, or Apple's UNIX, your computer is an expensive doorstop.

Re: Windows 3.x thru today. You never really "owned" these previous versions of Windows; Microsoft "licensed" them to you. Licensing his Win OS to users rather than selling it outright to computer-makers like IBM, was how the young Bill Gates, following his dad's saavy business advice, initially amassed his wealth.

I must use Win 10 at work and hate its inelegant GUI. But I have adapted to it, like any other given in my life. Like it, don't like it, we still live in a WinTel world.

I have no control over updates on my work machine but it sounds to me like MS is stealing a page from the Apple OS which issues similar massive OS upgrades regularly. On Apple IIRC. the user is free to choose when and if to install. I dunno if that is true of Windows 10 upgrades — you might try googling the question.

Purely off the top of my head, I'd guess these new OS versions are a good thing—like the old Service Packs for Windows 95, 98, ME and 2000 which were effectively new OS's. And today a 20-gb download is no longer an outlier. You might possibly be allowed to schedule such upgrades overnight: that's the way MS has always handled updates (some quite sizable) under past versions.

Hope this helps a bit.

Holden Fourth
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Re: Getting a new computer

Post by Holden Fourth » Fri Sep 28, 2018 5:59 pm

Win10 works well for an MS product and is probably their most stable OS ever.

You have the choice with updates of

Manual

A notification from MS with a number of choices to download.

Automatic.

I use the second option.

At work they’ve implemented the auto option and it’s a nightmare.

lennygoran
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Re: Getting a new computer

Post by lennygoran » Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:54 am

FWIW I got a lenovo all in one with 8.1quite a few years ago-I love it-to this day Microsoft tries to persuade me to get Windows 10 every day when I turn on my computer with a little pop up-I tried it briefly when I could reject it back to 8.1 and remember hating it--so I got back to 8.1. It's been a while so I just don't remember the details I hated. Regards, Len

John F
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Re: Getting a new computer

Post by John F » Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:01 pm

Thanks to the New York Public Library, I'm now reading David Pogue's "Windows 10: The Missing Manual" as an ebook. I've already learned that Win10 looks and feels much like Win7, which is on the computers I use at the library, so I'm superficially familiar with it. That's a good starting point for when I buy and set up the new computer, and it should answer the questions I've just asked here. If not...

Back in the Win XP days and earlier, each new version of Windows brought on a lot of big thick books about it, plus smaller books of "tips and tricks," "secrets," and the like. I'd buy some of them and customize Windows so it would look and behave as I wanted. Books of this kind for Win10 seem fewer and are mostly pitched at a lower level: "Windows 10 for Dummies," "Windows 10 for Seniors for Dummies" (redundant? :mrgreen: ), and so on. Maybe Pogue will give me all I need to make Windows 10 like the Windows XP setup I've been using for a decade and am comfortable with, but if not, I may be shopping for more.
John Francis

jserraglio
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Re: Getting a new computer

Post by jserraglio » Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:16 pm


absinthe
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Re: Getting a new computer

Post by absinthe » Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:04 pm

This computer runs Win 7. Like Jserraglio, I go back to Win 3.1 and my basic use hasn't changed though I now use a Win8 computer for post-processing music and video. However, I hated the idea of having to learn a mass of new cosmetics that, under the hood, run just the same old functions as Xp or even 3.1.

I discovered a piece of software called "Start menu 8" by IObit (suitable for Win 8 or 10) that makes Win 8 & 10 look like Win 7. I have been perfectly happy with it. Costs about $8. So I have desktop icons, task bar and a start button that throws up recently used programs etc. I should add that Windows 8 & 10 try to interfere when the pointer is close to the RH edge but that can be useful at times. Otherwise move away and Win 10 stuff leaves.

I'm in for a faster computer; almost looks like I'll need a gaming one, because of running huge files and streaming samples and effects. The minimum is specified by bits of software I want are 2.7GHz processor. (Intel Core I7) with ideally 16Gb RAM, though I may get away with 8Gb. (I suppose it depends what else one's trying to run at the same time).

However, an SSD drive seems good whatever. Prices are already starting to come down. Some people put their OS on these so it takes about 20 seconds to be up and running. I'd use it for data and things that need to be streamed. My "important" files take around 10 minutes to back up on USB3 to a Toshiba HDD and I'm told this will come down to about 3 minutes on SSD. I also use USB3 flash drives (256Gb) but they take about 7 minutes - I can't guarantee the veracity of the SSD claims.

John F
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Re: Getting a new computer

Post by John F » Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:53 pm

Looks like the Hewlett Packard machine I'm considering, the Pavilion 590-p0055qe, should fill the bill for you, except that its RAM is 12gb. That may be upgradable.

https://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c06001592

Speaking of the bill, HP's list price is $820, which may be more than your budget. Currently they're offering it for $770; and a couple of weeks ago it was $700. I'll be checking the HP site daily, waiting for the price to come back down as I expect it will.
absinthe wrote:I discovered a piece of software called "Start menu 8" by IObit (suitable for Win 8 or 10) that makes Win 8 & 10 look like Win 7. I have been perfectly happy with it. Costs about $8.
Dale Shields, formerly of CompuServe WUGNET and now at the Tech Sector forum of forumania.com, recommends this:
Dale Shields wrote:Best customization for an XP user, IMHO, is not a book, it's a third party tool, Open Shell Menu. Best place to download is here:https://www.majorgeeks.com/files/det...sic_start.htmlI have been using the earlier version, Classic Shell, ever since Windows 7...
https://www.forumania.com/forum/tech-se ... windows-10

For any tech questions concerning Windows and the devices that run it, Dale and the other Tech Sector people are the first and usually the only source I go to. Highly recommended. Sorry, no Macs and other OSes need apply.
John Francis

John F
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Re: Getting a new computer

Post by John F » Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:59 am

Just ordered the new computer, a Hewlett Packard Pavilion 590-p0055qe. The list price is $819.99; yesterday the asking price was $769.99; today it's $699.99, so I jumped.

Now the fun really starts...
John Francis

lennygoran
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Re: Getting a new computer

Post by lennygoran » Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:05 am

John F wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:59 am
Just ordered the new computer, a Hewlett Packard Pavilion 590-p0055qe. The list price is $819.99; yesterday the asking price was $769.99; today it's $699.99, so I jumped.

Now the fun really starts...

Congratulations! Good Luck! Regards, Len :D

John F
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Re: Getting a new computer

Post by John F » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:29 am

$700 might seem like a lot to pay just to watch free videos on YouTube, :) and of course I needed to upgrade for other reasons too. But in case others have been having the same trouble, what happened is that the multimedia platform YouTube has relied on, Flash, is on its way out. Even its maker, Adobe, is dumping it. A different multimedia platform, part of HTML5 (the latest version of the programming language that creates web pages), is taking over, but no HTML5-capable browser that I know of will run on Windows XP. So I needed an operating system on which such a browser will run, and Windows 10 is it.

Having been pushed out of XP and into Win10, I'm finding out about other improvements in Windows that it will be nice to have. I'm reading David Pogue's "Windows 10: The Missing Manual," which is not only informative but actually fun. I recommend it for any who see Windows 10 in their future, or who are using it now.
John Francis

John F
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Re: Getting a new computer

Post by John F » Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:59 am

The new computer arrived, but I can't do anything with it until I receive a VGA cable to connect it with my monitor. That's on its way from Amazon and should be here by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, however, disaster has struck with the latest update to Windows 10. Last week, some - not all - who installed that update on their computers found that it had deleted all their data files - documents, pictures, audio, video, the lot. And so far there seems to be no way to get them back. So it's just as well that I haven't even turned on the new computer yet. Microsoft has "paused" but not canceled the rollout of this update. Since we home non-corporate users can't prevent the Windows 10 on our computers from downloading and installing Windows updates - I believe that's so - and they haven't given a hint of what they intend to do, the possibility of disaster is still hanging over us.

(It used to be that Microsoft issued an update once a month, to fix security problems and any other Windows bugs discovered since the last update. But with Windows 10 that has changed. Twice a year, Microsoft is releasing a monster update with new features and other "improvements" in addition to bug and security fixes. I believe what we get is not just a patch to the Windows 10 on our computers but a complete new installation of Windows 10.)

As it happens, I do have a complete backup of my files. It's on the hard drive of my old computer, the one with Windows XP which I intended to replace. So I guess I'd better keep using it for the time being. Meanwhile, the new computer I just bought will sit in the closet until all this is diagnosed and fixed, and Windows 10 as updated is safe to use. Then we'll see.
John Francis

Holden Fourth
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Re: Getting a new computer

Post by Holden Fourth » Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:06 pm

John F wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:59 am
Since we home non-corporate users can't prevent the Windows 10 on our computers from downloading and installing Windows updates - I believe that's so - and they haven't given a hint of what they intend to do, the possibility of disaster is still hanging over us.

I quickly checked my Win10 PC (which I haven't used in over a year) and found that I had a choice of how updates are done. I've opted to be reminded about the updates and download them when it suits me. The default option is automatic updates but I changed this easily.Of course this might have changed in the latest iterations of Win10.

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Re: Getting a new computer

Post by jserraglio » Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:47 pm

I have 30 GBs of irreplaceable data files, all my class preps for the past 7 years. NEVER would I trust them to ANY HD on which ANY VERSION of Windows resides. They are all backed up once to an external drive and once again to an off-site LMS (Learning Mangement System). My rule is that any file I can't afford to lose should be backed up twice, one of which backups must be off-site.

Seems like overkill, but having a backup of a backup stored offsite once saved me from losing an electronic grade-book when a corrupt master data file corrupted the backup.

lennygoran
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Re: Getting a new computer

Post by lennygoran » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:41 pm

jserraglio wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:47 pm
They are all backed up once to an external drive and once again to an off-site LMS (Learning Mangement System).
I now have 3 external hard drives. Regards, Len [fingers crossed]

John F
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Re: Getting a new computer

Post by John F » Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:53 pm

Holden Fourth wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:06 pm
I quickly checked my Win10 PC (which I haven't used in over a year) and found that I had a choice of how updates are done. I've opted to be reminded about the updates and download them when it suits me. The default option is automatic updates but I changed this easily. Of course this might have changed in the latest iterations of Win10.
That sounds more reasonable. When I can connect my monitor and turn the new computer on, I hope I have that option.
John Francis

John F
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Re: Getting a new computer

Post by John F » Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:12 am

According to a piece by Gregg Keizer, "Lab rats, Windows 10 and the importance of being last," Microsoft decimated its in-house software testing groups before the release of Windows 10. Each new update is first released to users of Windows 10 Home (i.e. me), who are used as involuntary software beta-testers for weeks or months before the same updates are released to Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise users.

This is why we are forced to update regardless, and why Windows 10 gathers tons of diagnostic data from Home users and sends it home to Microsoft.

https://www.computerworld.com/articl...eing-last.html

If all this is true, and of course I've no way of knowing one way or the other, then it would seem a matter of simple self-defense to put off installing each update as long as Win10 will allow, and watch for news of others' problems with it. Woody Leonhard has explained how in this column:

https://www.computerworld.com/articl...nstalling.html

Presumably this will work for all upgrades, not just version 1809 which we have Microsoft's kind permission to bypass, at least for now.
John Francis

John F
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Re: Getting a new computer

Post by John F » Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:18 am

Microsoft announced yesterday that it has resumed the roll-out of Windows 10 version 1809 but only to its Windows Insider Community for beta testing. The rest of us will have to wait until the beta test ends. (I could wait forever and wouldn't mind.)

The announcement on MS's Windows blog ties the file deletions to a feature called Known Folder Redirection and some "cloud" data storage called OneDrive provided by MS to Win10 users. I have no need of either and when I finally get to set up my new computer and Windows 10, I'll disable both of them if I can.

No guarantee that this was the only reason Windows 10 deleted the users' document and other files in a small but significant number of computers. Some techies have suggested that an element of Windows called the Profile may also have been deleted, and that caused the files to disappear. A profile stores a user's setup, the preferences, options, and everything that customizes Windows the way the user wants it. If this gets deleted, the user has to go through all that again. And if the deletion takes with it the user's files...

As I understand it, according to Microsoft's SOP every new release and update of Windows is supposed to go to the Windows Insiders Community for testing before release. That's what the Insiders are for. But for no reason that they have explained, Microsoft skipped this step with version 1809. So it wasn't their beta testers but Windows's unsuspecting users who became the involuntary beta testers, and boy, did they find a bug!
John Francis

John F
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Re: Getting a new computer

Post by John F » Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:40 pm

With the arrival of a new monitor cable I had all the hardware needed to plug things together, and that took about half an hour. Turning on the computer, I was walked through a 13-step setup routine by Windows - maybe 15 minutes.

Installing my software? Ah, that's a different story. I've spent all afternoon on Firefox and Thunderbird (my email client) until I finally got the bookmarks etc. from the old computer to show up in the new one. My calendar and address book is another story - the software installed readily enough, but I can't get the data into it. Eventually I will, one way or another, but it's frustrating when the logical ways don't work because programmers' logic isn't the same as human logic. :mrgreen:

For those who are using Firefox and keeping it up to date, you may have the same problem I did when playing YouTube clips: they wouldn't play. It was necessary to download and install Adobe's Flash. Once that was done, not only the flash videos but the HTML5 videos as well played just fine. I'd never have guessed this, and it took a while Googling around to find it out.

Once that was done, I found that all the YouTube clips I've tried have played better than before, thanks to the faster processor and more memory. Since it was my old computer's incompatibility with HTML5 that led me to buy the new computer in the first place.

As for updates, the version of Windows 10 that shipped with this computer is 1709, so there's a bunch of updates to come, even if 1809 is held up indefinitely. I'm in no hurry for that so I'll just leave Win10 to do whatever it does.
John Francis

John F
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Re: Getting a new computer

Post by John F » Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:03 pm

Well, just as I was getting near to making the computer useful, it refused to boot up, told me it was trying to repair itself (several times), so I turned it off and called Hewlett Packard. We ran a set of tests which the computer passed, but it still would not start Windows. The techie said there was nothing for it but to wipe the hard drive (and two days' work installing programs and transferring data) and install Windows again, from scratch. That done, I set to work doing what I'd just done a day or two earlier. So far the machine hasn't crashed again. :(

When it's working, this thing is fast. Since most of what I do doesn't benefit from the extra speed (except that Web pages load quickly), it doesn't matter that much. What does matter is that unlike my old computer and Windows XP, the new one will play any YouTube or other streaming material, even when I'm multitasking. and there are some neat new (to me) features in the user interface. After a rough start, then, so far so good.
John Francis

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