Windows Ten? Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?


My bride has written a review about her experiences upgrading to Windows 10 on her laptop last week:

 I got several “upgrade failed” messages initially while waiting to download & install Windows 10 this week, but eventually succeeded in starting the download & installation process on 7/30 by forcing Windows Update to “check for updates,” even though it claimed there weren’t any available. The download & installation process took about an hour or so, including a couple of system restarts. Afterwards, I found Microsoft’s “Welcome to Windows 10” tutorial pages, which made a very good introduction (but would have been even better supplemented by a parallel series of tutorial videos). The Toshiba laptop with Windows 10 still boots up into a Desktop screen; however, pressing the Start button now brings up something much closer to the old-style Start menu, with an abbreviated and vertically-arranged version of the Window 8/8.1 Start Screen tiles immediately to the right of the Start menu. What looks like a search box just to the right of the Start button is actually how one accesses Cortana (a “kissing cousin” of Siri on iOS devices or Google Voice on Android devices). I’m not really used to using the built-in microphone on laptops yet, but did get the microphone on this Toshiba laptop configured to work with Cortana (I think); in the meantime, one can type questions for Cortana into that search box, or just keywords like an ordinary search window. I’m still getting used to the new Edge browser; I had to import my Favorites from IE, but now have both those and the Favorites Bar I had set up. Edge allows searches directly in the address window (like Google Chrome); I may still compare both Chrome and Firefox with Edge before settling on a preferred browser. Not all programs will run properly immediately after installing Windows 10; f.ex., I had to repair my installation of Bitdefender before it would work, and now have issues with the Bitdefender interface covering required bits of game graphics — so I may have to look into other free AV programs to find one which will “play nice” when other programs are running. (Windows Defender pinch-hits nicely in the meantime, though.) I’m also having issues with the cursor skipping forwards and backwards when I’m typing in a comment box online — but I had that same problem with my previous laptop, too. (Wish it wouldn’t do that, though; it’s very annoying!) Although Windows 8.1 wasn’t as rough a transition from Windows 7 as I had feared, I’m finding even more to like about Windows 10 thus far. Since so many people have signed up for the free upgrade to Windows 10, you may have to wait a bit before you can install it on this laptop yourself — but, on balance, you will probably be well-pleased with the new OS, as I was. I can recommend both Windows 10 and this Toshiba Satellite L55W-C5236 laptop. Great job, Microsoft & Toshiba! Continue Reading


Political Miscellania

A round up of various political items of interest:

1. We lead off with the above video.  Contessa Brewer, MSNBC’s representative journalist for the empty-headed bimbo demographic, is just so darned ticked off that the Time’s Square Would Be Bomber turned out to be a jihadist and not, presumably, some more politically correct villain.  This perhaps is of limited political significance, other than to demonstrate yet again that MSNBC should only be viewed for purposes of unintentional humor.

2. David Obey (D. WI.) announced his surprise retirement.  When Obey was first elected to Congress in 1968 I was 11 years old.  Needless to say, it is long past time for him to be moving on to other things after 42 years, but his retirement this late in the campaign season indicates to me that this was not planned far in advance, and probably was due to the fact that he was facing a tough race and the prospect of the House flipping to the Republicans. This is bad news for the Democrats as it puts one more Democrat seat in play and is yet another sign of the political disaster awaiting the Democrats in November.

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Vista Users Rejoice!

With the release of Windows 7, we PC users can only hope that Gates & Co got it right this time and that we can kick Vista, the worst computer operating system devised by fallen man, to the gutter.  Here is a good article setting forth some of the more annoying features of Vista, and here is an article which explains why Vista never was accepted by many PC owners.  Windows 7 seems to be getting good reviews from the testers, but we will all be able to find out on our own soon enough. Continue Reading