Once upon a time, O my children, Microsoft had a predictable date for installing updates to Windows, and lo, we called it “Patch Tuesday.” Once a month (well, sometimes twice), we would wake up on Wednesday morning and our computers would have restarted, and we would bellow and curse and rend our garments and then we would resume work because it was, after all, Wednesday, and we understood nothing but at least we knew that Tuesday was ordained to be the day on which updates would be delivered. […] continuedRead more
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Windows 7 was released almost ten years ago. Those are human years; in technology years that is roughly the length of the Mesozoic era, when dinosaurs ruled the earth.
There’s no crisis. You’re not required to throw away your Windows 7 computers tomorrow. I understand that you’re comfortable and you don’t want to change anything and you want those kids to stay off your lawn. […] continuedRead more
These are the rules for computer and online safety in 2019. You can download a copy here.
Only your vigilance will protect you against bad guys. You will be safe if you are cautious. Stop and think before you click on links, before you call unfamiliar phone numbers, before you install programs, and before you fill in passwords. […] continuedRead more
Google has changed the steps required to pin a website to your Windows 10 taskbar. It’s still possible but it takes a bit of extra effort.
There are some websites that fit your workflow best when they are running in their own separate window. When you set up a website to open in its own window, it shows up separately on the taskbar so you can switch to it easily, and you won’t close it by accident when you’re closing 12 other tabs in your main Chrome window. […] continuedRead more
I wrote an article a few years ago about how difficult it is for non-tech people to manage the fiddly bits required to run a Windows computer. It’s one of the things that drove the transition from computers to phone and tablets.
An interesting thing is happening today. The explosion of devices, products and services is causing just as much confusion and frustration in the world of mobile devices. […] continuedRead more
Remember when I wrote an article a year ago predicting that always-connected computers would be heavily promoted in 2018?
Yeah, about that: not even close. Nada. All the buzz died away when the first PCs in that category turned out to be underpowered and, well, pretty awful.
Okay, that prediction didn’t pan out. […] continuedRead more
Your Windows 10 computer is going to install a major update soon. Microsoft just began rolling out the “Windows 10 October 2018 Update,” bringing Windows 10 to version 1809.
The version number – 1809 – is a code for the year and month of the update. So the version number suggests September and the official name is the “October update” and it’s being released in November. […] continuedRead more
It’s time to move your files to the cloud.
Box, Dropbox, and OneDrive now all have plans that support an important feature: You can store your files online and access them with Windows File Explorer or Mac Finder, without syncing the files and without using space on your hard drive. Today I have to explain a bunch of stuff for that to make sense, but I think this will be our natural expectation without a second thought in a very short time. […] continuedRead more
Microsoft has made it easier to protect your Documents, Pictures and Desktop folders using OneDrive. OneDrive has become more reliable and many of you already have enough storage space to make this protection free. I would encourage everyone to look into this.
This adds a feature to Windows that should have been there long ago. […] continuedRead more
With the collapse of the Microsoft consumer ecosystem, there are fewer reasons all the time to sign into Windows 10 with a personal Microsoft account. I’m finding I frequently set up new computers with classic local accounts and bypass Microsoft’s push to connect the computer to an online account.
Let’s talk a little bit about the pros and cons of logging into Windows with a personal Microsoft account. […] continuedRead more
Adware has started to turn up again, using Chrome extensions and notifications as a way to display annoying ads and muck up the time we spend on our computers and phones – as if we didn’t have enough to worry about.
In the old days, we installed adware on our Windows computers when we clicked “yes” on the wrong website popup or as unwanted companions to “free” programs. […] continuedRead more
Microsoft has quietly improved the speech recognition features in Windows 10 and in the Office programs. They’re still not great but you might want to give them a try if you haven’t talked to your computer in a while.
One fundamental truth has not changed: If you are serious about dictating on a computer, there is no alternative to the Dragon Naturally Speaking products. […] continuedRead more
Microsoft intends to simplify the ribbon in Outlook, Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. It’s possible that Microsoft will work thoughtfully and carefully and you will be happy with the result.
Oh, stop it. I hear you laughing. I’m serious. Microsoft is saying all the right words. They want to make the ribbons (the tabbed toolbars across the top) simpler and easier to use, but they say there will be an easy way to return to the way they look now for people with strong muscle memory who don’t want to change. […] continuedRead more
This is a basic tip but it comes up all the time. Everyone needs a fast Internet connection. You might want to check your Internet speed out of curiosity, or because you suspect that your ISP is not delivering the connection that you were promised, or because some problem has developed with your equipment or your network. […] continuedRead more