[Solved] Windows 10 Anniversary Update Epic FAIL

November 26, 2016

Windows Refresh Tool IconI bought a computer,
It cost a thousand pound;
But every time I switch it on
It keeps on falling down.

I used to think it was my friend
But now it drives me ’round the bend;
You’d be surprised the time I spend
Reinstalling Windows.
— Les Barker

OMG!  After twenty-five previous versions of Microsoft Windows, still the only way to fix a Windows error problem is to reinstall the operating system.  Seriously?

Well, at least it’s much easier than it used to be.

Starting with Windows 10, Microsoft offers full-install disc images available for download.  You can burn the image to a single-layer blank DVD or load the image on a USB flash drive.  Or simply use the Microsoft media creation tool.

Or you could do what I did and download and run the Microsoft Refresh Windows Tool.

Windows Refresh Tool (License Terms)

Click “Accept” to continue.

Windows Refresh Tool (Choose what you want to keep)

You have two options.  You can lose everything or almost everything.  That’s like asking someone, “Would you like to be shot in the head or the heart?”  What difference does it make?  Dead is dead.

All of my data files are always backed up, so I opted to keep nothing.  I wanted a complete clean install.

Click “Start” and pray.

The program downloads the latest version of Windows 10 that matches your system before installing.  Depending on the speed of your Internet access, this process can take some time.

From this point on, you don’t need to do anything until the installation is done.

If everything goes right, you will not need your Windows license key code.  Windows will automatically activate the new install.

You will need to supply some information about settings options, Cortana options and your Microsoft account (if you have one or if you wish to create one).  I don’t use a Microsoft account on this machine, so I just skipped it.

Success!  I went from 1511 to 1607.  The Anniversary Update is now up and running.  Yay.

The solution is the ultimate solution.  Wipe it all and start again.  Thanks, Microsoft.  Thanks a lot.

Running Classic MS Paint On Windows 7/10

October 27, 2016

Classic Microsoft Piant Icon from Windows XP

Here we go again!

Microsoft announced that Paint, a program that has been around since 1985, is finally getting a major overhaul.  But not everyone is thrilled with the new changes.

Many were not too happy when Microsoft altered the user interface in Paint in Windows 7 by replacing the classic menu bar with a “Ribbon” style GUI (graphical user interface).

Default MS Paint running on Windows 7 (click to enlarge)

Default MS Paint running on Windows 7 (click to enlarge)

However, just like Classic Solitaire and Spider, we can extract the classic version of MS Paint from any Windows XP installation and run it on Windows 7 or 10.

Copy the file mspaint.exe found in the C:\WINDOWS\System32 folder and transfer it to any Windows 7 or 10 computer. No installation is required. Just double-click on the EXE file and it launches.

This method does not replace the existing MS Paint program.

Classic MS Paint running on Windows 7 (click to enlarge)

Classic MS Paint running on Windows 7 (click to enlarge)

Classic MS Paint running on Windows 10 (click to enlarge)

Classic MS Paint running on Windows 10 (click to enlarge)

It’s just that easy!

Windows 10 Anniversary Update Epic FAIL

August 3, 2016
Windows 10 Anniversary Update Epic FAIL

Windows 10 Anniversary Update Epic FAIL (Click to enlarge)

Several months ago, I cloned my Windows 7 installation to another hard drive and then upgraded that installation using the free Windows 10 upgrade offer.  That went fine.

The one-year anniversary update, however, was a monumental and epic failure.

Pressing the reset switch on my computer and rebooting three or four times after the failed upgrade finally managed to get Windows to roll back to its previous installation version.  I then went back to using the Windows 7 hard drive on that computer.

This is exactly why I use and recommend Linux.

 

Extract Program Files From Linux Mint 13/17 For Use In Mint 18

July 29, 2016

Linux Mint 18 isn’t perfect.

It’s not what’s in Mint 18, it’s what’s missing from the new release that makes it so frustrating.  The problem of missing dependencies and programs was first discovered in the Beta release.

The solution, however, can be a bit complex for newer users.  Extracting .deb files from either an installed copy of Linux Mint 13/17.x or from the Live DVD version takes a bit of time, but does not require any command line knowledge.

Picasa, which is no longer supported by Google, is still a fantastic program that is absent from the Linux Mint 18 repositories.  Despite that fact, Picasa will run on Linux Mint 18 if you have the .deb file.

Step 1:
Boot an Internet connected computer into Linux Mint 13 or 17.x.

Step 2:
Go to the Main Menu > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager.  If required, enter your password.

Step 3:
Click on the Search button at the top to locate Picasa.  Then click the other Search button.

Search for Picasa in Synaptic

Step 4:
Locate Picasa in the list.

Picasa listed in Synaptic

Step 5:
Right-click on the entry and select “Mark for Installation.”

Mark Picasa for installation

Step 6:
Don’t let this worry you!

116 dependencies required to install Picasa

Many Linux programs can require huge numbers of dependencies to be installed.  You only need one of these 117 files.

Click on the Mark button.

Step 7:
Click the Apply button at the top of the Synaptic screen.

Click Apply to download the file(s)

Step 8:
Place a check mark in the box next to “Download package files only” and click the Apply button.

Download package files only

Step 9:
Wait for the package files to download.

Downloading Package Files

Step 10:
Right-click again on the Picasa entry and select “Unmark” from the list.

Select Unmark to remove Picasa from the download list

Step 11:
If you receive an error message, click the Mark button and ignore it.

Warning dialog box

Step 12:
Close Synaptic.  If you get another error message, click the Quit button and ignore it as well.

Quit and discard marked changes conformation dialog box

Step 13:
Open the Home folder (usually located on the desktop) and select “File System” from the list on the left-hand side.

Select File System from within your Home folder

Step 14:
Navigate to the var > cache > apt folder.

Inside the var > cache > apt folder

Step 15:
Right-click on the archives folder and select “Open as administrator” from the list (unless you are using a Live DVD).

Right-click and select "Open as administrator"

Step 16:
Click and drag the .deb file called Picasa out of the folder and drop it on the desktop.

You can also right-click on the file and select “Copy” from the context menu and then right-click anywhere on the desktop and select “Paste” to access the file.

The Picasa deb file can be found in the archives folder.

You can now move this file to a flash drive or external hard drive or use NitroShare to transfer the file to your Linux Mint 18 computer for installation.

Close the Home folder.

Step 17:
If you are extracting files using a Live DVD, you’re done.

If you are extracting files using an installed version of Linux Mint 13/17.x, you can use Ubuntu Tweak to safely delete the 117 downloaded files still in the archives folder.

Clean cached files from your system using Ubuntu Tweak

I was able to easily install Picasa on Linux Mint 18 using this method.  All the dependencies that were required were in the Linux Mint 18 repositories.

__________

Gnubiff:
Gnubiff is a wonder program that notifies users when new email arrives.  Unfortunately, the version currently included in the Linux Mint 18 repositories doesn’t work worth a flip!

I recommend you download and use version 2.2.15 under the heading of The Wily Werewolf.

 

Suddenlink Charges Customers Snail-Mail Billing Fee

July 25, 2016

$1 Paper bill convenience fee added to the overall cost of doing business with Suddenlink Communications

Suddenlink Communications customers are now being charged a $1.00 per month fee for the “convenience” of receiving a paper copy of their bill by snail-mail.

Paper copies are safer than incurring billing errors via automated draft.  One dollar per month is still better than having your personal bank account double or triple billed by a non-thinking machine (or human).

See also:

Suddenlink to begin charging customers $1 fee for paper billing
by Jared Casto