Archive for July, 2015

Make Firefox The Default Browser In Windows 10

July 31, 2015

An Open Letter to Microsoft’s CEO: Don’t Roll Back the Clock on Choice and Control

Step One:

Install Firefox on Windows 10.

Step Two:

Go to Settings > System:

Got to Settings > System

Step Three:

Click on Default apps > Web browser and select Firefox:

Change Browser Default to Firefox

Step Four:

Confirm that Firefox is now your default browser:

Firefox is now the default browser

Step Five:

Launch Firefox and right-click on a blank area next to the open tab to turn on the Menu Bar, which is NOT turned on by default (are you listening, Chris Beard?):

Turn on Menu Bar in Firefox

Step Six:

Go to Tools > Options:

Select Options from the Tools menu

Step Seven:

Under the General tab, make sure that Firefox stays as your default browser:

Firefox General Tab


You must do these steps when you first install Firefox or you upgrade your computer to Windows 10.  There is nothing sinister, underhanded or malicious about this process.  You just have to be smarter than the software.



Disable Windows 10 Updates

July 20, 2015

Everything that Windows does is controlled by the Windows Registry.  To change how Windows acts, you need only change a few settings in the Registry.

Manually hacking the Windows Registry is never a good idea.  It’s much safer to use a tweaking program to make these alterations.  Download Ultimate Windows Tweaker 3 for Windows 8.

Right-click on the file and select “Exact All…” from the menu:

Right and select "Extract All..."

Extract to the default folder UWT3:

Extract To Folder UWT3


Inside that folder is another folder:

Folder Ultimate Windows Tweaker Created

Open that folder and double-click on Ultimate Windows Tweaker 3.exe:

Ultimate Windows Tweaker 3.exe

Click “Yes” to launch the program:

User Control Account

Click on “Performance” and place a checkmark in the box next to Disable Windows Update Service:

Performance > Disable Windows Update Service

Click on “Security” and place a checkmark in the box next to Disable Windows Updates:

Security > Disable Windows Updates

Click “Apply” and reboot Windows 10.

Go to settings:

Go To All Settings

Select Update & security:

Update and Sucurity

Under Windows Update, look at the time Windows last attempted to check for updates:

Windows Update

Windows 10 stopped checking for updates two days ago when the new tweak settings were applied.


July 22, 2015

Windows 10 has still not automatically updated, despite the fact that Microsoft released an emergency patch on Monday, July 20, 2015.

Installed Windows Updates


July 29, 2015

To restore Windows 10 updates: run Ultimate Windows Tweaker 3 for Windows 8, uncheck the two boxes you previously checked, click “Apply” and reboot.

Windows 10 can now download and install updates:

Updated Windows 10


Enable Flash In Firefox

July 15, 2015

Firefox Now Blocks Flash By Default (Update)

To enable Flash:

1. Open a new tab and enter:  about:config

2. Accept the warning and continue

3. In the search box enter:  extensions.blocklist.enabled

4. Change the value from “default / true” to “user set / false” by double-clicking on the entry

5. Close the tab

6. Restart Firefox and go to Tools > Add-ons > Plugins tab

You can now change all of the plugins to whatever settings you wish.


Newegg Specifications Not Always Accurate

July 8, 2015 is my favourite online store for computer and technology related purchases.

However, they are not always accurate when it comes to the specifications list of some products.

For example, a currently offered refurbished desktop computer claims that the processor installed is a quad-core (4-core) chip:

Newegg specifications list

According to Intel, this CPU is only a dual-core (2-core) CPU:

Intel E7500 number of cores

Some Intel processors utilize hyper-threading technology.  This enables each core of a multi-core processor to do the work of two cores.  So a hyper-threaded dual-core processor could act as a quad-core chip.  But this is not the case:

Intel E7500 Hyper-Threading Specifications

This particular Intel chip is not hyper-threaded.

This is not the first instance of errors found in Newegg specifications lists.  These mistakes are not intentional on the part of Newegg.  They are simply reprinting the specifications that may have been provided to them by resellers or other sources.

Newegg needs to recheck their specifications lists for accuracy.  In the meantime, consumers should exercise caution when purchasing anything online.  A little bit of research is in everyone’s best interest.

Trust, but verify.

Microsoft Insider Anonymous Survey

July 1, 2015

I recently received the following email:

Hello, Windows Insider –

We hope you’re enjoying the Windows Insider Program.

We want to continue to provide the best Insider experience we can, so we’re asking Insiders like you to take a few minutes and complete a short survey. This survey will help us update the Insider experience since the survey we sent out last year – and it includes several new questions to help us deliver even more of what’s important to you.

Survey results are anonymous <emphasis mine> unless you choose to provide your name.

To proceed with the survey, please click the link below or copy into your Internet browser:
<link removed>

Thanks again for helping make Windows – and the Windows Insider Program – even better,
The Windows Team

I clicked on the link was taken to the survey site:

Microsoft Insider "anonymous" survey

You must include your email address, the country you live in, the city you live in and your zip/postal code.

Thank goodness I have the option of not giving them my name.  They’ll never know who I am.