Archive for July 2015

The New Browser in Windows 10 if You Just Couldn’t Wait.

imageIf you installed Windows 10 already (in spite of my advice to wait) then you might notice that Internet Explorer is gone, in it’s place is a new browser called Edge.

Yes, Edge is a MUCH better browser than Internet Explorer.  BUT you can’t currently add "extensions" like ad blockers or my favorite tool for Firefox – noscript.  So though it’s better than IE, I’d still use Firefox or Chrome first.  There WILL be a major update to Windows 10 later this year and it’s expected that extensions will be one of those features that gets included in edge.

Windows 10 in now TWO days old in the public.  Hold your horses if you can.  You have a full YEAR to upgrade for free.  Better information will keep coming out over the next couple of weeks.

Don’t Pay Too Much Attention to the Hype 10 isn’t broken, I promise.

Look, news organizations need something to write about not every day but with the Internet, every HOUR.  So if there is the slightest glitch or problem with the new operating system by Microsoft of course they will jump upon on it just so they have something to report – even if it really isn’t very important or substantial.

So far the Windows 10 rollout has been pretty uneventful.  I’ve upgraded 3 systems without an issue.

I promise there WILL be updates in the next couple of weeks.  But I can also promise that if you’re running Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8 there WILL be updates for them as well.  Microsoft is ALWAYS updating their operating systems.  This isn’t anything new.  Just because Windows 10 is new doesn’t mean it’s more or less perfect than any other operating system. 

Just don’t get all freaked out or panicky if you read or hear or see some bad press.  Hey, they’re trying to make a living too.  I’ve been using Windows 10 for 3 months now, and other than ONE issue that affected nVidia video cards 10 days ago (which has already been fixed or I wouldn’t be able to write this post) it’s been a pretty clean upgrade.

FUD is a powerful tool for the press.  FUD = Fear  Uncertainty and Doubt

Windows 10 Update–Day 1

imageWell, I’ve actually had the opportunity to install Windows 10 only 2 different computers today.  With some wasted time and finding the absolute latest info from some tech sites, I’ve already learned a couple of things about Windows 10 installations.

First, just doing a straight upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 (running Service Pack 1 which you all are) or Windows 8.1 (which hopefully you Windows 8 users upgraded a year and a half ago) is pretty easy.  Of course ALWAYS create a backup (which you should already have and if you don’t – shame on you) before ever doing an upgrade.  But when you get your notice that your upgrade is ready, you can pretty much just say ok and let it go.  It takes a couple of hours or more, but it will upgrade you to Windows 10 and keep your currently installed apps and data intact.  Of course, any junk you have in your current installation will carry forward into your Windows 10 installation.

Second, a clean installation (which is ALWAYS better) is a little more complicated with the free upgrade.  If your computer is 2 or more years old, it will run MUCH better with a clean installation, but that involves reinstalling the apps you want to use and restoring your data.  To do a clean installation, you first have to perform the “upgrade” installation I described above.  That will register your computer with a legal Windows 10 license.  THEN you create a Windows 10 installation disc, boot from it, wipe your drive and install it clean.

I would recommend you have a professional perform the second for you to ensure you have all the correct licenses and don’t lose anything.  In the long run, your computer will be much happier.  All the goodies and none of the junk.

Today the Fun Begins! Will You Be Getting Windows 10 Today?

imageIt’s been my advice to wait a couple of weeks to see how the rollout goes with others before performing the upgrade on your own computer. 

Well, I STILL don’t know EXACTLY what the rollout will look like for you writing this the the evening before.  If you “reserved” a copy of Windows 10 from that little white icon in the lower right corner, then sometime soon (maybe today, maybe in a couple of weeks) you’ll get some kind of notice that it’s ready to install.  Until tomorrow I won’t know exactly what that notification will look like.

Under no circumstance should you do a major upgrade like this unless you have a full backup of all your data: Your documents, your photos, your music, your photos and if you use a program like Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird to read your mail a full backup of your email as well.

If you don’t have a backup, you can walk into any Best Buy and for $60 purchase a 500GB external hard drive.

ONCE you have a backup, you should still wait if you get your notice in the next week.  Let’s just see how many people have trouble when the smoke clears.

I’ve been using Windows 10 for a few months now and really like it, but I can’t tell you how smooth the migration from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 is.

You SHOULD move to Windows 10 eventually.  If you’re running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, you have a full year to upgrade for free, so don’t feel like you have to hurry, you’ll get there.

Extra! Extra! Read All About It! Time for Updates!

imageToday is the 2nd Tuesday of the month and it’s time to remind you that today Microsoft will be pushing out updates for Windows .  That’s what the little blue icon is doing in the lower right corner of your screen.  Throughout the month, you might also see the red Adobe Reader icon and the burnt orange Java icon.  When you start your computer you might have the large Adobe Flash Player box pop up like the one on the right.

Windows will normally update automatically and sometimes need to reboot.

So, whenever you see one of these on your computer, be sure to perform the update.  These are SECURITY updates.  If you find yourself wondering if the message is true or not and are afraid, you can always go directly to the software’s site to get the update:


Adobe Reader:

Adobe Flash:

Don’t Wait – Update Your Flash Player Now

imageIf you haven’t updated your Adobe Flash Player in the last 2 days, then you should do so.  There is a “zero day” exploit (which means the good guys found out about only because the bad guys were already using it) that allows a hacker to take control of your computer.  When we geeks say “take control” in cases like this, that doesn’t mean they use your keyboard and mouse, it means they can get instructions to your computer to have it attack other web sites, send spam email, etc.

Here is what you do.  Update your Flash Player directly from Adobe’s web site, this link will take you there:

Note that you should do this for each of your browsers.  Flash for Internet Explorer is different than Flash for Firefox.  Google Chrome and Apple Safari are updated by their companies so those browsers should be safe unless you’re running Safari in Windows.  Apple no longer supports Safari for Windows so I recommend that you stop using it and remove it from your system since it no longer offers security updates.

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