The Start Menu Hot Mess

Maybe this is happening to some of you, but my Windows 10 computer has been acting up lately.  Not the entire computer, but the Windows 10 operating system itself has gone a bit wonky on me.

When I try and hit the start button (the windows logo on the left of the taskbar if set on the bottom of the screen), occasionally nothing would happen. So, as anyone can do, I consulted the oracles of both Google and YouTube. I tried many of the possible solutions, but for my particular problem, but none of them worked.

I remembered that there were some programs out there that offer a Windows 7-type environment for the Windows 10 computer, and I'd rather have a start menu that functions as opposed to an unreliable one. So, I downloaded a program called Classic Shell, and voila, the problem has gone away.

Maybe sometimes, you have to go back to get to the future.


Another Computer Kerfuffle Or Ten

I was alerted on my Windows 10 computer (now with the Creators update) that it wanted to update a driver or two, and it needed to reboot.

So it did. My machine, which usually boots very quickly, sat there for a good 20 minutes not moving from its starting screen. Luckily, I’d been down this road before a couple of years ago.

My solution was to reinstall Windows, even though I had an ISO file on my hard drive ready to go. In the “fog of war” I had forgotten it was there, and I’ve since moved it over to a thumb drive in case of a further emergency.

The bad news with the reinstall is that all the programs that didn’t come with Windows were wiped, and most had to be installed again. I cleared some time to reinstall the printer, which I thought would be a real bitch.

Five hours later, and trying to figure out why the drivers in the installation disc wouldn’t install, I discovered why the printer and computer weren’t talking to each other. The drivers weren’t wiped with the reinstall. All I had to do is tell the computer where the printer was.

The machine again works well, although it’s now an “old fart” in computer years. Most hard drives die in two years. I’ve had this machine almost four and a half. It’s now survived two scares, and it still goes.

Re-Enter The Dragon

Over the past year and change, I have had access to Dragon dictation software. I really haven’t used it all that much, but this week I reopened it and have started dictating my blog entries as opposed to typing them out.

Typing just feels natural to me, although it will take me longer to type out blog entries that it will to dictate them, or so I think. I’m coming up on a period of three months where I will not only be doing these blog entries daily (Lord willing), but doing blog entries over at my sister site, the Big Brother Diaries. If I’m going to be doing two blog entries a day, it would save time to dictate them as opposed to typing them out.

I will still type some blog entries over the weekends, but to share a little inside baseball with you, I do most blog entries during the weekdays. For example, the blog entry I am dictating now I did on May 13, which was Friday. Now, there will be occasions when a piece of breaking news will preempt my plans, in which case I just hang on to the blog entry in question and save it for another day. It also gives me leeway if a change of plans happens during the day.

I really don’t remember why I never got into dictating my blog entries when I first purchased the software. I tend to think that the switch over to Windows 10 had something to do with it, but my memory is a little bit fuzzy on that.

Ah, now I remember. The one weakness my computer has presently (and has had for a while) is that the headphone and microphone jacks don’t work so well. A few months ago, I got an adapter so that those jacks go into a USB port, and that cleared the matter up, which also makes Dragon tremendously easier to use.

Hopefully, when Windows has its successor to Windows 10 already to go, the process of switching over to be so intrusive.

I Got Those Windows 10 Blues Again, Mama

The magical date of July 29th has arrived, so I hit a few buttons and upgraded to Windows 10 on my “workhorse” computer. I started upgrading a little past midnight, with the new operating system ready to go as I woke up around 6am, realizing I had left my computer on which I don’t ordinarily do at night when the day is over.

I already had Windows 10 (or a build of it, anyway) on the “backup” computer I had use between April to June when I had thought the workhorse had crashed. It would take hours for the computer to upgrade between builds, so I was pleasantly surprised to see everything ready so quick. Also, I think you’ll find that “10” isn’t the drain on memory capacity that 8.1 was. I run a program called SmartRAM as part of Advanced System care, and I can see that I’ve gain about half a gig of active memory with the upgrade.

One word of warning: some of the buttons on the new operating system won’t be ready right out of the box. It must “communicate” with Windows servers somewhere, so in the first few minutes hitting the Start button or asking for Cortana confuses it a bit. It will be clunky at first, so go run an errand or two before you sit down and belly up for some computer.

If this is supposed to be progress, Microsoft is doing good work. I just wonder what happens to our society if something happens like an EMP attack and we wind up having to use our brains a bit harder to do things again.

Build 10130

The lovely people at Microsoft decided it was once again time to update the technical preview of Windows 10, whether I wanted it or not. The only blessing is this might be the last update before the official Windows 10 is released in late July.

Windows boasts the upgardes are done at your convenience. Not really when it takes hours to download, hours to install, hours to copy, hours to configure, and so on. 

I knew I should have stuck with 8.1.

Finding The Culprit

To update my Windows 10 problems and travails…

I found the culprit as to why it (Windows 10) was running so wonky.  It was the Avast Anti-virus program.  I removed that, and everything started to run as normal.  I use other programs (like the Obit Malware Fighter, Advanced System Care, and Windows Defender) as substitutes, and they run without making the computer slow or wonky.  I don’t do my banking online (I do it on ATMs or the IPhone), and I stay away from shady looking websites.  Those two things ALONE will keep your computer safe to a greater degree.

For some reason, the various anti-virus software makers out there aren’t Windows 10 compatible yet.  More of a reason to avoid the “builds” and wait for it to be completely ready later this year if you can do so.  I wasn’t so lucky, and made a foolhardy decision, and hopefully I can avoid further trouble in the next few months.

Oops, I Did It Again


Right after I posted the blog entry about switching to Internet Explorer 11 Sunday night, it started acting up on me, so now I’m back to using Mozilla Firefox.

I’m sure that upgrading to the almost completed Windows 10 has something to do with it, and I rue the day I ever decided to monkey around with that damn thing.

I went back to Mozilla because they just updated it, and videos play right on it.  But four browsers on my computer, and NONE of them working perfectly?  Crazy.

Wouldn’t mind getting off of this merry-go-round.