Three days ago I posted an entry called ‘Finally’ regarding the removal of the X Box app. from my Windows 10 machine in which I expressed my joy in finally getting it removed. If you didn’t know then you do now, that I do not play computer games and don’t want them sitting on my machines taking up space. With today’s new computers apps. or to give them their proper name, applications, are widely used and form the main way of using the computer. In real terms apps. are merely items of code or programs which perform a particular task or tasks when called to do so. Every computer that was ever built uses programs of one size, shape or form in order to work. Apps. are merely small programs which sit on the machine which can be called upon at the flick of a finger. Not all apps. are useful to everyone and some might say many of them are pretty useless, it all depends upon the user. For myself I have no need for most of the possible uses offered by computers and therefore do not need the many different programs now called apps. on new machines. On this machine which is running Windows 7 there are an extremely few ‘special’ programs, ones which I have personally downloaded for some particular task. I simply have no need for them. On my other machine however, the one running Windows 10, it is a different story. I bought the machine two years ago mainly because I thought it would be good to have a back-up to this machine. It came with pre-loaded apps. of course but once I’d used the machine a few times I realised that most of them would never be used by myself. I did at that time uninstall many of them, at least those which could be uninstalled for there remain a few which cannot unless, as I mentioned in the previous post, they are removed using code. Today, which is May 2nd, I updated my Windows 10 version or rather it was done automatically. It took quite some time to download and install though again it was all done automatically. When I opened the desktop I saw that many new apps. had been added and not one of them I will ever use. There were six games and other apps. such as Skype and Netflix and a couple of Windows accessories and they all got deleted. The thing was that each time I deleted a game and returned to the computer minutes later more had been put on my machine! This to me is another example of how we in the west are being groomed and manipulated into using computers more and more in our lives. Technology is advancing so much so that it will be difficult to avoid it in years to come. Windows 10 or Microsoft (amongst others) are encouraging us to use our voices to switch on applications and even order them online using our voice. It is already in the home through devices that can be asked questions (connecting to online search engines) and other devices which switch on appliances or lighting. Do we live on The USS Enterprise? Those fictional capabilities are becoming more the reality. Oh and don’t mention reality, there will be a day when many will prefer the world of the computer images over the real thing if we are not careful.
Escape from reality will be the norm! What is wrong with us that we need so much technology to feel life worthwhile? Those driving this world through technological advances will one day have us all under their control……..if we let them. This is very much the thin end of a huge wedge, believe me.
No, I am not referring to my project this time, though that isn’t far off completion. In fact the only thing that requires to be done on that at this point (time of writing) is painting the floor and we purchased the paint to do that yesterday, that is Saturday 28. Also yesterday I was finally able to get X Box removed from my Windows 10 computer. The machine I am using to write this is my Windows 7 machine. Not being versed in computer operating system code language I was unable to remove it myself though I know it is very simple to do. All that is required is to write a short line of code and execute it but of course it is knowing what to write. Many years ago I could write in Basic or Assembly language and became quite good at it but I never studied machine code and any other computer languages, it wasn’t necessary. So my knowledge is very limited when it comes to anything to do with writing code. Ever since I purchased the machine, which is now over two years ago, I have wanted the X Box application and others removed from it. Microsoft in their infinite wisdom elected to pre-install many ‘apps’ and for me most would never get used so what is the point in having them on the machine taking up space? Some of the applications could and have been removed by myself but some require the use of ‘Power Shell’ to remove them. Power Shell being the program which gives access to the operating system language. The computer has the Power Shell application pre-installed for anyone who wants to use it and knows how. Anyway I chose to contact Microsoft and have them remove X Box for me. That meant allowing the engineer to access and control my computer remotely. He removed the program in a matter of seconds but it had taken me quite some time to have reached that point having been side-tracked through being connected to the wrong department. Ah well, it is done now. When I use the Windows 10 machine it is infrequent and very basic, much in the same way I use the Windows 7 machine. Everything else computers can do doesn’t interest me, I have no use for them, especially playing games.
……the bad and the ugly. To be truthful Monday presented me with the good, a wee bit of the bad but none of the ugly. Come to think of it there is no such thing as the ugly. If we are talking about people every one is beautiful…..in their own way (sounds like a song), we are all God‘s creatures. Monday was the day I took my van in for a service and an MOT test. The appointment was for eight-thirty but as usual with me I arrived almost thirty minutes early. It didn’t matter as some of the staff were there. I left them to get on with it and took the mile and a half, well a little bit short of that, walk into the town centre. I had a large sum of money to deposit. I arrived there half an hour earlier than the bank opens its doors so I popped into ‘Nero’s‘ for a large latte and waited. Although the weather forecast was for rain it remained dry until mid-afternoon but by that time I was at home again. I made the deposit and then did some browsing in a department store looking at clothes. Whilst in there the service station called me to verify the level of service I had asked for. The MOT test had by that time been completed and my vehicle had passed the test. It wouldn’t take long for them to complete the service so I made plans to walk back but first I had some more browsing to do. The service station is located on one of the main trunk-roads out-of-town where several large stores are located. Before calling at the service station I visited two of the stores, the second of which was an electrical appliance and computer outlet, ‘Currys‘, part of the ‘Carphone Warehouse Group‘. I called in to ask about a problem I was having with my Windows 10 laptop which won’t connect to the Internet even though there isn’t a problem with the adapter. It recognises the router and connects to it. Apparently it is a Windows 10 program fault. The odd thing is I had been on-line using the machine the previous night! As I seldom use the machine there was no urgency in solving the problem. My main machine runs Windows 7 which in my estimation is far superior and gives me no problems whatsoever. Anyway while in the store I browsed the fridge and fridge/freezer stock and immediately saw the fridge/freezer I would buy if the one I mentioned in yesterday’s post doesn’t improve. It was time to get to the service station to collect the van. It had cost £40 for the MOT test and £85 for the service. I was happy enough with the charge and paid up. I didn’t drive home though, instead I drove to the pub and treated myself to a meal. So everything was good. I have been keeping a close eye on the flowerbeds at home looking for bluebells appearing and when I finally got home I saw a few in different places in the front garden. Soon after I had gotten indoors to change my clothes and put on my overalls I went into the front garden and dug out those I had seen. I went into the rear garden and likewise saw a few more dotted about here and there so dug those out too. That was the bad part of my day but it is something I am going to have to do for quite some time yet.
Over the years I have had many problems with my computers, most of which were minor or reasonably minor and were resolved fairly easily. Not many of those problems were due to the operating system in use, Windows XP and Windows 7, my last two. I was encouraged to try the new Windows 10 system, similar to its immediate predecessor Windows 8 but supposedly with improvements and best of all it was on offer for free. How could I resist? I took the bait and well, everything seemed okay, any minor glitches were automatically sorted out but since using the system I have experienced quite a number of problems. Windows 10 isn’t as great as they might like us to think it is. I get the screen freezing up and programs ceasing to work, cursor disappearing, computer start-up very slow at times yet alright at other times. This appears to be due to update activity, especially when the machine is first switched on in the morning. Windows 10 seems to be unstable at times. I run routine maintenance every day, clearing away temporary files and updating the security program but I have no control over Windows updating itself as it is set to do that automatically. It could be switched to manual updating if I chose to do that but then I might miss important updates. I switched off the computer one evening (Sunday) recently and there were no problems. When I switched it on the following morning the machine had problems. The machine became unstable yet again and I found I couldn’t get programs to respond. One of the worse things is when the cursor is very slow in responding but mostly that is because the computer is busy doing other things like updating itself. I also discovered that the list of installed applications wasn’t showing when the icon was clicked upon and neither was the start-up panel where short-cuts can be stored. I noticed also that one of the tray items was missing. I could still use the machine but these inconveniences made it more difficult when doing certain tasks. Microsoft help pages are all on the Internet with directions often to private companies offering help for a fee of course. There is little or no help to be found within the Windows 10 program itself so for someone who isn’t technologically experienced any problems can prove to be a nightmare. Think about the elderly who use these systems but haven’t a clue what to do when things go wrong. I have some experience but I wouldn’t say that my limited knowledge is of much help with many of the issues I am faced with occasionally. Windows 10 could be better, it should be better and there should be some mechanism by which simple problems can be quickly resolved. Microsoft (and other companies) should not abrogate their responsibilities and leave the problem solving to their customers to sort out. My recommendations? Well at the moment I might say throw the computer in the trash bin! Obviously I won’t be doing that but it proves one thing and that is like it or leave it we are now lumbered with them and the problems they sometimes cause. The computer, the Internet might have their good sides but their bad sides can be done without and them not working as they should is one of them. Bring back the quill!
Update : I took it in for a check up and decided to get a reinstalled copy of Windows 10.