1. Back in the days when I had to manage Windows computers, there used to be a setting that allowed the user to disable updates, or at least confirm when they were about to be applied. I have no idea whether that is still possible in Windows 10, and I don’t really want to find out.

  2. I thought that option still existed as well — but this time, the only options they gave me were UPDATE NOW and UPDATE IN ONE HOUR. I clicked ONE HOUR two or three times to give myself enough time to back up everything of value, then I left to eat dinner and Microoft had its way with my computer.

  3. I did a Win10 update on my new laptop before leaving yesterday. Turns out it disabled my network chip, so the system couldn’t connect to WiFi. When I got home I was able to make a wired connection and download the new update that had appeared, which fixed the problem. Thanks, Microsoft.

    This is why my main system uses Linux.

  4. Those updates, while perhaps the most annoying, are among the least egregious things about the spyware distribution that is Windows 10.

    That’s why I’ve deleted Windows from all my own computers and installed Linux instead.

  5. At this point I would settle for each update not resetting my default photo viewing program to Microsoft’s garbage Photos. Seriously Microsoft, don’t make the computer do things I did not tell it to do… that’s how we got all the bad Terminator movies.

    This is why I still maintain a Macintosh IIsi with System 7.5. It’s not especially useful nowadays, but the experience of using it keeps me sane.

  6. About 30 years ago, the Internet was brought to a standstill, because a worm program with a bug in it used unpatched software to infect machines connected to the Internet. The bug was that the software didn’t check to see if a machine was already infected before inficting it again, with the result that Internet-connected computers would be running thousands of copies of the worm.

    So, yes, maybe you intentionally choose to run software with security vulnerabilities in it, but when you choose to do so, you are potentially affecting everyone else.

    This is what happens when you put off installing the updates… eventually you trigger the “or else!”

  7. You can disable the updates:
    …but since many of them are to plug security holes (thanks Microsoft!) you might want to periodically check for critical updates.

    I see that option 3 in the article only automatically installs security updates, which might be the best option … except it only works on Education, Pro, or Enterprise editions (thanks Microsoft!)

  8. I sent CIDUBill’s original post to my in-house IT, also known as Hubby, who writes:

    Windows is notorious for releasing its product “green”and letting the users find all the “undiscovered features” (a.k.a. bugs) and then releasing patches.

    It turns out with the recent iPhone update Apple is doing the same thing. They are up to iOS 13 a release 13.1 release, 13.1.1 a release and 13.1.2 release all within a few weeks. And still there are problems like dropped calls and breaking the wireless network.

    That’s why I haven’t updated my iPhone and I don’t intend to until I get a reliable source that says these problems have been solved.

    On a sidenote, my younger brother said he wanted to update later. The screen said OK fine but put in your passcode first, and he did which then allowed them to update the phone while he slept.

    Instead of putting in his passcode he should’ve just closed the system preferences app. after clicking update later.

  9. In this case, James, the update happened not because of any issues, but because my version of Windows will no longer be “supported” after this month.

    Which is the sort of thing that’s generally been my business.

  10. Are you also the type of person who goes to work when you’re sick? Sure, other people might get sick too, but that’s not YOUR problem…

    (The warning that Windows 7 is about to go out of free support is not related to why you got an update.)

  11. I was going to resist, but couldn’t . . . blast from the past, but still relevant today:
    If Microsoft Built Cars

    At a computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated “if GM had kept up with the technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.”

    In response to Bill’s comments, General Motors made the following contribution to the debate: “If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:

    For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day.

    Every time they repainted the lines on the road, you’d have to buy a new car.

    Occasionally your car would just die on the motorway for no reason, You would have to pull over to the side of the road, close all of the car windows, shut it off, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this, restart and drive on.

    Occasionally, executing a maneuver would cause your car to stop and fail to restart and you’d have to re-install the engine. For some strange reason, you’d accept this too.

    Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.

    You could only have one person in the car at a time, unless you bout a “Car 95” or a “Car NT”. But then you’d have to buy more seats.

    Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, twice as reliable, five times as fast, twice as easy to drive – but it would only run on five percent of the roads.

    The Macintosh car owners would get expensive Microsoft upgrades to their cars which would make their cars go much slower.

    The oil, engine, gas and alternator warning lights would be replaced with a single “General Car Fault” warning light.

    People would get excited about the “new” features in Microsoft cars, forgetting completely that they had been available in other cars for many years.

    We’d all have to switch to Microsoft petrol and lubricants, but the packaging would be superb.

    New seats would force everyone to have the same size arse.

    The airbag system would say “Are you sure?” before going off.

    If you were involved in a crash, you would have no idea what happened.

    They wouldn’t build their own engines, but form a cartel with their engine suppliers. The latest engine would have 1 cylinder, multi-point fuel injection and 4 turbos, but it would be a side-valve design so you could use Model-T Ford parts on it.

    There would be an “Engium Pro” with bigger turbos, but it would be slower on most existing roads.

    Microsoft cars would have a special radio/cassette player which would only be able to listen to Microsoft FM, and play Microsoft Cassettes. Unless of course, you buy the upgrade to use existing stuff.

    Microsoft would do so well, because even though they don’t own any roads, all of the road manufacturers would give away Microsoft cars free, including IBM.

    If you still ran old versions of car (ie. CarDOS 6.22/CarWIN 3.11),then you would be called old-fashioned, but you would be able to drive much faster, and on more roads!

    If you couldn’t afford to buy a new car, then you could just borrow your friends’, and then copy it.

    Whenever you bought a car, you would have to reorganize the ignition for a few days before it worked.

    You would need to buy an upgrade to run cars on a motorway next to each other.

    Every time Microsoft introduced a new car, car buyers would have to learn to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as they did in the old car.

    Microsoft would require all car buyers to also purchase a deluxe set of Automobile Association Road maps (now a Microsoft subsidiary), even though they neither needed nor wanted them.

    Attempting to delete this option would immediately cause the car’s performance to diminish by 50% or more.

    You’d have to press the “Start” button to turn the engine off.
    Writing With Emotional Appeal

    There was once a young man who, in his youth, professed his desire to become a great writer. When asked to define “great” he said, “I want to write stuff that the whole world will read, stuff that people will react to on a truly emotional level, stuff that will make them scream, cry, howl in pain and anger!”

    He now works for Microsoft, writing error messages.

  12. Andréa: Most issues with computers arise only because we want computers to do a lot more than they did 30 years ago. If we were all happy with computers that just did what they did 30 years ago, we could have that 30-year-old code mostly bug-free by now.

    (BTW, I get that it’s a joke, but for clarify, Gates never said that: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/car-balk/ )

  13. Andréa: On a few cars, you do have to press “Start” to turn the engine off! And on all cars, the “Check Engine” light comes on if the gas cap is loose.

    Re Windows Update: Yes, you DO need Windows Updates to fix the security vulnerabilities. But where do you think the NEW security vulnerabilities come from?

  14. “And on all cars, the “Check Engine” light comes on if the gas cap is loose.”

    . . . or if you use a generic gas cap, rather than a branded one, as I found out a few years ago.

  15. “Mark, at one point didn’t START also shut down Windows?”

    Well, clocking on “start” starts the process, but the last thing you click is “Shut down”. And when Microsoft tried to get rid of that, in Windows 8, people rejected it so hard they had to put it back that way in 8.1. (Note that Windows did NOT start the shutdown process by selecting “Start” from versions 1.0 – 3.51)

    Finally, you can shut down Windows from a command line, without clicking on anything. And there are a couple of toolsets that allow for remotely shutting down computers without clocking on anything.

  16. Bill – until early this year I was still using two laptops that run XP with mostly the only problems being that they were slowing down and I could not load the new tax programs into them any longer. One was my kitchen laptop for going online and the other was my work laptop to go to clients.

    Tax returns and everything else were/are being done on my desktop computer which was Win 7 – with a virtual Win XP machine for what would not run on Win 7.

    Finally the kitchen laptop was too slow even for me. The work laptop ran fast enough, but the battery was not doing well and was down to less than 2 hours – not enough for work and to plug it in at client I had to carry not only the cord, but a flat plug, 3 prong extension cord and then get my hand – using a flashlight – between client’s safe and the wall to plug it in.

    So I gave in and bought a Win 10 laptop. Husband has again made me a Win XP machine (I love my Lotus Organizer) to use in it. I am using it now – I have never hated a computer (back to when they used punchcards) this much.

    The newer of the XPs has still been coming on what day trips we have made as the GPS software that we like is in it – out of date, but has bailed us out over our more modern ones several times, but then I realized I could add it to the Win XP side of the laptop so I don’t have to schlep it also. But they both still get used for things – just to keep them happy.

  17. Some years ago I had trouble with Comics Kingdom using my XP computers after an update/change of the site by them – and I knew that same was no longer being supported, so I tried using the Win 7 desktop and had the same problem and had husband check same on his Win 10 laptop – same problem.

    So I emailed Comics Kingdom and their response was that not only was XP no longer supported by them or anyone, but Win 7 was not either (and this is not recent since the end to support for same was announced, but maybe 2 or 3 or more years ago. They never did mention why the problem also existed on Win 10.

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