2018 Newsletter: 37/68 — PreviousNext — (Attach.)

Sydney Harbour

Hello and Welcome,

That MIDDAY Main meeting:

The attendance at the July 24 MIDDAY Main meeting was about 35. This compares with 40 - 50 at the usual night-time meeting.

We had a few teething problems with the Projector, since we cannot zoom this one (unlike the previous Epson model). We therefore had to improvise by moving it closer to the screen, thus displacing some in the front two rows.

However, the Microsoft presentation went smoothly. Some of the new features of Windows 10 April 2018 Update were explained in detail. In particular, the new Timeline and Night-Vision features were well received.

As for continuing this Main meeting mode, we look forward to hearing your feedback.


Meeting This Week:

Penrith Group - Saturday Aug 4th - 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

The meeting normally starts with a Q&A session around the table to enable members to share problems, advice and tips.

When this is concluded, the group may consider further topics of interest.

Meetings Next Week:

Friday Forum - Friday Aug 10th - 9:30 am (10:00 am meeting start) - 12 noon
Communications - Friday Aug 10th - 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

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Tech Tips:

Microsoft Is Changing How Windows 10 Updates Work (Again):

As reported on lifehacker by Logan Booker, Jul 16, 2018, 11:15am.

With Windows 10, Microsoft has slowly been working towards a more streamlined way of sending updates to users (when it's not forcing them down your throat). To this end, by February 2019, "express" patches will be the dominant update method.

Windows 10 Update: What's In It For You?

Now that Windows has shifted to two incremental releases each year, rather than the large, monolithic updates that used to fall every few years, we can get our hands on new features faster than ever before.

As Microsoft's Mike Benson explains, the company has three ways of providing patches for Windows 10 — full, express and delta:

  • Full updates have all the necessary components and files that have changed since the last feature update. We refer to this as the latest cumulative update, or LCU. It can quickly grow to a little over 1 GB in size, but typically stays that size for the lifetime of that supported version of Windows 10.
  • Express updates generate differential downloads for every component in the full update based on several historical bases ... A device leveraging express update will use network protocol to determine optimal differentials, then download only what is needed, which is typically around 150-200 MB in size each month. Ultimately, the more up to date a device is, the smaller the size of the differential download.
  • Delta updates include only the components that changed in the most recent quality update. Delta updates will only install if a device already has the previous month's update installed ... Delta updates include the full component (not just the individual files) that changed. As a result, they are larger than express updates, often around 300-500 MB in size.

Benson goes on to say that, while express updates are already offered to users who connect via Windows update, delta updates have continued "to give companies and third-party update management tools time to implement support for express updates".

However, this will change early next year:

Now that express update support for third-party update managers has been available for over a year, we plan to stop shipping delta updates. Beginning February 12, 2019 Microsoft will end its practice of creating delta updates for all versions of Windows 10.

Express updates are much smaller in size and simplifying the cumulative options available will reduce complexity for IT administrators.

Something to keep in mind if you're in the habit of handling the update process manually.


What to do when your laptop's touchpad stops working:

[ Ed: ] My Windows 8 ASUS laptop (several years old now) had a perfectly usable touchpad, using the usual tap and double-tap for single and double-click. For scrolling, you run two fingers together either horizontally or vertically. Right-click uses a double-finger single tap.

All this fell apart when I changed to Windows 10. The reason was that the ASUS and Microsoft drivers were fighting each other. Every time I installed the ASUS driver (called ASUS Smart Gesture), Microsoft downloaded and reinstalled its own!

It was finally resolved many weeks later with a Microsoft update. They now finally see eye-to-eye.

See a similar story in this article by Lincoln Spector and Ian Paul, PCWorld | JUL 24, 2018 5:39 AM PT

“When your laptop's touchpad stops responding to your fingers, you've got a problem. Have you ever tried to use a Windows PC without a mouse, touchpad, or other pointing device? It's all but impossible.

If the problem just started, reboot your computer and see if that fixes it. Yes, I know that's painfully obvious, but it's standard operating procedure and in the heat of the moment it's easy to overlook the obvious.

If that doesn't work, try these solutions.

First, make sure you haven't accidentally disabled the touchpad. In all likelihood, there's a key combination that will toggle the touchpad on and off. It usually involves holding down the Fn key — typically near one of the lower corners of the keyboard — while pressing another key.

But what other key should you press? It's probably one of the function keys F1 through F12, although it might be something else. Examine the keyboard, paying particular attention to the little icons (usually blue) on some of the keys. Look for an icon that suggests it affects the touchpad.

Unfortunately, not all touchpad icons are easy to figure out. I didn't spot the one on my old Lenovo X220. I found it by searching online using the model name and number plus “disable touchpad.” The answer, by the way, was F8. I had to search the answer again for my newer Lenovo Yoga 920, where it was F6. If you can't guess the icon, I suggest you do the same.

If that doesn't fix the problem, check the touchpad settings. In Windows 7 or 8, go to the Start menu or the †search charm and type mouse settings. Select Change mouse settings — there are other options that are very similar, so pick the one with that exact wording.

In Windows 10, click the Windows key and go to Settings > Devices > Touchpad. This brings you to the Touchpad settings page where you can confirm the touchpad is enabled, as well as check other options.”

†This article was originally published as an Answer Line column by Lincoln Spector on September 1, 2014, and has since been updated.

Read on for the rest of this interesting article.


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Bob Backstrom
~ Newsletter Editor ~

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