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Sydney Harbour
WEEKLY NEWSLETTER 15 - 20 OCTOBER 2018

Hello and Welcome,

Meetings This Week:

Tuesday Group - Tuesday Oct 16th - 9:30 am (10:00 am meeting start) - 12 noon

More on the infamous Microsoft Windows 10 October 2018 Feature Update.

We might do a backup of our Windows OS and DATA partitions to the large external disk — just to be sure.

Plus the usual Q&A and other discussions.

Web Design - Saturday Oct 20th - 1:30 pm (2:00 pm meeting start) - 4:00 pm

We'll hear the latest in Responsive Web page design, including advanced use of HTML and CSS with practical examples.

There might be some interesting "surprise" topics as well.

Stephen South,
Web Design SIG Leader

Meetings Next Week:

Main Meeting - Tuesday Oct 23rd - 5:30 pm (6:00 pm meeting start) - 8:00 pm
Digital Photography - Friday Oct 26th - 9:30 am (10:00 am meeting start) - 12 noon

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ASCCA News:

ASCCA 20th Technology Conference Oct 30, 31 2018:

The 20th ASCCA Technology Conference will be held on Tuesday 30 and Wednesday 31 October 2018 at Rydges World Square Hotel, Pitt St, Sydney.

 Please join us in Sydney, Australia for the 20th Australian Technology Conference for Seniors, October 30-31, 2018.

It is hard to realise that this is the 20th conference of ASCCA, the Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association. Yes, we have grown from a one-day seminar to a two-day national conference and, according to participants, each one is better than the last! If you haven't attended one before, then join with your colleagues to celebrate our 20th!

ASCCA is keen to identify and respond to the needs of seniors to empower and enhance their use of technology.

Conference speakers are experts in various fields of technology, including technology experts from rival companies, research scientists, and prominent media presenters. They all come with the desire to share the latest developments and pass on their knowledge with fun and an understanding of our interests.

Full details, including special rates for Seniors' card holders and ACAP [ Active Aging Consortium Asia Pacific ] members, can be viewed at www.ascca.org.au.

Nan Bosler, OAM
President, Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association (ASCCA)

Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association
Level LG, 280 Pitt St SYDNEY NSW 2000
office@ascca.org.au
www.ascca.org.au
(02) 9286 3871

Copyright © 2018 ASCCA — Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association, All rights reserved.

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Tech Tips:

Microsoft says Windows 10 update fixed, released for testing:

See the iTWire article written by Sam Varghese , 10 October 2018.

“Microsoft has rolled out a fresh version of its Windows 10 October update and released it for testing to those who are part of its Insider program.

Last week, the software giant said it was halting the rollout of the update after users reported they were having problems, including the deletion of personal data residing in select directories.

Users complained that they had lost files from the C:/Users/[username]/Documents/ [sic] folder†. One user complained that he had lost 220 gigabytes of files which he had accumulated over 23 years.

John Cable, the director of Program Management, Windows Servicing and Delivery, said:

Prior to re-releasing the October 2018 Update our engineering investigation determined that a very small number of users lost files during the October 2018 Update. This occurred if Known Folder Redirection (KFR) had been previously enabled, but files remain in the original "old" folder location vs being moved to the new, redirected location.

KFR is the process of redirecting the known folders of Windows including Desktop, Documents, Pictures, Screenshots, Videos, Camera Roll, etc. from the default folder location, c:\users\username\<folder name>, to a new folder location.

In previous feedback from the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, users with KFR reported an extra, empty copy of Known Folders on their device. Based on feedback from users, we introduced code in the October 2018 Update to remove these empty, duplicate known folders. That change, combined with another change to the update construction sequence, resulted in the deletion of the original "old" folder locations and their content, leaving only the new "active" folder intact.

He said the fresh update was being rolled out to the Windows Insider community as of Tuesday [ October 9th ] (US time).”

†They of course mean: C:\Users\[username]\Documents\ [ using back-slashes — Ed. ]

Read more

That Windows 10 October 2018 Update bug wasn't a bug at all, and why that should concern you:

See the onMSFT article by KIP KNISKERN @KIPKNISKERN 23 HOURS AGO (12 Oct, 2018) IN OPINION.

“Microsoft released the Windows 10 October 2018 Update on October 2nd, but then quickly pulled it from access (it had not started rolling out, but was made available to non-Insiders via Windows Update). The problem was supposedly a bug that was deleting users' Documents folders in rare but devastating cases, an issue that had been around for at least some of the RS5 [ Redstone Windows 5 ] development cycle according to entries in the Feedback Hub, but slipped through the cracks, apparently. It wasn't until some tech pundits noticed Reddit complaints that Microsoft took notice.

But the real problem here is that these missing Documents folders weren't a bug at all, the functionality was introduced into RS5 builds *by design*.

...

So at some point, Microsoft decided to go ahead and delete your original \user\<username>\documents or \pictures for you if you had used KFR, without any confirmation or knowledge on your part. This was not a bug, it was a conscious decision on Microsoft's part to delete user folders without confirmation by the user. Making matters even worse, the probable most likely scenario for lost files would be the third one†, where OneDrive previously set a new autosave location, while leaving the old Pictures folder intact, and full of pictures before the OneDrive change. They decided, again by design (either that or one hand doesn't know what the other hand is doing or has done, so much for the end of old siloed Microsoft), to delete the folder anyway.

How could Microsoft not know of this OneDrive behavior? How could they build a system that didn't check if the folders were empty? How could they not alert users and ask explicit permission before deleting user folders, empty or not? Why weren't Insiders not told about these changes and asked to test them?

Maybe instead of requiring Windows Insiders to rate the severity of their bugs, Microsoft should let users know when they're messing with user content. The mind reels at the stupidity of these decisions, and Microsoft is just lucky that more people weren't affected.”

†The user used an early version of the OneDrive client and used the OneDrive settings to turn on the Auto save feature. This feature turned on KFR for the Documents and/or Pictures folders based on the user's choice but did not move the existing files from the original "old" location to the new location.

Read more

Microsoft now faces a big Windows 10 quality test after botched update:

Referred by Jeff Garland: See the Verge article Published by Tom Warren @tomwarren Oct 8, 2018, 11:43am EDT.

The bugs are creeping in.

“Microsoft has pulled its latest Windows 10 update offline after some users complained of missing files. It's the latest in a string of incidents with regular patches and Microsoft's larger Windows 10 updates that have been causing issues for some PC users this year. While Microsoft tests Windows 10 with millions of beta testers, there are signs that this public feedback loop isn't always working. Earlier this year Microsoft delayed its April 2018 Windows 10 update due to last minute Blue Screen of Death issues, and then had to fix desktop and Chrome freezing issues after it was shipped to more than 600 million machines.

Microsoft now faces questions over how these updates have caused big issues, and why the company didn't pick them up in testing. These questions are especially relevant as it appears Microsoft was warned about both of these major bugs before the company shipped the April and October 2018 updates. Reports of the desktop freezing bug were submitted multiple times by testers earlier this year, but don't appear to have been flagged as a bigger problem because they weren't up voted.

Likewise, the recent data deletion issue was flagged in feedback reports from months before Microsoft released the October 2018 Update last week. It's still not clear how many are affected by this current issue, but it's enough to have forced Microsoft to pull the update entirely — an unusual step for the company.

...

Microsoft may have been relying on its Windows Insider program too much for Windows 10, though. Microsoft largely phased out its dedicated Software Test Engineer (STE) roles for Windows during a huge round of layoffs a year ahead of the Windows 10 release. Instead, it has favored developers testing their own work, or reports from the Windows Insider feedback program.”

Read more

Hey Cortana, "What is the temperature?":

I was recently at a local Computer Club meeting and tried to show off Cortana on the shiny new Windows version 1809 on my laptop. It responded by opening up the dialog, but never replied. I did get Cortana to listen to me (and tell some jokes) after I got home.

Later, I thought, rather than clicking on the Weather App, I'd ask Cortana, "What is the temperature?".

Naturally, I meant the temperature NOW.

Here's what I got:

Cortana's response

Groan ... So much for Artificial Intelligence!

Ed.

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Bob Backstrom
~ Newsletter Editor ~

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