2018 Newsletter: 60/68 — PreviousNext — (Attach.)

Sydney Harbour

Hello and Welcome,

Meetings This Week:

Tuesday Group - Tuesday Nov 20th - 9:30 am (10:00 am meeting start) - 12 noon

We'll have the usual Q&A and other discussions, including the Windows 10 October 2018 Update re-release from Nov 13.

Then we'll resume our attempts to install Office 365 onto our desktop computer. Unfortunately, it needs a Microsoft Account.

See Microsoft's reason for this:

“Why you need a Microsoft Account with an Office for home product:

[ Office 2016 Office 365 for home Office.com Office 2013 ]

Using a Microsoft account and linking it with your Office for home product connects you to various Microsoft products and services, and makes it simple to reinstall Office without a product key.

Note: Linking a Microsoft account with Office only applies to Office 365 Home, Personal, or University, or Office 2013 or newer versions such as Office Home and Student, Office Home and Business, Office Professional and some versions of Office Professional Plus.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • A Microsoft account is required to install and activate Office versions 2013 or later, and Office 365 for home products.
  • You might already have a Microsoft account if you use a service like Outlook.com, OneDrive, Xbox Live, or Skype; or if you purchased Office from the online Microsoft Store.
  • If you don't have a Microsoft account yet, you'll be asked to create one the first time you install or activate your copy of Office.
  • When you link your Microsoft account to Office, it means anytime you want to install or reinstall Office you won't need to re-enter your product key, or hang on to an installation disc or thumb drive.
  • If you use Office 365, you can add your credit card information to your Microsoft account and turn on recurring billing so Office is always available.”

So, we'll see what we can do — Ed.

Digital Photography - Friday Nov 23rd - 9:30 am (10:00 am meeting start) - 12 noon

Hear about all the newest digital photography topics.

And, of course, there will be the usual Q&A and other discussions.

Meetings Next Week:

Main Meeting - Tuesday Nov 27th - 5:30 pm (6:00 pm meeting start) - 8:00 pm
Penrith Group - Saturday Dec 1st - 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

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Tech News:

“Microsoft to focus on Windows 10 quality after a buggy year”:

See THE VERGE article by Tom Warren@tomwarren Nov 13, 2018, 1:00pm EST.

2018 hasn't been a great Windows year

“Microsoft hasn't had a great time with Windows 10 in 2018. Earlier this year Microsoft delayed its April 2018 Windows 10 update due to last minute Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) issues, and then had to fix desktop and Chrome freezing issues after it shipped to more than 600 million devices. Just last month, Microsoft released its October 2018 Update and was forced to pull it offline after a few days of some users complaining that files were being deleted.

If those incidents weren't bad enough, last week an engineer mistakenly made a licensing server change that meant lots of Windows 10 Pro machines were suddenly deactivated. It's been a messy 2018.

I wrote last month that Microsoft was facing a big test of Windows 10 quality, especially as some of these bugs were even reported to Microsoft through its Windows Insider testing program. Microsoft is now listening to the feedback from Windows 10 users, and it's starting a series of blog posts to be more transparent about how it develops and tests Windows. The Windows 10 October 2018 Update is being re-released today, and Microsoft is planning to add a Windows update status dashboard in the coming year to document how the current rollout is going.”

Fingers crossed - Ed.

Read more

“MORE BUGS I — Windows 10's October 2018 Update Breaks Mapped Network Drives”:

See the How-To Geek article by CHRIS HOFFMAN @chrisbhoffman NOVEMBER 15, 2018, 1:29PM EDT.

“Microsoft's October 2018 Update drama is largely over, but there are still a few lingering bugs. Microsoft has confirmed an issue where mapped network drives are broken after a PC restarts. This will not be fixed until 2019.

Liam Tung covers this issue over at ZDNet:

Within days of Microsoft's first release of Windows 10 1809 at the beginning of October, IT pros noticed that Windows File Explorer indicated that mapped network drives appeared to be broken.

"Testing the new 1809 update, and everything seems to be fine except all mapped drives to Windows 2012 file servers show disconnected (red x) after reboots or logoff/on," wrote one IT pro on October 5, with many others confirming the same issue on company networks.

"Everything is fine if user opens the mapped drive. This causes problems when user opens a file located in map drive A but links to another file in mapped drive B."

Mapped network drives are primarily used on domain and other large networks, so this isn't a problem the average home user will likely notice.

Microsoft has acknowledged the problem and provided some suggested workarounds. The Windows 10 version 1809 status page says "Microsoft is working on a resolution and will provide updates in the 2019 timeframe." ... ”


Read more

“MORE BUGS II — Microsoft Broke Windows 10's File Associations With a Botched Update”:

See the How-To Geek article by CHRIS HOFFMAN @chrisbhoffman NOVEMBER 5, 2018, 4:03PM EDT.

“File associations no longer work properly on Windows 10 after a buggy update. Windows won't let you select certain applications as your defaults. We tested multiple PCs running the stable version of Windows 10, and they all had this problem.

Update: Microsoft has confirmed this bug exists. Microsoft says it "is working on a resolution and estimates a solution will be available in late November 2018."

This is a strange bug. It affects some applications, but not others. For example, Windows 10 won't let you make Adobe Photoshop or Notepad++ a default application for images or text files. But you can make other applications, like IrfanView, VLC, or Google Chrome, your defaults.


Update: If you're experiencing this problem, here's a PowerShell script that may help fix it. This is a complex solution intended primarily for IT administrators. (Thanks to Woody Leonhard for pointing this out.)

Windows 10 seems like it's getting buggier and buggier. Why doesn't Microsoft test things like this before releasing updates?”

Read more

“How to use Windows 10's awesome 3D sound for headphones”:

Referred by Jeff Garland: See thenextweb article — Story by Napier Lopez Published November 13, 2018 — 00:35 UTC.

You don't need surround speakers for immersive audio

“There's so much more to audio than stereo.

Surround sound — sometimes called 3D or 'spatial' audio nowadays — can go a long way towards making movies and some music more immersive, enveloping you with sound from all directions.

Unfortunately, it's often an expensive and inconvenient endeavor, requiring a multitude of speakers and specialized equipment. Some headphones can do surround sound too, but the choices pale in comparison to standard headphones, and they're often not as good.

Thankfully, you don't need any of that if you have a Windows 10 PC. Back in early 2017, Microsoft built in the ability to experience surround sound through any pair of headphones — from the cheapest earbuds to multi-thousand-dollar headphones — thanks to smart sound processing via Windows Sonic and Dolby Atmos.

If you already know what those words mean, as well as things like 'binaural audio' and 'HRTF,' [ HRTF is the acronym of Head Related Transfer Function — Ed. ] feel free to skip to the last section. Otherwise, read on.

Windows Sonic and Dolby Atmos

There are two 3D sound systems currently built into Windows, with a third on the way.

Windows Sonic is Microsoft's free solution, able to replicate the sound of 5.1 and 7.1-speaker surround systems with just any pair of stereo headphones.

Then there's a more familiar name if you've been to a premium theater: Dolby Atmos. Like Windows Sonic, it can imitate a traditional surround sound system through headphones. But Atmos goes a step further with something called object-based audio.


The internet seems fairly divided. Some people think Windows Sonic sounds better. Others think Atmos is more realistic. I go back and forth; They're close enough it's a matter of preference for 5.1 or 7.1 audio.

Again, Windows Sonic is free, so if you don't care about the Atmos effect or don't feel like paying up, it's great to try — especially as it won't mess up your regular stereo music. But Atmos can give you the full 3D effect with properly encoded audio and is worth trying if you don't mind the premium.

Either way, give it a go. It's a great way to make movies, games, and some music more immersive with few to no negatives.”

Read more

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Bob Backstrom
~ Newsletter Editor ~

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