2018 Newsletter: 61/68 — PreviousNext — (Attach.)

Sydney Harbour

Hello and Welcome,

Tuesday Group Report:

Office 365 was successfully installed, but no-one told us about the 3.3 GB download!

We started on Microsoft's "Hi. Let's get your Office" page and followed these three steps:

1) Sign in with your Microsoft account

2) Enter your product key

3) Get your Office

We didn't have a Microsoft account, so we had to make one up for the group. We chose "sydneypctug @ outlook . com".

We set the owner's first-name to be 'Sydney', surname 'Sydney' and the password something like 'xxxxxxxxxnnn' (but longer).

This still wasn't enough. We had to untangle a string of letters and numbers from an image to prove that we were not a robot and give a phone number to receive a 4-digit SMS code. We finally got the phone number right — it's hard to remember your own mobile number since you never dial it yourself :-) .

Photos courtesy of Roger Foulds:

Creating our outlook.com account
Are you a real person?

We entered our mobile phone number to receive the Security SMS code:

Asking for the product key
Enter your phone number to get an SMS code

We then entered our product key.

Asking for the product key
Enter your product key

If we turn on recurring billing, we'll get ONE MONTH FREE, so now our subscription won't run out until 20th Dec, 2019.

Recurring billing Yes/No
Turn on recurring billing

Next comes the download step. We declined to get surveys, promotions, tips and advice for using Microsoft Office.

Start the data download
Get your Office

Up to .1 of 3.3 GB downloaded so far
Downloading 3.3 GB

The download and install took about 40 minutes altogether.


Many thanks to Alex for these great new programs.


Meetings This Week:

Main Meeting - Tuesday Nov 27th - 5:30 pm (6:00 pm meeting start) - 8:00 pm

This is the last Main Meeting for the year.

Alex will talk on the latest computer tech that he's come across in the last month, as well as running the Q&A session.

There may also be raffle prizes, nibbles and drinks available.

Thanks, Alex & the Committee, for a great year for the Club [ and especially for the new projector ].

Penrith Group - Saturday Dec 1st - 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 computer tips.

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

Meetings Next Week:


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ASCCA Pitt St Sydney Courses
November December 2018 and February 2019:

[ There are no courses in January 2019 — Ed. ]

Our new course program has now been released.

Click here to read or download the course program in PDF format.

Some people have reported that the above link does not work for them. If so, try the current ASCCA courses.

Jean Martin

Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association
Level LG, 280 Pitt St SYDNEY NSW 2000
(02) 9286 3871

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

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Tech News:

“Windows 10 October 2018 Update runs into more trouble with Intel drivers”:

Referred by John Symonds: See the techradar article By Darren Allan 2 days ago (Thu, Nov 22).

Microsoft has blocked the update for PCs running affected versions.

Despite the rollout of Windows 10's October 2018 Update resuming last week — following the resolution of some major problems — it seems that Intel drivers are still causing issues with the upgrade, with Microsoft now blocking the update from some PCs thanks to a fresh bugbear.

Microsoft has previously fixed problems with bugs in Intel drivers (indeed one remedy was issued last month), but it seems that the gremlins persist, as a new post on the company's support forum makes clear.

In reply to a user complaining about no longer getting sound from the monitor connected to their PC after upgrading to the October 2018 Update, a Microsoft moderator observes that Intel 'inadvertently' released versions of its display driver which "accidentally turned on unsupported features in Windows".

The moderator notes: "After updating to Windows 10, version 1809 [October 2018 Update], audio playback from a monitor or television connected to a PC via HDMI, USB-C or DisplayPort may not function correctly on devices with these drivers."

As a result, Microsoft is now blocking devices which are running the drivers in question — namely versions or The moderator concludes: "We are working with Intel to expire these display drivers and provide a resolution in an upcoming release."


If you've run into any trouble with the latest update for Windows 10, be sure to check out our guide on how to fix Windows 10 October 2018 Update problems. Note that another issue emerged recently which pertains to those who still use Windows Media Player.”

Read more

“Windows Isn't a Service; It's an Operating System”:

See the How-To Geek article by CHRIS HOFFMAN @chrisbhoffman NOVEMBER 14, 2018, 6:40AM EDT.

Windows as a Service is failing. It's obvious: Windows is not a service, and never was. It's a desktop operating system, and it doesn't need updates every six months. Even iOS and Android only get significant updates once per year.

Updating All These PCs Sure Is Hard!

Microsoft just put out a blog post about Windows 10's quality, and it's very defensive. Microsoft doesn't explain what happened with the October 2018 Update at all, nor does it promise to change the development process in the future. The only real commitment is to more transparency and improved communication going forward.

To put all the recent bugs into perspective, Microsoft asks that we consider "the sheer scale of the Windows ecosystem":

With Windows 10 alone we work to deliver quality to over 700 million monthly active Windows 10 devices, over 35 million application titles with greater than 175 million application versions, and 16 million unique hardware/driver combinations.

That's right — Windows is a very complex beast that has to support a large number of hardware devices and software applications. That's a reason Microsoft should slow down and stop updating Windows so frequently, not an excuse for constant bugs.

Windows 7 supported a lot of hardware devices and software applications, too. But Windows 7 wasn't constantly breaking things. Microsoft provided a stable base of software for hardware manufacturers and software developers to work on.

We still agree security updates are important, of course. But Microsoft managed to deliver security updates to Windows 7 and older versions of Windows before "Windows as a Service," and those security updates rarely caused problems.


Windows 7 Users Are Watching

Microsoft will stop supporting Windows 7 a bit over a year from now, on January 14, 2020. After that, Windows 7 users will have to upgrade to a newer version of Windows or stick with a Windows 7 that won't get any security patches.

How many Windows 7 users are looking at the Windows 10 update drama and dreading the upgrade? How many will stick with that vulnerable version of Windows when it comes time to choose?

The sad thing is that Microsoft does offer a more stable version of Windows! If you use Windows 10 Professional, you can at least delay updates for a while. And, if you use Windows 10 Enterprise, you can use a Windows release for up to 30 months, receiving security updates the whole time. But, although Microsoft is patching and supporting these versions of Windows, Microsoft won't let home users get them.

We have to be the beta testers for Microsoft's real customers — the businesses that pay for the good, stable software.”

Read more

“Windows 10's October Update Breaks Apple's iCloud”:

See the How-To Geek article by CHRIS HOFFMAN @chrisbhoffman NOVEMBER 19, 2018, 12:51PM EDT.

Windows 10's October 2018 Update has more bugs. Microsoft won't offer the update if you have iCloud installed, and Apple won't let you install iCloud if you've already upgraded. You'll also have trouble if you have F5 VPN software installed.

This information comes from Microsoft's own Windows 10 Update History page, where Microsoft is publicly tracking the October Update's bugs.

According to Microsoft, Apple iCloud version has an incompatibility with the latest update. You'll have trouble updating or synchronizing Shared Albums after upgrading. If you try installing iCloud on the October Update, you'll see an error message saying "iCloud for Windows requires Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10 (April 2018 Update) and earlier."

Windows Update won't offer you the October 2018 Update if you have Apple iCloud installed. In other words, Microsoft has placed an "upgrade block" on systems with iCloud installed.”

Read more

“Microsoft Office 365 still locks out people who use multifactor authentication, Azure back”:

Referred by Roger Foulds: See the c|net article by GORDON GOTTSEGEN NOVEMBER 20, 2018 9:34 AM PST.

“On Monday, Microsoft customers who use multifactor authentication (MFA) were locked out of their Office 365 accounts. As of right now, it seems like the problem remains. Microsoft's Office 365 status page shows that people may be unable to sign in using MFA, and affected users may be unable to carry out self-service passwords resets.

Two-factor and multifactor authentication involves using an extra step (like a phone number or verification code) in addition to your login credentials. This makes it harder for people to log in to your account if they have your username and password. If you use Office 365 -- Microsoft's subscription to its Office products like Outlook, Word, PowerPoint and Excel -- for work, then MFA is appealing because it gives your account an extra layer of security.

Unfortunately, this extra layer of security is the reason some people are locked out.

According to the status page, the problem was caused by "A recent update to the MFA service introduced a coding issue that prevented users from being able to sign in or carry out self-service password resets when using MFA for authentication." But the status page also says that some people are successfully logging in.

The problem comes at an awkward time. Microsoft on Tuesday activated a new ability to log onto Windows accounts, including Office 365 accounts, with advanced multifactor authentication technology using hardware keys and requiring no password at all.”


Start the data download
Yubikey's Yubico Security Key

Read more

“"Update Windows" - DESPACITO 2 PARODY SONG”:

And finally, a treat for all the frustrated Windows users out there — a crazy little 4:22 min YouTube song about Updating Windows.


Start the data download
Update Windows


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Bob Backstrom
~ Newsletter Editor ~

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