Sunday, August 02, 2015

Important Windows 10 tip

(There's an important Joe Biden story below this post, so you may want to scroll down.) 

Many of you will use the Windows Media Creation Tool to download Windows 10. (There's a link to it here.) My advice: Do NOT choose "Upgrade this PC now." Instead, choose "Create installation media for another PC." You can then have the file sent directly to an empty USB stick (3GB or larger).

Why do it this way? Well, I stupidly tried "Upgrade this PC now," and waited hours and hours for the whole thing to download. (It's a large file and Microsoft is very busy right now.) Then came installation -- and there was a glitch. I'm not sure what the problem was, although it may have had to do with the fact that my antivirus and firewall were still operating. (You're supposed to remove protection before installing. The previous sentence seems kind of dirty, doesn't it?)

The reason for my particular failure doesn't matter right now. What does matter is this: If you have a problem, you will get a message saying "Ha ha! Failure! You're hosed, loser!" Or words to that effect.

(Actually, the message reads "Something happened. Windows 10 installation has failed." When the apocalypse occurs, I'm sure that the phrase "something happened" will appear on screens all over NORAD.)

Guess what? After "Something happened," you will NOT see a button to push which will allow you to try again. There will be no visible sign of Windows 10's presence anywhere on your system -- at least, there was none that I could find.

You have to download the OS all over again. Hours and hours of waiting. Enough time to listen to Parsifal and watch a John Ford western.  

So the better option is to download the thing onto a jump drive. If something goes wrong, you can try again. No re-downloading. It's yours, you know precisely where it is, and you can now figure out how to make it work.
Always wait. Wait until they've got the teething problems out of the way and the servers aren't as overstressed. No need to be an early adopter.
The tip is you are running 7 stay there
Thank you, jo6pac. You did not give me the "Get a Mac!" speech or the "Get linux (or ubuntu)!" speech.

Actually, you know my favorite riff that you run into on tech forums? I like the runaround you get when you ask a question like "Why isn't my microphone working when I plug it into my computer?" and a self-proclaimed Mr. Know-it-all guy pops in and asks you a zillion questions about your computer's specs and then he demands a Hijack This log, even though that information has no relation to the configuration of your audio. And then, at the end, he can't simply say "Sorry. I'm stumped. I don't know why your mic isn't working." No, he tells you that you probably have a virus, even though a virus clearly is NOT the cause of the mic problem. And then he condescendingly links to Malwarebytes, as though you had never heard of such a thing before. In the end, it always turns out that your mic isn't working because you plugged it into the wrong damned jack.

That dance is done several times a day on the tech forums.

The other dance is called "Justify yourself to me or I won't give you the answer you seek." For example, let's say you ask "How do I format footnotes in Microsoft Word?" Nine times out of ten, the guy answering this question will give hints that he knows the answer -- but he won't tell. He won't tell you how to format footnotes in Word. Instead, he will demand that you justify your decision to use Word instead of Libre or some other alternative Word processor. Suddenly there is a HUGE threat devoted to the question of "Is Libre better than Word?" -- and absolutely everyone has forgotten about your original footnote question.

And then there are the "Get a Mac!" guys. I've already mentioned them, haven't I?
What sort of person goes to a tech support forum before checking if it's the right jack?
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