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Windows 10 – November Update

Written: November 19, 2015

Like many other businesses I use Windows 10 and right about now your PC should be nudging you to upgrade with the latest update. When you do agree to update, then expect that the download will take at least one hour, so just let that start in the background. During the actual update you may want to go to lunch, or plan to do this at the end of the business day so that you don’t lose any time during working hours.

windows 10 november update


Microsoft has an official list of the changes here. On the Start menu the columns go from three to four, and you can resize the tiles. You can now cram up to 2,048 items in the Start menu, which is way too many for my taste. Microsoft will now start to suggest apps for you.

Find My Device is useful if your laptop has gone missing, look in Control Panel, then Security.

Boot times could be up to 30% faster now with this update.


Some people have found that their installation gets stuck at 44%, especially if you have an SD card inserted.

Other users found out that default app choices got reset with this update.

There are reports that several programs may be removed during install, like: CPU-Z, speccy, 8gadgetpack, a Cisco VPN client, SATA drivers, SpyBot, F5 VPN, Steam, Origin and Adobe CS, ugh.

updating windows

all your files, windows 10


If At First You Don’t Succeed

Written: November 3, 2015

My previous blog reported on a defective HP printer after only 5 months of very light use, so today after a bike ride I returned home to find my replacement HP Officejet Pro 6830 printer all ready to un-box and setup. I was giddy with excitement, because who doesn’t like receiving a free gift in the mail? The old printer was unplugged, cartridges removed, then the replacement printer was plugged in and I re-used my previous cartridges. Setup went along only so far, and then I received a warning page about my cartridges telling me to, “Install the Setup Cartridges”.

HP 6830 printer

I tried a second set of cartridges that I had bought last week and used on my defective printer, but these weren’t accepted by the replacement printer. I phoned HP tech support and spent the next 54 minutes following inane instructions from a person living in a far away land where English was not their first language. Out of curiosity I took the brand new cartridges sent with the replacement printer and tried those, suddenly my setup screen advanced a few more steps until it reached Printer Alignment. At this step out came a page in pretty cyan colors, but not other colors, followed by a dialog, “Alignment Failed”.

Tech support promised to send out yet another replacement printer to replace the first replacement printer. My oh my, how can a major company like HP stay in business when their consumer printers seemingly don’t quite work as advertised? After buying HP products since the 1970’s I’m not sure why I would ever buy anything from HP for the rest of my adult life. How can such a great brand like HP have so much trouble making their printers work, out of the box?

No more HP ever


HP Printer Support

Written: October 29, 2015

As a small business owner I avoid using paper wherever possible, and instead prefer to use email, PDF documents and share documents in the cloud. I do have a need to print out envelopes, invoices and other documents, but my use is very light. My old HP inkjet printer had recently died, so in May 2015 I went to Staples and found a replacement inkjet printer, also from HP called the OfficeJet 6830.

HP 6830 printer

For five months it dutifully worked as designed so printing was routine, however just this past week on the display I saw a message, “Problem with printhead”. Uh oh, that doesn’t sound too good I thought. I tried a few things to remedy the situation:

Nothing was working, so I finally phoned the HP support number at 800 474-6836. Ironically the automated system really wanted me to go back to their web site and report the problem, but I persisted and spent the next 25 minutes and 13 seconds on the phone speaking with two different people until the manager said the magic words, “We will ship you a replacement printer at no charge.”

Whew, now that is the kind of customer service that I can live with and talk about. Of course, there was no reason that I had to spend that much time on the phone to persuade HP to fix a problem that they are very aware of, because their user forums are filled with hundreds of identical complaints about “Problem with printhead”. In an ideal world HP would be proactive and issue a product recall, like in the auto industry, then contact me and alert me to the issue and tell me the steps when my printer showed the problem.

In the business world it is very important to keep your customers loyal, because if they love your brand they may just stick with you for decades and start telling all their friends about you in the process.


Security Issues Big and Small

Written: September 28, 2015

I used to have my digital photos printed out at Costco, however gradually over time I stopped printing them all-together and instead mostly share my digital photos directly on Facebook to friends and family. Costco is a large retail provider that continues to offer printing of digital photos and they have a fine online system for uploading and ordering. One small detail is that Costco actually contracted out this online service to another company, and then that company got hacked, so I received the following ominous email about the security breach by email last week:

costco photo security breech


Wow, the Costco photo system was hacked for some 13 months until it was recently found. Now that doesn’t install much confidence in me about the security. Coincidentally in the past 12 months my Visa card company has issued me 2 new cards as part of their on-going security efforts.

So Costco photos online was the big security issue, and now for the small security issue – an email warning about my email account being over quota:

Christine Largade

It’s important to note that my Internet Service Provider is 1and1.com and they have a totally different look to their emails than this fake email. Notice how this email has no company name listed, no toll-free phone number, no logo and no address. Furthermore, when I click on the email sender it shows some bogus address of admin@b.boyuan.net, certainly not a real company that I do any business with.

email sender is bogus


Hovering over the link reveals another fake address that is not any company I know of:

fake link address

So, to stay safe by identifying bogus emails like this, just double check a few facts before clicking any links:

Hopefully you will stay safe and secure in running your business and personal life online by not falling for security scams, or taking immediate action if a scam has stolen any of your vital information.


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