Rebuilding the village — 32 Comments

  1. Microsoft piss me off big time. I bought my laptop with windows 8 installed which I was happy with. Microsoft kept pestering me to update to Win 10. I kept ignoring their messages. They then installed Win 10 anyway. I was on a pay as you go wireless connection at the time, the update used up heaps of expensive megs. Then they send me a message all nice and cheerful asking what I think of Win 10 so I told them what I thought of them, haven’t  had a message from them since. But they keep updating Win 10 whenever they want. You’d think it was their computer not mine. Microsoft shit me but alas I don’t know a whole lot about computers so I’m stuck with them for now.

    • Not only do Microsoft think they own your computer [which they didn’t pay for] but they and their cohorts demand payments every time you want to install something new.  I found that those fucking updates were one of the worst aspects as they keep demanding you reboot before anything works [or even worse, they reboot automatically when you’re in the middle of something else].

      I solved that little update thing and all the virus threats with a simple solution – I have the network disabled in Windows.  I would never use it for anything on-line anyway.  To be brutally honest, I’m not even sure why I have windows installed at all.  I suppose it’s just for sentimental reasons [and also to remind me why I use Linux, in case I have forgotten]

    • “But they keep updating Win 10 whenever they want”

      Can you not turn off Windows update?

      • Nope, not in Windows 10 Home or Pro. I believe in Windows Enterprise you can. In the other two all you can do is stop the auto-reboot and go with just a notification stating that “Updates were installed and you need to reboot or I will blow up taking you with me!”

      • One thing you can do is set the properties of your Lan or Wi-Fi connection to ‘Metered Connection’ – that generally stops the monster updates whilst still allowing the more modest security ones.    Combined with setting your operating hours to something outrageous (and never switching on during the other time), you can effectively prevent most of the Windows 10 auto-abuse.

  2. What Grandad forgot to mention is that whilst he was indulging in some heavy duty urban planning himself, he also found the time to help me sort out the accommodation in the hamlet I was so kindly given by a ‘friend’. I only have a small 100 acre ranch set aside for the refugees from Mint but so far they seem to have settled in well and despite the language difficulties (I haven’t spoken Linux for over a decade) we seem to be getting on well and the few problems that have arisen have been due mainly to me, their Lord and Master,  forgetting simple phrases like ‘ls’ and ‘sudo’ (which mean ‘show me your knickers’ and ‘what I say goes’ respectively.). I must say the Minterians seem to work faster and harder than their Windowian neighbours- who seem a little pissed because I reduced the size of their estate to make room for the Minterians.

  3. I would move to Linux in a heartbeat GD, but there are certain programs I run for which there does not seem to be a Linux equivalent, and in the few instances that there is one, the Linux program is not as flexible as its Windows counterpart. I’m talking about 3rd party software here, not Microsoft.

    BD – I’m running Windows 10 and there is no way to turn off Windows Update. I have got around this with various measures, one of them is running Spybot Anti-beacon, which prevents Windows from phoning home, a wonderful bit of software made just around the corner from GD in Wicklow.

    Last time Win10 updated it installed a service pack which bricked the computer. Windows loaded but there was no Start menu or task bar, and the solutions found on the internet from another computer did not work. I managed to get a Shell window open and did an immediate system restore. I then set the network settings to metered connection which has prevented Windows trying to re-install the service pack.

    Its hard to imagine a bigger piece of shit than this operating system.

    • One of the reasons I keep that scrap of Windows is for the odd programme that does have Linux equivalents but I’m just used to the Windows version.  For example, I prefer Office to OpenOffice and Photoshop over GIMP.

      Having said that, there are two ways of running Windows under Linux.  One is to use an emulator which is my preferred choice.  That’s how I run Word, Excel and Photoshop now, but not all programmes will work as neatly.  The other is to use a virtual machine.  There is a yoke called VMWare that once installed creates little “virtual” machines that will run any operating system you want.  Once you have installed your Windows Version Whatever, you just install any software of your choice.  The only real disadvantages to the latter method are that it’s slower, having to boot up your virtual machine before you can run your programme, and the virtual machine uses the same memory as Linux and sharing means the programme get a lot less than it should and can be painfully slow as a result.

      • One of the reasons I keep that scrap of Windows is for the odd programme that does have Linux equivalents but I’m just used to the Windows version.  For example, I prefer Office to OpenOffice and Photoshop over GIMP.

        Exactly. I’m into electronics and use for visual aids. Linux does have an equivalent and I have tried it, but it doesn’t do half the stuff that does. On Linux there is also GIMP and Inkscape but they are both hugely complex for what I do. There’s also TinyCAD I use for circuit diagrams but AFAIK there’s no Linux equivalent.


        I’ve tried VMWare in the past and got nowhere with it. Mind you that was a while ago. I’ve also tried running Windows programs under WINE but that was very unreliable.

        • Heh!  I just checked and my emulator mentions both and TinyCad as programmes that can happily run within Linux.

          Wine is best avoided though.

    • “BD – I’m running Windows 10 and there is no way to turn off Windows Update”

      Sweet Jesus, tell me you’re joking, right? Is that even legal?! And there was me bemoaning bloody cackberry for sending me daily notifications to update my Q10 (an update that reduced my average battery life from a day to about an hour…maybe 2 tops). No I don’t want you, Blag-berry, to ‘remind me later’, give me a ‘bug me no more and begone’ option.


      • I just tried to reply to your comment BD but was blocked because (I think) I included some of Spybot’s log and it must have been seen as malicious code.


        Indeed I’m not joking, in fact there’s a lot in Windows 10 like that. Spybot is blocking 111 telemetry hosts, all of them constantly guzzling your bandwidth. A lot of that ‘phoning home’ comes from the Windows apps. Now these apps. such as xbox and onedrive have no disable or uninstall options, so I’ve uninstalled all I can using shell commands. I’ve had to actually remove the packages because they re-install automatically. You need to also be careful of what you get rid of, since things like Cortana will stop parts of Windows from working. She’s disabled now, which is the best I can do. I’m not happy at having this shit there in the first place.


        Also I’ve discovered that if you add an entry for Bing in the hosts file, Bing will override it.

        • Then I shall stick to Windows7 for as long as I possibly can I think. *still mourns the passing of Win2k*

          • You can disable Windows Update in Win10. Go to open Component Services then Services (local) in the list you’ll find Windows Update. Right click on it and then select Stop. Once stopped double click on it and select a startup type of disabled.

            I’ve had to do this as windows kept downloading the same update (which couldn’t be installed) even though I had set a metered connection. Microsoft have used up half my monthly quota in three days!

  4. Damn fine explanation, GD. Hell, even I understood it. Hope you got your permits in order when you rebuilt the village.

    • When I bought the village I bought it Freehold with all rights and tenures.  As far as the village is concerned, I am God!

  5. This evening I have just had a reminder why I stopped using Linux a decade ago and why there was no way I was going to scrub Windows from my ailing laptop. All was cool until I made the mistake of wanting linux to talk to my printer. I plugged the usb in and Mint flirted with me by correctly identifying the make and model and teased me with ‘ configuring your Brother HL-110’…I was getting all excited….and then nix, nada, niente. The drivers it suggested of course didn’t work and at that point i thought ‘sod it’ and fired up windows again (and yes I did check Brother’s website for drivers and they don’t do them for 64 bit systems). I doubt it will recognise my scanner or even my smart phone .I spent ages back in the day trying to get the various distros to recognise my usb modem and later still more trying to get them to talk to my wifi cards.     Has anyone got a teletype printer they could lend me ? 

    • Ouch.  I never had any problems but then I have always used just the one printer/scanner an HP Officejet J4680.  That works perfectly [printer and scanner].

      One thing that amused me comparing Windows to Linux was device recognition.  Install Linux and everything works.  All it asks for is the wifi password.  Install Windows and it can’t even find the fucking wifi, let alone all the other unimportant things like display, touchpad and the rest.

  6. When I bought my laptop every shop I went to all the computers had Windows installed. There was no escaping Microsoft. What I think needs to happen is for Linux or someone else to start selling computers that are Microsoft free. Not just the operating system but the whole package, web browser, email, paint, word etc. already installed so a non tech person can take it home and use it straight away like you can with Windows.A selling point for these machines would be a promise that the OS would not be phoning home and would not update automatically. Go back to the old way of doing updates as with Win 98, if you want to upgrade you have to go to the shop and get a disk. 

    • I could not agree more.  I presume Microsoft gets a kickback from every sale, so I am actually paying a licence fee for something I will never use.  Since I switched to Linux about seven or eight years ago I have bought a couple of laptops.  Each time the first thing I did was to wipe the hard disk and start from scratch.

    • “start selling computers that are Microsoft free”

      Sadly its been tried several times before and the even sadder truth is you can’t even give a linux solely laptop away. Not yet anyways….Mint Linux gets bloody close to ‘anyone can use outta box’ -especially if they only want to surf but -and remember I was in no way a linux novice- I still need(ed) Grandad’s help to set the thing up and if I wanted it to actually do something like to talk to my printer,smart phone, flatbed scanner , digi-cam, fitbit, anal vibrator fridge and washing machine  (joking about the last four) then I would have to take  the equivalent of a degree course in linux .

      I love Linux, but she’s like that girlfriend who was hopeless at everything except in the bedroom.

      • I love Linux, but she’s like that girlfriend who was hopeless at everything except in the bedroom.”  Brilliant!

        In fairness, you only needed help with one tricky little bit of software that I sent you.  Not everyone would be installing that?

        • Everyone who wanted to do much more than just watch funny cat videos on Youtube and update their fecesbook would need to install such software. That or have a dual boot. I’ve needed help with a couple of things but knowing your time constraints I either try and recall what I would have done back when I was using ‘nix regularly ….or google…although Linux help pages still tend to be written by linux speakers.

          • Nah!  That software is only really for people with very specific needs.  Most can do perfectly without it.

            Any time you have a problem, gimme a shout.  Just don’t expect an immediate answer all the time!

            Most of the problems I have discovered from time to time are documented here.

              • Are you trying to install ‘openvpn’? Whatever it is, it’s already installed but is complaining about redundant packages.  Try following the prompt it suggests – sudo apt autoremove

                • Oh sorry, I wasn’t saying I had a problem (and those packages it thinks are redundant aren’t necessarily so…according to some of the comments on the instructions I was reading). I was just showing you what I was doing atm. Just finished installing openvpn and can now,I hope, *touch wood* surf German donkey-midget-nun pr0n sites with gay abandon.

                  Biggest problem I had installing openvpn was remembering my bloody password for the vpn I use! Which meant booting back into Windows to let ‘Mypassword Keeper’ show me. DUH!

              • Incidentally, you have updates available!  Little shield icon with blue circle [should be a green tick] very bottom right hand corner.  Time to see how brilliant and easy mint is with updates?

                • Uhm well I learnt by Nis’s mistakes not to update Firefox (I also have Waterfox running) and Windows7 updates are a piece of piss because I always turn off updates first thing before I do anything else on a fresh install. Annoying,slightly, with Mint are the ‘have you got a note from your mommy?’ type requests for a password to install the updates or turn on system restore. But that pissed me off during the install- it wouldn’t let me install without a password…windows will.

                • brilliant and easy mint is with updates

                  Now the shield has a red cross on it and ‘can’t install security updates’. So I have taken the only possible course of action and removed the bloody shield thingy eye-sore icon or ‘idiot light’ from the tool bar. Brilliant and easy is different.

              • @TBD   Seeing as our comments have reached the bottom of the nesting tree…….

                The System restore is actually a neat new feature – it does regular backups at predetermined intervals, but I suppose it isn’t necessary unless a) you are going to seriously use Mint and b) you have enough space for the backups [that’s what I created the little block at the end of the street for].

                That “request from mammy” is a good thing.  It stops you doing daft things or at least makes you think before doing them.  It usually only asks the once and off it goes.  No painfully slow downloads, no “Are you sure you want to do this” notices, no licence agreements to ignore, no reboots.  It just does the job quietly and goes away.

              • A shield with a red cross just means it temporarily can’t check servers.  Just ignore it.  It will right itself.  Unless you have fucked it up altogether…

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