Give and Take

Some updates in my world, for those who like to follow along with such things.

On the desktop computer front, my restored ability to operate with Windows 10 lasted less than 48 hours.  It seems the update I got that worked was a patch to make the previous version work well enough to load the new update… which crippled the system all over again.  It updated on both the desktop and the laptop, and in both cases it took literally all night.  Doing some research, I was able to find instructions for rolling back the update and permanently turning it off.  Turns out, the instructions for the latter part of that don’t actually correspond to any known function in Windows 10, so the rollback happened on both systems.

On the laptop, it immediately wanted to reinstall the update again because this is how Microsoft rolls now.  It took 9 hours.  It hung for half an hour at 84%, declared that it was a failure, took another 45 minutes to restore the previous version, and as I type this, it’s currently trying to download that update again.  I’ve tweaked some settings for the slowest possible download and an update that either happens in that 6 hour window when the computer is off anyway, or by manual request in an attempt to stave this off until the weekend.  I seriously doubt it’ll heed any of those command functions.

On the desktop, the rollback went equally successful, but it had some kind of error on the download itself, so it’s going to wait patiently and try again at its leisure.  Unlike the laptop, which regained full function with the rollback otherwise, the desktop is back to being slow response.  5-10 minutes between mouse-click and requested operation.

As you can see, Linux will still be a thing at some point, if only I can get the time to sit down with it.

In the meantime, we had a complete power outage last night in the neighborhood.  Some car smacked into a light pole and took out a transformer.  In the quiet that ensued, my neighbors behind me somehow managed to find a battery-operated boombox and held an impromptu party.  Did I mention this is after midnight?  On a Thursday morning?  What kind of depraved bastard does this sort of thing?  To my surprise, they actually stopped in 10 minutes, so either the battery died, or a cop responded.  I don’t care which.

In the quiet that ensued, as the ambient temperature rose and prevented me from sleeping, I got a flash of insight regarding the desktop computer.  The only reason I can’t roll back to Windows 7, which was far more stable, is that a couple of my drives are 3 Tb, and 7 only supports 2 Tb or less.  Makes me wonder if I can partition those drives into two smaller drives each without sacrificing my data.  If so, I can wipe the C drive, install 7, and call this an end to the nightmare of stupid.  And then at some point, I’ll make it a dual boot system and learn Linux.  I’m not stupid enough to try any of this myself because I don’t want to risk my digital music collection, so I’ve put out the call to a friend of mine who does this sort of thing for a living.  Hopefully he’ll check his email before the weekend.

In the meantime, the laptop may or may not update properly at some point.  When the first update did go through, the reason I rolled it back was because it seemed far too slow.  Not nearly as slow as the desktop, mind you, but a little sluggish.  Windows seems hell bent on adding features no one cares about, pushing forward without actually fixing issues as they go.  I’m going to start doing research on class action lawsuits.  We live in an age where computers have gone from being toys to being tools to being household appliances.  When a product is sabotaged from the inside through deceit and incompetence, they call that fraud.  It’s a felony offense.  And I’m sure other legal stuff can apply too.  I don’t pretend to know lawyering any more than I understand what’s going on inside Windows 10.  All I know is that necessity has forced me to spend way too much of my time learning about how the sausage is made on a platform that is designed to fight that very idea.  At some point, I’d like to get back to my life, seeing as how I’m at that stage where I’m desperately trying to reclaim it.  This is not even remotely convenient under the best of situations.  Now it’s just making me want to unplug and set fire to everything.  It’s been months.  I’m still worn down from the constant battles with Amazon.  I just don’t know how much more I have left to keep fighting corporate level bullshit.

What I really mean to say is… fuck you, Microsoft.  Fuck you with a dick big enough for an elephant to feel while wearing pants.

*ahem*  Pardon my outburst.

Now the updates about things that have nothing to do with Microsoft…

I have deleted my Goodreads account.  It wasn’t bringing me any added value.  None.  *shrug*  C’est la vie.  It’s one less app on my phone now, and one less thing for me to remember.

I’ve started making notes for more blog posts on the journey to reclaim my life.  I’m not sure I’m at a stage where I can blog much on any of it yet as I’m still getting a foothold on a number of ideas.  I have many problems identified, just nothing else yet solved.  If anyone has questions or suggestions, I’d love to hear them.  After all, if I can add value to your reading experience here, then I’m doing something right.  Helping others along the way is a good means of helping oneself.

I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts lately, mostly catching up on The Minimalists.  I try to listen to that at least once a day, sometimes two, in an effort to catch up on the years of backlog.  Adding value is the name of the game in my world right now, and I certainly get plenty of value from their advice.  I’ve got a ton of other podcasts that I’m keeping in rotation as well.  I’ve not felt the need to jettison any of them, but that’s mostly because I’ve culled the crap a long time ago.

The podcasts have stopped the last couple of days, however.  I got sucked into another audiobook with some element of timely backlash.  If the name Lily Bart has any meaning for you, you already know where this is going.  Assuming I have a functioning computer, there will be a review dropping soon, hopefully today.  There’s a lot to unpack on this novel.  I expected nothing less, however.  I was warned up front this was a harsh read.

I made my way to Sprouts this last weekend to do some grocery shopping.  I know, I’m as shocked as you are.  I’m even more surprised to report that I got a week’s worth of groceries for about half the price of Walmart, to say nothing of other grocery store chains, and some of what I bought was actually organic.  I can’t tell you which part of that surprises me more.  Kid Sis has gone vegetarian for health reasons, so I’m picking up all kinds of tips and tricks for simply swapping out some of my choices based on money (or lack of it) alone.  Minor lifestyle adjustments, major changes down the road.  It seems to be a system that works as advertised.

And last but not least…

Some of you may recall a while back that I’ve got a hardback copy of The History of the Hobbit to giveaway.  The only issue is some damage to the bottom of the dust cover.  But I fought Amazon and their third party seller, got the refund, kept the book, and got a pristine copy for myself from the official Tolkien shop.  At this time, I still have no real clue how I want to do the giveaway.  Last time was trivia from different stories and from my blog here.  This time… my brain is too fried right now to pretend I’m clever.  I’m going to open the floor to suggestions because I’d really like to pass this along to someone who’d appreciate having it.  I just have to figure out a fair way to determine who will win it.  This is the prize:

8 thoughts on “Give and Take

  1. So you’re reading House of Mirth, eh? That book was a contestant in one of my book groups’ “tournament of books” earlier this year – it lost a hotly contested battle with The Handmaid’s Tale back in February.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just finished it, in fact. Timing! I think of the two, I got the better deal. I tried to read The Handmaid’s Tale. I get the idea of it, but I was bored to tears by the preachiness of it and stopped before the halfway point. It’s not for everyone, I get that. Wharton, on the other hand, seems to grab me by the collar and hold me there.


  2. I feel for you regarding your computer issues. My computer died last month – smoke coming out the back. Spent a small fortune on a new computer – the computer is lovely (12 GB RAM!!!!) – but it has windows 10 [ :( ]. Apparently Windows 7 doesn’t run on 7th generation laptops without issues?! Got an IT student of my acquaintence to set it up like I had my old computer set up (the kid spent the last 20 years listening to me bitch about computers so he knows what I want and don’t want!). On day 3, the one update took all night and took away the ability to change font sizes on apps, which is a real bugger on this new screen. So far though, no major updates and nothing has changed. I’ve set my update settings to the minimal updates, it won’t allow a no update option, and hope that some major update doesn’t wipe out my bandwidth for the month or mess up the computer completely. Microsoft sucks!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I learned early on, when the magic smoke escapes the computer, it doesn’t work anymore. I’ve had that happen many years ago. Freaked me out a bit at the time.
      Sounds like you’re jumping through all the same hoops I am. I’m told Microsoft will go through and turn off the updates permanently… for $135 per month. Somewhere along the lines, they stopped doing IT and started following the Corleone business model. I don’t know how I’d handle this if I had to deal with limited bandwidth too. Good luck. Might I suggest Linux? Set it up as a dual boot to learn?


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