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August 14, 2020

Windows 10 Changes Driver Search Scope in DevMgr

A subtle change in wording in the “Search automatically for drivers” dialog box in Device Manager reveals an interesting change in MS driver search tactics: DevMgr will no longer search the Internet for new device drivers on your behalf as of Build 19041.423.

19H2

Evaluating Software by Maintenance Effort

When I read on Tenforums that a respected active member recommends TreeSize Free over WinDirStat because the former still gets regular updates, and the latter hasn’t been touched since 2016, I have to reconsider my preferences and recommendations. Sigh.

20H1

2012 Vintage Lenovo T520 Nears Retirement

When I wake up my old Lenovo T520 this morning, I get a black screen after trying to login. I use a pair of hotkey sequences that not only give me a working display. I’m also able to capture black screen error info for my first time ever. Woo hoo!

Android

Rethinking Surface Duo

MS finally lets slip pricing and availability for its newest member of the Surface family: the Surface Duo. When I get that news, I nearly fall over. It costs too much for me to consider a purchase.

20H1

Ruminations on Reliability Monitor

Windows Reliability Monitor is actually a special wrapper around its general Performance Monitoring tool Even so, it’s a useful and helpful tool for keeping an eye on Windows PCs, and chasing errors to their causes.

Desktop tools

Toshiba Leaves PC Market

I got a twinge of nostalgia reading reports that Toshiba is leaving the laptop market. I’ve carried and used a few of their laptops, so I share some recollections and ruminations here.

Admin Tools

Build 20185 Brings New RDP Hijinks

After upgrading to Dev Channel Build 20185, I am unable to RDP into one my two Dev Channel test machines. A quick trip through my RDP repair checklist, and all is (eventually set to rights). After the last checklist step, of course!

20H1

War Stories: Wi-Fi Router MIA

When a thunderstorm throws a power fault here earlier this week, it takes me a while to realize that my office Wi-Fi box is MIA. I explain how I finally figured things out, and returned them to working order.

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1903

Raft of New Features Coming to Microsoft Teams

Microsoft just announced a whole bunch of new teams features including meetings with up to 20,000 participants (!) and a wide range of phone support plans, including expanded phone system integration, support for SIP phones, and even (gasp!) Teams phones coming soon.

20H1

Latest-Gen Belkin USB-C Dock Takes Big Step Up

Now that I’ve got the latest Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Dock Pro in my hot little hands, I can compare it to its top-of-the-line predecessor, the Thunderbolt 3 Express Dock HD. It’s a clear case of newer is better, because newer has more ports and more features for less cost.

20H1

Outlook Connection Issue After July 28 Update

Ever since I updated my Office 365 install with yesterday’s monthly offering (July 28), Outlook keeps warning me to “CHECK YOUR CONNECTION” (all-caps is Microsoft’s not mine). I did, and it’s working fine. So what’s up here?

Admin Tools

Disabling Hibernation Resolves Power-on Mystery

After installing Build 20170 on a test PC, it starts to require the power button to wake from hibernation. The easy fix is to disable hibernation, so that’s what I do. I still can’t find the setting that causes it to hibernate when that’s a possibility, though.

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19H2

Timing a Windows 10 2004 Upgrade

As I struggle to get one lone hold-out PC upgraded to 2004, I reflect that updating later rather than sooner has its advantages, too. Could this be making a virtue out of necessity? You decide…

20H1

Say Hello to Hybrid Cloud Capable Azure Stack HCI

Microsoft’s Azure Stack HCI lets customer run the same Azure software and services on-premises that they already access in the cloud. Depending on what’s required for on-premises hardware — especially if it’s compatible with current generation rack mounted systems — this could shake up the whole HCI marketplace. Only time (and an improved understanding of the details) will tell..

20H1

More Mysterious Thunderbolt Magic

I find myself investigating another Thunderbolt mystery. Even though it doesn’t appear in the built-in Windows “Safely remove…” tool, you must eject all Thunderbolt attached devices before unplugging a Thunderbolt dock. Otherwise, you’ll have to restart your PC the next time you plug Thunderbolt back in.

19H2

Mysterious Magical Thunderbolt Devices

Thunderbolt is present and working on my Lenovo X380 Yoga laptop. But I can’t find a way to map all the connections it supports, and the devices I might plug into a Thunderbolt dock. Magical and mysterious, indeed!

20H1

PowerToys v0.19.2 Gets Installer Right

To my astonishment and delight the PowerToys team has fixed ALL of the installer oddities I’ve reported in its latest release v0.19.2. You can now sit back, relax, and it takes of itself on its own. Good stuff!

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