Opinions, suggestions, recommendations or ideas found on our site are applied at your own risk.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!
Thanks for your support over these last dozen+ years.
For some, yes, it's actually been over two decades.
In this newsletter
- Internet Explorer updates
- Don't fall for these...
- Windows 8.1
- Word processing
Internet Explorer updates
|Microsoft's is constantly updating the Internet Explorer
and each time they update, some specialized websites stop
working or have other problems. The most recent update
is IE 11 and once again, we are hearing about a variety of
If you suddenly have IE issues, try uninstalling IE11: In the Control Panel open Programs and Features and on the left, click View Installed Updates. Look for IE 11, right click and uninstall...
After reboot, go into IE 10's Tools menu then About Internet Explorer and uncheck the install automatically option.
Phony warnings like these are a growing problem. They are found at unscrupulous websites with the sole purpose of getting you to click (anywhere) on their page. Clicking likely results in a download, an installation of Junkware or worse.
If you do stumble upon one of these, don't click anything, instead "X" out of Internet altogether.
All of these are from known Junkware sites listed on our Hijacked! page...
These phony warnings include just about anything you can think of. The more popular ones are warnings that:
- your computer is infected
- your hard drive is about to fail
- someone has taken control of your computer
- something needs to be updated before you can proceed
ANY driver or update needed should be obtained via Microsoft's update or the actual manufacturer's site directly...
- Windows, Windows security, Windows drivers:
Check for updates from the Start menu > Windows Updates utility.
- Java: go directly to www.java.com
- Adobe Reader, Flash, Air, Shockwave: go directly to www.adobe.com
- Any computer manufacturer item: Go to that manufacturer's support site, but see warnings about searching the Internet for computer support in our October newsletter.
about these types of scams
Searches for almost anything free may bring you to sites like or worse than the above example. According to McAfee, currently the most dangerous search terms in the U.S. are:
- Word Unscrambler
- Free Music Downloads
- Phelps, Weber-Gale, Jones and Lezak Wins 4x100m Relay
Avoid searching for recent news headlines. Instead go to a known safe news site and find the article there.
- Free Music
- Game Cheats
- Printable Fill in Puzzles
- Free Ringtones
See our Hijacked! page for cleanup information...
Now available from Microsoft, but don't look for it at their download site. Instead, open Windows 8 Start page (Metro), then open the Store tile and Windows 8.1 Free Upgrade should appear there.
If it does not appear, open the System properties (Window key + X) and click Windows Updates. Get all of the required or important updates. When done with those, go back to Store and install Windows 8.1.
Windows 8.1 is a large update! The download took 3+ hours under our 6.0Mb DSL...
Once installed, there are a variety of new options available...
|If you want the
desktop to appear on boot rather than the
Start (Metro) screen:
Get to the desktop (Window key + D)
Right (alternate) click on the Task bar
Select Properties then the Navigation tab
There you can set various options including going directly to the desktop on boot...
Similar to Window key + X, you can also right
click the Start menu (from the desktop) to get this menu...
Look, there's even a shut down option...
|The Start menu (from the Start screen) will now toggle between the Desktop and the Start screen. And near the bottom of the Start screen is a down arrow; this is quick access to the All Apps screen. In the All Apps screen is an up arrow taking you back to the Start screen...|
Various Windows 8.1 articles that may be of interest:
- Microsoft's article on upgrading to Windows 8.1
- technical information of what's new in 8.1
- ZDNet article on customizing Windows 8.1 look and operation
- Cnet's article on new features in Windows 8.1
Have or getting a new computer?
Apparently the Office Starter edition is no longer, so if you want Word, Excel, etc., you need to purchase Office. We have mentioned in the past so just another heads-up: Office 13 is purchased and installed per machine and cannot be installed on another computer - ever. Office '07 and '10 (retail) do not have that restriction - if the current computer burns down, you can install '07 or '10 on the replacement computer...
If the computer you are retiring had Works, it is available only online (be careful where you buy it). Rather than purchasing Works, you could purchase the mainstream Office then convert your old documents by installing the Works converter found here.
Of some interest
In our last newsletter we offered a series of years going back to earlier 1900 and spaced about 11 years apart. Those are the solar maximums, but what was the list of years that followed solar max? Recessions in this country.
So perhaps now you'll know how to play the stock market in 2023-24...
Change - What change?
CGI Federal secured a $678 million no-bid contract to build the Obamacare site and to no surprise, was not necessarily the best company for the job, but rather a friend of the family...
Toni Townes-Whitley, a senior vice president at CGI Federal, is a Princeton classmate of First Lady Michelle Obama, the Daily Caller reported. In addition to being college classmates, both Obama and Townes-Whitley are members of the Association of Black Princeton Alumni. The full article.
Out of control!
- NY dad deemed unfit for not taking son to McDonald's. The article.
- Hallmark, the Kansas City greeting card company, edited the lyrics of "Deck the Halls" on one of its 2013 ornaments to omit the word 'gay' and has received criticism on its Facebook page that puts the company in an unfamiliar position of defending a product. The article.
Leaving you with this from Al Lowe
The next time you go to an amusement park, take along a large industrial bolt. Get on the roller coaster with someone who looks scared. Then, as the ride starts, hold up your bolt and yell, "Wait! Where did this come from!?"