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Everything posted by NoelC

  1. On a related note I've found - disappointingly - that it's all too common a practice to set compiler warning levels low. That probably implies it's like that in proprietary software development as well. "What you don't know can't hurt you", right? Wrong. I'm SURE there would have been some message emitted about that pointer truncation error if only the programmer hadn't made a sweeping "I don't care about warnings" gesture. Why wouldn't everyone want the warning level turned all the way up? The compiler is already capable of telling people they're stuffing a 64 bit loaf of bread in a 32 bit bread box. Sorry for the small rant. I just contributed some work - most of which was accepted, happily - to an open-source project to tidy up hundreds of warnings about mixing up signed and unsigned values. I've mandated /Wall here at my company (which is one level more picky than /W4 in Visual Studio). There a very few overly pedantic ones (like emitting a message for every function that's been successfully inlined) that we suppress, but for the most part, if liberties have been taken with the code, the programmer will know about it right away. -Noel
  2. Well, to be fair an OS IS supposed to be defensive against application software causing problems. It's nice to hear that there are engineers within Microsoft who actually still care about robustness. -Noel
  3. The last theme atlas I published for Win 10 still works just fine for the Creator's Update as far as I know. Here's the RoundedCorners atlas I am currently using with the Aero 7 theme by Sagorpirbd... To be honest I've forgotten whether it can work with other themes. The .layout file is supposed to make these theme atlases portable. http://Noel.ProDigitalSoftware.com/ForumPosts/Win10/15063/RoundedCorners_For_Aero7.zip -Noel
  4. Right, hence my mention of validation. That's an extra implied dimension thrown in just to make things more complex. And as if the problem doesn't have enough dimensions already, their capabilities and qualifications are changing over time. We poor humans just want to oversimplify things, and things are most certainly not simple when it comes to integrating technology into our lives. I feel sorry for the poor folks who just give up and put their lives in the hands of those who claim to be qualified, but in reality have butterfingers. -Noel
  5. I see no problem with my analogy. Microsoft is MOST CERTAINLY not qualified to drive my computers, nor to go through my data. That they engineered some components of my systems / network makes them qualified to supply components, and only after serious validation. I think this touches on the crux of the problem. They are trying to take the stance that they're qualified to run systems only after having shown themselves to be (barely) qualified to supply parts. -Noel
  6. Like I said, a good learning experience, not dissimilar from keeping the car keys out of the little ones' hands - though I'm not sure I'd hand over the keys first in order to find out what could happen. "With great computing power comes great responsibility." But if I understand you correctly, the computer IS server-connected, right? Just to Microsoft's servers. The servers that manage your "Microsoft Account". Microsoft's point with "Windows as a Service" goes along the lines of "user's can't be expected to manage their own systems or data, so hand it over to us and we'll take care of it". I'm not sure I agree with that. Sure, not everyone wants to be a computer geek, but does the pendulum have to swing ALL THE WAY the other way? Maybe instead of "taking over", Microsoft should be building robust systems that keep the control in users' hands but help them in new and unprecedented ways to keep their data safe. Windows 7 gave us the ability to back our systems up, and even reminded us to set up a backup process that was useful to us. SOME people actually listened and did it, because they realized their data has value to them. More recently, it's as if Microsoft wants people to feel as though their data has no value, and that they should be "living in the moment" only. Perhaps I'm weird, but I consider handing over my administrative account information (and telemetric data, data files, etc.) to Microsoft in the same light as handing car keys to kids. Why does anyone think that's a good idea? -Noel
  7. Need a poll I think... Does this bring: Excitement Dread I'm somewhere in the middle, but most of all I feel... Update fatigue. I hope, by the implication of the name, that this is just a service pack for the Creator's Update that doesn't seek to change everything again. -Noel
  8. To me this sounds like what SHOULD have been a learning experience. A few dozen hours setting a whole computer system back up would teach that user not to allow "gnomes" access to a Windows system with an administrative account... Not to put too fine a point on it, but what did you THINK was going to happen? So great, the password was reset back to something to where the user could get in. But what else is permanently "gnome-enhanced"? Entire drive shared on OneDrive? Tax records mysteriously missing? No doubt that neighbor will blame Microsoft or the universe or ANYONE but himself/herself. The problem isn't that older Windows systems didn't place the management of the all-important administrative password in the hands of someone else. This problem was a short circuit between the headsets. -Noel
  9. And almost certainly less maintainable. I constantly have to rely on my lifetime of experience not to have my Win 10 test system become unusable. Again. And so it remains captive in a virtual machine, while my desktop - on which I rely for business and all general computing needs - continues to run Windows 8.1 (with countless hours of tweaks). The difference is that Microsoft is no longer trying to change Win 8.1 into something other than an NT-derived operating system. -Noel
  10. Configuring overt settings is fun, but it needs more to be completely shut up online. I've gotten the OS quiet, long-term, but a few applications - e.g., Visual Studio - do try to send telemetry regardless. For that I have DNS blacklists and the firewall in place. -Noel
  11. I've been having some trouble moving icons around on the latest Win 10 desktop. If I try to put one near another one it often jumps away. I think chimps are now programming at Microsoft. -Noel
  12. Wow, so the question becomes: What have I done this time around to avert it? Whatever it is, it's in my re-tweaker script. The only difference this time around is that I did NOT choose to remove all the Apps, since updates start to fail if they're removed. Having left them in, I did still kick the legs out from under the UWP table (e.g., by disabling the Unistack services). It uses more disk space this way, and SearchUI.exe does run so it uses a tiny bit more memory and another process, but it's still silent online and is pretty well optimized for desktop operations. Finding just how much one can carve back out and still end up with a viable, manageable system is the trick, isn't it? -Noel
  13. I didn't boot up my Win 10 VM yesterday, and I may not today... Somehow I feel... Calmer; happier. -Noel
  14. UWP File Explorer... Ugh. The time is approaching when it will either be necessary to abandon all hope of using Win 10 or embrace it for all its unwanted directions (cloud, poor efficiency, never finished). Who would imagine you could replace things with... lesser things and that could somehow be "acceptable"? -Noel
  15. Does that stop SystemSettings from running entirely? Or just from being auto-started? This behavior seems to be gone from version 1703 anyway, so it's kind of a moot point going forward. -Noel
  16. Microsoft OS 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 would have been fine. Keep "Windows" as a, well, graphic multi-windowing OS for business. We should have been on Windows 9, SP2 or so by now. -Noel
  17. Yes, thanks, I've corrected the wording. -Noel
  18. I guess you mean the "releases", such as 1607 and 1703 ("Creator's"). Ostensibly they bring enhancements to the App realm. I don't know much about that because for every new release I've given up on the Apps. This, after giving the packaged Apps a try and finding over and over that I could get all the information just as well on my desktop from a web page or older application (weather.com in a browser, calc.exe, maps.google.com in a browser, IE or a Firefox derivative vs. Edge, etc.) And whenever I've looked in the Microsoft Store I've not seen any "must have" stuff. I can tell you this: There are virtually NO changes to the non-App parts. I guess that could be considered both good and bad... It's not really less COMPATIBLE with "legacy" applications, which is good, and I don't have to write really ANY different code to run software on Win 10 than on older systems back to 7, but... Explorer bugs that have been in the system virtually forever are still there. We know the UI isn't really themed any more (a lack of a consistent theme is not a theme itself). The Start Menu gets some changes, but it is essentially inconsequential since Classic Shell implemented a better one a decade ago, and yes, I DO test it. I just find no merit to it at all. It's like the kids at Microsoft are trying to discover new ways to run a desktop without actually designing anything. Windows 8.1 introduced ReFS, and yes, Windows 10 continues that support - but it HASN'T BEEN ADVANCED at all. I can't yet make a system volume with ReFS. As far as I know, I can't even FORMAT a data volume with ReFS in Windows 10 yet (i.e., it's the same as Windows 8.1, without any advancement). Fully tweaked - which takes quite a bit of effort - Windows 10 (without Apps) CAN be made private and about as efficient as Windows 8.1, which in a number of ways wasn't as efficient as 7. When I test doing the things I normally do with the desktop (basically creating software and running a business) I find Windows 10 on that fully tweaked setup to be slightly SLOWER than Windows 8.1, which in turn was slightly SLOWER than Windows 7. Mostly I think it's because they've tacked on more junk to support the multiple personalities of "mobile" and "desktop". I've not been able to completely carve out "mobile", so more things just sit there and soak up resources, like ShellExperienceHost and ApplicationFrameHost and SearchUI and two fontdrvhosts. I've noticed that networking a Windows 10 v1703 system in with a mixed set of Win 10 and 8.1 systems on a LAN isn't as reliable. I presume it must be because they have made Windows 10 "more secure". In my mind, "less likely to be able to access files on a server" isn't really so much "more secure" as "less functional". Speaking of security... Windows 10 is touted as "the most secure Windows yet". Funny thing, between the OS itself and Edge, there are certainly a lot more security problems being uncovered with Windows 10 each month (based on vulnerability lists and the number of security patches released by Microsoft) than with the older systems. So... They say it's faster - it's not. They say it's more secure - yet here I am with Windows 7 and 8.1 systems that have never been compromised, and I have to do back flips to make Win 10 private. They say it's better - yet it fails more often. They say it's modern - yet it's ugly as ****. -- Conclusion: I'm not seeing them bring much of anything I want. Your mileage may vary. -Noel
  19. The list of crap websites that page tries to visit is staggering... [15-Jul-17 00:05:05] Client, www.theverge.com A resolved from Forwarding Server as [15-Jul-17 00:05:05] Client, ocsp2.globalsign.com A resolved from Forwarding Server as [15-Jul-17 00:05:05] Client, optimize-stats.voxmedia.com A not found (1) --- blacklisted by DNS proxy --- [15-Jul-17 00:05:05] Client, www.googletagservices.com A not found (1) --- blacklisted by DNS proxy --- [15-Jul-17 00:05:05] Client, c.amazon-adsystem.com A not found (1) --- blacklisted by DNS proxy --- [15-Jul-17 00:05:05] Client, cdn.krxd.net A not found (1) --- blacklisted by DNS proxy --- [15-Jul-17 00:05:05] Client, cdn0.vox-cdn.com A resolved from Forwarding Server as [15-Jul-17 00:05:05] Client, phonograph2.voxmedia.com A resolved from Forwarding Server as [15-Jul-17 00:05:05] Client, s.skimresources.com A not found (1) --- blacklisted by DNS proxy --- [15-Jul-17 00:05:05] Client, cdn.vox-cdn.com A resolved from Forwarding Server as [15-Jul-17 00:05:05] Client, fonts.voxmedia.com A resolved from Forwarding Server as [15-Jul-17 00:05:05] Client, www.googletagmanager.com A not found (1) --- blacklisted by DNS proxy --- [15-Jul-17 00:05:05] Client, z.moatads.com A not found (1) --- blacklisted by DNS proxy --- [15-Jul-17 00:05:05] Client, apex.go.sonobi.com A not found (1) --- blacklisted by DNS proxy --- [15-Jul-17 00:05:05] Client, as-sec.casalemedia.com A not found (1) --- blacklisted by DNS proxy --- [15-Jul-17 00:05:05] Client, sbnationbidder-d.openx.net A not found (1) --- blacklisted by DNS proxy --- [15-Jul-17 00:05:05] Client, ib.adnxs.com A not found (1) --- blacklisted by DNS proxy --- [15-Jul-17 00:05:05] Client, cdn1.vox-cdn.com A resolved from Forwarding Server as [15-Jul-17 00:05:05] Client, auth.voxmedia.com A resolved from Forwarding Server as [15-Jul-17 00:05:07] Client, www.linkedin.com A resolved from Forwarding Server as [15-Jul-17 00:05:07] Client, ocsp.digicert.com A resolved from Forwarding Server as [15-Jul-17 00:05:10] Client, widgets.outbrain.com A not found (1) --- blacklisted by DNS proxy --- -Noel
  20. You're right, syntactically, though to be fair there have been several iterations of Windows 10. I guess I was thinking "between Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 version whatever the article writer has". Just try and imagine, "there is no version." -Noel
  21. Thank you for posting this, since it hits quite close to home for me. From that article... It's something that's been introduced between Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, since I do much the same kind of work he describes and I do not see any "mouse catch" situations (which would be appalling on a workstation where you very much expect to be able to do a lot of multitasking without much impact on the UI). I have imagined that - though it should be advancing - the OS would start to return to its roots (e.g., performing more poorly and actually needing a reboot every so often), and apparently it's actually coming true. Probably the result of immature application engineers in Microsoft doing ham-handed bugfixes - or maybe "security enhancements" - to the system itself. It's no small feat to achieve an operating system that will stay running virtually forever without degradation, remaining light and interactive. People ask why I prefer Windows 8.1 tweaked the way I have it. Stability and sustainability are very good reasons. -Noel
  22. I have been busy getting some releases ready, so I haven't had time yet to experiment further with VS 2017. At the moment I have it in a pretty good place, with the telemetry sites being blocked by DNS, but like moataz I'm always interested in getting things to run in the most efficient possible ways. If a build goes 10% faster because of it, that's less waiting and more work I can get done in the same amount of time. -Noel
  23. People actually want OneDrive integration? -Noel
  24. A photographer friend of mine, who runs a pretty nice, new Puget Systems workstation bought with Win 10 preinstalled just to process his digital photos, recently commented that Windows 10 just upgraded itself to v1703 on him and broke some things. He was stunned and shocked that it would do this, EVEN THOUGH I had warned him about Windows 10 far in advance of his having gotten a new workastation. His only experience was on Windows 7 on his prior workstation. Even when you tell 'em, a lot of people in the world STILL won't believe what's happening until it bites them in the behind. People will never truly learn from others; they have to have the experience themselves - and at that point it's too late, they're already in the trap. -Noel
  25. For VS 2015 as I mentioned you can use file system permissions to remove the privileges of VSHub.exe to run. Note, don't ADD deny permissions, but rather uncheck the existing allow permissions for "Read & Execute". Remember to look at whether an update has re-allowed them from time to time. Unfortunately the above doesn't apply to VS2017. That's quite a bit more complicated to control, since - as expected - the product has become much more cloud-integrated. VS 2017 communicates with a LOT of different servers. I've caught it trying to communicate with servers like the following to send telemetry: az700632.vo.msecnd.net az667904.vo.msecnd.net vortex.data.microsoft.com What I'm doing here to retain as much VS2017 functionality as I can while not allowing telemetry is to selectively block the resolutions of DNS names for several key telemetry reception sites. You can see my extensive blacklists, part of which are regenerated daily, in this file in the dns_hosts and wild_hosts files: http://Noel.ProDigitalSoftware.com/files/DNSListCompiler.zip I have to admit that I'm not as confident in this setup blocking all unwanted comms since it IS being allowed to contact so many other sites, such as: aka.ms download.visualstudio.microsoft.com go.microsoft.com visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com Keep in mind that whatever we can do to try to block their taking of information from us, they have already thought it through and have secondary and tertiary methods of retrieving it. There's probably no real hope of maintaining complete privacy except to just not use modern software. -Noel
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