Windows 10 late April update

Yesterday, my home office desktop initiated the update to Windows 10 April update (not to be known as the Spring Update) – code name RedStone 4.

This was not a simple update and took quite a while insinuate itself in my machine, but after a few reboots and other gyrations, it accomplished its task. For some reason, on my wife’s laptop (which is much slower) it installed more quickly.

Once the install was complete, I still had all my files and programs but had to grant network access to a few programs and perform a few other setup tasks that normally only happen when installing a new program. It also deleted and rearranged a number of icons on my start menu and also re-enabled some programs (like the default mail program) that I’d eliminated from my user interface.

Timeline

The greatest enhancement to Windows is Timeline. It’s designed to facilitate projects across multiple devices. For Timeline to work on iOS and Android devices, you’ll need to install Cortana on your mobile device and be logged in.

To start using Timeline, go to Settings -> Privacy -> Activity history and make check the box next to “Let Windows collect my activities from this PC.” If you want to “Show activities from other accounts” move that slider to on. Timeline should now be turned on not just for this device and this account, but for your other devices and other Microsoft accounts. To turn Timeline off, set the activity history slider to off.

Definitely, something that will take a while to understand its value.

Edge for Android (and iOS)

Chrome has become an increasing resource hog over the years and it looks like Edge for Windows has improved significantly with this release. Now that Edge for Android arrived (I guess it has been out there for a while and I just hadn’t noticed) and should be able to sync favorites… with Windows, I am definitely going to give it a try. I did notice that “Do not track” was not enabled by default. When I tried to sync I received the error message: 0xa04a1823, so I had to submit an issue into MSDN. I am hoping there is a quick response since there were a few others who expressed the same sort of problem.

Now to understand what’s new…

There are a number of other features like disk space recovery that that I’ve been playing with for a while already (Setting -> System -> Storage). This automates some of the cleanup that you used to have to run Drive Space on each drive to accomplish.

I am sure there is much more to delve into (like it appears there are some significant enhancements to annotating videos) but I’ll leave that for later.

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My Moto Phone Upgraded to Nougat over the Weekend

Some of the Nougat enhancements (like the battery management, bundled app notifications and the display element sizing enhancements) are going to be a useful addition. I only got this G4+ phone a short time ago, so what’s a little more change. Since Nougat was released back in August of 2016, I am hoping all the bugs have been worked out and I won’t have to write about any surprises here.

Morse code activity

Though my skills with Morse code are not as strong as they used to be, it doesn’t stop me from leveraging it with my other hobbies:

Every once in a while, I have the opportunity to play World of Warships — sometimes with my son who lives many states away. Besides being a challenging, multi-player naval simulation, WoW often provides some history on the ships and men it is based on.

Their latest background post had just a bit on the background of Morse code and its use by the various Navys of the world  – Squall line: Morse code.

It can be strange how various parts of your life can intersect.

Moto G4+

Well my old LG G2 phone (about 3 years old) finally bit the dust — it was dropping the connection to my provider (ATT) at random times. Not a good characteristic for a phone.

I quickly looked around for an unlocked, Android phone that I could buy outright, without loosing an arm or a leg in the process. I hate paying monthly rent on a phone. I settled on the Moto G4+ with 64 GB of on-board memory. Not sure I needed the 64GB upgrade since the G4 does have a SIM expansion slot that can emulate on-board memory, but I learned a long time ago that you should max out your memory when you buy technology since you may not have the option later.

Moto4G

Naturally, once I bought it the G5+ was announced.

From the time I had it custom configured until the time it was dropped off at my doorstep, it took a week. Not bad, since the device had to be assembled in China. I dropped in my SIM card and was ready.

The first phone I received had an intermittent touch screen issue. It took me 2 phone calls with tech support to convince them I needed a new phone. The first call told me how to do various hardware and memory resets. By the time I reordered, they ran out of some of the parts to configure the phone exactly the way my old one was, but that wasn’t a bit issue for me. My new phone was on its way and I received it in exactly one week.

The Motorola/Lenovo help desk was pretty good (as far as help desks go). I was able to talk with a human within 2 minutes on every call I made — I think there were 5 in total.

  • 2 related to the first phone problem
  • 1 related to an issue with the re-order – there was a spelling error in my email address
  • 2 related to shipping back the old phone – also related to the previous spelling error

Granted, that is not the best track record but each time I was talking with a person who knew what had happened before. They were curious and very helpful (having personally  helped folks on the phone many times in my career, I realize the strain that they can be under, so I may be more tolerant than most).

Overall, this is the best Android phone I’ve ever had, so far. All the important software I had loaded on my old phone runs on this one. The conversion from my old phone to this one was painless, taking probably 2 hours with 1.5 of that being Android loading up the 140 applications I had on my old phone (which it remembered). This process is MUCH better than it used to be.