Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Hornswoggled !

OK, I understand MS's need to constantly upgrade (How else are you going to monetize your efforts?) I even understand the desire to drop older OS's from the supported list. (I come from the UNIX world but the drivers are the same. I mean drivers as in incentives not drivers as in interfaces, which are clearly different.) But this bully crap is getting old!

Because I see no need to perpetually chase the latest and greatest unless there is a clear advantage to me (And just because it's good for some megacorp doesn't count.) my laptop is about 6 years old and still running the same OS it came with. Up until about two hours ago my wife's laptop, more like 9 years old and tethered to the wall now because it's battery-less (Just don't see the need to spend the money for a new battery pack.) was also running the original OS.

Oh sure, MS has been reaching out and flicking our ears every few days (Upgrade to windows 10 and reap the many benefits we didn't bother selling you when you bought version 8 and you don't really need anyway but our marketing crap sure makes it sound good!!) but we've just been spritzing a little bug-spray at the damn thing and making it go away.

But apparently now MS is flinging shiny little windows like Frisbees, or maybe it's those pointy Kung-Fu star thingies, at the heads of those of us that dared to ignore them so far!

Despite no change in our personnel policy of ignoring this upgrade, when my wife turned her laptop on this afternoon she was informed that the windows 10 upgrade was almost complete and all she had to do was sign the agreement.  Now you have to admit, this was a pretty good trick since the router and satellite modem, our only available connection to the outside world, had both been physically turned off for nearly 24 hours, and her system had been shut down during that time too.

Being even less MS-literate than I am she carefully backed away and left it like that while she came looking for me. I sat down, read all the fine print on the screen and said hell no! I didn't agree to this crap!

But it turns out the bully has a bigger stick than me. . .

When I clicked <don't agree> the sucker stepped back and showed me the same screen all over again. I tried some of my old UNIX tricks like booting to a previous kernel, or booting in safe mode, but my stick just wasn't big enough and I always ended up staring at that same screen (Agree or you die!!!)

So now we've been half-choked by having windows 10 crammed down one of our laptop's throats. (And frankly it didn't taste very good!)

But I do feel one small sense of victory.

Other than E-mail, the main activity on my wife's laptop is freecell, sometimes for hours at a time. (I've seen her stats get up into the thousands of games won with zero lost.) but when I went searching through this new realm there was no such thing to be found. Oh there was plenty of crap out there. Zippy games with all sorts of flashy graphics and very annoying audio, Most of which we had to be online to play, in other words the kind of stuff that teenage girls and pre-pubecent boys of all ages can't get enough of, but since nether of us are either of these anymore, that just wasn't going to fly!

I finally broke down and turned the sat-modem on so I could expand my search beyond the local box and discovered that she would be graciously allowed to play a reasonably plain version of freecell under the new regime but only if she subjected herself to 15 to 30 second adds periodically (They didn't seem too eager to define just what timeframe 'periodically' covered. Big surprise!) or paid a monthly ransom to make the adds go away.

Well hell! I would have thought that would be completely unacceptable to even the meekest of conformists! But not to worry. A couple more minutes of searching and I found a download that promised to restore a free, plain-ol' version of freecell, even under the tyrannical rule of 10.

The package comes with a whole bunch of classic games but since freecell is the only one she uses I unclicked all the rest and did the download/install. Not only did she get her original version of freecell back, add free with no demand for ransom, but it picked right up on the stats file that was in effect before this forced upgrade!

Take that you windows bully!!

At the time I didn't make note of just where this game download came from, but truth is it only took a minute's worth of searching to find it so it's not like the thing is buried deep in the darknet somewhere.


  1. I find it hard to believe that Windows 10 can even run on a 9 year old computer. You might check your settings to see if you have the box checked for "automatic updates" ... but it sure does sound like those creeps in Seattle came right through the backdoor of your computer for a free download.

    It's times like that I love my Mac. :)

  2. Not only does 10 run on her old laptop, but it's running better than it has in years. So the joke's on them!

    Oh, Ermmm. . . actually I guess the joke's on me. . .