Archive for August, 2015

windows 10 uh-oh

A couple of weeks ago I decided to risk upgrading my laptop computer to Windows 10. It was running Windows 7, and the upgrade, though lengthy, worked just fine. Until today.

Today I turned on the laptop and after signing in, a big critical error notice popped up saying that the Start Menu and Cortana were not working and that “they” would try to fix the error next time I signed in. They kindly provided a sign-out button to facilitate signing back in again, to which I availed myself. Unfortunately, it did no good. So I signed out and signed back in under the administrator user. Still no good, even after signing in and out under both user names and restarting the computer several times. I can only assume that Microsoft put through an update that has managed to really screw with my computer.

That is why, despite the notice that keeps popping up, I am NOT going to move my main desktop computer over to Windows 10. I can afford to deal with problems on a laptop that I use occasionally, but I would be screwed if my main computer went wonky. So, no thanks, Microsoft. I’ll give you several more months to straighten out your Windows 10 messes before I commit to “upgrading.”

Update: I looked around on the web for a bit to find a solution. Apparently this was something that was happening to the earliest upgraders. I’m not sure why it took a few weeks to pop up on my computer, but there were fixes out there. One was to uninstall Avast anti-virus software if you had it installed (I did) and another was to reboot into safe mode, and then reboot in regular mode, which is what I did. It worked, but it took a while for the computer to reboot each time.

After it was fixed, I decided to remove Avast anyways, just in case. It took over an HOUR for the computer to reboot after the uninstall! Man, Windows 7 was never like that. I’m assuming that Microsoft still has a ways to go before Windows 10 is up to the usability level of Windows 7. I suppose it doesn’t help that my laptop is a little weak in specs, but it was running Windows 7 just fine and the pre-upgrade scan of my computer said it was okay for Windows 10.

I’m still sticking with my decision to delay upgrading my main computer.

Einstein: His Life and Universe – Walter Isaacson

As I mentioned in my bookmark on The Einstein Prophecy, I have had this biography of Einstein waiting for me to read for some time. Well, that time has now passed and I wish to report that it was very enjoyable. I suppose history and biographies are not for everyone, particularly for those who really love fiction, though I can’t understand that. Every life is a story, and Einstein lived an interesting life in interesting times.

Einstein died when I was only four years old. Obviously I never met the man, nor would I remember if I had, but it somehow makes me happy to know that we shared this earth for a brief time together. I think that most Americans who know anything about Einstein at all, recall him as an eccentric, warm and fuzzy old man with wild hair. They have no idea of what his life was like before he moved to the Unites States.

The truth is, this biography reveals that he was in some ways very disagreeable in his younger days. It was fascinating to see this side of him, particularly knowing a bit of what he was to become. It certainly made him more human and able to relate to. Heck, it made me think about what an asshole I was many times in my youth. Something that I can relate to now is the fact that, as apparently is common with many scientists, his “best” work was done when he was younger. If Einstein couldn’t keep up the pace, then how can I be expected to?

As well as a biography of Einstein, the book gives a great overview of the development of new theories in physics, from Einstein’s theory of relativity to quantum mechanics. I was surprised to learn that Einstein earned a Nobel Prize not for his work on relativity, but for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect. Indeed, many of his scientific achievements were not directly related to relativity theory.

I do wish that I had been able to meet the man, but reading this book was a good alternative. Indeed, it is unlikely that I would have ever known as much about Einstein by meeting him as I have learned from reading this excellent biography.

(Finished 8/8/15)