Which Linux Distro for new users?

People ask how to get started with Linux all the time. But they need to know what the best distribution is for learning? Or for beginner users? Or to install on a spare laptop as newbies trying something different out. So I made a video. The script I used while recording the narration is below.

Continue reading “Which Linux Distro for new users?”

How to Disable Focused Inbox for Windows 10 Mail app

Some people absolutely love the Focused Inbox feature and how it simplifies their life. Other people can’t stand the thought of a computer even just possibly making me miss something important. If you’re like me and you have trust issues, you can disable the “Focused Inbox” feature of the Windows 10 Mail client app Continue reading “How to Disable Focused Inbox for Windows 10 Mail app”

The 3 main reasons Facebook posts want you to “copy and paste, don’t share!”

If your Facebook feed looks anything like mine, you’re seeing more and more Facebook posts that include phrases like “copy and paste, don’t share!” Some of the posts even include instructions for people who don’t know how to copy and paste! But why is this becoming so common? Here are the 3 main reasons, for good or for bad, and a few honorable mentions of other risks of using Facebook in this way Continue reading “The 3 main reasons Facebook posts want you to “copy and paste, don’t share!””

A possible solution for security conscious travelers?

In an era where international travelers are being asked for social media accounts at the border, or the fifth amendment is under attack by forcing you to potentially incriminate yourself by unlocking your phone using a fingerprint (recent good news on that front), there are new concerns when it comes to security and privacy when traveling Continue reading “A possible solution for security conscious travelers?”

Microsoft Standalone Installer stuck at Searching For Updates FIXED (2019)

This is a simple fix I discovered while working on a larger, more complex problem, when my entire computer was stuck “checking for updates.” Below only applies to fixing the issue with stand alone installers. If you need to fix the entire Windows Update / Microsoft Update feature of your computer, see my other article here.

  1. If the installer is currently stuck open on your screen, you can open task manager and kill it by ending the task WUSA.exe.
  2. Hold down the Windows Key and Press “R” on your keyboard to open the “Run” dialogue box. Type in services.msc and press the enter key or click OK.
  3. Scroll toward the bottom of the list and find the Windows Update service. Right click on it, and click Stop.
  4. Go to the folder where you downloaded standalone installer and double click it to run it.
  5. You may notice, at this point, that the Windows Update service starts back up. People may use Task Manager to note that SVCHost suddenly starts using over a gigabyte worth of memory, or other strange behaviors. However, in the few seconds before it starts to behave rampantly, your stand-alone installer should have taken off and started to install your update. The “checking this computer for updates” screen should disappear in under 10 seconds and the installation should begin.

Windows Update stuck on checking for updates FIXED (2019)

I recently ran in to an issue I’ve seen at least a dozen times before. This time, however, absolutely nothing I have tried before would fix it.

I will save the exposition for the bottom of the post, the short version: Microsoft’s official fixes wouldn’t even work because the standalone installers had the same problem as Windows Update, and every other guide, manual fix, and 3rd party tool I attempted to use failed!

Continue reading “Windows Update stuck on checking for updates FIXED (2019)”

FIXED: Windows 8 / 10 computers won’t automatically connect to wifi

The background:
Our office recently picked up some new computers, both Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. Some of these computers, upon reboot, are unable to connect to the internet. The Wi-Fi icon in the system tray has an exclamation mark, when you hover over it, it says: “Unidentified network (no internet access) – when you click on it, it does say that it’s “connected” to the proper network, but that it is “Limited.”

The temporary work-around:
The quick work around I’ve found is to simply put the laptop in Airplane mode, and then immediately take it out of Airplane mode. This will allow the laptop to connect to your wireless network.

But you shouldn’t have to do that! Continue reading “FIXED: Windows 8 / 10 computers won’t automatically connect to wifi”

Disable Windows Password Prompt – all versions of Windows, even 10

I can’t believe I never put this article on my site before, it’s an ancient tip, and still useful for the “average” home user. Do you have a home computer and you don’t want to be pestered for a password every time it starts up? The following steps should be all you need Enjoy!

  1. Open the Run Menu (Either by clicking Start then Run – or – simply be holding Windows Logo Key and pressing R on your keyboard).
  2. Type: control userpasswords2 (leave the 2 off for older versions of Windows like XP and 2000) and hit enter or click OK.
  3. Click the user in the list you want to be automatically logged in so that they are highlighted:
  4. Uncheck the box at the top of the window that says “Users must enter a username and password…”
  5. Click OK then enter your password (twice, to confirm you typed it correctly) – if you do not normally enter a password, just click “OK” leaving the two password lines blank – then click OK.

I believe the prompt may disappear even if you typed the incorrect password, so the only way to be sure it worked is to restart your computer. If all went well, the next time you start up, you should not be prompted for a password and be logged directly in to your desktop! Try it out! If you see the user logon screen or are asked for a password, you probably just missed the password in step 5. Pay close attention to what you type (or don’t type) at the logon screen, then try it again.