The Logitech Marathon M705 mouse..

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It arrived around lunchtime and it didn’t take me too long to insert batteries and get it going.

Zut Alors:

The mouse pointer was everywhere, and adjusting in SetPoint was not working well at all. Looking into the problem, it fast became obvious why. Unlike the MS Wireless 5000 mouse, this Logitech mouse does NOT have Blu-Track capabilities, and the mouse pad I had been using, a finely dimpled, highly patterned glass table mat was sending the mouse scatty.

It has been overcome by using a Vista mouse mat that I received with the original Wow Vista Intro package back in 2006. I will look for something similar to what I have been using because it has worked so well.

The M705 mouse:

It is a good shape, slightly smaller than what I am used to using, very well defined indents for left and right click finger placement, and a good thumb area and opposing squared off vertical surface which makes it easy to control laterally.

On the left side are the almost obligatory extra buttons, two of them which I have yet to set for my preferred function.

It is topped with a scroll wheel, a button which toggles mechanical click-scroll or freewheel, and a battery indicator light which glows green initially but fades to nothing.

Were it not for the fact that it doesn’t like the mouse pad which, incidentally, the M600 had absolutely no issue with, I would say that this mouse is probably as good as it gets.


The control panel for the mouse is not as sophisticated as Microsoft produces. The image of the mouse shows the simplest Logitech mouse, not the one in use, so button reference is a little vague..


My new Logitech mouse ..

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.. will displace the M600 which will soon be paired back with the Toshiba Netbook. I say soon but really mean anything up to 21 days because I have bought a replacement for the aging and broken MS Wireless

The new mouse:

It will be the Logitech Marathon M705 Laser mouse, c/w unifying receiver.

Roughly the same size and profile of the MS 5000 desktop set mouse, it is severely designed for use in the right hand which is good for me and my hope is that the scroll wheel will not fail as the MS mouse scroll wheel has.

It means running two wireless receivers, one for the existing and still operational MS 5000 Comfort key board and the Unifying receiver for the new mouse, but I have eight spare USB ports, so no worries.

This will be the fourth Logitech mouse that I have bought since 2003. The original 2003 corded mouse is still going strong an a clients computer, the M187 is running on the Lenovo G780, the M600 which nobody likes will be for occasional use with the occasionally used Toshiba NB250, and the new M705 will take up duties on the hard-worked production desktop.

Ode to MS mice:

I like MS mice but for one issue. The soft rubber used on the greater majority of later model mice does not last too long. This and general scrolling issues have seen at least eight Microsoft mice come and go. There is still one which is ok, an MS mini-mouse which has a far more robust scroll wheel that is not used a great deal. That will stay for now.

Back to the future briefly:

The M705 comes with a Unifying transceiver which may prove useful should I decide to scrap the Microsoft keyboard and use the Logitech K800 illuminated board which also runs from a Unifying receiver..

Windows Updates – February edition..

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My production machine again proved to be the difficult one.

It was the first to download them and ask for a reboot but, of the seventeen updates,  it managed only nine. A second run at the other eight saw them all install as Microsoft intended. Now, it keeps offering the Defender rollup time and again.

The Windows 7 machines all updated without a fuss and as far as I am aware are showing no adverse effects.

There’s little else that I can say. I keep all machines as clean as possible, make as few system changes as is possible and as a consequence have very few problems indeed with updates. There is no secret way to ensure reliability.


Windows 9 preview..

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Some screenshots for you.. Computer Base .. It’s all in German, but photos tell a thousand words.

Its nice to see Windows reverting back to Windows and not ‘Window’ like 8 was. I don’t suppose for a second that the Start Menu will be all that it was in XP, but better what is being done than the huge mass of mini icons which appeared in Windows 8.

Tiles and swipes are fine for devices where one is looking for info or entertainment, but where work has to be done, manipulating spreadsheets, compiling code, designing websites et al, one does really need the steering wheel, pedals and full manual gearbox.

I am hoping too that Microsoft sticks with the promise to provide one kernel with many faces, and that the operating system faces get separate names. It would put an end to the ‘”I don’t want a phone OS on my PC” complaints once and for all.

I have a PC set up to run the preview when it appears, not this machine but another of new enough vintage that it should cope with 9. If it doesn’t, I will wait patiently for the RTM next year. Until then, I have 8 running in desktop mode very reliably, thanks..


When older software does not run, who is liable?

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If you try to install and run older 3rd party software in Windows and it doesn’t run, asks for dll’s or anything else..

  1. .. it is not up to Microsoft to provide an answer..
  2. .. Microsoft has no financial interest in the sale of new versions of 3rd party software or hardware..
  3. .. it is not my fault, and I have no financial stake either..

I recommend what is best from an operational point of view, which incidentally may not be the cheapest route. Like many others, I also can’t afford to upgrade everything to the latest level, and yes, it is annoying to find that something I have used for a long time no longer runs.

BUT, I don’t work for Microsoft. I choose to use what knowledge I have to help others get a better experience with their Windows computers. If I have a problem with software or hardware, I go to the manufacturers of the same and ask questions, not blame people who have no vested interest in what works or doesn’t.

I am getting a little tired of computer users jumping on my case for not knowing about some arcane ‘fix’ for software I don’t have.

Use the Internet to find fixes if you don’t like what I have advised, but please quit blaming Microsoft or ME for stuff that is out of our control..


Compulsory updates for IE11..

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See here.

As usual, there is a smattering of anti-Microsoft people posting, but I am not put off by any of it and neither should you be. I left a post stating my view.. ‘

‘ALL browsers and operating systems have to update. So what is the difference in this case? I am a staunch user of IE, always was, always will be..’

It is my belief that users who get into trouble using IE11 is doing something wrong because I never have problems with IE ever..

Anyway, for those of you who are update-shy, there are lots of crappy browsers that you can use, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Maxthon..


The trouble with ………….

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I paid a visit to TigerDirect recently and was immediately jumped on by one of the new commission-only sales staff. When asked, I told him that I was in for a CPU fan, and he followed me down to the appropriate area. The fan was for an aging Dell desktop and is a 92mm, three pin type. There were some in stock and he took one down for me.

Having being told by the employee that it was a case fan and not suitable for use as a CPU fan,  I then proceeded to open the packaging to check for the existence of a three pin connector, and he advised me that all CPU fans have four pin connectors. After an impromptu lesson on the history of fan connectors, I made my way to the checkout and handed over his card such that he could get commission on the sale.

Apparently, I am too old and not mobile enough to get a job with TigerDirect or any of the major computer vendors around. You see, they don’t want knowledge, they want sales, at any price. Well, good luck to them. I still use the store because it is the nearest and is the quickest route to getting parts. TigerDirect should note that I would use any store which had what I wanted if it was closer to me than TigerDirect.

Note that TigerDirect is just one of many annoying stores where sales staff with half of the knowledge they should have are patrolling like Rottweilers in a bid to secure commission.


Evernote was hit by a DOS attack in the last few days, details here..

Nobody can convince me that the route we are being coerced into taking is a good idea. The cloud and remote services seem like a good idea, but I dispute all claims to that end.

I intend to stay local, and I think that others should do the same or go down with the ship.


My post of yesterday about “It’s not just glass” highlights a problem of the ‘mobile’ world. If dropped, they break. It’s worse than that though. The manufacturers see it as a huge cash cow and are milking it for all it is worth. New models and versions are coming off the production lines like sausages, and they are changing the way that many have used computers.

What worries me is that a lot of these products have the lifecycle of a sausage, and its forcing cutbacks in the more traditional areas. What will we all do when the ‘mobile’ chasers finally wake up to the morning where mobile has had its day, isn’t working and there is no alternative left on sale anywhere?


It’s not just me getting old. Technology is all good but when it is driven purely by a desire to cash in while the going is good, it takes on the guise of a stalker in a nightmare. The trouble with electronic device use is that the user appears to go into a world of his/her own.

Gaming machines are a prime example where users spend hours per day doing what is basically a repetitive task. Cellphone users are even worse, many feeling that they can use them while on the move. They often ignore safety, their kids and anything else around them. These devices go well beyond their design and become lifelines, not just an hour or two of fun or a communication device.

Look around you. How many people do you see on the street gripping a cellphone. Have you noticed that they have to do everything one-handed because the other hand has to grip a cellphone. No, it is not the fault of the cellphone, but it is the fault of the manufacturers and the marketing they use to get these things into hands. It’s affecting society adversely, small kids particularly who have to wait until mommy gets off the phone or daddy gets of the XBox.

Sad smile

Windows updates June 2014..

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Four machines to do, but one will be delayed because there is Facebook junk running on it.

The Windows 8 desktop managed to install all 17 major updates plus 1 optional, rebooting back to Windows 8 with no issues.

The Windows 7 desktop managed all 9 major updates plus one optional, and rebooted back to Windows 7 with no issues.

The Netbook running Windows 7 took a different route. Of the 9 plus 1 optional,

  1. it first stated that the updates were all successful but actually didn’t install anything at all.
  2. The second attempt claimed that 2 updates had installed correctly and 7 had failed, but on rebooting promptly set about installing 7 updates.
  3. The third attempt still showed 9 updates but all installed without any further odd errors.

I am not expecting the Lenovo to mirror the Toshiba, but who knows.. The Netbook is only rarely used and has nothing on it which might cause strange update behaviour. The main thing is that it is ok and works fine..


It isn’t just a piece of glass.

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Take a look at your smartphone, tablet or iPad. The top surface is called a ‘digitizer’ panel, of good optical quality, and very expensive.

I know this because my grand-daughter’s iPad Mini which she won in a ticket draw at her school was dropped onto decorative garden stones. It now looks like a spider web, but it still runs on and appears to be ok other than the glass.

I have searched online for ways to repair it, and have discovered that one needs the panel, specialized tools, specialized adhesive and a lot of patience as it is a very difficult job.

Fro the first time, ‘Papa’ (that’s me) who can fix anything is at a total loss. Her parents have too many current financial commitments to get it fixed professionally, costing maybe $150 in total, and I do too. The Apple Store charges $210, and I believe that they just swap the entire iPad for a new one.

The iPad was her pride and joy, and it still will be in time, but it is difficult to explain the situation to her, being as she is only six years old.

I am not expecting sympathy from any quarter, and there may be people out there who do not believe that a six year old should have her own iPad, but she won it, and in my books, that makes it hers..

So, a word of warning to all of you people who carry smartphones and tablets around wherever you go. Breaking the glass can break pockets and hearts. Be careful with your pride and joy, or else………….


It’s Sunday..

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I know it is because the Dilbert cartoon on my home page has six elements instead of the usual three.

So far, I have:

  1. run maintenance on my Toshiba Netbook, a painfully slow process at best,
  2. updated it’s Libre Office to 4.2,
  3. followed up on some answers I gave in the Microsoft Community forums last week.
  4. run event viewer on my main computer which still only shows three errors of no particular concern

Last week, I installed Microsoft Office 2013 on a client computer and am now glad that I didn’t go beyond Office 2010. The 2013 interface is just too ‘Metro’ for my liking, an interface that I have fiercely avoided using at any level.

I have also changed the locations of the DVD drive and card reader being as I hardly ever use DVDs these days. The DVD drive has literally been demoted to a position lower down on the front panel. There is another reason too. The card reader labelling is VERY hard to read, especially at acute angles.

Were you expecting something else? It is Sunday, ya know..


Not until 2015..

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Microsoft will not include a home-grown traditional start menu into Windows 8 until next year, and it will only be a mini-menu anyway, but I wonder if anybody truly cares anymore.

A client of mine, who recently attended a six month re-training session, informed me that Windows 8 is all pictures, and that MS Office 2013 wouldn’t read Office 2010 data files. It annoyed me on both counts, but Microsoft is squarely to blame for the first part of the statement.

Windows 8 should have installed with the best interface for the machine type, but it didn’t. We all got the pictures because the guy in charge of the Windows 8 delivery went out of his way to ensure it. Since that day, some have struggled with the interface because they thought that they had to do it, and the sensible ones resorted to 3rd party stuff just like we all did in the past when Microsoft offering proved to be less than useful.

Next year, 2015, will be Windows 8’s last year for being the top OS, and I have a feeling that it will not be missed by too many. The year also marks the release of yet another operating system and, hopefully, Microsoft will NOT make the same mistake again. There are still way too many PCs in use which do not and will never benefit from a touch interface or anything close.

As I think I have said before, I don’t want a home-grown traditional start menu for my Windows 8. I have Stardock’s Srat8 which has served me well. I may even be using Start9 if rumours of an up and coming mini-menu prove to be truthful..


BTW, my Windows 8.1 update is running really well and I have only had to make one small System Restore..

In the news 2..

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Facebook wants to use your smartphone microphone to pick up on music that maybe playing in your background..

Facebook said last week it will soon introduce "a new, optional way to share and discover music, TV and movies." If users allow Facebook to access their microphone while they’re writing a status update, the company will identify the content playing in the background and automatically include it.

So, if you are standing next to a busy road, will it include ads for the ‘Le Mans’ or ‘Grand Prix’ movie soundtracks? ‘

This is one stupid and annoying feature and who can honestly say that it will always be an optional feature. How long will it be before Facebook is listening in on everything that you say? More here..

Apple buy Beats. Beats is all about music, a good thing for tablet carriers, and an confirmation in my mind at least that Apple devices are still squarely lifestyle accoutrements aimed at users who want to have FUN.

If Apple and Microsoft were ball point pens, the Apple pen would be used for signing important documents and large swirly autographs. The Microsoft pen, which incidentally, can write on any surface even if wet and uneven, would be the pen of choice for everything else.

It has to be said that buying anything Microsoft other than maybe an X-Box is not REALLY exciting unless you are a geek who fully appreciates multi-role attributes of a Microsoft Anything. Microsoft isn’t about glamour. It is about getting things done and Microsoft should stick with getting things done, ensuring that the targeted user base is ready for and can afford it..  


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