It’s interesting how useless I feel when it comes to changing our society. I once worked with a Director (she’s retired now) who was complaining to all within earshot something the government was doing. (I felt it was horrible, as well.) But my question to her was “what will you do about this?”. She only changed the wording in order to make sure I understood what she was saying. I simply repeated myself, in different words: “what can you do?”.

We went one more go-round before she stopped, annoyed that I didn’t agree or disagree.

That’s the way I feel. Not really a whole hell-of-a-lot I can do.

I wonder how many others feel that way.

And stuff like this really makes me angry:  “NRA Endorsement Repels Voters More Than It Attracts, New Poll Finds”.


Who conducted the poll? How many were polled? How were the questions phrased? Why did I not get any notice of a poll taking place?



“To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.” – Virginia Statutes of Religious Freedom, 1779

“For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security.”  – Thomas Jefferson

“I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.” – Thomas Jefferson

Rebellion and revolution against injustices by government ought to be rebelled against, and Mr. Jefferson believed that, if necessary, force must be used.

My son-in-law believes he will see a revolution in his lifetime. I don’t see this happening. We Americans have grown used to looking to our government officials for assistance. Medical, Education, Internet, Housing, Schooling, Safety, etc. are all rights that should be enjoyed by all Americans.

Rights? Really?

We won’t rebel, as that would cut off the funds that we so desperately depend on. These are our rights, after all.

Misplaced blame


Came across this beauty. I had let my NRA subscription expire, but I rejoined after hearing Wayne LaPierre speak. Well said.

Windows 10


Welcome to Windows 10

Windows 10. The last version of Windows, designed to be the best Windows ever.
Tested by millions of users who provided input and ideas, Windows 10 combines familiarity, speed and innovative new features – including a digital assistant and a brand-new browser – with the bedrock strengths you expect from Windows, like superior security and compatibility. And for the first time ever, you get free, always-enabled updates that help keep your systems current for the supported life of the device.

The result is a fresh experience that’s quick to learn, easy to use, and great for doing the things that matter most to you.

The familiar Start menu is back in a more robust and expanded format that provides one-click access to the functions and files that people use most. You can quickly reach your most frequently used apps and PC settings and there is plenty of space to add your favorite Live Tiles.

The new Start menu is familiar whether you’re coming from Windows 7 or Windows 8.


The Start Button

Clicking the Start button brings up the old-style Windows 7 look and the Windows 8 tile-look. There are lots of changes that can be made in this to get it the way you’d like to see it, and many changes can be made here to alter other areas on Windows 10. If you right click on the Start button there is a context menu from ‘Programs and Features’ to ‘Command Prompt’ and from ‘Task Manager’ to ‘Run’.

Removing all the tiles allows you to resize the start screen to a very Windows Seven-esque start menu. You’ll now find the apps and applications clicking Start > All Apps.

Your apps—right at your fingertips

Here’s what you’ll find on the left side of the Start menu:

  • Most used — the apps that you use every day, front and center.
  • Suggested/recently added — the place to discover new apps based off of your current collection. You’ll also find any new apps you install from Windows Store so that they’re easy to access or pin to Start right away.
  • Places — the fastest way to access File Explorer, Settings, and Power.
  • All apps —a list of all your installed apps, arranged for easy alphabetical browsing.
  • Right clicking on an app or application in the All Apps section allows you to pin that to the Start or Taskbar.

The Tile Apps

Right-clicking on a tile allows you several options such as sizing it, pinning it to the Taskbar or removing the app from the Start all together.

Get up-to-the-minute updates with Live Tiles

New email, your next appointment, or the weekend weather: Live Tiles deliver updates from your apps right on your Start screen so you can easily see what’s happening in your world and jump right into an app when you need to.

Stay organized with tile groups

If your Start menu starts to feel cluttered, try moving some of your pinned apps into a group of similar items.

To create a new group of tiles, move an app’s tile up or down until a group divider appears, and then release the tile. Move apps in or out of the group as your fancy takes you. To give your new group a name, select the open space above your new group and enter a name.

The Settings App

The Settings app (Start > Settings) is a graphical interface of the Control Panel, with various sections: System, Devices, Network & Internet, Personalization, Account, Time & Language, Privacy, & Security.

This type of interface makes it easier for users adjust settings that were somewhat more difficult to locate.

Choosing the Personalization section allows for customization of which folder appear on Start. This is also where you change colors, desktop background, the screensaver and themes.


Windows Search: Cortana

A major feature in Windows 10 is Cortana, the search assistant, which is deeply integrated into the operating system. This is not enabled by default, you have to agree to the conditions to do this.

Typing (or speaking, if you have a microphone) in a query will yield results in both the web and the local machine.

Think of Cortana as a truly personal digital assistant who works across all your Windows 10 devices to help you get things done. By learning more about you over time, Cortana becomes more useful every day and is on your Windows 10 PC, tablet, and phone.

Cortana Home gives you helpful info at a glance

Cortana Home is the place to go for personal suggestions, a daily glance of the day ahead, recommendations for restaurants to check out, and more.

To get to Cortana Home, click the search box located in the task bar or click on the Cortana Live Tile on your Start menu.

Keep track of your preferences in Cortana’s Notebook

The Notebook is where Cortana keeps track of what you like and what you want. Use it to control what Cortana knows about you, including your interests and favorite places.

To open Cortana’s Notebook, select Notebook from the left-hand side of the Cortana window.

Cortana makes it easy to keep up with your schedule

Cortana can be a personal assistant for reminding you about all the important things in your life. Time-based, people-based, and location-based reminders all trigger at the right time on any device, making sure that you never miss a thing.

To set a reminder using your voice, select the microphone icon (or + C on your keyboard) and then tell Cortana what you want to be reminded about. Start by saying “Remind me to” and then add any details you need. You can include a time or a location when setting the reminder as well. For example, you can say “Remind me to feed the fish at 3 PM,” or, “Remind me to water the plants when I get home.” If more information is needed to set the reminder, Cortana will ask you for it.

Cortana can find what you’re looking for

When you search from the task bar, Cortana will show you results from your PC, the web, and OneDrive. You can also use Cortana for help with troubleshooting. If you run into a problem or have a question about how to get things done, just type something about it into the Windows search box. Cortana will provide instant answers or links to helpful websites.


OneDrive Integration

Microsoft has embedded OneDrive into Windows 10, for free cloud storage of your files.

OneDrive is an online storage service, integrated into Windows 10 and also available as an app, that makes it simple to access and share your files and photos across your devices. When you make a change on one device, the updates are available on your other devices so you can pick up right where you left off.

There are those with privacy concerns over this feature.

There is no doubt, however, of the advantages to this: you can use it to store files for mobile device access from iOS or Android, and you can even set it to let you access any file on your PC remotely — not just the ones you drag over to your OneDrive folder.

Add files to OneDrive on your PC by dragging them into the OneDrive folder located on the left-hand side of File Explorer. Or you can choose OneDrive as the save location when you save a file in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or another app.

Tina Sieber has written an excellent article in Digital Trends on the many advantages of this and how to set up and use it

This is how OneDrive works in Windows 10


The Action Center

The Action Center gathers and shows notifications and alerts from various Windows applications. It will show you these notifications until you clear them. You can choose and personalize which notifications you receive.


Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge is the all-new browser designed to go beyond browsing to help you do more on the web—one that’s made for easy sharing, reading, discovery, and getting things done online. With inking capabilities built-in, you can write or type directly on webpages and share your mark-ups with others. There’s a feature that allows you to clear away distractions from your online articles and a reading list that organizes your favorite reads to enjoy later. The improved address bar helps you to find things faster, and with Cortana enabled, you can instantly move from searching to doing.

Easily mark up and share web pages

Microsoft Edge has the built-in technology that lets you write or type directly on webpages. Add your thoughts on the page and then easily share it with others or save to OneNote. Select Make a web note to start adding to the page you’re on. Use the Pen to write with your touchscreen or mouse, Highlight, or Type a note and then Share it.

A new reading view lets you enjoy online articles in a distraction-free layout optimized for your screen size. You can also have any webpage or PDF file saved and organized in your reading list for convenient access later. For a clean and simple layout, select Reading view in the address bar to bring whatever you’re reading front and center. You can even change the reading view style and font size. Select More actions > Settings. To save an article to read later, just select Add to favorites or reading list > Reading list > Add. When you’re ready to read, go to the Hub and select Reading list.

Find it faster

Microsoft Edge will make recommendations to speed you to your online destination. You can also get quick answers for weather, stock, definitions, and calculations – even the most popular fun facts like “How tall is the Eiffel Tower?” – right from the address bar. Get more done with Cortana built in Microsoft Edge helps you go beyond browsing.

With Cortana enabled, you get instant access to key actions – like making reservations or reading reviews – without leaving the page you’re on. You can also highlight an unfamiliar term to get a contextual explanation that doesn’t take you away from where you are.

Highlight a word or phrase, press and hold (or right-click) it, then select Ask Cortana to find out all about it.


And Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome can be downloaded, installed and used if Edge not the browser you’d like to use. Internet Explorer can be used as well: it’s located under Windows Accessories, in the All Apps list.


Security, Privacy: Windows Defender

Windows Defender is included as part of Windows 10, working right out-of-the box so that the machine is always protected. Windows Defender provides the defense you need; it is constantly updated to meet evolving threats as they are identified and is faster at detecting and protecting you against emerging malware, seen in the first critical hours.

Windows Defender uses a highly scalable and geo-distributed back-end service that leverages data from about one billion devices to draw fast insights and respond in milliseconds.

Privacy Settings

Microsoft has built Windows 10 with a user’s convenience in mind, and in order to accomplish much of this, there is information a user gives for a simpler, and quicker way to access information, and use various tools. There is a Privacy section in Settings, covering areas such as Location, Account Info, and Messaging. Going through the various options allows you to turn off some of the information sharing used to create an ease of use.


Snap Assist: Organize Your Screen

Snap Assist in Windows 7 allows you to work in two windows side-side. This feature has been improved to support four windows.

Working in multiple windows is easier and more intuitive thanks to enhancements in Snap. Now you can quickly organize up to four windows on your screen by dragging apps into the corners. Windows will even suggest how to fill the gaps with other open apps.

To snap an app, program, or file, grab the top of the window and drag it to the side to snap half screen or to the corner to snap into quadrants. You can also try the keyboard shortcuts:

  • To snap to the left press the Windows key + <
  • To snap to the right press the Windows key + <
  • Once in half screen, you can snap a window into the quadrants by pressing Windows key + Up or Windows key + down


Task View, the Virtual Desktop

View all your running apps

Use Task view to see all of your open apps, docs, and files in a single view to easily manage what you’re doing. To get to Task view, select the Task view Task-view.png from the task bar. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Windows Key + Tab.

Task View (Virtual Desktop)

Microsoft built a virtual desktop feature into Windows 10 called Task View. Virtual Desktops group windows together to help organize open applications. This way you can have a dozen windows open with 4 or 5 actively visible.

If you’re working on a lot of different projects, using different apps and programs, adding a new desktop can keep things neatly organized for you.

To add a desktop, go to Task view Task-view.png and select New Desktop from the lower right hand side of the screen. To move apps, docs, or files between desktops, open Task view and then drag the item you want from one desktop to another. Or create another virtual desktop by dragging the item to New Desktop. To quickly switch between desktops, try the keyboard shortcut: Windows Key + Ctrl + < / >.

Wi-Fi Sense

As with Windows Phone 8, Wi-Fi Sense will connect to a wireless connection without requiring a password.

It is enabled by default, making it easier and quicker to get connected to the internet.

If uncomfortable with this being active, it can be disabled. Open Settings > Network & Internet > Manage Wi-Fi Settings.


Battery Saver

Windows 10 now has a battery saver feature that begins reducing background services and background activity to get more battery life out of your machine.

To enable Battery Saver, click the Start menu, and head to Settings > System > Battery Saver.


Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Windows Key + Left – Snap current window to the left side of the screen.
  • Windows Key + Right – Snap current window to the right side of the screen.
  • Windows Key + Up – Snap current window to the top of the screen.
  • Windows Key + Down – Snap current window to the bottom of the screen.
  • Windows Key + Tab – This opens the new Task View interface, and it stays open — you can release the keys. Only windows from your current virtual desktop will appear in the Task View list, and you can use the virtual desktop switcher at the bottom of the screen to switch between virtual desktops.
  • Alt + Tab – This isn’t a new keyboard shortcut, and it works just like you’d expect it to. Pressing Alt+Tab lets you switch between your open Windows. Tap Tab again to flip between windows and release the keys to select a window. Alt+Tab now uses the new Task View-style larger thumbnails. Unlike Windows Key + Tab, Alt + Tab lets you switch between open windows on all virtual desktops.
  • Windows Key + Ctrl + D – Create a new virtual desktop and switch to it
  • Windows Key + Ctrl + F4 – Close the current virtual desktop.
  • Windows Key + Ctrl + Left / Right – Switch to the virtual desktop on the left or right.
  • Ctrl + V or Shift + Insert – Pastes text at the cursor.
  • Ctrl + C or Ctrl + Insert – Copies the selected text to the clipboard.
  • Ctrl + A – Select all text in the current line if the line contains text. If it’s an empty line, select all text in the Command Prompt.
  • Shift + Left / Right / Up / Down – Moves the cursor left a character, right a character, up a line, or down a line, selecting the text along the way. Continue pressing arrow keys to select more text.
  • Ctrl + Shift + Left / Right – Moves the cursor one word to the left or right, selecting that word along the way.
  • Shift + Home / End – Moves the cursor to the beginning or end of the current line, selecting text along the way.
  • Shift + Page Up / Page Down – Moves the cursor up or down a screen, selecting text.
  • Ctrl + Shift + Home / End – Moves the cursor to the beginning or end of the “screen buffer,” selecting all text between the cursor and the beginning or end of the Command Prompt’s output.
  • Ctrl + Up / Down – Moves one line up or down in the Command Prompt’s history — it’s like using the scroll bar.
  • Ctrl + Page Up / Page Down – Moves one page up or down in the Command Prompt’s history — it’s like scrolling even farther.
  • Ctrl + M – Enter “mark mode,” which helps for selecting text. Previously, the only way to do this was by right-clicking in the Command Prompt and selecting Mark. Thanks to the new Shift key shortcuts, this mode is no longer as important.
  • Ctrl + F – Opens a Find dialog for searching the Command Prompt’s output.
  • Alt + F4 – Closes the Command Prompt window.

Source: 32 New Keyboard Shortcuts in Windows 10


American Ideals

Here in America a great scandal has begun to brew concerning our government’s willingness to trod over laws and constitutional amendments. Spying was once something that was hidden and somehow we knew that all countries spied on other countries; we didn’t dream that a government would spy on its own.

Two stories hit ARS Technia on June 5th of this year:

Wealthy California town approves license plate readers along municipal border

Iowa City to ban red-light cameras, drones, and license plate readers too

We are a country divided in a ‘security vs. privacy’ debate. And privacy advocates have lost.

When America was founded it was founded by men who worshipped God. Men who prayed and asked that God would lead and guide not only their lives but the country that they were founding. We have heard much about the flaws of these men. Of course they had flaws; they were men. The flaws are pointed out to keep our minds off of the work that they did with God’s blessing, His favor and His grace.

Fast forward 200 years. We now have a man leading this country who does not worship God; indeed, he eschews people that do. He surrounds himself with like-minded men who haven’t the willingness to trust God with the leadership of this country, so they turn to watching and listening to every word being uttered to keep their positions.

There is more to this of course, it’s not nearly so simple. I understand this.

The only way these men can stay in power is if individuals believe as they do.

Nearly Half of Americans Want Government to Monitor Everyone’s Email, Phone Records

Americans have lost America because we threw away the willingness to be accountable for ourselves. God’s word states:

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;  for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.     –Philippians 2:12-13

We will not do this; we dare not. To do this would mean admitting that we are wrong, that we are sinners, and that we need a Savior. But to be accountable for ourselves in accepting this fact and allowing God to change our lives would change how we feel about the direction that our country is going.

Instead we allow and want to have our government take care of us, feed us, clothe us, teach us, look after our children and our health. The government owes us this, it’s our right, is the school of thought behind this.

Why then, would we be shocked and distraught when we learn that the entity that owns us is spying on us? The constitution must be discarded: it has to be. It flies against beliefs of a government ruling and controlling a people. It flies against a citizenry unwilling to self-govern itself.

We don’t know how to teach our children, and our government must do it for us, so how then are we expected to function without the government’s aid in every other area of our lives.

Our need is to turn from sin and turn to a God that greatly desires to forgive and bless. We have this need and are not willing to acknowledge it.

We love sucking on the government’s teat.  This country has gone far to deep down the rabbit hole for an absolute reversal and change to what and where we should be, but a sweeping revival of God’s Spirit with people turning and accepting His gift of grace in Jesus Christ is imperative for the survival of our nation.

My take on Windows 8

The Good

1. The system tools are better. I love the changes to task manager, system recovery, etc.

2. It boots much faster

3. Most actions take less clicks/time after you learn the OS

4. It’s very elegant on touch enabled devices

5. It’s worked with all my hardware/games on my custom desktop

6. Older machines work better on this operating system

(Installing Windows 8 on your old PC could turn it into Greased Lightning)

7. It has good driver support and/or backwards compatibility

8. IE in Windows 8 is awesome on touch enabled devices. It trumps Chrome/Firefox for the first time ever (my opinion)


The Bad


1. It’s very different. It took me almost 4 weeks before I was as efficient in Win8 as Win7. Now, however, I’m more efficient in Win8 than Win7.

2. I still prefer the desktop mode of apps over the metro mode.

3. Most Microsoft store apps still immature.

  • The Mail app is worthless. You’ll need to get a real mail client.
  • Reader, Microsoft’s app for viewing pdf files is fair, but using Adobe Reader is easier and more comfortable feel.
  • The Photos app has very little to offer in the way of working with pictures. Windows Photo Viewer is easier to use and more versatile.

Windows 8 is Windows 7 with Microsoft Store integrated in it.

Windows 8 could fit into a corporate environment, depending on what type of environment it is. They wouldn’t use Mail (obviously) but Office 365, like Google Docs and Google Apps could work well. Some state entities are already using the Google Cloud, as it is less expensive than managing one’s own servers. Most, however, would likely use Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Office or Lotus Domino and Lotus Notes.

I work with and help build operating system images. Building a Windows 8 image, streamlined without the some of the fluffier items and adding in the appropriate applications and policies could work nicely.

Group Policy would disable the Windows Firewall and Windows Defender in order to use a managed firewall with a managed antivirus.

Pinning shortcuts to the taskbar as I have (Firefox, Outlook, Excel, Active Directory, Microsoft Project, SecureCRT, etc.) gives me a working desktop, much like Windows 7. If I need to access outside of these basics, I simply go to the All Programs menu, now called Start and All apps.

Windows 8 in the home works well, as most home computer are used for gaming, browsing the internet, streaming video and email. Perfect.

I want to try Classic Shell and see how this changes W8 and what changes and enhancements are made with this tool.

If I had a tablet or some other touch device, I could see metro being more useful.

Overall, Window 8 is a better operating system that Windows 7.

The Xbox Always On


I'll go ahead and get my tinfoil hat out and dust it off. The new Xbox that Microsoft is rumored to unveil next month is said to have an ‘always-on’ connection, the way that our cell phones work now. And the patent that Microsoft filed last year allows the company to view how many people are watching and using the content and possibly shut down the content if it is deemed to be in violation of the license agreements.

I will agree that licenses should be honored. I would not agree to voluntarily put a console in my house with an always-on webcam broadcasting back to a source to make certain that I am staying legal at all times.

The answer to that, of course, is not to put one in my house (says the non-gamer).

And of course, it truly isn’t hard to take that setup and move it further than it is rumored to be at this time. The movie studios would love this kind of control over their content. Moving beyond that, our government would like to have this type of monitoring capability. To keep us safe.

</removing tinfoil hat>

Kinect: Wikipedia

This Kinect Patent Wants to Charge You For License Violation

The Next Xbox Has Mandatory Kinect, Game-Swapping and New Controllers

Gaming Roundup: Will the Next-Gen Xbox Have an Always-Online Requirement?

AMD chips to make their way to next Xbox console

Microsoft Patent Lets Hollywood Watch You with Camera

Microsoft exec resigns regarding always-on Xbox controversy