A new-but-not-new update for Windows?

By | October 10, 2016
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Well, this might be a shorter-than-usual email as I’ve developed a stinking cold. On the other hand, usually when I say “this might be a shorter-than-usual email” I check when I’ve finished writing it and it’s full-length as usual!

Maybe I’ll just need an extra cup of tea while I write it…

Anyway, I’ve got a few bits and pieces for you, whether you use a tablet or PC or both…

A useful trick if you travel with a tablet
When we go away, if we stay in a hotel or travellodge or the like, once the boys are in bed asleep (or at least pretending to be asleep), we’ve got the lights turned out so it doesn’t keep them awake. Julie and I then read (on a tablet so we can see) or watch a TV programme on a tablet.

The only problem is the sound – we don’t want the speaker turned on as it’ll wake the boys unless it’s quiet so we used to share a pair of those little “in ear” headphones – having one side each. But I found a little gadget that means we can simply have a pair each. You plug it into the headphone socket on the tablet (or smartphone or even laptop) and then can plug two sets of headphones into it.

It might be useful in other situations as well – imagine two of you want to watch something on the tablet whilst on the train or a coach… or to listen to music from a phone.

The one I bought cost a couple of pounds and I found it by going to Amazon and searching for “headphone splitter”.

It won’t work with the very latest Apple stuff as they’ve decided to get rid of headphone sockets altogether. But for most phones, laptops and tablets it could be handy.

A new-but-not-completely-new update for Windows 10?
I’ve noticed quite a lot of PCs downloading a really big update in the last week or so. It puzzled me a bit at first as I hadn’t known Microsoft were bringing out any particularly big updates – but it turns out it’s not actually a new one.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the anniversary update they’d brought out. And that was a whopper – it took ages to download.

After it came out I noticed that not all PCs had got it. Microsoft had said that some slower PCs wouldn’t get it but that should have only applied to a very few – and there were plenty of faster modern PCs that hadn’t got it.

And it turns out for some reason, Microsoft must have stopped doing the update for a bit – or at least waited before giving it to everyone. I’m not sure why – maybe they’d found a bug they wanted to fix in it first.

But now they seem to be rolling it out again – so if you didn’t get it first time round and you find your PC doing a huge update, that’s probably what it is.

As I said, I wrote about it at the time, so if you want to know more about what it involves you can read my newsletter from a few weeks back, but if you just aren’t sure whether you’ve had it or not, the easiest way to check is to go into the start menu.

If it lists File Explorer, Settings, all apps and power in words, then you’ve haven’t had it (yet). If it only has the symbols – a cogwheel for settings and a symbol like an on/off button for power, then you’ve had it.

Inner Circle – half way through the “doors open” time
As you probably know, we’re currently letting new members into my Tech Inner Circle. If you’ve already joined, welcome, I hope you’re finding it interesting and helpful (I know many of you are – I’ve had lots of lovely messages saying so!).
If you haven’t joined, here’s the information to find out what it involves.
And if you’re already a member, it might be a good time to have a quick think to see if there’s anyone you know who might be interested – after all in a week or so’s time it’ll be too late for them to join. They can find out more about what membership involves here.

12 thoughts on “A new-but-not-new update for Windows?

  1. Pamela Urquhart

    Thank you, I wondered why those symbols had suddenly appeared.

  2. Roger Cawte

    Mine repeatedly tried but failed to install for quite a while, then suddenly did unstall. No idea why. I hadn’t changed anything.

  3. Sue Ewing

    Hi, since my massive update of windows 10 my security system Kaspersky has gone haywire! I am told that many features are no longer enabled, like anti virus and all the important ones. I have tried resetting it all to no avail . Not sure what to do next!?! Sue.

  4. Eryl Bassett

    Thanks for reminding us.

    My “anniversary update” happened this afternoon. As soon as I turned the laptop on, the process started with no warning, and took an hour or so, during which time I was instructed not to switch the machine off. Luckily, this caused me no problem, but I can well imagine that there could be disaster if a user needed (e.g.) to catch a train. Could Tim give advice about whether and how users could set their laptops to offer updates but control when the updates would occur?

    Meanwhile, I too hope that Tim’s cold is now better!

    1. Tim Post author

      Good question – I’ll add it to my list of things to cover in the newsletter. It’s already quite a list so I might not get to it straight away, but I’m gradually working through it!
      And thanks, yes, my cold is gradually getting there – I’m still coughing a bit but feeling much better myself.

  5. Paul Morris

    This BIG update just won’t download. I get messages saying that there is no connection to the internet, but everything else using the same WiFi works okay. It’s now affecting Defender for which updates won’t download for the same reason. Also my Start button doesn’t work so I have to use the windows button plus X, items in the command line don’t work, I can’t access AOL and others. Extremely frustrating and annoying especially as I was basically forced to buy a new laptop because Microsoft warned me that XP wasn’t being maintained and my old laptop wouldn’t take Windows 10. AAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!! I’m now having to use my wife’s iPad to keep in touch.

    1. Paul Morris

      In addition to the above when I run Troubleshooters for WiFi or internet connection they can’t find any problems with them.

    2. Tim Wakeling Post author

      It depends on exactly what laptop you have but most of them have a socket that might be labelled network or cat 5 or something like that (or have a symbol of a line with pictograms of computer screens coming off it, like this one). The socket looks a bit like a squashed phone socket.
      You can get a cable that plugs into that and the other end plugs into the internet router – in fact routers often come with one, so you might still have one in the box. That way you can get the internet connection for the update to happen even while the WiFi isn’t working (possibly due to it needing to finish the update). That’s probably the thing I’d try first.


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