Fall Creators Update deleted my pics/docs! (not really)

After receiving the fall creators update of windows 10, I noticed that the pictures and documents folders in MyPC had become copies of the ones in the onedrive folder.

And the contents of the folders had disappeared. Not an ideal result.

But I found them.

Local Disk (C:) > Users > MyUsername

The folders had exactly the same name as before, which made it extra confusing. But the contents were the same as before the update, not the same as the OneDrive version.

What can be done? Here is one solution …

I right clicked on those 2 folders and added them to the library of the corresponding name. Then in file explorer I right clicked in the left pane and selected “show libraries”.

Then in libraries I could see both folders are there with identical names, but different content. This is not the most ideal situation.

I renamed the folders in “Users”, to LocalPictures and LocalDocuments.

This made the library how these names and its easier for me to see which folder is which.

Im not sure if this is happening to everyone that upgrades, but I sure wish to have a location only for local pictures and local documents, that are not synced to OneDrive.

I would prefer that the folders in MyPC were always cal only, and separate from any OneDrive folders.

Another thing I have noticed is that the default Documents folder, for apps that create folders and save files, is now the OneDrive folder – which is synced. Before the update, apps created folders in the local one by default. You may want to change this location in the app settings, if possible.

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Fall Creators Update deleted my pics/docs! (not really)

Windows OS: stuck cursor location

I had a cursor experience that I name “anarchic cursor”.

My cursor got stuck in the top left corner and using wither my mouse or touchpad couldn’t get the cursor to move far away from that, for long. the cursor would just snap back to the corner. There was also visual feedback in the top corner, of clicks and taps at the location it was stuck in. Later on the visual feedback also showed clicks down the left side of the screen, directly below the location of the original top left point.

Clearly, this was an issue of false clicks, generated either by hardware or software.

  • I tried using only the mouse, and only the touchpad. no change.
  • I noticed that the frequency of the error changed over time, and the location spread down the left side. This was not a consistent error. This suggests a hardware cause, rather than software.
  • I searched online on another device for clues. Some solutions were software based, some were hardware. but it seemed to have a variety of causes.

Eventually, there was a period that the error was so bad that I couldn’t even sign in to an account, and I couldn’t do anything. I shut my laptop in frustration. When I opened it moments later, and pressed the button to wake it, the problem was gone.

For my device, the issue was caused by hardware. It is likely the laptop touchscreen digitizer electronics were generating false clicks. The shock of a firm lid closing seemed to stop the false clicks. But this may also be an indication of the age of my laptop, and the flex cable that connects the screen and digitizer to the laptop board. If I get this issue again and it is more persistent, I will try cleaning the connections. If that doesn’t change the error behavior at all, I will investigate further.

Of all the different things I have read, it seemed there were these causes:

  • certain OEM software placed on the computer by the manufacturer, interfered with the cursor displaying properly.
  • generic mouse/touchpad/digitizer drivers from windows clashed somehow with certain brands, and was fixed by installing drivers downloaded from the OEM website. Later versions of Windows 10 are good at installing the correct drivers for the brand and model. It is likely that downloading drivers from OEM websites is a thing of the past for most people.
  • hardware issues causing false clicks, generated by the laptop electronics for the touchscreen digitizer, touchpad digitizer or mouse.
Windows OS: stuck cursor location

Why I got a Windows 10 phone in late 2017

I just got a Windows 10 phone and I’m very happy with my decision.

You may think it’s crazy to get a Windows 10 phone these days.

Because it surely seems that Microsoft has abandoned windows phones completely:

  • W10M has been put on a separate development branch and many are calling this being ‘put out to pasture’.
  • Microsoft says it will support W10M until the end of 2018, putting a time limit on it, in its current form.
  • Only one new W10M device has been released recently.
  • Tech media keeps talking about W10M being dead.

Knowing all this, why would I get a W10M phone at this time?

Because it’s the least bad option!

  • After a few months using android as my daily driver, I just can’t bear it anymore.
  • I was still using my old W8.1 Phone for most text heavy things, because android was almost unusable for this.
  • My W10M phone will get OS and security updates for more than 1 year. HTC will NEVER update my android phone and NEVER patch any of the many known security vulnerabilities.
  • W10M is just so nice to use, so intuitive. I can type so much faster than I would ever be able to on my android. Cursor control is easy and intuitive – on android it’s a fight.
  • I will never grow to hate my W10M and I won’t feel like I struggle with it when I use it – unlike my android phones which annoyed me so much.
  • My W10M phone was cheaper than my budget android. I chose a 650 because it has a good reputation, unlike the 950. It’s no beast, but it does what I need and the screen is amoled.
  • It’s just the many little things that make W10M so much nicer to use than android. Many little helpful things, such as cursor control, text entry experience, smooth operation, it usually works as it should and is expected to, its really stable, etc.
  • Sure windows has nice looking live tiles and all that. Totally unimportant to me – UX is where its at.

Sure, we all know android has more features and important apps. I can use my android for those few apps. There’s about 5 of them.

It’s pretty important to add, that before I first used windows phones, I thought android was ok. It was annoying, but I had no comparison. Then, a few days after getting my Windows phone, I was shocked at how much better the user experience is. I can never go back from that. And I have never wanted to.

When the end of 2018 comes around, and if I still have my W10M phone (fingers crossed!), then I can decide what to do. But I hope that I don’t have to choose from only 2 platforms – iOS and android. That would really be a tragedy.

I want W10M to continue, because I don’t hate it.

Why I got a Windows 10 phone in late 2017

I got sick of Android. Again.

After enjoying years with windows phone, I got an Android phone in early 2017. This allowed me to use some apps I didn’t have on my windows phone. Also, my windows phone had some hardware issues, and was no longer software supported in any way.

I got a budget Android from HTC. Desire 628, with the very obsolete Lollipop. A reliable device. Nothing special. Pretty bad camera with awful over-sharpening that ruins most photos. Yet I was able to use some apps I couldn’t before, and the browsing experience is better on Android compared to Windows phone 8.1  Ive had the device a few months and have used it as my daily driver for that time. In that few months, my dislike of Android has grown back. A later version of Android doesn’t make it much better.

When I use Android, I NOTICE that I am using something that needs to be coaxed, forced, to do what I want it to do. I have to expel energy to make it do what I want. Using Android requires effort, even though I am very familiar with it.

My device always finds some little way to make my task unnecessarily difficult. So many little things have some small way that they don’t work properly. The device just doesn’t want to cooperate with me. Entering text into text boxes in Android is a genuinely annoying experience, in many apps, across the OS. I have never enjoyed using my android device.

I continued to use my windows phone quite a lot. For any photo that needed to be decent, and also for entering a lot of text. if I write more than a short note, I will use my windows phone to type it out. its just easier and faster.

When I use my windows 8.1 phone, I just use it and I don’t think about using the phone, I think about what I want to write, or photograph. I don’t notice the device being uncooperative. I just do what I want to do and then go onto whatever is next. Its just easy – except the browsing experience.

I got sick of Android. Again.

Finally some of us back up our files

For decades, tech journalists and IT professionals kept telling us to back up our files.

Mostly, we didn’t.

It was just too much hassle.

Now, finally, a more powerful motivator has arisen. Malware. Especially ransomware (even pretend ransomware).

All over the world, millions are backing up their data.

Once.

Then, when the media tells us once again that the internet will die, we back it up again. Once. And get back to whatever social media we use.

A small minority will take some thought to the issue of backing up, and decide to use some cloud drive for some important files. Purely for the purpose of being able to stop worrying about backing up files – or because the files are legally important.

However, many of us will just have some old backups that correspond to the time of global ransomware attacks.

Finally some of us back up our files

Windows 10 S – the future of Windows

Eventually, Windows will not allow installation of .exe apps.

For many Windows users, there will grinding of teeth, and suffering at the hands of change. Yet most users will be unaffected by this change, because they will no longer have any need for .exe apps, and not have any installed.

For security and other reasons, the “sandboxed” app model will fully replace all .exe apps. App developers will all port their .exe apps to store apps. Store apps are called “sandboxed” because they have restricted access to the OS and to other apps – and gain access in a controlled way by requesting “permissions”. However, .exe apps don’t have these restrictions and have the power to do a lot of damage.

Note that Microsoft has NOT officially stated that this will happen – but I am pointing out the steady progress toward this outcome.

The app package model is easier to manage, keep secure, control battery life and things that cost the user money. It has many other advantages over .exe apps.

It will be possible to install apps from outside of the store, but they must be application packages like store apps.

When most popular .exe apps have been ported to the store, Microsoft will likely start pushing the transition to ending .exe app installations. This may take a few years. There are many widely installed apps that are available only as .exe, and this even includes the Microsoft software used for making store apps.

There’s no need to panic. It will take a while to happen – and most people wont be inconvenienced.

Windows 10 S – the future of Windows