Category Archives: Definitions

What’s startupware?(tm)
The source for all definitions of startupware.

Incrementalitis: The Un-Upgrade

Sign: New and Improved TechnologySometimes a new edition of a product works well for all the features of the previous version, but for the newly-added ‘reasons to upgrade’, well, they’re just not ready. Windows has had a long set of new features that didn’t work, but were heavily promoted. Windows 7 has clumsy support for touch screens, but that feature works well in Windows 10.

Windows 95 had no Internet support until you also bought the Win 95 Plus! add-on, and that gave you Internet Explorer version 1.0, based on the old NCSA Mosaic software from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois. Now, the internet in Windows generally works without any setup whatsoever.

And going all the way back to 1993, in Windows for Workgroups 3.11, we had “network support”, which worked if you fiddled with the settings long enough for the other computers to declare Bingo! and accept the connection. Networking has become better in subsequent Windows, and now, it works if you don’t mix product ages too dramatically.

While yet-another faster version of what we’re using is generally a safe purchase, it pays to check reviews on new technology. And new tech should come from old names. If the latest, greatest technology is from a good company with a history of good products, I know they’ll get it right at some point. But if it’s a no-name security camera from an Amazon Marketplace vendor shipping directly from the Hong Kong post office, it’s trouble. Such vendors may be OK for a cheap cell phone case, but not for anything that’s complex or new.

Creator’s Update Settings: SmartScreen

New SmartScreen Setting

In the new Creator’s Update for Windows 10, SmartScreen has finally been made less horrible. The old settings were:

  • Off-Let all software run.
  • On-All new software from all sources is evil by definition. It’s not Microsoft, in any case. Delete with no option or recourse. (Or the anti-competitive restraint of trade equivalent.)

The NEW options, now moved into the ‘Windows Defender Security Center’, are no longer blatantly big brother:

  • On-Block the new and different.
  • Warn-Slow down and read the message before deciding.
  • Off–Scary, scary.

OK, I may have changed the descriptions. A lot. But clearly, SmartScreen should be ON for novice users and corporations with a “no software installs” policy, and WARN for users who know WHERE they are and WHAT they’re doing.

Note that the new setting appears TWICE, once as ‘Check apps and files’ for Internet Explorer, and as ‘SmarScreen for Microsoft Edge’. Minus 5 points for inconsistent naming and spreading confusion, but still an improvement.

Taming Windows 10: Choose Which Folders Appear on Start

A reprint from the PC410 Security Newsletter:

Windows 10: Choose which folders appear on start

Windows 10 removes the Documents and Pictures shortcuts from the Start menu. You can have them back, or choose to show Music, Videos, or the Network. Go to Settings, Personalization, Start, click on “Choose which folders appear on Start”. Turn on (or off) any of the folders in the list. If you turn a folder off, you can still get to it from File Explorer (the yellow file folder icon in the taskbar), or by pressing Start and typing in the folder name to search for it.