Category Archives: One-Foot Putts

Out the Window

Photograph: 20th Century Window by CHCollinsWell, that was quick.  One week ago, I downloaded Windows 10 for my Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro laptop (late 2013 vintage) as a purported “upgrade” for my schizophrenic but functional Windows 8.1.  As of today, I have booted Windows 10 out the window and returned to 8.1.  Thank you, Microsoft, for giving me a thirty-day grace period to get out.  But that is all the appreciation I can muster for you.

Many people have encountered serious problems switching to Windows 10; others have had no issues.  In my case, the problem was the laptop display flashing or blanking out.  Other Yoga 2 Pro users had this same problem — the cause seems to be a “panel refresh” option in the display driver.  To get rid of the problem, you can roll back the display driver to a previous version and turn off panel refresh.  But this fix lasts only until Windows 10 scans your drivers, detects that your driver is out-of-date, and reinstalls newer drivers (without giving you a choice), which reintroduces the display problem.

I am not going to spend hours fighting Windows 10.  You win, Microsoft.  I retreat.

We have two laptops in our family.  Both had Windows 8.1 and I chose to upgrade both of them to Windows 10.  And both of our laptops had problems.  Although I decided to throw in the towel on mine, I was able to fix the touchpad functionality on my wife’s Asus laptop by installing a program called “Smart Gesture.”  Again, the only reason I knew about this is because other Asus owners had the same issue.

Microsoft, do me a favor: if you intend to uninstall Smart Gesture from my wife’s laptop, please tell Windows to do so in the next 23 days, so I can throw her copy of Windows 10 out the same window I threw mine.

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It is not generally known to most Americans, but one of the more insidious provisions buried in the Affordable Care Act was the requirement that all Official Fan Clubs report their membership totals to the National Technical Information Service on September 30 of every odd-numbered year.  The most recent OFC report has just been released; I thought I would share some of it, as you are unlikely to see these figures published anywhere else.

This post focuses on the very smallest fan clubs, of those who bothered to report.  Here are the top dozen (or bottom, as it were).  Total membership is in parentheses.

• People Who Still Care About Don Draper Club (1)
• Hair Club for Trumps (1)
• We Just Can’t Get Enough of David Spade! Gang (1)
• The I Have Mixed Feelings About Tom Brady Club (2)
• I Love It When You Put Me on Hold Club (4)
• The Letter P Is NOT FUNNY Librarian League (9)
Wesley Crusher Fan Club (13)
• Toothbrush-Sharing Cooperative of Eastern Massachusetts (16)
• We Watch Boxing and Football Without a Shred of Guilt Club (18)
• Frozen Lightpole Lickers of The Upper Peninsula (19)
• Cubic Zirconia Investment Club (22)
• The 100 Billionth Person Appreciation Society (23)
• Vegans Against Cruelty to Shredded Wheat (28)

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Logo? No Go!


One of these highly-exclamatory logos belongs to a now-tired brand from the late 1990s and early 2000s.  The other belongs to a multinational technology company headquartered in Sunnyvale, California that delivers e-mail and spam.

With respect to the need for exclamation points to get people excited, Patrick Armitage of the web publication Marketing Land remains a skeptic: “In my experience, the exclamation point doesn’t actually say, ‘This is awesome!’  It’s a warning sign that says, ‘Caution: We’re overselling the crap out of this!'”

Indeed.  I might also cite F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose thoughts on the topic capture the essence of this decade’s Bush campaign:  “An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.”

So far the joke has been on us, as we try to endure all the yahoos running for President.   What a piece of work is man!*


* Hamlet, Act II, Scene II.
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