Windows tablet mode
Sunday, February 14 2021
Monday while at work at the bookstore in Woodstock, Gretchen would need to call into a Zoom conference. She normally uses the bookstore's cashiering computer to check her email and Facebook stuff while there, but she couldn't be sure that computer had Zoom installed on it. So this morning I prepared a laptop for her. The laptop in question would be the Core 2 Duo-based laptop Gretchen's parents had given me back when we last visited them. Since then, I've replaced its hard drive with an SSD and installed Windows 10 Enterprise. But there's been something wrong with it since then, and it's been hard to figure out what exactly that something was. What happens after it boots up is that the Start menu fills the entire screen, blocking access to the desktop (which is the place from which I prefer to launch applications, since it allows me to drag documents ("nouns") to applications ("verbs") in the straightforward manner I've been using since Macintosh System 7 in the early 1990s. I find digging through the Start Menu an unpleasant experience, particularly when it's slow to update and the things I want are buried in submenus requiring a steady hand to reach. I wanted to fix that. I was in a bit of a time crunch, because Gretchen wanted to take the laptop to work for a dry run later this morning. Naturally, then, the laptop insisted on installing updates in the middle of my attempts to fix the screen-filling Start Menu problem. With the new updates, the laptop slow down about 80%, and soon I was screaming at it and smashing furiously at the clicker buttons on its trackpad. Eventually I figured out that the Start Menu problem was a symptom of something called "tablet mode," which also explained the lack of overlapping windows and a usable taskbar. To turn off tablet mode, I first had to "activate" the pirate Windows installation on the laptop. There was no way was I going to allow the punishment of tablet mode to cause me to fork over any money, so when my usual way of "activating" the laptop failed, I found another. Fuck you, Microsoft, you're going to need to do better than inflicting tablet mode on the likes of me!
This afternoon, I managed to successfully salvage yet more firewood from the bottom of the escarpment a couple hundred feet behind the house. I cut enough additional wood out of a fallen tree I'd cut pieces from before (I think it was some sort of maple) to make another backpack load. When Powerful saw me trudging home on the narrow mountain goat path behind the woodshed, he seemed horrified that anyonme would voluntarily undertake such a task. Thankfully, the weather was a bit warmer than it had been in over a week, with temperatures actually rising above the freezing point of water.
This evening I (along with the dogs) met Gretchen at 5:00pm at the bookstore for our yearly Valentine's Day meal. Our tradition is to get pizza and fries at Catskill Mountain Pizza, but that place was closed, and so probably was the swankier Theatre Pizza, so we opted for our favorite staples from Yum Yum instead. We also got an order of fries from Shindig. Yum Yum is actually open for indoor dining, though we're not living that sort of dangerously at this stage on the pandemic. We got our food to go and ate it upstairs in the bookstore, even though its a bit of a mess up there as it is transformed into a kids' book room. This particular Valentine's Day is auspicious because it is the 20th anniversary of Gretchen getting back in touch with me after Googling her name. Gretchen said she thought it felt more like ten years than twenty, but to me, it feels like a full twenty.
After they got cold, Gretchen split the last of the french fries between the dogs.
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