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Things I Want You to Know About Windows 10

8 minute read
Todd Klindt avatar

As you know by now, Windows 10 is out.

And depending on who you believe, there were 16 million boxes installed the first week or 80 million boxes or every box and six or eight toasters.

Microsoft pre-downloaded Windows 10 onto a bunch of boxes so those users could upgrade right away on launch day, July 29.

Along with the upgrade being free and with all the insiders downloading it, Windows 10 is on a lot of boxes right now.

I've been reading a bunch of forums about it and it's mostly gone pretty well.

I personally have one box — one of the 17 or 18 little Windows tablets I have around the house — that will not upgrade. It's a video driver thing.

It's a small cheap Acer tablet and it doesn't have the Intel Z3735F processer — it's got the one before that. It also has built-in Intel integrated graphics, and the Windows 10 updater will not update because it says those graphics don't have a driver. And their like the Size 9 shoe of graphics adapters — the most common one out there.

So I have to investigate that a little more, but I've upgraded almost all my tablets.

Not Practicing What I Preach

I haven't upgraded all of my important production stuff just yet because I'm a little terrified.

I've got the Dell Venue 8 Pro that's close. But somehow I've run that one out of drive space. So I need to figure that one out because I don't want to format it.

I want to upgrade it but there's just not enough room right now.

This desktop that I'm presenting all this on is also not Windows 10 because I need to do this podcast and I don't want to break anything.

I've got drivers for this microphone and all that. I'm a little nervous.

But I've done a bunch of other boxes, a bunch of tablets and a couple laptops, things like that, and it's gone pretty well.

I do want to share a couple of links. If you signed up for the Windows Insider program, Microsoft was supposed to download Windows 10 right to your box. For some folks that didn't work.

So Microsoft has released a Windows 10 Media Creation Tool and you can run that.

I'm probably going to end up trying that out on a couple of my boxes. But if the Internet is to be believed — because when has the Internet ever lied? — that seems to be going pretty well.

A Little Love Affair

So as I've been playing with Windows 10 for the last couple of weeks and thinking about the things I wanted to talk about. I've got a whole list and there are a few things I want to mention.

As you guys all know, I love PowerShell. I use the bejesus out of PowerShell. I've got a PowerShell prompt open every hour of every day on every machine I work on.

And they finally, after decades of using the command prompt and all this, they finally fixed the problem that I hate. You can turn on when you highlight and go across lines and actually line wrap instead of getting a big block.

I copy PowerShell all the time and I am forever pasting it somewhere and having to remove parts. That's all fixed now.

They've updated the console host, so now for a command prompt or for PowerShell you can turn this on.

You need to go into your shortcut for PowerShell.

if you've got PowerShell open go to the title bar, right click properties, go to the advanced tab and there's a box at the bottom. Mine were all upgraded. There is a box that says use legacy console. If you uncheck that, then you can check the box that says do line wrapping, and it makes using PowerShell and copying and pasting so much better.

That's one of my favorite things.

Big, Bigger, Best

Another thing that I've been doing, and I've been doing this since Windows 7, is I go to the properties for the task bar. By default they all make little itty icons on the task bar and I hate that.

So I go in there and the default setting for icons is "always combine."

I changed that to "combine when full" and that way, if I don't have a lot of windows on a particular monitor, I've got these big icons that are easy for me to click and read what's on them. But if it starts to get crowded they get smaller.

One of the things I think we spoke a little bit about before is this new feature of Windows 10 called the Windows Hello.

Windows Hello is this great new feature where you can log into Windows by looking at your webcam on your camera. It can recognize your face and it will log you into Windows automatically if you do that.

You Say Hello, I Say … Creepy?

It's super cool, and a little bit creepy. But I can make it a little less creepy.

First, get a rag to cover your webcam. So we first saw this at the Ignite conference in May and that's kind of where I got this whole idea.

Joe Belfiore (Corporate Vice President, Operating Systems Group at Microsoft) had a rag on his laptop because if he were walking across stage, if his camera saw him, it would log him into that box.

Learning Opportunities

So he had to cover the camera so he could demonstrate it.

But the first time we all saw that — the first thing somebody asked was, "Oh, great. So I can log into somebody's computer with a picture of them."

Yeah, like the guys at Microsoft didn't think of that. So for you to use this Windows Hello login thing you need a webcam that has a very specific hardware support and it's called Intel real sense.

It needs an infrared camera so it can take temperature readings, and assure the thing it's looking at is actually warm and alive.

It also has depth perception, so it won't fall for the old picture being held up to the camera gag that we've seen in so many Eddie Murphy movies.

So if you've got a Real Sense webcam, you can turn this on.

Intel right now has a developer kit you can buy for like $100 that offers this. And its starting to come out in laptops and things like that.

So, OK, kind of cool; But the thing that's kind of creepy is you're like "Oh my God, Microsoft is making a database of everybody's face in the whole world. This is horrible."

That's not how this works.

What Microsoft has done is when you set Windows Hello up and it watches your face and all that, it creates a hash and stores it locally and only locally.

It doesn't get pushed out to Microsoft. So the good news with that is your face and all the things about your face are kept locally. There's no big database of it.

The bad news is if you had multiple Windows 10 boxes you have to set Windows Hello up on every one of them because it's not out in the cloud. But it's also pretty cool.

It's such a cool feature I should probably break down and buy one of those cameras.

It is just cool because now you can have your laptop or whatever lock immediately when you step away, and you don't have to login every time you return.

Dear God

The last thing I wanted to mention is, much like windows 7 or Windows Vista, somebody has come out and found a way to enable God mode on Windows 10.

Now, if there was ever an example of ridiculous overused Internet hyperbole, this is it.

God mode is nothing that exciting but that's the name they keep giving it. God mode is a link, so there's a specially crafted shortcut you can create that will open up the control panel with everything in it — every setting, every whatever.

So you can get to everything you need to in one big window. Which is kind of cool, but one of the things Windows 7 and 8 and 10 all do really well is they make it easy to find settings.

I know what you're thinking: "That's not the case." But you can search in all the panels, and I've never had an instance where I couldn't just type the word and have the setting pop up.

That being said, God mode is not nearly as important as it was previously because now search is pretty good.

What's Your Story?

Keep on with the Windows 10 stuff. If you haven't installed yet, install it — and start sharing some stories.

In the meantime, enjoy Podcast 256. If you're tired of reading, just watch or listen on iTunes

About the author

Todd Klindt

Todd Klindt has been a professional computer nerd for over 15 years, specializing in SharePoint for the last eight years. In 2006 he was awarded the MVP award from Microsoft for Windows SharePoint Services.

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