I’m going to go a little bit techie on you. I’m going to talk a little about Windows 10, so if your interests are in iOS, Linux, Android or some other operating system, I guess this column is not for you.
As I have discussed in the past, I’m an early adopter. If there is something new out there that piques my interest, and I can afford it, I usually jump on it.
Not long ago I purchased a notebook computer — that’s a device between a netbook and a laptop in screen size.
It came with Windows 8.1. My other computer has Windows 7, which is pretty much like Windows XP but with different quirks and bugs.
From what I learned from the TV ads, Windows 10 is the second coming of PC operating systems. There isn’t anything it can’t or won’t do. I have discovered that is at least partially true.
There are few things it won’t do, none of which I want it to do.
Microsoft has said this is the last version of Windows they are doing because it will never go out of date. More on that in a bit.
Let me get to my actual experience.
First, you need to know I live out in the boonies as far as technology is concerned.
For 20 years, we put up with a noisy land-line telephone system. It would start humming with every rain, and if we got a real soaker, it would just quit working all together. We gave it up for a wireless device, from our cellular provider, that allows us to use our regular telephones just as if they were hooked to a land-line. That service is $25 less expensive and has more features, including unlimited long distance, than the wired service.
It does not hum, and it works every time I pick up the phone.
There is no cable TV service available to us out here, either. It comes to about a mile east of us and two miles west of us, but there is nothing available in that three-mile gap in between.
When I asked the cable company when would we get cable, they said, “Never.” That was their exact reply.
Don’t even get me started how bad satellite-delivered Internet service is. That could be a whole column in and of itself.
No land-line service and no cable TV means no high-speed Internet available either. So we also get our Internet service through our cellular provider. It is expensive versus the other means, but it is better than nothing. It does work well. We subscribe to a 15-gig data package that is shared between our home computer and two smartphones.
That usually works for us, for moderate use, with a gig or two left unused at the end of the billing cycle.
Now to get to the big problems I had with Windows 10.
To get it free, for the next year, you have to go online and download it. The download for the operating system is supposed to be about 3 gig. But when mine finished, it was more than 9 gig. Talk about blowing a big hole in a 15-gig data package.
So, here’s what happened. Microsoft actually uses your computer and your data plan to pass on the operating system to other computers. It is very much like BitTorrent.
Mine sent it on to two other users before I caught on to this “sharing” scheme of theirs.
It can be turned off, but not until it has been fully installed on your computer.
The second thing that I ran into is that Windows 10 is constantly being updated. On the older versions, updates came out on a certain day of the week, and you could opt out of them or do it later at your convenience. Not so any more. They are coming whether you are ready or not. Nothing you can do about it.
These are not necessarily big problems for users who have unlimited Internet access, but for those of us with limited or metered data plans, it is disastrous.
If you are interested in turning the sharing service off, drop me an email, and I will share a useful link or two with you.
Or if you know of an alternative to cellular- or satellite-delivered Internet, let me know.
The sad thing is, because of Microsoft’s “Everybody must have unlimited Internet access” attitude, I had to uninstall Windows 10. I can’t afford what the sharing and constant flow of updates would cost me. It already set us back an additional $35 for the extra data it took to get us through the month for our regular usage.
Never mind me, I’m just Grumpy.
Tim Renshaw formerly taught broadcasting at Greenfield-Central High School. He lives in New Palestine and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.