Adventures with Windows 10, and many other matters

Chaos Manor View, Saturday, April 9, 2016

“This is the most transparent administration in history.”

Barrack Obama

Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for Western Civilization as it commits suicide.

Under Capitalism, the rich become powerful. Under Socialism, the powerful become rich.

Under Socialism, government employees become powerful.


I still don’t have Outlook running on the Surface Pro 3, but I have learned a few things; as usual they are both to the credit and detriment of Microsoft. With Apple, everything is either very simple or impossible; with Microsoft many things are very simple, but many more are very complicated; most are possible, but you never know. And good luck finding out how to do them.

First, thanks to all the readers who have told me how to find the box that lets you view hidden files in Windows 10. There are two ways, neither of which was hinted at when I Binged “show hidden files Windows 10”. The first is windows key + e gets you Explorer; the View tab on that will have boxes for Show Hidden Files and Show Extensions. These are off by default; checking them does the trick. As it happens I had long since done that, but didn’t remember it. I suppose to Microsoft this is so obvious they do not need to tell you when you Bing hidden files? In any event it works.

A better way is to Start > Control Panel > File Explorer Options. Many fewer readers told me about this one, and I have never seen any reference to it in a Microsoft help file, but then I have pretty low expectations when it comes to Microsoft Help. All their Help employees seem to be graduates of that condemnable school that teaches how to document things so that you can prove to your supervisor that you have done so, but can be found and comprehended only by those who already knew how to do it. Clear only if previously known. Microsoft does not have a monopoly on that, of course, and given our wretched school system that evolved after we nationalized control of schools with Federal Aid to Education fewer and fewer people including programmers know how to write comprehensible English anyway.

Of course Microsoft tells me to do Start > Control Panel > Appearances and Personalization, but that category does not exist on any of the Windows 10 machines I have. Oddly enough I have a few readers who tell me they have it on theirs, but I haven’t undertaken the task of finding out just what edition or build or mark number of Windows 10 they have; most of you don’t have Appearances in you Control panel.

I have also discovered that Control Panel appears on the Start Menu on one of my Windows 10 machines, but not on two others. Usually I have to do Start and then type c into the “Ask me anything” window on the lower left of the screen, at which point a little window pops up letting me open Control Panel. After I open it, right clicking on the icon offers me the opportunity to pin Control Panel to the Task Bar, but I don’t use it that often; I’ll remember that Start > type c will get me control panel; although you might think that “All apps” ought to include an option to open Control Panel? But the ways of Microsoft Product Managers are arcane and comprehensible only to an enlightened few; users aren’t expected to make sense of them.


I still do not have Outlook running on the Surface Pro 3. One reader suggested I do a Repair installation of Office, and I am doing that now; it is taking forever. I have been running the program for an hour, and the progress bar is about a quarter way over, and appears not to be moving at all. Task Manager shows 0% of CPU time is devoted to running “Microsoft Office Click to Run”, the only open app other than Task Manager, but if I stare at it long enough I am rewarded with a momentary kick up to 0.2% before it goes back to its by now traditional 0%. I will let it run all day and see what happens. Wish me luck.

I do these silly things so you don’t have to. I think, though, that it would have been faster simply to uninstall Office and start over; I don’t recall the initial installation taking an hour or more. We’ll just have to see how this plays out. It’s lunch time and I’ll just let it run…

Well. I went up to correct the first paragraphs of this, before I go to lunch, and Lo! the progress bar has moved past the 1/3 area, not yet to halfway, but it has definitely moved. Hope springs eternal. And now for lunch…

Sigh. It’s an hour later and I don’t think that progress bar has moved a millimeter. We’ll just wait…


Still no progress on repair installation of office on the Surface Pro. However, I did learn one thing about Control Panel.

Start > type C >Click on Control panel

It opens as Control Panel > All Control Panel items. Now go up to the path line and click Control Panel in the path it shows up there. Lo! There appears a control panel, only this time there are many fewer items, one of which is Appearance and Personalization. Click that, and it will offer you File Explorer Options. That offers you View. View does let you control things like Hide File Extensions and such. See, it’s all very clear, provided you understand how to do it. If you didn’t already know, it’s pretty hard to figure it out, but after all, that’s part of the fun, isn’t it.

Beedee, beedee, beedee… .

While I was doing that, the Surface suddenly went mad and finished the Repair Installation of Office. Now when I click Outlook 16, a blue Window appears. It seems to say Starting, but vanishes quickly, to be replaced by another blue window. Moving Dots indicate trundling. It says Processing. It does this endlessly. I think I am back where I started. Always something interesting to do with Microsoft.


outlook repair

Dr. Pournelle,

For app launch issues with the latest version of office, MS seems to be recommending a repair installation. Don’t uninstall first, just do a repair installation.

Sean Long

Thanks. Alas, I tried it, with results detailed above. No Joy. I now have office 2016, One Note and Word seem to work fine, but Outlook won’t open. I’m giving it an hour to try, but I have no realistic hopes.


Thank you for sharing your experience with windoze10. You’ve convinced me not to ‘upgrade’ from win7. If it ain’t broke, then why try to fix it.

I do want to emphasize that I am living with Windows 10, and as I discover how to do things I find them reasonable, and the system useful for getting work done; but they have changed the interface a lot, and I don’t find a lot of the improvements and actual improvement at all. If you’re just learning it I suppose you are better off; you won’t so often try the wrong thing. Windows 10 works well to get my work done. All I must do is forget how Windows used to work.

Eventually I will learn the Windows 10 arcana, after which no doubt Microsoft will improve beyond recognition yet another time.

I do not think windoze is an appropriate cognomen. It’s not slow, it’s merely incomprehensible unless you already know its secrets.


Big ransomware roundup

                We’ve gotten the crime part of the cyber-punk future without the fun parts.



A-10 with busted wing

An Israeli F-15 once landed safely, after a midair collision, with dam’ near nothing left of the right wing.  It was GONE from just outboard of the engine intake/nacelle.

–John R. Strohm

Of course the survivability of the Warthog is not what makes it so valuable for the kind of assaults we need on ISIS, It can also be far more precise in target selections, vastly reducing collateral damages.


indicting sec state, nuclear Asia, and power point
Dr Pournelle,
You wrote that you would “not predict that the Obama Administration would allow an indictment of Hillary Clinton.”
Good bet! As Secretary of State, Dame (Damn?) Hillary was operating as a classification authority, and had the responsibility, derived from the President’s, to classify, declassify, and release classified information at any level. Even if she’d deliberately sent classified information via unclassified channels to an uncleared recipient, she was operating within her authority to do so. The worst possible punishment would have been if the President had disagreed with her information decision and had asked her to resign. Having resigned the position, she’s legally untouchable.
Remember when President Carter announced to the world the world the development of radar stealth aircraft? Remember then junior Senator Joe Biden walking out of a classified-content briefing by the intelligence agencies and blabbing about national technical means to the reporters waiting outside? Like that.
As far as the personal e-mail account is concerned, Cabinet officials and directors of federal agencies grant or deny their subordinates the use of personal accounts. It was within her authority to except herself from any State Department policy requiring the use of government e-mail accounts.
Mrs. Clinton is immune from legal prosecution on either issue. This political investigation is only about the question of the public appearance of competence and chasing down any of her political cronies who can be indicted, at length, in a persistent effort to keep her politically embarrassed and ineffective.
The real effect will be to make Bernie Sanders the democratic party candidate, or if she is nominated after all, to so disable the remaining dregs of the Clinton reputation as to make so her unacceptable to many voters in her own party that they either don’t vote, or are driven into the arms of her opponents.
The real proof of incompetence is Benghazi, as you say, but she’s immune from impeachment on that score, as well.
On the other subject, neither South Korea nor Japan is really interested in having or hosting Nuclear Weapons. In particular, the government of Japan could not politically stand the development of a nuclear weapons industry, given its voters’ opposition to any nuclear technology. IMO, both countries are interested in keeping the U.S. as a guarantor of their nuclear security, and/or to get more representation in Chinese control over North Korea. They may also be setting themselves up in a position to purchase or be admitted as guardians of any weapons seized from North Korea after a long anticipated coup or revolution.
Taiwan especially does not need a native nuclear weapons capability. Having nukes would force China to have to do something about Taiwanese independence and it would likely not be pretty.
I wish you well in your presentation of _Survival_With_Style_ and hope that your technical team can help you to overcome your laptop issues. I wish that I could attend and see it. Have you given thought to publishing your presentation after the conference?
Wishing you and yours continued recovery and good health,

Actually, it is legal to impeach anyone even if they do hot hold an office; the sentence would be to be forever barred from holding public office. It is not likely, of course, so I mention it only as an interesting fact.

“Guccifer” extradited to US

The suggested implication is that the FBI will be able to use Guccifer to prove foreign access to Clinton’s server without having to invoke or prove in court any hacking by foreign governments, and thereby avoid a need for intelligence sources and methods to prove their case.


ISIS Chem Bio Terrorism Capability

The attached is a European Parliament brief on the ISIS CBR terrorism risk, downloaded from

There are also reports today in two British tabloids – not confirmed in any more reputable news sources yet – that one of the Brussels bombing suspects recently arrested was found with decaying animal organs and sanitary sewage in a bag in his backpack, and citing another recent case where ISIS sympathizers were arrested with similar material in jars with nails, presumably to facilitate infection in a bio-IED attack. Supposedly authorities claim that such weapons would not work, but they apparently (willfully, or in an attempt to pacify the public) forget that these were the first weapons of mass destruction and have been used in warfare for millennia. (I will admit that the scale is smaller than dropping dead cows on a city under siege by catapult, but that is at least partially compensated by the crude engineering afforded by modern knowledge, even without refinements such as processing and separation of infectious microorganisms.)



JK Woosley PhD


Sweden: A Beggar on Every Corner

by Ingrid Carlqvist
April 9, 2016 at 5:00 am





  • For the last few years, Sweden has been overwhelmed with Roma beggars from Romania and Bulgaria. Recently, the government estimated that there are now around 4,000 in Sweden (population 9.5 million).
  • “We do not fool anyone. We just benefit from the opportunity.” — Bulgarian beggar in Sweden who said he “owned” five street corners.
  • “If the begging is profitable, they stay miserable…. [Giving money] improves the acute situation. At the same time, it contributes to making the bigger issue permanent — the misery…. It will not help the Roma, but it gives you a chance to feel like a good person. … The basic concept of racism is precisely that we as westerners and Swedes are far superior (smarter) and that the Roma are inferior (dumber). If this… is not racist then I do not know what is. … One could add that the image is inverted among Roma. They consider themselves superior and smart, while the gadjo (non-gypsies) are stupid, naïve and gullible.” — Karl-Olov Arnstberg, Swedish ethnologist



Rule of 30

When I used to do small business consulting, I ran into something called “the rule of 30”. It seems that this rule works in the “size” of business organizations where they as they expand and grow, the “breakpoint” of 30 units is a limiter. Thus, when a restaurant chain begins to expand past 30 units, it needs to split into two divisions each with its’ own leadership which begins to shift away from the restaurant’s original founder’s vision. If it doesn’t split, the organization will fail. Similarly, the archaeologist Leaky found that primitive human “tribes” also self limited themselves to 30 members. To expand beyond this invited failure. But 30 seemed to be the correct number of persons necessary for all the jobs that needed to be done by a tribal group.
I also submit for consideration that the reason for the American Civil War (or The War between the States as I was taught in Virginia) was not necessarily slavery or industrial vs. agrarian import taxation but because the U.S. was at or near the “rule of 30” states, meaning that the natural thing for America to do was to “divide” into two entities in order to become successful, or in other words, not to fail. Of course, America did not divide, we have become over 50 states, meaning as an organization we are now destined to fail because we have violated the rule of 30. Of course, I will be called insane or “stupid” for proposing this. I can accept that. But this could be one of many possible reasons for our current “failure mode.” Because we did not successfully split before of during our Civil War, we may have doomed ourselves to “organizational failure.”
This is something I have never seen proposed anywhere. Might as well throw it into today’s chaotic mix. Where else but in “Chaos Manor?” Still love your site.


It is an intriguing idea, and one I have given little thought to. I do believe that Liberty and individual freedom cannot survive in very large unitary states.


‘But now these voters formerly called common-sense conservatives are now considered drug-addled losers who are too stupid to determine what is in their best interest.’



Roland Dobbins

That’s us, all right.


To give him his due:

Lawyers Acknowledge Mistake In Filing Sexual Misconduct Charges Against Professor Dershowitz

by Alan M. Dershowitz  •  April 9, 2016 at 9:45 am

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Richard A. Simpson,

April 8, 2016

Lawyers Acknowledge Mistake In Filing Sexual Misconduct Charges Against Professor Dershowitz

Professor Alan M. Dershowitz released the following statement regarding resolution of the case styled Bradley Edwards, et al. v. Alan M. Dershowitz, Case No. CACE 15-000072 (Cir. Ct., Broward Cnty., Fla.).


I am pleased that the litigation has concluded and I am gratified by the Joint Statement issued today by Jeffrey E. Streitfeld on behalf of the parties, in which “Edwards and Cassell acknowledge that it was a mistake to have filed sexual misconduct accusations against Dershowitz and the sexual misconduct accusations made in all public filings (including all exhibits) are hereby withdrawn.” Mr. Streitfeld’s announcement and the Joint Statement are copied below.




Thanks for pointing me towards ‘Freefell’, by the end of the weekend I should be up to date. Some of the panels are classic (So for the movie I can see Johnny Depp as Captain Sam.) Once I get up to date it won’t be such a time sink.
Windows 10. I blogged about my experiences with the ‘free’ upgrade.
***(Tower on Win7): Microsoft does not want to give you a choice on upgrading to Windows 10. This is what I’ve found.
A Windows process GWX (stands for Get Windows 10, cute isn’t it?) is labeled as an important update while in Win7 and is loaded onto your machine (…of course MS doesn’t really believe that it’s your machine, at least that is the way they behave. )
“This process does several things; it can download (without asking permission, no matter what your update permissions are set to) the 6Gig Windows Ten upgrade onto a hidden folder on your hard drive, it downloads update KB3035583 onto your computer (which is the process that places a Windows 10 icon on your taskbar and splashes a Nag Window on top of whatever you are doing to nag you into upgrading.), and if you uninstall the KB3035583 process (as some sites suggest) to remove the annoying nagging then the GWX.exe process immediately downloads it again and it pops up the next time you reboot.
I finally got rid of all of it (I think.) but it took me over two hours of my time. One little thing that made it difficult was a program called Trusted Installer. This process ‘owned’ the folder C:windowsSystem32GWX and stopped me from deleting it. Even though I have Administrator Access on my machine and network. On the bright side, I’ve learned a lot more about windows security features and operation than I ever knew before.***
The most annoying ‘bug’ so far has been Win10’s problem with hidden SSID on my WiFi homegroup, hidden and the notebook can’t connect automatically, un-hid and it connects. When I got tired of manually connecting I unhid the router, but then I realized I needed to change the name (Johnspinkpanties: Old joke I’d forgotten about).
On your comment (or is that, your plea) “…to let them work while there is still a work ethic among most of the work force”. My observation is, too late. That may be caused by my residence in a blue state but many (easy to find) stories on the difficulties US based manufacture is encountering while attempting to restart American production makes me ask the question; how long is the shelf life of American work ethic and craftsmanship? In NC a company failed to restart a baby furniture factory when not enough workers with basic skills could be found (surprisingly viewing ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ 20 times in grades 1-12 does not prepare you for the workplace) and older veterans, laid off decade earlier, either weren’t interested, too old or found other careers. The spread of a $15 dollar minimum wage isn’t going to help either. When I started my first jobs, frankly I was worthless. But I learned, got better and started earning the minimum wage money I was getting. Soon I was worth more and started making that. But what if that first minimum wage job wasn’t there and open for a teenage kid? At $32,000 a year a employer will have a hell of a lot of adults with long work histories and families applying for that job. Who’d hire a kid? Where is that kid’s first job going to come from? At twenty, a boy-man with his full growth and adult strength can get a manual labor job picking up heavy things and putting them down; but first job in his twenties? Somehow I doubt that ‘everyone goes to College’ is the answer.
“Islam in its fullest and most complete form is utterly incompatible with Western ideals and concepts.”
Agreed. Tell me, does the Spanish Inquisition start to make a lot more sense? I’ve talked to people that lack the slightest understanding or knowledge of history, they are shocked that I see the Inquisition in a positive light. But they also know nothing about the history of the Iberian Peninsula, the long war north that ended at Tours (France) and long ‘The Reconquista’ that ended in 1492 when Queen Isabella could finally spare the money to fund spaceflight, er..exploration. After living under Islam for several centuries, strangely, they developed a compulsion to eliminate it from their homeland. Root and branch.
The problem with the short box comment form is that I didn’t see how long this was getting, thanks for all your efforts, bye.

John The River




Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.




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