marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

Which, before I get started, reminds me *glances at title*...I have two problems with writing - besides, of course, the inability to proofread my own writing as objectively as I proofread in general, and a style so elastic that 10 years of online writing hasn't narrowed it down to anything in particular (but in truth, there are at least two major styles I display; one's very hard to use because I never use it, so it gives me a headache like the one I have right now; the other's conversational and therefore almost too easy to use; I don't like either) - commas and where they should go, and when to use 'that' or 'which'. And yes, I know the Internet's a thing I can use to look up the answers, but my mind riots against commas and wants to switch up when I use 'that' for 'which' with wild abandon and I'm getting so tired of fighting it.

  • The kittens need to be re-weighed for their next round of Activyl because the doses come in two sizes: over or under nine pounds. They were in the 6-7lb range a month ago but kittens do strange things, like grow, that I have to take into account in order to not under or overdose them.
  • The kittens completed their third round of dewormer two days ago. Never saw a worm again after the lone worm I reported before their first dose.
  • Tab-tab tried to reproduce with Pip the other day. They're boys, so I take it it's time to look into the removal of that which produces the need to reproduce. Income's been too low lately to consider it.
  • Roof's still not fixed. I was actually glad the due date of last week came and went because it was supposed to get fixed just before Matthew was to hit, so I figured the roof would get fixed, fly off or get broken by the trees in the next storm, then have to be fixed again. Spare me my rich landlord's crying about having to fix the damn roof twice. At least if it ever does get fixed, we're getting a new roof, end to end. No more leaking in my bed every freakin' time it rains. Yay-ah.
  • Comcast lied about giving me most of the credits discussed in this post. It's not that I never got them - I saw evidence of at least two: one under "My Account" on their website and one in an email confirmation, but the first $75 credit I saw was apparently rescinded by an auditor before it could be applied to my next bill, and the next $75 credit never showed up. While I had $50 credited by them last week to partially make up for one missing credit, I agreed to another $75 to settle up, but still haven't seen it, despite more promises made by an escalation agent than I can even count. Hours lost toward trying to get credits promised, both in person at the local office and on the phone: at least five. Years off my life over the stress of fighting with Comcast for the better part of three years over so much stupid shit: at least five. I've been in bad relationships with actual people that were easier to endure and ultimately to just get the hell away from than Comcast is.
  • I need to do more online surveys and start selling on eBay again. I put off doing eBay over the storm last month and haven't looked back and can kind of understand my trepidation over it now: I'm afraid another storm will hit and I won't be able to ship items on time because of it. Things like that terrify me because I want my customers really happy.
  • I need to roll my phone back toWin8, though it kills the battery to run Win8. 11-3-16: done, about a week later. Everything's fine except the battery. Pictures won't sync from Win10 Mobile to OneDrive. I can log onto and nothing on the phone now is there, which gives me the most fragmented mess of pictures I've had since before I owned smartphones. I have to manually import the pictures now but sometimes the laptop won't recognize my phone as something that can have a picture on it, another bug I can't contemplate without flailing, so it won't find anything to import and why, Microsoft, why do you make our lives such living hell.
  • The Dell got a new keyboard. Unlike my laptop's replacement keyboard, it's a genuine part and works flawlessly. I wish I had it that easy on my HP - but, fwiw, the seller's refunded 75% of the purchase price, so ultimately I only paid $5 for it.
marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

Other Person has gotten the Dell laptop working again. The "i" and "z" keys sometimes stick or die and yesterday, of all things, the apostrophe quit so I had to copy one out of a Google search for "apostrophe", because I'm really nothing without contractions. Today the apostrophe's fine and after I sat my index finger on the "i" for a few minutes it sprang to life, as well. The rest of the keyboard seems up to speed and the laptop no longer freezes.

I didn't pay attention to what he did to fix it because I was on his tablet, because my tablet keeps freezing up now, too, but from glancing at him now and then I gather it involved taking the laptop apart, blowing some things out, re-seating other things, re-assembling it, and perhaps the chanting of incantations. The Dell cost me nothing, I've already fixed it once, and I would've tossed it rather than gone through what he did, but I'm kind of glad now that he bothered. My blog looks pretty good on it (better than it does on our tablets - those turn the page gutters an ugly dark tan color that I wouldn't have picked myself).

My replacement laptop keyboard's due here by the end of the week, but I'm worried about it being a crapshoot, so I'm keeping the packaging and will re-seal it like new to turn around and re-sell ASAP if it doesn't work out. The thing is, since the storm, my existing keyboard's bent toward the top middle, so I'm thinking it's because something under the bent part corresponding to the motherboard overheated and warped, in which case no keyboard (except an external) might ever work again.

If it does turn out to be useless, I'll need a new external keyboard because the one I'm using now has multiple dead keys, just like the laptop. The dead keys on the external aren't dead on the laptop so I've just been using both of them at once. I wish y'all could see this - I'm like a DJ working keyboards instead of turntables, which is sort of amusing.

We've lost power four times since the storm, for anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Last night was for a few minutes, a few days before it was for a few hours, there was a quickie the night before that, and it was out a few hours the weekend before last. Every time we've lost power since the storm Comcast's cable modem has totally wigged out. It's always been slow - it takes a good five minutes to reboot, find its own ass, feel everything out and start pumping signal again, but since the storm you can add "find its own signal" to the list of things it takes too long to do. It has to reboot multiple times to finally stop claiming our signal's broadcasting when, in fact, it's not.

What sucks is that to our phones and computers the signal looks like it's broadcasting, and when you connect it doesn't show a yellow triangle to denote limited connection issues. But when you try to get online you can't, and when you check the network list it shows a full signal but then says next to that, "No internet", in classic, "Oh, NOW you tell me" fashion. So we waste a) five minutes waiting for the modem to reboot and decide it can do this, b) another five minutes for it to realize it can't do this and is totally lying, and c) another 5-15 minutes for multiple reboots to take place to finally push the signal back to life again.

I'm pretty sure it's a surge victim, though it was on surge protector - but there's nothing the storm didn't seem to touch - so we're planning a trip to our local Comcast office soon to get another modem so big I'll need both arms to carry it out. I'm going to hate having to swap these things out every time there's a storm.

To finish what I started the night the storm hit, I installed the latest build of Windows 10 on my now-collector's-item Nokia about five days ago. My phone restarted to install updates required to get Win10 (one tree had hit the house by then; the second tree was about to) just as the lights went out. My phone only installs updates over wifi, which didn't exist for another 14 days, so once wifi came back the phone automatically picked up where it left off.

I had to use the WinInsider app as a workaround against Microsoft's official app, which blocks my phone from getting Win10 because it's not recommended on phones with only a half gig of RAM. It's running great on my half gig, though. It's opening and resuming windows, menus, browsers and the app list faster than Win8.1 did and looks jazzier, too. The worst problems are with Edge windows - they tend to crash as much as Internet Explorer windows do on 8.1 - and with the native email app, which opens with the keyboard displayed every single time. I can't figure out why the email app thinks it's the messenger, but one press of the back button makes it go away, so it's more "annoyance" than fatal flaw.

Battery life, once the primary dealbreaker on Win10, is actually better now than it is on 8.1, so if you're an 8.1 user with just a half gig of RAM it might pay to go the WinInsider route and switch to Win10 to preserve battery life, but no, I never said that, EULAs be damned. It's helped my battery - a lot. On 8.1 I had to keep screen brightness on "low" to get the battery to last more than a few hours, which made the screen really, really hard to see because my eyes, as we know, are not the greatest. On Win10 I can get 12+ hours on a single charge with brightness set to "high", which means it would last even longer on a lower setting (there's a "medium", too).

I mostly upgraded to Win10 to use my bank's official app, which isn't available on Win8/8.1, but the one thing I wanted it for - to deposit checks, which I get a fair amount of each month - isn't working. It tells me it took pictures of the checks successfully, then says it can't read them, and gives me tips on how to take the pictures so they come out better. Reading through the tips, I can see I've done exactly what they suggest, yet the app still fails to read my checks.

The worst thing about Win10 Mobile is the News app. I don't know if I've discussed it before, but I've been addicted to it on Win8/8.1 for years. It shows lists of headlines with a tiny thumbnail next to each one. You click an item and it opens full page with larger pictures, which, if you click on those, can be pinched and swiped from full-size (like the actual size they were published at, which can sometimes be huge) back down to article size. If you swipe left you get thumbnails of all the pictures in the article, and you can swipe through those without the accompanying text, or cycle through them with accompanying text, one picture at a time.

It's the greatest app for looking at pictures, but it's MIA in Win10. You can't change picture sizes anymore - the medium-ish thumbnails found in the articles are completely WYSIWYG, which results in a loss of context because pictures are so often essential to understanding what's going on.

The other thing missing in Win10 News is the entire list of headlines. Now there's huuuuuuuge thumbnails and huuuuuge titles with loooong blurbs, so you have to scroll and scroll and scroll to see even a tiny bit of what's going on. I liked the cleaner, simpler, and for lack of a better example, Drudge Report-style lists (they're much nicer/calmer-looking than TDR, but otherwise it's the same idea) and the fact that the lists were truncated at 3-5 items per topic with no blurbs (you click on a topic name to see the full list of headlines on one page).

There's no truncation in Win10 now, just endless scrolling. It's highly inefficient, and totally breaks my reading flow.

It's gone from:


This item
This item
This item



This item

*huge thumbnail here*

Blah blah blah blah blah
blah blah blah blah
Blah blah blah blah blah
blah blah blah blah...

This item

*huge thumbnail here*

Blah blah blah blah blah
blah blah blah blah
Blah blah blah blah blah
blah blah blah blah...

This item

*huge thumbnail here*

Blah blah blah blah blah
blah blah blah blah
Blah blah blah blah blah
blah blah blah blah...

And you can just rinse and repeat forever. It's awful.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

Tested/works with clean-installed Windows 10 Pro Anniversary Update (Build 14393). Untested in other varieties and combinations; untested on Windows Insider preview builds.

  • Open Microsoft Edge (the blue "e" with the funny mohawk on your taskbar)
  • Click the menu icon (the three little dark or light dots, depending on whether you use Edge with a light or dark theme) located to the right of your web address/search bar
  • Scroll to the bottom and click Settings; this will open a new menu
  • Scroll to bottom of this menu and click View Advanced Settings; this will open another menu
  • Scroll this menu until you see the words Optimize taskbar web search results for screenreaders. Click the slider to On.

I don't know why anyone would want to use IE, but my Google searches indicate some people want to. Other people, conversely, are having trouble figuring out why Cortana is using IE11 instead of Edge, so checking (and, if needed, unchecking) this particular setting may solve it for them. Nothing else does - not Windows 10 in-place upgrades, Cortana reinstalls, nor any other steps I've seen mentioned.

Microsoft did a weird thing back in April or May; they decided you can set your default browser to whatever you want, so say, you can still set it to Google Chrome or Firefox, but web searches (regardless of which search engine you choose as your default) can no longer be diverted to any browser but Edge - and will no longer use any search engine but Bing. (To be clear: web addresses typed into Cortana - for example: - will open in any browser you set as your default, but web searches can only be opened in Edge - which now uses nothing but Bing to complete the search you began from Cortana.)

Well, the screenreader setting above actually hacks this prohibition to pieces (web addresses open happily in IE11, but web searches still open in Edge) so now I'm wondering how to duplicate it only to divert web searches to Firefox.

It's probably some stupid-easy thing. Almost everything in Windows is. I actually found a file with Cortana's URL parameters set to Bing (there are probably many more like it, and it was an XUL file, so probably not the right one to be working on), opened it in Notepad++ and started editing, but upon trying to save changes discovered Windows file protection on Cortana, which led to error messages (Notepad asking if I'd like to run as admin, then telling me to check the file wasn't open in another program - of course it wasn't) only to discover disabling Spot Verifier in services.msc doesn't free up the file and global file protection cannot be turned off.

By then it was almost 4 in the morning and, like, I've got things to do, but if I ever get back to it I'll probably figure it out in Safe Mode (yep, that's right, Windows: heeeeeeere's Johnny!!!) or else figure out that it's probably not...figure-outable...I have a feeling the end result will be a bit of both: I'll figure out exactly what to do, then be unable to do it because getting around file protection will simply short-circuit Cortana, or whatever.

*Upon further inspection I find typed-in web addresses still open in your default browser, so this works for redirecting web searches only.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

ETA: Mostly a false alarm. While this really did happen, I can't make it happen again. More-informative-than-this ETAs are at the end of this post.

If there's no Internet connection Cortana does not do a thing. She won't open a command prompt, find a file, open an app or a folder or even run the command rstrui (which was how I discovered the issue!).

Does Cortana really need an Internet connection to find an app or run a command or open a folder or find my copy of CCleaner? No, she doesn't. She needs an Internet connection to send back what I type into her search box to Microsoft's servers.

I already had Cortana's Notebook, tips and suggestions and web searches disabled when this happened so I can rule out anything but Microsoft sends back what you type in - unless they can't because you're offline, then they simply disable Cortana altogether. This is no doubt by design. If you already have Cortana's web search disabled then they don't need an Internet connection for you to be able to type in 'cmd'. They simply want one.

I guess them disabling Cortana if I go offline keeps me from doing all the superseekret searches I like to do for, you know, "cmd", "rstrui" and yeah, even the filthy "regedit" (I know, I know, *shhhh*...) that they won't get to record unless I have a connection available for them to zip it right back to their servers with.

ETA1, next night: OK, so I made sort of a cart blanche assumption before I wrote this that with the internet connection disabled, Cortana simply will not work. Because, obviously, she didn't. Backstory...because this does get kind of interesting...

It was while installing a new copy of Windows 10 onto another computer (not recently red and teal-screened ASAP, which I'm actually typing this up on) that Cortana became completely dysfunctional. I was putting the finishing touches on, updating a few drivers from within Device Manager when, after a restart to finish installing some of them, the wifi adapter deleted itself (and a conflict between an Intel driver and a touch driver caused me to have to hook up an external mouse. Boy, was this fun.) So that's how I came to have no internet connection.

With all the driver conflicts and a self-deleting wifi adapter, I needed to do something. So I got on ASAP, downloaded the missing adapter driver onto a flash drive and reinstalled it. It deleted itself again - without ever working for a minute - on the next restart.

Feeling out of options, I started typing "rstrui" (for System Restore) into Cortana, and that's when I discovered she no longer worked (but she'd been working fine before the adapter deleted itself). So that was just putting two and two together and as frustrated as I was with all the issues this computer was having, that was as much as I thought about it before posting.

Before I did, I got into System Restore via an alternative method, rolled the system back to a time I knew the adapter was working (luckily I'd set a custom restore point because drivers are notoriously tricky), disabled the Intel driver that conflicted with the touch driver, which I uninstalled, and with a few more restarts these problems were solved.

After sleeping on it, I decided I'd try replicating Cortana's dysfunction on that computer on ASAP, my laptop. Only to find I couldn't. Disabling the wifi adapter manually, Cortana still worked. After a restart with the adapter still disabled, Cortana still worked. So, keeping the adapter disabled, I deleted it from within Device Manager, thinking I could use a previous restore point to bring it back after my test was done. Well, no need for that. Upon a restart, the adapter - without any Internet connection that I'm aware of, since after all I'd disabled it before the restart - reinstalled itself. I replicated this result twice, the second time after fully shutting the laptop down and letting it cool a bit before restarting. The wifi adapter simply reinstalled itself once again (and turned itself back on, changing the "disabled" setting I'd chosen for it without any input from me).

At this point I don't know what to think, but I'm suspecting versioning differences might explain the results. That is, Windows versioning. The build I installed on the other computer was a normal, non-Insider copy of activated Win 10 Pro and whatever "version" of Cortana that comes with that. The build ASAP is running is an Insider Preview, build 14328. The non-Insider and Insider versions of these operating systems have two different versions of Cortana with different menus, settings, and interface functionality, and I'm thinking with the version that appears on a non-Insider, regular copy of Windows 10, a deleted and unrecoverable wifi adapter might indeed disable Cortana because that version is not designed to recover from such an error, ie, to reinstall the adapter even after you've removed it.

I'm also curious to know how the adapter gets reinstalled between restarts on the Insider build - if Windows is indeed incapable of connecting to the internet because I disabled the adapter before restart or shutdown, then it must be rescuing the driver files itself and just re-installing them before the next restart. Which, I mean, did I give it permission to do that? No. Maybe I never want a wifi adapter again. How does MS get to decide this for me?

I'm completely wigged out by my inability to delete the wifi adapter on my Insider build, and curious if the stable release of Windows 10 normally allows the adapter to be deleted without trying to reinstall it between restarts or not. Last night the answer to that question was definitely "or not" but that was under such a weird set of circumstances - an adapter that deleted itself twice at the same time other driver conflicts were occurring - that upon reflection I don't want to try to form a solid conclusion from that alone.

Maybe I'll bring entry tags back just to mark things like this "needs further testing" - this is something I definitely want to dive into again soon. Next I'll want to try physically pulling out the wifi card with the Insider build and see what happens. It can reinstall the wifi driver all it wants, but the wifi still will not - cannot - work, so does Cortana stop working then?

ETA2, 5-21: while it was an exciting thought, I'll have to call this a one-off for now. I cannot, no matter what I do, including disabling wifi adapters and cards and physically removing them from whatever computer I'm on, replicate what happened the night I wrote this. Just ain't happening. At this point I'd be willing to guess multiple driver conflicts might have caused Cortana to basically short circuit herself, though even that seems highly unlikely. I'm just lost.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

ETA, early morn: I got almost every screw off my laptop but two are completely stripped, so I have to wait until later on when I can break out our power drill. In the meantime, I googled myself and found the post where I mentioned the alternate driver I used the last time I had some video issues (nothing like these - just nothing) and I'm installing it as I write this. I doubt it will work.

ETA2: Well if that's not the damndest...the driver won't install. Neither will another I tried tonight (it was supposed to work but it's an earlier, older driver meant for Windows 8). I'm going to try to uninstall the driver I have and see if Windows Update can pull it down for me again and just start over. The driver's worked since this build's inception on my laptop (when was that, like last week?) so there is no reason for it not to work now, but just trying to cover every last possibility before I do break out the power drill.

Which has turned me off being a Windows Insider probably forever. I had the laptop on tonight while I cooked dinner to not follow a recipe by Emeril Lagasse for oyster stew (I take all his instructions and do them in an almost completely different order from start to finish; I also use half and half, heavy cream, shallots and scallions in addition to the milk and onions he calls for) but the damn display seemed fine.

When I was done not following his recipe I shut the lid on my laptop, ate (OMG: it was), cleaned up, watched the last episode of The Good Wife (aaaaaah, at least I got to see Will again; that made my day week entire year, but I really think he should have kissed Alicia goodbye) and turned my laptop back on to see the black loading screen had white lines running vertically down the middle and was otherwise an atrocious Pepto Bismol pink.

Well, of course that won't do.

First I tried rolling back the video card driver but the option to do so was greyed out, so I disabled the driver instead and restarted. Same Pepto Bismol pink (Explorer screens that should be black, though, are interestingly enough showing up RED, a very dark red) with the added bonus of muddy 800x600 resolution on a display designed to handle 1368x768. Yippee.

Next I tried unseating and reseating the memory and restarting. Same Pepto Bismol pink. Then I tried popping the battery out to clear all the memory and restarting a few minutes later but same...eck, yuck, gross (this color truly sickens me as I only take Pepto Bismol to puke; it has the exact opposite effect it's supposed to have and therefore I cannot even).

The computer rebooted into Repair mode at the next restart so I used the Repair Options to get into System Restore. I had a restore point from May 1st so I picked that one. 20 minutes later Windows restarted with an error message saying "System restore failed".

Realizing my options were limited (the graphics chip is soldered to the motherboard; the graphics shares memory with computer RAM; laptops aren't like desktops where you can just rip the suspect video card out and put another one in and at least figure out what the hell's going on) I tried the Windows 10 option to "Reset Your PC" but got an error message saying I had to remove all accounts from the computer and try again. But that wasn't possible because I am the only account. So I tried switching to a local account, but when I ran the tool again I got the same message.

So...OK, I thought, I'll just take the other option under Recovery and "roll back to an earlier build". Well, 45 minutes later I turned around to see the computer screen saying "Undoing changes" and realized that wasn't going to happen, either. When I booted back to Windows I got an error message saying "No changes were made". And of course the screen was still...yeah, that color.

So I got on the other person's tablet (how I hate this thing, let me count the ways; still on it now) and started Googling. Everyone talking about similar problems was like: 1) video card! 2) Loose video card cable! 3) Bad inverter! 4) Bad CFFL bulb! 5) Hook up an external display - if it works, then it's not your video card!

Oh, OK. So I hooked up an external display. WINDOWS WON'T RECOGNIZE IT

I'm so pissed now I'm going to get out the computer screwdrivers and I'm going to take the laptop apart (and hopefully, I'm going to find a loose video card cable under the left hinge, where everyone says to look, and I'm going to tighten it and drag it away from any metal parts shorting it out and tape it in place away from those) and I'm going to restart the laptop and see if it happens to be my lucky night, after all.

In the meantime, if you're a Windows Insider then forget Recovery Options on Windows 10. Forget System Restore. Forget rolling back the driver on your video card.

Don't make Insider Preview your daily driver.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

So I put myself back on the Windows Insider Fast Ring last week. It was a particularly hectic time to do so as Microsoft has blown through two new builds (14316, 14328) this month with a third (14332) coming out tonight. Well, I didn't want 14332 because it's bullshit. This release is just, "Go on Quests and find bugs, ARRR!" (Yes, ARRRR! Linked source seems to confuse Australian with Viking speech, which kind of pisses me off, but I can't find a better vocabulary list right now.)

My computer was all set to restart in order to install this new build and I wanted to turn the laptop off and go read some news on my phone (which I'm still not doing; it's how I fall asleep each night) so I got a little panicky and googled how to stop the new build from installing. After adjusting search terms five times because Google just would not deliver, finally I hit upon someone's suggestion to turn off Windows Update. Which seems...stupid. I never turn that off.

They also suggested deleting the files associated with the Update Service and restarting the computer. I read through the thread and realized this was to restart a download of a new Windows build that would not finish downloading, not to stop a download of a new build from installing. But I was like, OK, I can work with this...

Pro-tip #1: Never turn off Windows Update. Here be dragons. ARRR.

So I opened Task Manager and went to the Services tab and before I could even find Windows Update to turn it off I saw there was a service running for Windows Insider. And I was like WAIT IT HAS A SERVICE. ARRRR. I never knew that before! So I turned it off. Then I turned off Windows Update.

Pro-tip #2: Never delete Windows Update Service files.

Actually, I did not do this. The fucking stupidity of telling anyone to delete those files is beyond me.

Pro-tip #3: Never disable the Windows Insider or Windows Update Services.

Then I disabled both services and restarted my computer.

This is where it got golden: not only did the computer seem to restart faster without these services running, but once I reached my desktop, I was greeted with a TOAST notification (the black fly-out you see where the settings icon sits in your system tray) which informed me that: "Updates were installed." Like hell they were, and I know they weren't because I was reading the desktop build watermark to make sure it still said 14328 when the flyout flew out at me.

So I went to Updates, under All Settings, just to make sure, and despite the TOAST notification, no updates were installed, so that's how I came to find out Windows has a bug wherein someone must have programmed it to say updates were installed when, in fact, they weren't. If I were a programmer, I guess I'd have some fancy way of advising them to check for update installation before showing the fucking TOAST notification saying updates were installed when in in fact, they weren't, but hey, that's not my jam.

But if I'd installed the next version that could have been my first Bug Quest or whatever they're calling it this week. Of course now I'd have to install the new version just to report the bug to get credit for completing a Quest. Which gets me what, exactly? A chance at their next Xbox or SurfacePro? Or just the glory of catching All The Bugs? ARRR.

I really, really, really like Build 14328, so no, for now I'm not changing it. Turning off the Insider Service and Update Service does seem to make not getting new builds possible, and while I'm glad for that, I'm probably going to see if I can get away with just keeping the Insider Service turned off, because turning off the Update Service really does seem kind of stupid.

ETA, next night: Upon turning the computer back on tonight with Windows Update and Insider services still disabled, the Insider menu found under All Settings told me, "Your Microsoft account requires attention to get Insider Preview builds" with a button under that labelled, "Fix me". Oh yeah, fix me, indeed. I'm torn between simply leaving the Insider program via the button provided for that (which I actually did last night in addition to the other steps I took above) and simply turning Windows Update back on and keeping the Insider service turned off after I rejoin the Insider program, just to see how that works out.

I want the flexibility of being able to pick which builds I install (which I decide by reading Gabe Aul's release notes obsessively) rather than being tied to a "delay" button which allows a max delay of just five days (on the Fast Ring, of course; on the Slow Ring builds arrive so much slower that I might want certain builds much faster than it might give them to me, or I might want builds that are deemed too "risky" to give to a Slow Ring Insider). OK, maybe I want five weeks, how's that? My licensed copy of Windows 10, which I'm fully entitled to as the owner of a legitimate OEM copy of Windows 7, should not entitle Microsoft to use my laptop as a petri dish whenever they feel like it. How about when *I* feel like it?

Sounds much more reasonable to me.

ETA2: OK, so since my last ETA I turned Windows Update and Insider services back on, rejoined the Insider program, put myself back on Fast Ring, then exited the Insider menu, disabled the Insider service, re-opened the Insider menu and got the same "requires attention" message and "Fix me" button as before. I'm going to leave Windows Update on and just keep watching for new builds, then turn the Insider service back on once I see I want one. I think this is how to install only the builds you want instead of whatever Microsoft sends to Slow and Fast rings. In other words, it should work until exactly the moment Microsoft changes things so it doesn't anymore.