Windows 10 Creators Update and Controlling Delivery Optimization (or how to turn off the Peer-to-Peer Updating)

The first versions of Windows 10 introduced the ability to share and download updates from other computers on your network, or computers from the Internet. Importantly, it will probably also use your computer to upload those same updated to computers elsewhere in the world.

Sharing is great. I taught my kids to share with their friends and family. But I draw the line at sharing my previous (limited) upload bandwidth with random people on the Internet when Microsoft should be more than capable of providing the services for this themselves.

During installs of Windows 10 up until the Anniversary Update I noticed that this option could be disabled during installation. So they give you an up front way to opt out, albeit it’s still a bit cheeky considering many people won’t understand the setting and will leave it on anyway – no doubt something Microsoft are well aware of.

When recently updating a machine to Creators Update I noticed that this option (along with many others) are absent when the machine starts up. I do need to investigate further to see if the setting is changed or inherited from the previous version.

Nonetheless, if you have a Windows 10 machine there’s a reasonable chance that you’re sharing your upload bandwidth with the Internet.

To check your settings and possible change the settings, click the Windows icon in the bottom left, type Windows Update and run the applet. Once it’s open click on Advanced options.

On the Advanced options screen click on Choose how updates are delivered.

On the Choose how updates are delivered screen you can change the behavior of Windows 10. If you only have one computer or only want updates to come direct from Microsoft you can turn the feature off. If you have more than one computer on your local network I believe it’s reasonably safe and appropriate to change your settings as per below, and choose PCs on my local network.

If you have a business network with a Windows server then your IT guys should have configured a local update server which will take priority anyway. The IT team can also configure these options via Group Policy – but again, use WSUS if you can.

Advanced users can also make the change directly into the registry thus:

 

Major possible values for DODownloadMode are:

0 = Off
1 = On, PCs on my local network
3 = On, PCs on my local network, and PCs on the Internet

 

The Gracemere Hotel – At Least It’s Close By

It was my wife’s birthday today and I managed to talk her into going out to dinner with myself and the kids. Fresh back from a weekend away we were kind of all restaurant’ed out so we figured the Gracemere Hotel was a good choice due to being close by. We tend to go there a few times a year, irregularly enough that the menu always changes in between visits.

This time around they pulled out all the stops and even changed the carpet and interior furnishings for us.

Our previous visits have been a bit of hit and miss. I’m a fan of pub food but my recollection last time was of a fairly lackluster offering at restaurant prices – an expensive “seafood topper” that consisted of about 2 prawns and a teaspoon of sauce for $12 or so.

Upon arriving I was surprised that we couldn’t find a park directly out the front. Being ignorant of the time that alcoholics usually go home from pubs I couldn’t really see why it’d be so busy on a Tuesday. Turns out that Tuesday is schnitzel night, and the place was pretty packed.

We met up with our fellow diner for the evening, and after entering I was relieved as usual that a photo of our kids wasn’t behind the bar, with the words “banned for life” sharpie’d under it.

We started the evening with a win!

The new decor is fairly upbeat and the remodelling seemed to add a lot more seating. Looking down the middle of the restaurant reminded me of gazing down the aisle of a 747. A lot of people in a very small amount of space.

As we wandered down to our pre-booked table I noticed that the old floorboards still make you feel like a drunken sailor swaggering on the deck of an ancient sailing ship. Creak, everyone to the left, splash, everyone to the right.

We were seated and the youngest shouted something about a pizza whilst disappearing off into the kids play room.

The daughter, struggling against her impulse to join him and probably hang him upside down in the play equipment by his underwear decided to stay back at the table – apparently she is now old enough that food matters more than tormenting brothers.

Entrees, dinners and drinks were all ordered at the bar for a reasonable sum. I had opted for the schnitzel which allegedly was coming with chips at discount price that was forgettable enough. I added a “topper” of calamari for a value amount that could have been $8. The wife ordered some kind of beef that came with oysters, chips and a Diane sauce.

While we chatted we were delighted to overhear many conversations from the people talking loudly and close by. Up until that point I thought my exploits in the garage trying to fix things had educated my kids on all the swear words there were, but I think I even learnt some new ones tonight.

Anyways, our entrees arrive first, along with a mini pizza for the boy. Our cheesy toast was pretty good, although the mini pizza looked really oily – I’m going to think that the cheese they’ve used was to blame for that. I always think that you can judge a restaurant by how they treat kids’ food. I think a lot of places really disrespect kids and use the worst ingredients under the assumption that parents won’t pay for anything decent. Or maybe they just plain think they can get away with it and nobody will know.

We had quite a lengthy wait until our mains arrived. Actually, the place had just about emptied out. When they did arrive everybody seemed quite happy. My wife’s dish in particular looked interesting and different. Her Diane sauce was not too bad. I don’t know what it is with restaurants and sauces but I think they must all go and play golf on the week that sauces get taught, or they’re so used to getting it from a bottle, can, or packet that they have no idea how to mix 4 basic things together to make simple things.

One of our party ordered a mushroom sauce and I tried it. I was aghast – it should have been called rosemary sauce as the flavour was so incredibly overpowering that it was essentially inedible. I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt on that one. Probably the mushroom sauce was bubbling along nicely, and then the cook suddenly hallucinated and thought the pot looked like a 65kg roast lamb and loaded it full of all the rosemary in Gracemere. And probably from two towns over.

I got no sauce. Yes, three paragraphs about sauce, that’s how important it is to get right!

However, I was sauceless, but my chips were quite delightful. Crispy and battered – I was really happy with them. The serving size I felt was generous too, although the schnitzel was clearly of the budget variety and itself unremarkable and maybe a bit on the smallish side. A basic garden salad was wedged underneath there also and I was hungry enough that nothing escaped.

My “topper” of calamari was a generous serving I thought, lightly herbed (not rosemary, there was none left obviously) and lemony. Really nice.

My wife was happy enough with her meal, although she did comment that the oysters were particularly great. I tried a little bit of the pork belly topper from another meal in an effort to analyse what was wrong with it. I believe it was unseasoned and quite plain. Also, I would suspect it was probably bits of pork chop and not pork belly – and there was also no crispy “crackling” at all.

Overall it was a pleasant evening, the meals were enjoyable and nothing worthy of complaint. Pubs prices were paid and reasonable pub meals were received. The lack of table service still surprises me – I definitely bought less drinks because of the effort involved in ordering and hauling them back.

After the new fit-out the place looks pretty flash. Plus, they haven’t yet banned our kids yet so they have that going for them.

Don’t order the mushroom gravy. Ever.

 

Retro Commodore 64 Style Command Prompt on Windows

I was using my command prompt today and noticed that my default font had somehow been changed and seemed a bit squished. I made the joke that it looked a bit like the Commodore 64 font.

And then… BAM… inspiration struck and I decided that I actually wanted a retro Commodore 64 style command prompt 🙂

This would involve altering the default font used, the colour scheme, and showing some text at the top to look like the Commodore system info.

Here’s how to do it!

First, create a shortcut on your desktop and point it to cmd.exe – which is of course the standard Command Prompt executable. Edit the properties f the shortcut and change the target to the following:

We’re almost there already! If you run the shortcut you can see that the default text is shown and that the colours have changed.

With the command prompt open, right click the title bar on the top of the window and choose Properties. On the Layout tab change the Window Size Width to 40, 60 or 80. 40 is more authentic, but 60 and 80 are more practical to actually use!

But wait… if you go and download the c64 TrueType font from http://style64.org/release/c64-truetype-v1.2-style and install the mono spaced font called C64_Pro_Mono-STYLE.ttf you’ll be able to choose this as the font on the Font tab. I would recommend setting the Size to about 12.

 

That’s it!

Kinka Kippa Fission Chips

Just a quick one…

This past Saturday I was casually wandering around the Causeway Lake (situated between Yeppoon and Emu Park) photographing unsuspecting things. My wife and various friends were zipping around on jet skis, getting extremely soaked and commenting about how cold the water was. It’s winter. Just saying.

The kids, having destroyed as much nature as possible reluctantly dragged themselves back to the car. I mentally added another location to my inner map of places that we can never return to in case we’re remembered from the time before.

It was cold, and people were wet, and it was getting dark. Insects were bothering people.

Fish and chips were suggested, and in double time we were piled into cars and headed off to find a shop that did not have our photo on the wall yet.

A short trip down the road was Kinka Kippa, an unassuming place that looked like it could have hailed from a bygone era. The phone booth, post office box and the Streets ice-cream sign out the front reminded me of my childhood past, and the local corner shop. If you looked hard, you could almost see the Telecom sticker on the side of the phone box.

Some of our group went in the order, while a couple of us men stood around outside and made casual, idle conversation. Topics ranged from building things, to how fast other things go when you turn the engines on, and whether or not NSW is any good at football. I tried a few times to steer conversation towards whether or not Superman was better than The Flash, but I just got some odd looks. Thinking about it now, this could be why I’m not always invited.

After a little while our three separate orders came out and everything seemed to be intact. We’d ordered a variety of crumbed and battered fish, calamari rings and crumbed prawn cutlets – and chips of course. The servings seemed fairly generous. Each of the “pieces” were actually two smaller pieces, so we almost had double the expected amount. If you go and check these guys out on Trip Advisor you’ll notice that some people whinge about the fish size – I suspect they can’t count and didn’t realise they had double the serves.

I think we had $8 worth of chips between four, and it was a substantial amount. We actually had some fish left over, despite all my efforts to turn it into an eating competition.

Everything was cooked rather well and it was some of the best fish and chips I’ve had in a really long time. I would not only go back, but I would TRAVEL to go back.

As we sat outdoors an elderly gentleman started belting out some tunes from the attached restaurant. I am extremely hesitant to make any commentary regarding the singing, as I don’t want to damage any future career plans he might have to appear on Australian Idol or other shows like it. But, I did check for hidden cameras, to see if it was a reality tv show, and we were being filmed or something.

All in all, it was good food, we fed four of us for about $50 and had a bit more food than we needed.

I would recommend it, and I will be back.

This short review was also posted in the Rockhampton Food Rater on Facebook, on 5 June 2017.

Annoying Command Prompt Window Appearing Every Hour

I noticed recently that every hour my Windows 10 PC was popping up a command prompt window and closing it very quickly. At first I thought I had some kind of malware installed but all the scans I ran said that I was seemingly okay. I then thought Windows Update might be the culprit but it too, seemed to be innocent.

I then went hunting in the Scheduled Tasks and lo and behold I found the bugger. Armed with this knowledge I took to Google to discover that this is apparently a common thing that is annoying a lot more people than me – especially if you run stuff in full screen mode like games or media players because the process seems to minimise those things when the task runs every hour.

Anyway, to get rid of it you can do so manually by clicking your Start button and typing Task Manager and running it.

Expend Task Scheduler Library, the expand Microsoft, then expand Office. Right click on OfficeBackgroundTaskHandlerRegistration and Disable it.

 

If you’re familiar with the command prompt, run it as an administrator and enter the following command: