Editorial – Oct 2021: Are upgrades important?

October 3, 2021 | By | Reply More

Hello everyone

If you think coming up with editorials looks easy coming from me, I’ve been through at least four good ideas this month, mostly with a desire not to be funny as this world slowly winds up again into another covid disaster even before we get another variant. However, next to the covid-virus, the change of Windows 10 to Windows 11 is one thing that is going to affect the most people with something in common and starts in October. Sorry if you’re an Apple or Linux user and not knowing what we’re talking about with first hand experience. So, lets blow some steam.

The update to Windows 11 this month, allowing at least 8 months for everyone with a PC to receive their download and update, read that as transferring your data and existing programmes into it. I think I’m more curious as to how big the back-up file of W10 will be and hope I’ve given enough space for it compared to last time. If memory serves, the back-up of W7 was something like 50gB and you couldn’t risk deleting it, just in case  Oh that and if I need to have those things I’ve pointed out twice over the years of W10’s existence so it emulates the best of Windows 7.

Windows 10 has been out since 2015, so seven years and another 3 years before its turned off, makes it a decade and few real glitches to worry about so a reasonably safe version. I suspect none of us believed Microsoft when they said that there wouldn’t be another version of Windows. Based off the number of times of big updates of W10, especially in recent years, it does look like there’s been more problems with security updates than giving us anything new. Well, until now. I often wonder at the desire to make things simpler and then ignore the best aspects of earlier Windows was a good idea. If something works well and enjoyed, changing it seems weird as witnessed by the free games. Mind you, one thing I wish was changed in the window menu options was having the Delete command next to the Rename command and how many times I’ve had to retrieve deleted files. A simple divider or move the commands further apart would make more sense or at least give the user the opportunity to move them apart ourselves. Mind you, if there is any AI aspect in Windows, it would watch what we do and put the commands we most use together. But would we really want ‘Rename’ and ‘Delete’ that close together, though, and shouldn’t the user have the right to move them or at least some dividers there? It doesn’t mean you have to give the user full access to the commands, just a means to personalise the order they are in like the ribbons in MS Office and other software can do.

I’m still also puzzling over why it takes so long for W10 to move/copy and paste files. All right, it probably makes a transit copy/copies in case of power failure but you do have to wonder at the slowness compared to earlier Windows.

Likewise, do we really need a ‘Backup And Retore (Windows 7)? When you bear in mind that W10 can resort to a reset of W10 as it was installed, you have to wonder why this one was left in place, especially on new computers that never had W7 and a redundant command unless M/S knows something we don’t.

Speaking of downloads, even with those for W10 and having the option to start the updates at a time of your choosing, you can always spot it happening by the slowness of Internet downloads when it is going on. Saying that, leaving your PC on overnight in sleep mode, especially on Thursdays, W10 can do an update and only noticed when it puts everything back but has problems with Access and Excel being put back and considers the files loaded in them as back-ups, which is odd considering it is Microsoft’s own programs which regularly updates with every entry. Well, actually only with Access but no reason why it should do so with Excel. Am I peeving too much? You would have thought such things would have raised eyebrows in the beta stage. Before you ask why I’ve never thought of volunteering for a beta stage Windows, I do have to account for my work at SFC.

Looking at the various settings and apps, I’m more amazed how little of what is there that I actually use, let alone acknowledge. I’m hardly likely to add more unless there was a serious need to use them. It’ll be interesting to see if my preferences and programs I was using for W10 to emulate aspects of W7 will still work with W11 or even if the reliable Windows Media Player will exist on it. This has been a regular problem with all Windows updates. There is a level of backgrading so they still play but the replacement software has hardly been that much of an improvement and the W10 games have frankly been a colourful embarrassment than a desire to play them. At least having something that looks ordinary than ornate should have been a consideration.

If there are developments in ‘intuitive’ software, lets hope it keeps a better eye on our preferences than giving suggestions that we might not always want. I think I would like to see a ribbon develop of my used commands or programs called up.

It’ll be interesting to see which software goes over without a fuss or reinstallation. I suspect for many of you, there might be some re-evaluation of which software you still use and whether it will be kept on.

Upgrades are a way of life for software. It acts as a reminder that the software house hasn’t forgotten its product and offers improvements or new features to keep up with the competition. There’s always a counter-argument of how many more refinements, aka pips and whistles, do you add to go for the annual update to make it attractive. Hardly surprising there has been moves into AI territory or rather some of their properties although I find I tend not to notice they are even there in graphics software.

Things are different for operating systems. They need constant supervision as hackers see them as challenges to break into. Although the original intent was to see what makes them tick, too many these days want to tamper with them, hence the needed layer of security to keep them out. Even so, you would think there would be a layer of accessibility to make the version you have in your hands more adaptable to your needs or, at the very least, take advantage of your computer’s specs. You would think having more RAM/memory would allow W10 to speed things up but it doesn’t. The most I’ve found is it speeds up icons or pictures into recognisable images than pixilated. It makes no difference to the speed of downloads or installing software. Saying that, when it comes to Windows 11, you’ll see my report about that when it does it.

Until Covid, a free software upgrade isn’t going to cause much damage to your health other than the day it downloads and installs and then a large fraction of its users will be off-line for part of the day and the rest seeing what has been left and how quickly there is a need to use it or find alternatives to any perceived problems. The adaptations I found and made to give W10 some of its W7 look has served me well so don’t be surprised if I look and hope the clever software programmers who did them have kept up. No doubt we will all be looking at what the early updaters have to say about Windows 11 so we can at least get an idea what to expect. Until then, its better to wait patiently than to fret over something that is inevitable.


Thank you, take care, good night and ensure you have something to do while W11’s installation takes place.


Geoff Willmetts

editor: www.SFCrowsnest.info


A Zen thought: Life is.


What Qualities Does A Geek Have: Infinite patience is still on my list.


The Reveal: Only clinical empaths can see you as others see you unless they are stressed out themselves.


Observation: From current personal experience, a sprained ankle doesn’t hit mobility as much as a sprained foot when your entire weight lands on it twice.


Observation: Seeing President Joe Biden urging people in the USA to take the free covid inoculations earlier in the month, I can’t help but wonder with the 1989 ‘Batman’ film and how many would refuse to take the antidote to the Joker’s smylex poison on the grounds it infringes on their civil rights? A choice between life and dying? Civil rights stops at the grave.


Observation: Being a werewolf means never having dental problems.


Observation: Again, with the 1979 ‘Alien’ film, after Kane’s death, which of the crew cleaned the mess deck? Then again, we didn’t really see it afterwards as they were tracking down what they saw as a tiny little alien.


Observation: Who actually was the pilot of the Sulaco in the 1986 ‘Aliens’ film? It couldn’t be Ripley unless her licence was given back.


Observation: Staying on the same film, we know the queen alien laid at least one egg before she attacked Bishop but then went on the attack against Ripley and Newt, but who did she think would its facehugger would implant if she killed the only viable people?


Observation: You do realise Schrodinger could be a little odd. I mean, it isn’t whether the cat in the box is dead or alive, it’s also whether the cat was in there in the first place or whether it could be a different animal. A lot more than two options even before we get to entanglement.


Observation: I’ve been less worried about when is the latest James Bond film, ‘No Time To Die’, coming out in the cinema but when is it going to have a home release. The wait for that is even longer.


Feeling Stressed: Wait for the downloading times for Windows 11. No proof yet but hopefully no longer than the W10 updates we’ve all had of late.



I did think that having a lot of text about submitting material to SFCrowsnest would attract those with a compulsion to read and understand things the geek way. The main problem with the Internet is that it tends to encourage less reading, so time to take a different approach. The original notes will be left on July2009 editorial although the links aren’t likely to work.

With your cover email, tell me something about yourself so I don’t work in a vacuum. The boss in the tower, also called Stephen Hunt, describes me as a ‘Dutch Uncle’ in that I’m good with advice and can explain when I see something that is wrong. Egos should be left at the door as I’m only interested in your talent and how to improve it.


I always have a clarion call for new reviewers and if you have the yen to learn, you’ll quickly get the ropes if you’re never done it before but you must show me a sample, especially if you can follow my guidelines. We can usually get paper-based books in the UK but if you live abroad, then you might have to stick with ebooks. If you’ve picked a book we haven’t reviewed, then it stands a better chance of being used so use the SFC search engine to see first but I need to see how you would write for us.

The obvious qualification is a desire to read regularly and like to tell others about the book without giving away too many spoilers. The benefit is access to free books for the price of a review.

I want to give you the opportunity to get things right so look up the Review Guidelines link: https://www.sfcrowsnest.info/so-you-want-to-write-reviews-for-sfcrowsnest-what-you-need-to-know-by-geoff-willmetts/


Although we can’t pay for submissions, what we do make up for is exposure. Only the Sci-Fi Channel gets more hits than us so it’s worthwhile getting us on your writer’s CV. Please avoid samplings from book’s you might be writing or have had in print elsewhere as I do check. New original work is best and whether I accept or reject, you will be told of any problems I see so you look your best and a grammar check that is equal to the pro-world. Even the boss finds me scarily accurate.

Flash or One-Page Fiction:-

Speaks for itself. The shortest fiction possible is also the toughest to write as no word must be wasted.

Link here for details: https://www.sfcrowsnest.info/one-page-stories-or-flash-fiction-submissions-instructions-by-gf-willmetts/

Short Stories:-

The definition of a short story is anything up to 30 pages and then it becomes a novella. Bear in mind you want other people to read it on-line, stay somewhere between 5-20 pages. At least digitally, you don’t have to go double-line as HTML will do that automatically but think about being concise. If you want to send an attachment with these, then ask first and send as a TXT file as it removes most tetchy virus codes.

Look up the Short Stories Link by linking here: https://www.sfcrowsnest.info/so-you-really-want-to-write-an-sf-story-an-update-by-gf-willmetts/


The worse problem I see any samples is poor grammar. Although I don’t want you to think I seek perfection, the less work I have to do, the easier it is to focus on other problems you might have. It will also serve you in good stead if you ever approach paper-based publishers because they will send back any bad grammar samples because it’s not worth their time.

Good grammar is the tool of any writer. Don’t just depend on what you remember doing at school. There are plenty of decent grammar books out there, so remind yourself of the rules. If you think there are far too many to remember, get the major ones right before moving to the next so it becomes second nature.

This link, www.sfcrowsnest.info/the-guide-to-better-grammar-from-the-harrowed-hand-of-gf-willmetts/ will show you the common problems.

To submit, use our email address by joining the spaces as shown here: letters @ SFcrowsnest.info and use the subject matter as to what you’re submitting.

If you have any pastimes that can be used to pass the time in captivity, let me know and we’ll see if it can be turned into an article.

Comments directly to reviews should still work as before.

Good luck



Category: Culture, Offworld Report

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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