Windows update is locking out Logitech Keyboards and Tackballs.

Warning this is a rant. Warning Will Robertson, Warning Will Robertson.

I was working away on my computer. I stepped away from the Lenovo ideapad FLEX 4 for 30 minutes to make lunch.
I return to the computer and the Logitech K330 keyboard and the Logitech T-RB22 tackball that have been connected to it for years will not work. Each has its own USB receiver. The two receivers are plugged into a Kensington USB hub and connected the the ideapad’s 2.0 USB port.

Using the laptop’s tack pad I restart Windows 10. Restart says that its going to update windows. So I think that the update has locked everything up until I update. There is no way to get out of updating.

After the update the keyboard and tackball still don’t work. I restart again. It doesn’t help. I shut down the laptop and wait. I start up the computer and the keyboard and tackball still don’t function.

I have the USB hub plugged into the 2.0 USB port. I unplug the hub and plug the keyboard USB receiver directly into the 2.0 USB socket. Nothing happens.

I plug the tackball USB receiver directly into the 2.0 USB port and nothing happens.

The keyboard and tackball are slow and I need the 3.0 ports for hard drives and DVD drives. I unplug the DVD and plug in the keyboard to the USB 3.0 port. It does not work.

I unplug the keyboard and plug in the tackball and on the 3.0 port and on the second restart it works. I unplug the tackball and plug the keyboard back in and it doesn’t work.

Every time I plugged something into a USB port I restarted Windows 10. In extensive testing (pressing every button on the K330 keyboard several times) I find that three keys on the K330 keyboard work. One bring up the windows calculator, another function key brings up email, and another function key brings up the browsers. None of the other keys work. When I plug or unplug the USB receivers the laptop beeps saying that a USB device has been plugged in, so Windows knows something has been connected. The “devices” pop up window says the USB device is working. I got news for the device window.

The tack ball is an old device. The keyboard is only a couple of months old. The K330 keyboard I had before got so dirty and worn I replaced it. I have a couple of K330 keyboards and none of them work on the Levono. They work on my Surface Pro 3 and the home built computer. All three keyboards work on other computers. It’s the software. It’s Windows 10. The other two computers have not been updated yet and I’m keeping them off the web as long as I can to keep them from being updated.

cNet has article after article of Windows updates hurting machines. Machines that have legal copies of Windows running on them. Sometime the updates brick the computer making it useless and no longer updatable.

I can only speculate, but having been in management I believe that the front office at Microsoft has fired all the old, more expensive, programmers and replaced them with new, cheaper, overseas programmers. With new programmers that may not speak English very well, and do not have the history of working on Windows there will be more and more bugs in the updates. Or Microsoft is trying to further increase profits by forcing user to buy only Microsoft keyboards. But that would be criminal. Profitable, but criminal.

My testing shows that the keyboard worked before the update, and still works on non-updated Windows 10 computers.

cNet has accused Microsoft of not even testing their latest updates of the Surface line of computers, computers made by Microsoft.

I have three different computers. Each came with a keyboard that was laid out differently. I have used the K330 keyboard for years (decades?) so I can shift between computers and not be hitting the wrong key all the time. That’s a big thing for a touch typist. How many programmers do you know that are touch typists? How many programmers do you know that care about the customer? They just want to code.

I feel that Microsoft is trying to kill itself with its own arrogance and it will succeed.

Stay strong, write on.

Professor Hyram Voltage

Boots and Writing

What does new boots have to do with writing Steampunk novels?

Last weekend I went to a western themed Steampunk event. So I needed to throw together a western styled Steampunk outfit. I dug through the load of junk I have to see what I could make out of it.

I found a huge brass belt buckle that I got back in the 1970s. Yes, I’ve never worn it, but I don’t throw things away. I in the past year I purchased a leather vest that would work perfectly.

I had some old tools that were made from bronze. I’m still looking for a pair of brass pliers. The bronze ones are commercially made non-sparking and used in area where there are explosive fumes.

What I didn’t have were the basic western clothes, and I grew up in a framing, cattle ranching community.

So it was off to the western clothing store. There I snagged a shirt and bolo tie. Not the best match to the vest’s color, but at least they were not the depressing black everyone seems to be wearing. Off to another store and I got a pair on pants that would do.

For a last minute impulse buy I decided to get a pair of western boots. I haven’t worn boots in a long time. That took a trip to three stores to find something that would fit. Luckily the ones that fit were in a color I liked.

I worked late into the night to generate a design and get the outfit mostly put together. There’s nothing like the last minute to get things done.

Why did I need an outfit or even need to go to a Steampunk event?

As an author I need to get out of my writing cave and sell books. Selling is hard. One way to sell books is to press the flesh of potential readers. Selling and politics are related and ones just about as slimy as the other.

I’ve gotten in the habit of taking pictures at Steampunk gathering and sending the picture to the people that I photograph. It gives me something to talk about and with a little luck I can get to talk about my book without being too sells-ee.

I can also ask what Steampunk readers are looking for. Market research with free food (the food was provided by the event organizers, but I brought a box of dark chocolate cookies).

Did I sell any books. I’ll have to check my Kindle sells. Go take a look at the Daemon Boat on Kindle. It’s different. Even if I don’t sell any books I still had fun, met some nice people, found that I have to make some modifications to my Steampunk outfit, and took some good photographs. I’m getting better at taking photographs at these events. It takes more than watching YouTube videos to get better at taking photographs. It’s like writing books. You have to do it to get better at writing book or taking photographs.

Stay strong, write on, and take a few photographs.

Professor Hyram Voltage