All posts by hunt8831

Recent graduate of Kettering University with a BS in Applied Physics. My interests lie within Sports Engineering, more specifically hockey sticks and hockey protective equipment. On my blog you will find many bits about sports and science with a little of my life mixed in. Feel free to contribute. My teams: Michigan Wolverines Detroit Red Wings Detroit Tigers Atlanta Braves New England Patriots Detroit Lions

Thankful and shaken

This morning started out rather un-eventfully.  My alarm sounded earlier than normal so that I could head to the airport for work.  My co-worker picked me up and we were off to LAX.  The Valley was the usual awful traffic even though we were in the carpool lane.  Just after Sunset, things started opening up so we could hit highway speeds.  We had just called and left a message with one of the people we would be meeting with and it was a lul in conversation.  I look towards the northbound lanes to see how traffic was flowing when things started happening.

Suddenly I see a red sedan make what looked like a 90 degree left hand turn on the NB 405.  The first thought that crossed my mind is “is this guy trying to do a U-turn on the freeway?!”  Suddenly he hit the barricade in the center and there was a moment when I was convinced he was coming over on top of us.  Luckily for us he did not, instead he bounced back into traffic.  We think he was then side impacted by at least one other car.  All of this caused the car fluids to spray onto us.  THAT is how close it was.

My mind worked cogently for a moment and I hit the SOS button for OnStar on Dewey’s car and we got the accident reported and hopefully EMS was on the scene quickly.  At some point after the call with OnStar, I started thinking and shaking.  My nerves were wrecked.  What would have happened if the car did come over the barricade like we both thought was going to happen?  I did not really re-gain my senses until we were on the shuttle from the parking to the terminal.

On the plane, my mind started racing again.  What if that would have landed on us?  We would probably not be flying and likely in the hospital.  Then I began to feel a little sad because the people who would have taken care of me and made sure everything was alright live in Michigan.

So, I am thankful that besides some “car guts” landing on us and being shaken, we are completely OK.  I hope that all involved in the NB lanes are OK too, but I cannot see how it would end with everyone walking away based on the velocity of the impact with the barrier and the fact that he bounced back into traffic.

So long, Mr. J

I first met Mr. J in 6th grade as my teacher during the 2000-2001 school year.  He was my first male teacher and on the first day, he said that he was probably the first for a lot of us.  He also told us he chewed on pens habitually, that he was a MSU basketball fan, and probably a bunch of other random things.  My 11-year-old self probably did not quite know what to think, but it was his way of allowing us to break out of our shell.  Little did I know, my mom had interrogated him prior to me having him as a teacher.  Poor guy!

I would learn that year that he did not sugar coat anything.  He told it how it was.  We were a notoriously loud class.  Not just my class, but everyone in my grade.  Everyone knows him as a really relaxed guy, but I am sure he was pulling his hair out trying to figure out how to make us shut up.  When the end of the year festivities came around and we had the ceremony to celebrate the end of our time at Crissman Elementary and moving onto Malow Jr High, he would not let us call it graduation.  He told us we only graduated when we finished 12th grade and finished college.

On a more personal note, he was one of the first teachers that knew I would amount to something in the math and sciences.  He made sure that when I went to Malow, I would be in advanced math.  He did not let it affect him in the least that I was great at math.  A lot of teachers would probably feel threatened.  Not Mr. J.

Everyone who knows Mr. J knows he was a huge MSU basketball fan.  About day 2 of the school year, I had bought a Michigan pennant and put it over his MSU one, because as a Michigan fan, I just could not stand looking at that MSU one all year.  It took him a while to notice but when he did, he knew it was me and respectfully hung it up below (of course) the MSU one.  It stayed until he retired.  Classy guy.

After I “moved on” from Crissman, I saw Mr. J once a year when he would bring his class to Malow (like every other 6th grade teacher in the district did) to show the kids what class changes and JR high was all about.  I would stop by and say hello between classes before scurrying off before the bell ring – I was so fearful of being yelled at by Ms. Settlemore, the vice principle.

In high school, my mom was still in contact with Mr. J and we had become family friends.  We met up with him a couple times a year, once in the spring because he would grow tomato plants for my mom and once in the fall to catch up on summer activities before the madness of school.  It was in these bi-yearly BBQs that we met Julie, his wife.  In school, he was a really personal person so as students, we did not even know he was married.

These BBQs continued all through college where I was an Applied Physics major and a math minor.  He always kept track of me academically.  He would always wonder what I was up to but ask me to dumb it down.  Truthfully, I never did.  He was a teacher, he understood.

When I graduated, I moved to LA for my job and he continued to keep tabs on me and we would schedule the BBQs around when I was home.  It was always a highlight to see him and his wife almost every time I was home.

I will miss seeing Mr. J when I am home in May and each subsequent time after that.  Mr. J, you touched so many lives both in teaching and in basketball.  Thank you for everything you did for my family and I.  We will miss you greatly.  Julie, thank you for sharing your husband with so many of us.  And, it would only be fitting to end this with a “Go Blue!”

The Tonight Show Staring Jimmy Fallon

Last week, I was one of the probably 1000 people who was fortunate enough to score tickets to the Tonight Show’s annual one week trip to LA.  Seeing Jimmy Fallon in person is something that had definitely been on my bucket list.  I was in NYC a couple summers ago and had the opportunity to go to a monologue rehearsal but we decided to go see Yankee Stadium instead.  Well Yankee stadium was a bust (the tour was awful) and I was kicking myself for not going to the rehearsal.  I kicked myself less now that I have gotten to see the show live.

One thing to note is that the show is not normally out in LA so things might be different but we made it out to Universal City at around 1 and had to sit outside in a tent until about 3.  That was probably my least favorite part.  It seemed like there was some confusion as to what time we needed to show up, but it was all forgiven once we got into the studio.

A local comic came out and “warmed us up”.  He razzed on some out-of-town-ers and they Quest Love arranged a dance off with the people who happened to be celebrating their birthday.

On the day we attended, they did a sketch with the cast of Fuller House (or so I am told) and Jimmy as Donald Trump.  So they set that up first.  I was super pumped because there was a dude in a Red Wings jersey!  I know nothing about that show so my friends gave me a hard time.  Once it was over, they broke the stage down and it took Jimmy about 40 mins to get the makeup off and become himself again.  The local comic continued interacting with us and made the time go by much faster.

Then Higgins was introduced and let me tell you, he is maybe more funny live than he is in the show (I know, right?!).  During the count down, I think just about everyone was laughing their asses off.  “30 seconds oh my god!”.  It is hard to describe it with text because it was the voice and his actions that were funny.

Jimmy came out and did his monologue, went to the desk and introduced the show and the Trump/Fuller House bit.  Afterwords, obviously they would edit in the bit, but Higgins was like “no, you have to do it” and Jimmy was like “no, they have already seen it” and Higgins said “No, they do not remember”

Zach Galifianakis came out for the interview then they played True Confessions, then taped a couple promo intros.  Other than the monologue, this was the only part that was scripted.  He does everything unscripted and in one take.  That is remarkable to me.  He then interviewed Rhonda Rousey and then it was time to set up for Pitbull.  In the half hour or so that it took to set up the stage, Jimmy came into the crowd, interacted with us, doing Q&A, shook peoples hands and hugged others.  It was great.  He seems to care a lot about the people that come see him and watch him on TV.  It was really cool to see that.

Pitbull preformed and I have honestly never seen a concert and it did not make me rush out to go see one.  It was so loud that you could not hear anything.  It was not until I watched the show later on TV did I actually understand the words that were said.

All too soon, it was time to go home.  It was a fantastic experience and I am going to try for tickets again next year when he comes out here again next year.

RIP Professor McCartin

This is hard.  We have lost too many in such a short span.

On my 2nd day of freshman orientation back in October 2007, our schedules were released.  We were excited to see who of our new friends we would be sharing classes with.  We were excited to see what times our classes were.  Most of us probably secretly hoped we did not have 8AMs.  I was OK with the early classes.  I was secretly hoping to not have any conflicts with my Japanese class already in progress at Oakland University!

The upperclassmen gathered around us and gave us their assessments on professors.  Oh you have XYZ, they are awful.  Professor Bell… you will LOVE him.  Then it got to mine.  None of the other names said were on my schedule so when they looked at it they determined I was the luckiest of the bunch.  Sure I did not have Bell for chemistry, but I had Professor Wing for Econ and Professor McCartin for Calc 1.

Fast forward 3 days to my first day of college class.  8AM.  Room 3-something something something (all I remember is it was on the 3rd floor across from the math computer lab.  We are all standing around the locked classroom door at 7:58 and still no professor.  Pretty silently; I am not sure if this is because we did not know each other too well or because it was 8AM…  Up walks this tall guy with a very distinctive professor look: sport jacket, carrying a reusable tote bag and had this swagger about him that those who know McCartin know what I am talking about.  We parted like the red sea to let him through to the door.  He did not say a word, just let us silently file in and take our seats.  I sat close to the front on the right (door) side of the classroom.  He sat at the desk, took out a pile of papers (the syllabus) and a manila folder.  Then he took up a rolled up handkerchief with a silver object in it… more on this later…

At 8:00 he shut the door and silently passed out the syllabus and asked us to review it.  There were people knocking on the door but he just ignored it until he was all done.  He then opened the door and silently allowed the remaining students to trickle in and take their seats.  After everyone was seated he stated that the cladd started at 8AM promptly and that tardiness would not be tolerated.  He had another section at 11AM.

Welcome to college!  I made sure I showed up no later than 7:55 for fear that somehow my watch was wrong.

As the semester went on, he made calc one seem so effortless.  He explained why we were learning what we did.  He realized that not many of us were math majors, not all of us wanted to work on cars and while I was not convinced he knew anything about us, he did.  He was able to somehow relate to every one of us.

He did not grade homework.  He suggested problems but we had a test every 3rd Friday, 6th Friday and 9th Friday.  Every class he taught, you could count on this.  So 3rd Wednesday of rolls around and I had been doing homework but there were a few problems that stumped me.  I sheepishly walked into his office to ask for help.  He did not judge me, he simply asked me to see what I had tried and showed me what I did wrong and how I should right it.  I got an 80 (yes I did just look that up).  I repeated this 6th week and 9th week and ended up with a 88 overall, back on the WAG scale.

Because McCartin instilled this confidence in me, I decided to be a dual Physics and Math major.  He made Calc 1 easy.  HA!  I can do derivatives to this day with ease.  Integrals I struggle with.  When I come to an answer, I always have to take the derivative again to make sure it was right.  And Matrix… yikes!  After another 2 terms, I dropped my math major.

I had to wait another 2 years to take another class with him, but we would exchange pleasantries in the hallways between then.  I got really lucky and had transfer credits so got the last spot in McCartin’s DiffEq class.  Honestly, I think this was my favorite math class and one of my favorite overall classes at Kettering.  I know, the dreaded DiffEq!  He taught us all of the cool applications as to why we were learning what we were learning.  He showed us why we had to learn all of these techniques.

Here’s where that silver object came in.  One day when we were learning about why we could not use separation of variables, he went down the path and got super animated about how no one, not even him, was smart enough to do this math.  He said we should write it down and i we could solve it, he would give us his prized silver chalk holder.  He loved writing with chalk but did not want to get his hands and his clothing full of it.  We didn’t solve it so his chalk holder was safe.  As they were phasing out chalk boards, he always seemed to find the one or two classrooms with chalk boards to use as his.

Again that semester we had our tests 3rd, 6th and 9th Fridays.  I did well enough  that I was sitting on the bubble to get an A (this was after we switched to GPA).  Our lecture 11th week usually consisted of a “mother of all applications” as he called it.  It was not something that would be on our final but something really cool that tied together everything we learned in the class.  In Calc 1 it was a physics problem that I am ashamed to admit that I do not remember.  In DiffEq he was supposed to do musical theory – his area of expertise.  All of the upperclassmen said this is one of the best lectures anyone at Kettering gives and do NOT miss it.  Our section of DiffE is at 2:25 and it is packed.  Well class time comes and goes and no Professor McCartin.  We all look around at each other, wondering what happened.  Then Professor Hayrapetan walks in looking like he saw a ghost.  The class collectively inhales mirroring the same worry that he has on his face.  He informs us that McCartin had suffered a heart attack and was in the hospital.  We were all concerned for him.  It was secondary for us to worry about our final or about the music lecture.  We were dismissed, informed there would be no music lecture and no final.

I thought this was it.  Professor McCartin does not often teach things other than Calc 1 and DiffEq.  I still had 3 more math classes to take, but I was bummed to not get to have that music lecture.  But it just so happened that the semester I was scheduled to take Numes, he was scheduled to teach it.  I made sure my schedule allowed for me to take one of his sections.  It was then that I had all sorts of “ah ha!” moments of things I was supposed to learn in Matrix.  It solidified for me that he was the best math teacher at Kettering hands down.  Towards the end of the semester, I ran into him outside of class and asked hi if I could attend his last DiffEq lecture on music because I missed it when he taught me.  He said he would be honored if I would attend.  I can safely say it was one of the coolest lectures ever.  The upperclassmen did not lie!

I also learned that McCartin was a HUGE Wings fan.  In Calc 1, he told us that if he caught any of us wearing a Pittsburg jersey (the team we were playing in the finals), they would automatically fail.  We won the cup that year so life was good.

He retired from Kettering in September last year.  He did one last lecture at Kettering and it was standing room only in the Crib-a-thon.  I was in California already but luckily it was posted to Youtube and I immediately came home and watched it on my big screen TV.  There was not a lecture that I did not soak up.

Professor McCartin, you were the best, no doubt about it.  Thank you for your 22 years of teaching at Kettering and thank you for the 4 amazing math classes you taught me in.  Go Wings!


Some of my favorite McCartin quotes:

  • “I’d rather do 3 baby chain rules than one monster one, any day of the week, even if it’s Monday but really Friday” (It was 11th week… you kinda had to go to Kettering to get that one, sorry)
  • “The most common application of math is waging war”
  • “If I ever get my dream of becoming emperor of the universe…” (this was a common one)
  • “You are walking around Flint and they tell you that they will blow you away if you do not calculate i^256.”
  • “Do you prove the quadratic formula every time you use it?… NO!”
  • “We can do that if we were awake in calculus three”
  • “A slug… why not a snot or a boogar?”
  • “I am not any happier than you about it… actually I am even less happy because I’ve got to do it.  You get to watch”
  • “I just made up my own laws of algebra”
  • “If you were allowed to do that, calc 2 would be 1 class long!” – McCartin
  • “The worst fucking up you could possibly fuck up”
  • “It’s a cyber-Monday deal – you get an extra order of accuracy for free”

Thanksgiving month

I started this, but instead of posting it every day, kept a word document and went to town on it.

November 1: This is going to sound really weird, but I am thankful for sports center because I still cannot believe Michigan pulled that game out last night!

November 2: I am thankful for an extra hour of sleep and for Dewey helping me out with stuff

November 3: I am thankful that the helmet team seems to be embracing me and allowing me to go to Cascade and Bauer next week.

November 4: Today’s PSG Tech Exchange was really cool, getting to learn about other brand’s stuff

November 5: I am thankful that our bat project is coming along thanks to Grant.  I cannot wait for the world to see it

November 6: I am really glad that it is Friday.  It has been a long week

November 7: Today I am thankful that Justin is really getting into Michigan football.  We talked all the time, but before sports were mainly left out, but we have shared the last few games together and this pleases me so much

November 8: Oddly, I am glad the Lions did NOT play today and the Pats won

November 9: I am thankful for a conversation had with Justin this evening

November 10: I am thankful that I was able to be really productive today.  I managed to sit in like 6 hours of meetings, but still got samples requested, specs done, and cleaned my cube.  Also, I am glad Justin passed his test

November 11: Today I am thankful for all of the members of the American Military, past and present.  We had a bunch of freshly commissioned Marines on our flight to Detroit.  They keep us safe every day and have done so since the birth of the country.  THANK YOU!

November 12: Our visit to Cascade went really well and they were very welcoming.  Also, no problems crossing into the country of our northern friends

November 13: I was going to be thankful for getting to see Bauer or getting back to LA, but instead I am going to say I am thankful for being an American and living here.  I know we’ve had some bad stuff happen (Pearl Harbor and 9/11), but I cannot imagine the fear in Paris right now.

November 14: I am glad that I got to sleep in today.  I knew I was tired, but I do not think I realized how tired I was until I rolled over and saw that it was almost 8AM.

November 15: Today I am so glad that the Lions finally won at Green Bay.  Get that monkey off our back.

November 16:  Today I am glad to de-brief the trip with someone.  It was not completely productive but I did learn things.

November 17: I am thankful for my humidifier to help me recover from this cold.

November 18: Thankful that I am almost through this cold, because my nose is raw

November 19:  I am thankful that I’ve been able to experience real pizza since there is no such thing here.

November 20:  I am thankful for my co-workers in R&D to lighten up the mood, bring the fun and make the best bats in the world.

November 21:  I am thankful that Michigan won a relatively easy game and we are still alive in the B1G race.  GO BLUE!

November 22:  I am glad that I got to the grocery store early so that I could get all of the food for Turkey day before the rush

November 23: Today I am thankful that my nose is finally all better!  Now I can begin on making it not as raw.

November 24:  I am thankful that our bat R&D-Marketing meeting was really short so that we could be productive and get things done.

November 25:  Today I am very thankful that we got off work early so that I could get everything done before Justin arrived.  I am also glad that he got here with no problems.  It is going to be a fun weekend.

November 26:  Today is Thanksgiving and I am thankful for our teamwork getting “dimmer” ready and it was amazing.  I am so full and never want to eat again.  It was so nice to not change out of PJs all day.

November 27:  I am glad we got to go on a long hike.  I really like the trail behind my house.  Also, it was great to see David’s family for breakfast.

November 28:  I am thankful that I got to watch a Michigan game with Justin this season.  We watch them “together” on google usually, but it is a lot more fun with people in the same room.  Unfortunately there was not a whole lot to cheer for.

November 29:  Today Justin left and while it does make me sad, I am thankful that he was able to come out here for a few days.  It was a lot of fun.

November 30: On this, the last day of thanksgiving month, I am going to be sentimental and thank everyone who has gotten me to the point where I am today.  I like to think of myself as a successful young person and I could not have gotten where I am without the people who helped me along the way.  I have a long way to go and have to improve and get better every day, but I think there is a strong foundation there for it.

Thanks for reading.  The countdown is on for Christmas vacation back in Michigan!


1. Did you watch The Charlie Brown Christmas special Monday night? Who’s your favorite Peanuts character and why?
My favorite character is definately Snoopy.  He cracks me up with the things he does… and he’s a dog.

2. Describe a sound from your childhood. What does this sound bring to mind?
I am not sure why I though of this right now, but the bells in Japan.  It reminds me of my dad and I one day being really slap happy and wondering what if one of the bells dropped down and covered us.  We would have to *dong* “LET ME OUT OF HERE”.  You kind-of had to be there, but it still makes my dad and I laugh.

3. You’ve won a trip to a winter wonderland…would that excite you? Which one of the following would you most want to experience (or which one would you dislike the least)-see the Aurora Borealis in Norway, stay in Sweden’s Ice Hotel, go dogsledding in Lapland Finland, take a winter wildlife safari in Yellowstone or celebrate Winter Carnival in Quebec?
I think dogsledding would be a lot of fun
4. Who or what keeps you humble?
I think everything back home.  Growing up in the area I did makes me realize that everything can be taken away in a second.  Growing up in a blue-collar state and family, hard work means everything.  You are entitled to nothing.
5. What part of preparing for Christmas do you like the most? Explain.
Honestly, I like finding the perfect presents for my family/close friends.  I like to find something useful and that the precipitant would really like.  It’s a challenge and I like it.
6. Gingerbread-yay or nay? Is making a gingerbread house part of your family holiday tradition?
Not a fan.  I do not remember ever making a ginger bread house as a kid, but it’s not a soft enough cookie for my liking.

7. What’s one thing you want to start, do, or complete before the calendar rolls into a new year?
I want to start and finish the CAD for a headboard for my bed so when my dad comes out we can build it.
8.  Insert your own random thought here.
There are 21 days until I head home for Christmas and I am really excited. 

The College Football Scene

It is hard to believe that we are nearing the 1/3 way point of the season already.  I protest!

The surprises:

  • No one has stood out as the best team/teams in America.
    • Ohio has looked meh, MSU has outplayed them but both teams won very close games this weekend to Indiana and Purdue respectively (for the record, both IU and Purdue give Ohio and MSU tough times every year for some reason).
    • Ole Miss lost to Florida so I am not sure who stands out in the SEC.  TCU has not played very well until this week against Texas.
    • Baylor looks good I guess but until Texas Tech (sort-of), who have they played?
    • The Pac-12… they are overrated (I will touch on that later)
  • Michigan.  Yes this is a homer pick, but who honestly expected what they have done.  I think looking at the schedule we are exactly where we were supposed to be, but we just completed 2 straight shutouts for the first time since 2000 (mid-Lloys Carr era).  Also, we have given up just 7 points in 15 quarters and other than the opener against Utah, we have given up just 14 points in 4 games.  They’ve had more INT by one player this season than they did as a team last season!  THIS is Michigan defense.  But did anyone expect this to happen?  I knew our D was good, but I did not expect to see it this way.  The only thing missing is a dominant offense.  Ruddock has come a long way, but still has a ways to go to get Michigan competing at a top level.
  • Utah:  Yup, Michigan’s loss is not looking so bad for us!  They absolutely dismantled Oregon in Eugene!  That just does not happen!
  • The Pac-12.  Did anyone expect them to be as awful as they appear?  I think we expected Oregon to fall off and they have.
    • But Stanford lost to NW but they are now looking like a wrecking ball.
    • For some reason the “Experts” were high on USC but they got beat badly against Stanford at home.
    • Arizona State has 2 loses (AT Texas A&M and home against USC but managed to beat UCLA in Pasedena
    • UCLA lost to AZ State and has a true freshman QB but they dismantled Arizona (who is not that good…. Rich Rod)
    • The Pac-12 may be settled by the winner of the Utah-Stanford game because none of the south teams seem too great
QB Clayton Thorson of Northwestern

My top 10:
OK I am going to get on the Northwestern train for just a moment.  I want Northwestern in the top teams of football talk. Week 1 they destroyed Stanford. I mean, if you watched the game, Stanford looked like a high school JV team. Now Stanford is running around the Pac 12 killing everyone in sight. So you could say that Northwestern is better than the Pac 12. There are other non-first degree connections I could say about the Pac 12, but I’ll stay on point. Northwestern beat Minnesota this week, again badly. Not only was Minnesota supposed to be the team to beat in the West, they played TCU tough. I’d love to see Northwestern’s defense vs Baylor or TCU’s offense. Actually, the game I would love to see isn’t on the schedule. I think Northwestern could beat Ohio, convincingly. Perhaps even Michigan State.  If Northwestern gets past Michigan next week in Ann Arbor, I think they will come out of the B1G West and get that matchup with MSU (I think MSU will win the head-to-head against Ohio) in the title game.  The schedule NW has left is pretty easy.  I think Michigan and Iowa will be the two tough games left for them.

So if I were giving my top 5, it will be this:

  1. Baylor
  2. Utah
  3. Northwestern
  4. TCU
  5. MSU

I promise, you will NEVER see this Top 5 anywhere else.

What say you?

Upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10

My brother is guest-writing this blog today as he upgraded from 7 to 10.  Obviously, there were some things that I covered in previous entries that could have helped him, but here is his assessment.  Enjoy!

As a Windows 7 user, I had a different experience in upgrading to 10.  I ran into a few issues during the process.  First was dual monitors; I connected to my Roommate’s TV via an HDMI cable which tricked my PC into thinking the TV was my main monitor as HDMI is somehow more default than a 16-pin connector….?

After fixing that issue, the download and update process took about 2 hours to complete, during which I did some cleaning and cooking.  I’m not sure at what time, but when I came back 2 hours after starting, I had a prompt for my Razer Synapse program (for Razer products) to install the program and drivers.  The prompt showed up during the Driver Installation step.

More boring spiny circles, and Windows 10 fires up, tells me ‘Hi’ and ‘We’re updating’.  The desktop loads in 1024 resolution.  This was solved by restarting.  All of my settings, default browsers, and the like were remembered from Windows 7, though I was prompted to use the Edge browser.

On the over-all layout of Windows 10, it seems clean, though there are some on-screen redundancies, such as the “Task View”.  I’ll use Alt+tab, thank you.  Unlike Ugly, I did try Cortana, using my hotmail account.  Cortana is a program that, if I had a windows phone, I’d use more.  On a PC, I can make 3 key strokes and get to google faster.

My biggest gripes:
I immediately noticed that the search function in the start menu is gone.  No more searching for obscure programs quickly, that I can tell.

During the startup process, after the windows logo appeared on screen doing the phase of start up, there was a minute where the screen was black, leading me to think it crashed on start up, resulting in the frantic pushing of keys to see if I could get a safe-mode or into the BIOS.  I was relieved when it started normally.

And my final gripe; it prompted me to log in using my Microsoft account password, which we shall call XYZ.  During the Cortana setup, I was prompted to change my password from ABC, by using my hotmail password, LMN.  I thought I had to use XYZ to log in, but, no, it was LMN.  So that was confusing….

In conclusion, with any major changes to something one has become accustomed to there will be growing pains, there will be somethings I’ll wonder how I ever lived with out, and things that will make me question the logic of the developers.

Windows 10 First Impressions

This is a collection of thoughts about Windows 10.

Microsoft Edge: This is the new browser that is default to Microsoft and I have to admit, it does not suck, and I am liking it so far!  It is fast.  I think once I get Win10 on my Surface, I will love that I can “write on the web”.  One thing I did have difficulty with is setting google as my default search, because I don’t care how Edge is, Bing is not a search engine!  The trick here is to go to from Edge and search anything.  Once you do that, you can go into settings and make google default.  One negative I see with Edge is that there is no AdBlock add-on yet.  I guess this is to be expected as Windows 10 is brand new, but for me this may be a reason to not use it.  I cannot remember the last time I watched a youtube video with ads, or saw annoying popups.  And did you know ESPN has lots of adds?!

Task View: This is very Linux-like.  Either by pressing the second icon to the right of start or hitting Win+Tab, you enter this mode.  It allows you to switch windows, but also create a new desktop.  I am not sure what the purpose of creating a new desktop is, but there is an option to!

Cortana: Like Siri for apple or OK Google for Android, as far as I can tell.  It integrates with Edge which is an additional incentive to use Edge.  But here is the thing, you need to have an address to use this.  Not only does it force you into an address, it wants to use that for logging into the computer.  NO THANKS!  I have not found a way around this so I suppose Cortana is not in my future.  I went ahead and hid the search button.

Dual screen different backgrounds: I knew they couldn’t have taken this feature out!  The secret is less obvious.  Going into a directory, chose the 2 pictures you want , right click and tell it set as desktop wallpaper.  I am not sure yet how to tell it which goes on which one or what to do if the photos are in 2 different places.  Stay tuned.

Start menu: Next up was making the start menu useful.  Most of the apps they have on the right, I do not use, so I removed them (right click, remove) and replaced them with useful ones to me.  Much like the old Windows 8/8.1 you can reposition and resize the icons.

The Phone companion: I have Android so obviously I clicked on that link.  I think the 2 coolest would be Photos and Music, but I did not take the time to set it up yet.  I think I will wait until the music functionality works with Android.  But I will not uninstall this app yet.

Mail/Calendar: THEY SUPPORT GOOGLE!  YES!  I cannot decide if I will use it as default email or keep using the gmail website (I like Gmail).  But I have live tiles in my start menu with calendar and email details.

Settings: In the start menu under settings looks like a good place to get access to all settings.  Some notes here: under devices, you can turn autocorrect on or off.  I did off since that could get annoying and I have access to a real mouse and keyboard so no problem.  Windows Update: THIS ONE IS IMPORTANT.  Chose Advanced Options, Chose How updates are delivered, and slide the slider to OFF!  You do not want one computer on a network updating others.  That is asking for trouble.

File History is something that I would like to explore more: may be an auto-backup option…

File Explorer: The left hand side is getting rather cluttered.  And it also displays recent files in each folder.  Annoying!  Good thing my right-clicking skills are wonderful!  If you find these as annoying as me, go into Folder options and in the General tab, un-check the Show recently used files in quick access and Show frequently used folders in Quick access.  This should get it more manageable. Also, if you are like me and use the Win+E button to get to the “My computer” folder, you will want to change to “This PC” in that same window under “Open File Explorer to”.  I have not figured out how to rearrange the sections of the navigation pane.

Well, that’s it… First couple hours playing with Windows 10.  Way less annoying than Windows 8/8.1, but jury is still out on some things.  For now, Windows 7 remains my favorite OS, but ask me again about Windows 10 after I have used it more.

Installing Windows 10

Today is the day I have been waiting for since I got my desktop equipped with Windows 8:  Windows 10’s release!

The main point of this entry is to share with the many folks who I promised I would be the guinea pig and let you know my experiences without having to repeat this 80 times.

First thing:

How did I know I got the upgrade?  Well it was easy, a little box opened up on the bottom left of my screen.  But do not worry, if you miss out on that, just click the Windows icon on your task tray (where you reserved your copy) and it will be the same thing.


Before beginning:

BACK YOUR COMPUTER UP!  Everything!  Files, bookmarks, Quicken data files (dad), etc.  There is a small chance that this screws up your computer.  I have not read it doing so, but the opportunity is there.  I will not take responsibility for lost files.  Also, do yourself a solid and unplug the external HDD before beginning.  Also you may want to print the instructions or at least give them a read all the way through as you will obviously lose your browser once it begins.

Getting started:

The upgrade is fairly straight forward.  To begin, click the little icon and then “OK, let’s continue”.  The first thing it does is searches for updates.  It’s a pretty boring process and I would advise just letting it go and grabbing a coke/coffee/whatever to drink.  For me, this took about 5-10 minutes.  Then it checks to make sure your PC meets the minimum specs.  Once all of the computing is done, it pops up and says “Ready to install”.  Verify that both “Install Windows 10 Home” and “Keep personal files and apps” are checked.  I am not sure if it will install Win 10 Pro if you currently have a pro system or not…

The installation:

Once you are ready to make the jump, go ahead and click Install.  It opens a full screen window and says “Installing Windows 10”.  Really, that is all there is to it.  Take a sip of your beverage (if you did this before, you did not follow instructions… I told you to fetch it, not sip it… your installation may fail).  Once it restarts, you know you are in for a treat.  The status page is completely new and if you are like me, this is when you got really excited!  Have no fear, in another 30-45 minutes, Windows 10 is revealed! (Actual time depends on what you have already on your computer)


The setup:

I started my installation pretty late on a Friday night so I was just going to go to bed before the installation was complete but decided against it.  Once it starts up, it prompts you to login using your current password (presuming you have one setup).

On the first screen, I chose to customize settings – it says you can go back and change them later, but why redo (and have to find) what you can do the correct way the first time?  I turned all of the settings off (sending data to places) because I am not into others having my info.  The next page is Browser and Connectivity settings; again I turned this all off.

Next up is default apps – there are apparently new ones for Win10.  I like some of my programs to handle files so I went into custom and chose them.  But after this, you are done!  It sets up and then Windows 10 is ready for action!  While you wait, finish that beverage and then wash out the container and put it away/dispose of it correctly.

Welcome to Windows 10!


Windows 10 first impressions:

Literally the first thing I did was pushed “Start” because I have missed having a start menu.  Oh how wonderful it is to be back!  The new start menu is probably less of a change for me since I am coming from Windows 8.1, but to users who never had 8/8.1, it will still be a shock!  Also, the power button is back!  No more is it “hmmmm, how do I turn this thing off!”

After my angels singing moment, I noticed that my desktop wallpaper had been changed.  It was still my awesome car, but not the one i had chosen.  Oh well, I will fix that later. [UPDATE: One thing I already miss from Win8 is the ability to have 2 different background images when running dual displays]

The start menu still works in the same way as Win 7 and 8/8.1 in that you can just start typing and it will search programs, files and control panel prompts.  This is great news for those of us who rely on it and also for those still getting used to where to click.  Just type Excel and up comes Excel!

Well that is all for tonight, I am exhausted.  I will write another post about Windows 10 once I get a chance to use it more.  But for now, check out the Gidzmo page.  It seems to be rather comprehensive.

[8/1/2015 Update: First day impressions found here]
[8/3/2015 Update: Windows 7 to Windows 10 found here]

The question I have for other readers: how does Windows 10 run on a Surface Pro 3?  Anyone have experience?  I have heard good things about the early release running on it, but I am a little more hesitant to mess up my Surface.  I have no problem screwing up my desktop.  Let me know!