Windows 10 Fall Creators Update Version 1709

Microsoft released a major update for Windows 10 in October 2017. The update is referred to as the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. The version number is 1709. The update includes some security improvements and feature enhancements.

Here are some links for more information:

@TKIowa Your TKO for Computer Problems and Web Design Needs

I just met with the team at TKIowa and am thoroughly impressed with the array of right sized technical staffing and solutions they offer. I’ve been in the Iowa City area offering technical services for over 30 years, and in all that time haven’t seen such a comprehensive and organized shop. Although TKIowa is a relative newcomer it’s to their advantage because they have avoided the extra baggage of legacy technologies and overhead.

As a web designer, I’m always interested to see what the competition is doing. I know of a few really nice web design teams in the Iowa City area and surrounding communities. Today I added TKIowa to that list. The principal of the business, Mo, showed me a few of their recently completed sites and the work is really exceptional.

It’s not enough to simply have a responsive or mobilized site these days. You want design and interactivity that are attractive, engaging, and result in desired outcomes — be that donations, sales, new members, subscribers, followers, or whatever your goal is. The team at TKIowa builds simple, elegant, effective sites that produce results. I’d highly recommend considering them for a site renovation.

What really impressed me from my visit was possibly the most important aspect of it all, and that is the natural talent Mo has to create a vibrant productive workplace with the essential tools needed for his team. He’s clearly someone who has a natural entrepreneurial gift and talent for managing a successful business. Some business leaders have an open door policy. Mo simply tears down all the doors, and creates an open transparent team-focused workplace. [Learn More…]



Fix Solution When iTunes Doesn’t Recognize or Find iPhone in Microsoft Windows 10

A recent Windows update causes iTunes to not recognize any connected iPhone, iPad, or iPod. Although iTunes doesn’t see the iOS device, Windows will acknowledge that it’s been plugged in (with the sound alert for connected devices). Windows Explorer also shows the iOS device listed, and the DCIM folder with pictures is viewable. This may also be a problem with Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Fix for Windows iTunes not Identifying iPhone or iPad

The fix for this problem is quite simple. Follow these instructions:

  1. Administrator. Make sure you’re logged into your computer as an Administrator. The username you usually login with may be an administrator account, but if it isn’t, you’ll need to login using a different account such as a Maintenance account.
  2. Device Manager. Once logged in, go to the Device Manager by right clicking on your Computer icon and choosing Properties. Then click on Device Manager. Or, instead, you can get to Device Manager by going to Control Panel > System and Security > System > Device Manager.
  3. iPhone Drivers. From the list of devices, click on Portable Devices. You’ll see Apple iPhone listed. Right click and then from the pop-up menu click on Update Driver Software.
  4. Browse Computer. The driver currently being used for the iPhone (by default) is a Microsoft driver that prevents iTunes from accessing the iPhone. So, you’ll need to browse your computer for the correct iTunes compatible driver. Click on the option to “Browse my computer for driver software.”
  5. Select Apple Drivers Folder. In the browse window, click on the Browse button and then navigate to the Apple Drivers folder found in the following location:
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\Drivers
  6. Finish. Click the Next button to finish the driver installation update process.

Screen Shots

The images below show the above process. Click any image for a larger gallery view.

How to Purchase and Download Microsoft Office 2016 for Apple Mac

On 31 October 2014, Microsoft announced the release of a new version of Outlook for Apple Mac OS X computers. It’s designed to look like the Windows 8 design Office 2013 Windows applications.

On 9 July 2015, Microsoft released Microsoft Office 2016 for Apple Mac. The new Word, PowerPoint, and Excel apps are similar to Outlook in appearance, and look like their Windows counterparts.

Office 2016 for Windows is only available as a public beta preview.



Get Your Free Upgrade to Microsoft #Windows10


Windows 10 is scheduled to be released on 29 July 2015. In the past, major upgrades of Windows were complicated to choose from and expensive to purchase. Starting with Windows 10, Microsoft is making it easier to upgrade.

Windows 10 Upgrade Icon

Microsoft has begun placing a Windows 10 upgrade icon in the task bar system tray of Windows 7 computers. You can see it in the image below on the left.


When this icon appears on your computer it means that you qualify for a free upgrade to Windows 10, which will be pushed out as an update later this summer.

Reserving Windows 10

To reserve your copy of Windows 10, click the icon and follow the instructions as shown in these screen shots. Click an image for a larger gallery view.

Confirmation Email

Once you’ve completed the reservation process, you’ll receive a confirmation email.

Congratulations on reserving Windows 10

Your free upgrade will be available from July 29th, and now that you’ve reserved it, you won’t miss a minute of Windows 10 helping you do great things.

Because you’ve reserved, Windows will automatically take care of the download in advance. Then you’ll get a notification when your upgrade is ready to install. That way you can start using Windows 10 immediately – or schedule a time to install that’s convenient for you. If you have any more questions, check out the upgrade FAQ.

What’s in the “Get Windows 10” app?

You’ve just reserved your free upgrade using the “Get Windows 10” app. You can also use the app to confirm the reservation, check to see if your device is compatible with Windows 10, and un-reserve if you wish to cancel your reservation prior to your Windows 10 upgrade. If you want to return to the app, just click the Windows logo in the taskbar.

Windows 10 is full of great features

In addition to features you may have heard about such as Cortana* and Microsoft Edge, our new web browser, Windows 10 contains lots of other exciting tools to help you do great things. [More…]

Windows is for people who do

Windows is about helping people do great things, so we created a series of videos to show the innovative ways individuals use Windows to realize their potential. These include Mikaila, a young girl working to save the bees, and Kyle, who creates motion capture animations. Doing is part of their DNA, and Windows gives them the tools they need to follow their passion.

More ways to keep up with Windows 10

Want to get periodic emails about Windows 10? If you checked the box to receive emails when you reserved your free upgrade, you’re already signed up. If not, sign up here. You can also keep up with all things Windows 10 on our Social channels, as well as the Windows Blog.

Legal Disclaimer

Here’s the humorous legal disclaimer at the end of the confirmation email:

Our lawyers made us say this: Windows 10 Upgrade Offer is valid for qualified Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 devices, including devices you already own. Some hardware/software requirements apply and feature availability may vary by device and market. The availability of Windows 10 upgrade for Windows Phone 8.1 devices may vary by OEM, mobile operator or carrier. Devices must be connected to the internet and have Windows Update enabled. Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1 Update required. Some editions are excluded: Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise, and Windows RT/RT 8.1. Active Software Assurance customers in volume licensing have the benefit to upgrade to Windows 10 enterprise offerings outside of this offer. To check for compatibility and other important installation information, visit your device manufacturer’s website and the Windows 10 Specifications page. Additional requirements may apply over time for updates. Security and features are kept automatically up-to-date which is always enabled.

Windows 10 Video Highlights Reel

Here’s a quick overview of Windows 10.


Windows 10 Preview with Joe Belfiore

This preview video with Joe Belfiore covers more features of Windows 10.


Windows Update: Avoiding Conflicts, Failures, and Errors

Problem Summary

For many years, Microsoft has issued updates for their software in numerous independent update patches. Even in the Apple Mac environment, software like Microsoft Office 2011 requires many updates after a clean installation.

The most problematic issues arise with Windows updates.

If you have a computer that’s several years old, and you need to perform a system restore (back to factory settings), it will be necessary to install the many hundreds of updates that have been issued since the time the computer was manufactured.

If you follow the prompts to install each batch of updates, which can often be over 100 at a time, some of the updates will conflict with one another. Some updates will be irrelevant. This process is hugely time consuming, and could render the computer useless with repeated bluescreen errors and system failures.

At some point along the way, the system update window may indicate that the computer is up to date. This may be incorrect information. Keep persisting. Restart the computer, and then from the updates window, click the Check for Updates link. It’s common to have many updates, and then have a large Service Pack to install, which has hundreds of required updates.

Even with a brand new very expensive Windows 8.1 computer, you may find that the computer stops working after installing the suggested Windows updates.


The screenshot below is a good example of the problems described above. Click the image for a larger view.


Notice that there are multiple updates for Internet Explorer 8 as well as an update/upgrade to Internet Explorer 11. There are also updates for multiple versions of Microsoft .NET Framework. Most software vendors are able to provide an updated version of their software that includes any updates since the previous major release. With Windows, a major update like a service pack should be able to include all the updates since the previous service pack.

If the Internet Explorer 11 update is installed, then this makes the Internet Explorer 8 updates unnecessary as shown in the notice below.


Problem Solution

The best way to avoid conflicts, failures, and errors with Windows Update is to scroll down to the bottom of the list of available updates and select only 5 to 10 updates at a time. Notice that the checkbox at the top of the list will select and deselect all updates. You can use this first to deselect all updates, and then scroll down and select 5 or 10 updates to install. After each batch, you will likely be prompted to restart the computer. This process can take many hours.

How to get Microsoft Windows 10 Preview Download

There are a lot of lengthy and complicated articles describing how to Microsoft Windows 10.

Here’s a simpler approach to get your copy of Microsoft Windows 10 Preview, and what those other articles aren’t telling you.

You can just go to this Microsoft webpage and follow the instructions:

or, you can go to this page and download the full ISO (disc image):

It’s that simple.

Virtual Computing

And to make your life easier, you may want to consider setting up a virtual computing environment for your new Windows 10 installation. This will allow you to test it out and not interfere with your own computing. To learn more about virtual computing, simply search on the terms Virtual PC or VMWare and find the right solution for your computer. Oracle offers a free virtual computing software alternative called VirtualBox.

Using Pidgin on Ubuntu Linux for Microsoft Lync Communications

Pidgin is a Linux chat interface that works as an alternative to Google Hangouts or Microsoft Lync. Follow the instructions below to use Pidgin. These steps have been tested on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

  1. From a Terminal prompt, type this command and press enter to retrieve and install Pidgin:
    sudo apt-get install pidgin pidgin-sipe
  2. Run Pidgin
  3. Click Add
  4. Select Office Communicator as the Protocol
  5. Provide your Lync credentials.
  6. Confirm and save by clicking the Add button.

The first time you use Pidgin to interact with Lync, the usernames and descriptions may not show up even though the status for each user is showing. Exit Pidgin and start it again. The usernames should then be properly displayed.


Microsoft Windows 8.1 August Update and Windows Server R2

(Source: “August updates for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2,” Microsoft Windows Blog, 5 August 2014)

In April, we released a bigger, more comprehensive package of improvements to Windows 8.1 called the Windows 8.1 Update. We did the same for Server too, with Windows Server 2012 R2 Update. As we said at the time, our goal is to continue to deliver improvements to Windows through regular updates in order to respond more quickly to customer and partner feedback. After all, we already have a regular monthly update process that includes security and non-security updates.

With the above in mind, rather than waiting for months and bundling together a bunch of improvements into a larger update as we did for the Windows 8.1 Update, customers can expect that we’ll use our already existing monthly update process to deliver more frequent improvements along with the security updates normally provided as part of “Update Tuesday.” So despite rumors and speculation, we are not planning to deliver a Windows 8.1 “Update 2.”

We’ll continue to use our normal channels such as Windows Update (WU), Microsoft Update (MU), and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) to deliver updates to Windows. These updates will include security updates to help keep you protected, as well as non-security updates that can bring a range of improvements to your PC or tablet running Windows. Examples of some of these non-security updates are the Windows Store Refresh in May and the June update to OneDrive to improve your control of sync. Some of these improvements might be more visible or even new features, while others might be more “behind-the-scenes” that improve things like the performance and reliability of your device. With these monthly updates, we continue to refine and improve Windows 8.1 in a more nimble way, creating a richer experience for all Windows customers.

Following are some of the new features and improvements included in the August 12th Update Tuesday:

  • Precision touchpad improvements – three new end-user settings have been added: Leave touch pad on when a mouse is connected; allow right-clicks on the touchpad; double-tap and drag.
  • Miracast Receive – exposes a set of Wi-Fi direct APIs for Independent Hardware Vendor (IHV) drivers or OEM drivers to develop Windows 32-bit applications that run on all supported x86-based or x64-based versions of Windows 8.1, enabling the computer as a Miracast receiver.
  • Minimizing login prompts for SharePoint Online – reduces the number of prompts with federated use in accessing SharePoint Online sites. If you select the “Keep me signed in” check box when you log on for the first time, you will not see prompts for successive access to that SharePoint Online site.

This update will be delivered automatically via WU and optional through WSUS. Enterprises can take the update anytime. Further details on the update will be included here on August 12th.

For current Windows 8.1 consumers who have elected automatic updates, the rollout will be gradual to ensure all customers receive the update in a timely manner. Those who wish to install the update ahead of automatic updates may do so beginning August 12th manually via Windows Update.

As you might expect, we’re taking the same approach to deliver improvements to Windows Server 2012 R2 as well – go here for additional information.


Purchasing and Installing Windows 8.1 From Scratch for a Fresh Installation



Here are the basic steps required to purchase and install Windows 8.1 from Microsoft.

  1. Windows 7 Installation. You’ll need a working Windows computer to perform some of the steps below. If you’re wanting to start with a fresh computer installation, find an original Windows 7 Pro installation DVD (assuming you have a recent Dell computer) and use that DVD to perform a fresh installation. Otherwise, continue to the next step.
  2. Microsoft Store. Go to the Windows 8.1 product page in the Microsoft Store.
    • You’ll see a message stating: “Windows 8.1 full version is for Windows 7 users only. Currently running Windows Vista or XP? First upgrade to Windows 8. Upon installation you can update to 8.1 for free.”
    • This notice somewhat misleading. This version of Windows 8.1  doesn’t require Windows 7. The installation DVD that you’ll create from the download (or have shipped to you) should work find for a fresh installation of Windows 8.1 without a required upgrade.
  3. Purchase. Purchase the English Download for $119 if you don’t want to wait for a DVD to arrive. This will give you a WindowsSetupBox.exe file and a license number. There are three benefits to this option:
    • This will provide you with an ISO image that you can burn to DVD.
    • This procedure will also give you the option to create a Windows 8.1 Installation USB flash drive.
    • You can also use this option to upgrade an existing Windows 7 computer (without creating a DVD or USB).
  4. Run Windows Setup. When the purchase process is completed, you’ll have a license number and a Windows Setup file called WindowsSetupBox.exe that you can run. This will actually initiate the download of the full Windows 8.1 installation software.
  5. Burn DVD. Assuming you have access to a computer, burn the ISO image to a DVD. This can be used later for reinstallation, repair, or recovery.
  6. Create USB. Having a Windows 8.1 installation USB flash drive is handy. With it, you can startup your computer to USB for installation similar to using a DVD but typically much faster.
  7. Choosing Upgrade or Install. If you perform an upgrade from Windows 7, your programs, settings, and personal data will be retained. However, any malware, viruses, or other unnecessary files will be retained. So, it may be preferable to backup your files and then startup the computer using the DVD or USB (described above), then format the hard drive (erasing everything) and perform a fresh clean installation of Windows 8.1. This will make your computer like new as if it were purchased from the store.
  8. Begin Installation. Assuming you want to do the fresh installation, and you have backed up your data, start the computer with the DVD or USB. You will be walked through the setup process. If you’re on a Dell computer, you will need to press F12 at startup to display the boot up options. Select the DVD drive from the list if you’re using the DVD.
  9. Upgrade or Custom. At some point you’ll be asked if you’d like to perform an upgrade or custom installation. Choosing custom is helpful because you can format the hard drive and start completely fresh. In doing so, you’ll be presented with a window showing your current drive partitions. There may be a 100MB system reserved partition for Windows 7 and another partition for the operating system. In the advanced mode you can delete these partitions. Then click New to start again. This time, Windows 8.1 will create a 350MB System Reserved partition and then the remaining drive space can be used for the Windows 8.1 installation.
  10. Settings. When you get to a Settings window, you can choose Use express settings.
  11. Sign in to your Microsoft account – NOT. You’ll be asked to sign in using your Microsoft account. This appears to be a requirement of using Windows 8.1. However, it’s not necessary. Don’t click on the Don’t have an account option because you’ll be required to create an account. Instead, click on the option to Create a new account (found under Don’t have an account?). You’ll be taken to the Create a Microsoft account screen. At the bottom of the screen, in faint thin small letters, you’ll see an option to Sign in without a Microsoft account. Choose that option.
  12. Your Account. If you’ve followed the instructions to this point, you should reach a Your account screen. Enter a user name and password just as you might have with the previous versions of Windows.
  13. General Windows Setup. You can now continue with the general Windows setup instructions.