One positive change in 2020 is that Cortana no longer squawks at you, when you set up a new PC! Having to set up dozens of new laptops in the second half of 2020, it was thankfully quieter than in 2019, where Cortana would start chatting to you at full volume from almost the second you turned on the PC!
Did this come in with 20H1? I was just installing yet another laptop this morning, when I actually thought about how quiet the last few months have been (with regard to Cortana). When you have a bank of 5 laptops you are installing at the same time, it is a real pain to have them all squawking away out of sync with each other.
Although the set-up process does get annoyed now, if you don't have a network connection for it to use a Microsoft account over. I selected "I don't have Internet"... a minute later, it asks again, whether I want to join a network.
Microsoft said they wanted to achieve 99.99% uptime for their cloud authentication services.
Well done guys, you got to the 7th January, before it collapsed in a steaming pile.
I've just received a bunch of messages from Microsoft stating that my users wouldn't be able to log into Teams and might have problems making calls. Then that that problem was solved. Then another, that users would not be able to log onto many M365 services.
The last iPhone I used was an iPhone 3GS. My company Huawei P20 was just replaced, today, by an iPhone SE 2020 (the management decided that as there were only 3 people using non-iPhones in the company, that it would go all-in on iPhone, no choice any more. I had the option between an iPhone 8 or the SE 2020, so I went with the latter, because it should get updates for longer.
I was surprised by how small it was, compared to even the "small" P20 - my private phone is a Galaxy S20+. Then, I was caught by how little had changed between 2009 and 2020. The design is "almost" the same. The same rounded corners, the same "home" button, the same small screen stuck in the middle of a, relatively speaking, huge case - given that the P20 is only about 1.5cm longer and 0.5cm wider, the whole iPhone SE 2020 is the size of the screen on the P20, with the 1.5cm being the chin for the sensor on the P20. What is really surprising / shocking is the forehead on the SE 2020. I've not seen that much space above the screen in several years, on the Android side.
It really gives the SE 202 a retro feel, it really feels like a thinner iPhone 3GS to look at.
Without a power adapter to charge it, the packaging is a lot thinner than it used to be. Luckily, I have a laptop with USB-C at work, so I could charge it up. We have a lot of old Apple power adapters for old iPhones, but they are all USB-A, the cable with the iPhone is USB-C to Lightning. I have USB-C cables and I have USB-A charging adapters - I have a couple of USB-C adapters at home, so charging at home won't be a problem, but why couldn't they have just done USB-C to USB-C, like everybody else? That would be so much simpler.
I set up my email easily enough and installed Teams, so now I'm all set, but I couldn't delete all of the Apple apps I don't need, but at least you can remove them from the home screen in iOS 14.
For a bit of telephony on the move and checking emails when not at my desk, it should be fine. But it is a real retro design.
(For anyone who frequents the TWiT Discussion community, I posted this there as well)
I was just reading the current issue of c’t (the leading German language computer magazine). They had been doing tests with the new Xbox Series X and nVidia RTX30xx series cards. The problem is not with the Xbox or the nVidia chips.
The problem come from Panasonic. They developed the HDMI 2.1 chipset used in many amps, from Onkyo, Panasonic, Pioneer, Sony, Marantz, Denon, Yamaha & Co. and, possible Samsung TVs.
TLDR; connect the Xbox Series X, nVidia RTX30xx directly to a HDMI 2.1 capable TV and you will be fine, connect it through a current generation HDMI 2.1 AV receiver or other “switcher” and you will (probably) get a black screen. The problem occurs mainly in 4K 120Hz mode and especially with HDR.
The problem shows itself when using 4K120 HDR or 8K120 HDR. The problem seems to come with the switch from TMDS (Transition-Minimized Differential Signaling) to FRL (Fixed Rate Link) in 2.1. The signal from the Xbox and nVidia chips uses a certain pattern (*correctly*), but the Panasonic chipset interprets is incorrectly and you are left with a black screen.
c’t was testing Dirt 5 on the XBox Series X and everything was working fine, when directly connectd to an LG CX9 TV. As soon as they put it through a Denon AVR-X2700H HDMI 2.1 capable AV Receiver, they just got a black screen.
The PS5 is allegedly not affected, while it doesn’t use this specific pattern when generating images.
There is a weak point in the new HDMI 2.1 specification, but also a further bug in the Panasonic chip used by most AV Receiver manufacturers.
It seems it is a combination of FRL and DSC (Data Stream Compression) that leads to the problem in the Panasonic chipset. According to the c’t article, a firmware update for such devices is not possible. Microsoft is aware of the problem, but the first batch of Series consoles are using finalized hardware. c’t will test again using a retail example, not the preview model they received for testing.
Now they are looking to see how Microsoft and the receiver manufacturers communicate and deal with the problem. The most likely effects will be a motherboard swap for affected AV receivers or delayed release dates for receivers that aren’t already on the market, to correct the problem.
It might also be possible to use TMDS mode to generate 4K120 images with reduced defintion (TMDS has a maximum transmission speed of 18gbps, FRL runs at around 48gbps), which isn’t in the HDMI standards committee’s specification.
Another problem, with the specification, is that there is no defined standard for transmission, devices can used compressed or uncompressed feeds as they wish. Some receivers however don’t support uncompressed feeds – Xbox Series X, PS5 and nVidia RTX30xx all use uncompressed feeds.
The original article is behind a paywall, here is another site’s report on the original article (German):
Just for information...
One of the stoppers for the rollout of 2004 was it not working with Thunderbolt. I updated my ThinkPad on day one anyway, even though I used Thunderbolt and it ran reliably. It was only docking/undocking that could cause problems and I always shut down my laptop at the end of the day, before unplugging it.
Earlier this month, I received a Thunderbolt update from Lenovo and today I had to do some training and undocked and re-docked the laptop and there were no problems.
My S20+ finally arrived today (2 days early) and I've been busy setting it up.
My wife said to me last night, that her S10 was getting a poor signal, compared to her old Huawei P-Smart. Looking at the S20+, it seems like this is a "standard feature" of the S-series?
The S20+ is getting 1 bar at home, on my Mate 10 Pro I was getting full bars. I'm also getting (4G) 0.3mbps down and 0.0 up - I usually get around 5 - 15mbps on the Mate 10 Pro.
Does anyone else have experience with Samsung S series, compared to other phones?
I really like the S20+, although some of the widgets don't display propery (Audible and PocketCasts), but if I can't get a signal, there isn't a lot of point keeping it!
Here is one that would fall nicely into Ask Paul on Friday, but I'm currently frustrated!!!
I'm currently moving user profiles from one partition to another (department changes) and Windows keeps complaining that it can't read the files, because the path name or filename is too long!
Why the fragging* heck did Windows Server allow the files to be written in the first place, if the names are too fragging long?
So, now, I'm going through nearly 1,900 folders and 11,000 files looking for 350 files whose names were too long to be read, then manually renaming them to something shorter and copying them across!
The source and destination path depths are the same, so it isn't that they are going to a deeper level that messes them up on the destination, they are "illegal" names where they currently are!
Windows can fire truck** right off!
* fragging: from Babylon 5, to allow characters to express themselves on a show to be aired at prime time.
** fire truck: from Jodi Taylor's "Doing Time", to allow the book to be aimed at younger readers, whilst also providing hilarity for older readers.