Do you really want to send everything you do on your PC to Microsoft? Windows 10 Installation: Some screenshots

When Windows 8 came out, we warned you to take a look at the default installation options, and possibly not to choose the Express installation. You can read that post here.

So when I installed Windows 10, I decided not to take the default offering. Here’s the first screen you get:

Windows 10 Installation Screen

Notice that you get a somewhat sketchy description of what Express Settings are going to choose in your behalf. Sorry, by the way, for the quality here. I had to snap these with my cell phone since I was installing on the primary machine, not a virtual. Also notice that the “Use Express Settings” is a nice big, inviting button while the “Customize Settings” is a somewhat less appealing blue in a smaller font than the rest of the page. I took the Customize settings route.

Here’s the next screen:

Customize Options for Windows 10 Install

I’m not going to comment on those questions, because I didn’t look up the specifics. The wording itself is enough to put me off. Do I really want to send┬áspeech, typing, and inking data to Microsoft? Everything I say to Cortana, write with a pen on the screen of the tablet, and type at the keyboard? Off. Off. Off. Off.

Here’s the next screen:

Another Windows 10 Customize Settings Installation Screen

Ok. So it’s your call as to whether you turn this stuff on. A little too much like Big Brother to me.

Microsoft, you’ll just have to live without my personal information. Sorry to disappoint.



Veeam: Virtual Machine Backup

I want to review a product that we’ve tested over the last few weeks. Several years ago we–like many other companies–moved everything to a virtual machine. The phone system is the only thing that still runs on a physical box. Everything else is virtual. And I like it that way.

I won’t go into the virtues of virtual machines, but for several years, they’ve been the way most businesses have gone.

veeam_logo_it_just_worksBut there has been a problem with our implementation of VMs: backup. That’s not to say that there are not several products in the market that back up virtual machines, but there’s not a good solution (in my opinion) built into the Windows Server operating system. And most of the alternatives that come from third parties are very expensive for a small business.

Enter Veeam. I found it via internet search; my motivation was that one of our old servers that was running some non-critical virtual machines died. I had backups, but they weren’t the most recent, and it got me to searching for a better solution.

Here were my criteria:

  • It had to work
  • It had to be easy to install, setup, support, and upgrade
  • It had to have enough features to make it worthwhile solution
  • It had to fit my budget

Enter Veeam. I installed the Essentials version, and set up backups of the machines I had.

In general, I wanted the backup to work like this:

  • Backup the machine to a local hard drive (for speed)
  • Copy the backups to an external hard drive (for security)

Veeam does both. With job recording and an easy console.

I won’t belabor the point. I had to restore a 40Gb web server today. It took 10 minutes. Less time than I had already spent troubleshooting. And it was before the 30 day trial version ran out.

Send me the real thing!