Author Archives: Kathleen Atkins

Kathleen Atkins

About Kathleen Atkins

Kathleen Atkins is the Windows Secrets associate editor. She's also a freelance writer, editor, and photographer. Prior to joining Windows Secrets, she worked at Microsoft Press.

Strolling down a beach — with strandbeests

Dutch artist Theo Jansen has been building animals out of PVC pipe, sails, and other materials since 1990. His beguiling creatures recently attracted crowds to Crane Beach in Massachusetts.

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Avoiding Windows 10 lurking among updates

Lounge member joro has decided to stick with Windows 8.1 a month or two more, ducking the Win10 upgrade for the time being. But Windows 10 nevertheless stands among the weekly patches, waiting to be downloaded along with the updates he does want.

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Bird-feeder challenge for yet another squirrel

Good thing squirrels don’t preserve their dignity at all costs. More of them would miss meals, and we’d lose out on lots of entertainment. The squirrel in this video seemed destined, at first, to conquer the anti-rodent design features built into the bird-feeder. He’s so agile — until he’s not. Despite the built-in intention to thwart squirrels, however, it seems unlikely that anyone would begrudge this one his consolation scattering of seeds.

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Consensus concerning computers chronically on

Whether it’s best to turn a computer off at night or leave it on; it’s a split decision in the General Windows forum.

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Trashumancia in Madrid means lots of sheep

Anyone might wonder why you can stand on a street corner in Madrid in early November and watch thousands of sheep rush by.

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Great to have backup from good old computer days

Lounge member LesF’s Task Scheduler in Windows 7 is corrupted, he finds; he wonders what to do about it. His fellow Loungers in the Windows 7 forum offer suggestions, information, and encouragement.

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Don’t play with puff adders; play with popcorn

We don’t recommending dangling a red water balloon in front of a puff adder so you can photograph the adder’s response. We offer you the video instead.

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Quick and flawless upgrade or a different kind?

Lounge member Drew1903 began a jaunty new thread this week in the Windows 10 forum, reporting his good experience upgrading from Win8.1 to Windows 10. >And he was pretty certain he wasn’t alone in happy circumstances; he said that he’d heard “there were 63 million upgrades in 72 hours, averaging 250 installs per second — 14 million on the first day.”

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Hills are alive with the sound of airplanes

Boats, planes, and bicycles are arguably Seattle’s favorite machines — although we have an impressive number of Subaru and Volvo cars also traversing the region. During Seafair, however, boats and planes take over the city. Bridges over Lake Washington close on workdays so that the Blue Angels can practice; conversations halt while jets roar over the city and hydrofoils charge up and down our big in-town mountain lake, Lake Washington. Attitudes among human residents range from “partying all week!” to “leaving for Montana NOW!”

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Detecting DISM-tool corruption takes patience

As anyone who uses tools for work knows, sometimes the tools themselves demand attention. Forum member bbearren reported such an interlude recently in the Maintenance forum.

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