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.

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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Arts and sciences: How to see Pluto

Like millions of others on our blue planet, we’ve been thrilled by close-up images of Pluto. You, too, might be inspired by New Horizons’ streak past our distant solar-system neighbor (nine and a half years into the journey).

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No shortage of morals to software stories

Lounge member petesmst uses the system management tool Belarc and was recently disturbed to see it displaying the wrong product keys for most of his software. The situation wasn’t catastrophic: he still possessed the original and correct product keys, so he wasn’t facing a tool failure or misinformation.

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The good, the bad, and the sheepishly busted

It’s summer in North America, and we’re approaching state-fair season: fruit pies, fried cheese, livestock, rides, and excitement, especially for kids. What better way to prepare children for life in the country than by teaching them to ride? How about beginning on galloping sheep? This video records an Iowa State Fair event called Mutton Busting for the five-and-under set: six seconds or less of rodeo glory for each young contestant. Say what you will about sheep mentality: they’re all brisk about unloading their riders.

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Hardware trouble: Process of elimination

Lounge member Slorm’s PC is suddenly shutting down intermittently. He wasn’t seeing definitive clues in his Events reports, but a message from his motherboard mentioned something about power surges.

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Raccoons and other animals: Mutually wary

Whether raccoons are entirely wild intruders or have been invited in to eat grapes at the dining room table, their presence can — and usually does — provoke a certain anxiety in their hosts. As you see in this collection of videotaped encounters, they’re dangerously cute.

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Broken features need people to fix them

Lounge member sylviesinc tried to send a photo or two via Windows Live Mail and ended with the service stuck in a prolonged — in fact, an endless — effort to send those photos. So sylviesinc asked for help in the Non-Outlook Email forum.

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Celebrating holiday with old and new technology

The spectacular July 4 fireworks display you’re about to see was photographed by videographer Jos Stiglingh a year ago in Florida. He flew a DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter deep into the fireworks show and recorded it with an attached GoPro Hero 3 videocam. The performance — or rather, the entire collection of performances — was high-risk for a flying camera passing inside all that explosive technology. We’re in considerably less danger watching this video version of the show.

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