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posted by martyb on Sunday January 10 2016, @01:10AM   Printer-friendly
from the PSA dept.

If you're using a PC running Windows 7 or 8, you may be getting a little sick of endless popup screens telling you to upgrade to version 10. And you may be worried about inadvertently installing the upgrade as part of a security update.

Microsoft will start pushing out a Windows 10 upgrade as a recommended, virtually mandatory, update very soon (it's right now only an optional download). Some people are tempted to turn off Windows Update completely to avoid getting the new operating system – don't. It'll leave your computer vulnerable to attack as you'll no longer get security patches.

It's actually rather easy to turn off the Windows 10 upgrade function without losing vital regular software updates. Microsoft even has an official document [*] explaining how to do it.

[...] Make sure you follow all the steps, but essentially you have to:

        1. Open the Registry Editor (search for regedit in the Start Menu and run it).
        2. Set [DWORD value] DisableOSUpgrade to 1 in HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate
        3. Set [DWORD value] ReservationsAllowed to 0 in HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\OSUpgrade

Or, the obligatory recommendation to run FOSS instead.

[*] Javascript required.

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  • (Score: 2) by Pino P on Monday January 11 2016, @03:37PM

    by Pino P (4721) on Monday January 11 2016, @03:37PM (#288167) Journal

    Even if the PC-side part of the driver is free software, a complete driver still often includes a binary-only firmware that runs on a separate processor in the radio chipset. To reduce the bill of materials, radio chipset manufacturers often leave out a flash to hold this firmware, meaning it has to be copied to the card every time the system boots. Does the part of the driver released as free software in 2010 include the radio chipset's firmware? It appears not, as the instructions to get this free driver working [] require the installation of the non-free package firmware-brcm80211 [].

    I have now realized that my previous comment contains an error. I just checked again, and the one I installed within the past couple months was Intel (iwlwifi), not Broadcom. It too requires a non-free firmware []. I probably misremembered because the other laptop was Broadcom.

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  • (Score: 2) by stormreaver on Wednesday January 13 2016, @05:44PM

    by stormreaver (5101) on Wednesday January 13 2016, @05:44PM (#289149)

    It appears not, as the instructions to get this free driver working require the installation of the non-free package firmware-brcm80211 .

    I can't speak to Debian-proper, as I haven't installed it on a laptop. I can speak to Kubuntu, though, as I have installed it on my two laptops and my nearly 70 year old mother's laptop. I'm not sure if the laptops use Broadcom or Intel, but it only matters to a certain extent.

    On both my laptop installs, I did not have to do anything special to get the wireless working. I installed on two laptops without a network cable, and the Kubuntu installer asked me if I wanted to enable wireless. I just reponded, "yes," and the process continued automatically. After installing, the wireless "just worked."

    I installed Kubuntu on the other laptop with the cable plugged in, and was not asked if I wanted to activate the wireless card during the install (if I remember correctly). But again, the wireless worked automatically after the installation without me having to do anything.

    And drivers aside, most of my productivity software was automatically installed by Kubuntu; so it was almost completely install-and-go. The remainder was a few apt-get commands. With Windows, the operating system installation is just the first step of a very long, gruelling process to become productive.

    Linux installs beat Windows installs by a very large margin.

    • (Score: 2) by Pino P on Wednesday January 13 2016, @07:00PM

      by Pino P (4721) on Wednesday January 13 2016, @07:00PM (#289203) Journal

      One difference between the distributions is that install media for desktop versions of Ubuntu includes some non-free binary firmware from the restricted section of the repository, while Debian doesn't include anything from non-free in its install media.

      • (Score: 2) by stormreaver on Thursday January 14 2016, @06:46PM

        by stormreaver (5101) on Thursday January 14 2016, @06:46PM (#289605)

        One difference between the distributions....

        When Kubuntu finishes installing, and after the first reboot, there is usually a notification that pops up saying proprietary drivers may be needed for some devices. It's been a while since I've paid attention to the message, but I think it says proprietary video and wireless drivers can be optionally installed. Since I've switched over to using the Free AMD video driver, and since wireless is already working, I don't install the proprietary stuff from there. I don't know if the proprietary wireless driver was installed automatically or not, though. I am assuming not, or the message wouldn't be there.