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A Sticky Problem

by Alan German

In a previous newsletter article (Pushing Back on Windows 10 Updates; June 2016), I discussed how to avoid having Windows 10 push updates automatically by telling the OS that the computer’s Wi-Fi system was running over a metered connection. I havebeen using this tactic for quite some time on my laptop computer. (I don’t actually have a metered connection, but Redmond doesn’t need to know that!)

So, the good news is that I no longer have updates for Windows thrust upon me. The bad news is that I no longer receive any notice of updates being available. With Windows Update being effectively disabled, it’s now up to me to go looking for, downloading, and installing any pending updates.

Now, I can live with this situation. For me, this is preferable to having my machine “hang” without any apparent cause (the actual cause being automatic downloading and/or installing of Windows updates!) However, one thing I like to keep really up to date is my anti-virus software and, since I currently use Windows Defender, I decided that I should ensure I have a reminder that Windows Update has to be run manually.

My first thought was to stick one those little yellow notes on my computer screen indicating that the Wi-Fi system was running as a metered connection. But, rather than using a physical note, my preference was to use an electronic version. So, I tried the Sticky Notes app that comes with Windows 10. It was easy enough to establish the note, but I found that, while I was able to change the background colour of the note, I was unable to change the font.

My solution to this dilemma was to switch to a similar, freeware offering – Stickies – from Tom Revell at Zhorn Software in the UK. This package does basically the same job as its Microsoft equivalent but has far more flexibility.

In the screenshot of the program’s context menu, we can see that the options include, setting the note’s title, colour and opacity. A note’s appearance can also be customized with one of more than 250 skins (layouts). My preference was to download the xp.ssk skin – a Windows XP look-alike. An interesting feature of this skin is that the minimize button on the note’s title bar causes the note to “roll up”, with the body text disappearing and leaving just the title bar displayed. The button acts as a toggle between displaying the full note or the rolled-up version.

Clearly, there are many more options (e.g. one can set a reminder alarm), but for my purposes this simple note being displayed in the top-right corner of the screen when I boot my machine is sufficient for my needs.

Bottom Line:

Stickies (Freeware)
Version 9.0d
Tom Revell
Zhorn Software

Originally published: June, 2017

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