Dear Microsoft,

In the Mac version of Office 365, it is not only impossible to prevent the list of “recently-opened documents” from storing details about everything you’ve done in Word, Excel, etc, until you manually right-click each document to remove them, documents that were opened from a network share that’s no longer available can’t be removed at all.

Any attempt to right-click on them pops up an alert three times, then dismisses the right-click menu before you can reach it.

Microsoft Type 1 virus!

Critical security bug in the font-handling in Windows 7 and above, but they’re only going to patch supported versions, so if you’re still running 7 or 8 and aren’t an Enterprise customer with an extended support contract, you’re pretty well fucked. Don’t ever open downloaded documents again, in any format.

The specific issue is in support for the long-abandoned Type 1 Multiple Master format from Adobe. This format predates Unicode font support, which tells you how long it’s been gathering dust with nobody supporting the code (except for some export tools to generate a standard family of Type 1 fonts by twiddling the available knobs).

Headline News

“Microsoft saves sinking ship; passengers leap to their deaths.”

Dear Microsoft,

Congratulations on completely destroying the sync ability of the iOS version of OneNote. Your mother must be so proud.

Update: Surprisingly, it still worked on my iPhone while being totally borked on my iPad. None of the fixes people have been suggesting in the forums (lots of people hitting this bug this week) fixed it. Failing to authenticate for sync has actually been an issue with the iPad version of OneNote for quite a while, but in the past, force-quitting the app was sufficient to fix it. It looks like a nuke-and-pave of the app is necessary but not sufficient; I’m not actually sure what eventually persuaded it to start working again, but I suspect it was the animal sacrifice.

An app whose functionality depends on reliable sync needs to sync reliably. I migrated everything over from Evernote and let my paid subscription lapse because they were ignoring the core functionality of “sync my notes between phone/laptops/tablets”. Your recent attempt to provide the (not-quite-the-) same (poor) user experience on all platforms is the sort of development diversion that cost them customers.

Oh, and if you really want to make the user experience the same, add the “Recent Notes” tab to the desktop clients. It’s one of the most useful features of the mobile clients, and completely missing on the full app. And bring the Mac client up to feature parity with Windows, maybe?

Update: Happened again on 6/6. I had to delete the app, re-download it, and then re-sync all my notebooks. WTF, MS?

Dear Microsoft,

The “new, improved, consistent-across-all-devices” 4-column layout in OneNote sucks shit through a straw. Having full-height columns for notebooks, sections, and pages taking up half the window is an incredible waste of space, and a horrible navigation method. It sucks on a tablet. It sucks worse on a laptop.

Windows Subsystem for Linux

Very rough at the moment, with lots of issues that make it an early Beta, but it was nice to be able to scp over the save-hacking bash script I just wrote and have it Just Work, including creating a symlink to the save directory used by the Windows version of the game so that I could easily go back-and-forth between editing and testing. The supplied version of Ubuntu came with an old version of JQ, but I just grabbed the latest Linux binary with wget and all was well.

I’m going to try to build a decent Perl environment with Perlbrew, so that it survives reinstalls and upgrades. Then I can have some fun. If they ever get the Japanese IME working with WSL (or more precisely, their console window), I can have real fun.

Ain’t it the truth?

"It's taking a bit longer than usual, but it should be ready soon"
    --- Windows 10 installer on a Lenovo S12

That’s what she (Cortana) said.

Dear Microsoft,

[Update 10/15: Ars Technica reports that Microsoft has called this a “mistake” and promised to fix it in the next update.]

I’d like to say a hearty “fuck you” to the person who decided that the optional update “Upgrade to Windows 10 Pro” should be selected by default. I caught it in time, but damn. That’s “anal probe with a rusty crowbar” behavior.

Windows10 rat bastards

[Update: this isn’t happening to everyone, so I suspect the fact that this device is a Surface Pro 2 is the reason. They may pull this stunt on other users later, but someone likely decided that people who owned a Microsoft-branded tablet would be thrilled rather than appalled. They’re wrong, of course, since there’s no way to undo it and they removed full system backup/restore in Windows 8 (Acronis works nicely). They seem to think that their “system restore” functionality plus user-data backups is sufficient, neglecting the days of work it would take to reconfigure applications and restore data that isn’t covered by their partial backups.]

[Update: at this point, it looks like the auto-install kicks off if the background downloader has successfully finished copying the N-gig image to your hard drive. If you don’t leave your machine on unattended for long periods of time, you might not get the surprise for a while.]

“Need a clue, take a clue,
 got a clue, leave a clue”