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Disable automatic reboot updates in Windows 10

Since build 1607 of Windows 10, it automatically restarts after updates, regardless of your wishes or unsaved documents. And since I do most of my work on a Virtual Machine that runs 24/7, this is not desired behaviour (putting it mildly).
In previous builds, there were options to postpone restarts until you manually approved. Not anymore...

This article by Martin Brinkmann shows a way to fix this: http://www.ghacks.net/2016/09/20/disable-reboot-after-automatic-windows-updates/
I did not install the "Take Ownership" program; doing that manually is easy enough.

Note: This solution worked fine for a while - however, recently (June 14th 2017) Windows somehow undid the fix (all settings were set back to their old status) and restarted my VM anyway. Bugger. I've implemented the fix again, hopefully Windows will keep its dirty hands off this time...

It happened again, while multiple applications were running (Feb 14th 2018)... So I had another go at it; this time I tried the suggestions mentioned here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/deployment/update/waas-restart. Fingers crossed.

Symbolic Links

Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom claim a lot of disk space on your C drive for caching purposes. I wanted to move those files to another SSD (E in my case), so they wouldn't be included in the daily C disk image backups. Of course this applies to other applications as well, this is just an example.

For Camera Raw cache files this is easy, just change the location in Photoshop or Lightroom itself.

For the Lightroom Catalog Previews, this is a bit more complicated. There is no setting for that one, so we'll have to use a symbolic link. A great article on those can be found at https://www.howtogeek.com/howto/16226/complete-guide-to-symbolic-links-symlinks-on-windows-or-linux/.
I moved the Lightroom Catalog Previews.lrdata directory from C:\ to E:\Adobe\ and created a symbolic link like this:
mklink /J "C:\Lightroom Catalog Previews.lrdata" "E:\Adobe\Lightroom Catalog Previews.lrdata"

Scaling problems

I have some scaling problems with VMware ESXi 5.5 vSphere Client (and VMware Workstaton Player 15.5) on Windows 10, escpecially since buying a 4K monitor. This problem is not limited to VMware of course, any old piece of software may have similar problems, so the fix here might be of use.

Windows 10 is now 5 years old, and still multi-monitor scaling has issues. Sigh.
I would really like Microsoft to concentrate on fixing bugs instead of adding new features (99% of which I never use anyway).
And this is by no means the only old bug in Windows they refuse to repair - just last week Windows Explorer failed to remove a folder from it's Navigation Pane after removing that folder in its main window. I have been running into that stupid little bug since at least Windows 2000...

Quake2XP

I'm not a gamer, but there are a few games I sometimes play for nostalgic reasons - Like Doom, Carmageddon, Blockout, and even Football manager (on a ZX Spectrum emulator, now that really is old school...).
Quake 2 is also one of my favourite retro games, but ever since I got my new desktop PC, the brilliant Quake2XP mod, also known as quakeIIxp or q2xp, has been giving me some problems.

My setup: AMD Ryzen 9 5900X, B550M, 32GB Ram, 1 TB Samsung 980 Pro, Gigabyte Radeon RX 560 OC 4G (rev. 2.0), 3 monitors (the main one is 4K), Windows 10 Pro.
So as you can see, this is quite a serious workstation, but the R560 videocard is not suited for "serious" gaming. When I bought the new PC hardware, I used the graphics card from the previous one. At the moment prices for videocards are outrageous, and this one still works fine and does all I need it to do. Except for running Quake2XP properly, that is...

The issues I had:
  • Very slow load times. The first map would take about 85 seconds (!) to load - after that things were a bit quicker.
  • Slow framerates - sometimes always immediately, sometimes after a few minutes the framerate would steadily drop to less that 20 fps, which is unplayable.
  • Horizontal black "noise" lines would flash on and off, sort of like an old CRT with a bad antenna connector. A rather nice retro look actually, but not ideal.
What complicates matters is that I also run some 3D software on my desktop that really requires AMD Radeon PRO drivers, as opposed to the regular Andrenalin (gaming oriented) drivers. Switching to the regular AMD drivers might have solved the Quake problems, but that is not an option for me.
The latest version (at the time of writing) is 21 Q3 but I had weird issues with that one. Sometimes on starting my PC, all 3 monitors would display only noise - needless to say, that was a bit of a shock the first time that happened...
An older version, 21 Q1 works just fine, so I'm sticking with that. Also, all the glitches in Quake 2 XP were exaclty the same in both versions, so I didn't bother with the Q2 version.

So after a Sunday morning spent playing around with Video settings in Quake 2 XP, this is what I came up with:
Anisotropy FilteringHight
Texture CompressionOffSlows loading (dramatically)
Generate Normal MapsOffSlows the framerate to less than 30 fps in some cases
Relief MappingOffSlows framerate
Self Shadowing ParallaxOffSlows framerate
Relief ScaleN/A
Lightmap BrightnessN/A
Light FlaresYesMay slow framerate, but not much
BloomYes
Depth of FieldYesMay slow framerate, but not much
Radial BlurYes
Motion BlurYes
SSAOYesThankfully this is OK, it really adds to the atmosphere
Cinematic FilterOffHas no impact on speed, so Yes is OK too
FXAAYes
Vertical SyncOffStandart is OK 95% of the time, but it slows the framerate to around 30 fps in some cases;
Adaptive causes the flashing horizontal lines

These settings fix all the issues I had with Quake2XP, plus Windows 10 and all other applications work just fine as well.
The maximum (16:9) resolution I can now use, while maintaining a minimum of 60 fps 99% of the time, is 1600 x 900. Switching to 1920 x 1080 is quite useable, but it drops the framerate to under 50 fps sometimes.