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swift_logo9 to 5 Mac reports, Apple Stores to teach Swift Playgrounds lessons at free Hour of Code workshops starting December 5. Hour of Code is Code.org’s initiative to teach computer programming skills to students around the world. Society today relies upon and is driven by technology like no other period in human history. And this begs that the 3 R’s of education add a fourth, learning to program. Obviously, not everyone is going to grow up to become Software Engineers, but there is a lot of value in people knowing something about what’s behind the apps they use everyday. Such knowledge should not only enrich the lives of individuals, but allow society as a whole to make better informed decisions about technology.

Swift Playgrounds is Apple’s iPad app intended to help new software developers learn to program using Swift. It can be downloaded for free from the App Store. Please follow the original 9 to 5 Mac link above for more information.

It must be a frosty day indeed in the nether regions as Microsoft announces it has joined the Linux Foundation as a Platinum member. As the Ars article points out, Microsoft has been becoming more and more open source friendly over the last few years since Satya Nadella became CEO. Microsoft currently contributes to several Linux Foundation projects, including Node.js Foundation, OpenDaylight, Open Container Initiative, R Consortium and Open API Initiative. Still, this is something that was unthinkable not that long ago. Nevertheless, it is a very welcome move here. I remember visiting Microsoft a number of years ago, and I was quite impressed with the talented people working there. I sometimes joked that they must surely have a Microsoft distribution of Linux running Office tucked away somewhere on the Redmond campus!

Today’s announcement also included the revelation of a Linux version of SQL server becoming available for preview. So it suddenly doesn’t seem all that farfetched that a Linux version of Office could make an appearance in the future. Microsoft already has Android and iOS versions of Office applications, so a Linux version is not a big stretch. And Microsoft Visual Studio 2017 will be joining Visual Studio Code on the Mac. While Visual Studio 2017 on the Mac is really an update of the Xamarin Studio development tools, it is a very welcome addition. I have found Macs to be wonderful development platforms and this addition will allow me to broaden my development targets without the overhead of running a Windows VM, hopefully.

Completing this seemingly improbable love fest, it was also announced that Google is joining the .NET Foundation and will be part of the Steering Group. As a developer, I’m really liking all of this cross platform kumbya!

While putting Windows 10 through its paces on an HP laptop, I noticed that the Windows menu would pop up at seemingly random times. The first few times this happened, I just hit the Esc key to make it go away, but after a while this became rather annoying.

I searched for solutions online and did not find anything that worked. But I did notice that the problem seemed to be connected to finger scrolling on the touchpad. The touchpad had its own issues, as it never saved my settings between restarts which was quite annoying for someone who always turns off tapping gestures.

It finally occurred to me that the two problems were probably related. I must be triggering the Windows menu with a track pad gesture of some sort. So I did a search to see what gesture summoned the Windows menu and how to turn it off. Pay dirt! I found that by default, a three fingered tap brings up the menu. So the touchpad was seriously misinterpreting my gestures during the end of scrolls.

With that knowledge, I had to tackle the problem of making sure that my touchpad settings changes were being saved between restarts. I found that answer on Microsoft’s Community boards in the form of a registry update. Long story short, the Synaptics touchpad driver is buggy, but this registry edit seems to prevent user settings from being deleted between restarts. Here’s a link to the solution.

Windows 10 Synaptics touchpad settings lost on logout/reboot

Scroll down to the checked Answer on the page. I’m linking rather than copying in case there are updates to the answer. So far this solution is working for me. I turned off the three and four finger tapping gestures and now the menu pop ups have stopped. Good luck!