Naturally, I didn't ask Microsoft to update my operating system - I was perfectly happy with it as it was. Actually, that's not true: one is never perfectly happy with an operating system, one merely fears that change will be, as it usually is, for the worse. And so it proved this time, as it has before. The Windows 10 Creators Update made it difficult to do a number of things I'd got used to doing, and I regularly discover a lot of my nice fonts have disappeared, although I now know a little trick which seems to restore them every time that happens.
More irritatingly my old Epson all-in-one printer stopped working. This has also happened before, and eventually on the Epson website I found the complex instructions that told me how to go into the hidden program files and manually delete the now-irrelevant ones so the new device drivers would work properly. That got my old scanner interface back, but a lot of the functionality of the printer has gone. My PC now thinks the printer can do nothing other than 'print' or 'print on photo paper': draft quality options have disappeared, meaning you can't save on printer ink, and the highest-quality options aren't available either.
To be fair, Epson responded very quickly to my queries about this problem, when getting any reply at all was a surprise, but the nature of their advice was basically 'get a new printer as your existing one is old'. This is deeply dispiriting as there's nothing wrong with the old printer: the day before the update it worked perfectly; it's depressing not because printers are expensive - they aren't - but because it's so pointless and wasteful. A member of the congregation who works in IT brought in another perspective which I didn't realise: 'printer manufacturers have lowered the price of new devices to the extent that they don't make any profit on them; they make money on the ink which is why it's so expensive, so it's not a surprise that they'd just say "get a new printer". Of course it does suggest that eventually there'll just be huge piles of perfectly good hardware lying around. And sometimes big companies like Epson can say before Microsoft issues an update that it will cause this or that problem, but there's no incentive for anyone to ensure that old devices still work.' And at the end of that process sit you and me, cursing in front of a screen.