We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Tuesday, January 15. 2013
Pic: Finally! A computer system for people with 14 eyes!
Just to cover a few recent things that have popped up in my geeky little world:
Flash 64-bit Probs
I prefer using a 64-bit Windows system because it utilizes more of my machine's memory. The problem is that Flash, which until recently had a specific 64-bit version that worked just fine, now has a 'multi-system' version which doesn't. I've had various odd problems with both Internet Exploder and Firefox. If you're running a 64-bit system and having Flash probs, the best troubleshooting page I've come across is here. I think both #6 & 7 helped on this end.
Firefox 64-bit Probs
I'd never heard of a 64-bit Firefox, but I got to thinking about it, punched it into Google, and I'll be double-dipped if not only is there a 64-bit version, but that Mozilla officially killed it at one point — which naturally raised a huge outcry among its users and they brought it back. The sordid details are here. The 'official' release is still their multi-platform model; the 64-bit version is here if you want to give it a spin. Be forewarned that they not only changed the name from Firefox to 'Nightly', but changed the icon to something really horrid. The latter can be easily remedied; I'll have a post on changing the icon of an executable tomorrow. Note that you'll need the original EXE file for the original icon.
Upgrading To Windows 8
Some sobering thoughts here.
I've found over the years that I have two soap boxes I occasionally like clambering back on; system backup and getting your yourname.com domain before anyone else does. You only get one shot at it.
Live and learn, guys. More info on firing up your own domain here.
You might have seen the plethora of articles this past week on temporarily disabling Java. Java is a 'helper' program for browsers (on every operating system, Mac and Linux users please note) so certain functions on a web site will work. It's also used widely by hackers to install malware on your system, and there's a whole new raft of bad stuff coming down the pike, hence the official alert to disable it.
Oracle, the home company, has just now released an update and it's strongly suggested you download & install it. The download site is here. Click the 'Download' button under 'JDK', click the 'Accept license' gadget, then the version for your particular system. Regular 32-bit Windows systems are 'Windows x86'.
I should note that some people think Java is so vulnerable that it should be re-written from the ground up — if not abandoned by web sites entirely — and they recommend you just flat-out disable it. Instructions are here; it's usually just the unchecking of a box. Speaking as a webmaster, I would note that Java isn't used very much these days and you probably won't notice a thing. If you were on some site which had a function you very much wanted to use but were getting a 'You need Java installed' message, you could always just flip it back on for a bit.
Any feedback or questions, give a holler in the comments like usual.
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Windows 8 appears to be on the Windows ME and Windows Vista track to the dustbin of history.
The commercials on TV capture the problem neatly, Windows 8 being used by 5 - 7 year old kids, and by young adults who don't appear to have school, a job or anything to do. That seems to peg it as being for people who want to waste time, which is probably accurate.
I don't think that Microsoft has a clue as to how serious users function, or much gives a damn.
In any case, Microsoft once again is asking serious users to throw away years of experience and training with yet another completely new user interface. Billions down the drain, in this economy, just so Microsoft can screw their customers out of a few more bucks. Early reports say ditto for Office 2013.
I'm not buying. Neither are large numbers of businesses, who appear to be planning to stay with Win 7 as long as they can, then go to some other operating system. My son works at a large nationwide commercial real estate firm, and there is currently a mutiny underway to force a move to Apple. The sales force is on commission and time lost screwing around with the never ending Windows problems comes directly out of their paychecks. They have all had enough.
Good points, all, and it should be added that Windows 8 is Windows 7, only with the cute tablet interface. And, according to the article, a serious resource hog, which Win7 isn't. To sum it all up, we Windows whizzes aren't this way because of Microsoft, but in spite of.
Lots of corporate in-house apps use Java. So be careful before you disable Java at work.
I've come to accept windows 8 by just thinking that the "metro" interface screen is the equivalent of the start menu. After you hit the windows button, the start menu pops up. In window 8 land, the start menu takes over the screen ( well actually multiple screens ) and you just have to click on what you want in the (new multipage) start menu. You also need to learn that the charm menu that pulls from the right has the change settings button. Once you learn all that, it's just another windows machine.
I like 64-bit linux systems, preferably a Debian derivative, such as Mint, Xubuntu or Kubuntu. I gave Windows 8 a whirl, but its split personality wasn't for me. I can do everything that Windows can do with Linux, but it has a couple of "disadvantages"--- it's free and it rarely gets viruses. Doc, you should give it a try............ the only way to make Windows 8 palatable to me is to disable the metro interface and install an app start menu application like Pokki...... then you have a faster version of something that looks like Windows 7.
If you're looking for a 64bit Firefox there is actually one still around, but called Waterfox. The guy who maintains it is a student so does it in his spare time so it can be delayed a little, but it works very well, it's been my default browser for the last year. The only 'quirk' is it shares the same profile with Firefox, but that just means bookmarks etc get shared.
Waterfox is also on the link in the article, along with Nightly, although I haven't taken it out for a spin yet. At least it's got a better name. What kind of program that you use daily has a name like 'Nightly'??
I use NoScript that blocks Flash and Java selectively I have to tell Firefox to allow the script. It will permanently allow or temporarily allow scripts. http://noscript.net
OT: what do you think about this new Leap Action gizmo?
I gather you mean 'Leap Motion'. I just watched a few YouTube vids on it and it looks pretty cool, albeit mostly impractical. There's also a new push to get voice recognition into the limelight, so I'll post vids on both of them soon, and thanks for the mention.
Leap Motion, that's right. Why does it seem impractical? At $70, it looks like it's worth a try to me.