# Bizarre Confessions

## General => Science & Technology => Topic started by: Tripper on January 11, 2007, 09:59:47 PM

Title: Geek Talk
Post by: Tripper on January 11, 2007, 09:59:47 PM
Okay, this thread apparently has been eaten or the search just can't find it.

Back to the IDE controller issues I had.  I swapped the primary and secondary connections (changed nothing), set the boot device to the right drive and everything came up fine.  I've been perusing the drives and I just may be able to piece together maybe 75% of the pictures I lost.

Now, the question.  Obviously, backups are now an even bigger priority.  The DVD burner I have in that box is teh suck, so I'm looking for suggestions as to a good replacement.  I'd prefer an internal, so I can mount it into a case for use with firewire and usb.

Suggestions?
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: stormneedle on January 20, 2007, 09:50:41 PM
No, I have no help to offer. I'm here with a different question.

I bought my wife an iPod for her birthday. I'd been going through and editing the MP3 files and getting them all sorted and tagged, and when she started using it, a lot of the files couldn't be imported. She said it looked like the reason was that a different computer (mine) had created the files and it couldn't be certain that they weren't stolen music. So, when we back down to the boxes that have the CDs she's going to have to reload those. Every time it happens, I feel like I failed Gift-giving 101.

She's offering to get me an MP3 player because of the longer commute. I was thinking about it, and I don't want to have to go through the same hell that she is right now. I have XM on the car's radio, and was thinking of subscribing and getting one of their players.

The manuals don't mention the problem she was having. The iPod manual doesn't either, so I'm wary. Have any of you had a device that just assumed that you were a law abiding citizen, or do they all have a RIAA mentality?
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: bit zero on January 23, 2007, 08:10:24 PM
No, I have no help to offer. I'm here with a different question.

I bought my wife an iPod for her birthday. I'd been going through and editing the MP3 files and getting them all sorted and tagged, and when she started using it, a lot of the files couldn't be imported. She said it looked like the reason was that a different computer (mine) had created the files and it couldn't be certain that they weren't stolen music.

Were they really MP3 files or were they AAC files?  MP3 files do not have any DRM on them.  AAC files do.  Importing CD's into iTunes creates AAC by default -- I think.  It can be changed to MP3 if you're willing to take the quality loss.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: bit zero on January 23, 2007, 08:11:47 PM
New topic.

Defect: Go upgrade SMF soon, unless you enjoy XSS exploits :)
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Psidefect on January 23, 2007, 08:40:56 PM
New topic.

Defect: Go upgrade SMF soon, unless you enjoy XSS exploits :)

Whointhewhatnow?

The admin thingy seems to think so and I'm not seeing any patches on their site.

Did I miss something?
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: bit zero on January 23, 2007, 11:26:39 PM
Yeah... a posting on Bugtraq about an XSS hole.  I guess they haven't patched it yet.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Stoater on January 23, 2007, 11:34:56 PM
That XSS hole

uhhh huh huh
uhhhh huh HUH huh
uhhhh HUH HUH HUH HUH HUH HUH HUH
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: eldiem on January 27, 2007, 02:40:03 PM
Ok so, this is one of the reasons I hate windows.

You know how when there's some random error somewhere and it gives you a popup notification and it's all "There's an error in blahblah2389402739874-23497." and a big OK button? Wtf use is that? I have no idea what it means, or what I should do about it.

Well, I finally got sick and tired of that feckin' windows update icon that I installed IE7. Fine. Restart my computer, fine. Well, upon restart - twice - it gives me one of those (big red x) (obscure text) (ok button) notes. Here's what it says

The procedure entry point GetProcessImageFileNameW could not be located in the dynamic link library PSAPI.DLL.

{OK}

Well, good! Thanks for letting me know, windows. I care, why?
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Ljdjr on January 27, 2007, 03:46:16 PM
The procedure entry point GetProcessImageFileNameW could not be located in the dynamic link library PSAPI.DLL.

{OK}

Well, good! Thanks for letting me know, windows. I care, why?

led me to here
as well as some other places, but this seemed like the easiest best chance to work.  Might want to give it a go, if this advice even applies to you.  Which it looks like it would if you have Verizon or Sprint.  Here's another good looking thread

Mileage may vary.  Hope this helps.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: eldiem on January 27, 2007, 06:23:37 PM
Ah yes, it's part of the DSL thingy. That's a technical term, btw.

Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Ljdjr on January 27, 2007, 07:32:12 PM
Glad to be of assistance.    :D
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: NexR on April 20, 2007, 01:36:56 PM
This is just... phenomenal (http://linuxreviews.org/news/2005/11/11_tinyp2p/).
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on April 24, 2007, 01:23:43 PM
:o

This view (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassini/multimedia/pia08356_prt.htm). Left nut. Would give for.

(the movie, click it)

*bogsmacked*
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: feffer on April 24, 2007, 01:26:03 PM
Whoa.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mrcookieface on April 24, 2007, 02:52:47 PM
Thought I'd make a little gif of it for ya, but I think I lost too much detail when I shrunk it down.

(http://img337.imageshack.us/img337/9229/saturnwh2.gif)
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: stormneedle on May 29, 2007, 09:41:17 PM
Ugh. An administrator's worst nightmare is happening to one of the people on LJ named Reasie. (She was in theGrue's list and I got intrigued.) She was trying to extend a RAID set, and it corrupted the RAID. The backups aren't good, and the machine in question is their one centralized everything.

I'd offer to help, but I don't know Linux at all.

[Edit - I'm not certain she needs 10,000,000 folks reading a link to her.]
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: NexR on June 01, 2007, 04:31:58 PM
Ugh, RAIDs can be such a pain sometimes. Then again, hard discs in general. Here's what's going on with me:

I bought a Hitachi 500gb drive and wish to add it to my system. I already used up the 4 SATA mobo ports on other drives, so this new drive I bought for the the third IDE port. The first two IDE ports are used for my DVD-burner and CD-burner.

Now, you'll note that I have an external hard drive via firewire hooked up. That's because I knew the problem I'm about to describe was coming and was delaying the inevitable.

Here's what's it all looks like:
hda = DVD-ROM
hdc = CD-ROM
<insert "hde = Hitachi 500gb" here>
sda = WD 200gb
sdb = WD 200gb
sdc = WD 120gb (sdc and sdd are my main system partitions and there's a whole bunch of mirroring going on here)
sdd = WD 120gb
sde = Maxtor 300gb (external via firewire)

Well, I have been using a linux kernel 2.6.9 for a couple years now and have been pretty happy with it since all my hardware is happy (except of course, the occassional X/nvidia driver borkage). Adding this new hard drive to the third IDE port, however, involves using the illustrious IT8212 controller which wasn't supported in the 2.6.9 kernel.

So I need to upgrade my kernel. No biggie, I figured it was high time anyway. Part of the reason I'm getting more space is so that I can delete my current backup OS (it's still using gnome forfuckssake :)), make this OS the backup, and install a sparkling new updated OS with new kernel.

So I install my hard drive and go to town on reaquainting myself with the intricacies of the linux kernel 2.6.21. Wow! I had no idea they made so many changes to the kernel in so little a span of versions. They're moving all sorts of shit around, creating new categories, adding tons of shit (which is expected), and generally reaking havoc on my well-organized list of drivers I needed for my old kernel. So this takes much longer than planned, but I eventually I have a nice tight new kernel.

Update LILO (the bootloader) with the new kernel in there. Reboot. Borkage.

Here's the deal, my bootloader (LILO) is placed on my sda drive. This is splendid and fine when there's no hde drive, but the hardware looks for the bootloader on the very first disc it finds which used to be sda, but is now hde. OK, so when you update LILO just have it put itself on hde, right? Well, that'd be nice but as far as my old kernel, 2.6.9 (the one I'm running), is concerned, there is no hde because it doesn't have the driver to see it so LILO can't see it either. Chicken meet egg.

Now there are several ways around this problem, but the easiest is to just use your linux floppy boot disk. Go back into 2.6.9, update LILO with the new kernel onto it. Reboot.

Yay! I'm in the new kernel. Everything is sweet and my new hde is visible. Now I just need to update my video drivers for the new kernel so I can get into GUI mode and everything else should go smoothly and take about 10 minutes to finish.

Aside:
Quote
Nvidia. Nvidia is one of two makers of video cards (GPUs actually; ATI is the other). These two companies are in some kind of war over keeping their secrets from one another. Nvidia is not friendly to open-source communities like the Linux world. Nvidia refuses to open their drivers to allow the Linux people to improve them for Linux systems. Nvidia doesn't spend a whole lot of time perfecting their Linux drivers because Linux users only represent a small portion of their clientelle. Nvidia drivers suck.

I have been using an old version of the Nvidia drivers. Back then they tried to get me to install with some crazy "installer" script like this was windows or something, but back then I tried many times and it simply never worked. So I had to manually install it, and it worked. Now I am aware that the non-fatal crashes that occassionally plague my computer (X system to be specific) are related to this driver. So in the spirit of updating shit, before I embarked on the kernel upgrade, I downloaded the newest Nvidia drivers under the assumption that they probably fixed a few things and that this should improve video stability.

Now that I'm running the new kernel, it's time to break out the new Nvidia drivers. I run their "installer" thingee and follow their guidelines. And it says I'm done. So I try to enter Linux GUI mode. The screen flickers, looks like it's starting, then borks. So I do the process again. Bork. Again. Bork. Then I start looking into doing the manual install thing. Hmmm... that's weird. I don't seem to be able to do that with this new driver. Can't do anything else, so I reboot to go back to 2.6.9.

Bork. Swearing ensues. It should be noted that the Nvidia "installer" POS goes about installing drivers not just for the currently acting kernel, but for all kernels. Thus, my perfect 2.6.9 system now has crappy new Nvidia drivers fucking it up proper. Nothing for it but to try to get them working on this kernel, so into the "installer" I go. Bork. Back to my old drivers: install. Bork. Hysteria ensues. Manual install. Bork. Back to the new ones: install. Bork. Install. Works. WTFARGH!

Yes, suddenly, and without apparent reason, the _new_ drivers started working on the _old_ kernel whereas they hadn't several times just before, and after they apparently screwed up the _old_ drivers working on the _old_ kernel. (NOTE: they only worked for my dual monitors; the TV out was borked completely). So after hitting the Nvidia website, I find they no longer _allow_ me to do manual install and the "installer" shitpile is all I get to use.

Then I went on vacation. :D But now I come back to this problem of having a new hard drive and not being able to use it because I can't get the GUI to run on the new kernel because the damnable Nvidia proprietary drivers don't allow me any wiggle room on the install and all I get is their "installer" thingee which doesn't work. And to make it worse, now I don't even have full functionality from my old system. Blegh.

</rant-against-the-machine>
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on June 01, 2007, 04:49:45 PM
I hate it when that happens.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: flipper on June 01, 2007, 05:34:04 PM
Dude, you must have a lot of pr0n.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on June 01, 2007, 05:35:46 PM
I've hit upon something profound here ... hang on, let me crystallize it ...
Yes. Got it.

Linux is Zombo. That's one of the great things about it. You can do anything. Anything at all (http://zombo.com/).

You just have to be prepared to code it up from scratch.

Reminds me of the good old days, when we had to write our own HPGL and PostScript interpreters and pipe the output to the parallel port or to lpr -- and we liked it. Beat working, at any rate.

Sounds like you need a new video card or three, Nex.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: flipper on June 01, 2007, 05:37:16 PM
...Sounds like you need a new video card or three, Nex.

Good call.  With all that pr0n....
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: stormneedle on June 01, 2007, 06:50:56 PM
Reminds me of the good old days, when we had to write our own HPGL and PostScript interpreters and pipe the output to the parallel port or to lpr -- and we liked it. Beat working, at any rate.
That is way, way, too farking close to work for my sanity's sake. In one project I'm trying to get free soft fonts (of Code 39) to some printer P where P understands PCL5 or better and doesn't mind that Windows isn't the OS pushing the fonts and will print the rest of the page in whatever font is in the firmware.

I know it's possible. I've never done it before. Everybody else that I talk to tell me it'll be so cool when I pull it off but they have no advice and will I send them the code so that they can do stuff with it?

[edit: no, I think I'll leave this mistake in place. It's perfect.]
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: bit zero on June 01, 2007, 08:02:56 PM
(http://www.lastnightspants.com/farkimg/linux8se.jpg)

FreeBSD.  3ware SATA RAID cards.  Happiness.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: ivan on June 13, 2007, 06:33:16 PM
I don't know if this is geeky or talky or worthy in any way but it took me a long frustrating time to get to the bottom of this and maybe, just maybe, someone can benefit from my experience:

I frequently search for all kinds of files using Windows Search. The other day, I was looking for "a word or a phrase in a file", and came up empty. I told a colleague that a file with the text we were seeking did not exist. He called, as they say over in that other place, shenannigans, and proved it to me. I trundled back dejectedly and tried again -- zip. "What the WTF is going on?" I asked myself.

Well, here it is: XP's version of Search, out of the box, will search for text only in known file types. So you're fine if it's a .TXT or .DOC or something file, but SOL if it's a .#33398X4Z type file, which is what I was looking for. After a fairly brief yet richly rewarding search on the internets, I found out how to remedy this.

Way number 1: edit the registry to include moar fiel tipes. That's not the smart way of doing it, although many recommend it.

Way number 2 (the smart way): Open a Search window. Click on "Change Preferences". Click on "With Indexing Service (for faster local searches)". Click on "Change Indexing Service Settings (Advanced)". On the ensuing window's toolbar, click the "Show/Hide Console Tree" button. In the left pane, right mouse click on "Indexing Service On Local Machine" (the top node) and select "Properties". On the "Generation" tab, check "Index Files with Unknown Extentions". Click "Apply" and "OK" and exit and so forth, for your mission is accomplished. By the way, you don't have to activate the indexing service for this option to take effect.

effing m$Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on June 13, 2007, 06:52:19 PM I did not know that, but it's totally typical of how they do things. It's so intuitive, too! FWIW, the problem is not all of "MS" -- just Windows. Office works okay on MacOS, just slow. MacOS X's "Spotlight" program is astonishingly fast. No idea how it works -- it must run in the background caching filesystem data or something like that. It's almost good enough to overcome my dumbass approach to filing. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on June 13, 2007, 06:58:40 PM Are those changes saved? Please tell me you don't have to go through all that every time you want to search for a file with an unknown extension. I assume the definition for "unknown extension" is any extension for anything that is not made by m$? Or does it even apply to extensions created by m$as well? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: ivan on June 13, 2007, 07:11:46 PM Are those changes saved? Please tell me you don't have to go through all that every time you want to search for a file with an unknown extension. I assume the definition for "unknown extension" is any extension for anything that is not made by m$? Or does it even apply to extensions created by m$as well? Yes, the changes are saved. And in this context, "unknown extension" translates to "any extension". The extension is ignored, unless you specify it in the "all or part of the file name" field. Which is how Search worked by default in all versions up to XP. FWIW, the problem is not all of "MS" -- just Windows. Office works okay on MacOS, just slow. I fully agree, and apologize for the banal m$ bashing. Usually I get on people's cases for that. I'm actually in awe of Excel, and XP is a marvel of connectivity. Remote desktop FTW!
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: flipper on June 13, 2007, 07:29:48 PM
I use remote desktop all the time :detta
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: stormneedle on June 13, 2007, 07:49:50 PM
mstsc (ms terminal services client) works fine on the servers. Assuming, that is, that some bozo in the next suite remembers this time to disconnect the session he no longer needed after fixing something last week.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: eldiem on June 13, 2007, 09:31:10 PM
I did not know that, but it's totally typical of how they do things. It's so intuitive, too!

FWIW, the problem is not all of "MS" -- just Windows. Office works okay on MacOS, just slow.

MacOS X's "Spotlight" program is astonishingly fast. No idea how it works -- it must run in the background caching filesystem data or something like that. It's almost good enough to overcome my dumbass approach to filing.

OMG when we first got whatever version of OSX first had the spotlight thingy I nearly wet. It is SO fast. I'm askeered to use the windows search thingy on my home computer b/c the damn thing is so slow anyway, I'd be worried I'd lock up the system or whatever.

I don't understand how people I work with don't use Spotlight all the time. I do. I'll go to their offices, we'll chat about some edits or something else generally editorial (never anything personal or chit-chat, natch) and coworker will say, "Here, let me send you the file" and proceed to spend at least 5 minutes clicking through folders and searching through emails. I bite my tongue and have to restrain myself from being all Nick Burns and going "MOVE" to do it for them.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: flipper on June 14, 2007, 11:26:50 AM
Google desktop works pretty good for the M$environment. I use it at work when I don't already know the file location. It works by indexing so on startup it will suck up resources for a minute or two after the initial indexing (which took like an hour for my laptop). Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: NexR on June 14, 2007, 11:33:54 AM I always turn off the indexing service. It eats up too much juice for my tastes. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on June 16, 2007, 11:58:01 AM Cable internet is out at home, along with the rest of the cable services. This happens pretty frequently. It's weird how people always talk about security issues as the biggest drawback of cable internet. Having to rely on the cable company seems like the biggest drawback to me. Now the wireless here at work has stopped working. Holy crap, the MS diagnostics and network dialog boxes, etc, suck ugly dogs. What an unbelievable and tangled nest of unexplained jabbernought. Unfortunately, we have AT&T DSL here, and calling the AT&T help line has never, EVER produced a single useful result. There's a local affiliate we can call, and they sometimes help, but they always do half the job and then explain that that's all they're permitted to do for free. Beats the hell out of me. It claims it connects, claims it's connected, but browsers, et al, can't actually reach the internet, which makes it kind of pointless. Wireless internet seems to be one of those things that's nifty when it works flawlessly and utterly not worth a dime the moment it goes wrong. (Yes, um, I'm at BC while I'm at work, but I haven't had a lunch break in over a week, so I'm considering it a perk while I wait for this customer to make up his mind.) Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: NexR on June 16, 2007, 02:07:54 PM Cable internet is out at home, along with the rest of the cable services. This happens pretty frequently. It's weird how people always talk about security issues as the biggest drawback of cable internet. Having to rely on the cable company seems like the biggest drawback to me. Switch ISPs. Or do you have a second cable company around? Quote Holy crap, the MS diagnostics and network dialog boxes, etc, suck ugly dogs. What an unbelievable and tangled nest of unexplained jabbernought. Yes. Quote Beats the hell out of me. It claims it connects, claims it's connected, but browsers, et al, can't actually reach the internet, which makes it kind of pointless. Wireless internet seems to be one of those things that's nifty when it works flawlessly and utterly not worth a dime the moment it goes wrong. Try figuring out where the problem is. It might be that you're having no problem reaching the wireless router, but the router can't get to AT&T (e.g. ping 192.168.1.1, ping www.google.com, etc) - in which case it might be as simple as refreshing the router. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on June 16, 2007, 04:50:57 PM AT&T is less than half as much as any of the other DSL providers in the area. Earthlink was good to us for years, for dial-up, but we can't pay what they ask for small-business DSL. Never happen. We could get a cable connection . . . but the cable company wants 2.5 times as much money as if we were a residential user, even though the service is identical. I brought the machine right up to the router, and it connects to the router no sweat. Meanwhile, our machines that are connected to the router with good old ethernet cables (like the machine I'm on now) have great internet access. I'm mystified, but, then, it's not an area I'm strong in, god knows. The other major difference is that it used to take the portable about twenty seconds to find the wireless network, log on, etc, but now it takes about five seconds. It seems to be skipping something . . . but nobody here monkeyed with any settings, or anything, before it stopped working. The local-affiliate guy has a message on his voicemail, so maybe he'll call us back on Monday. We don't actually move the portable, so I'd just run an ethernet line to it . . . except that it's downstairs from the router, and the floor is two layers of reinforced concrete, and we don't own the building. I've been looking for some existing hole we could snake a line through, but no luck so far. I did go to CompUSA and Best Buy and whatnot and look at their external antennae for wireless machines. Hilarious! They only have stuff with coax-2 connectors, and neither of them SELLS anything that's coax-2 compatible. The guy at CompUSA just shrugged, but the guy at Best Buy said, "Yeah -- we sell those things, but you can't use them with anything else we sell." Swell! Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: NexR on June 16, 2007, 07:04:10 PM except that it's downstairs from the router, and the floor is two layers of reinforced concrete, and we don't own the building. :o That there floor might be the problem. Well, I guess you could buy a new router with more chutzpah. That might get the signal through. Also if you have a lot of other gizmos nearby, the interference could be the problem. And if you don't have it locked down, your coffeehouse neighbors might be wheezing on your bandwidth. And for the antena idea, you could build your own (http://wireless.gumph.org/articles/homemadeomni.html). :) Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on June 16, 2007, 08:19:47 PM I wasn't clear -- we often have signal-strength issues (which is why I went antenna-shopping; that was a few weeks ago), but that's not the source of the new problem. I tried bringing the portable to the router, even, and it connects at 54 mps, or whatever the hell the units are, when it's right up there. (We usually get 18, downstairs.) The browsers still can't so much as ping anything on the internet, though, even though the wireless network whatnot claims it's all connected and good. Beats me. I tried disabling the firewall briefly, and it made no difference. But I'm rowing in a fog anyway. I'm just hoping that when the pro shows up, he doesn't want an arm and a leg to fix it. Oh -- by the by -- I'd totally take a crack at making my own antenna, but I don't have any coax port on the machine to connect it to. And nobody local sells any PC/MCIA card or other peripheral that has a coax port, except for TV In/Out cards, which doesn't help. I have trouble finding anything online, even, and when I do, it's way too expensive. That's what the guy at Best Buy was commiserating over -- they sell wireless network antennas with coax-2 cords, but they don't sell anything that those antennas can plug into. Same deal at the local CompUSA, except that the salespeople there are morons. It's, what's the word, retarded. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on July 02, 2007, 04:13:44 PM Tycho's take on the iPhone (http://www.penny-arcade.com/2007/07/02) and the "Apple Way" in general. I kind of agree, plus it's funny. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Stoater on July 02, 2007, 04:44:23 PM Quote Come and touch the neon glyphs. :rollin: :rollin: :rollin: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on July 02, 2007, 05:17:50 PM Personally, I just want a phone that makes phone calls, preferably easily and cheaply. But what surprises me is that Apple didn't give the iPhone a self-cleaning screen. The technology certainly exists, and the screen could probably clean itself using waste heat or a tiny trickle charge. It wouldn't add any significant cost to a gadget that already costs that much. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: First Post on July 03, 2007, 08:33:46 PM I had a similar wireless issue which turned out to be a fairly common problem: interference from cordless phones. (Some of the older/cheaper such phones are in the 2.4GHz land also occupied by 802.11b/g wifi. Isn't that nice!) The suggestion to use ch. 11 on the router seems to help, along with experimenting with placement of the base stations and whatnot. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on July 03, 2007, 10:30:23 PM This router goes to 11. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Sidious on July 05, 2007, 05:54:58 PM (http://www.lastnightspants.com/farkimg/linux8se.jpg) :rollin: That looks like something made by someone who tried (and failed) with Gentoo (http://www.gentoo.org/). The way I figure, I futz around with Windows All. Goddamned. DAY. While at work. When I get home, most of the time the LAST thing I want to do is fight with technology, so I run Slackware (http://www.slackware.com) on my laptop and my desktop machines. No building from scratch. No constant fights with how the OS thinks you should be using it. It just works and keeps its trap shut. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: NexR on July 05, 2007, 05:57:21 PM Indeed. I love my Slack. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Sidious on July 05, 2007, 05:59:02 PM Easiest OS I've ever set up on any machine. Even my laptop. On a somewhat related topic, have you played around with QEMU (http://fabrice.bellard.free.fr/qemu/) much yet, Nex? I've been getting a lot of mileage out of it to run virtual Windows 98 machines on my main Slackware b0xx0r for old-school video game purposes. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: NexR on July 05, 2007, 06:10:51 PM Nice. No I haven't. I've always just used VMware. But it annoys me a bit because it's such a resource hog, so I don't really use it much at all. I have a couple partitions devoted to XP on one of my drives for gaming. So how is qemu? Better than vmware? I wouldn't be opposed to switching to an OSS VM. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Psidefect on July 05, 2007, 08:38:41 PM Didn't Slack just come out with a new version? Like 12 or something. Anyone try it yet? I haven't even had a chance to take a look at what's new. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: NexR on July 05, 2007, 09:22:02 PM Finally! I've been waiting for that for a while. Thanks, I hadn't checked for it in a few weeks. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Sidious on July 06, 2007, 05:30:40 PM Nice. No I haven't. I've always just used VMware. But it annoys me a bit because it's such a resource hog, so I don't really use it much at all. I have a couple partitions devoted to XP on one of my drives for gaming. So how is qemu? Better than vmware? I wouldn't be opposed to switching to an OSS VM. QEMU is not as user-friendly as VMWare, and it has far fewer emulation options as far as emulated hardware goes. It's the lack of CPU acceleration and decent video card emulation that is probably its biggest limiting factor. But unlike VMWare, it's free, and I've been able to get it to work on every Slack machine I've tried it on without any trouble. I suppose I could try the trial version of VMWare. I wasn't sure how it'd run under Slack and I didn't want to pay money for it and find out that it was useless. Didn't Slack just come out with a new version? Like 12 or something. Anyone try it yet? I haven't even had a chance to take a look at what's new. Yeah, Patrick announced Slackware 12 (http://www.slackware.com) has been released the other day. I honestly wasn't expecting that so soon. I was thinking it'd be later this year or early next year. Maybe I've just gotten used to his slower development cycle due to his health issues over the past few years. I've only just tweaked my Slackware 11 install on my laptop to the point where I like it, and was juuuuuuuuuuuust starting to contemplate installing 11 on my main desktop machine at home (which is still on Slackware 10.1). I think now I'll throw$50 his way and order the CD set for 12 and see how it cooks.  I've liked every other version of Slackware I've used so far, so I've no problems sending money Patrick's way once a year or so for the fine OS I get so much bloody use out of.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: NexR on July 06, 2007, 05:49:42 PM
But unlike VMWare, it's free, and I've been able to get it to work on every Slack machine I've tried it on without any trouble.

I suppose I could try the trial version of VMWare.  I wasn't sure how it'd run under Slack and I didn't want to pay money for it and find out that it was useless.
I'll play around with QEMU and see what I think. Can it do OSX? That's why I originally grabbed VMware in the first place.

VMware has an annoying kernel module you have to use. I find it'll crash my system eventually, usually after a couple days. This may just be a conflict with my particular kernel, but it also might be pretty common. *cough* You may just want to pirate it. *cough*

I honestly wasn't expecting that so soon.  I was thinking it'd be later this year or early next year.

Maybe I've just gotten used to his slower development cycle due to his health issues over the past few years.  I've only just tweaked my Slackware 11 install on my laptop to the point where I like it, and was juuuuuuuuuuuust starting to contemplate installing 11 on my main desktop machine at home (which is still on Slackware 10.1).
Ditto, I wasn't expecting it this soon either. I recently decided I was ready for an upgrade but I wasn't sure if I wanted to go up to 11.2 or wait for 12. I've been wasting time not making a decision. Looks like not making a choice was the right one.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Sidious on July 09, 2007, 12:30:50 PM
But unlike VMWare, it's free, and I've been able to get it to work on every Slack machine I've tried it on without any trouble.

I suppose I could try the trial version of VMWare.  I wasn't sure how it'd run under Slack and I didn't want to pay money for it and find out that it was useless.
I'll play around with QEMU and see what I think. Can it do OSX? That's why I originally grabbed VMware in the first place.

Not sure... haven't tried it.

Quote
VMware has an annoying kernel module you have to use. I find it'll crash my system eventually, usually after a couple days. This may just be a conflict with my particular kernel, but it also might be pretty common. *cough* You may just want to pirate it. *cough*

That's not the first time I've heard that.  I think I'll download the trial version and see how it runs.

Quote
I honestly wasn't expecting that so soon.  I was thinking it'd be later this year or early next year.

Maybe I've just gotten used to his slower development cycle due to his health issues over the past few years.  I've only just tweaked my Slackware 11 install on my laptop to the point where I like it, and was juuuuuuuuuuuust starting to contemplate installing 11 on my main desktop machine at home (which is still on Slackware 10.1).
Ditto, I wasn't expecting it this soon either. I recently decided I was ready for an upgrade but I wasn't sure if I wanted to go up to 11.2 or wait for 12. I've been wasting time not making a decision. Looks like not making a choice was the right one.

I didn't even notice that 11.2 was out.  Shows how much I pay attention.

10.1 is rock-solid, and I've had very few problems with 11 on my laptop, so I think 12 is worth a look.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: feffer on July 22, 2007, 11:25:58 PM
Our laptop is messed up.  When I unplug it it dies.  The battery is getting power, though.  The little icon in the system tray says the battery is 100% charged.  What's the deal?
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Stoater on July 22, 2007, 11:33:22 PM
Those battery life programs are full of lies. Mine has a constant 98% reading even when my laptop has been plugged in all day long.
One way to tell if your battery is buggered is to drain it completely - then charge it. If it fills up really fast - it's done for.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: feffer on July 22, 2007, 11:50:53 PM
Until yesterday it seemed to work well enough.  It showed the battery draining and charging like you'd expect.  The laptop's been plugged in all day, so it SHOULD be charged.  When I unplug it doesn't give me the low battery warning, it just dies like there's no battery at all.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: bit zero on July 23, 2007, 07:27:06 PM
That's what dead Li-Ion batteries do...  they say they're at 100% then drop to like 3% the instant you take 'em off power.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Talix on July 27, 2007, 08:21:47 AM
Here I come to pick your collective brains regarding risks associated with keybr04ds and mice.

Here at work people are always wanting ergonomic this and that.  We have no master list of approved devices; there are too many new products and too many environments here for our testing division to try out every possible combination of factors.  I have been asked to "prepare a security paper that outlines what features and functions [my team] would not want to see in a peripheral (keyboards and mice) device.  Focus on security issues associated with the capturing of PII (either the user's or that in our dbs)."  Also, any kind of potential network threat needs to be noted.

Obviously we don't want anything with a keylogger, but I don't know how many keyboards come complete with those anyway.  What sort of things should I be looking out for?  I have very old sk00l input devices and don't know how many flips they can do these days.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: NexR on July 27, 2007, 11:42:08 AM
Um... I don't think too many mice/keyboards come with keyloggers built in, if they even make them like that at all. I can't imagine much need for that. Usually keyloggers are little devices you put in between the keyboard wire and the PC. The best security there (if you're that paranoid about it) is to just look for them every once in a while.

"...capturing of PII"? Personal Identity Info?

As far as ergonomics go, I've found having my arms supported by a desk up to the elbow is the best medicine for preventing carpal tunnel.

Sounds like you guys are overthinking the security a bit on this one. Good to have it in mind, but they're just keyboards. Go buy the cheapest ones that are what your people want.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on July 27, 2007, 11:44:32 AM
Whoa. What happened to my reply? Odd.

I said I'd avoid wireless keyboards and mice. I'd bet someone has hacked that protocol and figured out a way to intercept the data using IrDA or something.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Talix on July 27, 2007, 12:15:51 PM
Sounds like you guys are overthinking the security a bit on this one.

Ya think?

Personally, I think they're underthinking it, but that's just me.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: stormneedle on July 27, 2007, 12:31:38 PM
My mouse and keyboard are wireless and really - they shouldn't be. It's possible to gather the signal and do a wireless keylogger. But the range extends to just outside the cube, and I keep moving the "pending equipment" (trash) away from the hallway right behind me so that nobody can put something there and not be noticed. (Maybe I should return that box of 400 yards of Cat6 plenum cable...)

Larger cubicles really are the answer to the problem but I know just how well that would go over.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: NexR on July 27, 2007, 01:16:06 PM
Sounds like you guys are overthinking the security a bit on this one.

Ya think?

Personally, I think they're underthinking it, but that's just me.

Really? OK, wireless keyloggers are possible, but like Stormy said, you're looking at 6-10' tops depending on the manufacturer and battery power. But it doesn't really matter in your case anyway. There's no ergonomic reason for a wireless keyboard other than people might like to put it in their laps, but that can be done no problem with a wired board. So with no ergonomic benefit, you think the budget people are going to spring for twice as expensive wireless boards?

Mice on the other hand I can't think would possibly matter if they get logged. All it's going to be is left click, scroll up, right click, right click, etc. until it gets into the OS/software and is interpreted as actions. It's not like you can enter your passwords through it unless you have some really bizarre mouse gesture passwords (which actually aren't a bad idea in conjunction with a text pass now that I think of it). So anyway, there are ergonomic benefits to having wireless mice, since the wire can put resistance on the mouse, plus it's really annoying when you let go of the mouse and it moves back because of the wire. I still have the old ball mouse, but you might want to go with optical so there's no maintenance.

So get what your peeps want for keyboards (i.e., split, straight) just make sure they're wired. And separately get them wireless optical mice with lots of buttons. In fact, eat up all the extra budget with additional mice buttons. Buttons Rock!
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: NexR on July 27, 2007, 01:32:06 PM
It's not like you can enter your passwords through it unless you have some really bizarre mouse gesture passwords (which actually aren't a bad idea in conjunction with a text pass now that I think of it).

Hmm... mouse gesture passwords. That is a pretty good idea. Anybody know if there's anything like that going on?

It could be more than just a series of mouse movements too. You could have a simple drawing you made be a password: like a cross, an ankh, or a one-eyed pyramid. You could then do your drawing, then have the server compare it to your base drawing. Of course, encryption of the stored one and the passing of the entered pass to the server might be a problem. People might be able to watch the traffic and figure out when you're passing the pics. Anyway, definitely an interesting idea. It might be worth poking around with as compared to having two passwords which it looks like we're heading towards.

*googlity*

*ting* (http://waelchatila.com/2005/09/18/1127075317148.html) I figured I wasn't the first to think of it. Looks like they're doing it by sending data for each mouse movement as compared to storing it into a pic. Pretty interesting.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Talix on July 27, 2007, 02:23:06 PM
Sounds like you guys are overthinking the security a bit on this one.

Ya think?

Personally, I think they're underthinking it, but that's just me.

Really?

Meaning they don't have the brain power necessary to over-think it.

That was also the Josh Lyman sarcastic "Ya think?", not the wide-eyed "Do you really think so?" "Ya think?"
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: stormneedle on July 27, 2007, 02:28:16 PM
I can't draw the same figure with a pencil; doing it with a mouse boggles my mind. I like the touch screen idea, though.

But I threw in the wireless portion because my ergonomic keyboard is wireless. I think the biggest disadvantage to having multiple types of keyboards is a combination of procurement and storage. I don't see a security issue here that would specifically apply to ergonomic devices.

I don't know if there are clinical studies regarding specific keyboards. If there are, you could use that as a first basis for consideration.

I think I've mentioned that some of my coworkers are decidedly not comfortable with ergonomic keyboards, and it dissuades them from using my workstation. If a supervisor has to change keyboards to look at a person's computer they're not going to be happy. How much that will go into the policy is something I can't guess.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on July 27, 2007, 02:34:40 PM
I want a computer with a threat sensor.  When it asks for a password and denies me access, it must be able to detect that I am THIS DAMNED CLOSE to 'hacking' it with an actual machete.  Or worse.  Then it should be properly frightened and let me the hell in.

If someone else tries to access it, and they're scarier than I am, well, OK then.  It just needs to be too scared to keep that a secret when I return, and then I'll go deal with whoever else was in there without my permission.

The damned computer earns the right to keep me out when it can pass a Turing test.  Until then, it has no rights and can bloody well get tossed out a freaking window to land messily on top of a pole transformer if it annoys me sufficiently.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Stoater on July 27, 2007, 09:02:19 PM
I usually end up ranting "The window is right fucking THERE Amelia Earhart. You wanna fly? Gonna defenestrate this motherfucker....." and that's about as far as I get before Mike starts yelling at me. There have been times when the only thing stopping me is the fact that the screen is difficult to remove.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Psidefect on July 27, 2007, 10:30:08 PM
A little defenestration now and again is a good thing.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: NexR on July 28, 2007, 01:36:20 AM
When entering a command, I like to hit the enter key really hard. You gotta remind the fucker who's in charge as often as possible.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: flipper on July 30, 2007, 12:37:04 PM
Speaking of Defenestration (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/gate/archive/2003/11/11/carollloyd.DTL&type=entertainment), another reason to come out to Cali and visit me.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Talix on July 30, 2007, 12:51:24 PM
Thanks for the help, guys.  I'll be trying to write something coherent tomorrow.
Title: Slackware 12
Post by: Sidious on August 14, 2007, 08:02:32 PM
Okay, so I chucked Patrick (http://www.slackware.com) some cash and picked up the new version of Slackware and a t-shirt.

My review of the t-shirt:

Excellent.  Fits nice, displays the Slackware logo in a tasteful manner, seems to wash okay.

My review of the operating system:

On Sunday last weekend I blew away my laptop and threw Slackware 12 on it.

Things to watch out for:

ACPI is apparently no longer compiled into the default Slackware kernel, and instead is a kernel module.  In order to get my stupid battery monitor and a few other things to work I had to add the following lines to /etc/rc.d/rc.local:

Code: [Select]
modprobe acpimodprobe acmodprobe batterymodprobe processormodprobe thermal

That was my primary bitch; I could probably have avoided some flailing around on my part if I'd just read the goddamned documentation/README, but I figured hey... I've done something like 200 Slackware setups... what could possibly surprise me?  (http://www.guildhaven.org/images/smilies/crazy.gif)

The only other thing that burned me was that I found that my screen kept blanking all on its own after 15 minutes of idle time, even in X.  After asking "WTF?" many times to no avail, I finally discovered this in /etc/rc.d/rc.M:

Code: [Select]
# Screen blanks after 15 minutes idle time, and powers down in one hour# if the kernel supports APM or ACPI power management:/bin/setterm -blank 15 -powersave powerdown -powerdown 60
:nuts:

You wouldn't think this would happen while in KDE, but it does.  HURRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

I commented that stupid line out (since I switched /etc/inittab to runlevel 4 anyway, so I'm never sitting around idle without X running) to resolve.

Those little surprises aside, Slack 12 seems pretty solid.  It actually runs a bit faster on my laptop (Toshiba Satellite A75-s2112 that's about 3 years old now) than Slack 11 did.

As an overall I give it a thumbsup.   :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: NexR on August 14, 2007, 08:47:10 PM
Groovey. That powersave thing I actually put to use. I like my monitor to blank if I'm not using it, but it does act a little screwy.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Sidious on August 15, 2007, 05:34:19 PM
Groovey. That powersave thing I actually put to use. I like my monitor to blank if I'm not using it, but it does act a little screwy.

On a laptop that's in runlevel 4 I don't really care much... if I'm away from it that long I have the lid closed anyway, which kills the backlight for the screen, so I don't need a powersave thingy to do it.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: feffer on August 15, 2007, 09:28:49 PM
Is there a print screen shortcut in Windows that does not use the PrintScreen key?  I'm using a WoW Zboard (http://www.ideazon.com/us/products/keyset_wowbc.asp) which has no such key.  I can't switch to the standard keyboard because 1) I don't feel like rebooting and 2) I don't know where it is.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: feffer on August 15, 2007, 09:30:57 PM
Never mind!  There's a hotkey for it that does not at all look like it would be a print screen key.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: feffer on September 28, 2007, 03:33:25 PM
Our laptop doesn't have Office on it.  Sometimes I would like to work on the laptop instead of the desktop.  Would Open Office allow me to do that without format issues with Office 2007?
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on September 28, 2007, 04:11:25 PM
I do not know. However, Microsoft dicks with file formats pretty much constantly, to stymie third parties interested in compatibility, and to enforce upgrades. Whether the thousand-eyeballs theory applies to solving this problem for OO, I'm not sure. I haven't tried yet, but I think I may do so on this laptop.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: feffer on September 28, 2007, 04:28:19 PM
Yeah, there's nothing to stop me from trying it.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: flipper on October 02, 2007, 01:38:20 PM
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Encino Man on November 27, 2007, 09:59:00 PM
I posted this on the Fark geek forum (http://forums.fark.com/cgi/fark/comments.pl?IDLink=4), but in case I get savaged by surly nerds, does anyone here know the answer???

Dumb question, but here goes. Can I run Windows Virtual PC 2007 on a PC running XP Home Edition?

The MS website says:

Virtual PC 2007 runs on: Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Tablet PC, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Enterprise, and Windows Vista Ultimate.

Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: the other andrea on December 29, 2007, 11:30:28 PM
RIP Netscape. (http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20071229/BIZ/203226244)  :eyeroll:

In recent years, Netscape has been little more than a repackaged version of the more popular Firefox, which commands about 10 percent of the Web browser market, with almost all of the rest going to Internet Explorer.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on March 25, 2008, 03:44:27 PM
I have no words (http://www.uta.edu/depken/ugrad/3318/music-suicide.pdf) (pdf). But it reminds me of a song ...

Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: flipper on March 25, 2008, 03:50:06 PM
song:  Suicidal Failure
artist:  Suicidal Tendancies
album:  Suicidal Tendancies
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: stormneedle on March 25, 2008, 04:00:47 PM
"Southerness" as a factor? WTF does that mean? He even uses it later, but never adequately defines it.

"Country music per se is not expected to drive people to suicide." I've know some that would argue that point.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on March 25, 2008, 04:04:34 PM
"Southerness" as a factor? WTF does that mean? He even uses it later, but never adequately defines it.

Yeah. That made me think it could be a hoax. Unless in that field it's a standard term, you know? Not a literature I usually read.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on March 25, 2008, 04:10:37 PM
Shit, it's not a hoax :lol:

You can look it up on Medline. There's a whole bunch of followups, too, several counter-articles and the authors' replies.

Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on March 25, 2008, 04:11:16 PM
So I guess "southernness" would be something obvious like "residing in one of the southern states"
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: First Post on March 25, 2008, 04:22:53 PM
heh heh. Well, I hope those kids at least bullshitted their way into a decent grade for their paper :lol:

That'd be less the Faulkner southernness and more the Larry the Cable Guy southernness, I suspect.

Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on March 25, 2008, 04:43:51 PM
Faulkner southernness would be highly correlated with suicide. At least of the bottled variety. :drunk: :galm:

But the point was, southernness in general wasn't correlated with suicide. Just availability of country music, if you're white. Not if you're black.

This just cracks me up. I really can't get over it. I read some of the followup articles -- responses to this -- and it's obvious a lot of people in the field really hated this article. They ginned up statistics to try and prove it wrong, but got owned when the original authors showed how the critics had tweaked the data: using the wrong population for the San Francisco metro area, etc.

It's just one of those rare things that is just such :cow: :shit: but hey, the statistics are incredibly robust.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: First Post on March 25, 2008, 04:54:32 PM
But the point was, southernness in general wasn't correlated with suicide. Just availability of country music, if you're white. Not if you're black.

Right on. Of course, one could do an equally sketchy study linking hip hop listeners with gun-related deaths, but less so if they're white. The numbers might appear to match up even if the initial argument is goofy.

Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on March 25, 2008, 05:41:23 PM
Haven't you ever read Heinlein's best story?  He didn't make up all those correlations.  He got a bunch of them from an actual study . . . from I forget where.

Apparently, at least back then, there was a strong correlation between ice cream sales and sexual assault rates.

The whole trick to furthering your career is to find a particular correlation that's absurd enough to be outrageous but consistent enough to be defended numerically.  That way, you can understate the implied case but still look like you're overstating an inflammatory claim.  People will argue like hell over your paper, making it famous, but no one will be able to disprove their inferences unless there's something wrong with their methodology.  You can backpedal from the inferences, since you never said it was a lock, and you can't lose.

Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: flipper on March 25, 2008, 06:08:50 PM
Correlation isn't necessarily well correlated with causation.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on March 25, 2008, 06:16:40 PM
That's what keeps most statisticians employed.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: the other andrea on March 26, 2008, 12:03:43 PM
Sounds to me like a good topic for the guy that writes "Things White People Like."
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on April 09, 2008, 09:22:12 PM
12 fucking Teslas baby. 12. Cooled with liquid helium. Fucking lasers sticking in the end. Blinking lights like a '50s computer. That sucker will demag your credit cards at five paces, or suck your hip implant right out of its socket at two. Damn I have to go back and get a photo of the warning sign at the door.

(http://members.cox.net/sargasso6/12tesla.jpg)
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: stormneedle on April 09, 2008, 10:14:23 PM
I don't believe it. I'll need video of the blinking lights, please.  :P

So - whatcha gonna do with the dealie? Besides stop the government purchase card problem once and for all, of course.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Stoater on April 10, 2008, 11:57:30 AM

Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Psidefect on April 10, 2008, 12:13:49 PM

Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: stormneedle on April 10, 2008, 01:45:14 PM
That one silly bulk load for Las Vegas' Laboratory Chemistry Results failed again, after running for two days. (The other hospitals take 4-6 hours to run the group of which this bulk load is a single item.)

:thumbsup: )I have the backup procedure ready to go. I have leeway of 16 hours.
:D ) I had SQL profiler and Performance Manager watching the server the whole stinking time. When I get a chance to process the data, I can figure out just what's happening.
:smug: ) The request for new servers to replace the 7 year old ones is wending its way through the bureaucracy in a relatively fast fashion.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on April 11, 2008, 05:49:02 AM

Eh, this doesn't really do it justice.

Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Stoater on April 11, 2008, 11:32:47 AM

Eh, this doesn't really do it justice.

What's the chain for? To stop line jumpers?
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Psidefect on April 11, 2008, 12:01:11 PM

Eh, this doesn't really do it justice.

What's the chain for? To stop line jumpers?

That's probably the Awesomeness Event Horizon.

Cross that line and you get sucked into and become part of the Singularity of Awesomeness, never to return.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on April 11, 2008, 08:28:27 PM
That's probably the Awesomeness Event Horizon.

Cross that line and you get sucked into and become part of the Singularity of Awesomeness, never to return.

Shit, I wish. No, really, cross the line and kiss the credit cards in your wallet good bye. I'm not kidding about that.

Edit: Uh, this might be a handy way of getting those points off your drivers license, in case of stops, you know? Just sayin. Not that I have any points off mine. Or it'd probably do a number on the RFID tag in your new passport. :innocent:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Stoater on April 11, 2008, 09:24:03 PM
That's probably the Awesomeness Event Horizon.

Cross that line and you get sucked into and become part of the Singularity of Awesomeness, never to return.

Shit, I wish. No, really, cross the line and kiss the credit cards in your wallet good bye. I'm not kidding about that.

Edit: Uh, this might be a handy way of getting those points off your drivers license, in case of stops, you know? Just sayin. Not that I have any points off mine. Or it'd probably do a number on the RFID tag in your new passport. :innocent:

My credit card has been way too enabling. I think this might be a way to scare it to staying in my wallet.

:hmm:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on April 12, 2008, 06:00:32 AM
st/carbon-sources-47040802?kw=ist) Nice model, too.

Why they put this on Youtube is a freaking mystery to me. You put things on Youtube, you get Youtube commenters commenting.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on April 12, 2008, 06:19:42 AM
Quote
if u want people to payation make this vidio funer this is really boring!

:eyeroll:

The 3D imaging in that video is awesome.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on April 12, 2008, 07:07:26 AM
The guys at The Economist say if you have a new US passport with an RFID chip, you should microwave it briefly to kill the chip.  They say this is legal.  Apparently, lots of people can read passport RFID from a distance.  They don't have to target you; they sit in airports with laptop computers and software (and some kind of transponder or such) that just automatically pings all passports that come in range and then sucks the identity info out of them.  The passport info then gets sold oversears.

That's DHS for you.  I would've thought it was basically an urban legend, but apparently not?  :shrug:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: NexR on April 12, 2008, 10:39:04 AM
Quote
if u want people to payation make this vidio funer this is really boring!

:eyeroll:

The 3D imaging in that video is awesome.

No doubt, that was fascinating.

I was a little shocked by the gulf coast of FL.  I didn't realize there was enough old people in Tampa to cause that much of a problem.  Seriously, I had no idea there was any significant amount of industry there.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on April 14, 2008, 11:37:38 AM
It's hard to understand what goes through some people's minds. Like these guys (http://arstechnica.com/journals/apple.ars/2008/04/14/company-claims-to-sell-mac-clone-for-399) trying to sell Mac clones. You'd think somebody along the way would've said, "hey, ya know those Apple lawyers don't have much in the way of a sense of humor, you might want to reconsider..."
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: stormneedle on June 11, 2008, 09:26:43 PM
http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/pages/w00088.asp  :drool:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: TehPnuk on June 11, 2008, 11:45:43 PM
The guys at The Economist say if you have a new US passport with an RFID chip, you should microwave it briefly to kill the chip.  They say this is legal.  Apparently, lots of people can read passport RFID from a distance.  They don't have to target you; they sit in airports with laptop computers and software (and some kind of transponder or such) that just automatically pings all passports that come in range and then sucks the identity info out of them.  The passport info then gets sold oversears.

That's DHS for you.  I would've thought it was basically an urban legend, but apparently not?  :shrug:

Wired (http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/15.01/start.html?pg=9) says you should hit it with a hammer, not microwave it.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: NexR on June 12, 2008, 01:20:23 AM
http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/pages/w00088.asp

WANT!
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on June 12, 2008, 04:37:21 AM
My dad was a subscriber to that magazine. The coolest thing about it was the back cover - they always had something cool like that. I remember that one. The most memorable one to me featured pictures of trees some guy had grafted into weird shapes. He had a living ladder, for example.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Psidefect on June 12, 2008, 10:04:47 AM
My dad was a subscriber to that magazine. The coolest thing about it was the back cover - they always had something cool like that. I remember that one. The most memorable one to me featured pictures of trees some guy had grafted into weird shapes. He had a living ladder, for example.

Kinda like this (http://www.darkroastedblend.com/2008/06/unexpected-creativity-found-in-unusual.html) guy? (scroll down a bit)
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on June 12, 2008, 11:27:51 AM
Yep, that's the dude. Axel Erlandson (http://orlyd.com/treecircus.html). Awesome stuff.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: NexR on June 12, 2008, 12:29:31 PM
How the hell did he do that?  I'd love to use his method to make a cabin.  How cool would it be to have living walls?
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on June 12, 2008, 05:24:14 PM
I noticed that one of the trees he used was a Sycamore. I had one in my front yard for quite a few years. I planted the thing myself, but I planted it too close to the house and the driveway and I had to cut it down a couple years ago. They grow really fast, and they make great shade trees - they have huge-ass leaves. Anyway, that stump won't die - it keeps sprouting new growth, so I can kind of understand the principle of how he did some of it.

What's amazing to me, besides his creativity, is his dedication to his art. I mean, talk about a slow process... damn. If that's your chosen media, you better start young, and decide where you want to live the rest of your life pretty quick.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: NexR on June 12, 2008, 06:08:41 PM
Yeah, that's why the elves don't have a problem with this.

What?  This is the geek thread.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on June 13, 2008, 08:36:10 AM
There are quite a few people around the country who make outdoor furniture from green willow branches . . . and then stick the furniture's feet into the ground, whereupon the willow will go on growing.  It 95% only grows at the tips, so the furniture remains useable.  I'm told it's easy to do, but now that I have a yard again I no longer have access to willow trees.  Always the way.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on July 30, 2008, 05:42:31 PM
(http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/cautionary.png)
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Sidious on July 30, 2008, 05:44:28 PM
Cut to 6 or 7 years ago, and that was me, but with Red Hat, Mandrake, and finally Slackware, once I figured out what I needed.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder + learning Linux for the first time == lots of late nights.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: NexR on July 30, 2008, 07:30:13 PM
Hell, that's still me.  Only now I'm contemplating Linux From Scratch so I can get just precisely what I want.

Edit:  I want the slender goodness of Slackware with it's BSD style sys init, but damnit! I want Debian's apt-get package system.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on July 31, 2008, 08:47:19 AM
I just want an operating system that works, so I can save my frustration and bile for the actual software.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Psidefect on July 31, 2008, 08:54:21 AM
I have to say I'm loving both OSX and Ubuntu.

A couple of really minor annoyances aside, they both blow Windows out of the water.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on September 04, 2008, 02:11:58 PM

I want that BSOD screen! It's awesome!
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: stormneedle on September 26, 2008, 08:25:07 PM
Stolen from affinityofmist (a poster on a different board):

((12 + 144 + 20 + (3 * 4^(1/2))) / 7) + (5 * 11) = 9^2 + 0

A Dozen, a Gross and a Score,
plus three times the square root of four,
divided by seven,
plus five times eleven,
equals nine squared and not a bit more.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: flipper on October 02, 2008, 01:34:24 PM
Brilliant!  Do they have those T-Shirts at Think Geek yet?
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on November 03, 2008, 12:16:43 PM
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3247/2881811527_baafedae1d.jpg?v=0)
Andy Ihnatko goes to the MIT Flea Market (http://www.flickr.com/photos/andyi/sets/72157607448949388/).
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: NexR on November 03, 2008, 12:52:39 PM
That goes WAY past eleven!!!11
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: whidB on November 06, 2008, 10:49:10 AM
So, like uh I turned on teh computah this morning and got the Blue Screen of Death.

"Invalid boot disk."

I shut it down and started it up a bunch of times.

Fuxx0red? Any tricks to give my ailing machine another life?
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: NexR on November 06, 2008, 01:16:24 PM
1) First, make sure you don't have any discs in your ROMs or in your floppies.  If so, remove and try again.

2) Otherwise, it's a hard drive problem most likely.  Was it an actual BSOD or did it happen before it ever got to Windows?  If it was Windows, something weird is going on.

3) If not, have you done anything to your HDDs lately?  Have you changed any of the BIOS settings (the stuff you get access to by hitting Del or F8 or whatever while the machine first starts booting up)?  Have you messed around with any OSes lately, like inserted the Windows disc or a Linux disc?  If no to these three, you're likely to be having a HDD failure.  The PC is trying to access the boot disc on your HDD and can't find it.

4) Open the case and take a listen.  See if you hear any weird noises coming from it/them.  If there are, it's a dying HDD.  Turn off the computer for several seconds, then restart and see if it's even spinning up.

5) If not, turn off the power, remove the power cable from the back of the machine, and then make sure all the wires are connected to the HDD securely.  Make sure the one not attached to the power supply box (probably a ribbon) is securely attached to the motherboard.  Plug the power back in and start 'er up.  If it still isn't working, you're almost certain to have a dead HDD, though it could be a bad wire or something unusual.

For a laptop, the above is pretty much the same.  See if you can hear anything, and make sure the connections are good.

If your HDD is still alive but making noises and dying, I recommend turning the PC off or removing the drive entirely until you get a replacement.  You may have enough life left in it to be able to recover files off it and move them to the new drive.  But that life will be very limited, so use it as little as possible until the new one arrives.  Some people recommend refrigerating or freezing it for a while to try to get some life back, so if all else fails, you might want to try it.

I think I remembered everything.  Anybody else think of a test I missed?
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: stormneedle on November 06, 2008, 11:21:52 PM
Some newer motherboards can boot from a USB device, if there's one plugged in. Mine locks up if I have a USB plugged in, rather than saying invalid boot, but it's another think to think about.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: bit zero on November 07, 2008, 10:54:16 AM
So, like uh I turned on teh computah this morning and got the Blue Screen of Death.

"Invalid boot disk."

I shut it down and started it up a bunch of times.

Fuxx0red? Any tricks to give my ailing machine another life?

did you change motherboards recently?  "Invalid boot device" BSOD is almost guaranteed to happen when the ATA chipset changes.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: whidB on November 07, 2008, 11:25:43 AM
The message was actually "inaccessible boot drive."

And I think the drive is toast.

It didn't make any particularly loud noises when I opened the case and started it up.  I could hear the drive spinning, and the turbine engine-like whine is a little louder than it was when I first got the PC,  but nothing really that unusual, except that when the message on the screen says "starting Windows" the drive makes four quick almost grunting (but quiet) kind of noises and then the Blue Screen of Death.

Not sure how old the computer was when I got it used. I've had it for 3 years.

Not sure what caused the problem.  I did get an external Passport HD, but there haven't been any problems.

To be honest, though,  Wednesday night I turned the computer off without shutting it down. I don't do it that often, and I think something sent it over the edge.

Oh well. I've been wanting to get something better/faster anyway.

Can't afford it right away, but I'd like to find a laptop with a speed of at least a gig with decent memory. Don't want to spend more than a couple hundred.

Or just another tower, seeing as how I have a decent DVD burner that would be going to waste...

Or....maybe just a new/newer hard drive might be the solution? If I can get one for under $50? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: NexR on November 07, 2008, 01:09:41 PM Quote I did get an external Passport HD, but there haven't been any problems. First, having this plugged in during bootup could be causing this (though it doesn't sound like it). Try it without it plugged in just in case. It didn't make any particularly loud noises when I opened the case and started it up. I could hear the drive spinning, and the turbine engine-like whine is a little louder than it was when I first got the PC, but nothing really that unusual, except that when the message on the screen says "starting Windows" the drive makes four quick almost grunting (but quiet) kind of noises and then the Blue Screen of Death. OK, two things here. 1) It could be Windows is borking (not the HDD) - as Windows tends to do after a while. Actually fixing this is not something I'm very good at. There are ways to try to repair the system, but of the many times I've tried, it's only worked once. Usually, when Windows borks, it means you have to reinstall it from scratch and start over. This will wipe your Windows partition clean, and if you only have one partition (i.e. just a C: drive), then all your files are gone. Perhaps, somebody else can give you better news. or 2) It could be your HDD is in fact dying. Noises tend to be a surefire indicator. But some drives are just noisy, so without hearing it myself, I can't really be certain. Got a geek nearby to take a listen for you? What you do really depends on how much you want to try to save the data. Some options: 1) If you care about saving your files, then here's what I'd do: 1a) I'd pull the old faulty HDD out and plug it into a different computer as a secondary drive. If it appears as a drive (i.e. D: ), I'd copy off what you want to save to the different computer's drive (i.e. C: ). Then I'd put the old drive back into your PC and reinstall Windows. Once that is done, copy the data back over via a network connection, back it up to a disc, or even use the same method in reverse. 1b) Instead of that, depending on your Passport external drive and your computer, you might be able to install Windows onto that and have that boot first, then copy files over if the old one shows up. But this is fraught with issues and will erase your external drive when you install Windows. So I'm not counting this as a real possibility. Let me know if this sounds like something you'd want to try and I'll give you more details. 1c) You could also try this: First remove the old HDD. Then swap in a spare HDD, borrow one from a friend, or order a new one. Then install Windows onto the new HDD and just get it working. Plug the old one back in as a secondary, copy data over to new, and basically do the same as 1a. If you try 1a or 1c and get no access to the old drive, it's probably pretty much dead. There are ways to recover data even at that point (as long as it still spins), but I'm not going to go into it until necessary. Let me know if you get to that point. 2) If you don't care about recovering the data, then you can just reinstall Windows on the old faulty drive and see if it works. If it does, you're good to go. Quote Or....maybe just a new/newer hard drive might be the solution? If I can get one for under$50?

Yes, you can.  Check out this list (http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2010150014%201035907789&name=IDE%20Ultra%20ATA100).  I'm assuming you have a ribbon type (EIDE ATA100 or ATA133).  Going over $50 might get you better bang for the buck. There's a nice 320gb there for$60.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: whidB on November 07, 2008, 02:24:04 PM
I bought the computer the way it was, with Windows already installed on it, so probably can't "reinstall" it at this point.

I did unplug the external HD and it didn't go beyond the BSOD.

Not too sure if I want to buy a new processor/HD if I'm not sure that's the problem. The rest of the computer's running fine, though again, I have idea how old the parts are...

Depends on what's more economically viable. I truthfully wouldn't mind just getting a laptop and then using an external monitor.

If I did buy a new HD and it didn't boot up, would they let me send it back, I suppose is the question...
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: NexR on November 07, 2008, 04:38:21 PM
I don't believe it's a problem with anything other than Windows or the hard drive.  It sounds like your computer is running just fine otherwise.  Although there's a slight chance it's something else, but read on.

The suggestions I made are meant to determine if it's Windows, the hard drive, or the unlikely something else.  The idea is to do things that test and eliminate possibilities and pinpoint the problem(s).

But I guess the best solution for your situation really depends on a couple things:

1) do you care about recovering data?
2) do you have access to another desktop computer (like a friend's or work's)?
3) does your computer have a floppy drive?
4) if so, do you have access to another computer with a floppy drive?
5) does your computer have a cd or dvd drive?
6) if so, do you have access to another computer with a CD burner?
7) do you have a spare floppy disc or blank CD disc, or can you get one?
8) do you have access to a spare hard drive from a friend?
9) can you make a spare? that is, does that Passport external HDD allow you to take out a normal ribbon-style hard drive that you can put in your computer?
10) if so, do you care about overwriting its data, and if so, is there little enough that you can back it up then overwrite the drive?
11) when you reboot the computer, and it first tells you to press Del or F8 or whatever, does that work and bring up the BIOS menu?

As far as getting Windows to reinstall, well, if your PC didn't come with a CD copy of Windows, then I personally think that's bullshit and would have no qualms whatsoever about dl'ing a pirate copy of Windows and burning it to a CD to use - or having a friend do it for me.  In my view, you bought a license to Windows XP (or whatever) when you bought the machine and have a right to reinstall it anytime you want on that machine (and I suspect most courts would agree with me).  Anyway, if it's just a question of access, they're easy to come by on the web and I can point you to a good safe copy if you like.

12) do you have a copy of Windows sitting around in a box somewhere?
13) can you get one from work?
14) do you have a problem with using a pirate copy? (FYI, borrowing someone else's will probably not allow you to get updates.)
15) if so, how willing are you to buy a new copy?
16) do you have a computer you have access to on which you can dl a pirate copy?  (This will almost certainly require installing bittorrent software, if it doesn't have it already.  Also, since it's probably against the rules and possibly blocked, work isn't the best place for this.)

Of course, if you're already starting to salivate at the idea of a new laptop, then just give the old one away to whoever wants to fuck with it.  :D  But honestly, I think it's likely it's just Windows and there might be some real easy ways to figure it out and fix it depending on these questions.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on November 07, 2008, 04:42:11 PM
tmq;dr
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: whidB on November 07, 2008, 04:57:27 PM

1) do you care about recovering data?

Fortunately I backed up a lot of stuff already. I've just got some misc stuff I'd like to recover, nothing really that important, though.

If I did buy a laptop, would I be able to plug in the HD and copy the info like I would with a PC tower? Do they have ribbons/plug-ins like that?

Quote
2) do you have access to another desktop computer (like a friend's or work's)?

They're letting me borrow a laptop here at work. I can take it home.
Quote
3) does your computer have a floppy drive?

Yes.

Quote
4) if so, do you have access to another computer with a floppy drive?

No.

Quote
5) does your computer have a cd or dvd drive?
yes
Quote
6) if so, do you have access to another computer with a CD burner?

The laptop I borrowed has a DVD/CD-RW drive.

Quote
7) do you have a spare floppy disc or blank CD disc, or can you get one?
yes and yes

Quote
8) do you have access to a spare hard drive from a friend?

No.
Quote
9) can you make a spare? that is, does that Passport external HDD allow you to take out a normal ribbon-style hard drive that you can put in your computer?

I don't believe so. It's a non-powered ext drive w/USB
Quote
10) if so, do you care about overwriting its data, and if so, is there little enough that you can back it up then overwrite the drive?

The data on the Passport is far more important.

Quote
11) when you reboot the computer, and it first tells you to press Del or F8 or whatever, does that work and bring up the BIOS menu?

It does, and I tried everything including safe mode and "last known good configuration."

Quote
As far as getting Windows to reinstall, well, if your PC didn't come with a CD copy of Windows, then I personally think that's bullshit and would have no qualms whatsoever about dl'ing a pirate copy of Windows and burning it to a CD to use - or having a friend do it for me.  In my view, you bought a license to Windows XP (or whatever) when you bought the machine and have a right to reinstall it anytime you want on that machine (and I suspect most courts would agree with me).  Anyway, if it's just a question of access, they're easy to come by on the web and I can point you to a good safe copy if you like.
12) do you have a copy of Windows sitting around in a box somewhere?
13) can you get one from work?
14) do you have a problem with using a pirate copy? (FYI, borrowing someone else's will probably not allow you to get updates.)
15) if so, how willing are you to buy a new copy?
16) do you have a computer you have access to on which you can dl a pirate copy?  (This will almost certainly require installing bittorrent software, if it doesn't have it already.  Also, since it's probably against the rules and possibly blocked, work isn't the best place for this.)

I have no issues. I am a pirate. AAAR. And it's probably not a good idea here at wr0k.

And yeah, I s'pose it could be a Windows thing if this craziness happened the day after I turned it off w/o shutting it down.  And the time it was taking to shut down was taking longer and longer, so I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't tweaked.

Is there some way I could use the hard drive in the laptop as a test?
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: NexR on November 07, 2008, 05:59:34 PM
If I did buy a laptop, would I be able to plug in the HD and copy the info like I would with a PC tower? Do they have ribbons/plug-ins like that?

To my knowledge, no.  I've never had a laptop so I'm not 100% certain, but I'm pretty positive they're two totally different beasts.  Maybe if someone else is still reading this, they could confirm for me, just to be sure?  ;)

Quote
Quote
9) can you make a spare? that is, does that Passport external HDD allow you to take out a normal ribbon-style hard drive that you can put in your computer?
I don't believe so. It's a non-powered ext drive w/USB

Sometimes you can open external HDD cases and it's just a regular HDD plugged in there.  If it's a ribbon type that might help, but considering that data is valuable, don't worry about it.

Quote
Quote
11) when you reboot the computer, and it first tells you to press Del or F8 or whatever, does that work and bring up the BIOS menu?
It does, and I tried everything including safe mode and "last known good configuration."

OK, the BIOS menu is different than the menu you get to with the Windows Safe Mode option.  It's before you get to the "Press F8 to enter safe mode" (or however it's phrased - maybe "emergency menu"?).  It'd be right at the very beginning where it usually shows a black screen, white text, it may show it detects your CD-ROM and maybe your hard drive, and it usually runs a quick test on the memory.  On that screen it should say "Press (or Hold) Del (or some F key) to enter BIOS."  Give that a try when you get a chance.  You don't need this to fix it, but you might want to just check it out.  There could be some settings you want to change (but be cautious).

Quote
I have no issues. I am a pirate. AAAR. And it's probably not a good idea here at wr0k.

Arrrrrr! Arrr. Arr.

Quote
And yeah, I s'pose it could be a Windows thing if this craziness happened the day after I turned it off w/o shutting it down.

Sometimes hardware fails because after it's been running for a long time it gets used to running at a certain temperature, and when it cools off, it breaks.  Either it breaks when it cools down, or it breaks when it gets turned back on and heats up again.  Either way, dead hardware.  When my computer has been running non-stop for months and I turn it off to go on vacation, I wince a little in fear when I turn it back on.

But yeah, it sounds like Windows.  Not properly shutting down is supposed to be able to be handled by Windows when it starts back up, but in practice it doesn't always.  Plus sometimes after an install of Windows has been around for a while (and it sounds like 3 years in your case) it just loses its will to continue and gives up.  It just might be it's time.

Quote
Is there some way I could use the hard drive in the laptop as a test?

I wish, but I really don't think so.

===============

OK, since you can get into the Windows emergency menu thingee, it really, really sounds like this is your Windows install, not the HDD and not anything else.  In fact, I'm almost certain.

If you want to check the HDD just in case, over here (http://www.hitachigst.com/hdd/support/download.htm#DFT) you can find some very simple drive testing software called Drive Fitness Test.  You have to use a working computer to either put that software on a floppy disc (but you don't have a drive on the laptop), or you can burn it onto a CD.  I don't think it's necessary at this point, but it's not a bad little utility to have around.  If you do, you might want to take a look at the notes for some exceptions that might possibly apply to you.

Well, I suggest you just scrap the music on the old drive and reinstall Windows.  You're going to need a new Windows disc, so you're going to have to BT a copy.  Are you planning to do this on your work laptop at home or are you planning on using a friend's computer?  And do you want XP or Vista? :D
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: whidB on November 07, 2008, 06:14:19 PM
OK, the BIOS menu is different than the menu you get to with the Windows Safe Mode option.  It's before you get to the "Press F8 to enter safe mode" (or however it's phrased - maybe "emergency menu"?).  It'd be right at the very beginning where it usually shows a black screen, white text, it may show it detects your CD-ROM and maybe your hard drive, and it usually runs a quick test on the memory.  On that screen it should say "Press (or Hold) Del (or some F key) to enter BIOS."  Give that a try when you get a chance.  You don't need this to fix it, but you might want to just check it out.  There could be some settings you want to change (but be cautious).

Actually I was looking for that. You might recall that my monitor is tweaked right now and doesn't show about an inch of the screen vertically in the far right. It's covering up what I need to press to get into BIOS, because I was hoping I might just be able to reset everything...

Quote
Well, I suggest you just scrap the music on the old drive and reinstall Windows.  You're going to need a new Windows disc, so you're going to have to BT a copy.  Are you planning to do this on your work laptop at home or are you planning on using a friend's computer?  And do you want XP or Vista? :D

I don't know if my processor would run either system. It's only a 700. I had Windows 2000 already installed from when I bought it.

Which is the best reason to get a new machine.

I'm thinking the 1.2 gB speed laptops have got to be  a lot cheaper used these days.

I'm planning on seeing what I can and cannot download on this loaner when I get home. It  could be that I can't do anything because I'm on their network...
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: NexR on November 07, 2008, 10:42:34 PM
Vista is out of the question.

XP system requirements (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_XP#System_requirements).  Your processor is fine, so it depends on your RAM.  It says 128MB or higher, but I'd say you really need 256.  Otherwise your browser is gonna be slow.  I ran XP on a 550 with 128mb for a while and that's the big problem I had.  Real slow.  You might have a bit more luck with a 700.

2k Pro sys reqs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_2000#Editions).

Torrents nyah (http://www.bizarreconfessions.com/forum/index.php/topic,1052.msg65206.html#msg65206).
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: sm0k4 on November 08, 2008, 10:48:00 AM
For zorgon (http://failblog.org/2008/10/28/science-fail-2/)  :lol:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on November 08, 2008, 01:37:18 PM
:galm:

As a casual supporting observation, I note that the right-wingers who threaten to leave the country on account of their candidate didn't get elected tend to say they're going to Australia, while the left-wingers say Canada or New Zealand.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: hajen on November 08, 2008, 02:18:20 PM
I remember that letter to the editor!
and zorg's observation  :lol: :rollin:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on November 08, 2008, 02:24:48 PM
Perhaps I spoke too soon (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7717014.stm) :(

There were a lot of :shock: moments in that article. Three million registered voters? Shoot, we have that many just in the tri-counties area here. And the Greens with (n>0) seats in Parliament! :detta:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on November 08, 2008, 02:41:51 PM
I admit to being vastly ignorant of Kiwi politics.  How Right are their Righties?
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on November 08, 2008, 02:44:46 PM
Historically, in any political party in the English-ish speaking world that calls itself the "National Party," the "Socialist" in the middle there is silent.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on November 08, 2008, 02:47:51 PM
Yeah, but does it stay silent?

(http://www.poster.net/baker-anthony/baker-anthony-blues-brothers-2407702.jpg)

New Zealand Nazis.  I hate these guys!
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: feffer on November 08, 2008, 05:04:21 PM
I wonder how old that guy is.  Victoria has had DST on and off since 1917.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: stormneedle on November 18, 2008, 11:50:30 AM
Apparently, MS SQL doesn't pass along authentications between linked servers unless Kerberos 5 is set up properly. We'd never noticed, because the people using linked servers up to now were logged into the console of a server instead of using the linked servers from their workstations.

Makes sense after thinking about it (why should a server be able to send credentials on its own whim for verification?), but at first blush you'd think using Active Directory groups for a Microsoft product would be sufficient.

Now I have to figure out to what degree we've got Kerberos supported in our infrastructure, and if it's reasonably safe to increase the level of support. :googily: Maybe I can turn it into a poster for next year's conference.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on November 18, 2008, 12:03:13 PM
Good luck. Wasn't this the thing where MS cooked up their own proprietary version of Kerberos that would only talk to their stuff and MIT got all pissed off at them? I remember hearing something about that.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: stormneedle on November 18, 2008, 12:52:46 PM
I recall vaguely that. NTLM for Windows 2000 onwards is based on Kerberos, at least.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Tripper on November 18, 2008, 04:33:37 PM
It's is, but they authenticate separately.  NTLM v2 is supposedly DoD compliant.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: stormneedle on January 08, 2009, 11:08:24 PM
The janitor loves talking to me. I don't know why he does, but this time he's confused me.

Last night his Windows computer wasn't booting up. It got to the icon screen where there's a logo, and a menu bar streaming across while the OS is loading various goodies. And then, it stopped dead. He power cycled it, and it did it again.

Then he called a friend who's a self-taught genius, who told him to unplug it, and short across one and only one of the power leads to the ground where the power plug goes into the computer. That fixed the problem, and the genius told him that the problem was that there's too much static on the motherboard.

I ... have no clue. The janitor hasn't dusted inside there since he got it, so yeah, static could be building up. But I've never heard of shorting like that doing anything but messing up a power supply - but that story was being told by somebody that shorted across both "live" lines of the plug.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: NexR on January 08, 2009, 11:27:22 PM
:shock:  :huh:

And it worked?

:hmm:

I guess I'll have to try that on somebody else's work computer sometime.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on January 09, 2009, 12:47:50 AM
Oh, I have heard this story before.
More magic (http://catb.org/jargon/html/magic-story.html).
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: bit zero on January 09, 2009, 02:03:32 AM
Then he called a friend who's a self-taught genius, who told him to unplug it, and short across one and only one of the power leads to the ground where the power plug goes into the computer. That fixed the problem, and the genius told him that the problem was that there's too much static on the motherboard.

That's a new one on me.  Maybe shorting something to ground discharged all the capacitors on the board, and maybe it's got a bad capacitor.

Bad caps cause some reeeeally weird behavior.  It's like bad ram/overheating symptoms but worse.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on January 10, 2009, 12:57:37 PM
I have to say, this Windows 7 hype:

- How do they get 7, exactly?  Windows 3, OK, plus 95, 98, NT, 2000, ME, some flavors of XP, Vista, Mobile, CE, and never mind the vaporware they never actually released (Cairo and whatnot) that partly got cannibalized.  If MS is true to form, someone else must've released or be going to release something big that's also named 7.  Right?  Or did 7 just sound lucky?

- Ballmer is touting touch-screen capability.  I assume what he really means is a half-assed poorly-conceived semiotic interface as MS tries to jump on the iPhone bandwagon several years late.

- Also touting 'side-by-side windows for comparison shopping'.  What?  You mean, like we've been able to do for over fifteen years?  Is this somehow going to be something that's better because it's built into the operating system?  Or is this going to be a pointless clumsy nothing that no one will use?

- Also touting the 'peek' feature, which allows you to see the desktop by making the windows on top of it semi-transparent.  Because that Show The Desktop feature is way too complicated.

- They're also saying it'll be easier to move files between work and home computers.  Yes, the Briefcase has been such a rousing success.  Build on that.

This is the best stuff they could come up with for PR?  Since they're looking at releasing this thing two years down the road, and since they never deliver on promises anyway, why not promise, you know, something good?  Can they just go out of business already and stop screwing up the species?
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on January 10, 2009, 07:13:50 PM
(http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/windows_7.png)
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: NexR on January 10, 2009, 09:05:35 PM
:lol:

It just makes Hitler's eyes flash.

For the users, I sincerely hope Windows 7 is a serious improvement over Vista.  I'll refer you to this thread (http://www.bizarreconfessions.com/forum/index.php/topic,1018.0.html) which pretty well sums up why I think Windows sucks, and to the second paragraph of this comment (http://www.bizarreconfessions.com/forum/index.php/topic,1042.msg46949.html#msg46949) which pretty much sums up what I expect of win7.

- How do they get 7, exactly?  Windows 3, OK, plus 95, 98, NT, 2000, ME, some flavors of XP, Vista, Mobile, CE,

Well, I'll say 3/3.1 is obvious, then 95/98/ME being different versions of the same basic platform are #4, NT/2K/XP are all NT and #5, Vista would be #6, and now there's 7.  The Mobiles and CE are a whole other universe for completely different hardware.  That's my best guess anyway.

Edit: forgots me a verb, and fuxored a link - man, I had a lot of problems with this post
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: hajen on January 12, 2009, 10:16:21 PM
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: stormneedle on January 12, 2009, 10:45:08 PM
That's just a bit too close to home.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on January 13, 2009, 11:38:16 AM
Oh my god, I'd forgotten about Reply-All wars!  The 'communication software' company I used to work for was periodically crippled by those.  God, how retarded.

Funny/geeky:  My brother was just telling me that he'd found a bunch of old backups, on various media, and he decided to try to see how many he could still open.  (Yes, he gets like $60 an hour, yet he seems to have endless time for Usenet and random gunk like this.) He found that he couldn't remember his passwords from way back when, so he spent extra time cracking old Outlook files and whatever else. But he actually installed the old DOS Pmail program (which I actually really liked, too, back in the day) so he could see what emails he still had from 1991 and such. He started telling me about the emails, and I said, "Wait -- you actually read them?" And he said, "Well, only a few hundred." Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: the other andrea on January 13, 2009, 04:34:47 PM Personally, I like to know when there's free food in the lunchroom. :shrug: Where I work we have two "public" email groups "Everybody" and "Bulletin Board". I believe they have the exact same list of every individual in the company, but "Everybody" is for emails specifically regarding company business, and "Bulletin Board" is for posting the free food in the lunchroom, please give this kitty a home, and "buy my used DVDs for$3 each" messages. But it's never been abused, and I got here just as they were actually beginning to implement email in 1998.  :whatever:

I'm not sure if it's because we're a newspaper, but I can't think of the last time anyone ever sent out one of those giant forwarded chain emails company wide. I should feel lucky I only get those from my mother.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: eldiem on January 13, 2009, 07:08:51 PM
Thankfully you need special privileges to send email globally. I think the last I saw my company has ~30,000 employees worldwide. That would be bad, mkay?
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on January 15, 2009, 07:01:31 PM
1.  The problems with my little USB flashdrive appear to be consistent only in that if I create a new directory, about 50% of the time it will vanish the next time I try to use the drive.  Chkdsk will turn it up as a series of garbled files, some of which are recoverable (useful, that is), but most of which are not.  I wish there were a command line switch for chkdsk that would say Throw It Away If It's Under 50k, or something, because it's annoying to have a directory of 10,000 4k files.

2.  Am I the only one who gets weird hang-up cell phone calls from numbers that have too many digits?  I get a lot.  Last night, my phone rang once and then stopped.  According to the phone, I had missed 4 calls (simultaneously) from phone number 234-703-0305041.  Once would be weird, but I get 'calls' like that (though rarely in clusters) at least once a week.  I don't think they cost me anything, but still.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on January 16, 2009, 11:37:18 AM
So my active noise cancelling headphones (http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/headphones/f9450db308d97785/index.html/) arrived. I'm damned impressed. This is going to make working in what amounts to a construction site, much more pleasant. The difference in background noise with the power on and power off is totally obvious to me, even without music. And the sound quality is much better than I'm used to (even the bass, which these got slagged for in some reviews). One nice thing is I don't have to have them up loud to really hear all the subtleties of the music. So I won't go deaf. Er. Deafer. Eh? Down side is I probably can't close my office door any more or else people will think I don't come in any more. No way can I hear you if you knock.

Best part? <$100, which is one third of the price of Bose's comparable model. I've listened to both, and the Bose might be a little better. Pfft. I'm cool (http://data.tumblr.com/1kQlI8sMiipn9qmpV1Ij9aqZo1_500.jpg). Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on January 16, 2009, 11:38:01 AM BTW, axe: http://donotcall.gov/ -- do that today, before more marketers get your number. It's a piece of cake. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 16, 2009, 11:42:58 AM :lol: They already have my number -- they just think it's Lola's number. I don't get untargeted telemarketing calls on my cell, just bill collectors and debt restructurers and whatnot looking for Lola. Still, that no-call list works on the number, not the person, right? Worth a shot. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on January 16, 2009, 11:54:57 AM :doh: I forgot about Lola. Damn. Yeah. Phone number and your email address. That's it. I do not know how they prevent people from putting numbers that aren't their own on the list, but I suppose they can track you down if somebody complains about not getting telemarketing calls. :eyeroll: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on January 16, 2009, 11:57:37 AM This --- (http://www.eightmaps.com/#) Holy fucking shit. This is the kind of stuff that we're afraid of the government doing -- I have no idea what to think. In other news, my brother-in-law isn't on this map. I'm astonished! Someone else on his block is, however. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on January 16, 2009, 12:41:14 PM I'm not at all surprised by the site, but I am annoyed at its existence. How can you claim moral high ground while standing in a gutter? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: NexR on January 16, 2009, 01:02:08 PM I've seen that done before with RNC/DNC donations among other things. Public info and all. Outing them doesn't do much good, though. You can track down if your friends/family donated, but I doubt it's a secret if they donated enough to be on that list. I don't remember what the amount is where public disclosure becomes required, but it's at the point where it's not a casual donation. If they're donating at that level, they feel strongly enough that it's unlikely they care who knows. I could be wrong, though. Perhaps it does do some good. Maybe people go around egging everyone on the list. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 20, 2009, 03:48:09 PM I have to use Internet Exploder sometimes, since eBay comes closest to working acceptably if I use IE rather than a better browser, but I'm having a NEW problem (new to me) with IE today: When I click on a link or a form's button, nothing happens until / unless I move the mouse cursor. And if I task-switch away (before moving the cursor) and come back, it's like I never clicked on anything. It took me a little while to catch on, which was even more annoying. I'm hoping that after I reboot the machine, it'll stop, and it'll never happen again. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: whidB on January 20, 2009, 04:19:18 PM I have a dumb question: My landlord wants to get on the Net using wireless (and so do I eventually). Zero idea of what to do. Anyone got a link to a good tutorial? He's got the card, but no provider as of yet. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on January 20, 2009, 05:22:48 PM How do you have internet coming into the building right now? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 20, 2009, 05:31:53 PM IT'S CALLING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE! [ sorry ] Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: whidB on January 20, 2009, 06:18:04 PM I've got a DSL connection. My landlord's got a card on his laptop. I'm trying to figure out how to hook him up and it must be mindbogglingly simple, because I've yet to find a good step-by-step-with-screenshots tutorial... I eventually want to ditch this expensive Qwest shit. With the telephone line the bill is always 95 a month. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: First Post on January 20, 2009, 06:34:02 PM There are the cards you put in the computer to pick up the signal, and then there is the wireless router that connects to the dsl and and broadcasts the signal those cards pick up. Luckily these are hella cheap. I haven't priced 'em in awhile but I bet you could get a basic Linksys router for like 30-40 bucks or so. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: whidB on January 20, 2009, 07:31:03 PM Oh I see. You still have to get a box of some kind if it's not a place where they offer it up free, like a library. Probably explains why we could mooch off other people's signals across the street and next door. Yes, though I live in what's supposedly the most wired city in Amurrica, I'm pretty clueless. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: First Post on January 20, 2009, 08:32:19 PM Yep. Basically it's like a dummy computer that accepts the connection from the ISP and then hands out its own local addresses to the computers that connect to it. Dunno that it saves any money particularly, other than if you get the other guy to pitch in on the monthly dsl payments or whatever. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mrcookieface on January 20, 2009, 09:11:32 PM I'm glad this question was asked, because I want to go wireless since I got this macbook. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: whidB on January 20, 2009, 09:30:54 PM I'm thinking he mostly wants to access the Net from the library where it's free. He might be stoked on the low cost of the router. Still need a decent tutorial for setting everything else up. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: First Post on January 20, 2009, 09:50:54 PM It's all pretty easy to set up. Most routers have a web-based interface where you just type in 192.168.1.1 (or whatever it uses) and all the config stuff can then be done from your web browser. (Like passwording the connection, unless you wanna let the whole neighborhood access the line) The ethernet cable from the DSL/cable modem that would usually go to your computer plugs into the router instead; that's all you really have to do hardware wise. The instructions usually take up maybe one page of a ten page manual written in ten different languages. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: flipper on January 21, 2009, 02:08:37 PM Just go to your favorite electronics distributer and pick up a linksys or netgear wireless router. They're pretty easy to set up. Just follow the instructions that come with the router. Most laptops already have an internal wireless card, if not you can buy one for your PCI slot. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 28, 2009, 08:41:26 AM OK, so, before I decide how much to hate Microsoft over my latest problem with Windows, I thought I'd check to see if there's some kind of easy workaround. I want to run an old DOS program. XP no longer allows you to do a DOS boot. (Jurgen! Pronch! Now!) In theory, according to the Help, it will still let you create a DOS boot disk on a floppy (so why not let you boot into DOS off the hard drive? F#@$ing MS.), but of course this laptop does not have a floppy drive.

They've made the PIF stuff more incomprehensible as time has gone on, and the Help file is now almost zero help.  The PIF settings in the Properties dialog box are largely unexplained and don't seem to work.  Regardless of what I choose for Expanded memory, DOS programs report that there's no Expanded memory.  The DOS 'mem' command reports that there is Expanded memory, plus a ton of Extended memory, but it also says that the Extended memory isn't available.

Pissing me off.  I don't have a USB floppy drive and don't want to have to buy one just so I can occasionally boot into DOS.  The Help suggests that Windows apparently won't let me create or use a DOS boot flashdrive or CD.  Is there some trick to make Windows behave, here?
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: First Post on January 28, 2009, 08:53:09 AM
DOSbox (http://www.dosbox.com/) would probably be a good thing to try; it's a small open source DOS emulator that worked pretty well for me when I wanted to run old games like Wing Commander and stuff.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on January 28, 2009, 09:41:41 AM
Quote
DOSbox would probably be a good thing to try

Looks sweet!  I'll take a closer look later.

Wow, it says it works with Master of Magic.  And I could finally get a copy of Master of Orion, too.

Nice.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: bit zero on January 28, 2009, 03:17:00 PM
A year or two ago, I found "the entire Leisure Suite Larry series" on one CD, and then later Kings Quest, Space Quest, etc, basically reissues of the old Sierra 80's games.  All "updated to work with XP and Vista".  Yeah.  Once you install it, it turns out they're using DOSbox. :)

If DOSbox doesn't cut it, there's things like VMware and Qemu (x86 virtualization) you can install MS-DOS or Win98 in.

Booting DOS directly on modern hardware is a crapshoot anyway because of things like USB keyboards and mice not necessarily working right.  There's FreeDOS, but really, virtualization is the way to go unless you gotta flash your BIOS or something.

DOSbox doesn't quite run The 7th Guest or The 11th Hour correctly yet, but those games did some really mutant close-to-the-hardware tricks to get performance up.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on January 28, 2009, 03:42:33 PM
Nuts.  I always wanted to re-install 7th Guest because it played . . . so . . . slowly . . . on my old AMD 386-40, back in the day.  But my ex kept the CDs, anyway, because she liked the music so much.  I wouldn't mind playing the old Alone in the Dark or Prince of Persia again, either.

If Mechwarrior 2 will run under DOSbox, I'll have to get a new copy.  I have a special CD version that was made to run with Win 95/98, but it won't run under XP.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: bit zero on January 28, 2009, 06:49:25 PM
I haven't tried it in several months, so they may have fixed 'em.  T7G is more likely to work than 11G is.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on February 05, 2009, 02:58:10 PM
OK . . . I know this is a bit out there, but that's why I need help.  My chemistry and whatnot is dead weak.  What's a good way to calculate the hypothetical charge of a volume of matter if only the electrons were considered?  I know there's a way, by dividing up the mass and elemental composition, to figure out the statistical number of protons, and, ergo, electrons (um . . . right?), but I can't remember how to do it.  I can't seem to look it up, either.  I guess this would be the same as the theoretical bound charge if the material were ideally (ie, perfectly and maximally) polarized.

To put it another way, I want to calculate the charge that would result if you could magically pull all the electrons out of a given piece of mass.

It would also be helpful to know what the reaction difference is in a positron-electron annihilation depending on the energy level of the electron.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on February 05, 2009, 03:34:33 PM
well ... isn't the charge of 6.25 × 10^18 electrons one coulomb? Or in energy units 1 eV = 1.60217653(14)×10^−19 J. A watt is a J/s so there you go.

You'd really need to specify how many electrons you're magically pulling out ... and because you're using magic, you aren't bound by any sort of convention. But yeah, you'd have to know the exact chemical formula so you can figure out the number of electrons in it at all, based on the number of single, double, triple bonds and the formula. Hmm, I wonder if there's a general rule of thumb for that ... I don't know!
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on February 05, 2009, 04:17:03 PM
It wouldn't be magic, but it would be sufficiently indistinguishable to the casual (rapidly disintegrating) observer.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on February 05, 2009, 04:20:02 PM
So it's the old Larry Niven suppress the charge on the electron to turn solid matter into monoatomic fog thing, huh? I always kind of liked that one, but I'm thinking all those atoms suddenly repelling each other, even with electroweak force, would seem like a rather large explosion to anyone else on the same planet.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on February 05, 2009, 04:37:02 PM
Similarish, but the mechanism was different.  I was looking at the old VEL we were talking about and considering the freeze ray, and I started looking at Hawking radiation and thinking about virtual particle pairs.

I couldn't do it today, but supposedly it's theoretically allowable to preferentially extract virtual particles very briefly from vacuum fluctuations, albeit only in a very narrow region (like a plane).  So if you preferentially extracted virtual positrons in the presence of actual electrons, the virtual positrons should take the electrons along with them when the fluctuation collapses.  I think.  But if I want to handwave the power necessary for the boundary field, I figure I ought to know how much charge is being vanished away.

I've often wondered about that monoatomic fog, myself.  I don't know how hot it would initially be, but it's awfully dense, as plasma goes, and awfully polarized, so it does seem like it would expand awfully quickly (and heat up in the process).  Niven doesn't give endless details of what happened when it was used at, what, Wunderland, I think it was, but he has it used in a locally-safe manner in World of Ptavvs.

:shrug:

I was thinking of it more as a weapon to be used either for very small (lightsaber-ish) effects or at range, in vacuum, for safety reasons.  You don't have to interrupt a large volume in order to sever solid objects, after all.  And if it does cause explosions, but you're using it at range to obliterate something, well, that's a feature.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on February 05, 2009, 04:49:31 PM
:hmm:

I don't own a copy of "the Ringworld Engineers" but IIRC I think it was the Wunderlanders who made and used the weapon once (on a planet that was later called Canyon, for reasons having to do with its dramatic success), but that was apparently a REALLY big one based on the hand held versions that were not uncommon. I think it was Outsider technology sold by the puppeteers. Outsider? Is that right? I forget. *googles*

Outsiders. Right.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on February 05, 2009, 05:03:55 PM
Whichever it was . . . I remember that the one they used to carve the canyon (on Canyon!  Should've been able to remember that) was unusual in that they had the one that suppresses the electron's charge over hyar and then one that suppresses the proton's charge over thar, and the canyon itself was carved by the resulting lightning bolt as much as by the disintegration.

But then no one ever used that weapon again.  Oh, he's so silly sometimes.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on February 05, 2009, 05:12:07 PM
¿¡SOMETIMES!?
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on February 06, 2009, 11:36:09 AM
Oh crap (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/west_yorkshire/7874679.stm).

Reminds me of the guy I knew in grad school, evolutionary biologist, who lost a year because he had to start over. His field site (in the caribbean somewhere, i want to say trinidad but I'm not sure) had a resort constructed on it, and it rendered the subject of his dissertation research extinct.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on February 06, 2009, 11:57:37 AM
Yeah, that story is very painful, in a number of ways.

I'd be tempted to do a snarky study on the behavior of lab maintenance personel.  Yes, they use tools, but is it a sign of intelligence?
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: eldiem on February 06, 2009, 11:58:32 AM
OK, if I'm cleaning out a lab and I come across a SEVENTY-SEVEN POUND BAG OF POO, I'm surely going to ASK SOMEONE before throwing it out. Even if the bag is unmarked. I mean, really.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on February 06, 2009, 12:02:32 PM
Most people would just leave it for someone else, even.  You do have to wonder who thought, Oh, now people are just leaving giant bags of poo in the lab!  My job gets worse every day!
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: DisorderlyConductor on February 06, 2009, 12:15:21 PM
That's a really shitty thing to happen. :lol:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: stormneedle on February 06, 2009, 01:10:08 PM
Does he still get his Science Scout merit badge?
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on February 07, 2009, 12:47:27 PM
It occurred to me last night that I could make a hand-cranked garbage disposal that would sit next to the sink and produce, uh, a slurry, let's say, that would rinse down the drain as well as an electric disposal's product.  For maybe half the price of a cheap electric model.

I'm not saying I'm going to do it.  But if electricity's hard to come by, during the end times, I might revisit the concept.  Or, if I ever manage to get a dishwasher, maybe I'll just install a secondhand disposal, anyway.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mrcookieface on February 07, 2009, 09:11:21 PM
I'd totally buy one of those if you made it stylish, axe.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: whidB on February 07, 2009, 11:07:06 PM
I say you need to go back to making the time machine.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on February 08, 2009, 12:07:12 AM
The beauty of building a time machine is that you just have to finish it eventually.  It doesn't matter when.

Of course, either I'll never finish it, or else I'm some kind of prick, because if I ever do finish it I could just come back and save myself a lot of time.

You know, MIT has annual Time Traveler Balls where they throw parties for tourists from the future, although they don't expect that said time travelers will necessarily be able to identify themselves.  It just seems like a nice gesture . . . and another excuse for a wacky MIT party.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on February 08, 2009, 12:09:16 AM
:hmm:

It just occurred to me that you could make a water-powered sink-side garbage grinder.  The same hot water that flushes the slurry down the drain powers the grinder.  It wouldn't be as fast as an electric disposal, but you need to run the water for a bit extra with the electric ones, anyway.  The water-powered one should just have  small odor-sealed hopper so you don't have to feed stuff into it continuously.

That would be a decent safety feature, anyway.

If you know a large target market that has running water and drainage systems but not electricity, let me know.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Hedaira on February 08, 2009, 02:18:04 AM
Tibet.
Where the doodz in the orange bathrobes hang out. Plenty of water in them thar hills, and injuns, but wicked unreliable electricity because, hey, mountains and remote locations.

Also, Thailand.
Mike's friend has a hugeass house that, when he uses too much electricity - he knocks out power to the village below. Yup, they're all subject to the actions of a guy who blurts out "this shirt is making my tits hurt." Poor bastards. They have plenty of running water, but no electricity if W runs the pool robot while doing his laundry and downloading 500 hours of anime torrents.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: bit zero on February 08, 2009, 03:12:22 AM
Also, Thailand.
Mike's friend has a hugeass house that, when he uses too much electricity - he knocks out power to the village below. Yup, they're all subject to the actions of a guy who blurts out "this shirt is making my tits hurt." Poor bastards. They have plenty of running water, but no electricity if W runs the pool robot while doing his laundry and downloading 500 hours of anime torrents.

On the flip side, the whole lack of electrical codes and things like grounding... means that he's got a 50-50 chance of taking 240 volts AC up the arm anytime he touches his computer's case.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on February 08, 2009, 01:07:46 PM
:shock:  You can ground your own electrical system pretty easily . . . if you have access to, you know, the ground.  If you're going to build a modern(ish) house in Remote Wherever, seems like that would be an easy feature.

And if you have lots of running water, it would be more difficult but certainly possible to augment the local current.  It might cost a small fortune to import the goods necessary, though, I suppose.  Wind power seems a likely option, too.

But he's probably thought of this already.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: sm0k4 on February 09, 2009, 07:40:03 PM
This (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/03/science/03teleportation.html?_r=1&ref=science) made my brain hurt. I want to understand, but I got lost halfway through the interactive graphics. I'm stuck on how they write messages on atoms and how the atoms can be two things at once...

And then it's all a blur after that. Can someone tell me if it means that my grandkids will teleport shit around?
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on February 09, 2009, 08:02:08 PM
OK, remember that Robert Heinlein novel where they discovered that telepathy between identical twins was instantaneous so they used it for faster-than-light communications on starships?

No?

OK never mind then.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on February 09, 2009, 08:12:42 PM
I can't figure out which novel it was. Maybe it wasn't Heinlein!

That explains a lot.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: feffer on February 09, 2009, 08:29:42 PM
I don't have a twin, so I'll have to use my ansible.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on February 09, 2009, 08:41:36 PM
The telepathy-between-twins thing has been done a lot; god knows who started it.  Algis Budrys did something similar (with clones) in Rogue Moon, for instance.  Not to mention the Time-Life books on psychic powers . . . .

The teleportation stuff in the news of late depends mostly on four phenomena:

1)  In quantum terms, distance doesn't mean much.  Electrons teleport all the time; in fact, moden electronics depends upon this trick.  They make common electronic components that work by having electrons teleport from one side of a thin insulator to the other side under certain conditions.  This particular version of teleportation works because of what we call 'uncertainty' and nature probably calls 'I don't care that much about position':  the electron is only sort of on one side or the other of the insulator, and a quantum trick can make it be on either side.  This is in the same way that Schroedinger's Cat is either dead or not dead, except somewhat less confusing.

2)  Entanglement means that two things (tiny particle-type things, in actual practice) can wind up having identical properties, as if they were in perfect sync -- and they keep perfectly in tune even if you separate them.  Separating them on purpose requires science tricks.  This works best with unmeasured (indeterminate) particles.  You take two entangled photons, say, and you don't look closely at either (so that they're both 'uncertain', if you will), and you move them apart.  Then you observe one of them, thus collapsing that uncertainty (this is like making the electron be on either one side of the insulator or on the other, or making the cat be either alive or dead) -- and instantly the other photon will be in whichever same state the observed one is in.  It's like magic!

If you could entangle cats and do the Schroedinger experiment with them, opening either box would 'decide' for both cats.  So if you killed one cat, the other one would instantly be identically dead.  As you can see, this isn't exactly teleportation, but it's kinda similar.  Which brings me to (3):

3)  They're using a loose definition of 'teleportation' here.  It's not like the transporter.  It's more like having a box of magic here and a box of magic there, and they're entangled, and whatever I do to the stuff in this box instantly happens (for free!) to the stuff in that box.  But I can't put a cat into this box and have it turn up at that box.  Not with current theory, using these kinds of tricks.

This might lead to instantaneous communication, after a fashion.  If we agree ahead of time that an electron on Side B means 'Look out!', and we have the setup (with entangled electrons), and someone starts driving from my place to your place to shoot you, I could force my electron to Side B, and you could instantly know something was up.  A really complicated system could let me send a lot of information, just like with a phone, say.

As far as I know, there's no current way to entangle particles over a distance, though.  They have to start out close together.  Maybe someone will come up with a way to entangle sixty trillion electrons (in thirty trillion pairs) all at once, though.  Then you could take thirty, and I could have thirty, and we could do a lot of talking before our magic radio batteries ran out.

This does sorta violate Relativity.  It's faster-than-light communication.  It means you can create time-travel paradoxes.  Without any other magical technology, it would be possible to send a message, and then send a reply message that arrived before the first message was sent.  Some physicists believe (seriously) that the universe, one way or another, won't let that happen.  I think the universe doesn't care if we get confused, myself.  But the technology is really nowhere near this stage yet, anyway.

4)  This is obviously complicated crap, and it gets oversimplified (A) because reporters tend not to be able to follow it, either, and (B) because scientists know that no one gets excited (and sends funding) if they say 'We did something we think is awesome but that you wouldn't understand.'  You know how it is.

This new work, that the article is talking about, uses entangled atoms instead of entangled photons.  This is great mostly because atoms are more stable (less fickle, say) than photons or electrons.  They're less likely to become unentangled on their own, just through random chance and whatnot.  The scientists, I think, are excited because this is a more reproducible method.  It still only works once in every 100 million times, but it might be perfectly plausible to make a system that sends a billion identical signals every second.  I mean, a normal radio transmitter emits a lot of photons per second.  A lot.

They seem to mostly think this will be handy for quantum computers.  Quantum computers (which actually work! but are very crude so far) can do magical things.  I only understand part of that.  With a simple quantum computer, you can take a problem that has many possible solutions, only one of which is right, and the computer can try eight solutions at once, rather than one at a time like a regular computer.  A regular computer does one-at-a-time, per processor, very fast, but a good quantum computer could do, say, a-million-at-a-time per processor.

I understand how that part works.  What I don't understand is how the quantum computer can tell the difference between all the wrong answers and the one right one.  My brother once said it's a thermodynamic effect, and I gave up.  I saw a thing where they had a working one at MIT, so it works.  OK, you got me.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: sm0k4 on February 09, 2009, 10:16:40 PM
I really, really appreciate the more in depth explanation. Seriously.

But I'm still hung up on the "It's like magic!" part. Is it like maybe they aren't so far apart on every level? Like some crazy string theory multi-dimensional shit? How does determining the state of one affect (or is it Effect?) the other?

Perhaps I should try learning some basics before I start attempting to understand the bigger stuff, huh?
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on February 09, 2009, 10:37:33 PM
If it's any comfort, Einstein was freaked out by this too. He made some crack about "spooky action at a distance" being inconceivable. But, apparently reality forgot its birth control, because conception has occurred.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: sm0k4 on February 10, 2009, 06:38:55 AM
Well at least I'm in good company.  :thumbsup:

I remember reading that the human brain's ability to compute many things at once made it superior to computers because the one-thing-at-a-time thing. So if they can start computing like us, except better and faster, then how long before the cylons destroy us all?

It seems like this quantum entanglement could make for some kickass cell phone reception.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on February 10, 2009, 11:53:45 AM
Yeah, entanglement is beyond my ability to understand, even without looking at any of the math.  Somebody out there is pushing the idea that entangled objects are actually both expressions of the same uncollapsed wave function, which is to say that they're really two aspects of the same thing -- a thing that is partly two objects, if you look at it one way, and partly one magic-like undetermined weird thing that's hard to imagine.  I don't know why that description seems helpful to me, but it does.

Physics since about 1900 is full of head-messing concepts that work great on paper and don't seem to be contradicted by actual reality but which sure seem like a pain in the ass.  Einstein, yeah, really hated a lot of it, and he was annoyed to the end that he couldn't reconcile Relativity with quantum theory.  People are still very much working on that.

The bottom line is that when you get to the extremes of the physical universe -- really freakin' small, really freakin' fast, really freakin' hot, etc -- reality isn't like reality 'up here'.  Things can apparently go backward in time, change their basic nature on a whim, pop in and out of existence, teleport around, and do weird things that physicists make up new names for because there's no way to describe them.  I mean, the types of quarks have nonsense names because physicists could guess at the types and how they interact, but there was no way to apply any normal descriptor to them because we can't imagine WTF is going on.

Wave function fluctuations mean that nothing is ever 100% anything in particular.  Something that's unobserved could have an equal chance of being several different things.  The bigger it is, the more it tends to be something in particular.  Even people are only mostly where they appear to be, but, to a small statistical extent (which can be calculated, although certainly not by me), they exist in a spread-out waveform, so that, although you may be mostly in your desk chair, to a small extent you're also in the wall, in the doorway, in the hallway beyond, and so on.  With very small objects, the fluctuation may be as large as the object itself.  With things on the scale that we deal with every day, the fluctuations are so small that people pretty much never suddenly change position and wind up in the wall, or turning to solid copper, etc.

But in theory, it could happen, and, given enough time, it will.  There won't be enough time, though.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on February 10, 2009, 12:24:59 PM
Yeah, entanglement is beyond my ability to understand, even without looking at any of the math.  Somebody out there is pushing the idea that entangled objects are actually both expressions of the same uncollapsed wave function, which is to say that they're really two aspects of the same thing -- a thing that is partly two objects, if you look at it one way, and partly one magic-like undetermined weird thing that's hard to imagine.  I don't know why that description seems helpful to me, but it does.

It does to me, too. It's like how there are always two solutions to a quadratic equation, one positive and one negative. Each of the entangled particles is an equivalent (?) solution to the same wave function.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on February 10, 2009, 12:52:53 PM
:hmm:

Sounds good to me!
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: sm0k4 on February 10, 2009, 01:11:39 PM
Quote
people pretty much never suddenly change position and wind up in the wall, or turning to solid copper, etc.

What about turning into a whale or possibly a flowerpot in the middle of the sky?
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Hedaira on February 10, 2009, 01:15:47 PM
I hate it when that happens.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on February 10, 2009, 01:23:30 PM
Not again!
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on February 10, 2009, 02:16:43 PM
Exactly!

I remember once seeing, in a science article somewhere, a snobby refutation of the idea that apparent (and, back then, still really, really rare) neutrino detections might just be thermodynamic miracles.  Weirdly, it wasn't long after I'd read Watchmen, where Jon uses the same exact phrase.

That's just a coincidence, though.  I think.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on February 14, 2009, 07:57:21 PM

To log on to the free wireless service got to www.acd.net.

So . . . to get online, I should visit their website?

:eyeroll:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on February 16, 2009, 12:21:19 AM
Well ... yeah. There's a way of doing that. You can connect to their net without authentication, but all web requests get ignored or redirected to their web address where you can log in (or pay) and then it works. Hotels do this a lot.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on February 16, 2009, 10:54:24 AM
But how do I connect to their net without being able to get online?

This seems like that CAN'T READ?  CALL [the literacy hotline] billboard.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on February 16, 2009, 11:16:34 AM
The local networking protocol is one thing: TCP/IP is something else. You can connect to a wireless net with only having the wireless card, for example, but that doesn't give you access to the network.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on February 16, 2009, 01:57:54 PM
:doh:

Right, right -- I said how do I connect to their net without being able to get online? but I actually meant it the other way around (how do I get to their website without connecting to the net).  I guess they mean go online some other way, go to the website, learn how to connect to their network, disconnect, and then connect to their network.

Still something I would have worded differently, myself.  Not that it matters.

Speaking of whatnot, the Windows Wireless Network Connection app, such as it is, reports a "Free Public WiFi" in my area, with good signal strength.  It lists this not as a "wireless network" (like everything else it sees) but as an "Unsecured computer-to-computer network".  (Not like those wireless trees I usually connect my computer to.)

If I don't stop it, it automatically connects to this Free Public WiFi.  There's no actual apparent access to the internet or anything else, though.  Windows lists it as "Unconnected", but if I click on it I get a warning that I'm about to disconnect.  There doesn't seem to be any context-sensitive or other relevant Help to explain WTF Windows is going on about.

I tried googling it, and I know Lansing has some free public whatnot, but I found no useful information.  Beats me.  I mostly just wish Windows would say something intelligible instead of trying to be helpful.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: First Post on February 16, 2009, 02:00:15 PM
a note on the "Free Public WiFi" (http://www.wlanbook.com/free-public-wifi-ssid/) phenomenon.

Interesting stuff. Did I get this from a post here? I can't remember.

Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on February 16, 2009, 02:36:37 PM
:eyeroll:

Well, good to know.  I've long wished I could right-click on a network that appears in the list and, you know, get some information about WTF it is, etc.

Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on February 27, 2009, 02:50:24 PM
Yeah. Want. Duh. (http://www.apple.com/macbookpro/features-17inch.html)
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: whidB on February 27, 2009, 04:54:11 PM
Yeah but first I'd want the 2 grand it takes to buy one...

Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on February 27, 2009, 05:22:00 PM
That's all right. I generally only want stuff I can't have. I always feel guilty when I want something and actually get it.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on February 27, 2009, 05:41:06 PM
The new Safari (http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/02/25/apples_safari_4_ui_changes_hint_at_plans_for_snow_leopard.html) is looking pretty good. When I first heard they had updated it, I thought to myself, "why don't you guys just give up on the browser thing?", but I'm impressed at the stuff I've been reading about it. Of course it will just force Firefox to step up the pace, but that's ok too. I'd just be happy to see HTML 5 takeover and see Flash die.

Quote
The new Safari 4 raises the bar for other browsers in supporting HTML 5, which allows developers to build Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) using web standards rather than relying upon external web plugins such as Adobe's Flash or Microsoft's Silverlight. Other browsers, including Google Chrome, Firefox, and Opera are also actively working to support HTML 5 specification.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on February 27, 2009, 07:29:28 PM
Y'all know how I feel about integrating more shit into HTML, but I am totally down with HTML standards.  (And to hell with f$cking Microsoft, as usual.) The Macbook thing gets very sexy, but it's actually still not what I want in a portable (or other) computer. Very nicely done, but not for me. If someone wants to give me one, though, I would totally take it; don't get me wrong. I'd trade it for some other things, though. ThinkGeek, as always, has lots of shit I want. Right now, this Pop-Tart drive (http://www.thinkgeek.com/computing/drives/a7ea/) has me the most :trance:. And it's even more or less in my price range. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on March 22, 2009, 01:58:50 PM I need . . . a free AVI player. A good free movie player that would actually play all the major formats (under XP) would be even better, but specifically, I've discovered, I can no longer play AVI files. At best, I get sound and no picture. I dug a ton of AVI movies off an old hard drive, mostly funny stuff that I could probably hunt down on YouTube if I had the time to kill, but the real point is that it annoys me to have lost the capability to play AVI files, not that I've got to see the movie where the helicopter's blades chop off the refueling boom, etc. What I look for in a movie player: - Works. This includes Does Not Hang The Machine. - Is Low-Bullshit. I want something that is a little program that will open movie files. This first free AVI player that I found through Google (http://www.hyplay.com/) is a perfect example of shit I hate. I do not want or need "a unique user experience". I don't want something that looks like the Terminator rogered the operating system while my back was turned. I don't want a damned unique interface design. The Windows standards may suck, but I've used way, way, way too many pieces of software whose designers thought they had a better idea . . . and didn't. The content should provide the excitement. The application should just be reliable and straightforward. Anyway . . . any recommendations? The shareware review-and-recommendation sites all seem to be munged up with crap nowadays, and I figure you good people could save me a lot of time. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: First Post on March 22, 2009, 02:09:25 PM You want VLC media player (http://www.videolan.org/vlc/). It'll chew through pretty much anything without having to install stupid codecs that break stuff. It is small and bloat-free. It even does a pretty good job reading most "corrupted" video files. I think you will be pleased with it. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on March 22, 2009, 02:17:00 PM :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: Thanks, man. Looks promising. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Hedaira on March 22, 2009, 02:39:45 PM VLC rocks Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on March 22, 2009, 04:03:34 PM Yeah, I had trouble with an older version of VLC, doing the same thing you mentioned - audio, no video, but the new version has played everything I've thrown at it. I DL'd several different players at one time, to find out which would work best. One of them was Microsoft's Flip4Mac WMV. I tried it first, since it is supposed to convert WMVs to Quicktime, the native Mac video application. When I clicked on a file, it said "This file is not a movie" :lol: VLC played the same exact file just fine. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: whidB on March 22, 2009, 04:20:59 PM Just downloaded it, thought I'd give it a try. Right now, I use MediaCoder, which plays just about everything (though it won't search if the vid is not complete or corrupted) and the MPlayer Windows front-end for just watching regular avi/mpeg/mp4 stuff.... The best thing is that it lets me transcode parts of stuff I like, making for shorter videos and less MB'age.... Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on March 22, 2009, 08:11:39 PM ! Flip4Mac works perfectly for me ... probably because I just dispense with the embedded player and use it with the standalone QT app. :hmm: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on March 22, 2009, 08:27:54 PM Yes, what I said was inaccurate - it's a preference panel, not an application, but still, I have .wmv movies that it doesn't even recognize as being videos. I didn't try to fix it to make it work, maybe it would work, I dunno. VLC opened the same file with no hitch, so there's not much point in trying. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: First Post on March 22, 2009, 08:31:44 PM Yeah I've had files that no other player would play, and VLC's all "hey man this looks broken, wanna try to fix and run it anyway?" and then after some deep contemplation it runs the whole video just fine. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on March 22, 2009, 09:03:18 PM Now that is what software is supposed to do. :detta: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on March 23, 2009, 10:00:18 AM Well . . . I have now tried it. In many ways it's very nice. I don't hate it. But. The interface could still use a buncha work. There are lots of basic things that seem to only be available through hotkeys, and I love keyboard support, but it's not convenient to learn 50 hotkey commands all at once, and you do expect those things (like viewing commands such as Loop, off the top of my head) to be easily available through menus. The Help all goes online. I understand the advantages of online Help that can be updated anytime, but that's still weak shit. I know MS totally broke the Windows Help system, too, but still. It was especially annoying since I couldn't go online when I needed the Help. Also because they specifically say they don't like programs that try to go online on their own without permission, and yet that's exactly what the Help does. :eyeroll: There are a few things about it I really consider broken. For instance, it changes the window size on me whenever it feels like it. No! Wrong! The user controls the window size and placement. Do not fuck with me. Don't change the window or the view settings (the zoom ratio, say) just because the movie ended. I'll tell you when. If I maximized it and closed it and reopened it, it decided on its own what size and location it should be instead of staying maximized. Disobedient. The One Instance / Many Instances thing wasn't working properly. Closing the viewer (Alt-F4, the Windows Close button) closed the video viewer, and then I had to close again to close the audio viewer portion. I tried to keep it from adding stuff to the Playlist but couldn't figure out how to stop it -- if I viewed a file and then viewed another file and then hit Play again, it went back to the first file and then played the second one. The only solution I could find was to shut the viewer down entirely after ever file I viewed. There's probably a setting somewhere . . . but I couldn't find it. I didn't have any luck repairing files that it said were bad. It would say "This might take a long time." There was no progress bar; it didn't seem to be doing anything. :shrug: There were still files where the audio would play but there was no picture. (Stoatse's old pigherding film, for instance.) There were some where it said it didn't have the right codec and that there was nothing I could do to fix that (which is kind of a :lol: error message -- You're screwed, and there's no hope!) The free FLV player I have is better for FLV files, but VLC is definitely better (all in all) for AVI, etc, than anything else I have. So that's good. Fortunately, it wasn't hard to set the file preferences so they would play nice together. So I'd say VLC still needs some work, but it's nice technically. And it does get bonus points for having both Simple and Advanced preference options; they just need to give the user more control over the app's basic behavior. Honestly, I'm never going to need to screw around with the 86 zillion technical options, although it's impressive that they have so many. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on March 23, 2009, 10:48:05 AM You're screwed, and there's no hope! You know? All computer error messages should say something like this. Well, it's true! Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on March 23, 2009, 10:50:21 AM They should never, ever have an icon of a happy little bomb, though. Not unless the software guys want you to drop-kick the computer out the window. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on March 23, 2009, 10:55:53 AM Not unless the software guys want you to drop-kick the computer out the window. Don't you know any software guys? This is, like, a major goal! Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on March 23, 2009, 11:38:59 AM Most of the developers I know really want you to drop-kick IT people out the window. They only harbor mild hatred for the hardware people. The IT people I know seem to hate the developers and hardware people about equally. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: whidB on March 23, 2009, 03:53:15 PM Heh. I downloaded the VLC exe and turns out I've already got it installed. Could have been from an earlier suggestion made here... I still prefer the MPlayer Windows frontend because I can use the arrow keys to easily flash back and forth when watching. VLC insists you use the shift key or the alt key along with other keys to do stuff like that. Great program otherwise...I'm sure it'll still come in handy... Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: First Post on March 23, 2009, 04:22:58 PM Yeah, the caveats y'all note aren't as big a deal to how I use it personally I guess. Well, the having to resize the screen every time is a bit of a pain but I got used to it. One thing I dig is that it's easy to use subtitle files, since many of the things I acquire to watch don't always have English subtitles so ya gotta go find an srt file somewhere to go with them. Then you just check the "use subtitles" box, tell it where to look for the srt, and woohoo. Before VLC there were those shitty codec packs that were necessary for certain obscure files but ended up crashing other programs (Fallout 3 for example will auto-CTD if you have K-Lite or etc installed) Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on March 23, 2009, 09:40:48 PM It probably makes a difference that about the only films I ever watch on my PC are 3-minute-and-less YouTube-style snippets. And I watch them like once every three months, as I periodically go through my hard drive to see what the hell I have stored on there. I don't torrent, or anything. Well, I did hunt down FLV versions of almost the complete series of Sexy Commando (er . . . Sugoi, Mamaro-san!, I think) -- which is not what it sounds like -- except for one damned episode that I could only get subtitled in Spanish, alas. :lol: I don't think there's a commercial version of that available in the US, though. When I was watching DVDs on my computer . . . I don't remember what program I was using. But my subtitled DVDs have subtitles. Subtitled cat is subtitled. Actually, I guess pretty much all of those cats are subtitled. Never mind. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: whidB on March 30, 2009, 04:23:11 PM Dumb geek question, but: Are there Web sites where I can determine which of the processes I see in Taskmaster are legitimate? There are a whole bunch of suspicious critters in there, some obvious like "DVD Launcher" and "btna.exe" but some I just don't know WTF. I turn off my computer at night and all those critters are back. I'd like to eliminate some of them, but I don't know which are critical, or which are just other names for stuff I want running. Thoughts? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Ljdjr on March 30, 2009, 05:31:30 PM Whid this one looks pretty comprehensive. http://www.answersthatwork.com/Tasklist_pages/tasklist.htm (http://www.answersthatwork.com/Tasklist_pages/tasklist.htm) I usually just google the process name. Good luck! EDIT: This one looks better, but neither have what you're talking about. http://www.tasklist.org/ (http://www.tasklist.org/) Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: NexR on March 30, 2009, 05:40:02 PM Regarding media players, I use MPlayer instead of VLC (for video) mainly because that was the primary player developed for Linux and I love the keyboard usage like WhidB. I use VLC as a backup whenever I need to check that mplayer is working right. On Windows I use VLC or Media Player Classic. I stuck with MPC for a long time because I liked the very basic design of the old windows media player and it had all the same codecs/features as the others. It's still around and has multiple skins, so if ya'll are looking for another choice you can give it a shot. Regarding evil processes, I've found you can just google the names of the processes to find out what they are for. Many will be legitimate. Many will be unnecessary. And some will be evil. After you've got the monkey off your back, you can probably google something like "unnecessary windows processes" or "windows services performance" and find people talking about shutting off services to free up memory and speed up boot time and overall performance. *and nex runs on* Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: flipper on March 31, 2009, 02:34:43 PM Go to msconfig and go to the startup tab and remove any process which you don't need at startup. A lot of applications install themselves to be opened at startup and this can speed up your compy quite a bit. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: whidB on March 31, 2009, 02:44:41 PM :detta: sounds like some good pointers, lads... Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: First Post on March 31, 2009, 03:43:11 PM Plus might wanna throw something like this (http://www.malwarebytes.org/mbam.php) at it, just to clean up anything that isn't supposed to be there anyway... Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: whidB on April 02, 2009, 02:45:30 PM Apparently nothing eeeviljavascript:void(0); in there. The MS config tabs took care of of things I didn't need running... The next big hacker thing: I'd love to see an application where it's possible to block Flash ads in the same way I can block annoying pictures, with a right-click feature.... I'm surprised there isn't something already. I don't want all Flash disabled, just some... Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on April 02, 2009, 03:56:53 PM AdBlockPlus (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1865) won't do it? If not, can you link to an example of what you'd like to block? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: whidB on April 02, 2009, 04:13:58 PM Yeah, I'm sure that would do it, as long it doesn't disable all Flash... Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: NexR on April 02, 2009, 04:34:32 PM It can disable all flash if you want, or you can block various elements of a page (like flash) one by one. It's pretty swell. Personally I go for blocking all flash since all you have to do is click on the little placeholder it leaves behind if you want to enable that particular bit of flash. I find there's a lot more flash I want blocked than I want to see. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on April 02, 2009, 06:20:04 PM AdBlock blocks non-flash stuff as well, if I understand correctly. It blocks objects from lists of domains, whether flash or html, whatever. Or you can choose not to use their list and block what you want as you go. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on April 21, 2009, 02:44:25 PM Insulting The Elements (http://www.thepalinode.com/search/label/insulting%20the%20elements), by Palinode. Quote # Beryllium (Be): Beryllium is called an ideal aerospace material. You know why? Nobody wants it on the planet. Nice knowing you, beryllium. Don’t let the ionosphere hit your ass on the way out. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on April 21, 2009, 03:08:01 PM :shock: I love beryllium! It's a fantastic metal. Just avoid clouds of little particles of it. But, really, avoid clouds of little particles of almost anything. Quote Then I remember that you?re mentioned in the Bible and I just know that there?s some sad deluded dope out there who?s wearing silver nippleguards in accordance with some throwaway line from Numbers, and I hate you all over again. :rollin: Tin was particularly good, too. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: whidB on April 21, 2009, 03:10:09 PM Except I winced a little when he said that "goats eat tin cans" they most certainly DO NOT. :harumph: I know, I know... Humor. 8) Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on April 21, 2009, 08:52:21 PM I'm amused, but I'd have made more of Niobium's trashy interference coloring. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: feffer on April 29, 2009, 08:22:14 PM This was written by a guy I knew in college. I think he's getting an MBA from Cornell. The sun is shining. I'm not a grizzled war veteran. I know not for whom the bell tolls. However, I'm still Hemingway. I had a revelation today that I just can't shake. I mentioned in the 25 things meme from January that either titillated or tortured you that I like to keep stats on ridiculous things. I'm a nerd. Get over it. After getting a particularly good grade on a paper I wrote after a particularly long night of drinking, I started a new spreadsheet. Whenever I write a paper, there are two data points: 1) How much and what strength was the alcohol I had consumed while writing? 2) How was my grade? (measured by z-score - how many standard deviations from the mean). I ran a regression on that data today and found a .67 correlation (t-stat = 4.3) between the amount of alcohol I drink and the grade I get on the paper. The effect, like liquor, is strong. 1 White Russian = +.67 stdev. I suppose I owe people with whom I have been in groups apologies. I shouldn't have been so sober. We would have done better. This little revelation has two lenses through which you can view the results. 1) I'm not nearly as smart as I think I am. The .67 correlation means the r^2 is .46. My GPA can be attributed 54% to me and 46% to Yuengling and Bailey's. 2) The professors at the Johnson School can't tell the difference between solid, sober, fact-based analysis and the drunken ramblings of a vocabularily-gifted idiot. Either way, I might be in trouble once I get to the real world. The bell might be tolling for me. It had better not be signaling last call. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Hedaira on April 29, 2009, 09:22:35 PM Quote 2) The professors at the Johnson School can't tell the difference between solid, sober, fact-based analysis and the drunken ramblings of a vocabularily-gifted idiot. This is how I got through college. Two degrees. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on April 29, 2009, 09:34:15 PM Dude's drunk. Any schoolchild knows that if you're drinking two different kinds of alcohol you can't use a t-test, it's got to be ANOVA. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on April 30, 2009, 12:42:57 PM WHICH REMINDS ME. All of you with Macs & iPhones have the Hypnotoad dashboard widget (http://mac.softpedia.com/progDownload/Hypnotoad-Small-Download-36974.html), right? RIGHT?!?! ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD! Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Talix on April 30, 2009, 12:52:35 PM Dude's drunk. Any schoolchild knows that if you're drinking two different kinds of alcohol you can't use a t-test, it's got to be ANOVA. *totally did ANOVAs in Experimental Psych (I & II) in college* Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on April 30, 2009, 02:52:15 PM Who is surprised that drunk is better for an MBA program? :harumph: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: flipper on May 01, 2009, 04:17:16 PM Only if your concentration is marketing. Now where is that Dilbert with "Welcome to marketing--Two drink minimum..." Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Tripper on May 02, 2009, 11:31:59 PM It's "The Soft Weapon", where Louis Wu and some rogue Kzinti are after a slaver weapon that changes form and function. They used it as an episode of the animated Star Trek series. Spock was playing both Louis and the puppeteer's characters. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 03, 2009, 10:34:21 AM :confused: Yes and no -- Louis Wu isn't in that story. It was some other human (and his wife). Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: bit zero on May 03, 2009, 09:32:22 PM Gratuitous plug: Anyone want a PowerMac G5, lightly used by a pigherder? Start yer sniping: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260400977237 Or, guitar players, a Roland VG-88: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260400984008 Yeah, so it's a shameless plug, you know I don't do that much. :) Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Tripper on May 04, 2009, 05:29:12 PM And I Louis and Nessus mixed up. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Tripper on May 04, 2009, 05:30:28 PM Gratuitous plug: Anyone want a PowerMac G5, lightly used by a pigherder? Start yer sniping: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260400977237 Or, guitar players, a Roland VG-88: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260400984008 Yeah, so it's a shameless plug, you know I don't do that much. :) And it's gone! Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 04, 2009, 07:42:29 PM Quote And I Louis and Nessus mixed up. You did? I think I'm the one who's confused. As far as I can figure, the only time you mentioned Nessus was when you said "Louis and the puppeteer's characters" . . . which is right, since Nessus is the puppeteer. It's a good story, in any case. I haven't liked some of Niven's more recent stuff, but he's got a body of work that stands toe to toe with anyone's. It's sharp, it's hard, it's very inventive, the characters are good (if not always wrenchingly varied), and the stories are interesting and bear repeat reading. I sometimes think we might see a Protector movie eventually. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 31, 2009, 12:13:16 PM OK, I googled but couldn't find what I was looking for. Do any of you folks know a little freeware program that will let me minimize and lock a Windows app? Other people here at work are constantly screwing up my Opera settings. Someone . . . and I've lectured everyone rather than figure out who . . . closed all my tabs and then looked up a hentai games website, not knowing that Opera would re-open that page the next time I ran it. Not conducive. I have one other program I'd also like to be able to make off-limits, too. I don't want to just password-protect them on open. I want to be able to suspend them without having to shut them down. Just hit some key combo and have them vanish and be inaccessible until I unlock them again. Seems like there must be such a utility out there, but I mostly found Overkill McComplicated and bosskey apps that hide everything. I only want to hide Opera and InfoSelect. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Hedaira on May 31, 2009, 03:51:40 PM You can put a password on Firefox so that only you can open it. Prolly Opera has the same option. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 31, 2009, 03:55:39 PM Maybe. I did just have to upgrade to the new version (Geek Squad really screwed up my Opera install), and it's fresh and funky, for better and worse. I Need To Be On Top Now self-important webpages no longer automatically get to jump to the top (Yes!) but the Enter key no longer automatically enters form data (Boo!). I can look for password stuff. I'd really rather have them automatically password-lock if I minimize them, or something, though. I'd prefer to not have to close and restart them several times a day, but . . . I could live with it if I have to. Thanks for the tip. Hadn't even occurred to me. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: bit zero on June 01, 2009, 02:04:25 AM Make a separate Windows login for yourself (users/accounts control panel), set a password on it, use the switch-user feature (windowskey-L is the hotkey) to keep others out. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: bit zero on June 01, 2009, 02:21:17 AM This year's Notacon inspired me to try to pick up component-level gadgetry once again (after not having done much of it since I was about, oh, 10 years old), either fixing or building, but starting with fixing. Last week the project was to modify an iPod-to-Kenwood-Car-Stereo cable to work with an iPhone. Needs a 66K resistor across pins 21 and 30 on the dock plug, or else the audio-out won't work. This week, it's repairing arcade games, and pretending I know what I'm doing with a soldering iron. I have two (both laserdisc games): a Dragons Lair (convertible to/from Space Ace) and a MACH 3. The Dragons Lair works fine, but there'll be a modification project for it coming up... The MACH 3 hasn't worked since we moved to Lexington, maybe before that, but it's been almost two years since it was functional. After blowing some money on stuff like an EPROM burner, eraser, blanks, etc, turns out 4 of the ROMs had bitrotted, but burning new ones didn't fix it. Then I found an old box that to my surprise had two more motherboards for the game (forgot I had those, woulda saved time/$$on buying new ROMs, oops), both of which were at least somewhat damaged, but putting the least-damaged one in got the game to boot, but after running for about 10-15 mins the screen wigs out and the game crashes -- looks like bad RAM or a bad solder joint on the RAM socket. This will be a long week of troubleshooting :) One thing I found that helps: Q*Bert uses the same motherboard as MACH 3 and it's easier to Google tech info for Q*Bert... Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: First Post on June 01, 2009, 03:28:59 AM 1) put a portable browser (http://www.opera-usb.com/operausben.htm) on a USB keychain and use/remove as necessary? 2) oh wow man I forgot about that game but I loved it...it was like After Burner except flying over real mountains and landscapes and stuff, via laserdisc. Would it be more of a hassle to fake it with something like Daphne (http://www.daphne-emu.com/site3/index_hi.php)? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: the other andrea on June 01, 2009, 03:24:49 PM A couple of years ago someone at work was selling a working Galaga arcade console... I would have given my left nut for it, if I had one. LOVED that game. Spent many hours drinking Slurpees at the local Sev and dumping quarters into it (hey, like the only place in my backasswards cowtown with arcade games at that time)... Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: whidB on June 01, 2009, 03:45:41 PM The table version was cool, too. For some reason, all my stoner friends got into Defender.,..never really saw the appeal of that one. It was probably the noisiest game until Donkey Kong came out... I was more into pinball, but I liked the colors on Tempest and Missile Command...real primitive. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on June 02, 2009, 11:52:22 AM The ones I chiefly remember playing slavishly: Robotron (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robotron:_2084) Berzerk (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berzerk) Qix (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qix) (I had so much love for this one.) Time Pilot (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_Pilot) Q*bert (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qbert) Gorf (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gorf) (Dumb but addictive, like a Sky Bar.) (I liked Galaxian, too.) Joust (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joust_(video_game)) And I was obsessed with Sinistar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinistar), but we never seemed to have an arcade around that had one. Similarly, I very rarely saw (usually at fairs) a couple of obscure games I was addicted to: Bank Panic, which Wikipedia doesn't seem to have heard of (a bizarre stationary three-headed FPS version of Hogan's Alley (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hogan's_Alley_(video_game))), edit: Bank Panic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bank_Panic), after all, although this appears to be a slightly different version, oddly enough. and Bosconian (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bosconian) (a Doc Smith-inspired space shoot-em-up). There was also a game that a friend and I played all day in some little arcade in the middle of nowhere, which I have no idea of the name of. It was a weird variation on Asteroids where your 'ship' stayed at the edges of the screen (top or bottom, with a button to 'warp' back and forth, and you could scroll off the side and come out the other side) and the geometric asteroid-things floated in the middle. You had three guns instead of just one. I don't remember why it was so addictive, but it seriously was. Never saw it again. In later years, I wasted my money on Altered Beast (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altered_Beast), Tekken 3 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tekken_3), and Soul Edge (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul_Edge). I could never get the timing right for Tekken, though, even though I had it on the PSX, too. But it was worth playing just for the cut scenes, intros, etc. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on June 02, 2009, 12:04:17 PM Oh, plus I dumbly forgot early more-fun-than-Defender (IMO) Vanguard (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanguard_(arcade_game)), and the hilarious later Smash TV (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smash_TV), which I spent a lot of quarters on in high school. Never mind Double Dragon and Bad Dudes. And my brother and I played a lot of Cruisin' USA and Crusin' World when we lived in Ohio. There was also a game that ADB truly loved that I can never quite remember the name of -- the name was really strange, in fact. It was similar to Metroid but I think it came out earlier. It had gameplay a bit more like Rygar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rygar_(arcade_game)). You played a side-scrolling power-suited dude who acquired power-ups that gave you a wider and wider range of weapons, though. Oh, that reminds me of 'The Ex-Lax Game', the beautiful Rolling Thunder (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolling_Thunder_(arcade_game)). Man, now I want to go to the arcade. I don't even know if there's an arcade anywhere around here. There's a pinball place. :shrug: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: flipper on June 02, 2009, 12:15:26 PM Loved Galaga and Galaxian. I also liked Tempest, Star Castle, Phoenix, Rampage. Pinball always was the first choice though. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: hajen on June 02, 2009, 01:42:05 PM I remember going grocery shopping with my dad and we'd always stop at the exit so he could play Centipede. I wasn't into the video games though - my arcade draw was always pinball. When I was in uni there was a place we'd go for breakfast that had Attack From Mars and I got totally hooked on it. BESTEST EVAR. So hard to find too. There was a huge arcade I went to years ago and SQUEEEEE they had it! Out of the hundreds of games you could play there I probably spent half my time just at that one machine. If I could I'd buy it. :daydream: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on June 02, 2009, 02:08:12 PM Attack From Mars, the pinball game? Yeah, that would probably set you back five grand. You'd have to let other people play it a lot, if you wanted to recoup your money. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: the other andrea on June 02, 2009, 02:39:01 PM Oh, I was a pinball junkie before I discovered video games. My dad owned a bar for several years, and on Sunday mornings before he opened, he'd bring me down there and let me play pinball for two or three hours. And I was a miniature pool shark for a time as well. Goddamn, I'd forgotten about that. "Good times" doesn't accurately describe the memories though. My dad is awesome. :love: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: First Post on June 02, 2009, 02:52:44 PM Y'all realize you can still play all these games with MAME and Visual Pinball, yes? It's still amazing to me that I can play this stuff anytime I want now. Would love to go back in time and blow Young FP's mind with that, haha. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: hajen on June 02, 2009, 03:10:23 PM Pinball's not the same without the actual machine! I would totally own a bar for the excuse to buy pinball games, if I thought it'd be profitable. Sigh. *just wasted some time looking up all the games I miss playing... man, Jurassic Park with the T-Rex that eats your ball!... ST:TNG with the cast voices... Twilight Zone was absofreakincomplicated all on the playfield... I foresee a room of pinball games in my future... like when I win the lotto **I never play the lotto =/ Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: First Post on June 02, 2009, 03:20:43 PM Heh yeah, can't nudge the computer around quite the same way :) There's still the nostalgia rush tho. Was cool to find a re-creation of the old Evel Knievel machine I used to play a lot in childhood, while my granddaddy hung out and drank coffee and smoked cigars with the 7-11 crew... Also, any game with nonstandard controllers doesn't translate well to a USB gamepad, such as Defender or those sports games that had the little toggle sticks you flicked to throw the ball (World Series, John Elway Quarterback) or that kickass black and white Atari football game with the X's and O's and the bigass metal hamster balls you had to roll the living shit out of to get the players to move... Still, being able to revisit these old titles is a blast. I still play a lot of them as much as "modern" games. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on June 02, 2009, 03:40:50 PM Quote I never play the lotto =/ Well, the odds of you winning big money aren't that much worse if you don't play, anyway. Someone pointed me at MAME years ago (it may have been bit0, in fact), and I never got it to work right, but that machine I was using was so old that it's not surprising. Then I forgot all about it. A friend loaned me the complete DOOM, but (A) I don't have the nicer-graphics DOOM II engine (just the stupid worthless DOOM98 engine) and (B) it's on floppies. I need to get a USB floppy drive . . . . But I probably shouldn't waste a zillion hours playing DOOM, either. Meh. Oh, but, I sort of (!) found the game I was thinking of but couldn't remember the name of. It's definitely a version of Psycho-Nics Oscar (http://www.arcade-history.com/?n=psycho-nics-oscar&page=detail&id=2061), but not exactly the same. Odd. 1987 is about the right time, but the one we played (at the infamous 'Snot Poo' bowling alley in Barre, VT) was called Oscar: [some year, and I want to say '2080'] and had some gameplay differences. There were partway points in the levels, and if you reached them and then died, you restarted with fewer power-ups but didn't lose them all and have to go all the way back to the beginning, which I saw people complaining about at other websites. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: bit zero on June 02, 2009, 10:58:43 PM Yeah, MAME runs *all* of those vids. Not the pinballs, but there's other projects that try to do that (including the tilt stuff). Much easier than a road trip to New Hampshire where they have all of those in a (playable) museum. (Cedar Point and Hersheypark have pretty good collections too.) Part of why I'm trying to repair my MACH 3 is to help them fix some bugs in the MAME emulation of it. And the other part is, once that's done, I wanna sell it, and it helps if it actually works... Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: the other andrea on June 13, 2009, 12:08:25 PM I saw this at a surplus sale this morning: A brand new, mostly still in boxes (with cables), Nokia R240 Rooftop Wireless system, made in 2001. It said "make an offer" I have a pretty good grasp of what kind of old technology is worth buying and reselling, but does anyone have any idea if this is something that's completely obsolete? I just did a lot of Googling and can't find any articles newer than 2002 on it. :confused: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on July 07, 2009, 04:57:26 PM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5el1A5B-h3Q I totally have that engine. Well. With wheels and stuff. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on July 08, 2009, 09:54:31 AM Scientists claim sperm "first" (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8138963.stm) "The one who insists he was first in the line is the last to remember her name ..." -- 'Pretty in Pink,' Psychedelic Furs Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on July 08, 2009, 10:20:07 AM You just know that three of the next ten sperm also claimed 'First!' Just to be douchebags. Quote Scientists in Newcastle claim to have created human sperm in the laboratory in what they say is a world first. Many, many grad students and assistants from the 1920s to the 1960s would dispute this, even if the principal researchers denied it. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on July 15, 2009, 06:38:59 PM Ray! (http://www92.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=Are+you+a+god%3F) Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mrcookieface on July 15, 2009, 07:39:56 PM I love playing with that thing. Have you asked what's the meaning of life yet? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: whidB on July 15, 2009, 07:47:48 PM All I got were error messages asking me if I wanted to continue a script or not, and then it was a real bitch to close it. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on July 16, 2009, 02:11:32 PM Quote All I got were error messages asking me if I wanted to continue a script or not, and then it was a real bitch to close it. You are not a god. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Tripper on July 20, 2009, 08:58:43 PM Does anyone have a copy of Mike Skallas's AdBlocker hosts file? It apparently has disappeared from the 'tubes and there's nothing that truly replaces it. I hate "teaching" AdBlocker new sites. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: NexR on July 20, 2009, 09:02:11 PM I don't, but if you're using Firefox, just grab the Adblock Plus (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1865) extension and set it to download the filtersets on a regular basis. Works great. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on July 21, 2009, 05:16:28 AM You might find it through here: http://easylist.adblockplus.org/ Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Hedaira on July 21, 2009, 09:52:14 AM My beef with Adblock Plus is that the motherfuckers whitelisted a ton of the worst advertisers. I went back to the old Adblock after that. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on July 21, 2009, 10:19:13 AM I use it in conjunction with NoScript, so I never see any ads at all. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: NexR on July 21, 2009, 10:26:01 AM Ditto and me neither. I haven't seen an online ad in years. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on July 27, 2009, 10:27:09 AM OK, so, we all hate Unit 2 this week. At C-C she met Nimoy, and got autographs from Richard Hatch and Bear McCrary. Also Jeph Jaques drew her a quick Marigold (http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=1440) sketch. That took me aback. Teh w1f3 doesn't read QC (http://questionablecontent.net/). She asked, "who's that?" I said, "A character from a webcomic series she likes." I didn't say, " ... who enjoys Japanese cartoon gay porn." In his defense Jeph appeared totally exhausted. But if teh w1f3 starts reading QC we are all dead meat. Particularly this week, with all the horrific stuff from the guest cartoonists ... ha! Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on July 28, 2009, 10:06:29 AM Marigold needs more substance if she's going to be more than a very peripheral supporting character. Wil is the character I have the least use for, though. He seems the most emptily contrived. Penelope could do better by dating furniture. Wil's existence might be justified if he found a Pizza Girl costume hidden in her closet and it led to kinky shenanigans, but I'd still want to see him replaced soon afterward. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Tripper on August 02, 2009, 10:06:19 AM A friend of ours is HappyGoth from The Devil's Panties (http://devilspanties.keenspot.com/index.html). She's part of that Atlanta Knitting/SCA/Con/Chicken thing with Jennie. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on August 03, 2009, 03:10:15 PM MOST. MISLEADING. HEADLINE. EVAR (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8182003.stm) I'm to go off and pout now. I really think we need to have a debate about killer robots. WHICH ARE NOT silly AUVs. Those are killer R/C planes. Totally different. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Tripper on August 03, 2009, 04:24:40 PM Smart guns. We need smart guns and those sentry cannon that shoot anything that moves in a certain area. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on August 04, 2009, 08:11:08 AM The auto-shoot guns are already around, although not widely used as far as I know. Semi-autonomous drones have also been used -- you tell them to engage the target, but they decide the best moment, angle, etc, for firing on it. The big public-ish brouhaha right now is over how autonomous we can and should make them. The line about friend-or-foe technology being 50 years away is a total lie, probably to suggest that this stuff won't happen soon. Fact is, the military rarely expects to put a robotic weapon in a situation where it'll need broad IFF discrimination. They more expect, in the relatively near future, to put them out there with simple IFF that says 'This is what an enemy aircraft looks like. This is what an enemy tank looks like. These are the GPS points for designated ground targets. This is the laser signal that indicates a newly-designated target.' And that's it. The robot doesn't decide on its own (near-future) that, hey, that truck over there looks kinda hinky. But can it tell an F-18 from a Sukhoi fighter? Yes, easily, and with current technology, even if the F-18 has its IFF transponder off. The DOD isn't expecting robots to do everything in the near future. We've had fire-and-forget weapons for quite a long time, and the near future evolution is autonomous weapon systems that can make a few more decisions. Whether it's such a great thing or not is another issue. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: First Post on August 04, 2009, 12:29:42 PM Quote The auto-shoot guns are already around Yeah (http://spysappinsentry.ytmnd.com/). You need pyros hanging around them to spy check though, or they get sapped. (Didn't somebody post this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jcxg_QuHyYE) here awhile back? And that's just homebrew stuff) Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on August 04, 2009, 12:38:29 PM :lol: Nerf makes USB-connected sensor-auto-fire / remote-fire fully automatic weapons nowadays. It's not rocket mail. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on August 06, 2009, 05:20:03 PM FINALLY (http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/science/08/04/pacific.garbage.patch/index.html), a half-decent article about the Pacific Garbage Patch. Thank you, for Godsake, Bob Knox. But the writer can't help him/herself and goes on to say something like "soupy" to describe it ... ARRRRGH. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on August 06, 2009, 05:30:33 PM I'm never eating soup at his house. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on October 06, 2009, 01:38:43 PM So . . . finally got the home internet. AT&T came by and turned on the DSL. Left a flier in the door that says I Am Your Local Service Guy, So Give Me A Call, and then there's a space for a business card but no business card. Well done. Since they wanted an ungodly amount of money for hardware, I ordered my own DSL modem and router. Seriously, I've set this shit up before, and it wasn't horrible. That was then; this is now. First mistake: Buying from Buy.com. They were teh cheapest I could find, and I need cheapest, but fer christ's sake. I bought a Zoom DSL modem. The website didn't say that it's a USB modem. It doesn't have its own power source, so you HAVE to plug it into a computer (or get an external USB power brick), and it doesn't have an ethernet port, so I couldn't plug it into the router anyway. Fucking useless. Oh, and the install software that comes with it has ISP options . . . but not AT&T . . . although the manual claims it works with AT&T service. Very helpful. Buy.com also sent me a router which turns out not to be a wireless router after all, despite what the site claimed. So, yeah, I've got to just send both of them back. Needless to say, I won't bother buying replacements from Buy.com. Cheap, but partly because they sold me complete crap and lied about it. YT can't wait no mores for the internet, so he was determined to at least get the modem to work. The software wants a username and password. AT&T has not given me any such information. He calls AT&T tech support. Watching someone else call tech support is worse than watching them try to unlock a stubborn door. It's kind of like getting a root canal through your nose. The bottom line is that AT&T eventually gave us the default so-you-can-register username and password (which they hadn't given to me yet because . . . the guy didn't know why) but told us that their DSL service ONLY works with the overpriced equipment they sell, although the guy didn't know what brand(s) that would be, or why, and admitted to me that he wasn't even sure it was true. Yah, I know, because we have AT&T DSL at the shop but don't use their equipment. He transferred us to their tech support (apparently the phone number that's listed as "Tech Support" is actually "Customer Support", which is very different . . . in that they don't know anything about anything), where a new guy told us that they would help us set up the DSL service we were paying for . . . if we agreed to a one-time charge of 99, which would cover any difficulties that occurred during a five-day period. And also that wouldn't cover any questions related to non-AT&T equipment, such as how to get our own modem to work with AT&T DSL. Yah, fuck off. That's some good customer service you got there. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Tripper on October 06, 2009, 01:44:58 PM Bullshit. Their service works with ANY DSL modem because it is classified as a telephony device, which is regulated by the FCC because of the shenannigans of (you guessed it) AT&T during the breakup. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Hedaira on October 06, 2009, 02:22:22 PM GOOGLE THAT SHIT. Seriously. There is a 10 out of 10 chance someone else has had this issue and resolved it. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on October 06, 2009, 02:31:43 PM I went and bought a 2wire all-in-one wireless bitch for 40 instead. It's allegedly designed to automatically work with AT&T's registration BS. I'll just send the Buy.com crap back. Life, as they say, is too short. I would've gone with Earthlink (their customer service is approximately ten billion times better), but they want 80 a month for DSL where I am, and I flat-out can't afford that. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: feffer on October 06, 2009, 04:11:34 PM 80 a month for DSL where I am WTF? We have fiber for between 42 and 125. I think we're at the 50, and it's just fine. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on October 06, 2009, 04:12:55 PM Quote Left a flier in the door that says I Am Your Local Service Guy, So Give Me A Call, and then there's a space for a business card but no business card. :lol: Hate AT&T. Quote I would've gone with Earthlink (their customer service is approximately ten billion times better), but they want 80 a month for DSL where I am... :shock: 80 is ridiculous. I can't believe that. I agree, their customer service is great, or at least I always had good luck with them. I'm actually surprised they haven't gone out of business. I guess if people are actually paying that much for DSL... Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on October 06, 2009, 04:23:43 PM I had to go look it up. Earthlink DSL is 40-45 here, not including the introductory discount. I didn't know they offered cable in some areas. Of course not my area. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on October 06, 2009, 06:32:46 PM No Earthlink cable in my area, either. Earthlink hosts our website, at work, but their DSL for the shop would be about 80, too. :shrug: All the small private ISPs I could find in the area are unreasonably expensive. I have no idea why. AT&T is all about shafting you. The 99 customer service fee is typical. Like I said elsewhere, they want 200 if you want a rep to plug the modem in for you when you sign up. And they have a crippled slow DSL option for 20 a month, a half-speed DSL for 35 a month, a regular DSL for 40 a month, and a higher-speed DSL for 60. I don't know who's getting the 35-a-month plan, but my guess is that they push it on people who have no technical expertise. It's an outright screwjob. I also found tons of people online saying they paid$$$ for the AT&T hardware (modem / gateway) only to have to buy it again in six months after it went tits up.  There's apparently no warrantee.  And, of course, they tell people that third-party hardware isn't compatible with their service.

This area used to have good cheap local service through SBC -- and the customer service was amazing -- but AT&T bought them up.  Our SBC service guy got fired, and now we have no local rep.  When we have DSL problems at work, the toll-free service number invariably goes to someone who's unfamiliar with 'Michigan', much less 'DSL'.  Useless.

I'll get around to switching our business account to Earthlink DSL one of these days.  I'm sure the bookkeeper will want to know why we should pay twice as much per month, but . . . yeah, AT&T blows snake chunks.  The FTC sucks.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: eldiem on October 07, 2009, 05:22:02 PM
Maybe I'm an outlier but I haven't had any problems with my AT&T DSL for the past like 4 years or so. Same modem and everything. And I pay just over $50/mo for the DSL and very basic phone service (30 local calls a month included, no long distance,$0.10 per local call after 30.)
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on October 07, 2009, 06:00:11 PM
But have you ever needed help for any reason? It's when you try to find a human to help you that your troubles begin. If you want to buy something, they can usually handle that pretty well, but if you have a problem, especially anything that's the least bit out of the ordinary, that's when you run into the wall. It's like they're only set up to sell their products with the assumption that nothing will ever go wrong.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: stormneedle on October 07, 2009, 06:06:11 PM
Every time I need help with our stuff, it has to go to Tier 2. It's almost as if I knew how to fix the basic problems myself, but I still have to go through the damned script.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on October 08, 2009, 10:26:02 AM
Quote

Exactly that.  The DSL service at work almost always works perfectly.  Anytime you have any problem, though, it's like there's no such thing as customer service.  On the rare occasions that the DSL is out, there's no point in even calling them.  It'll get fixed in a couple of hours whether you spend 45 minutes on hold and being transferred to another know-nothing department or if you just shut up and wait.

I was hoping to not have any problems.  Well, the 2wire gateway arrived this morning, so I'll try it out and see if that works.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on October 08, 2009, 11:42:31 AM
Humans? Working for the phone company?

I wouldn't be so sure.

Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: stormneedle on October 08, 2009, 12:11:08 PM
That scared me - it's just a little too plausible.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Tripper on October 08, 2009, 03:18:42 PM
Now I *have* to see that movie.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on November 06, 2009, 12:42:59 PM
Google News is constantly trying to shove Fox News crap on me -- they come up as the lead source for a ridiculously large number of stories -- and, when it's not Fox, it's the used-to-be-respectable Wall Street Journal.  :thumbsdn:

I tried following some online advice for how to filter out unwanted news sources . . . and I completely destroyed my Google News account.  :lol:  Swing and a miss.

It can be put back together, but I'm not even sure I want to bother.  Over the last few weeks, its guesses at what's a recent and important news story have become increasingly bizarre and useless anyway.  CNN just revamped their site and made it even less impressive, though, so I'm mostly down to British news sources and Frak.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on November 06, 2009, 01:04:44 PM

Last night I got the Breaking News Psychosis over the Fort Hood thing. I hardly ever watch the news, but I was curious about WTF was going on out there. I kept waiting for the news conference that was going to "happen any minute now" (ended up being more than two hours later). Anyway, switching back and forth between CNN and Fox, Fox was doing a surprisingly better job of reporting the facts. I was surprised how shitty CNN performed.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on November 06, 2009, 01:13:24 PM
CNN peaked in 1991 (January 17, 1991, to be exact :galm: ). Since then they've been coasting, and gradually losing competence / etc. There are a few bright spots but the overall picture is decline of reporting quality and increased focus on features and sensationalism. Like everyone else I guess.

I never look at their web site any more and I haven't tuned in to CNN or Headline News in years.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on November 06, 2009, 01:17:04 PM
Quote
Fox was doing a surprisingly better job of reporting the facts.

It certainly could happen.  CNN has sucked, all around, since they forced Turner out.  (Who knew, eh?)  And the WSJ is mostly OK except for its ridiculous Limbaugh-humping editorial page.  But for me the bottom line is not doing business with that ilk.

As they used to say in the old country, you can't kiss the devil's icy anus and then say you're only kidding.  Fortunately, what with not getting TV anymore, I don't have to watch Fox shows and feel conflicted about it, because there are limits to the height of even my soapbox.

I still miss the Nando Times.  That was a good zero-BS news-aggregator site.  Excellent depth and breadth of coverage, no bias, short load times, text-only option, good site design, unobtrusive ads.  Naturally, it wasn't making any money, and the parent company dumped it.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: First Post on November 06, 2009, 01:17:12 PM
Right now there's an office shooter thing happening in Orlando.

Like most news these days, I found it out first through Trending Topics on the twitters.

Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on November 06, 2009, 01:22:18 PM
See, I rarely need that kind of immediacy.  I mean, unless I have a vested interest in the news because, you know, I should flee the area, or something, I don't usually need the OMG RIGHT NOW thing.  Early reports tend to be wrong, and eyewitness reports tend to be too close to give a proper picture (especially when presented in isolation).

The problem is that the news attention span is so short that by the time anyone can say what really happened, no one's covering the story anymore.  I can't be bothered to wade through Time just to find out what actually happened in last week's big story.

If CNN ever put up a section that was just follow-ups, I'd probably start checking their site again.

Oh, the NYT website is OK . . . more for commentary and medium-depth special pieces than for general news, though.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: flipper on November 06, 2009, 01:55:16 PM
I'm usually three or four weeks behind on my Economist.  That's immediate enough for me when it comes to news.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on November 07, 2009, 04:45:37 PM
See, I rarely need that kind of immediacy.  I mean, unless I have a vested interest in the news because, you know, I should flee the area, or something, I don't usually need the OMG RIGHT NOW thing.  Early reports tend to be wrong, and eyewitness reports tend to be too close to give a proper picture (especially when presented in isolation).

Heh. That's true. Like the episode at Fort Hood, it just makes me want to know what's going on, and regardless of how fast the media is, if the people who know what happened aren't speaking to the media, then you still aren't going to find out. Sometimes I take your view to the extreme and wait for documentaries to be made about a subject, rather than to read a bunch of media reports as it happens.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: the other andrea on November 10, 2009, 02:35:03 PM
The media speculating on unfolding events doesn't help either. "Unofficial reports say" etc. Like when Michael Jackson died.

And for how many hours were they reporting the Fort Hood shooter was dead? I was watching some news show when the live news conference came on and Cone said Hasan was alive. Suddenly every media asshole was scrambling to cover their asses on that one...  :eyeroll:

EDIT: Sorry, not sure how this is geek talk...  :lol:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Hedaira on November 10, 2009, 03:13:06 PM
Media Geek.

I want to throat punch anchor douches when they go off on speculation tangents. Report on what is happening or STFU.
NO EXCEPTIONS.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on November 10, 2009, 03:45:28 PM
Coraje!
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on November 14, 2009, 04:02:28 PM
OK, you know what I would like, as a browser enhancement?  I'd like a cache enhancer.  I mean, what I'd like is a plug-in, or whatever, that detects when some Javascript BS app or whatever is caching some streaming whatever and could then go ahead and do a better job of caching it.  Mostly by caching more of it, although a multistream look-ahead cache would be fine.

For instance, Youtube has shitty cache parameters.  I mean, for one thing, it assumes I want to try to start playing the movie right away, regardless of how quickly the thing's downloading, how much has already cached, etc.  That's moronic.  My grandmother could handle caching better than that.

Silverlight is even worse.  I assume they're trying to prevent me from capturing the stream of the whole video, but what happens is that at some point during even a ten-minute video, much less a whole movie, the transfer rate drops.  Then the movie playback threatens to overrun the cache, and the playback stops dead while Silverlight panics and tries to figure out how to proceed.  And what it uniformly decides to do is to reduce the picture quality (stupid) and give me an unrequested two-minute intermission (sometimes a four-minute intermission) while it builds up the cache a bit again.  When AT&T is being a dick (ie, often), this can happen several times during the video.  If I reload the page, I have to wait for the handshaking and crap to occur all over again, but if the transfer rate happens to be high at that moment, Silverlight returns me to a decent picture quality.

And this is purely stupid -- and completely a caching issue.  Let me tell you what picture quality to use, and then if it's going to take 50 minutes to download the damn video maybe I'll want to wait and maybe I'll want to agree to some blur and snow.

But if you'd just cache further ahead, this wouldn't be a problem.  I have plenty of drive space for a big cache.  And you could cache the movie in look-ahead chunks, like a good piece of software would do, rather than just trying to keep just barely ahead of the bit I'm watching.

So that, at least, as a plug-in or whatever, I would be totally down with.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on November 14, 2009, 05:24:53 PM
There's not a single bear in there.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on December 05, 2009, 02:22:28 PM
OK, so . . . I was a wizard with the old Partition Magic back in the day, meaning, um, fifteen years ago.  [damn]  By now, I don't know WTF is up in my hard drive's grill.

If the system says the drive has X GB of space and it's all unallocated, does that mean it's unpartitioned?  Unformatted?  Unused?  I've got a drive here and I don't know if it's ever been used before, and I want to use it with an Ubuntu system, and I've never used Ubuntu before.  So far, the Gnome interface is a snap -- it's like halfway between an un-dumbed-down Windows and a Hi There, Moron Mac interface -- but I can't tell if I'm reading its system summary gunk correctly, and I don't really remember what "unallocated" means in this context.

I did go looking online, but I was surprised at how unhelpful the googles and wikis were with this one.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on December 22, 2009, 12:56:40 PM
I'm liking the Ubuntu / Gnome combo so far, but I'll clearly have to spend some time looking for shareware for it.  For one thing, the file manager that it comes with is weirdly primitive.  The directory tree doesn't work properly, even moreso than Microsoft's (Seriously, when did Xtree come out?  You haven't replicated all of its basic functions yet, MS.  Sheesh.), and the system seems to hide certain folders / directories that it would be nice to be able to find.

For instance, I downloaded the free AVG for Linux anti-virus.  It asks if I want to save it or install it.  The file doesn't come as an executable self-installer; it wants to use the special system installer.  Well, OK.  Why not?  Whatever.

(Incidentally, I have never gotten that Run Program As Admin thing to work in any version of Windows.  I hear it mentioned as a solution on the net all the time, and my brother can apparently get it to work, but almost no one else I know can make it work.  No idea WTF is up with that.  Dealing with these complications in Windows is exactly why so many people I know use the Admin account all the time, even if they know it's a bad idea.)

So the installer runs for a bit, and then it stops.  Hmm.  AVG doesn't seem to be installed.  It's not running, and I can't find any way to start it.  And the Downloads folder window closed, and I can't find the Downloads folder in the file manager, even using the (rather bare-bones) Search function.

:shrug:

I guess I'll try downloading it all over again so I can get the Downloads folder back, and then I'll try installing it again.  Also, this is Ubuntu 7.5, I think, some slightly older version, and . . . it's no longer supported, so they took down the online documentation for it.  What?  That's not how the internet works, people.  Right now, I can't get the new Ubuntu CD image to download and burn to a CD (similar problem to the AVG thing), and I don't have another machine handy with a working CD burner at the moment, and I can't access the documentation to figure out what's wrong with my current Ubuntu.

I'm sure it'll get sorted eventually -- I'll probably just have my brother make me a new Ubuntu CD -- but oy.

I still like it significantly better than Windows so far.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Tripper on December 22, 2009, 01:59:56 PM
Open a terminal window and type "ps -ef" and look to see if AVG is in one of the running processes.

You're making the mistake a lot of people make about Linux, that it works just like Windows.  It doesn't.  Better dig out a copy of "Linux for Dummies" (seriously).
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on December 22, 2009, 02:04:28 PM
I'm not so much assuming that it works like Windows as I am holding it / Gnome to the same standards I hold Windows to.  (Windows fails pretty much constantly.)  I shouldn't have to be any kind of expert to do these kinds of tasks.  This is the kind of stuff that ought to be really obvious.

And either the installer or the Linux AVG, or both, is deficient if neither tells me that AVG has been installed correctly.  I'm a little disappointed if it's not installed correctly and neither piece of software alerts me, but that assumes that something's gone wrong, so . . . error-trapping is good, but not as important as if the program does the right things when it is working correctly.

Still, I appreciate the tip.  And if we had Linux for Dummies here, I would've already snapped it up.  The computer books we tend to get are usually 10 years out of date or older.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Tripper on December 22, 2009, 03:28:12 PM
Linux for Dummies is 10 years old I believe.  Red Hat came out when I was working at CA, which was the late 90's, and the copy I had came with a copy of it.

The problem with desktop linux is that it's NOT designed by engineers with the average consumer in mind and that's one of the big problems with it; it's designed by engineers who expect that other engineers will use it.  In it's favor, Windows is tested on what's now the average user base for computers and not the technically adept.  What you're looking at with Ubuntu is the desktop interface, which is now being designed with an average user in mind, but without the money that Microsoft has to conduct trials and testing.

It's as if Ford made a car that was built only to the engine/chassis and things like interior, exterior, etc were left to third parties to customize and configure.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on December 22, 2009, 03:45:20 PM
I really, really hate the average user base.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on December 22, 2009, 04:15:04 PM
Yeah.  I believe that MS tests with relatively average users, but I don't believe that they elicit good comments from them, intelligently adapt to those test-users' wants and needs, or significantly alter their designs based on the data they get.

Quote
it's NOT designed by engineers with the average consumer in mind and that's one of the big problems with it; it's designed by engineers who expect that other engineers will use it.

Yeah, but I'm OK with that.  The principle is less important than the execution -- because even an engineer will ideally want a system that's natural to use, and, contrary to a lot of theory that exists mostly in intellectual space rather than the real world, an engineer's interface needs generally aren't going to be so different from an average user's.  The biggest differences will be in complexity (greater available complexity, for the expert) and safeguards (less of it, for the expert).

An expert is better at adapting to a bad interface, but that very much does not mean that the bad interface is better for the expert.  The unfortunate exception to this rule is when bad tradition overcomes natural intuitive interface design, as anyone who uses, shall we say, a traditional text editor knows well.  The controls are arcane because the people who use the editor are accustomed to them, not because it's a prima facie good design.

Being able to do things through the command-line interface is a big plus.  Having to do them through the command-line interface would be a design flaw.  And yadda.

The car with third-party interior is an awesome idea -- assuming that third-party interiors are widely available and easy to install.  If I wind up deciding I just don't like Gnome, there's always KDE.  You can't easily do that with Windows anymore -- you used to be able to (hello and goodbye, HP Dashboard), but MS specifically locked that shit down, and Apple has always wanted to, too.

By engineers, for engineers is OK with me.  Apple's method seems to be replicating a smart but idiosyncratic techie guy who thinks it's all easy as pie and doesn't understand why you don't think the way he thinks, and he's happy to help you out but tends to vanish when you need him the most.  And he really thinks it's best if you don't have the keys to those rooms over there.  And his people skills are mixed, but he clearly means well.

MS's method seems to be replicating a guy who isn't as techie as he thinks, has the most annoying people skills in the world, and condescendingly thinks you're an idiot.  MS is that guy in IT that even the other IT people all hate.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Tripper on December 23, 2009, 10:54:14 AM
Actually the 3rd party interior does exist and has for years.  GM has been selling stripped vans to conversion shops who tart the insides up and resell them to dealers for some major $$. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on December 23, 2009, 11:10:25 AM True enough. I used to drive a sweet conversion van. Actually, I hate the modern 'fully-formed' interior. I mean, I don't like the look; I don't like the concept; I don't like the personality of it; I don't like the loss of utility. You look into, say, a mid-80s mid-range Honda, and it's got a flat carpeted floor, with the seat hardware clearly and cleanly exposed. Hell, you can open the door and see the bolts holding the seats down and the seatbelt anchors and etc. Modern Honda (not to pick on Honda), it's all molded, all carpeted, all weird shapes and tight spaces and disguised. I don't get it. There was a lot more usable, rectangular space in the older cars. You could easily put stuff under your seat (without it getting in the way of the mechanicals, either) and easily get it back out again. If for some reason you wanted to take a seat out, it was a snap. The flat surfaces were easy to clean. Do people really want to ride around in a vacuum-formed plastic cocoon? I don't need the car to be an 'organic' blob. It's a damned car. Hell, I'd rather see them bring back the fake exaggerated streamlining if they'd just stop whoring up the interiors. Keep it simple. And, yeah, it's way easier to customize an older / more straightforward interior. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Hedaira on December 23, 2009, 02:11:43 PM Well, the more angles going on = the more sound dampening you get. Cheaper than insulation. And yeah, people think curvature = modern = and sexy, sexy space Jestsons shit that Tomorrowland promised but never delivered. The biggest complaint I have about my hybrid is LOUD ROAD NOISE. The evil green car was sweet because you shut the doors and the rest of the world outside you STFU. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 02, 2010, 11:55:40 AM On one of the work machines here, Windows (XP Home Ed SP3) was reporting about once an hour that its virtual memory wasn't big enough and that it was increasing its size. We got some technical advice to just let it handle it, as Windows knows best about this. I finally got sick of it and went into teh properties and changed the virtual memory from "System managed" to "at a minimum, fairly enormous". I don't know if having a huge page file causes the system to slow down, but having Windows stop to increase the page file size every 45 minutes is damned annoying. This machine is far from new, but we've got 100 GB of blank space on the drive. It's not like we can't spare some. Oh, and I actually had a chance to buy a Linux for Dummies yesterday for 6, but it covers six flavors . . . not including Ubuntu. :angry: I noticed it covers Mandrake, which annoyed me because I'm still pissed at the Mandrake people and their filthy, filthy lies. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: First Post on January 02, 2010, 04:35:42 PM IIRC Ubuntu is based on Debian so a lot of that stuff should still work... Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 02, 2010, 05:53:14 PM I figured most of it was the same. I'm just that stubborn. Or possibly 'pissy'. And I spoke too soon about fixing the Windows memory issue. It worked fine for two or three days, but about an hour after I posted that . . . it happened again. Checked the settings, and Windows had set it back to automatic. Annoying. Logged back in as admin again and re-reset it to stick with a bigass page file. We'll see how long that lasts. Seriously, I hate Windows. I hate Windows. Seriously. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Tripper on January 02, 2010, 10:48:56 PM Somebody's changing it. Winblowz doesn't do that by itself. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 02, 2010, 11:42:42 PM I dunno. There's only one other person who uses that machine, and we'd already talked about this annoying problem. I'll ask him if maybe he changed it, but I'd really be surprised if he did. Out of curiosity, I checked my machine here at home. It also has Win XP Home Ed SP3, and its virtual memory is set to automatic. I have a way smaller hard drive on this machine, with far less free space, but it defaults to a much larger minimum page file -- about eight times larger. Both machines are set to "Best performance for programs". Makes me wonder what Windows uses to determine optimal page file size. This machine has much less RAM, so maybe it tends to set a larger page file? One thing that occurs to me is that I never paid enough attention to the work machine to know if it was really increasing the minimum page file size every time it said it was going to. That message always popped up during general use, so it was probably always when we were logged in as a user, not as admin. Does that affect Windows' own permissions over itself, too? Maybe it kept trying to change the page file size and telling itself no? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: bit zero on January 03, 2010, 02:36:35 AM This machine has much less RAM, so maybe it tends to set a larger page file? Yeah. I'd just leave the pagefile setting alone and add more memory -- it's cheap now, and will have a huge impact on performance. :) Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Tripper on January 03, 2010, 03:39:57 PM As a rule, the pagefile should start out at 1x the memory size. There may be an algorithm for sizing, but I'm not sure. I'm so used to doing a reload when things get messy, I've never messed with page size too much. Don't forget, there's a maximum amount of memory that Windows will address. I believe the physical limit for XP is 2 or 3GB with a virtual memory limit of 3GB for a 32bit OS. Anything more and it ignores it. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: vox8 on January 03, 2010, 06:53:35 PM Does the incontinent ghost have admin privileges? If so, I suggest Depends as a possible password hack. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 03, 2010, 08:22:21 PM Ghost in the machine, eh? Hadn't considered that. I think the Wet Spectre would tend to short out the computer, though. God forbid. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 04, 2010, 12:02:58 PM Well, Netflix and Silverlight have teamed up to make the Play Instantly on Your Computer feature no longer function for a great many people. Netflix says it's the new version of Silverlight, and Silverlight says it's a Netflix streaming issue. I tried and tried to fix it, but the googles revealed that a jillion other people are also trying to fix it. The exact playback problems vary, but in my case it takes forever to buffer (sad considering that it only buffers a tiny amount per gulp) and the sound stops synching up after about thirty seconds, maximum, and video playback often jumps ahead by about a second at a time. The moral of the story, as is so often the case with Windows, is that automatic updates may very well screw you over. The Play Instantly feature accounted for about 90% of my Netflix use of late, so this has me pretty annoyed. My assumption is that eventually Netflix and/or Silverlight will release the next version of their gunk, and maybe things will start working again. Frankly, I'm no fan whatsoever of the Silverlight player, which (A) is one of those apps that pretends to be part of the browser but doesn't work like part of the browser and which confers no advantages by not being standalone, and (B) offers almost no features at all. I mean: -- it's a pain to fast-forward or rewind -- you can't change playback speed or aspect ratio or contrast or anything -- you have no control over video quality (which the software will change from time to time on its own) -- pausing playback will often cause it to choke, so that you have to reload the whole schmeer (although it does remember where you were, which is a small saving grace) -- there doesn't seem to be any option to change languages or turn on subtitles -- it's specifically designed to allow 'adaptive streaming' with really stupid allowable parameters (as little as 5-second buffering? really?), which means it puts buffering in the hands of non-technical middlemen who are bound to screw it up Really, it makes Media Player look good by comparison. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Hedaira on January 04, 2010, 12:05:24 PM S'why I use VLC. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 04, 2010, 12:07:59 PM With Netflix? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Hedaira on January 04, 2010, 12:15:28 PM http://www.howtogeek.com/forum/topic/cant-watch-netflix-instant-movies-after-sp1 Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 04, 2010, 12:38:36 PM Oh, man, now you have my hopes up, but that link doesn't clarify too much. I'll have to dig around the nets later tonight. Those comments are all for back when Netflix used Media Player instead of Silverlight. I don't know if people still have the older Netflix setup, but my system doesn't have any Netflix directories, much less a ResetDRM.exe, etc. I'm not a huge fan of VLC, which often fails to play audio for me (it tells me it doesn't have a codec and that there's "unfortunately nothing" I can do about it) and which seems to have been designed without a familiarity with Windows standards. But it's miles and miles better than Silverlight. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: flipper on January 04, 2010, 01:01:42 PM I watch instantly on my TV with my 3rd gen Tivo box. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Hedaira on January 04, 2010, 02:08:18 PM VLC often does get uppity and crashes in weird ways sometimes - but I'm using it on a Mac and I seem to be able to coax it into settling down and behaving. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 04, 2010, 07:56:08 PM Yeah, I don't have a TiVo or Roku or whatever. How do you get Netflix to stream to the VLC player in the first place? I tried going to Open Network, choosing HTTP Protocol, and entering the URL that Silverlight uses to stream a film, and . . . nothing. Netflix told me it was Silverlight or nothing. Currently, it's more like Silverlight and nothing, and I'm sufficiently pissed that I've been seriously considering cancelling my Netflix account. It's impressive how fast buying DVDs occasionally turned into renting them by mail, and now the postal system is total BS for me. Give me back my damned play-on-demand. :cry: Seriously, I'll google it more later, but it's driving me crazy at the moment. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on January 06, 2010, 12:19:08 PM Axe: http://news.softpedia.com/news/Ubuntu-Manual-Will-Be-Available-with-Ubuntu-10-04-131201.shtml Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 06, 2010, 03:02:52 PM OK, here's my newb question: If I install a new version of Ubuntu, does that wipe out everything, or does it do a nice thing where it only replaces OS files? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on January 06, 2010, 05:57:57 PM I hope nobody is waiting for me to answer - I just saw that news story and thought you'd be interested. I know nuttin' bout no Ubuntu. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Tripper on January 07, 2010, 11:12:27 AM No, it will just upgrade the appropriate files. The new OSX version actually *shrank* the OS files it needed, which is something that I've never heard happening before. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 07, 2010, 12:05:14 PM :thumbsup: Sounds awesome. So apparently CES has been weird so far. Three new TV designs are buzzy -- a TV that allegedly can turn anything into 3D (:confused:), a big flat-panel that's just over .25" (7mm) thick, and a TV that has RGB . . . and Y color sources, for allegedly over a trillion colors. Not that any of these are features I personally am looking for in a TV, but it's news, at least. Meanwhile, apparently Microsoft has some kind of disaster brewing. Their presentation was expected to unveil a new personal tablet computer, among other things, but instead Ballmer just got up and gave a PowerPoint show about things MS has done in the past. They touted the still-hemorrhaging-money Zune, among other things. (He apparently described Bing as a huge success, which, so far, it is not.) The press described it as 'boring' and 'mysterious'. Ballmer did show a stripped-down Windows 7 running on other people's handheld jobbies, but not a peep otherwise. He was rumored to be going to snipe Apple's tablet thunder, but methinks something has gone wrong. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on January 08, 2010, 04:00:41 PM http://xkcd.com/686/ Heh. In a VMS cluster, you can do rolling boots - take down one machine in a cluster, and the rest carry every on while you patch that one. Dunno if Linux clusters do that, but I know Windows doesn't. So, when considering your online-afterlife, systems matter. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: bit zero on January 08, 2010, 05:18:34 PM No, it will just upgrade the appropriate files. The new OSX version actually *shrank* the OS files it needed, which is something that I've never heard happening before. Yeah, because they stripped out all the PowerPC binaries and libraries. Sure, they added some amd64 binaries in their place, but the amd64 libraries were already there in Leopard, so the net effect was less space used. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: bit zero on January 08, 2010, 05:21:02 PM http://xkcd.com/686/ Heh. In a VMS cluster, you can do rolling boots - take down one machine in a cluster, and the rest carry every on while you patch that one. Dunno if Linux clusters do that, but I know Windows doesn't. So, when considering your online-afterlife, systems matter. I do my FreeBSD cluster upgrades that way... compile and install the OS on one machine, reboot, then (over NFS) install the OS I just compiled on the other systems and reboot 'em one at a time. Which reminds me, I forgot to reboot one yesterday after patching it... but it's going to be replaced in a week with some Lynnfield goodness so it'll probably be fine til then. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Tripper on January 08, 2010, 11:10:36 PM I am always terrified when Mike quotes me in this thread. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Hedaira on January 08, 2010, 11:21:34 PM Nah, he's gentle. Just ask dogbone. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 09, 2010, 06:50:59 AM :lol: I don't know about that, but he's always been kind about my boneheaded mistakes. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Tripper on January 09, 2010, 08:25:27 AM Hehe. It's my job to speculate on IT stuff, so I get to be wrong occasionally. Once, I was doing a pre-implementation talk at a client where I was the third presenter. Halfway through the first one this guy comes in and starts shitting on him. Making these comments about how "this has problems" and "that doesn't work well", etc. I'm sitting there thinking oh fucking wonderful, just what I need. He goes on doing it to the second guy and finally it's my turn. Me - The Celerra CIFS component uses a usermapper to correlate unix UID/GID to SID/ACL... Him - Yeah, well we had a Celerra at Home Depot and we had problems with the CIFS integration. Me - (Nodding). Yes, I remember that. I installed it. You were at what, the 3.x code level? NAS is at the 5.1 level now with quite a bit of new functionality built in. And as I remember, that was a Microsoft problem where they broke something with a service pack. Him - (Clicking noise as his mouth shuts suddenly) Meanwhile it dawned on me that I just shut down a client. I got through everything else, but was nervous as hell until we all got outside and the SE was slapping me on the back telling me that I was fucking fantastic! The salesman (who was on the phone during the meeting) met us for lunch and did the same thing. He said he had his phone muted but was yelling "YES! YES! YES!" at it. Before we left I found out he was a new guy and all the other admins thought he was an arrogant prick. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on January 09, 2010, 10:44:39 AM Oops, maybe, but :clap: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: bit zero on January 11, 2010, 04:56:43 PM Yeah, there are a lot of arrogant pricks in IT. When you have a poorly-understood field, you get a lot of arrogance in the people that do understand it. You also get a lot of people pretending to understand it that really don't, because the general public doesn't know the difference. The trick is sorting out the real geeks from the pretend geeks, and the assholes from the normal people. I at least try not to be a pretend asshole :) Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 11, 2010, 05:07:30 PM :lol: Many years ago, someone bought me the Faking It In UNIX book. I was too lazy to actually do more than skim it. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Hedaira on January 11, 2010, 05:38:10 PM Yeah, there are a lot of arrogant pricks in IT. When you have a poorly-understood field, you get a lot of arrogance in the people that do understand it. You also get a lot of people pretending to understand it that really don't, because the general public doesn't know the difference. The trick is sorting out the real geeks from the pretend geeks, and the assholes from the normal people. I at least try not to be a pretend asshole :) I have a zing all lined up.... but I like having regular access to sex so I'll park it. :D Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 11, 2010, 06:53:56 PM OH. Is that how it works? Explains a lot. I've been doing it wrong all these years. :cry: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on January 11, 2010, 10:39:18 PM I was catching up on podcasts of The Loh Down on Science when I heard about some guys doing a mathematical model for zombie infections... She used the phrase, "Ghouls Gone Wild." :doh: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: the other andrea on January 15, 2010, 07:48:32 PM Has anyone seen the Zombie Outbreak Simulator (http://www.class3outbreak.com/zombie-outbreak-simulator/)? It uses Google Maps (and Flash) to show how the outbreak can progress... you can adjust the settings to view how the attack would be contained or spread, but it's not interactive other than that. Still, pretty cool. EDIT: Erm, I think some features may not work on Macs... :eyeroll: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mybabysmomma on January 23, 2010, 10:40:55 AM Ok, I've got a Mac question for ya'll. I have an I Mac that was bought in the early 2000's. We haven't used it for at least 4 years. We used it mostly for internet and some small home business stuff. We didn't install any software on other than printer stuff. If we wanted to use it now, would that be a good idea and what would we need to do to get it up to snuff. And please talk way down to me, I am way not computer savvy. And if you want to make fun, please feel free. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: flipper on January 23, 2010, 05:35:50 PM If you're just going to use it for internet stuff and home business (i.e. Quicken), it's probably fine just the way it is. If you had some other applications in mind, it would probably be better to donate that puppy to poor people and buy something new. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: the other andrea on January 23, 2010, 06:47:13 PM Those iMacs will keep going until the ice age returns -- we used one up until about 2 years ago with a 500Mhz processor and a 30MB hard drive. Those 2000-2001 iMacs can supposedly run OS X 10.4 Tiger. I never bothered to upgrade, as OS9 was still working pretty well in 2007-2008 for just general web surfing and word processing ...and playing the original version of The Sims. Low End Mac (http://lowendmac.com/imacs/) is a good resource for older Apple computer information, and tweaks you can do to maximize the computing power, like what you may need to do to get it to run OS X properly. The page I linked to is specifically about iMacs; if you scroll down to the bottom of the page there are some articles there that might be helpful. :happy: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mybabysmomma on January 24, 2010, 09:06:35 AM Thanks guys, that helps muchly. flipper, I am the poor people :D. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on January 25, 2010, 08:30:06 PM Those iMacs will keep going until the ice age returns -- we used one up until about 2 years ago with a 500Mhz processor and a 30MB hard drive. Those 2000-2001 iMacs can supposedly run OS X 10.4 Tiger. I never bothered to upgrade, as OS9 was still working pretty well in 2007-2008 for just general web surfing and word processing ...and playing the original version of The Sims. Low End Mac (http://lowendmac.com/imacs/) is a good resource for older Apple computer information, and tweaks you can do to maximize the computing power, like what you may need to do to get it to run OS X properly. The page I linked to is specifically about iMacs; if you scroll down to the bottom of the page there are some articles there that might be helpful. :happy: my imac died a couple of years ago. hard disc failure. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Hedaira on January 27, 2010, 11:35:26 PM What in the fuck? Some fuckass site tried to force a download in Chrome. Totally hijacked the browser. I forced it to quit - and now my fonts are all fucked up. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr Stoat smash or some shit. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 28, 2010, 01:05:55 PM :eek: Holy crap, that would send me ballistic. I almost smacked my computer today while trying to use Internet Exploder to do some shit that's not fully compatible with Opera (Netflix, Hotmail, etc). Open a new tab in Exploder, and there's like . . . . . . . . an eight-second delay. COME ON. In Opera, tell it to open a new tab or window, start typing, and almost instantly the tab or window's open, and whatever you're already typing appears in the address bar. Bang. You say do it, and it does it. Firefox is almost as fast. In Exploder, there's the huge bizarre delay -- it makes me think of the doors on the Heart of Gold, where they have to stop and tell you what a pleasure it is to be opening for you before they actually open -- and what you're typing either gets lost or, peculiarly, sometimes starts to appear at the beginning of the address space in the window or tab you were starting from. Not exactly the first time Exploder has made me crazy, but it's just like surfing the internet wearing two pairs of mittens. Everything is so slow and shitty. Maddening. I can't even describe how annoying it is telling Exploder stop, stop, stop loading that page. No, seriously. Stop. STOP. Stop trying to display it now. Opera would've been back under my control ten seconds ago. STOP. Good god, please stop. No, don't load the page telling me I cancelled the loading of the page. Stop. :eyeroll: :cyber: :banghead: Microsoft, I hate you so much forever. First ones up against the wall when the revolution comes. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on January 28, 2010, 05:42:32 PM Even without cookies, a browser leaves a trail of crumbs (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/01/even-without-cookies-a-browser-leaves-a-trail-of-crumbs.ars) Where's Nex? He'd find this interesting. This is yet another reason to run NoScript. Advertisers (and who knows who else) have started tracking visitors by looking at information your browser supplies to web sites you visit. If you click on the link in that article, there's an online test (http://panopticlick.eff.org/) that tells how unique your machine/browser is. Here's my results using Firefox with NoScript: Quote Within our dataset of several hundred thousand visitors, only one in 1,042 browsers have the same fingerprint as yours. Currently, we estimate that your browser has a fingerprint that conveys 10.03 bits of identifying information. When visiting the test site with Safari or Opera, both of which allow the java applet to run, my machine/browser is totally unique, mostly due to all the odd fonts I have loaded. My machine at worked scored even better running Firefox with NoScript. I'm not sure exactly why that is. This machine is a Mac, and my work machine is Windows XP. My score on the work machine was something like "one in 250". I hope this isn't the site that messed up Stoatse's fonts. It's run by EFF, so I would expect it to be pretty safe. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Hedaira on January 28, 2010, 06:16:22 PM Nah. The site that caused me the angst was a celeb pictures site. Allegedly. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: TehPnuk on January 28, 2010, 06:27:51 PM Cruising Hasselhoff porn sites again, huh? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Hedaira on January 28, 2010, 06:44:48 PM :shock: No, but the thought of that just about nullified dinner. :sick: :puke: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 28, 2010, 06:58:34 PM All Hasselhoff is basically porn. Some of it just revolves around rare fetishes. Panopticlick? Ugh. Why not Panopti.com, at the very least? 'Panopticlick' sounds like a Kalahari word for cock itch. edit: Unique out of 160,044 browsers. Ugh. At least 17.3 bits of identifying information. A lot of the shit they list is stuff I don't want or need the browser to tell anyone, quite frankly. Both my plugin and font data are unique. Weirdly, the system fonts listed in their report don't match the ones in my Opera font options set up -- and most of them aren't fonts installed on my system, either. Hel(, I've never heard of half of them. Is my system spoofed by the NSA or something? These are all listed but aren't installed on my system as far as I can tell: Marlett, Arial CE, Arial CYR, Arial Greek, Arial TUR, Arial Baltic, Courier New Greek, Courier New TUR, Courier New Baltic, Times New Roman TUR, Times New Roman Baltic, Vev Zed, Estrangelo Edessa, Gautami, Rantad, Czec Surma, Latha, Returner, Mangal, MV Boli, Raavi, Shruti, Tunga, Kartika, Vrinda. The Arial, Courier, and Times regional ones could be built into the general fonts of the same name, I guess, but the rest? :confused: :shrug: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on January 28, 2010, 09:32:37 PM Quote Within our dataset of several hundred thousand visitors, only one in 4,629 browsers have the same fingerprint as yours. Currently, we estimate that your browser has a fingerprint that conveys 12.18 bits of identifying information. Odd. This is the XP machine. The VMS one is down right now (covered in packages), but that one might amuse them. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Tripper on January 29, 2010, 04:53:38 PM Been installing two EMC boxes in Chattanooga for the past two days. Get everything ready, open Firefox to finish the configuration and it won't connect to it! Firefox is *preventing* me from opening a "malicious" website! WTF? I could fiddle with it so I could get to it, but I'll never have a need to connect to 10.0.0.70 again so why bother? Oh yeah, it didn't care for Exploder 8 either, but it got over it. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: vox8 on January 31, 2010, 06:20:06 PM OK, I am trying to do something that I thought would be easy but SURPRISE, it isn't. Does anyone know anything about wordpress? I have a wordpress blog: http://robbingpeter.wordpress.com (http://robbingpeter.wordpress.com) and it has been going pretty well. I am now entering another project and I wanted to start a secondary blog - kinda. Everything I have read has said that if you go to a completely different subject you should have another blog. What I have seen many blogs do, and what I wanted to do, was have a tab somewhere that had the name of the secondary subject but still have it on the same blog. I thought I could do that by just using "add page" but the added pages are static. What I mean by that is I can type stuff to them, and change them, but they do not have a rolling blog posting thingie going on. Am I making any sense? Am I asking for something way too complicated? All I want is that when you go to my blog it looks like it does, only with a set of tabs between the header and the text column. These tabs would say "RobbingPeter" or Food or something and then a second one that says "Chicken Stuff" or something like that. As I said - I didn't think it would be difficult but obviously I was completely wrong. Should I just start another wordpress blog completely seperate. That sucks but I guess I can do it if I had too. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on February 02, 2010, 11:22:30 PM I'm liking the Ubuntu / Gnome so far, for the most part. There are a few annoyances: - The keyboard shortcuts are not obvious, often use key choices that don't seem to have any logical underpinnings, and, frankly, there just aren't enough of them. Doesn't make use of the special OS keys (Windows keys, in this case). You can customize the keyboard shortcuts, but I haven't tried this yet and don't know if it's a snap or a pain. I get the feeling that I'm going to be upgrading the OS / GUI pretty frequently as new versions come out, but are my customizations going to be easy to bring with me? Because I hate doing that kind of thing over and over again. Hate it. - If I put the machine to sleep, it won't wake up again. I have to hard-power-off and restart. It starts up again just fine, but that's annoying. Could be a Dell compatibility issue or something. - I can open RTF files created in Windows just fine with the Open Office word processor. The word processor is a tad clunky and occasionally annoying -- for instance, you can only drag table dimensions; you can't specify them in a dialog box -- but certainly no worse than Word. However, after I save those files, they often won't open properly again in Windows. That's no good. Tomorrow, I'm going to try emailing them as attachments instead, just in case it's a problem with using a USB flash drive on both kinds of OS. - The Linux version of Opera is almost identical to the Windows version (and hence has a much crappier user interface than older versions), but the customization bits are more of a pain in the ass. Both versions have a single check box option under Preferences that's supposed to turn the old keyboard commands back on, and it only works for some commands under Windows . . . and even fewer under Linux. :thumbsdn: Again, I could spend a lot of time customizing Opera, but my customizations would vanish next time I upgraded Opera. No good. - I don't really like the file-explorer thing. I don't like how it handles subdirectories, and I really don't like the way it handles file execution. I mean, you've got an RTF file there. Hit Enter or double-click, and it asks you what you want to do, with options like Run and Open and Display. Selecting Run always returns an error for me. Not sure even what it's trying to do. Open isn't much better. Display opens it in the word processor. Pretty strange. BUT . . . Ubuntu / Gnome is certainly fast, stable, and very pretty. And the multiple-user / varying-permissions stuff works far, far better than in Windows, just as I would've expected. If I can hack out the UI problems, it'll be pretty sweet. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on February 06, 2010, 12:46:48 PM I resurrected my ancient Lycos Mail email account, due to the recent Paypal-etc shenanigans. Turns out the thing was still active despite not having been used for years. Well, that was kind of nice of Lycos, I must say. On the other hand, it's still INCREDIBLY slow, even for webmail . . . although the interface is also still ten times better than Hotmail. Eh. But what I noticed is that it can't sort emails properly by date. I noticed this the other day at Hotmail, too. Once you get before 2000, the system seems to randomly chunk the dates in wherever. If it's a Y2K thing, it's a weird one, because it doesn't, say, assume that 1998 is really 2008 or 2098 or whatever. Hotmail has my pre-2000 emails sprinkled in all over the place, and Lycos seems to want them all between 2003 and 2004. Not that it matters so much, but it's weird. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on February 20, 2010, 11:45:22 PM The laptop is dead. Ugh. It looks like the graphics adapter on the motherboard is fried. It'll partially boot and I can watch a little of it if I plug in an external monitor. But as it flashes from the loading screen (where the XP logo has a moving image below it) to the main Windows screen, I lose everything. I tried reinstalling the system thinking there was some sort of bomb in the OS at first, and only the laptop screen wasn't working, and the one thing I couldn't reinstall was the new software for the adapters. Then the whole thing died completely. I can use the work laptop, but not for everything. No iTunes/podcasts, not anything NSFW, and a few other limitations (it's got a tiny little drive that's pretty full of stuff I need for work). And it's got something odd going on... it doesn't boot about 1/3 of the time, apparently due to a driver conflict with the linksys WiFi adapter. It's minor, I've got options, and so on. I just would rather buy a new laptop than pay taxes. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on February 22, 2010, 08:01:16 AM I bought a 25 green laser pointer from American Science & Surplus. I've already gotten WAY more than my money's worth of entertainment and occasionally actual use out of it. Among other things, it allows me to control all four of my brother's cats at once. It has the same nominal rating as the super-cheap red laser pointers I usually buy. CVS has them for 3 (they also include a near-UV flashlight and a pen that actually works, so for 3 . . . ), and sometimes they're on sale. Over the last three years, I must've bought at least a dozen of those. The green one seems like an inexpensive member of its breed. The aperture is not great, so the spot is distinctly squashed a bit, but the beam is visible in the dark if there's even a hint of dust in the air, etc. But I clearly don't understand the rating on these things. Like I said, it has the same power rating as the red ones. I have a radiometer. YT once helped me shine six of the red laser pointers on the same vane of the radiometer at once, and it didn't budge. The other day, while amusing my cat and confounding a squirrel outside, I tried the green one -- and it starts the radiometer spinning without a problem. Is this some kind of blackbody thing I don't understand? Is there a threshold energy quantum for free-electron kick? Are the power ratings lies? :shrug: But the green one is seriously cool, regardless. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on February 23, 2010, 02:08:14 AM :hmm: About twice as much energy per photon in a green beam than in a red one, but still, there is energy in the red beam. I don't get it. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on February 23, 2010, 10:25:57 AM Maybe the red photons just don't have enough energy each to overcome the inertia of the rotor, and it doesn't matter how many of them you throw at it? It doesn't seem intuitive to me, but . . . so often the way. I am better at the BS sounds-plausible than the actual science. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mybabysmomma on March 08, 2010, 04:59:52 PM Can anyone give me any feedback about skitch.com? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on March 10, 2010, 03:09:31 PM Dunno skitch.com from a hole in the internet, unfortunately. :shrug: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on March 10, 2010, 03:12:43 PM In theory . . . any 18V tool could run from any 18V battery if the terminals matched up, yeah? Any reason why not? Thing is, I already have 18V batteries for the DeWalt tools I have, but if I got a really good deal on, say, a Makita 18V tool, the DeWalt batteries would of course not fit it. But any reason I couldn't, say, put the battery on my belt and run wires to the tool? The tool would still be portable, and it'd be even lighter. The batteries are more expensive than the damned tools most of the time, so I don't want to just try it . . . . Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mybabysmomma on March 10, 2010, 03:43:42 PM They will probably not fit together. But if you can make the connection it shouldn't be a problem. I am pretty sure there will be something about the way they design their individual connections so they can't be used on anyone else's stuff. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on March 10, 2010, 04:07:37 PM Yeah, the form factor is wrong, but I can run wires. I just want to make sure there isn't some weird maximum-amperage issue or whatnot likely. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mybabysmomma on March 10, 2010, 04:20:11 PM My SO says an 18 v is an 18v...so if you can make the right connections, it should work. Just son't burn yourself (that part was me ;) ) Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mybabysmomma on March 10, 2010, 04:21:11 PM damnitsomuch, I meant don't Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on March 10, 2010, 04:22:14 PM It's good advice either way. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on March 29, 2010, 09:22:00 PM Please, god, someone tell me a way to actually make the Windows File Save and File Open dialog boxes stick with the List display? They almost always change themselves back to Thumbnail, which means that any directory that has more than 100 images or that has more than ten large images slows the damned dialog box down like tar. And the fact that it almost always reverts to Thumbnail is the most maddening part of all. It just trains you to keep changing it to List. Keep trying, jackass! Even though it didn't work the last fifty times, maybe it'll work this time. You never know. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on March 30, 2010, 01:07:49 AM i'll clue you into that if you can tell me why a program pops back up everytime it does some fucking process even when i'm not paying attention to it. simple fact, windows is the most evil os in the world. i don't give a shit if you're doing a save while i'm sending an email fuck head photoshop. i know you're saving, i told you to. obviously i have some residual anger tonight. time to sleep. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on March 30, 2010, 04:43:42 AM Please, god, someone tell me a way to actually make the Windows File Save and File Open dialog boxes stick with the List display? They almost always change themselves back to Thumbnail, which means that any directory that has more than 100 images or that has more than ten large images slows the damned dialog box down like tar. And the fact that it almost always reverts to Thumbnail is the most maddening part of all. It just trains you to keep changing it to List. Keep trying, jackass! Even though it didn't work the last fifty times, maybe it'll work this time. You never know. I don't know how I did it, but my work machine always displays list/details now. I remember fighting with it for a long time, I think I even mentioned it here somewhere. So there's a way to do it, I just don't know how. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on March 30, 2010, 07:47:57 AM Last night, during much obsessive experimentation, I discovered that part of what it seems to be is that if you're using a folder that Windows considers its own, such as My Documents or My Pictures, then Windows gets to decide. Subfolders in those folders, it's a toss-up. Subfolders created right in the actual drive structure (ie, C:/STORAGE), you have a decent shot of controlling. It's still a POS, but at least it's less mysterious. Now what I really want is this: When I clear the Notify Me When Connected box in the Network Settings dialogs, I'd like Windows to actually stop notifying me when the wireless connects or the LAN can't connect. First of all, I don't have a LAN, so it's not so much that there's a network cable disconnected as that that cable doesn't exist and shouldn't. Second, AT&T DSL drops me for a second about once every fifteen minutes, and I don't need a damned balloon popping up over whatever I'm working on every single time it disconnects and reconnects. I really hate the entire Taskbar. It's a badly conceived, badly executed piece of junk from one end to the other. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on March 30, 2010, 03:47:43 PM real time updates on the state of the LHC status . . . make sure and look at url . . . (http://www.hasthelhcdestroyedtheearth.com/) Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: feffer on March 30, 2010, 06:43:13 PM I don't know how I did it, but my work machine always displays list/details now. I remember fighting with it for a long time, I think I even mentioned it here somewhere. So there's a way to do it, I just don't know how. I know this one! Make a folder look how you want it. Then go to Tools>Folder Options, click on the View tab, then click on Apply to All Folders. Now, what I need to know is how to make Explorer default to a certain folder instead of the Start Menu folder. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on March 30, 2010, 06:51:04 PM Quote Make a folder look how you want it. Then go to Tools>Folder Options, click on the View tab, then click on Apply to All Folders. That's a good one, but I already always do that with a new machine. It usually makes the changes to most other folders, but not all of them. And when I'm not looking, Windows sometimes changes them back to sorted by Name, even though I always specify Type. Quote Now, what I need to know is how to make Explorer default to a certain folder instead of the Start Menu folder. For me, it always tries to start with My Documents. I'd rather have it start at C:\, and it's not too hard to create a shortcut to start it there, although I'd have to go poke around to remember how to do it. I wish Explorer would remember that I NEVER want to see the Tasks column and ALWAYS want to see the directory tree (er . . . Folders). I really hate hate HATE the newer Find thing. Do NOT hijack my damned folder window. Give me a proper dialog box or separate app. At the very least, open a new damned window. I can't even get Windows to do stuff that was trivial in Win 3, such as remembering to always open a given app maximized, etc. I have a number of applications that have Remember Last Size & Position options . . . which never work correctly. :eyeroll: Windows just sucks. Totally incompetent. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on March 30, 2010, 06:52:07 PM This doesn't work? (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/setup/learnmore/tips/bertleff1.mspx) Same thing with pictures (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/setup/hwandprograms/openingfolder.mspx) Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on March 30, 2010, 07:45:45 PM Not on my machine. At work, I just set up a shortcut to open Explorer in C:\, and that usually worked, but because multiple people use that machine I set it up to automatically open in Shared Documents instead. It still opens in My Documents, but . . . whatever. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on March 31, 2010, 08:47:56 AM I just tried it on this machine at work, and it seems to work fine. The only thing I had to do that wasn't mentioned there was to delete my old Windows Explorerer shortcut and create a new one. I guess you could have multiple shortcuts set up with different default windows. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on March 31, 2010, 09:25:54 AM You can do that, the multiple shortcut thing. Just let Windows make a shortcut to the folder(s) you like, and put 'em in the Start menu. I almost always use the Windows + E shortcut at work, anyway, which I don't seem able to redirect. The ThinkPads don't have the Windows key, and the shortcut doesn't work with Ctrl + Esc. Eh. I'd rather have the context menu key, frankly. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on April 01, 2010, 11:47:09 PM James Lovelock is full of shit. Always has been. The difference this time is some of the people who used to loudly complain that he was full of shit are now loudly going to proclaim he's God or something. Idiots. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on April 02, 2010, 07:36:14 AM Lovelock is a fairly big thinker, but not necessarily a good thinker, and definitely a big talker, but not necessarily a wise talker. Personally, I think he's basically right about our chances of 'fixing' global warming, but it's not an argument against trying to mitigate it, and he just winds up sounding too fatalistic. We can't prevent car crashes -- there are always going to be some -- but that's an argument for seatbelts and airbags and guard rails, not an argument against them. Lovelock sounds like one of those self-appointed prophets who's pissy because he was never taken seriously enough to suit him, and so now he's preaching doom and saying, eff you, you deserve it. The Old Testament is full of those guys. When he says "We can't save the planet," as the press has widely quoted him as saying, he isn't even making sense. Climate change threatens a lot of people and potentially a lot of our civilization, but it doesn't realistically threaten humans with extinction, much less somehow threaten to destroy the planet. The press loves it, though, because it's headlinetastic. And I agree that people who would roll their eyes at Gaia Theory fuff seem to be getting a hardon over this. It's pretty stupid. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on April 05, 2010, 04:42:13 PM OK, seriously, it's totally minor, but I REALLY HATE the way Gmail likes to gray out the signature line of most emails. Not the sig, I mean, but the actual - Bob or whatever bit. 1) I don't know why it does this. Yes, I have a Sender line above, but so what? Especially since not every sender will be listed in my Contacts with a name, much less their real name. 2) What if someone says, say, 'love, Madeleine', to sign the note, and I never notice that 'love' part because it's grayed out? 3) I don't want Gmail to parse my mail. Context ads I can live with, but otherwise knock it off. Similarly, always show me the quoted text. Stop reverting to hiding it unless I click on something -- and the same goes for the regular header info. I actually look at that data. I don't need to see every ping the note ponged off of on its way to me, but c'mon. 4) I didn't see a setting to make it stop doing this. I certainly never told it to start. This puts it dangerously in Microsoft Dickery territory. Stop assuming you know what I like when it's something so idiosyncratic. This is utterly unrelated, but I also never want to see another puff piece of 'technology reporting' that claims that Gmail invented threaded email inboxes. I had better threaded email in 1992. Just because Hotmail didn't have it doesn't mean Gmail invented it. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on April 05, 2010, 06:16:35 PM :hmm: Who is Madeleine? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on April 05, 2010, 06:21:36 PM I don't know, and I'll probably never know if she loves me! /:shakefist: at Gmail Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on April 08, 2010, 05:06:19 PM Needed: New home router with at least 4 Ethernet (10/100) ports and 802.11g/n. Also new cable modem that's "DIOX 3" (probably spelled that wrong) compatible. :sigh: :thumbsdn: Edit: "DOCSIS 3" (or 2, actually) Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: bit zero on April 09, 2010, 12:49:40 AM DOCSIS 3.0 is the latest cable modem spec (bonds multiple channels together, adds IPv6). I don't think it's possible to even find a cable modem that doesn't do DOCSIS 2.0... 3.0 on the other hand is a lot newer. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on April 09, 2010, 09:03:23 PM Two quick open Microsoft hatemails: 1) "How can you be so stupid that you consider the mouse cursor to always be live even if it's been idle for several minutes? And not merely consider it live but give it precedence over other selection methods? No sane person, let alone a smart person, would do this. Yet if I happen to move the mouse cursor over toward the lefthand side of my screen and then do not so much as touch the pointer device for even as much as half an hour (the longest I've ever tested it), and then I call up the Start Menu using the keyboard, the system assumes that what I want selected is whatever happens to wind up underneath the mouse cursor. This represents a mammoth failure of design philosophy, design mechanics, design system, and design practice." 2) "How can Internet Explorer be such complete crap? What irks me the most of late is how incredibly poor its Search function is. Utterly terrible. It is somehow such a resource hog that, on my machine which normally runs XP fast enough that there are almost no noticeable lags, if I tell IE to do a search, the browser briefly locks up completely. Then the Search bar appears, but if I start typing no characters appear for over a full second. If the web page is fairly large, sometimes I have to wait several seconds. Whatever I've typed isn't cached anywhere, so if I forget to wait for IE to catch up, my search term will, at best, start in the middle of the term. And if I type too fast, characters still get dropped. Meanwhile, there's no immediate search -- I have to stop typing and wait. Find Next again causes the browser to grind so badly that the image can't even update properly on the first try. Often, Find Next will cause the text selection to jump to the next instance, but the page display simply won't update, which is useless. And F3 won't cycle back to the top of the page. It's completely incompetent. With the exact same page, Opera will search the page without a lag as fast as I can type the search term, even though I have . . . at the moment, eleven Opera pages and something over 50 tabs open. Opera even gives me multiple keyboard-supported ways to perform these extremely rapid searches, one that produces a dialog box and one that pops up a little search bar. They both WORK." Ars Digita, I think it was, had an article recently about how they were going to convince you to give up Firefox for IE. Security was the main reason, but why the hell would I trust MS to get the security right when they can't even make the browser browse correctly? :soapbox: Alas, the website I was searching was my Netflix queue, and the Netflix Instant Play doesn't work on my machine through Opera. Of course. And I'm not exactly 100% happy with Opera, but comparatively it's solid gold with bacon. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on April 14, 2010, 04:39:51 PM OK, so . . . the owner here never wants anyone to erase any pictures from the shop camera. Obviously, eventually you have to, at which point there are so many that it's a pain in the ass. Plus, the picture files are all like 2.5 MB, and the camera only allows you to delete them one at a time, so you have to do it over the USB, and the whole thing just sucks armadillos. Had to do this last night, only we weren't sure which photos had already been downloaded from the camera, so I just decided to dump them all to a temporary directory and wipe the camera completely. Five-hundred-plus pictures meant 35 minutes of transfer time, by File Explorer's estimate. :eyeroll: Mind you, the machine is basically useless while a big USB transfer is occurring, because USB and Windows both suck. And of course this was after I managed (it was very difficult) to convince Windows that I didn't want its piece of crap goddamned 'Wizard' to 'help' me, which took several tries. The process took so long that I left it running when I closed up the shop. I'd already left a Wordpad note on the screen telling the morning clerk what to do with the pictures. Fine. I get a call in the morning. During the night, Windows decided to run Live Update. Then it tried to install updates, decided it didn't have enough permissions because it wasn't logged in as Administrator, and . . . hung the machine. Something in this process also turned the temporary directory of photos into a mess of lost chains and erased most of the photos from the camera. Mind you, Windows won't let you use cut-and-paste to move files off the USB camera, so it was just copying them, and we were going to erase the originals on the camera today. So that's probably a USB-panic thing. Bye-bye to those pictures, but hopefully (I can pretend) they were all ancient ones we'd already copied and didn't need to be saving on the camera anymore anyway. Which brings me back to: Windows and USB both suck. Also, my boss has got to stop being so anal and dumb about the camera. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on April 14, 2010, 04:43:00 PM Well after all that, maybe he has a point. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on April 14, 2010, 05:35:23 PM :eek: :lol: Even a broken clock is right once a day, in the military. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on April 19, 2010, 01:32:48 PM A big :fuckyou: to every Windows app that wants to restart Windows and only gives you the options Restart Now and Ask Me To Annoy You Every So Often Until You Restart Windows. First of all, maybe I'm doing something. Second of all, how about STFU Until I Restart Windows Myself? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Hedaira on April 19, 2010, 03:04:37 PM What the actual fuck? I found: 1) That my MacBook had a screensaver going (I don't have it set to go into a screensaver) 2) Said screensaver was a fucking iPad launches on the 16th ad. Wow. Not pleased by this fuckery. Not at all. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on April 19, 2010, 03:18:40 PM Hmm. Touch screen might be easier than a traditional keyboard for ... certain sorts of animals. JUST SAYING Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on April 19, 2010, 05:09:59 PM Interesting. You're not the only one (http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2398117&start=0&tstart=0) experiencing it. The ads come from a choice in the screen saver preferences called "RSS Visualizer". If you have "Random screen saver" checked, it will show up. If you have the screen saver set to "never", then the only other explanation in that thread was that it could be your "hot corners" - the screen saver is activated when your cursor falls in one of the corners of the display. Odd that several people (at least) are all having the same problem on the same day week though. edit: don't know what day it is :eyeroll: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on April 19, 2010, 05:14:49 PM I'd be really surprised if Apple was, how to put this, infecting people's machines with a viral ad campaign. I suppose it's possible, but I don't think they would. For one thing, I don't think they'd believe it was necessary, even if it were. I'd be less surprised if some Apple fanatic(s) out there did that, though. :shrug: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Hedaira on April 19, 2010, 05:33:51 PM Thanks for the thread. If Apple ever does that again, we're done. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Hedaira on April 19, 2010, 05:53:51 PM I suspect I know the how of it - when I sent my laptop in for case repair, some of the innards were replaced as well. I never use a screensaver because I'd rather the thing just went to sleep. That said, I can't believe that a hardware change would affect software settings. It makes no sense. I updated this thing a couple of weeks ago. It blew out a lot of my settings (shit like what I had my desktop set to and preferences and blah) so I suppose it defaulted to the random screensaver after it went and fucked everything else up. This is Windows-level retardation. The fuck? Now I'm definitely not going to buy a fucking iPad. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mrcookieface on April 19, 2010, 06:16:02 PM I did that mac update too a couple weeks ago. It reset my Pshop settings, and I can't right click/convert to mp3 on itunes anymore. :thumbsdn: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on April 20, 2010, 11:28:32 AM I went through that thing with iTunes not long ago - the preference is in a weird place - it's under import, I think (I'm on a Windows machine atm and don't remember exactly). The format you choose to import items is the format it uses when you want to save a copy. Or something like that. It doesn't make sense to me. I wouldn't buy an iPad regardless. Based on Apple's history, next year's model will make this year's model a paper weight. I think the current model is just to help defray development costs for what they really had in mind. I can't believe this is really what they intended to make. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on April 20, 2010, 11:36:22 AM I have so much trouble working with the interface on my wife's iPod Touch (and my iPod mini for that matter), that I'm not going to bother with the iPad. It'd be a paperweight from day one after being thrown against multiple walls in frustration. Seriously, if I want to made to feel clumsy and foolish there are many, many more ways to do it and actually accomplish something. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on April 20, 2010, 11:56:29 AM I was having this conversation with U3 last night and it occurred to me that I just hate the f*ck out of touch screens. They don't work well with my fingers (maybe the impedance is wrong or something), they get all gross and smeary and are hard to clean, and they rarely do what you want on the first try (again, maybe that bit is perhaps due to the incorrect electromagnetic properties of my skin or something and ymmv). We have a teensy Garmin nüvi GPS for the car, which is adorable but such a pain in the ass to use because of this -- also really hard to see in the daytime because of the eww-fingerprint smears. So the iPad is definitely a do not want for me. But I can easily see how for certain applications it's fine and may be exactly what some people want. So who cares? It's fascinating to see the flamewars. Maybe I'm growing up a bit about this shit but I just don't see the point in giving a fuck. If it's what you need, buy it. If not, move the fuck on. What still cheeses me off is when there's a monopoly and you have no choice but to play their fucking game. Like, Office. My wife just subjected me to a tirade last night about how her colleagues are starting to send her unreadable Word documents (oh yeah the stupid Open XML format change) and for some reason the stupid XML converter doesn't work, bla bla bla. Does OpenOffice read OpenXML documents? Because, I'm done buying Office licenses I think. Wait. Damn. I threadjacked my own post. That's some kind of new record. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on April 20, 2010, 12:22:58 PM The Office suite has sucked for such a long, long time, anyway. And 90% of actual office documents are better off in RTF, churned out with Wordpad or something, than Word. I don't like touchscreens for various reasons. I don't like, you know, touching the screen, right off the bat, and the smudges don't make me happy. Stealing display real estate for the controls is rarely a good idea. And point-and-poke does not strike me as refined. Sometimes 'intuitive' really just means 'primitive'. It would be so intuitive for me to just have a Wacom and to sketch crude drawings to send as email, but weirdly I prefer to type words. A lot of the time people are trying to come up with (and market) something new whether or not it's something good. What the Wii does is something that game companies were trying to market at least as far back as 1990 or so, but the hardware and software for it just wasn't ready. Now it's ready to be useful. IBM used to have an ad for a voice-command interface with a guy sitting on a park bench by himself, using a wearable computer and a head-up display, shouting UP, UP, DOWN, BUY, SELL! This was meant to look smart. Tom Cruise acting like a traffic cop on bad meth in front of five huge monitors is meant to look smart. But, then, that damned VR in Disclosure was meant to look smart, and not only was it fundamentally and monumentally stupid, but the film kept unintentionally pointing that out, too. Why would you physically walk on a treadmill through a virtual office to physically flip through virtual files so you can physically gesture to virtually mark them for deletion . . . when you can just ask the computer system to do it for you? Because you're an idiot, that's why. The iPad does some interesting things, some neat things, but they're not things I actually have any need to do. So to me, it's like a really expensive Etch-a-Sketch that I could use to, I don't know, surf the web while I was on the bus. But I'd rather not surf the web while riding the bus than use that device to do it, personally. I do think that in five years a device like an iPad will look faintly ridiculous. And I can wait at least five years to do whatever it is I would do with an iPad. Of course, I won't be able to afford its replacement in five years, so it probably doesn't matter what I think about it. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on April 20, 2010, 12:35:13 PM Does OpenOffice read OpenXML documents? Quote from: wikipedia The OpenOffice.org office suite has been able to import Office Open XML files (.docx, .xlsx, .pptx, etc.) since version 3. Downloading now ... Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on April 20, 2010, 01:30:04 PM Really? We have a recent (later 2009) version of Open Office that won't open a lot of MS Word documents. Maybe we did something wrong. I'll try reinstalling it. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on April 20, 2010, 01:42:35 PM I've flung a bunch of .docx files at it so far with no problems. I have 3.2.0 running on Tiger here. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on April 20, 2010, 04:03:16 PM ...colleagues are starting to send her unreadable Word documents ... Is this (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=941b3470-3ae9-4aee-8f43-c6bb74cd1466&displaylang=en) what you're talking about? Because that fixed the problem for me. I haven't used OpenOffice much, but I wasn't too crazy about what little experience I've had with it. It was slow to launch and needed frequent updates, and of course the interface is a bit different, and I'm not too good with MS Office stuff to begin with. It's still better than buying Office for Mac as little as I use Office at home. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on April 20, 2010, 04:12:30 PM Oh, and to correct what I was saying earlier about iTunes - I don't know if I could ever right-click and save as MP3. I've always gone to "Advanced" > "Create MP3 version". But anyway, to create an MP3 version, you have to go to "Preferences">"General">"Import Settings", which is really counter-intuitive, because really what you're doing is exporting, and it's right next to a line that says "When you insert a CD" and then gives a list of options, so you wouldn't expect it to be there. Changing this setting will also cause everything you import to be in MP3 format, which you probably don't want, so you have to remember to go back and change the setting depending on whether you're importing or exporting. And this is hidden away in the preferences. Isn't that stupid? Or am I understanding/doing it wrong? Apple, Windows, Google, fuck 'em all. Mozilla is the only outfit I have any respect left for. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on April 20, 2010, 05:11:35 PM ...colleagues are starting to send her unreadable Word documents ... Is this (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=941b3470-3ae9-4aee-8f43-c6bb74cd1466&displaylang=en) what you're talking about? Because that fixed the problem for me. Yeah. Didn't work on her computer -- it has worked on all of mine but GODAWFUL slow. I mean, dubya-tee-eff slow. Five minutes to decode a less than 1 MB Word file. On the other hand, OO just opened a .docx file in the same amount of time it needed to open the analogous .doc file. YMMV. Could be on her puter it's the wrong Orifice version, or it just won't work on a pre-Intel Tiger machine, no idea. Not much time to debug. Will figure that out later. However if Open Office will do the trick, the price is right. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on April 20, 2010, 05:25:33 PM It also says to do all the other updates first, FWIW. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: First Post on April 20, 2010, 05:32:05 PM I use Super (http://www.erightsoft.com/SUPER.html) for converting most things. It is difficult to find the actual download link on their site (spoiler (http://www.erightsoft.biz/GetFile.php?SUPERsetup.exe)) which appears to have been designed by Dr Gene Ray, but it's worth it as it works pretty well for a bunch of formats. Windows only, unfortunately. And yeah touchscreens are a niche but not the future. It's just part of this current quest to expand our control systems, like Project Natal. For some stuff it's great, for others it's more a pain in the ass. Like, they had a racing game set up for Natal where you pushed your foot forward for the gas and steered by holding your hands up in the air like an imaginary steering wheel, "turning" left and right as necessary. Great, but I don't wanna do that for a 200 lap online race or anything. The touchy feely iStuff has the woo factor (the first time I saw an iPhone was this musician friend who was showing me Facebook pics of all the hot girls he was working with...he was briskly finger-scrolling through the pages as if flipping through a Rolodex and it was like, oooh!) but on the other hand I don't want to DJ or play first person shooters via touchscreens, either (regardless of the breathless "Will the iPad change DJing/gaming???" articles everywhere). On preview: any respectable site of questionable repute should have those nifty portable USB versions of Office stuff. They are self contained and small. I think the Word one is like 50 megs? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: bit zero on April 20, 2010, 06:36:37 PM That said, I can't believe that a hardware change would affect software settings. It makes no sense. Some control panel settings are saved in NVRAM, rather than on disk. NVRAM is on the motherboard, which was replaced, so, obviously, some things got reset to factory defaults. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on April 20, 2010, 06:44:11 PM It also says to do all the other updates first, FWIW. :rollin: Yeah, yeah, like, oh, upgrade to a processor from this millenium. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on April 20, 2010, 07:56:33 PM I'm familiar with that challenge :P Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Hedaira on April 20, 2010, 11:10:52 PM That said, I can't believe that a hardware change would affect software settings. It makes no sense. Some control panel settings are saved in NVRAM, rather than on disk. NVRAM is on the motherboard, which was replaced, so, obviously, some things got reset to factory defaults. :hmm: Still rude of them to do that. The default should be baby p1g5 farting rainbows or sommat. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: flipper on April 21, 2010, 01:22:04 AM Interesting. You're not the only one (http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2398117&start=0&tstart=0) experiencing it. The ads come from a choice in the screen saver preferences called "RSS Visualizer". If you have "Random screen saver" checked, it will show up. If you have the screen saver set to "never", then the only other explanation in that thread was that it could be your "hot corners" - the screen saver is activated when your cursor falls in one of the corners of the display. Odd that several people (at least) are all having the same problem on the same day week though. edit: don't know what day it is :eyeroll: I fucking hate the hot corners and the fucking dashboard. How do I disable all of those fuckers? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on April 21, 2010, 10:11:55 AM Quote I fucking hate the hot corners and the fucking dashboard. How do I disable all of those fuckers? Yes, I hate all that kind of shit if it's not extremely configurable / turn-offable. Fucking software designers, mang. Lately, Windows has been driving me crazy with things you can turn off but that won't actually turn off -- like the Don't Fucking Notify Me Every Time You Reconnect Or Disconnect A Network Thing. Yes, the wireless drops and instantly regrabs like once an hour, and instead of (at least they could do this) a standard properly-behaving message box, you get a damned word balloon popping up from the Task Bar that I had intentionally hidden. You have to click on the stupid thing to make it shut up or wait way too long for it to time out, and meanwhile it's always on top of whatever you were actually doing. Even worse, Windows frequently reports in the same fashion that A Network Cable Is Unplugged. No, dipshit: I'm not using any network cables. I have that DISABLED, for fuck's sake. And I have you set to not notify me about it anyway. STFU. Also, once every few weeks Windows gets all excited to tell me, using the same broken piece of interface, that there are Unused Icons on my desktop. So fucking what? Did I ask you? I happen to be able to organize my own desktop, and I almost never use the icons to start programs anyway. Leave me the fuck alone. Worst of all, that word balloon won't go away unless I click on it, and regardless of whether I click on it or click on the X to close it, it still opens the I'll Help You Clean Up Your Desktop, You Sad Moron dialog box (excuse me, Wizard, triple-ugh). Ah, Microsoft. Always first in the race to the bottom of the Who Asked You? barrel of stupidity. And it's not like their desktop-management app is any good, anyway. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on April 21, 2010, 11:14:51 AM Interesting. You're not the only one (http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2398117&start=0&tstart=0) experiencing it. The ads come from a choice in the screen saver preferences called "RSS Visualizer". If you have "Random screen saver" checked, it will show up. If you have the screen saver set to "never", then the only other explanation in that thread was that it could be your "hot corners" - the screen saver is activated when your cursor falls in one of the corners of the display. Odd that several people (at least) are all having the same problem on the same day week though. edit: don't know what day it is :eyeroll: I fucking hate the hot corners and the fucking dashboard. How do I disable all of those fuckers? To disable the hot corners, go into system preferences > screensaver, and down at the bottom (if I remember right) it says "hot corners", click on that and a window will open and it will have 4 drop downs, one for each corner. The drop downs offer different options of things it can do when you go into the corners. Set it to "-", which I guess means don't do a damn thing. Dashboard, I dunno, but I'll let you know later, cause I want to disable mine too. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on April 21, 2010, 11:26:14 AM It's in preferences, too. Dashboard & Exposé panel. I've turned off the hot corner for that, but you can get the Dashboard apps by using F12. I kind of like the Dashboard, there's a number of things I use it for (currency and units conversion, itunes control, Hypnotoad). But hot corners are just a f'ing pain in teh butt. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: flipper on April 21, 2010, 11:51:16 AM I think I looked for it there. Anyway if and when the compy comes back from the Apple shop I'll try again. I also hate how software for the mac usually doesn't have keybr0ad shortcuts. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on April 21, 2010, 12:25:35 PM In a lot of cases I've noticed you can program them in. But YMMV. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: flipper on April 21, 2010, 11:47:01 PM Yeah, like I have time for that. It's much easier to bitch about it here. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: bit zero on April 22, 2010, 01:46:19 AM Huh? What Mac apps don't have keyboard shortcuts? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: flipper on April 22, 2010, 03:23:05 PM MS Office. Doesn't have all the ones that I use in XP Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on April 22, 2010, 05:21:13 PM Mac apps usually have some keyboard shortcuts, but for me at least they're rarely intuitive, which isn't just a Windows bias because the Windows shortcuts are rarely intuitive, either. Especially the retarded hotkeys that you can no longer reassign. If you're not a Mac person, the displays of shortcut key combos that appear in the menus are utterly useless, anyway. I've never been able to figure out WTF some of them mean, even with the help of Mac people. I'm sure a lot of Mac users know them all, but it's supposed to be an intuitive interface, man. To me, at least as of OSX, it's still too one-button-mousey. I'm always accidentally dragging and dropping things, or double-clicking when I meant to single-click and accidentally renaming something to a blank filename, and buggered if I know where it went or how to fix it or even how to call up a straightforward directory tree. The learning curve for Macs has always been greater than my interest in them. I hate Windows, but from a DOS background it was, at least, always slightly more intuitive if you ignore all the jargon MS uses and just figure it out yourself. Still, the Windows interface has been going downhill since, what, the mid-90s, at the least. Task Bar! As if! Eff off. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: feffer on April 22, 2010, 11:16:14 PM My parents need help. They have satellite internet. Their only other option is dial-up. Every single month they get shut off because they're supposedly exceeding their bandwidth. They're relatively computer-savvy and their box isn't virus-ridden. They don't download or stream anything. They upped their plan to try to avoid this, but it's still happening. Their nearest neighbor is half a mile away and their wireless is secure. WTF is going on? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on April 23, 2010, 06:56:37 AM Isn't there some kind of bandwidth monitoring software available? Maybe from the ISP? Maybe some P2P software installed they're not aware of? A guy I work with has been getting threatening letters from his ISP over P2P stuff, and he says he hasn't DL'd anything in over a year. After the recent scotus decision, he's a bit worried. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on April 23, 2010, 10:39:59 AM It's only a matter of time before people who download movies are going to be classified as enemy combatants. Just sayin. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on April 23, 2010, 11:40:31 AM Google keeps changing itself to the Mobile view on my machine here at work. It kind of sucks. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on April 27, 2010, 11:45:09 AM SCIENCE: It works, bitches mullahs. (http://www.blaghag.com/2010/04/and-boobquake-results-are-in.html) Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on April 27, 2010, 12:22:35 PM Quote We didn't have a good way to quantify how much we increased immodesty (what's the unit of immodesty anyway? Intensity of red on blushing nuns?). :hmm: This was my thought, too. I'm all in favor of the experiment, but was it statistically significant worldwide? (If that even matters.) I was trying to think of an easy way to track global immodesty trends -- with the weather, say. But if Carnival and Mardi Gras don't produce obvious retribution, then it's not a very deterministic system anyway. And you'd think there'd be an utter sessation of disasters anytime big swaths of the internet go down. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on April 27, 2010, 12:29:38 PM :hmm: Actually you and Jen are both posing the question poorly. This is just a binary hypothesis test. It's unquestionable that immodesty increased, but the exact magnitude of the increase is not relevant to the test. I mean, you're not regressing earthquake frequency against immodesty over some range of immodesty. I suppose if you want to quibble about whether the immodesty increase was statistically significant compared to day-to-day immodesty variability, well, then, you have to have a quantifiable immodesty scale and a whole lot more ... ah ... measurements. This is good enough for a letter to Nature or an Ig Nobel, to be sure. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on April 27, 2010, 01:13:08 PM I don't know that it's unquestionable that immodesty increased, except possibly for certain individuals who would not have presented the goods if not participating in the test. Part of the problem is the premise. How large of a sample size is necessary to create the result being tested? Presumably a single person acting unusually immodest is not enough to trigger an earthquake. And we know from the common tenor of claims by earthquake alarmists that the results are not necessarily local or immediate. That is, lots of immodesty in Region A during January can allegedly cause earthquakes in Region B during April. It's not easy to test. If you just want to see if a lot of cleavage in Cleveland on Monday causes an earthquake on Monday, then you still have to have some way of knowing if you're actually increasing the amount of cleavage shown on that Monday. Maybe unseasonably cloudy weather reduced the normal background cleavage that day more than your test increased it. And who knows what the threshold is. It seems like it must be pretty high. Of course, beyond that, the standard logic is that you can't provoke miracles. The supernatural powers that allegedly be can't be baited. Of course, this would logically allow you to prevent earthquakes at a given time by flaunting boobs, and maybe something similar could guarantee good weather for the Super Bowl, so long as you know you're taunting fate. Maybe that's the real function of cheerleaders. When's the last time a tornado hit a nude beach in Brazil? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on April 27, 2010, 01:34:27 PM You are unnecessarily complicating the issue. Did you cut yourself shaving with Occam's Razor today? :galm: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on April 27, 2010, 01:38:49 PM Well, OK - do we have objective evidence that immodesty increased? I know I left my shirt on yesterday. Yes - BIE would be good documentation, thanks for asking! Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on April 27, 2010, 01:39:19 PM :lol: :sigh: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on April 27, 2010, 03:31:35 PM See, you say 'unnecessary complication', and I say 'A really boss spaceship has to have a cool hood ornament.' It's just a cultural thing. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on April 27, 2010, 03:41:49 PM :hmm: That is true. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on April 28, 2010, 08:06:25 PM Man, I really wish Gmail had folders. I don't want all my emails jumbled together in my Inbox. Why would I want that? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on April 28, 2010, 08:38:15 PM Man, I really wish Gmail had folders. I don't want all my emails jumbled together in my Inbox. Why would I want that? It does, but calls them labels. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on April 28, 2010, 08:55:15 PM In my Gmail, the Labels just put labels next to the message titles. I want to MOVE messages out of the Inbox and into folders where they'll only show up when I go open the relevant folder. You know, like folders. Years'n'years ago, I worked with a guy who did not believe in subdirectories. Every program just got installed into his Programs directories, and all user files went into a Files directory. When he wanted to find something, he used a file search program. Eventually, he realized that this had been a bad idea after all. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: vox8 on April 28, 2010, 09:02:25 PM In my Gmail, the Labels just put labels next to the message titles. I want to MOVE messages out of the Inbox and into folders where they'll only show up when I go open the relevant folder. You know, like folders. Years'n'years ago, I worked with a guy who did not believe in subdirectories. Every program just got installed into his Programs directories, and all user files went into a Files directory. When he wanted to find something, he used a file search program. Eventually, he realized that this had been a bad idea after all. You have to set up your mail sort and check the box that says "skip the inbox" and then apply the label. It will sort it into the "labels" which are actually folders. I have a passle of labels that work like that. You can also use the "Move To" option that is along the top of the interface to move things to the "label" folders. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on April 28, 2010, 09:32:05 PM :shock: Wait . . . :hmm: I don't want it to sort them into folders automatically as they come in. The Inbox is for new mail and mail I haven't dealt with yet. (I hate that most email programs nowadays don't seem to distinguish between New and Unread, which to me, at least, is a very important distinction.) But being able to put stuff into folders instead of the Inbox is definitely what I want. [ . . . ] OK, the way it works is a little weird, but I seem to have it working sort of well. I never figured out how Move To was supposed to work before -- if I click on a label and Select All, that label's name isn't in the Move To drop-down box. And I can't seem to directly remove the Inbox label that's also on those messages. If I do it in small batches, manually, it works, though. It's still not as good as an old-school email program, but for web mail that's not bad. And it's still tons faster and less buggy than Hotmail, et al. :thumbsup: Thanks! Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on April 29, 2010, 05:03:41 AM I think vox deserves some kind of award for actually solving one of axe's computer problems to his satisfaction. Well, not total satisfaction, but I think that's about as close as anyone has ever gotten. :P Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: vox8 on April 29, 2010, 07:29:03 AM I don't want it to sort them into folders automatically as they come in. The Inbox is for new mail and mail I haven't dealt with yet. (I hate that most email programs nowadays don't seem to distinguish between New and Unread, which to me, at least, is a very important distinction.) But being able to put stuff into folders instead of the Inbox is definitely what I want. If you "skip the inbox" and move directly to labels the incoming mail is still listed as unread. The label name underneath your inbox will appear in bold with a number next to it telling you how many unread items you have in that box. "Skip the inbox" does not equal "Mark as read". It actually works fairly well, especially if you have categories of mail that you don't want to/need to read right away. I have several mailing lists that go directly into labels and have numbers next to them in the thousands. But whatever works for you. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on April 29, 2010, 10:25:19 AM Well, nothing ever really works for me just right . . . I am a crank by nature. :P But the foldery-Label system is much improved in my eyes, certainly, and works much better than it did before. About 75% of the time I use Gmail without JavaScript, and the Move To option appears to be gone, so maybe a filter of some kind would be better. Still, I would prefer that new mail shows up right in the Inbox. I wouldn't mind if Gmail magically moved it to its folder after I read it, but that might be too much to hope for, and I can imagine situations where it would actually annoy me (having to jump through an extra hoop to get back to that message I was just reading a minute ago, etc). One really nice thing about Gmail as compared to, say, Hotmail is that it tolerates multiple instances pretty well, so I can open messages and folder-labels in separate tabs or windows and use both tabs / windows at the same time. This usually makes Hotmail choke. Recently, Hotmail has taken up the trick of updating ads'n'such at intervals (sometimes about every fifteen seconds), and the major problem there is that if I carefully select a dozen messages, the page-update will deselect them all. So very annoying, but I still use my Hotmail account for shopping and some other stuff. I will keep playing with the Gmail settings, but it's already a huge improvement, so many thanks indeed. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 03, 2010, 03:51:59 PM Is Google under attack today? Because it's slow as hell from here and from work. Google, GIS, Gmail, the whole schmeer. It was slow this morning, and it's been getting slower -- by now I'm occasionally getting "currently unavailable" timeouts. :shrug: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on May 03, 2010, 04:24:49 PM I haven't been on much, but it seems to be working ok here atm. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 03, 2010, 06:17:45 PM :hmm: Yeah, it was wonky most of the day, from here, but seems to have recovered now. Beats me. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 08, 2010, 07:00:34 PM Opera 10.53 :thumbsdn: 1) Its interface is very different from 10.10, which is what I've mostly been using. Just make it Opera 11 or don't make such big changes. 2) It keeps trying to automatically install. Eff you, Opera. I'll install the new version when I want, if I want. Knock it off. 3) At work, it half-installed the new version despite my telling it not to. The results were ugly, so I gave up and installed 10.53. Every change that's obvious is, in my opinion, mediocre at best, and a hell of a lot of it is really terrible. 4) For instance, there used to be two different really fast, really elegant, really simple and direct Search features for searching within a page. Now the main Search turns the page dark so that the text is almost grayed out and has a fancy curved-edges highlight of the text you were searching for. It's slower and clunkier and artsy-fartsy and stupid, and it makes the text hard to read. It means I'm going to want to search, find the text I was looking for, kill the search function so the page goes back to normal, search for the next instance, kill the search function yet again . . . . 5) It no longer has Windows-standard drop-down menus. Instead, it has a deeply moronic bad-design Windows Start Menu-style multi-nested single quasi-menu pop-up thing. They took seven standard, well-organized menus, crammed them all together into one mess with a garlic press, and then hid them from the user. I'm sorry, but there are chimps who have better design sense than that. 6) Most of these changes apparently aren't optional. So much for customization and continuity. 7) The security's allegedly been improved, but by default it turned on an Opera Link function that's supposed to find other Opera users and let me swap files with them super-easily. :eyeroll: There's more -- and I only used it for about twenty minutes so far -- but isn't that already too much? And I looked at the main Opera website, and I don't see a way to install older versions. So now I either have to block the installer somehow, or make sure I hit cancel fast enough every time I start Opera on the other three machines I use Opera on, or switch to Firefox, which I also don't like. God damn it. I hate sifting through the Opera Community message boards, and I know there'll be a million messages from people complaining about this, but I'm not sure I have a preferable alternative. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on May 08, 2010, 07:33:56 PM http://www.oldapps.com/opera.php Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 08, 2010, 07:37:06 PM :hmm: Ti ringrazio! Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mybabysmomma on May 17, 2010, 11:37:21 AM I've got some questions for all of you computer wizards out there. I need to make either a little slide show or if I can't do that, some print outs for a booklet and I way don't know what I am doing. The problem is, I can't figure out how to get the images from the source into another source I can manipulate on my mac. I can get to the code but code I way don't understand what I need to do from there. Does this make any sense and can anyone shove me in the right direction? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: flipper on May 17, 2010, 03:09:28 PM Do you have Office for the Mac? Sounds like a job for Powerpoint. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mybabysmomma on May 17, 2010, 03:17:01 PM Well my first problem is that the format they are using on their website (where the pictures are) is not compatable with my mac so I am having trouble getting the pics to use. I might just go old school and make a book to flip through. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on May 17, 2010, 04:37:58 PM I can get to the code but code I way don't understand what I need to do from there. Does this make any sense ...? No. You left out some words or something. :P If you can view the images on their website, you can get the images. If you could tell us where the site is, it would be simpler to help you. You can PM me if you don't want it public. If you have iPhoto, it has a slideshow function in it. Another free slideshow app for Mac is Phoenix (http://blyt.net/phxslides/). Both of those are for viewing slideshows on your computer, but not for building a slideshow for a website. I'm not really clear on what you're trying to do. The images are probably not high enough resolution to print very well. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on May 18, 2010, 11:33:33 AM We've got apparent warming of the atmosphere, anthropogenic or not. And now we've got volcanoes in Iceland apparently ready to begin an eruptive phase in their cycle, which means more ash in the air, and thus atmospheric cooling might happen. Can we add a "perversity of the inanimate" clause to Occam's Razor? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mybabysmomma on May 21, 2010, 12:00:37 PM I"m sure there is a very good reason, but why is it not possible to take all of those millions of gallons of crude oil or tar or whatever it is right now floating on the top of the ocean, capture it, clean it and process it? Why does it just have to sit there until it coats us all? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 21, 2010, 12:44:06 PM The reason is that it's much cheaper not to. OK, if the more realistic estimates of oil flow are right, then the well is probably spilling like 15-20 million worth of oil per week. The cleanup is going to cost BP hundreds of millions of dollars, and probably cost taxpayers two to five times that in direct costs, plus another billion or more in damage to affected areas. Then there are lots of 'hidden' costs that BP (and probably the feds) can try to ignore. There's no physical reason why that oil can't be separate from the sea water. Kevin Freaking Costner is down there with a barge full of machines that do that. But to BP, it's just not worth the time and money. For a big corporation that already has a huge team of lawyers on payroll, it's almost always cheaper to just sue, and, anyway, the law protects them from having to spend a whole lot of money on this. Meanwhile, the lost oil is drops in the bucket to them, and they and other producers will use it as an excuse to raise prices and make the oil they already have more valuable. So they have no reason to bother. It's a corporation; it's literally not its job to care. That's why corporations have to be regulated. Oil companies have made virtually no effort to come up with techniques and technology to deal with these problems. But the feds don't want to take over because (A) they want to try to make BP do as much of the expensive dirty work as possible, (B) if they can't stop the leak and clean this up, then they look even worse than if BP fails first, and (C) they don't want to be completely liable, either. Unfortunately, they're also doing a really, really crappy job of even looking like they're trying to be on top of this. Very disappointing PR effort, there. From Bush, I would have expected this. :harumph: If you take all the taxpayer and environmental costs into effect, though, it would probably be a hell of a lot cheaper -- and obviously better -- to recapture the oil. Of course, what would be even cheaper and better would be to avoid this kind of idiotic spill in the first place . . . . Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mybabysmomma on May 21, 2010, 12:52:09 PM I suspected as much. It would be really funny if a bunch of "rogue" people or groups of people could get it together and get those machines you mentioned, go down there, suck up all that they possibly could find a decent way to process it on a small scale and like co-op it. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 21, 2010, 01:18:49 PM Costner's people are allegedly processing hundreds of gallons every hour and trying to get funding to turn on their bigger machines. They don't have enough to make a sizeable dent in the spill, but it's certainly proof of concept. And it at least partially pays for itself. Corporations almost always get to pollute almost for free, and it's always been that way. The military, too. Private citizens are just expected to take one for the team, except that it's about a million instead of one. Back in the day, the rationale was that the sky and ocean were so big, and there was so much 'crappy' empty land, that it couldn't possibly hurt. After a while, the rationale was that everyone else is already doing it, so how bad can it be if one more factory / refinery / mine does it, too? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mybabysmomma on June 18, 2010, 08:45:38 AM OK, I've got a stupid crackberry question. I don't have my manual with and I need to know how to back up all of the info on my phone (and to where) cause it's got to be cleaned and reloaded. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: vox8 on June 18, 2010, 09:00:46 AM Why did you get a stupid crackberry? Were they all out of the smart phones? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mybabysmomma on June 18, 2010, 09:02:31 AM my stupid husband talked me out of getting a palm pre...and there are no smart phones, that's just a marketing ploy Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: feffer on June 18, 2010, 09:50:40 AM that'sthejoke.jpg Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on June 18, 2010, 10:22:02 AM my stupid husband talked me out of getting a palm pre...and there are no smart phones, that's just a marketing ploy They're all smart. But they're also evil, and enjoy messing with our minds. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mybabysmomma on June 18, 2010, 10:27:20 AM my stupid husband talked me out of getting a palm pre...and there are no smart phones, that's just a marketing ploy They're all smart. But they're also evil, and enjoy messing with our minds. I might be ok with considering them all smart asses. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on June 18, 2010, 11:30:35 AM Yeah, no smart phones yet, but there will be. They could probably make them now, but the current crop sells well enough. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on July 16, 2010, 03:11:23 PM So . . . lately, when I try to shut down XP on one of my old ThinkPads, I get a message that a program has failed to close, and do I want to force it to close, yadda yadda. The program the dialog box names is "Syn Zoom Window". This has happened three times so far in the past four or five days. Task Manager doesn't list anything that looks like this. It does list two processes that start with "syn", both of which have to do with the touchpad, but the googles suggest that "Syn Zoom Window" might not be related. Anyone happen to know? I really wish all process files (executables, etc) had, per standards, a little text comment at the beginning telling WTF they were associated with and/or for. And that if you right-clicked on a process in Task Manager, it would tell you what the hell that thing is that's making the hard drive run and run and run or that's taking up half the available RAM. I'm sure malware could spoof this ID process, but I'd be happy just to know what some of the legit processes are. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on July 16, 2010, 03:28:55 PM I really wish all process files (executables, etc) had, per standards, a little text comment at the beginning telling WTF they were associated with and/or for. And that if you right-clicked on a process in Task Manager, it would tell you what the hell that thing is that's making the hard drive run and run and run or that's taking up half the available RAM. I'm sure malware could spoof this ID process, but I'd be happy just to know what some of the legit processes are. I've always thought the same thing, and it's true of the Mac OS as well. Even if it is spoofed, it would be easier to determine whether the name of the process is connected with the listed application than with all the applications. On a side note, I've noticed the last week or so our spam filter has been blocking a huge amount of viruses and malware, way more than usual. /PSA Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: First Post on July 16, 2010, 03:51:38 PM I recommend Process Explorer (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx). I dunno why it isn't part of the official install... Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on July 16, 2010, 04:14:51 PM :hmm: :thumbsup: Looks more than worth a shot! Thanks. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on July 16, 2010, 04:24:22 PM Synaptics is a mouse pad/driver company, for what that's worth. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on August 10, 2010, 06:02:40 PM OK, not sure that this is in any way a problem, although it doesn't seem like a good sign, but I just noticed that on this machine files have last-modified dates that are wildly wrong. This machine has only been in the shop since about last November, but I just sorted a directory by date and realized it was really, really wrong, with some files that I know are less than a month old listed as being last modified in 2002. The dates applied to the files seem random. The files all open just fine, etc. The dates are just wrong. I looked around and found the same issue in a bunch of other directories, but it seems to be limited to user content files like images and documents of various kinds. Executables and their ilk all seem unaffected. It's XP SP3, and the system does know the correct date. Beats me. If the drive suddenly corrupts itself later this week, though, I'd like to be on record saying I noticed something was odd ahead of time. /speaking of backups . . . . Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on August 15, 2010, 10:19:37 PM OK, I know microwave ovens are designed so that the microwaves saturate the interior with a certain distribution, which is why you're supposed to center whatever you put in there. But if I bought a small 'dorm' microwave and put it on its side, assuming that no vents were blocked, is there any reason that shouldn't work? At the shop, we reheat coffee much more often than we cook anything, but a microwave that's tall enough for a tall mug is generally far larger than we need. A small microwave, sideways, would be much bigger than big enough. On the other hand, starting a fire by trying this would be really dumb. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Hedaira on August 15, 2010, 10:47:41 PM http://www.google.com/#hl=en&source=hp&q=coffee+mug+heater&aq=1m&aqi=g1g-m4&aql=&oq=mug+heater&gs_rfai=CoLTpo7RoTPa3Ao7EM-_H7L8MAAAAqgQFT9B4gO4&fp=8072b72160987a65 10 at Target Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on August 15, 2010, 11:04:38 PM Actually I think it does matter. Microwaves are pretty directional and I think they set it up so it's directed at the stuff in the middle sitting on the 'floor' of the dingus. It might not work very well on the 'wall' of the dingus. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on August 15, 2010, 11:23:39 PM Yeah, but the microwaves do bounce around in there, and this is for heating a liquid only. It would tend to mostly heat just the top, but . . . it's a liquid. Convection and conduction are good, and you could stir it. Quote 10 at Target True, true . . . but I'd have to buy probably three because of the number of coffee cups we typically have going at once, and those things always make me nervous. Partly because I had an immerser (not the same, I know, but not completely different) asplode in a hotel room pretty spectacularly, years ago, when I really didn't expect it. And we're very short on electrical outlets in most of the shop; the ones near the front counter, say, are already overtaxed. I admit, too, that I was a little seduced by the idea of turning a microwave on its side. Hey, wait . . . somewhere I have a ThinkGeek 'plasma mug' with a heating base. I never brought it in to work because (A) it's too distracting, and (B) it's pretty fragile. But where the heck did that go? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on August 19, 2010, 05:35:24 PM OK . . . XP has been doing this cute trick where it keeps changing file and folder properties while we're not looking. It's doing this on a machine I'm hoping to replace this weekend anyway, but I'd still like to know WTF, just in case it ever happens again. Its favorite thing to do is to make it so no one is allowed to rename, move, or delete files. It started by doing this in the Shared Folders directory, and now even logging in as the Administrator doesn't help. But now it's doing it to subdirectories (at random?) elsewhere, including in the regular login's My Documents folder. The Help file for File Explorer tells me to open the Computer Management console, which is an interesting place to start, but, for one thing, where the heck is that console normally linked to? I can't find it to run it except from the dumb Help search page. Based on opening it and looking at Task Manager, I thought it was mmc.exe, but apparently not, or not quite, or something. But, in any case, I can't figure out how to use it. The Help instructions say "In the console tree, click Shares." and it has a little tree that shows Shares in Shared Folders, but in the tree I actually get, there's only Sessions and Open Files, and even logged in as Administrator I don't have permission to see what those are. Is this just another Windows thing that needs to be nuked from orbit? Because it's really, really annoying. Really. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Hedaira on August 19, 2010, 05:39:52 PM Did you Google the issue? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on August 19, 2010, 06:01:56 PM :lol: I totally did, but the pages that appeared to be talking about it were either unhelpful or incomprehensible. I need an IT person, is what I need, but pretty much everyone here makes minimum wage . . . part-time. And we can barely afford that as it is. I have yet to plumb the depths of the new guy's tech knowledge, though. He did learn to use GIMP in about fifteen minutes, which I consider a good sign. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on August 24, 2010, 05:49:43 PM WHAT THE. I was explicitly told, awhile back and now [oy] I can't remember by whom, that you couldn't reasonably use Gmail with a whaddaya call it POP email reader like, say, Thunderbird. Now someone says you can, and a quick googling turns up Gmail help pages on how to do it. And it looks pretty straightforward. I would MUCH rather use Thunderbird than Gmail's web interface whenever I can. Any of you people do this? Are there problems with it I'll want avoid? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on August 24, 2010, 07:37:21 PM I haven't connected them, but Gmail is a lot more advanced behind the scenes than it was a year ago. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on August 27, 2010, 02:30:53 PM Anyone know a good freeware web archiver / spider-downloader? I have some shit I need to back up off the web, and there are enough pages so that it's a major drag to do it manually, especially since I'd rather keep the tree structure intact. Tucows and ZD Net seem to suck nowadays, and the googles weren't exactly helpful. Installing three dozen apps just to test and uninstall them is quite a drag, too. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on August 27, 2010, 07:23:58 PM Here's a couple of FF add-ons that I've used in the past. I don't have them installed now though. Not sure if this is what you're looking for... https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/201/ https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/220/ Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on August 27, 2010, 07:48:42 PM Huh. I hadn't even considered Firefox add-ons. I'm used to standalone software for this kind of thing. I'm not looking to raid an image directory, though, or like that, though. I want to point it at a domain and download all the web pages (just as HTML; none of this 'Web Page Complete' crap) in the domain, without it following links leading elsewhere, and ideally preserving the directory structure. Filezilla will do that for your own site, but not other people's sites. If I wanted to back up an entire thread here, for instance, I don't have anything that could do it automatically. Five years ago I did, but I can't seem to find comparable software now, and I don't seem to still have the same utilities I used to. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on August 27, 2010, 08:05:00 PM Ah. I've never seen anything like that, but it may exist. Most of the things that I'm aware of are for grabbing images/files. There are some that I've seen that you have to enter parameters so that the program understands the way the pages are numbered so that it knows how to go to the next page to download - fusker, flux, urltoys are some of the names I remember, but I don't think that's what you're looking for either. If you find what you're looking for, please share, because I've wanted something like that in the past too. I'd like to have some personal backups of some of the threads here. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on August 27, 2010, 08:10:47 PM Wait. Filezilla is an FTP client...? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on August 27, 2010, 08:15:51 PM Er . . . yeah, one of those things. We use it at work to update / modify the shop website. I love it because you can learn about half a dozen things and then use it pretty much just like you were using two File Explorer trees and ignore all the extra features. It has a feature that lets you automatically mirror your website on your local drive. But not other people's sites. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on August 27, 2010, 08:24:28 PM :hmm: I can understand how you would use it to update/modify your website... ok, I see, you're basically dl'ing the website to your computer, yeah, okay. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on August 27, 2010, 08:43:38 PM Googling for "how to download a complete website" led me to this commandline tool, which would be too geeky for me, but you might prefer this kind of thing: http://www.gnu.org/software/wget/wget.html Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on August 27, 2010, 08:47:46 PM Oh, wget! yeah, that and webget have the horrifying -R recursive option. You don't want to use that on a really deep website. :eek: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on August 27, 2010, 08:49:59 PM I'm . . . not geeky enough for that kind of thing these days. You used to be able to go to any of the shareware sites and search for web spider or crawler and find a zillion metasearch and auto-download tools, but now all I get is MP3 hunters, torrent assistants, and ugly fancy crap that's not right. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Hedaira on August 27, 2010, 11:50:23 PM After something TERRIBLE happened with Netagent - I don't use any auto-downloaders. Never again. It ... lead to me destroying a HD with a 30+ pound magnet and some concrete solvent - and then tossing it in a dumpster behind the E. Mont P general store at 2 or something in the morning. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on August 27, 2010, 11:51:47 PM Was Chris what'sisname on his way over to ask you to have a seat over there? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on August 28, 2010, 12:16:31 AM http://rosettacode.org/wiki/Web_scraping - I haven't written the MUMPS one yet, and the task isn't quite what you're looking for but it's close. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Hedaira on August 28, 2010, 12:18:29 AM Was Chris what'sisname on his way over to ask you to have a seat over there? Oh, we were way past that point. This would have been instant jail time. Ugh. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: bit zero on August 28, 2010, 12:26:58 AM wget's my tool of choice but it's not exactly what you'd call "easy to use" and has a tendency to try to mirror more than you want... Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on August 28, 2010, 07:20:20 AM See, I used to have a good one that was very obedient about not leaving the domain you specified. I can't even remember the name now. I had one with "squirrel" in its name, but I don't think it was the good one. The old ImageWolf / FileWolf programs would take a search term and just go looking, and there was often unexpected horror. Rather like an incantation that doesn't specify a name. Rig up a good pentacle, man. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on August 29, 2010, 12:39:29 PM I think I got my infected machine all cleaned up. Malware still won't update unless I log in as the admin to do it, for some reason, even after a re-install, but otherwise it seems to be working correctly, and all the poison seems to have been removed. Oddly enough, the trojan hid itself in the executable for a copy of Yamp that I had in a directory of stuff transferred from a really old machine. Yamp! I'd forgotten about old Yamp. Anyway, this little adventure made me look at backing up my two main machines at home some more, and while trying to decide what was critical to have . . . I noticed that something's gone through my other machine and erased all the MP3 files. Coincidence? I haven't opened any emails from the hellniece on that machine in, like, years, if ever. But WTF, man. The album directories, etc, are all still there, but all the MP3 files are gone. What really burns me is that there was not a single illegal MP3 file on that machine. 95% of it was just rips of CDs I still have somewhere, although a few of them have been lost or destroyed, but that isn't even the point. :eyeroll: :fuckyou: I am kind of curious what would happen if I ripped a CD now, whether the MP3s would vanish or if it was a one-time thing. Whatever did it is apparently able to elude AVG and Malwarebytes. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on September 02, 2010, 05:04:11 PM The MP3 thing bugs me more and more as time goes by, but it's a done deal, so . . . . Meanwhile, if I leave the machine idle for about fifteen minutes, AVG pops up a warning that it nabbed a 'Generic Trojan' in the System Restore folder. No matter how often it does this, it happens again. Great! Meanwhile, I noticed a drop in disk space, and some hunting around revealed that Opera has a new way of storing its History now . . . and the new method tends to mysteriously eat up unlimited disk space. The Opera people know about this but apparently haven't fixed it yet. My History setting tells Opera to remember the last 5000 addresses -- separate from any content caching -- which for some reason was taking up over 520 MB of disk space. Seriously, software people, just stabilize the damn app and leave it alone. Want to add features? Firefox has the right idea on this one. Keep shit separate as much as possible. Don't break what's already working. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on September 02, 2010, 05:18:48 PM I was reading a thread the other day where several people were expressing disappointment with AVG and recommending avast! (http://www.avast.com/index) instead. YMMV Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on September 02, 2010, 05:21:49 PM I'm in favor of anything that fulfills the two conditions Works and Can Be Afforded By Me. AVG has mostly been a dynamite free product, but it's just failing to cope with whatever my hellniece infected my machine with, and it, too, tends to leave huge old files on the drive. My machines have small (by current standards) drives, and I have the world's shittiest luck with flash drives, so I hate to clutter up with gunk. I'll give avast a look. Thanks! :thumbsup: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on September 09, 2010, 06:19:11 PM Longish story; :doh: ending(s): So . . . yesterday, I was getting Generic Trojan warnings from AVG. The warnings came from SVCHOST (bane of my happiness) in some magical system restore directory that AVG couldn't do anything about. Meh meh meh. Turn everything off, log into Admin account, update AVG, turn off System Restore, and disconnect from the internet. The full scan takes like two hours, and I'm too paranoid to leave the machine logged into the Admin account and connected to the net for two hours, especially unsupervised. Start full scan. Go to work. Come home hours later. Scan found nothing this time. Well, fine. Close AVG and fire up Malwarebytes. Try to update, and I get a generic I Can't Update And I Don't Know Why!!!11! error message. In the past, that's meant the damned system's infected with something smart enough to block security software updates. Crap! Yes, it took me over an hour of effing around before I remembered I'd disconnected the internet connection. Why can't Windows automatically notice when you're trying to access the net but have it disconnected and TELL YOU? Seriously. This would not be difficult. Bonus: While Malware was running, I happened to glance at its progress and note that it was scanning and scanning and scanning a temp directory I'd never seen before in a weird subdirectory of the root Documents and Settings directory. WTF? When it was done, I went and looked. The subdirectory was only visible from Admin and had 11 GB of trash files. I'd had problems with corrupted files on a flashdisk like a year before, and every time the system had tried to recover them it had apparently created temp subdirectories there with garbled versions of the files. A bunch of the corrupted files were zip files, and those had ballooned gruesomely when it tried to recover them. Mind you, this machine has a 40 GB drive, so 11 GB of garbage is annoying. Also annoying is that no Remove Junk Files utility had ever found them, either. Fortunately, and surprisingly, Windows let me erase them without comment or complaint. :shrug: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on September 10, 2010, 02:52:30 PM OK, the latest one: I have two almost identical ThinkPads, running allegedly identical Windows XP SP3 installs. Each one has an Admin account and one user account, all password-protected. For stupid reasons, on one of them the Admin account appears on top at the Windows log in screen, and on the other the Admin account appears at the bottom. This latter one gets the most use. As a result, on the other one, last night, I accidentally clicked on Admin but typed the User password. To my dismay, Windows accepted the password and logged me right in. I hastily logged back out and logged in with the User account. The passwords are not similar. I tried this on purpose today, and, yep, it logs right in. Today I noticed that at least it actually logs me in to the User account, not the Admin. Nothing other than those two passwords will log in at all. On the other machine, this little trick doesn't work -- Windows actually wants the right password for the account you're trying to log into. So WTF? In a way, it's convenient. I just type the password for the account I want. But it's not as advertised. Tomorrow, if I remember, I'll try this on the machine at work, which has three accounts rather than two. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on September 10, 2010, 05:04:11 PM Never mindish: I finally noticed that one of the machines is actually XP Professional and the other is XP Home Edition. They have the exact same build number, but the interface is slightly different in ways that I thought before were just my failing to get Windows settings configured how I wanted them. :eyeroll: XP Home Edition is the one that just logs into whichever account I enter the password for, regardless of which account I told it I was trying to log into. Now I just have a CRC data error to deal with . . . apparently I'm being punished for something. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: the other andrea on September 10, 2010, 11:51:58 PM Dude, just... get a Mac. ;) :lol: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on October 16, 2010, 11:52:21 AM I know a lot of people don't understand why some people hate Windows so much. The Search function in Explorer is a perfectly good example. This is the Windows XP version, specifically. I don't know if they 'fixed' it at all in Windows 7, but as I've been using Windows for a long time I rather tend to doubt it. (1) - It doesn't follow the Windows standard design. Despite being a Microsoft product. So often the way. (2) - It has a horrible, horrible, stupid, unpleasant, awkward, clunky interface. Definitely not an improvement on the Windows standards. Definitely not an improvement over the older dialog box design. Just awful. Even with the little animated dog turned off. (3) - It's broken. For instance, if you enter a term into the "All or part of a file name" field, it often searches instead for files containing that term. You can catch it doing this every time if you enter a term and then click on the Advanced Options tab/link/whatever it is. It'll actually move your search term into the wrong field. Nice. (4) - The advanced options are decidedly not advanced. Want to look for a file you know was recently created? (Such as a file just created by a program, which you know is in a special Windows directory . . . somewhere.) The best you can do is search for something created in the last 24 hours -- and the way to do that is obscure enough that casual users (allegedly MS's target audience) probably won't figure out how. (5) - It's slow and horrible. It routinely fails to find things. And, good god, is it slow. I just had to do a search for all files containing a term in their name, and the search made the machine grind to a halt so badly that I stopped trying to read text-based email (SO taxing, I know) and just left it alone until it was done. It took SIXTEEN MINUTES. There's less than 18 GB on the entire drive, and a huge chunk of that is a small number of giant files. What is the hold-up? We even have Indexing (ugh) turned on in order to speed up stupid searches like this, even though it slows everything else down. Out of sheer perverse curiosity, I opened a DOS window, went to C:\, and ran a directory search of all subdirectories for any filename containing the search term. It found about 80% of the files (some might be in special Windows directories it doesn't let DOS see?) . . . in under two minutes. :cyber: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Tripper on October 17, 2010, 04:21:39 PM Here's something else people don't know about computers and really should. Everybody shops for a hard drive on size, right? Did you ever think about how MANY files you were putting on there? It's far faster (and easier) to move a 1 GB file than 1000 1MB files and the larger file will use the disk space more efficiently. Another thing is that with the NTFS filesystem (WAY the f*ck better than FAT32), you shouldn't go over a few hundred thousand files per volume. Yes, the theoretical limit is 4,294,967,295 files, but Windows likes to keep track of all those files and having the OS touch 4.2 trillion or so files is going to occupy a lot of CPU and memory. A much better way to allocate things is to have volumes set up for whatever is on them; one for really large files like movies, one for medium sized files like music or pictures (better to separate those two), and still another for documents and everything under a particular size. I can't speak to Mac filesystems, as I work mostly in the Windows/NFS world, but the basics of partition sizes, cluster allocation, and what I described above still hold true. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on October 17, 2010, 04:55:10 PM Quote A much better way to allocate things is to have volumes set up for whatever is on them Yes, but Microsoft doesn't want you to do this, and Windows is intentionally made to make this a little difficult. MS's design philosophy revolves around the notion that the user shouldn't even try to understand what the software is actually doing. (Someone there once said they stole the idea from Apple, but that's beside the point.) They want you to just let Windows organize your files for you, and hence My Documents, etc. Back in the day, it was a lot simpler to have all your programs (and their associated files) in one place, all your documents in another, all your image files in another, all big data files in another, and so on. File Explorer is generally a horrible file and directory management program anyway -- I didn't even get into that. It doesn't replicate a lot of the major functionality (and really useful features) of DOS programs like Xtree or DirMagic. I mean, for crying out loud, it doesn't let you easily flag files without altering the selection, and the selection is always hot so that one errant click of the mouse either screws up your careful selection or makes the stupid OS try to open all those files individually . . . . Seriously, it's just horrible, horrible design. Really deeply stupid and bad. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on October 17, 2010, 08:22:11 PM This made me wonder how Hans Reiser's doing in prison. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on October 30, 2010, 06:49:09 AM OMG how much do I HATE automatic Windows updates that announce that, oh, I just updated in the background, and now I'm going to restart your machine (it's just rebooting, you lame drama queen) in 12 minutes, and you can't override me! Ha ha! Better save your work! This kind of amateur megalomania crap is why people turn off the automatic updates. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on November 01, 2010, 04:29:39 PM New Mac Mini at work. I got the 'slow' version but maxed the RAM. It's sliiiiiiiiick :D Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on November 01, 2010, 05:04:04 PM :thumbsup: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on November 01, 2010, 05:45:44 PM And these new Apple keyboards are teh nice. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on November 01, 2010, 10:09:18 PM In unrelated news, Windows sucks. I have the two nearly identical Win XP SP3 machines. One, now, gets hung up on the GINA login almost anytime I want to log in. I don't see the GINA screen (which I've only read about, just recently), but I just get a blank screen and have to task switch to the regular login page. Took me awhile to figure that out, because I thought the OS was just failing to wake up correctly from sleep mode. The other machine, now, has a fun thing where the focus will seem to stay with the app I have on top (the title bar stays in the Active Window color setting), but the focus will actually have reverted to the Taskbar. Innocent key combinations, in the middle of typing, will start new programs and such. I can switch away from the Taskbar normally, but I never know when the focus is going to go back there. Man, I hate this shit. I've got to learn to customize the interface on my Linux machine at work so I can make my next home machines Linux boxes. I know I've made the threat before, but ye gods. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on November 06, 2010, 05:28:40 PM I don't know if this should go here, or in the Things Currently Making Me Cranky. If you've been having trouble with YouTube and Firefox, like image previews not showing, search function not working, etc., the fix is this: Quote This will sort the problem if you have not already fixed it .. you put "about:config" in the location bar in firefox.. (ie. the url) then locate the "dom.storage.enabled" from the list and then double click it so it changes the value from "false" to "true" I spent several hours trying to figure out what the hell was wrong. :angry: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on November 06, 2010, 06:27:12 PM Haven't had that problem, but I spent a couple of hours yesterday trying to fix something that sounded similar in terms of head-banging. The Netflix Instant Play had stopped working, and I got an error message saying the problem was on my end, that the download server was blocked somewhere at my machine or the router. Crap, I know almost nothing about the router, and I've forgotten most of what I learned when I set it up a year ago. But in the end, of course, it just started working again. I suspect Netflix was actually to blame and just didn't feel like admitting it. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on November 06, 2010, 06:27:54 PM shoot, it was already true. :( Havening a lot of trouble with YouTube embeds of late, particularly at work on the new computer :hmm: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: flipper on November 08, 2010, 12:44:10 AM No problems with Chrome. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mybabysmomma on November 16, 2010, 03:59:59 PM can you watch blueray thru wii's? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Hedaira on November 16, 2010, 04:27:12 PM Nope. The Wii can't handle the image quality. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mybabysmomma on November 16, 2010, 04:39:49 PM well damn Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on November 16, 2010, 05:13:06 PM Fark Blu-Ray. That's what I say. Considering on one hand how much money it would take for me to get all the AV equipment I'd need to properly take advantage of Blu-Ray, and on the other hand how I already have everything I need to enjoy regular DVDs, and on the gripping hand the difference in likely levels of enjoyment . . . I'd rather spend the money on hats. And I wear the same hat almost every day. I'll wait until whatever's next and skip the Blu-Ray step. /hopefully whatever's next won't be even more awful Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on November 16, 2010, 05:30:32 PM I was that kind of militant until I learned that a half decent blu-ray player is about 100 and will play DVDs too. So I got over it. When I get one, maybe I'll get some Blu-Ray discs. Maybe not! It'll be a mystery. I had to laugh at my folks though: first Blu-Ray they bought? Yeah. "The African Queen." Uh huh. It looked pretty good. But, um. Yeah? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on November 16, 2010, 05:31:31 PM OH OH I has a real question. So our phones come with these chargers that have a plug for the wall, but the phone plugs in to it via a USB cable. Can I charge a USB iPod with this too? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on November 16, 2010, 05:51:06 PM Quote I was that kind of militant until I learned that a half decent blu-ray player is about 100 and will play DVDs too. Yeah, but none of my TVs are good enough to show the difference, especially at a halfway proper viewing distance, and even though I actually have some home theater speakers set up, they're nothing special either. Really, regular DVDs are kind of maxing out my hardware, and I mostly watch streaming stuff nowadays anyhoo. :shrug: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on November 16, 2010, 05:58:11 PM Right, exactly. I'm not running out to buy one either. My TV is from the last millennium. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Hedaira on November 18, 2010, 11:13:06 AM :lol: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Talix on November 18, 2010, 12:16:19 PM Right, exactly. I'm not running out to buy one either. My TV is from the last millennium. Here's the thing with the TVs and the graphics and the whatnot: Hey! Sports graphics people! Not everyone has 70" TVs, k? So those things you put up in the corner that allegedly show scores from around the league or ball/strike counts or whatever? I CAN'T SEE THEM. Jack wagons. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: vox8 on November 18, 2010, 03:14:07 PM OK geeks, I think I know what this means, but want y'all to let me know. My monitor keeps on kinda blinking. It isn't blinking black and white, but it keeps on going from normal bright to, like, almost sepia toned - everything gets a cast of yellow. Then it goes back to regular and then sepia again. It does it spasticly and irregularly. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on November 18, 2010, 04:49:26 PM It sounds like a loose connection or a cable fault. Is this a CRT or an LCD type monitor? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: vox8 on November 18, 2010, 06:26:06 PM It sounds like a loose connection or a cable fault. Is this a CRT or an LCD type monitor? It is rectangular and flat. It glows. Other than that, I am pretty much clueless. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on November 19, 2010, 12:05:42 AM Flat = LCD. When the computer is off, pull out the cable between the monitor and the main box - there are screws on the side of the plug at each end that turn by finger strength (remember, your strength may vary). On each side of the cable, one side has a socket, and the other has pins. Where there are pins, are they all straight? DO NOT STRAIGHTEN THEM YET! Is there looseness to the plugs where they join to the cable? Write down how many pins/sockets are on each side, in what sort of pattern. Plug the cable back in, and redo the screws (especially if they weren't tight). Or, you know, let Tripper look at it. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: vox8 on November 19, 2010, 12:14:50 AM Flat = LCD. When the computer is off, pull out the cable between the monitor and the main box - there are screws on the side of the plug at each end that turn by finger strength (remember, your strength may vary). On each side of the cable, one side has a socket, and the other has pins. Where there are pins, are they all straight? DO NOT STRAIGHTEN THEM YET! Is there looseness to the plugs where they join to the cable? Write down how many pins/sockets are on each side, in what sort of pattern. Plug the cable back in, and redo the screws (especially if they weren't tight). Or, you know, let Tripper look at it. Thanks for the info but I think I will go with option B. I was just afraid that the answer was going to be TOTALLY BORKED. But it sounds like y'all think it is fixable. Woo Hoo! Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on November 19, 2010, 12:23:57 AM I don't have as much experience with the LCD ones at the CRTs, yet, so don't trust in hope. But "check the cables" is one of those things that fixes problems more often that it has any right to. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Hedaira on November 19, 2010, 10:10:18 AM If it was a CRT doing that, the answer would be get it the hell out of the house. I had one go BOOM on me and everyone in the house shit themselves. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on November 19, 2010, 12:34:25 PM That's why I asked. There's really high voltage on a tube and loose connections in the right (i.e. wrong) wire can make for some impressive bangs. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: the other andrea on November 22, 2010, 07:07:38 PM I don't know if this should go here, or in the Things Currently Making Me Cranky. If you've been having trouble with YouTube and Firefox, like image previews not showing, search function not working, etc., the fix is this: Quote This will sort the problem if you have not already fixed it .. you put "about:config" in the location bar in firefox.. (ie. the url) then locate the "dom.storage.enabled" from the list and then double click it so it changes the value from "false" to "true" I spent several hours trying to figure out what the hell was wrong. :angry: I had that problem briefly with an older version of Firefox, but now the problem is that intermittently the System Preferences decides to mute my output volume. :confused: I spent hours trying to figure that one out... at least I know where to look if it keeps doing it. :shrug: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on November 23, 2010, 06:05:52 AM Quote ...but now the problem is that intermittently the System Preferences decides to mute my output volume. :hmm: yeah, that would be aggravating. Maybe your cat is stepping on the mute key on your keyboard? There maybe other keyboard shortcuts to mute, I dunno. I'm constantly hitting F12 by mistake when I try to hit Delete. F12 brings up Widgets. You don't want to go messing around with the "about:config" unless you know exactly what you're doing. You can do major damage in there. You can also do some amazing things though, if you know what you're doing. You probably already know about Mozillazine (http://kb.mozillazine.org/Knowledge_Base), but I'm going to link to it because it isn't something that Firefox advertises as much as they should. There's a ton of info in there, and the people in the forum are generally pretty helpful. It's not as geeky as it once was, but there's still a lot of knowledgeable people in there. Maybe that's why that don't link to it directly - they want to keep the general public directed to the Firefox support page, which is kind of on the "are you sure your computer is plugged in?" level. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: the other andrea on November 23, 2010, 12:41:49 PM THE CAT! :lol: It's always the cat, isn't it. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on December 01, 2010, 09:33:30 PM I upgraded to the new AVG, and it immediately started annoying me by randomly bogging the machine and starting "scheduled" scans that I had not scheduled. Tonight, it went back to its old trick of automatically updating and then announcing that I needed to reboot. It gives you a choice to reboot immediately or postpone it for a set amount of time, after which it will pop up and bug you again. I happened to be busy, so I chose to postpone it for an hour, the largest interval of time it allows. Fuck you. I will reboot my machine when I am ready to reboot my machine. It's not your machine. I didn't have the latest update at lunchtime today, and nothing unspeakable occurred, so you can damned well wait until I shut the machine off later tonight. An hour, right? So five minutes later, it pops up again, telling me to reboot. :banghead: I shut everything down, logged off, logged back in as admin, and uninstalled it. Now I'm running Avast. Seems OK so far, although it tried to install Google Chrome and set it as my default browser. Well, that's one strike. But at least it gave me the option of not doing that. AVG insisted on installing the Ask.com toolbar for Exploder, which fortunately does not bug you if you're using Opera. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on December 03, 2010, 01:46:54 AM I would support legislation to make it illegal to use made-up words in captchas. Those damned things are often hard enough to figure out as it is. And what are they afraid of? That some visual-recognition robot is going to pattern-match the words against a visualized dictionary and rapidly try all possible matches? Captcha doesn't even work that way. Damned planet gets crappier every day. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: eldiem on December 03, 2010, 11:05:40 AM I get those things wrong on the first try more often than not. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: flipper on December 03, 2010, 02:51:52 PM Me too. Fricking annoying. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: First Post on December 03, 2010, 04:11:13 PM I can deal with it until they start going into weird symbols and foreign language type characters that I'd have to look up the Unicode number for, like those Founding Father style "S that looks like an F" things and etc. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on December 03, 2010, 06:30:16 PM http://www.e4.com/game/captcha-invaders/play.e4 Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on December 03, 2010, 07:06:24 PM Is that a real game, or are those just being forwarded by spambots in order to get humans to do their dirty work for them? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on December 03, 2010, 09:04:47 PM :galm: Damn, I got to level 4. I'm part of the problem!!!! Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on December 18, 2010, 04:18:15 PM You know, Microsoft, this douchebag Windows Is Going To Restart Now Whether You're Busy Or Not bullshit is exactly the kind of thing that made me turn off automatic updates in the past. Seriously, no other software company I've ever dealt with is as habitually amateurish and fuck-you as MS. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on December 27, 2010, 12:52:55 PM I have to say . . . AVG was good to me for years, and free, and I give them big props for that, but Avast is SO much better for me now that it's not funny. So much better that I feel compelled to mention it. It never bogs my machine (my very old machine) or interrupts me, and it seems to work flawlessly. The End. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on December 27, 2010, 02:40:25 PM You're welcome ;) Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 25, 2011, 04:35:22 PM Opera 10 on the work machine refused to believe that I didn't want it to keep trying to automatically update to Opera 11, and the last time I cancelled it (this morning) . . . it broke. Merrrr. SO of course I gave in and downloaded the Opera 11 install. WELL. As far as I can tell, there aren't any improvements that will do anything for me. They now have some kind of stacked-tabs thing that the intro doesn't explain well but which seem to be functionally identical to just putting related tabs in their own Opera window. Which is what I always do, since Opera works great even with ten windows and 50 tabs open. They've changed mouse gestures, which I hate and never use. (The mouse is a limited-function device, and adding to it is like building a phone into the car; it is added function but not an improvement of the car or the phone.) They also say they've changed the built-in mail program. I haven't used the mail program in forever, because I've only been using webmail, but they could have built in an improved front end for Gmail, at least. That would have been cool with me. However, they still have not fixed the things they broke 'round about Opera 9. The shortcuts that cycle through hyperlinks on a given page still no longer work properly. When you load a new page or switch to a tab, the cursor often starts off in the magnification control, for some reason, which is desperately annoying if, say, you start reading a page and then hit Page Down. The search-in-page function is still ugly and not anywhere near as good as it used to be. But now they also broke the way the browser handles forms. FARK THAT. The way Opera breezes through forms (including log-ins, search boxes, etc) is definitely a major improvement over Exploder that I use constantly. And since they didn't fix the stuff that was broken, I'm outta here. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 27, 2011, 11:14:36 PM Hmof, do you know laser stuff? I been googling and googling, but I can't figure this out: I need to know if you can lase a fluid solely by pumping energy into conduction electrons, not valence electrons. I keep finding sites saying that special relativity says a free electron can never absorb or emit a photon, and that free-electron lasers constrain the electrons with a magnetic field, so that they're not actually 'free'. What difference that makes, I don't know. I want to lase liquid metallic hydrogen, as a thought experiment, because it has the highest potential number of electrons per gram of anything I can think of, but all the electrons are conduction electrons (it's really a soup of protons and electrons all being friendly), and allegedly you can't use them to emit coherent radiation. But I don't understand why not, something about conservation of momentum. I don't know if I need to understand why not. I just want to get around the problem. There may be forms of liquid metallic hydrogen that do have valence electrons, but the whole point is to have lots of identical electrons per gram, damn it. I need grad students to do the engineering for me. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on January 27, 2011, 11:33:57 PM :eek: Hmm. That really is out of my range. You mean a free electron 'laser' right, not a real laser that uses photons? I can't help but thinking liquid metal hydrogen would absorb photons of any wavelength too well to lase - I wonder if it would do the same thing for electrons. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 28, 2011, 12:20:44 AM Hm. A free-electron laser uses a long electron beam that you accelerate and then 'shake' with magnets, causing the electrons to emit photons. It's very efficient because (if I understand it correctly) the electrons are all at the same energy level, so you have a really good population inversion, with no low-energy electrons to absorb the photons that are being emitted. You just get a pure single wavelength of photons. It's synchrotronic, which is fun to say. They're also tunable (you change the oscillator by moving the magnets, you change the frequency), even into the x-ray range. The main drawback is that you have to have a long electron beam, plus the accelerator, plus pumps for the vacuum tube, so the laser is big. Nuclear-powered ship, yes; helicopter, no. In the working fluid of a gas laser, you typically have some electrons that get pumped up to the right high valence level, so that when they drop down to a lower orbit they release the kind of photon you want for your laser, right. But that happens really fast, and it's hard to pump all the available electrons up simultaneously. So what happens is that some of the photons get absorbed by electrons that hadn't been pumped up, and you just switch which electrons are up without getting your laser. When you have more electrons excited than unexcited, they call that 'population inversion', and you get a laser beam. That's part of why a lot of lasers are so inefficient -- you have to excite the hell out of the fluid (er, gas) to get enough electrons in the right state at the same time. (There's a mind-bending trick to that which they used to call a 'vanishing-electron' laser, but I think now they call it either a 'quantum interference laser' or 'coherent control laser'. I can't keep all this stuff straight, and I'm not good at chemistry or physics.) Excimer lasers cheat by using unstable compounds that either lase or degrade into other compounds, and the other compounds don't have the electron available to absorb the photons you want, so they don't get in the way. But the gas is only so dense, so there are only so many electrons available. Hydrogen has way more electrons per gram because, hey, no neutrons, but making dense hydrogen gas is a pain. There may be forms of liquid metallic hydrogen that are stable at reasonable temperatures and pressures. (Maybe solid metallic hydrogen, too, but I don't know.) That's what they were talking about in Real Genius -- increasing the power level by using a solid frozen excimer instead of a gaseous excimer. Although I'm sure it's a little garbled in the film, and not necessarily actually possible. :lol: I don't honestly understand the transparency issue. I'm pretty sure a material can't emit a photon that it's transparent to; quantum yadda says if an electron can emit a photon, it can absorb it, and vice versa. With an excimer, the compound breaks down, so maybe. But solid-state lasers do it somehow. Maybe they only actually emit from the end of the sample facing the firing tube? But some of them have large samples. Partial transparency? Most of those are crystals doped with the actual lasing material, so maybe that's it. Part of the problem here is that I don't know what I don't know, and I don't know which parts of what I do know are wrong. And nobody knows 100% certain about the metallic hydrogen. I haven't got the resources of Latveria to draw on, or anything, but I at least like the technobabble in my SF to be more plausible than average. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on February 08, 2011, 10:23:56 PM Aside from all the horrible new site designs that suck, ChicagoNow sites (like the Chicago Tribune) have recently stopped working for me -- they hang Opera and Firefox on my home machine and, I learned today by experimenting, two machines at work. They seem to work with Internet Exploder, but it's hardly worth the hassle. I can't seem to make them live with Opera. I didn't really try screwing with Firefox to make them work. With Firefox, it hangs the window; with Opera, it hangs all Opera everything everywhere, although Opera restarts easily and (thoughtfully!) doesn't try reloading that one offending page, giving me a blank tab instead. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on February 11, 2011, 10:20:40 PM So . . . yesterday was Knock On Axe's Door Day, and I had four people knock on my door, which is like two months' worth and quite annoying. One guy was from Comcast, trying to get me to switch to their DSL. It was like thirty-five hundred degrees below zero and windy, and I felt bad that they'd sent him out to go door to door with this, especially since he knew nothing about DSL. He didn't know what bundles were available, for instance. He said "It's 19 a month to start, although that doesn't last very long." I said "Then what does it go up to?" And he said "No one knows." :hmm: Yeah, you're really selling it. So I let him ramble on for a bit, and he said "There's the six meg plan and the eight meg plan, but either way it's pretty fast." I said "Six meg . . . per second?" He said "No, just six meg." What, and then you're done for the month? Well THAT wouldn't be very good. :lol: I let him give me a flyer. Right now I have AT&T DSL, which kind of blows but was the only DSL provider for this block when I got it. They originally promised me 6 MB/sec, but realistically I never hit more than about 150 KB/sec from any actual server. Speedtest places sometimes get me up to almost 1.5 MB/sec. I don't torrent, or anything, so Netflix and occasionally Hulu are the only things that tax the connection. I just went to AT&T, to see if they were now offering plans better than the one I'm on (it's 40 a month and no customer service), and currently the best plan they're offering for this neighborhood is 3 MB/sec for 30 a month, allegedly not an introductory rate. So if I believed that 3 MB/sec part, I could save 10 a month, unless that's only for new subscribers, which I'm sure it is. Not that I believe that throughput claim anyway. Extra-weirdly, they also have 1.5 MB/sec and 768 KB/sec plans . . . at exactly the same cost. Makes me wonder who signs up for those. Presumably people who don't see them sitting side by side on the website. Of course, I don't believe Comcast is any better to deal with than AT&T, either. In some parts of this area (not my neighborhood) you can get Earthlink, which costs significantly more but is far less douchey. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: eldiem on February 12, 2011, 02:38:05 PM FWIW, when I moved, I tried transferring my AT&T and Comcast services and I spent about 1/10th the time on the phone with Comcast as I did with AT&T, and that was before a 45 min customer service call to AT&T to get them to make my DSL, you know, work. Hmm, I should probably see what it is for Comcast internet around here... I pay like 35/mo for basic phone (limited local calls only) and DSL out here, and cable is a weird--I pay 30 to the rental office for "basic" cable, and like 17.95/mo directly to Comcast for the digital service. I think even the customer service lady on the phone was surprised when she told me that. Of course I don't have bells and/or whistles, no DVR or special channels or HD, but all I watch in general is cooking shows and the occasional episode of Golden Girls or Roseanne. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on February 12, 2011, 04:24:49 PM See, all I want is the DSL -- no phone, no cable. And I'd like to pay about 20 a month for about 1 MB/sec actual throughput. But that's not available around here, if it's available anywhere. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on February 12, 2011, 07:08:28 PM I have my most recent Comcrap bill here... TV Digital Starter - 59.95 HD - 8.50 Internet Modem Lease - 7.00 High Speed Internet - 44.95 Performance 12mbps - 0 +Powerboost speeds up to 15mbps Taxes & Bullshit 4.89 Total 125.29 As far as my speed, who knows? :shrug: Test results vary widely: (http://www.dslreports.com/im/95199461/97733.png) This is a java test, which is probably more accurate, but I dunno. (http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q124/mo_d_/Picture3-1.png) This is a Comcast test, trying to sell their business-class service, whatever the hell that is. Notice at the bottom, where it says click here if you are already a customer. Hah. That's the results below. The only thing consistent in all the tests I just took, which was about 10, was the upload speed. (http://results.speedtest.comcast.net/result/62783392.png) As far as their customer service, their people range from very helpful and qualified to "I don't know how they figured out how to answer the phone". It's like a box of chocolates. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: First Post on February 12, 2011, 07:21:14 PM Speakeasy (http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/), always in my forever traveling bookmarks still accurate enough for FPS gamers picky about their throughput, anyway Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on February 12, 2011, 07:26:31 PM Yeah, that was one of the ones I tried. Download Speed: 14887 kbps (1860.9 KB/sec transfer rate) Upload Speed: 3331 kbps (416.4 KB/sec transfer rate) Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on February 12, 2011, 09:33:03 PM Hmm. Speakeasy gives me the fastest throughput I've ever yet seen anywhere . . . at a scorching 2 MB/sec. That seems to be peak, not average, though, if the test's progress display means anything. Considering I'm theoretically paying for 6 MB/sec, that's not exactly great, but it's still more than fast enough so that Netflix ought to work better than it does. (Of course, if Netflix used a movie player that could buffer properly . . . . ) I own my modem / router, which is way faster even by wireless than any DSL I could get, and it was like 45 secondhand from NewEgg, if I remember correctly. If they don't require you to rent their modem, I wouldn't, personally. On the other hand, I had some trouble setting mine up, as my technical skills were never great and by now are like 10 years out of date. Plus, the Windows XP networking gunk apps blow llama ass. Seriously, it's like they were designed by someone who planned to sell you an expensive replacement and wanted to make sure you'd buy it. I can't remember what kind of router I actually have . . . :eyeroll: . . . so I just went to the Wireless Networks crap to see if it would tell me. Of course not, but I noticed that Windows added a new network, which I've never heard of, to connect to automatically and unencrypted whenever it's available. Hey, thanks! It's apparently an ad hoc P2P, which means (doesn't it?) that that's a connection to another PC, right? Damn it, I thought I'd disabled that stupid 'feature' in XP. Farking hell. I actually have financial information and shit on my hard drive that I'd rather not have some random person having access to. God damn it so much, Windows . . . . Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on February 13, 2011, 09:07:21 AM I've had that router so long I don't even think about it. At the time, I had zero experience with routers, and if I remember correctly, they told me I had to rent their router, that only it would work with their system. I had forgotten I was still paying to lease it until the last time they had a price increase, and I noticed on the bill. I guess I need to put this on my list of things to do. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on February 13, 2011, 07:54:44 PM Typing away in a comment on Fbook, and Internet Exploder pops up some dialogue box, instantly shifts the focus there (of course! because Microsoft is run by utter morons who don't understand computers), and the dialogue box accepts some command that was in the middle of some word I was typing. I have no idea what the message was about or what I told it. And Windows is so moronic that there's no log I know of to easily check to see, much less to change what it thinks I told it. :gfy: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on February 17, 2011, 02:54:07 PM I'm trying to figure out why two of my users can't connect. They use an ODBC connection, and I want to have them try something more direct to see if that connection is the problem. So I send them a command to run in DOS, and tell them how to get there. True Type minimizes the space since there's not really a need to have any between a word and a hypen. They tell me that "osql-E-S" isn't a valid command. :googily: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on February 19, 2011, 08:23:17 AM What is it with the trend toward insanely horrible website design? I know this goes through cycles, but . . . I just went to the Adult Swim site, where I haven't been in months, and, uh, it'll certainly be months before I go back there again. Ugliest, most annoying site design I've seen in a long, long time. Seriously, that's like five pounds of incompetent in a four-pound bag. There was blinking text, for christ's sake. It looks like GeoCities threw up. Adult Swim has some pretty awesome content, but not awesome enough to be worth that. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on February 26, 2011, 01:55:18 PM XP . . . ugh. So, MS Word is set as the default editor for HTML files. This is so not helpful or good. I would settle for changing the default to Wordpad, though, or even Notepad. This turns out to be SO much more difficult than it should be, or even than I thought it would be. And it's not like I expect Windows to be helpful. First, when I finally figure out how to change the Context | Edit for a filetype -- it's not in File Properties, which would make sense, but in Folder Options, because . . . well, there's no good reason for that. MS is just stupid. Anyway, I find the HTM extension first. It's set to Open with Firefox, which is fine. There's the Change button, which would let me change that, but not anything else. OK, there's the vague Advanced button, which lets me change the icon and the Edit / Print / open (with a little 'o', which is Context | open, not the default Open) associations. Reasonably easy, considering! Except not. Choose to Edit the Edit command, and you don't get a list of applications to choose from. There's just the Browse option of MS's horrible, horrible, stupidly designed file management dialog box. You know, the one that can't remember your settings, etc. Well, FINE, but where the hell does this copy of Windows keep Wordpad? Cancel, open new Explorer window, use the incredibly horrible, stupid MS File Search that replaced the reasonably good one they used to have. Churn, churn, churn, churn . . . six minutes later, it's found ELEVEN copies of Wordpad.exe. Seriously, Windows? This is a fairly recent XP install with no monkeying around, and you have eleven copies with four different creation dates over four years. The newest one is, for some reason, in Program Files\Windows NT\Accessories. NT, really? Blow me. Right click on it . . . wait, isn't there supposed to be a Copy File Location option? FINE. Select Properties, and . . . no, it won't give me the filepath. :eyeroll: Go back to other Explorer window, jump through hoops again, go to Browse, dig through poorly organized MS filetree to find Wordpad. DONE. Try it, and it works. Good. Now for the HTML file extension. OH, WAIT. It doesn't have the same options. The Advanced button is gone. I'm allowed to change what program Opens that filetype, and I'm allowed to Restore it to Internet Exploder, and that's it. :gfy: Christ, I hate Windows. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on February 26, 2011, 01:58:55 PM AND it turns out that the Wordpad Edit for HTM files has already stopped working. It worked once -- when I tested it to see if it was working -- and since then I get Wordpad opening, saying it can't find "C:\documents", and then crashing. FABULOUS! Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: the other andrea on February 26, 2011, 02:38:01 PM I read your frustrations with Windows and it only makes me more thankful I went with Macs lo these many years... I don't say that in a condescending way, at all, because they do cost more, etc., but it relieves me to no end to just to be able to sit down and use a computer, not constantly tweak and fix it. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on February 26, 2011, 02:52:05 PM What makes me crazy is that both of my machines at home have XP, and both are set up to automatically Edit HTML with Wordpad, but I have no idea how I did it . . . except I know it wasn't difficult. Intuitive . . . yeah, right. Macs actually drive me crazy just as much. The Mac OS might be better once you learn it, but I don't have the patience anymore. And I hate customizing stuff anymore, because nine times out of ten the new upgrade comes out and all your customizations go away. I could 'upgrade' to Windows 7, if I were willing to shell out money for it, but after my experiences 'upgrading' from Windows 2, 3, 95, 98, NT, and now XP . . . I have zero confidence I'd actually be happy with the newerbetter version. I have to say, it absolutely kills me to think how much vastly faster the hardware is nowadays, and yet things like Word take longer to open and certainly seem slower to use than they did in Word 2 back in the early 90s. File management is often slower, too, because the stupid File Explorer is trying to do all kinds of extra stuff in the background, regardless of whether I want it to or not. It's just completely ridiculous. Such a crap product. If I'm ever able to buy a new machine not because it's a needed immediate replacement . . . and I don't have to bring it in to use at work . . . I'll finish exploring my options in Linux. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on March 04, 2011, 01:19:15 AM There's just one problem with my Soundex implementation. "Ghoti" doesn't return the same value as "fish". Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mybabysmomma on March 12, 2011, 07:35:04 AM Alright Mac people, question about iTunes. If I download cd's to my iTunes and it doesn't name the tracks, it just puts "track 1" "track 2" etc, how do I go back and name them? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on March 12, 2011, 07:55:03 AM Have you tried going to "Advanced" and choosing "Get Track Names"? If that doesn't work, what version of iTunes are you using? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on March 12, 2011, 08:03:57 AM You can also right-click on the track and choose "Get Track Names" And if that doesn't work, right-click on the track and choose "Get Info". That will open a window with several tabs, one of which is "Info". Choose that tab, and it will have several fields, one of which is the track name. You can edit the name manually there and then click "OK". Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mybabysmomma on March 12, 2011, 08:07:15 AM Thanks for getting my brain working this morning mo. I did it under Get Info. Easy as cake, yummy yummy cake! MMmmmmm Cake! Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on March 12, 2011, 08:16:29 AM No problem, I had a few unnamed tracks too, so it was helpful to me to figure it out. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: flipper on March 14, 2011, 12:02:18 PM I have tons of music that's not in Gracenotes so I have to input manually. Apple Key i takes you to get info. The best way is to highlight the whole album and input artist, album name, genre etc. Then click on a single song apple key + i and enter the song names. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on March 15, 2011, 08:25:42 AM Excel question: How do you print colored borders? I now how to change the colors of the borders, and change them from solid lines to dotted lines or whatever, and in the print preview the borders are in color, but they print as black. I can fill columns and rows with color, and they print in color, but the borders stay black. WTF? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: feffer on March 15, 2011, 12:09:27 PM Does this (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/183148) help? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on March 15, 2011, 01:44:09 PM Nope. I thought you had it there for a minute, but I checked, and that box is not checked. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on March 24, 2011, 11:42:48 AM The farking idiotic Facebook callbacks and Like buttons and shit on every third damned web page out there are horrible. Mostly because they frequently fark with the Back command in my browsers. Can't we just go back to HTML? You know, because it actually worked? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on March 24, 2011, 01:13:08 PM So . . . Windows Update . . . this time it didn't decide it was going to restart my computer regardless of what I wanted. Instead, it asked if I wanted to restart now or later. Is this part of the update? I can only hope. Less fond of this: When Windows restarted, it came up as logged into a user account that's password protected. It skipped the whole login screen. Not that it should even matter, but I was even logged out of that account when I restarted the machine. Farking Windows. How does it work? Poorly. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on March 24, 2011, 03:44:59 PM Hard drive running insanely slow. FINE. Defragment. Uh, there's no chkdsk kind of thing in Windows anymore? I don't want to run the DOS utility in a Command window. I don't trust that arrangement for a second. The Computer Management thing doesn't seem to have a disk scanning thing, though, and Windows Help doesn't know WTF I'm going on about. Does the Defrag do it automatically now? No . . . apparently not. Well, anyway. I notice that the progress bar and completion time estimate remaing the hardest software problems known to humankind. So it finishes. It says, hey, there were a ton of files I couldn't defragment for some reason I either don't know or won't tell you. Do you want to see what they are? Yeah, I guess I should see that list. And it opens in a dialog box (why?) that can't be resized (why?) with a drop list of files that includes the path with the filename, so EVERY SINGLE FILE'S NAME is off the righthand side of the box and can't be read. Hovering the mouse does not make the full name pop up. There's no horizontal scrolling. You can save it to a text file, though. Whee . . . . Oh. Error-checking a drive is now under Properties. Well! That certainly makes sense! Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on March 24, 2011, 03:53:06 PM Also under Properties, there's now a tab called Quota that definitely wasn't there before. It apparently only shows up in the Admin account, but it doesn't show up on my other XP machine. :confused: It's fairly mysterious, and the File Properties Help and general Windows Help never heard of it. SO SMRT. But if you click on Quota Entries and then click Help, you find that . . . honestly, I don't care. But the stupidity and incompetence of the interface is truly breathtaking. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: First Post on March 24, 2011, 03:59:12 PM That's for admins to set maximum disk usage quotas for individual user accounts on the machine. Remember when everybody hated on Windows because it ran everything as admin by default? They had to change that, even though everybody still does it anyway, but there it is for anybody that wants to play BOFH on their XP box. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on March 24, 2011, 04:30:38 PM Yeah. I don't run as Admin on either of my XP machines, but I've only been able to get people to play that way on one of the two XP machines at work. Actually, the virus incidence at work is much higher on the machine that has multiple users, even though it's the one we don't run as Admin. Figures. The admin / user thing would be a lot better if the Run As thing worked properly in XP. (It works exactly right on my Linux machine! Although I still suck at using the Linux machine, mostly because I can get by on that machine without knowing how anything works. Irony in action.) I'm told it works under Windows 7, but every time I've tried Windows 7 I've hated it far more than XP. Just too chicken to jump entirely to Linux. So far. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on April 11, 2011, 01:19:52 PM God damn it, Gmail, stop trying to guess what's quoted text and stop hiding it and/or trying to display it in a special way. The angle bracket offset is sufficient, and your improvements are not improvements. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on April 11, 2011, 02:20:31 PM Avast is telling me that every YouTube page is trying to run a malicious script on my machine. Anyone else getting any warnings at YouTube today? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on April 11, 2011, 04:09:36 PM I'd have to say N/A. There's only 3 domains running on youtube; youtube, ytimg and doubleclick. Can you deny doubleclick? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on April 11, 2011, 06:55:16 PM I just got done cleaning up my machine. Pretty much every farking HTML file on my machine got garbled -- adios, Help files, but pretty much every other HTML file on this machine is a copy of something from work, so . . . not such a big deal. JavaScript files got hit, too, but I care even less. One virus got all of those, and then there was also a Trojan in two JavaScript files. Took Avast almost two hours to clean it all up. Ugh. Beats me exactly how it happened, though. I got warnings at YouTube, and then Avast started blocking Wikipedia entirely, and that's when I stopped and ran Malwarebytes and the virus scan. My other machine was able to go to YouTube and Wikipedia without apparent incident, but it still has AVG, so maybe (who knows?) that helped. :shrug: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on April 29, 2011, 07:08:02 AM Anyone running Firefox 4? I've been hesitant to install it. I understand the interface is a bit more like Chrome, with simplified menus, which doesn't sound real attractive to me, but I imagine it would grow on me. Another reason I may be hesitant is that it's not an automatic update - it's still an optional thing. I'm still getting updates for 3.6X Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Talix on April 29, 2011, 08:20:49 AM I'm running it at work - we can use alternatives to the "approved" software list but we have to keep them updated. I only use it to get to two sites and it still manages to piss me off. I'd stick with what you've got until you have no choice. I mean, do I really need this many clicks to get to my Favorites? [attachment deleted by admin] Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on April 29, 2011, 08:26:08 AM I'm running 4 now. Who knows if there are significant improvements under the hood, but they did manage to rearrange all the buttons, put the tab row atop the address bar row instead of below, move the NoScript/Greasemonkey icons to that row, and add animation to the little tiny icons in the tabs. Who needs Microsoft when you can have all this crap for free? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on April 29, 2011, 08:41:19 AM Alrighty then. That's what I was afraid of. Thanks. They're supposed to be going through a massive update process over the next year, I think. I believe I'll hold off as long as possible. I'm guessing they must feel threatened by Google, and are trying to emulate them. Cool spider icon on your desktop, Tal. I hope that's not some software Suitep would need. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on April 29, 2011, 09:25:17 AM Oh my god. Talix, that menu looks like it was dropped from a considerable height and didn't survive the fall. WTF. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Talix on April 29, 2011, 09:35:35 AM Cool spider icon on your desktop, Tal. I hope that's not some software Suitep would need. Spider Solitaire. ;) Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Talix on April 29, 2011, 09:36:34 AM As we've been having this conversation, I was asked to update to 4.0.1. What could possibly go wrong? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on April 30, 2011, 10:25:48 AM My damned tax forms, which the H&R Block software let me save as PDFs, won't open correctly. Fabulous. Adobe PDF Reader wants to update. Well, OK, because maybe that will help. The update process takes THIRTY-FIVE MINUTES, for some reason, and requires restarting the machine TWICE. The first time, it didn't even ask or warn me. It was working in the background, and I was working in the foreground, and then, boom, Windows Is Shutting Down. ORLY? STFU, Adobe. The second time, it asked me, but, seriously, why do you even need to restart Windows to upgrade the POS reader? This should not be such a production. Anyway, finally get it done. New version doesn't produce the desired results, but that's probably the fault of the dumb H&R Block software. The new version does have an extremely fancy logo (um . . . yay?) and takes FOREVER to open or to load a file. Also, the Just Open The Damned File At 100% Zoom, You Moron setting doesn't work anymore. Instead, it insists on picking a zoom of something like 102%, and its zoom feature is so crappy that everything ends up blurry until you manually tell it to knock it off. In no way is this any kind of improvement, nor was it worth the effort. Adobe, I still hate you, and you keep giving me new reasons. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: the other andrea on April 30, 2011, 02:35:11 PM Well, they are expecting you to have a new, superduperfast Dell instead of a 10 year old ThinkPad. :P This is what drives me crazy with updates. I have a Mac that is about a year and a half old and it seems like every time I do a software upgrade, it runs a little slower. I know I need to do some housekeeping, but I was able to run three SL clients (fun for RP) at the same time when I bought the thing, now it struggles with one. It's all collusion between the hardware and software makers to keep you constantly buying "the newest." Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on April 30, 2011, 02:50:28 PM If you just now got the new logo... wow. That's a really old update you just installed. I think you just installed like 4 years worth of updates, and for Acrobat, that's probably like 200 :P We've got an old Mac at work that keeps prompting to install updates every time we start Acrobat, but if you try to install them, it will crash, and then after restarting, it will tell you it has the same updates to install. We just keep hitting "don't install". I've got a love/hate relationship with Acrobat. The full, most recent, version is capable of some amazing things, but it can also cause amazing problems. Reader is even worse. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on April 30, 2011, 04:42:05 PM I have a hate/hate relationship with Acrobat, and Adobe products in general. They have out-Microsofted Microsoft in the arenas of bloatware and (ab)use of system resources, upgrade annoyance, and continuously being so slow you want to get a bigger faster computer just to load helloworld.txt. Acrobat Reader is perhaps the worst Macintosh application I have ever used (restricting discussion here to software that actually worked). Preview and in fact the 'quick view' features of Apple s/w are about, ooh, 100 times faster for loading and displaying PDFs than Acrobat Reader. I should just uninstall that motherfucker. I have no idea why it even exists on my computer. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on April 30, 2011, 04:51:06 PM I guess you'd have to work in graphics to really have any appreciation for Acrobat. It has the capability of insuring the appearance of a graphics file won't change when moved from one machine to another, and in the graphics business, that is priceless. But yeah, Adobe in general, Hate. I was just trying to get my printer working again, which is an HP, again, more Hate, and going through my applications and utilities, I was sickened by the amount of Adobe bullshit on my computer. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: First Post on April 30, 2011, 04:54:33 PM Foxit Reader (http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/reader/reader4.php)? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on April 30, 2011, 04:56:44 PM OK, I concede the PDF file format is fantastic. It's Adobe's (other) software that bites. But wasn't PDF developed in conjunction(cooperation?) with Apple? Or maybe NeXT? :hmm: My memory is rusty ... ... what's this river that I'm in? New Orleans is sinking, baby, and I don't wanna swim :jam: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on April 30, 2011, 05:19:47 PM Noooooo . . . I hate PDFs, actually. I understand the things that make some people like them, but those aren't things I've ever needed, and the tradeoff of how horrible Acrobat and the reader are isn't nearly worth it. The tax form PDFs that you can fill out on your computer? OK, that shouldn't be the only way you can do that, but it's cool that there's a way. On the other hand, the state forms are like that . . . but you can't save them. You can print them, fill them out and print them, or fill them out and then realize you wish you could save them. And don't forget Adobe had that Russian guy jailed just for going to a major tech conference and giving a talk on security problems with PDF. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on April 30, 2011, 05:40:08 PM But wasn't PDF developed in conjunction(cooperation?) with Apple? Or maybe NeXT? :hmm: My memory is rusty ... Not according to the Wikipedia article, but there were other file formats that were competing with it. Also in looking at the Wikipedia article, if you look at the version releases (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portable_Document_Format#Adobe.27s_versions), it becomes apparent what one of the main problems is right away. They got carried away with what the application is capable of doing. It probably should have been split into at least two different applications after 2.0. One would be a simple reader, and the other, the interactive monstrosity. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: eldiem on April 30, 2011, 07:18:47 PM After working in publishing and just recently completing a project that involved making a brochure using my own personal software (read MS Word) I'd like to say how much I love PDFs. Word kept pissing me off SO MUCH and I wanted to get these printed at a copy shop and you bet your ass if I brought them a Word doc it would look about 2% how I wanted it to, but my PDF turned out perfect. But yeah the programs could be so much better, but last I used any of them they were the best we had. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on April 30, 2011, 09:38:10 PM Yeah, right Mo, I was thinking of Display PostScript, an evolutionary dead end, but it was the way NeXT did display. PDF came later. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on April 30, 2011, 11:31:24 PM Well, yes, MS Word peaked around version 2.0. The secret to portability with Word files is (A) don't do anything too complicated, and (B) always save in RTF, not Word's DOC format. The Word format has some possible advantages over RTF, including support for Undo even after you close the program and reopen it, and complicated stuff that's well over the line between word processing and desktop publishing. But at that point Word sucks anyway. Word's DOC format is inherently unstable -- so much so that MS used to freely distribute (but not advertise) a defragmenting / file-fixing app that would fix Word documents before they imploded. I used to have to use Word at work, and stupidly frequently used it at home a lot -- I didn't have PageMaker at home and needed to do things like automatic indexing. (I abandoned PageMaker in, what, 1995? Whenever Adobe bought it.) Over the years I lost probably thousands of words and spent probably tens of hours fixing stuff because Word DOC files ate themselves. It took me was too long to learn. But MS Write was kind of sucky, and I couldn't find a shareware RTF word processor I really liked, and then WordPad appeared and was perfectly fine for most word processing anyway. Now I pretty much only ever use Word when I have to open a pre-existing DOC file. The OpenOffice stuff takes forever to run. Seriously, WordPad is almost instantaneous even on ancient machines, so . . . sorry, OpenOffice. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Sidious on May 01, 2011, 08:11:11 PM Foxit Reader (http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/reader/reader4.php)? Seconded. Until Adobe fixes Adobe Reader to behave like a sane fucking PDF reader, I refuse to deploy it on any Windows or Mac workstation which is in my care. Instead, I deploy Foxit Reader, which works faster, has a much smaller footprint, doesn't have obnoxious behavior like Adobe Reader, and uses far fewer resources. The OpenOffice stuff takes forever to run. Seriously, WordPad is almost instantaneous even on ancient machines, so . . . sorry, OpenOffice. I agree, OpenOffice.org is slow and kludgey. However, about 6 months ago, the project was forked (mostly because Oracle bought Sun, and, well, Oracle hates open source, so they drove away all the developers on the project). The fork is called LibreOffice (http://www.libreoffice.org/download), and the most striking feature about it is that by comparison to OpenOffice.org, it's blindingly fast. It'd be worth giving it another try. I've been using it exclusively for the past few months, and I've been pretty impressed by it. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 01, 2011, 11:50:51 PM :hmm: :hmm: :hmm: :thumbsup: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 17, 2011, 10:05:50 PM So here's another weird thing about my nearly identical ThinkPads. One of them will enter Sleep mode almost instantly. The other one has to work at it for like seven or eight seconds, sometimes longer. The one that sleeps immediately takes FOREVER to enter Hibernation. At least once, I set it to Hibernate, went to shave and take a shower, and when I came back it wasn't much more than halfway through the progress bar on its way to hibernating. But the machine that takes much longer to fall asleep? It can hibernate in about fifteen seconds. :shrug: The major difference I can guess at is that the slow-sleep / fast-hibernate machine has Avast, and the other one still has AVG. Maybe that's it. AVG is a lot more cumbersome in certain ways -- it takes forever to interrupt it when it's doing a scan, for instance. So maybe the Sleep can pause whatever AVG's doing, but Hibernate has to do something fancier. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Sidious on May 17, 2011, 11:52:29 PM Here's why: Sleep actually creates an image of the current state of things and stores it to RAM with minimal power keeping it alive. Hibernate writes that image to your hard drive. Avast likely is reading disk writes in a less efficient way than AVG, so sleep doesn't set it off, while hibernate does. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Hedaira on May 18, 2011, 12:17:55 AM Quote Avast likely is reading disk writes in a less efficient way ... Well, see, there's the problem right there. You've got pirates. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 18, 2011, 09:44:53 AM :lol: Quote Avast likely is reading disk writes in a less efficient way than AVG, so sleep doesn't set it off, while hibernate does. That makes some sense, although it's the other way -- the Avast machine is the fast-hibernator. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Sidious on May 18, 2011, 11:49:52 AM :lol: Quote Avast likely is reading disk writes in a less efficient way than AVG, so sleep doesn't set it off, while hibernate does. That makes some sense, although it's the other way -- the Avast machine is the fast-hibernator. Whoops. I knew I wasn't reading something quite right in your post. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Sidious on May 18, 2011, 11:51:14 AM Those of you who care about such things might find this an interesting read: Clicky (https://linuxcritic.wordpress.com/2011/05/18/mp3-player-success-with-rockbox/) It's my story of how I came to start using Rockbox (http://www.rockbox.org) on an MP3 player I self-refurbished. I kind of wish I'd discovered Rockbox ages ago. I probably would have done this back then instead of just limping along with my old MP3 player the way I have been. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 18, 2011, 04:45:17 PM I have a Walkman knock-off that plays cassettes. Actually, it's kind of cool -- it has a built-in speaker, too, and also records. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Sidious on May 18, 2011, 04:47:18 PM I have a Walkman knock-off that plays cassettes. Actually, it's kind of cool -- it has a built-in speaker, too, and also records. It plays records? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 18, 2011, 04:53:52 PM I could rig something up. But, no, I meant it records on cassette, too. I had it with me years ago on a LONG mostly nighttime drive in a car that only had a barely-working radio. Not that long before the sun came up, I was just about unable to stay awake, and I hit on the brilliant scheme of finding something good on the radio, then singing along -- and recording myself singing by holding the little tape player up near my mouth. Then I played it back with the intention of singing along with myself. The tape player was unsurprisingly unable to pick up the radio over the road noise, so all I got was myself . . . sounding truly drunk and disturbed. It was kind of awesome, and I stayed awake for awhile because I couldn't stop laughing. Good thing I didn't get pulled over for laughing like a maniac while driving down the interstate at 4 AM. That would have been an awkward explanation. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 27, 2011, 03:19:37 PM Well, to hell with the stupid Hibernate feature. The machine that takes forever to hibernate . . . has gotten worse. Now, about three out of four times when I wake it up, it gets to the login screen and then immediately starts hibernating again. I have to be quick on the trigger to get in there if I actually want it to wake up for reals. Then, when I finally convince it to stay awake and let me log in, it's reset the video settings. Not to the base resolution, but just to a wrong one, the second highest, 1400x1050. :shrug: To hell with it. The Sleep mode feature works OK. It's just that the batteries on these laptops are so old and crappy that even in Sleep mode, they can run down to nothing if I leave them sitting for about 15 hours without power. And then they automatically switch to Hibernate . . . . :eyeroll: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: First Post on June 09, 2011, 11:28:11 PM New computer ordered yay, barebones AMD Phenom 3ghz quad core and 8 gigs RAM, about two fitty. Will upgrade the vidcard along with some sorta bigger power supply later on. The ol' dual core system made it four years--so much for "OMG you have to spend thousands every year to keep up on PC!" argument, anyway. Still, software is advancing enough as to make it necessary again, along with going 64 bit. Having four times my current RAM should be nice, too. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on June 10, 2011, 05:11:01 AM :thumbsup: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on June 15, 2011, 10:18:53 PM I just noticed / realized that when I uninstalled and reinstalled Opera, I lost all my bookmarks. :doh: :stbm: I backed up my sessions, but it didn't occur to me to back up the bookmarks, which I only use for work-related projects. Used, that is. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on June 24, 2011, 01:05:57 PM I finally got around to reading the tech report (http://graphics.stanford.edu/papers/lfcamera/) on this Plenoptic camera technology that's been in the news (http://www.lytro.com/) this week. I don't have high hopes for the Lytro camera that will be coming out, but the technology and possibilities are pretty fascinating. It's being hyped as a focus-free camera, because that's the big selling point for the masses, but the technology can offer much more than that. It will be interesting to see what happens with this as engineers across the world start working with it. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on June 24, 2011, 01:28:25 PM I haven't been bothering to read the reviews, since I'm not all that interested, but I'm a little curious how it works. About five (?) years ago, when it became common for higher-end digital cameras to be able to store a gazillion pictures and shoot video, I floated the notion of a setting where it just automatically very rapidly took a bunch of pictures with a sliding focus -- one of the exposures would be bound to be in focus for pretty much whatever depth you wanted, and software ought to be able to fine-tune it after the fact. My brother said it would be easier to do close and infinite focus at once and store a bunch of extra data that would let the exposure's focus be picked later. Beats me. :lol: But I take it as granted that it's possible. The only real issue is the speed at which the camera can take in data. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on June 24, 2011, 02:16:36 PM The tech report explains how it works in painfully technical detail. They used a normal digital camera for their research, and a normal lens. They place an array of 90,000 microscopic lenses right above the camera sensor. Each of those lenses captures a slightly different perspective because of its relative position to the center of the lens. So it's the panel of lenses and the software that does the trick. I'm sure there's plenty of room for improvement in both the lenses and the software. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on June 24, 2011, 02:45:45 PM They place an array of 90,000 microscopic lenses right above the camera sensor. No, be afraid. Be very, very afraid. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on June 24, 2011, 03:01:54 PM Yeah, it's basically the same idea, then. That's more or less how a lot of insect visual mechanisms work. Bees and moths have both been studied in some detail. Bees have pre-processing at the retina and basically receive a jillion images simultaneously, some in focus and some not and some of interesting objects and some not, etc, and then their visual cortex somehow picks and chooses. They have such a high flicker rate that they can easily see each frame that goes by in a normal theatrical film, for instance. It must be strange to have a visual speed that's that much faster than reactive speed. Actually, it seems like a lot of non-aquatic organisms have vastly superior visual capabilities compared to what they seem to need. It's a little strange. As for cameras, I doubt all those lenses actually focus a coherent image. It's probably a ton of fuzzy data, and the software can make sense of it. If not, in a few years that's probably how it'll work. In Japan, from what I've heard, they already have cell phone cameras that improve photos by recognizing a lot of objects and 'clarifying' them according to how they probably ought to look, which is what our brains do, too. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on June 25, 2011, 01:16:44 PM Birds can see many more colors than their plumages contain (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110622224455.htm). Quote Birds can make only about 26 to 30 percent of the colors they are capable of seeing but they have been working hard over millions of years to overcome these limitations. Like I was saying. There are possible explanations, but it's still weird. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: the other andrea on July 10, 2011, 06:03:55 PM (http://www.inkwina.net/PSTS/img/xkcd_internet_map.png) how quickly times change (xkcd - Spring 2007) :lol: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on July 10, 2011, 07:56:14 PM :lol: I laughed at "Sulawesi" and "Cory Doctorow's Balloon", and almost laughed at "The Compass-Rose-Shaped Island". Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on July 10, 2011, 08:22:20 PM I was very NOWAI at the size of Fark in that map, but what do I know. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on July 10, 2011, 10:41:34 PM :lol: 4ch is freaking tiny. There might be some editorialism or who knows what. Not to scale. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on August 05, 2011, 03:54:19 PM I swear to every god that ever was, if Microsoft ever made a browser that actually STOPPED loading or rendering the page it's chewing on when you hit Escape or the Stop button, the universe would probably wink out of existince due to sheer ubiquitous astonishment. That refusal to do what the user commanded is pretty characteristic of MS software, but ye farking gods. It's gotten so I tend to resort to using the process Task Manager to kill Internet Explorer altogether when it refuses to obey a simple command. And this even though IE's Restore Last Session has never worked worth spit. I'd STILL rather than get sodomized by a third-rate browser. I know, I know -- Firefox. But I already have two damned browsers on that machine, and it's an old machine with an old XP install, and I'm damned if I'm going to install a third damned browser. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on September 05, 2011, 06:34:34 PM Dear Internet Explorer: I used the Ctrl-Shift-Left Click command. This is supposed to open a link in a new foreground tab. I had not clicked elsewhere on the page previously, and you are not a word processor or something, so there was (or should not have been) any automatic cursor selection point. There should not have been any selection point. But when I clicked, you assumed I meant to select all text on the page between an arbitrary selection point near the top of the page and the point where I'd clicked. This would never happen. I would never want to do that. If I had actually been trying to do that, the correct method for your alleged interface would have been to click at the top, hold the mouse button in, and scroll down, moving the mouse cursor to the end point of my selection. Which is not anything like what I did. Furthermore, you know perfectly well that I was clicking on a hotlink. You had the link underlined, and you selected text upto the middle of the link, where I clicked. So you have no excuse. Perhaps you were designed by a corporation that historically has done more to retard the develop of personal computing than any other organization. Oh, that's right. That's it. Incidentally, though, I have to say that I noticed today that when you right-click on a Flash object in Firefox, you get no options. You can't, say, stop it from playing, or anything. Even Internet Explorer does better than that. And Firefox's ad-block will never be ready for primetime until you can right-click on any offending object and elect to block it, once or forever. Frankly, you ought to be able to right-click on any object and simply choose not to display / enable it, as a one-time choice. Even Opera doesn't let you do that, although its ad-block, while far from perfect, lets you right-click on an ad and ban it and/or all ads from the same source. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Talix on September 06, 2011, 10:58:07 AM I swear to every god that ever was, if Microsoft ever made a browser that actually STOPPED loading or rendering the page it's chewing on when you hit Escape or the Stop button, the universe would probably wink out of existince due to sheer ubiquitous astonishment. Yep. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on September 07, 2011, 08:07:09 AM Exactly. Also: Dear Idiots: If you email me a request to fill out a survey, MAKE IT OPEN IN A NEW TAB OR WINDOW. If it can't be opened in a new tab or window, you are usurping my email tab. That I was obviously using. You stupid assholes. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Sidious on September 07, 2011, 08:39:17 AM Ohhhhhhh that's a pet peeve of mine. :angry: This is why in any article or review I write, I make all my hyperlinks do that. <a href="http://www.google.com" target="_Blank">Google</a> The bolded part isn't that hard to remember to include. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on September 07, 2011, 08:45:55 AM Exactly. Basic competence. And sometimes you can't right-click it or anything to manually open it elsewhere because it's actually a Flash object or some other unnecessary stupidity. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Sidious on September 07, 2011, 08:56:21 AM If it's in an email, most of the time it's some sort of javascript nonsense. That pisses me off too. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on September 10, 2011, 10:18:21 AM I told it no, but Opera just updated itself against my will anyway. :banghead: Naturally, it forgot all of my customizations and settings, erased everything from the cache, forgot my open tabs, and generally pissed the everloving hell out of me. Dear Developers: Don't fucking do that. It is a horrible, offensive, intrusive, and unhelpful thing to do. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on September 10, 2011, 10:32:36 AM AND the progress bar doesn't work properly anymore. AND the password manager won't stay turned off. Also, web developers and related professionals: The standard color for hypertext links that have been visited is red. Not purple, not mauve, not blue-with-a-hint-of-rose. Red. Unvisited links are blue. Links should generally be underlined, too. Other options, fine, but if your defaults are something stupid, then you are also something stupid. Making things worse to make them fancy is the work habit of a moron who undoubtedly has bad taste anyway. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on September 15, 2011, 02:38:27 PM I log into my old Hotmail account at least once a day, from any of four different computers. It's a little bit stuck on July 2. Since July 2. What I mean is, when I first log in, it shows me the Inbox and folder summary from July 2, with 'new' messages from that day, and the Junk folder claims it has 11 items just like it did on that day, etc. As soon as I click on any folder, it wises up and gives me the actual current info. :shrug: It isn't, or at least shouldn't be, a cookie issue. For one thing, there's no way I logged in on July 2 from every one of those machines. It mostly bugs me because this means Hotmail is keeping a record of what my Inbox used to look like, and there's no good reason why it should. But mostly it's harmless. It's just one of those things where I wonder how many people have this issue, and just how 'lucky' I am. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on September 15, 2011, 02:40:12 PM About half of all websites won't even display text without JavaScript working now - if it's not cookies it's probably a script. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on September 15, 2011, 03:09:13 PM Oh, yeah. No, I only attempt to reach Hotmail through Internet Exploder. Site is so painfully dumb . . . . I mean, if you go to Hotmail.com, you get redirected to MS's Live.com's login page. Then, to log in, you have to type your username and then add "@hotmail.com". Really, MS? Really? Your script can't autodetect that the user was trying for Hotmail? Morons. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on September 20, 2011, 04:37:53 PM This is a fascinating article (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/09/20/rogue_trader_howto/). I have no idea just how tongue in cheek it is (it is the Reg after all) but these traders sound a lot like the heavy duty insurance nerds I used to hang out with. Quote from: TFA Success in a bank is wholly based upon what your betters see you achieve and absolutely nothing else at all, not even slightly. Not one tiny bit. I emphasise this because El Reg readers are mostly well-intentioned IT people who seem to genuinely believe that building a reliable system and making code elegant and bug-free is somehow useful. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on September 20, 2011, 04:55:27 PM :hmm: - White-collar crime is better than blue-collar crime. - Management is stupid. - Internal software was selected from lowest bids by management people who don't know anything about security or software. - A lot of people who wind up in IT are not great at software theory. The cliche is that a lot of them wind up in IT because they're not savvy enough for development, although I'll grant that that's not fair. The IT people generally don't get to make management decisions anyway. - Banks ought to have insulated parallel systems with crossed sanity checks. That is, System A checks System B's figures to make sure that millions of dollars aren't missing, but you can't eff with System A just because you have access to System B. - Building a reliable system and making code elegant and bug-free is somehow useful, but it may not be marketable. The 'fittest' in 'survival of the fittest' depends on selection pressures, after all, and TFA is making the point that the management culture that determines those selection pressures is not ecologically sound. TFA gets pretty technical and out of my league, but it seems pretty sound, yeah. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on September 27, 2011, 08:01:21 PM (http://28.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ls0ycv0yCT1qzt4vjo1_500.gif) Meteosat-9 is a geosynchronous weather satellite about the size of a car that orbits above the Greenwich Meridian, I would guess, at about 36 megameters (36,000 km, or about 22,000 miles) up there. It takes a picture of the Earth about every fifteen minutes. That's a composite photo of 6 AM (approximately) every day for the last year. The wobble of the terminator is due to the tilt of the Earth's axis. I know this is cool as hell, but I also want to point out again that meteorological information alone pays for all our planet's space programs several times over, mostly due to their impact on agriculture, transportation, and disaster preparedness. Communications satellites are even more valuable, in terms of commerce. Tip of the iceberg. This is always worth pointing out when someone complains we waste money on NASA. Tang is beside the point. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: hajen on November 01, 2011, 10:06:18 AM http://www.kalzumeus.com/2011/10/28/dont-call-yourself-a-programmer/ Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on November 01, 2011, 10:18:25 AM Pretty good. I laughed a few times, too. It could say a bit more about gall and dissociation, but a bit of Dilbert on the side would patch it up real good. Quote Your professors might understand how the academic job market works (short story: it is ridiculously inefficient in engineering and fubared beyond mortal comprehension in English) Calling it "English" is like saying "programmer". I know a couple dozen English professors, and none of them are "English professors" (and would hate to read this) -- they're in digital or cultural rhetoric, or work in comparative cultures, or etc. You're not an English professor if you're shooting for something above a two-year school. edit: I should say, though, that "English" was the right way to describe it for the intended audience. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on November 01, 2011, 11:19:35 AM Quote Engineers in particular are usually very highly paid Cost Centers, which sets MBA’s optimization antennae to twitching. Ha. Does this guy have a personal axe to grind? Quote (There’s nothing wrong with this, by the way. You’re in the business of unemploying people. If you think that is unfair, go back to school and study something that doesn’t matter.) Why yes. Yes, he does. Quote You can lead the life of the mind in industry, too — and enjoy less politics and better pay. He is bitter about his college and grad school experience, bitter enough to print this lie. Less politics? Hahahaahaha. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on November 01, 2011, 11:43:39 AM Comments are faaaascinating. Geeks be defensive. I have to agree with his central thesis. It can't be about programming, it has to be about getting shit done. Every time we have had science stuff interact with people who call themselves professional programmers, it has been a complete fucking disaster with a pretty user interface (or, alternately, no user interface but coded in the latest and greatest non-standard variant of a programming language that is used by absolutely nobody other than professional programmers). I can see this happening in business as well, and how managers will be completely fucking allergic to talk about Python or whatever. < tl;dr: > About 20 years ago my group developed a set of software tools to analyze a particular class of data. My boss is still apologizing for what happened next: he hired a grad student to code it and allowed him to do it in a particular version of C++. A version that no longer exists. There is no longer a compiler that will read this shit, not even gnu. C++ has changed, fundamentally, since it was created, but this was an evolutionary dead end. Fixing it would require ... well anyway. So at some point around ten years ago we got down to one set of binaries on one architecture (sun4 or sun5) on which we could run it. And we've kept one of these computers alive through prayer and human sacrifice. I've been trying to get us to redevelop the whole thing from scratch. It's really costly. And then ... About five years ago this guy I fight with all the time at NASA GSFC decided that his group would develop an open source, common data processing platform for this class of data, that everyone in this small, tightly knit, yet contentious community would use, quelling disputes about details of processing. Fantastic idea. Really. Everyone signed on and we drew up the specs in a meeting here, and said we need this, go for it. AND THEN he hired a professional programmer, whose first demand was that the whole thing be developed in some sort of proprietary ADOBE development environment that costs thousands to buy into, has no open source equivalent, is not a standard language of any kind ... fuck it. Of course it doesn't work (but has a really bitchin' user interface). Then he started asking all of us to fund his programmer from our grants which didn't have any budget items for this. I got really angry. Project got sidelined, NASA dude is gonna take early retirement, my engineers and I are doing it in Matlab. Jesus Christ. < / tl;dr > Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on November 01, 2011, 01:41:46 PM Quote I have to agree with his central thesis. It can't be about programming, it has to be about getting shit done. And/or getting along with the corporate system. A manager who does not know C++ from COBOL will not be impressed by your technical knowledge, so you'd better know how to handle that sort of person. Quote Fixing it would require ... well anyway. This is one of the unforgiveable sins of the computer world. Translating the source from one programming language to another one should not be harder, in many cases, than translating from Russian to English. We have free software all over that will do the latter. There are ten billion corporations (approximately) that have gone from saving money by sticking with legacy systems to pouring money onto a fire because they're stuck with legacy systems. That guy . . . hired the wrong programmer and/or didn't require him to do the job properly. That's really a management problem. The programmer wasn't by chance a relative? But, yes, those kinds of situations are utter hell. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on November 03, 2011, 02:55:12 PM The farking keyboard is starting to go on this ThinkPad. Actually, my other ThinkPad, too, which ejected its Backspace key. This one has lefthand Shift problems, especially, but also Spacebar and intermittently various letters. Major annoyance of any all-in-one computer: Difficult to replace components. Money I don't have aside, I hate to replace a working computer because the keyboard doesn't work. And I frequently use this one while sitting in bed, which makes an external keyboard not so hot. I'm supposed to take it to a coffee shop for a NaNoWriMo social thing this evening. Meh! The damn thing's only seven years old! Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on November 03, 2011, 03:08:47 PM h8 thinkpads h8 HP laptops moar Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on November 03, 2011, 03:21:51 PM I've had three ThinkPads, two of them essentially this same model, and they're the only laptops I've tried whose keyboards I actually liked. I really hated laptops until my desktop machine caught fire and I got my first ThinkPad out of necessity. Really, definitely not as useful, and far less computer for the money, but obviously more portable. Still, I virtually never take them anywhere. But it's a little easier to sit on the couch or in bed with one. Less of an organizational commitment. And they have shit for battery power, especially as the battery gets old, but it's like a built-in UPS. I have other computers, but they've all been 'donated' to work at this point. Right now we have one extra PC at work, but it's the one that just beeps when you try to boot it. Unfortunately, I'm the one who has to try to fix it . . . . edit: Forgot to say that our first front-counter computer at work was the owner's HP laptop, and, yes, it was utter crap. Bad keyboard, bad trackpad, dodgy hard drive that needed replacing, and the CD-ROM stopped working after about six months. One of my ThinkPads has a problem where if you rest your hand on the case near the keyboard, the CD drive pops open. Annoying, not fatal. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Sidious on November 03, 2011, 03:44:39 PM One of my ThinkPads has a problem where if you rest your hand on the case near the keyboard, the CD drive pops open. Annoying, not fatal. But just imagine how fucking scary that would be if it WERE fatal!!!!!! :shock: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on November 03, 2011, 03:47:51 PM Wouldn't even have time to be scared. God, I'd temporarily forgotten about that stupid HP. He took it to Best Buy to get it repaired after he caught a virus on it at home. The Geek Squad assholes charged him like 600, all in all, to back up the drive to CDs and reformat it. They didn't put anything back on the drive except Windows, and when we tried to restore his files for him . . . the virus was on the CDs and just reinfected it. He still has that machine at home. I think his brother came over and just reformatted it and started over from scratch. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Sidious on November 03, 2011, 04:03:45 PM Geek Squad!? Don't. Even. Get. Me. Started. (http://guildhaven.org/images/smilies/mad.gif) :cyber: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on November 03, 2011, 04:26:53 PM I KNOW, rite? Actually, years before I heard they were evil, a friend of mine was between jobs and figured she might as well apply for a job with them. She was told that they almost never hire women because people don't take women seriously as computer experts. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on November 26, 2011, 11:12:35 AM The ThinkPad that's my main computer has a 30 GB hard drive. Today I got an email advertising a 32 GB flash drive for 19.95. If it were plausible to make that an internal flash drive in my ThinkPad, I would buy it immediately. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on February 23, 2012, 09:30:52 AM (http://www.yourmunky.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/tuesday-afternoon-10.jpg) Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on February 23, 2012, 09:31:54 AM Loose GPS cable, was it? Interesting. I'm going to have to make a note of that, my data might be a few picoseconds off here and there. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on March 09, 2012, 11:25:04 AM OH MY GOD EPSON YOU SUCK SO HARD IT'S DISRUPTING THE TIDES - WHO WRITES YOUR SOFTWARE, CHIHUAHUAS? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on March 09, 2012, 11:59:15 AM I've never had a printer or scanner that came with good software. Not even decent software, although we have an HP scanner that has tolerable software. It would be nice if they all just used universal hooks and interfaced with standard apps. The freeware geeks could do so much better. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on March 09, 2012, 12:18:24 PM That's what TWAIN was supposed to be all about. BUT NO Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: the other andrea on March 14, 2012, 05:12:56 PM GOOD GOD, is there an obvious way to link all one's Google accounts under one user ID and password that I am not understanding? As the person in the house with the "technical expertise," it has fallen to me to deal with things that The Artist does not understand. I have accepted this, and don't mind it when I'm not in some kind of mental fog or physically exhausted. I supposedly uploaded a video from iMovie to YouTube on Monday. It's been two days now and it hasn't shown up. It had been so long since the last time a video had been uploaded, that Google had changed how a user is supposed to log in. The thing is, it claims you can either log in under your Google Accounts user ID, OR your YouTube account name, BUT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DO NOT USE THE OLD PASSWORD FROM YOUR YOUTUBE ACCOUNT. Supposedly the password for you Google Accounts is supposed to work, but it doesn't. Part of the problem is that The Artist does not understand the questions I am asking him about what he has done to the account so far. He says he has changed the password, but it seems like he changed a password to only one service, and not the master Google Accounts password. Or something. Now he can't get into his Blogger account either, unless he uses some circuitous back door route. I'm not sure if this problem is all his doing, or some deeply flawed problem with Google. All I want to do is to link his YouTube, Blogger, Gmail and Picasa accounts, which I thought is what happened when Google made everyone switch over to "Google Accounts," but either there's some issue because it didn't get done right at the time of the changeover, or he's dicking around with things he shouldn't be. :harumph: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on March 14, 2012, 05:28:25 PM It's so bad that dood who famously quit Microsoft to go work for google has left in a snit and gone back to microsoft. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on March 14, 2012, 06:29:02 PM mine all link. i didn't do anything special that i know of. each site i go to that requires google ID just asks if i'd like to sign in using google. :shrug: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on March 14, 2012, 08:03:03 PM Quote It's so bad that dood who famously quit Microsoft to go work for google has left in a snit and gone back to microsoft. Wat. Seriously, there weren't any monasteries with openings? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on May 02, 2012, 05:41:13 PM Quote from: firefox Server not found Firefox can't find the server at plua.fooflw.xok. Check the address for typing errors such as ww.example.com instead of www.example.com If you are unable to load any pages, check your computer's network connection. If your computer or network is protected by a firewall or proxy, make sure that Firefox is permitted to access the Web. OH COME ON YOU KNEW WHAT I MEANT TO TYPE Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: feffer on May 02, 2012, 06:38:05 PM :rollin: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Sidious on May 02, 2012, 06:40:36 PM :shock: Oddly, I know exactly what you meant (http://plus.google.com). But then, I'm a lot smarter than your browser. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on May 02, 2012, 11:14:38 PM Of course you are! Of course, my DOG is smarter than my browser so, that's not saying m... *cough* I'll shut up now. :embarrassed: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on May 03, 2012, 12:21:20 AM I believe the phrase is "HMOF. Typo, sorry!" Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: the other andrea on May 04, 2012, 08:37:58 PM Oh gawd, so Firefox 12 is such a hog :angry: that I finally dumped its ass and asked Safari to take me back. :batteyes: Which in hindsight, I'm not sure why I switched, years ago now... IIRC, at the time, Safari was having trouble reading certain kinds of code or something. And maybe it didn't have as many plug-ins as FF... though I don't use many to begin with. :shrug: So far it hasn't had any problems, and now I seem to experience far fewer problems with entering text into text boxes (which seemed to happen mostly on FB). :pray: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on May 04, 2012, 10:47:23 PM I'll say it again: NoScript is the only reason I'm still using Firefox. NoScript is a really brilliant piece of software. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on May 04, 2012, 11:24:25 PM Agreed. I have to use IE for work (SharePoint doesn't like FF), and when I forget and use IE to go outside, the ad nuisances are incredible. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 05, 2012, 06:28:36 AM NoScript is the kind of thing every browser should have. The concept of the browser as just a way to get content, like a cable box or game machine, is not merely wrong and outmoded but fundamentally anti-user. The whole core and central concept of internet content is still HTML, and HTML is meant to be rendered (formatted, etc) the way the user wants it rendered, not necessarily the way the content provider wants it. The rush to integrate everything into the browser shits on that, of course. But MS, among others, naturally feels that the user is too dumb to deal with choices, and that content direct to you is money, and that the big-money content providers don't want anyone else to control anything about how the content is rendered. They're fighting a (stupid, clueless) losing war, but the casualties are mostly among the users. Any good browser should let you stop loading and stop rendering any element of any page at any time. Worst case, the browser crashes. With a better browser, worst case is that the page becomes unintelligible. But you should be able to right-click on anything and tell the browser stop loading that, stop running that, stop showing that. Absolutely. Which is a 1995 concept that has not caught up to a lot of major software companies yet. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on May 06, 2012, 07:31:19 AM (http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q124/mo_d_/Picture1-2.png) These are (part of) my options when I right-click on your avatar. The "Remove this object" is from an add-on called Nuke Anything Enhanced. With it, you can delete any single element - your avatar, post count, your post itself, etc. Refresh the page and the items reappear. If you don't want an image to reappear, then use the AdBlock Plus to block either the specific image, or any images from the domain. NoScript is great, no doubt, but those other two are occasionally lifesavers. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 06, 2012, 07:45:14 AM Remove this object looks good, makes me wonder how well it works. The ad-blocking stuff comes built into Opera, which has a Block Content built into the right-click. The Block Content works OK, not brilliantly (this is Opera 11.11). I mean, it works, but the interface for it is awfully half-assed. It's fine for instances where you just want to block a few ads, but when you want to go in and type in URLs to block entirely, etc, it's so-so. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Hedaira on May 06, 2012, 10:37:42 AM AdBlock is muy bueno. If Safari ever gets a flavor of it - I'm bailing on bloatfox. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on May 06, 2012, 04:18:47 PM Huh. I thought AdBlock for Safari existed, but nope, you're right. It's available for Chrome though. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Sidious on May 10, 2012, 06:59:07 PM LOL (http://www.zdnet.com/blog/networking/is-microsoft-blocking-chrome-and-firefox-from-native-windows-rt-a-big-deal/2375), it's almost like Microsoft has been infiltrated by people who are methodically sabotaging every stage of Windows 8's rollout. :lol: • They got someone to convince them to make a tablet interface the default on the desktop :rollin: • They convinced the powers that be at MS to limit the ARM-based devices on which it will be released. That makes sense. You have something that's only going to be useful on tablets, so let's limit the tablet market even further! • Someone came up with the brilliant idea of getting them to make the unpopular ribbon UI standard for everything in Windows 8, including Explorer • And now, as if they didn't have an uphill battle in the tablet market already, they're providing even more disincentive by limiting browser options to IE ONLY (http://guildhaven.org/images/smilies/rotf.gif) Windows 7 has been relatively successful and popular as a desktop OS, and it's something at which Microsoft is still arguably good at. So someone has connived to steer the company into a skid where they're completely fucking up the one thing they're good at, while convincing them to try to compete head to head in a market in which they have absolutely no hope of succeeding (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_operating_systems#Tablet_computers). Fucking brilliant. I don't know who you are, mystery people who have conspired to steer Microsoft off of a cliff at the worst possible time, but my hat's off to you. Kudos. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 10, 2012, 07:45:57 PM Sounds good. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on May 10, 2012, 07:56:27 PM I find myself wondering what a world free of Microsoft might look like. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: the other andrea on May 10, 2012, 10:49:22 PM :lol: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Sidious on May 10, 2012, 10:56:40 PM Oh, and Windows 8 on ARM won't support Active Directory! :lol: Say goodbye to any business use of your tablets, guys. Nothing quite like limiting the only possible venue in which you could conceivably beat Apple. Hilarious. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: flipper on May 11, 2012, 12:38:03 AM As long as there are those of us in finance, there will be Excel. Too many CFOs out there who won't switch to google apps or the linux version. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 11, 2012, 08:03:07 PM I saw an old science magazine article that was talking about how such and such submersible cost a pajillion dollars because the nigh-indestructible 6' acrylic sphere was so expensive to make, since it's a unique product. And, I mean, MASS-PRODUCE THEM. Who the hell made you think we have too many of those? It's hard to imagine having too many of those. Give me fifty thousand, I'll find uses for them. Jesus. Some people! There's nothing sadder than a brilliant engineer who has no imagination. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on May 11, 2012, 08:09:19 PM *snort* You'd have done well as a designer in the sixties. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 11, 2012, 08:12:26 PM INDESTRUCTIBLE BALLS! :hmm: Also, yes -- yes, I would. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on May 11, 2012, 09:15:40 PM every time i have ordered large, acrylic spheres in the past (numerous occasions) i always have to get them in two pieces. it really pisses me off. it would take both hands to count the number of times i've needed them in one piece and bigger. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on May 11, 2012, 09:49:35 PM It goes without saying (tiki!) that you would have done well as a designer in the sixties, too. :D Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on May 13, 2012, 04:37:41 PM What happens when all the things we based our icons (http://www.hanselman.com/blog/TheFloppyDiskMeansSaveAnd14OtherOldPeopleIconsThatDontMakeSenseAnymore.aspx) on don't exist anymore? Do they just become, ahem, iconic glyphs whose origins are shrouded in mystery? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 13, 2012, 04:48:50 PM THAT'S HOW ICONS WORK. Well, seriously, I mean . . . it's what makes it an icon and not just a little picture. It's not as if people can't use words because they don't know the etymologies. The question of why a particular icon was chosen / became standard for a given whatever, well, that's separate. In many cases it's a reasonable choice, and in many other cases we can freely blame Apple or Microsoft. There's a lot of stupidity that revolves around the idea of the Virtual Office, which was not even a good idea at the time, much less by the time Disclosure came out. See, this software is intuitive because it works just like your real office, you mouthbreather. These are files! They go in the little filing cabinet! In no way does the computer make this easier! And just like in your 'office', you have a 'desktop' (albeit no 'desk') that is covered with 'wallpaper' and 'windows' that you can resize and drag from place to place. OH. All right, I guess it didn't work. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on May 13, 2012, 05:35:27 PM :lol: The comments on the article are pretty surprising to me. People reacting pretty strongly to it, more than I would expect. There's some pretty funny and insightful comments as well. One person linked to the Wiki article on skeuomorphism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skeumorph), which I think is similar, but not the same thing, I dunno, either way, it's all kind of interesting to me. Quote My big flat panel TV is a big black rectangle. My smartphone is a black rectangle. My tablet is a black rectangle. My speakers are black rectangles. My monitor is a big black rectangle. My printer is a black and silver rectangle. My hard drives are big black rectangles. My laptop is a silver and black rectangle. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 13, 2012, 07:19:25 PM Skeuomorphism is like fake wood grain on plastic TVs. Sometimes it's done to mask a change, and sometimes it's done to evoke nostalgia, and sometimes it's meant to be functional. Early push- button phones sometimes had the buttons in a ring, like on a rotary phone, so people could find the right buttons faster. By now, when that's done, it's done for nostalgia marketing. There's a name for encoding functional information into an interface in forms absorbed instinctually. I forget what it is. :lol: With sound, it used to be called 'sonography', but then that became a term for medical imaging instead. Many a year ago, when I wrote Star Trek fanfic, I explained the explosions-in-space and phaser sound effects this way. The crew needs to react instinctually to such event and not to be too detached. System sound effects in PC UI's are vaguely similar, although very often the (aha) window dressing overwhelms the functionality. Iconography, as a form of semiotics, must have an applied form in industrial design. I don't know what they call it. Probably not enough of it makes it through management and marketing, though. We get 'glass effects' and rounded corners and such, which is pure marketing rather than functionality. Meanwhile, window behavior stays fucked up through version after version of the GUI . . . . :shrug: For me personally, most icons have to be 'too big' for me to be able to recognize them faster than I can recognize a word or phrase for the same signified. I'd rather have the words, nine times out of ten. If the GUI could easily be changed to logocentric, then fine. Now I forget what we were talking about. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on May 13, 2012, 07:26:48 PM Heh, yeah, it's kind of easy to get off track, because when you start thinking about it, you start recognizing it all around you. Quote (aha) window dressing :lol: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 13, 2012, 07:49:08 PM It's usually easy to get me off track, and I'm soooo tired . . . . :sleeping: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on May 13, 2012, 07:54:43 PM I lost interest anyway, I'm playing with my avatar :P Design courtesy of a bunch of different unwitting volunteers from http://drawbang.com/ Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 13, 2012, 07:59:16 PM :trance: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: the other andrea on May 14, 2012, 03:17:49 AM Early push- button phones sometimes had the buttons in a ring, like on a rotary phone, so people could find the right buttons faster. By now, when that's done, it's done for nostalgia marketing. I have a replica old black rotary desk phone, with buttons in the ring -- not this exact one, but you get the idea: (http://vermontcountrystore.scene7.com/is/image/vermontcountrystore/53832_set?&wid=250&hei=335) The irony is, I don't have anywhere to put it in our 1961 era house, because all the other phone jacks are still the two prong kind. :eyeroll: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 14, 2012, 08:28:12 AM Oh, man, a good hardware store, Radio Shack, or Amazon -- you want a phone modular conversion plug. Plugs into the prong outlet and gives you a modern outlet. 5 or so, takes thirty seconds to install. Phone should come with instructions that cover this kind of thing. It's amazing how many companies don't seem to realize that people still live in houses built before 1980 or so. A lot of home improvement magazines don't seem to realize it, either. edit: At Amazon, people seem to most often list them as "modular telephone adapter". Same thing. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: the other andrea on May 15, 2012, 05:25:07 AM We've lived in this house for 8 years, and we know what needs to be done, we're just lazy. There's no other explanation. :lol: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 15, 2012, 05:40:42 AM :lol: Every time I have a burst of optimistic not-laziness, I quickly run into something expensive and get all lazy again. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 16, 2012, 10:24:24 AM I often google "[topic] wikipedia" just because I always have a few Google tabs open and sometimes switch to those before a Wikipedia tab, and it's just faster. Google always suggests "[topic] wikipedia pl", which turns up the link to the Polish Wikipedia page. This makes me wonder. Do a lot of English-typers look for Polish Wikipedia pages? Or do a lot of Polish internet users type in English? Or is Google just insane? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on May 16, 2012, 12:10:28 PM Google has got to the point now where it looks at where your ISP is located and factors that into the search. Are there a lot of people with Polish last names in your neighborhood? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 16, 2012, 01:43:32 PM I have no idea. But there's me, at least. :uncertain: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on May 16, 2012, 05:02:35 PM Oh. Right. :hmm: Christ, it can be kind of scary, can't it. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on May 16, 2012, 05:19:27 PM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLIDqhms8s8&feature=g-vrec i wish i could afford one. (16,000) Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 16, 2012, 07:45:48 PM Quote Christ, it can be kind of scary, can't it. So I take it none of you guys get the "pl" suggestion? Quote i wish i could afford one. (16,000) Yeah. But I wish I could afford 16k, period. :P Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 18, 2012, 04:59:53 PM SO at work I've been rounding up 'defunct' machines, sorting them into ones to be recycled, ones worth toying with, and ones that we might be able to use. We always seem to need one more machine, and I just had to bring home one of my own that stopped working. One machine I found buried in the back of the shop, no one remembers having seen before. Or they won't admit it. It's an Asus no-model-name with a case so old-school that I thought the machine must be ancient. Seriously, the case is one of those heavy steel models, 19x22", over 8" wide, and with big dramatic plastic molded feet. The handle to open the side of it is the size of some car door handles. I took it home because I just wanted to reuse the case. I wasn't sure the thing would even turn on. Upon closer inspection (and some dusting), it's a much newer machine than I guessed. It has a 1.9 ghz P4, 38 gb drive, USB (but only two ports, both in the back), and a 50x CD. But only 256k of RAM. WTF? It has Win2000 and predictably runs like a sloth that hasn't had its first cup of coffee. The case is awesome, though. Four full-size accessory bays, three full-size hard drive bays, and you could possibly fit a second motherboard in next to the first one. It's bizarre. The processor has the largest processor heatsink and fan I can remember seeing, plus there are two case fans, and a 300w power supply. Everything has levers for easy removal, no screwdriver necessary. Weird beast. It's like someone ordered a big rig with a tiny engine. The case is so empty that if I took out the AGP card and moved the hard drive up, I think I could fit the recon Dell I just bought inside. No one remembers it, and the drive's almost a clean install, but it has one directory of eBay photos (seven, total) from 2009. And someone got as far as installing Firefox. That's it. No other documents on there. I guess I'll probably hunt up some RAM, and we'll use it for eBay. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on May 18, 2012, 05:36:09 PM you could probably max it out for 50. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 18, 2012, 05:43:48 PM WOOOOOOOOOOOO . . . . I really hate to bring it back. I've owned refrigerators that were almost smaller than this thing. This reminds me that I still have an AS/400 in my brother's basement. :hmm: AND YET I HAVE ALMOST NO REAL FURNITURE. It's a miracle I'm single. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on May 18, 2012, 05:47:06 PM sounds like me. i have 5 macs and 2 pcs and no dining room table. until i get my bed and couch out of storage i'm still on a futon. :eyeroll: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 18, 2012, 05:52:20 PM :lol: Yep. I have a dining room table at my brother's place. I have a La-Z-Boy that needs to be stripped and recovered, plus four dining room chairs, in my garage. I have two desks, one that I can't use because I can't move it up the stairs, and in my basement is a chest of drawers I refinished that's far too heavy for me to carry up to the second floor. I've moved so many times that furniture seems like a hassle. I could have gotten someone to help me with the chest of drawers, but when I move out of here . . . someday . . . I'd have to carry it back down again. My cat has way more furniture than I do. But, then, she uses it. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: TFJ on May 18, 2012, 10:31:54 PM any of you geeks know why images in Safari would render normally for awhile, then only render partially with parts of the image greyed out (in a php application) - a cache flush temporarily fixes it. :confused: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: First Post on May 19, 2012, 03:23:00 AM SpaceX launch (http://www.spacex.com/webcast/) in about half an hour eta never mind, they try again Tuesday Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: the other andrea on May 19, 2012, 04:43:42 AM any of you geeks know why images in Safari would render normally for awhile, then only render partially with parts of the image greyed out (in a php application) - a cache flush temporarily fixes it. :confused: No, I haven't seen that... yet. :uncertain: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on May 19, 2012, 05:45:40 AM I'm not absolutely certain what a PHP application is, so I'm sure I don't qualify as a geek. :P My guess is a PHP application is like a wesbite, like maybe the one you've been working on? Got a specific link? I've hardly ever used Safari, I've used Mozilla since the early days, and before that it was IE for Mac. One thing I did use Safari for was browsing Tumblr, and it was spotty at that - lots of trouble with loading images, but then Tumblr's servers were always questionable. I don't recall images ever half-loading though, either all or none. If you're trying to troubleshoot, do you have developer toolbar showing in Safari? (Turn on in preferences) There are also a lot of extensions available now, some you can use to check the code. That's all I got. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: TFJ on May 19, 2012, 08:51:41 AM thanks, mo. yep, i am working with a php web application which is running a catalog. the catalog has an image resize script that renders a cropped version of a larger image, which is stored as a "pregenerated image". this works great, most of the time. unfortunately, the catalog images sometimes look like the attached image, unless i clean the pregenerated image cache regularly - as in twice a day. this doesn't make much sense to me. (i can't link the site in this thread, which also doesn't help much :P) [attachment deleted by admin] Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on May 19, 2012, 10:16:11 AM SpaceX launch (http://www.spacex.com/webcast/) in about half an hour eta never mind, they try again Tuesday tyanks I was not staying up for that ;) Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on May 19, 2012, 11:30:28 AM thanks, mo. yep, i am working with a php web application which is running a catalog. the catalog has an image resize script that renders a cropped version of a larger image, which is stored as a "pregenerated image". this works great, most of the time. unfortunately, the catalog images sometimes look like the attached image, unless i clean the pregenerated image cache regularly - as in twice a day. this doesn't make much sense to me. (i can't link the site in this thread, which also doesn't help much :P) [attachment deleted by admin] Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: TFJ on May 19, 2012, 12:25:56 PM hmm that is a useful feature of safari that i didn't know about (because i don't use safari, either). thanks, mo. i have deployed this tool and hope that it reveals something useful. the hosting company couldn't be less helpful. the problem occurs in the catalog app and also in the wordpress blog app, which leads me to wonder if it is a hosting issue. i upped the php memory limit in hopes that might have something to do with it. :shrug: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 19, 2012, 01:49:17 PM It sounds, at least vaguely, like it's not erasing temp files properly. And/or that it's creating the cropped mini-images at much too high a resolution. :shrug: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on May 19, 2012, 03:12:23 PM One other thing I meant to mention - that was the audit on the page with all the thumbs, when I checked a page for an individual thumb, there were 404 - image not found for the magnifying glass, zoom in and zoom out image. If that means anything. It all means nothing to me, but I thought you might be able to make some sense out of it. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on May 19, 2012, 03:42:15 PM I read that as 'pregnerated' image, which, huh. Wonder how long the gestation period is. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: TFJ on May 19, 2012, 04:19:41 PM One other thing I meant to mention - that was the audit on the page with all the thumbs, when I checked a page for an individual thumb, there were 404 - image not found for the magnifying glass, zoom in and zoom out image. If that means anything. It all means nothing to me, but I thought you might be able to make some sense out of it. thanks mang. we haven't enabled the in/ out on the impregnated images, which would explain the 404s. but the rest of this stuff is probably gonna come in useful. where do i send your consulting fee again? ;) Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on May 19, 2012, 04:32:17 PM This reprinted article (http://www.informationweek.com/byte/reviews/personal-tech/desktop-pc/240000361) is probably the geekiest of all possible geeky talks: Woz describes the Apple ][ for the first time, in Byte magazine. May 1977. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 19, 2012, 04:59:05 PM Quote To me, a personal computer should be small, reliable, convenient to use and in expensive. [sic] Words to live by, but not to make a billion dollars by. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on May 21, 2012, 11:39:19 AM Dateline: 1998. # cd /home/toystory2 # \rm -rf * (http://thenextweb.com/media/2012/05/21/how-pixars-toy-story-2-was-deleted-twice-once-by-technology-and-again-for-its-own-good/) HOLY SHIT no okay I got this # restore /dev/tape0 /home/toystory2 /dev/tape0: File format invalid # :stbm: I got chills. Shakes. And nausea. (credit to MeFi (http://www.metafilter.com/116133/binrm-r-f) for the link, sorry: Also that thread is so full of self-righteous IT guys to whom this never would have happened because they are SO MUCH SMARTER than everyone at Pixar in 1998 I really had to laugh. Really. Idiots.) Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on May 21, 2012, 12:33:03 PM Backups are usually assigned to the lowest person in the pecking order, and management often resents the resources involved. Until, of course, something like this happens. And it does, all the time. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 21, 2012, 01:40:07 PM The stupid thing -- the stupid thing -- is that creating and maintaining and keeping track of backups is tedious, specific, routine, detail-oriented, pre-scheduled work . . . which should be done by machines, not humans. It's exactly the kind of thing humans are bad at and computers are good at. I used to work for a software company where we had issues like this periodically. I'm not casting stones. I remember an instance where I was in 'the computer room' when the other software company in our building realized they'd put the wrong tapes in the machine and accidentally erased 60k in MVS software. The tapes didn't have any kind of write-protect feature, and the machine had no idea what it was erasing, and the reels aren't labeled. The guys who worked in 'the computer room' shuffled tapes all day. It's not reasonable to expect them not to make mistakes. We got secondhand tapes for shipping product on. They were like 1 each, whereas new tapes were like 8 each. Some of the tapes we got came from a university. Once the guys in the computer room failed to actually erase a tape and record our product on it, and we accidentally shipped the customer . . . several thousand students' medical records. OOPS. Awkward. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on May 21, 2012, 03:53:33 PM Tapes are cheap. Too cheap. But that's what people want to pay. SAN or NAS is faster (as I know Tripper could tell you), and more easily automated, so I'd call it better. But it takes more resources (money, specialists, power...) and "It'll never happen to me." Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Sidious on May 21, 2012, 06:39:22 PM Heh. I find the timing of this discussion amusing. We had a drive go bad in a 4-drive RAID 5 in our Buffalo NAS at work. Removed the bad drive, told it to rebuild, and BAM. A second drive completely failed during the rebuild. What happens to a RAID 5 when you lose 2 of your 4 drives? Barf. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Sidious on May 21, 2012, 06:42:56 PM It's also worth mentioning that this exact conversation happened in our department meeting 2 weeks ago: Sysadmin: Okay, the next thing I want to bring up is our Buffalo NAS. Manager: What about it? Sysadmin: We bought it against my better judgement, 4 years ago, instead of a decent option, because it was cheap. Manager: Is there something wrong with it? Sysadmin: No. But it was a cheap appliance 4 years ago, and it's constantly at 90% capacity, and we can't afford any drive failures on it. Manager: Well we're not buying additional storage now, we don't have the budget for it. Sysadmin: I'm not talking about additional storage, I'm talking about completely replacing the Buffalo NAS because I don't think it's reliable. Manager: Doesn't matter. We've got to make it work. Next item? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 21, 2012, 07:20:32 PM The word "redundant" gets thrown around a lot, but I think a lot of people don't actually know what it means. The chance of an expensive RAID system failing due to mechanical failure should be so astronomically small that it should be over-insured against such by the vendor. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 22, 2012, 07:25:10 AM Supervillain Elon Musk conquers space! To some extent. Thirteen hundred pounds of payload is nothing to sneeze at for an unmanned cargo rocket. CNN said its maximum payload was ten times that. I didn't realize the capacity was that high. I still think they could have done more for humanity by making PayPal not suck, and then doing this, but still. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on May 22, 2012, 10:59:11 AM It's pretty awesome. I have been skeptical and dismissive all along, but obviously they're doing something right. It's designed to carry a 3-person crew, so it's got to have the capacity to carry a lot of crap, mostly life support, and if you haul all that out ... lots'o'cargo. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on May 22, 2012, 11:25:03 AM it just astounds me how it all works. what are the odds of it just missing the space station? i can't comprehend the math involved. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on May 22, 2012, 12:41:28 PM Yeah. It seems intimidating, but you know? Buzz Aldrin worked out a kind of cardboard slide rule deelie to use as an orbital rendezvous calculator in case the Gemini computer failed - they actually had to use it a couple times in Gemini, and it worked great. So I think deriving the whole thing from the laws of motion and gravity takes a couple hundred years, but once you know what to calculate it's not that bad. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on May 22, 2012, 12:42:02 PM All bets are off if you mistake meters for feet and vice versa, however. YEAH I'M LOOKING AT YOU, LOCKHEED Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on May 22, 2012, 12:46:11 PM Oh Internet, you magnificent bastard. Here is Buzz's dissertation (http://dspace.mit.edu/bitstream/handle/1721.1/12652/28555330.pdf?sequence=1). Look at page 8. :galm: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on May 22, 2012, 01:39:47 PM i can barely comprehend "if a train is going 50mph and needing to travel 200 miles to the station . . . what's the lunch special in the dining car?" this is why i rely on my CAD software to work out compound angles and measurements. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 22, 2012, 04:19:31 PM The math in rocket science isn't too bad if you do it often enough. Unless there are too many perturbing bodies. It's the engineering that's amazing. How they get a rocket without significant control surfaces to go straight is always beyond me. Look at a Saturn V. Multiply the weight of the rocket by the number of gees of acceleration, and get it to go in the right direction -- that's like balancing that combined weight on the tip of a pencil. With a whole lot of shaking going on. Plus it's exploding continuously. I totally get that if you aim it right and fire it off with the right amount of force, it should arrive at the space station. It's just miraculous that it can actually be done that way. They don't have tons of extra energy available to just go up to orbit, look around, say, right, the station's over there, and motor on over. I know how to throw a softball so it'll knock over those three milk bottles and win the big stuffed animal, but that doesn't mean I can do it every time. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on May 22, 2012, 06:07:10 PM see, that's the stuff that was easy for me. maybe it's because i actually studied how to build them. it's all about your center of pressure and your center of gravity and your fin area in proportion to that based on the length and diameter (see! it is rocket science!). of course there's software to calculate that. it burning, not exploding. it's a very fast, controlled burn, but not an explosion. the rocket community had to demonstrate that to the ATF in court so our stuff wouldn't fall under the patriot act and become banned. fuckers Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 22, 2012, 06:27:06 PM :lol: You say semantics, and I say semantics. We both agree the ATF should lay off of model rockets. There's software, yes. But go to an amateur rocket rally and watch the rockets deviate considerably. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on May 22, 2012, 06:56:10 PM something like this? (http://ldrs31.org/) yep, been to many. i've seen flying, giant spools, xmas trees, bowling balls . . . hell, you name it and i've seen someone try and fly it. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on May 22, 2012, 09:30:11 PM I like Burl Finkelstein's R2D2. Particularly how it was developed from a drink cooler. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on May 22, 2012, 10:25:48 PM i thought it was a trash can. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on May 22, 2012, 10:27:39 PM ah, you're right. he made his from a cooler. a lot of people make them from the trash can. (http://www.tripolisc.org/modules/xoopsgallery/cache/albums/albun63/R2D2.jpg) Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 22, 2012, 10:33:49 PM Huh. Looks better than the flying R2 from the movies. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on May 24, 2012, 02:52:47 PM You're flying your SR-71 at Mach 3.2 and it goes out of control and explodes. What do you do? Hit the ground and walk away, is what (http://www.thedigitalaviator.com/blog/?p=504). Or, you know, die, but plan A is way cooler. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on May 24, 2012, 03:08:18 PM Vint Cerf as President. Not of the US, but this could be fun. http://www.acm.org/press-room/news-releases/2012/acm-officers-2012 Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on May 24, 2012, 03:34:51 PM well, poor Jim took plan B. that was a cool story. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on May 24, 2012, 03:40:42 PM I thought they SR-71's had a capsule (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escape_crew_capsule), but it appears they were considered unnecessary: Quote Ejection seats vs. escape crew capsules Kelly Johnson, founder of Lockheed Skunk Works, and developer of the U-2 and SR-71 Blackbird family of spy planes, commented on escape crew capsules when discussing development of the YF-12A (Blackbird) ejection seat: "We set ourselves a very high goal in providing crew escape systems. We were determined to develop a system good for zero escape velocity on the ground and through the complete flight spectrum, having speeds above Mach 3 at 100,000 feet. We did achieve our design goals.... I have never been convinced that a capsule ejection is required for anything other than high velocity re-entry from outer space. Our escape system in a very important sense really provides a capsule, which is the pressure suit, which is surely capable of meeting the speeds and temperatures likely to be encountered in the near future of manned aircraft."[14] I think Jim might disagree. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 24, 2012, 03:45:38 PM Quote Looking down, I was startled to see a fairly large animal- perhaps an antelope- directly under me. Evidently, it was just as startled as I was because it literally took off in a cloud of dust. Unfortunately, the antelope failed to establish a stable orbit. Seriously, though, that's quite a story. And unfortunately the potential G-forces that can occur when you go from (relative) zero velocity to a Mach 3 airstream in uncontrolled flight make a no-problems escape capsule pretty much impossible with current technology. You'd need a capsule that would either tumble as little as possible (a sphere with a very slippery skin, say, like a giant golf ball) or that could be filled instantly with a dense liquid. Neither is very likely. Capsule might help, though. No question. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on May 24, 2012, 04:00:07 PM There's no really great solutions to those situations, but it would at least be mentally reassuring, like a security blanket. There's still a lot that can go wrong: Quote However, due to pain and confusion, White failed to trigger the manually activated airbag which would normally cushion the capsule upon landing. When the capsule hit the ground, White was subjected to an estimated 33 to 44 g (320 to 430 m/s²). He received serious injuries, but nevertheless survived. Ouch. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on May 24, 2012, 04:09:15 PM Capsules have pretty much never worked, as is emphasized by that wiki article. Kind of a bummer, because, yeah. His point was the suit being *inflated* was a major big deal as it probably helped him survive impacts. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on May 24, 2012, 04:12:53 PM Yeah, another example below, the relevant part in bold, but I wanted to C/P the whole thing because it's an interesting end to a 750 million plane. Quote On 8 June 1966, XB-70A No. 2 was in close formation with four other aircraft (an F-4, F-5, T-38, and F-104) for a photoshoot at the behest of General Electric, manufacturer of the engines of all five aircraft. With the photoshoot complete, the F-104 drifted into contact with the XB-70's right wing, flipped over and rolled inverted over the top of the Valkyrie, striking the vertical stabilizers and left wing of the bomber. The F-104 exploded, destroying the Valkyrie's rudders and damaging its left wing. With the loss of both rudders and damage to the wings, the Valkyrie entered an uncontrollable spin and crashed into the ground north of Barstow, California. NASA Chief Test Pilot Joe Walker (F-104 pilot) and Carl Cross (XB-70 co-pilot) were killed. Al White (XB-70 pilot) ejected, sustaining serious injuries, including one arm crushed by the closing clamshell-like escape capsule moments prior to ejection. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on May 25, 2012, 10:27:09 AM Those crazy Internet kids did it. http://spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/003/status.html (http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m4l42hzivm1royo5qo1_400.jpg) Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on May 25, 2012, 10:41:37 AM Woo Hoo!!! Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 25, 2012, 12:05:40 PM Favorable. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on May 25, 2012, 12:15:41 PM Quote from: spaceflightnow FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2012 1606 GMT (12:06 p.m. EDT) The space station crew will open the hatch and enter the Dragon (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-LwBnyrHovK0/T3C4qG_RTfI/AAAAAAAAQrU/P7bylt5de6E/s1600/bruce_lee31+%281%29.jpg) YESSSSS. Quote from: spaceflightnow spacecraft Saturday, beginning work to unload cargo from the pressurized capsule and install equipment tagged for return to Earth. :( Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 25, 2012, 12:21:21 PM This is not a chawade. But at least they're not sending stuff to Detroit. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: flipper on May 25, 2012, 05:09:03 PM Gotta love Fistful of Yen Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 25, 2012, 09:33:11 PM YES. It is compulsory. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 27, 2012, 07:48:39 PM Just when I thought things were bad, Facebook is rumored to be preparing to buy Opera, and suddenly the universe is a whole lot worse. This is kind of like if Uwe Boll was rumored to be preparing to buy Pixar. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on May 28, 2012, 05:30:55 PM Heh. Yeah, I read that the other day. I thought of you. They're buying it for the mobile application. They bought a cellphone company too. Reportedly, they can not survive without entering the mobile market - there is no future in desktop, so they say. They're building a cellphone. (http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/27/facebook-tries-tries-again-on-a-smartphone/) Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 28, 2012, 05:43:05 PM OR they're just blowing smoke up investor ass. I'm hoping it's the latter. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: the other andrea on May 29, 2012, 07:02:56 PM FUCKFUCKFUCK Steve's Envision monitor has suddenly started blinking on and off every couple of seconds. It's about 4 years old, or more. ETA: Apparently it is only doing it when the computer is on. :confused: I looked around for an answer on the intarwebs, and the consensus seems to be that the capacitors are dying? Anyone have any experience with this, and any recommendations as to what to do? :cry: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 29, 2012, 07:29:37 PM The last monitor I bought was a refurb, and it's performed like a champ at about half the price of a new one. But do fill out the warranty card if you go that route. I don't know Envision. Is this a super-special type? If you don't need a giant monitor, they can be surprisingly cheap nowadays, and odds are pretty good that someone you know has upgraded by 2" on the diagonal and has a working 17" or 19" that they don't need anymore . . . . I have no idea how expensive it is to repair a monitor. Nowadays, it seems like most things are (unfortunately) cheaper to replace than repair. I hate it, but there it is. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: the other andrea on May 29, 2012, 07:34:43 PM Envision was the cheapest monitor they had at Best Buy when his last monitor went on the fritz 4 or 5 years ago. :whatever: :lol: I don't suppose anyone has an extra monitor I could buy cheaply? :pray: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on May 29, 2012, 07:54:38 PM don't fuck with capacitors. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 29, 2012, 08:01:31 PM Strewth. Too many gigawatts into the fucks capacitor, and you go back in time. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: the other andrea on May 29, 2012, 08:05:54 PM (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v63/splendouredthing/bttf1_03.jpg) Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mybabysmomma on May 30, 2012, 08:15:10 AM I have an extra monitor. But it's on the small size. You can have it for shipping ifn you want. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: feffer on May 30, 2012, 11:50:48 AM We might have one. Lemme ask. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 30, 2012, 04:21:38 PM I just (duh) noticed that my Gmail accounts have different default folders:  First One Second One Inbox Inbox Important Starred Drafts Sent Mail Sent Mail Drafts Spam Spam Trash Trash The second one also has a link for Contacts, whereas the first one does not. I don't think this actually matters. I probably have some setting different between them. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: the other andrea on May 31, 2012, 05:41:21 PM Steve unhooked and rehooked and cleaned all the various connections and nooks and crannies, and it *seems to be* working fine again. But we're not holding our breath... This is the kind of luck we've been having lately -- no wait, we been having this kind of luck for years. :bummed: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 31, 2012, 07:25:50 PM :shamrock: I brought my 'good' machine home from The Other Shop because I could not get the thing to connect to the internet anymore, no matter what I tried. And I tried several things, including a new ethernet card and two USB ethernet adapters. Haven't had a chance to hook it up yet here at home, mostly because there's no good way to get it near the router right now. [ahem] BUT the fun part is that the other machine at The Other Shop . . . um, well, to test the internet on the 'good' machine, I unplugged the ethernet cable from the other machine. What no one had told me was that that machine no longer had internet. Kind of important. Yes, the router up front went off its settings again, so the helpful staff unplugged it and plugged their machine directly into the modem. So, yes, I wasted my time in a very stupid way. Which doesn't mean that I'll be able to connect the 'good' machine to the internet, only that I performed many tests and attempted repairs that were a complete waste of time. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on June 03, 2012, 11:41:11 AM Any of you people using Firefox 12? We upgraded to it here at work, and . . . it's almost useless. Maybe it's no good unless you have a newer machine? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Hedaira on June 03, 2012, 12:45:42 PM 3.6.16 Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on June 03, 2012, 01:01:28 PM So many times, you (not necessarily you) upgrade your software, and then you immediately say to yourself "Never upgrade." So, so many times. And yet it keeps happening. Seriously, how are there not better species than ours here already? This is exactly why I will not upgrade from XP. XP is pretty bad, but it is definitely better than Win9x. It was an actual upgrade! Expecting that lightning to strike again isn't merely asking too much -- it's asking to be kicked in the gonads. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on June 03, 2012, 02:28:38 PM Yeah, I've been using 12 for about a month I guess. We talked about this before, and at that time, I said it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, and that it just took a while to adjust everything the way I wanted it. But now I'd say I wish I had stayed with 3.x. My whole computer seems to have slowed down since I updated. Probably just a timing coincidence, but there seems to be some kind of rendering issue when FF just seems to hang for a minute or so, and then images slowly start to load, or even when clicking on "bookmarks", it takes a while for the favicon images to load. I even went and cleared a bunch of stuff off this computer and loaded it onto an external drive, to make sure I wasn't getting too close to the tipping point of disk space. Ran Disk Utility after I was done cleaning, rebooted several times, but it's still the same. I think I've really got two separate issues - one with FF and one with this machine, and there's just a timing coincidence. I suspect part of my FF issue has to do with the "Live Bookmarks" (RSS). I suspect part of the "hang" is while they are updating. I'm not sure exactly how that works, or when they update, but I've got 12 different sites I'm pulling news from, so it makes sense that would be a drain - like having 12 tabs open. I've considered dumping them to see if that's the problem, but it was time-consuming to collect all of them, and I'm lazy. I need to do that though. I dumped the theme I was using, and got rid of a couple of extensions. I wouldn't have done that if I wasn't having issues, but I'm not certain it's FF causing the problem. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on June 03, 2012, 02:33:59 PM Quote My whole computer seems to have slowed down since I updated. Seriously! And it's mysterious. We did not update Thunderbird, but it's been slow as hell since we updated Firefox. And if FF is running, even if it's allegedly not doing anything (even per the Task Manager), everything is slowed more than noticeably. We're running a no-plug-ins FF, too. It doesn't get any plainer than this jane. But, man, you tell it to load the Google page, and . it . has . to . think . about . it. Plus it crashes constantly. Calling up the Options dialog usually has it tell you "(Not Responding)" for a good ten or fifteen seconds. I think my expectations are pretty low, but I'm kind of gobsmacked by how poorly it works. If it were IE, I wouldn't really be surprised, but yeesh. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on June 03, 2012, 02:50:02 PM I haven't had hardly any crashes at all. Maybe one in the month or so I've had it loaded, but then I'm running NoScript, which is probably preventing a lot of the crashes you're experiencing. I just deleted all my RSS feeds, and it did speed up the start-up considerably, so that was definitely a problem. I think I may just start going to the feed pages instead - that way I get a little thumbnail with the story, instead of just text. And just since I have them handy, here are the feeds I've been using: http://feeds.reuters.com/reuters/topNews?format=xml http://news.yahoo.com/rss/;_ylt=A0LkuSB76K5PiRgA6gqs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTE2YnJpMWt0BG1pdANSU1MgSFAEcG9zAzUEc2VjA01lZGlhUlNTRWRpdG9yaWFs;_ylg=X3oDMTFlamZvM2ZlBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdAMEcHQDc2VjdGlvbnM-;_ylv=3 :rolleyes: http://rss.cnn.com/rss/cnn_topstories.rss http://pheedo.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032091/device/rss http://en-us.fxfeeds.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/headlines.xml (BBC) http://www.ajc.com/section-rss.do?source=news http://feeds.latimes.com/latimes/news?format=xml http://feeds.boston.com/boston/bigpicture/index http://rss.slashdot.org/Slashdot/slashdot http://feeds.arstechnica.com/arstechnica/index?format=xml http://feeds.wired.com/wired/index?format=xml Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on June 03, 2012, 04:54:39 PM :hmm: I don't use RSS at all. For us, FF has been crashing pretty consistently if you use Gmail, for one thing. I dunno. At our main computer, people mostly use it for personal email accounts (which is work-related about 50% of the time) and non-work-related stuff, which hasn't motivated me to uninstall it and find an older copy. At the upstairs machine, it's been a little better behaved, but the main user there is thinking of just switching to IE or Chrome, anyway. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on June 03, 2012, 05:12:32 PM I had never used RSS until Google changed their news format. Now I find that I like this new set up I have - a folder of bookmarks to the RSS feeds - basically what you have above. I get more out of it (pics and synopsis) and it doesn't slow my browser down. And I like a simple format like that, as opposed to most news websites. As far as Gmail, I suspect Google has, and will be, designing things so that they only work, or work best, in Chrome. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on June 03, 2012, 05:34:25 PM Eh. Gmail has been getting steadily less and less useful as they've made changes to it. The interface is pure bullshit now. (Why have buttons that only reveal what they do on mouse-over, especially if the mouse-over reveal is the same size as the button? Because you're idiots who have no business in web design, that's why.) It's gotten slower and slower and less and less convenient to use. It's turning into the new Hotmail. Optimizing it for Chrome isn't a reason to use Chrome, just a reason not to use Gmail. Well, Gmail supplanted Hotmail, et al, when those webmail services started really sucking, and something will supplant Gmail. You'd think the people in charge of these services would clue in . . . if you were naively optimistic. Google seems to fuck up everything they touch, these days. It's a real shame. I didn't care about them being evil back when they were running a benevolent dictatorship, but now that they basically suck . . . I have very little sympathy for them. Maybe they'll turn it around. I'd guess they have at least until the end of the year. We'll see. But I miss the real Google. It was pretty awesome. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on June 03, 2012, 06:18:17 PM Yeah, I miss Mozilla too. And Apple. There's a lot of openings for underdogs these days. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: the other andrea on June 03, 2012, 07:40:30 PM I went back to FF 3.X because 12 would just grind to a standstill. In the interim, I rediscovered Safari (5.0.6), and am liking that... a lot of the various problems I had with text boxes on certain pages and other weird issues have mysteriously disappeared. :hmm: So I reinstalled FF 3.6.16, because all my hundreds of bookmarks are there... if I could figure out a way to import them to Safari, I'd delete FF entirely. Google seems to fuck up everything they touch, these days. You think the new Gmail interface sucks? The new Blogger interface sucks so bad that they went back on their promise to delete the old interface in April to sometime in "the coming months." I don't get it. If they are adding a new function or fixing bugs, that's one thing. But simply upgrading the interface because the new "look" on the internet is supposed to be "minimalist" (which as far as I can tell seems to be the only reason, there isn't really anything markedly different about the newness) -- that's just stupid. :harumph: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on June 03, 2012, 08:10:06 PM It IS stupid. But common. It's the We've Got To Do SOMETHING mindset. To some extent, I realize that if they hire a full-time web designer (etc), then those people feel like they have to constantly be doing work in order to justify their jobs. Software company I used to work for had marketing people who did the ad campaigns in-house, and one of them once told us that the worst thing they could do was produce an ad campaign so good that it ran for a year or more. Um. Yes, but . . . oh, well, I wouldn't put myself out of a job, either. Management is even worse. In my experience, most people who wind up in management (especially upper / generalized management) have little idea of what they should be doing and feel a burning need to look like they're doing something. Since they often get paid extra, etc, yeah, I see how this happens. But it leads to all manner of stupidity. As for the rest . . . I still do 95% of my web browsing in Opera with JS turned off, no Flash, etc. And to be honest, the only times I really feel a benefit in doing otherwise are when I want to use Hotmail (I have subscriptions and catalogs and such sent there), when I want to buy things online, when I want to watch Netflix or YouTube, or when I hit Armor Games or Kongregate. Hotmail is bad, and I only use it because I've had it forever and am too lazy to create a new alt email account. And I'd rather watch video and play games through a dedicated app, not a does-everything-poorly browser. Shopping I have mixed feelings about -- I'd really rather shop through a simple browser interface and then use a secure dedicated app launched from the browser for purchasing. I mean, what, clicking on an image to magnify it is worse than having it automatically embiggen because of mouse-over? Pff. Gmail's no-JS 'old' interface is a dozen times better than the 'real' newer interface. The only thing is that you do run the risk of losing text if you compose messages in the browser. But, then, if I were using a real email app like Thunderbird, that wouldn't be a problem. Or if Gmail emulated that functionality by composing in a pop-up composition app instead of in a lame web page form. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on June 03, 2012, 08:10:24 PM tl:dr :lol: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on June 03, 2012, 10:50:45 PM So I reinstalled FF 3.6.16, because all my hundreds of bookmarks are there... if I could figure out a way to import them to Safari, I'd delete FF entirely. http://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/export-bookmarks-safari I personally wouldn't delete FF, just my opinion. I've got 4 browsers, just in case :P Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: the other andrea on June 04, 2012, 03:03:00 AM :worship: I swear I looked around for something like this and came up empty handed, but my internet search powers have been failing me lately. I probably won't delete FF, I just like to threaten it with deletion. :googily: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on June 04, 2012, 10:13:03 AM Quote I probably won't delete FF, I just like to threaten it with deletion. I've been saying for 30 years: Computers will not be advanced until they can modify their behavior in response to our threats. There's your 'natural' UI. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on June 04, 2012, 10:34:53 AM What bothers me is how badly Internet Explorer works with SharePoint. It shouldn't take 10 or more seconds longer to display an intranet page in IE than in any other browser, but it does. It might be so much of an issue if work didn't reset my IE default home page every chance it gets. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on June 05, 2012, 06:30:46 PM transit of venus cam . . . http://events.slooh.com/ last one in our life time. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on June 05, 2012, 09:41:35 PM Quote last one in our life time. Pessimist! Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on June 05, 2012, 09:50:56 PM Heh. On Earth the next one is in 105 years, but there are other points of observation. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on June 05, 2012, 10:20:03 PM And you're assuming nothing happens to Venus. I'm mostly saying that because something pretty catastrophic already happened to it at least once. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Talix on June 06, 2012, 08:14:25 AM Rootkits! I knew one of my Sony CDs had one; I just found out two of my others may as well (including a JLo; don't judge me for being divalicious). I can't remember if I imported either of those to iTunes on my laptop, so what's the definitive way of A) getting rid of it, if I did, or B) getting around it, so I can? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on June 06, 2012, 08:30:39 AM The only thing I know about rootkits is I don't want one. Quote from: Wikipedia Removal can be complicated or practically impossible, especially in cases where the rootkit resides in the kernel; reinstallation of the operating system may be the only available solution to the problem. When dealing with firmware rootkits, removal may require hardware replacement, or specialised equipment. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on June 06, 2012, 08:32:23 AM :worship: I swear I looked around for something like this and came up empty handed, but my internet search powers have been failing me lately. I probably won't delete FF, I just like to threaten it with deletion. :googily: Just FYI, FF 13 is out now, and it seems to behave a little better on my machine. Scrolling is much smoother, at least. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on June 06, 2012, 08:34:53 AM This kernel stuff should be on removable hardware flash memory, pre-installed. Like game cartridges of old. I've thought this for years, but solid state drives are under a dollar per GB nowadays. Unplug cartridge, plug in new one, and you've got a new OS. Make some of it ROM and some of it flashable for updates -- or, if they're cheap enough, it's all ROM for security or something. Frankly, with high-speed USB and shit, there's no excuse for MS not doing this kind of thing with Office, if they're going to charge so much for it. Piracy complaints drop, application speed rises, yadda yadda. Possibly they're more worried about physical resale than they are about piracy. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Talix on June 06, 2012, 08:42:25 AM Aargh. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on June 06, 2012, 08:43:25 AM Piracy comment? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Talix on June 06, 2012, 08:44:03 AM Zombie growl. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on June 06, 2012, 09:14:05 AM Arrrrgh ... CPUsss ..... CPUUUUUUUUUUssss ....! Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: flipper on June 06, 2012, 01:32:03 PM Some of those JLo songs are pretty catchy. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mybabysmomma on June 06, 2012, 04:00:01 PM Hey people, I am looking at e-readers and tablets (leaning toward tablet). I am liking what I see in the Samsung Galaxy 2.7. Any comments or suggestions? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Sidious on June 06, 2012, 05:49:48 PM Lots, but I'm a techie and what I value and reject are quite possibly opposite from you. At least, that's my experience with most normal folk. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mybabysmomma on June 06, 2012, 05:58:28 PM Well, give it. I'll take what I can use and leave what - can't. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: flipper on June 06, 2012, 05:59:46 PM Ian loves his iPad. Some of the games are pretty fun but I don't really do much with it. I have a laptop with docking station, keyboard, and monitor at work or a desktop box at home which are good enough for me. As for e-reading, I prefer a real book. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Sidious on June 06, 2012, 06:12:41 PM There are lots of factors to consider. Will you be using this mostly for reading? Like, novels/books. Not magazines. If so, I strongly urge you to consider a dedicated e-reader (like a regular Amazon Kindle, or a regular B&N Nook. Something with e-ink, not an LCD). Will you intend this to be multimedia, web-surfening, other entertainment, and only used for light reading? Then an LCD tablet is likely what you want. IF cost is a factor, I direct you toward some of the 7" tablets currently on the market (I have a Kindle Fire, and for 199 it's quality hardware, even if the OS is a little brain-damaged, but that's my opinion as a techie. The normals largely don't have a problem with it). If the Kindle Fire is not what you want (like, if you're not really a fan of Amazon -- because the Fire is intended for consumption of Amazon products and services, though not 100% locked into that, it's the path of least resistance), then I urge you to wait a couple of months at least. The market is going to very swiftly see a rush of decent-quality 7" tablets all in the 200-300 range very soon. Keep an eye out for the rumored Google Nexus tablet (which allegedly is being manufactured by Asus). It should be announced officially sometime this month or July, and it's likely to be in the 200-250 range, and it sounds sweet. If I didn't already own a Kindle Fire that I recently rooted and installed ICS (http://www.android.com/about/ice-cream-sandwich/) on, I'd likely buy the new 7" Google Nexus tablet because if the rumors are true, it'll be pretty killer, especially for the pricetag. I should also point out for the 7"-ish size tablets, the Samsung Galaxy 2.7.0 is a great buy for the price too. If you have a looser budget and don't mind spending 300-500, then you could go for a 10" tablet, and I'd urge you to stick to Samsung in that venue, because they seem to have their shit together for that. If Android isn't your thing, then you really only have one other realistic option: Apple and the iPad. I should warn you in very stern terms here: No matter what you see on TV, see in ads in tech magazines or online, do not buy into the hype that you will shortly be seeing about Windows 8 tablets. Windows 8, despite what you may see and hear, is going to be DOA the day it's released. It will have shitty, expensive app selection, shitty battery life, a shitty, ugly-ass interface you won't be able to change, and it will cost you more than pretty much any alternative except for the iPad. I can't stress that enough. Don't buy a Windows tablet. So. There is my rambling tablet advice. Hope you got at least something useful out of it. :D Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on June 06, 2012, 06:26:45 PM if you get a nook you can root it and get the best of both worlds by running cyanogen. that's what i have. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Sidious on June 06, 2012, 06:29:11 PM I should mention too that rooting a Kindle Fire and installing Cyanogenmod 9 on it was definitely not for the squeamish. I knew what I was doing and it still took me about 2 hours to accomplish, and at one point I was almost convinced that I had myself a 199 brick on my hands in the process. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on June 06, 2012, 06:32:39 PM WWDC (http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/12/06/05/first_wwdc_2012_banners_go_up_at_moscone_where_great_ideas_go_on_to_do_great_things.html) is Monday, so you might want to wait and make sure nothing happens there. It's not likely that anything related to tablets is going to be released, but you never know. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on June 06, 2012, 07:14:48 PM I should mention too that rooting a Kindle Fire and installing Cyanogenmod 9 on it was definitely not for the squeamish. I knew what I was doing and it still took me about 2 hours to accomplish, and at one point I was almost convinced that I had myself a 199 brick on my hands in the process. yeah, the nook was kind of a bitch, too. the hard part is just finding the files on line and making sure you have them all. then i got frustrated because i couldn't find my micro card adapter, then it got in a loop . . . man, i almost gave up. i still have to fix a few things. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mybabysmomma on June 06, 2012, 08:26:40 PM Thanks, that did help. I talked with a friend of mine who got a nook and rooted it. She said with the newer tablets it's not really worth the effort to go that route, especially if you don't really know what you're doing (i.e. me). I've read up on stuff (mostly on cnet) and saw about the Nexus. They said it looks to be great but don't know for sure when it's coming out. I need something by the beginning of July for a birthday present. I like what I hear and see with the Galaxy 2.7.0 It's going to be more for web stuff and the like than reading anyway. I also prefer paper books. The 250 price is about right too. As an aside, I am also waiting for the new Samsung Galaxy S III, it sounds good too. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Sidious on June 06, 2012, 08:56:54 PM FWIW, I prefer real (paper) books too. But read a couple on an e-ink reader and you'll know why I do most of my reading on my regular Kindle now. :) Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on June 06, 2012, 11:54:39 PM There is a company that puts out micro SD cards with cyanogen mod. Pull the chip, and it goes right back. (The things that did not exist when i was younger...) I like the eInk readers but i haven't gone there yet. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on June 07, 2012, 12:18:58 AM Nexus? :hmm: I think if you get that one you may see things us ... humans ... wouldn't believe. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Sidious on June 07, 2012, 06:56:51 AM I'll be concerned when Google releases their new "Reaver" line of Nexus products. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on June 07, 2012, 08:17:02 AM :lol: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on June 07, 2012, 08:49:41 AM :rollin: I kind of miss that guy. :fyp: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: flipper on June 07, 2012, 11:56:44 AM :fyp: indeed. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on June 10, 2012, 09:20:02 PM The clerks at work have rebelled against the new Firefox by surreptitiously installing Chrome. :lol: I don't like Chrome, but I was pretty sure I wouldn't like Chrome, so that might 50% just be me being stubborn. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on June 14, 2012, 01:34:13 PM Bumper Sticker: Kenobi 2012 Our Only Hope Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on June 14, 2012, 01:49:25 PM I guess they didn't put much stock in what Yoda thinks. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on June 15, 2012, 06:47:57 PM Hey, yon military space plane, the X-37B, is set to land this weekend after 15 months in orbit. If it really lands intact, very impressive. For one thing, it reportedly lands entirely on its own once it's given the command to come back down. Frankly, some cynics have thought that maybe it wasn't still on-mission but just lost up there. The USGS will know if it really lands successfully or not, but will the rest of us? It's set to come in at Vandenberg. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on June 15, 2012, 08:18:52 PM We could hear a sonic boom, maybe, if we were home. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on June 15, 2012, 08:27:46 PM Yeah, but that doesn't prove it landed. I am way more keyed up about this than I probably should be. :lol: Not the conspiracy angle but the robot-spacecraft angle. Not that we don't already have robot spacecraft. Compared to the bad news stories about asteroid mining, though, this is good stuff. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on June 15, 2012, 09:10:55 PM it's hard to hide things at VAFB. if they wanted it to land in secret it would be at groom lake. it's still highly active with secret stuff. i watch the planes take off from JANET all day long. http://www.lazygranch.com/janair.htm Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on June 15, 2012, 09:16:37 PM Cool. Then this thing probably works even better than advertised. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on June 17, 2012, 01:27:25 PM HERE IS WHAT I WANT NOW: - Cheap small SATA solid-state drives, maybe 10 GB for about 15 DVDs are slow and cumbery, and I have a plug-and-play SATA drive dock -- you can get the docks for like 20. These could be the new floppies. Flash drives -- er, solid-state hard drives -- are commonly available for under 1 / GB in larger sizes, but I don't want a single giant one. I want them for moving files around, making backups, etc. I reaize the cost per GB is bound to be higher for small drives, but that's what I want. Actual USB flash drives are too small (ie, they seem to get lost, especially if multiple people are using them), and I have not had good luck with their durability and reliability. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on June 26, 2012, 07:45:47 AM SO anyway I have this external drive that I used to backup various machines as they got retired. It's got hundreds of old directories, and of course most of what's on there I will probably / definitely never need again. But I can't delete everything, and I won't delete anything if I don't go through and pull out the stuff I want to keep. Unfortunately, it's USB, and stupid Windows has never handled I/O well. For one thing, if I put the machine to sleep or disconnect the drive, the Explorer windows for that drive gack, Windows panics and complains, and fucking hell now I lost my place on the drive. One more stupid symptom of Windows' obsession with 'helping' the user by being all up in what you're doing. Windows, you don't need to check the drive until I perform an operation that requires you to access it, so you don't even need to know if the drive is still there if I'm not doing anything with it. Mind Your Own Goddamned Business. But, fortunately, I learned that if I just stop what I was doing and switch the Explorer window's focus to, say, the Recycle Bin, then Windows ignores whether or not the drive is still there. Then, next time I wake up the machine, I just use the Back command, and it jumps back to where I was on the external drive. The file tree still loses its memory of subfolders, but, then, File Explorer has resolutely sucked since Win95. Still doesn't have the basic functionality of Xtree or Dirmagic, et al, from twenty years ago. MS, you do truly suck at what you do. But fortunately so often there are workarounds to trick Windows into behaving like a borderline OS. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on July 20, 2012, 09:34:05 PM Since the new Firefox blows (although actually the Linux version works pretty well), my cow-orkers have installed Chrome on the machines at work. Personally, I think the Chrome interface is butt-ugly and annoying, but at least it's unobtrusive. So long as I'm only working with a web page, I don't notice it, and it only grates on my nerves when I want to do something with the browser itself, like open a tab or window, etc. BUT. Oh, my god, is this thing slow? This thing is slow. It is SO SLOW. It makes IE look like Firefox and Firefox look like Opera. Maybe on faster machines it's far less noticeable. But. It. Is. So. SLOW. And constantly it stops rendering a page because it's trying to load or run one last page element. That is like the cardinal fail of browsers, but they all do it to some extent. In my experience so far, though, Chrome is IE-level of bad on that score. I will say that it's definitely way better than IE in terms of stability and for things like YouTube. I don't know about stuff like Flash games, since I've only used it at work. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Sidious on July 21, 2012, 05:44:36 PM :shrug: Chrome is by far the fastest browser out there over the widest array of functions. If it's that slow, there has to be something else going on with it. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on July 21, 2012, 06:22:40 PM I don't know. :shrug: When I was bored the other day I did open a clean copy of Opera, with no extra windows and tabs, and turn on the JS and plug-ins, and compare it to Chrome. Again, these are old machines running XP, but the differences were ridiculous. Chrome took like 3-7 times as long to load pages like Gmail, CNN, ESPN, etc. It was faster for YouTube, though. And I didn't try Kongregate or Armor Games, Hulu or Netflix. But clearly, for 90% of what I do online, forget about it. The sad thing is that back in the day when people actually relied on HTML, the old Netcom browser (remember that?) and Netscape could do things like render the text of a page immediately and render blank rectangles where the pictures would go, and then display the pictures as they loaded. You could read the damn page right away and not have to wait for it to finish loading, and the text didn't jump around as pictures loaded. Opera still lets you have that functionality, more or less, at a keystroke, by toggling images on and off. But we've still gone backwards in actual utility. We keep getting crappier apps because we have faster machines to compensate. If you get used to running 'obsolete' apps on somewhat newer machines, the latest and greatest tends to seem like slow, overwrought crap. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on August 01, 2012, 10:54:54 PM SF writers' predictions of 2012 from 25 years ago (http://www.writersofthefuture.com/time-capsule-predictions). Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: flipper on August 02, 2012, 04:58:23 PM Dang, I wish the Berkeley theme park would have come to fruition. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on August 03, 2012, 06:39:32 PM For various reasons, I started checking on my internet bandwidth. It currently blows. According to the plan I bought, AT&T is supposed to provide 3 mps, and I never expected they actually would, but rarely does it approach 2 mps these days, and routinely it drops to 700 kps or less. But it was seriously dragging, maybe twenty minutes ago. I ran speed tests, and it was topping out at like 350 kps. Fuck that. I didn't have a lot of things I could do about it, but I went and unplugged the router, plugged it back in, let it reboot, and ran the test again. It came up at 1.5 mps. The only cause I know of that could be responsible is someone else piggybacking on my wireless, and they got booted when I unplugged it. Are there other possible explanations? Changing the security settings is idiotically non-trivial, one of those things where you have to find the manual and jump through a bunch of arcane hoops, yadda yadda. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on August 03, 2012, 07:04:51 PM If the router is also the IP address server (DHCP), it probably will someplace have a list of clients. It might be by the MAC address which is in very tiny numbers near the network port. It's relatively simple to spoof the MAC address but you'd likely notice if that was happening, so looking at the list would give you an idea of who is on your network. DSL shares the pipeline at least to the local hub with everybody nearby. If your neighbors (<2 km from the hub) are being pigs there's not a lot you can do. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on August 03, 2012, 07:26:40 PM My impression of the modern internet is that most people are being pigs. If I reboot the router, does that bump me to the top of the local list or some shit? I . . . don't understand how to do the MAC address thing informationally to get useful knowledge stuff. :shrug: I have a vague idea of how to use the Windows Networking BS, which is total crap and generally useless. But last time I had a problem, someone was all 'Use the WEP encryption key,' and I was like 'I totally know what the WEP encryption key code is!' but I couldn't find where to make use of it. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on August 03, 2012, 09:05:29 PM Your router should have a user-friendly web interface, at http://192.168.1.1/ or some such. You should put a password on that, then security of some kind on your wireless, and to foil password-guessing hackers, turn off SSID broadcast. You can, although this is sometimes surprisingly difficult, only allow certain MAC addresses to connect via wireless. This isn't the greatest, as you can spoof MACs quite easily, but it will certainly stop the likes of your neighborhood. Finding the MAC address of your computer's wireless is sometimes tough too but it'll be in the network settings somewhere. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on August 03, 2012, 09:17:30 PM There's a web interface, but I wouldn't call it user-friendly. It's more expert-friendly. I have a security code on the thing, but YT set it up, and it's the kind of code that would stop someone from guessing but would be cracked by software in maybe five to ten minutes. I tried to change it once, but it didn't work, and of course I don't know what I did wrong. I think I have the SSID thing turned off. Pretty sure. [design rant] Like a lot of people, I use wireless because it's too hard to run a cable through the house, especially from the first floor (where the only DSL connection point is) to the second floor, but I basically only use the internet from one or two points in the house. What there should be is a consumer product (ie, zero expertise required) where you have a modem that goes wireless only to one or more receiver. The receiver would be no bigger than the router. This would be dedicated and, if necessary, multiband, so that the bandwidth between modem and receiver would be as much as you'd need. Then the receiver would have four or five CAT-5 sockets. Your machine would behave as if it were plugged into the modem, no wireless BS necessary. No one outside the house would be able to hack into the wireless without some kind of special equipment. The encryption could be very high, but the user would never need to know about it. You could buy a second or third receiver if you needed internet in multiple places. No reason a receiver should cost more than 10-20. I talked to the people at Newegg, and they basically told me such a setup is possible now, but it would require considerable setup to get it going. That defeats the purpose. It should be as simple to use as a remote control garage door opener. It's just a question of design. [/rant] Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: the other andrea on August 04, 2012, 03:31:54 AM When we moved in to this house Steve did not understand how we could get internet/cable between the back bedrooms where our offices are located. Since the rooms are mirror images of each other, I drilled through the back of one closet and through to the other, and ran the cable and ethernet lines through. I was very proud of myself at the time. :lol: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on August 04, 2012, 05:16:43 AM :thumbsup: I went to mammoth trouble to run ethernet to my room at my brother's place and at work. Both cases involved snaking it through the walls from the second floor to the basement, etc. The setup here would be even more complicated. And it's all plaster walls, etc. And if I ever get the$$$and energy to do the remodeling I should, my office will move across the hall anyway. :nonplused: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on August 04, 2012, 10:17:09 AM :galm: Yeah, me too. Think I lost 10 pounds of water weight running Ethernet from the study to the kids' bedroom. I haven't been up to my ceiling crawlspace in the summer since. That was horrible. And, yes, I punched a hole in the drywall in the wrong spot so I had to patch that and put another one on the other side of the stud ... Irony is I am considering going back to copper. Demand on the wireless is getting pretty high, and in some situations it takes forever to transfer a file. Although I think it might help if I get this spare wireless router set up as a repeater (or whatever it's called) Anyway. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on August 04, 2012, 11:50:26 AM Quote Demand on the wireless is getting pretty high, and in some situations it takes forever to transfer a file. Although I think it might help if I get this spare wireless router set up as a repeater (or whatever it's called) SEE THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT. There shouldn't be any 'setting up'. The product should be effortless. Manufacturers use features to pursue the expert customer and marketing BS to pursue everyone else. Consumers get shit products that make the whole species look bad. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on August 29, 2012, 11:59:11 PM The Kodak slide projector (not film projector; mistyped the other day) I bought for$5 is in such nice shape I almost hate to disassemble it.  It's a Kodak Carousel 750 that, judging from the sticker on the bottom, was a floor or demo model at a local camera shop.  It looks like it was almost never used.  It's beautiful!

I'll allow that I'm a crazy person.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: stormneedle on September 06, 2012, 11:49:22 AM
I was looking at the possibility of normalizing a database table that contains drug strength and dosage information. Instead, I think I'll go help Sisyphus with his rock, as that should be far easier.

I do feel sorry for the user with the 300-odd branch if-then-else statements, though.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: pdrake on September 07, 2012, 12:35:24 PM

ssssssssss
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: the other andrea on September 07, 2012, 07:04:27 PM
:lol: :detta:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on September 10, 2012, 07:07:57 PM
Virgin Mobile has been going bananas warning me that in October my plan will change to 10 cents a minute.  But it already is 10 cents a minute.  It always has been, since like four years ago.

THEY'RE MAKING ME NERVOUS.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: the other andrea on September 11, 2012, 05:26:32 PM
Is you plan prepaid?
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on September 11, 2012, 08:08:17 PM
It's $7 a month plus 10 cents per minute, and you pre-pay the minutes and have to buy at least$20 worth every three months.

On paper.

In reality, it's $7 a month plus a little over 20 cents a minute. The minutes must be measured in, say, three-minute-minimum intervals, or something, because they vanish way too fast. Also, they're supposed to carry over for up to three months, and that doesn't seem to happen. I would quit over the BS, but I really REALLY hate shopping for and setting up these things, and frankly it's still pretty cheap for someone like me who uses the phone for well under an hour per month. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: the other andrea on September 11, 2012, 08:25:20 PM You should try TracFone (https://www.tracfone.com/direct/Purchase?payGo=true&app=TRACFONE&lang=en) or Net10 then. There's no monthly cost, you just buy an airtime card with the number of minutes and length of service. Steve's phone cost$10. For $20 he buys a 60 minute card which allows him 90 service days. I went through Net10 and bought a Blackberry style phone for$50, so i get a 300 Minutes/60 Days of Service for $30 plan, which is plenty for texting and using the internet on it (though it lacks some features I'd hoped to have). My math skills are pretty shitty these days, I realize that's probably not 10 cents a minute, but it is WAY cheaper for us compared to the$100 a month we were paying Verizon Wireless, for I think 1400 minutes a month, of which we were finally only using maybe 200 minutes.

But we also have a land line, because Steve needs it to do phone interviews for articles. So since we don't go much of anywhere these days, except to the grocery store or doctor's office, most people call us on the land line.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on September 11, 2012, 08:37:17 PM
:hmm:  Well, in practice, my phone does cost me a little over $20 a month, because of the vanishing minutes. So$20 for 60 minutes would be cheaper for me during most months.

The only problem is that once in a while I do have an hour-plus call, usually when I talk to my mother.  You have to have the minutes in advance, of course, or the call just ends abruptly.  I guess if I had to buy the minutes in advance in chunks, it would give me a reason to call my mother more often before the minutes expire . . . .

With Virgin Mobile, it's really not convenient to check how many minutes you have left.  That makes a big difference.  Their website is a dog's breakfast, and checking with the phone is a huge pain in the ass.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: the other andrea on September 11, 2012, 08:47:28 PM
Both our phones display the amount of minutes we have left and how many service days right on the main screen.

They also remind you that you have X amount of minutes/service days left.

AND you can buy extra minutes right on the phone, you don't have to go the store to buy a refill card.

SUPER easy.  :detta:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on September 11, 2012, 08:54:41 PM
Worth investigating!
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: pdrake on October 12, 2012, 11:48:40 AM
martian litter (http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl-raw-images/msss/00065/mhli/0065MH0039001000E1_DXXX.jpg)
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on October 12, 2012, 12:23:26 PM
Looks like a candy wrapper - obviously curiosity's mother didn't raise it right - and how the hell is it getting candy on mars?
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: phyre on October 12, 2012, 12:26:16 PM
Arguably not the largest piece of trash we've left on the Martian landscape to date, between parachutes, balloons, dead probes, whatnot. Nice quality shot, though.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on October 12, 2012, 08:22:40 PM
Quote
how the hell is it getting candy on mars?

Mars Bars.

/oblig
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on October 12, 2012, 10:37:39 PM
:hisey:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mybabysmomma on October 13, 2012, 09:25:12 AM
are you sure it's not a dried up condom?
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: stormneedle on October 22, 2012, 04:27:54 PM
My dad was asking me yesterday if I knew how to move files from his mac to his iPad. I don't (really!) but when I found out he just wanted to be able to edit some stuff while they were on vacation, I suggested Dropbox instead. It's all set up and working as of last night.

No, I didn't suggest Google Drive. But I was tempted to mention it.

When the tech works, it's amazing.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: pdrake on October 22, 2012, 04:52:06 PM
i like drop box. very easy to use and free. it's pretty quick, too.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on October 25, 2012, 08:24:39 PM
Just saw the MythBusters where Obama had them re-re-test the Archimedes Death Mirror and where the staff tested the scene where Hellboy flips a Jeep by punching its front end into the ground.  It's one of the weaker episodes, although they did give it a valiant effort.  Sometimes it seems like they don't do all that much research before they plan, though.

The Archimedes thing . . . first, they've done this three times now, but I've never seen them talk about insolation or how much energy it takes to set a sail or a board on fire.  Beyond that, lots and lots of people have tested the Archimedes death ray before, with results that vary widely with technique.

It's definitely possible to make it work; lots of people have.  When I was in high school, my physics class set a cardboard box (spraypainted black) on fire with maybe two dozen mirrors made from cardboard and aluminum foil, at maybe 20'.  They sell solar barbecues, and you can build one at home in one day.  Obviously the concept is sound.  Jamie did at least point out that even if you don't set a ship on fire, the 'death ray' is going to be beyond annoying for people on the ship, so that was at least pretty good.

The thing with the Jeep . . . honestly, I don't think it was a terribly plausible scene.  But their focus was entirely too narrowly concentrated on applying a total force to the front of the vehicle and didn't take into account how rapidly the force was applied.  Their falling weights weren't moving nearly fast enough to replicate what happened in the film.  A full-scale test was going to be hard no matter what, but their test was never going to be accurate.

Can't hit them all out of the park, but even so.  And it's the third time they've done Archimedes!  Their death ray technique is awful.  :lol:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Sidious on October 27, 2012, 11:22:38 AM
I've had a premium Dropbox account for a couple of years now.  For 99 a year, I have 100+ GB of space. I don't know what I'd do without it. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on November 20, 2012, 01:27:15 PM Is it just me, or are vast swaths of the internet shitting the bed today? I can get Gmail, but not Google's main page or the GIS page, and I can't get Imgur or IMDb. I mostly get 503 errors. I'm not actually complaining. I'm just trying to guess if this is part of AT&T's Improved Service or something bigger. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on November 20, 2012, 02:16:30 PM I'm not noticing any issues over here. :shrug: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on November 21, 2012, 07:48:15 PM Hey! Any of you people have recent snazzy computers with solid-state hard drives? I'm wondering how much of a difference that really makes. My ThinkPads are both starting to die, and I suppose I'll have to get a new machine someday. But not a new-new machine. These machines both, when they bog down to a crawl, it's not because of the processor or RAM but because something is churning the shit out of the hard drive. So I figured . . . solid-state drives are supposed to be a ton faster. Would that actually be the most sensible place to spend money? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on November 22, 2012, 12:05:18 AM they are not yet faster - they can be a fair bit slower, so caveat bytor Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on November 22, 2012, 10:41:17 AM WAT. That is totally ridiculous. I am officially disappoint. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: phyre on November 23, 2012, 05:47:39 PM Yeah, it depends a lot on the configuration. I've got 2 installed (on my wifes' PC and mine) and can't point out any appreciable difference that makes it so it's a huge deal. Although I can reboot my PC and have a working desktop back up within a minute, so that's something. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on November 23, 2012, 07:45:12 PM Well, farking hell. I mean, what the hell? My machine is constantly slowed to nothing because LSASS is laboriously churning the drive. I thought sure a solid-state mother would have to be a hell of a lot faster. This is just like when everyone said "Buy a ton of RAM. That will make Windows so much faster than anything else you could do for it." But Windows handles memory so badly, I've never noticed extra RAM making a difference. I know, I know. It's Windows that is the problem. But fuck. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on December 07, 2012, 11:53:37 AM Quote from: NASA This is an amendment to Solicitation Number NNH13ZDA002L, “Request for Information – Concepts for Applications of Large Space Optics,” formerly posted on November 27, 2012. Potential responders to the original RFI should take note of the following revisions and clarifications: (1) The scope of admissible astrophysics objectives is expanded such that only objectives of the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) stipulated in the 2010 National Research Council (NRC) decadal survey are excluded. Thus, the goal statement in the original Solicitation is amended to read: “The goal of the overall study is to gather and assess concepts for possible utilization of the recently acquired systems for Agency goals aligned with five principal areas: space technology, human exploration and operations, heliophysics, planetary science, and astrophysics (excluding objectives aligned with those recommended by the NRC 2010 astrophysics decadal survey for the proposed WFIRST observatory).” (2) All abstract submissions must be in English. NASA has posted Agency goals, guidance and technical information about the space optics systems at the SALSO website, http://science.nasa.gov/salso/. Complete information on submission of concepts and other details regarding SALSO activities are also posted at this site. Respondents and other interested persons should check the site often for pertinent information and updates. Translation: The spies gave us two improved Hubble Space Telescopes, with mirrors but without sensors. What science should we do with them? I do not plan to submit an abstract for consideration without first consulting with my people here. Ideas? Edit: English only, please. Edit edit: Spatially resolved Earth imaging applications are also out of scope which sucks because I was hoping to catch some of y'all coming out of the shower. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on December 07, 2012, 01:25:30 PM Have the telescopes look into each other, and then see how long it takes for them to start giggling. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on December 07, 2012, 06:51:04 PM Nude beach web cam? Track environmental rape on the open seas? We can haz lazers? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on December 07, 2012, 09:03:07 PM Nude beach web cam? Track environmental rape on the open seas? Spatially resolved Earth imaging applications are also out of scope We can haz lazers? I would think they would be obligatory. How about a laser telespectrometer? Blast a hole inasteroid_or_planet with a hot laser and look at the emission spectrum of the hot plasma that comes out. What's the elemental composition?

I like this.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on December 07, 2012, 11:02:21 PM
Don't we have a treaty that bans lasers that powerful up in orbit?

I'm against such a ban, myself, for a variety of reasons, but I thought it was one of the things we agreed to back in the day and that SDI tried to get around with 'brilliant pebbles' and such.  But it's not like I haven't been misinformed before.

But if it's permissable, we might be able to get private enterprise to fund it.  They've been talking about mining asteroids.  Although they've been talking stupid talk about it.  I can't tell if they're snowing investors, blowing pretty smoke for the media, or are just too lazy to do real research.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on December 07, 2012, 11:08:56 PM
That said, an impact rocket would work almost as well as a laser.  We'd just have to wait longer for the results, and it would cost more to do a second test, unless the laser in question wasn't reusable.

I was trying to think of what else the telescopes could be used for.  Thing is, I don't know what we're already taking visual-range shots of.  They probably already look for small stuff orbiting the sun closer in, transits and whatnot, eh?  Mercury and Mars are under investigation; Venus, you can't see the surface.  Visual range isn't optimal for finding Earth-crossing asteroids; you want IR for that.

Sexy parallax views of the moon?  Or watching for moon flashes?
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: flipper on December 08, 2012, 12:42:27 AM
:moonwave:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on December 08, 2012, 10:47:24 AM
Spatially resolved Earth imaging applications are also out of scope

D'oh, you said that, didn't you? That kind of takes most of the fun out of it right there. I mean, they aren't really that powerful or sophisticated, are they? Weren't these designed back in the 70's or something? I know we've talked about this here before...
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on December 08, 2012, 11:45:13 AM
I know, right? But I think that was one of the conditions of the NRO giving them up.

Probably they are products of the seventies. I'll bet some of my dad is in there. But still, they are better than anything else currently in orbit. Essentially they are, really, improved copies of the HST. Same sized primary. They say that for astronomical applications they would have similar resolution to the HST but a much wider field of view.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on December 08, 2012, 11:57:45 AM
They say that for astronomical applications they would have similar resolution to the HST but a much wider field of view.

That doesn't make sense, if I'm parsing that correctly, because that would be superior to the HST. I think I know what they mean, but that's a weird way of stating it. I think they're saying they're both like 10 megapixels, but one captures one degree, and the other captures 10 degrees, which would really be a huge difference in actual resolution.

I did a search here for the term satellite, but I didn't find that old discussion and link. I wonder why...
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on December 08, 2012, 12:05:19 PM
Ah. Here's the original story (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/05/science/space/repurposed-telescope-may-explore-secrets-of-dark-energy.html).
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: TFJ on December 09, 2012, 08:45:07 AM
Probably they are products of the seventies.

(http://www.projectorreviews.com/images-projectors-Q2-07/xzv20000_SpaceCowboys_ClintLg.jpg)
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on December 26, 2012, 10:09:45 PM
SO this really doesn't matter, and, yes, it applies to XP, which I still use.  But.  When you shut down XP, it takes an absurdly long time, and it tries to make excuses for this by saying that it's saving your personal settings.  Literally, you can start XP and then immediately shut it down, and it'll take a mysteriously long time and claim it's saving your personal settings.  As if.

I have the two nearly identical ThinkPads, with theoretically the same version of XP.  For a long time now -- since about last March, I think -- I've been shutting one of them down normally and forcing the other one to power off by holding down the power switch.  I've been doing it so long that I'd stopped paying attention.

So far, this is the entire difference:

- The machine that I shut down normally, I just tell it to shut down and then confirm that.  It shuts itself off.  It also installs updates automatically.

- The other machine shuts itself off very quickly, but I have to keep my finger on the button for like five seconds.  It doesn't install updates automatically.  I have to periodically tell it to install them.

So WTF is all that drama and wasted time about, MS?

In Fairness:  Opera does something very similar while shutting down.  If you kill it via Task Manager, it goes away instantly and releases all the memory it was using, and when you restart it next time it can still pick up exactly where you left off.  :shrug:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: phyre on December 27, 2012, 09:32:00 AM
You tried hibernation? Much faster shutdown and load times with XP.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on December 27, 2012, 09:56:21 AM
Stand By mode works pretty well with XP, in my experience.  Some machines go into Stand By really fast, and some take even longer than they take to shut down.  Our main machine at work . . . if you tell it to Stand By at the end of the day, it'll still be trying to Stand By when you get in the next morning.  And you can't interrupt, so you have to force shutdown and then reboot, and it acts like nothing happened.

Stand By works great on my ThinkPads EXCEPT that (A) one of them enters Stand By every time the screensaver activates, which was once my intention, but it no longer lets me change that setting, and the screensaver now sometimes activates after as little as 5 minutes.  It's theoretically set to 10 minutes.  Sometimes it never activates no matter how long the machine is left idle.

(B) On my other machine, IE (which I use for Netflix) will crash when you wake it up from Stand By.  Not the end of the world, but annoying.

Hibernate seems to work equally well, but it's a little slower to go to sleep and a little slower to wake up.  I used to use it back when I used these machines as portables, because it seemed kinder to the batteries, but by now neither machine will charge a battery, so they're plugged in all the time.  They use so little power on Stand By that I don't bother with Hibernate.

I'm not sure if that actually makes sense . . . the more one uses crazy software, the more superstitious usage creeps in . . . .
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: phyre on December 27, 2012, 10:08:12 AM
Yeah, I get that. Superstition plays a big role in my work; can't tell you how many people actively decided not to call me to fix something because they thought they'd appeased the gods by doing things a different way. That said, XP is teh screwballs. Maybe this is my own scorched-earth method (setting things on phyre?) of fixing things, but I'd almost want to install Linux on one to see if you can improve performance. The latest release of Ubuntu doesn't like legacy hardware as much (it's the Unity interface), so maybe Linux Mint? That's assuming installing Linux is even an option for you, I know it's not for everyone.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on December 27, 2012, 10:15:36 AM
I have a machine at work . . . I'm thinking of taking it home and trying Linux again.  I had Ubuntu on that machine before, and it worked pretty well, but the UI was a mouse-only Where Is Everything trainwreck.

I'm OK with the idea of trying Mint.  I just wish I knew people around here who had various flavors of Linux installed so I could see the UIs and get an idea of which one I liked.  I like keyboard support and pretty simple setups.  I'll take a directory tree over nesting batches of icons any day.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on January 05, 2013, 07:54:39 PM
I have been trying, since I was about five, to understand why while one convex lens will turn everything upside down (I get that), two or more convex lenses can make the image sharp and focused but can't turn it rightside up again.

I've been sitting here playing with some lenses and reading various Optics For Dummies webpages, and I still have no clue.  :shrug:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on January 05, 2013, 08:42:08 PM
Different thing altogether, but not long ago I glanced into a hand-held mirror, one of those that magnifies, and the reflection in the mirror was right-reading. After a minute or so I realized i was actually seeing the reflection of the other side of the concave mirror.

That probably doesn't make sense, does it? The reflection I was seeing was bouncing off the same mirror twice.

:hmm: Maybe I'll take a picture to make it easier.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on January 05, 2013, 08:57:35 PM
That's harder to get a picture of than I imagined. I can't remember the exact setup when I first saw it, but this demonstrates the principle. Look at the reflection of the word "coppertop". It's both right and wrong reading at the same time.

(http://i.imgur.com/RcL2V.jpg)

Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on January 05, 2013, 09:08:14 PM
I actually knew what you meant, and it made sense, although I don't remember noticing it before.

Still mystified by the lenses, though.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on January 12, 2013, 12:36:07 PM
So . . . trying to figure out what would be a good replacement for this vacuum motor.  I was thinking of a high-speed hand drill motor, since it's not hard to find one of those in decent used shape, and you can even get a new one for $30 or so. Ought to have the torque to spin the vacuum's fan at speed. But I wanted to get an idea of how fast the old motor spun. And . . . holy crap, the googles say that some vacuum motors run at insanely high speeds. Apparently a lot of industrial vacuums have motors running at 15,000 rpm or higher, all the way up to about 100,000 rpm. That seems excessive to me. So I think I'll try chucking the fan and its housing into a drill to see what kind of air movement I can get. If it's just too feeble, I may look at a motor from a trim router or full-size rotary tool, or I may get more creative. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 16, 2013, 06:02:34 PM Anyone want to endorse a free HTML debugger? We have a thing going on with a page that looks like it has an open comment tag, but we can't find it. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on January 16, 2013, 06:33:56 PM Notepad++ will color code the HTML and you can look for excessive amounts of green. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 16, 2013, 09:32:02 PM Cool. Will try it soon. Thanks! Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Tripper on January 16, 2013, 10:39:54 PM One thing to remember about XP and Winblowz in general is that every time you boot up or shot down, it goes through the registry looking for things to do and usually ends up running a lot of cycles with orphaned entries. I like to use CCleaner and have it go through and clean all of it out. It also does a good job of cleaning the caches out and getting rid of temp files. Also use it to look at the startup programs. Usually you'll find a bunch of things that are started that you either never use or didn't know where there. HP is notorious for bloatware when you install their software. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Tripper on January 17, 2013, 05:31:10 PM Do you know how *many* freaking Geek Talk's there are on here? Anyway. Got me an Apple problem, which automagically makes it esoteric. I have a Macbook Pro (Mid 2012) attached to a Thunderbolt monitor and an HP laser printer attached to the Thunderbolt via the USB connection on the back. It *used* to work fine, but today it decided that there wasn't a printer attached. I fiddled with it and hit on a solution from a Macworld forum where somebody had a similar issue and fixed it by using a separate TB cable to attach it, not the onboard cable. Everything works, but that nice built in cable is just hanging. It's through work and under warranty, but since it's Apple I have to go through them for repairs. Has anyone else had an issue with the TB monitors? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on January 17, 2013, 05:46:27 PM Haven't used thunderbolt at all, sry Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on January 17, 2013, 06:03:13 PM I didn't even know what it was until I looked it up (http://www.apple.com/displays/). Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on January 17, 2013, 06:41:29 PM very very frightening . . . Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on January 17, 2013, 07:32:08 PM Oh Galileo Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 17, 2013, 08:38:09 PM I was gonna say, Hedaira, probably. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: the other andrea on January 17, 2013, 09:02:44 PM Just a cheap AOC here, sorry... Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 17, 2013, 09:27:42 PM We did install Notepad++ at work today. It was a fucking chore to install it, and for stupid reasons all around: - Chrome kept downloading it, but not the whole file. It wasn't giving me an error message, so it took me about five tries at downloading it before I noticed the filesize was wrong. Then I opened the Downloads page and saw an error message that said the filename was too long. It was eighteen characters. That's too long? What is this, DOS? WTF CHROME? And why hide the error message? - Windows kept giving me an install error, claiming that the DLL files were not found. I downloaded an earlier version of NP++ to try installing that instead, but same error. :confused: THEN my brain said, hey, you're not logged in as Admin, so it should be telling you that you don't have permission to install this. :doh: So I logged in as Admin, and it installed fine. But, what, are we paying by the error message now, or something? Since when was XP shy about telling me I don't have permission to do shit? Anyway. Once those fiasco follies were over, it worked great. Didn't solve our HTML / CSS problem, but it seems nifty, and it's a huge upgrade over the IE / FF / Chrome View Source defaults. The problem we're having seems to be a CSS issue, but it's hard to tell. It's with Tumblr, which we're using for our new shop blog. The blog page was fine, and then it stopped being fine, with random formatting issues and a sidebar and footer gone missing, etc. Weirdly, if you open the Tumblr code editor, the preview looks right. But the actual Tumblr page in question is farked. :shrug: I saved the code for the page to disk and then opened the local copy. The sidebar and footer came back, but the CSS formatting and auto-generated text was farked. To me, that means it's the CSS that got screwed, but who knows. Fortunately, I'm not the one who has to figure it out. Probably we'll just redo the page from scratch. It did teach two of my clerks the valuable lesson of incremental local backups and not trusting Tumblr (or anyone else) to back stuff up for you. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: phyre on January 19, 2013, 03:18:08 PM I'm OK with the idea of trying Mint. I just wish I knew people around here who had various flavors of Linux installed so I could see the UIs and get an idea of which one I liked. I like keyboard support and pretty simple setups. I'll take a directory tree over nesting batches of icons any day. So I should have replied to this ages ago, but I did want to point out that you can try any flavor of Linux by downloading the install disk (.ISO), burning it, and then just restarting the PC with the burned CD in the drive. The CD will boot up a fully-functioning version of Linux you can fool around in to your heart's content, and then when you pull the CD back out and reboot you'll be back to whatever you had on that PC before. Or when you've played enough you can hit the Install shortcut on the Linux desktop and it'll go from there. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 19, 2013, 06:05:10 PM :hmm: Yeah? I used to have a bootable CD of, what, Knoppix, and people were making a big deal of it. I didn't realize it was commonly bootable off a CD. And, anyway, that one didn't work for crap. Driver issues. Now I can't remember WTF machine I was trying it with. Right now my main problem is that I've 'loaned' all my monitors to work. I go to the surplus place and look at used 17" monitors for$70 and think, well, I could buy a new 19" monitor for $90, so it would be dumb to buy a used smaller one for almost the same money, but, then, I can't really afford to spend$90 on a monitor I don't really need . . . .

I gotta take up crime.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: phyre on January 19, 2013, 07:04:48 PM
For what it's worth, I'm sure you'd do handsomely at it.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on January 19, 2013, 07:09:23 PM
The real problem is that my people have such low expectations.  If I robbed a bank vault, I'd probably take like $500. And a snarky note. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: phyre on January 19, 2013, 07:28:41 PM Yeah, I'm just too ... "meh" to want to do something like that. I'm more likely to turn to credit card hacking or something; where I don't have to leave the house. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 19, 2013, 07:55:56 PM The thing is, you can make just as much money just as easily by starting a cult, and without the legal hassles. But I don't want to deal with all those people. If I were smarter and more ambitious, I would have started an aggregator site back in the 90s instead of having a lame webpage with a ton of CSOTD links. For maximum laziness, a porn aggregator. But I was somewhere between having more noble plans and not thinking it would ever generate enough money to make it worth the trouble. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: phyre on January 19, 2013, 08:02:11 PM Celebrity Site of the Day? Chunky Sister on the Dirt? Colonic Septum of thy Diuretic? Cars Some One Thieves Daily? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 19, 2013, 08:13:18 PM :lol: Cool Site Of The Day (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cool_Site_of_the_Day). I had a vaguely similar page at about the same time, but I think about six people visited it on any regular basis. I had no idea how you'd go about promoting such a thing, beyond word of email, and I really had no interest in trying. The site expired, and I had already switched to an Altnet link-sharing newsgroup. In those days, most people I knew online cared about impressing the other people they knew online, cared a little about egoboo, and didn't even imagine you could make money with a website. I still fondly remember Eve Andersson's old site, where she had to devote an entire page to explaining why anyone would have a personal website. Those were the days. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 23, 2013, 11:52:21 AM A weird thing was happening with one of my Gmail accounts where if I left it alone for awhile, sometimes a random saved email would open. Suspicious, and I worried that maybe this was a bot rummaging through my account, somehow. I changed the password multiple times from different locations, though, and ran scans, and it seemed clean. I signed up for the Google Account Activity report thing, which is still in beta and which hopefully doesn't mean you're agreeing to some more in-depth kind of tracking by Google, but probably that's inescapable ever since they've gone evil. Anyway, I got the first report, and it's pretty peculiar. It tracks the locations you've logged in from, but apparently only by country. Not all that helpful, but at least Indonesia didn't come up, or something. It also tells how many emails you've sent and received in the past month, kind of interesting, and which other email accounts most have been to or from. And it tells how many YouTube videos you've watched while logged in to Google, and how many Google searches you've done. Oddly, it claimed I've done zero Google searches from that account, which is off (my estimate) by about 400. I mostly do them through the Opera address bar, though. Can't think of why that would throw Google off, but maybe it does. Or maybe the Activity thing just is a rougher beta than I'd expect. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on January 23, 2013, 12:35:09 PM A script thing, maybe? Not allowing googleanalytics through Opera somehow? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on January 23, 2013, 03:15:57 PM :hmm: I block google analytics so I can test that - just signed up and I'll let you know. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Tripper on January 24, 2013, 02:08:49 PM Try UNetbootin. It allows you to create a bootable USB drive for several Linux distros including quite a few utilities. http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/ Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 24, 2013, 06:57:58 PM :hmm: Looks interesting. In other news, Netflix's streaming still isn't working for me. It was the other night, and then since the next morning . . . no. I can log in, etc, but what I try to play something, I just get a blank screen. Sometimes IE reports "Done but with errors". Is there a way to get moronic IE to tell me WTF those errors are? I reinstalled both Silverlight and IE itself (which only takes like two hours, all in all, because stupid), but it changed nothing. Netflix, of course, is no help. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 24, 2013, 07:08:31 PM Well, I dug through the stupid Advanced Settings until I found a way to make IE report the error at the time it occurs, but why IE would tell you Oh, There Were Some Errors but not have an error log for you . . . eh, fuck it, never mind. Microsoft. Apparently this is a JavaScript error of the "'window' is undefined" subvariety in a script called from Netflix itself. So presumably this isn't something I can fix, and I just have to wait for Netflix to fix it. :nonplused: I know, I'll email them and tell them about it. Oh, wait, that's right; they don't allow that. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 24, 2013, 07:24:06 PM According to the googles, allegedly if you double-click the Not Really An Icon 'Warning' Icon thing on the IE status bar, it should open an error report. It doesn't work on my machine, and I don't know how you're supposed to know that, but there you go. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on January 24, 2013, 10:25:34 PM netflix is doing some weird upgrading to their HD streaming that may be causing it. try googling that. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 24, 2013, 10:43:42 PM :lol: God only knows. Almost every time I google a Netflix problem, I find 1) Random people advising me to delete the Silverlight storage. I always try this, but it's never been the fix, as yet. 2) Netflix pages that all say the problem is probably caused by browser security settings. Never says what settings. Instead, it always explains how to reinstall Silverlight and tells me to download the MS Silverlight Fixit utility. MS doesn't seem to think there's any such thing as a Silverlight Fixit utility, and links from elsewhere to download the Fixit thing are always dead ends. Quite peculiar. BUT in my experience 90% of Netflix issues fix themselves after a day or two. It's just very annoying in the meantime. Netflix is really cheap, and usually very good. But worst customer service ever. It seriously is just like they want someone to steal all their customers. Very strange. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 25, 2013, 09:41:31 AM And it's working again this morning. Machine wasn't even rebooted since last night. :shrug: Maybe it's part of a long-term plan to train customers to accept outages and not expect to be able to do anything about it. I often suspect this of various corporations. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Tripper on January 25, 2013, 11:50:12 AM Get a Roku and bypass all that Microshit stuff. New they're about$50 and on eBay I spotted a Roku 2 (lightly used) for $33ish. It connects to a TV through either RCA (video/stereo) or HDMI. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Roku-2-XD-Digital-HD-Media-Streamer-USED-LIGHTLY-/121056847152?pt=US_Internet_Media_Streamers&hash=item1c2f8ce530 Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 25, 2013, 11:57:08 AM I've considered it, but I'm pretty much done with TVs, I think. Plus, I wouldn't be able to rate movies properly. I'm not sure how much that's worth, but it feels like it matters. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 25, 2013, 01:00:46 PM New random question: If I have a motor, and I'm not sure if it's reversible, and I try it by reversing the polarity (of the neutron flow), and it's not reversible . . . will it just not run? Or will I destroy it? I tried googling this, and the results did not inspire confidence in any direction. Meanwhile, I have an expensive, powerful motor that's great except that it really stupidly rotates in the wrong direction. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: phyre on January 26, 2013, 01:45:39 PM Dunno, dude. My understanding of electric motors is rudimentary, at best, but I always understood that reversing the polarity was the only trick to reversing direction. I could be wrong, though, so don't take that as any kind of authoritative answer. That said, you're bound to wind up trying it anyways. ;) Let me know how it works out. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 26, 2013, 02:02:02 PM :lol: I know reversing the polarity works perfectly fine for some motors but not others. That's about how much I know about that. I think most DC motors are reversible, but once people start saying things like 'bridge rectifier' or 'series winding' I get nervous about starting fires and/or destroying my toys. I know some motors will eat their brushes if you reverse them. I didn't actually cause any problems in the lab back in Physics, but I had two lab partners who were amazing at generating cautionary tales. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on January 26, 2013, 03:46:43 PM It seems to me that the motor itself would reverse well enough, but what it drives might not be able to deal with running backwards. No, I don't know how to check except in a destructive way. :shrug: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 26, 2013, 03:56:59 PM In theory, with a proper controller, I could start it at a very low voltage and only gradually ramp up the juice. It's a nominally 24v / 450W beastie, but I know for a fact it'll twist your fingers off at 12v. I'm pretty sure it'd turn slowly at 6v, and possibly at less. Two AAA's is 3v. They wouldn't last long pushing a motor this size, but they might be enough to let me tell if it'll run backwards, and still have it just stall out or something if it can't. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mybabysmomma on January 27, 2013, 07:31:02 PM Dwight says if it's a DC motor, no it won't hurt it. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 28, 2013, 11:41:13 AM I will definitely try it. This motor has a gearbox attached, and hopefully that's reversible as well. :lol: I did finally find an English-language page from the Chinese manufacturer, which was . . . enigmatic. It does claim the motor is reversible, but it also says it has "planetary normal deceleration happening," which I think refers to the gears slowing the motor when you take the power off, but maybe they're talking about gravity or astrology. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on January 28, 2013, 11:42:48 AM Oh. SO today when I do a Google search, the front page always has only five search results. Subsequent pages are normal. I don't think this matters, but it's new and weird. Only seems to happen in Opera, and I'm thinking maybe it's a confusion with Google's paid-search-results thing. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: the other andrea on February 08, 2013, 04:53:23 PM So I just noticed/realized that when Steve gets on his computer, my computer slows WAY down. Lots of spinning rainbow wheel action (or no action, as it were). As I understand the concept, when both of us are accessing the broadband, we're "splitting the signal." We have a Comcast broadband modem that is, from my recollection, as old as our residency in this house (9 years). It can't be newer than 5 years, in any case. We're also using a wired router which is probably as many years old, running my ethernet cable from his office through a hole I made into his closet that then runs out of my closet to my computer. I think it's less than 25' feet between us. I never noticed the slow down until recently. With the prospect of buying a new Mac, and swapping out my Mac Mini with his PPC Mac Mini, does anyone have any suggestions on what kind of upgrades could be done with the router and/or the broadband modem? There's no reason for us to go wireless, since both newer Macs have wireless capabilities -- would this have any benefit in minimizing the slow down? Is the slow down attributable at all to the age of Steve's old Mac Mini? These are things I wish I had a better grasp of. :bummed: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: First Post on February 08, 2013, 05:54:03 PM Wouldn't hurt to hit up Comcast for a newer modem, as it's undoubtedly using an older version of DOCSIS. Definitely helped me, although my needs involved more upload rather than download, but I'm sure it would help with your throughput in any case. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: feffer on February 10, 2013, 08:08:22 PM Yes, that. My neighbors decided to see if there was a new Comcrap box available, and there was. It's fancy and is actually FAST. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: the other andrea on February 11, 2013, 07:48:00 PM Thanks FP, Steve did that today... I ended up posting about it in the Netflix thread for some reason. I get so confused these days. :bummed: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on February 11, 2013, 07:59:50 PM Makes perfect sense to me. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on February 13, 2013, 06:40:59 PM I think we were talking about ATM skimmers here a long time ago. I think :hmm: Anyway, it's something I've always been curious about, and I just ran across this site (https://krebsonsecurity.com/all-about-skimmers/) that shows many examples. There's 3 pages there, with the last page being the most recent, so to see the latest tech the crooks are using, go to the last page. Also, each paragraph and picture is actually a link to the full article. Not the best designed site, but the criminal ingenuity it shows is fascinating. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on February 13, 2013, 07:03:32 PM You know, I don't think I've used an ATM in the last ten years. I just realized I haven't the faintest idea what my PIN is. And my credit card (I just checked) is just a credit card, which means I have a debit card somewhere else, probably in the back of my wallet. I used to be a complete ghost, but nowadays I hardly ever use cash. :shrug: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on February 13, 2013, 07:21:59 PM I very rarely use ATMs or cash anymore myself. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on February 13, 2013, 08:53:39 PM Yeah. I don't know if that makes me better than most people, but I am better than most people. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: vox8 on February 20, 2013, 10:18:59 AM Don't know if this is the right thread for this, but didn't want to start a new one. I create my knitting charts in Excel. Currently I make the whole page and save it as PDF. I then merge the chart PDF(s) with the rest of the pattern using a free merging software on-line. This is a less than ideal situation. I would prefer to be able to place the chart into my page layout program as some sort of picture file. The problem is, the only way I have been able to come up with is to take a screen shot and save that as a JPG. And with that everything is all fuzzy because it is a "picture" as opposed to clean lines. And the text looks like crapola. Does anyone know of some cheap/free software I can get that will turn either the excel file or the screen cap into whatever file (is it vector or raster or flying monkeys - I have no clue) that will give me actual line art that I can place into my files instead of some fuzzy gray-scale crap? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on February 20, 2013, 12:32:21 PM It's geeky enough for my tastes. The file format for Excel is XML based nowadays. I wonder if you couldn't make an XSLT (eXtensible Stylesheet Language Transformations) to go to a vector-based layout instead. (XSLT is probably how the PDFs are created.) Vector-based images won't get fuzzy with changes in size. I tried Google with "transform Excel SVG", and got hits that look promising. SVGMaker has a fully functional trial and is$39 for the licensed version.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on February 20, 2013, 12:55:40 PM
I'm glad you replied before I finished typing my reply. Yours is much better. It probably helps that you understand what she's trying to do  :P

One thing I would add, OCR software (or online OCR) might read your screenshot and convert to text, but there's a lot of limitations there.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on February 20, 2013, 01:03:48 PM
Don't ever use JPG unless you're putting a photograph on the web. I have told this to half a dozen students this week, as in "I can't read this graph, because you made it from a JPEG"

Most screen grabbers at least let you use a different format - Grab uses TIFF (damn it) etc.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on February 20, 2013, 01:20:04 PM
PNG is the best choice for text in an image file, I believe. SVG is similar, I think, but isn't supported as much as PNG.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Sidious on February 20, 2013, 04:14:07 PM
My preferred Windows screen grabber is Greenshot (http://getgreenshot.org/downloads/).  That might be an option, it has a lot of flexibility.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on February 20, 2013, 04:15:36 PM
Yeah, PNG. Hell even GIF is better. It's just that JPEG is a lossy compression algorithm and the more you apply it the more it fucks up your image. SVG, I believe, is a vector format and I don't think Orifice can interpret it (could be wrong). But Orifice does fine with encapsulated PostScript and PDF now.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: vox8 on February 20, 2013, 06:54:23 PM
My preferred Windows screen grabber is Greenshot (http://getgreenshot.org/downloads/).  That might be an option, it has a lot of flexibility.

Does it export as true line art?

Thanks to everyone, I will see what I can do to muddle through. Really though, half of what y'all are saying might as well be alchemy to me. When I say screen shot I mean that I am using the "Snipping Tool" in my Windows menu.

You can stop cringing now.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Sidious on February 20, 2013, 07:06:07 PM
Unfortunately, no.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: vox8 on February 20, 2013, 07:11:47 PM
Unfortunately, no.

Yeah, I just tried it. Still getting pixelated stuff.

(http://www.straw.com/cpy/patterns/scarves/images/mist-chart.gif)

This is a very basic example of what a knitting chart looks like. It is a mixture of text, symbols and charty stuff. I create mine in Excel using a free knitting font and have been avoiding buying actual charting software. I might just have to suck it up and buy the software. It runs between $100 &$250 and I have been dragging my feet because I just don't want to make the wrong choice. I cannot decide which one to buy.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on February 20, 2013, 07:38:52 PM
Googling "excel save as vector" brings up this result (http://superuser.com/questions/415707/export-excel-graphs-as-vector-graphics-files-e-g-svgs) where someone recommends an open source free excel alternative application called Gnumeric (http://projects.gnome.org/gnumeric/). They say it will save as SVG, but I don't see it listed in the specs (http://projects.gnome.org/gnumeric/doc/file-format-save-formats.shtml). It does list EPS though. Might be worth downloading and playing with. You could create your file in Excel and then open it in Gnumeric and then just try to save that file in different formats.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on February 20, 2013, 10:28:51 PM
Office is really bad about putting PostScript wrappers around bitmaps. Definitely try it if you can use an Adobe print driver PDF creator instead of using Save as ... in Office.

Screen grabs are always going to be pixels, alas. They just read the frame buffer.

I'll shut up now.

Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: vox8 on February 20, 2013, 10:32:30 PM
On the thing that Mo posted they said something about taking a PDF into Inkscape and being able to turn that into an SVG. I might see if I can do that because I already have Inkscape downloaded.

I can't figure out fuck-all how to make it work except drawing basic boxes, but I am going to try.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: vox8 on February 20, 2013, 10:59:57 PM
Well, sonofabitch. I can make the SVG - but I cannot import it into my page layout software.

I have a copy of Serif PagePlus Essentials, which pretty much does everything I want it to do except import svg.

I saved it out of Inkscape as a PNG but it is still fuzzy.

So here is what I have been trying to determine but cannot figure out. Apparently Serif PagePlus makes other programs - they appear to be on x6 at this point - and what I need to know is if I fork out the money for the fancier program, will I be compatible with the PagePlus Essentials documents that I have already created. Because I do not want to re-do all of that shit.

How would I figure this out? The most informative page I have found is this one: http://www.softerviews.org/PagePlus.html (http://www.softerviews.org/PagePlus.html) but I cannot seem to find the answer to my question. Here is the main page - and it is expensive (for me) http://www.serif.com/pageplus/x6.aspx?mc=serppcpptest&gclid=CLrZzJzBxrUCFQPnnAodAh8AFg (http://www.serif.com/pageplus/x6.aspx?mc=serppcpptest&gclid=CLrZzJzBxrUCFQPnnAodAh8AFg) again - it is like it is written in a foreign language.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: stormneedle on February 20, 2013, 11:42:46 PM
It might be. And it's not a gobbledygook I know how to read.

I suggested that file type since I've worked with it in the past. That doesn't mean it's the best for you, but I really don't know much anything about graphical file types. But looking at Serif's support site, it looks like newer versions of PagePlus do support SVG imports, specifically http://support.serif.com/KB/a516/faq-how-do-i-create-a-cover-for-my-kindle-ebook-mobi.aspx?KBSearchID=229237.

You've got a system that worked nearly perfectly. I'm not sure how much change you're willing to undergo.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on February 21, 2013, 11:19:37 AM
It looks like they have a pretty active forum (http://forums.serif.com/). Asking there would probably work.

You could also download the demo and just try it, which would be quicker and more reliable, unless there's a learning curve.

ETA:  it looks to me like version 5 will import SVG, and you can get it pretty cheap (http://www.amazon.com/Serif-PPX5USDPRT-PagePlus-X5/dp/B00422MRGC/ref=pd_cp_sw_1)
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on February 21, 2013, 11:29:19 AM
What are you trying to end up with? A PDF to send to people that request one of your patterns?

And what are you merging your Excel file with? An image/photo (as opposed to line art/type)?
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Hedaira on February 21, 2013, 02:44:08 PM
From the Late as Fuck to the Party files: Put the scopes on a boat and find out once and for all if there is anything creepier than a Humboldt squid down there.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on February 21, 2013, 02:54:49 PM
What, are you kidding? I've eaten stuff creepier than Humboldt squid for breakfast. In fact, just yesterday.

On account of the fact I'm in New Orleans, of course
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: vox8 on February 21, 2013, 04:55:39 PM
What are you trying to end up with? A PDF to send to people that request one of your patterns?

And what are you merging your Excel file with? An image/photo (as opposed to line art/type)?

I sell the patterns. Believe it or not people pay money to get something I designed. I have a hard time believing it myself.

The documents I create are usually between 4 and 12 pages long and are mostly text, but there are images and stuff and I had a graphic designer develop my layout. I just threw this together so that you can get a better idea:
(http://tumpedduck.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/pagesample.png?w=890)

This is a sample of a 6 page pattern - I have been kicking around the idea of doing this kind of "preview" so I thought I would play with it to start the process - I have some more tinkering to do if this is gonna work.

Right now I can assemble the entire thing in PagePlus except for the charts. I save the primary document as a PDF and then use Excel to save the chart as a PDF. I then use PDFMerge (free online) to merge the two documents into one big document. Voila - a PDF of a pattern.

My issue with this is that I am not able to incorporate some of the ... decorative ... elements of the pattern design into the Excel piece. The ideal thing would be for me to be able to import the charts in a file that does not suffer image degradation but that I can place like an image.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: the other andrea on February 21, 2013, 05:47:26 PM
Wow, that is really awesome!  :detta:

I wish I had some useful advice graphics wise, other than just keep trying, you'll find it soon enough. :shamrock:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on February 21, 2013, 06:28:43 PM
Yeah, those look nice  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: the other andrea on February 21, 2013, 07:02:45 PM
That didn't come out right... what I meant was when I have a challenge like this with computer/graphics type issues, it takes awhile, and sometimes I have to walk away and let the information i've gathered simmer in my brain, but eventually the solution presents itself.

Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: phyre on February 22, 2013, 03:39:26 PM
Yeah, vox, I wasn't sure what we were talking about, but after seeing that image, I can see what people are willing to give you their hard-earned lucre for. That's nice work.

Also, I got nothing.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Min on February 28, 2013, 09:14:09 PM
I have several computers that I want to get rid of.  I'm sure they all have some sort of personal/financial information on them.  Some are so old, I don't even know what's on them.

What do I do?
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on February 28, 2013, 11:51:18 PM
Fire!

http://www.wikihow.com/Safely-Get-Rid-of-an-Old-Computer
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: stormneedle on March 01, 2013, 12:54:07 AM
There are free file shredding programs out there. I've got one that's free www.dban.com on a floppy (whatever those are) that I can boot from and trash a system - but I've never needed it.

But - knowing it's old and it will eventually fail, you can still put it into an enclosure and keep it for use.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: pdrake on March 01, 2013, 01:09:59 AM
(http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/000/046/123/magnets.jpg?1270937748)
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on March 01, 2013, 01:29:12 AM
If you're junking the computer yank the hard disk(s) and, yes, turn them over to ICP for experimentation. They will learn nothing. :galm:

I disassemble the drives and salvage the (fucking!) magnets for various nefarious (and farious) purposes, then I carve the platters into ninja stars to sell to the local anime kids.

If you're not junking it then, yes, a free secure format/erase program will do the job, I think. Here's a review (http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-secure-erase-utility.htm), but I haven't tried any of them.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: stormneedle on March 01, 2013, 01:45:27 AM
Pdrake, if that was bad, when I write in "English" at work I come up with stuff like:
Quote
Then there are data stewardship issues. Is the presence of an correlated index sufficient to state that the receiving party would then exist as a System Of Records? Do the agreements within Directive 6500 countenance a shift, and what mechanisms exist for compliance testing during and after transfer?

I've always been lousy at Bureaucratese. It shows, doesn't it? That's almost intelligible without context.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: pdrake on March 01, 2013, 02:01:07 AM
hahahaha! no, that was an allusion to the insane clown posse song, "magnets, how do they work".

magnets have often been sold as the, "data wipe answer". they really aren't. they are an integral part of a hard drive's operation.

the best way to safely and easily destroy a hard drive is to to take off the cover and use a sharp edge to score the platter.

or fire

i like to save the magnets.

*sorry, zorg, didn't even see your post.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: flipper on March 01, 2013, 05:13:40 AM
Shred the platters.  Or cook them at a couple thousand degrees Celsius until you get graphene, then profit.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Hedaira on March 01, 2013, 12:13:48 PM
How conductive are the platters? You could use them to block gopher holes and snake some copper wiring to them and plug that shit in. Household current to the nose may irritate them enough to seek shelter elsewhere. Or just hook it up to a lightning rod and make a big statement the next time it rains.

Might want to run that one by the wife first, though.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: stormneedle on March 01, 2013, 12:46:47 PM
How conductive are the platters? You could use them to block gopher holes and snake some copper wiring to them and plug that shit in. Household current to the nose may irritate them enough to seek shelter elsewhere. Or just hook it up to a lightning rod and make a big statement the next time it rains.

Might want to run that one by the wife first, though.
:lol: :hmm: That has possibilities...
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: flipper on March 01, 2013, 01:03:38 PM
Plastique is the preferred gopher deterrent but this would definitely be cheaper.

Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on March 01, 2013, 01:06:54 PM
I'm basically not going to rest until the city lets me pump propane and oxygen into the tunnels and set it off.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on March 01, 2013, 03:25:57 PM
I have a ton of old hard drives lying around.  But, then, I still have saved emails from at least 1990, and just the other day I actually had reason to read through some emails from 1991.

I'm reminded of a conversation between Molly Ringwald and Judd Nelson.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on July 30, 2013, 05:29:14 PM
TIL that Wikipedia pages (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horse) shift to a different weird formatting (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horse) if you add an 'm' to their URL because that's the version for mobile devices.  A lot of links to Wikipedia go to the mobile version, which, to me, looks bad and recommends against mobile devices.  :lol:

Apparently I never scrolled all the way to the bottom of a mobile-version page, where it pretty much explains this.  :eyeroll:  I always just changed the URL immediately.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: the other andrea on September 07, 2013, 05:53:35 PM
Have you guys ever heard of Raspberry Pi (http://www.raspberrypi.org/faqs)? This seems like a great idea that should be catching on better.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: stormneedle on September 07, 2013, 06:29:47 PM
It's intriguing, but not enough for me to want to play with one yet.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Sidious on September 07, 2013, 07:07:36 PM
Have you guys ever heard of Raspberry Pi (http://www.raspberrypi.org/faqs)? This seems like a great idea that should be catching on better.

Oh yeah.  That's hot shit in the Linux and DIY universe, has been for about the last year.  I've been pondering getting one for a project I was thinking about undertaking.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: pdrake on September 08, 2013, 01:16:18 AM
from what i've read about it, it's really easy to do things with it and the online tutorials are easy to follow.

i still have this onion on my belt dragging me down.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on September 08, 2013, 10:29:15 AM
$25. That thing appears to be as capable as a couple of computers I've used regularly in the last couple of years. Weird there's no mention in the FAQ of its internet-friendly capabilities. Also weird that only they say you can connect it to a DVI monitor using an adaptor. Even I have a monitor with an HDMI input. They would stand a better shot at selling a ton of those if/when someone sells them with a case. Even a flimsy pop-open plastic case. It just doesn't look like a consumer device. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Sidious on September 08, 2013, 04:50:53 PM Well, it isn't really a "consumer device". It's really intended for people who are DIY oriented computer/technology hobbyists (like me) or for companies looking to use it as the platform for small computer products. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on September 08, 2013, 06:38:46 PM My casual observation is that this device has absolutely revolutionized the junior high school science fair scene. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on September 09, 2013, 10:17:25 AM Everything is a consumer device if you want to sell a LOT of them. And a cheapass snap-on case would be so easy. :shrug: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Sidious on September 19, 2013, 07:14:25 PM I have a 5 year old Dell XPS M1330 laptop whose motherboard died a year after I bought it. My 3 year old System76 (http://system76.com) laptop has a severe short that just developed in the monitor cable (which is not a product defect, just a symptom of very heavy use), leaving me without a fully functioning modern laptop. I have an 8 year old Toshiba Satellite that actually still works, but after rebuilding it a few weeks ago and spending just a few days using it, it became clear to me that that old beast just won't cut it anymore. So. For the 4-years defunct Dell: •$104.00 for a new motherboard
• $89.00 for a Samsung 120 GB solid state drive •$41.00 for 4 GB of RAM

For $234.00, I have a scorching fast laptop, actually better than the System76 machine it's subbing for, and that's actually saying something. The hard part was the (https://photos-4.dropbox.com/t/0/AABLDA0NenpU9qn_1btdipo7SWCagtbsCXZNZ7SCx_d9dg/12/7329050/jpeg/1024x768/3/1379642400/0/2/2013-09-07%2014.29.27.jpg/85FBVeOuTNrlfljzfBxP1n9_4jmdpAaHPs4teawb-_c) motherboard (https://photos-2.dropbox.com/t/0/AACzGaP0SBmL6nmH3rX_ZE4ckhtvFf57nqiS1n_5nA3rqQ/12/7329050/jpeg/1024x768/3/1379642400/0/2/2013-09-07%2014.30.03.jpg/CWbp-wbRz9EMf2k7F2xFnsRYCN0kCz6c6KzbVapSiqE) replacement (https://photos-1.dropbox.com/t/0/AADduG6kgmnnFwa_EemG7MFozHTs7PPHitABB5B9QSLZjw/12/7329050/jpeg/1024x768/3/1379642400/0/2/2013-09-07%2014.29.52.jpg/J-VR0WA-I40DPU6PBnX-blDauDKZjeRZuy3jGCZ54yU) itself (https://photos-5.dropbox.com/t/0/AACQvKi_Iq3oo2rP-ny-JfxDnKhCeg5yodcyTEiEJ3dvQg/12/7329050/jpeg/1024x768/3/1379642400/0/2/2013-09-07%2014.57.32.jpg/dwIyw-zrrDqG51ISVFvDTURu9vVm4c5GtmO59RNsMCY), but that went pretty well as an overall, and hard drive swapping and RAM operations are pretty easy, so all told this was effort and money well spent. EDIT: to fix Dropbox's stupid link URLs. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: flipper on September 19, 2013, 11:57:40 PM Can you do a story board of this in MSPaint? With lots of pretty colors, please. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on September 20, 2013, 12:23:54 AM Can you do a story board of this in MSPaint? With lots of pretty colors, please. :lol: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Sidious on September 20, 2013, 06:38:58 AM Can you do a story board of this in MSPaint? With lots of pretty colors, please. :spittake: :lol: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: the other andrea on October 01, 2013, 03:28:25 PM :rollin: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on October 08, 2013, 10:43:33 AM The DVD software I use has indeed stopped displaying subtitles. Pretty mysterious. I tried the same disks on my cheapass Oritron DVD player, and, presto, subtitles. Old disks whose subtitles used to work on the laptop, nope, no longer display subtitles. Meh. I use InterVideo WinDVD, which is now owned by Corel and is now insufferably fancy. :whatever: I'm not shelling out money for a whole heap of bullshit, so I guess I'll try looking for a new free player (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_video_player_software). Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on October 08, 2013, 01:26:45 PM Was there an auto update, maybe? Only one I know of and use is VLC, and I don't know how it compares with the others. It's free. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on October 08, 2013, 03:24:26 PM I still don't have internet at home, so it really shouldn't be an update issue. I see other people online complaining about the same problem, although not with the same software. I had a version of VLC a million years ago, but it was too primitive. Didn't even do widescreen properly. They've probably improved it since then. I'll probably download it and bring it home on flashdrive. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on October 08, 2013, 08:12:37 PM new version of VLC is pretty nice. i also have good luck with zoom player. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: phyre on October 09, 2013, 12:02:16 PM Second vote for VLC. I don't know what's up with the weird traffic cone icon, but it's a solid player for most of what I'm doing. Which isn't ever DVDs, actually, so this recommendation may be pointless. Sorry. Hope it works for you. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on October 09, 2013, 12:18:54 PM I think the only issue I had with VLC was that it had really weird fast-forward and rewind controls that weren't keyboard-friendly. But of course they may have changed that. I tried my ancient version with the aforementioned DVDs, and it displays the subtitles, although it insists on displaying them on top of the video. Which isn't terrible, but my actual DVD player knows to lower the subtitles if the picture's widescreen, and so did WinDVD. This version of VLC turns out to have a setting for forcing the subtitles downward, but it doesn't seem to work. I didn't install the latest version yet. They may have fixed these things. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on October 11, 2013, 01:08:26 PM Quote from: not MY IT department, thank Jobs Hello, We would like to give our users advanced warning of a particularly nasty piece of malware that is currently circulating and has actively infected multiple machines on our network. This malware, commonly known as CryptoLocker, will encrypt any documents and user files that it can find as soon as a machine is infected. The encryption scheme used by this malware is unbreakable, once files are encrypted they cannot be decrypted by any modern computer. Any files encrypted by this malware will be completely unrecoverable unless a backup can be found on a network share. Annnnnd, ten minutes later Quote from: those same guys However, I have needed to make an immediate change to how our email system operates. Effective this morning, our email server will classify any message with a Windows executable file (i.e. .EXE, .COM, .VBS, etc.) attachment as spam. These messages will be trapped and delivered to your Spam mailbox and not appear in your INBOX. I appologize for any inconvenience, but we already have had two faculty members forced to make a choice between losing data and paying a ransom to get it back. This IT group might be the last holdouts still insisting on an all-Windows shop. Obviously their clients are paying a huge price for this. UNIX, MOTHERFUCKER, DO YOU SPEAK IT Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on October 11, 2013, 01:29:55 PM sudo speak Linux Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Sidious on October 11, 2013, 07:41:23 PM sudo speak Linux stormneedle is not in the sudoers file. This incident will be reported. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on October 13, 2013, 10:47:16 PM I've been chortling at your response all weekend. I don't have a good riposte, though. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Sidious on October 14, 2013, 06:53:15 AM (http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2012/073/3/e/fencing_shirt_design_by_ajrosen-d4sreyz.png) Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on October 14, 2013, 08:51:25 AM That makes a hell of a lot more sense. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on October 14, 2013, 03:42:52 PM The pun got lost across the page break, but :hisey: anyways. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on October 19, 2013, 01:46:24 PM So . . . my theory as to the embarrassingly bad new Google login screen is that they're hoping most people will switch to always-logged-in just to stop having to see that screen. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on October 24, 2013, 09:59:51 AM Some times it pays to procrastinate. With the new Mac OS being given away for free, I will be able to skip from OS 10.5 to OS 10.9 for$20.

I've avoided paying for two updates  :banana:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: flipper on October 24, 2013, 01:29:03 PM
Well played ECM :clap:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: the other andrea on October 25, 2013, 12:45:26 PM
:diabolical:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Hisey on November 09, 2013, 08:32:32 AM
This is going to sound really stupid... but here goes anyway.

I went to the good housekeeping site to see if the good housekeeping seal of approval really means anything (I now forget why) and now I'm getting their newsletter.
I didn't sign up for it, my phone is just too small to do that kinda crap.

what gives? In all honesty I like the newsletter.. but.. I didn't do anything to get it.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on November 09, 2013, 10:20:51 AM
I don't think they have that capability (yet), and if they did, I think Good Housekeeping is legit enough to not do things in that manner.

There's a 'subscribe to newsletter' icon (the envelope) at the bottom of the page. If you happened to hover over that, and if you have auto-fill enabled in your phone's browser, and you hit enter (however you do that on your phone), then that would be my guess how it happened.

Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Sidious on November 09, 2013, 11:00:51 AM
This is going to sound really stupid... but here goes anyway.

I went to the good housekeeping site to see if the good housekeeping seal of approval really means anything (I now forget why) and now I'm getting their newsletter.
I didn't sign up for it, my phone is just too small to do that kinda crap.

what gives? In all honesty I like the newsletter.. but.. I didn't do anything to get it.

Facebook has actually gotten into trouble for this kind of thing.  If you have "stay signed in" checked on FB, the cookie will interact with FB widget code on gazillions of sites out there and centrally track your activities outside of Facebook.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Hisey on November 09, 2013, 05:06:15 PM
That just intensifies the hate side of my love/hate relationship with facebook. Jerks.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on November 09, 2013, 05:40:44 PM
People are changing their FB names by using diacritical marks to spoof search-by-name. I don't think it's gonna work, but I'm having fun with it anyway. I've just learned you're only allowed to change your name ~5 times. So Elizabeth Taylor really would have been stuck after a while
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on November 09, 2013, 06:25:51 PM
I'm kinda paranoid, and I obviously don't trust FB, but I still doubt GH got the email address from reading a FB cookie. I see how it could be possible, but if that were happening, it seems like it would be on a much larger scale, and people would be complaining about it.

I know everyone sees ads on FB for products from other websites they've visited, even on other computers, not logged in, etc., and that proves the technological capability, but if every web site that partners with FB can harvest your email address, it seems like it would become pretty obvious quickly as your inbox filled up.

And if someone was going to partner with FB to do this, they'd probably have to pay FB a good amount for the privilege. I can't imagine GH would be that player. Ikea, Home Depot, some big retailer like that, yeah, maybe.

Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on November 10, 2013, 01:06:03 PM
I only Fbook in Chrome's anonymous mode, and Chrome's set to dump cookies.  I notice that Chrome still autofinishes my username when I log in to Fbook, though.  :eyeroll:

If you take the time to nix every ad you see for being inappropriate or irrelevant, it eventually really does cut down on the ads.  Nowadays, I almost solely see Fbook-related stuff instead of ads for other companies.  Not really sure if that's an improvement, but it's different.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Hisey on November 10, 2013, 10:30:54 PM
Maybe I'll just chalk it up to user error.

I have no recollection of signing up though. .weird.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on November 11, 2013, 07:41:50 AM
It's quite possible it was done in some nefarious way. I dunno. I don't even have a smart phone, but from what little I know, it seems it might be easy to touch the screen the wrong way and do something you didn't intend to. It appears you can sign up for the newsletter with one click, but I didn't follow through with it and see if that's really true.

It's interesting. If it was done with cookies, I'd like to know.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on January 16, 2014, 02:36:08 PM
Chrome is currently blocking all Google sites, claiming the certificate is invalid.

WELP . . . :shrug:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: the other andrea on January 16, 2014, 03:54:37 PM
:rollin:

(sorry, can't help myself)
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on January 16, 2014, 04:04:07 PM
:lol:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Sidious on January 16, 2014, 08:44:21 PM
:spittake: :lol:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: pdrake on January 17, 2014, 03:46:19 PM
did google hire some fucking microsoft engineers to start doing the chrome upgrades?

seriously, chrome can't run shit anymore and doesn't recognize the simplest commands like, "print".
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on January 17, 2014, 08:42:40 PM
Quote
...ownership of a Chrome extension can be transferred to another party, and users are never informed when an ownership change happens. Malware and adware vendors have caught wind of this and have started showing up at the doors of extension authors, looking to buy their extensions.

Nice.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on January 18, 2014, 01:09:10 PM
I know.  I'm not even sad anymore that Google has toileted itself so hard.  I don't know WTF is going on with them, but apparently the higher-ups have just gotten bored with internet anything and are really into robots now.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: pdrake on February 24, 2014, 05:40:37 PM
http://gizmodo.com/why-apples-huge-security-flaw-is-so-scary-1529041062/@whitsongordon

i don't think it effects older versions of OSX, so if you're not on maverick i would stay off of it. i could be wrong. i'm still not going to maverick until my scanning software is supported.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: flipper on February 24, 2014, 06:35:35 PM
Why go to maverick if everything is currently working fine.  I forget which version of OSX I'm on at home but I think I skipped the last couple.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on February 24, 2014, 07:28:39 PM
Yeah, don't go to Mavericks. Trust me.

Quote
Security researchers haven't ruled out the possibility that earlier versions are also affected.
-ars technica (http://arstechnica.com/security/2014/02/extremely-critical-crypto-flaw-in-ios-may-also-affect-fully-patched-macs/)

https://www.imperialviolet.org:1266/
You should get an error when clicking on that link.

But even if your browser is okay, Mail is still insecure. Nice work, Apple  :rolleyes:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on February 24, 2014, 08:02:27 PM

It seems like they could use the software update system to notify users, even if they don't have a patch ready. I mean, this article came out last week, and I just heard about it today. By the way, thanks, pdrake  :thumbsup:

Fortunately, I haven't done anything online that requires any security. Lately  :uncertain:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: pdrake on February 25, 2014, 07:02:25 PM
yep, fucking software update pops up every few days to tell me to update itunes you think it could tell me about the leak. software companies would rather annoy you than help you.

mavericks does have some nice features, but until the all of it works stay away.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on February 27, 2014, 07:30:17 PM
The update came out two days ago, but I never got a notification it was available  :eyeroll:

I only knew because my sister told me. I had warned her about the vulnerability. None of my siblings were aware of it.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT6150 Looks like a lot of holes were patched.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: pdrake on February 27, 2014, 07:38:19 PM
i wonder if they fixed the adobe problems. maybe i'll update this weekend. i can always go back. that's the nice thing about time machine.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on March 03, 2014, 01:39:19 PM
Microsoft, World of Idiots (http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9246705/Microsoft_misjudges_customer_loyalty_with_kill_XP_plea)

This is specifically about MS's request to customers that they get their friends and relatives to dump XP for Windows 8.  The overwhelming response has been that Windows 8 is so awful, no one wants to recommend it to their friends and family.  Meanwhile, MS's PR department remains steadfastly clueless.

Support for XP, including security updates, ends in a little over a month.  Per the article, almost 30% of PCs worldwide still run XP.

This could actually be the end of Windows.  I know MS's board wants to get rid of Windows, but I don't know if they realize they might be forcing the issue.  Maybe this incompetence is intentional.  Maybe they want to kill their own market share to give them an excuse.

I doubt it, but those are your choices, MS:  Cowardly anti-customer scheming or utter incompetence.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Sidious on March 03, 2014, 08:30:42 PM
Microsoft really does not understand technology markets.  That's kind of a big deal, considering what they do and what they make.

Anyone want to take bets on when they're going to get a government bailout?
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: stormneedle on March 03, 2014, 09:10:04 PM
Hopefully right before we have to pay licensing fees for SQL Server 2014...
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on March 04, 2014, 10:58:06 AM
That's the thing, reportedly the board wants to drop all the individual-consumer products entirely and just go after enterprise software.  Because if MS learned anything from IBM, it's to steal products and marketshare from IBM.

What they should have learned from IBM is that IBM's business strategy isn't that great, either.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: pdrake on March 13, 2014, 03:21:46 PM
this is neat.

Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on March 13, 2014, 04:24:58 PM
I was just looking at that the other day. These are the guys who claimed that if the Malaysia flight flew over the peninsula, they'd know, because they have a transponder right there. :hmm:

Very impressive site. Takes a while to load. But the data are incredible.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: flipper on March 13, 2014, 10:20:41 PM
Science Friday was awesome last week.  Just caught up on the podcasts.  Anyway, this one of the cutting edge of neuroscience was pretty cool.  Total Recall (http://www.sciencefriday.com/segment/03/07/2014/michio-kaku-imagines-the-future-of-the-mind.html) appears to be coming our way.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: pdrake on March 13, 2014, 10:49:47 PM
I was just looking at that the other day. These are the guys who claimed that if the Malaysia flight flew over the peninsula, they'd know, because they have a transponder right there. :hmm:

Very impressive site. Takes a while to load. But the data are incredible.

it's amazing to watch the little planes move as you can hear them over your house. (i live in a flight path. most people in vegas do, our airport is in the middle of the city.)
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: stormneedle on March 14, 2014, 12:27:42 AM
I leave this one as an exercise for somebody else. I don't get what they're trying to do there.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on March 14, 2014, 01:51:45 PM
I don't know, but we did some New Math stuff when I was in elementary and grammar school, and I looked at some of my old papers a few years ago and didn't remember how half of it worked.  It was strange stuff.  We were doing number line things that were equally mysterious to that image.  Beats me.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: stormneedle on March 14, 2014, 09:02:09 PM
Turned out to be a PDF error. That's a bit easier to understand, I guess.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on April 03, 2014, 02:13:00 PM

Obligatory: I know Mary Voytek from way back. Hi Mary! ;) This is more fun than the dumb arsenate story.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on April 03, 2014, 02:16:54 PM
Huh.  Different spelling, same last name as me.  It gets around.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: stormneedle on April 03, 2014, 03:35:24 PM

I guess there isn't' life there, because we haven't gotten a "ATTEMPT NO LANDINGS THERE" message.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on April 04, 2014, 09:49:32 AM
Not that we've translated, as yet.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on July 20, 2014, 03:45:30 PM
Bought a refurb Dell OptiPlex SX280 real cheap, for the shop.  Didn't realize it was an ultra-small form factor beast that has the weird gigantic external transformer.

I'm kind of mystified by it, in fact.  The transformer brick is larger than the power supply in any PC I've ever owned.  SO HUGE.  I assume not having a transformer inside the computer is so they could make the main box smaller, but it's really not that small.  I guess maybe for when it first came out in 2004, but sheesh.  And maybe the brick is huge because it doesn't have cooling fans and needs to have surface area for cooling, although it seems like it could have been designed better if that's the case.

Beats me.  Weird, though.  Still, it's a big upgrade over the machine it's replacing.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: stormneedle on November 03, 2014, 11:51:51 AM
Wife got me a tool set from https://www.ifixit.com/, which is sort of a "repair high tech goodies" site.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: phyre on November 03, 2014, 12:12:47 PM
I'm totally jealous. I keep wanting to buy a damaged iPad off eBay and fix it with some of those tools.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on November 03, 2014, 12:13:02 PM
Wife got me a tool set from https://www.ifixit.com/, which is sort of a "repair high tech goodies" site.

They're the guys who sold me the MBP battery that said it was an Apple product but actuallly didn't fit (I mean, it fit, but squashed the trackpad buttons so they didn't work).

They're highly rated & local, but use caution.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on December 10, 2014, 02:32:45 PM
Quote from: NASA
ROSES-14 Amendment 44: Release of a new call: C.21, Small, Innovative Missions for Planetary Exploration.

The Small, Innovative Missions for Planetary Exploration (SIMPLEx) call supports the formulation and development of science investigations that require a spaceflight mission that can be accomplished using small spacecraft. All proposed investigations must be responsive to the goals of the Planetary Science Division as described in the 2014 Science Mission Directorate Science Plan available at http://science1.nasa.gov/about‑us/science‑strategy/. Proposed investigations may target any body in the Solar System except for the Earth and Sun, in order to advance the objectives outlined in the Science Plan. Investigations of extra‑solar planets are not solicited in this NRA.

Well shit, they had me going there until the last sentence.

You guys have any good ideas for this? ;)
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: vox8 on December 12, 2014, 09:52:19 AM
OK, I don't normally come in here - but I have something y'all might be able to answer.

I have an idea that would involve some sort of programming, and if I had any freaking clue how to do this kind of stuff I am guessing it wouldn't be particularly hard. But as the internet is pretty much magic elves with paint brushes to me I am working blind.

Background:
Ravelry is an online community for fiber artists and it is ridiculously huge. It is also my primary way of selling shit to people. While it has a lot of social stuff it is first and foremost a giant database of knitting & crochet patterns.

I sell digital PDFs of my knitting patterns via Ravelry direct to consumer. But there is also a function where Local Yarn Stores can sign up to sell patterns from participating designers to their customers and the proceeds are split with the designers.

The challenge is that the LYS doesn't just let customers browse on their computers and it is difficult for the LYS to communicate/market/advertise what patterns are available.

The Ravelry Database has a "Remember & Compare" function that can allow you to narrow down the patterns you want to look at.

What I want to do is create a program (I have no idea where to start, something like Greasemonkey?). The LYS will first search the database and narrow down the patterns it wants to feature.

I want them to be able to push a "create file" button (or something) and the program will go in and pull the information from selected Data fields and place said info into a standard template that will have, say, four patterns arranged on a page. The program will take the data and generate something like a PDF that can be saved and then printed out. The print out can be used in the store to promote the patterns that the LYS has selected and hopefully some of mine will be on there.

Currently most of the LYSs have big binders full of printed patterns that customers browse through. My hope is to replace these binders with pages of patterns available online.

Ravelry is already set up with an incredibly powerful database so none of that stuff needs to be figured out. All that needs to happen is for the program to be able to look at the page of patterns and pull specific fields out and plop them into corresponding fields in the template/document - whatever it needs to be.

The guy who codes Ravelry has said that he will give the API to people who want to develop stuff - so that is available if I knew what the hell to do with it. I am pretty sure he has mentioned that it is in Ruby on Rails (if that is a real thing). The question is, what do I need to learn to be able to do this or where could I find someone that I could get to do this for me (who won't charge me like, a billion dollars to do it)?

Or I could be asking for the moon? I know enough to say I have NO CLUE.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: pdrake on December 12, 2014, 12:14:42 PM
i don't know what you need to learn, but i've gotten quotes to have simple apps developed (spinning prize wheel) and it starts at around $10K. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: vox8 on December 12, 2014, 04:39:13 PM i don't know what you need to learn, but i've gotten quotes to have simple apps developed (spinning prize wheel) and it starts at around$10K.

That is a very useful piece of information.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on December 12, 2014, 05:49:42 PM
You might try emailing PsiDefect. He works with RoR I think. He might be able to point you to someone who could help.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: phyre on January 16, 2015, 11:21:04 AM
Ok, so for those that haven't seen it on FB, here's my latest attempt at hackery: the Chromecastic stereo. Basically, this: https://gigaom.com/2014/02/08/how-i-turned-my-chromecast-into-a-45-networked-audio-adapter/

I had to use a "dummy plug" to make the adapter work; in this case, the "plug" is nothing more than a 91 ohm resistor pushed in to 2 of the holes on the VGA end of the adapter. I taped it down so it doesn't lose it's connection, but otherwise, no real work involved here.

I hooked it up to the stereo in my kids playroom, and now I can use my tablet or phone to play music without them having to have a TV or computer monitor in the room- this is a big thing for me, because I don't want them to get used to looking at a screen all of the time.

I just waited until there was a deal on Chromecasts, and in this case, they've got a $20 credit on Google Play, so that knocked the$30 price tag down a bit.

Edit: here's the finished product
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on January 16, 2015, 11:41:05 AM
Huh.  I'd never heard of Chromecast before.

Nice hack.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on January 16, 2015, 04:12:56 PM
I'm so clueless in this area, it's really embarrassing.

Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on January 17, 2015, 12:05:18 PM
I have a computer.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Sidious on January 17, 2015, 04:18:41 PM
Ok, so for those that haven't seen it on FB, here's my latest attempt at hackery: the Chromecastic stereo. Basically, this: https://gigaom.com/2014/02/08/how-i-turned-my-chromecast-into-a-45-networked-audio-adapter/

I had to use a "dummy plug" to make the adapter work; in this case, the "plug" is nothing more than a 91 ohm resistor pushed in to 2 of the holes on the VGA end of the adapter. I taped it down so it doesn't lose it's connection, but otherwise, no real work involved here.

I hooked it up to the stereo in my kids playroom, and now I can use my tablet or phone to play music without them having to have a TV or computer monitor in the room- this is a big thing for me, because I don't want them to get used to looking at a screen all of the time.

I just waited until there was a deal on Chromecasts, and in this case, they've got a $20 credit on Google Play, so that knocked the$30 price tag down a bit.

Edit: here's the finished product

This is a really good idea.  I should buy a second Chromecast for this purpose.  Sounds easy enough to execute.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: phyre on January 19, 2015, 07:20:01 AM
If you do, I'd recommend cracking open the case of the VGA adapter and soldering the resistor on. Mine lost it's connection yesterday (even taped so it didn't move around), so I'm planning to do that. In the meantime, I just wiggled it around until it connected again, but I'll be damned if I have to do that every time I want to use it. I'll just make it a permanent connection and be done with it.

Also, FYI: it looks like the deal I got isn't available anymore, but you can set a search up on Slickdeals and have Feedly pull the RSS from the search; that way it just comes up in your feed when they go on sale.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: pdrake on January 19, 2015, 12:08:09 PM
(https://donewithaa.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/dunce21.jpg)
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Sidious on January 19, 2015, 10:08:46 PM
If you do, I'd recommend cracking open the case of the VGA adapter and soldering the resistor on. Mine lost it's connection yesterday (even taped so it didn't move around), so I'm planning to do that. In the meantime, I just wiggled it around until it connected again, but I'll be damned if I have to do that every time I want to use it. I'll just make it a permanent connection and be done with it.

Cool, that sounds like solid advice.  The problem with taping it is that even any motion at all with it can cause some connection weirdness when it comes to resistors.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: phyre on January 20, 2015, 08:49:37 AM
Yeah, I went ahead and did it yesterday- it was hard to solder to the pins in the connector, so I just soldered to the back side of the circuit board. The case had to be literally cracked open on one side to allow the 3.5mm phono connector to slide out, so it's not overly pretty, but even with the resistor inside, it slid back in to the case. Point of caution: the solder points on the board are super tiny, so use a magnifier (or one of those helping-hands things with the magnifier built in), and a good light source.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: phyre on January 20, 2015, 10:41:59 AM
I was thinking about how to express to my father how much water is being added to the oceans each year by climate change- he doesn't buy in to the whole thing, and I think he's nuts for wanting to buy a Lincoln Navigator, so this is the logical thing to do. Ok, maybe not, but I wanted to find a way to express it.

I wound up trying to find out how much sea level rise we're currently recording, which turns out to be around 3mm per year (HMOF may have a better number, of course). I decided to find out how much water is in just one millimeter of sea level rise, which turns out to be 360 gigatonnes. I know what you're thinking, "Well, duh, man; everybody knows that." and "WTF is a gigatonne anyways?"; my thought was more to the latter. Rather than walk through my laborious use of Internet converters, Army logistics sites and use of MS Calculator, I'll lay out some equivalencies:

1mm sea level rise = 360 GT = 86.3685930223 cu.miles = 12,713,280,010,000 cu.ft = 95,101,938,770,000 gal = 417,113,766,535 wrapped pallets with 500ml bottles = 18,959,716,661 trucks full of pallets of water. This is a cube of water 4.420302  (23,339.2 feet) miles high, wide, and long.

Initially, I was trying to find an expression in gallons, but it turns out that's a number so huge that people can't really grok it- I don't like to talk about things higher than the millions, because people start thinking all the higher numbers are the same and it blurs the meaning. In seeking a representation someone like my dad could get, I thought I might convert the cubic miles to figure out how that would look as a single cube; that's how I arrived at the last measure, the cube of water 4.42 miles high/wide/long- which is being added to our oceans every 4 months.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on January 20, 2015, 12:54:05 PM
Quote
I think he's nuts for wanting to buy a Lincoln Navigator

You are correct.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on January 21, 2015, 07:02:45 AM

Initially, I was trying to find an expression in gallons, but it turns out that's a number so huge that people can't really grok it- I don't like to talk about things higher than the millions, because people start thinking all the higher numbers are the same and it blurs the meaning. In seeking a representation someone like my dad could get, I thought I might convert the cubic miles to figure out how that would look as a single cube; that's how I arrived at the last measure, the cube of water 4.42 miles high/wide/long- which is being added to our oceans every 4 months.

The cube was a great idea. All the numbers presented were obviously large, but inconceivable as far as actual volume. At least for me. That cube stretches down to the Kroger  :P and it reaches up into the clouds. Actually, maybe you should have leveled it off to the height of some skyscraper he's familiar with, because we really don't have much reference for 4.5 miles up.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on January 21, 2015, 10:11:46 AM
Coool. I like this way of analogizing things. Er.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: phyre on January 21, 2015, 01:14:00 PM
The cube was a great idea. All the numbers presented were obviously large, but inconceivable as far as actual volume. At least for me. That cube stretches down to the Kroger  :P and it reaches up into my butts. Actually, maybe you should have leveled it off to the height of some skyscraper he's familiar with, because we really don't have much reference for 4.5 miles up.

Yeah, exactly. The closest thing conceptually is flight altitude- if you're flying at 20-25K feet, for example. The downside is that even with that kind of measure, it's hard for a person to conceptualize. The argument would go "picture flying at X feet, then look out and just see the top of this cube of water"- that still makes it hard to grok, because people really don't have a firm grasp for how far away from the ground they are when they're X feet up in the air- probably the only ones who've got a good concept for it are skydivers, because they have the opportunity to jump from planes and experience these kinds of distances in person.

I think part of the benefit of running this kind of exercise is that it's helping me to personally understand this, even if I can't find a good way to explain it to others. Unfortunately, that may become it's only benefit...  ;)
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on January 21, 2015, 06:17:37 PM
Probably so. The last decade or so has embodied a powerful lesson for me in the power of denial and the inability of most people to envision a future that extends longer than their retirement plan (or their next paycheck, for that matter). We lost to this. And make no mistake, we lost. There is nothing we can do now that can stop what is going to be, for many people and other species, devastating climate change caused by human alteration of the climate.

I just don't know if it's worth continuing to educate people and do research on this any more. Those who already get it, already get it. Those who don't yet, never will and don't matter anyway. We can, if we work hard at it now, shorten the climate's recovery from this abrupt shock by tens of thousands of years. But who the hell cares about that? Gas is cheap, plan a trip up the Alaska Highway!

I'll stop now. I am done. Sorry.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on January 21, 2015, 06:46:50 PM
I always say:  A squirrel knows in September what it will eat in March.

Squirrels are better at long-term planning than humans are.  SQUIRRELS.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: pdrake on January 21, 2015, 09:31:02 PM
appropriate

https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/squirrel-appreciation-day/
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on January 22, 2015, 12:10:50 AM
(https://40.media.tumblr.com/0d4bf0c2118edfc86b9ae0f21ed0cf56/tumblr_nikbpatgIt1srbpb0o1_540.jpg)
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on January 22, 2015, 08:43:05 AM

With the new trash service we have here, we were supplied with trash cans, so I put my old one in the backyard with the lid open so it could air out. This was back in the fall. Flash forward to a couple days ago to when I finally venture out there to look in it again, and it's almost full of water. And there's a half-decomposed chipmunk floating in there  :(

I can't believe he managed to get in there. It's slick fiberglass without any edges or rough surfaces to grab onto. There is a tree within a few feet that he might have jumped from. I dunno, I'm kind of baffled by it. I guess maybe they have the same knack that squirrels have for getting into things, but without the intelligence that squirrels have. Poor things. They're so dumb and defenseless, running around like a snickers bar, waving a flag and sounding the alarm to draw attention to themselves. The only thing they have going for them is camouflage and speed, but when your legs are like an inch long, that speed doesn't help much.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on January 22, 2015, 09:45:54 AM
:( Bummer. I've always had a kind of wary appreciation for squirrels, but I've always loved chipmunks for some reason. Cheeky without the creepy.

This also made me think: man, if I'd left a trash can upright and full of water in my yard that long we'd all have dengue or something. {insert Archer gif} "Do you want mosquitoes? THIS IS HOW YOU GET MOSQUITOES." I'm super surprised you didn't (unless it's been just too cold for them the whole time). We seem to get a small number of them year round, now.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on January 22, 2015, 05:01:35 PM
It's one of the few things good about winter here - no mosquitoes, gnats, flies, etc. Well, hardly any.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on January 22, 2015, 05:43:40 PM
It used to freeze here regularly from November to February, and that did a number on the skeeters. Hasn't done that in a long while. We've had, like, a week of barely freezing temperatures and no hard frosts this year. Been that way for years. Anyway, we're catching mosquitoes around now. SUCKS.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on January 28, 2015, 01:59:41 PM
Wiring up some LED lights . . . I have, like, no wire that's appropriate.  NO wire?  Meh.  Found some salvaged stranded wire of about the right size, but I am not skilled enough to strip stranded wire without losing 3-5 strands every time, and by the end of a wiring project it's time for me to start all over again.

Lowe's didn't have wire appropriate for low-amp 12v.  REALLY, LOWE'S?  Guy told me, well, try AutoZone.  If it were convenient, sure.  I was stuck at the mall, and, uh, the mall still has a Radio Shack.  Weird.  Radio Shack . . . does not carry wire anymore.  :nonplused:

Bought it on Amazon.  Fuck it.

My main question now is if I can homemake a powerful LED light that's weatherproof but that won't overheat and cook the LEDs.  We'll see.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: pdrake on January 28, 2015, 03:40:52 PM
i've been buying these for work. they work great and they're pretty cheap.

not that it's what you need, but it's waterproof.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004T0BM0O/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on January 28, 2015, 07:01:19 PM
I'd like to try that sort, but I haven't, yet.  I do have some similar to these (http://www.amazon.com/LEMONBEST®-General-Daytime-Running-Driving/dp/B00IPE8TFG/ref=sr_1_10), but I haven't tested them for actual weatherproofiness.

The cheapest brightest ones I have are all bare COB types.  They're hellaciously bright, but they do heat up, and they can't be exposed.  I can think of engineering solutions, but not easy DIY ones.  I may have to attempt something strange.

Which wouldn't be the first time . . . .
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on January 28, 2015, 11:44:28 PM
So you don't have a Mar-Vac Electronics nearby then.

Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on January 29, 2015, 01:15:14 PM
CVS is the best hardware store of any kind within walking distance of the shop.  There's an Ace Hardware about halfway between the shop and my house, roughly 1.5 miles from either one.

That's as close as it gets.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: pdrake on January 29, 2015, 05:02:42 PM
i have one of these about a mile from the office.

http://www.frys.com/

Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: the other andrea on January 31, 2015, 01:46:57 PM
gellous  :harumph:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on January 31, 2015, 02:29:47 PM
Got the wire.  Nice thick insulation . . . that smells very creepy.  Frankly, I wish I'd worn gloves when I was working with it.  The insulation is harder to remove than average.

Eventually I tried using wire ties instead, like frickin' MacGuyver.  Seems fine for 12v, and it's just sooo much easier to work with.  If I get around to soldering stuff, I'll go back to the stranded copper, but for just fooling around, forget it.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: the other andrea on February 01, 2015, 02:10:18 PM
I have a brand new soldering kit I bought like a year ago, but am terrified to use it. I just have to solder a couple of wires to contact points on a dollhouse electrical connection. Why does it intimidate me so much?  :bummed:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on February 01, 2015, 02:45:08 PM
Regular soldering irons are definitely potentially scary, because they're definitely potentially dangerous.  Small finer-work soldering irons are way less alarming.  You could burn yourself if you're not careful (you really want a holster you can shove the thing into, to hold it, and not just a little wire stand or something), but you're a lot less likely to accidentally set something on fire.

I have a ColdHeat 'soldering pen', which is far less scary but kind of tricky, and apparently not well-suited for delicate electronics because of its tendency to create arcs and induce currents.  WELL, you can't have everything.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on February 02, 2015, 05:39:04 PM
In other news,
Science magazine has a special issue on privacy (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/current). Rumor has it it's open for reading to non-subscribers for a week, so read fast. I haven't looked at it yet but the articles are all interesting.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on February 02, 2015, 09:55:22 PM

Read anything else interesting in other issues we should grab while we can?
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: stormneedle on February 03, 2015, 10:12:59 PM

TL;DR - on a Chromebook, hit CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+Reload and watch the world spin.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: phyre on February 04, 2015, 11:40:39 AM
I'm going to try that!

Edit: Video for those who don't have a chromebook/don't want to waste the time. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmf_IqdYWF0)
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on February 04, 2015, 04:03:20 PM

Read anything else interesting in other issues we should grab while we can?

I'm not sure. I don't read Science all that much. It's been all molecular-neuro-omics-medico for decades and that's mostly boring to me. Nature has a lot more interesting stuff to an earth scientist.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: the other andrea on February 04, 2015, 06:40:54 PM
My brother just discovered that the volume down button on his new TV soundbar remote turns the heater on and off...   :smug:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Sidious on February 04, 2015, 10:30:36 PM
I'm going to try that!

Edit: Video for those who don't have a chromebook/don't want to waste the time. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmf_IqdYWF0)

:lol: I'm going to try that too!
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on February 22, 2015, 04:35:25 PM
So, weirdly enough, on-again / off-again mad scientist Elon Musk has gone on the record saying that space elevators (the physical kind, at least) are ridiculous and unfeasible.

I agree, but this is the guy who's plugging Hyperloop, which is even more ridiculous than a space elevator.  :shrug:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: flipper on February 23, 2015, 12:35:05 AM
A comic that I know, Alex Koll did a bunch of shorts called Elevator to Space.  Some of them were really hilarious.  They're roughly curated on youtube and vimeo but they used to have their own site.  Clicky here to check some out (http://www.spaceelevatorblog.com/?p=1852)
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Sidious on February 23, 2015, 07:28:49 PM
I've never really understood how anyone with even a basic understanding of physics could think of space elevators as anything other than unfeasible.  The forces involved far exceed the capabilities of all known materials.

That's not to say that the concept is impossible; but not within our lifetimes. I've never encountered an argument for space elevators that addressed the physics issue satisfactorily.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on February 23, 2015, 08:09:57 PM
Carbon nanotubes of course! ;)

This is a universal science fiction problem/trope that I really think is contributing significantly to a lot of problems that our society is having now. Wave a hand, you've got FTL travel. Wave a hand, you've got transparent aluminum. Lone rogue scientist, working outside "the system," invents (plot device) that (saves the ship/cures cancer/goes faster than light/fusion reactor/travels through time/summons Cthulhu). Overnight. And the authors or filmmakers all say, oh, it's imaginative but it's there to advance the story, and it really doesn't matter that the laws of physics/chemistry/biology/commonfuckingsense don't allow it. Repeat that trope often enough and people (who are suggestible due to the fact that we are memetically programmed devices) will start to believe it, and that aliens shot JFK, vaccine ingredients cause autism, and altering the atmospheric composition with a gas that absorbs infrared radiation will not alter the climate. I don't really know what to do about this, except maybe to actually teach people about science, rather than teaching them a collection of facts and names, but that might not even work with some people, because, well, anything is possible, isn't it? And then they fill in the blanks and ta-daah, societal collapse. I'm extrapolating a bit here but I read a Metafilter thread today (you know, supposed to be the smart, thoughtful people) that really just took away any hope I have for this country anyway.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Sidious on February 23, 2015, 09:08:16 PM
Carbon nanotubes of course! ;)

:angry:

Quote
This is a universal science fiction problem/trope that I really think is contributing significantly to a lot of problems that our society is having now. Wave a hand, you've got FTL travel. Wave a hand, you've got transparent aluminum. Lone rogue scientist, working outside "the system," invents (plot device) that (saves the ship/cures cancer/goes faster than light/fusion reactor/travels through time/summons Cthulhu). Overnight. And the authors or filmmakers all say, oh, it's imaginative but it's there to advance the story, and it really doesn't matter that the laws of physics/chemistry/biology/commonfuckingsense don't allow it. Repeat that trope often enough and people (who are suggestible due to the fact that we are memetically programmed devices) will start to believe it, and that aliens shot JFK, vaccine ingredients cause autism, and altering the atmospheric composition with a gas that absorbs infrared radiation will not alter the climate. I don't really know what to do about this, except maybe to actually teach people about science, rather than teaching them a collection of facts and names, but that might not even work with some people, because, well, anything is possible, isn't it? And then they fill in the blanks and ta-daah, societal collapse. I'm extrapolating a bit here but I read a Metafilter thread today (you know, supposed to be the smart, thoughtful people) that really just took away any hope I have for this country anyway.

Right there with ya.  I don't really know what to do either.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on February 24, 2015, 08:26:19 AM
(http://i.imgur.com/O5lgAocl.jpg)

(in case you haven't already seen it)
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on February 24, 2015, 10:26:42 AM
With space elevators, it's not just a materials problem, anyway.  The engineering issues are phenomenal.

I mean, just for starters, are you gonna build it from the bottom up?  Probably not.  Building it from the top down means rocketing a LOT of your nanobits way, way up there.  How much does your elevator weigh?  Because the whole point of building it is to NOT have to rocket lots of weight up there . . . .

And don't drop the elevator while you're building it!  Or afterward.  I know, people want to build ones with a center of mass way up high so that if, SAY, terrorists bomb the bottom or fly a plane into the thing, it'll just spin off harmlessly into space.  Assuming it never comes back . . . [ahem] . . . that's great, except now you have to start over from scratch.

If you have an orbital error, then the space elevator gets wound up across the Earth's surface.  Like a freight train made of meteorites.  Wouldn't that be exciting?  I bet it would!

Never mind that we've never built elevators that travel for thousands of miles without getting stuck.  According to Otis (the elevator company), an average modern elevator goes about a thousand miles between incidents of getting stuck.  Granted, if we spent a lot of money on them, we could do better, but space elevators would have a lot of other exciting physical requirements.  Probably the best ones would use multiple tracks and many small cars, each one barely big enough to carry a human in a space suit.  But even then, carbon nanotubes don't handwave it.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on February 24, 2015, 03:28:07 PM
(in case you haven't already seen it)

I've got it. I haven't cracked it yet - I'm having too many headaches lately and I'm sure this will give me another one. I'm having a lot of problems with NGM in the last decade or two. I'm kind of tired of their corpse fetish, for one thing. And they're conflating the GMO thing with anti-vaccination and moon landing hoaxing, which is bullshit. Anti-GMO is not anti-science, it's anti-corporate-takeover-of-our-entire-food-supply, and it's natural that NGM would like to discredit that, look who advertises in the magazine and sits on the Society's board.

Shit. I have that headache now.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on February 24, 2015, 03:43:26 PM

I haven't followed NGM in a long time, so I'm a little surprised to hear that, but not totally. PBS seems to be headed the same way.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on February 26, 2015, 03:09:50 PM
The Google / Gmail apps on my phone are so terrible that I turned them off.

The Chrome mobile app on my phone, though, is way better than actual Chrome.  :hmm:  Tab management leaves a lot to be desired, but I am oddly impressed.  And slightly fuddled.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on February 26, 2015, 07:24:37 PM
Shouldn't be fuddled (pissed is okay). Developers don't give fuck one about computers any more. This is why Microsoft's and Apple's new desktop and laptop OSs are converging on their stupid phone OSs. All the talent goes to phone stuff
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on February 27, 2015, 08:41:15 AM
Don't forget to add browsers to the list.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on February 27, 2015, 10:25:03 AM
I SHOULD NOT HAVE PRAISED THE GOOGLES.  I jinxed it.

I have my phone's apps set to NOT update automatically, so of course the Google stuff updated itself last night, and it promptly stopped working, except for the Gmail app, which seriously is so bad that I won't bother to use it.  I'd rather not get my email -- and I pretty much live by email.

Fortunately, after about twenty minutes I managed to massage settings mysteriously and got the MobileChrome to let me just fucking access the Gmail website, like an adult.  So it's back to being OK.

As of today, though, Gmail seems pretty fucked for desktops.  I've heard two other people complain, so it's just not me, but much of the time trying to get to Gmail just gives you a blank screen with no data.  :nonplused:  Gmail's working about half the time through Chrome and not all through Opera.

Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on February 27, 2015, 12:11:42 PM
Fixed . . . ?  For now!  Mrgrrhrgb.

Removed and re-installed Opera, in desperation, but I wasn't paying enough attention and wound up installing Opera 27, which is the current version.  You can tell Opera's having troubles from the fact that they went through 14 distro versions in like three years.

So Opera 27 is just painful, painful.  :lol:  People online are all BUT DID YOU EVEN TRY TO GET USED TO IT?  Which, no, because it emphasizes features I don't want and won't use and by this point they'd abandoned everything I liked about Opera.  It's like, "I've replaced your car with a blender.  It's a good blender.  Have you even TRIED to get used to it?"  No, because I wanted a car.

BUT.  Opera's site does let you download old versions, and so I re-installed Opera 12, and now everything's working again.  Even Gmail.

[suspicious]

I WILL TAKE IT.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on February 27, 2015, 01:46:04 PM
Oh this is super fun. MIT team analyzes Mars One mission consumables problem (http://web.mit.edu/sydneydo/Public/Mars%20One%20Feasibility%20Analysis%20IAC14.pdf).

I credit Metafilter for the link but the discussion is worthless so don't bother going there.

Everyone who reads this sees a different thing. Most people get hung up on the idea that a plant-based food and O2 system generates too much oxygen, which is an interesting result but is not necessarily a huge problem (as some wags have observed, you can dispose of oxygen via fire). The huge problem I see is the lack of nitrogen. This is something even Kim Stanley Robinson noticed in his novels. There's not much nitrogen on Mars, period. Look at Figure 10. Assuming everything goes perfectly well and all the assumptions they make about power and growing food and maintaining equipment are correct (haha) they'll run out of nitrogen in two months. Why is nitrogen important? Well, pure oxygen atmospheres are toxic (and a fire hazard), as are O2/CO2 atmospheres with high CO2 concentrations. So where do they get nitrogen or other inert gases (like argon) to make a safe atmosphere to breathe? I guess you can try and wrest it from the Martian atmosphere, but damn. You have to have a pretty serious refinery to do that (the traditional way is to chill air until everythign liquifies, then use a column of some kind to separate the gases by their different boiling points, very much like a petroleum refinery). They describe that, but not much research has been done on how to do that on Mars. And the plants will use a lot of water and the closed system will ramp up to 100% RH pretty fast, requiring more engineering to separate the people spaces from the plant spaces, blablabla. Not insoluble problems.

Then the other thing is spare parts. We know have a very good idea about how fast things wear out in space, thanks to Hubble and ISS long term deployment. They will need a constant stream of spare parts from Earth until they can build a spare parts factory (which, um, yeah, not in the mission scope). So the authors basically say (between the lines a bit) that if they're going to do that they might as well send food and other consumables to Mars with the spare parts because it will cost less to do that than to solve the regeneration / closed system problems except for water, maybe.

Also they say to initially establish the colony it would take 15 Falcon-Heavy launches and $4.5 gigabucks, which is ASTONISHINGLY cheap to me. I guess return systems are expensive! Anyway this is a pretty good read. Acronym heavy, but it has to be. TRL == "Technical Readiness Level," which is a particular NASA fetish with which I am quite familiar. They repeatedly make the point that many of these technologies are at TRL 1 or so, which basically means "I read in a science fiction novel that this is possible" (you need to be at about TRL 6 to launch) so their actual performance is super uncertain. Things may get a lot better or worse as the technology development proceeds. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on February 27, 2015, 01:55:15 PM funny, that's addressed really well in the martian (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Martian_%28Weir_novel%29). Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on February 28, 2015, 11:41:30 AM Quote I credit Metafilter for the link but the discussion is worthless so don't bother going there. Eternal September problem, man. Every time I consider contributing to a discussion on Reddit, I'm struck by the way it seems like 90% of the people there are fifteen years old. Fuck it. Plants, you know, need nitrogen, too. But the Mars One thing is totally ridiculous, at present. Return systems . . . well, you know how it is, better than I do: Taking lugage to space is expensive. And fuel is one of the most expensive things to bring. Even putting actual return systems aside, making fuel on Mars isn't trivial. But, really, this is walk-before-you-run. Build, staff, and regularly supply a heavy-duty station in geosynch, and then we'll talk. Geosynchronous orbit is almost to Mars -- it's not that much closer, but it's far enough out of the Earth's gravity well so that getting from there to Mars is a snap. They traditionally say geosynch is 95% of the way to anywhere. And if you can't do a geosynch (or lagrangian) station, you're not doing a Mars colony. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on March 07, 2015, 02:18:12 PM Yeah, I was overly approving of the Chrome For Phone app. :nonplused: It likes to do this thing where it gives you a blank page instead of a given web page, and then it won't stop doing that, and you can't clear its cache. Erasing the app's stored data doesn't fix it, and that's the only relevant option you have. Instead, you have to load a ton of other web data until you force the page out of the cache, as near as I can tell. WELL, I learned how to make the phone's own browser, whatever the hell it is, more workable, so I use that for sites that PhoneChrome frequently has trouble with. Such as Gmail, FFS. Some options are still sorely lacking, such as being able to NOT identify as mobile. The mobile versions of most sites are worse than browsing the desktop version through the phone keyhole. :thumbsdn: Some will let you see the real site, either through an option on the page (Gmail, when it's feeling generous, and Fark), and some will comply with a Request Desktop Version command, although it's a pain to keep doing that. Imgur, you are forbidden to ever redirect anything ever again. No JavaScript for you. Your site is a fancy mess. YOU HAVE ONE JOB. Stop fucking around. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on March 15, 2015, 03:02:01 PM Chrome loves to do this thing where it decides for me which window should be on top. Open Chrome, open Incognito window (since Chrome abuses the Oh I See What You're Doing thing), tell it to load Gmail, switch back to regular Chrome window, hit close. Incognito window has leapt to the top for some reason even though Gmail hasn't even begun to load yet, so that window closes instead. :banghead: Every version of Windows should have / should have had a system setting where NOTHING is allowed to move itself to the top. You may flash on the taskbar, if you feel you must. Jumping to the top and/or taking the focus on your own say-so? Cannot. Not yours. Who's the user? Right. Me. Not you. Someday, it will become trendy to make software for people who use computers. I cling to this fantasy. Also a good idea for Windows: Let me go to Task Manager (and you'd better have Task Manager, and the user interrupt that summons it had better interrupt pretty much EVERYTHING because that is the whole point of a user interrupt) and select an app and tell Windows "Do not take away this app's resources when it's in the background. Just hang onto them. Because you suck at memory management, and when I switch back to this app, I don't want to have to wait 90 seconds while you slowly reallocate the memory it needs." Seriously, all the fscking time. Chrome uses eleven farking instances to render one window, and uses up what seems like a ton of memory, but apparently it's gaming Windows. It's slow, but it's just always slow. Opera has one instance and is using what seems like a lot of memory, but this machine never manages to use more than a third of available RAM, if Windows can be believed. I switch away from Opera for more than a couple of minutes -- and especially if I switch user accounts -- and Windows deallocates all of its memory. Because why? No one else needed that. And it takes forever to give it back when I go back to Opera. PDF readers, image viewers, and Open Office apps get the same rough shafting from Windows. I'm not playing games on this machine, or anything, so there's plenty of RAM. Stop fscking around. FFS. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Sidious on March 15, 2015, 08:56:04 PM No application should ever be stealing focus from a currently focused active window. ESPECIALLY if I'm currently typing in it. :angry: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on March 16, 2015, 09:30:15 AM EXACTLY. Also, don't move the controls around. Especially while the user is, you know, actively using the interface. But even most of the rest of the time. Context-sensitive nothing. Leave the buttons where they are. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on March 16, 2015, 02:03:12 PM EXACTLY. Also, don't move the controls around. Especially while the user is, you know, actively using the interface. But even most of the rest of the time. Context-sensitive nothing. Leave the buttons where they are. I understand the idea behind moving things around, but I'm not a fan of it. If you need to refresh the screen because the user's asked for something, _then_ you can reconfigure things. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on March 17, 2015, 01:05:58 AM :shock: http://carbon3d.com/ Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: phyre on March 17, 2015, 08:05:52 AM That's really impressive. Assuming it's not vaporware, it'll really turn things on their heads. I'm leaning towards it being legit, mainly because of the cast of characters running the place- Microsoft and Apple alums, along with a host of other tech business types. Of course, it'll be years and years before something like this is available for consumer purchase, so for now I'll just wait for my additive printer to arrive. funny, that's addressed really well in the martian (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Martian_%28Weir_novel%29). That's a very fun read. Ok, so for those that haven't seen it on FB, here's my latest attempt at hackery: the Chromecastic stereo. Basically, this: https://gigaom.com/2014/02/08/how-i-turned-my-chromecast-into-a-45-networked-audio-adapter/ I had to use a "dummy plug" to make the adapter work; in this case, the "plug" is nothing more than a 91 ohm resistor pushed in to 2 of the holes on the VGA end of the adapter. I taped it down so it doesn't lose it's connection, but otherwise, no real work involved here. I hooked it up to the stereo in my kids playroom, and now I can use my tablet or phone to play music without them having to have a TV or computer monitor in the room- this is a big thing for me, because I don't want them to get used to looking at a screen all of the time. I just waited until there was a deal on Chromecasts, and in this case, they've got a$20 credit on Google Play, so that knocked the $30 price tag down a bit. Edit: here's the finished product I wanted to circle back to this, since my original hack didn't last very long- the cheap adapter (red thing in the pictures (http://www.bizarreconfessions.com/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=137.0;attach=2234;image)) I obtained had equally insubstantial connections to the phono plug, so the process of hacking this thing in the first place weakened them enough that plugging and unplugging it a few times dislodged the plug from the circuit board. Tried to solder it back, no dice. So I'm going for a different type of adapter, one that goes from HDMI to Composite (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00K3OO5ZY/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1), and then I'll just forgo the use of the yellow plug and run a right/left RCA cable to my stereo. No soldering here, so no excitement, and much less chance for damage and reduced longevity. I'll come back and let you know what my results are. Edit: to be clear, the setup worked just great for the couple of weeks in which the adapter held, which is why I'm willing to throw another$13 at it for a different type of adapter.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on March 17, 2015, 09:10:37 AM
Quote
That's really impressive. Assuming it's not vaporware...

My bullshit detector was going off for no particular reason as I was reading that page. I certainly don't know enough about the science behind it to have any legitimate doubts. It's just something in the way it's presented that seems odd. Maybe it's just bad (inexperienced) marketing.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: phyre on March 17, 2015, 09:13:08 AM
Yeah, that was my first take scrolling down, but reading the who's who  (http://carbon3d.com/about/)and seeing that a big-money firm like Silver Lake (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_Lake_Partners) is behind them lends it some credence. Nobody's going to throw that kind of money at this if it's not legit.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on March 17, 2015, 10:02:35 AM
That type of 3D printing isn't a new concept, although as far as I know this is a new method.  Which is to say, I don't know enough about it to have any reason to doubt that it's new.

They used to talk about growing / printing 3D stacked circuitboards this way, though, and it was a commonly described method for using nanotech (actual molecular-assembler nanotech, not just nano-scale stuff) to grow things in vats.  For instance, you use a laser to draw what you want built, layer by layer, on the surface of a vat filled with assemblers and raw materials, and only where the laser hits the surface is there enough energy for the assemblers to go to work.  The laser scans, and the object is constructed accordingly, about as fast as the laser can move.  That would have the finished layers moving downward, though, not up.

Ben Bova used such a setup in . . . er, his nanotech series, whatever it was called.  The Voyagers series.  At the least, they used it to make rocket nozzles in the 1990 book -- I didn't read the whole series.  I used a similar setup for a variety of industry in a mid-90s novella called The Man Who Bought Mars.

In a lot of ways, this isn't that different (conceptually) from bin-sintering 3D printing, which is old-school.  But this seems to be a lot more refined.  I'd stay tuned.  I think it's workable.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on March 17, 2015, 01:11:55 PM
Meanwhile . . . .

This month, it took me less than a week to exceed the "data cap" for my phone.  I still don't notice any actual difference in data speed after they throttle me, though.  Pretty generous throttling.  Seems like I should have to pay extra for that.

My suspicion is that what really happens is you get bumped to the bottom of the bandwidth priority queue.  So if I try to internet while bandwidth demand is high, I'll get just a trickle.  But so far, the cap seems to just be something I get alerts about.

:hmm:

:thumbsup:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: the other andrea on March 17, 2015, 04:27:21 PM
Speaking of 3D printing, this happened a few days ago, if you hadn't seen it:

Here's the full video. (http://kfor.com/2015/03/15/robert-downey-jr-presents-child-with-his-own-iron-man-robotic-arm/)

I really had no idea just how cool 3d printing was -- I'd seen a few short videos of things coming out of printers, unfinished, and they were usually a part for something I couldn't visualize (i.e. I'm not a real geek).

But Robert Downey is now the coolest guy ever.  :love:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on March 17, 2015, 06:18:37 PM
That's pretty awesome, but:

Quote
Limbitless Solutions

:doh:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on March 18, 2015, 09:44:52 AM
:rollin:

Quote
I really had no idea just how cool 3d printing was

It's one of those things the media doesn't 'get', so the coverage of it has been awfully stupid.  It's basically an open-ended fabrication technology, so you can more or less make a 3D version of anything you could print on a piece of paper.

Making complex shapes is a little difficult, but, fortunately, computers.  The real elegance comes from (A) clever applications and (B) building something complicated by 3D-printing the custom pieces for it, like they did here.

Since the 80s, the sexy thing about computers in design has been 'rapid prototyping', which basically means going from concept to something you can hold in your hand (or that even works) much faster than you used to be able to.  Most stuff that's 3D-printed is stuff that could have been made twenty years ago . . . but not in a garage in less than a week for less than twenty thousand bucks.

The real thing, though, is that same 3D printer can then make something completely unrelated.  And then something else.  And so on.  A 3D printer that makes houses is really a programmable automatic wall-building machine.  It can build anything that requires walls, up to whatever its maximum working height is.  Houses, castles, labyrinths.  We're crossing the line where it's harder to think of what we should build than it is to build it.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: phyre on March 19, 2015, 06:33:10 AM
I wanted to circle back to this, since my original hack didn't last very long- the cheap adapter (red thing in the pictures (http://www.bizarreconfessions.com/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=137.0;attach=2234;image)) I obtained had equally insubstantial connections to the phono plug, so the process of hacking this thing in the first place weakened them enough that plugging and unplugging it a few times dislodged the plug from the circuit board. Tried to solder it back, no dice. So I'm going for a different type of adapter, one that goes from HDMI to Composite (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00K3OO5ZY/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1), and then I'll just forgo the use of the yellow plug and run a right/left RCA cable to my stereo. No soldering here, so no excitement, and much less chance for damage and reduced longevity. I'll come back and let you know what my results are.

Edit: to be clear, the setup worked just great for the couple of weeks in which the adapter held, which is why I'm willing to throw another $13 at it for a different type of adapter. For those following along at home, the new adapter arrived yesterday and is working swimmingly. No soldering or case-cracking required. I can't vouch for the video-output (which seems to be the main cause of complaints on Amazon), but luckily, I don't plan on ever using that function. If I have problems down the line with this thing I'll mention it, but so far I'm pleased in the first 24 hours. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on March 24, 2015, 09:28:13 AM$100 1W blue laser that runs on 5V DC input (http://www.banggood.com/450nm-1W-1000mW-Blue-Laser-Module-With-Holder-For-DIY-Laser-Cutter-p-967100.html?utm_design=11&utm_source=emarsys&utm_medium=Mail_men126_email2&utm_campaign=newsletter-emarsys&utm_content=misue&sc_src=email_1304107&sc_eh=90c24f4bb04f5e551&emst=vuQKEWln1E_37445_1304107_8).

So, you know, you could run it off those cheapass powerbanks they make for cell phones.

:innocent:

So much for 5mW laser pointers.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on March 24, 2015, 01:18:28 PM
Does it have a DC adapter so it can be mounted on a drone?

8)
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: pdrake on March 24, 2015, 01:46:35 PM
http://www.amazon.com/3800mA-5600mAh-Portable-Battery-charger/dp/B0063EYY5Y
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on March 24, 2015, 02:11:02 PM
You have to add the noisemaker so it sounds like a Star Wars blaster when you shoot it.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on March 24, 2015, 04:07:37 PM
It's rated for continuous fire, so I was thinking Star Trek beam phaser.  But whatever works.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Sidious on March 24, 2015, 10:27:50 PM
:hmm:

This could be the best use of my Amazon Prime account yet....
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on March 25, 2015, 08:39:17 AM
The description is quite bare, so I'm honestly not sure how powerful this laser is.  Depends a bit on the optics and range, and all.  But I found people claiming that similar lasers could light cardboard on fire quickly at over 20'.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on March 25, 2015, 10:29:38 AM
I'm tempted to say it shouldn't be legal, but I think we've passed the tipping point on trying to maintain a civilized society. I surrender.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: flipper on March 25, 2015, 11:35:18 AM
/me wonders if poison dart equipped drones have been tried yet.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on March 25, 2015, 01:45:44 PM
I'm sure that there are many, many applications that would be illegal.  And many that just haven't been outlawed yet.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on March 25, 2015, 07:16:23 PM
I'm tempted to say it shouldn't be legal, but I think we've passed the tipping point on trying to maintain a civilized society. I surrender.

Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: pdrake on March 25, 2015, 07:39:20 PM
http://www.brkelectronics.com/product/9120B-48B
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: stormneedle on March 25, 2015, 09:13:26 PM
Americium doesn't pack much of a punch, so you don't have to run as far during the strategic retreat.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on March 26, 2015, 11:21:03 AM
I could offer some advice on dirty bombs, but it seems like a really bad idea.  There are a lot of really bad ideas that I never mention online.

Suffice to say, every terrorist we've ever heard of was a moron.  A troll's a troll.  They're not bred for intelligence.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on March 27, 2015, 09:08:00 AM
Strangely enough . . . Hotmail's interface is now better than Gmail's, and it responds quite a bit faster.  I never thought I'd see the day again.

Hotmail still commits the cardinal sin of moving the fucking buttons behind your back.  NEVER EVER EVER etc.  But it actually has hotkeys.  Mirabile dictu.  For instance, you can press S and then A to select all the emails visible in a list, and you can hit delete to delete any selected email . . . .

Hotmail also has ads.  The ads aren't terrible, but they take up a lot of screen space, and although Hotmail has learned to zoom fairly intelligently and (amazingly) to allow scrolling properly, it's still pretty annoying.

The real question is, more annoying than Gmail?  At the moment, no.  Strange but true.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on March 27, 2015, 10:08:47 AM
I have a theory that Google will eventually suck just as bad as Microsoft and Apple. It took Apple a while to catch up to Microsoft, but Jobs' departure really sped up their demise. I just don't believe you can be a large corporation without eventually turning into a clusterf*ck. If another big player enters the market, that will speed up Google's demise. They already died in my eyes, years ago, but many people still respect them, like Apple was respected. I don't know if Microsoft was ever respected. Gates' respect, to the contrary, is rising I think.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on March 27, 2015, 10:53:19 AM
I have to agree, although Google is already pretty far down, for me.  Thing is:

- Google search:  Pretty terrible now, compared to 5-10 years ago.

- GIS:  Almost useless to me now.  Just rarely worth the trouble.

- Gmail:  Still the best free email service, but the JS-enabled version is offensively obnoxious.  If they ever discontinue the Basic HTML version, I'll probably give up on them.

- Google Maps:  Now so shitty that I rarely bother with it if I can POSSIBLY help it.  They have me going back to MapQuest and paper maps, FFS.

- Chrome:  As far as I can tell, there's still no useful coherence to its philosophy except for a desire to be the #1 browser.  That's the Internet Explorer philosophy, and we all know how that worked out.  Anyone who would name their browser after a derogatory term for what I hate most about modern software and web design is probably going to turn out a crappy browser.

I've heard good things about some of the Google Docs / etc collaborative products, but I haven't had cause to use them.  But Google has basically just been resting on their laurels and relying on MS being their main competition while upper management runs off in pursuit of robots and drones and self-driving cars.  The corporation's become a joke.

Never mind their abandonment of Don't Be Evil . . . .
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: pdrake on March 27, 2015, 11:27:12 AM
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on March 27, 2015, 01:21:26 PM
I guess?  I haven't had reason to use a cloud storage service yet.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: pdrake on March 27, 2015, 02:00:01 PM
i find it pretty indispensable. lots of work stuff that i work on at home and gaming stuff that i don't want to cart around.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: flipper on March 27, 2015, 02:54:36 PM
Google maps still has the classic version but you have to find some stupid icon hidden near the bottom to switch.  Anyway, as I get older, more and more things really piss me off.  I miss my iPod classic and my Sony Ericsson Cingulair flip phone.  The iPhone pisses me off just about everyday.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on March 28, 2015, 08:45:51 AM
I actually like my phone FAR more than I thought I would, but (A) it's a terrible design before I added the protective armor, (B) the software for it, and how software on it is managed, is just very, very stupid, and (C) it's purely moronic to have a touch-screen device meant to be kept in a pocket, purse, etc, that doesn't have a screen cover.

I realize that (A) is because they're trying to brag about how thin phones are, etc, and (B) is because they're not trying to suit the customer but to make the customer buy more software, and (C) a screen cover would slow down people who'd have to open their phone to look at it every six seconds.

But still.

I tote home-work stuff around on a flash drive, despite how shitty USB is.  I used to just email it to myself or store it on our web server, but of course now I don't have internet at home (except on my phone, huzzah).  I honestly can't see the Cloud realistically being more convenient or semi-secure than our web server, but, again, I don't do collaborative group project gunk.

Pretty much the only games I play these days are flash games, which just serve to remind me how terrible Adobe is.  :lol:  Seriously . . . such crap, so awfulness.  The same flash games that bogged on my machine that's twelve years old bog on my machine that's three years old.  And you're supposed to play them in the browser (most of them, you're supposed to play through an internet connection, FFS), which is akin to doing email on your TV fifteen years ago.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: phyre on March 30, 2015, 10:21:45 AM
For a minute there, I thought you meant a screen protector (http://www.amazon.com/screen-protectors/b?ie=UTF8&node=2407781011), the transparent type that adheres to the front glass of your phone, but you mean a screen cover (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=s-view+flip+cover&sprefix=s-view%2Caps%2C138), like the S-View cases I linked there. I think the reason most companies omit that kind of cover is that A: they don't sell well, see the s-view covers, and B: people tend to find they get in the way and reduce the convenience of the touchscreen.

I had an S-View case briefly... well, I still have it, but it's been hacked to pieces because it didn't perform well as a case... nevermind, that's a longer story... Anyways, I liked it because it reduced my battery usage by keeping most of the screen off except that little window, and I'd still be using it if it didn't have other minor issues. The real problem is convincing the target buyers that it's something worth having, and most don't care.

tl;dr (also kind of boring): the S-View case I had is actually an extended-battery case (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DZAXV6M/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1). My S4 needed charging about mid-afternoon to push it through the day, so I opted for an extended battery to overcome this issue. I was pretty happy that it was not only an extended battery, but also an S-View case, so I used it for a while even after it'd been dropped and cracked significantly from only 4 feet after only 3 days ownership. The crack in the case was kind of a deal-breaker, because the case needs to hold tight to the phone in order for the battery to make proper contact; once it's cracked, it's only a matter of time before it's completely broken. So I ordered a TPU case that's designed to cover an extended battery (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CXO09DY/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1), then destroyed the old case with my dremel to extract the back of the case (with battery embedded) and had to remove the S-View cover also. I kept the cover, and I'm thinking about gluing it on to the outside of my TPU case... the downside is that if it turns out super-ugly, I'm going to have to toss the whole case, but if it works, it'll be a nice addition. Still thinking about it.

The bonus to this is that I contacted the manufacturer and complained about the case, and wanted to return it, but they just said they'd refund me and let me keep it. I figured I could hack the battery out without blowing it up (it's lithium ion, so I was appropriately scared), so I just skipped buying a new battery and took my (now free) case apart.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on March 30, 2015, 11:37:09 AM
:lol:

Yes, I mean the sort of thing they call a screen cover, except that, yeah, those all seem pretty terribly designed.  It should fold completely out of the way, which would not be hard to do.

I have a flip-cover case for my phone that I don't use because, alas, it's pretty badly designed.  The cover doesn't fold out of the way, although I could sort of force it to, if I wanted, and the case actually does a really bad job of protecting the phone if, say, you drop it.  :eyeroll:

Worse, the rubber sleeve built into it doesn't quite fit right, so you can no longer use the buttons on the sides of the phone.  And they're pretty important.  If I put my phone in the case, the phone tends to start taking pictures at random moments, which is awkward.

The armored cover I do use on my phone is . . . OK.  The button covers line up perfectly, so the buttons work great.  The fold-out stand is good enough.  And the armor is fairly robust, except it does a really strangely shitty job of protecting the top and bottom of the phone.  Odd.  And, of course, it does nothing to protect the screen, which is both the most important and most fragile part of the exterior.

I'm tempted to tear the phone sleeve out of the folding case and glue the armored phone cover into it.  Right now, though, I'm more focused on the issue of how Extra-Pockets No More Season (summer) is coming up.  Really can't carry my phone in a pants pocket.  I do have a belt holster for phones, but I don't usually wear a belt.  I guess I'll have to start.

Will the flip-case fit into the belt holster?  Haven't tried it yet.  By that point, the phone should be pretty well-protected . . . although I could just encase it in a block of Lucite, I suppose.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on August 04, 2015, 04:26:14 PM
Control V quit working for me. Control C worked, and the letter V worked. I also tried Control V using the Control key on the other side of the keyboard, still no worky.
:hmm:

I installed a weird Adobe application yesterday that forced me to override some security stuff, and it also gave me a dialog box saying it wanted to make some changes, so it needed my password. I love you Adobe. Anyway, my mind instantly went to that.

I've also made some adjustments to my mouse keys recently, and wondered if maybe I had changed some modifier key accidentally.

I started with the easiest possible fix first - I cleaned my keyboard. Problem solved.
:hmm: :nuts:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: flipper on August 07, 2015, 12:00:15 PM
Jimmy Hoffa is probably buried somewhere in my keybr04d.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: stormneedle on August 07, 2015, 12:30:28 PM
Is that what's causing my sticky keys?
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: flipper on August 07, 2015, 01:41:12 PM
The dude gets around.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on September 22, 2015, 09:16:20 AM
I don't suppose there's a plug-in for Chrome that makes it respond to user input.  Because that would be kind of cool.  Although probably they should make it standard.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on October 24, 2015, 12:38:40 PM

Says the working voltage is 6-80v.  :hmm:

Yes, it will run just fine off a regular 9-volt battery.  BRIGHTLY.  Man, flashlights are so overpriced.  :lol:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on October 24, 2015, 01:31:26 PM
And it's play and plug!
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on October 25, 2015, 11:50:24 AM
Their write-ups are usually good.  Sometimes incomprehensible.

SO I had that 9v battery in the pocket of my sweatshirt, and then I forgot about it and put six quarters in that same pocket, and while I was driving home I noticed my clothes were nearly on fire.

Jesus.  So don't do that.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on October 25, 2015, 03:02:02 PM
Cool.

So what do you use the bulb for? A light for your bike, or just for a flashlight, or what?

And I haven't really shopped for one of this centuries flashlights, but I have noticed prices for small flashlights in the $20-30 range. Is that typical? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on October 26, 2015, 09:48:49 AM Imma make a flashlight. I'm 50% tempted to make a tiny, insanely bright lamp with a minimal housing for the bulb (which includes a reflector, of sorts) and one 9v battery, and I'm 50% tempted to ream out the reflector on an old 9v lantern I have, put the bulb in there, and fill the ass with 12 C batteries. That should be awfully bright but last a long time. I could also set it up with a single 9v holder set in parallel with at least 10 Cs hooked up in series or parallel. That way, if the batteries started to go, you could run the light off just one 9v. I could set it up to run off at least a dozen 9v batteries set up in parallel, or off a fist-sized rechargeable 12v that I have. The former would be a pain in the butt. The latter, I'd want to make it rechargeable without taking the battery out, which would require more work that honestly I'd probably never around to. LED bulbs make for weird setups. This particular bulb is brighter at higher voltages, which is actually pretty normal, but the driver on a sophisticated LED like this means the color doesn't change within its operating range. It has low-beam and high-beam. I've only tested the low-beam, so far. A headlight that heats up usually isn't a big deal, but a plastic flashlight is a different story. LED flashlights run from like$1 to $3000. The price has a vague correlation to quality, but it's not proportional. Ditto for the brightness. It's usually cheaper to buy a Mag-Lite, for instance, and buy an LED replacement bulb for it than it is to buy an LED Mag-Lite of similar brightness. I'm sure part of the problem is that there are now ten zillion flashlights on the market, so economies of scale aren't working entirely in your favor. I already have a ton of bicycle lights, and my bike isn't in working condition, so . . . :P The main problem with my bike, at the moment, is that I got a sweet 5-speed planetary hub for it, which I installed, and then I realized that the hub didn't come with a shifter (no big deal) or cable (which is non-standard). BOO. It also didn't come with instructions, and I'm not 100% sure how it's supposed to be set up, although I think I can figure that out through trial and error. My bike doesn't have fenders or a luggage rack, which hasn't helped my motivation with it, in general. I also have an impressive motor for it that 'fits any bicycle' except this one. I started making a custom mount for it, then started working on my scooter, then realized I'm too old and crusty to ride a scooter through town, and yadda yadda. You know how it is. Starting projects is easy. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on October 26, 2015, 02:01:50 PM Quote Starting projects is easy. Actually, I'm kind of the opposite. If I can get started on something, I'll usually go through great lengths to finish it. But it's also true that sometimes I'll run into an obstacle that will cause a delay, and delays can be project killers for me. It can be like starting all over again, which, like I say, is the harder part for me. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on October 27, 2015, 09:57:53 AM My main problems, which I'm told are ADD(Etc) markers, are the Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind thing, the But It Won't Be Good Enough / Needs More Development problem, the I Stacked Other Things In Front Of It problem, and the Now I've Started A New Project issue. I think, honestly, that 75% of that would be solved by having actual workspace. But I'd still clutter it to uselessness if I weren't careful. It also helps to have someone around who'll say, "What is THIS? Are you ever going to finish it?" Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on October 27, 2015, 12:47:12 PM same Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on October 27, 2015, 05:58:39 PM Ideally, they LIKE the thing and want to see it finished, or just think it's good for me to finish things. Less good but still good if their attitude is If Not, Why Don't You Throw It Away? Mostly just so long as they aren't too aggressive about that. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on October 27, 2015, 06:52:19 PM i'm already bored with my 3D printer. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on October 27, 2015, 07:33:12 PM Use it to make a 4D printer. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: phyre on October 28, 2015, 11:00:46 AM i'm already bored with my 3D printer. I can see that. Mine's only been here a couple of weeks, and I think I have the potential to get bored with mine, but I'm hoping that my kids will help me come up with fun crap to do with it. I've already made a couple of toys with it; a puzzle and a little robot figure. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: flipper on October 28, 2015, 02:20:19 PM Use it to make a 4D printer. Along those lines make bobble heads of these guys: Florence LaRue Marilyn McCoo Billy Davis, Jr. Lamonte McLemore Ron Townson Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Sidious on October 29, 2015, 06:45:57 AM Use it to make a 4D printer. He already did. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on October 29, 2015, 04:38:50 PM Next, on to 5D. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on October 29, 2015, 05:27:41 PM Make the parts for a tesseract house. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on October 30, 2015, 03:29:34 PM sound stopped working on my computer, so instead of fucking with it myself i decided to take advantage of the awesome warranty i bought. 3 hours later they tell me my sound controller on my mobo went out. sound still plays from the monitor speakers, but not from any port on the computer. they want me to send it in for a mobo swap. i really don't have time for that. i'm not sure what to do. my misophonia makes me want to stab the noisy woman near me, so i really need the headphone buffer. maybe i'll just stab her and things will work themselves out. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on October 30, 2015, 05:27:08 PM Wear hearing protectors. You probably won't like the noises she'll make. Or just get an MP3 player? As a temporary fix. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on October 30, 2015, 06:27:53 PM i'm going to order a charger for my phone and use that, but i listen to a lot of podcasts, so i'll have to figure that out. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on October 30, 2015, 06:34:30 PM They won't do it at an Apple store while you wait? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on October 30, 2015, 07:10:32 PM it's a custom built pc. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mybabysmomma on November 03, 2015, 01:53:35 PM What can you guys tell me about Libreoffice? I'm looking for something to put on our Dell that my daughter can use for school projects, and me for an occasional spreadsheet. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on November 03, 2015, 02:02:47 PM They won't do it at an Apple store while you wait? they did just replace a macbook mobo for free that one of our vice president's fried. i have to work on her computer daily because she does things to it that i can't fathom. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on November 03, 2015, 04:27:05 PM What can you guys tell me about Libreoffice? I'm looking for something to put on our Dell that my daughter can use for school projects, and me for an occasional spreadsheet. I used it before they changed the name. I can't remember what it used to be called now... Open Office. It worked, but it was slow on my computer, and it was a bit different than Word or Excel, of course it has to be, but I'm just saying, it will take some getting used to. If you don't use it much the learning curve may make it not worth the trouble. Overall, I would recommend it. Download directly from libreoffice.org, not CNET or somewhere like that - they sometimes bundle software in that you don't want. You know you can "rent" MS Office by the month now, right? Not as cheap as it should be though. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mybabysmomma on November 03, 2015, 04:54:21 PM Thanks. I did not know about the renting. I was concerned that if she used it and put her project on a thumb that it wouldn't open with the product they have at school. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on November 03, 2015, 05:35:58 PM personal copy of office is 6.99/mos. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on November 03, 2015, 05:37:56 PM MS should pay the user, frankly. IF you ask me. Pretty much everything will write to and read RTF format. I almost exclusively use RTF. I started back when MS first released a defragmenting app for DOC files and I realized just HOW effed up the DOC format is. (DOCX has some neat features, but they're invisible to most users.) RTF is a little weird, mostly because not all apps store it the same way. Some will include a lot of undo data, for instance, in which case a 350k DOC file can be either a 20k RTF or a 60k RTF, depending on which app you're using. LibreOffice is separate from OpenOffice, although they started in the same place (the free StarOffice apps, if I remember correctly). We use OpenOffice at work, and I use LibreOffice on my Linux machine at home. OpenOffice under Windows is often slow as hell. The apps are . . . OK. They're trying too hard to be MS Office, so they also tend to do six hundred things poorly instead of just doing a couple dozen things well. The OpenOffice spreadsheet (Calc, I think) has INCREDIBLE interface issues. Basically, if you want to do charts or graphs, there must be better free software out there. Similarly, OpenDoc has an interface that's different from the MS apps . . . but surprisingly not better. LibreOffice under Linux is much faster than MS Office under Windows. It's a little weird, but not bad. If the kid just needs to do actual word processing, I'd say just use an old copy of Wordpad and save as RTF. Enormously faster than any 'full' word processor, although it doesn't create tables (or do well with tables created elsewhere) or do automatic HTML or anything. I don't know of a spiffy free spreadsheet program, but lately I've been meaning to look for one. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on November 03, 2015, 05:38:48 PM There are the online Google apps, too, of course. I haven't screwed around with those much. Too much of the Google stuff I already use is too infuriatingly badly designed and implemented. But I'm apparently pretty demanding, or whatever. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on November 03, 2015, 06:01:27 PM get her office. it will be easier to conform with the rest of the school, future employers/employees, and life in general. axe likes to make his life as difficult as possible. i think he'd be bored if he didn't. ;) you can pay 9.99/mos for 5 copies of it. the new version is miles ahead of the old one. it's quick, easy and very user friendly. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on November 03, 2015, 06:29:07 PM According to this (https://products.office.com/en-us/student/office-in-education), it's free for some students. Quote What are the eligibility requirements for Office 365 Education? You must be an active full-time or part-time student at an academic institution and: Have a school-specific email address provided by the school (for example, contoso.edu) that can receive external email. Be of legal age to sign up for an online offer individually (13 years old). Have Internet access. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on November 03, 2015, 07:11:25 PM This is why we can't have nice things, though. We all agree to use things that are terrible, just because everyone else is already using them. :shrug: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on November 03, 2015, 07:51:49 PM i know, it sucks. the new office is better. i installed it on all our macs yesterday. it blows away the old office. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on November 03, 2015, 07:57:02 PM It SHOULD. Basic office tasks haven't changed that much, but the computers are now like 8x faster and have vastly, vastly more storage space. At this point, Windows should practically give you gold, chocolate, and orgasms just for logging on. No one manages expectations better than software manufacturers. Not even politicians. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: flipper on November 03, 2015, 08:15:23 PM New office sucks balls. They try to integrate everything into it (sharepoint, exchange, outlook, box, etc.) I just want to open a frickin' Excel spreadsheet and not have to worry about the crappy sharepoint applications that fail and then kill my Excel occurrence. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on November 03, 2015, 09:23:30 PM OpenOffice forked because of business reasons on the part of some backers. LibreOffice is the result of that. It doesn't have as many folks working on it now. But I could use it at work and nobody could tell I wasn't using MS' product. It's a bit larger and slower, but most people aren't going to notice that. It's just as robust. Matching what everybody else is doing is probably good overall. Some kids will prank with the script language built-in, so keep the install discs. Storing documents is almost as important. If you write the perfect report and something crashes so you can't turn it in, it isn't perfect anymore. Do some sort of cloud backup. Microsoft, Apple, Google, Dropbox, etc... there's a lot out there. MS and Google tie their products to their cloud storage, I think Apple does as well. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on November 03, 2015, 10:09:50 PM Quote install discs what's that? Quote At this point, Windows should practically give you gold, chocolate, and orgasms just for logging on. No one manages expectations better than software manufacturers. Not even politicians. http://www.curiousapes.com/the-science-of-happiness-why-complaining-is-literally-killing-you/ Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on November 04, 2015, 06:53:19 AM :popcorn: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on November 04, 2015, 04:17:27 PM I don't complain for myself. I complain because it is the duty of every member of the species. If it kills me, that's just part of the cost. Things could be better than that, but . . . that's why we should complain. /beowulf Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on November 04, 2015, 04:18:22 PM Quote from: flipper They try to integrate everything into it Probably the single worst trend in modern design. But it's a good way to hide that you can't do a single thing well. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Sidious on November 05, 2015, 10:17:36 PM Quote from: flipper They try to integrate everything into it Probably the single worst trend in modern design. But it's a good way to hide that you can't do a single thing well. This. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: flipper on November 06, 2015, 02:07:35 AM I just want to open a fucking spreadsheet. I don't want the cloud app trying to do crap. I don't want to click "yes download the macros' I don't want to have to click, 'yes I want to edit the spreadsheet' I don't want you to offer to save it to box. I don't want to click yes to Do you want to allow the following program to make changes to this computer. Because of all this crap, whenever I open a 2mb spreadsheet, I can't open another one without crashing Excel. IT can't fix and won't let me go back to XP and Excel 2007 when everything actually worked. :angry: :angry: :angry: :angry: :angry: :angry: :angry: :angry: :angry: :angry: :fyp: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on June 04, 2016, 12:01:53 PM I am constantly surprised by how often, on the internet, I have to remind people that this is the internet. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on June 04, 2016, 02:54:20 PM This isn't TV? Fuck. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on June 04, 2016, 02:55:49 PM The line between real life and internet is getting more and more blurred these days, I hate to admit. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on June 05, 2016, 05:25:21 AM In some cases, I'm afraid the internet life is the more important one. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on June 05, 2016, 11:17:10 AM It's not that the internet is trivial, or whatever. It's just that it's different from realspace. Acting like it's the same is like forgetting that a kids' soccer game isn't a life-or-death war, or something. I was just reading a thing on Facebook where someone was trying to contrast Facebook with social forums where not everything is real. And I was like . . . dear sweet swiveling Jesus. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on August 31, 2016, 01:31:04 PM ROCKETS! In Scotland! (http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-37185211) "Aye?" "Remember our agreement, Murdoch: the boy is mine." (don't know why, just wanted a highlander quote in there) Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on August 31, 2016, 03:33:07 PM my level 3 rocket had an aluminum tip on the nose cone. it's still in my garage along with a few others. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on August 31, 2016, 04:14:00 PM Is that one rocket shaped like an axe? Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on August 31, 2016, 04:57:02 PM Is that one rocket shaped like an axe? that's a plane that goes up with the rocket then at apogee it launches from the rocket. i like the sindy rocket with the doll inside it. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on August 31, 2016, 05:03:25 PM Oh cool. I thought it was a flying axe :P Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: flipper on August 31, 2016, 05:57:12 PM I didn't know he could fly. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on August 31, 2016, 10:24:22 PM (https://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/286x432q90/922/iYfKpm.jpg) Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on August 31, 2016, 11:24:58 PM :thumbsup: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on September 01, 2016, 09:06:17 AM You'll shoot your eye out! Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on September 01, 2016, 09:53:03 AM Of all the fancy paint jobs, the b&w checkerboard is my favorite. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on September 01, 2016, 11:30:22 AM classic V2 paint scheme they rained down on london. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on September 01, 2016, 03:30:18 PM I don't know if the V2s that rained down on London had that paint job though, they were probably all black with skulls painted on them :P http://www.popsci.com/why-was-saturn-v-black-and-white Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on September 01, 2016, 04:28:48 PM my friends and i built a 1/10th scale one once with a hybrid motor. fley it a few times until it over pressurized on a launch and shredded. ours was the brown color. we named it, "brown 25, another quality product from uranus inc." (from the movie "groove tube"). interesting info here: http://www.v2rocket.com/start/makeup/markings.html Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on September 01, 2016, 04:52:05 PM I actually saw that site earlier when I was looking around. I went back looking for it but couldn't find it. So yeah, the solid grey/green (http://www.v2rocket.com/start/makeup/v2_late.gif) was probably what rained down on London. By that point in the war, they could have just skipped the paint job. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on September 02, 2016, 03:09:40 PM this is our V2 on the cover of extreme rocketry magazine (me with the other 2 guys that helped build it). all the electronics were in the nose cone. that's what those plugs are on side sticking out. they break the connection between the electronics and the batteries. pull those to turn them on. (https://scontent-dft4-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/14141907_10154503780078970_3528997145176599518_n.jpg?oh=cebac1f5e5d07001e69576173913fb28&oe=5839F82B) Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on September 02, 2016, 03:59:40 PM The feds have probably had their eye on you ;) Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on September 02, 2016, 04:20:52 PM we drove to LDRS once when it was in texas. it was july of 2002. we had to drive over hoover dam with a trailer full of large rockets. homeland security was amused (not). http://ldrs36.org/welcome/ Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on September 04, 2016, 08:31:38 PM I remember that tale! Fantastic. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on October 12, 2016, 09:20:13 AM I'm constantly forced to notice that Chrome runs like 30 times better on my battery-powered$40 phone than on any hulking desktop Windows machine I've used in the last several years.  So that's kind of strange and annoying.

Anyone try running Android apps on a Linux desktop?  Can I just run the mobile version of Chrome like that?  I suppose the keyboard support would be poor, but it's pretty poor for the desktop version of Chrome.

I'll google it, but I'm curious if anyone I know has tried it.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Sidious on October 12, 2016, 06:39:32 PM
It's not something I've messed around with (running Android apps in a standard Linux desktop distro), but this actually works pretty slick (https://linuxcritic.wordpress.com/2016/08/15/android-apps-on-chrome-os/).
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on October 13, 2016, 09:30:44 AM
Nooooooooo . . . I want LESS Chromage.  :thumbsdn:

Kinda cool, but not for me.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on January 29, 2017, 01:50:01 PM
OK . . . I need the simplest online calendar thing possible, or very nearly.

What I want:  A monthly calendar, like a generic desktop blotter calendar, where I can, say, click on a day and then type in text.  Then, other people have to be able to follow a link so they can see the calendar and see what I've typed for each day.

Google Calendar, TeamUp, etc, are all WAY too fucking fancy.  I don't want to magically schedule events.  I don't like any of the graphical representations of shit that I've seen, and none of the ones I've seen are more readable than just having text that says "This thing: 3-7 PM".  I don't want people to have to log in to Facebook or Google or anything.

I just want a monthly calendar where I can put down who's supposed to be at work from this time to that time on any given day.  If I can add that it's someone's birthday, or that the shop closes early that day, terrific.  But, literally, I want to be able to display a month and add plain text to each day.

This seems like it should be easy, but apparently it isn't.  And, oddly, googling it doesn't help.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on January 29, 2017, 06:26:38 PM
I sometimes have more luck finding things by doing an image search, finding an image that looks like what I want, and then going to the site the image came from. Or you might get an idea from an image.

Are you going to host this on your own site?
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on January 30, 2017, 10:22:20 AM
Ideally not, but if I gotta, I gotta.  I tried looking at SMF forum options, calendars, etc, but JFC.  I don't have time to pick through it.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on January 30, 2017, 11:59:10 AM
What I was getting at was like maybe a spread sheet, saved as a pdf or whatever, and linked on your site. That seems like something that would pretty simple and flexible. If you're okay with Excel. There's probably a schedule template available online somewhere. Maybe hide the link inside "links of interest" as "employee portal". Whatever you do is not going to be private, if you don't want them to have to login.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on January 30, 2017, 02:32:50 PM
It can just be an obscure URL with a No Robots.  But a PDF is still horrific overkill.  Honestly, a damned bitmap would be more elegant than that.

The main thing is that I laboriously work out a schedule, and then people (A) forget what their schedule is or (B) want to ask if they can make changes.  And if you're not at the shop where you can see the calendar, it's a farking mystery.

I don't mind if only I can change the online calendar, but it needs to be something that can be trivially opened in a browser, even on mobile, and it literally just needs to show at least a week at a time and allow me to put text into the square for each day.

Maybe I'll just see if everyone's phone can display an RTF file in the browser.  I mean, that shouldn't even be an issue, but god only knows.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on September 24, 2017, 01:13:52 PM
SO, tangerine and I have been fooling around with the idea of a hand-cranked generator for powering USB-type and/or 12V batteries, as this area is prone to power outages.

I've been looking at DIY stuff online, and . . . most of it is utter crap.  :lol:  :eyeroll:

Basically, you got your Elementary Science Fair stuff, where you turn a crank and it lights up an LED until you stop.

Then you got your Holy Crap aluminum-foil-instead-of-wires stuff that's meant to charge a battery (either kind) but has no rectification or diodes to prevent battery discharge, much less any voltage regulation.  In some cases, people use a voltmeter and just watch it to make sure their 19.2V drill motor doesn't put out more than 15V while they're charging a 12V battery.

In many cases, these people use a wooden spoon (always wooden) stuck through a hand mixer's beater attachment as a crank.  You can't make a better crank than that?  You're not going to survive the apocalypse.  That's an OK crank if you're macgyvering on the spot, but not if you're prepping.

Then, lastly, you've got your off-the-grid people who just want to demonstrate that they built a (usually pretty crappy) bicycle-driven generator, but who don't want to explain how they did it.

I'd want something that turned out a consistent current and used, say, a one-foot crank arm or flywheel (a bicycle wheel would be fine).  Human-powered generators you can typically buy are either teeny, to be highly portable, or pedal-powered and $250, for some reason. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on September 26, 2017, 06:57:46 PM Goal Zero pocket solar panel & USB power + AA/AAA charger, 12-volt outlet. Currently on sale at REI. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on September 27, 2017, 09:20:14 AM :thumbsup: Looks good, but the Blitzwolf products are cheaper. I got a couple of those. I want a crank jobber, too. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: flipper on September 27, 2017, 06:58:39 PM Bandname! Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on November 28, 2017, 03:51:09 PM I want to wire a bunch of light sockets together for low-wattage LED bulbs, and despite conflicting advice online about whether these should be wired in series or parallel, my biggest problem is that what I really need is a lot of short pieces of wire that either have flat terminals or bare ends. I'd pay a few bucks extra to avoid cutting 50 6" pieces and stripping both ends. I've seen such a thing sold in bags before, but I apparently can't figure out what to google to find them. It's not "short pieces of wire" or anything. Times like these, I am keenly reminded of how not-smart our software is at this stage. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on November 29, 2017, 12:47:59 PM try these https://www.amazon.com/Solderless-Flexible-Breadboard-Jumper-100pcs/dp/B005TZJ0AM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1511977650&sr=8-1&keywords=wire+for+breadboard Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on November 29, 2017, 05:56:17 PM I need ones that will take 110V house current, and those look much too thin, but "jumper" is probably the keyword I was missing. Terrific! Now to look for something similar but in a lower gauge. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on December 02, 2017, 03:31:24 PM Couldn't find exactly what I wanted, but Home Depot's website eventually coughed up a listing for 8" grounding pigtails in 12 AWG, 25 to a bag for$20, spade terminal on one end and ring terminal on the other.

That'd do, although it's kind of overkill.  They do offer 14 AWG pigtails, without a terminal at one end, but only in $100+ bulk quantities (250 or more). Even cheaper on Amazon, but elusive in higher gauges. Can't quite win, but 12 or 14 AWG should be good enough. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Sidious on December 02, 2017, 09:16:27 PM ... but 12 or 14 AWG should be good enough. That should be just fine. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on December 03, 2017, 12:17:07 PM :thumbsup: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: vox8 on April 07, 2018, 08:38:27 PM My son is a tech nerd and I don't understand half of what he talks about. He is obsessed with "vintage" computing and would cut a bitch for a Sega Dreamcast. He also watches weird stuff on YouTube and came across something called the Memz virus? So he downloaded VMware, created a virtual machine on his computer and made a YouTube video of running this virus. I really don't understand it. But what I do understand that it would mean the world to him to get a few views on this video he just uploaded. So if you have a couple of minutes to spare please consider watching his video - maybe giving it a like? Share it with a friend or two (probably in the 11 yr old range) who might, somehow, find it interesting? https://youtu.be/r7XlokG4MZ8 (https://youtu.be/r7XlokG4MZ8) Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on April 08, 2018, 09:07:19 AM Ah, to be young again. Congrats on raising such an effervescent child. :thumbsup: I am viewer #21. He probably knows more about computers than I do, but I noticed he's got Ccleaner, Firefox and an old Firefox profile on his desktop. The people at the Firefox forum I've been going to for years are always saying to not use the two together (http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=3034150). But like I said, he probably knows what he's doing. I would just feel negligent not mentioning it. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on April 08, 2018, 11:49:31 AM :lol: It makes Windows even worse! :thumbsup: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Sidious on April 08, 2018, 04:52:55 PM Excellent video, that kid's got it goin' on. Liked and subscribed! :lol: It makes Windows even worse! :thumbsup: I wasn't able to notice the difference. I'm sure the virus does subtle things. I'll have to watch it again. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: flipper on April 10, 2018, 02:50:25 PM He's adorable! Watched, liked, subscribed. :detta: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: vox8 on April 17, 2018, 04:25:37 PM Thank you all! He is a crazy man. I will pass on the Firefox comment. I have no idea what he has going on. He started downloading operating systems for fun when he was about 6 or 7. At 7 he was reading a copy of "Unix for dummies" he found in Roger's stuff. He once had a minor obsession with Ubuntu? I have no clue. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: flipper on April 17, 2018, 07:08:20 PM I'm on a hackathon team with engineers from the emulation team. Tons of jargon and way over my head stuff. I get to be the financial sanity guy. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Sidious on April 18, 2018, 10:11:09 PM He once had a minor obsession with Ubuntu? A lot of kids go through that. It's a phase. I'm sure he moved into more reasonable Linux distros. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on April 19, 2018, 12:28:05 PM He once had a minor obsession with Ubuntu? A lot of kids go through that. It's a phase. I'm sure he moved into more reasonable Linux distros. BSD 4.2? :bolt: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: vox8 on April 19, 2018, 01:18:47 PM He once had a minor obsession with Ubuntu? A lot of kids go through that. It's a phase. I'm sure he moved into more reasonable Linux distros. I'll ask him what he prefers now and report back. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on April 19, 2018, 04:08:26 PM I'm still pretty happy with CinnaMint, with minor caveats: - Keyboard support is so-so. This is an interface flavor issue, and while it's different from typical Windows issues, it's not worse. - The default file manager and image viewer are pretty bad. I'm sure there are better ones out there, but I just haven't had time to go find them. - Its reliance on the internet, and how that works, for things like Help and installing programs is embarrassingly bad, but apparently this is common to a lot of distros. Again, if I had time, I'd learn to use sudo and yadda yadda, but this is the kind of install where you shouldn't have to learn to use sudo and yadda yadda. I wish WINE (the Windows emulator) was so good that running minor Windows applications was trivially simple, fast, and so on. But, again, this is probably almost entirely only because I haven't had time to go find free Linux apps that are pretty similar. I fear there will never again be an app like the original InfoSelect, though, so I hope I can eventually get it running under WINE or something. Some day, when I have the time, whatever. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Sidious on April 19, 2018, 09:37:35 PM BSD 4.2? :bolt: Sicko. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on April 20, 2018, 12:08:27 AM BSD 4.2? :bolt: Sicko. :unf: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on April 24, 2018, 09:45:24 AM Now, see, what I really need is a browser where if I press, say, Alt-click when selecting a link, it will automatically download the linked page to a cache and then open it from the cache as an offline document. Completely offline. Unless I load that page normally, pretend there's no internet connection when you render that page. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: stormneedle on April 24, 2018, 10:47:26 AM Currently, even straight forward looking pages can contain scripts that interact with the server behind the scenes. Some are well written and "fail gracefully" and invisibly if there is no connection with the server. But if you open a page from cache, do you want the web page to be able to "phone home" or not? If the connection fails and it's a badly written page, I'm not sure if a browser is the right place to try overcome the page resolution issues. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on April 24, 2018, 11:09:39 AM Like I said, for this I'd want the browser to pretend there was no internet connection. I want the document to be dead. A lot of pages won't render properly like that, due to being shit. But Opera's User Mode display options will usually render them well enough that you can easily read all the text. There are an awful, awful, awful lot of awful webpages where I'd rather just have the text come through than deal with their phone-home attempts and ad-loading attempts and certificate bullshit and JavaScript bullshit. The photos and formatting and so on are worth the extra BS maybe 10% of the time. Once you get used to websites loading kind of instantly, waiting for JS / third-party content you don't want and didn't ask for / blah blah blah . . . you lose patience for that. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 15, 2018, 10:36:21 AM The internet constantly moves away from the kind of internet I like -- especially commercial sites, but there's less and less HTML and simple content delivery all the time. I'm finding it easier to accept this. Reddit's redesign is making me find that I'd rather just let Reddit go than keep turning off JS and cookies and reloading every page several times until it displays acceptably. I do think there's a good chance of a major struggle between browser-apps that try to extract content regardless of what the publisher wants, on the one hand, and publishers trying harder to restrict access to the content they're fielding. It's not different from the old paywall problem. Sites moving further into complex labyrinths of design that 'brand' content or try to avoid having it referred to from or copied elsewhere . . . it's really the same thing. And it's really a struggle against the basic concepts of the early internet. I really prefer those concepts, myself. I'm sure there's enough Usenet-esque POSH internet out there that I can discover instead, and I can even spend less of my life online, and yadda yadda. But if I seem to vanish completely, it's probably just this process of the internet moving on. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on May 15, 2018, 03:17:36 PM The internet really has gone sour. I'm pretty sure it isn't just my sourness. It's grown into more of a utility than a form of entertainment. As much as I've grown to dislike what it has become, I don't think I could get by without it. It has crossed my mind a lot lately though. I haven't seen the reddit redesign yet, but there are plenty of things there to dislike without it. My interaction there has deteriorated to lurk-only mode. I saw a conversation a while back on Hacker News about how RSS should make a comeback, how, in retrospect, it was a pretty great thing. No shit. So maybe there is hope, but then later I read another article on there (https://techcrunch.com/2018/05/06/subscription-hell/) about the increased popularity of paywalls "due to adblockers", and the author talks about the expense of their subscriptions: Quote These days, my media subscriptions are hovering around$80 a month, and I don’t even have TV. Storage costs for Google, Apple, and Dropbox are another $13 a month. Cable and cell service are another$200 a month combined. Software subscriptions are probably about $20 a month (although so many are annualized its hard to keep track of them). Amazon Prime and a few others total in around$25 a month.

The article is prompted by the announcement by Bloomberg of a $35/month subscription fee. :lol: I just realized yesterday that if I disable CSS on one of my local news sites, I can view pictures that are normally not visible without enabling scripts for dozens of domains. Twitter has begun throwing up a "Would you like to proceed to legacy Twitter" message that can be killed the same way. It gets tiring trying to figure out how to workaround their feature/bugs. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 15, 2018, 04:44:05 PM Quote It gets tiring trying to figure out how to workaround their feature/bugs. Exactly this. Opera used to make it relatively easy, but there's more and more garbage code and pseudocontent all the time. There are tons of pages that take like twenty seconds or more to download and render, but all I REALLY want is the text. If I turn off images, JS, CSS, the pages load in 2-3 seconds. It's like if you've ever driven a car that had insanely intense styling but was a shitty car. It gets really old, really fast, and meanwhile you can hardly get anywhere. I don't need a website to have fine Ultragrain Laminate Veneers and Rich Corinthian Leatherette. My cell service is$40 a month, which really isn't bad at all for what I get, god knows.  I still don't have home internet because there still aren't any non-rip-off options here, but I'm just delaying the inevitable.  So much of the internet is just intolerable on mobile.  I don't have cable; I don't use any pay online storage.

I do have Amazon Prime, but all I want and use it for is shipping options and to help slightly game Amazon's insanely incompetent search function.  You can search Amazon about as well using Google, and it's faster and less offensive.  Meanwhile, retailers also continually learn how to game Prime, so it's more and more common that I can find a cheaper option even with shipping off-Prime.  I rarely actually need the thing the next day, so . . . I think I'm gonna dump Prime.  If Amazon were a less annoying and evil company, then maybe.

There are a lot of sites that I'd pay $5 a month to use if they'd knock off the bullshit for subscribers. There should be at least a stripped-down option for the interface. I'm not against ads; I'm against shitty, annoying ads that take forever to load and that ruin the page. You could keep simple ads on a subscriber page without irritating me. BUT I suspect it's not to be. I could be wrong; there could be a revolution toward content, if enough people get sick of bullshit and a corporation or two gets lucky exploiting that. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on May 15, 2018, 05:04:32 PM I'd be okay with some ads too, but allowing a bunch of unknown third-party domains to scripts is just insane, even though it is SOP. Apparently that is the only way ads can be offered up. Did you see the Buzzfeed article about the industry built on gaming the review system on Amazon? It's just gotten ridiculous. There's probably someone gaming the gamers. You can't trust anything, and there's little point in participating in anything, unless you go in all the way. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on May 15, 2018, 06:00:57 PM And then, after bashing the internet, Ratman, by Moebius (https://dangerousminds.net/comments/moebius_sends_batman_to_the_shrink). Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on May 15, 2018, 06:50:27 PM As Neal Stephenson once observed, the suburban night contains much weird beauty if you just care to look. I found, in under a minute, a scanned copy of a short story published in Omni in 1979, because the recent decision of World Rugby to disqualify Romania *and* Spain from the World Cup called it to mind. I am working hard on ignoring all the parts of the Internet that do not please me, and this does let me enjoy its features more from time to time. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 16, 2018, 04:04:39 PM That's the whole thing. It's full of treasure, but it's like a tourism town where all the main attractions are actually shit. You gotta know where to eat and where not to eat. MEANWHILE . . . a link started appearing on Reddit pages that says Visit Old Reddit. :lol: NICE. You put "old." at the beginning of a Reddit URL, and you get the old version . . . except even better. For instance, the mobile version is now the desktop version, which was always better (at least on my mobile) than the mobile version. Some of the links on an old.reddit page go to the regular new Reddit link instead of the corresponding old.reddit version, which is forgiveable. BUT it's basically what I was saying they ought to do. So unless it vanishes in three months, terrific. Quote Did you see the Buzzfeed article about the industry built on gaming the review system on Amazon? No, but I've seen similar. Amazon is a hot mess. We recently 'sold' an expensive thing where Amazon's software decided it had a better photo than our scan of the item, so it changed the picture . . . to something not the same. And a customer bought it. And then was understandably mad that we shipped them the wrong thing. This happens periodically, and sometimes Amazon tells us they've changed our listing for us, and sometimes they don't. There are a lot of things they don't police well. Not just them, but they want to be the top dog. For instance, sometimes a merchant will pretend to be twelve different merchants and list a single copy of an item twelve times with almost identical prices. Then, if you search for that item, they spam the shitty search function. Places like ABE Books, it makes the entire first page of listings entirely the same single vendor. At Amazon, it makes it look like there are a ton of cheap sellers when there aren't. That crap is done with software, so it's easier for some schlub to game Amazon than to actually sell a bunch of stuff. :shrug: Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on May 16, 2018, 07:01:05 PM I thought you were supposed to be able to choose 'old reddit' in your preferences. I don't know, as I said, I've been fortunate enough to have not been switched over yet. The Amazon fake review article was pretty fascinating. I don't normally read Buzzfeed articles. Quote The systems that create fraudulent reviews are a complicated web of subreddits, invite-only Slack channels, private Discord servers, and closed Facebook groups, but the incentives are simple: ... merchants are willing to pay thousands of people to review their products positively. https://www.buzzfeed.com/nicolenguyen/amazon-fake-review-problem Quote I am working hard on ignoring all the parts of the Internet that do not please me... I've been trying to avoid the stuff designed to make the viewer angry for years now, like by scanning headlines and skipping articles that I know will piss me off, but now even the headlines are enough to get me going. It's tough to dodge the aggravation. When I first started exploring the internet, I would get sucked in every time and lose hours going down rabbit holes. Now I have a hard time killing 30 minutes, unless it's fighting the improvements, like trying to actually view something or find something. It used to be so much easier. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: flipper on May 16, 2018, 07:29:00 PM I tend to avoid normies (not HMOF) and stick with a short list of curators. I get a lot of laughs from the people I follow on twitter and facebook. I still listen to podcasts at work and follow several youtubers I like. I've resigned myself to accepting that I'm missing out on tons of stuff but happy that what I do catch is usually pretty good. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 17, 2018, 09:21:06 AM If you're getting good stuff from the internet on a per-minute basis and at a relatively low cost, you're way ahead of the game. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on May 17, 2018, 04:06:41 PM By strange coincidence, I was presented with a link to the geocities tumblr archive (http://oneterabyteofkilobyteage.tumblr.com/) today. I've seen links to it many times, but I was only in the mood (after the conversation here) to spend any time there. Beyond the terrible design, there's a lost magic there, something equivalent to the allure of a "grab bag", the aforementioned rabbit holes, and the sense that there are strange and interesting people out there, not just different groups of opposing agendas. I get a lot of laughs from the people I follow on twitter and facebook. I have no doubt you have a great compilation of people, and I'm a bit envious, but I don't think I regret missing what you have been through to get there. I guess I want my cake without the shit topping of FB and twitter. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 18, 2018, 08:52:37 AM For me, the infuriating qualities of Facebook utterly drown out the value of the good content. I just can't. It's like, "Hey, we have this awkward party line you can use to talk to your friends and some other people who, OK, some of them are cool, but, anyway, you have to have this electrified eggplant shoved up your ass while you use it, and also loud advertisements and Facebook frosting will be sprayed at you constantly." What ruins Twitter for me is that CONSTANTLY CONSTANTLY CONSTANTLY aggregator sites have an interesting headline, and then the link just goes to a Tweet that recapitulates the headline or otherwise has nothing additional to offer. Never mind that Twitter's presentation has turned to hot garbage. It all goes back to signal-to-noise. The more things change, the more chrome gets layered on and drags the paper airplane to the bottom of the sea. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on May 18, 2018, 11:04:08 AM I've found I can take FB about once or twice a day. I scroll through my feed and that's pretty much it. I NEVER do those stupid quizzes. Maybe that's why none of my info was stolen. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on May 18, 2018, 03:12:22 PM Maybe that's why none of my info was stolen. That would depend on your definition of info. Or stolen. They've acquired a lot of info on you, just not as much as from those that answered those quizzes. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 19, 2018, 10:03:37 AM Very little of what went into my Fbook page was true or even pseudo-true, sooo . . . they got a lot of data that doesn't correlate very well. However, I'm sure most of the data and data analysis they sell is garbled crap. If the companies that bought it had the time and skill to verify that it was any good, they wouldn't need to buy it from Fbook / Google / Amazon / etc. So there's no incentive for the data vendors to produce particularly good data, only to market it well. Propagandists would like us to think that the CamAnal scandal is about privacy because they figure there's nothing we can do about privacy, and we'll just get used to it. But it's not a privacy scandal. The scandals involved are: A) Facebook, et al, dealing in bad faith, and most people not clueing in. B) Corporations like CamAnal springing up to game society in order to circumvent economics, politics, culture, etc, to any end, for money. C) Politicians, et al, rushing to use corporations like CamAnal to circumvent economics, politics, culture, etc. I doubt CamAnal's product was actually worth the money. It's mostly hype. But it's a fundamentally antisocial product; it's not like prior market analysis products because of how it differs in sourcing, scale, and application, but to the extent it is like prior systems, those prior systems were also unethical, scummy, antisocial, and essentially evil. But CamAnal gives bad actors the veneer of commerce and common practice necessary to reach for new ways to gerrymander, suppress voters, go racist / etc, and generally waste vast, vast sums of money being anti-democratic and foul. Which is the real scandal. Facebook works hard to deceive its users in order to take value from them without their knowledge. That's a scandal. Facebook sells that value (perceived or real) to corporations that specifically intend to do bad things with it. That's a scandal. Politicians rush to exploit those corporations in order to game the public and subvert our entire political system. That's a scandal. Then pundits lie and say the outrage should be that CamAnal knows what you Liked. And that, too, is a scandal -- the lie, not the data. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 19, 2018, 10:07:39 AM Anyway, my current Facebook hatred is that they allow visitors to our commercial pages to Suggest Changes. Then we have 14 days to reject changes, or else they go into effect. We get probably two suggestions per week, and I don't think one has ever yet been correct. Also, Facebook doesn't always remember to email us to notify us. And according to Facebook, you can't turn off this 'feature'. Sure. Not amateur-hour at all. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on May 19, 2018, 04:42:20 PM The value of all that info is really tough to pin down, beyond the obfuscation factor. We’re in the early days of figuring out what to do with it, like electricity at the turn of the century. The amount that’s been harvested, by whatever means, compared to the amount that has been leveraged is astronomical. Our personal info sits on hard drives all over the world, in the hands of people that don’t know how to leverage it. Their inability is not much consolation to me. Trying to determine if some info or record of behavior of mine is valuable, piecemeal, is futile. I can only choose to avoid giving up as much as possible, and trying to avoid encouraging the harvesting by not transacting with known harvesters. So to say the real story is the utilization of the info is true in that that is the “news”, and that the privacy lesson is old, but that privacy lesson has still never been learned. It can't be repeated enough, because people just aren't getting it. Or maybe I missed your point :P Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 19, 2018, 05:52:26 PM WELL, a lot has to do with "value", which partly needs to be calibrated to a particular entity. Your data has some value to you, and to your friends, depending. Varies a lot. Your data has some value to Facebook, mostly because they can sell it. What Facebook mostly needs is the plausible appearance of some kind of utility of data, multiplied by some alleged amount of data. Most companies that buy it probably aren't making good use of it, but it's sexy and 'important' to buy it. Also, advertising is mysterious and insane nowadays. The days of just buying an ad of a certain size in the paper are long gone, and even buying an ad of X number of seconds during Y part of prime time is a largely outdated concept. Targeting is a huge deal, and you need data to do it. And then did it work? You need to buy more data! It starts off fairly stupid and gets worse. You probably don't want your nudes sold online, but most corporations don't want your nudes, anyway. (Nothing personal.) They probably don't care who your dentist is, but they do want to know how much you pay your dentist in a given year. Do I personally care if the corporate internet knows how much I spend on dentistry? I mostly don't care. Do I care if they carelessly leave that information online, tied to my name? Yeah, much more irritating. But I think the much bigger deal is how Facebook seeks to extract data against the users' wishes, and how corporations seek to use it to screw with the fundaments of society, and how politicians rush to undermine our government using those corporations. Those are much worse problems. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on May 19, 2018, 06:04:13 PM But I think the much bigger deal is how Facebook seeks to extract data against the users' wishes, and how corporations seek to use it to screw with the fundaments of society, and how politicians rush to undermine our government using those corporations. Those are much worse problems. I'm not sure if it's worse, or if it's just more unreported or emphasized, they are the same basic problem really. Focusing on the issues of abuse of users' info is more likely to get results than focusing on educating users. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: flipper on May 20, 2018, 01:37:57 AM I do use privacy badger and keep my security settings pretty locked down. Also I don't use my phone on any social media sites. It's all from my laptop through my company's VPN and Firewall. I have never provided my telephone number and have only used my yahoo spammail as a login. I also mostly browse in incognito too. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: mo on May 20, 2018, 04:08:23 PM That sounds pretty good :shrug: The thing is, one slip-up on one site can undo a lot of precautions taken, so it's hard to know how safe you are. The VPN is probably a big help. Yahoo just updated their TOS, btw. They now scan all emails, including financial, and have taken away user rights to file class action suits, if you haven't heard. I'm sure you don't use it for email, I don't either, but I also have an account because of Flickr and Hotmail requiring another backup account. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: pdrake on May 20, 2018, 11:39:19 PM I think having my own domain has helped my email experience overall. I shudder whenever I have to go to my gmail. I'm not sure how many messages there are there. Thankfully it's pretty rare these days. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on May 21, 2018, 08:50:14 AM Like so many things, Gmail keeps getting worse, but fortunately the non-JS version still works. Getting that version to work on my phone is always a tooth-gnashing pain when I first set it up, but after that it works consistently. So long as I only try to use one Gmail account from my phone. We've never managed to get Gmail to work with Thunderbird here, unfortunately. Supposedly you can do it. An actual text-oriented low-bullshit email client makes email fifteen hundred times easier, at least on desktop. Title: Re: Geek Talk Post by: random axe on July 21, 2018, 06:48:09 PM The other day, for no reason, I briefly remembered an arcade game that fascinated me back in the day but which I never played. It was one of those games that looked like it would take$10 in quarters just to learn to play properly, and then you'd still suck.  It wasn't super-common in any arcade I ever went to, but it'd show up occasionally, especially on college campuses.

I realized that I no longer remember the name of the game, which sucks because now I could actually look it up.  And the googles have been no help.

Here's what I can say about it:

- It was around in the late 80s or early 90s.  I definitely think it at least debuted by like 1992 or 1993 at the latest.

- It was a cooperative play game, one or two players on a single cabinet and single screen.

- The theme was some kind of SF thing.

- I was thinking that it had "Time" in the name, but maybe not.

- The player characters flew around, usually against a side-scrolling arena but, I think, sometimes it changed direction.

- The action was pretty fast, with cannon fodder and then bosses.

- When you killed enemies, shimmery coins or hoops or something appeared, to be scooped up.  Occasionally there'd be shops, and the characters could go in and buy power-ups, which seemed like an unusual feature at the time, especially for an arcade game.

- The graphics were pretty complex, not cartoonish, probably multi-level, with multiple backgrounds.  It had a busy, glitzy, shiny look to it.

I don't suppose anyone can guess . . . .
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: pdrake on July 21, 2018, 07:21:04 PM
Defender?

Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on July 22, 2018, 08:52:35 AM
My arcade days were mostly late 70's through early 80's :shrug:

I don't know much about this sub. Since it's a game, it might get solved quickly there.

https://www.reddit.com/r/tipofmytongue/

Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on July 23, 2018, 04:07:40 PM
I have a strict rule about not posting at Reddit.  That way lies madness.  I don't even remember the password to my old user account there.  :whatever:

I should have said . . . the player characters are people in suits, not spaceships or the like.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: pdrake on July 23, 2018, 04:38:03 PM
men in black game? i don't know of one, but i'm sure it exists.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on July 23, 2018, 05:18:44 PM
That sounds like joUst  ... ?
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on July 23, 2018, 05:19:56 PM
https://youtu.be/7BNBQxMnvzs

?
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on July 23, 2018, 06:04:59 PM

Yep. I'm sure the answer lies there as well though.

https://www.reddit.com/r/RetroGamingNetwork/wiki/network

Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on July 23, 2018, 06:41:11 PM
It's not Defender or Joust.  It's two dudes in power armor flying around against lavish backgrounds, killing things and collecting coins to buy power-ups.

BUT . . . I learned that Irem made a Nintendo game based on Ronnie James Dio / Ozzy / et al:

http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/holy-diver/
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on July 23, 2018, 07:10:57 PM
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on July 23, 2018, 08:42:27 PM

There's a Time Traveler on that list, but it doesn't sound like what you're describing.

Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on July 24, 2018, 09:53:24 AM
Nothing on that list, alas.  But I doubt this was even close to making enough money to be on there, unless it was really popular overseas.  I probably only ever saw it in three or four places.  It was relatively obscure, which is part of why I was a little obsessed with it.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: flipper on July 24, 2018, 12:59:56 PM
I'm going to California Extreme this weekend.  I'll see if I see something that fits the description there.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on July 24, 2018, 04:00:51 PM
Cooool.

Oh, we went to an actual pinball bar last week.  They had like two dozen games, although the 'legendary' game they have ("Bride of Pinbot") wasn't in the current rotation.

We played some older and some recent games, and it was pretty hilarious even though I'm not any good at pinball.  I particularly liked a machine called "Attack From Mars", the remake version with the full-ass effects (http://www.chicago-gaming.com/afm.php), including the multicolor UFOs and the rumbling alien on top.  Among other things, it has a variety of voices in its sound effect quiver, and they range from R. Lee Ermey to Chef Boyardee.  :lol:
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on July 24, 2018, 04:30:31 PM
Mata Hari (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GVqZeA1hmU) was the pinball game I invested in heavily. Just watching that video tickles my lizard brain. I can hear the "clock" of a free game clicking off.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: flipper on July 25, 2018, 12:24:35 PM
I love Mata Hari.  They had that one there at last year's California Extreme and I played it again.  I used to love the Elvira machine, but they had three different ones.  Ian found this cool baseball game a couple years ago at this event, but it wasn't there last year.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on July 28, 2018, 09:36:20 AM
My phone works a ton better, faster, without crashing or halting, since I disabled the Google Play Store app and as many related apps as I could.

OH WELL

The car scanner app is the only thing I've ever used it to download, anyway.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: mo on July 28, 2018, 02:53:05 PM
I deleted a bunch of stuff off mine when I first got it, and disabled a bunch of the functions. I've only added two apps, I think. One to allow me to transfer files via wifi (to a Mac), and another to allow me to just view the files that are on my phone. Stuff that should have been on the phone to begin with.

I was always suspicious of apps being loaded with nefarious stuff, and in the past few years, extensions. My paranoia turned out to be something else.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on July 28, 2018, 06:18:42 PM
The stupid Google Play shit constantly decides on its own that it's going to download something or whatever.  Fuck no.  It even turns the data on to do it, and the option to not give it permission to do that is grayed out.  :eyeroll:

I have no idea what half the apps and shit on my phone actually do.  On the other hand, that means they're at least unobtrusive.  In theory I should google them all, one by one, with my phone in my hand, but I haven't gotten around to it.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: flipper on July 29, 2018, 01:37:19 AM
I killed two phones in the past month.  So now I have an iPhone 8 and so does Sandy.  I keep just about everything off on my phone, but I do like the using my thumbprint to unlock the phone.
Title: Re: Geek Talk
Post by: random axe on July 29, 2018, 10:35:15 AM
I would hate the thumbprint thing, but I gotta say that my LG phone's ability to make a knock code work is embarrassingly pathetic.  It's not a complex code; rhythm doesn't even matter.  It'