Apr. 20th, 2017 09:04 am
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 I got a wee Chromebook some months ago for traveling & I've be'en using it for an auxiliary downstairs. It's kind of clunky in the track pad & a bit clunky in the keyboard. The worst part is that the tracking & button features of the mouse are all in the one awkward rectangle so it's confused and not so responsive.

This moment  I'm experimenting with using it as a tablet. It seems to be better at tableting than at laptopping. I'm fonder of laptops than tablets for writing but  I will use this however it uses best.

On another front I think I am done shopping for the trip &  I am almost done sewing. What's left is a few seams on my carry-on bag for my Bipap machine & medicines, and a shopping bag (very quick) for a present for Andrea. If there is time I'll run up the livingroom curtains before I go. Otherwise they can wait.

What I will have made for the trip: 3 presents, all shopping bags: 3 shirts & a nightshirt:: a messenger bag big enough for this wee computer: the carry-on bag: & I don't know if it counts, but 2 skirts I made last summer, my wallet & pussy hat both crocheted for general use. so while I have been so out of it I haven't been completely useless. Everything is from odds & ends, old stash that was free or cheap to begin with, & they fit me. Even the findings, buttons & zippers are found or stored (for example the rings & clasp on the purse are from leashes & harnesses Zluta chewed up in her puppy months). Oh & not EVERY piece is plaid....

On a larger world front, Sarah Kendzior is pissing me off. She's taking every possible opportunity to push a divisive, anti-left, anti-communist agenda. Now that she is a Queen of the Resistance this behavior is dangerous & counter to effective action. But then she's never been as interested in fighting fascism as she is in glorying in its horrors. She remains only interested in foreign interference and not in homegrown oppression.

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So Loki-the-cat now likes to hang out on my computer chair and yowl till I get him and put him in my lap.  Then he purrs and drools for a moment and then he climbs out of my lap and on to the desk and behind the computer monitor.  Once there, he starts rubbing his face against the power cord, purring and drooling all the while, untill he manages to unplug the computer.

Which is why I was yelling at him at two o'clock in the morning when Frank came in.

I had not been up the whole time.  I went to bed at 9:30, and I just got up to pee and check the status of something.  The computer takes long enough to boot itself that I went to bed without checking anything,.
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I have automatic updates and upgrades turned off everywhere I can find the option to do so, because they invariably crash whatever large program is open at the time, and I keep several large programs open almost all the time -- word perfect, firefox, paintshop pro, and frequently also The SIms 2.  But somehow some things can not be turned off.  Stupidhead AVG just crashed The Sims again.  Why? To let me know that there is an upgrade available.  Why not send me a dog-damned email or something?
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I'm offline since last Tuesday, when I was home with influenza and watched a virus take over my computer. It was out of my league, though at least I did recognize the thing almost immediately for what it was, and pulled the DSL cable right away do as not to infect anyone else. I've removed viruses before, but as I say, this one was out of my league. Any command the computer attempted to execute the virus would cancel, throwing up an error message that purported to come from Windows (but which was not in the style my Windows error messages come in-- does that mean the stupid virus wastes code on formatting the error messages itself?), saying that some program or process was infected and do I want to "activate my anti-virus software now?" and it attempts to connect to a website called Anti-virus Soft.

Anyway, I took the computer in, snagging a passing young man, and tonight Emma's taking me to pick it up.

But it's weird that we both have viruses, the computer and I.

My virus is dead now, but now my immune system is reluctant to stand down, and I cough all the time unless I'm drugged to the gills.
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It's taken a few days of offlineness and struggle, but nothing really serious in the end, and now I have a powerful new computer and I have to install things.
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I thought for sure that "my father's axe" computer needed a new sound card because I couldn't get sound out of any device whatsoever. Then I plugged the speakers back in so I could run through all the steps I had run through before and discuss the deal with Frank.

And the sound works perfectly.

Nothing different from before: just the passage of time between tries.

Frank says if your technology is distinguishable from magic it's insufficiently advanced that is, the inverse of Clarke's Law). I spose this behavior on the part of my computer is a demonstration of sufficiently advanced technology.

Meanwhile, we watched a movie called "Swing" -- I think Emma bought it because there's swing dancing in it. It was terrible. There was some good swing dancing in it, and some good music, and a nice plot bunny, but the plot was a betrayal of the bunny, and the protagonist's dilemma was dumb (every musician needs a day job for a while: why couldn't he and his father work that out and just give him the day shifts at the grocery store???) and the music the protagonist was so devoted to was tuneless, lackluster, whiny, and annoying. And the unsuitable lover was portrayed as a clown in a pomo wig.

I did like the lesbian roommate and Jonathan Winters as an old guy with some unfortunate dialog.
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Another cool periodic table to add to your collection. Or rather, mayakda's collection. (via Drawn!)

And we're finally migrating to the Frankenstein computer. It's mostly a computer that was Emma's, with parts that were added from Frank's old computer, and some new parts that he added later. And now it has another new part: an external hard drive enclosure, so I can add "master ninj," the data drive from the grownup's computer, without figuring out which of three hard drives to toss. Also we're using our monitor and speakers, because our monitor is a new modern flat type and thus much cooler and Frank's speaker system has six annoying components to it: one larger and five tiny ones, and honestly, that's too sexy for me. Not to mention the lack of suitable spots to put all those fussy little things and their hopelessly tangled wires. Picture, if you will, five speakers balanced on the edges of the universal power supply, and every time I get one of them settled two of them fall off. I did that for maybe three whole minutes before I unplugged the lot of them and stuck them in a box.

I hear sirens. The rain let up for a while, but it was pretty hard for a while too. There are paths at Lighthouse Field we just won't be taking for a while. And the vernal puddles are much bigger than usual. The dogs like this.
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More about the computer.

I run AVG and Ad-aware. I have validated my damned windows so many times that I feel like a bureaucrat in Kafka story: I have all the updates.

I downloaded a Microsoft crash diagnostic but it appears to not be what I thought it was: apparently it's for their use, not mine. Grr. Checking out the eventlog does not reveal anything related to my freezes -- it's as if they didn't happen at all. It does, however, reveal that one or another of the other computers in my house is battling for "master browser" status. I'd think this might have something to do with it, but the events don't match up with the freezes. Update: the computer which is battling mine for "master browser" status is K, that is, Keith's, and the date at which it started was the date at which he installed Norton on his computer.

I downloaded stupid IE7 which I think I'm going to uninstall as soon as I can figure out how to do it. It's DUMB DUMB DUMB. I hate tabs: I hate the arrangement of the toolbars and the fact that you can only change them by utilizing third-party tweaks, and even then, the toolbars apparently will reset themselves on a whim: at least according to the Microsoft newsgroup users. I have only been using it for half an hour myself, and all I can tell is that I hate the look-and-feel and superficial functionality of it. I also hate firefox, so spare me the recommendation, okay?

The computer has frozen once since the new stuff. It's not a new computer and we did just install a new graphics card because the old onboard one seemed to be making the display go all jittery and wonky at intervals of increasing frequency. We did check before getting the card: it's supposed to be compatible.

The hard drive is IBM DJNA-370910, apparently a product of the year 2000. It's a 34Gb thing with only 10% free, so I'm looking for things to delete and offload and generally cleaning up the disk. But -- that's three gig, and I remember when having a hard drive with a single gig on it was remarkable. Update: Disk cleanup bumps me to almost 13% free.

I have been messing with this all morning and I have done no writing and it's time to go to work. And I don't want to go.
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1. I've got a regular job starting up as soon as the details are worked out. I had no idea it would be this easy or I would have waited until we got Gloria's deal settled. I caleld up five child care centers and got a job at the first one. Apparently, while I can't get anywhere in K-12, in preschool I am golden. I'm going to be closing shift in the infant room, which means mornings for writing or Gloria, depending on how we work that. I have to get my fingerprints done (again: even though it's not supposed to be that way, you basically need a new set every time you get a new job having anythign to do with children). I already got my TB test done.
2. Truffle is slowly mending. Very slowly. She still has no appetite except for straight meat from the people plates, and she doesn't play hard.
3. I have a guy from the insurance brokers' coming to look at the house Tuesday so we're doing massive cleanup and safety work this weekend and Monday.

In other words, I'm re-entering the real world.

4. The CD drive for my laptop has not arrived, which means I have to use Word on it, but I have beaten down the most annoying aspects of Word and I can use it. I may want to also get the extra battery for it, now that I've figured out how long the regular one works (a little over an hour and a half). There are actually three bays on the thing -- the Ultra Bay, another floppy drive which is not removable, and a battery bay. It's too bad about the flopy drive (I have quite a few floppies from the day, but they have mostly deteriorated to unreadability and I no longer trust them for anything)

5. Bloom bloom bloom, to the tune of "dream lover." Apple and roses, bizarre giant geranium (maderense), wild alliums, coral bells . . .

6. They're calling it a dry year -- half the "normal" rainfall. But it's been wet for so many years that they're only restricting daytime outdoor water use. Me, I'm going to ration voluntarily.
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My laptop looks stolen because it has "Property of UCSC" deeply scratched into its cover. It is a sturdy IBM ThinkPad A21m with an Ultrabay 2000 -- floppy. That can be replaced with a modern everything combo for under a hundred dollars (the price of my new tool was $125). It's quite quite functional. I don't know how long the battery lasts between charges. I have downloaded the hardware manual and identified things on it and checked it out -- it appears to be in good shape. Apparently it's not supposed to be charged to 100% unless I know I'm going to work it really hard, and it's now supposed to go down past 30% before charging, and I'm supposed to remove the battery when I'm working on AC.

I bought it legit from the surplus barn and didn't have the wit to by the Apple one for Frank but what the hell, he's a grownup and he can damned well get a job and buy his own.

It has nothing on it to speak of but I will put Word Perfect on it and not much else and use it for writing and not much else. It does have a modem and so I could presumably use it to go online but that is not what I got it for. Also I could apparently get it a wireless card fairly easily.

The nice man at the surplus who sold it to me was the one who checked out the computers so he was able to be quite clear on what was known or not known about them. This one was used by the disability resources center. It has Windows 2000 on it, which I never hated all that much, and 16 gig free on the hard drive, and other than that it appears to have all the better parts where there are choices (memory and stuff).

I know that some of you out there are Mac people: I'm not, but it's just taste with me (I do not like windowblinds, and I hate the specifics of Mac menus and that annoying and snarky Finder apparatus: I just find the Windows way of organizing access more transparent and easier to use). Also I know that some of you are getting the newest and fanciest and making sacrifices to do so. It's not that I'm against gadgetry. It's that I'm in no hurry -- and also I'm seriously underemployed. Anyway, I'm thrilledto have a six-year-old bare-bones laptop that IBM no longer sells the parts to (but other people do!). It's exactly what I wanted.

Except I have to get the new cd-dvd thing before I can install Word Perfect. And it has only one USB port so the fact that I just happened to have acquired a USB mouse for laptops is irrelevant (since I will have one of my jump drives -- either Hermes or Munin -- attached from time to time). I am pleased to discover, since I'm not using a mouse, that I like the little clitoris thing nestled between G, H, and B better than the pad thing on Emma's Mac laptop. Casual investigation revealed no special pain in operation. This is cool!

Its name is probably Hugin. I realize this is skewed, because Hugin and Munin should be the same scale as they are both Odin's birds, but really Hugin is more appropriately applied to a whole computer because it means Thought, and Munin, meaning memory, is more appropriate to a jump drive, and anyway they were named in the order, Hermes first, then Munin when I accidentally acquired a second one, and Hugin last of all.
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I bought this thing. It looked simple. It's a headset with mic, JASCO 98970. It comes with no instructions. I plugged it in -- mic jack to mic receptacle, headset jack to headset receptacle. I checked toi see if there was anything to install. Nope. I did the search to make sure. Nope. I found "windows sound recorder" in the accessories menu and opened it up. I opened a new file. I pressed record and talked. Nothing. Again. Nothing. I looked at the file properties and I did not understand the formats that were offered -- I had never heard of them. So I tried different ones. Nothing.

I went to JASCO's website and there's no mention of the product, and no FAQ for anything. I did find an demail form and filled it out with all the information. I have run out of things to try.

Also, I'm having trouble posting too.
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You know how your Windows machine generally has a little time thing in the far corner of the toolbar?

Why has mine suddenly started gaining large chunks of time all the time, causing me to have to manually resynchronize it? And why does it take two tries to synchronize it?

The first time I noticed it was a few days ago when it was twenty-some minutes fast. This time it was eight minutes fast.

What is this? How do I stop it?
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I want to remove some programs from startup in my computer, for various reasons.

AlcxMonitor -- this is spyware from Realtek

iTunes Helper -- this got installed when the nice fellow downloaded an upgrade for QuickTime. We don't do iTunes. (I like those old scratchy records and those obscure new ones from places I'll never see and when I want something else my kids or my dad will track it down)

mmtask -- yet another music stupidity "Music Match"

I want also to be able to tell the HP printer stuff to go away and not come back unless I ask for it. Especially the updater.

Any advice?

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