Monday, December 22, 2014

The Quantum World: Uncertainty...

All this may not be exactly what it seems. It's almost surely not, otherwise we wouldn't be referring to it in terms like "The Uncertainty Principle".... so let's take another look, shall we?

Are these perhaps two intermingling sine waves moving in an electromagnetic field of toroidal configuration...?

Or, are we looking at a larger and a smaller object orbiting about a common axis while also moving rapidly in an axial direction, and then entering the event horizon of a 'black hole' while accelerating in a direct line along that axis...??? And that, oversimplified, is an impression of "The Uncertainty Principle".... What we're looking at may not be what we're seeing....

Sunday, December 21, 2014

While adding programs to Windows 8.1 - a reminder.

In addition to Avast Internet Security, I have these two above, because:-

1.) These aren't exactly the same as your standard anti-virus protection.

2.) These can find and remove things that regular anti-virus misses.

Malwarebytes is very good at blocking incoming malware, and Superantispyware is excellent at finding and removing Adware and Bloatware. Don't go surfing without them!

A short "PS" -

That little modification to Registry Editor here in Windows 8.1 is working perfectly - I just tested it to make sure. It resets the Screenshot Counter just like it does in Windows 8.

Also "Resurrected Again" = Windows 8.1

Call this one "Daylight In The Swamp"...

And now, let's get "picky" shall we? Questioning Everything....

Why do I get this...

When I really wanted this...

And why can't I set this more detailed view as my default? Why does it always revert to that guess-what-we-aren't-showing-you? view up above? Did its designers assume we aren't capable of using the whole damned thing? If I bought a car with three dozen useful extras on it, would I settle for only being able to see a third of them when I looked for them? Of course not!! 

And how do you reset the Screenshots counter in Windows 8.1?

Just to review for a moment, in Windows 8, to reset that Screenshots  counter back to "one" after you dumped out its folder to clear out old screenshots that you won't need again, here's what we did:-

We held down the Windows Key plus "R" to get the "Run" box up, and then in it we typed "Regedit.exe" (without quotes) and clicked "OK" to bring up Registry Editor. In it, we navigated to H-Key Current User-Software-Microsoft-Windows-Current Version-Explorer. We clicked on that word "Explorer" in the left column, to see all its "Dwords" and stuff in the right-hand column, and we looked for a Dword named "ScreenshotIndex" and we right-clicked on that to bring up a little choice saying "Modify", and we again right-clicked that to get a little window allowing us to change its hexadecimal value from whatever back to "01", and then we clicked "OK" and closed Registry Editor.

But you can't do that in Windows 8.1 until you create that Dword in the right-hand pane at "Explorer", and then continue from there by right-clicking your new Dword "ScreenshotIndex" to get "Modify" and then assign it a new hexadecimal value of "01". And that brings me to today's Question Everything, which is: "Who quit for lunch break while working on this, and never came back??" ( And aren't you glad I fixed it for you? )

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Resurrected Again: Windows 8

Once again, it's up and running - sorta - but with a lot of stuff yet to be put back into it. I had to try to "renew" it, in an attempt to get into Windows, while that PC-BSD had me locked out of the Boot Sector, but this didn't work, and I still had to find a way into using a Command Prompt, so I could use BCDEdit.exe to remove the boot entry for PC-BSD and then get into one for Windows by doing some more Command Prompt stuff. And finally, getting things back to some semblance of normal. See the fun you can have with more than one system on a computer? It's a great test of your patience, too.

My only other beef today is that Microsoft is trying too hard to give me their Windows 8.1. I have the DVD of it, and have used that to install it on both PCs, and I also have Windows 8 on each - and I don't want to convert Windows 8 into the Windows 8.1 - I want to keep both and keep them separate. So how do I tell Microsoft to quit pressuring me to update the Windows 8 in "just a little while" and "would you like to refresh it now?" NO, Damn it! I don't want to refresh it now! I can do that any time with the disk, but I don't want to. Because I have no need for two Windows 8.1 installations on the same PC.  One is plenty, thanks all the same....

My love/hate relationship with computers

In the previous posting here, I'm bragging about finally getting PC-BSD to upgrade itself to 10.1. And I wrote that before I tried booting the two Windows systems sharing the same drive with it.

Found out, PC-BSD had taken over the Boot Sector, and I couldn't boot either of the Windows, even when I set it for booting from disk, and put in a Windows installation disk. The only way I could get into a Windows Boot Manager was to go into the Recovery and Repair section of an install disk, and get into the Command Prompt, and make it re-write its Boot Sector. Then, I got into Windows, only to find that somehow, the partition with Windows 8 was virtually destroyed - all the programs were removed, and it was reduced to a bare-bones install situation, as if newly installed. I had dozens of programs on it, and it was up to date with its updates. Not any more.

That did it. I downloaded a fresh version of Easeus Partition Manager, and 
promptly re-formatted the partition with the PC-BSD on it, and turned it into another NTFS partition, and installed Windows 8.1 on there instead of PC-BSD. And then began downloading and installing 129 updates for the wrecked Win-8 on the other partition, which shouldn't have been involved in any of that if everything had gone according to plan. I don't know why it didn't, either.

So now, I have to finish decorating not one but two Windows systems, and all because I got upgrading the PC-BSD, and it did a little more than I planned.... But I will say one thing about that - I'm getting damned good at recovering from unexpected disasters, and I'm learning all the tricks of doing that. Except why it's me they happen to like.

PC-BSD - I finally got it updated to 10.1

The frequently discussed automatic updating system didn't do this on it's own, so I had to give it a little manual help, and then wait for quite a while as it did its thing, but it did do it, and the old command-line method still works! So it is now once again right up to date. They've improved their booting processes and modernized those in this latest release, so if you hadn't formatted its partition with the ZFS format, you would need to save your files, and do a clean install of it from disk, after downloading its latest ISO. That's because there's been changes in the main kernel which now is no longer fully compatible with older versions. So if you have trouble, that's probably why. But for a free operating system, this is still a great setup, and it works fine. It runs the same kinds of programs as Microsoft or Apple products, including a free Office suite, if you need one. Try LibreOffice. It's the successor to OpenOffice, and even better.

Meanwhile, in Habana...

Ever since El Presidente's health crisis six years ago, many of us have been hoping that there would be a relaxation of restrictions against travel and commerce with our neighbors in the Caribbean, and that now seems to be coming at long last.

Initial American fears that Fidel's revolution would spread to all of Latin America proved incorrect, and many changes have taken place since this all began in the 1950s. Surely, it's time we all moved on, and normalized relations with Cuba.

If you would like to send them a New Year Greeting, here is the address:-

                                     Rosario Lafita Fernandez,
                                     Head of Correspondence Department,
                                     Radio Havana Cuba,
                                     P.O. Box 6240,
                                     Havana, Cuba

Internet Explorer Guru Exits Microsoft

For many of us, Internet Explorer has never been our first choice of browser for surfing the web. It's been built into Windows for years, and force-fed to us, mostly because (I think) we needed something to access the internet after we first install a Windows O/S, and it does that. But it doesn't have the kinds of security features provided by the add-ons available in other browsers like Firefox or Chrome or Opera, and it still relies on features of DirectX which leave it vulnerable to attacks on that. Internet Explorer in my humble opinion has never been a shining example of Microsoft's best efforts. And I think Microsoft is finally coming to terms with that realization themselves.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Late Night TV: The Half-Vast Cultural Wasteland

Some guys think they are a 'wit' - but they're only half-right!
It will never replace entertainment. 

Irfanview and Windows Technical Preview

Whenever I install the latest version of Irfan's graphics program Irfanview I usually make a small contribution, through Kagi, and we often exchange mail...

Irfan Skiljan

2:07 AM (2 hours ago)
to me
Hi Ray,

Yes, it would be good if Windows-10 is not having very big internal changes ;-)

Thanks again and best wishes!

At 19:52 18.12.2014, Ray Sutton wrote:
May you enjoy a very nice Christmas and New Year, Irfan...

And you'll be pleased to know that your latest version is
working very well in Windows Technical Preview, Build 9879.
If they don't make any big changes, it should be OK later too.

I've suggested they should talk to you about your Zoom features
because yours work better for re-sizing windows than theirs do.
So you may be hearing from them.....

All the best to you!


You can find Irfan's website here...