Monday, October 12, 2015

Today is Thanksgiving in Canada...

And our "Question Everything" today is: "Why does a roast turkey look like it was shot in the ass to save the hide?"

Where those tracking cookies are coming from.....

Again, I owe Microsoft an apology. The culprit appears to be Google, not Microsoft.....

Just look at the cache for Google here in CCleaner before I dumped all that. It's by far the biggest offender. And now I can find out for sure! And I do apologize to Microsoft. I should have done more homework before running off at the mouth about this. I'm sorry. I'll try harder to do my homework from now on....

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The old red plane, Bahia Feliz, Gran Canaria, Spain

First, let me show you the neighborhood. We're on the island of Gran Canaria, part of the Canary Islands of Spain, off the coast of Africa, and this is near a little village along the south-eastern coastline, Bahia Feliz....

If you look above the combination airport and racecourse, near that light-colored rectangular spot, but slightly above and to the left of that, you'll notice a tiny red spot in this aerial photo view...... and that's the old red plane!

And it looks like this. They describe it for the photo as a "DC7", but if you'll notice the length of pipe hanging down from the tip of the tail, and the distance between the main landing gear and that tip of the tail, this is more likely a DC6B and I say that because the DC6B had that pipe hanging from the tail for a reason. The reason being that on take-offs, and sometimes landings, it was too easy to drag that tail on the runway. So they hung about six feet of 2-inch pipe from the end of it, and when that began to drag on the ground, the pilot knew it was time to adjust the attitude to level it out a bit more, before damaging the aircraft. And it worked, because  as you see, it still has its complete tail.

This plane was first pointed out to me by "Monsieur Beep" who visits the island quite often, and has taken pictures of it himself. And if you're reading this, Monsieur Beep, please say 'hello'..... it's been quite a while now since we chatted. And that's the story of the old red plane. And it's still there.


The Pentangle - Sunday Morning Blues

Simone Pirola & The Black Phoenix SUNDAY MORNING BLUES

Falling in Love Again - Linda Ronstadt with Nelson Riddle and his orches...

Louis Armstrong - Aunt Hagar's Blues (High Quality - Remastered)

Today's Top Ten

Dawn creeps in, on little cat's feet...

Compact digital cameras have come a long way in the last few years.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

More peaceful Processor...

The graph for the Processor has been more peaceful since I wrote about the huge number of tracking cookies on here. Maybe someone doesn't want that kind of publicity, do you suppose?

Moving along here, let's take a look at the offer of a "free upgrade" to Windows 10, from Windows 7 or 8/8.1 - If you're like most of us, then you had to pay for your Windows 7, or your Windows 8, so your upgrade to Windows 10 is costing you whatever you spent on those, and therefore "free" it isn't. You're losing a purchased operating system in exchange for this new version, which you may or may not find as useful or as user-friendly. And when it comes to "user-friendly" nothing since has been able to beat Windows 7. These newer ones have introduced more devious methods of doing simpler things, and calling it progress. 

And the gang at Microsoft have been doing their thing long enough already that they certainly ought to have this down to a smoother system by now. I keep wondering how they can keep on making the same blunders over and over. It's like they're starting off with a whole crew of greenhorns for each new incarnation of Windows, and that might explain all the "teething problems".

Yes, after my "housecleaning" Linux Mint is still OK.

And I'm quite pleased to be able to report this, because sometimes - rarely - but sometimes, not everything goes according to plan. But I am getting better....

Windows 10: New theme: Leaves

These are on a tree 16 floors below my window, beside the driveway, and with a little tweaking with Irfanview these came out quite nicely. The camera is a Nikon Coolpix P510, and it does a nice job.

Would you like to free up about 12 Gb (Yes, "Gb") of space on your hard-drive? Of course you would. So use the built-in Disc Cleanup, and set it to "Clean up System files", and wait for it to find them all. Then when it has, just click "Yes" when it asks if you'd like to dump them. Then, use Disk Defrag to defragment what's left. But while you're downloading it, be careful to uncheck the bloatware or you'll end up with more than you bargained for. The good news is, as I noticed while watching it in action just now, it also defrags anything else on the drive in addition to Windows - like your Linux installation, for example. Cool. 

Interesting comparision, two computers...

I have two computers, as I'm sure I've mentioned before, and both are dual-booting, one with Windows 10 and Linux Mint 17.2, and the other with Windows 7 SP1 and Linux Mint 17.2. This is a screen of the spyware results for the computer with Win-7-Linux on it. The significant thing about this is that during that same period in which there were 589 tracking cookies planted in the Windows 10/Linux PC, there were none planted in this one.

From that, you may draw your own conclusions. The conclusions I'm drawing are that Microsoft's passing around Windows 10 as a free upgrade apparently is assumed by them to give them the right to plant as much spyware in it as they like, along with spyware from all their official and unofficial contributors and contractors. And if you took exception to anything about "freedom" I wrote in the previous post here, perhaps you ought to re-think that.

And it goes without saying that if you're running Windows 10, you'd better have a damned good spyware detector and use it, and check it frequently, and keep its database up to date.

And this is something else you should have. If you buy the Premium version, it has a couple of "extras" including the ability to block incoming malware and show you its IP Address, which you can add to a "blocked" list of sites if you wish. It also has a special scanning feature you can activate which can find things not easily detected by other security programs, and remove those even from an infected machine. And you don't get these things in other programs.

Another handy program to run periodically is Norton Power Eraser. It's a freebie from Symantec and it scans for rootkits and other hidden nasty stuff, and can send whatever it finds back to home base for complete identification, as well as removing it. And it also can repair your Registry if it finds errors there. And it works.

Friday, October 9, 2015

589 tracking cookies! In 5 days....

This is a new record for me. 589 threats detected on an operating system that I haven't been using for almost five days! A machine that has two other reputable security programs on it, both up to date and functioning normally. These 589 were all reported as being tracking cookies. So someone's very interested in what I'm doing on this computer. And I think I know who. But 589 cookies in just a little less than five full days? That's absolutely insane! Nobody needs that many cookies placed on anything for any reason whatever. This is the kind of spying that's going to turn people right off the Internet when they realize it is actually happening.

Sadly, the vast majority of today's thumb-typers are not aware of it - they're too busy Facebooking or Tweeting or babbling mindlessly to one another, totally oblivious to the fact that "Big Brother" is tracking their every move on these cute little toys, figuring out how to make bigger and better profits from all that, mostly without our knowledge, and certainly without our approval. People like those "armed to the teeth" gun-lovers among our American cousins love to rant endlessly about their precious "Freedoms" yet they don't even realize that freedom today is largely a myth. It's a noisy distraction while somebody we've never met picks through our filing systems for fun and profit, while pretending to be as honest as the day is long.

Thought for the Day

Windows 10: New theme....From Linux Mint

This you will recognize as some of that theme from Linux Mint, which is on here dual-booting with Windows 10. And yes, Virginia, you can drag and drop from one to the other if you do it correctly. No need for HomeGroup or Email. That's the big advantage of dual-booting. I got tired of those other backgrounds on here, so I decided to give it a little color. And when I fired up Win-10 today, I had to scratch my head for a moment, because it's been about a week since I'd run it last, and my head was into Linux instead of "Windows 8, SP2". That's a joke, but only partly. When Linux Mint 17.2 was evaluating this drive to find anything else on it, it actually identifies this as "Windows 8". All because of the code numbers it found, which originate with Windows 8. So in a real sense, this very well could be "Windows 8, Service Pack 2". But if Satya and the kids in Redmond want to call it "Windows 10" who am I to argue? Call it whatever you like, just so it works.

Linux Mint: Moving images between computers...

I moved a folder of backgrounds images from the other PC, because this one did not have many, and did it the old-fashioned way, by email. Email is what we called it before Microsoft invented HomeGroup.  (Still works for me!)

And I was looking for a weather gadget to run in Linux, one that isn't from some European location, where they still think North America is "Unexplored Territory" and so I tried this one from Accuweather. It said it has a "dynamic size adjustment" and it automatically chooses a size for your website that isn't going to be unattractive. Really? I was thinking a nice little rectangular window with the forecast briefly shown in a small little window. What I got is enough to swallow half the page! I really hadn't intended to start competing with our Weather Network. They also once had a nice little gadget, but not now. Everything changes, and I don't mean the weather. I mean everything, whether it needs to or not. Something that worked fine yesterday gets all f-f-f-f-f-f-fluffed up today, until it's almost unrecognizable, and so overpowering you just say "To hell with it!" and throw it out to avoid the aggravation. Like I'm doing with Accuweather.

There! I feel better already! If I want to know if it's raining, I'll just open the window and stick my hand out, and see if it gets wet. The simple things in life are often the best ones. We're getting too good at complicating everything and complaining because we have. And that's especially true of computer operating systems. They aren't considered "good enough" these days unless you need a degree in computer science to get the damned things up and running without needing three more night school courses on bytes, kilobytes, megabytes, gigabytes, terrabytes, and re-partitioning hard-drives for fun and extra systems.

I'm so old, I can remember when the first computers consisted of taking off your shoes and socks to count to twenty..... Those were the days! And then along came Bill Gates, and we haven't had a moment's peace since!

Another view of Cairo Dock for the Desktop Icons

The dock can be either transparent, or one of a range of colors. I chose this one just to bring attention to it. When you click on an icon to open its program, it bounces up and down on the dock until it opens its program or folder. The panel or "taskbar" in the above is being automatically hidden to show more of the dock.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Linux Mint: Gimp, the poor man's Photoshop, a great freebie!

This isn't like the photo-editing and image-manipulation programs with which I'm familiar, but it's a very sophisticated program with a lot of 'goodies' which aren't readily apparent at first glance. And it works like a charm!

We've heard the old song "Autumn In New York"..... this image is "Autumn in West Vancouver" and it's of a tree across the street in West Van, as seen from the North Van side of the municipal boundary. And it only took me about half an hour to find the information I needed to locate the Gamma adjustment in Gimp, which doesn't even call it a Gamma adjustment, making finding it not very obvious. But I found the little devil, and it really works. As I said in the header above, this is the poor man's 'Photoshop' and it's absolutely free. So I don't mind doing a little work to learn how to use it properly. It has a learning curve, for sure, but it's worth it.

Decisions, decisions....

I'll find a background I like eventually. This looks better in "real life" on the 30-inch screen of this flat-screen TV I'm using as a monitor. It's still connected for TV too. And you can't do that with a regular computer monitor....