Tuesday, September 20, 2016

More this and that.....


This morning's sunrise, about 7:00 a.m. or a little before.


And this is why I don't really miss the satellite TV that was shut down here recently. The Internet provides the same programming, if you go to your favorite station.

That satellite service was operated by the same company which provides the cable TV here, and they expected us to sign up for cable after they cut off the satellite feed. But I discovered that a UHF antenna I built years ago for my stereo can also receive digital TV signals, so I get 7 channels of digital TV for free from it. Anything else, I can usually find on the Internet. So the cable company didn't get me back.  


Thursday, September 15, 2016

It's half-past September....


The hanging baskets on our bridge are still looking good...


The path along the river to Park Royal Mall still looks summery...


And the river itself is nearly dry, waiting for the rainy season.

And south of our border, the American election campaign is still in full swing, and the bullshit is flying thick and fast. Because of all that, we're getting a look at the unwashed underbelly of America, where racism and low I.Q.s are a much bigger problem than we previously suspected. And billionaires like the Koch brothers are buying politicians, and trying to influence public opinion with lobbyists and a lot of deviously distributed 'think tanks' including some outside the USA, like the Fraser Institute here in town. 

The American political system is rotten to the core, and this election is revealing that more than ever before. A lot of the participants arguing over their Second Amendment about guns don't even know the context within which that amendment was written. And the NRA is taking advantage of the unwashed masses of pistol-packing pinheads to scare them into buying even more weapons. Yet America has a large and well-equipped military quite capable of defending the country or maintaining order. It doesn't need a civilian militia of untrained nitwits with semi-automatic weapons, guzzling Jack Daniel's or Old Snootful, and taking the law in their own hands.

And who the hell in their right mind would choose a candidate for President who has never held any elected office, has no talent for diplomacy, and appears to want to become a dictator? What gang of nitwits would allow that to happen? I think we know the answer to that one, don't we? I can hardly wait for all that to be over. It's ridiculous.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Here and there....


This was last evening's sunset. A Facebook friend in the U.K. thinks it's one of my best, but I'm not so sure. I've done others I like better, such as this one...



...but it's all a matter of taste, I suppose. Different things for different people.

And today being the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11, I felt that I had to add something to all the things on Facebook about it. So I said that I'd like to remind everyone that there are ten times as many people dying every year from firearms 'accidents' and shootings. So if they are going to hold memorial services for the 3,000 killed in 9/11, shouldn't they also do something about that 30,000 dying every year from gunshots? Nobody rushed to comment on that one. The NRA and its gun-lovers are not saying anything yet. Maybe later....

But isn't it remarkable that a whole country can mourn 3,000 deaths, and the President can make a moving address about it, and patriots throughout the land can puff up and posture, but not a damned one of them pays any attention to ten times as many dying every year because of unregulated firearms sales? That's because it's a whole other thing - business. And God Forbid anything should interfere with business, even if the business is about killing one another or suicide.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

More this and that....

Just to maintain my membership in this club, I should add something here, just to prove that I'm alive and still able to do this.

Summer has come and gone. We're into September, and the rainy season is just around the corner once again. I don't like to see the end of summer, because at my age it might have been my last, who knows? But there's nothing to be done about that.

I'm spending a lot of time on Facebook lately. It's amazing what we're learning about the USA during this election campaign. And they seem to be totally oblivious to the fact that the whole world is watching and listening to all that asinine mud-slinging and lack of intelligence. I'm sure we will all be delighted when it is all over. We don't need another 'Dubya' who would like to be another Hitler. Money might buy a college degree but it doesn't buy the smarts that should go with it, and Donald Trump is living proof.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

More Computer Stuff....

If your computer clock starts showing wrong times when you start the computer, that's usually a sign that your CMOS Battery on the motherboard is dying. This is a 3-volt lithium battery about the size of a nickel, but thicker. Usually, it's located near your CPU or between it and your RAM sockets. These usually last about five years, give or take, and you can change it yourself if you are careful. Turn off the power (unplug it from the wall), open the box, and look for a round watch-style battery in a shallow socket on the motherboard. It will probably have a number on it that shows CR2032. It will look like this.....



 Looking at that socket in the picture, there's a little spring-loaded tab at 3 o'clock. Push that outward, away from the battery, to release the battery. When it pops up, replace it, and press the new one down until the latch engages to hold it in place.

While you're in there, use your can of Ultra Duster to blow the dust and dirt out of the fins on the heat-sink on top of your Processor, below its fan. Don't take the fan off, just use the extension pipe on the duster can to reach between the blades, and blow out the dust. Then you can put the cover back on the box, and turn on the power. When first starting up, you'll see some info about your Bios, and it will likely say "Loading defaults.......Press F1 to continue...." So you press F1 and it finishes that, and then shows you your usual login screen. You're back in business again.




Friday, August 19, 2016

Today's top ten


Found - The config files for Wacom Pen Tablet for Linux Mint


I've only been looking for this for about three days. If you have a Wacom pen tablet such as an Intuos Art or etc., and you can't find out what its present settings are, you can open your Terminal and type: xsetwacom list devices and press Enter. That shows you which devices are listed for it in your kernel driver.

You may find that your tablet pen and its touch will work, but you couldn't find out how they are configured. This shows you, if you type in the following command:
xsetwacom list parameters and then press Enter. You'll get something like the above. For its User Manual, type: man xsetwacom. There are three kinds of commands you can use: list, get, and set. The manual explains. 

I should add here that all this applies equally to either Linux Mint 18 or to the latest Ubuntu 16.04. The Linux Mint 18 uses the core features of Ubuntu 16.04. So they're pretty-much the same, except for the graphical user interfaces. And I should also mention here that if you're dual-booting either of these with Windows these will now give you the option of mounting the partition on which the Windows system is located, so you can now access your Windows files directly from within Linux Mint or Ubuntu. That's something I've been wanting for quite a while, and finally, someone did it. And I thank them profusely. Now, if I want to use an image from my pictures folder in Windows 10, I can access that directly,  instead of rebooting into Windows, emailing it to myself, and then booting back into Linux to open the mail. Much better! Isn't progress wonderful?

Today's top ten....


And another week flew by.....


Our Gabriel's Trumpets have more colors this year. I like the orange ones.


Last night's full moon, rising over the industrial park along the waterfront.


Local wildlife.




Monday, August 15, 2016

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The HUD Weather Gadget is working again


Several months ago the source codes for locations were changed, and the weather part stopped working. One of its users has now fixed it, and it's back up again. If you want these and other gadgets for your Windows 10, click here for 8GadgetPack's latest version.
And be sure to read the FAQs, which have some useful information for you.

Today's Top Ten


Monday, August 8, 2016

Friday, August 5, 2016

Linux Mint 18.0




This is the latest version of Linux Mint, and there are some interesting changes. For example, this one is based on a newer version of Ubuntu, so some of your older programs will probably be removed during installation, and you may wish to either try re-installing them later, or use the newer substitutes for them that will come with this new release.

Another nice thing about this release is that even though it is based on a newer version of Ubuntu, which we're told makes this a major change, I was still able to do an "in-place" upgrade, as we have been able to do with the LM 17 series, which is all based on the same version of Ubuntu. This new LM 18 being based on a newer version of Ubuntu supposedly would make that more difficult. But I did the whole thing using instructions on a website, in combination with Terminal,  the command line program, and while it took some time, everything went without problems, and was quite successful.

When I say "quite successful" I mean that it automatically saved my personal files and pictures and backgrounds from the 17.3, and re-installed those into this new 18.0 without difficulty. There's a video on YouTube discussing installing 18.0 in which the speaker laments the fact that his new 18.0 installation doesn't have his favorite old backgrounds, etc., and I can't explain that. All I can say is that he may have missed something in the instructions while preparing for the installation procedure. There's a couple of things to do beforehand, such as set your Terminal Profile Preferences to allow unlimited scrolling. There's going to be a lot of scrolling as the upgrade starts happening. And you have to read the instructions very carefully, and follow them exactly.  And if you do, then it all has a happy ending.

And before I close this off, I'd like to add that a lot of us are becoming somewhat disenchanted with our Wonderful Windows 10, and even Satya Nadella has admitted that Windows 10 has been a disappointment for them. I'm thinking it may be because I'm not alone in my feeling that Cortana, the personal assistant, is a little too invasive with its need for access to our personal information to let it work as designed. For me, it seems like spyware in a good suit, and I don't like it. The Good News is, we've now got a new release of Linux Mint, with some nice new features. So if you aren't happy with your Windows 10, you know what to do about it, don't you?

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Mars this evening....

There's a new version of Stellarium just released, and these are views of Mars from its two moons, Deimos and Phobos.



Thursday, July 28, 2016

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Sunday, July 24, 2016