Thursday, May 21, 2015

This evening's sunset

They are all different, and all beautiful in their own ways.

Windows 10: ClassicShell Add-on

Curious about ClassicShell on Windows 10's latest build 10074? - Me too!

This is the sort of thing it does....It's a program that changes the GUI from the latest available Microsoft edition back to what we had in 2001 or 2009 and in that sense, it's a sort of "Time Machine". Using it, however, won't make you six or fourteen years younger, better looking, more sexually desirable, or richer. But it might accent the changes we've had in Windows during this past fourteen years.

It's a little "buggy" probably because Windows 10 is a 'self-healing' system, and it automatically tries to repair deviations in its systems as those are detected. That may explain why I haven't yet managed to get any results by clicking on that icon in it that says "Start Screen". But clicking other buttons in it probably will give me anything that might be on that anyway, but with fewer visuals.

Do I need this? Not especially. This PC already has the licensed versions  of Windows 7 SP1 Home Premium, Windows 8.1, and of course Windows 10 Pro Insider Preview, Build 10074. I think that's sufficient to satisfy my Windows requirements for the moment, don't you? So why did I do this then? Just for the hell of it, to show you what it looks like, because it is nice looking.  And now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go back into Control Panel, to Programs and Features, and put Windows 10 back to normal.....

Please Note: If you install and then remove ClassicShell, it requires a reboot to finish the process, and that's not the end of it.... You will also need to go into your own User's-Name\AppData Folder, into both its Local and its Roaming subfolders, to remove a folder in each named ClassicShell. Those have settings and other stuff left behind by that program, and you need to remove these because the Windows Registry settings need to be updated to show these are now completely gone. So please don't neglect that.

If you've looked in your User's-Name folder, and haven't seen any folder there for AppData, that's because it's a "hidden" system folder, and to see it in there you need to go into Control Panel, to File Explorer Options/View Tab and choose to Show hidden files and folders. Now, you'll see it.

My friend in Lebanon comments on Windows 10...

Pascal is a doctor in Lebanon, too close for comfort to that Syria problem, and yet he manages to maintain a healthy sense of humor and is one of the sharpest minds in the Middle East. I thoroughly enjoy our exchanges, and my reply to him on Facebook just now is in French because that's his language of choice. On a good day, give Pascal and I half an hour or so to rap, and we can solve most of the critical problems in this half of the galaxy! I betcha!

Using Windows 10 Feedback: How it works...

Fine, thank you very much! I love this feature passionately, and I really wish Mighty Microsoft would keep it in the public versions of the Operating System.

I realize that might be a problem, given all the 'smart-asses' out here who love to play 'silly buggers' with the rest of us serious users, but maybe you could find an algorithm to strain out the usual patterns of those kinds of comments, so that the rest of us could continue to share our input with you.

Satya wants us to love our Windows. But first, we have to understand and trust one another, and that means 'communication' and communication implies a two-way exchange between us. Windows is one of the greatest communicating systems ever developed in this half of the galaxy, so may we please use it?

Today's 'Question Everything'.....

And the question is: "How many of you know who she is?"

Hint: "She made movies with Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly...."

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Make a Windows 10 Theme of Dubai....

As described in an earlier blog post, these go into a folder DesktopBackground within another folder you name Dubai, and then that goes into your Themes folder, which you will find at:-
C:\Users\Your name\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Themes.
Drag and Drop 'Dubai' into that Themes folder, then open it, open the one for DesktopBackground, select all images, right-click on any one and choose to 'Set as desktop background'. That puts it on screen as a slideshow-type background.
Now right-click an empty spot on Desktop, choose the bottom item Personalize on that dropdown list, and when a new window opens, pick Themes in the right-hand column, and then choose Go to Theme settings, the top item on the right.
That shows you a window of thumbnails each representing one of your themes. Your new one will have appeared in the uppermost left-hand corner. Right-click it to open a box where you can choose to Save and give it a name (Dubai).
You can close that window, and go to Search (Cortana) and ask it to Change Desktop Background. That results in being shown a new window with all the individual thumbnails of your newest theme, and below that, an active box where you choose the timing for each image to display before changing to the next in the series. Make your selection, and remember to Save Changes! Then enjoy your new theme. That's all there is to it. 

Here's how it looks on the Desktop.........

You've got to see this! Jetman Dubai: Young Feathers

Thank You, Eolake, for putting this one on your blog. And you're absolutely right, it's much better in full-screen (and with headphones!). The second half does have the best visuals, just as you say. Thanks again for this link! This is fantastic. I'd really like to see how they land. They don't show us that part....
But the flying is fantastic! I wish I was 40 years younger and had one of those.

With a good hot Kawasaki for when you're down, and one of those when you're up, you'd have it all, almost.... But now, I have questions: What's the endurance of that rig? How long can you stay up before it runs dry? And of course, how do you land it without becoming like the famous "Ooo-Ooo Bird" whose gonads hung lower than its feet, and always hit the ground first, giving it it's name? 

So........How does he do it????  .........Watch this one........


In the right-hand margin here...

There's been a few changes under 'You May Enjoy' which you may wish to try...

Windows 10: DISM.exe: What you might not know about it...

It works! So why am I so excited? Because this hasn't been able to find its Source files until very, very recently! And apparently, now it can! So what does that mean? It probably means that Windows 10 is getting much closer to its final incarnation, and the roof's on now, and they're getting ready to install the try to restrain your impatience. Summer's coming, and so is our Windows 10.

And why does PowerShell look different here than in yours? Look up...Way Up... See that tiny little icon at the left of the Title Bar? Right-click it, and then choose Properties from the little dropdown. Open Properties, and click on the tab for Colors.....Now you can choose whatever combination grabs you. OK? Enjoy!

Windows 10: Looking for the Control Panel Shortcut's home?

It lives in your User's folder, under your own Username.....
In AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Windows System (whew!) That wasn't so hard, was it? (Easy for you to say!) - And why did I want to get my hands on it in the first place? Because....I make my own icons, and I'm just conceited enough to think some of mine are nicer than those of Mighty Microsoft's choosing....and I wanted to change the one for Control Panel.

Look at this picture - my icons on the left, not Dirty Harry when he was young and horny and desperate! See that one for Control Panel, second from the top? Well, that's what this was all about.... I wanted my own there. So now it is.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tonight's Moon

May I get technical for a moment? The calculated mean density of the Moon is 3.346 grams per cubic centimeter. That of Mars is 3.93 grams per cubic centimeter. Mercury is 5.43, Venus 5.20, and Earth 5.52 grams per cubic centimeter. So what is the Moon most closely related to?

The circumference of the Moon is 10,917 Km., and on Mars, there's a 'canyon' of relatively unknown real depth, ranging in width from about 6 Km to as much as 140 Km approximately, and a length of about 5,000 Km. Let's imagine that's an old scar from when Mars got punctured by that Pluto-sized meteoroid billions of years ago. If we could open up that 'canyon' of about 5,000 Km long, to form a circle, it would be just about the right size for our Moon to pass through. And I wouldn't be surprised if that's where it came from. Think about it....

Looking at a cloud...

"Television shows are hard to let go."

Dear Sonia:
That's entirely your opinion, probably based on the fact that the rent's due in just 12 more days, and you needed something catchy to flog for a few bucks....

Television is a vast cultural wasteland. It's where fart jokes go to die. Its news organizations can fill four hours of air time with twenty minutes worth of content and endless commercials. Those commercials assume that men all have an I.Q. roughly equal to their belt size, and women, overweight and under cosmeticized though they might be, are all that stands between us and Oblivion.

Television consists of forty minutes of fractured programming per hour broken up continuously by 20 minutes of brainwashing during which we are often treated to the same commercial repeated more than once within the same break as if we're all suffering some debilitating mental disorder that's improved by repetition. So television is also where con-artists go to ply their trade. 

That's why I'm a blogger. I enjoy writing, because it's fun, and I learn things while doing research on Google for confirmation of what I'm saying, or to check my references or my spelling. Google these days being a lot more informative than your average TV show. 

Do I have trouble saying 'goodbye' to a series that's ending? Not at all. I probably already knew it would be back in reruns until we're bored cross-eyed and can quote all its best bits from memory, whether we want to or not. Such as Uncle Milty saying "Good news! They found land on my property in Florida!"

God Bless Rachel Maddow.....

Rachel today, with a little help from Dan Rather, tells us "The Iraq war was based on a bunch of carefully crafted political lies, and it's one of the biggest blunders we've ever made!" 

I remember watching TV one day just before that war got started, as George 'Dubya' Bush gave us a speech in which he actually stood there, like God's brother-in-law with the Bible before him on the lectern, quoting to us from the book of Isaiah, as if to say God was on our side as we fought the forces of Evil in Iraq. It's a wonder he didn't choke on all that. There was intelligent and God-fearing life in Iraq for thousands of years before the white man took North America away from the Indians.

And I have a quote from Isaiah myself for 'Dubya' - From Isaiah 29:15 in the  Lamsa translation of the Peshitta (the Eastern Catholic version of the Bible) and it goes like this: "Woe to them who act perversely to hide their counsel from the Lord; and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who sees us? And, Who knows what we do corruptly?"

Now that I'm awake...

Here's my favorite of those eight cloud backgrounds...

If I had a plane, I'd like to do a loop with this cloud in the center, and see how close I could come to just skimming its edges....

Meanwhile, back at the beach..................

The tide's in, and those expansive mud flats are all covered, and there's a haze drifting offshore from the inner harbor this morning. Our North Shore is cloudless, which doesn't happen all that often, and it's a lovely morning!


Just waking up.....

Here's what this latest theme looks like in its working mode (I like it!) and poking the Nikon out the window, here's what it looked like at about a quarter to five this morning....

We are looking across one of the 'uphill suburbs' of North Vancouver at the horizon beyond Mount Seymour. I don't think it was named after Jane, that delightful movie star (Solitaire, we still love you!) but I'm really not sure.

It's going to be a nice day. When you're eighty-two-and-a-half, every day is a 'nice day'.... trust me - would I lie to you? This early in the morning?

Waking up, after once again falling asleep with the TV and the headphones on, one of those 'closed captioning' type streaming headlines at the bottom of the screen on the news channel was announcing "Scientists protesting in Ottawa",  and in my semi-conscious state, and having once worked there, I thought, "'s still the same. The government still doesn't think it needs the National Research Council, because politicians always maintain the illusion they know it all, even when they're full of shit right up to their eyeballs - and Ottawa is nothing if not a political town..." And then I thought, "Am I ever glad I had sense enough to get the hell out of there! - I'd rather die all at once than a little bit every day for thirty or forty years." 

Bullshit may not baffle brains, but it sure helps those politicians screw the taxpayers into the ground. There's only two kinds of people in Ottawa: the butt-smoochers, and those whose butts they have to smooch. And I've always been a rather reluctant and insubordinate 'butt-smoocher'. I'd rather kick butts than smooch them. There's something about it that I found too demeaning. And it really isn't necessary, really. There are better ways to play that game.

And finally, another headline: "Dylan plays Letterman out".  There's a head shot of Dylan strumming his guitar, and looking too old for the part. Aren't we all... and good ole Dave has been running on empty for years. His thought processes remind me of one of those noisy blacktop-gobbling machines that chew up old bumpy roads and spit out loads of recycled gravel. You know that you know where it came from, but out of politeness you pretend it's fresh from the plant and never before has the hand of man set foot on it. Goodbye, Dave, and remember to take your meds!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Windows 10: New Theme: Cumulus

There were some nice clouds today, so I took their pictures....

And then, I put them in a folder named DesktopBackground, (It's a Dword, not an error!) and then that went into a folder named Cumulus. And then I navigated to C:\Users\Ray\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Themes, and then dragged that Cumulus folder into Themes, and dropped it there.

Next, I opened the Themes folder, opened the Cumulus folder, opened the DesktopBackground folder inside it, selected all the images, right-clicked on one of them, and chose 'Set as desktop background' and up came the first one onto the Desktop. Now, open Personalization, choose Themes > Go to Theme Settings, and when the window displaying all your Themes thumbnails opens, find your newly installed theme in the upper left corner. Right-click it to open a dropdown allowing you to choose 'Save' and give it a name. 

Because there's eight images in this theme, you will want to choose a time interval for each to display on screen before changing to the next, and the quickest way to get at that is to ask Cortana "Change desktop background".
You will be shown the window with the choices for adjusting the timing. Pick the one that suits you, and remember to "Save changes" before you leave there.

And you're saying "That's almost but not quite exactly like we did it before, in Windows 7 and 8, and 8.1, isn't it?" And the answer is "Yes, that's a definite Maybe!" So now you can close all those open windows, and enjoy your new theme. Or, you can find a bunch of different pictures, size them to fit your Desktop native resolution (your screen size!) and use those instead, now that you know how. This is your Windows, so don't be afraid to personalize it.

Webcam to Desktop Background

I tweaked this with Neat Image and Irfanview, before hitting 'Set as desktop background' to clean it up a bit, and adjust the gamma and contrast.

Looking at the "Parking Lot"

Katkam's view from its office building near Burrard Street Bridge (foreground) across the mouth of False Creek, and English Bay, to Burrard Inlet and the "parking lot" for ocean freighters out there, while they await their turns at the docking facilities of the inside harbor, beyond our view (right).

Jericho Beach Webcam, updated every 10 minutes, looking north from Jericho Beach across Burrard Inlet to the North Shore Mountains and parts of North and (mostly) West Vancouver, or as we call it 'Lotusland'. When the tide goes out at Jericho Beach, it's a long walk from the high-tide line out to the water, because it's quite shallow along there. Those ships have to park a long way out so they don't run aground when the tide goes out. That's all controlled by radar and GPS, and each is assigned a particular 'parking spot' where they wait for their turn at a docking birth inside the inner harbor.

Top Ten to 10:58 a.m.

I'm less popular in Russia this week, and more popular in Ireland. Less popular in China, and more popular in Japan. I wonder: does this have anything to do with the quality or accuracy of Google Translate, upon which this depends? We certainly hope it works correctly. Like Mark Twain said about reading, "You should be careful reading medical books because you could die of a misprint."
I fervently hope that is not our problem here.