Thursday, March 31, 2016

Windows 10's latest build...

There's another build as of yesterday, as mentioned previously, build 14295, and I'm still checking it out. For now, let me just say I wish they could speed up the process of downloading it, preparing it for installation, and then actually installing it. All of that takes nearly three hours before you can actually start to use it for anything other than making sure everything's working like you had it beforehand. By comparison, Linux Mint seems lightning-fast. That surprised me. And coincidentally, Linux Mint on my other PC got a major update yesterday itself, so I had a good opportunity to compare them. And the winner is Linux.

Moving along here, that screenshot above is from today's Facebook entry by Jeri Ryan of Star Trek Voyager fame, and I added a comment there about Dana Delany who is posing with her, because I have a desktop icon of Dana as my Task Manager. I made it with the program IcoFX and you can see it above left in the screenshot.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Windows 10, Build 14295 installed today

Blood Oxygen Level this morning...

This looked so good, I took its picture...

After being a smoker for as many years as I was, I think a blood Oxygen level of 96 percent is fantastic. The heart rate shown below that isn't terrific, but it isn't all that bad, either, for an "at rest" reading. When you're 83, these are pretty good numbers. Even if you're not 83, they are still good numbers.

Today in Lotusland....

First, the morning snow report, sort of.....

And then a flowering tree, across the street....

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Monday, March 28, 2016

Yesterday's sunset

Sunsets haven't been all that plentiful this spring so far. Hopefully, it will improve. And here's a song to go with these clouds...

Whenever I listen to this song, it's like I'm a kid of about six again, in our garage back home, playing with an old RCA Victor Victrola, the kind you had to wind up with hand crank on the side, to wind the spring that made it go, to play those old 78-rpm records, like this one. I was fascinated by that whole process, and I still enjoy remembering those old songs from away back when.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Let's take another imaginary space flight

Another imaginary space flight, this time to the outer regions of our solar system.....

Uranus from its moon Miranda

Neptune from its moon Triton

Pluto from its moon Charon

The Sun from Pluto, to illustrate the distance

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Armchair Astronaut

Our galaxy from the Moon

The Moon and Jupiter this morning

Earth from Mars this morning

Close-up of Earth from Mars this morning

Neptune from its moon Thalassa

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Security protection for Linux Mint

Finding an antivirus for Linux that either isn't obsolete, useless, expensive or difficult to install and configure can be a frustrating problem. I'm using Bitdefender on Windows, so I looked at their Online Quick Scan, but it doesn't work in Linux. However, while there they suggested instead that I try their TrafficLight, which works in the Firefox browser....

You can access it and send them feedback using that little green "traffic light" second from the right in the search bar icons upper right. Configure it by clicking on the little green light, and choosing "settings" on its title bar. It works by catching things before they get in. And it seems like a great idea.

This is a look at what comes up when you click the little "traffic light" icon, and it works just as well in a Windows installation, because it is a browser add-on and independent of the operating system. But if you are dual-booting, you do need to install it in both systems browsers of course.

Checking your internal voltages and etc.

This is the program that will do it for you. That listing at the bottom of the voltages section for 'VBAT' is your CMOS battery on the motherboard near your CPU, and it's a coin-shaped battery about the size of a nickel, and it traditionally has been used to maintain settings in your BIOS when your PC is powered off. It is a 3-volt battery.

Spring is in the air....

...along with clouds, showers, snow flurries, crows, seagulls, and one lonely little hummingbird.

Linux Mint - One-click icons for Reboot and Off (Shutdown)

It's the same idea we have been using in Windows, and it's a little different to do, but it works the very same way. One click on either one, and things happen. So now there's no more looking in Menu to find what I want to do. And there's lots of icons hidden away in Linux, once you discover where to look.

While I was doing this, I wondered "Why can't I convert Windows icons to use in Linux?" And the answer is, I can. There's a neat freebie program XnView that does batch converting of whole folders of icons from ".ico" to ".png" and that is all you need to do. Then all your favorite Windows icons can be used in Linux. So now I can use some of my own home-built icons in Linux as well as Windows.


Saturday, March 19, 2016

Friday, March 18, 2016

Windows and Scareware.... some notes

Be careful if you go onto Google Search to find a link to YouTube. Don't click on the first thing at the top of the list, or any saying "Ad". I got a full screen of crap this morning with a repeating recorded message in a woman's voice, telling me to call this Microsoft number with a 202 area code. She also said not to restart the computer because it could result in data loss, and instead to call this number for help removing the infection. I couldn't close that window to shut her up, so I did a reboot, and then a scan, and my machine is clean.

I looked Google for information on the 202 area code, and it is Washington, DC, USA, and Google says that area code is notorious for scams and frauds over the internet. So if you're looking for YouTube's home page, scroll down until you come to one that shows their official URL with an "https" at the beginning. And don't call any phone number you find in a scareware page that pops up. They will want you to grant them remote access to your machine, and if you do that, then it's "game over". You will really be in deep you-know-what.

And if you can't get access to a Windows folder named "$Recycle.Bin" which may contain gigabytes of files from older installs, and you won't get access, because it's a protected file, then change its name to "Windows.old", and then go to Start > All Apps > Windows Administrative Tools > Disk Cleanup.  Then use Disk Cleanup to do a scan. It will find that "Windows.old" folder and show it under "Previous Windows Installations" and you can then add a tick mark to its little box, and it will be deleted for you. Problem solved.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

But, if you are using Windows 10......

Then these (below) are my choices for security programs for it......

"And why three of them?" you may be asking. Because, as the experts advise, the layered approach is better than having all your eggs in one basket, so to speak. Bitdefender Free Antivirus comes highly recommended, and here please let me add that some of the better free ones these days give you protection that matches or even surpasses that of the kind you pay for. The SuperAntiSpyware, in spite of its long name, lives up to that promise - it is very good at catching adware, and there's more of that these days. And Malwarebytes Premium grabs things an antivirus may miss, and it has a feature I really like - it blocks the incoming malware attempting to infect your system, before it can get into it. And that alone makes it well worth the price, because if it can't get in, then you don't have to find it and then remove it. So this is one you should have, and I know it works. All three of these are compatible with each other, and do not create conflicts. And that's why I have three of them - because combined, they keep me protected.

Scheduled scan of Linux Mint....

This is the first scheduled scan of Linux Mint 17.3 using Comodo antivirus, so I took a screenshot of it for posterity. We've been told that Linux doesn't need an antivirus, but it is getting more popular, and an ounce of prevention is still worth a pound of cure, or as you Metrics might say, a gram of prevention is worth a kilogram of cure.


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

If you use Linux Mint.....

There is now a full-featured and free antivirus for it.....


And I thought Spring was here....