Saturday

It's (Not) Hilarious!

This does not even rise to the level of a "pet peeve", rather it's just a truism I have observed. 

When I see something described as "hilarious" on the Internet, I have learned to avoid it. While the Merriam-Webster definition is "extremely funny", invariably, a more accurate description might be "mildly amusing", and I don't really have time for mildly amusing.

Remember Vizzini in the Princess Bride? He would declare "Inconceivable!" when his plans kept getting fouled up - to the point where Inigo Montoya says "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

"Hilarious" is kinda like that. See if I am right.


Thursday

Microsoft Wants You To Have An Edge

Okay, Microsoft, I get it.

1) you pretty much have a captive audience with Windows users
2) you are really pushing the "software as a service" (SAAS) thing
3) you are using Windows 10 to more blatantly track us and sell us stuff

But, please, can you quit just blatantly shoving things in our face? You uninstall apps, reinstall others, and reset OS settings a LOT. The latest is the "Oh, you don't really want to install Firefox or Chrome now, do you?!" dialog.

I know, I know, Edge is better than IE (I would bloody well hope so after all these years!), it's faster, more secure, etc. The heavy-handed approach is not an endearing one though - just sayin'. Google does it too with Chrome, and it makes them look craven too, frankly.

Yeah, that's not creepy

Sunday

Be Prepared - Check Yourself

Since we are coming up on the anniversary of 9/11, and we also have a hurricane bearing down on the East coast of the US, you may be more aware of how quickly the status quo can change. In that light, and following up on September being "National Preparedness Month", it's a good time to check yourself.


In times of disaster, natural or otherwise, things can go bad quickly; people start to panic buy water and gas and supplies very quickly run out. We see it all the time on TV. It's also important to realize your don't have to be living in Florida to be surprised by high water, or damaging winds, or by power outages lasting several days.

At a minimum, you should probably have on hand at least 3 days worth of food and especially water, and some means of heating any food that needs to be warmed up or cooked (a small camping stove, for example). We are fortunate enough to have some basement space at our home, but any closet or pantry space can be useful for storage - but be mindful of temperature extremes when storing items in the garage, if you have one.

There are MANY sites devoted to this kind of thing, and while some can get DEEP into the weeds, many offer simple, prudent advice for those of us not familiar with the practicalities of food storage and so on. Oh, and if you have pets, do you have extra water for them?

Some links below:



Saturday

Winminer v Nicehash vs Honeyminer September 2018

If you are curious about mining cryptocurrency - not sure why you would be, in the current down market - there are at least three very easy-to-use platforms you can try; namely, WinMiner, NiceHash and Honeyminer. These are all free to download and use, and should work with most relatively recent video cards with at least 2GB of RAM.

"Mining" cryptocurrency basically amounts to using the processing power of your GPU(s), plus time, plus electricity, to aid with the complex calculations required to sustain the various blockchain networks. As a reward, you can earn tokens or coins which can be converted into cash (or stored in the hope of them increasing value in the future).


Driving Me To Drink


I drive a fair bit to work and back each day, and almost every day I see something that makes my toes curl.

As you know, "familiarity breeds contempt" - but a car is a BIG thing. Even a small car can weigh a couple of tons.

They can also move quickly and that means a lot of kinetic energy, which can cause grief, destruction and anguish when dissipated quickly in a crash.

Although cars are designed to be comfortable, remember you are NOT sitting in your living room or kitchen - don't get too cozy or distracted.

Realize that you are not sitting in a chair with the outside whizzing by - you are whizzing along, and you are supposed to be in control.

Until we are all riding in self-drive cars - take the job seriously, please.


Thursday

Powerline Ethernet Steps Up To Bat

Wi-Fi is a funny thing - and not funny "haha". We have a small home, a ranch with a basement. Our cable Internet service comes into the basement, and the wireless access point (WAP) is down there too.

Our home desktop computer is located almost diagonally opposite from the WAP and upstairs (i.e. on the main floor). The Internet performance has always been poor up there. I have tried a fair bit of re-positioning within that room, installed a wireless extender in there, changed channels and so on, with little effect. 

Tuesday

Android Black Screen Fixed

Most current operating systems have some indication when things go badly wrong; the "Blue Screen of Death" with many versions of Windows, a "Kernel Panic" in Linux and so on. Some piece of software or hardware has gone awry and the OS stops.

Until recently, I was blissfully unaware that Android has a "Black Screen of Death" - probably not an official term, but that's what it effectively was for me.

Brief background: my two year old, cheap-and-cheerful Android phone had been working fine until I filled up the storage one day by inadvertently recording a 30 minute video while the phone was in my pocket. Yeah, yeah, I know.