Saturday, August 31, 2019

I find it a bit amusing how Special Folders have evolved, and less so how programs have perverted them. At this point, NT and X desktop environments mostly agree about the dumping grounds in your home directory or "User Profile". Programs not so much.

One of the things I do find amusing is this compat trick:

C:\Users\Terry>dir /A:H Documents
 Volume in drive C has no label.
 Volume Serial Number is 9278-0228

 Directory of C:\Users\Terry\Documents

2015-02-28  20:24                 0 Default.rdp
2019-08-14  21:31               402 desktop.ini
2019-07-02  23:22         My Music [C:\Users\Terry\Music]
2019-07-02  23:22         My Pictures [C:\Users\Terry\Pictures]
2019-07-02  23:22         My Videos [C:\Users\Terry\Videos]
               2 File(s)            402 bytes
               3 Dir(s)  295,411,253,248 bytes free


A long time ago the content was like "\My Documents\My Pictures\". And then eventually when the concept of multiple users took off, we ended up with "%UserProfile%\My Documents\My Pictures" and so on, until we finally ended up with the modern path. Kindly, some Microsoftie decided '\Users' was a lot nicer than '\Documents and Settings' as far as prefixes go for where you store user profiles.

So while %UserProfile%\Pictures is the legit place on my modern system: if for some reason you still wanted to access them through the documents folder: hidden junctions will redirect you. Thus keeping old software working. Once upon a time this was probably important for keeping software written for Windows 95 and early NT working.

Curiously there is a hidden junction of "\Documents and Settings [C\Users]" at the top of my %SystemDrive% but there are none for the really-damned-old "\My Documents" at the top of the drive. I wouldn't be surprised however if compatibility trunks for older software faked those.

Also, I kind of feel glad that I haven't really touched a live Windows 9x install since the Pentium 4 was still sexy ^_^. That might sound less fun if you consider that I know where to reach for install discs that makes XP look young enough to be playing with Fischer Price.... but I'm not interested in running a virtual machine to jog the ol' meatbag memory.

Behind the Scenes: Redesigning the Note Editor in Evernote.

Rather nice look at things. The fancier concept of a checklist and editing is a positive, since at best some of their clients have had the daisy chain of enter -> newline + checkbox; but mostly that was it. Sometimes related bugs as well--I used to use Evernote for my shopping list and groaned at that.

Table editing in Evernote has been both a sore and a sweet spot over the years, largely based on what client you were using. For me, mostly a sore one because my 90% interface is the mobile apps. Where the PC and Web editors tend to due the best. The current PC client has a simple but pretty complete way of doing tables, and the Android version just has rudimentary editing support.

The kind of drag/drop manipulation of table cells is a UX ballpark that over the years, I just stopped assuming anyone still cares that much about my workflows versus their five o'clock thanks to the effort it takes to pull that off. About the only time I tend to expect such drag and drop niceties to work in document editors is in Microsoft office. A coworker relies on Outlook and it's got many nifty things like that if you abuse its features, and let's just say if I was doing the same I'd have a host of other problems than dragging and dropping stuff in a rich text editor 😜.
Whenever I walk out and the direct sunlight hitting my chest feels really good, I blame my Floridian upbringing; where escaping from the sun was like closing your eyes while living on the surface of a star.

That my brain's internal monologue tends to sound like "Ahh, きもち" is a more modern problem.
Fruits Basket - s01e22 - Because I Was Happy.

I kind of hoped that Hanajima's history would pop up sooner than later. Thus making an episode filled with more than a bit sad and some good humor as well.

The role of Tohru and Uotani in the story, strikes me as showing their essential natures without losing the episode's focus on Hanajima. If you want a good story: the characters are where it's at.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 still getting security patches four years after release

In recent years: Samsung has done well to resolve the one problem I actually had with their firmware updates: the lack of security patches.

Generally, I found upgrades to knew versions of Android were nearly a year behind their phones. Perhaps a small price to pay given they were largely stable releases and the tablet builds cut most of the bloat from their phones while keeping the useful features.

Android has also evolved into such a state that I don't really care about getting the latest version of the OS anymore. By the time Google does something user facing that worth while: it's almost time for a new device. Kind of like a certain other operating system: the previous version or two still runs most of the apps.

The part that's bothered me is the security updates. Most of my tablets didn't get squat for that, as security was bundled with the OS upgrades and the occasional patch.

Meanwhile the Tab S2 and Tab S3 have been a very different experience versus the other Samsung Tablets I've owned over the years. Pretty much every quarter the security patches rolls out. Seeing security patches every 3-4 months is a lot better than every 8-16 months or so. On the flip side my Motorola on Google Fi gets monthly patching.
Don't think I've ever had yellowfin tuna before, but the combination of sales and coupon clipping made me decide to experiment. It was definitely a success.

Along with the fish, a Knorr side of Mexican rice and sauteed peppers, onions, chickpeas, and mushrooms probably aren't a normal combination: so much as what I was in the mood for, lol.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Nebo 2.3.

Gotta admit: the new support for keyboard input is kind of nice. MyScript's handwriting recognition is pretty damned good, probably the best you can expect today. But I've generally found that the times it gets things a little off, thanks likely to the quality of my handwriting, it's usually an idiosyncrasy that's a pain to connect. If it's not in the apps correction list, odds are retyping the letters or word in question is faster than fixing it by pen.
My plans for the weekend are quite imaginative: eat, drink, and be merry.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

ZDNet: Android Google Play app with 100 million downloads starts to deliver malware.

Other than for the app's users, I fail to see how this isn't a win for the community as a whole.

The problem inherent with using someone else's software is that it is just that—someone else's software! You're trusting them with access to your stuff. Often all of your stuff.  When your getting the software through a third party repository: you're also trusting the distributor to not do anything nasty.

Rather than bitch and moan: we should celebrate that it was detected and dealt with, and decry those who violated that trust from their users.

People often underestimate the trust that running other people's stuff on your machine means. One of the great things about modern operating systems like Android and iOS is they tend to silo data from applications behind permission brokering. Traditionally the applications you run on a computer have the same access to it that you do. That made sense when computers were few and rarely networked beyond multiple serial terminals. Increasingly less so when you can just download a .exe file and it can do whatever you could.

Trust matters! Respect your users.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

A few small goofs nearly threw the world into nuclear war.

Personally, I think we're more likely to see misunderstandings snowball and jump start the apocalypse than we ever will be because some evil bastard decided on a first strike.

For the most part I like to believe that most people default to good, for lack of an inherent belligerents. We're more likely to nuke^H^H^H^H kill our neighbors because of misscommunication or cascading failures than because we'd like to see them all wiped out. Most people have dampers on the level of crazy, if nothing else because they want to keep living more than they hate folks.

I rather like the comparison the article makes to Damocles Sword. Because at best, the risk of going to thermonuclear war over a 49¢ part failing may depend on someone not wanting to end the entire world without being pretty darn sure it was with their last breath. And between the major powers we've got more than enough nuclear weapons to keep the fallout going.
One of the many problems with a night of long, hard questing: when real life says time for bed, and your brain is still in a far away land rather than drowsy.

On the flip side, FF14's Conjurer class is proving much better than I had expected. Before the week is out, I'll probably have hit the same level that I managed to get to via Gladiator in a Sunday of questing. Primary difference being the gap between available time.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Passing thought: values per year.

The Galaxy Tab S3 launched at about $600, and I got $100 off thanks to the trade in promotion that Samsung and Best Buy like to do around launch.

Come March the device will hit the three year mark since release. For me the only reason for upgrading from the previous model, which was awesome, was they added the stylus and kept the awesomeness.

That works out to about $166~year at this point, which isn't bad for the life of an Android tablet if it's any good. If it wasn't for the inch long crack in the screen from earlier this year, I'd probably aim to get another year (4) or two (5) out of the device for how well it's held up.

My main worry is that damned crack 😂
A few random reflections and personal biases:

Things that I like about Android as my getting it done OS:

  1. Appliance like: it stays out of my way.
  2. I can have my terminal, e-mail, browser, and notes client software all on the same machine.
  3. Aqua Mail beats the crap out of every GUI mail client I've used.

The main negatives of using Android over the years has been that terminal apps don't make copying text to the Android clipboard a decent experience and Chrome for Android sucks ass compared to a desktop. Would also be nice if the support for an external monitor was more like PCs than simply screen mirroring but hey, can't have it all. By in large a very nice experience but I'm weird and you can't stop people from sending hypertext ladden emails 8-).

Things that I like about Chrome OS as my getting it done OS:

  1. Appliance like: it stays out of my way.
  2. Good support for Android apps.
  3. Excellent web browsing experience.

The main negatives of using Chrome OS over the years has been the shift into speed over quality. Releases come pretty frequent to the stable channel but you'll find yourself living with minor grumbles for long periods of time. Be that bull like having to re-open the notification menu before being able to close other notifications, glitchy handling of application windows, or other things. It's cheap, simple, and disposable but you'll have plenty of papercuts if you move past the browser window. If it wasn't for how far NT has come, I'd probably buy a higher end Chromebook for the performance boost.

At this point most people are probably best off with a Chromebook unless they've got a real reason to do otherwise.

Things that I like about Debian as my getting it done OS:

  1. Easily loaded on beefcake hardware.
  2. Debian is largely stable and easily maintained.
  3. My work is off a Linux box anyway.
The main negatives of using Debian over the years has been the sore spots I hate about desktop centric PCs to begin with. Crappy notifications, shitty mail and calendaring clients outside of terminal land, donating most of my memory to a web browser, etc. Considering that most of the fucks I have to give about the PC as a platform revolve around an X-Terminal and unix command line environment, I find it a fair price to pay.

Things that I like about Windows 10 as my getting it done OS:

  1. Desktop experience sucks less than W7.
  2. Android style mail/calendar sync built in.
  3. Userspace ABI has been pretty stable for decades.
The main negatives of using Windows 10 over the years tend to cross paths with many of the grumbles I desktop centric PCs but a few unique to NT are traits that have always been there. W10 has made the experience of the desktop suck a lot less when it comes to window and notification management, a process that arguably began in Vista and has kept growing. But the fastest way to make me groan at NT remains talking to things. I can load programs on my NT machine that are several times older than the hardware and expect them to just run but once device drivers enter the picture my anger likely will as well, whether they were written for the current OS or not. Somethings just piss me off less in Linux.

Personally, W10 is the first iteration of NT to not piss me off as a standard. But much as Debian gives me that groans at the evolution from tube terminals to X, NT has loads of its own baggage. I'm just glad it feels less archaic and evolves more rapidly than once a lustrum or decade.

General disclaimer: I'm weird :P.

The Verge: Google and Dell team up to take on Microsoft with Chromebook Enterprise laptops.

As someone fond both of Android tablets and of Dell's Latitudes, I'd be a lot more tempted by this if it wasn't for two problems:

  1. My Chromebook is a lot more buggy than my Android, Linux, and NT devices.
  2. Chrome's "Stable" channel prefers rapidly pushing versions over Q/A.

Or as I like to think of it: there's really two reasons I've been using my Latitude running Debian ore than my Chromebook the past few reasons. A Core i5 smokes a Celeron, and I'm tired of OS upgrades that leaves me grumbling over quality, both at the Android support and native Chrome OS.

In practice these days I'll usually have Stark and Scarlett at my sides during the work day; with my Chromebook relegated to a spare machine. That's after using the Chromebook as my main workstation for a year and after a lot of years using an Android tablet as a workstation replacement.
Operation taco was a bit simple: given the lack of fresh lettuce or leftover sour cream.

Willow and myself, both agreed that they were still a good plan 😊.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Things that could only happen in an RPG game, I'm sure:

Quest x: get a nice leather armour.

Quest y: get a +1 defense rated "revealing" armour.

As if you started with the kind that would be just perfect for an adventure wondering the countryside. Then cut it down until it was basically a leather bra and suspenders.

Aptly by the time the sets were completed, my Miqo'te gladiator went from looking like a knight napping under a tree to a bandit slut in need a whirp.

That said, FF14 in the course of hasa hard day's questing and several suits of armor: the game has generally shown equipment that looks like something you would want to wear on a battlefield instead of going down the boobplate route; it's just that I find it amusing that the leather version of boobplate was a +1 to the more conventional armour.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Never given that much mind to such characters but after playing through Y'jhimei's Adventurer From Another World quest in FFXV, there's probably a fair chance someday I'll be making a character in some MMO and my mind will flash to the Miqo'te from FFIV.

And here I thought, my next character inspiration would probably be inspired by the likes of Naotsugu from Log Horizon.
Being irked by how many of the "Nicer" USB Micro-B cables I have left only only make my Xbox One controller vibrate, not connect to my desktop, is somehow weighted by the troublesome fact that it is 2019 and I still carry a null modem cable in my work bag.

On the flipside the plastic cap on my Bluetooh adapter breaking seems to make connectivity with my shit much more "Go fsck yourself" than trying to save 1 cm of cable distance for the short ass cable I use for my controller was worth. This is probably what I get for how many times I had to pull the damned thing out in order to get Microshaft's operating system to cooperate with something as new fandangled as Bluetooth in the first place 8-).
A mixture of comforta demands for treats; ahh the life of a dog!

It's probably sad how much I would like seemless integration between apps on my PC with the ones on my tablet.

Prime example of lazyness:

  1. PC is being used as a canvas to view videos.
  2. I am learning back in my chair.
  3. Using my tablet at the same time.
  4. "Damn, would be nice to just browse and fling to my monitor."

Often it tends to take this form more than openning files from the same file stores or dropping files between them. Probably because my desktop is more often my secondary or 'slave' device and my tablet is typically my main computer if no X Terminals are involved.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Android's iconic dessert names are going away, starting with Android 10

Part of me is a little sad and disappointed at this news. I had kinda hoped they would make it to Zebra Cake or something like that. But really I'm surprised they've made it this far.

Of course, this doesn't mean the build numbers and the version numbers will converts. Just that you'll be less likely to wonder if the folks behind Android are less likely to develop diabetes....

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The way a box full of crap in the closet works:

  1. Didn't I have Zeonic Front for the PlayStation 2?
  2. Gah, to much crap to check huge box without taking the shit off the lid.
  3. Take all the stuff out of closet.
  4. Drag box out to living room.
  5. Sneeze. A few times.
  6. Rummage through everything three times.
  7. Huh, not here!? Where else would I have kept it.
  8. You know what? Screw this.
  9. Find somewhere less troublesome to store this crap.
And if I had just went with the emulator approach I'd probably be done by now, versus trying to find the actual disc for my PlayStation 2.

On the flip side my overflow area for books has enough room to hold the remains of my PC floppy and 'D-ROM, PlayStation, and PlayStation 2 game collections.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin - Advent of the Red Comet

Settling in to watch this now that it's pretty much complete, and in a way it is both very nice and refreshing. On one hand it isn't the '70s no more but familiar faces and styles abound.

Watching the opening episode, it's especially curious to see that old man Zabi may have been a competent old bastard during his rise to power. Likewise, I'm reminded of how dangerous and insidious Kycilia was and what a gorilla Dozle was.

By far though, I think the most interesting thing is seeing Ramba Ral so young and full of piss and vinegar. It's quite the contrast from the old war horse of '79.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Willow was greatly displeased that I made something with fish but didn't share any.

When I made extra onigiri, I had planned to save some rather than eating them all. Instead it became a rather large lunch.

But Willow forgave me after being given dog treats, as compensation for the lack of getting to steal my lunch.
Every now and then my Google News feed shows me entries from local sources, including one that tends to have a "What's going on this weekend" with events in the county. Usually the things listed tend to lean in the direction of live music and cold beer or family friendly movie viewings. Seeing a blurb that "The Heiress" is supposed to be running at New Dawn Theater Company Duluth was a surprise.

Reminds me that I've always had a soft spot for that story. Over the years of watching TCM with my mother, I was introduced to quite a few good films. The '40s and '90s adaptations of Washington Square included.

In fact, if memory serves when I learned of Project Gutenberg, I think the first books I downloaded were probably The Count of Monte Cristo and Washington Square. Because I'm odd, and many of the other books I wanted to search for at that time probably originated in latin 😲.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Goodereader: E Ink Launches JustPrintIt for ePaper IDs, gift cards and loyalty cards.

Part of me is tempted to scratch my head in curious wonderment; part of me wonders if the world will be a little more sci-fi like than expected, by the time old age takes me to the bone yard.

Some moron at the big G might call this new layout tablet optimized if they're not allowed to question orders from their marketing overlords.

Me? I'd say why the !@#$ are you wasting nearly 2" of my screen real estate to highlight the sections for movies and books? I don't even want to look at my phone's layout after seeing this redesign on my tablet, for fear of what else might be found.

I was really on the wall when hamburger design took over the mobile world but quickly came to like it, when it was done well. Interfaces like this however are just wasteful(tm). But it gives you plenty of space to write out Games, Apps, Movies & TV, and Books in something like 120 languages.

Willow practically out like a light from the comfy; Misty more debating if that's food or a camera in my hand, before going back to sleep.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

It was difficult to have the heart to reclaim my reserved spot. Willow was so comfy and tired. Of course, nods of agreement from the peanut gallery....

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Why the F-117 Nighthawk Is Such a Badass Plane

These days the younger, less deranged but designs are more the rage. But I remember a time when the Nighthawk was still revolutionary and fascinating. Perhaps it still is when it comes to sneakiness.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Willow apparently forgives me for not being consistently smart.

Earning my duntz cap award for the year, I'm not sure what bothered me more. That most of my first aid kit is probably dated between 1980 and 1990 or that I was out of all purpose flour.

Couple minutes after reaching into a nearly entry can and thinking "Gee, I should know better", my one for the year was achieved. Always reach for a spoon or something instead. Fortunately dinner was not bloodied in the process and the wound settled down by the time I finished eating and changed the bandaid.

Also note to self: don't bother checking that first aid case unless you need a dressing big enough to wrap in duct tape. On the flip side, if more than Neosporin and a bandaid is required it'd probably be time for a medic.

In my case trying to stop the bleeding was making me wish for a stypic powder. Which I suppose in this day and age has been replaced by Neosporin and the like unless you've got fur or feathers.

Now if only knowing better didn't mean I sometimes so stupid things 😂.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

When I walk outside in the lovely 50% humidity and think about how nice a walk in the sun feels, sometimes I just blame home.

Georgia experiences it's worst summer weather around this time of year. By contrast where I grew up, I sometimes wonder if hell would have been a milder climate at any point on the calendar. It's been at least twenty years since my family left south Florida but the side effects related to near constant spirit crushing humidity and temperatures suitable for frying an egg on your forehead, probably last a lifetime.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

MSPoweruser: Dell may be working on a Surface Studio-like monitor.

While it will probably be well beyond what I'd be willing to pay, I kinda want to see this and more displays like it.

All-in-One PCs are an interesting concept but for my use cases they've traditionally been too limiting even when you pay the big buckaroos. Advancements in laptop hardware and a thing called Thunderbolt give me a little hope that might change someday.

But I'd much rather have a display that could function as both a typical monitor and suddenly become like a drawing board, that can be connected to whatever device can drive a touchscreen monitor. Because a really great display tends to last until it gives up the ghost. The same is not always true of computers.

Comfort loves company?
In Battlestar Galactica '04 there is a reoccurring greeting between Adama and Starbuck that goes something like this:

What do you hear?
Just the rain.
Then grab your gun and bring in the cat.

Watching s04e13 The Oath, when Galactica defends into mutiny there's a scene where Kara saves Apollo's ass, showing up with a pistol in each hand as he's being led away by a hit squad.

I may have recalled this greeting and pictured Lee with

More reason to want to be reincarnated as a dog, lol.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

I remember coming across various wallpaper worthy images from Is This A Zombie? and adding them to my collection.

Seeing my desktop select this one of Eu out of its random rotation of wallpapers, I was rather surprised how well this one works on a 1080p display.

These days most of the wallpapers I've collected over the past eon, I see on my tablet screen. Because that's the computer I use most often. At work, usually SFW stills are statically set. At home though, I still keep my PC's set to a random rotation.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Catching up on my backlog of Fruits Basket, I'm kind of glad to see episodes 16 and 17 tell some of Uotani's story.

Uotani is a very nice supporting character. Despite the gruff personality that comes with her rendition as a delinquent, there's also a kindness that balances the character out well. Long before this part, you can see how Uo and Tohru could end up great friends. As usual, Tohru's late mother is a source of wisdom.

Most often the strength of a story rests upon it's characters, and I'd say the characters make this series far more than the concept.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Here Are The Meals That Best Represent Each State In America, According To Locals

For the places I've called home and neighboring states, I'd say this sounds about right. For the rest it sounds like reasons to gain a few pounds 😂.

Friday, August 2, 2019 Marvel Comics: Who is Death's Head?

Surprising thing to come across, scrolling through my Google News feed. Don't recall Death's Head seeing a lot of exposure here in the United States, but when I was a kid I found the series quite entertaining and hard to come by. We never got to read many issues, and I'm a little surprised anyone remembers the character at this point. I at least enjoyed the character ^_^, although more so 'II and his sidekick Tuck I suppose.

In fact, somewhere in my closet is a small cache of DH/DHII comics from my childhood neatly tucked away for easy reach. Where most of my other comics from back there are stuffed in a box in a dusty corner, lol.
CNN: Libraries are fighting to preserve your right to borrow e-books.

Generally my habits with e-books lean towards purchases more so than lending: but even so, I find the option of checking out an electronic copy useful once in awhile. In my neck of the woods that usually takes the form of OverDrive.

I imagine that as time goes on the issue will only get worse.

E-books are not going away, and most of us don't want public libraries to go away either. Eventually, I expect the amount of books only available in digital form will go up over the decades not down. Authors and publishers still need to make coin but I don't think that being a dick about it will help anyone, least of all in the long run: the one being a dick.

Google’s new Android phone feature may help save your life

It's kind of sad this has taken so long. Features like these might not be popular on the mind of mostly healthy, mostly young engineers who probably won't see an ambulance ride for most of their lives if at all--but it's damned nice use of technology.

We all have location and voice synthesis services in our pocket. Why not make use of it?

That fact that in my country, the cost of an ambulance or a serious hospital stay would probably give you a heart attack, is a different problem 😜😂
Every now and then, I'll stuff a few frozen pancakes in the toaster to make a quick breakfast. Usually followed by coating them in peanut butter and creating a sandwich. Today, since I skipped the PB, I opted to give the peanut gallery a taste.

Which was welcomed by the peanut gallery but I was reproached for it being the last of the pancake, lol. I will skip sharing the stare I am now getting from Willow....