* Posts by sammy_mac

15 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Jun 2013

Wi-Fi not working? It's time to consult the lovely people on those fine Linux forums


Amazing how times have changed, though I'm shocked that this is set ten years ago. That was when the Linux wifi problem was fading fast. In fact, that was the year that my wife converted to Linux ... over wifi support. She had upgraded her laptop to Windows 7 after using the Microsoft tool to verify that it was Win7-ready. Her wifi would work for about a half an hour and then drop out. She could reboot for another half hour of wifi. We went to the manufacturer, made sure to get the latest drivers, removed any traces of old drivers, and wifi was still crashing. I tried booting from a Kubuntu USB stick, and wifi wasn't a problem. Set up as a dual-boot, and she never lost wifi on that computer after that, unless she booted to Windows.

Now, with my Framework laptop, Linux needed no help. However, to get wifi, I had to download the driver package.

You had one job... Just two lines of code, and now the customer's Inventory Master File has bitten the biscuit


Ah. I remember using a Nova 4 for X-Ray crystallography. The rack-mounted beast sported a whopping 10 MB hard drive with a replaceable platter and it had a teletype user interface. It got the job done, though the computer bit the dust a couple of years after I left. Those were the days: high voltage, radiation, and sleep deprivation.

It's been five years since Windows 10 hit: So... how's that working out for you all?


Re: Nope

I was a MS fanboy until XPSP2. I gave it a year and switched to Linux. Most people loved XP, but it didn't work for me. Years later, my nonagenarian great aunt was excited about the upcoming Windows 10 free upgrade. After the upgrade, her excitement quickly faded. Not too many weeks passed before she started asking to try 'what you use' (kubuntu). Then came an update that broke her computer, and I told her that I could restore it to the original Windows 7 configuration. She insisted that she was done with Windows and for me to put what I like on the laptop. The Kubuntu UI was much easier for her to use than Windows 10; KDE is far closer to Windows 7. Plus, she didn't have hazardous updates from MS.

They're BAAACK: Windows 10 nagware team loads trebuchet with annoying reminders to GTFO Windows 7


Solving the Windows Issues

Windows 10 converted my nonagenarian great aunt to Linux, and she's never looked back after making the switch. In her words, "I don't ever want that Windows mess on my computer again!" Windows 7 converted my wife to Linux when Windows 7 wouldn't support the laptop's wireless card no matter how many times we tried to update with the latest drivers. With Windows 7, the laptop would crash about every 90 minutes. After moving to Kubuntu, the laptop hasn't crashed once.

The first ZX Spectrum prototype laid bare... (What? It was acceptable in the '80s)


One of the purchases that got away still makes me wish I had the chance all over again: a ZX Spectrum with a huge set of accessories for $25. This was just over 3 decades ago in a thrift shop. As a grad student, I had to think carefully about the purchase, and I (over)thought to leave the Spectrum there. I hope someone that still treasures it made the purchase.

Is Google purposefully breaking Microsoft, Apple browsers on its websites? Some insiders are confident it is


On the importance of diversified infrastructure

>>"From a social, civic and individual empowerment perspective ceding control of fundamental online infrastructure to a single company is terrible.

>>This is why Mozilla exists."

This gets to my biggest beef with Google and Mozilla. Mozilla abandoned Thunderbird, which gave fantastic control over mail sorting and user control. Gmail as a mail client sucks to a degree that cannot be overstated. I have yet to find an e-mail client that comes as close to giving me the control in Thunderbird, yet Thunderbird seems to be having reliability issues and there's no sign of anything like it on mobile.

As for browsers, the topic at hand, I do spend time between Chrome, Firefox, and Rekonq. Chrome's performance looks a bit so-so to me, though I would become a die-hard Rekonq user if the development team would take a look at some issues with how some webpages come up. Probably my main beef with Firefox is that it reminds me of Mozilla ditching Thunderbird.

Don't shame idiots about their idiotically weak passwords


an approach that worked for me

Someone I care about used the same pattern for all passwords, and calling the pattern weak would be generous. Discussions didn't help, until I started asking about what would be required after a breach. In other words, imagine someone had enough knowledge to guess her favorite <fill in the blank>, monkeyed with it, guessed her password, and then pwned her banking and credit accounts. How much damage could the invader do, how much could the person take, and how much of a headache for the repairs? Imagining the consequences after often makes protective steps easier to embrace.

Soylent fart powder sales halt


why in the world would they 'reformulate'

I read this article with great interest which turned to horror at the note that they are reformulating the bar. This isn't a bug, it's a feature!!! Perhaps they could start up a distant subsidiary to market the old formulation under a different name. If I was twelve again, I would definitely buy boxes of these bars. They'd be fun just to put on a platter at a potluck dinner.

If Soylent is retiring the original recipe, then they're letting a marketing opportunity dissipate like a... well, like a something in the wind.

Microsoft promises free terrible coffee every month you use Edge



You couldn't pay me enough to drink the swill that Starbuck's tries to pass off as coffee, and decades of IE have proven that MS knows nothing about browser implementation. I'm so glad that I have good choices that allow me to avoid either Edge or Starbuck's.

Why Oracle will win its Java copyright case – and why you'll be glad when it does


totally wrong 'reasoning,' but I do agree with the conclusion

A victory for Google would not be a clean one, in the long run. The license terms attached to Java should an inescapable deterrent to widespread acceptance, and Oracle's defeat will delay abandoning Java for a truly open language. Sure, Java has (sadly) become a significant part of our infrastructure, but keeping it is much like the US' refusal to abandon imperial measurement units. Java may have been convenient, and Sun may have encouraged it's treatment as an open language, but the licensing landmines were still there. Anyone looking to develop a new project should be repulsed by the terms associated with .NET, C#, Java, or a similarly license-restricted language. There are plenty of powerful, clean alternatives out there...too many to justify putting a business at risk with a non-GPL option.

Microsoft’s Get Windows 10 nagware shows signs of sentience


nonagenarian great aunt converted, and refuses to consider going back to malware

My 93 year old great aunt was excited last year about being able to download the Windows 10 'upgrade.' I kept my mouth shut and soon felt guilty for it. However, I have my biases, I recognize them, and I felt like there was no need for me to inflict them onto her. She absolutely hated Windows 10. When she asked how I dealt with it and I told her that I don't use Windows, she started pushing to see when I could set up a computer to let her 'try what you use' (Kubuntu). Then, Windows 10 sent out an update that broke her computer. It would not boot at all, so I took it to a shop specializing in Windows repairs rather than experience the frustration...or self-doubt as to whether I had done my best. Their verdict was that I would need to do a Windows 7 fresh install, which I could handle on my own. I told my great aunt that I could do that, but she'd have to deal with the nagware, or she could try Kubuntu and let me install Windows 7 if that didn't work out. That was months ago. I've asked her several times if she would like to go back, but she has been adamant; she doesn't want "that Windows mess" back on her laptop.

What's that burning tire smell? It's Microsoft screeching away from the No-IP car crash


a No-IP customer... for now

Whether I renew with No-IP at the end of the year depends on how they handle this, and I hope that other customers are paying attention, as well. MS abused the legal system at our expense, and a judge was too lazy/stupid/negligent to do his job by properly reviewing the motion. Will Vitalwerks defend its customers, or will they sell us out for MS' hush money?

Shine on you crazy diamond: Distant dwarf may hide space jewel


5000 times cooler... so simple

Let's say we have a temperature of 10,000° (doesn't matter which type of °... real degrees or Fahrenheit). 1 times cooler would be 0°. 2 times cooler would have to then be -10,000°, which would take it to below absolute zero, whichever scale we use. At 5000 times cooler, we definitely have something to write home about.

Now, the comparison had been a matter of how many times warmer, such as our sun being 5000 times warmer than the white dwarf, then that would be a different matter, Instead of multiplying to subtract, we would be multiplying to add. So, if the star was 10,000°, then our sun would be 10,000,000°.

Of course, this just follows the same principles as x% more or x% less.

Win XP alive and kicking despite 2014 kill switch (Don't ask about Win 8)


Win7 and Win8 directional shifts from XP

Windows 7 has an advantage of being an incremental shift from Windows XP in how MS handles the desktop. Windows 8 is, by contrast, an excremental shift from XP.

Sony sucker-punches Xbox on price, specs, DRM-free gaming


Microsoft has no need to stress

So what if the XBox One is an instant failure. Microsoft can coast on the success of Windows 8 an the Windows phone.