fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
Computers are like magic. Seriously! A witch or wizard slaves away for days, even weeks or months, writing arcane symbols in a specific sequence to create a servitor to do a specific task or set of related tasks, including using a servitor to make the process of writing and printing easier, or servitors specifically designed to make other servitors and/or make the process of creating servitors easier. Then these servitors and their cargo wander through invisible lines of force laid out like artificial ley lines around the world, which harness tamed lightning, so you can give a servitor a command in Mexico to do a task in Australia, or even out in the void of space. You can speak with and see people on the other side of the planet or converse with people in orbit around the planet in real time, even see through the eyes of a metal golem exploring a distant planet that would take you months, even years to get to in person.

There are entire kingdoms/realms existing solely in that aether, with walls of fire and other security magic, and the physical world is so dependent on these magical kingdoms that a sufficiently bad problem in one of these invisible kingdoms can collapse the entire global economy. Your entire identity can be stolen, putting your life in chaos. You can be legally declared dead at the whim of a malicious witch or wizard. You can be shamed or applauded by millions of people you’ve never met in five minutes or less.

Then, the larger Realm of the Internet is full of dangerous imps and monsters (viruses, worms, malware, ransomware, spyware, etc.) that can turn your own servitors against you, or destroy them outright, even making the magical box you use to interact with them completely useless.

And none of this would be possible without centuries of men and women hard at work in search of arcane knowledge, digging into the secrets of the universe and wielding them in new and cool ways. We are already a magic-using society. If you were to use an iPad or other tablet in the dark ages or middle ages, you would be burned as a witch. People lost in time from those eras finding themselves here in our era would be convinced we’d all sold our souls to Satan for these magical powers. How awesome is that? I think that’s pretty awesome.

What’s more, all of this is so commonplace to us that we frequently summon servitors solely to watch funny videos of cats, look up some silly little detail we’ve forgotten, or argue with total strangers over completely silly things. And that, more than anything else, is just mind-blowingly awesome.
fayanora: Steph angry (Steph angry)
I don't know why, but for some reason lately, Chrome takes about 20 to 30 minutes to load any webpage if I go to it by opening a new tab and typing in the address, or opening a new tab and clicking on one of the Speed Dial links; yet 1. The saved tabs load relatively quickly on startup, and 2. If I open a link on a page in an existing tab into either the same tab or into a new tab ("open link in new tab"), it loads pretty quickly. So if I want to go to, say, LiveJournal in a timely fashion, and I don't have it up already in a saved tab, I have to open the link to my Tumblr blog in a new tab from an existing saved tab, then scroll down and click on "my LiveJournal." And to get to Facebook, I have to open a link to Alex's Tumblr blog from a saved tab and scroll down to click on his Facebook link, then click my name when Facebook loads.

It's very frustrating.

Edit: Oh yeah, and lest I forget, Chrome also now refuses to load any tabs in the background. I have to click on each tab and wait for it to load before going on to the next one and doing the same thing.

Argh!

Dec. 22nd, 2014 04:02 am
fayanora: Steph aghast (Steph aghast)
Okay, so I had another irritating computer moment. For months and months, I've been unable to get sounds to play in Chrome, and I couldn't figure out why. Well today I stumbled on the cause of the problem, by going into the Mixer in the volume controls to try to get a loud program to be quieter, and noticed that Chrome was on mute for some reason. I thought, "No, it couldn't be that simple, could it? I mean, it was doing that in Ubuntu as well. Erm... on the same computer. When the Ubuntu runs through WUBI, a Windows program." So I tried it and yup, months of frustration for nothing. It was that fucking simple to fix the issue. >:-(
fayanora: Steph Chloe Dartagnan (Steph Chloe Dartagnan)
Ever since circumstances forced me back to Windows, I have had a bugger of a time finding a working media player program. Windows Media Player is slow when it deigns to work at all, which isn’t often. And when it fails, it is one of the hardest programs to force quit, if not *the* hardest. I tried Miro, but that was almost as bad. Probably because Miro has a fuckton of unnecessary bullshit “features” I wasn’t interested in, that were making it run slow.

In a fit of annoyance, I tried WinAmp. So far, so good. It is what I wanted: a simple program that just plays music. It has just the stuff needed to play music files, and nothing else that I can tell: the buttons, a playlist area, and menus. It is working well so far without skipping or being slow or annoying. I may have found what I was looking for.
fayanora: Steph angry (Steph angry)
My laptop only has 3 USB ports. I use one for the external fan, to keep it cool. Another for the mouse. That usually leaves the third one available, but today the third one is being used by my old 2 GB MP4 player, because I'm putting something in it that is taking forever. Which wasn't a problem until I wanted to use the ergonomic keyboard. I tried looking for a USB hub. The one I could find doesn't work, and I cannot locate the other. Of course.

But I found a solution: I plugged the fan into a USB extension cable, and the extension cable into a USB charger plug thing, so it's running power directly from the power strip, LOL. Which freed up a USB port for the keyboard. Which was annoying because bloody Windows has to download drivers for these things every bloody time they're plugged in, because it can't remember this shit from one day to the next, and the driver download for the keyboard took a whole five minutes at least. I never had to put up with this shit on Ubuntu. Damn, I miss Ubuntu. (I still haven't found the time to take it to someone who can unfuck it for me.)

Swap disk

Jun. 15th, 2014 11:09 pm
fayanora: Steph Chloe Flapper (Steph Chloe Flapper)
I waited for over an hour for my Ubuntu machine to make this 16 GB swap disk for itself, several days ago, since it was previously at 256 MB, and I haven't noticed any improvement in speed. If anything, it's gotten worse.
fayanora: Steph Chloe Flapper (Steph Chloe Flapper)
In which I illustrate one of the many reasons I detest Windows and love Ubuntu:

Updates on Windows:

1. Windows downloads updates without my consent or even informing me it's doing so.

2. It then brings up this window giving a countdown to a forced restart. If I happen to be away from the computer too long when it does this, I come back to a restarting computer. Does Windows care I was in the middle of something that is now lost forever? Of course it doesn't. Windows is the operating system avatar of capitalism.

3. If I do get to postpone the forced restart, I can only postpone for 4 hours before the countdown screen comes back up.

4. When I do finally get around to letting it restart, it takes approximately 15 - 30 minutes to install the updates, if not longer. And all I can do is try not to get bored.

5. I get excited when "update 12 of 12" finishes, only to have to wait another 5 or 10 minutes for some other bullshit.

Updates on Ubuntu:

1. Okay, admittedly, Update Manager steals focus and it's a bitch trying to navigate away from it.

2. Ubuntu not only waits for permission, but actually requires you re-enter your login password to download the updates.

3. When Ubuntu is done downloading updates, it just sits there patiently in the background, waiting for you to go back to it without nagging or trying to force a restart.

4. Not all updates require restart.

5. On updates that require a restart, restart time is no slower than a normal restart.

~ ~ ~

And THAT is why I detest Windows updates.
fayanora: Chloe (Chloe)
I run a dual-boot laptop between Windows and Ubuntu, though honestly I only use the Windows side once every few months.

Lately my computer has been telling me that the root is running out of space. Well, I have burned to disk and deleted a fuckton of stuff from both sides, and it's still giving me this bullshit. I have no idea what to do about it, and everything that comes up about the problem on Google makes little or no sense to me. I don't know why Linux help-people feel they have to write every damn thing in hieroglyphs, but they do.

Can someone in the know give me some advice in plain English that I can try? Because I'm getting fed up with this shit. There's almost 50 gigs of free space on the hard drive, but the damned machine keeps insisting that the root is down to 952 MB. I am gonna go fuckin crazy if I can't figure out what's causing this bullshit soon.

EDIT: On of my friends on Dreamwidth found me the solution, and now my root has 8.1 GB free! WEEE!
fayanora: Hermione not amused (Hermione not amused)
No idea why, but for some reason whenever I watch a YouTube video, it gets stuck about halfway through. Every effing time. Regardless of what browser I use. Even the YouTube video downloader program I use gets stuck. Doesn't matter if the video is a minute long or 40 minutes long, always gets stuck in about the middle.

I use Ubuntu, if that helps anyone figure out the problem.
fayanora: Hit Girl (Hit Girl)
Well, McAfee survived the purge. I looked up how to get rid of it again, went with one that was not tied to the company. Turns out I had to not only uninstall it, but also remove it from each browser in turn (though some seemed to not have it), by removing it from the search bar thingy. For each account, including the guest account. Speaking of which, now that Amy has her own account, I have turned off the guest account.

So as far as I can tell, it is entirely purged from all accounts. I will not be pressing charges this time, but if I do see it again, I may reconsider.

It's like cockroaches! Kill em one place, they keep coming back. Hopefully I got the last of that bastard program.

Relevant icon is relevant.

Mystery

Mar. 26th, 2014 05:28 am
fayanora: Hermione not amused (Hermione not amused)
So Amy, my roommate, was having an issue on the computer just now. McAfee SiteAdvisor kept saying "THREAT DETECTED" very loudly every minute or so. Which is weird, because I have never installed McAfee on that computer. I detest McAfee. That computer uses Avast for its anti-virus stuff. Though now we have Internet, I may change to AVG Free.

So I Googled how to uninstall McAfee, uninstalled it, and in the resulting post-uninstall questionnaire, I told them that I did not ask for, purchase, or install this program, and that if I saw it on my computer again, I would be pressing charges.

Luckily, it seems to be gone. But yeah, I never installed that program, and I am the only person who has ever had that computer.

Edit: Looks like I will have to uninstall it from each effing user on the computer, because it's still on Amy's account. Fucking thing. Where's that "nuke it" button?

Can't wait

Mar. 25th, 2014 11:58 pm
fayanora: Hermione not amused (Hermione not amused)
Gods, a week and two days at least before I can get my own Internet in this apartment. My choices are currently:

1. Brooke's network, which only works in the bedroom, at 2 bars, 3 if I get lucky, and the network is easily overwhelmed.
2. Get on the PC in the living room and use the free Resident Wireless, which has a netnanny kind of thing built into it and so you can't go very many places. Half the pages on Tumblr are blocked, its a wonder the dashboard works at all.

Nine days left til Clear Internet!
fayanora: Phoebe in Wonderland by LJ user bitemeee (Phoebe in Wonderland)
Posting this from the desktop system in my home. I have recently installed the old wireless modem from my dead XP box into this one, which runs Windows 7. All is working fine, connected to Brooke's wifi network. Only 2 bars, but hey, the laptop in the bedroom only gets it at an average of 2 or 3 bars.

Tux paint

Jan. 30th, 2014 09:12 pm
fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
Found this program called Tux Paint, installed it to see what it's like. It's a drawing program for kids, and has all kinds of awesome things like stamps and different effects and stuff. Molly (my inner child) was playing around with it, and drew something funny. The program is a bit TOO kiddish, though, as it doesn't save stuff in any format that another program can access. So I did a screencap:

fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
I am constantly getting locked out of web sites not because I'm forgetful of passwords but because so many of these websites have so many arbitrary password rules that I have to make variations on one of my usual passwords that is just different enough that I can't fucking get in later if my computer has forgotten what the password was.

Goddamn it, there should not be any fucking arbitrary "you can't do a password without [x]" bullshit. Like, your password has to have a capital letter, a special character, but not a period or comma or a dozen other characters, and it has to be at least 6 but no more than 10 characters long, and your password should have a prime number in it and be in the metric system, every other character should be capitalized, and sacrifice your firstborn to us, but only if you give us 10% of everything you own when you die, your mother's maiden name, and your porn name. Oh and we'll only give you three chances to get all that right or the account will lock up for a day or so.

Honestly, I am quite capable of making secure passwords by myself without all these fucking arbitrary rules! This bullshit is making things 10 times harder than they need to be, and it's all false security anyway because you can always reset the password anyway if you can get into the email account.

I tell you, the most sensible password things I've seen to date are Google and TrueCrypt. TrueCrypt will accept whole sentences as a password, without bitching about spaces and periods and question marks and so on. And while Google isn't quite that good, it doesn't have many of these arbitrary rules (just doesn't like spaces and periods and commas, I think), and you can add more security by linking the account to a cell phone and/or requiring verification codes (which I can lock in a text file inside of a TrueCrypt vault).

Honestly, web sites, if you would stop quibbling about pointless details and basically go the TrueCrypt route and allow any fucking characters we want, and whole sentences, then that would be much more secure and a hell of a lot less hassle.

TGFC

Dec. 22nd, 2013 09:35 pm
fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
Thank Goddess for Chrome! Especially all the add-ons. I was getting really tired of my machine taking about half a minute on picture downloads just to pull up the save screen, so I now have two new add-ons for downloading directly to my downloads folder. SOOOO much easier!
fayanora: Martha and Ten by mischief89 (Martha and Ten)
Ubuntu programs I have found useful:

* Psensor - Great program that tells you the temperature of the computer, warning you when it gets too hot. Does it in Celsius only, though, so you have to know what the limit for your computer is in Celsius. Psensor also tells you what percentage of the CPU is being used, which is useful because Ubuntu's Activity Monitor will not open if something else has gotten the CPU stuck at 100%.

* Touchpad-indicator - Tells me whether my laptop's touchpad is on or not, lets me turn it off. I have settings done so the touchpad is automatically turned off when the mouse is plugged in. I like this, because the touchpad had a tendency to fuck things up when I accidentally touch it while typing.

* GoldenDict - This is a free dictionary program, which is awesome. I tried StarDict, but that didn't work. So I got rid of that and installed GoldenDict, which is AWESOME! It's like a dictionary and an encyclopedia combined! I needed this because when I'm not online, I need to be able to look up words sometimes, and I don't own a paper dictionary.

* Cheese - Lets me take photos and videos with my webcam.

* Docky - I like this better than the built-in dock, despite its tendency to quit unexpectedly. It sits on the bottom of the screen instead of the left side, like the built-in dock does.

* Pidgin Internet Messenger - I don't remember what IM program came with Ubuntu, but Pidgin is superior. Lets me use not only Google Talk, Yahoo, AIM, MSN, but also Facebook chat! And a bunch of others I don't use.

* WINE - Runs certain Windows programs within Ubuntu. Doesn't work for everything.

* Kolour Paint - Emulates Windows Paint.

* Drivel - Useful LiveJournal client that works with Dreamwidth. Superior to LogJam.

* Xsane Scanning Program - Wonderful program for working with your scanner.

* KTeaTime - Simple program that lets you time things like tea brewing, just tell it what you're brewing and it will alert you when it's been brewing long enough.

Issues:

* Can't use Archive Manager to make ZIP files without it making the computer freeze and have to be forcibly restarted. Hell, just opening Archive Manager makes the CPU usage shoot up to 99%. Did manage to get two ZIP files made, but WinRAR did the other 5 ZIP files in about 1/16th the time it took Archive Manager to do it, not even counting the time wasted by the forced restarts.

* Nautilus (Ubuntu equivalent of Windows Explorer) doesn't seem to like large files, like ZIP files. Try to copy a ZIP file from a flash drive to the hard drive, and it siezes up the same as trying to make a ZIP file with Archive Manager. I even tried copying the file in Beyond Compare, which in Windows does copies faster and better than Windows can. No go; the computer again froze. I ended up having to restart into Windows and transfer the files that way. Windows did the file transfer in less than 5 minutes. Good thing Ubuntu can access the Windows side of the computer.

* Ubuntu has a CTRL+ALT+DEL but, unlike in Windows, it only works when whatever program is stuck is done being stuck. Which makes it fucking useless. Same goes for Activity Monitor.

Despite all that, I still like Ubuntu better than Windows. Internet works fine in Ubuntu, all sites, except for videos in Tumblr for some reason. But in Windows, none of the browsers were working right anymore, I was having to use five or six different browsers to do everything I wanted to do online because stuff that worked in one would not work in another.
fayanora: Hit Girl (Hit Girl)
My laptop is dual-boot, having on it both Windows 7 and Ubuntu. I prefer Ubuntu. It's faster by far. I'm writing this from the Windows side, only because I'm letting it install updates. This is the first time I've been on the Windows side of the laptop for several months. Good Gods, Windows is slow! In the amount of time Windows took to load all the startup programs and finally be ready for me to open the browser, Ubuntu could have had me in a browser, online, and reading my email already.

But still, I figured I should update Windows. Might need it at some point, and besides, I think the Ubuntu I have installed on here runs via Windows somehow.

I think in future, if I ever need to get another computer, I'll try a different kind of dual boot, one where the Ubuntu side is completely its own thing seperate from the Windows side. And ye gods, I hope I never have to run Windows 8 on any of my computers. It looks like an OS made for a smart phone!
fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
My laptop has been a dual-boot machine, using both Windows 7 and Ubuntu, for over a year at least. But only recently have I really taken to using it a lot. I started using it more often when the only Windows browser that would do Words With Friends properly was Internet Explorer, then IE crapped out and now only Maxthon will do Words With Friends. There are a number of other minor annoyances on the Windows side that makes Ubuntu my preference everywhere but at Brooke's. Only used Windows at her place, because we both get on Trillian and send each other links.

But now I'm seriously thinking about using Ubuntu even at Brooke's. Because now I've got Empathy working, and doing most of the accounts I use. The only account I use that I can't get to work is Yahoo IM, which I can't figure out. I know I have the username right, and I also changed the password when I couldn't be sure which one I was using it, and even putting in the new password, it won't work. But oh well. Yahoo IM has never worked particularly well for me, and I was only using it for Lilla. But since Empathy does Facebook chat, too, that's not really an issue now.

The only issue I have with Empathy is, I can't hear the sounds it says its making for notifications. >:-(
fayanora: Hermione not amused (Hermione not amused)
The library wifi wasn't working for me yesterday, and I have no idea why, since it was working fine for other people. I tried restarting, that didn't help. Tried moving, that didn't help. I finally had to use a different wifi network, coming from some other business.

So today, I went to a different library, the Hollywood library. (In the Hollywood district of Portland, OR.) The wifi here worked, but... at first, it would do this weird thing for LiveJournal, Dreamwidth, and certain Facebook games, where it kept demanding I accept the terms of using the library wifi, which I had already done. Further, it kept doing weird things to the page that made it impossible to click "accept." And it only did it on those three sites.

I restarted, and now so far it seems to be working normally. Still, that was peculiar.

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fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
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