Michaelwclark.com

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Firefox making a comeback?

English: Firefox word mark. Correct clear spac...

Image – Wikipedia

For a long time I let go of Firefox. When Firefox was young it was my go-to browser. But then it got bloated and seemed slow.

With only one half decent computer to my name, I spend a lot of time eeking out whatever I can from older computers.

I just enjoy that. I could afford to buy more new computers. But I don’t see why I would. I get a hit – that “new” feeling – from trying out new software. I don’t need to get new hardware to feel that way. Usually when I buy new hardware it’s almost traumatic. I have returned stuff to the superstore because something wasn’t right or wasn’t as advertised. So generally I don’t like buying big ticket items. Only when I really have to. And then it’s fun.

So that’s why I tried out Team Viewer. I now have two Windows XP dummy computers running that. One in the basement. So when I do laundry I’m not just wasting time but working down there. (Our basement contains the bulk of my library, and I like working with all my books around me). One in the dining room because I like the open space of the main floor. And then there’s the main computer in my bedroom, which the two dummies feed off.

Image via Flickr

Now that I always have speed at my fingertips, I thought I’d try out Firefox again. It runs fine on my bedroom computer and, as I say, using the two Windows XP computers as dummies, it runs fine from them too.

Second time around I’m happy to get back to Firefox. One new feature that really pleases me is its snip tool. Sure, Windows 10 has it in Edge. But Edge sucks. We all know that. And the Edge snip tool only allows you to upload your snip to the web. No easy downloading.

It seems the Microsoft marketing gurus want us to run out of cloud space so we’ll buy more. So cheesy.

Windows 7 also has a pretty good snip tool. But by far the best snip tool comes with the latest version of Firefox. It makes it easy to snip just what you want and also to download to your computer.

This was snipped with Firefox last night:

After importing my Chrome bookmarks into Firefox, it’s virtually good to go. Maybe I just like a change. I don’t know. I get bored with blogging. And even a little change, like a change of browser, can reinvigorate me.

Much cheaper than running out and buying bulky hardware every week!

 Here’s how you can watch Apple’s iPhone event(rappler.com)


 AdBlock Plus can now stop sites from mining cryptocurrencies on your PC(neowin.net)


 How to Add Mouse Gestures to Chrome and Firefox(maketecheasier.com)


 Creating Richer Content with Zemanta(sovrn.com)


 Off-Ramping Bad Traffic to Get to the Good Traffic(sovrn.com)


 Google Chrome says it will stop the autoplay video madness in January(fastcompany.com)


 Roamit for Windows 10 lets you share files, photos, and your clipboard across devices(windowscentral.com)


 Your next work laptop could run Android apps(mashable.com)


 How to watch a live stream of Apple’s big iPhone event(businessinsider.com)


 Skype’s new ‘Interviews’ feature lets you test candidates using a real-time code editor(feedproxy.google.com)


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When it’s so good, they think it’s fixed…

I’m fascinated by digital music making. Especially the production side. So when I listened to the first video posted in this article (above) , I thought it was fake. But then when she sings alone… well, you be the judge.

Could the whole thing have been faked/staged? Possibly. But how could she have lip sinked so well with no cues (beat, background music)?

A beautiful woman and voice.


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WinDoc – My latest adventures in Geekery

Tonight I had fun trying out a free app called WinDoc. Basically, it makes doing split or multiple screens a bit easier. If you click on the image you should be able to read what I wrote in the notepad.

Before I did this screen capture I was watching TV and searching through my news feeds at the same time… all on one small screen. Quite nice because I get bored with TV and the web news alone can be a little sterile. So both together was more stimulating.


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Supertonic

This is just a sketch I did tonight after watching an interesting video or two about music theory and composition (below). It’s been a while since I did a full-fledged project and I didn’t feel inspired to jump right in fully. So I figured if visual artists can sketch a few lines in a notebook, why not musical ones?

A couple of Christmases ago I really got into arpeggios and exotic scales. Here’s what I came up with back then.

And here’s one I did when David Bowie was still alive. I think I was trying to get his attention… posted the link at his web site if I remember right. But back then I did it anonymously because I was afraid it was too weird. But today it sounds cool to me. So I’ve lifted the “private” setting at SoundCloud and made it public again.


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What a difference a few weeks and degrees (colder) makes

Took my Mom down to Cherry Beach tonight. Totally different experience from the last time I went. No traffic. Nice people at the beach. All round good time. This shot taken driving home, just beside inlets around Lake Ontario. No “scream” traffic like last time!

Image via Flickr


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In Loving Memory – Charles Edmund (Ted) Welsh

My uncle passed away about a week ago. His passing has sent a shockwave of sorrow and stress through the family, as losing a loved one always does. Myself, I have good reason to believe in an afterlife, so that takes the edge off my personal grieving. But I still sense the reaction from others who are deeply affected. So it’s been a challenging time.

My uncle loved Canada and the freedoms it embodies. He was a successful structural engineer who worked on a good share of the main buildings in downtown Toronto. When I was a kid in hospital undergoing a hernia operation, he visited me with a gift. It was a diary. Great gift. I still have it and my 1972 childhood memoirs. He also gave me a crystal radio kit which I used every night at home to listen to Wolfman Jack. The beginning of my love for music and media.

At Go Home Bay he fixed up an old sea-flea that had a rotten transom. In about an hour he’d cut and nailed all the fresh boards while I watched. I was just a boy and had many great spins in that boat after Ted gave it a second life.

Skiing at Collingwood he was always welcoming and fun when we visited at his cabin at the foot of the hills.

Other memories include playing the family piano when visiting for butter tarts in the fall—a yearly event. Ted is survived by his wife Pat, an accomplished pianist. Aunt Pat finished second after Glenn Gould in a piano recital! And Ted actively supported her passion for music.

So thank you Ted. Here’s a pic I took on the day of your ceremony.

With love,

Your nephew,

Mike

Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Toronto


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Remote computing – New wine in old wine skins!

It’s a long weekend and most everyone is away, so I’ve been taking a little time familiarizing myself with Team Viewer.

This free and portable program has enabled me to press my favorite old laptop back into service. For someone who spends many hours at home, this is a real boon. I love my old laptop’s sturdy keyboard and large screen. Newer laptops just seem to be getting cheaper and cheaper, thinner and thinner. Pretty soon they’ll be making them out of tin foil!

Click on image for larger size

So what’s happening in this graphic? (made entirely by remote using my old laptop keyboard and monitor linked to newer computer upstairs)

Well it’s an interesting setup. The old laptop has only 512 MB RAM, but as you can see I’m listening to Spotify and it is only using 217 MB RAM and 30% CPU. That’s because the new computer is taking most of the load, doing the lion’s share of the work, using 1.8 GB RAM, 13% CPU.

The new computer’s CPU is showing a lower percentage (13%) because it’s a faster, more efficient chip. But again, it is doing most of the work.

Team Viewer simply sends data via WiFi from new to old (my favorite vintage laptop); the old displays/plays everything done by the new. And, of course, I can send data back (keyboard and mouse) to new from old. Otherwise, I couldn’t have done anything remotely at all.

That’s my non-technical way of understanding it! If I tried to listen to Spotify on the old laptop all by itself, it would probably work but stutter and pop. Also it would take eons to load. With this setup everything is fast because, again, the newer computer is doing most of the work.

Basically it’s almost as good as having two fast computers for the price of one!

Who says we shouldn’t put new wine in old wine skins? 🙂