Michaelwclark.com

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Taking the Hardware Plunge

Image via Amazon.ca

Image via Amazon.ca

I can’t believe I finally did it. I ordered some RAM for a very old laptop that was (trying to) run on 512 mb ram. Up till now I’ve only extracted stuff from busted computers and juggled it around, hoping it would work and not blow up! So far I’ve been pretty lucky.

But last night I researched and scanned my old laptop system info with the free CPU-Z portable app, which I love. And I read and read and read. I also extracted the RAM and wrote down a whole bunch of numbers. Noted the slots. All that stuff.

Just hoping now I got it right. If this works, I got an amazing Hong Kong deal.

Will keep you posted. Low, low price means longer than usual delivery times.


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Well, I went back to Windows after all…

It was fun but it couldn’t last. I had to admit it. Even the fastest Linux software (Puppy Slacko) for my old PC ran slower than a clean install of Windows XP.

I’ve become a master at disabling unwanted plugins, resources, and startup items to get the RAM usage down to just over 100 mb. I’m not sure if Puppy Slacko was that low or not. The way the meter read the RAM was confusing to my untutored eyes.

Anyhow, I wrote the bulk of yesterday’s earthpages.ca article on my WinXP Pentium 4 computer, “Frankenstein.” But it gets slow when doing the final layout. So I switched to my Win 7 laptop, which is pretty average by today’s standards. Then I proofread again using the Win XP machine.

Looking at my writing on different systems gives me a fresh take. I can see inelegancies, errors and redundancies better. I then went BACK to XP and again to Win7 before finally finishing the thing at about 4:30 am.

Good thing I can sleep in a bit when I need to. I enjoy listening to music more than writing about it! 🙂


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Blind conformity

Image via Tumblr

I’ve been busy latetly. Earthpages is a few days behind. But I have been doing some R&D with Linux software. I like Linux. Now trying out a very light OS for older computers called Lubuntu. For me, it’s a bit snappier than Xubuntu.

If you’d like to try Linux, be warned. At the beginning it can be frustrating. Simple things like unzipping and installing need to be learned all over again. And it can be buggy. You gotta have a bit of a tech sense, I think. Still, it’s nice to get away from that fracking Microsoft hegemony. Free software might be the wave of the future. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone could have access to computers, learning and creativity?

Here’s a little comic I did this morning. I’m posting it through Blogilo. On an older computer Blogilo seems nicer (faster) than the WordPress editor. Still testing it out though…


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recent adventures in cyberspace

Image via Tumblr - Source: Pixabay

Image via Tumblr – Source: Pixabay

I’ve been having a ball playing around with all sorts of new software. I recently switched my old “frankenstein” computer (the one I made on Halloween out of two dead computers) to Xubuntu 16.04, which is a Linux operating system.

It’s been a great adventure. Like learning how to do computers all over again. Luckily there are friendly forums, which always helps!

There’s a lot of interesting free software that works well with Linux. One is Slimjet browser, which I’m using now (I haven’t tested it on Windows yet). Another is the GIMP, a photo editor that also works with Windows.

Anyhow… here’s a little something created on the GIMP… thinking of that old madman David Bowie while doing this. Well, I guess he’s an eternally young madman now.

I think the lyric “something in the sky” is in one of his songs from the LP Outside. But I’d have to check on that.

Sorry to anyone who has liked my stuff here or at Earthpages. I WILL get back to see what you have been up to. Just that learning Linux and related software has been pretty time-consuming. As I say, like learning computers all over again. 🙂


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The Future is Now

Image via Tumblr

Image via Tumblr

This morning I was reading a book about ancient Roman religion. After I while I wasn’t taking anything in (it’s a pretty dense book) so decided to spark up the computer. I’m on an old computer, my Frankenstein computer. I call it that because it’s actually a combo of two broken computers. I did the operation on Halloween. So I thought it a fitting name, bringing something back to life from the dead, as it were.

Anyhow, I have Photoshop Elements but don’t want to install it on Frankenstein because Adobe tends to pack all sorts of crap/services onto your computer and it’s a hassle getting rid of them, if you can. With only 1.5 gb RAM and a Pentium 4 processor, Frankie hardly runs at all. But it’s just good enough to add text (addtext.com) to this Pixabay photo. Sometimes I like to use different software or do things online because it opens up new possibilities—like this tilted font.


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Adobe mobile app now does collages!


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More tips for people trying to get the most out of an old computer

compaq-crop

I awoke in the middle of the night last night. Instead of rolling around in bed when that happens, I usually get up and do something.  I also enjoy listening to music late at night. My senses are heightened. It’s quiet. And usually there are some other night owl bloggers with whom I might engage in some friendly banter. So it’s all good.

But last night my faster laptop was in my bedroom. And I wanted to sit at the dining room table, where I have a really ancient laptop set up. I say “set up” because the hinge is busted, so I have to prop up the screen with something moderately heavy.

A bit tired of Spotify and Stingray, I wanted to listen to Naxos online. But this little dining room laptop just couldn’t hack it. After playing sounds for a few seconds it would skip and sputter. That’s what happens with 512 RAM and an atom-style processor.

So I tried the K-Meleon browser, highly touted among old computer hobbyists. But it couldn’t load the Naxos playlist. I tried Firefox. Same thing. Next I tried the ultra-light Midori. The portable version didn’t load. But the installed version did.

This looked very promising and, happy for a few minutes, I thought I’d found the answer. But after a while the whole Midori browser just crashed.

Then it came to me. Duh. Just load Chrome without all my extensions. This meant signing out of Chrome and loading the blank browser, clearing all history, bookmarks, etc. (Not sure if the latter makes any difference but I thought I’d do it anyhow).

Success! This works so well that I am listening to Handel (streaming) and typing this note on Word 97. Next, I’ll try to load up WordPress and see if the music still plays.

It’s the little things in life…  🙂