Michaelwclark.com

Just my stuff


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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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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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Save hundreds of dollars using old computers as dummy keyboards / monitors!

I just tried Google’s Remote Desktop. It’s super easy. All you have to do is add it to the Chrome browser and install one small program on your host computer.

So if you have one half decent computer, you can dust off those old, not so great computers around the home and press them into service as dummy keyboards / monitors linked to your good computer.

It also works for android tablets and iPads, which suddenly fly as fast as your best computer.

I’m doing it right now with an old laptop replete with busted hinge (screen propped up by a weight). The type is fast and responsive. I can open multiple tabs and my ram usage stays down around 300 mb. Perfect for blogging. Not so great for music and really quite mediocre for video. But you can’t have everything for free. Anyhow, I use my tablet for music and videos. So it’s all good.

All you have to remember is to adjust the screen resolution of the host computer (the best one) to match the default screen resolution for your dummy computer (the worst one).

Solid!

– remotely published via ancient laptop with 512 mb ram, AMD mobile sempron processor ( = weak)

Be sure to see my update to this post » Maybe I spoke too soonTeam Viewer seems better than Google Chrome Remote


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The Supreme Geek in the Sky

Puppy_linux_430

Puppy linux 430 (Image: Wikipedia)

Possessed would be too strong a word. Obsessed might be better. Theologically, possessed means a serious eclipse of free will by an evil spirit. Whereas obsession isn’t quite so strong. Again theologically, I think obsessed just means being harassed by an evil spirit.

In both cases free will never dies. But in possession, it is temporarily eclipsed.

I think that’s right. I’d have to check my own Earthpages.ca “Think Free” entries to be sure.

Isn’t that pathetic? I have to look stuff up on my own website to see if I get it right.

But that’s the way it goes sometimes… 🙂

So what am I possessed/obsessed (whatever…) about?

Well, the Great Geek in the Sky or, as some might call him or her, the Supreme Geek in the Sky, has taken over most of my free time; I have been extremely enthused about learning Linux.

Earthpages, the news, the issues… they’ve all taken a back seat. Instead, searches upon searches about Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu and (Slacko) Puppy Linux have been filling my days.

Trial and error… Endless reboots. Wearing out my old computer maybe. But lovin’ it!

I have a nice Windows computer in my bedroom. But it looks like a stranger to me now.

Weird?

A little bit.

Desktop and ROX-File-Manager runnig under Pupp...

Desktop and ROX-File-Manager runnig under Puppy Linux 2.13 (Image: Wikipedia)

I guess that’s what happens when you enter into Linux Land. The “old world” of Windows looks so… ick… banal… easy… bourgeois.

I’m having much more fun learning everything anew on an old Pentium 4 that was broken. It’s actually a mix of two computers. But I’ve talked about that

Anyhow… that’s all for now… have to get back to my learning curve. The Great Geek calls… 🙂


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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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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…  🙂