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Cold Season

Image – MaxPixel

The past few days I’ve been under the weather so doing a bare minimum at Earthpages. But my time hasn’t been wasted. I tried out Linux again. And again decided that with my older hardware, I still prefer Windows.

Also been updating, reconfiguring all my old computer stuff into a new synthesis that inspires me to work. Latest addition which I like is Libre Office.

I tried it out years ago and didn’t like it. But this time around it’s great. I feel a bit like a French social worker using it… although they probably all use the most expensive corporate stuff they can get their hands on.

So I’m working on an entry for earthpages.ca today. Been a while. I even considered pulling the plug on Earthpages altogether.

I get that way every now and then when I feel like I’m getting nowhere or just blowing lots of hot air.

Libre Office – image tweaked at pixlr.com

This new entry is going to be more raw and realistic. It’ll probably take a while. Still lots of sniffles and I’ll have to sleep this cold off.

But just wanted to say I’m still here… 🙂

 Tor Browser May Have Been Leaking Your Real IP Addresses – macOS & Linux Users Need to Update ASAP (wccftech.com) – Disgruntled stalkers probably hate TOR

 Researchers discover WiFi vulnerability affecting basically every device on Earth (businessinsider.com)

Diagnosing a Linux-only unit test failure (codeblog.jonskeet.uk)

 News Roundup from Microsoft Ignite (r-bloggers.com)

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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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Thanks Microsoft, for sending me to computer camp!

Cortana in her original form in Halo: Combat E...

Cortana in her original form in Halo: Combat Evolved (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week I thought I’d try out Windows 10 before the free offer expired. I’d actually tried it out months ago, so probably was already digitally entitled. But just to make sure, I did it again before the free offer expired.

My initial impression?

I liked it. I enjoyed the funky blue/black color scheme. I had fun playing around with MS News, Edge and asking Cortana to look things up as I blogged.

The whole experience made me feel more “connected” and current.

I also liked the clean install from an ISO, which means no bloatware whatsoever. Win 10 leaves about 450 gb of my supposedly 500 gb (really 466 gb) hard drive free after installation, and that included a recovery partition. Whereas Win 7 only leaves about 393 gb free on the hard drive, including recovery.

Okay, so all good, right?

Well, no.

The only fly in the ointment, and it was a nasty fly, was the fact that Win 10 and my Broadcom WiFi adapter were not a good fit. It worked, but intermittently. And yes, I tried every suggested fix on the web. I even did MS support, which didn’t help—not directly, anyhow.

So giving up, I decided to go back to Win 7. But oh! My computer was now telling me that I could not go back.

Ouch.

English: dvd burner operating with cover removed

dvd burner operating with cover removed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is when MS inadvertently sent me to computer camp. Looking back, it was a good experience. But really, why did the MS scan say my computer was compatible when it was not?

I fiddled with this thing for a week. And I’m not saying it wasn’t fun nor enjoyable. But it was also a bit stressful. Had I not time to fiddle with it, I probably would have been forced to buy a new computer.

Am I ticked off? Not really. As I say, it was a good challenge. But I’m clever with these things when I have to be. And not everyone is.

My solution involved learning about partitions, volume labels, and related software; also, making an ISO image of a System Repair CD. To create the ISO I used an older version of Image Burn, a freeware program that now uses Open Candy (not so great). But using the older version, I avoided the Open Candy.

From the ISO I made a bootable USB using a really nifty and free program called Rufus.  I also made a system image backup to my external HD, using the native Win 7 tool. So I never have to restore Win 7 OEM with DVDs again (keep my fingers crossed!).

Anyhow, I got it all together. Everything works fine now.

I learned a lot. I had fun. But I think MS should have been more honest in the first place.

Win 10 and my computer are NOT compatible. Even though MS said they were.

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Windows 10 free upgrade ending soon! – July 29 2016

win10aI tried Windows 10 when it was first available and didn’t like it for several reasons:

  • Windows Defender seemed mandatory
  • not as many options to control Windows Update behavior
  • used more RAM than Windows 7
  • seemed like a lot of ads that I didn’t want

But I am a sucker for free things so am installing it now before the free offer expires on July 29. I can always go back to Windows 7 if I want to. But I doubt I will. I have an old machine running Windows XP and fully realize what a hassle it is when software updates are discontinued.  January 14, 2020 in the case of Windows 7.


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Going home to Win 7 (after flirting with 10)

Capture

After trying out the free Windows 10 upgrade for a few days I decided that I liked my old Windows 7 better. The upgrade restored my computer to Win 7 as promised. But it wouldn’t let me restore my computer to its factory condition (with bundled software) from the partition on my HD.

Luckily I’d made factory restore DVDs a while back. So I’m restoring my machine back to Win 7 without any of the Win 10 excesses that may or may not still be hidden somewhere on my HD.

So let this be a warning to anyone upgrading. Make sure you have a proper external backup of your old system before upgrading. Otherwise, you might get stuck with Win10, like it or not.

+++

Later… So I’ve got Win 7 humming away again. This time I didn’t even install my usual email client, Thunderbird. I really am in a lean and mean mood today. That may change, but right now I’m enjoying the stripped down laptop. Instead of Thunderbird, I just made email folders and bookmarks in Firefox, the only program I’ve installed so far.

While doing that, I noticed that msn.com has all the new Win 10 features I’d want, or a lot of them, at their site. So I can still get the funky news and other features without the big, bloated Win 10 interface.

Do you like Microsoft’s new Edge browser? I must admit it’s pretty cool to be able to snip out and highlight web pages. But after a little exploring, I realized I can do nearly the exact same thing with the snipping tool included in Win 7.

So, to make a long story short, I flirted with Win 10 but am happy to be back to Win 7.


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Back in the RSS..?

rss copy

Huh? I’m just being stupid. Playing on the old Beatles song because I couldn’t think of anything else to call this post.

Just wanted to say that I probably will be emailing and posting less personal Facebook updates as I’ve come back to an old love… RSS feeds! I don’t know why I stopped looking at my feeds for so long. I suppose it had something to do with moving up to Windows 7 from WinXP a few years ago. My favorite feedreader (RSS Reader) used to work great on XP. Even better on Win98.

Anyhow, I managed to get it going on Windows 7 after downloading some old Windows supplements.

I love it! There’s something about finding alternative news in categories of interest that really turns my crank. Feels like you can weed thru all the crap and find the real story.

To make things even better, I’ve started up a new Facebook page and feed where I’ll be posting the stories. So you can see what I’ve been up to here (right column) and at earthpages.org and earthpages.ca.

I’m hoping, of course, this will increase my traffic, which has been holding steady but not quite bringing the house down.

Enjoy!