Windows 10 – The Dumbening

wndwstnWith each forced release of Windows 10, the operating system is slowly becoming dumber.  Maybe that’s good since the masses who use it are mostly dumb.  Maybe it is a good match.

The problem is that they are slowly phasing out all the tools that administrators use to make modifications.  The ubiquitous Control Panel is almost impossible to find if you don’t search for it.  The Printer control panel is also hiding.  So many important tools are fading out and will soon be gone with the wind(ows).

Yes, there are big fonted, dumbed-down, push button and switch-like alternatives but where are all the options we need?  Gone or hidden so deep you will need a shovel to find them.  Fortunately the registry and the group policy editor are still there for power admins.

Personally, I don’t like it.  Yes, it’s partially because the old way was perfect and the new way is…dumb.  I feel like we are losing control of Windows.  Soon it will be like Apple’s OS.  Few options:  “You’ll eat what’s on your plate and like it!”

Linux is still out there but it will never replace Windows no matter how dumb Windows gets.  Go watch the movie, “Idiocracy.”  That’s where we are going really quickly.



Please Reply!!!

ysnoNothing annoys me more than not getting responses to my emails.  I don’t know if it is a societal thing or people are just assholes.  Maybe both.

There was a time, when you asked a question, that you got an answer.  Now people just ignore you.  Even businesses where you are prospective customers.

I guess there are ways to be obnoxious about it until you get a response.  Maybe that is necessary today.   You just can’t seem to get people’s attention anymore.  Technology is the cause of and solution to all of life’s problems.

As far as email goes, maybe adding, “Response Requested” or “Awaiting your reply” will help.  I kind of like to go with a passive-aggressive option.  If I don’t get a response, I send the exact same email again in a few days and repeat until something happens.

I am thinking on Yes/No questions I might include the above YES and NO Graphic to try to make it easier for the weak-minded.

What do you think?

Bye Bye Drone

elfieI bought a little quad copter on the internet the other day.  It only cost me $35.00 and looked like fun.

A few weeks later, it finally arrived.  When I got home I played with it a little and was very impressed on how stable and how well it worked.  Totally worth $35.00

Today is Saturday so I had some time.  I took it out in the back yard and flew it around a little to get the hang of it.  I got it calibrated so it hovered pretty well in one spot.  The camera view shows up on your phone or tablet so you can see from it’s point of view.

I decided to fly higher to see  how it would go.  It got up pretty high and just kept going.  It was obviously out of range of the WiFi from my iPad so all I could do was watch it fly away like a bird released from it’s cage.    Bye bye done…  Bye bye $35.00.   You would think that when it lost it’s connection it would descend.  That was some poor engineering.  Major bummer.  Well, I had my 5 minutes of fun.

Maybe some kid will find it and have a good time.    Probably not because the battery charger is proprietary.    Pbbbbbbt!



Snapchat Stock

snpchtThe other day I decided to buy some Snapchat stock.  Yeah, I know it has no real value but neither did Facebook.  I went ahead and bought $1000 worth at $23.75 to see what happens.  Of course it is immediately going down.

I bought Facebook back when it as $36.00.  Held it as it sunk into the lows.  Eventually, around a year later it rose back to $36.  Figuring I would be lucky to break even, I sold it at $36 to get my money back.  Now it is at $138.68.  Had I held it I would have made $5100.00.

I feel that Snapchat is in the same condition as Facebook.  It has potential so this time I’m holding it long term.

I don’t use Snapchat.  It’s a kids thing that I have no use for but it is a popular medium that reaches the kids who are otherwise disconnected from media advertising like TV and Radio.  It is just a matter of time before Snapchat figures out how to monetize or is sold to Facebook or Google.  I might buy more when the price bottoms out.  What the hell.  Facebook and Google are doing their best to create an alternative but Snapchat is already the de facto medium of choice amongst the grommets.

I’m not going to miss this opportunity this time.  Let’s hope the gods of fate don’t take this opportunity to kick my ass again.


The Amazing World We Live In

amzndt  Does anyone else ever stop and notice what an amazing technological world we now live in?  Socially and Morally we are still pretty messed up but we have the tech! Today’s people take it for granted but just stop and think for a minute.

You can go hop in your car and drive for hundreds of miles in air conditioned comfort in just a few hours.  Something that would have taken weeks just 100 years go.

You can microwave a burrito so hot that Jesus himself could not eat it in only a minute or so.

You can pull a device out of your pocket and video chat with someone across the planet.

You can talk to your Amazon Dot or Google Home and order a pizza without budging from your couch while you watch The Bachelor on your 80 inch flat screen TV upon which you can watch any movie or show streamed over the internet on demand.

In just a short time you will be able to order a self-driving car to pick you up and take you to the mall.

You can put on a Virtual Reality headset and play a game that is better than real life.

You can keep in touch with your “friends”,  see pictures of their amazing escapades and know just what they think about stupid things all day long.

Our grandparents did it the hard way.  We had it pretty easy.  Today’s kids.. Oy vey.  They have no clue.  They don’t even know what it is to live without the Internet or cell phones.

I wonder what the future holds for the humans.  Fat, lazy blobs floating around in chairs while machines do everything?  You know it’s coming…


Stop shooting vertical video, people!!!

vrtvidOh My God people!  Stop holding your phone wrong when shooting video.

You see video that people have taken on their phones on the news all the time and 90% of it is vertical.  That’s a thin strip of video with two HUGE black bars on the left and right.  Annoying?  YES!

That’s what happens when you hold your phone vertically instead of horizontally like a television.

It continues to amaze me that people are that stupid that they would even WANT to shoot vertical video.  I figure they are either dumb as a box of rocks or just don’t give a shit.  Either way. STOP IT!

I wish the phone manufacturers would require a phone to be held horizontally before video can even be taken.  It should be impossible for someone to do it wrong.  Please Apple and Android;  Fix it because people are too dumb to do it right on their own.

One more time for the intelligence-impaired:vertvid2

Still don’t get it?  Watch this video:

Still don’t get it?  You are a total idiot.

Small solar for my RV

My 1982 Holiday Rambler Class C RV is ready to hit the parks this fall after all the great stuff I’ve done to fix it up.  I’m looking forward to it.

I think I enjoy working on it more than using it though.  If I had bought a brand new RV with no problems then I would have been bored.  I’ve kind of run out of projects on it and am thinking of doing an upgrade that I don’t really need.  Solar Power.

I do most of my camping in places where you just plug in your cord.  There really aren’t a whole lot of places in Texas where you can camp other than designated RV parks.  For the most part, Texas is bought and paid for.  No public lands.  It’s hard to imagine that all the land in such a huge state is owned by someone.  Bastards!

Whether I plan to use it or not, I think I’ll add a small solar power system just in case.  It won’t cost a lot and it will be there if I need it.  Besides, by the look of the world right now, the apocalypse isn’t far off.  Might as well be prepared.

xantrexI’m starting with a Xantrex 1500 Watt inverter that I just now ordered on eBay for $155 and free shipping.  Gotta love eBay.  I plan on using the existing 100 Amp Hour deep cycle battery.  The RV has been converted to mostly LED lighting and the only thing I’ll need AC power for is the entertainment system and the microwave for short warmings.

I’ll mount the inverter in the generator compartment right next to the battery.  Plenty of room there.  If all is awesome then I’ll move on to the solar panels.

I was happy to find a quality brand inverter at a good price.  I trust Xantrex.  After the last cheap inverter I had stopped working and smoked, I feel that it is worth getting a good inverter for a few extra bucks.

panelI plan on using a flexible 120W 24V panel from Unisolar for around $175.

It will be easy to lay out on the roof of the RV and be removable if necessary.  The first thing I need to do is measure the amount of space to see if it will physically fit.  I think it will not be a problem.

If there is room I can add another one later.

No problemo.

controllerTo connect the panel(s) to the battery I’ll use a chinese made MPPT charge controller that is on eBay for $85.00.

You have to be careful if you are going to use chinese charge controllers because they are not all MPPT even though they may be labeled as such.  I found a video review on Youtube proving that this particular model really is MPPT.

Basically that means that you get more efficient charging.

I’m going a bit cheap here because this is a very small system.  I could spend much more on a better brand but I really think this one will do nicely.

in the interest of simplicity, I plan on just plugging the RV’s long power cord right into the inverter to avoid running extra wiring.  Since it will only be needed occasionally or in the event of the apocalypse, I think it will be just fine.  I’ll put a little warning sticker next to the inverter to remind me to unplug the power converter when using the inverter.  That would create an unnecessary power loop draining the battery faster.

The whole system should cost around $415 plus odds and ends.  Not a bad deal.