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Topics - TaoPhoenix [ switch to compact view ]

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DC Gamer Club / Ludum Dare 45 Reviews
« on: October 05, 2019, 10:50 AM »

It's been a while, but Ludum Dare 45 - Oct 2019 is going on, so I want to return to my habit of reviewing a few games!

My grading style is fairly lenient. Many games have difficult levels, but I like it when games have at least a couple starter levels so that you don't wash out in seven seconds or such.

Let's see!


Pulled out of one of Arizona's posts in Stuff, then a layer deeper than a fluff article, this might be the start of my return to paying more attention to the boards rather than idle chatter.

Troy Hunt's Have I Been Pwned webmail checker

I know I've been rather sloppy on exactly how strong my password is, but I didn't count on site breaches! So no matter now good YourSuperLongSafePasswordWith!Extra*Characters is, none of that helps you if a repository site in the middle gets hacked!

I'm going to try to use the password plugin for Chrome (and Chromium Friends!) browsers. (I'm starting to like Vivaldi!)

But I figured I'd post this here since about half my emails that have been around for a long time have credentials that were breached last couple of years!

So far I haven't seen any immense fallout from all this, but I used to be better read on overall tech news, and I might start trying to do that again soon!

(Minor Irrelevant Rant - I still prefer to see full descriptions and links to resources. I hate it when sites link random words!

DC Gamer Club / Ludum Dare 2017 Thread
« on: March 09, 2017, 02:02 PM »

After some time away from D, I am doing some more. Some will be from the Dec 2016 set, soon-ish we hope to have April 2017 en route, and I plan to at least poke a little at older sets just to chip at the ice.


I know, people hate the word "opportunity" but before sleazeballs took over the word, businesses began with things like you poured a glass of lemonade, made a dollar, and got to eat a burger for lunch. No one said you had to have "minimum sales" (jokes about tax law aside etc.)

You Did Something, You Provided Something, You got Paid Something, then you Spent part / all of the Something to live.

"That's all business is." The rest is a giant Hydra-headed mess of details.


So I was cleaning up some of my loose ends from my research day and something popped up at me about Wiki with an angle I hadn't thought of before but I've seen twice now and it could be a legit thing for a nice two-person operation to get into (and then grow?)

In a nutshell, among all its *other* issues, one of the disturbing ones is "We don't want to write up part of an article because it isn't verifiable". I know, in general, that keeps a lot of wild theories away, but in software it can change.

About the Russian Yandex browser, people began talking about the nature of Yandex browser vs the search company and so on. Someone wondered "well, there's no reliable sources for that".

Someone else replied, "well, anyone with the old version of the installer could prove it. "Verifiable sources would just not bother documenting this".

So your "first glass of lemonade" is you make your company, you get hold of the old installer, take screenshots and/or video under some kind of authority (to prove it's not all a hoax, for example just with a Notary Public watching in their office and signing it etc), then post the results, especially sending a copy to Internet Archive, and then it's a Reliable Source and maybe Wiki will accept it.

Without getting as fancy as "needing to set up a company", I'm not quite skilled enough to unravel this, but is anyone interested in trying out a couple of these just to see if the concept works? (And if it gets past Wiki politics!)

DC Gamer Club / DonationCoder thread for LudumDare34 Dec 2015
« on: December 11, 2015, 07:10 PM »


This time I am joining the #ludumdare channel at

This is the thread starter.

General Software Discussion / Thread for trouble with IRC
« on: December 06, 2015, 06:14 AM »
I'm starting this as a place where we can post notes when suddenly things start to go sour with the IRC.

I haven't been able to reconnect for a bunch of minutes now ...

(Using the web client)

Other net stuff and the main board are fine.


Server Error: 500 (Internal Server Error)
What does this mean?

Something went wrong on our servers while we were processing your request. We're really sorry about this, and will work hard to get this resolved as soon as possible.

Perhaps you would like to go to our home page?


General Software Discussion / Trouble connecting to chat
« on: September 15, 2015, 09:37 PM »

Now it's not connecting to me at all! As about 10:38 PM Tuesday 9-15-2015

Anyone have ideas?

So while we're all going "let's revamp things", one area I see as a big ... area ... is to separate what is a fast  & dirty "snack" vs various kinds of really hard things the user had no idea of.

I have to take an example, so let's borrow from this one:
(In the good of DC!)


"I would like to find or request a program that will display a name in the context menu. It doesn't have to do anything other then say, Yes include this in the context menu and provide a name. I need a pair for the ALL Files (*) key, a pair for the Folder key, a pair for the Directory key, and perhaps just one for the All File and Folder Objects key as I only need to see the start of these menu items. It is all the same program but each one is compiled with a different menu name"

Summary is, it's "harder than it looks" and ((Oh how my that's bitten me!)).

I'm totally out of my depth but for ex that stopped being a Snack at some point.

I think we should work on that, because at reduced DC rates, there are profound things that can happen once the *user* shows he/she is committed a bit, because to me that's the signal bit lacking, not raw price but as noted earlier, spam "can you do X" and never appearing again.

Somewhere in there, I'd give a few of you $10 to do a few things but it works (unassumedly but let's tighten it a bit) I'm a DC Top 17 regular.


I don't know if we already did this as a snack, or if someone knows something out there.

I'd like a program that can just read the browser and spit out a text file list of the links.

Any ideas?

Unknown if I'll need any features.

"Well, it's 2015. Someone else has to be grumpy at Mozilla and doing something..."

So, each of the Big Name browsers creates its own little "Metaverse", where it becomes Big Name vs Variants. This thread is about Firefox-y things.

Sorry for the slightly odd structural layout of the post, there's just so much to cover!

This one I'll concentrate on first is the more mysterious of the two:


Name and theme points!

Basic links:
I found it written up here:

Good news(?) - it came from a Sourceforge link:
(Dice meddling aside!)

First up, before we can really have fun with the cool theming, is it's sporting all kinds of strange tricks/features/(traps?) that are beyond me to really unravel!

When I start to search (in its version of the Awesomebar?), a screen flashes "powered by Yahoo Search" ... ?!
Alienforce SurfCanyon EarlyResult1.png

Then I think the first time I searched, it sent me to Google, because a popup-y thing in the corner showed up "do you want to sign into your account?" that led to this Google page (looks like the standard Google signup page, here offered more as bread-crumbing, see below for the twisty-maze-ness!)

But then future searches (performed at this stage with some kind of auto-complete I haven't looked how to turn off), lead to something called FVDSearch by Surf Canyon, such as this result for the browser itself

EDIT: Okay, if you are really fast and type and hit enter, it goes to google. It grabs whatever else you're part way typing into Surf Canyon! Okay, so that's annoying! But it's all part of that speed dial thing. Once you make that go away, it SEEMS to revert to regular Firefox-y-something. I'll never know if it's doing back end tracking or something.

I was nervous about Surf Canyon; the Wiki page looks suspicious and people on the Wiki Talk Page for it agree, but what was even fishier is they apparently poisoned an poll to make it the "search engine" to beat out Google.  Okay, make that a "To-Do list item" (as of this exact minute of the writeup! That's why it's a multi-layered evolving post!)

An early "New Tab speed dial" before you change it in settings.

An early SurfCanyon search result - a lot of ads early on.
Alienforce NewTab1.png

Okay, so let's go look at a couple of add-ons.

First surprise is it comes with a (disabled!) copy of IDM CC Integration Download Manager integration module for Mozilla. I've never heard of that, but it's disabled, so I'll leave that alone for now.

First couple of unclear things:
- Something might be a bit odd with the add-on repository, because it pulled what looks like an older version of AdBlock Plus Signed compared to my (disabled) copy on Pale Moon. I had to fish for the setting and uncheck "allow non-intrusive ads".

- ViewMenu/Toolbar/Customize doesn't seem to behave the same, which is a clue to a big theory later!

(Not counting the Facebook homepage (which I closed, sorry!)), the other homepage (from Tools/Options) is one of those Speed Dial things. So especially with SurfCanyon wandering around, it's not a privacy oriented browser. (Okay, now I got the chrome local url in this post, let's go unhook a few things.)

But look at the URL of that speed dial!

What kind of local protocol is chrome://  

Could this thing really be the elusive chrome back end with a Firefox front end (and it's one of the classic ones, with a dark theme, not the Aurora/whatever new ones), and taking (most of?) the Firefox set of add-ons!?
However, it looks like it hasn't been updated since 2012, and though I tried to switch the user agent, but that made things worse! Websites must have, in light of misc security incidents, put other detection code in besides just user strings. And whatever it all is, it breaks a lot of sites!

So, maybe all my work can save someone else the trouble!

Still, I'd luv if someone actively managed a Chrome-engine / FF FrontEnd combo! Did they at least do that?

Next up is Comodo IceDragon.

This should be gently amusing to you gang, and I get to put a different nuance spin on it.

Computing tends to have two common (and a rare third) presentations in movies. One is varying levels of blunders by the writers, with a (moldy?) form of Fridge Logic because they play the odds of the audience actually thinking it all sounds good. (Ya know, you'd think the bean counters could override PHB managers by saying "hey, let's give That Techie Guy We Know a pizza and have him do a sanity check", but apparently not, because managers seems to have the strongest voice in a corp and say "Nah! I want another $1,000 explosion for three seconds!) For me, the funniest is the legendary NCIS "2 idiots 1 computer" example because it's not even "An IP Address can do anything!", but people playing a keyboard like a piano duet!

One step up is when they flash actual code on the movie screen, though it turns out not to be terribly dramatic. But at least it's real code, usually. That's where this site comes in. At your level, it's a nice organized time saver of where chunks of code at least come from, in classic internet fashion "1 man's research, published to all".

1. The rare third is when computing is actually used at least coherently, better competently, or finally brilliantly, to actually do something! That could be a fun separate thread!

2. However, the script of the NCIS scene clearly came from X writer, and the visual arts guy stuck with the episode decided to at least put a little more smoke and mirrors into it all. Because if you turn off the volume, there is an *epic* amount of *somethings* flashing by on the screen! I wish someone with Too Much Time On Her Hands (gender empowering!) would create a nice detailed list!

Slashdot has been struggling for a while, and Dice seems to have its own ideas on UI layout. It seems the much reviled Beta one is parked for a while, but a few days ago, something truly awful appeared: This video box:

aaaa 1314213E45381CC6.png

It's pretty clear in the page source it gets pulled with (variants by day?) code that starts off with stuff like this:


So I'm looking for some way it simply gets hidden local side, then the rest of the page would just be normal and I can pretend it wasn't there.

Mouser seems to think this is a good thing for Greasemonkey. (Which I've never used much! So I'll need some user help!)


General Software Discussion / Caveman NoScript?
« on: June 04, 2015, 09:10 AM »
I do Adblock, and I have heard of NoScript, but one problem with NoScript type approaches is I don't want to get all wrapped up in Whitelisting stuff, because a ton of times it's news pages I'll never see again. But then again, sometimes it's "my favorite sites" doing stuff.

What if there is a brutally simple app/addon that you toggle on and off that simply blocks all scripts that come from anywhere else but the local domain. Extra key feature is if it can make a list of all the crap the page tries to load!

I often see this stuff in passing in the status bar, and I think it would be educational to see the printed list of just the crap that really goes on. I think even most new / low-skilled users would get grumpy if they were presented with a list like

Hai. Your newspage tried to load the following:
(something like)

Now me this could almost be as simple as a coding snack, but I'm sure I'm missing some of the legit complexity or something. To me it feels like the following pseudo-code:

10 Determine local domain user actually is visiting
20 IF Load_Anything_Else THEN STFU No!
30 collect list of crap page tries to load
40 present and offer a couple of options of processing/saving the list

For example the above partial list is from Slashdot.

An interesting alternative / extra feature is to whitelist certain kinds of scripts that are "absolutely essential" for pages such as news pages when they want to show videos, but then block all the other scripts even from the local page, because news pages are about the worst for "sliders" that jump up about twenty seconds later


Now back to your article
Especially since the 3rd party stuff is among the last to load. Incidentally this might *also* eat more ads after regular adblock is done.

Thoughts? Is this Snack sized? Or am I missing something?


A thread with a special slant where more or less ordinary tech just takes on whole new levels of awesomeness inspiring the icon

This might be a new wrinkle in that whole discussion!

Some lawyer had fun working on this!

First, the usual "privacy policy" that looks "sorta bland".

But here is at least one key phrase:
"For us, "personal information" means information which identifies you, like your name or email address. Any information that falls outside of this is "non-personal information."  "

But you tech guys have shown, you can "in reality" identify someone with enough info on their specific comp configurations.

And then buried under something called "Firefox Health Report" and barely mentioned in Options/Advanced, we get *this* much more "truth in legalese"!


The whole thing has enough discussion points I'll just let you folks read most of it as is, but just look at the astounding stuff as it combines!


I'll highlight this about that "tiles" thing I knew I hated earlier:

"Tiles are a feature of Firefox displayed on new tab pages. In order to provide the tiles feature, Firefox sends to Mozilla data relating to the tiles such as number of clicks, impressions, your IP address, locale information and tile specific data (e.g., position and size of grid). In Firefox Beta, certain short-term Telemetry experiments (see above) for Tiles may collect information about commonly visited domains."

I haven't yet scoured Pale Moon to see how much of this stuff it has.

A while back, Relipse's TranDesk introduced me to the concept of desktop splitters and rocketed to my top 10 list of daily programs (arguably every waking hour!).

Because it's in an odd place (not a Nany), here again is the link:

I tend to really value simple implementations of things that are new to me, so I can let them sink in before scouting what I might want in an advanced tool.

Trandesk is a simple 4-node desktop splitter with pleasant little color coding of the nodes Blue Green Red Yellow. (And you can shuffle them around, possibly requiring Taskbar Shuffle to do it.)

This kind of thing is essential for me because I discovered a few tremendous uses which all interact.

In unclear order of importance:
1. The last node is the "nuclear waste dump" - a key activity flow for me is a screen-shot-er (I got Mouser to add my 1-click killer feature into SC Captor last year), into a Sticky from Tom Revell's Stickies. By itself that flow has rocketed my ability to capture "infostuff" fragments. I tend to leave them all as open stickies sorted into categories of "topics of the week and month" and "parked older stuff". The problem is this threatens to bomb my screen with over a hundred open stickies!

So what I do is simply "park" the master node of Stickies onto my last desktop splitter node. What then happens is the other three nodes (though I try not to do it in all three) can then hold a tightly curated set with the short term projects, and then I just close/re-open Stickies to let them all get carted over to the Dump node. A few other things go there, like Task Manager, Process Explorer, and perhaps a few non-main browser windows of notes. The small downside is this chews up a node.

2. Medical
I am trying to rally my concentration this year, to get established into medical care in New York City. There's just a lot of stuff to do and know. So this swipes up a whole node full of stickies, browsers, and my note taking app MyInfo.

3. "Recreational Campaign" - Things like my Ludum Dare games adventures eat up quite a bit of linked info and notes! So something as big as that basically needs its own node or else I risk getting hopelessly lost!

4. This leaves only one node left for "everything else!"

So I am poking my toe into the water for people's suggestions of *simple* splitters with more nodes. I don't need "full session control" as someone else was saying elsewhere. Just "what I have now but moar nodes!" It's really a plus for Trandesk that it's 1-click" horozontally laid out, and color coded. Unfortunately Relipse said last year he doesn't know where the source code is anymore, and he's no longer around.

So, suggestions? Quick guess says that I don't often need more than 8 nodes, because if I have that much going on, that means I'd be getting over-extended and would simply close stuff down and free up the node as much to "get it out of my head".

Meanwhile, I also have no idea what other interesting things a desktop splitter can do. So I'm in the mood to at least poke at a few suggestions even if it doesn't "win the contest", just to see ideas on how X people tackle the same core function.

Thoughts? Programs? Ben Stein's Money?

(Heh - I just shuffled some stuff and managed to buy myself a little time freeing up a node, but the question remains.)


DC Gamer Club / Ataxx - my 2nd favorite game of the 1990's
« on: April 17, 2015, 11:00 PM »
(Inspired while in a gaming explosion here at the start of Ludum Dare.)
(The winner was Mortal Kombat , versions MK2 and MK3.)

But right up there, is an obscure game of a style rarely repeated since - a strategy game with some really unusual features.


It's like "upside down" Reversi/Othello, which is more common because it was sold in toy stores. In that game you flank opponent's armies and they flip over to your color in straight lines radiating from your placed piece.

Ataxx runs the other way, with short space moves of 1 or two squares, and then where your piece lands affects directly adjacent enemy guys.

Here's a half decent intro to it, though I have slightly different phrasings if I were to introduce it myself in a video.

Some lists and factoids:

A stunning innovation is the difficulty is "rated", using a variant of professional chess tournament player ratings. It's one of the only games I've seen that does that, and scary enough, my abilities at Ataxx are very roughly correlated with my chess ratings!


From weakest to strongest, the five AI opponents and some basic play style notes:
Colony       - just generic quasi sane moves, but not really well played at all
DroolMan   - first "solid" player, but is pretty easy to box into a corner
MushMan   - the most "active and dynamic" player, and one of the hardest to "grok" what's going on because he jumps all over the place. But the way I beat him is to try to hold it all together, then watch for some spots where you get a few big consolidations and then try to close out the game without being forced to give up a 6 man spread way at the very end.

Not bad progress for having to burn chunks of quarters per game. A decade later I got the Mame copy, but didn't go on any big crusades to get better, so I stayed at the same basic skill level.

Gorgon       - Both the next two players are "solid" - they make small moves, but don't leave a lot of room for big swings either. I haven't beaten Gorgon many times - maybe only a couple and I don't recall details, but it was just probably trying to do something with very accurate placement of my army.
CephaloMan- the top AI engine, also "solid", and hard for me to distinguish stylistically from Gorgon, except it probably just thinks a couple of ply deeper. I haven't ever beaten this one.

I decided I had a bit of energy to spare so I decided to at least start the ugly grind of cleaning some junk off my computer.

A few things had been creeping in, and I won't be done today, but I figured my notes might help at least one other person out there!

1. Getting started

I started with this decently thorough looking overview of some of the standard tools.


This all started not from the browser side, but because separate from "plugin-container", I noticed "PluginService.exe". According to the guide it's not a full virus itself, but apparently "accessory to other crimes". On a whole other note, I'd noticed that some random program hijacked my zip file association. It's supposed to be Chris G's Fast Unzip Snack we'd worked on here, but a week or two ago something jumped up in there so I figured I'd go skeet shooting today and try to get at least a little stuff done.

Courtesy of Shades reminding me of Process Explorer, I also just now identified "WinZiper" - and Process Explorer does a good job with "name" so it has some def suspicious weird looking Chinese name.

So I set out first downloading the following tools:
Junkware Removal Tool
Malware AntiMaware (I went with the free version)
Hitman Pro

Elsewhere I (think) have Hijack This which I might run later.

First Step was Add/Remove programs in Windows. I'm on XP. The PluginService thing hid itself from uninstall, but Karen Directory Reader found it easily enough. It's currently sitting at:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users.WINDOWS\Application Data\IePluginServices\PluginService.exe
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users.WINDOWS\Application Data\IePluginServices\update\conf

AdwCleaner certainly found that and WinZiper.
WinZipper/WinZiper does at least seem/pretend to play fair. I just now removed it from Add/Remove Programs. ReRunning adwcleaner .... survey says ... that it might be gone for now. So far so good enough.

Onward with trying to remove PluginService with adwcleaner.

General Software Discussion / Windows goes Open Source?!!
« on: April 05, 2015, 07:55 AM »

I like to sometimes borrow things from Arizona Hot's Interesting Stuff, which I feel deserve a more complex discussion.

This is up there for one of the most confusing topics I have ever heard!


"Played Straight Man"
"Windows May Go Open Source"
Stem article:

Leadoff suspicious sounding products of fish factory (may include herrings, at least one of which is red)
Prologue: Bias inducing remark:
"Microsoft – set to release Windows 10 later this year – is firmly established as the king of software. In spite of this, the company is open to change: Windows could soon become open source."

Uh ... that's not the least of why I made this a thread! I'll leave that one alone for now!

"The move means that Microsoft would essentially be giving away Windows for free. However – and perhaps more importantly – the tech community would have access to all the code for Windows, being able to change it, modify it and essentially create unique versions of it."

This is a "rosy" passage - MS still makes Windows, "plebes" finally get to whack it open legally and see *all of it* ... up until ... you just know there's a weasel move in there somewhere. Or several. Microsoft gets to make a lot of moves.

(Lots of barely intelligible filler goes here.)
Also left alone for now. I'm starting this post off trying to jam a thumbtack on a couple of the really hot-button items.

"Despite these advantages, it's difficult to imagine that Windows will become totally open source anytime soon. What seems more likely is that Microsoft will release portions of the operating system, enabling faster development of its features, and also offering a faster responsiveness to developer feedback and suggestions."

Aha! There's at least a couple of the varmints! I am *definitely* pointing out the nice change of position within a couple hundred words of story! Let's say it with More Drama so we can see it!

"the company is open to change: Windows could soon become open source ... The move means that ...the tech community would have access to all the code for Windows...(but) it's difficult to imagine that Windows will become totally open source anytime soon. What seems more likely is that Microsoft will release portions of the operating system ... Only time will tell if Windows does indeed become an open-source operating system — but the future of the operating system is certainly exhilarating."

Nice taking away the football, Lucy.

Living Room / New Bill Would Repeal Patriot Act
« on: March 25, 2015, 11:55 AM »
Borrowing from Slashdot's copy:

A new piece of bipartisan legislation that aims to repeal the Patriot Act and the FISA Amendments Act, which the NSA has used to justify broad domestic surveillance ... the Surveillance State Repeal Act.

The bill also attempts to dramatically strengthen whistleblower protections, so situations like Edward Snowden's and Thomas Drake's don't happen in the future. This legislation is not expected to get the support of Congressional leaders, but supporters hope it will at least inspire some debate about several provisions of the Patriot Act coming up for renewal in June.


I haven't dug into this yet - just getting the shell topic out there.

General Software Discussion / Browser Hijackers
« on: February 03, 2015, 11:05 AM »


My copies of Firefox just got hijacked by something. But it's weird because I don't use them that often. Meanwhile Palemoon is my "heavy duty" browser and it's fine.

I could do some snooping and maybe figure it out, but that takes work.   :mad:

Living Room / "Secure Email As a Potential Terrorist Indicator" ??!
« on: January 17, 2015, 01:48 PM »

After some thought, this one ended up in the Living Room. A couple of notes why at the top:

- I'm not mis-firing inflammatory language. A judge did that!
- This creates a legal-advice quandary for any tech users in Spain!


Slashdot's summary:
Spanish Judge Cites Use of Secure Email As a Potential Terrorist Indicator

Is it possible that using secure email services can be construed as an indicator of being a terrorist? Although it's a ridiculous notion that using secure email implies criminal activities, a judge cited that reason to partially justify arrests in Spain. In December, as part of "an anti-terrorist initiative" Operation Pandora, over 400 cops raided 14 houses and social centers in Spain. They seized computers, books, and leaflets and arrested 11 people. Four were released under surveillance, but seven were "accused of undefined terrorism" and held in a Madrid prison. This led to "tens of thousands" participating in protests. As terrorism is alleged "without specifying concrete criminal acts," the attorney for those seven "anarchists" denounced the lack of transparency.


Something that jumped at me:

"over 400 cops raided 14 houses and social centers in Spain".

That's in the range of 30 cops per house! I can't even recall the last time I saw thirty cops in one place!

Meanwhile, for the entire premise of "Secure Email As a Potential Terrorist Indicator", well my ??! comes from modified chess annotation punctuation, and approximately means "platypus-$hit crazy, but usually you can laugh that kind of thing off in the Basement if it bothers you, but this time it's in a legal ruling from a judge, and judges are more difficult to laugh off!!"

General Software Discussion / Windows Versions and cultural "Moods"
« on: January 13, 2015, 08:52 PM »
Okay, this is a very jagged and halting post, probably going to suffer more from my own erratic perceptions rather than offending too many people. But here goes.

I feel I am representative of a certain class of Windows user: I am not a "fan". I have no need to embark on promotional enthusiasms.

I am just still with Windows because my stray efforts to do other things just ended up worse.

I am still on XP, modified over the years and creaking at the seams, until it totters just a little. I am not a "fan" of XP - just very respectful of it as a solid baseline that let me just do things for a good chunk of time, and that longevity has formed my current computing opinion.

But I did take strong notice, and am taking baby steps to begin thinking about upgrades. (Right now it's a race between the slowly growing concerns about the end of security support for XP, with pondering some slowly aging hardware, starting with my comp cpu fan that's going to go fairly soon.)

A brief history of my eyeballing of Windows versions follows. Picture "rhetoric quotes" around everything.

95: Saw it from afar, def preferred it visually over Windows 3.11. However I heard how buggy it was.
98: Win 95 like it should have been. This will become more than a one-shot deal - it seems it will become how MS works.
Win 2000: Workhorse version that was safe and stable, because we forget just how bad XP was for a couple of *years* in the early days before it became what it is now. But support also began to die out "a little too soon".
Win XP: After certain critical chunks of time to get deeply repaired, XP finally evolved into the successor of Win2000. Your choice of which SP was the "turning point", but it was def one of them, and not XP "raw". I'll just idly suggest it was SP2.

... And then it all stalled out. So when my old temp machine began to age badly, I set out to build a strong machine to just "buy as much time for key info and moods" as I could. I believe I mostly succeeded. That waiting time involved:

Vista: After the old dreams of Longhorn died, and after someone's "Implosion Memo" at Microsoft, (nominee for one of the worst bad days for someone in a decade!), MS desperately slammed out Vista knowing it was total junk, and feebly tried to bluster its way into something barely above total panicked embarrassment.
Win7: What Vista should have been. What people of "that and this time" are using as a way-station in these kinds of decisions.
Win8: The Metro fiasco, though reports have emerged that if you find your choice of ways of dealing with that, there's still an engine under the hood.

And so we get to where I am now: Win10. Naming silliness aside, early reports are saying that once again, it's a "should have been", in this case Win8 as it should have been.

A few more notes next post.

Okay, something is making unhappy noises, either the HD or the fan. That means I have to do something about it at something faster than a glacial pace!


First question.

I have twin drives - is it possible for someone like Geek Squad (or does anyone prefer Staples tech? Other?) to do a bit for bit copy of the data over, swap drives, and then swap the letters? That's the ignorant layman's guess of what "common sense" should be. After a little preventative copying, I literally have nothing at all on the second drive.

Unfortunately it's still too early for a big exploration into Windows 10. I am feeling like I need to "punt" and use my second drive if necessary. Of course, I don't think I need a second license, it's just a hardware switch, and if the other one is indeed fried, then well, "so long and thanks for all the data served for eight years!"

This will be a bit of an unruly thread, as I stumble through some of my tests, some of yours, and sometimes astound you with how fast Newbies can generate Blank Looks That Want to Make You Cry (TM).

(Though a few initial drive tests look okay, so if it's just a fan, ... get a fan! Sure!)

Edit: I'm def thinking fan, because it's back to normal. This is at least the third time I've seen this "pair", except I noted it but forgot about it last time.

I have Speedfan and CPUID HW Monitor. I do notice it seems now that the fan is behaving, the CPU temp seems to be going down.

(Edit 2 - it's back to being feisty.)

General Software Discussion / Twilight Zone Scammer Bust
« on: December 05, 2014, 06:26 AM »
From the Bwahaha Dept:

I've spent a few hours having fun watching a couple of security guys doing exposes of the 3rd rate Windows support scam. (Troy Hunt and someone from MalwareBites).

They're entertaining enough, with a mostly predictable "formula".

Then this one came along. Troy Hunt again. Except this one takes a twilight zone ending. You're welcome to listen to the whole thing, but if you want to just skip to the fun part, go to time stamp 53:00. After poking about Western Union and failing at the whole credit card bit of the scam, the guy struggles to spell "Google Chrome" a few times. This part is like a prologue so you can get settled into the whole atmosphere.

Then we get to the fun stuff.

At 54:40, the guy opens ... Notepad. He types up his own "temporary form". Laughable, but so far still "in formula".

A bit past 56:00, Troy begins his wind down by typing in total junk. Notice the guy still has team viewer on, ... and isn't reading it, but rather still reading his script.

As a public service to Renny, he is advised to take a restroom visit at 58:00.

The rest is ... epic!


Honorable Mention:
Scammers meet the Australian Outback

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