Home » Geekery

Category: Geekery

Belated Windows 8 Review

I’ve told a few peo­ple that I don’t real­ly see any advan­tage to Win­dows 8 over Win­dows 7. I have to eat my words now.

Before I put Win­dows 8 on my four-year-old HP lap­top, I checked with HP to make sure that it was 8-com­pat­i­ble, and they said it was. AFTER I did the upgrade, I learned that they aren’t putting any Win­dows 8 dri­vers out for it! So some of the hard­ware func­tions don’t work prop­er­ly. The hard­ware man­u­fac­tur­ers say, “We only deal with HP, go to them.” Now, I was dual boot­ing with 7 any­way, but hadn’t actu­al­ly boot­ed into 7 on the sys­tem until this week. And dang, it’s slow in com­par­i­son, even with the prop­er dri­vers. I thought that maybe dual boot­ing was part­ly to blame — not like­ly, but maybe.

Because of issues with my employer’s soft­ware, I’ve decid­ed to ded­i­cate the lap­top as a work-only com­put­er, and that means it has to run Win­dows 7. I’m fin­ish­ing up a clean install of 7, then I’ll image it, and every time the work stuff caus­es a prob­lem, I can recov­er and move on quick­ly. Any­way — I was right. Before I blew away the 8 par­ti­tion (recent­ly upgrad­ed to 8.1), I timed how long it took to boot. And I just timed the boot on the clean 7 install. Even though I had been using 8 for maybe six months, with­out all the prop­er dri­vers, it boots three times as quick­ly as 7. (Both OSs are Pro-64 bit ver­sions.) For what it’s worth, I am boot­ing from an SSD with both — that, of course, makes more of a dif­fer­ence than ANY oth­er upgrade.

So yes, Win­dows 8 IS a pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence on a sys­tem that can han­dle it. I haven’t found any­thing that I can’t do com­pared to Win­dows 7 (except access my employer’s VPN, and that’s due to their restric­tions). I do find the lack of the start menu to be a nui­sance, but it’s eas­i­ly fixed with the addi­tion of Clas­sic Shell or one of the many oth­er util­i­ties designed to fix that prob­lem. I am told that 8 does not play well with vir­tu­al machines, if that’s impor­tant to you.

I don’t have a touch screen and haven’t missed it. I nev­er use the Metro inter­face for any­thing, and I’m whol­ly unim­pressed with the native Win8 appli­ca­tions. I don’t like the app store. I don’t need my com­put­er to be like a phone or tablet, but it seems that’s where things are converging.

Academy Caritas: Learning to Code, Part 5

Y’all are tired of me doing this, aren’t you? Learn­ing to Code, Part 5.

Well, I had some fun away from the com­put­er when my old­est nephew vis­it­ed today. He’s a non-stop bun­dle of ener­gy! We got the air hock­ey table cleared off for a game. Woof! 

And I went to the library and checked out actu­al, phys­i­cal books for the first time in eons, rather than eBooks. That was a trip. I had to learn how to use the self check­out thing all over again. I feel like a lud­dite when that kind of thing hap­pens. I want to shout, “No, I’m not behind the curve, I’m ahead of it!” But the things I need­ed (tech­ni­cal ref­er­ences) were only avail­able from the library on dead trees, so there you have it. I had to lug home many pounds of paper. Hap­py I am to be able to check them out, too, as those books are pricey!

Sleepy, Sleepy

I stayed up WAY too late last night study­ing pro­gram­ming. Yes, for fun. That’s my idea of fun, any­way. I’ve been yawn­ing all day as a result, and I should already be in bed tonight because I need to be up ear­ly tomor­row. So this will be brief.

I’ve been enjoy­ing cor­re­spon­dence with a dear old friend over the last few days. Isn’t love­ly how, with some peo­ple, you can be out of touch for a decade and pick right up where you left off as if no time at all had passed?

I got to vis­it both a book­store and a library today. I’m a hap­py bibliophile 🙂

Geeky Squee!

Those with sharp eyes might notice that the “ran­dom quote” wid­get there in the right-hand col­umn has changed to a fanci­er one, and a page with all the quotes in the data­base has been added to the site, too. I switched to a new plu­g­in, but was also able to remem­ber some­thing I’d near­ly for­got­ten about SQL that allowed me to trans­fer all 824 quotes from one plu­g­in to anoth­er with­out hav­ing to re-type all of them. I’m so hap­py I did a lit­er­al geek hap­py dance around the house!

If any­body out there knows a LOT about trans­fer­ring posts from an old ver­sion of Word­Press (php 4 data­base) to a new­er one, I could use some help. I’ve got­ten stuck try­ing to recov­er the old posts from Katie’s blog and things just keep error­ing out. All the oth­er sites came across just fine, but the export func­tion on hers wouldn’t work so I can’t use the sweet lit­tle importer and have to actu­al­ly much with the SQL direct­ly, and keep get­ting SQL errors with­out intel­li­gi­ble error mes­sages (my only access is through phpMyAdmin).

Still working on the site

But as you can see by the grow­ing list of pages on the right-hand side of the site, I’m mak­ing progress. The read­ing, stitch­ing, geek­ery and health parts of the site have been migrat­ed to Word­Press, although not always rewrit­ten and updat­ed. My pro­fes­sion­al site has been migrat­ed com­plete­ly now, too. There are still some pages to be migrat­ed here, but they’re com­ing, then I’ll work on get­ting the pat­terns site migrat­ed and maybe even add more pat­terns. Fibrant Liv­ing needs some love, as does Cyber​stalked​.org, but that last one is my low­est priority.

I don’t sup­pose any­one would like to test stitch one of the pat­terns at Heart­song Hand­i­crafts? It would be nice to have stitched mod­el pho­tographs for that site. I haven’t fin­ished the biggest pat­tern that I was test-stitch­ing for the site yet.

There are new con­tact forms up on this site and at Cyn​thi​aArmis​tead​.com to offer an alter­na­tive way to reach me for those who might be shy about commenting.

Why You Need a Software Firewall, and Security at Wifi Hotspots

I’m get­ting tired of answer­ing ques­tions at Yed­da or Yahoo!Answers, then see­ing my answers scraped and used as con­tent on oth­er people’s blogs. I’m prob­a­bly going to keep answer­ing the ques­tions, but just answer­ing with a point­er to a post here or at one of my oth­er sites. Ordi­nar­i­ly, I’d put this par­tic­u­lar answer over at anoth­er site, but I’m rebuild­ing it right now.
Read more