buzzy: Rigby from Regular Show sitting in front of a computer (Computer Rigby)
I went to bed and Firefox was opened, but it just had one tab open with that "new tab" (about:newtab) page that shows those nine boxes. When I woke up, it was gone. It crashed while I slept, but there was no notification. It just magically closed on its own. When I restarted it, it said it was having trouble opening one of the tabs I had open before...you know, the new tab page. (Such a detailed page, I guess.) Firefox has been acting strange lately and the only thing I could think of doing was creating a new profile and slowly putting all my data into it. There's the Reset feature (Help menu, Troubleshooting Information, Reset Firefox), which I tried, but it didn't fix the problem I had with my history and bookmarks. (History would show up if I did Ctrl+H, but bookmarks would not show up if I did Ctrl+B, and the library (Ctrl+Shift+B) was empty except for three pages that did nothing when clicked. The Library also didn't show any of the normal stuff it should be showing, such as the download history, browsing history, bookmarks, or tags. The entire thing was empty except for those three blank pages. Luckily, I knew what was in my bookmarks; I could just type part of the page title or URL into the address bar.) I looked at what I wanted to save: my history (well, most of it), my cookies, bookmarks, and saved passwords. Here's what I did to save those things.
buzzy: Phoenix Coyotes primary logo (Coyotes)
Cut for a picture )
This past weekend was the sixth annual Hockey Weekend Across America. For the link averse, it's basically a time for people who like hockey to celebrate it and to give people who have never played a chance to give it a try in the hopes that they might start playing. They split the weekend into three themed days. Friday was "wear your jersey day", Saturday was "try hockey day", and Sunday was "celebrate local heroes day". For someone who lives in an area devoid of hockey fans (or maybe they just don't show it like I do...they're all probably on another side of town), everyday possible is "wear your jersey day". And if it's not possible, it tends to be "wear your hockey T-shirt day". But seriously, I love my hockey jerseys and wear them any chance I get. I didn't have the opportunity to leave the house on Friday, but I did wear jerseys on Saturday (Traktor Chelyabinsk) and Sunday (Phoenix Coyotes). I know there are hockey fans around that don't make it apparent (my brother is this type of fan, he doesn't generally wear anything hockey-related but he will totally lose his voice yelling at a hockey game on TV), and they probably don't come up to me because I always look like I'm about to beat someone up. Saturday's try hockey thing seems friggin awesome, except it's geared toward kids. Get 'em young, I suppose, but I would love to actually try to play hockey. When I was young, I semi-played hockey on our sloping driveway, except we didn't have money for proper gear, so I was a goalie with no padding. I'd blame that for my brain damage, but the ball we were using never went high enough to even threaten the family jewels. If someone told me that I would get to learn to play goalie (because I'm the little brother and that's how it usually works, right? Also, I'm the weirdest one), I would bounce off the walls. And would probably cause some property damage. If you're going to tell me something like this, make sure we're in an open field. There wasn't an HWAA event for Saturday other than public ice skating...and watching the Rhinos play. As for the Sunday event, the only person I can think of saluting is Cory Herman, who played for the Buzzards and later settled here and took over a youth hockey program. Herman's hockey-playing brothers, Tom and Dave, are here as well. Cory, Tom, and Dave — consider yourself saluted. All in all, I'm jealous of those little kids getting to play and those people who get to wear hockey jerseys to work that they showed in the gallery on the HWAA site. What job can you wear a hockey jersey to? (Other than a hockey team. Sometimes.) Sign me up for that.
External Links for those interested...which would basically be me:

Moo IX

Feb. 5th, 2013 12:00 am
buzzy: Rigby from Regular Show sitting in front of a computer (Computer Rigby)
So in yesterday's [probably friends-locked] entry, I did a lot of Windows 8 dissing (oh, the Desktop Window Manager is now using 907 MB of RAM), and while today's entry will include talk about some OS bugs and problems, but this time, they're totally understandable; the operating system is alpha quality. Anyway, I popped ReactOS (0.4 SVN 20130203-r58282) into a VirtualBox VM. They had a prepackaged version on a VirtualBox hard drive image, but that version was older and I couldn't get the sound to work. I used one of the Subversion releases that they happen to compile (warning: that link takes forever to load) into ISOs compressed with 7-Zip. It took two tries to get it to install (I have no idea what made it install the second time; I just did the same things I did for the first time), but eventually it got on there. Here's a list of problems I ran into: (I can't report these to them because their issue tracker is invite only.) Actually, some of these aren't problems because I couldn't be 100% negative. :P Cut for length ) As rough-around-the-edges as it is currently, there is a lot of promise. It's too bad that when they sought to raise €30000 to pay some developers to devote time to the project last year, they got less than half of that. I'd give them some money if I had money to give and if it meant they'd get closer to beta quality.
buzzy: Rigby from Regular Show sitting in front of a computer (Computer Rigby)
After lots of tinkering with my Kubuntu machine's kernel, I think I got it to a good state for what I want to use it for. I basically removed everything that I knew for sure wasn't needed, then whittled away the rest. When I was comfortable with that, then I looked at the output from dmesg to see if there were any errors or general weirdness. Most of those were cleared out by removing offending parts of the kernel that it turned out I didn't need. In the end, my computer boots about 10% faster than it did before I started tinkering, and I think that's pretty awesome. After all that work, I found I still had a few problems, or things that look like problems. Here's a few of those things: Cut for being gigantic )
buzzy: Rigby from Regular Show sitting in front of a computer (Computer Rigby)
Geez, it's already February. Time flies when you're doing nothing. Ugh, I went into LiveJournal after all this time...After logging in, I was greeted by a long list of popular Russian journals and tons and tons of whitespace. Like 75% of the screen's width was empty. Now I remember why I hang out on Dreamwidth. At least they didn't force the new, horrid friends page on everyone yet. The key word being "yet". I remember putting in a lot of time to get my layout the way I wanted it; that's one of the benefits of having a paid/permanent account — you can customize stuff. Anyway, my LJ friends list is pretty much empty except for the RSS feeds I subscribe to. I just wish I had the same account level on Dreamwidth that I have on LJ. I could use some more icons on DW. Also, I noticed that LJ got rid of their secure login server. Previously, you could go to an HTTPS site to login so your password wouldn't be transmitted where people could intercept it. Going to that HTTPS site redirects you to the regular HTTP site and there's no choice to log in securely. Considering Firefox didn't throw a fit when I went to the HTTPS site, their certificate must still be valid. I didn't just want to talk about that...it just turned out that way when I had to go to LJ to make sure I had the same icons on both LJ and Dreamwidth.
Um, I managed to get a few bucks from doing some quick work on a computer. Every six months or so, someone brings me their computer to do preventative maintenance. This time, it took only about an hour. She keeps the outside of her computer surprisingly clean, so there's only hard drive cleaning to do. (I managed to clean 4.3 GiB of junk on its ~38.4 GiB hard drive.) Her computer is pretty old (it turns nine years old in April), but it keeps chugging along, so I keep maintaining it. Maintenance is a lot cheaper than waiting for some catastrophic failure. The only hardware change made was maxing out the RAM in 2010, so the hard drive is the next likely failure. Also, at the rate she's filling up her hard drive, she will completely fill her hard drive in two years and four months despite maintenance. (Why yes, I actually track hard drive space free for computers I maintain, though I do it more to track how much junk I've deleted.)
Oh, and my Kubuntu machine decided it was going to nuke my custom kernel. (Or that's what I thought, until I rebooted and it still used my custom kernel. The Ubuntu kernel says it's 3.5.0-23 when it's 3.5.7.2, so it seems like everything Ubuntu comes out with in the 3.5 series will have a lower version [to Grub2] than a custom kernel.) At least MariaDB came out with an update, so the updater won't keep trying to erase MariaDB and replace it with MySQL. Like it did before, the updater told me that there was one amount of updates, but then it actually downloads far more. Then again, it says the kernel update was about 2 KiB, and there's no way the kernel is that small. Also, the notification system told me about there being updates twice: once before I opened the updater, and again when the updater was downloading. I guess that's because the GUI for updating and the updating guts are decoupled. The GUI can't just tell the notifier, "dude, I got this." There's a bunch of different kinds of notifiers and updating interfaces, so I doubt any of them would talk to each other. It would also be nice if it could download updates in the background (especially the non-destructive ones, i.e., the ones that don't require removing other things), and do that without having to supply the password...basically what Windows does. If I walk away from my computer for an hour or so, I'd rather come back and find it has updates that are ready to install than have to wait ten minutes for them to download. I don't even know if that's possible.
Anyway, on my kernel, I finally shrunk it down some more. This latest custom kernel uses 337 KiB less memory and 299.5 KiB less hard drive space than the stock kernel. It also boots 2-3 seconds faster. Also, I just noticed that Ubuntu is kinda far back as far as kernel versions go; they're on the 3.5 series when the latest is 3.7. 3.5 is already at its end of life and only gets "unofficial support" (security updates, I assume). My custom kernel is 3.5.7.2; the stock kernel is the same version, but it's labelled as 3.5.0-22.34. I'd like to have the latest in the 3.7 series (3.7.5), but I'm not that smart at all this custom kernel stuff. The big thing is the firmware required for my GPU to work properly with the 3.5.x kernel may not work with the 3.7.x kernel. I'm fairly certain that the rest of the hardware, including the wireless, is supported in the 3.7.x kernel without any extra junk needed. By the time Ubuntu switches to 3.7, they'll have a 3.9 I'll have my kernel configuration perfected so I won't have to worry about the hardware settings when moving my kernel configuration file over.
buzzy: Ed (from Ed, Edd n Eddy) with a wolf pelt on his head (Ed 1)
I decided to go ahead and do what I said I'd do in yesterday's entry and build a custom Linux kernel on my Kubuntu machine. I figure this will save some RAM. But first, I'd need to take up a ton of hard drive space. The packages you need just to build a kernel are slightly more than a gig and the kernel source is over 100 MB. Then I discovered at the end of the document I was using for instructions that there was a way that involved less downloading and less space. Anyway, the stock Ubuntu kernel uses 6719 KiB of memory and the vmlinuz is 4.90 MiB. When it's idle and at 50% screen brightness, it uses 21 W of power. (I read that the kernel settings could affect power usage, so that's the only reason I noted it.) After hours of downloading, configuring, and compiling, my kernel was installed. It booted, but I almost thought it froze because the screen was black and there was no hard drive activity. Then the login screen came up. This first-try kernel uses 6627 KiB of memory (about 1% less) and the vmlinuz is 4.81 MiB (90720 bytes less). After this, there were two things that didn't work properly that I have to look into: the sound card (in the regular kernel) and the video card (restricted). Even without having the right video driver, everything seems to be responsive enough; I'm not going to attempt to do anything that requires 3D acceleration. The sound card support I included was AC'97 and I realized that the audio is actually HD Audio. (I didn't think this computer was new enough. I didn't see anything about HD Audio in lspci...) I figure once I get the audio working, I can work on getting the restricted video working correctly. Another compile later, and my audio was working. I found that I just needed to set the CONFIG_EXTRA_FIRMWARE and CONFIG_EXTRA_FIRMWARE_DIR lines to "radeon/RS690_cp.bin" and "/lib/firmware", respectively. One more compile and my kernel didn't have that 60 second delay. After this, the kernel uses 6786 KiB of memory (more than it used when I started...probably because I moved stuff I knew I needed from modules to built-ins) and the vmlinuz is 4.91 MiB (bigger again). Maybe I'll see if I can shrink it further later on. There were some drivers that I wasn't sure about, so I figure a closer look at that part would yield a leaner kernel.
buzzy: Ed (from Ed, Edd n Eddy) with a wolf pelt on his head (Ed 1)
I like that Kubuntu (and many other Gnu/Linux distributions) allows you to update just about every piece of installed software and their required libraries from one simple program. It also lets you update everything from a not-as-simple terminal program. Anyway, I fired up my Kubuntu computer to make sure it was up to date before copying some files over. I didn't want to start copying until I was sure it wasn't going to bug me. I have the particular updater used by Kubuntu, Muon Update Manager, as a shortcut on my desktop. I ran it, and it already had the list of updates waiting for me. I let it download the roughly 1.6 MiB of updates and everything looked normal until I got some strange error I probably should've wrote down. Then it closed on its own. I figured if this was really a problem, it would give me that same error if I opened it again. This time, I got an error that the updater wasn't even installed. It wasn't in the Kickoff menu either (like the Start Menu, only not). All my graphical package management software vanished. While this may seem like a boon (no more alerts bugging me to install updates!), I do want to keep this computer secure, so updating is important. I had to go into the terminal and bring the updater back. I used a sequence of commands like this (though any one of them might not be required):
apt-get update
apt-get upgrade
apt-get install --fix-broken
apt-get autoclean
apt-get autoremove
apt-get --purge remove muon
apt-get install muon
After that, I could start the updater like it was there the whole time. This, sadly, is not easy for most people. (i.e., I can't picture my grandma going into a terminal and typing all that stuff.) It got a lot worse. I rebooted, and after logging in, nothing happened. All I saw was the login screen's background. Nothing else appeared. Remembering that Ctrl+Alt+F1 would give me a terminal, I logged in and attempted to get KDE's missing bits back in place. I found directions on how to do a system upgrade and figured they were close enough for reinstalling missing packages:
apt-get update
apt-get install -f
apt-get dist-upgrade
apt-get install kubuntu-desktop
shutdown -r now
The second and third command did nothing, so I'm pretty sure they weren't necessary. Then I realized that my MariaDB server no longer functioned. WTF? Did this thing screw up all my packages? As it turns out, some other program decided it liked MySQL better, and removed MariaDB from my computer and installed MySQL instead. I had to type this long thing to get my MariaDB back:
apt-get install mariadb-server-5.5 mariadb-client-5.5 mariadb-server-core-5.5 mariadb-common mariadb-server libmariadbclient18 libdbd-mysql-perl mariadb-client-core-5.5 libmysqlclient18=5.5.28-mariadb-a1~precise mysql-common=5.5.28-mariadb-a1~precise
I'm guessing this problem with MariaDB vs. MySQL is the whole reason my packages got broken in the first place. MariaDB is at 5.5.28a, while MySQL is at 5.5.29, so the package manager thinks 5.5.29 of anything is better than 5.5.28a of MariaDB, so it tries to install that until the package manager throws a wobbly and craps out. Here's a longer and more technical version of what I said. I guess once MariaDB does their jump to 10.x, they'll always be ahead of MySQL. Maybe people with MySQL will magically find MariaDB installed on their servers. Anyway, after all that work, it finally worked right.
I don't know if this is my Windows machine, my Kubuntu machine, or my router, but I thought it was pretty awesome that when copying stuff between my Windows and Kubuntu machines, even if I specifically tell it to copy to the IP address assigned to the wireless, it will copy using the Ethernet connection if it's available, allowing it to go faster. With that machine in order, maybe I can get to do the ultimate in things I couldn't picture my grandma doing: compiling a custom kernel.
buzzy: Ed (from Ed, Edd n Eddy) with a wolf pelt on his head (Ed 1)
Rather than reinstall Windows XP on an older computer my brother gave me, I decided to install an up-to-date Linux distro and use it as a server...sort of. I decided on Kubuntu. I started using KDE back in the day in the 3.x days...either 3.1 or 3.2, though back then I ran it on FreeBSD. I liked that it was a nice graphical environment for an otherwise entirely command-line based operating system. For practical reasons, I couldn't use non-Windows operating systems for anything other than servers, but whenever I try them again, I usually gravitate to KDE. A lot of what I'm about to say probably applies to Linux in general. So on to the experience:
This is really long. )
buzzy: Ed (from Ed, Edd n Eddy) with a wolf pelt on his head (Ed 1)
Nothing happened yesterday, so have a computer-related entry. Cut for an image )
buzzy: Ed (from Ed, Edd n Eddy) with a wolf pelt on his head (Ed 1)
Warning: The stuff I talk about isn't for the meek. If the stuff in today's and yesterday's entries frighten you, the easiest way to do what I'm talking about is in the last paragraph, though you will lose all your history and not just items you choose yourself.
I mentioned about clearing out my Firefox history in yesterday's entry...well, I cleared it out a little too well because about half my bookmarks were partially missing. The title was there, but the URL was missing. I used the Previous Versions feature of Windows 7 (sucks that they got rid of it for Windows 8) to restore my places.sqlite file and cleared it out again, but this time I was a bit more careful. I started by removing history that for some reason is in the Bookmarks part of Firefox first. (Ctrl+Shift+B in the browser, then browse through the history section) There were a lot of sites in there that I deleted from the history (Ctrl+H in the browser). There were still a lot of sites in the SQLite file, which I removed after checking that they weren't part of my bookmarks. (I also backed up the bookmarks, just in case I screwed things up.) I started removing stuff from moz_hosts, then moved on to moz_places. After removing a good chunk of stuff from moz_places, it was time to clean up the moz_historyvisits table, which relies on the moz_places table. I did this with a SQL command: DELETE FROM moz_historyvisits WHERE moz_historyvisits.place_id NOT IN (SELECT id FROM moz_places) Then, to delete all the records of when each site was visited except one of them: DELETE FROM moz_historyvisits WHERE id NOT IN (SELECT id FROM moz_historyvisits GROUP BY place_id). If you don't want to have anyone know the exact time you visited certain sites, you can set them to right now by running this SQL command: UPDATE moz_historyvisits SET visit_date=strftime('%s','now')*1000000. You can also clear all the information about what you typed into the address bar by running this: DELETE FROM moz_inputhistory. You may also want to dig through the icons in the moz_favicons table. I didn't have too many in there, but this query should work: DELETE FROM moz_favicons WHERE id NOT IN (SELECT DISTINCT favicon_id FROM moz_places WHERE favicon_id IS NOT NULL) All the SQL queries were run from SQLite Manager's Execute SQL tab. After that, my database was 25% of its original size and this time I got to keep the history I wanted and bookmarks.
Another place you might find some history is in the chromeappsstore.sqlite file (there's a drop-down you can use to load it in the SQLite Manager.) The webappsstore2 table (the only one as far as I can tell) has every site that you didn't want displayed in the new tab screen, even if you removed the site from the history. You can either edit this list by looking for "blockedLinks" in the key column, or just wipe it out by entering a query like UPDATE webappsstore2 SET value="{}" WHERE scope="batwen.:about" AND key="blockedLinks". Note that it is in JSON format.
In content-prefs.sqlite, Firefox stores information about certain preferences on specific websites. The information I saw included the zoom, the last used directory for uploading and downloading files, and the spell check language. In the groups table, there are a list of domains you've visited, even if you've cleared your history. Once you delete the individual sites you don't intend to visit again (or just right-clicking the table in the list on the left sidebar and clicking Empty Table), you can run this SQL query to clear out the related items in the prefs table: DELETE FROM prefs WHERE groupID NOT IN (SELECT id FROM groups)
Miscellany: There's the cookies.sqlite file, but it seems that deleting them in Firefox deletes them in the file too. I also use CookieCuller to manage my cookies, though there are many cookie managing addons to choose from. Also, if you clear your download history, the downloads.sqlite file will be empty. The formhistory.sqlite file contains all the items you've typed into one-line text boxes, when you first used them, when you last used them, and how many times you've used them. I think it even has a hint of what site you used them on. I use a form history managing addon, so this was already fairly clean for me. The moz_hosts table in permissions.sqlite might have some sites you cleared out of your history and/or can't even remember visiting. Since there's only one table, you can either flush it out to have Firefox forget those preferences or delete sites you don't want Firefox remembering. In my case, everything with a value in the expireTime field was something I could delete. The remainder were permissions to install addons for the Firefox addon site and to have popup windows appear on my credit union site, with certain unsavory third-party sites not being permitted to save cookies. There's also the urlclassifier3.sqlite file, which is ridiculously huge. In my case, the moz_classifier table has nearly 200K rows and the moz_subs table has nearly 50K rows. I guess when I know more about what's in there, I might post about it.
Note that a much easier way to really clear your history would be to back up your bookmarks and delete the places.sqlite file. To backup the bookmarks push Ctrl+Shift+B, click Import and Backup, then click Backup. Save that file somewhere. Next, type "about:support" in the address bar and hit enter. Click the "Show Folder" button, which should be next to some text saying "Profile Folder". When the profile folder appears, close all Firefox windows. Delete the places.sqlite file. Reopen Firefox, and your bookmarks should automatically be restored. If they're not, push Ctrl+Shift+B again, click Import and Backup, then go to Restore, and Choose File. Load the file you saved earlier and you should be good to go. If you're really paranoid about your history, which is stored in various ways in more files than the one deleted, you can start a new profile every so often and delete the old one. I don't know how good the reset feature is at removing history that's stored in other files.
buzzy: Ed (from Ed, Edd n Eddy) with a wolf pelt on his head (Ed 1)
If you read this, read the next entry before you attempt anything!
Ever since whichever version of Firefox came out with the new tab screen that reminds me of the one in Chrome (Firefox 14, I think), the fancy little thumbnails never showed up for me. They worked on another computer that I use less often and my brother's computers, but for some reason my main computer never showed the thumbnails. After exhausting the resources Mozilla had about the issue (reseting wasn't an option because I wasn't going to sit through downloading and setting up every add-on again), I decided to fire up SQLite Manager and opened up the various files that make up my profile. The first stop was places.sqlite. There, I found that Firefox still kept information about my history that I deleted. (Gee, thanks. Now I'm going to have to clear my history after I clear my history.) I cleared out a good chunk of the moz_places and moz_historyvisits followed by compacting the database, resulting in a file that less than 25% of its original size. I looked at more files, but it wasn't until I compacted urlclassifier3.sqlite (which I found in %LOCALAPPDATA%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<Profile Name>) that I finally saw some action on the new tab page. Most of the pages I pinned on there are pages on my local web server, and loading those caused the thumbnail to appear. Two of the pages I pinned are my Reading page on Dreamwidth and my Friends page on LiveJournal. For some reason, neither page ever finishes loading, so neither page ever gets to show on the new tab page. I left those pages loading for half an hour and while every graphic, CSS, and (as far as I can tell) JavaScript file has loaded, the page just gets stuck there waiting for the Godot server, I guess. Now it bugs me to have made it this far — I can get thumbnails on my new tab page, but now I have gaping holes where pages that once loaded fine now never finish loading. (Seriously, whatever happened to timing out?)
I wish I had a better idea of what's in those various databases and tables so I knew which ones I could clear out without screwing things up. A lot of the information I found was from the Firefox 3 era. It would also be nice if some of the changes cascaded, i.e., if I delete a record in one table, it removes it from any related table. An example of this would be deleting a site from moz_places would delete the record of visits to that site in the moz_historyvisits table. That would've saved me a lot of trouble. (SQLite is capable of doing that, but I guess the people working on Firefox chose not to use that feature.)
buzzy: Ed (from Ed, Edd n Eddy) with a wolf pelt on his head (Ed 1)
I have no idea where my entry for July 29 went, so I'm putting this entry here. I only vaguely remember what it was supposed to be about, so I'm posting this entry I was saving for when I was too lazy to write something.
I don't know how I missed this one, but I recently changed the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 login background on two computers, a notebook (1366x768 resolution) and a desktop (1280x1024 resolution). Changing that background luckily doesn't require any third-party software replete with viruses and adware. Here's a step-by-step guide. This is what worked for me, but don't blame me if you bork your computer.
The steps and stuff )
buzzy: Chowder obviously doesn't care for what he just ate (Disgusting!)
This entry is massive compared to most of my entries, and took five days to put together. Semagic says it has 4,725 words. It details what I know about the baseball stadium plans in El Paso. It's separated into several sections as I tried to organize my thoughts, and includes some source material, referenced in a way similar to how Wikipedia does. And with that, here's the entry.
Huge entry )

r94

Jul. 13th, 2012 12:00 am
buzzy: Chowder obviously doesn't care for what he just ate (Disgusting!)
LJ's r94: This is the [livejournal.com profile] news entry, and this is the [livejournal.com profile] lj_releases entry.
To cancel out the death of Writer's Block, they allow everyone to create polls and there's a next/previous link for the mobile site. They also fixed that annoying bug where times showed up in UTC instead of the time zone you select. Subject lines now show on collapsed threads on S2 styles, which is something everyone has been clamoring for. (Other than the full return of subject lines from the second-class citizen status of only working on S2 styles.) To maintain the tradition of breaking things (other than Writer's Block), some people are complaining about the icon picker*. The tab order on posting comments is wrong, so that hitting tab from the comment box will take you to the bold button instead of the button to submit the comment. Icon deactivation when paid accounts expire is borked too, but that's probably an older problem. (Then again, the thread I linked to was for a person whose paid account didn't expire yet, which makes it weirder.) For some reason, I can't get the Post Entry page to show up. It's just blank. It asks me if I want to restore from a draft (I have no idea what draft it has saved since I use Semagic), and when I say no, it's blank. (Six hours after I noticed this problem, it works again. [EDIT: Actually, it randomly gives me a large blank space where the form and its associated text boxes, etc. should be, kind of like the Writer's Block questions that wouldn't show up until you hit F5.]) Maybe it's because they're fixing the problem where there's some arrow is missing from the Rich Text editor*. I'm guessing it's the one that allows you to put things in your entries other than entries (videos?), but since I don't use the Rich Text editor, I'm not sure what it looked like when it was there. Also, there are problems with LJ Cuts being completely lost when using the Rich Text editor**. Other problems for this release include (if it's not linked, it's in the [livejournal.com profile] lj_releases entry: not being able to copy/paste from a rich text source to the Rich Text Editor in WebKit browsers (Safari and Chrome)**, the bold/underline/italics buttons don't work correctly in Chrome, you can only select userpics with one keyword on the S1 theme, the insert table button is gone from the Rich Text Editor, e-mail notifications from communities have text from something called Promo on the Cyrillic side**, and the site footer is missing from entries using the S1 theme.
* Fixed in r94.1
** Fixed in r94.2 (also fixed: you can change security settings and move images in the Scrapbook)
buzzy: Chowder obviously doesn't care for what he just ate (Disgusting!)
They talked about killing Writer's Block before during the time they knocked it off LJ's front page, but after a backlash (like a lot of changes LJ proposes) they kept it, but only had it available from [livejournal.com profile] writersblock. Then with successive releases, Writer's Block became more and more broken, with the questions sometimes not appearing at all unless you refresh the page several times. Then, when it did appear, the link to view other answers would never show anything. Now, with those problems and some vague "other reasons", they're canning Writer's Block entirely with the potential for it to return later...maybe. I'm not holding my breath because now it seems like LJ is moving forward with changes with no regard to whether it works properly (e.g., the commenting system where people on certain browsers couldn't click the button to submit their comment), whether people want it (e.g., the removal of subject lines), or whether it's even good (e.g., the comment page color scheme that hurts people's eyes). I'm just wondering if the questions will completely disappear as part of their disabling of Writer's Block, in which case I'll have to retype the questions, or what I thought the questions were. When the next release rolls out, Writer's Block goes dark...After all, it's easier to remove a feature than it is to fix it. At least [livejournal.com profile] astronewt, who was the bearer of bad news, likes it, and hopefully will be an [successful] advocate for its return.
buzzy: Fred Fredburger thinking (Fred Fredburger 4)
I may give potential fixes and workarounds for crap in Windows 8. Feel free to do what I say, but you're ultimately responsible if you screw something up. With that, here's some miscellaneous stuff: Cut, since this takes a lot of space... ) And that's pretty much all I can stand as far as being in Windows 8. Back to 7...
buzzy: Steven Universe from the show of the same name with a big smile (Default)
In Windows 8, Microsoft has put a lot of emphasis on Metro and its two-color ginormous tiles. It looks like if things continue on this path, eventually the desktop will be completely gone and everything will run on Metro. The first hint is Microsoft's announcement that the Express editions of Visual Studio, used to create Windows programs, will only create Metro apps. After a huge backlash (or as Microsoft put it, "after hearing objections from developers"), they decided to let hobbyist coders develop regular applications for other versions of Windows. Regular applications have a lower barrier to entering the market (as cheap as free), versus Metro apps having a cost of $49 for individuals and $99 for companies. (The individual is cheaper because you can only submit Metro apps on it. The company price lets you submit regular desktop apps to the store.) To send a desktop app in, you also have to have a "Hardware/Desktop Dashboard Company Account", which costs more money, though I don't know how much. Of course you also have to have a code signing certificate and your only choice of provider is the most expensive provider, Verisign. The general idea behind the store is to reduce malware, by having everything tested by Microsoft prior to release. This sounds great, in theory, but with the barriers erected, only rich developers (or poor ones with a patron) will have easily available apps. Since the store is prominently shown on the Start Screen by default (which you have to look at when logging into Windows 8), I'm guessing the simple-minded people will look for software in there instead of the Internet. There are also a limited number of countries that are allowed to submit apps. They are slowly adding countries, but I keep reading complaints from developers in various countries wondering when they'll be allowed to submit apps. Only people shelling out the big bucks for Software Assurance and using the Enterprise edition will be able to use in-house developed Metro apps. Companies that avoid Software Assurance and run the Pro version will have to use desktop software (which is luckily an option for now) or private cloud for in-house software. If endgame is having all applications go through Microsoft's vetting process and everything having to be Metro, there will not be very many applications available, and what is available will probably be expensive. Without applications available, who will need Windows? How quickly they forget, "Developers developers developers".
All this crap has stalled my C# project, since as a .NET project, I can't guarantee it'll work unless I target several potentially incompatible versions of the .NET Framework. I use features that at a minimum require the 3.5 Framework (installed in Windows 7/Server 2008 R2, installable all the way down to XP), but I would have to also target the 4.5 Framework to work on Windows 8/Server 2012 out of the box. (Meanwhile the VB6 runtime works without difficulty even on 32- and 64-bit Windows 8.) This is too bad because I got pretty far, even including some fancy system scanning code that fills in fields within the program with whatever information Windows already knows. (The program keeps track of various information on computers, allowing me to track hardware, software, and work done, kind of like the software a service desk would run, though targeted to very specific usage [i.e., me]. The idea was that I would develop software that's useful for me while learning C# at the same time. Everything about the progress of the program from inception to now should be tagged "c-sharp" on LJ and DW.) I guess I can move everything to PHP (and thus HTML5 and JavaScript) and MySQL and run it from any OS I want...even Windows with Metro.
buzzy: Chowder obviously doesn't care for what he just ate (Disgusting!)
I don't usually get into politics in here, so if you're not into that kind of thing, feel free to skip this. This is also local to El Paso, so if you don't care, skip this. I just was thinking about some stuff about what seems to be coming down the pike and this is where I write stuff, so here it is.
It seems El Paso is dead-set on attracting a AAA baseball team here. I don't like baseball, and neither do my parents, and we're all taxpayers in one form or another. The plans the city has so far seem to go like this: Here goes )

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