buzzy: Rigby from Regular Show sitting in front of a computer (Computer Rigby)
I have a lot of pictures I name with sequential numbers. The names are usually along the lines of "X - Y #" where X is a very short description giving me a hint of the source (usually no more than two words and usually abbreviated) and Y is a description of the content. The # is a number so I can have the same source and description for several pictures that are similar. Sometimes they're further grouped by having the number preceded by a letter (e.g., A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, C1, C2, C3, C4, etc.) if there's a lot of similarly named files. (The pictures are in folders based on some general categories, but that's not important for where I'm going with this.) Sometimes I have a lot of pictures with weird random letter/number combinations and I want to name them to my more descriptive naming scheme. I rename them in Windows Explorer, since that allows me to see the image I'm renaming. If the images I'm renaming are at the bottom of the window, but their new names put them at the top of the window, I end up losing track of what number I'm on. It's always annoying to be offered the suggestion of a file name like "X - Y 4 (2).jpg" when a suggestion of "X - Y 5.jpg" would be more useful. If you don't accept rather useless suggestion, it will put it back to the old file name and not give you a chance to correct it short of typing the name all over again. I doubt anybody at Microsoft would read this, but my suggestion would be to make it do what I suggested if the file already ends with a number. It does this already if the file name ends in a number in parentheses, but that makes the file name two characters longer and it kind of looks ugly. It reminds me of those people who have a folder called "New Folder (23)" on their desktop. And it's empty. So are all the others. That may be a bit much to ask, but I hope my other more realistic suggestion isn't too much: If you don't accept the file name suggestion, just go back to the text box with the incorrect file name so it can be corrected, possibly by changing just one character. If you don't want to rename it any more at that point, you can hit the escape key. That's a lot better than having to retype the entire thing.

Moo XXIX

Jan. 14th, 2014 12:00 am
buzzy: Rigby from Regular Show sitting in front of a computer (Computer Rigby)
On Sunday, my computer kept informing me about updates to install on the login screen, but when I open Windows Update, there aren't any. If I manually checked for updates, one update for Windows Defender appeared, but it's already been installed, so trying to install it causes it to fail. (The error I got in the event log was 0x80070643, but Windows Update reported either 80096010 or 8050800C.) Even though Windows Defender is up to date, it still won't stop offering the definition update that's already installed. I wanted to get everything fixed before Patch Tuesday, which is...today. Luckily, I got everything solved on the same day. Everybody's got a different solution to the problem, but here's what I tried: The first thing I tried was to restart the computer. "Turn it off and back on again" is one of the most basic troubleshooting techniques. I guess it was too basic because it didn't work. Next, I tried just downloading the full-blown definitions manually and installing them that way. The definitions were already up to date, but maybe this would make Windows Update see the change. Running the file did nothing, assumedly because it was the same version. When I ran Windows Update, the same update appeared and failed to install. I tried the Network Inspection System update at the bottom of the same page. That didn't appear to do anything either. I checked for updates again and it didn't show the update anymore. That's what worked for me, but I assume those errors could appear for any number of reasons. Of course, when the Patch Tuesday updates show up on my computer, I hope that they install normally. If I write another one of these entries, then it didn't.

Moo XVII

Oct. 31st, 2013 12:00 am
buzzy: Rigby from Regular Show sitting in front of a computer (Computer Rigby)
Some weird Windows 8.1 troubles I noticed after typing up yesterday's entry:
  • The audio suddenly started sounding tinny and generally unlistenable. When I had this problem before, it would go away if I restarted the computer, but that didn't seem to help anymore. Installing an older version of my audio drivers made everything sound normal again. At least going to grab the older drivers made me discover there was a BIOS update for my computer.
  • The weather app keeps changing to Washington, D.C., and changes the units from Celsius to Fahrenheit, but only on the Start screen. At least when it does display what I want, it looks pretty good in the largest size. I only made the weather larger on the Start screen because I can make the other icons smaller.
  • Windows Update had been downloading something via BITS, but I don't know what it is. It's not Windows Defender downloading, and Windows Update says there are no updates. It spent the morning downloading really slowly and I just wished it would finish. Even after it finished, I have no idea what it was.
  • My HomeGroup was wiped out. I used it to give my brother access to an area on my computer without giving him a login. I'll have to set it up all over again whenever we're on the same network.
  • I used to have no problems with the preview that would show up in Windows Explorer for graphic files. After the upgrade, some JPEG files look like they're missing chunks (though when viewed with another program, they're fine; in Explorer, they show up with large areas of grey) and others (JPEGs included) don't show a preview at all, but if you select another file, then select the original file again, the preview will appear.
  • I'm still having issues with Desktop Window Manager (DWM). On Windows 8, it would slowly suck up memory until you had to log out or reboot. It's been eleven hours since my last reboot and it's using almost four times the RAM it used at startup. I can't narrow its bad behavior to a program since I don't monitor it that closely, but I do know it makes random jumps. Sometimes it'll rise by several hundred megs of RAM in a day. Since I don't know what DWM does that could use close to two gigs of memory, I can't rule out anything. The last time I hunted for answers on the Internet, it didn't seem like anyone had the same problem I do.
buzzy: Rigby from Regular Show sitting in front of a computer (Computer Rigby)

In my last entry, I ended mentioning that I was backing up in case the Windows 8.1 installation totally screwed up my computer. The installation went fine, but it's always good to have backups. It didn't take that long for me to back things up anyway, since I back things up every couple weeks. With that out of the way, I guess I'll talk about my first impressions.

Yesterday, I got a banner that appeared across my screen inviting me to open the Store app and install Windows 8.1. It's weird that it doesn't come down through Windows Update, when it's basically Windows 8 SP1. It provided a scarily large download size, but based on how long it took to download it, they were either providing the worst-case scenario download size or the uncompressed size. Anyway, I took a nap while it downloaded and messed around on another computer. The download also randomly stopped for several minutes, then started again. I couldn't figure out any sort of pattern; all I wanted was it to finish so I could use my Internet connection again. Eventually, it finished and restarted...and restarted...and restarted. When I finally had a chance to interact with my computer again, it started asking very installing-an-OS kinds of questions. Then I hit the "Sign in to your Microsoft account" step. I purposely didn't want to do that when installing Windows 8, but with this upgrade, it did not [visibly] give me any kind of choice not to. The only choices were to sign in, create a new account, or view the privacy statement. I hopped on the other computer I had nearby to look up if there was a way past this. Basically, you just click the option to create a new account, then there's an option at the bottom to keep signing in the way you always have, i.e., locally. This works the same way for a fresh install; click to create a new account, and click the option to sign in without a Microsoft account. (This site was the first one that showed up when I did a search, so it's their advice I took. The site also has how to remove a Microsoft account if you didn't want one in the first place.)

First impressions and junk )

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: Steven Universe from the show of the same name with a big smile (Twitch)
All of Buzzy's Windows 8 entries: LJ | DW
I finally managed to get the Windows 8 Release Preview installed. I'm typing this on Semagic while running Windows 8, but Semagic keeps giving me errors that lead me to believe that the file virtualization feature of User Account Control is not working properly. Semagic is based on an ancient version of the Microsoft Foundation Classes, which is probably why it doesn't work right. Anyway, they changed various graphical elements. The fish motif for booting Windows 8 is gone and replaced with something that simply says "Windows". The cursors are slightly modified, and all the various controls (combo boxes, check boxes, text boxes, buttons, etc.) are all flat. The scroll bars look like they're bringing the Metro look (i.e., everything should be huge) over to the desktop. The little arrows at the top and bottom are more than twice the size they were in Windows 7. A lot of the icons are different, such as the Windows Update icon just being a rectangle with wannabe recycling arrows. (The EULA doesn't allow me to show you what that looks like, even though anyone could get the Release Preview and install it themselves.) The first thing I did was uninstall a bunch of the apps that came with it. Many of the apps that come with the Release Preview didn't come with the Consumer Preview and vice versa. And it keeps going )
I don't feel particularly enthusiastic about going back into Windows 8. I liked the release candidates of Windows 7 and XP, but it seems 8 is about as exciting as Vista and Me.

Day 3.5

May. 8th, 2012 06:12 am
buzzy: Phoenix Coyotes primary logo (Coyotes)
Just something random that popped into my head: I just thought about how Windows 8 removes the Previous Versions feature. In the past 24 hours, I've used it twice. The first time was from using CCleaner to clean up my hard drive and I didn't realize it cleared my Winamp playlist. Previous versions had several past versions to choose from and I got my playlist back. (I could re-add everything, but I had everything in a specific order and waiting for it to load the information would take a long time.) The second time was when I started clearing out my history in Firefox. I selectively clear out things, leaving things that I want to re-visit, but don't think are worth bookmarking. As I cleared things out using the keyboard, my finger slipped when hitting the Delete key, so I hit End prior to hitting Delete, causing the wrong thing to be removed. That happened to be all the YouTube channels I follow. (I could just create a user name and subscribe to those channels, but I don't like giving Google any more information about myself than I have to.) Previous versions came to the rescue with a snapshot taken a few hours before. The guts for Previous Versions (the Volume Shadow Copy service) are preserved, but they don't work. The same service also gets used by the Backup and Restore feature, which is supposed to be present somewhere, but I haven't found it. Maybe I'll find it in my Consumer Preview installation at some point.
buzzy: Kelowna Rockets alternate logo (Kelowna Rockets)
Since I posted that long entry about Windows 8 (DW/LJ), I figured I'd expand on it to avoid having a day where I don't type very much. The stuff I talk about in this entry is mostly based on the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and Windows Server 8 Beta Compatibility Cookbook, available here. (Note that they update this, and its name and content may change. This stuff I'm writing about is how it displayed as of April 29, 2012, when I downloaded it.)Snip )

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