Windows 10: Three Updates Too Many


Windows 10

Windows 10 was given to me for free by Microsoft. I was one of those free upgrade from Windows 7 people. Which was kind of a downgrade really or so I hear. Quite a few folks seem to hate Windows 10. Some compare it to Vista, which is unfair and uncalled for. Some people think it has too many updates.

A few months ago I would have disagreed with all of them and sang Windows 10 praises. I would have been all, “What an awesome OS!” It’s snappy, powerful, easy to use. I liked the unifying features across, not only multiple devices, but also Android.

Three Updates Too Many

Then the first of three terrible updates happened. I don’t recall when the first happened, I think it started back in the fall of 2017. I don’t clearly remember because I didn’t know I would have to recall it at a later date.

My monitor wouldn’t wake up when my PC did. Well, it would for a few seconds and then it would say there was no input and go back to sleep. I thought it was the hardware. I swapped out monitors, graphics cards and RAM. Nothing helped. Then I discovered it was the power for the PCIe slot and it’s sleep patterns.

With that fixed, the next few months were great. Then March rolled around. My PC wanted to update, but it could never close the deal. If it didn’t restart five times a day, I had to hard boot it twice. It continually tried to update and failed. Worse yet, that update was causing all sorts of issues where USB devices would quit working. I know that because there were a lot of hits for cumulative update KB4088776. I disabled automatic updates and after a couple of weeks, a new update came along and fixed all those issues.

Then, a month later, Microsoft pooched pen inputs. Not only for Wacom devices, but even their very own Surface tablets. Open up Photoshop CC, zoom in, and try to paint. Instead of painting, the canvas gets yanked around to and fro. The fix?


Make a text file called, PSUserConfig.txt, put it in the path and fill it with the garbage below.

# Revert to WinTab

# This should be saved in your PS settings folder

# ie. C:Users[User Name]AppDataRoamingAdobeAdobe Photoshop CC 2014Adobe Photoshop CC 2014 Settings

#

UseSystemStylus 0


Oh, But Wait…

Because now the pressure sensitivity is dead! So, update your registry – it’s not as dicey as it sounds.


Win+R or Type cmd into the search bar.

Copy and Paste the following hot garbage into black and white command prompt window: a. reg add HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPen

/v LegacyPenInteractionModel /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

Hit Enter


Linux For The Rest of Us

Somewhere between trying to be sold registry cleaners and being told to roll back the update*, I realized something. The last time I spent entire evenings, nay multiple evenings, trying to get something to work, I was using Linux. Specifically Ubuntu. I remember the sound not working, I got that to work. Then there was tablet pressure sensitivity. I may have given up at that point. I can’t recall if I ever got it to work or not.

I’ll leave it at, two free operating systems. Neither with working pressure sensitivity. If you want to spend evenings trying to get something to work that just should, or perhaps did, give either one a try. Windows 10: It’s like Linux, but with Photoshop.


Share this and if the fix worked for ya, “Holla!”

*Homey don’t play that.

SEO Made Me Do It: New Words For The Year


SEO – Search Engine Optimization

SEO made me do it! SEO makes a lot of people do a lot of things. Good things, mostly weird things, always narcissistic things that reek of desperation. It’s the reason why people create web pages devoted to lists. SEO causes people to make punchy sans-article titles and sentences. There’s also all those calls to action. Basically, SEO is why you hate people that share posts that read “37 Ways Banana Cream Pie Catches Fire: What Lactose Intolerant Cat Does Next Is Amazing!”

That is SEO at work. Notice the lack of articles and the silky smooth tone of a late 1860’s snake oil salesman. In fact, no stop words show up until after the colon or as people in the super sexy search engine optimization biz refer to it as, the call to action. That title is so silky smooth, machines could crawl the shit out of that page and properly catalogue it.

The Future Was Yesterday and The Machine War Far Less Theatrical Than We All Expected

Essentially, SEO has made some human bend the knee like the machines have already risen and won the damn war. That human has gone on to create lots and lots of content on the internet. Of course, so many other humans are doing the exact same thing and they’re all desperate for hits. Trying to find the right words. Unique things that stand out in the subset of unique yet broad subjects.

Now, Onto The Original Topic (Go ahead and scout scroll, but it’s not much longer)

If you’ve been around recently, you will have noticed that I’ve been going on about toiletfires. If you are a super astute wordsmith or at least a diligently astute breaker downer of word parades. You may have noticed a difference between this post and this one.

I’m sure you’ve clicked those links and either refreshed yourself because you previously read both posts, or are crackling with the afterglow of having read one of those posts for the first time. Perhaps even both, you scandalous thing.

Did You Notice The Difference Between The Posts?

It happened while finishing up the second post. The previous post had been more about 2017, or something other than a fiery toilet. I have no recollection what my SEO keyword was. However, when it came time for the second post I was faced with a dilemma.

I typed toilet fire into the keyword area and the little circle went orange. I tried it a few more ways, but my free version of Yoast wasn’t having it. It was then that I took a bold step forward for humankind.

Somebody Get Webster’s On The Phone. At The Very Least Urban Dictionary.

It was in that moment, wanting to get that dang post up on the blog and not wanting to spend ten dollars a month, that my hand was forced. Forced to turn my previously open compound word toilet fire into the closed compound word toiletfire.

I felt like a real rebel! Not even Urban Dictionary has been so bold as to combine the words toilet and fire. To be honest, there’s something exhilarating about putting two words through the holy matrimony ringer. To step out in front of the humanity and become a representative of literary population. “You know what, these words belong together. Like peanut butter and chocolate! Like Ross and Rachel! Everyone can see it, just that no one’s done it yet!”

Much like an uber driver after popping a Vicodin or a child on coke and pop rocks, no one could stop me. That little circle went from orange to green. I hit publish before any crawl-bot 6000 thought otherwise.


When Grammarly told me toiletfire should be toilet fire, I added that to the dictionary. You’re welcome!

I Bought A Mouse And Gained A Kindred Spirit Acquaintance: Chad


I Bought A Mouse.

I bought a mouse over the weekend. After six years, two of which involved a lot of false double clicks, I pitched my Razer Naga and bought a Logitech M720 A.K.A Triathlon. I realized that I wasn’t so much into gaming mice anymore. While I do play games on my PC, I don’t think I necessitate a mouse devoted to gaming. Basically, don’t require a mouse that resembles dung beetle Transformer named Shithouse* that was living proof that a disco ball fucked an Atari.

The Technobabble Was Free.

Back to my new sweet wireless mouse that has the unifying receiver and Bluetooth connectivity. First, the unifying receiver allows me to hook up six compatible devices to one receiver. That’s more than I need, but the ability to free up USB ports is always welcome. Then there is the Bluetooth which allows the mouse to be hooked up to three devices at the same time. With the simple push of a button, the active device is switched out and the cursor jumps to the next device’s screen.

The real kicker, files can be copied from device to device with the mouse. Make it active on one device, grab a file, hit the button, and hit paste on the next device. Done!

Then There He Was…

When I walked into the store I had two mice in mind, the Triathlon and the Marathon. Both were wireless and had years on one battery charge. The Marathon didn’t have Bluetooth, but it was cheaper. I found them both out on display where I could see how they felt and looked. I’d managed to check-out both before hearing, “Can I help you.”

My soul rolled it’ eyes. I figured it was some kid who didn’t really care what I said next. His manager had probably forced him to talk to me and was watching him. I turned around and there he was, Chad.

At Least That’s What His Name Tag Said.

Chad was excited and super helpful. He knew everything about the two mice in question and many things about everything else in that aisle. It should be noted that Chad knew all of this even though he broke his wrist and was now relegated to the exclusive use of mice with trackballs.

How do I know that he broke his wrist by falling down some stairs and that his brother sustained less severe injuries from a car accident? Do I really need to spell it out for you? Chad and I kindred spirits acquaintances on the same journey to find the input devices that best suit our needs!

Will We Meet Again?

While I don’t think Chad and I will ever meet on top of the Empire State Building at midnight with our favorite input devices** or anything. I think there is a chance that we will meet again.

You see, I think keyboards and mice are the bee’s knees. Out of those two, keyboards are the bee’s knees-i-est. I have several keyboards that I swap out from time to time.There’s my eleven year old main one from The Source and the gaming one. Plus a few randos, because you never know.

While looking at mice, I have to admit, I also stole a peek at keyboards. Chad told me all about them as well. Until the gentle nudge of a text saying, “Where are you?” brought me crashing back into reality from an input device euphoria.

I love my wife and my eleven year old Centrios keyboard, but man, those wireless, waterproof, multi-device Logitech keyboards sure did intrigue me. See you soon, Chad.

 


To my wife, I apologize. Not for Chad, but for wanting to buy another keyboard. Never for Chad.

*In all honesty, Shithouse would have been a Go-Bot.

**Hootie-hoo!

 

Phone Case: The Case of The Missing Case

Phone case, does one’s phone truly need one? I mean they protect our phones and everything, but are they really necessary or are they just one more way to milk us for every dime we have? For those that missed it, I got a Google Pixel, but I didn’t get a phone case for it yet. I know, that sounds crazy. Why walk around with a beautiful metal and glass phone in your pocket. Phones are so expensive and ever so slightly slick to the touch as they’re pulled out of said pocket. No case, no rules. Naked as gawd intended.

Here’s the thing, the purchase of the phone was rather impromptu. One moment we were eating lunch and the next we were buying a phone. I didn’t have time to look for cases. Furthermore, at some moment in between those two extremes I said, “I don’t want to buy a case this time.” My wife gave me the look anyone would give someone who’s catastrophically dropped their phone twice and then says they aren’t going to buy a case.

It doesn’t help that my old phone is physically coming apart. However, that falling apart really comes from me pulling the case off to shove the phone in my armband when I run. The phone case always got stuck on the buttons and recently caused the screen to separate from the frame. I could see the little glowing lights underneath. It certainly was a mesmerizing peer behind the curtain. One that I can’t unsee and may have contributed to the unraveling of my sanity.

It doesn’t help that my old phone is physically coming apart. However, that falling apart really comes from me pulling the case off to shove the phone in my armband when I run. The phone case always got stuck on the buttons and recently caused the screen to separate from the frame. I could see the little glowing lights underneath. It certainly was a mesmerizing peer behind the curtain. One that I can’t unsee and may have contributed to the unraveling of my sanity.

Moving on! I feel like I need to add – possibly jinxing myself – I haven’t dropped the phone yet. This story will end fine, hopefully. I love my new phone, a lot. While I think it looks great, it is very slick when I hold it. When I’m standing with it in my hands, I imagine I look like a toddler with a sippy cup and a beard. Both hands cling to it, for the sustenance it contains is all that matters. There’s a maladroitness to the whole scene. Of course, the chances of me losing my shit and flinging my phone with rando toddler rage are very low. In fact, mental cognizance is fully off the charts. I am fully aware of myself, my surroundings and all alternate futures that fork into a web from my current position in time and space.

That’s no good! No one wants to look at their phone with such awareness. People want to zone out. It’s the only way to internet. I don’t even know if twitter could even function if people actually knew what they were doing. To that end, I’ve softened on my anti-phone case position. I can’t tell if it’s familiarity or actual necessity, but there’s a sense of security that comes from having a phone case.

Yet, I can’t help but wonder. Why do laptops, tablets and phones – in particular – have an entire symbiotic industry built up around them? Phone cases invade our phones and, on the off chance they are dropped, may provide some level of protection. That’s all the good they do!  That’s almost parasitic! Why do phone companies not just make the screen look nice and leave the guts hanging out the back of the phone? At least the case wouldn’t detract then. What’s the point of making a nice looking product if people are simply going to cover it up?

It would be like buying a Lamborghini, which, according to some people is a great looking machine. I’ll take their word for it. Mostly so they quit asking me to do coke and cease giving me high fives. And besides, I can’t hear anything they are saying over Don Johnson’s Heartbeat. Look, someone designed the Lamborghini to look appealing and go fast. Not in the same manner as technology, but the principles are relative. Look good! Go Fast!

Could anyone imagine buying a Lamborghini and then covering it up with a case? Obviously, it would detract from the, “Look Good!” However, it would also cause drag and effect the, “Go Fast!” What would a case even look like? Maybe it would be like one of those eighties sling shot bikini things – that were essentially four shoelaces radiating from an oven mitt – and some puffy boxing headgear. Before you ask, yes, of course, it’s red! It also comes in yellow.


New Phone, Google Pixel: Anxieties of the First World

Yesterday I bought a Google Pixel. I’m upgrading from a Nexus 5, which has been a great phone. In fact, it still works as well as the day I got it. I never had the button issues or any other problems. However, there a few reasons that I upgraded, one is the fact that my plan price stays the same whether I’m paying off a phone or not. I’m afraid if I did any tweaking to it, I’d end up paying more when I got a new phone. Secondly, I’ve had a crack on the screen for the better part of two years and one time my screen began to peel away from the frame. I managed to get it to stick together again though. Lastly, the Nexus 5 quit being supported in October of 2016. It’s a ballsy move to wander around these days without security updates.

I bought my new amazing phone. It was everything I liked about the Nexus 5 just better and newer. The body is metal. Interacting with the interface is snappy. It came with an OTG adapter which allowed me to transfer apps and text messages from my old phone to my new one. It was very much like the premise for X-Men: Apocalypse. Plus, I can use that OTG adapter for plugging a controller into the phone for gaming. What’s not to love?

Well, nothing. It’s all great! And yet! I was flying through the phone, checking stuff out when I come across a news story. It’s something that I’ve read about in a general sense and then completely forgot about. Google’s three year plan. The Google Pixel will only be supported until October 2019! One year of that time will only be security updates! I know that technology is ever progressing, but reading that your brand new phone has a year and half of good updates and one more of security updates is a head-butt to the no-no’s. Especially when reading it on the new phone after purchasing it two hours prior. In fact, I have the authority to say, “Google, that fuckin’ sucks!”

Sure, one could argue that people typically update their phones every two to three years or so due to plan renewals. However, people typically do trade-ins and other people purchase those trade ins*. Yet these phones will be useless unless the user puts LineageOS on it. No carrier is going to do that! Furthermore, three years of life from the release date is a little tight. Not all parts of the world get the phone at the same time. Will people only have a year of support left when they get their Pixel?

Seriously, my Nexus 5 is still running fine despite its physical maladies. I think it’s still got one good year of life in it at least. It’s one of those things where if it were a four year plan, I’d feel better about it. Hell, how about a nice round number like five? The same number the Apple is apparently using as the iPhone 5s is going to get the iOS11 update. Google! Fix it!


I also own a Nexus 7 (2013). Same story, but in perfect physical condition.

*or maybe they all just wind up on a barge in the Pacific that eventually sinks

A Blog Post Found In An Abandoned Cabin and Six Things To Do While Twitter Is Down


 

Why is twitter down? It was behaving kind of odd last night, before I gave up and went to bed. This morning it was no better. In fact, it was no longer “kind of odd,” it’s full blown screwed up. Like a child actor with midlife crisis action.

Somehow I see my feed, but that’s it. Interacting with tweets or trying to check notifications etc. causes twitter to barf. Which is concerning. What is that indie author who sent me a link to their cool new book going to think when I don’t engage with their link? That’s sad twitter and it’s on you.

Maybe all I need is a restart. Perhaps I should just do a quick google search. See if twitter is down. Ah, yes, there it is. Fifteen minutes ago. Maybe I should have said something before I got my solid eight hours. Become the world leader in twitter news. A source that people trust and come to in these dark times. Years will pass before anyone will know which news sources to trust, which end is up, or whether to scratch their watches or wind their butts.

What am I on about? Wait, what was that? Did you hear that? Sounded like chatter, a tap tittering on the floor. Like thousands of bags seeping through the walls and beginning their journey toward me. Is that someone standing outside my window? I could have sworn I saw them, across the street. Now all I see is a nondescript van.

Think I’m losing it. Need to keep myself busy, with these:.

Six Things To Do While Twitter Is Down!

Drink Coffee

Sure, sounds good. The good ol’ mornin’ tradition and the best part of waking up, besides reading twitter. I mean I was going to do that anyway. While I read twitter, but it’s down. The caffeine is starting to really kick in.

Go To Facebook

I’ll go spend some time on facebook. Which is where I actually start every morning. It’s kind of like doing some stretching before a vigorous physical activity. I get to judge people based on their political stances and compare my life to others. Eventually, stupid image shares will get the best of me. The kind that beg for shares because a dog addicted to wearing fedoras or whatnot. That’s when I have my fill and move on.

Make a Podcast

Twitter down? Have a lot of opinions, no audience and no experience with recording audio? Then making a podcast is for you! What about? Who cares, just talk. Don’t edit a thing. The best podcasts like two hours long or something.

Do Taxes

Just did them, but why not get a jump on next years.

Clean the House

No thank you.

Go To Work?

Why not.

 


 

The MySpace Exodus of Two Thousand Whatever


 

The Rise, The Plague, The Fall

MySpace, remember that? It still exists and at one time, scrolled sideways in an effort to be cool. My page is* derelict and full of plug-ins and quizzes that no longer exist. Remember how easy it was to take the default page and turn into a late nineties DIY blog’s interpretation of a Las Vegasian nightmare?

Someone once said that MySpace was founded on three principles. Skanky pictures, of skanky people, doing skanky things. That isn’t an exact quote, but it is damn close. It may also be only one principle. Either way, they were right, so very right.

MySpace started its descent from popularity around 2007. Facebook threw the first punch and everything else swarmed it. Someone flipped on the lights and the skanky people scurried away like plague infested rats scrambling from a sinking ship. Problem is, they took up residence on the surrounding icebergs, in other words, the new cool social networks.

Back In Your Ass With The Resurrection

A while back, I discovered a vein of skanky people on twitter. One follow back and the next thing I knew, my feed looked like it was straight out MySpace. In other words, the digital equivalent of watching from behind the curtain as the neighbors have a naked fist fight in the front yard and, as the cops pull up, their toddler – the one with tattoos – steps out on the porch shooting a .44 while dropping bombs of the eff and cee variety. Then Ron Jeremy shows up. It was 2004 all over again!

Have you been to MySpace lately? It’s rebranded cleaned up and seems to completely be about music. No one gives a fuck about Tom. I assume he is either chugging beer at the frat house in the sky or moved onto other marketing opportunities. Unfortunately, he left his skanky friends down here.

 


Written at Ikea while waiting to return something, refined at home.

*Was. Now it’s shut down.

The Follow Unfollow Game

I am a proud member of #TeamFollowBack. If someone follows me and they aren’t trying to sell me followers or they don’t seem like a fake account, I will follow them back. I don’t care what they do or what they are into: Accounting, kittens, travel, marketing, erotic authors, whatever. Just as long as those erotic authors aren’t hosing my entire feed with NSFW images, I will follow back.

Here is the best part. I won’t unfollow after two days. In fact, tweeps I follow have to try super hard to annoy me. There are only a few ways they can do so. For one, I don’t particularly enjoy getting my feed filled by the same person. As far as I remember only one person ever performed such a feat. I felt bad. Perhaps it was more my fault. He seemed like an elite tweeper and I was just a fledgling on my first few days. Maybe if I would have followed more folks like him it all would have evened out. In the end, it was too overwhelming. Other than that though I won’t unfollow on my own accord.

Unless of course I am unfollowed. For those who aren’t twitter hounds, this happens a lot. People follow folks to grow their numbers. Which is fine, that is what we are all trying to do. Peddle ourselves and our products. Here is the kick in the pants, some tweeps will unfollow after a few days of you following them back. That’s right! They started this by following you and after getting your vital follow, they unfollow you. This is like inviting someone over for a beer that they have to bring, then taking said beer and not talking to them.

Why do they do this? So they look cool and appear super popular. Many celebrities have gazillions of followers, but aren’t following very many people. They don’t need to. Why would they want to follow Michelle from Moscow, Kansas? Hell I don’t even want to follow Michelle from Moscow, Kansas.

Being like a celebrity is the effect that these fairweather followers are going for. A huge number by followers, small number by following. Enticing folks to follow them to inflate their numbers. Then trying to make themselves look cooler by unfollowing. Bringing down their numbers and looking more in demand. What a bunch of jerks!

 

 

 

More PC More Problems

My friend, Machismo Wainwright, recently gifted me a copy of Fallout 4. I had been playing Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas a lot lately and he knew I was a big fan. What he didn’t know was the reason why I hadn’t procured my own copy of Fallout 4. My computer was underwhelming and doesn’t meet the minimum requirements. It is something I didn’t real bring up much in conversation. Seriously, who wants to talk about inadequacies on a coffee break.

Since then Machismo has been trying to help me find a new graphics card. Lo and behold another friend, Jonesboro McClintock, came to my rescue. All I had to do was buy him a lunch or two and he would give me his old GTX 580. It is certainly a big beefy card. A card that is the size of something one would get at a U.S. fast food restaurant. Superduper sized, doubled up and bedazzled. Easily more than twice the size of my current card.

Once Jonesboro had heard that my powersupply wouldn’t support this new supreme being of a card, he even threw in an old power supply. He and I ran through the checklist of everything that could go wrong when making the switch. We thought of everything. The wattage, the pins and cables, the general size of the card. I had the new card all but in when one problem we hadn’t thought about popped up. My SATA cables are right under the graphics card. This new one sits right on them. So much so that it tips. I didn’t push it into my PCIe slot any further .

So how the hell did I wind up in this position. For starters I have traditionally been a console gamer. They are easy and I like the controllers. However, I have gotten tired of buying new consoles and having to buy all new stuff. I just don’t want that hassle. So I started switching over to PC gaming. Albeit slowly.

My current PC is a Dell. I know, I know. It won’t happen again. Money was a bit tight when I bought it and I needed a new PC at the time. The financing was really appealing back then too. Before this, for whatever reason, I had bought an iMac. I know, how did I have money for a Mac, but not for something that wasn’t a Dell? Beats the shit outta me. I had succumbed to advertising. My wife had one. They looked great and fun and it was, for awhile. So is being a lesbian in university*!

Eventually I had to get back to doing actual work. That is when I bought the Dell. Honestly, it hasn’t been bad except in the last year. Dell is kind of a strange mishmash of quality parts and cheap parts. They also seem to have a design team whose job is to ensure you can’t upgrade the thing easily. Well fire that team because my PC may be stuffed like a Thanksgiving Turkey, but I can play Fallout 4! All it took were some ninety degree SATA cables.

 

*There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a lesbian after university.

Hair of the Drone

The CES, Consumer Electronic Show, was going on all last week. A magical time of year where everyone’s tech nerdiness comes out as they try to be unique tech loving snowflakes. “I love technology!” people yarp in luddite excluding self-actualizing clarity. Loving tech is fine. Just like loving Star Wars, video games, comic books, whatever. It is that air that is given off while saying such things. That sense that people believe that not seemingly everyone in western culture is also obsessed with the exact same things. That they don’t realize that they aren’t unique snowflakes.

Enough of this middle-aged, disenfranchised bitching. I need to save this kind strength for when I am sixty five. Then I can really let it rip on all this grumping business. All I need is to save up for all that wood I am going to widdle once I retire. However, I will be fruegel and widdle my own rocking chair and porch, all whilst grumping. Come on over, pencil me in for thirty years from today!

So, many things were announced at the CES: Insanely thin televisions, fridges with cameras inside them, laptops that connect to a desktop graphics card, and of course a passenger drone. That is right a drone that is reportedly able to carry a person at one hundred kilometers per hour. Which I guess is kind of cool, if drones are your thing. Which they most assuredly are not mine.

For those who don’t know, drones are essentially the souped up love children of remote control airplanes and remote control helicopters. Remember those things that would sometimes be spotted, on a weekend, in the sky above a local park? A small niche group huddled below, starring up in mesmerized agapement? Remember thinking how nerdy those people were? What an uncool and expensive hobby that was? Seriously, remote control vehicle enthusiasts could make the deepest delver of Dungeons & Dragons look cool by comparison.

Then lo and behold here comes the drone and all of a sudden, everyone has to have one. It was to the remote control vehicle world, what Game of Thrones was to the fantasy world. Everyone had to have one! Soccer moms, day traders, iPhone enthusiasts, people from all walks of life were all of a sudden interested in flying a remote controlled vehicle. It was the cool, sexy and socially acceptable thing to do.

Now they are so popular we are going to cart people around in them! Of course anyone should be able see the red tape and issues with this. Current civilian drones have been causing all sorts of issues. However, when drones aren’t spying on bikini clad neighbors, flying in federal airspace, or whacking brides in the face, they have been known to do some good deeds. Urban and wilderness search and rescue and delivering tacos to name a few. Soon to be added will be hauling around our fat asses. Drones, they ain’t just for bombs anymore!