[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Wednesday, 2017-07-12

Twitter

Filed under: Humour,Society,The Internet — bblackmoor @ 15:12

Twitter is the very worst of humanity, delivered 140 characters at a time. It is the untreated sewage of the Internet.

Friday, 2016-12-09

A better class of wingnut

Filed under: Politics,The Internet — bblackmoor @ 17:23

I might sound like a grumpy old man, but I think we had a better class of angry white wingnuts back before the Internet. Nowadays, every halfwit with a keyboard thinks he’s William F. Buckley.

Monday, 2016-11-28

How to copy a folder and retain its permissions in Windows 10

Filed under: Windows — bblackmoor @ 10:25
  1. Click the Start button.
  2. In the search box, type “command”.
  3. Right-click the “Command Prompt” item, and select “Run as administrator”.
  4. In the command prompt that opens, type

    xcopy sourcepath destinationpath /O /X /E /H /K

    and then press ENTER, where sourcepath is the source path for the files to be copied, and destinationpath is the destination path for the files.

  5. For example:

    xcopy C:\Users\Public D:\Public /O /X /E /H /K

Tuesday, 2016-07-05

Fiat 124 Spider Abarth

Filed under: Fine Living,Technology — bblackmoor @ 10:26

I’m not saying that I am buying a new car, but if I were, I think the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth would be on my short list of cars I would test drive. Not that I am buying a new car any time soon. In black.

Fiat 124 Spider Abarth

Monday, 2016-04-25

Mobile audio 2003-2016

Filed under: Fine Living,Technology — bblackmoor @ 10:49

One of the first things I did when I bought my Hyundai Tiburon in 2003 was to replace the stereo and install an mp3 player in the trunk (mounted on the back of one of the back seats). It was a full size 20 GB hard drive that connected to the “head unit” (the stereo in the dash board) via the interface that was originally intended for a trunk-mounted CD changer (basically a very long extension cord). Imagine that: 20 GB of music in a space the size of a large hardback book! Keep in mind that this was a year before the iPod was released: we are talking some cutting edge stuff here.

Neo 35 mp3 car jukebox

A couple of years later, I upgraded from that beast to a Creative Zen Touch portable mp3 player, which held as much as the Neo did in a fraction of the size. I replaced the stereo with one that had an auxiliary jack in the back, and custom-wired a headphone jack into one of my blank dash buttons. As the years passed, I eventually upgraded to an 80 GB iPod Touch (running Rockbox firmware — I have no love for iTunes). 80 GB in a package the size of a pack of cigarettes? Astounding!

Tiburon dash 2010-07-13

Now it has come time to upgrade again. This time, the stereo has USB ports in the back that can support a standard thumb drive. I removed the headphone jack from the dash, and installed USB ports in the ash tray (which is normally closed). Into one of those USB ports, I now have a 128 GB flash drive: six times as much music storage as the Neo 35, in a widget the size of a nickel, hidden in my ash tray.

Freaking amazing.

Tiburon ash tray 2016-04-25

Monday, 2016-03-28

Playing music into a Google Hangout

Filed under: Music,Podcast,Software,The Internet,Windows — bblackmoor @ 11:04

Here is how I play music (MP3 files) into a Google Hangout.

Hardware

Software

Setup

  1. Install “Audio Repeater Pro (64 bit)” and “VB Cable A+B”. Don’t mess with the settings. Just install them.
  2. Run “Audio Repeater Pro (64 bit)”. Use these settings:
    • Input Device: Microphone (Logitech G930 Gaming Headset)
    • Output Device: CABLE-B Input
    • Stream Format: Processing Format (default)
    • Stream Buffer: 40 milliseconds (default)
    • Process Audio: (not checked)
    • Stream Gain: 100%
    • Stream FX: FX Chain (default)
    • Bypass FX Chain: (not checked)
    • Click “Start”.
  3. In the task icon area of the taskbar, right-click the speaker, and select “Recording Devices”.
    1. Right-click Microphone (Logitech G930 Gaming Headset), and select “Set as Default Device”.
    2. Right-click Microphone (Logitech G930 Gaming Headset), and select “Properties”.
      • On the “Listen” tab, set to UN-check “Listen to this device”.
      • On the “Levels” tab, set to 40.
      • Click OK.
    3. Right-click CABLE-B Output, and select “Properties”.
      • On the “Listen” tab, CHECK “Listen to this device”.
      • On the “Levels” tab, set both to 100.
      • Click OK.
  4. In the “Playback” tab of the Sound application.
    • Right-click the headset, and select “Set as Default Communication Device”.
  5. Run Chrome.
  6. In Chrome, go to Google Hangouts, and click “Video Call”.
  7. When the Hangouts window opens, click the gear icon in the upper right corner. On the General tab, use these settings:
    • Video: Logitech HD Pro Webcam.
    • Microphone: CABLE-B Output.
    • Speakers: Speakers (Logitech G930 Gaming Headset).
  8. Open VLC Media Player.
    1. Add songs to the playlist.
    2. In the Audio menu, select Audio >> Audio Device >> CABLE B Input
  9. Invite people to join the hangout.
  10. Play songs in VLC. Other people in the Hangout will hear them. To avoid drowning myself out, I set the VLC output level to about 65%.

Recording

Here are the settings I used to record in Flashback Express.

  1. In the Tools >> Options menu, look in the Sound section.
  2. Under Sound Source, select “PC Speakers (what you hear)”.
  3. In the drop-down under “PC Speakers (what you hear)”, select the headset.
  4. Now, when recording in Flashback Express…
    1. Under “Record”, select “Window”.
    2. Check “Record Sound”.
  5. Still in Flashback Express, in the sound section, check “Record Sound”, and for the source select “Speakers (Logitech G930 Headset)”.

When done with the hangout

  1. Close the Hangout window.
  2. Click “Stop” in “Audio Repeater Pro (64 bit)”, and close it.
  3. Close VLC Media Player.

Friday, 2016-01-08

Expanding Ubuntu LVM in VCenter

Filed under: Linux — bblackmoor @ 16:40

These are notes for my own benefit, but I am sharing them publicly in case someone else might find them useful. The paths and volume names below are specific to my own situation, of course: yours will probably be different.

  • In VCenter, add an ISO for GParted to the data store.
  • Set the VM to boot to the bios.
  • Set the bios to boot from the CD drive.
  • Load the ISO in the CD drive of the VM.
  • In gparted, deactivate the partitions so they can be resized.
  • In gparted, expand the LVM partitions to use the additional 100 GB of file space.
  • Shut down the VM and remove the ISO from the VM.
  • Start up the VM, and in Ubuntu, run these commands:
  • sudo lvextend /dev/mapper/template-root /dev/sda5
  • sudo resize2fs /dev/mapper/template-root
  • Then reboot the VM one more time.

Monday, 2015-12-21

Firefox add-ons

Filed under: Software,The Internet — bblackmoor @ 09:28

Here is what I am using now in Firefox:

Friday, 2015-07-31

Windows 10 tips

Filed under: Windows — bblackmoor @ 15:56

These are notes for my own purposes, but they might be useful to others, as well. Note that it might be helpful for you to download the Windows 10 installation media yourself, rather than waiting for Microsoft to send it to you

  1. Re-install video drivers and mouse drivers
    I had weird problems until I did this. Make sure you get the newest drivers.
  2. Enable Privacy
  3. Turn on System Protection
    1. Open a File Explorer window
    2. Right-click This PC and choose Properties
    3. Select System Protection in the left pane
    4. Select C: drive in the dialog box that opens
    5. Click the Configure button
    6. Select “Turn on system protection” option
    7. Set disk space usage to around 1.5 GB.
  4. Move the Taskbar
    Move the Taskbar to the left side of the screen. With a widescreen monitor (which any new computer will have), it makes much more sense to waste a small strip on the left than a strip that runs all the way across the bottom of the screen, making a narrow display area even narrower.
  5. Modify Start Menu
    1. Open the Start Menu, right click each pane, and select “Unpin from Start” (optionally, keep the Weather pane, but open it up and set the correct location)
    2. Unpin the Edge and Store icons from the taskbar
    3. Right-click the taskbar and hide the Search and Task View icons from the taskbar
  6. Clean Up Programs
    1. Open the Start Menu, click Settings >> System >> Apps & Features
    2. Sort by name
    3. Uninstall…
      • Get Office
      • Get Skype
      • Microsoft Solitaire Collection
  7. Install KeyTweak and remap the Caps Lock key to Left Shift
  8. Install Ditto clipboard manager
  9. Install Search Everything
  10. Customize Windows Explorer
    1. Customize Quick Access Toolbar
      This is a small drop-down arrow at the top of Windows Explorer.
      Select “Show below the Ribbon”
    2. Customize Options
      Click “View” button on the Ribbon, click the “Options” button, and select “Change folder and search options”. I am only noting changes from the default settings.

      1. General
        • Open File Explorer to: This PC
        • Show recently used files in Quick Access: unchecked
        • Show recently used folders in Quick Access: unchecked
      2. View
        • Always show menus: checked
        • Display the full path in the title bar: checked
        • Hidden files and folders: Show hidden files, folders, and drives
        • Hide empty drives: not checked
        • Hide extensions for known file types: not checked (this is the most idiotic option ever)
        • Hide folder merge conflicts: not checked
        • Hide protected operating system files: not checked
        • Restore previous folder windows at logon: checked
        • Expand to open folder: checked
        • Show libraries: checked
        • Click the “Apply To Folders” button, and click OK
    3. Show Libraries in Navigation Pane
    4. Add a Take Ownership context menu
    5. Remove Homegroup link from the Explorer navigation pane (may cause a hard-to-fix file/folder rename bug)
    6. Remove the user folder from the Explorer navigation pane. (may cause a hard-to-fix file/folder rename bug)
  11. Install AquaSnap
  12. Install Winaero Tweaker
    The settings below are only the changes from the default.

    1. Behavior
      • Disable AeroShake: Checked
      • Disable AeroSnap: Checked
      • Disable App Lookup In Store: Checked
    2. File Explorer
      • Customize This PC Folders: remove all
      • Disable “- Shortcut” Text: checked
      • Drive Letters: Drive Letters Before Labels
  13. Install Bins
    It lets you group pinned icons on the Windows 10 taskbar.
  14. If you use Photoshop, install SageThumbs
    It’s an open source Windows shell extension allowing you to see thumbnails of Photoshop files.
  15. Disable and remove OneDrive
  16. If you use DropBox, remove DropBox link from the Explorer navigation pane
  17. If you use DropBox, pin the DropBox folder to Quick Access
  18. Install Q-Dir
    Despite the changes I made above, I still found the default Windows File Explorer frustrating. I tried a number of alternate file managers, including Explorer++, FreeCommander, and XYplorer. Q-Dir met my needs better than anything else I tried.

Now that you have done all of that, there are a few essential applications you should consider installing:

  1. 7-Zip
  2. Bins (it costs $5.00, but I think it’s worth it
  3. Bulk Rename Utility
  4. Firefox You might also consider these addons:
  5. FontExpert (It costs money, but if you work with fonts a great deal, it is worth it.) When you put fonts into groups, make sure you create shortcuts, rather than copying the font files. (Note: FontExpert 2016 has removed a crucial font group feature. Stay with FontExpert 2015 until that feature is restored.)
  6. Irfanview and the Irfanview plugins (see the note below about file associations)
  7. Ninite Updater
  8. Notepad++
  9. SmartDefrag
  10. Start10 (it costs $5.00, but I think it’s worth it
  11. VLC media player (see the note below about file associations)

So about those file associations…

As of January 2018, Microsoft has made changing file associations in Windows 10 ridiculously difficult — Apple levels of difficult (“Apple: we make simple things complicated, and complicated things impossible”). This article at Tech For Luddites goes into more detail, but the short version is that you need to run a command prompt window as “administrator”, then run this command:

control /name Microsoft.DefaultPrograms /page pageFileAssoc

Then go down the list and laboriously change each individual extension one by one.

Yes, it’s fucking ridiculous.

Monday, 2015-07-20

Self awareness in machines

Filed under: Society,Technology — bblackmoor @ 09:01

How long do you think it will take for us to get from this

To this

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