bunn: (canoeing)

And it is hot and I am eating ice lollies, although it's not so hot that I can't sit here wearing a thin fleece, which is About Right.  It's a pity it's horsefly season.

I have killed my laptop mouse yet again, and am having to operate with a touchpad until the new mouse comes.  I don't like it, it feels weird and unnaaaaaaaatural and horribly slow and fiddly.

Also I wrote yet another thing where people in Tol Eressea hang around after LOTR thinking 'we've run out of canon, what shall we do?  Eat cake and talk about canon again?  Why not?'
Even The Very Wise : 7367 words of Lalwen, Galadriel and Nerdanel chatting and eating cake.  Plus a phonecall with Fëanor.

recaptcha

Jun. 26th, 2017 04:01 pm
bunn: (Bah)
I really hate the style of form captcha where one must demonstrate that one is a human being by choosing all the photos that contain cars, or all the photos that contain street signs, for example.

I don't know how people with vision impairments get past them at all.  You have nine poor quality fuzzy images, some of which show part of an item that might, or might not, be a car or a street sign.  And then there is the 'is this a car /  street sign?' question.  I just failed a captcha because an image showed me a thing that I would call a bus.  But apparently to a captcha, it's a car.   And if the 'street sign' shows a different language or indeed alphabet, sometimes you can't work out exactly what it is.  Or it shows you a photo with what are probably cars, but they are tiny and far away!

Aaaaaaaaaaa!   Come back, mental arithmetic captchas, all is forgiven! 
bunn: (canoeing)
Phonecall from NHS: will I come in for checkup?  Well, OK I say, and agree a date and time.

Read more... )
bunn: (canoeing)
Scrolling quickly through messages telling me which IP addresses have been autoblocked on various websites that I work on, because of dodgy-looking activity over the festive season, I notice that there is a sudden upswing in Russian and Ukrainian IP addresses.  (My sites are almost all hosted in the UK, because dealing with the data wrangles of hosting outside the EU is a headache I do not need).

Normally, attempts to get into my websites come largely from the USA and (inexplicably) France.   The orthodoxy, I believe,  is to assume that these US attacks are not really from the US, but are from US-based machines hijacked from Eastern Europe.  (I don't know about the French thing.  Nobody else seems to be specially targeted by the French, so I have seen no discussion on it).

I don't know what to make of the sudden prominence of Russian IPs.  Have the US authorities cracked down on the hijacked machines?  Are the new attacks reported as Russian and Ukrainian, actually now coming from hijackers physically located in the USA, in a kind of weird symmetry?  Is it entirely chance?

I'll probably never know.  I can only feel vaguely reassured that the software is doing its thing and nobody is complaining. 
bunn: (Trust me)


Back in... 1997, I think, my grandmother died, leaving a house stuffed to the brim with a lifetime's carefully sorted junk.   We all took a few bits and pieces and then a house clearance company was called in to deal with the rest of it.   My father in law, who has an interest in photography, took some of my grandfather's old cameras.

Fast forward twenty-odd years, and now my in-laws have developed a newfound interest in having a loft that is not stuffed full of old junk that someone thought looked interesting...Read more... )
bunn: (Smaug)
I am amused by this list of randomly generated hostnames that a server has just presented to me :

  • orophin.clareassociates.com

  • spock.clareassociates.com

  • sneezy.clareassociates.com

  • osgiliath.clareassociates.com

  • malbeth.clareassociates.com

  • rohirrim.clareassociates.com

  • laurelindornan.clareassociates.com

  • sneezey.clareassociates.com

  • mardil.clareassociates.com

  • amroth.clareassociates.com

... shouldn't that be Laurelindórenan ? I can forgive the accents, but it's missing an 'e', isn't it...?

Spock looks lonely among all the Middle Earth names, and I wonder why if adding Seven Dwarves to Middle Earth (surely an idea fraught with peril?) we got two versions of Sneezy rather than say Grumpy.   Or maybe one of the Sneezys is Bilbo in Laketown. 
bunn: (dog knotwork)
I wrote this intermittently through the day while waiting for things to transfer across the internet, half-expecting LJ to lose it, but it hasn't.  It's a bit rambling.

Read more... )
bunn: (dog knotwork)
I bought a new screen for my knackered Kindle on Ebay and replaced it myself. And it all works, and I only had one screw left over!

I FEEL SO ACCOMPLISHED.

And now I don't have to make a decision about buying a replacement for it. But I do need a new 00 screwdriver head because all the tiny tiny screws knackered mine.
bunn: (Bah)
It looks like my ancient Kindle  has finally shuffled off.  The screen is frozen and will not unfreeze for any incantation or combination of buttons,  even when I take the battery out.  The machine itself is still working, but can only be communicated with via cable, which is no use at all.

It appears modern kindles now have touchscreens.  Is this a good idea?  I have a touchscreen on my current laptop and I am constantly accidentally brushing the thing and being carried off to places I don't want to go.  What I want from an ebook reader is the robustness of a paperback book, with free wifi.   Touchscreens do not suggest 'tough' to me.  I suppose now I shall have to decide whether I really need an ebook reader anyway.

Ironically, the Kindle died halfway through a chapter about procrastination.  HOW DID IT KNOW.
bunn: (Smaug)
The server and local PC backups are automated, of course.  But deleting them isn't, which causes me Issues.

One location my backup are stored at (I  have three lots of backups, each on a separate server belonging to a dfferent company) is on Amazon's S3 servers, at their Ireland datacentre*.  This service charges by volume of data stored.  So yesterday I was sitting there staring at the pile of lovely backups from April (each one a golden second chance to avert disaster or idiocy! Who cannot love a second chance???)

And I was thinking: probably I don't need 5 complete backups of absolutely everything from April. If I delete these, I will save money, and still have May and June. BUT WHAT IF SOMETHING AWFUL HAPPENED IN MAY OR JUNE THAT I'VE NOT YET DISCOVERED???

In the end I deleted all but one of April.  I also have a full backup from March, and January still lurking. This may be a form of hoarding.  Or it may just be prudence.  I can't tell.

my datacentre routing angst, let me show you it )
bunn: (No whining)
I went to install Eudora on this new computer, to find that even Eudora OSE, the Thunderbird-driven thing which replaced Qualcomm's original Eudora software, has finally passed away.

I've been using Eudora for my email since 1995!   *weeps*

I feel as I would if I had just discovered that you couldnt' buy a kettle any more.  
bunn: (Smaug)
I found this, with a little irony, in one of my email inboxes this morning : Why can't we read any more?

It doesn't say anything new, of course, but it encapsulates a problem I've had, and so have you probably.  Email. Usenet. Web based forums. Lj.  Twitter. Facebook.   I have got  a great deal out of all of it, of course, and have learned a great deal.  But I have also spent way too much of my time sucked into things that don't matter, getting cross about things I can't change and focussing on things that don't leave me feeling I've achieved much.

The only thing I can't agree with in that blog is that it presents books as an alternative to this, and I don't honestly think they are.  Books for me are subject to exactly the same addictive behaviour.  I can remember my parents in the 70's talking about the guilty pleasure of 'committing book' - ie getting sunk into a book when you should really be getting on with something else.Read more... )
bunn: (dog knotwork)
I seem to remember complaining idly that because I have very mild asthma, I must take up time regularly at the local NHS clinic, which I am sure has better things to do with its time than assign an asthma nurse to have this conversation with me:

Read more... )

Turns out, there is an opt-out on this now.  You can fill in an online form at Superdrug, which apparently waves it past a doctor in some way, and then they post out your drugs to you.  It seems somehow wrong (do people conspire to get ventolin that they don't actually need?  Maybe they do)   But awful convenient. :-D 
bunn: (garden)
google-cress
Generally we only get the cheapest Google promotional gimmickry sent to us, so this does beg the question of whether out there somewhere, a big London agency has received, say, the Gift of Alstroemeria Seed*, the Gift of Unusual Basil*, or perhaps even, the Gift of Exotic Mushroom Spawn.

* a quick look at the Chiltern Seed Catalogue suggests that Alstroemeria plants and novelty basils are right up there when it comes to expensive seed.   I can see why with the novelty basil, every time I grew the weird exciting ones they always got greenfly.  Stick to plain old basil, is my advice. 
bunn: (dog knotwork)
I've been holding off making this post, lest I jinx things, but it does look as though the thing may be fixed.  You may remember (or, if you are one of the Egg Guineapigs and have a Busy Life, you may not) that the power jack socket on  my laptop was driving me nuts, and I kept having to take the thing to pieces and reassemble the socket.

The wonderful [livejournal.com profile] ozisim saw me whinging woefully on LJ about this and said: what you need is SUGRU!  And not only did she suggest this, she posted me some, which was a true Act of Kindness.

It comes in a little silver packet, and feels a bit like plastacine.   But unlike plastacine, it sticks to things quite enthusiastically, and it hardens when left at room temperature to a tough, rubbery substance like those silicone baking tools.   And it is *exactly* the stuff you need if some poorly-made component needs to be stuck back together in a way that will hold it together longer term.   My laptop has not lost power once since I Sugru'd the power supply back together.

I thought about photographing the repair, but that would be pretty dull.  However, I did have some sugru left after repairing the socket, so I thought I would try repairing the bit on the outside of the case where there used to be a bunch of plastic bars over the air intake, but most of the plastic bars have snapped off.   I thought if I tried to make plastic bars of sugru, they would inevitably look a bit saggy, so I decided to roll with the sagging, and instead make a sort of Cthuloid grille thing.   I did not, honestly, expect this to stay in place.  I thought it would probably fall off overnight.  But it's still there a week later, and it seems to be amazingly robust!  I wish I'd put a bit more effort into making it now.

sugru

In short : Sugru is Amazing.  And anyone who tells you that whining about your minor technology woes on a blog is a waste of time, is WRONG. :-D
bunn: (Bah)
I have become very fed up of removing 21 tiny screws in order to open up the back of my laptop, which I needed to do in order to :
Read more... )

So last night I rebelled and after fixing the power jack again, I only replaced 15 screws. Because I'm going to have to take them all out again, aren't I...

Apparently one of those screws I didn't replace was the screw that was causing my Windows updates to fail?

Read more... )
Now I am installing update 12 of 37, and wondering whether this Toshiba would be a useable replacement.Read more... )And I am absolutely, definitely never buying a Vaio again.  Not only is this power jack socket cheap and horrid, (and bending it back into place so it works is starting to knacker the plastic around it) but I can't even find anyone in Europe who will sell me a replacement for it. *rage* 
bunn: (dog knotwork)
http://mwf2014.museumsandtheweb.com/paper/glam-and-the-free-world/ - Cory Doctorow.

"There are people who caricature this whole position
Who say that this a mere naive belief that “information wants to be free”
But I’ve had a long talk with information about this
We went away for a weekend in the country, drank white wine, cried and hugged
And when it was over, information whispered in my ear that it doesn’t want to be free
The only thing it wants is for us to stop anthropomorphizing it
Because information doesn’t WANT anything
It’s a mere abstraction
However, PEOPLE want to be free
And when the world is made up of networked information-processing devices, that human freedom can only be attained through a free, open, and fair informational infrastructure
Help us create it."
bunn: (dog knotwork)
This morning as I walked the dogs along the pavement-less lanes, Az wandered in his vague, old-dog manner, towards the middle of the road, as a van was approaching.  I leapt to retrieve him, fearing that it might be the Tesco delivery van, which is driven by a man who feels that White Van Men are wusses and Tesco groceries must be delivered at a minimum of 40 mph or they may explode.

But no!  It was the Waitrose van!  So of course it pulled politely to a halt until the driver was quite sure that it was safe to pass, which he did giving me a nice smile and a little wave.  
Read more... )

Oooh, odd!

May. 30th, 2013 08:56 am
bunn: (dog knotwork)
Logged into LJ this morning and found all the menu options and links are in Cyrillic script - actually, I think they are probably in Russian, although sadly my Russian is non-existent, so I can't be entirely sure of that.

I assume that the wrong language has been associated with my account, and have reported it. It's an interesting insight into what it must be like trying to use those parts of the web built for monolingual English speakers, for someone with no English.

You'd think, too, given that I've had an LJ for tumty-tum years and use it a lot, that I would remember where at least some of the options were without a label cue, but no! Even the friends page link I got wrong!

I hope they can put it back, although I suppose if they don't, it will be an excellent educational opportunity for me to get some basic Russian... Right. Now which of these buttons is 'Post', I wonder? :-D

ETA - figured it out! It was my theme - I had language set to 'default' in http://www.livejournal.com/customize/options.bml 'default' presumably used to be English, and is now Russian. Thankfully, the customise page doesn't use my theme, so I could read it and change the language to English (UK). Still seems odd that this resulted in me getting my 'you have made a support request' acknowledgement email in Russian!

ETA No I haven't I thought that had fixed it, but then noticed that everything was in Russian if I clicked through to view someone else's full post including comments. And when I log in in another browser, I get 'Мы рады снова видеть вас в LiveJournal!' Ah well.
bunn: (Bah)
Firstly, I sat down and made myself go through properly step by step and work out what was causing the repeated Blue Screens of Death on this laptop.    I found it was a hardware problem with one of the memory cards.  So I swapped out and tested memory cards!  And then I bought new memory to replace the one that was duff (although I must say this machine seems to be running quite happily on just the remaining 2Gb at the moment.   (2Gb of RAM! I remember when a 1Gb hard disk was big!)

And we took the living room apart and cleaned it unmercifully to within an inch of its life.
Read more...with terrible cartoon )

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