XNMP had some kind of fit which was curable by erasing the directory and reinstalling but then of course all the clever thingeys I’d done were gone. So for my future guidance at least I will present a few things I needed to do.
My XNMP Config
My Irfanview Config
EXTERNAL EDITOR: Shift E. Configured
in xnview larger image screen — i.e., after you press ENTER
in the browser — options, properties/settings, miscellaneous, “set
external editors”. Then Shift-E or shift-1 will invoke it maybe.
course put my paintmenu.bat there.
I used to have endless bullet points of perfidious amazon behavior — late deliveries, non-deliveries, lying. ... At 10/22/20 they seem to be going through the perennial next-day-delivery-oops phase, perhaps related to Jeff Bezos’s unrequited passion for the United States Postal Service, and the evil monster fascist president’s desperate attempt to destroy all mailboxes, to viciously defeat fair totally nonpartian unbiased mail-in voting. ... But other online merchants seem equally reliable.
It’s nevertheless so much better than actually shopping in a real store! Aside from the driving time versus one’s beloved home PC, there’s the human interaction — for instance, a Walmart “advantage” is that I can take my returns to the store. I ceased using the esteemed superstore some years ago after a particularly astonishing and extra-stupid checkout event, and I’ve only returned in the era of automated checkout which, at least, Walmart seems to be doing its best to support properly. But returning something isn’t automated, and still involves a lovely and gracious clerk, which poor creature told me my return was supposed to be in its original packaging (a shredded-to-pieces plastic envalope) and she didn’t know mumble mumble mild incoherent threats. In the event the Walmart robot credited the purchase without the slightest complaint but still ... there’s nothing like the human factor....
Ebay is the obviously preferable candidate, since it advertises itself as a super junk store....
I submitted this for a review — this is the second revision — but the kindly monopoly will no doubt find it simply too ghastly, so I will expose my pepto bismol afflications in my technical memoir, guaranteeing further obscurity:
VILE-TASTING CHERRY FLAVOR!
Mon 10/18/2021 8:36 am. When I type “pepto bismol” in the amazon search field, it *always* takes me to the cherry-flavored pepto bismol. I DID NOT TYPE “CHERRY PEPTO BISMOL”. So they’ve fooled me more than once into ordering the vile-tasting stuff, but I won’t return it ’cause they tricked me fair & square, and it’s my fault for not checking the offered product, instead of foolishly *trusting* amazon not to fool me.
So there you have it — trust amazon, be fooled. A lesson for modern life.
I’ve had two of those, foolish me, and I suppose it’s just my unstoppable cheapness, but they were obviously broken:
And after all, these computers are Windows, the vast mediocrity of our time, but still. I guess I just didn’t pay enough....
My Stellarium FAQ
It’s a beautiful free planetarium which has anti-documentation: a combination of scientific insiderism + french inherent snobbery + written for the Macintosh of course you dolt makes practically everything start at incomprehensible and go on from there.
But let us not carp! The Windows version is a thing of beauty once you master a few primitive carefully-concealed tricks:
And voila-a-rama, it works like I want it to. ... Too bad their donate page is in vive la French....
To DISABLE the electric heat in my beautiful duraflame DFI021ARU electric log insert gadget, I held down the topmost “heater” button on the unit — not on the remote — for 10 seconds, and the imitation fire lights flashed 4 or five times in acknowledgment, and afterwards using the heater button on the unit or the remote’d just do the flashing and not turn on the heat. The instructions erroneously claim the procedure is with the remote’s heater button, which was probably the way it was with the first one of these things I got. ... And doing the same thing will enable the heater again, which I don’t want to do because I just like the silly fire display and don’t want to burn my pitiful abode down.
... But I must sadly report the imperishable part is maybe not so much, when one of my herd started emitting a rhythmic “clacking” which is quite unacceptable in a fake fire: random “crackling” yes, rhythmic clacking, no. So eventually I took it apart which isn’t so difficult and poured half a can of 3-in-1 oil — a lot, anyway — into the motor/gear thing — setting it on its side so the oil’d creep into the motor when I squirted it vaguely at the shaft, and it actually seems to have cured the clacking at least for a while, no doubt leaving a pool of oil on the floor — but no, it didn’t do that either. It has got a metal box enclosing it. ... But then after a week or so, it woke up one morning without flames — the stupid wheel stopped turning. So I guess this is definitely a defective unDuraflame here; a casual impact adjustment set it going again. ... And then another day, and the flames went the wrong direction! Which is indeed a failing I have known of old in a crummy antique fake fireplace which long ago had trouble starting, and today will only go the wrong way after I beat it. But on the next day the duraflame returned to right-way flaming ... for a little while, at least....
8/17. One of the reasons phishing scams work so well is that it’s so easy to imitate the security pages of, for instance, Apple, the most moneyed corporation in the universe. Apple’s page is astonishingly crude and difficult to navigate; I could probably make a pretty good imitation with Komposer and my other crude tools. This is presumably because it would be so expensive to make something more svelte. ... Or, perhaps, because they’re too stupid to switch it to stupid-iThing-mode so their pitiful crude idevices could use it. Or perhaps it works great on the ithings and the Mac, and I was just experiencing intentional degradation for Windows. ... But that’s no explanation for the jejeune “security questions” answers I’m supposed to concoct. ... Right it used to be you could tell scammy emails and web sites by odd bits of crudeness but of course that doesn’t work when comparing to Apple’s site, apparently prepared by interns....
Whatever; my delightful experience ended quickly without major injuries and I’ll just have to learn to ignore all emails supposedly from Apple. ... And it was in the bright morning, when I’m usually awake!
6/17. For some mysterious reason I haven’t posted the beloved jgomenu so, if you’re annoyed at computers and life and would like to see them all obliterated permanently in a fiery ball of incandescent gas, you could download the thing! With obsolete Delphi version 7 source! Wildly configurable with an INI file! Unintelligible help!
1/17. I see that all through through this beautiful web site I keep referring to “my firewall” or other equivalent sentiments, without actually explaining what it is. I googled “Windows7FirewallControl” and the first hit was http://sphinx-soft.com/Vista/ “Windows 10 Firewall Control” which looks OK; actually it appears to be the inheritor of my beloved Windows7FirewallControl program. http://sphinx-soft.com/Vista/order.html has a comparison chart between the free/pay versions. ... On the one crate where I installed it — because my beloved traditional Windows7FirewallControl wouldn’t start anymore — the “Windows10” flavor wouldn’t start either at least easily, but that was stupid me mistakenly using the portable version! The regular version seems to work great! ... And you can ignore the “windows 10” sobriquet; he doesn’t claim it’ll run on vista anymore, but it does run on windows 7....
Please understand, since Vista, Windows has come with a firewall, but it’s wonderfully polite and in particular will definitely let anything Usux™ desires talk to anything.
... So I’ve installed the thing on every computer I got since Vista — a disturbingly endless herd — and it seems to work. And by “work” I mean it pops-up for practically everything you do or just by itself, asking if it’s OK for some program you’ve never heard-of to contact the internet, and you must tell it yea or nay, whereupon it will allow it or block it as per your orders and not bother you anymore. And if your “no” was incorrect, something you prize and love will cease to function.
If you think you’d enjoy that sort of thing, it’s the firewall for you. ... Historically I got involved with firewalls after I realized some ancient win98 (?) crate of mine was enthusiastically dialing home presumably as part of a denial-of-service attack network, presumably not very effectively with my pitiful modem, and I only discovered it because I could notice the modem doing things when it shouldn’t’ve, because it had little lights on it or something. I don’t really remember, but I do want a firewall so not only can I notice things like that, but so I’ll also notice all the stupid Usux™ and other vile programs that want to chat with mother for reasons ranging from squalid to criminally pathological....
In addition to the firewall of course you have to have some way to stop stupid programs from starting, which for me is the beloved autoruns. From Microsoft! Sometimes you must run it elevated, so it can discipline particularly annoying menaces, but it seems to be able to do that for itself these days. ... Although it is better to suppress with firewall than cripple with autoruns disables — the program gets upset when parts are missing and won’t run, while the internet being unreachable is perfectly normal, or at least they must kind-of work like that. Usually. Not of course Adobe products, which won’t work without an intimate internet connection....
Another dangerous favorite is procexp, particularly useful for the feature which lets me click on something and procexp’ll tell me what program it is. So, for instance, I can add it to my hand-dandy all-purpose Killadobe.bat procedure....
Well it’s probably perfectly useful for stealing Bluray movies, but then again, nobody won the bluray/hddvd battle — everybody streams their movies from somewhere or copies to hard drives or something. But basically your average bluray disc contains 25 very slow gigabytes, at least slow to write in drag & drop fashion, but costs 50c while a 32Gb SD costs around $12 this week, price to fall no doubt as the weary eons pass us by. But a USB SD read/write gadget costs around $12 also, and many modern PCs have SD sockets already. Except of course Apple abandoned them.
The bluray drive can be got for less than $100 but, of course, doesn’t actually work with random file writes. ... Actually in my pitiful experiment, when I wrote stuff to an LG WH16NS40 drive with a single program it seemed to work — very slowly — but when I tried to write simultaneously with two programs, definitely keeled over. And cranked the disc. ... And a firmware update from LG reliably failed.
Drag & Drop
An alternate “steal bluray” mode copies all the files you want in a huge chunk and is probably more reliable, but I’ll never know, because it’s useless, unless you happen to regularly need to save 24Gb chunks of data — or of course steal bluray movies. I don’t. ... And you can’t rewrite bluray discs any which way, unlike SDs. And in terms of future compatibility, nothing’s particularly likely, but SDs’ll probably last longer than the slow write-once don’t-work nobody-uses-anymore blurays. ... Of course my simple interests inevitably wander towards the antiquarian which is probably why I even bothered with these things — well that, and simple ignorance. ... Despite my vast technical accomplishments which, of course, like the bluray, became obsolete a few eons ago. ... So now the drives, attached by the totally-superfluous speedy USB3 on two desktops, are my gee-whizziest newest antiques.
... So see by my outfit than I am a programmer, and hear my sad story....
The trouble is, they can’t be fixed. Unless they’re expensive broken old clocks. Because it’s not worth it to fix a cheap broken old clock, in money or time. The internet is awash in helpful fellows who’ll give you detailed instructions on how to meticulously disassemble your intricate clock works, carefully clean it, reassemble it, and then it’ll work just like before, i.e. not at all. Because it’s old and worn-out, just like so many of us....
Many fancy clock repairers are equally helpful, and will happily waste your time with a day or two “estimate” and then tell you it’ll be $3500. Our experience is, if there isn’t someone knowledgable you can communicate with, i.e. who speaks whatever language you speak and knows something about clocks, i.e. not some pitiful ignorant drone — don’t waste your time. Or theirs for that matter, not that I care....
Once I had a clockwork looking something like that and the pendulum’d just stop swinging. We took the clock to a guy in a mall who actually knew something, and he managed to get it going, but the magic only lasted for a year or so. I bought a replacement action at Amazon which proudly boasted it was made in India, and didn’t work any better — it was probably a “pull” from an Indian goverment mechanical clock that had served many wonderful years in the jungle, as ours had in upstate NY somewhere, but both were the cheapest possible mechanical wall clock of the era, and they just get old and fall over.
So I went and got a battery wall clock and put it into the old case and it is good. And I got a little battery phoney-pendulum mechanism and stuck it in there too, in the wrong place but it wacks back and forth so industriously. I had been thinking of doing some kind of hi-techery like a pendulum prosthetic that’d kick it every second or so to keep it going, but the wall clock route was just as stupid and much less work. ... If I get real bored someday, I can take apart the orginal or Indian clockwork mechanism and seriously repair it to destruction.
... But in the event, about a year after throwing-away the impossible-to-repair (for me he whimpered) metal clock works, I embraced the apostasy and bought a beautiful electronic $11 clock works at amazon which’s got a slowly-moving second hand, so chic! ... So now as I traverse the laboratory on my important daily tasks, I can gaze upon my “zombie” clock, with its antique box and its cuckoo electronic brain, counting the hours and seconds, gazing out at me....
I mean if you really want to acquire a valuable part-time hobby/living out of clock repair, a cheap broken clock is probably ideal. ... But I don’t....
Solar Lights Don’t Work (?)
At least the decorative flavor. For all I know the giant solar panels the survivalists and other lunatics erect work perfectly....
The ~$20 Signals catalog “Light Bulb Solar Garden Stake (HU6272)” was particularly impressive. It actually managed to produce its feeble illumination for two nights in a row — but then, it rained. So sad. I mean, the “bulbs” had visible water on the inside! And of course their electronic innards — well, one of the two still flickered briefly when I flicked its switch.
So that’s about five decorative solar lights I’ve encountered here in Paradise — where after all we have quite a supply of the solar stuff — and they all failed after it rained, of which also we have an adequate supply; I think some have lasted a week or two! ... I couldn’t “fix” — restore to operation until the next deluge — the Signals “light bulb” — well, I didn’t try very hard; there were no screws or obvious way to take them apart, and the sight of tainted water rolling around inside the “bulb” was disheartening. ... But I have managed to whack several of the others so they work. Until it rains again.
And then I thought I should try an Amazon product, with good reviews! ... But no dice; all such I found were the crooked kind, where at least Amazon admits the reviewer was given a free sample to do the review. Actually, the presence of such bogus reviews is a fairly reliable shoddy product indicator, so I suppose I won’t complain. But no actually positive reviews for solar lights, although I only spent a few minutes.
(6/16) So then I persevered and found a positively-non-bogus-reviewed product which I’m sure’ll work perfectly. ... And actually they did work good: all eight of ’em’ve lasted at least a week — three months! — through numerous patented Florida deluges! Finally after a 100 days, one of them seems to have lost its way, so before attempting a probably-hopeless repair, I bought another bunch for <$40 what I’ll keep around as spares. ... However I lucked out; in the interval its availability has shifted occasionally to the dreaded “these sellers” for different numbers & vast sums but it was available when I wanted it.
... But chances are, the solar lights you buy won’t work; heck probably my new batch won’t! — but of course they did, and the defective unit looked to be an intermittent DeOxit case: when I brought it in, it immediately flashed on, presumably as I jiggled it, and then I DeOxited the thing, but I had already replaced it with a new unit so the definitive DeOxit test awaits time and tide and the next hurricane. But the obvious superiority of the product design was striking: the rechargable battery compartment faces down, unlike the obviously demented competition — so the water runs out, instead of forming a pool in the battery compartment....
... But do try the amazon good-reviews route, and don’t be fooled by those “free product” reviews, which are clearly labeled if you scroll to the bottom of the review. Which is probably why they’re all so lengthy, so they get a shortened presentation and the pitiful scamee might miss the paid-for part....
(12/16) ... My Moonrays lasted so long, some of the NiCD batteries wore-out! This is unheard-of; all the solar lights I had before were so wretched they’d never wear out the batteries, unless you count being designed so that any rainfall would submerge the batteries destructively. ... No, the Moonrays went on shining for months and that’s 30 discharge/recharge cycles per. Wikipedia claims 2,000 cycles, but they also claim 10%-per-month self-discharge, which was never approached by my cruddy NiCDs — more like 40% a week. ... And it explains something; the lights come with the batteries charged and a little piece of cardboard preventing their discharge, which I thought was a trifle high-rent but now I understand: it’s a cunning quality-control scheme, where they buy cheap NiCDs, test them in the actual solar light, and throw-away the failing NiCDs. ... I tested three NiCDs from non-lighting lights in my fancy battery recharger, and it certified ’em dead. Replacements are cheap-enough — & I’ve been upgrading to NiMHs! — and on we go into the night....
The Way of All Things
NiMH batteries used with cameras, for instance, can last a long time, months, if one avoids the stupid super-bright LCD illumination. And then can be recharged, and they’ll go on for 500 or more of that kind of usage and will last many years, probably longer than the camera. ... Solar lighting, however, has the highest possible duty cycle: the things discharge more-or-less completely every night, and recharge every day. That’ll still last for 100s of days, or a few years, but they’re still a consummable in the application. Which, when I realized it, I found a depressing intimation of mortality. ... But still, years....
Canon ix6820 “Buy Ink” Malware & the B200 Scam
It’s been doing it for a week at least: opening a emergency window YOUR INK IS RUNNING OUT YOU FOOL! PANIC PANIC. ... I have a low duty-cycle with the printer, so the ridiculous early-warnings might be applicable to someone about to print a 200-page document — which only an idiot would do with this printer. ... Today the window refused to go away; no close control. They really really really want me to buy some ink. I pressed the flashing amber button on the printer to make it print; lovely color of course. ... I got a refrigerator with lots of ink in it and have no intention of replacing ink cartridges until the printing visibly deteriorates. ... So I suppose I’ll just move the malware window to a corner off the screen as far as possible, and rock on.
... And I see I’ve failed to mention/forgotten I could just turn the stupid thing off by disabling something like “show printer status”; I could do it at the stupid printer status, which really makes it not so bad, until it calls in the consigliere later....
It’s Just DRM?
I was so jejune I didn’t realize until months later it was doing it because of my counterfeit ink! ... Of course! I wasn’t using genuine Canon ink — I bought the cheap junk. ... I mean, according to the specially-tuned super-smart Canon software, I was printing for weeks with a totally empty black cartridge. ... But then again, it just correctly predicted the demise of a yellow cartridge which didn’t say Canon anywhere on it. So who knows? ... I figure the printer programmers are a totally different bunch from the buy-ink gang or at least the latter are an inferior caste of morlocks somewhere in the basement, and their works have a kind of naturally shoddy randomness.
... And then again, maybe the empty black cartridge phenomenon was the well-known two black cartridges mystery, where the printer has a large black cartridge for printing text I think, and a small one for color shading. ... But after obviously defective black printing, I replaced both and the effect wasn’t noticeably different. ... I mean the ix6820 isn’t one of those super artistic printers; its main talent is printing on 17’’-wide paper, which I find amusing on occasion....
... But ...
I must concede that I replaced the ink cartridges with all counterfeit ink, and the stupid “buy buy buy” box hasn’t reappeared. ... Mysterious twisted fate is ruled by rogue DRMs. ... And now that the no-ink window has started up again, I’ve concluded it’s particularly disdainful of the black XL ink, which is apparently doomed to be forever empty. ... And I should note that with the ix6820 at least, the cheapo cartridges let me see the ink left just by looking at them. Definitely a feature — the official Canon cartridges are of course totally opaque....
12/3/18. Try googling “canon b200 error” to find a cornucopia of tips ’n’ tricks about what to do. Symptoms: printer won’t print, presents dialog box with B200 Error, saying something like “turn-off printer, confine in a safe room, contact support”. Which support doesn’t exist of course. ... Here are my stories:
I’m still assuming the B200 error is some kind of scam communicating to the victim, roughly, “buy another printer”. Which I have done, as ordered. The 6820 is after all, a $150 printer that prints 13x19’’ paper, which is what I want from it.
... And I must report after a year or so I had a little luck putting the printer on an on/off switch; such B200 “cures” as have occurred involved, along with an impact adjustment, turning the printer off/on, and it’s easier to do that with a switch. And I was able to print something; and, for that matter, I could run the ink soaking thing so it was able to print. ... I figure at least I could use up some of the vast quantities of 6520 ink I’ve amassed.
The Camelot Forest Conservation Association, Inc. — a lovely private vacation spot in Blakeslee PA — has a sworn mission to keep its dump hours def con 5 level secret. However by clandestine underhanded methods I have discovered the following unreliable info.
So I guess an “open” beach is one with an open parking lot. The presence of the lifeguard is a separate and far more clandestine issue....