Thursday, February 28, 2013

ACDSee Persuades Me Not to Buy ACDSee 15

I almost bought ACDSee 15 today--was ready to checkout--when I noticed that they tack on a sneaky little piece of thievery, an auto-renewal (to the tune of $25) of the worthless 40 GB of online storage. The auto-renewal is a charge that will hit your credit card every year, unless you spend several hours waiting on their toll-free support line to see whether one of their customer service representatives is in a good mood and will let you cancel the auto-renewal.

All in all, I think I'm going to stick with version 8 of ACDSee and forget about these new versions. It seems to me the main change in the new versions is just that ACDSee is getting greedier and sneakier, while making tiny incremental changes to the user interface to make users think they are getting something new. If I don't move to Windows 7, I won't need the new version, so that's another reason to stick with Windows XP.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Is Britain's Top Homophobe a Homosexual?

Looks like a Cardinal in the Catholic Church has been exposed to accusations of unwanted sexual advances... in this particular case, toward other priests. Do I perceive a collective sigh of relief that the alleged victims in this case are not boys?

The Catholic Church's obvious hypocrisy and bigotry in regard to gay marriage should bedevil the Church for generations to come. I am not hopeful about Pope Benedict's resignation. He is only resigning in order to pick his successor, who will be at least as hateful as he was. The former Nazi means to cling to power even from the grave.

My Protestant ancestors had the right idea in breaking away from the Vatican. If I were Christian, I would never wish my church beholden to some corrupt and wicked foreign authority.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Change Upload Directory for Windows Image Acquisition

With each new year, I like to change the upload directory for my Canon Elph 100 digital camera. This year I fell behind and did not get around to changing my upload directory until today.

I no longer wished for the camera to upload its pictures to c:\photos\2012. I wanted it to upload to c:\photos\2013. The question was how to communicate my intention to the computer. Naturally, human memory being what it is, I had forgotten my trick.

After poking around in the Canon utilities, I came to the conclusion that none of them would serve my purpose. I looked in the usual places where configuration files are stored in Windows and examined some .xml files, but they didn't have the setting I was looking for. Finally, intuition led me to fire up Regedit, a very useful program in Windows XP. I searched (F5) for a portion of my upload directory name--photos\2012. I found my upload directory mentioned in a couple of places, but kept tapping F3 for the next search result until I found the one for WIA, an acronym that jogged my memory. The actual program transferring photos from my camera to my computer was not a Canon utility at all. It was a Microsoft utility--Windows Image Acquisition--WIA for short. I had forgotten, but long ago, I opted to use WIA instead of Canon's stuff, because WIA is faster and doesn't require a bunch of clicks. I changed WIA's directory to photos\2013 and did not even have to reboot. WIA handled the next upload properly, and that was that.

I never did discover how to make WIA auto-delete files once they are uploaded, but as it only requires a single keypress--"Y"--that is no big potato.

Friday, February 15, 2013

NewEgg Reviews are Worthless

NewEgg is as pigheaded as the day is long about reviews. The problem with NewEgg's review system is that there's no way to change your mind. Once you submit a review, they keep it forever, and there's no editing or deleting. So if you, say, give a product a five-star review, and later discover undesirable aspects about the product that was reviewed, too bad. Your recommendation will be there forever, misleading customers. To compound the problem, NewEgg discards negative reviews, while retaining positive ones in order to sucker their customers into buying substandard merchandise. So once you write a positive review on NewEgg, you will be a supporter of that product until Doom's Day, whether you like it or not. As far as NewEgg is concerned, your writing is the sole property of NewEgg, Inc., forever and ever. That is why I no longer write reviews on NewEgg, and I'm not at all sure I'm ever going to buy something from 'RottenEgg' again. I'm certainly going to do a great deal of comparison shopping before I settle upon the least desirable 'RottenEgg', and I will be willing to pay five or ten dollars more to get the same product from a different vendor, because for me, the trust is not there with 'RottenEgg'.Post a Comment
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lie, Cheat, Steal: The ECS Way

If you are considering buying an ECS motherboard or any product manufactured by ECS, think again. Their rebates are lies, all lies. If you mail in your rebate, they will discard it and keep your money. That is the ECS way--lie, cheat, and steal from the customer.Post a Comment
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Another Hothead Goes Down in Flames

Out of curiosity, because he had made headlines for so many days, and because it is seldom that a major news outlet publishes a manifesto, I skimmed the manifesto of the renegade ex-cop, the rodent who deserves no name who turned on his own colleagues and killed innocent people. After five minutes reading, mental illness was my diagnosis, and to be specific, manic-depression, because the vermin had delusions of grandeur, cutting it the high and mighty, using pompous words like "utilize," as in "I will utilize my 'Mil-Int' training to wage asymmetrical warfare," which made him sound such an ass. I knew then that he would not escape nor even survive as he was a fool, but I didn't know he would be dead and burned in a matter of days. Fire was appropriate. Anger was his problem, a crippling problem that neutralized any supposed advantage from his "Mil-Int training," a rage that sought a focus in his delusions. Something internal irritating the mind, something biochemical, but the diseased mind believes the irritant is external--a person, say, an enemy, racists within the LAPD, for instance. Military training is all about defeating enemies--perhaps an unfortunate career choice for someone as disturbed as that fool, having access to powerful weaponry. He should never have been within ten feet of any firearm with such a diseased mind. Of course with moments of lucidity, he latched on to the lingering traces of a legitimate cause, the crusade against racism in the LAPD. But no one can trust any of his statements. He has discredited himself, to say the very least, by his insect acts, and everything in his manifesto has the stench of lies and bigotry. I do not even care to name him. To me he is a germ. The victims only should be named. They were human.

Although it may not suit every situation, there is still something to be said for the liberal Christian practice of turning the other cheek, because by doing so, one retains a claim to the moral high ground. I think that Jesus knew what he was about, there, and that Martin Luther King, Jr. had the right idea. When one stoops to deliver blows, or far worse, to waging "asymmetrical warfare" without any trace of chivalry, then the moral position is sunk. Bystanders and unaligned will sympathize with the victims of "asymmetrical warfare" rather than the heartless and evil perpetrator. The fool's calculus of killing one, two, three, a hundred or a thousand pales before the more numerous watchers who will form judgements based upon those deeds.Post a Comment
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 Phishing Scam

Did you receive an email like this:

This is a reminder that tomorrow is the deadline to earn $50 by completing this survey. If you have already shared your opinions, please kindly disregard this email.

As a Chase customer, we are interested in your feedback. Please take some time to tell us what you think.

Again, this is strictly for research purposes and your answers will be completely confidential and will not affect the relationship or current business you may have with Chase. You will not be asked to buy anything.

You will need to answer some questions to determine whether you qualify for this survey. If you qualify and complete the full survey by Tuesday, February 12, 2013, you will receive a $50 check within four to six weeks after you complete the survey to thank you for your participation.

Once you complete the initial questions and fill in the registration form you will be entered into a sweepstakes to win 1 of 3 iPads minis, whether or not you qualify to complete the full survey.

Please use the following link to begin:
Don't do it. It's a scam! Criminals want your sensitive financial info.

Please use your common sense. Nowhere on this good green earth does anybody pay $50 for a survey that takes less than one hour. You would have to work harder and put up with a lot more hassle to earn fifty bucks.Post a Comment
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Thursday, February 7, 2013

You Can Buy a Computer for $100

I don't understand why people pay so much for computers. Really I don't. It is as easy as 1-2-3 to save money on your next computer purchase.

The first thing is to settle on a manufacturer, model, and mode--desktop or laptop--that you prefer. I wanted a Thinkpad (model) laptop (mode) by Lenovo (manufacturer). Why Lenovo? Because I like their style. They took over the IBM line of desktops and laptops and carry on with the IBM reputation for good design or at any rate nice, sleek black outer casing, which I have always preferred when it comes to electronic gadgetry of any kind. Tech should be like the ninja; its impact felt, but not seen. I needed a laptop in particular because I wanted to carry my computer to work.

I had two choices--buy a new Lenovo or a used one. I imagine that this is where my years of experience come in handy, because I felt confident enough to buy a used one on Ebay--and not just used, but broken. The seller fretted far too much over what I regarded as a trivial issue, the trackpad button, which I never use, preferring the mouse. I do not have a high opinion of trackpads and their buttons. Give me a mouse any day. The button probably was broken on purpose by a user irritated by the inaccuracy of the trackpad. The seller knocked off $30 due to this supposed severe defect, which I never notice. Indeed, I've considered disabling trackpad support in the operating system to avoid possible interference with my mouse. My final cost for a Lenovo Thinkpad R60 with 2 gigs of RAM, a 60 gig hard drive which passes S.M.A.R.T., and Intel Core 2 Duo processor was under $100, with free shipping. This rig is more than enough to surf the Internet. It is ridiculously overpowered for my modest needs. I don't give a fig about Windows, so I'm running Linux Mint Nadia KDE as my operating system, with Firefox 18.02 as my browser. As a rule, computer technology declines rapidly in value, so that used hardware with much life remaining can be purchased at a slight fraction of its original price. I think that any processor from 2008 will be perfectly usable in 2013, and at any rate that has been my experience.

But then I talk to my non-techie friends and find that they are still spending hundreds of dollars for a brand new laptop, because they think they need the latest version of Windows in order to be safe from viruses, and in some cases the new laptops arrive broken or crippled by malware. For my part, the first thing I do when a computer arrives is to repartition and format the drive, wiping clean any crap on there and especially getting rid of Windows, which takes so long to boot. The reason people are investing in SSD technology, which remains in its infancy, is due to the slow boot time of Windows. My operating system boots in seconds. On my system, with its slow 5400 rpm hard drive, Linux Mint Nadia KDE boots in 36 seconds! I would like to add that this is considered slow by Linux standards, and a desktop like Xfce would boot faster. But I don't mind waiting 36 seconds for KDE.Post a Comment
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments
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