Convocation 2018

It’s done!

I spent 3 years at Lethbridge College in the Engineering Design and Drafting Technologies diploma program.  The Convocation ceremony lasted from 1:00~4:00pm.  About 12:00 inside the “Player’s Entrance” (the back door) of Enmax Centre we gathered into groups according to program and then alphabetically.  People soon dissipated – it was obviously going to take a while.  I texted the scoreboard a picture of Mom & me and a message in case they came.  They came, but they didn’t see it.

Thanks Mom and Floyd for everything!!!  Could not have done it without you!!!

Pending application and approval, I’ll be a Technologist in Training (T.T.).  After two years of working in the field, I’ll earn my C. Tech (Certified Technologist) or C.E.T. (Certified Engineering Technologist).

winter is back

I was wrong.  Winter is back.  It’s April 7, and winter still hasn’t left.

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just browsing

At the advice of a friend from college a couple of weeks ago, I’ve switched from Mozilla Firefox web browser to Google Chrome.  Yet, i’m not convinced that this is the best idea.  So I’m trying other browsers.  Here are my thoughts.  (BTW – I’m using each browser listed to edit each blog entry.)

  • Google Chrome:
    • Yes, it works; but, it being Google, I’m concerned about privacy and them selling off my browsing habits to the highest bidder.
    • It often doesn’t seem to have a spell-check.  Being a former English teacher, I shouldn’t be worried about this, except that it’d be damb embarasing to mispell somthing wihtout no-ing it.
    • Adding Canadian English is a fight, defaulting back to American English.
    • It’s scrolling up-and-down is very choppy, unlike Firefox’s smooth transition from line to line.
    • There is no provision for automatically switching to a new tab when opening one (Crtl. T).  I have to manually switch (Crtl. Tab).
  • Mozilla Firefox
    • It works well, but it insists on its updates, changing some of its characteristics without me wanting it to.
    • Upon updating, it has a legacy function to allow older add-ons to run.  No, this isn’t a negative.  I’m just listing its characteristics.  This is a review, rememeber?
    • It seems to have a problem running Java or like programs.  (Yes, I said programs, not apps.  I’m old-school.)  Maybe that’s Java’s issue – not sure.
    • It has smooth scrolling.
    • It gives provission to jump immediately to the next tab when opened.
    • Older versions are not listed in Windows 10’s default web browser list.  Try as I might, in the end I must uninstall and reinstall Firefox to be able to choose it as the default browser.  No amount of web helps will help.
    • There are lots of add-ons available for privacy, picture downloading, password saves, everything.
    • It’s open source!
  • Opera
    • Don’t laugh.  Give it a try.  It works.
    • People laugh when I use it.  Stop laughing.
    • It looks the same as all the other browsers except that it has a side menu bar for FacebookWhatsAppSpeed Dial (the front screen showing tiled websites you’ve visited before), Personal News (a place to set favourite news websites, I guess), etc.  Handy.
    • No Canadian English spell check.  Only American.  No place to change it.  (Yes, I know how to spell favourite and colour and doughnut.)  Big downfall.
    • Fast.  It could be my imagination, but it seems faster than the others.
  • Internet Explorer
    • I really don’t know why everyone hates it.  It works.
    • It’s been stable all of its existence.
    • It has a spell-check and spelling error correction.
    • It can remember passwords and forms.
    • It can interact back and forth with Windows Explorer for internet, intranet, etc.
    • It’s made by people who are paid to do their job.
    • Anyone running Windows of any type can use it.  No downloading necessary.
    • It stores Favorites in a folder that is easily accessible.  No searching, no trying unsuccessfully to create a backup copy.
    • The Settings area doesn’t change with every version, forcing one to have to re-learn where everything is.
  • Edge
    • Not sure what is so different with this one or why Microsoft would create it.  Smaller?  Faster?  Better with tablets?
    • It works.
    • The icon looks too much like the ‘e’ in Internet Explorer.  Damn picky, aren’t I?
    • It has something called Web Note.  It allows someone with a pen (stylus) to doodle all over the website and save it.  Where to?  Not sure yet.  In what format?  Uncertain yet.
    • Microsoft has Extensions for it, much like Firefox I suppose.  I haven’t played with them yet.
    • Crtl. W actually works on this program (sigh … app), unlike a lot of the new Windows 10 apps.  (Press Crtl. W now.  But be aware you’ll have to go to og.allansplace.ca again.)
  • Safari
    • Oh my.  What can I say.  Firstly, it was really difficult to download Safari for Windows.  Try it.  Do a Google search.  Or a Yahoo! search, or an Ask.com search, or a GoDaddy, or a DuckDuckGo, anything.  Not many actual links to actual Windows downloads exist.
    • Secondly, right away Safari warned me that my browsing wasn’t secure.  It gave me a link to go get a secure version.  But … there didn’t seem to be anywhere to get it.
    • Next, that very same window bragged about how fast it was.
      I tried to insert a screen shot here, but WordPress doesn’t really work very well.  I think I’ll do a review on website generators next.
    • Then, I tried to edit this OGL entry, but the entire window to edit text was blank!  Good gravy.
    • And, finally, text in a web page is kind of fuzzy.  It’s not sharp.
    • I had a good experience with Safari (yes, for Windows) long ago.  But I guess times change.
      By the way – I’m now using Internet Explorer to edit this entry.
  • Netscape Navigator
    • Holy cow!  Yes, I’m serious.  A generation ago (people generations, not computer generations) Netscape Navigator was a serious contender in the browser realm.  However, things have changed.
    • Easy to download.  Easy to find on many web searches.
    • Doesn’t display my own Ongoing Letter blog page.  The menus are all over the place.
    • Doesn’t allow easy editing of the text.  It’s all white text on a white text window background.  Well that’s nice – not.  I have to highlight all the text to see it – coding and all.
    • Yes, I know what you’re thinking.  Why even bother?  Just because, I guess.  (I’m am using IE again for this entry.)

Here is more reading.

And a lovely picture.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Browser_wars#/media/File:StatCounter-browser-ww-monthly-201707-201707-map.png

And the winner is – oddly enough – Internet Explorer.  Why?

  • It works.
  • It’s on every Windows computer.
  • Spell check – in Canadian English.
  • Extensions & add-0ns.
  • And many, many more.

 

Kia damage at mall

I was at Centre Village Mall last Friday doing a CANstruction installation when mall security came around asking who owns a brown Kia.  Uh oh.  Now what?  Someone hit my car in the parking lot.  I went out and found a guy standing there waiting for me and my car’s front end sitting on the ground.  He backed into the stall next to mine, hit my car, decided to move forward, and pulled off the front end.  We talked with mall security and a witness from Save-On Foods then drove to what he thought was the accident reporting place.  Just as everyone had said, it’d moved to downtown to the main police station.  We went there, spent an hour reporting.  Police took pictures.  So now I’m waiting for his insurance company, Cooperators, to contact me to arrange repairs.

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performance issues

This entry is about my little Fujitsu Lifebook P7120.  It sits on my wooden IKEA storage shelf above my printers and surround-sound and plays study jazz on YouTube while I study at my desk.  It’s ten years old now.

It’s really too slow for anything else but play music in this age of apps running through the web.  I bought it used way back when and have had it ever since.

It’s gone through some transplants – new main board (a.k.a. motherboard) and power switch.  Also, an upgrade in memory (a whopping 1.5 GB), a solid-state drive, and a new battery.

I did the Windows Experience Index as a test.  Here are the results.

 

calm after the storm

Things are settling down now.  I’ve been on my ulcer meds for about two weeks.  Only one somewhat nasty attack during that time.  I’m happy for that.  The doc said the third time I get this there’d be some major s*** to deal with.  I’m hoping this is not the case.

There’s a kind of calm these days.  I can feel it about here and there.  Instructors are not as go-go-go as in the past, no work stress to deal with, no wondering how Father is doing, Mom is doing better these days (made gravy for Sunday’s turkey dinner), Floyd has no issues to speak of, friends (most) are understanding of the various things that have gone down, and the yearly Hell is gone (Pete knows all about this).  Calm before the storm?  No, after.  Feels good.  (Knock on wood.)

I’m not as behind in classes as I was.  I’m actually ahead in one but behind in another.  The rest are good.

I fixed my stereo.  …  Ha!  They don’t call them stereos anymore, do they?  My home entertainment system.

The fan had been making noise, so I cut it out with some metal snips.  In the process, I ended up destroying it.  I just wanted to squirt some WD40 into it.  So much for that.  So I duct-taped a computer fan with a limiter to it.  It seems to work just fine.  A bit overkill, but it is quieter than before.

My little Fujitsu also developed a problem.  A ribbon cable controlling the power supply broke.  I ordered a new used one online and put it in.  It took some monkeying, but it’s working now.  It’s now 12 years old, so it doesn’t compete with today’s computers, but it does make a good background music player.  “Ghibli” on “Study jazz” on YouTube.  Kevin introduced this to me during our final week of last term’s studying.  Look it up – unless you’re allergic to jazz.

slow server, howling server

If you find the server here at ‘Allan’s Place’ a little slow lately, it’s because it’s doing some boinc work.  The CPUs are maxed out at 100% pretty much full-time now.

Because of that, the server is howling like a freight train, so much so that I couldn’t concentrate on my schoolwork.  So I pulled up its stakes and moved it to the storage room.  Peace and quiet.

…until something else makes noise.

my PHP’s too old (or, something wrong with my Moodle!)

I’m trying to install Moodle on my newly formed server (newly online since 2017-08-20), but it shows a problem with my PHP installation.

Any ideas? Xibo states that my PHP may be too old because it doesn’t have php_fileinfo.dll included in its php.ini file.  It seems to me that I’d had Moodle up and running on this version (php-5.4.9-nts-Win32-VC9-x86) of PHP before.  Why not now?