new phone

Tuesday, 16 October 2012 09:22 pm
seryn: flowers (Default)
OK.
I've had a lot to talk about. It's beyond what I can say though.

So let me talk about something less confrontational.

I bought a Galaxy S III (blue) yesterday. I'm cautiously optimistic. There are HUGE detriments. Like stuff doesn't work just like it used to on my 3 year old phone. I got my Palm Pre a month before the first Android phone came out, so I have zero clues. There's a giant weirdness in how email accounts are set up in that you get one primary gmail email and everything else runs under this crippled mail manager. I think that might be fixable, but it's kind of boggling.

Does anyone know where the Google Chat client lives? I can't find that or the task list manager. I know I saw it somewhere---- but I can't seem to find it again. I looked into apps for that, but how do you tell whether the apps you're downloading are from nefarious people? I know Android phones can get malware. Seems like Google would want to make their own apps for their own stuff.
seryn: flowers (Default)
There's no non-offensive way to say this.

There's now a G+ Local thing.... it integrates Google Maps, Zagat, and reviews from people in your circles.

Guess what? I know a LOT of people whose opinions suck. I'm pretty sure they think this about me too. Look at your network page. Someone you have friended here on DW reads that shit. One degree of separation.

I went out for pizza with a friend. We got slices because we couldn't agree.

The Coffee Woman prefers frou frou places and frequently drops $50 on a meal for 2. Her favorite breakfast place costs 5 times what I spent last time we went out. We don't have any restaurants we both like, we always have to compromise and it's usually me compromising.

So frankly I don't see how this integration of advice from friends is going to help anything. Yes. Yes. I realize this makes it sound like I think all my friends are fools, which I don't. But the more I respect someone's opinion, the further away they seem to live. I do have a list of people I would have encircled or befriended if I were to join some sort of social media thing. The ones who could honestly list restaurants within walking distance... don't eat spicy food.
seryn: sheep (mirosheep)
Hmm. I do believe I may have made a decision to change cell phone providers.

I need a new phone. Mine is the Palm Pre and Google has announced that they're deprecating the external API for chat in about a month. My phone already can't have gmaps--- and the Bing variant is lousy in comparison--- it makes me want a GPS. I use the gchat a lot. I don't need it, but since it takes several minutes for SMS chats to go through (and sometimes it takes days), the gchat is a lot more reliable as long as everyone is logged in.

Everything I'm looking at in terms of smart phones says it's a 4GLTE phone. But the newest Samsung Sprint has (Galaxy Nexus, which isn't officially out yet according to Amazon, unless you're with Verizon) doesn't connect to the 3G network (some sort of bug) but the worst is that Sprint doesn't have an LTE network and won't be covering anything in California for the foreseeable future during their rollout of LTE. They've announced a handful of cities that are getting LTE in 2012. So.... they're selling a smartphone for full price ($200 with service is still full price to me) ((while Verizon is selling the same phone for $50 with service)) but it can only get data via wifi. Seriously. Although Sprint has an in-place 4G network, it's wimax and this phone doesn't do wimax.

I'm obviously not going to do business with AT&T. It kept me from getting an iPhone when they were exclusive to AT&T. Now I can get iPhone anywhere, so there's even less incentive.

I'm trying to decide if I want an iPhone or an Android one. I like having the Google stuff magically work. I loathe iTunes. But I'm really really really tired of stuff just not working. I don't want to worry about my phone getting hacked remotely. I don't want to worry about essential apps costing $2 all the time. The clock should work. But I need to be able to read email from all my accounts and send/reply to email. It's important to me since that's my preferred communication platform. I don't care if it will automagically upload my photos to facebook (I'd rather it didn't.) And I don't want to continually run into extra data charges--- so if I go with a non-unlimited package, there needs to be a cut-off so I don't incur fees.

But stuff doesn't work right now. It already doesn't work. I can't use my phone as an alarm clock. I can't scan QR codes and be automatically included in whatever that was. I can't do video chat. And there is NEVER an app for that. Plus the voice quality on my phone sucks, so it's not good for making calls. I don't like the slide out physical keyboard.... it's just time for an upgrade.

When I realized that no Sprint phone could be an upgrade because I'm going to get the exact same 3G speeds I'm getting now, if I'm lucky... I decided I need to switch carriers. What an enormous hassle.
seryn: different stars with a talk balloon saying "hi" (star)
Something good today. I figured out why my Windows nav was all screwed up. I could NEVER find anything ever. If I put a file down or closed a window, it was GONE. C:\Users\S was set to "hidden". It was hidden even from me. I had 7 copies of the same shortcut when I was trying to find the downloads directory and kept saving it to the favorites. Let me explain, when I unchecked "hidden" files APPEARED on the desktop.

I fixed it.

Stuff like that is hard to decipher and I fixed it without ever having seen this operating system before this instance, without knowing someone else who had fixed it and who explained, without knowing that it could get better.

Not saying I've invented a better water filtration system or solved the three-body problem (Simon asked me if I thought mathematics was fundamental to our understanding of the universe or our our interpretation of the universe and I said "it's obviously an attempt to understand the universe but falls far short of the reality." he was surprised I had such a strong opinion and asked why. I said, "The three body problem. Mathematics and physics at the current moment are incapable of addressing this solubly, yet our solar system has dozens of planets and moons.") or created something artistic. But it does come from a place of pride in my accomplishments because it's nontrivial.

I took a slew of pictures today. When I loaded them onto my laptop and could not find them, that was the incentive to do something about the nav issues.

rss reader issue

Sunday, 8 January 2012 10:30 pm
seryn: sheep (mirosheep)
I have a potentially stupid question, but is it possible to filter feeds in Google Reader? And if not, is there a reader that does this?

I read some tech blogs but they don't have subset feeds and there's just too much to keep up with. There can be hundreds of posts per day.

Also I read game blogs and would prefer to only get the games I can play. I tried searching for specific things, like download games and mobile games but you can't mark all things matching a search as read. So when I haven't had time to play new games in a while, there can be hundreds of new games. It takes quite a while just to go through the list with a first pass to get rid of hidden numbers games and things I can't play. That's not even reading the summary which might or might not indicate whether I should bother opening the full description.

So it makes sense that the whole point of having RSS feeds is to make your life easier, but if I can't filter them, it's not as helpful as it might be.
seryn: flowers (Default)
I'm having a vocabulary problem. I can only explain the techy device I need with handwaving and Google doesn't speak, "Ya know, like *this*, with the dongle and the wooosh wooosh, so it works!"

I have an ancient laser printer which uses parallel ports. I bought an adapter thing so it could be connected to a computer that doesn't have a parallel port. But that printer needs a new toner cartridge and it's mega slow. (Like upwards of 5 minutes per page.) So between when I got the adapter thing and when we stopped having a parallel port computer in active use, we got a multi-function printer/scanner/copier thingy. It's by Brother and prints in color.

Now that I have a laptop, I find it incredibly irritating to have to boot my old computer and watch it struggle to load web pages (the main reason I wanted to upgrade in the first place) and flail over starting Acrobat Reader to display PDFs. The Brother printer uses USB. So I could plug it into my laptop. But this still doesn't solve the fact that Simon wants to print things sometimes.

Our TiVo is so old that it came with a modem and would call up the TiVo servers, eventually we shelled out for a wireless USB thingy which allowed the TiVo to be on the network and just download whatever it needs via wifi.

We have an internal protected wifi network. (No idea how secure the security is, but I find it extraordinarily difficult to add devices to the approved list, so there's certainly a hassle involved and there are unsecured networks all over my apartment building, so I'm sure bandwidth thieves will look for easier targets.) My laptop doesn't have cords plugged in except for the charging.

What do I need to make the printer like the TiVo, where it can see the network? Is there a version of that device which could have the Brother printer drivers loaded into it so I don't have to worry about updating every single machine we own with the revised printer/scanner drivers?
seryn: sheep (mirosheep)
Stupidly I forgot the password to my new laptop. It has a fingerprint reader, so I never used it after the first day. I can't even reconstruct it with the sticky note I wrote the password onto in plaintext, so it must be hella secure.

Today, just for safety sake, I created another admin account with another password, so at least I'll be able to keep using it if the fingerprint reader craps out.

I feel really idiotic.

Watching next gen Speed Racer cartoons. So the idiocy continues.

I wish I knew what would make me feel better enough not to be completely stupid today.
seryn: flowers (Default)
Logitech is going to be selling an ambidextrous gaming mouse, the G300. It's corded. They have a wireless gaming mouse, the G700 but it's right-handed only. They have some decent ambidextrous wireless mice, but they have no programmable buttons and use batteries (it's unclear whether one must recharge the batteries or whether the 15-18 months life expectancy is without recharging; I might be able to tolerate buying a pair of AA batteries every year if it isn't intermittently inconvenient due to needing a charging cord as well, but that seems pretty unlikely in a $20 item when they can't manage that kind of battery life on a $50,000 car. Last time I had a wireless mouse, the batteries weren't rechargeable and needed changing every 3-4 weeks. It was incredibly expensive and didn't work very well about half the time while I was trying to eke out the last drop of power.)

I like the M570 trackball even though it's right only. I dislike the ambidextrous trackballs and no one makes lefty ones (I really don't understand it since I prefer to mouse on the left despite being a righty, obviously everyone would prefer that if they just tried it.)

I'm really less than whelmed. That's how I ended up buying a Razer mouse last time, because Logitech keeps missing the only boat I'm willing to sail.

Mousetrap.

Thursday, 1 September 2011 01:08 pm
seryn: flower with text (eryngo 2)
I need a wireless mouse or trackball for my new laptop. I have a wireless keyboard that I really love, but the wired mouse I'm using (although a surprisingly excellent mouse for under $10) is really irritating.

Parameters: I would prefer it to either be a trackball (and I know those only come in right handed or suitable-for-giants if it's ambi) or if it's a mouse for it to be ambidextrous. I want a scroll wheel and programmable keys. And it should be Logitech Unity compatible (so keyboard and mouse can share the same tiny USB dongle.)

I have tiny hands with short fingers. I normally mouse on the left. I'm willing to trackball with my right hand, but not really to mouse on the right because moving my whole right arm for mousing twangs my shoulder and twinges my forearm. Trackballs that are ambidextrous are meant for people with enormous hands and I can't cope with the big reach-around. A lot of awesomely programmable mice are right-only. That's unacceptable.

My old computer's mouse was a Razer Diamondback. I found the mouse to be very responsive and ergonomically more comfortable than many other options, but the drivers for it are abysmal and unmaintained. I realize that saying I'm going to buy Logitech because they're a big enough company to keep up with things is exactly why tiny companies struggle, but Razer is very unresponsive to user complaints even though they were still selling this mouse at the time of the problems I had. It's my second Diamondback and the first one was vastly superior, driver-wise, which makes no sense. I'm not buying another Razer product because they're 3 times as expensive as any other brand and they're still pretending to be a tiny unprofessional company that doesn't need to do any long-term planning in regard to customer satisfaction. But it is an awesomely programmable mouse that's ambidextrous and that's how I got started with Razer.

I love my solar-charging Logitech wireless keyboard. The only thing that would make it better is if it was also backlit. And Logitech does make a wireless rechargeable backlit keyboard, but it's not solar and is a lot heavier and has a much lower cool factor.

My old computer's keyboard is a Saitek Eclipse 2, which is another of those things that's amazing, but would have been a lot more awesome if it was done by a real company with more resources. There's an Eclipse 3, but it's got a much larger form-factor and won't fit on my keyboard tray. The 2 has backlit keys and I'm thrilled with how that works.... but everytime you pause your computer (sleep, reboot, restart, hibernate, whatever) it loses which color backlighting you'd been using. It's not a huge problem, but I'm pretty sure that if Logitech had made the keyboard there would have been a piece of downloadable software or a driver that would maintain settings like that. There are other people making these kinds of things that do a good job, but Saitek has an awesome product that they just don't do anything to support.

When I bought the laptop, I'm really glad I insisted on getting the nubbin thing because I loathe the trackpad. I wish one could disable it entirely. If I type using the laptop's keyboard, my thumb's "ankle" brushes the trackpad and then the computer loses focus and I'm not typing in the proper box anymore. It's quite irritating. But you can't play flash games using the nubbin thing without wanting to pull out your hair.

more of the awesomeness

Saturday, 23 July 2011 11:39 am
seryn: sheep (mirosheep)
Other than desperately wishing that there was a nubbin or touchpad on the new wireless solar keyboard, I am astoundingly happy. I'm still really happy with the new computer as well. I guess when I splurge on buying myself nice things, I really mean it.
because it looks really huge and I doubt most of you want to scroll past my ramblings 4 times today )

Gosh! Wow!

Friday, 22 July 2011 08:02 pm
seryn: water drop (crystal ball)
There were two MAC addresses. Simon came home, asked me what I did, looked at it and pointed out the second one. It's been smooth skating ever since.

The battery life is amazing. But what has been astonishing is how blindingly fast everything is. I figured the broadband we have here was the limiting factor, but it really wasn't. I got Opera 11.50 and Firefox 5 each in under a minute. When I got Opera 11.5 on my desktop recently, it took 4 minutes. Same connectivity, theoretically better connectivity since that has a physical cord. The keyboard is good. It's not like my Saitek backlit gamers keyboard, but that was needing to be replaced anyway since it's had too much coffee. I like the nubbin "mouse" better than the touchpad, but the touchpad is faster and more precise. So I'm enjoying that more than I thought I would. I'm still struggling with clicking buttons on web pages, but this is amazing.

I'm very very pleased.
seryn: flowers (Default)
Gaack.

I'm pretty sure there's a clause in any relationship which dooms only one person to the hell that is doing your own networking setup. Right? Or any sort of understanding that means, "Seryn doesn't have to fucking know her computer's MAC address and it's completely okay for her not to know hexidecimal counting."

#00 The LAN password is written on a piece of paper from a non-sticky stickynote pad. It's under the salt shaker on the table. There are a couple dozen of these sheets there. All these pieces of paper are covered in cryptic alphanumeric vomit. Phone numbers, IP addresses, catalog numbers for ordering gadgets, map coordinates, MAC addresses for devices unspecified.... and once you find the right paper, it has the MAC address for the original device (TiVo) interleaved with the LAN password and they're both hexidecimal. And written in pencil.
#0 Knowing the LAN password doesn't make it go.
#0.5 oh yeah, we have restricted access to only specified MAC addresses.
#1 The MAC address is not printed on a handy sticker included with the laptop.
#1.5 Windows doesn't know its MAC address and if you open Help and ask about MAC address, it suggests you might want to configure a new printer. (WTF?)
#2 I had to be online to find out how to look up my MAC address so I could be online. I guess if you're buying your first computer, you'd better really really really know what you're doing because this would be extremely difficult to bootstrap.
#3 After logging into the router. Which, because I had to do my Kindle wifi setup too I actually left myself a clue about.... it says "routerlogin.net user admin password [clue]" (([clue] is not the password, it's indicating that I wrote a clue to the router's password ON THE ROUTER.)) So I was able to login to the router. I was able to find the part that explains the problem.
#4 I was able to add the MAC address to my new laptop but when I went back to the laptop and told it to try connecting again, it still fails. No explanation. Maybe I mistyped the LAN password?

The new powerstrip I bought, however, is excellent.
seryn: sad face sheep (sadmiro)
I'm so glad I converted to gmail for this incarnation's email. Yahoo forced me to downgrade to their original mail service because their newest mail requires me not to be using Opera. There's absolutely no reason for them to support Safari but not Opera and if they're going to be bitchy about it, I'm going elsewhere. Which I did. And they deserve to be thrashed for it.

followup: iPod issues

Saturday, 16 July 2011 05:19 pm
seryn: sheep (mirosheep)
Whilst whinging about my dead iPod which wouldn't hold a charge long enough to link to my computer's USB port for charging... I looked up troubleshooting advice.

It turns out there are reset procedures. I did that. After the reset, it charged to 10-15%. (Which was a huge success, just getting it to accept charging.) Then I reset it again. Afterward it charged apparently normally. I charged it "full" and when that charge dropped to 60% in 4 minutes, I reset it again.

Then the next day I reset it a fourth time, and charged it fully again. It's holding steady at 85% charge after about a week of me not using it.

(Before, during the failure that starting the whinge, it would completely decharge overnight.)

The reset procedure involves toggling the "hold" switch several times, then hitting the select and menu at the same time. It feels like geek voodoo, but it sure beats soaking it in chicken blood and setting it on fire.
seryn: flowers (Default)
Can anyone recommend an excellent MP3 player (not software, a small device for bringing music to the gym)?

I have 5GB of music on my iPod. Which I did not buy for myself. It's a Nano 3G 8Gb. I find the volume controls to be quite irritating, but the battery life to be awesome. It's rechargeable. Or it was.

I don't care what brand it is, but it absolutely must be rechargeable and play for more than 4 hours on a single charge and retain charge through a week of non-use.

Having read the reviews and some of the discussion about other brands, I don't see that there is a real competitor to the iPod. And Apple's obvious intent is for users to buy the Touch. It seems like, once I get into that kind of device, that I might as well buy a tablet.

There are a lot of people who don't like the newest generation of Nano. I think the Shuffle has some detriments (especially people saying that breathing on it causes water damage and it's going to be totalled if you use it at the gym, which is my main use), but that's screen I need for music playing and it should, theoretically, increase the battery life.

I was using my phone at the gym, but my phone's headphone jack is dodgy. I couldn't use my phone to make calls after I'd plugged in headphones because the phone couldn't tell when they were removed... but I guess if I can live without an MP3 player until I replace my phone, I could use the phone as a music player. I paid less for my phone than the current generation of Shuffle costs.

Simon has one of those $10 cheapy MP3 players. It was originally mine, which he bought for me when I got envious of his. But he gave me the Nano and when his died, I gave him my cheapy one. The buttons were crappy, it used actual fucking batteries (which we never have, thus it requires a special trip to the store) and it was about the size of a box of travel size toothpaste. It's a dumb device, so there aren't initial setup issues. You plug it into the USB port, you copy just the songs you want to shuffle onto it (it doesn't know playlists) and it just does that.

I would like playlists. But honestly, I could cope without them as long as the device is rechargeable.

Any recommendations?

ps. I did order that keyboard.
seryn: flowers (Default)
Do I want a solar-charging wireless keyboard?
http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Wireless-Solar-Keyboard-K750/dp/B004MF11MU

+ Logitech
- not illuminated like current Saitek Eclipse II (which is a stellar keyboard but needs replacing from user abuse, and I sometimes pull the keyboard off my desk when the wire catches my foot on the footrest, so the wireless aspect interests me.)

It looks like it will fit on the desk space allocated to the current keyboard, and with it being wireless, I could slot it into a napkin holder when I wasn't using it.

I'd never buy a wireless item that wasn't rechargeable (I have battery issues), but cordless charging is the way to go. I've really enjoyed the touchstone charger for my Palm Pre phone.

(Interestingly enough there are cradle-charging vibrators now, no cords and more importantly, no holes for the cords to dock, increasing the water resistance and decreasing hygiene issues dramatically.)

I'm also considering buying speakers. I found a set on sale which claim to play music directly from MP3 players, so they're not just computer speakers. That would allow me to have music on when I'm at home but don't want to use headphones. The concern is what kind of plugs they have. Maybe it would be better to get some that also charge the player? I don't really need computer speakers. The dinky ones built into the monitor are more than sufficient. I have them muted 98% of the time. Simon, however, might like some. So I could buy them during the sale and if I didn't like them, he might?

These speakers here:
http://www.amazon.com/Duet-Speaker-System-Portable-Music/dp/B0007XU370/

ps... are people irritated that I rarely change the icon I use?

pps. I didn't say this publicly, but I bought a new computer over the weekend. It's not here yet.
seryn: sad face sheep (sadmiro)
I am annoyed with Yahoo Mail.

They are forcing a change to a new system that is not entirely out of beta (all the help pages suggest it still is, although the official launch was this week) and the email I received today says in about a month they're going to turn the old one off.

Ready for the kicker? They're not supporting Opera. They're supporting Safari which is about a thousand times less compatible and has a whole percent more users. (The Opera percentage is probably artificially low since Opera has a setting built in and set by default which lies about which browser it is. You can pick anything you want. I leave mine on Opera to help boost their results, but a lot of the time when something says it only works in IE, I'll toggle it temporarily. It's easy to do on the fly.) I've been using Yahoo Mail in Opera for 8 years.

Part of the reason I'm still using Yahoo Mail at all is because Google has a hidden war against Opera and every time they release a new feature, gmail gets a little weird... it used to stop working entirely. The Opera people release patches the same day and there is detente for a while until the Google people come up with something else that will purposefully make it break in Opera.

I'm using Chrome, but damn that shit is scary-ass. The whole point of it is to store all your online activity in Google's tracking servers. So I try to only use it for things Google already knows about me.

I use Firefox for all my real-person stuff. And I have to say that the new Yahoo Mail feels a bit clunky and kludged for a non-beta. Of course it's better than Linked In, but I'm pretty sure divination by marmoset entrails is better than Linked In's interfaces. (It's beyond shocking that Linked In is talking IPO, although if I were them I'd IPO too so I could take the money and get the fuck out of Dodge before everyone realizes it's "sock puppets advertising pet food with free shipping" bad.)

But I'm really annoyed about Yahoo making a sudden forced change to an unsupported and mostly untested product. Sure, if they'd like, I can move all my stuff to gmail. I could see them wanting to migrate everyone but you don't announce the forced change DURING the week you've done the official launch. You wait and see if there are problems. You actually support all whoooo-boy-that's-hard FIVE browsers or if you're going to fuck over people, drop Safari since including that is about 90,000 times harder than allowing people to use unsupported browsers that don't happen to match the official listed ones. (I have the latest Opera, there is ZERO reason I couldn't just be warned and told I can take my chances. That's what happened with the last conversion and it was really hard to back out of the change since one of the things that didn't work was the revert button.)

It's a free service and they are under no obligation to continue providing it, but this was not the way to tell us all to go fuck ourselves.
seryn: flower with text (eryngo 2)
Things are better with the insurance issue. (Like tons better. I'm almost happy about it now.)

Today I went to Trader Joe's to buy frozen fruit because Simon and I both bought bananas so we had 17. Simon wanted smoothies but when I admitted we didn't have any other fruit, he wanted something else for breakfast. Now we have strawberries, mango, pineapple, and some sort of mixed berry blend.

I'm making quiche filling, curry, rice, and naan all at once. They're not all for tonight, but the last three are.

When I was at Whole Foods, they had fresh chorizo on sale. Not the salami-style Spanish chorizo either. So I cooked up 3 links worth (sans casing) and added minced onion and minced potatoes. I had in mind that I would chop spinach and add cheese to blended eggs and then bake the whole thing. But right now I'm actually considering whether I should save some of this out in a dish in the freezer to be tossed into plain eggs on an ordinary day. Not to mention that there's more of it than it looked like. Theoretically one can freeze quiche though, so we'll see how far I actually get tonight.

Curry is with curry sauce from the grocery store. Maya Kaimal's vindaloo. I put in cubes of yukon gold potato, half a bag of baby carrots, rough-dice onion, and boneless lamb stew meat. I also added some water because I like my curry wet and so there's liquid for cooking the potatoes.

Today I went out for Thai food at lunch. Mango chicken stir fry.

There was a bunch of new Iron Man fanfic on AO3 that I found today. And, shockingly, most of it was het too. (I can buy Harry Potter being gay although it's unlikely and I'm still not reading the fic. But I cannot even comprehend anyone who has any experience with the Iron Man canon (in any medium) thinking Tony Stark is gay. Bi, sure, he's wealthy enough to have anything he likes, but not anti-woman-interest like a lot of the slash fic claims.)

There were also a slew of new novellas released as free k-books lately too. I grabbed at least 2 dozen yesterday. I'm starting to understand why people want software that allows them to organize their k-books. When I look at the title/author listings I have absolutely no idea what that was or why I thought I wanted it, or even if I thought grabbing it was questionable but I thought I should get it while it was free just in case. But organizing this stuff would take work.

I saw the new ChromeBook ads. I'm in the market for a new computer. Simon thinks I want a laptop so I'm not tied to my desk so much. But I'm kind of against laptops because their very portability requires some obnoxious security software. My desktop computer, which is behind 2 hardware firewalls, has the Windows security running, has anti-spyware, anti-virus, and a software firewall running.... got infected with a virus TWICE since I bought it. But the software firewall and the anti-virus fight with each other. The first anti-spyware had to be uninstalled when a version of something incremented because they stopped playing nice together and attempted to brick my machine. How on Earth do people use unsecured wifi hotspots for anything without Hal-ifying their computers to insanity from electronic syphilis?

Not to mention that whenever I use the media laptop or Simon's laptops, they stop connecting to the world. No one knows why. And they have these arcane rituals one must go through to get it back. The wifi switch must be turned on and off 3 times and the router rebooted. Or the battery removed and reinserted. Or one must hold a certain key which is only labeled in blue on black (signifying that one must use a function key in combination with another key in order to get the blue alternate function) but by the time one figures out which key that was and how to press it correctly, the machine has completely booted and the process must be begun anew from scratch because wifi cannot be hotswapped.

So. As much as I'm not a Chrome fanatic. As untrustworthy as I consider a machine whose premise is that Google owns all my data and I should pay them for the privilege. I still WANT what the marketing for the ChromeBook promises.

They promise that they will take care of your machine's security. No antivirus to update, no clunky firewalls constantly displaying error messages about "OMG! SOMEONE IS USING THE KEYBOARD!!!!!!" false positives. They promise the ChromeBook will connect; 3G, wifi, whatever, it will just work. No more networking nightmares that require a live goat and braiding potion-soaked sawgrass around the user's nutsack. (Which means, yes, actually it cannot work for me.)

It's not that I believe them that they can do that. And Google has a shite track record for supporting their self-branded hardware... remember the G1? Yeah, no one else does either, but Google forgot it first. But I'm really tired of this computer stuff being hard. I didn't breed myself a brood of tech support staffers, so technology needs to catch up to my declining brain power.
seryn: water drop (crystal ball)
There is a magic URL that fixes a problem I've had for several upgrades:

opera:config#UserPrefs|SpeedDialState

I hate that stupid screen that it displays when I need a new browser tab. Not because the idea is wrong, but it doesn't pre-render them internal to the browser so it would take an un-be-watched humanly measurable amount of time to give me a new "blank" tab. Obviously that had to go. I looked and looked and looked in the help. They don't want you to turn that off.

Finally I Googled for it. "I fucking hate the Speed Dial in Opera." [because it's important for you to know what keywords I used]

Then I got the magic URL which allows me to, essentially, regedit the browser settings. And you have to be REALLY careful when doing it, because scrolling with the mousewheel changes the settings.

I realize I that when getting a new tab is so expensive my computer churns over it that I probably need a new computer. And this one I got during my most recent job, so you know it's been ages. I've had 4 health insurance companies since then!
seryn: sheep (mirosheep)
I got a piece of software that works with Calibre, FanFictionDownloader (available from fanfictiondownloader.com and previous versions were vetted by CNET and others as being malware-free). The software is free.

One opens the software, one provides a link to the first chapter of the story. One clicks "check" and it looks up the link and what chapters are available. One selects the chapters desired (it defaults to all) and the desired output format (mobipocket, for Kindle). (The output directory and path to Calibre were part of the configuration.) Then one opens one's email (previously registered with Amazon as an approved sender) and sends an email with just the attached file to one's @free.kindle.com address. Then one turns on one's Kindle and activates the wifi. The converted story appears. If one is wise, one then deletes the sent email from one's email so as not to waste space maintaining several copies.

This software does well with fanfiction.net. I have not attempted to grab anything from The Petulant Poetess nor from Sycophant Hex. Both of those sites require authentication to access some/most of the fics I read, but I'm not sure that's the problem.

Also I am unsure whether I can use this tool to convert multiple saved locally HTML files (grabbing chapter by chapter) into one Kindle book. Because that would solve authentication issues. I wish this was a browser app built in and I wish I could figure out how to set the right-click menu so I can send the file by email using gmail instead of having it launch some weird thing.
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