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 Just Computers

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PostSubject: Re: Just Computers   Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:48 pm

Never enough though.
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PostSubject: Re: Just Computers   Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:49 pm

At least I gave up my idea about printing out the internet and putting it in binders.
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PostSubject: Re: Just Computers   Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:55 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Just Computers   Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:06 pm

Good one.
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PostSubject: Re: Just Computers   Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:38 pm

Thank you. I do my best.

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PostSubject: Re: Just Computers   Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:42 pm

This thread reminded me that I hadn't cloned the system drive in a while. So I took care of that. It's always a bit disconcerting - a wrong drive selection and I'm screwed. I use a program from Samsung that works great but makes it a bit difficult to know if I have selected the correct target drive. Other programs I have used make it much easier to discriminate.


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PostSubject: Re: Just Computers   Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:07 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Just Computers   Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:29 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Just Computers   Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:45 pm

Hilarity ensues.
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PostSubject: Re: Just Computers   Sun May 07, 2017 1:39 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Just Computers   Tue May 09, 2017 7:11 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Just Computers   Sat May 20, 2017 4:32 pm

After using the Samsung phone for a few months, I have decided that I quite like it, but there is not a significant difference between the Samsung and the new iPhones.

There has been one OS upgrade since I got the phone. The installation was very fast and uneventful. Surprisingly, there is a noticeable improvement in battery life. Everything else is pretty much the same. There is no noticeable reduction in performance.

The phone comes with the Chrome browser, which I like much, much more than Safari on the iPhone.

The message program is quite good. (It's important to use the standard Android program and not the one loaded by Verizon.) The text suggestions above the keyboard are very good. For example, there are two nicknames I often use when texting my daughter. When I start a new message to her, the program offers these two names as suggestions after I type the word "Hi". This doesn't occur if I start a  text to someone else with that word.  But it does get maybe a little too clever sometimes. I just sent a text to the handyman. Down in the message, when I typed the  phrase "I need", one of the text suggestions was "to be sprayed on". No kidding. Then it occurred to me that earlier in the message, the word "weeds" was used. Apparently, the program was responding to that. Not bad.
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PostSubject: Re: Just Computers   Sun May 21, 2017 3:17 pm

After the latest major outbreak of malware - the WannaCry ransomware business - I decided to look again at the anti-virus software I was using. This was partly because of an article - and a self-congratulatory message from the creators of the program I was using - boasting that users of this piece of software were immune from WannaCry and other ransomware.

I have always used free anti-virus programs, but decided to pop for the enhanced capabilities of the paid version (which is the version that has ransomware protection).

So for $20 a year I have a program which if very versatile, does everything I want from it, and a lot that I don't care about. It has an autopilot mode which is on by default and relieves you of having to pay any attention at all the program unless it notifies you that it has found a problem. You can download an iso file to burn to disk or flash drive which will boot with the anti-malware program but not your OS, in the event you have a really serious problem.

After I installed the paid program and ran a full system scan - which is very fast, by the way - it found two problems in an attachment to an archived email that I received fifteen years ago. None of the other security programs I have used noticed them over that period. I know what the attachments were and I know that they should be considered dangerous. They were part of a program I had written that inserted itself into the OS's file system. Nothing was safe from that code. Good catch by the program.

If anyone is interested, check out Bitdefender. Some of the finest Romanian software on the net.
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PostSubject: Re: Just Computers   Thu May 25, 2017 9:17 pm

Put down the popcorn and patch your media player

I know you use VLC, Howard (as do I), so you'll want to update to the latest version (link in the article).
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PostSubject: Re: Just Computers   Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:27 pm

Thanks for the head up, Richard.

I primarily use VLC for playing DVDs, but security patches are always welcome.
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PostSubject: Re: Just Computers   Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:28 pm

Has anyone installed an external BluRay player or burner to your computer.
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PostSubject: Re: Just Computers   Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:54 pm

I have not. I heard the early ones were problematic. They may be better now.
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PostSubject: Re: Just Computers   Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:27 pm

Most of the problems I heard about were caused by the fucking DRM and licensing fees. One thing you never want to do is buy a Sony BD player. I noticed in shopping around that a lot of the drives will not work with Macs, but there are still quite a few that will. Some drives don't come with the software needed to play BluRays, so you have a nice brick until you find the software. Oddly, it is easier, and free, to get software that will rip the BluRay disc, than to find software that will just play the damned things.

I ordered an ASUS drive and will let you know how it works out.
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PostSubject: Re: Just Computers   Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:50 am

BRDs take a long time to boot, and even longer if they utilize the BD-Live online content option, which I haven't seen in a new disc in a couple of years. Must be falling by the wayside.

Would be curious to know if the ASUS drive bypasses all that crap.
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PostSubject: Re: Just Computers   Wed Jun 07, 2017 6:25 pm

Got the drive and plugged it in. Windows recognizes the drive and displays the contents.
Windows, and I'm afraid Mac also, don't come with software for playing BluRay disks. From what I have read, this is all Sony's fault.

So I am downloading some third-party software to see what happens. Supposedly all is a piece of cake with the other - sorta free - software. We shall see (should say eventually we will see, with my internet service).

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PostSubject: Re: Just Computers   Wed Jun 07, 2017 6:39 pm

Downloaded a program called PowerDVD and the disk is playing beautifully.
The load time is just as slow as on a BluRay player. Rats.

Downloaded a couple of files which are supposed to enable VLC to lay BluRay, but it still fails. Have to look into that some more.

But now I can enjoy the complete original series of Twin Peaks which my sweet daughter got me for Fathers Day.

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PostSubject: Re: Just Computers   Sat Jun 10, 2017 5:35 pm

Not at all happy with the free-for-thirty-days PowerDVD program. Ugly and limited UI, with a huge (one-inch?) black border around the movie display. There's a program called MakeMKV which rips the BluRay to the hard drive. Then it will play in whatever. But it takes as much time to rip the disk as is does to watch the movie.

I couldn't give up on finding out why VLC wasn't working. I was using the 64-bit version (why not?). I installed the 32-bit version of VLC and got the BluRay playing just fine. Takes forever to load, but that's not VLC's fault. VLC has all I need on the UI and the display is excellent. VLC even has a crop function, which I have never used. The disks I am playing are remastered 4:3. The display has black bars added on the sides to create a 16:9 image. I've never seen this before. With the crop function, I can remove the black bars from the display. Very nice touch from VLC.

I'm about an hour into an episode and everything is working fine. Not perfectly, but close enough.
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PostSubject: Re: Just Computers   Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:08 pm

Not an issue for home users, so much, but noteworthy news anyway.

US-CERT issues North Korean cyberattack patch warning
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PostSubject: Re: Just Computers   Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:53 am

I see that the vulnerable items are SIlverlight and Adobe Flash. I don't use either of these, so I guess I'm safe. For now.
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PostSubject: Re: Just Computers   Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:05 pm

For those interested: I'm still  fussing with the BluRay player. I watched two disks of an eight-disk TV series (Twin Peaks, 1990-91) with no trouble. Then I decided to jump ahead and watch disk nine, which is the movie, "Fire Walk With Me." No joy. VLC couldn't find the aacs code for the disk in its database, even though it had the codes for the other disks in the set. Rats!

Scrounging around, I found a free program which can read the aacs code from almost any disk. Just run that before running VLC and all is well. I can even use the 64-bit version of VLC now, as I am not dependent on VLC for the aacs code.

All in all, I think BluRay is not ready for prime time on computers. The load time for the disk is several times as long as a stand-alone BluRay player, as the displaying program buffers a few hundred megabytes, and each byte must be decrypted. But after it's loaded, everything is fine.
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