Sunday, August 6, 2017

Hiroshima Anniversary - August 6, 1945


The start of the nuclear age is full of all sorts of second guessing. A major reason is due to the fact it is already fading into the mists of time.

A major reason for the bombing campaigns was to destroy the will of the people to resist. The attack on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 and soon followed by Nagasaki on August 9 for all practical purposes ended the War.

Now, looking back, it is easy to say what a horrible thing it was to destroy two cities so abruptly. No matter what the rationalization.

My one boss had been in the Army in Belgium and Germany and at the time the bombs were dropped was on a troopship that had just gone through the Panama Canal on the way to Japan. To say he was appreciative of Harry Truman would be an understatement.

Wars are genuinely horrifying events that it would be nice to say should never be permitted to happen. But they do! Whether by intent or error we seem to find ourselves swept up by them.

People get filthy rich, power transfers and often the seeds for the next conflict are planted.

Any survivors of Hiroshima would be in their 80s or 90s and probably in nursing homes or wherever so society basically has written them off. Just like the news media in general.

So soon we forget the past and then are doomed to repeat it.


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Hard Lessons on Saving Work

The big thing that you have to remember to do when using a computer of any sort is to periodically save your work. The hard lessons learned seem to come at the most painful times.


The ideas can really be flowing and the words correctly written but it is all for nothing if the stupid machine shuts off. It will always happen at the worst possible time and there is really no way back. Those ideas are gone forever.


I think there may be a problem with this $80 tablet I am trying to use. For absolutely no reason I am aware of it has shut off twice so far on just this simple little document. Maybe I am bumping something and not realizing it. We shall see eventually.


Maybe it is something to do with the computer or it could possible be a bluetooth keyboard problem. It is hard to get angry because of the ridiculously cheap price I paid. There is some truth in the saying that you get what you pay for.


I do like this little thing though. It is Windows 8.1. This makes it my only Windows computer at the moment. My other two computers are ubuntu and lubuntu as the price was right when support ran out for the Windows software and the linux options do everything I want.


My Ubuntu computer even manages to shut off itself unexpectedly every now and the but generally when I am using YouTube so nothing vital is compromised.


Using this tablet is much more convenient than using the library computers. For one thing, I have Dropbox synchronizing everything I save on all my personal computers.


The big thing that you have to remember to do on all the computers is to press the Save option regularly. The big thing that you have to remember to do is to realize that there is probably some spook watching over your shoulder waiting for the perfect time to nail you.


Do not ever get so obsessed with what you are doing to forget how much of your fantastic work can go down the sewer in the blink of an eye!









Monday, May 8, 2017

Alien Musings




I get so irritated with all the speculations about advanced aliens, the aliens among us, alien installations in Antarctica and the oceans to say nothing of the moon and other places.


The level of hubris in our society that we are the final and greatest step in evolution is actually silly.

Our history is minuscule in nature.


So called histories are written by the victors if recorded at all. Go back a couple of hundred years and what is written is open to conjecture. Go back a couple of thousand and there is very little we can understand at all.

Maybe we are not the "smartest" people who ever existed.

 

Maybe there were what we consider as advanced societies in the past. Serial different societies. Maybe they killed themselves off by biological warfare or by the use of biologically modified foods that did infinite destruction in the future generations.

Who really knows?


If only we could find some of their computers. The only problem is things like that only last a few years and then they are gone. Just like our current vast amounts of digital data given a period of time. Maybe we should be carving our important records in stone to give them a little longevity.

Are we the first people to have escaped the surface of the Earth?


How can we be so self centered as to think that no one in the previous tens, hundreds, or even millions of years previously thought of ways to do this?

Maybe there are self sufficient colonies distributed through the solar system who have escaped the plagues and asteroid strikes and abrupt climate changes on the home planet. They are all who survived and possibly reseeded our planet after the disasters.

Mutations over a vast number of years and in varying environmental circumstances would make us very different. Maybe our current structure is the result of biological research in days long gone. Maybe our current diseases and frailties are mistakes of some sort. What if they are ways of controlling the population?

Could all these supposed aliens merely be our predecessors?


Asteroids have struck the Earth. Climate has changed radically and abruptly. It is very difficult to believe that our current version of humans are the very first to do anything.

Could the scary creatures of Greek, Roman and other mythologies have actually been based on biological research by previous civilizations?

 

It is very difficult to prove anything with no real records. The Jews only go back about 5000 years. Egypt, India and China really can not go back huge amounts of time either.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Rain Today, Tomorrow, Etc.

Many, many years ago, in the good old days, this house was heated using oil.

Actually, heating oil was so cheap that it did not make any sense going through the cost of converting to gas heat. The furnace was actually a converted coal furnace from the real good old days.

The oil company was Ashland and they would periodically send out tips on economical usage with their bills, as energy companies still do today. They could be quite useful.

I particularly recall one that was a reply to a question about when to shut the furnace down for the summer. After all, you get some hot days in May and it would be nice to be able to take out the storm windows and put in the screens as soon as possible to take advantage of the nice weather.

The reply was a cautionary one. It was suggested that June was a much better choice for shutting off the heat. There is quite a bit of wet and even cold weather to be had in May. The risk of mold in a damp, unheated house is considerable and aggravated by the erratic weather.

To say the least, I thought this was just sort of a sales pitch to sell a little more oil at the time.

From experience though, all you have to do in May is shut off the furnace and open the house up and you will definitely get a cold, wet streak. It can get quite expensive switching the furnace on to get some heat and end up heating the great out of doors.

In this part of the country it just is too soon in May to put those screens in regardless how many of your neighbors do. The Niagara Frontier and similar geographical locations just have too much variety in their weather.

Just a look out the window today will show this. A week of rain and cold in May with maybe a little bit of snow mixed in is not all that unusual.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Vista Is Gone

The day before Microsoft officially ended support for Vista my computer made a funny sound while I was watching a Youtube video. It then shut off and restarted and said I had to run a computer check.

The check was run and the computer restarted. It worked fine for a while and then shut off again. This happened a number of times and at various times I was instructed to run Startup Repair and checkdsk. I even tried running Checkdsk with the repair option which takes a couple of hours.

Letting the computer run overnight the usual backup ran ok and everything seemed all right but when I started using it I started getting my reboot business.

Now what to do. The system was unstable. Who could do anything if it was going to shut off unexpectedly?

I had tried a program System Mechanic which was highly rated by some reviewers but I had taken off because it seemed quite effective but it had I lot of added in functions I did not need at the time.

Checked on Google and found it was on sale for about $25. No second thoughts. If I could get the computer going for that small amount it would be worth it.

Ran the scans and did the repairs it called for. Could not get anything to start by clicking desktop icons. Startup menu showed but everything was rearranged and mouse clicks had no effect.

This is a total disaster. Shut off power using the switch because nothing else worked.

Turned on power and was asked whether I wantad to start windows normally or in one of the safe modes. Chose normal and got a black screen. No prompt or anything.

Went through this again thinking maybe safe mode would work and maybe let me use checkdsk. No luck.

Do not have a startup disk and do not think the CD drive works any way.

Have a stick with 64 bit Lubuntu on it but that is no good for this 32 bit HP computer.

Went to the old Acer computer with Lubuntu on it with the stick and downloaded a new *.iso file of 32 bit Lubuntu and managed to get it loaded on the stick so it would act as a startup for the installation.

I decided to overwrite everything on the HP because everything in windows was just locking up.

Used the boot menu option to boot up from the stick. Worked good so I figured "why not?" and proceeded to install Lubuntu.

Install went great. Everything worked great. Firefox worked great and I got access to my emails. Even got the printer working easily.

The only problem for me was Lubuntu is really a minimalist system for older and smaller computers. There is just a plain screen and you have to figure how to install everything on it.

I wondered if maybe the full functioned Ubuntu with all its menu options might be a better choice long term for this machine.

There is a startup disk creator available on the latest version of Lubuntu so I decided to try downloading the Ubuntu iso file and installing it on a startup stick. I could always go back again if I wanted.

Everything went great. The install could not have been simpler. I am now running Ubunto 16.04 and the computer seens to be working perfectly.

I do have some problems like my backups are on an external hard drive that only seems to work on windows with backup software that is only for Windows. I will work my way through this somehow in time. My modem does not work either.

At least the computer now seems to be wooking quite well. The reboot problem seems to have vanished with the installation of Ubuntu.