Windows messed up my icons unneededly

I just exchanged my monitor of many years for my grand father’s. The one I had been using was almost exactly square, this one is closer to 2:1 horizontal to vertical. After turning my PC back on and signing back in, I find my desktop icons are all scrambled around, even though the old arrangement could have been maintained within the new default resolution.

Slow, modern Heptameron, story two (II)

Back in 7th grade, I attended on instruction at a perennially, nearly terminally underfunded private school and met the person who, in elapsed time, has been the longest friend I have had to date.

(Side story.) In the first “Harry Potter” book, the school librarian is described as “looking like a perpetually underfed vulture”. Perhaps from experience, I parsed it as “perpetually underfunded vulture” for years.

Continue reading Slow, modern Heptameron, story two (II)

Microsoft’s half-and-half troubleshooters

It’s another interface proofreading failure from Windows!

Introduced in, I think, Windows Vista and retained to date, troubleshooters are standardized appearance little programs that Windows runs to solve a few common issues, like networking and sound. The current list is at Windows Settings > Update & security > Troubleshoot.

Here a screenshots of two of them, with the same irritating mistake of not making the instruction text agree with the options presented:

Playing Audio [Windows Troubleshooter]. Select a device to troubleshoot / […]Select one of the listed devices or […] select I’m having problems with a different device. / Options: NVIDIA High Definition Audio is disabled, I don’t see my device listed
I do not have enough interest to install Vista or 7 in a virtual machine and see when the wording changed and which is the original. I first noticed this, with the same text problem, in the Devices and Printers troubleshooter on April 13, 2019. Aside for looking stupid, this can’t make accessibility sense. Anyone that uses a screen reader, let me know.


Entertaining PDF errors in old (“legacy”) Edge

My opinion on Microsoft’s newest idea of their web browser, Edge, being taken from Google’s “Chrome” engine is based on surface impressions only. I still don’t use it for anything, but in earlier days noticed it had some really neat error messages. Firefox got rid of their “This might void your warranty!” warning on about:config, after (more understandably) removing the description of web cookies as “delicious delicacies”.

On December 19, 2019 (I’ve been planning this blog post since then), I tried to open a 0 byte PDF file in Edge and got this:

Scroll with lines of text blowing off the paper. Message: This PDF is corrupted / We won’t be able to open this one. Button: Report problem Link: Privacy statement

The information becoming mixed-up-ness, “blowing in the wind”, is a powerful one to me. There is some reference I am missing remembering, but I think it is close to Weir’s “Silent Conversation” ex-Flash game.

Around April 3, 2020, I made the same mistake and got this instead:

Folder standing up partially open with flying bug (looks like bumble bee) circling out of it. Message: Nothing to see here / Oops! Looks like this PDF is empty. Button: Report problem Link: Privacy statement

The bug-flying-out-of-container is symbolic of emptyness, and is usually seen in reference to an empty wallet. The explosm people (one of them) used this to advantage in their #1654, where two moths (?) were exchangeable for a gigantic horsefly (?) at a bank.

Sadly, to me, all that is gone now and we have this uninspired looks-modal-but-isn’t error:

We can’t open this file / Something went wrong. / Button: Refresh

Boring, less useful than the revised “legacy” message, and a useless option. I call this a loss. (Am filing it under “Interface Hall of Shame” because they went backward in usefulness of the message.)

Going through backups – Windows is happy again

I recently decommissioned an old Western Digital “MyBook” from before 2010 that had been my parents NAS when I lived with them, in the house they had where I grew up. Because I was not sure if there was something worth saving on the various backups and WD used I think an ext* filesystem, I had to restore it (1.51 TB) to a local drive to go through it.

I have a 1.81 TB drive as D: but it was half full of dashcam videos and also the most recent backups from before my parents and I went different directions. To get around this, I copied the oldest backup of my father (Windows 7 backup, using those opaque *.wbcat files) off the drive, deleting them from the NAS, and then removing obvious and large duplicates v. the most recent backup I had. I did this through 5 backup sets before getting to my mother’s backups, which used File History.

Somewhere in there I took a look at my dashcam footage and found that I had kept recordings of my back seat when the rear camera just sat on the cushions waiting for me to fix the mounting. I forget how many GB that was, but each video segment was maybe 300 MB for a few minutes.

Anyway, I have pared the duplicates (via SearchMyFiles, unpaid recommendation) across the 5 NAS + 1 prior (most recent) backups so that I have more than 10% free drive space on D:. This means Windows no longer colors the bar graph red instead of blue. YaY!

I just did the silliest thing (on Windows!)

I merged two directories and there was one file conflict. It was the same file, so I told Windows to not bother moving it. Then, to delete it, I absentmindedly Ctrl-x (cut) the file and then… opened the Recycle Bin and pasted it there. It worked, but how bizzare.

Just try and reinstall Windows on this

I have had, for some time, an “Irulu W10” tablet. After “refreshing” Windows 10 on it, then reinstalling Firefox, then generating a new profile for Firefox, then reinstalling Firefox, I now want to do a completely fresh reinstall of Windows 10. This is more of a trip than the MSI WindPad I had been using previously.

Continue reading Just try and reinstall Windows on this