Hello

Oct. 10th, 2015 10:14 pm
keresaspa: (Obelix)
Such is the regularity with which I visit dear Edinburgh these days that it hardly seems worth kicking this thing into life just to describe the latest visit. Still, it's a pattern I've established these last twelve years or so and as such it must continue. If there is a moral to this story let it be thus - don't walk backwards, it gets on everybody's tits.

Mulch )
keresaspa: (Ivy the Terrible)
See the world, right? Can we just end it now? When things come to this it's hard to see what purpose there is in continuing.

So far reaction seems to be universally negative but I have little doubt that the brain-dead, technology-obsessed morons who make up the present generations will quickly sign up this crap in droves, just like they did with Facebook, geocaching, apps and all the rest of the pointless, snooping shite that everybody falls for hook, line and sinker. Fortunately my own continuing lack of a Facebook account means that I'll spared the slew of one star ratings that a gruff, technophobic, taciturn, Wednesday's child like me deserves but I'll say now that were I involved I would happily rate the two creators of this nonsense as one star people and even more happily describe them as the pair of complete and utter wankers that they are.

Orwell, you were miles off mate, as even you couldn't have imagined things would turn out as truly awful as they have. Sodom and Gomorrah times again.

Last straw

Aug. 20th, 2015 08:28 pm
keresaspa: (Ivy the Terrible)
These tablets and smartphones and what have you have a lot to answer for as far as I'm concerned. Their tiny screens and limited capacities mean that they struggle to cope with proper websites and so need their own crap versions. Yet, how many websites, looking to cut costs, just think "sod it" and make one across-the-bard site with a lot fewer features aimed at the mobile market but forced on those of us still welded to desktops? Add last.fm to that list of good sites butchered to please you touchscreen sheep. Good God that new version is abysmal. a mass of pointlessly huge images, needles white space and very few actual features, all in the name of chasing the mobile moron squad. My favourite site for a long time (an accolade it has lost to rate your music in recent months, at least until they balls it up in a few months) the new version is just horrendous and so far removed from the wonderful old version that I'm actually questioning whether or not it's worth continuing to use it. God knows I love the statistical aspects of music listening (seriously, I'm very OCD about it) but it's nearly impossible to follow now and after a few days of the new site I'm finding it terribly frustrating.

OK, realistically I know stuff like this doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things but I had got very used to it the way it was and don't want that taken away from me. Reaction across the board has been negative too but I doubt they'll change it back, instead adopting the same "we know best" attitude that sites always take until finally they look around, realise they've made a total MySpace of things, but realise it's too late as everybody has already buggered off in disgust. The sad demise of a once spectacular and virile website.

So whilst it lasts I'll take this opportunity to share with you, under the cut, the ten songs I have listened to most thereon since I took up my membership in January 2009.

So long ago. )

:(

Mar. 3rd, 2015 07:43 pm
keresaspa: (Diggory)
The disc drive on my laptop (I'm assuming that's the proper name - the bit that plays CDs) has been dicking me about recently. The button to open it won't work and when I force it open using the small hole beside the button that you ram a needle into it won't read any CDs. It whirrs and creaks and makes all manner of bizarre noises but won't play a thing. It has been acting the goat for the last week or so but eventually I could get it running if I was persistent enough but last night it gave up the ghost entirely and now recognises sod all.

All of this raises the question of whether or not there is a way to fix this, given that I have absolutely no engineering skill whatsoever. Or if not is it worth my while taking it to a repair place and if so how much are they likely to sting me for something like this? Or failing that is there such a thing as a replacement add-on/plug-in/whatever the hell they're called disc drive that I can shove into a USB port and run through a laptop?

Help desperately needed here as these sort of balls-ups by computerical stuff really upset me as I always feel so powerless when they happen. [livejournal.com profile] burkesworks, let's be having you!

Gghngh

Feb. 12th, 2015 07:20 pm
keresaspa: (Homer rage)
The other day I turned this old heap of junk on and it went haywire with another of those thousand-important-updates-that-do-fuck-all-restart-computer-now-or-it-will-explode things. So I did just that and ever since my Firefox has looked bloody weird. Two examples are included for clarity, click on them for a better view:





As you can see the font has gone all weird and lo-fi and is barely legible in the Wikipedia editor in the first one. After a brief search I chanced upon the suggestion that I could edit the font in Firefox itself by going options > content > default font and I did just that but, as is always the case in these sort of piddling little things, it made bugger all difference and it still looks like a pile of shite.

So that's the story. Help!!!
keresaspa: (Tommy Cooper)
Given that it proved rather successful the last time I attempted it (thanxguise) it would be remiss of me not to bring my latest laptop woe to this august forum. Admittedly this one belongs more to the category of minor annoyance rather than major catastrophe and I've been able to largely endure it for a month or more now. Nevertheless the issue this time is that the letter "m" key doesn't work properly. Well, to be fair it does work but only if I give it a good solid bang and if I get carried away and get a head of steam going on the typing when I read back what I have written it is invariably littered with missing m's. So is this just something that I have to endure due to the age of the old beast, something that only a seasoned pro can fix or is there a little wrinkle that you know whereby I can fix it myself (bearing in mind I'm so clumsy and oafish that I'm almost certainly a changeling)? As ever any help greatly appreciated.

Spy Hook

Aug. 26th, 2014 07:36 pm
keresaspa: (Cartman)
Yesterday, under a bombardment of jargon and severe duress, I installed the most recent free version of Spybot to replace the earlier version that had served me well these years. Today I am heavy with regret, surveying the mess it has made of my computer. My hitherto useful start menu has been cleared and nothing will reappear on it and whenever I turn on the old machine I get umpteen warnings about programmes not running, all due to the aforementioned Spybot, not to mention it constantly claiming it can't deal with "malware" in the first place.

Which brings me to my question - is there any way I can do without this ill-formed abortion of a computerical thingamajig or am I lumbered with it and the altogether more user-unfriendly contraption it has left me with? If any of you know the remotest thing about this then speak now as I'm tearing my minimal hair out. If it's of any relevance I also have the free version of AVG 2014, something called Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and something else called CCleaner (that I never use) presumably doing similar tasks to Spybot. Any thoughts. If you're hiding in the shadows [livejournal.com profile] burkesworks, now is the time to emerge.

EDIT: The start menu seems to be re-adding things again so maybe ignore that bit.
keresaspa: (Giant Haystacks pissed as a frt!)
In Ballymena today I chanced upon this sign in a charity shop window. Now before you go reaching for your tin hat and prepare for battle, don't bother because I'm not about to launch into some jeremiad about abortion. Frankly abortion is one of only two issues I can think of (the other being fox hunting) where I view both sides, be they anti-life or anti-choice, with equal contempt because of just how dogmatic and stubborn they both are.

Rather it is the middle word in the statement that has drawn my eye as it is part of a rather strange recent trend. There is a similar sign in an off-licence on Belfast's Shore Road stating something along the lines of 'ID will be required in "all" cases'. Now obviously in that case it is clear that emphasis on all is meant but that somebody semi-literate had mixed up underlining with inverted commas but the Ballymena one genuinely confused me as I didn't realise that the building in question was an anti-abortion charity place until today as they have now plastered the windows in related images. The decline of written English is rightly lambasted by all and sundry but this recent development is up there with "should of" and similar recent offences in terms of sheer stupidity. Misplaced apostrophes and the like are annoying but perhaps forgivable* as there are some rules that you have to get the hang of there before employing those little blighters properly but underlining and inverted commas are clearly completely different and confusing them is not only unforgivable but mystifying. They are absolutely nothing like each other so confusion can never be justified. Please do not get this wrong again, sign-writers. Or do I mean please do "not" get this wrong again?

No, I don't.

* Oddly enough this little piece of waffle revealed something I really can't forgive. I've recently switched from Google Chrome to Firefox and was amazed to find that the spell checker on here insists, against the ukases of any and every dictionary, that the word forgivable is actually "forgiveable" and marks the correct spelling with a red line. Worse still, it is happy to accept the derivative unforgivable in its proper form and marks it wrong with the extra e. Not only that but apparently the browser's own name isn't actually a word and gets a red line but it has no problem with rare or archaic words like "jeremiad" and "ukase". Hell, if it didn't bugger up my computer royally I would be back to Internet Explorer forthwith. Artificial intelligence, my arse.
keresaspa: (Daffney)
So, a lot of the time now when I scroll with my mouse up or down the page moves at a ridiculously slow rate and in small increments. If, for instance, I scroll up half a page it will move up a couple of lines, stop for a while, move up a couple more, stop and so on until it finally completes the scrolling that properly should take a nanosecond. There isn't really a particular pattern to this - any website, with the possible of exception of Wikipedia, is liable to be effected in this way and generally there is nothing that can be done to fix it (refreshing, for example, makes no difference). This is combined with other faults - general slowness, windows freezing if I ignore them for more than a minute, the computer really struggling if I close a tab, the wrong page or a blank field appearing when I switch between tabs, boxes taking several seconds to appear when I right click, "Shockwave" crashing constantly, the text constantly lagging behind whenever I type anything in a browser (including this post) etc. The old laptop has been generally crap for several months but it is increasingly approaching unusable territory.

I put all this here on the off chance (a) that anybody still reads this and (b) if they do they can tell me if this is likely to be a fault with my internet connection or the laptop itself. It could be that this machine is in its death throes but I really don't want to blow several hundred quid I can ill afford on a new computer only for it to start all over again because it is bloody Virgin Media pratting me about again. So just in case anybody is lurking please help me as this thing is a few minutes away from a high speed trip through the bloody window.
keresaspa: (Huffy beardy weirdy)
So am I the only one who came to this site today only to find it was all in Russian? Of course it might be one of the sundry weird things that happens every time I use the internet, like Google never working properly and that. After all livejournal presumed I was from Malaysia the other week whilst last.fm has apparently decided that I am a lonely but fashion conscious Muslim lady as the ads I see on there are always for an Islamic dating site or links to cheap but funky hijab sites. It gets weirder by the minute this internet.
keresaspa: (Tiger Jeet Singh)
One will often hear particularly strong drink described as "paint stripper" but it never occurred to me that certain crazies might actually drink the stuff and such make it a legally controlled substance only available from certain licensed outlets in north Antrim. Well, that's the only conclusion I can draw after a day spent visiting innumerate seedy hucksters in a vain attempt to procure a vial of the stuff.

Perhaps I should start at the beginning. Several months ago I painted a large wall in my gaff with blue paint. As a result of the paint being dodgy and my long-standing, and seeming unsolvable, damp problem blue wall never dried properly and even yet there are parts of it that are sticky to the touch. As such I resolved to get rid of it and start again and to that end the last time I was in Ballymena I got a tin bottle of jollop to remove said duff paint from a hardware shop closing down sale. Being the procrastination aficionado that I am the tin bottle sat there for several weeks before I finally got stuck in yesterday when, inevitably, it proved to be nowhere near enough for the whole wall. "No problem" I thinks to myself "it should be easy enough to get more". Don't you believe it! The substance is unavailable everywhere and even the possibility of a return to Ballymena to get more is hit on the head as Gardiner's of Harryville has closed it's doors for the last time. So as it stands I am left with an uneven patch of bare plaster surrounded by decaying soggy blue paint and no prospect of fixing it any time this side of doomsday. And to add to the fun whilst I was scraping yesterday I also scraped a chunk of flesh from my left index finger. In itself this would be annoying but old pointy lefty is effectively my computer finger, the one used for scrolling on the mouse and the one that does the vast majority of my typing (pointy righty gets involved occasionally but it's mostly one-fingered) and as such everything computer-related is an even bigger chore than usual. It doesn't help that my laptop is playing funny buggers again, wiping my Solitaire saves as and when it sees fit, something I have finally decided is being done by AVG for some reason. So as a result of all this sulk, pout, upsetting.

Bloody DIY.
keresaspa: (Alice)
So part of the reason I haven't been on here recently has been problems with the laptop. Allegedly that was fixed by Virgin Media recently when they boosted their signal after it fell to virtually nil but, whilst that has fixed a few problems others abound, all at levels that are confusing the hell out of me. These problems are:

1) issues with using search engines that prevent me from using the site:url function for some websites
2) some sites not appearing in search engine results when they really should
3) a Spybot scan revealing no issues. Now that never ever happens. It always uncovers a few minor things at least but nothing?!
4) one of those spammy warnings about my computer being infested with viruses appearing on a slightly disreputable website. I would have ignored that were it not for:
5) Solitaire or Patience or whatever the hell it is called suddenly wiping its records. I had played it a few thousand times (yes, I know) only for it to suddenly say I had never played it before with all the statistics disappearing into the ether. This resetting happened a few times today but now seems to have stopped and is showing me at eight plays.
6) All sorts of other minor stupid things, including the last.fm thing on livejournal not working (although that might be lj's fault as most everything else that goes wrong on here seems to be their fault).

AVG killed off an infection a little while ago but it looked like something fairly minor and I have no idea if it is connected to any of these five events. The statistics disappearance has scared we senseless as things disappearing like that give me thoughts of worms or other things that eat your files. Sense would dictate I should transfer stuff to a USB stick to be safe but of course I don't have one available with any memory.

To be quite frank all of this is far too confusing for me so I'm putting this crap here in the forlorn hope that somebody might be able to tell me what is wrong and what I can do. So on the off chance that anybody still reads this crap and knows what to do let me know before I go insane
keresaspa: (Alice)
The great laptop power outage has thankfully come to an end but not without one of my periodic bouts of one banana skin to the next syndrome. As per instruction I ordered a replacement PSU from e-bay but, being a cheapskate, I ordered one without a plug, reasoning that my own one was fine and I wasn't worth paying the extra few knicker. Big mistake but we'll come to that in a minute. In the meantime the complete lack of resilience in my laptop's battery restricted me to about fifteen minutes a day at most, especially after a cheeky attempt to the use the PSU anyway resulted in it turning itself into a bolt thrower and banging out smoke at levels not seen in my house since I stubbed my last Castella. The last two days have, as a result, been filled with any attempt to fill in time that would otherwise be given over to the internet. Much has been accomplished, including rereading the entire Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series, deciding that each story was too short and that some of them were a little silly ("The Man with the Twisted Lip" = come on), finally framing and hanging up my Ho Chi Minh picture which I acquired five or six years ago and rearranging my collection of kokeshi and Momiji. All good stuff, lady, but not my precious internet and time has hung heavy on my hands. So vile it was that I was even reduced to grabbing fifteen minutes at Cregagh public library, deep in the heart of loyalist east Belfast, this afternoon. How I used to use public computers constantly is beyond me as the total lack of privacy is abominable.

Anyroad whilst I was there the replacement PSU arrived and so I came home full of the joys of midwinter and hooked it up ready for action. Then guess what - snap, crackle and pop all over again. It turned out it was the plug part that was the problem rather than the box. So I managed to get my hands on a replacement plug part from a local Mr Fixit we know only to discover that it was three pin and I needed a two pin one. Finally just over an hour ago I made it to a late night branch of Curry's where, after a lot of faffing around and a crushing sensation that they didn't have what I needed, I finally touched for the cord I required. The couple of pound I saved from e-bay evaporated as the Curry's version cost a hell of a lot more but I decided I could wait no longer and so blew over a tenner on the bloody thing. To cut a long story short (too late) my favourite phrase in cristendom as in hethenesse - "plugged in, charging" - is now once again visible and my two new parts are emitting neither scent nor sound just as it should be. An odyssey it has been and it bothers me that in three short years I have become so reliant on having internet on tap but for now I will rejoice in the fact that the Great Laptop Outage of 2011 has come to an end. O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!
keresaspa: (Greylag goose)
So last night by a complete accident (the accident being that I am accidentally a total clod with clown feet) I stood on the magic power box that makes my laptop battery work. I've no idea what it's really called but it's the box thing that sits halfway down the flex that links laptop to electric wall socket and ensures that your screen stays brighter and you don't get "silent mode on" warnings. So next thing I know the magic power box shoots off a bunch of sparks and the smell of burning plastic is wafting everywhere, albeit with no visible fire. As I type this now I am using said piece of damaged machinery and to its credit it is working fine, powering this thing like there's no tomorrow. The only problem is the smell of burning plastic remains and despite my total lack of computer hardware knowledge even I get the feeling that when the magic power box starts shooting off lightning bolts things ain't quite right. Thus, knowing as I do that there are two or three of you out there who are very well versed in this sort of thing, I am throwing this little story out here to ask if that burning plastic smell is a sign that I should stop using the power thing immediately lest I burn the house down round my ears and if that's the case is it possible to get replacements for this sort of thing or even to get them repaired as the old laptop would die pretty quickly without it? Any help appreciated as, like all things electrical and computer-connected, this one has me licked.
keresaspa: (Tiger Jeet Singh)
Does this bloody site ever work now? Being the technophobe that I am I have no idea what "Varnish Error 503" means but I am sick to the back teeth of looking at it. I don't know if it is yet another bloody Russian attack or if they are STILL updating their servers but it is ridiculously irritating. I'll waste no more of my words as I fuly suspect this post to disappear for the next few hours and I'll end with this.

One for RonnieB )
keresaspa: (Scrubber Daley)
Yesterday was a day of shifting and hauling umpteen bits of furniture in an ultimately futile attempt to squeeze three newly acquired pieces into our already packed house (two made the cut, one has had to be sent on its merry way). Inevitably today is a day of nagging pains in the shoulders and arms, with the right shoulder pain that my recent bouts of physio alleviated (for a day or two) making a comeback. Let's face it if physio actually worked, rather than serving as a cut-price quick fix, the government would withdraw it immediately and make it only available through Bupa. So ouch then.

One other thing - has anybody else found Google to be almost unusable recently? Every time I try to load the bloody thing it takes forever and often freezes my computer. Or is this another of those things like Internet Explorer that all the cool people have stopped using leaving only idiots like me behind? Either way Google crap or laptop crap?
keresaspa: (Dare to Believe)
So my frustration with the new and improved (for which read unusable) Internet Explorer as well as my brief abortive attempt to utilise the all hype no substance Firefox has now progressed to a dalliance with Google Chrome. Now, I've only been using it for five minutes or so but I must admit it isn't at all bad judging by first impressions. Inevitably however a "but" must be added to this. My McAfee bar has disappeared from the top and the bit at the bottom that tells you the name of links and stuff, whilst also completing the metaphorical frame of a webpage, has also done one. Admittedly that bottom bit is not really important but it is what I'm used to from an aesthetic point of view and you all know what a conservative I am. So if anybody with past, present or future experience of Google Chrome would care to tell me what to do to get these back (assuming it is even possible) I would be much obliged.
keresaspa: (Default)
I happened to chance upon the poster illustrated to the side on a bus shelter on the Cregagh Road yesterday. First of all, boo hoo, I missed a fun day out of 36th Ulster Division commemorating kick the pope shenanigans as the event advertised happened last Saturday. Woe is me on that score. My eye however was drawn to the legend at the bottom - "Everyone Welcome". Now come on! I'm sure there are a number of people who would be welcome but everyone - I doubt it very much. Let us assume that a gentleman of Palestinian extraction but born and raised in Poland turned up and brought with him his best mate who just happened to be Neil Lennon; would they be welcome? Welcome to a bloody good hiding maybe but that's about it. Perhaps if Johnny Adair decided to return to Belfast and make this event his first public appearance whilst also deciding that the prefect company for such a nice family day would be former Republican Sinn Fein President Ruairí Ó Brádaigh would they also be made welcome? You never know but I doubt it.

And one final point - the march apparently involved two grand UVF hostelries, going from the Park View bar on the Ravenhill to the Belvoir on the lower Newtownards Road. Well, last time I checked neither such boozer exists any more. The Belvoir bit the dust a couple of months back and now lies vacant with a threat from the local UVF scrawled on the front warning any lovely property developer thinking of buying and trashing said bar that it might prove more than his life is worth (shooting property developers - have the UVF finally found a useful purpose that we can all benefit from). The Park View meanwhile is still going strong but the sign above the door now reads the Continental with its former name confined to the dust. I think the least one should expect from something as prestigious as the UVF band is a bit of accuracy. Robin Jackson would be spinning in his grave if he knew.

And finally a plea to those of you who use Feedjit. Is it as borked for you as it is for me? It ignores most of my visitors now and also prevents me from accessing my live feed as the link here is dead. Just me or is everybody finding it banjaxed?
keresaspa: (Default)
So, after the recent problems with the new version of Internet Explorer I decided to give the much praised Firefox a try. Am I missing something or is this one of those deals like Googlemail that everybody loves but I hate? I never thought I would find something to make IE9 seem reliable but Firefox has done just that. Every window seems to turn black constantly whilst they change position seemingly at random every couple of minutes. Having heard that Google Chrome is also crap it looks like back to rotten old IE9 and its constant closing and reopening of windows I must go. I'm sure I'll soon learn to love every window turning into the same thing. Either that I'll chuck my blasted laptop through the actual window and make it all a moot point. Gnash!

On the other hand we must try to remain positive, especially after the fun last night. There are few things more satisfying than seeing Manchester United soundly beating and the look of stunned resignation on the face of Alex Ferguson said it all as he knew he would never beat that Barcelona side in a month of Sundays or even a sunth of Mondays. All credit must go to Lionel Messi who is the first player I have seen since Zinedine Zidane who genuinely looks like an all-time great of the world game. Well done that man. All the crowing about Ferguson getting the league record this year made the defeat sweeter.
keresaspa: (Default)
What is it about websites, the internet and the rest of that computer-based shite that is supposed to be so great that convinces billion dollar concerns that they can be so half-arsed about everything? I mean, you wouldn't get Ford saying "we have designed a great new car but we haven't figured out the best way to attach the wheels and engine yet. Still, never mind we'll put it out anyway and work those little details out as we go along". So why does that very mindset rule when it comes to websites and the like having their dreaded makeovers. We get lumbered with slapdash half-versions that constantly crash in the name of supposed improved service and by the time they settle down several weeks later we are left with the realisation that things are actually no better than they were before all the angst caused by the enforced changes (or in some cases, MySpace and YouGov, things were a lot better and the much vaunted makeover has actually made the site unusable). The latest offenders are Microsoft whose much hyped Internet Explorer 9 is the very definition of glitch-ridden crap. It has already crashed my computer twice today, is slower than a wet weekend in Rotherham, looks like a juvenile version of its predecessor and has an unbearably annoying habit of turning every window into the same website, lumbering me with five minutes of three last.fms when I had ordered one of them, a livejournal and a wikipedia. The only thing wrong with the previous version was its irritating tendency to slow and freeze when scrolling through a lot of text and that was the only thing that needed fixing. Instead we get a bloody pointless overhaul which hasn't fixed that problem one bit and has added a whole host of new ones. For God's sake Microsoft (and everybody else for that matter) I am prepared to wait as long as it takes to put out a proper working version of something so please please PLEASE stop rushing things out when they are clearly nowhere near finished. Hammer smash face for Mr. Gates methinks.

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