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How are your computers?

Ainnir

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:laugh: :laugh:  Hey it's an all-in-one, so I might need that one day. 
It's wirelessly connected, and I'm probably the only person in the country that doesn't have a USB-USB cord, so :D
My last resort will be reinstalling, but I'd like to avoid that if possible.  I miss the Stone Age.
 

Ainnir

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SolEX01 said:
^ Try updating the printer driver.
It actually was this, but I had to go to their website for the download; it wasn't available through either the printer or computer menus.  And I wouldn't have thought of that if I hadn't googled because reasons.  Anyway, problem fixed.  Yay!  :D
 

SolEX01

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Ainnir said:
SolEX01 said:
^ Try updating the printer driver.
It actually was this, but I had to go to their website for the download; it wasn't available through either the printer or computer menus.  And I wouldn't have thought of that if I hadn't googled because reasons.  Anyway, problem fixed.  Yay!  :D
That's good to hear.  :) 
 

Alpha60

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Ainnir said:
SolEX01 said:
^ Try updating the printer driver.
It actually was this, but I had to go to their website for the download; it wasn't available through either the printer or computer menus.  And I wouldn't have thought of that if I hadn't googled because reasons.  Anyway, problem fixed.  Yay!  :D
Are you on a Windows 10 box?  If so, Microsoft’s reckless automatic updates, which frequently change kernel behavior, and which I recently disabled after they broke VMware Workstation, are likely to blame.

Ainnir said:
:laugh: :laugh:  Hey it's an all-in-one, so I might need that one day. 
It's wirelessly connected, and I'm probably the only person in the country that doesn't have a USB-USB cord, so :D
My last resort will be reinstalling, but I'd like to avoid that if possible.  I miss the Stone Age.
I miss the Windows 7 era, when Windows ran well, was visually pleasing, and was patched in a controlled manner, on Tuesdays (Patch Tuesday), except in the rare case of a critical vulnerability.

Linux and UNIX were better then as well.  Solaris still had a thousand people developing it, versus 50 or so working on an open source fork.  GNOME 3 with all its horror had not been thrust upon us, and Gnome 2 with 3D accelerated graphics via Compiz provided a visually elegant, user friendly desktop.  The typography was not as good as on the Mac, but then, neither was Windows typography.  And Systemd was just a hallucinogenic-induced dream in the mind of Lennart Poettering, and the idea of Wayland as an X11 replacement was laughable.  ThinkPads still had seven row keyboards.

Fast forward to 2019 and all our nightmares have come to pass.
 

Ainnir

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I think I went from XP to 10.  I don't even know what all came in between.  :laugh:
 

Alpha60

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Ainnir said:
I think I went from XP to 10.  I don't even know what all came in between.  :laugh:
XP is paradise compared to 10 in most respects, but the best recent Windows by far in terms of stability and not having Windows10’s obnoxious “software as a sercice” rolling high frequency updates that break your expensive software (a dark alloance between MS and ISVs like VMware who have not fully transitioned to subscription pricing like Adobe, to force people to buy regular updates or support to deal with Windows breaking things), was Windows 7.

Now, conversely, if you stabilize it and implement manual updates and some shell modifications, Windows 10 can be amazing, with ssh support, integrated HyperV virtualization, and on the server variants, Docker and built in containers, which Windows dinally had (uNIX and Linux have had them since the late 90s, when FreeBSD implemented jails, which Solaris then copied into Zones, a private company, OpenVZ, marketed a proprietary container system for Linux, but this became obsolete when container support was integrated directly into the OS using the cgroups kernel function, around 2009.  Containers are basically clones of the host operating system that have minimal overhead, so you can use them to isolate otherwise incompatible software (always a problem on Windows) and create security barriers between processes that are more substantial than the basic security on multiuser operating systems like Windows XP (or consumer Windows 10).

Virtualization runs a complete virtual machine, these days using virtualization tech built into the cpu (AMD-V, HyperV, and other systems on other CPUs).  A VM is much more segregated from the host operating system, and provides much better security containment, but some virtualization software has vulnerabilities which can allow a VM to break into the host.  Rare, but it does happen, mainly because input/output functions like Internet access, video, keyboard, mouse, and disk read/write is still generally emulated in software; the CPU merely provides automatic isolation of RAM, process context and certain directly addressable hardware (for example, you can “bind” a virtual machine to use your graphics card).

There is also a sinister type of virtualization called a “bluepill”, where for surveillance purposes, the OS you installed is surreptitously booted into a VM, which still passes theough near complete access to hardware.  But, it is also surreptitously doing malicious things, like sending your keystrokes to a remote server run by crackers.  Bluepills are tricky, and I would say they are mainly a risk for major corporations, and also a cyber-warfare technique used by governments, and a surveillance technique for law enforcement and the security services.  Mainly because you have to conceal the fact that your target’s computer is now booting its originally installed OS, into a virtual machine.  So its like the Matrix in that sense.  If done correctly, the bluepilled OS cannot determine that it is running in a VM; since Intel and AMD CPUs now support nested virtualization, you could even install virtual machines on a bluepilled OS.

Several years ago, Citrix developed a rather cool benificent bluepill, intended to allow employyes of companies to have a personal and a corporate OS running on the same laptop (or desktop), called XenClient.  It was only ever a tech preview; they never took it to market.  But the idea was corporate IT could manage your business virtual machine, upgrade it, implement security policies on it, even disable it, while leaving your personal virtual machine untouched, and with full access to your graphics, so multimedia support would work.  I have it installed on one of my older laptops as a sort of museum piece.
 

Alpha60

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SolEX01 said:
^ Lol, Isn't that an example of "mansplaining?"
Surely not, because Admiral Grace Hopper, USN, memory eternal, who retired from the Navy at the age of 82, wrote COBOL, the most commercially important of the four original high level programming languages (the others were LISP, FORTRAN and ALGOL; BCPL, C, REXX, JCL, BASIC, et cetera, came later).  She was a more powerful computer scientist than any I have ever met; she would make Linus Torvalds or Steve Wozniak look like amateurs; only the very greatest computer scientists like Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, Donald Knuth, Alexander Turing, Teller and von Neumann, would be in her league.

Rather, it is an example of “geeking out”, and I admire Ainnir and consider her a fellow geek, which is an honor, if one is a geek (being a nerd on the other hand is undesirable, as a rule).  And this thread is for geeking out in addition to dispensing practical advice; I am here to help, but when people just want to talk about computers in the abstract, I am here for that also. 

You yourself have demonstrated geek cred by for example your advice concerning extra-long USB cables; ethernet cables, even short patch cables, that are subtly defective, can be infinitely worse.  Many an inexperienced network engineer will desperately troubleshoot intermittent packet loss, only for it to turn out to be a bad cable.  This is the one nice thing about fibre optics; it is fragile, difficult to work with, the lasers projected through it can blind or in the case of long range connections, even burn your skin slightly, and you can also be blinded by bits of the glass which shoot around like shrapnel whenever fiber cables are cut.  But, once the cables are set up, they either work, or they do not.  Now, being a network engineer and not a fibre optics man (which is a very different job requiring a much more mechanical skillset, one which I would not want), it is frustrating when a fibre link is supposed to work but doesn’t, but at least, unlike with USB or ethernet or other copper conductors, there is no middle ground.  Unless of course your transceiver is failing, in which case, shame on you for using a cheap transceiver or putting incompatible transceivers on the ends of your cable (a long range transceiver will slowly fry a short range transceiver).  The units are not built into the switch hardware, thankfully, but rather are modules which install in a standard interface.
 

SolEX01

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Alpha60 said:
Rather, it is an example of “geeking out”, and I admire Ainnir and consider her a fellow geek, which is an honor, if one is a geek (being a nerd on the other hand is undesirable, as a rule).  And this thread is for geeking out in addition to dispensing practical advice; I am here to help, but when people just want to talk about computers in the abstract, I am here for that also.
Some people just come here for the practical advice instead of "geeking out." 

Alpha60 said:
You yourself have demonstrated geek cred by for example your advice concerning extra-long USB cables;
I didn't know she was printing wirelessly.  I know friends who print wireless; however, I'm still connected via a long USB cable.  I've had my Epson Workforce 500 All-In-One Printer for 10 years.  Every reset of the ink cartridges costs me more than $100 and I'm starting not to see them at my friendly neighborhood office store.

I had an uneventful upgrade to Windows 10 1909.  I even helped a client upgrade his Lenovo laptop from 1809 to 1909.  I guess the upgrade was successful since he hasn't called to gripe about his Internet not working.
 

Ainnir

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I don't know that I'd consider myself a tech geek, but I didn't take any of that as mansplaining.  It's good to have the info.  :D

SolEX01, you give me hope that mine will last that long, and I'll probably still complain when it has to be replaced.  :laugh:
 

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SolEX01 said:
Alpha60 said:
Rather, it is an example of “geeking out”, and I admire Ainnir and consider her a fellow geek, which is an honor, if one is a geek (being a nerd on the other hand is undesirable, as a rule).  And this thread is for geeking out in addition to dispensing practical advice; I am here to help, but when people just want to talk about computers in the abstract, I am here for that also.
Some people just come here for the practical advice instead of "geeking out." 

Alpha60 said:
You yourself have demonstrated geek cred by for example your advice concerning extra-long USB cables;
I didn't know she was printing wirelessly.  I know friends who print wireless; however, I'm still connected via a long USB cable.  I've had my Epson Workforce 500 All-In-One Printer for 10 years.  Every reset of the ink cartridges costs me more than $100 and I'm starting not to see them at my friendly neighborhood office store.

I had an uneventful upgrade to Windows 10 1909.  I even helped a client upgrade his Lenovo laptop from 1809 to 1909.  I guess the upgrade was successful since he hasn't called to gripe about his Internet not working.
Upgrade 1903 breaks VMware Workstation v. 5.  And you might ask “well, why not upgrade to version 6?”  But my view is one shouldn’t have to; in the past Windows always worked extremely hard to maintain backwards compatibility, and now there is no guarantee things will work from one version to the next.  Fortunately Workstation 5 also supports Linux as a host OS.
 

SolEX01

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Ainnir said:
I don't know that I'd consider myself a tech geek, but I didn't take any of that as mansplaining.  It's good to have the info.  :D

SolEX01, you give me hope that mine will last that long, and I'll probably still complain when it has to be replaced.  :laugh:
I don't know what brand is your printer; I've had mixed results with Epson.  My previous printer lasted a little more than 2 years before dying.  I don't print a lot which explains why my printer has lasted long.  I'm partial towards Hewlett Packard laser printers.
 

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How are your computers?
Lousy. My disk utilization on my laptop is continually at 100% and I can't get it to come down, nor can I identify what the problem even is. I've spent like 5 hours trying different solutions I've found online, none of which have worked. I don't expect anyone here to have the magic solution, I'm mostly just venting. The only options left at this point involve doing stuff that, if I screw them up, could cause equally bad (or worse) problems, so I'm hesitating.
 

LizaSymonenko

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Did you check in Task Manager which processes are running and utilizing the most memory?

Is this an ongoing issue? Have you rebooted and it is still the same?
 

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Something like this happened to me years ago - once on a windows computer, and then on a Mac.

In the case of windows, a Microsoft Word file I was working on somehow started doubling in size with each save. Didn't notice for awhile until everything bogged down. Had to delete that file, unfortunately.

On the Mac, a cache file got corrupted and ballooned in size, basically taking up the entire drive, and still wanting more. I can't remember how I figured that out but once I deleted that cache file, I had no more issues. It was likely some combo of task manager info and just plain searching for files over a certain size, 1GB, 2GB, etc. that I got to the bottom of it.
 

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Huh. I didn't do anything new, just left it sit while I went out, and came back home and now it's better. Have been watching the task manager and it hasn't gone over 50% for a couple minutes. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 

LizaSymonenko

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Huh. I didn't do anything new, just left it sit while I went out, and came back home and now it's better. Have been watching the task manager and it hasn't gone over 50% for a couple minutes. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
...it may have been downloading a Windows update in the background or something.

Since I work in IT... I am aware that last week Microsoft issued (because I had to work an emergency deployment) an urgent security patch update that closed a vulnerability through "print".
 

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Anyone using Firefox on Windows desktop? Is there a way to set the brower to remember sign in on spesific sites?

I'm using 2 factor authentications with all things Google. Fine on mobile since I can use biometric authentication but my laptop doesn't have Windows Hello and signing in to Youtube with two different devices every time I open the browser is super annoying.
 

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Anyone using Firefox on Windows desktop? Is there a way to set the brower to remember sign in on spesific sites?
If it works the same as on a Mac: Preferences > Privacy & Security > scroll down a bit to "Logins and Passwords" and check "Ask to save logins and passwords for websites" and "Autofill logins and passwords". You may have to fill in the credentials once in each login-form before it rolls. It will ask about all sites with log-in, whether you want to save it or not.
 

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^I already have that checked. I've set my browser to block most cookies, browsing history, social media tracking etc. which probably have something to do with this issue. Tried allowing YouTube cookies with url but that didn't work.

I'm starting to think that it's just Google being an ass and trying to nudge people to use Chrome only. So much for the "Don't be evil".
 
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