Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Couple of Windows XP Tips

There are a lot of people still using Windows XP out there. Here are a couple of ideas for tweaking performance of your system.

The first one might seem a bit counter-intuitive but yes, fixing something in Internet Explorer can help with your whole system. First step, I cannot recommend enough that if you are using IE and haven't upgraded to version 8, please do so. Lots of web sites don't play nice with IE6 now and IE8 offers noticeably better performance than 7 does. Then open your browser and you'll see a menu item on the upper right toolbar that says Tools. Clicking on that gives you a drop down menu that has as its last choice Options. The dialog box that opens when you click on that has a section with the title of Browsing History that includes a Delete button. Clicking on that button brings up another box with multiple choices that you choose with check boxes. Looking at the choices under the horizontal line you'll see Temporary Internet Files, Cookies, History, Form Data, Passwords and InPrivate Filtering Data. Above that horizontal line I mentioned earlier is an option to keep all of that data for any web sites in your favorites list. Personally I just worry about the Temporary Internet Files option since that accounts for the really big data items such as every single graphic on the web sites you browse to. I just choose that one item and click on the Delete button. But if you're worried about privacy or want to wring every last bit of space out of the process you can go ahead and delete them all. Just remember that getting rid of the cookies and passwords can cost you some convenience on web sites you use so much that you don't want to log in every time you go back.

Another tweak is to get rid of some of the graphic  bells and whistles used by Windows for all of their menus and dialog boxes by default. Find your My Computer icon, whether you have it on your desktop or in your Start menu. BTW, if you use it a lot it's convenient to have it on the desktop and you can have it there just by right clicking on it in the Start menu and choosing Show on Desktop from the menu that appears. Another option that appears is Properties. If you right click on the Properties selection a dialog box pops up with multiple tabs. Click on the Advanced tab. Click on the Settings button in the Performance section. What I do is click on the radio button for Adjust for Best Performance, which clears all of the radio buttons and then adjust the details by scrolling down and checking these options: smooth edges of screen fonts, use common tasks in folders, use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop and use visual styles on windows and buttons. This gets rid of lots of "special effects" while not changing the appearance very much at all. And it does improve performance noticeably, though not by a huge amount. Things are just snappier when using menus and when Windows many windows pop up.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rep. Darrell Issa Bars Minority Witness, a Woman, on Contraception - ABC News

Rep. Darrell Issa Bars Minority Witness, a Woman, on Contraception - ABC News

It's not about conscience, it's about misogyny and control. If God was as offended by birth control as these men seem to be then I think he'd let us know quite directly.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

This Is It

I tried an experiment that turned out to be very short term. I thought it might be best to have two blogs, one where I'd post political comments and related  things and the other where I would post the geekier/nerdier/technical things that interested me. But after doing this for a little bit with no one noticing at all, of course, I've decided that while the things I read about focusing on a narrow range of subjects so readers know what they're getting when they come to your blog might have a point doing two blogs just won't cut it and that if anyone ever starts reading what I write what they're going to have to realize they're getting is just whatever the heck I feel like linking to or writing about. This will include things like politics, economics, computers, comics, science fiction, science fact, fantasy and mysteries. So if anyone ever reads this, hopefully you'll have fun and learn something.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Some Europeans Are Trying to Be More Like the U.S.

NHS health reforms: Extent of McKinsey & Company's role in Andrew Lansley's proposals | Mail Online

See, American Conservatives, the British at least are moving in our direction. Conflict of interest, major parts of laws being written by the corporations who will benefit from them and other great benefits of our version of capitalism are being exported successfully.

Scientists discover molecular secrets of 2,000-year-old Chinese herbal remedy

Scientists discover molecular secrets of 2,000-year-old Chinese herbal remedy

This is really interesting and holds a lot of promise for future treatment development. A molecule capable of blocking the bad effects of an enzyme that has both good and bad effects. Notice, the research is not being done by a pharmaceutical company, it comes from an academic environment.

Businesses Do Not Run Balanced Budgets

Businesses Do Not Run Balanced Budgets

This is one of the constant lies that many modern Republicans use that irritate the heck out of me. If businesses weren't constantly borrowing money the effects of the financial crisis wouldn't have hurt so many of them when it locked the credit market.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Early Issues of Amazing Online

Read The Very First Issues of ‘Amazing Stories’ Online Right Now - SF Signal – A Speculative Fiction Blog

Just stumbled across this via Wil Wheaton on Google+. I think I'll enjoy reading through them.

Romney Barely Beats Ron Paul in Another "Beauty Contest"

Romney Wins Maine Caucuses -

Romney only beat Ron Paul by 194 votes and the Paulistas will trumpet this as a great "victory" showing that even more voters are being persuaded by Ron Paul's message even though the vote represents only 2% of registered Republicans, not even 2% of the voting public. True Believers and reality, never the twain shall meet.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Republicans See Politics in Chrysler Super Bowl Ad -

Republicans See Politics in Chrysler Super Bowl Ad -

Someone hasn't been paying attention. Ads that have a variation of this theme have been running for a while now. This one was just a bigger one with a big celebrity as would seem appropriate for the Super Bowl.

Amateur Hour Turns Into Amateur Day...and Still Counting

So here we are, over 24 hours after the  Nevada caucuses closed and they still haven't come up with a final count. Sound familiar? Iowa lost the results from several meetings completely. Politico has a nice turn of phrase, Nevada caucuses: State GOP rolls snake eyes. When I read that my first thought was "Again?!?!?!". Volunteers and complete amateurs have their place but shouldn't they be better trained and given better tools at a minimum? Error after error taking place in two states that we know of in something as important as the process to determine one of the nominees for president of the United States shouldn't be acceptable. In either party. I hope there are lots of people paying attention to this and it doesn't continue. Heck, a laptop that could read barcodes to let people scan a code next to their choice's name isn't too much to ask and would be easy to set up.

For Ron Paul, a Distinctive Worldview of Long Standing -

For Ron Paul, a Distinctive Worldview of Long Standing -

OK, folks, here's an honest straightforward article about Ron Paul. After reading it my opinion of him hasn't really changed. He is a narrow minded, mentally inflexible person who hasn't changed his mind on an issue in over 50 years. His ideas are based on fears of his elders generated largely in the 19th century. He ignores or refuses to believe anything that doesn't fit his world view that was generated all those decades ago. None of these are characteristics of someone we should have as president or someone who has significant influence over our nation's policies.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Gas prices to spike 60 cents or more by May

Gas prices to spike 60 cents or more by May –

Prices going up because of demand are one thing. Prices going up because of a carbon tax that directs resources to starting to work our way out of the oil trap are another. Prices going up because of pure speculation that could be boosted by the most fact free of rumor mongering are something we just shouldn't have.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Friday, February 3, 2012

Activists Fight Green Projects, Seeing U.N. Plot -

Activists Fight Green Projects, Seeing U.N. Plot -

Since when is insanity considered a mainstream political position? The Republican National Committee has an actual resolution based on paranoia. It states:

The United Nations Agenda 21 plan of radical so-called ‘sustainable development’ views the American way of life of private property ownership, single family homes, private car ownership and individual travel choices, and privately owned farms; all as destructive to the environment.

This is a serious national political party in our country in the 21st century?