A good day

The little Acer is running Linux Mint from a USB drive just fine and dandy, and very fast. I used unetbootin to load it and it was easy, if time consuming. Thanks to Kirriepete for the tip. It took a few tries but it’s working now. Mint includes a word processor that looks similar enough to Microsoft Word that there’s really no learning curve and it opens Word files fine.

I haven’t yet tried installing it on the internal SSD drive. I think I’ll totally reformat that drive first, it might be on the way out as Rightwinggit suggests but it’s worth a try. Replacing it looks like a hell of a job. The problem might well lie in Windows’ insistence on installing a mass of upgrades as soon as it linked to the internet. The little 8Gb drive is nearly full! Linux only needs 1.3 Gb – including Firefox and a whole raft of other programs.

A good result then. One mini-computer ressurected and made into an actually useful portable device. Next comes the replacement for the desktop. The budget for that (many thanks for donations) is ring-fenced and put safely where I can’t get at it when I’m in a whisky shop. I think I’ll install Linux on that one too. It seems to do pretty much all I want, the only other thing I’d need is a good photo editor. Oh, and a good graphics card because I do like to watch Dr. Who on the iPlayer, and play DVDs on the computer.

I’ll give it some thought and then talk to someone who will tell me I’m just asking for the moon on a stick on my budget. Then they’ll show me a high-end abacus.

I have a lot of old machines I can pull drives out of so that’ll keep the cost down. Usually I try to make something out of those old machines to keep a disabled mate in computers. They’re all made of ancient parts you can’t get any more and don’t last long but his biggest use of them is playing the card games and Mah-Jong so they don’t need to be impressive. He has no landline and therefore no internet. There isn’t an unsecured network in range either. Computers made for him don’t need wireless or ethernet or… very much of anything really, in modern terms.

It was also good today to see the Mail actually running a smoking story which portrayed the art side of smoking, rather than the dark side. Made a nice change. It won’t last but it added to the general goodness of the day. There is no acknowledgement, naturally, that watching those swirls of smoke is a big part of the enjoyment of smoking and it’s why vaping trumps any kind of patches, gum or suicide pill. Vapour doesn’t hold together as long as smoke but it does let you blow smoke rings. Can’t do that with a patch.

Vaping is causing major problems for the Puritans, which takes the heat off us smokers a little. Electrofag can’t be classed as a tobacco product since the only ‘tobacco derivative’ in there is purified nicotine. If that makes them a tobacco product then the patches and gum are tobacco products too. They are already priced high enough to put off smokers. Imagine them with another 80% of duty and tax on top.

So if they can’t be called tobacco, well, they’ll just have to be called the Harbingers of Apocalypse, won’t they?

They will soon rewrite Revelation 6, verses 7-8:

When he opened the fourth e-juice, I heard the rasping voice of the fourth barely-living vaper say “Puff on this!” And I waved away the steam, and behold, a pale horse, and its rider’s name was Marlboro, and Electrofag followed him; and they were given 20 – 25% of the population to kill with steam and smoke and all kinds of imaginary ailments and maybe some cats.

There is currently no mention of smoking in the Bible besides the occasional reference to smoke’s purifying qualities. Which is true, as anyone who has eaten smoked fish or ham knows. They don’t need further cooking. Smoke is good for you. It’s in the Bible.

There is much madness in the world. Once in a while it’s nice to have a day off when everything in my corner of it, at least, seems to work out okay.

Tomorrow, of course, is another day.



10 thoughts on “A good day

  1. Great news on the Linux Mint front. I, too, have enjoyed the benefits of Kirriepete’s excellent suggestion. My little old Advent has a new lease of life & will be travelling with me from now on.

    There are only a couple of things I’m still struggling with. One is finding something like MozBackup to simplify & speed moving Thunderbird & Firefox around between machines. The other is a simple, seamless way of scanning & recognising text. My management is digitising a load of stuff what she wrote years ago. The things I’ve found so far are very clunky & don’t have a GUI – she can’t use them & I’m sick of having to turn the clock back 30 years to do it for her. If you have a similar need and trip over anything suitable, I’d love to know about it.


    • Stop with the praise you guys, I’m blushing!

      Mozbackup – just copy and paste the Thunderbird folder (see in the Account settings on Local Folder for the location). Dunno ’bout Firefox, I just dump the bookmarks to an HTML file and reimport it elsewhere when I feel the need.

      OCR? Tesseract is the main player, but finding a GUI front end for it is a task similar to that of locating an honest politician – I s’pose you could always try one of those Windoze apps under WINE or in a virtual machine, but you’d have to be desperate …… I’ll keep looking, you never know ….


  2. I wouldn’t get too excited about graphics cards if all you need is iPlayer and DVDs…

    iPlayer uses Flash, which has a spotted history of correctly supporting hardware acceleration through the GPU. The first PC I ever had that was capable of playing a DVD using CPU+software (rather than the Creative DXR2 decoder card I’d previously bought) was a Pentium 2 class Celeron 300A. This was somewhere back around the year 2000, and CPUs have only moved on since then so BluRay playback in software might now be possible. πŸ™‚

    On an unrelated point; quite a while ago you mentioned that Caol Ila made nice stuff. You were right!


  3. There is a warning right at the end of Revelation about adding or taking away from the book.

    Nobody needs that eugenicist Gates bloke these days with Linux around. There’s a graphics programme which came with my ‘Olivia’ version called ‘Gimp’. It seems incredibly hard to get to grips with, but does work when you get the hang of it. Watching YouTube vids might help.

    There is a good video editing prog. called Kdenlive. Can’t remember if it came with Mint or I had to download it. Watching videos certainly helped with that.

    P.S. Avoid downloading from Sourceforge, from where my last (Windows) PC caught a virus. It was non-malicious, but took half a day to (mostly) get rid of.

    Here’s my first attempt at using the video editor. It’s been really popular in the three weeks it’s been up (not). I made a channel called “Companies and Organisations Behaving Badly”, but if people aren’t interested in who’s been pestering them constantly, I might not bother.

    BTW, I know I sound depressed. I suffer from depression. It’s also too long drawn out.


    • Yes, but many books were deleted by Constantine and there was a lot of ‘ahem’ editing by King James. The precedent is set, the Antismoker Bible is on the way.

      The AntiDrink Bible will have Jesus turning wine into water. Which won’t win many converts because we can all do that πŸ˜‰

      And the AntiFood Bible will tell us that we only need 1/5000th of two fish sandwiches daily to survive…

      The Gospel has been corrupted before and it will be again. Hell? Who can be scared of Hell? I think Satan is scared of letting us in.

      We have much crazier ideas than he does.


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