Ancient Geek-Computer myths and facts

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  • Thanks, jedijudy!

    Greetings. As the instigator of some Ancient Geek threads on the old seafaring vessel, may I be permitted to begin our cruise on this new-fangled boat thingy with a number of my own technicalities (although some might say these are right from the land of Bragistan!). But, many kind thanks indeed. :smiley:

    In fact, I have signed up for the New Ship on my new deskie, which I hinted at on the old thread, and which has now arrived (the deskie, not the old thread), and is this one here.

    Luckily, I was able to afford one of the best specs versions, like so:
    • Intel Core i7-8700K CPU
    • Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti GPU
    • 32GB RAM
    • 512GB SSD for the OS and programmes (or 'apps', as they apparently like to call them now.... :rolleyes: ), and 2TB HDD for the data

    Ah yes, and a new 20TB WD MyBook Duo for all the regular backups, set up in RAID 1, meaning the 2 10TB drives are mirrored for improved data safeguarding. Which of course ain't of much help, if someone nicks the drive. I know off-site storage would be good. Am looking into it.

    Hoping you'll all have much fun, or at least as little hassle as ever possible with your electronic, and possibly Ship-accessing, gadgets.

    Let the queries, comments and observations begin! :)
  • Thought the title read Ancient Greek-Computer myths and facts. Now that would be an interesting topic!! ;-)
  • Sorry for leading you astray, Sir. I admit, I had hied myself to a punnery.
  • One might almost say "Beware of geeks bearing gifs..."
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host
    :lol:
    And here, I thought I was the punny one!
  • AlisdairAlisdair Shipmate
    So, what about the Antikythera mechanism then? I wonder if they problem with viruses and malware?
  • If memory serves the main problem was that the seafaring vessel it was on sank!
  • AlisdairAlisdair Shipmate
    True, but there seems to be good evidence that there was more than one; which would make sense as something that complex isn't going to appear as someone's 'Eureka!' moment and would clearly have had significant commercial and status value.

    I'm betting you couldn't get a result out of it without having to sit through some teeth grinding spiel about 'Alex's Re-usable Wax Slates'.
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host
    Posted by venbede:
    I have an ipad, an iphone, an ipod and a laptop. Until a month ago, if I created or edited a picture on the ipad, it appeared on the other devices. Not now, although a picture on the iphone appears on pod and laptop. But now when I open Pictures on the ipad I get the message: “Pictures have not updated for 22 days. Connect to wi fi.”

    It is connectd to wi fi. The other apps sync. How do I get it to work again or should I just be patient?
  • Curiosity killedCuriosity killed Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    @venbede I asked the resident Mac user, who asked which versions of the software you are using.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Alisdair wrote: »
    So, what about the Antikythera mechanism then? I wonder if they problem with viruses and malware?

    No, because it wasn't programmable ;)
  • In Word 2016, when you went to "Save As," It showed you the last 10 or so different folders you saved something to, and you could choose the one you want. In Word 365, you can either have one single default directory, or you can have the last directory you saved something in (depending on how you set it up) BUT NOTHING ELSE. At least that I can see. Is it possible to restore the older, ACTUALLY USEFUL functionality, or is this just another area where Microsoft took away a perfectly good functionality and gave us nothing in return?
  • My Word 365 offers me "Today", "Yesterday", "This week", "Last week" and "Older" folder lists. No idea how to configure it though - it must be our standard configuration.

    If you have any ideas on how to persuade Powerpoint that when I want to insert an image I really really don't want the default to be searching the bloody web for one, that would make me happy :wink:
  • My Word 365 offers me "Today", "Yesterday", "This week", "Last week" and "Older" folder lists. No idea how to configure it though - it must be our standard configuration.

    If you have any ideas on how to persuade Powerpoint that when I want to insert an image I really really don't want the default to be searching the bloody web for one, that would make me happy :wink:
    Lucky dog. I am all thumbs with Powerpoint.
  • Hey I think I may have done it. I unchecked "save to computer by default".
  • balaambalaam Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    Help. I want my old blog back.
    The old wibsite one, http://balaam.wibsite.com/ is showing the message :
    Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 94371840 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 1048576 bytes) in /home/wibftp/wibsite.com/wp-includes/functions.php on line 434
    Wibsite crashed in 2013, but was still accessible until late last year. Other wibsite blogs can still be found, such as Ken's at http://ken.wibsite.com,

    There are things in that blog, including the diary of my recovery after an accident, that I would not wish to lose.

    Is there any way I can back into the blog?
  • balaam wrote: »
    There are things in that blog, including the diary of my recovery after an accident, that I would not wish to lose.

    Is there any way I can back into the blog?

    You could try asking the hosts to increase the memory limit on their wordpress installation?
  • balaambalaam Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    Look at the numbers. Allowed size 94 million, tried to allocate 1 million, it is not over the amount it is well under. Also it is 5 years since it closed, so I an not hopeful.
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    Alisdair wrote: »
    So, what about the Antikythera mechanism then? I wonder if they problem with viruses and malware?

    No, because it wasn't programmable ;)
    More accurately, it was not re-programmable.
    Alisdair wrote: »
    True, but there seems to be good evidence that there was more than one; which would make sense as something that complex isn't going to appear as someone's 'Eureka!' moment and would clearly have had significant commercial and status value.
    I am mildly surprised there are not more records or another find. Perhaps they are looking for the wrong materials?

  • balaam wrote: »
    Look at the numbers. Allowed size 94 million, tried to allocate 1 million, it is not over the amount it is well under.

    The 1 million is a new allocation, not the amount allocated so far, increasing the total amount allocatable by php will fix it.

    If you can't get the hosts to change the settings, you can't change it yourself and you can't access the site any other way (ftp say), then the other option is the wayback machine:

    https://web.archive.org/web/*/balaam.wibsite.com

    You can get at least some of your site back as text.
  • SparrowSparrow Shipmate
    Does anyone here know anything about Access 2016 software? What I am looking for is a portable Access viewer program. Basically, I have been playing around with Access and created a database, which I want to show to a friend I am visiting next week, but he doesn't have Access on his PC. I was planning to take my Access files on a memory stick to his. So, is there a FREE, PORTABLE program I can use to put on the memory stick and plug into his PC to show him the database?

  • Sparrow wrote: »
    Does anyone here know anything about Access 2016 software? What I am looking for is a portable Access viewer program. Basically, I have been playing around with Access and created a database

    You can use the Access Runtime for this purpose (free download from microsoft) - but you'll only get whatever you've defined as part of the database (be that forms, reports and so on).
  • balaambalaam Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    balaam wrote: »
    Look at the numbers. Allowed size 94 million, tried to allocate 1 million, it is not over the amount it is well under.

    The 1 million is a new allocation, not the amount allocated so far, increasing the total amount allocatable by php will fix it.

    If you can't get the hosts to change the settings, you can't change it yourself and you can't access the site any other way (ftp say), then the other option is the wayback machine:

    https://web.archive.org/web/*/balaam.wibsite.com

    You can get at least some of your site back as text.

    Thanks. Wayback machine still has some from 2012 and 2013, and using the links in those I have got some back from 2010 and 2011.

    Looks like I have a lot of reblogging to do.
  • Backup everything. Anything you will want in the future must be in at least two different places in addition to the live version.
  • My Word 365
    The most annoying feature of Save As I've found is that it has an annoying tendency to rename the document back to its previous name when you change the directory you want to save it to. I've overwritten a few files that way.
    If you have any ideas on how to persuade Powerpoint that when I want to insert an image I really really don't want the default to be searching the bloody web for one, that would make me happy :wink:
    Don't use the "insert image" function? I either just click and drag or copy-paste.

    I'm not PowerPoint skilled, my biggest recent breakthrough was to do everything by iteration: duplicate a slide I'm happy with and then adjust the content accordingly.

  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    edited March 2018
    Not exactly a computer question, but definitely an IT one. I have an old Sony Ericsson phone, running on a Virgin SIM. It is not much used, emergencies only, and has very few contacts (two, I think), with its number not known to many more.
    Today a text message turned up for someone named Christopher, unknown to any users of this phone) who has apparently just had his BTC account activated, with a sum of £13 k something or other. No proper phone number, just five digits which cannot be called. A quick search suggested that this person has just bought some Bitcoins.
    What should I do?
    Leave it for the guy to sort out himself when he doesn't get his message?
    Wait and see what happens next?
    I've saved the message, in case of trouble, and deleted it from the inbox.
    I did try calling, probably a mistake. The phone is usually off.
  • My gut says scam, Penny. They're presumably fishing for someone who'll pretend to be Christopher in the hope of securing the bitcoins and then tell them they need to pay x, y or z "processing fee" in order to get access. 5 digits is common for text-only numbers.
  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    edited March 2018
    My feeling, and that of the other phone user, is the same. I just hope that trying to call hasn't given anything away. Nothing online about such a scam though.
  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    edited March 2018
    Something more basic. An elderly (very) person who needs to use a magnifying glass to read the paper, and has arthritic hands which find manipulating things awkward thinks she wants a computer. She doesn't say, yet, what she wants to do with it, but has previously (very previously) had an Amstrad on which to do basic word processing. It is possible she wants to search out purchases online. Is there such a thing as a very simple, easy to learn device where changing the size of the display doesn't require several fingers or drop down menus, but which doesn't have "My first computer" on it in pastel colours? She was a typist.
    And how, should we find a device, can I make sure she can't access my central storage thingy (it has a proprietary name, and is not a hard drive, apparently) or anything else on my network, or even know they are there? Up till now, I've wanted everything to access everything.
  • Lily PadLily Pad Shipmate
    An Ipad is the easiest and most intuitive thing for most seniors. Our local library has classes to teach people how to use them and many seniors buy one and join. You can get a keyboard for them and they work through wifi anywhere in the house. You would not need to worry about anything on your own computer. I've watched many very elderly people who I never thought would have any interest, show each other photos and videos and share links. These are your basic rock in the rocking chair folks not the type you would think would be into computers otherwise.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    This is a hoax, surely?

    ‘Tho the date it was written isn’t April 1st.

    “Researchers have created a wearable device that can read people’s minds when they use an internal voice, allowing them to control devices and ask queries without speaking.”

  • Well, it does link to what appears to be a responsible source.
  • The concept is not new, I've heard about the idea for a while.
  • It's scary. Today they need to affix something to your face. Tomorrow.....?
  • Wesley JWesley J Shipmate
    I've got an Olde Smartphone, Sony-Ericsson, from the early 2010s. Brilliant little thing, formidable camera, runs with Ye Olde Symbian OS, still very much ok, but these days perhaps beginning to show its physical age.

    I bought a few cheap, second-hand models of the same type a while back, so might be able to use those for a bit, until they completely disintegrate. (I hate buying new stuff, if the old thing still works reasonably well.)

    However: if I get a new phone, such as the Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact (my hands haven't evolved in size for anything bigger...!), the manual appears to say that you need a Google account, due to the Android OS.

    As I'm rather paranoid when it comes to passing on data, and especially with Google (I don't have an M$ account either), the question: Is this correct? Do you really need an account with them for reasonably well working Android?

    Thanks muchly. :)
  • AlisdairAlisdair Shipmate
    Wesley J, I have that very phone (and previous iterations). My answer to your question is: Yes, and No.

    Android is a Google product and although it is possible to limit your contact with Google it is impossible to exclude them entirely (if you use Android).

    If you want access to the large stock of 'apps' then Google's 'Playstore' is the obvious place to go, and you have to have an account to use it. However, there are alternatives, e.g. 'F-Droid' specialises in open source and libre type apps (no Google account required).

    Sony provide the updates to the Android Operating System - no Google a/c required.

    Keeping backups of address lists, emails, photographs etc. are most easily done through Google's offerings, but there are alternatives available, although they often require a bit more setting up.

    Google's Calendar integrates very nicely with a desktop, but again there are Google free alternatives.

    Many of Google's intrusions into your phone can be 'turned off', but it is a laborious process going through many sub-menus trying to catch all the options, and then you can never be quite sure some don't get turned on again by system updates, so a periodic trawl is a good idea. Then of course we don't know what goes on behind the scenes.

    Sup with the Devil, better use a long spoon. If you are really leary then sign up for Purism's Librem 5 phone, or you could possibly install Legacy OS (the current fork of CyanogenMod).

    Only you can know how much trouble you are willing to go to minimise Google's intrusiveness. There are certainly options, but nothing that is a one click slick solution.
  • Wesley JWesley J Shipmate
    Thanks for your extensive comment and link, Alistair. Things to carefully consider, indeed.
  • balaambalaam Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    Don't be too hard on Google, their Chrome browser has an incognito window function. No good for the Ship, as it won't remember who you are, but when browsing internet shops you can do it without trace, though you have to unveil to buy.
  • MooMoo Kerygmania Host
    I have a problem with my router. It used to stay connected when the computer was turned off. A few months ago the light started going out when I turned off the computer. When I turned the computer back on, the light would come on, but I didn't always have the connection. I would turn the router off and then back on, which solved the problem, except that it was an nuisance. Now it sometimes disconnects while I'm online. I am computer-illiterate. Is there anything I can do, or do I need to call in an expert?
  • AlisdairAlisdair Shipmate
    As far as I am aware turning off/on a computer which is connected to a home network using a standard modem/router should have no impact on the router's state whatsoever. The router's job is to 'route' data packets around the internal 'home' network and to provide an interface with the external network (usually 'the internet') and allow incoming/outgoing packets to reach the next stage on their journey.

    It's possible the router is set to go to 'sleep' if there is no active device registered on the internal network, but that it will 'wake up' if it detects an incoming request from the internet, or a 'handshake' request from a computer that is trying to come online in your home network. This should not require any intervention on your part, but I am not aware of it being 'normal' behaviour - at least not with the routers I have experience of. the router should just sit there doing its job, regardless of the state of the computers connected to the network.

    OR, the router has developed a fault - software or hardware. Turning the router on and off again would normally be quite a good way of resetting any minor software glitches. The fact that doesn't solve the problem raises the likelihood that it is a hardware issue, but without more detail I'm not qualified to offer any further opinion.

    If the router is getting on a bit (say more than five years old), it may be time for a new one, or at least to have it checked by a qualified technician.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    More likely the computer. Resetting the router will prod the computer to reconnect, but I imagine the router was fine all along.
  • AlisdairAlisdair Shipmate
    Moo, if you can connect another computer to the router -- a laptop (a borrowed laptop, or whatever) and the problem goes away then it's probably not the router, but an issue with the PC you have experienced the problem with. On the other hand, if the problem exists with whatever machine is connected then it is probably the router.
  • Lily PadLily Pad Shipmate
    Can anyone point to a simple webpage that explains how to set up a router that is not wifi enabled with a modem that is so that I can start using the new laptop with the wifi? My old one did work in more than one spot and some people who were visiting did set up the wifi so that they could use it on their phones so I know it is possible. I have the paper with the password but can't read one of the figures so I may need to know how to reset the password too. Thanks for any advice!
  • AlisdairAlisdair Shipmate
    Put the name and model of your router into a search and add 'setup' and 'guide' and you will hopefully get something directly relevant (it may come as a PDF to download).
  • MooMoo Kerygmania Host
    Alisdair wrote: »
    Put the name and model of your router into a search and add 'setup' and 'guide' and you will hopefully get something directly relevant (it may come as a PDF to download).

    Thanks, but I'm not tech-savvy enough for that.

  • Actually Moo I think Alisdair was responding to lily pad's question, rather than yours.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    balaam wrote: »
    Don't be too hard on Google, their Chrome browser has an incognito window function. No good for the Ship, as it won't remember who you are, but when browsing internet shops you can do it without trace, though you have to unveil to buy.

    That answers a question I had but hadn't yet asked - thanks balaam. Are you psychic and if so could you give me the Lotto numbers for Saturday please? :wink:
  • SparrowSparrow Shipmate
    Does anyone know how to create an image with a transparent background, preferably using either paint.net or the old paint programme that used to come with Windows.

    What I want to do is this: I am organising a pub walk and I want to create a map (I already have the map saved as a jpg) and drop numbered dots on to it that correlate to a list of the pubs. I have also created my numbered dots both as jpgs and gifs but when I try and paste them on the map, I get a square of white background along with it that obscures part of the map.

    Can anyone help please? I don't have any other photo editing software but if anything else free like Gimp would do the trick I don't have any objections to downloading and using that.

  • LeRocLeRoc Shipmate
    @Sparrow: I remember that you'd need to create two layers in Gimp: a transparent one and your picture. And then remove the white parts from your picture.
  • Curiosity killedCuriosity killed Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    Gimp would do it. Alpha layer to get a clear background and then.draw and fill circles on to that background. The Alpha layer looks like a pale grey chequered pattern.
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