Category: Computing

Recent Posts
Computing, Friends, Internet

Goofing around

Twitter has some pretty interesting topics that it will randomly recommend for me sometimes. I’m not one of those who believe that Facebook and Twitter eavesdrop or record your conversations. With the information we freely give them, they don’t need to do that. But it is almost scary how both services know the type of thing I might be interested in reading. It’s as if Twitter knows I’ve just binge-watched season 3 of Stranger Things and have super strong feelings of nostalgia for the 1980s right now… For example, just the other day I got this gem of a recommendation under the “For you” section:

Yes, I remember the days of being online in 1987. But I didn’t spill a goldfish bowl, carry my computer under my arm while riding on a motorcycle, or even have to deal with a guitar neck seemingly poking out of a Jeep, behind a girl who is somehow talking on a corded phone?

Instead, I wasted a lot of time goofing around with programs like Perfect Sound and Deluxe Music Construction Set for the Amiga. And once in a while, you get something that looks an awful lot like what you see below:

Some people may ask “Jason, why didn’t you just upload this video to YouTube?” Well, some people, I have an answer. This video has about half a dozen (crap quality) samples from 1980s pop songs, and I didn’t really feel like having YouTube’s “Amazing Content Verificator”™ going beep beep beep all over my upload. Anyway, enjoy this blast from the past. Sorry about the audio quality. I was trying to be quiet. 😁

A couple of highlights:

06:35 – Listen to what happens when bored kids play with answering machines

22:19 – Listen to the long lost hit “Babepulsive.” Don’t ask.

Computing, Technology

Leo and Chris take a look into the future of photography

Leo Laporte and Chris Marquardt discuss some new and interesting uses for technology that deal directly with digital image creation and manipulation. The websites mentioned, This x does not exist, and This person does not exist, provide a creepy insight as to exactly how computers can create realistic images and information using a “GAN” (Generative Adversarial Network). I’m quite interested in the painting application that Chris discusses. I would like to see that in action. The video below starts at 56m25s, at the beginning of their conversation.

Listen to a bit of the video and check out the links for more info.

Computing, Internet, Technology

Ignite in the rear-view mirror

One week after Microsoft Ignite 2017, and I think it’s a good time to take a look back. The keynote speech by Satya Nadella was inspiring. I have to admit, the discussion about quantum computing went over my head. The one question I have: If Windows 10 crashes on a quantum computer, does the universe come to an end?

I enjoyed connecting with and meeting several of the speakers and presenters. A few to point out: Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President of the Enterprise Client & Mobility Team; Michael Niehaus, Microsoft DIrector of Product Marketing; Dona Sarkar, Head of the Windows Insider Program at Microsoft, along with the other #NinjaCats: Blair Glennon, Jason Howard, and Jen Gentleman, among others.

Listening to some of the Windows deployment speakers, such as Mike Nystrom and Johan Arwidmark was incredibly informative. These guys are well-known for their blogs relating to SCCM deployment and it was great to talk with them in person.

Also, this is cool:

Brad Anderson’s Lunch Break featured Brad riding a golf cart around the bus loop at the Orange County Convention Center. Participants could ask Brad anything… My question for Brad didn’t make it to the video, but my selfie did! The entire video can be seen here:

The most beneficial speakers and sessions I’ve linked to below:

All presentations and slide decks are available at the Microsoft Ignite website for viewing. Nerds of the world, tune in and see what you think!

Computing, Technology

Microsoft Ignite 2017

This year I am experiencing my first Microsoft Ignite conference in Orlando, Florida. I was prepared to be blown away by all the innovations, and it sure is overwhelming!

To follow along this week, just follow #MSIgnite on Twitter.

I will (probably) write up something a bit more comprehensive when this is all over. I don’t want to spend all this week in Orlando typing behind a laptop when I could be experiencing Ignite. So, more coming soon!

Microsoft Ignite 2017: Opening Video

Day One:

Tweets:

Read More

Computing, Technology

90’s CGI memories

I’ve been undertaking a project recently to convert old VHS/VHS-C/Digital video tapes to a digital format to store on my home network Synology. It’s nice to have a backup and it’s also nice to be able to pull up any home video just within a few clicks.

Well, I happened to stumble across a video from 1990 titled “The Mind’s Eye.” It’s a collection of late 80’s CGI animation that obviously pales in comparison to the stuff in theaters today, but it certainly showed “what was possible” with technology, even in those early stages of computer animation.

Imagine my surprise (not really) when I discovered that the entire video is available on YouTube. So that’s one less video tape I have to convert…

Among the nuggets in the video is Stanley & Stella in: Breaking the Ice. It was the first computer animated short that I can remember emotionally connecting with. Give it a watch.

If you don’t want to sit through the entire Mind’s Eye video, you can find Stanley and Stella right here. Enjoy!

Computing

Windows 10 Office Preview Apps – App Can’t Open?

w10-store-apps

So, I’ve been running the Windows 10 Preview for a few weeks now, and it’s pretty stable. For some reason, the laptop I’m using it on seems to run hot all the time. The fan runs constantly even with no apps open. Maybe there’s some kind of “cooling driver” I need to install. Who knows?

Anyway, shortly after I installed Windows 10, I found the free Office App previews available from the Windows Store. I really liked being able to tie my OneDrive documents right into the apps. Things were running really smoothly.

Until…

win-10-cant-open

Suddenly the Office Preview Apps wouldn’t open anymore. This had been going on for a few weeks now, and just this morning I happened to stumble across this tweet from Gabriel Aul:

Read More

Computing, Internet, Video Games

Relive your childhood through your browser

I’ve seen this trend toward classic computing really take off lately. My favorite is probably the Amiga Forever emulator by Cloanto. I like that one because I actually converted several Amiga disks over to *.adf format before disposing of the old Amiga machine.

But now there’s a way to enjoy some “new” classic games straight through your browser. The Internet Archive has recently added several games from the 80’s and 90’s. Just click on the large green power button, and you are on your way!

You should thank me for successfully wasting your otherwise productive day!

Computing

The OneDrive Troubleshooter…

I’ve recently become a big fan of Microsoft’s OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) service.  Apparently, the renaming conincides with Microsoft’s new “One” rebranding.  You know… XBox One and all… Well, anyway, I do like the service, and thanks to bing I have about 109gb of storage “in the cloud” that integrates well with the OS.

Or I should say Did integrate well with the OS… After my most recent computer purchase I noticed a small problem…

So for a little while now I’ve had an issue with Microsoft’s OneDrive that prevented me from regularly accessing most of my files from within Windows 8.1.  The error message itself was not very helpful:

Error: 0x800040A41: No description available

That is, of course, one of the least helpful errors of all… A little bit of searching revealed a little-known tool called the OneDrive Troubleshooter. This tool provided that step-by-step guide that I needed to get my files available within Windows 8.1 again.

Click Next to continue the troubleshooter.

The troubleshooter will ask if it’s okay to send information to Microsoft. Your call.  That doesn’t bother me any, so let’s move on…

You’ll then have the capability to Reset OneDrive which is what I chose that led to resolving my problem.

There’s not much to it, but after running the OneDrive troubleshooter my OneDrive documents are once again available to me straight from my desktop!

This link provided the help that I needed.

Computing, Technology

The most viewed picture of all time?

Some believed it was CGI. But here’s the real story behind one of the most unforgettable desktop wallpapers in history, “Bliss.”

The story is told by photographer Charles O’Rear, a resident of nearby Napa Valley, California.

As Microsoft finally puts Windows XP out to pasture, here is an interesting story about one of the most viewed photographs of all time.