Category Archives: computers

Patch Tuesday (Wednesday here) faster in Windows 7

Well, that’s a relief isn’t it? And less disruptive too…

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Posted by on December 9, 2009 in computers



As mentioned yesterday I am now on Windows Seven, so now have the answer to The 2001st post — to seven or not to seven. The answer obviously is “yes”.


  • The ACER crapware has gone.
  • The computer works faster than it ever has, especially at boot-up.
  • I’ve worked out how to back up and have created a Repair DVD.
  • Live Writer works.
  • It looks nice.
  • My stored music plays better.


  • Because I installed over XP I wondered why my main disk was so full. Answer: Seven stored an “old computer” file that enables roll-back to XP, but suggest it can be cleaned if you are happy with Seven and everything works. A good idea that, but rather than having around 20 gig devoted to it I have decided I am happy.


  • The webcam software didn’t survive the transfer. I suspect I can do something about that, but then I hardly ever use it. **
  • My PIM doesn’t work. Solution – install another that does or use the calendar in Live Mail. ***
  • There was a lot of reinstalling non-Windows programs and Microsoft Office – but I had most of the relevant disks or set-up files, so that wasn’t too bad.

** Downloaded the software from ACER and fixed it! 🙂

*** Installed Rainlendar.

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Posted by on November 9, 2009 in computers, personal


Sunday news…

Sunday lunch, thanks to Sirdan, was rather swish.


It was at Longrain in Commonwealth Street Surry Hills.

Second, Live Writer works again.

Thanks to Sirdan.


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Posted by on November 8, 2009 in computers, personal, Sirdan, Sunday lunch


Flock also does this

It has its own rather simpler version of Live Writer — not nearly as good I have to say. But in the meantime it may prove useful. I notice that Irfan Yusuf favours it for his blogs.

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Posted by on November 6, 2009 in computers


I’m back!

Did you miss me?

Yes, computer trouble again. You see there was this system bug notice over the past week or so every time I booted up. I figured it wasn’t very important, but after a while I thought I would do something about it.

So I conscientiously backed up yesterday morning using the Windows backup tool, and a couple of others which proved as useful as tits on a bull, as they say in the country.

I then backtracked to before the bug started using System Restore. Then I figured I would install the backup.

Fine, the bug has gone. But some things didn’t work, so there was a spate of reinstalling programs yesterday. Sadly I still can’t get Live Writer to work though Live Mail and Live Gallery both work fine.

So here I am on an old friend, Flock — just to see how it goes. I used to use it a few years back. It has improved.

Back to serious posting shortly. But maybe I will go the whole hog and install Windows 7 after all… ??

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Posted by on November 6, 2009 in computers, personal, site news


More computer stuff

No, I haven’t forgotten all the other things I mean to post about. I’ll get back to book reviews very soon.

Meanwhile, I have just discovered this neat feature of my Acer:


As you may see in the top left window this feature can be downloaded for other computers: see  Split your Monitor into Sections with Acer GridVista.

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Posted by on October 31, 2009 in computers


The 2001st post — to seven or not to seven

I spent yesterday morning at Sirdan’s helping out with some minor issues following his upgrading his Windows for Mac from Vista to Windows 7. Sirdan, without whom my Acer wouldn’t exist, offered to buy me Windows 7. I, of course, managed to royally screw Vista, as you may recall, and am now running on XP’s latest incarnation. My computer is singing like a bird as a result, using between 20 and 30% of the available RAM and a CPU usage normally at 0-1%. Not to mention how little, comparatively, of my hard disks — there are two — are devoted to the operating system.

So even though I have downloaded the necessary transfer software I knocked back the offer for now. What about you? Have you upgraded? What do you think of the process and the result? CNet has some ideas.

Time for a poll.

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Posted by on October 30, 2009 in computers, Sirdan


And on and on…

Just about all day it has taken to finish bringing the ACER totally back. But here it is!


Normal posting resumes shortly.

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Posted by on October 23, 2009 in computers, personal


Well here I am again

I have just finished and emailed the Aunty Beryl story to the South Sydney Herald and I have been to M’s to do something for him – he’s on a ship cruising around Australia at the moment. I have also been carrying on with rereading The Lord of the Rings – about halfway through, but most of my time has been spent restocking the ACER which went to the computer hospital for a successful operation yesterday.

I’ll tell you what happened. I managed to corrupt Vista, all by myself. It’s easy. Just forget to tick a box when creating a backup, especially if the box you fail to tick is the data disk. Then restore from that backup. Works every time!

There is a plus though. ACER comes with an ability to roll back to XP – and now it has. Yes, while you’re all out there contemplating Windows 7 I am retreating. I have to tell you the computer is very happy with the change.

Of course there are those updates which are still trickling in from Microsoft, but I can tell you a neat trick. IOBit Security 360 has a tool that downloads and installs all the missing Windows hotfixes from Windows except it does it a lot faster than Windows does. I discovered that a few days ago when I was running an older borrowed computer as a stopgap.

Soon I will get back to proper posting, but now to do the photoblogs.

One last thing: three of my coachees are now doing the HSC so they are no longer coachees. But a Year 9/10 one told me yesterday that they have a family friend with three kids who want tutoring, so that may work out well. The Year 9/10 is happy with me because he has just been promoted to the top English class.

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Posted by on October 22, 2009 in blogging, computers, personal


Geeky post this Sunday

There will be a non-geeky post later.

Given my experiences (especially with the Toshiba) in the past couple of months I do commend How Does Spyware, Malware or Crapware Get on My Computer?

Let me add to it a commendation for a-squared Free 4.5. Just yesterday I gave the ACER a full scan – yes it takes a while – but it did uncover a case of zlob infection that all the others (MalwareBytes, for example, which is very good) had missed. wasn’t a false positive either, though a-squared does sometimes yield false positives. (Moral: quarantine rather than delete, at least at first, and make sure you have a very recent restore point even before the scan.)

Otherwise I have recently installed as antivirus and more Microsoft Security Essentials. Some reviews are quite positive:

As we continued testing MSE, it either caught threats after they were downloaded and executed, or blocked them from getting onto the computer in the first place. It doesn’t have a 100 percent detection rate (that would be impossible, of course), but when we uninstalled it and scanned our machine with various other third-party software, they all came up with nothing. Based on our findings, MSE was definitely doing its job well while we were using it. Once security research companies pit the product against millions of malware samples, we’ll be able to draw better conclusions.

Others are less enthusiastic, but note the first comment which I agree with. What I like most, I must confess, is that it uses less resources than anything else I have tried. Naturally, as you’ll have noted above, I do deploy other condoms.

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Posted by on October 4, 2009 in computers


Making love to my computer

Sad what a sexagenarian like me is reduced to, isn’t it? I saw a sticker in Chinatown yesterday which said “When I get lonely I google myself.” I was almost tempted to buy one. 😉

I have been nice to my computer because it was complaining about its desktop. Far too messy, it said, and indeed I was sometimes spending too long looking through the icon crowd for the one I wanted. But then along came Fences, a free program.


See, neat labelled boxes! Much easier.

I have however been controlling my w*nking with templates on the blogs lately. I hope you’ve noticed that. Of course, as I noted when reading items in that archive I have been mining for the last several days, the habit formed early. I guess it did have value though as I learned a lot about what worked and what didn’t. For any old Diary-Xers out there, here is a burst of nostalgia.

diaryx1 diaryx2

Vintage 2004 – and you’ll see the blog name was by then well established.

BTW – in case you wondered – I have had a rotten non-Swine-Flu cold. Seems to be clearing up though.

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Posted by on September 20, 2009 in blogging, computers, reminiscing


Ripping yarn!

I have been having fun ripping my CDs to the ACER. I hadn’t realised how easy it is!

Discovered a great new media player too, after which I have retired my VLC.


Gizmo Freeware – a very good site – gives the KM Player a big thumbs up. Took a little getting used to, but the quality of playback really is excellent – and it is totally free.

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Posted by on September 10, 2009 in computers, music, personal


Combined geekery and stats post

I have been having fun configuring and tweaking the new ACER. At the flummery level is Desktop Icon Toy which has enabled me to do strange things to the desktop icons. They dance when you hover over them too. Cute. So now my desktop looks like this:


More usefully, a very handy program called Gizmo Drive has enabled me to create copies of two of my most useful CD-ROMs here on my own computer. First is an Oxford Encyclopedia whose most useful feature is the complete Shorter Oxford Dictionary.


Second is Nodtronic’s Over 4,000 Works of Literature. Yes, I agree with the reservations expressed there, and it is quite old now, but nonetheless it is a handy thing to have on board.

eurekaLast but not least I do commend something I have been using for a long time now:  Anvir Task Manager Free.



This screenshot was taken a few minutes after start-up. Note the detail below. Drive G is the thumb drive which has been turned into around 2G of extra RAM. You will see it is working. See also The things I learn.

Saturday stats

Just the top individually visited posts on Floating Life in the past seven days.

  1. How good is your English? Test and Answers 67 views
  2. Australian poem 2008 series #17: "Australia" 48
  3. Australian poem: 2008 series #8 – Indigenous 35
  4. Dispatches from another America 31
  5. The Great Surry Hills Book Clearance of 2005 29
  6. Great player, example, Australian… and Muslim 28
  7. Conflicting perspectives 20
  8. Australian poem 2008 series #10: Peter S 18
  9. Delia Malchert – Migraine Aura – Scintillating Scotoma 17
  10. To Wollongong with Sirdan — more than the usual Sunday lunch 17
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Posted by on September 5, 2009 in computers, site news, site stats, web stuff, www


The things I learn

I have been exploring Vista – yes I have upped to it involuntarily with the new ACER just as Windows 7 is about to break out – and discovered something most of you already knew, probably: that you can add to RAM by inserting a USB memory stick and dedicating it to Boost Windows Vista.

It does make a difference!

Here’s what I see on the ACER at the moment.



Posted by on September 2, 2009 in computers