Wednesday, November 20, 2013 4:42:14 PM
Today I was reading in the news about the opening day of the new headquarters of Scientology.
When I was much younger there was some office in the town nearby and I have been stopped several times by "missionaries" who tried to make me buy their books about Dianetics and join their "religion". Then they disappeared, who know why. They picked a bad place back then because it was in a sort of cave underground (actually a basement).
Anyway, I read the new headquarter is designed with a "Mediterranean style".
Well, nope. It is designed like a fortress of the middle ages, besides the windows and the profusion of arches. In my opinion it looks like anything but a friendly and enjoyable place. Guess what? I bet there are secret passages under the fortress.
Castle of Mantova, not far from Milano.
It is a very wrong design because middle age fortresses were build with the aim of scaring into submission the population of the surroundings, other than possible enemies of course. It was the headquarters of the lord of the land, relatives, friends and guards, who lived by imposing taxes and forced labor on the farmers, artisans and merchants.
Towns in the mediterranean area look like this:
City of Chioggia, north-east of Italy.
Or like this:
Town of Vernazza, north-west of Italy (opposite shore).
Sunday, November 17, 2013 5:28:14 PM
So tonight the touchpad on my old Acer Travelmate was not working.
I did the usual moves you expect from a Windows user, uninstalled the peripheral, reinstalled it with new drivers. Still dead. Then I did the last ditch move, booted from the recovery CD originally shipped with the laptop. Nothing. I was resigned to an hardware failure when I thought to look on Youtube, since there are any sort of crazy repair videos.
Guess what, it was the FN+F7 keys on the keyboard.
It is an "hotkey" combination for disabling the touchpad I have never used intentionally.
And another nonsense thing is those hotkeys seems connected somehow with BIOS settings, even if I cannot see where.
I would like to know how many people sent the laptop to repair because one of those hotkeys.
Friday, November 15, 2013 7:39:27 PM
I found this article that basically repeats what I have been saying since a while now:http://www.zdnet.com/theyre-killing-the-pc-7000023265/
I envy you happy people with your mobile gadgets. It is a blessing.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013 10:14:07 AM
I am considering the option of exporting this blog on another blogging platform.
And it leads to consider if keeping a blog is still worth it at all.
I am not much interested in keeping a personal log, I don't go reading my old posts and I am not the kind of person who treasures memories, they annoy me a bit instead.
Probably my only motivation for keeping a blog is to discuss general topics and to stay in touch with people on the Internet but this blog is not much successful with that.
So, despite I usually get attached to my belongings to the extreme, I am thinking maybe I could simply let this blog disappear.
Expire date: 1 march 2014.
Sunday, November 3, 2013 1:48:13 PM
I am reading Google has launched both a new version of Android OS and a new Nexus smartphone. Nice. Now previous Nexus customers expected Google to release an Android OS update for their phones but Google states that it is beyond the 18 months support time frame, so their software isn't going to be updated.
18 months? Good.
I am typing this with a Microsoft Windows XP system. XP was released 12 years ago and I am still getting updates. Given that the PC had enough hardware resources and I got the license, I could install any newer Windows version. And then I remember all these years when Microsoft was bashed as the "evil empire". To not mention the fact that I can also install Linux and BSD on the same PC, while Android devices are usually tied to a specific "flavor" of the OS and its drivers.
But it is so more fun to buy a device and trash it after one year or so...
Thursday, October 24, 2013 12:21:53 PM
If you own a valid Windows license you could get several free services from Microsoft to keep your system clean and safe. Here is the address: http://www.microsoft.com/security/default.aspx
I recommend the free antivirus Security Essentials instead of bloated third party "security suites" and the "on-demand" scanning and cleaning tools you can copy on an USB key to clean an already infected system.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013 8:56:42 AM
One of the recurring themes in The Simpson serial is Homer having issues with his driving license. He then goes the the office where the two ugly sisters of his wife work.
I am not telling you about the italian procedure to get a driving license. The only strange thing is the student must learn how to drive and then be examined on a real car, driving on real streets. I guess it is different to drive in a big city or in some small town.
Once you get your driving license, you must renew it once in a while.
The renewing itself is a comedy, I went to the Automobil Club local agency, it is a franchise of private agencies that provide several services to car and motorbike drivers and can take care of all the paperwork involved for a modest fee.
There a medical doctor must check you to see if you are still capable of safe driving. You pay about 80 euros, you go in, the doctor says "read this" indicating letters on a wall maybe 2 meters from your face, you read then the doctor asks "do you have any medical condition?" you say no and you are approved. And this happens in the most organized area of the Country, I guess down south you don't have even to show up for the "exam".
In a corner of the room there is a guy who fills some forms and he says "fine, a stamp will be mailed to your address, then you put it on your driving license" (the stamp indicates when the license will expire), then "here, while you wait for the stamp you can drive with this temporary certificate".
Now, dear reader, guess how long it takes to get the said stamp.
One week? Two?
Nope. After three weeks, since I have not resigned to be living in a banana republic, I went to the agency to ask why I had not received anything yet. And they laughed at me saying it was too early. Today, after 42 days I went again and they laughed at me saying it takes at least 2 months because the whole procedure is handled in Rome (I live in Milano). Then I read the "temporary certificate" and at the bottom of it there is "if after 60 days you don't get the stamp call this number". OMG.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 7:31:43 PM
It seems MS is "gently" inviting people to quit using XP by distributing an update that breaks something related to Windows Update so every time it starts the svchost process kills your CPU.
To fix it you should probably install the Internet Explorer manual update from here:http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/security/bulletin/ms13-oct
(select correct IE and OS version).
Tell me if it works.
Attention readers: this post is temporary.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013 8:49:42 AM
It seems somebody is finally developing a player for Flash animations inside Firefox.https://github.com/mozilla/shumway
Shumway is an HTML5 technology experiment that explores building a faithful and efficient renderer for the SWF file format without native code assistance.
I am looking forward to getting rid of the ugly Flash player, after having uninstalled Java runtime some time ago. It would also solve the issues with Flash over Linux and possibly BSD.