We've got a lot of Chromebooks going on here. This one is my daughter's Lenovo 300e which is ostensibly to be used for school work aSometimes, anyway. Notice the power cord. It typically isn't charged when it needs to be.
Here are the stats:
Screen Size: 11.6 inches
Screen Resolution: 1366 x 768
Processor Model: Intel Celeron
Processor Model Number: N4000
Processor Speed (Base): 1.6 GHz
Solid State Drive Capacity: 32 gigabytes
System Memory (RAM): 4 gigabytes
Graphics: AMD Radeon R4
Operating System: Chrome
Battery Life: (up to) 10 hours
This Chromebooks greatest weakness is its strongest feature: the storage space. Being designed for Education, children should not be saving stuff to the hard drive. The machine is meant for the cloud. And as a cloud-based machine, it does very well. The wi-fi is solid, as is the Bluetooth.
As a sub $300, sometimes sub $200 machine, it has some lacks which make it a true cloud machine. There is no HDMI or Ethernet port.
The speakers are mildly ok, which is actually desirable in the classroom. It does have a headphone jack which is the preferred method of listening for students. The stereo headphone jack also has microphone capabilities. The screen has the same performance factors as my HP-14dk1000 laptop in a smaller format, locked in at 1366x768. For schoolwork, this is just fine due to the assumed connectivity issue. Students won't plug into their phones and such for images of high enough resolution to make a difference.
It has 2 USB A and 2 USB C ports, where one of the USB C ports is used for charging. Battery life is great if your child charges it. It also includes a standard camera and microphone, built-in. They are fine for Zoom or Google Classrooms. The lappy is rounded out with a micro-SD card slot.
Normally I don't mention the frame or case, but the frame is solid with no flex and the case has a variety of textures for easy gripping.
Performance is nice for basic Google Drive Work. It will run good-sized videos at a decent rate. At least for 1366x786 resolution.
As an educational laptop, it doesn't have guest mode or other features. It is a managed device. If you purchase one of these "refreshed" or used, it should be unassociated with the school district. If it isn't, I would suggest returning it. School districts have a protocol in place to release products for "refreshed" or "renewed" sales, it's worth money to them. If you find your "renewed" Chromebook has an administrator account, it is probably one of the zillion computers lost or misplaced by a child. It probably won't be worth the effort of "fixing" it even if you find such things to be trivial.
I have several Chromebooks to support my websites and my kid's educational needs. I will be looking at the Acer CB311 series of machines, but today I am reviewing the Acer CB311-10H.
The black CB311 on the left, as compared to another 311 model on the right.
Display size: 11.6 Inches Screen Resolution: 1366 x 768 Pixels RAM: 4 GB Hard Drive: 64 GB SSD Graphics Coprocessor: Intel UHD Graphics 600 Wireless:802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth
This is a sub-$300 machine, very often coming in at a little over $225 on sale. It's a lightweight machine for basic computing. At 2.42 lbs (1.79 Roman Catholic) the 7.83 x 11.65 x 0.71 inch machine feels solid. It even passes my one-hand carry test, where the machine still responds to the keyboard and trackpad while walking around. It doesn't flex at all. It's a rubberized, bombproof basic.
The wi-fi is good and it has built-in Bluetooth capabilities. It features two USB ports, a pair of USB C ports, one of which is for charging, a micro-sd card reader, and a headphone jack. There is no large card reader or Ethernet port, which really shouldn't surprise you at this price point.
The 11.6-inch diagonal screen feels well proportioned to this laptop but is on the small side. The resolution is capped at 1366x786 which isn't horrible on 11.6 inches. It plays video well enough but you can forget about 4k even though the dual processors and graphics card could maybe do it. It is also not a touchscreen, so there is that.
The standard laptop camera and mic pair are fully functional and work rather well. However, you won't be mixing A/V on this machine without Linux.
The one kick in the pants right out of the box is the speakers. It has two but they seem very poor on the first boot. Oddly, if you run the update they actually improve. I am not sure why this is, but it was a nice save by Acer. Granted, these are laptop speakers. Don't expect too much. Running Youtube or YouTube Music natively is nice and the machine does an adequate job of audio rendition. It's not like you work in a dance club.
The other downsides are the lack of a mic jack, HDMI, and the previously mentioned Ethernet port. Well, it was cheap. USB do-dads are an option but I only use an external mic even though the internal mic and camera are nice.
The CB-311-10H is not a touchscreen unlike other 311 models.
Additionally, the lappy runs Android Apps and of course has all of the Google Drive features that are standard on modern Chromebooks. I also have Ubuntu 16.04 running in Crouton, so while the 4 GB of memory seems light, it is functional for basic work.
All and all, this basic sub $300 laptop earns a solid 3 stars.
I don't like to do computer reviews on TheseOldGames.com as I already have a website for computers, software, and hardware called unpwnd.com just for that purpose. However, since this is a website for Old Games, sometimes a post about computers comes naturally.
And this is one of those rare computer-themed posts. To support These Old Games, I maintain a Blueberry Mac iBook released back on July 21st, 1999. This thing is 22 years old and still ticking despite some serious carnage done to it. Here are the specs as they stand today:
Processor: 1, 300 MHz PowerPC 750 (G3) FPU: Integrated Bus Speed: 66 MHz RAM Type: PC66 SDRAM, 144-pin PC66 SO-DIMM memory modules. RAM Installed: 64 MB onboard plus one 512 MB module for a total of 576 MB. RAM Slots: 1 Video Card: ATI Rage Mobility (2X AGP) with 4 MB of SDRAM. Built-in Display: 12.1" TFT Resolution: 800x600 Storage: 10 GB internal, 32 GB external plus a secondary 128 GB external drive Optical:24X CD-ROM Modem:56k v.90Standard Ethernet:10/100Base-T AirPort:802.11b USB Ports: 1 (1.1) Battery Type:45 W h LiIon Battery Life:6 Hours (more with a RAM disc, like 24 hrs+) OSes Installed: 9.2.2 and 10.04 Kodiak. Dimensions: 1.8 x 13.5 x 11.6 Weight:6.7 lbs (3.04 kg)
I suppose the first question I should answer is, what is the boot time on 20+-year-old computer? About 2 minutes with all of the control panels and extensions turned on. See for yourself by watching the video below.
With everything turned off, it boots much faster but I virtually never do that.
So, what do I use this thing for? Gaming, writing, drawing, and CAD. A lot of what you see here and on my other websites is written on this machine. I also listen to music, podcasts, and audiobooks.
By way of example, I wrote all of my Traveller posts using this computer, which included some wireframe designs. My first ideations for the Devil Fish freighter started on the Mac and were transferred to another, more modern machine for improvements. All of the writing was done in Word and the basic outline for the ship was done in RayDream Designer 3.
Long before I used this machine for my websites, I was using a machine very much like it to create whole books. My father's games, like Knight Hack were written on a 512K Mac and then converted several times until they reached their modern form.
The interesting thing is, when combined with a Linux computer and some PDF software, I can bring my whole DriveThruRPG library with me on the Mac. Yes, that's right. Your modern works can be opened (usually) on a 22-year-old computer. Sometimes it balks, but most of the time it just works.
Surprisingly, I often don't need to tweak anything in the PDFs for Adobe 3, 4 or 5. I am running a lot of older Adobe software, so if I do encounter a glitch I can usually tweak it via the Mac itself. There are some rare cases where nothing can be done to "fix" or "convert" a file to something the Mac can read. I just deal with it.
I will grant you that images are not so smooth on the iBook due to the 800x600 display. They look like they're printed on canvas. Nothing can be done to fix it, but usually, it isn't a problem worth mentioning.
So, what can't I do with this 22-year-old machine? I can't print. Using the internet is problematic. There is software that will get me on the web, but it doesn't handle .CSS well. Believe it or not, this machine shows up as a Nokia cellphone in Google Analytics due to the handling of the emulation of the browser.
This particular iBook has an Airport card. Theoretically, I could connect wirelessly to the internet but I would have to use an old router. As in a router old enough to have security issues, so I don't do it. Part of the process of using this machine is it forces me to create backups. While I am not an insane security nut, I do love my backups. These occur naturally by moving files to my 32 GB USB drive or the 128 GB external drive.
Ironically, I had been creating DVD backups as a part of this process but they did not survive the house fire which did not consume my Mac, the USB drive, or the external drive despite being dowsed with fire, water, and presumably a massive power surge as the fuse box and wiring burst into flames and failed. The DVDs incinerated, right next to the hardware that didn't. How does that happen?
To be honest, using the internet on this machine is a poor experience so I try to avoid it. I do have a local copy of Wikipedia on the 128 GB hard drive. I can access it with Netscape Navigator which is totally crazy to see in 2021. My copy of Wikipedia is wildly out of date as it hasn't been updated in years, but it works well enough for basic research. I sometimes connect for games, which seems to be less problematic as they are old enough to not break.
In my next post for unpwnd.com, which will be written on this Mac, is about loading Linux via Crouton to a Chromebook.
The great thing about writing on this machine is the intimacy. I don't have updates running, firewalls popping, no Facebook or Mewe starving for my attention. It's just me and the words, not the world. It's really nice to "unplug" without actually unplugging. My first cause for getting into computing decades ago was for problem-solving, speed, and automation. The superiority of a computer over a word processor or typewriter is amazing. The ability to make digital art is complementary to physical production and allows for techniques and ideas that can't be done on paper alone. Add in that an electronic product can be created for sharing or printing is really great.
To me, this production is what computing is all about and this iBook still produces.
Normally I would place hardware reviews over on Unpwnd.com but this one is special. It makes my website and games go.
This particular HP is only available from Best Buy. At the $299 price point, you know this isn't a gaming machine.
Here are the stats:
Screen Size: 14 inches
Screen Resolution: 1366 x 768 (HD)
Processor Model: AMD Athlon Silver 3000 Series
Processor Model Number: AMD Athlon Silver 3050U
Processor Speed (Base): 2.3 gigahertz
Solid State Drive Capacity: 128 gigabytes
System Memory (RAM): 4 gigabytes
Graphics: AMD Radeon
Operating System: Windows 10 Home in S Mode
Battery Life: (up to) 8 hours
This laptop isn't a powerhouse but is adequate for webwork, minor photo editing, and lightweight games.
For some buggy reason, Best Buy's spec sheet proactively shoots this laptop in the foot. It is not a 2-in-1, does not have a touch screen, a keyboard backlight, or a voice assistant. In my mind, these missing features actually define a functional laptop, so they aren't really lacking. I expect a phone or a Chromebook to talk back. I expect a drawing surface on a tabby. Not so much on a laptop. Not having these features is a-okay.
The one stat that jumps out at me is the screen resolution. 1366x768. That is the finest screen of 2002, it's a weak point. In the image below, the desktop looks sharp due to the vibrant colors of the photo. When you go text on white, the weakness of 1366x768 is pretty apparent.
It does have three other flaws, all of which revolve around the keyboard. The layout is "creative", placing the question mark on the bottom row, arranging the navigation keys vertically down the right-hand side of the keyboard and the trackpad doesn't have much in the way of palm rejection. It's really annoying, like $300 dollars annoying.
On the plus side, the keyboard is responsive. The boot time is very nice and storage space is more than adequate at 128GB. Four GB of memory is kind of on the low end, but it's enough to run multiple tabs, GIMP, or Inkscape. The trackpad has actual buttons which are nice.
The port arrangement and loadout are really great. It has 2 USB, 1 USB-C, HDMI, a card slot, and an ethernet port. While these are all pretty standard, but having all of them on a budget frame is surprising.
A handful of items I missed. This laptop has great speakers for a subpar machine. Streamed movies actually look good on this machine. Neither is "brilliant" but this is more than what $300 should get you. The battery life is a quandary to me. I've had sessions where it pooped out in 3 hours and others that lasted all day long. I suspect that A/V software stresses the poor thing too much and text-only operations don't tax it at all.
My wife picked up a cheap Bluetooth Speaker at 5 Below. It was $5.00. She used it once and it stopped working. It wouldn't even turn off. I looked it up and there was no manufacturer listed and the product does not seem to have a product code.
There appears to be a reset hole between the USB plug and the power switch. It didn't work, probably because there is no switch there. I was going to toss it in the trash, but the lights were still on and it would connect to my phone. Annoying.
So, I cracked it open. There are two screws on the bottom. I wanted to test the switch or disconnect the battery. No dice on the switch and the battery is soldered on. Figuring the product was done for anyway, I crossed the connections where the battery connects to the circuit board.
Just like they said in Ghostbusters, crossing things is bad. This could cause a fire or a board killing short. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN ATTEMPTS, do not blame me if this starts a fire or destroys you or the device.
Crossing the circuit immediately switched off the speaker. I reassembled it and tried the power switch. It worked. The device connected to my phone and I was good to go.
Silly to spend this much effort on a Five Dollar product, but it worked. Save yourself some time and do not remove the two screws holding the board to the chassis.
In December of 2010, I started a website called Pretender to the Power. I was recently back to school and thought I had a little free time on my hands. Not so.
Instead of learning how to blog, I spent much of my time with my Asus PC EEE 700 series machine trying to get a handle on Linux.
Today, I found that little machine shoved in a drawer.
I plugged it in and booted up. It worked. It has 512 MB of RAM, 4 GB on a SSD with an actual 8 GB SD card for supplemental storage space runs at 800 mhz and as a 7" screen.
It's a Kindle Fire without the touchscreen. Or a Fire with a keyboard.
Well, not quite. The Fire is on the left. Both had their uses but I find myself using my Chromebook for most tasks. How things change.
I purchased the EEE PC for $138 back in 2009 on NewEgg. It was an open box return. For less than 200 bucks, I figured I could take a chance. It came with two 8 SD cards, a sleeve and the charger. Out of the box, it ran Xandros. Xandros served for a time but I out grew it.
I ended up running Netbook Remix, Ubuntu 10.10. It was simple, clean and invigorated my curiosity about Linux. I never really looked back. My current Chromebook has a copy of Linux hiding in the Crosh.
I recently updated my C710-2487 Chromebook from 4 to 8 Gb and my first thought was to transfer the old ram to the Asus. No dice. Wrong type.
Of course, I found 3 other 512 mb RAM chips lying around, but with a single slot, that is no help.
I am trying to decide if I will keep my old Asus or let it go. Not sure. In the image above, note the large empty space begging for some new gadget to be installed. Oh... the pain of being a nerd.
I had to mess with it, I put myself in developer mode and switched to the dev channel in an effort to get my Wacom Bamboo working with my Chromebook. I just don't have time to test to night, so I will simply make a brief post about this Chromebook.
Hopefully, if I keep notes all will go well. This post is for my sanity.
My aging Blue iBook is suffering from a lack of space. This machine shipped with a 10 GB hard drive way back in 1999. Since I launched theseoldgames.com, the need for installation space has gone up noticeably.
Ifixit.com has wonderfully detailed instructions for repair of a variety of consumer products, including the iBook. They are my "go to" site for most repair projects. However, replacing the iBook drive has 10 sections, 36 steps and no time listed for the upgrade. It is also marked difficult. Since I trust them, I believe that this is within my skill range, but will exceed my patience for the task.
When I upgraded my old computers hard drive the task took all of an hour. This is a much bigger project, one I am not convinced that I ready to start.
I had been using a USB thumb drive as an alternative to upgrading the drive, but having a little dongle sticking out the side of the computer was always a recipe for disaster. What if I broke the one and only USB port?
Well, that is where the SanDisk Cruzer Fit USB drive comes in. It's a tiny USB drive with more than adequate storage. This 32 GB drive was less than $20.00. Now you can get several of them for a little less than $35.00.
The SanDisk Cruzer would not be my first pick because I am clumsy and forgetful. Under normal circumstances, I would lose this thing in less than a day. However, once it is plugged into the iBook, it's sleek, small form is perfect for this machine. As you can see in the next picture, the SanDisk Cruzer doesn't extend past the edge of the case.
Perfect! Drive problem solved, no particular downsides other than loosing the use of the USB. Aside from a floppy drive and Wacom Table, I have nothing that uses that port. To be honest, I won't need to use either one for this laptop.
One caveat when plugging any drive into a OS 9 Mac - Sometimes the Mac will want to initialize the disk into a flavor or form it can use. Most modern machines do not have this problem, so plugging the drive into the Mac first, formatting if needed, then putting information on it using a different machine is the route to go.
In a perfect world I'd upgrade the hard drive, but this solution is so handy compared to the real fix, I'm gonna run with it.
Pros: Cheap and easy.
Cons: Can't boot from USB. Utilizes the only USB port on the machine.
There are many guides to installing Linux on a Chromebook. What I don't see are too many guides on what needs to be done afterwards. Using Crouton gives a very basic experience with Ubuntu, so a lot of things need tweaking.
One step that I often forget is switching to Dev Mode on a Chromebook can require a restart. Also, walking through the Ubuntu install also requires a restart. You can combo these together or do them one at a time. It doesn't really matter. What does matter is the restart option in Ubuntu will turn off your Chromebook. Think ahead.
I find the best way to get software easily is the Software Center. I know it can be buggy and odd, but it is a good place to start. Under the standard install of Ubuntu via Crouton, it isn't there and the terminal is the best option. First things first, make sure your install is up to date:
sudo apt-get update
This should only take a few seconds. Now you can get the software center:
sudo apt-get install software-center
The Software Center takes much longer to download and install. For whatever reason, sometimes the Software Center doesn't work. Simply repeat the command:
sudo apt-get update
The next thing I hit is a proper browser. NetSurf is 3 years old and kind of funky. It works fine in a pinch but doesn't offer a lot of features. I like Chromium.
A good word processor is a must and I am a fan of Libre Write. Write isn't the only game in town, you could simply use Google Docs, Abiword or WPS Writer. WPS Writer has the look and feel of MS Word, Abiword is a stripped down word processor which is easy to use and distraction free.
Stay tuned for more ideas of how to extend your Chromebook's usefulness.
This afternoon I am editing photos for a website. I would like to take some images from 4992x4000 down to exactly 620 px across. I will be using Gimp and a little math to make this happen in seven steps.
First things first, I could do the math in my head, but I want to make this a step by step process. The second thing is, unpwnd doesn't require a specific size so the images in this walkthru will not be 620 px. That is not lost on me, I happen to Blogger as my platform and it has very different tools from Wordpress.
Step one. Open the image.
Step two. Click on Set Image Canvas Size. The dialog box will open and show that the image is currently 4992x4000. That is nothing like 620 px across.
Step three. I am going to adjust the width and the height. For the width, I need to lose those to extra pixels, it is so small no one will notice. So width becomes 2992-2=2990.
Height is another story. I am going to take away a multiple of 620. I decided that I would go with 620 times 2, so what I end up with is 2760. That is 4000-1240=2760.
Before I hit resize, I clicked the Center button. It just so happens that my subjects are dead center and this works. If it did not, I could have adjusted this manually.
Step four. I want to point out that I have been working with Canvas Size and not Image Size. Essentially, I am cropping the image to a particular size based on some math rather than an eye for photographic composition. Actual photographers have a great eye for composition and would not use this method.
Anyway, I think I can trim a little more of the edges and when I do that, I want my height and width to be an exact multiple of 620. I take the width of 2990 and divide by 620 which gives me 4.822 and some change. I do the same for the height which gives my 4.451 and change.
Now for a trick. I am going to take four away from each number leaving 0.822 and 0.451. Both of these numbers need to multiplied by 620. 620 is the only number I know for this process, which is why it keeps popping up. The results are 510 and 280.
2990-510 is 2480 and 2760-280 is also 2480. 2480 divided by 620 is 4.
Again, I am using the center bottom so I don't clip away my subjects. Also, this could a manual process.
Step five. Scale the image. I could do this part 2 ways. I picked the easy way: I scaled the image to 620. I could have also used the drop down box to select percent and typed in 25. There is no difference.
Step six. This is the result, an image that appears way too small. But not really, GIMP didn't change the scale of the display and the image is actually much bigger.
Step seven. I set my view to 1:1. Looks good.
While all of this seems labor intensive, it is. But only once. Changes are your camera always outputs the same size image so you can save this as a macro making the process automatic.
I am parring down my hardware greatly for 2017. On the Macintosh side, I aim to get down to 6 machines. Let's review them in order:
This machine is a workhorse. It arrived in my hands back in 1986 and has worked nearly continuously over the past 30 years. Back in 1987, the machine has a meltdown which was caused by heat. As you can see from the picture, I equipped it with a fan.
The Macintosh Plus is a 8 mHz machine with 1 MB of ram. I hesitate to upgrade it further due to the previously mentioned heat problem. The Mac Plus has a 400 K internal floppy drive, an external 800 K floppy drive and an 88 MB Syquest drive, all in working order.
Since I have only one 88 MB disc, I intend to hack the Syquest hardware into a hard drive case.
The Mac Plus is running system 3.0 and Finder 4.0. I plan on finding some more recent software for the system. In theory, it can jump up to System 7.
This is a relatively new addition to my home.
The Tangerine is running System 9.2, Finder 9.2 and has the ability to run OS X, but only up to 10.3.9. It has 32 MB of RAM, a 6 GB hard drive and runs at 300 mHz.
Currently, it is loaded with educational software and is often used by my children, as you can see from the picture to the right.
Ideally, I would upgrade the hard drive, but taking these machines apart is a monster. I think I will settle for a low profile USB thumb drive for auxiliary storage. It could also use an airport card and new battery.
I hope to do a review of each and every piece of software on this machine.
My Blueberry iBook is my go to machine. It has been through a lot and it is starting to show. I have it paired with a Wacom Bamboo tablet for artwork.
The CD-ROM no longer works, owning to the fact that the System has been borked twice with the wrong disc. I purchased this item off of eBay for all of $15.00. It appeared that someone attempted to load OS X on it and utterly failed. Additionally, the installed OS was a crylic based language. I managed to get it working, only to screw up and delete it. Since I lacked the original discs, it took some might big hoops to reinstall OS 9.2.2 and Finder 9.2.
The machine runs at a peppy 366 mHz, owing to the 320 MB of RAM. It isn't worth the effort to turn on Virtual Memory as the machine only has a 12 GB drive. It has an Airport card which still works in a great number of places and Classilla for a web browser. I also have the ability to switch to OS X, but it is Kodiak, OS 10.0.3. It's weird, so I don't do it.
Very often, this machine comes with me to camp. I have a relatively new after market battery and use a RAM disc to get the most of out a single charge. It will last about 5 days of light use.
Power Mac Graphite:
This is a stock picture of a machine very much like my G4. Currently, it has been pressed into service as a parts holder and media center. It has 5 hard drives: a 20 GB, 3 40 GB and a 128 GB drive. It has a 450 mHz processor. I have one 256 MB, 128 MB and two 64 MB chips in there for a grand total of 896 MB of RAM. Obviously, I this machine is holding too much stuff.
The G4 is a Sawtooth, so unfortunately, it cannot run anything less than 9.2.2. One hard drive holds copies of old operating systems for my older machines. Another boots 10.0.3 and a second boots 10.3. The last drive is used purely for backup.
I do like this machine a lot but don't have time to keep up with it as much as I would like. In the future, I may upgrade the speakers with something better than the standard one.
Power Mac 7100/80:
Ah, Carl Sagan. I haven't turned this machine on in a decade. I mean to have this one up and running in 2017.
I have two Performas. a 6300 CD and a 475 LC. Neither are in good shape. The 475 is my survivor. It met a terrible fate after being loaned to the Buffalo Museum of Science. It was left in an open top tote, in the back of a pickup truck from November to May, in Buffalo. It had been covered in mud, submerged and frozen several times by the time it came back to me.
Surprisingly, the 475 still boots. I don't know why or how, but it does.
The 6300 CD is not so lucky. I don't know what happened to it, but it is actually rusting in some spots. I didn't think that could happen. It will be cannibalized for parts, as will my snow white iBook and white iMac.
The iBook has the classic logic board problem and the iMac met a fate stranger than fiction.
I took my daughter to see the movie Wall-e and Wall-e happens to make the same sound as the iMac on boot. My daughter decided to "go to the movies" and inserted her movie ticket into the slot drive. Surprisingly, the machine took it. What it objected to was all of the loose change she fed into it.
There should be a service issue for this. The first time this happened, I found that sitting crosslegged on a bed and placing the iMac on my lap, then bouncing gently cause the offending movie ticket to fall out of the slot. You should not bounce so hard that the machine leaves your lap. The slot should be positioned over the space between your legs. (Did I just say that? I'm sorry, I don't have other words to describe something so stupid.)
It worked for playing cards and credit cards and the odd coin. It did not work when my daughter put $4.00 in assorted change inside the slot. I would have to say bouncing the machine on my lap in this over-full state did it no good at all.
In 2017, I will be saying "goodbye" to three machines and "hello" to six old friends.
This morning, I had some trouble with my version of XFCE on my Chromebook. Tab-Alt stopped working, the menu bar had vanished, the programs opened would not keep focus and the cursor was either X or invisible.
How I hate messing with a perfectly good distro. The solution is rather easy. Delete your ~/.cache/sessions directory and the functions come back after logoff/reboot. How simple.
Of course, I forgot you can't rm directories and needed to try three times before I remembered the rm -r modifier. So the actual command is above.
Whew! Thank god for Ubuntu and XFCE's easy of use. If this was Windows, I'd be screwed.
Friday evening, I was hit by series of errors from WordPress. When uploading images, I was confronted by these error messages:
“Unable to create directory wp-content/uploads/2015/01. Is its parent directory writable by the server?” “The uploaded file could not be moved to wp-content/uploads/2015/01″
Obviously, my permissions were off, but I couldn't figure out where.
The quick and dirty work around was to log into GoDaddy’s file management tool and create files and upload images via the tool. Back in WordPress, I needed to select a previously existing image and edit the code to match the files and directories I created in the previous stop.
That is not optimal and not advisable.
The correct answer is to correct the permissions on the server via the file management tool. I made several attempts, but it didn’t seem to work. After calling GoDaddy, I found where I was going wrong.
First and always, log out of WordPress. Second, the items Web Visible and Web Writable need to be ticked on the WordPress upload folder. The directory location is: /wp-content/uploads/. You likely don’t have permission to edit the webroot directory, and you shouldn't give that much permission that high up.
If you select the folder and view the settings you will not see the ticks because the Inherit tick disables those options. Untick it.
The other two become active. You can see the problem right away, the folder isn’t Web Writable. Tick it.
If you need a quick fix, this is it. Stop reading now, since I don't have any better suggestion to offer.
If you are still reading, this WILL correct the issue temporarily, but this is not an optimal solution. I contacted GoDaddy 3 times over this issue.
The first time, the chat agent attempted to reset my permissions, which wasn't the answer at all. I had all the permissions I needed, I simply needed a little more information. I only mention this because you do not want to waste time like this. Don't use chat, they have a tendancy of "escalating" contacts to unnamed people who will effect fixes in 30 minutes to several hours. It never works, don't use chat.
The second time provided me with the information above. This is also not the correct solution, because it is a quick fix that does not stop the error from happening. I experienced this error more than 40 times from 5 different webpages, hosted on two different GoDaddy servers. I expressed the belief that someone or thing was resetting this one particular permission by accident. The rep said that it was possible, but he did not see that happening.
The third time, the rep insisted that my use of php based forms was the cause of the issue and it was my fault for using php forms, I need to purchase several things to prevent "php injection attacks". GoDaddy suggested I use Wordpress when I purchased my hosting, because it was very secure and they would be able to address any troubleshoot concerns that I had with it. The last issue is my sites were hosted on a shared server. This is a good cheap solution, but it also means that if someone else has a problem I could have that problem, too.
The GoDaddy agent was actually suggesting that they have a known problem where people can assess their server with no login credentials at all and modify files at will and not show up on any logs. I had a hardened version of Wordpress, I changed my login ids often and I was not seeing any additional files or files with modification dates that did not correspond to my editing patterns. The changes made by this "intrusion" actually made my site HARDER to attack by removing permissions from a valid function, without making any other modifications.
When I asked for any more information such as server logs, support, etc., I experienced an upcharge menu. Basically, these upcharges highlighted the difference between what I was told I was purchasing and the services I was actually being provided.
You will notice that I am now on Blogger, a free platform and no longer hosting with GoDaddy. My primary purpose for this change is to get away from the frustration I was experiencing. Let's be real, I was paying under $20 to host 5 websites. For years, GoDaddy provided a wonderful and valuable service for four dollars a month. At some point, quality declined. I was no longer receiving the top end service I had come to expect, likely because I was paying for low end service. I can't really blame GoDaddy for this, but realistically I was paying 20 bucks for headaches.
I seriously doubt the whole "PhP iNj3cTi0n 4tTaCk!!!!" line the agent tried to sell me on. I do not think they would be in business for very long if they allowed unrestricted access to their servers via the Wordpress install that they provide. That is idiotic. I am more inclined to believe that this is a misguided attempt at security, where someone in house, at GoDaddy is changing settings to be more cautious and more secure without bothering to address the issues this causes with one or more products they sell.
Using GoDaddy for hosting is really not a good option for me. If you are encountering this problem intermittently and it is within your tolerance level, they are a good choice. If not, time to move. I still use GoDaddy for my URL and such. That will not change anytime soon.
Five long years ago, I quit my technical support job. I couldn't do it anymore.
Me: What seems to be the issue?
Woman: My monitor is broken.
Me: *click* No, it isn’t. It’s just off.
Woman: Yeah, that’s the problem. That green light is bothering me and when I press that little button, it turns off. The problem is, when the green light turns off, the monitor stops working.
Me: That is the power indicator light. It’s on when the monitor is on…
Woman: Yes, you understand!!! No one else understood the problem.
If you use Duolingo on a chromebook, you may have microphone problems. I tinkered around with the settings and chromebooks do not allow websites to access your microphone and camera by default. Change that by going into settings and Privacy.
Now for the surprise. This didn’t completely fix my problem. I did a little more searching and found that Alsamixer is the key. Press crtl+alt+t to pop open a new crosh tab. Type shell and enter.
Bamb! Alsamixer almost like linux. That shouldn’t be a surprise. One issue I did encounter was the function keys wouldn’t work even when I used the function key. Not all is lost. For some reason the search key needs to be pressed to invoke the function keys.
No problem. Press it with your desired function key. Escape to exit.
I like Duoling to keep up on my Spanish, but it occurs to me that it is also useful for my horrible Italian. Duolingo lets you select multiple languages at the same time. I have no idea if there is a limit to the number, but I thought that I would stick to the two I know pretty well. New chromebooks are much better than the one I have. I'm going to start shopping for a new one soon.