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Journal Journal: So... Windows 10 1

The supposed pattern of Windows releases is similar to Star Trek movies, bad, good, bad, good. This doesn't make a lot of sense, I mean, Windows 1 was innovative but not exactly going to set the world on fire. Windows 2 was better, but again wasn't going to set the world on fire. Windows 3 was an incremental improvement on Windows 2 (largely code clean up, some minor fixes such as Program Manager) and, uh, set the world on Fire.

OK, fast forward. There's 95 (Yay), 98 (Boo.. . wait, yay.), Me (Booo), XP (Yay though I don't know why, I personally couldn't stand it), Vista (Booo), 7 (Yay), and...

OK, there really isn't a pattern there is there?

OK, OK, get on with it:

So, anyway, people have been saying "Well, 8 was a dud, therefore 10 will great and set the world on fire."

Is it me, or is Windows 10 a slow bug ridden piece of crap that's actually more like Vista was to XP than Windows 7 to Windows Vista?

Windows 8.x wasn't perfect. But it wasn't slow. It was relatively stable, not as stable as 7, but for the most part stable. The only problem with it (which admittedly was huge) was the lack of a Start menu.

Windows 10 seems ambitious, but it's ambitious in a Vista way, and I think they released it way too early and didn't really care about the consequences of half their decisions. My tablet crashes (rebooting) periodically, it didn't before. The laptop I've been trying it on is chronically slow, so slow I can boot up my Ubuntu laptop in the time it takes to get the lock screen to start recognizing key strokes after I've unsuspended it.

The features of 10 are hit and miss, with some, such as Cortana, being very impressive and completely useless, and others being a giant step back on what we had before. Mobile Office seems decent, albeit buggy. Mail will be excellent when it's finished and the numerous bugs are squished (same for other bundled groupware apps.) Edge appears to only exist because "Internet Explorer" had a bad reputation, but it's hardly feature complete, and to make sure we use it, we Windows 8.x tablet users lost our actually-pretty-good (and secure! No ActiveX!) version of IE for tablets. Why? Why remove that before you have the same features in Edge? And what about the extent to which many apps are reliant upon (unnecessary - I'm talking Freecell here!) network access and have been coded in such a way that they only start properly if the network is either completely turned off, or completely perfect?

There's the mandatory Windows Update nonsense. I can only imagine someone at Microsoft said "Nobody will complain, Android does that already, my Android phone is always downloading updates for apps", ignoring the fact that (1) Android isn't used on desktops, and (2) updating apps and even app infrastructure doesn't imply needing forced reboots. Hell, I regularly update my Ubuntu machine and virtually never reboot it, I don't need to, only updates to the kernel and X11 actually need reboots, and it's rare, if ever, that either absolutely 100% needs to be updated.

Couldn't Microsoft have just, you know, added the Start menu, and released that as Windows 8.2, and then held back on Windows 10 until they had a usable, stable, pleasant to use operating system? I know they were kinda in a panic, but the Start menu was literally the only thing anyone ever complained about with 8.x.

BTW I'm always wrong on these issues, so expect Windows 10 to be very popular with everyone lauding how great it is that Freecell will sit spinning at a Please wait screen because your laptop or tablet automatically connected to a coffee shop hotspot and is now waiting for you to log in.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Back to coding, doing something I haven't done before 6

Does anybody know of a good Javascript, .NET, or HTML5 (or combination of the three) library for doing a user-customizable widget grid?

I've seen it done enough that this *should* be a readily available control, but I don't seem to be able to find one with my first three rounds of google searching, I'm probably calling it the wrong thing.

What I want is to be able to configure a user's home page on the website with their choice & order of several widgets.

Anybody know of a great tool for doing this? Worst case scenario is I roll my own with a three column table built up from a sub table off of the users.

Oh yeah, and mandatory technology for this project is SQL Server Database, Visual Studio .NET Webforms (yeah, after doing MVC the last 4 projects I'm thinking Yuck too with these code-behinds), intended for HTML5 browsers.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Clown Car 10

Jeb Bush - he's not so bad. I disagree with him, but he's basically another establishment figure and, actually, if truth be told, I suspect he's slightly less insane than most in the establishment. He seems smarter than W. On the other hand, he hates trains, so f--- him. President Bush? "OHWELL".

Rubio - has said nothing particularly impressive thus far. Seems to be mostly an empty suit. President Rubio? "OHWELL"

Trump - amused that the candidate that seems to be pandering and flip-flopping the most is the one that Republicans think is unusually honest. Other than that, if he's actually genuinely running for election at this point it's because he's suddenly realized that he has support he probably didn't realize he had at the beginning. President Trump? "OHMYHELL"

Carson - I'm sure he's a nice guy, and he's got to be pretty intelligent on some level, but he seems out of his league when it comes to politics, and genuinely unclear about how to balance the need to look like a raving lunatic in front of his base, with the need to not look like a raving lunatic to everyone else. President Carson? "OHDEAR"

Chris Christie - There's really not a lot right with this guy. Insanely Machiavellian and happy to do the wrong thing if it means looking good in front of the right people. Plus holds grudges. He's essentially the next Nixon. President Christie? "OHMYHELL".

Carly Fiorina - The only people I know in tech who support her are the kinds of idiots that rave about how much they hate government employees simply by virtue of the fact they're employed by a government. The chances of Fiorina merging the US with Canada, Mexico, and the UK, reducing the GDP of the four put together to slightly more than the US does today though is pretty slim. While she showed the usual sociopathic instincts of any CEO at HP, her excesses could possibly have been due to a misguided belief she was saving the company. Outside of HP, she seems to be a Rubio-like empty suit, mumbling platitudes to whip up the base while revealing nothing credible about her own views. On that basis, despite HP, I must rate President Fiorina an "OHWELL"

The rest: All are either religious nuts, which rules them out of the running (despite everything, the Republicans never go with those), no names, or have the surname "Paul". They're not going to win the nomination. If any do, I guess other than one of the no-names winning, it's pretty much an OHMYHELL all the way down.

Ratings explained:

OHWELL - Hey I voted Democratic, but I don't see this guy as destroying the country, so I'm not going to behave like a Republican does during a Democratic administration. Previous candidates qualifying as OHWELLs: Ford, Bush Sr, Dole, Mittens
OHDEAR - Suspect this guy won't be able to hold it together, fairly uncomfortable with him winning: Previous OHDEARs: St Reagan, McCain
OHMYHELL - This guy will probably ruin the country in some shape or form, either through complete incompetence, ideological nuttery, or sheer evil: Nixon, Bush/Cheney

User Journal

Journal Journal: a good debate 16

Very surprisingly, CNN actually put on a pretty darn good GOP debate. (I didn't seen the JV's, earlier in the day.)

Sure, CNN is still a Left-wing network of course, so there were a few questions about things Right-wingers don't recognize or care about, like Global Warming. Which would be fine in a D vs. R candidate debate, but completely doesn't belong in a GOP-only debate.

And of course they're still trashy/sensational like FNC, so it started out with several "so-and-so said this about you, take a moment to react" questions. Which might only be marginally useful to voters, as far as seeing how, both accusor and accusee, cope with aggression and pressure.

But what was fabulous about it is two-fold:
1) The thing was about 3, blessed, hours long. To a political junkie, that's not long, considering there were 11 (why not the "top 10"?!) candidates participating.
2) The moderator(s) did less talking, and there was responses and re-responses and re-re-responses from the candidates (vice just a bunch of interrupting with "we gotta move on"). In fact, the two co-questioners didn't get to ask hardly any questions, so their role was dubious. (Which is fine by me.)

Readily apparent was that everyone came with more energy this time, to the point of making Trump look somewhat demure. He's going to have to start coming out with details now (I think he said he'll have specifics of an economic plan to release in the next couple of weeks) to stay competitive. Everyone has ideas that are cringe-worthy (like Carly's "I won't talk with Putin, I'll just arm up" brinksmanship strategy for foreign policy), so it should be safe for Trump to start getting specific. (That is, I don't think something akin to mere "hope and change" -- his "I'll make America great again" -- will work, for a Republican.)

So what made this debate a gazillion times better than the FNC's is that I actually learned some things about the candidates' positions on things, and a little on how they differ. Unfortunately that's probably the best one there'll ever be.

p.s. It was good to see Rand Paul back to being his thoughtful and articulate self, unlike the prior debate where he didn't talk issues, just got into petty tit-for-tats with Trump and Christie.

p.p.s. I'm absolutely elated to have heard something to the effect that the three "outsiders" in the race are the top three in polling right now for the GOP.

User Journal

Journal Journal: computer model mythology 9

So I'm sitting here watching the women's finals of the U.S. Open (tennis, not golf; i.e. the boring stuff, not the really boring stuff! ;). BTW, in the men's finals tomorrow, world ranked #1 and #2 are playing each other, unsurprisingly. But on the women's side, #1 and #2 lost in the semis to #26 and an unranked player.

This would be unheard of on the men's side, because 1) there's a significant difference between a top 3 and a top 10 ranked player, let alone a top 30 player, and 2) they're a hell of a lot more consistent; excepting Serena Williams (who looks to be part man herself, BTW!), the women flop around from #1 to nobodies, like musical chairs.

Anyways, both of these players have never been to the finals of a grand slam (I guess one of the big* four tournaments of tennis in a year) before, and for such people nerves can be a factor, typically, and to some degree. This is broad generalizing [pun not intended :)] just assuming this much, which leads me to the point of my JE.

*I think I heard last night that the winner's payout was now up to $3.3 mil.

IBM is one of the sponsors of the tourney, and they're always trying to reinforce their marketing angle of being thought of for data analytics, and they had a feature during a pause where the sports announcers told us that nerves would affect one of the players 55% to 45% for the other player.

WTF?!? It boggles the mind to imagine just how impressive in number and cocksurety the assumptions must have been that went into such a concoction.

But we believe that computers are impartial, and don't(/can't) lie, so it must be true. What people don't know of course is that, assuming a bug-free implementation of a model, the output is only as trustworthy as both the model and the data.

I tell my non-technical extended family members that computers are not magical soothsayers, they can only, basically, do what they're told to do. And a computer model is just, broadly-speaking [there I go again], telling the computer what to do with the data.

It may be more data than a human being can readily sift through to determine what their assumptions would amount to, but that's all the computer does, takes human beings' assumptions about things, and crunches data sets, small or large, in terms of them.

So the tennis match is over now. They announced the winner does indeed get $3.3 mil. And she announced that she's retiring. People were shocked to hear this, apparently even her coach. But she's 33 years old, which is prime retirement age from the game. And she has a fiance, so she probably wants to start a family, as most women do.

She said she's known the fellow Italian she played against today since they first played at about age 9. So she's had a long career, and even though she also said after the match that she made the decision to retire after this tournament a month ago, she might have been thinking about retiring soon anyways. And the why not go out on this high. But did IBM's Watson, Tennis Version*, know all of this? She probably wasn't hardly nervous at all, given all of that.

*They've been advertising versions of "Watson" for health care data and other areas, in addition to the Jeopardy version that originally made the name famous.

p.s. I just sprouted an "eye migraine" (a painless, developing "shimmering" in my direct field of vision, in both eyes/in my brain) a few minutes ago, so apologies if some of my last few edits are mangled.

User Journal

Journal Journal: My prediction, but it has an "If" in it 6

If it looks like Sanders may defeat Clinton, Biden will throw his hat in the ring.

If Clinton gets defeated by Sanders - and perhaps even if Sanders merely comes close - in the first few primaries, Biden will campaign very seriously, and the establishment will swing behind him. Biden will probably win the nomination under these circumstances.

It's an "If", but I'd put the chances of the above happening at around 30% right now. Sanders is doing well, and there have been polls showing slight (within the margin of error) leads in a couple of States. But I doubt the Democratic establishment are convinced Clinton will lose... yet.

Can Biden win the election? I know racists who voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004 who voted for Obama in '08 and '12 because Biden was on the ticket. Don't underestimate him. He's almost certainly a better bet than Clinton, but I suspect there's some deal making going on behind the scenes that's preventing him from jumping in the race at this stage. If Clinton starts to look vulnerable to Sanders, the pressure on him to run will be immense, backroom deals or no backroom deals.

BTW the fact I'm predicting this means it'll never happen.

User Journal

Journal Journal: would've never guessed that 2

Ran into something today. Found the answer:

4. INSERT queries that use SELECT with ORDER BY to populate rows guarantees how identity values are computed but not the order in which the rows are inserted

Mentally masticate on that one for a minute. You carefully craft an ordered query for output to a web page view. But you need to return other resultsets based on it, so you INSERT that SELECT into a table variable, use it to produce your other resultsets, and then finally SELECT from the table var as the last resultset to return.

But then you find your ordered query is ordered, just not your order! Would've never seen that even coming. So I slapped an IDENTITY column on the table var and sorted on it for the final resultset. Whatevs.

User Journal

Journal Journal: An Lá 1

Solas agus Ãilleacht duit, a mhuirnÃn, an là seo agus gach lÃ, cibé a bhfuil tÃ.

User Journal

Journal Journal: When did I become an incompetent at TSQL? 32

What is wrong with this code? It's like I can have the inner loop execute, or the outer loop execute, but not both.

DECLARE @BatchMatch varchar(40)
Declare @mcount int
Declare @dcount int
Set @mcount=1
Set @dcount=1
While @mcount <13
        while @dcount<32
                Set @BatchMatch=Right('00'+Convert(varchar(2), @mcount),2) + Right('00' + Convert(varchar(2),@dcount),2)
                Print @BatchMatch
                Set @dcount=@dcount+1
        Set @mcount=@mcount +1

PS, no I don't care that all months don't have 31 days, but I must cover months that do.

Update- failed to reset the inner loop counter, that's what.

User Journal

Journal Journal: we must study it first (perpetually) 11

"The idea of, you know, building a wall, kicking everybody out, and ending birthright citizenship all sounds appealing in some respects to some folks. But I just think it's a very complicated problem. And it needs someone who understands how to do a complicated and nuanced solution to that problem," Christie said [...]

Fuck nuance. And fuck those who are relativists and excuse-makers who try to use the concept to moderate on what is unequivocal. dam_reservoirs and fussycrackwitch are obviously commies. ISIS is obviously an Islamic terrorist organization. We obviously can build a fucking wall. Trump is popular right now because about a sixth of us in this country are tired of mealy-mouthed pussies.

"Appealing in *some* respects"?!? In what respects is it *not* appealing, to build a wall, kick out the illegals, and stop the madness? Presumably he means such things are unappealing to Leftie Republicans.

"Now what I said was if we wanted to have comprehensive immigration reform, I'd be willing to listen to anything. But the truth of the matter is that that's not something we should be being focused on. That's an applause line," he added.

When two paragraphs up he said:

And I think the difference here in my approach is they know that I'm a guy who knows how to enforce the law," he said.

Umm, what good is it to us that you know how to enforce the law, when you think it's not something worth focusing on?

And everybody knows by now that "comprehensive" reform is code for shifting the policy Leftward. In this case, an all-of-the-above approach of giving us both amnesty and not securing the border.

Why is Christie running? (Or Jeb for that matter? Or fucking Lindsey Graham?) Why is he even in the GOP? Mark Steyn said something to the effect that Republican establishment candidates are good choices because they give such great concession speeches. So Christie's big plan is to alienate the Conservative base and appeal to the big donations class of the party? I.e. raise a lot of money and get no general election votes? I guess how that strategy and inevitable outcome is a good thing is "nuanced".

p.s. Megan Kelly *is* a bimbo. I saw (part of) some segment when Dinesh D'Souza was on, talking about some of the very real shit that was happening to him. That guy has been watching and writing about Leftie trends in America going back to at least the 90's "Illiberal Education". As I recall he basically said what everyone knows, that amounted to saying that Obama is basically an American communist. And then Miss "hee hee look at me I have my own TV show!" immediately laughs and says that's crazy. Dinesh was floored. He's a (admittedly biased) researcher, she's a fake-blonde airhead "TV personality". I guess Roger bumped mutt-faced Greta out of prime time because she's not a breezy enough blonde. Next he should ditch the ditz and put Shannon Bream in that spot. She's guest-hosted the Brett Bair nee Brit Hume news hour and done so credibly.

p.p.s. I got side-tracked there. What I want is someone who'll forget about how "complicated" or "nuanced" a problem is and just start doing the obvious things to address it. And it's 2015 in America, Constitutionality is no longer a problem, when we have assholes like Roberts and Kennedy who'll lick their fingers and stick them in the wind to decide what would be best for whichever way the country is veering at the time.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Edge kinda sucks 2

From a tablet user's perspective, Windows 8.1 had a pretty good version of IE. It was full screen (to see the URL bar/tabs/bookmarks, you had to actually affirmatively ask for them by swiping from the bottom), they made good use of gestures (swipe left and right to move through history, etc), and the browser was... well, IE, not the world's best, but it's fairly efficient, fast, and compatible.

They removed that IE interface in Windows 10 (only the desktop IE remains.) The alternative is supposed to be Edge, but it has no gestures, and is never full screen in the same way.

Worse, Edge seems to kill performance on my tablet. The browser itself only ever seems to take up single digit percentages of CPU but regardless when I start it or have it running the entire tablet grinds to a halt. Close it, and performance goes back to normal. I have no idea why. Given the low CPU usage I wonder if it's just the way it uses the graphics drivers or something similar, but it makes it unusable.

I've switched to Chrome in the meantime, which contrary to early reports and Mozilla's outburst, is actually very easy. Chrome also has the same problems as Edge in terms of not being really full screen, but it doesn't have the performance issues, and it does have the intuitive (and better than trying to hit buttons with a finger) gesture based UI that IE had.

Tablet mode in general seems a step down in Windows 10 from the Windows 8.1 approach. Oh well.

"From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere." -- Dr. Seuss