Notes from underground

يارب يسوع المسيح ابن اللّه الحيّ إرحمني أنا الخاطئ

Archive for the tag “operating systems”

Blog and browser popularity

A couple of months ago I read in a news report that Chrome had overtaken Firefox and Internet Explorer as the most popular web browser. Not among readers of this blog, it hasn’t!

Here are the latest stats for web page browsers used to view this blog:

A couple of months ago I also noticed a surprising increase in the number of readers of this blog apparently coming from Ukraine.

I thought that there might have been one or two posts that appealed to Ukrainian readers, but no, the trend has continued.

At first I thought it might be because I sometimes blog about the Orthodox Church, and there are Orthodox Christians in Ukraine and Russia, but I actually blog far more about the Orthodox Church on my other blog, Khanya, which had only five Ukrainian reader in the last month — there were many more from other countries with substantial numbers of Orthodox Christians, such as Greece, Bulgaria. Serbia and Russia.

Visitors to Khanya blog for 30 days ending 2012-06-28


I haven’t seen any comments from anyone from Ukraine to say why they like reading this blog rather than the other.

Or perhaps Blogger’s statistics are just screwed up.

MS-DOS is 30 years old today | ExtremeTech

MS-DOS is 30 years old today | ExtremeTech: “Thirty years ago, on July 27 1981, Microsoft bought the rights for QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System) from Seattle Computer Products (SCP) for $25,000. QDOS, otherwise known as 86-DOS, was designed by SCP to run on the Intel 8086 processor, and was originally thrown together in just two months for a 0.1 release in 1980. Meanwhile, IBM had planned on powering its upcoming Personal Computer with CP/M-86, which had been the standard OS for Intel 8086 and 8080 architectures at the time, but a deal could not be struck with CP/M’s developer, Digital Research. IBM then approached Microsoft, which already had a few years of experience under its belt with M-DOS, BASIC, and other important tools — and as you can probably tell from the landscape of the computer world today, the IBM/Microsoft partnership worked out rather well indeed.”

Linux hates me

I’ve been trying on and off for almost 11 years to install Linux on my computer, but still haven’t succeeded.

The first version I tried, in October 1999, was Mandrake v 6.0.

It installed OK, and I could run it, load the shell, and play with shell scripts and the like. But it would not recognise my graphics card or monitor, and so would not run a GUI.

Now I have new hard disks, and a new graphics card and a new monitor.

I installed Fedora 12. It doesn’t boot to the shell, but loads a GUI, but still doesn’t recognise my monitor, and won’t display at any higher resolution than 800×600.

I tried booting from a “live” CD of Ubuntu 9.10. Same thing.

Mandriva. Same thing.

Even though the hardware is completely changed, Linux still doesn’t recognise my monitor, and still won’t tun a GUI properly. And I can’t even boot to the shell — it loads the GUI (badly) and I have to go to a terminal to play with shells scripts etc.

My monitor is an LG Flatron W1542S

The graphics card (output of “lspel|grep VGA”) shows: 02:00.0 VGA compatible controller nVidia Corporation NVCrvxnII [GeForce 2 MX Integrated Graphics] (rev b1).

Am I the only one who has this problem?

Why does Linux hate me?

My demonized computer

My computer has a demon, it really has.

OK, it’s probably a daemon, but it’s a demonic daemon.

It takes control of my computer most mornings about 9:20, just when I’m trying to get some work done, and wastes about half-an hour every day.

What happens is that the hard disk starts churning, and the computer then takes an age to respond to anything. The only way to gain control again is to press and hold down the power button until the thing stops, and then reboot.

But this morning I decided to do it the long way. When I clicked a few times and there was no response, I checked, and sure enough, the disk activity light showed that the hard disk was churning. I’d been viewing a web page, and tried to close it, as I thought it might be trying to send me something long and expensive, like a video. When it took a long time to close, I realised what was happening.

09:23 – Decide to shut down
09:26 – clicked the Restart button
09:28 – htqtra08 closing, then computer closed down and time disappeared
09:36 – time reappeared on reboot
09:43 – Loading ZoneAlarm
09:45 – Reboot complete.

OK, so that is 22 minutes, but from the time the problem starts to the time I get back to where I was working and start working agan, it’s more like 30 minutes.

It’s possible to save 5-7 minutes by switching off with the power switch instead of going through the close-down but it’s still a long long time.

I’m running Windows XP, and if ever I have to replace this computer, I’ll probably be forced to use Vista, which to all accounts is worse.

One of the problems is that Windows never tells you what it’s doing half the time. Microsoft don’t see fit to tell you. Press Ctrl-Alt-Del to see what program is running and misbehaving so one can close it down, and there’s nothing there. When you boot up, there are all kinds of “processes”, and I’ve read that you can speed things up by omitting some of them, but how do you know what they do and whether you need them or not? Microsoft doesn’t tell you.

There are other things Microsoft doesn’t tell you, or someone doesn’t tell you.

Some program, I don’t know which, underlines things it regard as spelling mistakes in some documents. But it underlines some spellings that are correct. So where is it, and can one adjust the settings and update it’s spelling dictionary?

There is another (or perhaps the same one) that “suggests” things to use to fill in fields on web pages. The trouble is, it “suggests” every typo I’ve ever made. What is this program, where can one find it, how can one adjust its settings and remove the typos?

Are there any fundis out there who can answer some of these questions?

Someone I know had a hard disk crash recently, and when her hardware had been repaired, she had a problem “revalidating” the Windows operating system. She tried every available method, but nothing worked.

Eventually a friend helped her by loading a pirate version of Windows XP on her computer. It was half the size, booted in half them time, and ran at about twice the speed. It was a stripped down version that was an improvement on the original.

Actually for most of my work I’d be quite happy to use MS DOS. The only trouble is that it hasn’t been updated and can’t handle modern hardware — disk drives, controllers, video cards etc.

People say use a better OS, like Linux, but I don’t know whether the programs I use most often would run under Linux. I have 20 years of work on my computer, if not more. I really don’t have time to start all over again and redo all that stuff.

So perhaps it’s time to exorcise my computer.

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