My Blog Was Offline Briefly

From 7h45 to 8h45 this morning, some bot might have noticed that my blog was not functioning 100%, although just to retrieve the URL should still have generated a Code 200. This is because I was doing some maintenance in my system files, that WordPress.org uses.

Dirk

 

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A Caveat in Using Vacuuming Robots

I own a “Neato XV Signature” -brand robot vacuum cleaner. I already posted about it here:

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(Photo Added 1/21/2016 : )

Neato XV _1

I’m still very satisfied with this machine. One observation which I can make about it, is that with its robotic mind, it fails to make common-sense decisions, and for a person who’s watching it work, this can lead to some anticipatory anxiety, until it has finished. But in today’s world, AI is not supposed to duplicated Human Common Sense (yet). And so the way this robot was programmed, is such that it will still complete its full job – of maze-mapping its assigned obstacles – in spite of what Humans can plainly see as ‘stupid mistakes the robot made’. It may just take a little longer for the job to complete, but there is built-in fault-tolerance in its programming.

What’s a little less satisfying, is knowing that the dust filter on this model isn’t washable. After a certain amount of time, it will simply need to be replaced. What this means in practice, is that the companies in general, may be doing with this category of device, what many printer manufacturers already do: They may nail us on the price of future filter replacements, they way some nail us on the ink cartridges, which in some cases are also made quite small by design.

Yet, I have already bought a pack of 6 replacement filters, anticipating this situation. Those replacement filters came in the mail yesterday.

Dirk

 

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Living in a World of both New And Old Computers

One of the ironies that I notice in my life, is that even though I own both modern Android devices, and older Linux devices, I still get a lot of satisfaction out of ‘tinkering’ with my Linux devices.

I’d say that for most purposes, the more modern – or post-modern – mobile devices truly have become more useful on a practical level. But there are still certain types of tasks which need to be left to the older technologies. And one of the latter would be, to dedicate a machine to act as the host for server-programs, i.e. to use a machine as a server.

Further, even though I’ve had an intense interest in the past in CGI – in Computer Generated Images – I would not say I’m avidly into computer-gaming. I do hold a few player-licenses to video games. But if I was intensely into playing video games, then the Windows machines would start to become indispensable.

Linux just seems to be an ideal platform for servers, but is also surprisingly efficient at multimedia work. And, Linux can be a powerful platform to run CGI. It’s just that Linux gaming is not up to par, mainly for financial reasons. Firstly, the way Debian Linux works tends not to play well, with DRM. And games are after all sold for profit. Secondly, there isn’t a sufficiently high percentage of users based on Linux, really to make it worth the while of major gaming companies.

There have been various ways to integrate some DRM’ed software with Linux constraints, even though Linux is better-associated with its open-source background.

Dirk

 

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A Summary of What Computers I Own

I suppose that if this is going to be a tech blog, one thing I should do is list what computers I own.

I own 3 desktops, 2 laptops, 1 tablet and 1 smart-phone.

The desktops and laptops all have names, that actually become important on my LAN.

 

These are my desktops:

  • A quad-core, 64-bit, Pentium i7 -based machine named ‘Mithral’, built around 2010, running Windows 7.
  • A dual-core, 64-bit, AMD -based machine named ‘Pheonix’, built around 2008, running a version of Linux called “Kanotix Spitfire”, which is also a Debian / Jessie OS.
  • A dual-core, 32-bit, Intel -based machine named ‘Walnut’, built around 2005. running a version of Linux called “Kanotix Excalibur”, which is also a Debian / Lenny OS.

These are my laptops:

  • A quad-core, 64-bit, Pentium i7 -based Hewlett Packard named ‘Maverick’, built around 2014, running Windows 8.1 .
  • A single-core, 32-bit, AMD -based Acer Aspire 5020 named ‘Venus’, built around 2005, being a Dual-Boot system with Windows XP SP3, and with a Linux version called “Kanotix Dragonfire”, which is also a Debian / Wheezy OS.

My tablet and smart-phone are both Android -based, running KitKat and Lollipop respectively.

Both ‘Phoenix’ and ‘Venus’ recently saw their Linux partitions simply get wiped by me, in order to have their OSes reinstalled and upgraded to Debian / Jessie and Debian / Wheezy. They used to be named ‘Thunderbox’ and ‘Aphrodite’, and when the Acer 5020 is running in Windows XP mode, it takes the name ‘Zeus’ presently.

 

In today’s world, Acer is not a very high-quality brand. But I do believe that the laptops they were manufacturing in 2005, were considered to be somewhat high-quality at that time.

 

Dirk

 

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