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Ron Obvious

Profile Information

Name: Ron
Gender: Male
Home country: Middle Earth
Current location: Seattle
Member since: Tue Dec 13, 2011, 11:37 PM
Number of posts: 5,994

About Me

I got the nickname Ron Obvious because -- in addition to being a huge Python fan -- my name really is Ron and I used to start sentences with \"Obviously\" a lot. Obviously, that\'s no longer a problem.

Journal Archives

If your Windows computer doesn't recognise your Android phone...

After (accidentally) upgrading my Windows 8 laptop to Windows 8.1, it no longer recognised my ancient Android G1 as external storage. I already had that problem with my main Windows 7 desktop, but was now forced to confront the issue.

The following steps worked on Windows 7 (x64) and Windows 8.1 (x64) machines when connected to a Cyanogenmodded G1 running Froyo. I'm throwing it out here in case it might help anyone else. Googling didn't find me the solution, but that might be me, or maybe this is an unusual situation.

With the phone connected on USB (but not mounted), go to the control panel, open up both Device Manager AND Devices and Printers.

On Device Manager, do you see "ADB Interface", and on Devices and Printers, do you see "Android Phone" under "Unspecified"? You might have the same problem I did.

On Device Manager, expand "ADB Interface", right-click on the phone model, properties, driver tab, and click "Uninstall". Check "Delete the driver software for this device" and hit OK. Unplug and plug the phone back in.

Notice that ADB Interface did not get re-added under Device Management, but on your Devices and Printers screen, you now have "Android Phone" listed under devices. On your phone, select "Mount" or "Turn on USB storage".

Voila, it now recognises the drive. A quick perusal of Device Manager suggests that the system is now using native Windows USB storage drivers instead.

I was teacher's pet

I didn't want to be, but I was teacher's pet.

During a lesson on penmanship, I deliberately destroyed my lesson booklet because I had been trying so hard to fail and was getting passing grades no matter how badly I did.

When the teacher, stunned and outraged (she was 175 years old and had her hair in a bun) asked what the fuck I was thinking (I think those were the words she used), I told her I really want to earn a failing grade for once in my life.

She wrote "This is the failing grade Ronnie so desperately wanted to get" on my lesson booklet and made me stand in the corner for several years. She also contacted my parents, who - to their credit - thought it was really funny.

I later returned and machine-gunned the entire school. I mean, be fair, they had it coming.

I'm a trusted DU'er and I'm available for advice.

In a recent survey, I was named 27th most trusted person in my neighbourhood.

So if anybody needs a trusted DU'er for advice, I'm available. No pressure or anything. I mean, don't worry about my feelings.

Blade Runner Filming Locations (youtube video)

This is very nicely done, I thought:

Hardware Wars!

For some reason I was reminded of this little gem when I took my new ShopVac out the box. Can't imagine why.

See the spine-tingling special effects!
You'll laugh!
You'll cry!
You'll kiss three bucks goodbye!

Fuck you and your fucking Chrome!

I've just had to uninstall Google Chrome for about the 20th time.

I was nagged into upgrading my Flash and must've ignored a checkbox and had Chrome shoved down my throat again. AGAIN. I'm happy with my browser (Opera), thank you very much, and if I wanted another browser I wouldn't chose one that's so closely associated with a company that makes its living by spying on everything I do online.

Do no evil, my arse. If there's one company in a position to do incredible evil, it's fucking Google. Now I hear they want to manage my medical records as well. Do not want!

Sorry, we now return you to your regularly scheduled cat videos. As you were.

I've suffered for my music and now it's your turn.

Neil Innes:

Ethics aren't always rational.

Dawkins relates a classic study in The God Delusion:

Imagine if you're in the subway, and you see a runaway train about to barrel down on a family of five people sitting on the track. You can hit a switch to move the points, and the train will go down another track instead. Do you hit the switch? Of course you do.

Now what if there were another person already sitting on that alternate track? Do you still hit the switch, even though you will kill a person to save the lives of five? Most people will still say yes.

What if you were on a bridge above the tracks, and the only possible way for you to stop the runaway train would be for you to push an huge obese person off the bridge, killing him, but stopping the train and saving five lives? This is more complicated, even though the killing of one person to save five is no different than in the previous scenario. Fewer people would say yes in this instance.

What if you're a transplant doctor, and you have five patients, each dying with a different organ failing. Heart, liver, lungs, etc. A perfectly healthy person walks in, whose organs are perfectly compatible with all five patients. Do you kill the healthy person, harvest the organs and save the five people dying of organ failure? Almost nobody would say yes, even though the situation is again no different: killing one person to save five.

The interesting thing is that this holds true universally, in every culture and religion on earth the answers are virtually the same. It's not our education, culture, or religion that really informs our ethics. It's something else.

An interesting thought experiment, I thought.

Can anyone recommend good password management software?

In the wake of this latest SSL security hole, I'll be changing all my passwords next week and I might as well bite the bullet and use a password manager because I can't really keep up any more (see cartoon below)


Preferably free and open source
Runs on Windows
Easy to use
Must allow logins from multiple computers, but I do NOT want anything cloud or server-based! I want all files local. This would presumably mean sharing a master password file.
Must be flexible wrt different password parameters, e.g. some servers don't allow punctuation or spaces, others require them.
Store PIN codes as well.

I've never used one, so I'm open to all suggestions.

Thanks in advance!

All Things Dull and Ugly

Ah, it's the classical hymns that are the best, aren't they?

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