For some time now, any web page that uses Flash has resolutely refused to work correctly in the Chrome browser for me. I use Windows 8 – 64 bit. Amazingly it all works fine in Firefox, 64-bit Firefox Nightly, Opera, IE10 in 32 & 64 bit incarnations….?
The solution from the chrome help page, is to enable Flash from the plugins menu. You type this the address bar to get show all the plugins.
Chrome Plugins Normal
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work!
Checking the plugin, I see it is apparently working alright! See the screenshot.
I decided to try a “flip” – turning off Flash still didn’t make it work – and neither did it work when I turned it back on. There’s an Enable/Disable toggle link for this which you can see in the screenshot.
But then, in the top right of the plugins screen, I spied a “detail” link! So I clicked it to expand it – and all is revealed!
Chrome Plugins Expanded
Adobe Flash Now Working
The issue is that there are two Flash plugins; one is the default “pepper” that comes with Chrome; the other is installed manually and works in all other browsers.
The solution, after a little trial and error, is to disable the native, cross-platform Flash player, “Pepper”, and to enable the manually installed, most-recent, version. It still won’t work if Pepper is enabled and the installed version disabled. The Adobe Flash test page now works in Chrome, as you can see.
Below is a screenshot of how it should look (well for me at least!) to get it all working properly.
Panasonic DMC-TZ30EB-R: Is this not a work of art?
I’m afraid my old TZ7 (which replaced my earlier TZ5 due to my clumsiness) has now had to be replaced with the new TZ30. The reason? At some unknown moment, my usual dollard-ish clumsiness put a scratch on the lens….. the whole recent trip to Australia is marred (to my eyes at least) by a fuzzy mark off-centre at 2 o’clock.
I wanted the red one as it’s a beautiful thing indeed. In fact, I hunted to get one at a good price within a reasonable time-scale, but have settled for the black one for cost and because I can get it now!.. (The Panasonic DMC-TZ30EB-K).
Gratuitous photo of Iggy Pop from October 25, 1977 at the State Theatre, Minneapolis, MN (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It’s now on the way so watch this space for my opinions and results later!!. I’m extremely hopeful due to the reviews I’ve read.
I’ve waited and have passed over the TZ20 and other incarnations due to unfavourable comments and lack of substantial change in their features. Now, the TZ30 has tipped the balance for me. The GPS feature introduced with the TZ10 hasn’t had much interest to me, but maybe this’ll change all that!
Specification Highlights for me are:
The 20x optical zoom (naturally) in a body that’s less obtrusive than my current TZ7.
Better ISO performance – reputed to be very good at low light down to ISO800.
Better burst mode shooting. It’s supposed to be 10 fps whereas my TZ7 only does about three…. I have some stop-action movie ideas that I started with my old Fuji FinePix F30 that I’d like to continue and expand upon. The F30 did reasonable frames per second whereas the TZ7 is just too slow for the effects I want.
Semi-automatic panorama shooting. Much better than the old manual stitch mode….
Rapid autofocus (AF) – reputed to be 1/10 second. Combine this with burst mode and nature and sport shots should be great with at least one being on the button.
The only one I’ve spotted that directly affects my expectations is that in burst mode, the auto-focus is fixed once the burst starts, at 10fps. However, to counter this the feature is more variable than I’m used to in that with burst mode set to 5fps autofocus and zoom work concurrently! This definitely needs playing with!
My Standard Expectations:
Minimal blue/purple casts or fringing at high contrast edges.
Wonderful summer shots with vibrant colour.
Much better focus changing in video zooming.
My Quantum Leap Hopes:
The same or better sound quality that the F30 and TZ7 delivered. Both produced full non-clipped audio sound at rock concerts! The TZ7 does it in stereo. (see my Iggy Pop video below, discussed in this post, Iggy at Hammersmith).
Much, much faster autofocus and burst shooting than I’m used to. This includes the continuous autofocus & zoom at 5fps mentioned earlier.
Much better auto-focus on video zoom especially and pictures generally. I’m hoping the intelligence of the thing has been re-jigged…… To explain…….
The tendency on my TZ7 is to focus on the near-field whether it’s bright or dark. Yet I want it to focus on what the human eye drifts to, i.e., bright objects. On the TZ7 I’ve had to use human intervention to override the camera expectations….
The video below shows this.
For me the prime purpose of a compact camera is to get the best shot possible as fast as possible.
At the Stooges concert at Hammersmith below, I’d waited for ages and then suddenly the band came on and kicked off immediately! There was no time to prime the focus because I knew I’d miss some performance, so I had to make allowances for the camera deficiencies by pulling back zoom and trying to get autofocus on the bright areas by field drifting.
Ideally, I should have asked Mr Pop to restart his concert so that I could stop the video, auto-focussing on maximum zoom to distance and then restarting the video before he kicked off again. ;-) Obviously that wasn’t going to happen so I did the best I could without missing any of the performance of my historic bête noire idol.
As it was, my guess was right, even to continuing filming without a break, because against all rumours and knowledge that the Raw Power album was to be played in order, it wasn’t! Search & Destroy immediately followed Raw Power.
I’ve finally decided to test the next Windows edition, probably to be called Windows 8, although things like that are never certain in Microsoft-land.
Win8 Dev VirtualBox Installation
I did a Virtual Box install, which is fairly straightforward. There are many tutorials on-line now which show how to do this, so I won’t do a walk-through. I installed the 64-bit version which I downloaded from MSDN using my licence. You can get the installs from the Microsoft Website here, which come in ISO format. You can also find out more from the horse’s mouth here.
You can also set aside a partition on your hard-drive and install to that. However, Virtual Box is the safe way to go should the partition install fail and corrupt your current installation somehow.
What I will say, is to use more memory allocation to the virtual installation than recommended elsewhere or as the default, and to use as many virtual processors as your host machine has.….. My machine is an AMD 955BE, which is quad-core running at around 3GHz. In other words, if you don’t want it to run like treacle, give it plenty processor and memory room; at least the recommended values for Windows 7. You can see all of this in the VirtualBox settings screenshot above.
Fast Install (added 24/11/11))
Windows 7 vs. Windows 8 time to upgrade
Microsoft, on their MSDN blog, have made a big thing about the rapid installation for Windows 8, particularly for the upgrade route. See Improving the setup experience. I can say now that the clean install into the VirtualBox environment was very fast….
You make a virtual machine in Virtual Box
You set it’s parameters – processors, memory size, footprint size, IDE/SATA storage etc
You set the downloaded ISO image to boot from in the settings.
You boot by “Starting” the virtual machine.
You install Windows into the filespace that you’ve previously set aside for it – I gave it a dynamic sized 50Gb.
After that, let windows do it’s thing. It took 10 minutes or so.
Let it reboot.
Win8 Dev Loggged On Screen
Following this, you get a green screen from which country specifics are added, a username and finally, you enter your Live.com identity, if you have one, and if you want to!
It’s a big green screen. I don’t have a touchscreen, but it’s obviously designed for one. It has massive buttons to a host of online services like weather & stocks, plus a few to your computer’s functions.
Win8 Dev Logon Screen
If you log off, you get presented with an American Rockies vista of a lonely winding road. Essentially, the entry into Windows 8 is like a smartphone. But what’s it like beneath the surface?
Windows 7 Legacy, and Vista Too!
Win8 Dev Double Click Control Panel Screen
Obviously, this is a development preview release, and we can expect more of the same to come.
Win8 Dev Double Click Explorer Screen
But most work has gone onto the main intro screen because beneath the surface, all the various apps and settings controls are the old (current) Windows 7 interface.
Bizarrely, some screens even have vestiges of the green Vista, notably the main screen itself.
Personally, I think it’s very, very dour. I can’t believe that two years of effort has gone into doing something that Android does on a more than twice-annual cycle….
Win8 Dev Left Corner Hover Screen
Accessing the menus is the most unintuitive thing I’ve seen for ages! Following on from the impressive Windows 7, it’s truly not just a user let-down, but somewhat infuriating as well……. Whereas previously I just typed into the run bar to do almost anything, now I can’t even find programs or files! No doubt there’s a way – but after Win7, it’s not intuitive and not helpful either.
I hope that’s not the end of the run box, because that feature in Windows 7 is awesome.
Win8 Dev Double Click Control Panel Screen
I haven’t checked through many apps (except a few desktop ones like the weird child-like paint thing and the weather which won’t do anywhere except California) but this is the control panel.
Win8 Dev Control Panel More Settings Screen
You then drill-down to get the old Win7 control panel on “More Settings”.
Initial Investigation Ends
Well that’s it for now. To say I’m un-impressed by the big green monstrous front doesn’t give my opinion justice. There doesn’t appear to be an easy way out of the front-screen apps and to have an app made for a 3-inch screen sat on a 23 inch desktop monitor really demonstrates the infantile apps for what they are.
Way back in the nineties Microsoft tried their in-house Microsoft Network (MSN) which was a disc install that gave you a black desktop that gave dial-up access to features giving almost the same as this big green toy-town monster.
Last night, my mobile decided to upgrade itself. Both Android and HTC Sense got “upgraded”. It’s now:
HTC Sense 3.0
Software Number 2.10.401.5
It’s now got very pretty icons and even more scary fog sounds on the weather app.!!
It’s a bit slicker and has a ring-pull on the start screen!
Most of the icons and text (like SMS, say) have had a spruce up and are neater.
It forced a swathe of updates from other apps like Google Maps, Adobe Reader, Flash etc.
Not so Good.
But wait! What happened to navigation in the HTC Locations app?
HTC Desire S at Amazon - still 300 quid!
Granted, the app is slicker and uses the same Route 66 software, but now I have to pay a minimum of six quid a month to use the very useful “Get Directions” facility which is one of the reasons that I bought the phone for in the first place!!!
And if I do pay, it only works for car, not for pedestrian mapping as it used to!
The point is that it’s my software.
I paid for a license to use it, but I didn’t agree to have it removed and replaced by an inferior version of software that asks for more money.
I agreed for the software to be updated, but it was updated without saying what the update would do!
In effect, HTC have stolen my software from me.
HTC have dishonoured the original contract when I purchased the phone and software.
HTC are crooks. Bizarrely, the late Steve Jobs is right.
Actually, I tried the 64 bit installs of Firefox and Internet Explorer soon after I installed this Windows 7 64 bit Operating System. They were both pants and summarily removed from my hard drives and I haven’t revisited for over 2 years….
But now things seem on the up.
64-bit is now mainstream with a large 64-bit user base and fewer and fewer 32-bit applications seeing regular usage against the 64-bit versions. This is Firefox’s “about” info (above) from this browser. It’s called “Nightly”, and actually (whispers to one side), it’s very good…!!! Miles better than before, which made the machine crash….
Worked first time
Needed Flash plugins which were directly available, and work!
Worked okay with all my current plugins – Web Developer, Flagfox, Quirk SearchStatus and the rest. Amazing. They all worked!
Got it’s own icon
Installs into it’s own folder separate to Firefox
Carries over all Firefox settings & shortcuts.
Carries over all Firefox add-ons & plugins, if they work.
only needed a new Flash install to get it working the way it was on 32-bit
So now I’m going to try 64-bit browsing as a real test.
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