Tag Archive: Cycle

Testing Windows 8 Developer Preview Version

Windows 8 Developer Preview

Win8 Dev Logon Screen

Win8 Dev Logon Screen

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.

Virtual Box

Win8 Dev VirtualBox Installation

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

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….

Briefly:

  1. You make a virtual machine in Virtual Box
  2. You set it’s parameters – processors, memory size, footprint size, IDE/SATA storage etc
  3. You set the downloaded ISO image to boot from in the settings.
  4. You boot by “Starting” the virtual machine.
  5. You install Windows into the filespace that you’ve previously set aside for it – I gave it a dynamic sized 50Gb.
  6. After that, let windows do it’s thing.  It took 10 minutes or so.
  7. Let it reboot.
Win8 Dev Loggged On Screen

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!

Appearance

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

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

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

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

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.

Control Panel

Win8 Dev Double Click Control Panel Screen

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

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.

Not happy.

Watch this space as I delve more….

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Crawling Chaos Dishwasher

Crawling Chaos, Dishwasher

Crawling Chaos, Dishwasher?

Via some Google Alerts I’ve got set up, I came across the weirdest definition of “Crawling Chaos” that I’ve seen for quite some time.

This is the complete web-page on the right and it’s source, the link below:

http://bathroomgirl.tumblr.com/post/276368760

Crawling Chaos Sex Machine?

Crawling Chaos, Sex Machine?

In essence, it’s a long list of weird photos; some disturbing, some funny, many thoughtful, not so many, dumb.  Flipping through the site, I came across this photo at the left on this page, which in some respects demonstrates to me the Buddhist concept of “The Interconnectedness of All Things”.  How else could I have found it?

The lyrics of the Crawling Chaos track “Sex Machine” are yet again coming to fruition.

Last week we had the welcome news that the gene code for some major cancers has been cracked (see Scientists crack ‘entire genetic code’ of cancer).  This is one aspect of the human condition – to be fit and healthy.

Another aspect of the human condition is to be sexy and to have sex.  To talk about sex and think about sex.  In fact, because unlike animals, which for the most part are tied to breeding cycles, we are sexual beings for most of our lives.  Some people will do anything for sex or to appear sexy, and some will try anything….

This picture of the sexualised doll with dildo hands is a case in point, and it exactly parallels some of our “Sex Machine” lyrics that we wrote all those years ago.  So apart from being “a laugh”, having a “driving rhythm” and a “fantastic guitar melody and solo”, the track “Sex Machine” is now all coming true.  Many critics, of course, missed all of that, but then…they would, if they’re shallow.

How prescient of us.

Other Related Pages:

http://strangelyperfect.tv/242/sex-machine-even-truer-a-reprise/

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Three Good Environment Plans

This week, I’ve become aware of three excellent initiatives that are focussing people’s energies, creativity, and cash(!) into positive solutions to the global energy crisis.  It just shows what can be done – and these projects are not difficult or hard to creative creatures like ourselves.

Big Mirrors in the Desert

A sustainable energy initiative that will start with a huge solar project in the Sahara desert has been announced by a consortium of 12 European businesses.

A sustainable energy initiative that will start with a huge solar project in the Sahara desert has been announced by a consortium of 12 European businesses.

This is a $400billion plan (yes, 400 billion!), that will plaster the top left corner of Africa with mirrors to harness solar energy.

These will boil water, make steam, turn conventional turbines to make electricity which will be sent across the Straits of Gibraltar, to Europe.

No doubt, the various peoples in the areas will benefit from all this in numerous ways.  That’s for politics.

The thing is, major European govenrments and industries are all signed up now, which in the scheme of things, takes some doing.

The first step is always the hardest.

Green Oil

Algal Ponds biodiesel

Algal Ponds biodiesel

In a similar way in the USA, large tracts of semi-desert are being used as test beds for algal production and it’s distillation into a usable biodiesel.

The BBC had a piece yesterday that explored the forces and conflicts at work, between the big oil businesses, the environment, people worried about jobs, etc.  Read it here: America’s energy policy dilemma

The Venus Project

Quoting the website here:

The Venus Project presents a bold, new direction for humanity that entails nothing less than the total redesign of our culture. There are many people today who are concerned with the serious problems that face our modern society: unemployment, violent crime, replacement of humans by technology, over-population and a decline in the Earth’s ecosystems.

Don’t let the pictures put you off!  To my mind they remind me of Gerry Anderson’s world of Stingray & Thunderbirds, but maybe that’s what’ll happen?

The important thing is the degree of coherent thought being made, for the benefit of everyone, not just a few individuals or states.  This ties in closely with what I said here; http://strangelyperfect.tv/3821/top-banker-states-the-bleeding-obvious/

This is good, because at present, if these big technologies come to fruition, all the hot sunny places in the world, most of which are extremely poor in money and natural resources, will suddenly become everyone’s best friend, and it’s in the planning for this part of the equation that I think The Venus Project will show it’s greatest value.

Browse the website, there’s pots to see and think about!

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Nice Car -such a Shame.

New Jaguar XJ

New Jaguar XJ

New Jaguar XJ

In common with most cars like this, it’s a lovely looking machine – a style marvel; sleek and vapid, mercurial.

It’s also a waste of space and a waste of effort.

It’s two tonnes of mass for a 400kg payload is pants.  An ecological disaster zone.

Money for Old Rope

New York Congestion

New York Congestion

Not only that, with the firm reputably losing £1m per day, it’s cost of >£50k to a tad under £90k means that 10-20 will need to be sold each day just to cover that loss, without any pretence at covering their own manufacturing costs.

Utah Congestion

Utah Congestion

Tata, it’s Indian owner paid $2.3bn for the company.  Now the UK and Europe are being asked to bail it out for £300m to keep the 15k workers in jobs and preserve the veneer of a static environmental world, bathed in an everlasting sea of fossil fuel.  Ravi Kant sees profits in two years…

Worldwide, Jaguar sold ~65k cars in 2008.  Most luxury makers are seeing sales drops of  at least 20% for each of the last two years.  Many barely made money even in the good times!! This figure covers some fuzz though.  Because these 65k cars cost from ~£20k to ~£80k, a simple like-for-like calculation cannot be made.  The intention is to drop some models next year in favour of the more expensive car.  So 65k cars again?

I don’t think so.  Call it 50k cars.

Melbourne, Australia congestion

Melbourne, Australia congestion

The irony isn’t just in the financial gloss applied to make it appear that Shangri-La is returning very soon;  a bizarre hope exists of a ‘business as usual’ scenario, when we can repeat the whole cycle again.

The irony is in the design of the vehicle, it’s presentation to the public, and the public’s perception of the machine as a desirable status symbol, swooping over life’s problems like fuel shortages, the congestion of our urban sprawls and speed limits.

The Jaguar website provides full technical specifications for the vehicle, which show it to have good acceleration and economy.  They fail to point out that the standard laws of physics mean these aren’t at the same time…

Jaguar cub

Bored young Jaguar

The slow-motion pictures at the beginning of the launch video aren’t slow at all.  This is real-time speed in a traffic queue, the place where the vehicle will spend most of it’s travelling life.

And whenever the Jaguar owner feels like opening it up to it’s 155mph limited maximum, hopefully they’ll be reassured that it’s lightweight, rivetted aluminium structure is stronger than that of the similarly shiny, magnesium and aluminium Mercedes which was in this crash below, at only 125mph.

The point is that rapid transport itself is a luxury.  Although we in the West have become accustomed to ever cheaper travel of all types, this has been at the expense of the future.  Like the credit crunch, we are “leveraging” today’s resources against tomorrows expectations of a miracle.  The pot of black gold isn’t bottomless, but the continuing production of anachronisms like this beautiful car, seeks only to deceive us that it is.

The only miracle will be if people see the truth that they’ve been living in a dream world for the past century.   In the 35,000 years of human existence, these last hundred are but a plip in a pond.

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French prisoners Ride Tour de France

A Week is a Long Time in..

Peparing for the Tour de FranceQ.  In What?

  • In prison – yes obviously
  • In politics – yes
  • In a relationship – well yes, especially the past week for me
  • In Between News Items….

Yes! That’s the one!

Last week it was announced to the world that 196 convicted French prisoners are going to cycle this years Tour de France route.  See the Reuters News item here which originally reported the story: What could possibly go wrong?

It’s an enlightened bit of prisoner rehabilitation.  The 196 inmates plus 124 obviously fit guards are doing the 17 stages, stopping in towns each night that all have a prison, but staying in hotels.

Now contrast this with the report last month about the shocking state of French jails (Prison guards’ strike hits packed French jails).

In fact, there is no contrast.  It’s the French guards who are protesting about the poor state of things, with five to a cell etc.

Taken in this context, the cycle ride does not sound so strange now, does it?

Today the Ride Sets Off

Penal Tour de France pedals offMany news organisations have reported the start of the run today.  They are all using the same copy, many using the same images as well.

 

FILE - This Wednesday June 4, 2009, file photo shows a pack of convicts, joined by their jailers, preparing to take the start from Villeneuve d'Ascq to Valenciennes, northern France, of the prologue of the "Tour de France Penitentiaire" for the jailed. Most days, they live behind bars. But last week, a pack of convicts, joined by their jailers, a police escort and a string of support vehicles, embarked upon the inaugural two-week, 2,200 kilometer cycling trek across the Gallic countryside, organized by French prison administrators. (AP Photo)

Penal Tour de France pedals off

They all report that 194 prisoners are doing the ride compared to the fact that they all reported that 196 were going to do it last week.

So what happened to the 2 men? !!

Did they, as all the news outlets so humourously remarked, go on a “breakaway sprint” which “are obviously not allowed”?  Or maybe they feared they’d have to cycle through Mulhouse which has this interesting cycle lane to negotiate.

Keeping cycle lanes clear of parked cars is a problem the world over. This design from Mulhouse in France provides a self enforcing solution; yellow bollards have proved to be much more effective than yellow lines at deterring illegal parking. Picture from Warrington Cycle Campaign

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