Tag Archive: Windows

Clark Ashton Smith, The Crawling Chaos, Artistry

Artistry

Bow down, I am the emperor of dreams. - Clark Ashton Smith
my pre-ramble… :-)

Letter From Clark Ashton Smith About Crawling Chaos And Art - April 14th, 1937

Letter From Clark Ashton Smith About Crawling Chaos And Art

While doing some link rot checking using the Broken Link Checker plugin I came across this old post which is about an old edited letter from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) to August Derluth.

A screenshot is at left – click to enlarge or see the original here.  CAS tells about the creation of The Crawling Chaos by the two authors, showing a natural deference for his friend, Howard Phillips Lovecraft (HPL).

Some people may know that CAS also sculpted, from soapstone if my memory is correct.  The letter mentions some of this, but mainly describes a gripe that all artists have – now, quoting directly from CAS, emphasised & paragraphed for web clarity by me…

I am pleased to hear that the sculptures continue to attract so much favorable attention. I am writing to Sloane, and offering him a copy of The Double Shadow if he hasn’t seen it. . . . On second thought, I’ll mail him an inscribed one anyway.

As to a volume of my stuff, I suppose there is no harm in trying, It makes me pretty sick to remember that at least five publishers asked HPL to submit story-material for a possible book and then turned it down.

It is curious how ready people are to admit the worth of a writer after he is dead, and how goddamned cautious they are about it while he remains alive. Death seems to bring about a sort of crystallization, so to speak. . . .

As for me. I am pretty tough, and come of a hardy and long-lived ancestry. I’ll survive my present difficulties. What the future holds, I am not sure. But I have made up my mind to quit California at the earliest possible date.

Plugging Away

So CAS just kept plugging away.  He never had any money, yet mysteriously, I’ve read nearly all his stuff!!  The bulk of this was some time ago when Panther published stacks of compilations by HPL, CAS and many others.  But, just as CAS mused, he was dead by the time I read them…

The original issues had wonderfully mystical, sometimes horrible, artwork by Bruce Pennington….

Crawling Chaos

When the band (The Crawling Chaos) was formed, it was just Jeff Crowe, Keith Wear & myself.  We all read and devoured everything to do with The Cthulu Mythos – and more! [e.g for myself it led me to Lord Dunsany, Robert Heinlein, Frederik Pohl, Philip K Dick, Daniel Keyes & the rest of SF]

Genius Loci cover

Genius Loci cover

In particular, since there’s only a few folks that now know this, Keith took it upon himself to copy the whole Bruce Pennington cover for the 1st Panther book version of CAS’s Genius Loci.

I scanned my book some time ago and cleaned away the title etc just leaving the work. That’s it, left.

Bedroom Wall

So…….Keith copied the key guts of the thing onto his bedroom wall in Ashington!  The whole wall…

You can see his copy as part of the cover for our first recorded output, Magnum Innoninandum (sic) here:

Crawling Chaos - Magnum Innoninandum (cassette cover)

Crawling Chaos – Magnum Innoninandum (cassette cover)

The original (nicked at Tynemouth) drumkit is there as well as the really noisy HH amp, Jeff’s record player, speakers & discs on the floorof his mum’s living room. Keith did the cover.

The Black Abbott of Puthuum

Genius Loci also includes one of my favourite CAS passages in the description of the Black Abbott.  (I think my favourite story has to be “The Coming of the White Worm“, but that’s for another time).  Anyway, here’s the bit about the black abbott blokey…

To add to their distress, the terrain grew rougher and steeper, and they climbed acclivitous hillsides and went down endlessly into drear valleys. Anon they came to a flat, open, pebbly space. There, all at once, it seemed that the pandemonium of evil noises drew back on every hand, receding and fading into faint, dubious whispers that died at a vast remove. Simultaneously, the circling night thinned out, and a few stars shone in the welkin, and the sharp-spined hills of the desert loomed starkly against a vermilion afterglow. The travelers paused and peered wonderingly at one another in a gloom that was no more than that of natural twilight.

“What new devilry is this?” asked Cushara, hardly daring to believe that the hellish leaguers had vanished.

“I know not,” said the archer, who was staring into the dusk.” “But here, mayhap, is one of the devils.”

The others now saw that a muffled figure was approaching them, bearing a lit lantern made of some kind of translucent horn. At some distance behind the figure, lights appeared suddenly in a square dark mass which none of the party had discerned before. This mass was evidently a large building with many windows.

The figure, drawing near, was revealed by the dim yellowish lantern as a black man of immense girth and tallness, garbed in a voluminous robe of saffron such as was worn by certain monkish orders, and crowned with the two-horned purple hat of an abbot. He was indeed a singular and unlooked-for apparition: for if any monasteries existed amid the barren reaches of Izdrel, they were hidden and unknown to the world. Zobal, however, searching his memory, recalled a vague tradition he had once heard concerning a chapter of negro monks that had flourished in Yoros many centuries ago. The chapter had long been extinct, and the very site of its monastery was forgotten. Nowadays there were few blacks anywhere in the kingdom, other than those who did duty as eunuchs guarding the seraglios of nobles and rich merchants

The animals began to display a certain uneasiness at the stranger’s approach.

“Who art thou?” challenged Cushara, his fingers tightening on the haft of his weapon.

The black man grinned capaciously, showing rows of discolored teeth whose incisors were like those of a wild dog. His enormous unctuous jowls were creased by the grin into folds of amazing number and volume; and his eyes, deeply slanted and close together, seemed to wink perpetually in pouches that shook like ebon jellies. His nostrils flared prodigiously; his purple, rubbery lips drooled and quivered, and he licked them with a fat, red, salacious tongue before replying to Cushara’s question. [isn’t this bit amazing? – SP]

“I am Ujuk, abbot of the monastery of Puthuum,” he said, in a thick voice of such extraordinary volume that it appeared almost to issue from the earth under his feet. “Methinks the night has overtaken you far from the route of travelers. I bid you welcome to our hospitality.”

So, buy the book, or read the whole story here.

Bow down: I am the emperor of dreams?

(clue – “The Hashish Eater”)
Bow down: I am the emperor of dreams;
I crown me with the million-colored sun
Of secret worlds incredible, and take
Their trailing skies for vestment when I soar….

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Automatic Metric Solves Wireless and Ethernet Network Issues

Automatic Metric: Windows 7 Laptop Will Only Connect to Huawei E5372 on UK Three Network, OR the Wired Home Network

Windows 8 Computers Work Fine Though!

Connecting Win7 to wireless and ethernet networks simultaneously

Problem link is shown in red

Automatic Metric is the place to be!

I have two networks essentially:

  • The “normal” wired network (gigabyte ethernet) that links all computers and printers through the Cisco Router.
  • The temporary mobile network that allows the PCs to connect to the internet while we are in temporary accommodation.  It’s a Huawei E5372.

The Issue

After setting up WiFi on the PCs, access to the Ethernet network disappeared – but only for the Windows 7 computer!!!

This meant that file transfers, backup etc between the machines, ceased, as well as access to the wired printer.   The printer worked fine when connected through its USB connection.  It has no WiFi.

In the same way, disconnecting the wireless enabled connectivity to the wired home network (Ethernet).

I searched and many forums had similar “fixes”, none of which worked. e.g.

  • Remove IPv6 leaving just IPv4 on the network adapters.
  • Remove network devices completely and re-install.
  • Try new or updated drivers.
  • Reboot each time.

However, two very small items appeared and worked for me!!  They are network settings, deeply buried and that I’ve never set before.

The Fix(es)

It’s the same in both Win 7 & 8.  Maybe even Vista, but as we know, Vista Means Death.  I did two places that got the Win7 machine to connect to the web through the Mobile WiFi dongle and to the home, wired and routed, network.

  1. Adapters and Bindings
  2. Automatic Metric

So Adapters and Bindings…

Network Adapters And Bindings

Network Adapters And Bindings (as seen in Win8)

  • Network and Sharing Center
  • Change Adapter Settings
  • Advanced on the menu. (Alt+N)
  • Advanced Settings
  • Adapters and Bindings tab
  • Set WiFi at the top

Oh Woe Is Me Again!

At this point, connectivity was still not restored, but it was an interesting setting, totally hidden in Win8!

 And Automatic Metric…

This is the killer setting that worked!!!  You need to do this twice:

  1. once for the Wireless network adapter
  2. and again for the wired Ethernet adapter
Here’s how
  • Network and Sharing Center
  • Network Adapter Wireless - Automatic Metric

    Network Adapter Wireless (Win 7)

    Click the first adapter, the one I need windows to use first.  i.e. The Wireless adapter.

  • Click Properties
  • Scroll down to “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and select it.
  • Click Properties
  • Click Advanced
  • Uncheck Automatic Metric and put a low number (say 1) in the “Interface Metric” box
  • Click OK to save the settings changes.

Now do the second, Ethernet adapter.  Follow the previous method.  However, this time,

  • Network Adapter Ethernet - Automatic Metric

    Network Adapter Ethernet (Win 7)

    Uncheck Automatic Metric and put a high number (say 5000) in the “Interface Metric” box

  • Click OK to save the settings changes.

Conclusion

One commenter on the forum I saw (link to be done) said that just setting the order to 1,2,3 etc wasn’t sufficient.  Setting a large gap between interface metrics did the trick, which is what I did.

What Is Automatic/Interface Metric?

Well, you can do this search, or probably the best answer comes from Microsoft, here.

It sets the priority of network interface access, lowest number first, on an individual machine.

In my case, weirdly, the Windows 8 machines had no difficulty.  The single Windows 7 laptop fell over and caused me immense hair loss until I stumbled across the settings which I have never, ever touched in 17 years of computing and the web!

 

 

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Windows Experience Index – in 8.1 – Where is it?

Strangely post on September 25th, 2013
Posted in Technology Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Introduction

Win8 Experience Index (also in Win7)

Win8 Experience Index (also in Win7)

Recently Microsoft announced  a bit of a climb down over its release of Windows 8.1 to MSDN developers (like me).  Their previous stand was for developers to get 8.1 at the same time as commercial release.

So I’ve had a look, installing it into a VirtualBox environment…

The focus of this article is on one difference, the Windows Experience Index, mine is shown in the screenshot in the top right.

Differences?

Win8 Control Panel

Win8 Control Panel

Well yes and no.  Apart from the much talked about “start” button (not) re-instatement, the control panel throws out some differences for sure (see screenshots)…

Win8.1 Control Panel

Win8.1 Control Panel

….. notably the Windows Experience Index (or Performance Indicator) (or Assessment), a Microsoft gauge of the “goodness” of your machine.

Well in Win 8.1, it’s gone!  See highlight…

Or Has It?

WinSat Usage

WinSat Usage -not all shown!

Actually, it’s still there under the command line…  All you need to do is add a switch (I chose ‘formal’ as it does the lot).

The actual file that does the work is called winsat.exe and it’s in the System32 folder.  Give it a ? switch from the command prompt and all it’s inner options and usages are revealed!  (see left)

So fire up your command line and run:

C:\Windows\system32\winsat.exe formal

…then watch the process stream past.

Results

There no nice GUI web report, of course.  The results are still there, tucked away (as they always were) as a set of XML files in the Windows directory.  Go to:

C:\Windows\Performance\WinSAT\DataStore

Win8.1 System Assessment Files (cmd process finished in background)

Win8.1 System Assessment Files (cmd process finished in background)

..to find them.  The screenshot right shows the files I’ve just created and you’ll see that the process has just finished in the Command Line window and that it took 2min 49.59 secs to run all the tests.

Examining Results

WinSat Win8.1 CPU Results

WinSat Win8.1 CPU Results

Running all assessments has produced 7 files.

The screenshot here on the left shows the end of the CPU one.

The time it took is plainly visible along with the plainly poor CPU assessment (well it is in a virtual environment after all!!)

Conclusion

Windows Performance Index is not dead and buried in the new Windows 8.1 – it’s only been buried.

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Synology – Better Than Most Backup Solutions for Me!

What is the Best Backup for Windows in a Small Home or Office?  (SOHO)

This is the question I asked myself over two years ago.  At the time I recommended the SynologyDS210j and I still would if they made it!

It’s now been replaced by the DS212j, that’s it on the left.

This though, is essentially the same as my old one and in fact, in appearance it’s the same.  My DS210j has functioned perfectly for well over two years.  It just sits there, quietly doing its own thing and has never let me down.

I’ve uprated the internal operating system (called DSM) several times and it now stands as version DSM 4.2-3202.  Synology have said that this will be the last incarnation of this software and that there’ll be no further versions for me on this hardware beyond version 4.

If I was buying now, I’d just buy the latest version.  It does everything anyone would want, is quiet and reliable.

New Kid? The D-Link ShareCenter 2 Bay….

Well nearly, but it’s not for me.

My friend has just bought a D-Link ShareCenter 2 Bay Cloud Network Storage Enclosure since they didn’t want to spend so much…

It’s less than half the price of the Synology and tomorrow evening, I get to set it up!

The specifications, included software, and operating system functionality are almost identical to my Synology.  You know, stuff like media server, web server, iTunes server, backup drive, security camera monitoring, the list goes on..!

  • The reviews, however, say that it is noisy, though my friend says this isn’t an issue since it’s going in a cupboard with the router and internet gateway. It does seem to have a smaller fan than my little white cutie, so that could be it.
  • Some reviewers had difficulty setting it or its software up.  Well actually, I’ve had a few difficulties myself with the DSM software from Synology – if you’ve not done things like this before, it can be difficult and confusing.  It’s not Windows after all!

So, watch this space.  I’ll get back later when it’s all done.

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Disable Pepper to Enable Flash in Chrome

Solve Flash Problem in Chrome Browser

Adobe Flash Not Working

Adobe Flash Not Working on the Adobe site!

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/
Chrome Plugins Normal

Chrome Plugins Normal

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work!

Checking the plugin, I see it is apparently working alright!  See the screenshot.

Testing, Testing

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

Chrome Plugins Expanded

Problem Solved!

Adobe Flash Now Working

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.

Chrome Plugins Expanded Flash Working Settings

Chrome Plugins Expanded Flash Working Settings

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