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The Spam Thread!
Good to hear you finally found the source of that memory, Sandy. Smile

I know I promised my Opera musings Wednesday night, but I was tired. I was on a road trip with my family all day and I got to enjoy a Crunchwrap from Taco Bell. Wink Anyway....

After using the Chromium-based Opera for a week, I have to eat some of my words regarding my previous position on the new Opera. I still think it's sad that the Opera team decided to ditch their own software and base their new versions on the Chromium code, which is what Google Chrome is based on. Chromium is also used in numerous other browsers like Torch or SRWare Iron, but they aren't as popular. Along with ditching their own program, they also eliminated many of the features that Opera 12 had, such as a built in Torrent client, built-in mail, and a highly customizeable toolbar system.

However, I discovered that the new Opera is not nearly a Chromium clone as I thought it was. The toolbar setup as well as the speed of the browser does indeed show it's Chromium roots, but Opera at least went out of their way to add features that still give it a unique advantage over Chromium or Google Chrome. Bookmarks? Nope. Instead you have your 'Stash', which basically acts the old Bookmarks feature except it's visually appealing... see below.
[Image: GretaOpera_Stash_052314.jpg]

Opera also has some sort of menu that Chromium lacks, accessible by the "Opera" menu in the upper left corner. Opera also has it's unique set of extensions. At this point, there aren't that many extensions, but there is an extension available that supposedly allows you to install Chrome Web Store extensions into Opera. Speed Dial also still exists, and works as well as it always has.

One thing about Opera that remains the same is the speed. Opera was always known to be a fast browser, but the new Chromium-base makes it even faster, on par with Google Chrome. Pages load quickly and they hardly suffer from freezing or stuttering. Going back or forward is also very responsive, and throughout this one week of use, I haven't had the browser crash on me once. Adobe Flash is also suprisingly stable to boot.

Unfortunately, Opera doesn't support H.264 MP4 video, which means HTML5 video on YouTube is impossible.

In conclusion, Opera is a very fast and speedy web browser and it beats SeaMonkey in that regard. In turn, you lose extensive customizeability as well as the ability to view most HTML5 video, but the speed and stability are worth it. Opera may be just a variation of Chromium, but it still has that unique charm thanks to all the Opera-specific features present. If you want to use a WebKit browser but don't want to deal with Google, try Opera. You might just like it.
I love foxes, especially the one in my avatar.
Okay... I hope Disney isn't playing dirty tricks with fans of their older shows.

On Monday, they dropped PB&J Otter.

Yeah... it was only on the schedule for about three weeks before getting pulled for reruns of Rolie Polie Olie. I know RPO is another Playhouse Disney classic to some, but even so, it's still a shame that PB&J was pulled off the schedule so quickly.

Here is hoping it's just some sort of scheduling rotation and that PB&J will return soon. I was able to record all the shows that aired in the three week span, so something good came out of it.
I love foxes, especially the one in my avatar.
Let me fix that....

So, I decided to swap out my free AntiVirus suite for AdAware Antivirus by Lavasoft. Reason? Avira Free kept giving me false positives because of some perfectly legit games I installed. Avira also has this annoying Notifier that keeps popping up in the system tray begging you to purchase their premium AV suite or their numerous other add-ons.

Also, I decided that Greta will eventually get a Windows 8.1 upgrade, but I may have to put it off a couple months due to funds. It wouldn't be so bad if MS didn't charge you $119 for Win8.1.
I love foxes, especially the one in my avatar.
Forgot to add this in last post...

Lately, I have been thinking of acquiring a small, cheap, computer system that would simply play music during the night time hours. See, I can't sleep in a totally quiet environment, so I always set some soft soothing music at a low volume level during the night. It used to be classical music, but my NPR station replaced it with BBC news. Sad Currently, it's the old-fashioned hymnals broadcast off the local religious station, but I usually wake up to a preacher or political talk I don't care for. I also used oldies music in the past as well, and if push-came-to-shove, the local country station if any of the other stations were off air or broadcasting things that I wouldn't sleep well with.

My proposed solution for such issue? The cheap computer system outlined above. What specific kind of computer is yet to be determined, but I am leaning towards a small netbook or a used WinXP/Vista laptop that has been well cared for. A netbook or old laptop will have a removable battery, and since said system won't ever need to go anywhere, the battery is redundant and can be removed. The audio output would go to my AV amplifier near the TV, and every night, I would wake it up, load up a preset playlist, let it run and go to sleep. Smile

I thought about using Lilly for this task, but OSX lacks music players that are useful or intuitive as the old UltraPlayer. Technically, "Vox" comes very close and actually looks swell, but it doesn't have a Win98 skin or visualizer. Tongue iTunes is a no no. I could install Windows 8.1, but it's already very expensive and Greta is in line for an upgrade.

Jasper could also be a potential candidate, but he really doesn't go to sleep when you tell him to. He also needs a new PSU, which costs money.

Stay tuned folks.
I love foxes, especially the one in my avatar.
Jasper is alive.

The question is... how long?

Very detailed post coming soon.
I love foxes, especially the one in my avatar.
[Image: JasperDesktop_Utils_052914.JPG]
Well, here he is. Jasper was restored during an all-night install session. Here are the specs brought up by some useful utilities.

The good news? He still runs, and runs well for what he is.

The bad news? A few things. For one, he may have a slowly developing power issue. The BIOS reports that the CPU VCORE +5V rail is getting low, centering around +4.50v. The other voltages appear fine and not in red. This could indicate that there are issues with the PSU's +5V rail, or it could be dying caps on the motherboard. The latter wouldn't surprise me, since his motherboard is over 10 years old now. Another thing is noise. The case fan in this is loud, and makes Jasper sound more like a high end server than a desktop.

I need to take a gander at his motherboard soon and see if anything is out of the ordinary. Probably tomorrow, since I will have the day free.

And yep... that's Windows XP running here. He's not connected to the web currently. The only time connected was during the mandatory Windows updates and all that fun stuff. As it stands, he could be that night-time music PC I have been wanting and a DVD playback system. The DVD playback software I have (orphaned Roxio DigitalMedia Plus CD-ROM) is far more intuitive than the OSX DVD player, and being on Windows, is also familiar in general usefulness.

This means that if Jasper ends up having an irreversable power issue, I can very well go ahead and just acquire a copy of Windows 8.1 and convert her into a Windows-based media playback box. It may be a long while, and I am hoping Jasper holds out for a couple more years.
I love foxes, especially the one in my avatar.
Still alive, but not fine, pain in the heart still there, fighting but not winning.
The Best Medicine > Magic. Because SCIENCE! can prove the former.
Too bad the job market where I live is complete crap. Sad Hardly any computer jobs, and I have yet to be called in for an interview regarding the starter jobs that I have applied for.

Most of my bills for next month have been paid, and I was hoping there would be enough left over for a Windows 8.1 upgrade DVD, but I need to end up saving the remainder of money I do have left for the city wide rummage sale in June.

Why did MS have to charge so much for the Win8.1 upgrade?
I love foxes, especially the one in my avatar.
I [strike]performed open heart surgery[/strike] took a gander at Jasper's insides to find out how to connect the case blower fan to the motherboard.

I can't. The wires for the fan go into a full size molex connector, which in turn is attached to the IDE hard drive. Because of this, the fan always runs at full speed contributing to the high-end server noise. Tongue I could just plug the IDE drive into the PSU directly and just disconnect the fan cable, but I'm afraid Jasper would overheat without the main case fan going.

At least ATX case fans are cheap. I just have to measure his current one and ensure it has the 3-pin motherboard connector.
I love foxes, especially the one in my avatar.
Jasper has two sound cards... the old Crystal SoundFusion that came with him, and a el-cheapo 5.1 card that I bought off eBay during college as I had a 5.1 speaker system hooked up to him. I used the SoundFusion for recording because at the time I thought the CMedia card had very low quality recording, and I ended up using the SoundFusion for line-in recordings.

However, when I attempt to make a test recording with the Crystal SoundFusion, Audacity doesn't record for very long until Jasper totally loses it. He freezes completely and the screen becomes corrupted with rainbow bands or some other sort of corrupted pattern. I actually thought Anna-Lena's LCD panel went bad. Tongue

So now, I am going to try another set of software to see if the problem is the SoundFusion card itself. If it is, then I will get the CMedia card setup and try recording from that.

EDIT: Same crash issue happens even when the CMedia card is used for recording. Sad This could indicate a problem with Audacity itself.

Time to give Blaze Media Pro a spin.
I love foxes, especially the one in my avatar.
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