Eras End

"An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted." - Arthur Miller

Friday, July 31, 2015

Upgrading to Windows 10: Information Worth Checking Out

As of Wednesday, Windows 10 has started to roll out for free to anyone with an authenticated copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8. The roll-out will occur in waves so when you can get your free copy might be from now to weeks from now. There are ways to get it early (link below) but really you might as well just wait for it to happen as Microsoft is still bug hunting. For many the question is "should I upgrade, even for free". The short answer is yes. The long answer is still yes but it can' wait. The key reason is those (mostly minor) bugs. If you don't have the patience for inexplicable problems, give it a few months. Also if your current computer that might get upgraded is critical for say work or other important tasks also wait just in case. If you are using an older version of Windows, say XP etc then chances are you have a really old computer. Upgrading will cost you money ($120 for Home, $200 for Pro) so you might as well just wait until you are ready to buy a new computer. Below are links to key bits of information and tips for Windows 10.

- Key improvements overview - If on the fence, hit the link to see if some of the Win10 improvements are worth it.

- Ten New Things in Win10 - A look at a few of the new features of the OS.

- Up Now Instead of Waiting on Push - A walk through to get Windows 10 now rather than waiting for whenever Microsoft decides it is your turn.

- Five settings to check: Just some basic settings to setup to your preferences.

- More Tweaks: More suggestions to tweak preferences on Win10.

- Change your default browser: Its not as easy as it used to be, partly for security and partly cause MS would prefer you used their new Edge browser (which is getting rave reviews).

- Stream XBox One to your Windows 10 PC: This assumes you have very good network at your location (may not work well with wi-fi) as it is data intensive (through your router, the info doesn't go through your service provider).

- Disable Bing Search in Start Menu: If you don't want Cortana to provide results from the web along with local computer files, it might be worth cutting this off.

- Replacement Start Menu programs do work: If you just prefer the Windows 7 Start Menu, programs like Classic Start and Win8 (now Win10) still work.

- Delete old builds to free up disk space: After the update this might be useful if you have a computer with limited disk space.

- Best Win10 keyboard shortcuts - I almost never bother with keyboard shortcuts (even though they are useful). For those that do, hit the link.

- Disable sharing wi-fi passwords - In theory this is a good idea as makes it easy for friends and family to join your home wi-fi network. In practice though its best for you to retain complete control on who does join so I recommend cutting this off.

- Cut off sharing Windows 10 Updates: This is actually a good idea for getting people updates even faster but in practice most of us can't keep this own due to ISPs doing bandwidth caps. If your service provider charges by data usage definitely cut this off. As an aside, the tiers program are a complete lie designed to generate profit while costing the ISPs virtually nothing so don't let them or the politicians fool you on its necessity.

- Clean Install Windows 10: Instructions if you want to upgrade and completely install Win10 from scratch.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Why Chuck Jones Was Such A Great Artist

From Every Frame a Painting here is a great analysis of what made Chuck Jones' Looney Cartoons stand the test of time despite many of them being nearly 75 years old. If you are a film fan I highly recommend checking out their YouTube channel for a fantastic look at the film making process and how ingenuity and often small choices make for memorable scenes and films. If you like their work you can also support the creator Tony Zhou at Patreon.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Batman v Superman Comic-Con Trailer

Saturday at the San Diego Comic Con 2015, WB premiered the new trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It looks like the movie is going to directly confront one of the biggest complaints from the first movie - Superman's indirect responsibility for killing what looks like a few million people when a significant section of Metropolis (which in the movie verse is across the river from Gotham). But if pay attention to newspaper articles and the like, it seems the death toll somehow only numbers in the hundreds so I suspect some comic book logic kung fu is used to minimize the damage. For me the real concern is that the movie is making the mistake that now two Spider-Man movies made by wasting precious screen time trying to set up too many other movies in the process. Amazing Spider-Man was so crammed that the resulting noise took down what should have been a good movie but the cramming resulting in rushing important character building moments (Green Goblin, Electro's motivations just not making any sense, death of Gwen Stacy that could have waited for the 3rd movie, etc.). This trailer feels like that. I hope I am wrong.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

James Horner 1953-2015

Oscar winner and decades long composer James Horner died Monday when his plane crashed near Santa Barbara. The composer, probably most famous for the score to Titanic, was 61. He probably wasn't world famous but should have been for his music was some of the greatest created in the modern era. His scores include Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (whose queues continued to be use for decades after), Avatar, Aliens, A Beautiful Mind, An American Tail, Fields of Dreams, Apollo 13, The Rocketeer, and many more. Some of my favorite music includes his scores including Searching for Bobby Fischer, Glory, Bicentennial Man, and Braveheart. He really was one of Hollywood's great composers and a loss to music in general. Even without you knowing it he probably helped play a strong part into why you enjoyed some of your favorite movies as his beautiful music accompanied a favorite scene. Condolences to his family.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Avengers: Age of Ultron Trailer #3

Here is the third trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron. It is looking like this will easily be the film of the summer.