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Microsoft fails on new laptop

March 01, 2019 — BarryK

Very early in the New Year of 2019, I went on a bit of a spending spree. One item was an Acer Aspire1 14 inch laptop, 4GB RAM, 64GB SSD, Apollo Lake CPU, for just AU$240. I wanted something to replace my baby laptop with Intel Cherry Trail CPU, that being very Linux-unfriendly.

So, have had this Aspire1 for almost a couple of months, it has Windows 10S, and have not tried Linux on it, haven't done anything to it, just used it to browse the web while reclining in my lounge chair.

I couldn't even change the web browser, as it will only install from the Windows Store, so was stuck with Edge.

It was doing upgrades automatically. Then, a couple of days ago, was browsing the web, suddenly Windows crashed, with the message:

Your PC ran into a problem and has to restart. We're just collecting some error information then we will restart for you

So it sends off a report to Microsoft, then restarts, then informs me that it is finishing an update. Then got the desktop, then after a couple of minutes, crash again, and the same message as above.

It seems that the last update broke my computer!

This cycle of crash and reboot repeated itself three or four times, then Windows decided, enough, and booted to the Recovery window. Various options, and I chose to reset the computer.

That worked, and I have tried to set things so it won't do automatic updates. They can no longer be stopped, it seems, but I did turn on "metered connection". However, the monthly data limit setting that was in Windows 10 Home, is gone, so Microsoft will still force updates on me, despite having a metered connection.

I have on-going issues with every version of Windows, see the previous post:

I am truly amazed that a brand new Acer laptop has been broken by a Windows update. I saw on TV recently, a company named "Geeks2you" guys who come to your home and fix your computer -- obviously they are doing a roaring trade and can afford to advertise on TV. There must be so many people with broken computers, running slow, virus-ridden, and so on.

Yet, the great unwashed masses will stay with Windows. For now anyway. As they experience the reliability and security of their phones and ChromeOS (and the Apple OSes?), it must raise questions in their brains. Or maybe not. 

Tags: ethos

Annalakshmi vegetarian restaurant

November 07, 2018 — BarryK

I have two favourite Indian vegetarian restaurants in Perth. One of those is Annalakshmi, self-serve, eat as much as you want, and payment by donation! Website:

Open seven days a week, except closed for the rest of this week due to a festival. Mostly staffed by volunteers, and serves anyone from the homeless to the very affluent.

Annalakshmi is registered as a non-profit organisation, and this one in Perth is the only one in Australia. There are some others in India, Singapore and Malaysia, so if you are visiting any of those places, check them out!

Here are some of the ladies who do the cooking:


You can even have your lunch home-delivered, for AU$10:

My mouth waters just thinking about their food!

Tags: ethos

We are eating weed killer

October 19, 2018 — BarryK

A few days ago, on a day-outing to the little town of York, about 50 minutes drive out of Perth, I picked up the free local community newspaper, "the York & Districts Community Matters". This was an interesting read;



Depressing hey!

The article refers to this website: Monsanto, now Bayer, the Microsoft of the seed industry?

What is most depressing for me are the inroads that Monsanto and others have made into Australia. There were many people in Western Australia who were trying to keep the State GM-free, but it is a lost battle. What it all comes down to is one word: greed.

What is also depressing is how Bayer is likely to fight the ruling in courts, for years to come. 

Tags: ethos

CAPITAL F pdf magazine

August 09, 2018 — BarryK

This is interesting. "CAPITAL F" is created by Bryan Lunduke, and the first issue features an interview with the main guy behind Purism and the Librem 5 phone. It also has an overview of all the failed attempts to put Linux, or Linux-like OSs on a phone.

See here:

And here is the magazine, a pdf file:


And the website: 

Tags: ethos

Windows 10 is soooo awful

August 09, 2018 — BarryK

I don't normally use Windows, except for testing purposes, for example developing EasyShare to transfer files.

However, my Asus baby laptop currently has only Windows 10. I did have it dual-booting with Quirky, however there is only 32GB, and there was not enough space for Windows updates. So, restored the ntfs C: partition to fill the drive.

For the past few weeks, have been using it when relaxing in my lounge chair, for general web browsing. Have applied the updates, but the frequency and size of them, and the frequent notifications, makes for a frustrating user experience.

Today, the frustration reached a peak. Installed the latest updates, then on the next reboot, got the login window OK, but after login, just a black screen with a mouse pointer on it. Rebooted several times, even unplugged the power cord, no good.

At the login screen, held down the SHIFT key and then clicked the power button and chose "Reboot", which brings up various recovery options, including one to rollback.

Selected to rollback, but then it asked for my password... oh dear, I don't remember it. Have always logged in with the pin number. So backtracked and selected to bootup, got the login screen, and yippy, this time got the desktop.

I did three things, firstly applied for a new password, got that. Second, went into the Internet connection settings -- it is already set as a timed-data connection, however Windows ignores that and still forces downloads -- but, there is an option to set a data limit, and I chose 1MB per month.

Third, attempted to uninstall the latest updates. Was only able to uninstall a virus-checking-update. When click on the main Windows 10 incremental update, there is no option to uninstall -- very odd.

Anyway, now have a desktop.

I mentioned, years ago, that I was going to get rid of this laptop, as the Cherry Trail CPU is extremely Linux-unfriendly. That situation hasn't changed. Intel never developed proper Linux support for it, and it seems never will. I still have that laptop, but will one day retire it -- though, it probably has a residual use for testing Samba file and printer access.

Tags: ethos

Microsoft buys GitHub

June 07, 2018 — BarryK

This is big news, and reported all over the place. See one post here:

Oh dear. Some developers are already jumping ship, however, my advice is, wait until the deal has gone through and MS has paid the $7.5 billion. Then jump ship.

There are lots of alternatives, such as GitLab. There is a thread on the Puppy Forum discussing this acquisition, and 'nosystemdthanks' has recommended NotABug:

NotABug? ...never heard of it. Well, here it is:

...I wonder how it will handle a flood of refugees?

Tags: ethos

Camping trip, and speeding fine

March 30, 2018 — BarryK

It was a nice little camping trip, until on the way home. I went to Gnaala Mia campsite, a really nice bushland setting, with very private camping sites, each one with its own tables and seats and a drum in which to have a fire. Even cut wood is supplied. No electricity, but a nice kitchen with rain water tank.

It is run by the Department of Parks and Wildlife, here is the website:

Here is my tent setup:


The campsite is near Wandering, south-east of Perth, about a two hour drive. Well, almost three hours for me, meandering along.

I came back driving up the Great Southern Highway, which terminates at the Great Northern Highway, where I turn left heading toward Perth.

It is that intersection where I got caught out. The speed limit on the Great Southern Highway is mostly 100km/h (62 miles/h), but *apparently* there is a sign for 80km/h (50 miles/h) about 5km before the intersection, or so the officer told me. Which I didn't see, and I was clocked at 102km/h (63 miles/h).

I need to explain something. I am always very careful to drive within the speed limit. Always watch out for speed signs. The only times that I have been booked for speeding is when I have been caught unawares.
In Western Australia, speed fines are a major source of income for the State government. On country roads, police officers hide where they know they will catch the unwary.

In other words, it is not about catching those who are deliberately speeding, it is about scoring fines. If they were after the deliberate speeders, they would position themselves on the open road, not at tricky spots where, apart from unfortunate placement of a speed sign, there are no other reasons to slow down.

This situation needs to be understood. This is where I was caught speeding:


The width of that image is about 5km, and I was heading west, toward the intersection. I came to the intersection, slowly, I might add, then turned left into the Great Eastern Hwy. A complete stop is not required, as there is a lane that merges into the Great Eastern Highway.

Google URL:,116.3069348,14z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x2a32dbe1d3c5322d:0xb7ad666eb582fae3!8m2!3d-31.8775!4d116.3244444

Anyway, I had just turned onto the G.E. Hwy, when a police car came around the same intersection with all its lights flashing, and I pulled over.

The officer asked did I see the 80km/h sign, I replied "no", he said it was about 5km before the intersection. I must have blinked when I was passing it, sure didn't see it. Nor are there any other visual cues that I should be slowing down. Look at the image -- bushland and farmland, just your typical countryside, hardly any bends.

There is a petrol station on the intersection, and as soon as I spotted it and the intersection, I slowed down. But that was too late, the 80km/h limit apparently started some km's before.

God, they are sneaky. Some of them anyway. He was apologetic, said that he would have liked to just issue a caution, but his partner was probably already writing out a ticket in the car. Unlikely story, as he then took my driver's license back to his car, the partner came out and gave me a breathalyser, then the first officer returned with my driver's license and a ticket -- a AU$400 fine and 6 demerit points.

What I find particularly aggravating about this situation is that I try so hard to always stay within the speed limit, but there are some police officers who are out to catch a small lapse on the part of people like me. I know that I just have to accept it philosophically, but still it is annoying. So, letting off some steam by posting about it to this blog!

I thought maybe I should post the name and number of the police officer, but decided against it. Why target just one officer, when others also use the same tactics?

One more thing that I should mention. He told me that I was clocked at 102km/h, however, on the ticket is written "D/S 106/80  A/S 104/80".

P.S.: After reading the above, maybe you are thinking "Barry, it was unintentional, but you did break the law!" Yes. To give a bit more credit to the officer, I think that he might have let me off with a caution if my speed was a tad lower. Oh well, I'm a senior citizen, allowed to be grumpy! Reckon in future I will try and avoid that road between Great Eastern Hwy and York, as the speed limit goes up and down like a yoyo.

Tags: ethos