• kstephens43



    Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 104 total)
    • Thank you for posting this. I had tried to learn why my laptop cannot use Windows 11, but all I got from Microsoft was a “you cannot run Windows 11” result. With the bytejam link you provided, I quickly learned that my cpu is not compatible.


    • in reply to: Will Fastie: How to speak machine #2451402

      I learned COBOL back in the 1960s, and then Fortran, C, etc.

      When many people were afraid of the milennium bug, I spent a lot of time telling people and companies that they did not need to worry.  Almost none of them had any real problem.

      In the 1970s, I found myself on a train in Washington, DC.  On one side of the car sat Grace Hooper, and on the other side of the car, next to me, sat a Georgetown University student holding a COBOL book.  I said to him, ” That is Grace Hooper sitting there.  If you ask, I am sure she would autograph your COBOL book.”  He laughed and said, “No, I am sure she is dead by now.”  I said, “Look at the name tag on her uniform.”  He did, and she graciously signed his COBOL book.

      My meager COBOL skills notwithstanding, I always considered COBOL to be a “stupid” language.  I am still not convinced that it was necessary, although many businesses used it between 1960 and 2000.



    • Here is a thought for all of us to ponder:

      Since day one, the “greatness” of a composer or performer has always been dependent on not only the skill of the individual, but also the degree to which the work is known.

      In today’s world, it is easy for a composer/performer to put the work on the internet/YouTube.

      If all the composers and performers in the past several hundred years had the same privilege we do (as described above), would there be greats we have never known, or would the greats be essentially the same?



    • in reply to: Will Fastie: How to speak machine #2451232

      All of us know that Photoshop is the gold standard for graphics software.

      For a number of years, I have used Paint Shop Pro, because it is quite affordable and provides essentially all the features of Photoshop that I need.

      Paint Shop Pro has one disadvantage that irks me–it is the slowest software to load that I have EVER used.  It typically takes from 40 seconds to a minute and a half to load when I click on its icon.  I am using a fast Windows 10 machine with plenty of RAM.

      Thinking that the problem might be on my end, I contacted Corel customer support, and their “third-tier” technical support person said that Paint Shop Pro was programmed in Python.

      I have programmed in C and its variations, as well as Python.  Is there something inherently slower in Python than C, for example?


    • Yes, I discovered that Amazon Prime Video will not let me see their standard videos if I am using a VPN.  I wasn’t using a VPN to circumvent country codes–just standard (not extra pay) videos.

      After all, our dear AskWoody site will not let us log in if we are using a VPN.  That really bothers me, and seems hypocritical for a site that argues for a high degree of security and privacy.

    • in reply to: Dell Inspiron freezes on startup #2391473

      I have a Dell Inspiron and have experienced similar problems. Their boot process goes through some very strange, non-standard things. That caused me great grief a few months ago, by making Windows Updates not work. (We eventually solved that problem after many hours of work.)

      Incidentally, be careful about listening to Dell’s customer service people. Some of them are not very well trained, and some even give extremely bad (destructive) advice, from which you may never recover.

    • Great points!  Your research is superb.

      Until I heard the story about Bach and the organ builder, I thought that Bach was stern and all business.  After hearing the story, I concluded that Bach probably had a great sense of humor.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • Yes, for many pipe organs, it is possible (and quite necessary for rapid changes) to have the ability to push one button to make a change of many stops at once.  Thus, the organist can pre-select the changes well before the performance.  Virtually no pipe organs have pre-selected stop combinations for music styles.  The exception is certain electronic “pipe” organs that have tried to do that, but without much success.  After all, if you have an organ of 64 stops, think of the large number of possible combinations.

      I have always been fascinated that some of the many stop combinations in a large organ will produce very disagreeable sounds.  The reason is that the frequencies combine to produce bad harmonics.  Some organ builders recognize this and in a subtle fashion make it more difficult for a less-than-master organist to produce such combinations accidentally.

      One of my favorite organ stories is something that actually happened with Johann Sebastian Bach.  In his time, the tuning scheme for keyboard instruments was not as standardized as it is today.  The musical scale is actually quite mathematical for dividing the frequencies into 12 parts for an octave.  If the division is done purely mathematically, it is not completely consistent with how the human ear hears sounds.  If the tuner makes some of the frequencies higher and some lower, then it sounds better.  That is called “tempered.”

      One of the most famous organ builders of his day believed in the old, more purely mathematical tuning.  Bach believed in tempered tuning.  Bach was asked by the church to play the inaugural concert on a new organ built by this famous builder.  Bach intentionally composed a piece, “The Well-Tempered Klavier (keyboard),” that would magnify tuning problems.

      When Bach began playing, the organ builder instantly knew what Bach had done, and the builder is said to have run up to Bach, pulled his wig off his head, and stomped on it.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • My compliments on your choice of music and musician. I am an organ lover from two standpoints: playing the instrument and listening to organists, and the technical side of the organ and how the technology and the organist are both key in producing a great work.

      I have never played this sonata, but the recital on this instrument was masterful. The skill of the organist is much more than the technical skill with which the fingers and feet attack the notes. For wonderfully designed and constructed organs, such as this fine tracker organ, the selection of stops is the key to success–especially for a work such as this sonata with its dark yet meaningful passages. If the organist chooses a different combination of stops, the effect may lose a great deal, or may even evaporate.

      The American Guild of Organists is well known for selecting masterful combinations of organs and organists for recitals at its conventions. This combination of the sonata, the organ, and the organist just might be the best I have ever seen.

      Bravo, my friend.

      Ken Stephens

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • in reply to: My ISP says it can’t continue DSL over copper #2378762

      Elon Musk says that within two or three years, one of his companies will have satellite internet that is “affordable, reliable, and with enough bandwidth to match cable speeds.”  If that comes to fruition, it will give you and people in a similar situation another option.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • in reply to: Delinquent email notifications #2378756

      With my email provider (Comcast), most responses are very quick.  However, from time to time, I have experienced as much as two- or even three-day delays.  Comcast insists that they are not the problem, but I can’t fathom anywhere else the delay could have occurred.

    • Which password managers do you consider reasonably secure?

    • This morning, National Public Radio (NPR) had a segment on this very topic.

      The disturbing thing about it is that Pegasus can take over your cell phone and can even turn on the microphone, so that whatever you are doing at the time can be heard by the “bad guys.”

      Unfortunately, even computer pros who have robust anti-virus/malware protection on their computers may have very weak (or no) such protection on their cell phones. The “good news” is that Pegasus is not widespread and appears to be highly targeted, rather than aimed at the general population.

    • in reply to: Macrium Reflect taking forever to load #2378746

      Macrium Reflect has an active User Group, many members of which are real Macrium Reflect pros.  You might query them regarding your issue.

      I, personally, have never experienced your problem with the program.

    • in reply to: Windows Update 20H2 Refuses to Install #2375025

      The problem has been solved.  It took 21 attempts, but only #21 was successful.

      It appears that my main problem was that (for reasons I do not understand) there was something corrupt in my boot sequence.  A deep dive into the numerous logs that are automatically generated by Windows when an update is accomplished (or attempted), showed that in every attempt, there was a boot problem right before Windows generated the “Update Failed” message.  That surprised me, because there had been zero boot problems during normal operation.

      I use Macrium Reflect (free) to make backups.  PKCano alerted me to the fact that Macrium Reflect has an option to “Fix Boot Problems.”  I ran that one time and then tried an update.  (That was the successful attempt #21).

      The computer in question, “my wife’s computer,”  is a three-yeard-old Dell Inspiron.  “My” computer is a six-year-old HP laptop.  It has automatically accomplished all the Windows Updates seamlessly.

      One of the things PK had me do was update the 1909 Version of Windows that was on the computer experiencing update problems.  That was probably necessary in order to achieve success in the end.

      My guess is that for a long time, there had been some sort of glitch with the Dell that had no observable problems until Windows tried the later updates.  The way Microsoft does it appears to stress everything.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 104 total)