Saturday, July 23, 2016

HP Support Assistant.

It's one of those vaguely documented programs that comes on HP computers.  Far as I can tell, it's the HP version of Windows Update.  It keeps track of the versions of the HP code in your machine, device drivers mostly, and updates them when it feels like it.  I don't believe the version on FlatBeast (which came from the store running Win 8.10  ever worked at all.  I remember running it a few times and over the course of a year, I don't think it even did anything other than whine.
   Win 10 took offense at HP Support Assistant and claimed it wouldn't work, it would give the computer rabies, and other offensive stuff.  So after getting Win 10 squared away I googled on HP Support Assistant, just to see what others had to say about it.  Best advice I found, was to just re install the damn thing from the HP website.  The writer claimed this would fix all evils.  And it did. 't
   I ran it, and it wanted to replace seven or eight bits of software.  So I let it have its head, and it took awhile, it wanted to reboot after three or four downloads,  but it got to the end and it didn't break anything. 
   Suggestion to you HP owners out there.  Should you find that HP Support Assistant ain't doing much, try downloading a fresh version from HP.  This might get him going again. 

Rolling up the windows

My driveway lacks shade.  On hot summer days the car heats up like a furnace.  To combat this, I like to leave the windows down.  We have maintained the social order up here and I don't have to worry about having the car stolen. 
   What I do worry about is the sudden rainstorm.  Really messes up the upholstery when it gets rained on.  Right now, should I hear a rumble of thunder, I must get up, go out to the car, with the key in hand, turn the ignition on, and hold the power window buttons down till all is rolled up.
   I have a remote control for the car on my keychain.  Wouldn't it be nice if said remote had a button to roll up all the windows.  The remote already has a button to pop the trunk lid, and work the door locks.  Surely one more button wouldn't be a cost breaker.  The remote has enough range for me to pop the trunk lid sitting at my kitchen table, so I wouldn't even have to get out of my chair. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

So I upgraded to Windows 10

And the laptop survived the experience.  Like all things Micro$oft it's slow.  Took 6 hours to install Win 10.  Now that I am upgraded, the laptop seems a scosh more lively.   My custom login screen survived. Word 2002 still works, Picassa still works.  Haven't tried everything yet.  Win 10 threw out CCleaner claiming incompatibility.   It also raised a fuss about some nameless program, and and the HP auto update program.  (It's an HP laptop). 
    I'd been holding off on Win 10, fearing it would be slower and fatter than Win 8.1.  Experience tells me that each new Windows is fatter and slower than the old one.  But, a couple of web searches failed to find anyone raving about Win 10 bugs, and Micro$oft started threatening to end the free updates next week.  So I weakened and updated.
   Lets hope I don't regret it. 

Obama's "Justice" dept OK's giant beer merger

The US Justice dept signs off in a merger of Anheuser-Busch Inbev NV and SABMiller PLC.  The merger is $108 billion and creates the larger beer company in the world.  And it will pretty much eliminate competition in the US.  After this merger, if you want to drink beer, you gotta buy it from the one beer company left.  What ever they will call themselves.  And they can charge anything they want, and we have to pay it, or do without beer. 
   A merger this big should never be approved.  It is so big as to create a monopoly.  And fleece consumers left and right.  So much for Obama looking out for the people.  He's looking out for crony capitalists.   

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Donald Trump's family do good things for him

The children all look really good on TV.  Grownup, articulate, well spoken, properly dressed, well groomed, well educated, and solidly loyal to their father.  Speaking as a veteran parent, a guy who can raise that many good children is a guy deserving of respect.  And his wife Melania, showed great love and loyalty to Donald, in addition to being really hot.  Donald must be a pretty decent husband to attract and keep a woman like that.  Too bad they sabotaged her speech.  Melania would make a helova lot better First Lady than snooty Michelle Obama. 
   Anyhow, family counts.  Trump has some really good family. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A place to prune the bureaucracy

A government-industry group is trying to reduce the accident rate in "general aviation" (Cessna, Pipers, Beechcraft and the like).  General aviation is running at 1.5 fatal accidents per 100,000 flying hours, where as business aviation is running at 0.5 fatal accidents per 100,000 hours.  So there is room for improvement. 
   There is general agreement that an angle-of-attack  (AOA)  indicator in the cockpit would do a lot of good.  Angle of attack is basically how much the nose is pointed up.  Point up too much and the wing stalls, airflow goes all squirrely, lift drops off drastically, the controls stop working, and the plane falls out of the sky  like a stone.  If this happens close to the ground, say while making an landing approach, the plane will hit the ground before the pilot can recover the aircraft. 
   And, such AOA indicators do exist.  And not too expensive.  You can buy one for about $1500.  But, only for "experimental" aircraft.  "Experimental" means home built, flown only by the builder, not legal to carry passengers.  For "certified" aircraft, factory built planes, legal for anyone to fly or fly in, the same AOA system might cost $10000 to $25000.  Same AOA equipment, the outrageous price hike is the cost of doing FAA paperwork, required on certified aircraft. 
   A Trump administration could do something about this government sponsored rip off. 

Words of the Weasel Part 35

Describing a 1989 British Land Rover in a Wall St Journal article.  "We did hit some weather. There's a lot of water ingress with this truck, but that's part of its charisma." 
   Water ingress.  Yeah right.  Any real person would say "It leaks like a sieve."  Part of its charisma???  Detroit figured out how to make a waterproof car back in the 1930's.  I've owned and ridden in a lotta things over the years,  Fords, Chevys, Dodges, Caddy's , Mercuries,  They all had problems of one kind or another, but none of 'em leaked rainwater.  For that level of build quality, you gotta go to England. 
   He also admits the Land Rover was only doing 11 mpg and burning oil at the same time.  Another example of British engineering at it's best.  A plain old V8 Chevy pickup will give you 16 mpg.