Screw You, Technology

I’m so sick and tired of technology.

How is it, after all these fantastic years of discovery and advancements, we have computers so smart they get sent into space, yet here on planet Earth, this Toshiba laptop refuses to use official drivers from two official locations, both Toshiba’s site and AMD’s site, on an operating system with which it was originally sold?

I’m fed up of Windows troubles. I’m sick of Skype not working; dying on Android then dying on my PC for seemingly no reason with no decent help to be found online, for others too. Messages not getting sent or received, calls being dropped, video failing to show, and surely more issues have plagued my various Skype installations for too long.

I’m sick of Microsoft with their questionable business decisions and obnoxious software changes, forcing us into some crap for which some of us frankly don’t give a shit. What exactly was so wrong with Windows Live Messenger with Plus! which worked so well, looked fantastic, and was so popular? Don’t even get me started on the initial XBOX One fiasco!

I’ve had enough of troubleshooting; having to test, remember each and every setting in-case the computer implodes at any given moment, and trying to figure out just how technology has somehow screwed me.

I’m sick of companies like Google sticking their noses up something that was perfectly fine the way it was! Sure, because we really needed Google+ and Google’s interference with what was a perfectly fine and dandy system on YouTube. Yeah, I said it.

Use Linux! I hear you shout. Well, I’ve ran into arguably more issues there than I ever have with modern Windows (7 and 8.1) so I have no clue what the hell to think of Linux. Crash after freeze after failed installation mixed with a terminal and computer jargon with which most probably don’t care to deal—not fun.

I’m tired of technology advancing so fast, making you spend so much money just to play games in a stable and pleasant way, despite having spent a sizable chunk of dosh to have a decent experience. Assuming, of course, the damn companies don’t make a complete and utter, dire, joke of a mess of these so-called AAA games; stutter, horrendous FPS on solid machines, CtDs, freezes, errors, corrupted saves, and so much more await many a modern PC gamer.

Technology, kindly go home, because you’re well and truly wankered.

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Andy – Your Virtual Android Device

I don’t usually give my impressions on a random piece of software I found, but I’ve been hooked to this program since I installed it 2 days ago, so I think an exception can be made here. Let’s nerd up and geek it out.

Andy. So what is it? Well, it’s an Android emulator that I believe rivals Blue Stacks, another Android emulator. However, many—myself included—find Andy to be massively superior, both in features and performance, while remaining entirely free and true to the Android experience.

If you wish to quit reading and get to installing Andy, simply click here. Otherwise, continue through the page to read what else I have to say about this fantastic piece of software.

“Andy breaks down the barrier between desktop and mobile computing, while keeping a user up to date with the latest Android OS feature upgrades. It also provides users with unlimited storage capacity, PC and Mac compatibility, and the freedom to play the most popular mobile games on a desktop, Yes you can now run Android on windows.”taken from andyroid’s official home page.

So, there you have it. There’s more, though.

I expected the software to be absolutely full of bugs, but actually I believe I’ve only really discovered one so far, and that is the inability to set down some widgets on the home screen, which is frustrating, but not a game changer for me. If you rely heavily on widget use, then perhaps this won’t currently be the emulator for you.

I’m currently listening to Heart at 101.7 and all from my computer, presumably without an ariel, so I guess it’s effectively Internet radio. I’m using Radioplayer, an Android app found on the Play Store—yes, you can indeed you your Google accounts as you would with your regular device!

I chose to create my own Google account to be safe and to keep my phone and Andy entirely separate. I did run into an issue initially whereby I couldn’t get the first account I made to authenticate but I created a new account which ended up working.

I’ve had issues with Skype for the PC, so I uninstalled it, and then installed Skype on the virtual, high-spec tablet, which just so happened to have solved all those Skype issues I had on the desktop—score.

I’m finding that games are definitely awesome, with a nice big screen and a really good level of performance, but your mileage may vary, as it will of course depend on your computer’s specifications. I’ve been playing games like Bethesda’s Fallout Shelter and Supercell’s Clash of Clans without issue.

I ran into problems with the controls on a shooter, Dead Trigger 2 by MADFINGER Games, requiring two thumbs on a screen for optimal movement, but I believe this can somehow be resolved, according to the official Andyroid website, by using your phone as a “remote control when playing games.”

“If you have an Android device running Android 2.2 and up you can control Andy with your phone. This let’s you take advantage of multitouch, gyroscope, accelerometer,
location and other various sensors to control your games and apps in Andy.” – Taken from the FAQ page on Andyroid’s official website.

You can actually backup your Andy tablet and create various tablets, or even have profiles for different Andy users on your computer. It’s not just about you anymore! This software is ideal for developers and for those who don’t own an Android device but still wish to check it all out.

Sadly, by default, I’m only on Android version 4.2.2, the “sweeter tasting Jelly Bean.” While I don’t have any real issue with this, it would be nice to try the latest editions of Android, but I’m sure Andy will be updated eventually.

It is fairly easy to exchange files between Andy and Windows. By going to %userprofile%\Andy\ and dropping in files there, you can easily pick those up within Andy. As I discovered, this is especially important when it comes to using apps like Skype to send images to your friends and family.

Oh, and yes, you can even use WhatsApp. Apparently all you need to do is install it as normal from the Play Store, “select the phone call authentication and enter your mobile number,” then you just jot down the code you’re given.

Andy can make use of your XBOX 360 wired controller (potentially others), your webcam, and your PC’s microphone too. I have had no issues using these devices, other than finding the controller to be entirely unlike how you would expect it to be on Windows.

Andy can rotate the screen with the click of a button outside of the main screen; this allows you full use of those apps which function only in either portrait or landscape. I’ve used this in the menus, on games, and regular apps without any problems.

To conclude, Andy is a brilliant, effective program for those looking to emulate an Android device on your PC without the need to hand over your hard-earned cash.

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Am I Even Human?

Do you ever feel as though you don’t belong?

It’s amazing how difficult it can be to find something online. By amazing, I mean aggravating to the point at which it makes you want to tear all your hair out until you unknowingly scalp yourself.

I’ve been trying to find a chat site so I could maybe talk with some like-minded people. You know, integrate myself into the human race. I tried one in particular, registering an account yesterday. The site seemed good at first, with a nice layout and some fun, social features.

Then I made contact with the natives.

Either the virtual rooms were empty, full of people who never said anything, or pleasantly full of conversational people. Unfortunately, the latter rooms ran the very high risk of inhabiting people with only the one, single, solitary brain cell, figuratively speaking of course.

I’m not just being obnoxiously mean—I’m referring to the people who do things like hurl abuse at you for no reason, also known as trolls.

I went over to Google again, searching for chat rooms for adults.

Of course, Google is a perverted tit who assumes I’m thinking about screwing someone, so what do I see? Chat rooms for people looking for one thing, and I can tell you right now, it’s not to sit down with a nice cup of coffee and to have a riveting chin-wag with a stranger about the latest philosophical theories.

Don’t get me wrong, I get some of the dirty stuff has its uses, but that doesn’t mean each and every time someone goes on Google, he or she wants to search for something to release dopamine. Maybe by typing in “adult chat room”, I simply want to have a conversation with an adult so I can not feel like the only human on the planet?

Why an adult? I’m one myself—after a while, some conversations just don’t float your boat anymore. I don’t want to chat with people who feel the need to put others down every chance they get, and I don’t care about the mob mentality I remember from secondary school. There’s just a higher chance of a friendly, no-nonsense chat with an older person, than a youngster, so I’ve experienced.

I always try to be a better version of me— since I’m obviously not even remotely perfect, I’m forever trying to be fair, understanding, respectful, and kind. Therefore, when I see people who don’t give a damn, being a complete imbecile to any and every soul they come across, it rapidly grates my testicles.

I realise we can’t all get along, but I was unpleasantly reminded that I don’t ordinarily like people; they’re strange, often irritating, and I usually find myself confused or annoyed by the things they do. It sometimes feels like I’m perhaps an alien life form planted here for the amusement of my grey kin.

Beam me up!

Thank you Mental Health and Invisible Illness Resources for sharing this.

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Windows 10 and the Privacy Concern

I’m so tired of people like myself being attacked and/or ridiculed for giving a crap about privacy and security. Yes, I have the common sense to actually care what happens to my personal information and data. How could that be anything other than simply looking out for number one?

If you don’t yet know, there are countless articles out there that go into a far deeper detail than I can quite honestly be bothered, as it’s almost two o’clock in the morning and tiredness is hitting me hard. The general gist, is that Windows 10, since the days of the Technical Preview, has had a growing issue of privacy as a result of questionable wording in their EULA and a few other privacy-related issues in the OS itself.

There are a few typical responses I see floating around the interwebs:

“You use Google, Facebook, and who knows what other services; surely they collect your data, too? Why are you then so bothered about Windows 10?”

Simply put, the reason this is not a fair comparison to make is, at least with Facebook, because it’s completely different; this service is optional. The information shared on Facebook is chosen by the user. I don’t like Google and have pretty much despised and avoided most of it since it got its grubby mitts on YouTube, and so I do not have a Google account and if I did, I would restrict its access as much as I could.

I don’t get why so many people don’t seem to understand why choice is so damn important, especially it being such a data-heavy age in which data can so easily be shared.

Microsoft burying very important so-called options for them to have the ability to rummage through my private bits and bobs, which, by the way, are on by default, is not acceptable. Microsoft claiming their new operating system is “free” to those with Windows 7 and 8.1 when it clearly isn’t—it’s merely an eventually-permanent trade-in for the current operating system you own—and shoveling adverts at me while damn-near giving them the keys to the house is not OK.

“Windows 7 and 8.1 already collect your personal information, so why are you bothered now?”

As I understand it, Windows 10 has additional concerns that the previous operating systems didn’t have, but yes, there are definitely similarities. The difference, at least to me, is mainly that Windows 10 doesn’t allow you to disable all these features, and there is apparently data sent to Microsoft regardless of disabling features such as Cortana.

Honestly, Windows 8.1 pissed me right off to begin with, and I’m still unimpressed with what Microsoft did to it, but I still use it, and will probably continue to use it for a long period of time. I found Windows 8.1 to not be too bad of an OS, once I got past the Microsoft Account, the charms bar, revived the start menu they stupidly removed, fiddled like mad to get some decent visuals back, and did various other tweaks to help it feel less jarring and obnoxious.

I had hoped Microsoft would learn from the mess that was Windows 8 before they fixed it up, but they seem to have just made certain things worse. Eventually, Microsoft will be ejected from the face of the Earth, and nobody will give a fying shit, because we’ll all be fed up of their ignorant, almost-oppressive decisions—sure we all wanted you to completely take away that start menu, eejit!

“You’re just paranoid.”

I’m sick of hearing this. When Bob the caveman was about ready to go out and hunt for a snack, do you think he just hopped out of his stone bed and strolled out of his cave, grabbed the nearest stick, and went off into the unknown for some Doritos? Of course not! He was cautious, looked around, and made sure that he wasn’t the snack. Would it totally have been OK for little Bob to just wonder out without a care in the world only to go get himself killed?

Granted, most of us don’t fret much about tigers jumping out of bushes to munch on our bodies, but we do focus our concerns on other things, such as privacy and security, especially when these things are linked to our families, our friendships, our finances, and our work; we’re not paranoid for being cautious and concerned; we’re simply being human.

I could have perhaps given a better example, but I’m right about ready to pass out and thinking up fancy analogies isn’t really my forté, anyway.

“If you don’t like it, don’t use it!”

How the hell has this come to be an argument for just about everything that is put into question? Do people actually think this is clever or justified? Hey, I don’t like paying bills, so I’m not going to eat, leave my home, cancel my Internet contract, never wash, stop drinking clean water, and, … you get the idea. The silliest example I could quickly draw up, but it sure as balls puts the point across, as far as I’m concerned.

For many, Windows is essential, be it for managing finances, playing games, compatibility with their hardware and data, or whether it’s a requirement of their school or work. Simply telling people it’s Microsoft’s way or the highway gets nothing solved and I can’t help but to think this argument—if you can even call it that—is simply a cop-out. At the very crux of it all, it’s stupid of Microsoft to focus on what they want rather than what the customer wants! I hate to sound self-centered, but it’s about us and not them; at some point they seem to have forgotten that.

Mac is often (or always) unnecessarily expensive, Linux can be unnecessarily complicated, and I can’t imagine any other operating system is worth going near for a lot of people, at least currently. Windows is often the choice for a reason.

I apologise for this being a bit ranty—I’ll surely battle this another time when I’m not so tired, but my view on this matter will likely hold true.

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