Something Random

sdbardwick

Storage is cool
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North San Diego County
We've recently started getting P. O. D. pix in our order-confirmation Emails. They were legible "stills", though.

But my wife recently got an Email from Amazon with a link to a "live" map showing the delivery van location "real-time".

That's progress!
Been doing that in my neck of the woods for a while now (1+years). But now UPS is joining the live van tracking club as well!
 

sedrosken

Florida Man
Joined
Nov 20, 2013
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Eglin AFB Area
The point where the springbar holds in the strap for my watch finally gave out on my WaveCeptor that I wore every day, and honestly for a 40 dollar watch that I didn't mind you'd have thought I'd have just bought another one, but no -- the Seiko 5 I have I like to keep looking nice since it's something I can wear to functions and not look like I'm still 12 years old, so that's out as an everyday watch. I kind of wanted in on the smartwatch scene, but I didn't want to pay Apple or Samsung prices and didn't really want everything the mainline watches can do.

So, I bought a Moto 100. So far it's everything I wanted in a watch -- it tells time in 24h format, can track steps and heart rate and even oxygen saturation, and it wasn't upwards of five hundred dollars. I got mine new, so I overpaid by most estimations, but I wanted absolutely no doubt in my mind about its battery, and I also immediately swapped the strap for a magnetically clasped steel band. Why companies continue to think silicone and resin is a suitable watch band material at the hundred dollar mark I'll never know.

The battery's supposed to last up to two weeks, but I don't know what kind of usage you'd have to do to hit that figure, because I've burnt 5% of the battery in just a few hours. Granted, I did spend a bit of that updating its firmware (which kept its screen on and its CPU pegged, I'm sure). I'm guessing I'll eventually settle into a comfortable battery runtime of around a week, give or take a day. And it's lighter than the watch it replaced as far as I can tell. This does not run WearOS, that's how it can achieve such a long battery life figure, but honestly for a watch I figure once it stops getting updates I'll just live with it until it can't pair up to my phone anymore.

The only thing I'm outwardly disappointed in right now is the lack of available faces, but hopefully that's something they correct -- for now I found the face I hated the least and stuck with it. I ended up pairing it to my work phone instead of my personal -- that gives the notifications I'd need at a glance anyway, with work texts and emails and such. Meanwhile my personal phone barely goes off at all by comparison.

I'm not very happy that USPS left it at my porch instead of in the parcel locker portion of our communal mailbox at my apartment complex -- I half-expected it to be gone when I got home, especially since it's got that lithium battery sticker on the side announcing for the world that the contents of the box are electronic in nature.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a Fixture
Joined
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USA
USPS/UPS/FeDex, they all deliver like crap sincethe pandemic.
Somehow leaving a high value (>$5K) package in a pubicly vbsible area is fine with them if the driver takes a picture of it.
However, they did not leave my relatively cheap R7 which I WFHed for all day and I did not hear any bells or knockers.
 

sedrosken

Florida Man
Joined
Nov 20, 2013
Messages
1,335
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Eglin AFB Area
I just activated Office 2003 on my Pentium 4 build.

19 years after it released. By phone. The online activation no longer functions; the servers used to authenticate it are no longer online.

But they still have a phone line. Nine groups of 6 numbers read into a microphone, and another seven groups of six read back to me and keyed into a wizard later, and Office 2003 is no longer complaining about being unactivated.

What a time to be alive.
 

Handruin

Administrator
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USA
I'm impressed they still have phone operators for this kind of task versus continuing to have some web portal to deal with it.

Office 2003 though? Why do you want to use an office suite that's so old?
 

sedrosken

Florida Man
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Eglin AFB Area
It wasn't an actual operator, it was an automated system. I'm betting someone up high's forgotten they even pay for this phone number anymore, much less keep the system running on it. Although, it seems to have been updated sometime recently, because it offered to send me a link to a web portal and also send my confirmation ID through SMS.

As for why, this (socket 478 Pentium 4) build's running XP and isn't doing any serious work anyway. Even if it was, 2003 is the last version I consider to have a sane UI. Yeah, I could use some newer version of LibreOffice on it, but while I know for a fact Office 03 and the 2007 compatibility pack will install and run properly on XP out of the box, I don't know what the last version of LibreOffice is for XP and frankly, I don't want to bother with it.

Yes, I am actually signed into an email account in Outlook 2003, just to give you a heart attack. :p It's signed into an IMAP redirector I'm running for a copy of ProtonMail Bridge on my NAS. Since all the client-side communication is local, as long as the client can render HTML messages (and I've had luck going as far back as Outlook Express 5.5 on that front) it really doesn't matter what you use -- if someone's far enough into my LAN that they can see my decrypted email traffic, I've got bigger issues than that.

My PIII build's running Office 2000 on Windows 98SE, and my 486 is running Office 97 on Windows 95B. I tried going back to 95, but pre-97 versions of Word use a different version of .doc and I can't load anything made in 97 or later in it, so it's a pain to actually use.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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I happen to know that there ARE older products Microsoft absolutely refuses to reactivate. Neither Small Business Server 2003 nor 2008 work any more. I was even trying to re-activate SBS2003 on its original hardware.
 

sedrosken

Florida Man
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Eglin AFB Area
I wonder if pre-activated copies of Office XP/2003 were/are floating around like they did for Windows XP? I haven't had to mess with activating Windows XP a day in my life -- the burnt CD Dad was given years and years ago (and that I've taken an ISO image of and slipstreamed updates into) when he bought his P4 from a local builder at the time must have been a VL copy. Usually I get around having to activate Office by just using a version that's from before that was a thing, 97/2000 can do everything XP/2003 can, it's just not as pretty. They can do almost everything 2007+ can do too, with the compatibility pack. With KernelEx I've gotten that working as far back as Windows 98/Office 97 as a combo, but it'll work out of the box on Windows 2000 and newer.
 

sedrosken

Florida Man
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Eglin AFB Area
I'm giving a dual-SIM experience a trial run (with my boss's blessing) -- I'm really tired of carrying not just one but two bulky phones around everywhere I go, especially when 90% of the time one or the other goes completely silent. So far the experience has been surprisingly trouble-free with the exception of a few small annoyances.

Android seems to, as far as I can tell, have nuked the separate user-profile feature they used to have. I'm using an S20 Ultra 5G on the latest update, so I have Android 13 (OneUI 5) and I can't seem to figure out how to swap around for the life of me. Then again, I'm scared to death I'll miss a message or something doing that, so maybe having everything sort of mixed together is a good thing.

I have a preference for the Google phone apps -- their dialer and Messages app are quite nice compared to most pack-ins, unfortunately they don't respect my system settings where I have different notification/ringtones set for each SIM so I know what I can safely ignore by sound. The Samsung pack-ins work and do respect those settings, but I'm not a huge fan of them on an aesthetic level. Something about them just seems off to me.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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Iirc, multiple user profiles is a tablet thing. You should be able to do eSIMs on your S20 though. Mine just got Android 13, which definitely does support that.

I have an unlimited use Office 2007 volume license that dates from before activation became an issue, which started with Vista and Office 2010. It's definitely possible to make media for XP that uses an answer file that includes a product key, but the most widely overused volume keys (TPCRY-) were eventually blacklisted by later installers. I remember that I bought 10 Windows XP licenses and got a volume license of my very own as well. They were really ready to give them out at first.

Between trade in, instant rebate and customer loyalty something or other, I got a Galaxy Tab S8+ for just over $100 over the weekend. It's comically large but it has a 120Hz screen and a fast CPU. I can't believe how much nicer reading huge PDFs is on it.
 

sedrosken

Florida Man
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My personal number on the S20 is through an eSIM. My work is through the actual physical SIM. I distinctly remember multiple profiles being a thing on phones circa the Android 6-7 era. I'm not super annoyed, just a little chagrined that I can't quite so easily keep everything separate and I have to be careful where I save a contact or which number I'm using to call/text. I've set preferred SIMs for my contacts, but for some reason nothing seems to respect that setting.

I went to a T-Mobile store yesterday on my way home from a job just to confirm that it'd work before I made the jump, and they did confirm it but tried desperately to sign me on a S22 5G. It'd have been essentially free financed for 24mos on a unlimited plan. It's a decent deal, especially for a mainstream provider, but I have 2 months of service left on Mint that I've paid for and the only S22s they've got for the deal are the lowest storage option. With no mSD slot, that's a huge no. Also, the plan itself would cost around 200% more per month than what I'm paying for right now; granted, I'd be able to use all the T-Mobile towers (Mint can't) and they include a couple other goodies, and my perspective on phone service pricing is warped from being a Mint customer for the last year and a half or so. But more than all that, I've been burnt too many times financing phones from carriers. I like being able to jump around as I please even if in practice I don't do that all that often.

WGA and activation have been a thing from Windows/Office XP and beyond. 2000 is the last version to not feature it in any way -- XP I think could just be gotten around relatively easily.

Both my A53 and the S20 have 120Hz screens but frankly I don't understand the hype for phones. I'm not gaming on them and the superficial "smoothness boost" for general browsing and such isn't worth the battery drain. If they had a 540p 30Hz option I'd use it in a heartbeat -- I'm already at the 720p60 setting. I can't see the difference on that small of a screen. My main monitor is one thing, I just don't get any benefit out of it on my phone.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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ANDROID supports multiple user accounts, as in it is part of the AOSP baseline. I've only ever seen it enabled on tablets and phones running LineageOS. My Tab S8 and old-ass nVidia Shield tablet both have it, for example. Functionally, it doesn't look like there's MUCH difference between Samsung and Google as far as Calendar and contacts aside from aesthetics. Samsung's versions tend to be a little dumbed down and I'm not sure if they 100% sync to both Google AND Samsung or just to Samsung. I also rely on notification noises for a lot of things, so I feel your pain that they aren't consistent. There's probably a Tasker routine you can build for keeping things right.

Also, activation was a one-time check, at least for volume licenses of XP and Office up to 2007. They didn't start with the continuous validation BS they do now before that. IIRC the first time they started that for Volume Customers came with Server 2008, when we had the option to use on prem volume license servers where licenses were counted and billed every 6 months, or to use the same ones consumers use.

Actual random thing I just noticed:
Amazon uses three different smile icons for notifications on Android. They are different for Photos, Shipping and Music. The size and line weight of the smiles is different for all three. I never would've noticed except that I had one is each all right in a row.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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I set up a customer's new offices on Sunday and I couldn't believe the internet speed for the price they were getting. I've been on the same Comcast service plan for something like five years. Last time I talked to them, the main thing I heard was that I had to accept an extra subscription to their weirdo security software to get faster/discounted service, so I stopped asking.

Called today and they made my connection 4x faster and $60/month cheaper. It's even going to be cheaper than what I've been paying after the contract expires. This is the one time I've ever called Comcast all undeniably saved money.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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The Girl from Ipanema is an absolute all-time banger.
It's the movie trope for elevator music, but it's also the one of the most frequently recorded songs in history. I'd never REALLY listened to it, and as a middle aged person whose social life authentically involves attractive women young enough to be my daughters, I'm really feeling it.

I actually like to listen to podcasts and video series about music theory and composition, particularly in styles I'm less familiar with. Nahre Sol, a contemporary classical composer and pianist, got me started down this path. Today I found this wonderful video by Adam Neely about the complexities surrounding The Girl From Ipanema.

Totally worth a half hour of your time

 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a Fixture
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USA
I remember the orange LP back in the 1960s. I couldn't understand the song or what it meant, but my father was very interested in Jazz and had all Stan Getz albums. I much preferred the Beatles.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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The song is actually a lament from older man watching a beautiful young woman walk by. She's oblivious and unaffected by his gaze. It's a rather universal experience for men of a certain age, I suspect.

One of my great-great aunts was a classical pianist. She taught my mother to play, and my mother has been a piano teacher to some degree for most of her life. I play as well, but I'm versed in classical piano and not THAT good at it.

Nothing blows my mind like the ability some people have to improvise, especially in Jazz, and even more especially when they get to the level of, say, late Miles Davis or Sun Ra, where an entire ensemble might be harmonizing on a single chord without regard for any other structure in the music as written. Classical composers have been through that cycle as well, but always in an intensely formal fashion. The other funny thing about Jazz is that a lot of great musicians never formally studied what they're doing. They just DO IT. Nowadays, the kids who follow that path (and I have cousins who are trained in Jazz percussion and trumpet, respectively) have all the lessons beaten into their heads, but did Dexter Gordon or McCoy Tyner?

There was a music professor named Richard Greyson who used to improvise live on either familiar themes "in the style of" well known composers. He'd do audience themes as well, if they could write the musical notation of hum clearly enough. The level of understanding required for such a thing is astonishing.

His Youtube Channel is here, if anybody wanted to explore such a thing.
 
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