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#234 September 1, 2018 from
First words:

I don't know if I can get this one out on time but I'll try
to get it posted, even if it's a day or two late. I have
some sort of bug. I'm not sure if it's the flu or just a
cold but I feel pretty bad and Lisa feels even worse. I've
also been busy with computers. A private school gave me a
couple of dozen computers that they've taken out of service
(they get new ones for their computer lab every few years).
They give them to me because they know I'll wipe the hard
drives, install Linux on them and give them away to folks
who can use them but couldn't otherwise afford them. I
think of it as a hobby that costs me a great deal less than
some of my peers spend on golf balls. Sometimes I have to
buy a mouse, keyboard, or an inexpensive set of speakers
but the school gives me some of the accessories and I have
a lot of stuff in the shed so my expenditures aren't large
and it's great to see the machines going to people who'll
benefit from them. I can't do as much as my friend Ken
Starks, who has literally given away thousands of computer
systems through his company (Reglue)...
...but when I complete this batch I will have given away
somewhere around a hundred computer systems and I'm really
proud of that. Actually, Lisa is proud of that too because
she gives software support to recipients (while I handle
hardware support). We're a team and we really enjoy having
made positive changes in the lives of others.


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Lisa on...

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Lisa's blog:

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Are you a heavy hitter when it comes to image processing?
I'm a lightweight so this was gibberish to me but it
seems cool anyway.

A few windows gizmos.

This programmer can't spell 'scheduler' but programmers are
fairly notorious for the lack of grammer. :)

They claim to the the worlds #1 firewall.

I'm not a privacy junky. It doesn't bother me in the least
that search engine stockpile date on people who use them
and I don't mind that facebook has ads for whatever I was
searching the web for yesterday. I've been ignoring ads all
my life and I'm good at it. Nor do I have any reason to want
to hide anything on my computer but it doesn't bother me
that not everybody agrees with me. You wanna hide stuff on
your computer? Here you go.

Back when I was a Windows user I often had problems with
files that, for one reason or another, I couldn't open.
Where was this app back then? [cnet dot com]

What do you reckon this is for? Verbose people?

a PDF tool that appears to think highly of itself.

Have you ever found anything on your computer that you
couldn't identify? Should you remove it?

I like CCleaner ok but you have to turn off the 'real time'
monitoring when you install it (otherwise it shoves its
nose into everything you do). I don't know anything about
this little tool from the same folks.
Here's another interesting tool they offer.

Not long ago I bought a new Fender guitar amp. Guitar amps
have changed a lot. This one required software to program
its presets and I couldn't get the Open Source version of
the software to work for me so an old friend took pity on
me and gave me a fairly nice Windows laptop that runs the
Fender software really well. For the most part, I don't use
it for anything else but there are two image editors which
I always install on Windows. There are better apps for high
powered image editing but these are more than adequate for
everyday computer users.

Keeping Windows up-to-date is, and has always been, far too
much of a hassle. I'm not sure this would help but I'm game
to try it.

I remember trying two or three different download managers
for Windows and not really behing happy with any of them.
I wonder if this one is any better?


There are more than a few Linux and/or Open Source apps
that are just so good that had to be ported to Windows
(and/or Mac). They're especially good because there is no
'premium' version of these apps. They're just plain and
simply free to use, free to distribute, and if you've the
programming mojo, free to improve on (as long as you share
what you did - that's how Open Source works).

Perhaps the biggest super-star of Open Source software is
the GIMP. This is an incredibly powerful and versatile
image manipulating software which compares favorably with
commercial apps which cost many hundreds of dollars and
you can master it if you've enough determination because
there are literally hundred of tutorials all over the web.
The Register published a nice article about the Gimp
not too long ago.

I remember installing ICQ, and AIM and Yahoo Messenger and
one or two others 'back in the day'. Pidgin simplified that.

Seems like every time I work on a machine that belongs to a
young person (in my lexicon that means someone who's between
6 and 50 years of age) I find them using VLC to play music
and watch movies.

The best of all file compression utilities is 7zip.

Students and writers love LibreOffice. I'm neither but I
use it very frequently to print song sheets and address

I've honestly never used this but have been hearing good
things about it for years now.

Here's another I haven't tried but have heard mentioned
favorably once or twice.


Celebrating powerful women.

If you're really into dancing...

Rebecca Johnson is a wonderful entertainer and an awesome
bass player by any standards.

Neither Lisa nor I can eat pasta. :( This is so cruel.

A lovely and talented young woman.

A nerdy comic.

Cool origami.

This could be important if you have an HP printer.


This publication is only mailed to verified
double opt-in subscribers, and is brought
to you by me, Don Crowder, and
with occasional help from my wife, Lisa Miller.
At the time this issue was posted, the current
subscriber count for this publication was 297.


Ok, I'm about an hour late getting this posted but that's
a lot better than I anticipated. I did good. That happens
sometimes (if not particularly often).  :)

Lisa seems to be getting sicker every day and my condition
seems to be fluctuating on some strange schedule of its
own. I feel just fine for hours at a time, then I feel
terrible for a few hours, then I feel somewhere in between
for an hour or two and the cycle repeats itself in random
order for periods of random duration.

This evening I pulled out all the stops and made chicken
soup with extra bay leaves. This is serious flu medicine.
So know we feel slightly less awful and we aren't hungry.
This isn't a great thing but it's not bad.

See you next month!

Don Crowder, 12:56 AM
September 1, 2018
Buchanan Lake Village, Texas
Served by the U.S. Post Office in
Tow (rhymes with cow), Texas

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