Friday, January 7, 2022

Fennec Chard


Friday, December 24, 2021

R.I.P., Reddit User /u/DarthContinent

I can't say Christmas and the 2021 holiday season have been reason for me to be remotely festive.

In May of 2020 I lost my mom (granted, MAGA "Democrat hoax" believing mom). This past year, I lost two beloved dogs in quick succession to nightmarishly aggressive cancer. Allow me to introduce them!

Miles, my longtime "fren" and drinking buddy, left. Ava, my dear, sweet, gentle girl, right.

Both of them now live only as memories in the tapestry of our lives, and as ash in a couple of rosewood boxes on my dining table. No telling when my wife and I will be able to summon the courage to properly bury them with some of our other late furry friends in our backyard.

Oh, and as an aside, my 16 year old Reddit account was permanently suspended recently. In the AskReddit subreddit, I made a joke about, and I quote, "Sex with a miner." Miner, as in adult who spends their days working in the coal or other mine. Not by any means an underaged child.

Given Reddit quietly announced their upcoming IPO, in a perverse way it makes sense they'd want to essentially sanitize their user base. People speaking out against things like censorship, the Tiannenmen Square massacre, China variously exploiting and exterminating the Uyghurs?

Going forward, this is the new face of Reddit in my mind. The wildly popular meme of Xi Jinping as Winnie the Pooh, given China has invested considerable assets into Reddit and its ilk.

Today, fascism and censorship and casting human beings away like offal is the new normal, apparently. I'm far too lazy and unmotivated to battle the nowadays deplorable Snoo and its pals. I'm not about to invest thousands upon thousands of dollars to set up a smartly cloud-based platform to rival Reddit, a longtime platform that filled in the vacuum in the wake of the tragic Digg exodus.

A wise mentor once said, "Keep small things small and simple things simple, for as long as you can." Sage advice! 

If I despaired over some faceless, deplorable miscreants essentially upending the sand mandala that was my 16 years on Reddit, contributing my life experiences personal and professional, even my money in buying their "awards" for dropping dollar bills into their coffers, I'd consider myself in a bad space.

Serendipitously, however, this whole moist sac of nonsense lately has for literally days taken my mind off the devastating grief that I presently shoulder in the wake of the loss of our dogs. It's become a watershed realization for me, that hey, maybe the whole sand mandala thing being upended and destroyed once the work is done isn't such a bad thing!

I'm starting from scratch, and I plan to lurk incessantly on Reddit because I'm motivated to help people and leverage my intellect, expertise, and experience to do so. No petty bunch of cash grabbing, visionless plebes will keep me from doing so.

Please, today's Reddit, accept a hearty FUCK YOU. You more than deserve it. 🙂

Monday, November 1, 2021

Mouse Back/Forward Buttons Stop Working in Windows 10

Recently, inexplicably, my wireless bluetooth iClever mouse decided that its thumb buttons used for stuff like forward and back in browsers and Windows Explorer and other applications should no longer work.

No idea if a recent Windows 10 update was the culprit or what, but I found a very simple solution via a post on Reddit. Simply unplug the mouse's little USB transceiver and plug it into a different USB port on your PC. 

That's it. That's the post.

I'd already tried removing all bluetooth devices from Device Manager including hidden ones and rebooting, no joy. No clue if should this happen enough times if I might eventually run out of USB ports my mouse deigns to allow control of it. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Prevent Docker for Windows Auto Update

I recently installed Docker Desktop in order to then install PiHole on my Windows 10 desktop PC. PiHole is a cool and free little utility that you can install as a Docker container to provide ad blocking capability that goes a step further than a browser ad blocker add-on like say UBlock Origin. Once installed you can have your PC serve as a sort of DNS proxy for your entire network which bypasses a wide array of blacklisted IP addresses and domains.

One annoying and frankly impolite "feature" of Docker Desktop in general is that some time ago (possibly after version 2.5 or thereabouts) they removed an option through the GUI to disable automatic updates. This is irritating because what you might expect happened to me; a newer, buggy version once installed caused Docker to behave erratically and crash frequently. 

I took a quick look at the Docker documentation (Dockermentation??) and while there are command line options to disable auto updates in the Docker daemon I haven't got the patience to figure out what syntax to use; I mean come on, I'm so lazy I'm using Windows 10, right?

Instead I tried to find out where Docker downloads its updated versions, and I believe I found that folder as shown below. From the Start menu you can type in C:\Users\<Windows username>\AppData\Local\Docker Desktop Installer:

Docker's systray icon will conspicuously show a little "i" to inform you of a looming upgrade, and at the next restart of Docker Desktop the upgrade ordinarily will be installed. However, in lazily taking a stab at preventing this behavior I decided to alter the file system attributes of the folder containing the updates to make it and its contents read-only.

The idea is to both prevent updates from being downloaded in the first place, and in case Docker normally attempts to write any temp files to that folder as part of the upgrade process to kneecap its ability to do so and maybe indicate to that logic something's up that makes upgrading a bad idea.

I altered the folder attributes and applied them, then exited Docker via the systray icon and after a minute or so opened the shortcut. I checked the version first of all:

I was rewarded not with Docker dictating the 3.2.x version I'd use going forward, but rather the previous 3.1.x version I downgraded to in order to not get stuck with the buggy behavior of the newer but less stable version. Success!

I also noticed the conspicuous "i" was gone, as if the logic quietly decided the attempt to upgrade never even happened, which is fine by me.

Of course this isn't the optimal way to prevent software from doing its thing despite user preference, but in these "challenging" times laziness reigns supreme in my headspace. Possible caveats may be that the next time you manually upgrade to a newer version you might need to reapply this change to your file system (too lazy to post a batch file to do it, sorry!) but that's minor compared to browsing on my tablet across the house from my PC and having Docker crash and take out my PiHole.