Aren’t we all Zombies nowadays ?

OK, Halloween is coming up and one or the other of us will turn into a Zombie for one or a few days.
But looking at this comic strip from "Reality Check" makes me think: aren’t we all Zombies nowadays, brain-less marionettes as victims of all the mobile and connected gadgets we carry with us each day ? Look at the people at the bus station, in restaurants, at the airport, at home during dinner, and you probably get what I mean.

Yesterday I have been reading an article in Geo about a camp in China where internet-addicted kids are jailed to return to a normal life thru drill and intentional boredom. Scary, sort of ! But seems to work for many to start learning making real friends, playing real games, focus on things that matter.
Found a similar article in The Telegraph: "Inside the Chinese boot camp treating Internet addiction"

Windows10 has been messing with my graphics driver

Last week Windows10 attempted to update the graphics driver on my computer and failed with this error 0x800705b4. When I rebooted my PC over the weekend I noticed that my graphics resolution had gone down and changed it back to my usual resolution.
Then, when playing a browser game, I noticed how slow it was and checked a bit closer my display settings. Apparently my NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT driver had been replaced by some Microsoft Basic Display Driver; see also this discussion.
I visited NVIDIAs web site for driver downloads ( German site in my case ) and first let it detect my installed graphics hardware. Before that worked okay I had to upgrade my Java. Finally NVIDIA correctly detected my graphics hardware and offered me the correct driver download. Everything back to normal now, after roughly one hour wasted and two reboots.
Dear Microsoft, how about the following: when you fail to upgrade software on my computer, can you please leave it like it was before instead of installing some different software without my permission ?


My wife and I have been hiking the Eifelsteig during our two+ weeks of vacation this autumn. It is a 314 kilometer hike, quiet ambitious, done in 15 days, thus more than 20 kilometers on eight of these days, and some altitude to manage – up to 700 m sometimes.
We started in Aachen on Saturday, September 12th, and reached Trier at the river Mosel on Sunday, September 27th.
Weather was quiet mixed these days, some rainy or very cloudy days, but we also got some nice sunny days and moments. We slept in a cloister two times and in a castle one time, and overall there have been many great moments to remember. This is the sort of vacation we really like.
My full set of photos is here on flickr.
Highlights have been Aachen of course with the incredible Cathedral,

the beautiful city of Monschau,

the "Three-Mills-Waterfall",

the trail along river Lieser,

and finally Trier, among many others.

The Paradox Of Our Age

Just discovered:

Just discovered, an awesome way to quickly test out some javascript code.

So far I like jsFiddle to test out javascript code in the context of a html page and css styles, or cscript to run some javascript locally in a command prompt window.

jsconsole runs in your browser but works like a console, thus you just type or paste in javascript code and will see the output in the console. Like:

a = 1;
b = 3;
a + b
A nice feature is that you can paste in functions as well and execute those:
function addit(v1,v2) { 
  return v1+v2; 
A much nicer feature is that you can load any web page to make it available as a document in your javascript context:

Loading url into DOM…

DOM load complete

You can also use that “:load” command to load any external scripts, or a javascript framework like jquery:


Loading script…


Now we have the google page available as a document and jquery as a library we can easily find out ( programmatically ) the text of the two buttons on that page:

$("input").each( function() {if ($(this).attr("type") == "submit") { console.log($(this).attr("value")); }});

"Google Search"

"I’m Feeling Lucky"

Isn’t hat just … wow !?

Flowcharter 0.1 alpha

Last week in my drawer I discovered a very early version of Visio or ABC Flowcharter:

I probably got this in 1980 when I joined IBM. Boy, did we really draw flow charts on paper for software we wrote ? Actually we did during the programming classes I went through at the beginning.

For my diploma theses work I wrote in 1983 with Script on a mainframe computer I had to come up with some ASCII art to enrich my paper with flowcharts:

Windows 10 first experience: start menu not opening

OK, did the upgrade to Windows 10 today.
Took roughly two hours to download and install.
First experience was terrible: start menu not opening, task manager not responding.
I tried this solution for the first problem without success.
Thru my Rainmeter process monitor I noticed that MsMpEng.exe kicked in quiet often with high CPU usage. This opened my eyes that apparently Microsoft Security Essentials is part of Windows 10 !? Since I had Avast Antivirus installed on my system this was a good cause for trouble: two virus scanner competing with each other for disk resources, a great way to slow down the system to almost a halt.
The turnaround then was to de-install Avast Antivirus. After another reboot I finally was able to open the Start menu and use task manager and overall system behaves much smoother now.
The Windows 10 installer should consider this and ensure not two virus scanner will be running in parallel. It should either prompt with information that Microsoft Security Essentials will be available with Windows 10 and offer to de-install any other installed virus scanner, or offer to disable Microsoft Security Essentials if user prefers to stay with his current virus scanner.


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