Problems might just be gone …


For a few weeks now, I’ve been having performance issues with one of my Windows 10 laptops. I’ve uninstalled software that I rarely use, but the issue seems to have remained. What happens is that I’ll be using for example Microsoft Word and suddenly it hangs with the message “Word is not responding” and this will happen three or four times during the session. I end up having to restart Windows and hope the problem has gone away. Often this fixes the issue, but occasionally it doesn’t.

Today, while I was looking at the Task Manager application, I noticed something called ‘software reporting tool’. I had not seen it before and so I ran an online search and discovered that it is a program that checks to see if any software is going to affect the Google Chrome browser. There were reports that it has a high CPU usage when checking and the check often takes 20 minutes or so to run. The date on the file is 4th October which seems to coincide with the second time I had problems. Things seemed to improve after I removed my other printer, but then problems re-emerged a few days later.

The sites I looked at (and I always check a few to see if they say the same thing) told me that the process is not necessary and can be stopped. They also said that Google may restart the process again whenever the Chrome bowser updates. It gave instructions on how to prevent it running and how to prevent Google from restarting it. The instructions for this can be found at https://www.ghacks.net and searching for ‘how to block the Chrome Software reporter tool’.

It may not fix the problem, but the tool sends scan information back to Google, so there may be privacy issues here.

We shall see if there is any improvement.

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On another point, this was written using the WordPress editor on an iPad Mini. I had not thought of that as an option, but it seems to work quite well. I do need to understand how the HTML style tags work for formatting, but there must be a tutorial out there.

 

Blog editor trial – results are in …


Now here is where in time old fashion I should say “In no particular order …” but I shall resist the temptation. Instead I shall just list some of the ‘pros and cons’ of the applications I have tried.

1. WordPress editor
Positives: ease of use, built in, WYSIWYG, available on all my devices
Negatives: formatting images not as good as Open Live Writer

2. Word
Positives: fully featured, WYSIWYG
Negatives: too many features, no tags, image manipulation not as good as Open Live Writer

3. BlogDesk
Positives:
Negatives: Could not get it to connect to blog

4. Open Live Writer
Positives: Ease of use, familiar, WYSIWYG, tags and categories easy to use, image control good
Negatives: Not been updated since 2015, random crashes

5. BlodPad Pro
Positives: ease of use, good when away from desk
Negatives: iOS only, image manipulation not easy

After a little amount of brain activity, I think I am going to stick with Open Live Writer as my main editor for the time being. However, I may be tempted with the WordPress editor. With it’s ability to be used on my laptop, my iPad, my wife’s iPad, old laptop and even my phone if the desire took me, it comes an extremely close second.


Decisions, decisions …


When I first had the idea of creating a blog, I sought some online advice as to how I could go about getting my thoughts online. It became apparent, quite quickly that the free version of WordPress was the way to go. I toyed with Blogger, but it seemed to lack any kind of quality so I went for WordPress.

Much of the advice centred on the software I could/should WLWuse to get my message into the blog. Quite a few people said that if I wanted an off-line editor, then there was not much to fault the built-in Windows program “Windows Live Writer” or WLW as it became known. This was part of a suite of applications called  “Windows Live Essentials” that came, ready to use with Microsoft Windows. It seemed the most logical way to go, and most of my earliest posts were written using WLW. Then, OLWas is usual with Microsoft, it was announced that Windows Live Essentials was being run down and no further development work would be done. Around about the same time coincidently, a piece of software appeared called “Open Live Writer” (OLW). This was an open-sourced version of Windows Live Writer set to replace the former. I have used this now for a long time, being my prefered editor.

Now to the point. Over the past few months, I have had a couple of occasions when uploading a post from OLW, that the upload fails and the post is lost (the draft post seems to get corrupted). The problem is that there has been no development work on OLW for some time, and it is now beginning to show its age. In fact a post that I was going to upload yesterday failed and was lost. So now, Im beginning to think that it is time to move on again and choose anothe blog editor for my laptop.

I’ve done a little research and have come up with the following options:

  • Continue with OLW
  • Use the WordPress editor (this was written with the WP editor)
  • Blogdesk
  • Microsoft Word
  • Windows Notepad and paste into the WP editor or
  • some other paid for application (not my ideal choice)

So for the next few posts, I will be writing using a different method each time to test which I find is the most suitable method.

(Written using WordPress editor)

 

Back to the usual …


Blodpad IconStill testing the Blogpad app on my iPad. A bit of a way to go yet, but I’m starting to get the hang of it. One of the downsides I’ve found, is that you cannot post your missives (is that what I mean?) as a draft in your WordPress blog. Well I’ve not found a way, if there is one. The way it works is thatBlogpad 2 it is stored as a draft in your defined storage area. You can then ‘preview’ your work and see how it looks, before finally publishing it as a live post. Another downside seems to be the ‘autosave’. I can’t find a setting that sets the autosave frequency. I Blogpad 3discovered, to my cost when the app crashed, that the crash happened before the ‘autosave’ kicked in, so I lost a good portion of the post. I’ve now decided to click/tap on the Save icon every 20 words or so.

This app is not going to be my main blogging editor, I’m still firm friends with Open Live Writer, but I needed something to work with when I go on holidays. Don’t want to take the laptop with me (K*** would kill me if I did) and as I have mentioned before, I’m not too keen on the WordPress built in editor. At the moment, there are more ‘up-sides’ than ‘down-sides’ to the app, although I’m not liable to have a tantrum, I just hope ‘up-sides’ continue to grow faster than the ‘down-sides’.

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I’m still having an issue with the WordPress app on the iPad. When I’m in the ‘stats’ screen and I click on the Notification Bell at the bottom right of the iPad app, the notification list comes up as normal. Now the issue is, that if I tap the Daily Prompt notification, I get a very unhelpful message telling me that there has been an ‘Error Loading The Post’. I hadn’t noticed this before, it’s only since I have been having a go at the Daily Prompt that the iPad app has become more active. Anyway, the good people in support are looking at the issue and I am hopeful they can come up with the solution.

Just giving it a try …


The ‘it’ in question is the “Blogpad Pro” on the iPad. I normally write my posts on my laptop using the “Open Writer” software that replaced Microsoft’s “Live Writer” when said company decided to drop the application. I’m not a big fan of writing with the WordPress editor, and I wanted to be able to write a post if I’m away from/home and only have my iPad mini.

At first attempt, it seems to be quite good, but there are a lot of controls and features that I have not had chance to try yet, It’s still early days.

An old friend returns …


The thing about getting a new computer is that you never remember what software you need, until you realise it’s not on your new machine. Now I thought I had been clever, and had made a list of the stuff I use all the time. Which is fine in as far is it goes. Then you start to do some work or something and you find that you haven’t got that little bit of software that you always use, but never think about. Still, I think I’m almost there now. The old machine is in the spare room (in case I need something) and I’m beginning to get the hang of Windows 10. It has it’s pro’s and con’s, but I think a lot of it is just familiarity. It too me a couple of weeks to get used to Windows 7 after XP, and I still miss some of the things that XP did, but we move on.

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Now, to the title of this post “An old friend returns …”! The old friend in question is my first blogging editor (back to Windows XP here) good old ‘Windows Live Writer  (WLW). I always felt it was one of the best tools for the job, and was very disappointed when Microsoft decided to no longer support it. Since then I have used a variety of editors and am still inclined to use the Blog Post template in Microsoft Word and occasionally I will use the WordPress desktop application.

Yesterday, whilst reading an article about Windows 10 compatibility issues with some older software, I saw a mention of WLW and how much it was missed. There was a list of alternatives, but near the top was a link to a website called ‘Open Live Writer’ which wimageas offering Open Live Writer as a free download. My initial thoughts was that this must one of those awful clones that seemed to perpetuate throughout the internet. After a little bit of research it looks like pressure from users made Microsoft turn WLW into an open source application and the result is Open Live Writer.

I downloaded it this morning and have used it for this post. To all intents and purposes it looks and feels the same as before. Everything seems to be as I remember WLW, and it feels quite nostalgic to be using it again. I shall test it further over the next few weeks and see how it goes, but things look promising.

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On a completely different tack, my INR blood test seems to have been a bit off the wall. INR is the International Normalised Ratio and is a measure of how much longer it takes the blood to clot when oral anticoagulation is used. For example, if your INR is 2 the blood is taking twice as long as normal to clot. I have a range which my INR has to fall within, of between 2.0 and 3.5 with a target of 2.5. Since I have been taking an anti-coagulant, my INR has usually been within the range, with the occasional blip. However, since middle of December I have three times been ‘over my limit’ so to speak. I have put it down to what I have eaten and drunk (which does have an effect), but it made me wonder if stress could be a factor. Over the December/January period, it has been quite a stressful time what with Christmas (humbug) and work. I asked the doctor at my medication review, and although he had not heard of stress being a factor, he did say that stress does have an effect on our metabolism so in theory there could be a link. However, I got the impression that he thought it was probably down to food and drink.

Where does it all come from …..


Like many people, I suppose, I take advantage of the spam filter   (Akismet) that is built into WordPress.com editor. I find it extremely good at catching the rubbish that certain people like to try and mess up my blogs with. Many of them are seem to be simply adverts for unwanted and unusable services, but occasionally something arrives, that makes no sense at all. A case in point is the text of the latest bit of SPiced hAM to hit my blog this week. I have copied into a graphic above. As you can see, it is gibberish. Now what, I ask (mainly to myself) is the point of this? Does the author think that we are that stupid as look at this text and say “There’s a website I must visit”?

My second point with this, is how does this ‘Monkey Gibber’ actually get to be an attempted post? When I found this particular gem, my stats for the day was showing no visitors and no views. As I understand it, if someone visits my blog, it is recorded as a visit. So how did it get posted if there was no visit? Anyone any ideas?

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Next week should be fun! When we moved to this house, nearly 20 years ago, we brought with us a double wardrobe that had sliding, full length mirror doors. About 10 years ago, K… decided that she wanted a fitted wardrobe and that the mirrored one was going to go in the youngest lads bedroom. This worked quite well until he started having some serious anger problems, which resulted in the mirror on doors being smashed. Of course, as is usual we were unable to purchase replacements due to the design being no longer available. So for the past four years, that particular robe has had no doors. A few months ago, K… decided that she wanted him to have a real wardrobe and one was ordered. It is going to be fitted next week. But …. Before it can be fitted, the old one has to be dismantled, and the floor made good enough for the new on to stand on. That is my job on Wednesday. Much fun! You see, two years ago we had real wood laminated floors fitted in that room, but not in the wardrobe space as it would have meant dismantling and rebuilding the thing. I have a strong suspicion that K… was planning this all along.