Sway for MS Ignite

Microsoft is having a little contest to get people using their new Office application, Sway.   It’s a pretty slick little app that I think has a pretty good future.   It’s not much different than WordPress in that it gives you an easy way to post things online.   The difference with Sway, though, is that they are making it REALLY easy to do.   Just go to http://sway.com, sign up, and try it yourself.

Here’s my Sway I’m putting together for the MS Ignite competition.   Feel free to read it if you wish.

https://sway.com/NiPEAHSoQWVpTKTF

Cleanup Unneeded Files in Windows 2012

Back in the day, I used to copy the i386 directory from the CD to any computer I stood up.   This allowed me to use these files to install new features, such as printers or whatever, down the road.   Nowadays, these files are stored under c:\windows\winsxs, and this “store” is updated every time a new component or update to a component is installed.   Over time, it grows, and sometimes I just don’t have the space to save all that stuff.   Even the files for the features I don’t use are there, just in case I want them.

I found a nice little article today with a command that cleans that up.   The command, when run from an elevated command prompt, will automatically go through and remove any of the old files that have been replaced with newer versions, and in the case of Windows 8.1 or 2012R2, you can actually remove everything else easily.   The ResetBase only works on 8.1 and 2012R2.

dism.exe /online /cleanup-image /StartComponentCleanup [/ResetBase]

This takes a while, but eventually completes and saves you a bunch of space and maybe saves your day.

Dr. Oz

So the doctors at Columbia got together and sent a big letter trying to get the school to dump Dr. Oz from the staff because he talked about stuff on TV that wasn’t scientifically proven.   It was enough that Dr. Oz himself responding on TV and in an opinion piece for Time magazine.

Having seen his show several times, I have to say that he comes across as a bit of a huckster.   I think there are basically 3 shows:

1.  Miracle weight-loss cures.

2.  Things too gross to talk about with your doctor.

3.  What could be going on “down there”?

It’s too bad for him, but the reality is that after a few years of shows, there’s not much he can really talk about that’s new or interesting to most people anymore.   His target audience is definitely women, so the three topics above go over really well for him.   Men like to lose weight, but there’s nothing too gross for us to talk about and our “down there” does get too many things to freak out about.

I have read his You the Owner’s Manual book and he has a couple others.   That book is actually full of really good advice, though it’s written about as well as this crap I’m spewing right now.   The idea is to eat moderately, exercise a bit every day, and so some morning stretching (basically a couple of sun salutations a day).   Nothing outrageous or weird….just a simple way to be healthy.

Are some of the claims made on his show ridiculous?   Of course.   Would I ever go see Dr. Oz for a surgery?   Probably not.   At the same time, he’s a heart surgeon at one of the most prestigious places in the country, so he’s certainly better than 90% of the others around.   Maybe I would.   I’ll just have to remember to eat my non-GMO, organic pomegranate seed, sauerkraut and kale smoothie that morning.

“Digital Signatures”

A few things about digital signatures:

1. I absolutely don’t understand why a paper pusher would care if I fill in a form and just type my name, or if I somehow paste in a picture of my real signature.   Neither is notarized and there’s no proof that I did either one.

2.  If the form comes from my email address and I say “do it” or whatever in the form, that should be enough to prove to them that I want the form executed upon.

3.  THAT’S NOT WHAT A DIGITAL SIGNATURE IS TO BEGIN WITH!!!   A real digital signature involves a private and public key pair, that when combined, guarantee the authenticity of a document or file.   It’s a PKI thing and has nothing at all to do with someone’s handwriting.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_signature

4.  Email is considered valid enough that most companies have to keep it for a certain number of years for legal searches.   If it’s that valid of a method of telling someone what to do, it is valid enough to move forward with work without a specific form.

I’m done.

SmartWatches

I just read a pretty decent review of the Apple Watch at http://recode.net/2015/04/08/a-week-on-the-wrist-the-apple-watch-review/ and the watch looks pretty cool.   The only thing I don’t really understand is why a person would want to carry two devices (the watch and the required iPhone) in order to get the same functionality that is already in the phone alone.

Maybe it would make sense to me if the iPhone became more of a simple, old-fashioned type flip phone that I could just drop in my pocket.   Give me a small device, like the one Zoolander had, and have it act as some kind of data aggregator/communicator that would send data to the watch, but let me just carry it as a phone.    For a man on-the-go (sitting in my house working all day is pretty on-the-go), the health monitoring, getting notifications from email, Facebook, and Yammer, and being able to tell the time, all from my wrist would all be really cool.   If I wanted more information, I could always pull out the tablet or laptop and get it there.

I’ve never been a huge fan of the smartphone and it took me several years to break down and get one.   I have it attached to my hand all the time now, I really would like to dump it.   It’s just kind of hard to do that when I depend on it for notifications from work.   Something like the pairing of a watch and flip phone would work great, though.   Maybe someone will come up with something in some Android flavor.  I doubt it, though, considering I think most people prefer smartphones.

Zwift

Tried out my new Zwift.com account today.  Got my account last week through their beta invite program…I guess I have the gear they want to test with.   I simply downloaded the app, plugged in my USB ANT stick, and started it up.   It found my speed/cadence sensor easily and away I went!

It was fun chasing other animated people on the bike.   I couldn’t hear the sound from my puny laptop speakers, but it would tell me to “Close the Gap” and things like that, then you get little rewards to unlock stuff.   I’m assuming the “stuff” would be new bikes, new jerseys, and so on, just like the old racing games on Nintendo were.   Remember Off Road??

It’s not as fun as riding outdoors, but it beats just listening to music and riding the trainer.