Cortana on the Go

Tonight I find myself staying with a relative in Tucson as I was invited to a small get-together tomorrow to watch the Super Bowl. The two hour trip from Ajo to Tucson was fraught with low visibility and heavy rain which is something folks in my part of Arizona aren’t accustomed to seeing. Naturally this didn’t stop me from wanting to listen to a few podcasts I had downloaded or perhaps a few playlists from Spotify. When I began to receive a number of texts from my friends, and after having had to make a phone call, I got to wishing the voice commands from my Xbox One worked on my Windows Phone.
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The Nintendo Generation

“The Nintendo Generation includes anybody born from the mid 80’s to the mid 90’s. So called because we grew up with Nintendos and Segas. One of the highlights of our younger years was the console wars, when Nintendo and Sega were in contention for market supremacy. The Nintendo Generation can be defined by out reminiscing over classic TV shows that the children today will never know of. Ours is the lucky, the chosen, the few, with the glory days of gaming, wrestling, TV, and for the most part, music.”
Urban Dictionary
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Rube Goldberg Software Design

A few weeks ago a friend of mine told me she was interested in recording a CD and that her husband had a home studio with which to record it. She then asked me if they ran into any issues if I’d be willing to help, which I agreed I would. Several days had passed with no mention of how that project was progressing for her until one day she told me they had a problem. They couldn’t figure out how to record anything with the Cubase 6 recording software they were using and so we agreed to meet during lunch to see if we could tackle it.
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Embracing the Pirate Format

Back in August of 2014 Microsoft had announced that it was bringing support for the Matroska multimedia container (MKV) to the Xbox One. I was dumbfounded because here was Microsoft suddenly supporting a file format favored almost exclusively by the pirate community. I, for one, favored it because of all data the container format could hold. Lossless audio/video, multiple subtitle tracks, track information, and multiple audio tracks all packed in one file! MKV was the format I turned to when Plex dropped support for ISO, which is what I had used to archive my DVDs on my home media server.
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Windows 10: The Free Beer*

Back when Windows 8 was first launching I was happy about Microsoft offering a $14 upgrade to users who had purchased a new computer relatively close to the release date. I grew ecstatic when I was able to snag the deal for myself, though my computer had been two years old by that point. Even after Microsoft caught on to the shenanigans of people like me, when the cost of the upgrade was upped to $39.99 I still encouraged people to upgrade. My argument was that even if they didn’t like it that we’d image the computer before and after the upgrade so the user would have the option to choose which they liked more. I felt that it was better for me, as a user, to lose $40 than having to pay the full price of Windows 8 after the promotion expired if I ever needed it.
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Windows 10: The First Month

I remember back in 2011 when I was first testing the Windows 8 Developer Preview my first reaction was to uninstall the OS, blast Microsoft for releasing such a stupid product, then quickly install Fedora on my computer with the intention of eliminating Microsoft from my life. I recall my experiences during that brief time when I attempted to substitute LibreOffice and applications like GIMP and Inkscape for Microsoft Office and the Adobe Creative Suite. While the efforts of these FLOSS applications are to be applauded, I’m sorry to say that I feel the quality of the closed-source software (in this instance) is far superior. Or maybe I’ve just grown comfortable using them.
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CentOS 7: Samba

Today was pretty straightforward and I was pleased that everything went off without a hitch. Basically I have Transmission saving its downloaded data to a Torrent folder which I need to be able to access from my Windows PC. In order to do this I had to install Samba on CentOS and after configuring the service I’m now able to access and move data from that Torrent folder.
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CentOS 7: Firewall’D

CentOS 7 seems to have FirewallD installed by default and coming from CentOS 6 where I used system-config-firewall I was thrown for a loop. “Where is the familiar interface I grew so comfortable using,” I thought to myself. After taking the time to understand FirewallD a little better I’ve come to the conclusion that I like it better than system-config-firewall. Rather than having to navigate a GUI, it’s much easier for me to enter a command.
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Freedom Is Chrome’s Great Lie

My goal for this evening was to figure out what was new with the firewall in CentOS 7. However when I fired up Google Chrome I was met with a pop-up which, to my frustration, declared that the YouTube Center extension I had installed had been automatically disabled. The reason given was that the extension was not installed from the Chrome Web Store. This set the tone for the rest of my evening as I looked at ways to either re-enable the extension or bypass Chrome automatically disabling third-party extensions to begin with.
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CentOS 7: Configuration

With CentOS 7 successfully installed yesterday I spent my evening configuring the security settings and downloading some of the applications I knew I’d want. While I did get GNOME to work yesterday I’ve found that doing anything via the GUI is a terrible experience. The responsiveness is so bad that I considered wiping everything and simply installing CentOS 6. Before I do that, however, I’m wondering if the issue has to do with GNOME itself and not the operating system. Perhaps I should use KDE instead? For now I’ll just work out of the CLI and since I recently installed Windows 10 on my desktop I’ve yet to install my usual toolbox of apps. I downloaded a fresh copy of PuTTY and once that was installed I connected to the server via SSH and was able to continue my work.
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