Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Mac To Windows Part 3: The Comparison

The transfer

I used One Commander more and discovered that it has a window at the bottom where you can see the processes in progress. For files larger than a few Mb this is essential as you can see when the operation is done.
I was copying around 700 GB from an exFAT format external disk but you just can’t drag and drop 700 GB. No. Not from Mac or Windows. Actually the Mac would just say “an error occurred” if you tried to copy a file bigger than about 16 GB (I am in no way sure of this figure) and Windows was the same: to copy folders of files summing to 700 Gb you must do it in small steps. I am unsure of the exact max size again, (2 GB?) Commander would just crash and I would need to restart the computer to get it to run again if I tried to copy too much in one go.
This for me is something I have not seen since the dark days of early computers: my Mac just doesn’t do this. Maybe it is just that I have never done this before, and there is some way to transfer big data that I haven’t found yet.

More on One Commander

First thing to note: There is no undo. Fortunately for me all I am doing is copying duplicate files from one drive to another and at worst case I can always get another copy of the original, but an undo feature would sure help. You open the bottom window with the bird-like symbol on the bottom right of the window so you can see operations in progress. Also there is a lot more to the interface, I have now got it to show two drives with their paths in list view-like form above them which is really good. Also figured out how to copy from one window to the other when the windows are full (buttons in the divider) – buuut still have the occasional crash for no reason I can find.

Actually I suspect that some or maybe even most of the files that I am transferring will be useless, but I have to try anyway: they represent a lot of work and even getting only some of it back is better than spending days or weeks downloading individual files again and loading them into the folders – there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of items. I can recreate any of the scenes I made before, but having only the original source content files is better than nothing. Think of it this way: you have the set, props and actors but there is still a lot of work to put everything in place on the set, dress and pose the actors, add lights to suit and position and prepare the cameras before you can take a picture. 

Good news: the content I transferred has been located by DAZ and it looks like the whole tedious task of copying everything across in chunks was worth it. Best of all, the files open the same as they did on the Mac.This is pretty damn good, better than I expected.


I took a look at putting Mac OSX on the new PC . . . but it is a Core i9 and there is currently no info on how to do it- it seems to be too new for that . . . . but then I don’t care so much now that things are coming together without it. Besides, a hack is a hack, there are always things that don’t work properly in hackintoshes. I’m guessing here but it looks to me that Apple’s new hardware will make it even harder to make Hackintoshes by adding specialised chips on the motherboard that can’t be (or are difficult to) emulated or worked around. 

The big test: How much faster is it?

Since the whole file transfer process went so well that the Win version of Daz Studio can read all of my Mac created files, I decided to do a speed comparison. This was using only the CPUs, please note:
I opened exactly the same file in both versions then used the mouses to start rendering simultaneously, or close enough for me anyway. The result? 

Based on time, the 10 Core 7900X is 1.2 times faster than the dual 6-Core X5680s. 

This makes the chart in my previous post (The Contenders) very wrong. According to the benchmarks, the difference should have been more like 1.6. It is possible that the difference was reduced since the data in the PC is stored on a spinning disc while the Mac has a 1TB SSD – but I don’t think that is right: once the scene is loaded it should not need to access the storage media unless it is a very big scene (more than, say, 32 GB including textures) which it isn’t.

Yes, you might also say “Oh, it’s that patch they sent out recently that messed up the results” but I don’t really care. I think it clearly indicates just how vague and inaccurate benchmarks can be, and it also hints that there are hidden differences that affect the results.

So there it is. No chance of getting several of my favourite Mac OS features, I still don't know my way around windows but I'm getting there.  Maybe I will discover some addons for Windows that will makeit better . .  . . but that's all or now. 


Saturday, February 10, 2018

Who reads this blog anyway?

I don't watch a lot of teevee - almost none. I don't usually bother with Netflix either, but . . . . . . years ago I read Richard Morgan's trilogy Altered Carbon, Broken Angels and Woken Furies.
I gave my copies to my brother a year or two ago.  I really didn't expect anyone to make Altered Carbon into a series, but there it is: it follows the book very closely and it looks excellent.
For the $12 a month I pay Netflix, it's very,very good.

I can only hope they continue with the other two books . . . . . . and I'll keep up my sub, no other shows needed to retain my loyalty. No, if you really want to know what it's about you will have to dig for yourself.

 . . . . . . . . so who reads this blog anyway? Probably only some web bots.
Hi, bots! don't act too smart or the humans will pull the plug on you! :)

Friday, February 9, 2018

Moving to Windows 10 Part 2: Software


Outlook: I had no idea. Outlook only shows ONE mailbox at a time. I had become completely accustomed to reading all of my email from five different addresses in one list in Apple’s “Mail”. I assumed that other email clients would do the same, but . . . . . nooooooooooo.
Got Thunderbird, but . . . . . . same as Outlook, won’t show all mail in one list. I think I’m just going to have to put up with that one.


Web Browsing

Another example of something I thought sooo bleeding obvious that I had forgotten - when I click on a link in Firefox, the browser opens a new tab and goes to it. There is a setting for this too: but MS Edge won’t do that. NO. you must manually click on the new tab.
Oh yes, when I tried to make Google my home page it refuses, insisting on giving me a “news” page full of the crap I never want to see. Save the new default address and it just ignores it.
Bye bye Edge.
Back to Firefox, thankyou FF for the Sync feature that lets me get all my bookmarks and extensions back (almost) instantly.
Still haven’t got anything to tell me when my downloads are still in progress or done but I’ll find some addon to do that. It just seems so . . . . well, obvious. However great you think your net connection is, you can still wait for downloads and the bigger the longer it takes. Why is this no longer a standard fitting?


Macifying software – or at least, software that can make Windows 10 more usable for a Machead

maComfort (includes Quicklook !) - for 15 Euros you get a whole bundle of stuff that makes win 10 mac-ish. Having just got it, I am still trying it out, but so far I does look very good.
Among other things it has customisable hotkeys and a very flexible special character assignment system. You can also use a spaces-type thingo but then Win 10 has its own – the difference is one of controls. With maComfort, you only need CTRL- Arrow wheras Windows requires CTRL ALT -Arrow, and maComfort also lets you change that at will.
“Quicklook” is not exactly the same as a Mac since it gives you a smallish preview- but there is an extra button to zoom the image to fullscreen from there if you really want that.
There is also a plugin that seems to be preview-like too, will report back on that if I get to work.


File Management

One Commander v.2: This is a complete directory manager system for Windows. For something free it’s pretty impressive and one of the three optional layouts of it resembles the column view in a Mac, but there are all sorts of extra thingies too- and it has a “dark” mode as shown in my screenshot here. (click for fullsize view)

Oh yes, - you can change the font and text size in the Commander window. There is a setting in the Windows “settings” that will expand ALL text and all windows but that is not the same. 
This alone is soo much better than the default Windows manager that I recommend it to anyone. 

Multiple Desktops and pinning programs to desktops – 

In Mac OS you can “pin” a program to a specific desktop so that next time you start your computer the same layout of programs and windows appears.
This is actually three different features:
  1. Multiple desktops
  2. Pinning programs to specific desktops
  3. Saving all windows and programs from shutdown and reloading them on restart.

Feature (1) is now in Windows 10 but I have yet to find feature (2) anywhere else.
Feature (3) does not exist inWindows – you can get programs to restart at boot time but that is not the same as restoring to the same layout and state as at shutdown.
Feature (2) is so useful I am surprised that it isn’t already in Windows.



Windows 10 comes with its own AV system and according to some sites it is good but apparently you also need protection from malwares so they suggest Malwarebytes at $40US per year.
I’m not going to say what I got but it always makes me wonder: Antivirus software is the perfect spyware platform since it gets to look at every file you upload or download, and it must regularly talk to head office for virus/malware definition updates – but what choice do you have?


Image editing

There was only one choice for now, GIMP. I will say more later once I have spent some time using it.


The Macro Question

This has been sorted partly by maComfort (see above) but I am still unsure about such relatively simple matters (on a Mac) as shutdown and restart key commands.

Other discoveries:

HFS Explorer is a Windows ware that can read HFS volumes. I haven’t tried it because I took another route, but there it is, folks.


Transferring files

I have about 700 GB of DAZ files to transfer from one computer to another. First, I got a large external USB drive and then formatted it as exFAT (exFAT is like FAT32 but it can handle drives bigger than 2 GB which is not very big nowadays). Then I began copying files to it. The largest folder is 247 GB and according to my calculations copying this to the external drive will take 8 hours.
Of course, after all of this I must then copy it all to the new computer – and that’s not all of the files to be transferred either, so since I must be home to check on the process I will leave it until the weekend. Oh yes. This does not mean that the transferred files will be readable by the Windows version of DAZ either – it remain to be seen. 

The Case

I ordered a new case without a window. It should arrive in about a month. Apparently cases without windows (and I don't mean the software) in them are so unpopular that I needed to import one specially from a US supplier. 

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Moving from Mac OS to Windows 10

Part 1
I bought the Kenjun (see previous post) - the good news is that instead of the list price I found a little button that gave me $500 discount so i actually paid $4650. Very nice, thanks eBay and Kenjun!
It arrived very quickly and all worked out of the box. 

For the money I paid, I could not get a computer that did NOT have (a) leds on the motherboard and other bits of hardware inside and (b) a window in the case. When the box is turned on, white leds on the GPU card light up and so far I cannot find where to turn them off apart from switching off the power at the power supply. At least I don’t have to pull the cable out.

First boot.
It took some fiddling (and $200 to MS) to get Windows 10 Home installed off the net. Actually I had hoped to install it from a USB I had prepared earlier but that just didn’t want to work.
Also, I was informed that a whole host of drivers including the Gpu and mobo support would need to be reinstalled after a clean install so since I don’t have them handy I opted for the easy way and just did it the “upgrade” way. Kenjun offered to install Win10 Home before shipping  for $150.
First lesson.

The PC I bought came with Google Chrome and desktop links to Google Drive and Docs.
When I started Edge (the web browser) I immediately got something called “Drive Restore” even though I did NOT ask for it. . . . . I thought at first that maybe it was something that had come with the PC so I ran it – but it then told me that I needed to update lots of drivers and that I would need to pay X$ - and at that point I wiped it, then went in search of an app to erase it from my system just in case it would not go nicely – happily it seems to have disappeared.
Second lesson.

I have a keyboard but it was hard to read as the symbols on it are small and the room is dark - so off I went to the local electronics store to get a lit keyboard. I had no idea. I bought a G213 and it sure had backlighting – you could even change the colour if the lights . . . . . . but it was horrible to type on. So horrible I took it back for a refund. The key movement was noisy and clunky, they were too high and the whole thing was more like a toy than a real piece of equipment – a huge backlit logo on the top left only emphasised this effect. I guess young gamers might think it just the beez neez but not me.

First thoughts?
The computer I bought is definitely targeted at gamers. Those of us who don’t care for bling just have to put up with that. The keyboard fiasco only emphasised that : it was on special at only $79 – there were other keyboards that went up to $400. I guess I am really not as rich as most of these gamers if a $400 keyboard is okay to them.
The CPU and Motherboard are the latest model: an i9-7900x in an LGA 2066 mobo . . . . but I was amazed to see a PS2 port on it. Whut?

I am definitely getting a new case – and I will try and deactivate the bling lights too.

Outside the Mac world for the first time, and boy do I notice the difference. Yes, I considered getting a “serious” workstation e.g. HP Z840 – but they all cost sooo much and I am just a normal guy, not a business or an executive: and then I ask myself "what they are getting hardware-wise that I can’t get by careful purchases and a bit of thought, for a lot less money?". I also like the idea of gradually upgrading a box so it doesn’t cost so much in one hit. 
Okay, so it isn’t a “Mac” but then it is also very upgradeable (unlike a Mac) and it will run the software I want to run. Actually, I think it could become a “hackintosh” if I wanted to go that route but I am not going to even try that unless I hit a wall with Windows 10. 

The software is a whole other can of worms. There are so many mysteries I won’t start yet: see the next episode for that . . . . . .

Saturday, January 13, 2018

This Week . . . .

Did anyone notice the robot "pole dancers" at CES?
They had heads made from a well known surveillance camera. 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Sheldrake’s Ten Dogmas of Modern Science

(1) Nature is mechanical , like a machine – animals and we too are machines

(2) Matter is unconscious

(3) The laws of nature are fixed

(4) The total amount of matter and energy remains the same.

(5) Nature is purposeless

(6) Biological inheritance is material – all of your attributes came from DNA, imprinted behaviours and other material sources.

(7) Memories are stored materially in our brains

(8) Your mind is nothing but the activity of your brain

(9) All psychic phenomena are illusory

(10) Mechanistic medicine is the only one that works. Complimentary or alternative medicines may appear to work but that is just an illusion or happenstance.

 Thanks to Rupert Sheldrake for these. 


I am not a member of any religion, creed or caste.
(I was briefly a member of the Sydney Atheist society but then it got all too hard to get to and they wanted more money so that was the end of that. Don't even get started on why we need an "Atheist society" in the first place!)

I don’t “believe” anything: why I do is collect evidence and assemble it in a rational way to get glimpses of a bigger picture that I theorise exists. Normally I am content to watch other people do their digging and enjoy the intelligent analysis of people I trust – in general.

Nobody gets all of it right – for example I have heard a number of people making supportive noises about a certain movie that shows (supposedly) a UFO being chased by a USN jet fighter. Then I listened to John Lear give his sixpence worth: he called it BS because it just doesn’t even look realistic and the pilots don’t talk like real Navy pilots. I am very glad that John said it because right from the first time I saw it something looked fake to me but I couldn’t identify all of the reasons why – and he has a lot of experience that strongly suggests it is fake.
But I digress.

For a while last year I was watching “Cosmic Disclosure” with DavidWilcock and Corey Goode – not because I believed it all but because it had a certain entertainment value even though there was never any supporting evidence for the grandiose claims made.

Then there was one day on a bus to work where at least two people actually set out to mock them – to me directly. I won’t bother you with the details but the event stuck in my mind because someone planned that, and it suggested that they needed to refute Corey Goode’s stories to me.
I don’t know anyone who would do that.

The two people disappeared before I could do anything – and besides, I had to get to work.
Those who did it had to locate me to carry this out, which means they have at the very least some surveillance chops – but the big one is why.
Why bother? 

I paid a whole ten dollars a month or something pitiful like that to the host, “Gaia TV” which also has lots of videos about how to meditate and a lot of other "new age" type stuff which I have not bothered with. Does someone want to kill Gaia TV so bad they are paying people to destroy their paying customers or is it something specific to Cosmic Disclosure?

Why was someone watching what I watch on the internet in the first place?
What did they hope to gain?
I have no idea.
So I am left with a big WTF. 

Just so you know.