Credit Cards Stuck in Last Century

So, the operation of Credit Cards is apparently stuck in the last Century. The major suppliers of credit cards have not kept up with the requirements of the modern age of online transactions.

On-line Credit Card Fraud is a Major Headache

Case in point: My credit card was used Fraudulently. I have a couple of cards, one for physical transactions where I’m always present – well almost always present. And another that I only use On-Line. Of course, the fraud involved the credit card that was used online. I purchased some Game Currency from a game I play a lot for $10, and less than a week later someone tried to purchase $5599 at Best Buy. There was a lot of confusion about whether the transaction occurred On-Line, but the address was given as Minneapolis, Minnesota. Which is far from where I live. So the transaction was declined, and I was alerted. But that’s not the end of the problem. That card number is now stopped. It can no longer be used. And if this were last century, I could just use another of my few cards to eat take-out at restaurants, or buy groceries.

But this is 2020, and that credit card is in the hands of over a dozen on-line merchants whose computers will automatically try to use it on some random schedule to provide services that I use. These include Netflix, my internet service, my satellite tv service and so forth. I’m “waiting four to five business days” for the new card to arrive. And any of these days one of these many services’ computers might try to use that dead card. To say nothing of the fact that it will take an hour or so to go through all the services’ websites and give them a new card number. I need a better way.

Continue reading “Credit Cards Stuck in Last Century”

Gear Upgrades After 5.3

There have been some changes to Shire [60] and Scaevan [70] Gear upgrades with 5.3. And it’s a little confusing. You can check the patch notes for 5.3 here.

Notice that the NPC in Idyllshire no longer sells Un-Augmented gear and no longer sells upgrade materials. The upgrade NPC across the street will still upgrade gear if you have the upgrade materials left over from before the patch.

However, if you have the un-augmented gear, but no Twine, Gobcoat or whatever, then you have to take a hike to the Calamity Salvager in a major city. Here’s my visit to the one in Gridania.

When you visit the Salvager in any of the three starting cities, you need to “Deal in Spoils” and then choose the Shire / Scaevan War or Magic choices to upgrade your old gear to the new augmented type. It costs the same number of tomes as before, but the intermediate materials [ twine, coat or gob] are no longer needed. Once you upgrade all your gear, you never have to deal with the salvager again. All the new gear starts as Augmented, for more tomes of course.

I’ve not yet dealt with the issue of Ironworks gear [50]. I’ll come back here to update this when I found out what’s up.

Continue reading “Gear Upgrades After 5.3”

Windows 10 Random Beeps

For the past few weeks I’ve noticed Windows 10 beeping at random times. These beeps don’t seem to be correlated with anything I’m doing. I finally did a google search. It turns out that this has been a thing for quite some time.

I could not get the troubleshooter to work. But continued searching found that the beeps were an indication that the Event Log was being used. And using the Event Viewer – just type Event Viewer into the white search box at the bottom left of the desktop – showed errors in the Application log. And these errors were ESENT 455 errors. So a google search of that showed that the problem was easily solved.

Continue reading “Windows 10 Random Beeps”

Bad Audio Recording

A Few Headsets

I have a nice gaming headset. Logitech G430. Works fine with Discord. However, it fails when I use it with Corel Video Studio, or with Windows 10 Gaming Capture for captures in a game. It clips and drops parts of the audio, especially at the beginning of phrases. I’m in a very quiet space, so background noise is not the problem.

I decided to purchase another headset by another manufacturer to see if that fixes the problem. We’ll see. But in the mean time, I already have another device to record audio.

Headsets used to be very expensive. The G430 started out at $99 and is now $39, like the EKSA. Lots of choices on Amazon and elsewhere. Looks like they probably all use the same USB – Audio chip.

Older Headsets Have Their Own Problems

Plantronics USB Headset, circa 2000

This older headset has it’s own problems. Turns out the hard plastic parts rub against each other, causing pops and snaps during recording. I guess the plastic got old and sticky over the years. The pops and snaps are so loud that the headset is unusable for recording.

Also notice that I had to replace the muff with some cloth. The foam had rotted away, as foam of that type does over time.

Enter the Webcam

I’ve had this Logitech C510 webcam for a long time. And it still works fine. But has long since been superseded by newer models. However, the problem with this device is that it hasn’t worked for sometime, for audio. Works fine for video, but Windows 10 has not seen the microphone for some time.

Let’s use google to find out why.

Continue reading “Bad Audio Recording”

Printing from LinuxVM

How to Share Printers on a Network.png
From 2017 – A long time ago

For a while now I’ve been wondering how to print from Linux running in a VirtualBox virtual machine to my local Windows Printer. Well it just works. Sort of.

I did what it says on this page and it did work. I thought I had tried this a while ago and never got it going. But there has been progress with Ubuntu / Linux Mint over the years and it looks like it works now.

Continue reading “Printing from LinuxVM”

Impress Show Runner Trivial on Linux

Update 11 April 2020: Using the xdotool method, the QtShowRunner works well on Linux, so there is a portable version for Windows and Linux. Get the latest at the github repo. I’m still investigating “Deployment” for Windows and Linux. Now, previously…

I have beat my head against the wall trying to fix the QtShowRunner program that works on Windows to work on Linux. None of the methods have worked.

  • Kernel uinput API calls never worked.
  • Using the X11 XSendEvent to send either Mouse clicks or Key events didn’t work.

Finally I found a command called xdotool which does many X things including sending mouse clicks and key presses. Here’s a shell script that uses the xdotool to launch soffice impress to show a slideshow and then terminates the show and then exits the script.

Screenshot from 2020-04-09 20-11-31.png

The script launches the show with the ending & to detach it. Then loops looking for the process using pgrep and if it’s still around, uses xdotool to click the mouse and waits forĀ  5 seconds. When the process finishes the show, and the click ends the show, then pgrep fails and the script exits. Trivial.

Continue reading “Impress Show Runner Trivial on Linux”

QtShowRunner Runs Shows in Impress

You recall my previous post about using LibreOffice Impress to show artwork?

Well that’s a problem if you have lots of artwork you want to show. The slide shows get very large and so you have a few shows, and then you want to loop them all, right? Impress does not support that. So I wrote a program to help.

SlideShows.png
Lots of Artwork Slide Shows

RunningMan.pngQtShowRunner runs a sequence of LibreOffice Impress slide shows one after the other in a loop. Currently it runs on Windows but soon the plan is to move it to Linux Mint.

See my original question about this problem here:

Chaining Impress Slide Shows Together?

After no solution appeared, I wrote a program to do it.

Here is a shot of the program dialog and the Impress Slide Show settings. You need to uncheck Change Slides by Clicking on background for QtShowRunner to work without skipping through your slides.

Here is the SourceForge page for the program.

Continue reading “QtShowRunner Runs Shows in Impress”

Slide Shows for Vertical Aspect Images

I have a couple of mini-PC systems that I use to display images in a slide show. One of these systems displays these slides on a 4K monitor and I’ve recently gotten a more modern one for that purpose. Post for that is upcoming soon.

Using these systems to display images of 16:9 Aspect is no problem and most images captured by cameras and cellphones and screen shots from games are of this or approximately this aspect. I use Irfanview on Windows, and the built in image viewer on Linux.

Slide Show of Game Screenshots

However, showing slide shows of vertically aspect images is less than ideal. Too much of the screen is left black to be pleasing to the eye.

Vertical Aspect Image Slide Show

When a large number of images like these are presented, it would be better to be able to quickly make a slide show that shows more than one image at a time on the screen.

Continue reading “Slide Shows for Vertical Aspect Images”