Brett Rants

A Complete Reboot

Starting from Scratch

A screen shot of my current desktop, default screensaver, folders arranged on my desktop as I find convenient, major projects in progress across the time, holding on the bottom, this file, down the left side below trash, major file directories to the right, stacked vertically, with 7z backups beside, someday I will do a post on my directory hierarchy

The Work Flow

I got a new computer. Actually, I don't know when. But it was likely over a year ago. These are the steps I took to get the OS up to speed and a listing of the programs I loaded to make said computer fully functional.

Yeah, I know: as per par, interesting reading.

Anyhow, I want to keep a record of this sort of thing. And I want to push as much as possible (of whatever I have) to the web. So, there you are: my purpose for this page.

Windows 10 Pro

I selected my new computer(s) based (in part) on their having Windows 10 Pro loaded... and their, also, being dirt cheap. I've acquired three of the same model now at $225 a pop. So, maybe I'll go into the virtues of this particular model in some future post... or why having all of the same model lying around is a good (and/or bad) thing.

But that is not what this post is about.

This post is about bringing my new computer online.

And this subsection is about bringing Windows 10 online.
I like Windows 10 Pro. I mean, it sucks. But Linux sucks even more... or about the same amount... or more accurately, what I find sucky about both OS's has more to do with my lack of understanding and control of either than anything else; and because of this, no other OS would be particularly better.

Also, PowerShell has shortcuts (hot links, or whatever you want to call them) so all of your favorite Linux commands work, as expected. I mean, maybe not exactly as expected, but close enough for this guy, who isn't all that comfortable on the command line, in the first place. Suffice to say, I am willing to believe Windows 10 Pro can do whatever your typical newbie wants out of Linux... and more.

Eh, maybe not, probably not, but the advantages at my level of understanding are not worth talking about.

So, there you are.

Personal Data

I have one canonical copy of my personal data... and a few dozen back up copies.

I like the dictum that your data is as valuable be as the number of copies you have minus one.

1 - 1 = 0

So, no back ups (only one copy), means you consider your data to be worthless... or should, because you will likely loose it all one day.
Are all of your back up copies located one Earth? Well, sucks to be you.
Anyway, my main computer holds the canonical copy of my data... and that's pretty much how I know it's my main computer.

Applications and/or Programs

Do you remember when Applications were called Programs? How about when Programs were called... er, um, I guess I'm not that old.

Anyway, these are the programs I installed... which is to say, the programs I compiled into list form, as I installed them... a list that I am pretty sure that I will not reference the next time I bring a computer up to speed... because what I really do is open a folder that contains a backup copy (there's that word again) of all the programs I've ever installed over the years (or, you know, since I decided it was a good idea to archive the binaries, excepting any programs I am quite sure I will never need again, I'm looking at you SmallTalk) and go down the list item by item trying to remember the last time I've used that particular program. And if it's been fairly recent, I go ahead and install it.

In the end, there just aren't that many of these programs.

To the best of my knowledge, all of these programs are free (as in GNU, Open Source, or whatever) and are readily available on the Internet (but that might change, so a back up copy, I have one... or two... or three).

Also note, as follows is the order (more or less) in which I loaded these programs onto my computer, but that means almost nothing. I mean, I use Notepad++ almost more than anything else and look where that is on the list.
A small snippet of the code for this page, pasted into a new document, then converted from txt file to jpg using IrfanView, a wonderful little program

IrfanView Created Image
of HTML Mark Up
from Saved Text File

Gadwin Screencapture of This Web-page in progress as seen on my computer desktop, side by side windows of Firefox browser and NPP open, note the large text size for NPP, probably 24pt
Web Page Editing Workspace
Firefox Browser & Notepad++

a sample watermark, clear alpha layer, black text warped to fit an oval, so cool stuff

Sample Watermark
Note, this page was written in 2018.


I program (as in, I write computer code) here and there; and my programming language of choice is Python.

I have four versions of Python (hey, I thought you said Python was easy to learn) installed on my computer.
And before starting a project, I decide which package to use: usually, Anaconda 2.7.

I like Anaconda, because it comes equipped with all sorts of libraries (such as pandas, numpy, scipy scikit-learn, and so on, and so forth... and as mentioned previously). But this is pretty much its shortcoming as well: too much. The Anaconda Distribution is top heavy and my IDE's auto-complete gets bogged down with the overwhelming array of choices.

Which now that I mention it, when I was listing off the advantages of Python, I probably should have mentioned that I found an IDE that I liked for Python, which is definitely not the case for many of the other languages I've tried.

Screenshot of Eclipse running Pydev, with 24pt font, at one time, I did not care about 80 characters on a line for code and routinely went up to 100 or 120 or as wide as my screen would go, and now I use a much larger font size and about sixty characters is how many I can fit on a screen, so that is what I aim for
Eclipse with PyDev
with 24pt font

Um, this particular snipped of code is not supposed to look easy.

Eclipse with PyDev

I use Eclipse with PyDev, the later of which is easy enough to install by extracting the zip file into eclipse/dropins. And since Eclipse runs on Java (and I don't want Java to run wild on my computer), I extract a portable copy of java into the eclipse directory in a folder named jre, and this seems to work just fine for me (or to be more accurate, it does, indeed, work; and has done so for years).

Travel Computer

I run a hot (Internet facing) computer and a cold computer (which will never see the light of the Internet again, now that it is fully functional and set up) .

The previous sections covered programs that I installed onto the cold (safe, also called blue) computer... and at times onto the hot (and/or red) computer (on an as needed basis).

Whereas, the programs that follow are only meaningful for an Internet facing computer.

Not Used

As follows is a list of programs that are on the way out (either because my needs have changed... or because I never did really use them in the first place), but which I reloaded in this last update round.

The Next Wave

So, if that last section was programs that I loaded a long time ago and have either ceased to use or have never used, these last two I just loaded within the month. Let's see if anything ever comes from them.


As In, The Sign Off

For whatever reason, I find writing up lists like this to be compelling... or easy... or merely like they fill in the gaps of my intellectual framework (and as such, might be useful for our Robotic Overlords to come, as if a Robotic Overlord could find anything a mere human could say to be compelling or interesting).

All sucking up to Futuristic AIs aside, it is part of my long term plan to push everything to the web... and this (being a bit of that everything) would, certainly, fit the bill.

Also, I will note (but not do much more than note), that much like in the previous Android Reboot write-up, I have competing desires to expand my program base... and contract it.

But I think I am running out of speed on this particular writing project. So, let me just end by saying that with any luck, the next time I do this sort of write-up, the Promise of Computers really will have come true; and I will be lazing on a beach sipping margaritas, while some silicon based intelligence formats my thoughts for me, slaving away on my behalf.

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