The End is Near

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Kellemora
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Re: The End is Near

Post by Kellemora » 26 Feb 2019, 12:52

We used to have message system on our computers, but after upgrading a few times we never could get one to work right.
I used to have an old intercom system, tube type, which finally died.
Then I tried something for a while that worked fairly well. A wireless Doorbell we bought for the house, but the front door button never reached the ringer, the back door worked fine. I switched the buttons around and it was not the buttons causing the problem. Then we bought another brand which did work perfectly.
So, I took the stronger doorbell button and mounted it on my desk, and put the buzzer in the kitchen. About once every hour or so I would tap the button to make a short buzz in the kitchen so she knew I was OK.
It worked great for a few years, then quit, and new batteries didn't help. So it hit the trash can.

When I had a business style telephone at each location, 2-line phones, there was a button we could hit that would ring the other phone with a different tone. The purpose was to let the other phone know the call was for them.
When we switched to VOIP, although I have two phone numbers, they only ring the one phone, so that feature died. Not a true two line system, unless I buy a second unit which I don't really need.

Heck, with today's one-touch dialing, all the frau has to do is open her phone and hit one button to call me.
Something she does several times a day, hi hi.

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yogi
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Re: The End is Near

Post by yogi » 27 Feb 2019, 08:19

It seems as if you have everything under control, but your story reminds me of a gal who came to me for help one day. She was arachnid phobic to the extreme. After finding a spider on her bedroom wall one day, she decided it would be a grand idea to set up one of those Internet cameras to monitor her wall when she was out of the room. She could watch the wall from her laptop or her phone from anywhere in the world. There was a service offer attached to the camera where she could buy server time and these guys would handle all the connections. It was by subscription, of course. There also was a way to bypass the service if all you wanted was local monitoring. It was done over wifi I think, but to be honest I don't recall exactly how the local scheme worked. Her request was hilarious to me but I kept a straight face. She was convinced not to set it up after I explained the security risks, and the fact that spiders can sit on any of her walls, ceilings, floors, or, heaven forbid, her bed.

I'm sure you can attach one of these remote cameras to a spare port on your router so that Deb can keep an eye on you in real time. :mrgreen:

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Kellemora
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Re: The End is Near

Post by Kellemora » 27 Feb 2019, 12:12

When I was digging out the crawl space under the house, and using a part of what I got finished to raise plants. We did install a camera down there so she could check to make sure I was OK down there. After my first heart attack, we refocused the camera to the bottom of the water heater so we could see it and the floor around it, to watch for water leaks down there. Then when we switched computers for her, the program for the old camera would not run on the newer computers. I happen to be down there one day and removed it to see if it still worked at all. Brought it up to my office and found it worked on my Linux computer just fine, so I mounted it outside my office door so I could look down the driveway and by our back door. It worked fine being on all the time using a spare computer, then poof it finally burned out.
Now I just have a motion sensor out there with an LED light. It only comes on at night, and I have the light facing toward my office so I would catch it from my peripheral vision. I actually bought it to place on a fence facing the drivers side of my car, so if I had to use the car at night, walking beside the car turned it on and lit up the door handle and ground for me. Since it runs on batteries, the batteries are usually dead and it becomes useless, hi hi.

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yogi
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Re: The End is Near

Post by yogi » 27 Feb 2019, 15:21

Until I got this camera that can also make phone calls my experience with computer controlled cameras was quite limited. Yahoo had an instant messaging service that was popular in the early days of the Internet and that is the environment in which webcams flourished. It was all done in Windows because, well, nobody in their right mind used Linux back in those days. Even those who did could not find drivers for most of the things they wanted to do.

Yahoo IM didn't work on Linux if I recall correctly. But things changed dramatically. By the time Ubuntu came about webcams were becoming passé. I tried to make the webcam work in a 9.x/10.x vintage Ubuntu environment. No such luck. The drivers built into the kernel were useless and when I did find drivers that were supposed to work the dependencies could only be located on Neptune. It was a mess and I stuck to using the camera on Windows. Now I have a Logitech camera; probably the last of the line of webcams. I've not tried it on any of my Linux boxes simply because I have no need to do so. I have toyed with the idea of wiring up the house with cameras while we are out of town. There are apps for that. The friend I mentioned above had just such a camera. But then, even if I saw somebody burglarizing my home, what could I do about it while I'm in South Carolina?

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Kellemora
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Re: The End is Near

Post by Kellemora » 28 Feb 2019, 11:50

Security systems have come down a lot, and they don't need to be fancy ones.
A system of four cameras, with 72 hours of recording time, that can be viewed using any HDMI equipped TV is only like 150 bucks now. If you want one where you can view all four cameras on the screen and record a whole week, that comes with a control box and monitor, they start around 295 for wired, and 350 for wireless.
Many of the latter do not run continuous, they have motion sensors that pick up movement to kick on the recorder, if you opt to have it turn on and off that is.
I looked into a Doorbell camera, and the one I saw used your wifi and your computer for everything. It was 49 bucks with Windows 7, 8, or 10 software.
Walmart has a 25 dollar security camera, color, wifi, but it only works on a Schmartz-Fone. No where on the box did it say you could view it using a computer. So, I supposed the Schmartz-Fone needs to have wifi enabled and ON, which would zap the battery fast I would think.

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Re: The End is Near

Post by yogi » 28 Feb 2019, 13:56

My clever phone has a few possibilities for networking.
  • There is the obvious cell phone network supplied to me by T-Mobile.
  • Then there is Bluetooth which is a peer to peer network. That is used mostly for connecting peripherals to the smartphone. The security system you mentioned that only works on smartphones probably uses Bluetooth given it is the simplest way to connect the two.
  • There is NFC, or Near Field Communications, which runs on 13.56Mhz. This has a range of a full 4 cm (LOL) and is most useful for paying your bills via your smartphone. That's how your phone would talk to those pay terminals you have seen in some stores.
  • Then, of course, there is WiFi.

While all those transceivers are on all the time, unless you hibernate them or turn them off, they are typically in the idle mode which doesn't use much battery at all.
  • From what I understand the cell phone network consumes .6 watts idle and 3 watts while talking. While that's substantial, most cell phones can go for several hours at full power.
  • Bluetooth has a classic and a LE mode. The classic was a power hog but now the current LE standard typically maxes output at 100 mW. More often than not it's closer to 10 mW.
  • The NFC power consumption is negligible and most people don't use it anyway.
  • A lot of factors go into Wifi power, but typically a modern cell phone broadcasts about 250 mW in the WiFi mode.
Batteries are all over the spectrum as far as power goes. Typically you can expect 3000 mAh from a phone battery. I just read a few days ago where Sony (I believe) came up with a whopping 18000 mAh battery for it's phones. You might need a back pack to carry it though. LOL

One of the more interesting discoveries I made after I purchased my cleverphone is that it seldom uses the T-Mobile network. At least 90% of what I do on that mobile computer is over WiFi, and not metered by the service provider. I have unlimited call time anyway, which probably is due to the fact that so much of the phone's operation is over WiFi or hot spot. They can well afford not to charge for actual air time.

The point of all this rambling is that the average user should not run out of batter power for at last 24 hours. My Pixel varies depending on what I do and will often have 45%-60% power left at the end of the day. Never saw it below 35% and that was when I left it on overnight without a charge. Phones and batteries have become super efficient. However, it's amazing we all don't glow in the dark given all those RF signals radiating from the typical cell phone.

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Kellemora
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Re: The End is Near

Post by Kellemora » 01 Mar 2019, 11:42

The first flip-phone I got after moving down here to TN, the battery would last a whole month.
Then as I got each new phone after that, they never lasted as long.
The one I have now I charge every Tuesday night like clockwork.
While the Schmartz-Fone the frau has, she has to charge it every single night, and it will sometimes die during the day if she used it more than usual.

Several years ago, I petitioned FTC to require all batteries to show the mWh on them. So many different battery types were sold, and some claimed better than others when they were less than half the power.
It actually made it a long way before the bill died. At least rechargeable batteries had to carry that information afterward.

A number of years ago, some scientist came up with a battery that used a gram of nuclear waste. They never could get it approved for sale. Don't know what ever happened to them though. The only thing bad about the battery was it was super heavy for its size, almost solid lead. But I'm sure they could come up with batteries that lasted a long time if they really wanted to.

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Re: The End is Near

Post by yogi » 01 Mar 2019, 14:55

You know the old saying about trying to put ten pounds of potatoes in a five pound bag. That's pretty much the situation with batteries. You can only fit so many electrons into a given space. When you consider what all them there smartphones are doing, the 3 Amp Hours in a typical battery is doing one hell of a job. You got all those transceivers in there, a full fledged computer, and a mega LED screen all jammed into a device 1/4" (or less) thick along with the power pack. It's pretty amazing.

Battery research is moving right along. I like the idea of using nuclear waste as a power pack, but you know what people do with the regular lithium et. al. batteries; that's right they just toss them into the garbage cans that end up in a land fill. Can you imagine hundreds of thousands of nuclear powered batteries in the landfill just outside of your town? LOL

I'm guessing the new phones all have state of the art batteries in them, but it's not really the battery that causes phones to run out of juice. All those power devices I mentioned never turn off completely. You are being pinged continuously by your carrier and that requires a response at full power. Short as it is, the more pings you get the less battery you have for other purposes. Keeping that display lit is the killer in this battery game. Many things go into power consumption and the design of the phone itself is a huge factor. Have Deb try hibernating a bunch of apps that she isn't using often. That will release memory and increase performance not to mention be less of a battery drain.

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Re: The End is Near

Post by Kellemora » 02 Mar 2019, 13:50

We used to buy almost nothing but Duracell. However, the past several years, it seems every one of them start leaking and ruining the devices they are in. We switched back to EverReady which was the most popular brand in St. Louis. No more problems with leaking batteries.

As far as power packs go, I used to repair the ones used on my Handy Talkies and other devices. Always kept half a case of +C NiCads on hand, since that is what was most used back then. More often than not, it was just a cell or two that went bad and couldn't be pop-started again.

I agree batteries have come a long way over the years. Specialized for certain applications, etc. Some are designed to put out high power for short duration, medium power for a longer duration, and low power for extended periods of time, sometimes up to 7 years or longer, like the button batteries used for memory in computers and clocks, etc.

I don't think radiation would ever become a problem in a landfill regardless of the number of batteries that end up there.
They would already have a shelf life of over 50 years, and even if you could drain them fairly fast, they would recharge themselves between usages. Then when they finally did die, they would be well beyond their half/life and still encased in a lead cylinder. It would probably take a couple thousand years for the case to corrode through. But by then, old landfills would have been found to be a new resource, much like old Dinosaur graves provide our fossil fuels now.
I think the governments will try to blow each other up with nukes before the battery cases get eaten through, hi hi.

I'll mention to the frau if there are some features she don't use she could turn off.
I do know she found a way to turn off her GPS, but not in such a way the cell towers can't track where she is.
She had to reactivate it when we were out and I didn't have one with me, in order to find us our way back home.
She never downloads all those App's everyone wants her to either.
Other than having the ability to go on-line for something, she doesn't use her cell phone to look things up, not normally if a computer is around instead.

I never did get a chance to ask her if her phone is using our WiFi system or not when she is within range. You brought that up a couple of times, and I just assumed it used her data plan to fetch things. Maybe not?

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Re: The End is Near

Post by yogi » 02 Mar 2019, 17:04

I can only recall one time a battery leaked on me but didn't do a lot of damage. Cleaning the contacts was easy enough. Oddly it was one of those lithium button batteries that drove the remote control for my Nikon camera. I rarely use that remote and that's why I didn't know about the condition of the battery. Duracell and Eveready seemed to be equally popular up north. I do note that Eveready is stocked in more stores than is Duracell around here. I guess I'm just lucky not to have leakage problems.

There is a program called CCleaner that I used forever in Windows. It's main purpose is to scrub the crap out of the OS. It's an interesting program because I disabled Internet Explorer on this computer (it can't be removed) and yet it is the number one program to accumulate junk files. Thousands of them during the course of a couple weeks. Anyway, when I got this Android computer that can also make phone calls I looked for CCleaner in the app store. It was there and I installed it. It's not as versatile as the Windows version but aside from cleaning the crap out of the Android OS it also has a facility that will let you see which apps are being used most. Those that are least or not used at all are also listed. It is possible to force them to hibernate from this CCleaner utility, which is what I do most of the time. You can also go to the app settings in the OS and do the same thing, but it's a lot easier to use the tool. It also shows how much RAM and program memory is being used. Thus you can optimize the RAM usage and speed up system response. To be honest I've not seen a lot of difference in performance on the Android after I use CCleaner there. But I feel better knowing the OS is clean and I'm not wasting CPU cycles on programs I don't use very often. LOL

Whether you use the cell network or Wifi by default to access the Internet is pretty much determined by product design. My Pixel is pretty clever and will lock into the Wifi wherever it's available. Some phones you need to set up that way in the settings. I have hidden buttons on the homepage where I can turn off (or on) Wifi, Bluetooth, and a few other things. I never use Bluetooth and never turn off Wifi.

GPS, as I understand it, is a stand alone function built into a chip on the motherboard. It would be like having a Garmond or TomTom built into the phone. No Internet is required. GPS is probably one of those apps you would want to turn off if you are not using it because it is in fact continuously communicating with the satellites. The cell phone network also keeps track of your location but not via satellite. It uses base station towers so that you can roam about when you are outside your base network coverage. I'd guess the OS software would use whichever system has the strongest signal at the time.

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Re: The End is Near

Post by Kellemora » 03 Mar 2019, 13:20

Don't know if they still are, but EverReady was based in St. Louis, which is why they were the most popular.

I used CCleaner for years when I was on Windows. I think now it is a subscription service to get the best features operational in it.

If Debi is in the house and opens a web browser it does use our WiFi and cable connection.
But if she's out and about and opens a web browser, it uses the cell service.
She can tell because when at home the web browser runs ten times faster than when she's out somewhere.

She has an Icon named Services. If she taps it, it shows which services are turned on and which are turned off.
If she goes to a program that requires a particular service, it will say the service is off, do you want to turn it on?
Trouble is, if she says yes, the service does not shut back off when she is done.
Like if she goes to use the GPS, it will tell her the service is off, shall we turn it on. She says Yes and looks up what she wants to look up. Then she has to remember to go back into Services and turn off GPS Service.
There are about 14 to 18 things on the list of services that can be turned on or off at the touch of the screen.
She turns them all off except for two or three she knows she wants on all the time.
Says it's no problem because if a program requires a service it always asks first to turn it on.
Since I don't have or use a Schmartz-Fone, half the time I don't know what she is talking about with it.
Oh, she keeps voice turned on, so she can talk to it, and cameras off, except when she wants to take a picture, but has to turn on video first to make a video. She said she's good about keeping everything turned off, she can turn off easily.

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Re: The End is Near

Post by yogi » 03 Mar 2019, 17:04

I'd speculate that Android services are identical to Windows services. They can be set to turned on manually, automatically, or disabled altogether. It's great that Deb knows how to make things more efficient. CCleaner doesn't just stop GPS service, for example, it shuts down the entire app. Thus no pinging takes place when she is not actually using the app. I think that's a better situation than trying to figure out what app needs what services, but like yourself I'm not all that familiar with the way mobile devices work.

CCleaner does offer a subscription for features that I consider useless. LOL All I want to do is clean up junk files and not schedule anything or be notified what can be done better nor do I want The Cloud involved with syncing anything. The price I do pay, however, are inane ads strewn about when I'm trying to do some house cleaning.

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Re: The End is Near

Post by Kellemora » 04 Mar 2019, 11:15

When I went to play an old familiar game on the new computer I bought for Debi, still sitting up here collecting dust. Not only did they change the games style, but they inundated it with ads.
Glad I still kept an old XP computer for playing that game on.
We have one similar on Linux, but I still prefer the old original from WinXP.

I don't recall ever seeing an ad on anything provided by and for Linux computers.
Although there are some programs you can buy if you want a enterprise version of the same thing, and sometimes the free version does have a small ad for the paid version. But it is so rare I hit this, I had almost forgot it does happen.

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Re: The End is Near

Post by yogi » 04 Mar 2019, 16:37

I don't have any games designed explicitly for Linux. I don't use Linux very often so that it's not an issue. I think I dug up the Linux version of solitaire one day just to see how it works. All I recall about it is that it was no comparison to the Windows version. Unfortunately, Microsoft has now decided to put their game package on X-Box which is loaded with ads. I have thought about installing Steam or some other game server on one of my Linux systems to see if and how well the games I already own on those services work. Judging by what I've seen with Linux support for nVidia cards, I am in no hurry to experiment.

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Re: The End is Near

Post by Kellemora » 05 Mar 2019, 19:56

So far, knock on simulated wood grain, I've never had video problems with any game I've ever played on Linux.
Not even when I was using Wine to play a few.
There are not a whole lot of the games I like to play available for Linux, so when I have the urge to play one, I do so on the frau's Win7 machine. OR on the old WinXP machine in my office if it is a CD I own.

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Re: The End is Near

Post by yogi » 06 Mar 2019, 08:30

One of the things that binds me to Windows is the very few games I have on there. I know at least one of them will not work on Linux and the other is on a game server as well as installed locally. The logical thing to do would be to try these games on Windows 10 of which I am beta testing. The problem there is that the entire OS gets replaced frequently and that it is a beta version. If I am to settle on migrating to Windows 10 I need a stable copy on which to experiment. The question in my mind is, is it worth it? So far no. :grin:

I think nVidia and Linux are getting along much better these days, but I still have problems integrating my full graphics capability into the virtual box versions of Linux. Talk about niche uses for a niche product! I just ran across an interesting problem the other day with my VM version of Linux Mint. I tried to take a screen shot but all I was getting was a black picture frame. After looking it up on the Internet, it turns out the problem is well known. The 3-D hardware acceleration needs to be disabled for the screenshot function to work. It's scary things like this that make me think twice about adopting Linux as my default OS.

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Re: The End is Near

Post by Kellemora » 06 Mar 2019, 12:52

Their are quirks like that in all OS's. If you use an OS for a long time, you learn what it can do and what it cannot do.
I can do so much more on Linux than I ever could on Windows, and without the hassles of things being in the wrong places.

One of my biggest beefs when trying to write using Windows Word was how illogically it is set up, and how things would shift around for no logical reason. Most of the problems had to do with how Word controlled pages by allowing 3rd party equipment to dictate things like page margins, etc.
As far as the illogical placement of commands. If you want to Format a Page on Open Office or Libre Office you would go to the Format Button, logical. But if you are using msWORD, you have to go to the File Systems Button. Formatting a Page has nothing at all to do with the File System, so why did msWord put it there?
So when someone who learned on msWord where all the misplaced tools are, when they go to Open Office or Libre Office they are lost, because they don't know to look in the place where they belong.
Another things Word does is it uses the margin settings of the Printer to determine the maximum page margins.
The page margins of your personal printer may be considerably different than the page margins of the printing companies printers doing your printing, especially when they require a certain amount of BLEED over the edge of the page.

You get a fair amount of work done, and decide to print it out on your own printer, and BANG msWORD decides to move all of your pictures around, shorten text lines using word wrap, etc. and you get nothing like was on your page, and the whole document is ruined.
And that my friend is one of the main reasons I started using Open Office on my Windows computer to do my ghostwriting for Harlequin. I later moved up to Libre Office, and finally made the switch to a Linux OS.

I've been using Linux now for several years, and for me to try and do anything at all on a Windows machine is met with nothing but frustration because Windows just can't do it right. Or if it can, it takes a long slow learning curve to figure out how to get it to do it on Windows. Then too, doing it on Linux is normally FREE, while it can cost you an arm, leg, and your first born son to do on Windows.

Linux is so good, even Windows is borrowing things from Linux to use on their OS, hi hi.

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Re: The End is Near

Post by yogi » 07 Mar 2019, 08:23

I hear you loud and clear about MS Word which is why the last version of it I used was back in 1997. After I got tired of that, I switched to Open Office. Then when Oracle started to play games with it I switched to Libre Office and never came back. I can even read those crazy .docx files you like to complain about. LOL

My frustration with Linux is not so much with the software as it is with the operating system/kernel itself. This problem I had with screenshots is an elementary function of the operating system and not somebody's wet dream for a good text editor. Programmers are very creative but often lose sight of who it is they are creating software for. Thus you end up with the crap you describe with MSWord. I'm thinking you were misapplying that software by the way. Word is a word processor but what you were doing was laying out pages of content. You should have been using Framemaker of something similar where you are in control of the variables of which you speak. Of course Framemaker isn't cheap nor is it easy to use. But it will do things a mere word processor can't.

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Re: The End is Near

Post by Kellemora » 07 Mar 2019, 12:00

Publishers require our submissions be in the .doc format. A few have figured out the bugs and stolen codes used in .docx, but they still want the submissions done in .doc - but many now accept .odt too. Book Printers want everything in .pdf now so they don't have the headaches .doc can cause when fed directly to their printing machines.

I use Libre Office now also as my main writing program. I started out with OpenOffice too.
But Libre Office is to OpenOffice, like LinuxMint is to Ubuntu, and Ubuntu is to Debian.
One builds on top of the other to add more user friendly feature controls.

I still use Debian as my main OS, on it right now in fact. However, I prefer LinuxMint on the machines I have it on. It's just a better OS, better than Ubuntu in my opinion even though they use Ubuntu for nearly everything.

Editors will take all .docx files and convert them to .doc which means they will lose all the .docx track changes, then convert them to .xml. The main reason is almost all all professional editing software has used the .xml format for eons now. .docx is supposed to be Mickey$ofts version of .xml, but they changed many of the standard .xml codes to their own proprietary codes. So even though you can open .docx in .xml programs, you don't get all the correct characters. But converting to .doc, then to .xml restores the proper unicodes as they should be. Then when the editor is finished, he can convert the .xml back to .doc and retain all the track changes and editorial notes. Technically .docx is only compatible with .docx and virtually nothing else.
You may recall seeing things posted on Farcebook where there was a black diamond with a white question mark inside the diamond. This happened because of the changed .xml characters into non-standard proprietary characters. Basically, Mickey$oft butchering a known standard for their own monetary gain and alienating the rest of the world.
It has required publishers and editors to spend big bucks to rewrite conversion software to restore the proper codes to works submitted as .docx, so it becomes usable once again.

I also have one more pet peeve, but this has to do with fonts.
There are two versions of the number four. This one (4) is the printed version of the number four.
Almost all Script fonts are using the Printed number four instead of the Cursive number four.
I didn't include its symbol because you probably don't have a font that shows it.
I'll give it a try here, just in case you do - 𐧃 - I'm just seeing a rectangle here, so it's not in this display system.

The years I spent in Katholik Skewl, the Sisters of the Most Vicious Blood would rap our knuckles with a ruler if they saw us use a Cursive four when printing, or vice versa, use a Printed four when writing in Cursive.
Since the Cursive four does not work on most computers, I figure it was another programming error or lack of knowledge by those who developed computers. I also blame those who make fonts using a printed four in a Script font. To a Nun that is a Mortal Sin, hi hi.

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Re: The End is Near

Post by yogi » 07 Mar 2019, 19:49

Image

This is close enough for the sake of conversation. I see the difference between what you are calling printed vs cursive #4. The nuns in my parochial school never got on my case about my penmanship. It wasn't great but apparently it was good enough.

the Sisters of the Most Vicious Blood :question: :question: :lmao1:

I can appreciate your concerns about Microsoft's proprietary software. Complain all you want but those Mickey Mouse software vendors are the most highly valued (in terms of dollars) company on earth; recently beating out Apple. There is a reason why they are basking in profits, and it isn't because people are adverse to using .docx software. LOL

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