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Notes To Self

Posted: 02 Oct 2018, 17:21
by yogi
So, I have this Windows 7 desktop computer. Being the geek that I am, I installed Oracle's Virtual Box software so that I can also run guest Linux software inside the Windows host environment. Virtual Machines, being what they are, share hardware but do not intrinsically share virtual hardware. That means if I want to share files residing on the Windows host machine with the guest Linux machine, I have to jump through some hoops in order to get that to work. The following notes make several assumptions:

if you are clever enough to create virtual machines ...
  • you must know how to use the command line in Linux
  • you must know about permissions
  • you must know what mounting is
  • you must know how to configure fstab without disabling your machine
  • you must know how to search out obscure and esoteric technical information on the Internet, because there ain't no manuals explaining how to do any of this.
Admittedly this is not what the ordinary computer user would want to do. Virtual Machines are literally impossible to understand for most of us. However, much of what is written here applies to real Linux machines too wherein you might have a need to share files located on some other device. That kind of sharing is done in Windows all the time and is mostly transparent. Thus, these notes are a good example of what you need to know to do the same thing in two different operating systems, Linux vs Windows. This is probably not an exhaustive instruction set, but it's a fairly reliable way to share files. This scenario describes:

how to share files between an Ubuntu Linux guest virtual machine residing inside a Windows OS host.
  1. Create a folder to share files on the Windows machine and give it a name: NewShareName, or something
  2. Open VM VirtualBox Manager settings for your VM of interest
  3. Set the 'Shared Folders' to point to the NewShareName folder you just created
  4. Start the VM of interest
  5. From Devices menu > Insert Guest Additions CD image
  6. mount the CD if it doesn't give the option to run automatically
  7. sudo mount /dev/cdrom /media/cdrom
  8. Install the necessary packages (assuming you know what they are)
  9. sudo apt-get install make gcc linux-headers-$(uname -r)
  10. Install the VirtualBox Guest Additions
  11. sudo /media/cdrom/
  12. Now you can mount the share ... that is, after you create it first
  13. mkdir ~/NewShareName
  14. There, NOW you can mount it
  15. sudo mount -t vboxsf NewShareName ~/NewShareName
  16. Of course, if you want to automatically mount every time you boot up, first you will have to modify /etc/fstab
  17. Add this to fstab: NewShareName /home/username/NewShareName vboxsf defaults 0 0
  18. Did I mention that you must be a member of the vboxsf group in order to open the share? You do ...
  19. sudo usermod -aG vboxsf $(whoami)
  20. If you did everything right, that mounted shared directory is in: /media/sf_(NewShareName).
  21. Yes, you must prepend the 'sf_' to the share name. Sorry, I forgot to mention that earlier.
  22. And, finally, you must reboot (just like in Windows) in order for any of this to work.
  23. Start sharing

IN WINDOWS file sharing only requires that you have a need to do it. Thus you know what it is. Here's how it's done:
  • Create the folder you want to share
  • In that file's Properties > Sharing Tab > [share] pick the people you want to share things with
  • Click Apply and close Properties
  • Open Control Panel> Network and Sharing Center >Advanced Sharing Settings
  • Turn on file and printer sharing
  • Turn on network discovery
  • Start sharing ...

Re: Notes To Self

Posted: 03 Oct 2018, 11:21
by Kellemora
Hmm. Although I don't use Virtual Machine, I don't see why it would be much different than a dual boot machine and accessing the files on the OS which is not running. Eg. Partition 1 Windoze, Partition 2 Linux.
While in Linux, go to My Computer, open SDA and mount Partition 1, then use your file browser to grab the files you are after.
Another alternative is to have an external drive or USB stick where you copy your shared files folder, might consider this a backup drive as well. Then when you are in either Windows or Linux, you can access the external drive or USB stick.
Or, keep everything on a NAS.
I agree. All the security of Linux does make it hard to do some things!

On another note:
I had an old USB 2.0 cantankerous 4 port hub laying around.
I bought a 4 pack of 32 gig USB sticks, and wanted to check them to make sure they were not Fakes called 32 gig.
I did that by loading each until full to see if I had any data loss. I didn't, so on with my messing around.
After I reformatted each of the USB sticks, I plugged them into the 4 port hub.
Plugged it into an unused computer with Debian Linux.
I wanted to see if I could make this combination a RAID 6 array.
Loaded mdadm software, couldn't find anything gui for this.
Then I hit a snag. The software and the confusing directions for it, wanted to turn the computer itself into RAID, which is not what I wanted.
I found a video of a guy who had 8 sticks in a strip type 10 port hub, but it never showed how he set it up, just that it worked.
Then I ran out of time and had to get back to work.
I'll have to study more on this later, since I am not familiar with all software RAID programs available yet.

Re: Notes To Self

Posted: 03 Oct 2018, 11:50
by yogi
File sharing has an infinite number of caveats attached to it. My "notes" are the result of me tying to understand the interaction between VM's and their host. The presumption here is that I want both Windows and Linux to be functional at the same time. That cannot be done via dual (multiple) boot scenarios. Also, it took me most of the day to find the right information regarding how to set this all up. The instructions are not all in one place, and each place (person) has their own ideas about how to do things. The lists of steps in the sharing process remind me why Linux isn't user friendly or popular.

Ubuntu Linux changed the way it does things in 2018. They no longer provide the 'make' package in the kernel. While nobody on a mobile device would 'make' anything, it's critical for us desktop jocks. I wasted an enormous amount of time figuring out what was missing and then even more wasted time trying to discover how to patch in what I needed. Hint: installing 'make' from the repository won't do it. You also need the Perl c-compiler. The error messages screaming that 'make' is missing never mention that you need a compiler to make the modules that get attached to the kernel. This problem is unique to Ubuntu and the VM GuestAdditions it takes to run it in a virtual box. Using Ubuntu anywhere else but a VM would not require these steps. The sharing part, however, is required no matter what you do with Ubuntu.

I've read about the various RAID configurations and how to accomplish them, but I've never made an attempt to configure it in real life. It seems that using USB 2 for RAID would be counter productive given its latency and slow transfer of data. That is probably why the software makers don't give you a lot of instruction for USB. Nobody seriously wants to use it. USB3-C seems to be on the level of SSD's so that they might be configurable as RAID.

Re: Notes To Self

Posted: 04 Oct 2018, 11:22
by Kellemora
Way back when I ran WindowsXPProMCE, I had tons of programs to do most of the things I needed to do, and fast too.
Many of these programs were obtained as add-on's to software that came with various printers.
I learned the hard way that some of these programs looked to make sure the specific printer it came with was connected to the computer. Fortunately, the ones I really used and like I could buy a retail version which had even more features. Unfortunately, I couldn't afford to own very many of them.

I played with Linux a little bit, long before it became more user friendly, and gave up on it.
Jump ahead a few years and I decided to give Ubuntu a trial run.
I was amazed at how far Linux had come! Once I started using it, and finding all the programs for the tasks I was doing at the time, I was more than pleased. And Linux has come a long way since then.

Although my memory of how I did things has faded, and I struggle to find whatever programs it was I used to do something.
There is just so much I can do on Linux that unless you are super rich, simply can't be done on Windows.
GNU/Linux and Synaptic Package Manager has spoiled me. Every program I would ever need is right there at my fingertips, and normally free, although I do donate a little to those programmers who's applications I use daily.

I have sitting here on my desk a brand new Windows10 computer, the one I bought for the frau.
I wanted to restore it to factory, but the Win10 upgrade deleted the files necessary to do this.
So the restore reinstalled Win10Home instead. I did a full wipe of the hard drive so it was like having a brand new machine.
I connected to the website she uses, where the computer runs slow as molasses in the dead of winter, and it still runs slow, much slower than it did on Win8.1 which is what was on this machine before the automatic forced update.
I went through and turned off nearly everything that is turned on automatically, it did help the speed a small iota, but not enough to make the computer usable for the frau to play Farm Town on.

One would think the computer maker Acer would have a download location to download the originally installed OS, in this case Win8.1. If they do, I've not been able to find it. I can't see buying a copy of Win7 since it will hit its end of life soon. Debi has numerous games she plays that only work on Windows computers. She has access to all of them she ever bought by going to Big Fish Games where she purchased them. They are good about keeping them available. Many of the old games designed for Win XP don't seem to work on Win10, some will by using certain settings, but always require a resolution change of the display to see them. Some just say Wrong Operating System and won't load.

I'm thinking of doing a complete wipe of the hard drive and installing either LInux Mint or Ubuntu.
Perhaps I can install Virtual Box and see if I can get Win XP to install in it. But then I don't think I can get it registered and activated if installed from an install CD.

My other alternative is to buy a KVM for her, so she can switch to a Linux computer to play Farm Town, and use her Windows computer for everything else. I won't know if Farm Town will run faster on this particular computer until I try it. I loaded Debian on my Netbook and although FT played faster than in Windows, it really wasn't fast enough. Problem is probably the Bus Speed you talked about.

OK, I'll quit rambling, hi hi.

Re: Notes To Self

Posted: 04 Oct 2018, 14:09
by yogi
I empathize with you regarding Windows 10 problems. I've not experienced the particular problem you describe with the Home edition because I always had the Pro version on my laptop. Plus, it's not the normal distribution either. As I've mentioned a few dozen times in the past I am a Windows Insider which means I'm doing beta testing on the latest and greatest builds that have not hit the streets yet. Doing this gets me the bleeding edge Windows technology for free. The price I pay, of course, is to allow Microsoft telemetry access privileges to everything I do.

My latest grievance with the evaluation software centers around updates. It refused to update to the previous version when it's time was due. The error message told me that the updated version of Windows was not compatible with Avira antivirus software and that when they had fixed it (not sure if they meant Avira or Microsoft), they would do the upgrade automatically. The problem with that is I do not have any antivirus software installed on that system other than the Windows Defender Microsoft forces me to install against my wishes. So I could not care less if Avira isn't compatible. I never installed it nor are there any leftovers from previous lives. Well, the problem did in fact fix itself this week. The latest flight updates itself with no errors.

In the course of my troubleshooting the update bug I discovered where and how Microsoft does the update. It would be quite easy to stop it permanently, but I am supposed to be doing beta testing. So I reported the failure and lived with the problem for a week or so. It's always possible to go back to the previous version of Windows, which I considered doing if the next update failed. However, that 'previous version' is not the same as the original OEM version or anything you had in there prior to that. It's the last version before the update. Linux does approximately the same thing when it does not delete kernels and offers you an alternate boot into a prior configuration. You have to keep in mind that Microsoft changed software strategies when they invented Windows 10. It is now considered a service instead of an operating system. There is only one distribution of Windows now, and it keeps updating itself ad infinitum. What this means to you and me is that there is no 'previous operating system' to which we can revert. We can only go back one generation to where things presumably worked.

Microsoft does offer another option during recovery. You can go back to some prior version of Windows 10 if you happen to have a copy of it laying around on your NAS, DVD, or stashed away in a recovery partition. Should you choose that method of recovery there is no saving of data or programs. It will be a clean install with factory default settings. You can in fact download an .iso version of the last release. Any updates since that release will have to be added later. That was going to be my strategy because I figured something was corrupt in my "service" and needed to have it's swamp drained. The truth is I have had to do that in the past because I've never been able to get Windows 10 recovery to work properly. A clean install is the only recourse. And, by the way, if you do a clean install, be certain to have the product key written down somewhere. You will need it to re-register your installation. You can in fact get it from Microsoft assuming your hardware did not change since they audited you last. It's a pain in the drain doing it that way, but it is possible.

Slow response is probably the most frequent complaint I've heard about Windows 10. It's a resource hog and you best have some very good hardware if you want decent performance. The Home edition is a watered down version of the Pro edition and you would think it would be faster due to its lighter weight. It's not. And, I've read a few comments suggesting that Microsoft deliberately slows down Windows 10 Home, especially the OEM versions you get with new computers. I don't doubt that they do such a thing, but the problem goes deeper than that. Windows 10 can run software from four generations back, but it won't be efficient. It has to do a lot of internal conversion to get the old code to work in the new "service" environment. Add that to not having state of the art hardware and you have a slow system.

One solution would be to give Deb your hottest souped up version of Linux. Then run her Windows OS as a virtual machine inside that. A KVM switch would be overkill and not necessary. The VM software is free. If the system is still slow and Deb cannot play Farm Town in the VM, it's time to migrate to newer software/hardware. I realize that cost is an issue for you which leads me to believe it might be better to go back to the operating system for which Farm Town (and the likes of it) was intended. They didn't know about high resolution monitors back then, for example, which is why the games won't scale up to today's modern standards. However, if you can come up with an old 386 or 486 machine, I'm thinking you can make Deb very happy that way.

One more thought crossed my mind while reading your ramblings. Yes, Windows 7 is approaching it's end of life. So what? If all you are going to do is play games on it, you do not have to be concerned about lack of support. You might even be able to do away with the Internet altogether and end your security concerns that way. I ran Windows 98 several years past it's end of life and never had an issue until the world around me changed. The internet became faster and more complicated which forced me to move up to something that wasn't invented yet when Windows 98 came to life for the first time. I may just do that with this computer too. Windows 7 is the last OS of its kind and arguably the best one Microsoft ever invented. It would be a shame to put it to rest prematurely.

Re: Notes To Self

Posted: 05 Oct 2018, 12:28
by Kellemora
We have WindowsXP computers, but you can no longer open the game, it demands you update flash player, and you can't update XP versions anymore. The game played fine on XP with only 2 gigs of ram. The new machine I bought for her had 4 gigs of ram and Windows 8.1. The game was slow on it, but when the automatic upgrade to Windows 10 managed to sneak through during the night, the game became almost unbearable to play.
I spent hours tweaking her computer to get it to speed up some. This is how she played the game for many months. Why she didn't stop playing out of frustration is beyond me.
I did bring an old computer down to the house with Linux Mint on it for her to use, it only had 1 gig of memory, but was still more than twice as fast as Windows 10 on her new computer. Unfortunately, the video went out because she didn't shut down the machine before unplugging the video cable to move back to her Windows machine. Poof!
Her son brought his old, and very problematic Dell Alienware computer. It's fast using Win7 for her to play her game, but if our electric goes out, trying to get it started again is a major issue. Yes I replaced the CMOS battery just in case that is what kept it from starting. Moved the hard drive down a slot to make it easier to unplug and plug back in. Nothing seems to fix the problem. She will use her cell phone to check her e-mail and a few other things, and just wait until I can get the Dell working again. Checking on-line, hundreds of folks with Dell have the same problems. Won't boot past the beginning of Bios, not even far enough to use the F-keys to get into setup.

It's cool you get to use the latest greatest beta version of Windows!
I did that with Linux Mint nightly build for about 9 months. They were working on an OS that auto-updated so would never go out of style. The best thing they learned from trying that is a way to install a new Kernel without having to reboot the computer. They brought this into all versions of Linux Mint.

Re: Notes To Self

Posted: 05 Oct 2018, 15:24
by yogi
Sometimes it's a Catch-22 situation, which is what happened to me with Windows 98. I got to a point where I could not update without changing the hardware. For you and Deb Farm Town did well on a Windows XP system because that is the level of software/hardware for which it was designed. The theory I had was that I could stay at that old level forever as long as I didn't need to do anything but play Farm Town. But, Farm Town moved on up the technology scale and apparently is not backward compatible. Thus, when you try to update Flash to make Farm Town work, Windows XP can't do it. And that is exactly why I don't like to use software from somebody else's server. I'm not in control of the versions when somebody else maintains the program. Unfortunately, a lot of the old time games are not available anywhere other than through game houses.

When Microsoft changed tactics and introduced Windows 8.x, they changed the way their API works. This pissed off every program developer that worked on software to run on Windows. They had to buy a whole new set of development tools because their old ones would not work with the new Microsoft engine. It was at that point where a lot of software became obsolete because it was no longer backward compatible. If you had a game running in Windows 7, more than likely you had to buy a new version of that same game to run in Windows 8. I think this switch in program development style is what is affecting your old software. Some games can make the leap from the old way to the new way but are massaged and converted internally by Windows. I'm thinking that is why your systems appear to be so slow. It's going through the equivalent of an interpreter. It boils down to incompatibility, or as us users would call it, planned obsolescence.

The best computer advice I ever received was not to buy Gateway nor Dell computers. As recent as last week I've heard of people having problems out of the box with their Dell laptop. I never owned a Dell of my own but tried to service them for friends. Getting service from Dell is a nightmare worse than trying to get s solution for a Linux problem out of a tech forum. It's hit and miss if you are lucky. The advice also recommended Compaq computers as being the best ones available at the time. Since that time HP bought them out and changed everything. They may still be the best off the shelf computers, but there is no substitute for a custom built machine. About the only thing I can recommend that would make a difference in throughput for your old Windows boxes is to upgrade the HDD to SSD. That and add as much RAM as you can afford. There may still be performance issues after that upgrade because old processors are still old processors. The boot problems for Dell are definitely related to their BIOS or whatever UEFI they are using. If you can change that too I'm thinking you might have a decent computer on which to play games.

Re: Notes To Self

Posted: 06 Oct 2018, 11:20
by Kellemora
I've had a few Compaq computers that worked and ran great, up until they were made for HP.
That being said, other than hand-me-downs, I've had all of my computers custom built, mainly to save money and get better quality than off-the-shelf computers.
The man who built my last 5 or 6 computers is no longer of this earth. Two of his employees took over and moved to larger quarters across the street, and unfortunately changed how they do business. Now they only sell package deals, and most are for the same price ranges based on equipment used of course.
The old guy used to sell each component he installed at the component price and charge 135 bucks for assembly and testing.
Or, if you bought a cabinet, you could pay a 10% upcharge on the components and get assembly free. This is what I usually did because I only got the bare bones, Mobo, CPU, RAM, and DVD.
He also did not charge me to fix a computer I knew what was wrong with it, other than for the parts at 10% upcharge.
Eg. I have a computer here I know the power supply went out. If it didn't destroy the motherboard in the process, he would only charge me the cost of the power supply plus 10% to fix it.
The new guys have a minimum charge of 125 dollars to even look at a computer.
I have one here the video burned out and I think I could buy a cheap video card and install it myself to get it up and running again. But as strange as this may sound, I've never been able to upgrade the RAM on a computer without hitting problems of some sort. Even when I buy a matching pair new of the kind slated for the brand of mobo, it never works for me.

Almost forgot. I got buy for years using an old version of Google Chrome that would let me replace the PepperFlash with an old 12May2015 version, because that version worked right, and none ever since have. I also had to use an older Google Chrome because the newer versions would not accept the old PepperFlash. Now Google uses Adobe Flash.

I know you build higher end computers than I do, but I've always been happy with the cheapies I've had built. They've always been super fast, even before I learned to use more RAM than necessary. Seems that is what made all the difference in the world. Unfortunately, the cheap off-the-shelf computer I bought for Debi when hers died cannot be upgraded. Can't even add a second hard drive or more RAM, if what I read was right. That's the trouble with the cheap off-the-shelf computers, they are built for the OS and they leave out many parts. It has Sata port in use, 1 slot in use, etc.
I've not had time to see about doing anything else with that computer, but hope to make it useful for something.

My printer finally arrived. Hooked it up and it works great. Better than the last new one I thought worked right. It appears it didn't based on the output of this one. Everything prints perfect, so far. Hope it stays that way.

Re: Notes To Self

Posted: 07 Oct 2018, 06:52
by yogi
Kids have different ideas than do their parents, especially when it comes to running a business. You had more than a business relationship with the old guy. He was doing you a friendly favor by pricing things the way he did. The kids are running the business to make a profit, while their elder was there serving his customers. It's probably not that simple but it does suggest you might be better off building your own. I understand your memory problems. The memory in your computer would be a lot easier to fix than your biological one. But really, building a computer is not difficult. Finding which parts are compatible with each other is the hardest part. Even then the spec sheets supplied on the web sites have more than enough information. RAM ideally would match each other for a start. The microprocessor has to be compatible with the chip set on the mother board and the RAM has to be compatible with both. The manufacturer's spec sheet will tell you what will work with their product. The problem I had was that there were too many choices. Once you match the bus speeds, the choices are narrowed down but still can be overwhelming.

I don't know exactly why you could not upgrade an off the shelf computer. The specs will tell you about the processor and the mother board. From there it's the same as building your own; just pick something from all the options. I do realize the sockets and ports might be limited in number. I've even seen where the Ethernet port does double duty with some other port (I don't recall at the moment which) just to avoid the need for another socket. The big issue with off the shelf is the OEM software. It would be ideal to buy the Windows OS standard software and install it into an empty machine. But then, you can run into the problem you did with Dell's custom BIOS. Their attempt there is to keep you in the Dell family. You can use anybody's generic BIOS and get the OEM and Dell out of the loop. In my case I'd rather build from scratch instead of modify somebody's idea of a computer. I was lucky with the Toshiba laptop I got off E-bay. The first thing I did with it was remove the Windows OS and put Linux in it's place. It wasn't until I became an Insider for Microsoft that Windows found it's way back into that box.

HP's core competency is printers. It seems as if they will never be able to add to that. I too noted the downgrade in quality when they took over Compaq. I truly hope your new printer stays at it's current level of perfection. I know HP can do it. I've seen quality from them several times. But, unfortunately, they are like the kids running your favorite computer shop: only in the business to maximize profits.

Re: Notes To Self

Posted: 07 Oct 2018, 11:51
by Kellemora
Although I've been burned many times now by HP on home equipment, I do know their commercial equipment is top notch, especially the equipment used in the medical profession.
The funny things is, although HP equipment is used in operating rooms and for patent monitoring, it seems they use Dell for administration and clerical work. The later is probably due to contract rotation.

I don't think you can change the BIOS from what the motherboard manufacturer used. You can upgrade the bios.
I checked Generic Bios and a few other search words and almost all of the comments said things like if you have a Dell, Gateway, HP, etc. the bios are locked to the specific motherboard they were written for.

The fnw printer has a different back than the fdn printer. I assume this is because that is where the duplexer sits?
The fnw does not have a duplexer. Everything else about it is identical to my first two though.

I'm way too low on funds right now to consider getting Debi another computer.
Just paid our Real Estate doubled taxes, and a few other bills, plus her insulin costs more than she gets as SS, so I help there too when I can. I was hoping to make a little extra this year somehow to hire a lawn care company since I'm unable to do anything except perhaps use the rider mower. I tried doing a little much needed weed whacking and almost ended up being rushed to the hospital when I couldn't catch my breath. A neighbor helped me inside, and I didn't stop shaking for over an hour, so the frau said no more. I don't understand it really. I do my Cardiac Rehab three times a week and get through it just fine, and it is super hard to do now. But it is a controlled set of steps designed to get my heart rate up each session. But as my COPD progresses, it takes its toll on me much faster now than it did last year. Oh well, getting olde is the pits, hi hi.

Re: Notes To Self

Posted: 07 Oct 2018, 14:20
by yogi
I know that BIOS can be changed, but perhaps not in every situation. It is burned into an EPROM chip mounted on the motherboard which can be erased and reprogrammed. Some manufacturers will supply you with a utility to burn the EPROM with whatever you want to put in it. Others, and perhaps Dell is in this category, can't or won't. There is a high risk involved with changing BIOS. It cannot be restored to it's original if you mess up. Typically the motherboard would have to be sent back to the manufacturer who would replace the EPROM chip. If all goes well, you will end up with an improved BIOS that actually works better than the original. It's really not a complicated procedure, but you need the right software and a strong set of nerves. I'm not sure how much you can trust what you read in tech forums. I've been mislead many times by people who sound like they know what they are talking about, but in reality do not. BIOS is just a way to poll your hardware and start up the appropriate systems. I doubt there is only one way to do that sort of thing. But, maybe Dell is different.

From what I can see on my printer the duplexer is an optional module that can be fitted into the printer. Thus only one chassis need to be made to go either way. I don't do a lot of printing and I could just as well make double sided print outs in two passes. It's just that the printer with the duplexer was cheap enough to not be prohibitive.

I feel your pain regarding real estate taxes. That is 90% of the reason we left Cook County, Illinois. Over the course of three years the already high taxes were doubled and showed no sign of slowing down. Compared to Cook County we are getting a bargain here in Missouri. They have already raised the taxes substantially and I would not doubt if they go the same rout as the other states and decide to double them one year. I guess it depends on how greedy the politicians become.

The ogre of old age is staring me in the face every day. I thank my lucky stars that I am better off health-wise than many other people my age. I know a few 20-30 year olds who have some chronic degenerative diseases too, cancer et. al.. I think you and I have come to a point in our lives where healing means sustaining the status quo. There will be no going back to a younger and healthier body for us. I admire your courage in dealing with that reality. It took me a long time to accept that fact. In some ways I've become the legendary elephant who leaves the pack to seek out the ancient burial ground just before they die.

Re: Notes To Self

Posted: 08 Oct 2018, 10:35
by Kellemora
I don't use a duplexer myself either. If I need to print on front and back, I usually do it manually to make sure it comes out as expected. However, when I bought the first of these printers, this was the only model offered on sale. Now the later version with WiFi is the cheaper model but doesn't have the duplexer which is OK with me.

Having lived in MO my whole life, although I did travel to almost every state and heard about some crazy ways of doing taxes, I never heard anyone claim they were double taxed for the same services. Then when I moved south and got my first set of tax bills I couldn't believe it, I thought it was a mistake. How can the taxes down here in east podunk who offer nothing for free be three times higher than our taxes back home in St. Loo where nearly everything is free, well, paid for by our taxes.
Not only are we taxed twice on the same property by two different entities, we have to pay for whatever services we use over and above what our taxes cover. Eg. Call an ambulance, there is anywhere from a 600 to 6000 dollar charge for same. Call the Fire Department 600 bucks there too. None of our museums, science center, or zoo is free, and most charge a lot to get in. I did pay to go to the science center once, only to find about the only things they had on display were donated to them 20 years ago from St. Loo and elsewhere. Old hat stuff I've seen a million times for free already back home.

Yeppers, our olde bodies are wearing out, way to fast for my liking, hi hi.

Re: Notes To Self

Posted: 08 Oct 2018, 11:12
by yogi
Chicago has many museums and at least two zoos. I got to see them all when I was a youngster living at home because all of them were free to visit. Somewhere in my teens the museums started to charge an entry fee. Then one of the two zoos did the same. The second zoo is located in Chicago proper and last time I checked (a dozen years or so ago) it was still free to enter. To be fair, not all the museums are city owned and fees could be expected there.

We lived in a suburb that was subject to more than one taxing body. We actually paid Chicago for the sewer service, which in the final analysis made sense. All the towns surrounding Chicago dumped their waste into the Chicago Metro Sanitary Canal. The county got a part of my real estate tax for mosquito abatement and other things. The township collected taxes for the library, which was not located in my village. The school district took the most, of course, and they covered more than just the city proper. The state of Illinois wasn't left out of the till, but I can't recall exactly what service they provided. I think it was part of the school tax. So, we had the village, the township, the county, the city of Chicago, and the state of Illinois all represented on our real estate tax bill. To ease the pain all those taxing bodies assessed their dues on one bill so that it didn't look like we were paying more than once.

The village fire department are the first responders when we call 911. We lived there for about twenty years before they decided we had to pay a one time fee the first time we called them. That was about $400 if I recall correctly. We do not live in St Louis County so that I am not sure about where all our tax dollars are going. It would be simple to find out because like Cook County it's all listed out on the bill. I believe that I'm paying about half the tax it was up north. We don't have the same level of police patrols nor street cleaning as we did before, but so far I can't say I'm lacking any services. This town is one of the top 10 safest, so they say, and there isn't a whole lot of snow to clear off the streets. So, for the moment I think I'm getting what I'm paying for, or the politicians are not as greedy here as they are up around Chicago.

Re: Notes To Self

Posted: 09 Oct 2018, 11:53
by Kellemora
I know things have changed since I moved south, but all the years I was growing up, and after I owned homes too, we only paid Real Estate Taxes to the County. The municipalities I lived in did not collect Real Estate Taxes. If they started their own Fire Department, then whatever taxes were paid to the county for fire protection, the county gave those taxes back to the Municipalities. Same was true for Police, Ambulance, and other public services.
The School Tax which was part of our annual tax bill, was geared to what school zone you lived in. If you lived in a more affluent area you taxes were much higher than those who lived in less affluent areas. This is why we screamed bloody murder when they started the Busing Fiasco. Sending county students to inner city schools and bringing inner city kids out to our schools. We voted on what amenities we wanted in our local school system, another zone may not want those amenities. So what right did they have to begin moving kids around to other schools? NONE!

Before we were annexed and our taxes doubled. The county fire department was under 3 miles away, the sheriffs department patrolled our street at least once per day, the watershed district maintained the storm ditches (we don't have sewers here), and the street department maintained the shoulders of the road and kept their right of way mowed.

After annexation, our taxes to the county went up slightly as they do every year, but now the City added their taxes which were equivalent to the county tax, so the actual taxes we paid out doubled. But it gets worse. We now had to use the city fire department which was over 3-1/2 miles away, this caused our homeowners insurance to go up, we now have to use the city police department who no longer patrols our street. Even if they happen to be on our street for some other purpose, they do not return after seeing many illegal activities to write tickets or handle the situations. The watershed has not been maintained since we were annexed, and the street department has not maintained their right of way.
So, for being taxed at double what we should be, we have less or no services. But the city poly-TICK-ians are getting richer by the day.

Our previous mayor, Bill Haslam, who somehow managed to get elected as our governor was the biggest crook I've ever seen. He stole millions from the taxpayers, and did so with a straight face and thousands of lies. He started projects that cost millions of dollars for some purpose and claimed to have spent the money on studies and research.
He was granted OVER Ten Million dollars to help house the homeless on a special plan where the homeless would eventually pay it back as they were trained for and got jobs. The question to ask here is HOW MANY Homeless people did he help? The answer is ONLY 48 Individuals! If you do the math, you will see that amounts to 18 Thousand dollars per month per single homeless person helped, yet they never saw any of that money, other than a 300 dollars month assistance. Where did all the rest of the money go? His friends and acquaintances he set up with research jobs and studies about the situation. He was able to do this a second time for an even greater share of the money, promising one thing but doing something else with it entirely. And for this he was elected governor and is now a multi-millionaire.

One last rant. Back home, most of the municipalities in St.Loo County had what they called the three strikes rule. Any police officer caught breaking the law three separate times, by three verified sources filing such a complaint, were released from the police force.
I often wondered where they went to get a job after getting the boot?
Well, after I moved down here to Knoxville, I found them!
Not only do the cops down here disregard numerous laws, they also don't enforce the laws they themselves break numerous times on a daily basis. And it's not just the cops, it applies to most government officials. I even called the Coroner on the carpet for breaking at least three laws I spotted immediately. He was actually breaking more than three, but I chose the three major laws he was breaking. His response was sad. He claims the laws don't apply to him because he's a city official. If this happened back home in the town I was raised in, he would be sitting behind bars until he could make bail.
Although, I might add, the town I was raised in can no longer be recognized as the town I was raised in. Outside poly-TICK-ians came in and destroyed the city.

Re: Notes To Self

Posted: 09 Oct 2018, 13:17
by yogi
You may, or may not, have seen the criticism about the current administration in Washingtod D.C. being a kleptocracy. A lot of what you write about Knoxville could be said about today's federal government as well. The point you bring up about the local Coroner believing he is above the law can be found daily in the news media covering federal governance. Your Coroner, however, isn't acting on the world stage. He may be raping the public treasury in Tennessee, but the carnage going on in D.C. threatens more than real estate tax bills. It's stunning and something I never thought I'd witness in my lifetime.

I have also witnessed the Chicago riots in the late '60s. In fact I was literally working in the middle of the burning neighborhoods. Talk about scary. It was all about blacks against whites back then. School busing was no more popular in Chicago than in St Louis, but unlike St Louis the problems in Chicago's inner city were not tax bill related. It was racial bias that brought down not only Chicago but many other places as well. Busing was instituted because of the obvious segregation in the school systems. I'm not sure that was the correct response, but it did make the issue more known to more people. There were greedy law breaking city officials back there too, but the root of all the problems was white supremacy. It wasn't called that back in the '60s, but that's what it was. It worked up until people took to the streets because they couldn't vote the bastards out of office.

I'm waiting now for history to repeat, but this time isn't going to be as nice.

Re: Notes To Self

Posted: 10 Oct 2018, 13:34
by Kellemora
I went to KHS in the '60s and about 1/4 of our school was black when I started, and 1/3 black when I graduated.
We never had any racial type problems crop up during those years I was in school here, although many other states seemed to have more than their share of problems.
Things changed considerably by the time my kids were in school. At least my move allowed them to attend Parkway schools instead of Kirkwood schools where a lot of the changes took place.
My kids were in grade school during the years of forced busing so we moved them to parochial schools until that mess was over and done with.
Throughout the late '80s and most of the '90s I was doing home renovations, almost all of which were in the poorest areas of downtown St. Loo. I bought several 2-story all brick homes with full basements for pennies on the dollar, most had a fire which didn't do structural damage, except for parts of the roof. Even though a couple were considered in the worst area of the city, we never had a single problem with the neighbors around us. A couple of incidents regarding houses we had not started work on yet. The neighbors watched the houses I was working on at night because they didn't want any problems in their neighborhood, which often meant only their block. A block or two away might be a totally different story with bullets flying.

It was a shame to see my home town municipality change from Home Rule and outside poly-TICK-ians take over. The attitude of most of the residence changed almost overnight after this happened. Not like the good ole days for sure!

I have a few friends who live in places like France and England. France especially is on the verge of a civil war the French against the Muslims, and England isn't much further behind. I have a hunch we are going to see a war between Cowboys and Demoncrats before we see one against the Muslims. So many are getting into public office it is scary.
What's really sad is all the colleges promote socialism and hatred, but fail to teach about how bad socialism really is.

Re: Notes To Self

Posted: 10 Oct 2018, 18:39
by yogi
I can't recall how many times I've mentioned it before in these forums, but there's no reason not to bring it up one more time. :mrgreen: World War III has been in progress for a few decades now. The recent attention to cyber crime isn't what I'm talking about here. There is a culture war in progress and only one culture will dominate when it's over. A lot of attention is being paid to Muslims as a participant in the culture war, but it goes beyond that. The invasion of Europe by displaced Muslims isn't helping their cause.

Not all of the chaos has to do with the confrontation of different cultures. Things like domestic war and famine are displacing a lot of the immigrants in and out of their homelands. Of course they would not want to change their cultural behavior just because they live in a different country. You or I would not want to change either if we were in that situation. Regardless, the difference in cultures is creating a lot of hostilities. We had a civil war in this country when the clash of southern and northern cultures could not be contained any longer. At the moment the global culture wars are more or less brewing. But it's not going to stay that way forever. The next world war will not be very civil.

I've seen more than a few comments against higher education and how it's dominated by liberalism. Well, I guess we know where those comments are coming from. There are indeed college level courses regarding socialism being taught. All those classes are electives. If the students want to get involved with it, it's their choice. The comments about schools of higher education being too liberal minded are coming from a crowd that is very conservative when it comes to science and math or anything to do with alternate political and religious systems. You could be right about socialism always failing, but there are a few countries practicing Democratic Socialism and Social Democracy - Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Germany and France. At the moment they seem to be doing quite well.

Re: Notes To Self

Posted: 11 Oct 2018, 10:41
by Kellemora
You might find this hard to believe, but my entire family, and every ancestor since they came to America all became Democrats. After Carter, several switched to Republican and remained so during the Reagan and Bush terms.
We had two major newspapers in St. Louis, The Globe Democrat, and the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
Little known to newcomers, The Globe Democrat was the Republican newspaper, and the Post Dispatch the Democratic newspaper.
During the Clinton era, most of my relatives all switched to the Republican Party.
As for myself, I switched to Independent and voted for Perot, as did many of us which might be how Clinton got in.
When Obama ran for office, this was the turning point for our family, all of my family and relatives, including myself became Republican in hopes to keep Obama out. Obviously it didn't work since we were stuck with him for 8 years.
Being the worst president of any we've ever had, and the Demoncrats selling out our country and it's resources to our enemies, it's no wonder Trump won the election. Thank goodness for the Electoral College! Can you imagine the damage that would have been done if Hillary got elected. No more Constitution.
I'm 71 years old this month, due to my health, and if Trump gets re-elected, I probably won't see who becomes president after him. I've been most fortunate and have already lived past the life expectancy for my type of heart attacks, which is solely due to the new medications which were finally approved. They were developed, but not yet available for my father.

Re: Notes To Self

Posted: 11 Oct 2018, 14:30
by yogi
We have some very different viewpoints about what is going on in this country and what has transpired in the past. That's to be expected and healthy in fact. I've read where the current president wrote a book (or had one written for him) claiming that democracy is a failure. He isn't the first global figure to suggest such a thing. He is the first American president to dismantle some of the long standing government institutions that made this country what it was before his gang of thugs took over. There are some strong supporters of the scheme to allow the country to degenerate and fall into bankruptcy. At that point a single authoritarian ruler would step up and save us from complete annihilation. That savior would of course be an autocrat for life given that there would be nothing left of the former government. I'm not one of those who support such a style of governance.

My family was all Democrat. We lived in Chicago where the Daley Machine Politics was born and died. I didn't hear much about Republicans until I got to college and was amazed at how different their perspective is. To my way of thinking declaring yourself one or the other is the easy way out. You are letting your political party leaders establish the agenda when you identify with one or the other. I like the idea of being independent, but that's a guaranteed concession to the powers that be in the present political environment. I do think there should be a third major party, one which the other two would have to negotiate in order to come to a majority agreement. As it stands now the only recourse is confrontation and power brokering with little regard for the people supposedly being represented by the politicians.

Democracy may not be the perfect solution, but it was the most successful way of governing in our modern times. I see the form of Democracy I grew up to know and love being attacked and on the brink of extinction. This is an amazing feat in America because the system was designed to be run by three separate branches of government. If the current course of dismantling the system stays true, then you most likely will be alive to see the death certificate of Democracy and an autocrat (dictator) running the show.

I know there are cures for cancer in the labs and being field tested. The statistics have to be accumulated over ten years in order for them to be significant and safe. Some say a much longer period should be the standard. A lot of people will die because there is not yet enough statistical evidence that the new drug is safe or can do what its inventors claim it can do. I'd like to see more opportunities to waive liabilities of pharmaceutical companies testing new wonder drugs. Some will certainly die in the experiments, but many more would survive. The afflicted individual should have the choice, in my humble opinion.

Re: Notes To Self

Posted: 12 Oct 2018, 11:01
by Kellemora
The collection of the states united as The United States of America is a Republic.
Individual cities, counties, and states operate as a Democracy.

Almost every great nation that fell, did so when their tax base crossed 25%, we've been way over that for decades, and only artificially held together. So I agree, we may soon see the Late Great United States only in history books.

Regarding drugs and Cancer. There are well over 100 known cures for various types of cancer that work, and do so without serious side affects. But none of them can be used in the USofA because of laws Big Pharma managed to get passed.
The two major laws that prevent any cure from being introduced in the USofA are:
#1 A cure MUST BE Patentable. This eliminates all Prior Art and all Natural or Existing Sources.
#2 A cure MUST BE Able to be Synthesized. This eliminates all Natural Cures, because they no longer work when synthesized, and being Natural are also not Patentable.
There are many more laws on the books to prevent any competition to Big Pharma.

We already have and use some amazing natural drugs, but they can only be used for exploratory purposes, not to create a cure.
As an example: You can go to the radiology department and be injected with a dye TAGGED to go only to Cancer Cells.
However, the oncology department cannot use those same TAGS to send Chemo directly to the Cancer Cells and not to the normal cells because it cannot be Patented, and is a Natural substance.
So we do have the technology to use Chemo in a way that would not be harmful to living normal cells, but Big Pharma has prevented its use in this country.

Looking at radiation treatments. Radiology currently bombards an area with single source radiation causing a lot of damage. Other industrial industries have and use two source radiation to prevent damage to areas not requiring being radiated. The only way I know how to explain this is to look at laser beams. A single laser beam can make a spot on the wall. But two laser beams 90 degrees apart can make a pinpoint dot in mid air, where the two beams intersect.
Such a method is used to engrave designs inside solid blocks of glass. Also, true 3D TV can be done using cross point lasers. Low dose radiation beams could be set to focus on a cancer cell, and where the two separate beams meet on the same cancer cell, that cell could be eliminated without damage to the cells in the path of the individual radiation beams.
The system already exists, covered by numerous patents, and therefore is considered Prior Art and cannot be patented for use in medical treatments.

This is the kind of damage poly-TICK-ians on the TAKE from Big Pharma have done to our country!