Nursing a cold. Short Shrift

Chaos Manor View, Tuesday, March 15, 2016

“This is the most transparent administration in history.”

Barrack Obama

Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for Western Civilization as it commits suicide.

Under Capitalism, the rich become powerful. Under Socialism, the powerful become rich.

Under Socialism, government employees become powerful.





I have solved the problem of searches in Windows 10, and it makes sense.


Eric Pobirs sums it up nicely:

               The search function is designed to find, quickly, user files, not system or program files. This is how mature modern systems work. Much like the modern automobile owner doesn’t need to know much about how the stuff under the hood works. New cars are not nearly so friendly to tinkering as their ancestors but as consumer products are far more reliable and refined.

                Because early versions of Windows made no effort to segregate user space from system space, it encouraged users to develop bad habits that they retained long after Microsoft had finally begun addressing those deficiencies. The first big step towards this was designated directories for users to save data, such as documents. This gave the system and installed apps a default location to use. This also simplified frequent backups as staying within those directories made it likely the default backup scope would cover everything important, which meant the average user was far more likely to get satisfactory results.

                In the period between XP and Vista two things were decided. First, fast search mattered, and that meant some stuff would be favored over others. Second, search by default should not show system and certain other types of files because the average user only tended to get in trouble that way. I can remember the days when people would need to reinstall Windows because they deleted a critical directory with no interference from the system.




Mostly, I’m attempting to recuperate from a cold. It got much worse last night, and today I have that familiar head stopped up, ache all over, just want to go out of being feeling. I had split pea soup for dinner last night, but even that was a bit much to bear today, so I’ve had thin gruel.  I’m sure I’ll be all right by Thursday when I am supposed to entertain the LASFS, but I’m sure not going to get any work done today.





My Windows 10 condolences

Dear Jerry:

Several months ago Windows 10 installed itself on my computer right after I clicked the button saying not right now (or whatever it said).

Windows 10 is a severely crippled version of Windows 7. The start menu is ugly, dysfunctional, and inflexible. The new Edge browser is a caricature of a web browser. I wondered if it had been an undergraduate software project rather than something developed by experienced professionals. The loss of color in title bars and the flatness of dialog boxes seemed a giant step backwards for a user interface. And system controls are excessively deep in the settings menu system.

Fortunately within a couple of hours of being bludgeoned into using Windows 10, I discovered Classic Shell. It restored my hierarchical, nested folder submenus to a Windows 7 level of usability. And its free. Highly recommended. It has worked flawlessly. And it allows you to switch to the Windows 10 menu with a single click should you want to remind yourself just how badly Microsoft messed up its user interface.

And fortunately Internet Explorer was still available with Windows 10. So I am no longer bothered by Windows 10 as it now looks and behaves pretty much as my old Windows 7 did.

For backing up only changed files and for comparing contents of folders I recommend Free File Sync. I back up my daily changes to three different external devices with just a couple of clicks, but I suspect your archiving needs are more complicated than mine.

Best regards,

–Harry M.


Well, now, I wouldn’t say that.   Windows 10 is actually an improvement in many ways. Its problem is that the instructions for using it are wretched. I’ll have a lot about that in Chaos Manor Reviews when I recover enough to write it. Windows 10 is meant for large, fast, modern systems, and it’s pretty good for those; I presume it won’t self install on any system that’s not powerful enough for it. One secret I found about Search: you don’t need a “go do it” command when you type in a Search Window, whether it’s Cortana or an Explorer instance. Once you type something it goes for it like a retriever dog, and if you continue to type it redirects itself.  There’s no consistent indication that this is happening: it just does it, and sometimes there’s and action bar and sometimes there isn’t, and if the area searched is huge it may take a while – tens of seconds to minutes – for the first signs that anything is happening to appear.  It’s taking me longer to correct my c

paragraphs than it does to write them, so I won’t go on.  Stay tuned.

I will say I wouldn’t put Windows 10 on an older slow system; at least I don’t think I will.

Another thing, FreeCell addicts will need to get a free copy of the old Windows 7 FreeCell.  You actually have it if you were converted from Windows 7 to 10; it’s not all that hard to find, and searching for it online doesn’t take long if you can’t find it.  More on that when I can type again.



Over half country dislikes Trump

“Mr. Trump’s real problem is, something over half the country as a whole, among these a major slice of conservatives, dislikes and distrusts him.”
Hhmm. Based on voting percentages, about 70 to 75% of voters (so far) do not like Cruz enough to vote for him. That compares to about 60% that didn’t vote for Trump. Don’t people that make these claim, quoted at the top, look at the other side of these numbers?



Apples vs. Oranges Jerry,

I failed to state what should have been obvious – I didn’t specify “as measured by nationally polled favorable/unfavorable ratings” when I said “Mr. Trump’s real problem is, something over half the country as a whole, among these a major slice of conservatives, dislikes and distrusts him”.

This apparently led reader Walt into the error of logically equating that statement to “…about 70 to 75% of voters (so far) do not like Cruz enough to vote for him.” (It’s 71%, FWIW.) (For Trump so far, 65%.)

In a multi-candidate field, “did not vote for” is not at all the same thing as “actively rated unfavorably in a poll.” Put another way, Walt is equating “failed to like more than all others” to “actively disliked”.

For actual data, check out

Trump’s current overall rolling-average unfavorable are 61%. The highest unfavorable rating of any winning Presidential candidate since

1992 is 49%. QED – nominating him would be electoral suicide for the Republican Party.

Hillary’s current rolling average unfavorable number? 53.3%, also higher than any modern winning candidate. Which points out the size of the opportunity the Republican Party would be blowing by nominating the even-more disliked Trump.

Cruz’s equivalent number? 48.6. Not great, but electable.

Forgive my irascible tone, but it’s an important point, and claiming “it ain’t so” based on non-equivalent numbers no more refutes it than would sticking one’s fingers in one’s ears and humming very loudly.



And over half the nation’s voters say Hillary is not honest or trustworthy.  Those are the top two candidates for President. We live in interesting times. I am not making predictions at this time. I will remind you that Trump has gathered some attractive endorsements from fairly astute politicians.



We never lost a major engagement

Dear Jerry –

Since the subject of Vietnam has come up, I’ve got to comment.

Speaking as a two-tour Vietnam vet, I agree with your larger assessment of why we lost. It just goes to show that the adage, “Amateurs study tactics, professionals study logistics,” has considerable truth.

That said, your correspondent who stated that “We never lost a major engagement” should qualify that with a discussion of what constitutes “major”. If getting a battalion chewed up and spit out doesn’t count, I’m not sure what does. I refer, of course, to the battle of Ong Thanh, 17 Oct 1967. An arrogant battalion commander fed two companies of 2nd Battalion, 28th Regiment (1st Div) into an ambush by a reinforced VC regiment, in terrain which severely hindered the air and artillery support which was our biggest advantage, at 10:1 odds. That’s 10:1 in favor of the VC.  After inflicting 90% casualties on the US forces, the regiment withdrew in good order, and 22 VC bodies were recovered. God save us from  more engagements like that one, and let’s not consign the lessons it teaches to the memory hole.


Jim Martin

I never said we didn’t have some incompetent tactics, especially as we transitioned from guerilla war to Battalion and Regimental engagements. As the German General Staff commented, Americans know less and learn faster than anyone they had ever fought.


There’s a new theory about why some cancer therapies fail. It’s about timing. (WP)


By Ariana Eunjung Cha March 14 at 10:09 AM

One of the most disheartening things about cancer care today is the amount of guesswork that goes into drug treatments. It isn’t uncommon for patients to go through two, three or more therapies before finding success or running out of time.

Scientists now know that genetics explain why some drugs may work work miraculously in one person but not at all in another. Mike Hemann and Doug Lauffenburger of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have just come up with evidence that timing may be just as critical.

The researchers reported in the journal Cell that their work shows that tumors evolve though various stages and that some are more vulnerable to drugs than others. This suggests, Hemann said in an interview, that there may be a “windows” of opportunity for drugs that had previously been written off as failures.

The team’s work grew out of observations that the new arsenal of targeted therapy cancer drugs often appeared to have initial success, but that tumors came back within four to six months after having developed resistance. By using computational models and experiments on mice, they found that the progression of this resistance doesn’t appear to be linear. That is, the patients aren’t necessarily becoming more resistant to a drug over time. Instead it appears that the period of transition from a non-resistant state to a resistant state actually may be the time when it is most sensitive to drug therapy.

“You can think of it as replacing a roof on a house,” Hemann explained. “The most sensitive time is when you’ve taken down the old roof but before you’ve put the new one back on.”

Hemann said that if providers can predict the evolution of a tumor, they can target it along the way.

“If we know the route to resistance,” he said, “we can ambush tumor cells.”



‘We must always challenge ourselves’: Scott Kelly to retire after year in space (WP)


By Niraj Chokshi March 12

Less than two weeks after returning from a year in space, Scott Kelly says he plans to retire from the astronaut life.

Kelly, who has amassed a cult following thanks in large part to the steady stream of photos from space he posted to social media, said Friday that he will retire from NASA effective April 1.

“Our universe is a big place, and we have many millions of miles yet to explore. My departure from NASA is my next step on that journey,” Kelly said in a Facebook post.

Kelly, who turned 52 in February, returned from his year-long mission earlier this month, earning himself the American record for most time spent in space. He orbited the earth 5,440 times — traveling an estimated 143,846,525 miles — and conducted three spacewalks during that trip.

He also became something of a celebrity along the way. From space, Kelly appeared on early-morning and late-night television and posted hundreds of photos to Twitter, amassing more than 1 million followers.

But his primary mission was to help further NASA’s understanding of the effects of extended time in space on the human body.

“In his year aboard the space station, he took part in experiments that will have far-reaching effects, helping us pave the way to putting humans on Mars and benefiting life on Earth,” Brian Kelly, director of Flight Operations at NASA’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, said in a statement. Scott Kelly previously visited space in 1999, 2007 and 2010.

He joined the U.S. Navy in 1987 and NASA in 1996. And while he plans to retire in just a few weeks, Kelly said his will continue to work with the space agency.

“I remain ever committed and dedicated to the service of human exploration and advancement whether in space or on Earth,” he said. “… I will provide periodic medical samples and support other testing in much the same way that my twin brother, former astronaut Mark Kelly, has made himself available for the Twins Study throughout this past mission.”

Kelly was born in New Jersey in 1964 and is a graduate of the State University of New York Maritime College and the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.



Project Orion documentary must See!

Dear Jerry,

Highest Recommendation, a BBC documentary on the history of Project Orion. Believe it or not, even the conservative./leftish “Beeb” overall finds merit in the idea. Along with many of those interviewed, I cannot help believing that someone is going to build one of these and get out there. It’s just too tempting, and there is no shortage of desperate people who will realize it’s raining soup, and this is the bucket to catch it.


When Freeman Dyson first proposed Orion for serious consideration, I was a member of the advanced proposal evaluation at Boeing. The senior members of the team were sharp cookies. I got to play with it, and our conclusion was that we could not only land a man on the Moon, we could put up an entire Colony and possibly start making some revenue:  movies, of course, but low gravity – i/6 gee –, various materials testing, an absolutely biologically isolated test lab, and various other ideas.  I understand there was resistance from SAC – Orion used a lot of nuclear warheads – and of course all kinds of environmental problems.  But it sure was fun to play with!






Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.




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