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I have been a closet geek ever since getting in trouble for taking apart the family lawn mower and, uh, well, not exactly fixing it so it would run again. But I DID get the broken washing machine running again not too long after that. I remember getting my first copy of "How to Fix Damn Near Everything" by Franklynn Peterson back in 1978 and there were some other do-it-yourself books before that.

My mom gave all her kids - well, just the boys! - Commodore C=64 computers when they first came out. My sister brings this up regularly and I'm afraid that because she did not get one of these marvelous inventions to play with she has been way behind the tech curve ever since. (Update: The Commodore 64 turns 30!)

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Word to the Wise

Don't wait for your computer. Make your computer wait for you.

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Unable to type into Youtube search box and other problems

Browser: Chromium 20 on Ubuntu 12.04

Recently I began having problems with Youtube. Some of the symptoms were erractic behavior of the volume slider or difficulty trying to move forward or backward in a video. The most maddening was not being able to type more than a couple of characters in the search box after watching a video. Sometimes the cursor would not even appear in the search box and no character. But if I typed and then hit return Youtube would complete my search even though I never saw what I typed.

The same thing would happen in Google Maps. Once I viewed a map I would have the same problems with the  search box. No characters would show up but suggestions based on what I had typed so far would appear.

It appears many users are having similar problems though most of the posts I've read have to do with Youtube. I've seen similar reports from users using Chrome, Chromium, and Firefox. Many suggestions and fixes listed but none seem to totally solve the problem. Many blame Youtube, some blame Adobe Flash, others blame the new flash version that ships with Chrome (Pepper).

I finally figured out what was causing the problem for me. A few weeks back while in Google Maps I enabled the new "Maps GL". My system seemed to meet the hardware requirements. I didn't really notice a huge improvement in Maps but didn't really take the time to play around with it. And I forgot about it.

Today, after an extremely frustrating time searching the web for solutions I decided to turn off Maps GL and revert to the standard view. Suddenly the search box was working normally again and repeated viewings and searches on Youtube worked normally.

If you found this article in your frustrating search for a solution check and see if you've enabled Maps GL in Google Maps. It just might solve your problem.

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Trying Out Orfium

Trying out Orfium - a new service similar to Bandcamp. Here's an example of their player. I like it and the service however this player does not function properly on Chrome or Chromium right now. After the track finishes (you can skip to the end to test it) the play/pause button does not finish refreshing. It seems to get stuck. Refreshing the broswer brings it back. Working on it with support. 

Poof! Instant metronome

Need an instant metronome? Just type "metronome" into any Google search box on your computer or on your phone and you'll get a simple metronome adjustable from 40 to 208 bpm.

 

Now I get it

It's dawning on me why this is so hard. I mean, I used to love to write - journals, poetry, long letters, music. It's the tools that get in the way. Writing with pen and paper makes it easy to express subtle meanings - the shape and size of the script, extra strokes that add meaning. Many of these things are unconscious and maybe even reveal too much. But I'm fascinated with the possiblities of writing on the web and love looking at all the creative ways people use to get beyond mere typed text. Links and pictures and even music make it easy to go beyond the words. I especially love the hyperlinks that become more like additional information included in a footnote or in parentheses. Some posts contain so much extra optional information it's easy to get lost in an endless series of links but it's fun, too, like following random trails through the woods. Oh, let's see where this one goes. But the tools aren't under my fingers and that's where things go wrong. I get bogged down in trying to do something simple like add a link or make something bold or italic and can't even think about even more expressive tools and then I lose that train of thought - the flow. Yes, I'm still waiting for the day when there will be a direct hook-up to my brain and the music I hear will appear on the screen for some final touchup editing and the words that I think will instantly appear without the filter of my fumbling fingers. Sigh - not in this lifetime. So in my 50's I continue to struggle to be able to just get a few things happening without too much thought and calculation and let the ideas flow. In my whole life I've only had two pieces of music come to me whole and complete enough to be able to hold onto them long enough to transcibe. Everything else is like vapor. I enjoy it while it's here but it's so quickly gone. Still beats listening to the radio, though. Speaking of the radio - well - I am listening to a sort of radio at the moment. One of the random plays at Magnatune brought me to this artist: Shira Kammen. Check out Music of Waters.

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