bunsen_h: (Tuxbert)
My employer may be loaning me a new(er) laptop soon, to enable me to do some work from home.  By default, it will probably have Windows 10 installed, though my work will really need to be done in a Linux environment.  Our usual way of handling that is to work in a virtual machine such as VirtualBox.

How hard should I be pushing to get our people to chuck out the Win'10 OS and install Linux directly on the machine?  Or to use some earlier version of Windows, such as 7 or 8 or 8.1?  We've got site licenses for at least some of those.

Originally, Win'10 had a host of "features" that many people considered utterly unacceptable.  Freely sharing network passwords with everyone in one's Outlook contact list; automatic and irrevocable installation of OS upgrades; snooping on user activity and uploading the results to μsoft.  Push advertising.  More.  Some of these have been pulled back, some haven't, but I'm under the impression that I still don't want a Win'10 machine on my home network if I can help it.  Have I got that right?

I suppose that one option would be to make the machine dual-bootable, and simply never boot up the Win'10 side.
bunsen_h: (Popperi)
This afternoon I heard a young woman grumbling about having gone to an amusement park and having to wait an hour and a half in line for a 4-minute ride.  That, and some of the discussion in Seanan McGuire's recent post about dealing with crowds in amusement parks, got me thinking.  Why do people have to do this kind of thing?

How about something like: You put your ID in a queue for a ride.  When your turn comes up, if you're not present and ready to got on the ride, you lose your turn.  You're only allowed to be in N queues at once, and only allowed to be in a given queue once at a time.  You can check your position in the queues via an app on a mobile device, or with a device that you can rent from the park.  While you're waiting, you're free to wander around, do activities that don't require waiting, buy stuff, eat stuff, rest/relax, whatever.

Now, I must admit that I'm not a fan of amusement parks.  (I don't like crowds.  I really don't like spending a long time waiting in line for a brief ride; the payoff is too small for the investment.)  So my knowledge and experience are limited.  Am I missing some problem?
bunsen_h: (Popperi)
I've got two desktop computers running at home: an old Windows XP box which I use primarily for recreation, and a new Windows 8 machine which I use mostly for work.  I very much dislike many of the new "features" of the Win8 user interface.  What genius thought that replacing the start menu with a "start screen", and not even allowing me to have the start menu as an unrecommended option, was a good thing?  Supposedly it was done in anticipation of touch-screen computers becoming common, but surely it is obvious that many computer users wouldn't go that route.  I should have done more research before buying.

Each machine has its own keyboard, mouse, and monitor, which makes my desk a tangled mess (even more than it would otherwise be).  I tried one KVM switch (keyboard, video, mouse) from the local Future Shop, to let the two machines share one mouse and keyboard, and also share one monitor.  But I had to return it because the video coming through was intolerably blurry.  Most of the KVM switches that are available would have to be ordered in, and if I'm going to do that, I want to get one that comes recommended by someone I know/trust.  The on-line reviews aren't very helpful, since every item I've seen has both good ("Works fine!") and terrible ("Piece of junk!  And their customer service sucks!  And the toggle is inconvenient / takes 15 seconds to switch, when it works at all / frequently triggers for no good reason!") reviews.

Can any of you give me some recommendations from your own experience about which 2-port USB KVM switches to try, or to avoid?


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