OT Win7 updates

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On 05/21/2016 09:21 PM, Don Y wrote:

One of the QA people has hearing aids that he sometimes turns off. One of our 'features' is the ability to play various wave files for alerts. The feature is almost universally loathed and turned off but he's perfectly happy with the whoops and whistles going off.
That's not the only 'feature' that's been requested by our users where I'm thinking it's really going to be annoying as I implement it. Most of the time it's a trivial project and it's easier to give them what they asked for and let them figure out it wasn't a good idea.
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On 5/21/2016 10:17 PM, rbowman wrote:

Presumably, he's listening to this through a SPEAKER and not HEADPHONES? I.e., so the solution to his "problem" becomes everyone else's problem!

My user sound system supports three "information channels": - background (akin to something you hear when you're not focused on something more important; sort of like background music, background surroundings, etc.) - foreground (gee, clever name, eh? this is something that you are focused on; the primary channel that has your attention, overriding the background in terms of importance -- but playing alongside/atop it) - alerts/interrupts (yet another clever name? these are distractions or interruptions that are competing for your attention with the foreground; terse "events" "off to the side", so to speak)
As users can have different hearing acuity in each ear, the user (headphones) can adjust the "balance" of the background channel. But, it's basically a single, monaural "information source".
Similarly, the balance of the foreground channel can be adjusted to "position" it in the "center" (whatever that means for this user) of their aural field -- even if that is distinctly OFF center.
The alerts are characterized by their individual sounds (bell, buzzer, chime, etc. -- akin to your wav files). But, they can also be positioned in the aural "space". So, a chime can sound "up to the left" that indicates an incoming phone call. Another buzzer might sound "off to the right" to remind you that you have something "scheduled" for this time. A mallard's quack might sound straight ahead to alert you to someone's presence at the front door. etc.
Each "interrupt" is essentially asking you, "do you want to shift your attention away from whatever the foreground channel might be saying to you, in order to address the event that 'it' is trying to alert you?" Do you want to "shift your focus" to some other competing information channel?
Note that you might not be able to "pause" your foreground "dialog" (imagine you're talking to someone on that channel). And, you don't want the interruption to "persist" as it would require conscious action to silence it -- while you are presumably FOCUSED on something else! The alerts want to be almost percussive in nature -- so they slip in between words, conceptually.
But, when they are that brief and UNEXPECTED, it might be difficult to remember what you heard -- was that a beep or a bop? Hence the value of being able to place them spatially; you can remember where they came from and use that as a clue to their likely intent (or, even categorize them: things from the left are important to me; things from the right, not so much).
The toughest part of all this is figuring out how to let the user define these "alerts" in a manner that makes sense to *him*. You don't want to force every user to memorize a dozen different possible alerts. Nor do you want to force "adept" users to have to query the device to clarify what some "generic" alert actually meant. The more you can "customize", the harder the system becomes to use for the typical user (hence the need to design smart defaults). In the case of the alerts, the user has to assign a particular sound *and* a particular location in space. In such a way that he can later associate meaning with that combination.
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On 05/22/2016 12:59 AM, Don Y wrote:

Yep. That is the problem behind the concept. Typically the dispatchers have a hands-free headset and aren't plugged into the computer. There are visual alerts too but presumably a color blind person might miss a line turning red. Aural cues are fine if you can isolate them to an individual. The same would go for speech to text interfaces like Dragon or the new gadgets. The last thing you need in an open office type environment is someone chatting with Siri or Cortana.
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On 5/22/2016 11:00 AM, rbowman wrote:

So, no one *should* hear the chirps, then? Or, are the headsets acoustically transparent? (Or, are the old coots simply DEAF and have the volume turned up so high that you can hear "through" them regardless??)

Add a second channel to communicate the "redness" (whatever red signifies). E.g., blinking, inverting video, etc. About 7% of men are color blind. (and most of the rest of us only had 8 crayons in our crayola box! :> )

In my case, I use a BT earpiece -- it gives me output and input capability. It also lets me find where the user is located in the environment without burdening him/her with lots of OTHER equipment; the earpiece is "required" to communicate so users understand the need for it and can rationalize wearing it moreso than a device that tells the system where they are located.
[The problem is that earpieces are just one ear. I've been looking for a similarly lightweight stereo headset (with microphone) but haven't found one that I like -- yet.]

Yes. I support a gestural interface alongside speech in my "non-visual" user interface -- as there are times when talking aloud would be disturbing to others (e.g., in a corporate boardroom, in a class, etc.) AND times when you don't want others to know what you are asking the system to do for you! (e.g., what's Mr. Davis' first name? I really would not like to have to ASK him to remind me of it while I'm chatting with him! That would be pretty embarassing! OTOH, if I can figure it out *before* we part ways, I can offer it up in my farewell wishes: "Nice talking to you, *BOB*!" And, I can add a reference to his wife/kids: "Say 'hello' to Liz for me!")
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On 05/22/2016 12:21 PM, Don Y wrote:

(Amazon.com product link shortened)
Most only cover one ear. Our support people use them and I can coach them when they're on the phone with a client. Personally I would have a problem with them. My hearing is fine but I've always had trouble separating the signal from the noise. I'm the guy on the telephone with my finger stuck in my free ear or having trouble following a conversation in a noisy restaurant. I can function without distraction in noisy environments but that consists of tuning it all out.
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On 5/22/2016 12:32 PM, rbowman wrote:

Yeah, that's the problem: I need something binaural for the spatializer.

So, why do folks complain about the beeps and bops? Or, is it just an issue when you are *developing* the codebase (getting tired of hearing all those noises just to verify that your code is behaving as it should)?
Stub the routine to flash a message instead of playing a WAV? printf("The sound you would now be hearing is " + filename + "\n");

Understood. That's the reason my aural interface just has the three channels and uses them the way it does. Many people can't handle multiple competing sound sources -- esp if they are directed AT them (not "dismissable" at some subconscious level -- cocktail party effect)
E.g., I find many social events stressful because several people will try to talk to you at once -- different subjects/conversations -- each oblivious to the fact that you're engaged in another conversation at the moment. "Rude" to ignore any of them so I struggle to try to *hear* each of them even as they talk over each other.
[I think in quieter environments, folks can more readily see that you're engaged in another conversation and defer their comments until an appropriate lull. OTOH, in crowded rooms, most folks can barely hear themselves THINK, let alone hear who might be talking to YOU!]
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On 05/22/2016 01:54 PM, Don Y wrote:

Yes, in house it's when the QA people are testing the functionality but I would not be surprised to find the wav files disabled on site although it would depend on the personnel. Working a dispatch center tends to be stressful and I don't see adding additional annoyances as a good thing. otoh, because it is stressful turnover is high and some people may need all the prompting they can get.
I'd never make it. "911, what is your problem?" --- "Oh, really? Your problem is you're dumber than a box of rocks. Good bye."
This really does happen occasionally. The Gestapo has nothing on a gaggle of concerned citizens with cellphones and 911 on speed dial. I have to hand it to the people that can handle the idiots with polite professionalism as still switch gears when the shit is really hitting the fan. It's like Russian roulette when you pick up the line.
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On 5/22/2016 6:46 PM, rbowman wrote:

Yup. I have the same attitude towards "support" (some really challenging users out there! :< )

HoA Nazi's
Neighbor behind me did a stint as a dispatcher after retiring. Cop-across-the-street's wife, likewise. Neither seemed to stay with it for very long!
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On Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 12:49:24 AM UTC-4, Don Y wrote:

It's not essential to rerun a bus cycle. The 386 and all subsequent Intel CPUs don't need to rerun bus cycles because the MMU and paging are inside the chip. The CPU knows whether or not to run a bus cycle before it ever runs it in the first place. In other words, it's an MMU and paging done right. Kind of important, if some malicious program attempts to write to a memory address to shut down the power grid or take your nuke off line.

The same can be said for any product that has enormous acceptance and an installed base, especially a product that runs software. The real world isn't like you, sitting in your shop, where you say you don't reuse existing code, you just toss it and start all over from scratch.
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On Friday, May 20, 2016 at 9:39:25 PM UTC-4, rbowman wrote:

CPU series timeline is not necessarily the same as when other chips that extended the capabilities came out. You didn't need a MMU to use a Z8000 and probably 99% of the designs never used it at all. As I said, from a quick google search it looks like those two chips you're talking about came out in the early 80s. There is a data sheet dated 1985 and a patent application from I think 1981. That is the point that the whole industry was bringing out more advanced chips. In 1982 you had the 286 that had the MMU on board. Beyond that, Don tries to make it sound like you really could build a robust multi-tasking system with memory management and paging around an 8086 or similar timeframe CPU. You couldn't build a practical system, because not only was hardware lacking, but even if you had the hardware, the performance of those early CPUs wasn't up to it. Nor was there an OS.
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On 05/21/2016 07:00 AM, trader_4 wrote:

Have it your own way.
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On 05/19/2016 08:47 AM, trader_4 wrote:

My father picked Beta because of the hi-fi audio. He didn't know VHS had the same thing.

Both 8086 & 8088 are 16-bit (data bus) internally. As you probably know, they had 20-bit address buses.
BTW, I think I did see one PC clone that used a 8086.
Also, there were 80186 & 80188 processors that had a few new features.
[snip]
--
Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.us/
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On Friday, May 20, 2016 at 3:34:26 PM UTC-4, Mark Lloyd wrote:

Yes, I meant the data bus was 8 bits on the 8088.

IDK who all made them, but Olivetti was one. AT&T bought them and resold them as AT&T IBM compatible PCs. Then AT&T went one step further and came up with their own improved version, that used the 286. It still had the XT bus though, so it was a bastardized thing.

Those were extremely popular CPU for embedded designs, but AFAIK never used in any PC applications. They had on board DMA, timers, interrupt controller, etc, that made them very attractive for embedded applications. But the fact that those on board peripherals were different from the stand alone chips that provided that functionality in the PC made them incompatible, or at least not worth the trouble.
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On Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at 9:05:58 AM UTC-4, Mayayana wrote:

This just happened to me last night. I have been getting the Windows 10 update pop-ups but have been closing/ignoring them.
Last night I noticed my monitor cycling through a full-screen white-green-red-blue background. I couldn't wake the computer up with the keyboard or mouse. I cycled the power, but it just kept coming back to the color-cycling.
I Googled the color-cycling issue and found a post in a forum that just happened to be for my same model computer. I read that if you press the sleep key (crescent moon) on the keyboard, it would wake the system up.
When I did that, I was presented with a "Welcome to Windows 10" screen. Clicking "Next" presented a "Here's the legal stuff..." screen. When I clicked Decline I got a pop-up that asked me to confirm that I was declining my free Windows 10 upgrade. Is stated that it would reinstall my previous OS. I clicked decline and about 15 minutes alter I heard the system reboot with the Win7 music. I haven't had a chance to use the system yet, so I hope everything is intact.
I am not happy at having the upgrade forced onto my machine.

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I'm glad you said this.
I got: "To use this Web site's full functionality, you must be running Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or later."
I'm using ie 9 but that's not good enough for it!
So I toggled active-x and tried it both positions and it still gave the same message.         
It said "If you prefer to use a different Web browser, you can get updates from the Microsoft Download Center. " so I went there but couldn't find Windows 7 SP1 Rollup Update.
Oh well.

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| I'm using ie 9 but that's not good enough for it! | | So I toggled active-x and tried it both positions and it still gave | the same message. | | It said "If you prefer to use a different Web browser, you can get | updates from the Microsoft Download Center. " so I went there but | couldn't find Windows 7 SP1 Rollup Update. | | Oh well.
I'm wondering whether the whole rollup thing might just be a way to get people back to Internet Explorer. What a weird requirement. But maybe it makes sense technically. MS is trying a new method of just downloading file changes rather than whole files. That, and the ActiveX requirement, indicates that they may want to hang around and rifle through things while you're updating, in order to collect data on how it works out.
In any case, here are links for the actual download without the hassles:
Actual link for 32-bit version that doesn't require letting MS onto one's computer with ActiveX enabled:
http://download.windowsupdate.com/d/msdownload/update/software/updt/2016/05/windows6.1-kb3125574-v4-x86_ba1ff5537312561795cc04db0b02fbb0a74b2cbd.msu
Link for 64-bit:
http://download.windowsupdate.com/d/msdownload/update/software/updt/2016/05/windows6.1-kb3125574-v4-x64_2dafb1d203c8964239af3048b5dd4b1264cd93b9.msu
Link to list of actual files involved, in case anyone wants to know about that:
http://download.microsoft.com/download/E/B/0/EB084E02-4173-444E-9438-53972AE2F9E0/3125574.csv
The download is an MSU file, which is actually a CAB file relabeled to work with Windows Installer. There are CABs within CABs. There are over 35,000 files altogether. But MS has come up with a clever way to package only file changes rather than whole files. Those, too, are compressed. So it's not easy to figure out exactly what's in the package. I didn't find any list of KB numbers.
I was inspecting the package because I wondered what kind of dubious things might be in it. From what I've been able to figure out, it seems MS has not added more Windows 10 trojan horses, but they apparently did include some updates to the telemetry spyware. I've never looked into the details of that to know what the story is, so I'm not sure what the implications are or whether it can be disabled.
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On Sat, 21 May 2016 08:27:38 -0400, "Mayayana"

Well, they've always (more than 15 years?) insisted that updates to MS products be dl'd with IE, so is this different? Maybe for just this reason, to keep people using IE, after Netscape came out.

Thank you so much. I made a point to try this first with Firefox and it's dl'ing fine. It first wanted to execute it, because of the .msu, I guess, but I'm only saving it, for another machine.

I'm sure you've told us as much about that file as I could glean.
Thanks a lot.

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| Well, they've always (more than 15 years?) insisted that updates to MS | products be dl'd with IE, so is this different?
I didn't know that. I've never downloaded anything from MS via IE. I haven't had IE online since about 1999. I download SDKs, service packs, etc and it's never insisted that I need to use IE. Maybe you mean going to the Windows Update site? In any case, it's indefensible for them to say that.
| Thank you so much. I made a point to try this first with Firefox and | it's dl'ing fine. It first wanted to execute it, because of the .msu, | I guess, but I'm only saving it, for another machine. |
I save all such patches. One never knows when they might be unavailable. Microsoft have far more broken links on their sites than any other domain I know of.
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Could you please post the link for the 32 bit version, if you still know it. I couldn't get it the normal ways.
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