A New Day

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A New Day

This is a personal note.

I am writing this post on a new computer.

It's not new new, but for me it is.

I have been bumping and grinding on an older model with only 8 Gigas of RAM, a processor that doesn't even run some common video programs, etc.

Now, what I have is not top-end, but it puts me back in the running for doing videos and things like that in the modern world.

Wanna know how to do what I just did cheap?

Look at gamers and see what the broke ones do. :) 

I got an older refurbished Dell OptiPlex. Most models are good for what I did and they are all older, but my model is 7040 SFF. You can get one of these computers for a couple of hundred dollars. Mine came with 32 Gigas of RAM, two hard drives (one 1 tetrabyte and one 2 terabytes), a higher-end Intel i7 processor, and a bunch of other goodies. It was about $239. (Hell, I could make good money taking this sucker apart and selling the pieces separately. :) )

Next step. Watch some YouTube videos and see what the broke gamers do to turn this model (Dell OptiPlex) into a modern gaming computer. You invest another hundred-to-two-hundred dollars or so into it for a graphics card, new power module and so on (or more if you want to get shredded for real) and you have a computer that is better than many modern commercial models. It takes some time tinkering, but man is it worth it. At least to me. :) 

I feel like I have had both legs in a cast up to now and I have been set free to roam...


I still have a lot of work installing programs and so on from the older computer, and when I'm done, I'm going to use the older computer to learn Linux on.

But it's a new day for yours truly.

A happy day and a happy me.

For those who like to resonate, I'm like a dog wagging his tail and running in circles. (I'm not peeing on myself, though.)

Yay me!



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Incidentally, my machine runs on Windows 10 Pro.

I'm not going to go the Windows 11 route, ever, due to the forced surveillance.

From here I will go to Linux.

Windows 10 is no great shakes, but it is better than turning my computer into a smartphone with all the Surveillance State drawbacks and none of the advantages like mobility.

(btw - I'm loving this. :) )


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Man, when I look at this, I feel warmth in my heart.


This is one of the main reasons I chose this computer configuration.

Microsoft has no way to sneak in an installation of Windows 11 on me. And it will if it can and I blink. It's already done other crap like that to me.

Windows 11 is pure surveillance state. Windows 10 has some monkey-business in that regard, but nothing like Windows 11 has. So it's easier to stay under the radar of the Predator Class with Windows 10.

What about smartphones and surveillance? Well, I have to have a smartphone just to do certain things these days, but I despise it. I keep it powered off as much as I can.

What's more, doing the current computer my way, it has more firepower than a hell of a lot of Windows 11 computers.


After I learn Linux, I will be leaving the Windows world behind forever.


On another issue, some of the programs I had on my old computer are now available only in subscription mode. So I am replacing all of them with free open-source software, or software with a one time only price.

I only see a reason to pay for a subscription if I get value out of it. And what is one of those values? That would be the technological development of the software. But think about it. I write a lot and I use Word every day. What other technological developments do I want out of a word processor? Word already does too much as it is.

Also, another good reason to pay a subscription is if I want to belong to a tribe. But why would I pay to be part of the tribe of Microsoft Office users? Blech... :) 

So I am migrating, probably to LibreOffice. Why am I telling you this? If anyone is taking a leap like I am, maybe my experience and thoughts will help you in some way.


My main beef with LibreOffice Writer is about finding and replacing nonprinting characters. I constantly use that feature to format text I get off the Internet and other copy/paste places to make the text run smoothly in my text-to-speech programs. I listen to audiobooks a lot better than I read. And I often do both at the same time.

Word does the find and replace I need. LibreOffice Writer does not even find nonprinting characters, much less replace them. However, I found an extension that probably takes care of everything: Alternative Find & Replace for Writer (AltSearch).  This is based on the following Macro, so work-arounds should be easy if trouble arises: Macro AltSearch.

If you are curious about what all this looks like, here is an example by a guy who does what I do. I do it a bit differently, but the concept is the same.

In the worst instance, the Word 2019 on my old computer is still valid (I got it in an educational promotion), but Microsoft says I need to buy a new copy for my new computer. And I refuse to do that, or worse, sign up for the subscription model. So I might keep that in my old computer to use Word whenever I need that function.


Just one more example since I know this is knocking your socks off with excitement. :) 

I use a desktop organizer called Fences by Stardock. But now they are moving to a subscription model only, so to hell with them. They caused me a major headache in the past when they upgraded their program and it bugged out for a couple of weeks. My nice and organized desktop became a pile of rubble. Now they want me to pay for them to do that shit? Hell no. :) 

There are several free alternatives and I chose one that seems a bit clunky called SlideSlide. The freeware Tago Fences is like a simplified copy of Fences and if SlideSlide does not work out, I will use that. It has everything I used in Fences on my old computer. Also, there is another alternative, an enormously attractive software called iTop

So why did I choose SlideSlide? Well, Tago Fences was last updated 10 years ago and SlideSlide gets updates constantly. These updates are different than the ones Fences does. Fences tries to devise new methods of keeping you dependent on them and crap like that. Grubby mofos... :) 

SlideSlide fixes bugs and sporadically adds a new feature or two without rewriting the entire program. Granted, once the main functions are nailed down for this need, there is not much updating to do. But since Microsoft always tweaks Windows, sporadic debugging for alignment is a good thing.

When I started looking, I saw that iTop does all I want and more. As I watched vides and read articles to learn about it, I was drooling. Man, this was a dream come true. And all those great reviews. It even has AI chat included.

Say what?

That is what gave me pause. AI chat? In a desktop organizer? What the hell is that about? So I looked.

iTop is made in China. Oh...

That's why AI chat. Internet connection... duh...

All I need is the damn CCP getting data on everything I do on my computer and training its AI systems through my use like it does with TikTok and mobile devices all over America.

I no longer look at iTop. Reject! :) 


Anywho, that's it for now.

Back to work...

Did I mention that it's on my new computer?...

Woo hoo!



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Bloody hell Michael, if this is you writing on a slow day, I tremble to imagine you writing on a productive day, or fuelled by amphetamines or something.


Incidentally, I've been running Ubuntu(a Linux distro, probably the most popular one) and Libreoffice for a few years.  There's definitely a learning curve coming from Windows.  It's a good idea to have a backup machine and/or partition running Windows to fall back on.  That said, Ubuntu is one of the more user-friendly Windows-like distros.  Likewise, Libreoffice.  It handles .doc(x) files pretty good, but things can get a bit whacky during conversions to and from .odt files, especially certain under-the-hood aspects of formatting -- especially, say, for when one is trying to professionally format one's own novels to upload to disseminators.....

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  • 2 weeks later...

In scootching my programs over from the old computer to the new, I really did have to sacrifice Microsoft Word.

And none too soon.

Look at this shit.

Word tracks your use of language in your writing to make sure it is "inclusive."

Elon showed how it tries to correct you and scolds you.

But it's worse.

How about the gigantic database Microsoft is accumulating from this?

What is Microsoft going to do with all those people in its database who do not write in an inclusive manner?

Send their data to the Pentagon? To China?


I hate not being able to use one feature of Word (the find and replace code thing), but that's a small sacrifice to make to not feel creepy every time I want to write a document.

I feel like a caged animal on display at a zoo with these assholes. I can't take a shit without the secret audience oohing and ahhing. 



I'm fine with Microsoft the inventor and innovator company, even grateful.

I'm fine with Microsoft the marketer company, even when it gets irritating.

Fuck Microsoft the authoritarian and Deep State collaborator.


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