Category Archives: Computer

Electronic Publications – Update.

One day, a few months ago now, I was just firing up my Firefox EPUB Reader extension to do a bit of serious reading, when the program suddenly disappeared – never to be seen again!

Strange, I thought! Have I done something wrong?

I went through the usual sequence of opening up first Firefox, then the extension, but never got as far as selecting a book, for the extension was no longer working.

Google had an answer for the problem, of course. The author of the extension had apparently not realised that a section of code he had used had a timeout limitation, and the time limit had been reached. The Firefox extension simply would not work any more – ever!

One solution to the problem was to write a new program for the EPUB reader, which they did, and provided a new version of the extension. Unfortunately, the new version was a real dog in comparison to the old one, and I soon realised that I would not be able to live with the quirks and foibles that were quickly apparent. For example, the presentation was no longer full screen, but any attempt to enlarge it usually involved a crash and having to start again.

No, a better alternative was needed, so I started to look around. I found a program called Azardi which seemed interesting, but it was written some time ago, and for an earlier version of Windows. So with Windows 10 there would be no guarantees! By this time, however, I had a fair collection of EPUB documents, and definitely needed a means of reading them. It was worth a try, at least.

With Azardi installed, I gave it a whirl. The first thing I noticed is that as the program is associated with EPUB files, it is only necessary to double click on the document you wish to read, and it appears on the screen before you. This was never possible with the Firefox extension, and opening a document with it was somewhat tedious.

The next thing I noticed is that there are choices available in the setup; a 2-page display, or a 3-page display, for example. There were no hiccups when I expanded the display to fill the screen, and in fact the program is behaving beautifully.

So for those of you who are sold on the EPUB form of publication, like myself, I heartily recommend that you try Azard for yourself!

Azardi

Advertisements

Shock, Horror – No Internet!!!

It started out a normal day, with me accessing my favourite news sites and email, then everything suddenly went haywire. Spurious unconnected webpages started popping up of their own accord in new tabs, and the sites I already had lost connection.

I use a wifi hotspot, and it does sometimes get a bit troublesome, but nothing as bad as this. The computer was giving me a “Not connected – No Connections are Available” indication in the task bar, just as if the wifi had not been switched on at all.

I switched off the wifi, then switched it on again. This is sometimes enough to cure the problem, but this time it made no difference at all.

Ok, so lets think about this. It is not normal to suddenly go from a working system to a non-working system within a few seconds. There is something else at work here.

I switched off the wifi again, and disconnected it from the USB port. I then reconnected the USB cable at the computer end. Then I disconnected the wifi from the USB cable, and reconnected that. I then switched on the wifi.

Lo and behold – I have my Internet connection back again!

What do we learn from this experience?

  • 1. Computers will sometimes miss-inform you because they don’t know any better. Whenever there is an apparent problem, it is up to you to prove that the problem really exists.
  • 2. Most often when my computer starts to give trouble, I find it is usually bad connections. The wiping action of disconnecting and reconnecting is often enough to clear the problem by cleaning the contacts. Make this your first course of action in the event of trouble. I guess in 80% – 90% of cases it will do the trick.
  • 3. Where you have plug-in modules, such as memory cards, I recommend smearing the contacts very lightly with Vaseline. This keeps the contacts from contamination in humid and dirty environments. It also reduces the amount of force necessary to plug in the module.

Hidden Needles in Haystacks.

I was running a search on my computer to find some files I had mislaid. I wasn’t even sure of the names, but guessed that they were jpeg files, as they were pictures. Well, having so little to go on, the computer took a while to finish listing all the .jpeg files on the machine, as you can imagine. It took even longer for me to sift through them to find the files I was looking for – which I eventually did.

While doing so, I noticed certain files being repeated very often, and this intrigued me, for they were not files I was familiar with. I clicked on one of them, and found myself in a folder well down on the chain, in an unexpected part of the hard drive. The first part of the address was:-
Local Disk(C:)> Users > JS > AppData > Roaming > Mozilla > Firefox > Profiles > 93m8vpct.default

There were many files in this folder that I knew nothing about, but as the size was nearly 200Mb I thought it worthwhile investigating. The problem was to find them again!

When I used File Explorer to follow the chain listed above, it came up with only Local Disk(C:)>Users > JS > AppData > Roaming > Mozilla > Firefox > Profiles > c9l1c1v6.default

There was no sign of 93m8vpct.default at all!

The trick then was to paste the missing folder name into the search facility, and let File Explorer find it for you, which it did! To avoid further problems, I cut that folder, and pasted it onto the Desktop, where I could see it.

It turned out that many of these files were duplicates of files already in use, and some were the result of epub’s being generated and then disappearing. I thought I had lost them, but they were there after all. I was able to move the files I wanted to their rightful place, and delete the duplicates. I saved probably 150 Mb of disk space – very helpful.

So, File Explorer will access parts of the hard drive that you are not supposed to see when running a search on its own. The more accurate you can be when asking what to search for, the better chance you have of finding those hidden files quickly.