Steam Fail?

I’m a Mac user, babie. None of that Windows crap for me. Well… except for work… and except for when I want to use something that doesn’t run on a Mac.

Jen has inspired me to try my hand at gaming so I installed World of Warcraft on my Mac. It works fine. Cool. Then there was the game I tried to play the last time I tried to get into gaming… which was something like 2012 or so? Star Wars: The Old Republic. That puppy doesn’t run on Mac.

So what’s a red headed Mac douche to do? Emulate, bitches! I installed Parallels and Windows 11. That works fantastically. Groovy like you’ve read about. Next, I installed Steam. That seems okay except that I always always always lose my password and had to jump through 2000000 hoops to actually get in. Once that mess was clean I downloaded and installed Star Wars. Success! Then I had to go through another 100000 password hoops before finally getting into the game and finding out that it doesn’t work with a track pad. I’m sure it works fine if I had an actual mouse with two buttons, but for the moment?

Fail, apparently. Bummer… for now.

What’s Up for Sunday?

Jen has to get up early for work tomorrow so I should get up early too and do some car music. What do you think? Then when I get home I should put leads on anything I manage to finish during the car music. Sound good? We have something going on in the afternoon that’s going to pull me away from things for an hour or so. That’s cool with you, isn’t it?

After that… Halloween. Covid-19 Halloween. Covid-19 Halloween The Second Coming. Shit. Last year the city canceled it all. This year it’s going off as usual. We won’t be playing along. We’ll be hiding in the back of the house. I’ll probably be mixing something. I think you’ll be okay with it. I hope you will, at least.

So should I install Parallels on my MacBook Pro so that I can play Windows games? I had been playing Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic a little. I can’t play that on my Mac. If I get Parallels I should be able to play it. I wonder how much the software costs. Would you think less of me if I got it?

The Bruins are playing The Panthers tonight. They kicked our ass the other night but it was overshadowed by something to do with the sexual abuse scandal that came out of Chicago recently. I don’t know the details, I just know that a lot of people got the sack. I really need to learn the details of this story but I am still really furious over the fact that the catholic church overlooked the sexual abuse of children for decades and any time I come across a similar story I just want to fucking vomit all over the people responsible and I do not want to vomit today. You know what I mean, don’t you?

Now I am pissed off. I didn’t want to be pissed off.

To make matters worse, it’s pouring rain out. Shit. I am so sick of rain.

Desk Craziness

Forgive me, but I am going to reuse a picture I posted yesterday.

Working from home has caused some desk setup questions that I didn’t want to deal with, but I think I finally have.

Prior to social distance I had two laptops on my desk in our home office.  I used my MacBook Pro along with a second monitor for all but the eight hours I was telecommuting on Thursdays.  While telecommuting, I switched to a second laptop, running Windows 10.  I used the same second monitor.  I have a 3-1 adapter that has a USB 2.0, HDMI, and USB C input into a single USB C plug.  I had my USB dock, my monitor, and my power all running into it.  When I switched from Mac to Windows I’d just pull the adapter out of one machine and plug it into the other.  Done.

Once the lockdown started I brought my work PC home from Waltham and used that instead of the Windows laptop.  I couldn’t use the same monitor cable for both machines, and the desktop doesn’t have a USB C port, so I was pulling plugs in and out twice a day.

On top of that, Jen and I are both working from home, both in the same room, and both having to join meetings at the same time.  To deal with this I moved my Windows laptop to our bedroom and jokingly called it the conference room.  At first I was using a dinner tray table as a desk, then I setup one of Jen’s old desks instead, and then Jen brought a monitor, a keyboard, and a mouse out and turned the spot into an actual work station.

Yesterday Jen and I both had meetings scheduled for the better part of the day so I bit the bullet and moved my Waltham desktop into the bedroom and spent the whole day in there.  I was planning to move it back to the office this weekend, but instead I talked it over with Jen and we decided to keep a Windows desk in the bedroom and an Apple desk in the office.

Now I am a two desk crazy person.  Certifiably.

237/365

Untitled

The minute the lock down ends, my Waltham machine goes back to Waltham and I move all my stuff back to the office. This is temporary.

Kinda Christmas Shopping

We didn’t go Christmas shopping this morning. More like Christmas reconnaissance.

First, we look for Windows based systems and hardware…


Then when we had our fill of windows we go and look at Apple based systems and hardware…


This is what insufferable computer nerds do. I proudly wave my nerd flag high.

Battery Killer

This is just a quick observation about how you should pay attention to warning messages.

I was in between meetings at work today. I had my MacBook Pro with me so I opened it up to check my mail. One email needed a quick response but I had to use one of our applications to look up a relevant piece of data. The app doesn’t run on Mac so I opened up Parallels to run it in Windows. As it loaded I got a warning saying that I was running on battery, blah blah blah. I ignored it.

20 minutes later I was shutting down and I noticed the battery percentage had dropped 20%. TWENTY PERCENT! Holy cow, Parallels was right to warn me! Sheesh! I should pay more attention to stuff like that.

Microsoft Blues

I’m having one of those, “I want Microsoft to die and go away and never come back” kind of mornings.

Just before Thanksgiving I inherited a laptop running Windows 8.1. It has a touch screen and everything. I set it up to VPN to work and have used it twice for telecommuting so far. Today was supposed to be the third day.

At about 8:45 I turned the lappy on and went down cellar to flip the laundry from the washer to the dryer. When I came back it was in the middle of the mean ol’ update fiasco. Windows updates were installing. Yippee. I waited for it to finish. Then it needed a reboot. Okay, so I signed in over my phone and set up my call forwarding. Then the laptop rebooted again. When it came back up it started installing another round of updates.

Screw you, thinks me.

The laptop I had used prior to this is running Windows 7 and is currently in the living room closet. I could have gone straight there and logged in the way I used to, but I tried something different.

On the same day I initially set up the Windows 8 box, I also installed the latest version of Parallels onto my MacBook Pro. I set it up to run a copy of Windows 7 that we weren’t using, and did all of the setup to connect to work. So instead of grabbing the old lappy, I grabbed the MacBook Pro.

Two minutes later I was connected to work. The Windows 8 box was starting to install a THIRD set of updates. That’s when issue number two presented itself.

My MacBook Pro has a Retina display, In English that means the display is at a ridiculously high resolution. Normally that’s awesome, but there is one instance where it actually screws things up. I used windows remote desktop client to remote connect to the PC on my desk at work. I do this every time I work from home so that I can have all of my usual stuff in the normal place. I don’t have to re-install any software or anything like that.

Unfortunately windows remote desktop tries to match the screen resolution on the remote device to the resolution on the local device. That means that everything on my work PC looks so small you can barely read any text. If I only used text editors or web pages I could just zoom in, but I don’t have that option using any of my company’s software. Everything works, it is just really hard to read. It’s usable, but only barely.

So I ended up re-installing anything I need to start the day so that I can run it on the MacBook itself. That’s all fine and dandy and working well now. Unfortunately, if I need to connect to a customer’s network it will have the same remote desktop issue I have with my office PC. While still connected to my desktop I tried lowering the resolution on the display, but those options are not available when remote connected. I didn’t know that. Crap.

Off to Google we go! I learned how to set up remote desktop to open full screen. That was nice. It didn’t solve the problem though. I continued looking around and found three different Microsoft forum questions asking about my issue and in each case the solution was…

Wait for it…

There is no solution. The best suggestion was to lower the screen resolution on the target machine before you remote connect to it. That means I would have had to change the resolution last night before I left work. Ummm… yeah.

So at lunch time I am going to the living room closet and getting the Windows 7 laptop. I know I can get the problem on the Windows 8 machine fixed (I am guessing I know what the problem is), I just don’t have time to do it right now. I can handle the MacBook for a couple of hours, but if I have to remote to a customer it will be tough. During lunch I’ll have enough time to switch over to the other machine.

What a pain in the ass. Thanks for sucking, Windows.

Operating Systems Galore

I do this every time we go through one of our Macintosh switcheroo’s. I set up a new Mac, and then set up parallels, and then set up a bunch of different operating systems to run on the virtual machine. It’s always Ubuntu because Linux rules even though I really don’t use it. Then I set up Windows so I can use the new Mac for work.

Today though, we did something new. Today I noticed that you can install a pre-release version of Windows 10 without paying for a license. Cool! I am typing this on internet explorer because I don’t want to install another copy of Chrome onto another virtual machine, and internet explorer is running on Windows 10. Windows 9? No way jose, this is Windows 10!

So far it looks a lot like Windows 8 only with a start button. Which is what those few unfortunates who are running Windows 8 wanted in the first place. Yippee and all that!

I think I’ll go start up Ubuntu and run that on my Mac’s virtual machine for a while.

Playing Operating System roulette kinda rules all.

Parallels

When I first bought my iMac I had visions of using it for telecommuting. I set up Parallels and installed Windows 7. My visions ended after the first day when I realized that Mac keyboards require two buttons for Windows function keys. My compay’s software uses the F12 key like it’s going out of style. So much for using my iMac.

I barley touched Parallels after that. Eventually there was something that I needed Windows for so I popped it open, kicked off Windows 7, and was told my password expired and needed to be changed. Yeah, I never set up a password for Windows. I thought maybe my admin password from the Mac OS? Nope. Maybe I set it up but just didn’t remember, so I tried every password I’ve ever used, ever. Nope, none of them worked. I got frustrated and stopped trying.

Today I happened to catch Jen installing Ubuntu into her MacBook Pro’s Parallels. That made me jealous, so I installed it too. I am actually writing this post using Firefox as my browser and Ubuntu, via Parallels, as my OS, all running on Apple hardware. I just love living in the future, don’t you? I also Googled my Windows sign on issue and came to the conclusion that I am the biggest moron on Earth. It seems you can just enter through the whole error message and it opens up Windows like a dream. Sonofa…

Anyway, I am off to find some cool open source Linux software to install on my new Ubuntu set up.