Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 10525

Today Microsoft released Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 10525.  Anyone running Windows 10 can opt into getting preview builds by signing up for the insider program and enabling preview builds in Windows Update.

You can read more about the new build and how to get it at Microsoft’s blog

This build fixes two of the issues I complained about in my previous blog post.


Active Window Title Bars will now be colored based (somewhat) on your selected accent color if the “Show color on Start, taskbar, and action center” option is enabled.

As you can see in the preview image above the title bar color will be a much brighter variant of your accent color.  I’m personally not a fan of how bright it is, but it’s a step in the right direction.  I’ll write Microsoft some feedback about it and maybe they’ll change it to look a little nicer.



The other issue they fixed is that Inactive Window Borders are no longer transparent.



Microsoft is going to be updating windows much more frequently than they have in the past.  So many small issues like this will likely get ironed out over the next couple of months.

Unless you’re like me and like being on the cutting edge and can tolerate these growing pains I’d recommend waiting a little while to move to Windows 10.  Anyone currently running Windows 7 or 8 can upgrade for free anytime until the end of July 2016, so take your time.

Biggest gripes with Windows 10 so far

White Title Bars for desktop applications
Boo1There’s a hack to have them use your accent color

But it’s not perfect

Although the border of windows appear to be 1 pixel thick they seem to actually be as thick as they were in Windows 7/8 so you can still grab them, but they’re invisible.

I have a nifty utility that lets you snap a windows to the edge of another window or the edge of the desktop.  Because of the invisible borders windows that are snapped to each other have a small space between them.

The window border turns mostly transparent when the window is out of focus.
I often use the Aero Snap feature to have two windows side by side and now one of them will have a 1 pixel line of my desktop background showing through around it and it bothers me so much.

Left side: window in focus with accent colored window border.
Right side: unfocused window with no or mostly transparent border showing obnoxious checkerboard desktop background I made to highlight the issue.Zoom

No Windows Media Center.
I have a TV tuner card and watch/record over the air TV, and Windows Media Center is by far my favorite application for doing that. All of the alternatives I have tried don’t work nearly as well and are poorly documented and difficult to set up.


Note this post is a work in progress. I plan to add to it once I’ve better thought out what I want to say.

Around the end of 2012 I ran across this quiz

The results summarized in the graph below indicated that I may have asperger’s Aspi QuizIf you’re interested the full results can be found in this PDF

More to come once I form a coherent thought…

Mooar Skyrim

It’s been about a year and half since I purchased Skyrim and even after logging almost 330 hours in game I still find myself drawn to it from time to time, and I’ve been meaning to write up an update about some of the mods I’m using and would recommend.(yay for finally getting around to it)

Quite possibly the most important thing you can do when modding Skyrim is to ensure that files are loaded in the proper order for stability and so things work they way they are intended.

B.O.S.S. is currently the best way to accomplish this.  It will automatically rearrange your load order and also warn you about possible problems with mods.

First I’ve edited my previous Skyrim post to weed out some of the mods I no longer recommend.  I’m also not going to relist and mods I’ve mentioned there to save some space.

Unofficial Skyrim Patch

Unofficial High Resolution Patch

Unofficial Dawnguard Patch

Unofficial Hearthfire Patch

Unofficial Dragonborn Patch

I highly recommend getting all the Unofficial Patches for the base game and any DLC’s that you own.

Static Mesh Improvement Mod – SMIM  This mod edits many 3D models to improve their appearance and to fix many of the ugly seams and other oddities.

Skyrim Flora Overhaul  Adds more variety and increases the quality of trees, flowers, other plants in the game.  Currently I’m using the basic version of this mod since I have trouble (endless loading screen) when trying to leave Solstheim with the other versions.

Run For Your Lives and When Vampires Attack (for Dawnguard)  Makes NPC’s run into their house or the nearest inn during dragon/vampire attacks to prevent them from accidentally getting killed.

Calientes Vanilla Outfits for CBBE (WIP)  Replaces some of the vanilla female clothes and armors to better fit the CBBE models and supports the fantastic bodyslide that allows for nearly endless customization of the body shape.

Hearing Test and Mini Headphone Review

After taking my dad to get his hearing aids last month I wanted to see how my own hearing was, so I downloaded uHear for my iPhone and when though the test using my Etymotic er3 headphones (since they are supposed to be fairly accurate) and was a little worried with the results. It showed that I had some mild hearing loss in lower frequencies.

Etymotic mc3

Etymotic mc3 uHear results

I then tried my Klipsch Image s4i which I generally prefer over the Etymotic’s and got somewhat better results.

Klipsch Image S4i

Klipsch Image S4i uHear results

I can’t really say if the Etymotic’s really suck at lower frequencies (although that is a common complaint about them) or I’m just a little deaf, but at least I have some visual proof of why I prefer my Klipsch headphones.

And lastly a tiny rant about my dad…

Why did we go through all the trouble of getting you hearing aids if you’re never going to wear them?  I know they are tiny and you can’t figure out how to turn them on, but all you have to do is ask me to do it for you.  Getting really tired of super loud TV at 3 am.


New Job

I started a new temp job on November 21st 2011.  I’m basically a janitor but not really.  I’m working for a company called Enviroserv who is one of the subcontractors on a demolition project.  My job is to go around and clean up the job site.  This demolition project is expected to last until about April so I should have a decent paying job till then.


My dad’s health has been holding more or less steady for the last year.  His kidneys are close to failing but just barely staying at a point where he doesn’t need dialysis.  He spends much of the day sleeping which worries me since I know it’s at least partly due to his failing kidneys, although I think It’s also due to the fact that he’s just old and doesn’t have anything to do (btw why is Judge Judy on for what seems like 5 hours every day?).  I still have to drive him around everywhere and I don’t see that changing.  He still needs new glasses for driving, and his car needs some repairs and renewed registration/smog.  We can’t afford any of that right now, and really at this point I don’t think he should be driving anyways.

Web Site Updates

After being offline for about nine months my web site is back with a new hosting provider and a few changes.

I was previously using for my hosting and domain registrar.  My hosting expired last year in march but my domain name was registered with them till march of this year which was good because at least I didn’t have to worry about losing my domain name while my site was down.  While they aren’t bad (for the price) I didn’t like that I had to buy hosting in 3, 6, 12, 24, or 36 month chunks and that they would auto renew, charging my credit card  with out warning.

I am now using Laughing Squid for my hosting and so far I like them.  It’s only $6 a month and I get billed every month.  My only complaint would be that their site management, billing  and support sites are all at different URLs and except for the support site (which is part of the main site already) are not linked directly from the main sites page.  OK they updated their main page since last week I take it all back.

For my domain registrar I’m now using and they are great.  It was super easy to get things set up and my registration moved over from  If anyone wants a domain name for a web site or even just your own personalized email address I highly recommend them.

Most of the changes I’ve made to the main site were some minor coding changes to make the pages html5 compliant and using some of the new features available in CSS 3, most notably drop shadows both on text and boxes to replace some of the PNG images that I had been using.  As a result the site should load a bit faster (not that it was even close to slow before) the downside is that it won’t look the way I intend in older browsers that don’t support these features. (IE 8 and below I’m talking about you)

The blog is now using the new default wordpress theme Twenty Eleven since I like the way it looks and how it works.  I was considering going back to the theme I had which was Inanis Glass or that theme authors new theme Inanis Seven so I went to his blog to go get it and saw that his blog was using a new theme that I really liked but it didn’t say what it was.  After getting my own blog back online I quickly realized that it was wordpress’s new default .  So my blog is only slightly personalized and looks a lot like many others but I think I’ll be OK with that since it’s so nice.

The main bit of visual customization that I can make to this theme is the header image.  I’m not thrilled with what I’m currently using since it was kind of just thrown together.  I’d much rather have a single image that fits nicely in that really wide not so tall space that’s available but I couldn’t find any of my pictures that would really fit which is why I made a semi sloppy collage out of 4 of my more recent pictures.  However I can specify diffident header images for individual posts which I have for my last post The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and While out for a walk.

The other thing is the menu bar along the top which is very customizable and mostly solves the issue of navigating from my blog back to the rest of my site.


I purposely didn’t mention exactly where I’m working since I don’t think I’m allowed to talk about it, and doing so in such a public place might mean no more job.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

I had been hearing so much about Skyrim and how awesome it was but I couldn’t afford to buy it when it came out November 11th.  So to satisfy my Elder Scrolls game cravings I installed TES3: Morrowind which I’ve owned since it came out in 2002 but I didn’t play it much back then because my computer wasn’t quite up to running it well, so I never got around to finishing the main story quest line. This time I was determined to get though the main quest, which I did after getting quite a ways though the game then deciding to create a new character and starting over.  I also did something else that I hadn’t done in Morrowind before which is to actually use some mods.  I won’t get into which ones since much of this post is going to be about the mods I’m now using for Skyrim.

Around the same time I also watched all of HBO’s Game of Thrones series which only served to further put me in the mood for Skyrim.

So finally Thursday December 29th I came home from work and decided that since I’ve got a four day weekend why not spend all of it playing a video game, so I went on Steam and bought Skyrim.  I then spent my whole weekend playing Skyrim like it was my job.  From Thursday evening to Monday night I got in about 52 hours playing this game.  One of the neat and at the same time depressing things about Steam is that it keeps track of how much time you play games you’ve purchased through it.

Anyways after playing this game a few weeks and trying out some mods I wanted to list the mods that I’m currently using and why.  Red comments added June 20th 2013

Glowing Ore Veins 300 this was probably the first mod that I added right after walking though the first mine that I found in game that I couldn’t see any of the ore veins.  Now that I don’t really do much mining I’ve decided to turn this one off since ore veins are actually everywhere out in the world and seeing glowing bits of ground while out wandering about can be distracting.
After using this mod for awhile I’ve gotten so I can recognise ore veins without it fairly easily now, so I no longer use it since it somewhat ruins immersion to have some glowing bit of ground way out in the distance.

Calientes Female Body Mod Big Bottom Edition -CBBE- gotta have naked ladies none of that ugly underwear when you take off someones clothes that the vanilla game has. I’m using the Slim version of this since the regular version the breasts are just a tad ridiculous, and since my character is a lady I prefer her with small boobs.  I am anxiously awaiting new armor/clothes meshes that fit these new body meshes.

No More Blocky Faces simple does what it says.
Not really needed anymore for anyone that is using Bethesda’s HD texture DLC or and of the many mods that change the face textures including CBBE. 

SkyUI this one is a pretty big deal, especially the latest version that was made available last weekend.  It changes many of the menus (inventory, magic, container, and barter) to be much more mouse friendly than the consolized menus that the game comes with.

TESV Acceleration Layer this helps speed up the game in some CPU bound portions of the game which is a big help for me since my computer is about 3.5 years old now and this is really the first game that I’ve played that it struggles with.
Skyrim has gotten several official patches that have much improved performance to the point where it’s not as CPU bound as it was, and this isn’t as effective as it was.  That and I’ve upgraded to a high end video card so the game runs quite smoothly for me now.

A Quality World Map – With Roads or World Map – Skyrim Hold Borders this adds all the roads to the map and the second one which is based on the first adds the roads and borders of the various holds.

Dovahkiin Hideout this adds a nice big basement with lots of weapon racks, armor mannequins, storage, all the various crating tables and is connected to all of the houses that you can own in the game which serves as a nice way to quickly get from one house to the next.
This mod was made before the creation kit was available and hasn’t been updated since and is buggy as a result.
If you insist on still using it, go get a compatibility patch here.
Sharlikrans Compatibility Patches

JaySuS Swords adds quite a few high quality swords to the game.  I got this since I’m not really a fan of how many of the swords in game look.
This mod hasn’t been updated in awhile and also requires a compatibility patch.
Sharlikrans Compatibility Patches

So that’s it I’ve still got quite a lot to do in the game and it should keep me busy for at least a few more weeks.  Although I’ve already got all the gear I wanted since I focused on leveling my smithing and enchanting early in the game and I have a pretty sweet set of enchanted Daedric armor.  It’s rather rare that I run into anyone that can hurt me much if I’m wearing that, even with the difficulty on the hardest setting.

Here is a shot of my character in my fancy around town outfit. (I think the body mod was turned of for this)

A New Home For My Blog & Other Updates

My web site’s hosting expired about a month ago and I can’t really afford to renew it at the moment, so until I do my blog will live here.
On a small side note I’m slightly annoyed that someone had reserved but isn’t using which I would have preferred to use.

As you can see I’ve already got all my old posts imported but currently none of the pictures work since I have to re-upload them and fix the links to them.
Also please ignore any links to my old website “” as they won’t work.

Now on to the other stuff

Here is a quick recap of my current living situation.
I’m living in a two bedroom house with my soon to be 83 year old father and my 34 year old nephew who is blind.
The three of us are living together because none of us could get by on our own.
The house is a 2 unit place owned by a friend of my fathers who is giving us a fairly decent deal on the rent.
Currently no one is living in the other unit.

My dad’s drivers licence expired last year and he had been trying to renew it but various things have been postponing his drivers test that he needs to take. Most recently the fact that he lost his glasses that he is now required to wear while driving and needs to get new ones. His car also needs to be registered and it failed the smog check and will probably cost more to fix than the car is worth. So for the last couple of months I’ve had to drive my dad everywhere. Which I don’t mind too much, but he hates it since he’s stuck in the house all the time with nothing to do.

I’ve once again started working in the rides department at California’s Great America. This is my 12th season working there and my 9th in the rides department. The rides I’m working are Delirium and the Action FX Theater which is showing the Sponge Bob 3D movie/ride that they’ve had for about 8 years now.

If you go back far enough on this blog to 2006 you’ll see that I used to be a supervisor at Great America, but since I left for two years while I was working at Google when I returned I had to start at the bottom. I had hoped to be re-promoted fairly quickly but the general laziness of my coworkers (including my supervisors) has made me lazy as well and I don’t really see myself getting promoted again because of that.

All Moved In

Just a short update this time.

Got my car fixed, it needed a new starter which cost $170.

We ended up throwing out or giving away most of the stuff we were trying to sell since no one wanted any of it.  We put a few things in storage like my sisters nice sofa and an old desk that we’ve had forever.  I would still like to try and sell that stuff if I can.

Finally got internet installed here on Mon (Jan 17th 2011) went with Comcast even though it costs too much since I apparently can’t get DSL here but for the first time ever the installer guy told me my login information and it actually worked.  This is the 4th time I’ve gotten Comcast installed somewhere and they’ve either not told me my login info or it didn’t work.

I have most of my stuff unpacked and my room arranged the way that works for me.  My new room is pretty much the same shape and size as the my last one and I’ve put most of my stuff in about the same place.  There have been several occasions that I’ll be laying in bed or on my computer in the dark and feel like I’m still in my old room.

Moving Sucks

So yesterday (since I’m writing this just a little after midnight) was the first day of moving stuff into our new place but really this was the 4th day of moving stuff as I’ve been helping my friends Elaine and Roy to move into their new apartment over the last week.

Anyways I’ll start my tale of woe on Tuesday when my car decided that it doesn’t like me.  Tuesday evening I went out to go to the bank and then Home Depot to buy some moving boxes.  First I stopped at the bank to deposit some money that I had gotten from selling some of our stuff.  It’s so old and crappy how can you resist?)  When I get back in my car to leave the bank it won’t start.  Now it’s been doing this off and on for months. Basically what happens is when I turn the key I just hear one loud click then nothing, and usually if I keep trying it’ll start in may cases after only a few tries.  This time however I tried for maybe five minutes then gave up and walked over to the dollar store so the car and I can cool down.  I come back the keep trying for maybe another five or ten minutes and I finally got it to start, but there were maybe three or four times that the engine slowly turned over a few times then quit.  Then I went to Home Dept and wanting to avoid dealing with all that again I just let the car running when I went into the store.

I figured that since even when the car tried to start that It was having trouble that the battery was dieing so I put it on the charger over night.  After charging all night it still wasn’t starting, my dad asked me if I’ve checked if I needed to add water to the battery, which I answered no.  Now this is something I have heard of before but for whatever reason never thought to check.  So I did and it’s very low I filled it up tried charging it a little more and it still wouldn’t start.

Since we’re moving having my car working is rather helpful so my dad offered to buy me a new battery as long as I pay him back over the next couple of weeks when I get my next two unemployment checks.  So I take my old battery down to Kragen so they can test it.  The guy tells me that the battery is putting out over 14 volt which is way to high but only about 100 amps which is way too low and that I definitely needed a new battery.  The new battery cost $100, took it home installed it and guess what?  Yeah that’s right my car still isn’t starting.  Having done some more research online I’m thinking that it’s probably the starter solenoid (this seems to be a common problem with Toyota’s made around that time BTW I have a 1996 Toyota Corolla) my dad thinks it could be the starter relay, either way I’m looking at least another $100 to get my car fixed.  More on how much this sucks a little later.

Wednesday night our new landlord Ben came over to have us sign the rental agreement and to give us our keys.  The rental agreement was 4 pages long and like 8 or 7 point type so my dad couldn’t read it and Ben insisted on reading it to him because he’s kinda fussy about details and wanted to be absolutely sure we understood everything.  This took almost two hours in large part because he was filling bits of it in and making edits as he went and because him and my dad kept arguing over the fact that the rental agreement was saying that everything starts on the first of the month and it was now the fifth.

Our new place is fairly close to downtown San Jose in a house that is about 100 years old.  The house has been divided into two units, ours being a two bedroom unit.  It’s going to be my dad, my brother, and myself living there.  My dad is planing on sleeping on a fold out sofa bed that will be in the living room.  The room I’m going to be in is the same size as the room I’m in now, however due to where the closets are and a door to the bathroom is I can’t put everything in there the same way I have it now and I haven’t figured out where everything is going to go yet.  The room my brother is going to be in just got new drywall put up since one of the previous tenants apparently destroyed the walls, that just barely got finished the other day and Ben still needs to put up a door to that room.

Just about the time that Ben was getting finished reading us the rental agreement Elaine  got to my house to pick me up and take me to Fremont where her new apartment is.  Elaine and Roy had rented a U-Haul and since I could now start moving stuff into the new place they let me borrow it to use Thursday.  This is the first time I have ever driven anything bigger than a minivan so I was really nervous but it wasn’t all that bad driving it back from Fremont at night but still just a bit scary as I would sometime drift into the lane on my right because the truck is wider than I’m used to.  Got home around midnight, packed a bunch of my stuff also when though and threw out a lot of old crap that I’ve had for years like some model paint that was probably 20 years old.  I ended up going to bed a little after 2am.

Hardly slept all night since I have to many things on my mind.  Got up about 10am, started loading the truck around 11.  As I was loading the truck the mail came and I was kind of surprised it was so early as it usually comes around 2 or 3.  This should have been a good thing as I was expecting to get my unemployment check.  Since I needed to fix my car I was planing on cashing my check then trying to get my car started then taking it to my mechanic and hope that it doesn’t cost too much to get it fixed.  But alas no check, so I called the EDD information line which among other things lets you find out when the last check was issued to you and for how much.  After listening to a 3 minute message that I can’t skip telling me that Obama has signed another extension to unemployment benefits blah blah blah I find out that the last check issued was the one I got 2 weeks ago.  Having been on unemployment for some time now I know this likely means one of two things, either I filled out the form wrong and I’ll get a new one hopefully today that I have to fill out again for the last 2 weeks then wait another week till I get a check or this new Obama bonus that they were yammering on for several minutes is causing my benefits to be stopped then restarted again which could take as long as 3 weeks till I get a check.  So yeah now no money and no car, ain’t life grand?

Now back to the moving I loaded up the truck with mostly my stuff that I don’t need day to day and some kitchen stuff since those are the 2 rooms in the new place that are mostly clean of stuff.  Ben is still in the process of repairing and improving the new place and because he apparently doesn’t have anywhere else to store this stuff the living room has a bunch of drywall leaning against one wall and what looks to be the materials for Chris’s future door.  Chris’s room is almost completely full of various building materials and tools so for now we were planing on just moving stuff into my room and the kitchen.

Elaine wanted me to bring the truck back to her old apartment by around 2pm so they could get one more load of stuff over to their new place and return the truck by 4pm.  It didn’t look like I would be able to get everything unloaded by myself by then so I asked them to come to our new place to help me unload everything.  But before going to the new house I stopped at the goodwill collection trailer that’s just down the street from us so I could dump some of the crap that we had in our garage.  Problem is they apparently don’t take furniture at the collection trailer which kind of sucks since I had brought my old bed frame and dresser.  So boo I had to bring that crap with me to the new house since I didn’t have time to stop at a goodwill store and drop that stuff off lke the guy told me to.

I get to the house and there is no parking on the street anywhere near the house plus it’s garbage pickup day and there are like 4 or 5 garbage cans in front of every house including the new one and they are all blocking the driveway.  Lucky for me Elaine and Roy got there as I was circling the block for the third time looking for somewhere to park so I had Elaine move the garbage cans and open the gate to the drive way (which I already hate the very idea of, sure my car is slightly safer behind a gate but what a nuisance having to jump out of my car to open the damn thing) we didn’t move one of the garbage cans far enough and I ended up running it over a bit yay?

I get out go to unlock the door and guess what, one of the two keys needed to unlock the door doesn’t work.  So we all just start unloading stuff into the yard since my dad was supposed to be over there in a little bit and his keys just might work.  Fortunately his key for the deadbolt worked, but his other one for the other lock didn’t work.  So if we want to get into the house we both have to be there at the same time. lovely.

So we get into the house and it’s in the condition I described earlier although there’s these two big drawers (they look like the sort that you put under your bed) in the middle of my room but they are on their end and all the drawers are out stacked next to them that were there before when I went to look at the place a week or so before but I had assumed they would be gone by now.  So it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to move my bed or desk in there yet and with all the other crap in the living room and Chris’s future room I don’t see how we’re going to actually start living there within the next couple of days like we’re supposed to.

OK I’ve been typing for about 2 hours now and I’ve managed to write almost 2000 words I think I should stop now.  Please excuse any grammatical errors or weird missing or wrong words.  I don’t feel like proof reading right now and sometimes I don’t actually type all the words I think I did.