“It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly business.” …or is it?

It’s been a really, really long time since I’ve heard something that made me want to run to my blog. Normally I tap out a quick 280 characters of “WTF is this now?” and move on.

Not so much today. Today, I’ve got a stone in my shoe. And what’s more is that this is actually a quasi-work-related post which is something I usually stay away from. I mean I do post about product news or tips to help stuff, but very early on, I vowed not get into the internals of a company and I made that decision long before Zuck’s first day at college, way before there was a media that was social. Call it self-preservation if you want to, because that’s how I see it.

So, what has set me off today? I saw that Team Xbox members started to get new badges for their profiles, celebrating the 20 year anniversary of Xbox. I said, “Sweet!” and went on with my day.

…until I saw one person tweeting out to a team member and giving her grief about having employee-only badges, that “I deserve a badge too!” and the usual self-entitled bullshit that is rampant in the world today. To be clear, I didn’t get a badge today as I haven’t been in Xbox for a while now and Team Xbox doesn’t need my help in discussing topics on Twitter, so why this post?

I think… I’m not sure because it’s only happened a few times in my life, but… I think this… attitude offended me in some popcorn-stuck-in-the-back-of-my-teeth way.

Continue reading “It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly business.” …or is it?


SharpKeys 3.9.3

SharpKeys is a Registry hack that is used to make certain keys on a keyboard act like other keys. For example, if you accidentally hit Caps Lock often, you could use this utility to map Caps Lock to a Shift key or even turn it off completely. This official release includes support for up to 104 mappings, an extensive list of available keys, and a “Type Key” option to help when managing mappings. As it relies on internal support within Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, or Windows 11 you must be running one of these OS’s for this Registry hack to work.

With the release of version 3.9.3, I’ve embarrassed to say that this is “now with more support for high contrast” but that’s pretty much what it’s for. Didn’t realize that through the different builds of Windows and Visual Studio that I was using custom colors rather than their “use the same color button uses” which gives you automatic support for HC. Also added a couple of new labels for buttons on a Japanese keyboard, thanks to GitHub feedback.

As always, I encourage anyone interested in working on the code to visit http://www.github.com/randyrants/sharpkeys for more project updates.

Download SharpKeys 3.9.3: MSI | ZIP | requires .NET Framework 4.0

SharpKeys Works with Windows 11

PSA: SharpKeys works on Windows 11 with the current 3.9 version – no updates are required for the new OS.

Works as well as it did on Windows 10. And 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP, 2000, NT 4, and NT 3.51 before it!

Additional PSA: if you are looking to modify combo keys (“How do I change Ctrl+Z?”) or hardware keys that Windows cannot recognize (00_100) or “new” keys that are triple-byte enabled (“How do I remap E0_205B?”) please give Windows PowerToys a look. Their remapper is active, meaning there’s a service running that maps keys for you while SharpKeys is simply exposing the key remapping that is built into Windows itself.

Life Is Not A John Hughes Movie

I have a Word doc on my PC, somewhere in the deep deep storage, that I think I originally entitled “My advice to my unborn son.” I think I was originally inspired to start the doc because of a tradition my Dad started before I was born: he used to write a letter to himself every year about how things were for the family and after we took down the house’s Christmas decorations he would pack it along side the lights and ornaments. The next year, when we would start the annual decorating, he would open up the letter and read it, to see how far we’d come or slid back, since one never knew how things would turn out year over year. Then he’d throw it out. Never understood that part of it, but hey – it was his thing.

I realized pretty quickly after he was born that I had my son at an older age than a “traditional” father does, so I was thinking that writing a letter to my son’s future self could be… handy? amusing? interesting? OK, likely as boring as fuck, but if it’s the last chance I have to explain some of the choices I made for him or where the world was at the time of his youth, I didn’t want by pass that by not writing something down, so I cracked open Word and had a go at it. What’s in it? Frankly, I don’t remember because it’s been a while since I’ve added to it, but as I was taking him to summer camp today, one bit of advice came back to me like a ton of bricks and if this is the only advance that he – or any young kid – can learn from the body of my experience on this spin rock in space, it’s this one simple thing:

Life is not a John Hughes movie.

Continue reading Life Is Not A John Hughes Movie

Double Dipping?

I find it funny that we have yet another divisive event swirling, this one over “cop shoots a kid and people protest but when a criminal shoots a kid and no one protests.”

Keep your eye on the ball folks: protesting is not a competitive pissing contest – it’s an overflow of emotion and if there’s no protests about the kid that got shot, then the emotion about it is not overflowing.

And what that means is you cannot order a “Protester Starter Kit” on Amazon that sends a bunch of people to the streets. A protest starts with a group of people get pissed off and want their voices to be heard. It’s personal. It takes effort. You gotta get out there and do something about it. So, if you’re really pissed off about this whole thing, why aren’t *you* out on the streets, protesting what pissed you off? Continue reading Double Dipping?

How to Fix macOS App Store

It seems that if I don’t use my MacBook often enough it punishes me by making a screensaver out of the macOS App Store. At least, that what it feels like, since it opens with an empty split-view scene and immediately goes into a blissfully restful state that shows me a spinning beachball until I Force Quit it. It also seems that this is one of the more widespread issues with macOS right now as there are hundreds of “how to fix” articles, which is ironic for something that Just Works.

In the most recent instance of this issue I found one workaround and one fix, so I’m making notes to myself:

  • Seems you can update macOS via Terminal, with:
    • softwareupdate -i -a
  • If you have an account issue – and you have no way of knowing that you do, so this is a “give it a try” fix – you can reset your default Keychains:
    • Go to the Keychain Access app, open the app Preferences, and select Reset my default keychains

If you try the fix you may want to reboot or sign in/out and some setting may have shifted but it depends on your setup and preferences. For me, I just rebooted, and viola! the App Store showed up fine and started taking updates again.

Setting a Network Connect to Private

Over the last few months, I’ve noticed at home that my network adapters on Windows 10 spontaneously flip to from Private to Public. At first I thought it was a Windows bug but I think it’s related to my router because it seems to happen on a number of machines, all at once. Annoying too because Private has things like network discovery turned on, while Public does not.

Anyway, because of this, I decided that it’s easier to fix this via PowerShell script rather than dink around in the UI. Basically, run this script with Admin privileges (assuming you have one network connection, as you have to call out the “active network”) to set the network to Private:

Set-NetConnectionProfile -Name (Get-NetConnectionProfile -InterfaceAlias Wi-Fi).Name -NetworkCategory Private

Carry on.

Democracy. Ain’t it a Bitch?

Newsweek: “AOC Calls Out Wall Street CEOs Trying to Unseat Her In Upcoming Primary”

Ya know, if you only read the headline and are an Ocasio-Cortez supporter, you’re likely outraged. …but as has seemingly been the case this weekend, the headline doesn’t tell the whole story.

When you read the rest of it, you learn that:

  • There are in fact Wall Street CEOs that are donating money to unseat her
  • Her competition for the seat is Caruso-Cabrera
  • Caruso-Cabrera was a Republican until 5 years ago and sees herself as a “centralist”
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez asks why Americans will fund Space Force, but won’t back health care for all

Let’s look at those bullet points, neh?

Continue reading Democracy. Ain’t it a Bitch?

Anti-Science?

CNN: “On “anti-science bias” in America: Fauci said “anti-science bias” in the [US] can be problematic.

“One of the problems we face in the United States is that unfortunately, there is a combination of an anti-science bias that people are — for reasons that sometimes are, you know, inconceivable and not understandable — they just don’t believe science and they don’t believe authority,” Fauci said. […] “It’s amazing sometimes the denial there is. It’s the same thing that gets people who are anti-vaxxers, who don’t want people to get vaccinated, even though the data clearly indicate the safety of vaccines,” Fauci added. “That’s really a problem.”

This includes people that tell you the earth is flat: the proof is because they *believe* it is flat, so it *must* be flat. Or people that *believe* that if someone took the time to write it down, it *must* be true.

Also reminds me of the last 40 years of high school, where the kids that perform well academically are picked on or put down for being smart, while the kids that cut class or blow off academics altogether are cool or interesting. Not that this was absolute – some people are assholes no matter how much they study – but it was certainly a trend in movies, TV, and real life that the cool kids did not get good grades while the “nerds” always did.

Hello, 911?

I wrote a lengthy draft yesterday about why defunding the police was a bad idea, built around three basic themes:

  • The current mood of the nation is such that we should be blaming every cop for the actions of a minority of officers that have broken the trust the public has given the force, which is remarkable and/or ironic in some measure.
  • Problems with police departments may spark from the actions of an individual cop but ultimately, the fix for these types of problems by fixing the leadership of a police departments, the people that either can’t or won’t enforce the rules (and moral guidance) of the force. Professionals do not always act professionally – regardless of industry – but if they are held accountable and take responsibility for their mistakes, it is a system that can work.
  • If our cities cut funding to the police department, and thereby putting cops’ lives more at risk, why on earth should they keep coming to work?

Then I saw Minneapolis wants to disband their police force and I scrapped the entire post because, it seemed that a city is actually opting for my worst case scenario. On purpose. Because… yeah…

For clarity, yes, I support the police. Yes, I live in a blue state – how dare I break party lines?! – but I’m a registered independent so I tend to evaluate the person, not the party as anyone that has read my blog over the last couple of decades can attest to. While I do tend to back the liberal agenda when it comes to social and religious freedoms and I am not a fan of the majority of Danger Yam’s decisions and actions, I also grew up in Reagan’s America which means I tend to be conservative when it comes to business, money, and law enforcement. I know: color me purple or something.

Continue reading Hello, 911?

At This Point…

TL;DR: Even a broken VCR clock is right once a day and for sixty seconds. Well, I guess it should be thirty seconds. Ya know, because it’s blinking? So it’s right when it’s showing 12:00a every other second and a blank clock implies there’s no time and even though time is relative, it’s never not there, which means that when it’s dark, it’s still wrong.

Bet you’re wondering what the long version is, aren’t you?

WARNING: this is a non-partisan post and it is welcomed for fact checking. As this will likely alienate most of the public – as fact checking is now somehow offensive? – I expect most of you to wander off now, to find another red or blue likeminded place to visit, because it’s far safer to do that than trying to have an open mind these days.

Continue reading At This Point…

Notes to Self: Minecraft Edition

How to build a portal to the Nether: take some blocks of obsidian and build a rectangle that looks like a door to no where on the ground. Then take an Iron Nugget and mix it with some iron ore and flint to make a “Flint and Steel”. Step up to the portal you just built and ignite the portal. Further note to self: this is a two way portal so unless you try to sleep in the Nether next to it you’ll be fine.

How to build a portal to the End: build a portal that lays on the ground out of End Portal blocks. Lay down three, turn right lay down three more, and continue until you are standing in a square that is 3×3 on the inside. Now, stand directly in front of the first Ender Stone and put an Eye of Ender on top of it. Move to the left and put another Eye onto the next Stone. Stand directly in front of the Stone when you place the Eye. Once you do all nine, the portal activates immediately and you go to the End.

How to get back to the End: kill the dragon. Or type this in chat: /kill @e[type=minecraft:ender_dragon] and then go to the center of the pillars. You’ll find a portal there.

Two Blind Mice

MSN.com: “2020 Democrats step up attacks to blunt Bloomberg’s rise […] Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden took the lead in attacking Bloomberg. Biden, the former vice president, said on ABC’s “The View” that “I don’t think you can buy an election,” while Warren took Bloomberg to task for his 2008 comments that ending a discriminatory housing practice helped trigger the economic meltdown.”

This might be the best political news I’ve heard all week. Both of the “front runners” having a gut check moment after the [useless] Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary – and learning that they might not be ahead of the game – attacking the most reasonable and rational candidate in the pack. Yet, Joe’s comment is either striving for innocence or I don’t know what – it ends up making him look naïve or at the worst, ignorant. Even if we aren’t talking about the millions people spend on campaigns, there’s other payments besides cash. And I don’t know what’s worse with Warren’s comments: that she’s pulling up a set of comments 2008 – especially after watching a person get elected in the same year that he claimed to grab women like a six pack – or that she’s claiming Bloomberg helped trigger a multi-national economic debacle. A debacle that too over a decade to stage and had little impact to the city that Bloomberg was mayor of.

Two blind mice, looking in a dark room, for a black cat that left the house an hour ago.

Warning: This Is A Ye Olden Styled Rant

MSN.com: “Seattle’s Caffe Vita is facing widespread blowback after a letter surfaced on social media appearing to show management threatening to fire employees caught giving away food and drinks to the homeless. In a passage that has drawn considerable ire, the letter goes on to criticize the practice of giving free food to the homeless overall. “Although these were well placed intentions, please understand, it is our belief, that feeding homeless people without comprehensive services actually enables, increases and promotes homelessness,” the letter reads in part.

From Twitter, Spek writes, “I am absolutely livid. I have worked in the coffee business for over a decade at some of the best coffee shops in the city and this is a betrayal of everything we stand for.” […] The Capitol Hill store also drew protests on Wednesday night.”

Oh my gods, will you outraged people please shut the fuck up already?!

Continue reading Warning: This Is A Ye Olden Styled Rant


Randy No Arms' ongoing commentary on life, gaming, and the rest of the world