weather forecasting is improving
Sunday, February 23 2014
I had computer-instigated headache this morning when I foolishly tried (yet again) to remove the so-called Folderband that uselessly spans across every Explorer window in Windows 7. It's the band with the menus Organize, Open, Burn, Copy, Paste, Delete, and New Folder, and I've never once used it for anything. Unlike all the other crap that comes with stock Windows 7 Explorer windows, the Folderband cannot simply be turned off. One has to edit the XML inside a file called shellstyle.dll. (I use the Windows Classic Theme, so the file I edit is inside \Windows\System32.) But when I tried to do it today, I accidentally renamed shellstyle.dll without actually changing it, or so it seemed. It was hard to tell what had happened, because when I did a dir from the command line, the file was still there and called shellstyle.dll, but when I viewed it from an Explorer window (impossible to do except from a Windows login that happened to use a different theme), there was no shellstyle.dll but there was a shellstyle - Copy.dll. Every attempt to do things from the command line failed, but when I simply renamed the file from shellstyle - Copy.dll to shellstyle.dll in that other login, I had success. And by success, I mean that I could actually use the computer again. Without a functioning shellstyle.dll, Explorer cannot present any of its own windows (such as directory listings or Control Panels). I'm still not entirely sure why there was such a discrepancy between the files listed in a command window and an Explorer window. To the extent Windows screws around with the straight-forward hierarchy of their file system (and with each new version there has been more and more of that), I find myself just a little more confused about what needs to go where. It's likely that the file system in Windows 8 is a complete mess, full of places not even administrators are allowed to go.
The warm spell continued, though sadly the sunshine did not. A bank of clouds had rolled in, perhaps heralding the third arrival this year of the Polar Vortex, which would be bringing temperatures back down to unseasonable lows for the balance of the month. The return of the Polar Vortex had been predicted many days ago by Weather.com, and I'd dismissed them as being speculative; I'd learned over the years that no weather forecast made more than five days in advance was very accurate. But in this case I was wrong. Perhaps weather modeling has been improving at the same rate as speech recognition. Back when I formulated my "ignore weather forecasts made more than five days in the future" rule, nobody was barking commands at handheld robots. But now Gretchen does it routinely.
This afternoon I took a long nap while Gretchen was off at the Rosendale Theatre watching a telecast of the London Theatre performing the historical tragedy Coriolanus, a lesser-known work of William Shakespeare. I wouldn't expect something so deeply historical to have much resonance with Gretchen, but she came back saying it was incredible and that the acting was "the best I've ever seen."
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