Saturday, April 17, 2021

You ever think about how Asus put out like 40 models of a laptop called the “Eee PC”

For me the era of the netbook is a mixed but mostly happy one. I remember the sales guy trying to convince me that they were such low end computers that they couldn't do much of anything. Compared to my six year old laptop that was depending on how you count sold out models, either the second or cheapest one at Best Buy: the 1015PE was sufficiently capable for my programming needs.

Encountering Windows 7 Starter Edition made me accuse the operating system of cheating for how quick the suspend and resume worked compared to my old laptop. While adjusted for age the Atom wasn’t drastically different from my old Sempron: it did come with modern buses and standards like DDR2. So for all practical invents and purposes it worked really well as long as you weren’t multitasking several heavy tasks, at which point the Ubuntu setup I had installed would become quite lathargic from the lack of resources.

In fact one of the reasons I loved the Transformer Pad EeePC that replaced my netbook was how smoother Android on a Tegra 2 handled multitasking than the Atom N450. The other reason was insane battery life able to handle a cross continent journey by air, while my x86 netbook couldn’t make it past the first flight when being used as little more than a high tech typewriter.

While my opinion of Chrome OS is a bit harsher than my view of netbooks, I find it interesting how technology grew from there. Chromebooks proved of all you really wanted to do was run a browser then the netbook concept was a superb form factor for typing and surfing. Meanwhile Apple’s iPad and various far more affordable Android powered tablets came to prove that you could do plenty of you didn’t need to run a bunch of old Windows software.

Monday, April 12, 2021

"The best way to execute French cooking is to get good and loaded and whack the hell out of a chicken." — Julia Child

While scrolling through an article on French recipes, I saw this quote and nearly snortled so hard through my nose that I needed a Kleenex. Have no recollection of Julia ever saying that, but I can’t say that I’d be surprised. It does also sound like a rather good idea ðŸĪĢ.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

 Watching The Way of the Househusband on Netflix, and my initial thoughts: "Oh my fuck, this guy is awesome". A few episodes in, and I'm already tempted to check if the manga has any English digital releases.

Apple Just Gave Millions Of iPad, iPhone Users A Reason To Leave

Arguably an article like this on Forbes bodes ill for Apple, but shouldn’t come as a surprise to many. Folks have long talked about Apple’s “Walled garden”, both positively and negatively over the years. But some may forget that Apple is in the same boat as the rest of us.

For the most part as a user, I’ve had as positive an experience with the App Store as I have with Google Play and Amazon’s own venture. I can but hope for developers, it has less the faceless sword of mysterious injustice that seems to pop up in more Googly lands as horror stories.

What people should expect from such a store front is a responsive attitude to dealing with malicious actors, and taking the responsibility to clean their own house.

Google and Apple have at least made efforts at that. Although in the big G’s case, sometimes I wonder how much of their interactions with humanity at this point is handled by automations and scantly reviewed by mortals. I suspect whatever Apple’s review processes these days, they’re likely overrated from a security perspective.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

One of those things I just don’t do, is making macaroni salad. And really any kind of salad like that. As a food it’s the kind of thing that tends to be insanely delicious or really nasty, and many times it’s both if you eat enough in one sitting. Thus they tend to be something I’ll  eat where offered or pick up from the deli isle.

When I made a large batch of tricolor rotini, I figured that some pasta salad would be a plan. Boiled the potato leftover from making curry, diced a carrot, and boiled them until soft. Left those cooling while I walked the hounds. Finely chopped some sweet peppers to go with the macaroni and some leftover garbanzos.

Making the sauce as a mixture of ranch, black pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning definitely worked out well. It was delicious ðŸĪĪ.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Lately I’ve had a mind to try making curry rice with fish. Since Good Friday is basically the only day I intentionally don’t eat meat, I figured it would probably be a good plan for the holiday weekend.
Made a trip to Sprouts Farmer’s market this morning to pick up some vegetables, and I owe that decision for how delicious this turned out. The fresh potatoes, carrots, onion, and bell pepper made the best curry I’ve had in a long time. Made the fish similar to my usual method; kept the garlic powder, salt, and black pepper; used a light spritz of curry powder and some thyme rather than adding soy sauce to the braising water. Ended up making the tilapia a bit dry compared to normal, which in retrospect was perfect for going with the curry rice.
After packing some leftovers and a lunch box, I used some of the excess rice and a bit of tilapia filet to make a couple onigiri while I was at it.

 Kind of disappointed the camera didn’t catch Willow’s tongue sticking out, lol.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

There's a concept that I tend to think of as "Haha, only so serious" for lacking a better way to describe it.

I tend to view seriousness and humor as a balanced dualism that goes hand in hand rather than as diametrically opposed sides of the coin. The best humor tends to filter through by taking ourselves seriously, but not oh so seriously that we forget to laugh in the moment.

Perhaps I feel this way because life tends to be more like The Joker's laugh after Batman wins and pawns him off on commissioner Gordan. Far more than our laughter in the real world tends to be as brazen as a chorus doing the can-can. Thus as someone who enjoys a good laugh, I tend to appreciate humor that stems from not taking oneself too seriously.

Finding myself searching Netflix for something simple to watch, I was pleasantly surprised by a little cheese flick called The Warrior’s Gate. It’s stoic sense of humor and comfortable territory makes it entertaining, if not spectacular. Many movies exist that fit that bill, but are sometimes hard to find. Often mixed into the same bin as films that try to be something more than a cheesy enjoyable romp.

And then there’s the ending. With the ice cream, I’d say the twist is exactly as it should be. But warrior Zhao teaching the knights in the end......oh man was that a priceless finish.

 "Holy fuck that's fast" -- me on launching Rimuru's video test.

Input chosen for this case, is of course episode one of That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime aka Tensura. My normal preset in Handbrake that most notably for video does a x265 encode at quality 22, which is ample for 1080p anime.

Centauri normally takes about 35 - 40 minutes to complete encoding an episode in this context. Seeing Rimuru reporting average FPS in the 50s, I had a split take and double check that Handbrake didn't screw up my imported preset settings, and of course it didn't. Rimuru is just that powerful a demon lord.

Looking like the new estimated conversion time is about 10 minutes per episode rather than 35 minutes. I can almost see Shion's smiling face in my mind's

Friday, March 26, 2021

When I originally designed Centauri: it was with the spec that it should last at least five years before it would be cost effective to replace it. By that, I mean it has to take so long to do shit that it's worth money not to have to wait on it. Dear Centauri made it to eight years with most of its bottle necks only showing up in the last couple. I'd say that's pretty good.

Enter the new generation: Rimuru is reincarnated born.

Since my 5 year design ended up pulling 8 years of duty, I opted for the biggest influencer of that spec. Centauri rocked a Core i5-3570K based on the assumption that it would retire by the time it became the problem, and lo and behold it really was the main bottle neck. As such, Rimuru rocks a Core i7-10700K because I've specified parts based on a 10 year service life.

One of the primary goals aside from that was the modernization of technology. Two pieces of tech have been on my mind as possible final retro fits for a few years now.

I've reached a point where USB-A only exists for old technology and existing peripherals that have nigh indefinite life span relative to their host computer. Things like my web cam and mouse.

Rimuru sports a snazzy front panel USB-C port perfect for the fact that most of what I want to connect now functions through USB-C. Likewise the motherboard rather resolves one of my gripes with its predecessor. My old Z77 chipset was a superb motherboard but it sadly was a bridge chipset, literally. Coming from the era in which USB 3.0 became standard only two rear ports and the two front ports were 3.0 with the otherwise ample ports in back being 2.0s. On the H570M the only 2.0 ports are header; all rear ports are USB-A, and two of them are rated for 10 Gbit/s. A perfect solution to having to be careful which USB goes where in the back.

 Second temptation was the insane speed of NVMe drives. It's been on my mind the last few years that there is no point in buying SATA drives anymore, except as external SSDs and use cases where big, cheap HDDs are the win. While I could retrofit an M.2 slot to my old Z77 it wouldn't be capable of booting from the drive.

While I was at it: I decided on a fairly future proof power supply. My GTX 780 was the root cause of my last power supply upgrade, but is so powerful that it's not typically the bottleneck Centauri experienced. 

Opting to take advantage of the situation: I picked up an affordable power supply off a list of PSUs capable of driving an RTX 3080. In terms of PCI-E power connectors I could run two 780s. It's also a semi modular—meaning everything but the ATX power cables "Plug" into the power supply rather than having to be tied off and routed. Since Rimuru is operating M.2 NVMe only, and has 2.5" SSD mounts on the side panel: there is nothing in the drive cages below. As such I tossed the power supply's remaining cables in there, so I don't scratch my head in the years to come wondering which box in the closet they landed in.

Somehow it does seem ironic that the first live fire test of Rimuru's capabilities was playing a DOOM (1993) 😁.

Raw performance testing in more interesting vectors has also been promising. Tested one of my projects that takes Stark about 15 minutes to compile from scratch, and Centauri pulled it off in about 7½ minutes to compile. Rimuru did it in 3 minutes. Bare in mind, Stark is the development system in the family and a laptop of similar vintage to Centauri.

Like her predecessor, Rimuru gets a nice "Assembling" album that tracks and marks things as part of the build. Centauri was the first PC that I built in the era of phones and cameras everywhere, and that really worked out. In a similar lesson from Stark, she also gets her own entry in y note system to serve as a log book of major changes and configuration. I've actually got pretty good at coping with that puzzle over the years.

Wait, no wonder my beard is turning

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Avocado, cheese, grilled chicken, and ranch on French; also the glare of a hungry Misty.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

My real problem with avocados is the same as my problem with hard boiled eggs: a tendency to find myself standing over the kitchen sink with a salt shaker, eating them as a snack.

On the positive side avocado farts are less deadly than egg farts...

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Xbox Gaming Lead Still Doesn’t Understand The Nintendo 64 Controller

That kind of maker two of us. I always found the N64 controller confusing and old feeling compared to the previous generation of consoles. By contrast the Play Station controller was pretty natural, and easily picked up by a kid accustomed to the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis. Adding the analog sticks in the Dual Shock configuration didn’t change that.

Actually one of my minor grumbles when I bought the original Xbox One was the controller. The Xbox One controller is fairly familiar but swaps the D-Pad and left thumb stick from what you’d remember on the old Dual Shocks.

The times I’ve used an N64 controller, well, let’s just say I tried not to have to move my grip 😜.
Why You Should Stop Using Gmail On Your iPhone

To me this is more an indication of whether or not you should use Gmail as a service rather than the application. Google has always been fairly open in that you should have no allusion to privacy between their services.

Applications like Apple Mail and Windows Mail have the virtue that we tend to think of them as Mail clients, from companies who also offer email services. Gmail we tend to think as both, and using any given client doesn’t change where your messages are stored and exposed; in fact it might even broaden them depending on the client and services used.

My day in pictures and yadda, yadda

Getting up this morning: Willow was so comfortable that I had to take a picture. Got cleaned up, took the Bonnie birds for a walk, and breakfast. Calculated that my routine of breakfast sausage to share with the dogs and toast or the like, is about 560 calories. Actually the most calories is the peanut butter on the toast, lol.

Made coffee, took Willow for a walk, and then got to finish my coffee. Because by then she’s armament for her second walk. Coffee and Xbox make for a cozy morning off.

Misty has two super powers. One is hunting for food. The other is being comfortable.

A mixture of Saints Row 4, Metal Slug 3, laundry, lunch, and Twin Mirror reminds me that mixing chores and relaxation is a good plan. Forgot to hang the wash, but at least I did manage to clean my refrigerator 😂.

Pretty often I end up making pasta, but rarely beefaroni. Growing up it was a relatively common cheese delivery vehicle amongst my mother’s cooking. Actually, I don’t have any recollection of eating the canned stuff. So much as stuffing my face until a nap was warranted, lol.

Kind of worked out as a perfect storm of convenience. Had some ground Italian sausage in need of being used up, been meaning to use up the elbows for a long while, and boiling the macaroni is good for the humidity. Plus yields more food for next week, and when aren’t I okay with such food for dinner? ðŸĪŠ

Sunday, February 21, 2021

 On a whim decided to boot up my old Game Boy Color since I was looking for the pencil box it lives in. Don’t think I had turned it on in a good decade, lustruum at least. Figured it would be a good first test of my new rechargeable batteries, and answer the question I’ve posed for a couple years now: does it still work?

Much to my surprise it, and joy, it powered on. Had to try and boot the Pokemon Gold cartridge at least three times to get passed the firmware’s boot screen; lack of a continue game makes me assume the coin cell must be dead. The Yu-gi-oh cartridge however booted straight away and still offers a continue button in the menu.

As far as I can tell: it seems fully functional. Pretty sure that the screen is a hell of a lot more dim then it was 21~22 years ago when my mom bought it for me at the pawn shop. But 90s era LCDs are kind of known for that, and I still find it pretty impressive that so much fun could be housed in such a small for its day, and still rather lightweight package.

Misty is not sure what to make of this odd device that looks like an oversized phone. But knows she can’t eat it.


Have to admit that I would like to see more devices like this's even if the refresh rates of e-ink displays tend to be atrocious. The kind of scrolling and flinging people tend to expect out of general purpose tablets make it more noticeable than paging through an ebook. More so than the lack of color most devices have had.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Various thoughts I didn't expect a decade ago

That my greatest joy for voice assistants would amount to "Open {show name} on {service name} on {device name}" as a way to power on my entertainment system, and being able to use Alexa to pause/unpause my video.

That I wouldn't give a shit about privacy because the most eaves voice assistants may drop is me talking to the dogs ðŸĪĢ.

That I would own an Apple product. Never mind two (not counting my iPad accessors).

That Microsoft would release an operating system that I actually like, but isn't itself a Microsoft managed GNU/Linux distribution.

Google would piss me off so much.

That tablets would kill my use of laptops for uses that don't involve editing code for several hours at a time. Thanks for that, Android.

That buying a voice powered smart plug would probably be worth it if I could say, "Alexa, turn on my desktop". Yeah, might have to look into that one actually.

That I'd be thinking "Clap on, clap off" more instinctively than "Computer, lights!" when getting up in the middle of the night. But really, that's a job for Alexa.

That my handwriting quality would be restored thanks to Samsung's S-Pen.

That my relationship to files would become so abstract. I don't often keep note files anymore, I have tools like Evernote and Nebo.

And probably a lot more, but updates are almost done installing and no one wants to hear about my taste in kitchen knives.

 For a while now, I’ve been considering going to rechargeable batteries. Last time I can remember encountering these in my family was as a child, since (as I recall being told) me and the charger had some kind of encounter with water around age 3 or 4. So it’s been a while.

The past decade has seen my use of batteries go up rather than down. Mostly due to a greater embrace meant of Bluetooth peripherals that are preferring AA/AAA batteries to built in cells and USB charging. Plenty of batteries go to my Logitech K380 and Samsung S-Mouse at work. Fewer at home since my old K810 charges from USB, and my Fire TV remotes last quite a while.

For years I’ve used the Play & Charge kit for my controller, which is kind of nice for me since it charges from the controller’s USB port. The pack looks like it’s just a connection for the controller’s power management, and a pair of AA cells in a plastic casing. Worked out pretty well.

Based on my math overall costs would be up to $50 for enough to replace my battery needs and a charger. Considering my battery costs tend to be higher based on the which thing takes what vs which piece of my stockpile of batteries is at home and which is at work. It’s probably worth it to just use rechargeable batteries with some in use, some kept spare, and not taking a bath with the charger.

When you account for the cost of making sure both home/work are stocked with the right size, the cost is about the same as an 8 packs of rechargeable NiMH. So this seems like a good plan to me—or just say screw it and buy about several years worth of regular batteries off Amazon and stuff them in a bin >.<


Not exactly a fan of The Verge, but this was a surprisingly good article. Disclaimer: as a computer nerd with internet access since the ‘90s, I’m bias in favor of net neutrality and giving people internet access that doesn’t suck.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Command, Control, and Optionally conquer the Alternatives

In some ways it may be a touch ironic. For years, I used an Android tablet docked to a monitor, mouse, and keyboard as a workstation; quite happily in fact. Puttering around with iPadOS my only real beef versus doing the same with Android is the keys.

Having spent most of my life around PC based systems, I’m naturally used to the shortcuts on a PC. Such as using control plus left and right to move the cursor a word at a time. On iPad these are more like home/end keys because you use option + left and right to move the cursor a word at a time.

Further complicating the fact is that some familiar shortcuts are control + thing while others are command + thing. For example command + W to close a tab but the familiar control + tab to change tabs. Basically pay back for having owned many a PC but never a Mac, lol.

In terms of keyboard and mouse support the only difference today is that iPadOS sports the same type of mouse based text selection as a PC or Mac. Android and the initial version of iPadOS had simply used it like a finger substitute, and more kludgy in iPadOS’s case. Aside from that I haven’t really had much difference in experience.

One of the notable distinctions as a user however is the software.

Modern iPadOS sports a version of Safari that is as good as Chrome or Edge on my PCs. My Androids on the other hand, being relegated to Chrome was always a bitter existence even if the stability leveled off with the years — and often keyboard/mouse operation in Chrome made my eyes roll out of their fucking sockets at the silly. So let’s just say at web browsers, iPad’s Safari beats Chrome for Android.

For most users I’d call that a win. Most people I know have a heavy slant towards web apps, and thus their connection to the rise of Chrome. In some cases, clutching Firefox like a gunnut and their AR-15s. So the result is Safari doesn’t piss me off, but I’m still one to prefer an app over a browser if you do any kind of decent job at it.

By contrast iPadOS sucks as a terminal client. Networking limitations basically murder any chance of being able to use SSH and multitasking; spend too long away and the connection will be force killed. By contrast in Android land the only real issue with SSH clients I tended to have was the poor copy/paste experiences. Stuff like VNC equally suck on both, but is less multitask friendly on iPad.

For me that’s kind of a negative. 90% of my interest in PCs revolve around command line environment or 3D graphics environments. But given my shift back to laptops for the heavy lifting that’s not been to terrible.

That’s to say, my move from a Chromebook to a Latitude had more to do with Celeron vs Core i5 than it did at using Android apps for terminal work. Likewise, my move from Android tablet to Android apps on a Chromebook was basically generated by Samsung omitted video output on my last tablet.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

AT&T customer since 1960 buys WSJ print ad to complain of slow speeds

I remember that spectacular quality and awesome sauce speed from nearly twenty years ago. Where my family lived there was two choices: Bellsouth and Charter. For all intents and purposes today, Bellsouth and AT&T can be considered abotu the same.

I also remember when my mother finally switched to Charter. After that the Internet access sucked a lot less by broadband standards of the word. But I’ll give Bellsouth this mouch, their aDSL service had been a major improvement over a 56 K modem that averaged more like 34 :P.

Huawei’s HarmonyOS: “Fake it till you make it” meets OS development

Forking and building off Android is what I would call the natural response for Huawei’s situation. And pretty much as long as you respect the open source license agreements and such, nothing is wrong with that. The ability to do so is one of the best aspects of Android; the going it without the Google add ons one of the reasons fewer people do that with actual phones.

Ron kind of says it neat here:

Forking Android and launching your own rebranded operating system is totally fine. But be upfront about that. Say "HarmonyOS is a fork of Android" instead of "HarmonyOS is not a copy of Android." Don't call HarmonyOS "all-new" when pretty much the opposite is true.

Where the real ire of the story lay, and perhaps justly so. But the conclusion towards the end of the article also makes sense. Inside China the Google’less Android idea works, as an international product not so much.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Every crazy thing that happened in Apple and Facebook’s privacy feud today

Interesting to see how this plays out in the long term. The real telling, or should I say damning question is just now many apps make a lot of revenue off tracking users across other apps and websites. Obliviously companies like Facebook and Google have a vested interest in this because of ads and analytics but for most regular applications the difference is down to how the above pay out from their services.

Personally, I don't think it is an unreasonable expectation that users should be made aware of where their data is being sent. Online most people should already beware of tracking cookies and such. But the same expectation is not there with moving between apps; perhaps it should be given the prevalence of large ad networks.

In the course of my life, often the solutions to problems have been “Put your back into it!”. Either because power tools are expensive, or it’s something I’ll probably use once every several years at best.

Repeat after me: “I will buy a drill.”

Then go buy a drill.

Honestly at this point, the only negative I can see is the dogs might swap from offering emotional support to running for cover. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing depending on what you’re working on.

Friday, January 29, 2021

 Coffee Talk Has Become a Quiet Success in a Turbulent Year

Coincidentally one of the more enjoyable  games I've played in the past year. I recommend it if you play video games that don't involve explosions.

 A gander at the old hard drive.

3 TB of reliable

So the drive is about 7 years old.

SMART via SATA native

And has about 5 ½ years of up time.

SATA native

Connected to my desktop's SATA controller: Crystal Disk Mark shows about the performance I would expect for such a drive.

USB Enclosure

Connected to the enclosure on the other hand, I'm just getting pure crap. Suggesting that either the enclosure is falling back to USB 2.0 when connected to my USB 3.0 controller, or just doesn't like my desktop.

The symptoms observed with the file server was the drive dismounting whenever I tried to start Plex, or try to see if I could get any SMART via passthrough.

Damningly, if I connect an old Samsung SSD through the enclosure: I get about the same level of performance. While nearly old as the drive the enclosure is a 3.0 with UASP that has generally delivered hard drive performance just fine until recently.

Which reminds me that one of the nifty changes of the new 8 TB drive is loading sections of my Plex is now a hella lot faster on my Fire TV than it used to be.

I think that my spare enclosure made its way to work for various need fillings. So the other of the three is hanging off my Xbox with a 1 TB drive that is probably manufactured circa 2012. Perhaps I will swap that 1 TB drive with this 3 TB drive and use that for a comparison; can break that down into power supply, USB cable, and enclosure without having to pull the PCB. More detailed testing will require hooking it up to my Linux machines.

Possible re-homings include my Xbox for storing games, or adding it to my desktop to store video files being processed for my file server. Both tasks fall under transient data storage, and I'm disinclined to use a drive with over 2,000 power on hours for anything mission critical. Hmm, I think modern Xboxes have a limit of 128 GB - 16 TB for USB 3.0 drives.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

 There are days when I can sympathize with Mr. Spock's plight in The City On The Edge Of Forever.

"I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bearskins."

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

As a young programmer, I think it was probably around 2.4 or 2.2 that I started to use Python. Today it remains one of my favorite languages.

I remember thinking quite highly of the Zen of Python at the time. Much time as gone on since then, and to be frank, I think it even more beautiful and dead on balls accurate today than I did then. The older I get as a programmer the more accurately it reflects the reality.

Beautiful is better than ugly.
Explicit is better than implicit.
Simple is better than complex.
Complex is better than complicated.
Flat is better than nested.
Sparse is better than dense.
Readability counts.
Special cases aren't special enough to break the rules.
Although practicality beats purity.
Errors should never pass silently.
Unless explicitly silenced.
In the face of ambiguity, refuse the temptation to guess.
There should be one-- and preferably only one --obvious way to do it.
Although that way may not be obvious at first unless you're Dutch.
Now is better than never.
Although never is often better than *right* now.
If the implementation is hard to explain, it's a bad idea.
If the implementation is easy to explain, it may be a good idea.
Namespaces are one honking great idea -- let's do more of those!

Monday, January 25, 2021

Mobile Suit Gundam Anime That Started It All Launches on Crunchyroll.

Now there's a surprise. Crunchyroll has long had plenty of Gundam series available, but I don't recall anyone carrying the original series. Thus why /dev/shelf contains the Blu-ray 😉.

Don't think that I've watched the entire series from end to end in a decade plus. But it's definitely one worth watching. I can't say that I'm a huge fan of the animation style from back then, so much as Gundam's One Year War era.

Tech things that mildly worry me

I find it just a bit worrisome how often I remember shortcuts for running the MMC's various faces.

PS C:\Users\Terry> gci C:\Windows\System32\*.msc

    Directory: C:\Windows\System32

Mode                 LastWriteTime         Length Name
----                 -------------         ------ ----
-a----        2019-12-07     04:09          41587 azman.msc
-a----        2019-12-07     04:09          63081 certlm.msc
-a----        2019-12-07     04:09          63070 certmgr.msc
-a----        2019-12-07     04:08         124118 comexp.msc
-a----        2019-12-07     04:09         113256 compmgmt.msc
-a----        2019-12-07     04:09         145622 devmgmt.msc
-a----        2019-12-07     04:09          13091 DevModeRunAsUserConfig.msc
-a----        2019-12-07     04:08          47682 diskmgmt.msc
-a----        2019-12-07     04:09         145127 eventvwr.msc
-a----        2019-12-07     04:09         144909 fsmgmt.msc
-a----        2019-12-07     04:53         147439 gpedit.msc
-a----        2019-12-07     04:08         144998 lusrmgr.msc
-a----        2019-12-07     04:09         145519 perfmon.msc
-a----        2019-10-15     09:53         146389 printmanagement.msc
-a----        2019-12-07     04:53          43566 rsop.msc
-a----        2019-12-07     04:53         120458 secpol.msc
-a----        2019-12-07     04:09          92746 services.msc
-a----        2019-12-07     04:09         145059 taskschd.msc
-a----        2019-12-07     04:08         144862 tpm.msc
-a----        2019-12-07     06:19         144967 virtmgmt.msc
-a----        2019-12-07     04:08         115109 WF.msc
-a----        2019-12-07     04:08         144673 WmiMgmt.msc

In most cases I'm more likely to do foo.msc from a command prompt than go hunt down what I want through the start menu or other methods. Despite my background having focused heavily on unix systems, I've actually have learned a fair bit of NT over the past 15~20 years. Don't think I'll ever enjoy the care and feeding of Windows systems but it does come with the computer nerd territory, I suppose.

When you consider that for much of the past fifteen or so, the main reason I've kept Windows around has been for video games it may be kind of sad and worrisome, lol.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

My data migration plan is almost wrapped up, yay!

Attempts to start Plex, or fire up Speccy to see if I could get a smart reading, was causing my 3 TB drive to dismount. Read access at least has proven reliable, and despite the drive’s age it doesn’t sound like hell.

Since the important stuff on that drive is copied to my backups drive, and a copy of the backups drive is periodically sent to it: data loss would have been minimal if it went duddaaa splat like my old 1 TB did. Risk of loss was most of my Plex content, and the local mirror of my backups.

Last time I replaced a failing drive: one of the 1 TB drives I bought back in January 2013 died. Of course it was the one used for backups, and a short time after I started backing up the backups in full rather than the most vital parts. Which turned out to be rather handy, even if most stuff on ny backups drive are files I won’t cry if they’re lost—unlike my photo albums.

Faced with a drive going wonkers, and limited time. I did some planning and found myself buying a pair of 8 TB drives — because the price was so good, I decided to get a spare.

Since taking a day to migrate my unbacked up media over to the new 8 TB drive, I’ve also decided to shift gears on how my dual drive arrangement works.

How it’s been done:

  1. Backups drive
  2. Plex drive
Originally these were both 1 TB drives. The 3 TB in question replaced one when various retro fittings occurred. The 1 TB that failed a year or two ago was replaced with a 2 TB. But otherwise things remained the same.

Rather than backup vitals pike photos from Plex to Backups, and then mirror Backups to Plex just in case. I’ve decided to integrate everything into one drive. 

Such that one new 8 TB drive is the complete data set. Backups, Plex, etc. Thus the 2 TB drive can go on to replace either the 2013-era 1 TB drive hanging out of my xbox, or the roughly as old 1 TB used to backup my laptop’s 0.5 TB drive. It could even serve as an extra backup of the most important parts. I’ll figure that out later.

I chose to buy a second 8 TB drive in part because the prices are so nice. And because it’s big enough that whatever fits on the new “Master” drive can also fit on the spare.

The open loop is how I want to handle backups in this new arrangement.

Periodically mirroring the master to the backups would leave me with an automation that makes the spare ready to rock and roll. Syncing up once or twice a month is sufficient risk prevention for my needs. In that time period, data at risk typically exists on other devices or offsite.

Alternatively, I could simply use the “Spare” as a destination for backups of the new master. Similar to how I take care of my file server’s system drive being backed up to the “Backups” drive that is now a folder on the master. Ditto other machines are backed up to that location in similar ways but less frequently.

As I see it the differences are moot from la failure rate perspective.

Mirroring on a monthly basis will generate ample file accesses; the difference is the “Spare” won’t have the wakeful workloads of the “Master”. By contrast the various backup software I rely on, can easily toss differential backups but doesn’t make the drive ready to rock. Doing so will still generate load on the drive whenever the operation occurs.

Thus I find myself favoring the approach where recovery is change mount point, go by new drives. One to replace failure, and one to decommission the spare for less sensitive uses.

Friday, January 22, 2021

 Why a portless iPhone would be a nightmare

Reading this, I kind of have to ask myself: how many people actually use their phone’s port for something other than charging?

I’ve used the Micro-B ports on my phones to mount a monitor, flash drive, or use a keyboard, but this has been a rarity. Most times I’ve used the port for debugging Android applications with logcat. Since I strongly prefer a tablet, the monitor, drive, and keyboard stuff usually fell to that rather than my phones.

In terms of what my iPhone SE 2020 offers, I can’t say I’d actually give a flying floop if it was wireless charging only. In the sense that Lighting already declares I am unlikely to do anything more complicated than mount it in iTunes and copy ringtones, lol

Monday, January 18, 2021


“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

— from Dr. King’s speech in St. Louis on March 22, 1964.

Not the first time I’ve added something Dr. King said to my quotes file, but I have to admit this one is well worth the adding. H/T to The NY Times.



Sunday, January 10, 2021

What happened in the capital was pretty terrible. Well worthy of condemnation, and more than a little messed up. In that vein, as I have a sense of humor I parse this article with tongue very much in cheek.

When I see an interesting article from The Atlantic pop up in my feeds, I usually question whether or not I have time to read twenty pages of article. In this case it was more like an awesome series of giggle snorts describing a day that will reflect poorly in our history books. Thank goodness we still have the right to a sense of humor 😂.
Here’s why everyone should own a cheap Android tablet

An interesting if unusual line of reasoning for a site full of nerds and shifting attention spans.

Tablets are often more natural to repurpose than other computing devices. Phones are often too damned small or the only size you need. Laptops are often too damned big, or all you really want is the keyboard input. Tablets strike an excellent size between being so compact you can Velcro it to the wall, and being large enough to prevent and interact with globs of data like videos and web pages.

Kitchens, bathrooms, garages, craft rooms, head boards, often have space as a premium. If not at first then eventually, lol. If money grew on trees instead of being made from trees and tears, I’d probably have a dedicated tablet just for scribbling notes.

One of the open questions I’ve had since my Tab S3 -> iPad Pro conversion is what do I want to do with Scarlett. The cracked screen works fine most of the time, but I’d largely prefer to avoid putting it in a position where fluids and cleaning are regular needs. The old HDX7 has principally become a clock now that it’s long form reading duties have migrated to a conventional Kindle.

Currently it resides near the charger cluster of /dev/headboard. Which has shown promising possibilities as an electronic picture frame or clock in either room. Mounting it on a kitchen wall or the side of my refrigerator would readily solve the problem that I’ll need to update my grocery list for something, but don’t have the time to leave my kitchen to go get a phone or tablet. There’s also the perk that the S-Pen still works pretty well as long as you don’t rest your hand too heavily on the screen, or need fine lines near the cracked part.

Friday, January 8, 2021

Going on somewhat of a cleaning kick, I managed to sort through and clean various artifacts that haven’t really been gone through in a few years.

Along the way I decided to put some stuff with my treasures box. Not sure if everyone does, but ever since I was little my mother had these jewelry box like things for us. Mostly made up of artifacts from when we were born. Like buttons or coins with our birthdays, or stuff that was my father’s. Various stuff has been collected here since I was a kid. Troll dolls, a folding paper fa from Chuck-E-Cheese’s arcade, etc. More recent additions include a Pokemon TCG coin, my wristwatch, yadda yadda.

The box also contains various things like my dad’s driver’s license and registration. Can’t remember how much has been there next to forever, and what has been merged into that over the years. Most of Dad’s personal artifacts are in one of his old containers. Likewise my mother’s are in various containers she kept her personal stuff in.

In debating where to put some of my mother’s stuff, I opted to put it in my box with some of my father’s stuff. Makes sense to me that her driver’s license would end up next to his. While I was at it, also incorporated are things like the fob and last registration from my first car.

Also a little happy. Looking through my parents things, I found dad’s other dog tag in one of my mother’s boxes. Next to important stuff of her father’s. Last time I moved, I had feared I might of lost it.

And then of course there’s irony. In knocking the box with comments that I should really get something bigger to store this stuff in the frame of the lid finally came unglued. Considering it’s at least thirty years old, I suppose I can’t complain, lol.

Think if I was smart, I’d find some time to clean and organize that entire shelf and make it more orderly. Family albums on the bottom shelf might even be worth the sneezing attack.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Revisiting the problem of sending custom alarm tones to iOS, this time around I opted to save myself some pain. The first thing I did was locate where I stuffed my audio file; the second was plug my iPhone in to iTunes. Because when you utter enough profanities doing a thing it tends to leave a mark 😛.

I've been thinking for a while of setting a new alarm for the weekends. Presently, Misty's morning meds rely on the fact that I'm usually awake around that time and if not, Corky makes sure I am; much as he made sure my mother didn't dose off instead of testing her sugar in the morning. Habitually waking up around the same time has been useful, but lacks fail safes. Thus the alarm clock.

During the week it's kind of wrapped around my trifecta of alarms. One to wake me up, so I can't sleep through the others; one to tell me to get my ass out of bed; and the third to tell me I better damned get my ass out of bed if there isn't a tooth brush in my mouth yet ðŸ˜ē. Each of these have different tones to help know the pattern. Normally on the weekend there's just a late alarm in place to make sure I don't literally sleep the day away, and I'm usually up long before then.

In thinking about whether I want to put the extra alarm on my phone or my tablet, the notion hit me. Separate device, separate why the frak am I waking up reason. I might even migrate that time slot from tablet to phone during the week as further reinforcement that it's time for Misty's meds.

As such the time frame overlaps with the first weekday alarm, as that's the most convenient time to give Misty her meds, and bribe Corky into letting me go back to sleep. Peanut butter is important here, lol. In much the same vain: I'm inclined to use the same alarm tone for the same time of day and purpose.

That just so happens to be the protagonist's morning alarm from Pixel Fade's Ace Academy. Which is a heck of a lot more pleasant to wake up to than the 90 dB alarm clock I had as a kid, lol.