Sunday, 29 June 2014

10:24 – We’re doing the usual Sunday stuff.

Yesterday I moved the canned dry goods we purchased from the LDS store off the steel shelving unit and onto a pallet I built along one wall from 2×2 spacers and 1×6 boards. Keeping that stuff on the steel shelving unit was a waste of heavy-duty shelving that we can use for canned soups, vegetables, fruits, etc. The LDS store stuff is in cases of six #10 cans each, and the cases stack just fine without shelves to separate them. A space 8 feet (2.5 meters) wide by 40″ (1 meter) high by 13″ (33 cm) deep is sufficient to stack 25 cases 5×5. Depending on contents, the cases range in weight from about 13 to 37 pounds (6 to 17 kilos), so stacking them five high isn’t a problem.

I’ve also claimed some unused space in our full-size vertical freezer, which I’ll use to store small, high-value items, particularly those with shorter shelf lives. The rule of thumb in chemistry is that each change of 10 degrees Celsius doubles/halves the rate of a reaction. In a freezer at -20C versus room temperature of 20C, that 40C difference is four doublings, or a factor of 16X. In other words, an item that has a one-year shelf life at +20C can be expected to have a sixteen-year shelf life at -20C. And there’s no drawback to keeping that unused space filled. The converse, in fact. If we have a power failure, the more mass that’s in that freezer at -20C, the longer the contents will stay cold.


11:21 – I hate it when updates break stuff. Barbara has a Sansa Fuze MP3 player. For years, every two or three months I’ve refilled it with music simply by connecting it to a USB port and having it recognized as a USB mass storage device. This morning, I plugged it in and got an error. Ubuntu 14.04 said it was “unable to open MTP device”. A quick search turned up the solution. I had to go into settings on the Fuze and change the USB settings from Autodetect to MSC. I wish that Linux developers would adopt as their Prime Directive “DO NOT BREAK SOMETHING THAT ALREADY WORKS”.

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16 Responses to Sunday, 29 June 2014

  1. Lynn McGuire says:

    I am convinced that the entire world will be exclusively running Linux in 10 years. It is already above 50% (maybe 70%???) with all the smartphones and tablets. We desktop Windows users will be the long term holdout until we die off or make the jump. Getting all your apps from Windows to Linux is the hard part.

  2. Lynn McGuire says:

    Is that long term storage space in conditioned space? Or a basement that does not get warm?

    And, how well do canned goods respond to freezing temperatures? Anything packed in water will have an event when passing 32 F or maybe just a little lower.

  3. Miles_Teg says:

    They’ll have to make it 100x more user friendly and reliable first.

  4. Lynn McGuire says:

    They’ll have to make it 100x more user friendly and reliable first.

    I assume that you mean Linux. That has been done as evidenced by the fact that 80%? 90%? of smartphones are running Linux.

  5. OFD says:

    There’s a bit of difference between trying to do productive stuff regularly on a desktop or laptop, and simply turning on and using a smartphone. I think that is what Greg down in Oz has in mind.

    My experience with Windows, Linux, Apple stuff, etc., is that every one has its good and bad points depending on what you’re trying to do. Frankly the only reason I keep Windows on this machine is for wife’s work stuff and streaming to the downstairs tee-vee. All my other machines are Linux now. If I were running a biz like Bob, I’d have to proceed very carefully, however; or if I was mainly playing internet games, until recently I’d be stuck with using Windows.

    I’m apparently OK with Windows 8 on this box, which is what it came with, including the damned ethernet controller. And I am liking RHEL 7 on the other machine next to me here. But if not for Mrs. OFD, I’d probably find a way to make the streaming work with Linux and go all-Linux all the time. I suppose I could make her plug in her Windows 7 laptop and use that at home but she doesn’t wanna do that. It’s easier for her to sit here and send in her Excel spreadsheets, invoices, PP slides, etc. on this box. Plus the printer’s hooked up for scanning hotel, cab and meal receipts. And it took us a while to get this whole deal up and running reliably and quit fooling around with Windows upgrades that the hardware is evidently not ready for. Or vice-versa.

    Kinda warm here today and sunny. Didn’t get a helluva lot done. The attic was an oven; we gotta knock a window into the opposite wall from the existing window and get the cross ventilation and breeze from the lake up there. Means punching a hole through the 1830 brick, though. But it’s space we kinda need to use.

    Screw it; I’m done for today; this coming week is gonna be busy enuff as it is.

  6. Lynn McGuire says:

    Like I’ve said before, there are content users and content creators. Most of the content users have moved to a smartphone or tablet running Linux or IOS. I think that most of the content creators are on a desktop or laptop running Windows but I am not sure of this at all. To me, it is very hard to create content on a smartphone or tablet. But, people do it every day, just not me.

  7. OFD says:

    I’m a content user who runs Windows 8 but the phone is IOS and I’ve also got the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX. Wife’s phone is a Droid.

    I’ll be using the Fedora 20 desktop for instructional vids on firearms repair and customization and producing my own at some point. Also other run-of-the-mill household repairs I’ll be doing in the attic workshop. Plus shortwave, ham radio, and scanner apps.

  8. Miles_Teg says:

    Smartphones and tablets don’t have nice keyboards, play MMORPGs well, have a lot of storage capacity, etc etc.

  9. OFD says:

    You can hook up a regular keyboard to a smartphone or tablet but who would want to; the screen size is a killer for me. To me a phone is a damn phone, period. The Kindle is handy for some uses and easy to tote around. But for games and movies and office-type apps, I want a big ol’ keyboard and monitor.

  10. OFD says:

    Come one, come all! Bring us your undocumented and possibly diseased or terroristic or gangbanging teeming masses, yearning to latch on, and suck what remains of this country dry of all its blood and treasure, we have it to spare! We’ll simply raise taxes! Cut benefits to elderly and veterans and the disabled! Forget fixing national infrastructure!

    This was all done intentionally and deliberately, from the Sixties on, with malice aforethought. No country in history can simply open up its borders wide and take in whole populations from elsewhere and not have it become a deleterious effect on existing society, culture and citizens. But they went ahead and did it anyway.

    Picture Russia doing this, and letting in hordes of Han Chinese or Turks. Or Japan opening wide its gates for teeming masses of Andaman Islanders and Indonesians. Picture the UK and Germany and France letting in crowds of impoverished Africans and hadjis…oh wait….

  11. Chuck W says:

    I think Lynn is right. DIL is a fulltime programmer working exclusively on Mac’s at work. She and my son use Ubuntu 12.04 at home. No Windows in the house. They are creators. In my business, whether it is video or publishing, it’s Mac. Mac is close enough to Linux to be Linux, as you can get almost anything that runs on one to run on the other with enough patience.

    Facing a non-working Epson scanner at the moment that I am trying to get up on Mint 17. According to various help pages, it worked perfectly in Mint 16 out of the box. Busted with Mint 17. Not supported by SANE/XSANE (Epson V30). Linux really IS one step forward and two steps back with every release. Until that stops, it is not going to take over Windows.

    Gotta face the printer after the scanner. It is not recognized either, and is a very common HP 1200 series.

  12. MrAtoz says:

    and suck what remains of this country dry of all its blood and treasure

    And now Obummer is going to *ask* Congress for $2 billion to “take care of the kids.”

    Cough. $40K per kid. To do what? Pay for college. Buy a house in Mexico. I had to save for 20 years to send my kids for college. Maybe give the $$ to whatever city Obuttwad’s minions send the kids to, under the concealment of night, on government planes. Geez. Congress will not cough up the bucks. So what, Executive Order Number XXX will take the money from military operating funds, VA pensions and health care. Active mil are going to die in Obummers next foray, and the Vets, well, they are decrepit, sick and old and will die soon anyway.

    Build a big water park on the border in Tejas with the water slide ending in Mexico.

  13. brad says:

    Linux is great, but Chuck is right: There is a real problem with things breaking things that once worked. I have Ubuntu 12.04 on my main system, and some of the software is getting a bit long in the tooth. But upgrading it to the next LTS, or moving to Mint 17 LTS, is guaranteed to cause problems that I don’t want to deal with.

    The licensing is also a problem. One of the huge advantages of Linux is the software installation: Click through the menu in the installer (or “apt-get install”), and you can put all the software you ever wanted onto the machine in one automatic pass. Unless…

    Unless it’s commercial (Oracle Java instead of OpenJDK). Unless the developers don’t like it (TrueCrypt 7.1a was never available on Mint). For those packages, you can waste lots of time trying to get them installed the way they ought to be – and often end up marking random personal websites as “trustworthy” to provide you with updates.

    Still, nowadays I only use Windows for gaming, and when some consulting client requires it. My wife’s company is in the transition phase away from Windows to Linux. The ERP software is now in Java; biggest problems remaining are applications with no Linux equivalent (like InDesign).

  14. Chuck W says:

    I am about to give up on the Epson V30 scanner. The so-called Linux drivers from Epson do not work — at least sane/xsane and Gimp just say “scanner not accepting commands”. Pretty infuriating when Windows — with no outside drivers installed at all — natively recognizes the V30 and gets beautiful results from it. So far, my searching has not revealed a single person who has gotten a V30 to work — just people who cannot get it to work.

  15. OFD says:

    Perhaps a Windows vm on the Linux box just for the scanner?

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