Tuesday, 16 September 2014

By on September 16th, 2014 in personal, science kits

09:53 – I need to finish those chemistry kits today. We’re down to one in stock. We ended up shipping seven kits yesterday, mostly biology kits. This morning I need to get outstanding orders shipped that came in too late to ship yesterday, and then get to work on building more chemistry kits.

My Polar Pure order arrived yesterday, but it included only one bottle rather than the two I’d ordered and paid for. I immediately reported the problem to Amazon, but haven’t heard back from them or the vendor. What interested me is that, although there’s no SRP on the box, Polar Pure mentions on the back of the box that it treats 2,000 quarts/liters at a cost of less than half a cent per quart/liter. Obviously, Polar Pure intended the list price to be $9.99 rather than the $19.99 that the Amazon vendors were selling it for. I found exactly one bottle for sale on eBay, at a buy-it-now price of $40.

Based on comments here and emails from several readers, Barbara and I decided to bag Twin Peaks. There are so many other good things in our Netflix and Amazon streaming queues that we have to be selective. Speaking of good things, I’m going to get some of these courses set up for streaming on our Roku. For example, it’s been 40 years since I took an organic chemistry course, and it’d be interesting to see how quickly it comes back to me. I figure I could make it through two full years of organic lectures pretty quickly and be back up to speed. Adding physical chemistry and biochemistry wouldn’t take much longer. Then I think I’d start with first-year biology and suck up all the lecture courses that are available in the biology curriculum. Then I’d probably start on engineering courses, with an emphasis on chemical and mechanical engineering. And I’ll probably toss in a few humanities courses just for fun.

40 Comments and discussion on "Tuesday, 16 September 2014"

  1. Chuck W says:

    It really takes time to analyze the ups and downsides of making changes to one’s computing methods. Back around 1995, I was just shifting to working mostly at home, and using the Internet to trade files. I was often the first person at my main employer to send people attachment files via email and ask them to do their job with it, rather than being at the office and giving them a floppy copy of the file. People were flabbergasted at first, but within a few months, trading files via email was getting common in my unit. It was what to open them with that was the problem. I worked mostly with a division that used Macs exclusively, because they could support around 50 users with only 1 tech admin. But since I had a PC at home, it was hell trying to figure out what format to use, so everyone could open anything.

    Fast-forward, since early May, I have been on Linux, and am still finding the problem areas with various programs. With all the problems OFD, Brad, and Marcello outline, you would think that after almost 20 years, there would be no problems at all with email.

    Using Evolution, I have had various difficulties, but all of them had a solution of one sort or another that mostly solved the problem.

    However, I am often in places where I need offline access. Having transitioned to Evolution’s support of IMAP+, — I moved from POP, but — that may have been a mistake. I am finding that Evolution, no matter what the settings, will not keep synchronized copies of folder contents on my local computer. I am not the only person experiencing that problem, and it is clear from forum research, that that problem alone is driving a lot of people to Thunderbird.

    I already tried Thunderbird, and it does not support my need for multiple email accounts (used for the different types of work I do) as well as Evolution — or Outlook for that matter. Both Outlook and Thunderbird require mail from different accounts to be delivered to a single Inbox before rules/filters to move the mail to other places can be applied. Evolution leaves mail in the appropriate box, and applies rules to all Inboxes, if desired.

    So the showstopper is this: not being able to work offline without having online access immediately prior to switching offline. When you switch to offline, Evo THEN synchronizes all folders (for me that is a good 5 minute affair). As sometimes happens, I end up in an office where there is no wireless visitor’s access, and I do not know this before I arrive. Then, when I get set up, and want to work on email, I can’t, without remembering to synchronize and go to offline mode, EVERY SINGLE TIME before I shut the computer down for travel.

    What is more, after the 5 minute sync downloads, all that downloaded material is erased at some point shortly after I go back online, so even if I am only online for 15 minutes (which happens when I eat somewhere with wireless access, and get Evo to send the stuff I have initiated or responded to while offline), I have to do the 5 minutes of syncing again before leaving (and usually public access is so slow, it takes a lot longer than 5 minutes).

    Most of the help sites suggest returning to POP. Not sure what I will do, but again, this seems like simple stuff that after years of Evo development should work as advertised (and they do advertise that sync’s should be happening continuously). And yes, I have appropriate folders assigned as ‘copy contents for offline operation’. But, — as the various help sites note — checking that option does not do a damned thing.

    Basically, I like Evolution — better than Thunderbird, and it has integrated Calendar and Tasks, without the need for Thunderbird’s crappy user-developed plug-ins for those; — Evo is the closest thing to Outlook I have tried. But actually, as OFD notes, for user me, Outlook performs with fewer problems than any of them.

  2. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Look at the Kmail/Kontact/Korganizer suite, which in my opinion is a lot better than Evolution.

  3. medium wave says:

    Teacher group: Math is ‘the domain of old, white men’.

    Comments at Instapundit.

    Didn’t we always know that eventually they would come for math?

  4. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    They come after anything that demonstrates the gaping divide between smart people and cognitively-challenged (is that the right term?) people.

    Stupidity can’t be fixed. It’s a life sentence, so the only solution is to deny that it exists and always insist upon alternative explanations for observed facts (which, of course, require no explanation, let alone alternative explanations).

  5. Chuck W says:

    My Polar Pure order arrived yesterday, but it included only one bottle rather than the two I’d ordered and paid for.

    Mine, from the second outfit (Campers Haven, I believe) just arrived. They were mailed as 3 separate packages, but arrived all at once. Inside, the contents are packaged in cardboard display boxes, obviously meant for store shelf display. Maybe your second was shipped separately and got separated from the first?

    Does this stuff need to be hidden from light? My outer packaging was one of those mailers that is thin solid black plastic, like film was once sent in.

  6. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    The dark brown Polar Pure bottle is sufficient protection.

  7. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    The shipping documentation says two bottles shipped in one package. Which is demonstrably false, since two bottles of PP by themselves weigh more than the 5 ounces that the entire package that they sent me weighs.

  8. Paul says:

    I’ve had no trouble maintaining two separate e-mail address accounts at the same domain with separate in and out boxes in Thunderbird, assume from the way it worked I could add others. I forget now how to set it up but I had no trouble following the install routine when I changed machines last year. I have little need for Syncing across systems so I don’t know about that.

  9. Chuck W says:

    Well, I had no trouble adding different email accounts to Thunderbird; it was that I had to make them all dump into one Inbox in order to activate the ‘move’ rules/filters. I have about 12 folders for important contacts I correspond with every day, with rules to move mail to those folders upon arrival. I have those folders displayed in the navigation tree at all times, so I can instantly see when one of them sends me mail. It is really a nightmare to have to have 5 mailboxes dump into one, as work mailboxes are more important than personal, and I can ignore the personal until the end of the day. But with everyone dumping into the same Inbox, I have a sorting job to do — even though it might be mental — which becomes a distraction.

    I tried KDE a couple years ago. I came to hate KDE, because it always screwed up my installation. Always! Whether I was using one app or did a whole KDE desktop install, it was very messy to deal with. Only desktop I ever used that had windows larger than the screen resolution I was using, with all controls — including Move, Resize, Ok, and Cancel — completely inaccessible. At this point, I have my life on one computer, and although I still have the Windows computer as a backup, having the Mint installation go haywire at this juncture, would be devastating. A lot of work is coming in, at the moment, so until I have a chance to get another new computer up and running, I will just limp along with Evolution.

    The only other real annoyance, is that both the Gmail reader and the default Samsung Galaxy email program, mark any email I click on as read. That keeps Evo from applying the move rules when the mail comes in there. There is probably a mail reader for Androids that I can keep from marking stuff as read, but at the moment, nothing I read on the phone when out and about, gets moved properly when Evo gets it.

  10. MrAtoz says:

    Liberal “news” organization CNN gets a taste of what the government is for, ie, sticking it to you.

    The National Labor Relations Board has ordered CNN to rehire 100 workers and compensate 200 others for a labor dispute that originated in 2003.

    A bunch of political appointees sitting around telling businesses how to run themselves.

  11. MrAtoz says:

    In other news, I was dealt a severe blow today.

    My iPhone 6 is delayed until October 16.

    I’m devastated. Damn that 128 gig.

  12. MrAtoz says:

    Obummer sending 3,000 troops to Africa to fight ebola. WTF!?

  13. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Obummer sending 3,000 troops to Africa to fight ebola. WTF!?

    Yeah, I was hoping he’d restrain himself and just order air strikes.

  14. SteveF says:

    cognitively-challenged (is that the right term?) people

    From now on, I’m going to call them “differently cognated”. I, the inventor of that term, release it to all to use as they wish, because that’s the kind of guy I am.

    My Polar Pure order arrived yesterday, but it included only one bottle rather than the two I’d ordered and paid for.

    Likewise. I figured I’d give them a week to send the other or refund half of my purchase price before I informed Amazon and the credit card company.

  15. Lynn McGuire says:

    Hi Bob, here are a few shows that the wife and / or I are watching:
    “The Good Wife”
    “NCIS: Los Angeles” – we watch this for Linda Hunt
    “Hell on Wheels” – the latest episode was very, very sad about mental health
    “Defiance” – me only
    “Buying Alaska”
    “Buying the Bayou”
    “Buying the Beach”
    “Teen Wolf” – me only but I may walk away soon
    “Being Human” – me only, a vampire, werewolf and a ghost live together, oh my!
    “The Walking Dead” – me only
    “Grey’s Anatomy” – winding down
    “Castle” – winding up
    “Hawaii Five-O” – car chases on a small island
    “White Collar” – the wife
    “Warehouse 13” – me only, was somewhat entertaining and Giles from Buffy showed up at the end
    “Continuum” – never got comfortable with itself and backwards time travel
    “Justified” – me only
    “Rizzoli & Isles” – has some good episodes
    “Melissa & Joey” – the wife
    “Covert Affairs”
    “Hot in Cleveland” – the wife

  16. Chuck W says:

    Here is a list of the TV shows I watch:

  17. OFD says:

    LOL, Mr. Chuck!

    Of Mr. Lynn’s list, I have only watched, or still may watch, “Hell on Wheels,” “Longmire,” and “Justified.” And I don’t watch them on cable or broadcast tee-vee. I also have a bunch of educational shows, likewise, plus Catholic stuff.

    For email, I hate Outlook only because lately I have to support it and it is a frigging PITA to fix, one user at a time, when it blows up or fails or falls apart. I’ve used gmail, though I loathe sort of supporting Google now, practically since it came out, and I count the problems on one hand over that time. I might cavil if I had to support it, too, in an environment of users who want whatever they want right NOW.

    Dear Leader Obummer is gonna militarize against a disease while also deciding, apparently case by case, how many boots on the ground to put back in Iraq without them being boots on the ground, somehow…we keep fighting these useless clusterfuck wars with both hands tied behind our backs and blindfolded, with leaders who’ve been castrated. Then we wonder why things just get worse, nothing is solved, and we have kids coming back all fucked up or in boxes. Every single generation.

    I mention to the other combat vets in the group that we gotta quit signing up and I get dead silence. OK, have it your way; we’re all fucking heroes and we should be super patriots and sign up for every war that our beloved rulers can come up with, world without end, amen.

    Am I bitter?

  18. Lynn McGuire says:

    BTW, in “Hell on Wheels”, I have been getting a little educated as I assume that the show is fairly accurate about the ways of the time. I did not realize that all the six shooters were single action back then. And, I thought that most everyone carried a Henry repeating rifle by 1870 but very few are seen in the show.

  19. medium wave says:

    As long as we’re confessing our sins, here’s the list of TV shows I watch:

    The Big Bang Theory
    Pawn Stars

    Here are Jim Mischel’s thoughts vis-a-vis TV watching and time management, along with other bits of advice.

  20. Lynn McGuire says:

    I watch an hour of tv on weekdays. Weekends, maybe five hours per day. 15 hours per week. And that is max, not average.

    Our DVR is full of stuff that I want to watch. We have a one TB drive in it that has about 50% free space at the moment. The wife reminds me to cull all the time.

    “Americans older than 65 watch an average of seven hours of television every day. ”

    Wrong! Those people are sleeping in front of the TV because they cannot sleep at night.

  21. OFD says:

    I’ll be older than 65 in just four more years, if I make it that fah, and I’ll be damned if I ever watch that much tee-vee. I’ll probably be still working, for one thing, until I finally drop dead, and I would figure on maybe a couple of hours per week of watching a movie or a tee-vee show. Ten times that of reading, mostly nonfiction, mostly history and poetry. Some theology. Not that I’m some kinda hyper-literate saint, fah from it; it’s just what I’d rather do.

    More showers tonight, probably, and then mostly sun the rest of the week; gotta get out and mow and weed-whack again ASAP, maybe I can split from the salt mine a bit early tomorrow. Didn’t make it today, thanks to a freak power hit on the one user’s computer I’ve spent countless hours already on, fixing her logins, her Outlook, her mapped drives, over and over again. Right at 4:30, bang. And I’ll be staying a bit late Friday night to reboot the Exchange server; I could do it from home but no, I don’t think so; ancient as it is, I wanna be on-site just in case it doesn’t come back up right or at all.

    I also have to add one more guilty tee-vee-watching thing; the biker soap opera, “Sons of Anarchy.” And I watched “Homeland;” did that keep going after the main character got hanged last season?

  22. ech says:

    Well, I had no trouble adding different email accounts to Thunderbird; it was that I had to make them all dump into one Inbox in order to activate the ‘move’ rules/filters.

    Rules in Thunderbird are set up for each inbox. For example, I have a personal address, a mailing list address, and a “web form” address. Each has their own rules for processing, and each move messages to folders as they come in. So, it can do what you want. Easily.

  23. medium wave says:

    James Lileks snarks on a proto-PRC micro-module.

  24. Norman says:

    Re Chuck W – Android mail app

    I use K9-Mail on my Android phones/tablets, it’s got a setting ‘Mark as read when opened’ if you untick that it’ll leave it as unread which should, hopefully, solve your problem.

  25. Gary Berg says:

    OFD, as I recall you said your Exchange server is running on a Server 2003 box. Don’t forget that support for Server 2003 goes away in less than a year; you are going to have to do an Exchange migration in the next 6-9 months anyway.

    Migrating to a cloud service might not be much more work. You will need more bandwidth, but with Outlook caching in a local OST file it’s not too bad. You would probably want at least a 10Mbit line (just guessing). I’ve a friend who migrated his company to Office 365 from a local Lotus Notes server he inherited, and he’s been very happy so far. They didn’t try to migrate the Lotus data, however.


  26. Jim B says:

    Chuck, I also use K-9 Mail on Android, and must say it appears to be the best there is. That’s not saying much, however.

    Many newer clients on Android try to imitate some of IMAP’s features when managing POP accounts. This adds very little, and confuses less capable users.

    I really don’t recommend POP anymore, unless using a more traditional POP client. IMAP is just so much better, although you make some good points about your situation.

    I am transitioning from Outlook (15+ years as a user,) to Thunderbird, and feel your pain. Outlook comes ready-made to do what business users need, but TB cam be configured to do a lot. It takes time and effort, though, and I am only part way through. I also used Kontact, and found it good, although KMail is lacking. Never tried Evolution-was scared away by complaints of bugs. That leaves TB, which has some great features, but still needs more.

    My experience with TB is only on Linux, and there appear to be differences with the Windows version. What worries me more is that development appears to be cut way back. Don’t know if that is good or bad.

  27. Lynn McGuire says:

    My experience with TB is only on Linux, and there appear to be differences with the Windows version. What worries me more is that development appears to be cut way back. Don’t know if that is good or bad.

    It may be good. I would like to see beta testing increased though.

    I am stuck back on TB 24.7.0 on my office pc due to a font problem.

  28. Chad says:

    Here’s my somewhat embarrassingly long list of TV shows I watch…

    Big Bang Theory
    The Blacklist
    Boardwalk Empire
    The Bridge
    Downton Abbey
    The Fall
    Falling Skies
    Family Guy
    Game of Thrones
    Parks & Recreation
    Ray Donovan
    Sleepy Hollow
    Walking Dead

  29. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    TV series that I actually watch? Just one. Heartland. Over and over and over.

  30. eristicist says:

    The last series I watched was House of Cards (the US version), which was IMO very good. At some point, I plan to watch the older UK version.

  31. SteveF says:

    I get DVDs for Connections (all seasons, sent in apparently random order) from Netflix.

    There are several series, both live action and anime, of which I’ve watched a few episodes on Amazon Prime while working out. Even those that start out interesting are usually boring or annoying within a few episodes. I can’t think of the last series I watched all the way through.

    Mostly I read if I find myself with some spare time and am too tired or distracted to create. Mostly non-fiction, though I make time for fiction here and there.

  32. Don Armstrong says:

    List of TV shows that I watch, embarrassingly long:

    On the first Tuesday in November, most years, the Melbourne Cup, Victoria.

    On the first Sunday in October, about every five years, the Great Race, 1000 kilometres, on the Mount Panorama circuit at Bathurst, New South Wales.
    (Mountain/street circuit, 6.21 km, average race speed 178kph/111mph, top race speed on downhill Conrod Straight 298kph/185mph). Best demo speed (Formula 1, 1min. 48.88sec.). Best race car (practice lap 2min. 6.80sec., qualifying lap 2min. 6.86sec.)

    I know I’ve watched occasional Olympic events, but I couldn’t tell you when. I think a little of it was more recently than 2000 – probably the 2004 Men’s Marathon, and Women’s 20Km walk.

    Other than that, rare news or weather – I get most of mine from the internet.

    DVD – Buffie, Firefly, Serenity, The Flash, Lonesome Dove, The Waltons, rare assorted movies.

  33. OFD says:

    Thanks, Gary, yeah, the Server 2003 support is gone next year but I suspect the Powers don’t care much about M$ support as they’ve let a bunch of stuff, including licenses, lapse over the last few years. I am nudging them to make a decision one way or the other in regard to keeping an in-house Exchange, moving to the cloud, or a hybrid option. Whatever it is, us drones will have to support it. And currently it’s Exchange 2007. I got emails on my phone a little after 06:00 today that the incoming email was not happening, i.e., external. I suspected the Exchange box and tried to connect from home and looked up some stuff but nada. So I jumped in the shower and rushed in, delayed enough, of course, by dump trucks, pea soup fog and road/bridge construction, that my rushing meant nothing to the actual time of my arrival. Turned out that I had to reboot the Barracuda firewall (NSA 220) appliance, which is six or seven years old now and also on its last legs. What a hodge-podge of stuff they have there!

    chad; I also got sucked into “Game of Thrones,” and “Homeland” but haven’t got around to “Boardwalk Empire” yet.

    eristicist; We watched the U.S. (Kevin Spacey) version of “House of Cards” first season and it was pretty good, but they really ripped off the Brit version, which we feel is quite a bit superior. See what you think.

    SteveF; I have the “Connections” series on disk and have watched a few episodes but found the books more to my liking.

  34. Lynn McGuire says:

    Ah, I left “Falling Skies” off my list. Another series that only I watch (the wife dislikes XXXXXXX hates dystopian) and is also rambling all over the countryside. Literally.

    I also left off “Revolution” which was rambling all over the countryside also. Every time it got good, it would take a 90 degree approach to something different. The nano tech was very interesting and required a strong pushing down of one’s disbelief.

  35. OFD says:

    Didn’t “Revolution” only have just the one season or sumthin? And was then cancelled? Sorta like “Jericho?”

    For dystopia one only need look outside one’s window in the present age. It may not look like much now but the symptoms are certainly there.

  36. Lynn McGuire says:

    Revolution went two seasons, 42 episodes in all:

    Nah, we are doing great. I am going to drive over to HEB in a couple of minutes and buy a loaf of bread and several other sundries. As long as I can:
    1. drive to the store
    2. the store has bread on the shelves
    3. they will take my plastic or some funny colored paper as payment
    Then we are still living in a utopia.

    My great grandmother, who lived about 40 miles away from here south of Wharton, used to bake several loaves of bread each day to feed her family and the ranch hands. Mom said it was a lot of work when she helped her out. And then she would take the bread leftovers each day, soak them in gravy from supper and feed her dogs.

    Nowadays she could just drive to the store (she owned a country store but it did not carry bread) and buy the bread and the dog food. That is utopia!

  37. OFD says:

    And in three or four days those store shelves will be completely emptied. Check out that unusual, for that area, ice storm in St. Louis a few years back. Things were beginning to get ugly after a week. Ditto recent events, as with the EBT cards. Or just look at how mobs will throng a store when some new toy product or smartphone is suddenly available; the mob mentality is only a scratch below the Murkan surface. To see it even uglier, how’ bout black mobs attacking single people of other races on the streets, which only makes the nooz if somebody uploads a phone vid to the net. “Alternative” news outlets across the web report many dozens of these incidents a week, which never make the MSM; we’re all supposed to pretend they don’t exist.

    Regardless of race, we’ll end up having mob frenzies up here, too, once store shelves empty out. The three-days-just-in-time inventory will be a death-knell in cities larger than 10k or so. Do the math: 700k peeps in Boston. How many do you think have a month’s supply of food on hand with access to potable wottuh? Or would make it very fah outta the city if a general evac was necessary? Now multiply that figure by 20 for Babylon-On-The-Hudson. Or whatever the pop is in the Houston area.

  38. Jim Cooley says:

    If you like _Connections_, don’t miss _The Ascent of Man_.

  39. OFD says:

    I have that book, too.

  40. Chuck W says:

    Rules in Thunderbird are set up for each inbox.

    Ah, then that is different than the last time I tried it. Which has been a couple years ago. I am still reluctant to turn to that application though, since the lovely long-haired Mitchell Baker announced further development was halted.

    There is only one program that really fully met my needs, and that was Lotus Notes way back in ancient history before they sold out to IBM, which immediately iced further development there. It was waaay ahead of Outlook in its day, and was the only program I ever encountered that did not demand that you click a repeating task as 100% finished before it would generate the next repetition of the task. As I pointed out here, long ago, when I still had a secretary working for me, if she goes on vacation and her replacement does not finish one of the repeating tasks, I want to know that! Having to click 100% completed before the task finds itself in the weekly list again, is pretty stupid. But that is how every other calendar/task app I have used works, including Outlook and T-bird.

    Thanks Norman for the tip on K-9 Mail. I just downloaded it.

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