Wednesday, 9 December 2015

By on December 9th, 2015 in Uncategorized

13:41 – Oh, boy. I just tried to extract my most recent data backups from two flash drives. Both files blow up with an error message. I’ll try earlier versions from the flash drives. If those don’t work. I have a hard drive copy uncompressed that I can try.

The wood stove is installed and tested with burning paper to make sure it draws normally. The guys we’re contracting with to maintain our main heating/cooling system installed it. They strongly recommended getting some good firewood rather than using the pile of rotting stuff that’s sitting out back at the fence line, although we could use that in an emergency. Since it’s a new stove, they said we should expect it to emit a strong odor when we burn the first load of wood. They recommended just buying a small amount of firewood at Lowe’s and using that for the first burn-in pass. I told them I’d just open the back door and let the odors go outside rather than into the house. The flue is completely unused, so they recommended just using the stove as we normally would for the first year and then getting a chimney sweep out to look at it and recommend how often it needed to be cleaned.

I fixed the small TV upstairs, which had randomly fluctuating brightness. I thought we were going to have to return it to Costco, but it turns out that random brightness fluctuations on Vizio TV’s are a feature, not a bug. All I had to do was change the viewing mode from Normal to one of the other modes. I think I picked Gaming. It now works as it should. I can’t believe anyone would consider Normal mode to be in any way normal. At least Vizio’s WiFi implementation Just Works, so we’re good for now. I’ll set up the Roku with the big screen TV downstairs, at least until I have time to run an Ethernet cable up to the den/sitting room.

We’re gradually getting things normalized here. I’m looking forward to running some local errands once I have a moment. I want to visit the gun store, which is owned by our closing attorney’s husband, and stop in at several local places that look interesting. I also want to stop by the local LDS church and meet the people there. When I mentioned that to Barbara, she said, “We are NOT joining the Mormon church.” I agreed with her, but pointing out that LDS churches welcome non-members to take part in their emergency preparedness programs.

21 Comments and discussion on "Wednesday, 9 December 2015"

  1. Lynn says:

    Since it’s a new stove, they said we should expect it to emit a strong odor when we burn the first load of wood.

    When I turned on the new natural gas furnace the other night, it smoked up the game room and my bedroom so bad that the smoke alarm went off. The wife was asleep and never heard the smoke alarm which is another concern.

  2. Lynn says:

    They just announced a new east to west interstate in Texas. That is fine and dandy but proof that the feddies cannot get it right. We need a new south to north interstate from Houston to west Texas (overlaying highway 36 would be awesome). “Interstate 14 on its way across Texas”

    I am having to listen to construction equipment outside this week. They are clearing the two 40 acre properties next to my office property so they can extend the Greatwood home subdivision into them. Those hydro-axes can really take a tree down quick. The wilderness is leaving our little section of heaven here.

  3. Lynn says:

    Oh, boy. I just tried to extract my most recent data backups from two flash drives. Both files blow up with an error message. I’ll try earlier versions from the flash drives. If those don’t work. I have a hard drive copy uncompressed that I can try.

    Do you use robocopy for your backups? Oh wait, you are a linux user. How about rcp?

    I am a firm believer in mirror images rather than some sort of compressed single monster file. At the office, we have three PCs with online dedicated backup drives. Plus seven external backup drives that rotate in each week and get written Friday night.

  4. Dave says:


    Have you tried copying the file from the flash drive, then extracting from the file on a hard disk?

  5. Lynn says:

    I’ll set up the Roku with the big screen TV downstairs, at least until I have time to run an Ethernet cable up to the den/sitting room.

    Please try ethernet over power. Works well for me as I only have one cat 5 line in the house and that is set up for DirecTV DVR antenna. All you need is two power adapters and you are in business. You can purchase extra adapters as needful and no central unit is used. I have the older version of this system:

  6. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    As I said on yesterday’s page, I ordered a kit this afternoon.

  7. Lynn says:

    Oops, I missed that. I’ve been using ethernet over power at home for quite a few years now (4? 5?). Works like a champ even though it is the initial 80 mbps variety. I have four of the adapters installed. One is out in the new game room and works well. I have this old system:

    I have no idea if ethernet over power would work in my office building since I have two phases pulled into it (200 amp each). I’m not sure if the ethernet would jump from one phase to the other but, I doubt it. My office building has around 20 home runs installed in it and our servers are hooked direct into our 24 port switch so we are good there.

  8. Terry Losansky says:

    I use the powerline network adapters currently, and have tried them in several homes and my RV over the last few years. I am currently using the ActionTec brand. I started with Netgear but out of the box they failed to function so I switched brands.

    In locations with bad power, like voltage leakage from one phase to another (very un-good), the adapters may actually work, but the electronics fail eventually. (Along the way we discovered the cross-connecting short in the wiring.)

    The homes where I have tested units have all had two-phase panels, and the adapters work in nearly all outlets, regardless of the phase of the circuit. I suspect the signals use the neutral wire, which normally are common on all phases. Open your electrical panel and you will see all the neutral wires terminate on the same bus-bar.

    In my RV, the units worked great, but if your inverter/charger is in the circuit, it will likely not function. I had intermittent functionality depending on the currently cycle of the charger. This basically means the signal does not get out to the ‘shore-power’ the RV is plugged into. Inside the RV, never a problem.

    GFI breakers and GFI outlets are iffy. I have seen the adapters trip GFI breakers in the panel, but never a GFI outlet. Functionality on a GFI circuit may or may not work otherwise. If it does, you are lucky. I have not seen any rhyme or reason with this, nor any support documentation when I last look about three years ago.

    I have used the adapters with surge suppressors, and they work in most cases. I have not tried to use them with my UPS systems yet. My UPS batteries are all dead since they were in storage for three years. Working on that issue when I get a round toit.

    My current setup works almost flawlessly. My Vizio 4K TV with the adapter streams Amazon and Netflix 4K shows without issue. About once every two months I have had to unplug the adapter to reset it if the TV cannot get a signal, but I suspect this is due to house power fluctuations from stormy weather, and the TV never really being powered off. I have three laptops I use around the house in various locations with never a problem, and the same for my Blu-ray player.

    When I travel, I often take a couple of the adapters with me. They have proven useful. I recommend the ActionTec units, but the technology has improved in the last few years and I have not kept up in that sense.

  9. OFD says:

    @RBT: The guys who put in your woodstove gave you the straight scoop on what to do with it this year, and 2.) IIRC, that brightness fluctuation on the Vizio, which we get here only when it’s on the Guide screens, is allegedly a power-saving FEATURE.

    High winds all day and now all night here again but temps in the high fotties all week and reaching 50 by the weekend. This is friggin’ WEIRD for northern Vermont, but hey, thanks, Algore!

  10. Ray Thompson says:

    A slideshow I put together for my friend’s memorial. It was requested by his daughter.

  11. OFD says:

    Nice job there, Mr. Ray; condolences again for your loss.

    “Move over, QVC…”

    And hats off, for the greatest firearms salesman in all of human history…thanks, Barry!

  12. Rick H says:

    1) I would have set up a wireless network for everything that couldn’t “reach” a hard-wire network cable. But I am sort of lazy.

    2) I still encourage off-site backups via a backup service (I use Carbonite). Encrypted at their end (and in transit), and available from any device. They may not have a Linux client, though. Local backups are great, until you discover that they don’t work for some reason.

    3) You might not find anyone at the local LDS church until Sunday, and then they expect you to show up for the meetings. If you want to get the contact info for the local Emergency Prep person, you should call the Bishop’s phone line and leave a message. The quality of the person that is the Emergency Prep coordinator varies, though…some are better at it than others. There is usually not a ‘formal’ E.P. program (no regular meetings or info distributed); the local ward (congregation unit) may help sponsor a yearly ‘expo’ that they invite the public. The Bishop (local unit lay leader) should know a member that is their local ‘expert’, but quality and dedication vary.

    …Rick (currently stuck in Woodland WA on the wrong side of the I-5 mudslide, which has fully closed NB until – I suspect – noon tomorrow/Thurs. But we did some geeky-fu early to get a hotel room locally. Mudslide happened about 3pm local, at this time (8pm local) there is still a pile of traffic wandering around the major streets, looking for an alternative route. But the only alternative route is back to Portland, then east on I-84 to I-92/94. We’ll just wait it out overnight in a comfortable room.)

  13. nick says:

    @ rick,

    reframe your update with the prepper aspects featured….

    (Or the miss…)


  14. MrAtoz says:

    I see a bunch of celeb-u-turds made another “guns bad” video. I was so impassioned by Jennifer Aniston that I threw all my guns in the xeriscaped dry creek bed in my back yard. Now I’ll never find them when the Zombie Strippers attack. I can just imagine all of them on their knees before their Lord and Master Ofukstik.

  15. nick says:

    Sitting in the oval office, him sitting on the edge of the desk, leaned back slightly, legs crossed at the knee, them on the floor, legs together to one side, chin lifted as they gaze up at his smirking face

    And I was going somewhere with that, but I’m going to bed instead.

    They all look like they’d love to get a face full, with hands cupped for more.


  16. nick says:

    BTW, Gateway Pundit is on fire today, almost every article is click worthy.


  17. Miles_Teg says:

    “Oh, boy. I just tried to extract my most recent data backups from two flash drives. Both files blow up with an error message. I’ll try earlier versions from the flash drives. If those don’t work. I have a hard drive copy uncompressed that I can try.”

    I had a free program called 7-Up Zip, or similar, that would usually unzip files that Windows Zip wouldn’t.

  18. brad says:

    Backups, backups…one of those things. Our host is pretty paranoid, and has backups in different forms, I’m sure he’ll get his data back.

    It’s a debate: how much effort do you put in backups, vs. how much risk you accept. The truly paranoid do periodic full-restores, to ensure that everything works. Of course, the time you put in over weeks and years accumulates.

    I have two very different automatic backup processes running, and I occasionally check one or two files, just to see if they are really present and readable. Once, I discovered that some update had borked one of the backups for the previous six months (the name of the auto-mounted partition had changed, for reasons I never did understand). Should I check the backups more often? Or set up some fancy monitoring process? Sure, but realistically, it ain’t gonna happen.

    For anyone looking for a good backup process (Linux-based), I have been very happy with StoreBackup for years now. It creates a backup directory for each time it runs. If a file is unchanged, it puts a hard-link to the previous copy. If the file has changed, it makes a fresh copy. The advantage is that you have effective snapshots of your entire file system for each individual backup date, but the whole thing takes up very little space. The disadvantage is that there is only one copy of each version of each file – if that copy is damaged, it is damaged in all snapshots.

  19. JimL says:

    I have my helpdesk guy check backups every month. Every 3-6 months, I check his work. Part of the process is pulling data off the backup servers and storing them on removable hard drives. I check those so I know that both parts of his checks are okay.

    Yes, it’s expensive. But it’s not as expensive as not having the data when we need it. When I started this job, half of our servers weren’t being backed up at all, and nobody knew how to recover data from the system we had.

    Mobile users have Carbonite. I have to check those myself. It’s a real pain in the butt, but nothing compared to folks that can’t get their data.

  20. Miles_Teg says:

    This is what happens when you don’t immunise your kids…

    ‘In a newsletter sent to parents on December 4, principal Trevor Bowen said the school welcomed students who were not immunised.

    “Prospective students will not be prevented from enrolling in primary school if they have not been immunised,” he said.’

Comments are closed.