Wed. Sept. 4, 2019 – Fla. dodged a bullet, mostly

slightly cooler, but just as humid…

More running around today, picking up and delivering auction items. Ham radio group lunch in the middle, and I sorta promised to bring a couple of things for guys in the group… I hope I can make time in the middle of the day.

The Bahamas got hammered, but Florida has mostly been spared to date. I won’t count all the chicks until Dorian hooks out and heads east across the Atlantic. The pictures from the Bahamas should give everyone who thinks they can “ride out” a cat5 storm pause. You better be pretty confident in your location, and construction and maintenance… and have a plan for the recovery.

Which brings up a good point. Most people have at least a vague plan for bugging out or in, but how many have a plan for the aftermath and recovery? Our government has conveniently provided a disaster ‘framework’ that describes the steps,

https://www.fema.gov/national-disaster-recovery-framework

and the structure of what ‘recovery’ phase should look like.

I’m not suggesting that their doc is particularly useful, beyond knowing what they have planned for you, but the IDEA of a recovery phase is one worth considering.

We have at least a few contributors here who are still in various parts of the recovery phase from their disasters. If anyone wants to share their story, whether they had any ideas or plans for recovery, and how that worked or didn’t work, either make a long comment here, or email me a long form post, and I’ll promote it to it’s own page.

Something to think about…

n

54 thoughts on “Wed. Sept. 4, 2019 – Fla. dodged a bullet, mostly”

  1. Hardly a drop of rain nor a whisper of wind here in North West Broward County in South Florida. The local media is visibly disappointed. At this time last week, it was “bend over and grab the ankles” time.


  2. The local media is visibly disappointed

    If your local media is like my local media they will find a connection. Local TV can never let a remote event go to waste.

    Story in our media about a woman, who used to live in the area 20 years ago, had a trip planned to the Bahamas, knew about the storm, went anyway. Now her family who lives in another state was being interviewed about the situation. Not once was it asked why this lady was so stupid. But it gets a local reporter involved in something that is of zero interest to 99.999999% of the people in their coverage area. All about visions of CNN dancing in their head.

  3. Mystery delivery coming via UPS this morning. Overnight delivery. Neither the wife or I ordered anything. Package originated in Los Angeles where neither of us have any relatives. Signature required, about 0.6 pounds. I am puzzled.

  4. Legal papers Ray. Watch out.

    One of my first thoughts. But nope.

    Mystery solved. It is my Apple Credit Card. I did not think it would come via UPS. Typical Apple.

    Card is nicely packaged in the box within the box. The card is plain (typical Apple), no numbers anywhere on the front, just my name, the Apple logo, and the chip. On the back is the Mastercard logo with no color and the words Goldman Sachs. The card is made of metal as it clinks when you strike it on something.

    The card is primarily to be used with the iPhone and the wallet app. You can get the card number from the app.

    I have read reports the card can get to look quite ugly and abused after several days in ones wallet or pocket. Card still functions just does not look as good.

    Makes little difference to me as I will probably never use the physical card. Will probably never use the virtual card. The security is fairly good and there is zero liability for errant charges. I will just stick to my CostCo card for the rewards. I got the Apple card because I was intrigued and there was no charge.


  5. I sent it.

    My second thought. But I think Mr. Slim is too cheap money wise to use overnight UPS, even for me.

  6. Mr. Ray, if you sharpen the edge of the card, you’ll have a wallet knife. Slashing and hacking.

  7. The Bahamas got hammered, but Florida has mostly been spared to date.

    Tampa has a lot of bad residential construction, developed over the last 20 years, which would get hammered in a serious storm. I’d be willing to bet that a Cat 4 going up Tampa Bay and slamming Downtown Tampa (as Charlie was predictied to do 15 years ago) would be among the costliest storms in US history.

    Most of the insurance carriers operating in Florida are already technically insolvent. The big players isolate their Florida policies to separate FL chartered carriers in order to let the state absorb the losses. Real insurance reform in the state will require testicular fortitude which Governors Jeb! and Charlie Crist lacked. Rick Scott got lucky with regard to storms, but I imagine he would have come up with another band-aid solution.

  8. sharpen the edge of the card, you’ll have a wallet knife

    Then TSA would confiscate the card. The card is supposedly titanium. I don’t know if that would make a good knife edge.

    Activation is done on the iPhone. But the packaging must be with the card in the packaging and hold the phone close to the packaging. I am guessing that is done to prevent someone from finding the card and activating. With the packaging there is a high chance the person is the recipient. The card can be activated without the packaging but that involves contacting the card support people. Must be some type of RFID chip in the packaging. May have to dig through the packaging which does not look easy to disassemble.

  9. Ray, the card is just the next step. Later, all of us will be forced to have bioID implanted. Cash will only be used for the black market.


  10. Ray, the card is just the next step. Later, all of us will be forced to have bioID implanted. Cash will only be used for the black market.

    I’m ready! I have them implanted on both my dogs. When I buy PBR at Rite Aid, I have to show a CA driver’s license or USA passport. Using self service checkout at Kroger of the same, I have to have a clerk verify me. Why can’t I use a store RFID scanner to check the back of my neck?

    I’ll be having a PBR at Mother’s this afternoon, but they don’t bother with official age verification.
    https://www.motherstavernsunsetbeach.com

  11. Drought may return to Houston after near three years

    We’ll see what they say when it is dumping rain again in November/December.

  12. Dilbert: employee pay

    I’ve got nothing on this.

    When it was obvious I didn’t fit in with the other developers at my job in Seattle, my wife half joked that I should try dresses on Casual Friday.

    It wasn’t the dress that bothered me nearly as much as the prospect of the Spanx to make it work.

  13. I’ll be buying on the black market, then.

    The other day I stopped by a convenience store to pick up some Coors and the cashier wanted to scan my driver’s license. I refused and prepared to put the beer back. I don’t object to age verification, but it’s none of their doggone business that I am buying it by name.

    Get off a my grass.

  14. When it was obvious I didn’t fit in with the other developers at my job in Seattle, my wife half joked that I should try dresses on Casual Friday.

    It wasn’t the dress that bothered me nearly as much as the prospect of the Spanx to make it work.

    They make Spanx for guys too ! Uh, don’t ask me how I know.

    My son went to the Golang conference a couple of years back. The Google guy in charge of Go was wearing a pink tutu and had his hair colored pink. Except for the hair that had left him due to male pattern baldness.

  15. Drought may return to Houston after near three years

    We’ll see what they say when it is dumping rain again in November/December.

    We can only hope and pray !

    The new used house has four lawn sprinklers in the back. From the septic tank …

  16. My son went to the Golang conference a couple of years back. The Google guy in charge of Go was wearing a pink tutu and had his hair colored pink. Except for the hair that had left him due to male pattern baldness.

    Was it a breast cancer awareness event week? He could have been demonstrating his “wokeness”, especially considering pink is a big color at those events. I’ve seen the tutus at the marathons when my wife’s office entered.

    If not, I’m not sure how to read the tutu. Go and Rust are about challenging the C/C++ status quo.

    Of course, my rule of thumb is that anything targeting the LLVM back end is syntactic sugar for C++ — the code equivalent of crossdressing.

    Who knows what statement he was trying to make.

  17. They make Spanx for guys too ! Uh, don’t ask me how I know.

    I get those mailers around Fathers Day. They also send copious amounts of spam.

    I’ve used the products for various Halloween costumes including The Tick and a Devil outfit.

    On me, the Devil outfit was more “Phil from Heck” (the Devil in “Dilbert”) than Satanic. All I needed was the big spoon.

    Sara Blakely is a Tampa native. The Southwest airside in Tampa has a kind of mini shrine with a Spanx store next to the former AirTran gate serving the Atlanta flights she used to take while building the company in Atlanta and still working at Danka.

    The very last AirTran flight was that Atlanta run out of Tampa.

  18. What a tool !

    And my Social Credit Score is dropping …

    40 years ago, every school kid in Florida learned that hurricanes along the west coast of the peninsula used to be more numerous and intense, the reason that so many treasure galleons sank in the Gulf of Mexico attempting to ride the Gulf Stream back to Spain before Winter weather started in the North Atlantic.

    Whenever forecasters talk about hurricane frequency/intensity, note that they are always careful to preface with “since record keeping began”. Of course, the wrecked galleons are a form of climate record, but that doesn’t count.

    Even in the time since record keeping began, the last 70 years have actually been a historic lull in storms in the Eastern Gulf.

  19. A few months ago we had “weather”. Lighting, a couple of tornadoes, rain. The ISP had to replace a few radios and they lost a tower well north of here on what they call “the north network”.
    So that’s fixed.

    For me, on “the south network” they connect to Spectrum. The modem that connect the ISP fiber to Spectrum was zapped. But Spectrum says it’s fine.

    Yeah, that’s why I get a bouncy connection from 0 to 8MB down and not the solid 25 to 30 MB.

    The local ISP is setting up a new connection to the Internet. “It’s going to be 5 times faster than Spectrum!” They were to go live yesterday. But didn’t. Because….

    They are waiting for the electric company. To install a transformer on the pole, connect to the drop, and pop in the meter. I’m at a loss for words.


  20. ‘This is about science & leadership’”

    This is Commie rhetoric Rules For Radicals. Just keep saying the same thing over and over. The sheeple will follow you. The Crazy Eyed Bar Maid knows nothing of science or leadership. Geez.


  21. I refused and prepared to put the beer back.

    Not me….no way!! When they allowed somebody to bust into the checkout who should have been after me, I accidentally tossed the 12 pack above my head and walked out the door.

  22. “737 MAX – Boeing Insults International Safety Regulators As New Problems Cause Longer Grounding”
    https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/09/737-max-boeing-insults-international-safety-regulators-as-new-problems-cause-longer-grounding.html

    “There is still little detailed information on how Boeing will fix MCAS. Nothing was said by Boeing about the manual trim system of the 737 MAX that does not work when it is needed. The unprotected rudder cables of the plane do not meet safety guidelines but were still certified. The planes flight control computers can be overwhelmed by bad data and a fix will be difficult to implement. Boeing continues to say nothing about these issues.”

    Uh oh. Did the flight engineers last work on a barn stormer airplane ?

    “Boeing’s original plan to fix the uncontrolled activation of MCAS was to have both FCCs active at the same time and to switch MCAS off when the two computers disagree. That was already a huge change in the general architecture which so far consisted of one active and one passive FCC system that could be switched over when a failure occurred.”

    “Any additional software changes will make the issue even more complicated. The 80286 Intel processors the FCC software is running on is limited in its capacity. All the extras procedures Boeing now will add to them may well exceed the system’s capabilities.”

    80286 ???

    Really ???

    Can you still buy an 80286 ?

  23. If your local constabularies are using undercover underage narcs to buy beer, all of the beer sellers will likely start scanning ID.
    I have some degree of sympathy for the retailers, who cannot afford to pay the fines for the endless sleazy sting operations.

    Facial recognition, fingerprinting, and imbedded RFID… and worse!
    It’s all the wave of the future. More security theater, of course.

    Added: If you know a kid who’s prematurely gray or bald or whatever, I have a career (at least until age 21) suggestion for him… or her.

  24. @paul

    On my LG3 phone with Chrome, the site looks just fine. Content fits the screen, no left/right scrolling or zooming needed.

    Re the site changes: I’ve made most of the changes – some styling tweaks that you might have noticed. The only thing left is to put the next/prev links at the top of the page. They are already at the bottom – under the ‘leave a reply’ section. (The look of those links was also changed. )

    Making that final change – the next/prev thing at the top of the page as well as the bottom – requires just a bit of programming. I’ve already created and are using a child theme, so that any theme code changes I make will not be overwritten with a theme update.

    Overall, I think the changes are looking good. Looks just fine on my smaller-screen devices: the LG3, a LG tablet, and when I use the smaller screen device emulator in FF .


  25. Hmm, I wonder if posting on this website would help or hinder my social credit score ?

    You have to ask?!

  26. Interesting interview with Neal Stephenson…

    Stephenson passed through Austin recently doing the tour for “Dodge”.

    Seeing him speak is worth the time if you get the opportunity … even if you have to brave BookPeople — get your shots up to date.

    That reminds me — I saw a lot more tents around South Austin this afternoon. The activists are supplying the homeless with the minimum necessary to meet the law about street camping.


  27. Can you still buy an 80286 ?

    Kinda wish I could. I had one at work a few millennia ago. I really got work done on it. The perfect appliance: just worked. Solid as… well, you get it.

    I even put Windows 2.1 on it, in order to run Excel. Back then, Apple had exclusivity to Excel for IIRC a year. I bought Excel the week it became available. Windows came shrink wrapped to the Excel box. I had already put an expanded/extended memory card in the 286. Everything ran trouble free, after some editing of config.sys and autoexec.bat, of course. Ah, those were the days, when systems were understandable.

    This was in a predominently Mac shop. A friend saw my Excel running on an NEC Multisync 14″ COLOR monitor, and said “That’s impossible!” I assured him it was for real, and he just walked away, muttering. Ah, the feeling! Those were heady days.

    Before Windows, I experimented with a couple of task switching DOS overlays. I think I liked DESQview the best. I do remember it had the absolute best calendar I have ever used, but Windows came with a built-in RAM disk that made the puny 286 run a little faster.

    As someone said, get off my lawn!

  28. JimB, I don’t recall anyone thinking Windows of that era was better than DesqView, especially if you had the glory that was Sidekick at your command. I also remember stunning some physics PhD types by showing them how to make a one line autoexec.bat file, so that rude install programs couldn’t trash your carefully crafted setup.

  29. @rick, the only thing I really don’t like is the red line on the blockquote. I def like the grey background, that should help a lot when I do a long wall 0 paste and comment….

    Something about it just pokes me in the eye.

    n

  30. I think the site’s decor looks fine. I just checked how it reads on my late model Samsung phone with Chrome and text appears to be around 12-14 point size. Very legible.

    I use the Dark Reader extension on desktop Chrome. Good there too.

    My first machine and then the second as well, in the ‘386 to Pentium era, lived in DesQview. I ran about 8 DOS machines at a time in that box. Took me awhile to get enthused about Win ’95 but the ‘net was a leap from BBS.

  31. JimB, I don’t recall anyone thinking Windows of that era was better than DesqView, especially if you had the glory that was Sidekick at your command.

    I didn’t say Windows 2.1 was better than DESQview. I needed Excel, and that needed Windows. The two worked well for me. Windows could run DOS apps full screen, with task switching only, but they did run. And, those apps were a staple in my shop.

    I tried Sidekick, but it didn’t do much I needed. I really needed a terminal emulator for our email system, and a solid word processor. Don’t remember the terminal emulator, but I could compose in Wordstar (!) and somehow zap it out throught the TE. Reading was different, but can’t remember how I did that.

    Hey, this was almost as good as the highly integrated DEC or HP minis, and a lot cheaper for small workgroups. Once the number of seats was more than 20 or so, the minicomputer systems with terminals were cheaper and much more supportable. Of course, all that changed.

    And, UNIX workstations had their day, but eventually Windows on cheap hardware conquered all but the most demanding needs.

    Wow, we have come a long way.

  32. 80286? It wouldn’t surprise me. 25 years ago, there were still fighters flying with core memory in their main processors. They’ve surely been upgraded by now. I hope.

    The problem is antiquated software that no one understands. Boeing probably crafted some critical software components 30 years ago, optimized them by hand for the 80286. The people who crafted it are long gone, and now, no one quite knows what they do. So they don’t dare touch the design.

  33. The problem is antiquated software that no one understands. Boeing probably crafted some critical software components 30 years ago, optimized them by hand for the 80286. The people who crafted it are long gone, and now, no one quite knows what they do. So they don’t dare touch the design.

    IIRC, Rockwell had a specialty 286 20 MHz part. A few made their way into PC clones back when the PC hardware industry still existed in this country, but most went into aerospace applications.

    From what I understand, getting a part certified for flight/space is an ordeal.

    Also, at 286 speeds, wire wrap is still a viable option for prototypes and limited production runs depending on target environment. A good wire wrap tech will give you a solid piece of hardware to use for testing before committing a layout to PCB. Combine that with pre-Pentium x86 machine code being amenable to hand tweaking, and you can get a rapid prototype cycle for a system with decent performance.

    I imagine that, if it hasn’t already happened, a lot of those legacy designs are moving into FPGAs shrinking everything into a single chip. I know consumer grade FPGAs were simulating complete 1 MHz 6502 systems a decade ago.

  34. And, UNIX workstations had their day, but eventually Windows on cheap hardware conquered all but the most demanding needs.

    Cheap hardware was only part of the problem. HP PA-RISC was absorbed into Itanium in another Carly Fiorina-era brain fart, and SGI had a CEO who originated from Microsoft and ran the company into the ground trying to move the workstations to NT, probably hoping to get bought out.

    Sun fell victim to the dot com bubble and their own salespeople pushing their cr*p compilers. The E10000 coverup didn’t help.

    The industry could still use an alternative platform to x86 IMHO. The most promising is RISC-V, but no board house is going to anger Intel by producing ATX motherboards and jump start the platform. Maybe China will get busy if the trade war keeps up.

  35. JimB, I don’t recall anyone thinking Windows of that era was better than DesqView, especially if you had the glory that was Sidekick at your command. I also remember stunning some physics PhD types by showing them how to make a one line autoexec.bat file, so that rude install programs couldn’t trash your carefully crafted setup.

    Windows 2 and the Office applications running on the 286 platform were a joke in terms of performance. My personal theory on why they survived to Windows 3 was the willingness of the Egghead Software ponzi to stock them on store shelves and absorb the piracy hit under the store’s “no questions asked” return policy.

    When I worked for Egghead around that time, BillG himself used to do the holiday management message videos with the Egghead founder, Victor Alhadef. Something was definitely up there. The investors had no idea what hit them when the store went public.

    Desqview was ok, but character mode only. Quarterdeck survived as long as it did because QEMM was so much better at managing extended memory than anything Microsoft ever came up with internally.

  36. I would add that a 286 is small, rugged, and not subject to overheating like later chips. In a rough environment, durability matters.

  37. Scrappers like the old boards and chips- there is a lot more gold in them than new stuff.

    n

    That means an ever shrinking stock of them for use too.

  38. x86 has always been a dog’s breakfast.

    I remember when all three architectures were coming out: the 16016 (and later 32032) from National, the 68xxx from Motorola and the x86 from intel. The National parts had a really clean, well-designed, consistent instruction set – so, of course, they failed. Intel had by far the worst mess: inconsistent instructions, weird registers, really just crappy design – so of course it had the most success. Motorola was in the middle on both counts.


  39. Motorola was in the middle on both counts.

    Some folks I knew were trying to develop a 65xx based embedded system, were having trouble, and wanted to switch to Intel because it was “better supported,” whatever that meant. Never happened: project was canceled. Might have been interesting.

  40. Greg, as a potential customer, I watched the waaay pre Carly RISC escapades. Some potentially good architectures fell by the wayside, victims of corporate deals. I have wondered how today might have been different if just some small changes might have happened.

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