Wed. Oct. 30, 2019 – the days keep flying by…

68F and wet. At a guess. [66F and drizzling at 6am, 0.07in of rain since midnight]

Yesterday started at 68F and got a bit warmer. It got a whole lot wetter. It was still misty and occasional drizzle when I went to bed.

I didn’t get much of my list done yesterday, what with several hours of phone and remote pc support for my mom in Florida smack in the middle of the day. The one saving grace was how easy it is to use Teamviewer (despite my frustrations with the constant updating). Installing that should be a no brainer for anyone doing remote support for friends or family. I’ve used gotomypc, and various versions of VNC, but Teamviewer is the easiest I’ve used. (I still install VNC on all machines when I set them up, but I realized a week or so ago that I haven’t used it in years. At least TightVNC doesn’t nag you for updates, it just sits there waiting….

One of my issues with supporting mom’s pc is that I set it up for dad, and his use was very limited. I used one of the little ‘appliance’ win10 machines that cost about $120 and that includes the windows license. The little thing only has 32G of ramdisk for C: (which I figured would be plenty for windows and a couple of games- wrong!), and I added a 64G SD card for everything else. The little thing would play 4 simultaneous youtube streams before choking, so it is actually pretty powerful, for what it is. But, limited. I had to talk her through adding a USB hub so that she could use a thumbdrive. The new printer connects with wifi. Any new software has to be installed on the D: drive, which is a complication for someone who is “not a computer person”.

The biggest frustration for an older person attempting to use a pc for anything is the constant updating. Every time she tries to do something, it forces updates to the program. The OS nags you to update (seems that win OSs now expire and have to be updated, even though the major release version will remain the same? WTF?) She just wants to do x, and can’t because 3 other things must happen first. AND the OS coughs up scary warnings about making changes when she does click on OK. Sometimes the update window doesn’t come to the foreground and the pc looks like it’s locked up. All in all, not a good experience for the casual or inexperienced user.

To finish up, I’ll need to find space on C:, probably by cleaning up WinSxS, update, and then work with my wife and mom to get her iPad and iPhone printing to the new printer. (My wife is the apple person in our family.)

By the time this is done, MS will owe me for about 5 hours of support. I don’t think I’ll get it.

Meanwhile, Halloween approaches! Mr Lynn needs to stock up on Kandy Korn while he can, 30 or 40 pounds should be enough, no? Think of the children!

I need to get the rest of my decor set up, and get the candy and toys ready. I always threaten to hand out cigarettes, and my sweet wife always talks me out of it. Probably better that way. Cheaper too. Dang cigarettes are expensive. Lawyers too.

n

38 thoughts on “Wed. Oct. 30, 2019 – the days keep flying by…”

  1. The one saving grace was how easy it is to use Teamviewer (despite my frustrations with the constant updating). Installing that should be a no brainer for anyone doing remote support for friends or family. I’ve used gotomypc, and various versions of VNC, but Teamviewer is the easiest I’ve used.

    Teamviewer is how we actually get work done doing remote installs.

    The big downside of Teamviewer is that a license for commercial use is ridiculously expensive. They’re trying to snag the market of Wall Street guys using their work laptops to conduct virtual visits with their dominatrix services at lunchtime.

    TV already figured out long ago that our office IP address is commercial use so I have to connect to our remote sites from home. If I was a broker needing a little old fashioned Elizabeth Warren-style scold treatment over my kale shake at the office, I’d be out $50/month.

    Guess the old school hooker and steak lunch doesn’t happen anymore in the age of MeToo.

    I haven’t been curious enough to look into who runs TV and might be mining the data.

  2. *Private* high speed rail keeps moving ahead in FL.

    Except in Tampa. That isn’t happening for a generation. Too many mucky mucks hold redevelopment rights to real estate near the old Amtrak station downtown, particularly the housing projects. The old money families want their generational wealth to continue for another couple of generations.

    https://www.tampabay.com/news/transportation/2019/10/30/florida-fast-train-to-connect-miami-cruise-port-with-orlando/

  3. From the FEMA daily brief–

    Wildfires – CA
    Situation:
    • Wildfires occurring in northern CA (Kincade Fire, Sonoma County) and southern CA (Getty Fire, Los
    Angeles County)
    • Extremely critical, life-threatening fire weather continues across CA through Thursday
    • Damaging wind gusts between 50 and 70 mph likely for Los Angeles and Ventura counties
    Lifeline Impacts: (Region IX SLB as of 10:00 p.m. EDT Oct 29)
    Safety and Security:
    • Mandatory evacuations:
    o Kincade Fire: 159k people and 3 tribes in Sonoma County
    o Getty Fire: 16k people
    Food, Water, Shelter: (ESF-6 as of 6:00 a.m. EDT Oct 30)
    • Kincade Fire: 17 (+1) shelters open with 2,827 (-389) occupants
    • Getty Fire: 0 (-4) shelters open with 0 (-19) occupants
    Health and Medical: (Region IX SLB as of 10:00 p.m. EDT Oct 29)
    • 15 facilities evacuated / 45 impacted facilities
    Energy: (Eagle-I as of 6:30 a.m. EDT Oct 30)
    • Statewide: Approx. 404k customers (2.8%) without power due to fires and power shutoff; numbers are
    trending downward
    • PG&E may enact public safety shutoff up to 1 million between now and Friday evening; (Region IX SPOTREP
    as of 2:00 p.m. EDT Oct 29)
    • Edison power in southern CA up to 800k during same time frame (CALOES as of 2:00 p.m. EDT Oct 29)
    Communication: (Region IX SLB as of 10:00 p.m. EDT Oct 29)
    • Cell towers: 402 (-61) sites offline and 669 (-16) sites on generators
    Transportation: (Region IX SLB as of 10:00 p.m. EDT Oct 29)
    • Road closures, multiple public transportation detours, delays and service cancelations

  4. From yesterday:
    >”And a bypass switch wired into six circuits of the main panel.”

    I don’t understand why transfer switches are not set up to power the entire panel. I have 170 amps @ 240 V coming into my house, and it is wired into nearly 900 amps @ 120 V of circuit breakers. My generator has its own circuit breakers, and can put out 5/6.25 kW. I have sense enough to turn off excess loads that I don’t need to operate, just as I do when running from grid power. It would be so much more convenient to have everything connected, and just turn on the appliances or lights that I need at the time. With LED lighting, the power the lights use is insignificant. I don’t think I would be challenging my generator unless I start using power tools or cooking up a major meal. All of my kitchen appliances are electric. My space heating, water heating, and dryer are gas.

  5. @JimM said:

    I have sense enough to turn off excess loads that I don’t need to operate, just as I do when running from grid power.

    And you are the rare exception, that is why.

    We have all these rules, codes, and laws to protect us from ourselves. That is a big reason we are in this mess with no end in sight.

    Common sense, we need more of it.

  6. A friend just told us that her husbands company truck was stolen from a community center in Memphis last Saturday while he was working with minority kids. The police pulled the truck over Monday night with the kids still in it. The kids crashed it when the cops put on their lights then bailed and ran. They left clothing, fingerprints, and a receipt for a visit to McDonalds inside. Her husband called the McDonalds and they verified they have the kids on video in the restaurant. He took the evidence to the police and they told him not to bother, the kids were likely minors and wouldn’t be prosecuted so why try to catch them? The police told the husband that he was a “target” because he was white in a minority neighborhood and he should just stay away if he didn’t want more trouble.
    THIS IS WHY WE HAVE SO MUCH CRIME.
    MINORS GET AWAY WITH IT AND DISCOVER THERE ARE NO CONSEQUENCES FOR CRIME. THE POLICE ARE NOT THERE TO CATCH THE CRIMINAL AND SOLVE CRIME ANY LONGER.

  7. I have a 200A transfer switch for just that reason. I want to be able to power everything without making choices ahead of time.

    During Ike, I backfed our panel and lit up the whole house. Of COURSE we turned off the compressor on the AC, and the major electrical appliances. We also carefully monitored actual loads with an ammeter. Many people have gas hot water that requires a 120v circuit to run. It was very nice to use the HVAC air handler to move air in the house. Being able to flip on lights as you move from room to room was nice. (the house was dark and stuffy as we had boarded up the windows)

    I’m not recommending backfeeding. Someone here will get seriously upset that I even mentioned it. It’s easy to do wrong, but just like safe gun handling, do it right and you’re ok. The reality is that grid down, MOST people that get around to it will be backfeeding thru a suicide cord and the dryer outlet. Telling them to disconnect the main might be the step that saves lives, rather than not saying anything.

    n


  8. I need to get the rest of my decor set up, and get the candy and toys ready. I always threaten to hand out cigarettes, and my sweet wife always talks me out of it. Probably better that way. Cheaper too. Dang cigarettes are expensive. Lawyers too.

    How un-woke! Hand out JUULs instead. Be a neighborhood she-ro. No flavored juice, though. Only nicotine.


  9. Hand out JUULs instead.

    I saw an ad for 99c for the vape. One of Juul’s competitors. Hook ’em young!


  10. We have all these rules, codes, and laws to protect us from ourselves. That is a big reason we are in this mess with no end in sight.

    Common sense, we need more of it.

    Quoted for truth.

    THE POLICE ARE NOT THERE TO CATCH THE CRIMINAL AND SOLVE CRIME ANY LONGER.

    Yep. But they’re johnny-on-the-spot if you defend your person or your property from some “teens”.

    I think I’ve mentioned my experience the first time I prevented a rape. And when I frightened a group of “teens” out of the house when I was about 20. And…

    I don’t know what the job of the stupid pigs is, but protecting and serving the honest citizenry isn’t it.

    Maybe I’ll just run the juice in my fogger…

    That’s a good candidate for winning the internet today.

  11. We are fortunate, our town (Kennewick) police officers are pretty good, responsive and they do their job right. Our two connected towns and four loosely connected towns not so much and of course that is where the gangs and drug dealers have control of things.

    We have had to call 911 two times and non-emergency reponse three times this year. Always prompt response and no slap on the wrist for the offenders. It probably helps that I have a perimeter of Ring and Wyze Cams (even though the Wyze Cams are supposed to be indoor only, mine have lasted outside for 2-years with no problems).

    There are some big problems with our local politicians though. Our Sheriff, an elected position, has been stripped of all powers and authority because of his wife and mistress problems. Our Mayor has been fired from his day job at DSHS (Department of Social and Health Services) for supplying a welfare recipient with an apartment and other goodies while receiving some “favors” in return. The mayor is not long for his position (puns intended).

  12. What awesome examples of well integrated immigrants.

    This is about a native-born citizen, but hopefully it will serve as a bit of a palate-cleanser: Driver who hit, killed bicyclists sentenced to 90 years; ‘you must have been blind drunk,’ judge says

    The sentencing came soon after Toney took to the stand to apologize for the first time. But his attempt at mitigating his crime backfired, and crash survivors gasped, when Assistant District Attorney Jason Napoli revealed that Toney was caught on a recorded jailhouse phone call laughing after gut-wrenching victim-impact testimony in court on Monday.

    Toney’s sister also referred to Walls’ parents, who are black, with a racial slur.

    (Toney–and presumably his sister–are black.)

    Hoist with his own petard. As Jackie Gleason used to say, “How sweet it is!”

  13. @JimM – re Transfer Switches

    For my house, six circuit transfer switch was all that I needed for the size of portable generatorI have.

    For larger generators, there are other options. For instance, the Reliance brand I got has transfer switches with 10 breakers and 12.5KW capacity (see http://www.reliancecontrols.com/indoor-pro-tran-2.aspx ). But the 6-breaker one was all that I needed.

    There is no natural gas in our area, so would need a propane generator if I wanted to go higher. Another home in my area has a full-house system powered by propane, with automatic switchover. Big propane tank, but their house is larger.

    The 6-breaker system I have is sufficient for my needs. YMMV.

  14. “It’s an asteroid! No, it’s the new smallest dwarf planet in our solar system”
    https://beta.ctvnews.ca/national/sci-tech/2019/10/29/1_4660083.amp.html

    “A large asteroid could be reclassified as a dwarf planet — which could make it the smallest in the solar system — after new research revealed its shape, astronomers said on Monday.”

    “Nestled in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter is an object that may have been overlooked. They believe the asteroid Hygiea should actually be classified as a dwarf planet.”

    Here we go again.

  15. Here we go again.

    Let the quoting of Han Solo commence:

    That’s not a dwarf planet … that’s a space station!

    (I’m probably not 100% accurante.)

  16. Just spent the better part of 5 hours chasing down a network cable in the church. The projectors (two of them) can be controlled via a web browser. Network cables are attached and run to a switch in the ceiling. But I was unable to connect. There was a third cable running to the switch which I thought went to the patch panel in the network closet (modem, router, two switches, patch panel). Nope.

    Finally traced the cable to a location under the stage. I found another network switch to which the cable terminated, another cable going to the sound equalizer and amplifier rack. I knew about the amplifier rack termination as that was unplugged years ago because of some intrusion issues. Working under the stage requires some squirming, crawling over and under braces, squeezing through stage supports, and dealing with construction debris such as nails, screws, sawdust and such left by the people that constructed the stage.

    The strange part was I found a computer under the stage connected to the newly found network switch. No monitor or keyboard. Just some type of sound transmission device hooked to the audio output jack. PC was not operating. I have no idea the purpose of that arrangement. The PC was removed, along with some other VGA and composite video distribution amps that are no longer needed.

    So I did some more researching and tracing as I still did not have a network connection to the switch in the ceiling which connected to the projectors. There was at one time so something had to be there. Scary in the ceiling on catwalks with no handrails and having to climb over stuff where in one location a distance of 10 feet must be traversed on a 2×6. Again much debris from various constructions projects, insulation, armored cable pieces, electrical extension cords, boxes, etc. It’s a mess.

    After much probing and looking I finally found the network cable back to the patch panel. Jumpered from the patch panel to the switch and I was now able to connect via the network to the projectors, static IP address. I can now power cycle the projectors from a web browser on the secure network for church staff.

    Next project is to get the remotes working from the balcony using an IR extender system. Not certain how the cables run. I can find the ends in the ceiling, need to be spliced, transmitters fed through the support pipes for the projectors, taped to the front of the projectors (25 feet off the ground), and tested.

  17. @Ray – would be interesting to do a forensic analysis of that ‘stray’ computer. Off-line, of course, with the hard disk removed and the computer that is accessing it disconnected from the network.

    Or maybe I’ve been watching too many re-runs of “Person of Interest” or “Mr. Robot” …

  18. Porn server… that’d be my guess.

    n

    and if I was being really nasty, a camera under the stage, probably by the choir, shooting “upskirt” images.

  19. @Ray – would be interesting to do a forensic analysis of that ‘stray’ computer. Off-line, of course, with the hard disk removed and the computer that is accessing it disconnected from the network.

    Or maybe I’ve been watching too many re-runs of “Person of Interest” or “Mr. Robot”

    If you suspect that someone was up to something criminal, contact law enforcement ASAP and don’t touch the PC further. Otherwise, if you’re simply curious and doubt any criminal activity, CAINE Linux provides a pretty good set of foresnic tools for civilian use, including Brian Carrier’s SleuthKit.

    Pull the hard drive and connect it to the analysis system with a USB-SATA cable set, preferably read only if you can find them easily. Otherwise, CAINE will generally mount external disks as read-only, but you’ll get crucified in court on cross about procedure if things get that far.

    I wouldn’t recommend plugging the drive into a Windows machine under any circumstances.

  20. So if the cops trash your place, they are not liable ? That sounds like a taking of property to me. Unreal.

  21. If you suspect that someone was up to something criminal

    No, really old PC. Has a parallel printer port. Nothing else connected except for the network cable and the device connected to the audio output jack. The audio device is some type of audio transmitter. Computer was not powered on and probably has not been powered on for 10+ years. That is when the other people that supported the network left the church. What they were accomplishing, or hoping to accomplish I have no idea.

    There was a cable running from the switch in the ceiling down to the amplifier rack terminate in a jack. The cable had been cut, RF45 jacks put on the cut ends, then both patched into the switch using patch cables where the computer was plugged. A really old switch (or hub), only 100 meg.

    Next week I will jumper the cut (and terminated) connections back together with a patch cable. The switch will be removed along with power cord. This will leave the connection port in the amplifier rack with nothing connected to that termination.

    contact law enforcement ASAP

    They won’t do nothing. There were no cameras, stage is solid. I suspect the police would just laugh at me, if they even showed up.

    would be interesting to do a forensic analysis of that ‘stray’ computer

    It is so old it may be a 486DX running Windows 95. I have no desire to mess with the computer and waste my time. I don’t even know if it would power up and the drives spin. May even be old style before IDE became common. Easiest path was the dumpster.


  22. That sounds like a taking to me.

    Sure does.

    And all that to catch a shoplifter. It’s like police driving at 60 through a city to catch someone who ran a red light, and the cop killing a pedestrian because he lost control of his cruiser, and the government determining that the decedent’s family was not owed compensation by the governmet because it was official police activity. Sounds implausible and tyrannical, but it happened in Albany a couple years ago.

  23. Ray, regarding crawling in crawlspaces and such, that’s why you need a dwarf. I know that most people think that dwarves are only for tossing, but they can easily get around in places where you have trouble fitting.
    Toddlers also can fit in the small spaces, but they tend to get distracted and forget what they’re doing and poop themselves.
    Take my advice: get you a dwarf.

  24. It all says at the end of the day, you have got to take care of yourself. You need pinsurance, savings, food stores, water, guns, ammo, etc to take care of yourself. The government is not going to take care of you. In fact, the government will take your stuff away and give it to someone else that they think needs it more. After, subtracting most of the takings to meet their needs.

  25. May even be old style before IDE became common. Easiest path was the dumpster.

    IDE/PATA is really old/cheap tech. I’d be surprised if it wasn’t at least SCSI.

    Retro enthusiasts may want to take a look.

  26. Hah, I’ve got some Starlink gear, hubs, that was used to network and share printers in the Apple world, very early on. NOS if I remember correctly. It’s in DEEP storage.

    n

  27. I’ve got drawers of scuzzy drives, cables, terminators, etc too.

    n

    and jazz drives, zip drives, floppy 100 drives, and an ORB drive too.

    I don’t have an 8″ floppy drive, although I used one.

    n

  28. and jazz drives, zip drives, floppy 100 drives, and an ORB drive too.

    The Iomega stuff is probably done. IIRC there was some kind of class action lawsuit where the company admitted that most of what they made throughout the late 90s was junk.

    Dell owns them now through their buyout of EMC.

    I don’t have an 8″ floppy drive, although I used one.

    8″ floppies still get made for various legacy government systems, including, until recently, missile launch command centers.

    Back when I worked for the Egghead Software Ponzi, the company’s most successful store opening promotions in the late 80s always involved giving away … gasp … a single 5.25″ floppy. People would line up for blocks — strange but true, kids.

  29. apparently there is a baseball game going on tonight.

    Wife and daughter one are watching the tv.

    Oh my.

    n

    (scanner is quiet)

  30. You might want to check on what the kid is drinking. My understanding is that the only way to make it through a baseball game is to get blind drunk.

  31. It’s a bit like watching Pink FLoyd’s The Wall. Can anyone who’s seen it remember how it ends?

    n

  32. And Houston lost the world series. Came down to one bobbled catch in the outfield, which let 2 runs score, which opened a lead that couldn’t be closed. Or so I’d argue if I knew or cared anything about sports…

    Given the heavy rain, and this being Houston, I don’t expect rioting.

    n

  33. Rain continues, got another 1/10th of an inch in the last 20 minutes.

    My eldest child thinks the game is important. In her world I guess it is, as all the other kids will be talking about it. I’m glad she watched it, even if it means SUPER GRUMPY all day tomorrow and Friday. I had to remind myself that this is all new and shiny for her. And NOT to crush that with my curmudgeonly self….

    n

  34. Given the heavy rain, and this being Houston, I don’t expect rioting.

    Plus it is baseball, not the NBA or NFL.

    Portland was our first time residing in an NBA town. The off court drama around the Trailblazers reminded me of the choreographed drama in the pro wrestling scene in Tampa in the 70s.

    The Tampa wrestlers worked from better scripts. And you never doubted the athleticism of guys like Rocky Johnson — yes, father of Dwayne.

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