Sat. Jan. 4, 2020 – still typing 2019 by default

Cold and damp. Of course.

Yesterday started nice out, but then in the afternoon, some ugly clouds and high winds brought the cold. It got chilly. My shorts were def not advised.

Stopped by my friend the merchant of death’s place. Ended up with 5 boxes of 9mm. No idea what to do with them, as all my gubs failed to float after the accident….. guess I’ll keep them for barter 😉

I’ve got a couple of auction pickups today both power related. I got a nice West Marine battery charger in one auction, and the previously mentioned battery charger/ 2000w inverter in another. That will push my solar project along… I’ve heard that I can get reconditioned forklift batteries from a local scrap yard/ battery reseller. I’ve heard that they also have deep cycle marine batteries. I suppose I can bite the bullet and buy new, but for a secondary system I’ll probably never need, that’s a big bite.

I’m still sore and feeling under the weather, so I’m still taking it easy. Which sucks as there is so much to do.

I’m taking my own advice and that kindly offered by others here and starting to stretch in an organized fashion. I’ll be doing most of a regimen that previously had me able to kick over my head, and do some really deep squats. I don’t know if I can find a class to help refresh me, but I can get started on the basics from memory. Some Chi Gong exercises are also included in the progression. I have some small regrets that I didn’t continue my martial arts studies for the last 15 – 20 years. I’d be in a different place physically, that’s for certain. OFD’s tale has me looking over my shoulder metaphorically at every twinge and pain.

Well, I better get started on something before I lose the whole morning.

n

38 thoughts on “Sat. Jan. 4, 2020 – still typing 2019 by default”


  1. …still typing 2019 by default

    I never make misteaks! Seriously, if I am going to write or type last year, it will be about two weeks into the new year. Hmm.

  2. Thanks, Nick and others. Just a sanity check on sources. Monoprice is only 100 miles from me, and their shipping is fast, sometimes next day. It is also free or reasonable, especially for heavy and bulky things like 1000′ boxes of Ethernet cable. They occasionally have odball things for very cheap prices. I bought a small LED desk lamp that was on sale for a very good price with free shipping (yeah, I’m sometimes a sucker for sales.) My wife liked it so much she had me order another (still on sale) for a friend; I was a hero for a day. I’m picky about lighting, and this one is great.

    I have ordered photo related stuff from B&H: good people. A friend and I have had excellent luck calling them on the phone for oddball things not on their web site; their customer service is excellent as long as I am polite. Pretty much the same for Adorama. Maybe I just like New Yorkers. 🙂

    Oh, New Yorkers: I used to occasionally buy from J&R in NYC, now sadly out of business, but only bulky items like printers and monitors when monitors were hefty. Why? Well, their prices were competitive and shipping was often free or really cheap, even all the way across the country. Once, I called them about a moderately expensive LCD monitor, back when IPS was a big premium. I just wanted to know if it would go on sale any time soon. I explained that it was something I could wait for, especially if it was a really good deal. The agent said no sales were likely planned on that model, but would I buy it on the spot if he offered me a good price? I bought. I value any business that delegates reasonable authority to their employees. I watched the price of that monitor for a long time, and it never came close to the price I got. Win-win.

    See a pattern? Even today, it is sometimes good to call on the old fashioned phone, especially for major purchases. I don’t buy many big ticket items, but do so carefully. I learned from one of the best, now deceased. He used to call some 24 hour places in the middle of the night. He said sometimes the agents were bored, and would reward brief good stories. All that is being automated away. 🙁

    As for Amazon, I do look at them more as time goes on. I had Prime once or twice, but canceled it after a month. I once signed up for a month for one purchase, which made the added cost of Prime worth it, because the non-Prime shipping was more than the Prime membership. Like our former host, I found that as a Prime customer, my searches were limited and more frustrating. I did direct comparisons with my account, my wife’s account, and just logging on without an account, sometimes simultaneously on three different devices. That was revealing. For what I buy, Prime’s delivered price was often much higher than the other two. Algorithms at work. Right now, I am considering whether to join Prime again; our landline company, Frontier, sent me a one-year paid Prime subscription. It seems legit, with the only catch being that it will automatically renew at the highest rate after the year is up. I would cancel it before that. BTW, with slooow Internet, Prime’s streaming services are of no interest. However, if I do sign up for a year, I might give some of the music stuff a look. Yup, I’m a newbie in these matters.

    Nick, is that Wave Electronics? I will give them a look; new to me.

  3. @JimL, wave is a distributor/dealer and not open to the public. AFAIK, they only do wholesale sales. I don’t know what you have to do to qualify, but if I was going to order 10s of thousands of dollars at one time I might look into it. I was picking up in their south Houston store and they had about a thousand 55″ and up LED TVs on the shelf. I wouldn’t want that inventory, but I guess stuff like Sony Bravia doesn’t get huge discounts at Costco or fry’s. The order they were pulling for a truck in the dock had about 20 or 30 big tvs on it.

    n

  4. I wouldn’t want that inventory, but I guess stuff like Sony Bravia doesn’t get huge discounts at Costco or fry’s.

    I posted a link to a Fry’s article the other day. They claim that they’re trying a consignment sales strategy which not all of the vendors support yet, but that is the official reason for their empty shelves.

    I’m not sure I buy it. Fry’s is circling the drain.

  5. Thanks, Nick. I looked at Wave Electronics web site earlier, and there was no mention of dealers only. Just went back and had to attempt to set up an account before I saw a dealers-only notice. I hate that. I wish everybody would put complete info in the About Us or Contact pages.

  6. The order they were pulling for a truck in the dock had about 20 or 30 big tvs on it.

    Probably headed to a ship bound for Central America or the Caribbean.

  7. I guess I’m in the market for a new phone sooner rather than later. My charger plug caught on fire yesterday in the car, but I thought the phone was fine. It didn’t charge overnight.

    Samsung S7, and getting noticeably slower with every update. NOS on ebay, about $125.

    I guess I’ll move up to newer, but no way I’m spending $600+

    Rugged and water resistant are plusses.

    any last minute recommendations?
    n

  8. any last minute recommendations?

    I have a new Moto E6 which I received at Christmas. $100 at Best Buy (or was).

    If you want a step up to a better screen/camera, the Moto G7 play is $50 more.

    If you want a *much* better camera, we bought my son a Nexus 3a. Pricey, but takes good pics.

    Whatever you buy, just make sure that the android Android security patches date to some point within the last 3-4 months, preferably December. You can check it buried somewhere in Settings.

    Any phone running software before “Oreo” is taking your chances. Even “Oreo” is questionable about long term support at this point, including from the majors.

    I think most Moto phones still at Best Buy are “Oreo” with “Pie” either available or promised.


  9. any last minute recommendations?

    One of the Google Pixel phones – pure stock Android and quickest to get security updates.

    I’m currently using a 2 XL (on Android 10) and very happy with it. Previously had a 2 but wanted the larger form factor. Mine was NOS from Swappa but those are getting hard to find. Here’s one in mint condition for $230 (and looks like the seller may come down some) https://swappa.com/listing/view/LTNZ92939

    If you want something newer consider the 3/3XL or 3a/3aXL, but those will run more.

  10. If you want a *much* better camera, we bought my son a Nexus 3a. Pricey, but takes good pics.

    I meant Pixel 3a. Doh!

    I forgot to mention that my Moto 6 has a removable battery, great whether you are paranoid or want an easy battery swap down the road.

  11. any last minute recommendations?

    I’ve been using Asus phones for the last 2 1/2 years. Unlocked, dual-SIM (standby) phones in a handy package. I found them to be excellent quality and decently priced, although I’ll admit I’ve bought non-current models both times. I don’t currently have a need for the dual-SIM feature but may need it later in the year.

    Since I’m not taking many pictures or using social media, my demands on the phone are to make and receive calls and texts, and read during my down time at work. Also maps.

    I didn’t find any significant difference from my previous Samsungs in terms of function and usability.

    Gavin

  12. I am going to change phones, thanks for swappa

    best wishes for 2020, and hope no 2020 bug due sloppy y2k fixing, also I hope this affects to all people who disregarded the bulk of fix for y2k

  13. best wishes for 2020, and hope no 2020 bug due sloppy y2k fixing, also I hope this affects to all people who disregarded the bulk of fix for y2k

    The next big overseas outsourcing bug bonanza will be Y2038.

    Microsoft avoided a potential Y2k type disaster by moving the major version from Windows 8 to Windows 10. That ‘9’ would have been trouble.

    No one used Windows 1.0 but I believe the major version number call returns ‘A’.

    I had a copy of Windows 1.0 from an acquaintance who worked at Wang Labs, but I never saw an install “in the wild”. The only install of Windows 2.01 I ever saw was while working for the Egghead Ponzi, on our store demo PC. Performance sucked, but Egghead’s CEO and Bill Gates were tight, with their corporate headquarters only a few exits apart on I-90, so we kept using it.

  14. Maybe 2038 and Unix et altri, but I guess I will be at a retirement home by such date, Je, I have the complete set of Project floppies

  15. I saw a running copy of Windows 1.0 at my worksite. My recollection was that it was just a test install. Paned (not overlapping) windows, crude looking. We also had Macintoshes, a GEM setup, DESQview, and two kinds of UNIX workstations. Wow. The Sun and DEC workstations were solid, polished, and expensive, and they showed where Windows would attempt to be in just a few years. Before that, we had DEC minis, which were a pain to get along with, but solid hardware. Costly!

    For personal computing, I moved from DOS to Windows 2.1 at work when MS Excel became available. Windows was literally shrink wrapped to the Excel box. I had a genuine IBM PC AT (the older 6 MHz version) that ran PC DOS 3.2 just fine. It had a 30 MB hard disk, two floppy drives, and an NEC Multisync 14″ monitor, hot stuff back then. It was one of the best computers I have ever used, both before and after the conversion to Windows. I installed a (2.5 MB?) memory board we had lying around at the recommendation of a co-worker, then installed Windows, and finally Excel. After a little tweaking (remember?) I had a killer spreadsheet, much better than the Macintosh version I had used for about a year before. Excel was the only Windows app I had for quite a while, but I was able to run Lotus 123, Wordstar (!), and a terminal emulator under Windows as a task switcher. I used this setup for at least a year, until a transfer eventually got me a Compaq 486-20 with Windows 3.0. By then, we had Word for Windows, which was not very polished compared to other word processors. Although I don’t miss those days, we were able to get lots of work done using much simpler hardware.

    Some days I wonder where we are headed, and what computers will be like in, say, ten years.

  16. Some days I wonder where we are headed, and what computers will be like in, say, ten years.

    If I had to guess, general purpose computers will be the domain of Linux geeks, researchers, and servers. Windows and Mac end user systems will be powerful walled garden laptops based on ARM, sealed, and bricked remotely after five years. The tradeoff is that the devices will cost ~ $300-400 for mainstream performance with 3D graphics, roughly what a bare minimum Windows laptop runs today.

  17. No one used Windows 1.0 but I believe the major version number call returns ‘A’.

    I had Windows 1.0 on my company Compaq luggable (1985 ???) with the orange screen (not color). I never used it, it was a disaster, especially with the tiled windows.

  18. Yikes those phones are huge.

    It’s kafka-esk.

    I can’t log in to my att account, because despite having the password, and the user name, and being able to receive email to the address on file and RESET the password, some dickhead programmer decided my cookies have expired so he won’t let me in until I “confirm it’s me” by getting a code on my phone. The one that isn’t working. Because it caught on fire. I reiterate, I CAN RESET MY PASSWORD, but can’t ACTUALLY get into my account, because it doesn’t recognize the computer I’m using. THE SAME ONE FOR THE LAST 7 YEARS. From the same part of the country that my account bills to.

    NO other choices for verification.

    Calling their listed number (“if this won’t work for you call……”) which dumps to their paki help line, won’t help either “Because once the system sends out the request for verification, there’s nothing we can do.” Even escalating to someone who sounds like a native speaker didn’t help. He insisted that they had to send me a new phone, so I can get the code, so I can log in and shop for phones. F that and the monkey that F’d his mother. I guess I’ll be going to the ATT store and Costco tomorrow.

    n

  19. hell in a handbasket

    “January 4, 2020
    Heightened Tension, Middle East

    Healthcare and Public Health Sector Partners-

    HHS ASPR, in collaboration with HC3, H-ISAC, DHS and the law enforcement community, is actively monitoring an increase in malicious cyber activities as result of heightened tensions between the United States and Iran. In the past, the Iranian regime actors and proxies have initiated destructive attacks against United States infrastructure; however, there are currently no specific, credible threats against U.S. infrastructure.

    Iran and their proxies have often employed “wiper” attacks that are more destructive than ransomware or denial of service attacks. Yesterday, DHS issued a statement encouraging all critical infrastructure operators to familiarize themselves with Iranian Threat Group Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs). In light of this situation, we strongly encourage the owners and operators of Health and Public Health critical infrastructure to exercise heightened state of vigilance of their environment for potential increase of cyber threats and be vigilant on both physical and cyber security:”

  20. ” what computers will be like in, say, ten years. ”

    voice interaction as primary means, maybe gestures, phone sized, laser projector built in,

    for desktop, gestures for sure, camera assisted for lip reading and gestures, possible finally head mounted display, but not likely

    Direct to eye displays? injectible peripherals/inputs? Or just tracking hand/finger movement with cam…

    n

    size of human body limits changes to computer in and out, ie, you have to be able to reach it, see it, interact with it.

    n

  21. Some days I wonder where we are headed, and what computers will be like in, say, ten years.

    I doubt that the number of desktops in businesses will change. The real question is how many desktops will exist in homes as more and more people convert to smartphones and tablets.

  22. From BH in Sunday’s Fort Bend Herald:

    “Worth Noting”

    “Pay attention to who gets upset when a terrorist leader is killed. Pay close attention” – author unknown.

  23. voice interaction as primary means, maybe gestures, phone sized, laser projector built in,

    I would say that the voice recognition in my 2019 Ford F-150 works about half of the time. On a good day.

    “call Ryan” becomes “call my dad”.

  24. Does it ship it to an AI over the internet or do the voice command locally? Is there any training?

    n

  25. Yikes, Nick. I have AT&T. Need to try to get into my account, which I haven’t for quite a while. Also need to check my recovery settings… when I get home where I have convenient access to my records. No AT&T email account, however. Wakeup call.

    Also need to check my other email accounts. One of them nags me over security something or other. I have all my email offline, but it would still be inconvenient to lose an account I use for a lot of things.

  26. Does it ship it to an AI over the internet or do the voice command locally? Is there any training?

    I think that the voice recognition is local. I have yet to read the freaking manual.

  27. Voice recognition is local. I rarely have an issue with my F-150 understanding what I say. Perhaps it’s your TEXAS accent.


  28. I doubt that the number of desktops in businesses will change.

    I suspect many large companies with substantial IT areas will be replacing physical desktops with virtual running on a thin client on the desk.

  29. Voice recognition is local. I rarely have an issue with my F-150 understanding what I say. Perhaps it’s your TEXAS accent.

    I have been told that I have the worst aspects of a east Texas and a west Texas accent. Some people call it redneck, others call it hillbilly.

  30. Yikes those phones are huge.

    It’s kafka-esk.

    Minimum screen size is 5.5 inches anymore.

    Apple will still sell a 4.7 inch phone with the iPhone SE 2 rumored for this Spring.

  31. Seems Terry Gilliam doesn’t want to work ever again….

    The surviving Pythons are all pushing 80 and did a “Farewell” concert a few years back. Gilliam getting a completion bond for a flick would be tough. He’s got nothing to lose — Gilliam also recently called “Black Panther”, the best film ever made (cough), “Utter bullsh*t”.

    That frosted a few pop tarts.

    I don’t share my opinion on “Doctor Who” at work anymore. One of the women in our product management group is still steamed about my response to her inquiry about what I thought about the show’s current state after spotting my TARDIS office toy, “We’re not into it right now at our house. The writing and the lead are weak, and the last Doctor’s run ended poorly.” Since then, she snipes at me about anything I say on any subject.

    The First Female Doctor (TM) will inspire world peace. What’s wrong with me?

    The TARDIS came home, replaced by my stuffed Target dog swag. Hopefully that avoids controversy.

  32. Nothing will avoid it if they come looking…

    And now I’m off to bed, perchance to dream… certain to sleep.

    n

  33. Nothing will avoid it if they come looking…

    Gen-X. Female. Tech writing degree. Of course she’s the smartest person in the room. Always.

    Like many of the newer employees, I have no idea what she actually does at the company.


  34. Yikes, Nick. I have AT&T. Need to try to get into my account, which I haven’t for quite a while. Also need to check my recovery settings…

    I had problems last year upgrading my AT&T branded phone last year. I needed to log in to see what upgrades were available and my current password wouldn’t work. Then, after three tries for a *code*, I was locked out with “your password or email is wrong.” I finally had to reset the password. I then found out my old password didn’t meet AT&T’s current standards and they summarily deleted it. That was the whole problem of logging in.

Comments are closed.