Sat. June 27, 2020 – tired, stuff to do at secondary

Hot and humid.

Yesterday stayed relatively cool, and overcast with occasional sprinkles.  It made working in the attic doable.

Spent most of the day either getting ready to go to my client’s house, or at his house.  Got  a bunch of work done, but no tasks done.  I’ll be back over there on Monday.

Came home to dinner of Costco ‘heat and eat’ lamb shanks from the fridge, broccoli, and pasta from the pantry.  Yum.

I’m tired an sore from crouching in attics and being in the heat, moderate though it was.

Today I have to get out and do some stuff.  Also have yardwork and pool cleaning.  And an auction pickup.  Won a hobby item with a bid that I thought wouldn’t hold up.  Gotta pick it up, or they ban you.  So much to do instead of spending the drive time to get it.

At this point, I’d prefer to not be going anywhere or seeing anyone.

But I gotta keep stacking… and you should too.

 

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

Mid 50s, stay at home dad, with two elementary school age girls. Love my family and my life.

33 thoughts on “Sat. June 27, 2020 – tired, stuff to do at secondary”

  1. I am looking to get a light weight device with a long battery life (preferably fairly low cost as well) for my wife to use when she does her web surfing (primarily Facebook) and email while in bed. As she has back issues, she will go to bed early and mostly use her phone (iPhone7 plus) which she does not find satisfactory. The screen is not large enough and the “keyboard” is hard to use.

    We have an old iPad 2, but she does not like that type of interface. I was thinking perhaps of a Chromebook or Surface device, but I am concerned about performance, especially with FB. Does anyone have experience with a device that they have used and like? My goal is to give it to her for a birthday gift, about nine days from now.

  2. I think that is a bit dated. TSMC seems to have the upper-hand nowadays. Global Foundries (AMD) lost that race as well a long time ago and I think IBM went away even before that.
    Intel has not had a decent nanometer reduction for far too-long and it shows. Nowadays it is more like a pirate coming down the road: Tock, Tock, Tock and maybe Tick.

    IBM will be a Linux vendor and not much else soon.

    TSMC has their own problems. Is 5 nm up and running now?

    We lived not far from WaferTech/TSMC in Vantucky. The foundry had an awful reputation as a place to work. OTOH, most of my wife’s patients who worked for Intel across the river were on some kind of antidepressants, and I didn’t know anyone who had a permanent Intel employee badge save for the CS department’s special project single mother cult escapee.

  3. I am looking to get a light weight device with a long battery life (preferably fairly low cost as well) for my wife to use when she does her web surfing (primarily Facebook) and email while in bed. As she has back issues, she will go to bed early and mostly use her phone (iPhone7 plus) which she does not find satisfactory. The screen is not large enough and the “keyboard” is hard to use.

    I’m testing one of the recent vintage extremely low end Dell laptops with 4GB running Fedora 32 as my road machine this week while on a trip to North Florida. We had to replace the machine as my daughter’s laptop when Windows 10 resource demands quickly outgrew the machine, but Fedora and some flavors of Ubuntu aren’t unpleasant for web surfing and mail.

    At some point, I’ll try Pop! OS, but that Linux really requires 8GB in my experience.

    I didn’t want a machine I would be suckered into using in a work emergency this week. Five new hires in my group in a year making a minimum of $20k more than I do — I get the message, and I’m sending my response. We’ll see who is still around when I turn in notice; I doubt all five will still be around even at the end of the Summer.

    And, yes, Florida. I know. We’re careful, and the county where we are going has new daily case counts measured in the teens. Florida closed their bars, and the agreement is that boozeheads partying at the hotel or packing the beach mean we drive home before the 4th. Daylight will be mostly in a car crawling the coast to take pictures. I haven’t been up that way in … 30 years!

  4. This article from Dan Crenshaw pretty much sums up my BLM feelings:

    We Can’t Let the Outrage Mob Win

    … You see, this isn’t about taking down offensive messages or symbols. These mobs didn’t suddenly stumble upon some forgotten and offensive historical anecdote, or reach their wits’ end after seeing Aunt Jemima on the grocery-store shelf just one too many times. No, this was a deliberate hijacking of a tragedy. The touchy sympathies of “political correctness” were always just a base from which to launch a cultural revolution, a purge of traditional American narratives and icons.

    It’s about time we all woke up to it.

    Liberals, naively tolerant of the mob, are always the first victims. Eager to appear as progressive allies, they give inch after inch until they’ve completely compromised the values they claim to stand for. Conservatives tried to warn our liberal friends. We tried to tell them that decades of identity politics and increasing flirtation with far-left ideology would end up here. Now, they have been trampled over completely by radical progressives, purged from the New York Times opinion section, from academia, and from Congress…

  5. My next ‘puter will not run Window$ of any description. Too much risk of breakage.

    @Geoff Powell, Linux?

    Just curious. I switched to desktop Linux about five years ago, and now it is my only OS (along with Android on a phone.) It was a great learning experience, and taught me so much about how to set up and maintain a computer. I have built my own in one way or another since about 1989, and Linux reminds me of those old days. That’s the good part, and I will always have an experimental Linux computer, but I am working toward moving production back to Windows as soon as I get some uninterrupted time. Since I like to be thorough, that could take a while.

    I have used all sorts of operating systems over the years, but seldom more than one at a time, so comparing similar vintages of competing OSes fairly is hard. Each one had its charms, and all could be ugly. I am not good at evaluating something until I have used it for a while. It took me about two years of experimenting with several Linux distros to settle on one. That was after my favorite (Mepis) was effectively discontinued. My background was hardware production, so I struggle with software and especially configurations. I will take the effort to get it right before I move to production, but then I hate to have to make changes.

    My biggest gripe about desktop Linux is the selection of software. There is an amazing variety, but most of what I have actually used has design issues or downright bugs that go unfixed for years. As a volunteer myself (in other fields,) I do appreciate how hard it is to accomplish things with volunteers. Perhaps that is the the biggest weakness of FOSS compared to commercial software. Of course, this will never be settled.

    To be fair, I treat the desktop Linux world as a product. I am not a contributor in the sense that I do not attempt to fix things. My few forays into posting bug reports or feature requests showed me just how fragile the ecosystem can be. No thanks. My attitude is wrong. It is better suited to buying a commercial product. Still, Linux has its touches of brilliance!

  6. @jimb:

    Yes, Linux is definitely a candidate. Probably a Debian-based distro, but not Ubuntu.

    I run a number of Raspberry Pis as single-purpose dedicated machines, and the default OS there is Raspbian, or as it is now called Raspberry Pi OS, which is Debian recompiled for ARM hardfloat.

    Or, in the alternative, a Mac. Although I have seen problems with macOS 10.15 on a mid-2012 MacBook Pro, which I bought second-hand just before Christmas last year – the upgrade doesn’t even boot.

    G.

  7. Win10 used on all laptops here (5), plus one very old desktop ; some via the free upgrade from Win7, some bought new that way. No issues with any of them, or the updates that get installed on a regular basis.

    All run Sophos AV (Home Edition) and use FireFox as the browser. I’ve got many programs on mine, including an Word 2010 version that I use often.

    No issues here. And no desire to bother with converting anything to Linux.


  8. Conservatives tried to warn our liberal friends.

    Speak for yourself, Dan. I have no liberal friends. Mindsets have become so polarized and the liberals in particular have become so divorced from reality that I can barely tolerate their presence. Friendship is out of the question.

    Even taking “friends” as meaning “acquaintances”, speak for yourself, Dan. Libards have made their bed. Let them lie in it. Libtards have chosen their side. Let them die of it.

  9. I have one laptop, two desktops, and a vm running Win 10. Zero issues with any if them. There will always be some problems, but I am still amazed all that code works as well as it does…

    Windows 10 is reputedly 30 million lines of mostly C code.

  10. People who have problems with Win10, in my experience, are those who mess around with settings, and/or edit the Registry, and/or don’t install or delay updates, and/or have a bazillion tools/programs installed that promise better Windows. Leave your Win10 alone and that goes double for you folks that are programmers and IT Specialists. I have no degrees but I do have over 40-years of experience with what became Microsoft, Apple, et.al.

    I helped bring PCs to the DOE Contractors at Hanford, much to the displeasure of the IT nerds who ran the big mainframes and supercomputers. Things went well for about 5-years until they had to take things over. When I was “retired” in 1976 I was supporting over 4,700 PCs (and a few Apples) as a “collateral” duty. It took a whole new IT Department to do what I did. I then went on to support small businesses and private individuals (most doctors with more money than sense).

    I succeeded because I did not try to second guess Microsoft (or Apple). Leave the damn systems alone and get back to work.

    @IT_Pro, now that I have probably pissed you off, I suggest you look at an Amazon Fire HD 10 for your wife. Going against my “leave it alone” paradigm I do suggest you add the Google Play Store to it to give you a wider selection of Apps.

    Finally, FWIW, for my home system (4 desktops, 6 laptops, 8 Amazon devices, and 20 Ring and Wyze Cams) I use Netgear with Bitdefender in the router and on all my devices. It’s a belt and suspenders approach. And for those of you who are moaning “but Netgear and Bitdefender have been exploited”, no they haven’t, it’s the users who refuse to change defaults and/or use weak passwords and/or do not keep the firmware and software up-to-date.

    Dad’s rant of the day is done, for now.

    My life matters and so does yours until you step on my lawn.

  11. Leave your Win10 alone and that goes double for you folks that are programmers and IT Specialists.

    +1.

    I started with Windows v2.1. As I learned more, I learned that less is more. Even though I allowed major upgrades, I always did a completely bare installation after living with the upgrade for about a week. I only had occasional problems, but the bare metal installation gave me a cleaner feeling. The only problems I have had were related to faulty hardware, mostly RAM. A couple of problems with third party drivers, but that’s all.

    I have no lawn. 😉

    @DadCooks, you sure about 1976?

  12. We lived not far from WaferTech/TSMC in Vantucky. The foundry had an awful reputation as a place to work. OTOH, most of my wife’s patients who worked for Intel across the river were on some kind of antidepressants, and I didn’t know anyone who had a permanent Intel employee badge save for the CS department’s special project single mother cult escapee.

    I do not understand the philosophy of not permanently hiring employees. At any moment, your workforce can walk out the door. And NDAs are very hard to enforce.

  13. At some point, I’ll try Pop! OS, but that Linux really requires 8GB in my experience.

    Any 64 bit multitasking operating system with a graphical user interface requires 8 GB in my experience. The graphical user interface allocates memory like it is free in millions of small objects. And then has trouble recovering that memory due to thrashing in the memory pools. And a good memory collector requires many more resources to join the holes together with lots of cpu.

  14. @JimB said:

    @DadCooks, you sure about 1976?

    Good catch @JimB, it should be 1996.


  15. Did you pull your trailer at 8 mpg again ?

    Oh heavens no. The limited RV places in Hilton Head Island are cramped and expensive. Stayed with friends at their timeshare condo. I was able to get 20.5 MPG over the entire trip, most of the time at 72 MPH.

  16. @IT_Pro:

    I got a Lenovo 10″ tablet (32MB) a while back (this one https://amzn.to/3g5CEnY ) with 32GB MB. If your wife doesn’t need a separate keyboard, this might work well.

    It’s Android-based, so you can install the usual apps. I use it mainly for Kindle reading (via the Kindle app), but also have mail and FB and Chrome installed. Very light, so not hard to hold for long periods.

    If she needs one with a keyboard, then any Chrome-type device would probably work. The tablet works well for me, and I don’t have to be $$$ extra for the Apple logo. Been reliable. Tablet might work better while reclining instead of a fold-out for a keyboard. Although you can get a bluetooth keyboard for the Lenovo tablet. I just haven’t needed that capability.

  17. _State Machine (Rachel Peng) (Volume 3)_ by K.B. Spangler
    https://www.amazon.com/State-Machine-Rachel-Peng-3/dp/0984737588/?tag=ttgnet-20

    Book number three of a four book mystery fantasy series. This series is part of the A Girl and Her Fed universe with the web comic and several books. I read the well formatted and bound POD (print on demand) trade paperback. I am now reading the fourth book in the series.
    https://agirlandherfed.com/

    This is the continuing story of the 350 surviving humans modified by the USA government into cyborgs. There are still many issues with them, not the least in that the computers in their heads burn 1,000 to 2,000 calories per day by themselves. The public is still nervous about them since they outed themselves in the past year.

    The USA Senator who started the OACET (Office of Adaptive and Complementary Enhancement Technologies) program is now going after the agents in order to bring them back under his power. The Senator will do anything and kill anyone to regain his power.

    My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    Amazon rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (56 reviews)


  18. I got a Lenovo 10″ tablet (32MB) a while back (this one https://amzn.to/3g5CEnY ) with 32MB. If your wife doesn’t need a separate keyboard, this might work well.

    That is a really long while. 🙂

  19. A couple of friends went on a cruise to Europe a few years ago. One had a nice laptop, the other a Kindle Fire. The laptop never connected to the ship’s wi-fi or any other wi-fi. The Kindle simply worked for e-mail and some web surfing.

    I have not tried adding Google Play to my Kindle. I do have an app called “Apk Extractor” on my phone. That has come in handy for, face it, pirating. I paid for Solitare, Tri Peaks, and Pyramid that look and play like the Win98 and older versions. Just right. Apk Extractor the apps, connect phone to PC and drop on Desktop, connect Kindle and drop into a folder. Then run the apk to install. It works.

    I’ve tried a couple of other programs and they don’t work. Not a problem, just trying. Some day I’ll try the paid version of Torque, just for the larger screen, but I’ve said that for almost three years.

    I was gifted / inherited an iPad a few years ago. I wasn’t impressed. Sure, the screen was larger. And sure, you are not arranging icons closer than a 4 or 5 wide row. Not any way that I could see. Mail worked fine, web was fine, but the darn thing was heavy. The extra 2 or 3 inches of screen over the Kindle’s 7 inches just wasn’t worth it to me. So I did a factory re-set and gave it to one of the kids who gave it to his mom and she loves it. Everyone is happy.

  20. I have had various models of Kindle Fires. Worked well for reading, but didn’t like how you couldn’t easily add apps to it.

    So, got the Lenovo tablet so I could add apps to it. Now it’s my primary tablet. The Fires were handed off to other family members.

    And it is 32GB.

  21. People who have problems with Win10, in my experience, are those who mess around with settings, and/or edit the Registry, and/or don’t install or delay updates, and/or have a bazillion tools/programs installed that promise better Windows. Leave your Win10 alone and that goes double for you folks that are programmers and IT Specialists. I have no degrees but I do have over 40-years of experience with what became Microsoft, Apple, et.al.

    That rule applies for any version of Windows. I hate editing the registry, it is usually a freaking disaster while I am messing with our software installation program.

  22. It’s the annual chance to mess with the auto-rebalance settings on my 401k. I’ve always had it 100% H-E-B General Fund. My theory is “they ain’t gonna screw over the help. Too much”.

    Last year was good. It made 15.6%. Operating expenses are .7% aka $7.00 per $1000.
    And like an ignorant person, I read somewhere or another that the way to go was with the S&P 500 Index. Which last year made 31.36%. Operating expenses are .08% aka 80 cents per $1000.

    It seems to be a no-brainer to go with the S&P 500 option. It looks to make almost double of the HEB General Fund. The fees are much lower.

    I’m going with the idea that “vested” means my account balance at the end of the year but the entire amount is in play. Yes, I know, folks say the vested amount is yours no matter what. I’m sure there is some fine print that says differently.

    So. With my thinking hopefully explained, I’m going to auto-rebalance the whole into the S&P 500 option.

    If and when the Stock Market pukes I assume my 401k will vanish no matter what fund it’s in.

    I had a few hundred bucks of CircleK stock in the ’80’s. Payroll deduction, $40 a month for over four years. They did a split and then a reverse or whatever and my $2000+ of stock was suddenly worth $4.90. Then that vanished. That stung… when you are paid $5.25 an hour.

    Anyway. The whole thing that I started to say….. I tried to log in to the web site. Nope. Need an authentication code. Nevermind that after entering my SS and name, the site knew who I was. Got to have the code!!!! That arrived today. Looks like the product key for Windows. Crazy.

  23. I helped bring PCs to the DOE Contractors at Hanford, much to the displeasure of the IT nerds who ran the big mainframes and supercomputers. Things went well for about 5-years until they had to take things over. When I was “retired” in 1976 I was supporting over 4,700 PCs (and a few Apples) as a “collateral” duty. It took a whole new IT Department to do what I did. I then went on to support small businesses and private individuals (most doctors with more money than sense).

    I went to work at TESCO in 1982 which became TXU in 1984 (16,000 people). We bought at least two IBM PCs at each of the 40+ plants in 1983 that were not administered by the IT mainframe guys. By 1985 the IT mainframe guys had taken over all the PCs at the central offices and the plants. BTW, you would have thought that the IT mainframe guys would have had enough to do with their three IBM 3090s.

    The mainframe guys mandated a lot of things such as we had to have spreadsheets that worked on both the PCs and Mainframes (Lotus 1-2-3, not a bad choice). Most of engineering software had to work on the mainframes since the models were so large (largest public utility in Texas, 2 million electric meters). I left there in 1989 to go back in the engineering software biz just as the 80386 PCs were going mainstream with mainframe computing power levels.

  24. “I have one laptop, two desktops, and a vm running Win 10. Zero issues with any if them. There will always be some problems, but I am still amazed all that code works as well as it does…”

    Windows 10 is reputedly 30 million lines of mostly C code.

    Redmond has been mixing in C++ and, from what I understand, Rust as of late.

  25. “At some point, I’ll try Pop! OS, but that Linux really requires 8GB in my experience.”

    Any 64 bit multitasking operating system with a graphical user interface requires 8 GB in my experience. The graphical user interface allocates memory like it is free in millions of small objects. And then has trouble recovering that memory due to thrashing in the memory pools. And a good memory collector requires many more resources to join the holes together with lots of cpu.

    Fedora and various Ubuntu flavors will work in 4GB for light duty, but System76 wanted to keep the more memory hungry Unity so they embarked on development of Pop! OS.

  26. Today’s travel adventures:

    – Houston — Y’all are crazy. We stopped at Buc-ee’s in Baytown, and about 3/4 of the people in the place lacked masks. I kept my mask on the whole time, but social distancing was limited. The store was packed. Lots of traffic everywhere. This is “shelter in place”?

    – Alabama — State Patrol working the $100 “Move Over” fine snagged me. They didn’t have anyone pulled over when I drove past, but the lights were on. The law changed the first penalty from $25 to $100 at the end of 2019. Be aware when traversing the state.

    If I had my way, we would have stayed home.

  27. “– Houston — Y’all are crazy. We stopped at Buc-ee’s in Baytown, and about 3/4 of the people in the place lacked masks. I kept my mask on the whole time, but social distancing was limited. The store was packed. Lots of traffic everywhere. This is “shelter in place”?”

    Welcome to the crazy. You left too soon. It gets worse. You should have tried one of the Richmond Street bars by the Galleria to see the real overcrowding. Wait, they are closed again.

    Have a good trip to FL. I like the entire state even including the panhandle area.

  28. “NYU Prof: “Hundreds, If Not Thousands” Of Universities Will Soon Be “Walking-Dead””
    https://www.zerohedge.com/personal-finance/nyu-prof-hundreds-if-not-thousands-universities-will-soon-be-walking-dead

    “As colleges attempt to recover from the pandemic and prepare for future semesters, a New York University professor estimates that the next 5-10 years will see one to two thousand schools going out of business.”

    Haven’t most of the universities been zombies for a decade or two now ?

  29. Haven’t most of the universities been zombies for a decade or two now ? ”

    –they’ve been sucking up the ‘everyone needs to go to college’ money for the last decade. A lot of people were starting to rethink that before covid struck. I’m sure a bunch more are considering skipping the whole thing and making some money working instead.

    n


  30. – Alabama — State Patrol working the $100 “Move Over” fine snagged me. They didn’t have anyone pulled over when I drove past, but the lights were on. The law changed the first penalty from $25 to $100 at the end of 2019. Be aware when traversing the state.

    Thanks for the donation to our wonderful state government. I’m *sure* it will be put to good use. Honest.

    Seriously though, I haven’t seen a state trooper in a long time. I have to drive part of I565 on my work commute, and they are never in sight. I assume they are patrolling areas of greater revenue potential.

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