Tues. Oct. 20, 2020 – 10-20-2020 huh.

Cooler and wet.  Maybe some sunshine later.

Got rain and humidity yesterday.  Lots of both.  It kept me inside, since I was home with my student, and my wife was at the office.

So I decided it was time to mess with upgrading my NVR computer and software.  I was running ispy Agent on win10.  I am very tired of windows updating and killing my recording.  Agent has a version for linux….   well.   I updated agent and it failed to restart, so I had my motivation.

I also needed to add a much bigger hard drive, which has just been sitting here waiting for a good time.  Putting the UPS that’s sitting here in line with that pc has been on the list for a while.  Fractal.  That’s my to do list.

Had to clear a spot for the UPS and that meant vacuuming up the dust bunnies.  Then it wasn’t charged so I got to listen to that beeping for a while.  Pulled the pc and opened it up.  Blew it out.  I had installed the second 4TB drive with zip ties.  I don’t remember doing it, but I guess I did.  There isn’t any second drive cage in this little HP midsize case.  So where would the new 8TB go?  Pliers.  Case mod.  Foam and zip tie.  I fit the 4TB in tighter and strapped the 8 to it.  It’s pretty clean if a bit tight.  Budget models are technically expandable, but they (probably rightly) don’t really think anyone will.  Still would have been nice to have the drive cage included.  I noticed I still have a ram slot open.  I’ll have to look at filling that.

Why leave the 4TB drive?  Mainly as a place to archive any interesting video.

Formatted the 8TB drive under windows, made sure the Agent software really was borked by the update.  Inserted USB stick and booted to Mint.  Decided to just install it as a dual boot, but couldn’t.   The stock Dell drive has like a thousand partitions hidden on it– well at least 4.  Mint couldn’t or wouldn’t figure out how to just install alongside windows (even though that was a choice) and I couldn’t figure out what the heck I needed to do.  So I decided to try installing the Agent software on the live distro…

Which actually worked, after some cut and paste errors, and some user error on my part.  Remember that I’m just really sitting here monkey punching the keyboard.  But after several tries, I got it installed and started.  And it works.  It’s pegging all 8 cores, but the video is smooth and clear.  I did quickly run out of disk space, because the default install uses the same drive for storage, and there just wasn’t any space.  That’s when  I tried to point it at my new 8TB drive.  Sorry Charley, read only file system.  After poking at it, doing what seemed logical and watching it LOOK like it changed the permissions, it still didn’t really.

I shut off recording for the night, and have been just watching to see if the server is stable, which was my other issue with the software running on windows. (agent runs as a server, you interact with it using a browser.)   It’s always disconnecting from the server and I get a blank screen rather than the camera views.  So far it’s been stable and hasn’t disconnected yet.

Today I’ll be swapping the main drive for a blank and installing Mint for real.  I’ll have to reinstall all the codecs, software, and settings but hopefully that will be good and stable for a long time after that.

I might boot back to windows to do the file deleting and space clearing I want to do  on the 4TB first, just because I’m more familiar with it.

All in all it’s more messing around than I wanted, but MS is making it increasingly clear that they consider your pc to be theirs and they’ll do what they want, whenever they want.  I don’t care for that.

I’ve also got to pick up a couple of things today.  Wife is working from home so she can watch the younger one while I go out.

More household stuff from the auctions.    I’ve created a monster.


The news isn’t getting any better.  Biden would be cooked, resigning in disgrace if he weren’t their only hope to defeat Orangeman.  They literally can’t acknowledge that he’s crooked because of what they’ve got invested in him emotionally.  HE can bow out, but I don’t think he will.  I do expect a rash of single vehicle crashes, and overdose/suicide/mystery deaths.  I expect some other distractions too.

Stay away from crowds.  And keep stacking.

 

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

94 thoughts on “Tues. Oct. 20, 2020 – 10-20-2020 huh.”

  1. Congrats, Jenny.

    re carbon capture, I’ve seen a number of goals set. Even to me, not a specialist in the field, the numbers don’t work out. Why, it’s almost like activists and politicians no nothing about math or science.

    Somewhat related, yesterday I heard an interview in which a woman “who cares deeply about the environment” said, “I’m less interested in what sacrifices I can make until I see what the fossil fuel companies are doing to change.” Um, right. The evil fossil fuel companies spew dread caaaaaarbon into your air for no reason at all. They make gasoline and plastics and electricity for no good reason, and would continue to do so even if no one were buying their products … which they are.

    I just have to shake my head at this “thinking”. It goes deeper than the childish refusal to accept the consequences of one’s choices. I think the only explanation is bone-deep stupidity.

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  2. YAY, Jenny! Wonderful news about your new home. May all of the hard work of moving go smoothly, and may ya’ll get a handsome price quickly for your current house. 🙂

    Re climate, and the economy: I found a very interesting article the other day:

    “The fashion industry is the second-biggest consumer of water and is responsible for up to 10% of global carbon emissions – more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined, the U.N.’s environment programme said in March 2019.

    “Meanwhile, clothes account for a massive, and growing, pile of waste that ends up in landfills. ….

    “…The United States produces just under 17 million U.S. tons (15.4 tonnes) of textile waste per year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency – equivalent to around 29 billion pairs of jeans. Two-thirds of this ends up in landfills. ….

    ….”Clothes recycling is the pressure-release valve of fast fashion, and it’s breaking under COVID-19 curbs. The multi-billion-dollar trade in second-hand clothing helps prevent the global fashion industry’s growing pile of waste going straight to landfill,….

    …”The retreat of recyclers is having far-reaching consequences for an industry that has seen an annual average of more than $4 billion of used clothing exported globally over the five years to 2019, according to U.N. trade data. …”

  3. I think the only explanation is bone-deep stupidity.

    But Steve! Don’t you understand? Electricity – it just comes out of the plug. Food comes from supermarkets. Etc.. For electricity, you can probably see the color of the individual electrons: green ones from solar power, black from fossil fuels. Just sort out all the ugly black ones and don’t use them.

    “Meanwhile, clothes account for a massive, and growing, pile of waste that ends up in landfills.

    I wear clothes until they wear out. That is apparently weird. Lots of folks apparently stop wearing clothes when they don’t look new anymore. Worse are the young women, when they go clubbing. Apparently you just can’t wear the same dress twice. So they mail-order something, wear it, and then return it. The big clothing retailer here apparently fights to keep their return rate under 50% – and those returned clothes mostly wind up in the trash.

  4. Fashion is just a way to get people to spend money on ugly crap. Clothes that are bizarre junk, junk, from FAQ designers, absolutely worthless crap. Elitist people with nothing better on which to spend their money. People who create their own illusion to support their warped minds and sense of self worth, unable to get a real job.

    I have nothing good to say about the fashion industry.

  5. Today is the day I talk with my financial advisor about converting all my investments into safe funds. Funds that will not lose any value in the upcoming month. I need to protect what I have. I don’t care if I miss out on gains, even if substantial. Protection of my assets is more important.

    I fear if Trump gets elected the liberal cry-babies will start rioting and burning. I fear if Biden gets elected Trump will be using the courts to thwart the results. In either scenario the stock market will suffer as the stock market does not like uncertainty.

    Better to protect what I have than worry about gains.

    After the dust settles I will consider moving back into conservative investments. I have been in the stock markets for 35 years, have done well, no regrets. Survived a lot of ups and downs as I had a long time to recover from the down turns, and have recovered (2008!). But I no longer have an extended time frame to weather the storms. I feel this election is going to be a real storm.

    I may be wrong, so what? I miss out on gains. I don’t need the added money, I need the money that I have.

  6. @greg, all is not rosy. I can’t figure out how to give mint access to my new 8tb drive. I can see it, but when I try to let my NVR software use it, I get “read only access filesystem”.

    Selecting properties for the drive and selecting ‘read and write’ for the drive or for the folder, under Permissions seems to work but then doesn’t actually.

    Is this a ‘feature’ of live distros?

    Is the “fast startup” enabled on Windows 10 in the Power Options control panel? Under “What power buttons do” or something similar? Turn that off and reboot to Windows 10 to clear the power up cache on the drive. Then try booting to the live Linux distro and check that the root user can write to the drive at a minimum.

    I’ll burn a Mint 17.3 ISO and try booting my main desktop later this morning. I know some live Ubuntu distributions are used by Forensics techs in the field to image file systems so pre-installed drives get mounted read only, but Mint is targeted at more general users.

    More likely, it is fast start or the EFI secure boot nonsense. Mint has supported secure boot for a while AFAIK, however. Disclaimer: My main desktop partition table goes back … 25 years? … it isn’t EFI. I’ll try booting that machine and my recent-vintage ThinkPad which is mostly used for Windows so it has nearly stock Lenovo EFI settings.

    Does your DVR software create a user/group to run its server process as part of the Linux install?

    UPDATE: It looks like the Caine distribution favored by Forensics techs if they need “free as in beer” is reasonably current. I doubt Linux Mint is catering to that crowd as long as they have their own distro.


  7. “The fashion industry is the second-biggest consumer of water

    Since when did clothes become “the fashion industry?”

  8. It’s good for me, I’ve saved thousands of dollars (well, I wouldn’t have spent that money in the first place) buying new or like new technical clothing at Goodwill. A lifetime supply of BrooksBrothers dress shirts, $3/. Dozens of Clima-cool and Nike etc t-shirts and golf shirts for <$5/. Dozens of short sleeve collared shirts. Fishing shorts, Under Armor cargo shorts, winter and hunting pants.... Corporate America is partly to blame, they supply a shirt for every event or milestone, that usually gets worn once or not at all. So many of them are so cheaply made you wouldn't want to wear them but many companies are wising up and buying premium brands. They have a better chance of being worn, but I still see bales of them at the thrift stores. n

  9. @greg, thanks for checking.

    The server hasn’t shut down once in the last 18 hours, so I’m going to go ahead and do a clean install on a new blank disk. Way more stable than the windows version…

    “More likely, it is fast start or the EFI secure boot nonsense” that is one of the partitions on the drive, I have been out of it so long I didn’t know what that was. I don’t think I tried to point the install at that partition. Should I have?

    It’s only academic as I’m going for clean install shortly.

    n


  10. Conjuring up some advice given on this blog from years past: When selecting what to keep and what to schlep out to the dumpsters, you must be RUTHLESS!

    That’s a Supreme idea!

    Yes, I just had to say it. Congrats on the new house. 🙂

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  11. “The fashion industry is the second-biggest consumer of water”

    Since when did clothes become “the fashion industry?”

    Whenever Levis closed their last US plant, becoming a brand license and not a manufacturer, and all the supporting denim mills around Columbus GA got crated up and shipped to Japan.

    Anymore, Levis really isn’t any different than the organization currently behind the Polaroid name or whoever it is using the Bell+Howell brand to shill various Chinese-made junk in commercials on late night TV.

    Heck, Big River makes it possible for vendors to skip the whole “opening of the shipping containers from China” step in the new retail environment and just skim profits from purely online arbitrage … that is, until Big River decides they want that business for themselves.


  12. The fashion industry is the second-biggest consumer of water

    Growing cotton is a water intensive crop.

    One of the funny things some tourists will see are people in Africa wearing t-shirts for the losers of the NBA championship, Super Bowl, etc. that proclaim them the winner. The official t-shirt (and hat) companies make up items for both teams and sell the loser logo items overseas or donate them to disaster relief organizations.
    https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/29884/what-happens-losing-teams-championship-shirts

  13. @Lynn – So my unemployment claim was denied — not surprising — because I was terminated for cause, but the section of law cited, 207.044 and Subchapter D, Section 201, implies that the reason was misconduct in relation to performing the work, neglecting my responsibilities.

    What exactly do you see from Texas Workforce Commission when you get a background check on an employee?

    I think I need to talk to a lawyer at this point. Even if the profanity in the meeting is covered by that part of the law by precedent, it isn’t something I want showing up in a background check without detail beyond citing the statute numbers as reason for termination. Some of the precedents are unbelievably bad behavior, not individuals with whom I want to be associated thanks to a limited amount of storage in a bureaucrat’s database entry.

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  14. Two HPD officers shot in Houston.

    Heard them telling one of the surveillance teams, that they might need to support the Southwest division with their drone and aircraft.

    Checked the news and it’s there.

    Abc13.com

    no details though.

    n


  15. So my unemployment claim was denied — not surprising — because I was terminated for cause, but the section of law cited, 207.044 and Subchapter D, Section 201, implies that the reason was misconduct in relation to performing the work, neglecting my responsibilities.

    Always appeal. It requires your employer to invest time and energy in the hearing (which is usually over the phone). You don’t have anything going on so it’s just an amusing distraction for you,. but for them it’s a pain in the ass. So, might as well make it as painful as possible for them.

    1
  16. I didn’t mention that alaska had an earthquake yesterday. Must have been minor or routine, since Jenny didn’t mention it either…

    n

    1
  17. I see Limbaugh is making headlines as being terminal (many a prog is dancing for joy). Though, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer at the beginning of the year. So, the fact that he’s terminal is not really a surprising. Just google up the 5-year survival rate for Stage 4 Lung Cancer (it’s less than 10%). I’m guessing he knew he was terminal back when he was originally diagnosed. Treatment is basically about extending the time he has left as much as possible.


  18. Since when did clothes become “the fashion industry?”

    Roger that, the pair of jeans that I recently bought has not been redesigned in 70 years.

    Wearing a button-down shirt as I type, a George Strait signature design, Wrangler brand.

  19. “So my unemployment claim was denied — not surprising — because I was terminated for cause, but the section of law cited, 207.044 and Subchapter D, Section 201, implies that the reason was misconduct in relation to performing the work, neglecting my responsibilities.”

    Always appeal. It requires your employer to invest time and energy in the hearing (which is usually over the phone). You don’t have anything going on so it’s just an amusing distraction for you,. but for them it’s a pain in the ass. So, might as well make it as painful as possible for them.

    Oh, sure, I’ll appeal. I did a quick look over precedents for successful appeal, and I could make things difficult for them if not possibly prevail. And we haven’t even got into the age discrimination possibility, which I considered a longer term project until the unemployment claim rejection letter arrived today.

    Not just 10 years younger with iffy qualifications, but 20 years with a spotty resume and 25 years my junior in another case with no work history outside of a TAMU PhD program *and* a visa requirement.

    My immediate concern is what would come up in a background check. In theory, the unemployment claims are confidential, but that’s *in theory*.

  20. My immediate concern is what would come up in a background check. In theory, the unemployment claims are confidential, but that’s *in theory*.

    I went through the unemployment appeals process in my state back in 2013. No employer or potential employer has ever mentioned seeing any record of it. Sometimes employers use third parties to assist them with unemployment claims (Equifax is one such service provider). So, I suppose they could maintain records and share them with their other clients perhaps, but that seems a bit shady.

  21. @Nick – Double check the Linux Mint version. 17.3? That’s getting into the time period back when Linux support for NTFS was awfully iffy, especially for writing data to the disk. Apple still only mounts NTFS as read only because only Microsoft has specs that don’t require reverse engineering work.

    I’ll grab an ISO and try it in my main desktop shortly. The Mint people don’t even make the ISO easy to get anymore.

    I’ll also try booting on my wife’s 2009 MacBook Pro with Windows 7 and Pop! OS triple boot with EFI.

    My Ye Olde MacBook Pro 2007 picked this morning to go Tango Uniform. Swolen battery and no response to power button. I think that machine is done.

  22. @greg, it’s 19.3 which is the newest supported version that the NVR runs on…

    n

  23. Nick, although I have played with it, I would never dual boot unless I had a good reason. You seem to have a lot of hardware. Dedicate one machine to an OS, and use Jerry’s rule on multitasking: multiple machines. Sure, there are some disadvantages to this scheme, but that is better than having problems with critical applications. My Linux friends frequently have trouble with multibooting, and some don’t even use the other OSes on their machines.

    Along with that, I always format the hard drive with the native file system for the OS. I also partition the HD in the manner specified by the OS. Give the OS a fair chance. OK, some of this is overkill, and maybe a little out of date, but my experience has been good doing this. Bare metal.

    I have had some pretty complex setups over the years. Maybe those taught me the value of simplicity.

    End preaching.

    1
  24. @greg, it’s 19.3 which is the newest supported version that the NVR runs on…

    Sorry. I’m not sure where I got 17.3. Too many numbers with all the legal text research this morning.

    I think I upgraded my main desktop to Mint 20. I only use that Linux partition for building Android targeting my “corporate free” tablet and phone experiments.

  25. I agree with @JimB – never dual boot. It’s a constant headache. Go all in on Linux.

    (Typed from a win10 desktop, irony)

  26. I went through the unemployment appeals process in my state back in 2013. No employer or potential employer has ever mentioned seeing any record of it. Sometimes employers use third parties to assist them with unemployment claims (Equifax is one such service provider). So, I suppose they could maintain records and share them with their other clients perhaps, but that seems a bit shady.

    Private entities get away with a lot more than governments so there is a little … okay, a *lot* … of looking the other way since information may be useful to law enforcement at some point.

    My Bat Guano neighbor arrested for aggravated stalking of another neighbor had his records sealed in the county court at the behest of the Pentagon, apparently because he’s one of the leading lights on Korea. The Army even went as far as spiriting him out of the country while the deal about the disposition of the case was under negotiation.

    Here’s his mugshot and arrest details, courtesy of private enterprise.

    https://www.mugshotsonline.com/florida/brandon/glen-nagy/2147862

  27. @Jenny: Congrats on your new abode!

    Conjuring up some advice given on this blog from years past: When selecting what to keep and what to schlep out to the dumpsters, you must be RUTHLESS!

    Case in point. I used soaker hoses at the old house to water the foundation with in 2013. I then had a water sprinkler system installed and stored the soaker hoses in the garage attic. We bought the new used house in 2019 and I moved the old soaker hoses to the new used house. The three soaker hoses all promptly ripped apart while I was pulling them into place. Sigh.

    As OFD said, be RUTHLESS. I wish that we were. We packed and moved 200 boxes. Ok, the movers packed 100 of the boxes and we packed 100 boxes. And the movers moved them all. And we still have about a 100 boxes to unpack.

  28. Got rain and humidity yesterday. Lots of both. It kept me inside, since I was home with my student, and my wife was at the office.

    So what did you wear to the school bus stop for child number one ?

  29. After the dust settles I will consider moving back into conservative investments. I have been in the stock markets for 35 years, have done well, no regrets. Survived a lot of ups and downs as I had a long time to recover from the down turns, and have recovered (2008!). But I no longer have an extended time frame to weather the storms. I feel this election is going to be a real storm.

    I may be wrong, so what? I miss out on gains. I don’t need the added money, I need the money that I have.

    Can your investments handle 20% inflation per year for five years ? It is coming.

    I am fairly sure that you remember the inflation of the 1970s. It affected the 1980s prices significantly, especially for food and capital projects.

  30. @Lynn – So my unemployment claim was denied — not surprising — because I was terminated for cause, but the section of law cited, 207.044 and Subchapter D, Section 201, implies that the reason was misconduct in relation to performing the work, neglecting my responsibilities.

    What exactly do you see from Texas Workforce Commission when you get a background check on an employee?

    I think I need to talk to a lawyer at this point. Even if the profanity in the meeting is covered by that part of the law by precedent, it isn’t something I want showing up in a background check without detail beyond citing the statute numbers as reason for termination. Some of the precedents are unbelievably bad behavior, not individuals with whom I want to be associated thanks to a limited amount of storage in a bureaucrat’s database entry.

    Nada from the TWC.

    Appeal, appeal, appeal. Force them to prove it was for cause. Hint, it was not for cause. It was for spite. There is a fine line there. Make sure they show internal documents.

    Sue them. Note, you only have a short period of time to do this, maybe six months.

  31. @Nick – I booted my wife’s triple-boot MacBook Pro 2009 using the EFI boot partition on Linux Mint 19.3. The Windows 7 NTFS partition didn’t automatically mount, but it responded to double click in the File Explorer equivalent, mounting RW under the /media hierarchy. The drivers and support utilities are there for NTFS in the live system.

    I will check my primary desktop this afternoon. That system has a DOS boot sector (no EFI support) and two NTFS systems, Win 7 and Win 10, along with Linux Mint 20.

    If your target system boots from a disk partitioned for EFI, there is definitely a black magic involved there with variables which include Windows 10 settings, BIOS configuration, and the Linux distribution’s support for Secure Boot. My ThinkPad 470 boots between Windows 10 and Ubuntu with an EFI boot sector so I know it can be done.

  32. Guess I’ve been out of the US for too long, but: why should being “fired for cause” affect your unemployment status? You’re still unemployed, after all. Seems like this just opens the door to vengeful employers being mean to their ex-employees.

    I’ve generally had reasonable success with dual boot. My biggest problem is that I use Windows too rarely. On my laptop, it somehow died in the Win7-Win10 upgrade process, so I have no more Windows available. On my desktop, I mentioned that Win10 likes to erase the Linux boot entry – irritating, but survivable.

    On the subject of read-only file systems under Mint: The two things that leap to mind are the entries in FSTAB – maybe Mint is being careful and mounting unknown drives with the “ro” options. Otherwise, is the partition writable under some other OS? If not, it is possible that the partition itself has been marked as “read-only”.

  33. I see Limbaugh is making headlines as being terminal (many a prog is dancing for joy). Though, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer at the beginning of the year. So, the fact that he’s terminal is not really a surprising. Just google up the 5-year survival rate for Stage 4 Lung Cancer (it’s less than 10%). I’m guessing he knew he was terminal back when he was originally diagnosed. Treatment is basically about extending the time he has left as much as possible.

    Limbaugh said that he was told six months back in January or February so he expected to be gone before now. He is on his third trial of drugs as the first two trials bombed out. Not good. He sounds strong on the radio though.

  34. Nick, although I have played with it, I would never dual boot unless I had a good reason. You seem to have a lot of hardware. Dedicate one machine to an OS, and use Jerry’s rule on multitasking: multiple machines. Sure, there are some disadvantages to this scheme, but that is better than having problems with critical applications. My Linux friends frequently have trouble with multibooting, and some don’t even use the other OSes on their machines.

    Along with that, I always format the hard drive with the native file system for the OS. I also partition the HD in the manner specified by the OS. Give the OS a fair chance. OK, some of this is overkill, and maybe a little out of date, but my experience has been good doing this. Bare metal.

    I have had some pretty complex setups over the years. Maybe those taught me the value of simplicity.

    End preaching.

    The only time I really got dual booting to work was separate hard drives in the machine. And that was multiple versions of Windows. Mickeysoft would always go out there and monkey with the drive that it was not using so I had to pull that drive in order to keep it from getting corrupted. It was Windows 95 or 98 and Windows 2000 if I remember correctly.


  35. So what did you wear to the school bus stop ?

    Pics or it didn’t happen.

    why should being “fired for cause” affect your unemployment status?

    Varies by state. From what Lynn and Greg have said, it sounds like Texas’s unemployment insurance is (supposed to be) only for people laid off due to lack of work. In NYS, it’s almost impossible to keep someone from being able to collect even if they were fired for stealing from the company or if they quit and later said they were pressured to quit. (I’ve had to testify before Dept Labor “judges” a couple times, and I wasn’t even a manager, just a knowledgeable insider.)

  36. Guess I’ve been out of the US for too long, but: why should being “fired for cause” affect your unemployment status? You’re still unemployed, after all. Seems like this just opens the door to vengeful employers being mean to their ex-employees.

    Because, IN TEXAS, if you get fired for cause or you quit, you voluntarily gave up your job. The law reads that way and is very specific. Since the employer pays 3X for every dollar paid in unemployment, the business climate in Texas is very employer friendly.

    I fought an ex-employee who walked off the job two years ago and told me she was working from home from that point on. I told her goodbye. She filed for unemployment and I successfully fought it for three levels of appeals. She is now suing the TWC apparently but I am out of it no matter what.

  37. “Backblaze Hard Drive Stats Q3 2020”
    https://www.backblaze.com/blog/backblaze-hard-drive-stats-q3-2020/

    “As of September 30, 2020, Backblaze had 153,727 spinning hard drives in our cloud storage ecosystem spread across four data centers. Of that number, there were 2,780 boot drives and 150,947 data drives. This review looks at the Q3 2020 and lifetime hard drive failure rates of the data drive models currently in operation in our data centers and provides a handful of insights and observations along the way. As always, we look forward to your comments.”

    Good night, they just got some 18 TB drives. I just bought a 12 TB and thought I was bleeding edge. I guess not.

    Looks like several 12 TB drives failed early, both HGST (WD) and Seagate. Scary stuff that.

  38. Guess I’ve been out of the US for too long, but: why should being “fired for cause” affect your unemployment status? You’re still unemployed, after all. Seems like this just opens the door to vengeful employers being mean to their ex-employees.

    The appeals process covers the vengeful employers possibility in Texas.

    The law varies from state to state by design, but @Lynn is right about Texas being employer-friendly. The non-compete agreement statutes in particular are draconian. Texas Instruments would have joined Fairchild Camera on the ash heap of history long ago if the state had IP laws similar to what works for California. Of course, the tradeoff was that California got Intel at Fairchild’s expense, and TI never grew out of its niches, now mostly existing as a ward of DoD contractors and school systems (calculators).

    I never expected to collect or even appeal, but, at this point, I’ll have to consider at least taking things to a hearing just so the record doesn’t end with the statute number and no further answer from me.

    This isn’t the strangest Texas law we’ve encountered. That honor belongs to the statutes governing nursing licenses, in particular the sections which cover whether a licenced nurse can have sex with his/her patient and collect the patient’s life insurance. The law drifts back and forth on the legality.

  39. “California Just Declared War On Thanksgiving, Imposes INSANE Orwellian Restrictions On Families”
    https://newspushed.com/california-just-declared-war-on-thanksgiving-imposes-insane-orwellian-restrictions-on-families/

    “Governor Gavin Newsom just announcement more coronavirus restrictions just in time for the holidays. According to his new decree, no more than three households will be allowed to meet together, and don’t you think for a second you’ll be able to do it indoors. Gathering inside is NOT permitted, you must eat outside.”

    “Not only is California limiting the number of people at your home and where you can eat, but they also want you to keep a record. Yup, the state of California is requiring hosts to write down everyone that comes to your home for contact tracing.”

    Those kooky Californians are at it again.

    Hat tip to:
    https://thelibertydaily.com/

    2
  40. Looks like several 12 TB drives failed early, both HGST (WD) and Seagate. Scary stuff that.

    12 TB seems way too dense for long term reliability, but I haven’t been in that game for a while. At Jabil, we pioneered new functional testing of the circuit boards which made $1/GB drives, then thought “impossible”, to be a practical reality within a few years.

    HGST was not a train wreck back then. Under IBM, the drives were quite good, much better than Seagate, WD, or pre-merger Quantum — our customer at Jabil thanks to Tampa’s infamous Tanga Lounge.

    That reminds me — I have a 2 TB WD Black in my primary desktop which has never sounded healthy. Time to get a new drive now that the warranty has expired.

  41. Looks like several 12 TB drives failed early, both HGST (WD) and Seagate. Scary stuff that.

    12 TB seems way too dense for long term reliability, but I haven’t been in that game for a while. At Jabil, we pioneered new functional testing of the circuit boards which made $1/GB drives, then thought “impossible”, to be a practical reality within a few years.

    Supposedly the helium in the drive is good for five years. I wonder what happens when the helium finishes leaking out ? Do the drives fail immediately or slowly ? We are just now getting to the five year mark on the first helium drives. I would not repurpose a helium drive.

  42. “Linux 5.10 to make Year 2038 problem the Year 2486 problem”
    https://www.theregister.com/2020/10/19/linux_5_10_y2k38_fixes/

    “XFS timestamp tweak extends Unix time for a few centuries”

    Yeek ! This kind of fix can have repercussions all on its own.

    Year 2038 problem. This is not a bug, just an old feature from 1970.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_2038_problem

    Hat tip to:
    https://www.codeproject.com/script/Mailouts/View.aspx?mlid=15385

  43. In my great plains flyover state being “fired for cause” doesn’t prevent unemployment it just delays it. I think there’s like a 60 day “penalty” if you’re fired for cause (as opposed to being laid off).

  44. I agree with @JimB – never dual boot. It’s a constant headache. Go all in on Linux.

    (Typed from a win10 desktop, irony)

    @Mark W, Irony indeed. I have been using desktop Linux exclusively for about five years, but currently have two Win 10 machines on the test bench. One is for my wife, who just can’t get her stuff done without MS apps. Long story of trying and failing with frustration. She would fire me, but we are otherwise happily married for a loooong time. I always use whatever she uses to keep up on issues. She is a volunteer, and that organization uses Windows. I do the local tech support, but for the last ten years that has been limited to hardware and networking. Everything works great, mostly because this is a controlled environment managed by highly skilled and motivated people. I feel like the old Maytag RepairmanTM, and that is great.

    My Windows experience goes back to version 2.1, but I am feeling a little apprehensive after being away for so long. So far, it is like riding a bicycle. Just be patient and read up on things. Get the OS solid before adding software. My orientation has always been hardware, and I am not a programmer, just a former engineering and lately business user. Of all the systems I have used, and I go back to the glass house computers, Windows has been the least frustrating. Not perfect, but I can get answers and fixes by simply Googling my needs. To be fair, when I was struggling with DEC minis (I was mostly working on simulations with hardware in the loop) using VMS, and systems with UNIX, there was no Google. Sure might have helped.

    My success with Windows seems to be partially related to its popularity. Less popular things, like Linux, don’t have the variety of nontechnical people to help. A good parallel was the old days of the early IBM PC. I knew a completely nontechnical accountant type who taught himself programming and created his own software. Sure impressed me. When I asked, he told me he bought some books and just learned. I am sure real programmers will sniff at this, but it worked for him. I saw some of his stuff, and it should have been commercial. Those were fun times.

  45. When I asked, he told me he bought some books and just learned. I am sure real programmers will sniff at this, but it worked for him.

    The best programmers are usually self-taught. It’s a motivation thing.

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  46. The best programmers are usually self-taught. It’s a motivation thing.

    A agree, and this seems true in many fields. Surgery might be an exception. 🙂


  47. Surgery might be an exception.

    Bah. Practice makes perfect, and there’s always another person wanting surgery, or needing it even if he doesn’t want it.

  48. Yeek ! This kind of fix can have repercussions all on its own.

    Year 2038 problem. This is not a bug, just an old feature from 1970.

    We’re just beginning to scratch the surface of the Y2038 problem. The 5.10 kernel won’t run on most of the legacy hardware which was commonly available back when Linux started getting serious attention for use in infrastructure back in the late 90s and is probably still quietly deployed today.

    As I’ve noted before, when I left the Death Star 10 years ago, Sears still had WfW 3.11 machines in their network infrastructure, and the Y2038 problem there is far more serious than Linux faces.

  49. Jokes aside, as a manager or team lead I never found a correlation between having a CS degree and being worth anything as a programmer in a corporate or government environment. I found a negative correlation between having certifications and being worth anything, though that might be confirmation bias because I personally have no use for certifications.

  50. @Nick – I just booted my main Apple machine with a Linux Mint 19.3 disc, selecting EFI boot. The laptop has a dual configuration OS X and Windows 8 boot capability.

    The Mint live system didn’t recognize the weird new Apple disk format on the OS X partition, but it let me mount the Windows 8 partiton using “sudo mount /dev/sda3 /mnt” with read write where /dev/sda3 was the physical device. No problem.

    I created a file in the root of the Windows partition from Mint, rebooted, and verified that the file appeared correct under Windows.

    I’ll make my way upstairs later to check on my primary desktop.

  51. My success with Windows seems to be partially related to its popularity. Less popular things, like Linux, don’t have the variety of nontechnical people to help. A good parallel was the old days of the early IBM PC. I knew a completely nontechnical accountant type who taught himself programming and created his own software. Sure impressed me. When I asked, he told me he bought some books and just learned. I am sure real programmers will sniff at this, but it worked for him. I saw some of his stuff, and it should have been commercial. Those were fun times.

    I ain’t no real programmer so I don’t sniff at nobody. Been writing code for about 45 years now, seen a lot of hotshots. I just try to keep on moving forward.

    I did take a course in IBM 370 Assembler while getting my degree in Mechanical Engineering at TAMU. There were people really struggling in that class. I breezed through with a B.

  52. Surgery might be an exception.

    Bah. Practice makes perfect, and there’s always another person wanting surgery, or needing it even if he doesn’t want it.

    Ran into a bad surgeon last year of 70 years of age. Real nice and real arrogant. He did not put in a blood / fluids drain for my mother’s leg and killed her left leg nerve. Every once in a while, I entertain the thought of meeting him in the parking lot with a baseball bat.

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  53. You know, the people in the drive through always screw you in a minor way. Our KFC does not have the counter open, only the drive through. So instead of my three piece chicken coming with cole slaw and green beans, it came with cole slaw and mashed potatoes with gravy. I was trying to be a good boy but I gave up and ate the yummy carb rich mashed potatoes too. The fried chicken was awesome as usual since I paid extra for a breast. I do note that the good old days of the two breasts and a wing for $6.75 have long left us.

  54. In the early ’80’s I had a little store. With a “silent partner” that put up the starting money but after that, he took almost half and I covered the bills with my half. Payday was Saturday. One guy got his pay envelope and he was off the next day. Never saw him again.

    After a couple or three weeks of no one having a day off, I replaced him.

    At the time, businesses with less than (I think) 25 employees didn’t have to pay overtime for over 40 hours. But I sort of did.

    One day, out of the blue, a harridan from TEC or TWC, whatever, called and proceeded to chew on me. Because “Joe” (I forget his name) filed and said I fired him with no notice, and your rates are going to go way up.

    Well, no, I didn’t fire him. He stopped coming to work and never answered his phone or called. The dude vanished. You can send someone out to talk to any of my employees if you don’t believe me. And they did.

    I received a letter a couple of weeks later saying case dismissed.

    And that’s all I know about un-employment insurance. I’ve never filed.

    That “silent partner”? Dunno what happened there. His plan was it would take a year to break even and then open another store. But I broke even in six months. He was maybe 60 at the time and all of a sudden he’s saying I’m stealing from him. He gets a lawyer. I get a lawyer. What a waste of money.

    It boiled down to walking away. I left the store with a bit more inventory than it started with, all bills paid up, and paid the employees, /my/ employees, two weeks pay plus a bit extra in cash.

    I don’t know how it worked out with the landlord. The lease, electric, and phone bills were in his name. It was a fun time.


  55. I found a negative correlation between having certifications and being worth anything, though that might be confirmation bias because I personally have no use for certifications.

    I interviewed a guy once for a programmer position who had a three ring binder of all of his certification certificates. Essentially, he had been unemployed for a while and found all of this government funded retraining and used it to get a bunch of IT certifications. Poor guy. At the time he was probably late 40s, had an MS in CompSci, experience developing AI, and a couple of dozen certifications.and he was applying for what I advertised as “Entry-level ASP.NET Web Developer needed…”.


  56. My Windows experience goes back to version 2.1, but I am feeling a little apprehensive after being away for so long. So far, it is like riding a bicycle.

    Yep. On a 286. 3.11 was a big step up. Sure, color didn’t work exactly right. But I could putz around with the system and play Solitare. Things in what Win7 calls Administrative Tools look just like they did in Win3.11

    Programming? No, not me. I can badly do an xcopy batch file once in a while and that’s all. I can’t draw worth a darn, either. I think it’s cool y’all can do that. I just don’t see how to do it myself.

    I sketched out my barn on a sheet of paper and then built the first third almost by myself. (Parts 2 and 3 ain’t happening.) I had help with the first rafter. Then I did all the fencing and water lines and electric lines. My Dad seemed impressed.

    Everyone has their gift.

  57. Ran into a bad surgeon last year of 70 years of age. Real nice and real arrogant. He did not put in a blood / fluids drain for my mother’s leg and killed her left leg nerve. Every once in a while, I entertain the thought of meeting him in the parking lot with a baseball bat.

    Surgeons. Yeah. Conceit runs pretty high among that category of physician.

    Lawsuits are really the only way to communicate a QA problem with management of a large group or hospital system. You can complain, but that will just go to an internal review board who will sweep it under the rug.

  58. “My Windows experience goes back to version 2.1, but I am feeling a little apprehensive after being away for so long. So far, it is like riding a bicycle. ”

    Yep. On a 286. 3.11 was a big step up. Sure, color didn’t work exactly right. But I could putz around with the system and play Solitare. Things in what Win7 calls Administrative Tools look just like they did in Win3.11

    The combo of Windows and Microsoft Office for the platform prior to the 1-2 of DOS 5 and Windows 3.0 was just a placeholder to keep Corporate America from buying into OS/2. Useless if you needed real productivity … but great for Solitare!

    And the Calculator. That accessory worked quite well.

    When I worked for the Egghead Software Ponzi, I became an expert at re-shrink wrapping pre 3.0 Windows Office because we never sold a copy that didn’t come back within a week. When I was done, the product always looked new.

    The legend is after I left my job as Shrink Wrap Boy, my replacement accepted the store’s single copy of Office as a customer return, gave the cash refund (!), and rewrapped the box without checking inside. The next customer to “buy” the copy opened the box to find three Tampa phone books cut down to size with a saw and stuffed into the box to give it the right heft.

    $700. Cash. Doh!

    Not that it really mattered. Just another day at the Ponzi.

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  59. Nothing protects you from inflation, maybe you are goping to loss a little less, trust me, I live in a country with 70 years of that, sometimes 10 sometimes 1000, our reserve of value is bricks and us dollar you see….
    If you found such kind of unicorn, please advise

  60. Ran into a bad surgeon last year of 70 years of age. Real nice and real arrogant. He did not put in a blood / fluids drain for my mother’s leg and killed her left leg nerve. Every once in a while, I entertain the thought of meeting him in the parking lot with a baseball bat.

    Surgeons. Yeah. Conceit runs pretty high among that category of physician.

    Lawsuits are really the only way to communicate a QA problem with management of a large group or hospital system. You can complain, but that will just go to an internal review board who will sweep it under the rug.

    My parents do not want to sue for some weird reason. Methodist just dropped $400K on their backup insurer BCBS and BCBS paid it. This is after Methodist charged Medicare $200K for her four (4), yes four, hip replacement surgeries. Mom spent six months in Methodist last year.

  61. As OFD said, be RUTHLESS. I wish that we were. We packed and moved 200 boxes. Ok, the movers packed 100 of the boxes and we packed 100 boxes. And the movers moved them all. And we still have about a 100 boxes to unpack.

    Oh my. When we moved from Midland to Magnolia Beach, we moved 70 boxes of books alone….

    If we were to move now, we might have 30 boxes of dishes, as I have been happily indulging my love for vintage dinnerware over the past 10 years or so! LOL!

  62. Nothing protects you from inflation, maybe you are goping to loss a little less, trust me, I live in a country with 70 years of that, sometimes 10 sometimes 1000, our reserve of value is bricks and us dollar you see….
    If you found such kind of unicorn, please advise

    Maybe real estate if your tenants do not go belly up. Maybe.

  63. Oh my. When we moved from Midland to Magnolia Beach, we moved 70 boxes of books alone….

    Oh my, oh my. I have 40 or 50 boxes of books in the garage that I dare not unpack. I do not even want to count them. And the wife has 20 boxes of books scattered throughout the house because somebody has not put her double bookshelf together yet.

    I need to take a month off from running my businesses so I can finish unpacking. Some days I think it would be easier to add a game room behind the garage so I can unpack my stuff there. At the previous house I had all my books double stacked in the bookshelves. Including the top of the shelves.


  64. I did take a course in IBM 370 Assembler while getting my degree in Mechanical Engineering at TAMU. There were people really struggling in that class. I breezed through with a B.

    And that is with an easy, logical and accommodating architecture. Try Intel x86 16bit with the very few dedicated registers and the extended registers to accommodate 32bits. That is a test for a programmer’s mettle.

  65. I did take a course in IBM 370 Assembler while getting my degree in Mechanical Engineering at TAMU. There were people really struggling in that class. I breezed through with a B.

    And that is with an easy, logical and accommodating architecture. Try Intel x86 16bit with the very few dedicated registers and the extended registers to accommodate 32bits. That is a test for a programmer’s mettle.

    Been there, done that. Our first 80386 NDP Fortran compiler on the PC required hand coding of the fortran code to assembly for five subroutines. Every time I got stupid and did a makeall.bat, I would kick myself because I had to compile these five subroutines to assembler and fix the jumps from 16 bit instructions to 32 bit instructions (the 16 bit jump instruction was a bridge too short for this situation but the compiler kept on using it). Was a real pain in the rear counting the bytes to jump by hand.

  66. I need to take a month off from running my businesses so I can finish unpacking. Some days I think it would be easier to add a game room behind the garage so I can unpack my stuff there.

    I could spend the next year on neglected projects around the house, including unpacking the remainder of boxes which haven’t been touched since they were loaded in Florida 10 years ago. After that is about five years of personal coding work which has no direct commercial value.

    Unemployment is really dangerous for me.

    One of today’s project was replacing the whole system filter on the downstairs AC. 21x27x5. Unobtainium except through Big River vendors I’ve never heard of before. Are furnace filters also arbitrage fodder these days?

    Fortunately, we still have the old system’s filter boxes in place which accept fairly standard filter sizes.

  67. I ain’t no real programmer so I don’t sniff at nobody. Been writing code for about 45 years now, seen a lot of hotshots. I just try to keep on moving forward.

    You can’t claim that you are not a real programmer. From assembly to high level languages and making a living out of it….

  68. I ain’t no real programmer so I don’t sniff at nobody. Been writing code for about 45 years now, seen a lot of hotshots. I just try to keep on moving forward.

    You can’t claim that you are not a real programmer. From assembly to high level languages and making a living out of it….

    But, but, but I had a “real” programmer tell me to my face that I weren’t no real programmer back in 1989. He had everyone on his staff come around and tell me that I was no good within a week that I started working there. He even offered to teach me how to be a “real” programmer which I declined.

    Of course, after he missed eight quarterly deliverables I realized that he was a fraud. Yes, two years of failing to deliver a new software version that he had promised after two years of work. Four years of work in total down the drain with an average of over ten software engineers working on the software. It was my first experience of the mythical man month.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mythical_Man-Month

  69. Oh my, oh my. I have 40 or 50 boxes of books in the garage that I dare not unpack. I do not even want to count them. And the wife has 20 boxes of books scattered throughout the house because somebody has not put her double bookshelf together yet.

    I could spend the next year on neglected projects around the house, including unpacking the remainder of boxes which haven’t been touched since they were loaded in Florida 10 years ago.

    They will wait contentedly. 🙂 Books & stuff tend to live surprisingly well in boxes, so long as they are off the floor so they can’t get wet. They might get some insect damage, but even that is usually forgivable.

    I guess all book people have all our shelves crammed as full as can be and books still stacked in the floor…. that is why it makes me nervous to go into public libraries in the past 5 or 6 years. The librarians all seem to have decided to empty the shelves… and they aren’t replacing the books they put out in the “for sale” lobby. It is possible to see all the way to every back wall through the gaps in the shelves in the two libraries I’ve been inside recently. 🙁

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  70. But, but, but I had a “real” programmer tell me to my face that I weren’t no real programmer back in 1989. He had everyone on his staff come around and tell me that I was no good within a week that I started working there. He even offered to teach me how to be a “real” programmer which I declined.

    My father-in-law used to tell me that I wasn’t a real programmer because I had no experience with COBOL.

    I’ve been embarrassed in interviews by “real” programmers about things like O-notation and C++11 features … in 2010, but I always take notes and correct the knowledge gaps, whether through classes or books.

    (Sorting algorithms can’t do better than “O(n) = n lg n”. The only C++11 features I find worthwhile are “auto” and closures — shared pointers are possible without compiler changes in C++03 and I have an implementation.)

    The Apple VPN lead tried to embarrass me about their weird implementation of the BSD Unix virtual network adapter, uTun, but it was a near spit-take moment when I responded with details he probably believed were proprietary at the time (2012).

    Some programmers have severe personality issues which make them great at software but lousy human beings. It seems worse since “T therapy” became common and, in Austin at least, Ritalin turned into a fix for some people.

    My wife suspects my management at the last job was on “T therapy” based on my description of their behavior. She’s rarely wrong. She took one look at my Death Star manager at a party and said “Two heart attacks, possibly three.”

    The count at the time was two.

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  71. “So what did you wear to the school bus stop for child number one ?”

    –green white black plaid flannel pj bottoms, black wife beater shirt, slip on sandals.

    @greg, thanks for checking, I’ll put a fresh disk in and avoid the whole dual boot issue. It’s been super stable so far running on the live distro. My luck (and all my previous linux experience) tells me that the actual install will bork something that is working fine now. I’ll have to figure out how to share the 8TB drive to my windows network so I can see the files from my other machines, but that’s not high priority.

    Update from the cop shooting earlier, one with arm wound, one dead. Domestic disturbance call involving a foreign national with lengthy criminal history. I expect our Chief to call for gun control before the officer is even in the ground. 40yr veteran of the force, ready to retire next year…. this on top of a fire inspector getting shot and killed yesterday. Bad day for HPD and HFD. Decided to fly my ‘thin blue line’ flag and F the haters.

    WRT moving boxes, I have 3 in the garage from my move out of college and back home. Still packed. I’ve got two bins from my dad’s stuff in my bedroom closet. It’s been 2 years. Only a year since I brought them home though. For a while I was moving so frequently I just left most of my stuff in storage, and had everything else in bags or tool boxes.

    Commercial real estate can beat inflation. It’s easier to raise the rent and kick out non-payers in commercial.

    In TX fired with cause = no unemployment payout. It’s unemployment INSURANCE paid to and managed by the state (and sometimes extended by the feds). It’s a delayed benefit that costs you money because the employer could pay you that money if he didn’t have to pay the state. In CA, lo those 20 years ago, voluntary separation = no payment. I dodged that by asking if they wanted me to stay after I told them I was leaving… they said ‘no’ which the state of CA decided was involuntary separation and paid me for 6 months. Every word matters once lawyers get involved.

    Did my pickups. Have to cook some dinner.

    n


  72. “So what did you wear to the school bus stop for child number one ?”
    –green white black plaid flannel pj bottoms, black wife beater shirt, slip on sandals.

    No pics, so it didn’t happen, so my head canon is that you wore a speedo and nothing else and you have to respect that.

    … No, wait. I don’t want that image in my head. Dammit!

  73. @greg, thanks for checking, I’ll put a fresh disk in and avoid the whole dual boot issue. It’s been super stable so far running on the live distro. My luck (and all my previous linux experience) tells me that the actual install will bork something that is working fine now. I’ll have to figure out how to share the 8TB drive to my windows network so I can see the files from my other machines, but that’s not high priority.

    I saw an interesting situation on my main desktop when I tried about an hour ago, but my wife called me down to dinner before I could post here. Sorry about the delay — biological needs came first. 🙂

    I booted Linux Mint 19.3 to the live system and had no trouble mounting my Windows 7 NTFS partition and writing a file to the root directory. However, when I attempted to mount the Windows 10 partition using the command “sudo mount /dev/sda7 /mnt” (where /dev/sda7 is the block device of the partition on my drive), I received an error message to the effect that I either had fast startup active (I don’t) or the last time the partition was used to boot, it wasn’t shut down cleanly. I’ll experiment around more tonight.

    Sharing the 8 TB drive over the network will require installing Samba “server” on the Linux side. I’m not sure what GUI tools are available to configure that in Mint. My only install of the server is on Fedora, and I cookbooked that config file out of the OReilly Samba book about a dozen years ago and haven’t changed it much since.

    I do have an overdue project to figure out why my HP all-in-one cannot cureently scan to files in my user account on the Linux box via Samba. That capability is really convenient when it worked just a couple of months ago. The OReilly book will need to come out of hiding.

  74. Organic Prepper Blog put up this article on the coming food shortage, first in China, then everywhere.

    n

    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/food-shortages-hit-china-there-notenough-fresh-food-go-around

    “Right now, the food products in China that are facing the toughest situation are corn and pork. China’s pork industry was hit hard by African Swine Fever (at least we are told) and flooding ruined a large portion of China’s corn crops. But it’s not just those two products that are at risk. Fresh food of every kind is in short supply for the same reasons as the United States, i.e. insane shutdown policies.”

    Half of the corn crop in the USA is turned into ethanol for mixing with gasoline up to 10%. We might want to re-examine this policy as we have PLENTY of gasoline. Several of the refineries are shut down at the moment for the last of the winter fuel changeover but nobody is working overtime since the gasoline tanks are full to the brim.

  75. I disagree, commercial real state depends on activity, and, activity dependes on rates, the only way to low inflation known as today is raise interest rates, any other is kabuki, believe me, we smell inflation down here.
    As example, people is sending us dollars outside the country, cost to do so? 7%, why? or you store in a safe in a bank or outside, we are nr3 in world with physical money (USD). Las t year some people was buying propeeties in Detroit or Miami, now there are people selling storages.

    so, its gonna to be interesting the next 2 or 3 years, maybe i began to program and selling outside

  76. And that is with an easy, logical and accommodating architecture. Try Intel x86 16bit with the very few dedicated registers and the extended registers to accommodate 32bits. That is a test for a programmer’s mettle.

    A programmer only needs three registers, mathematically proven.

    16 bit x86 had some interesting complexities in the side effects from certain instructions which could be combined to do certain things very quickly. If you’re going CISC, go CISC.

    Of course, the chip was also cheap and could be sourced from licensees beyond Intel, some of whom had some interesting variants, including a 20 MHz 286 from … NEC (?) when chipzilla maxed out at 16 MHz.

  77. REally programmers bit banged serial ports on 4004 or 8008s long before you whingers were peeking and poking with your z80 chips at 1mhz. Why anyone would ever need more power than that…..

    n

  78. I always leave the computer stuff for Pugsley and The Boy.

    Yup, Biden should be toast, but they’d reanimate him like Brian Yuzna if they thought they could.

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  79. A programmer only needs three registers, mathematically proven.

    Does it also prove that the shoving of data to and from the registers means that the code is umptillion times longer, complicated and prone to errors and is a dog compared to having more registers?

    Give me 15 general registers with some OS compiler restrictions for five of those under certain circumstances instead of dedicated few registers and the life of a programmer is much easier (and therefore less heart attacks and longevity).

  80. The combo of Windows and Microsoft Office for the platform prior to the 1-2 of DOS 5 and Windows 3.0 was just a placeholder to keep Corporate America from buying into OS/2.

    OS/2 is one I never used. I had a friend who liked it a lot, but admitted the lack of applications. MS was smart to cater to developers. I met a guy selling a 3D CAD program, and he was running it on a very underpowered notebook. This was about 1990, so probably Windows 3.0, not even 3.11. It ran very well. I asked him how his company did it, because this was the realm of workstations. He said that they had approached MS, and asked for some help. MS had decided that 3D CAD was a real need, and opened their hearts and secrets to the company. He said it helped them a lot. Meanwhile, other companies were still acting like developers were not important.

  81. Someone upthread asked about arbitrage of furnace filters….

    Think about the filter media for a second, and it will come … Most of them are the same general stuff as the good masks are made of- non-woven poly something molded into shape.

    If there is a shortage, it’s probably because production is still being diverted into masks.

    I have seen some few 3m N95 masks in local auctions, and I’ve seen some of my guns and ammo eflyers listing N95 masks, so hopefully supply is starting to catch up.

    n

  82. Bah, just spent some time using the site search function, which works very well, but not if you can’t find good search terms.

    I remember telling all y’all to stock up on furnace filters because the masks would get priority… but I can’t find where or when I did it. I’m PRETTY sure my memory is correct, but I did want to double check myself. Oh well, I’ll just smugly think it to myself 😛

    n

  83. I have seen some few 3m N95 masks in local auctions, and I’ve seen some of my guns and ammo eflyers listing N95 masks, so hopefully supply is starting to catch up.

    Home Depot still shows 3M N95 masks as unavailable.

    My wife gets N95 masks at the hospital, but they are not 3M.

    I realized a bit late that it doesn’t really matter for the kabuki. I’ll have to replenish my stash for sanding/painting when this is all over.

    Elecct Biden, and the masks will never go away until BillG’s vaccine is ready.

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  84. “A programmer only needs three registers, mathematically proven.”

    Does it also prove that the shoving of data to and from the registers means that the code is umptillion times longer, complicated and prone to errors and is a dog compared to having more registers?

    I wouldn’t want to do it, but the math is there.

  85. Elecct Biden, and the masks will never go away until BillG’s vaccine is ready.

    I’m concerned that the masks will be with us for the next 20 years. There will be no vaccine.

  86. Five friends came over tonight and we blew through all of the outdoor chores I could think of. I’ll think of other stuff tomorrow but right now my outdoor chore list is fully crossed off for the first time in 17 years.

    —beat—
    —beat—
    — ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha—
    Well, I should replace that bent top rail in the corner, tie up the raspberry canes, inspect the eaves for squirrel holes, take down and wash the storm windows, clear the gutters one more time, rake the strip of lawn along the front, move the travel trailer to the in laws, scrub the moss off the roof, power wash the driveway (no – that’s a poor idea – it’s been hovering around freezing all week)….
    -hysterical over tired laughter-

    Time for bed.

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