Wed. Oct. 21, 2020 – busy at home today

Cooler, cold front supposed to be coming in, and I can’t wait.

It was very humid but a bit cooler yesterday.  That made it nice for most of the day.  It was a bit too warm in the afternoon for me to wear my LA Police Gear Covert Casual Shirt.  I don’t know why but it’s the hottest shirt I own, short of flannel.  The idea is great- longer tail and hem, snaps instead of buttons, pattern to break up any ‘printing’… all details that are well executed and aimed at concealed handgun carriers.  Unfortunately, I broil in the shirt.  Oh well, maybe it’ll be cool enough next month.

Today’s agenda includes the computer work I didn’t get done yesterday which is mainly getting the PC I use with my security cams completely switched over to linux.   If that goes well, maybe I’ll get my NAS out of the safe and run some backups.

At some point, in the interest of reducing clutter (for my wife) I want to start ripping all my bluray and dvd movies.  Anyone who has built a home media library, I’d like to hear about what you did and if you like the result. Also, what you use to access it.  It’s something I can do in between other things, just feeding disks into  a machine while working at my desk.  I think it’s a massive undertaking, but I might as well get started.

I’ve also got to get more stuff out of the house.  I did get a few more things listed, and even got a lowball offer one item.  SO MUCH more to go though.

Socially, there is Halloween coming too.  With the rain, I haven’t done any more decor, but I did decide what I want to do to keep my distance from the little disease bags that come begging…  I think I can do it with a minimum of effort, using stuff I already have.  Just have to dress it up a bit.  I want to do at least one of the new elements I’ve been planning for a couple of years to the displays too.  I’ve got everything I need for an awesome 3D Eye of Sauron.  I haven’t picked a spot for it or put all the elements together yet.  I still have a couple of days to do something.   I think it’s REALLY important to continue participating in the social and cultural milieu especially as things get bad.  Not ‘band on the Titanic’ bad, but I want to keep the normal traditions going as much as possible.  It’s our culture that needs to be preserved.

Add in the normal ‘kids are home’ and domestic bliss activities, along with my never ending list of cleaning and organizing, and my day should be full.


I can’t even begin to make a prediction about the current Presidential race, but I don’t see how Sleepy Joe can avoid the taint of what’s coming out involving his son and family.  If it was Trump’s son in Hunter’s place, the mob would be screaming for his blood, not making excuses and trying to discredit the revelations or bury them.  The world has gone mad, with the population gone bi-polar.  I try to sit on the fulcrum and watch both sides move up and down, but I know which side I’d declare for if I had to.  I put up my Thin Blue Line flag last night, even if it gets me on some lefty’s list.  It’s not very grey man, but then I normally fly the Stars and Strips, and the Lone Star, so adding a flag isn’t much of an additional statement.  They already know where my sympathies lie.

I’m trying to get my house in order, and make room for more stacks… I’ll suggest that if you haven’t started putting some by, it’ll cost you more at this point, but it will likely be invaluable later.  Get started.  Keep going.  Keep stacking.

 

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

75 thoughts on “Wed. Oct. 21, 2020 – busy at home today”


  1. my outdoor chore list is fully crossed off for the first time in 17 years.

    No worries, Jenny, I didn’t believe that even as I read it. Five friends and an afternoon will barely have made a dent. But then, I think you work like we do: There is always another project. And that’s the way it should be.

    At the moment, with a new house and very little done, our project list is a bit daunting – but then, it’s meant to keep us busy for the next 20 years or more. Since we didn’t get in the house until August (instead of May), we basically lost this summer. I didn’t even get started on the stone walls I want to build. I still hope to put in a tool shed and rainwater storage before winter comes.

    This depends partly on what happens today: rumor has it that our access road will finally be paved this afternoon. Here’s hoping, because that road (more specifically, the neighbors) has been a PITA for more than a year now. We’re also getting the wood stove installation officially approved this afternoon, so we can start using it. I’m supposed to be working today, but with all the coming interruptions…not sure how much I’m going to get done.

    – – – – –

    Meanwhile, on the inside of the house: I’ve finally ordered a UPS for our little servers and such. A UPS is shockingly cheap, but the specifications are annoying: If you get a UPS rated for the power you actually need, it will only keep your equipment running for half-a-minute or so. That’s nothing but overblown surge protection.

    So I spent way too much time digging out the battery specifications of the different models, to know how much power they actually store. I wound up with a vastly over-spec’d model, but it ought to be good for 20 or 30 minutes: running our server, NAS, fiber modem and WLAN.

    @Nick: You probably know – is it really true that you have to replace the batteries every 3 years or so? That seems crazy, given that most of the time they aren’t even being used.

    – – – – –

    Presidential race: The big question is whether any of the info is making it to the front page anywhere? If not – if this is only circulating on conservative sites – then it’s not going to reach the soccer moms and other casual voters.

    To be honest, I also really don’t understand how the material can be real. If it weren’t, I assume Giuliani would have been immediately slapped with a cease-and-desist. But seriously: Who hands a laptop full of sensitive, incriminating and even criminal material to a random repair shop, and gives them the password to access it? If this is real, Hunter Biden is too stupid to believe.

  2. “Who hands a laptop full of sensitive, incriminating and even criminal material to a random repair shop, and gives them the password to access it? If this is real, Hunter Biden is too stupid to believe. ”

    –Hunter is a crackhead. Crackheads make very poor decisions all the time. Like smoking crack in the first place.

    –I don’t think you need to replace the batteries anywhere near that often. If your UPS is a Full Conversion, you’re using the battery all the time, and that’s tough. I’ve got lots of old UPSs that work just fine. I have some that I replaced the batteries too. Name brand UPSs will last much longer than 3 years.

    there is a small industry involved in using the batteries for years after they’ve been taken out of service in UPSs.

    I’ve had stuff fry in my client’s rack, even though it’s all on UPSs, so the surge protection might not even work if you get nearby lightning. Having is better than not having them though.

    n

  3. “Elect 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.

    BillG will step forward with *something*, regardless of how well it works. As I’ve pointed out before, no matter how much he’s accomplished in the business world, the lack of a singular intellectual achievement that he can call his own is something that gnaws at him.

    Isn’t the acceptable percentage for a vaccine according to Faucci 50%?

    The flu shot is a dice roll every year. Best guess of what will be rolling around the country.

  4. At some point, in the interest of reducing clutter (for my wife) I want to start ripping all my bluray and dvd movies. Anyone who has built a home media library, I’d like to hear about what you did and if you like the result. Also, what you use to access it. It’s something I can do in between other things, just feeding disks into a machine while working at my desk. I think it’s a massive undertaking, but I might as well get started.

    DVDs are simple to rip in most cases, with minimal copy protection, an example of what happens when studio lawyers dabble in cryptography. Install HandBrake and follow the procedures to add libdvdcss support on your platform of choice. Test ripping with “Frozen”.

    As with the CD audio logo, the stylized DVD logo on a disc means that, at some point, the title will have to play properly on machines going back 20 years so there is only so much they can do with copy protection. JJ Abrams “Star Trek” was the most complicated scheme I’ve seen to date, but it was still just obfuscation of title numbers.

    BluRay is more complicated since security is better having not been designed by lawyers. I do not have a BluRay drive currently so I can’t offer any advice there. Ripping would probably involve DVDFab or whatever they call themselves these days.

    Playback on a PC or laptop is simple — VLC installs on all three.

    My bedroom BluRay player handles the “Normal” HandBrake output when played from a flash drive. Sneakernet!

    I have a long-standing personal project to work out the details of private Roku channels around my house, serving video from my server, but that’s on the five year list I wrote about yesterday. Some PHP coding will probably be necessary. HandBrake outputs Roku as one of its formats.

    My DVD collection will probably remain as physical media at this point, but I would like the Roku channel so I wouldn’t have to mess with a USB drive when I want to see something from the server.

  5. Pinellas County, FL. I grew up there.

    The story forgot to mention the Scientologists in Clearwater who have trashed the Downtown tax base.

    Also not mentioned — St. Petersburg’s Congressman, Charlie Crist, was a RINO Republican Legislator and Governor, “Chain Gang Charlie”, up until he lost the Senate primary to Little Marco in 2010.

    https://news.yahoo.com/floridas-pinellas-county-one-watch-040314614.html

    Trump. Andrew Gillum’s success in the county was a fluke. Bill Nelson was the “safe” Senate candidate appealing to the oldsters and suburban women in the north part of the county.

    “Bill Nelson would *never* vote to take my house or German grocery getter. *We* worked *hard* for this.”

    Wanna bet?

  6. @Nick: Thanks for the info on batteries.

    Ripping movies: I’m with Greg, and suggest keeping it simple. I had a fancy setup at our old house, and no one used it. Not even me. The WAF (wife approval factor) was nonexistent.

    Just put the movies onto an NAS. If you have a “smart” TV, it may be able to see a shared drive on your NAS (if you’re lucky – the software on “smart” TVs is unbelievably dumb.) If it can’t then just play them with VLC on a laptop or whatever other device you have handy, and feed the HDMI to your big screen.

  7. The motive for ripping all the movies is twofold. My wife thinks the individual movies are ‘clutter’, and we do have a lot of them on shelves. Reducing optical clutter is therefor a goal. Putting them away behind doors isn’t an option because then no one knows what we have and they’ll just sit there while someone streams a movie we own…

    Which leads to the second part, if they’re easy to find and play, then they’ll be played. I’m hoping that the same thing will happen with the movies that happened with our music- it became much easier to play and so we play more. That sorta leads toward some sort of front end for access to the movies, not just browsing a file list. Maybe Kodi or the xbox can do that if I put them on a network share?

    Not a priority in any case, but something I was hoping to use to efficiently ‘fill in the crack’ in my day.

    n

  8. I’m posting this link to Sarah’s article reproducing Glenn Reynolds article about the Hunter Biden scandal…

    https://accordingtohoyt.com/2020/10/21/you-cant-stop-the-signal-mal/

    rather than just reproducing it here.

    It’s a brave new world here in 1984….

    n

    Had Facebook and Twitter approached this story neutrally, as they would have a decade ago, it would probably already be old news to a degree — as Greenwald notes, Hunter’s pay-for-play efforts were already well known, if not in such detail — but instead the story is still hot.

    — it also hints that if there was no REAL story there, they wouldn’t be trying so hard to suppress it. They have unmasked to do so, revealing just how much control they can exert, and in a very heavy handed way. The uniparty must either be badly scared, or they misjudged that they are already in total control and can get away with it without cost.


  9. Anyone who has built a home media library, I’d like to hear about what you did and if you like the result.

    I use Plex – https://www.plex.tv/. Highly recommended. I mainly use it for video, though my music collection is hooked in as well and I’ve started listening through there more.

    I burned my audio cd’s years ago and got rid of them. Any new music I buy is through amazon, and I download a copy and add it to my library.

    I second the suggestion to use HandBrake for DVD’s. I do own some BluRays, but honestly I haven’t even tried to rip them. Everything I have (not a lot) is on some streaming service we subscribe to, so not much point.


  10. My wife thinks the individual movies are ‘clutter’, and we do have a lot of them on shelves. Reducing optical clutter is therefor a goal. Putting them away behind doors isn’t an option because then no one knows what we have and they’ll just sit there while someone streams a movie we own…

    My husband solved those problems with those CD Binders. ~1400 DVDs in a linear yard of shelf space. Organized by genre, we actually have an easier time remembering/discovering what we have, and watch more than when they were a vast horizon of jewel cases. Plus the book style makes them more comfortable to thumb through, just carry it over to a chair and page through.

  11. Mr. Nick, I’m with Mr. Greg, Handbrake with the DRM plugin “just works” for DVDs. Bluray, oth, is more difficult. DVDfab still exists and I’ve used it with success on the Mac. Plenty of other BLU rippers out there to choose from. Handbrake also works great for fixing files that won’t play on particular hardware after being ripped. These days I torrent a ton of movies/TV. My semi-automated system shoves the files into the media library.

    I’m invested in the Apple Garden. I stream to Apple TV with no problem. I keep my Mac media library on an external Drobo RAID. Probably overkill for you, but the Apple TV controls the Vizio TV and soundbar which is convenient.

  12. I used to have one of those disc carousels that held 100 discs. Hardly enough these days, but it worked and had DB software to make it spin.

  13. To be honest, I also really don’t understand how the material can be real. If it weren’t, I assume Giuliani would have been immediately slapped with a cease-and-desist. But seriously: Who hands a laptop full of sensitive, incriminating and even criminal material to a random repair shop, and gives them the password to access it? If this is real, Hunter Biden is too stupid to believe.

    People fail to understand the limitations of their expectation of privacy with regard to modern tech.

    A computer tech is not a doctor, lawyer, or priest. Once you hand that laptop over, password provided or not, your privacy is over. Best Buy is really zealous about turning things over to law enforcement without solicitation, but a lot of good techs know who to call locally if they see something suspicious.

  14. I concur with Pecancorner. Don’t bother ripping. Put them in binders, or in paper sleeves and store that way, alpha by title or by genre. A Blu-ray is 30-60 GB, so a TB of disk space will hold ~20 movies. A DVD is 5ish. And you will need at least twice as much space – you are going to have a backup, right?

    This box holds 150 in sleeves. There are others that are designed for jewel boxes that will be suitable for sleeved discs also.
    https://www.sleevecityusa.com/Diskeeper-Ultimate-CD-Storage-Box-p/5strcdbox.htm

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  15. A Blu-ray is 30-60 GB…

    A rip is not nearly that big. 3GB tops for a great quality rip.

  16. I bought the brand of UPS that Bob recommended over 15 years ago. Had to replace batteries once after it notified me, quite a while back.

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  17. I needed to run another errand in the area so I stopped at the restaurant supply store again this morning. The freezer and the pantry closet are now crammed full and I have enough calories, proteins, and fat to keep all four of us fed for six months under pessimistic assumptions*, as well as enough “treat” stuff to keep The Brat from getting too bored.

    I’d actually planned to get just a 20# bag of salt but as long as I was there… Ended up spending $350 on food and $50 on cleaning supplies. Eh, it’s all stuff we’d use anyway and it just forward-shifts some of the spending I’d already budgeted for food.

    * Pessimistic as to how much we eat, spoilage, and me choosing to take in a kid or two. Painfully optimistic regarding dependence on the utilities staying on. I have no good way to procure water if the faucet stops and only limited ability to cook and to sterilize without utility electricity and gas. I’ve decided not to worry about it, as the house is not habitable in the winter without electricity. If there’s enough disruption to cut off the utilities, I need to take us elsewhere anyway.

  18. I have a DVD player, but it quit, and I don’t miss it. I am also on my second DVD recorder, which is used to burn programs my wife wants saved. I still use the analog hole, but that will go away.

    No matter what DVD player or our Philips recorders, putting a commercial DVD in is very frustrating. I wait and wait for control to be given me. My wife tired of my fussing. Eventually, I started putting in a DVD and not even trying to look at the box’s output for ten or more minutes. Worked, but not very satisfactory.

    None of this happens when I put the same DVD in my computer. I can start playing immediately, and can even rip the .iso file if I wish. That led me to consider ripping DVDs, but never got around to it. My solution, admittedly not for others, is to simply not buy those silly things. My wife still buys them, but can’t play them just now. I have to make sure she didn’t buy a BluRay version, which probably won’t play on our hardware. Our TV setup is in serious need of updating… or trashing altogether.

    And, of course, streaming is not available to us. Mostly, I an NOT a Luddite, but I DO choose carefully. Very few of my friends or relatives seem to understand. Yup, I am certifiable. 😛


  19. I wait and wait for control to be given me.

    I had that problem until I found a setting to ‘enable DVD to resume playback’ and disabled it.

  20. It looks like by the time the next season of “Stranger Things” comes out, the “kids” will be working on their Masters degrees. Season 5 will have them completing their PhDs. At least the “Expanse” comes out in December.

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  21. @Brad: You may want to be careful with UPS systems.

    I used to be very concerned about power issues, and used them on all my machines, and a cluster at home, circa…2015?

    I worked on the road for a week at a time and came home one weekend and instantly noted a burnt smell in the house. Tracked it down to the big APC unit that had overheated to where paint had blistered off.

    I disconnected it, and the three other desktop sized units. Testing revealed that only one actually worked. I took them all to the local e-waste center. All about 2yo at the time, just out of warranty.

    If you get one I’d highly recommend a thermal sensor – the equivalent of Nicks freezer sensor – that will alert you if there’s an overheat problem.

    They may have internal sensors that can do the same, I would not trust them. A failed freezer will cost a few hundred dollars, a fire could cost you the house, or your life.

  22. Businesses and home users have been using UPSs for decades without them becoming a meme like the hoverboard failures…

    Anything left plugged in can fail and catch fire. I had a crt monitor catch fire in the middle of the night once. The smell woke me and I grabbed it and threw it out the door.

    Lead acid batteries are a proven and safe technology.

    In other words, I don’t think there is enough risk of fire from a UPS specifically to not recommend their use. If you have live electrical things in your house, you have some risk. Smoke detectors help mitigate the risk. Insurance mitigates the loss.

    Where UPSs excel is fixing the small power ‘blinks’ and brownouts. They also excel on anything that has a long time startup sequence. Freaking direcTV box takes ten minutes to restart. Old TiVos too. Most modern pcs will be ok with a short blink if they are good machines, but any that have cheap power supplies won’t ride through. In that case, is the annoyance of the work interruption while it restarts critical? you are unlikely to lose much data with good ‘save’ habits, but you do lose time.

    I recommend UPSs with surge protection in front of anything valuable, and anything where an unplanned shutdown and subsequent restart takes time you don’t want to spend.

    One last consideration is that (for us anyway) when the power comes back, it often fails out immediately and then tries again. The UPS protects against that short repetitive cycle.

    n

    –added @ed, that failure mode is indicative of the UPS doing its job and protecting your equipment from something bad, like a massive spike.

    Simple surge protector strips have a history of catching on fire too, fwiw.

  23. The bonus is the binders resemble a set of encyclopedias or law books on the shelf. Very attractive, and easy to ‘merchandise’/decorate with.

    Several of ours are the zip up ones with NO handles that are sold locally at Walmart, and those look much nicer on the shelf than they do in the store (and they also hold a LOT) but we also have a set of these and bought extra sheets for them:
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/24-Set-Leather-Black-Insert-Includes-352-Binder-Disc-Pack-Holds-Games-Sheets-Bellagio-Total-CDs-Italia-DVDs-DvdBellagio-Italia-Perfect-Discs-Storage-/133150734

  24. @nick: I didn’t mention, it was still too hot to touch, so it was an ongoing thing, not just a spike days before.

    This was an APC, and a quick google search will show they have issues.

    If a mature product is professionally and conscientiously designed, and professionally and conscientiously assembled and manufactured, and carefully tested and subjected to quality control audits, it would be safe. I don’t think any of those things is true for Amazon/big-box store stuff, it’s retail offshore made mass-market cut-corners-where-you-can to save a 1/10 cent per unit stuff.

    Perceptions of risk vary.

    I wouldn’t personally let an APC brand through the door, and would be very dubious about any other retail brand. And I would never leave one on if I was going to be gone more than a day or two.

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  25. I had that problem until I found a setting to ‘enable DVD to resume playback’ and disabled it.

    Thanks, but my simple player doesn’t have that. What I am referring to are the obligatory FCC warnings and sometimes the extra content, which are essentially ads and previews put there by Hollywierd. I have had two brands of simple players and two brands of recorders, and all of them behave the same: if I press any key such as Fast Forward, there is the Euro circle with a backslash through it symbol on the screen, and my command is ignored. All I can do is stop and start over, with the same result. IIRC, this content is not on the menu, and I don’t see it when I play the disc on a PC. Been a while since I have looked at a DVD, so might not be completely accurate.

    That’s why I started putting the disc in and doing other things for a few minutes. I guess I am a control freak. I still chafe when I can’t pause of halt something on my computer.

    We sentient beings should have absolute and meaningful control over these appliances and their processes. The trend is just the opposite. My wife doesn’t understand this, and frequently asks me why something is so bad. I always tell her the designers didn’t consult actual users when they made these decisions. I could go on, but suffice to say everything possible should be adjustable by the end user.

    Our former host used to mention these things occasionally, and regretted that there was so much potential, especially WRT computers, that was being ignored. I especially remember he wanted his camera to contact his computer when there were new pictures, and transfer them to the computer. This would be an option under his control, because some of us might not want that. I dream about things like that, but seldom see them. I occasionally make things that meet my needs, but I am not a programmer, and programming would be required to achieve some of what I want.

    Oh, that reminded me of today’s discussions of serving music and videos in our households. I have a friend who has developed his own media server software. He has been working on it for over ten years, and has given me access to it, but it is otherwise private. He has ripped a large number of CDs and their metadata and jacket content to his server. He can access this over the web, and use it to play anything in his collection while seeing the accompanying data. I should ask him how many hours it took him to do this, but it has been an ongoing and evolving project. It also was an excuse to do some programming. He has said he thinks of something and then designs and eventually codes it. He belongs to one of those groups of people who I say don’t sleep. Operations research practitioners would call this an activity trap.

  26. My A/C guy visited a little while ago and we are going to zone the four ton a/c and heat system into two zones, each with its own controlling thermostat. We are going to add more air returns also. I will update as we go along.

    This is our 3,301 ft2 one story with a 3 ton for the common areas and a 4 ton for all the bedrooms. The problem is that the bedroom thermostat is in the den. When the master bedroom is hot, the other three bedrooms are cold. When the master bedroom is cold, the other three bedrooms are hot. There is no physical connection between the master bedroom and the other three bedrooms.

    Here is the floor plan:
    https://www.winsim.com/perry_homes_floor_plan_3301.pdf

  27. _The Immortal Conquistador_ by Carrie Vaughn
    https://www.amazon.com/Immortal-Conquistador-Carrie-Vaughn/dp/1616963212/?tag=ttgnet-20

    Book number fifteen of a fifteen book fantasy series. This is the excellent “Kitty the Werewolf Series”. I read the well printed and well bound trade paperback published by Tachyon in 2020. I will order and read all future books in the series but it may have reached its end.

    This is the story of Rick, Kitty Norville’s vampire friend, the master of Denver, Ricardo de Avila who followed Coronado to the new world in the 15th century. Turned against his wishes by a vampire friar, he still prays to God and does not play the stupid vampire games.

    The author has a website at:
    https://carrievaughn.com/kittybooks.html

    My rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars
    Amazon rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (56 reviews)

  28. “A Blu-ray is 30-60 GB…”

    A rip is not nearly that big. 3GB tops for a great quality rip.

    I watch a lot of 720p x264 on our 40 inch Samsung, typically about 1 GB per hour of video. This week’s “Discovery” looked awesome.

    BluRay video compression tech was state of the art 20 years ago. DVD was 30+ years ago and limited to 720×480 16:9 or 4:3 only without wasted screen real estate.

  29. I have a DVD player, but it quit, and I don’t miss it. I am also on my second DVD recorder, which is used to burn programs my wife wants saved. I still use the analog hole, but that will go away.

    I have a ye olde Series 3 TiVo which has a semi-secret web interface which I use to download recorded broadcast shows to my PC and convert them to other formats using HandBrake or ffmpeg. The last time I was unemployed in Oregon I developed some Python code to parse the stored program database into a list of URLs which I can then easily download using curl.

    Another one of those projects on the five year list is to tie the TiVo contents to a private Roku channel. The flaw in the plan is that the TiVo only downloads one program at a time at 1.5 Mbps. Grrr.

  30. @ed, it still amazes me that people can have such different experiences with a brand. I used to only hear things like that with cars, cell phone plans, and cable tv 🙂

    I don’t doubt that you had those experiences, they are just the opposite of my own. I usually buy their professional product though, or put new batteries in pro level product I got at a surplus auction. Oil companies and .gov agencies usually treat themselves very well….

    WRT the stuff at the beginning of the DVD, you can thank Hollywood and their fear of piracy, and their arrogance in licensing. Since you don’t own what is on the disk, the figure they can do whatever they want, and what they want is to scare you about piracy, and convince you to buy and watch other shows. I do the same thing, btw. Put the disk in and step away for a bit. Disney figured out that parents hate that crap and on many disney disks there is a one button push option to skip straight to the main feature.

    We make deals with companies that no one would make given a choice, and we no longer own most of what we think we do. (perfect example, amazon clawing back kindle content- they couldn’t come to your house and kick down your door to get back a book, because you BOUGHT the book, not just the chance to look at it for a while.)

    n

  31. @lynn
    excellent “Kitty the Werewolf Series”
    Oh thanks! It’s been awhile since I’ve read these. Great fun.


  32. 3GB tops for a great quality rip.

    If you are going to rip a blu-ray, why do anything other than highest quality compression? The whole point of them is image size and quality.

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  33. “The All-Electric Hummer Can Turn All Four Wheels and Drive Sideways”
    https://futurism.com/the-byte/hummer-ev-turn-four-wheels-drive-sideways

    “On paper, the “electric supertruck” ticks all the boxes. The Hummer EV is a 1,000 horsepower beast with air suspension and a 350-mile range — not to mention it can even drive diagonally thanks to a feature called “Crab Mode.””

    “Did we mention it’s speedy? The steel-clad goliath can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just three seconds.”

    That is cool. But it is not $112,000 cool. Thanks but no thanks.

    hat tip to:
    https://www.codeproject.com/script/Mailouts/View.aspx?mlid=15388

  34. “Tesla has confirmed that water can cause Model 3 bumpers to fall off”

    What the ???

    These people got the free instant convertible upgrade on the drive home. Gotta hand it to Tony — he knows how to take care of the customer.

    https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2020/10/12/roof-flies-off-new-tesla-model-y-on-first-drive-home/

    Can you imagine what would happen to Ford if that was a new F150?

    Even GM Arlington isn’t building that kind of quality.

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  35. That is cool. But it is not $112,000 cool. Thanks but no thanks.

    I thought all the Hummer tooling went to China after the factory in Louisiana closed.

  36. I almost forgot:

    MakeMKV is an excellent free Blu ripper. It worked on all the BDs I fed it, but there are reports that not all discs will rip. Then remux with Handbrake if drive storage is low. Western Digital used to make a media player. Plug a drive into it, attach a HD TV. It came with a remote.

  37. I’ve had a few Tripp Lite UPS units. They died of old age.

    Currently CyberPower UPS units. Four, same model. I can and have replaced batteries. Batteries are about $14 each at the local feed store. Yes, I know the surge electronics wear out… and now back to Tripp Lite. 🙂

    I have the Tripp Lite surge suppressors that look sort of an outlet box. The UPS units are plugged into a surge suppressor. Some random web site said that’s not good because it breaks the ground path. Or something like that. Whatever.

    Electricity can get sort of weird out here at the end of the line. Thunderstorms are, well, induced voltage is a real thing…. even when you have everything as deep as a DitchWitch can dig. That’s several inches more than armpit in the dirt to reach the conduit or water pipe.

    Why so deep? I called the County Ag office. Everyone says to call them. Because they are Oracles of Wisdom or some sorta BS like that. Ok, what’s the frost line? “Just cover the pipes so car traffic doesn’t break the pipes.” That’s not a useful answer. I never called the morons again and I buried my pipes as deep at the machine could dig. Because I want to do the job ONCE.

    Austin had a cold spell with snow and the works. I think it was the when Amadeus was in the theater. I-35 was one lane each way from where North Lamar meets to Pflugerville. The water line for the Space Lane house froze somewhere between the meter and house.

    So far, so good. Bury everything at least armpit deep.


  38. Kind of makes me wonder how many Gbs would fit on a 60 min VHS tape, and if you could stream an .mkv file from it.

    Yes! Or on a Betamax. Or U-Matic.

    I think the choke would be CPU power in the playdeck. Though, maybe not, the choke would be in the decoder the tape deck is feeding.

  39. I know folks that have ripped all of their movies to a server. Which is very cool. I mean, I’ve done the same with my music CDs.

    But with my music, Squeezebox can play random. It just works.

    If I rip all of my DVDs, what for? I’m not watching movies on my phone. And how often are you going to watch “Lawn Dogs” or whatever? Just shove in the disc….

  40. I almost forgot:

    MakeMKV is an excellent free Blu ripper. It worked on all the BDs I fed it, but there are reports that not all discs will rip. Then remux with Handbrake if drive storage is low. Western Digital used to make a media player. Plug a drive into it, attach a HD TV. It came with a remote.

    MakeMKV is good. Don’t let it get out of date, however.

  41. Like SteveF said about TV shopping, “I forgot”, yes, that is part of my plan.

    Woot had a Samsung 75″ refurb for oh, $2400 a few days ago. With some weird “picture frame” feature. So you walk into the room, TV sees you, turns on to display a picture. Art!!!! No. Off needs to be Off. And if I hear a strange sound at 3AM, I sure don’t need the freaking TV lighting the house up when I want to look out the windows.

    Anyway. “For that kind of money, I can get up and go look at the screen”.

    Good.

    Still going to shop. Because.

  42. My A/C guy visited a little while ago and we are going to zone the four ton a/c and heat system into two zones, each with its own controlling thermostat. We are going to add more air returns also. I will update as we go along.

    Missing on that floor plan is which way is North. Also, ISTR there might be trees that provide some shade. Very important.

    No matter how it faces, those bedrooms are exposed to all four sides of the house. Each has different needs. Consider zoning to suit your living patterns; all bedrooms on one system might not be the best for your needs, but changing that is probably not practical.

    You say a thermostat is in the den, but not sure where that is. Stats need to be close to what they control, obviously. In a retrofit like this, you might consider a sensor in one or more returns for cosmetic reasons. They can be tied to a central point with individual controls. Your AC guy can advise.

    I have designed a few systems, but I am not in the business, and don’t practice in your climate. Your house layout is definitely a challenge, but it can be made comfortable. With such different needs for various rooms, consider running the blowers at a low speed constantly, especially in the daytime. With variable speed motors, this means a “floor” or minimum speed. With good return placement, that can even out a lot of problem areas.

    Good luck.

  43. Kind of makes me wonder how many Gbs would fit on a 60 min VHS tape, and if you could stream an .mkv file from it.

    Yes! Or on a Betamax. Or U-Matic.

    6 MHz ideal analog bandwidth for NTSC. Figure about 3 Mbps digital with the theoretical limit of encoding. Less than 2.7 GB on a VHS tape under *perfect* conditions. Count on using a lot of error correction since the tapes lose quality with every pass over the head.

    You might get a two hour MKV streaming at VHS quality off of a two hour analog tape. No free lunches in physics.

  44. One of the reasons CD are normally 74 minutes running time or less is that the bitstream at about 1.5Mbit/sec was originally mastered on U-Matic tape (525 U-Matic, at that) and U-Matic cassettes had a 75 minute running time.

    I don’t know whether there was some chamge to allow 80 min CDs. or whether that was a consumer CD-R format, for archiving 700MB of data per disc.

    G.

  45. “perfect example, amazon clawing back kindle content” That is why I have Kindle for PC and save to my hard drive, which in turn is backed up to an isolated disk – If they take back anything I can simply access it form the backup without an internet connection.

  46. Re Tripp Lite – I’ve had good experience with them, In more than 40 years I’ve had three fail, one due to old age and two due to operator error; replaced batteries twice, once each for two different SmartPro NET UPS units at more than six year intervals. In each instance of failure I was able to replace the unit directly from Tripp Lite long past any warranty at half price, including significant upgrades on two of the replacements. One of the operator errors was placing an additional surge protector on the output side of the UPS.

  47. Two questions:

    1) Any current recommendations for ripping/storing/playing CD’s?
    @JimB
    Your friend wouldn’t be interested in a one-off license for testing purposes?

    2) Any recommendations for backing up Audible?

  48. My A/C guy visited a little while ago and we are going to zone the four ton a/c and heat system into two zones, each with its own controlling thermostat. We are going to add more air returns also. I will update as we go along.

    Missing on that floor plan is which way is North. Also, ISTR there might be trees that provide some shade. Very important.

    No matter how it faces, those bedrooms are exposed to all four sides of the house. Each has different needs. Consider zoning to suit your living patterns; all bedrooms on one system might not be the best for your needs, but changing that is probably not practical.

    You say a thermostat is in the den, but not sure where that is. Stats need to be close to what they control, obviously. In a retrofit like this, you might consider a sensor in one or more returns for cosmetic reasons. They can be tied to a central point with individual controls. Your AC guy can advise.

    I have designed a few systems, but I am not in the business, and don’t practice in your climate. Your house layout is definitely a challenge, but it can be made comfortable. With such different needs for various rooms, consider running the blowers at a low speed constantly, especially in the daytime. With variable speed motors, this means a “floor” or minimum speed. With good return placement, that can even out a lot of problem areas.

    Good luck.

    The master bedroom is pointed due north so it has west and east facing walls also. Three of the bedrooms (master and two side) have a west wall. The front bedroom where the daughter sleeps faces due south. In fact, the front door faces due south. I would post my lot survey but it has my address on it.

    1. We are going to move the den thermostat into the master bedroom.
    2. We are going to install another thermostat in the hallway to the three bedrooms.
    3. Both thermostats will go to a computer controlling three duct dampers.
    4. And we are going to put air returns in the ceilings of both front bedrooms going to the hallway.
    5. And one bedroom that we are using as a kitchenette (next to the master small closet) will get a new air return.

    The quote will come tomorrow. I expect $2,500. I would prefer to put a new two ton in the master but we do not have the attic room for a new air handling unit.

  49. One of the reasons CD are normally 74 minutes running time or less is that the bitstream at about 1.5Mbit/sec was originally mastered on U-Matic tape (525 U-Matic, at that) and U-Matic cassettes had a 75 minute running time.

    I don’t know whether there was some chamge to allow 80 min CDs. or whether that was a consumer CD-R format, for archiving 700MB of data per disc.

    The legend is that 74 minutes was at the insistence of the Chairman of Sony because the running time of his favorite symphony would fit on the disc.

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  50. 1) Any current recommendations for ripping/storing/playing CD’s?

    I’ve used iTunes on Windows and OS X for years. Rhythmbox on Linux works well too.

  51. If I hear one more moaning prat caterwauling on about inequality I’m going to send them to bed without supper. Life isn’t fair, get over it.
    /rant

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  52. “perfect example, amazon clawing back kindle content” That is why I have Kindle for PC and save to my hard drive, which in turn is backed up to an isolated disk – If they take back anything I can simply access it form the backup without an internet connection.

    Use Calibre to back up standard Kindle books. I wouldn’t trust anything out of Lab126, especially running on Windows.

    Lab 1 (A to) 26 (Z). How clever. More of The Legend of Jeff, Family Guy, Drives A Honda, Wears The Same Type of Shirt To Work Every Day (TM).

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  53. @JimB
    Your friend wouldn’t be interested in a one-off license for testing purposes?

    @drwilliams, I doubt it. He is rather private, and does not even use a hosting service AFAIK. I will email him and see what he says. It might take a few days. Thanks for asking.

  54. The master bedroom is pointed due north so it has west and east facing walls also. Three of the bedrooms (master and two side) have a west wall. The front bedroom where the daughter sleeps faces due south. In fact, the front door faces due south. I would post my lot survey but it has my address on it.

    That is enough information. I think your plan is good, and your contractor seems knowledgeable. This seems to have a good chance for success. To repeat, I don’t know enough about the details of this project, but it doesn’t matter. I was just curious. Oh, and the price seems pretty reasonable. Again, good luck.

  55. OMG, I read thru my current alumni magazine. They have gone full on black worship. They have a lot of brown kids there, it is in AZ, but almost zero black students (unless that’s changed since I left, oh so many years ago.) They have been lefty prog inclusive, but now they have lost their minds. Reparations. Studying the ‘pain of being Black in America’. Twenty five point plans to boost blacks at the expense of everyone else. Racist filth. And all with a tone of grovelling. No white males in any pix in the entire issue that I noticed.

    The really weird thing is they do some hard core military contracting. Biodefense, AI, even weirder stuff on the one hand, and renaming all the disciplines to touchy feelie crap on the other.

    They’re not getting a penny from me.

    n

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  56. ‘Pope Francis’ clear and public support for same-sex civil unions marks a new stage in the church’s relationship with LGBTQ people,’ said Father James Martin,

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8864193/Pope-Francis-endorses-sex-civil-unions-saying-Homosexuals-children-God.html

    –a new stage? FFS it’s the opposite of doctrine. W T H?

    n

    What do you expect from a Pope who says that climate change is more important than people’s souls ? Please note that is an impression on my part, not a direct quote.

    Note that I am Church of Christ from birth. We are the most disorganized Christians out there and proud of it. We do not have a central bureaucracy, each church is a standalone organization.

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  57. The prose in my alumni magazine is a freaking word salad spit out by barely literate wokesters. One whole paragraph about a new building, and it was the last line before I had even the vaguest notion about what the building was FOR. Even then it’s the broadest sort of description possible0.

    Building for local and
    global futures
    A new building to be completed on the
    [main] campus in 2021, Interdisciplinary
    Science and Technology Building 7,
    is one of the many ways that [school] is
    preparing for the future. ISTB7 will be
    a high-performance research facility
    that will help foster an interdisciplinary
    approach to knowledge generation and
    leading-edge research across more
    than a dozen intellectual focal areas.
    The largest research building on the
    campus, it will be a hub for more than
    550 faculty members and scholars
    distributed across all ASU campuses
    and representing many disciplinary,
    interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary
    areas dedicated to the future of
    our planet.

    Also they’re making artificial TREES to clean the air, because real trees are too ?uncool?

    And america sucks because of racism. So we need more gender fluid queer dance troupes, or something.

    A [graduate of the school] leads the way for change by helping to create an anti-racist dance world

    Editor’s note: This story originally appeared in the fall 2020 issue of [official] magazine.

    For many people, dance is a form of escape. The sweat-soaked physicality of the art offers the freedom to temporarily forget. For dancer, choreographer and activist J. Bouey, ’14 BFA in dance, dance is healing. It’s doing the uncomfortable work to confront trauma head on.

    For Bouey, dance is the vessel for breakthroughs. It’s a way of dealing with the constant pain of being a Black person in America.

    Bouey points out other ways that white supremacy shows up in dance: “not allowing trans and gender-nonconforming and nonbinary folks to live in their full expression in dance … not letting children who are of trans experience, nonbinary or nonconforming experience really be fully supported within the studios and education process.”

    NOT ONE DIME

    n

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  58. Cool, my first down vote of the day ! I did not think I was going to make it today.

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  59. watch a fat black lesbian belly dance

    Maxine Waters? Oprah? The Mooch? The possible images in the brain are endless. Enjoy your next dream.

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  60. He/sh/it has preferred pronouns he/sh/it wants to force you to use. Like the King and Queen, upon penalty of banishment.

    And OMFG, Pass me the brain bleach, I did not need that image in my mind.

    n

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  61. “$6,551,872,000,000: Federal Spending Smashes Record in FY20”
    https://cnsnews.com/article/washington/terence-p-jeffrey/6551872000000-federal-spending-smashes-record-fy20

    “The federal government spent a record $6,551,872,000,000 in fiscal 2020, which was an increase of $2,044,283,520,000—or 45.4 percent—from the previous record of $4,507,588,480,000 in constant September 2020 dollars that it spent last year.”

    “While spending that record $6,551,872,000,000 in fiscal 2020, total federal tax collections actually declined from $3,509,701,320,000 (in constant September 2020 dollars) in fiscal 2019 to $3,419,955,000,000 in fiscal 2020.”

    “The gap between the decreased total tax collections in fiscal 2020 and record federal spending resulted in a record federal deficit of $3,131,917,000,000.”

    Wow.

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  62. But Nick, haven’t we all wanted to watch a fat black lesbian belly dance?

    you left out trans

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  63. “children who are of trans experience, nonbinary or nonconforming experience”

    –notice how they keep splitting the hair thinner and thinner? If everyone is ‘special’, no one is special… and more than anything in this world they want to be special.

    It would be sad if it wasn’t so many other things.

    n

  64. @Ed: I’ll take that under advisement, when I figure out where to place the UPS. I suppose anything that stores a reasonable amount of power can become a danger.

    Kindle claw-backs: I have removed the DRM from a few Kindle books. This worked, because I still have an original, version 1 Kindle – and books downloaded to it have a weak DRM scheme. Sadly, I tried to turn the Kindle on a couple of weeks ago, and it no longer starts. It claims that the battery is empty, but charging it doesn’t help.

    @Nick: What illiterate crap. For example, what does white supremacy have to do with trans-people? No one is stopping anyone from dancing – it’s victim culture all over again. Bringing children into the discussion is the next weirdness.


  65. One of the reasons CD are normally 74 minutes running time

    Another is that 74 minutes is long enough for Beethoven’s 9th symphony.

  66. @brad

    “@Nick: What illiterate crap. ”

    –that is not the worst of it, by far. I’ve quoted their alumni materials before and I could go thru this issue and pull something similar from every page.

    I used to read it only to copy edit all the mistakes. They’ve stepped up their game there, so now I just read it to see how much they’ve devalued my degree.

    n

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