Sun. Dec. 6, 2020 – Gang aft agley*

Cool and damp.  Maybe rain, maybe not.

We did get a super light sprinkle late in the night last night, but the day was otherwise mostly clear, and overcast.

I slept late, drove across all of Houston, drove back, stopped at my secondary location to retrieve some presents, and got home late in the day.

Then I sorted more auction and ebay stuff, sorted Christmas presents, and stayed up WAY too late.   I really shouldn’t have had any iced tea after 6pm.  I barely noticed when it got to be 130am.

While I was doing other things, I started going through 2 big binders of music CDs that I picked up.   They were mostly full of commercial disks but there were also a bunch of “backed up” CDRs.   They appear to have been written in around 2009 and almost every one has errors.  Many have flaking reflective material, or holes in the foil.  Some have damage to the edge of the disk, either from moisture or hand oils.  All have a network of fine scratches from use.  In general, at least one track is unreadable, and for many, no tracks are readable without errors.  The problems are across all brands, memorex, office depot, the verbatim disks that look like 45 records, pretty much all the ordinary brands.  If you are counting on CDRs or DVDs for long term data storage, you should probably be rotating and re-burning your data, or putting it on spinning rust with periodic checks.  and if you can see through the foil when you hold the disk to the light, you might want another brand from the beginning.

Today I have to get to my secondary location and move some things.  There will be some inspector there on Monday, and some of my stuff is out where it shouldn’t be.  This can only happen if it’s not raining though.  Same for putting up lights and decor, or for most of the stuff on my list.

I really better get cracking on some of this or I’ll fall even further behind.  And that would be extra special not good.

So I’m off, to unstack, pull, toss, sell, and restack.  And in the mean time, also try to ‘live my best life’ as the whiny brats say.

I’m sure there is something you need to keep stacking….

 

nick

 

*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_a_Mouse

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

77 thoughts on “Sun. Dec. 6, 2020 – Gang aft agley*”

  1. Gang aft agley

    Covefefe

    First serious snow today, somewhere between 10-15cm. Lots of shoveling, but I actually like shoveling snow. And doing our access road is easy, since it’s mostly raised on a supporting wall: just shove the white stuff over the edge. Anyhow, Winter has definitely arrived…

  2. If you are counting on CDRs or DVDs for long term data

    CDs suffered from the reflective layer and the layer being burned on the surface of the back side of the disc. The laser actually shines through the entire disc to reach the reflective layer. That layer is easily damaged. DVDs fixed this problem by putting another layer of plastic over the data and reflective layers. The clear layer that the laser shines through can still be scratch but the scratch needs to be significant or so many that the laser becomes partially opaque. DVDs should last much longer with reasonable handling.

    Then comes the issue of being able to be used because a suitable device is no longer available. At the bank I worked we had to archive data files on tape. One hundred year retention. Demanded by clueless auditors and state regulators. I asked one auditor if he really thought that even 50 years into the future if there would even be devices to read the tapes. He had no answer.

    Now 30 years later I doubt anyone has a working 9-track, 1600 BPI, EBCDIC coded tape drive or a system that can understand Burroughs (Unisys) LOADMP file format. For that matter, how many of us have 8”, 5.25”, or 3.5” floppy discs. I think NORAD still use 8” floppies, some airplane navigation systems still require 3.5” disc drives. But those are disappearing fast. VHS tapes are effectively gone, DVD being replaced by streaming and will eventually fade into memory.

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  3. Ray
    I had time ago the issue, but, given money, you are able to read tapes, big blue charges a lot, but they can, even I think they have 1401 readers

  4. “And the Chinese are building about a thousand coal power plants at the moment.”

    Interesting how Greta etc aren’t talking down to China, like she does to the West.

    Chinese men don’t think about having sex with Greta. As @Nick is fond of saying, its pedos all the way down, and the girl was carefully groomed by her actor parents for her role as clickbait and, eventually, martyr.

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  5. “Climate Report: $100-150 Trillion over 30 Years to Fix Global Warming”

    The arrogance of the ProgLibTurds thinking they can *fix* Global Ejaculation. This is just a money grab and power play to impoverish us sheeple.

    I tried out my new digital water hardness tester. It tells me that our water hardness (TDS) at the house is 340 ppm.

    Ours is 250ppm in SA. My counter top RO unit brings it down to single digits. I use that for drinking water. Including the dogs.

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  6. If you are counting on CDRs or DVDs for long term data storage, you should probably be rotating and re-burning your data, or putting it on spinning rust with periodic checks. and if you can see through the foil when you hold the disk to the light, you might want another brand from the beginning.

    If you were serious about CD-R as a backup 20 years ago, you bought “Made in Japan” Taiyo Yuden blanks. The company developed the recordable format in partnership with Sony and Philips. Early Kodak-era Verbatim discs were decent too, but the key was a Japanese factory.

    The “Made in India” Memorex or post-Kodak Verbatim blanks sold in sleeves of 100 at Sam’s and Costco for $29 were strictly for mix CDs or sending pictures to the grandparents, not archival purposes. That said, I have a Hencho en Subcontinent CD-R music mix out in my old car which has cycled through five (six?) summers of Texas heat and still rips clean in the Linux CDParanoia utility behind Rhythmbox’s CD import capability.

  7. I watched the latest episode of Star Trek: Discovery last night. The writers had to throw in wokeness. One of the new characters stated “I prefer they/them as my personal pronouns.” 1500 hundred years in the future and the sheeple are still concerned about he/she/it QWERTY nonsense. The *female* actor in it’s early 20’s is, of course, nonbinary and it was a perfect chance to shove some wokeness in. I hate Hollyweird. The latest series plot “what happened to all the di-lithium” will probably be blamed on GLOBAL WARMING IS REAL!

    LET THE HEELING AND QWERTY-FYING OF THE FUSA BEGIN!

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  8. But those are disappearing fast. VHS tapes are effectively gone, DVD being replaced by streaming and will eventually fade into memory.

    CDs are still popular in other parts of the world where the record industry didn’t commit suicide. Someone will make an optical mechanism as long as CDs are playable. I have commercial 80s music CDs that still play flawlessly.

    DVD supplanted VHS as the porn format of choice, especially for amateurs. Unlike CD and DVD, where careful handling will lengthen the life of the media, the binding chemicals on commercial VHS tapes will eventually degrade to being unplayable. However, VHS is a very forgiving analog format and kid friendly; the last player only just rolled off the assembly line recently.

    Unlike optical, with VHS … and Beta! … the problem long term is the media, not the player hardware.

    BluRay is the one I’m skeptical about long term because the creation tools still involve a lot of patents with royalty checks going to Los Gatos and Los Altos PO Box mailing addresses. Sony bought out and killed HD-DVD early to avoid a Beta/VHS rerun.


  9. Chinese men don’t think about having sex with Greta. As @Nick is fond of saying, its pedos all the way down

    Nor does any man with any sense. Even a physically attractive woman becomes repulsive when all she does is hector and screech.

    As for the pedo aspect, I thought one of the attractions of the under-age target was supposed to be the innocence. As above, the constant screeching would destroy that, I’d think.

    -shrug- But all we ever see of her is when she’s “on”, acting her role. Maybe she’s actually pleasant in person. Seems unlikely, but it’s more likely than Epstein committing suicide or Biden becoming President in a fair election, each of which we’re told happened.

    As may be, as I keep saying, darling Greta isn’t what I think of when I hear “Swedish teenage girl.”

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  10. The latest series plot “what happened to all the di-lithium” will probably be blamed on GLOBAL WARMING IS REAL!

    The Discovery episodes we’re watching now were in post when the thinking was that a “blue wave” would sweep the Progs into permanent power in November. My guess is that, similar to edits made to “Picard” after “Star Wars” melted down last Christmas, heavy redaction and changes are being made to how “Discovery” wraps to avoid p*ssing off half of the fan base and ruining DVD overseas streaming sales.

    Among other stupidity apparently removed from “Picard” was a much-rumored flashback showing Beverly Crusher’s death.

    If I had to guess, the “Discovery” finale this season will tie into the “Calypso” “Short Trek”, the only one of that series to date which doesn’t expand someone’s back story or provide a prologue for other events we’ve seen on “Picard” or “Discovery”.

    I have no special insight or knowledge. My money is on Detmer being infected with Control and the crew having to do some timey-wimey games that involve David Cronenberg’s character and sending Michelle Yeoh into her spinoff.

    At least Tilly stopped with the f-bombs and switched to her best Frakes “Number One” impersonation, but I think that has more to do with Brannon Braga joining the production team on “The Orville” than political correctness. “The Orville” may have finally decided between being a extremely effective satire and serious tribute to the 80s/90s TV Trek era.

  11. I hate Hollyweird.

    Sure, but I have been enjoying reruns of “Have Gun Will Travel” on MeTV for some months now. Each episode is a little morality play. Well written, produced, and acted. Surprising story variety.

    Also watch “Maverick”, with James Garner, but too few available, and some have aired three or four times recently.

    Both of these series were made near the end of the studio contract player era, and feature some fine actors. Fun to watch and look them up.


  12. Both of these series were made near the end of the studio contract player era, and feature some fine actors. Fun to watch and look them up.

    Both great series I watched as a youngun. “Paladin, Paladin, where do you roam…”

  13. Both of these series were made near the end of the studio contract player era, and feature some fine actors. Fun to watch and look them up.

    “Kolchak” is really interesting once you realize the long-term impact of that series, everything from “Murphy Brown” to “The Sopranos”. Even “Doctor Who”. And, of course, “The X Files”.

  14. Tyler Durden cowardice, probably protecting someone at The (Tampa Bay) Times or Miami Herald.

    None of the Florida papers endorsed DeSantis two years ago, and all are currently engaged in making sure the Governor is not reelected. Unlike (Chicago Tribune-controlled) The Orlando Sentinel, however, a few real reporters still work for the Times and Herald if for appearance sake if nothing else.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/medical/first-time-us-state-will-require-disclosure-pcr-test-cycle-data

  15. I always liked Darren McGavin’s acting. I didn’t watch Kolchak, probably because I was getting ready to build our house, a busy time. I might take a look now.

    I find it interesting how my impression of series changes over time. Some old shows I liked back then just don’t work for me today, but some do. Sometimes for different reasons.

  16. up and moving around. Looks like a nice day, sunny and 54F with 36%RH.

    stuff to do.

    n

  17. Shot Girl ™ is getting dragged on Twitter for whining how hard it was for her to do a double shift and having a customer complain. She had to take a break and cry in the back. Lots of Tweeps fired back at her, so she accused them of being too old to understand. Return fire of “we’re the same age.” The plum was her whining about having little health care as an *adult*. Little Marco pointed out that she was 20 when ObuttWadCare was signed into law. Now she’s on the gravy train and I imagine scheming how to stay on said train.

    She’s also apparently pushing she was a waitress. No mention of her Shot Girl ™ exploits.

  18. ***** Now 30 years later I doubt anyone has a working 9-track, 1600 BPI, EBCDIC coded tape drive or a system that can understand Burroughs (Unisys) LOADMP file format. For that matter, how many of us have 8”, 5.25”, or 3.5” floppy discs. *****

    Or, judging from a request sent to me last month, an early 90’s helical scan 8mm drive to read an old backup I made back in the day.

    The rs/6000s are gone like the Dodo’s I suppose.

  19. The latest in the Alex Verus series, FORGED, is out – but only in paperback.

    Huh. I honestly can’t recall the last time I bought a paperback.

    Well, when I get enough stuff to order to make it prime eligible, maybe.

    The latest in the Dan Lenson series should be out shortly, that’s something to look forward to. In the last book we “win” vs China…but it’s a messy win.

  20. Shot Girl ™ is getting dragged on Twitter for whining how hard it was for her to do a double shift and having a customer complain.

    Shot Girl is the daughter of a mid-tier architect and lived in Westchester County from the age of five on. Like a lot of activist Progs, she’s never been “poor” in the sense that there isn’t family money somewhere that would bail her out if she were truly in need of help. Plus, there is an obvious Sugar Daddy involved who is being ignored, my guess X-er tech money.

    She’s not Pedo bait by any stretch, but Shot Girl she is where she is because of biology. If men don’t want to have sex with her, then they view her like a misguided daughter still trying to figure her “career” out a decade after college. The clock is, literally, ticking for her now that she’s 31, however.

  21. Now 30 years later I doubt anyone has a working 9-track, 1600 BPI, EBCDIC coded tape drive or a system that can understand Burroughs (Unisys) LOADMP file format. For that matter, how many of us have 8”, 5.25”, or 3.5” floppy discs. I think NORAD still use 8” floppies, some airplane navigation systems still require 3.5” disc drives. But those are disappearing fast. VHS tapes are effectively gone, DVD being replaced by streaming and will eventually fade into memory.

    If it ain’t spinning, it ain’t being saved.

    As the cost of spinning drives are continuously dropping, you need to continuously keep anything you want on a internal data drive, the fewer drives the better. And have plenty of USB external drives. You can now get an 18 TB external drive for $390, 8 TB for $145.
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08KTRBHP1/?tag=ttgnet-20

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  22. As the cost of spinning drives are continuously dropping, you need to continuously keep anything you want on a internal data drive, the fewer drives the better. And have plenty of USB external drives. You can now get an 18 TB external drive for $390, 8 TB for $145.

    It amazes me how people trust “The Cloud” for backup without a fallback plan, particularly with Windows systems.

    Rigging two spinning metal drives into a RAID 0 or 1 external array case and controller combo is simple/cheap.

  23. Checked the work databases a little while ago. Problems on the big weekend “start everything from zero” full transfers from the client DBs, which most likely will lead to problems for much of the coming week. I fixed what I could (didn’t do any good; the jobs immediately failed on the same tables) and sent messages to the people whose job it is to keep the DBs going.

    In practice I’m often stuck with the job because I’m competent and a responsible adult. That’s a little harsh on those on my employer’s DB/IO team, but one is competent but burned out after only a year and is industriously looking for a new job, one is plain incompetent, and the last is competent and willing to work but wants her weekends and evenings free. The real problem is management, specifically their repeated inability to comprehend that operations work is not like development work or conducting user training or screwing around with spreadsheets to make pretty graphs to show each other. Operations work goes on seven days per week and isn’t neatly confined to an eight-hour workday with a break for lunch, and work schedules need to be arranged to reflect that. One would think that people who have spent a decade or two working in fields peripheral to healthcare and hospitals would understand that some jobs don’t stop when the whistle blows. One would evidently be wrong in thinking that.

    Yes, in theory I could refuse to do others’ jobs. For that matter, I could lock down and do 40 hours per week and not a minute over. Hell, I could even use some of the 160 hours of personal time that I haven’t been able to use all year. In practice, not fixing the DBs when I can results in more work for me. Having someone else deploy an application or any of the other operations tasks results in more work for me. Besides those practical concerns, I’ve never been that guy who refuses to fix a problem just because “that’s not my job” and I’ve always looked at keeping the operation working better even when it means picking up someone else’s slack.

    Amusingly — black humor, here — that sounds an awful lot like being a team player, but I’m constantly told I’m not a team player because I don’t talk nicely to people who are wasting my time and I don’t give everyone’s opinion an equal value. Considering my career-long refusal to play the game and considering the rewards given to those who talk but don’t do, this suggests that I’m not as smart as I think I am.

    (But ref The Sons of Martha and Eric Raymond’s Loadsharers. Bottom line, all the “team players” and all the babblers could disappear and nothing of value would be lost. If the Sons of Martha were to disappear, everything would collapse.)


  24. It amazes me how people trust “The Cloud” for backup

    Especially when they’re using a free service for their backup. Aside from the fact that if you’re not paying them, they can use your data pretty much any way they like, they’re likely to disappear, change terms of service, or delete your data at any time.

    I know a couple people who stored all their photos on one of the early free picture upload sites. “Why do you waste time and money backing up to a hard drive? Your phone can upload automatically for free and your pictures will always be there.” They lost everything when the service went down. And, for the punchline, they’re still using free services for their backup, having learned nothing.

  25. I hate Hollyweird.

    I am alternately binge watching “Agents of Shield” and “The 100” on Netflix. Both are pre-wokeness (just barely). Both went seven seasons.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agents_of_S.H.I.E.L.D.
    and
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_100_(TV_series)

    Agents of Shield is about the time for Shield between the Avengers New York alien invasion and the rise of Hydra. Lots of recriminations about Ultron but I am in season 3.

    The 100 is 150 ??? years after a nuclear war and the 2,500 survivors in the failing space stations are returning to what they think is an unoccupied planet. They are wrong, there are many survivors there also.

  26. I tried out my new digital water hardness tester. It tells me that our water hardness (TDS) at the house is 340 ppm.

    Ours is 250ppm in SA. My counter top RO unit brings it down to single digits. I use that for drinking water. Including the dogs.

    So my water is 350 ppm from the tap and 270 ppm after the charcoal filter in the refrigerator. The Ozarka water bottle is 60 ppm.

    So it is $6,000 to put in a whole house filter, backwashing charcoal filter, and a water softener. All in a cabinet beside the house. Still thinking about it.

  27. It amazes me how people trust “The Cloud” for backup without a fallback plan, particularly with Windows systems.

    Rigging two spinning metal drives into a RAID 0 or 1 external array case and controller combo is simple/cheap.

    The Cloud is a freaking disaster in the making. I have serious trust issues with it, even AWS drives.

    I dont trust RAID either. Luckily the size of the external and internal drives has been growing fast enough to meet my backup needs. 1 TB at the house and 8 TB at the office (but I buy 12 TB now).

    I archive an external drive every six months at the office out of my seven rotating externals. That keeps the externals fresh and give me a “permanent” archive every six months. I have two shelves full of drives stashed away from 500 MB to 8 TB.

  28. About 5 years ago I bought the Western Digital My Cloud. Very nice, set it up for nightly back ups of modified files and can manually access thru home WiFi from desktop and laptop. Contains about 60 TB of family music, photos and videos.

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  29. So it is $6,000 to put in a whole house filter, backwashing charcoal filter, and a water softener. All in a cabinet beside the house. Still thinking about it.

    Have you called your plumber for a referral on a softener company?

    $6000 is a lot of money. And I thought my softener was a splurge.

  30. About 5 years ago I bought the Western Digital My Cloud. Very nice, set it up for nightly back ups of modified files and can manually access thru home WiFi from desktop and laptop. Contains about 60 TB of family music, photos and videos.

    Hopefully you have it backed up to two or three other drives. It is just about time for that WD My Cloud to die if it has been running continuously.

  31. So it is $6,000 to put in a whole house filter, backwashing charcoal filter, and a water softener. All in a cabinet beside the house. Still thinking about it.

    Have you called your plumber for a referral on a softener company?

    $6000 is a lot of money. And I thought my softener was a splurge.

    That $6,000 is for three devices. And a very large cabinet for freeze protection. And a year’s worth of maintenance.

    ADD: Two control circuits also !


  32. And to willingly move yourself back to an 18th century society is a bunch of hooey.

    Anyone who wants to do so is welcome to do so. Don’t expect me to join them, but expect forceful resistance if they try to force the issue.


  33. For that matter, how many of us have 8”, 5.25”, or 3.5” floppy discs. I think NORAD still use 8” floppies, some airplane navigation systems still require 3.5” disc drives. But those are disappearing fast. VHS tapes are effectively gone

    I have 5.25″ and 3.5″ disks a 486DX with the devices and an external 3.5″ USB drive. Have not touched any of that in quite a long time… I did copy the most important 3.5 floppies to disk when spinning rust started to be big and inexpensive though.
    I also have VHS tapes and a tape deck with similar usage pattern. 🙂

    About 5 years ago I bought the Western Digital My Cloud. Very nice, set it up for nightly back ups of modified files and can manually access thru home WiFi from desktop and laptop. Contains about 60 TB of family music, photos and videos.

    WD: Seconded. Works fine and firmware is periodically updated. I also have an old dual bay Netgear ReadyNAS that has been working solidly for many, many years.

  34. My wife had a possible Covid exposure today doing rounds at the mental hospital downtown. She came home early because the facility went on “No Admissions” after one homeless patient admitted two days ago to the high security floor suddenly developed a cough with stomach pains and tested positive.

    The mental hospital weekend gig is history if that’s how we get the bug at our house.


  35. That $6,000 is for three devices. And a very large cabinet for freeze protection. And a year’s worth of maintenance.

    Large cabinet to me means about 6×6 feet and tall enough to stand in. Bigger than a coat closet. On a small slab? Or dirt floor? Add insulation. Lighting. An electric outlet for the softener. Another for a small space heater set on low on a baseboard t-stat (over-kill for Houston most years) or a 100 watt bulb in a clamp-on light fixture. 15 Amp breaker is plenty. Vents for Summer time.

    And it has to look pretty. Because “wife”. And the guy doing the work has bills to pay.

    The year’s worth of maintenance is worth a lot…. get out there and learn what he does.


  36. I have 5.25″ and 3.5″ disks a 486DX with the devices and an external 3.5″ USB drive. Have not touched any of that in quite a long time…

    Yep. Tho I have a DX/2. “sniff” 🙂 I last booted it about four years ago. The CMOS battery has died, I should replace it.

    Tho, I have kept the machine because it can run BirdTrak. WinXP didn’t do a great job there. Win7x64, forget running any old stuff that wants “clipper=12” in autoexec.bat. Er, maybe sys.ini.

    Well, the plan is to power it up and update BirdTrak when the last bird dies. Pointless as no one give a fecal sample, but it’s something I want to do.

    And yeah, I know, “virtual machine”. I just don’t want to mess with that.


  37. forget running any old stuff that wants “clipper=12” in autoexec.bat. Er, maybe sys.ini.

    Wow, that doesn’t ring any bells at all. Sound card? Belongs in config.sys iirc. 🙂

    Did the Amazon Go grocery thing for the first time yesterday. Worked flawlessly. Amazing! Milk is a great loss leader @ $1.99/gal. In the words of Ahnold, “I’ll be back.”

  38. Wow, that doesn’t ring any bells at all. Sound card? Belongs in config.sys

    I think you are correct. It’s been a while, my DOS-fu is about gone.

    Pretty sure video was in sys.ini.

  39. Tonight’s gruel is Turkey Noodle Soup.

    One four cup block of frozen turkey stock. Add another six cups of water. Yeah, I cook my stock way down, not at all like that stuff called “chicken broth” in the can that needs a bullion cube to have any flavor.

    Some black pepper, and spin the wheel for stuff like Poultry Seasoning, Parsley, Thyme, etc. Oh, and the juice from a can of Keystone canned turkey.

    It’s slowly heating. I’ll see if the carrots in the fridge are still good. If not, no big deal.
    Anyway, let it all get happy, add the bow-tie pasta, and then the turkey.

    Smells good. Shrug.

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  40. Yep. Tho I have a DX/2. “sniff” I last booted it about four years ago. The CMOS battery has died, I should replace it.

    Collectors assemble retro PCs for gaming to the level of detail that everything has to be beige, consistent with the 90s. There may be some resale value there if you don’t want the machine anymore.

  41. Did the Amazon Go grocery thing for the first time yesterday. Worked flawlessly. Amazing! Milk is a great loss leader @ $1.99/gal. In the words of Ahnold, “I’ll be back.”

    We were in the Amazon Go at Pru Plaza practically every morning when we went to Chicago in March 2019, usually before boarding the train to a museum or the convention center. The checkout system always missed one of our items, but we never got charged for something we didn’t buy.

  42. Jeez, $70 for an Anderson stripped lower… they were $40 and they want $60 for an anderson 80% lower- they were $20 on sale. Ah the good old days.

    n

    https://www.classicfirearms.com/anderson-ar-15-stripped-ghost-lower-receiver-open-anodized-black-d2-k067-ag00/

    https://www.classicfirearms.com/anderson-80-lower-receiver-am-15-unfinished-white/

    — and they’re gone… well the 80%s are gone. The stripped lowers will have a transfer fee too, usually $30. crazy.

  43. Thanksgiving canned food fails:
    Cranberry sauce (whole berries in syrup) with “best by” date of 2011 sprung a pinhole leak in the lid.
    Sardine fillets with a “best by” date of 2011 bulged out, and the contents were mushy. I’m not sure what the contents would have looked like ten years ago. No, those were not on the Thanksgiving menu, I just noticed the bulging can.
    Evaporated milk with a “best by” date of 2005 smelled sour and had clotted. Evaporated milk with a “best by”date of 2018 was OK.

  44. I guess that cranberry is pretty acidic, like tomato products. I’m glad you noticed!

    I always listen and look for the ‘tssss’ and the top inverting when I open a can, no matter the age or condition. I’ve noticed that the costco whole kernal corn doesn’t move a lot, but it does move.

    I just threw out all the cheese packets from a case of Kraft mac n cheese. Kept the pasta in a jar, but the cheese tasted ‘old’. Only a month past best by too, but stored outdoors in the heat. The kraft mac is just in the cardboard box too, no inner bag. Gotta keep the boxes inside something water resistant.

    n


  45. I tried out my new digital water hardness tester. It tells me that our water hardness (TDS) at the house is 340 ppm. A little high, not horrible.I tried out my new digital water hardness tester. It tells me that our water hardness (TDS) at the house is 340 ppm. A little high, not horrible.

    That is about the level of hardness I have. I could stand to use the water unsoftened, but I’m satisfied with paying the cost of softening it. I soften both hot & cold. It keeps dishes, fixtures, and surfaces free of scale, and feels better. My Kenmore softener was only about $350 twenty years ago. I installed it myself, having had a loop for it put in when the house was built. I’ve had to replace a special gasket (less than $20) that was central to the aspiration pump, but no other failures. We use maybe 40 lbs of salt every month or two for two people. I intend to put in an RO system for drinking water, so that my wife won’t buy so much bottled water. I figure that is also a safety measure to some degree, although we have a pretty competent water district.

  46. Speaking of under-sink water purifiers, I got one of these yesterday: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B083NR5DVY?tag=ttgnet-20 .

    Waterdrop 15UA Under Sink Water Filter System, 16K Gallons Ultra High Capacity Main Faucet Under Counter Water Filtration System, Removes 99% Lead, Fluoride, Chlorine, Bad Taste, USA Tech, 0.5 Micron

    It goes in tomorrow (Mon). Simple install: screw bracket to inside under counter wall; turn off water at valve under sink; release pressure, remove flexible line (cold) to faucet; move to filter system, install other hose, turn water back on. Flush system.

    Water here in summer/fall gets a bit ‘woodsy’ after it sits. OK out of the tap, but if you put it in a bottle and let it sit for a while, it gets an ‘off’ taste.

  47. A random thought about the ‘100-day mask plan’ (from various politicians at state and federal level).

    Lessee….start the 100-day mask plan on Jan 20th.
    100 days later is April 28th.
    Hmmm….isn’t that well past the ‘prime’ date ranges for seasonal flu?

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  48. …and a friend of mine is traveling from WA to CA by car. Will there be a problem getting through the CA agricultural inspection station on I5 near the OR border? Or traveling back home?

    “Sir, is your travel essential?”
    “Uh, no…”
    “Please turn around and go back from where you came.”

  49. And to willingly move yourself back to an 18th century society is a bunch of hooey.

    Anyone who wants to do so is welcome to do so. Don’t expect me to join them, but expect forceful resistance if they try to force the issue.

    First, they put carbon taxes on all hydrocarbons that double each year. Then they will cut the natural gas pipelines. Then they will cut the electric lines. Then they will cut the water lines and the sewer lines.

    1
  50. That $6,000 is for three devices. And a very large cabinet for freeze protection. And a year’s worth of maintenance.

    Large cabinet to me means about 6×6 feet and tall enough to stand in. Bigger than a coat closet. On a small slab? Or dirt floor? Add insulation. Lighting. An electric outlet for the softener. Another for a small space heater set on low on a baseboard t-stat (over-kill for Houston most years) or a 100 watt bulb in a clamp-on light fixture. 15 Amp breaker is plenty. Vents for Summer time.

    And it has to look pretty. Because “wife”. And the guy doing the work has bills to pay.

    The year’s worth of maintenance is worth a lot…. get out there and learn what he does.

    The cabinet is 4 ft wide by 6 ft tall by 2 ft deep. Not enough room to swing a cat.

    And I will need to get a GFCI circuit pulled from the garage.

  51. I dont trust RAID either.

    A friend uses Antelecom for her business. Their mail server died a month or so ago and it turns out that the RAID and backups are kaput.

  52. @Lynn
    Consider making the cabinet a small shed with enough room to house a generator, if you don’t already have a place.

  53. I dont trust RAID either.

    A friend uses Antelecom for her business. Their mail server died a month or so ago and it turns out that the RAID and backups are kaput.

    I wish that this was the first time that I had heard a story like this. RAID is totally cool until it blows up.

  54. @Lynn
    Consider making the cabinet a small shed with enough room to house a generator, if you don’t already have a place.

    I have an HOA. Getting the cabinet past them is going to be hard. Getting a shed past them would be difficult and it would count as my one “outbuilding”.


  55. I dont trust RAID either.

    A friend uses Antelecom for her business. Their mail server died a month or so ago and it turns out that the RAID and backups are kaput.

    I wish that this was the first time that I had heard a story like this. RAID is totally cool until it blows up.

    That is why you have backups and you restore periodically to make sure that they work….
    Unfortunately nobody worries about the latter until it is too late.

    2
  56. I dont trust RAID either.

    A friend uses Antelecom for her business. Their mail server died a month or so ago and it turns out that the RAID and backups are kaput.

    I wish that this was the first time that I had heard a story like this. RAID is totally cool until it blows up.

    That is why you have backups and you restore periodically to make sure that they work….
    Unfortunately nobody worries about the latter until it is too late.

    Yup. Complicated things like RAID are dangerous in small businesses.

    And backups are surprisingly complicated to get right over long periods of time. I’ve been involved in backing up computers for 42 years now. You would not believe what I have seen over the years. This why I now use Robocopy to create mirror images to a single device. Anything can read my backups and they can be restored by a cimple copy operation.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robocopy

    Nobody restores until the disaster happens.

  57. Went out to Taste Of Texas tonight with the wife and 8 friends. I ate a 24 ounce t-bone with a sweet potato and am proud of it. I am still reveling in all the glory of the fire cooked meat.
    https://www.tasteoftexas.com/

    Turns out there is no covid when you are sitting down at a table with friends eating good food. But when you stand up, you better have that mask on because there is covid at 5 ft.

    3
    1
  58. @Lynn
    Consider making the cabinet a small shed with enough room to house a generator, if you don’t already have a place.

    I have an HOA. Getting the cabinet past them is going to be hard. Getting a shed past them would be difficult and it would count as my one “outbuilding”.

    Unfortunate.

    You mentioned earlier that you have a shelf of backup drives. My experience is that a backup drive is only good if you have a backup computer that is essentially the same as the device that created the backup, or you have a current device that is hardware compatible and runs software that can run old code.

    My earliest efforts at programming started as handwritten notes with or without flowcharts, and in some cases included coding forms. The working programs were variously stored on paper tape or 80-column Hollerith punch cards (and for a brief period, 96-column cards). A working program on punch cards was typically only part of the card deck required to run on an IBM 360, with the balance being bookends taking care of various functions, such as account charging and IBM JCL (Job Control Language). If you were lucky, the program as written would run on an IBM 370 with changes to the bookend parts. Porting it to a DEC was another story.

    Fixing code by hand was one thing with a few hundred or a few thousand lines, but you are running much larger programs. Can you run legacy code?

  59. Lynn, hope you are aware of the following:

    Robocopy does not copy open files. Any process may open files for exclusive read access by withholding the FILE_SHARE_READ[6] flag during opening. Even Robocopy’s Backup mode will not touch those files. (Backup mode instead runs Robocopy as a “Backup Operator”. This allows Robocopy to override permissions settings, specifically, NTFS ACLs).[7][8] Normally Volume Shadow Copy Service is used for such situations, but Robocopy does not use it. Consequently, Robocopy is not suitable for backing up live operating system volumes.

    1
  60. @Lynn, @Marcelo

    I use the ‘Free File Sync’ program to sync files from my laptop to external USB drive. Similar in concept to RoboCopy, but updated. Dunno how it handles open files. Inclined to think it does, as I run it while working on other files.

    https://freefilesync.org/

  61. And backups are surprisingly complicated to get right over long periods of time. I’ve been involved in backing up computers for 42 years now. You would not believe what I have seen over the years. This why I now use Robocopy to create mirror images to a single device. Anything can read my backups and they can be restored by a cimple copy operation.

    Apple does a pretty good job with Time Machine, and some Linux flavors work well with TimeShift.

    I rely on Time Machine and a couple of external portable drives to keep my pictures and personal documents backed up. This has worked well for 14 years.

  62. I use Macrium Reflect. Used it frequently After I lost a drive. Not so much lately. 🙁
    Some people never learn. I belong to that group…

  63. I never did restore my failed raid. The controller card in the box o drives died. I looked at what was going to be involved in mounting 4 drives and an os long enough to run the recovery software (basically build a single purpose machine and learn a bunch of stuff). Then I put the drives in storage. It’s been over a year and I have not found anything that I absolutely needed other than some work stuff that isn’t relevant now.

    I haven’t run a good backup since. My raid is in the firesafe, where it doesn’t connect to the network or do me any good. It’s on my list of stuff to do, but not HIGH on the list. It’s the sort of stuff normal people do over Christmas break, or Thanksgiving, when they have some extra time.

    n

  64. Weird little comment quirk, if I start a comment when I’m logged in, but get logged out before posting it, the Post Comment button tries, but fails with a message to add my email and name, but those fields aren’t on the page, because they weren’t there as I was logged in.

    The only way to recover the comment is Back, then select and copy the text, log in, and paste, then post.

    I’m probably the only one effected so FYI only.

    n

  65. Just finished the first 4 episodes of The Mandalorian. Interesting so far. He’s a bit whiny and angst-y like all the damnable StarWars after Revenge of the Jedi.*

    The roasting muppets on a spit are a nice touch, the weighted companion cubes are a fun nod, but the shaky cam is killing me. And while the flashlights and searchlights are dramatic, they should be completely unneeded when wearing helmets and armor FFS. Also lens flare on CG scenes is the kind of meta thing that drives me nuts as a film fan.

    I’ll keep watching.

    n

    *the working title and STILL better than Return blah blah.

  66. “dont trust RAID either. ”

    A friend uses Antelecom for her business. Their mail server died a month or so ago and it turns out that the RAID and backups are kaput.

    A lot of RAID arrays get built with identical drives from the same manufacturing lot. This is a huge mistake which I’ve seen repeated over and over again for nearly 30 years, including the primary servers in the CS program where I got my Masters.

    I have one RAID made from two surplus drives from different manufacturers which hosts my Subversion repositories on my home server. The SVN repo gets periodic backup, but I haven’t had a problem in three years it has been running 24/7.

  67. Speaking of computers, I got the ‘out of disk space’ error on my NVR again. The os drive was full, but not so full the os couldn’t run. I looked in the same place and sure enough, two giant error logs in var/log/cups

    Either the NVR software is writing there by mistake, or mint has a real issue when you install without a printer…..

    I guess I could look at the logs and see if I can figure it out. Maybe sometime later….

    n

  68. You mentioned earlier that you have a shelf of backup drives. My experience is that a backup drive is only good if you have a backup computer that is essentially the same as the device that created the backup, or you have a current device that is hardware compatible and runs software that can run old code.

    That is why I backup to mirror images. The only difference is that I backup several drives to one device. The backup drives are formatted NTFS and can be read by any Windows NT from 2000 on.

    We often debug older versions of our software to understand what changed and why it changed. We are currently at version 16.06c and I can debug the calculation engine back to version 7.00. I can debug the user interface back to version 9.00 (when we converted to Win32 from Win16). Of course, the proper compilers and IDEs must be installed.

  69. My earliest efforts at programming started as handwritten notes with or without flowcharts, and in some cases included coding forms. The working programs were variously stored on paper tape or 80-column Hollerith punch cards (and for a brief period, 96-column cards). A working program on punch cards was typically only part of the card deck required to run on an IBM 360, with the balance being bookends taking care of various functions, such as account charging and IBM JCL (Job Control Language). If you were lucky, the program as written would run on an IBM 370 with changes to the bookend parts. Porting it to a DEC was another story.

    Fixing code by hand was one thing with a few hundred or a few thousand lines, but you are running much larger programs. Can you run legacy code?

    I have never seen a 96 column Holerith card.

    I hated paper tape. It always seemed to shred as the most opportune time.

    I worked at plant that had a CDC 6600 computer as a historian. We booted it with a paper tape on the console. But our computer tech could boot it setting the registers on the cpu box and entering the boot instructions manually.

  70. Lynn, hope you are aware of the following:

    Robocopy does not copy open files. Any process may open files for exclusive read access by withholding the FILE_SHARE_READ[6] flag during opening. Even Robocopy’s Backup mode will not touch those files. (Backup mode instead runs Robocopy as a “Backup Operator”. This allows Robocopy to override permissions settings, specifically, NTFS ACLs).[7][8] Normally Volume Shadow Copy Service is used for such situations, but Robocopy does not use it. Consequently, Robocopy is not suitable for backing up live operating system volumes.

    Welcome to the downsides of backing up. Files that are open for write access or exclusive read access are difficult to backup. In fact, programs open for write probably have one or more memory buffers that may or may not be flushed to the disk drive yet.

    Of course, any modern day multiple user software will back itself up to an archive file based on the schedule you create. My CRM software, ACT!, archives itself at 4pm each day to a ZIP file.

    The email clients are another problem. I and most of my people use Thunderbird which uses distributed email stores, easy to backup. Outlook uses a single database file which must be backed up by shutting it down.

    The daily backups to internal disk drives are run on 3 PCs at 10pm each night. No files are deleted on the backup drives. But files are updated on the backup drives as needed. I get a daily email from two of the backup machines, mine and our central file server. The email tells me what was backed up, the amount of free disk space, and the size of the daily backup log files.

  71. And backups are surprisingly complicated to get right over long periods of time. I’ve been involved in backing up computers for 42 years now. You would not believe what I have seen over the years. This why I now use Robocopy to create mirror images to a single device. Anything can read my backups and they can be restored by a cimple copy operation.

    BTW, I miss the old days when the weekly backup on our Prime 7750 required 10 to 20 hours and over a hundred 9 track tapes. And the daily incremental backups required 5 to 10 tapes. Not !

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