Tues. Jan. 26, 2021 – references, they’re not just something that never gets checked on your resume’

Cool and damp again.  Maybe some rain, maybe not.

Yesterday was misty in places, overcast most places, and somewhat warm for a short time.  Just a pretty gross day.   So I spent it indoors.

Solved my client’s issues with a lot of technical help from my sometimes business partner.  A piece of hardware somehow lost its “IP Table” which tells it where the other parts that it controls should be found.  The fix meant downloading a current version of the IDE, then a firmware file, uploading the firmware (32 minutes), then downloading the control software files, and finally reinstalling them.  All that messing around followed by rebooting, restarting, and testing.  Still, it got him back up.   He’s getting a bit tired of piecemeal replacement of the stuff that got damaged by lightning.  I may be doing a complete remove and replace on the system.  That won’t be cheap.  Should be good for me though.

Lest anyone think I know what I’m doing with any of the above, I have good help.  I’m just monkey punching the buttons.  I’m the remote set of hands when it comes to the software side of all that.  Kinda like here, where Rick keeps it all working, while I’m the smiling face that people see.  I’ve been very lucky in my  career to have access to really good people to backfill my gaps…

I’m sure you have gaps in your preps and skills, and I can’t emphasize enough, that you need good people to help you fill them.  Consider how you’ll repay them for the help too, either through stuff or loan of skills of your own.   There is a great feeling too, when you can help someone else with your own expertise.  It’s about building a community, or network of resources and it helps in normal times, as well as bad times.

On the other hand, your normal network might not be available.  That’s why you need a reference library.  It doesn’t have to be a ‘rebuilding society’ library, but should cover the sorts of things you don’t know well, and it should also provide backup for the stuff you DO know well- because you might not be there.

It has to be offline too.  Consider infrastructure failures.  Consider censorship.  Consider the internet balkanized.  Consider search engines distorting results.  And consider your browsing history being weaponized against you.  Can’t happen?  If I’m an oppressive government and there is a general famine, and I want to seize the “excess” or “hoarded” food, I’m going to start with everyone who bought canning jars.  I’m going to cross that with searches for “how to can vegetables” and “beginning gardening” or “stealth gardening”.   After 9-11 there were stories that various agencies went on a terrorist hunt by collecting grocery store ‘loyalty card’ purchase histories, and looking for people that bought hummus, or falafel.  It’s part of their institutional knowledge now.   Even if they don’t have the resources to do it as a dragnet, they will certainly use it to build a case, or reduce the pool of candidates.  And they’re likely going to go for recent low hanging fruit, because they’re lazy.

Now that day may never come, and you and I will both continue doing searches for what we think of as normal or ordinary things.  We’ll leverage the beast for our own betterment with youtube and google.  Just keep in mind that you really really might not want to have watched a repair video, and then ordered a gun part, after having declared all your illegal guns to be sold or lost.   Much better to have a couple of books, picked up used, to answer your questions in what might become the ultimate in ‘non-permissive environments.’

With that cheery thought, I once again suggest that you keep stacking…

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

106 thoughts on “Tues. Jan. 26, 2021 – references, they’re not just something that never gets checked on your resume’”

  1. And consider your browsing history being weaponized against you. Can’t happen? If I’m an oppressive government and there is a general famine, and I want to seize the “excess” or “hoarded” food, I’m going to start with everyone who bought canning jars. I’m going to cross that with searches for “how to can vegetables” and “beginning gardening” or “stealth gardening”.

    Just cut the high speed Internet to any house that doesn’t agree to a periodic thorough inspection for energy efficiency and/or the appropriate at-home learning environment.

  2. He’s getting a bit tired of piecemeal replacement of the stuff that got damaged by lightning. I may be doing a complete remove and replace on the system. That won’t be cheap.

    Lightning prone areas are tough environments for complicated home electronics setups. There is only so much you can do short of pulling plugs out of sockets to prevent problems.

    I had a two minute drill in Tampa to pull all of the plugs to power/phone/cable. We still lost pieces of equipment periodically, however, including an old 100% analog Western Electric dial telephone.

  3. Well we get some real winter weather around here for a change. Cool and wet though nowhere near enough. I5 close over the Grapevine. This really isn’t so much as a high accumulation of ice and snow but because a$$es in California can’t drive even a little bit safely. What? Ice is slippery?

    Well looks like I’m not alone here. I had high PSA in October and lower but still over 4 in Dec. Biopsy took 12 samples and 3 came up pos and 2 indef. Scans last Thursday and see the urologist sometime this week. I had no clue how the biopsy was preformed – sooprise! Actually not that bad. Slight discomfort for a couple of days and some blood. Scans were okay til the very end when they did the dye injection. Warm? I was on fire. Allergic reaction, break out and itching. I’ve had the contrast scans before without the reaction so no clue why this time. Treatment can be from nothing to radiation to radiation pellet to removal. Maybe I’ll get lucky. Had colon cancer in 2014 but successful surgery and no after tratment needed.
    Good luck to all the rest of ya. My advice avoid, getting old. Just shy of 70, still working and feeling fine.

  4. @dkreck: Best of luck with the treatment, if treatment is even needed.

    I remember some interview of a doctor, pointed out that prostate cancer is very slow to progress to anything dangerous. His tag line was something like “most men will die with prostate cancer, but few will die of prostate cancer.”


  5. I remember some interview of a doctor, pointed out that prostate cancer is very slow to progress to anything dangerous. His tag line was something like “most men will die with prostate cancer, but few will die of prostate cancer.”

    I’ve heard similar stuff. Essentially, if you’re over 70 you can likely skip treatment altogether.

  6. I call for prostate cancer to be recorded like covid-19: Dying with is recorded as dying of. Even a suspicion of having prostate cancer or an inconclusive test shall require Prostate Cancer being listed as the cause of death. Maybe this will pump up the numbers to the point that research grant dollars will approach the money poured into breast cancer research, diagnosis, and treatment.

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  7. And finally, 16 years at an oversea satellite TV company

    Make that 26 years – I had a momentary brainstorm over mental arithmetic.

    G.

  8. The Portland Mayor pepper spraying a constituent isn’t nearly as interesting as the “life imitates Portlandia” prospect of Sam Adams returning to City Hall as the Mayor’s assistant, the probable topic of discussion between the two politicians.

    During his tenure as the real Mayor, Adams frequently cameoed on “Portlandia” as the assistant to the on-screen Mayor character, portrayed by Kyle McLaughlin.

    https://www.oregonlive.com/news/2021/01/portland-mayor-ted-wheeler-contacts-police-after-unspecified-weekend-incident.html

  9. I have replaced my modem and router so many times due to lightning strikes that my cable/ISP company has a full page of old MAC addresses. The last time I lost a modem, I thought that I was save having it connected to a UPS. But I forgot rout the coax through it, and Murphy won out.

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  10. I always get the three year warrantee from Best Buy. Lightning strike guarantee, and no questions asked.

  11. I have replaced my modem and router so many times due to lightning strikes that my cable/ISP company has a full page of old MAC addresses. The last time I lost a modem, I thought that I was save having it connected to a UPS. But I forgot rout the coax through it, and Murphy won out.

    The *Belkin* strip outlets with coax surge protection can mitigate the lightning problem to some extent, but you may introduce a signal loss that will be a problem on marginal lines.

    Home Depot used to stock a decent selection of Belkin, but that seems to have changed in the last few years.

  12. “The *Belkin* strip outlets with coax surge protection can mitigate the lightning problem to some extent, but you may introduce a signal loss that will be a problem on marginal lines.”

    IIRC, RBT recommended such in BTPPC.

    Belkin used to offer a guarantee covering damage to equipment behind their power strip protection.

    I have a bunch of their strips around, but when we cut the cable TV cord, I pulled all of the coax protection around the house except for the line for the cable modem.


  13. Maybe this will pump up the numbers to the point that research grant dollars will approach the money poured into breast cancer research, diagnosis, and treatment.

    From a numbers perspective, Breast Cancer is the deadlier disease. It kills 30% more people every year than prostate cancer and the 10 year survivability percentage is lower than prostate cancer. That said, I’d love to see a President stand up in his State of the Union address and demand $500B to cure cancer. It’ll save more lives than a fucking replacement for the B-2.

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  14. Yes, it was interesting. 46 years in the business…

    Thanks, Geoff and Nick. Not only are there ‘vidiots’ here, but other broadcasters, such as the long lost Chuck Waggoner. Wish we knew if he is OK.

    I repeat that I post my experience not to blow my own horn, but to simply inform and open some channels to friendship. My work life started out as a hobby, and then other hobbies turned out to be career opportunities. I have said that I have spoiled hobbies and made them into work, but that is not entirely true. My interests changed, and that was what kept me vital. As soon as something became less interesting, I moved on. Some people stay in one pursuit, and that is fine for them.

    I did enjoy most of it. Growing up near Detroit meant that most of my family worked for the auto industry. Back then, it was good work, and then the unions spoiled the golden goose. I was led to believe that unions became the problem they were intended to solve back around 1900, and that is at least partially true. I didn’t want that work or that geographic area.

    The TV station was a great counter example of a closed union shop. Everyone got along very well. My theory is that television was so profitable that money was never an issue. There were no strikes that I remember, and contract negotiations were mostly formalities. Unlike guilds, the unions served no visible purpose. It was a regulated business, and hiring competent people was easy because there were many more qualified people than openings. I waited a couple years just to get summer work. I would have waited more to get on permanently.

    I was also aware of convention and trade show work, but it was even more closed than where I ended up. It would not have worked, because of the travel aspect. Nick lived on the road, and I have done just enough of that to want to avoid it, although that was later in my work life.

    Sometimes life presents opportunities, but other times those are unknown. My TV work at the church allowed me to tell high school kids about opportunities in broadcasting they might not have discovered. Of course, it is different now, but the constant is the show biz aspect. Not everything is influenced by Hollywood, and the technical side has always been pretty good.

  15. We got 12″ of snow in the last 24(ish) hours. Most snows I think my snowblower is overkill as it’s twice the size of most of my neighbors. I probably look a little silly using it to remove 2″ of snow. However, when we get this much I smile smugly as I plow right through it and my neighbors with their smaller snowblowers have to keep backing them up and ramming the snowdrifts over and over. I will now go make some Tim the Tool Man grunts.

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  16. I have kinda wanted a tablet, but I really prefer my phone. It fits in my shirt pocket, and is always with me. My wife wanted a notebook, and until I got her one, I would not consider a tablet. I tried to interest her in a tablet, but no go. To each his own. I hate notebooks. Small screens, lousy keyboards; too much sacrificed for portability, which I don’t need.

    The Kindle app on my iPhone and iPad is awesome. I read on my phone all the time waiting in an office (well until COVID). I’m now reading on an iPad mini, and, if I’m at bingo or such, a bigger iPad in landscape mode for side-by-side pages. Where is the full color, high speed, E-ink?


  17. Used to be a column called something…something Circuit Cellar. Would have useful projects. Some a printed circuit board could be ordered. I built several of the projects. Good stuff.

    Ciarcia’s Circuit Cellar. Eventually spun off into a magazine. It’s gone through changes over the years, he may not be affiliated any more. I see issues in Microcenter. Lots of Pi and Arduino stuff. https://circuitcellar.com/

  18. Most snows I think my snowblower is overkill as it’s twice the size of most of my neighbors.

    Can never have too big:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=zvR-eaKUVqU&t

    Or course, that is small enough to maneuver. If maneuverability is not needed, go with the comfort of a truck or tractor mounted blower, and sit inside in comfort.

    Me, I would prefer to live where there is no snow.


  19. Most snows I think my snowblower is overkill as it’s twice the size of most of my neighbors.

    My wife is making noises about shopping for a snowblower – even though I do most of the shoveling. We’ve had probably 5 feet of snow so far this winter, with about 2-3 feet still sitting on the ground. We’d need a hefty machine!

    But: I’m not quite convinced. That’s an expensive a machine that’s going to be used maybe a dozen times a year. If anything, I’d want to share a machine with a neighbor, but somehow everyone here has their very own.

    Oh, I should also admit: I don’t actually mind shoveling snow, as long as there’s the occasional sunny break to do it in. Although at the moment the walls on either side of the driveway are getting so tall it’s hard to throw more snow on or over them :-/

    The Kindle app on my iPhone and iPad is awesome.

    I read a lot on the Kindle. However, there’s one area where I have always been unhappy: finding previously read books. With paper books, I can walk up to our shelves with a vague idea, scan the spines, and usually find what I’m looking for. Probably there is a real art to making the spines recognizable: color, design, font, whatever.

    With the Kindle – what’s the equivalent? There’s this great pile of books in your library. I never really notice the cover illustration, and anyway, it’s black-and-white and displayed quite small. While you can categorize books, that’s a pain, and doesn’t help all that much with finding a vaguely remembered book years later.

    What do y’all do?

  20. @dkreck
    We used to drive I5 over the Grapevine a couple times a summer in the 70’s and 80’s. We faced it with dread fascination. All our cars were beaters. We were fortunate dad was a remarkable mechanic and could fix nearly anything with a tin can, baline wire, and swear words. However, we often made that trip without him.
    I remember several times waiting hours for him to come rescue us from parking lots at Holiday Inns or truck stops after the Grapevine killed the car, again.
    Regarding getting old – beats the alternative, usually. Hoping you do get lucky and fall on the no after treatment side again.

    Local politics – we got the recall petition filled with 4,999 signatures (twice what was required) and the City Clerk approved it. Then there was a lawsuit fighting it. Judge ruled yesterday the recall may be proceed.
    At our April Mayoral / bonds election we will have an opportunity to recall one of the egregious Assembly members. If we are successful, the radically left Assembly will appoint someone to complete his term.
    I’m calling it progress though we may very well wind up with a worse Assembly Member.

    We vote by mail in ballot, so opportunities for shenanigans abound.

    House – I figured out how to use the pneumatic brad nailer and got much of the baseboard installed without help. I rewired the mess under the stairs. The work was out of character from what we’ve seen in the rest of the house – an electrical line was cut, spliced, and a bare bulb light installed in the resulting mess with no junction boxes. I cleaned it all up, threw in a junction box, and added a line with electrical outlets, properly installed, so I’d have electric in an alcove in the laundry room. Looks pretty good, no smoke, everything worked when done. Phew.

    Got curtain rods up, some six sliding closet doors rehung (need to pull and trim four of them) got 6′ shutters back in place over the sliding glass door. Avoiding grouting the bath surround. Building up my determination. Plus I can’t reach the ceiling. Need to get the bath fan installed. For that I need a body and warmer temps – I’ve had one or the other not both. I need to have functional hands without gloves, as I’ll be fiddling in the dark with little bits that require dexterity, my hands rapidly lose dexterity ungloved when its below freezing. If I put a foot wrong and come through the ceiling it would be prudent to have a helper available.

    And about a dozen doors to trim down, from a teeny bit to 1/4″ or more.

  21. I bought a snow thrower while living in Syracuse, UT (SW of Ogden). Only used it a couple of times a year. But was fun to use. I’d spend about 2 hours doing my wide (70′) driveway, and sidewalks, and neighbor’s driveways.

    Was a big Toro – wide and big engine. Worked really well. Except for the jams of the throwaway newspapers. Those were a struggle to clear.

    If you get a lot (or even modest amounts) of snow on a regular basis, it’s worth it. IMHO.

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  22. Snow – I got the Kobalt battery powered snow blower and snow shovel. They’re lightweight and easy to use. Not suitable for heavy snow but a big aid at my strength level as an alternative to manual shoveling. We never did well with gas powered throwers (possibly because we bought lousy second hand ones at pawn shops).
    A benefit of the Kobalt’s is their battery dies about the same time as I’m ready for a breather.

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  23. Had our first serious snowfall last night. Previous coupla deposits were 3″ or less. Blowing and drifting has over a foot in the parking lot. Yay global warming! Here they have the residents clear their cars out of the lot and the contractor truck scrapes the whole thing for about an hour. Always a circus.

    A friend’s customer service issue led me to speak with JMBullion’s sales department today. They are hiring and expanding like a weed. Besides gubs and ammo being mostly unobtanium, I note than Auguson Farms bigger packages are “Out of Stock”. Those that can are stacking, too.

  24. The Kindle software on Android or Windows is fine for actually reading a novel. Like @Brad I find poking around a thousand for so titles a frustrating exercise. Guess I really want a file manager like Explorer. Then there are the times where a book is mentioned here or elsewhere and when I visit it’s Amazon page I find I’ve already purchased it and it is buried in my volume-less “Strategic Book Reserve”. First world problems.


  25. the pneumatic brad nailer

    What does the brad in Switzerland think of this implement? I can’t imagine he’d approve.

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  26. I remember some interview of a doctor, pointed out that prostate cancer is very slow to progress to anything dangerous. His tag line was something like “most men will die with prostate cancer, but few will die of prostate cancer.”

    My mother’s father died at prostate cancer at age 64. He was stage 4 at 59 and he was in such bad shape (could not pee) that they elected to remove his prostate anyway at St. Lukes Hospital here in Houston. Four hours later, the surgeon came out and said that they had removed several of the tumors, each of his internal organs had at least one tumor attached to it. He stayed in the hospital a full month recovering. That was in 1976, back in the dark ages.

    He was a chain smoker (3 packs a day unless his cough got real bad) and 3 pots of coffee a day. He would get up at 530 am, shower, and make a pot of coffee. He would drink that pot of coffee and perk another pot to share with my grandmother. Then he would perk another pot of coffee at his printing company. That combination of cigarettes and coffee is apparently a trigger for prostate cancer.

    He was 6’1″, the same as me but he only weighed 200 lbs. At his death he weighed 80 lbs. It was a grim five years from the surgery to his death.

    Three of my friends in their 50s and 60s have had their prostates removed in the last three years. Their thoughts were to get rid of the problem when their PSAs suddenly jumped into the high single or double digits. The radiation and proton therapy does not seem to last beyond 20 years.

  27. “SpaceX’s Starlink Raises Download Speed Goal From 1Gbps to 10Gbps”
    https://www.pcmag.com/news/spacexs-starlink-raises-download-speed-goal-from-1gbps-to-10gbps

    “Last week, SpaceX gave an update to the FCC on the current status of Starlink, which is already supplying broadband to residents in rural areas in the US, Canada, and the UK. The company’s presentation points out the system can currently deliver 100Mbps download speeds to users. But the long-term goal is to upgrade speeds to 10Gbps.”

    At $100/month, that will kill many fiber installs.

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  28. “Backblaze Hard Drive Stats for 2020”
    https://www.backblaze.com/blog/backblaze-hard-drive-stats-for-2020/

    “In 2020, Backblaze added 39,792 hard drives and as of December 31, 2020 we had 165,530 drives under management. Of that number, there were 3,000 boot drives and 162,530 data drives. We will discuss the boot drives later in this report, but first we’ll focus on the hard drive failure rates for the data drive models in operation in our data centers as of the end of December. In addition, we’ll welcome back Western Digital to the farm and get a look at our nascent 16TB and 18TB drives. Along the way, we’ll share observations and insights on the data presented and as always, we look forward to you doing the same in the comments.”

    At 2 drives failing out of the 60 Seagate 18 TB drives, I am not sure that is an anomaly, but it does look bad.

  29. Sarah nails it today. And no, I don’t think it’s breathless hype. Mainly because I’m watching the capitol story play out right in front of me. Anyone remember front page photos of BLM or Antifaa ‘peaceful protestors’ the day after rioting with pleas from the FBI to rat them out?

    n

    https://accordingtohoyt.com/2021/01/26/when-they-come-for-you/

    and the John Wilder has this collection for motive–

    https://wilderwealthywise.com/in-their-own-words/

    n

  30. ““I swear officer, I have no idea why the room caught on fire.”””

    –nuke it from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure. F me.

    n

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  31. At $100/month, that will kill many fiber installs.

    The big question mark for high performance applications would be latency. If they can get the ping time down, it is viable. Also, weather effects could be a problem, like they are for DirectTV and the like. You don’t want internet to be blacked out by frequent snow or rain.

    Also, there are lab tests that show that fiber could be boosted to terabyte speeds.

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  32. Re: LawShield…

    You need a lawyer who is very familiar with the issues.

    And I presume say nothing until said lawyer arrives (except “I want my attorney”.)

  33. And I presume say nothing until said lawyer arrives (except “I want my attorney”.) ”

    –it’s a bit more nuanced than that, but that is the gist. The main exception is to point out witnesses, and preserve any evidence (like the location of anything the perp dropped).

    n


  34. The Kindle software on Android or Windows is fine for actually reading a novel. Like @Brad I find poking around a thousand for so titles a frustrating exercise. Guess I really want a file manager like Explorer. Then there are the times where a book is mentioned here or elsewhere and when I visit it’s Amazon page I find I’ve already purchased it and it is buried in my volume-less “Strategic Book Reserve”. First world problems.

    We use Calibre to manage all our eBook files we download from a number of sources including our Kindles. It’s handy


  35. With the Kindle – what’s the equivalent? There’s this great pile of books in your library. I never really notice the cover illustration, and anyway, it’s black-and-white and displayed quite small. While you can categorize books, that’s a pain, and doesn’t help all that much with finding a vaguely remembered book years later.

    What do y’all do?

    With the Kindle app, you can create a category “Read” and tag all read books. The app is full color on PC/tablet/phone and is easy to scroll through to jog your noggin.

    The app already slaps a “Read” banner on finished books.

    But, that’s in the app, B/W tiny Kindle images aren’t much of a memory jogger.


  36. What do y’all do?

    I bought the Kindle device a number of years and began buying ebooks from Amazon as RBT suggested. Then I switched to an 8″ Samsung tablet and download Kindle ebooks to it. Several years ago I joined my city’s public library and now I borrow ebooks there. I can search titles, types and authors, currently reading a John Grisham.

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  37. “Last week, SpaceX gave an update to the FCC on the current status of Starlink, which is already supplying broadband to residents in rural areas in the US, Canada, and the UK. The company’s presentation points out the system can currently deliver 100Mbps download speeds to users. But the long-term goal is to upgrade speeds to 10Gbps.”

    At $100/month, that will kill many fiber installs.few year.

    Tony is handwaving again. The TSLA year-end report is due tomorrow. His PR people follow a set pattern. Yesterday’s Stark Industries press release was news the next Starship launch date was confirmed.

    The analysts expect the numbers to beat, however. Maybe they’re worried about the Waymo CEO doing some handwaving of his own at Tony’s expense this week.

  38. Tony is handwaving again. The TSLA year-end report is due tomorrow. His PR people follow a set pattern. Yesterday’s Stark Industries press release was news the next Starship launch date was confirmed.

    Beijing Biden just said that he is going to order the feddies to replace all 645,000 cars and trucks with electric vehicles.
    https://techcrunch.com/2021/01/25/president-joe-biden-commits-to-replacing-entire-federal-fleet-with-electric-vehicles/

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  39. At $100/month, that will kill many fiber installs.

    The big question mark for high performance applications would be latency. If they can get the ping time down, it is viable. Also, weather effects could be a problem, like they are for DirectTV and the like. You don’t want internet to be blacked out by frequent snow or rain.

    Starlink is LEO and even below, 300 miles out. DirecTV is at GEO, 22,000 miles out. Big difference there.

    And fiber is expensive for businesses, $1,000/month and up.

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  40. And I presume say nothing until said lawyer arrives (except “I want my attorney”.) ”

    –it’s a bit more nuanced than that, but that is the gist. The main exception is to point out witnesses, and preserve any evidence (like the location of anything the perp dropped).

    The Houston Detective who talked to us said don’t say anything to 911 and to the officer that arrives. Other than, I need an ambulance.


  41. The company’s presentation points out the system can currently deliver 100Mbps download speeds to users. But the long-term goal is to upgrade speeds to 10Gbps.”

    At $100/month, that will kill many fiber installs.

    We still have a land line, partly because of preparedness reasons, but also partly because it is the only way to get the best speed and service from Frontier DSL. We have the top offered in our area, which is a whopping 3.5Mbps … for $99 a month by the time taxes are all added in.

    So yep, we’d find $100 for Starlink speeds a genuine bargain, if the service is reliable even with rain or clouds.

  42. Biden just said that he is going to order the feddies to replace all 645,000 cars and trucks with electric vehicles.

    Ford and GM stock prices have been up since last week because of various EOs and Biden promises.

    Ford can fall back on the big trucks when the all-electric future melts down, but GM has no backup plan. The HR VP CEO has even doubled down on electric, taking on development/production of Honda’s EV product line as well.

    I imagine they were having a pretty good laugh in Minato the night after that deal was announced.

    “Thank you, Americans, we’ll keep making dirty, nasty Civics.”


  43. Beijing Biden just said that he is going to order the feddies to replace all 645,000 cars and trucks with electric vehicles.

    Starting with his limo?

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  44. Can’t wait for the DOD to start deploying those electric tanks (with fully diverse transgendered crew)

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  45. Starting with his limo?

    Lets start with his classic ‘vette.

    I’m not kidding. Google. Scranton Joe Sr. ran a big Chevy dealership in the late 60s … but he didn’t have a lot of money.

    I’ve also noted here before about Biden bragging about his wife’s Mossberg and the sound of chambering a round “that gets peoples attention”. Do you think that’s the only military-grade weapon Plugs owns?

    If he has the Corvette, he has a brag piece firearm as well.


  46. Starlink is LEO and even below, 300 miles out.

    Maybe they should have called it Starklink. 🙂

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  47. “Goodbye and good riddance to the 16:9 aspect ratio”
    https://www.theverge.com/2021/1/19/22238671/16-9-aspect-ratio-hp-elite-folio-dell-latitude-lenovo-thinkbook-plus-legion-7

    “For lovers of tall screens, it’s a great time to be alive”

    So we are going to move to 16:10 or 3:2 now ? Why not just go back to 4:3 ?

    BTW, my two office monitors are a 2008 ? Samsung Syncmaster 275T running 1920 x 1200 (16:10) and a Samsung Syncmaster 943 running 1024 x 768 (4:3). So I am leading a trend and did not even know it !

  48. BTW, my two office monitors are a 2008 ? Samsung Syncmaster 275T running 1920 x 1200 (16:10) and a Samsung Syncmaster 943 running 1024 x 768 (4:3). So I am leading a trend and did not even know it

    I’d prefer 4:3 came back, but 3:2 would suffice. The trend of turning the 16:10 and 16:9 monitors on their sides for coding is ridiculous.

    My desktop monitor is a 4:3 Viewsonic 19″, purchased nearly a decade ago.

    Hopefully 16:9 laptops go away with the monitors. Those are just executive pr0n players.

    The last job gave us HP 16:9 laptops with incredibly hi-res screens, to the point that Linux couldn’t drive the displays effectively even as VirtualBox guests. I did most of my coding in a Putty window open to the Linux guest via SSH, resized to a roughly 4:3 ratio.

    The new job gave me a 16:10 16″ MacBook Pro which is a professional level tool. My only gripe is the touch bar stupidity. My understanding is that standard function keys will return with the Apple Silicon 16″ Pro, but Apple probably won’t release another Intel laptop … or will they … ?

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  49. So we are going to move to 16:10 or 3:2 now ? Why not just go back to 4:3 ?

    BTW, my two office monitors are a 2008 ? Samsung Syncmaster 275T running 1920 x 1200 (16:10) and a Samsung Syncmaster 943 running 1024 x 768 (4:3). So I am leading a trend and did not even know it !

    My 640×350 16-color EGA more than meets my needs. I don’t know why those damn kids need their WUXGA and millions of colors. 16 colors ought to be enough for anyone.

    2
  50. I like wide screens. I’ve got 4 on my desk atm. 24-23-23 with one above the center on a mounted arm. the 24 is a little win10 box, size of an 8track tape. Center and right are my main pc, win8.2,. and above center is my mint install running iSpy, so my dedicated machine for security DVR and cams.

    In the old days, I’d have a lappy in the middle too, and be running synchronicity so I could use one mouse across all the pcs and monitors.

    n


  51. Beijing Biden just said that he is going to order the feddies to replace all 645,000 cars and trucks with electric vehicles.

    The extra special needs LA mayor bought 300 BMW electric cars for LAPD. Sit in garage 24/7 as they can only go 85 miles per charge.

  52. WRT to internet communicating with Starlink, what do I need to upload via them?

    Yes, I do have a handheld that can send a 120 character SMS via Iridium, but not a 10 minute *.mp4 file.

  53. WRT to internet communicating with Starlink, what do I need to upload via them?

    Yes, I do have a handheld that can send a 120 character SMS via Iridium, but not a 10 minute *.mp4 file.

    IIRC, Starlink is a fixed-location base station.

  54. Well, made my one pickup from the auction that didn’t get great prices. I still managed to get a check for ~$640, mainly due to a big lego set, and 4 concert t’s from 1982.

    I loaded the truck with about 8 flip tops of auction and ebay stuff. I’ll drop off the auction stuff and move the ebay to storage or my secondary. Cookies are coming in in the morning, whether I’ve got space cleared or not.

    n

  55. WRT to internet communicating with Starlink, what do I need to upload via them?

    Yes, I do have a handheld that can send a 120 character SMS via Iridium, but not a 10 minute *.mp4 file.

    Starlink comes with a $499 antenna that automagically orients itself to the best position to talk to the satellites every time you turn it on. And it is a line of sight connection so your antenna must be outside. Some sort of phased array device ???
    https://hackaday.com/2020/11/25/literally-tearing-apart-a-spacex-starlink-antenna/

    The satellites are going over your head every 5 ? 10 ? 60 ? seconds and handing off your conversation to the next satellite. Very much magic (see Arthur C. Clarke quote).
    https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/arthur_c_clarke_101182

    Of course, you being a rocket scientist, are just messing with us !


  56. My dad subscribed to Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, and Mechanix Illustrated for decades.

    Same here, I remember poring through them cover to cover every month. I believe the first two still exist but nowhere near what they started out as. Mostly style and less style -a website in print.


  57. Beijing Biden just said that he is going to order the feddies to replace all 645,000 cars and trucks with electric vehicles.

    Starting with his limo?

    Every rule has to have an exception…


  58. The Houston Detective who talked to us said don’t say anything to 911 and to the officer that arrives. Other than, I need an ambulance.

    Pretty much good advice for any encounter with a LEO that in any way could result in you in the back seat of a patrol car wearing some shiny new wrist jewelry. Just ask Martha regarding her encounter with the ‘Friendly Bureau of Investigation’ and how that worked out for her.


  59. “The Senate has already ruled that members of the House and Senate cannot be impeached since their own bodies have rules for throwing members out.”

    I must have missed that in the Constitution.

    The Constitution gives Congress the authority to impeach and remove “The President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States” upon a determination that such officers have engaged in treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. The Constitution does not articulate who qualifies as a “civil officer of the United States”.
    The Senate has concluded that members of Congress (Representatives and Senators) are not “civil officers” for purposes of impeachment. IIRC that’s not quite how we amend the Constitution. And I’m sure, as much as they’re ‘pals’, I don’t see HerRH Nancy letting HisRH Chuck decide House rules on her behalf.


  60. Prostate cancer is usually pretty slow. You have time to research before deciding how you want to proceed. Don’t rush.

    “usually” is the important word here…while usually true, there are some aggressive forms that may require an accelerated timeline. Always check this with your medical professional. (IANAD)


  61. all homes should have a Safe Room

    Teddy bears and crayons and no hurty words and no no no pictures of Bad Orange Man.

    1

  62. So we are going to move to 16:10 or 3:2 now ? Why not just go back to 4:3 ?

    16:9 is HD TV and UHD TV standard aspect ratio. Whatever monitor you have should be able to display an HD signal (1920×1080) or UHD (3840 × 2160). My TV will do UHD (a.k.a. 4K) and the picture on UHD shows is phenomenal. It’s equivalent to the best cinema picture.

    I have a friend that does programming and he uses a multimonitor system with two vertical displays and two horizontal. The vertical are for coding and documentation display, the horizontal are for looking at web pages that he develops, since that is what consumers have. He also has a laptop and two servers with dual displays at his workstation.

    I have two displays at my workstation. One is for gaming, the other for web pages (documentation for games, etc.) or running TV or music streaming. I’m teaching myself Python programming, and when I do that I have one monitor with the code, another with the documentation pages on it. When I upgrade my computer (this year or next), I may get a high res vertical monitor and a curved screen horizontal.

  63. Are you thinking of rolling your own battery system or using the Tesla Powerwall ?

    Lynn, I forgot to answer this. Short answer: I don’t know yet. Somewhat longer answer…

    I looked at the Powerwall site and some others some months ago. Right now, the price is pretty steep. Lithium battery chemistry is advancing, and price/performance is improving. All comes to him who waits. One thing I don’t like is that (I think) Powerwall boxes are required to be mounted on the outside of the building. I would want it inside. OTOH, leaked lithium is very toxic.

    I have three friends who live off grid. Two bought new batteries in the last couple of years. One seriously considered lithium, but not Powerwall. Both stayed with lead acid. They said they were used to them and already had the electronics, making it a drop-in replacement and much cheaper. The one who looked at lithium also said that starting from scratch would be pretty close financially.

    I have also read about using various cheap lead acid and lithium batteries. Some of these are used, and some just cut rate Chinese products. All have their place. I would be more comfortable with lead acid surplus batteries, but some lithium batteries look pretty attractive. This is one decision that should be made close to purchase. It is also an expensive decision.

    Sorry, I can’t say more.

  64. I got my 60 tons of limestone (white) gravel delivered to the office today. It is a lot of gravel ! Three years ago, I bought 96 tons, so this is less than that. BTW, a ton of gravel is a cubic yard.

    The warehouse tenants say that they want to spread it around. As soon as they get their tractors fixed (one needs a new alternator, no clue what is broke on the other one). I suspect that I will be calling the Bobcat guy in a couple of weeks to spread it around as some of the potholes are fairly deep (six inches of water).

  65. When I upgrade my computer (this year or next), I may get a high res vertical monitor and a curved screen horizontal.

    I looked at those curved screens, and found them really hard to like. I suppose it is just a matter of getting used to them. It took me a couple of months to get used to a flat screen that replaced my hi res low curvature CRT.

    One thing I hate is reflections. My office where my desktop is has lighting originally designed for a CRT with an anti-reflection (AR) screen. My LCD has an anti-glare (AG) screen, which is much less sensitive to reflections. It looks like it is painted flat black when it is turned off. I love it. Of course, an AR screen looks sharper when viewed up close. It also has higher contrast. All touch screens are AR.

    I hate the trend to put shiny screens on TVs. At normal viewing distances, both AR and AG screens look equally sharp to people with normal vision, but the AG screens suppress reflections much better. TVs with shiny screens look nicer up close, and probably sell better. They only work well in a dark room.

  66. That was a pretty good video. Really captured some of the issues. Any one of the factors was probably overcome-able, but not 2 or 3 at a time.

    The voice is annoying, but I think it’s computer generated. There is another youtube channel that uses an artificial voice and it sounds a lot like ‘hers’.

    n

  67. @Alan
    I’ve long advocated for two amendments to the constitution:

    1) All laws, rules, and regulations shall apply equally to all branches of government and all government employees.

    This would need some weasel wording to narrowly exempt the military in certain cases. Note, however, that as written it applies to state and local governments.

    2) An individual right to privacy.

    Haven’t seen hide nor hare of it since that penumbra appeared, and it’s past time it shows itself.


  68. Aerial photos show aftermath of ‘surreal’ Alabama tornado that killed a 14-year-old boy and left at least 30 injured after it demolished dozens of homes with terrified families trapped in basements

    Grew up in Tornado alley, saw several almost every year. Our house was destroyed, with us in it, when I was 9, ruined my homework. That’s what I was worrying about the next morning as my dad dropped me at school in a borrowed car. Teacher didn’t believe we had a Tornado because the news was covering one that hit a subdivision and our tornado just took down our house, barn, and a neighbors silo plus killing our horse and a few cows.

    I’ve looked at the steel safe rooms sold a Lowes and Home Depot. They are terribly cramped. I’m happy with our 10 x 12 bunker under the garage annex.

    1
  69. @Jenny

    “And about a dozen doors to trim down, from a teeny bit to 1/4″ or more. ”

    You didn’t mention your intended method, but with that many I would highly recommend a corded electric hand planer. Much faster than affixing a guide and using a circular saw and less splintering. Check for rentals.

    Do you have a snow rake for clearing snow from the roofs?


  70. And fiber is expensive for businesses, $1,000/month and up.

    It’s expensive to put in the ground or even to hang from poles.

    10G via satellite would be amazing. How do they have the bandwidth to do that? Beats me. But then Musk is having spaceships bellyflop to (almost) perfect landings. Next try is tomorrow.

    My last project involved ethernet switches with 100G capable ports. About $25k for a Cisco switch with 12 40G ports and 4 100G ports. Fiber transceivers extra.

    400G is a thing, but maybe not a standard yet. And you can pack a lot of wavelenghts on a single fiber.

  71. Took the wife out for her first Pfizer jab this afternoon. We visited the SE Again center where a handful of National Guardsmen were supervising distribution of the vaccine. It was done with military efficiency. No waiting, no queues, from entrance to injection in less than 5 minutes. Then a 30 minute wait to see if anything unusual happens. Easy Peasy lemon squeeze. I am greatly relieved as she has many co-morbidities and a badly compromised immune system.

    1
  72. @JimB
    Lead acid batteries also have a much larger installed base than lithium, and would be easier to scrounge or trade for.

    In the late 70’s I visited a farmer who was not connected to the grid. He was in his 80’s and had declined to be hooked up by the REC. He had a room full of glass-cased lead acid batteries that were recycled from the Bell Central Office that he charged with refurbished Winchargers. His 12-volt home and shop used direct current, including his shop equipment with motors replaced with antique car generators. Shop was heated by solar panels made from recycled offset printing plates.

    He had an old Chevy that he was tinkering with. Ran on methane from a chicken manure compost pile, but no storage, just proof of concept.


  73. Article II, Section 4:

    The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

    So the question is, can Congress use the impeachment process on a private citizen? If so, any citizen? Its clear on so many levels that the senate trial is a partisan show trial reminiscent of the late great Soviet Union.

    2
  74. Re B-2 replacement: Isn’t it about B-52 upgrades. The B-52 needs a aircraft with a completely different performance envelope to complicate the defender’s battle. Without the B-52 neither will live long.

    Re book tracking: I use Excel for the data base to track all of the books I have read and those waiting to be read. I hated buying a book to discover 1) I already own it or 2) I read it and didn’t keep it to re-read. Nearing 4000 books since 1985. Many of the books I acquired before that are not listed but I’m working that. I could use SQL in some form but Excel has more than enough tools for my needs.

    I prefer a 4:3 monitor but I found a used 16:10 Asus 25 inch one for $125 several years ago. I bought several more. I use two on my desk and have 4 spares.

    My biopsy is scheduled tree weeks out.

    Re you usually don’t die of prostate cancer but die with it. My best friend has had it for several years. He is now in the hospital with heart problems and diabetes. (I couldn’t hear him well enough to repeat his exact problems.) Surgery tomorrow. He has no close family to take car of him so I may head to Florida soon.

    Signed a contract to have an 36×80 dirt pad with a 36×54 slab made. $24,000. Will add the addition concrete for a 36×78 slab later. The increase building cost made this a two phase project. I will refinance the house with shop and and pull out enough cash to complete the shop in a few months. The additional bay was not going to be heated and cooled as I planned to use it just to park my car trailer, utility trailer and F-250 out of the weather.

    1

  75. I like wide screens.

    I like using a 55″ 4K TV for my laptop’s second display. It is a cheapo laptop that has only one HDMI port, so using several smaller screens won’t work. The big screen provides enough space for two to four “normal” displays, and also makes it easy to deal with some legacy code that has lines of 300+ characters. It is also excellent for videos. It does take up some space, but I have plenty in my office area.


  76. Are you thinking of rolling your own battery system or using the Tesla Powerwall ?
    Lynn, I forgot to answer this. Short answer: I don’t know yet. Somewhat longer answer…
    I looked at the Powerwall site and some others some months ago.

    If you mostly need the batteries for power blackouts, buying a Leaf that can send power to your house is an interesting option. It basically gives you a large portable battery that can also be used for short trips around town. The main caveat I see is that the current Leafs use CHAdeMO for this, which apparently is being supplanted by Combined Charging System (CCS). The key question is whether or not you can get a good deal on a slightly used Leaf, and whether you can find a reasonably priced power box to convert the battery power to standard AC. Some people are doing it by installing an inverter on the Leaf’s 12 volt battery. This isn’t as efficient and doesn’t provide as much power as a direct connection. It does let you run some appliances even if your electric car doesn’t have bidirectional power capacity.

  77. This isn’t as efficient and doesn’t provide as much power as a direct connection. It does let you run some appliances even if your electric car doesn’t have bidirectional power capacity.

    I want to run my 3 ton and 4 ton a/c units and my double wall oven. Probably 60 or 70 amps at 230 volts. About 20 kW. So I need more power than a Leaf. Plus the Leaf battery has a rep of rapid decay in the first couple of years.

    We are thinking about building a small house (800+ ft2) behind ours for the daughter. That will be another 3 ton a/c unit. The water heating and space heating will be via natural gas.

  78. Re B-2 replacement: Isn’t it about B-52 upgrades. The B-52 needs a aircraft with a completely different performance envelope to complicate the defender’s battle. Without the B-52 neither will live long.

    I was really disappointed when they did not replace the eight B-52 engines with four 737 GE turbofans back in the 1990s. The cost was about $8 million per B-52 IIRC. 40% less fuel required for the same amount of thrust and much more dependable. They could not justify the cost since each B-52 was only flying a 100 or 200 hours per year. Now they are flying 500 to 1,000 hours per year ???

  79. One very important thing to keep in mind when considering lead vs lithium chemistries….. when lithium fails, it is VERY ENERGETIC. As in VERY VERY. Google burning tesla for examples. Sometimes DAYS later…

    You don’t want a big lithium battery in your house. Even smallish ones in ‘hoverboards’ have burned down houses.

    n

  80. @bob, can you have them bury the pipe for hydronic in slab heat when they pour the slab? Even if you never get to it, it shouldn’t cost much, and having the extra slab warmer than ambient will help a number of things.

    Sometimes systems like that are sold as ‘snow melting’ systems for driveways.

    n

  81. I know Bob posted earlier about his layout, but I don’t remember if it included office/heated space. Hydronic would certainly make sense in that area, as would putting down 2″ of extruded polystyrene to decouple the slab from the ground for heating purposes.


  82. You didn’t mention your intended method, but with that many I would highly recommend a corded electric hand planer. Much faster than affixing a guide and using a circular saw and less splintering. Check for rentals

    If you do use a circular saw, then one trick is to first make the cut with a razor blade or other sharp knife. Then cut just outside of that cut using the circular saw. The knife cut will help to prevent the splintering.

  83. After fitting a couple of doors with a circular saw and hand planes, I bought a cheap corded power planer. It was worth it. Taking the time to screw the door to triangles to hold it upright was worth it too. There are good vids online about fitting doors.

    n

  84. @dkreck.. Well looks like I’m not alone here.
    Sounds like me 6 years ago.. Spike in PSA (4.3). Family history of prostate cancer. So had a biopsy, came back positive, so went for the radiated pellet procedure. (Brachytherapy). My PSA is now around 0.01. My elder brother’s cancer was more advanced so he had his prostate removed.
    As with most things early detection is a key factor.
    I am allergic to the contrast dye as well, not fun at all.. 🙂
    Happy to discuss privately if needed.. Nick will have my email.
    Best wishes to you, Bob Sprowl and others…

    1
  85. Re: curved monitors.. I grabbed a cheap Chinese 34 inch just before Christmas, replacing an old Dell 24 inch. It is a big improvement. I had to do some work on a friend’s spreadsheet last week and the extra width was appreciated..

  86. RE Polystrene under the slab: It is a shop with a vehicle lift, mill and large lathe not out of reach. I’m not comfortable with that kind of weight on foam. Two inch p0lystrene is about $1 per square foot plus installation. The shop is 54×36 or 1944 square feet. The 20% increase in building material cost is crushing my budget.

    RE Hydronic heating: The historical average low temperature here in Montgomery AL is in the mid-thirties for December and January.

    I planning heat and AC for the whole building but only to make it useable in a jacket and watch cap in the winter and to lower the humidity in the summer. I’m doing R-30 for the roof and R10 for the walls. I’ll increase the wall rating as I finish them. There is an office – clean room of about 24×18 on the northwest which will have more insulation.

  87. Heated floors, heat the whole space, just sayin’ 🙂

    I like the idea of AC, it should keep the rust down, and it’s always more fun to play with the toys when sweat isn’t dripping into your eyes.

    n

  88. The Worst Excavator Recovery Of My Career

    Mud, yeccch! I wonder how the operator got into this mess.

    I grew up where there was some clay soil, and it was bad enough. I have also seen some of the worst. Not for me. Where I now live is mostly decomposed granite, with just enough fines to compact to the consistency of weak concrete. A compacted dirt road doesn’t make mud when it rains. Ideal. We have fully loaded semis visit with no traction or sinkage problems.

  89. You don’t want a big lithium battery in your house.

    Well aware of that. Supposedly the Powerwall is reasonably safe, but now that you mention it, I would feel a lot safer with it in an outbuilding. Lithium has many advantages over lead acid, but lead acid is well proven.

    As for the design, I would avoid a mobile source. They are either expensive or short lived. My system will probably be PV panels with a small battery and a controller that allows grid tied and grid isolated operation. These exist, and can be reasonably economical if done right.

    Somewhere there is a video of a guy who converted one of the popular grid tied systems to what I just described. Cost him a bundle, and there were compromises in its operation. I will take my time and hopefully choose wisely.

  90. I’m with Bob Sprowl on slab insulation and heating: unnecessary. I also wouldn’t put a slab on any kind of foam, because our soil is so hard and supportive. My slab and integral footings weigh about 290 k lbs. I have put a thermometer under some insulation in the middle, and it stays fairly constant year ’round. Our climate is a little below freezing overnight and about 50F daytime highs. I don’t have heat yet. Insulation is about R20 walls and R30 ceiling, with good infiltration sealing. The temperature is usually about 55-60F in winter. The south wall is 15×60′, and is an unglazed solar collector. I plan to connect it to the air handler to transfer heat to the interior. There will be no storage other than building mass. For summer, I am blessed with a desert climate. Evaporative cooling keeps the inside below 75F except for occasional extremes that last two or three days.

    I will build an interior office and clean room. If necessary, I could add a small ductless mini split to heat and cool it for luxurious comfort. I will see if that is necessary.

  91. A friend has something that looks like a power plane, but it uses an abrasive cylinder. He likes it better than the plane. It doesn’t need sharpening, just occasional abrasive replacement. It also is unaffected by embedded debris, nails, and screws.

  92. Stayed at Assembly Meeting until they wrapped up at midnight. Another train wreck.

    Thank you all for feedback on trimming doors. I have available circular saws, jigsaws, around orbital sanders, square palm sanders, a table saw. I have no objection to buying another tool.

    Late so briefly – do the various door suggestions still hold if I’m trimming from the bottom of the door?

    We installed solid oak floors / LVP raising the height of the floor.

    Doors are well built and heavy duty. Not solid wood however much thicker materials than your typical modern day Home Depot interior door.

  93. Bottom of the door, just to restore clearance, I would use a circular saw, and then knock the edges down with a swipe or two from a block plane, or a sanding block. Cut from the side and direction that puts the bulk of the saw’s foot plate on the door. Blue tape over your cut line will help with splintering, but the best is a sharp blade with enough teeth, and a straight cut.

    n


  94. One very important thing to keep in mind when considering lead vs lithium chemistries….. when lithium fails, it is VERY ENERGETIC. As in VERY VERY. Google burning tesla for examples. Sometimes DAYS later…

    There are ways to mitigate that with proper charge/discharge controller design and venting. The controller isn’t cheap, as you need the ability to monitor cell charge and discharge curves. I don’t remember all the other tricks off the top of my head, but one was to design the cell to rupture and vent when it overpressures and overheats. (About 15 years ago, I rewrote NASA/JSC’s battery safety document for spacecraft from a disjointed mess the civil service staff had written.)

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