Saturday, November 30, 2013
Friday, November 29, 2013
It’s November 29th, 4 years ago at 5:30pm she died of pancreatic cancer and honestly, I think I miss her more as time goes by. I can’t put it sufficiently into words, her number is there on my phone, I continue to this very day to think about calling her only a few seconds later remembering I can’t. You are missed…
Anita Andersen Dec 7th, 1940 – Nov 29th, 2009
Here she is with my brother, this is the best picture we have of her.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
I’ve been an iTunes user since it came out, never liked it (does anybody?) but it has served its purpose on my media server for years. Typically I only use iTunes for syncing the 3 Apple devices I have left which are a Gen 1 Apple TV, by far the best one they have made so of course they changed it to cloud based (or local media, just not on the device). As long as that Gen 1 Apple TV works I’ll use it. The other devices are an equally old iPod Video Gen 1, holds 80 gigs and sits in the console in my car only to come out when I need to sync something new. The last device is my wife’s 3 year old iPod video that I don’t even know the location of so hasn’t been sync’d in well, a few years I think.
Anyway, the reason for my rant, Apple had yet another bloated update for iTunes recently and like an idiot I ran the update, if it ain’t broke, fix it until it is right? It took iTunes from a pain in the rear to a pain in the rear that sucks up 90% CPU on a 2.4 GHz Dual Core CPU system with 12gigs of memory, not one core, both are saturated, how can an application doing NOTHING use up that much CPU, clearly it’s doing something but wtf? Granted, I built that machine back in 2007 but using that much CPU is insane and really, not needed. So, what is it doing that it needs to use that much? Answer, I don’t care!
I’m working form home today and I decide to not listen to Pandora repeat songs so I opened iTunes and started playing (after all the crap iTunes does when you open it) Evanescence (Deluxe Version) and immediately it sounds like a CD from the 1980s in a 1st generation car CD player when you hit a bump only it sounded like I was driving down an unpaved road! I look over and both cores are at 100%… do a few forum searches and find this is a common complaint and honestly I don’t feel like spending any more time on it so I downloaded Mediamonkey and after pointing it to the media library on the server I was listening to Evanescence “Lithium” and my desk was shaking from the bass from my Frankenstein AV123 (uses their parts and my box) 15” subwoofer… what can I say, sometimes you just need to crank it up. I digress… the CPU usage was at… ZERO, no wait, .02%!!!! I kept looking through the entire song, usage went from 0 to .02 consistently, holy.. how is that possible. Apple’s iTunes hogs the entire system.. well I actually have a theory on it but not worth getting into… no not getting into it.. damn it’s tempting but no.
Apple iTunes averages over 5 minutes 90%, easy decision, from now on avoid iTunes like the plague and use Mediamonkey or something similar. My ancient server now has new life! I haven’t built a new one for the simple reason this one has been reliable and the array is still 100% healthy. If a drive ever goes I have replacements, but I’ve never had to replace the drives. Gotta love VelociRaptor’s! EDIT: VelociRaptor is a mechanical hard drive spinning at 10,000rpm’s and built to enterprise level specs for a long life and good performance.
Here is a snippet of Mediamonkey in semi-transparent mini player mode, awesome. The numbers speak for themselves now it may be true that on a more modern system, iTunes may use less resources however 12gigs of memory and a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo should be more than ample to run a music/media program.
It looks like Mediamonkey proves this nicely.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
I rebuilt a 4year old Dell Precision almost 2 years ago that computer is now 6 years old. I was able to improve the performance on it by around 400%, not too shabby. I found a buyer for it and with the money I’m going to build a new computer. For over 20 years every desktop computer I have ever had I built myself, until this Dell. Part of what I do for a living requires I keep up with computer technology, which isn’t easy considering how fast it moves forward so I fell behind the curve. It’s just not financially feasible to do it and I’m at an age where I refuse to keep up buy continually building new equipment, it’s not worth it.
However, it would be nice to be closer to current generation, not 3 behind so I sold my reliable Precision and also a few other computers to fund this project. No cash is coming out of my pockets to build the new one.
Out goes the Dell Precision T5400.
I have begun the research phase of of the project but a few parts are locked in. The case will be the Corsair Carbide Air 540, the CPU will be the Intel i7-4770K, the memory will be 16gigs of Corsair Vengeance low latency memory and the hard drives will be Intel 3500 series 300gig SSD’s in RAID 0. I will also be carrying over the video card which is an MSI Frozr II AMD 6950, not the fastest out there by a long shot but it does support all 4 monitors I use and I can upgrade when I’m ready.
So if all that’s locked in what’s left? A very important piece, the motherboard. Intel is getting out of the full size motherboard market and their latest Z87 is kind of a mess so I have ruled them out (sorry Matt!) so I’m looking at Asus, Gigabyte and MSI, all three offer high end units built to provide what I need. I just need to research each one and decide, the one I’m leaning towards is the Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD5H, we’ll see. I plan on waiting until I deliver the computers before purchasing anything so hopefully the prices come down a bit. Pricing for many of the components has gone up by as much as 20% in the past few months, how ridiculous is that!
Here is the Corsair Carbide Air 540 case, a behemoth and worthy of the components I’ll be building it with. It’s a dual chamber design built for the best air cooling and water cooling. I’m not big into side windows and lights but I like the window in this one and I plan on showing off the goods inside with lighting that won’t be obnoxious. Stay tuned!
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Well, I caught one more mouse Sunday night in the garage, the other traps haven’t been touched. No more have been caught in the bathroom, 5 traps in there and nothing but Sunday night it sounded like they were having a party in the attic unless of course it wasn’t mice…
I put 3 of the Rid Rite sonic repellers in the kitchen hopefully if they are in the house these will “repel” them from that room until we get this problem resolved. One thing to note is this year they have been everywhere but where the food is, both the cat and dog’s food bowls are in there and haven’t been touched, none of the cabinets invaded or the drawers either yet the upstairs bathroom looks like all the mice converged and partied like it’s 1999. What’s in that bathroom? paint, spackle, tools, remodeling stuff, a lot of it ruined now by these little bastards but most of it can be cleaned but that doesn’t explain why they left the kitchen completely alone?? Don’t get me wrong, we’re happy about that, just confused.
Last night I got a ladder and went up into the attic expecting it to look 10 times worse than the bathroom. I didn’t see a sign of mice or anything else for that matter. 0_o I didn’t lift up the insulation but there are plywood boards up there and there are no signs of mouse poop on them. I need to actually go all the way up and walk around to be sure. My right shoulder has gotten pretty bad so it’s not easy to go up there without paying for it dearly afterword's. I turned on the attic light and then closed it up. As far as I can tell there were no noises last night.
I have a call out to the owner designer of the ET Pest Control to discuss their solution which has an average of 4.5 out of 5 on Amazon. Most people agree they work. They have a deal on the 4 pack for the price of 3 right now and when I talk to this guy I’ll probably buy them. One for the attic, one for the first floor plugged in the kitchen, one in the basement and one in the garage.
For the RV I have been using the Rid Rite repellers and we literally have not had any mice since we installed them. HOWEVER when I placed a large one (picture left) in the garage and turned it on plus placed a peanut butter laced mouse trap I caught a mouse within an hour. I’m told it takes more time than that for these repellers to work plus the garage is large, this Rid Rite may be too small for the garage but fine for the RV.
Either way, during camping season the ET’s will be making their way to the RV if they work as well as people say.
Ronda and I are going to be ripping the whole first floor apart this weekend and doing a Spring cleaning style clean up and then pricing new carpet as the Berber is shot, no amount of cleaning is going to bring it back.
More to come on this riveting saga as it happens..
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Well, we went 13 years until we had mouse issues in the house. Last year they decided to make our home, their home. We responded by killing them, each and every one of them.
This year we thought we were free of them, no signs of them in the kitchen where the dog and cat eat, great right? Well, the upstairs spare bathroom I swear I’ll complete by next Spring has mouse poop on every square inch of the floor, suddenly like.. still, nothing anywhere else… how does that make any sense? A bathroom with nothing in it but bare walls and a bare floor, really?
Yes, apparently this is a room for them… no food, no warmth nothing for them yet, here they are. Turns out they are in the garage as well, little bastards. So, I went out today and bought the electronic sonic repellers that seemed to work perfectly in the RV. I installed one in the garage and also put down a modified trap, you know the kind, the ones with the huge yellow plastic pad that feeds the mice but doesn’t trap them. They were useless in the previous RV.
I cut away all of the plastic because I found these things are useless in the house as well. They look like the old fashioned mouse traps but lack the metal end piece instead they have this huge plastic pile of crap attached which seems to feed the mice instead of trapping them.
Here is a Victor trap that is the old fashioned kind, simply put some peanut butter on the metal piece and the mouse will be caught in no time. BUT NO, they always think they can improve on the design so they now sell the design above. The old fashioned kind are always sold out, but there are always plenty of the kind with the cheap yellow plastic trap, I wonder why… yeah…
So, what to do? I trimmed all the yellow plastic I could off of the new traps and made them as similar to the old ones as possible. Why you ask? Because if you use the new fangled traps as they are sold the mice eat the peanut butter clean off and leave you a clean trap, no mouse caught.
Anyway, I trimmed all of the extra plastic off because the last time I used these trap they fed the mice, they didn’t catch any. So with the plastic trimmed off and now laced with peanut butter they work like the old fashioned traps, every time!
I plugged in the large sonic repeller and put down one trap on the garage steps to see which would win out. Either the mouse would be repelled and leave the trap or it would go for it. It went for it, dead mouse, not sure what that proves. Now I wonder if the electronic repellers works or not, is it too small for the garage? Since we had no mice from the day we used them in the new RV I believed they worked, yet, here the mouse clearly ignored it and got caught. Maybe the garage is too big for the electronic repeller we bought but is fine for the smaller space of the RV, I don’t know.
The modified traps don’t like to latch but after an hour of modifying them I have 6 of them put into the garage and bare walled bathroom. We’ll see what happens, so far I have caught 2 of the damned things. I am willing to bet all traps will be filled tomorrow. I am going to put traps down until no more are caught. I think the fields that are being replaced with roads nearby are driving the mice to our neighborhood so this will be a battle all winter long.
Either way, none will survive in this house, no friggin way….
Saturday, November 16, 2013
I just realized there are 34 blogs that I follow that haven’t seen an update in close to a year or over a year. Time to clean house, I know some stopped one blog and started another but there are a few that just stopped, for instance “Happily Hitched” blog http://therestlab.blogspot.com/. They seemed well on their way to another good year camping and blogged about they’re first 2012 trip and then nothing… makes me wonder what happened and just hoping they are ok…
Friday, November 15, 2013
The Gear watch has a 1.9mp camera, it’s ok for general use, the color doesn’t exactly pop but it can be useful if you don’t have your camera or cell phone on you. It also can take up to 15 seconds of video.
I took this picture 6 days ago, all those leaves are now on the front lawn
I took this one 4 days ago, our first snow!
Ronda called me in the morning, make sure you have your snow brush… yep, I forgot it.
Nice autumn sunset
Have a great weekend everybody!
Monday, November 11, 2013
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
A new watch! I stopped at Verizon with the intent of buying the HTC One which on paper looked good until you realize the fees and rebates you need to apply or that they apply to get that low price amount to almost what the 3 costs minus $50.00… Seriously, pro-rate this, fee that, rebate, buy the Galaxy Note 3 and it’s all you pay for, sheeesh Verizon.
I spent an hour and a half there, I even looked at the LG phones, didn’t like them, the Motorola MAXX is a great option except that phone really didn’t do anything for me, it has a great screen and battery life but it didn’t speak to me. I checked out the Note 3 and walked away, the screen is simply stunning but do I really need it?
I started going over the apps and found the S Health app and started using the other apps and everything popped out of the screen like you would not believe! That graphic you see on the Note 3’s screen below, is spectacular! I went to the web, checked out websites, opened the demo email app and saw how crisp the text was and was sold.
I’m far sighted, the Lumia 928 I have for my day job has an excellent screen but even with my glasses it can be difficult. With the Note 3, you see everything bright as can be a big and bold. Up until today the 928 was the best phone I have ever used bar none… until today or until a few days down the road, we’ll see how it does but so far I’m blown away by this Note 3.
While I was checking out, the salesman brings out the new Samsung Gear Watch, I’ve done my share of reading on it, it looks nice but seriously, who needs it? I configured it for the phone and played around with it and of course, was sold, works with S Health and tracks heartbeat, walking, running GPS etc… plus all the other stuff it does, color me in but only if it is all that and a bag of chips, 2 weeks to play with it, if it doesn’t do all that they say, I can return it for a full refund minus the tax I paid. If I keep it I have 1 month to pay for the watch. I’m selling my Dell XPS 13 which will cover the cost for both the phone and the watch easily so I’m good no matter what.
EDIT: Just got done updating all of the apps, the watch didn’t want to update the S Health program which would have been a deal killer. Installed the update and the watch updated the app instantly. I installed all of my other apps, both free and paid for. The Co-Pilot GPS loads instantly now where it took almost 30 seconds on the Thunderbolt, Quad Core CPU helps! I received a call while I was across the room and answered it on the watch, now that was cool, freaky even.
More to come as I figure this out…
Monday, November 4, 2013
The business laptop is working great, 32gigs of 1600mhz memory plus a top notch Quad Core i7-3740QM CPU, fast GPU and an Intel 520 240gig SSD really makes for a very fast machine. Showing up at a clients office with such a machine doesn’t hurt either!
As for the phone, my HTC Thunderbolt that I got late March 2011 was pretty fast, until Verizon upgraded it in April of this year which slowed it down to a crawl. The 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich OS was designed for newer phones and the Thunderbolt just didn’t adjust well to it. It became slow, sluggish and it drank batteries very quickly. I bought a higher capacity Chinese battery which worked for a short time before it too started losing charge quickly.
The company I work for upgraded us to Nokia Lumia 928’s which are of course fast and butter smooth. So I transitioned the Thunderbolt to personal duty and it did ok in that capacity until today when it puked and refused to come back to life for more than a few minutes even with a fresh battery and being plugged in.
Enter the Samsung Galaxy Note S3, the S4 or the Motorola Droid MaXX, not sure which of these three I’ll get yet. I’m stopping on the way home and checking them all out. One of the guys I work with has the Motorola Droid MAXX and it’s a very high quality phone, it’s fast and it has insane battery life. However I am a fan of the Samsung’s as well so we’ll see which one I end up with!
Sunday, November 3, 2013
If you’re looking for a nightmare this is the migration for you. I completed the major portion of this migration tonight and while the migration was tough enough due to the Windows 95 and 98 machines when I went to migrate the user machines each one was infected with malware and virus’s so they had to be disinfected and cleaned up which took nearly the entire weekend.
One was so bad the winsock could not be repaired/replaced, oh pish posh you say? Yep, that corrupted, nothing would bring it back save a full rebuild which I did (on a different machine). Every machine logs onto the new Domain instantly and while they are older machines every one of them now logs into Windows within seconds of typing in the password. Prior to the cleanup the fastest one took minutes. Imagine doing this for 7 machines… only two of which are newer than 2005… if you are familiar with the Intel P4’s and I know Matt is then you know what I was in for this weekend.
Not bad machines mind you, just past their prime, you could say the P4 based machines were past their prime right as they were going down the assembly line, but how is a business owner to know that if nobody tells him. Now, they might not be fast but they are still running, that says something.
Anyway, I have VPN and old profile data to clean up and then migrating the Windows 95/98 machines when we figure out where and how much the CNC software will be to upgrade. All in all a very productive weekend!
Friday, November 1, 2013
My wife has been given instructions to win the lottery as soon as possible. When I play, we don’t even get a number, when she plays it teases us so she plays with the ladies from work.
I don’t have $300,000.00 and probably never will, at least not so that I could spend it on a car. BUT, if I DID this is the bad mofo I would toss that money into.
A 2014 Equus BASS 770, granted, stupid name but really, WHO CARES? Name it munchkin for all I care, this thing is pure AWESOMESAUCE.
640hp to start, toss a few bucks more at it since we have money to burn and the sky is the limit! This thing has the coolness of a Dodge Charger mixed in with the smaller more nimble and far superior (hey, this is my dream right) Mustang and you have this unreal monster of a car.
Now, if I could get 300 people to donate $1,000.00 each this could be mine! The odds of that are the same as winning the lottery… one can dream right?
(The pictures are re-printed from the Equus website, I didn’t ask for permission, I doubt they’ll complain.)