Merry Techmas!

close up photograph of two person holding sparklers

It is almost a tradition that in the annual holiday shutdown I take the time to do a bunch of overdue tech “honey-do’s”, items on my list to get done, and to fuck around with some techie bits.

In the past I have often done some hardware hacking with an Arduino or similar board, or tried to learn Python quickly, or to refresh my online properties.

This year, I had two goals:

  1. Move our main email from Google Suite to anything else
  2. Clean up my online properties, trying to get from two VPS’s to one, and reduce the clutter

I am happy to report that I have already accomplished both of these goals. Continue reading →

HBO Max Streaming Service

I had heard a low level, yet steady buzz about HBO Max streaming from a variety of sources, and was intrigued. I am not, and have never been an HBO subscriber, but I recognize that they have produced epic content for decades. The Sopranos being but one of their efforts.

Then Hulu lost South Park to HBO Max, and I began looking hard at adding HBO Max to the stable.

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MacOS “Big Sur”

A couple weeks ago, the latest “major” MacOS upgrade was released. This is a pretty major update, and actually ticked it from the 10.x train, to 11.0.

Of course, I waited until there was the first point release, and there were a couple of programs that I use heavily that needed to be updated. Once 11.0.1 was released, and the software that warned me was rev’d, I felt I was ready.

Boy, was I wrong…

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Cloud File Sync

One of the best products of the last decade has been the advent of cloud based file syncing between computers/devices. When I first heard of Dropbox, it was intriguing, and they gave you (I think) 2GB free (this was circa 2011), and you could upgrade to 100GB for a nominal fee.

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The Balkanization of TV

I recall a lot of talk about how the power of the cable companies and their “bundles” of channels was anti-consumer. If you liked sports, you paid a bunch for a package that had the ESPN, and other sports channels, and you were pretty screwed if you didn’t care for all extra crap.

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Plex Fun

(not so much)

I had noticed that the frequency of updates to the Intel NUC that powers my Plex Media Server had tailed off (it ran Ubuntu 18.04 LTS) an indication that there was a new version of the long term support OS coming.

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Plex Maintenance – Futurama

A couple of weeks ago, I got a hankering to watch some Futurama. Fortunately, I have copied all my discs to my Plex server for ease of access.

But there was a flaw. The in season order from the original broadcast is not how Plex see them, In particular, they screw up seasons 2, 3, 4, and 5 particularly badly, and I needed to do a lot of file manipulation to get them all to show up properly.

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The Drobo is back online

It took almost 6 weeks from the first support ticket, but yesterday afternoon (July 28, 2020) the RMA unit arrived from Drobo. Ironically, it shipped from their office in Sunnyvale 4 days before via FedEx, and the total distance from their facility to my house is about 16 miles.

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