How Things Improve

Not long ago, I was looking for things to add to my media collection, and I stumbled across a boxed set of the surviving first season of The Avengers and the complete second season. Published by Studio Canal, it is an amazing set, so I purchased it.

Alas, I knew it was a Region 2 DVD set, but I knew how to rip those.

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I caved in, Ordered a new iPhone

I have blogged in the past that my well aged iPhone, a Xs that I got in December 2018 still worked well, and that it still was doing what I needed. Heck, the battery health tells me that it has 86% of its life left.

But today, I was talking with some colleagues and I recounted that my last phone migration sucked because I had a painful process of moving my 2FA from my old iPhone 6s, and I really didn’t want to relive that.

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The BBS Era

In the early 1980’s I was deep into my Atari 8 bit computer stage. When I got to university, I wanted to use it for papers and other things I had to write (this was pre-IBM PC) so I needed a printer. I bought a solid Epson dot matrix printer, and to connect it to the Atari. I needed an IO expander, so I bought the Atari 850, which plugged into the computer’s SIO port, and it provided serial (RS232) and Parallel ports for printers.

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Old computers – the remembrance vs. the reality (the Atari era)

image of an Atari 800 computer

I have been a computer enthusiast for a long time, having getting my first Atari 800 back in 1980. I had used a Commodore Pet in the mid 70s as part of my “gifted” program in elementary school, and unstructured time with the Apple II+ in high school.

I still have a lot of fond memories of that early era. But putting on my logical hat, and truly remembering the reality of these experiences. Let’s take a trip down memory lane…

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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 →

Electrification of Cars

No doubt that the future of personal automobiles will be electric. While we are still early in the transition, and regardless of how valuable Tesla is as a company (ridiculously overvalued) compared to how few cars they sell and deliver, their dominance of electric cars is tenuous. Already VW and GM have announced plans to migrate their fleets to full electric, and all the other makers are making plans for a post oil driven transportation world.

This is good. But it does have some thorny implications. Two of which are how to fund local road building and maintenance, and mechanics/technicians to repair the fleet of cars.

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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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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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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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Time to move from g-suite?

The tale of this domain (actually, the sister domain, tralfaz.org) has been told, a few times in these pages.

However, one tale I haven’t told is how when Google Apps became available, I moved from the creaky old email platform (hosted on a local Bay Area ISP, BEST Communications (an ISP that is so dead, I couldn’t even find an archival reference) probably in the 2005 or 2006 time frame.

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