Pages: 1 ... 9 10 11 12 14 16 17 18 19 ... 141

07/21/11

  05:58:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 575 words  
Categories: Hardware, Travel, Home, Furnishings, Storage, Printers

Staples® All In One Cart

Link: http://www.staples.com/Staples-All-In-One-Cart/product_708575

Because of the high pitched whine of the fan in the Open box TR5M-BP I wrote about....I had gotten to thinking about finally getting a small printer stand to go next to Zen. So, I had been eyeballing one on staples.com, and trying to decide what else I would get to get free shipping.

While browsing last week, I spotted a really good price on a new label maker (my old one having run out of tape....and it has always been a peeve that it isn't the laminated kind like the older deceased label maker had....) ... where the sale price was less than new tape for my old label maker (a new M tape)...it probably doesn't include that much length in the starter (TZ) tape it comes with....but should be good enough for now. And, then the other thing was I've been meaning to restock on bottled water at home..... So, I ordered 3 cases...

I delayed ordering until Saturday, hoping to get the order to show up sometime yesterday (after my dentist appointment, had taken the whole day off so not to have to walk back to work in the heat). Well, the water and label maker arrived on Tuesday instead...and by some area courier for Staples, instead of UPS. Actually, more used to a local delivery service fulfilling office store orders than UPS...though it tended to be that way living in Columbus, Ohio...where they have many local stores around the city and probably warehouses too. While there's a local Staples here....thought there was going to be an Office Depot or OfficeMax coming....not everything is stocked here, so some stuff comes by UPS from Kansas City.

I meant to leave a note on Wednesday, since there was a good chance that UPS would show up while I was at the dentist....but I ended up being rushed to get to dentist...so I forgot. Fortunately, the UPS guy left the printer cart box by the door (maybe he saw me when I was walking into the dentist office...)

With the other things that happened yesterday....I didn't quite get around to fully assembling it as I had intended....was interrupted by work and that pretty much ate up the rest of the evening (also while I was doing my Wednesday night church thing and later IHOP with some friends).

But, finally finished it earlier today... now to clear a spot for it.

The plan was to put the TR5M-BP on a shelf on it...so that it would be pointed in a direction so that it would be less noisy (and the open back/front should get better airflow that it's getting now on bookcase shelf.) Though at some point the sensor fan I got from Amazon will show up...so don't know if I still plan to do this or not.

Though once I get the cart situated.. I think I'll move my HP Photosmart 8450xi back to the livingroom, where it should be.... And, we'll see if the laser printer I've been dreaming about ever materializes next to TARDIS instead. Was originally planned as a summer purchase, but more likely it'll be my next Christmas present (where Zen was the present I got last Christmas....financed on a 6-month no interest...which is why I thought printer would happen now. But, that was before I decided that I want to do more travel (having not done any since last November...)

Wonder if I need to move my UPS to make cart fit....

07/20/11

  02:37:42 pm, by The Dreamer   , 485 words  
Categories: Home, Healthcare

Sound+Sleep Machine -- Ecotones take 2

Link: http://www.soundofsleep.com/product-info/

A while back I had bitten the bullet and picked up a Sound+Sleep Machine by Adaptive Sound Technologies, Inc. from an eBay seller. This was despite my bad review of its earlier incarnation, Ecotones, that had gotten at the end of 2008.

Well, the new version is not the $300 I paid for the original...it was less than half, and I scored one for under $100. It is kind of plainer looking unit, and it features a white noise mode, which the original Ecotones did not.

It also turned out to have other features...namely the ability to adjust the 'richness'....or turn off those added elements that negated the usefulness of masking sounds at night and helping me sleep (though I think I've run out of technology to help me sleep.... :yawn: Hopefully someday the doctors will figure out what's wrong with me....)

The buttons are easier to work than the original, though they make it hard to adjust the volume in adaptive mode, since the make a click that makes the unit loud...and then its too quiet when later, so have to keep fiddling to get it up loud enough to be mask normal noises....but, it seems to not have enough range after that. Also probably need to move it to the other side of my bed, so better mask the tinnitus in other ear. Though the old ecotones is still on my headboard there (though the sleepPhones, I had tried plugging into that seems to have fallen under my bed somewhere.) I may try the sleepPhones with the new Sound+Sleep machine someday, but its summer...so its kind of uncomfortable, even with extra fans blowing. The new model does do adaptive sound with headphones. The display/controls is harder to read in the dark though....without the fancy color LCD display.

Also the unit still forgets to stay on if the the power flickers....though at least it doesn't do the super loud sound blast on first power now. I moved it onto a UPS as well, should be the GeekSquad 1285VA rather than the PowerSource 400. Should probably audit whats plugged in where. Perhaps when I get around to replacing the broken bedframe.

Though lately, I've been using my old SleepMate 980A for my sound masking needs. Perhaps I should sit down with my Sound+Sleep machine during the day to see what setting would work better at night. Its hard spinning the knob in the dark trying to figure out what settings to use in the dark, when I don't think I've ever looked at ever. Or figuring out what richness I want....usually want none, but sometimes I want a little, and it means something else when I'm dialed to white noise.

Having read the manual again today...and seeing that adaptive mode works with headphones, I think I would like to try that someday. Maybe get some pillow speakers so I can have sound closer to the ear that rings....

:hmm:

  01:53:07 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1015 words  
Categories: Home, Safety & Security

Waiting for a plumber, at least I fixed doorbell.

For sometime, the drain in the bathroom sink had been running slowly....I had tried drain cleaner and short snake, was thinking that I'd pull the trap off some time and take a look.

The toilet has always been a problem, but I suspect that's because the fill valve is leaking....never seem to get around to disabling the only toilet in my home to try fixing it myself. Perhaps some day I will.

But, then I noticed that the shower doesn't drain as well as it used to. Was thinking that I might get some drain cleaner on the weekend, and see if that helps. I had snaked it myself once years ago, that had helped a lot. Not sure where that longer snake has gone too now....

But, came home from dentist this morning to find that shower hadn't drained from this morning yet. And, for sometime I had thought I had heard water noises, but wasn't able to find the source. Still can't. Seems bathroom is on a different drain than the kitchen/washer...so maybe its time I got a plumber in to go long through drain.

It has been almost 3 years since I had the plumber in to snake the kitchen drain, that was worse though, because water was backing up and flowing on the floor. Though is was partly because the drain line for the dishwasher hadn't been put it right to prevent backflow. He borrowed some of my cable ties and fixed that while he was there. Hopefully this time around things won't be as expensive....last time being a Sunday when it had happened.

Meanwhile....for sometime I had noticed the doorbell was being kind of annoying. People seemed able to get it to ring when they used it, but the light had gone out...so I had assumed they couldn't see it at night, so weren't always using it then. I had intended to see about replacing the light earlier this year, but then I saw that the light was working again. So, I forgot all about it.

But, then last night I got a delivery from Dominos. I happened to walk past my front door, wondering why the delivery hadn't shown up yet and heard some rustling. After a moment, I peeked to see what was out there...and there was the delivery guy just standing there? :??:

After he left, I checked my doorbell. It didn't ring. I noticed that the vinyl siding flexed under the doorbell, so I worked the button a bit...and got it to light, but still no ring. Guess a wire is loose. I'll look at it in the afternoon after my dentist appointment.

So, now that I've had my dentist appointment...and after having called the plumber...for a probably Thursday call. I went to tackle the doorbell.

I unscrewed it from the siding and saw that one of the wires had broken off and was only making intermittent contact. I guess if you push it the right way instead of making the light work, it would make the doorbell ring. Its a pretty tight run of cable and its solid wire...and it felt old, probably original to the building from the 60's (the wire, the button was probably new when the building was renovated around 2005.) Plus one of the wires went around screw the wrong way....which makes me guess who might have done that work.

I exposed some new wire....hooked it round right and attached it. While I was doing that, the other wire popped off (the one that went the wrong way...I was thinking that after I was done, I would check the other screw for tightness.) Well, I tried to bend the wire the other way, and it broke off...it was about to break off at the flex point at the screw. So, I exposed some new wire and hooked that on.

Hmmm, can't tell if the light is working now....guess we'll find out later.

Full story »

07/17/11

  05:59:23 pm, by The Dreamer   , 286 words  
Categories: Home, Safety & Security

So much for the new tradition...

June 25th came and went...I had a specific thing I wanted to do that day, and bunch of other things I needed to or wanted to do that day....and I think I did get what needed to get done that day....except for one thing. The new tradition.

I forgot to test my smoke detectors. After the July 4th long weekend, I realized I had forgotten...and meant to do it later...perhaps the weekend. But, I never seem to have enough time to get the things I want to do on the weekend (and being summer, I'm working too much...during the week.)

So, it got forgot until this weekend...went screw it, I'm testing them. They all work.

Wonder if for Christmas, I'll give myself some Lithium 9V batteries....supposed to last 10 years...(or supposedy 5x longer than Alkalines in other applications...of course, I'm sure a 9V Alkaline would last longer than 1 year in a smoke detector....but its a safety thing to just replace these sort of things in a proactive way.)

Plus I think 5 years from now I'm going to be looking at getting new smoke detectors....if not sooner. Since the smoke detector is supposed to be replaced after 10 years, I'm assuming of course, that they started the 10 year clock when I first moved in...and that they hadn't been in service too much longer than that.

Guess I've been thinking about the wireless and dual sensor smoke detectors upgrade for a few years now....at the time, they didn't exist. Wireless yes, but one company made ionization and the other made photo electric.... Also there was the question of how to do tell which one detected.

Also one of these days I should crack the whip on getting a CO detector.

  03:13:02 pm, by The Dreamer   , 817 words  
Categories: Software, Networking, WiFi

The Airport Express Tangent

Being that it is really hot today, I didn't feel like going out and figured I could tackle some of the many projects that I've been putting off.

Before I started, I happened to look at cacti...not sure why I had at first, but I went off and looked at the Airport graphs. Nothing has associated yet with my Airport Express, is there something wrong...with it or the clients?

Wondered if it was the use of manual versus automatic channel selection....perhaps it doesn't see the Airport Express as a strong choice, though sitting right next to it...it should've dominated.

But, I tried automatic to see what channels it would jump to. I was kind of surprised that the Airport Extreme jumped from 1 to 10. First in that I thought 1 was the best, and second I expected it to pick one of 1, 6, 11. Though when I was running the Belkin APs, I was running them on 2 and 10.....there is one other AP somewhere in the condo that is using channel 10. And, oddly...same SSID as I was using, except all lower-case (instead of capitalized). But, I've since turned off the Belkin APs...so I don't care anymore?

I then configured the Airport Express to automatic...and it jumped from channel 11 to 1. Okay then....let's see how that works.

Full story »

07/16/11

  05:06:02 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1073 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer

Woot! Got me another monitor....

Link: http://www.woot.com/Blog/ViewEntry.aspx?Id=18239

For some time I've been thinking of getting another 23" Widescreen monitor....likely a Famous Maker one via Woot! This is because when I set up Zen, I kept put the 21.6" Vison monitor that I had gotten from Woot! as my secondary monitor and changed to a Famous Maker 23" Widescreen Full HD 1080p LCD Monitor with HDMI from Woot! as my new primary display.

Despite the fact that it was HDMI only (so its a bit weird on boot, because BIOS uses DVI output as primary...but during the Windows start up it'll switch to monitor on HDMI as primary.) But, it has built in speakers, and digital audio routes out to it via HDMI. Though I have regular speakers + sub as my main audio output. And, that this display is glossy.

What's a problem is the difference in display resolutions. The 21.6" Vison is 1680x1050 and the 23" Famous Maker monitor is 1920x1080. The big issue being the different in vertical resolution. Certain apps open windows in the wrong place on the secondary (left) display...yes that's backwards from how most people do it, but the desk that I have.....file drawers on the left....it worked best to have the second display angled and on the left. Anyways...the apps open as if it was vertically the same....resulting the top frame of the window being above the top of the screen. Which makes it hard to move, close, etc. :##

So getting another 1920x1080 display for Zen was on my wish list.

A few weeks ago...a Woot! featured a "Famous Maker 23" LED Widescreen" monitor...I didn't look too closely at the specs, and I don't know if it would've made enough difference. Of course, it wasn't going to be exactly the same as my previous "Famous Maker 23" Widescreen Full HD 1080p LCD Monitor with HDMI". First thing about it...its LED. The old one is CCFL. Other differences I noticed was that it does have a DVI input (important, since DVI is what I need). Beyond that I didn't see anything about it being a non-glare or not display. As it is...its a non-glare type. Not sure if that's why it seems slight different in color to my main display, or its the LED backlighting difference or something else. Kind of annoyed about the color difference, though its something I've put up with on TARDIS (Vison display was VGA driven versus Dell display on DVI...at least I thought that was why). Pretty sure though I didn't notice a color difference when it was Vison on the first Famous Maker display on Zen. Wonder if I need to invest in some kind of color calibrator? Or if there's some hidden menu where I can fiddle with things easily.

Though it only bothers me when a lot of the desktop wallpaper is visible on both displays.

Anyways...the swap was pretty straight forward once I put the new Famous Maker 23" LED Monitor together....there were no instructions with it, but I was able to figure things out. Turned off the old display disconnected AC and DVI cord from Vison. And, swapped the displays. Connected DVI and kept AC cord to go into transformer module for new Famous Maker monitor. Old Famous Maker has AC cord directly to it....wonder if that's due to LED vs CCFL...or just that new Famous Maker display tries to be slimmer.

Then things got a little wonky....it detected the disconnect of the display....and adjusted my desktop....threw my icons over to main desktop and shoved gadgets too. And, then adjusted for new monitor. It had the resolution adjusted to 1920x1080. I was a big confused as to which monitor was which as I went through things in the Nvidia control panel. Couldn't remember what it detected original Famous Maker display as.

It was easier when it was the Vison...which Nvidia detected as MW22E-BAD. Which I thought if interesting commentary about my monitor (seemed it came to be on Sellout.Woot! because the company had closed up....) Turned out I had guess wrong at first....but eventually I sorted out which was which. The original Famous Maker is reported as an HP w2338h Wide LCD Monitor, and the new Famous Maker is reported as an HP 2311 Series Wide LCD Monitor.

Pages: 1· 2

07/14/11

  08:24:49 pm, by The Dreamer   , 594 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, Storage

Update on Open Box TR5M-BP

Back on Sunday, I also got around to switched the 2 1.5TB drives of my backup storage from the hardware RAID1 of the TR2UT-B, to the TR5M-BP. Was kind of surprised they both showed up as valid drives, Windows was smart enough to offline one due to duplicate signature and it seemed it would just work. Good to know perhaps.

Did find the something else missing in the Open Box TR5M-BP....screws. There should've been 20 screws for harddrives (4 for each of the 5 trays). But, there were only 12 screws. Not sure how that maps out. But....not really that worried.

Now, I'm not entirely sure why I'm doing RAID1, I had thought about switching it to spanned or RAID0...I suppose either way, I'm toast if one drive fails...but its just backup data. Though having the backup did save my tail once. JBOD could be an option for the kind of backup I'm doing now, though not sure how to implement it with the current backup software (Microsoft)....its already kind of bad in that it deletes the backup before making the new backup. There's room for two backups on the disk right now.

Though I've thought I would like to continue my search for a better Windows backup product (i.e. time machine like), instead of the current for disaster recovery and backupppc which exposures windows of 24 hours and greater (due to window constraints, and limits on simultaneous jobs...it can sometimes approach 72 hours since the last backup).

And, obviously I'm paranoid of my data, so lots of backups is good.

I deleted the partitions, initialized the drives in the rr622 web interface and turned them into a RAID1 set and redid my Windows Image Backup.

I didn't note what kind of throughput I had was getting with eSata & TR2UT's hardware RAID1...but the rr622/software RAID1 is slower. The Windows Image Backup took longer than it had been before.

But, I didn't feel like messing around with it just yet. First problem was the fan was kind of noisy compared to everything else. Though it wasn't really loud to be a problem, but there was a high pitched whine to it that made it annoying. I had gotten a new fan to have on hand to replace the fan in the other used TR5M-B, I got off of eBay.... (since I had to replace the one in the Rosewill clone a while back.) Haven't had to use it yet. Though I poked around on Amazon to see if there was perhaps a quieter fan to consider. Narrowed down to a couple of choices, and then decided to get both....because I decided that I'm also going to upgrade the case fan in Orac at some point.

Then I decided that would break the RAID1 and try spanning....well, it doesn't do that. So, I guess RAID0. Well, a new Windows Image Backup to the RAID0 went much faster than anything I've done before....so that might not be bad.

Then, I thought perhaps I'll give the Windows file backup product another shot now.... :lalala:

Full story »

07/12/11

  07:29:54 am, by The Dreamer   , 382 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Storage

Speaking of running out of space....

....I ran out of space in backuppc last night.

However, it was party due to a bug that hits me now and then. An rsync backup of a large ~7GB file on the remote system, was resulting in a file file on my backuppc server that was growing without bound. If there were only some way that backuppc would know that if a file of size 'x' on remote was resulting in a file of size 'y' (where 'y' >> 'x') that maybe something is going wrong.

Sure the built-in compression might result in some increase in size for already compressed or incompressible files, which is typically the case of large files coming from the remote....TEBE backup file.

But, it seems pretty obvious to me that at 300GB and growing...something has gone wrong.

Silly thing is that the particular remote is being backed up twice. And, rsync backup's exclude list keeps growing and growing to avoid the difficult large files and letting just the other (SMB) backup get it.

Originally, when I first set up Zen, the smbclient in ubuntu had stopped being able to talk to Windows 7 shares. I had set up work machine using rsync method, just to see what that was like in comparison to the more traditional of using SMB method for my Windows boxes. But, some Windows update changed how Windows 7 shares worked....and samba could no longer talk to it.

I tried fiddling with registry and package uninstall/installs, etc. Looking for tweaks to the smbclient source that I could compile my own version, there was a time (early on) where I was using my own compiled version of smbclient....but I didn't block updates, and the next update worked. Well, after some point in time, another update for smbclient appeared from ubuntu....and it could connect to Windows 7 shares again. So, I put Zen back in with SMB. The total backup size is so much larger than the rsync version. Because tar doesn't seem to have any of the trouble of rsync (normally I think rsync is better than tar though, but suspect its all about the perl re-implementation of rsync functionality in BackupPC that is the problem....I heard in 4.0 that they have abandoned this approach and will run rsync on the backuppc server.

Ya...I think that's what I'll do....

07/11/11

  09:52:41 pm, by The Dreamer   , 860 words  
Categories: Software, Computer, Networking

I jumped into a new Thunderbird profile....for nothing?

For a long time, I've been having problems with images not loading in emails in Thunderbird. I thought my old computer, TARDIS, didn't have the processing power to do the networking. Partly, because pointing it through my squid proxy seemed to help a bit. For a while anyways.

Well, when it came time to move to Zen....I just copied the profile into the new profile on Zen, and it worked...and images seemed to work. More or less. I figured it was profile rot, and that someday I should probably use some kind of import/export.

But, I continued to suffer...while occasionally searching on the issue. I remembered about deleting .msf files....kind of annoying because then have to go through all the folders and remark read messages read and having old spam come back to haunt me. But, I did it anyways...and just ignored some of those old folders. It didn't help.

As time went, things got worse and worse. So, I envisioned that I would do a backup, either using TEBE or MozBackup...and then a selective restore. Hadn't decided if I would keep all extensions and how much of prefs to keep, etc. Though weekends have a way of getting away from me...and I never seemed to find the moment to do it after have done a backup. Tried to make the move during the long weekend, but ran out of time. But, tried to give it a go this weekend.....but time just kept sliding by. Restoring everything from a MozBackup except Mail. Then, copied just Mail except for MSF files. No ImapMail.

Slowly went through all my folders getting MSFs back, and resync'ng my ImapMail....and then things stopped working again. I then wondered if there was some kind of hidden parameter relating to max connections. I knew about max connections per imap server....while looking through the settings I saw there was a higher level max.imap.max_cache_connections was set to the default 10. Wonder what that means, with each Imap Account being able to have a max of 5.

Well, I never used imap much until I moved here to Kansas...then I was using it more and more. Wonder how many imap accounts I have. Seems that until things start getting really bad....I was just under 10... now I have like 13. Let's jack that parameter up and see if it helps.

Alas, it only helped a little bit. Seems there's other things at play. I did stumble into Windows limits during the google search, but from the tools....I was typically hovering around 80-160 established connections. And, I didn't seem to be hitting the half-open limit, though I may want to look at that issue later.

But, I got all my IMAP folders accessed, headers were down, body downloading was going to have to just happen over time. I also looked up shortcuts, and found SHIFT-C to be the mark all read shortcut now. In the early days...back when thunderbird was also my Newsreader and I read netnews (AKA USENET), I was quite adept with shortcuts. But, a version change and the shortcuts I had grown accustom to changed. Probably just one or two, but enough to make me stop.

Anyways....now I was catching up old emails (I have a couple of big message trees of old emails that I had imported from a couple of PST files and Eudora....there just there for historical purposes, I don't want them showing up as unread again.) And, then I left thunderbird running over night to sync things up.

Pages: 1· 2

07/10/11

  03:39:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 770 words  
Categories: General, Stuff

I have my own YOURLS

Link: http://lkc.me/yourls

A while back I saw that my initials were available in the .me domain...and I had always wanted to get my intials.

Though, its kind of a pain switching domains and stuff. Was bad enough going from the old URL for this blog to the current one, and I haven't moved any of my email addresses from the old domain (have created some new ones on this domain though).

But, I snapped up the domain name anyways....because I had envisioned that some day I would migrate off of the old 'chen-online.net' domain. I had gotten it before I knew that domains with dashes are associated with spammers, and often get blocked on the sole basis that there's a dash in the domain name. Though, making the decision to change my blog's URL from 'lawrence.chen-online.net' to 'lawrencechen.net' was kind of a no-brainer to me.

Didn't find that out until I pushed hard on why there were a couple of blogs where I left lots of comments on, but they never seemed to clear moderation. One site admin said explained this to me, the other's was using a hosted solution and never saw my posts come in for moderation...and didn't know why. Seemed odd though since they were hosting for an official site under the domain of where I work....could just be everybody likes to type as little as possible so they just haven't run into the email address filter....

Anyways....I didn't have any plan on what I would do web-wise with the domain. And, while I do have Adsense, I'm not sure what kind of ads they would throw up for my initials and whether it would all be appropriate or not (if only to me). Plus I may yet decide to use it for something...someday.

But, then while I was sleeping last night...the idea came to me that 'lkc.me' is pretty short URL, wonder if I could set up my own, private URL shortening service.

This morning I did a quick google search on what's out there....found a matrix that somebody had compiled....quickly decided that it needed to be standalone, private, custom URL capable.

That resulted in only one choice. YOURLS :cool:

And, that's what I did....

http://lkc.me/blog

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Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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