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  10:30:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 771 words  
Categories: Home Theatre, Hardware, Computer, Storage, Amateur Radio, Ubuntu, Windows

Upgrading the primary drive in TARDIS

Once again, after some thought yesterday, I decided that I'm going to pass on getting a new Windows XP computer. Even though I was eyeballing something based around a Phenom X4 based system. And, my old XP machine is almost 5 years old....and new systems are getting scarce.

What I'm now thinking about is getting both a Mac Mini (for my Home Theater, though this may change or get dropped...depending on my mood, etc.) and an iMac (for the bedroom). What I'll then do is get VMWare Fusion for the iMac, should the need for a newer Windows environment arise. The only question is the timing of the iMac, and the thought of getting an iPod touch. (which cuts into my plan to get a VX8R?)

Anyways...I decided that if I'm going to keep the old XP machine, I should stop procrastinating on upgrading the drives in it. I had seen warnings that the primary drive was going to fail, and had purchased Acronis Easy Migrate a while back with the plan of upgrading this drive. It is only a 120GB drive. I could of gotten larger, but I didn't think I would need all that space at the time. Though I had since added a secondary drive of 250GB, and even that one is getting kind of full.

So, I was about to make a note to myself to buy a 500GB drive, when it occured to me that I had pulled a 400GB drive from the post-icepocalypse Gateway (Core 2 Quad) machine I had gotten. It came with Vista, but I had no interest in running Vista. It was purchased to replace my Linux server, though I resurrected that its just an Ubuntu play box. Though I was hoping for PM support to do raid on it. But, I haven't taken the plunge to see if it'll work for its just a fast BOINC engine at the moment....and some file storage.

Anyways, I decided to upgrade the primary drive in TARDIS using the 400GB drive. I went and got the USB/Firewire/eSATA to SATA/IDE enclosure that I had purchased and set aside for this purpose and set out to try running Acronis Migrate Easy.

Hooked it up using Firewire first....strange, my computer seems to have gotten too quiet. Seems the firewire interface is disabling my sound. But, when I went to 'migrate' wouldn't. It failed quickly on the reboot, and various other forms of failure. I figured maybe there was a problem with it being on Firewire. So, I switched to USB.

That didn't help. It was reboot and then fail, and then reboot back to before. I slipped other activities in during the process, and eventually it was I called it a night.

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  07:17:17 am, by The Dreamer   , 137 words  
Categories: Software

There's this annoying quirk of FF3.x where the toolbar tip of stuff will appear on screen when Firefox is no longer the in front (or minimized). And, there's no way to make the toolbar tip go away until Firefox is back in front.

And, it happens even when Firefox has been pushed back for some time.

I came across a tip on turning this off in about:config. So, I tried it yesterday.

This morning I found a problem with having changed this parameter to false. XKCD no longer works. :..(

For those that don't know, Randall Munroe puts extra text in the TITLE tag of the web comic images. With this option disabled, the TITLE doesn't pop up anymore :`(

Wonder if there's a way to make TITLE's work, but the annoying toolbar tips from appearing.... U-(


  06:44:41 pm, by The Dreamer   , 875 words  
Categories: Digital Photography, Software, Computer, WiFi

I got an Eye-Fi

It is kind of a chore to take my memory card out, put it into my reader and transfer the images into a folder on my I decided to take the plunge and get an Eye-Fi (Share).

So far in hind-sight, maybe the Eye-Fi Home would've been sufficient.

After extracting it from its interesting package, I skimmed the quick setup (no Linux, so no Eee PC support...hmmm) I plugged the supplied USB reader into my work MacBookPro. And, went about getting it configured. First thing it wanted to do was upgrade its Firmware.

It saw my home wireless network, and got the key from the MBP...and then went to verify itself on the network. I immediately knew it was going to fail, and started looking at allowing it to work on my network. Wait. What's the MAC address of the Eye-Fi card? :??:

It eventually timed out, and it suggested that I may need to allow its MAC address to connect to my network...and provided it.

So, I added the MAC address to my allow list for my Wireless Network and then told my DHCP server to expect it and give it an IP.

While stuck in the step, it asked if I wanted to upgrade the software. Opt to skip, and continued the initial setup.

It presented the online web albums to store at....I saw Facebook was one of the choices. But, seemed to me that any album on Facebook is basically shared with some or all people. And, I tend to want to tweak (crop, sharpen, adjust contract, brighten, remove red-eye, straighten, etc.) before making the public album. Though Java uploader has never worked for me....

Then it offered a local location to upload to. Except that it only offered locations on my Work MacBookPro. Guess can't (easily) have to going to some other storage repository on my home network (initially, I'd probably want a share from my Linux server, but some day I plan to get a NAS device [or two, or more] on my home network). Some day, I'll expend the effort to create this repository....

I then went and did a test shot. It seemed to just barely get the shot transferred when the 1min auto shut off took place. Its advice is disable auto power off completely. Except that's not an option, and not something I want to disable anyways. Instead, I increased it 2min. Hopefully that'll be enough for the majority of cases, without sacrificing my ability to have usable power in the disposable AA batteries that the camera keeps eating up. :>>

Plus I had thought of increasing the timeout...because it is kind of nuisance how short 1 minute is when you are waiting for that right moment to snap a shot, especially when I had to expend extra effort to get things set up (like get the camera to lock focus in the right vicinity).

I poked around in settings a bit more, and then went to my Windows computer to set up a more permanent local storage location.

I popped the SD card into my attached card reader (instead of the supplied one). Installed the software and set things up....I opted to update the software on here right away. And, then changed the location for local uploads. I also set up the web upload, though I'm not sure what I need that for....since almost never share raw pictures. I just manage using Picasa.... Also looks like no magic hook between Picasa Web and the Windows software. At least not in the Web to desktop direction. :|

But, I couldn't access the wireless profiles on the SD card using this reader. So, I plugged in the supplied one. It wanted to reboot my computer to work...I said later, but then it started working anyways. But, not much to do here. This computer isn't (directly) on no profiles to transfer over and no interest in trying to associate the card with other networks it sees.

Fiddled around a bit more, and then went back to the Work MacBookPro to update the software there, and to see if I could add additional network profiles. Namely add my work ones without having to take it into work.

But, it wouldn't see the card my SD card slot (# memory card in 1 ExpressCard34 adapter)....Had to use the supplied USB card reader again. This could prove to be annoying. And, turns preloading of network profiles :no: Guess I will need to take it into work to set it up to work on the wireless network there. Also means that I'll still need my computer, and still need to pop the card out, etc., to get on to other wireless networks. Of course, it says it won't work on networks that use transparent and/or captive proxies. That means the only other network that I might want to add is my parents' network. But, the plan was to leave my work laptop at work, the next time I go on vacation. :**:

Wonder how the local computer uploading works from work and other remote networks. Or what happens when I travel and there are no 'open' networks for it to use. Etc. )-o

  03:29:45 pm, by The Dreamer   , 560 words  
Categories: Furnishings

Continued Great Service


A few months ago, I noticed the problem I originally had with my Select Comfort bed had reappeared. Some missing segments on my (wired) pump remote. It had beed just about the same amount of time since I got the remanufactured pump unit for the last time I experienced this problem.

They had indicated then that they wanted the 'failing' unit to determine the cause of the problem and address it. So, I guess it isn't totally surprising that I've experienced the problem again.

Despite my continued effort to be careful with the remote, the problem has reappeared. I kind of suspect is doesn't like that occasionally the remote does slide off the edge of my bed and on to the floor. But, you'd think that I'm not the only person that this kind of occurrence happens to.

One random morning, when I was looking at an empty search box....I decided to see if there was anything out there about my problem. I got distracted reading about problems in general that people have had.

Evidently I don't fall into that group.

At first it was an intermittent miss a few segments...and they would sometimes come back and others would leave, etc. With no apparently indication of why the changes were happening. But, then a few nights ago...remembering that my back was sore that morning, I went to see what pressure my bed had changed to. Felt like it had gained about 20.

Well, I was stumped.

Only one segment was working on the display. I could tell whether the indicated number ended with a '5' or a '0'....I had to go by feel that night. As it was, I apparently hit the right number...because a couple nights later enough digits returned to tell what I had dialed up.

But, annoyed that all I could tell was whether the number ended in '5' or '0' and annoyed that my back is bothering me again...I went to fire off another customer support request to see about getting the pump replaced. I knew the bed is supposed to be a 20 year limited warranty....though I wasn't sure how things fall with the 'limited' part.

I did wait a long time to get a response, but I see that this happened the last fact I've forgotten when I sent the support request (fairly sure it was like midnight Labor day or something). So, it wasn't like forever.

But, I got the email today. They said they want to confirm my delivery address, so they can replace my pump at no cost under my warranty by UPS Ground.

The only struggle was whether to have them ship to my home address or another address to have somebody receive it for me. I opted to have it go to my home address. Shouldn't be a problem if the UPS guy has to make a second delivery attempt should I not know to expect it on a certain day. There will be other planned UPS deliveries coming up.

I sure hope that they have worked out the kinks and that this'll be the last time I deal with this problem until I buy my next Select Number bed. Which I kind of would like to be sooner than later...hint, hint, hint :))

"I'm now a 40" :wave:


  06:25:55 am, by The Dreamer   , 149 words  
Categories: AT&T DSL

Another blip in the DSL upgrade

It is day two of the latest DSL upgrade. No change in sync rate, since its already reached the upgraded rate. But, DSLreports spectrum analysis gives somewhat more room on the downstream. Guess that'll ensure a stable connection.

Downstream Maxrate (Estimated): 6708
Upstream Maxrate (Estimated): 952

Bit tones with notches/missing bits:

bit(s) 38:43   		163.875   - 189.75    KHz
bit(s) 49      		211.3125  - 215.625   KHz
bit(s) 59:60   		254.4375  - 263.0625  KHz
bit(s) 67:68   		288.9375  - 297.5625  KHz
bit(s) 88:90   		379.5     - 392.4375  KHz
bit(s) 92      		396.75    - 401.0625  KHz
bit(s) 100:104 		431.25    - 452.8125  KHz
bit(s) 106     		457.125   - 461.4375  KHz
bit(s) 118     		508.875   - 513.1875  KHz
bit(s) 120     		517.5     - 521.8125  KHz
bit(s) 133:137 		573.5625  - 595.125   KHz
bit(s) 147:150 		633.9375  - 651.1875  KHz
bit(s) 162     		698.625   - 702.9375  KHz
bit(s) 169     		728.8125  - 733.125   KHz
bit(s) 172     		741.75    - 746.0625  KHz
bit(s) 176:186 		759       - 806.4375  KHz
bit(s) 190:191 		819.375   - 828       KHz
bit(s) 197     		849.5625  - 853.875   KHz
bit(s) 199:200 		858.1875  - 866.8125  KHz
bit(s) 203:212 		875.4375  - 918.5625  KHz
bit(s) 218:219 		940.125   - 948.75    KHz
bit(s) 228:255 		983.25    - 1104      KHz

No change in Line Attenuation, but S/N Margin is now ~8.5


  08:21:22 am, by The Dreamer   , 429 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer

Firefox 3 on Eee PC


Last night I took the plunge and upgraded my EeePC to Firefox 3.

First I tried downloading the latest release of Firefox 3.01 for Linux, and put it along side the bundled Firefox. Of course, it wanted GTK 2.10. So, I did the forum method:

This kind of worked. Various other workarounds got it to start with minimal warnings, but it would always crash on exit.

So, I went looking for more...and found a pile of .deb packages including a special Firefox deb package. Link above. I installed all the .deb packages except the Firefox. I removed the LD_LIBRARY_PATH set for the Firefox 3 that I had installed (already copied over the plugins, though I haven't tested to see if Java and Flash still work U-( )

I did the install using 'sudo dpkg -i *.deb', which is what the page said to do....there was a spew of errors, due to misordered dependencies. But, running it again seemed to resolve the issue. At least Firefox 3 seemed to be working again.

I had renamed the original /opt/firefox to /opt/firefox2 and put Firefox3 as /opt/firefox, thinking it would allow Easy mode to just work with it. And, it seems to once I copied over the firefox.desktop file. But, then I noticed that there were empty spots in my tray...namely for super-hybrid-engine. Delving was having GTK issues.

I cleaned up the damage I caused to the system directories hacking in the first GTK 2.10 attempt...but that didn't resolve it. And, just as I was going to just accept the breakage...I decided to try reinstalling all the *.deb packages again.

Except this time, I installed the in the order they are listed on the web page.

It all seems to work now :P

Now to go on in customizing Firefox (mainly populate bookmark toolbar with my preferred links) and then on to setting up and customizing Thunderbird.

Meanwhile, I'm looking for the solution to it losing its mind network wise a little while after returning from suspend. Reconnecting to the AP resolves this, but would prefer that it didn't happen...otherwise, if there were an easier way to trigger this reset.

FWIW, I changed the Skype hot key to launch Firefox. Don't know if I'll change the other one, not sure how important it is to have a hot key to change performance modes. Will have to see if I'm limited to Easy mode items or if I can launch anything. It'll probably be either Thunderbird or IRC &#59;D

  06:28:00 am, by The Dreamer   , 169 words  
Categories: AT&T DSL

Surprise, I got it all this morning.

Woke up this morning, and checked my DSL modem.

At around 5:20am, my DSL upgraded.

The Sync Rate is now 6016/768 (Line Attn jumped from 48.5 to 49.5 and S/N went from ~12 to ~7.5).

Looks like I get it all, and they upgraded the line to such that it can just down the downstream and little bit more for the upstream.

Here's my Cacti graphs on the matter:

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  07:16:48 am, by The Dreamer   , 657 words  
Categories: ReplayTV, DVDs / NetFlix, Blu-Ray, TiVo HD / Premiere / Elite, AT&T DSL

Time to upgrade my DSL again

Last time I pulled the trigger on upgrading my DSL, I was just hoping to get them to bring me up to the speed I had been paying for (originally they said I could only get 1.5m/384k, and they did deliver that for the first month....when after a storm they then locked me down at 768/384. And, no amount of calling or emails, would make them think to let me back up.)

When I had last looked, both tiers were offered...but I was pessimistic, so I only ordered the 3.0m/512k tier. But, since sync rate is almost always this rate now....and DSLreports tools suggests that 768k upstream is possible. And, should be able to get another 1-1.5m on the downstream. I had started wondering if I shouldn't have gone for the higher speed.

Then the Roku NetFlix player was announced, and that seemed like something I would want to have. Which would make the need for more speed that much more desirable.

So, I had drafted a plan to get the NetFlix player last month and upgrade my DSL last month. Only as time went on, and reviews of the NetFlix player came interest faded. The lack of subtitles or CC capability in the player is a big negative.

Especially since I've been catching up on my TV recordings, and the big thing I miss is that they weren't recorded with CC enabled. Of course, I suppose it might have something to do with the fact that some of the people behind ReplayTV are now behind Roku. Though to be fair, part of the lack of CC on my ReplayTV recordings is the transition to digital....

Anyways...I was online today to check my account information....couldn't remember if I had seen the bill or not. Decided to go ahead and order the upgrade to see how close to 6.0m/768k they can actually deliver.

I'm more likely to be holding out for the LG/NetFlix combo device now....than the Roku. Even though the LG device is apparently no more capable than the Roku for NetFlix. But, I've been wanting Blu-Ray since the beginning, and now that its the might be time to finally pull the trigger on that. Guess it'll depend on whether NetFlix streaming improves....and whether I see enough Blu-Ray now to justify it.

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  01:26:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 453 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Networking, WiFi, Other Linux

Should've held out for the ASUS Eee PC 1000

I'm starting to think now that I should've held out for the ASUS Eee PC 1000. I'm finding the 901 a bit too cramped in physical size and storage.

I had thought of blowing off the Xandros and doing Ubuntu, which would probably help with space by not having all the stuff that is bundled. But, I opted to stay with the Easy Mode/Xandros. Largely because I'm looking for the device to just work.

I did restore it a couple of times to factory settings, because I took a blind turn playing around with apt-get and ended filling up the root drive and making a general mess of things.

Though I do have an issue with its seems to take forever to reconnect to wireless after coming out of standby, and, then more often than not, it then can't connect anywhere. Even though all the settings are right. Have to stop and restart the wireless to make it go.

It'll be a few days...maybe a couple of weeks before I get it all customized to fit the way I want to use it. Partly because I know what I want to use it for, I just don't know completely how to get there.

Compounded by the fact that it is replacing my previous laptop which is dead, and I left my work laptop at work this weekend (and I don't know what next weekend holds). But, I'm not desperate enough to keep moving forward on getting the Eee PC customized to go into work to fetch my work laptop.

But, I have did already crack open the unit. I upgraded its memory to 2GB. Only hitch was getting the new DIMM to fully seat. I have a slot loading USB External DVD burner on order for it...could be a while, its coming from a Hong Kong based eBay seller. That reminds me...I have something else coming from Hong Kong that I'm waiting for.

I'll probably even be on to my other gadget projects before I come back to fiddling with the Eee PC some more. Basically, I had wanted it before classes started, but now that classes may be a while before I can get to it. And, I'm sure by then...the 1000 would've been attainable. The extra 4GB (to 8GB) of the primary drive would've surely made a huge difference on how customized I could go with my stuff. And, I'm sure the extra space of the secondary drive (16GB to 32GB) would've gotten used for something.

Even though the plan is to avoid storing anything long term on the device. Though I'll probably still want some kind of backup plan for it...because it'll be a pain to lose things once its customized.


  08:19:03 pm, by The Dreamer   , 10 words  
Categories: General

What up with FedEx?

I stayed home all day from work for this? >:XX

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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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