Category: "General"

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

I have my own 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 '' 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 '' to '' 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 '' 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....

Full story »


  09:30:17 am, by The Dreamer   , 81 words  
Categories: General, Healthcare

Swinging for Sleep Campaign With Nicole Jeray


Narcolepsy Network has teamed up with long time loyal Narcolepsy Network member and golf superstar, Nicole Jeray, LPGA Touring Pro. Narcolepsy Network is soliciting your support for a unique fundraising endeavor, “Swinging for Sleep”.

Jazz Pharmaceuticals will donate $25 for every birdie that Nicole makes on tour. And, you can pledge any amount you wish to also donate for every birdie that Nicole makes on tour. Or, just make a one-time donation of your choosing.

Personally, I've pledged $0.50 for each birdie.... :cool:


  10:37:12 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1056 words  
Categories: General, Hardware, Computer, Home, TiVo HD / Premiere / Elite, Storage

I nearly died 3 times this far....

First Tuesday's near death was caused by my TiVo Premiere.

I sat down to watch Combat Hospital first....on my 1st TiVo HD....but saw that the episode was split in two....a 30 minute and a 22 minute piece. Guess I'll have to find it elsewhere....checked Amazon, luck. Guess iTunes....though I turned off the Apple TV, wonder if should set it back up. I'll just push it through TiVo Desktop or something...

While waiting for it to download and convert....I switched over to my TiVo gave a strange HDMI error. Probably rebooted recently, too...the TiVo's sometimes mess up the HDMI handshake on boot up, and I have switch input away and back to fix it.

It was busy recording two shows.... I looked to see what I would watch. Noticed that I was weird on how it recorded recorded 3 of the same. Played reported that it didn't record because there was no signal, same with the next and again with the 3rd. Hmm, I checked other shows....after that point....same message, this is getting annoying.

Things had recorded fine on my TiVo HD' a problem specific to my TiVo Premiere. I was deleting the bad shows as I was going and writing down the episode number to of the ones that weren't repeating in the coming week to track down later. But, not the missed episode of Outcasts, it recorded fine on my 1st TiVo HD. I started going backwards, and finding more and more unplayable shows. Wondered if the shows currently recording were working. One seemed okay (Covert Affairs), but the other one (HawthoRNe) was black at the beginning...guess the was a station outage...but the show was coming through fine now.

I then tried to plan an old show that I hadn't finished reported that it didn't record because.... hmmm, maybe it just needs a reboot. Since both shows will repeat again later in the week. I rebooted it (took me a while to track down the restart option

And, then I died a bunch of times.

I saw that the just a few more minutes....hmmm, its a different looking screen than before, wonder when it upgraded that. But, then it rebooted again.... And, another few more minutes....and this time...blank screen.

I tried pulling the plug....a few times....checked all the connections....then I checked google, seemed to suggest perhaps an HDMI problem. So, I switched help. I wondered if my TiVo Premiere was still under warranty. Evidently, I activated it on July 12th. Just under the wire? was still showing blank screen....and I was maybe hoping that it would just be taking really long or someting. When, suddenly "TiVo Central" appeared...and the later the discovery bar slowly filled in. So, no more intro video?

I looked around a bit...and the big change I saw was the Hulu Plus item. Guess it was just another painful software update....

I then checked the shows....everything seemed fine...I restored all the shows I had deleted and they seemed ok as well, and I've watched a few since then....only Outcasts and the two shows that were recording were lost. The two shows repeated later, and I got them then...other shows will repeat and I'll get them. Since Outcasts recorded fine on my other TiVo....nothing was missed in the end.

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  09:52:32 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1090 words  
Categories: General, Software, Networking, Android

I took The EFF Tor Challenge


Earlier in the week, I got an email from EFF about their Tor Challenge. I had looked at Tor some time ago, but it seemed like a hassle to use. But, I am a support of EFF, and not just because I had lots of ReplayTVs and now a few TiVos.

So, I decided to take another look at Tor....I had started worrying about my privacy with some of my online activities, and I do support various human rights issues, etc.

The challenge called for setting up a relay. So, I continued looking and what I needed to do to make it do that. ORPort prefers to be either 9001 or 443...well, wouldn't go on 9001 on Orac, it conflicted with another service that I'm already running. So, it would have to go on a different port.

That, meant figuring out how to NAT on my doesn't do port NAT on inbound forwards, so I had to figure out how to add entries to iptables to make that go. That took some doing, but eventually I got that working. Not before I accidentally lost my rc_firewall, and had to restore for a rather old version. I should probably see about doing some kind of automated backup...

It defaults to going with exit relay, and I decided to go ahead...but use the 'reduced exit relay' policy. To see how that would work.

I set bandwidth and transfer limits on things....but first instance on the 'Orac' actually hit the limit, which made it hard to night surf for my own reasons. And, while I was on the torproject site, I decided to take a look at Orbot for both my Android phone and my Android tablet. And, I suppose I'll want to run it on my laptop.

One problem I seemed to have is that I couldn't get tor to work locally on my android phone on wifi, but it worked on 3g. I figured its some kind of conflict with the tor network seeing the relay at the same IP. Though later it started working, maybe that was the relay went into hibernation. I did set up 'Orac' as a central proxy for everything at home. Strange that when I think of private surfing I tend to use my DSL and general surfing on Cox. I had gone with default gateway on 'Orac' it was going Cox.

With everything seeming to work well, I opted to set up another instance of 'box' to use my other Internet connection. That didn't go as well, because the ISP blocks a lot more inbound connections than the other. But, I got it working. And, I poked around some sites here and there before calling it a night.

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  04:31:38 pm, by The Dreamer   , 3581 words  
Categories: General, Appliances, Healthcare

I had a Spinal Tap

...though I don't know why, but hope that I'm not in the 11.5%

This all started when I had a January 13, 2011 appointment following my PSG/MSLT of December 2&3, 2010. The finding of the MSLT was 'normal', and there was no room for discussion or questions on it with my sleep doctor. But, while I was waiting on the MSLT results, I got a letter dated December 14, 2010 from Stanford saying had the DQB1*0602 subtype.

After the appointment, I was to get a referral to somewhere like Stanford and maybe I should see a Neurologist because maybe I'm actually have seizures and not EDS + sleep attacks. When I asked what 'somewhere like Stanford' might be, the doc said Stanford is the only place he knows so that's where. So, why did he say 'somewhere like Stanford' if he doesn't know any such place.

But, the whole Stanford thing seemed to stall after I was told that I needed to call my insurance and tell them if it would be covered...and not just let me tell them there that it would be covered. Somehow leaving and then saying that I had called my insurance was better than just saying it? :??: Anyways, I called, and found out that it would they would be covered as an in-network provider (so even better than I had thought).... But, when I called back, the doc said that he had been thinking and probably wouldn't do the referral now.

The following week, I got a call from his office saying they had called the number of Stanford...and it was not in service, and wanted me to find out the correct number. I provided them with the number that was on their website, the URL being part of the letter that they had gotten the number they had called from. Though later it occurred to me, that Monday, January 17th was President's Day. Which was a University holiday for me, and likely was a University holiday for Stanford....and I found out that it was, and they were closed that day.

And, then I heard nothing..... I contacted Stanford a few times after this, and they average about 3 calls from medical professional each day but they don't recall having gotten any phone call from mime.

After a couple months, I decided to take it upon myself to do the second thing....and found a nearby neurologist that I wanted to see. I had first appointment with him, on March 28, 2011, during which he said he wanted to see the MSLT data for himself since it looked borderline and I finally got something for my RLS and he wanted to run a bunch of other tests, such as MRI and then he would see me in about a month and after he get's back from vacation.

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  02:48:37 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1358 words  
Categories: General, Home Theatre, Software, Furnishings, Storage, Healthcare, Roku XDS, Boxee

Today is supposed to be Roku day

And, it will be....but first I decided that I should get at the clutter of new stuff that I hadn't gotten around to yet.

First up was a Sans Digital MS2T+B MobileSTOR enclosure I had picked up a while back. The current array that backuppc goes to on orac is filling up. It's just a 4TB filesystem on a RAID6 array using 1.5TB drives. There's one other filesystem on this array and it could use some more room as well. I have debated whether the array needs to be RAID6 for backuppc, or whether RAID5 would be sufficient. But its the other filesystem that is driving RAID6, though I wonder if RAID 0+1 might be better for that (or just RAID1, since it is currently small enough). But, I'm using a pair of 5 bay PM enclosures....and older RAID 1 in one, and the RAID6 array in the other.

So, I've decided that I'll likely look at getting 5 2TB drives and doing RAID5 for a backuppc only array....keep the current 5 1.5TB drives in RAID6 for the other filesystem and whatever else I might want to move over to it. But, the stuff on the current 1TB RAID 1 array should just stay put. Well, there are two (of 4) regular eSATA ports on the back of orac that aren't being used yet. So, that's where the 1TB RAID 1 array will go.

It is still a ways off before I take the plunge and actually build the new array (though the backuppc filesystem has filled up twice since I thought up this scheme)... though prices are dropping and I do have a tax refund coming that many other things I want to use it on (including a travel/backup cpap setup, which is about the entire refund...oops).

But, I decided I would set it up, because I saw 2TB Hitachi drives the other day for cheap (they did recently get acquired by Western Digital, so sellers might be clearing out the Hitachi branded drives?) So, it might fall into range of what would be an acceptable single month discretionary purchase. Though technically, I've already done this month's when I bought the Nanosat speaker package that was a NewEgg shell shocker....though I used BillMeLater. I've been wanting to get this set to upgrade the odd ball collection of old speakers that is my current setup. But, the shellshocker price put it just into the range.... But, I was considering Seagate drives...which then dropped to remain cheaper than Hitachi....Hmm....

Anyways...I went to put the new enclosure into service, but I couldn't find the pair of eSATA cables I thought I had set aside for this. I did buy a pair of eSATA cables last fall from But, evidently I used them for something else. I'd guess when I moved orac, I needed the length...not sure where the old cables went to then, but the probably aren't long enough for this. So, did some quick eBay purchases...and maybe I'll get to this eventually....

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  06:54:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 278 words  
Categories: General, Software, Quicken/TurboTax

Time to start working on 2010 Taxes

This year the first difference was that I purchased TurboTax Premier 2010 as a download from, back on February 18th. The other difference, is that I had to track down the information I needed from Quicken Premier 2010. And, well...doing it all on my new computer, etc.

And, like in previous years, I knew that once I started, I would go all the way through. The exception would be if something goes wrong in TurboTax. Saddly, something did....the purchase of the next step to complete my return before getting to the e-file failed. There was a certificate error, but told it to continue anyways....but it got stuck after it said it had completed the order, but TurboTax felt that the order had failed and wants me to try again. I checked online, and didn't see the order and couldn't lookup the order number. So, I tried again and it said it did an account recovery and everything was good now. I'll probably do the e-file Monday night.

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  09:36:10 am, by The Dreamer   , 1216 words  
Categories: General, Hardware, Software, Computer, Wireless/iPhone

Happy New Year -- January 1st, 2011 -- The migration is nearing the end.

Since I last wrote, I continued to data from my old computer over to the new one. I had started opening some of the old documents to remember what they were and how to sort them into place. Since, the old was many different drives/partitions to help with organization...and on this computer I'm keeping things as much as possible to the standard 4 groups in the Library. Though stuff I do doesn't really fall into just the four, though things tend to use (My )Documents as a catch all.

Ran into a problem when I tried to open an Excel spreadsheet to see which one was the right version. The system came preinstalled with Microsoft Office Starter, but I guess its actually the full Microsoft Office whatever... And, initially it pops an annoying dialog that asks if I want to purchase the full software and/or activate it, otherwise use Starter to open the file. But, I had installed LibreOffice, and I was sure I had set it to handle these file extensions. I did change install process to confirm. But, this buy Microsoft Office or drop through to starter kept coming up.

Obviously I just need to remove I did. Now my old files open file in LibreOffice...some of the files don't format correctly, but guess its kind of expected. LibreOffice doesn't seem too skilled with some of the esoteric formatting trickery I've exploited in Word in early days/versions. Word5/7. It also never seems to do well with my old WordPerfect and Quattro Pro files. I had to go through some of the older Quattro Pro files that wouldn't open at all in LibreOffice and export them as an old version of excel that could at LibreOffice could handle (most then got converted to OpenDocument format), so I shouldn't need to resort to buying WordPerfect Suite for this computer (just yet). Probably should've kept better track of document type obsolescence....but if hadn't done time working around librarians, I don't think I would've ever have thought of these kinds of issues so much. Some files were kind of important though....namely the ones I was tracking PDH hours or cost basis of stocks I own.

Generally, I'm trying to avoid having to buy/rebuy software for this new computer immediately. I haven't made any payments on this computer yet, and things are already getting kind of out of hand with extras that I've had to buy already. Though in an unrelated note, I went ahead and purchased the license for Touchdown for Android...even though its my work issued Droid 2. There would probably be ways to be productive on there without it, but given that I've gone to all the trouble to get it to something I can use now....I'll just stay with what's working for me.

As I was making progress, I noticed it seemed odd that I was missing some stuff. I then realized that when I was migrating "My Documents" over, I had gotten distracted when I reached the "My Pictures", "My Videos" and "My Music" folders and not continued after that point. There was a ton of stuff to copy for that...a couple hundred gigabytes.

I went back through and continued to copy those, while I was going through "Documents and Settings" on TARDIS to see what else I should get. I didn't do the hidden folders...just looked at "My Documents" and the two "Start Menu" trees to see what kind of apps I should see about reinstalling. Guess I'll worry about tracking down the data when I do the installs. Though along the way I did find it odd that I couldn't locate data files for some of the applications I used to use, and want to continue using. Realized later that some apps store the documents in its program directory. Will have to make sure I look for that when I go through my "Program Files" directory....

It is interesting, seeing all the old software that used to be on TARDIS that I don't use anymore. Though sad to see some of the stuff I do use occasionally or regularly, that don't work under Windows 7 or 64-bit. I haven't checked out XP mode yet, but I intend to....for the stuff I really can't do without or purchased software that needs it (like EncoreViewer 1.0).

"My Documents" was pretty cluttered, though I did go through and sort some of the documents into folder categories, like "Home", "Work", "Manuals", "Routers" (generic because it includes configs for my APs), etc. Kept looking for a letter to stop the work at and go to sleep...but New Year's day was imminent and I knew there would be neighbors that would be especially keen to use this particular occasion (instead of times where there was no occasion at all) to violate the city's fireworks regulations. I wish the police would actually enforce it. Friday night shouldn't be an occasion to set off fireworks...etc. Well, the fireworks continued for more than just a few minutes into the new I ended up completing all of "My Documents".

That leaves "Program Files" as the last remaining directory to go through. I should have that done later today (though I won't necessarily install all the applications that I find I still want.) Wonder just how much of TARDIS will remain in regular use then?

I did move my Apple TV over to sync'ng with Zen's iTunes. That process was a wipe everything and start over again. Hopefully it won't be that involved should I move my old iPhone 3G over, or my 5th Gen iPod Nano. I have been thinking of getting the 4th Gen iPod Touch, since it should be faster and better than using the iPhone 3G without service has been....though the case(s) I want don't yet have versions for the 4th Gen, so maybe I have to wait to see what the 5th Gen looks like. Though not sure how I'll carry both an iPod Touch and the work Droid 2 around. Not sure how to carry the work Droid 2 around all the time as it is. Was easier when it was just a work KRZR. I usually only wear my e-Holster at work. Hmmm....

Was strange yesterday to finally watch a DVD that I got from NetFlix...hadn't found time to watch DVDs much this fall...too much new fall television to watch. But, I was settling down with a pizza last night, so I decided a DVD would require less interaction while eating. Should've started before I started eating, because the preview trailers were kind of annoying. And, skip was an invalid key on the remote, but at least I could FF some individual previews. There was time for another one or two DVDs when I finished the first, but I opted to get back to migration work.

Meanwhile, I'm kind of sore now from sitting at my new computer so much. I guess I need to work on replacing the chair sooner than later. The task chair is like 26? years the seat is kind of hard/worn and it never was really comfortable to begin with. Guess the plan of getting an Aeron chair at home, just isn't going to happen. Will, probably just keep an eye on the weekly ad to see if something on sale catches my eye.


  04:51:48 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1523 words  
Categories: General, Stuff, Hardware, Software, Computer, BOINC, Home, Furnishings, Healthcare

I got me an HP....

... an HP Pavilion Elite HPE-450t, customized with things like:

  • Intel Core i7-870
  • 9GB DDR3-1333MHz SDRAM
  • 1.5TB RAID1 (2x1.5TB SATA HDDs)
  • Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
  • 2GB NVIDIA GeForce420

Should be good for doing BOINC &#59;D

Now, I bought this system customized expecting to pretty much plug it in and go, only having to add externally attached peripherals to complete things. Though I do plan to do upgrades in the future, specifically I got the the 3 DIMM ( 2x4GB + 1GB ) configuration of slightly more memory so that I could potentially take it to the 16GB max at a future date without having to buy all 4 new DIMMs. If I had bought the 8GB configuration, it would've come as 4 2GB DIMMs. Anyways...without doing anything else first...I just had to take a peek inside.

Now, I don't know if it was that I got a Core i7-860 Dell computer at work (replacing a P4-2.8Ghz machine, so slower than TARDIS - a P4-3.2GHz w/HT machine) or ordering this computer...but TARDIS had seemed to get slower and slower, to pretty much insufferable these last few days. Still not ready to turn new system on....more later.

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  10:45:03 pm, by The Dreamer   , 99 words  
Categories: General, Stuff, Healthcare

Eyeglass Prescription Oct 14, 2010


On October 14, 2010, I had my latest eye exam...

Updating the progression of prescriptions:

2003: OD -5.00 -1.00 075       OS -8.00
2005: OD -4.25 -1.00 080       OS -7.00 -0.75 045
2006: OD -4.50 -1.00 055       OS -6.50 -1.00 035
2008: OD -5.25 -1.00 060       OS -7.25 -1.00 025
2009: OD -5.00 -0.50 050       OS -7.00 -1.25 030
2010: OD -5.50 -0.75 050 +1.25 OS -7.00 -1.00 040 +1.25

Full story »

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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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