Categories: "Home" or "Appliances" or "Broadband" or "AT&T DSL" or "Cox HSI" or "RoadRunner" or "Furnishings" or "Healthcare" or "Outdoor" or "Safety & Security"

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  10:06:48 am, by The Dreamer   , 891 words  
Categories: Digital Photography, Hardware, Software, Computer, Networking, TV, Storage, Healthcare

December 30th Migration Update

Again, last night I didn't do as much work on migration as I hoped, between feeling some what really sleepy...which passed after a little sit on sofa where I had to go back to the beginning of the show I was watch to find out where I really was at....and watching the two part Christmas themed episodes of "The Closer".

The goal I had set out was to finally install my ScanSnap S300 and maybe EncoreViewer (which I had heard wouldn't work, but I had to see for myself). I also did some other things like install and move Eye-Fi, checked that I could manage the cards using the built-in SD card slot (doesn't work on my laptop, but it worked here). EncoreViewer wouldn't work...people had said it wouldn't work on 64-bit Windows 7, though reports are that the 2.0 version will...but don't need it yet, so don't feel like buying it. I'll probably see about getting XP Mode and see if that makes it work, otherwise there's VirtualBox...which I know works. I think I have one unopened copy of XP left.

I did some poking around on TARDIS last night, first it was move the LabelWriter 320 to there for eventual reconnection. Later it was to put the SmartCard reader for EncoreViewer back on the computer. I decided to plug the LabelWriter back in and see if I could share it. It wasn't working...apparently it doesn't like being connected to the USB hub. It used to be on a USB hub...though that's probably why it was the only thing that was still plugged into the old USB 1.1 hub. I didn't keep it when I moved TARDIS...

Seems the 6 USB ports on the back of the computer is a really limited quantity, with all the things that won't run on hubs. :## A bigger problem on the new computer, because the keyboard and mouse each take up one of the precious ports. I'm using one for the direct connection of my UPS, another will be for the external drive for local backup, one is the USB hub....that leaves one left, and that'll probable be the webcam.

The 7-port USB hub is filling up too, though not as fast since the LabelWriter320 isn't supported on Windows 7. So far its LabelWriter 400, SnapScan S300 and the USB to serial adapter (I mentioned yesterday). Maybe I'll replace the hub with one with more ports....chaining this hub so to the otherside of my desk...

During the LabelWriter 320 on TARDIS process, I had to reboot. So, I decided to disable a bunch of things that start up when it boots that didn't need to be there anymore. Mainly the stuff for ScanSnap and the many IM clients. And, with the IM clients stopped, I started working on installing and configuring some of the IM clients on Zen. I should get to getting the webcam working soon.

Installed some other stuff like Tweetdeck, Picasa...then decided that I should work on the backup drive.

I populated my old Sans Digital TR2UT-B with a pair of Seagate 1.5TB drives, one that I had on hand plus the one I received today via Amazon Prime. Had to remember how to get it to make a mirror, and then it went about its business. Wonder where the CD for it went to, and whether the monitoring software would work on Windows 7.

Now, I had commented how quiet the living room had become when I moved TARDIS out. It stayed quiet with Zen setup. This HP is much quieter...even when it has BOINC hammering it. But, the quiet has ended, because the fan in the Sans Digital TR2UT is quite noisy. At first I was going to put it near the computer on it or on my desk, but I switched to putting it down lower as far as the cable would let me. on nearby bookcase....same shelf where I used to have external drives for much the same purpose in the past...

After I had gotten the drive formatted, it detected the addition and asked what I wanted to use it for. So, went into using it for backup. It already takes a while to do a backup...also less free space on it than system drive....wonder if I shouldn't have gone with the 2TB external instead now.

Then I thought I should see about getting backuppc going, but left the things for the night to let the backup complete (and the raid1 build to finish).

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  10:42:00 am, by The Dreamer   , 408 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, Networking, TV, Storage, Healthcare, Scanner

December 29th Migration Update

Last night I didn't do much work on migration, as it was the season finale of Tower Prep. And, then my weekly Sleep Apnea online chat to fill time until I had to do some work at 10.

But, during the work (a DNS update and a cert renewal) testing using Safari came up. Well, I hadn't installed Safari on Zen yet. So, I did that...and I installed Opera while I was at it. Earlier, while checking some email, checking bills and placing an order on I updated my GoodSync settings to reflect that Quicken now lives on Zen....the settings push backups of my Quicken file around onto different computers and different places in the cloud.

Just remembered that I need to update the cronjob on Orac....should be ok since, not too much has changed since yesterday's backup. Which reminds me that I should update the cronjob that runs in my dreamhost account to backup the directory of the new domain I recently got....even though there isn't anything to backup, and probably never will be....since it'll probably be email only.

But, this morning....I did my usual stuff but this time I came upon a website that I wanted to save an image from. I hadn't started working on copying over "My Documents" and various others...haven't really figured out how to go from data scattered over 5 drive letters (C, E, F, G, H) onto a new single drive. But, probably going to go with everything under Documents or other standard group (at least at the top). This'll require more GoodSync updates later.

First I just copied over the part of the "My Pictures" folder related to what I was doing, later I started going down through "My Documents" on TARDIS and dragging stuff over. But, then I hit the "My Music" was only a matter of time that I would need to figure out how to move iTunes over, along with the other music files/formats I have. Currently they mostly reside on the H: drive on TARDIS, though there's some stuff in the "My Music" folder.

Though what started the full migration of data/"My Documents" was that I wanted to scan in some new documents, I just got from a visit to my doctor....but I still haven't worked on getting the Fujitsu ScanSnap S300 going yet.

Meanwhile the new drive has arrived...will let it warm up and get that going tonight, perhaps after I get the scanner working.


  09:28:57 am, by The Dreamer   , 3041 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, Networking, BOINC, Home, Safety & Security, Storage, Healthcare

New computer migration process

The upgrade/transition to my new HP Pavilion Elite HPE-450t, which I have named Zen, has reached a milestone.

The point where my morning routine will need to take place on this computer rather than on my old one, TARDIS.

I didn't power it on for the first time until the evening of Boxing Day (December 26th). And, after completing the initial boot setup...the main thing I did for the rest of the night was install BOINC and attach to as many projects as I could. Several projects seem to be currently down, hopefully they'll return in the new year once the various institutions that they are located come out of their normal holiday shutdown period. K-State's closed its normal operations from Friday, December 24, 2010, through Friday, December 31, 2010. Normal operations resuming Monday, January 3rd, 2011.

Of course, I'm special...I get to work through the shutdown.

Anyways...the next morning I spent time trying to get it to update...there were a lot of patches, and it needed a lot of cycles. Annoying that it only applies some patches when you shutdown, not reboot. :##

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  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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  01:58:43 pm, by The Dreamer   , 259 words  
Categories: Home, Safety & Security

Remembered that I'm starting a new tradition... replace smoke detector batteries and test them on Christmas Day.

I used to use Daylight Saving Time transitions as when to test and replace batteries. Pretty sure I used to do it in the spring when I was last a home owner. Then I lived in apartments that had hard-wired smoke detectors, though one place I stayed in had battery backup in the detectors...and it got really annoying when it needed to be replaced, which was unexpected...but I lived close to a Wal-Mart then.

I was kind of using the DST transitions to test and replace, though I went to replace in the fall. But, DST has gotten a lot longer, and I seemed to think there was a 6 month recommendation I thought I should find a new anniversary date to do things.

I figured June 25th and December 25th would be nice days to use.

Though I guess times have changed....because I tried to google to find out...and there were lots of vague suggestions and recommendations...but the consensus seems to be replace batteries annual, using either one of the DST transitions, a birthday or some other date. And, to test according to manufacturer's recommendation.

Well, while replacing the detectors, I read the writing on the inside and it says to test weekly. I doubt any of my neighbors test theirs that often, plus I wonder if they even bother with regular battery replacements....wish I had better neighbors.

Oh well, too late to go back to old schedule I guess....will see how this new tradition goes :lalala:


  02:45:57 pm, by The Dreamer   , 918 words  
Categories: Stuff, Home, Appliances

New batteries in Panasonic ES7037 Shaver


Guess it is over 3 years old....back on September 16, 2007, I bought the Panasonic Pro-Curve Pivot Action Shaving System/Rechargeable, Model ES7037CMB from

A few months ago, I was starting to find it annoying that the battery was running down really quickly. I was only getting 1 or 2 shaves out of it. I started thinking that it was time to get a new shaver...and I did find some that were interesting, but of course pretty fancy and expensive. So, it was low on my priority of things to I had just replaced the blades in the shaver.

While I was researching shavers and such, I came across They carried batteries listed as compatible replacements. Seemed like an affordable if it didn't work, then I'd have the excuse to move up purchase of a new shaver :))

I finally got around to performing the operation today. Only one screw visible on the bottom, so I didn't think it would be too hard...except the one precision screwdriver I needed, was the one that I couldn't find. (though I just found my autoloader, perhaps that would've had the tip I needed.) But once I had the bottom off, it was clear there was more to taking it apart. There were two screws visible, but clearly not enough...but looks like the rubber panel comes off.

Later I found it comes off in two pieces. And, now there were 6 screws visible, but did I really need to get them all out. Hoping there was a not quite visible seam that would appear later like when I removed the grip panels. I then went online looking for a manual. Found the user's manual, and it described the procedure for taking it apart. Though the intent of the directions was for removing the batteries prior to disposal. But, it got me to where I could see the old batteries.

Not without encountering one screw that was a little stubborn at coming out, and the head was starting to strip. Since the precision screwdriver I was using was a little small for the job. I thought about what to do, then I remembered that I had picked on the console access kit from Thinkgeek a while back. That had the perfect tip and out came the last screw.

I looked at the old and new batteries. The old batteries and a longer post on one end, and no markings as to polarity. I managed to get one out, the other was a little bit more stubborn...but eventually it came out. Though the holder and circuit board came lose and there was this odd piece of white plastic.

I looked back at the batteries, the new ones had same size posts on each end but it was clearly marked on polarity. Guess I could check with a multimeter. Except that I couldn't find my good one, and the cheap one was missing its test leads. I improvised some leads using power cords and other bits of metal. The end with the dark cap and long post seems to be the positive. Later I noticed the new batteries had a black band on its positive end.

The batteries came with a black rubber pad on the side, since the old battery was quite s snug fit...I scraped it off. And, then tried to put the battery in. Seems its a smidge bigger/longer than the original. So had to use some force to get it to snap in.

After some examination, I figured out the odd white piece of plastic was the linkage between the switch on the front to the switch on the circuit board. Surprised there's so little to it and everything. I seemed to have things in the right place, so I proceeded to reassemble the shaver.

The two halves didn't quite go together as nicely as before, and actually a bit of force was needed to get them close enough to get the sides to snap back in properly. D'oh, forgot those metal clips at the top....

I had tried to test starting the shaver before I had it completely closed, but it wouldn't work. Wasn't until it was completely reassembled that it came to life when I worked the switch. Didn't check the new batteries if they had any power to them, so it could just have been completely dead... Wonder if there's an interlock I missed, or if the control linkage was loose when I tried it the first time. That's a good sign. Would also meant the batteries were in the correct orientation.

I plugged it in to charge, and it seemed okay with that too.

Since the operation was prompted by it running down instantly as I was intending to shave....I used it. It not only works, but it seems to have more power to a shave...even more than before after a fresh charge. Guess, some how the old batteries were more weak than just reduced charge holding.

While I could probably keep doing this as long as I can get replacement batteries. I probably won't do this operation again. Still want a new shaver at some point....

But, now I can focus on the new toothbrush. Not sure if replacing the battery in it is possible...but the handle is getting kind of icky. It doesn't seem to brush as well as it did, but that could be the batteries being old...or not. Guess the Oral-B Triumph 9400 Professional is over 3 years old too. I had gotten it on October 29, 2007, also from


  10:28:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 763 words  
Categories: Computer, Home, Furnishings, Printers

Staples Cormac Computer Cart, Maple


As so often with any new technology purchase I make, there is a lot of scope creep...where I end up buying lots of other things associated with the purchase. Sometimes a bunch of these things come into the process before I even get around to the actual piece of technology.

This is one of those times. I still haven't gotten to the new computer, and I'm buying stuff due to it.

Since the Staples Desley Mesh Task Chair had gone so well, and the printer stand seemed so inadequate in the space (and ill suited for the task of being stand for old computer), I took a quick peek at to see if there was an inexpensive desk that would fit the space and fit the bill. I had bought the chair last week, during last week's Weekly Ad sales....well, this week in the Weekly Ad was a sale on the Staples Cormac Computer Cart for $29.99 ($40 off).

After some measurements and having freed up extra seemed like it would be a good fit and I went for it. Timing it so the delivery would happen today (Wednesday)...thinking that I would be home to receive it after a doctor office visit and before heading into work. Well, UPS was running slow happens, especially this time of year, I guess. So, after waiting a little bit longer than intended, I headed in. I figured I could stick a note tomorrow for it to get left if it didn't get left. Its a 40lb should be safe by my front door for a few hours, despite recent news of people stealing UPS packages...even following UPS drivers and signing for other people's packages.

Well, it got left, along with a few other packages....the box that the chair mat that I had ordered to get the order over the $50 for free delivery threshold. I didn't really think a chair mat would work in the space and I didn't need another one, but I couldn't find anything else on that struck me as something that was immediately available and could fill a need.

After settling in at home, I set out to assemble the desk. The only thing not included that it needed as a philips head all went together quite well. And, of reasonable quality...given its price, etc. The mesh was dinged in some places, but only noticeable up close. And, the removable shelf came with two same side brackets, even though the instructions showed a left and a right. The parts list gave no indication that there should be a difference, as it was two part K's (unlike the sides of the keyboard shelf glides which was clearly a part L and a part M....conveniently part L was the left side) The problem with both part K's being the same is that the shelf only looks 'good' if used on the right side of the cart. In my current arrangement, I have it on the left side (since right side is into the corner of the room...) Though that may change as I position my computer in...since in normal setup, I have the computer to my right, and might move the desk away from the corner enough for it to tuck in on that side. :hmm:

In the current arrangement, the new chair mat doesn't fit into the space. It would if it was just the printer stand (which turned 90 degrees compared to computer desk, but not an L arrangement...the space is a cramped rectangle). I probably should've measured the the space to see if the chair mat would fit.

Perhaps I'll get it to fit when I get around to the reorg project of the other bedroom/storeroom/computerroom....

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  12:53:10 pm, by The Dreamer   , 576 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Home, Furnishings

Staples Desley Mesh Task Chair, Gray


So, recently I pulled the trigger on getting a new computer....which I'm sure I'll write about later, so I won't talk about it now.

But having done so, there was the problem of making room for a new computer. Since the new computer is to replace my current, it isn't so much space to put the new computer...but rather space to move the old computer to.

For a long time, I've thought about clearing a corner in the bedroom I use as a storeroom. Originally the plan was to locate a network laser printer to this space. It is very doubtful that I would have the juice to handle a laser printer in the living room, and probably definitely not when the the fuser fires up. Though one would hope that things have come forward to the point where it isn't as bad as the Xerox 4045 I once owned. I had snake power from another part of my house to run it, and it would still dim everything. I had already cleared networking an an outlet towards this possibility.

That probably won't happen in the near future now...

Anyways, I launched into plans to make the space happen....I had a printer stand that would free up with some work, that would go into this space....I would just use it as a computer stand in the new plan. But, it would need a chair. So, I did a quick online search....Amazon Prime was the usually first place. Though I had wish-listed some other options from Staples. But, I'm on a budget right I went looking for less expensive options. First, and the I was looking for a mesh chair...nothing with a mesh seat in my current price range though. But, I noticed that the current Weekly Ad for had a simple mesh task chair for $29.99 ($20 off).

Well, that's very cheap....since the plan doesn't have spending a lot of time at this computer, it should be more than adequate...otherwise I would want a chair with arm rests and a bit more adjust-ability.

The only hard part of the ordering process, was that kept apologizing for being down....

So, I spent the weekend working on clearing a spot for printer stand and a I went along, I decided to free up more and more space. If all goes well now, there will be a small computer desk going into the space as well. Considering something from, and this week's Weekly Ad. I may yet do the network printer in this space, in fact I'm considering just moving my current printer (HP Photosmart 8450xi, which I am using networked)...since I'm probably going to need all the desk space with the new computer...and a pair of 23" wide-screen monitors.

Anyways, the chair arrived today...and I decided that before I had lunch I would set it up. Turned out to be really easy to put together...everything was included, along with extras. And, it was a lot better quality than I expected for the price. But, its still very basic. Though I wish I had gotten two. I could've finally replaced the chair that's falling apart in front of the computers in the other bedroom that's computers and clutter. Guess I'll have to keep an eye out....or stick with the plan to eventually get a much better chair in the living room and move that one.

So, wonder if I should get another chair mat or two...


  06:17:43 pm, by The Dreamer   , 612 words  
Categories: Home, Appliances

KitchenAid 12-Cup Glass Carafe Coffee Maker


As I had blogged on Friday, my Mr. Coffee Coffee Maker had failed. So, that day I did the 'normal' thing...I went to and looked to see what coffee maker I could get via Amazon Prime. More specifically, shipped next day (Monday, they don't seem to do Saturday's anymore).

There were many fine choices in a wide range of prices that glass carafe, used regular basket filters (I had tried cone once), and wasn't Mr. Coffee. (fail me once, shame on you....same reason I won't consider GE appliances)

At first I wanted cheap and fast, though I extended the pricing a little bit because I didn't like the reviews of some of the units and form is still important to me. But, I was constraining price to do the purchase using remaining American Express Membership Rewards (after having used some to buy that heater I blogged of earlier.)

When I got home from work, and finding the box sitting on my doorstep. I'm promptly set out to get it set up and run the first pot of water to flush it out, and get it ready for tomorrow morning. It was interest to find that it has a removable water tank. Not sure how useful it is to me, given where I've put it and how difficult it was get repositioned behind the coffee maker to set down again. Though the water lid lifting the reverse way does also make it challenging to fill from water pitcher.

Other quirk I found is it is really easy to get into the time change mode, single press of the mode button. Also disturbing is the 1-4 cup mode is the same button, but only after going through the 3 time settings (hour, minute, am/pm).

And, finally the next oddity is the overloading of the brew button. Press once to instantly make coffee, press and hold to make coffee at scheduled time. And, its indication is that the lighted ring around the button flashes, no beep. Kind of a problem with my thumbs....covering up the button and the light ring completely. Though I did later see that the display says 'Auto'.

Now that I've used it one day....the resulting cup of coffee this morning was satisfactory, and should be great with some adjustment. Do find it annoying that the 1-4 cup mode doesn't stick, while the 'bold' mode does.

The nice thing this morning, is no more dribble carafe. Though it has an attached flip lid still...which makes washing inconvenient to me. Also it doesn't empty completely with a quick flip over the sink like I'm used to. But, definitely nice that all the coffee goes into my cup, rather than half of it splashing onto the counter and matter how carefully or slowly I try to go.

Looking forward to a long future of coffee, and not think about what my next coffee maker is going to be (though thoughts of getting a single serve machine still come up now and then, as does getting an espresso machine again....)

Though tomorrow morning will be the last of my Boca Java coffee, though my next shipment should be in transit.

Kind of bothersome that apparently UPS tracking numbers are not unique....Boca Java says it shipped my order on December 12th, but the UPS site says it was delivered and left at the front door....on closer inspection see that its been left in Portsmouth, VA...and finally that it happened on June 22nd, 2009. But, shipped/billed on December 14th, 2010. Not the first time I've had this scare with UPS tracking....

BTW, does anybody know of a good android app that's equivalent to the Delivery Status app on the iPhone?


  12:05:41 pm, by The Dreamer   , 259 words  
Categories: Digital Photography, Home, Appliances, Furnishings

Soleus Air HR1-08R-21 Oscillating Reflective Heater, Silver, Black


So, lately in the mornings it has been kind of nippy in front of my main computer out in the living room. Probably because of 3 exterior walls, and the computer against the wall with no heat registers. And, the thermostat is in the warmest spot in my home...under the cold air return.

I had been bumping the thermostat in the morning when I go by it, but that's not what I really want to do long term. I had looked at getting a low wattage radiant (people) heater to use by the computer in the mornings. Needs to be low wattage, because the living room only has one circuit...and well, there's lots and lots of stuff on it.

Last Monday I had reached my limit....burr. |-| I already had an order with pending that I had placed over the weekend. So, using Amazon Prime and one-day option, I could have another box to arrive the same day as the rest....

I had originally identified some possible choices in heaters last winter, they were of the radiant heat, orange glow kind...either single low wattage or dual setting where the low was under 500W. Lower the better.... I checked my wishlist, and found that one of the choices was still available under Amazon Prime and could be one-day shipped to arrive the same time as my other stuff.

But, I checked other similar heaters to see what else is there. Partly because I wasn't totally sure that the model that remained was the one that I wanted. Though it was cheap (<$20) and 300W. But, it was a table top unit, and I didn't have a table top to put it on.

So, I settled on the Soleus Air HR1-08R-21...because it had a bit of stand to it and a remote control. It had two settings, 400W and 800W. I think I used to have a quartz heater that was like this at my old apartment...seemed to go away after that, probably one of the many things that didn't survive the move. Though it had two elements, and 400W was to only use one of it was kind of weird to never use the other element. IIRC, only the one that I used got broke in the move too... Anyways, it was a consideration this time around, that if I got a radiant heater with multiple settings, that it didn't do it by having less uniform output.

I also decided that I would give the new option of using my American Express Membership Reward points to purchase something from

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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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