Sunday, 28 September, 2014

The reason it took me 2 days to back up the 5 web sites I maintain was a LAN switch problem. This workstation has been hooked up to port 7 of my LAN switch since I bought the switch. Lately, the throughput of the computer has gone way down and I could not figure out why. I now know. Port 7 of the LAN switch will no longer connect to my workstation at 1,000MBPS. It now connects at 100MBPS – 1/10th of the normal speed. I ‘fixed’ that by switching the workstation to another port, but I will eventually have to get a new LAN switch.


 

In the last few days, I have done 4 more cabochons, ranging from small to very large. They are

  • 10 x 14 mm – rutilated quartz with golden rutiles
  • 18 x 13 mm – blue tigereye
  • 32 x 18 mm – picture jasper
  • 52 x 38 mm – sheen obsidian

Here are the two smaller cabochons. I apologize for the poor quality of the picture. I’m still trying to find a way to take good macro pictures.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Thursday, 25 September, 2014

After I fixed the mineral club web site, I decided to back up all the web sites I maintain. That has not been done in 6 months, which is definitely too long a time to be without a stable backup.

Backing up 5 web sites took me two days. Most of that was downloading the 19,000 files contained in the web sites. 11,000 of those files are on this web site. The next largest site is the car club web site. The nice thing about all this is that I can start an FTP download on those files, then go off and do other stuff while the files download. There was at least 16 hours of that kind of downloading.

I also backed up the databases for the 4 web sites that use a CMS. When I got to the car club site, it was nice not to have to do that. Of course, there are tradeoffs between static and dynamic web sites. The static sites such as the car club site are harder to maintain and update, but easier to back up.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/”Intellectual Property”

 

Sunday, 21 September, 2014

I discovered last week that the mineral club web site was all screwed up. I could not see how it got that messed up, but I got it working with an upgraded version of Drupal. Then this weekend I discovered that it was screwed up again. So today I went through and re-created the database tables that were messed up. I hope that fixes things. I also backed up the entire web site and the database while I was working on things.

On Saturday we had a mineral club meeting to decide what to do with the collection we purchased from one of our members. We pretty much decided on three actions: 1) auction off some of the material in our silent auctions. 2) Sell some of the material directly to members. 3) Sell some of the material to vendors who participate in our gem show.


 

I went up to Priest Lake on Friday morning, and came back here that evening. I wanted to stay the entire weekend, but I had the mineral club meeting on Saturday so I didn’t stay. I really like that area (a mile or so north of Coolin, ID). If you are in need of decompressing, a place like Priest Lake is just the medicine the doctor ordered.

On the way up on Highway 41, I saw at least a half dozen classic cars and trucks that were in need of restoration. If I had the space, I would buy one of them and do a restoration, but my garage is completely full at this point. I need to empty out the accumulated crap from the last 30 years.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/”Intellectual Property”

 

Monday, 15 September, 2014

I am trying to figure out where I can mount a modern radio in the Plymouth so that I can use it, but people will not know it is there. The two places I have come up with so far are behind the original radio or in the glove compartment. I could mount it behind the old radio, as the new one has a remote and I don’t really need access to the controls. On the other hand, mounting it in the glove box allows me to more easily access the USB port on the radio, since most of the music I will play is on a USB memory stick. I will continue to research this and find a sutiable location.


 

Yesterday I took my Plymouth and teardrop trailer down to the 7th Day Adventist Car Show in Coeur d’Alene. This is the first year they have had a car show and the response was fairly good for the short notice. You can see the cars that participated here.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/”Intellectual Property”

 

Monday, 8 September, 2014

Friday evening I hooked my teardrop trailer up to my Plymouth and went down to Dalton Gardens City Park. I cooked dinner in the park and spent the night there, so we could set up early Saturday for the car show. Saturday morning I cooked breakfast for me and the other overnighter (Pete), then we did some setup work. I was there until 2:30pm and I have taken pictures of the show. The weather was perfect and we all enjoyed the Daltons Gardens Picnic and Car Show. It was nice not having to compete for trophies – there were none this year.

I usually just take a picture of my car as it shows up in the lineup. This time, my car and trailer are up there as the first picture.

I made a Dutch oven chocolate cherry cake for the picnic portion, and it lasted about 15 minutes. That’s usually what happens. I don’t know what it is about Dutch oven dishes, but people really scarf on them.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/”Intellectual Property”

 

Monday, 1 September, 2014

I showed my 1952 Plymouth Concord in the Coaster Classic Car Show at Silverwood Theme Park on Saturday. It was my first time for that show, and I thought I knew about how big it was. I was completely wrong. I took as many pictures as I could of the cars there, and that totaled 275. There were cars from Idaho, Washington, Montana, British Columbia and Alberta. And many more from all around the area. It was a fun and interesting show. It was also my first time at Silverwood, and that was interesting, too.


 

A new family moved into the neighborhood and boy, are they forward. I took a picture of them through my front room window.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/”Intellectual Property”

 

Wednesday, 27 August, 2014

I have taken over the coordination of Dutch oven events in this area from George Holcomb. George has Parkinson’s disease and it is getting the better of him at this point. He can no longer cook with Dutch ovens. Anyhow, the next event that was scheduled for local Dutch oven cooks was the Rathdrum Adventure Race on September 6th. Since the organizers were unable to get any community support for that demo, we are not participating in that event. The next event will probably be sometime next year.

This cancellation frees up that day for me, so I can go to the Dalton Gardens Car Show, sponsored by our car club, the Phuddy Duddy Cruisers. I went last year, but my car was not available, so I went in my truck and teardrop trailer, parking overnight and participating in the Dalton Gardens Picnic. This year I will take the car and trailer and my Dutch ovens so I can cook something tasty for the picnic.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/”Intellectual Property”

 

Friday, 22 August, 2014

I haven’t posted a picture of the teardrop/classic car combo here for quite a while. So here goes. First, here’s the setup from a couple of years ago.

After painting the car and putting bed liner on parts of the trailer, I took this picture in April.

The picture doesn’t really show it, but the car is now metallic blue and very shiny. I’m happy with the results.

I finally got my car radio back from the repairman, but it still isn’t fixed. At least I can fill the hole in the dashboard of the Plymouth.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/”Intellectual Property”

 

Monday, 18 August, 2014

I have discovered that shopping at ony one supermarket is not optimal. I switched from Super 1 Foods to WinCo in the belief that all their prices were better. I was wrong, but not completely. Here is a comparison of some items I buy:

Item WinCo Price   Super 1 Price
Calidad Tortilla Chips $1.48 $1.68
Hash Brown Potatoes $1.01 $1.88
Chicken Thighs/lb. $1.25 $1.88
Hawaiian Punch Singles $.88 $1.68
Red Chile Peppers/lb. $4.98 $1.48
Spike Seasoning $5.06 $2.99
Bacon $4.35/12oz $2.78/16oz

As you can see, you have to be aware of pricing and shop at the place that gives you the best price for the item you are interested in.


 

I am continuing to back up everything that can be backed up. I have finished doing my DVDs and have 915 of them backed up. I am now going through all the 3 1/2″ floppies I have and am backing them up on a 400GB SATA hard drive. I’m glad to do it now, as some of them are unreadable and others could be in the near future.

My next major chore is to back up all the cassettes I have. I will use an old Fischer CD player I have and pipe that directly to a computer. I will use Audacity on the single file generated from a cassette side to create the separate tracks. I have several hundred of these cassettes and most of them are not duplicates of any audio CD I own.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/”Intellectual Property”

 

Monday, 11 August, 2014

The multimedia computer (Olga) is the computer I have all my movies and audio CDs on. It ran Linux Mint 14 and used the Plex multimedia server. Since I was having trouble getting to some of the software repositories for Linux Mint 14, I decided on Friday to upgrade the machine with Linux Mint 17. I carefully copied the non-standard filesystem information from LM 14 so I would have no trouble there.

Installing Linux Mint 17 from scratch went off without a hitch. I added the two filesystem entries to the fstab file, then did the first update, which ran to 300MB. After that, I installed the applications I use that are not included with the distro, such as Audacity, Openshot, Handbrake and Virtualbox. Installation and updating everything took me 1 1/2 hours. The final thing I did was install a newer version of the Plex server. This is where things got sticky.

It turns out that Plex keeps the information about various multimedia items in a database in the operating system area, instead of in my home directory. That means that when I installed Linux Mint 17 from scratch, I accidently wiped out the original database. That meant I had to re-install links to my home movies, movies, music and TV shows. Once those were installed, Plex took at least 5 hours to download all the metadata for 914 movies, 1,526 audio CDs and 26 complete television series.

I have installed the latest version of Plex, which has a new ‘feature’ that uses the metadata inside each of the movie files. What that means is the metadata title is displayed instead of using the file name as the title. That is why I have entries like the movie The Alpha Incident which shows up in the S’s as SIFIMEGAPACKDISC08B. I will have to go to each movie that is labeled like that and use Handbrake on it to remove the offending metadata. That will take me many, many hours. No rest for the wicked, I guess.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/”Intellectual Property”