Thursday, 29 January, 2015

I am still working on the redesign for this web site. I only have the 2014 posts to archive, and they are not as numerous as other years, since I stopped posting every day.

The last couple of days, when I got tired of processing blog entries, I have also done some of the recipes. I am working my way up the old menu, so I have done all the recipes for soup, sauces, etc. I am in the main dishes section, which contains the majority of my recipes.

After I convert all the database postings to web pages, I will have to go through and redo the links in many of the entries, as they point to pages based on the database. At this rate, I won’t be done until March. 8-)


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Security Theater/”Intellectual Property”

Monday, 26 January, 2015

This blog has been in existence almost 13 years. As of this morning, I have posted 2,854 items on the site. My redesign involves going through the site database and creating web pages that have all the information from the posts.

Right now I am in the middle of dong the archive section of the redesign. I have created an archive for each year, with a page for each month of each year. I then merge many of the database posts into each monthly web page. So far, I have done 2002 through 2010 (98 months). I still have 2011 through 2014 to do. I am doing one year each day, so I should be finished with the archive this week.

Next up will be the recipes section. That should be fairly straightforward. Then comes the Photos section (hard) and all the rest (also hard). I don’t think I will be done with the redesign until sometime in February.


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Security Theater/”Intellectual Property”

Sunday, 18 January, 2015

The re-design I have done on three of the web sites I maintain has inspired me to re-design this web site, too. The only problem with that is this site has a ton of content and it all goes back to 2002. I am currently creating the archived blog entries that go back that far, and I have worked my way up to 2005. Only ten more years of archives to go.

The re-design should be faster and easier to find things. Showing larger images will be much better, too.


I brought a couple of rocks back with me from Lake Havasu City. One of my brothers picked them up (many years ago) while he was working in an open pit gold mine in Parker, AZ, bulldozing tailings into a cyanide removal pond. He gave them to my dad and my dad gave them to me.

I’m not sure what they are. They could be malachite, chrysocolla or turqouise. I cut a slab from one of them over at the Rose’s shop yesterday and there is a picture of the slab below. The brown specks in the slab are probably copper. The slab is 5 1/2″ X 9″, so I can get lots of cabochons out of it. I would just really like to know what it is, though.

Those light blue trails look like fracture lines, but the entire slab is remarkably free of fractures.


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Security Theater/”Intellectual Property”

Tuesday, 13 January, 2015

I gave a short talk at the NILUG meeting on Saturday about how to use Audacity to back up cassette tapes on a hard drive. The talk was well received. I have posted it on the NILUG web site.

I will give another talk next month, about using a password manager to control all the passwords you use on a daily basis.


I posted the mineral club newsletter and several new articles on the North Idaho Mineral Club web site. That task was not as easy as when the site used a Content Management System, but I am still happy with the results.


When I normally use the Roku box to show computer content on my television, I am looking at backed up movies and TV shows using the Plex server. Since I got back from Arizona, however, I have added the YouTube channel to Roku and now I am spending a lot of time watching YouTube. I search for subjects that mostly have to do with gemstones, prospecting, rockhounding, silversmithing and lapidary. There is a ton and a half of videos out there and some of them are pretty darned good.


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Security Theater/”Intellectual Property”

Friday, 9 January, 2015

When I left for Arizona on December 19th, I paid $2.15 for a gallon of gas. When I got to Lake Havasu City, I paid $2.56. Nine days later, I filled up in Lake Havasu for $2.33 and when I got back here on the 30th, gas was $1.97.

As of this morning, gas is $1.79 and shows no signs of increasing. I suspect it should actually be about $1.00 a gallon, but that would really eat into oil company profits, so it won’t happen soon.


I have finished converting the mineral club web site from a Content Management System to static HTML. It looks pretty good and it is much, much faster than the old site. The photo gallery now works, too.


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Security Theater/”Intellectual Property”

Sunday, 4 January, 2015

I spent Christmas in Lake Havasu City, AZ with my dad and one of my sisters. I drove down there on the 19th and 20th of December, and drove back on the 29th and 30th. Driving back was interesting – I stopped for the night in Pocatello, ID and when I left the next morning, it was -7° F. It got worse after that, with the wind gusting to at least 35 mph. Throughout most of Montana, the temperature was in the minus column, with the maximum low being -22° F as I passed through the tiny town of Dell, MT. I am glad to be back. Even though it is snowing, the temperature is a reasonable 25° F.


I have been having trouble maintaining the mineral club web site. Things keep screwing up with no input from me. With that in mind, I decided to re-design the site, using static HTML instead of a Content Management System (CMS). I am well into that process and expect to have the new design posted by at least the 9th of January. It will be good to see the photo gallery items again (those are some of the latest items to be screwed up).


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Security Theater/”Intellectual Property”

Friday, 26 December, 2014

I hope that everyone had a good Christmas. I really enjoyed mine.


I no longer have a regular DVD player in my house. The last one I had was part of a Panasonic VHS/DVD recorder, and the DVD portion broke. So I am now relying on backing up all my DVDs to hard disk, then playing them on the TV using the Plex multimedia server and the Roku box. This works extremely well, as I don’t have to change media between movies or TV shows.

For Christmas this year, I got a copy of Paramount Pictures’ Iron Man 3. I have had trouble with Paramount’s DVDs in the past, and this one was the absolute worst. Thanks to their Digital Restrictions Management, the DVD will not play on Linux – AT ALL. It won’t even play under Windows, as I tried it with my Windows XP virtual machine. So what do you call a manufacturer who produces and sells a product that absolutely does not work? You don’t call him friend – that’s for sure. You may call him a money-grubbing bastard with no morals if you were me. 8-)

Since I have the purchased DVD, and I am unwilling to divulge all my personal information to download a digital copy of it from the Internet, that only leaves me one alternative to get the movie. You can guess what that is, and I consider it perfectly legitimate to get a copy that way, since I have the purchased original. I will never buy another Paramount Pictures DVD until they decide to treat their public as customers, not as thieves.


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Security Theater/”Intellectual Property”

Monday 22 December, 2014

The other day I checked the lug nuts on my Honda. The Les Schwab guy who changed my tires and rims to snow tires suggested I do this. It’s a good thing I did, too. Fifteen of the sixteen lug nuts were fine. The sixteenth lug nut was loose. It would not tighten at all, so I took it off and looked at it. It turns out the lug nut threads were stripped. Apparently, the other fifteen lug nuts were the right size, but the stripped one was just slightly too large. I took the car down to Les Schwab and they replaced the stripped nut with a proper sized nut.


I now know why I had segregated 14 audio cassettes from all the others. It turns out that those cassettes were damaged and could not be reliably played. Some were wound tight such that they slow down and speed up during play, so you ended up with a warble on playback. Some had a high frequency squeal to them. Two of them were broken or the tape was twisted. I fixed those two and backed them up. The rest are pretty much going into the trash.


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Security Theater/”Intellectual Property”

Wednesday, 17 December, 2014

Last week, I decided to re-do the North Idaho Linux Users Group web site. It was using WordPress and I decided to convert the entire site to static HTML. That’s much more secure than the CMS. Anyhow, I finished up with the conversion and posted it on Monday. take a look – I hope you like it.


I have run into a new problem with my effort to back my cassettes to hard drive. The Audacity program now no longer works with non-standard sources such as my USB connection. I am trying to track down the exact problem, but I suspect some update for Linux Mint 13 caused the problem. I may have to change distros on my laptop. In the meantime, the back up is not being done.


Silly sign of the day:


I actually saw a sign like this at a Future Shop store!


Free/Open Source Software


Security Theater/”Intellectual Property”

Friday, 12 December, 2015

I’m still working on backing up my cassettes to hard drive. I thought I had all the cassettes in the house in the cassette cases, but it turns out I did not. I found 14 more cassettes I have not yet backed up in a rack that holds old computer equipment. Don’t ask me how they got there. And to top things off, I also found five audio books on cassette. One of those books (by Jean Auel) is on 24 cassettes! So I now have 14 + 75 = 89 more cassettes to back up, excluding the 25 original cassettes I was backing up. I won’t be finished until next year at the rate I am going.


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Security Theater/”Intellectual Property”