Results tagged “Computers” from Kazza the Blank One

Relatively quiet week this week.  Had a fair bit of insomnia - not being able to get to sleep and/or waking up and not being able to get back to sleep.  So frustrating.

My phone upgraded itself to 13.3 this week because I forgot to disconnect it from power overnight.  So far a couple of retarded bugs.  The first is that if you have two phone numbers associated with a contact, Apple will now merge them together in sms messages, and I can't see any way (within the sms app) to choose which number to send it to, short of making a whole new contact to separate the numbers.  And my scheduled reminders stopped working, although it was happy to pop up old reminders that had long gone.  Apple is so retarded.

Edit: you can start a new message in the SMS app to whichever contact you like, but you can't just hit reply to an existing SMS because you literally have no idea which number it will use.

David brought his super fancy vacuum cleaner up, and on Thursday and Saturday he moved out the lounges and vacuumed seven years of accumulated dust.

Vacuuming under the lounge

On Thursday night we watched The Last Jedi.

Friday night we all met up in the city and had a lovely dinner at Kinn Thai, then saw The Rise of Skywalker.

Kinn Thai Wagyu steak

David at Star Wars

Saturday was just house stuff during the day.  Was quite productive in the morning, not so much in the afternoon.  In the evening was a bbq at Brett and Sharon's.

Blood sunset

BBQ at Brett and Sharon's

Today I finished culling photos to show for our Hong Kong/Singapore trip.  And finished a yukky jigsaw.  And made another pavlova.  And we did some food shopping at the markets.  

But disaster!  Saigon Streetfood and Groceries is shut!!

Saigon Street Food shut down

And my computer bluescreened this arvo when I plugged in my camera's SD card.  Not Happy Jan!

Blue screen of death

And I still have no idea where these little terrorists are coming from :(


Let's see how well an early night will work...

Last Wednesday I bought a small external hard drive big enough for *everything*.  I started backing everything up at 17:23. It finished this morning at 00:23.


Five and half days to back everything up. 

Should probably get a computer capable of supporting USB 3 .. hrmmm....

East China Sea GPS track

In case anyone missed me.. I've been cruising the East China Sea .. (see link in Holiday Blogs section).

So we got back on Sunday morning (thanks to Chrissie for picking us up from the airport!!).  While we were away they'd had problems one night with the alarm (went off for no good reason, and they couldn't find a spider).  There was also a problem with the back door not locking properly - the door has warped a little, possibly from all the humidity from the evaporative cooling, and so can't be locked unless you push the lock up quite hard.

Also, the internet was dead.  Something to deal with later.

Went to pick up something for lunch and for dinner.

After lunch I slept for about two hours, the sweetie most of the afternoon.  

I had a go at fixing the internet.  Rebooting the router didn't help.  Nor did rebooting the wifi (not that I thought that would do anything, on account of my pc is wired, and it wasn't even getting an IP address).  So I kicked the switch.  And everything came back.


My computer got an IP address and got back on the network.  But the NAS never came back.  Rebooted it.  Cold rebooted it.  Nothing.

We've had no end of trouble with all the Cisco gear we bought a few years back.  The 887 router just couldn't deal with our crappy phone line and would drop out and not come back til it was rebooted.  The WAP was pathetic and also kept dropping out.  We replaced both of them.  Now the switch has crapped out.  Anyone have any gigabit switches going begging?

Cooked sausages for dinner and we had a very early night.

And then woke up at 4:30 to the sweetie having a massive diarrhoea attack.  He was sick all day the poor thing.  I'm guessing a gastro virus picked up at the airport or on the plane.  So now it's the ticking time bomb of will I get it too..

Tonight I cooked myself dinner and gave the sweetie rice crackers for dinner.

And then fought with the NAS some more.  The thing has two network cables, but neither were giving a link light.  Given that the switch had spazzed out, I tried plugging them into a small 100mb switch we had lying around.  Sure enough, got link lights and the thing just started working!  So now I'm copying photos off the laptop at 100Mb/s (well actually about 9MB/s).  I really need to console onto the switch and find out what's up with it.

And we also really need to get our internet fixed.  Last night it was practically unusable.  It was a lot better earlier this evening, but has gone back to being almost unusable.  *sigh*

The other weekend I patched and rebooted my computer, as you do.

Except afterwards a whole stack of crap got broken or went weird.

I lost Irfanview from the right-click open-with.  Had to go select the application again to get it to remember it.

It changed all my window bars from blue to magenta.  Even tho it was still set to blue in the settings.  Changed it and changed it back again and it came good.

It finally killed all my scheduled tasks.  Ever since upgrading to Windows 10, the scheduled tasks I have that pop up reminders to do things at certain times/days stopped being listed in the Task Scheduler, and gave me errors any time I tried to open it.  The tasks all still worked but I just couldn't see or edit them.  Well after the last patching cycle they finally stopped working altogether, which is a pain because now I'll have to set them all up again.

I've had issues with my scanner ever since.  I don't know if it's a driver problem or a hardware problem.  But if I keep clicking ok to the error and trying again it'll scan.  Super annoying.

And Windows 10 is extremelly rude and reboots for patching without permission.  Often it'll pop up a thing and you can choose to schedule it, but you can only choose to schedule it for a few days before it insists on having to do it.  But the other day I came home and it had rebooted without my permission and no warnings.   #grunt


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Last night we went over to Ben's new place for dinner.  He made a lasagna which was delicious.  Then just chatted and half watched the food channel.  His new flatmate Tim seems like quite a nice guy.


Bit better day today.  Even though I never rebooted, the scanner decided it would work this morning so scanned thirty six photos.

Tonight my todo list took me til just now (9:40pm) to get through.  It include such things as cooking dinner, cleaning up the kitchen and running the dishwasher, taking out the recycling, doing a load of washing and hanging it out, and downloading my photos and backing up my computer.  That one took a while because I was closely watching it to make sure windows 10 didn't do anything funky with robocopy.  Aside from some new status codes (anything that's not modified is "modified" - wtf?? and some files said "older", but what the heck does that mean?  It still has extra files, actually modified files, new files etc.  Weird weird weird).  But I checked source and destination file and byte counts and it all looked ok.

I also managed to geotag day 33 of my trip, and after adding the exiftool to the exclusions list from Windows Defender, it seems to run a *lot* faster!

Now it's 9:45pm and I still need to wash my hair.. :/


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I hate Logitech's Harmony remote control software.  

Twice in the past I've had to reprogramme the Harmony One remote we have.  Yesterday I had to fight with it again for the new TV.  It's an awful clunky piece of software (admittedly better than it used to be).  You need to have an online account with them which stores your remote info (why they can't store it locally I have no idea).  They've changed the software in the past few years which means old accounts aren't compatible with new ones.  And the software has changed completely and they say if you had previously programmed it with the old version you should keep using the old version.  After I'd already donwloaded and installed the new version.  

So after digging up my account details, I finally managed to get onto their site and load all the remote info in the correct version of the software.

Only to find that they don't have remote info for our tv.

Tried using something it thought was compatible, but after reprogramming everything to use it, I tested it out and nothing worked.

What a piece of crap.

Then I thought I'd bricked the thing because it kept popping up the software when I wasn't touching it and then went completely dead, but I think I'd just managed to flatten the battery on it because it had been on for so long attached to the computer.

So next up I'll have to see if I can manually teach this peice of crap software to learn the most important buttons on the tv remote.


I don't need this crappy drama in my life.

So I woke up this morning thinking it was Monday.  So when I realised it was Tuesday it made me a feel a whole lot happier.

But the relentless onslaught of problems and interruptions took its toll on me and I almost snapped at one point from one too many phone calls during one too many problems.

I ranted half the afternoon, and all the way home with the sweetie.

But we did have some rather evil bbq pork ribs from Costco for dinner.

And watched some Veronica Mars and sorted photos and battled with my computer running at 100% cpu from riot-act pages I had open in my browser.  Stoopid stoopid stoopid site.  Why don't they just put the full article (and adverts if need be) in the rss feed??  The vast majority of riotact pages I just skip over because it's too much effort to go and actually read them.  Fail fail fail.


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Had a pretty productive weekend.  

(we also had our first fogs of the year this weekend)

First fog 2014

Yesterday was breakfast at Edgar's (Pulp Kitchen was too crowded to get a table).  I had the eggs bendict which was ok, but the bread was a bit of effort (too tough).

Edgar's Eggs Benny

Stu had the rosti stack (which I was looking at too) which was pretty good.

Edgar's Rosti

Did some food shopping after that, and then I hacked a bunch of portals while Stu got a hair cut, converting most of Civic for the Enlightened :)

Most of the rest of the weekend was spent clearing out piles and piles of paper.  Three in-trays *full* of paper cleared out, filing cabinet drawers tidied, *kilos* of paper thrown into recycling.  I even vacuumed the pool and put its cover on, although I didn't get to vacuuming the house.

This was really sad, since just that morning there were 2 Terabyte drives for sale in JB for $99 ... this is like two and a half thousand times the price!

HDD 1997 price

Tonight's dinner was very simple - just a pack of bacon bones, some split peas, an onion and a carrot thrown into a slow cooker with a bit of water, and come back in six hours.  And I took Julie Goodwin's suggestion and chucked a handful of frozen peas/corn in right at the end.  Super simple and very tasty.  The sweetie wanted thirds - must have been good!

Star Wars Traceroute

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As seen on Boing Boing the other day

D:\>tracert -h 80
Tracing route to FIN []
over a maximum of 80 hops:
 13 240 ms 240 ms 241 ms
 15 287 ms 278 ms 277 ms Episode.IV []
 16 280 ms 298 ms 341 ms A.NEW.HOPE []
 17 285 ms 280 ms 281 ms []
 18 277 ms 296 ms 399 ms Rebel.spaceships []
 19 279 ms 279 ms 277 ms striking.from.a.hidden.base []
 20 368 ms 356 ms 281 ms have.won.their.first.victory []
 21 344 ms 282 ms 304 ms against.the.evil.Galactic.Empire []
 22 310 ms 338 ms 365 ms During.the.battle []
 23 336 ms 336 ms 286 ms Rebel.spies.managed []
 24 309 ms 313 ms 371 ms to.steal.secret.plans []
 25 379 ms 392 ms 440 ms to.the.Empires.ultimate.weapon []
 26 300 ms 287 ms 287 ms the.DEATH.STAR []
 27 303 ms 284 ms 290 ms []
 28 289 ms 281 ms 360 ms []
 29 390 ms 401 ms 423 ms []
 30 290 ms 287 ms 286 ms []
 31 370 ms 389 ms 450 ms sinister.agents []
 32 340 ms 327 ms 377 ms Princess.Leia.races.home []
 33 334 ms 293 ms 309 ms aboard.her.starship []
 34 290 ms 297 ms 281 ms custodian.of.the.stolen.plans []
 35 278 ms 284 ms 281 ms []
 36 280 ms 276 ms 283 ms people.and.restore []
 37 282 ms 281 ms 278 ms []
 38 278 ms 280 ms 280 ms 0-------------------0 []
 39 280 ms 284 ms 285 ms 0------------------0 []
 40 286 ms 287 ms 301 ms 0-----------------0 []
 41 361 ms 389 ms 403 ms 0----------------0 []
 42 278 ms 282 ms 278 ms 0---------------0 []
 43 286 ms 276 ms 282 ms 0--------------0 []
 44 299 ms 281 ms 282 ms 0-------------0 []
 45 279 ms 283 ms 281 ms 0------------0 []
 46 282 ms 279 ms 282 ms 0-----------0 []
 47 367 ms 289 ms 349 ms 0----------0 []
 48 386 ms 400 ms 404 ms 0---------0 []
 49 402 ms 403 ms 286 ms 0--------0 []
 50 285 ms 280 ms 281 ms 0-------0 []
 51 280 ms 277 ms 281 ms 0------0 []
 52 284 ms 286 ms 284 ms 0-----0 []
 53 283 ms 283 ms 282 ms 0----0 []
 54 284 ms 284 ms 280 ms 0---0 []
 55 286 ms 285 ms 285 ms 0--0 []
 56 288 ms 323 ms 358 ms 0-0 []
 57 381 ms 373 ms 372 ms 00 []
 58 282 ms 339 ms 346 ms I []
 59 284 ms 279 ms 283 ms By.Ryan.Werber []
 60 281 ms 284 ms 285 ms When.CCIEs.Get.Bored []
 61 285 ms 282 ms 284 ms []
 62 290 ms 286 ms 284 ms FIN []
Trace complete.

PIII 866

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I just turned off my Pentium III, 866 computer.  

It was my third computer.  The first being a 486 I bought off Luc in 1995, and the second being a Pentium 166 in 1996.

It was over eleven years old.  I got it around 2001 - a gift from CIA for all the unpaid work I used to do for them.  It served as my main computer for around five years, before getting another work computer before I left Sydney.  I used it as a backup repository for a while.  When I moved to Canberra I think it was off for a while, but got pressed into service for several years as our Skype phone server, and in its last months a print server when the JetDirect card died and a parallel port was needed.

So it had a pretty good life.  I'll probably keep it for a while, because it still works after all!


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So got up, got ready, debated going to work, but in the end went back to bed.  Blah.

I did achieve one thing today .. actually two things... figured out how to get SNMP working on the router (this helped), and got rid of three old computers, a case, lots of expansion cards, cables, RAM, disk drives, floppy disks, hard disks and a monitor.


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ok day today. Until I got home.  Then everything went to crap.  Well not really everything.  But enough to not have a good night.

Battled an old computer that keeps turning off.  Which is annoying when I'm using it to wipe disks (it has a removable disk bay which makes it super easy to swap disks).

Battled iTunes, which always thinks *it* knows best.

And battling my nose, which has been super irritated all day :(


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Random Days Off are pretty awesome.  Did some tidying up downstairs.  Did some tidying up upstairs.  Got the VHS/DVD-R going so I can digitise some videos.  Got a new toy.  She shall be known as Amy.


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I finally gave away this laptop last weekend.  It was originally a uni laptop that belonged to Jim, but was thrown out when it reached the end of its useful life.  I took it all around the USA/Canada in 2004 to download my photos, a trip to Queensland in 2005 and Lord Howe Island in 2007.  It was a great little laptop because it was so small and light.  But it was what, thirteen years old?, and only running Windows 98, so attaching devices became problematic.  We replaced it with the first Eee PC in 2008 and I hadn't used it since.  So last weekend I gave it to my Dad.  If he can make his camera and memory sticks work with it, he'll probably find it useful, but otherwise it's probably only good for landfill :(

Toshiba laptop
Toshiba laptop

Around maybe the 25th of August I was trying to manage some of the mail in my Eudora inbox - I wanted to move some of it to another folder.  So I selected a few and dragged them to another folder.  Like I do regularly.  Except this day my computer had a hiccough, and those mails got corrupted.  The mails that I wanted to move were from around the 13-14th August.  And it looked like those mails had gotten corrupted.  But what I didn't realise at the time was that the *entire* inbox had been corrupted dated around the 16th.

So the backup I'd done on the 21st August (to disk 1) would have had a corrupt inbox.

What I didn't realise was that the backup I'd done on 7 August (to disk 2) would have had a good copy.  I didn't know this when I ran a backup over the top on 4th September.

So come yesterday when I realised what had happened, and suddenly I realise my last two backups have a corrupted inbox :(:(:(

Fortunately I had a third backup, one that doesn't come into circulation very often, dated 4th July.  The problem with that backup, is that it was now so old that mail was no longer on the server for a few weeks in July (mail is only set to stay on the server for 60 days).  But, it was better than nothing.  So I brought that home tonight and tried to piece everything back together.  My cPanel mail is a bit of a pain though, it wouldn't let me just download the mail again in another copy of Eudora.  It seems that once they've been downloaded once, it refuses to download them again.  In the end I copied them to another cPanel mailbox using Horde webmail, and downloaded them again that way.

So then it was piecing together the various backups and redownloaded mailboxes, without getting too may duplicates floating around.

I had a look through the corrupted mailboxes text files, but they only have content in them from 16th August onwards :(

All up I probably only lost about half a dozen mails that I care about.  My inbox you see is my personal mail address, so the majority of other mail (dealing with companies) gets filtered automatically at download.  So there wasn't a huge amount in the missing days.  And I can tell from the TOC what the mails are and who they're from.  

Lessons learnt:
* multiple backups are a Good Thing!!
* keeping mail on the server for a decent chunk of time before deleting it is a Good Thing!!
* manage Eudora mailboxes more regularly - they're more prone to errors when they get big

And now I prepare to weather the storm of stoopid comments telling me I should use a better mail client or a mac with time machine, or I should keep all my mail in the cloud, or some such other nonsense.  Because nothing bad could ever happen in any of those scenarios, could it?

Eee PC - number 2

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So I might have accidentally bought another toy today ..

Eee PC
Another little Eee PC (the first one we got three and a half years ago between our wedding and our honeymoon).  While the first one was adorable, it was too underpowered to work with the photos off my new camera, getting photos off it was a pain (you had to do a cp -p to preserve the timestamps on the files), the screen was *tiny* and difficult to use Firefox on, and the final nail in the coffin - it runs Linux, but I need Windows or MacOS to run my GPS software.  

I wanted an SSD for it, but they're really hard to get in netbooks (apparently people want more space so they can use them for downloading holiday photos).  The Macbook Air certainly looked pretty swishy, but at three times the price, and the pain of me having to learn a whole new OS and find replacement applications put me off.  I decided I just wanted something reasonably cheap that wouldn't be the end of the world if anything happened to it while travelling.

JB HiFi had the R051PX for $397, Dick Smith had it for $399.  So Phil looked up MSY and they had it for $299.  So out to Fyshwick I trekked this afternoon :)

Haven't played with it much yet, just doing lots of updates.

Not sure what we'll do with the old one (which we paid $500 for - ouch!!), maybe give it to the kids for Christmas or something..??  
And I still have that old 98 laptop too - and it even still boots!  But couldn't get the GPS software working on that either - it installed ok but then wouldn't actually run :(

Friday .. survived..

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@NathanaelB tweeted this week: "No one should have to 'survive' the working week"


Yeah well I survived, just.

Photo of the day.  A few weeks ago when Gaelian was here, Stu dragged out his "portable" computer.  Twenty six (or so) years old.  !!!  Frankly I was completely amazed that the thing actually booted!!

26 year old computer
A year ago today was our final day in Japan.  All we did was go to Ueno and visit the Tokyo National Museum.  Was pretty interesting though.

The little brother is here tonight, he's running a train out to Bungendore tomorrow.

Tomorrow I'll be geotagging photos.  It's going to be a lot of work to keep ahead of the holiday!

Yasi update

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It's still circling Central Australia.

Yasi update

Went out to Potty's tonight to help them with their computer.  Wind and rain screamed through, shearing trees off at the base.  Freaky stuff.

House was a sauna tonight compared to outside.. but of course now the wind has dropped so not getting any circulation.  At least it's supposed to be cooler tomorrow..

Rename Rename Rename

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Warning: complete boring obsessive-compulsive post.

This morning I had the thought that I really should get around renaming all our UK photos with date/timestamps.

Sounds easy, no?

Well with the right tools, the bulk of it is.  Point an application such as Renamemaster at a directory of files and you're done.

Well that only works on the days that all files are in the same timezone.  As soon as you start throwing flights into the mix, the problem becomes how to deal with files in different timezones.  Especially problematic when you're going back in time - you can end up with overlapping files if you do it wrong :/

The first challenge as always was to figure out exactly what time (local time) photos were taken to see which ones need offsetting.  That took ages.  Especially with photos from three still cameras, two phones and a video camera to sort out.  All with different behaviours.  The still cameras were fairly easy cause the time is set manually.  They just worked.  Phones automatically pick up the new times when you change timezones so they were also easy enough, except for some of the iPhone pics which didn't have a date modified timestamp on them that Renamemaster could find - weird! The video camera was a bit painful because it was set by changing the timezone on it.  For some reason the still photos it takes and the videos were different by an hour. Yay.  

I used Exif Date Changer on some of the files (the ones where I was going forward in time and wanted to update them to local time after I'd changed timezones). 

The movies taken by the still cameras I renamed manually cause there weren't that many of them.  But when I got to the video camera and they all needed adjusting by an hour I used Bulk Rename Utility.  Its interface is a bit scary, and by accident I actually modified the original modified date (possibly that will be a problem when we're not in Daylight Saving anymore..) but then also managed to rename them as well.  

So anyways.  It took around eleven hours *groan* but got everything sorted and renamed and the blog posts updated with the stats.

I'm sure my brother will tell me I'm doing it wrong.  But at least now all ~13000 files are done.


Windows 7

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Formatted my C: drive last night and installed Windows 7 proper.  Copped plenty of flak at work for buying it retail, but now that I come to think of it, it's probably the first time I've *ever* paid full price for an operating system.. The last couple have come with the PCs and before that it was all uni stuff.  

I decided not to get an upgrade, since I didn't want to spend time trying to find my Dell recovery cds or deal with any of the hassles of trying to get a key to work (having read horror stories about it).  

So backed everything up just in case (data is all on d: drive, but it was scheduled for last night anyway) then backed up my users directory to make sure I had things like my Google Earth place markers, Live Messenger history, and Chrome history/session data.

And then installed Windows 7.  Went totally smoothly.  In fact a few minutes after it started I went and hung out all my washing, then came back and it was nearly done.  Installed and restored Chrome and I was up and running again, hurrah!
Kazza's "Boring Life Of a Geek" aka BLOG

IT geek, originally from Sydney, moved to Canberra in 2007. Married to "the sweetie", aka Stu. Prolific photographer, Lego junkie and tropical fish keeper.

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