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BLOGical Thoughts Archive

December 2014

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.

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 2014

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"

Monday, 8 December 2014

We got some snow last week. Not much, and the current rainy spell has pretty much removed the snow. I have heard that we will have a warm December, and from what I've seen, it looks like that's true.

While we had some snow on the ground, I used the truck to plow our road. There wasn't much snow, but I needed to charge the battery, so I went ahead and did that. Underneath the snow, the ground was hard enough that I didn't dig into it with the blade, so all I did was to make it a bit easier to get up onto the county road.


I am still backing up cassettes to hard disk. I have been doing about two cassettes per session and I haven't done that every day. I have now done 56 cassettes since I started this latest back up effort.


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"

Monday, 1 December 2014

This year, Black Friday was just like any other day for me. Either I have become jaded, or the fact that busineses have decided that the Black Friday is not one day but 5 has burnt me out. I did go down to Hastings books in the afternoon and bought a couple of books and a DVD, but they were not connected to any Hastings Black Friday sale.


I went to the TriGeo company reunion Saturday night. There were only 16 people there, as the majority of the old company are spread out all over the U.S. now. Still, it was good to catch up with them. Most of them have not changed, although one couple I was not expecting to be parents now have a cute baby girl. And considering her parents, I'm sure she is really, really smart, too.


The trailer for the seventh Star Wars movie is out, and there are already comments about the movie.


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"