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Still Busy

That final lawnmower has been put on a back burner as I have been working on a computer problem for a friend. It is an intermittent disconnect from the Internet. I finally told him to take the modem and router back to the cable company and get new ones. That seems to have solved the problem. I own my modem and router and have not been experiencing any problems. Not paying the monthly equipment rental fee has covered the cost of the equipment years ago.

I have finally received all of the bits and pieces required to finish rebuilding my big box and will probably be “smoke testing” my efforts in the next couple of days, if the tenants don’t break anything.

I have also gathered the parts necessary to work on the kitchen faucet, so I will be trying not to flood the kitchen later in the week.

Oh, I managed to reattach a trim piece on the car that was knocked off by the tree. I used stainless steel screws instead of black duct tape, which was the consensus solution among the tenants.

I have put up the Tropical Weather sites on the side bar because the National Hurricane Center is coming on line before the official start of the Hurricane Season on June 1st. Tropical Storm Andres formed today off the Pacific Coast of Mexico and the Atlantic season could start at any time.


1 Kryten42 { 05.12.21 at 4:05 am }

You have been busy mate!

Coincidentally, I’ve been offline most of the past few weeks. I was running some s/w updates whilst I went to the Pharmacy to get my med’s. When I got back, my main PC had a nasty new Trojan/Virus from one of the updates when it auto-installed! Ironically, the A/V s/w was one of the updates, with an update for this new pest. Typical!

I was trying to use my W10 Tablet, but the Router/modem the ISP gave me for the NBN has really unreliable & slow WiFi. No wonder they give it away.

I finally removed the pest from my drives, though a lot of files were damaged. I was able to recover most over a week by ‘undeleting’ the files that were changed. But there were over 3 million files on the roughly 16 TB of drives on here (mostly because of all my music, movies, series, photo’s, documents and games). It took awhile! I got too lazy with my backups the past year. Mainly because this cheap POS router only has 100 Mbps ethernet ports, so working with the NAS on there was agonizingly slow! I got rid of it and got a much better NBN certified Router/Modem/VoIP unit. Should have done that ages ago, but money has been tight & it did work well with the NBN.

On the plus side, whilst the recovery s/w was busy, I spent time ripping all the garbage out of Win10 Enterprise (even though most isn’t actually used in that Edition like it is in Home & Pro, it’s all still there). I got it down to a bit under 2.5 GB from over 4.5. It starts a LOT faster and uses much less RAM. So I’m pleased about that. Started reinstalling my app’s today. Using the Vivaldi Web Browser. It’s really very good. 🙂

Good luck with everything. I hope you catch a break Bryan. Take care. 😀

2 Badtux { 05.14.21 at 4:33 pm }

This penguin is looking at relocating to a different (cheaper) city now that COVID-19 has proven that I don’t need to actually be located in a physical office in the same city as everybody else. Ugh. What a chore. Seems like everybody else has the same idea. *EIGHTEEN* offers on a crappy 1959 house, one for $80K over asking price! UGH.

3 Bryan { 05.14.21 at 11:27 pm }

Oregon is probably as close as you’re going to find “reasonable” with cell and broadband access, Badtux, assuming you have no interest in Idaho or Utah.

I gave up on Firefox, Kryten, after a spate of annoying updates and am happy with Opera on my Win 10 machines. I tried Vivaldi, and may try again since the latest update is supposed to have resolved a few of my annoyances.

I haven’t used an ISP modem or router since they decided to end providing them for free, and began leasing them to you. The pay off for buying your own has been 6 to 9 months. If they had not taken longer than Amazon to ship a new modem, I might have stayed with them longer. The modems provided by ISPs are almost universally knock-off crap. As for the router, I have updated mine three times before my ISP discovered 802.11ac.

I turned off auto – updates on everything after ESET had a fit when something wanted to shut it down before loading an update. I think it was Flash or malware mimicking a Flash update.

I use “sneaker net” for back-ups – 1TB HDs in external housing that plug into USB 3.0 because Windows keeps forgetting who’s on the my network. Enterprise is probably a whole lot better than Pro for that sort of thing.

4 Badtux { 05.15.21 at 8:19 pm }

Sadly, for insurance reasons I’m limited to northern California. But even frickin’ Stockton is getting expensive. STOCKTON, for crying out loud. Armpit of the univers. Sheesh!

5 Bryan { 05.16.21 at 8:20 pm }

Down in San Diego County they are asking for $350K for a house in Ramona. No worries about landscaping as it is all rock with a few trees in planters.

6 Kryten42 { 05.20.21 at 2:41 pm }

Hi guys,

I’m pretty much back to where I was. It gave me a chance to have a big clean up anyway. 🙂

Firefox has had so many updates, it’s annoying. And they changed the way much of it worked. Several of my plugins I relied upon either stopped working or didn’t work properly.

I have an app that updates my s/w when important updates are available. I que them up for end of the week to update at once. It was just bad timing really, and my stupidity/laziness in recent Months. 🤷‍♂️😞

I dumped the cheap POS Router. Using my ASUS DSL-AC68U Router now. It didn’t support NBN and early Firmware updates to support it were flaky and had poor performance. It also doesn’t have an ATA/VoIP capability. It’s finally working with NBN properly & is on the official NBN supported list. I bought a 1-Port ATA/VoIP Ethernet to analog phone adapter that was cheap on Amazon. The Router has 4x 1 Gb LAN ports that can be teamed & 1x WAN port that I connected the ATA to. It also has Trend Micro Anti-Malware s/w that I enabled. It used to have a bit of a CPU/RAM overhead, but they have made that a lot better.

Also using a Netgear GS108TV2 ProSAFE 8-Port Gb Smart Switch so I can use the NAS at it’s full speed as it has 4x teamed 1 Gb ports.

Almost wishing I hadn’t sold off my server, big NAS & 10 Gb Ethernet H/H a couple years ago. But the money was very handy & I honestly wasn’t using it all anyway. I’ve finally given up thinking I’ll ever have another business. The longer I kept it, the less it was all worth. “Make hay whilst the sun shines”. 🙂 😀

House prices are bad here too. Good luck Badtux. I hope you find something good & affordable.

Stay safe & sane. 👋👍😊

7 Bryan { 05.21.21 at 9:41 pm }

Yeah, Firefox got annoying with the updates and changes, including having to get a separate SFTP program instead of the extension, that’s why I switched to Opera.

I’m trying another backup app to see if it does what it promises. I have big hard drives and small SSDs hanging around that I can basically clone my working storage and just plug in a working boot disk if there’s a problem.

It looks like you have resolved your access to the Internet problems for now, until some moron with a backhoe rips out cables. [We lost cable and telephone access for a week a couple of years ago when that happened. The guy was facing potential Federal criminal charges for a while as he also broke fibers belonging to the Department of Defense.]

The new Win 10 Pro version I just installed is a hell of a lot more intrusive than the version that died or the version on this machine. It insisted on my giving them a phone number or a e-mail address and verified it. I used the number of my backup phone that I rarely have turned on. I bought to learn about Android. For $60 why not?

As my Mother used to say “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.”

8 Kryten42 { 05.26.21 at 7:49 am }

“If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” I haven’t heard that one, I don’t think. My Nan used to say “If wishes were fishes, we’d all swim in riches!” 😆 I’m sure there are many such idioms. 😀

Yeah, i tried W10 Pro, because it’s supposed to be better for gaming. I removed it after an hour! Spent a couple day making W10 Enterprise LTSC work! Wasn’t that hard actually.

On one of the Mod forums I trust (well, mostly trust)… I asked about it & was pointed to someone who had created a build called “Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2019-17763.1879 Lite Xtreme Gamers Edition x64” (what a mouthful!) I just used my license and was good to go. It had a modded version of Windows Store and the XBox game files. They look like they work to W10 and s/w, but don’t. All snooping etc. is redirected to a local fake ‘server’, which just sends an ack. Makes it all much faster too! Store can be enabled if it’s actually wanted. Part of it is actually on Github:


M$ is of course pissed… But there is nothing they can do about it. 😁😏

9 Bryan { 05.26.21 at 6:23 pm }

My work-around was a whole lot simpler – I cloned the the version on the office computer, changed the computer name and used the license from the dead box. I removed all of the single computer software that was necessary for the office machine and downloaded the stuff that is peculiar to the new motherboard. I avoided wasting time upgrading and tuning to make it run the way I want.

I might feel something for M$ if they didn’t insist on upping the annoyance level with every “upgrade” to their software. They are like the cable TV companies who add channels who don’t want to watch and increase your bill. M$ adds features you don’t want and jacks up the price.

10 Kryten42 { 05.31.21 at 11:07 am }

Speaking of feeling bugger all for M$… I just got an eMail asking if I wanted to participate in the “Inside Preview” program for ‘Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2021 Build’. I declined of course. Even when I was an active participant in the various “Professional” programs M$ had (I still get eMails etc. for, even though I cancelled my accounts years ago), they never listened & did whatever they wanted anyway. This is basically “We want you to be our testers for free because we can’t be bothered hiring enough people to test our products. But you get it for free for all your hard work. Because we are cheap b*stards” 🤷‍♂️🤨

There may be a sucker born every minute (and the state of the World certainly goes a long way to proving that idiom)… I am not one of them. Also “Once bitten…”

I still use DoNotSpy10 Pro. It now has about 100+ W10 “features” it disables for actual privacy and security, and it does make W10 smaller & faster. More are added every update. Another effective fast/easy ‘trick’ is to redirect all the M$ web addresses they use to spy on you to in the Hosts file. I’ve lost track of how many there are now… A couple dozen or so at least. M$ don’t even try to hide the intention of some! Like:
spynetalt . micro$oft . c*m

(Edited because M$ search for sites talking about them) 😒

My hosts file currently has 82,892 hostnames redirected. Mostly ads & spam etc. sites. makes browsing a lot faster, and it reduces the “Please disable your adblocker to continue” messages! Sadly, the wonderful HostsMan hosts manager is no longer being developed/supported. But it still works well & is effective. Thankfully the lists are 3rd party & most are still actively maintained. 😀


I hope all is well with you Bryan, and you are catching some breaks. Good luck my friend. Please take care of yourself!

11 Bryan { 05.31.21 at 8:45 pm }

I had a bout of food poisoning, but it finally passed through my system after a couple of days. These days it isn’t the illness, it’s the recovery that’s annoying. I’m back to yelling at the grackles [a noisy black bird with beady yellow eyes that eat cat food] and squirrels. After three quarters of a century, waking up and moving around is a victory.

Thanks for reminding me about DoNotSpy, I bought it to check out my system. I don’t remember being asked about settings on this machine as it came preinstalled.

I’ve been messing around with the various forms of SSDs during the rebuild of the big box. I think I’ll install a NVMe as my Windows boot.

Back in the early days I was a beta tester for a lot of software. The software was free and I gave them my opinion and at the end they gave me a the latest versions of the software. One of my clients for training was a major retailer who got all kinds of samples. These days you are a beta tester for every program/app you buy because nobody does in depth testing anymore – if it runs on an HP and a Dell it will be fine, right?

12 Kryten42 { 06.04.21 at 2:29 am }

How did you get food poisoning? I’ve had it a few times. It’s never a good thing. I had a gastro bug for a couple days this week. Kind of similar in some ways. 🤷‍♂️😖

M.2 NVMe SSD’s are good for the boot drive. I was looking at prices of SSD’s on Amazon. When I got my first NVMe late 2015, the Samsung 950 Pro 512 GB, it cost a bit less than the new Samsung 980 Pro 2 TB! Just don’t get a really cheap one, one of the QLC drives that don’t have a DRAM Cache. They can be very slow & have a shorter life. Some of the QLC drives are OK with a decent cache.

Still, the cheapest decent one now for typical user workloads is probably the Crucial P2 at the lowest price for a decent TLC NVMe drive. It only has a small SLC cache, which saves money. But it isn’t a QLC drive. 500 GB around $65 or $130 for 1 TB. If you want something better, I’d stick with: Samsung, Seagate, Silicon Power, SABRENT, Crucial MX series, Corsair, Gigabyte, WD.

When I got my 1 TB SATA SSD early 2016, it was over AU$550! Now they are about AU$170! My new 4 TB SSD cost a bit less actually. 🤷‍♂️

Prices are increasing now on SSD’s (and RAM). So check around.

True about the consumer being the beta tester these days. Just have to look at games launched woefully incomplete the past couple years or so! Especially by the major studio’s. But some of the smaller ones still do it properly. I’m actually a tester for King Arthur: Knight’s Tale by NeocoreGames. I joined the crowd funding on Kickstarter early last year, after a LOT of thought. Neocore have had a good History for games, and KA looked so damned interesting! Been testing the Beta since November & they have been steadily adding content & fixing (mostly minor) bugs quickly. It’s been fun to watch it develop. 😀

Also a tester for a couple years now on AI WAR II by Arcen Games. It’s coming along too! A huge Real Time Space Sim/strategy game. There’s 2 or 3 updates every week by the Dev’s! Usually small patches to fix a specific issue we find. I like doing it that way! 👍😎

If curious:

I hope you’re over the food poisoning and back to normal foods etc. Good luck with everything! And take care.

13 Bryan { 06.04.21 at 8:34 pm }

I’m using ≈256GB as boots and backup for boots. I clone the boots once a week now. I backup the data on ≈512GB hard drive partitions after anything notable happens. I’m testing an ADATA NVMe because of the speed claims [and ‘made in Taiwan’], and using Sandisk and Samsung SATA SSDs. The data is going to WD Black and Blue 1TB spinning rust. I’m using EaseUS partitioning software for cloning. I have EaseUS backup software on one box and Ashampoo on the the other, But cloning is so much easier. The cost of memory is definitely going up. Over here 1TB are U$120 and 500GB are U$65 or more.

As for the food poisoning, I’m not 100% sure what the cause was so I’m avoiding everything I had that day. I’m back to normal and more aware of some bad habits.

14 Kryten42 { 06.05.21 at 1:31 pm }

Be careful with the ADATA SSD’s. Reviews I’ve read said that their performance is ‘underwhelming’. I found that with two ADATA external USB 3 2.5″ HDD I have. I also have a couple Seagate external 2.5″ HDD’s that perform better. I don’t trust their claims.

Check reviews before you buy. Especially with SSD’s. They are rarely as good as they claim to be.

Possibly the best place for drive reviews is Storage Review (curiously enough): 😉😎

15 Bryan { 06.05.21 at 9:40 pm }

It reads faster than my PNY SATA, but is slower on writing. Going back and looking, for some reason the 512s are faster than the 256s. It may be a controller difference. It works and frees up a SATA slot. I’ll probably swap it for a 512 later. I think everyone is scraping the bottom of the barrel at the moment. I’m doing boring office stuff on the Win 10 section of that box. The Linux stuff is more adventurous, the Raspberry Pi is more interesting.

16 Kryten42 { 06.07.21 at 1:34 am }

Unfortunately, getting hands on any hardware now is hit and miss! And most retail outlets are raising prices a lot in some cases (I’ve seen some up to 3x the ‘normal’ retail price.) 🤷‍♂️😣

A friend was desperate to get a GPU card and the minimum useful to him is the 5 yr old RX 580. I checked prices & availablility a few days ago:

“I did a quick check and the RX 580 is around the US$600 mark on eBay (used of course). Amazon have unused (they claim) RX 580’s selling for around the US$775 mark, with RX 570’s for about US$460, and the RX 5700 XT selling between US$1,330 to US1,500 (AU$1,930).” 😲 (I paid ~AU$745 for my AURUS RX 5700 XT April last year)!

I think you might find this news recap by Gamers Nexus interesting! I won’t spoil it further than the title does… 😉 😀

HW News – AMD AM5 Big Changes, Windows “11,” Steam’s Switch Competitor, & PCIe Gen6

17 Bryan { 06.07.21 at 2:18 pm }

That guy needs to cut back on the energy drinks and slow to warp speed…

I was more interested in this from the Register. If it becomes an actual product, it would be a nice upgrade for my box without buying another motherboard.

I’m working on my ancient Toshiba laptop to prepare for the hurricane season [new battery, max out the memory, and swap the HD for an SSD]. I’m surprised that I can still get parts for it. It’s Win 7, but I have licenses for another copy of Win 10. Speaking of which, didn’t you have a source for reasonably priced Win 10 licenses?

I picked the wrong time [price/availability-wise] to be updating systems. As the song says : If I didn’t have bad luck, I’d have no luck at all… 😉

18 Kryten42 { 06.08.21 at 12:00 am }

😆😏 Steve is always hyper! Check out his review of the AMD (branded) Mountain bike from 7 Months ago! Which AMD removed from sale not long after. (Steve is a semi-pro Mountain/Trail rider).

AMD Actually Made a Mountain Bike (It’s Terrifying): Review, Safety Concerns, Test Ride

And NEVER buy a Dell prebuilt desktop! And yes, that also goes for their high end (non-corporate ‘consumer’s are suckers’) products.
Worse Than Walmart: Dell G5 5000 PC’s Garbage Parts & Hidden Charges

Good ol’ Le Reg! But it wasn’t as much fun as Steve’s, he posted another vid after the Computex 2021 Keynotes about the AMD roadmap and what’s coming. I’ll be waiting a year or so before my next major upgrade. 😉😎

Another YT tech chan I enjoy (because of Paul’s style, not just the content) is Paul’s Hardware. He did a wrap-up of the Big Three Computex 2021 Keynotes. Two failed. You can feel the satire & irony.

“If I didn’t have bad luck, I’d have no luck at all…” You and I both! Though, I guess I did get lucky I broke my arm and my G9 390X died after running full tilt for about 2 Months! If it had died now… I’d be screwed! That ‘silver lining’? 🤷‍♂️🙄

19 Kryten42 { 06.08.21 at 12:14 am }

FYI… I tweeted this one from Le Reg. About the GOP. 🤷‍♂️🙄🤦‍♂️


20 Bryan { 06.09.21 at 10:37 pm }

As I had nothing else to do [other that several plumbing jobs, switching out a couple of air conditioners, dealing with a friend who is taking mini-steps towards using a smartphone… you know, the usual stuff] I took time to figure out PowerShell to open OpenSSH so I could install tls on my sites. Two books and several very wrong articles on the subject I have achieved https. Now I’ll have flashbacks about CP/M, MP/M, RDOS and Ultrix.

Michael’s products were better when he was assembling them in his college dorm. I have a Dell that I bought used because I needed a Win XP box to help a client who was still running ancient software. It served its purpose, but was definitely not a ball of fire. The one time I attempted to buy a new Dell, the salesman tried to screw me on the price by quoting full retail on a machine that was on sale for considerably less on their web site. Having just replaced the motherboard on my box, looking at Dell they tested was stomach turning. You go for vanilla when you build boxes. You one one that you only have to worry about the broken bits if there’s a problem.

Yeah, if video card is available now you would believe it was carved by Michelangelo from a block of lapis lazuli. That was a factor in going for the AMD APU, I didn’t have worry about a graphics card.

I want more proof that Mo Brooks is a sentient being 😈

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