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Wrestling with the infrastructure and Nazis
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Published Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 8:39 PM EDT
Jun 19 2018

In addition to the Windows system problem I talked about last week, the overall tech situation worsened on Saturday with a power outage. West Penn Power restored service in a little over an hour, but the reinitialization surge apparently took out our Comcast Xfinity X-1 cable box/DVR in the living room and the main surge suppressor/uninterruptible power supply in my office.

Dealing with the cable box was simple. I scored a new one as well as a new cable modem/wireless router just by driving to the local Comcast office- it was open on Saturday until 7 p.m. Getting the unit up and running was uneventful. The X1 boxes store recordings and schedules in the cloud, so we didn't lose anything.

The only aggravations were getting used to a smaller remote (Comcast calls it the XR11) and having to fix the 30-second commercial skip feature.

The older boxes supported entering a code into the remote to enable the 30-second commercial jump feature. With the new configuration, the page up button jumped five minutes ahead. A workaround is using X1's voice command feature: tell the remote "jump ahead 30 seconds." You can apparently tell it to jump forward or backward in five second increments up to 30 seconds. It's neat, but it's a lot faster just to hit the page up key a couple times.

In the new setup, the "jump ahead" stuff is not stored in the memory of the remote, but in the X1 box itself. You have to program the box via a secret input sequence: get the remote close to the box, point the remote at it, hit the exit key on the remote three times as fast as you can, followed by 0030. I had to try it a few times before it "took." There's no indication whether or not the input worked. In fact, hitting the exit key three times and the four digits results in the box going back to wherever the main tuner was set, and displaying the mini-guide with channel 30 highlighted. Patience and persistence will win out, though.

Regarding the UPS system blowout, I think it was just time to replace the batteries in the unit. I've done it twice already, though. The unit's over ten years old, and I need one with a greater capacity, anyway. I ordered a 1,500-watt unit via Amazon Prime. Pulling the old unit out, installing the new one, and re-cabling everything is a long and tedious operation. I wanted to get the replacement in ASAP. Aside from West Penn Power's "normal" summer fair weather blackouts, it's also thunderstorm season. I decided to take a vacation day from work and do it today, instead of waiting for the weekend. So, of course...

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On the brighter side, replacing the hybrid drive on my Toshiba laptop with a standard mechanical drive appears to have solved all my Windows 10 problems. There was absolutely no indication the drive was the source of the trouble; it passed all the diagnostics with flying colors. The problem is the way in which a hybrid drive manages the solid state drive (SSD) portion of the device. It is totally opaque to the user. I suspect something was cached in the SSD that wasn't compatible with a Windows 10 or driver update. That's just a guess, based on my observations that the system started to act up each time I installed a new application, or a new Windows update was applied.

I'm not comfortable not knowing if the drive was actually the cause of the problem, but I have no software tools to dig deeper into the system, and I can't waste any more time investigating. Four to eight hours every weekend for three months, plus another four hours during the week just getting the thing to boot correctly... I'm too old for this stuff.

Final results: From a system with no user apps running, shutdown, reboot, and Windows load to the desktop with taskbar populated and the "Windows" chime: two minutes. I can live with that.

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Godwin's law
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Godwin's law (or Godwin's rule of Hitler analogies) is an internet adage asserting that "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Hitler approaches 1"; that is, if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Adolf Hitler or his deeds. Promulgated by the American attorney and author Mike Godwin in 1990, Godwin's law originally referred specifically to Usenet newsgroup discussions. It is now applied to any threaded online discussion, such as Internet forums, chat rooms, and comment threads, as well as to speeches, articles, and other rhetoric where reductio ad Hitlerum occurs.

So, how bad are things now in the United States?

Pretty bad. Godwin's suspending his own law.


Categories: Adolf Hitler, amazon.com, Evil, Godwin's law, Mike Godwin, Nazis, West Penn Power, Windows, Xfinity


The web edition of KGB Report is published Monday-Thursday, except on holidays. Follow KGB Report and my personal account on Facebook for frequent daily updates.


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Ramblings
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Published Thursday, July 21, 2016 @ 7:01 AM EDT
Jul 21 2016


(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Photo)

Not only did the Republicans nominate Trump for President, a red-bellied piranha was caught in North Park Lake. Ok, 2016, you win. Please stop.

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My son referenced a political thread in which he was engaged, and somehow the conversation turned into quotes from from the 1984 cult classic The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension.

My son noted, "Lectroid involvement would explain a lot about the Trump campaign."

Laugh while you can, monkey boys...

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Pixie, our small, insane, alien dog-like creature who resembes a Shih Tzu, behaved quite well for Dr. Joanna Rubin and her staff at Bridgeville Animal Hospital for her pre-spay exam. The thought of her reproducing is too terrifying to consider. (Pixie, not Joanna.)

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"Every word that comes out of Mike Pence's mouth reminds me that somewhere in rural Indiana, probably near Elkhart, a Quizno's is missing its assistant manager."
-Ed. Gin & Tacos (on Facebook)

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Today is Get to Know Your Customer Day, Invite an Alien to Live with You Day, Legal Drinking Age Day, National Junk Food Day, National Tug- Of-War Tournament Day, and Take a Monkey to Lunch Day.

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Watching the Republican National Convention, I keep expecting them to break out into "Springtime for Hitler."

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ACA out of detent. Mode control, both auto. Descent engine command override, off.
-Buzz Aldrin
(The actual first words spoken by a human from the surface of the Moon, July 20, 1969.)

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On The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, Braddock mayor John Fetterman observed that since outrageous claims, lies and statements seem to have no effect on Trump and his ilk, we are now living in a "post=factual" age.

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According to a story in The New York Times Magazine, this past May Donald Trump's son, Donald Jr.,contacted a senior adviser to Ohio governer and failed Republican Presidential candidate John Kasich, and asked him if the governor had any interest in being the most powerful vice president in history. Here's where it gets weird:

When Kasich's adviser asked how this would be the case, Donald Jr. explained that his father's vice president would be in charge of domestic and foreign policy.

Then what, the adviser asked, would Trump be in charge of?

“Making America great again” was the casual reply.

I've maintained since he entered the race that while Trump wants to win the Presidency, he really doesn't want to be President. Too much work, too much discipline and- let's face it- The White House is a step down from the decor of his multiple, gilded homes which appear to have been furnished by Saddam Hussein's interior designer.

He has the nomination. The question is now, how can he get out of it if he wins the election? Medical? Personal problems? (Hey, he's on wife number three). Stay tuned.

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I don't know if it's an accomplishment or not, but thanks to the Republicans in general and Trump in particular, I have now blocked more people on Facebook than I have as friends. Every once in a while I encounter one of them in real life, where I'm tempted to grab them by the shoulders and shake them, while screaming "Are you insane? We grew up together in the sixties! What the hell happened to you?"

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So, at least we now have the answer to the question "How could the German people allow Hitler to rise to power?"

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Someon stole my Bernie Sanders yard sign the other week. It was after he had suspended his campaign, but stil... I wanted to save it, to show there were some same people about in 2016.

You may have noticed on the right sidebar that I've replaced the Sanders plug with one for Hillary Clinton. At least she's not Trump...


Categories: 2016, Adolf Hitler, Bernie Sanders, Bridgeville Animal Hospital, Buckaroo Banzai, Buzz Aldrin, Candidates, Dogs, Donald Trump, Facebook, Gin and Tacos, Hillary Clinton, John Fetterman, John Kasich, Mike Pence, Politics, The Nightly Show


The web edition of KGB Report is published Monday-Thursday, except on holidays. Follow KGB Report and my personal account on Facebook for frequent daily updates.


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