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  1. Dennis Nicholls

    PSA - shutoff tool to keep around for disasters

    I had to look this link up so I thought I'd share it. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Orbit-Emergency-Gas-and-Water-Shutoff-Tool-26097/100030514 It's $10 well spent for the next time you really need one. I bought mine years ago.
  2. Dennis Nicholls

    Paul Simon Songbook (1965)

    I just discovered the existence of an odd old recording: Paul Simon Songbook, dating from 1965. It fits right in between the S&G albums Wednesday Morning 3 Am and Sounds of Silence. IIUC the history goes like this. WM3AM turned out to be a sales flop, and S&G disbanded for a while. Paul...
  3. Dennis Nicholls

    Experiences with Amazon "scratch & dent" warehouse deals

    I've taken the plunge on occasion to save money on Amazon's warehouse deals. Generally I've had good luck. The best deal was over this summer buying a home treadmill. All sorts of exercise equipment has been backordered for months due to Covid. The model I wanted was then $350 and...
  4. Dennis Nicholls

    Faraday cage for your Wi-Fi router

    Today's bad advice: put your router in a Faraday cage. Crackpots are buying Faraday cages for routers then bemoaning bad Wi-Fi (inputmag.com) ;)
  5. Dennis Nicholls

    Italian cops deliver donor kidney 300 miles in 2 hours - by Lambo

    When you need a donor kidney delivered quickly, Lambo is always the answer. www.jalopnik.com/italian-police-use-lamborghini-to-transport-donor-kidne-1845674197
  6. Dennis Nicholls

    I hate secretary chairs

    I hate secretary chairs. I suppose the pc term now is task chairs. I own one like this. I don't like to dwell on this, but I had 7 operations in 2018-2019 and have been slowly recovering. I've had bad lower back pain and have had to walk mostly with a cane. Physical therapy didn't help...
  7. Dennis Nicholls

    Windows 10 2010 (20H2) Update rollout issues

    Greetings Earthlings. Windows 10 2010, the October update, appears to be shortly available for the general user. https://www.windowslatest.com/2020/10/13/windows-10-20h2-october-2020-update-launch-imminent/...
  8. Dennis Nicholls

    Vertical mice

    Anyone here a fan of vertical mice? http://ergonomictrends.com/benefits-of-a-vertical-mouse-and-how-to-properly-use-one/ My right shoulder and elbow have been painful for a while now. It dawned on me that maybe it's hanging around surfing the web during this Covid shutdown. I ordered one to...
  9. Dennis Nicholls

    Router security issues - among multiple common vendors

    Well this is unsettling. https://www.tomsguide.com/news/fraunhofer-router-security-report Most WiFi routers are a security problem. Basically all manufacturers flunk the tests, some so bad the authors suggest to skip that brand entirely. Anyone here use some of those open-source firmwares...
  10. Dennis Nicholls

    Cheap used WiFi extender

    WiFi extenders have been around long enough that used ones are showing up on eBay for cheap prices. A popular extender is the TP-Link RE200, which has now been superseded by the RE220. The RE200 is available from one hardware restorer for $17 shipped. New price is $30. I ordered a used one...
  11. Dennis Nicholls

    Windows 10 update 2004 - rollout issues

    Well the "April" revision ended up being released at the end of May. So far the Windows Update button for 2004 doesn't show yet on my two machines. ZDnet has a listing of outstanding issues at present...
  12. Dennis Nicholls

    Wink to start charging monthly fee or your IOT won't work

    Anyone here use Wink devices for IOT around the house? Apparently their apps were free, but now they announced a $4.99 per month fee - or your existing devices won't work anymore. https://9to5mac.com/2020/05/07/wink/ I don't have a dog in this hunt but saw this article today in another forum.
  13. Dennis Nicholls

    How much medical test gear do you have at home?

    Medical test gear has certainly evolved from the days that Earl Bakken replaced a cart full of vacuum tubes with an implantable pacemaker. These days medical test gear has evolved from hospital use to consumer electronics. These days a layman like me owns stuff that was not seen outside of a...
  14. Dennis Nicholls

    The Lion Sleeps Tonight

    How sad that Joseph Shabalala has passed. https://www.msn.com/en-us/music/news/joseph-shabalala-founder-of-famed-vocal-group-ladysmith-black-mambazo-dies-at-78/ar-BBZTxFA Compare various version of The Lion Sleeps Tonight. https://www.lawrenceperson.com/?p=11537 Not to be confused with this...
  15. Dennis Nicholls

    Win 10 update to 1909 ships

    This was a strange patch Tuesday. First a regular cumulative update KB4524570 to 1903 was installed. You had to check for updates a second time to get the invitation to download and install 1909. The 1909 upgrade barely took any time to install - maybe 10 minutes. Once it's installed, System...
  16. Dennis Nicholls

    How long do cheap P&S cameras last?

    My Canon Powershot SD600 has been good enough for me. Its features are now obsolete, e.g. max 2GB memory card, 3X optical zoom. But recently the switches are failing. Several don't work reliably anymore: film/still, on/off, etc. I have to toggle them several times until they work. I dug...
  17. Dennis Nicholls

    Happy Fourth of July

    Happy Fourth of July. Brought to you by the following:
  18. Dennis Nicholls

    You Tube bans Triumph of the Will

    YouTube has a new policy of banning any hate speech items. In line with this they have taken down copies of Riefenstahl's Triumph Of The Will. https://www.indiewire.com/2019/06/youtube-hate-speech-policy-triumph-of-the-will-1202147879/ Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to...
  19. Dennis Nicholls

    Anyone get Win 10 1903 yet?

    Due to complaints about the 1809 rollout, MS has a new format for Win 10 1903. If you click on the "check for updates" button, 1903 won't automatically download and install. Instead in Windows update you will be notified that 1903 is available, but there's a second button to click on that says...
  20. Dennis Nicholls

    Should Apple purchase Tesla?

    This guy sets forth arguments on why Apple should purchase Tesla. https://gpaolini.com/2019/05/01/eight-reasons-for-apple-to-buy-tesla/ What do you think? Older articles. https://www.businessinsider.com/why-apple-should-buy-tesla-2018-1...
  21. Dennis Nicholls

    Transcontinental railroad sesquicentennial

    I'm a day late, but Friday was the 150th anniversary of the completion of the first transcontinental railroad across North America. https://thefederalist.com/2019/05/10/say-happy-birthday-americas-first-transcontinental-railroad/ My great-great-grandmother Anna Cook came out to California the...
  22. Dennis Nicholls

    Cheap Android phone from ZTE

    Being single and retired, I don't have a wife and I don't have a boss, so I've never had a cellphone. But I have reluctantly decided to get one for emergency "car breakdown" reasons. I looked for a pay by the minute non-contract phone. Fred Meyer (Kroger) here had this phone for $17.99 close...
  23. Dennis Nicholls

    The cause of Alzheimer's may at long last be known

    According to this article, most previous research on Alzheimers has been barking up the wrong tree. It’s so common that the cause must have been hiding in plain sight. https://www.newscientist.com/article/2191814-we-may-finally-know-what-causes-alzheimers-and-how-to-stop-it/ Excuse me while...
  24. Dennis Nicholls

    Draft 2018 IRS forms

    If you want to start considering your taxes for tax year 2018, I discovered that the IRS has a not-very-well publicized page where they post their draft forms for 2018. I've often been annoyed with the IRS for not having their forms available until around the New Year, which is not helpful...
  25. Dennis Nicholls

    Bakken and Edwards: engineers and medical pioneers

    In the WSJ this week I saw an editorial praising the late Earl Bakken, who had died the previous week. An extensive obit was also in the WSJ. https://www.wsj.com/articles/earl-ba...ker-1540760924 An obit not behind a paywall is here. https://www.mprnews.org/story/2018/1...bakken-dies-94...
  26. Dennis Nicholls

    Win 10 version 1809 ships

    Going to bed last night I clicked on the update button, expecting to just get a virus definition update. Instead I got the update to Win 10 version 1809. I wasn't expecting this so soon. Thus far no problems. Win 10 1809 installed successfully on both my Dell 3010 (i5 ivy bridge) and Dell...
  27. Dennis Nicholls

    Gibson guitars (TEAC, Onkyo) files for bankruptcy

    Sorry this is behind the WSJ paywall. Other media will probably post later in the day. https://www.wsj.com/articles/guitar-maker-gibson-brands-files-for-bankruptcy-1525177170 I wonder why they thought buying up electronics makers was a good idea.
  28. Dennis Nicholls

    Warning Win 10 Redstone 1803 ships today!

    It's not even Tuesday.... The latest MAJOR upgrade to Win 10, "Redstone" aka version 1803, is available today. I made the mistake of hitting the manual update this afternoon just to pick up the latest antivirus definitions. Instead I got hooked into the update to version 1803 which takes some...
  29. Dennis Nicholls

    Text to land line - why no error message?

    I don't own a cell phone. Right now I have a VOIP land line phone number. Several people have complained that they texted a message to me and I didn't respond. Well my VOIP land line doesn't receive text messages. PERIOD. Apparently no error message is generated, something along the lines...
  30. Dennis Nicholls

    Mountains named for Kubrick and Clarke

    A recent fly-by of Charon, one of Pluto's moons, has given us our first good view of the place. Names have been given to craters and mountains, the most interesting to HTF folks will be the mountains named for Kubrick and Clarke...