dismantlement of Alpine Sprite

I began this afternoon the dismantlement of the Alpine Sprite 400 caravan (camper trailer).  I didn’t use it last year and haven’t this year either.  Its contents; two 6-volt deep-cycle batteries (12-volt in series), 140-Watt solar panel, 2500-Watt inverter, 3-stage charger, fresh- & gray-water tanks, water pumps (pressure & draw), 16,000 BTU propane forced-air furnace, on-demand propane water heater, 1000-Watt microwave oven, stereo & speakers, two propane tanks with auto-switch-over regulator, sink, faucet, shower, LED lighting, and a few other things; will all be used somewhere else.  The shell of the trailer will be up for grabs.

  8/9/2018  3:38 PM     96051610 Sprite Alpine 1965 20180809_153453 dismantlement.mp4
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the exciting world of new old printers

I found a new printer – at a yard sale – for twenty bucks.  Yes, I know, it’s not new.  It has the same printing mechanism as my old HP Photosmart C5150 except that it has no scanner and it has different letters – D7260.  Not sure if it’s the D or the higher value numbers that make it print in all colours, but this one does.  As Aaron would say, “How dope is that!?”  It print didn’t when I tried it at the yard sale [error – error – does not compute], but I was confident I could repair it, and I did.

What about the old one?  (A freebie from work a hundred years ago!)  Try as I might, I could not get the C5150 to print blue.  The weird thing is that there are two blues in it (actually, cyan) – a regular blue and a light blue – but neither of them printed.  If it were just one type of blue, I’d say the ink suction tube was faulty or the print head was damaged, but the two blues use different ink streams – cartridges, tubes, portions of the print head.  So what gives?  Short of replacing the print head (which I did for the HP Offiejet 7610, a wide-format printer), I can find no way of getting the blue to print.

Doesn’t matter now.  The D7260 prints nicely.   Happy happy joy joy.

Holy heck.  In writing this Ongoing Letter entry, I nodded off like three times.  If I find it lacking adequate excitement so as to fall asleep this many times, I can imagine how you might feel reading it.  I think it also has something to do with the heat.  It’s hotter than Arizona asphalt out there, and it’s making me dopey.

spring begins, as do corrections

It’s sunny, warm, pleasant.  Yesterday I met TB & RH (my bamboo research group) to talk about our submission to the ASET Capstone project.  We all wrote blurbs about ourselves, and TB will organize it all and submit it.  I trust Ty to catch all the goofinesses such as font sizes, placement of images, etc.

I worked on the Architectural class group project.  CE, a teammate in the Stan’s Stuff – Auto Parts and More, said he could meet up and work on it with me.  It’d be a good portfolio item.  It turns out he was too busy with flooding in his house and preparing to travel.  Se, the other teammate, rarely shows up for any length of time to help.  Very helpful when he does, but it’s rather seldom.  So I’ll continue to work until it’s absolutely time to wipe the drives on the computer.  Work on what?  Corrections to assignments.  All those red marks on assigments – I’ve paid for them.  I paid money to have the instructor put red all over my paper.  I’ll be damned if I’m gonna let that go to waste.

All students’ computer drives need to be wiped at the end of this course.  They have software on them that’s only licensed to the college.  We get a deposit back when we allow this.  I forget how much – like a hundred dollars or so.  No wipe, no deposit back.  So, we’re all told repeatedly to back up our stuff and save anything we want to save on another drive.  I’ve got my server (the one you’re reading this on) to store my stuff.

In case you’re wondering, I rarely use real names here on the ongoing letter.  I don’t imagine people would want their names, faces, etc. online.  So, rather than names, I use initials.  Are they real?  Who knows!  Ha!

perspective

As I’m finishing my education and getting ready to search for jobs, I know there is so much for me to learn still.  We all come out of our course thinking that we’re qualified, have got the knowledge, will run out and do great things.

I saw a video tour of New York City from 1911 on YouTube.  They had traffic management with electric, petroleum, and horse powered vehicles intermingling.  They had trains being driven several storeys over the street, buildings so high that an engineer these days would take seemingly forever to design and build.  They had so much already back then.  We think we’re doing something new – and we probably are – but we may be forgetting that these things have all been done without the technological help that we have today.  Damn amazing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aohXOpKtns0   Keeps it all in perspective.

just browsing

At the advice of a friend from college a couple of weeks ago, I’ve switched from Mozilla Firefox web browser to Google Chrome.  Yet, i’m not convinced that this is the best idea.  So I’m trying other browsers.  Here are my thoughts.  (BTW – I’m using each browser listed to edit each blog entry.)

  • Google Chrome:
    • Yes, it works; but, it being Google, I’m concerned about privacy and them selling off my browsing habits to the highest bidder.
    • It often doesn’t seem to have a spell-check.  Being a former English teacher, I shouldn’t be worried about this, except that it’d be damb embarasing to mispell somthing wihtout no-ing it.
    • Adding Canadian English is a fight, defaulting back to American English.
    • It’s scrolling up-and-down is very choppy, unlike Firefox’s smooth transition from line to line.
    • There is no provision for automatically switching to a new tab when opening one (Crtl. T).  I have to manually switch (Crtl. Tab).
  • Mozilla Firefox
    • It works well, but it insists on its updates, changing some of its characteristics without me wanting it to.
    • Upon updating, it has a legacy function to allow older add-ons to run.  No, this isn’t a negative.  I’m just listing its characteristics.  This is a review, rememeber?
    • It seems to have a problem running Java or like programs.  (Yes, I said programs, not apps.  I’m old-school.)  Maybe that’s Java’s issue – not sure.
    • It has smooth scrolling.
    • It gives provission to jump immediately to the next tab when opened.
    • Older versions are not listed in Windows 10’s default web browser list.  Try as I might, in the end I must uninstall and reinstall Firefox to be able to choose it as the default browser.  No amount of web helps will help.
    • There are lots of add-ons available for privacy, picture downloading, password saves, everything.
    • It’s open source!
  • Opera
    • Don’t laugh.  Give it a try.  It works.
    • People laugh when I use it.  Stop laughing.
    • It looks the same as all the other browsers except that it has a side menu bar for FacebookWhatsAppSpeed Dial (the front screen showing tiled websites you’ve visited before), Personal News (a place to set favourite news websites, I guess), etc.  Handy.
    • No Canadian English spell check.  Only American.  No place to change it.  (Yes, I know how to spell favourite and colour and doughnut.)  Big downfall.
    • Fast.  It could be my imagination, but it seems faster than the others.
  • Internet Explorer
    • I really don’t know why everyone hates it.  It works.
    • It’s been stable all of its existence.
    • It has a spell-check and spelling error correction.
    • It can remember passwords and forms.
    • It can interact back and forth with Windows Explorer for internet, intranet, etc.
    • It’s made by people who are paid to do their job.
    • Anyone running Windows of any type can use it.  No downloading necessary.
    • It stores Favorites in a folder that is easily accessible.  No searching, no trying unsuccessfully to create a backup copy.
    • The Settings area doesn’t change with every version, forcing one to have to re-learn where everything is.
  • Edge
    • Not sure what is so different with this one or why Microsoft would create it.  Smaller?  Faster?  Better with tablets?
    • It works.
    • The icon looks too much like the ‘e’ in Internet Explorer.  Damn picky, aren’t I?
    • It has something called Web Note.  It allows someone with a pen (stylus) to doodle all over the website and save it.  Where to?  Not sure yet.  In what format?  Uncertain yet.
    • Microsoft has Extensions for it, much like Firefox I suppose.  I haven’t played with them yet.
    • Crtl. W actually works on this program (sigh … app), unlike a lot of the new Windows 10 apps.  (Press Crtl. W now.  But be aware you’ll have to go to og.allansplace.ca again.)
  • Safari
    • Oh my.  What can I say.  Firstly, it was really difficult to download Safari for Windows.  Try it.  Do a Google search.  Or a Yahoo! search, or an Ask.com search, or a GoDaddy, or a DuckDuckGo, anything.  Not many actual links to actual Windows downloads exist.
    • Secondly, right away Safari warned me that my browsing wasn’t secure.  It gave me a link to go get a secure version.  But … there didn’t seem to be anywhere to get it.
    • Next, that very same window bragged about how fast it was.
      I tried to insert a screen shot here, but WordPress doesn’t really work very well.  I think I’ll do a review on website generators next.
    • Then, I tried to edit this OGL entry, but the entire window to edit text was blank!  Good gravy.
    • And, finally, text in a web page is kind of fuzzy.  It’s not sharp.
    • I had a good experience with Safari (yes, for Windows) long ago.  But I guess times change.
      By the way – I’m now using Internet Explorer to edit this entry.
  • Netscape Navigator
    • Holy cow!  Yes, I’m serious.  A generation ago (people generations, not computer generations) Netscape Navigator was a serious contender in the browser realm.  However, things have changed.
    • Easy to download.  Easy to find on many web searches.
    • Doesn’t display my own Ongoing Letter blog page.  The menus are all over the place.
    • Doesn’t allow easy editing of the text.  It’s all white text on a white text window background.  Well that’s nice – not.  I have to highlight all the text to see it – coding and all.
    • Yes, I know what you’re thinking.  Why even bother?  Just because, I guess.  (I’m am using IE again for this entry.)

Here is more reading.

And a lovely picture.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Browser_wars#/media/File:StatCounter-browser-ww-monthly-201707-201707-map.png

And the winner is – oddly enough – Internet Explorer.  Why?

  • It works.
  • It’s on every Windows computer.
  • Spell check – in Canadian English.
  • Extensions & add-0ns.
  • And many, many more.

 

EDDT and Earthships

I have yet to attend Environmental Systems class.  I’ve had two days of classes at the college in the EDDT course so far, with Process Design II, the designing of pressure vessels and their connections; Applied Research, the second class in a series including statistics that builds toward a final presentation to peers and instructors; Architectural Design III, actually the fourth in a series of residential and commercial architecture training; and Civil Design and Drafting, a continuation of topographic, mapping, drainage, landscaping, and all things considered in developing land for habitation, industry, or business.  It’s the weekend now, and I’m looking forward to next week to see what the environmental class has to offer.

I woke up this morning to an Earthship blog from New Zealand as a result of somewhat randomly clicking links online.  YouTube – Healthy Homes – Te Timatanga Earthship New Zealand  Also, Earthship NZ  I also saw an Earthship created here in Southern Alberta.  Alberta’s First Earthship  If I am to go in any direction that I choose, this would be it – sustainable building.

One of my instructors hit on something I lack – confidence.  He wrote on the board a list of characteristics a cook and a chef might have.  I spouted off the first characteristic – creativity vs. following.  It seems odd that I would be the first to offer an entry to his list, which in fact takes leadership, because I seriously lack the confidence needed in planning, creating, building, etc.  (I offered another, which he moved to the top of the list – communication.  I do have that, being an English teacher.)

So this is a personal skill I must work on during this last term in school – confidence in leadership.

now serving

The server is now … serving again.  It crashed a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been trying to find a way to bring it back.

Disk failure.  An ongoing issue, I guess.  My HDDs are kind of old.
For a while, Windows could boot.  So I tried to clone it before it was too late.  It couldn’t clone because of disk errors.
I tried ‘chkdsk’ (part of Windows).  It fixed many errors.  After many reboots, many ‘chkdsk’s, and many cloning attempts, it eventually just wouldn’t boot.
I tried booting a cloned disk.  No go.  The clone didn’t take because it couldn’t complete the cloning process … because of disk errors.
I tried reinstating an image.  The image was no where to be found.
I eventually created a new Windows install on another disk and used it to read the old one so as to fix disk errors.  The new system could read the old disk.
Then, the new disk began making noise.  Drat.
So, another new install, this time on a RAID-1 disk array.  But then I couldn’t read my 3TB drive.  It only read 768GB.
At Caleb’s recommendation, I used Ubuntu Desktop to see if it could read the 3TB.  It couldn’t.  Old RAID system, I guess.
I tried to get the 3TB going in Windows again.  In this process, I lost my secondary backups on the 3TB drive.  Drat again.
New Windows install – Basic MBR disk again.  There’s the 3TB!  But no data.
Research – to find a way to copy my old MySQL database, inetpub webs, and everything else I need to resurrect the old webs.
It’s been a long time coming, but most webs are back up and running again.  Father’s web, lesjohnston.ca, is not yet working.  <sigh>  But I’ll stop here.

Headache from black mould in my house again.  I will leave the server be for now.

performance issues

This entry is about my little Fujitsu Lifebook P7120.  It sits on my wooden IKEA storage shelf above my printers and surround-sound and plays study jazz on YouTube while I study at my desk.  It’s ten years old now.

It’s really too slow for anything else but play music in this age of apps running through the web.  I bought it used way back when and have had it ever since.

It’s gone through some transplants – new main board (a.k.a. motherboard) and power switch.  Also, an upgrade in memory (a whopping 1.5 GB), a solid-state drive, and a new battery.

I did the Windows Experience Index as a test.  Here are the results.