Amazing DIY Backup Camera Lines with Turn-Indicators v2.0

16aarnI’ve had two coworkers exclaim that this was an awesome idea, so I figure that makes it blog-worthy..   See if I can get an animated gif of this going ..  eh, not that good, but I’ll leave it.

 

How did I do it?

Step 0.1.  Acquire tablet screen protectors.  Beautiful Wifeling, who loves hunting for stuff, found them at a dollar store.

Step 0.7. Apply tablet screen protector to backup camera screen. This involved some scissor work.    Be amazed at how the polarization is just a little different, when seen through polarized glasses.

image

Step 1.   Find empty abandoned parking lot.  Where the parking lines all line up.  In my case, its at my work-building.

Step 1.1  Acquire dry erase markers and sharpie. 

Step 2.  Get the Backup Lines figured out. Line up the car with the wheels touching one line evenly, and then trace onto the screen protector with the dry erase marker.  Note that due to lens configuration its not a straight line, its slightly curved.  If you’re really good, you could probably lift a fingerprint from this image.

imageimage 

Step 3.  Get the hard turn lines figured out

image

  • Start out parked in a parking spot. 
  • Pull out, avoiding hitting the imaginary parked cars next to you, and turning the wheel as far as possible when possible, till you’re in the street and lined up.
  • Trace the outline of the parking spot with dry erase marker.
  • Test it out by trying to back into the spot.  You may have to adjust.
  • Once you’re sure, then go over it with a sharpie.

Step 4.  Profit

I have earned at least 27 self-credits at the good reverse parking jobs I’ve done.  Go me.  I’ll spend them on some ice cream.

Backup Strategy Revisited: v2016.05

A while ago I wrote about using crashplan as my backup strategy.  That didn’t last long.  Crashplan (free) eventually stopped syncing.  I did not have time to look into it.

Then I listened to Mac Power Users Episode MPU318: Backing Up and I got re-inspired to pick up the gauntlet again.

I recently re-acquired my desktop machine at home (it had become my wife’s in an emergency move when her machine started BSOD’ing), and I decided to try Yet.Another.Backup.Solution; this time going back to what some readers had suggested (see comment section here), using BitTorrent Sync.

So far so good

image

(click image for larger view)

  • I keep all active (personal) code bases in their own folder, c:\code,which rely on github, visual studio code, beanstalk, etc – various source code repositories – for their backups.
  • I keep a Dropbox folder somewhere on all my machines.  Dropbox is my main “My Documents” folder, for ad hoc type stuff.   But, it does not get stuff related to a project involving media – for example, a video edit from my GoPro.   That’s too large for it.
    • I chose dropbox because I used them first, and I’ve stuck with them so far.  I believe I’m at 7.5G, free.  There are other services that provide similar…
    • I do an occasional 1-way copy from dropbox to a spot in my big share.  Just in case.
  • I set up a Windows Storage Space on my big home machine, across the top three drives from my former home server – 2TB, 1.5TB, and 1TB … which combined give me a 2TB 2-way-mirrored array.  Any one drive dies, no problem. 
  • I set up BitTorrrentSync Pro (paid) ($40 personal one time) to set up a personal cloud:
    • 1.2TB of data between my home storage space and an external hard drive hooked up to my work computer, over the internet.
    • Several per-year folders (2016, 2015, 2014, etc) that are much smaller that live on every machine I am productive with.  (my convention is /yyyy/projectName for any given project, copy-forward if it goes between years).  
      • I’m doing a lot less video work now, so the sizes are quite manageable.  2014 was the peak, that was 283G.  That’s been pruned down and put in the big sync now.   Most I’m doing for a year now is 15G, because of a GoPro video.
    • If I have a project that exceeds the size of one of the laptop drives, I’ll probably break it down into its own little BTSYNC cloud (“2016ProjectName”) and share that amongst the machines that care.
  • I’m still relying on Dropbox for my phone photo backup, although I am doing a iCloud backup as well.

I am currently not backing up my mom’s computers, because she has 4(!) of her own, with Dropbox set up to keep track of important stuff.    Go mom!  (I need to check on that soon, verify health).

On Seeding Large BtSync Share

  • I started out with a single copy of my files.   USBHD1:\SHARE
  • Copied them all onto USBHD2:\SHARE
  • Walked USBHD2 to the office, bypassing the internet.
  • Set up a BitTorrentSync folder on USBHD1:\BTSYNC1 (initially empty)
  • Sync that to USBHD2:\BTSYNC1 (initially empty)
  • At home, copy USBHD1:\SHARE to USBHD1:\BTSYNC1 – 5 years!!!! (usb 2.0 is not great for disk speed)
  • image
  • At work, copy USBHD2:\SHARE to USBHD2:\BTSYNC1
  • Within 24 hours everything was synced.
  • I compared files against the original shares and there were no problems

Now that I’m more familiar with it, I could have just told the work computer, “really, use THIS folder to receive the files, yes, I know it already has stuff in it”, and it would have worked fine. 

Moving the data from the  USBHD to the StorageSpace was easy: 

  1. Copy the data
  2. Stop BtSync
  3. Unplug the Ext Hd
  4. Start BtSync
  5. Tell BtSync where to find the files again.
  6. Profit.

What Did Not Work Well For Me With BtSync

Using my iPhone to browse my big share Nope, it tried to download the big share to my phone (in selective sync mode) (which does one place holder file for every file) (too many files!)

Selective Sync in general – I did not like the idea of placeholder files.   I’d rather have placeholder directories. 

In Conclusion

So.. there you have it.    I have my mirrored local, I have at least 1 offsite backup, several protocols, and an offline backup in case of ransomware.

We’ll see if its still working fine a month or two from now.

Blog Neglected; Adventures

Hey folks;  I’ve had to neglect my blog lately – with my RSI, I’ve been saving keystrokes for work.

image

imageThe above was put together via code2flow.com – source in smaller thumbnail picture (click to zoom in).  I’m really enjoying them for putting together small diagrams.

While I’ve been out, I’ve had some adventures.  A Summary of Adventuring:

Adventure: Macbook

I inherited my wife’s 2008 Macbook; upgraded it to max ram and an SSD, and wow that’s a cool machine.  I would definitely use a Macbook as my main driver in the future.  I even liked the O/S; it made sense once I learned how to think like it.   I did have to install VMware Fusion to do some of my work-necessary stuff though.  (Macbook has been wiped and returned to wife in exchange for desktop computer)

I did get to learn about installing OS/X El Capitan, and rescue boot disks, and Option-R, and several other things that help me be much more comfortable around a Mac.

I’m also glad that the maximize icon on a mac, now actually goes fullscreen in most apps, instead of the full-vertical crippled thing that it used to do.

Adventure: Upgrading the rest of my laptops

Success with the Macbook lead to me looking at all the hardware I have.   Alas – most of it is max spec. 

One machine I could up to a 64GSSD, so I did .. it can go from 4G to 8G ram, but we’re using it as a conference room machine, so no bit deal there.  Most anybody does with it is browse the web and remote to another machine.

Another machine, I just need to pitch.  Something is wrong with it.  BSOD’s and stuff during installs, did not run ubuntu!  Craziness.

My main work laptop, at Windows 10, is unstable; needs to go back to Windows 7.  Samsung Series 7 Chronos.  Takes 3-4 minutes to boot.  I’ve tried the solutions that people mention, but no luck so far.

Adventure: Offsite Backup

With my desktop back, I’m revisiting using bittorrent sync to set up an offsite backup of my terabyte-size store of stuff.   ETA: 13 days to sync at the moment, but I have it throttled; will unthrottle overnight.  

Adventure: Adapting to RSI recovery

This includes Dragon Naturally Speaking, as well as some home-brew methods of strength testing.  I have a chart.  Will post later when chart grows more.

Adventure: Giving a Talk

I gave a 10? 11? minute lightning talk on my RSI discoveries.  Link to event, which has a link to the slideshare –  http://www.meetup.com/Louisville-DotNet/events/228974003/

That’s it for now.   There are so many cool threads going on, but none of them is developed enough to do a good post about it.    More later.

My Right Forearm is Toast

image

I am writing this blog post mostly using a microphone.

I think I’ll try to do this in one shot, clean it up later but keep the original version around, so that the blemishes and problems with voice dictation can be seen.This is not a good sample though, because I am not using a headset: my Turtle Beach microphone has a TRS connector and the Samsung Surface doesn’t have that input.

I am having difficulty using my right hand (lateral epicondylitis) and in an effort to heal I am choosing not to use it for at least 3 weeks. This has led to several discoveries:

Taking things for granted Discoveries:

There are several things built into the muscle memory of my right hand.  For example in Visual Studio, Intellisense.  When a suggestion shows, to choose it is apparently down arrow enter, but when my left hand tried, it tried pressing enter and did not know about the down arrow involved.

I discovered that my brain would output code at the same speed that my hands could put it in. (Perhaps my brain puts it out faster than my hands can put it in and that is why I am having a problem). Now down to typing with one hand, I simply cannot keep up! I get frustrated, and the thoughts that were in my brain disappear leaving me wondering what I was typing.

I have to reevaluate how I am going to be effective at coding over the next few weeks.

Directions and Challenges

I am going to see a doctor whom I trust and see where she thinks I should go. I am hoping that rest will let my body self heal, but if there are major tears in the tendon etc that might need a different level of attention. I am very reluctant to go there. I have heard that once you invade, complications arise.  Bottom line: I need diagnostic stuff, x-ray or something, to determine what the state of things are under the skin.

I have been trying to find resources online that state exactly what the mechanism is for ice and compression leading to healing. I see a lot of sources that indicate that inflammation in the body’s attempt to recover in which case how can I get more inflammation? 🙂 (A: Graston Method is one.)

I have another problem as well: by using my left hand more now, it too is in danger of burning out.  Friday I think my active left arm hurt more than my slinged right arm.

I have watched videos of people using various speech synthesis program to do programming. my reaction was: OMG that is so slow! I am hoping that if I do something like draw onto paper first and get the code out quickly, then I will be able to take my time typing it into the computer in a relaxed and optimal way. I wonder if I could hook up a midi keyboard to something that types in code for me.  lots and lots of macros.

Something very nice about my current employer colon he has had to go to this kind of pain as well, about two years ago.

Tools:

Here are the various tools and tricks that I have learned:

Typing one handed with a living room style small chicklet keyboard: this minimizes travel distance between keys; however I had a hard time finding a small keyboard which also had function keys. Wife and I found one, will try it on Monday.

I am now much more aware of the muscle tension in my forearm while typing.  Normally I would tense up everything and then out would come a burst of keystrokes.  I am now trying to be aware of keeping everything relaxed and returning to zero after every keystroke. 

Four ways of limiting motion:

1. Tennis elbow brace – bad. cut off a lot of blood circulation and ended up being less than effective, because my problem is along the entire length of the muscle / tendon and not just in the elbow region.

2. Sling: a lot better. the first two days using the sling, my hand definitely went into repair and recovery mode. however, the sling dug into my neck of lot and can be very uncomfortable.

3. Athletic Tape:  bind my right hand fingers together to prevent the temptation to use them.

4. Wear a glove on my right hand: this is very effective in stopping me from using it accidentally. However, it is not as healing for my hand as a sling, but it is better on my neck.

I find it very funny that my attempt to say third came out as a turd

Another thing that deserves a metnion is KT tape.   I used it for a week or so prior to becoming serious and using a sling.  It provides a lot of good support, but at the expense of skin sensitivity, as the support comes from elasticity of the skin.   Eventually the skin rebels.

And now I have a cat who is trying to use the microphone as well

Emotion:

So I have this amazing opportunity color to re-evaluate how I work, as well as something that forces me to choose what I do with my time. I am certainly not going to play much Elite dangerous, nor am I going to work on my side project, until this is better – trying to save my hands for generating income.  I could probably get around playing American Truck Simulator with my steering wheel and using my left hand just like driving my car.  However, there’s only two cities left to visit, I’m probably going to wait for the DLC / Arizona to show up before I play it more.

No, I now have an opportunity to catch up on several books that I have not yet read, and to focus on working out and nutrition and things like that.

However, right now I am sad and just want to say cluck it all and watch TV shows and hide. and that’s okay, it’s just part of Grief. I am not sure I am out of denial yet. Maybe I’m near the pyramids. get it? Denial? the Nile? Ed used to make that joke all the time.

The other disadvantage of a voice dictation is that this laptop keeps thinking I am not doing anything, and shutting off in the middle of a sentence

Wish me well! I am now going to go back through this post and use my left hand to edit it so it is readable.  I also had a cat volunteer to sit on my right hand helping me not use it.

Original Text – before lots of editing.

I am writing this blog post mostly using a microphone.

I think I’ll try to do this in one shot and then clean it up later but keep the original version around so that it’s blemishes can be seen. space this is not a good sample though, because I am not using a headset comma because my Turtle Beach microphone has a TRS connector which My Little surface Samsung sing sing thing doesn’t have an input for

I am having difficulty using my right hand insert black muscle Palma and in an effort to heal this hand I am choosing not to use it for at least 3 weeks. this has led to several discoveries hole in the line

There are several things that I take for granted that are built into the muscle memory of my right hand for example in Visual Studio Computing intelligence is apparently down arrow enter, but I didn’t. Know that my right hand you that when my left hand try to do the same thing it tried just pressing enter and did not know about the down arrow involved

Other thing I discovered is that for many years, my brain would output code at the same speed that my hands could put it in. perhaps my brain puts it out faster than my hands and put it in and that is why I am having a problem. Now down to typing with one hand, I simply cannot keep up the mycohl I get frustrated, and the thoughts that were in my brain disappear leaving me wondering what I was typing. I have to reevaluate how I am going to be effective at coding over the next few weeks.

My solution plan is currently very simple: I am going to see a doctor whom I trust and see where she thinks I should go. I am hoping that rest will let my body curious, but if there are major tears in the tendon or something like that color that might need a different level of attention. I am very reluctant to go there. Center Center

I have another problem as well: by using my left hand more now, it too is in danger of burning out.

I have watched videos of people using various speech synthesis program to do programming. my reaction was color oh my God that is so slow exclamation I am hoping that if I do something like hold onto paper first and get the pot out quickly, then I will be able to take my time putting the code in to the computer in a relaxed and optimal way.

Something very nice about my current employer colon he has had to go to this kind of pain as well, about two years ago

Here are the various tools and tricks that I have learned colon um

Typing one handed with a living room style small chiclet keyboard color this minimizes travel distance between keys semicolon however I had a hard time finding a small keyboard which also had function keys

At first using a tennis elbow brace, however. Cut off a lot of blood circulation and ended up being less than effective, because my problem is along the entire length of the muscle / tendon and not just in the elbow region

Second attempt is using a sling, and that has worked a lot better. the first two days using the sling Kama my hand definitely went into repair and recovery mode. however, the slang dig into my neck of lot and can be very uncomfortable align

Turd was to use either some athletic To find my right hand fingers together to prevent the temptation to use them, or to wear a large fingerless mittens on my right hand colon this is very effective in stopping me from using it accidentally. However, it is not as healing for my hand as a link, but it is better on my neck

I find it very funny that my attempt to say third came out as a turd

I have been trying to find resources online that state exactly what the mechanism is for ice and swelling leading to Healing. I see a lot of sources that indicate that inflammation in the body’s attempt to recover in which case how can I get more information? 🙂 New York

And now I have a cat who is trying to use the microphone as well

So I have this amazing opportunity color to re-evaluate how I work, as well as something that forces me to choose what I do with my time. I am certainly not going to play much Elite dangerous, nor am I going to work on my side project until this is better Kama trying to save my hands for generating income. I could probably get around playing American Truck Simulator with my steering wheel and using my left hand just like driving my car. Uline no, I now have an opportunity to catch up on several books that I have not yet read, and to focus on working out and nutrition and things like that.

However, right now I I am sad and Hi just want to say cluck it all and watch TV shows and hide. and that’s okay, it’s just part of Greece. I am not sure I am out of denial yet. Maybe I’m near the pyramids. get it? Denial? the space and I on? The Nile River? Ed used to make that joke all the time.

The other disadvantage of a voice dictation is that this laptop keeps thinking I am not doing anything, and shutting off in the middle of a sentence

Wish me well! I am now going to go back through this post and use my left hand to edit it so it is readable.

Upgrading SSD in Laptop

imageI have a Samsung Series 7 (2012) 8G as my daily driver.  The HD in it conked out, and I replaced it with the biggest SSD that I had at the time.. 64GB.   Not quite large enough.

Rather than spend the money buying a new laptop (I want to move up to a 17” gaming laptop with at least 16G of RAM), we decided to spend $150 to get a 500G SSD.  I waited to install it till after Holidays, because I needed the laptop functional for the holidays.  I don’t trust myself with hardware upgrades.

It all went well!

Step 1:  Should probably have been back up the existing harddrive.  In the future I’d probably use Hiren’s Boot CD, and part magic, and back up to an external USB.   However, I did not.   Luckily, I had gizmo to save me.  (gizmo pictured in picture)

Step 2:  Open up the laptop (thank you Youtube) and replace the Hard Drive.  Of course, I got left with an extra screw, that I have no idea where it goes.

Step 3: Download and burn a copy of Hiren Boot CD since I couldn’t find my other copy.  Beware copycat sites.

Step 4: Use the nifty HD-to-USB gizmo, mount the old drive, boot from Hiren,  and use CloneZilla to copy it to the new one.

Clonezilla was not easy to find.  I had to choose:

  • Boot Linux
  • Exit the linux menu to get to root prompt
  • type “clonezilla” (total guess) .. it worked.

image

image

Step 5: boot into windows and Extend the size of the NTFS partition to cover the entire drive (“Manage Disk” in start menu)

Step 6: Update windows (didn’t have space to do that before) and shortly, update Elite as well.

Step 7: Apply stickers to outside of laptop from recent trip. 

Glad I could clone it.   I have two currently active client’s VPN softwares, a bunch of client WIFI things, etc, all configured.  Didn’t want to have to redo all of that.

Karma Go: Fail for us (so far)

Wife and I recently invested in (paid for 3 months of) a Karma Go.     We’re going to be using it in Florida for a week.. the place we’re staying doesn’t have an internet connection.  Its perfect for that..

However, we were wondering if we would be able to ditch our at-home TWC connection as well in favor of it.

No.

a) Its Open-WIFI only – ie, “web site login page” to enable access – and 3 device maximum.     This means that things like the Apple TV cannot connect to it.

b) The “unlimited bandwidth” is capped to 3G – which means, some video, doesn’t play so well.  Other video works okay.    Seems to be playing video from our iPhones is not optimized – it doesn’t scan ahead, stutters, etc.  

c) I tried “cheating” and putting my windows 10 laptop into “bridge” mode, trying to drive a router from that – but nope, 20 minutes of farting around with it, didn’t solve it.

So..   Karma Go won’t be replacing our TWC connection, which means we’ll pretty much have it for vacation times only.  

Having test driven it for a few days, though, I can report that I can play Elite Dangerous while connected to it.

Endless Sky

imageLately, I’ve been playing a game called Endless Sky.  I’m thoroughly enjoying the game.   I don’t have the time right now (15 minutes) to go into the detail details, but, I’ll throw this out if you’re interested in the game – my evolution playing the game.

First Starting Out, with a Mortgage, I had to count the hops + calculate loan payments.  Only take jobs that I could do with a positive; if I had any cargo space left, look to which system I was going to, figure out Trade differences, and buy/sell to squeeze a few more cents out.   Run away from pirates!   If you die, you restart at the last planet you were at.  Pay of as much of the mortgage early as possible – I would pay off any extra bringing my prudent reserve down to 50k. 

Sell and upgrade to a newer ship whenever you can.  There’s no Buy/Sell penalty; you can go back.  and you can save the game.

Then as you get slightly larger ships, you have the ability to take multiple jobs to multiple sectors and really explore.   You can earn maybe 1 million per transit of the system using a … it looks like an SR71 blackbird, crew of 3?  Phoenix?  Beware of keeping your ship small enough so you don’t pay too much overhead in crew.

Then, you get to maybe 10million in net worth or so – you can get a really big ship, where the profit from a meager +100 credit/ton times 500tons of cargo gives you a nice $50k, in 4 hops.  At this point, missions / jobs don’t compare. 

This is where I am now.  Next up – I plan to get up to maybe 3 large ships (Behemoths) so I can earn > $500k per transaction.  As soon as I get there, I’m going to start buying a buttload of small fighters, and set myself up to have my own swarm.    I figure if I have 20 ships with missiles, any opposition will get 20 missiles at a time.   And lots of lasers.  Swarm.  Yep.

Then I’m going pirate hunting.    So I can demand Tribute Smile 

Here’s something NOT to do:   Do not run with a SR-71 + 6 berserkers.  The way that I had it set up, each berserker was about 1.5million.  When one of them got blown up and I didn’t realize it and I saved the game.. I lost 1.5 million.  I could not make that back up quickly.   So, yeah, save the swarming for later where 1-2 trades = 1 ship.

I did a  google sheet about ships, crew costs, trade potentials, DPS, etc.  Will share on request. 

Purrmutations

We have three cats *:

image
Harvey Quinn
image
Blackberry / Scrappy
image
Fifi Toupe
  • Boy, Insistent
  • Boy, Hesitant
  • Girl, Kick yo ass

Fifi just got spayed, so needed to stay from her brothers.  Just in time – Harvey has matured, and, his biology is calling for him to be very very curious about female cats.  Even if it’s a litter mate.

Harvey and Blackbery have their dates with the vet next week Wednesday.

In the mean time – Fifi’s stitches came out, but Harvey would just NOT leave her alone.   So, when unsupervised, I needed to continue to keep them separate.

We have this setup:

  • I had to keep Harvey and Fifi Separate
  • One partition of cats could roam the hallways if we let them.  Either by opening the bedroom door or the bathroom door.
  • All cats must have access to litterboxen.  (There’s also drinking fountains in each Hab.)

How many combinations could I come up with?

I think the way this breaks down is as follows:

  • 2: Either we have   F, H+B  or F+B, H. 
  • x2: Either we have F in bedroom or F in bathroom.  (and the other pair on the other side)
  • x3: Either we have the bedroom open to roam, or the bathroom open to roam, or neither.

Yielding a total of 12 combinations.

Oops.   I don’t think I have tried all 12.   Some things to narrow it down:

  • F HATES being alone – LOVES Human company.   Not so much other cats – maybe because they’re smelly boys.   So really, access to roaming doesn’t mean much to her, she just hangs with us humans.   This brings it from 12 down to 6.
  • H HATES being alone; he loves to roam.  He views closed doors as challenges to open and sneak past as soon as you open them.   So always giving him roaming, same as the above, still at 6.    No!  down to 4, because H should always be roaming, that rules out the both-locked-in version (which is the “dogs are out” configuration).
  • B loves to be near another cat.  I think he roams mostly to follow H around.    Although he has sneak attacked me at the screen door to the outside in the Family room.   Still at six, cause he’s either with H or F.

So the four workables are:

  • F+B in bedroom, H in bathroom roaming
  • F in bedroom, H+B in bathroom roaming  <—Usual
  • F+B in bathroom, H in bedroom roaming
  • F in bathroom, H+B in bedroom roaming   <—no, she cries.

Aha! ruled out another one.  So, 3 good combinations.

The standard arrangement has been (at night) F with me in the bedroom, and H+B roaming with access to the bathroom litter box.

The one time I kept H with me, and F+B in the bathroom – he snuggled with me a bit, then went off into the closet and ignored me.   Quite cat-like. If I ain’t got the pettings, he aint got time for me.  

I think tonight we’ll go with F+B with me, and H out to room with the bathroom.

 

*Yes, I’m using cat pictures in a blog post.  I’ve been told that cat pictures are what makes the internet keep working. 

Love my life.