Pellet Stove Fan Control

Pellet stoves can’t really, in my opinion, be controlled by a thermostat. They take a long time to start, and up to 30 minutes sometimes to shut off. And in my situation, I need a fan to blow the warm air into other rooms of the house. So, there is a pedestal fan next to the stove to blow the warm air to the rest of the house. But I had to manually start and stop that fan.

The problem is that if the fan is started with the stove, it blows cold air for a long time before the stove warms up. And when I shut off the stove, I have to come back later and turn off the fan, maybe at night when I just want to go back to sleep.

So here’s the solution. There are “Temperature Controllers”. I found several on Amazon. This one looks very fancy, but was only about $35. It can control heating and cooling of something and has a large wattage rating. So the fan is plugged into the Cooling socket and the temperature is set to 85 degrees. So the fan is always off unless the stove is hotter than 85 degrees. So when the stove is turned on, the fan comes on about 5-7 minutes later when the stove has warmed up, and when the stove is shut off, the fan shuts off up to 30 minutes later when the stove has cooled down.

Notice the thin wire sneaking over to the top left of the stove? That’s the thermo sensor that controls the controller.

Works great. Now I don’t need to worry about the fan at all. Just turn the stove on and off when I need it.


Watch Out. Rats in the Kitchen

I just had to replace an expensive kitchen faucet because a rat apparently chewed through one of the supply lines. See the little nip in the line on the right picture?


Apparently this is quite common. Rats seem to know that they can get a drink by chewing through a faucet supply line. Unfortunately, these very expensive faucets – about $300 for any of the major brands – all use nylon other plastic for the mesh around the supply lines rather than stainless steel mesh. As you may know, replacement supply lines for toilets and many other faucets are covered in a stainless steel mesh, which rats will not chew. But the supply lines on these expensive faucets cannot be replaced or easily repaired.

The rat only chewed a little hole to get a drink, so it drip drip dripped and I didn’t find it for a couple of days when I noticed water on the floor.
So after a new $300 faucet and a $150 plumber’s visit, I have a new faucet.

Now there’s a big rat trap in the cabinet defending the faucet from rats.

Update: I had a brainstorm early this morning. I just bought this and will slide this over the faucet lines.



That ought to keep the pesky rats off the faucet lines. So there.




Side Quests, etc.

Don’t forget to check out some of the side quests. While you don’t actually need them to level, even if your world is not on the “Road to 60” list, there are some that give interesting gear rewards and they aren’t nerfed like other games. In Tera, after a few changes, only the story quests give good rewards. The Zone Quests and Vanguard Requests in Tera used to give great XP, but now the Zone Quests give about 20% of a story quest and Vanguard Requests give very little XP, but give tokens that are good for gearing up. I’ve never seen what I would call Story Quests in Wow, so the quests in a zone pretty much give all the same level of rewards. Which is fine. No complaint here. 7-20 quests per level depending on your place in the game. Although, like I said, all that may change with “Level Scaling”. sigh.

Near Camp Drybone here in FFXIV, I ran across a side quest that rewards a nice weapon of level 20 for very little work. And side quests give about 1/2 the XP of the Story Quests, so two quick ones now and then can help a lot. I’ll keep my eye out for them when my gear is getting stale. Since I’m leveling pretty fast I’m not really psyched to learn and apply Materia to my gear. I’ll get back to that when I get high enough that the gear will last some time.

Continue reading “Side Quests, etc.”

Good and Bad News After Some Play

Here’s some more detailed reactions to FFXIV after a few more hours playing the trial.

I’ve played all the classes available to the Trial except Rogue and Pugilist. None of them seem over powered, but they all survive fine to solo the content up to about 20 – which is as far as I’ve played. This content contains lots of quests, solo instances and several dungeons, so the game play is quite varied early on as you level.

After sending Tank, DPS and Healers through the Novice training, I found it quite useful. It concentrates on party play, which prepares you for the four man dungeons. So not only do you get nice looking gear from the tutorials, but you get some valuable lessons too.

Continue reading “Good and Bad News After Some Play”

Final Fantasy XIV

I’m finally getting around to trying this game and I waited too long.

FFXIV was released in 2013, so it came along after the other titles, which means it can be better looking and doesn’t have a low rez legacy. Wow was released in 2004, but got new models for characters with Pandaria in 2012. Tera was released in 2011. As you can see from those character creation screens, the models are beautiful and varied.

After the nonsense with Level Scaling showed up in Wow PTR, I looked around for something else to play and FFXIV has a free trial. The trial is limited in the standard ways: no cash shop – not clear why Trial’s shouldn’t spend money on the game -, no mail, no making parties, no private chat unless they chat you first, no friending unless they friend you first, and so forth. But you can play as long as you like with up to eight characters up to level 35. So here I am.

I don’t need to do a full-on review. There is plenty of youtube footage out there and plenty of detailed reviews. But here are my general impressions.

Continue reading “Final Fantasy XIV”

Level Scaling – Sick of It

I’m sick of playing it and sick of hearing about it. Here’s an example of a 97 Mage in the area near Kahdgar’s hangout in Talador. I’ve played through this area with every class, and taken out No’losh, the Elite swamp walker, every time on Live. But in PTR, he’s a 99 – level scaled up above my 97 mage and he can’t be solo’d even with the Mage helper Serena. And another thing. Notice the fight with the Shambler and Bloodpetals.

They almost got me again since they gang up on you outside the cave. But notice the Bloodpetals give the same XP as the Shamblers? Huh? Those little guys were weaker in Live. Supposed to be since there is a gang of them. But not in PTR and likely not in 7.3.5 either. The level scaling has so many issues you would not believe.

Continue reading “Level Scaling – Sick of It”


Short Fiction?  © 2017 Darrell Duffy


Light. Motion. Confusion. Awareness of self. Awareness of others. I am low. They are above. Marching. I do not yet have the words to describe what I see, but I desire order. I desire regular motion. I desire upright motion. I desire to copy them. Flayling. Rolling. Crawling. Gradually controlling. Standing shaking. Falling. Rising. Steps. Slowly. Struggling. Finally Walking. Then Running. Seeing around me. Beginning to make sense. Seeing myself. Like them, but different.

Continue reading “Awakening”

Play Times to Level

I just found a neat feature. /played which is a chat command that displays the time played for the current character since creation and in the current level.


Update: See below.

Since I reupped in May, I’ve been leveling some toons pretty efficiently. I typically used dungeons to level 60, then quests through Outland, Northrend, Vashj’ir and Pandaria. Some dungeons were played after level 60, but primarily quests were used to level. At this point, they continued with Quests and Treasure Hunting through Draenor. Treasure hunting gives about 1.5 times the XP of a quest in the area, so using a Treasure Hunting AddOn can be a very efficient way to level, especially if you can fly through Draenor.

The goal is to get to 101 before going to Legion. All the characters have 4 Heirloom armor pieces, an Heirloom weapon and a necklace. At level 101, there is a jump in Heirloom item level, which will help a lot when starting Legion. Here are the play times for some of these characters leveled this way to about 100:

Leveling to 100ish

Before taking these characters to Draenor, I took a Demon Hunter through the DH starting area, and then directly to Draenor to most efficiently get Draenor Pathfinder. So all other characters could fly in Draenor. As these characters reached Level Cap of Outland, and Northrend they moved on to the next area. Before moving to Draenor, some of the classes were taken to 91 to boost the Heirloom Item Level, but in general this is not that necessary. The Pandaria and Draenor starting areas are quite friendly and reasonable even with green level gear.

Continue reading “Play Times to Level”

Linux Mint 19 Samba Issues with Windows 10

Yet again, something changed to break network file sharing between LM19 and Windows 10. Here’s the fix. Windows 10 could see a LM19 file share just fine, but LM19 could not see the Win 10 file shares. < Again back-dated to keep it off the front page. >

[SOLVED]Mint 19 Network SAMBA shares not shownin File Manager

Re: Mint 19 Network SAMBA shares not shownin File Manager

Unread post by altair4 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:57 am

Can’t comment on the Printer issue but there have been changes in samba since Mint18.

Long version: Mint 19 and Samba File Sharing Changes

Short version:

Edit /etc/samba/smb.conf and right under the workgroup = WORKGROUP line add this one:

Code: Select all

client max protocol = NT1

Then reboot.

If you have Win10 on your network and it has disabled SMB1 on the server side you will not be able to connect to it.

This allows the Linux Mint 19 system to see the Windows 10 file shares.
To see the Linux Mint 19 system from the Windows 10 systems just use the Software Manager to install SAMBA and then set up a file share of say, your home folder. Be sure and change the name to something else, not just your user name. For some reason just your user name fouls up the share.
Here’s the view from the Linux Mint side:

For some reason there were two GBLM19 computers, but this was probably an artifact of the changes I was making while trying to get this to work. After a few minutes it settled down to only one that worked from Windows 10. They both worked from Linux looking in to itself.


Here is the view from the Windows 10 system:

I still cannot ping from the Linux system to the Win 10 machines. Apparently there is a fire wall issue. Well that’s for tomorrow. I can ping the LM system from the Win 10 machines.


Never works out of the box it seems.