I use Google Calendar and one of the things that I do all the time is track package shipments that I’ve ordered. Keeping bookmarks in a browser is a pain. Each time you add a tracking link to the book marks, it goes at the end of the list rather than the beginning, so it becomes very long, and finding it is more difficult when the list becomes very long over the years.
So now I use Google Calendar. For each shipment, I add an “All Day” event to the day when the shipment is supposed to arrive. It turns out that each Calendar entry can have a description with a link. So I find this an easy way to have the tracking link close at hand is to add a description link to the calendar entry.
To use the entry, as above, just click on the calendar entry, which then displays the description with the link and a click on that brings up the tracking page.
The problem you may run into however, is that the link field may not be long enough to hold the entire tracking URL. In my case it was cut off at a place where the shipping website gave an error. But I was able to edit the link back to just before a slash so that the website showed the tracking correctly.
I hope you find this useful. I’ll be using this method to save tracking links from now on.
Hiding Files in Images?
I’ve known about Stenganography for some time. And no, it’s not spelled wrong. That’s not Stenography, but Steganography. Two different things. I’ve been thinking recently about all the news items that are talking about privacy erosion and governments around the world passing or about to pass laws to break into your private messages of any kind. And then the above video popped up in my Youtube suggestions. From 2 Feb 2019 no less. Quite Recent. I’ll provide a link at the end of this post, but it’s not the main point of the video. I’m going to take that primitive program’s idea and show how it can be extended, a lot. I’m saying primitive and if you don’t believe that, watch the video. Sigh.
Steganography ( (listen) STEG-ə-NOG-rə-fee) is the practice of concealing a file, message, image, or video within another file, message, image, or video. The word steganography combines the Greek words steganos (στεγανός), meaning “covered, concealed, or protected”, and graphein (γράφειν) meaning “writing”.
I’m not mentioning anything the NSA does not know, but apparently the lawmakers around the world have not called in an expert who has mentioned the science of Steganography to them in their hearings for their new lawmaking regarding Privacy.
Let’s look at what’s happening to Privacy / Encryption around the world.
Started to make progress on Aurora lighting. Here are the side lights.
Here are the front lights without the face.
The lighting is a USB powered LED RGB non-animated lighting chain. This is the usual type of LED lighting that is stuck on the back of a TV for ambient lighting. I’ll post more details as I finish. The Aurora case is a nightmare to take apart, especially the right panel.
I’m sick of not having lighting for my Alienware Area-51 and Alienware Aurora cases. They work part of the time but can’t be easily controlled. The lighting is Proprietary and out of date. Alienware and later DELL made no effort to support the lighting with Windows 10 or Linux. These are what the two cases look like with lighting on:
That is the Area 51 circa 2006 with blue lighting in the vents and Alien Heads on sides and front. The Front Alien head is the power button.
And that’s the Alien Aurora R2 in Blue and Red lighting. The Front Alien Head opens the access door for the media drives. The power button is a hidden button behind the head on the top of the case.
Nothing new I’m sure. But this is how I do it.
20 Oz of beans. And lose the packet of flavor. Rinse the beans and Soak the beans over night if you remember. Drain the beans.
Dust Deputy Cyclone Separator
A while back I bought and hooked up a Dust Deputy to the shop vac that I have been using to clean my pellet stove. The Dust Deputy is an after market DIY cyclone separator. And for what you get it’s pretty pricey.
The kit I got comes with two 5 gallon buckets and a hose along with the separator. But it required some ABS pipe, glue and some work to get it hooked up to the shop vac that I’d been using. Turns out that hose diameters are no where near standard on these vacuums of course. But I’ve got it going and have not had to clean the vacuum filter in over a year. I have emptied the 5 gallon bucket once in that time. But Wait There’s More. A Better Solution has arrived.
Home Depot Dustopper
The Dustopper from Home Depot is a much better solution. And Cheaper.
The left picture shows the Home Depot picture for this use of this device. Clearly a mess since you are dragging two separate canisters around your shop or other area as you clean it. That’s gotta be a pain. On the right we see a fellow who has designed a simple modification for a Ridgid vacuum to hold the Dustopper together with the vacuum. Takes less floor space and moves as one unit.
Clearly this is what I should have done. And I may yet do this.
I still cannot understand why Ridgid or some other shop vacuum company, Dyson even, has not just made a vacuum with a cyclone separator built into it. Why these nonsense add-ons? Is Dyson holding a patent that keeps others from doing it, but is not doing it themselves? Dyson does not make a vacuum suitable for cleaning shop areas after all this time.
A long time ago I got some Cabela’s Moccasin Duck Boots. These are great for here in Coastal Oregon, where the grass never dries. And they should be easy to slip on and off at the door. But the problem is that they never were easy to put on and take off. The Tongue of the shoes was turned in rather than out.
As you can see from these pictures, I’ve figured out how to re-string the laces to correct this issue. On the left is the original shoe and the right picture shows one repaired shoe.
I’ve recently had problems with my internet service. My DSL router is apparently re-syncing causing my public IP address to change. Apparently my ISP uses PPOE rather than DHCP, and apparently PPOE does not allow “Reservations”, which allows a client computer to use the same IP address if it reconnects within a given amount of time. Your home router uses DHCP, which does do reservations, so your computers LAN IP address does not change if the computer connects every 24 hours, which I understand is the default “Reservation” time.
Re-synching is not only a problem because the internet is out for a short amount of time, but also because the IP address change causes some games to require that you “Verify” your IP address by reporting a code that is sent to your email account. This is obviously an issue if the Re-Sync happens several times per day.
After quite a bit of research I found a windows service that logs the Public IP address to the Windows Event log every 15 minutes. I run one of my windows systems all the time, since it’s running Carbonite, so this system will run the PublicIpLogger program.
If you want to use the program, it’s on GitHub here. This is the forum post that mentions this program.
From Github, download the setup.exe file and run it. Then you can enter “view event log” into Cortana and you should see a choice to run the windows event viewer. The program logs your public IP address to the event log every 15 minutes.
As shown, under Application and Service Logs, find the PublicIpLogger events and there are a number of events that show the Public IP address, whether they have changed or not.
A previous post talked about rodent damage to the kitchen faucet. Now, the Faucet lines are armored with Stainless Mesh. I thought about using two layers, but this mesh is so strong I don’t think that’s necessary. It’s pushed up tight against the counter top and held on with a pair of cable ties at each end. No place for pesky rodents to get their teeth into the faucet lines now.
No way to armor the line to the spray, but that can be replaced. The wisdom on this problem is that the rodent’s only chew lines that actually have water in them. They can probably sense the difference in temperature of the lines. After all, they are just after a drink.
I think I’ve found the issue. EDID.
The EDID or Extended Display Identification Data is a packet of information sent from a monitor or TV to the source of the video and tells the source what types of video the display can process.
Imagine for a moment that we have a receiver from 2013 – pre 4K – that contains an HDMI switch. Now imagine that one buys almost any TV today – almost all of them support 4K. Now imagine that one purchases something that produces video – BluRay player, XBox Console, Playstation, even a modern set top box. Most of these support 4K video.
So what happens if the EDID from the 4K TV passes unchanged through the NR1504 from 2013 to the video source that can produce 4K? Well the source happily produces 4K video and the NR1504 cannot pass it. Black screen? Apparently.
Was the Marantz 1504 never modifying the EDID? Or did it just start not modifying the EDID? Or did the Linux computer get a new driver that was willing to produce 4K video?
I hooked up an HD monitor to the NR1504 and hooked the Linux box back up to the Media input and voila. Everything works fine, of course.
It seems clear that in this world of ubiquitous 4K sources and displays, the Marantz NR1504 needs to be modifying the EDID or producing one of it’s own to continue to work.
I’ve used the display settings in Linux to use HD only and that works fine with the TV, but when I plugged it back into the NR1504 it still didn’t work. Oh well. Time for a new Receiver that gets 4K. But at least I can use the Linux system by plugging it directly into the TV and setting it to HD.