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Archived News starting from 05-30-2020 and earlier
Rating: 3 - Link to this Article 05-30-2020 Focus RS Acquired View Webcam for 05-30-2020 NO COMMENTS
With my divorce behind me, and my need for a Focus RS never having been satisifed, I found a great deal on a manufacturer buyback nitrous blue example in beautiful condition. Already a fan of refurbished products, I figure this one has all the future problems fixed since a good 20% of the car has been replaced, but just to be safe I bought an extra 3 years on the warranty. Once it finally arrived from Iowa, I removed the 5+ ridiculous stickers the dealer put on it, along with the front licence plate bracket. Of course I upgraded the Sync version, although I learned the non-navigation head unit may not have enough memory to add navigation, so I played it safe and stuck with non-nav. I also got new shoes, since the existing factory tires had plugs and screws in them. It arrived with an almost dead battery and less than 2 gallons of gas, so the dealer was clearly determined to make it the worst possible experience they could. Once the battery was fully charged, I discovered the joys of auto-stop. After 3 minutes of being auto-stopped, the car actually gets worried you don't know how to re-start the engine again. I enabled global windows and disabled the honk-on-exit in the PCM computer, but left auto-stop on since I actually like it when I'm sitting at a red light, and it's easy enough to disable via button. Now that all my customization was done, it was time to scare my kids, but sadly the audio was disabled on the dash cam. At least I got their first reactions recorded for drift mode and launch control. It fits nicely next to my Focus ST, and since Ford is no longer making cars I'm glad I have an example of each of their last hot hatches.
No Comments Entered for 05-30-2020

Rating: 3 - Link to this Article 04-03-2020 Network Topology Update: New PCs View Webcam for 04-03-2020 NO COMMENTS
I decided it was time my kids each had their own dedicated PC for Coronavirus homeschooling. A $100 PC deal naturally appeared, and after an SSD upgrade and the latest BIOS update, I had some pretty capable machines ready for e-learning. With two new machines added, it was of course time to update to the network topology diagram as tradition dictates. A recent Woot.com deal also allowed me to finally wire my home theater properly instead of just a hole in the wall.
No Comments Entered for 04-03-2020

Rating: 3 - Link to this Article 04-01-2020 Sync 3.4 Upgrade View Webcam for 04-01-2020 NO COMMENTS
After finding this article with detailed instructions on how to upgrade my old and boring 2017 Focus ST Sync software to the latest and greatest, I decided to forge ahead despite the inherent risk of upgrading on April 1st. The process went off without a hitch and I now have the 2020 Sync 3.4 system with the latest navigation maps. As a bonus, I also have a redundant climate screen in case my physical climate controls melt away. This upgrade compliments my global window and double honk modifications nicely, in that no physical changes were required. My obnoxious bypass valve remains the only physical modification after my life lessons from changing everything possible on my late 1999 Mercury Cougar.
No Comments Entered for 04-01-2020

Rating: 3 - Link to this Article 03-27-2020 Folding@Home View Webcam for 03-27-2020 NO COMMENTS
I decided it was time to rejoin the distributed computing world since my last adventure ended long before SETI@Home shut down. Since Folding@Home is focusing on coronavirus, I decided it was a noble cause even if it does nothing to help the current situation. More importantly, I get to compete with my same nemesis from the last adventure, and his equipment is probably just as superior this time around. Even with the client maxing out my resources, my computer is still usable and relatively cool. Work units are in high demand so there are lots of timeouts, but most of the time I'm chugging along making the most of my average specd system.
No Comments Entered for 03-27-2020

Rating: 3 - Link to this Article 02-01-2020 Network Topology Update View Webcam for 02-01-2020 NO COMMENTS
While my MSPaint skills shone strongly in my previous network map, I decided to upgrade to a more specific software package for the latest version. I also included my wireless devices, because when you've got topology tools as slick as this then why not.
No Comments Entered for 02-01-2020

Rating: 3 - Link to this Article 09-22-2019 South Camera Relocate View Webcam for 09-22-2019 NO COMMENTS
With my neighbor consistently having tall vehicles filling his entire driveway, it was time to change my view from obscured to empowered. After a quick trip up the ladder and some re-routing of wires, my south facing camera rises above the noise.
No Comments Entered for 09-22-2019

Rating: 3 - Link to this Article 09-13-2019 Surge Protected HVAC View Webcam for 09-13-2019 NO COMMENTS
After what I assume was an electrical storm shorted my blower motor in my HVAC, I decided it was time to add some surge protection for the most expensive electronic device in my house. The Intermatic AG3000 fit the bill for $50, and is a much cheaper option compared to replacing a blower motor. After my virtual electrician blessed my modifications, I flipped the breaker and basked in the confident surge protected glow of the AG3000. I'm hoping the AC compressor is more resilient to power spikes due to it's much simpler (and logic board-less) design and can survive without one, but only the next storm will truly tell.
No Comments Entered for 09-13-2019

Rating: 3 - Link to this Article 09-10-2019 Solar Panel Glory View Webcam for 09-10-2019 NO COMMENTS
Bing Birdseye has finally caught up with my solar panel installation, eliminating my need to borrow Steve's drone for some updated photos. I can now gaze on their 3.14 kWh capacity glory whenever I feel like it without the need for ladders or drones.
No Comments Entered for 09-10-2019

Rating: 3 - Link to this Article 03-06-2019 Upgrade to 1440p Security DVR View Webcam for 03-06-2019 NO COMMENTS
With my trusty Samsung SDR-B74301N starting to show it's age with *only* 1080p video, I decided to jump on a deal for the Annke DT81DP. While not quite 4K, it uses the same analog video cables I already ran and has a significant resolution bump. It also uses the new H.265 HEVC video format that significantly reduces video size. The trade-off being the yuvj pixel format it uses is not yet widely supported, so I have to convert to yuv with ffmpeg before I can do anything with it. The 8 kHz, 64 kb/s audio is also apparently too low quality for Windows to recognize, so if anyone else has trouble playing downloaded the video I'm including the command to convert it below: ffmpeg -i %1 -c:v copy -c:a aac -ar 48000 -b:a 176k -ac 2 -pix_fmt yuv420p -f mp4 %2 Today was also the coldest day of the year so far, and the handy HDD temp monitor reported 28C. I'm curious to see what it will read in July
No Comments Entered for 03-06-2019

Rating: 3 - Link to this Article 02-24-2019 All Xboxes Wired View Webcam for 02-24-2019 NO COMMENTS
My last wireless Xbox has itched at me long enough to warrant a 6th network switch. With my exterior walls insulated and not easily accommodating a network wire, I was forced to use a plastic wire hiding tray which looks at least presentable and finally delivers reliable gigabit Ethernet. Having run out of devices that accept wired Ethernet, my latest topology map should last me for some time.
No Comments Entered for 02-24-2019

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