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      Wednesday, March 16, 2022


craftstuff
01:34 PM - 03/16/2022

The topic: Yay, me.

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I just spent some time raking up the murder balls that fall from the Liquid Amber tree. Holy crap, those things hurt when you step on them barefoot. We seem to have an incredible harvest of them this year. It's hot, though, so I quit. I worked on the areas where I'd be most likely to walk, barefoot (which I try really hard not to do anymore, always have an old pair of slip on Skechers nearby).

So, the little cat crafts turned out nicely. I found a similar set from a different designer on thingiverse. I was sharing this link with facebook when I noticed the files are no longer available because they were supposed to be for non-commercial use, you know, don't sell them. But people would make and sell them so the designer took the files down.

Luckily, I saved them last summer! They'll go nicely with the ones I just finished. You can see them here.

Anyway, here they are. I did have a hard time trying to figure out the background. I tried coloring the areas I wanted different on a white sheet of paper and thought I could just place the 3D print over that, but it wasn't very easy. I couldn't seem to get the holes in the print to line up with the colors on the sheet. I did the next best thing. I colored sheets of paper and cut them to fit behind the holes in the print and glued them in place. Then I cut a piece of cardstock to the size of the print and glued that onto the back of the print. I like how they came out.

I think they look good in that spot. Now I'll have to figure out where to put the other three, once I get those done.

photos    craftstuff    catstuff    3d printing   



geekstuff
10:59 AM - 03/16/2022

The topic: Okay, I’ve been busy

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I did get the little cat hangings done. I will share those this afternoon.

My past week has been stuck in the burning movies to my hard drive mode. Remember my little outdoor theater? And remember that I bought a DVD/Blu-Ray player for outside?  Well...yanno...I started to wonder if instead of using that player, I could somehow burn the disks I own to a hard drive and run them using Plex.

And I found out I CAN! I had to get some different software than I have, trial and error to find which software(s) did the best job of ripping and converting.

The first one I found was Winxdvd. It did a great job of ripping the disks. And they were okay for viewing, but they weren't high definition. You need a converter for that. But I was okay with it. I bought it before I'd tried out other software. But in my defense, the trial versions had limitations on them. I could probably get a refund, but eh...I mean, I did get a fair amount of use from them.

One that I ripped was Cleopatra.  A two disk version. I didn't watch what had been ripped, since all of the other movies seemed to be okay.  I ripped each one then had to find a software that I could join the two parts together. I used a software I've had for ages (Movavi) and the words weren't in synch with the lips. (This hadn't happened with the other movies, just this one. So far.)  Four hours. I re-ripped the first part with WinxDVD using different settings and it was the same problem.

I downloaded the trial of WinxDVD's converter software, but it had a limitation of five minutes. The movie has over five minutes of music before the movie starts. You know, how movies used to be in the old days? Music that gives you a chance to get comfortable in your seat before you actually see something on the screen? I had to purchase it to convert more than five minutes.  It was a bust. The lips were still out of sync. Back to my search.

That's when I discovered Wonderfox software.  I downloaded the trial for the converter software first. I converted the first part of Cleopatra that I'd ripped using WinxDVD. Lips were still out of sync. So, it wasn't the converter.  At the completion of the conversion, I got a popup with a great price on Wonderfox's ripper software. I didn't buy it right away, but I did download the trial and, boy howdy! I was impressed. Because it converted at the same time it ripped! It wouldn't be a two step process. So, I bought it. For fifteen dollars!  Super good price.

I ripped Clepatra again, this time with Wonderfox. Converting to 1080p from 720p at the same time.  I started the movie. The lips were in sync! I bought the software! (Make sure to do a google search for promo codes.) Then I used Movavi (I've had this for a long time, so many softwares to do different things) to join the two parts and they look great. And I converted one of the twenty movies I'd ripped the previous couple of days.

Anyway, I re-ripped all of the movies I'd done with WinxDVD with Wonderfox, converting them at the same time. They look great.  I actually got three of the ripping softwares, one for the Plex machine, one for my big PC and one for the laptop. Because I have a lot of movies.

Now for blu ray. I got an external blu ray player/burner, which came with Cyberlink software. Too confusing and it wouldn't work right. I looked for something else, I had tried MKV and Handbrake and I just didn't want to spend that much time trying to figure out the different options. Certainly not frustration free. I ended up trying Leawo blu-ray software to play the blu ray and it seemed to work. So, I figured I'd try their blu ray ripper. It worked, too.

But they didn't work this morning. Frustrated, I did a google search for the error I was getting. And this time the fix was pretty simple. Running as adminstrator fixed the start up problems. I'm ripping the first disk of the Lord of the Rings right now. (And this really sucks because I'd had the trilogy set since 2011 or 2012, never paid attention to it until last year.  Included in the set were download codes for everything in the box, that expired in June 2012 - I wasn't in the streaming mode back then, so I never did anything with them. I tried pleading my case with the Warner Brothers folks, but it was a case of you snooze, you lose. Geez. They were only eleven years since the expire date, come on, guys...lol...at least I tried)

The first part of the Two Towers just finished and it looks awesome! Five more to go! (I'm only doing the movies, not the extras.) Next up, the Harry Potter set.

And that was my past week. Geeky, fun stuff. I drink this stuff up.

plex    movies   


      Thursday, March 03, 2022


geekstuff
07:11 AM - 03/03/2022

The topic: And the weather page is back up

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The little refurbed PC got here yesterday morning and I was ready.

Unpacked it, climbed on a stool and started plugging stuff in. Unfortunately, the little bluetooth keyboard I had wasn't working. And if I didn't have a working keyboard, I couldn't finish setting up the PC. Because Windows wants a name. I ended up unplugging the one I use all the time (I like not having wires, but I've had so many problems with wireless keyboards and mice in the past, I just went to wired - maybe the problem was too many things and interference caused the problems; with the NAS and the weather systems I don't access them enough to be a bother).

So, with the wired setup, I got it up and running. Except now I couldn't use my big system. Well, last year Brian complained about his keyboard and I ordered one for him like mine. Wired. He never did anything with it. I found the box and plugged it in to my system and that made life much easier. (After I was finished with the setup, I did attach the keyboard to his computer and he's real happy with it.)

The first thing I did was to install Firefox. Once I had that synched to my Firefox account, I added Piriform's software. I've been using CCleaner (originally known as Crap Cleaner) for decades to keep junk off of my system. Last year, I got a super deal that included five computers and the other software they sell, Speccy (which gives you details about your system), Recuva (file recovery), and Defraggler (which organizes the files on your hard drive, which makes it run more smoothly; Windows breaks up data when it installs, Defraggler puts the fragments back where they belong). I used the ccleaner to get rid of the programs I absolutely had zero interest in.

I tried setting up the little bluetooth keyboard,only to find out this little computer did NOT have bluetooth capability. Nice, right? I never paid attention on the other Optiflex and checked it out. It doesn't have bluetooth. I actually went over to eBay and checked out the specs of what I purchased. Bluetooth was not listed. So, I got what I paid for. I hit Amazon and ordered a bluetooth dongle for ten bucks and choose the option to pay three dollars more to get it the same day. I hoped it would be the last thing I had to do.

I installed Blue Iris (the software that  I use to position the weathercam and send the image to the weather page every fifteen seconds). Since I'd let the license lapse last December, I had to renew it, which I found out when I was working with the laptop last weekend. And here's another case where I made work for myself - I keep telling myself I won't do that again, but I do. Before I had the new license installed, I exported my settings. Settings which knew where the camera was, where to send the images, and how often to send them. And, which I found out yesterday, the license key. Which was no longer valid. I had not exported the settings after installing the new license. And that took me more time that it should have to get the software running without a big ass watermark across the image. I don't know how I did it, but the program finally came up with all settings and correct license key. Yay!

Then on to the weather station. That went pretty quickly because I'd just done it last weekend. Moved from the laptop to the Plex pc. I figured I'd just copy the data file and transfer that over. Yeah. There were problems. The data wasn't rendering properly on the Daily Data page of the weather station. I thought it was when I shut down, but last night, when I checked it using my Fire tablet, it was absolutely wrong. Before I'd shut down in the office, I finally figured out how to get the weather pc files to be seen on the other systems. And I was able to edit from the laptop in the other room. Took me a little time to realize my mistake, but it looks like it should now.

Once the only two programs that would be running 24/7 were setup, I ran the defraggler. Making for a clean system from the start.

The bluetooth dongle got here, I plugged it in and the little keyboard works nicely.

It is absolutely so much quieter here in the office now. The laptop itself was loud, the external fans adding to the noise. They are no longer needed. It's nice.

I was made aware of a free software that will stream to online platforms, like Youtube. I tried doing this last year with a paid service, but had zero luck. I just may try this again. But not this week. I'm done with geekstuff for this week.  141031019

Oh, and if you're interested?  The Weather Page.

weather station    geekstuff    computer   


      Monday, February 28, 2022


geekstuff
06:37 AM - 02/28/2022

The topic: Singing taps for the laptop

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It's done. It's history.

It died. Couldn't take the pressure.

Seriously, it had been running hot for a while, I had external fans aimed at it to keep it cool for a couple of years now. It just couldn't take the work I was having it do yesterday. The system fan gave a couple of whirls and noises and it just refused to boot up, no matter what I tried.

It told me it had a NTFS file problem. I ran setup at startup and did the checks listed. It repeatedly shut down during the memory check. Bad memory? Dunno. Don't care at this point. I'm done babying it, it's done working for me.

And I'm okay with that. I got it as a cheap refurbished unit on eBay years ago.  I've more than gotten my money's worth.

Speaking of eBay, I have a new refurb unit on the way. It's like the one I got for my NAS system, except this one has double the hard drive. Which I don't really need, since I'll just be running the camera and weather station.  I set these both up on the NAS last night, got them up and running, so I know they'll work on the one getting here Friday. It shouldn't take much time to get it going.

In other news, I did not make enchiladas for dinner last night. Ran out of time. But I did make deviled eggs. I hard cooked the eggs in the Instantpot, put them in an ice bath after they were done, washed my equipment, peeled the eggs and put them in the fridge while the laptop was reinstalling Windows. Hours later, after Del Taco for dinner and the camera and weather station were running from the NAS, I shut down my computer and made the deviled eggs.

laptop    geekstuff   


      Sunday, February 27, 2022


geekstuff
11:16 AM - 02/27/2022

The topic: Well, that didn’t go as well as planned

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Trying to set up the weather laptop to auto start on reboot and there's a problem with logging in.

I got this laptop for cheap on eBay and it came ready to go. But it had a set user name that I've been unable to change or get rid of.

I am now in the process of completely and totally re-installing windows and getting rid of the stuff I wasn't using.

Then I'll put the programs back on that I was using and leave the other ones (graphics programs, for instance) off.  I don't use that computer for anything besides the weather station and the roofcam.

Not thrilled.

weather station    roofcam    geekstuff   


      Saturday, February 26, 2022


otherstuff
09:29 AM - 02/26/2022

The topic: This and that

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Yesterday morning I noticed the weather laptop had rebooted the afternoon before. The problem was that the two applications that it runs, weren't running. The photos from the roof that are sent to the weather page every fifteen seconds weren't sent and the weather station itself wasn't updated as it should have been. And that sucked because we had the coldest morning we've had in years.

So, I did some research and found possible ways of the system bypassing the login page (stupid for us, there's no one here but Brian and me) and having programs automatically run at startup.  I figured I'd work on that later.  When I was thinking about this yesterday afternoon, I realized it would be a lot easier to do if I had a keyboard for the laptop. The laptop is raised and out of the way, it doesn't have a battery (eBay purchase a while back) and has to be plugged in. It runs 24/7. All of the USB ports are taken (geek stuff, fans, mouse, VGA to HDMI adapter, etc). To do anything on it that involves typing, I have to stand on a stool. It's pretty awkward. Last night I checked to see if the laptop has bluetooth and it does. So, I ordered a bluetooth keyboard that should be here today.  The cool thing about that is I can use the keyboard with my phone (much easier for text messaging) and the television (logging into streaming services is a real PITA). It should be here today and hopefully, I'll get the laptop so that I don't have the problem of losing data when it reboots itself.

What else...oh, I found out this morning that my two year old camera will take time lapse photos.  I got some bubble guns from Amazon and the cats have fun chasing bubbles. I took video last week and found out this morning that I did not take video last week. I guess I didn't push the record button. Great. Anyway, I searched to see about time lapse and my camera and there was a short video about settings for time lapse and yay! I hope to try that option out soon.

I ordered some pasta from Walmart, the guy sent it from his Amazon account. With a gift receipt. WTF? Sad thing for me is I hadn't checked pricing and it was over four dollars cheaper at Amazon than I paid at Walmart. Life, am I right?

I printed these (found on thingiverse). I doubled them in size and am working on a backing for them. They're going to be super cute when I'm done. There are more, but one thing at a time.

We started watching Orphan Black a couple of weeks ago. We're hooked. We're in season three at this point, averaging three episodes a night.

Lawn Fawn came out with their latest collection. So many cute things this go round. I wish I could buy them all. I did get some stuff, so I'm happy about that. Now, I just have to get busy making things.

I did get some cheap webcams on Sidedeal.com last week. They're for bloggins, I guess, they have a light around the lens. That should help. I tried one out with my video capture software and it looked good. I figure I will use them to take video of stuff I'm working on. At least, that's my plan at this point. I just need to get my ass in gear and do it.

Not really a lot going on right now. Well, a lot of small things, but nothing major. Which is good. Like Michael Bryce says in "Hitman's Bodyguard" - "boring is always best". Story of my life.

geekstuff    craftstuff    catstuff   


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lisaviolet is sixty something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.

In her spare time, she makes pretty things to sell in her store.

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