Boy, one of those rare weeks just about every day was spent in the office. Just nuts. I shut down yesterday around 3:30, headed back to my broken down section of the sofa (reminds me of my mom - she had her beer and cigarettes, I have my water and remote control), turned the television on, set to Castle on Lifetime and promptly fell asleep.
What I did was rip over four hundred CDs to the Plex drive (remember this post from last summer? I'm finally working on finishing up). Last year I got the various artist compilations ripped. This week I got the pop/rock and easy listening/smooth jazz sections finished. I still have country, soundtracks and holidays to do. That will only take a couple of days at the most, but I'm kind of burned out on it right now. I am looking forward to having all of my music available on the Plex drive. Which I can access from just about any device in the house, so that's pretty cool.
In my last entry, I mentioned motion sprinklers at the back fence. Because we wanted (well, me, it was me, I wanted) to see what was going on I tried to get my old Foscam cameras set up and could not get them set up properly. I don't know what the problem was, if I did I'd have set them up, but after hours of working on it, I threw in the towel and got a fairly cheap wifi cam that would work with Blue Iris (so I could watch it from my cell phone or tablet). It's not an outdoor cam, so I used the globe that was originally on the roof cam (that Brian moved to the other side of the roof recently, a better view than just a tree - check out the weather page for the roof cam view, a new image every fifteen seconds). Brian affixed the sheet of metal that had been over the globe on the roof cam to keep the sun from overheating the new camera. The problem with the globe is reflections of the camera lights. And I have to clean the globe because of the spray from the motion sprinkler. Which doesn't go off that often now, the cats have kind of figured out to stay away from that part of the yard. Escape has not been a problem.
I turned off the night lights on that camera because of the reflection. I ordered a set of outdoor, solar, motion sensor lights from Amazon and got a crazy good deal, 40% off, with tax it was under fifteen dollars. No electric needed. They have three settings, on all night, on at motion and on all the time, but brighter when there's motion. We're going with option three. I mean, solar, right?
The camera is a wifi camera. It connects to our wifi. The problem is placement. Too many obstructions (building with a bunch of machinery inside) for the signal to reach. I tried all of the signal extenders I had and none of them worked consistently. I ended up getting a new router for a better signal (I will never buy another Netgear product, just too many signal dropouts). And I got a stronger wifi extender. Brian figured out a way to get power to them from the light fixtures at the back of his shop and all is good at this point.
So far, I like the new router, but being a different make, it took some getting used to. I'm still figuring things out. One of the reasons I got this model was it has, like my Netgears had, a USB port that will work as a shared drive on all the computers. A network drive. A "readyshare" drive. So, I don't have to be in the office to access Quickbooks or my photos or Silhouette files, things I work with on the laptop in the other room. This office is miserable hot in the summer. Anyway, I was having problems with saving Quickbooks files and was confused about why I couldn't save my work. It was a shared drive with read/write access for everyone. This should have been a breeze.
But it wasn't.
Well, this week I figured I'd move the photos I've taken from the memory card over to the readyshare drive and I couldn't. I kept getting an error message. I tried using the laptop. Same problem. I ended up doing a tech chat with Asus and the problem was escalated to another support tier. This started around nine in the morning. Hours with level one, no resolution, now I'd have to wait until the next level could talk to me. Not text but on the phone. I was given a 24-48 hour window of when they'd call. I had to fill out a form with my system information and send them lots from my router. The most frustrating thing was when I had to change the login and password before saving the logs and that stupid ass CAPTCHA thing really got my blood pressure up. Changing the login/password was a two step process. First, you change your login name. Then you have re-login. CAPTCHA! You login with the new login name and old password to get back into the router dashboard but that stupid ass CAPTCHA keeps telling you you're wrong. And then you see that something is wrong with your login/password. I tried so many times I had to wait for five minutes to try again.
It didn't help that the autofill box on Firefox kept blocking access to the boxes where I needed to type in the new word. I ended up using the Edge browser. Since I don't usually use it, I don't use autofill. Made what I was doing much easier.
Anyway, as I was waiting to hear back from support, I kept trying things. I kept looking for information on the error message I was getting. I finally tried something that was so simple, so easy, that it should actually be a part of the tutorials on this.
There are all sorts of advice on settings, formatting the drives, but not one of them mentioned setting the permissions on the readyshare drive before attaching it to the router. You know how on memory cards there's a switch on the side so you don't overwrite something? How it "locks" the information? That's the only analogy I can think of to explain what was going on. I disconnected the readyshare drive from the router. I attached the readyshare drive to the computer. I set the permissions to read/write for the entire drive. I disconnected it, then reconnected it to the USB drive.
Tried to make a new folder. It worked! Moved a photo to that drive. It worked! No error message.
Took less than five minutes. It was seven hours later and the fix took less than five minutes.
I cancelled the support call. Told them they could close the ticket and how I'd resolved the problem.
That was Thursday.
Another problem with the router was I couldn't get the print servers to work. I had been using print servers for the UPS label printer and my old Epson R1900 printer. What a print server does is turns a USB printer into a network printer. There's an adapter, you plug the printer's USB cable into the print server device and use an Ethernet cable to attach that to your router. There are some settings and voila! You have a printer that you can access from any network computer, not needing to leave one computer on for the access. I ended up getting a new USB label printer, I got the old one over ten years ago and it was no longer supported by the manufacturer. I'd been having problems for a while with the UPS site not seeing it. I had to reinstall the software every other use. Now with the new router, I couldn't access it all. I'd started printing out labels on the laser printer and cutting them out with scissors.
So, new printer gets here, set up was icky, print server wasn't working. the Epson was no longer working. Hours later, I just decided to hell with it, I'll run both of these printers as USB printers. Took way too much of my day.
Brian saw a Mint Mobile commercial on television. "We should check that out." We. We should check that out. Meaning me. So, I did.
Neither of our phones are compatible. We'd need new phones. The deal is you don't pay monthly. You pay in advance for the plan you choose, either three months, six months or twelve months. The fifteen dollar deal? That's for new customers, three months only. Then the rate goes up, depending on how many months you choose. We're not doing it. But at least we know.
And I filled out my ballot after doing my research. Brian copied my work. So, we voted yesterday.
And at 3:30 yesterday afternoon, I shut down my computer and walked out of the office.
Carol has been climbing a tree. The North Island Pine. She was almost to the top (about forty feet) a couple of times. She didn't have problems coming down, but it was slow going. Brian ended up trimming off the bottom branches and putting up a barrier to keep her out of it. And he moved the tractor.
It's just been a busy couple of months here. I need to get laundry started (weekend, less expensive electric).