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Random

Cat weathervane

Saw this today. Random.

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Radio Random Uncategorized

Hey Verizon, you’ve got a problem in 92122

I’m a long time customer and former employee, with an MSEE and ham radio license. I play with SDR for fun – I’m no pro but I’m familiar with radio and cellular. My bonafides explained, this post explains the problem, what I tried and why you lost me today as a customer.

A few months ago we started to have problems. Calls are fine, but data is super slow and my battery was being murdered. With my iPhone 11 Pro, a bit under two years old and 83% battery health, requires two to three charges per day something is wrong.

It just discharges too fast

Second symptom: it works fine out of the home area, very approximately the 92122 zip code. As you can see from the screenshots on Nextdoor, others have the same problems. As the meme says, “I am not a crank.”

I called service and tried to explain. They sent me a new SIM, we reset networks and nothing helped. I wasn’t able to explain that the issue wasn’t me and that others were affected.

So today we’re all onto “Consumer Cellular”. Good price, stellar service so far, and instead of 12mbps I got

So Verizon, I think you’ve got a problem. Could be too many subscribers for the base station, failed antenna lobe, I can’t tell. Apple and the carriers have blocked key diagnostics like SNR so all I can do is speculate. You could sort it out with a test if your mobile coverage and I hope you do. It’s a pity to see the stellar reputation of Verizon Wireless being lost.

Update 12/1/2021 – I reached out to VerizonSupport on Twitter and they are promising to investigate. I spoke to a couple of different reps, one of whom said there was a known outage in the area.

Categories
Food Random recommendations

Pistachios and cashews are gangster

Imagine yourself a sea captain, sailing from port to port with cargos of food. Which ones are a risk?

So a cargo of pistachios seems harmless, doesn’t it? It’s totally not – they can suffocate you, set themselves on fire in two different ways and might, for bonus hazard points, explode.

Cashews? They’re covered in toxic irritant irushiol, which has to be burned off before they’re safe for consumption. That’s why you’ll never see cashews in-shell.

I learned both of these and more at the latest issue of The Whippet, which I recommend to you. S/he finds interesting stuff.

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essays Random recommendations

Building a Cathedral — The Prepared

Well worth your time! https://theprepared.org/features/2019/4/28/building-a-cathedral

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Random

More hovering and circling

Police helicopter. I always wonder.

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Random

Random ADS-B today

You see odd things on ADS-B sometimes when you view traces.

Googled and it was an acrobatic plane.

Guess they were doing a routine?

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Random recommendations

Grim reading

Three long reads – or at least bookmark:

Takeaways? Install pi-hole at home, use 1Blocker on iOS, uBlock Origin on your desktop, reconsider if you use Android at all, and always have a 6-digit PIN on your phone. It’s probably worse than you thought.

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Random

10gig completed

Two sfp+ transceivers and some reconfigurations layer…

Note the magic “10G” lights!

Full view.

A test via nfs shows 300MB/sec writes and 350 reads. Next I can play with jumbo frames and such. Might put an old SSD in the NAS to see if it’ll speed it up.

But even so it’s super fast.

Categories
Computer science Random

Ten gigabit home networking

This will be a series of posts. I upgraded my NAS to a model with dual 10G ports, and the compute server already had 10G so I had an excuse.

Old setup – 4-bay Synology DS416play and a USB3 drive caddy for a temporary backup solution. TP-Link 16 port switch, all ports in use.

After some searching, I found this Mikrotik switch for $142 on Amazon. 28 ports of 1G plus two 10G ports. Most switches with 10g are either $100 per port or have fans – this one is 19 watts, no fans, and cheap. Note the “sfp+” notation – it means you need more pricy bits to finish the job, but you can use other media like fiber optic links. So total cost of almost 2x.

Switch in and waiting for NAS backup to complete:

Power usage went down by 20 or 30 watts. Always something I pay close attention to. Here’s semi-final:

Next week I get the SFP+ transceivers and rewire a bit. Trunked dual 1G links for now. Power usage is back to where it was, maybe down a watt or two. The new switch is only 19W (the old was around 30) but the larger NAS uses more power, so even under heavy load with 5 disks going.

Categories
Random Watches

Truth, beauty and quartz

A recent podcast (Scottish Watches, with Adam Craniotes) there was a nice side discussion of the nature of men’s watches. “Metal Barbie dolls,” to paraphrase, and it did inspire a thought or two.

This is the watch on my wrist now – Seiko SBGX117, a Grand Seiko quartz diver made between 2014 and 2017. 42mm, steel, titanium hands, thermocompensated quartz movement accurate to ten seconds per year. List price was about 4k USD new, I got it used in a trade for about about 2500.

Seiko SBGX117
Seiko SBGX117

If you’re curious, Ariel wrote a nice review here on ABtW.

I’ve also been enjoying this Scurfa recently too:

Scurfa Diver One DI-500

And of course my even-more-accurate 9F GMT:

Seiko SBGN001

For men in the western culture milieu, the only socially acceptable forms of jewelry are the watch and wedding band. There are few exceptions, of course; I’m speaking in generalities here for cishet.

And we’re not allowed to ever, ever call them ‘pretty.’ It has to be masculine, engineering-focused, etc. All gendered language. Yet all the while, we’re always looking for beauty, even if we call it proportion, ratio, finishing and craftwork.

We are, however, allowed to Seek Truth, and for that quartz is king. There’s a wonderful well of difficult problems, interesting physics and obsessive engineering required to make a really accurate timekeeper, and these Seiko 9F movements are among the finest ever made. For that matter, I have a lot of meetings these days, often over video with remote participants, so it is super useful to know the precise time.

9F movement, picture Seiko

So watches are how we thread the needle of societal expectations. We can enjoy manly bonding over our shiny jewelry while still performing masculinity. And hey, it really does come in handy to know what time it is with a watch that can get wet, handle rough treatment, lasts a decade or more and doesn’t require charging every day or two and setting every week.