more productive time
Saturday, November 29 2014
It was brutally cold this morning when Gretchen set off for work at the bookstore in Woodstock, where she would be helping with a book signing event attended by a famous author who lives nearby. Meanwhile, it was my job to walk the dogs. At this time of year, one has to take precautions so as not to be shot by deer hunters, but (at least in terms of weather), it's proving to be a terrible hunting season. I can't imagine anyone spending more than about five minutes in a deer stand in the sort of cold I faced on today's dog walk.
I've been happy with the benefits of the network attached storage (NAS) setup I've been using (at least since moving it to a host having gigabit ethernet). I'm still waiting for the arrival of a USB 3.0 hub with sufficient power to drive it, so in the meantime I've had it hanging off various USB 2.0 hubs in my collection (which is full of hubs from various obscure Chinese manufacturers; most of them have shown themselves to be of dubious reliability). With this arrangement, the NAS drive will work for awhile with one hub, but then at some point it will fail, so I then try another hub. This has been going on for days and the unreliability had begun to drive me insane. I suspected the problem was one of insufficient power, so today, I decided to make (using detritus from old failed USB equipment) a USB 2.0 Y-adapter that pulls in electricity from two USB outlets on a hub and combines them in parallel. As long as I'm just combining power and not data from two USB plugs, according to everything I read it should work. But I've had some bad luck with electronics lately, so I first tested the Y adapter on the laptop whose death would cause me the least sadness (my MSI Wind netbook). When it worked as expected, I used it to attach the physically-tiny 2 terabyte Seagate drive to the the garish LED-illuminated no-name Chinese hub hanging off my Buffalo Wifi router. I'm pleased to report that my NAS storage has been reliable ever since.
I'm finding my evenings contain significantly more productive time now that I don't go into them with a glass of gin or scotch (or a bottle of Sierra Nevada Torpedo) in my hand. Perhaps to relish a path not taken, tonight I tracked down a number of first-hand reports of delirium tremens. There's a lot of preachy writing about the dangers of alcohol on the web, but surprisingly few matter-of-fact first-hand accounts of life as a drunk. My favorite delirium tremens tale, not unexpectedly, was in the Erowid Vaults.
I've also developed a renewed interest in building my own Arduino-based weather station (since none of the consumer weather stations include the set of features I want). It's easy to obtain Arduino-compatible sensors for parameters like temperature, pressure, and humidity, but parameters like wind speed and direction are trickier. There are no inexpensive electronic weather vanes or anemometers for sale anywhere. So I researched esoteric ways to measure these parameters, which lead me down an interesting rabbit hole. Ultimately I wound up at a very detailed page by a gentleman who built a anemometers/windvane with no moving parts that gathered all its data by sending ultrasonic pulses through the air and measuring their speed.
For linking purposes this article's URL is:feedback
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