iOS 11! installed!

looking good with exciting new Control Center and loads of other features. my favorite is 5x sleep to disable touch ID (instantly and temporarily). I am looking forward to the new Augmented Reality features built into ARkit. I cannot wait to see what developers do with it.

There are a few sticky wickets (i.e. Apple changed the bluetooth and wifi toggle functionality in Control Center). For example, if you “turn off” wifi it actually just disassociates you from your current network leaving your wifi radio on and functioning. i don’t mind because i wanted exactly this feature. if you actually want to turn off a radio, you need to go to your Settings app or turn on Airplane mode.

Apple maps is stepping up their game with indoor maps of malls, airports and others allowing navigation without GPS or even a view of the sky. Easy trick to share your complex wifi password with other apple devices and of course native animated GIF support!

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Monitoring power usage is sometimes my only insight.

I have been working on a number of Raspberry Pi projects in various stages of working. To distract from more difficult projects (not to mention nostalgia and fun) I have been building  an Adafruit PiGrrl portable classic game emulator.  At several points with this project or other without a lot of feedback from the device I’m working with, I’ve relied on milliamp readings from the Mico USB Cable/Voltage Display.  This tiny bit of information is incredibly helpful in determining what my Pi is up too. Idle? Booting? Overwhelmed?  In the land of the blind the one eye’d man is king.  At the very least it reduced the total time waisted waiting on crashed or other broken attempts.

Micro USB amp meter

And then there were four!

Drobo 5c StatusI have been experiencing an excess of failures with my own equipment this week.  Mostly aged drives who’s working lifespan is winding down.  Often the preverbal cobbler with no shoes, I rarely have time to maintain my own equipment. My usual quick fix is to throw more drives at the problem. Although that would certainly get me running again, it was more of a stop gap then a real solution.  I have a number of aged drives and i wanted a solution not just for today, but something to make a difference moving forward.  Enter the Drobo 5c.  I have been a fan of Drobo for years.  I have an 8 bay that holds my media library in it’s warm RAID-6 embrace.  I had been eyeing the Drobo 5d for years waiting for the price to sink or my need to raise.  Turns out the 5c is incredibly priced with only minor disadvantages over the 5d.  One reason i love Drobo and the reason it was perfect for this project is the Drobo’s ability to expand in the future while operating at diminished capacity.  I bought this enclosure with only 2 drives.  Started up with mearly one 4TB drive and another 3TB.  This got me started with about 2.7TB of usable space.  Then i got to the task of offloading data from my healthy external drives. As each drive emptied into the Drobo’s volume, it was then fed into the Drobo enclosure to continue to expand the capacity.  Now i have over 8TB of usable storage with both failover protection (a single drive can fail and I loose nothing) and expandability.  It’s one big volume makes organizing and tidying a snap.  That last bay will get a 4TB eventually and it’s doubtful the most recent 3TB i installed will be working this time next year.

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Got my first MRI today. . .

The purpose of the scan today was investigating back pain, nothing serious.  In keeping with my tradition of publishing too much information, enjoy this animation of a flight through my spine.

The experience was actually much easier then I anticipated.  The machine did not move me as much as they show on medical television shows.  Not as loud either.  30 minutes in the tube was a bit much, by the end, i was ready to get out.

Ubiquiti’s USG router steps up with dual wan support!

I was very excited to discover this feature listed in my Unifi controller today.  You can now repurpose the VOIP port to act as a WAN2.  The ironic part is that i don’t believe the VOIP port serves any actual VOIP function as of yet.  I’ve been recommending these USG routers since I learned of their existence. Unfortunately a lot of my clients want dual WAN and until now, the Unifi Security Gateway fell short.  No longer, Ubiquiti has a really great product line with the Unifi.  I am continuously discovering great new innovation with the latest update to their software, firmware, or cloud platform.  I have been waiting for this!

Unifi WAN2 option

Modernizing a lifebook from 2003 with Lubuntu

Lubuntu 11.04 My doc was a bit confused about the age of this computer when he gave it to me to setup.  We spoke about a 5 year old laptop. It turned out to be a beast from 2003: a Lifebook n series by Fujitsu.  I’ve always said that Fujitsu must be run by a supervillain or at the very least, a rebel billionaire.  They make industrial equipment and infrastructure, while at the same time making laptops and other select home electronics.  Like someone just wanted their ideal laptop and then as an afterthought sold it as a product.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to disparage Fujitsu in any way.  Quite the opposite in fact.  I have relied on their hard drives for my most precious data and their Lifebooks have always been some of the best out there.  The fact that this 13+ year old laptop is operating with all original parts and a working battery is testament to Fujitsu’s commitment to quality.

My first clue was the XP sticker.  I decided to go with Lubuntu, a minimized variant on the popular Ubuntu Linux.  Ubuntu is a wonderful distribution, especially for those new to Linux, but it’s built on top of Debian, so it’s not just for beginners.  For years, I’ve used some of the older (still supported) Ubuntu versions for old machines.   I hate to see workin computers fail because of a lack of software support.  Thanks to the good people at Lubuntu, Ubuntu, GNU/Linux, this is a thing of the past. This guy is running all the latest in security and cryptographic technology, a fully modern web browser and a full suite of productivity software fully compatible with the latest MS Office.