Flaky router

Submitted by tarvid on Mon, 03/05/2018 - 16:54

The Comcast router dropped out this morning around 8:10. Comcast suggested power. Raymond picked up the key(s) from the the BREDA office, hoofed to the POP and found everything powered up but the router was not talking to the Internet. Bounced power and got enough signal for Comcast to reset the router. Still not connected so we scheduled a service call for 1:00 PM tomorrow. One longer bounce (5 minutes as opposed to the usual 10 seconds) and the Internet came back up. We will let the Comcast technician do his magic tomorrow anyway.

Wind Advisory

Submitted by tarvid on Thu, 03/01/2018 - 22:12

Batten the hatches! This nor'easter is likely to down trees, interrupt power and cause interruptions to service. Call 703-594-7297  and leave a message. I'll update this page as I learn more.

It is not unusual for storms of this type to spawn tornadoes. Safety for you and your family is the greatest concern.


Submitted by tarvid on Sun, 12/31/2017 - 14:14

An idea that has been around for some time, Outernet 3.0 offers free satellite data with radio on the side. Called the Dreamcatcher 3.01 , it should be out soon. A little geeky, some assembly required. The content is selected via community input and made available through WiFi much like a router. Intended for connection impaired areas (think third world but Grayson County qualifies). Initial cost around $200. More than a Latte but less than a 4K TV.

TWR Network Down

Submitted by tarvid on Tue, 11/28/2017 - 09:01

Report of problems at the Galax Fire Tower apparently cause the entire system to go down. We are monitoring the situation and hope for progress by noon.

Turned out to be a combination. The problems seem to be resolved.

CCleaner - Ouch!

Submitted by tarvid on Tue, 11/14/2017 - 08:54

Following my own advice, I use File History with Windows 10. I also keep Windows 10 Defender up to date. So I was a bit surprised, even alarmed, when I got the notification that a "Backdoor:Win32/Floxif" was found on my machine.

Ubuntu 17.10 - “Artful Aardvark”

Submitted by tarvid on Fri, 10/20/2017 - 20:23

Downloaded the latest version just released and burned to a USB stick. It booted in seconds. Looks familiar (as it should, it is back to Gnome). I called the old windows manager "Fisher Price" because it looked more like a toy. No 32 bit version but I haven't booted an i386 system in years. There are alternatives for the museum pieces. I may try it on my workstation. I have been running Mint because it ditched the Fisher Price interface in favor of Gnome. I'll at least do a trial to see if my video card behaves.

UPS Replacement

Submitted by tarvid on Tue, 10/17/2017 - 18:09

Normal mean time to failure is 3 to 5 years. My two year old (plus 3 months) did not reset on a power restoration. A power restoration is the severest load because in addition to the devices being powered, the UPS has to recharge the batteries. I reset it manually by unplugging the devices, turning on the UPS and reconnecting the devices on at a time. Not very handy if you are not around.

I have tested power interruption on a new, slightly larger UPS three times and the new one coasted through the tests.

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

Submitted by tarvid on Tue, 10/17/2017 - 18:01

Microsoft issued the release today. There are a few security updates as well as several product enhancements. I updated two machines today (about an hour each) with no major obstacles. You may get the updates automatically hopefully when you don't need access to your machine. A power interruption could cause major problems so you may want to initiate the update when environmental conditions appear favorable.