My Battle With COVID-19

I haven’t posted to my blog in over a month, and not that anyone cares, I do this because I personally enjoy writing. (even if I’m not that good at it) When I started this blog back in 2017 my mission was to write articles on things that I found useful, content that I could refer back to overtime and if it happened to help someone else GREAT.  Three weeks ago on October 21st I was diagnosed with COVID. I am happy to say I’m still here and almost fully recovered. I would like to take a few moments to record my experience.

COVID-19 IS SERIOUS!

To all the people who said COVID-19 is not real, IT IS 100% REAL and will knock you on your ass! I’m not exactly sure when I was exposed to the virus, I’m not a “front line” worker. I take reasonable precautions, wash my hands often, wear a mask, but still managed to get sick.

IMPORTANT – LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.

On October 20th I came to work and had a headache. Nothing strange about that. A couple Advil and pushed through the day. I remember going to bed Tuesday night feeling extra tired, but again nothing I haven’t experienced before.

On Wednesday October 21st I woke up with what I thought was a head cold. My symptoms were headache and a bit of post nasal drip. I went to work again and didn’t give it a second thought. As the day progressed I felt a cough develop, nothing Luden’s cough drops couldn’t fix. I completely ignored the signs and put everyone I work with at risk to catch COVID!

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Motioneye Raspberry Pi Zero Security System

Camera systems are so inexpensive these days that it may make sense to purchase a Zmodo or Arlo system from Amazon and call it a day. What fun would that be? I love making little electronic projects and then improving on them as I go. Rather than install a pre-packaged surveillance system, motioneye here we come.

My system consists of four Raspberry Pi units running MotioneyeOS. Three of the four units are Pi Zeros that are my actual cameras, and the fourth is a Pi 3 that aggregates the feeds to one central monitoring station. The benefit of this is there is only one IP/domain that needs to be accessed in order to monitor all the cameras on my system. Continue reading “Motioneye Raspberry Pi Zero Security System”

Weekend Project – Clean The Echo GT-2000 Exhaust Port.

I purchased my Echo GT-2000 trimmer almost 18 years ago and it has served me well. I’m usually if it ain’t broke don’t fix it kind of guy and haven’t done any maintenance on my GT-2000 ever. For the last 18 years its been pull the cord and start on the first try! That is until this season. I was able to get the trimmer running but it would stall the instant I would throttle it up.

Thinking to myself this is the end for the GT-2000, I actually started to look for a replacement. I looked  in Lowes and Home Depot but they weren’t selling the Echo brand. I decided to take a chance on fixing the unit and began looking for possible causes.

The Exhaust Was Oily and Black

Continue reading “Weekend Project – Clean The Echo GT-2000 Exhaust Port.”

Fakespot.com finds the fakes! Makes Amazon so much better!

I don’t hate shopping, but I really don’t have the time to browse the brick and mortar stores. Just the other day I was in Target and it took me longer to walk the store then to grab what I needed and check out. I’m all about saving time and using my time as efficiently as possible, I guess this is why I’m such a proponent of Amazon Prime and Fakespot.com.

The one problem with Amazon is you can’t touch and feel the product, there are so many sellers sometimes its hard to distinguish which items are worth my time while which are just plan junk.

Amazon Reviews

Early on Amazon made a review system to help customers identify which items and sellers are worth their time. However, as soon as the review system was launched so were the fake reviews, paid reviewers and just plain deceptive tactics sellers take to make their products seem better.

Fakespot.com

Through the magic of the Internet Fakespot.com analyzes all the reviews for a particular product through their proprietary technology and  determines which reviews are real and which are suspect. Finally at the end a letter grade is given to the product reviews. Remember Fakespot.com is NOT reviewing the product, but making an attempt to verify the validity of the reviews for that given product. Continue reading “Fakespot.com finds the fakes! Makes Amazon so much better!”

Build Your Own Police Scanner for $20

During my college days I worked in Radio Shack part time to help pay the bills. Its unfortunate Radio Shack has gone extinct, however when you are unable to adapt to the changes in the market only the strong will survive.  During my career at The Shack one of the products that fascinated me was the police scanner. I spent hours behind the counter dialing up different frequencies and listing to calls all over New York City.

It was the dawn of the digital tuner age where a listener could punch up a frequency for police or fire and be right in the action.  476.3875 – BOOM.. you’re listening to NYPD! 482.04375 – Fire dispatch on the air! A few more clicks of the keypad and 482.2437 EMS is coming in loud and clear

Can you still buy a scanner?

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Is Etsy just another Ebay?

I have been working with Etsy for 12 years and at the beginning there was a basic understanding that this was a marketplace for handcrafted goods. Maybe you’re a woodworker, or artist of some type. Some people worked wonders with their sewing machines or showed off their painting skills. Others were like me that were able to up-cycle and mashup old discarded junk into new amazing items that were one of a kind unique pieces of art.

hand·made – han(d)ˈmād/ made by hand, not by machine, and typically therefore of superior quality.

As time went on the word “handmade” started to be stretched and lines blurred. For example, some sellers cast their own jewellery while others took wire wrapping to  a new level. In my opinion this is truly a handmade item. Other sellers began buying charms and simply put them on a chain and sold them as handmade. Their hand did make it, but was the item really “handmade” Etsy allowed this to take place, and soon two new categories  popped up Vintage and Supplies. I was fine with this strategy since items on the site were still primarily hand crafted Continue reading “Is Etsy just another Ebay?”

Vintage Surplus 1991 NASA Landsat Parts For Sale?

The Landsat program is the longest running satellite imagery program on Earth. The first satellite was launched on July 23rd 1972 and the most recent launch was February 11th 2013. With Landsat 9 to be launched in 2020.

The instruments on the Landsat satellites have acquired millions of images. The images, archived in the United States and receiving stations around the world, are a unique resource for global change research and applications in agriculture, cartography, geology, forestry, regional planning, surveillance and education, and can be viewed through the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) ‘EarthExplorer’ website.  Landsat images are usually divided into scenes for easy downloading.

NASA Unloading Landsat Parts (New Old Stock)

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Yet another iteration of the Nintendo DS – Super NES Edition!

Ah, another version of the timeless Nintendo DS. I wonder if anyone over at Nintendo has ever head the expression “whipping a dead horse.”? In case they are wondering. please see below as defined by my friends at Wikipedia:

Flogging a dead horse (alternatively beating a dead horse, or beating a dead dog in some parts of the Anglophone world) is an idiom that means to continue a particular endeavor that is a waste of time as the outcome is already decided.

This time around the folks at Nintendo will be offering a “NEW” 3DS XL that resembles a retro Super NES case. According to the product specifications:

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Virus Email Reminder – Word Macros Are Bad!

I had a couple of users in the office this week attempt to enable word macros on a document they received in email. I try to give my users as much information as I can to avoid viruses and malware, but each week the hackers come up with additional methods to attempt unauthorized network access.

Exploit Vector:

This time around the hack was email based and the email came from a known  source.  The attacker has already gained control of the senders workstation and had sent the message as a reply to an earlier thread. Continue reading “Virus Email Reminder – Word Macros Are Bad!”

Exchange 2016- EVENT ID 9646 – MoMT exceeded the maximum of 32 objects of type Session

Here is another issue I encountered during my Exchange 2016 migration. A hand full of users have been getting knocked out of public folders with an Event ID 9646 and they have exceed the max of 32 session objects. What the hell does that mean? Why only a few users?

Investigating Event 9646

The Monday after I migrated public folders to Microsoft’s new “Modern Public Folders” a hand full of users began calling me they were unable to access them. Their specific error was:

“Cannot expand the folder. Your server administrator has limited the number of items you can open simultaneously. Try closing messages you have opened or removing attachments and images from unsent messages you are composing.”

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