Car talk Driving Electric

Mending the ID.4

On April 7, Millennium Falcon, my VW ID.4 AWD Pro-S vehicle was involved in an apparently minor mishap with a Virginia Beach EMS vehicle exiting Independence BLVD to merge onto Northampton Blvd to respond to a call. Two vehicles in front of us in the travel lane slow and stopped blocking both travel lane and exit lane. I slowed to avoid them placing the ID.4 in the path of the EMS vehicle. Both vehicles suffered collision damage but nobody was injured. Just the two vehicles. Millennium Falcon is still being repaired!


Can an iPhone 11 Shoot Raw?

Time to replace your iPhone? Lusting after RAW photography? Too cheap to shell out $400 more for RAW capability (and fancier lenses and processing). Well, entrepreneurs have an alternative for you, a replacement camera app that better utilizes your current iPhone’s capabilities. This post will introduce the Lux Halide camera app and review manual exposure concepts.


Rocky’s Poorly Paw

Rocky came in from the dog garden with a limp one evening. Dismal Wizard looked for foreign objects between the pads of the limping leg and found all clear, no blood, no cuts, no sticks, stones, acorns, or pecans. So next morning when Rocky was still limping, it was time for another look. Oh, and Rocky was licking the affected foot. That needed to stop before further complications developed. So, we tried the obvious, the satellite dish E-collar. The reaction was somewhat violent! It didn’t stay on long enough for a photo. The tabs popped loose and off it came.

Time for plan B, and C, and frantic shopping, and consults with our rescue…

Personal Computing Photography

Taming the Photo Image Catalog Problem

The Dismal Retired Moocher has been taking photography since high school and digital photography since the early Oughts. His first camera was Dad’s Argus C3 bought when we moved to Gales Ferry, Connecticut. Dad didn’t use it much so it went to college with DW.

DW’s first digital camera was a Sony point and shoot styled like a range finder camera. It had a built in flash, optical finder, and a bit of a zoom lens. Later, a Panasonic Lumix point and shoot replaced it. Then a series of iPhones and iPads, and Sony mirrorless DSL cameras. And a sequence of photo editing and managing applications, Apple iPhotos, Apple Aperture, Adobe Lightroom, Phase One Capture One Sony Edition (retired by Phase One), and most recently Skylum Luminar in its various editions.

So we have a lot of files in a lot of places dating back to the beginning of digital photograph time here at Dismal Manor. It became a mess with multiple copies of everything as Apple struggled with iCloud’s hierarchical file system and the iOS services that used it. And various MacOS updates forced photo product updates as Apple had “better ideas” and migrated from one product to another in a forced photographical death march and DW flirted with various “serious photography tools” like LightRoom and CaptureOne.

This post is about our journey and how it led to some of the workflow I now use and the photographical computing problems that they solve. In particular we look briefly at CYME’s PeakTo product. The more you fiddle with it, the more it amazes

Personal Computing

What’s a NUC

NUC is an Intel trademark for its line of IA64 small form factor computers. Intel offers a broad palate of NUCS. Some are designed for general use and others are tailored for various OEM channels. NUC is often used as a workstation device in industrial control systems. These may have specific legacy interfaces for FieldBus, Control Area Network, and VGA for legacy displays mounted in industrial control bench boards.

Dismal Manor has a NUC. We use it as a host for our Roon ROCK music server. An earlier post talked about putting our ROCK together. Here I want to spend a little more time with NUC.

Audio Home automation Personal Computing

Dave Rolls over a ROCK

For many years (2017 or so), Dismal Manor’s Roon Server has run in a virtual machine on a TrueNAS Mini or home-brew storage server. To do this Dave installed a BHYVE virtual machine, added a System76 POP_OS guest, and installed Roon IA64 Linux edition. It worked but TrueNAS had its own agenda. That got old so Dave opened his purse. Read on to learn about the Roon ROCK experience.

Audio Music

ROON Update Planned

Roon had been running badly on the SuperMicro servers. Time to see if we could figure out why and what to do about it. A little tinkering around found that our POP_OS VM was paging out over night and when we resumed play, it would page fault back in. Not the best UX. So, time to come up with a fix.


Add a Spot of Mint in Your Life

Dish Network, struggling to make a go of satellite television service, decided to enter another difficult business, mobile telephone service. They bought the FCC mandated bits of Sprint that T-Mobile could not keep, bought some small wireless carriers for bodies and kit, and bought $30B of 5-G spectrum at auction including what came with Sprint.

Almost 3 years on, they have yet to realize revenue from that $30B in spectrum. Their deal with the FCC required them to have coverage over 70% of the country’s population by 2023 summer.

With $30B of spectrum assets in inventory, the company’s market capitalization is only $8B as I write this. Major brokerages are neutral but Dismal Wizard is feeling abandoned.

Since the acquisition, our prepaid monthly service has been grandfathered in. Chat bots have replaced the live Wisconsin support people that made Ting unique. The live support operators that picked up on the third ring, were pleasant to work with, and could actually help. This service plus T-Mobile fulfillment put Ting at the head of the pack.

The virtual network continues to operate on automatic. Same great T-Mobile service delivery as always. But there are signs of trouble. Dish are decommissioning the Ting web app at the end of February. Without prior communication. DW learned of this when he, by chance, opened the app on his mobile and saw the “I’m going away” message.

Dismal Wizard dropped by Edgar to see what Dish had to say about itself. Not much, lots of Dixie whistling. After 75 years on this planet, you can name that tune pretty quickly. Oh, and they keep issuing debt securities. Dismal Wizard feels seawater sloshing about his ankles. Time to go for a swim. So we did, to Mint Mobile after an exhaustive 5 minute study of Read on to learn about the new kids.


Ureter Cystoscopy

Dismal Wizard has the family legacy, bladder lining cancer, a gift from maternal grandfather. In his offspring, 4 of 12 have the disease and. in all, it remained local to the bladder lining and easily managed. FISH genetic testing (looks for mutations) revealed that your author has genetic mutations associated with the disease.

The standard of care is to inspect the bladder quarterly for polyps or other changes. This is an awake office procedure taking all of 5 minutes or so. This is a cystoscopy procedure (endoscopy via the urinary path). The opening used determines the features needed in the tool used as it has to open the way ahead to facilitate passage, it has to provide light and return a live color image, and if repairs are to be made, it has to allow the introduction and operation of tools, usually a heated wire loop or a surgical laser.

After the break, Dave will review the most recent CAT scan results for you and the followup the imagery required.

Personal Computing

A Desk Stand for the Dismal Wizard’s Desk

Desk litter had taken over the Dismal Desktop. It had become time to bring some order to the chaos present. Gadgets had overrun the place and there was no room to put away the keyboard, mouse, track pad, and other magic things that let me drive my Apple Silicon iMac. The reporters at 9 to 5 Mac came to the rescue.