Personal Computing Technology

Cox IPv6 at Home?

Cox offers IPv6 home service but with not much of a knowledge base for setting it up. In the simple case, DHCP6 does all that is needed. If you have a Cox provided or supported router, Cox will do all you need. If, like Dismal Manor, you have Ubiquity UniFi software defined networking, some additional configuration is possible.

IPv6 was designed to solve the network address exhaustion issue and make routing simpler. It does this by providing an explicit network number and a separate host address field. IPv6 allows the local network to partition the host space into slices using several of the high order bits of the IPv6 host address. In this article, I’ll explain how they are used here. This setup requires visits to several UniFi SDN configuration pages. Find the proper page and setting using the search tool.

Ubiquity continues to work on the UniFi SDN configuration capabilities and is delaying release of a UniFi SDN user guide until they reach some internal milestone. Keep an eye on UI.COM support to see if this has happened.


Apple Music Lossless?

Apple now offers bundles of online service under the Apple One logo. Here at Dismal Manor we have

  • Apple TV+
  • Apple iCloud storage
  • Apple News
  • Apple Music

Since my storage plan was $10/month, Apple TV+ was another $10, and Apple News another $10, changing to Apple One Premier was the same out of pocket and allowed me to add Apple Music to the mix. Read on to learn my impressions of the new Apple Music Lossless offering.


They’re Back, Daddy

After three clean stool samples in a row, our vet discontinued Drontal+ medication back in the spring. The 3 month check came back hook worm positive. So we’re back to square one with a new baseline fecal egg count and resumption of Advantage Multi plus Drontal+ parasite treatment. And did I mention, fecal egg count stool sample every 2 weeks.

Home automation

The Air Tags are Here

The Air Tags have been here about a week. The fobs a couple of days.


  1. Nice explaination Find My presentation of the location process. No waveforms or math. IEEE has that locked up in standards and papers.

As a Key Finder

I have mislaid my keys once since then. Find My let me know they were in the house. We ended up playing Marco Polo for a bit to find which room they were in. Once the room was identified, the ultra-wideband position sensing took me right to them.

The Sound is Usefully Loud

I also left them in a pocket in the laundry. Find My quickly let me know they were in the laundry bin. The alert sound is loud enough to carry out of the laundry bin. There were only 3 pants to search so they were found quickly.

My first experience with a Bluetooth token was pretty dismal. The noise maker was too quiet to be heard when tossed into a laundry basket. There was no secondary form of cuing. The ultra wide band location requires a ultra wide band radio and associated ranging software.

Ultra Wide band Location and Ranging

My Mk VII Golf GTI key fob also uses Ultra Wide Band precision positioning to determine whether the key is inside or outside and which lock is nearest. I’ve yet to outsmart it. It won’t let you lock your keys in the car. It sometimes gets confused about the rear passenger door which is next to the gas filler door. The keys come attached to a $30,000 auto.

Apple may be the first to use ultra wide band remote sensing as a consumer product. Here, it actually works. A cute display indicates that Find My is chatting with the selected missing AirTag, a compass indicator shows the relative direction, and the approximate range is shown. This feedback is like the hot/cold feedback of hide and seek. It is very helpful search cuing.

Android Find My is Coming

At 2021 WWDC, Apple software VP Craig Federighi announced that Apple would be making an Android version of Find My to allow Android users to use AirTag and to locate a mis-laid Mac. Hardware capabilities will determine functionality. Those Android devices having ultra wide band locating capability (UWB radios) will support nearby direction and distance capabilities. Those without should be able to play Marco Polo with an AirTag and to talk to it by near field to learn its ID.

Home Economics

Vacuum Cleaner Add-ons

I’m looking for an upholstery brush for Moaning Myrtle, our FesTool CT-15 home vacuum cleaner. The wand size is almost 36 mm. What could be hard?

I even know who makes the cleaning tool sets for FesTool. A German company named Wessel Werk near the old home place in western North Carolina.

Read on if you dare.

Personal Computing

And the baby’s name is “Fruit Machine”

Your editor has been reading entirely too many submarine adventures based on the patrol reports and memoirs of World War II submarine commanders. The British called their torpedo fire control computer the “Fruit Machine”. The term is heavily used in WWII submarine adventure novels such as those written by John Wingate.

Given Apple’s new colors, I broke with the hall of fame greyhound theme to name the new machine Fruit Machine. Yes that’s her hostname.

After posting this article I made a second search on “Fruit Machine” and came across some LGBTQ slang usage I was unaware of. My apologies to my LGBTQ friends and readers.


Avoid Getting Hosed Watering the Garden

Summer is here
and the livin' is easy
fish are jumpin'
and the flowers is high

From George Gershwin’s Summertime with a twist.
Images, author original

Summer temperature shear appears to be a month early with 90F temperatures (33 C) happening in late May rather than in late June. The dew point is low so conditions are very drying, enough so that frequent watering of our newly established ornamental plants is needed.

Last year’s heat found us watering daily using a flower watering wand and shower head. Many plants developed brown spot or powdery mildew. Neither is good.

Brown spot struck in 2020

Brown spot is a fungus disease that affects turf and low ornamental plants during the humid summer months when dew points rise into the 20’s C or 70’s F. The moist humid air hugs the ground creating conditions that promote growth of the fungus. Watering culture is a known factor with evening watering by spray being a risk multiplier.

Much to my surprise, the root stock survived and plants began poking up again in January and most have robust growth. Be sure to remove the mulch before giving up on a location as I found 2 hostas that had not yet emerged hiding in the mulch. These are now exposed and growing nicely.

What started as a quick note about soaker hose has grown into a full-fledged post including the following.

  • A bit of horticulture, specifically mixed-humid fungal disease avoidance
  • An introduction to soaker hoses and their use
  • An introduction to water timers
  • An introduction to the HozeLock connector system
  • A bit about pipe thread hand hose fitting materials incompatibility. Never mix metal colors as brass or bronze and aluminum or zinc love each other way too much.
  • And of course, references.

In this article, I mention several brands and products. I’ve used some of them and others look interesting. I was pleased to note that the HozeLock company that invented the garden hose quick coupling system is alive and well on the Isle of Dogs (UK). Gardena in Germany is also a strong manufacture of lawn and garden care products with international sales.

Note that there are at least 3 hose and fitting standards in use, US ASME, British Standard Pipe, and more ISO standards than you can shake a stick at. When ordering product be careful that it is from the universe in which you live.

Home automation Personal Computing

Air Tags?

I had tried an earlier tracker that worked so well it became E-waste at the end of battery life. Basically, the radios weren’t there yet. A tag in the laundry basket could not be found or heard. Discovery of a tag left away from home relied on the general population running the tag app on their phones. Some did but the coverage in Norfolk, Virginia was truly sparse. Oh, and the battery life was about a month. BlueTooth Low Energy was not so low.

But I also watched the Apple announcement with some interest as I had just laundered one radio car key and cleverly hid the other in pants I’ve not worn for a while. The near death experience of the first key increased my interest in finding the second. I also have a couple of sets of Yubi Keys that unlock several important 2FA things. It would be really bad if they both went missing.


“I came for good”

It’s been over a year! Dismal Wizard and I decided to keep each other. I have a wing-lass, Missy. Although we don’t appear close, I’m her wing man and protector. We perform all of our ZombieSquadHQ duties together. And we chase the rascally rabbit together. Said rabbit always has a plan so we have yet to score.

Audio Personal Computing Video

M1 iMac Pre-Purchase Planning

M1 iMac stock image courtesy of Apple.

I expect Apple Silicon to have a major impact on the functionality of the iMac. The addition of the custom rendering and custom machine learning hardware resources places the desktop Macs on par with the iPads and iPhones opening possibilities for audio and video processing on the new products. So I decided to be an early adopter while my 2017 iMac had some trade-in value.

In this post, I’ll talk about some things to consider in the pre-purchase planning phase.