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Personal Computing

Planning Peabody’s Pool Structure

Image courtesy of iX Systems

Long time viewers know that I’m TrueNAS fan and that our local TrueNAS server Sherman has gone a bit wobbly. I’ve repaired Sherman and ordered him a partner, Peabody as in Peabody and Sherman. As you know, Mr. Peabody invented the WayBack machine. Peabody will serve music and Sherman will be Peabody’s replication target giving us an on-site backup. As always, some assembly is required. In this case, I’ve decided to rework the new server’s file system to make it a bit more graceful to use.

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Personal Computing

The WayBack Machine goes wobbly

Long time followers of the Dismal Manor Gang know that Dismal Manor has a thing called a WayBack Machine. You may know that it has something to do with photographicals we dogs wish were long forgotten but you may not know much more about it. It is no where near as magical as Mr. Peabody’s WayBack Machine appearing on The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle. The original was a cartoon mortal’s attempt at a TARDIS but worked only for planet Earth.

Our WayBack machine is a TrueNAS file server that stores our Apple Time Machine spool volume, our local audio media, and video clips. It is going wobbly. One of the disks, a brand made by sinners rather than the faithful (Stranger in a Strange Land), has presented with unrecoverable bad blocks. First there were 16, now 24, so it was time to replace the disk. Read on to learn how this went for us.

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Car talk

Drive Train Caution

Leaving to run errands the other day, the ID.4 threw its first power train caution light, malfunction in the electrical drive train. This was only a caution. The car completed self-test and appeared to drive normally. The alarm was locked in until the vehicle was shutdown at my destination.

The fine manual is not terribly helpful. It tells you to have the vehicle serviced. And that you can continue to drive the vehicle.

It drove normally in B mode.

The next start

When I arrived at my destination, I shutdown the drive after parking and ran my errand. I came out expecting that a real fault would still be present and that the caution message would reappear. If it was a glitch during power on self-test, the fault would not return.

When I started the vehicle to depart home, I engaged the drive (B mode) while the vehicle was still working its way through self-test. This time, I patiently waited for self-test to complete. No caution message. ID was happy. We call ours Winterkorn.

Hypothesis

Winterkorn does not like to be disturbed while he is performing power on self-test. Engaging the drive may have caused a flicker on the high voltage during self-test that caused the caution. So now I’m careful to let Winterkorn wake fully before attempting to make him move.

Why “Winterkorn”

We named our vehicle after the CEO who set Volkswagon Audi Group on the path to electrification. Without the Diesel emissions scandal to spur action, it is likely that VW would have made a less aggressive transition to battery electric vehicles like Honda, Mazda, and Toyota are. To get well from the extreme embarrassment and harm he caused the company, his replacement announced and the company is executing an aggressive transition to electric vehicles.

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Car talk

Bingo Fuel

Feature image courtesy of Volkswagen Ireland.

Bingo fuel is an aviation term of art for the amount of fuel required for a safe return to base and landing. When an aircraft reaches bingo, the pilot must abandon the mission and return to base (usually the designated bingo destination) to ensure that the crew and aircraft will be available to fly another day.

A similar notion is useful in automobile trip planning and fuel management. In internal combustion vehicles, we never really give bingo fuel any thought. When the little orange light comes on, buy fuel soonest. Unless driving out in the country, we were always within a mile or two of a fill-up. Not so driving a BEV. Continue on to learn how the Dismal Chauffeur manages BEV fuel.

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Car talk

Three Weeks with the ID.4

Dismal Manor Gang has used its VW AWD Pro S ID.4 for about 3 weeks. We’re about to start paying down the loan and we’re making an effort to go out on pleasure drives with the dogs as the weather and other activities permit. During this period, we’ve formed some more detailed impressions of the vehicle.

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Car talk

Das Auto ID.4 Edition Update

Dismal Manor recently took delivery of an AWD Pro Gradient S ID.4 battery electric vehicle. On D + 2 Days, Dave, Rocky, and Missy went for a ride. Missy and Rocky rode in the expanded wayback as neither wanted to board with the back seat up. Once loaded up, we drove the bay and ocean loop from Little Creek to Dam Neck. Once at Dam Neck, we joined the Virginia Beach roads and took the tricky way home.

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Car talk

Hurry Up and Wait but finally, It’s Here

It took the new Das Auto about 10 weeks to cross the ocean. There was a wait for a slip to load up, a two week transit, and a wait for a slip to unload in Baltimore. Then more waiting for an auto transporter and haulage to the local marshaling point and delivery to the dealer.

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Greyhounds Healthcare Holiday Letter Home Remodeling

2021, The year of the snake

Year of the snake? Treatment of Dave’s bladder cancer has been the big news of the year. So far, it remains confined to the bladder lining where it is very treatable and is more a nuisance than an existential threat but its treatment has set the rhythm for the year.

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Personal Computing Photography

Skylum Luminar Product Family

In this post I’ll describe photography at Dismal Manor, our equipment, and the production workflow here. We use Skylum products in that workflow, currently Luminar AI but expect to migrate to Luminar Neo in 2022.

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Personal Computing

MacOS Monterey, Apple Silicon Edition

This post reports initial impressions of Apple MacOS Monterey running on Apple Silicon. The OS is solid and well behaved but, as usual, some applications need further refinement. This note summarizes what we have learned so far about the following areas.

  • MacOS 12 Monterey itself
  • MacOS 12 Monterey support applications
  • Apple Applications like Photos and Music
  • Apple Focus

I decided to write this post to capture some of my early misadventures with Monterey. Here we talk about some new features and review some old ones. To cut to the chase, Monterey is well sorted and ready for general use.