Resurrecting a B&O Turntable

| by Ken | in Technology No Comments »

My Bang & Olufsen turntable had been stowed away for years.  It always lived prominently on top of my A-V rack.  Of course, a turntable needs to go on top so the lid can open all the way.  When I got my first plasma TV, the TV was so wide, it chewed up space not only on the center rack but on both side racks too and that meant nothing else could go on top.  But I wasn’t listening to vinyl anyway, so the turntable was packed away.

But vinyl is hip now and I had now “archived” other components such that there was now room on a lower shelf for the turntable.  No, the lid can’t open all the way.  But it opens enough to get a vinyl record in safely.  I put the turntable there a year ago but didn’t plug it in.  I didn’t have time to futz with that stuff at the time.  Last year for Christmas I got a record (original “Boston” album on picture vinyl) and I put getting the turntable working again on the to-do list.  Now, nearly a year later, it finally got to the top of the to-do list.  Time to dust it off and plug it in.

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Migrating Windows XP To SSD

| by Ken | in Admin No Comments »

One of my family members is still using Windows XP on an older computer and they got a “no boot device found” error.  Apparently the hard drive had finally given up.  But the computer does what they need it to do and they don’t want to buy a new one and of course, there’s stuff on the hard drive that they didn’t want to lose.  Here’s what I did to get the system disk switched to an SSD and get them back to where they were before the hard drive failure.

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Franken Too? Nope

| by Ken | in Politics, Soapbox No Comments »

Sexual assault is wrong.  Let me start with that.  Also, what Senator Franken did is sexual assault.  And he has admitted as much in his apologies.  But “Franken Too?”?  No, not “too”.  At least not when we are talking about Moore and Weinstein and Trump and Spacey and Rattner and Wieseltier and Nassar and Toback.

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The Big Boston Radio Swap

| by Ken | in News No Comments »

CBS Radio and Entercom are trying to merge but they have too many stations in the same markets so they need to sell off a bunch to make the merger happen.  Those changes have been announced and it looks like that’s going to lead to a shakeup.

First, the current landscape.  A majority of the most listened to stations in the Boston area are currently owned by 4 broadcasting groups.

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Trump & the JFK Papers

| by Ken | in Politics No Comments »

Not being a conspiracy theorist, I had not marked the date on my calendar.  But when I heard that JFK Papers were due to be released, I thought it sounded like about time to make all known facts about it public.  Now, as some of the JFK assassination documents are withheld a couple of thoughts occur to me.  Most interesting to me is that all of these years later, somebody has identified something that is still not appropriate to be released?  Perhaps it is because whatever that thing is would largely change the collective understanding of what happened?  In other words, the only stuff that is interesting is the stuff that has not been released?

Or perhaps it is because some of the information would tell the world something about our security apparatus that we don’t want the world to know.  And while I understand that we want to keep our intelligence gathering methods secret, it would seem to me that whatever was unearthed in the 1960s would have to be irrelevant to today, right?  If not, the implication is that we are still doing something somewhat similar to what we did 50 years ago?  Surely our nation’s security is not dependent upon 50 year old security measures.

And the issue of revealing our nation’s secrets about intelligence gathering is especially interesting considering that the man making the ultimate decision, theoretically, is Trump – the same guy who told the Russians information that leaked Israeli sources.  And that got me wondering, does Trump know what he is withholding?  If he was made privy to the content, one would think that Oliver Stone is trying to arrange a meeting between Kislyak and Trump.  And surely the people who want to keep this information secret are smart enough to not want President Blabbermouth to know the contents.

So, it’s more likely Trump does not know what is being withheld.  Which means that he is trusting the intelligence community even without digging in to the details?  Why would he do that now when he hasn’t trusted them before?

I’m still not a conspiracy theorist but I have to confess that there’s a lot of weirdness here.

Much of the country has been puzzled about Trump’s choice of his attention in the recent week.  There was the failure of the GOP to repeal the ACA and Tom Price’s inappropriate spending of taxpayer money, but a great deal more of his attention went to professional football players.  Why was he not primarily focused on helping Puerto Rico?  Shouldn’t that have been the thing that needed the most attention and where he could gain the most points?  And now that he is talking about Puerto Rico, his focus isn’t on what is being done to help but on how the criticism of what he has done is unwarranted.

I think I have it figured out.  Trump has lived for years on the outside with opinions about what he would do if he were on the inside.  He’d see something he disapproved of and tweet about it.  He knew what should be done – if only he were in a place where he could do something about it.  Trump is our first armchair president who actually got called up.  Like somebody who criticizes the NFL quarterback they watch on TV suddenly finding themselves wearing the helmet in a huddle on a real football field.

Except in this case, Trump has discovered that he cannot just decide to throw the ball somewhere else and immediately impact change – there’s another team on the field, after all.  Presidents don’t govern as Kings.  And he is still watching TV seeing what people say about his presidency and deciding where his focus should be based on that.  As though he was the quarterback who was supposed to be in the game but instead he’s up in the booth yelling at the TV about how the game he is supposed to be playing in isn’t going well.  And it’s clearly not his fault since he’s not on the field.

So he didn’t tune in to a channel showing coverage of Puerto Rico – partly because the devastation was so bad that there wasn’t plentiful TV coverage.  Instead he watched a football game with people kneeling.  That got him worked up so that was his focus.  And then that created a feedback loop.  Now that he is seeing coverage about PR, it is about how he isn’t doing enough, so that is his focus.  Which creates a new feedback loop.  Somebody just needs to turn his TV to a channel that only shows suffering in PR so that will be his focus.  So Fox & Friends, how about a story on Monday morning about how these American Citizens in Puerto Rico are without food and water and electricity weeks after Hurricane Maria destroyed their cities and homes and lives?

Is Trump Racist?

| by Ken | in Politics, Soapbox 2 Comments »

Is Trump racist? He says he is not. But his actions indicate otherwise. If you ask a white supremacist if they are racist, they will either say they are or say that they merely believe that whites are superior and they don’t see that as racism. (Actually, that’s conjecture – as far as I know I’ve never met one and if I did, I don’t know if I’d ask.)  But Trump really thinks he treats all people fairly when he obviously does not. And that should not be surprising to anyone. Trump is the least self aware person ever. He claims he is really smart in such an non intellectual way it is almost tragic.

And for this reason, I cut him some slack. I see his lack of being self aware as a sort of mental disability. And even if he was more typically self aware, there are many people who grew up thinking they were treating everyone equally when they were not.  So can you be racist when you are not self-aware?  Yes, definitely.  In fact, I think the majority of racism in America is exactly that.  People thinking they are treating everyone equally even when seemingly small choices may tend to be different depending on skin color.  And those small choices when taken together can have big consequences.

However, that’s a far cry from overt and self-aware white supremacy.  Trump’s defense of the people who were at Charlottesville and at least adjacent to the white supremacists was certainly weird.  But I don’t think that even Trump, as terrible a President as he is, is actually a self-aware white supremacist.  Nor does he actively endorse those who are.  So I think the rhetoric indicating that goes too far and has the unfortunate result of somewhat normalizing the un-self-aware racist that he actually is.

Spam Call To Work And Cell

| by Ken | in Really? No Comments »

New experience for me regarding spam phone calls.  My cell and my work number rang at the same time both reported from the same caller ID.  Normally when somebody connects more than one of my numbers, they are somebody that knows me well.  Apparently not the case any more.  That’s a disturbing new development – at least my awareness of it is new.

How did I know it was a spam call?  I didn’t answer either since it was an 866 number I didn’t recognize.  The caller left a message on the work line but not the cell.  Here’s the transcription of the message provided by my voice mail transcription service:

“Hello this call is officially a final notice from IRS Internal Revenue Service. The reason of this call is to inform you that IRS is filing a lawsuit on your name because you had tried to do a fraud with the IRS Internal Revenue Service and we are taking legal action and we are issuing an arrest warrant on your name to get more information regarding this case file. Just call us back on our department number 866-553-6069. I will repeat it 866-553-6069. Thank you.”

Oh, and it is also strange that the caller ID matches the desired callback number.  And that the phone number is associated with what appears to be a legit business.  Not one that I have done business with or would do business with, but it doesn’t look like a completely fraudulent business either.  So it’s really strange that they are looking for people to call them back on that number.

As for how do I know I am no really in trouble with the IRS…  I have never attempted to “do a fraud with the IRS”.  And if the IRS were to file a lawsuit regarding something I did, I don’t think they would be filing a lawsuit “on” my name.

I have an old computer that I had been using as a subversion server. Before the computer fully fails, I decided to move the subversion repository off the computer. Rather than putting it on another computer, though, I wondered if I still needed a server for source control at all.  As a small business, having less hardware to maintain/manage is better for me.

At first I wondered if I could use an NAS or similar device to function as a source control server. I found some reports indicating that you could hack an NAS to add in subversion server capability. But that’s not what I had in mind. I was wondering if my laptop could effectively be not only the computer that I use to write code but also the computer responsible for storing code. Now I didn’t want to make it a server, per se, where other computers could theoretically use it as a server. But I thought the computer might be able to handle storing files to a repository, like an NAS, on its own.

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RAVPower FileHub RP-WD03 Seabird

| by Ken | in Technology No Comments »

I’m pretty excited about this little black box I got recently.  It’s a RAVPower FileHub.  The codename is “Seabird” and the model number is RP-WD03.  “FileHub” isn’t quite descriptive enough, though.  Primarily, I got it to be a hub of files, that is true, but it’s got a lot more going for it.

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