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 Things That Just Work, First Time

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NoCoPilot

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PostSubject: Things That Just Work, First Time   Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:02 am

Bought a 3Tb external hard drive for $69, Black Friday special, couldn't pass it up. Might be digitizing a whole shitload of music next year.

Plugged it in, out of the box, it came up as a usable drive. Unfuckingbelievable.
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PostSubject: Re: Things That Just Work, First Time   Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:39 am

On the same trip I bought a new Blu-ray player for $89.

I bought it because I'd heard somewhere that it did something I wished my old Blu-ray did: when you insert a CD to play music, since the player is internet-connected, it goes out to Gracenote to pull down the track list and cover image of the CD it's playing.

The default out of the box is to have to do this manually, but I found a setting where it can be made automatic, and it works slick.

You can also set up continuous play, to loop an album or a song.

Picture quality, sound quality, DVD handling all excellent, same as the old player -- which now moves to the little TV in the bedroom.


Last edited by NoCoPilot on Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Things That Just Work, First Time   Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:40 am

$69 for 3TB. Incredible. Used to be $3,000 for 5MB.

You could have gotten a bigger drive. The new Samsung SSD has 15.36TB. And it's only $10,000.

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PostSubject: Re: Things That Just Work, First Time   Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:42 am

For $345 you could buy five 3Tb drives. The solid state drives are nice, but not THAT nice.
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PostSubject: Re: Things That Just Work, First Time   Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:05 pm

Ah...you can't put a price on cool. Rolling Eyes

What kind of drive did you get? I may pick up one or two.

Do you use a docking station to plug in external drives, or just cables?
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PostSubject: Re: Things That Just Work, First Time   Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:49 pm

Western Digital WDBBGB0030HBK-NESN

The manufacturer is pretty sure of themselves -- the only setup manual is a PDF file on the drive!

I use a USB splitter for most things but the drive wanted to be plugged in direct. Might be a bad port on the splitter -- I've had problems with it before. My other three external drives are on the other three ports.
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PostSubject: Re: Things That Just Work, First Time   Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:50 am

The Blu-ray player comes with "over 300 apps" of which 99% cost money to use but I have been exploring the YouTube link. YouTube has "channels" which are a whole bunch of linked videos. For instance there are over 50 videos of Jon Hassell in concert, some as long as an hour and a half, which will play continuously while you read with a cat on your lap.

I had access to the Tube through other devices but never explored this before.
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PostSubject: Re: Things That Just Work, First Time   Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:00 pm

NoCoPilot wrote:
I use a USB splitter for most things but the drive wanted to be plugged in direct. Might be a bad port on the splitter -- I've had problems with it before. My other three external drives are on the other three ports.

I gave up on external drives and docks; too many of them have small problems. Most are fine, but the interfaces can differ somewhat and you sometimes cannot clone a drive. I just use these cables. With an SSD, you don't even need the AC adapter. I don't use external drives for anything except backup and archiving, so having them plugged in all the time isn't necessary. But it sure would be handy. I may have to look at them again. Perhaps the interface issue has been resolved.
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PostSubject: Re: Things That Just Work, First Time   Thu Dec 01, 2016 2:40 pm

NoCoPilot wrote:
I use a USB splitter for most things but the drive wanted to be plugged in direct.  Might be a bad port on the splitter -- I've had problems with it before.  
New theory: my old Belkin 4-port USB splitter is a PASSIVE splitter, which does not supply power.

I just bought an Ativa 7-port ACTIVE splitter, that plugs into the wall and provides power (if needed) to all seven ports.

Now -- for the first time EVAH! -- I can plug in all my devices at once and everything seems to work.  Between the 7 ports here, and the 4 (3 open) on the back of my iMac, I actually have two open ports!

  • printer
  • 250Gb portable drive
  • 1Tb external drive
  • 2Tb external drive
  • 3Tb external drive
  • sound system
  • Apple Superdrive
  • musical keyboard connection
  • digital sound input from stereo (for dubbing)

Not plugged in normally:

  • universal memory card reader
  • analog digital converter (for dubbing VHS)
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PostSubject: Re: Things That Just Work, First Time   Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:01 pm

Passive splitter? Troglodyte.

I tossed my old active USB splitter (with memory card slots) when I got the new computer. It has ten USB ports and all the memory card slots built in. I still have the A/D converter (if I can just remember where I put it).

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PostSubject: Re: Things That Just Work, First Time   Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:13 pm

I'll tell you what a troglodyte I am, I didn't even know there were such things as active and passive splitters.  I just figured all splitters passed the, what is it, 5 volts.

Pretty blue lights.  My new splitter has pretty blue lights for each port.  Does your computer have pretty blue lights?*








* Used to be all stereos lit up in red or amber or white lights.  I think Pioneer was the only receiver that lit up blue.  Now everything's blue LEDs.
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PostSubject: Re: Things That Just Work, First Time   Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:34 pm

NoCoPilot wrote:
I didn't even know there were such things as active and passive splitters.
Amish.

NoCoPilot wrote:
Used to be all stereos lit up in red or amber or white lights.  I think Pioneer was the only receiver that lit up blue.  Now everything's blue LEDs.

The first LEDs were red only. It was many years before blue and green LEDs were developed.
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PostSubject: Re: Things That Just Work, First Time   Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:58 pm

Early stereos were tiny incandescent bulbs.

Pioneer sfaik were the only blue ones. Oh wait, Macintosh?
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PostSubject: Re: Things That Just Work, First Time   Thu Dec 01, 2016 4:24 pm

NoCoPilot wrote:
Pioneer sfaik were the only blue ones.  Oh wait, Macintosh?

The amplifiers are called McIntosh. Apple is the only company that misspells the word, as far as I know.
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PostSubject: Re: Things That Just Work, First Time   Thu Dec 01, 2016 4:26 pm

NoCoPilot wrote:
Early stereos were tiny incandescent bulbs.

True. Early electronics used back lighting. But, nonetheless, LEDs were originally red and the other colors came later, as it was learned what elements could be used to produce them. The early LEDs were also great power hogs. That was one reason why LCDs were invented.
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PostSubject: Re: Things That Just Work, First Time   Mon Dec 05, 2016 2:29 pm

Another thing that works incredibly well: electronic check deposit. Take a picture of the front & back, send to the bank.

No stamp, no envelope, no waiting.
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PostSubject: Re: Things That Just Work, First Time   Mon Dec 05, 2016 3:12 pm

My daughter told me about that a few years ago. It's great. I sometimes get small checks - refunds, suit payments - that aren't worth going to the bank for. Now I don't have to feel bad about throwing them away. Just zip them to the CU with the phone.
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PostSubject: Re: Things That Just Work, First Time   Mon Dec 05, 2016 3:44 pm

_Howard wrote:
I sometimes get small checks - refunds, suit payments -
So, when you retired, you sold some of your suits on an installment plan???
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PostSubject: Re: Things That Just Work, First Time   Mon Dec 05, 2016 4:04 pm

I only have one suit. Not a suit kind of guy.

We still get checks from time to time from old class action lawsuits involving stocks.
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PostSubject: Re: Things That Just Work, First Time   Mon Dec 05, 2016 4:07 pm

Yeah I can see how somebody would sue you over that.
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PostSubject: Re: Things That Just Work, First Time   Mon Dec 05, 2016 5:40 pm

Yeah, that's it.

As recently as a couple of years ago, we were still getting checks from suits against Ivan Boesky and Michael Milken.
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PostSubject: Re: Things That Just Work, First Time   Mon Dec 05, 2016 5:45 pm

I received $545 today from a class action suit on the collapse of Washington Mutual. My dad owned 5,000 shares.

Gad, that's ten cents a share.
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PostSubject: Re: Things That Just Work, First Time   Mon Dec 05, 2016 5:51 pm

Years after I left Seagate (later Veritas) and had sold all my shares, gotten out of the market and closed my brokerage account, someone filed suit against Seagate - after it was taken private - and I started getting checks, ranging from a few hundred to nearly five thousand. And I have no idea what the problem was. It was just free money falling from the sky.
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PostSubject: Re: Things That Just Work, First Time   Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:20 pm

I discovered -- a long time after I started using it -- that the graphic program I use for making CD covers (Disc Cover 3) has an option for sampling an existing color.  You just click the little paintbrush icon, place the paintbrush in the color you want to duplicate, and click.

It's freaking marvelous.  I can create backgrounds that blend into the picture, I can duplicate trademarked colors (like Impulse orange), I can make text the same color as some graphic element.

This is a good program.  Not quite as powerful as the old Windows program I used to use (Micrografx Windows Draw 6) but still very very good.
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PostSubject: Re: Things That Just Work, First Time   Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:25 am

When I sold my old SLR film camera through Amazon the buyer was in Puerto Rico. She'd inquired about the camera a couple weeks earlier, asking if it could be delivered before year-end because she wanted to take it on a trip.

I investigated post to PR and discovered that getting packages *TO* Puerto Rico is no problem -- it's considered domestic post, no international bullshit -- but once packages hit the shores of PR they had a tendency to take SEVERAL WEEKS to get taken out for delivery. I told the prospective buyer that I couldn't guarantee delivery by any particular date therefore.

So I was surprised when she ordered the camera anyway, on December 24, the day before Christmas. No note was included about needing a delivery date. Nevertheless, because the package was small and heavy and valuable I elected to send it flat-rate Priority Mail, which was probably the cheapest way anyway, on the first day after Xmas that the post office was open, December 27.

Never heard anything, never heard anything -- got to wondering if it ever arrived. So I looked up the tracking number online.

Delivered December 30. Three days after shipping.

Way to go USPS!
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