Sunday, 24 October 2021

Zombie Mode - MTU's and the disintegration of everything (well almost)

This mindset is apparently called prepping! :) I think it really means "being prepared" (Or can one perpetually prepare?) Semantics aside, I decided to buy a generator - Mostly as someone we know says gas is in short supply! = Won't be long and they'll switch off the electric to stop the gas mains emptying out etc Anyway, I decided sitting in the dark like a hairy cave dweller doesn't fit well with our plans for living in the future! Enter the -

BΓΆhmer-AG 6500W-E Petrol Generator 2.8Kw 12V DC Output Electric Key Start Outdoor 3.4 kVA 8Hp 4-Stroke OHV Engine with 2 UK 240V sockets..



Reviews are a bit mixed but I had a really good price £174.99 so thought it could be worth a go. First thing to go wrong was it got delivered to our new neighbours who I'm pretty sure (up until this point) were thinking we're quite normal! Now they think we're preppers! (obviously we're not - we're simply being prepared lol) Generator has been sat around for a while and yesterday I thought I'd better see if it works, so I went out to get some good old super unleaded and a bottle of fuel stabiliser (makes the petrol last for 2 years apparently) After driving around half of Wales I managed to get the stupid 100 ml bottle of stabiliser (must be the last one in the whole principality!) Next, I filled the generator up with a litre of engine oil (seems to take loads of it) and the second thing to go wrong was the 400 ml surplus leaked out through the air-filter all over the garage floor!! πŸ˜† Disaster!!


With the garage now in full Exon Valdez / Amoco Cadiz mode one battled on regardless, carefully washing the air-filter sponge thingy in fuel stabilised 99 Ron super unleaded ~ which seemed unusually acrid and resulted in a somewhat mysterious sponge-substance deformation! Pah, thought I'd better phone a friend - Me bro said I needed to get the rest of the surplus oil out the engine (or it would knacker immediately) so I tipped the unit back the other way and used the air-filter cover (as a tray) to capture the oil as it tipped out (clever eh?)  (forgetting this had carefully disguised slots in ~ meaning said floor transitioned further into a Gulf of Mexico scale ecological nightmare!) Might be worth mentioning, thus far, things weren't really going according to plan! πŸ‘€

Eventually, several kitchen rolls later, the situation became marginally less apocalyptic and I reached the point where starting the engine (without blowing anything up) seemed plausible - So I did!! 

This generator isn't quiet - Rang me bro again and asked him why so noisy? He reckoned it was because I was a (expletive) and besides it was a very cheap Chinese motor - Little bit of an unreasonable assertion I'd say! πŸ˜’

The smoke in the garage was getting pretty bad (didn't seem very healthy either!) and the vibration was shaking the house. Eventually the boss, smoked out of her nest, proceeded to stand behind me (couldn't hear her then, although she has mentioned it several times since!) shouting and screaming like a demented banshee! I demonstrated to her how amazing our new self-sufficient power generation unit was by powering up an old pedestal fan in an (slightly desperate) attempt to disperse the oil / petrol fumes - Several hours later the smoke even vacated the house! - And everything reverted back to happy normality (How these fumes travel through solid brick walls is anyone's guess!)



Monday, 30 August 2021

Goliath, Ishbi-benob, Saph (or Sippai), Lahmi, Exadactylos

I'm quite interested in theology (anything ancient and obscure / actually I can't really think of anything i'm not really interested in!!) - Spent an hour or two this morning researching Goliath to see whether anything says he had two rows of teeth, six fingers and to determine his lineage. Info seems really messy tbh plus Kaspersky was kicking off left right and centre -> Making this subject matter quite difficult to suss without getting infected with something nasty. Firefox crashed at one point then Kaspersky alerted some strange potential threat or another.

Consensus is Goliath did have six fingers - I find this extraordinarily interesting because if you look at X-Rays of people with six fingers (from an engineering viewpoint) a lot of them have a fully functional "thought out" skeletal structure meaning genetically there has to be a full schematic for this stored in our DNA somewhere (might be a bit flaky as doesn't always work faultlessly). Then from a computational viewpoint people afflicted thus have no trouble controlling their extra digits - This has been studied properly (reference) and reading more poses the obvious question ~ do we (in fact) have (unlimited?) surplus capability for the control of additional appendages? 

Then determining Goliaths lineage and the names of his four brothers(?) - Here the fourth is usually unnamed although I liked the name Exadactylos (paper linked above). Although, having said, It would seem more appropriate for them to be brothers (fits nicely with the five stones David planned to kill them with etc) rather than two brothers and three sons.

"Interestingly, the book of Samuel refers to five stones that David carefully selected for his sling from the nearby stream, and further reading of the surrounding passages shows that David’s relatives were all involved in the deaths of the other giants in Goliath’s family. There can be other interpretations for this and various types of symbolism, but it appears likely that several giants may have been from Goliath’s family"

Get out there being "other giants" - Again quoted from  >>>here<<<

Looks like Goliaths mother had four sons (not five) so more confusion really i.e. Google says -

"In rabbinic literature, Orpah is identified with Herse, the mother of the four Philistine giants, one of whom was Goliath. These four sons were said to have been given her for the four tears which she shed at parting with her mother-in-law"

So who is the mother i.e. Orpah or Herse (Harafa even?) or are they (most likely) all one and the same?

Then more confusion with his father as Chilion was Orpah's husband although he died (in Moab) and Orpah (reading between the lines) then took many men the result being giant son(s) numbering either two, four or five depending on interpretation.

My plan is to continue researching this - Bought this book and once read will likely further more by studying Og also...

Saturday, 14 August 2021

M303, Poco X3, Swift Sport Hybrid and the Property Portfolio.

The aforementioned pure maths course really was quite challenging, somehow scraped it (thank goodness!!) so thinking about what to pit myself against next. Current inclination being to cast aside any further aspirations of academia and (alternately) refocus all resources on impending retirement and the funding thereof. As such I've been viewing houses, flats and spending hours on rightmove with a view to building a property portfolio! Not sure if I'll be any good at this but why not? You can't buy endless toys and gadgets if you haven't got any cash!! So, prime-directive = get houses, get cash!

In the mean time I dumped the Fiat and bought myself a Swift Sport Hybrid. I used to have a 136 bhp Swift Sport (6?) years ago and it was loads of fun. This new one is only 129 bhp with a laptop booster battery under the passenger seat / nowhere near as much fun! I was so disappointed with it I went back to the garage and shook on an older petrol one (2019) which I think develops closer to 140 brake. Way better than mine (it was red though). Actually, if you're reading this in the colonies you'll likely be thinking how could 140 bhp be fun let alone 129. Well, the secret is weight - These suckers are all around (or less) than the one m.ton mark. Power to weight is extremely good. Anyway, the Swift is being manufactured in Japan again now so the build on the Hybrid is very good. However, the gearbox and the steering are both horrible (Suzuki gearboxes are generally dreadful anyway) So in total this iteration has - Lost it's power, steers like poop, noisy as hell (expect this as it's so light) and changes gear like a pig! lol

I bottled (never reneged on a handshake before in my life and still feel guilty) Perspective being - The whole worlds on fire from the Siberian tundra to the Ozzy outback and half of Yankland too so really I should do my bit to save the planet etc (50 mpg). Besides, I can get the Hybrid overclocked to 150 bhp for a couple of quid (haven't done it, but might have a go in a few years once the warranty expires!)

Next the Poco X3 – Well me phone is me life these days so I need juice! Experimentally opted for ChowMein (Xiaomi) Mi 8 previously (128/6) but this Poco is sub £200 buckpounds and packs 256/8 so runs like a dream! Can’t believe how good these ChowMein’s are! – Neither can anyone else as most of the people in work have them now also. Should mention I run the full version of Kaspersky on it and it perpetually scan clean - Unlike the Doogee T6 Pro I had a few years back. And best of all the Poco sports a headphone socket!! :)

Monday, 31 May 2021

My Fusor, starmode, and a fractelised tungsten super surface...

Not much time for this as I'm currently stuck doing loads of mock maths exams ~ in a desperate bid to get a score above 40% {My fault as I decided for a laugh (spurred on by a B in "Geology") to take on a third year maths course with no (not enough) prior experience in the "field" = No pun intended :) }

Anyway, I was in the other "field" t'other day dreaming about the aforementioned "fractelised" tungsten grid and ruminating 'bout the bosses view on burning deutrium and the whole home made reactors in the garage thing etc when it occured to me I needed to get a higher surface area tungsten grid. Sadly, one of the reasons I engaged in this maths course was because I'm really interested in cryptography and fractals (using the "latex" thing in Libre office is something I could have done without though!) - Both of which (we're told anyway) aren't going to appear in this years exam..(Doh!) But a "fractelised" tungsten grid appeared to me in my field dream (lol = oh dear I'm getting too old to write anything without getting tangentially diverted)

Back on track... (lot of this stuff is because I know I'll forget if I don't record it)

LDAC is good (if you're outside / not in our house as way too much interference) and Chinese IEM's are really good - I don't mind the fact you can't mess with the frequencies (Sony have locked it like they did with SACD and the signature does seem quite flat) but the best phone based setup I’ve discovered thus far is this...(if you're lacking a headphone socket and want a lossless bluetooth solution)

(By way of experimentation I've spent a small fortune on different earpieces / headphones etc over the last few months - yet this really is surprisingly cheap!!)

Android phone with LDAC support. (I've not tried the other option LHDC yet!)

Fiio BTR3K (dual AKM's with separate crystal oscillators gives a really smooth sound) no good for big cans with the standard headphone socket though (not loud enough for me) brilliant for walking outside (variable results inside) First job = flash the sucker up to the latest firmware! 😎

Famedy dual driver IEM's with MMCX detachable / upgradeable cable. 

Now the IEM's can be customised with memory foam tips and an upgraded cable. I've not put memory foam tips on ~ but I have bought a 2.5 mm yinyoo balanced MMCX cable as both Cowon and Fiio have balanced outputs (Fiio goes from 25 mw standard to 75 mw with balanced = big juice increase!) Cable arrives on Wednesday so I'll enjoy having a play with it.. 

Alexa is telling me there's been a breakthrough in fusion reactors so I'm off, catch you post invasion!πŸ‘ΎπŸ‘½πŸ‘Ύ

Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Cowon Plenue D2 Vs Sony Nw-A105 16GB Walkman

Been meaning to get a new DAP (to replace the Cowon S9 mentioned in a post below) for a little bit and as Magnus is still settling down (burning in really - the only change I've made since the original build was to fit a bigger M2 boot drive ~ replacing the Sunbow). My plans to upgrade PSU, cooling and memory this Christmas being nullified by a good old dose of "the virus" which has pretty much knackered me for days!


So Christmas was upon us and I dutifully unwrapped my shiny Sony Nw-A105 which is the same as the 40th anniversary A100 only cheaper (was £199 when we bought it) as it doesn't have the funky Walkman case. Now I could probably talk about this for hours (but I won't) 

Here are the original ingredients -

Sony Nw-A105 16GB Walkman

Shure SRH 440E 

Sony  WH-CH710N

 and finally -

Note:- The 900N's are actually an appalling set of headphones as the bass is so monstrous I find it (quite often) induces bursts of uncontrollable laughter ~ which is why I've kept them (so far!!))

Right to the point - The Sony Walkman sounds dreadful (there's a horribly granular something going on) It could't really power the Shure cans at all using the standard headphone jack. I doubt this jack is capable of powering any wired headphones to the EU db limit - Sony have deliberately hobbled the amp and there's nothing you can do to reverse it - Because the player is android (I tried setting region to Hong Kong etc but nothing works) rather than Sony's usual linux OS.


Why does it sound so horrible? Once my 900N's turned up I started to think (for about a day) I would keep the player as the LDAC does work to fix some of the sound problems (mostly by throwing so much bass at it you can't hear anything else) Smooths it out a bit and adds more volume. However, it's as though the android system is taking too much of the system resources and the player is physically struggling to process the music files properly. (Presumably this couln't be true?)

Note:- I'm talking here about Thriller 25 anniversary gold disk edition (good to test as we know every note) - Them Crooked Vultures and Porgy and Bess ripped to FLAC (somewhere around 1050 kbps) using Exact Audio Copy. I tried loads of different types of music ripped to different file types and compression levels. There were FLAC files the Sony refused to play (weirdly) which was quite annoying (these were ripped using CDex to 900 odd kbps)

This review really only uses the three albums though.

Right so you deserve some explanation and here it is - If you put Scumbag Blues (even a crappy 320 kbps MP3 version) onto the Cowon S9 and play it there's no way in a million years you'd drift off thinking about painting the shed or washing the car! Nope, there's something borderline demonic in the S9's delivery. something crazy and untethered. Next try listening to the same song a few more times and strangely you're not thinking about the washing, the ironing, or mowing the snow! Nope, all you're thinking is you can't wait for it to finish so you can play it again! And that's what listening to music should be like! Somehow Sony (android?) have ripped the heart out of 105's musical delivery ~ they've destroyed it's very soul. I can more or less guarantee you could play "Scumbag Blues" on the Sony, sip some Horlicks, and drift off to sleep within seconds! 

The Sony was packed back up and despatched back to Amazon. And,,, I very nearly sent the 900N's back as well....(Only they still make me chuckle!)

Yesterday, the Cowon Plenue D2 turned up. "It's" strange really as Cowon don't do sensitive or aesthetic - Everything they do is function spiced with an engaging (addictive) kind of brutality => you really have to witness this for yourself, then, once you're infected there can be no going back.

 I switched the D2 on and selected one of the three options namely I don't live in the European union (which I suppose is the truth now! :) )  

Scumbag Blues (using crystal clear) - Words really can't describe the delivery (OK I'll give it a go!) <=> it's as though Echo herself poured some juice of the Gods over every single one of the D2's transistors, aiding and abetting the perfect delivery of each microscopic detail of analogue beauty into the (somewhat crappy) 900N's.

If man has ever made a perfect machine then this is it!

And I have my new DAP!! :)


Saturday, 26 September 2020

Magnus Sharkoon

Sometime during the course of the summer I decided (mostly as we can't go anywhere or do anything) to build a new PC for the living room (has to fit under the TV stand)

The new machine would replace an i3 hp mini pc which has served the Squeezebox and Plex for quite a few years (probably find reference to it in previous blogs here!) I also decided this new machine would likely be the last (Windows PC) computer I'd ever build so it needed to be notable in some way (I say the last only as they really are becoming ubiquitous and there will [in the future] be much less reason to build your own IMHO - Although I'll probably have a go at printing one once we can do that!)

Magnus Sharkoon would need to be ITX form-factor and would likely take a year or two to complete as it iteratively evolves into it's final form. 

I ordered a Sharkoon case (as I liked the name!) and then gradually ordered bits and pieces to go inside. Some of the parts are simply to get the project up and running - Others are keepers! :)

So far Magnus is an i9 9900k and boots into Win 10 prof from a small 128 gigabyte sunbow NVME drive. I installed a 480 gigabyte SSD for games, and the like, then shucked two external 6 and 5 terabyte Seagates for Plex. Plex serves well over a 1,000 films now (some higher quality / larger files than others) Magnus has an unsophisticated ASUS mb and graphics are handled by a GTX 1650 Super which delivers about 5000 odd on the 3d Mark Timestrike with the CPU trundling along at 5GHz 

Problems encountered - Bent pins on the MB - Ordered two incorrect CPU's (more I couldn'r decide what to build thean anything else!!) then i9 CPU arrived in smashed up display box and the Radeon Gcard I bought originally didn't work properly at all..!! 

Here are some pics -


Sunday, 17 May 2020

AmpliFi Instant Home WiFi Mesh Router - AFI-INS-R (UK Version with UK PSU) combined with Amplifi Instant Home Mesh WiFi System Kit - AFI-INS (UK Version with UK PSU),white

Well, we're still going through network meltdown here ATM. The number of devices online all the time probably doesn't fall below 40 anymore and could even hit the, somewhat, heady heights of 60 if we were to charge everything up / get some laptops out the cupboard etc.
Perhaps we jouneyed the wrong way purchasing loads of dodgy Chinese standalone light bulbs (rather than something with a hub) - And now the (even dodgier?) light switches mentioned in the last post!
The previously described Huawei router was pretty good (considering the price) but very sensitive to different clients (even similar clients). It didn't like some of our TP-Link HS100 switches and kept bombing them out (or simply wouldn't let them connect at all) After a couple of weeks it started to let go of speakers whilst we were enjoying our weekend disco's!! :)
In the meantime our trusty VR900 gave up producing a 2.4 GHz signal :( - Final coffin nail => No more TP-Link free cloud control!
I think TP-Link must have realised their VR series routers were (ever so slightly) fatally flawed hence the setting = reboot every so many days - The shortest time-span being three ~ which really needed to be one! lol (As per the Huawei)

Enter Ubiquity Instant / Ingredient list -
First I bought this for £69.99 -

Reasons were (in order of importance)
1. It's a mesh system where you can set the channel number (but only for the primary networks / guest and second networks sit on the same channels. Weirdly you can't hide the second networks but you can hide the guest network)
2. You can add as many of these as you like provided the additions aren't kits (which turned out to be false)
3. Look and footprint - VR series routers are big lumps! These are tiny + The underglow makes them look super funky!
4. Ubiquiti are more business class - So the logic was ~ perhaps a slower system (who cares as long as it can stream 4k!) would last longer than some of these super fast routers which burn out in 5 minutes (if you're lucky!) (I noticed even super-cheap routers around the 1200 mark seem to keep going without issue for years! (Ok so less devices attached)
5. Should really move this up the list - Price! The kit below + single ~ sell for the same price as an AX router - Reading the 1-star reviews of the new, cheaper, AX units makes us think they're not quite good enough for what we need here yet! :)

Next we set the single up and ran it in place of the VR900 without issue (shame it's not black but love the smallness) Figured out some of the settings and logged onto the diminutive web panel etc

Everything worked fine for a week or so whilst the two pack (£99.99) made its way to sunny Wallia - Once arrived (and appropriately disinfected due to the Zombie apocalypse) It was installed using the main network unhidden and guest music network hidden (devices on infinity) The single was set the same only using different frequencies (with a view to merging the two together)

Brilliant aspect of this is we now have a nice hole in the 2.4GHz spectrum where we could potentially setup another network (using the VR600 which is still perfectly functional) for the future (the merging of our music and main network seemed to work fine (surprisingly))

First music test after the arrival of the two pack went well as all the Chromecasts logged onto the new routers (we realised this would be a temporary situation) by the following weekend a few of the music devices had drifted over to the other router and the decision was made to mesh the suckers up!

Disaster! First of all (our fault for thinking this would be easy!!) we tried merging the double pack with the single (which we discovered can't be done)
Next, we tried merging the single with the double (which also can't be done).
All this took hours because, somewhere along the way, the mesh point from the double pack detached itself and wouldn't merge back - Paper-clipping everything back to factory left right and center eventually restored some sanity! Worse, to get anything back working the android application has to be continually reset ~ otherwise it seems to get confused over (for instance) the online status of the devices (the mesh point was tested working using a LAN cable yet the application said it was detached) The act of resetting the android app ruins all the permissions which means (until you realise you forgot to manually enable the permission to turn WiFi network on and off) the software continually asks for WiFi on off control.
The whole process was extraordinarily frustrating.
Even worserer - Why would the app go through all the laborious act of pretending it's merging the devices if this cannot physically be done = Excessive annoyance beyond all the other technological interaction frustrations so far this year! (Well done Ubiquiti lol)

We haven't given up with this merging situation yet though (Einstein / madness doing the same thing expecting different outcomes etc aside) and we'll point the manufacturer to this blog so they can see exactly what happened ~ potentially allowing them to redeem themselves! (If they so choose)