Paul Braren with Tech Challenges and Successes – HGG451
Paul Braren joins us this week as we get an update on several of home projects. From a discussion on Cox internet to Rheem Hybrid Water heaters, we cover a few. Paul also gives us an update on his Teslas and how he fixed his video storage issue. I think you will enjoy the show.
Full show notes, transcriptions, audio and video at http://theAverageGuy.tv/hgg451
Join Jim Collison / @jcollison and Mike Wieger / @WiegerTech for show #451 of Home Gadget Geeks brought to you by the Average Guy Network.
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Jim Collison [0:00]
This is The Average Guy Network and you have found Home Gadget Geeks show number 451 recorded on July 9 2020.
Jim Collison [0:21]
Here on Home Gadget Geeks we cover all your favorite tech gadgets that find their way into your home news reviews, product updates and conversation all for the average tech guy. I’m your host Jim Collison broadcasting live from the average guy TV Studios here no eautiful Bellevue Nebraska. Paul, we had some thunderstorms roll through last night and I hit reset in a story it will tell it a bit later I had to reset my package cam you know I got a cam that’s sitting in the window that’s a package box that you talked to me into, I don’t know three or four shows ago and and I reset the camera and put it up a little high last night and in. I’m glad I did because when the storm came through it caught all of the storms. So got three really good site hound got three really three really good lightning pictures in there and I had no idea I should be using site hound to track the sky
Paul Braren [1:10]
for like a block you got the bolt of lightning showing in your footage huh
Jim Collison [1:13]
yeah it’s super cool I should have maybe maybe later and maybe in the post show I’ll bring them up and and we’ll try should try to show them but you know it’s summertime here in Nebraska and we do we do thunder and lightning better than anybody. Speaking of that better than anybody Paul Baron writes show notes better than anybody. He’s got a lot available. even put out like some Paul, you put out some. What did you What did you call it? The notes you put on your site that kind of like the pre show notes or what you use the term for that? What did you say available draft? There we go. You said you put out draft show notes, which is super cool. Paul, the notes that we normally you can’t see Paul took them, added them to a site and then said hey, if you want to come out and kind of get an idea, maybe I should do that more often. I’m just a little too lazy Paul, just to be honest to tell But Paul did that on his site Tinker trade comm if you haven’t checked out his site in a while that the draft notes, if folks wanted to go over to your site and see those draft notes, Paul, what’s the easiest way?
Paul Braren [2:10]
If you’re listening live, or after the fact it’ll still be the same URL, Tinker trade comm forward slash hgG 451. All right,
Jim Collison [2:18]
there we go. And you can you can see that see the notes Tony Rainer, and chatroom says, did not have a birthday. No, that’s an August, Tony. So I won’t. I’ll be gone August 6, the week of that. for that. No, I had a marine son come home last week. And thanks to Ryan and Bob, who at the last minute let me cancel. appreciate them. allowing me to do that. And in will reschedule them. I think they’re coming on August 13. They will be back. Don’t forget you can also join us live on the mobile app Home Gadget Geeks comm if you want to do that as well. And I want to welcome Paul Baron back to the show. Paul, welcome Home Gadget Geeks.
Paul Braren [2:53]
Thank you for having me, Jim. It’s a delight to be back and a little different camera view for both of us. Yeah,
Jim Collison [2:58]
yeah. Now a little bit. Look It changed for me a little bit changed for you. That’s kind of where you’re the tinkerer guy, right. So you, you need to be constantly messing around with stuff Anyways, I’m kind of that way, right? You just gotta always be kind of mixing it up.
Paul Braren [3:12]
Yeah, this is my upstairs. There’s actually a fan pulling some air in this room when it gets toasty. And above me, there’s an air conditioning return. This is where I do my day job. So I’m at a standing desk, it can move down and sit. It’s not motorized. But this is where I do my work in the quiet space without any computers just monitors in this room, keeping it cool. The basement lab, the workbench is what you’ve seen previously, where I’ve gone down there where all my stuff is laid out. Right, numerous projects come simultaneously. So I’m fortunate enough to have enough room to have two different spaces in my home. But I’ve been working from home for almost 30 years, at least one day a week. Yeah, I think we both took it pretty seriously, right? Yeah.
Jim Collison [3:46]
The pandemic the pandemic did not catch you by surprise, right. You were you were kind of ready for it yet all the equipment to do it. You’ve had a home office in a massive test studio for a while. Not to you’re not you weren’t caught off guard Maria.
Paul Braren [4:02]
Yeah caught me by surprise but didn’t caught me catching unprepared. I did have to buy some new ups batteries and other stuff at work at home and make sure they were going because they were like three or four years old. And yeah, this power for a few seconds here and there. And that’s pretty annoying if you’re on a phone or a zoom call. Zoom meeting with like, 30 people. You don’t want those little blips to take you out. So yeah, for the most part, I was pretty prepared. I will say it took like a month for Amazon to get me stuff though. And what are you gonna do complain? You’re vying with masks and other stuff. Let acid batteries are taking a month instead of a week. You know what you just Amazon’s been very slow for months.
Jim Collison [4:33]
March was a little sketchy. I think March April is a little sketchy. It’s all caught up now. I just ordered something yesterday and it’s gonna be here today. I mean, it’s goes pretty fast. Right? I think I ordered a rain gauge today. That’s gonna be here to rain gauge like I you know, I don’t really need it. It I don’t need it tomorrow. But I think we’re back to pretty quick and I’m seeing more and more Amazon vans in my neighborhood to me to multiple people didn’t it used to be like and I still have a FedEx driver, right? The FedEx guy has my neighborhood. And he comes around he know the guy I know him well, he’s at my house about every other day with some kind of delivery. The Amazon guys, I it’s a different person all the time. Sometimes I see two or three different delivery drivers in the same neighborhood. And in the same day, he kind of he kind of wonder, I saw I went by the gas station the other day, and I saw two Amazon vans and they were loading the contents of one into the other, which I think, you know, one broke down. But I just seen, I’ve seen them all over. So they must be taking a different approach. I mean, maybe the owning the neighborhood model like FedEx or UPS den where you have the same drivers knowing the neighborhood doing the same deliveries every day. Maybe Amazon has figured out how to how to break that down and they’re moving the drivers around. Do you think
Paul Braren [6:00]
Yeah, I mean, a couple of thoughts. One is I know they’re trying to go electric at some point. I’m not sure how committed and how quickly they’ll do it. But what a great opportunity city driving was stopping Oh, perfect for region braking. So that would be a big win for Amazon, I would think. And then the second thing that went through my mind is you talking about Amazon, totally agree with you. It’s different faces all the time, but at least it’s in Amazon labelled vans, which is a whole lot less creepy when you know, say, someone’s home alone. And you don’t really know who the stranger is an unmarked car. That was creepy. And that was happening for years, but that seems to have pretty much gone in the last few months. It’s almost all marked Amazon vans I notice. So there’s that. And then there’s the airport’s oh my gosh, flying out of Cincinnati. rows of Amazon planes. I mean, they’re buying their own fleet. It’s pretty impressive. It seems like they’re trying to kick FedEx and UPS to the curb. Mm hmm.
Jim Collison [6:48]
Yeah. They got the money to at least at this point. Give it a try. Paul, you recommended I buy that delivery box. That’s the step two and I don’t know the size but you’ve got a picture on your site. With the delivery box, pick that up and installed it. Yeah, Paul’s giving us. Yeah, it’s it’s pretty handy. hellofresh the largest box from hellofresh just fits like it just fits in it like
Paul Braren [7:13]
I heard you mentioned that your delivery person complaining about his back and he lifted the whole thing that’s crazy to
Jim Collison [7:17]
kind of slide the thing down. So I lifted it up off the ground a little bit, put a little wood platform around it and and put it up for him. But I have I’ve noticed so UPS and FedEx are really good about putting boxes in there. The Amazon delivery drivers are not they continue to just throw it up in front of the door, take a picture and they’re gone. So it’s a little bit different. A little bit. I don’t know, it just doesn’t seem I think Tony in the chat room said Amazon. Amazon driver told him that they have to purchase their contract for the route. So you know, maybe there’s some kind of competition. I would think with folks that have jobs right now. It’s kind of everybody’s looking for those that have been laid off and maybe where they’re not going to get there. job back they those may be a competitive with everybody I mean the new economy Who would have thought delivery would have been the place to go find jobs right delivery boxes.
Paul Braren [8:10]
Oh agreed for people picking up extra hours in these really tough times. Right with a huge unemployment. I it’s hard to have to think about that. Hey, you just had a pretty cool moment and stream yard for those of you listening. Yeah, you’re missing something in video. Jim just pulled a pretty cool move showing Tony reynders commit right there in the light.
Jim Collison [8:24]
Yeah. They do that pretty well. Tony says their commercial says all electric by 2025. They advertise it heavily. And then of course, yeah. Joe says all electric by 2025 is pretty optimistic. I think there’s just so many rural deliveries and I think that, hey, if you could get electric if you could get all electric in the city. You know, rural probably just doesn’t have as many you could still do gas where you need to do that. Right. But yeah, it’s it’s a step in that direction. Paul, before we jump to your stuff, I’ve got two stories. I’m going to I’m going to pre write one. I’m going to Talk about one and it’s going to point to one we’re going to do at the end of the show, but you and I have both for a long time talked about the the the cap limit at Cox being now it’s 1.25 terabytes, right? Did you see they just upped that to 1.25
Paul Braren [9:16]
terabyte, I moved two gigabytes to avoid all that because as soon as I was hired by VMware within a week, my laptop was replicating every night. I was toast. I hit my cap in a week of getting hired. So I could not do an IT job at home. Right. And that was insane. So yeah, so yeah, your caps I’m on? Well, I’m paying dearly for that. Right.
Jim Collison [9:38]
Yeah. Tim, the reason I canceled last week and actually it happened during the show last week. My marine son is home and so we were I’d come home from work early on Thursday, to be with him and we were sitting at the table talking and the the the idea of this cap came up because I said yes, now that Sam is home my daughter she wants to say So much YouTube, I guess like we are, you know, we are getting dangerously close to that cap. So I got on my phone to show them how close we were. And when I got on my phone, it said your 420% over your calf. Like,
Paul Braren [10:15]
like a cell phone, right?
Jim Collison [10:18]
400. So I’d already done six terabytes. So if you want to know how you can effectively use six terabytes of data, stay to the end of the show, well, either covered at the end I’ll do in the post show. But in the year, well enough that you’ll see around to the end of the show, for you to hear the story. I’ll tell you how you get it done. And it’s not what you think, which is kind of interesting. In the middle of trying to figure out because I was trying to figure out first I thought maybe somebody hacked the network and all these other things in the middle of figuring that out. I use the bitdefender box. This has been a box that I’ve used for the last couple years from bitdefender. It’s kind of an all in one router. It’s got a Wi Fi, they asked them if you can with it. With your annual subscription you get unlimited bitdefender Any virus for your computers, they’re getting into identity production. We talked about that on Cyber Frontiers, or three, no, six weeks ago. And this thing just broke. Like, it’s just it started with circle of death just started, just started going some in the middle of troubleshooting this and I’m trying to figure out, okay, because I, initially I thought I got hacked. And I might have, but you have to wait till the end of the show to hear that. So I was trying to crack down IPS, like, Okay, well, who’s on my network? Who’s there who’s not? So I go into the interface, the whole thing just kind of craps out. So the amazing part of that story is I really expected in their app, they’re like, hey, call us if you’re, you know, if you’re having trouble, call us and I thought, Oh, man, I’m gonna go into a queue. That’s eight miles long, like it’s just gonna take them forever. So I’m like, What the heck. So I hit that in the app. I hit the call button. It takes me to the thing on the phone. I called him. It rings twice. And again, It picks up twice. Like, and no, you know, we’re recording this call for whatever this guy was like, hello. Like, I’m having some trouble with my bitdefender router, I get the right. You know, bitdefender box is what this is called, did I get the right number? He’s like, yeah, how can I help you? I was like, I swear I was they must have contracted out to just folks that are, you know, that they’ve they had they were working from home, they’re doing these things. But anyways, so he goes through and helps me troubleshoot it. So I do a heart, I do a soft reset, I do a hard reset. We can’t get the thing to come back online, the resets aren’t working. It’s continuing to go back to its old config. And it’s old config would not let me into anything to config the box on the inside. So we troubleshoot it for about 10 minutes, which is not this is by the way, not the way the Cox does this either. You would i would have spent about three hours on the phone troubleshooting with them. But he spends about 10 minutes He’s like, I can’t fix it. I’m just gonna send you a new one. Is your information up to date in our database? And I’m like, I hope so he goes, let me see your address. So I said give my email address. It wasn’t but he sent me an email that night and says we don’t have it. What’s your what’s your address? And so I sent it to them Tuesday, you want appeared? And I was like, Oh my gosh, like that was incredible. No questions asked. They processed it like it’s an order so like, it’s not like they pulled one out of a reefer box somewhere and just
Paul Braren [13:29]
that’s common these days.
Jim Collison [13:32]
Nope, I got orders. I got orders from them like it like I personally purchased it knew except it was zero. And so it’s all registered in the system. It’s like I got a brand new box that’s under brand new warranty, installed it and it worked. And so nice job I was a little sketchy. I almost went with a brand new router. I was kind of like, Ah, you know how you have a bad experience like that and you kind of like I don’t know, you know, and totally changed things for me. So good. Tonight we’re going to talk about some challenges you’ve had. We’re going to talk a little bit about some victories that you’ve had in that as well. That was, for me, that was one of the same, I had a challenge. And they turn that thing around in about four or five days. Even in the middle of having all these problems, FedEx delivered it by way of having these problems and getting it. It was super great. Paul, we talked about, you know, I’m blowing through my my cap, you went to Giga blast. And so how’s that worked? How’s that working out for you?
Paul Braren [14:28]
Yeah, and Connecticut, each state’s a little different. And in Nebraska, in Connecticut, we were threatened for a long time where they sent us kind of statements and warnings of what it would be like when they Institute caps, right. So we kind of had our fair warning, they were pretty good about that. You knew it was coming. And then when it hit, I’m calling up. I’m like, Look, you don’t offer anything decent for business service, which would be unlimited. Your speed at about one fifth of gigabytes. So why would I spend I think it was 200 plus a month for business. And there’s no service level agreement. There’s no improvement. You’re using the same infrastructure in the neighborhood is what about Told verbally can’t really find that in writing publicly. But some of the installers have mentioned that um, you know, when you have congestion, everyone’s working from home as the world was in March and April in particular. Yeah. Yeah. dicey. And you felt guilty calling, but finally when maybe by the time he came along, I had a day where my phone now has dual Sims. Okay, so I’ll show you. So there we go. pryzen at the top, at&t next. And both of those were weak that day. And my internet was dicey. And my voice line, my Cox business line is also just void. It’s a separate coax cable going out to the telephone pole that went down. So I lost everything in one day and I’m trying to work from home. It’s like, Okay, do I need to call this vacation day? Or can I figure out something and that’s when I finally called cost to do a truck roll and had a look at what was going on. They admitted some congestion. And this got kind of interesting. You’re looking at signal strength and all that but the installer, hear all kinds of, you know, COVID stories about not being allowed in facilities. We had Gloves in our masks on and he stood outside. I handed him an ethernet cable through a basement window for him to jacket straight into the cable modem. did everything I could to help the guy get in and out of there fast, right? And he was he was excellent. And he said, Yep, your neighborhoods at like 78%. When we hit 80%, then your neighborhood gets added to the list for too much congestion. And then two or three months out, because the waiting list is long. We could then address it by adding you know, more uplinks whatever to their master server, like two miles away. So he was very candid about that I really appreciated the description. And he admitted another service call, you know, eight houses away or something too, which was really helpful to know, I wasn’t just whining, there’s something wrong. He actually did find some cable flaws up at the telephone pole and replaced them anyway. And you know, and we ran into cable all the way across the street, even though they were only two years old. So this guy was thorough, and by the time I left him, he’s back to normal speeds, you know, six or five, five or 600 down rather than 100 down when you’re paying 4000 down 100 down. not such a big deal, but when your voice that’s also relying that starts getting flaky and losing packets. I was getting Like 20% packet loss. So zoom calls were dicey. And then phone calls on the landline, which is really, these days were dicey. That’s when I find that call. So there’s my contact story. It’s actually a pretty, pretty happy ending. But boy did I wait until I got pretty hard to do my job for I call.
Jim Collison [17:15]
Well, we did the exact same thing. A couple weeks back, I talked about I waited all pandemic is not been good. And I waited and I finally got the guy to come out. And same deal. They couldn’t come in the house. I did buy the $10 wiring plan for inside the house. $10 a month. They’ll come in regardless of the problem. They’ll come in and fix it except there except now they go but he this guy was super cool. He allowed me like you he allowed me to do some things with him. He ripped out a ton of bad cable replaced it all. It was all taken care of I’m I’m back up to speed. So much so that you know, well. I burned through six terabytes. But again, we’re going to talk about that here. At the end of this, this ridiculous six terabytes, you’ll have to ask gets six terabytes. We’ll talk about it here at the end of the show. Hey, I’m super interested in I think you you, you mentioned this maybe the last time you were on the show. But the the sense energy monitoring device, right, that’s that orange box, right that you put in your How long did you had you have that in the last time? Where were you talking about? Because you were on January? I think 11th? About six months ago. Did you have that in then
Paul Braren [18:24]
did we talk about it in Okay, and the two the two big heavy hitters and home where you’re trying to go a little more green and get away from natural gas burning and go into electric. So you can gradually move to sustainable energy like, you know, solar and wind right. The first step would be to stop burning gas in your home when possible. So when my water heater went, I got a ream hybrid electric water heater. That’s a whole story, the show notes cover it but basically there was a $750 rebate in Connecticut so it made it the same price as a regular electric water heater, which would burn way more than more than twice as much electricity probably three times. So basically a refrigerator on top of a trailer Otter here is called a heat pump. And it basically turned it into a device that was affordable, meaning it was cost competitive, in fact, a lot cheaper than gas. And for electricity, it’s turned out to be a big one there too, even in Connecticut where electricity is pretty expensive. So my point though, luckily, it had its built in Wi Fi monitoring. Since failed to detect it, I was hoping it’s on its own 30 amp circuit to if the heat pumps not enough, which removes humid air from my basement, which is awesome. So I got rid of my humidifier, which cost me more to operate than this. So now I’m heating shower and sink water, at less money that it costs to dehumidifier the basement for like May to September in the past, because I have a drain in a sump pump. I could just have the dehumidifier do that. So it’s a total tech win. But yeah, since I was hoping to be able to look at my whole home energy detection, which is what sense is trying to do and it struggled with that 30 amp device a 240 volt Excuse me. So it has that because it has electric heating elements. So if you have many people over your house and To recover quicker, you kind of want the 30 amp, not the 15 amp circuit, so it can recover twice as fast. So, so that’s a tech success, but it’s mixed success. So the remits electric itself. 10,000 people have read that article, Jim, I have like the number one review of Rheem hybrid. I’m not a plumber. It’s crazy. No, but the cool thing is that article has staying power. People are buying like crazy because different states have rebates. So if you go to your home depot, or Lowe’s, and you see it’s 700 $800 price range, you might see this one that has a coupon right next to it that says mail this in, you get 750 back, and in my case, when a contractor buys it from warehouse, they rebated it right up front, right cost me like 800. So So yeah, so Sen struggles with some of the big heavy hitters and that’s one example the other one, we are now in all Eevee household both cars and our two car garage or Tesla’s including the lower range one which is easier to charge and less capacity, which doesn’t need to drive far and then the longer range. It doesn’t detect those reliably. It’s been a year and a half of me contributing in the forums giving all the data I can. And actually there’s a new video to live from I’m undecided, another podcast, but it looks like he interviewed a guy from cents. So I’m gonna check that video out. I love to give companies a chance. I just haven’t written about him much other than a few little links in my articles with some of the issues, because I tied it to like no good solutions when I get it all working right and then just say, you know, here’s how it works. So that’s been about a year and a half of some struggles. They’re the two heaviest electric consumers in my house three two cars in a water heater are failing to be detect reliably more than 50% of the time. So that makes its energy detection. It still shows me live how much my house is using right now and watts. So if I try to charge both cars and throw in the oven, see if a circuit breaker trips luckily they don’t. My electrician came in the winter in the summer has been no problem. I noticed one of my Tesla’s backs off in the charging speed though because compressors cycle on and off. compressors are heavy when they come on. So it looks like some firmware out there test that might be like okay, let’s let’s go back from 40 amp to 30 amp on that car. So some little things but still, they want to make sure no wires heat up and these are really fat cables that go to my garage. There’s a car we did it right? Yeah, yeah,
Jim Collison [22:02]
you install it. Well, how? Yeah. How does the pump work for you in the winter? there in the summer makes sense. A lot of humidity takes humidity out of the air. You got excess heat anyway, so I mean, how’s that? How’s that doing in the winter?
Paul Braren [22:16]
Yeah, it does. coulier so good question Jim. Where did he pump is pumping out cold dehumidified air in your basement. Great in the summer sounds bad in the winter. I really noticed the difference. My basement would be like 67 baseline in the winter with no heat on and then if you’re a little chilly about you could move some baseboard heating up. And then now it became like 66 maybe and that’s where my work matches for my Tinker try stuff and my videos down there. So needs to be quiet. It’s only about 25 feet away through what? one sheet rock and a bit of a louver door. The thing is quiet. So yeah, that thing’s been a success. I just love that a crazy article like that where I’m certainly no expert on it has staying power that hundreds of people still reading it per week. That’s a good sign. That means people are actually thinking about one of the most Biggest energy consumers their house is heating hot water for the house. Yeah and you know 800 bucks solving that from a house pretty good deal. We’ll see how long it lasts you know
Jim Collison [23:08]
when you can kill two birds with one stone especially in the summer and it’s
Paul Braren [23:13]
Jim Collison [23:13]
it’s dehumidifier in the basement for it. Does that go into So do you have a does it have its own pump that pumps the water then back out of the house that it because I’m sure it creates condensation, right?
Paul Braren [23:26]
Yep, I luckily have a sump pump hole which is passively draining to a creek in my backyard. So I could just have passive draining. So I’m lucky that way. That is a good point though. If someone’s thinking about a heat pump, you need a way to get the water out of your basement. There are small like pumps that you can buy at Home Depot to move water out of your basement over a wall right that can be done easily
Jim Collison [23:44]
a little condenser pump, condensate pump the water column, exactly. I just mounted one of those the previous guy, the guy previous guy that installed it just left it on the ground, and I left it there for years and then it started leaking. So I took thing apart, cleaned it out, cleaned it up added the scaled it just just kind of you know gave it a servicing, put it back together and then I’m like well shoot I can just mount this to the side of my doesn’t have to sit on the floor I can mount it to the side of my furnace. So there were two screws or two, you know, two mounts on the on the side. pulled those off a little bit. It’s got two little hangers on it is hanging on screwed back in. It’s now hanging up and off the floor and out of the way. I put a bucket underneath it a little Tupperware bucket that I bought that I could drop a little moisture sensor into you know it could just sits there if it if it never drips, it will be just fine but you could I could put a moisture sensor in there Wi Fi enabled or whatever to kind of detect if it does start leaking again I have the perfect way to kind of capture it and make sure it doesn’t make a mess before go you know before or in my case I can’t flood a basement I have a I have a basement drain that that gets us that we live on a hill so that’s pretty easy, but it’s your makes a mess when it when it overflows. I’ll have to To check out our our, our water heater is five or six years old, so I stuck a little bit of time on it, but really interested in in your heat pump. One, I’ve seen those before. The other alternative was to go, I’ve been thinking about going only that on demand water, you know, where it just sits no tank tankless is what they call it. That’s natural gas. So they have an electric version, but electricity just does not come up to speed fast enough to really get that you know, to get that water as hot as you need it that fast. And so I’ve been thinking about that, but I like the heat pump. And I like the electrical part of electricity is cheap here in Omaha, so that’d be a pretty good call.
Paul Braren [25:40]
Yeah, one other thing I mentioned there, too. It’s actually Richmond and Rudd are the same thing. It looks like they have clones. So all three of those companies that begin with our Richmond rod if you haven’t installed you like or plumber that deals with one of those you probably have a product that they can professionally install which is identical to the one that’s in your local Home Depot or Lowe’s. They both have Wi Fi, they look the same. They just have a different sticker on there.
Jim Collison [26:03]
And what’s the return on those?
Paul Braren [26:05]
Yeah, run seven or $800 for the 50 gallon that I have with a 40 gallon. And you know, like I just said, there’s more brands, there might be some question about serviceability of the heat pump portion. So if you can’t recharge the coolant there, I thought there’s the whole thing I end up going to a landfill. That’d be kind of a bummer. But it looks like one person had a you know, warranty swap. And it’s been great to see commenters under the article which totally I totally dig right? You take the time to write an article like that an entire Saturday or whatever and having hundreds of readers one thing but having 60 comments, and people still reading it almost, you know, a whole year after I wrote it. It’s awesome because now stream on Twitter is responding to some people that are reading comments. So that’s awesome feedback to help a company succeed in a way like that in a positive way. That’s the joy of writing a blog, like right there. There’s no money in this. Nobody’s gonna buy for my affiliate link. For most people. They’re not gonna, they’re gonna drive over and use their credit card, right? It’s just helping people out with information and It’s really good to see him out there so hats off to him they just tweeted me today actually trying to respond to the guy had a warranty question or something nice pretty
Jim Collison [27:09]
nice. You mentioned your Tesla’s both when you were coming in and you’re talking about the power to that we you’ve actually influenced a lot of people I know that listen to the show to probably buy those cars. Give us a quick right yeah, give us a quick update on how’s it How’s it going? Still still loving it. How’s it working?
Paul Braren [27:28]
Oh, absolutely. It’s really nice to see for getting in the game now to with the Mustang which is actually a sport utility Mustang. That’s a little unusual. Some people might you know, trust a more traditional brand. It’s all good. But the point is there my excitement when I talked to in January almost everyone listening to this will think back five or 10 years from now when they’re driving an electric vehicle whatever brand remembering Oh, man. Paul was right. He V’s are exciting. Forget the word Tesla for a second, just the tech of hitting the go pedal and it goes instantly without any downshifting or lag and all the torque is available to instantly there’s no bill To spool up, it’s just, it’s, it’s undescribable you have to test drive. And it pretty much ruins anyone who wants to test drive it their cell rates extremely good. So you could read all you want about it. Whatever branded floats your boat, including for upcoming with airs. Cool. Now supercharging a little tougher. I looked at around Nebraska there. If you’re going to try to drive north to Minneapolis, you’ll do it easily in a test drive all over the country, including where you are Jim, where they’re spaced out more way more widely than Connecticut. We’ve got them every 2030 miles were in great shape here a little further. If you bought a Ford there, though, that could still be a little struggle. It could be a year or two before you can really do cross country road trip. So that is sad. I hope they fix that quickly. But they’re just not quite there and all the companies are a bit behind but Jim complete success. You’re asking for happy Yes, my wife still delighted she’s only driven 2000 miles in six months in her car and she’s got the one that was well under 40,000 which cuts the full Connecticut rebate to two grants. So in each state someone listening to this look that up. You may have some real rebates in California. It’s even much more When they first came out some people getting eight or nine grand off the purchase price of like 40,000 scenario 32,000 that’s the price less than the average American car so don’t be put off by the Tesla name do your homework before you make a conclusion the recent cars especially the model why they’re they’re just killing it and the reviews and they’re you know suck and all that’s doing well too so the risk feels a lot less for people now versus when I got mine 18 months ago. You ICU then
Jim Collison [29:24]
you would put a you put some kind of camera in there like a Raspberry Pi or something was that in the in the car or it? Did you you’ve done something different right in the car, you’d added something to your to the Tesla.
Paul Braren [29:37]
Yeah, so I got card December of 2018. The long range all wheel drive, eight months now let’s see few months later, I was driving around a lot over New Jersey and someplace in the parking lot. Not so amazing, you know, Hampton Inn or whatever and parking at night. kind of nice if Tesla would use those cameras that are not just for lean, centering in the highway. How about use them for security when your car’s parked? Something’s moving the car or smashing a window. So they said hey, just put there’s two USB ports that plug in your wireless charging pad typically for your two phones a front there and the center of the console, or you plug in a flash drive and you know be careful flash drives are not written to be high endurance for 100% video rights from four cameras streaming the entire time you’re driving, or if you have century mode on when you’re parked there not designed for that. So people were killing their flash drives, but luckily, you know, some background in that with VMware ESXi server putting that in 32 gig flash drives. I knew they weren’t going to handle rights all day long. So I went and bought a Samsung TV that’s called Little external USB C to USB a cable. That’s all the problem nicely high right endurance, 500 gig capacity, I think in both weeks video footage very reliably. And if you you know get in a wreck, obviously you want it to be recording whatever happened. So yeah, you’re asking about that. So how do you review that footage? So Tesla recently came out with a 15 the screen in the car, you can read that footage, and it jumps right to the spot where someone bumped the car or triggered the cameras, but it used to be they didn’t have that. So a company called Rody in Connecticut guy wrote a little Raspberry Pi, some software for it, stick that in your Tesla Model y or model three or works on other models too. Now, that becomes your dash cam, but it’s also accessible. As soon as you pull in your garage, it connects to your home’s Wi Fi. Now you just run a little app in your house, and you fire up the dash cam viewer and the app. And it’s a little sluggish. It’s not ideal because pulling it over your Wi Fi from the Raspberry Pi, but it can do it. And that’s an example of something I put in a Guest WiFi network just like the Rheem smart, hot water heater. Tesla’s go on the guest network and the hero. Strangely, one of them came back from a brain transplant, we had a new entertainment sister and a new Wi Fi chip. And that one now would not connect to the guest Wi Fi and arrow. It’s a little bit of a bug I’ve on earth it has to connect to the main Wi Fi in my home. Hmm, that’s the goofy stuff where Eero has been great. But that last one or 2%, every router I’ve ever owned has always had one or two devices, it can be a little bit of trouble. And that’s just a goofy story for you. But yeah, go figure. For the most part that those products have been all worked out the Raspberry Pi story though is not over yet. I’ve been re imaging it. He’s got a micro SD card and re imaging process where now you can format from inside your Tesla. So if you put on a new kit, so me being the curious tinkerer type, I went and reformatted and found on having a little trouble getting its operating system back on there. So that’s how I learned right? You break it and fix it again. So pretty cool that the guy made a product out of it, right? Raspberry Pi Zero is a pretty cheap device. But it’s a little above 100 I believe for him selling it with a micro SD card with adequate right endurance capacity for for camera streaming to win every time you hop in the car. So there you go. There’s my update on that. That’s an ongoing project. You mentioned guest networks in I think I said this earlier, I’m for the first time actually got a guest network up and running in the house I use when this router went down. I’d always just done one SSID and bigger with it. When I got worried somebody had kind of hacked the network. I was all of a sudden I started thinking, you know, if they could get on my network, what could they see
Jim Collison [32:59]
and hear So I fired up a laptop, I use the key pod, which is I know if you ever heard of them, but it’s just a USB that you can put in runs an OS, Linux based OS, that it’s completely secure. The cool thing about it is it makes it gives me like, what what I see if I wasn’t me. Right, all of our all of our gear is kind of set up for like, access to everything, but we don’t. We don’t I don’t know about you. But I don’t have a zero trust device in the house. In other words, I don’t have a device that I could just run as if I was a stranger. And so I started thinking, hmm, so I plugged the key pot in booted up connected to the network. And then I’m like, I wonder what I can get into. I could get into way too many things. It’s like, Oh, I need to be I absolutely need to be smarter than I’ve been having a single SSID and listen, for 95% of the guys and gals that listen to this. You I’m sure you have your own secure network internal that doesn’t the SSID is not showing your that’s all one subnet. And then you got a second guest enabled Guest account that SSID is available. That’s when people come over kids phones. I’ve heard this mentioned by you and others before, but he didn’t really like it was like, yeah, I’ll get to that the next time. Well, man, if you just try this one time, set up a piece of equipment that has never seen your network before, connect to it with that one Wi Fi password. And, and I know Paul, I know in your network, this isn’t true. But for others, what can you see? Like the Drobo wide open? Like there’s a lot of there’s a lot of stuff on the Drobo and as like, oh God, like this is not a good this is not this is not good? Well, it’s all changed now. But it just it I think it’s one of those things to remember like we got to be in you know, Current party included here on this. You got to be a little careful with that in because if your Wi Fi password is the only thing stopping people you know I I went I put zero trust on everything. So now you have to authenticate to every single device that has data on it. Those all got locked down. All Guest Access got removed, because I’d enabled all that Guest Access right for to make it easier for me to connect the windows boxes to it because I was trusting anything on the network I was trusting, not the portal, right?
Paul Braren [35:32]
It just it just you you prompted for the guest SSID when you tap on it and your iOS or Android device, it prompts you for a password on the spot you enter it and you’re on there’s no captive web portal like a hotel without right Jim for the Yes, yeah. And that’s essential for IoT devices. So yeah, you make really good points like if you were to buy something, if you listen to security now you’d be freaked out so that the base security in so many cheap like sub $30 Wi Fi products, those companies have no intent of being a business Keeping some cloud service going three, four years from now. So to buy something like that Amazon and put it at any of your networks, it’s just you’re looking for trouble box and now
Jim Collison [36:09]
it’s just a chip, but I want it all. I think you might have said this, somebody else may have said it, I wanted to get all my IoT devices onto the guest network just because I couldn’t I really can’t trust them in a lot of ways they broadcast and there is I’ve seen as they broke the Wi Fi. And as I’ve been resetting things back up one when you have I think I have, I don’t know, 2020 different IoT devices that all have different ways of setting them up, including Amazon’s echoes, right, the those echo devices that we have the different generations all have a different way to set up Wi Fi and to change it. And by the way, if you have an SSID that’s the same and the password has changed. oftentimes they’re like, Oh, no, I’m on the right SSID SSID and then they just keep failing, but they won’t let you in. To change the password. You have to just forget the network. Then reset it all back up again, you know kind of from scratch is I tell you what changing your SSID is a pain. The more the morrow it IoT you have, the harder it gets, right? So I separated those two. I’m still like, this weekend, I’m going to do some testing again, I’m going to fire up that keypad and say, Okay, I’m going to connect like, I’m a neighbor. And I somehow got the password. What can I see? You know, I can see on that network what I can see on our guest
Paul Braren [37:30]
network. Tim, you got some great comments in the stream yard there. Thank you, Joseph. Talking about VLANs another option, right. Oh, thank you for highlighting it on the stream. Yeah. Excellent. So yes, if you’re, you know, more advanced listener here, maybe not the average network. guy or gal listening. That’s a little tougher, a little more work setting up VLANs. But another option and, and it kind of hints that I don’t actually use arrow and it’s consumer focused router. I use your ubiquity device. That’s much more Advanced helps me keep my Linux VMs and my VMware vSphere. Happy before reverse lookup for local domain names. So we’ve covered that before. But basically my arrows are in bridged mode. And they’re all wired backhaul. So I’m not using a mesh. I’m just using multiple access points that have the same SSID and bandwidth steering. So when I move around the house, it knows to pick up a closer device. That’s what I’ve wanted for. Ever since Wi Fi came out. It was always a mess moving around your house and ending up stuck in the wrong one at 2.4 gigahertz when a five gigahertz device is right next to you know, so hats off to the whole mesh network thing, which I’m not even using as a mesh. Happy we finally have multiple antennas here.
Jim Collison [38:38]
Success Yeah, you’re making it work for you. Jim Shoemaker says blue makes a guest network very easy, very happy with mine uses the same SSID as a regular network, but a different password. And that’s super cool to to be able to a different approach. Yeah, differentiate those kind of based on the password. Like a couple Paul, one of the interesting things I ran into so like I put the print On the guest network, you know, thinking like, well, then none of the wired computers have access to it. Because it’s a subnet right? So they can’t fit right in and change the printer, put it on the secure network. And, you know, and that’s easy to do. But
Paul Braren [39:15]
Cloud Print, I guess, but yeah,
Jim Collison [39:17]
I could Yeah, I guess you could do it that way. That’s a little odd that descended to the cloud and back, like now,
Paul Braren [39:24]
that attack vector, right, if that thing doesn’t get updated, it’s a mess. At least, I think your listeners, you know, think about this stuff. But it’s really it is hard to actually implement it because if you count up the devices on our homes now, if you use something like a thing, network scanner or Souther iOS or Android apps, it’s frightening, right? You just add up how many devices pretty much everyone’s got dozens at this point, especially if you have a camera to or whatever. So
Jim Collison [39:47]
well, you just got into like I had port forwarding rules set up for certain
Paul Braren [39:52]
I turned those off. Yeah, I was gonna work at home for
Jim Collison [39:57]
I mean, I have things that are gonna break here because I have Done support. For Plex, I had done some port forwarding to make Plex work off the network, I have to go in and reset up. See this is whenever you change your router, this is these are the things like if you’re changing your router, you’re going to a different I had no way of backing this up, I could have probably should have bitdefender box gives you a way to backup your settings so you can apply them to a new one. It just hadn’t got that done. You start finding all these nooks and crannies in your network like oh yeah, that’s right. Three years ago, I put this device on there. And then I forgot about it plugs are you know, you could put a plug in and just kind of forget it was there. And then yeah, okay. How do I set this up again? You know, I had to Google about four or five different setups. In fact, I’ve a z moto camera here, one of these I we demo this on the show two or three years ago, whatever was using it as a backyard cam. I can’t get it connected. It’s just like I can’t remember and I tried googling And their setup instructions are different than it is now. And their app is changed. And you’re like, geez, so what I’m finding Paul, in this situation, one thing a day, like one device a day, so you got a bunch of broken devices, don’t try and fix them all at once. Just kind of tackle one kind of device a day to make, you know, the kind of to kind of, because it gets, especially if you got to do a bunch of research, it makes it really, really hard to you get frustrated, you know, and so that is with IoT in the five years we’ve been doing it and it’s in. There’s all these different levels of connectivity and the way things work some. Some are easy some don’t I I’ll be honest, I almost threw this thing away. yesterday. I’m like, No, I’m just going to ring. Did you install some new ring stuff?
Paul Braren [41:49]
Yes, for my mum. So my parents are in their 80s. And, well, you kind of think about fall risk at the home. They’re spending more time at like these poorly lit pass at night with broken bulbs. I gotta fix this. So to my delight, luckily rings product line was expanded quite a bit recently and that’s one of the tech successes last few months since we last talked. And that’s called the ring security lighting. So no cameras shouldn’t want my cameras. That’s fine. All they are is fancy tuneable motion detectors with really bright LEDs that are amiable to swiveling heads on they’re quite happy with it. Everything took forever to ship because of COVID but I really wanted to get things lit at night and it succeeded. I had to drill some holes and ultimately, they had one failure I had four let’s see three different fluids One of them was solar. The solar device malfunction one of the LED heads did not work and it kept reporting that its solar was low on power but it did that for days even though it was zero percent. So how would it reported zero percent if it really was it was just messed up. So I returned that one ended up going to the attic drilling a hole through the house and hardwiring it like I showed I don’t have to worry about batteries ever because it’s solar probably wasn’t gonna keep up that way. Anyway so that project um took some labor but man the results were great the house looks good It likes it the past perfectly I mounted things where you can aim it nicely and the motion detection being tuneable from my phone so I already have a rating account you just set up a secondary address so I had to do all the tuning in the work for my mom all she does this, you know, walk around the house safely now, dad, so having wall switches covered up. So go on Amazon and you got to replace wall switch, you turn into two gang, cover up that switch so that nobody disables the fog, the floodlight. You need a path light to always work and not rely on humans to remember what switch position I leave it on. So that’s how that all worked out. So if you’re not familiar with ring, yeah, you might have some they’ve been getting better about two factor and warning about security settings. For this with zero cameras. I have no ring devices in my house that have a camera. Let’s put it that way. Well, I’ll leave it at that I’ve been happy with their alarm. And if you buy if you’re a subscriber to the ring alarm, you get 10% discount in order so that’s good because you Don’t get a discount on Amazon so I’ll just point that out if any of you’re listening and trying to buy something to consider if you already have a ring comm account, you enterprise that helps 70 something I know for me look at the price on this actual floodlight. So yeah, you might have had a floodlight, like the house had a floodlight for like 2520 years it lasted, but you couldn’t, you know, tune the motion sensitivity anymore. The little dials in the bottom didn’t work. So I’ll fill the spider webs, okay. $47 minus 10%. So about 40 bucks gets you a smart floodlight with a really good motion detector with a swivel head where you can mean the motion detector and then through the app, tune how sensitive it is and keep her from going on Wednesday night hours you can tune you know how dark how deep into nightfall does it actually work. So, yeah, tech success, very happy with that product and hopefully last, you know, 1015 years without me to fiddle with it again. Once it’s tuned,
Jim Collison [44:50]
it’ll last longer than your phone.
Paul Braren [44:52]
A true the battery operated parts do wear me so there’s a tree where I screwed a battery operated Remote Sensor where it just wasn’t near enough to where the car is parked to me for me to reliably know that when you get out of the car, you can see what the heck you’re stepping on, that I fixed with a little battery operated, I think 20 something dollar little ring detector, but it’s all a mash, it’s all tied to the same ring. So all the exterior lighting goes on at once, which is awesome. So it lights up all the paths for motion. And that’s important because you want it to go on for two minutes. You don’t want people waving their arm or doing strange things. So they don’t trip when it goes off and they’re walking. And having the ability to add to it with a mesh have a little remote device where you don’t have to replace the double A battery, you know, every year probably after every winter, that’s fine. That’s not a huge amount of maintenance, it’s reachable. So um, there you go. If folks are looking for a way to make the outside of the house a little safer. Without cameras, there is a bridge so there’s a little 20 or $47 excuse me bridge. You can plug that into your USB in your house in a power brick so you got to keep that on. And then you have it connected to your Wi Fi. So there you go. That’s how you connect this world to
Jim Collison [45:59]
your grid. I have the it’s 50 bucks if you buy it retail and I bought that and there is a weird voice command on that thing you can as you’re setting it up it talks back to you. And it’s this lady’s voice but she’s kind of she’s it’s almost like the voice is cool. So it’s Oh,
Paul Braren [46:16]
that’s a different bridge I think. The ring Smart Lighting bridge and
Jim Collison [46:21]
maybe this is just the oh this is their shine bridge. This is the one for the for the door for the doorbells are in it’s a it’s kind of funny voice on there and she talks really like so shake, kind of thing. It is funny I’ve been keeping my eye open on slick deals for the spotlight cam, the wired spotlight cam so you know narrow camera but it’s also got a spotlight in it not the not the big one with the with the floods, but the one guy that’s got the camera analyzed. I don’t need a lot of light in the back the the deck is already kind of lit up if we want light but I would like a little Way back there and it was like a camera. I’ve been using the Z moto out back there but it’s battery I got to bring it in every, every I don’t know six weeks to charge the battery takes a couple hours to get it done put it back in, put it back in its place and you’re good to go. But this is a wired spot that’s got one that’s got a cable and the one I’m looking at now is battery but they got a wired one as well and just get good. Taking pictures on me. Get them I get a battery in this I’m going to get some funny pictures out of it when I’m done because I’ve been like looking at it it’s been taking pictures of me. I would like to get a ring in the back. You know get it up mounted wired the the front door. The front doorbell that I bought from ring isn’t supposed to be its battery. But when I connected the you know the I’ve got a little
Paul Braren [47:48]
Jim Collison [47:49]
armor down here. I brought that up and they worked. I haven’t had to charge their thing since I initially put it in. And then the I have a stick up cam over the garage that we kind of do. Together my own flood cam setup for them so stick up and then the the solar panel and I did my own little lighting thing down below it so it’s kind of rigged I should have just bought if I would have known like I was going to go this far I just would have bought the floodlight cam to begin with but I did it and steps in eventually. Well that that um solar panel has just been rock solid I put that in and like I got broke cars got broken into engine in December. I put it in early January. I haven’t it’s been at 100% since I put since I put it in it is not no that’s great. I get the time Yeah,
Paul Braren [48:40]
it’s been great. This location had a lot of shade maybe an hour of sun Max and a whole lot of thick Maple Leaf so it wasn’t getting a whole lot. I was kind of worried so yeah,
Jim Collison [48:47]
my house Southern facing exposure.
Paul Braren [48:51]
Jim Collison [48:53]
all so that thing has been great. The one thing I wish on ring is I could control them in you know You know, I know why you would want to do this on a battery. But I wish I could get better longer video out of them you know and actually use them like uh you know get in there you can get into the app and you can see what’s going on in real time and some of those kinds of things that part is I’ve been less impressed with you know, just the checking the live video they seem to struggle a little bit sometimes with their Wi Fi connection. So that that has been not like wow for me, but then again, I don’t need that much. There’s security cameras. I don’t need to be staring at them all the time. Yeah, watching you know what, see what my neighbors are.
Paul Braren [49:37]
Like the time lapse thing where I can take a picture every 30 seconds so you can kind of time scrub through a timeline. I’m a fan of that it’s fun to see the sunset or snow start or whatever we know in May this year that was like whoa. April is usually the last snow here. It was a weird year there but um yeah, now on the same I don’t stare at it very often in live is a little slow. If the commercials to talk about talking to someone delivering a box. Yeah, good luck with that they’re gone. They’re at your front step for three seconds by then you
Jim Collison [50:07]
can answer that my FedEx guy drops it. I mean, he’s got emotion read drops the box hits the door. He’s
Paul Braren [50:15]
Jim Collison [50:17]
He is gone. Yeah, No, I haven’t. My neighbor came by the other day to drop off some bread. He’s been making homemade sourdough for us. So he brings it every couple weeks. He brings the loaf over. We had some tonight which was delicious. And he got he rings on the doorbell by the time we get to the door he was already my daughter said he was you know, what do we call it doorbell ditch when you used to ring the doorbell and then run his kids. We he kind of he was he left it on top of the the the box the delivery box. He’s like well, now they’ll see it when they come in. So you’re right. It doesn’t work. I have tried to I can hear them. Like I get the notification and I can hear them and by the time I try to get to a phone and pull it up and look and see and talk to them. It never works.
Paul Braren [51:06]
The other disappointment too would be if you think it has a wide enough angle to see your whole friend step you’re probably wrong. It’s not seeing down so if you know so it has a very wide angle, but in newer ones and other brands are coming up with 4k but they still don’t really look straight down. So if someone’s leaving a box right below your doorbell, most homes aren’t going to see that so if you were looking for that just be aware almost any brand you look for I don’t think anyone’s really covering that. It’s almost like they need a separate lens like give me the bottom third showing almost straight down and then the rest fisheye in front but I don’t think it was made such a thing. Either way, it’s not a huge deal with me because the like you have a box and either they have two thirds of the time they leave it in the box, or there we go. Got some extra Jim,
Jim Collison [51:46]
I was so dumb. I was talking about this earlier, we were trying to show the size of the box and I realized, hey, it’s on your security camera. Just go take a look at it. So yeah, there’s the box.
Paul Braren [51:57]
colored it matches your color there. Yeah,
Jim Collison [51:59]
well You can see the wood I put new wood underneath it that doesn’t really match the deck so I need to probably go stain it a little bit just so it doesn’t look so obvious but Paul the so there’s a ring cam on So we call this package cam it’s it’s it’s full intention is just to monitor the box now there’s a ring doorbell off to the off to the right of it that’s looking straight at it as well. The reason we put that out there is because the cam can’t look down and so they their packages were coming and then we couldn’t see them and they make a wedge to try and bring it down a little bit and some other things.
Paul Braren [52:34]
It’s only like 15 degrees.
Paul Braren [52:36]
Paul Braren [52:37]
it really help I
Jim Collison [52:39]
got the wedge that tilts it a little bit. Which is great. But it with the box being out there on the deck. It can see the box it can see it perfectly. We have a great view of that. The other thing I did I modified that box they put hinges on the back and a handle on the front. really can’t meet it’s tough to see in this video but One of the things so my FedEx guy would come or with his hands full of my Hello Fresh, my handy Hello Fresh, and he would be like uh, so then he’s got to set the box down somewhere you don’t he doesn’t want to bend down and set it down. So you’d have to teeter it on the deck the railing of the deck and then pull that lid off and set it down somewhere. So now with one hand, you can just lift that box up, push it back, it stays on, right because it’s got a hinge on the back. And then when he’s done put slides it in, he can just pop it back over and the lid comes back up. It’s worked out really well for me.
Paul Braren [53:35]
See think the plastic will hold the self tapping screws, I think
Jim Collison [53:37]
so. I will see one if it if it doesn’t, I’ll just take a block of wood from behind there and put that in there and re re drill those back in and make a little wedge with it.
Paul Braren [53:49]
Now that sounds like a good idea. I struggle with the lid and what to do with it as they’re putting boxes. And so yeah, I guess when you open the lid as the rest against your railing as a swing
Jim Collison [53:59]
over and can Then sit on that railing yeah
Paul Braren [54:01]
folks not watching you know think of a step two is a company that makes i don’t know i think the plastic like princess castle is the kids. Kids right? So that’s the plastic we’re talking about. So I’m just imagining a screw over the years will that hold you probably use some pretty beefy screws and decent hinges I imagine I think Yeah,
Jim Collison [54:16]
I am good enough for what what we were for what we were trying to do but that was a little modification I made again it starts breaking out I can just get a little little you know, get a little shim behind there and just screw it into the shim as opposed to just a block away it’ll hold it’ll hold them in just fine. I did I am getting some water leaking in there which is really weird. You said you weren’t you don’t get a rainy day. I’m trying to figure out where the water is from. You know, I did well I did I was getting water before we put the hinge in there on the side so it shouldn’t the water shouldn’t come in there. But I did put Why didn’t mount one of those signs that says hey FedEx, hey, ups. Hey, you know, I did mount one of those puts two screws in there. You know what should do should back all the screws out put a little silicone on them drilling back in and that would probably fix it.
Paul Braren [55:05]
Thank there is a company that makes a metal plate for deliveries and has the Amazon ups logo I actually made something like that in my color printer and then laminate it but it doesn’t hold up too well over the years. So another little effects and then barbells that are rubber coated, I put in the bottom, so the windows and pull it around. So yeah, those are fixes, right for a lightweight product. If it’s your front step, and you get when that’s another tweak. So that’s also my show notes. But uh, yeah, it sounds weird. But basically what we’re trying to hope for is maybe two thirds of the time, especially if the weather is bad. Have your delivery person hide a package. So someone driving down the street doesn’t see there’s something in front step. That’s all it’s doing. It’s not locked. Just to be clear, just a hunk of plastic. You
Jim Collison [55:39]
know, it just kind of hides it. It’s it’s a question whether it’s there. Let’s, here’s here. I can show that. Here’s the cam last night. It’ll take a second wait for it.
Paul Braren [55:47]
Oh, nice. Okay, that’s really cool.
Jim Collison [55:50]
How about a little, I think there’s one here too. You can see the cargo bio. Let’s wait for a second now. Maybe not that one. We’ll check there and there we go. There’s another Maybe this one.
Paul Braren [56:01]
Yeah. Oh, nice slideshow.
Jim Collison [56:03]
Yeah, that was a big one. I’m sorry if you’re watching. Yeah, if you’re watching the, if you’re listening to the audio, you missed some really cool lighting you might want to head out to YouTube. Give it a spin. I didn’t think it was gonna look that good on the podcast, but that came in. I came in a pretty well. Paul, what else do you wanna talk about? What else have you what are the gadgets have you put in there that either I’ve had trouble with or you’ve really enjoyed? Alright.
Paul Braren [56:33]
Here’s a GoPro Hero. Right? So it’s the latest version eight. You would think you could put an SD card in there and not worry about writing 4k video to it as you’re driving down a road say? Nope. If my car was that like, I was supercharging doing a time lapse. It got to be about 70 in the cabin. After 20 minutes the thing abruptly shut down just like my GoPro Hero seven. That angers me. That is poor engineering. I don’t know. I don’t Know what people are doing with their GoPros but apparently they’re not using the larger capacity micro SD coupled with this camera and it’s on the list of supported at micro SD is you’re supposed to buy for this thing. It’s still overheats even with notice the battery compartments empty so I just use external USB C power that helps keep it cooler in there because you got this nice gap the thing still turns off abruptly ruining your video especially if you doing a time lapse. There’s no fix. So that’s a tech fail let me just go through these quick but that’s one where that irritates me. I spent good money on that thing waiting for the GoPro Hero seven to the eight. And what do you know?
Jim Collison [57:34]
So is that a version is that a is that a problem with that particular GoPro version is it was it different before is
Paul Braren [57:41]
much worse than the hero seven people still complain about here and there on the hero aid. So I don’t know if people are in the Arizona desert and mounting these on the side of something outdoors. If you get airflow I think you’re fine. If you have still air and you get into the mid 70s guess what the thinking abruptly shut down mid 70s like I am I’m recording like yourself, okay? Fahrenheit, okay? Yep, simply hop off. I know, I know. It’s the 4k. If you go to nadp, you’re either running for weeks. Okay? So bear. Basically what I’m saying is that barely handles 4k, 4k 60 frames a second. I’m crazy enough to do that. So my YouTubes have that, guess what, when you’re driving or showing something with movement, it matters. 60 frames a second and YouTube looks pretty good. Some that all it takes up a lot of storage. And we’ll get into that. So that’s one of the tech fails windows 10 2004. also kind of a tech fail. It’s not really related. But for me, I made it about four years in my windows 10 primary workstation, which is actually a VM running under vSphere. Seven. That’s good. I made it four years of upgrades without ruining the machine with some you know, spyware or whatever. But now it’s actually certificate manager that did man. So that’s been pretty common for me over 20 years of windows, you know, you got to rebuild every few years. That was a pretty good run, but this time certificates screw things up. And it’s pretty bad if those are screwed up because now your browser’s might be confused and some of you have my break total, rebuild time. There’s no easy way to handle certificates that are scrubbed. So I’ll just point that out. That’s my own doing. I tinkered with it so much over the years, adding local self signed certs. And then finally I was something. So I’ll be using Windows 10. from scratch, which is 2004 is the latest build. I don’t know how many listeners have done that yet. But it’s kind of a rough start. It didn’t get widely deployed to everybody on their surfaces or Windows VMs. Like I’m running under VMware, where it sees a VMware branded workstation. Some funkier builds like that it doesn’t like still you’re still have even if you’re a seeker and you go to Windows update and ask for it. It doesn’t just push it to you. It’s been a very slow rollout. And that version 2004 that means you’re 20 and then oh, for the fourth month, April. It’s been a little while so I’m just pointing that out. I know other people that you can you can go back and get a show for 19 I did well I went and got the 2004 I someone manually upgrade anyway, so you can override. Yeah. All right next to 10 g networking, a little bit of a challenge. I won’t get into too much detail, but I do have a switch. They’re still not cheap. It’s been almost two years since I bought my 700 Dollar Nick here that is 810 gig ports. But um yeah, you go beyond 10 feet 20 feet you starting to look at your brands cat seven might not be all cracked up to be because it’s not really a spec yet. Go cat sexy but it’s been a little bit a little bit dicey to try to have cat 10 gig throughout the whole home. Partly because well, my servers that are they started like 1500 bucks end that come with 10 g built right in the motherboard, but cabling that and getting that to go you know, hundred 200 feet. That’s been a little bit more of a challenge. So that’s an ongoing project. It’s in my kind of tech challenges section here.
Jim Collison [1:00:29]
Is there a distance spec on that? That is?
Paul Braren [1:00:32]
Yeah, and it’s it’s early days, like we look at cat seven, you’re mostly finding when I bought it. It’s not even really on a list. It’s really supposed to be using cat 616 or 16 I think at the time Yeah, but now I’d have to research that all over again but and there’s also flat ribbon cables that can be easy to handle in an attic. Maybe those are not a good idea. I don’t know. So just an ongoing project. SMR disclosures you mentioned that in recent podcast. Really good. I Serve the home.com. So Patrick, I’ve actually met him at vmworld really good guy. He went and talked about the SMR sleaze in the industry and he just called out Western Digital and the rescue did a massive job. He just didn’t pull any punches. He wasn’t asked about it. He just said come on guys. You can’t do that to the average guy or gal that’s gonna buy this put it on an AZ with their cherished family photos, and really have a week or two or month rebuild time when a drive fails or even lose their data. just unacceptable and I love the way he called him out on it in a positive industry constructive way not being nasty on Twitter. Just hats off to how serve the home handle that.
Jim Collison [1:01:40]
I think Richard Gunther to talk about that on entertainment to Dotto he had he bought a new Synology and had bought those and wasn’t aware and spent some time talking about that too.
Paul Braren [1:01:51]
Yeah, okay. Yeah, yeah. Richard Gunther great. It’s Patrick Kenny. I was talking about and the I do have a Synology product in my house actually. So luckily I do not get saddled with that problem myself but still a lot of readers of my stuff on my site are tending to buy the speaker drives. All right. I’m got some other topics here but they’re kind of deep rabbit holes or metals we’re gonna call them lawns you said on your recent podcast that separates the men from the boys. Well I’m a child I’m a young boy. I burned out my lawn in July I did not put in irrigation system I just let it be fried really July in August I don’t worry about it. go dormant.
Jim Collison [1:02:27]
That’s what we say pretty much they’re going dormant. You’re not burning it out. go dormant. Yeah,
Paul Braren [1:02:33]
but there’s no way I have the time to be mowing twice a week or whatever.
Jim Collison [1:02:36]
There’s a good look at my migraine you can you can kind of see right there the nice green very nice oyster there. So no, picture my I’ve gotten very serious about the line this now that we’ve talked about it twice. I figure like, I can’t afford to have somebody say to your podcast about it in your lawn looks like crap. So I’ve spent some serious time on it this year.
Paul Braren [1:03:00]
My wife and I have been in our house 25 years we bought it when this new 95 and I’m about five, six years ago, I called her from a Sears that look like maybe it’s kind of going out of business and they had the sit down mower that’s zero turn radius, things worth, like four and a half grand on sale for 2600 bucks unused. I’m like, hon, they can deliver the storehouse in two days, you know, what do you think that was a when I can finish in 20 minutes rather than an hour and a half push out so and you know, I do kind of like the blog and that other stuff. So sitting outside for an hour and a half time. So I’m pretty blessed with a zero turn. But I’m not really loving I mean instead of 27 horsepower motor and I’d like to get rid of that and go electric at some point. I’m well aware of your warnings on electric as they continue to get better. They can be are down to 2600 bucks, which is not cheap, but a 38 inch you know that $300 sales at Home Depot, they’re getting better. I think next spring there’ll be many more brands of electric sit down mowers. So for those of you following along the show notes that’s included too. It’s now three grand It was 2700 Just two weeks ago, oh well, but on the indices and sales and all that. So for people listening, I don’t know, there’s all kinds of cool videos that people using them, how will that battery hold up? And how much would that battery cost if it only last five or 10 years? Jimmy make a good point. If it ends up costing you a grant only three years from now, because you left it out in the winter in your garage. That’s a fail, right? So I shot very carefully, like you do, and you can watch and watch other people’s mistakes and whatever. And then I blog about it, right? Yeah. All right, another Tech Challenge. Dual Sim, we talked about a little bit in some of the bad my antennas, my neighbor, it’s gonna be bad. So even though I’m blessed with having a my day job at Dell, give me a sim. I didn’t want a phone. I’m like, I don’t wanna carry two phones. So they gave me a sim. And that was success. So I stuck that in and you move your regular phone number from Verizon over to the eastern side of the iPhone 11 Pro, boom. Now I have a dual sim phone one’s an ECM, the other is a physical Sim, and now it’ll ring from both incoming calls. So that’s a win but the failure part of it the challenge part of it Dealing with voicemail moving from Google Voice Over to having unified inbox will work people and personal phone calls are all mushed together in one inbox for messages and voice that took some getting used to. I haven’t seen any really good articles on that. But just stay tuned, I’ll probably try to write something up with that. At some point. I’m still a whole lot better than having to have two things charging your phone in your car in your pocket. No.
Jim Collison [1:05:20]
Yeah, now for sure, I’m sure.
Paul Braren [1:05:23]
Okay. And then finally, vSphere. I’ve got that on both the Tech Challenge section and tech success sessions. So vSphere seven, every two years or so you get a major release from VMware. And I push the boundaries I do things like pester, so people use maybe KVM and another flavor of Linux or there’s lots of hypervisors out there and there’s probably more consumer friendly ones than VMware vSphere, which is really an enterprise focused product. But I do goofy stuff like passing a GP through GPU through to a VM, or passing a music USB card through the speakers I have here with a subwoofer in my office to a VM. Those are not like normal things that people do in an enterprise running VMs And that’s where you push the boundaries. And when you go to a major new release, you break some stuff. And I broke some stuff and you guys know that feeling. I think there’s some geeks nerds, whatever you want to call us back in February, March. Let’s see, it came out in April, the April code came out in April 2 was GA, so no beta for me, just using the GA code. That’s first three weeks is rough. Like you don’t know if it’s gonna take you two hours to get it running away one or 28 hours. Well, it took me more like 15 hours to work out all the kinks, evenings, weekends, you just have this anxious feeling like I don’t want to roll back I don’t want to roll back my primary workstation, I got to get it working, and then blog my butt off about it when I got to working. But it wasn’t until May till you heard me getting it working. Sounds a little bit of a rougher upgrade for me. doesn’t mean anything for the enterprise. By the time their first update, one comes out all that stuff tends to get worked out. It’s no problem. So there’s all sorts of tech success ultimately I got it working. So for those of you that actually, you know, make a living or part of your day job is vSphere. Seven. Yeah, it’s been good. Just some of the goofier consumer focused parts where the rough edges that I revealed nothing to do with stability for enterprise, no purple screens. None of that stability problems. We’re just talking about the vagaries of sound cards and GPS, which really have no place in the data center anyway. All right. Another success was the step two, we talked about the ring light and we talked about FLIR thermal camera, continue to use that. And then I’m going to talk about an M to drive I just got recently and I came in handy to be able to aim it at that end to device. I wrote the word parallax is a concern there. I do videos where it’s in close proximity, like six inches from the end to measuring the temperature of and FLIR thermal cameras. This one’s an iOS version from like two years ago. It overlays a real world image with the FLIR thermal cameras, so you can kind of see an outline of the product and like a Samsung 970 logo and the SSD you’re looking at, and you can see it heating up you know, turning red and then white, where it starts blue, you know, that kind of stuff. But it’s not ideal for close photography, and that’s what my articles tend to be. So it’s been a win, but I could imagine a better version in the future for near term photography just is not designed for that really
Jim Collison [1:07:56]
well, what’s the Can I use those in defense? Uh, like I’ve been on a mole hunt, you know and not not like the NSA kind of mole but like the moles because you know we’ve talked about lawns and this is the time of the year the moles come out right and I’m having a little Caddyshack moment like I’ve drowned him out, I put flares in the hole that smoke them out I have, I’ve got to cut two different kinds of traps going on. Right now I’m using sound sensors. I’m thinking about building a Wi Fi speaker that I put into the ground that just plays AC DC 24 seven, you know, we can’t hear it but it’s playing in the ground. But I was kind of thinking, do you think you got it? I could point that and see the mole in the ground when he gave us could get through the dirt.
Paul Braren [1:08:39]
Besides PETA cringing listening to you this suckers $383 so can you make a business case to your significant other about that? saying
Jim Collison [1:08:47]
I’m not that’s really expensive all these are spent in
Paul Braren [1:08:53]
Jim Collison [1:08:55]
And I think you know, we’ve been buying the candy for them. Say it’s candy, the candy for them, or they treat it like it’s candy. I don’t it just it does nothing, you know that whatever they sell the stuff that you know, get rid
Paul Braren [1:09:09]
of an older one for 200 to 400. So it looks like the prices have fallen. But okay,
Jim Collison [1:09:15]
money aside, money aside, let’s just for a second say I buy the $380 version, the 165 spot. Do you think I could point that at the ground and spot a heat signature and now moles can dig down to like, I mean, they go pretty deep. Most of the time, the surface stuff that you see is there but they’ve got you know, they go down pretty deep. Do you think you’d get through the dirt to see him?
Paul Braren [1:09:39]
Well, let me show my desk for a second. Okay, we tested that before going in the air shows. I mean, we
Jim Collison [1:09:44]
just it was two weeks from the Summer Lawn show and I’m still I’m still thinking about that
Paul Braren [1:09:49]
and not tested on animals. But this is me writing about it way back in February 2016. Oh my I’ve had it for years. Okay, so the prices have not fallen in four years. But look at this that’s carpet in my basement, and it’s picking up the temperature of my foot that’s only resting on that spot for all of about a half a second, and it still shows. Now will it go penetrate 568 12 inches below soil though for a warm animal?
Jim Collison [1:10:11]
No idea. I don’t know. I don’t know.
Paul Braren [1:10:13]
I’m sure you’d be googling for that. Right Jim?
Jim Collison [1:10:16]
I’m gonna have to try and buy a new one tonight. Like I said, Paul, I cannot I cannot get a it’s I want to find these. I sorry, watch these guys on YouTube. They’re they’re beekeepers, you know, and they go in and they they win bees. You know, get in somebody’s house. They go in and pull them out and they shoot that against drywall. And you can see the heat signature of the bees behind the drywall. Now we’re talking you know, half inch sheet rock.
Paul Braren [1:10:46]
That’s interesting, but yeah, soil probably is more insulated.
Jim Collison [1:10:50]
Zach Zach, Valerie’s in the chat room. good buddy. Zach says sorry, Jim. That’s a no.
Paul Braren [1:10:57]
Hard No. All right. He’s being flogged.
Jim Collison [1:11:02]
Why do you gotta break my heart that way? Zack, do you have one of these? Like,
Paul Braren [1:11:05]
oh gosh, he’s got some the director you’re gonna get direct feedback from folks here who they’re not just guessing. Right? They’ve tried stuff so
Jim Collison [1:11:12]
I’m assuming I’m assuming Joe says so now I’m not going to start the ground on fire that I did. I did use a flare so 15 minute flare in the ground, tried to smoke them out. It didn’t work. Doesn’t work. They don’t die. So
Paul Braren [1:11:31]
yeah, all right.
Jim Collison [1:11:32]
Well, let’s let’s go to happier topics. I’m making you uncomfortable. I can I can see
Paul Braren [1:11:36]
that. Yeah. Let’s go to not electrifying, lead zapping things in your home. So excess 200 amp service panel in my house house was bought it was 100 amp we went to 200 amp air conditioner. That’s pretty common, right? not that big a deal. Then the next 10 devices at the time for home automation. They were frying left and right lightning storms. They last me in year two tops. So I finally got to Levittown home surge protector Put that thing in in the late 90s and good to this day little green lights glow on it it’s all protecting my house. I haven’t had any such mystery failure since these are devices that are hardwired into house there’s no surge protection for them in let alone thing one time purchase for you that you put in because like here in Nebraska, the power company you can you can kind of lease the service from them they keep it upgraded all the time. Sure.
Jim Collison [1:12:22]
That’s cool. Super, I think it’s $7 a month I just tacked it on to my electrical if if we did have a surge it’s protects up to 100 grand or something crazy like that inside the house of guests so you might want to check with your you don’t have to buy it yourself. You might even check with your power company they made install it and then it becomes a subscription fee for you at that point.
Paul Braren [1:12:42]
I love hearing that didn’t know did they also give you a smart meter at that point inside your house?
Jim Collison [1:12:46]
No smart meter. It’s just a ring that goes around the regular meter. So they put a ring on it. The meter sits on top of that but when I had my I had my electrical service upgraded couple years ago to the contractor worked with oppd they They do our power here and they came out and did all their things and reset it was done in a day it was great I so you can do that through the power company.
Paul Braren [1:13:09]
And just to bring the themes home here you guys remember remember I was talking about a Rheem water heater, it’s a 30 240 volt circuit. And I’m talking about cars pretty expensive devices that you don’t have a surge suppressor for. So all the more reason to think about as your 200 amp panel when it comes in your house, maybe want to do it over there if people listening haven’t even thought about that. Because you really want all that stuff plugged in during a lightning storm. You can flip some breakers and you know if you had a really bad storm probably good idea to disconnect them anyway but still just just pointed out the listeners might not have thought of it.
Paul Braren [1:13:42]
What else v3 supercharging Okay, that was interesting. So 150 kilowatt power cabinet. I got to watch them build the first one in anywhere in North America east of I think it was Las Vegas. It was going up right in Connecticut 18 miles from my house. So for me it was fun to see them putting the conduit underwater underground in January and digging for 250 kilowatt charger, which is a lot of power. So you can actually have a if you’re on a long road trip and your Tesla gets all the way down to five or 10% and it tells you to get off the exit, it’s accurate, it calculates the whole trip for you get off, you get five or 10% especially in the summer, when your battery is warmer, that sucker can put hundred miles of range and like seven minutes, those first few minutes go fast and that can get you to the rest of your destination without hanging around very long enough to get a doughnut in the local Dunkin Donuts in the parking lot. So that’s been a success, but the first month they have problems and there was some photography that inside the the cabinets they were a little sensitive about because you’re looking inside some pretty fancy innards of the VCT supercharger, but I had a blast talking to the guys doing construction seeing the insides. Why because I play with data centers. In my day job. I’ve been installing servers rack mounting. So this to me was like, Okay, here’s a real world use of forget about trucks toting, I don’t know ethanol from the Midwest and corn in a big heavy tank and burning more fuel to move it to you. How about you just use electrons moving through wires that the whole country is wired for are ready. And it just excites me to see Tesla pushing the envelope there and getting cars turned over a lot faster. Because in California, they’re struggling with some lines at the superchargers. I’ve driven all the way the Richmond, Virginia all the way to northern Maine, middle of Maine. No problems here in the northeast at all with lines ever. I’ve done about I think 70 supercharged sessions I have a app called testify that was my next test success here. testify logs all that for me, it shows how many amps are going in, physically all that good stuff. So if you’re a stats nerd, and you want electric vehicle, you’ll probably like again, forget the Tesla brand for a moment. Imagine you’re driving around a Ford or GM if those companies survive and wake up soon, right? Or maybe it’s some other brand. Like maybe VW that seems to be more serious about TVs and going faster. But whatever it is, you’re driving around and someday Yeah, you’re probably gonna like the not just acceleration, but the fancy tech of these cars and software updates that come over the air all that and that goes to my next tech success and that’s the OBD link mx plus OBD in a Car Tesla Model three was the first car authorized to not have one of those. Well guess what, you can just buy one it goes in the center console, you plug it in, it goes in line with a little wiring harness, no solder gun, no clipping, no wires, no warranty issue, you’re just plugging in and giving your car a Bluetooth dongle so you can use an app and connect to it and see things like your battery temperature in the winner. You know stats for nerds that you have when you right click a YouTube video. It’s kind of under your car. So I’ve written about that. That was just a fun nerdy thing for me to get a little more insight to what’s happening on my car supercharging where there’s noises I’m hearing with the cooler goes on and whenever you get a better insight. All right. I’m coming to the finish line here in my list Apple magic keyboard complete success for my mom. She moved from thinkpads to iPads a decade ago but the keyboard was always vulnerable There you go. keyboard is always a weak spot from a mom you know she’s wondering where the mouse is when she moved away from the ThinkPad That was tough. She got used to no mouse and touch on the screen. But the keyboard not so fun. When anything with Bluetooth if you had to charge not so great, right because now she’s got a problem every month or 200 find the micro USB charging So magic keyboard complete success. It’s not just because it has power dealt with the passes through power, you can plug in USBC to that magic keyboard, and the smaller or the bigger iPad pros, you just pop the iPad Pro on there. There’s no origami folding to teach your mom or dad. It just pops on and it falls to 90 degrees vertical. Why does that matter because the cameras now vertical for the zoom phone calls. Your parents are in our perfect total tech success thing cost a fortune, the keyboards $350 It’s insane. But she’s really happy with. So I’ll just point that out. If you’re not aware of the magic keyboard, you’re probably not seeing it in an apple store. We just went and risked it in order to align because I knew about that tilt tilt angle, and how easy was gonna be for her to pick it up and fold it without the origami weird stuff she had to do with the past ones and no more judging the keyboard. So there you go. It’s not a fancy product. The trackpad did throw her a little. I asked her a few days after she got the iPad Pro for mutual birthday gift for the whole family. She’s like yeah, it seems to be good. I love it. But There’s a green.in the bottom right. Oh, that’s just the cursor. Remember I told you about the trackpad? You left the cursor over your screen. She touches the trackpad and realizes Oh, you’re right. She told me your screen is busted. So it is weird seeing a cursor on an iOS device right but Hey, welcome to the future where that’s running on arm. So lots of announcements from Apple lately right arm in the future. Yeah. And a little more opens
Jim Collison [1:18:21]
their own version their own version of arm, right?
Paul Braren [1:18:23]
Yep. And there’s a there’s an IBM ThinkPad keyboard that came out got one of those haven’t blogged about it forgot to add that to my list, but people immediately asked me when I did the apple magic keyboard unboxing Hey, why didn’t you hook up the ThinkPad keyboard to that because it’s there’s a different noise each one has their own you know, noise level when you’re on a phone call or whatever. So people can do that too. So apples opening up a little bit for pointing devices and keyboards and but still an apple branded keyboards can have a you know, easier experience than any third party. Alright, I saved a couple of bigger ones for the engine but you have any questions or people in the chat? I’m gonna take a quick peek at the chat transmitter. Awesome. Yeah,
Jim Collison [1:18:58]
good tonight. I will say for voting. Listening, Paul in the show notes for this show. So the average guy.tv slash Htg 451. I’ll have Paul include all the links to his articles on these topics. So if you want one place to go to get back to Paul stuff, we’ll make sure that we include those in the show notes going forward. So we can get a few minutes. When you get a few minutes, Paul, drop me some because you know where those are pretty fast as drop those links in my show notes so I can get to those.
Paul Braren [1:19:27]
Okay, now it’s in markdown language. So it’ll look like heck if I put it in there. So I think I’ll work on that.
Jim Collison [1:19:32]
Yeah, I’m sure you already here. Yeah, I’ll figure it I’m sure you’ll figure it out.
Paul Braren [1:19:36]
It actually moved to Visual Studio for those of people who like to markdown language that was a recent move for me from sublime. There you go. Kind of a nerd little sidebar topic, but that’s a blogger inside baseball kind of thing. That’s been an interesting move. Alright, so the big ones, the hardware ones because I’m, I like software and I like computers and I like tech outside of the home and energy efficiency. We had those themes, but these last two are a little different. So today I hinted AMD epic we’ve all been reading about AMT and kicking butt compared to Intel for quite a while. And for me in the home lab stuff I blog about kind of my bread and butter on my site, which got me some popularity after four years of kind of failure with any kind of viewership numbers. It finally got better in 2015 16 when the Xeon D arrived, and 14 nanometre but here we are five years later, they’re still stuck at 14 nanometre competitions moved to 10, seven and even five, what is going on? It’s been a little weird, but now it’s starting to show up in my day job too. So VX rail is the epitome of an appliance. So VX rail is Vcn in a box. So VX rail is a machine that’s branded by Dell EMC. And if it has Vcn running on it from VMware, like pre loaded, that’s VX rail, all the drives are seen and dry into one big pool of storage. So let’s say you buy four pizza boxes, you stack them together, you get one pool of storage sounds a lot like dry cooling and home server home server Jim 10 years ago, right? So think of it as the enterprise version of the app, but a whole lot more robust. Well, if AMD can beat folks in the home, you know gaming market and have much higher core counts and single processors. What do you know they’re starting to show up my day job when I say solutions for enterprise customers can learn more about AMD because I need to my customers are getting to hear you know, see it more often because the price, it’s now there and undercutting Intel. So for me, that’s, that’s good for the industry. It’s waking up and tell. Hopefully in three, four or five years, we’re all better off and they’re more neck and neck. But it’s been a weird year. And we’re in limbo right now. What’s gonna replace the AMD for instance. And again, that thing I blogged about an awful lot, because they’re still at 14 nanometers. So stay tuned. 2021 should be exciting. I don’t think COVID helped this year any with moving things forward. Supply Chain issues, all kinds of things. I don’t know there’s gonna be a weird year but I think 2021 will be the year we’ll have a lot more to write about, frankly, on that spot and have more gear to get my hands on. Meanwhile, I keep looking at some fanless tech I like quiet stuff. I already mentioned my office. So that’s been exciting. So okay, so stay tuned for AMD epic. You guys might be thinking about that more, or the gaming version, right AMD epic could be more servers and data centers as well. On there’s also ruggedized ones as well. So more more and more coming out. There. Okay, here’s the last the biggest one for last. Okay, four terabyte SSD that might not blow your doors off when I say that cuz you think okay, Samsung’s had those in 2.5 inch data form. Do you really want to put a lot of money into the setup? Slow bottleneck? Would you really want to put VMs on there or, or games, whatever cedar really is slow. It’s a terrible bottleneck, especially when you’re talking four terabytes of data. So to my joy after two years of saving my pennies, finally jumped into the four terabyte world in the mid two guns to form factor. Why is that a big deal? Well, I got a prop digital property. This is not easy to do, because of heat. So let’s start with showing you the beloved Samsung 960
Jim Collison [1:22:58]
right I’m gonna I’m gonna hold on I’m gonna make you full screen there we go.
Paul Braren [1:23:00]
Okay. And on Amazon 960 Pro and 70 pro 970 EVO they’re beloved on Amazon the ratings are tremendous, really high star reviews right common drive people buying these, their consumer drives are really not meant for VMware ESXi server, but people just use them anyway and they seem to be fine and hold up with even with write intensive workloads. But when you move to four terabytes, you’re looking at heat sinks. Now at first I tried it without a heatsink, and we’re like, I really don’t want to fry a 800 ish dollar investment. So I’m not pulling any punches. This sucker is expensive. It’s twice as expensive as a two terabyte. But nobody including Samsung is making a four terabyte. It’s just this company called Sabre it’s so hats off to them for being first. Hopefully I don’t regret this purchase but so far so good. I put this heatsink which is the sandwich you can see the copper pipes and what you’re looking at is the teeth the end to PCIe 3.0 by four lanes, the interface here coming out of the gum stick that’s still showing, but this heatsink, envelops the entire drive Because both sides have NAND memory on there. So that’s why this thing is a bit of an engineering feat. I went and bought the design for PCIe 4.0 devices which are running even hotter. I went and bought it for the saber and thinking, you know what if it runs faster and cooler, how about I put this heatsink on there for 2025 bucks with the screws on the side that really puts in clamping force so the foam heat thermal transfer compound there is pushing hard on both sides. And what do you know I got like 30% better benchmarks not a subtle difference. And I record on video a couple days I can’t wait to edit that video and put it out there. So that’s the kind of stuff I absolutely love doing. My blog is getting something a hands on something kind of early. And hopefully, the unboxing experience went so well I just shoved it in and VMware saw it right away. There was some chance it was gonna have to change the sector size, update the firmware, fiddle around with weird command line stuff to change the the drive layout. Nope, it just worked VMware formatted vmfs filesystem off to the races. Good to go. The performance trounce the Samsung 960 Pro right next to it. That’s a delightful thing. So, yes, you pay for the gigabytes. But that’s where all my VMs run and my daily driver and two terabytes was starting to feel tight because I do a lot of 4k video these days. But Jim, once you’re spoiled by NVMe, for never want to go back to say, No, I don’t want to watch windows boot for 3040 seconds when you get into seven, right? So that’s me, and I want to be productive. Every time I sit down to blog. I’m cranking out content of 1000 articles over nine year span. I want those articles take me as little time as possible with the process. And most of the time spent thinking about getting what’s in my head out into words, right, not waiting around for a render job or whatever else. So yeah, that’s a tool for me. I leverage the heck out of my daily driver. I’ve abused the snot out of my sense of 970 my daily driver, so it had a good run for three years me beating way too every day. Now I’ve got a four terabyte drive. So there you go. Not a lot of people forget about this thing.
Jim Collison [1:25:56]
at that price point. Why don’t you just go 1500 and get an eight terabyte? Yeah
Paul Braren [1:26:05]
I mean Yep, notes do not have the
Jim Collison [1:26:07]
same cost per terabyte right?
Paul Braren [1:26:09]
As much server it’s engine a little bit a little bit skew there. Yep. So the stuff I blog about these are for reasonably affordable 1500 and $25 solutions. Yeah, you start getting into a price like that for your storage
Jim Collison [1:26:21]
cost 1500 price, it’s twice the price. So you know, looking into that but
Paul Braren [1:26:27]
yeah, he hit on that one too. Right. You probably should buy you need to think is my point if you could buy these bigger devices that are two sided, the underside of your gum sticks now getting toasty that was never true of all the two terabyte drives. So just be aware of that for people shopping.
Jim Collison [1:26:39]
I was going to see that was at Newegg that I was showing that and I was going to see if they also had a if they sold the heatsink along with it doesn’t look like I see it here on the page. But Paul you always deliver. Thanks for thanks for coming on and working us through the the topics of the I promised I would, at the end of the show, talk about how does one burn through six terabytes. By the way, I burned through it in 10 days, six terabytes in 10 days. Let me do this really quick. So well, so two weeks ago I decided I’m going to move some of my mining rigs around a little bit i’ve you know, doing some burst coin mining with Ken and we’re having fun with it. So I swapped some drives around and when I take one of the drives out and put it in the other drive the machine that I put it in recognizes it as the old drive it puts it in an old drive letter in Boots what I had been backing up my Morrow data box so Morrow data box is the primary box two terabytes on it, it’s cached, which means I have one terabyte of space and it caches the rest up to backblaze. And if I ever need anything, it just goes to backblaze grabs it brings it down, loads it up, puts it up, leaves it there until it boots something else out right to get it done. So if I were ever to do a complete restore, I would have to bring down, you know, probably 1.2 terabytes to do the Restore. So, which is okay, because I don’t plan to do restores, unless it’s a crisis and I can bring it down during those times bring down so. So on the on the primary box, it’s doing the backup from that has the Well, okay, so the box that’s doing the Bitcoin mining also has always sync on it that is sinking between the morrow data box, which is, again, my primary data store to the Drobo. Well, when it changed the drive, always sync looked at the what had been the Drobo drive that I had, that I had written in, you know, I had done a manual mapping, network mapping. When that drive came back that had been in there before it overwrite, overrode the manual drive mapping and then consumed it. And so always sync was like, Oh, fine, I’ll just put it there. So it’s like, oh, you don’t have anything there. Like, that. Looks like what I’m looking for. For, so I’m going to pull it all down. Now there was no space on that drive to write anything and had a bunch of burst files on it, but it kept trying. So it was rolling through each one failing. But
Paul Braren [1:29:11]
over and over
Jim Collison [1:29:11]
Yeah, it sends a single little more data box, more data would go, I don’t have that data, send it up to backblaze backblaze would bring it down. By the time it brought it down. It was already doing another it was already doing another, you know, another file and it Okay, let me go get that one. So literally for it. So it, tried it one day, did all two terabytes, and then failed, right. Then couple days later, I moved some files over because I did a podcast. That’s what triggered the event, and all of a sudden starts doing it again. Then I move some files around on Sunday and it starts doing it again. Well, it’s two terabytes each time two times three is six. That’s how you get six terabytes. So you’re like, Oh, so Cox, I called Cox I’m like, yeah, help me. Like, I’m gonna you’re not you know, it’s $10 for 50 To kick after this and she’s, well, we cap it at $100. Like you’re never gonna under an extra dollar. So that’s like a nice little, like, just know if you have
Paul Braren [1:30:10]
Jim Collison [1:30:11]
yeah, I mean still 100 bucks, but like,
Paul Braren [1:30:13]
he gets to cellphone days, right? And because
Jim Collison [1:30:15]
it’s awful. And you’re like, I’m crisis thinking I was gonna have a 1500 dollar. You know, Bill, it was my fault. Um, so she’s like, No, she. So she goes, tell you what, we’ll just put you on the unlimited plan. It’s 50 bucks. And then you get this straightened out in cost at the beginning of the month and cancel it. That was Okay, thanks, Cox. That was super nice. So that cost me 50 bucks. Then I did that. So as I was thinking about this, I’m like, you know, I had to check back place. Like, I just pulled down six terabytes from backblaze. And I was thinking, Paul, I was really kind of scared. Good thing. backblaze is cheap. Because I was thinking $700 600 terabytes. That’s just what went through my mind. I’m thinking Oh, Because they don’t pay, it’s not expensive to go up and it’s not expensive to store. It’s more expensive when you pull it back. That’s the that’s the price model of a b two bucket on, on backblaze. And I still love backblaze because the bill was 70 bucks. So it’s kind of like, okay, that’s not Now, again, for six terabytes. That’s not too bad. It’s, do I want to pay $70 extra for all that data? No, but at least it wasn’t $700 now now than and so you know, now that I’m thinking about this, I better check that bill. Like, in hoping it didn’t split the middle of that thing somewhere. And I’m still gonna have a bill on it after I’ll have to go check that out. But that being that being said, that’s how you saw immediately removed I’m like, okay, always think you’re out at least on this PC. I’m gonna put it someplace where I can see it. I can see it working. If it’s going to get if something this is I put it on my main box. That way, nothing You know, I don’t know. I was hoping so.
Paul Braren [1:32:05]
Yeah, I will say, um, it’s tough story. I actually had this multi year dream of like sinking to my parents house a few miles away, right, just kind of date off site. But those dreams went away when they started with the caps. Yeah. Yeah, it felt like Australia. We’ve had caps for years. Right? It’s just so unfortunate. And it scares me more when we move to you know, 4k Netflix and stuff. Right? The competition with NBC by and Comcast. That’s just not well,
Jim Collison [1:32:30]
and I we talked all the time that say, you know, hey, go to did you want to share your screen?
Paul Braren [1:32:38]
Yeah, it’s just showing the network router. So any machine I have in the house, I installed this little utility called networks. It points to my ubiquity router. And it shows the bandwidth, upload and download. So I don’t have surprises. So if something’s going on in some machine, I would see it in the corner of my eye and it’s docked in my system tray. So I’m not showing that screen but yeah, it’s next to my closet. On my Windows machines, my primary machines, my work machine, my machine, they have a little ticker, showing how much bandwidth they have docked to the bottom my screen. Yeah, just a lovely little solution for people that happen to have ubiquity. You just point this network’s utility to it. A little bit of software
Jim Collison [1:33:13]
installed and I have alerting on a Cox I don’t know why I didn’t alert me that I because I have I turned it on to say, hey, the bottom is the data usage over time. And you can see my graph here. You can see the spikes hitting on the 21st to the 22nd, which is the first time I tried and then 2627 28 was the next time it tried. And then the 30th the first and second, which, which I think see my now I’m kind of worried my B two bucket ends on the 30th and I’m thinking oh, I’m still gonna have money. I’m still gonna hold up now. It’s not It’s not that bad. But um, so I had some alerting turned on. I thought with Cox that said, Hey, send me a text. When we’re getting close. Like I want to know when I’m getting close to that one terabyte limit. So So I need to dig in a little bit Paul and say, where’d that text go? Or why didn’t I get notified? I was getting close. And yeah, I run away, always sync. Because I like to sync. You know, the, the idea is, here’s the idea. On the morrow data box, if that thing ever goes down, I want to have a second copy of a local, so I don’t have to necessarily go to the v2 to get what I need, because that’s expensive. I would rather have a local that now if your house burns down, and it takes both of them out, then I’ve got one in the cloud. So I can only you know, go to the hotel room, or when I build the new house or whatever, I can, you know, I can go get my backups that way. So that’s kind of the thinking but but man, typically it’s that Morrow data box is the cache server box, right? It only keeps terabyte local. Everything else gets cached to be two pulls it when it needs it. Great idea until something runs away. And I probably I’m sure there’s some alerts that I can set up there that say, hey, if you get so many transfers within a certain period of time alert me, so I need to dig in probably a little bit on that one as well, just to kind of make sure so, but I had thought somebody had hacked the network. And so I was pretty relieved. You know, I was pretty early like, okay, it doesn’t look like somebody got in because what I thought somebody got in and then downloaded everything, right to just like, hey, copy and paste, bring it down. That’s what I thought it happened. When I went back into the always sync records, it was like, Yeah, I had been trying to sync
Paul Braren [1:35:36]
and a cloud storm, whatever you want to call it a cloud Fallout. Yeah, no, no good story. Good warning for people. It’s pretty easy to make a mistake and stuff like that.
Jim Collison [1:35:48]
kind of come in here that kind of made me wonder if I want to keep doing that. The Morrow data concept. I almost disconnected that thing and took it out and I’ve been running it for a couple years. They were kind enough to provide that to me as SMB box to try out and they just keep it. It’s got some amazing it’s very, very powerful way more powerful than I needed to be. But it’s not the fault of them is totally on me I changed that didn’t validate that and have a way to check it failed on some failed on some notifications. It could have been worse. It was little sad. Let’s be your money. But you know, there we go. So
Paul Braren [1:36:30]
mercy on my desk for one more second. Here I’ll bring it up. So there’s one more thing right here my fingers pointing to an edge router for so that’s been a success. I seamlessly move from an edge router light to an edge router for it’s not showing my public IP. So I’m not sure anything private here. And it knows the CPU is very low even when I’m doing via DHCP reservations or port forwarding or whatever. So it used to be used to be easily handling my one gigabit connection, no problem there. But the CPE will get a little busy when I was making changes to the config. So one of the To add rider lights died, the one I took on the road and brought to vmworld. And all over user groups, you know croaked so now I have another one edge router for so I was another tech success, I suppose for people that are in to ubiquity products. What I’m showing here on the right is networks, where you say, hey, piece of software, I don’t want to see the network stack in this local VM. I want to point to my router, and show all traffic that’s flowing from that router out the wind interface. And that’s exactly what I wanted for years. So the ability to see how busy my internet is from any machine in the house has been a delightful side effect of going to ubiquity router about three years ago. So you go Jim got my little ubiquity pitch out there. But yeah, it’s been it’s a tech success.
Jim Collison [1:37:38]
Super. Thanks, super. Appreciate coming on a couple reminders folks going out run Don’t forget that all this has powered the average guy.tv both the storage for everything that we do, how can I wish I had all my stuff over Maple Grove Partners, the site host by Maple Grove Partners get secure, reliable high speed hosting from people that you know and you trust in course, that’s Christian Plan start hosting plans start as little as $10 a month Maple Grove Partners comm ppreciate Christian’s sponsorship of Home Gadget Geeks over the years, and this December we’re coming up on 10. It’s pretty crazy to think that we’ve been doing this for 10 years but appreciate Christian and his partnership with that. If you have any questions, you can email me Jim at the average guy. TV, you can join our discord group, or Facebook group the links to that around on the site, if you want to get that done. And we want to say thanks for listening tonight. We are live every Thursday, just about every Thursday, Tony reminded me my mom’s birthday is coming up in August. We’ll be off that first Thursday of August but most Thursdays 8pm, central nine Eastern, out of the average guy.tv slash live if you want to join us there. Next week. We have j Madison coming back and we’re going to talk some he’s he’s although he’s kind of our micro PC guy. And he’s been doing some cool builds and so we’re going to have him on as well. And then we’re gonna talk about lighting. Daniel J. Lewis is coming on here in a couple weeks to talk about RGB lighting for the home, which would be pretty interesting. He just bought a kit to do that. So we’re excited to have him on that my daughter the week before my mom’s birthday, Sammy is coming on and talking a little bit about her college experience with COVID and coming home. All those things, she’s done all the tech, she’s deployed and some of those things she’s done to keep yourself sane during this time, so that’s July 30. Sammy will be on so look forward to having her on. We’ll see you guys next Thursday. 8pm Central join us live best way to watch the podcast is to watch a live we’ll do a smidgen of a post show it’s getting late for Paul’s that But with that, we’ll say goodbye
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