Thursday, April 29, 2021

How to Order Your Texas DPS DMV Driving Record Form 3A and NOT get Ripped Off!

The proper website is here:

https://txapps.texas.gov/tolapp/txldrcdr/TXDPSLicenseeManager

If this changes, just make sure you are on a Texas .gov website before you pay.

On 29 April 2021, I paid a total of $12. That can of course go up a little.

If you are on a site such as dpsrecords.com, it is a ripoff. They will charge you $34.95 for the same record.

You will get it IMMEDIATELY after you pay on Texas.gov

Did this help save you money? Buy me a cup of coffee at http://paypal.me/beachfitrob as I'm underemployed. 

Or, give me a like and a subscribe on my Youtube channel: http://youtube.com/rcbullock



Friday, April 09, 2021

Thursday, April 08, 2021

Chevy Bolt Cabin Air Filter: $9 on Amazon, no tools needed. Carbon Impregnated.

Did mine yesterday.

Here's the link on Amazon (using it supports my Blog): https://amzn.to/31ZtAfm At this time, it's under $9 for Prime members.

Here's a video guide:


Thursday, February 04, 2021

AU-PM422 Audio Playthrough is crackling and slow. Bad. Headphone jack on Computer works fine.

UPDATE: Solved. Watch the Video: https://youtu.be/DNzwruJqVdo


I have the AU-PM422 Music played through it is crackling, slow, bad. I tried both a USB 2 and a USB 3 ports.

Same music through my computer headphone port is fine.

Mac Pro Desktop OS X 10.14.6 

And yes, the AU-PM422 is both an audio output and input device. :)

Will update when I hear back from Maono.

It is probably not the cable. Tried the original and a second I had laying around. Max data rate is 192kbps so I don't think that's it even if my cable was USB 1. :)

Buy me a Coffee? http://paypal.me/beachfitrob $1 for Mickey D's coffee if I helped. :)



Saturday, January 16, 2021

Cheap Pen for Monoprice TWA60 Tablet on Amazon. UC-Logic Compatible

 


Links support me. I'm underemployed since COVID took out my company.

Had an old Monoprice TWA60 tablet and was looking for pens for it. This one works. See video.

Should work with most tablets that use UC Logic technology. Which is most pens with a battery.

You want the P68 or PEN68, or the rechargeable version. It works fine with rechargeable batteries and I didn't want to get the more expensive rechargeable version with it's special cable...and what if the battery goes bad?

Here's the direct link: https://amzn.to/3swFadY

And the Huion store on Amazon if you want a newer tablet: https://amzn.to/2NbnNiS


Thursday, December 10, 2020

FIX: iTunes Version 12.9.5.5 Cutting in and Out: Audio glitches on all outputs. Mojave 10.14.6 (18G6042) : Audio Hijack

 In short, I *THINK* it was Audio Hijack and/or the ACE component.


I installed updates and here's what is current as of 10 Dec 2020:




*MUCH* better now. Not sure it's 100% fixed but WAY better. Audio for some reason sounds better.

OCCASIONALLY getting a 'click' in audio like playback stops for a split second.

This is not hardware as YouTube has no issues. Just iTunes so far.

Which is what led me to thinking it's a plugin.

Did this help? I take coffee can donations at http://paypal.me/beachfitrob as I'm currently underemployed and the blog is a small source of income as well as my podcast and YouTube channel.

Subscribes and Likes also help. :)

https://linktr.ee/realactorrob


Sunday, December 06, 2020

How to FIX: Bad BIOS Flash and You Can't Boot back to the Floppy or USB to fix it Because CMOS settings won't save. Can't Boot anything. F11 BBS to select boot for example won't start.

Update: For some WEIRD reason, this also fixed the issue I was trying to fix, getting Windows 10 to load. 


I didn't change the CPU (E3300...yeah...but I already had this stuff and I wanted it for light gaming (Castoff 1GB GPU I have laying around should work...) and for real hardware work not a VM.

Did I mention I had this stuff already?

Old motherboard. Don't ask.

I accidentally flashed it without all the switches AFUDOS was supposed to use. ECS 7050VT-M motherboard. 

So here's the fix: Put a bootable floppy or USB thumb drive in. Or I suppose a hard drive or anything with DOS on it.

Unplug the keyboard, mouse, hard drive, USB mouse, etc. and eject any DVD so the ONLY thing the PC can boot from is the USB or floppy or whatever with the flashing program and ROM on it.

AFTER it boots, THEN plug in a keyboard. In my case, it did not even recognize my USB keyboard so I had to plug in a PS/2 keyboard after boot. Yes, you're not supposed to. Just carefully and slowly plug it in. 

Reflash it, load the CMOS defaults, save those and reboot. This fixed mine.

Did this help? I'm out of work so send me a buck. Or anything, really. :) -=> http://paypal.me/beachfitrob

Sunday, November 08, 2020

Drobo Series 3 WILL Downsize itself!

Well color me SHOCKED.

Tons of people on Reddit told me this wasn't possible.

I made a little video because I'm sure someone would say that I just got a screen grab showing the drives green or something.

I can assure you this is legit. 

And no, I cannot PROVE what I say so I'm hoping someone will validate this.

Keep in mind, it feels like maybe 5-6 days that this happened over. I didn't keep track because of course I didn't expect it.

The Drobo DID go into data protection MANY times. At one point I think I had 48 notifications. :)

So, you could pull a drive, wait for it to all turn green again, THEN insert  a smaller drive. I tried this before the rebuild was all done with a 1TB in the bottom bay and it just turned that drive red and wanted me to replace it with a bigger drive (like the 4TB). So I'm guessing that Drobo prefers that easier and quicker method vs. all the days of rebuild it too.

WARNING: This DOES place your data at more risk, but if you had it set up for 2 drive failure, less so obviously. 

In my case, all I had was Time Machine backups left to copy off, and I had other backups so not hugely critical.

HTH! Someone else give it shot if you've got non-critical data or a Drobo laying around. 

Now I wonder if the Series 2 will do it.


Drobo Series 3 Speed Sucks:

Update: Read more on my Drobo Saga above.


Series 3 Drobo, 4 drives: 3/2/3/4TB (7.2TB net storage)

Firmware 4.1.4

Tested with BlackMagic Disk Speed Test on Mac Pro 8 core 2009 flashed to 2010. Newertech USB 3 PCIe card.

Tests:

25% free (75% used)

About 30Mbyte/second if I'm lucky. 

I think this is due to the very large number of files on the unit due to a Time Machine volume and a data drive and somehow the 4TB drive addition seemed to slow it down but note that I have had no errors in weeks on it, and the 4TB drive has gotten moved to my Mac Pro internally with no isses and no SMART trips via SMARTReporter.



Monday, October 12, 2020

Easy Money Links and Referral Codes for Webull, Raise, Tesla, Discover, Cash App, Gasbuddy, Get Upside, Amex, Rakuten, Mypoints, SoFi, PEI, Money Networks, more to come!

I've got some videos with more stuff or more in depth evaluations of some of these here:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLHfnZVroL1-VYU8usosblA0w8As2b-nGg

Robinhood:

  • Free stocks! Stocks given are random. Could be Ford, Apple...might be Groupon or Zynga. I got a GE and Zynga, wife got Groupon. I've gotten close to 20 free stocks I bet. Plus it's a good starter for trading stocks. -=> https://share.robinhood.com/robertb4367


SoFi:


PEI:

  • A bit of work to set up but it just builds extra money in the background when you use your credit cards. I'm sure they are tracking spending habits. Not yours, just an aggregate. I don't care, it's free bucks for doing nothing. You can a bonus when you use my link. $20 to cash out but eventually you'll just get it. https://getpei.app.link/invite?code=theroblog


Tesla:

  • Ok, not an easy money link but you can save some money using my link for $100 off solar roof or panels, or 1,000 free supercharger miles...I'm trying to earn a Powerwall. -=> https://ts.la/robert99827

HEB Card:

Netspend:

  • This is the same as the HEB card above in the areas that count. No fee as long as you have activity every 90 days, 5% FDIC Savings interest rate, and if you load $40 (you can get one every 6 months or actually 181 days basically...I'd wait maybe 190 days to be sure) you can get another $20. Make sure you have a recurring deposit, like $1 every 60 days or something to avoid the inactivity fee. Link to get it: https://www.netspend.com/get-a-prepaid-card/?aid=RAF_1&site_id=RAF_OAC_URL&uref=8161238103 

Discover:


Cash App

  • https://cash.app/app/VTWFXHX $5 to sign up and send $5 to someone...PLEASE copy the code 'VTWFXHX' and put it in the box when you create your account...the link doesn't track my referrals if you just download the app after that, so, please use the code. We both get $5. 


WeBull


Raise

  • Buy gift cards right on your phone that show up in 1-2 minutes. So, you're at a restaurant or Auozone or whatever store and you buy the EXACT amount of gift card you need and get at least 5% back. Plus you can still use coupons and other deals as this is just a form of payment. $5 bonus to start. I've saved about $450 in 2 years. https://geta.raise.com/RBULLOCK3365



GetUpside

  • This is a little involved, but basically you claim the offer (There's a lot of fast food and gas station offers) and upload your receipt. Examples around me are 22 cents off per gallon of diesel, 16 cents/gallon gas, and 10-15% off Popeye's and Wendy's. It's a quick few bucks, and once again, it stacks with other offers as the business doesn't see anything. -=> https://upside.app.link/HAC7F


Gasbuddy



Amex American Express


Rakuten


Mypoints











Migrating Storj from Mac OS X Windows GUI VM to NAS, Docker, Linux, etc.

Quick post:

rsync over SMB is painful. Don't.

rsync over NFS from a direct attached Drobo...less so.

Best is probably a direct copy to disk, move that disk to Unraid, and cp it over. THEN do an rsync from your live node, stop the node and sync (maybe) then you're done.

Reminder for OS X: Disk Utility won't mount an NFS share for you any more. It's CLI time.

First, create a directory on your Mac you'll mount the NFS Share in.

Then, to mount, this: sudo mount -t nfs 192.168.1.175:/mnt/user/storjnode2 /Users/robertbullock/storjnode2

Use your IP for your server obviously and the end bit is where you'll see all the files. You might consider, again, copying the files over THEN doing an rsync. 

I recommend the -aP flags like this:

rsync -aP /Volumes/Drobo\ Series\ 3/StorjStorage/storagenodeWin10VirtualBox /Volumes/storjnode2/storage


You can just type the command and flags then drag the source to the terminal window, hit space, then drag the destination. (This is an older command structure when I was using SMB...ugh.)

I'd appreciate comments on how this could be faster. I'm only getting around 5mBytes/sec over gigabit Ethernet.

Tips for an out of work IT guy accepted: http://paypal.me/beachfitrob Every quarter helps!




I built an Unraid server in a Dell T310 Poweredge

I built an Unraid server in a Dell T310 Poweredge. I have the Xeon version (did anyone buy anything less?) with the SATA/SAS N621K backplane.

Notes: Get an H310 IMHO and flash that to a dumb SAS HBA/IT controller. There's a post on my blog here about that process.

I put a 2x5 5.25 to 3x3.5 trayless adapter in the double T310 Bay. It WILL NOT fit the stock opening.

Pics to follow, maybe, but all you have to do is remove the lower support lip by bending it out with a screwdriver and taking a pair of pliers and bending it back and forth a bit til it snaps off. Then put a single screw in the side or two if you like, thru the friction finger thingies next to the blue retaining mech. Just slide the whole bay a bit back and forth til the screw hole is in the corner of the slidey hole...yeah this needs a pic.

It's the iStarUSA BPN-DE230SS: Click to see on Ebay or Click to See on Amazon (I'm out of work, please use these links.) 

The H310 connects fine with an SFF 8087 cable to the T310 N621K backplane. Click to Buy one on Amazon or Click here for Ebay (did I mention I'm unemployed?)

I'd get one 8087 to 8087 for the backplane, and one that's a breakout cable (the one with 4 SATA ends) to run to the trayless bay, leaving one to connect to an SSD you could throw anywhere in the case with whatever fastening scheme you like...or just lay it on the bottom.

I've set the power management in the BIOS to min, and it seems to help fan speed as my drives trip the higher speed...thanks DELL.

You can of course use the onboard SATA ports on the T310 but I have to see if they are limited to 2TB, which seems likely. Still, they're there and free and you already have power and one SATA cable from the removed DVD drive, right?

...more to come.

Did this article help you? Send me 50 cents at http://paypal.me/beachfitrob ;)


Thursday, October 08, 2020

Megarec.exe for Flashing Dell H310 from HP

Yes, the formatting for this post is ugly to say the least. Maybe I'll fix it since I'm out of work...if you look on the right and 'Buy me a Cup of Coffee'.

Here's where you get the needed files. I made this post because I don't like using strange programs from who knows where:

This assumes your computer can boot via BIOS from a DOS usb stick and you've prepared it. My Poweredge T310 can, no problem.
Copy of sbrempty.bin (to zero part of the controller's ROM):
http://www.mediafire.com/file/ukhbhrqj4sh6lzq/LSI-9211-8i.zip/file

Paranoid about the contents of sbrempty.bin?
Yeah, me too:


Portions of these instructions cribbed from somewhere...there are about 1000 reposts.

Copy the files you'll need to the root USB folder. (C:\). You'll need megarec.exe, sbrempty.bin, 6GBPSAS.fw, sas2flsh.exe, and optionally if you want a BIOS a copy of mptsas2.rom


  • megarec.exe -writesbr 0 sbrempty.bin
    • If this command fails it should be safe to proceed to step 2. (Note from me: Worked fine for me.)
  • megarec.exe -cleanflash 0
  • Reboot the computer and boot back into the USB drive.
  • sas2flsh.exe -o -f 6GBPSAS.fwAlso, if you just type 'sas2flsh -listall' IIRC mine just said the board was operational and let me input 6GBPSAS.FW as the firmware to flash when it asked. Reboot.
If you want to add the BIOS (which you don't need for UNRAID but I think it might be nice to have, will respond back if anything significant is useful in the BIOS) you can do that in a separate step:

sas2flsh.exe -b mptsas2.rom Reboot.

When you reboot, if you want to enter the controller BIOS (mine complained about being disabled) keep hitting Ctrl-C.

Notes:
Works fine so far! rsyncing my Windows GUI VM data on a DAS Drobo over to my Unraid server via an NFS mount...don't do rsync over SMB if you value your life.

Oxed for Mac OS X hex file viewing:
http://www.suavetech.com/0xed/0xed.html

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

OpenOffice crashed when Opening Passworded File. I'm on Version 4.1.7 and OS X 10.14.6

I'm out of work. :( If this fixes your problem, by me a cup of coffee using the link on the right side of this blog. If I had $1....I'd have a dollar. 



Crash dump:

Path:                  /Applications/OpenOffice.app/Contents/MacOS/soffice

Identifier:            org.openoffice.script

Version:               4.1.7 (???)

Code Type:             X86-64 (Native)

Parent Process:        ??? [1]

Responsible:           soffice [9009]

User ID:               501

Date/Time:             2020-10-07 11:32:28.271 -0500

OS Version:            Mac OS X 10.14.6 (18G6032)

Report Version:        12

System Integrity Protection: enabled

Crashed Thread:        0  Dispatch queue: com.apple.main-thread

Exception Type:        EXC_BAD_ACCESS (SIGSEGV)

Exception Codes:       KERN_INVALID_ADDRESS at 0x0000724565a10950

Exception Note:        EXC_CORPSE_NOTIFY

----

Ugly, Right?

I found this fix and knock on wood, it worked just now after consistently crashing over and over. I could start a new doc but when I opened a passworded file I've used over and over for years...crash.

Mac OS, it just works, right? B.S. it does. TBF, it's because this is probably because in my case it's an upgrade over an upgrade over an upgrade....

From This thread: https://forum.openoffice.org/en/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=85216

"Also, check in your user preferences to see if Java is enabled.

On menubar: OpenOffice/Preferences/OpenOffice/Java
Make sure "Use a Java Runtime Environment" is checked and there is a check mark beside a installed JRE."

In my case, there was no runtime selected. I also did the bit about allowing OpenOffice to control my machine found in the System Preferences pane at Security and Privacy -=> Accessibility. I added OpenOffice to the list.


 
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