cover photo

NullSpaceOddity

nsoddity@hubz.secretlair.me

NullSpaceOddity
 Secluded Jungle Base,  
While attempting some reorganization of my computer room, I found my old laptop. After discovering that I could use my Lenovo AC adapter on it, it powered up and I installed some updates. For a 15 year old machine, it still does most of what I need.

Thinking about older tech that is still useful made me nostalgic for my Nokia N82

It was my first true smartphone, which I used for three straight years (replaced by a Nokia N8).

Thinking of it like an old laptop, it did most of what I use my current smartphone for. It also didn't need to be cradled like a precious baby, and lasted forever on a single charge.



Can it...Nokia N82Current Phone
Multitask?YesYes
Email?YesYes
Sync Contacts/Cal?YesYes
Web?LimitedYes
Check RSS?YesYes
IM?YesYes
Photos?YesYes
Last almost a week on a single charge?YesHell No
GPS voice Nav?YesYes
Gaming?Good*Better


* While the newer Android phone has many many more gaming options, I don't primarily use my phone for that. However, the best mobile game I've ever played was on the Symbian platform (Reset Generation)
NullSpaceOddity
 Secluded Jungle Base,  
Tinkering a bit with freebsd in a VM tonight. A bit different than Archlinux. Once I grok it, I might use it on my Cubieboard server instead of Debian.
Beni Grind
  
My #Hubzilla hub runs on FreeBSD. I quite like how they separate the base system from packages (as every BSD for that matter).
Banana Pi BPI-W2

NullSpaceOddity
 Secluded Jungle Base,  
An interesting new SBC that could be a perfect solution to my homebrew NAS query.

Specs are pretty sexy, and dual SATA connectors make it attractive for home NAS use.
I am questioning on whether the SATA ports run through a SATA to USB 3.0 bridge, or not. If so, would RAID setup be possible/stable?  The other problem is with the Mediatek CPU. I'm not familiar with their usage in SBC, but in the mobile phone world, Mediatek is notorious for releasing broken/incomplete kernel sources. Or not at all.

Still, its under $100. Will be watching this one closely.

Open spec router SBC has M.2 and a pair each of SATA, GbE, and HDMI

Image/photo

SinoVoip has launched a $93 “Banana Pi BPI-W2” multimedia router and NAS board that runs Android or Linux on a quad -A53 Realtek RTD129, and offers 2x GbE, 2x SATA 3.0, 3x M.2, HDMI in and out, and a 40-pin RPi connector.
Authority

NullSpaceOddity
 Secluded Jungle Base,  last edited: Fri, 13 Apr 2018 01:21:53 -0500  
!books

Recently finished "Authority", the second book in the Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer. Preceeded by Annihilation, Authority has fewer #scifi elements, and reads more like an espionage story. It picks up after the failed 12th expedition into Area X, and introduces a few new characters. Not a long book, and generates more questions than it answers. Hoping the third book has a definitive answer to some of my theories on what exactly Area X is, and how it works.

Image/photo

#books #scifi
NullSpaceOddity
  
All three volumes were released in the same year. Other than $$$, I have no idea why they didn't just make it one volume. They are fairly short.
Dungeon Synth

NullSpaceOddity
 Secluded Jungle Base,  
While checking out Gunship's new song "Art3mis & Parzival", I happened across a genre of synth music called "Dugeon Synth". And I really dig it.

A couple playlists for me to check out later:

Dungeon Synth List

Dungeon Synth 2: Back To The Dungeon

#synthwave #dugeon #music
NullSpaceOddity
 Secluded Jungle Base,  
This is some solid geekery here. Removing the 16GB storage from and iphone logic board, and replacing it with a 128GB chip.
I love how happy he is at the end once it boots.



How I Upgraded My iPhone Memory 800% - in Shenzhen, China
by Strange Parts on YouTube
Seagulls and pepperoni

NullSpaceOddity
 Secluded Jungle Base,  
Friend of mine sent me this. Quality lulz IMO.

Worst. Hotel. Guest. Ever.

Image/photo

Imgur: The magic of the Internet
NullSpaceOddity
 Secluded Jungle Base,  
Time to get some housework finished before the holiday.
Loud music helps.

Image/photo
Microsoft shifting strategies again

NullSpaceOddity
 Secluded Jungle Base,  
Some interesting reading regarding the recent email to all MS employees from Satya Nadella


https://medium.com/@timsneath/from-windows-to-the-cloud-89d5ae28a95f


Looks like they have less focus on Windows, and Office. More on services, infrastructure, and a big push into AI.

#microsoft #ai #MS #cloud
Storage Dilemma

NullSpaceOddity
 Secluded Jungle Base,  
I've been using OneDrive for cloud storage, as have my wife. I currently have the 25GB legacy storage + 50GB subscription for OneDrive. My wife does not have the legacy storage and has filled hers, so I have a few options:

1) Subscribe her to the $1.99 per month for 50GB plan.
2) Ditch OneDrive, and subscribe to the 100GB Google Drive plan for $1.99 per month.
3) For $70 per year, I could get Office 365 Home and give each family member 1TB OneDrive storage.

Advantages: Easiest option to use and implement across desktops and mobile. Probably redundant. Low cost.
Disadvantages: In the case of Google Drive, would require re-uploading everything to Google. And in the case for either option, I would be using the services of two large tech companies, who mine your data. And some recent changes to Microsoft's Services Agreement have some worrying language. In particular
* "[U]se of offensive language and fraudulent activity is prohibited"
* "Don’t publicly display or use the Services to share inappropriate content or material [...] involving, for example, nudity"

Not that I upload nudes to a corporate cloud, but algorithms do make mistakes. Also, I do keep some non-DRM copies of RPG manuals around. Who is to say that they won't get flagged as pirated material? Nobody wants to upload gigabytes of data to a service, just to have it all locked out one day.

So, I considered setting up a redundant home NAS again. I do have a single drive on my network, but would need something with RAID to store photos and family videos safely.
If I used a two bay option from QNAP or Synology, I would be looking at about $350 for a pair of 4TB drives and the 2-bay enclosure.

An option that would be more fun would be to build something myself. Possibly a compact server with BSD and ZFS. While more flexible, it would be even more expensive than the prebuilt option. And the prebuilt option would take more than five years to pay itself off vs the Office 365 subscription.

While I contemplate what to do, I guess I'll continue making additional copies of my data on Blu-Ray discs.
Pete Moss
  
Anyone else out there have a home NAS server? What are you using to keep your family's data safe?


I bought an old IBM server off of eBay for $200 and am running Nextcloud on it without any issues at all. The mobile app can do auto-upload and sync calendars and tasks with CalDAV too.

The advantages are maximum control of data, infinite storage (in theory), and of course, supporting FOSS.

The disadvantages are obviously the necessary admin maintenance (although even then, it hasn't been much) and the need to formulate a backup solution, My setup with the latter is RAID with a weekly manual backup to an external drive. You could also backup to the cloud if need be.
NullSpaceOddity
  
I considered getting a used server, but the cost of keeping it running 24/7 for a year almost cost as much as the server itself :(
Pete Moss
 
That's a fair point. Not sure where you're located but mine seems to be in and around US$10-15 a month; not insignificant by any means, but I consider it good value for money given the control, flexibility, and extendibility it offers.

Amazon also offers a storage service that may be worth considering. They have a 100GB plan for $12 a year or another that's 1TB for $59.99 a year.
PSA: Spec Ops: The line for free

NullSpaceOddity
 Secluded Jungle Base,  
!Digital Realms

Humble currently has Spec Ops: The Line at no cost for limited time.

Activates via Steam on Linux, Windows, or MacOS.
Spec Ops: The Line is a new original title from 2K Games that features provocative and gripping Third-Person modern military Shooter gameplay designed to challenge players' morality by putting them in the middle of unspeakable situations where unimaginable choices affecting human life must be made. Features include, a gripping, storyline reminiscent of Apocalypse Now and Heart of Darkness but set in a ruined Dubai, tactical squad-based Delta Force gameplay throughout a horizontally and vertically oriented world, devastating sandstorms which can be used in combat, a variety of multiplayer modes and maps, and deep support featuring two factions.




https://www.humblebundle.com/store/spec-ops-the-line

NullSpaceOddity
 Secluded Jungle Base,  
Attempted making yogurt again. So far, my attempts have been pretty hit or miss.
This attempt falls squarely into the "miss" category.

It tastes like yogurt, but isn't thick at all. I've been draining the whey off of it to thicken it up a bit.
My best results were once when I forgot what time it was, and let the milk sit longer during the heating phase. It's possible that my crockpot isn't reaching the proper temperature. I'll be measuring the temperature next time to see if this may be an issue.
NullSpaceOddity
 Secluded Jungle Base,  
Is this created by the same folks who did the-federation.info?



https://fediverse.party/

NullSpaceOddity
 Secluded Jungle Base,  
I miss Hotline and KDX. Used to be so much fun discovering gems on obscure servers.
NullSpaceOddity
 Secluded Jungle Base,  
Saw the movie version of Annihilation. As I suspected after finishing the book, they did change quite a bit.

Key bits from the source material that I wish they retained for the film were 1. What really happened when her husband returned from The Shimmer 2. The real cause of the issues in their marriage before he left 3. The use of hypnosis by the psychologist once inside 4. The ending, and the fate of the psychologist.

As it stands, Annihilation is a very pretty (and trippy) movie, with great sound design. However, it feels like they tried to make an artistic thinking sci-fi, but it just doesn't hit the mark for me. I will be listening to parts of the soundtrack though. In particular, the "The Alien" track, which contains the strange backwards melody from the trailer.




Ben Salisbury & Geoff Barrow - The Alien (Edit) by Invada Records
by Invada Records on SoundCloud

#scifi #movies #film
NullSpaceOddity
 Secluded Jungle Base,  
To my surprise, it doesn't appear that there is a single successful instance of someone installing Linux on a Google Home, or Amazon Echo. Was hoping someone had figured it out by now.
Pete Moss
  
Proprietary hardware with next to no driver support? That'd be my guess.
NullSpaceOddity
  
Yeah, I'm guessing its a combination of locked bootloader and there is no direct access to the eMMC storage.  With all the work done by the XDA community on mobile phones, you would think someone would have something by now.
NullSpaceOddity
 Secluded Jungle Base,  
Figured out how to use the Ogg Chapter Extension to add chapters to my audiobooks.

It was a lot less work than anticipated. You just have to open the final opus file in a tag editor, and add a tag for each chapter.

So, say chapter one begins at the 00:00:00.00 mark. You add two tags.  "CHAPTER001" with "00:00:00.00" as the data. And "CHAPTER001NAME" with whatever name I wish. And so forth with the additional chapters.  Opening the file afterward in a player which supports chapters will give a list of jump points under the Chapter section. I have yet to test it in Smart Audiobook Player on Android, but I do know that Listen Audiobook player does support chapter markers.
The quest for the perfect audiobook rip

NullSpaceOddity
 Secluded Jungle Base,  
My wife is really into audiobooks, and frequently has me rip copies of books on CD to digital files.
Years ago, so had an iPhone, so it made sense to use AAC encoded files in MP4 containers. Over time, I settled on using Foobar2k to do the encoding. After all of the discs were encoded to single files, I would use tagging software to add the album art and metadata.

However, this would still yield 5 to 15 individual files, depending on the book. Recently, I had obtained an audiobook copy of Ready Player One for my daughter from Audible. I thought it was convenient that the book only used two files, so I started looking at ways to streamline my process further.

Starting with the codec: Since my wife doesn't use an Apple product now, I was free to look at alternatives. It appears that Opus is the new sexiness when it comes to speech. Also, it is supported on every platform (except Apple... unless you put it into their Core audio container). A 24kbps Opus file sounds as good, or better than what I had been doing with AAC.

Next, I need to figure out a way to automate some of the disc juggling, and concatenation of files into two or three big files per book.
Here is what I tested so far:  I used cdparanoia to rip each disc to a single file. After I get 5 or 6 discs worth of .WAV files, I used sox to combine those into a single FLAC file. I attempted to use wav at first, because it was faster. That is when I discovered WAV file size limitations. After the FLAC is finished encoding, I encode it into an Opus file, and finally finish it off by adding the metadata.

So now, I have six discs worth of content in a nice little 80MB file (or two files @ 160MB for the whole book). Not bad! If opusenc supported multiple input files, I could skip making the FLAC.
NullSpaceOddity
  
The ultimate goal would be to embed chapter date that corresponds with chapters of the book. I'm not sure if most audiobook specialty software has chapter support, or if its even useful thing. Maybe only if someone falls asleep when listening, and can remember which one they were on when they were awake.
NullSpaceOddity
 Secluded Jungle Base,  
First time jogging in a few months. I didn't die, and my finish time was on par with what I had last time.
elmussol
  
Not dying is good.
NullSpaceOddity
 Secluded Jungle Base,  
I had no idea how many of my FB friends were soooo inspired by Stephen Hawking. :-!
  
Image/photo