Welcome to Windows 10

Finally beat the July 28th deadline for upgrading Windows 7 to Windows 10.

Made backups with Macrium Reflect first.  Paid for that one, got rid of the perpetually flaky Acronis.

Both machines (Intel Core Duo 2Ghz dual-core and old AMD dual core) upgraded successfully. AMD box slow, but it worked, with install apps and files in place. A little juggling the start menu to lose the junk, and we are back in biz.

A potential issue came up where the audio was crackling.  One post suggested the LatencyMon app from Resplendence Software.   Way cool. Said I had serious latency issues and could not host real-time software – like audio. Duh.

This post, Speakers Crackling since Windows 10 update, suggested I reinstall the old audio driver.  Not trying that yet.

Ultimately, this YouTube video, How to FIX Windows 10 Audio/Sound Problem , worked by running the non-low-power power profile. Not sure why that matters – tries to starve the CPU? Seems to work.

Then I replaced the CPU with Intel Core 2 Quad Q9650 3Ghz from eBay for $65. Windows 10 rebooted and barfed a few times; I had to reset the BIOS to even have Windows 10 detect the new CPU. Then I had an issue with the CPU fan, but I think that was related to the dust buildup. 5 minutes with the compressor outside cleaned it out, and using the great HWMonitor program,  cores are running 100-110F. Not bad. The machine runs very smoothly with the new two cores, for very little coin.

Google Nexus 6P

I finally decided my old Google Galaxy Nexus was done. I couldn’t use the phone in the house, it was having random meltdowns where apps would kill the battery in 4 hours, and was getting text messages duplicated inbound and outbound. Surfing was a slow nightmare. I just could not trust it as I could when it was new, and could not use it reliably for texting. I don’t text a lot, but I do need it to work.

So after reading a gob of reviews, I decided to go Google Nexus 6P, the new Huawei Nexus version in the phone form factor. I ordered the 64Gb version, and the Speck case in black and white. It quickly arrived.

Phone? More like a surfboard. Large, about halfway between the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7 Tablet. Fits into my hand, barely. Gorgeous display. I downloaded a selection of apps, redid the 2-factor setups on several accounts, restored a backup using Helium (was Carbon). Called Consumer Cellular (AT&T MVNO) to transfer the number – had to go to local Sears first to get the Nano-SIM, my existing Micro-SIM did not fit. After a bit I had to order cables – it uses the new Type-C USB format, and I needed USB to USB Type-C for connection to a laptop and car charger. Love the format, hate having to buy new cables, but now I won’t ever again.

It calls and texts in the basement in my pocket. Old phone did not. I spilled coffee on it today. The Speck case seals around the edge, and a ArmorSuit Military Grade screen protector prevented anything from touching the screen. I have dropped it several times, no problem. I did get the insurance.


  • Fast charge, good battery life. Phone used for 10 mins/day, some surfing, mostly WiFi.
  • Great display.
  • Fingerprint unlock is the best. Grab, unlock, go. I would never go back.
  • Android 6 Marshmallow works and looks great for fans of stock Android. No crapware.
  • Unlocked and compatible with Verizon AND AT&T. Can’t wait to try in Canada or Europe.


  • Big, sometimes gets away from you. If have small hands, it won’t be an easy one-hander. Hard to stow in pockets.
  • New cables required for USB Type-C
  • Expensive
  • That’s it. Great phone.

17 pounds and 4 inches of Carbon Neutral

Bing bong! Who is that disturbing my workout? After opening the door, I hear the UPS getaway truck speeding into the distance. Look down. See the shrink wrapped pile.

8 catalogs. 17 pounds. 4 inches thick – at least two Sears Catalogs thick from the good ol’ days.

And the phrase below the barcode: UPS CARBON NEUTRAL SHIPMENT.

The shipment may be carbon neutral. I don’t see how 17 pounds of glossy paper is anything but a ridiculous waste.


US Postal Service, are you listening?

Ordered a monitor from South Korea. Here is the tracking information from eBay, which looks like it comes from the Korea Post Office:

Carrier:Korea Post
Mar-29-13, 09:54 AM, WOODSTOCK, IL 60098

Notice Left (No Authorized Recipient Available)
Mar-27-13, 11:37 AM, WOODSTOCK, IL 60098

Out for Delivery
Mar-27-13, 08:52 AM, WOODSTOCK, IL 60098

Sorting Complete
Mar-27-13, 08:42 AM, WOODSTOCK, IL 60098

Arrival at Post Office
Mar-27-13, 08:02 AM, WOODSTOCK, IL 60098

Depart USPS Sort Facility
Mar-27-13, 00:00 AM, PALATINE, IL 60095

Processed through USPS Sort Facility
Mar-26-13, 23:49 PM, PALATINE, IL 60095

Processed Through Sort Facility
Mar-26-13, 12:18 PM, ISC CHICAGO IL (USPS)

Origin Post is Preparing Shipment
Processed Through Sort Facility
Mar-26-13, 00:12 AM, SEOUL

Processed Through Sort Facility
Mar-25-13, 20:55 PM

Mar-25-13, 18:59 PM

So eBay holds it, but someone collects it. This is good tracking. I have never seen this on USPS stuff – it just says “Delivered”. A friend is waiting for a registered letter from Chicago for the last week. No tracking at all.

Better get it together, USPS. And Congress, lay off making them pay retirement benefits up front. For a “conservative” Congress, supposedly advocating for business, you are killing this one.

Water Flow

Here we are in the midst of the worst drought in my memory, and this, the year of the prairie native garden walk. Our garden looks like a hayfield.

While I was watering some bushes, I wondered how long I need to hover over a bush to water it sufficiently. Too little, the moisture is waster, too much and that wastes water & time.

Assumption: I should dump 2 inches of water in a 2 foot diameter circle which is the dripline of the bush. That is where the roots hide.

So a circle of 2 feet to the depth of 2 inches is Pi*r^2*d, or 3.14*(12^2)*2 = 904 in^3.

I used a stopwatch app and a 2 qt measuring cup and found the water flow to be 6 seconds for 2 qts, or 12 seconds / gal. Using the conversion, 1 gal=233 cu.in., we get 233/12 cu.in. per second, or 19 cu.in./sec.

So divide 904 cu.in / 19 cu.in/sec => 47 seconds per bush. If I go a minute, good. For a bigger bush maybe 2 as the volume increases as the square of the radius.

Observation 1: math is cool
Observation 2: dimensional analysis is probably the most useful thing I learned in school. That, and algebra.


Supposed to be way cool information engine. Lets try.

“how long to fill a bucket 2 feet in diameter and 2 inches deep at a rate of 2 quarts per 6 seconds” -> Huh?
“volume of a vertical cylinder 2 feet in diameter and 2 inches tall” -> 15.67 gallons
“( 2 qts / 6 seconds ) in gal/minute” -> 5 gal/min
“(volume of a vertical cylinder 2 feet in diameter and 2 inches tall) / ( 2 qts / 6 seconds )
-> “Using closest Wolfram|Alpha interpretation: cylinder 2 feet in diameter and 2 inches tall”

Can’t get anything else useful. Boo. By the time I get anything useful, I can do it on paper.

She Sells Beer

The only Super Bowl ad this year I remember was the Budweiser “Eternal Optimism” spot, a highly patriotic decade in review since WWII. And I like the music, hate the beer.

Imagine my surprise when the song turns out to be a mashup of “She Sells Sanctuary” from the 1985 album “Love” from an English band, The Cult. Nothing against English rockers, mind you, but if you are hawking crappy American beer using overt American symbolism, might you not want to use an American band? Just askin.

Nice mashup, reminds me of the Kleptones.