Thoughts & Tips For July 2018

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Picture from RawPixel

Thrown For A Curve

On the morning of June 5th I tried to sit down in my office chair before going to work, and suffered some major lower back pain and sciatica down my left leg. In an instant was pretty much in deep pain and immobile. Luckily my son Conrad was able immediately take me in to see my doctor, and I was given some medication to ease the pain, relax the muscles, and hopefully heal the back pain area.  I am slowly recovering, but I am still experiencing some tingling in my left foot, so I have an MRI being scheduled and physical therapy planned for early July.  I pretty much can't run (which is a big transition for me), however I can swim, walk/hike, and ride a bike so that is better than being on bed rest for sure.  Currently most of my exercise is being supplemented with 45 minutes of daily stretches and strength training.

Technology

I was able to move to Windows 10 on a new Dell tablet at work before the end of June 2018 deadline.  All in all it is working great, and I like having Type-C connectors on my work tablet and my personal HP Chromebook 13G1. For instance the same power adapter can be used on both.

Thankful For

My 5oth birthday party was great.  I had it at one of my favorite breweries -- Burning Beard.

I am thankful that I have improved as much as I have, and I need to realize how much my current mobility is when compared to June 5th.

I wasn't able to finish the MBSE class in early June because of my back injury, but the 2nd course at the end of June was good.  I passed so I'll be completing my certification in Systems Engineering (Level 2) soon.

Future

I am offering three more Vital Smarts' 1-day Getting Things Done (GTD) classes at work -- one in July, one in August, and then one in September.

DEFCON is coming up in August.  That should be fun.

We also have a camping trip to San Elijo State Beach planned for the end of July.

Tips

One of things that made it possible for me to sleep during the first two weeks of back pain & sciatica was a TENS machine that I got on Amazon last year  to help with healing an achilles injury I had.  I am now a super big fan of the TENS devices.    

I am pretty excited to share my Retro 80's Synth playlist (also on Spotify) that I started as part of www.chvrchespodcast.com. It is especially cool when fans of the podcast say they are enjoying the playlist.

Quote I'm Thinking About

"Your word is pure magic, and misuse of your word is black magic.” - Don Miguel Ruiz


Thoughts & Tips For June 2018

Kindfolk-703-unsplashPhoto by kindfolk on Unsplash

Technology

I took one of my Wyze cameras on travel in May to Washington, DC with me to watch over all my gear in my hotel room while I was at out of the room.  It worked out well.  No issues.

I am moving from a Windows 7 HP tablet/laptop to a Windows 10 Dell tablet at work by the end of June.  A lot of stuff to do to make that transition happen.

Thankful For

Mother's Day was great and Memorial day weekend was a lot of fun around our house.  We also had a good time seeing the Star War's Solo movie for Spencer's birthday.  The previous week Spencer and I saw the very funny Deadpool 2 movie.

My favorite band CHVRCHES released their 3rd album "Love Is Dead." If you are a crazy fan like me then please listen to the CHVRCHES Fan Podcast.

Future

June is going to be busy: my 50th Birthday Party, a lot of high school graduation parties with friends' kids graduating, and a possible trip to DC at the end of the month.  Plus I am taking two big courses in June - one on Systems Engineering (late in June) and another on Model Based Systems Engineering (early in June).

I also have three more Vital Smarts' new 1-day Getting Things Done (GTD) classes scheduled for the summer at work -- one in July, one in August, and then one in September.

Tips

I really like these instant coffee packets from South Korea -- Maxim Mocha Gold Mild Coffee Mix.  They are great for travel, camping, and mixing it up from standard coffee. And these sugar free sweeteners are great with sparkling water plus your favorite adult alcohol like vodka -- Jelly Belly Liquid Drink Mix.

Quote I'm Thinking About

"Society has arisen out of the works of peace; the essence of society is peacemaking." - Ludwig von Mises


TIP - Outlook 2013 Workaround for IMAP Test Account Feature

I ran into a "blocking function" in getting IMAP working with Outlook 2013 recently.  There is a feature in Outlook 2013 that requires you to Test Account Settings ... before an IMAP email account will be created the first time.  The testing is mandatory with no apparent way to turn it off.

It turns out that the IMAP server I was trying to connect to has a digital certificate issue that prompts via GUI a user acknowledgement to agree to use the certificate.  However, when you are doing a Test Account Settings  ... setup the first time the certificate dialog never comes up and the testing fails. A failed test means the account won't be created.

The work around I found was to create a working IMAP connection using my GMAIL account, and then re-editing the IMAP settings for the server that I wanted to connect to.  And in that case you can turn off the Test Account Settings option.


Can you get a Fujitsu ScanSnap S510M to work with Windows?

Fujitsu-scansnap-s510mThe short answer is "Yes."

I was able to get a S510M that is marketed towards to Apple Mac users to work on Windows 7 by loading the latest ScanSnap software for Fujitsu for the S510.  Once loaded and patched to the latest version, hook up via USB to the Windows 7 computer.

When I did this I got an error that no driver was available, but I went to Computer > Manage > System Tools > Device Manager and right mouse clicked on the Unknown device for the scanner. Choose Properties and then the Driver tab.  Click Update Driver ... and then manually select the Fujitsu S510 driver to apply to this device.  You should get a warning message saying it might not work but say OK.

Once that drive was applied to the Device the S510M (with S510 driver) showed up in the Imaging device area and scanning worked without any issues.


Tech Tracking #003 - Android, Gune, MacWorld, WordPress, Etc.

Here are some tech items I've been tracking:


Windows 7 Tip - NVIDIA GT 220 driver

My desktop test system for Windows 7 Ultimate is a HP s5150t with a NVIDIA GeForce GT 220 video graphics driver. As I post this tip, the NVIDIA site has the following video driver available (since 8/21/2009):

  • 190.62_desktop_win7_winvista_32bit_english_whql

Which I installed a couple of weeks ago. Previously they had the following:

  • 186.34_desktop_win7_winvista_32bit_international_whql

I was having periodic problems with the v186.34 version where the video would just stop sending a signal, and I'd have to remote in and restart the computer.  Since putting on v190.62 I haven't had this issue so I think the bug has been fixed.

However, I recently ran Windows Update (I think on Friday morning) and it said there was a new graphics driver available for the NVIDIA GT220. I mistakenly trusted the recommendation and installed it.  It appears to have been the v186.34 version because my video issue shortly re-appeared.  I backed out the buggy update, put v190.62 back on, and everything is stable again.

Hopefully, as Window 7 gets closer to official launch, this type of driver issue will be resolved.  If not, it could be a rocky launch for what has been for me a pretty solid product.