Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Trump Backups

When I built "The Trump" I used Windows Storage Spaces to create a mirrored data drive.

On the Storage Spaces I used Microsoft's Resilient File System (ReFS). The 2 TB drives I used had 4096 byte hardware sectors.

While I still believe that this was a solid technical decision it has caused me difficulties in backing up my data drive.

My "go to" backup solution Drive SnapShot didn't support 4096 byte sectors and couldn't give me a date for adding that support.

This sent me on a quest for alternatives.

For AOMEI Backupper Standard:

In summary I didn't find ANY personal backup (read that "free") tools that supported 4096 byte sectors and ReFS.

The best I could find was Macrium Reflect Free.

It supports 4096 byte sectors but treats the ReFS like a fully used GPT volume. With Reflect's compression and differential backups this has been acceptable.

I'm looking forward to the personal backup tools stepping up to these new technologies.

Sunday, July 17, 2016


OTG stands for "USB On-The-Go."

OTG is a "specification that allows USB devices ... to act as a host, allowing other USB devices ... to be attached to them. ... For instance, a mobile phone may read from removable media as the host device, but present itself as a USB Mass Storage Device when connected to a host computer."

Translation: An OTG drive can be plugged into a PC and then into a phone.

I had never played with these until I came across this one.

Then I couldn't find anything to do with it!

But recently I found a good use case for it.

I had ripped Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt to mp3s and wanted to move it to my Nexus 5.

I put the USB A end into Trump and dragged the mp3s to it. I ejected it and took it over to the phone.

When I plugged it in I got this in the Notification area.

I tapped on "PNY USB drive" and got this.

I long tapped on "Michael Lewis" and then pulled down "...".

I tapped on "Copy to ...".

And I was able to copy the folder to the phone.

To eject it, I pulled down the notification shade again, opened the Settings and ejected it.

If it would just fit on my key chain I'd use it a lot more. By the way, it did get hot while plugged into the phone.

Oh, there's one for the iPhone too with a slight Apple tax.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Comcast Atta Boys

My EMCO Ping Monitor had been complaining about brief Internet outages for a couple of weeks. I almost never noticed them. When I did the Internet recovered before I could do much problem determination.

One day the blip lasted 10 minutes so I called Comcast.

After a few minutes of fruitless discussions with the Philippines I was transferred to to Lisa in Denver (888-824-8988). She said that my signal levels were low and scheduled an appointment for 2 days later between 10:00 and noon. They had offered to come the next day but I was not available.

The evening of the next day Comcast called me and said that they had made repairs in my neighborhood and wanted to know if my problem was resolved. As it was so intermittent I couldn't say either way so we let the appointment stand.

At 9:00 on the morning of the appointment I got an e-mail that the technician was at my house. I looked out the window and there he was an hour early.

Then my phone rang and he announced himself.

He was a Comcast employee, not a contractor, and was very capable. Before he called me he had checked that my signal levels were good. He was aware of what they had done on the previous day and said that that repair was what had corrected my signal levels.

I haven't had the problem since.

Good job Comcast!

Then on Memorial Day, both the Internet and cable TV went down.

When I called Comcast I was greeted with a message that there was a problem in my area and they were working on it. I found this just down the street.

The service was restored before the time they had promised.

Good job Comcast!

And finally, the speed.

Good job Comcast!

Sunday, July 03, 2016

You Won't Believe What My Next Phone Is!

I have a pattern of buying old, cheap, niche mobile phones: Samsung Captivate, Samsung Skyrocket, Moto X, OnePlus One, and Google Nexus 5.

I've loved my Nexus 5 but the battery life is erratic.

So I found something new.

Google Nexus 5New Phone
Device typeSmart phoneSmart phone
OSAndroid (6.0, 5.1, 5.0, 4.4.4, 4.4.2, 4.4)Android (6.0, 5.1)
Dimensions5.43 x 2.72 x 0.34 inches (137.84 x 69.17 x 8.59 mm)5.79 x 3.04 x 0.37 inches (147 x 77.2 x 9.4 mm)
Weight4.59 oz (130 g)6.77 oz (192 g)
Physical size5.0 inches5.4 inches
Resolution1080 x 1920 pixels1440 x 2560 pixels
Pixel density445 ppi541 ppi
Colors16 777 21616 777 216
FeaturesLight sensor, Proximity sensor, Scratch-resistant glass (Corning Gorilla Glass 3)Scratch-resistant glass (Corning Gorilla Glass 4), Light sensor, Proximity sensor
Camera8 megapixels18 megapixels
   FlashDual LEDDual LED
   Aperture sizeF2.4F2.2
   Focal length (35mm equivalent)30.4 mm
   Camera sensor size1/3.2"
   FeaturesOptical image stabilization, Face detection, Digital zoom, Self-timer, Back-illuminated sensor (BSI), Autofocus, Touch to focus, Geo taggingOptical image stabilization, Autofocus (Phase detection), Touch to focus, Face detection, Digital zoom, Geo tagging
Camcorder1920x1080 (1080p HD) (30 fps)3840x2160 (4K) (30 fps), 1920x1080 (1080p HD) (60 fps)
Front-facing camera1.3 megapixels2 megapixels
System chipQualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 MSM8992
ProcessorQuad-core, 2260 MHz, Krait 400Hexa-core, 1800 MHz, ARM Cortex-A57 and ARM Cortex-A53, 64-bit
Graphics processorAdreno 330Adreno 418
System memory2048 MB RAM3072 MB RAM
Built-in storage32 GB32 GB
Maximum User Storage

Storage expansion
microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC up to 2000 GB
Talk time17.00 hours
Stand-by time12.5 days (300 hours)
Capacity2300 mAh3410 mAh
Not user replaceableYesYes
Wireless chargingBuilt-in (Qi)Built-in (Qi, Powermat)
Music player
   Filter byAlbum, Artist, PlaylistsAlbum, Artist, Genre, Playlists
   FeaturesAlbum art cover, Background playbackAlbum art cover, Background playback
SpeakersEarpiece, LoudspeakerEarpiece, Loudspeaker
YouTube playerYesYes
Built-in online services supportYouTube (upload), Picasa/Google+YouTube (upload), Picasa/Google+
CDMA800, 1900 MHz
GSM850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
UMTS800, 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz800, 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz
FDD LTE800 (band 20), 850 (band 5), 900 (band 8), 1800 (band 3), 2100 (band 1), 2600 (band 7) MHz700 (band 12), 700 (band 17), 700 (band 29), 800 (band 20), 850 (band 5), 1700/2100 (band 4), 1800 (band 3), 1900 (band 2), 2100 (band 1), 2300 WCS (band 30), 2600 (band 7) MHz
DataLTE Cat 4 (150/50 Mbit/s), HSDPA+ (4G) 42.2 Mbit/s, HSUPA 5.76 Mbit/s, UMTS, EDGE, GPRSLTE-A, HSPA (unspecified), HSUPA
PositioningGPS, A-GPS, GlonassGPS, A-GPS
NavigationTurn-by-turn navigationTurn-by-turn navigation, Voice navigation
Wi-Fi802.11 a, b, g, n, n 5GHz, ac802.11 a, b, g, n, n 5GHz, ac
   Mobile hotspotYesYes
   FeaturesUSB chargingUSB charging
HDMIvia microUSB
OtherNFC, DLNA, Miracast, ANT+, SlimPort, TV-Out, Tethering, Computer sync, OTA syncNFC, Tethering, Computer sync, OTA sync
NotificationsHaptic feedback, Music ringtones (MP3), Polyphonic ringtones, Vibration, Flight mode, Silent mode, SpeakerphoneService lights, Haptic feedback, Music ringtones (MP3), Polyphonic ringtones, Vibration, Flight mode, Silent mode, Speakerphone
SensorsAccelerometer, Gyroscope, Compass, Barometer, Step detector, Step counterAccelerometer, Compass, Gesture
Hearing aid compatibility
M3, T4
OtherVoice dialing, Voice commands, Voice recordingVoice dialing, Voice commands, Voice recording
Officially announced31 Sep 201325 Sep 2015
FCC Approval04 Nov 201322 Oct 2015

It's a Blackberry PRIV.

So while it's relatively new, I can't get away from cheap and niche.


I found the PRIV on a fire sale on eBay for $299.99. As usual I added a Seidio holster.