Apple v Pi Or How I Slowly Got My Computing Future On

I tried to become a watch-nut once. Not a real watch-nut, mind you. Of course not. A real watch-nut spends lots of money on watches. Heck, I don’t even like money. Anywho. A watch-nut knows what a complication is. In fact, that’s the only thing that made watches interesting to me. The simpler the complications, the better the watch. That’s why for years I wore a cheap, mechanical watch that within a twenty-four hour period lost at least two minutes of time. But it was a cool watch. Every morning I had to get up and wind it. Which brings me to the worst-subject of the day. As in super expensive and it works or something quite a bit cheaper and maybe, well, it loses two minutes of time a day. You in, dear worst-reader?

As you can see in the confused pics above, I consumed Apple’s #WWDC2018 the other day. Already dislocated from expectations, I was, as usual, disappointed in the show. Long worst-writer, pseudo-technologist, story short: #Apple sucks. The only consolation, as an Apple user, is that Apple will remain the best of the worst for the foreseeable future. That said, I’m not ready to fully go elsewhere for my personal computing needs. Or maybe I am. I’m especially not ready to go iOS. That’s for sure. And that’s what I got out of this year’s WWDC. In other words, if you’re an old-school Mac user like me, it’s probably time to move on or at least get ready to move over rover. That means, iOS is definitely gonna take over fairly soon. And even though the guy with the funny hair and plastic look (pic above of the iPad) claimed that there will be no merge of iOS and MacOS, I don’t believe him. Well, I kinda believe him. I mean, look at him. Compare him to the slimy, filthy ashtray that I refuse to clean behind him. The duschbags running Apple these days are definitely earning their weight in bull$hit. And that’s coming from a guy who has nothing but Apple products in his digital life. Aghast!

In order to prepare myself for the future I’ve been experimenting with what I consider the only true innovation in personal computing hardware in the past twenty years. And when I say personal computing I mean old school stuff as in a keyboard, a monitor and where necessary a mouse. And it doesn’t stop there. I’m also old school because I believe that when I buy a computer, what I do with it after purchase is all up to me. With that in mind, the thing I hate most about iOS and the direction computers are going is the touch screen interface and the fact that that it has exponentially increased the distance between human and the computer and device. Wow. I bet that’s worth a worst-thought or three, eh? Anywho.

Now don’t get me wrong, dear worst-reader. I’m not afraid of change. It’s just that I really do hate tablets. Nomatter how bright, clear and shinny they make those screens, for me there is something awfully wrong with my finger tips hitting a piece of hardened glass in order to interact with the/my digital world. Add to that the closed eco-system these new devices have ushered in to personal computing… at the behest of greed mongering corporations…

The thing to remember to keep in mind while reading this worst-post, dear worst-reader, is that nomatter what Apple does, worst-writer ain’t going to move to tablet computing anytime soon. In fact, so far, it looks like they’re gonna have to pry my dreams of old-school personal computing way of life out of my cold, dead, nightmare hands.

And so…

IMHO the most innovative personal computing product in years is the Raspberry Pi. Since its introduction as a code learning device for young people it has become a viable and versatile computer that has no rivals other than other single board computers, although it’s not quite ready to replace desktop computers. (But it is almost there.) And get this! It costs just under less than 40,-€.  Depending upon use and purpose, total cost of this device is around 100,-€, and that includes audio-boards, power supply and micro-sd cards. Considering what I’ve paid over the years for inevitably obsolete Apple products, that’s pretty impressive. FYI, I currently have three Raspberry Pi’s in full-time use in my house. And there’s this thought: I’m using R-Pis more than any of my Apple digital devices combined, except, maybe, my MacBook. In other worst-words, I’ve replaced what could have been Apple purchases–if Apple weren’t run by duschbags!–with some serious household cost-cutting purchases.

Enough worst-writer anger, though, eh.

One Pi is a Plex media client that has replaced one of my AppleTVs. It’s only a matter of time before another Pi replaces the other AppleTV. My second Pi is an audio streaming device using Volumio and a Hifiberry audio-board. It has 1) replaced iTunes for streaming music in our living room and kitchen and 2) will prevent us from having to buy any of those stupid little speaker thingies everybody and joe is pushing onto the music listening market. Sorry. Let me just put this out there:

Apple HomePod + iTunes + Apple Music + blah blah blah = fcuk you Apple.

That’s right. Finally. I can play my FLAC formatted music collection in its purest form–and with real air-moving speakers. Amen, brother.

The third Pi is the latest device available, the 3B+, and because it has increased ethernet capacity–although still via a bottlenecking USB 2.0 bus–I’ve been testing it as a NAS (network attached storage). Other than a few twerks and quirks here and there, these Pi’s work great and are slowly but surely proving themselves as alternatives to my ageing Apple home infrastructure and, more importantly, my unwillingness to accept Apple’s monopolisation of everything.

On that note, a few words about NAS on the cheap.

As you can see in the large pic above, I’m using a 2010 MacPro as a headless server. In fact, I’ve been using it for almost ten years. It’s where all of my household data is stored and backed-up. Of course, I know it’s time is limited, especially considering what Apple is doing with MacOS. It’s currently running El Capitan and I’m not even gonna bother with Sierra or High Sierra for it or any other OS. What I’d really like to do with it is stop wasting it as a over-energy-consumptive server and re-install Snow Leopard on it and just use it as a awesome desktop computer. Any by-the-buy, the newest MacOS just released, Mojave, won’t run on it at all. Indeed. More obsoletism. And for those interested, I don’t favour going the commercial NAS route i.e. Synology & Co. on account they are just an added complication in something that should be simple, where do I go in the future with my home digital needs they all seem like over priced and over complicated un-neccessities.

The fact that I have to even ask such a question is proof enough that there’s something seriously wrong with the world–or at least Apple’s and its, what I consider, corporate dysfunction. And perhaps this relates to my silly little watch analogy at the beginning of this post because when I heard that the latest Raspberry Pi had increased ethernet speed, albeit not quite gigabyte, I thought it finally time to take the plunge. Indeed. NAS here I cometh–even if you’re off two minutes each day!

Conclusion after about a month of Raspberry Pi NAS testing?

It works but…

Using OpenMediaVault, a 32GB micro-sd card, and a dedicated 5v-3amp micro-USB power supply, and, of course, numerous available HDDs I’ve got lying around–including really, really old USB 2.0 cases–my new cheap NAS is a go-go works great so far. Currently occupying two USB (out of 4) ports I have an old 750GB HDD in a single case that is dedicated to audio. Another dual HDD case that has hardware enabled RAID-0 case and 2x3TB drives in it, gives me a total of 6TB as an experimental backup server. I’m using testing the big drive for shares where I’ll be copying most of what’s on the MacPro to it as an alternative to the MacPro. Btw, the MacPro is a great server but it is obviously wasted in this role. Also, I’m not able to connect any of the Raspberry Pi’s to it unless via a Plex server. Something about Linux file systems and Mac files system not getting along, don’t you know. Anywho.

Hiccups so far mostly occur when I stream music and perform large data transfers. The Pi just doesn’t have enough ethernet/USB to make it all happen. For example. Copying my movie collection, which is about 1.5TB of data, from my MacPro to the big NAS share, the Pi then cannot deliver audio files at the same time. This screws up Volumio quite a bit and has required more than a few restarts and a few frustrating evenings where I was attempting to enjoy music. I’m assuming that these hiccups will decrease once I get all my music, movie and photos copied to the NAS, which is about 4TB total and will take a few days at current i/o bus speeds. And to think I’ve still got two more USB ports on the Pi for more drives… Cool.

Update two days later: All big files have been copied and I’ve had no hiccups with Volumio anymore. Über cool!

In worst-conclusion: So far I’m pleased with the time and effort required to get these Pi’s doing what I want working. And that’s the ticket, along with the price, if anyone wants to free themselves from monopolisation and corporate dysfunction galore. Of course there is a learning curve here. And even though there are forums out there and what feels like a large user base, the Raspberry Pi is not at all like any of the devices that I’m replacing. Obviously AppleTVs worked from the point-of-purchase until Apple makes them obsolete. So I’ve had to do a bit of research, reading and fiddling to get these Raspberry Pi’s to work. Then again, listening to Beethoven through real speakers in FLAC at 24bit streamed from a tiny server in my basement to a device that is hidden, tucked behind books on book shelf in my living room… Fcuk yeah! There is some wow going on in my audio listening pleasure zone, baby. And so. Good ridden monopoly Apple. Hope you choke on your duschbaggery and greed.

Rant on.

-T

PS As far as the two other pictures included in this post, you’re guess is a good as mine. The one with the runners is kinda cool and reminds somehow of Apple’s dysfunction. Yeah, that kid running along the group looks like he’s trying to keep up with his daddy or stop his daddy from running away from his mommy, which is most likely, considering #eurowasteland greed mongering, inevitable. The picture of the smoke stack is Apple, too. Yeah, it’s gotten that big and fat and in the way of seeing a horizon.

Kudos To The Best Of The Worst

three dollar bill apple logo (low res)

One of the world’s most greedy corporate CEOs (I mean, come on worst-reader, it is all about greed and not achievement or merit or the like, right?) has found a moment to put a few degrees between what he represents (über-greed) and what the worst of the worst represents (stupid-greed). Pretty much from day one worst-writer has claimed that Facebook is just bad bad bad. I also call it internet for stupid people. Anytime you see a bunch of consumer dunces giggling over their phones while connected to the past or other family dunces, eyebrows should be raised with bloody splinters in them. Of course, what can one do when the consume-to-survive world has so few choices regarding meaning in this worst-life? If anything, Facebook should be proof of how empty the western world of consumption has become–and who and what has brought us to this point. Yet all is grand in galore-ville and you’ve elected a comb-over as president. On the other hand, this world deserves the likes of Facebook. I mean, seriously. If stupid begets stupid, welcome to consumption galore. Here’s a ticket to your Colloseum–which was erected and used as part of the fall of the Roman Empire. Make sure you LIKE all the people you’re connected with who are as equally stupid as you as lions eat you. Go figure.

Rant on.

-T

Link that motivated this post:

Bill Clinton The Gold Digger, Hillary His Grab ‘Em By The #Trump And May Stormy Daniels Or Pre-Lawsuit Gawker Save Us All

americas stock price.jpg

Subtitle: Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Gawker’s Peter Thiel and #Trump’s comb-over should suck each other till there’s nothing left of all.

Disclaimer: This post is NSFW because of some harsh language. Good luck with that and sorry if I offended you before this warning. (Not!)

You know, dear worst-reader, you should ask me. (Pause.) In fact, everyone should ask me. (Short pause.) I mean, obviously, it’s gonna take longer than I may have (on this earth) to get to where I’m alluding, but eventually someone should realise: Hey! We should have asked worst-writer about this!

Worst-reader: But what should we ask, dear worst-writer?

Of all the bull$hit going on with Facebook right now and some right-wing bat$hit company called Cambridge Analytica that managed to take advantage of a bunch of really, really stupid people that should never have been allowed on the Interwebnets in the first place–which is only reason for a Facebook–one very important issue is not being discussed. That issue is nothing more than… What’s left of the tech boom brainiacs and worthwhile automatons that made #Americant great again. I mean. Is it me or do only the $hitheads remain (in Silicon Valley and elsewhere) and they are all scrapping the walls of the rotting barrel till there’s no tomorrow? In other words:

Mark Zuckerberg is a moron. Whaaaaa? Don’t believe me? Ok. Hold a sec.

If, according to his stock price and/or bank account, Zuckerberg is a success in what’s left of the new economy that has been decimated by the old economy post Dotcom boom, boy are we (you) fcuked. I know that’s probably not a very difficult assertion to deal with right now–on account #Americant is really, really full of morons considering President Stupid’s election–so let me just throw this out there to get things moving.

  1. How much money was made by Cambridge Analytica as it sold data that it dubiously acquired from naive Facebook?
  2. Is it possible that Cambridge Analytica is liable for what it did with said data?
  3. Should Peter Thiel suck his mother’s cock or Mark Zuckerberg’s–or finally put his $hit money to some worthwhile use?

Indeed. There are types of money, aren’t there?

With that in mind, I’m once again perturbed how the press is dealing with all the bull$hit STILL coming out of the 2016 election. I mean, Facebook this or Facebook that…? Now Facebook is connected to a $hitbag company named Cambridge Analytica that wants personal information in order to manipulate elections. Whaaaaaa!

I don’t know about you, dear worst-reader. How much more stupid can you take? (Obviously you can take a lot more.) Whether it’s Russia hacking everything, #Trump colluding with jerk-offs to get dirt on Hillary or, God forbid, Hillary’s Benghazi and emails… Nomatter what happens the thing that need be discussed, isn’t being discussed. Oh wait. Pause. Stormy Daniel’s 60 Minute interview is on the Interwebnets.

Worst-reader: But what should be discussed, dear worst-writer?

Well, that’s an easy one. Most of my beloved #Americants problems could begin to be solved toot-sweet if all republicans are given the boot. That would mean that a super majority congress of Democrats–all of which should eventually be replaced with even lefter Dems–should run the $hitshow for at least three presidential elections. During that time, #Americants can reboot the Republican Party, replacing all republicans with candidates that reject religion in government, respect Row v Wade and require gun control that somehow–and this is a doozy–only put guns in the hands of people that can pass a literacy and cooking test given by nine woman, five of which are married and the rest are either single, lesbian or certified Harley mechanic(s). Or something like that.

But I’m off subject (again).

The thing(s) that should be discussed. For real, this time.

The thing that should be discussed is if companies like Facebook, Über, Amazon, etc., should be held to a higher level of scrutiny due to the sensitive nature of personal information that they all are gathering about their users–because users are so f’n stupid. That is, either these personal-data companies should be watched and regulated or there needs to be a law guaranteeing that personal information, no matter what platform has it, always belongs to the person (that created it). Put another way. Anything that I put on the internet, a comment, a blog post, a rant, or even activating a “like” button, etc., etc., belongs to me. Only I determine the use of that information. But perhaps I’m going too far. I mean, come on dear worst-reader. Can you actually imagine a moment in time where a law is made that protects an individual above a corporation?

We back in medieval times, don’t you know.

More that should be discussed.

And now lets move on to Peter Thiel being a useless, filthy rich schwanzlutscher-mutterficker who deserves as much ridicule as moron Mark Zuckerberg–or President Stupid. I mean, come on. Is it me or are all the slime-ball rich jerkoffs coming out of their holes at this point in fail-upwards #Americant? Who are these people anyway? Well, I’ll tell ya. These men deserve ridicule? They deserve it so much I wish it would make them go away–far away. They are obviously rich-stupid-fcuks who never gave much thought what do with their money other than waste it, make more of it, use people with it, screw some one, screw everyone! If you don’t recall, dear worst-reader, here’s a recap of Peter Thiel.

Peter Thiel is the mutterficker who, out of spite, put a really, really $hitty website out of bidness. Seriously. In fact, he didn’t just put it out of bidness. He now actually owns it. And don’t get me wrong, dear worst-reader. I have no sympathy for Gawker. I don’t care that Gawker existed and I especially don’t care that Gawker’s now gone (or owned by Thiel). What I care about is what got rid of Gawker. I care about the fact that this world somehow produces the likes of Peter Thiel who can spend a hundred million dollars out of spite to get rid of a bunch of jerk-offs that published $hit he didn’t like. Talk about gay-on-gay bitch-fighting! Thiel’s actions—and this coincides with Zuckerberg’s actions—prove that if anyone deserves to be $hit on with words, these guys do–including President Stupid. Look what these a$$holes do with their money. And that’s why it’s called: #Americant.

Btw, there’s more to discuss.

Mark Zuckerberg sold hundreds of millions of dollars in stock last week. Just look at a chart of the stock price of Facebook in February and March of 2018 and how it obviously correlates with the krapp revealed about his company and how it was involved in an election. Of course, as usual, all of this is convoluted with the idear that Zuckerberg and his wife are selling stock to finance their charity. Yea, right. Which begs the question. Insider trading anyone? Come on!

This probably isn’t worth discussing but what the hell. A bit more on Thiel.

Some years ago Hulk Hogan was on the verge of losing a defamation lawsuit that he couldn’t afford to finance because a “friend” of his made a sex tape of him getting a sympathy fcuk from said friends wife. That tape was accidentally aired by Gawker. Peter Thiel, an angry gay man that was outed by another angry gay man (at Gawker) stepped in and gave Hogan’s lawyers $100m and Hogan won the case. What a constructive use of money, eh! (Sarcasm off.)

What kind of human being is Peter Thiel or Mark Zuckerberg? Thank goodness most rational thinking people know what kind of human being President Stupid is (unless, of course, you fail to grasp the intimacy of a comb-over). If a guy like Thiel can turn personal spite into such a weapon because words were used that he didn’t like, can he also not do something worthwhile with (his) money? And can’t Mark Zuckerberg just continue connecting people that want to hook up or, what the hell, connect people who can’t grow out of high school?

Let me cut to the chase.

Is there no one out there that could do the same with their money to sue the pants of Facebook for how it abused so many more people than Hulk Hogan’s sympathy fcuk sextape and thereby, perhaps, save #Americant democracy? I mean, Facebook dished out a Krapp load of personal information to a company that then sold it to politicians who thought they could use it, take advantage of it, and make some political gain. At the least, they got their #Trump, i.e. President Stupid. Man, all this $hit that’s going on is so overwhelming (or at least should be) that it’s not even worth discussing what politician it helped or hindered. On the other hand, Facebook users click “ok” every day allowing themselves to become a product—while they think they are hooking up with regressive high schoolers that are otherwise too stupid to use the Interwebnets.

What the hell am I worst-writing about? This Krapp is happening in the Polit-buro united mistakes of #Americant. Of course it is. It’s what is deserved. It was has been earned generation after greed generation.

Rant on.

-T

Links that motivated this post:

Pseudo Review: Audio On The Cheap, Refurbised Used Speakers, Raspberry Pi HifiBerry Galore And Happy As A Pig In…

First pseudo-review of this sort of stuff here.

Been fiddling around with audio for a few years now. About a decade ago, well into my forties, I made the mistake of purchasing a surround sound system. It was some ginormous thirty-pound, seven channel, only God knows how to setup system and after a few years the only thing I got out of it was hate. I hated having to run some fancy automated sound test with a microphone to set up the speakers. Once setup I never had the feeling that the super fancy microphone that came with it even did the right job. I hated the crossover between the speakers and the amp, especially when it came to the seven-hundred watt subwoofer that I had attached to it. And don’t get me started on the hate I have for audio encoding whether multichannel, DTS, Dolby, HD, blah, blah, blah. All in all, I was glad to finally get rid of that thing, practically giving it away after only three people bid on it. The one thing I did get out of dealing with that krapp for a few years: I love stereo. I missed plain old fashion music coming out of two speakers. Indeed. Listening to great audio doesn’t have to be a big deal–and it doesn’t have to be expensive either.

Although there was a bit of a struggle for a short while regarding whether or not my future listening needs would be analog or digital, I quickly came to realise that I didn’t care about either. The only thing I was sure about was that I no longer wanted multi-channel and I don’t want to use headphones. That’s right. There’s only one other type of sound I hate more than multi-channel sound. I hate listening to music through headphones. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that headphone don’t sound great. I’ve heard them here or there. Some of them are mind-blowing. It’s just that the immediate connection between ear and source has always bothered me. There’s just something wrong with having my ear-drums so close to the source. I mean, when I’m at a concert I don’t put my ear up to the stage or even the amps. But there’s no reason to nitpick. I get it why some Das Volk love headphones. As far as I’m concerned, more power to y’all!

Btw, when I say analog or digital I’m referring mostly to amplification and media storage. With that in mind, I did side with the digital world even though I discarded my ageing CD player when I got rid of my multi-channel AV system. I consider myself digital because, well, I’m not getting a vinyl player or going back to cassettes anytime soon. And so… As long as I can rip CDs or download purchased music, I have no need for physical or analog media. (Wow. I hope I’ve gotten that right!) On the other hand, I haven’t bought any new music in years. Seriously. In the last five or so years, I think I’ve purchased three albums on Amazon. Otherwise, my music collection is basically ripped new, used, traded CDs from when I was young. The music is served with Plex and sometimes (my wife) iTunes.

Almost a speaker review.

This worst-post, i.e. this pseudo-review, is supposed to be about having purchased a set of Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Andrew Jones speakers–but it’s also about having achieved my dream audio system… ON THE F’N CHEAP. According to the Interwebnets, the BS22’s are some of the best speakers you can buy for the least amount of money. And the Interwebnets ain’t wrong! The only problem with these speakers is they are not for sale in Europe. And I didn’t want to have them sent to The Old Country thereby taxing the heck out of ’em. After all these years of living in Germania and having to deal with import taxes, customs, etc, I never order anything from abroad anymore. It’s just a hassle galore, don’t you know. Since I frequently travel to The Homeland…

Full stop. Can you believe the US has a government agency named Homeland? I mean, Orwell anyone?

After reading about these speakers and their specs, measurments, etc., I thought I could easily transport them back to The Old Country on a return flight. And guess what? It was easy-peesy to do just that. I made sure I traveled with the largest suitcase I own, though, because these speakers are a bit bigger than I thought–especially when you first see the box they are delivered in. But after opening them, giving them a feel and hug, I realised discarding the original packaging and getting them in my luggage wrapped in the cushion of my dirty underwear and rotting socks, they should be fine. In fact, other than a very slight dent in the fake wood vinyl covering on one of the speaker’s edges that is barely noticeable, they made it without a scratch. Needless to say I was tickled to hear them for the first time when I got back to my expat home. That’s right, dear worst-reader. I had no way to test them in the US. But hey. For a set of refurbished speakers from you-know-who online, what the hell.

Speakers in use by worst-writer.

  • B&W 305 towers – I’ve had them for about ten years. Althoug I probably should, I can’t get rid of them. In the right room with a decent amp and when properly placed in front of me while I sit in a comfy chair with cup of tea, they are magnificant low-cost, entry-way audiophile speakers. I think I paid €250 for them used. Until I get the right room for them, they’re mostly in the basement and unused due to wife-approval issues.
  • Bose Companion 20 – Although I’m not a fan of most of Bose’s stuff on account of their arbitrary (i.e., Apple-like) product over-pricing, I got these powered speakers as a gift a long time ago. They really are very good if/when connected via audio-jack to a laptop and used on a desk–or used as ersatz TV speakers.
  • Audioengine P4 – I bought them via you-know-who warehouse deal at almost half-price which saved me from having to get a sound-bar or using the Bose speakers to replace krappy TV speakers. They are powered with a SMSL Q5 Pro mini amp and a standard, old fashion audio-jack from the TV to the amp, which lets my wife control volume using the TV’s remote. The TV gets audio via HDMI from a second Raspberry PI (model 3) w/ RasPlex and/or an AppleTV(3). These are fantastic speakers–but NOT worth their full retail price!

The Pioneer SP-BS22-LR speakers are cheap. I paid $90 for them plus tax. For that kind of money they are twice as good as the Audioengine P4’s and are a tick better than my ageing B&W 305s towers. I even have the feeling that the little Pioneers are better at bass than the much taller, beefier B&Ws that have six inch woofers. But then again, I’m not a bass fan.

As you can see in the pic above, the BS22’s are attached to a TEAC A-H01 amp. The amp drives the speakers beautifully no matter what the source. In my case I use either USB (PC), fibre-optic (Apple TV) or analog cinch (Pi). Which brings me to the other magic of this low cost audio system. Although the TEAC does have a USB DAC and I can easly attache my MacBook to it, my main audio delivery system is a Raspberry Pi (model 2 B) and a HifiBerry DAC+Pro with analog cinch cables streaming via Ethernet from a Plex server.

I stream music from a Plex server in my basement via ethernet. After sorting out the power needs of the Pi–problem solved with a dedicated 5v 3amp micro USB power source–these new speakers have given me a feeling of closer for this system. Although I have plans of fiddling more with HifiBerry’s and cheap Class-T amps in the future, this setup in my work room (also my main listening room) is now my audio galore dream come true.

Total cost of work-room audio system dream come true for a small office or bedroom.

  • TEAC A-H01: €300 (warehouse deal; no longer available)
  • BS22 speakers: €100 (warehouse deal; available cheaper in the US if/when on sale)
  • Raspberry Pi 2 B: €60 (including micro-SD card, dedicated micro USB power, steel case)
  • Hifiberry Dac+Pro: €45
  • Cables: €50
  • Plex Media Server, RasPlex client: free!

And so… Listen closely to Miles’ lips on that trumpet.

Rant on.

-T

Lightening Bold Error And Everything Not Fine. #Uselesseater Happenings In #Eurowasteland Galore. Proper powering An RPI.

Been fiddling with a Raspberry Pi 2 for a while now to get the best sound possible to a save-some-money audio system. Even though these little, credit card sized mini-computers are über rocking cool, the only thing I can figure them for is as clients for servers. I currently have two running. RPI 3 is a media client and the RPI 2 is the same, albeit with with a HifiBerry DAC+ Pro is mostly for my audio listening needs. For example, as I worst-write this I’m listening to Robert Plant’s Dreamland. Oh. And before I forget: More on audio on the cheap here.

Although I was able to get the Hifiberry to work from the get go, there was always some software adjustments that it needed and since I’m really, real lazy when it comes to software stuff, it’s taken me a frustrating while to fish through it and not just get some get-go but get it going get-go real well. Which brings me to this post. As you, dear worst-reader, may not note from the pics above, two pics were taken while on a relaxation, i.e. clear head walk in order to figuring out how to configure the config-txt file on both RasPlex and Volumio so that the sound card (Hifiberry) can take full advantage of the RCA cables from it. Then all I had to do was set the client software (i.e. RasPlex) to send 92khz signal (it’ll go up to 196!) through the Hifiberry Dac and bing-bong, whoopsidaisy. Then the next problem.

While on the walk to clear my head, I saw a dead bird and a fishing lure where no bird or lure belonged. The lure belongs no where near the friggin Rhein River where I was walking. In fact, that is not even a river, lake or fresh water fishing lure. But what do I know about fishing–I’m on my third marriage or so? As far as the dead bird goes, I couldn’t help but stare at the thing for a long while wondering if there was a connection. Indeed. I first saw the lure then the bird. On top of that, the bird somehow looked familiar to me. But, like the lure, I couldn’t place it or how it got there. Nomatter.

The remaining pics are from the damaged package I received from you-know-who. I had ordered two 5 volt 3,3 amp powers sources for my RPI/Hifiberry setup. As you may or may not know, RPI require only 5 volts of power. The amperes of the 5 volts, though, determines what you can run with or, as in this case, on the RPI. It seems that the error that I was consistently getting from both RPIs was due to electric inefficiencies. I had been running both PIs using old iPhone USB chargers and whatever USB A to USB micro that I could find. The RPIs weren’t getting enough electricity. These new powers sources seem to have solved the problem. Audio is fantastic. Thank you Robert Plant!

Rant on.

-T

PS Of the USB pic, the one on the left is the proper micro connector. It’s both longer and, because it’s transformer is permanent, seems to provide optimal 3 ampere power to the RPI with the HifiBerry DAC+ Pro, which requires more than an RPI without it.

PSS My next project is to try another RPI 3 with the HifiBerry Amp2.

Apple’s Spinning Wheel Of You Suck

Don’t you hate it when that happens? This particular wheel lasted for well over ten minutes–until I forced a restart on my MacBook Air 7,2. This is but another reminder of how much I’m gonna enjoy making this my last Apple hardware purchase (I spitefully hope). As far as MacOS goes, Apple has really dropped the lead ball and shown its corporate intentions with this once great computing platform. Obviously iOS is the future (for Apple). And that’s all fine and dandy–if you don’t mind obnoxious closed eco-systems and pseudo-computing. I’m just too old for that sort of thing. Seriously. I tried iOS. I purchased an iPad4 from Apple US refurbished store about three years ago. I used it on and off for about a year, testing if it could replace my 2010 13″ MacBook Pro. I bought a keyboard for it, too. Even typed a few thousands words on it. But was seriously no match for a real computer. The new iPad Pro is another story. My better half has one. Other than her work’s krappy use of spreadsheets and closed eco-system corporate communication, she uses her iPad for everything. It has replaced her use of a PC. My problem is, even after trying an older iPad and still using an iPhone is different. I just don’t like iOS. System upgrades on that platform are worse than on regular computing platforms. I’m assuming the reason for that is simple: they got you more by the balls with their closed eco-systems then they do with real computers. With every iOS update (especially on my iPhone 6s) I’ve never actually seen any improvement in the device. The only thing you get is the/a need to replace what Apple is making obsolete. Btw. When I started computing it was all about owning a device. It was about data being mine. It was about me being part of something as an individual. The thing is, I’m seriously not impressed anymore with the industries move away from personal computing to collective, eco-system digital consumption. But then again, I haven’t been impressed with an OS since I moved from WinXP to Mac Snow Leopard about ten years ago. With that in mind, I suppose my time is up. Indeed. Time to move on from Apple. Time to figure out how not to follow trends. I guess.

MacPro5,1_MacOSX10.6.3
MacPro 5,1 with Snow Leopard

The pic above is from a system downgrade I did recently on my ageing MacPro which serves as my home network server. I was upgrading drive capacity and decided to do a clean install. I used to do them every year so this one was long overdue. While erasing and cleaning disks, I installed Snow Leopard 10.6.3 (yes, from original disks) for the heck of it. Nostalgia rules, baby. And boy does it still work great. Since I mainly use this device as a “headless” server for iTunes, Plex and file sharing, it’s not possible to keep Snow Leopard running. Also, even though I boot El Capitan from a PCIe SSD on the motherboard, the important stuff is on old fashion spinning drives. Apple’s High Sierra is using a new file system specifically for SSDs. Sure, the new file system will work with old spinning drives. But I’m not going there on this device. El Capitan is the end OS for this great machine which no existing NAS can replace. After it no longer works, then maybe I’ll just finally get to install Snow Leopard and do lots of nostalgic fiddling or maybe even turn it into a fish tank.

It’s such a shame that Apple and its Macintosh has gone down the road of suck.

Rant on.

-T

Phishing Email #(Whatever)

phishing email example.jpg

Don’t know why, but I’m totally into collecting these phishing emails. Here’s another one I got a few months back. Of course, when I get them I think of two things. One, of course, is to make sure I don’t click the wrong links in the email. The second is, …ha ha ha ha ha! John Podesta clicked one of these links and directly partook in the dumbing down of my beloved #americant. Wow. Rant on.

-T