• PeterR



    Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
    • in reply to: Saving history #2526130

      The archival disks I have used are called “M-Disc”.  They are made by Verbatim and they only work in a few, specific DVD burners, although they can be read by any DVD reader.  See https://www.mdisc.com/ or Google for “m-disc”.  I can’t say if they last forever, since I haven’t lived that long or used them that long, but other people have stress-tested them and abused them, and reported that they were pretty much indestructible.

      -- Peter R --

    • in reply to: New smartphone? Great! Now don’t charge it past 80% #2359305

      This is my fourth attempt at posting a reply.  I think that Woody’s over-caffeinated security software keeps blocking me.  If this doesn’t work, I give up.


      Tasker is not easy to learn.  There is not a lot of official documentation, but a fair number of YouTube videos and forums.  The basic concept is that there are “Profiles” and “Tasks”  A profile is a condition, such as a battery level, receiving a phone call, an app starting, or a GPS location.  Profiles invoke a task.  A task can be to play music, take a picture, send an HTTP request, or pop up a screen to enter data.

      In the pictures, you can see that there is a profile called “Charge Reached” for when the battery reached (or exceeds) 85%.  There is another one called Charge Restart for when the battery gets to 80% or below.  The Charge Reached profile runs the task called ChargeStop as shown.

      My profiles, with Charge Reached expanded
      Details on the profile

      The ChargeStop task, as shown, sends an HTTP request, flashes a message on my screen, then after 3 seconds, sends the HTTP request again.  It is sent twice since occasionally something “misfires” along the way.

      Steps in the ChargeStop task

      There is a picture that shows the details of the ChargeStop’s step for HTTP Request.  The important part of that step is the URL that comes from IFTTT (which is a separate discussion).  I just send that URL and I don’t look at what I get back.

      Details on the HTTP Get step

      When IFTTT receives that URL, it runs a “webhook” that sends a command to my wifi smart plug.

      It sounds complicated, but it works pretty well.  It was tough to set up, but now that it is working, it seems simple.

      -- Peter R --

    • in reply to: New smartphone? Great! Now don’t charge it past 80% #2356973

      Here is my really geeky solution for Android.  It is not as hard to do as it sounds, but also not for the technically challenged.

      1. Get a copy of Tasker from the Play Store, if you don’t already have it.  It is amazing how much you get for the money.  Set up a task to send an HTTPS request with the string from IFTTT (more below).  Set up a profile to trigger the task when the battery is at 80%.  Make another profile and task for when the battery is at 75%
      2. Get a “smart plug” or “wifi plug” and plug your charger into it.  Get one that works with IFTTT, which almost all of them do.  I use the Wyze Smart Plug because it is cheap ($15-$20 for two).  Set it up with your wifi network.  Create an account; using their app is optional.
      3. Get a free account with IFTTT, if you don’t already have one.  Connect your wifi smart plug account with your IFTTT account, so that IFTTT can turn the plug on and off.  Create your own IFTTT “applet” to turn the plug on, and one to turn it off.  These are very simple applets that say “if Maker Event XXXXX then turn PlugXXX off”.  Get the API and HTTP string for this event (it is really hard to find this string; look under “webhooks”).  Then put IFTTT’s POST/GET request strings into the Tasker Web Request tasks you created on the phone.

      Now, you can plug your phone in all night or all day.  When it reaches 80% (or whatever you set), Tasker will send a message to IFTTT which will send a command to the wifi plug to turn off the charger.  Later, Tasker will turn the charger back on.

      There are a lot of moving parts in this method but it is pretty reliable, although it can be hard to troubleshoot.  I can’t swear that the short on/off charging cycles are better than charging to 100% then letting the phone switch to trickle, but I bet it is.  (Any experts want to weigh in on this?)  Short charging cycles won’t heat the battery as much.  For the really geeky, you can take IFTTT out of the process by getting a Sonoff wifi switch and putting Tasmota onto it so that Tasker can talk directly to the switch.  I don’t think there is a Tasker equivalent for iPhones.  It should be possible to do something similar with a laptop by using a PowerShell script to check the battery level, but I haven’t tried it.  I just got a new phone this month, so ask me in a year or two if this worked.

      -- Peter R --

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    • in reply to: Excess heat during laptop recharging? #2337473

      Another possible cause of the temp rise when plugged in is that some laptops have different performance settings for On Battery or Plugged In.  When on battery, the CPU may be throttled, the screen dimmed, and the hard drives and screen may turn off after shorter times without use.  Once plugged in, the CPU may run faster and hotter.  Look under Control Panel > Power Options > Change Plan Settings > Advanced Power Settings > Processor Power Management > Max Processor State.


      -- Peter R --

    • in reply to: Is the AskWoody RSS feed working for you? #2279624

      Working for me using MS Outlook at my RSS reader.

      -- Peter R --

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • in reply to: Why should I disable my VPN to view here? #2265452

      I think that much of this discussion misses the point: Woody blocking by IP address doesn’t protect the site but does annoy a significant number of users.  It is sort of like the old “copy protected disks” for installing software from many years back.

      It doesn’t protect the site because, as people have said above, you can just ask your VPN provider for a new IP address or server until you find one that works.  Does anyone think that they bad guys don’t know how to do this, too?  If Woody’s doesn’t think it is too inconvenient for users to do that, won’t the bad guys put up with the same inconvenience?

      But the WordFence blocking does annoy and confuse legitimate users, since several people above (and I) have run into the block.  There are probably plenty more who had the problem and didn’t contribute to this thread.

      I understand and appreciate Woody’s desire to protect its site, and I would not want to see it hacked.  But blocking “dirty” VPNs doesn’t block many/any attackers, and is not effective enough to be worth the annoyance to real users.  Surely there is something that has fewer false-positives and is not so easily circumvented.

      -- Peter R --

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    • in reply to: Patch Lady – Does Woody tell you to not patch? #2106922

      Susan makes a great point in her article when she says “Also many times the act of rebooting will expose [an] issue that was hiding all along. Patching wasn’t the root cause, rebooting the machine finally exposed the issue.

      I wish that she would urge people to reboot a machine BEFORE installing patches.  This is a critical, can’t-miss step in the patching process.  If your machine has problems booting, then you will be really glad you didn’t install any patches.  And if you had a hidden problem and failed to reboot before applying patches, now you will be troubleshooting two problems simultaneously, and you will be looking for a problem with the patch that was not caused by the patch.  When rolling back the patch doesn’t fix the problem, you are still liable to blame the patch for causing it.  Headaches galore….

      It is an interesting question whether you should reboot before backing up (and if you have a hidden problem, you may not be able to make that backup) or backup before rebooting (in which case, you have a backup of a failing system, which may not be restore-able).  Everyone can have their own preference, please share yours.  But rebooting before patching is as important as backing up, plus it is faster and easier so you are more likely to do it.

      So please, folks, reboot before backing up.  And please, Susan, make that part of your standard advice.


      -- Peter R --

      1 user thanked author for this post.
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