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   I've been doing some power testing with the Pi 3 B.  Of the newer series of Raspberry Pi, the 3 B is the lowest power.  The B+ adds gigabit Ethernet, which uses more power.  Other sites report the Pi 3 can idle around 1.2 watts.  My testing with just about everything shutoff except Ethernet shows an idle power draw of 1.6 watts.  Why do I care?  The Sun-Dragon operates on a single board computer that is no longer manufactured, and is stuck on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS which has had support removed since last April. Not only that, the battery for the Sun-Dragon is pretty dead and does not hold much of a charge anymore.  And the hardware monitoring electronics for the Sun-Dragon haven't worked in years.  It is time to upgrade.
   This is a new case/heatsink I picked up for my Raspberry Pi 3.  The Pi 3 can generate a lot more heat than it's predecessors so I wanted a good passive heatsink.  I liked that way this one looked and it clearly has a lot of surface area to dissipate heat.
   Since I have given up on using Windows 10 on the Snow-Dragon, the next obvious choice is some flavor of Linux.  This is only going mildly better.  I had the RAID-1 main drive mirror setup fairly quickly, but I've found the system locks up when ever a monitor is turned off.  This is a major problem as I switch off all my monitors when I leave my computer. 

December 03, 2019

Rant on Windows ACL

One of many things I cannot stand about Windows is how Access Control Lists (ACL) are implemented. By default Windows wants to use NTFS which has access controls. As a Linux person, I’m used to file permissions. The difference is, if I need file permissions in Linux, I just take them—sudo is all-powerful. There is not a true equivalent in Windows—administrator is not the same as root and Windows has no problems telling the administrator “permission denied”. I have spent many hours trying to reverse messed up file permissions due to the fact that finding messed up ACL and removing them is not trivial.

I tried to synchronize a hard drive and after I was done file permissions were all messed up. I tried several times to correct this, each time thinking I got it and finding out something else couldn’t access the data. Eventually I gave up on NTFS and reformatted the drive exFAT. Microsoft doesn’t seem to want you to do this because exFAT is not given as an option for formatting, but it can be done from the command line. The reason for using exFAT is there are no ACL. In theory that should have solved my problem. I no longer had problems reading/writing to the drive—from Windows Explorer. No program could actually write to the disk. I came up with no solution to that problem nor any explanation why it was happening.

December 02, 2019

Windows Defendor

Windows Defendor is a miserable piece of crap. In trying to synchronize some hard drives it refused to copy several files. A couple had the extension “.virus”. They were, in fact, computer viruses. But they were also encrypted and thus harmless. Note that a properly encrypted file is indistinguishable from random data (and why you should compress first, then encrypt). The only indication these files were viruses was the extension. It’s kind of like trying to police by asking people if they are criminals, and if they say yes, arresting them. Defendor won’t copy them. I can just imagine the all heartbroken hackers thwarted by this defense.

Defendor also refused to copy anything with the name “crack” or “keygen.” These programs were not encrypted, but the ones I have are for really old software—like late 90s warez software. I doubt any threat they might have contained is even remotely relevant. At this point Defendor went from an over protective fool to a moronic autocrat. Big Brother is going to make sure you aren’t going to break any of the rules.

December 01, 2019

Happy December!

   I’ve completely given up on trying to use Windows 10 on the Snow-Dragon. I cannot get it to produce a usable system. No one I know has problems like I have, but clearly no one is as much of a control freak about their system as I am. The first thing I did was setup a firewall to prevent the OS from phoning home all the time. This is standard procedure. Software does not get to talk to the Internet just because it happens to be on my computer. The Blue-Dragon ran Window 7 with this firewall package and I never had any complaints. Windows 10, however, quickly became irritating when I tried this. Unable to talk to the Internet, opening any application always had a long pause. Presumably this was because it was trying to phone home under the guise of security. Even though I disable, and in some cases remove, absolutely everything security related, this never improved.
   The high winds have taken out another section of fence.  Looks like this isn't the first time this section of fence has fallen.  It broke free from the old repairs and fell again.  I have made temporary fixes that I hope will last the winter, but it is too windy and wet to make anything more permanent.