Category Archives: Technology

All things technology that I am interested in.

Howdy El Capitan

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I am in process upgrading my old Macbook Pro to El Capitan. Everything I have read says it should be faster even on my old machine. I am excited to see how it works and what benefit it provides. Of course, I will post something about it if it’s good or bad. I know there are a bunch of new features but I am not as interested in the features as the performance. I just want it to start apps quicker than it has been.

I was quite impressed with Yosemite and how much faster that was. If this is as incrementally faster as that was, we should be in great shape with life in the old dog yet. – Did I mention, I love my Mac!

OK, so not off to a great start. Downloaded the new OS then started the installer, it proceeded then the screen went blank and I got a spinning cursor on a black screen (not the beach ball). That just sat there for ages with no apparent progress. I waited (like you do) and nothing happened, a little research and seems this is not unheard of. I restarted in “safe mode” except the computer wouldn’t restart it just kept shutting down. So, I tried a restart not in safe mode, it started and brought up the installer. Now I am sitting here with the installer screen showing 23 minutes to go. We’ll see if it completes, I can tell you that 5-7 mins later there is 23 mins to go but the progress bar has moved a little bit.

Still going, it says 9 mins now (their ability to predict the time it will take is not very good).



Long live the Proscan

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So the Vizio is completely dead, I received a new 39″ Proscan as a gift from my wonderful girl friend. We are back in business. I notice that the Proscan starts much quicker than the Vizio. It’s a nice TV with a mimimalistic surround. It looks good and sounds good too. – I am very happy with it.

I hooked up my old Roku 1 box to it and now I can watch Netflix and Plex with no issues.

RIP the Vizio TV

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So today the Vizio TV has died. I think it’s a power supply issue. The clue was that the white light is not coming on anymore. It appears that the on/off button is no longer working. I saw a YouTube video that showed someone replacing the power supply but I am not sure that’s something I can do economically. I can get a new smart telly for $200 or a power supply for $35 then it may not work… I  may take the telly apart and see if I can test it with my meter to make sure it’s the power supply. It will be interesting to see what’s broken.

Linux Stuff

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I have been a proponent of Linux for a long time. I love that the distros have become so complete and easy to use. It amazes me that the Linux desktop hasn’t penetrated the business world any further than it has. It is such an easy to use and stress free product.


When it was first around, Linux was a difficult platform because many things just didn’t work, you had to tinker with it to make it work in a way that you wanted then the dreaded update would come and break everything. Those days are long gone. Now, my Plex server is an Ubuntu LTS version. It sits there happily doing its thing and updates can be applied remotely.

I also run my MythTv on the same Linux box, it runs flawlessly and is easy to maintain. I can also access my Linux machine through SSL remotely from anywhere. This means if I want to make an update I can.

There is a webserver running on that server, I just use it to provide a place to launch everything else. It makes remembering what’s where much easier.

Vizio TV update

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So today the TV seems to be getting worse, now not only does the remote not work but I couldn’t switch the TV off, I had to unplug it from the power. – I am not sure what could be causing it. I am wondering if its worth putting any time and money into this TV (it’s about 7 years old) or if I should just bite the bullet and get a new smart TV. That would give me a better TV with Netflix and Plex built in. I have looked at the Roku TV too, that would be interesting.


I don’t use anything but streaming on that TV so there is no worry about connecting cable or satellite to it. I am working really hard on ditching cable. I am keeping a close eye on SlingTV if they would just add Nicktoons I would be on it like white on rice!


I have a drone

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I have a cool little drone, it’s a Parrot Rolling Spider. It is fun to fly, there’s an app that you run on your phone to control it.

The only problem I have with most of the drones out there today is their batteries only last for 8-10 minutes, that is about just enough time to get the controls down.

My little guy is really an indoor drone, I took it out in the wind once and it was blown out of the sky in seconds. You can take pictures from above with it. The camera is not very good but works. I am currently trying to get it to upgrade but it keeps yelling at me. I will figure it out and put some details on here so I can remember how I did it for next time.


That’s my little guy right there. You can remove the wheels but if it crashes and you don’t have the wheels on it’s likely you will break the propellers.


Vizio TV remote stopped working

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I have had my Vizio VW37L HDTV40A for a long time but don’t really watch it much as it’s in the bedroom.

With no warning what so ever it decided that the remote would not work. – I thought that was odd so I immediately changed the batteries and confirmed that there was nothing in the way of the IR receiver on the TV itself.

I noticed that I could still change the channels from the TV but nothing would work with the remote. I tried installing a universal remote on my phone and tried all the suggested models still nothing. It makes me think that the TV IR receiver may have stopped working.

I tried to reset the TV, that made no difference so I went into the setup wizard, it started but then requires a remote to get to the next screen so now I was stuck with no remote and my TV in the setup wizard. – That’s a little frustrating. I researched online and someone suggested powering on the TV with the button on the side of the TV then immediately hitting the menu button and holding it until the screen comes on. This gets me back to be able to watch TV with no remote control. However, every time I switch the TV on I have to go through this same procedure or it defaults into the set up wizard and I am stuck again.

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