Just Upgraded and Did Some Bug Fixes On My Blog.

Today is the day of upgrades. Not only did I do my WordPress, but some internal upgrades as well on my PC, including FireFox. Perhaps the biggest was the Kernel upgrade on my Linux OS, and everything seems to be working a bit better there after that. So, all this killed about three hours this afternoon, as I sat glued to my chair in front of my PC watching progress bars after progress bar flash by.

This post is mainly is a test post to see if my Twitter post alert plug-in works. I hope to have fixed that bug where it would send Twitter alerts of new posts from my WordPress, but for some strange reason, it would show the post from five years ago–not very helpful for someone on Twitter following my Weblog. So when I press send, I will see.

Success! I just posted, and all looks great. I checked the short-URL on my Twitter post, and it took me straight back to this post. So happy that worked on the first try. Now my Weblog and Twitter can live in harmony once again. 🙂

Weekend Wrap (You Can’t Eat this One)

I am sitting back, contemplating whether to post some photos, or just go with a general wrap-up of the long weekend’s activities, and the wrap-up won. I guess, since I am just too tired, and have no enthusiasm, to transfer over all the photos I shot this weekend over to my PC for editing, I am just going do a just a simple run-down text post. Clear, and cut, plane and simple, no fancy stuff in between.

This was a long weekend. In Canada, November 11th, is Remembrance Day, so since that fell on a Saturday, we got Monday off from work, as this is now a national holiday. I posted right up to then. Me and Suz., did go out, but only for a little while. I stayed home most of the day, mainly becuase I was feeling a little bit of a head cold coming on, but it was mild. A good night sleep cleared that up!

Sunday, I slept in as much as could, since I knew that the day was going to be a busy one. I finished off the last of my laundry, and did a little cleaning before it was time to pick up Siz. I worked on the Blog as well, after I found out that my Twitter Poster Plug-in was acting up. It was posting alerts from five years ago, not my current posts. So I disabled it, and will try and fix that once I get some time. I also had to work on PC, as that was acting up too.

I am getting lots of nibbles on selling my Pathfinder. I had one fellow out to day, and a couple wanting to look at that evening. There was one fellow, who posted a message to me, saying that he really wanted to buy it, but had to wait until Tuesday. I said, “Sure, but who ever brings their money first, gets the Pathfinder.” So we will see what happens. I am really happy that I get rid of it and have my parking spot back. Yay!

So, after 3:00pm meeting this guy about my Pathfinder, me and Suz., went out into town and looked around, had a coffee and sandwich before we had Sunday Dinner over at her parents place. It was a awesome night! Yes, we played dominoes! Never played it before, which made that more fun for me. We played fairly late. I drove Suz., home and got ready for Monday.

It turned out to be a great weekend after all as far as the weather goes too. It stayed quite nice, since that the weather apps were forecasting snow/rain/wind/minus zero type weather. None of that happened I am happy to report. Today (Monday) was really nice, though overcast, the temperature was a nice 5 to 8C day with no precipitation.

Monday, today, was a slow start. I guess I wanted to sleep in, but that never happened. So I did some more cleaning, and organizing around the house, and also spent some time getting the Pathfinder ready to ship out to the first buyer to take it. I am feeling stoked about that. Then Suz., came down, and picked me up in her car. We had a quiet day up town. We stopped off at the book store, then to the art gallery, and health food store, and even went to some places that sold quarts crystals, which I really like. I did buy a nice quarts crystal, and some tea over at the health food store, so I spent some money. Plus we splurged, and had a small dinner over at the A&W on Keith/Hwy16 in Terrace. Then we decided that we should call it a night, and get ready for tomorrow’s work day, as I am sure that will be action packed: cramming five days into four.

So that is the long weekend wrap-up. Hope you all had a great weekend!

Getting Ready – Halloween is Around the Corner

With just over two weeks to go, I decided that I should start getting the decorations for Halloween this weekend, rather than waiting until next week. Now, I am not going to do anything at my home becuase I probably will not be there for Halloween night when the kids come around. All of this will be for at my work. I have my own little office there, so I am free to do what ever I want with it, as long as it fits within safety and human rights guidelines. This should be no troubles for me. I do plan on dressing up too for the event at my work, since Halloween falls on a Tuesday this year.

I am not sure whether or not I will buy treats and candies, but I will leave that option open for when the times comes. I am sure my co-workers will do stuff too. I know I will not spend a lot, probably keeping my budget down to twenty-five dollars or so. I just want to keep fun factor high. I love this time of year, and I think our Federal Government should make Halloween a Holiday here in Canada.

Happy Friday the Thirteenth!

Fixed the Broken Hard Drive

After nearly two weeks, and many frustrating hours, I recovered about ninety-three percent of my data from the broken hard drive. What I lost did cost me, some valuable files, and my emails were mostly complete, but they suffered too as the archive file had to rebuilt with a loss of about four percent. Just to create the four tare-byte image took one hundred and twenty-six hours. Then another eighty hours to recover the data from the image. I had to buy a six terabyte hard drive just to capture the image onto it with. So, a lot of patients, worrying and money.

The program I used is called Testdisk, a mainly Linux command program that runs on the Terminal. The idea is to clone the hard drive, one byte at a time, into an image onto another hard drive. The programs ignores any bad sectors, and will keep copying until the whole drive is done–including the empty spaces. Once done, I can begin extracting the data left in the image on a healthy drive. This usually takes less time than creating the image, but still, a four terabyte drive is huge; a time vampire.

I was impressed at how much data I was able to get. I had about nine hundred and eighty gigabytes worth of data, and was able to recover nearly nine hundred and sixty. Not bad at all considering the damage to the drive. The hard drive would not mount–period.

Now, I should point out that the file structure was corrupted, so Testdisk was not able to create that for me, so any files that were recovered was renamed, and almost randomly placed in order of the placement from the image. But the key main files I wanted were found. In fact, files that were deleted, were also recovered. That was freaky to see. So remember, when you thought you deleted something, think again. Unless you copied over top of it, the file is still on your hard drive.

I am still a little sore about having the hard drive crash on me–OK, a little angry and foolish–it was an emotional time. The external hard drive was almost brand new, maybe less than five hours on it. But at least I could recover most of the data–thinking positive.

Next time, two back up copies, and use drives that I know are in good condition. Even though upgrades are fairly routine with me, I should have take more precautions. Maybe even transferring valuable data onto a live PC for good measure.

My Upgrade Woes

As you probably figured out, I have been lagging behind with my posts, getting them posted almost a week late. Well, the short version of the tail, I bought a new hard drive, and it failed shortly after I did a major upgrade on my main PC. Sadly, it has taken me nearly two weeks to fix, but I still have recovered my critical data files, just mainly general content. The good news is, I have the data, and it is all there. The bad news, I bought a four terabytes hard drive, and it takes five days just to scan it. So, it is a long process.

I had to buy another hard drive, one also four terabytes, just to do the transfer of the scanned data. So it has been expensive. I followed all the precautions on this, but to no avail, this was hardware failure. It could have happened at any time, but unfortunately it happened just after an upgrade, when I was ready to transfer my files.

Later on, I will post on my process. For now all I have done is scan the drive (five days), and did a basic recovery (one day), but even that is limited with what can be recovered and the type of files saved. Unfortunately, one of the files I need is an archived file that is three-and-half gigabyte in size, and the recovery does not allow anything that size on a FAT 32 Table formatted disk. So the last step in forensic scan is to image the drive, and for that I needed the external hard drive to dump it on. So far, at nine hundred and sixty two gigabytes, it has taken ten hours to create it. I have over three terabytes to go.

The lesson here is do back-ups—twice.

Slowly, when I get access to my PC, will get these posts uploaded. But for now, hang-tight, I will get caught up.

Oh Mr Egg Head

While on the verge of moving, a major change in my life, I had some time to kill. I created some images of Mr. Egg Head in various poses, just to see how well my rigging was when I created Egg Head. All this, of course, was just for fun. I have no practical ideas for Mr. Egg Head, other than to practice my work on Blender, the 3D software I use. Here is some of the stuff I had Mr. Egg Head do.

So, anyway, I will have fun with him/her, and I am sure there are many more things I will have him/her do before I put Egg Head to rest and delete him/her. I am not sure if it a he or she, but I like the idea of a gender natural character. I sure there is an animation or two to come.

I look back at what I typed, and saw all the red squiggly lines underneath about twenty-five percent of the words. Woe, my spelling sucks today.

Some Hula Hoop Boogie Action With Mr. Egg Head (I Have Some Time to Kill)

I have some time to kill, now that the weekend draws to a close, and tomorrow is a work day. I thought I would spend some time with my newly animated character, Mr. Egg Head, which I created a couple of weeks ago. This time I wanted to spruce things up a bit, and have him dancing. After some thought, a dancing video might be too much for the amount of time I have, so I am sticking with these short animated GIF images that I can post right onto the posts. So, I went with Mr. Egg Head doing some hula hoop action, doing the dirty boogie dance over and over and over at twenty-two frames per second.

I get tired just looking at it. LOL

So, what brought this on, creating Mr. Egg Head hula hoop animation? I thought about making him do a short dance video, you know, with some heavy beat techno song playing away, and Mr. Egg Head dancing away to it, doing some cool funky moves. But then time is hard to come by for me this time of year with being busy both at work and me personal life. So I kept it simple. I also wanted to see how easy it is to animate other mech objects with an animated charter. It is pretty darn easy in Blender. I thought of the hula hoop dancer, and thought Mr. Egg Head can do that–this should be simple. In less than an hour, I was finished.

You go Mr. Egg Head! You go!

First Try: When You Learn From Your Mistakes

I laughed when I first rendered this. I was trying to create a simple 3D walk cycle animation, re-learning the ropes becuase it had been so long since I played with animating moving objects. When this spewed out, I thought I had created a good animation, but when ran it, it quickly became apparent that I needed to do a lot more work with it. But then I thought, maybe I did succeed with this result, and I was closer to a polished animation than I could have been if I was learning this for the first time. Nonetheless, I am posting this becuase it is funny to watch.

Oh, before you read this, unless you have some knowledge of using 3D software, like Blender, this maybe a pointless post to read. If you are remotely interested, then why not check out the Blender website. Blender is free, and is open source, and works on all major platforms.

The first problem that I saw, even though I was using the Inverse Kinematics Constraint, I made the legs straight. Having that natural bend in the legs would have prevented the way the knees seem to buckle backwards each time each leg moved upwards.

The second issue I see, I should have added more leg meshes (or blocks), so I would have had a dedicated knee mesh–something that would pivot while the leg and thigh moved independently.  If I had five blocks in each leg, then I think the armature (or skeleton) would have worked right the first time. This ties with having a natural bend in each leg. In this case, I kept the legs straight in Pose Mode, so Blender assumed that the knees would work forward or backwards.

Still, I made this in about an hour, from start to finish. After getting used to Blender’s interface and the work-flow, it took no time to create. But tweaking this “Egg man” guy, may take from time to prefect. Will I do it; hard to say.

Hey, it killed a Friday night before it was my bed time. 🙂

Throwing Old CDs and DVDs Out

It looks like all those writeable CDs and DVDs that I bought are starting to break. Some of these DVDs I have had since 2000 are slowly breaking to the point that they no longer hold any of the data I put on them. I remember reading a news article back in 2005, or there about, that said writeable disks were never built to hold archival information for long periods of time, somewhere around five years. I wish I could find it again, but it does not matter, I just threw out an entire pack of 100 that are all corrupted from age.

I bough this 100 pack way back in 2009. I only used about thirty disks from it, and left the spool in a cupboard in my bedroom. I was going to put a dual O.S. on my buddies old computer, and thought I would make use of these old DVD -Rs to load the software with. My home PC has a fairly new optical drive in it, so I thought using my old disks would not be a problem to write with. It turns out, after ten attempts, I finally had a disk that I could write to. After closer examination of the broken disks I tried to use, I noticed small black dots and cracks along the edges of each disk. Then I inspected all of the remaining disks in the spool, and found all but six were still good. I threw them all out. I could not waste any more time like this.

We now live in the new age of flash drives. With tablets and phones, and most new note books, you need a flash drive anyway if you want to load something onto it, other than wifi as the other option. Gone are the days of the old clunky disks. At least, as I heard from somewhere on the net, flash drives are very durable; more so than the old disks were. I also heard that data can last on a flash drive for up to ten years? We will see. Some time in future, say ten years from now, I might write another post on how much flash drives suck. We will see.

Disabling the “Alt + Right Click” in Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon

This is a “How To” post on disabling the keyboard shortcut “ALT + Right Mouse Button” so that the keyboard shortcut can be use with software like 3D Blender, and some video games which need this keyboard shortcut. The issue, in Linux, is that this short cut is used system wide, as in my case, to resize the active window. I was quite amazed at how easy it is to disable the keyboard setting in Linux Mint 18, where there was no config file editing, or elaborate command scripting in Terminal, or installing more software, unlike what there was in Ubuntu. However, there is a word of caution, this method disables the “ALT” key for keyboard shortcuts. Here are three steps to disable the ALT + Right Click.

One: Go to “Menu” and choose your “System Setting Control Centre.”

Two: Choose “Windows” under the “Preferences” section.

SCREEN 01

Three: Click, the Window Behaviour tab, and choose the “<alt>” tab by the “Special Key to move and resize windows,” and switch it to “<super>.”

SCREEN 02

This screen now should look like this:

SCREEN 03

The change should take place right-a-way. Now run Blender, and you should be able select an edge, and select it with <alt> + <right click>.