Monday, August 11, 2014

Personal Automation - what I am looking for

I want my computer assistant (device) to always be on and watching and listening to what is going on. I want it to identify me by voice and face, and learn who other people (and animals!) are. It needs to interface with devices around me (communications, car, lighting, heating and AC, etc.). It needs to know where I am at all times and go with me everywhere.

We have the technology for all that and we can make it secure. I hope we don't have to wait too long for it to all work well. Microsoft seems pretty far down that path (farther than anyone else), but it isn't quite all there and working well enough to really be effective.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Why the Farm Account Can't Access Configure Service Accounts ...

... and What is the Correct Domain Account for running SPTIMERV4?


These are two questions that have plagued man for too long. The answers are both 42.

The farm account can't access configure service accounts because it is not in the local administrators group on the server (or at least it is not supposed to be). Thus, it cannot change who runs services. If you want to configure service accounts you must use an account that is in the local administrators (make it yours or maybe the setup account).

The farm account is the correct account for running the SharePoint Timer Service (Windows service). The permissions must get delegated to it by psconfig or some other magical process.

Those are my answers and I'm sticking to them until I get a better answer. I based this on a bit of painstaking research and experimentation. I did not find the correct answer anywhere, but you just found it!

This is based on SP 2010 Foundation on Windows Server 2008R2, but I am pretty sure it holds true for a number of others.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Figure Skater Jason Brown Totally Looks Like Sue Heck!

Almost from the moment I saw him in Nationals I had the idea that figure skater Jason Brown totally looks like Sue Heck. I agree with this post that Figure Skater Jason Brown Totally Looks Like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and the photos tell that story, but look at this:

 

Jason's genuine enthusiasm is a lot like Eden Sher's characterization of Sue Heck - they seem so over the top, yet they are totally sincere. You have to love them both!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Thrift Haul

I'm not sure if I've entitled a blog post "thrift haul" before, it is quite possible. Big or small, purchases of second hand things are thrift hauls, but the term also denotes a major score. I had a major score on Friday, August 30, 2013 in two cool sets of loudspeakers from one seller. A thrift haul.

I have a major weakness and definitely a hoarding problem as it relates to one thing - loudspeakers. Part of the problem is that once you acquire them, they are hard to get rid of. The good ones are pretty bulky and in general, most people (consumers) believe that loudspeakers don't need to be large any more - that somehow science has made the bulk unnecessary. This, of course, is not at all true.

I made a random, unplanned stop on Lakeshore Boulevard in Mentor to a garage sale. I was in my Town and Country, so I was prepared for what I found. First, there were two beat up looking old smallish speakers stacked on top of one another with $1 marked on them. They were said to be untested. They had stamped "Made in Denmark" on the backs of them and my memory went to work and identified them as Dynaco A-25's. Sold. But they were $1 each not for both! I told the seller that he drove a hard bargain and I was unemployed, and he almost gave me a dollar back. I told the two guys that testing these speakers would make my day. It certainly would have been the highlight if not for the rest of the haul.

As we were loading these in the Chrysler the guy mentioned that they had another set of speakers but they needed to retrieve them from the basement. I could come back (and I left my phone number). But after chatting a while (and getting some nice moon flower seedlings from their garden), one of the two guys got a dolly and (carefully) dragged out the first of a pair of Infinity Quantum 3 speakers. I remembered that Infinity used to make "great" speakers (before they made just "good" speakers, and my 2000 Chrysler has factory Infinity's and they are pretty good). I offered to help getting the other speaker but he insisted on getting them up himself. They mentioned that Empirical Sound in Cleveland had re-(coned or foamed??) the speakers in 1997 and that they mostly sat in the basement since then, unused. They were a little dusty but otherwise the cabinets were beautiful.

He asked $40 for the pair and I hesitated (do I need another project? do I want more big heavy speakers?). I even told them that these speakers probably would not become part of my system as I had Martin Logan's, etc., blah, blah. It sounds stupid to me now. So I bought them for $40.

Now I had a more difficult loading situation in the van, but it went fine. But these things are major ball-busters. They are supposed to weigh 110 pounds each, but I think dust and moisture from a hot day adds 10 pounds. Maybe 20. It felt like 150! So I used my "forearm forklifts" for the first time carrying these things down into the studio. I set them down in front of my Bozak Symphonies (which dwarf the Infinity's) not knowing how I was going to power these for testing.

I decide to look them up on-line before testing. They are Infinity Quantum 3's. The first entry I see calls them the third best loudspeaker in the world. A bit of hyperbole, but it got me thinking I would use the Martin Logan's hookups for testing (each has a Peavey 120/120 strapped to be a 240, and a big ass hunk of wire). I waddled the Quantums over by the Martin Logan's (SL3's) and these too dwarfed the big Infinity's. After connecting them and firing up the amps and turning off all the other speakers (I have a lot running in the large room, normally) I started the random source of Bob Marley Legend from HD Tracks (24 bit, 192 kHz). They sounded very good. Clean, and everything seemed to be working fine.

Putting on Jethro Tull Aqualung 24 bit 96 kHz (unwittingly a multi-channel version), I got my "ah-ha" moment. They sound amazing. Totally freaking awesome. The bass is exceptionally tight and pronounced. Not as powerful as the Bozak's but better defined (yet a little muddier). The mids and high all blend up from the bass beautifully and are completely transparent. It put up such a good sound stage that I had to stick my ear up to the Ohm Walsh 4 center channel to see if it was playing. Very impressive, and I am not easily impressed. I haven't tested extensively, and they sounded just average on a couple just average sources, but I went back to Aqualung (and Locomotive Breath) and again was wowed.

I am shocked that I now have a major new loudspeaker to get into my studio mix (that included the Martin Logan's and Bozak's along with an Ohm Walsh 4 for a center channel and a whole other set of cool ones for another surround in the same room). These are keepers.

So these two nice gentlemen (and I use the term loosely) made a major contribution to my loudspeaker hoarding disease, and I thank them. The A-25's will go into the hoarding pile along with the many EPI's, JBL's and so many other interesting speakers I don't need or use. Something else from my setup of speakers I do use will have to move out to make room for the Infinity's. They work perfectly (for now, using them could rattle them apart, you know) and I love the sound. It will be fun to continue to put them through their paces and pit them against the Martin Logan's and the others. Amplification will be a concern, but I have some surplus in that department (the 120/120 don't need to be strapped, for instance). It will be audiophile fun testing all this quintessential thrift haul.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Cleveland as a Film Location on IMDB


Here is an interesting search I stumbled upon. Cleveland as a film location on IMDB. It doesn't work from the Android app, but it does from the full site.

http://www.imdb.com/search/title?locations=Cleveland%2C%20Ohio%2C%20USA&ref_=ttloc_loc_6

The search yields 544 results as on the date of this posting, but that includes stupid things like sporting events. The search does a good job of sorting by "Moviemeter" but you can also sort other ways:


Numero uno is The Avengers. Number two is Captain America: The Winter Soldier. These were movies that took the liberty of disrupting things in the city during their making (and not really featuring it - Cleveland was a stand in for New York), but I think fans of the genre feel that these were good efforts.

I'm looking forward to Draft Day. Maybe it will turn me back into a Browns fan. Frank Langella wearing a Browns cap??

Of course you could do this for any city. File under useless information.

Photo credit: me; Cleveland food trucks on a Wednesday lunch run; panoramic mode on a Samsung Galaxy Note II

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

In Place Upgrade - Windows Server 2008 R2 to Server 2012 (Including Hyper-V)

I upgraded my developer workstation yesterday and it was unbelievably painless. I think this is especially noteworthy since my workstation is a fully functional desktop with everything from Office and Visual Studio to Chrome and mRemote. It also acts as a Hyper-V host for a number of machines I need to do my work.

Before starting I took several precautions, all of which were unnecessary:
  • Back up My documents
  • Back up Downloads
  • Defragmented my hard drives
and for my Hyper-V setup:
  • Compacted one of the drives that was too big
  • Shut down all machines
  • Deleted all snapshots
  • Set machines to use static MAC address
  • Exported VM's (in case I had to start from nothing)
I upgraded from a DVD. Server 2012 setup gives you one button - Install now. A little over an hour later, it was done. Everything still worked. One virtual machine needed to be set to allow MAC spoofing. I was back to work just like that!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

How to Disable Themes in SharePoint 2010

Once you establish a particular look and feel and you don't want users with lots of permissions to mess it up, you need to lock down themes. If you don't want to do anything stupid like mess with the page in _layouts and you don't want to add screwy code to look for the themeweb.aspx you can do it a simple way ...

For the site scope where you want to disable it, run from the SharePoint Management Shell:

Disable-SPFeature -identity enhancedtheming -url http://hostname.net/sitename

Then delete all the themes from the gallery. Done.

I will be monitoring the fallout from this as we move to QA, but this seemed obvious!