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Showing posts from 2011

Picasa upgrade from 3.8 to 3.9 thumbnails disappeared for all +30K photos - grey dots now

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My upgrade on one of my machines for Picasa did not go well. As you can see below Picasa seems to have dropped all of the thumbnails on the upgrade. I posted to the Picasa help area - Upgrade from 3.8 to 3.9 thumbnails disappeared for all +30K photos (of course you can't upload a picture to Picasa help area), so I figured I blog about the issue and included some screenshots. You can see (Image 1) the grey dots that represent where the images should be in Picasa. Randomly the images are being rebuilt (Image 2), but for the number of images and faces I have in Picasa it will take several days to rebuild them all.

I really like using Picasa as an image management tool. It really does seem like the best photo management tool out there. I have over the years compared it with other pay, free, and open source solutions. None of the others had Picasa's simplicity and sophistication. I love the fact that it never touches my original images, except to store tagging and geolocation data…

Install Squid Proxy on Ubuntu Server Ubuntu 10.04.3 LTS

I decided that I need the ability to host a proxy server on my own network to see what the internet looked like from my house when I was at work.

I tired to setup an Apache forward proxy using mod_proxy, but had issues with SSL requests not working correctly. I have used a squid proxy on my home network for local caching via my firewall machine for years. Squid has always been reliable.

The process to install squid is quite simple in Ubuntu lucid:
Open a terminal or SSH into your lucid Ubuntu Server.Install squid proxy using apt-get at the command line.sudo apt-get install squidEdit the configuration file. The configuration file for squid is huge. It's a very configurable proxy. I decided to make a backup, just in case I messed something up in the configuration.sudo cp /etc/squid/squid.conf etc/squid/squid.conf.originalUse nano (my favorite command line editor) to edit the configuration file.  Understanding what I needed for a simple http proxy, I needed to make only make one edit …

Adding a Windows 7 Home Premium PC to BackupPC using SMB

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I wanted to backup a couple new Windows 7 Home Premium PC's on my local home network using my current installation of BackupPC on Ubuntu. I have a mix of linux and Windows PC's on my network. I have enjoyed using BackupPC as my central backup system for all of our PC's (8 at last count) in our house. I have used RSYNCD, but find the configuration of SMB, just a lot easier. For my home network, I'm not really concerned about SSH secure communication on my firewalled home network for my backups.

In order to set it up I needed to create a users account on the machine. I have used a special backuppc user on each machine that is backed up.

I set up each backuppc user as an administrator. In the past I set the accounts up without user logins and only backup administrator rights. It would appear that Microsoft has crippled the ability to manage user accounts and groups in Windows 7 Home Premium edition.

I was able to get my BackupPC to be able to access the administrator shar…

DIY - Make your own Permethrin Mosquito Yard Spray

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Making your own Permethrin based mosquito spray good up to 30 days – using an Orthro Dial’nSpray and 10% Permethrin solution. I had previously used a Permethrin based spray from Cutter Backyard Free to keep down the mosquitoes in our yard. We are in a heavily wooded area and the commercial Permethrin based hose spray worked well for us. It usually kept the mosquito population to almost 3-4 weeks depending on the amount of rain we had. For the most part this made our yard usable during the summer. These sprays have become difficult to buy, so I figured why not make my own.


As best I can tell Permethrin properly applied is a safe mosquito reduction chemical. So I decided to make my own using commonly available Ortho Dial n spray and 10% Permethrin used for cutting down pest in animal barns. I found the 10% Permethrin for $25.80 from Amazon or (see 8/30/2016 update below for more economical 36.8% Permethrin solution).

I just needed to figure out the proper dilution and delivery rate for…

2007 Dodge Caliber - Fixing a Leaking Taillight Bezel Assembly

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Our 2007 Dodge Caliber had a taillight that would get foggy looking. We could see water on the inside of the taillight, that couldn't be good for the electrical connectors. I took the light out once (two black plastics "screws" inside the trunk area -then remove the three bulbs from their sockets), emptied it, dried it and looked for cracks. I couldn't find any, so I put it back int the car.

Same problem of condensation inside the lens, after the next rain. I figured I had little to loose if I caulked the taillight.

First, I made the assembly was fully dry. I used a hair dryer through the bulb holes to get all the condensation out of the taillight. I used 100% silicone bathroom caulk. A good quality sealant, that could be used to seal much tougher things.

Here is the taillight removed (shown from the back side). See the two tabs where the screws held it in.
Start a silicone bead in the upper part of the Caliber taillight assembly. I filled the channel completely, betw…

2007 Dodge Durango - Heater / AC Control Instrument Lights Burned Out

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Our Dodge Durango heater control dashboard lights went out. One half of the push button lights didn't illuminate at night making it real hard to see what heater control switch you needed to press when it was dark out. Turns out there are regular light bulbs in the dash.

The process to replace them takes maybe 15 minutes if your careful and follow directions.

I bought led replacement bubs for mine from www.autolumination.com. I ended up ordering part number Neowedge SMT Led , Color: Green , Lens: Type C Led. Got them shipped to me for less than $10 for two. They are bit hard to find on their web page.

I did find that I needed to shave the plastic on the locking tab slightly to get them to lock into the circuit board. Good news is it's unlikely I'll ever have to replace them again.

To start the process remove two black screws (9/32 socket) underneath above the storage area.From the bottom carefully pull the whole panel away from the dash. There are three clips on each side a…

How to configure Backuppc to automatically backup Smoothwall firewall

I decided it was time to get all my machines on the same backup solution. I've been using Backuppc for quite awhile for my Windows boxes, but have been slower to move my Linux machines over. I really was challenged when I tried to backup my smoothwall firewall for my home network How difficult could it be. It's on a linux based operating system.

At first I had issues with tar exited with error 65280 () status. All my troubleshooting seemed to point to a permissions error. Ultimately, the process below would have saved me a lot of troubleshooting and on the job learning.

1. Setup SSH public credentials between both machines (see http://backuppc.sourceforge.net/faq/ssh.html OpenSSH section), so the user that BackupPC runs under can get the proper credentials to connect to the Smoothwall server, without physically typing in a password.

2. Modify the client transfer configuration for the non-standard tar location and SSH port on Smoothwall.

Tar Paths/Commands - TarClientPath /usr/bin…

50" Samsung DLP HL-P5063W with 3 Flashing Lights on Front

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My broken 50" Samsung DLP HL-P5063W has 3 flashing lights (Timer, Lamp, and Stand By/Temp) on the front of it. There is no picture. It tries to start up 3 times and then just has the three flashing lights. Here is my YouTube video of what my exactly what DLP was doing:

Many people talked about a loud squealing noise when the color wheel goes bad -although as you can hear in the video -there is some noise there, but it's not really loud. It sounds like the color wheel never gets up to speed -and you could feel pretty significant vibration in the DLP chassis when it was trying to start up.

1. I replaced the lamp (from Amazon) Samsung Replacement Lamp with Housing for Samsung DLP TV

2. Then the Samsung BP47-00037A Lamp Ballast / Driver | BP47-00033A BP47-00029A ballast from Discount Merchant (http://www.discount-merchant.com/p-146818-samsung-bp47-00037a-lamp-ballast-driver-bp47-00033a-bp47-00029a-bp47-00029a-1-468-927-12.aspx or Amazon - Samsung BP47-00037A PCB, Ballast, Lamp, …