Friday, September 15, 2017

Could we land a Raspberry PI on the moon?

There you go. Don't just launch it into space hit the big cheese the sky. Land a fricken Raspberry PI on the moon.

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Wednesday, September 06, 2017

The setup time myth of Camper Trailers

"It only takes around 40 minutes from start to finish"  is what I was quoted when I asked before buying my first soft floor camper.  In reality, it can take from 1-2 hours from arrival to comfort.

I would imagine the setup process for a Jayco Camper would be different. If you do have a Jayco camper please detail the setup process I would like to compare the two as I am looking to upgrade to something faster

This is how I imagine the speeds of setup would go if placed in order from slowest to fastest setup

- Softfloor Tent
- Hardfloor Camper
- Jayco Style Camper
- Regular Tent (for long stay)
- PopTop caravan
- Regular Caravan
- Trailer home.

Let's go through the actual process for a typical setup. Arriving at 4 PM summer (night fall at 7-8PM)


Stage 1 Arrival:

- Arrive at the site, get out of the car and stretch after being in the car for hours. Wife is assigned to manage the 3 kids while I plan out the site configuration.
- Unpack bikes and scooters to occupy the kids
- Survey the site to find where to setup camper.
- Reverse camper into position with assistance.
- Jockey wheel down and disconnect trailer.
- Shuffle trailer into final position, then apply the handbrake.
- Rear stabilizers down and locked in
- ensure trailer is level.

Stage 2 Unpacking:
- Unzip tent cover from the camper.
- Drag the Tent Poles, Tent pegs and guy ropes, Side and front Annex canvas, Annex floor, fly cover and ladder off the top of the trailer. place items in a logical area for use later
- Layout tent poles logically (Inside poles and Annex poles and outside poles)
- Get hammer out

Stage 3 Setup Main Tent: (After this part, you should be sweating)
- Start pulling the tent off the trailer and climb inside and start setting up poles and spreader bars.
- Peg down the tent
- Pull Annex cover down off the roof (we leave it attached to save time)

Stage 4 Setup Annex Roof:
- Start finding the support pole locations and install
- Find vertical support poles and spreader bars (with the flat ends) and start constructing the annexe
- Install spreader bars across the annexe

Stage 5 Annex Floor and walls:
- Drag Annex floor into place
- Connect Velcro walls.

Stage 6 Peg down tent and annexe

Stage 6 Upack kids sleeping area:
- Unpack and setup kids beds.
- Unpack sleeping bags and place on bed along with the pillows

Stage 7 Adult bed:
- Unpack sheets and sleeping bags and pillows. Make Bed

Stage 8 Lighting:
- Turn battery ON
- Unpack LED Lights and wire up the camper.

Stage 9 Dinner & Chairs and Fridge:
- Unpack BBQ and GAS and setup for dinner.
- Unpack Chairs and Fridge.
- Unpack food and dinner plates cutlery etc.
- Cook and eat

Finally, relax until you need to pack up.

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Electricity plans are just like Mobile phone plans from the early 2000's when data came along

Here you go, for the next 3 months use as much electricity as you want and then we'll send you the bill (and only give you 2 weeks to pay it). What if I want to see how much electricity I'm consuming per day? You can't do that.

Seems a little unfair to me.

I can look up my mobile data plan at any time and see how much data I have left. Why can't we do the same with our electricity plans?

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How to calculate percent increase

Increase = New Number - Original Number

% Increase = Increase / Original number * 100

For example;

So if your train journey takes 26 minutes and a slower train takes 42 minutes

Increase = 42-26
Increase = 16 / 26*100
Increase = 61%

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Friday, August 04, 2017

How to fix Google Nexus 6P microphone issues

Friends were complaining that I sounded very distant or muffled when on calls on my  Google Nexus 6P. A quick google search later I found many posts with similar issues and various solutions that didn't work for me. Funny thing was that speaker calls were fine it was only when using the handset against my ear people complained.

On the first visual inspection, I couldn't see anything wrong with the mic. It wasn't until I put the mic under a strong magnifying glass and a bright LED light that found there are 2 very slender slots that were very clogged with gunk.

The 2 slots (each side of the mic bar located 5mm from the right side of the mic area) are roughly 1 -2 mm across and could only be cleaned with a thin sewing needle. Once properly cleaned a few test calls showed that people thought I had bought a new phone.

I'll try to source some high res photos to explain what slots I mean.

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Steps to improving the MS SQL Agent


1. Allow for better error handling in SQL agent jobs

For example Error 12 may not mean a complete failure. don't make me have to create a wrapper to take of this.. Allow me to set success and error flags (and what to do)

2. Allow for If X = THIS THEN DO THAT ELSE SKIP

3. Allow us to disable steps. sometimes we just want to skip a step without having to remove the step completely

4. Allow the Error log to be included /attached in the e-mail notifications

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Tuesday, July 04, 2017

SSRS list view bug in Internet Explorer 11 with SQL 2016 SP1 CU3 update

Issue: 
If you happen use SSRS with IE 11 and you have SQL 2016 SP1 with CU3 installed and then try to switch to 'list view' you'll get an error message about could not load folder contents


Workaround:
Go back and just use 'Tile View' or  switch to Chrome (doesn't seem to be affected) or Uninstall CU3 and go back to CU2.

I have reported this to Microsoft but no response yet.

More info:
https://social.technet.microsoft.com/

https://connect.microsoft.com

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Monday, June 26, 2017

An expensive lesson about diesel particulate filters



I have a diesel SUV, a Holden Captiva 2011. So far it's been a great car. This car has towed a camper trailer around the place and been serviced regularly. The Captiva has been a fabulous family SUV up until I ran into Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) issues .

First up if you don't know what a DPF is go and read this Wiki - DPF

I had issues with my DPF. The DPF had became too blocked to clear through a normal regeneration process.

What's a normal regen you ask? That when the symbol below comes on in your dashboard. It kind of looks like a fart symbol. This indicator tells the driver that the DPF is nearly full and needs to run a regen process.

Image result for DPF light captiva

To regen a DPF you basically need to go for a long drive at speed (while the symbol is ON). keep the rev's above 2000RPM and the speed above 50 KM/H for around 30 minutes (if you find ANYWHERE inside of  Sydney to do this please let me know).

In my case this light came on and then turned off. Great that was a quick regen. Turns out the regen process did not work and now the DPF was getting rather full. This continued until one day driving along the hose for the turbo inlet hose fell off due to the backpressure (from what we knew later to be the the DPF unit). Performance of the car went really bad.  My local mechanic was kind enough to refit the hose for me. This however didn't fix the issue. Performance of my SUV was still really crap I had trouble getting the car above 50 KM/H.

This is when we found that the DPF had become completely full and blocked. This required having to remove the DPF unit and have it professionally cleaned 3 times and reinstalled. This wasn't cheap as it required an engine service at the same time (only had the same service 3 weeks ago) all up this cost me over  $1200 AUD to repair.

Interesting to note since fixing the DPF is that the car fuel economy has increased dramatically. I've gone from 12.9 - 13.9 L Per 100 KM down to 10.1 - 10.4 L per 100 KM's. My car has always sat around the 12L per 100Km in suburban areas I figure this means the DPF was at least partially blocked since we bought the SUV (the Captiva was bought used). The performance of the car seems to be much better too. It's quick to take off and acceleration seems a bit quicker (possible human bias here)

Ultimately this may prove to me that Diesel cars are great for highways but rather not suited for the short trip suburban market (unless you take your car for a long drive once every month or so). For me this also raises the question of how is the DPF better when it may cause us to use more fuel? don't get me wrong I know why we need to have DPF's to break down larger particulates into smaller particles but it's at the cost of more fuel use over a lifetime of the car which equals more carbon monoxide released. We reduce issues with particle inhalation as the expense of producing more carbon and pollutants.

Extra Note: If you do the sums on how much extra this cost us over 50,000KM since owning the car (based on diesel price of $1.22 per litre and 12.9 KM Per 100KM) we've had to pay an extra $1428.00 in fuel costs since owning the car + $1200 to repair  the faulty DPF.

Looking at the official Fuel ratings for a 2011 Diesel Captiva we should of been getting around 8.3L/100km (tested as 9.8L/100KM) Source.

Update 8-August 2017.
It's now a few months later and my Captiva is still running at around 10.2 - 10.4 L per 100\KM for urban area traffic which is almost a 20% fuel efficiency improvement over what it was previous to the DPF issues (also hints at this being a problem since we bought the car used).

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

System.ComponentModel.Win32Exception: A required privilege is not held by the client while Deploying SSIS Project – Data Access / SQL BI Technologies

System.ComponentModel.Win32Exception: A required privilege is not held by the client while Deploying SSIS Project – Data Access / SQL BI Technologies: "Replace a process-level token (SeAssignPrimaryTokenPrivilege) "



I found that I need to do both the DCOM part and the Replace token part and then manually restart SSIS services and the SQL Server Service. Once this was completed I was able to load and deploy SSIS packages.



'via Blog this'

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Friday, June 16, 2017

How to convert KM per L to L per 100 KM

Say the dial on our car says  8.4KM per L (1L) and want to convert this to L per 100 KM the formula to conver this is

Litre Used  / Distance in KM driven  * 100

1 L / 8.4 KM *100

1 / 8.4 * 100 = 11.9047619047619

Rounded down that 11.9L per 100KM

Let's try another example;

Say we had driven 557KM on 74 Liters  of fuel this would be

Litre / Distance * 100

74 / 557 * 100  = 13.28545780969479

Rounded down 13.2 Liters per 100  KM.




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Thursday, June 08, 2017

VMware snapshots playing havoc with availability groups – Mark Read

An important lesson here. Talk to your Infrastructure teams and be on top of what they are doing too.I've found the same problem in my systems.



VMware snapshots playing havoc with availability groups – Mark Read:



'via Blog this'

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VMware snapshots playing havoc with availability groups – Mark Read

An important lesson here. Talk to your Infrastructure teams and be on top of what they are doing too.I've found the same problem in my systems.



VMware snapshots playing havoc with availability groups – Mark Read:



'via Blog this'

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Starting a SQL Agent job with Powershell and Windows Scheduled Tasks

Thanks Kevin,



This came in really handy on few SQL server builds



Adventures in Database Administration: Starting a SQL Agent job with Powershell and Windows Scheduled Tasks: "





'via Blog this'

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Google Why did you take a simple messaging platform and make messaging so hard?

In the beginning there was SMS.

Then data plans exploded. There was now SMS and IM.

So google brought out Gchat and SMS functions to Android.

After a while a very smart cookie in google said  "IM is very much like SMS why don't we combine the both into one?" shortly after that Hangouts is what came from that.

I was happy, I could see all my SMS and IM in the one conversation.

Then google decided that this needed to change..

So Google brought out Allo, Duo, and Messenger.

No longer would I have conversations in one place like Hangouts, I had to open separate apps once again.  I now have to open different apps to talk to someone using Allo too.

This is how Google took a superb  product and did it's normal thing of retiring an app and replacing it with a less functional different product.

Bring back combined SMS And IM please google.


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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Hangouts v15 unable to send MMS

I recently moved mobile providers and found I was no longer able to send MMS messages via Google Hangouts. No matter what settings and reboots I tried I ended up moving to Google Messenger to fix/workaround the issue.

update - Since this is becoming one of my more popular posts I think others out there might be having the same issue I am.


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