Continued from Another Patch Today
While attempting to update Windows 10 to version 1703, I ran into problems.
“We couldn’t finish installing updates” And it would then tell me an update was available. MS Community responded to my questions:
“KB4034658 indicates you are on version 1607. The latest stable version of W10 is 1703 and the computer might be failing to install it. KB4034658 also has removed update history which had an evidence if the PC was failing to install the feature upgrade aka 1703.
Nevertheless, try updating manually to 1703″
I first downloaded the Win10 update assistant. This time I did not receive any errors, and it appeared to work. But after reboot the update was still not showing up as installed, and like before, an update option was available.
My next option was to do a repair/install, which I was hesitant about. I opened another thread confirming this would be a non-destructive windows install. The community was extremely helpful. I downloaded the media creation tool, and burned the ISO to a DVD. Afterwards I ran “setup.exe” on the DVD.
I ran through the install and saw this error:
0x880070002 – 0x20009
“The installation failed in the SAFE_OS phase with an error during PREPARE_ROLLBACK operation”
This lead to a number of helpful google links. Several people had success removing all external drives and then reinstalling. I had several (5+) drives connected, including a label maker that shows up as a hard drive.
Ran the DVD again, and while the install appeared to work – on reboot I found the update had not been installed.
I ran a chkdsk, which was fine, and sfscan:
This was what i did when I ran my win7 to win10 upgrade. Even though everything verified without problems, this appeared to fix the issue.
I ran the DVD setup, and was excited to see new information this time, the welcome to win10 screen, along with a series of set up questions.
When I checked update history / and updates:
wo hoo! Checked for additional updates, found a few, run and restarted and ( I’ll admit I was a bit nervous I was stuck in another loop here… but… ) they installed properly.
Oh hey, my win10 install is stuck in an endless loop of installs. Windows support has been unresponsive for 2 days. Seriously, I used to be surprised that MS lost their dominance from the 90’s, sure as fuck not surprised anymore.
They fucking OWN us, yet manage to secure zero fucking loyalty for their shit products.
Modern monitors have a much higher refresh rate than in the old days, by a factor of 10. What I needed was something that could handle 15hz ( or so – I didn’t know the exact refresh rate, since technical manuals are hard to find ). This is where I found a bunch of useful information from people who are into retrogames. If you are REALLY into old games like streetfighter for your NES you don’t roll with some shitty “modern” LCD/LED screen. You go oldschool CRT, where the scanlines are the luxurious background texture of your nostaglia fix.
edit: WTF happened to my re256 links! Maybe I deleted them all in a rage fit or something, but man. I’m really missing that folder right now
OK, so I basically need a 80s era monitor, or one of the specialized NEC Multisync monitors. ( cool, now I know why it said Multisync on the side of my monitors all those years ago ). I’m also competing with people who want to run their old AppleII and need a monitor. Some of those old CRTs are literally selling for $500+ on ebay.
Now, the time is ticking on my ability to return this thing… so I need to know if it even works beyond powering on. I hook up my oscilloscope hoping I can see something useful.
I don’t know why, but I was sort of hoping the CRT would just.. magically work and I’d see text. (It isn’t that easy… you can watch this video if interested in converting your oscope to a monitor..) Instead I get this. This is encouraging, since that looks like a waveform – though I have no idea wtf it means. However, the top looks like a TTL signal ( I think? )
Not sure what to make of it… but at least the RE256 is putting out something on the video channel.
Well – shopping / hunting for old computer shit is my idea of fun, so I’m going to put this on slow burn and wait for a monitor to show up.
HOW TO USE THE RE256
So I’ve realized at this point that using this block of metal is going to be a challenge. The more I know about it, the better I can fix it, and how fucked up is that I’m trying to fix a piece of gear that I know next to nothing about, so I can then maybe learn how to use it. Why not just dump it? I wish I knew, and I wish I had. But at this point I have a fantasy in my head of fixing this, and having this awesome distortion analyzer and I’m like already a “RADIOMETER ELECTRONICS” fanboy. They are my BRAND motherfucker.
I’m hurting to recount this because I am missing a folder of 20+ solid links, including discussion of these products on audioforums. But one of the terrifying things I came across was this review of the 201 Audio Analyzer. I take that back there are several terrifying things going on here:
- IEEE controlled interface, using a custom piece of hardware. RE901 Keyboard with 16 push buttons. This means I probably can’t just hook in some keyboard. I’ll need to find a way to send specific commands to the RE256. No idea if there is a command-line feature, but assume (! ) there is.
- “The Tape test program does a comprehensive evaluation including.. ” Tape based? Fuck. Odds of acquiring original software just plummeted. There must be hard copies of that stuff somewhere though maybe in a manual
- “The length of these programs give some idea of the time required to program the RE201 – the tape and tape recorder program consisting of 3229 lines of BASIC and the REPLOT program which simply allows plotting of functions occupies 2400 lines of BASIC”.. haha ha. yeah I’m completely fucked here. Even if I get this POS working, I’ll have nothing I can do with it.
Not Terrifying, but useful info gleaned:
- Monitor is not RGB ( not surprising ) but rather TTL
- RS232 interface for printing results
- Overall a pretty bad-ass piece of machinery
When you can’t do … buy! I think this is probably great advice for business acquisition or something. For me it means I can obsess about gear, instead of learning how to use it. Well I guess I’m buying this gear SO I can learn to use my other gear – but same basic shit. After another week or so of hunting I have acquired:
- Manuals for the RE901 keyboard, the RE201, and some other RE audio gear. Some of them are programmable, so I hope that their chapters on IEEE interface will contain something useful.
- Practically NIB IBM 5150 monitor. I probably should have just stuck with a smaller TTL security monitor or something, but this showed up on CL, and only had to drive an hour to get it. And I’m always hoping I can sell this shit at a later date. Plus, you know. It’s cool vintage computer shit. Oh it came with a keyboard – which are also in demand for gaming.
update: August: no update. Monitor is sitting in a box in the garage. Listed keyboard for a stupid price online, just to see if anyone bites. I guess I could probably just check real quick to see if I get a signal from the RE256 on the Monitor. But you know – lots of other stuff going on.
This happened like a year ago, but I’m trying to get through my long ass list of projects. Most of them are small and trivial, and I hesitate to even post them here. Wow, you cut a cord, flipped the polarity and now your power supply is negative-center! Huzzah! I mean I was pretty proud of that, but yeah – not really “post worthy”.
Oh, but this one is.
So I like to pretend I’m learning about audio electronics. I read some stuff, try and pick out the gist of it.. sort of like reading an abstract of a paper instead of the whole thing. About 2 years ago I decided I want to build speakers, or repair amps, or some stupid shit. Why? dunno. But it seemed like a cool hobby, with lots of smart people, and I desperately want to be smart.
So while I bungle my way around an oscilloscope, and trying to trace circuits ( and failing mostly ) – I see this beauty on ebay: an RE:256 Distortion Analyzer. Distortion / Spectrum Analyzers aren’t really important for basic audio electronics – but past a certain point they matter a whole lot. And the good ones remain expensive – vintage HP’s are in the $500+ range. So when I saw this RE256 at like $150… I was excited. Now, do I need a distortion analyzer? well no. But it seemed like it would be great to have. For example, I could test the distortion on an amp, make some changes, and see if I had improved it or not.
Researching the re256 was not easy. I mean – look at the search terms here:
I seriously don’t know how I got my first break, but I came across an audio forum talking about the RE204 Distortion Analyzer, and how it was super well made, and awesome. Hard to find, and replacement parts were non-existent. I don’t know why, but it was like the hooks were in. Because if there is one thing better than owning a useful piece of equipment – it is owning a super rare, hard to find version. Well, you might say the latter impacts the former, and you’d be right! But the heart only knows what it wants. And I wanted it.
In my mind – the 256 was just a “better” version of the 204. I don’t know why I thought that – but sadly, it is a common mistake i make. So of course I bid, and of course I won – and of course things went down hill from there.
So when it showed up, I was excited – and immediately disappointed. See, other analyzer like the hp 8903 have a digital display on it.
I thought I saw one on the RE256. I was wrong. I also quickly realized there aren’t even any buttons on this fucking thing. It is just a big black box with some jacks on it. Well, no worries – I can plug in a monitor, and sure it needs an older 5pin keyboard, but no worries. I have adapters. Note the unrealistic optimism here, and the beginning of the Sunk Cost fallacy. This is an ongoing theme in my life, along with the “cut twice, forget to measure” thing. So I get my plugs and my monitors, and hook it all up, and nothing happens. No signal, etc. Now I’m not too worried, because I didn’t buy this “as-is” this fucking thing is supposed to work. So I must be making a mistake here. So I started on a quest for a user manual.
I also relish a good “search”. Fun to obsess about you know?:It took a while, but this is what I found out:
- RE stands for “Radiometer Electronics” a dutch company. At some point it split in half with Audio on oneside, and medical tech on the other. The medical tech is still being made – the audio died out.
- Parts are beyond impossible to find. There are a few replacement boards floating around on ebay – each priced $600+
- Manuals are hard to find
- I was able to find out some stuff about the RE204, and 500 series gear… but not much on the 256.
And then I had a breakthrough – look at this beauty.
- Vintage monitor
- Vintage keyboard
- Programming manuals
So one of the many twists here is that the RE256 is designed as an automated tester – like I read about the RE204 (link) there is programming done in BASIC ( woo! ). But I’m hoping I can find the actual programs out there somewhere. I set this in the back of my head as I race to Goodwill.. surely they will have what I need. I come back with an old keyboard, some adapters, but no monitor.
As I try and read up on what kind of monitor I will actually need – I fall into a deep deep rabbit hole.
Next time: Scanlines.
Our liberty and freedoms are practical, if not easy. We don’t always get what we want. We have to share a country with people who are different from ourselves in a million different ways. We share a country with people we love and also those we hate. It is easy to find the differences amongst us, and desire to cleave those people from the herd. But by refusing to do that, as frustrating as that might be, we make a very practical decision. It ensures that we get to remain in the herd as well. It isn’t fun, it isn’t easy. But it is necessary and practical.
If you find yourself thinking “they aren’t real Americans” – please take a step back and remember that to some of us – you aren’t a real American either.
And I include myself in that – I prefer my tribe to your tribe. And it is easy to believe that this country is my country.. and not yours.
Our president talks about unity while preaching divisiveness & bigotry, He feeds your fears about the other tribes, then claims to be the only one who can solve your problem. Those who criticize him are liars or losers. Those who are not loyal to him are exiled or threatened. No slight goes ignored. There is no truth but his truth, and he feels no remorse over lying.
“I play to people’s fantasies. People may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do… People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular.”
He even has is own euphemism for this dishonesty – “Truthful Hyperbole”
These are the actions of a cult leader or a conman – not the leader of a free country. And certainly not a country that values the differences amongst its citizens.
Here is my final!
They aren’t perfect – The angles are a bit off on top, but overall they look pretty solid. note that I changed the design slightly to make them longer than the originals. I don’t like how many of these KEFs end up with discoloration from the grills. If that occured, I wanted it to be as uniform as possible.
I’m embarrassed to show the grill cloth wrapping – I did a really poor job, but just wanted to get something on to see how it looked
- The grill isn’t sitting flush – two of the pegs snapped off – I drilled the pilot hole too small and really had to jam them in there. I think also my drilling being off by a MM or so in different directions put stress on them.
- There is extra fabric mashed everywhere… This is the first time I’ve done this, so no worries – watched a tutorial on how to do it better. I had been hoping cream would look good.. I wanted to use a vintage grill texture … but I think I will go with black.
- Better wood – the plywood veneer stripped heavily as I worked it. I will use solid pieces of wood for the finals.
- Increased precision needed. For the wood pieces, I will re-measure each step… error on the side of too much wood, and sand down the extra MM or so needed for precise alignment. I am unsure how to handle the drill holes. A drill press would be ideal, but I do not have access to one. There are a number of hacks I will try on some scrap wood to see if I can get a good fit. Once I do, I will use that as a jig for the finals.
- Glue + screws for final assembly.
- Paint wood to hide it better behind the grill cloth
- I would like to have curved edges to the peg mounts, but as long as they are hidden well, I won’t worry about it.
Done some pretty handy stuff lately, but not so much posting. So just giving some highlights..
BATTLE FAN: INSTALLED! +10
BATTLE YARD: MOWED! +1
BATTLE RAT TRAP: DEAD RATS! +1
BATTLE SPRAY FOR ROACHES: GOOD JOB!
BATTLE ANTS: LOSING!
BATTLE KEEP CHILD ALIVE: YES +0 BECAUSE THAT IS YOUR FUCKING JOB
BATTLE LET ASSHOLE INSTALL PIRATED SOFTWARE ON YOUR MACHINE: FUCKING LOST
Two interesting things… I replaced a fan in my element. I used a mix of instructions from these sources:
I don’t want to repeat too much of what these videos cover, but these are worth noting:
- Take off the splashguard. Removing the clips under the fan(s) is nearly impossible from the top. It takes an extra 10 minutes, but it worth it.Here is what those clips look like. Sorry for the crap video – iphone balanced on my chest while doing this.
- Clips are confusing…
- Relays and Fuses are not the same thing.I didn’t know this. When your condenser fan isn’t working – you need to troubleshoot the fan, but you also need to troubleshoot the fuse and the relay. The relay has two connections .. basically when electricity goes to 1 side, it connects the second circuit. You turn on the AC … the dial sends an electrical signal to the relay… the relay then connects the fan to power. Troubleshooting these is pretty easy actually.
- Quit being an idiot
Time spent: 4+ hours -20 points
Money Spent: $60 ( vs $300 ) +50 points mofo
Extra Screws: 1. -10 points
Broke Car: Negative. +10 points
Total: GO TEAM USA!
Welp, that sure didn’t happen.
- Can buy square for $10 at Home Depot. So fuck me for all that time I put in.
- No time to build fancy shit before tomato season. As you can see these Tomatos are booming, and summer is beating down.
So we are going with our tried and true “green poles in ground” method. Nothing too fancy, but functional.
In the past I used fancy grommet clip things.. this year I just used quick ties. gives me more flexibility, will be easy to clip off when I need to.I can also basically “sew” layers together so they are all fixed to the same point.
In the past, I’ve had trouble when the monsoons come through – the shade cloth turns into a giant fucking sail, and will often break the twine. This year I tied each piece of twine separately to the pole, so if one breaks, the whole thing doesn’t collapse.
I’ve clipped a lot of layers to other layers though… so I’m worried that it will make it even more sail-like.. we will see.
ZERO, it’s not a goddamn battle. I gave up, and stuck up the same shit I did last year. But here is the breakdown anyway.
Time spent: 2-3 hours, mostly at Lowe’s
Specialty tools needed: A post pounder thing really makes this a ton easier. I borrowed one.
Time wasted before I went back to tried and true method: 10+ hours
Overall quality of finished project: 7.3
S.O. Happiness Factor: Achieved
Well, it’s Sunday night, and I should either be working or sleeping. So instead I’m fucking off in the garage.
I need to put together some garden shade over some very lovely raised garden beds. In the past we just hammered in some poles, and strung wire between them. But this year, I thought, lets do something classy.
- must fit dimensions of garden bed ( 4×8 ft )
- must be taller than tomatoe plants ( ~5 feet )
- Only to be used on some of the beds at any given time, due to crop rotation
- Be nice to move / stack / take it down on off season. Failing that, be nice to have it look good without the Shade cloth on it
Internet searching shows a number of options.. most of them look pretty ghetto. The pic above seemed cool. Most of them look like this:
They use PVC pipe with electrical fittings. I don’t know why, but I fucking hate how these looks. The PVC just seems cheap, and I’m sure it will crack and break in the sun – looking like shit down the road. Also not a lot of options in terms of mobility.
So I’, going to use the initial image as inspiration – basically build something with a light wood frame, that can encircle each bed. It can have either a loose fitting garden shade over the top, or even have the shade stapled to the frame, if we want to keep out birds. Those little fuckers like our tomatoes.
Section A: Shit I can’t do right
As you know, precision is not really my thing. And it seems to me, if I want to do this right, and not have it look like total shit, I’m going to need to build some frames that are actually square. My plan is to make 2 squares per box, for the endcaps, and then link them with 4 longer pieces. I might even have those 4 longer pieces bolt on, so if necessary, I can break these down in the off season. Looking at the picture above, it seems like i can use glue and nails, to create a decent square.
Section B: A Jig
I know from experience if I just try and glue and hammer some wood together, its going to be a failure. What I need is a guide.. a jig that I can just jam the wood into place, slap on glue, and have it be held there sturdy enough to drill the screws in.
The type of joint I’m making is a butt joint. It’s easy and pretty ghetto as far as joints go. It isn’t strong, but I’m hoping my structure will be ok. If needed I can add in some metal l-brackets.
There are a number of tutorials online about butt joints. I don’t remember any of them. What I remember is that I needed to make a jig. Something to make those right angles easy and accurate.
Section C: There’s a hole in the bucket
I’m tired from doing it, and don’t want to sit here writing about it. but basically, to make a jig that makes right angles, you need something that lets you cut at right angles. So I used my square to cobble this together:
cut cut cut
I’m surprised that it works so well.
Now that I have some small wood sticks, I can start constructing my jig. My goal is to creating something like this.. where the green pieces are my garden shade frame. So I’m going to line the other pieces up, drill them into some MDF, and then whenever I need a right angle, I will just push the wood into here. easy.peasy.
Drive in some screws
But my angle looks good. I decide to try and build a mini frame right now. One problem I have is the jig is too large… I trim it down.
Final product.. is well, it’s a rectangle. sort of? I’m not sure how I feel about this. I spent a lot of hours to do this, and the more I think about it, I could probably just buy the fucking jig I needed. I’m afraid to google, because I can probably buy it at home depot.
But at least I know I can make a roughly square frame, which is probably good enough for the project.
And there is no such thing as “wasted time” when procrastinating on a Sunday night!
Cost: low.. $20?: 2 points
Time: shit. 2+ hours: -20
Made a square?: Sort of? +0
R&D: Can probably make a square: +20
OVERALL SCORE: +2!!! Things were made!