Archive for the ‘Geekery’ Category.
I got a pair of Mpow Flame Solo Wireless Eardbuds, model BH503A recently. I’m really happy with them!
Here’s the Mpow Flame Solo User Manual
I did a comparison recently between them, Tozo T12, Jabra Evolve T65, and Anker Soundcore Spirit X, and these came out on top!
– $40 inexpensive on Amazon
– They “just work”. It has taken a little effort to figure out how to switch between my now multiple audio-out options on my computer, that isn’t the fault of the earbuds. Syncing is easy, turning on and of is easy.
– audio quality for music is nearly as good as my wired earbuds, I use them for music and Zoom sessions a lot
– The over-the-ear design means they stay on my head and I don’t have to rely on squeezing the earpiece into my ear to stay on (like the Tozo T12)
– The volume and sound response (highs vs lows etc) is sometimes a little bit less than my wired earbuds. But, as Ultron said as he prepared to destroy earth, “I got no strings on me!”
For a long while I’ve been forwarding my @Lee.org email to my Gmail account. One problem I’ve had is that some valid email falls into my Gmail spam folder. This is probably because those forwarded (actually, pulled via POP3) emails always softfail SPF in Gmail. It stands to reason since gmail isn’t lee.org. But ugh!
I’m tired of wading through my spam folder for obviously valid email!
I think the only way to fix this is to get a Google Workspace (formerly G-Suite) account and have Google host my mail fully. Does that sound right?
[Update 12-30-20: Fixed!! See below]
Can you help fix my domain’s spam reputation problem? I’m happy to pay for professional help.
Whenever I send email to a new person at gmail from my domain name, Lee.org, it falls into their spam folder. After they mark my email as “not spam”, recipients can receive further emails.
This is probably happening because, until July 2018, my domain was being used by spammers to send junk mail. I have since fixed the email settings (SPF, DMARC, DKIM, Google Postmaster Tools) to keep spammers from spoofing my domain but the reputation damage has been done! Mail hosts apparently still don’t trust me! My domain (Lee.org) is definitely not generating any spam and the volume of email sent is very light, there is only one user, me!
Do you have any suggestions as to how to fix my email reputation problem?
I found some random coders on fiverr.com that might help but I’m reluctant to give all my passwords to random people on the internets!
I wrote to Dreamhost and they responded, essentially, “Sorry about that, we fixed the thing that you couldn’t have possibly known was broken. You’re good now”
Some time ago, we started using a service called MailChannels to help us with our incoming and outgoing spam filtering. It looks like for some reason, your SPF record hadn’t been updated to authorize MailChannels, so, considering your DMARC settings, normal messages being sent from DreamHost were being marked as spam. I apologize about this, I’ve taken the correct steps to fix this and it should help with your outgoing messages not being marked as spam in the future.
I sent a few emails to friends (thanks Kayte and Carol!) and yeah, lee.org is now sending emails to not-spam-folders again! Hurray!
This will make it so your microphone doesn’t pick up all the clicky-clacky while you’re on Zoom calls. It uses a little CPU to do the audio processing but works pretty well.
Turn on keystroke suppression on your computer’s microphone. This works for the Lenovo Thinkpad T470s and maybe other computers.
Tap the Windows key. Type “control panel” and hit Enter. In the search bar in the upper right, type “audio” and hit Enter. Click on “Manage audio devices”. Double-click on the “Recording” tab. Click on the “Microphone Array” icon. Click on the “Enhancements” tab. Click on the “Keystroke Suppression” checkbox.
I only have one DVD drive in the house and no DVD drive connected to our new “smart” tv. So here’s how we watch DVD movies on the Smart TV.
First, set up Plex It’s a Windows program that let’s you serve videos around your house. They’ll also rent you videos and such. I leave the computer running all the time.
- Use DVDDecrypter to rip a copy of the DVD onto my computer. I use the rip below and also save it since the DVD format with commentary and extras isn’t saved perfectly in the next few steps.
- Sometimes DVDDecrypter craps out. When that happens, I try using MakeMKV to rip the DVD. Failing that, I try using VLC. Failing that, I get a copy from ThePirateBay.
- Point MakeMKV at the rip and turn the DVD into several .mkv files. The big file (usually 1-6 gigabytes) is the movie and then there’s often extras like a Making-of and such.
- Move the big file directly into my Plex movies folder
- Use MKVToolNix GUI to merge all the other files together into one because I like having a “Movie” and a “Movie extras” file but having 5-10 “extras” files is just a cluttered mess.
- Look at the created “extras” file and make sure it worked. I don’t know exactly why but some merges don’t work. 1/2 way through the merged video, the audio or picture will crap out. This might be because the merged files were in different formats or something. If it doesn’t work, I abandon the “extras”, I haven’t figured out how to fix that problem.
- Some videos have trouble fast forwarding and rewinding on Plex, especially on my Visio TV. I found that if I transcode them into H.264 using Handbrake (mp4 format, Align A/V start (dunno if I need it but it doesn’t hurt)) I don’t have that problem any more. I’ve had this problem with some videos downloaded from the internet. H.265 makes the smallest files but Plex handles H.264 natively so it doesn’t have to pin the CPU on the server to transcode it on the fly. It takes 1-5 hours to transcode a movie in Handbrake, depending on your settings, so set up the Queue and run it overnight!
Notes on above:
- The rip takes about an hour. The other steps take just 1-5 minutes total.
- To use MKVToolNix GUI: drag the first file onto the Source Files area. Then grab the rest of the files and drag them there. It’ll ask how you want to add them, choose “Append to an existing source file”. Then push the “Start multiplexing” button at the bottom. It might throw an error and refuse to merge the files. This is because the files are, in some way, not the same type. Look in the error log. A common error is “The number of channels of the two audio tracks is different.” To fix that, I use Handbrake to transcode all the files, making sure to set the audio “mixdown” to “stereo”; that way, fancy Dolby 5.1 audio is pushed down to stereo. This doesn’t always fix the problem. I haven’t figured out all the fixes yet, sometimes I just bail on putting all the extras into one file.
If you need to download a video on Youtube or Vimeo or wherever, this process will often do it for you, fer free and without downloading some likely-spammy-scammy software.
The key is: most video online is HTML5. VLC can play any HTML5 video… and get you the link to download it. (via)
When the site is password protected, you might do the following to download the site:
- Download Wget.exe for Windows (there is no installation)
- Get the Cookies.txt Chrome extension
- Log in to the site
- Use the Cookies.txt extension to copy-paste the cookies into a file named cookies.txt in the same folder as wget.exe
- Run a command that looks like this (maybe it’s overkill, but after banging on it for a while, this worked. So there):
wget –recursive –no-parent –timestamping=on –no-clobber –page-requisites –html-extension –convert-links –restrict-file-names=windows –no-parent –load-cookies cookies.txt -e robots=off -U mozilla “https://www.EXAMPLE.COM/WHATEVER/”
I have had a little trouble with the cookies not working correctly. I’m not sure yet if it’s the cookie expiring after a few minutes and not getting renewed or Wget somehow fetching too aggressively. I successfully fetched a site by refreshing the homepage in Chrome (maybe keeping the cookie valid) and fetching from below the top level.
I replaced the battery on my Ensoniq KT-88 electronic keyboard today. It wasn’t hard. Took about 45 minutes of unscrewing, fiddling with connectors, and soldering. (actually, the keyboard is on long-term loan from a good friend :-) )
I bought the battery from Syntaur. Maybe I could have found it for a few dollars cheaper but it wasn’t expensive and I wanted to make sure it was a good battery and had the right tabs on it! These guys rock.
After I was done replacing the battery, none of the controls worked! Argh! I did a factory reset thanks to the internet (local archive), to reset the Ensoniq KT-88 “PRESS EDIT/SEQUENCES (PRESETS). PRESS AND HOLD THE UPPER 9 BUTTON AND THEN PRESS THE LOWER 9.RELEASE BOTH AND PRESS YES AT THE PROMPT.”. That didn’t actually fix it. But I now find that if I turn it on and power cycle it once quickly (off for about 1/2 second) controls respond perfectly until I turn it off for a length of time. It’s finicky but it works! Hurray!