Archive for the ‘General’ Category.

How To Install and Adjust an AOC I1659FWUX 15.6″ USB-powered portable monitor on Windows and Mac

I’ve got some portable monitors: AOC I1659FWUX 15.6″ USB-powered portable monitor

The image quality of the monitor is pretty good (update 5-17-23: my new Macbook Pro screen is much more crisp than the AOC screens!), though you can’t adjust the colors.
In Windows, you can adjust the brightness with the open source software ScreenBright or my favorite ClickMonitorDDC 6.0 or some others. :-) You can’t directly change the brightness or colors in Windows 10 or 11.

To get it to work on my Macbook Pro 2019 16″, I needed to install a driver. Without it, when I plugged it in, the startup screen would flash for a moment and then nothing.
– Go to which is the former Download and install the driver
– plug it in and go! I’m using an Anker USB C Hub to convert the USB-A on the monitor to USB-C

To be able to adjust the brightness, I went to the Apple App Store and got the free and open source MonitorControl Lite.

Got a Macbook Pro 2019 16″, Happy With It

After 31 years of Windowsness, I’m I am officially a Macadoodle! I just got a Macbook Pro 2019 16″. I wanted a machine that I could happily listen to music and watch TV on (a great screen and sound) in addition to being portable. And I was kind of fed up with my long hunt for a new Windows Laptop:

  • Lenovo Yoga 7i – I bought it but returned it because it sounds like everyone is talking through a paper towel tube!
  • Lenovo Yoga 9i – It is a very safe prediction that the OLED screen will look terrible in a year or three. The demo models at Best Buy were already showing their age
  • HP 17-cn2063cl I bought it from Costco sounds quiet and tinny and when I run too many Chrome windows, or open 1 Windows Explorer window on the wrong folder, it lags which it totally unacceptable for a new computer with so much processing power!
  • LG Gram 17″though super sleek at like 2.9lbs with a beautiful screen, sounds quiet and tinny.
  • The MSI gaming laptop at Costco also sounded like crap, despite weighing a shoulder wrenching 7.5 lbs. I guess they put all their effort into the graphics card and zillion rainbow color changing LED lights on the keyboard and case.
  • Macbook Air, at 13″, it’s just too petite for my eyes.
  • HP Envy 17″, a fine contender. I had used an HP Envy 15″ for my last job and it did well. The speakers were a little weak but certainly “acceptable”.
  • Dell XPS 17″ probably excellent but a spendy $2,500-$4,000.

The notion of getting a machine that “just works”, really excited me. In recent years, Windows has changed so much that it’s not like I can fix any problem without googling for it. And Windows is this cranky hodge-podge of legacy systems and new. When Windows got rid of uncombined taskbar icons last year, I was so pissed. I started using an open source tool that rolled back the interface to something more usable. But you know that at some point it’s going to stop working. I’m starting to appreciate Apple’s attitude of stopping support on old machines and jumping to new technology every so often.

I couldn’t conscience getting a new Macbook for $2500+ so I spent $950 all in on a used one on 1TB SSD, 16 Gig of RAM, a beautiful screen and sound, the slick Macbook Pro Touchbar…

Set up was quite pleasant, video sounds and looks fabulous (OMG, Youtube videos are defaulting to play in 4k! (sucking up 20mbps, but hey)), and migration has so far gone very well! I got my second monitor set up easily enough (needed DisplayLink and MonitorControl Lite from the App Store but it took 10 minutes. I’m writing this while listening to the best sounding music I’ve ever had on a computer. Yes, it “just works” and I like it.

Every 10 years or so I check the website to see if I have any lost money. If a company owes you money but can’t find you for whatever reason, it ends up there. Yes, it’s legit. :-)

This time I found several small piles of money and a few large ($500-$1000) ones related to family! I spend the afternoon filling out forms and should get some cash in a few months. Take a look for yourself!



How to Send Email Message Headers and Source to a Friend

If you were asked to send the full contents of an email (AKA the source or the original contents) to someone, this is how you’d do it in Gmail.

Long Stupid Passwords

OMG, seriously?

Passwords must be between 16 and 26 characters and contain at least: one uppercase (‘A’-‘Z’), one lowercase (‘a’-‘z’), one digit (‘0’-‘9’), and one special character (e.g. $,\&.#!)

Found at California Unclaimed Property Division

Biden and the Silicon Valley Bank Failure

I’ve been having an ongoing discussion about whether Biden was politically motivated to blame Trump for the Silicon Valley Bank failure. My friend thought it was underhanded for Biden to blame Trump. Well…

The Federal Reserve just published a report about why Silicon Valley Bank failed. There’s articles about the report but I went and found the original report. The first 4 pages are a letter summarizing the report. Read it, it’s in pretty plain English.

It blames the bank managers at several levels and the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (IE, Trump’s gutting of the Dodd-Frank Act.)

So, was Biden politically motivated about blaming Trump for the SVB failure? No, the experts have been saying that all along, as long as Biden also includes all the managers that screwed up too, which he did in his statement on March 13th, when he said, “Second, the management of these banks will be fired”.

As a last out, If you don’t trust the people that run the Federal Reserve to write honestly, well I’ve got a Bitcoin mine to sell you.

Goodbye Twitter

I wrote this on Twitter

Goodbye Twitter. Twitter will start blocking autoposts from my blog ( Find me there or on Facebook ( Ping me directly to tell me how to find your online life!

I wrote it in response to this email from the Jetpack team

Hi Lee,

Since our initial communication, Twitter decided, on short notice, to dramatically change the terms and pricing of the Twitter API. We have attempted to work with Twitter in good faith to negotiate new terms, but we have not been able to reach an agreement. As a result, we will need to remove the functionality.

When Twitter removes access on April 30, 2023, your Twitter connection on Jetpack Social will cease to work, and your blog posts will no longer be auto-shared to Twitter.

You will still be able to share your posts to Twitter manually by pasting the post link into the body of your tweet.

In addition, you can still auto-share your posts to Tumblr, Facebook, and LinkedIn. In the near future, we are adding the ability to auto-share to Instagram and Mastodon. We are continuing to release new features in Jetpack Social, so keep an eye on the Jetpack blog for more updates.

We’re truly sorry we can’t continue to support Twitter in Jetpack Social. Please feel free to contact us if you would like assistance.


The Jetpack team

ISO a 17″ Laptop Computer

Can you help me find a laptop computer with a 17″ screen with speakers that don’t suck? The Lenovo Yoga 7i and (poorly named) HP 17-cn2063cl that I’ve brought home are unusable to watch videos on. As is the LG Gram 17″and MSI gaming laptop at Costco.

The Macbook sounds stupendous but it’s so stupidly cute with it’s 13″ screen, I just need more screen real estate! I’m not spending $2,500 on a 16″ Macbook Pro, but hmm, maybe $1k a used 16″ 1999 Macbook Pro??

I’ve been a Windows user for.. umm.. 31 years so I’m a little nervous about switching to Mac. Then again, Windows 11 took several steps away from what I think of as “Windows” I just end up googling for solutions to every problem anyway.



Institutional Racism Today

My school district held a training on racism on September 11th, 2020, It gave me a very real wake up call.

Mr. Adofo Bandele went to WCCUSD. He graduated high school in 1975 having never learned basic reading, writing, or math. He passed through the entire system without an alarm being raised. He never failed a class. Adofo described a 2-tiered system for blacks when he went to school: If a black student was disruptive and couldn’t read, they were failed out. But a courteous student like Adofo was passed through. He learned to read on his own at age 26.

He said that he was assessed and placed incorrectly. Wildly more importantly, he said that black students that he works with at WCCUSD today are still being assessed and placed incorrectly but this doesn’t happen with white students. He was given fake grades to push him through the system. Black students aren’t given fake grades any more but they are still being poorly placed.

“I work with African-American students that can’t read and are in an English class that they’re going to fail and they generally do… and when I ring the bell “Like hey look this student can’t read, why are they in this English class?” The response I get has not been helpful, and in fact I’ve been called a troublemaker for constantly raising this issue about what’s happening to black students in these classrooms that they aren’t prepared for… but still I persist. The thing is though, that I’ve never had a white student that couldn’t read and was placed in a class that they were uncapable to deal with. Every white student I ever had this issue was addressed immediately and that white student was taken out of my hands and placed in a situation that they thought was better for him. However my African students they do not do this. They leave them with me and they generally end up failing these classes because they wasn’t prepared to take them in the first place. It’s a failing situation that we keep putting black students in to this day, right now. Just as it was when I was in the district. So you know, something has to change. A lot has to change.”

He went on to say that black students aren’t given false grades any more, they are failed. 

Watch all of Mr. Bandele’s presentation


Lee Reviews Children’s Books

I’ve kept track of Abigail’s library books since she almost the beginning. This has been a boon for knowing what books to return to. I offer the list up to the universe for your family!

Looking for a book recommendation? A good place to start is searching for books with a rating of 7 or higher.

Abigail’s Book List

Initially I kept track of one book per line. Eventually, I started making additional entries for books we got multiple times since her preferences have changed over time. A highly rated board book might eventually get a low rating because she had outgrown it. It’s an imperfect list but a very good start!