Tears. Cleveland is used to that, although for 52 years they’ve been salty. The sports history in that town is more than ready to welcome a new addition. From The Fumble to The Drive to The Shot, there is finally something to hug: The Championship.
Unbelievable. For the first time in franchise history, the Cleveland Cavaliers are NBA Champions, defeating the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in Game 7 (the first time in NBA history a team has come back from being down 3 games to 1 to win it all). Finally the networks can update this graphic I seem to see every year one of our teams is in the playoffs:
Now they can finish “Believeland.” Congratulations, Cavs, and thank you!
It’s not quite officially summer yet, but we just got back from vacation, a 7-day Alaskan cruise on the Norwegian Jewel with my family. What an amazing way to kick off the summer!
Continue reading ‘2016 Alaska cruise’ »
Last week at work we received a pair of Netgear ProSafe gigabit managed click switches (the 8-port GSS108E and 16-port GSS116E) to outfit a conference room. I was impressed with the mounting options and after seeing the 8-port one was less than $50 on Amazon, I decided to get one for my home office.
The GSS108E replaced a TRENDnet TEG-S80g (a sturdy metal, 8-port gigabit switch), which I had sitting on top of my standing desk. The click switch can be mounted in four different ways, and the power cable attaches in two different ways to accommodate most installations. I attached the plastic mounting plate to the underside of my desk (with the included screws but opted not to use the additional adhesive pads), clicked the switch onto the plate, and then re-ran my cabling. The result is a cleaner desktop and some extra USB charging ports easily accessible under the desk. Unfortunately in this position the labels on the ports are upside down, which seems like a slight design oversight.
The plastic GSS108E and metal GSS116E are managed switches, so you can log into their web interfaces and do some basic configuration like setting up VLANs, enabling QoS, configuring mirror ports, performing cable tests, or turning off the LEDs. Not features I need in my home office but not bad for a sub-$50 piece of hardware.
GSS108E management interface
After over 11 years of faithful service as our primary family room TV, my 42″ Panasonic plasma died last week. Time to do some TV shopping!
It’s hard to believe we’ve been using an ED (that’s right, 480P) television as our workhorse display for the past 11 years. When we bought it, we couldn’t quite afford the hefty price tag of the new HDTVs. My priorities at the time were lots of jacks (composite, component, HDMI, etc.) and the CableCARD slot for future digital cable. Over the years I’ve had all sorts of equipment connected to the TV (VCR, DVD changer, DVD burner, Wii, multiple TiVos, etc.) but never actually used the CableCARD slot (thanks to my first HD TiVo in 2006).
While connections are still important, my setup is now significantly simpler: the only thing I have connected to the TV is the TiVo Roamio Pro (via a single HDMI cable) and an optical audio cable to the receiver (which is 16 years old and still kicking!). So my priorities this time around were picture quality, size (the TV needs to fit in some built-in shelving), and miscellaneous extras like network connectivity, Bluetooth, etc.
After doing all of my normal Consumer Reports research, reading internet reviews, and doing price comparisons, I selected the 50″ Samsung UN50JS7000 (the 55″ model was unfortunately just a smidge too tall to fit in my cabinet) and picked it up a at local Best Buy (who also took care of recycling my old plasma for $25).
Continue reading ‘Samsung UN50JS7000 50″ LED 4K SUHD TV’ »
Ah, April. The Stanley Cup Finals have started and my Tampa Bay Lightning have already advanced to round 2. The NBA Finals have also started and my Cleveland Cavaliers are looking to sweep the Pistons on Sunday and move on to the conference semi-finals. We’re about a month into the new baseball season and both my Rays and Indians are off to slow starts. The NFL draft starts in a few days, which mean new hopes for the Browns (including RG3) and Bucs.
Besides the confluence of sporting events, though, April means a new Ubuntu release! 16.04 LTS, Xenial Xerus arrived this past week and per my usual, I proceeded to immediately upgrade my server.
Continue reading ‘eXamining the Xenial Xerus’ »
A recent server upgrade (to Ubuntu 16.04) that included PHP 7.0 seems to have broken WordPress. I’m working on it!
You may notice something different about ‘chmod 644’ today … a green HTTPS padlock in your browser’s address bar. That’s because my domain is now using an SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt.
The Let’s Encrypt project is a certificate authority (CA) that aims to bring free and open encryption to the web. I first heard about it back in 2014 on episode #483 of Steve Gibson’s Security Now! podcast. The project went into public beta in December 2015 and at the time I played around with generating a certificate but then got busy and never ended up actually using it. Certificates issued by Let’s Encrypt need to be renewed every 90 days so in early March (shortly after the 1 millionth certificate was issued) I received a notification that it was going to expire and, since I still didn’t have the time to properly implement SSL, I just let it.
Finally, the other week, I had some time and decided to give it another go, starting from scratch.
Continue reading ‘Let’s Encrypt! Switching to HTTPS …’ »
The latest Fast Ring Insider Preview build of Windows 10 (14316) includes the new Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) that Microsoft announced at their Build conference last week. I have to admit, I kind of enjoy being able to open a bash prompt on my PC and using Linux commands to interact with the file system, use vi to edit files (yes, I use vi!), and running shell scripts. I haven’t had a lot of time to use it in-depth but it will be interesting to see what kind of cool stuff can be done with this.
My brother and I had to take another break from our annual trip out west to the Cactus League for Spring Training. Since I was “stuck” at home and my daughter was on spring break, I took a few days off and the two of us went to a few local Grapefruit League games instead.
Continue reading ‘Spring Training 2016’ »
I’ve been wanting to try the Nest learning thermostat since the first one was released back in 2012. At the time, though, I had just installed my ADT Pulse and Z-Wave home automation system. Putting in the Nest would mean using a separate app to control my home’s temperature outside of Pulse with no integration between the two systems.
Fast forward to 2015: in July, ADT announced that Pulse now supported the Nest and in September, the 3rd generation of the learning thermostat was released. The Honeywell Z-Wave thermostat that I had added to my Pulse system in 2013 was functional, but not “cool” so I finally decided to give the Nest a try.
Continue reading ‘Nest 3rd gen learning thermostat’ »