Setting up a security camera system

These days, most people who want to have security camera systems choose cloud-based systems.  The cloud-based systems have recurring costs, and it is anyone’s guess how badly one’s privacy could be violated in the cloud.  Wouldn’t it be nice if there were some way to set up a security camera system that is completely self-contained, that does not send video data to a cloud, and that has no recurring cost?  The alert reader will have no difficulty guessing where this article is going.  Of course there is a way to set up a security camera system that is completely self-contained, that does not send video data to a cloud, and that has no recurring cost.  For convenient reference I will give a name to such a system:  “a good system.”  I have set up a page describing how to set up a “good” security camera system.

A reminder of why I like VOIP.MS as our telephone service provider

Our firm has been using VOIP.MS as our telephone service provider since 2017, with no regrets.  Across those seven years we have saved at least twenty thousand dollars compared with what our telephone services would have cost from any other service provider.  This blog article provides a reminder of one of the reasons that I like VOIP.MS, namely geographic server diversity.  Continue reading “A reminder of why I like VOIP.MS as our telephone service provider”

Some VOIP analog telephone adapters are very feature-rich

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In the old days, a POTS (plain old telephone service) telephone, also sometimes called an “analog phone”, got its dial tone from a pair of copper wires that led to a telephone company central office.  The distance between the telephone and the central office might be miles.  The telephone company might have sophisticated equipment in the central office that can test for faults on the telephone line, such as spurious voltages or shorted connections.

Nowadays if the customer is trendy, modern, and up-to-date, the POTS telephone will get its dial tone from an ATA (analog telephone adapter).  At above right we see a functional blog diagram including an ATA.  It turns out that some ATAs have sophisticated circuitry, like that in a legacy telephone company central office, that can test for faults on the telephone line, such as spurious voltages or shorted connections.  Continue reading “Some VOIP analog telephone adapters are very feature-rich”

Here is a canonical list of domino clicks for adoption of NACS (Tesla-style) electric vehicle charging plugs and charging ports.

As you will see, nearly all makers of EVs for the US market have by now joined the NACS club, the sole holdout being Stellantis (maker of Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Maserati, and Ram).

Dear reader, are you located in the US and do you own or lease an EV that is not a Tesla vehicle?  If so, then I’d like to know where on your vehicle the charging port is located.  Please visit this blog article and complete the survey to let me know where the charging port is located on your vehicle.

When did the ¼-inch quick-release hex shank begin? Who thought of the ¼-inch quick-release hex shank?

(Update:  thanks to a comment below from alert reader Bernie Greenspan, I eventually located ANSI standard B107.4 which standardized the ¼-inch quick-release hex shank in 1982.)

Many people who try to do projects and repairs around the house or around the office would, I think, report that they experienced two events involving power tools that changed things a lot.   One’s life divides into “how it was before I got an oscillating tool and how it was after” and “how it was before I got an impact driver and how it was after”.  As will be discussed below, the impact driver uses driver bits and drill bits having a “¼-inch quick-release hex shank”.  The main point of this blog article is to raise two seemingly unanswerable questions:

Being smart about receiving book royalties from Amazon

Let’s suppose that you have some book that is published through the Amazon publishing-on-demand platform (which very annoyingly is named “Kindle Desktop Publishing”).   And let’s suppose (keep with me on this) that you actually would like to receive your author royalties for this book.  It turns out that if you have an account with Wise Business, you can set things up to have a much better chance of actually receiving your royalties.  Continue reading “Being smart about receiving book royalties from Amazon”

Picking a trusted place to back up your smart phone

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Let’s imagine something that might be unlikely (stick with me on this)  namely that you have a smart phone.  Yes I realize that you may have an old-fashioned phone that is not a smart phone.  But maybe it is an Android phone (yay!) or maybe it is an iPhone (some day you will migrate away to what I think is a better kind of smart phone, but I suppose no time soon).  And in the event that you do have a smart phone, let’s suppose you like the idea of backing it up to some trusted place.  What are the absolutely worst places to back up your smart phone (hint:  probably you are right now backing it up to a place that is not a good place)?    What is an example of a smart place to back up your smart phone?  Continue reading “Picking a trusted place to back up your smart phone”