New toys – USB Camera

I finally upgraded my video only streaming camera from a tiny pico-cam to a KLP-USB500W02M-SFV(2.8-12mm).

The Pico cam worked well enough, but is auto-focus and about 6 years old. The auto-focus messes with where it would focus regarding the paper and pen. As my hand and pen moved across the paper, focus would shift.

The KLP is a manual focus, with a wide to telephoto adjustment, as well as a privacy shutter. Additionally it mounts either from the top or the bottom, so I don’t have to fiddle with flipping or rotating the image while streaming. I can use the image as is with little to no tweaking.

I’m greatly looking forward to trying it out!

more automount madness

So, I’m dense, but I finally found out how to properly mount NFS shares to macOS. Turns out it’s much simpler and hopefully will keep automount from pegging my cpu like crazy.

Permanently mount an NFS share:

  1. Connect to the NFS share as explained in the previous procedure.
  2. Open System Preferences > Users & Groups.
  3. Select your user in the left panel and click Login Items in the right-hand panel:
  4. Click the plus sign and navigate to the connected NFS share.
  5. Click Add.
  6. Close System Preferences.

House of 2019: Thanks Giving

Winter bursts through the door with not so much as a knock, flooding the house and the yard with snow. “Hey, Guys! Did you miss me?!?

Fall, who had just made a nice cup of tea to sip by the fire, finds himself flung backward, chair and all. Snow EVERYWHERE. “Dude! What the F$#@?!?!”

“I’m feeling better!” yells winter.

“But it’s still my time! The turkey isn’t even cooked yet!”

“Oh, uh, sorry Fall. I was just excited and got a little ahead of myself”

“Just…” Fall sighs heavily, “it’s okay, make yourself comfortable. Just no more snow for a few more weeks, okay?”

“Yeah, that’s cool. Thanks.” replied winter. “Say, you have any more tea?”

The House of 2019: Lingering Spring

It’s raining, again.

Summer toes the porch, keeping the bench swing moving.

“Again, really? Didn’t you just have a week of thunderstorms?” inquired Summer

“Yeah, but the plants really needed it after last year. Things got too dry.”

“And now we have mudslides everywhere, and not the drinking kind. Thanks.”

The House of 2019: Winter vs. Spring

Spring walks up to the house of 2019 and knocks on the door. A peephole opens and a very inebriated Winter answers, “What’s the password?”

“What?” replies Spring, slightly taken aback

“Nope” bemusement creeping into Winter’s voice.

“What’s going on here, it’s my turn. We’re in Apr”

“Not even close!” interrupts Winter, slapping the hole shut.

Spring is not put off, perturbed “Listen here, It’s my turn. We agreed that you could have a flurry if you won on poker night. Which hasn’t even happened yet!” Spring knocks on the door, harder.

A slightly muffled “I’m not listening” is faintly heard through the door.

“I’ve got stuff to do! Flowers need blooming, animals and insects need feeding! For crying out loud, it’s hardly above freezing at night! Heck, it’s barely in the ’40s now!”

“Wow, you’re talking a lot. You want something to drink?”

“I would love… You know what, no. Where’s 2019?”

“On our fifth bottle *hic* I mean we are.”

Spring proceeds to sit down on the stoop, wishing they’d brought a heavier coat or a second shirt.

Dan Down! Dan Down! Take Cover

I repeat Dan Down!  Take Cover!

No Sir, I don’t know what happened.  He was sent out on special assignment, and on his way back his contract was canceled.  Yes, flat out, canceled!

No, we don’t know where the shot came from.  Christ, he was just a kid.

I know, I know.  We have to press on.

It’s going to be really hard looking at that cube for the next two months.

Incoming Layoffs

There was a boom, it rattled the earth beneath our feet.  Our building shook slightly.  As we were trained to do, we donned our vests and helmets and took cover.  The sirens sounded their Alarm Red.  A second boom was heard, and the sirens called out again.

The siren tone changed signaling an all-clear, it was time to do our sweeps, and up channel our status.  No direct impact on us.  If it had been closer, we would have heard the whistle.

“I jus heard 249 layoffs.  One building completely emptied.”

The next two months were spent processing data to be released to the laid off employees.  Systems were collected and disposed of.  The good hardware passed around and used to upgrade others setups as needed.  It was rough, but we pressed on.  We missed those who we used to see day to day.

Some time later, I showed up at my desk a little early and logged in.  My Data-Loss-Prevention leads showed up shortly after.  He looked ragged like he’d just been raked over the coals for something.

“So, uh, today is going to be a very hard day”.  I could barely hear the whistle in the air. “There may be folks asking for data to be written to USB, make sure they follow the right process”.  It was slowly getting louder.

We exchange a couple more words, but nothing specific is said.  He gets up and heads back to the other side of the hall.

“Hey, did anyone notice Security in the hall?  What’s going on?”  The whistle of air passing through the stabilizers was now apparent to everyone in earshot.

Boom.  Sirens immediately went off.  We all took cover.  This one was close, too close.  We heard the gravel plinking off the side of the building.

An all-clear was sounded, but it had a very different feel this time.  We performed our checks.  Got a status of what was going on.

“Shit!  We just lost a quarter of our I.T. Department!”  The office became a mess of emotion.

Those trained to the task assisted in helping those laid off with packing up their stuff and recovering project data from their computers.  At one point, my IT-Security lead stops by looking for carts to help move boxes of personal goods to cars.  He was near tears.

After things had calmed down a little and the smoke began to clear, meetings were had.  The remaining I.T. supervision was going to have to reorganize to accommodate for reduced staff size.

Throughout the day we found out that notifications were sent out by corporate at 0300 that morning, leaving those who had to deliver the news with little to no time to prepare themselves for the news they’d have to deliver.

So here we are, the day after, picking up the pieces.  Trying to figure out who’s going to report to who.  Business goes on, and we’ll recover with time.  But damn if it doesn’t suck for the time being.