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Passkey Performance

Posted on November 21st, 2022

Dave!Having to type passwords is a nasty business that we're forced to deal with because the world is filled with assholes who want to steal from you. Sure there are password managers that help to make things easier (especially if they can be synced over the internet to all your devices), but it's still a ridiculous thing to have to mange. Apple wants to change all this with the idea of "Passkeys"... a password system that uses biometric data, like your face or fingerprint, to handle your login security for you. It's a nice idea, in theory, but it has to actually work. And so far I'm having mixed results. I set it up on this blog, for example, but now I can't actually get into my blog because my Passkey doesn't work and my authenticator app is not syncing properly. Which means that I will have to reinstall... again... so I can access Blogography... again.

Maybe one of these days this will all be worked out.

But, in the meanwhile, here we are.

   

Matter over Thread on Eve via HomeKit

Posted on November 18th, 2022

Dave!This is Part Deux of removing all the dead INSTEON smart home crap from my home and replacing everything with Thread smart home devices.

Back in the day INSTEON was the best fit for my smart home setup. It was clunky and weird and didn't always function as expected, but it was cheap and mostly worked (or not... turning my bedroom lights on and off also turned my living room lights on and off, and I never got that figured out in six years). The bad thing about it was that interacting with it was awful. I had to buy a pricey programmable ISY-994i hub to replace the INSTEON hub that barely worked. THEN I had to buy a modem to connect it to my network. THEN I had to pay for a service which would allow me to use Alexa for voice control and interact with my devices remotely from my phone. THEN I had to write literal programs to get everything working as I needed.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Apple's initial efforts with home automation was something they called "HomeKit" but it was actually "HomeShit" because you couldn't do shit with it. And there weren't many devices that worked with it anyway. I frickin' hated it so much that I completely scrapped the test gear I bought and started over with INSTEON.

But that was 2016, and Apple has come a long way in six years. Most importantly, they joined the Matter Smart Home alliance which will allow all Matter devices to communicate with each other (so it doesn't matter than HomeShit can't get automations working to save their life). And the network behind Matter is something called Thread.

Thread is actually pretty great, because it does all the work by itself instead of relying on a central router hub to handle everything. Devices designate themselves as either router leaders, routers, or endpoints to build a self-propagating, self-healing mesh network. And that's it. Except if you want to access your Thread network from outside your local network (such as the internet), you also need a "border router." Apple's HomePod mini works for that, so I'm good to go.

Any device that's connected to wired power routes traffic, which includes all 26 switches in my home. Needless to say that with so many routers my Thread network is rock-solid.

Which brings us to Eve, the company making most of my devices, including my light switches.

Eve Switches on my wall.

Pros...

  • The design is really nice. All the switches are capacitive touch with no moving parts. You just tap them on and off. It's really nice.
  • They're built on Thread. But not at first! When I first installed my switches I was mortified to see that they were using bluetooth as the "network carrier." But then after a few days they switched over to Thread and all was well. I think that they are Bluetooth to start for configuration purposes.

Negatives...

  • THEY ARE NOT DIMMABLE! This is absolutely bonkers. I ended up having to buy some of my switches from Brilliant for those lights I wanted to dim. I would have preferred to have had all my switches by Eve since Brilliant isn't built on Three.
  • Because the switches are flat with no protruding rocker, it's very difficult to camouflage that you may have outlet boxes that are uneven or at slightly different depths. Very few of my switches are flush with the faceplate which doesn't bother me too much... but I sure wish they had the ability to self-level by screwing a spacer out or something.
  • These switches are massive. I'd have thought that technology would have gotten smaller as time goes on, but these are every bit as huge as the INSTEON units they are replacing (technology that's decades old). The Brilliant switches I bought are a much smaller profile.
  • You get a single-gang faceplate with each switch, and it's great quality. But Eve doesn't sell matching 2-gang and 3-gang faceplates, so you have to look elsewhere. And I looked a lot. I even wrote to Eve to say "Hey, which brand of screwless faceplates matches your switches?" Only to be told "We dunno." That's kinda bad. I ended up just re-using my old INSTEON switch plates until I find something that works better.
  • There's an LED light on each switch which can be configured to be "Never On" or "On when On" or "On when Off." I decided to have the light be "On when Off" so that people can find them in the dark. Unfortunately, the LEDs could have been better. First of all they are an annoying and attention-seeking green color when they should have been a more unobtrusive soft white. Second of all, you can dim them a bit, but they are still very bright and I wish I could have dimmed them further.
  • You can't just run power to the lights and automate them to perform other tasks, something which would be very handy (some of my INSTEON switches were used this way). If the power can't physically turn something off connected to them, then there is no "off." They're just on all the time. This seems incredibly weird given how smart homes work.
  • The HomeKit QR code is on the faceplate... not the switch itself. Considering that most of my switches won't be using the faceplates since they are 2-gang and 3-gang switches, this is a pretty bizarre move. The electricians were so concerned about it that they copied the last four digits of the code, wrote it on a Post-It tab, and stuck it to the side of the switches so I wouldn't be completely lost if I ever have to pull them out of the wall for some reason. I also wrote the switch location on the HomeKit code booklet and filed them away just in case.

And so I guess we'll see how it goes over the long haul. Hopefully the little quirks with HomeKit will work themselves out as I attempt to get my home "smart" again.

   

DART… ATTACK!

Posted on September 26th, 2022

Dave!Well, today was the day.

Exactly as planned when it launched last November, the DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) spacecraft slammed into Dimorphos... a moonlet orbiting the asteroid Didymos.

And why would NASA do this?

Because it seems prudent to see what we might can do to knock an asteroid off-course that's headed for earth. This test will give us an idea of what may or may not be possible.

The whole DART mission has me irrationally emotional. I feel sorry for DART, who was ordered to crash and be exploded. I feel sorry for the asteroid who was minding its own business and got exploded into. My life would be easier if I didn't anthropomorphize animals and objects. What even more awful though? DART filmed its own demise...

DART crashing into an asteroid.

DART crashing into an asteroid.

DART crashing into an asteroid.

DART crashing into an asteroid.

DART crashing into an asteroid.

DART crashing into an asteroid.

DART crashing into an asteroid.

Am I the only one who thinks that this is sad?

But I guess extinction of all life on earth from an asteroid impact is also sad, so make of it what you will.

   

I Got Chills… They’re Multiplyin’

Posted on September 23rd, 2022

Dave!Remember yesterday when I said that I had a fever for 30 minutes, then a sore arm, then nothing else from my booster's booster to my COVID booster?

If only that had been the end of it.

I woke up freezing three times in the middle of the night last night. It's kinda a haze, but I did remember the first time very well because I was shaking so much that I fell over when I got up to grab another couple of blankets. My teeth were chattering so much that I thought they would break.

I've had "chills" before... but never like this!

I woke up tired from lack of sleep, but otherwise feeling fine. Except the wildfire smoke was heavier than usual today, which was really tough on my allergies. I ended up leaving work at noon because my head hurt so bad that I couldn't concentrate.

And now I'm at home with three air purifiers running while I watch YouTube videos. Like this interesting one from 2019 by one of my favorite content creators... Marques Brownlee...

I actually have a very early model Mac. This makes me want to drag it out and play with it again. It's still remarkable to me.

   

Unknown Caller Ad Infinitum

Posted on June 2nd, 2022

Dave!Every morning it happens.

Call after call after call of people I don't know popping up in my notifications. Except my phone doesn't ring through for unidentified callers, so it has zero effect on me. I turned THAT feature on the minute my mom died and I no longer had to wait for doctor calls or emergencies that might have come up.

I don't want to talk to people I know on the phone... but people I don't know? That's a hard pass. If it's critical, they can leave a voicemail...

Recent Spam Calls on my phone

Interesting to note that they are making several calls at once, because most phones allow you to have multiple calls from the same number break through your unknown caller blocking.

But not me, baby.

Anybody I care about getting through to me is in my contacts.

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WTF Tech Wednesday

Posted on May 25th, 2022

Dave!Oh look! I've got some tech crap to beef about, and you get to come along for the ride! If you're in a good mood and don't want it spoiled by my ranting, I'd just skip this entry.

But if you're already raging on your Wednesday, this one's for you!

Apple Mail
Apple is worth billions of dollars, and yet their Mail app is one of the shittiest fucking user experience for any app ever made. And they keep making it worse! This is not hyperbole, it's absolute fact. Setting aside from the fact that Apple took away your ability to select the outgoing SMTP server for those times you need to do that... and setting aside the fact that the notification app icon badges rarely have accurate information (especially in iOS)... and setting aside that sometimes after reading an email and scrolling all the way through it to get it marked as "read" it doesn't actually mark as "read" until you force it... and setting aside that Mail will not SHUT THE FUCK DOWN when you tell your computer to shut down... and setting aside the fact that account management in the desktop app is a horrific shitshow which is split between two separate locations on two separate apps... the absolute worst part of Apple Mail is that YOU CAN'T FUCKING DELETE AN ACCOUNT... EVER! Choosing "Remove Everywhere" so that the account will fucking die does absolutely jack-shit, because the account is automatically added back seconds later. And it doesn't matter if you make the account inactive on all your iCloud devices. It still comes back, and there's NOTHING you can do about it (except make it inactive). I've read that some people have finally managed to delete and account by turning off Cloud Keychain on all their devices, then deleting the account on all devices, then starting the keychain sync again... but it doesn't work for everybody. So WTF Apple? Why the fuck doesn't "Remove Everywhere" actually remove the shit? Obviously I don't give a fuck if other devices are using it (that I don't know about) because if I want it fucking removed EVERYWHERE that includes ALL MY FUCKING DEVICES! This kind of stupid shit is what drives me fucking insane with Apple and their bullshit. Users have zero power over their own settings.

Amazon Alexa
In the beginning, Alexa was a quirky voice assistant that managed to do very little not very well. But then it started adding capabilities, having better voice recognition, and becoming more reliable in its tasks. At that point it became an essential home automation tool that made "life in the future" so very cool. But over the last couple years, Alexa has turned into unreliable bloatware that pisses me off more than anything. Ask an Alexa device to play a song, the device you spoke to acknowledges the command, THEN PLAYS THE FUCKING SONG ON AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT DEVICE IN ANOTHER ROOM! How the fuck is this even remotely sensible. I get it if a device in another room hears the command and starts playing there... but that's not what's happening. Then there's the fact that lights will randomly "not be able" to turn off and on by voice command. Then there's the fact that Alexa is constantly telling me about new abilities and features that I couldn't care less about... all while not being able to do the shit that I asked it to do. I have no idea if these many problems are because Amazon no longer gives a shit about Alexa... or if they're concentrating on adding new shit while letting the old shit deteriorate... or the system is so bloated with crap that it's just not able to function. Regardless, I am seriously considering a switch to Google Hub, which has none of these irritating and debilitating issues. At least not yet.

Apple Photos
The only way to force a sync so that any new photos in the cloud are downloaded is to QUIT THE APP AND THEN OPEN IT AGAIN! Why the fuck can't Apple just add a little "sync" button to the toolbar so you aren't doing this stupid, backwards bullshit? And what about the fact that dragging photos out of the app sometimes gets you a JPEG file and sometimes gets you a HEIC file? And what about the fact that sometimes you drag images out of the app and they don't bother to export at all... or export only after Photos sits there like a stupid shit for a minute first? Photos is categorically awful for photo management, and Apple does not give a fuck. Another case of a company with billions of dollars sitting on their stacks of cash instead of using it to update their fucking apps.

AppleTV
Worst user interface ever. Okay, that's probably hyperbole, but it certainly feels like it. If you have anything more than 25 movies or TV shows, navigating is an absolute slog. Unlike Plex (or any other decent media app) which allows you to scroll over to an alphabet directory to skip to a section, AppleTV makes you scroll through every last fucking piece of media you own. I've purchased hundreds of movies and shows... which means if I want to watch Zoolander, I am 100% fucked. Not only do I have to scroll through every other piece of media I own, I have to wait for all the catalog images to load because AppleTV doesn't cash them. Couple all this bullshit with the fact that AppleTV isn't even reliable at playing shit, and one has to wonder why the fuck Apple even bothers.

Apple TouchID
Having TouchID is cool. Not as cool as having FaceID, but still pretty cool. Want to buy something or access private information or enter a password... just touch the fingerprint sensor and your Mac will take care of it for you! Except when it doesn't. Which is often. Despite having TouchID and allowing it to control everything, I still end up having to type fucking passwords every fucking day. When I went to sync my FTP sites just 15 minutes ago, Keychain Access asked me to type my password. Why? What the fuck good is TouchID if it just randomly doesn't work for some random reason? Doesn't anybody at Apple even use a fucking Mac so they can see this? Or do they know about it and just not give a shit?

INSTEON
I am still fucking raw about the home automation company I used, INSTEON, shut down without notice. Luckily I have an independent hub that doesn't rely on their servers, but recently I've found out that all my monitoring devices are randomly failing (this morning I thought that my garage door was open because INSTEON reported it as open, even though it was closed). I understand that you roll the dice and take your chances every time you purchase a cloud-enabled device (may the people behind Feed-and-Go burn in hell for all eternity), but the very least these assholes could do is offer a workaround or give you options so that your devices no longer work.

Boy. My blood pressure is at critical levels and I'm not even half-way through the crap I'm mad about! I'd better stop before I bust a blood vessel or something. As a bonus, I'll have fodder for another WTF Wednesday, if I deem myself healthy enough to write it up.

   

The Canon PRO-100 Printer

Posted on January 28th, 2022

Dave!After my 11-year-old Epson printer died at work, I needed to buy a new one. A printer by HP was out of the question. I will never buy anything from those assholes ever again. Which means it basically comes down to either Epson or Canon. My old Epson was a huge pile of shit. It would clog all the time. It ran through ink in crazy amounts. Sometimes it would just dump ink on the print, ruining it. Prints would fail for random reasons. Printing would abort for random reasons. It was an exercise in utter futility to print anything, and the cost-per-print was sky-high because of all the problems and failures. I hated it. I hated it. I hated it.

But this did not automatically mean I was going to buy from Canon.

I had a Canon printer at home and it was a pile of shit too.

So I started comparing the Canon PRO-1000 and the Epson SC-P900 to see which large-format printer would be the best fit... and how well they were reviewed.

Both got high marks in some areas and low marks in others. Epson was still suffering from constant clogging... but some people had clogging on Canon too. I went back-and-forth between them for hours.

Ultimately what pushed me in favor of the canon were three things...

  • Canon has 80ml tanks whereas Epson only had 50ml. Which is to say that ink is more expensive with Epson (84¢/ml) than Canon (75¢/ml). Both are still fucking insanely pricey, however.
  • Both printers have Matte Black, Photo Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Photo Cyan, Photo Magenta, Gray, and Photo Gray inks. Canon adds red and blue. Epson adds violet. Canon's approach is smarter. By having true red and true blue, they open up a world of color fidelity... especially when it comes to reds, oranges, and browns, which are notoriously difficult to reproduce in CMYK. Getting deep reds, purples, and blues with Canon will be a piece of cake, and those are some very important color spaces to fill. Which is why I have no clue why Epson went with violet. That helps purples and deep blues, but does absolutely nothing for reds, oranges, or browns.
  • Out of all the reviews I read, Epson had more problems noted with clogs and paper feed. This was often chalked up to the Epson SC-P900 being small, lightweight, and cheaply constructed. Canon, on the other hand, is built like a frickin' tank.

Canon Pro-1000 Printer.

Canon does have two major cons... you can use roll-stock paper (which I rarely do anyway) and it's a 7-year-old model (Epson is a 3-year-old model). Those were not quite the deal-breakers that the above three points were with Epson.

UNPACKING
Like I said... this thing is a frickin' tank (SEVENTY POUNDS, PEOPLE!). It is massively sized and very heavy thanks to it having many metal components. It barely fit on my Anthro Cart side-table. Which is to say that getting it out of the box is a bit of a challenge. I managed, but it was harder than it should have been thanks to my back getting thrown out two days ago. The box was beat to hell but the printer itself was undamaged.

SETUP
Removing all the packing tapes and installing the 12 cartridges wasn't a big deal... though it was time consuming. The screen on the printer guides you through the process of aligning the heads, filling the lines, and all that stuff. No problem there. But then you get to the printer drivers. The included CD only has Windows drivers... no Mac drivers. You have to download them from the web. And here's where everything went to shit. My Safari browser corrected CANON.COM to CANNON.COM (with two N's). This sent me to a third-party site with a phone number where a tech support asshole wanted me to install remote-access software so they could have full control of my computer. Naturally I told them to go fuck themselves, and was able to figure out that my browser was autocorrecting CANON to CANNON. Once I got there, I still couldn't get my installers working and called authentic Canon support for help. 42 minutes later a guy emailed me a URL to get the Mac CUPS drivers in just a couple minutes and I was on my way.

OPERATION
Canon instructions are shit. Their drivers are shit. Everything about operating the printer is shit. Nothing "just works." You have to Google everything in order to understand what the hell you're supposed to be doing. Take the paper, for example. I bought authentic Canon 17×22 semi-gloss paper. But 17×22 is not listed in the driver. I looked on the paper packaging and included spec sheet to see what I am supposed to select to use it and was offered nothing. And so I had to go through each and every weird-ass paper configuration until I found that "C" was the paper size I was looking for. C. Why the fuck Canon can't put that on the fucking paper box... or include the actual paper dimensions in the driver is a total damn mystery. This is not rocket science here. Once I figured out what paper setting I needed, the printer operates like any other printer for the Mac.

PRINTS
Overall, the prints you can get out of this thing are stunning. Reds in my projects have never printed well. I would always get this weird-ish faux-red that doesn't look like true red at all. But not with the Pro-1000. Canon prints serious reds. Blues are likewise very pretty. I expected this to happen since Canon has independent red and blue inks to work with. Where things fall apart is in greens. Since there is no green ink, the printer has to mix cyan (or blue) and yellow to get it. And that will never result in a vibrant green. When I investigated this, the conjecture seems to be something like "Well, green in nature isn't a very vivid green, so you shouldn't need to print it." Which is so categorically absurd as to be laughable. I have photos with ridiculously saturated natural greens (Ireland is filled with them). And this says nothing about photos I have with greens that are outside of nature. Like things that are painted bright-green. Or plastics which have deep green hues in them. How am I supposed to print those? Green exists, and it's a mystery as to why Canon nor Epson did something so you can print with it.

EXPENSES
Since I've had the printer for only one day, I have no idea if I will end up dealing with the clogs and other disasters that makes Epson printers so horrifically expensive to own. I sure hope not. Because wasting a print due to printer failure is one of those things that sends my blood pressure to the absolute limit. When setting up a new printer, you blow through half-a-tank of each color before you can print a single thing. Canon also blows through 2/3 of the capacity of the "maintenance cartridge" which collects the ink from head cleaning and borderless printing and stuff. This wouldn't be bad... they only retail for $14 or so... except they are out of stock most everywhere I looked (even at Canon.com). Since you cannot print without this item, not having replacements is essentially turning your $1400 printer into a massive doorstop, and that's is absolutely nuts. Another item which drives up cost is the "chroma optimizer" cartridge. This is a clear coating which evens out your print so that areas of high ink concentration don't look different from those with low ink concentration. It also makes colors look richer, more defined, and adds greater contrast (black in particular) because reflected light is taken down a bit. You seriously want it on your prints because it makes them look so much better. But since it covers the entire image (unlike the inks), you have to buy a lot of it. I'm already running low and I just got the printer today! Fortunately, it's $5 cheaper than ink... $55 instead of $60... so I guess that's a plus.

CONCLUSION
This is not a great printer. But it's a good one that can make some very pretty photo prints. And I'm guessing I will be much happier with it than I ever was with the dumpster fire that was the Epson I previously had. If Canon is interested in having a great printer, here's where they need to go with the next model...

  • Larger ink tanks. 80ml is better (and cheaper) than Epson's 50ml tanks, but you're still paying for more plastic than ink, and that's shitty. One day somebody is going to come along with refillable tanks on a high-quality photo printer (they already have this for standard printers) and 100% eat Epson's and Canon's lunch. And I will laugh my fucking ass off as Epson/Canon sales plummet). And why not make the "color optimizer" cartridge be double-the-size of the ink tanks since you use so much of it? Operating costs for this machine are crazy-expensive. Do better.
  • Add green ink. Seriously. You've already got 12 tanks, what's one more? Especially when it means that you'll FINALLY be able to cover a decent color gamut. Thanks for red and blue ink. That's awesome. But the puzzle isn't complete and won't be until I can print vivid greens.
  • Include Macintosh drivers with your printers.
  • For the love of God... make a printer driver that allows people to select paper sizes without having to resort to trial-and-error. Especially since you don't label your papers with the size-name that your driver calls them. It is categorically stupid that I have to fucking mention this to you.
  • Show a photo of what your OFFICIAL website looks like on your instruction papers so people won't be fooled into contacting a fraudulent site. I ended up at a shitty scammer site even though I know how "Canon" is supposed to be spelled. It's not your fault that asshole scammers are preying on people... but it is 100% your fault that you're not doing more to warn people about it (especially when you have a non-standard company name that can get auto-corrected).
  • Put a little bit of effort into keeping genuine Canon replacement parts in stock. You warn people not to use third-party parts because they may damage the printer, but what the fuck else are they supposed to do if you can't even get parts direct from Canon? Don't blame your customers for buying third-party if you're not going to bother having the authentic stuff available.
  • Why is auto color-calibration not a thing? It would be a minimal cost to add a spectrometer to your high-end printers so that they could self-calibrate the color, so why don't you? This is no-brainer stuff here.

And that's that. If you are looking for one of the best professional photo printers on the market that can handle 17×22 paper, then this is probably already on your short-list. If I run into any new information as time goes by, this is where I'll put it.

   

Technological Timeline

Posted on December 17th, 2021

Dave!Being born in 1966 puts me in a unique position in time... technologically speaking.

I was there for the birth of computing. I was there for the birth of personal computing. And the internet. And MP3 players. And video games. And mobile phones. And smart phones. And so-on and so-on. In many ways, this is a very cool thing, because people born after me don't know of a world without the stuff we have today. It's also a bad thing because I'll be dead before the unimaginably cool stuff is ever invented.

Oh well.

Looking back I can remember outlandish pre-modern-technology shit that kids today would completely balk at. People existed without a mobile phone? Without internet ON your phone? That's crazy!

Recently I saw a video about the ol' PDA days and it all came rushing back to me. Personal Data Assistants were a huge deal when they debuted (computing in your pocket!) and I was an early adopter. I had the Apple Newton, the Palm Pilot, the Handspring Visor, the iPaq, the Treo, and even the Sony CLIE (my favorite of the bunch, which was PalmOS-based) and the Sony MagicLink. And the minute a new one would debut with even cooler features I would sell my old one and get it.

Eventually they didn't really go anywhere so I gave up on PDAs. I just wasn't using them.

Then the iPhone came along, and the rest is history. Bye bye PDA, hello smart phone.

Two companies that have been mostly lost in the tome of modern technology I remember fondly. And there's some cool videos on YouTube that will give you a taste why I feel that way.

The first is General Magic (the people behind the Sony MagicLink)... sorry the music trounces over the people speaking, it's annoying as fuck, but this documentary is awesome...

And the second is a new interview doc about Handspring (the people behind the Visor and Treo...

Now we're at that lull stage where technology is coasting. My iPhone gets faster and has a better camera every year, but nothing truly new is happening. But that next leap is coming soon. Maybe it will be Apple's wearable glasses? I dunno. But I hope I'm alive to see it!

Because I look forward to the generation who cannot comprehend a time before computer chip brain implants. YOU HAD TO TYPE STUFF ON A SCREEN TO ACCESS THE INTERNET?!? THAT'S CRAZY!

Indeed it was.

But I had a fun time watching all that technology happening in Real Time.

   

The Ubiquiti AmpliFi Alien is Shit

Posted on December 3rd, 2021

Dave!It's Friday night and I am not going to bed until I fix all the stuff that got busted on Blogography!

Okay. That may have been a presumptuous statement. Four hours later and it seems like I'm causing more problems than I'm fixing. Which seems to be par for the course when it comes to the technology in my life. And I do mean ALL the technology in my life! Heck, even Alexa has betrayed me... as she's now failing to control my Hue lights for some reason!

But the biggest problem for me right now is my home WiFi.

For a while now I've suspected that I have some unauthorized devices on my network. Usually what I'd do is temporarily lock down my internet to known devices until I figure out what's going on. Either the unauthorized devices will drop off and I'll get a note they tried to connect... or there's aome internet "thing" around here that I forgot to write down which will stop working and I'll know what it is that way. Either way, the problem is solved.

But, alas, my THREE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY FUCKING DOLLAR ROUTER... the AmpliFi Alien from Ubiquiti... is a steaming pile of shit that lacks even the most basic features that my cheaper Google Wifi mesh network had included. Hell, you can't even see the IP addresses and MAC addresses for your device list. You have to click on them twice to get that. Insanity. And don't get me started about the complete lack of features on the router itself. For THREE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY FUCKING DOLLARS I'd expect the absolute bare minimum... like a persistent list of devices that attempted to connect... or MAC address blocking... or separate passwords when you separate out the different bands into their own SSID...or ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING that helps you with basic WiFi functionality or security.

But nope.

I ended up ordering a "Fing Box" to add the basic security features that Ubiquity doesn't feel the need to add to their pricey shit. From what I can tell, neither the app or the router has gotten any kind of features added since I've owned it. Which has been what... two years now?

I'm sure there's purchases I've regretted more than the Alien... but this has got to be in the top ten. Probably top five.

So let this post get indexed by Google as a warning to others looking to buy it. You can thank me for saving you the anguish later.

   

Bullet Sunday 740

Posted on November 28th, 2021

Dave!Since I'm back from my Thanksgiving adventure, I might as well bullet up the internet... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Past Midnight! Fly By Midnight is my favorite band of 2021... and they never disappoint. This live broadcast is wonderful...

I cannot believe that I didn't even know they even existed until a couple months ago. The music industry is weird.

   
• Mata WHAT?! Okay. I know it will get better. I understand this. But right now? No thanks. The "metaverse" looks awful...

Maybe for an occasional chat, but I don't want to live here.

   
• InstaGreat! Oh nothing... just InstaCart making my Thanksgiving be great by doing God's work...

Alas, Instacart isn't quite so accessible when I'm at home... but across the mountains I absolutely love that a few clicks is all it takes to get whatever you need brought right to your door!

   
• DavidLL! Six calls. SIX FUCKING CALLS to U.S. Bank to try and get my name correct on my account. Surely I am not the only "II" to ever have an account at US Bank?? But despite SIX CALLS, my account is still fucked up. My name is David Simmer II. Not David II Simmer. Not David Simmer LL. Not DavidL Simmer. Not DavidSimmer LL. AND NOT DAVID L LL!! Jesus Christ... what the fuck does it take? How hard is this? Apparently it's equivalent to fucking brain surgery that it's STILL NOT RIGHT after SIX FUCKING CALLS!!! Forget having nice, kind customer service agents. I want a total asshole who will ACTUALLY. GET. THE. JOB. DONE!

US Bank can't get my name right.

The fifth time I literally walked them through it... "The first name box should be DAVID, the last name box should be SIMMER, the suffix box should be TWO CAPITAL I's to get II. I don't use my middle name and would prefer not to have it left blank, but if you insist, the middle name box should say LEWIS. Didn't make any difference. Still got it wrong.

   
• Dope Soap! I see Ice-T in the new Tide Pod commercials and try very hard to remember that he had a music career before he went into acting... and pushing soap. Which is a far cry from when he was pushing dope, which was definitely not cleaned by soap...

I don't play when it comes to my dope
I check my lyrics close, like with a microscope
I don't clean'em up with no ivory soap
I leave'em hard and pure, hope that you can cope
Because you might O.D. if you overdrive

Tide Pods... the soap that's dope!

   
• Spidey 4, 5, 6! Rumor has it that Sony has backed up a dump truck full of cash to Tom Holland's house for another trilogy of Spider-Man movies. This makes me very, very happy. While ultimately I'm looking forward to Miles Morales taking over the role, I think that Peter Parker has some stories left to tell. Besides, they can always do a Miles Morales movie, then have worlds merge in Spider-Man 6 as a nice hand-off kind of thing.

   
• A Mother's Love! And, lastly, I had no idea that this happened... The Open Christmas Letter.

   
Enjoy those fleeting shopping days until Christmas!

   

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