We Are Now Secure!

Thanks to a fantastic new effort called Let’s Encrypt, this website is now utilizing SSL encryption.  Since there is not an official client for Windows, I used a Github project called letsencrypt-win-simple.  It was super-easy to run and within a matter of seconds, the certificate was installed and bindings updated.  It was stupid simple!  Let’s Encrypt’s goal is to get the Internet encrypted.  There are many benefits of this endeavor.  I’ll be working to encrypt the remainder of my websites soon.

Windows 10 Setup Hangs at Checking for Updates

I am trying to update a (really) old computer from Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 10 using the Media Creation Tool (Upgrade this PC) but it never continued past “Checking for Updates”.  Fortunately I found the solution on Google.

  • Leave the Windows 10 Setup window open
  • Go to Services and stop Windows Updates
  • Delete the contents of C:\SoftwareDistribution
  • Start the Windows Updates service again


Browsers and Batteries

There has been some hype about Microsoft’s current advertisement campaign about the fact that their Edge browser consumes the least amount of battery power and therefore provides the longest runtime on laptop/mobile/tablet devices.  I would like to share my thoughts.

  • Microsoft Edge just simply works.  Unless you are browsing corporate websites (which typically are not updated on any basis of frequency), it just works.  The pages render fine and it is fast.  This is due to the fact that it is a simple program designed to just browse the web.  It has no add-ons or plugins to weigh it down.  The browser is not glamorous, it doesn’t sync your settings, it has no killer features, it just simply works.  Period.
  • Google Chrome is horribly bloated and weighed down.  When it was launched in 2008, it was lightweight and simple.  Eight years later that is all completely changed.  Google itself loads seemingly uncountable features that all consume resources on your computer.  But there is no denying its success is agreed upon by a gigantic 60% of the world’s Internet users.  Unfortunately, Google has forgotten to remain resource-friendly.  All the added features and compatibility equals high resource consumption and you pay for that in the lowest battery life of all the browsers.
  • Opera still has my support, but has grown stagnant over the past few years.  Oh, and they still have not yet fixed the broken sync feature.
  • Vivaldi is currently my browser of choice.  It reminds me of the Opera that once was years ago and is very fast and feature-rich while being friendly on resources.  I invite you to give it a try, especially since it is free.

Of course none of this matters to desktop users, in fact you should install all browsers on a desktop system if you have one.  Laptop users have limited abilities if you want to stay mobile for long periods of time.

Motorola Droid Turbo 2 Reloaded

About 4 hours later of off-and-on supervision, my phone is successfully backed up, reset, and all apps reinstalled and the most important ones restored from backup. Android still has issues folks, make no mistake. This particular reload was long overdue as I has purchased this phone with Lollipop and had upgraded to Marshmallow. The battery didn’t last a day and this morning, I literally could see the percentage drop every few seconds after restarting it. Since the reload, it seems to be acting normally. Hopefully it will stay that way.

Thank you Pebble

It was a little difficult but I have a brand new Pebble Time again. And surprisingly it is not a refurbished unit. The steps to gain a warranty replacement was more than usual. I suspect that Pebble is trying to avoid being taken advantage of by less trustworthy folks.

The best part is that while my original Pebble was embossed with “Kickstarter Backer” on the back, I had little hope that the replacement had this unique feature, long after the original Kickstarter campaign. I was pleasantly surprised to find my replacement featured the same bragging right as my defective unit. Thanks Pebble.

Lockitron Bolt Installed

After much waiting (seriously waiting; I mean years worth of waiting) I think that Lockitron is finally setup perfectly and in a long-term method.  This is the second generation of Lockitron called the “Bolt”.  I waited for Lockitron to ship me the device (took a few months) then even though I requested a Kwikset “keyway” they shipped me a Schlage.  I complained and was sent a new keyway within a few days.  After that, I needed to find a locksmith to “key match” the keyway with our existing set of keys.  After making numerous calls from searching locksmiths, I determined that the only places open on the weekend was a mobile locksmith.  I was quoted $35 to perform the task however once it was said and done the bill was $75.  Fortunately everything works perfectly.  The existing keys are smooth, installation was perfect, the door aligns with the jamb perfectly, and firmware was up-to-date.  The only glitch was programming the Bridge module which was done via flashing the screen of my Android phone in a pattern to the sensor.  This did not work until I increased the brightness of the screen to maximum.  Hopefully everything continues to work for many months to come.


DFS Replication and Dirty Shutdowns

Again, a simple problem is fixed by just checking the Event Viewer.  There are two servers on different subnets connected via VPN.  Replication has not happened for a while simply because it was not a pressing issue.  I vaguely remembered that I had this problem with AD replication so I went into Event Viewer of both sides and checked the Application and Services Logs > DFS Replication events.  Clear as day you can see Event ID 2213 that reports that the database was “not shut down cleanly” and Auto Recovery is disabled (I should check into that later).  But the important part is that it shows how to fix the issue.  I have highlighted it in the screen snip below.


Almost immediately after running the command I can see that replication is occurring in the background trying to catch up with the changes.