Tuesday, September 5, 2017



Kodi - 17.4
(Both Elysium and Covenant are in here)

(I don't use this addon)

(Make your own build)

2017-07-07 Here is a site that tracks Addons and Build popularity

2017-07-05 Remember you can still get a lot of the old standbys from here:

2017-06-30 Elysium is the best addon right now at

you can always get some from here http://www.dimitrology.com/repo/ such as NoobsandNerds for Elysium which seems to be doing well.

Maintenance, fresh start and wizards:
Start with these:
http://fusion.tvaddons.ag (Indigo, Exodus, Phoenix, Bubbles, Velocity, One242415, SALTs in TKNorris) Indigo has best factory reset function.
http://kodi.filmkodi.com (Specto is in MrKnow) (can add searched items to library)
http://noobsandnerds.com/portal (Zen, Bob, Metalliq) (Metalliq can add searched to library)
Trakt is in the Kodi Addon Repository
Droid Buddy http://kodicustombuilds.com/

Keyboard Shortcuts
\ full screen on/off
f fast forward
r rewind
p or space is play
x quit stream to main menu
i information
c right click (context menu)
s power menu
backspace (drove me crazy trying to figure stepping back - go figure)

Setting up 2 Kodi installations or on USB drive:
Basic Idea is never start the original install (which simply places a Kodi folder somewhere).
Never use kodi.exe to start kodi. Always use a shortcut with -p added to target.
***CAUTION*** If you don't get the "-p" included you will overwrite your main Kodi setup.
Why? To keep one clean and the other to try new builds. Probably a waste of time.
install one in programs and one in programs (x86)
make shortcuts for kodi.exe
properties add after final " (space)-p
will save things to the folder and not Window's user
Copy Kodi program folder into a new Kodix folder.
Rename Kodi folder to "App"
Create a bat file in the Kodix folder:
start ./App/Kodi.exe /p

Make a folder somewhere named Kodi2 and open
Open Programs (x86) and copy Kodi folder into Kodi2 folder.
Rename the Kodi folder inside Kodi2 folder to "App"
Go into App folder and right click kodi.exe and make shortcut
Cut and paste Kodi.exe-shortcut into Kodi2 folder
Rename the shortcut to Kodi2 (Folder Kodi2 will contain App folder and Kodi2 shortcut)
Right click shortcut - properties and add "space -p" (without quotes) behind the final " in the target.
*With each new Kodi folder be sure to create a new shortcut from within that folder and add the -p.

If installing on Raspberry Pi Openelec try this for PIA

SPMC (If you want to stick with Kodi 16)

Terrarium tv (No Kodi needed) I don't like it.

If using Fire TV:
File Commander

Private Internet Access VPN on Android is the one I use.
PIA app on Android may not work depending on device. On Galaxy 7s yes but Nvidia Shield no.
PIA app is now working on Nvidia Shield today 2017-03-25
If PIA app does not work . . .
Install an OpenVPN for Android app from the play store (works easier than VPN Connect app)
Use your PIA credentials to log in to the Open VPN for Android app.
Download OpenVPN Profiles for the regions you want.
*OpenVPN Profiles https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/pages/openvpn-ios
Direct your OpenVPN app to the download location for each profile. This is not elegant but does work.

IP Vanish will be easier because the app works but I started with PIA and it is cheaper. Currently PIA is $3.33 per month yearly vs IP Vanish at $6.49

Pure VPN gets high points for speed and is even cheaper. I have not used it. It is currently $2.95 per month for a 2 year contract.  Many servers and based in Hong Kong so no logs kept.

To see what/if your VPN is "leaking" any details, two good sites to check are https://whoer.net/ and https://ipleak.net/. Turn on DNS leak protection and Kill Switch.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Building Crypto Currency Open Air Rack

Finally built my Crypto Miner.

Nicehash is so easy to use that it is hard to try other miners. Keeping track of wallets is no fun and only needing to deal with Bitcoin simplifies things. Nicehash tries to mine the most profitable currency at the time based on you equipment. Then it pays you in Bitcoin. I would periodically transfer the Nicehash Bitcoin to your hard or paper wallet. I have not decided at what level I would make these transfers.

At first I thought we made a mistake with GTX 1080 cards. They like power and will not mine Equihash without error. When I overclocked the memory, Nicehash wanted to mine Equihash. I had to turn of Equihash mining on each card. This may be caused by the "X" memory in the 1080 cards.

I started with one 1000 watt PSU and added a 750 watt for 6 cards. In the end, pushing the power over 1300-1400 watts to overclock higher only added minimal MH/s. The added watt cost was not worth the small return. However 1000 Watts would not have been sufficient so I did need 2 PSU units.

I have the CPU miner turned off also. It gives more OS headroom when tweaking the setup. I will probably turn it back on when I am no longer changing things. CPU mining adds slightly to the MH/s.

Setting up the rig was straight forward PC building. All the video card risers worked out of the box. I avoided the main PCI-e video slot. I heard somewhere the main slot can cause some confusion. The monitor runs with on board video. BIOS settings need research for specific motherboards to recognize multiple video cards.

The 2 PSU units link with a cheap adapter so they both turn on together. This is not necessary but is convenient.

Even at 60C, 6 cards throw off a lot of heat. I wonder how this will work in the summer?

MSI Afterburner also installs Riva Tuner. Riva would not run with the Afterburner download from MSI on my Windows 10 and I had to get Riva from 3DGuru. Updates to Afterburner have not caused further issues. 

**Sometimes when the miner errors or crashes and you start it again, Afterburner's control of specific cards becomes lost. So Afterburner can read 60C but one card can be running hot. This  rarely happens. I verify Afterburner settings now and then during tweaking or after crashes to assure it sees and is controlling all the cards. This is only significant when tweaking is causing miner crashes. You may need to reboot the system to get back control of all cards. Speccy.exe is a good way to monitor the video card temps because it easily displays all the card sensors at one time and individually. There will always be individual differences in the card temps like the Speccy below but this is fine. I assume the card reading 66C is the last one in the row receiving all the heat from the other cards but I am not certain.

I use Anydesk to access the rig remotely and it works great.

Is this a good plan to get rich? I suspect not. Crypto mining is always something I have wanted to try. I have always overclocked my PC's and it would have been a natural thing to try. Why I did not is a mystery. But someone came along and offered to buy the expensive video cards and rack if I would buy the rest and build the machine. At $600 per card, I thought it was crazy. I am a PC bottom feeder and prefer using out of favor equipment and tweaking the performance. A 10 month payback is not impressive. My electricity is fairly cheap at .11 per kw and it is deductible as is all the hardware. GTX 1080's will bring a good eBay price for some time to come and I would not mind getting stuck with a "free" GTX 1080 or two in the end.

I'm not sure about the life of a GTX 1080 running 24/7 but I'm not pushing them to the extreme - only because pushing them further brings little additional MH/s.

So . . . the cost of thing is embarrassing.

150 Motherboard ASUS PRIME Z270-A LGA1151
  52 CPU Intel BX80662G4400 Pentium Processor G4400 2 core 2 thread
  42 Memory Crucial 4GB Single DDR4 2133
177 PSU Corsair RMx Series, RM1000x
100 PSU Corsair RMx Series, RM750x
  50 S-Union 6-Pins Pcle VER 006C PCl-E 16x to 1x Powered Riser Adapter Card
3600 video card Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 8 GB
  15 120 x4 Rosewill fans
  15 SilverStone PWM Fan Hub System Cables, Black (CPF04)
  60 SSD Drive Kingston Digital, Inc. 120GB A400 SATA
  19 P3 P4400 Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monito (I added another for 2nd PSU)
    9 Dual PSU Power Supply 24-Pin ATX Motherboard Adapter Cable(30cm)
    6 Push Button ATX Computer Switch Wire (not needed)
??? Rack (I don't know what he paid for the rack but building one would be cheap.)

I turned on the CPU miner but that is not all the increase. Today the miner was feeling it's oats for some reason.

When mining with the CPU, you may receive a VirtualAlloc failed error.

I did this:
1. With 4 GB of ram, set the Fix the virtual memory allocation at 8 GB. This is standard old school stuff. I have read higher suggestion of 16-20 GB. I'm not sure this is even necessary because the next step fixed the problem.

2. Run gpedit.msc if you have a Pro edition of Windows.
Go to Local Computer Configuration - Windows Settings - Security Settings - Local Policies - User Rights - Lock pages in memory - Add your user name in the setting.
(If you have Windows Home, you do not have gpedit.msc. Policy Plus is a free standing (and free) program to simulate Group Policy Editor but have not tried it.)

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Crypto Mining - Should I Try It?

Youtube references:
Building Crypto Miner
Angry Chicken

Crypto Assets?
UBIQ Maybe

This is a good youtube post on how to set up mining
Get Ethereum Address
Claymore Miner This is a post explaining Claymore
Edit start.bat file

Choose a Pool or Mine alone

1060 6GB

Windows limit to 8 cards due to drivers

I hear Exodus wallet fees are high

EVGA Precision

I'm not sure about any of this but here is what I think . . .

The Address:
Before you start mining, you will need an address for the currency you wish to mine. This address must be provided to the mining software.

If you go to bitaddress.org it will start processing a Bitcoin address for you. You could simply process your Bitcoin address right here and now. A more secure way to process that address would be to download the page as an html file to your desktop. Now when you open this file in your browser, the file will be run from your desktop and not online on their website. Your results will be the same but not done online. This is more secure. If you are truly paranoid, you can move the html file to a thumb drive and run it on a machine that has never been on the internet or run it on a live CD or USB. I think this is excessive.

You are producing 2 things. A private key (or address) and a public address. These two addresses will also be represented by QR codes. This is how it will appear.

You will have chosen English :) It allows you to make more than one address. I'd choose one, choose to encrypt and provide a password.

This will create a paper wallet. That piece of paper you print will be your wallet. It will contain the addresses you will need to access you information and the Bitcoin block chain. 

You can check your address on https://bitref.com/.
Bitaddress will get you a number and you can start mining. Getting the coin from the address will need access by some other wallet that can handle transfers.

Another possibility that has more curious quirks.
Blockchain Info
Will give you an online wallet and also an address.. No idea how you view the private key.

Things I wonder:
1. When creating the address off line, how do we know the address is not the same as another off line created address?
2. Creating this paper wallet provides an image of your numbers but you need to manually record the numbers to make them usable for copy/paste functions. Yes the QR code will work with a mobile wallet but . . .

I am using a bitaddress.org address and mining with EasyHash. I have one 1080 mining right now at an estimated $50 per month earning.

When the payout comes I will try to sweep the address to my ledger nanoS.

This address/wallet thing is still a mystery to me.

Paper Wallet seems like a place to send your mining proceeds.
(This can get you mining and/or provide secure storage for large sums.)
When Paper Wallet Private Address is used all funds must be moved and that wallet never used again.
(This does seem inconvenient)
This may be the advantage of Hardware Wallet. The Private Address is never used on the Internet.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Google Home vs Echo

Google Home:
*GH is not as easy to control all functions, lists, setup, etc. as Echo.
But you can do this on your PC's browser . . .
This address will allow you to access volume, pause, stop.
Chrome's "Cast" button will allow the same thing as the above address.
Take the suggestion and "pin" the Cast button to the Task Bar.

The above are Chromecast functions built into Google Home.
*So, it is easier to "cast" audio from your PC to GH than Echo. Echo needs to connect by Bluetooth. But in some ways Bluetooth is superior to Cast (mentioned below). They each have strengths and weaknesses.
*GH sound is not as bright as Echo. It almost sounds muffled to me. It is clear and gets loud however.

*Echo can be set up with a wifi connected PC. GH cannot.
Lists, devices and a host of things can be accessed from here.
It's really crazy the GH does not have something like this. I don't get it.

Echo hears better than GH, in my opinion. I can almost whisper and Echo hears me. Not so with Google Home.

*The Bluetooth function of Echo is more robust than using Chromecast. You can cast audio from the Chrome browser but playing anything on the PC outside chrome will not make it to GH. Yes, you can drop a music file into a Chrome tab and it will cast to GH but this is a primitive one-at-a-time process.

Echo grabs wifi signal in areas Goggle does not.

Maybe more evaluation to come but for now . . .

*If I had to choose one it would be Echo. Not that Google Home is bad. I just don't find it as useful at the moment. I had Echo before GH and I have several Echos so I am biased and don't use GH as much. I probably don't know all of its capabilities.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Linux Mint 18.2 Fix Video Error

Installing Mint on Virtual Box will give this video error. Getting rid of it is easy but maddening to find. I have always just lived with it but decided to finally hunt down the fix.

First you need to uninstall the already installed guest additions included with Mint.

Then open the guest additions CD through "Devices" in the menu. The CD will appear on the desktop. If you double click the CD you will see the contents.

Now in Terminal cd /media/user/ to that folder and perform the run command.

Then go to "Display" in settings and check "Enable 3D Acceleration. I believe you will need Mint shut down to change this setting. You can see the setting with Mint running but it is grayed out. This step is left out of the instructions I found on line.

Rebooting should now remove the error.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Multiple Routers and Powerline Adapters

***Installed Orbi and Satellite. Wow - range, speed and even my TP-Link Powerline works. Just plain blown away.

All of this works great until it doesn't. The TP-Link powerline adapters started raising havoc with my wifi connections. Just saying. I ordered Orbi. We shall see.


1.   Set up main router first by entering its IP into a browser.
2.   Use the main router's IP as the pattern ie or etc.
3.   *Set main router channel to 1
4.   *Set main router SSID to desired eg. "FBI_Surveillance_Van"
4.1  While here set the channel width. Default may be 20Mhz better at avoiding collisions than 40.
5.   Leave main router DHCP enabled
6.   *If main router DHCP assignments start at 1, change that number to 10 (or desired)
7.   Set up second router
8.   Connect directly with network cable from PC to a LAN port on the router
9.   *You may need to hard reset the router (Google for procedure)
10. *Set the channel to 6
11. *Set router SSID to desired eg. "NSA_Surveillance_Module"
12. Turn off DHCP
13. Change the IP to or etc.
14. When you reboot the router, you will not have access.
15. *Plug the second router into the main router using LAN ports on each router.
16. You should now have access entering (or whatever) into a browser.
      (Of course today I can't access the setup page with 2 connected to 1 for some reason - so mileage may vary on this. But #2 still connects fine to devices.)
17. A third router can be added using channel 11. (This I have not yet done.)
18. *These are not separate networks. This is all the same network.
19  For 2 separate networks IPs would be like this: and The third triad is           the one that counts in this case. You may wish to use 20 instead of 2 for greater separation.

*1   Channels 1, 6 and 11 do not conflict with each other.
*4   Most routers have 2 radios, 2.4Mhz and 5Mhz. Differentiate names for proper ID.
*6   This leaves room for the added router's fixed IP and additional IPs if desired.
*9   With the power on, press the little recessed button on the back of the router for 30 seconds. Then         unplug the router for 10 seconds. If doesn't work look it up.
*10 With only 2 router you may want channels 1 and 11 to keep things apart. (Check the neighbors)
       You might then allow 40Mhz channel width. This only helps with connection not speed.
*11 Use different router SSID names. You want to intentionally connect under this setup.
*15 Internet Powerline Adapters work for this if dwelling wiring is compatible.
*18 One convenience is the ability to access all router setup pages on the network.

Linksys E2000 Advanced Wireless-N Router is my #2. Manual
Factory reset on this puppy is push reset for 30 seconds with power on. (Don't Hurry)
Disconnect power for 10 seconds.
After changing IP from to to match my #1 TP-Link, I could not access the Linksys even with direct cable link. But when I plugged it into the TP-Link I could access. Seems logical but ?????. I guess I've never previously tried to direct cable access a router with any final digit larger than .1

The E2000 2.4 delivers 300 Mbps and the TP-Link 2.4 (a better router) delivers 150 Mbps. Nothing to do with the dual setup but aggravates me. Not sure what's up. I get almost 900 Mbps with 5 Ghz on the TP-Link. (These are simply the Windows status numbers) The actual performance seems fine. I'm not sure what is going on with the reported bandwidth.

By the way, I am feeding the Linksys with Powerline adapters and the master is plugged into a power strip. Yes, it works fine :) My Echo Dot with my old stereo in my garage is blasting away. My adapters are a mixture of TP-Link 500 and Zyxel 500ish. I would love the new TP-Link AV2000 but have no need for the extra speed. My streaming is flawless. Yes, I will likely get them anyway . . . just because.

I just bought TP-Link 2000 powerline units and the old Zyxel units will not work with the new TP units. The slower TP units do work.

Useful Software:
WifiInfoView v2.26
Wifi Analyzer
TotuSoft Lan Speedtest
TL-PA9020P Utility

Somehow my TP-Link 2000 units lost connection and it was a pain to get them linked again. I moved the base (the one hooked to the router) from a power strip to a wall outlet. Not help. I updated the firmware on each of the four units. Maybe did the trick. And I unplugged them all and started with base > 1 (verified connection) > 2 (verified connection) as so on. Unplugging them all may have been all that was needed. After all, they did previously work. No idea why they quit in the first place. I suspected something was screwy because I could no longer access the .2 setup page. Once I fixed the powerline link, I could once again access the .2 setup page.

Here is a snap of the utility you will need for updating firmware. Firmware needs to be downloaded separately. It show 3 of the four units but not the 4th. It may show if I manually enter its code but I'm not running up 2 flight to do it. The performance of he 3rd flight unit is spotty. Not sure why yet. Not seeing it in the utility must be a indication of some problem.

So, I unplugged the upstairs unit, took it to the basement and plugged it into the nearest outlet to the base unit. I pressed the sync button on the upstairs unit and the top green light started blinking as usual. Then I went to the base unit and pushed its sync button. The upstairs unit not had a green light for the little house icon which I assume is internet. The third green light is network. I returned the unit to the second floor and plugged it in. The little house light was red to start but did turn green. It is working again for now.

And now I can see all four units in the utility. It's a beautiful thing :)

When the powerline goes down I resort to connecting to the TP-Link Archer C7 in the basement on 5Mhz of all crazy things and it works quite well most of the time but the distance is a little far for comfort. It can get flaky at times.

If I can't get this 3rd floor issue sorted out I am considering the Netgear Orbi. It grates me to spend $400 just to get to that 3rd floor bedroom. I call it 3rd, it is really second floor but 3 floors with the basement. Darn, the Orbi had just dropped to $360 and I almost pushed the button.

As long as I am obsessing about this, here is a location drawing with a possible 3rd router.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Syncthing vs Resilio

Syncthing vs Resilio

Which is best?
It depends on how one would use them.

I use 5 different PCs regularly during the year in different locations. I do not want to keep any folders in sync. I want to use the software to transfer files quickly from one computer to another. Sometimes these files are large. Either program will do the job but Resilio is designed to run automatically and continuously. I don't need that.

I would remotely access the desktop, copy the file/files I want into the share folder and start the sync program. Then I would start the sync program on the receiving computer. Once the files are downloaded, I would move them to another folder, go back the the remote computer, delete the files from the share folder and turn off sync.

At this point it seems Syncthing is all I need. I would love to have Resilio's selective sync on the paid version but the cost seems too high for the added convenience. Other use cases may justify the cost.

If I had to actually keep folders in sync, i would use Resilio. Lower resource demand and no terminal window for two reasons.