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.

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

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.
17. A third router can be added using channel 11.
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.

*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)

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 are 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.

Useful Software:
WifiInfoView v2.26
Wifi Analyzer
TotuSoft Lan Speedtest

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.

Saturday, June 17, 2017


If you have Frosty Rose (fixed) from the original source - the password is 2016


I have not used FireTV much. This looks like a good place to start.
It looks like we can bypass all the apk transferring to Fire.

On FireTV
Install Downloader - then:
  open in browser - install
Use Aptoide-TV to install stuff
(This all had it's own mouse toggle function.)

If you do not see this, you have spelled it wrong

I just put it on an original Fire Stick I've never used. Installed Terrarium and it works flawlessly. The interface is a little slower than what I'm accustomed to with the Shield but hey, it works. I wonder how much crap I can install on a Fire Stick without killing it.

To install Private Internet Access open Downloader and enter

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Window 7 SP2?

I am totally sick of running WSUS on new installs of Windows 7.
Yes I had SP1 slipstreamed into the install but we are way beyond that.
How-To-Geek has a fantastic tutorial for integrating the rollups to make things more current.
You can follow his instructions verbatim to make a more current Win7-Install.iso.

One hickup at the end:
I was on a Windows 10 machine so "Deployment Tools Command Prompt" was not listed in the Start Menu (at least I couldn't find it). I used EverythingSearch to find it. It was on the machine but the AIK programs were not listed on the Start Menu.

Another way of doing this is here. It involves using NTLite, which I have never been that fond of, but I'm sure it works fine.

If you are reinstalling Windows, back up the drivers with Double Driver. Symenu has it but easy to get it elsewhere.