Archive for the 'General' Category

YouTube RSS feed

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2021

If you want to subscribe to a YouTube channel. The URL is:


Setting up and stripping bloat from new Ubuntu desktop 20.10 on the Raspberry Pi

Saturday, January 30th, 2021

Install SSH
$ sudo apt-get install openssh-server -y
$ sudo nano /etc/ssh/sshd_config

open port 22 or whichever port you like
$ sudo ufw allow <port number you enabled>
$ sudo service ssh restart

Install Argon One Fan Controller
$ cd /tmp/
$ wget
$ chmod a+x
$ sudo ./

$ argonone-tempmon (is the command that will show temps)

Install locate
$ sudo apt install mlocate

Uninstall Bloat:
$ sudo apt-get remove -yf --purge libreoffice* thunderbird* aisleriot brltty duplicity empathy* example-content gnome-accessibility-themes gnome-contacts gnome-mahjongg gnome-mines gnome-orca gnome-screensaver gnome-sudoku gnome-video-effects landscape-common libsane libsane-common python3-uno rhythmbox* sane-utils shotwell* telepathy* totem* printer-driver*

Remove Snaps:
$ snap list (will show all installed snaps)
$ sudo snap remove snap-store
$ sudo snap remove gtk-common-themes
$ sudo snap remove gnome-3-34-1804
$ sudo snap remove core18
$ sudo snap remove snapd
$ sudo umount /var/snap
$ sudo apt purge snapd
$ sudo rm -rf /snap
$ sudo rm -rf /var/snap
$ sudo rm -rf /var/lib/snapd
$ sudo apt-get clean
$ sudo apt-get autoremove

Disable ipv6
$ sudo nano /etc/sysctl.conf
add the following 5 lines at the end of sysctl.conf:
#Disable IPv6

$ sudo sysctl -p

Now update Ubuntu

$ sudo apt update && sudo apt full-upgrade -qy --no-install-recommends
$ sudo reboot now

If you no longer can find system settings in gnome after this you can
$ sudo apt install gnome-control-center

Other stuff to make the machine livable…
$ sudo apt install indicator-multiload
$ sudo apt install doublecmd-qt


RSS/Atom feed URL for PHPBB including actual link for software announcements

Monday, June 29th, 2020

From the PHPBB docs below…

To get the official raspberry pi software announcements feed the URL is:


Open feed by URL
An example feed URL for use in a browser that support feeds or in a feed reader is:

Post-based feed Settings
Number of items = X (default 10).

Enable board-wide feed = Feed with X most recent posts from all topics in all forums.
URL = feed.php

Enable per-forum feeds = Feed with X most recent posts from all topics in the selected forum.
URL = feed.php?f=[ForumID]

Enable per-topic feeds = Feed with X most recent posts from the selected topic.
URL = feed.php?f=[ForumID]&t=[TopicID]

Topic-based feed settings
Number of items = Y (default 15).

Enable new topics feed = Board wide feed with the first post of Y most recent topics in all forums.
URL = feed.php?mode=topics

Enable active topics feed = Feed that shows Y last posts, not older then 7 days, for forums that have “Display active topics” enabled.
URL = feed.php?mode=topics_active
7 days = set in feed.php (can be changed by editing and install the modified feed.php file, refresh your browser cache):

WordPress themes and converting 2 dashes to a long dash – ndash vs mdash

Friday, June 26th, 2020

I’ve had a problem for a while where command line text that contains 2 dashes appears as a long dash when viewed in WordPress.

Even though the line below was entered in the WordPress visual editor with two keyboard dashes (ndash), for many people it comes across as one longer dash (mdash).

$ git clone git:// –branch release_3.5.0


One quick and dirty trick is to go to the text editor and replace normal dashes with straight html  &ndash; in the text editor.
Which will appear as:
$ git clone git:// ––branch release_3.5.0

Or if you are already in the WordPress text editor just highlight the line and select the “code” tab at on the top menu of the text editor, and you get
$ git clone git:// --branch release_3.5.0

For my purposes I think I will use code going forward to prevent any alteration of my intended syntax.

Disable MacOS creation of .ds_store files on network shares

Friday, June 26th, 2020

I’m always forgetting this command, so I’m archiving it here. This is a per user setting, so you will have to run it for every user.

$ defaults write DSDontWriteNetworkStores true

To turn it off again:

$ defaults write DSDontWriteNetworkStores false

How to subscribe to YouTube channels via RSS.

Sunday, June 21st, 2020

YouTube – Take the name of the channel in this case:

Change the text in red above to the text in green below. The channel ID string is the same as is the primary url for



A list of the default RSS feed URLs for a WordPress blog

Wednesday, March 11th, 2020

WordPress Built-in Feeds

By default, WordPress comes with various feeds. They are generated by template tag for bloginfo() for each type of feed and are typically listed in the sidebar and/or footer of most WordPress Themes. They look like this:

URL for RDF/RSS 1.0 feed

<?php bloginfo('rdf_url'); ?>

URL for RSS 0.92 feed

<?php bloginfo('rss_url'); ?>

URL for RSS 2.0 feed

<?php bloginfo('rss2_url'); ?>

URL for Atom feed

<?php bloginfo('atom_url'); ?>

URL for comments RSS 2.0 feed

<?php bloginfo('comments_rss2_url'); ?>

The first four feeds display recent updates and changes to your site’s content for the different feedreaders. Of these, the RSS feeds are the most well known. The last feed example is used by RSS 2.0 feedreaders and does not show your site’s content. It only shows the comments made on your site.

To track the comments on a specific post, the post_comments_feed_link() template tag is used on single post pages like this:

<?php post_comments_feed_link('RSS 2.0'); ?>

Finding Your Feed URL

There are times when you want to tell someone your site’s feed address or URL, or you need it to submit it to search engines and directories, many of which now accept feed URL submissions. There are four possible URLs for each of your feeds. Any of these will work.

If you are using custom permalinks, you should be able to reach them through this usage:

Disable ssh known_hosts for local network

Sunday, March 8th, 2020

So if you are like me and are always playing with operating systems and computers, you probably get tired of removing ssh known_hosts entries so you can get past the:

Someone could be eavesdropping on you right now (man-in-the-middle attack)!
It is also possible that a host key has just been changed.
The fingerprint for the ECDSA key sent by the remote host is…….


First delete your ~/.ssh/known_hosts file


a) To disable for all users put the entry below in the global SSH configuration file ‘/etc/ssh/ssh_config’

b) To disable for one user, put the entry below in the configuration file in the user’s folder ‘~/.ssh/config’

To disable key checking for all machines in the submit enter:

Host 192.168.0.*
   StrictHostKeyChecking no

TheraPure TPP201M – air purifier notes and cross reference

Monday, February 3rd, 2020

The UV lamp is an equivalent replacement lamp for the following:

Brand Model
Aqua Medic / Helix Max 80805
Aquatop 810281011080, R5WUV-SQ
Coralife 5 Watt
Fish Mate 5 Watt
General Electric GBX5/UVC G23
Hozelock Cyprio BioForce 250, BioForce 500, Easy Clear 500, Eco Clear 500, UVC 1311, UVC 1312, UVC 1326, Vorton 500
Light Sources, Inc. / LightTech LTC5W/G23
Osram Sylvania Ltd. 23396, GCF5DS/G23/SE/OF, HNS S 5W G23
Philips Lighting 381863, TUV PL-S 5W, TUV PL-S 5W 2P
Sankyo Denki GPX5
Tetra Pond PLS5, UV5, UV Mini Pond Clarifier
Therapure 101M, 201M, TPP2010
Ushio 3000321, GPX5
ViaAqua UVS 5B

Therapure TPP300D – notes and replacement parts

Monday, February 3rd, 2020

So I’m archiving everything I can find here as the website doesn’t include any info on this air filter anymore.

Per the link below this bulb can be crossed to a Philips TUV 8W UV-C Bi-Pin T5 bulb  299305. The generic referred to below is a 29930-5, which strange enough is more expensive on Amazon than the actual Philips 299305 bulb. Which appears to be an order of magnitude cheaper on ($3.95 vs. $13.95 on Amazon).

So it is not a true HEPA filter.

The CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) for Room Air Filters are broken down into three ratings where larger values are better performers:
1) Tobacco Smoke 10 to 450 CADR
2) Pollen 25 to 450 CADR
3) Dust 10 to 400 CADR

This product rates at:
Smoke: 137
Pollen: 155
Dust: 132

As you can see not all allergens are filtered by this unit.

It’s easy enough for you to purchase a 3M Filtrete Elite Allergen Reduction Filter 2200 MPR, used for HVAC systems, and use a wire cutter, to cut the filter to the desired size, using the Therapure Air filter as a template. Then tear out the Hepa Type filter and secure the new 3M filter within it’s filter frame. Insert to the filter (making sure that the direction of the filter is correct – shown on arrow on the 3M filter). Make sure you seal around the edges to make sure air does not leak past.

HVAC Filters use a different rating system than Portable Filter Systems, but to estimate: HVAC Filters use a MERV rating system from 4-20, greater being better performer. 3M’s Allergenic Filter is rated at 12, which is the highest for this class of material product and an excellent MERV Value.
Based on the ratings above, the TPP300D would probably be a MERV value of 8.

And some more

The filter size is 12.5 x 15. It’s a weird size, so yeah, you’re gonna have to cut it. 3M has a Filtrete in a 15 x 20 size, so that would be good to start with (you only have to cut one side), but they don’t have that size for the 2200 MPR. They carry the 1900 MPR in that size, but you have to buy a 6-pack to get it. Amazon doesn’t carry that size. I know Walmart carries the 1500 MPR in that size in a single pack.

If you want the same filter that came with the purifier, I know you can get filter replacements by calling Envion at 1-800-875-8577. The total cost for a filter is $39.94 including shipping. You just provide the model number TPP300D, and they will ask you for your address and payment info. They give you an estimated shipping time of 21 days, but they say it’s usually sooner. Then they’ll provide you with an order confirmation number.

And finally a review that had links to replacement parts:

This model is Rare in that it covers pretty much all areas of filtration. It has a cleanable HEPA filter. (Not True HEPA but very close) It also uses Two 8 Watt Germicidal UV Bulbs (UV-C) at (253.7 nm wavelength) these have been been proven to work in numerous studies and these bulbs are also used in Water filtration systems and are effective at eliminating microorganisms such as virusus, bacteria, mold and yeast. You can by cheap replacements here:

Since the bulbs last about 6000 hours most likely your bulbs need to be replaced. You can check if they’re working with a Watt meter. These bulbs draw an extra 16 Watts when on and almost 0 watts when burned out. If your filter is running but the wattage does not climb when the bulbs are turned on your need to replace them. You can also see a very faint purple glow if the room is 100% pitch dark (NEVER look at the bulb with the cover off very damaging to the eyes) Not only are these bulbs Germicidal and kill mold and viruses they also shine on a built in Photocatalyst filter. This is amazing design as the Photocatalyst filter (most likely uses a titanium dioxide catalyst) which removes VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) such as household chemicals like toxic paint, chemical emissions from new carpet, and indoor air pollution. So not only do you have a particulate filter but also a mold , mildew, virus filter AND an Organic Vapor filter.

So change your Bulbs if they need it as they do more than you know.

Also the 300D has a large gap between the filter and the Filter cover. This allows room for adding an Activated Carbon Filter. You can get some here and theres enough material to make over 3 carbon filters with it:

The squirrel cage fan on these units can handle the extra active carbon filter as squirrel cage blowers don’t draw more energy when restricted, they draw slightly less. They work by centrifugal force, the air is basically thrown away from the center of the wheel at a high velocity that in turn causes a suction reaction. If the filter gets clogged or you add a carbon filter it creates slightly more vacuum so theres less air to toss and the motor draws less current preventing a burnout.

This unit also includes and ION generator. (Note the difference between ION generators and Ozone generator:

QUOTE: Ionizers utilize high voltage to add electrons to molecules and, in the case of air ionizers, the electrons are added to components of air, including oxygen. Negatively charged oxygen molecules are unstable and rapidly interact with other molecules with the reaction usually releasing oxygen. However, ionizers do not generate the amount ozone typical of ozone generators. Negatively charged ions may bind to and charged particles in the air or environment and help with neutralization or elimination.

So this unit may produce minuscule amounts of ozone (if you have the ION turned on) it’s nothing like a dedicated Ozone generator.

The unit will also produce very minuscule amounts of ozone from the bulbs light hitting the titanium dioxide catalyst plate on this machine. The amounts are so tiny you can’t smell them and are too small to be of any concern.

Overall for the price these are amazing machines. As for replacing the Main Filter. These are particulate filters, They catch particles in the air. As long as you can vacuum them, and they don’t restrict the air flow, don’t bother changing them until you notice an airflow restriction and reduced air flow. My 11 year old main filters still works perfectly. On this machine you really don’t need to replace particulate filters if then are not clogged. They actually filter slightly better when used. Just don’t allow them to be clogged. Vacuum them when needed. This machine uses several other types of filtering methods for mold, mildew, viruses and Volatile Organic Compounds so make sure the bulbs are working! Don’t forget… You can add an activated carbon pre-filter for Cooking smells and other odors for $2-3 each!


MacOS Homebrew FFMPEG no longer has an all options. Here is how to install with all options

Sunday, January 12th, 2020
$ brew install ffmpeg $(brew options ffmpeg | grep -vE '\s' | grep -- '--with-' | tr '\n' ' ')

Compiling GoldenCheetah on Raspberry Pi 4 with Raspbian Buster – free bicycle trainer/analysis software

Saturday, January 4th, 2020

Ok, I’m still testing, but I have instructions to get GoldenCheetah to compile and run on a Raspberry Pi 4. Please share if you have anything to add/improve. Hopefully this will start the process of getting official Rpi4 instructions added to the project…

If you are not familiar, GoldenCheetah is open source software that will control a smart trainer (wahoo kickr, tacx, etc…) via Ant+ or bluetooth. It will sync rides to/from strava and others. It has amazing (way beyond my ability or interest) performance analysis functions! It can download ride profiles from the free ERG repository. It really does too much to list here. I highly recommend it. Warts and all it still a great piece of software that some great people work hard to support, and it does most everything I need trainer software to do. Oh… and it doesn’t cost me $10 a month in subscription fees. So If I can build a dedicated computer out of a Rpi4 that will run GoldenCheetah for less than $100, then I’m a happy lad!


The main website is The project code is on github. Discussion is on Google Groups.

GoldenCheetah install on Raspberry pi 4 with – Raspbian Buster. I consider this the preferred way to do it. 

I used the 2019-09-26 version from – the middle size software ~ 1.1gigs.

You will need to follow the generic instructions to create a clean Raspbian boot SD card.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This only works for the current release version of GoldenCheetah V3.5.0. The newer betas require some modules that have not been added to the repository for the pi. I will update this article when the modules are available and I can get the pi to compile the current code.

Then let’s get the software up to date:

     $ sudo apt update     {if you have never run apt update it may fail saying library date is in future, just run it again}
     $ sudo apt -yf full-upgrade
     $ sudo apt-get -y --purge autoremove  {that is two dashes in front of purge "--purge"}
     $ sudo apt-get autoclean

     $ sudo timedatectl set-timezone America/Chicago {pick your own time zone, see them all by typing $ timedatectl list-timezones}
     $ sudo reboot now

Install QT sdk and libraries
     $ sudo apt-get install qt5-default qtcreator libqt5svg5-dev libqt5serialport5-dev libqt5charts5-dev qtmultimedia5-dev qtconnectivity5-dev

     $ sudo apt-get install libqt5webkit5-dev libusb-1.0-0-dev libical-dev libvlc-dev libvlccore-dev bison flex

Modify the USB device so you can use your ANT+ USB stick {no need if you are only going to use bluetooth}

     $ cd /etc/udev/rules.d

     $ sudo nano 52-garmin-usb.rules

  • Add (copy/paste) the following six lines to the file:  {there are no spaces before the lines
  • # Garmin ANT+ – USB1
    ATTRS{idVendor}==”0fcf”, ATTRS{idProduct}==”1004″, MODE=”0666″
    # Garmin ANT+ – USB2
    ATTRS{idVendor}==”0fcf”, ATTRS{idProduct}==”1008″, MODE=”0666″
    # hLine USB2 ANT2
    ATTRS{idVendor}==”0fcf”, ATTRS{idProduct}==”1009″, MODE=”0666″
  • exit and save the file

     $ sudo reboot now

Now download the code, make a few changes and start compiling!

     Git should already be installed if not ‘$ sudo apt-get install git’
     $ cd ~
     $ mkdir projects
     $ cd projects
     $ git clone git://
     $ git clone git:// --branch release_3.5.0

     $ cd GoldenCheetah
     $ cd src
     $ cp gcconfig.pri
     $ nano gcconfig.pri    

  • uncomment line #CONFIG += release
  • uncomment line #QMAKE_LRELEASE = /usr/bin/lrelease
  • uncomment line #QMAKE_CXXFLAGS += -03
  • comment out the line QMAKE_CXXFLAGS_X86_64 = $$QMAKE_CFLAGS_X86_64 by added a ‘#’ in front of it
  • uncomment line #ICAL_INSTALL =
  • Change the value Of the ICAL_INSTALL = (line above this one) to “ICAL_INSTALL = /usr/lib”
  • uncomment line #LIBUSB_INSTALL = /usr/local
  • Change the value Of the LIBUSB_INSTALL (line above this one) to “= /usr/lib” instead of “= /usr/local”
  • uncomment line #LIB_USE_V_1
  • uncomment line #LIBZ_LIBS = -lz

     $ cd ~/projects/GoldenCheetah/qwt

     $ cp qwtconfig.pri

     $ cd ~/projects/GoldenCheetah
     $ qmake -recursive  {if you see a bunch (22 or so) of translation language and missing file errors… you can ignore them}

     $ make

Now just sit back and wait. Should take about 1.5 hours with a good heat sink on a 2 gig Rpi4 :)
When it is all done you will have a GoldenCheetah executable file in your projects/GoldenCheetah/src directory. You can copy it wherever you like, if you want to run it from the command line here just type:

     $ ~/projects/GoldenCheetah/src/GoldenCheetah

I made a Desktop icon on Raspbian by doing the following:

     $ cd ~/Desktop

     $ nano GoldenCheetah.desktop

  • Add (copy/paste) the following ten lines to the file:
  • [Desktop Entry]
    Comment=Built for suffering
  • exit and save

Every time you use the desktop icon it will ask what you want to do with it. Select execute. You can disable this in Raspbian config files, but that is beyond the scope of this howto…..

Enjoy!  :)


Compiling GoldenCheetah on Raspberry Pi 4 with Ubuntu server 19.10.1- free bicycle trainer/analysis software

Friday, January 3rd, 2020

Ok, I’m leaving this here as an example if I need it in the future, but the Ubuntu desktops were too bulky to be quick on the pi4 as of the time of this writing. Since I got this to work on stock Raspbian, I would use that walkthrough/howto instead of trying it with Ubuntu. You can mostly follow the Raspbian walkthrough/howto for Ubuntu as it is more current. I did not include these required steps in this walkthrough.

If you are not familiar, GoldenCheetah is open source software that will control a smart trainer (wahoo kickr, tacx, etc…) via Ant+ or bluetooth. It will sync rides to/from strava and others. It has amazing (way beyond my ability or interest) performance analysis functions! It can download ride profiles from the free ERG repository. It really does too much to list here. I highly recommend it. Warts and all it still a great piece of software that some great people work hard to support, and it does most everything I need trainer software to do. Oh… and it doesn’t cost me $10 a month in subscription fees. ;) So If I can build a dedicated computer out of a Rpi4 that will run GoldenCheetah for less than $100, then I’m a happy lad!


The main website is The project code is on github. Discussion is on Google Groups.

GoldenCheetah install on Raspberry pi 4

Ubuntu Server version

first install ubuntu server 64bit 19.10.1 {I used ubuntu-19.10.1-preinstalled-server-arm64+raspi3.img from the ubuntu website}

$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt -yf full-upgrade
$ sudo apt-get -y –purge autoremove
$ sudo apt-get autoclean

$ sudo timedatectl set-timezone America/Chicago {pick your own time zone, see them all with $timedatectl list-timezones}
$ sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop {note to self: this is still a pretty heavy desktop – I should try installing a lighter one or using the instructions below on raspbian lite}
pick gdm3 for the desktop manager
$ sudo reboot now

First install qt sdk and libraries
$ sudo apt-get install qt5-default qtcreator
$ sudo apt install libqt5svg5-dev
$ sudo apt install libqt5serialport5-dev
$ sudo apt install libqt5charts5-dev
$ sudo apt install qtmultimedia5-dev
$ sudo apt install qtconnectivity5-dev
$ sudo apt install libqt5webkit5-dev

git should already be installed if not ‘$ sudo apt-get install git’
$ sudo apt-get install libusb-1.0-0-dev
$ sudo apt-get install bison
$ sudo apt-get install flex
$ cd ~
$ mkdir projects
$ cd projects
$ git clone git://
$ cd GoldenCheetah
$ cd src
$ cp gcconfig.pri
$ nano gcconfig.pri
-> uncomment line #CONFIG += release

-> uncomment line #QMAKE_LRELEASE = /usr/bin/lrelease {note: make sure you have a /usr/bin/lrelease, it should have been installed above}
-> uncomment line #QMAKE_CXXFLAGS += -03

-> uncomment line #LIBUSB_INSTALL = and change the value to LIBUSB_INSTALL = /usr/lib in instead of LIBUSB_INSTALL = /usr/local
-> uncomment line #LIB_USE_V_1
-> uncomment line #LIBS += -lz

$ cd ~/projects/GoldenCheetah/qwt

$ cp qwtconfig.pri

$ cd ~/projects/GoldenCheetah
$ qmake -recursive

{note: if you see a bunch of translation language errors… just ignore for now}
$ make

-> sit back and wait an hour or two :)
when it is all done you will have a GoldenCheetah executable file in your projects directory

notes: This failed after exhausting memory on a 2 gig raspberry pi 4. Ran like a champ on a 4 gig raspberry pi 4
If you get the error (g++: internal compiler error: Killed (program cc1plus)). It means you ran out of memory, you can try one of the following:
___1. Make a swap file___________
Run these

$ sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/swapfile bs=64M count=16
$ sudo mkswap /swapfile
$ sudo swapon /swapfile

That should let you compile your code. But make sure you then revert the swap after compilation, with these:

$ sudo swapoff /swapfile
$ sudo rm /swapfile

___2. Try fewer parallel jobs (will take longer to compile)___________
Try running:
$ make j #
where # is the number of parallel jobs
$ make j 4
$ make j 2

Updating Raspberry Pi PiHole Servers

Saturday, July 6th, 2019

Hopefully you were on top of things and have already changed the default login mire that is associated with the Pi. Also hopefully you have enabled telnet on the Pi.

If all these criteria are met, every few weeks I login with telnet and run the following commands:

sudo apt update
sudo apt -yf dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get -y –purge autoremove
sudo apt-get autoclean
pihole -g -up
pihole -up

Adding AdGuard to Home Assistant on Hassio on Ubuntu 18.04

Saturday, July 6th, 2019

So you will run into a bit of a problem where the Ubuntu 18.04 underneath Hassio is already listening to port 53, so you cannot have a Hassio plugin also listening to port 53. The error I saw in the AdGuard log was:

[fatal] Couldn’t start forwarding DNS server, cause: couldn’t listen to UDP socket, cause: listen udp bind: address already in use

This method I found seems to work…

Disable and stop system-resolved service:
sudo systemctl disable systemd-resolved.service
sudo systemctl stop systemd-resolved

Then put the following line in the [main] section of /etc/NetworkManager/NetworkManager.conf:

Delete the symlink /etc/resolv.conf:
rm /etc/resolv.conf

Restart network-manager:
sudo service network-manager restart

This may break VPN for some users.

Battery Replacement for CyberPower UPS 1350 and 850

Saturday, June 22nd, 2019

As far as I can tell the CyberPower batteries HR1234w and bp8-12 are the exact same size batteries, and both have F2 terminals. So I’m not sure why you would need to buy more than one type of battery. Next time I will try buying the biggest AH rated 12 volt battery that is the same size. The size of the batteries was (by my micrometer, and body only no terminals): 3.68 inches high, 2.54 inches deep, and 5.94 inches wide.

When I purchased the CyberPower replacement battery for the 850AVR (with lcd) it was stated to be a 12v 9ah battery, and the CyberPower replacement for the 1350AVR (with lcd) was a pair of 12v 8ah. There is definitely no need to do anything more than buy a pair of the 12v 8ah batteries off Amazon for $30 instead of paying $76 for CyberPower’s new assembly. Just make sure you plug the cable in correctly on the new set or you may have a very unfortunate incident. Next time I plan to just use some packing tape to put the new batteries together. The CyberPower part number for the 1350 was RB1280X2A. The CyberPower part number for the 850 was RB1280A. Based on the part numbers it is easy to believe they they are both 12v 8Ah batteries.

In case you didn’t know lead-acid batteries should not be put in the garbage. Lowes and Home Depot accept non-automotive sealed led-acid batteries for free. So, just drop them off there.

1350AVR Battery Pack assembled
Cyberpower 1350 Battery Pack Disassembled
After taking it apart.
AVR850 original battery
This is the original battery that came with the 850AVR. It is exactly the same size as the BP8-12 batteries above.

How to call Amazon

Monday, April 8th, 2019

So you have been hunting for hours for Amazon’s customer support phone number on their web site. Well in the US it is 866-216-1072. Their people are usually super nice and very helpful. I highly recommend that you call them whenever you have an issue.

I have posted the phone number before, but could not find it, so here it is again… :)

Parallels desktop VM .hdd file is way larger than the guest disk size

Thursday, December 6th, 2018

So your machine shows no snapshots, but you have multiple .hds files inside your .hdd files. According to Parallels support you do still have snapshots, even though the snapshot manager shows no snapshots. The command to merge the snapshots is as follows:
prl_disk_tool merge –hdd /{path and filename of the .hdd file you want to merge}

Rice Cooker Gluten Free pancake and the Zojirushi 5.5 Cup Neuro Fuzzy (updated)

Thursday, November 22nd, 2018

OK, I will keep updating this post as I am still experimenting.

I decided to move my recipe recommendation to the top so I don’t have to read through the whole thing to remember the method. So I do not use the normal mix instructions for any of the mixes anymore. Pretty much the instructions are: 1 egg, 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of mix, 2 melted tablespoons of butter. The batter will be very thin, but it doesn’t matter in the rice cooker bowl :) Then I just hit the porridge setting and let it cook. I have found this recipe works for all of the mixes I’ve tried…

I found numerous articles on the web showing ways to make a loaf of bread from pancake mix in a rice cooker (here is one). Some articles said that it was a piece of cake (pardon the pun), while others claimed that the product was unusable. None of the articles I found mentioned the type of rice cooker I had (Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy) or had any advise on making the recipe gluten free. I can tell you now that I have had good success, and to help anyone else out there here is a running log of my observations.


  • So far I have used the porridge setting on everything I have tried. I have not tried other settings, but probably will later.
  • Only make a single batch. The cooker will not get the center done on a double batch
  • I let the rice cooker run to the end of the cycle and there has been no problem with having to restart or having the loaf burn.
  • For some unknown reason I always add the quantity of oil called for in the waffle recipe, but use the ingredients from the pancake recipe.
  • To extract the loaf I remove the rice cooker bowl from the machine and put a plate on top of the bowl. Then I invert the bowl and the loaf is unceremoniously dumped onto the plate. I’ve never had one crack or break as a result of this.
  • Bob’s Red Mill pancake mix makes a good dark loaf that seems to have a texture and color similar to Soda Bread. I think with a little tweaking there is a good opportunity to make a reasonable facsimile of Irish Soda Bread that is Gluten free
  • Gluten Free Bisquick makes a more moist slightly rubbery loaf, but it is still very much edible and will absorb syrup fairly readily. When you open the rice cooker the top of the loaf looks white and rubbery, but if you touch it, it is cooked through. I’ve let it sit for up to 10 minutes on keep warm and it does not burn the bottom.
  • Hodgson Mill gluten free pancake mix holds a most dubious honor. It is the worst tasting mix I have ever encountered. It made a rubbery loaf that smelled and looked bad. I bought it because I needed mix that day and the store did not have Bob’s or Bisquick. Trust me it was not an acceptable substitute.
  • Kodiak Cakes – gluten free frontier flapjack mix – these were very tasty, but came out very doughy. Also, these are oat based,  if you have gluten issues you may also have issues with oats, so be careful.
  • Pamela’s was pretty good, but you have to be careful with this one if you have tree nut allergies. They include almond flour in their mix.


  • King Arthur gluten free pancake mix – This one was wonderful. The whole kitchen smelled like fresh baking. Taste was excellent. Note that the instructions on the box I had were for a double recipe (used the whole bag). I halved the recipe and it made a standard size rice cooker pancake. As noted above if I had made the full recipe it would have been mostly uncooked.
  • Glutino – Gluten Free Pantry Instant Baking Mix. This one comes in a little single serving bottle. I do NOT recommend trying the bottle. I did and it did not mix and basically made sludge in the bottom that I gave up on trying to get dissolved into the batter. Can’t tell you how it tastes, and I have no plans to buy another one to try…


  • Hungry jack funfetti gluten free pancakes. This mix tastes just like cake. I would probably like it more without the funfetti, but it wasn’t bad. The flavor of the cakes was great! I really liked it… That said I did not follow the instructions on mixing. It is an add water only mix, but the waffle instructions said to add egg and oil. So I decided to follow the base instructions that are used by most of the other mixes. I used 1.25 cups of the dry mix, one large egg, one cup of milk, and a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil. The texture was as close to a super moist cake of anything I’ve eaten in the gluten free genre.

Trader Joe’s mixes are pretty darned good. The pumpkin mix was only available around October, but it was awesome! Once again I don’t follow the recipe on the box. I use a cup of mix, one egg, two table spoons of butter (of course it is better than vegetable oil), then a cup of milk. If the mix is thick I add more milk to thin it up… It seems to work on just about every mix I’ve used so far

I picked up a tiger brand Induction rice cooker to replace the Zojirushi. I’m still getting used to it. It seems to be more finicky than the Zojirushi. The only setting that consistantly makes good pancakes is “plain”. Of course like almost every other rice cooker out there, there is almost no definition of what the settings are, but I have not found a better one yet.

To rate the mixes I’ve used so far:

Best: Bisquick, King Arthur, Hungry Jack, Trader Joe’s Gluten Free, Trader Joe’s Gluten free Pumpkin

Great with exceptions: If you don’t have issues with oatmeal, Kodiak was very good. If you don’t have issues with tree nuts Pamela’s is very good.

Pretty good: Bob’s Red mill

Avoid: Glutino, Hogsdon Mill

QT Library on MacOS/OSX will not install cannot find old versions of Xcode

Sunday, October 21st, 2018

I could not get the QT installer to work at all on MacOS 10.14 Mojave, It kept giving errors saying that the Xcode 5 (and some other old non-downloadable version of Xcode was missing. As a result it would not give me a list of QT versions/components to install…

Apparently QT is still trying to find Xcode in:


Apple no longer installs Xcode here. The new directory is


sudo /usr/bin/xcode-select -switch /Applications/

Details of this issue can be found as a bug for Qt 5.2 – Qt Bug 31878 description.