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I maintain my most up-to-date content at I'm a big fan of Known and the IndieWeb but find the new Google Sites much easier to use at this time.


Washing machine PSA

1 min read

You know all that change, pens and other small things (like foam ear plugs) that disappear in your front-loading washing machine? No, me neither. However, it turns out that there is a trap before the pump. And when it gets too full of change, pens, ear plugs, hair, and other various pieces of plastic it can overflow and something can block the pump. In this case it was apparently a penny.

The good news is that it's fairly easy to clean out said trap and I don't need a new pump. The bad news is that vile things grow there and it smells bad.

Something to add to the list to clean when I'm cleaning out the dryer duct.



1 min read

Level 56 achieved!


At last, some security for one of my US credit cards

1 min read

Capital One Visa is going to be sending me Chip and Signature cards soon. They are the first to offer any improvement over the magnetic stripe card. This technology helps avoid credit card fraud via counterfeit card fraud, which is much more prevalent than lost card fraud in the US. It's a step in the right direction.

Everyone in the G20 except the US has been using Chip and PIN cards for quite a while. With those you need to remember a PIN and enter it at every transaction.

Ironically, my Capital One card is primarily for online transactions where the chip will not help.


Windows 7 VM not compatible with Windows 10 upgrade?

1 min read

I've been playing with Windows 10 developer preview in a VM and have upgraded a couple laptops and an old test machine from Windows 8.1 and Windows 7. All those upgrades went well.

So I was slightly surprised when upgrading my primary Windows 7 VM was met with a warning message that claimed it was not compatible with Windows 10. What? I was running a Windows 10 Preview VM on this same host a while back. The messages was "CompareEchange128", I'm sure my Sandy Bridge Core i7 would have that. It turns out that VirtualBox was configured for a Windows 7 64-bit which apparently does not support that instruction. Switching the config to Windows 10 64-bit solved the problem. The machine is now upgrading.