oh gee thanks, SPAMSHINE.

Thank you Microsoft. Thank you for the tiny HEART ATTACK this morning.

After installing Windows updates to about two dozen load-bearing systems at work, they each came right back up and restarted all their services properly, no big deal there. What I didn’t realize was that even though they were all back up, on the network, and I could VNC or RDP back in and verify this….. not a one of them was responding to plain jane ol’ ICMP pings being sent to them by a monitoring service our IT department set up for us a couple years ago………

Home Depot store, sign edited to say The HHHHHHH

… Until all at once they all started doing so again, about 45 minutes after boot, and my email inbox blew up with a ton of “[Cursed-Ass-Chyron-Box-4] is now reachable”, a couple minutes before the morning show started. I didn’t immediately notice that these messages were not paired with a “[Your-Mother-Sucks-Supers-In-Hell-2] has stopped responding” messages prior, so I thought everything started just popping and rebooting like cursed popcorn. Could you blame me though? I’ve had this happen from Windows updates in the past.


With Windows updates, “updates were installed” can actually mean “updates were staged and are ready to stab you in the ass while you’re in the cold”.

This is why I really like using Linux, less stress and EXPLOSIONS.

On a side note, here is a Linux powered device that has exploded. Yes, it’s more Euroturd hardware. This is one of the EK-AMP/6 power amplifier cards which blasted capacitor guts. I have several more that seem to have been damaged by the EK-UCM/6 module which serves as the transmitter’s exciter having walked right out of band and caused the amp to go unstable and blow up. Glorious.


And now, as is usual… more… nonsense

This thermostat has the most bizarrely cluttered screen.

Booba / Kiki Effect

(If you’re not familiar with what it’s referring to— https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bouba/kiki_effect   )

Also, this is what happened immediately after I got a Fluke RF generator that I’ve wanted for years, because I’m incredibly mature

Finally I wish to point out that I agree with literally everything going on here:


Today, Facebook seems to be having an issue with their advertising, at least with their choice of ads they’re serving up to me. I didn’t get a screenshot, but the first one was an ad for Demonia boots for $20 with a couple of stolen photos of the Cyberdog store in Camden, and the domain it linked to was registered two days ago. Sure, yeah… no. I reported it as a scam.

Then came the absolute batshit hilarity. Most were really obvious scams trying to fish for personal info:

Then came the ads published on obviously stolen pages:

Yeah it literally just linked to Google

The snake oil:

And then, uh, the utterly baffling:

But the creme de la creme? Or whatever that expression is

And this is on the site that was supposed to become the weird metaverse we’d all interact and shop in, in virtual reality and shit. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha loldongs

Videonics video mixer/switcher power supply

Videonics video editing switchers are pretty common but their power supplies are also commonly lost. The connector is a standard 6 pin DIN type and here is the pinout:

Pins 1 and 4: +5vdc (probably regulated) 4.5 amps

Pins 2 and 5: ground

Pin 3: +10vdc 0.4 amp

Pin 6: -10vdc 0.4 amp

I haven’t looked inside the switcher to see if it needs the +/-10v to be regulated voltages. My guess is the +5 needs to be. If I had to homebrew a power solution for one of these I’d probably start with a PC power supply and run the +/- 12 rails through buck converters or LM7810 + LM7910 regulators (my guess is that the load on these channels is pretty minimal).

who out there having their disney VHS’s graded

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shitposting loudly

Very proud of those knobs, are we?

I got an Alta Cygnus video frame sync/processing amp a while back that didn’t work because the cap from its fuse holder was missing. No big deal, just gotta open it up and change the holder.

Well, somehow this completely escaped me ever photographing the process or what’s inside the unit, but it’s got one hilarious “feature” I have to wonder about.

Simple. Elegant. MADNESS.

So, the chassis of the unit has the motherboard (enormous square monster utterly tessellated in DIP ICs) screwed to the bottom panel. The top cover slides forwards to remove it and it’s one piece, including that very 1980s chamfer.

Do you…. do you already see what that means? If you were expecting it to be cursed, yes, you do…

See all those knobs? Every one of them is a very nice little molded plastic knob with a metal insert that holds it to the control shaft with a small hex screw.

Every one of them has to come off to slide off the cover.

Yeah. Sure. That was a great idea.

It’s the top of the line of utility sports, unexplained fires are a matter for the courts

I mean, once I got past that and replaced the fuse holder it looks like it’s gonna work perfectly fine. But seriously, what on earth?!

These brochure pages are all the documentation I can find on the unit, I’d love to score a manual though as there are a lot of internal adjustments and dip switches I’m curious about. But am I curious enough to have to remove and reinstall all those knobs?!

Send transmission from the one armed scissor

It’s been way too long since I’ve updated anything here. I’m definitely burned out like one of those terrifying light bulbs and my work environment is really absolute blowage like a poorly balanced 5015 blower hanging off a 3d printer carriage and making the print look absolutely raunchy as its vibration slightly shifts the base of a bridge in the print as the GCode rolls off an M106 S255 to increase airflow. Not that I’d know anything about that. (I wonder if ebm papst makes 5015 size blowers? Their dynamic balancing is TOP NOTCH.) Yeah uh. In the last few weeks we upgraded the brains of our stupid robot camera pedestals and now they’re…. somehow less reliable. Cool.

Meanwhile I experienced a really dumb thing: after one of our new members of the engineering team was telling me about the features of his Prusa 3d printers, I realized I have a couple that were sidelined ages ago due to failures I didn’t really understand how to fix, and… Oops now I have too many working machines

Fun fact: the big delta had been previously, incorrectly assembled by a Tesla engineer and had never successfully printed anything. It works now!

Everyone in the room understood me when I said “oops I accidentally printed a Triscuit”. This is the result of accidentally using a stock ender 3 profile in PrusaSlicer on one of the two direct drive machines up on top here with an all metal hotend, that setup really doesn’t like the 5mm retraction distance! 1mm works fine.

Oops I forgot the bean dip

The Ender 3 is running Klipper now. This one has a Creality 1.1.3 mainboard which I should just replace – it’s fairly awful. The CPU on it doesn’t have enough storage for Marlin to use its latest and greatest bed mesh leveling tricks (the UBL features). That being said it’s also kinda short on pins….. but it isn’t! Note this unused EXT-A2 header in the middle with the capacitor stuffed in it. It goes to pin PA2 / 29 on the CPU. Marlin calls it 29, Klipper calls it PA2. Creality famously never provided schematics for this board so I stabbed it with a Fluke till I found it. I soldered on a header and put the cap back as well.

On a side note be very very careful if you buy a Creality branded Bltouch. Their ribbon cable has the wire colors completely wrong. Go by pin number, DO NOT TRUST THE COLORS. The only reason this atrocious board didn’t blow up from having its +5v rail shorted to ground by the Bltouch cable when I went by color code was that it is simply such a stubborn abomination with its loud ass A4988 stepper drivers that sound like a running toilet that it simply refused to be cleansed from the earth by a mere short circuit. Well that and think it essentially just has a LM7805 on there somewhere.

There’s also this post on Simon’s Tech Blog detailing some more intricate hacking of this board by repurposing an SD card IO line, though not the low hanging fruit there on pin PA2. I’ll be honest, it was kinda me seeking an *easy* place to land the BLTouch control wire that led me to look here.

I mean it about the running toilet noises. It’s kinda obnoxious. I remember my Monoprice mini delta printer* making these sounds too and…. ugh.

* probably a lost cause and it’s been thrown in my bin of crap to trade to a fellow tinkerer for something I actually want. On a side note I started looking at my old Monoprice Select Mini V2 last night and realized maybe I can revive that thing too.. But why? Or why not? Uhhh.

Anyway, now for an assortment of fine balderdash.

“hey, it’s warm in here, I wonder why?”

Thankfully this all just hosed off. This condenser is less than a month old.

Not pictured, sadly: the surprise indoor waterfall that occurred when an air vent valve on the chilled water air handler in one room at work blew up following a chiller failure. Squirt, squirt. đŸ’ĻđŸ’ĻđŸ’Ļ

Suddenly the logo changed on this one screen. I’m pretending not to notice. HhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
After that air conditioning meltdown you bet you’re gonna be able to lure me into a scene live on air with popsicles.


Tech note: Canon printer error B200, B201, B202, B203, B204, B205, B206, B207, easy fix?

It’s no secret that Canon inkjet printers have a couple of cry wolf failure modes that claim to be the end of life for the printer, but are repairable with no parts or special tools. The most common one is the ink disposal error where a software counter expires the silly thing, but it’s resettable… Although Canon would like you to think it isn’t.

Anyway, our trusty Canon MX490 shut down yelling “needs service, B202”. Canon’s official support document says this means it’s dead or at least that you have to replace the cartridges because they “overheated”.

I have been working on inkjet printers since the late 90s and have literally never heard of this failure mode. Furthermore, I’ve never seen a printhead actually do anything close to burning out– at worst sometimes one has had a really stubborn clog, and leaving it lying on a paper towel soaked with distilled water revived it. (Isopropyl alcohol works too but I swear water does it better!)

Radio Shack even used to sell a kit for cleaning the printhead that had a little strip of microfiber brush material and a pen filled with distilled water to wet it with then stroke the head across it. It worked fine but after I figured out a paper towel worked better on certain cartridges I just went low tech.

Anyway, the other part that needs to be clean for correct operation of an inkjet cartridge or printhead module is the electrical connector between the head and the rest of the printer. There’s a matrix of little yellow metal dots or squares on the cartridge, usually on the side that faces the back of the printer. Grab a cotton swab and isopropyl alcohol and clean this, then GENTLY dab clean the matching contacts on the printer carriage, being careful not to snag and bend any parts.

This fixed the printer! No cartridge replacement was needed, I powered it up, it returned the carriage home, did a quick cleaning cycle, and returned happily to service like nothing had ever happened.

Anyway, usually you can access these areas by just sliding the cartridge gently into reach with the printer powered off. Please be warned you may touch ink goopus while doing this. If it’s not possible to move the carriage into reach, you may need to start the printer doing something and yank the power while the head is out of its home position. I don’t know if any Canon machines are like this, but on the old HP Deskjet 600-700 series the cap assembly that seals around the printhead when not in use was raised up by a motor and firmly locked the carriage in the home position. (Sounds like a nice measure to prevent shipping damage!)

On most printers including this MX490, just sliding the cartridge towards the middle uncaps it. If you’re in there, you can also clean the caps and squeegee blades that are near them, this may cure lingering print quality issues like banding or stray ink drops/blobs.

I mentioned specifically cleaning the cartridge contacts with isopropyl alcohol because Hewlett-Packard once had a service note out recommending it – they had a lot of some sort of lubricant (dielectric grease?) that was being factory applied to new cartridges that turned out to be a little too good at maintaining a film between the metal surfaces, causing the cartridges to print poorly or not at all. Their fix was to clean it off. On my printer, it removed visible ink deposits just as well.

If you happen to be here because you’re trying to clean the printhead, please be sure to wipe the squeegee and cap and, if present, clean the two concave grooves adjacent to the printhead with a wet swab. Otherwise you’ll wind up with the head getting re-gooped immediately upon putting it back in, and you don’t want that.

Yes, I need to revise this with pictures, but for now, here’s an unrelated image:

I mean, maybe if you had a lot of droolage from the cyan, magenta, and yellow printhead, it’d look just like this tri-color foaming wax

You know who you are, I hope

Wow, for someone who made such a big deal about mental health and avoiding burnout a few weeks ago, you sure did an interesting job of turning the tables and forcing the kind of always-on work balance that will ensure you burn out and drive off your staff. Also I wish to point out that you’ve made me more anxious about how everything I do in the workplace is going to be perceived because you both appreciate it so much and approve of none of it because you don’t think what anyone in the department is doing is Good For The Company that you told me you don’t care that much about.

Picture unrelated and related

Please correct your management style before I have to start thinking of you in terms of colorful British swears.

Thank you.