Rediscovering the iPad Mini 2, thanks to iOS 10

When the iPad Pro 9.7-inch was released, I jumped all over it and upgraded from my iPad Air. Both the Air and my iPad Mini 2 were getting really sluggish and I figured I needed the faster processor.

Well, a funny thing happened, after ignoring my iPad Mini 2 for the last six months, I started using it again…and liking it! It seems that Apple has done a fine job tweaking the OS for the Mini 2 and iOS 10 made a huge difference. The Mini is no longer a sluggish anxiety-causing POS, but a pleasant joy to use! Wow. iOS 10 has breathed new life into it. Read more

Lithium ion battery breakthrough double’s the capacity! November launch!

“An MIT spinout is preparing to commercialize a novel rechargable lithium metal battery that offers double the energy capacity of the lithium ion batteries that power many of today’s consumer electronics.”

“SolidEnergy Systems’ battery (far right) is twice as energy-dense, yet just as safe and long-lasting as the lithium ion batteries used in consumer electronics. The battery uses a lithium metal foil for an anode, which can hold more ions and is several times thinner and lighter than traditional lithium metal, graphite, carbon, or silicon anodes. A novel electrolyte also keeps the battery from heating up and catching fire.”

What’s more exciting is that they are prepping for a November launch! Here’s the full article.

New phishing scam

Boy, I nearly fell for this phishing scam and clicked Confirm. Pretty sneaky. The Google image really legitimized the look of the email. The domain is registered to some dude in San Francisco. Probably not a huge deal had I click on the button since I would be just confirming what is already public info, but glad I didn’t. I did report it to Google.

Bose QuietComfort 35 Bluetooth headphones. Great but not perfect.

After exclusively using in-ear Bluetooth headphones for years, I finally decided to try a pair of over-the-ear headphones: the Bose QuietComfort 35 Bluetooth headphones. I figured I might as well get them now cuz my hearing ain’t gonna get any better. I’m happy to say all of the reviews are true and they sound incredible. The noise-cancelling is truly astounding. That said, they do have some issues and quirks. Read more

Shutdown Windows computer and Synology NAS using CyberPower UPS

NOTE: As of DSM 6+, it is no longer possible to log in as a root user using the command line option, so the solution in this post no longer works. However, see my newer post, Shutdown Windows computer and Synology NAS using WinNut, for another way to accomplish the same thing!

After a recent thunderstorm that took out the power for several hours, I realized that my four year old 825VA UPS was a little long in the tooth and probably under powered for my computer, NAS and twin 26″ monitors. I also realized that I needed to plug my router and network hub into the UPS, if I wanted Internet to continue during a blackout. (The cable modem is in another room and will get it’s own UPS :-) After doing a bit of research, I decided on the CyberPower CP1500PCFLCD UPS. (I’m not really sure about the pure vs simulated sine wave discussion, but I feared it might matter someday, so I ponied up for the pure sine wave version.)

Another thing dawned on me: although the UPS application would shutdown my computer when the battery got low, nothing instructed my Synology NAS DS212j to do the same. I’ve got twin 4TB drives in there, so corrupting those drives would not be good. I messed around with NUT (Network UPS Tools), but just couldn’t get it to work on my Windows 10 machine. Eventually, I learned that  CyberPower had posted actual instructions on how to do it with a Synology NAS! Unfortunately, it doesn’t tell you everything, but after several hours of searching and trial and error I was able to piece it all together and get my Windows computer and Synology NAS to shutdown when my UPS was running out of battery power.  I’ve compiled everything here:

Read more