Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Solution for Broken Time Machine Backups and a New Laptop on the Way

At work I use a late 2013 13" MacBook Pro with Retina display. Most of my files are kept in our corporate account, which is a handy way to ensure that they are backed up. However, I was using Time Machine to ensure application settings were also backed up, and in general for a "belt and suspenders" approach.

Unfortunately, Time Machine stopped functioning back in October. I kept running into this problem.

I tried all sorts of fixes, including disabling application throttling for it, to no avail.

I have a new 15" MacBook Pro on the way and want to be able to move all my old settings over to it, so I revisited the issue yesterday. After trying several of the fixes I found online, again with no positive results, I decided to upgrade from OS 10.11 El Capitan to 10.12 Sierra. That fixed it.

My laptop is bound to our NT domain and I found that after the upgrade my NT account was locked. It turns out that there was a known bug with Sierra causing this. Applying the OS 10.12.3 update fixed that. I also had to upgrade to the later versions of the Symantec VIP soft token app and the Pulse Secure VPN client. The older versions I had weren't compatible with Sierra.

Other than fixing my Time Machine backup and requiring a couple application updates, Sierra isn't dramatically different from El Capitan. I deleted the Siri icon from my dock -- I don't use it even on my iPhone.

Hopefully, I'll have the new MBP by the end of the week, but at the rate our IT department is working it may not be until next week.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Some More Range Time With the C96 Broomhandle

Yesterday I took my Mauser C96 Broomhandle out to a friend's place and we put another 50 rounds through it. As with the first 100 rounds it ran flawlessly with the Prvi Partizan 7.63 Mauser ammo.

Our target was an 8" steel gong from about 15 - 20 yards and it wasn't any problem keeping the rounds on it. We shot it both without and with the stock. I'm not sure if was the natural lighting or that my eyes weren't as tired, but I found it easier to focus on the front sight this time when it was stocked, vs. the first trip when I shot it indoors under florescent lighting.

Compared with a lot of other semiautos, recovering the brass was easy because it ejects the cases almost straight up. By laying out a tarp on the ground we didn't have to do much searching for them.

New Router

A couple years ago I installed an Asus RT-AC66U 802.11ac router at home. A few weeks ago it started acting flaky, requiring frequent reboots, and finally crapped out entirely yesterday. To get our home network back online I took my Comcast XB2 Arris TM862G gateway out of bridge mode, enabling routing and WiFi.

The performance stunk, largely because it's 2.4GHz only and I'm in a subdivision, so I get a lot of interference on that band. The fastest I could get on was about 20 Mbps down, totally unacceptable for what should be ~100 Mbps service.

So, yesterday afternoon I ordered a Linksys WRT1900ACS router from Amazon, selected one day delivery (I have Prime), and it was dropped off this morning while I was eating my oatmeal.

My initial impressions are generally favorable and setup was straightforward. Performance is plenty acceptable. After installing it I ran a test and got about 96 Mbps down. I just ran a test and got this:

I can certainly live with that.

The Linksys offers some features I'm unlikely to take advantage of, e.g., USB ports to serve files or a printer. However, it does support DynDNS and NoIP, so I may setup OpenVPN on it for remote access and possible as a private VPN for when I travel.