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Messages - Deozaan [ switch to compact view ]

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Living Room / Re: Web service to let supporters vote rankings
« on: February 25, 2021, 02:37 AM »
This sounds a lot like bug reporting software, which allows users to upvote issues/bugs. I've seen one that gives each user 10 votes which they can cast however they want, even spending all 10 votes on a single issue. They can change their votes at any time, or automatically get their votes back when the issue is marked as closed, but they can never have more than 10 votes on anything at any given time.

Or alternatively you could use other software development / project management tools, such as Trello, which allow people without edit access to upvote cards or lists.

Though, while these things do allow you to have hundreds or thousands of entries, viewing/browsing/discovering them all is not necessarily handled well in any  of the tools I've seen before. I can't imagine trying to scroll through a Trello board that has thousands of cards.

If you want to do this in realtime, Windows 10 already has this built in to their touch keyboard. You'd obviously want a touch screen or drawing tablet to make best use of it, because doing it with a mouse is not a very enjoyable experience.

But if you want OCR (optical character recognition) on a scanned sheet of notes or something, then it's probably best to use a note-taking app that has that built in.

Sorry for my delayed response. I got kind of overwhelmed and stressed out over things, so I decided to take a break from the thread to give myself time to process the information and not act too hastily.

I can report that the Keep Connect suggested by mouser seems to be working nicely since I installed it last Wednesday. It has reset my modem 6 times so far. 3 or 4 of which happened just yesterday alone.

That definitely puts my mind more at ease and allows me to feel less stressed and rushed about putting together my own device to do this for me.

If you want to get familiar again before trying on your actual parts, there are a few kits on there. I used to pick them up to hone my skills when there was a lapse in my soldering. And they make cool gifts. :)

Thanks. That's a good idea. It didn't occur to me to train myself using kits which seem geared toward children. I guess it's more appropriate to think of them as kits for beginners. :Thmbsup:

I do have a soldering iron. I'm almost completely inexperienced with soldering, but I have replaced a couple of microswitches in my computer mice a few times. And I do have an old modem power supply which probably has the same rating as the current one, which I think I could cannibalize for this project. So it looks like that list includes just about everything I'd need, but wouldn't I also need some kind of breadboard wires (jumper cables?) for connecting the RasPi directly to the relay?

If you've got a soldering iron I'd order 2 or 3 of the transistors, (they're the only really temperature sensitive parts), just in case and a small protoboard instead of the breadboard.

Yes, you'll need a lead to plug onto the RasPi GPIO header, (I'd probably butcher an old IDE, SCSI, or floppy cable plug), but for simplicity a purpose made pack of leads is probably cheap enough.

Does the plug on the old PSU match the socket on the modem?
It needs to be a secure fit like the current PSU plug ...

Actually, if the old PSU is still in working condition, has the same plug, and has the same voltage/current rating as the current one, it'll be easier to cut the cable and insert the relay board into it ... no socket required.

Jumper wires (10 pack)

My old PSU is from a previous model of the same brand of modem, so I'm almost certain they're exactly the same. I'll of course double check before I tear anything apart, but that's the assumption I'm operating under at the moment.

Thanks for the links to the jumper wires and protoboard. It looks like I now have links to everything I need to build the device.

It's not making me rich, but it's earning me a decent amount of money simply for keeping a device running/connected that I'm already leaving running/connected 24/7 anyway as my personal media server and whatnot.

You buried the lede. What is that, and how does it work? Maybe on a new thread. That sounds interesting...

Considering I have two RasPi 4B's on 24/7 running Docker services, (and spare 2B, 3B, & 3B+), I'm also interested in this. :P

I should clarify that my definition of "a decent amount of money" is really not a lot. I usually start to question whether or not I really need/want something when the cost reaches the $25-50 range.

I tried to write a really brief summary of what it was, but I just kept feeling the need to add more details. So I think making a new thread about it would be appropriate. I'll try to get to that sometime over the next few days. :D

General Software Discussion / Re: youtube downloader?
« on: February 14, 2021, 02:54 PM »
Not sure what you mean as per channel vs individual link, but it sounds like you're onto something.

This link is to an individual video:
This link is to the channel where the above video came from:

You may need to contact their support. It seems everything is working fine for me. They may not be aware of the issue you're experiencing. Or maybe it has something to do with IP address restrictions?

To everyone who has responded (or will yet respond) to this thread: Thank you very much for your input! I'm reading it all. If I don't respond to you directly or to something you said, it's not because I'm ignoring what you said. It's more that this is such a new area for me that I've got a bit of information overload and can't hold all these things in my mind at once. I don't know enough about these things to properly discern which information is most relevant and which is somewhat ancillary.

If you feel you've said something that warrants a direct response, please follow up with me so I can make sure to give you the response you deserve. :)

On amazon:

Wow. I tried looking for similar, cheaper devices than the ezOutlet3 but didn't see anything that appeared to do the same thing. Considering those are half the cost of the ezOutlet3, I'm going to try to cancel the original order I made last night and go for one of those as my short-term solution.

Mouser Electronics, all in stock:
1k resistor
1N4007 diode
5V relay
BC548 transistor
Total: $3.41 + Postage

Plus a plug and socket to match the output lead of the existing modem PSU, (I'd usually just cannibalise something I have laying around ... got a lot of old modem/routers atm because of the big NBN upgrade).

If you haven't got a soldering iron, etc then a cheap solderless breadboard is $3.80, (that one seems to be big enough to take the relay).
NOTE: This needs checking, lead length on the relay is 3.6mm - the specs for the breadboard don't mention minimum lead length for components but if my breadboards are anything to go by that lead length might be a little on the short side.

Oh, double wow! I was looking at the relay module thinking it was going to be a lot of DIY. This is even more DIY, essentially building a relay module from its smaller components. I do have a soldering iron. I'm almost completely inexperienced with soldering, but I have replaced a couple of microswitches in my computer mice a few times. And I do have an old modem power supply which probably has the same rating as the current one, which I think I could cannibalize for this project. So it looks like that list includes just about everything I'd need, but wouldn't I also need some kind of breadboard wires (jumper cables?) for connecting the RasPi directly to the relay?

General Software Discussion / Re: youtube downloader?
« on: February 14, 2021, 02:50 AM »
I just updated 4K Video Downloader to v4.14.3.4090 x64 and tested it on this video and it worked without issue. I'm using the free/unregistered version.

I noticed in the changelog that it said "channel fixes" were coming soon. Are you trying to download from an individual video link or are you trying to download from a channel link?

I had this problem a while ago and looked into this solution:


Otherwise I would think an appropriately rated relay connected to the RasPi GPIO to switch the power to the modem would be easy enough.
eg. https://www.electron...-using-raspberry-pi/

Remember, you only need to switch the 12v DC, (usually), for the modem, not the 110v AC of the mains, so mains isolation is not a problem.
It should then be as simple as pinging Google every few minutes and triggering the GPIO on a run of 3 failures, (for example).

Both of these look like perfectly reasonable solutions, and I think I could buy all the parts needed to make it for under $5, including shipping, on AliExpress. But I'll have to wait 1-2 months for them to arrive. Or even longer, since the order won't even be processed for another 1-2 weeks due to Lunar New Year celebrations halting virtually all business in China.

The cheapskate in me wants to do this method. But it's far enough out of my depth of knowledge that I'm not even sure I'm adding the right parts to my shopping cart. I'd hate to wait the 2 months for the parts to arrive only to realize that I got the wrong things or I can't get it to work.

I don't have any training or experience with wiring circuit boards to things. And I don't know much about switches and relays and circuits and... electronics or electricity in general, I guess.

In the end I set the computer up with a shutdown schedule, had it automatically boot on power on, and then used a timer switch to shut down the power to it and the modem for 15 mins every day at a time I wasn't likely to be using it.
It ran flawlessly this way for years.

That won't work for me. It goes out sporadically. Sometimes it goes a few days without an outage. Other days I have multiple outages within an hour or two of the previous one. So only cycling the power once per day won't be robust enough for me.

Another alternative would be a ZigBee adapter for a RasPi along with a ZigBee controlled power switch, then you're not reliant on WiFi if it's provided by the modem/router.


Also, you didn't mention, if your modem takes alternative firmware then maybe there's a facility in that to test/reboot.

My modem and router are separate devices, so I can power-cycle the modem without losing local WiFi. I've been happily running custom DD-WRT firmware on my router for years, but I never thought of looking for custom firmware for my modem. I guess I always imagined it as a "dumb" or "black box" signal relay between my router and my ISP. It's an Arris SURFboard SB6190.

I didn't know what a ZigBee was so I looked it up and it appears to just be a smart plug. I actually bought a smart plug recently, but it was a Christmas gift for someone else. I got a really good deal on it (only $1!) but I thought I'd never want to use one, because I didn't want it snooping on me and phoning home without my knowledge/consent. Do you happen to know if smart plugs in general, or the ZigBee specifically, snoop and phone home about stuff? I guess there's not much data that could be gathered from a smart plug, assuming it doesn't have a (potentially hidden) microphone or camera. I think the only things it could know about are just the times/schedule when it is on or off, and perhaps the name of my SSID and nearby SSIDs. But even so, I don't like the idea of internet-connected devices which report on me to their overlords (says the guy with multiple Android devices and multiple Windows 10 PCs in his household...).

This looks like the middle ground as far as convenience and cost goes, considering I already have the RasPi. But it's still slightly on the spendy side when you account for not only the smart plug but also the USB adapter for the RasPi. Looks like it's going to be somewhere in the range of $35-50. To be honest, the ZigBee method seems kind of like the worst of both worlds. Kind of spendy compared to using a simple relay, but still enough DIY jerry rigging that I'm not confident about the process.

So that said, looks like this unit might actually do what you want. Seems a little pricey but depends on how bad you want it.

Yes, that does look like exactly the kind of thing I want. It is a bit pricey, but I suppose that's the convenience cost of having everything done for me and being able to get it right away.

After thinking about it for a while (while typing this up) I've decided to go with both of the extremes, which I guess averages out to the perfect middle ground. :D

I see I neglected one important aspect of the problem I'm facing, which is that losing my internet connection isn't just a problem for me when I'm away from home. The reason this is a problem anytime I'm not immediately available to spring into action is because I also keep my RasPi connected to at least one cryptocurrency peer-to-peer network in which I can be penalized or deemed less trustworthy if someone tries to connect to my device and it doesn't respond. It's not making me rich, but it's earning me a decent amount of money simply for keeping a device running/connected that I'm already leaving running/connected 24/7 anyway as my personal media server and whatnot.

So this internet outage issue is a problem even when I'm at home: any time I'm sleeping, or outside doing housework, or even when I'm inside doing something (such as taking a shower) that makes me unlikely to notice or unable to respond right away when there's an internet connectivity problem. The issue can strike at any time and the consequences are not just "oh darn I can't listen to my music right now, I guess I'll have to be bored." It can actually "cost" me money in the form of missing out on opportunities to earn cryptocurrency.

So I ordered the ezOutlet3 because it's a finished product I can get from Amazon (2-day shipping!) and then I can start enjoying relative peace of mind very soon. I don't like the fact that it appears to phone home to some 3rd party server which they claim is only to help relay the connection between their device and the smartphone app. And I don't like how expensive it is.

But I'm also planning to order the parts to make my own solution following the instructions linked to by 4wd or wraith808. That way I won't feel stressed if it takes 3 months to arrive. And I can figure out how to put all the pieces and wires together and program it to behave the way I want to at a leisurely pace, without time pressure. And if it ends up for one reason or another that I ordered the wrong parts or I can't get it to work, then I'm only out an additional $5 and I won't be filled with regret about having to buy the ezOutlet3 anyway after months of waiting for the other things. But if I do end up getting it to work the way I want to, then maybe I can sell the ezOutlet3 on eBay to help recoup some of the costs.

Hi all,

I have a few Raspberry Pis functioning as media servers or whatnot, including running other things (such as self-hosted version control) that require an external internet connection or allow other people connect to my devices remotely. But the problem is that my modem frequently stops communicating with the outside world and the only fix seems to be to reboot it. Otherwise it will happily sit there for hours without an internet connection and never self-recover.

If I'm home when it happens, it's annoying to have the frequent interruptions to streaming Netflix or YouTube or whatever, but it's not a huge ordeal to fix it. I just walk over and pull the power cord and plug it back in. But when I'm not home, which is ostensibly when I really need my internet to be reliable for accessing my files/devices, I obviously can't remotely reboot the modem. So hours go by without an internet connection at home because no one is around to reboot the modem.

What would be nice would be to have a "smart" power switch that could detect the lack of an internet connection, cut and restore power to an external device (the modem) and then wait a few minutes for the modem to finish rebooting before going back into internet connection detection mode and being ready to do it all again if/when necessary.

If something like this already exists and is fairly inexpensive, I'd love to hear about it. Otherwise, I'm thinking it must be possible somehow as a kind of DIY Raspberry Pi project. And as mentioned, I already have a few Raspberry Pis sitting around that I could use if needed.

Does anyone have any tips or suggestions--or even better: links to hardware and/or instructions--on how to get the desired result of rebooting my modem any time it loses its connection to the internet, so I don't have to babysit it all the time or be afraid of leaving my house for extended periods of time?


Living Room / Re: Favourite youtube channels
« on: February 10, 2021, 01:38 PM »
Over the past year or so I've gotten into videos by the LockPickingLawyer. He seems to be a master lockpicker, with over 1,000 videos of him showing off various locks and picking them on video, and sometimes he even takes them apart to show us how the internals work, etc.

As someone who has an interest in digital security, I've found it interesting to see how much of physical security is also largely easily bypassed due to "exploits" or design flaws that have been known about for decades but lock manufacturers keep making new locks vulnerable to them anyway.

He's also done a few "blind picks" where he picks a lock he's never seen before all in one take on the video, so you know he's the real deal.

And he also shows off some unusual (at least in the USA) designs or vintage/ancient locks:

I could go on with more videos but I'll stop there.

His channel got me interested in learning how to lockpick for myself. I see it as a kind of puzzle-solving hobby, like sudoku or crosswords, but potentially with practical, real-world application. So I got a lockpicking toolkit and an acrylic practice lock for Christmas (both of which are cheap pieces of junk from banggood which didn't arrive until about a week ago). After opening the practice lock a few dozen times in the first day, I started having more and more trouble with it to the point where I can rarely open it anymore. I think that due to the poor quality materials and workmanship of the lock, the keyway has slightly changed shape and so my turning tool can no longer apply torque properly. But I'm too much of a noob to know for sure what the exact cause of my troubles are. But all of that is tangential to this thread, so I'll stop blabbing about that, as well.

General Software Discussion / Re: youtube downloader?
« on: February 10, 2021, 12:52 PM »
As of today, 04-10-21, my registered and paid version of 4K Video Downloader gives me an 'error' message now and won't download anything.
What's a good youtube video downloader?

YouTube constantly changes (breaks) things. 4K will surely have an update soon that makes things work again.

Looks like I installed it right when things were getting shady. :'(

Interestingly enough, just today I noticed that Brave has a Safety Check feature in the settings ( brave://settings/safetyCheck ) and I ran it and it said everything was fine, including my extensions. But it didn't force-disable The Great Suspender even though I was running v7.1.8 which appears to be the version which included the malware.

But from my understanding it seems that if you disabled analytics tracking in the settings, it actually respected that setting and the malware didn't function? If that's the case, then I guess I lucked out because I had it disabled.

Living Room / Re: Share Your 2020 Top Ten List(s)!
« on: February 02, 2021, 12:02 PM »
Do you mean Cyberpunk 2077?

Living Room / Re: Share Your 2020 Top Ten List(s)!
« on: January 29, 2021, 02:49 AM »
Since there appears to be no interest in this thread, I'll spare everyone the time it takes to read my usual long-winded write-ups and just list what I decided the top 10 videogames I played in 2020 were, ranked approximately in order of enjoyment, with #1 being the game I enjoyed the most:

#10: Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation
#9: Total War: Shogun 2
#8: Defense Grid 2
#7: Cat Quest
#6: Renegade Ops
#5: MarZ: Tactical Base Defense
#4: Monster Hunter World: Iceborne
#3: Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate
#2: Terraria
#1: Factorio

And as a bonus list, here are the top 5 most disappointing games I played in 2020, in alphabetical order:

  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  • Don't Starve Together
  • Elite: Dangerous
  • Grim Dawn
  • Minecraft Dungeons

If anyone else feels like sharing their lists, that'd be great. But if no one really cares to, that's fine, too.

N.A.N.Y. 2021 / Re: NANY 2021 Wrap Up
« on: January 25, 2021, 09:59 AM »
Congratulations to everyone who successfully created a new app for the new year!

Living Room / Share Your 2020 Top Ten List(s)!
« on: January 24, 2021, 10:14 PM »
A little over a year ago mouser started a thread about sharing our top ten lists of something from the year that just wrapped up, which was 2019. So I thought I'd try to continue the tradition by asking people to share their top ten list(s) of things from 2020.

Although, it looks like mouser already beat me to the punch by sharing some videos of his top ten board games of various categories. Though those aren't necessarily specifically about 2020.

Brevity is not my strong point, as evidenced by my post in last year's top ten thread. So even though I'm still working on writing up my list, I thought I'd extend the invitation to others to share their lists in the meantime.

I don't know Mouser... But I saw a remote controlled bidet on Amazon.   So you don't have to be there when you rinse yourself--apparently.

I thought you were going somewhere else with that. . . ;D

Living Room / Re: Movies you've seen lately
« on: January 11, 2021, 01:53 AM »
I watched Mortal Engines (2018) recently.

The basic premise was interesting: Huge vehicular cities which travel the earth consuming other cities for resources. Visually, it was quite an enjoyable spectacle. I've heard some people say the effects were terrible, but I thought it looked really good for the most part. It had a nice steampunk aesthetic, but also with some sci-fi, futuristic technology.

It takes place a thousand or so years into the future. I don't recall if the exact (or approximate) date is mentioned elsewhere, but during the movie they make a joke about a Twinkie that has a "best if eaten by" date of 2118 and one of the characters remarks with disgust that the Twinkie is "over a thousand years old." It's a funny joke about them supposedly lasting forever, but it's sullied by the fact that a woman refers to one as an "inkie" (because the label has been partially worn off the packaging) as if the guy she's talking to should know what that is, and also implying that she's seen more of them before. But that would mean that every package of Twinkies she's ever come across all had the "Tw" worn away from the packaging in a similar way. Yeah, I know that's a minor plothole nitpick. :)

Even though I was intrigued by the basic premise, the overall story shown in the movie wasn't very interesting to me. I'm not sure if it was ever explained why the cities roamed the land. I missed some of the exposition at the beginning because it was done in a distorted, raspy voice which was a little hard to understand over the din of people getting settled in to watch while the TV volume wasn't quite high enough. I think it just said that there was some kind of an apocalypse which eventually led to the "predator" cities being created. But the world looked fairly verdant and rich in resources to me, so it wasn't clear to me why they thought their cities couldn't remain stationary like the cities of "the ancients" did (in our time).

The acting was fine for the most part, but there was never anything in the story that got me to care about any of the characters. In fact, the only character I felt any real sense of empathy for was a robot which was supposedly devoid of any feeling, supposedly designed with pure malice and hatred, and I think they said it was created for the express purpose of killing. (Spoiler alert: it turns out that seemingly none of that was true, at least for this particular robot.)

The movie was about two hours, which felt long to me because I just kept waiting for it to get good, and it never really did, IMO. The first ten minutes featured a somewhat exciting chase scene which I hoped gave me some preview of what we'd be seeing more of, but when it was over the movie just fell flat and never really delivered any more of the whole "predator city" chasing down "prey cities" or battling other predator cities.

In short, it was a movie with very nice production values, good acting (for the most part), really good special effects, and basically had everything going for it except that it failed to tell a compelling story with compelling characters. So I just didn't really care about what was happening, to whom it was happening, or why. Pity.

P.S. I just went and found and watched the trailer so I could link to it in this post, and it basically shows/tells the entire story of the movie.

Now that I know it's "spoiled" in the trailer, I'll say this: In about the first 20 minutes the bad guy is revealed to be the bad guy without any doubt. I feel the movie would have been much better if he didn't immediately show his true colors, and insisted there was some kind of misunderstanding which he regretted and wanted to clear up or somehow make amends for. Instead of him pushing Tom off the city, the city could have rolled over a big bump or something and he could have accidentally fallen. Then we could have spent the majority of the film wondering who was telling the truth and if the bad guy was actually as bad as Hester (the girl with the red scarf who attacks the bad guy, and who I spent the whole movie thinking was named "Esther") was making him out to be.

And in fact the story may have been even better if the bad guy actually was telling the truth and wasn't a bad guy after all. But that would have completely changed the main conflict of the movie (stop the bad guy from taking over the world!) and I'm not sure what it would have been replaced with. There was a subthread about a group of people who hated the moving cities and wanted to stop them. Maybe the movie could have been more about the conflict between those two groups. Maybe both groups could have had roughly equally valid viewpoints which they didn't see eye-to-eye on, and so there would be conflict and war there, without requiring the plot to have the "singular evil scientist wants to take over the world" trope. Or maybe the main conflict could have been the same, but it would have been someone else who was the mad scientist trying to take over the world and Hester and Valentine could have had a reconciliation.

But if any/all that would have been too hard to do, then I think I would have preferred to just see a movie about roaming cities battling each other. Like a giant demolition derby or BattleBots on a huge scale or something. Just some good looking but brainless action schlock on par with Pacific Rim would have been more engaging than the movie they released as Mortal Engines.

Supposedly the book is much, much better than the movie was. But I suppose that should go without saying.

Time to reset the calendar.

2019 and earlier will now be referred to as Before COVID (BC).
2020 and later will now be referred to as Always Distancing (AD).

Living Room / Re: How can I extract all the links from all tabs?
« on: January 01, 2021, 11:53 PM »
Are you on Windows? If so, does Edge or IExplore suffice? (Easiest ones to target from C#).

Forgive my ignorance, but now that Edge is Chrome-based, how is it any easier to target than any of the other multitude of Chrome-based browsers?

Living Room / Re: Saying goodbye to the old year with a cheer!
« on: January 01, 2021, 03:52 AM »
Happy New Year, everyone!

N.A.N.Y. 2021 / Re: NANY 2021: Wox Rolz Die Roller Plugin
« on: January 01, 2021, 03:51 AM »
Looks nice and relatively simple. :Thmbsup:

Reminds me of this more graphically enhanced dice rolling software called Sophie's Dice:

Available on, Steam, and Google Play.

Living Room / Re: Show us a picture of your.. CAR!!!
« on: January 01, 2021, 02:35 AM »
Necro-thread arise! Again!

I just remembered the Elio again. Checking out their website, it looks like the last update was just over a year ago, in December 2019.

After the past several years of "it will be released next year" it seems pretty likely that they'll never be more than vaporware. :(

It's a shame because I really liked the concept and wanted to get one. I hope people who prepaid are being compensated or reimbursed somehow.

Living Room / Re: Gadget WEEKENDS
« on: December 31, 2020, 01:22 PM »
I'm officially confused.  The original video was about setting up a display that's not a display for the raspberry pi, which was really interested in, and thanks for the video.  The other things were a tangent I guess?  I think?  Maybe?  I dunno.

  • A tablet is not a display for the Raspberry Pi.
  • If you use an HDMI -> USB -> USB OTG converter, and your tablet supports USB webcams, you can wire up the tablet to be a display for the Raspberry Pi.
  • Or if you use remote desktop software like AnyDesk, you can accomplish the same thing wirelessly.

Living Room / Re: Gadget WEEKENDS
« on: December 31, 2020, 02:07 AM »
Actually, I think we've all kind of missed the point, me included  :-[

AnyDesk, NoMachine, VNC, etc are for controlling the computer remotely. Client controls host.

I thought the point was that even though something like AnyDesk is intended for remote usage, it can still be used for "screen sharing" and allow someone to remotely see what the local user is doing. Or in other words, you can still control the Pi using a keyboard and mouse connected to the Pi while seeing the results "remotely" (i.e., wirelessly) on your tablet. And it also provides the benefit of granting you touch controls if you want to use the tablet as an input device as well.

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