American Thanksgiving Pre-Meeting Speech….

You know it’s going to happen. No one is going to agree with the politics in the US and there will be arguments. I plan on delivering this speech before the “festivities” start to avert getting involved in it….

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Shrinking VirtualBox VMs Under Windows

Engineers are Tinkerers

If you don’t, you need to listen to StarTalk Radio which is normally hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson. On an episode around 07/29/2016, Bill Nye was speaking on engineers:

“What you want in engineering is a tinkerer, one who tinks…for example, Mike Mann the guy who developed the first version of the hockey stick graph, he as a kid was a tinkerer he was constantly messing around with computer programs…”

I guess as a Maker I’m part Engineer. I’m a tinkerer. A Making Engineering Tinkerer. MET.

Multimedia Library Server

I’ve always used iTunes to manage my sharing and remote playing of my media library within my home.

As you no doubt know, iTunes sucks at sharing/streaming media. I used iTunes because it was the path of least resistance despite all the verbal abuse I’ve hurled at it…it’s bloated, slow, crashes etc…but that’s a whole different article…. 😉

Enter Plex. My Padawan at work turned me on to the Plex Media Server and my media consumption has been upgraded beyond my wildest imagination.

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Some Cellular Device Terminology

Cellular devices have many numbers associated with them, especially with respect to the SIM cards. Here’s a short list to keep them straight:

IMEI stands for International Mobile Station Equipment Identity and is used to identify 3GPP (also known as GSM (AT&T, TMobile, UMTS and LTE devices/networks) and iDEN mobile phones, as well as some satellite phones. It is usually found printed inside the battery compartment of the phone and often on the box the phone came in (think iPhone), but can also be displayed on-screen on most phones by entering *#06# on the dial pad, or alongside other system information in the settings menu on smartphone operating systems.

The IMEI is part of the phone, not the SIM card so swapping SIM cards won’t change the IMEI. (Kind of like a serial number)

ICCID stands for Integrated Circuit Card ID. This is the identifier of the actual SIM card itself – i.e. an identifier for the SIM chip. It is possible to change the information contained on a SIM (including the IMSI), but the identify of the SIM itself remains the same.

This allows you to swap SIM cards between phones and makes GSM style phones more convenient to use when you break your phone and want to swap it with a spare.

SIM stands for subscriber identification module and is basically the serial number of the card that you put in your GSM phone.

SIM cards come in many sizes, currently they are:

SIM card Introduced Standard reference Length (mm) Width (mm) Thickness (mm) Volume (mm3)
Full-size (1FF) 1991 ISO/IEC 7810:2003, ID-1 85.60 53.98 0.76 3511.72
Mini-SIM (2FF) 1996 ISO/IEC 7810:2003, ID-000 25.00 15.00 0.76 285.00
Micro-SIM (3FF) 2003 ETSI TS 102 221 V9.0.0, Mini-UICC 15.00 12.00 0.76 136.80
Nano-SIM (4FF) early 2012 ETSI TS 102 221 V11.0.0 12.30 8.80 0.67 72.52
Embedded-SIM JEDEC Design Guide 4.8, SON-8 6.00 5.00 <1.0

UICC is the physical card most users refer to as a SIM. It stands for Universal Integrated Circuit Card. The SIM is a circuit component of this card.

Hope that helps. It’s shocking how the carrier customer service reps have no idea what any of this is an always ask you to read the longest number possible when they know full well the don’t need it….

Another Letter To the “Can’t Do Our Jobs” Department aka USPS


I have to send another letter to the USPS. Why can’t they just do what they are supposed to do and do it correctly?

Attached to this post is a PDF sent to the Washington DC Office of Consumer Advocate and this time I’ve cc’d the Inspector General.

Any bets on a response from any of them?

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Strange Names for Groups of Animals

I was recently watching D-News, well, listening, and they mentioned that a group of crows are called a murder. I know many gatherings or groups of creatures have different odd names so I figured I list out the ones I know or could find for reference and trivia purposes. Here goes (some sourced from Wikipedia so if they’re wrong I’ll correct them- speak up!)

There are 249 at last count. Lets see how high we can get this.
List below the break.
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