March 2020

By aaron.axvig, 31 March, 2020

I was recently helping someone with a transition from Dropbox to SharePoint/Teams/OneDrive for Business.  They were running into issues with filenames.  As an all-Mac business there were many files they had created with colons in the file or folder name.  Windows doesn't allow those characters and SharePoint does not appreciate them either.

Some Googling suggested that downloading a ZIP of the Dropbox folder might solve the problem.  I found that when I extracted the ZIP the offending files were just missing.

I ended up creating a droplet on Digital Ocean and syncing the Dropbox folder to it.  Even though it was 20GB and 14,000 files, the sync only took three or four minutes!

Then I set about carefully renaming things.  Thanks to StackOverflow I mainly worked with variations of this command: find . -type f -name "*:*" -exec rename -n 's/:/-/g' {} + It renames all files that contain a colon by replacing that with a dash.  If you have directories that contain a colon then it will fail to rename those.  Run again with -type d to rename those.  Remove the -n to actually make the changes; with -n it just tells you what it would do.  Append | wc -l on the end if you want to count how many issues you have.

Towards the end I was just using find . -name "*:*" to do final checks.  And I checked all the invalid characters.  Some of them require \ as an escape character; for example find . -name "*\?*"

Then you may find out other odd things.  For example, file and folder names cannot start with a space.  find . -type f -name " *" -exec rename -n 's/\/ /\//' {} + can help with that.

For the actual sync I setup Dropbox and OneDrive for Business on the same machine (enable long file names).  Then I used robocopy /MIR to copy files into the OneDrive folder.  After my first run of that, OneDrive started syncing as expected.  Then it got upset about some filenames, which is when I realized that there are additional characters not allowed in SharePoint that are OK in Windows.  It offered to fix those, replacing the characters with an underscore.  Then I found out about the spaces issue and fixed that back on the Linux droplet.  After Dropbox synced I ran robocopy /MIR again to put in those new fixes.  A significant problem with this method is that OneDrive for Business changes the filesize on some Microsoft filetypes so if you have a large amount of those types of files it might cause difficulties.  After the initial robocopy the magnitude of this issue can be quite reduced by using the /MAXAGE parameter to limit the files that it copies to the last few days.

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By aaron.axvig, 25 March, 2020

I first played Minecraft ten years ago, while I lived in my apartment in south Fargo.  I lived there from January 2010 until mid-2011 so I'm going with 10 years...close enough!

It was loads of fun back then as I played on a server with a group of people that I knew at Microsoft.  A few years after that I played for a couple months on a server that I ran, with my brother and a few of his friends joining in.  And a couple months ago I decided to give it another try, with the goal of hunting down some achievements (hence Bedrock edition on PC) and beating "the end".

Achievement collecting has gone pretty well and has made me explore some game mechanics that I never would have otherwise--textbook good use of achievements.  I haven't gotten to the end yet but I think I will get it done sometime.  I recently saw a guy speedrun a random seed in 30 minutes or so which blew my mind.

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By aaron.axvig, 25 March, 2020

I tried to play this for about an hour but I just couldn't figure it out (on mobile).  It is like a joke to control this kind of game with a touchscreen, and that was a sufficient obstacle to figuring out how to build a house that I just gave up.

Maybe five years ago I played Terraria some on PC, maybe 10 hours?  From memory I would rate it OK.  Not sure why I expected it to be better on mobile.  I guess I should try with a controller of some sort.

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By aaron.axvig, 25 March, 2020

I have played this a lot!  The Star Challenges are what appeal to me the most--I have 1026 stars currently.  For some of the themes I have trouble distinguishing between whatever two colors they choose to swap for red and black; usually I can fix that by playing with the Android color-blindness compensation settings.  I think I have all the achievements too, except for the Daily Challenge ones.

The expert level Spider and Freecell games can be real stumpers.  Also harder Klondike can be difficult to strategize.  More then once I have asked Anna to figure out a Klondike deal for me and she beats it on the first try.

It is fun to play on PC occasionally too, very nice that all my progress syncs.

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By aaron.axvig, 25 March, 2020

While I have long been familiar with Sudoku puzzles, this is my first experience doing them at a rate of more than one per several years.  I cannot imagine a more helpful UI that wouldn't feel like plain cheating.  Which is to say that the UI is very helpful but I am still convinced that I am really good at solving.  Doing puzzles on paper would surely be a slow and frustrating experience for me.

The achievements are well done, pretty standard for a Microsoft Casual Gaming game.  I am working on doing all of the challenges for this month, but doubt that I will do them for 12 months to get all the achievements.

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By aaron.axvig, 25 March, 2020

Anna plays the new puzzles as they come out and I play from the archives.  I have completed May and April 2019 and almost completed March 2019.

For Monday and Tuesday I can usually finish the puzzle after revealing 1 to 5 squares that stump me.  For all the other weekdays I play with autocheck on, which helps a lot because I can guess.  Then I still usually have to reveal ~5 squares, and often more on harder Friday puzzles.  I often play in the evening when I have had a few drinks or in bed while falling asleep so not when my mind is the sharpest.

There is one annoying bug: with autocheck on, if you put in the first character of a rebus square there is no way to change it.  Say the correct rebus is SALT and I type an S in the square.  Now there is no way to change that square to SALT, because it counts the S as a correct answer.

Overall I have gotten a lot of enjoyment from this app.  It is pricey though!

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By aaron.axvig, 20 March, 2020

For entertainment tonight we played trivia via the VHF radio. There were about 15 teams playing.

The host read four questions for each round on the radio and we submitted our responses for each of the five rounds in a Google Docs form. At 5 points per question and a bonus point for signing up early we were in the middle of the pack with 31 points going into the final question. We wagered two points!

The final question asked who performed the song that was played at the beginning of the cruisers net this morning.  The cruisers net is also a VHF affair which consists of announcements, comings and goings, buy/sell/trade, and requests for help.  The host typically plays snippet of a song at the beginning of the program.  Of course no one knew that it would be a question in trivia that night, and based on the scores we heard I don't think anyone got it right.  It was '39 by Queen.  Pretty interesting that Queen wrote a folk song like that.  Betting only two points paid off and we tied with one group for third place!

In other business, everything except essential services was shut down yesterday in the Bahamas. It turns out most things that we care about ARE essential services...groceries, gas, water, laundry, and shipping parts (our steering needs some maintenance). And restaurants are doing take-out if we really want some fried food. No big social events is one of the few significant changes for us. And our friend Daniel is not coming to visit for a week as planned (it is interesting that he technically could, but it would be unwise).

We still plan to be in Georgetown until well into April, but that could easily change. Ideally tourism would be encouraged again by then and we would see a few more places on the way back to the US sometime in May. If we want to go back to the US anytime, we are able to, and stopping at Bahamas islands along the way for essential services is OK too.

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By aaron.axvig, 18 March, 2020

Fairly interesting book about the Rothschilds family.  I'm writing this up maybe six months after I stopped reading it, and I made it about 2/3 of the way through.  I guess now I know that there was a father and five sons, they were into banking, had a lot of nice houses/castles, etc.  To many names to remember though!

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By aaron.axvig, 9 March, 2020

In this post I will document the Seawater Pro watermaker that we installed one year ago.  It currently makes 15 gallons per hour here in the Bahamas at about 850 PSI membrane pressure while consuming about 850 watts.

I ordered and installed the system in March 2019, probably total installed cost was about $3,100 and a solid week+ of learning, working and running to hardware stores.

  • $2,575 to Seawater Pro.  It looks like this $2395 item currently in their store is basically what I got.  I would really recommend getting the "remote control" version which is basically a pretty panel to put the controls and gauges in, but it is $400 more and you have to draw the line somewhere.
    • Base system price was $1,595
    • $699 for the DC motor and brass pump upgrade
    • $39 for the SW30-2540 membrane (an upgrade? I see they retail for more like $200 online?)
    • $80 shipping and some tax were the remainder
  • Additional costs rough estimates (one year ago by memory!)
    • $250 for plumbing odds and ends not included "in the box"
      • Boost pump is far from high pressure pump
      • Had to split air conditioner sea water intake (do not run AC and watermaker at the same time)
      • New dump overboard through the hull for salt water output
      • New input into top of water tank
      • Valves to direct product water overboard or into water tank
      • Misc. to get house water to the system for flushing
    • $250 for wiring
      • About 30 feet of 2AWG marine wire
      • Circuit breakers
      • Compression lugs, heat shrink, looming, etc.

What the operating process looks like, plus notes about a few steps that we skip:

  1. Ensure needle valve is open (unrestricted).
  2. Ensure product water valves are set to flow overboard and put that dump hose out the v-berth hatch. (usually skip this and just dump straight into water tank...20 seconds of 2,000 TDS water is quickly diluted by the following hour or two of usually 100 TDS water)
  3. Turn on salt water boost pump.
  4. Verify that the pressure gauge before the salt water high pressure pump shows higher than 0 PSI (usually skip this, depends on cleanliness of sea water in the area).
  5. Turn on salt water high pressure pump.
  6. Tighten needle valve over about 20 seconds to bring pressure to 750-850 PSI, observing GPH meter rise to 15 GPH (or more, or less).
  7. Turn on the TDS monitor and observe it drop from around 2,000 to under 200.
  8. Open product water valve to water tank, and then close the one that dumps overboard. (usually skip this)
  9. Put away overboard dump hose. (usually we don't dump any water so skip this)
  10. Run for a long time, typically one to two hours.  Monitor both low pressure and high pressure gauges every 20-30 minutes, and also listen to the sounds of the system for interesting changes.
  11. Loosen the needle valve slowly over 20 seconds to bring high pressure to 0 PSI.
  12. Turn off high pressure pump.
  13. Turn off boost pump.
  14. Flush system with fresh water. This ideally would mean doing something with the garden sprinkler timer but I haven't gotten that to work so I flip open a valve under the settee. (usually we skip this)

So basically we are doing two "naughty" things.  We don't dump the initial product water overboard, but the math on dilution is quite convincing to me that it doesn't really matter, the water tastes fine, and we are generally healthy.  And we don't flush with fresh water after running, but the system performance does not seem significantly degraded.  Perhaps we will need to replace the $200(?) membrane earlier than the 5-10 years that people normally get out of them.

Our system has a 12V high pressure motor.  At operating pressure this alone seems to draw about 800 watts (65A at 12V), with the boost pump drawing the other 50 watts.  For our 4x 100Ah 12V lithium iron phosphate (BattleBorn) battery bank this is no problem.  It may not work so well on smallish lead-acid battery banks, in which case using a generator and 120V AC pump would be wiser.  If we run the generator our battery charger can put out about 90A so it can charge the battery a little in addition to keeping up with the watermaker draw.  But mostly we get enough solar from our 1100 watts of panels to keep up with the fairly liberal demands of the two of us.

Boat water systems diagram
The complete water system diagram on our boat.  The watermaker is half of it!
New input into water tank
The new fixture that I added on top of the water tank for product water to drop in.
Boost pump breaker
The breaker for the salt water boost pump.  Turn this on first!
Seawater plumbing under the floorboards
Under the floorboards with dog hair!  The seacock has the yellow handle on it, which flows to the strainer on the left.  Above that, a Y-valve goes to both the 120V AC pump for the air conditioner (top) and the 12V pump which boosts seawater to the watermaker's high pressure pump.  The "Watermaker Supply" breaker on the boat's breaker panel turns this 12V pump on.  Someday when I need to pickle the system I will have to modify this plumbing to provide a way to suck the pickling solution into the system.
Breaker under nav station
This breaker is under the nav station, like exactly where it could be bumped by a knee.  I think the labels explain enough for this picture!
Pump nameplate
Here is the nameplate on the high pressure pump motor.
Main watermaker parts overview
This is an overview of all the main watermaker parts on a shelf that I built in the v-berth closet.  If the photo was oriented correctly, from left to right: TDS and GPH gauges, coiled up hose for dumping product water out the v-berth hatch, high pressure pump, needle valve (silver handle), high pressure gauge peeking out under the shelf, fresh water flush timer and one-way valves, and sea water filtration.  The glowing thing in the back is daylight coming in through the through hull.
Seawater filtration
Seawater filtration!  Seawater leaves the boost pump and travels under the couch around the table, under the v-berth sink, through the space where the water tank is, and finally comes in through the left one-way valve.  Fresh water for flushing leaves the house pressure pump (I installed the carbon filter that came with the system so that it filters all house water...to remove any chlorine which would damage the membrane) and travels under the v-berth sink, through the space where the water tank is, and finally comes in through the timer and right one-way valve.  Then ideally a 20 micron filter and 5 micron filter.  I believe Seawater Pro says that the actual sizes don't matter much.  I just run 20 micron filters in both.  In dirty water they plug up pretty fast (3-5 hours?) so I have been known to just run one out of frustration...lasts longer then.  Not optimal for system life I guess.  In the Bahamas we have run with both for maybe 30 hours now and they are still quite clean.  I guess I didn't need the 20 filters that I stashed under the bed!  When the pressure on this gauge drops to zero it means the boost pump isn't able to pump enough water through the filters because they are dirty, so soon your high pressure pump will start making upset noises as it draws in air or a vacuum.  Not good for that, should be avoided.
High pressure pump close-up
A closeup of the high pressure components.  The high pressure pump has to be oriented with the yellow fill cap/dipstick facing up.  The pump can be rotated to any 90-degree position on the motor so if you need to bolt the motor to the wall that is fine.  Mine is bolted to the shelf, which is built out of PVC boards from Lowe's/Home Depot.  The big high pressure line coming out of the pump runs to the far end of the membrane housing which is under the v-berth bed.  And then you can see the "near" end of the membrane enclosure in this photo.  It has two connections.  The first is high pressure to the gauge you see here, this is what we run at 750-850 PSI.  Then the needle valve which lets some water past but still holds the pressure high.  Then that pipe (which mysteriously became dirty after a few hours of running) goes overboard through the hull in the back of the cabinet.  My positioning of these things is not ideal and I can't quite tighten one of the connections enough and still have them fit it the "custom" hole I made in the shelf, so I get a very flow drip in this part of the high pressure system.  The second connection is the product water output.
Plumbing for directing product water
This is the plumbing for handling the product water.  First it hits the sensor for the TDS monitor and then goes to the GPH meter.  From there I can choose to direct the water to a hose that I can put overboard out the v-berth hatch, or send it to the water tank.  A Y-valve would be ideal for this but I couldn't find the appropriate one in-stock at the time.

That's it!

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By aaron.axvig, 7 March, 2020

Overall good.  I read reviews for the sequel and some of them said that reading this is a necessary slog and the sequel is the big payoff.  One of the best sci-fi books of all time I guess.  I do plan to read it.

This itself is still a good book though.  I found it hard to keep track of the characters, I think because they all have Chinese names.  Maybe I don't have anything to visualize for names that I am unfamiliar with, or maybe my brain just isn't wired to track those "words" as characters.  Otherwise the Chinese setting and cultural influences are interesting.

I actually should reread the book as I read a lot of it while falling asleep.  Might help rewire my brain for the names too!

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