A Dlink Camera iPhone/iPad workaround for error 0.70 …

On the whole I cannot recommend Dlink cameras, they are just too flaky.

After upgrading to Mac OSX Sierra there does not seem to be a way to view the live video when accessing the camera directly on the local network. The camera webpage guides you to a plugin that is obsolete, and the Dlink support website refers you to yet another plugin which also does not work. And Sierra has been out for months.

Another case in point is the in ability to use the latest iPhone or iPad app (v3.6.7) with cellular connection to view your cameras remotely with the latest camera firmware, latest DLink app, latest IOS.

There is a years-old thread on the issue with entries as recently as last month at


The issue I and other get when connecting to a remote camera via cellular connection it displays “could not connect to the device … Error 0.70_0_2_7_70”

It works if using a WiFi connection, but not cellular.

On a hunch, I tried using my cellular connection in combination with a VPN (Private Internet Access) and it worked fine on both my iPhone 6S and my iPad Air, thereby bypassing any Carrier-to-Dlink internet route,

Which seems pretty clear that Dlink is not playing nicely with traffic from cellular carriers.

Solving [DEPRECATION] last_comment is deprecated when upgrading to rails 4.2.6

We ran into the deprecation warning above when we upgraded to Rails 4.2.6.

The issue was an older version of rspec-rails 3.3.3 and upgrading to 3.4.2 removed the warning.

To resolve all dependencies we edited our Gemfile to:

gem 'rspec-rails' , '3.4.2'
gem "rspec-activemodel-mocks" #, "~> 1.0.1"
gem "rspec-mocks", "~> 3.4.0"

then ran:
bundle update rspec-rails rspec-mocks accept_values_for

Microsoft still not afraid to bait and switch IMO

Sometimes the young ‘uns wonder why old-timers like me despise Microsoft with such passion. The unlucky ones become Microsoft customers and find out for themselves. Like this missive, proving to me that after all these years Microsoft is still unafraid to bait and switch:

“We want to let you know about some upcoming changes to OneDrive. On July 27, 2016, the amount of storage that comes with OneDrive will change from 15 GB to 5 GB. We are also discontinuing the 15 GB camera roll bonus. … We want to apologize for any inconvenience they may cause you.”

An example of when ‘digital’ means ‘inferior’ and ‘wasteful’

I have to wonder how many millions of “partly used” batteries get needlessly tossed simply because of digital (LED) flashlights.

For the kids in the audience who don’t know about ‘bulbs’… as a battery starts to get low, an incandescent bulb simply gets dimmer. At some point, it’s too dim to be useful, so you replace the battery.

Digital, on the other hand is either “on” or “off”… there is no “dim” middle ground.

So, not hypothetically speaking, suppose you are riding your bike through a looooong 1.66 mile pitch-black train tunnel on the gorgeous Hiawatha trail near the Montana/Idaho border, and about half-way your LED flashlight’s batteries hit the roughly 60% full mark. Do the LEDs get dim? No. They go out.

Naturally, you have a spare flashlight and you use that.

But when you’re done, you toss a still-half-full set of batteries you mistakenly assume are dead because your digital flashlight told you so.

All Of Your American Express Extended Warranties will Evaporate when Costco Switches to Visa

If you are a Costco member with a Costco Amex card, and have made purchases assuming you will get Amex’s extended warranty protection, you will lose any such protection when Costco switches to Visa (in 2016).

I called Amex to verify and they confirmed that the extended warranty protection requires being a card holder at the time of a claim (not just at the time of the purchase).

If that coverage is important to you, you might want to arrange to get another Amex card (and of course verify that doing so will provide continuity of benefits).

Ghost (Still) Sucks as a Blog.

In my 30-something years as an engineer and product manager, I have never seen a better example of putting style over substance than ghost, the so-called blogging engine.

Yes, it looks clean and pretty. Yes it’s quick to write a post.

If your goal is to write, it’s all good.

But if you goal is to be read, you’re hosed, because Ghost has no way for readers to find relevant info on your blog such as “all post regarding heroku”.

No search. Still. And the Github thread discussing adding it is a joke. Let me summarize: “we can’t add ANY search until we find a way to incorporate a fancy query language, have a single-source solution that works for the (3 or 4) databases we support, that works well on Gigabytes of data.”

No Tag List. First, here’s what they say about their tag feature:

Ghost tags are intended to be a super-feature – a powerhouse of customisability for your blog. Tags are a single flexible and powerful concept of a taxonomy which should provide all the features a blog could need to categorise and list posts in interesting ways. (https://github.com/TryGhost/Ghost/wiki/Tags-101)

So, tags are important, useful, so you can tag a post. And if you happen to know a tag you can see all the posts with that tag via exampleblog.com/tag/heroku but… and yes, I know this seems far too stupid to believe… they did not add a url to list the tags.

In summary, the Ghost team seems to be so busy drinking the “easy to write” Kool-aid that they seem to have completely ignored the reader your blog readers cannot search for a post… not by a simple keyword like “heroku” nor from a list of available tags.

Product mis-management like that used to be a shooting offense in silicon valley.

(My blog is now using WordPress.)

Highly recommended: site-by-site cookie cleanup for Macs using Cookie

Russell, at SweetP Productions http://sweetpproductions.com, is the developer of Cookie, an outstanding $14.95 Mac app that lets you control and minimize the amount of hidden tracking that websites do.

The simplest setup is to tell the app to delete the cookies, flash cookies, silverlight cookies, and local databases for all non-favorite websites when you quit your browser.

For websites where you DO want to keep your cookie data (so you do not have to re-enter your username and password each time), perhaps Facebook and your blog, you simply check the “favorite” checkbox next to the website name.

There is also a handy pulldown menu added to your menubar to immediately wipe all non-favorite data.

There is a 14 day trial period so you can decide if it is your cup of tea or not, but having used it

To Speed up the First Time Machine Backup, Don’t Stop and Resume!

When doing the first Time machine backup to a network drive we saw average speeds in the 2-3Mbps range.

However, when we shutdown the Mac then resumed the backups, the speeds dropped dramatically (to 30-80 Kbps)… enough so that the estimated time to completion skyrocketed from 15 hours to 16 days.

Presumably, Apple does certain first-time back optimizations for speed, since the first backup is invariably large.

So the lesson is: do not stop the first backup. If you must, it is probably faster to just delete the partial backup and restart from scratch.

Recover User Data When Mac’s Filevault2 Won’t Boot

One of our Macbook Pros running Lion mysteriously stopped booting after a perfectly ordinary shutdown.

All of the advice online failed to help (such as trying Diskwarrior – which could not unlock the drive, running Disk Utility via the Recovery Partition, and even various adventures with Terminal, all of which indicated the System on the boot partition was corrupted).

The gist of advice online is that
(a) whatever is not backed up is lost,
(b) a full erase/system install will be required.

Turns out that (a) was not true at all… if (“when”) filevault corrupts your system, you can access/backup the user files via a different computer.

Removing the drive and plugging it into an external dock connected to another Macbook allowed full access to all User files. So we were able to copy all the files, erase the disk, then restore from an older backup, then replace the user files.