eBay Dispute Avoided

Last year, I wound up in an eBay dispute with a seller who was eventually banned (read it here). This time I was looking for some heavy duty leads for my voltmeter (really a Digital Multimeter or DMM). The problem is I was getting bad readings of amps on my voltage meter while measuring the current draw of a flashlight. After comparing the result to a friend’s DMM, I knew mine was off. His meter had thick leads and the wire said 18AWG on them. If I used his leads on my meter, I got more reasonable results. The leads on my other DMM (which doesn’t measure current) say 26AWG and look similar to the ones on the DMM that measures amps. 18 gauge wire is 1.024mm thick while 26 gauge wire is only 0.405mm thick. But the area of the 18 gauge wire is 6 times greater. Therefore the resistance in the skinnier wire is 6 times more than in the thicker wire and that is what was messing up the readings.

So I went looking for leads. After doing some searching I found two sources: eBay and DealExtreme (the place I buy a lot of flashlights). Both sets looked identical, with gray probes described as 10 Amp leads.


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4 Kinds of Green Beans

I think Carol told me that some dogs like green beans. Austin has been eating grass lately, so I figured maybe some green vegetables would do him good. I was at the grocery store and they had Green Giant green beans on sale.They had “kitchen sliced” (1/2 inch cut) green beans, french style (kind of shredded, those French really know how to get the most of their canned green beans!), and eventually I found the regular old cut green beans. They are all the same vegetable! They are just cut differently. Why are so many types of green beans necessary? Then they also had low sodium green beans, but I’m thinking Austin would appreciate the salt.

It turns out Austin isn’t crazy about green beans and Katie, of course, will have nothing to do with them. Austin still has a couple of favorite patches of crab grass that he will graze on during walks.

Bulletin Board Upgrade

It had been a while since I have tried to upgrade the MyBB software for my bulletin board. They just released a major upgrade, so it was important to get up-to-date (I think). Here’s what I needed to do:

First, shut the bulletin board down temporarily.

Second, backup all the files. There is a control panel that lets me download a backup file, but I can also do a backup to the server, which I think would work better. Best to do both. Also it is best to download copies of settings.php and config.php in the inc folder, just to be safe.

Download the software. I thought there was a way to do this through cPanel, but maybe not. Instead I just downloaded it to my hard drive and then uploaded to the forum folder. Fortunately, myBB is very, very small, only about a megabyte.

Using cPanel’s File Manager, extract the installation file into a temp folder. Then, using File Manager again (my FTP software wouldn’t do this because it won’t overwrite directories with files in them), copy all of the files in the temp/upload folder into the mybb folder, overwriting just about everything.

Now set some of the file permissions per the instructions

Now, in a web browser, go to the forum URL /install/upgrade.php and follow the instructions.

Clean up. Delete the install folder, the zip file, and the temp folder. Reset permissions on config and settings to 666.

I Made a Wiki

At work we use these really old programs written in the early 80’s to take input and create drawings that we use on our plans. This was seriously cutting edge technology back in the day, using Fortran programs to create electronic files. Over the years the company that makes the drafting software has made a lot of changes and we kept paying consultants to update our programs so they would still work. The guy who originally wrote the programs went on to other things, not least of which was becoming second in charge of our agency before leaving to become a consultant.

VBA Wiki Logo

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Six Flags Strikes Back

Last year when Jeb and I went to Six Flags we were able to ride most of the rides with fairly short lines until after lunch, but we still got in everything we wanted and maybe then some. This year Bob, Andrew, and David wanted to go. Figuring that it wouldn’t be as crowded during the week, they picked Wednesday. I bought tickets online with Bob’s credit card and printed them out and then met at one of my work’s branch offices out that way so I wouldn’t have to pay parking and they wouldn’t have to come pick me up. The plan was to meet at 10:00 and we met that within a few minutes, which means Bob did a great job of getting the boys moving first thing in the morning. We got to the park and in the front gate at about 10:20, which was fine since the park wouldn’t even open officially until 10:30. As we sweltered in the sun waiting to get entrance to the rest of the park, I said “Man, it’s going to be hot today.” I eventually said this so many times that Bob had to tell me “You’re not helping.” Everybody already had sunscreen on and I had drunk a big cup of water on the way out, so our first ride we took was to the bathroom (no line!).

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