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Merged Forums

Posted: 21 May 2020, 22:35
by forumadmin
The Current Affairs forum has been merged with the Discussion forum. No posts were lost in the transition, as far as I can tell. :mrgreen:

Re: Merged Forums

Posted: 22 May 2020, 15:45
by Kellemora
None were lost, but a whole slew of them came up as unread, hi hi.
When I saw how old they were, I just opened and closed them.
I figured if I responded to the, it would drive you bonkers, hi hi.

Re: Merged Forums

Posted: 22 May 2020, 16:06
by yogi
It's quirky to be sure. LOL

I actually deleted the Current Events forum, but before the software deleted the forum it wanted to know what to do with the posts inside it. Soooo, I said move them to Discussions. As far as the Discussions forum is concerned, those were new posts. As far as our entire site is concerned, they are old. I'm not sure what the reasoning behind that would be, but then I don't use this board to it's fullest capacity. It's probably a feature somebody with a more active board would need. And you are right; the trend is toward minimalism. You certainly are most welcome to reopen any thread on this site, but if you reopened a half dozen that were hibernating, I'd have to wonder if the virus got to you. :lol:

Re: Merged Forums

Posted: 23 May 2020, 15:39
by Kellemora
I was on a website until it closed down, and we had a couple of members who would dig up some of the oldest discussions and add a comment to them.
If we complained about them doing that, he would say he was just following the rules of the website.
Which was to search for an existing topic rather than starting a new topic for something that may have been hashed out already.
Sometimes it was good they did this, but other times, it was just a major annoyance, hi hi.

Every once in a while, when I'm searching for something on one of the search engines, they will pop up with things dating back to the late 1900's. This can be funny when what I'm searching for didn't even exist until after 2011 let's say.
Also, the link to the site was usually dead, so they shouldn't have been showing it at all in the first place.

Re: Merged Forums

Posted: 23 May 2020, 16:54
by yogi
Well, Gary, my friend, I think the active life of this website will likely end when you no longer will be able to post here. I've not decided what to do with it after that, but the two previous sites of Brainformation are in archive. That means it's all locked down and read only. I did that to preserve a bit of history. Most of those folks in the oldest archive came from the very first bulletin board type sites that existed around twenty years ago. Know Post was the most popular and when it died a lot of those people came here. I think Know Post is still around in archive format - I should look it up one day - and our archives are intended to preserve the continuity. Not only are the people who were members then memorialized but also are the topics of interest back then. It's not possible to resurrect any of those old threads, but I do get mail from time to time telling me about updated links within them. When possible I go in and edit the links. This site, BFChat, is active and fluid. A lot of the chat has been pruned because, well, it was mostly drivel. Nothing has been pruned recently and again I will say that you can bring up anything you find here as often and as far back as you like.

I know you prefer to use off beat search engines and strange browsers; yes Chrome is strange. LOL Google has a lot of things cached that would indeed go back to the '90s, but for the most part they make an effort to give relevant results. The problem I have is in what they consider relevant. As you know they are focused on mobile devices now. If the website format isn't what they want then it's not considered relevant in spite of how useful the content might be. There are alternatives to Google. The best results are often had using the TOR browser which is totally anonymous.

Re: Merged Forums

Posted: 24 May 2020, 16:23
by Kellemora
A website I visited every day since the 1990's, although it closed for a month a couple of times since then, it was taken over by a member who has kept it going now for over 15 more years. His health was bad and he is up in years too. For some reason he did not renew with the Host so we get the message the site is down have owner contact us. Ironically, we are still getting the e-mail info from the site like when we don't log in for a while we will get a message for that, even though the site is not up. Many of the members now have a Farcebook Page so we see each other there.

It does seem silly to keep a website like this one up and running especially since it costs you more than a simple website like mine. Plus having to keep it maintained as well.
Do you have a Page on Farcebook? I know you put messages up every now and then.
If not maybe you could create a page over there.
I always hate to see an old website close, but I understand if it eventually has to.

I have none of the backups from my BBS or early Website days.
I did back them up, but did so on their site to a backup folder.
I did download the backups a couple of times, and also moved them from Inlink over to Galilei.
Trouble is Inlink closed down, and my data on Galilei I couldn't download because he had moved me over the new faster Slacc Servers. When I did try to get my saved data off the Galilei server, he had already merged it with the Galileo server and I did not have access to those servers. I sent a couple messages to him and he kept promising to move both of my backup folders over to the Slacc Server for me download them to my computer. But he never did and then upped and died on us and the site was permanently down after that. It's really a shame too, because SLACC was the oldest computer club in St. Louis. Started up long before BBS's became popular, and was mostly Ham Operators too, who belonged to Gateway and Suburban Radio Clubs.

We've seen a lot of changes over the years Yogi, but old geezers like me don't like change much.
I doubt if I will ever understand Quantum Computing or AI much, hi hi.
Although, I avoid Schmartz-Fonz, I do have a couple of Echo devices so talk to Alexa several times a day.
Bought a few plug modules so I can tell Alexa to turn things on and off for us, hi hi.
Although we have the one with the screen and camera, we have the camera turned OFF.

I'm pretty sure you have my e-mail address should you want to change to that venue!

Hang in there Yogi!

Re: Merged Forums

Posted: 24 May 2020, 19:47
by yogi
It might seem crazy to keep this site going, but it costs less than $10 a month for hosting. That's trivial compared to some other hobbies I could be involved with. I like tinkering around with the site's settings and fighting the bots is a treat in some ways. LOL It gives me something to do and keeps the brain sharp trying to analyze problems. It's worth maintaining as far as I'm concerned, but I can see the interest subsiding if there were no visitors at all.

In case you didn't realize it, the archives of which I speak are websites. They are retired versions of this very forum.

When most of the folks from the original Brainformation Forums website migrated over to Facebook, I created a Fans Of Brainformation page over there. You've seen it and posted to it. That could be the logical successor to this place. There is only one problem I have with that notion: it's Facebook.

I have Alexa in a box in my closet. It was one of the first versions to be sold. My wife thought it would be cute to have such a thing but didn't understand the implications. We got a module and a smart light bulb to go with the transceiver and I had it working beautifully for a day or two. Then I explained to my wife how I don't need one more Big Brother listening in to everything we say in this house and keeping records for god know what purpose. If I were to resurrect Alexa from her closet home, she would demand I unplug something from my router so that she can be on all the time. That's another reason I don't need it.

Anyway, there are multiple services which offer video calling and chat. G-mail just installed such service into my e-mail account with them. I have a camera for this computer but keep it unplugged. The microphone is around here someplace should I want to use it. I have been using Google Hangouts to chat with friends. That too has video if needed. I prefer Hangouts only because it's convenient. My clever phone lets me know somebody left a message, and I can do all the chatting via my laptop while using this desktop for other purposes. So, yeah, it's an option.

Re: Merged Forums

Posted: 25 May 2020, 15:21
by Kellemora
Echo is a novelty, but for us it has solved a couple of minor problems we've had for years.
An add-on room on the house has no light switches in it. I was planning on rewiring the room and adding switches.
But it was designed like a living room with no ceiling lights. So you have to turn on and off the table or pole lamps.
The location of them makes it hard to get to them, so I would leave the table lamp by the door to last.
With Echo I have a name for each lamp, and have them in a group. So we can leave the room with all the lights on, and when we get to the kitchen just say Alexa turn off living room.

We had a good laugh after they were set up, I named one Pole Lamp, one Halogen Lamp, and on Table Lamp.
Debi will often only turn on the Pole Lamp, so Alexa knows her voice and what lamp she wants on or off.
One evening, I said to Alexa, turn off living room, and she did.
Then I said Alexa, turn on wife.
I expected the usual beep when she doesn't know something.
But instead, she would turn on the pole lamp.
That only worked about a dozen times before Alexa realized I meant something else, hi hi.
She now recognizes both of our voices so adds our name if she comments to us.

I named one of the plugs not used in the living room as Miscellaneous.
Debi plugged it up by the back door too a little decorative LED light system of branches.

I'm SURE BIG BROTHER is Listening to us. So we turn the Echo off when we are talking about who to murder next, hi hi.
It's also off the entire time I'm working on a product order as well.

Re: Merged Forums

Posted: 25 May 2020, 17:41
by yogi
Your little Echo certainly is just a bit more than a toy. It appears to be a gadget looking for a purpose to exist. Way back when, Mr B Gates lived in a house that was state of the art. Apparently it wasn't all that impressive because he sold it off after he got tired of it. These little eavesdropping control devices are left overs from the days when it was though people would go for such things in a big way. There certainly are enough of those gadgets to tinker with, but the expected wave of digitized homes never surfaced.

I think if I had to name the lamps in my house I'd go with something a little different, such as E-bay for the lamp by the window, or Siri or Cortana, or Google. LOL I wonder if those devices get ticked off if you call them by their competitor's name. LOL

Re: Merged Forums

Posted: 26 May 2020, 15:51
by Kellemora
Actually, yes they do get ticked off if you call them Siri instead of Alexa, hi hi.
With all the Alexa commercials on TV, I should change the name of ours.

I've done some security checking into both the Echo Dot and the Echo Show that we have.
Although we think they are listening in on us, turns out they are not.
If you disconnect the WiFi or turn it off, when you say Alexa, she will respond by saying, I cannot complete your request, I am not connected to the Internet.
So we know she is listening when not connected.
It is possible for someone to HACK into an Echo device and listen in on you. I've read that many times.
But unless you give it an instruction to carry out, nothing is going over the WiFi.
It is however, sending Time and Temperature updates, as well as displayed notices on the Echo Show.
Those who have and use Schmartz-Fonz they are always active and can be eavesdropped on with ease, from what I've read on-line. And you know, if you saw it on-line it has to be true, hi hi. ;-)

What we won't get is any device that uses our WiFi to store or send things into the cloud. Like that RING Doorbell or Surveillance cameras. Basically anything that says we can look at it from our cell phones or from a computer link to the cloud.
My neighbor got two outdoor security lights with cameras, one of them is infrared.
Like idiots, they gave the password to them to Debi.
Also, one of her aunts bought the RING doorbell and we all can see what is in front of her house.
I've not connected to it with my computers, but Debi has with her Schmartz-Fone. I told her not to with her computer since she is on the LAN my computers are on now.

Re: Merged Forums

Posted: 26 May 2020, 19:53
by yogi
The security concerns you describe have been well documented under the heading of Internet Of Things; IoT. For the most part all those IoT devices have no security or can easily be compromised. So what if somebody can see your front porch via your Ring Camera? It's not the camera itself that you need to worry about, but the LAN to which it is connected. You are right to be concerned about that.

You also must be aware of the warning about cell phones and how easy it is to hack into their cameras and microphones. The fact that the phone is turned off is not a deterrent. The battery must be removed and all residual charges dissipated before you can be sure nobody is watching or listening to you via your not-too-clever-cell-phone. Another device you don't think of as a security risk is your printer. This is particularly vulnerable if it has a web server built in; most of the newer ones do. The printer can be turned off but still be accessed.

Even if you are aware of all the hazards you have going, there is little if anything you can do about it. The security must be built in by design and it's just too costly for those IoT providers to put any money into it. Buyer Beware.

Re: Merged Forums

Posted: 27 May 2020, 15:19
by Kellemora
I hear ya Yogi, that is one reason my printer is run by USB connection.
I do have it on the LAN, but the box I go through allows me to turn off access via LAN, which is one of the reasons I bought that particular LAN switch.
The only thing bad about it is I have to have all the ports turned on after a power outage if the IP addresses change after a cold boot. And as you know, Windows want's to control ALL the IP addresses on the LAN, hi hi.
Every time we have a power outage, and I get all the computers up and running, when Debi gets home and starts her Windows computer up, she keeps getting warnings about IP Address Conflicts, hi hi.
I told her just to X out of those and let Windows take second fiddle and it will reread the DNS server and straighten itself out. Sometimes just unplugging the LAN cable and plugging it back in again will stop all those pesky warnings, hi hi.
I refuse to let her Windows computer play GOD on my LAN system, hi hi.

But you are right about all the LoT things folks are connecting to their system. Hackers LOVE these devices!

Re: Merged Forums

Posted: 28 May 2020, 16:57
by yogi
Seems like I replied to this yesterday, but I don't see what I thought I published. Of course now I don't recall half of it, but there is one point I did make. Windows certainly can be set up as your DHCP server, and perhaps that is what you have going there. I doubt it given your preferences for Linux. My DHCP server is in the router which I consider neutral ground. Any device on the LAN can query it that way without conflicts. If there are IP address conflicts, it's because the server allowed it to happen. I also have reserved IP addresses programmed into the router for the printers and NAS exactly for the reasons you cite. When the power goes out the reserved IP's are preserved after it has been restored.

Re: Merged Forums

Posted: 29 May 2020, 15:06
by Kellemora
Yes, my new Router does handle the DHCP assignments.
All of my computers normally get back the same IP address after a power outage, as long as I restarted all the computers in a certain order.
But then I changed all of them to autostart after a power outage.
I don't know why her Windows computer always complains about an address being in use and don't just get a new one until she closes the box, then it will connect up properly.
At one time I did use static IP addresses, but now with everything I have on the LAN, it can get daunting.

Actually, now that I think about it, she didn't get IP conflicts until I added the new Access Point. It is a router too, but is not set to be the name server.
Nor did I have problems with the old server that had a WiFi server plugged into it.
Of course, that's going back to the Windows XP days too, when everything worked as it should, hi hi.