Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Save the bees and feed your lawn too!

I just wanted to put my support behind white clover in lawns. Not only do the flowers provide much needed nectar for bees but the nitrogen fixing bacteria in the roots helps feed your lawn for free. With the massive loss of bees as of late they need all the help they can get. Save a little money on fertilizer/herbicides and get a greener lawn in the process.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Porting from Tracfone to Page Plus Cellular

I just successfully ported a Tracfone on Verizon's network to a new (to me) phone on Page Plus Cellular.

I used the porting page on Page Plus's website, for free I might add.

For the account number I used my Tracfone's MEID (easy copy/paste from Tracfone's website since I had it registered there) and the last four digits of my phone number for the passcode.

I also entered "Tracfone" for the current carrier and in the comments section entered "from Tracfone on Verizon network" since many Tracfones are on AT&T's network and the porting process is different internally. I figured I would cover a possible problem before it arose.

After waiting around three hours, I tried calling the number and got an error message. I then dialed *22890 on my new phone to activate it. I then made an outgoing call on my new phone to finish the activation process with Page Plus as per the porting instructions.

All in all a more or less seamless process. I would have liked an email telling me the process was complete but I can't complain.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Compiling btrfs-progs on Ubuntu

I needed to compile the newest version of btrfs-progs to fix a broken btrfs filesystem.

First a little background information. I'm running Ubuntu 11.10 on an older i386. I noticed one day that I couldn't ssh into my system so I went to check on it. The caps-lock and scroll-lock keyboard lights were flashing so no Alt-SysRq-REISUB. I was forced to push the reset button.
Mount failed after the reboot with lots of parent transid verify failed messages. Lucky for me (or not) it was my home partition so I could still get some system access.

First I installed the latest mainline Ubuntu kernel available here:
To actually get btrfs-tools to compile this is what was required.

If you don't already have git installed:
apt-get install git-core

make a directory for the source and cd into it:
mkdir ~/src
cd ~/src

get the source:
git clone git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/mason/btrfs-progs.git

install some compile dependencies (You may need more. Watch for errors during make.):
apt-get install zlib1g-dev libattr1-dev uuid-dev

maybe run this:
apt-get build-dep btrfs-tools

cd into the btrfs-progs source:
cd btrfs-progs

compile with make:
make && make btrs-select-super && make btrfs-zero-log

sources (sorry if I missed some):

Friday, May 06, 2011

Maytag Atlantis IntelliDry not working

Solution: Check for proper ground.

I recently acquired a used Maytag Atlantis dryer Model Number MDE7600AYW.
The IntelliDry Moisture Monitor "More" light was not blinking and the clothes were not getting dry.
It turned out that the dryer was not grounded. I had a four prong outlet fed by a 3 wire cable and the ground in the outlet was not hooked up. The simple fix was to connect the ground to the neutral inside the dryer. The better and code approved fix is to run a new 4 wire cable from the breaker panel to the dryer.

See here for another user with the same problem.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

This blog has moved

This blog is now located at http://kylegates.blogspot.com/.
You will be automatically redirected in 30 seconds, or you may click here.

For feed subscribers, please update your feed subscriptions to

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Access Modem Configuration From Behind Router

I have a Linksys WRT54GSv4 Router running DD-WRT connected to a Paradyne 6211-I1 (now Zhone) ADSL modem. My connection is pure DHCP. The router gets a public IP just by turning it on.

I wanted to access the modem config pages to view the sync rates without having to plug my computer directly in to the modem. This way I had real numbers to base my QOS settings on.

The dd-wrt wiki Talk:Access To Modem Configuration helped me and is based on Access To Modem Configuration

In my case I changed the IP of my router to so the modem could still be accessed at even if reset to factory defaults.

Go to Administration -> Commands
In the Edit box enter:

ifconfig vlan1:0
/usr/sbin/iptables -I POSTROUTING -t nat -o vlan1 -d -j MASQUERADE

Click "Save Firewall"
Then "Reboot" from the Management page

IP summary for above commands.
Modem IP:
Router IP:
Go to these IPs for the configuration pages.

Sometimes I would have access to my neighbors' modems as arp requests were repeated by my ISP's DSLAM.
fixed the issue.
Note. Replace MODEM_MAC_ADDRESS_HERE with the MAC address of your modem

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Reducing Train Collision Fatalities

After the recent collision of a Metrolink train in California which cost the lives of 25 people I thought about some possible improvements.
The first that comes to mind is a sacrificial car that is simply a crumble zone. This car could be placed between the engine and the rest of the train. Upon tripping a collision sensor in the front of the train all cars behind the "crumple car" would immediately activate their brakes. The sensor could be borrowed from that found in automobiles which trigger airbags.
Another possible solution is active collision avoidance that relies on radar or sonar to detect upcoming obstructions. This system would be slower to activate but would first start to reduce power and then activate braking systems if obstructions remain. Sounding the horn and flashing warnings for the engineer would also be helpful. Systems like this have recently become available in luxury cars.
These ideas may help to prevent derailment during collisions. Once a train derails, much more damage is done. Just like in car crashes, rollovers are more dangerous.
Saving lives and preventing spills of toxic or hazardous substances is a big deal. Hopefully something will be done to prevent or limit the problem of train collisions and the damage that results