Finding Our Way When The Power Goes Out.

I started looking into emergency lighting and higher quality flashlights that I can put an various places around the house.  You know for those times when the power goes out in the middle of the night and we need some quick illumination to keep the boogie man at bay for the kids and to protect the adults toes from being smashed trying to get to a flashlight on the other side of the room.


dorcy-41-1032-5I started by looking into Dorcy 41-1032 Failsafe Rechargeable LED Emergency light that I found at This light stays plugged into a convenient wall socket and can serve as a night light and a flashing beacon when the power goes out.  This looks like a great solution for kids rooms and perhaps hallways also.  The only drawback with this one is that it is not really very bright as a flashlight.  However as a first line of power-out illumination defense, it looks like a good solution.  If nothing else, it will serve to get us to the brighter lights that I plan to stash around the house.




G2X-ProFor brighter lighting I started off looking into the same flashlights that our armed forces seem to use a lot.  These are made by Surefire and while top of the line, they are VERY expensive.  For example my favorite light that stays at my nightstand is the G2X Pro Dual Output LED light This light comes in at a whopping $70.00 and uses special 123A lithium batteries.  These batteries have a 10 year shelf life and they are not cheap either at $22 for 12 batteries. The G2X puts out a very bright 320 Lumens full brightness and 15 Lumens an low brightness.



41-4278blackSo what else can I find that is close in quality and features with a much lower price point?  I did not have to look any further then to find a the Dorcy 41-4278 Black Weather Resistant LED Flashlight at less than half the price $29.50. This light is also made out of durable aluminium with dual light output and it runs off regular AA batteries!  The down side to this light is that it has a little less light output then the Surefire, however it is still more then adequate at 260 Lumens at full and 122 Lumens on the low setting.



I know that there are much cheaper solutions out there, however I am looking for quality here.  After all, my Wife and Kids, not to mention my toes are relying on me to keep them safe as I can and If I have to spend a little extra to have good quality tools and equipment to help with this task, I will happily do so.


Scan for new scsi or sata drive without rebooting

Getting linux to scan for a new drive without rebooting is as simple as:

echo "- - -" > /sys/class/scsi_host/host0/scan

Assuming of course that the drive is attached to host0,  otherwise choose the host that is appropriate for your situation…

After scanning you should be able to see the new drive by running:

fdisk -l

After which you can do your normal partitioning, formatting and mounting of the new drive.

RAVPower Luster 3000mAh Review

B00APFQ5VSThe good folks an RAVPower sent me one of their RAVPower Luster 3000mAh external batteries, and I have to say that their timing could not have been better. For me, the idea of an external battery is for emergencies. Like when you find yourself with out your normal charger, on a longer then expected road trip.

And this is exactly what happened to me.  I left for the weekend to visit my in-laws with my wife and two of our children, and had the RAVPower with me to test, so I purposely ignored my normal charging schedule to see how well this thing performed.  I had consistently experienced about 1 and a half full charges while on our trip, which was awesome for such a small package.

However this is where this amazing $19.99 beauty really shined.  On my my way back home Sunday night I was rear-ended by some idiot going at least 100mph (While I was going 65mph, which was like a 35mph rear ender).  The good news is that nobody was hurt, but all my electronics were in the trunk, which was completely destroyed, and of course my phone battery was low.  The built in flashlight on the battery was invaluable for making sure my family was fine, checking out the damage, and it kept my phone running long enough to call 911 and the tow truck. and when it was all over, the phone was even completely charged!

Personally I think everybody should get the RAVPower 3000mWh battery and much of my family will probably get one for birthdays and such.

Why buy a drone when this $30 Bluetooth chip can make your paper airplane fly? — Tech News and Analysis

I loved flying the Parrot AR Drone with my iPhone or iPad Air. I didn’t love the $299 price tag, although I’ll admit, it’s probably worth it since it’s so much fun. A remote flying machine doesn’t have to cost that much though, and clearly there’s demand for low-cost alternatives. The latest, PowerUp 3.0, is about to finish up its Kickstarter funding where it flew past its $50,000 goal with nearly $1.2 million raised.

via Why buy a drone when this $30 Bluetooth chip can make your paper airplane fly? — Tech News and Analysis.

Backblaze Blog » What Hard Drive Should I Buy?

I have long been a fan tracking failure rates, and when a company like Backblaze publishes their drive statistics my ears seriously perk up.  After all, 25,000 drives is a pretty decent pool to pull performance stats from, and they are sharing!

Because Backblaze has a history of openness, many readers expected more details in my previous posts. They asked what drive models work best and which last the longest. Given our experience with over 25,000 drives, they asked which ones are good enough that we would buy them again. In this post, I’ll answer those questions.

via Backblaze Blog » What Hard Drive Should I Buy?.

Backblaze Blog » How long do disk drives last?

How long do disk drives last? The short answer is: we don’t know yet, but it’s longer than you might guess.

Why does a company that keeps more than 25,000 disk drives spinning all the time not know how long they last? Backblaze has been providing reliable and unlimited online backup for over five years. For the past four years, we’ve had enough drives to provide good statistics, but 74% 78% of the drives we buy are living longer than four years. So while 26% 22% of drives fail in their first four years, and we have detailed information about the failure rates of drives in their first four years, we don’t yet know what will happen beyond that. So how long do drives last? Keep reading.

via Backblaze Blog » How long do disk drives last?.

This Soundwave Jewelry Lets You Speak Without Saying A Word can craft jewelry in the shape of the sound waves of a recording you send them. They offer a variety of different materials; plywood, black plywood, white, blue or “radiant” acrylic. Even silver.The plywood and acrylic are discs that are strung in the shape of the sound. Or, if you don’t like that idea, you can have it cast in silver as either earrings or a keychain.

via This Soundwave Jewelry Lets You Speak Without Saying A Word.

The Limefuel Blast L60X external battery pack is power in your pocket | TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

limefuelExternal battery packs are one of the most useful types of accessories you can own. They are endlessly convenient when you’re not near your phone or tablet charger and also great for emergency or power outage situations. The Limefuel Blast L60X is one of the more modest entries into this category, with a pocketable form factor and a sleek design, but it’s also one of the easiest to recommend.

via The Limefuel Blast L60X external battery pack is power in your pocket | TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog.

BMP10 Barametric Pressure/Temperature sensor

1603_LRG-600x461NEW PRODUCT – BMP180 Barometric Pressure/Temperature/Altitude Sensor- 5V ready – This precision sensor from Bosch is the best low-cost sensing solution for measuring barometric pressure and temperature. Because pressure changes with altitude you can also use it as an altimeter! The sensor is soldered onto a PCB with a 3.3V regulator, I2C level shifter and pull-up resistors on the I2C pins.