SD Card Holder

I’d been traveling with several microSD cards for both GoPro and Drone usage for the past year when I finally got around to buying this inexpensive plastic card to organize them.


Before buying it, I had read several reviews, and worried that cheap plastic might either make it brittle, or let the flash cards fall out of the enclosure. For $6.95 it was worth a try.

What I really found out was that I should have been using it for at least a year before I got it. The fact that I can carry 10 micro SD cards and they are all in order is a complete boon for organization.

20170922_185055016_iOSBefore using this, I’d often have two identical looking SD cards in my hands and forget which one was full and which one was empty. I’d also take a card out of my device and set it down, and nearly lose it.  Now I take a card out of my camera and immediately put it into this holder. I fill this holder from one end with empty cards and from the other with full cards and never have to remember which cards have something on them any more.

It’s essentially the same size as a credit card, but is quite a bit thicker. I wouldn’t carry it in my wallet, nor would I use the hole for a key ring, but having it in a pocket in my drone bag keeps all the memory cards in one place in a known order.


VLAN Tagging for CenturyLink

I’ve dealt with CenturyLink provided WiFi access points in two locations I’ve lived recently, and not been happy with their performance. My 5 year old Netgear WNDR3800 seemed to provide better speed with both 5GHz and 2.4GHz than the Actiontec C1900A provided by CenturyLink, which only supported 2.4GHz.

Unfortunately it was not as simple as learning the PPoE credentials that the Actiontec was using and putting those details into the Netgear. Centurylink in their infinite wisdom decided that the network packets need to be tagged to run on VLAN 201.

One solution would be to go out and buy a new WiFi router that supports VLAN Tagging. The newer Netgear Nighthawk routers support tagging, following the details at this support page.

The Netgear AC1900 router (also referred to as R7000) would do what I want, but would also cost close to $150.

Instead I spent $33 on a Netgear GS105Ev2 switch and spent a little time configuring its VLANs and am mostly happy with the result. My only disappointment is that this switch doesn’t seem to support SNMP for traffic monitoring.


I have this configured so that Port1 connects to the Centurylink Fiber Termination Box, Port2 connects to my WNDR3800 WAN Port, and Port3 is connected to one of the LAN ports on the WNDR3800.

Port1 is configured to send Tagged Packets on VLAN 201.
Port2 is configured to send Untagged Packets on VLAN 201.
Ports 3-5 are configured to sent Untagged Packets on VLAN 1, the default for this switch.

The steps to get this working, starting with existing setup of Actiontec connected to Fiber Termination box.

  1. Connect GS105Ev2 Port3 to available LAN port on Actiontec and make sure link connection LEDs appear.
  2. Find what IP address the GS105Ev2 acquired on local network using a network scanning tool. I used  NirSoft Wireless Network Watcher and found that my switch was on Going to gave me a login to the new switch with the default password of “password”. gs105ev2-login
  3. You should get a switch information page similar to this.gs105ev2-login-successful
  4. Select the menu item VLAN, then 802.1Q and the radio button Enable. You should get a warning message that it’s about to erase all current VLAN settings. Hit OK.gs105ev2-vlan1
  5. Go under Advanced, VLAN Configuration, there’s a text box on the right that says VLAN ID. Enter 201 and push the Add button above it. gs105ev2-vlan2Now we have a new VLAN with no Port Members assigned.gs105ev2-vlan3
  6. Go to Port PVID on the left menu. Select Port 1. Type 201 in the text box. Hit Apply.gs105ev2-vlan4Select Port 2. Type 201. Hit Apply.gs105ev2-vlan5
  7. Now we go to the VLAN Membership setting. With the VLAN ID dropdown showing 1, click Port 1 and Port 2 through the available options until neither T nor U is showing, leaving Ports 3, 4, and 5 showing U. Then click Apply.gs105ev2-vlan6
  8. Now drop down to select VLAN 201. Click so that Port 1 is T, Port 2 is U, Ports 3, 4, and 5 are blank, and Apply.gs105ev2-vlan7
  9. If you look at the VLAN Configuration, you’ll now see that ports 1 and 2 are assigned to 201, while 3, 4, and 5 are assigned to 1.gs105ev2-vlan8
  10. At this point the GS105Ev2 has been configured as much as it needs to be. I had already configured my WNDR3800 to connect to the ISP using PPoE and given it the correct credentials.
  11. Power off Actiontec and put it in a closet. Connect Fiber Termination device to port 1 on GS105Ev2. Connect WNDR3800 WAN to port 2 on GS105Ev2. Optionally connect port 3 on GS105Ev2 to a lan port on WNDR3800, as it will only gain you one extra gigabit port compared to the four built into the WNDR3800.

Thanks to this post for the same information that I’ve presented here. I’d attempted to do this before with an existing GS108Tv2 switch I had sitting around. What I’d forgotten to do was make the port going to the WNDR3800 send Untagged packets. I’d been properly sending tagged packets to the fiber, but the WNDR3800 didn’t know what to do with the tagged packets. After confirming it worked with the GS108Tv2 I ordered the cheaper 5 port switch just to have something else to play with. My only disappointment with the 5 port switch is that it doesn’t seem to support SNMP to monitor the traffic going over the network.

Odd Wildcard Matching in Windows 10

I recently ran into an odd behavior of more files matching a pattern than I expected. I’d used exiftool to modify the dates on files my GoPro produced. It creates backup files of the original images when it modifies the tags. Here’s the command I ran.

exiftool.exe -r "-AllDates+=4:7:6 17:40:00" -ext jpg f:\GoPro\20170807

Now I had about 4000 files with the .JPG extension and another 4000 files with a .JPG_original extension.

I ran my program that parses the directory structure and turns all those images into a time lapse movie, and it seemed to be including both the file extensions, making a very disjointed movie.

I loaded my source code in the debugger and it seemed to be doing a findfirst / findnext specifically looking for .JPG files, and not some other extension, but it was definitely retrieving files both with .JPG and .JPG_original extensions.

I then ran a couple of commands at the windows command prompt and was surprised to find the same results there.

dir F:\GoPro\20170807\372GOPRO\G*.JPG /p
dir F:\GoPro\20170807\372GOPRO\G???????.JPG /p

Each command returned both the JPG and JPG_original files.

dir F:\GoPro\20170807\372GOPRO\G*.JPG_original /p

returned just the JPG_original files.

dir F:\GoPro\20170807\372GOPRO\G??????.JPG /p

had one less question mark and correctly returned no files.

This is all unexpected behavior, though I’m glad to see that it was consistent with the operating system and not something specific to the C runtime. I’d love an explanation of what’s going on.


SpeedTest.Net results from different devices

I’m visiting my parents today, and one of the normal things I run a check on is the condition of their internet.

I’ve got the app installed on my iPad. Running it produced acceptable results. 17Mb/s is not great, but it should be good enough to stream HD video, and that’s the main thing I want to just work when I’m not visiting.


I brought up the website in my browser on my Microsoft Surface tablet and received significantly better results.


71Mb/s download is almost comparable to what I’m getting at home. At home I’ve got symmetric bandwidth, so my upload speeds are often better than my download speeds.

Both of these tests were run through an old Cisco RV110W Wireless-N gateway that only runs on 2.4GHz frequencies.

I’ve registered significantly higher speed transfers on my iPad in the past.

Is the iPad limited in it’s transfer speed when running 2.4GHz? It’s possible that the higher speed transfers in my iPad history were all when I was connected to my home router running 5GHz.


My First PC

I found the receipt for the first PC my father bought this last weekend. They are in the process of significant downsizing, and while I don’t want to uselessly clutter up my own space with things that were in their garage, having a PC in my home for my final years of high school affected my entire life.

How much did you pay for your first PC and enough software to make it useful?

My father paid $6512.45 in 1983.

This was for a 64k PC running DOS 2.0, a word processor, and a printer.

MicroAge Computer Store IBM PC Invoice Page 1

MicroAge Computer Store IBM PC Invoice Page 1

MicroAge Computer Store IBM PC Invoice Page 2

MicroAge Computer Store IBM PC Invoice Page 2

The Hayes 1200bps Smart Modem alone cost $699.00.

This machine had two 360k floppy drives. I ran a bulletin board system that booted and ran from one floppy drive, and stored files available for download on the second drive.A box of 10 360k floppy disks cost $50.

The printer adapter was not built into the machine and had to be purchased separately for $150. One extravagance he purchased was the microbuffer for $349 that went in-line between the computer and printer, allowing the computer to send more of its print job to the microbuffer and the microbuffer would feed the printer at the speed it could accept it. This was long before anyone would think about using multitasking in a home computer, or even think that printing might be a separate task.


Samsung UD590 working with Gigabyte GEFORCE GTX 660

In a previous post I mentioned that I was having problems making my new Samsung 4k UHD monitor work at full resolution.

Gigabyte GEFORCE GTX 660

Gigabyte GEFORCE GTX 660

I ordered a new Gigabyte GEFORCE GTX 660 video card from newegg, removed the old video card, and now have three monitors plugged directly into this video card.



My center monitor is the new Samsung display running at 3840×2160 on the display port, and the left and right monitors are each HP Pavillion 22bw monitors running 1920×1080 using the DVI ports. The one strange thing is that Windows recognizes the dot pitch on the Samsung monitor and attempts to make things larger than I’d like. It is a configuration option to make text larger or smaller by following the link on the screen resolution dialog and I have moved the slider one notch smaller from the center.



Samsung UD590 Monitor

I bought a Samsung UD590 monitor from Amazon and it arrived Saturday May 3rd. It’s native resolution is 3840×2160, which is twice 1920×1080 in each direction. It came with a single HDMI cable and a display-port cable.

Samsung UD590

I bought this for it’s resolution and price. It sells for $699. It claims to be able to run at 60hz input at full resolution, where some of the other monitors in this price range only run 30hz. The box advertises 1ms fast response time, but I’m not certain how that translates.

My previous monitor setup has had an HP Pavilion 22bw as a center monitor, the same as a right monitor, and an old Samsung SyncMaster 205BW monitor in portrait mode as a left monitor.

ASUS SabreToothMy machine is based on an Asus Sabretooth Z87 TUF motherboard. I’ve got an Intel® Core™ i7-4771 Processor running with 32GB ram. I’ve been running the center monitor from the embedded GPU using the HDMI output on the motherboard. I’ve got an old NVIDIA GeForce 8600GT based graphics card driving the left and right monitors via DVI ports. It is an ASUS EN8600 GT Silent card. I’m running windows 8.1.ASUS EN8600GT

I haven’t decided if I want to switch to just using this new monitor, or if I want to keep using the two HP monitors as left and right flanks. My initial test had me plugging the new monitor into the display port on the motherboard and having the HP monitors plugged in via DVI on the card.

When I booted the machine initially, I saw the EUFI screen from the motherboard correctly on the new monitor, the opening screens of windows booting on the new monitor, and then the monitor went blank and only the pretty backgrounds were visible on my monitors on the sides. Through a bunch of trial and error, I figured out that if I reduced the resolution on the Samsung in windows from 3840×2160 to 2560×1440 things worked without going blank. I went so far as to remove the NVIDIA card entirely to see if it was some sort of interaction, but that didn’t seem to help.

By total chance I found out that if I have a large amount of constant white space on the screen I can run the monitor at full resolution. If I’ve got an empty copy of Notepad filling the screen, then the screen runs fine at its native resolution. But if I load an app that throws any level of color complexity on the screen, it shows the image, then goes all black, and blinks the image up approximately one second out of ten.

I don’t understand if this problem is related to the monitor, or related to the motherboard output, or possibly even the cable. I’m using the cable that came with the monitor, so I’ve been discounting that. I’m assuming the problem has to do with the bandwidth of driving 3840×2160 at 32 bit color.

I don’t mind going out and buying a new display card to drive the monitor, but I’m not a gamer so don’t want to spend money for a top of the line gaming card when all that I want to do is drive high resolution and have a reasonable refresh rate for displaying video. Ideally a video card would be able to drive three monitors. I expect I’d drive the big monitor via display-port, and the secondary monitors via a display-port to DVI cable.

Any suggestions as to what exactly my problem is are useful.