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Richard Hamilton

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Posts posted by Richard Hamilton

  1. 11 hours ago, ~DOC~ said:

    New PC’s have a lot of junk installed. You could carefully started uninstalling these programs. These will bog your PC down. I had 3 types of anti virus on my new PC I bought in November and a bunch of other junk games etc. I been uninstalling these and my PC is getting faster. They put this crap on there to get you to buy in. Be careful though.....

    Good points Doc.  I certainly agree with most of this, yet to add, it really depends on what brand of computer as to how much upselling software is on it.  I usually start out with putting my own backup software on the computer and doing a complete "drive image" backup of the computer before doing anything else so I have a complete "image" of how it came.  I take a snapshot of how well it performs and then start removing things I don't want.  In my experience with a recently new laptop and a new show computer, I have not noticed any performance degradation with what came on them, nor any improvement by removing all the upselling software.  Processors are pretty fast to begin with.  I just got more space by removing the crap.  

    Also, many programmers are not that good at removing all traces of their programs during an uninstall.  Installers like InstallShield let programmers make a lot of mistakes, by leaving crap in the system registry and in the hidden "ProgramData" folder.   I'm referring to Windows here and I know that Mac people are going to say it doesn't do that and is so much better than Windows, but it isn't any better in this regard.  I've had years of experience programming on both.

  2. DevMike.   I couldn't have said it any better !     The wife is not a Tesla fan.  Won't drive it.  Says it is too complicated for her.  She likes the Acura SUV.  Great for me.  I get the Tesla to myself. 🙂


  3. DevMike, WOW, that is one heck of a review!  I identify with everything you stated from driving my model X.   The only thing where my experience is different is that it isn't a problem for me to take 30 minutes to charge the car after about every 3 1/2 hours on the road because I need that break time to rest, walk a little, use the bathroom, eat, etc.  I find that I reach my destination more rested than when I used to drive hundreds of miles on a trip and only stop long enough to gas up.  Maybe part of being more relaxed is using the autopilot, not sure, but it does help me a lot.

    Yea, that fireplace thing is an interesting Elon addition.  It gets a few laughs.

    Bottom line is that after 3 years with the car, I never want to drive another car other than a Tesla ever again.  your mileage will vary.😀


    AND to add, LOR is the same way.  Once you try it, you never want to ever use another program to control your lights.   It's Tesla good 🙂

  4. On 3/13/2017 at 10:24 AM, dibblejr said:

    There are companies selling RGB stuff for cars and trucks. I wonder what the owner above had to do.

    I thought the rear doors looked more like it was flying until he mentioned the "ears" then I could see that as well.


    I know this is an old thread, but I just saw it.  So Jim if you are asking about the video, the Tesla owner didn't need to do anything special.   It Christmas egg is a selection from the center console.  It is in all of the cars.  I remember getting that update on my model  X around February 2017.    And although the thread indicates a model 3, I guess it is clear that the car in the video is actually a model X.  And I guess "ears" refers to the mirrors folding in and out.

    Edit added:  and to get the front doors to open like that, you have to buy the option that allows the doors to automatically open as you approach the car.

  5. Jim, nice variety.   I have 9 songs in my set that last about 30 minutes if people watch all of them.  My intro is basically a one minute announcement for similar things like being nice to neighbors, watch for children in the area, and a subtle hint that cameras and sensors are watching.   Then a 10 second announcement with time and current weather conditions, and the show starts.

  6. 12 minutes ago, EARLE W. TALLEY said:

    Your right Richard the same goes for slow songs. that's why I put slow songs in as well, they get inpatient and move along. I find that is the best way to control traffic.

    Hmmmm, I had not thought about it till you mentioned it, but that is probably correct as well.  Some folks move out when Bing's "White Christmas" gets a few bars into the song.  I throw in a couple slow older traditional songs as many X generation folks like them and gives people an opportunity to wind down for a couple minutes from the frantic pace of the more rapid songs.

  7. On 1/7/2019 at 2:41 PM, Dave Pursel said:

    But I will admit, the introduction of LED technology has been a pain in the A&^sss.  Noise can be an issue.  Likewise unfiltered UPS's  kill (amplitude) an X-10 system. 

    Yup, agree on all you said.  WITH the right equipment for X10 as you say, like I needed to get one of those 240V plugs that crosses over to both legs of the 120vac so I could get devices to work all over the house.   And things were "reasonably" reliable for many years.   When I moved, I left all that in the prior home and use Insteon in the new home.  So far in 3 years, not a single issue with all LED lighting, etc and really happy with the reliability.

  8. On 1/7/2019 at 8:48 AM, EARLE W. TALLEY said:

    Your sequencing is pretty good for the first year and you did a lot with only 16 channels. One thing that I found out over the years is that people don't like to set through long songs. Get and learn the program AUDACITY and edit your song down to 2 minutes or less. This will keep their attention longer with them watching more of your great show.


    I agree with your comment.  I saw that people don't like long songs.  HOWEVER; I keep them in the set.  Reason being if they are that impatient then they move on and make room for other people.  Our show is more for our enjoyment and our friends.  If other people like it then great.   If not, then also fine.  😉

    • Like 1

  9. On 1/7/2019 at 5:16 AM, Santas Helper said:

    I've been making my own cords for years using the spooled wire and vampire plugs.

    I've never messed with waterproofing the plugs and we get snow and rain pretty much each season. Although standing water could be an issue whether you try to waterproof or not. But snow hasn't been an issue with me.

    Same thing here, almost.  Since the beginning I've used spooled wire and vampire plugs to make my own.  I did not shield them for the first 2 years until I noticed water getting in the plug and rusting out the wire where the teeth were digging in.  Thus, 3rd year some of them didn't make good connection.   Then I started putting a sandwich bag over the top of the plugs to prevent water getting in.  Been using the same wire and plugs for over 12 years now and never a problem rusting out.  Also never had a problem with any GFCIs tripping.


  10. On 11/19/2018 at 2:43 PM, jfuller8400 said:

    I used to use the free version of Weather Watcher myself but when they went to a paid model I decided I didn't want to pay for a full year when I only use it for a couple of months.  So instead I wrote my own console application to get the same basic info and put it into a format for Zara to use.  WWL has a great graphical interface and is far more pretty than mine.  If you're already using it, I wouldn't switch to mine unless you didn't want to pay the annual fee.

    I am a bit slow getting back on some threads, but since the holidays are over......   Joel, that's a nice little program you have.   Several years ago I paid for the one time fee for lifetime use of Zara, and it has been working great for during the day when my show is not running, otherwise I think you have a cool solution.

    On a similar note to what you are doing, I wrote a small Windows program for announcing time and weather information from within LOR.   At the start of each show I call my program by using the "command line" feature inside LOR.  The program announces the time, temperature, weather condition and wind (in any combination I prefer) and then closes.  I pull the information from the WWL text file in the same way that Zara does.  And yes, if anyone wants it, I'll be glad to provide access.

  11. I also have been using CyberLink Power Director for about 5 years now.  A nice program with lots of features.   I used to use Adobe (which I call Adoppy) and it was difficult for me to use, but just my opinion.  It may have gotten better in the last few years.

  12. On 12/29/2018 at 11:49 AM, Wayne K said:

    Yes, I run static display 45 minutes prior to the main show and 1 hour after the show and I have zara playing music and the time and temp and humidity every 5 or 6 songs during this static show.

    Ah, ok.  Similar to what I do.  And during the day, I have it play other Christmas music until the show starts.

  13. On 12/22/2018 at 11:13 AM, Wayne K said:

    I never gave it a thought until a month or so ago. I have had my own Davis weather station on my main computer for several years. After digging around and getting into the template files and some examples and instructions in the weather station folder, and setting up a file sharing to my Christmas computer, I was able to produce the data needed for Zara to use. So I am using the temperature and humidity data from my weather station in Zara. Thanks everyone for the previous help.


    A question just I understand what you are doing.  You are running ZaraRadio to perform this announcement task when your show is NOT running?  Right?

  14. Well, there are a lot of things to check, and I'm sure other people will chime in.   I would first look to split the problem into either software or hardware.   Does the red led inside the controller light solid when you try to run your sequence?  Thus indicating that communication is ok?   And are you using a computer for this purpose?

  15. That's really nice!   I never got a comment that nice, but on rare occasions, something like a bottle of wine or other little gift will end up on my doorstep with a nice note.

    HOWEVER, there always seems to be at least one Grinch in every neighborhood.  In the 20 years, I've been doing this, I only ever got one negative comment and it was recently.   A neighbor on another street up the hill (known to be a Grinch for every occasion), sent an email with... "You know all those lights are distracting as I drive by your house to get home from work.".     To which I reply... "You know there are 3 other roads that lead to your house from Lacerta Drive, and one of them is shorter.   And by the way, the speed limit is 25, not 40 !   My cameras observe you."


    • Like 3

  16. 4 hours ago, Livestrong5150 said:

    Thank you Richard for the help-is there a You Tube Video you would recommend?

    Deeply apperciate the help.


    I took a quick look and didn't see any videos specific to that purpose, but there might be some out there.

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