Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Fresh Install of Windows 7 will not update

Problem: Fresh install of Windows 7 will not update, even with SP1 applied.


Before starting, make sure automatic updates is disabled.

1. Install SP1 if you haven't already.
2. Install the April 2015 servicing stack update - KB3020369
3. Install the April 2016 rollup - KB3125574
4. Install the July 2016 rollup - KB3172605
5. Install the Windows Update Client March 2016 - KB3138612
6. Install the December 2016 Security Monthly Quality Rollup - KB3207752
7. Go into Control Panel>Windows Updates and enable automatic updates. It will automatically begin checking.

Microsoft recommends #1, #2, and #4.
#3 makes it so you have a lot less updates to download and install.
#5 is self-explanatory.
#6 gives you the latest version of win32k.sys which has been implicated in Windows Update issues in the past.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Communication Error with HP LaserJet 600 in HP Web Jetadmin

Problem: HP Web Jetadmin reports a connection error with an HP LaserJet 600 series printer, even when you verify that the web administration pages are available.

Solution: Replace the MD5 security certificate on the printer with SHA1 certificate. Log in to the printer on the web admin pages if needed. Go to Networking > Authorization > JetDirect Certificate. Click View and you will see the value of the Signature algorithm field begins with md5, which confirms this issue. Click OK and choose "Configure" (for JetDirect Certificate). Choose Self-Signed and at the following screen click Finish.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Rebooting instead of Shutting Down

Problem: An Ubuntu 16.04 LTS based distribution reboots when you request a shutdown.

Solution: Enter the BIOS and disable "Wake on LAN".

Circumstances I encountered this problem under:
Freshly installed and updated Xubuntu 16.04.1 LTS on a Lenovo M93z AIO PC. No Ethernet cable plugged in, wi-fi active (WPA2-Enterprise/PEAP/MSCHAPv2) on shutdown request.

Network adapters in the system:
Wireless: Intel Centrino Wireless-N 2230
Wired: Intel Ethernet Connection I217-LM

The Point of Privatization

It has always been curious to me why it is that under-funded government functions get privatized. Outsourcing anything adds complexity which theoretically adds cost. Of course this is part of a broader picture of the never ending economic troubles caused by the decline of EROI, or the increased costs of obtaining energy.
To answer this question it helps to understand the constraints placed upon any government business. First, there are statutes and regulations. Also, there are the expenses involved with making people government employees. The aim of a government enterprise is not to make money, but to provide a public service, and to provide it the way people expect. Finally, government can be held accountable in a way private business cannot.
Below a certain level of funding, government services become dysfunctional. This is because of regulations, expectations, and government employee costs that were set in better economic times. Whereas a private company can choose to cut corners, lower pay and benefits, and substantially change their product offering, government cannot, absent significant legislative change.
Here in America we are in a period now (2016) where under funding of government services is a chronic problem, whether than be Medicaid, public schools, or something else. There are two solutions to the problem: 1) increase taxes or 2) cut government services. The problem with the first is that it's not just government--Americans themselves are "underfunded" and not making enough money. The problem with the second is that the people who need these services the most will get less.
So complain about government all you want but it's a problem either way.
This is where privatization comes in. It so happens that government can fulfill their duties AND get around a fair bit of costly regulation by privatizing government services. If the government isn't directly providing the service or hiring people to perform the service then some of the regulation that would apply no longer does. This especially saves money as far as employee pay and benefits. This also provides ongoing cost control as the private provider is now responsible for making sure the "public" services in question can be provided at whatever contract rate the government is willing to pay.
Of course, this often results in spotty service as the private provider stretches resources farther than the government themselves would ever do. Here in my city, the private company providing ambulance service for the city has been in the news quite a bit for poor response times. After the city fined them for it, it got "fixed". What was the provider's solution? When the number of available units gets to zero, they radio out to all the crews and tell them to hurry up. No kidding! Now an ex-employee is bringing this to light and both the provider and the city are saying that the frequency of having no available units is not something they track, and response time is what they really care about.
Some would say that the solution is to bring these services back in house, run and staffed by the city. I used to think this. However, such a view is ignorant of the cost pressures that drove privatization in the first place. Simply put, if the city could get away with doing things as cheaply as the private provider they would, but statute and regulation mean that they can't, so they privatize.
In these cases, government can't afford historical levels of service quality so they privatize and then excuse themselves of immediate responsibility for performance because they have an arm's length relationship with the private provider who is under no direct obligation to the public, and only a contractual obligation to the city.
It is much the same scenario with public schools. Underfunded public schools have been turned into basket cases that, in many cases, make it their mission to comply with statute and regulation because they can barely afford to do that. If your kid happens to get a good education then you are lucky. I saw this firsthand with my oldest child in Kindergarten. He struggled in the classroom and anytime we would ask for anything the school's response was always along the lines of whether or not they were obligated by the state education code to do what we asked. In several cases they even lied about not being obligated. I've had to become my own lawyer and arm myself with relevant portions of the state education code in all of my dealings with them. State ed code such-and-such and exhibit A, B, and C, and I'll be down to talk to you in person if you don't get it! The school cares less about helping children than they do with "complying" with state ed code.
Why is this? Are they bad people? Maybe there is a bit of coldness, of hardness. But the primary driver is funding. They can only afford to do so much so they do what they are legally obligated to do and if they can do more then fine but if not then oh, well! Charter schools are now stepping into this void as the primary vehicle of privatization for public schooling. Of course, charter schools are under less regulation than public schools (government-run schools) including regarding employee pay and benefits. As parents leave paralyzed public schools for charter schools it only makes the public school funding issue worse.
Of course the public tends to be split on the issue, with conservatives correctly identifying that public pensions and regulation are part of the problem, and liberals correctly identifying that under funding is part of the problem. But we so easily forget that the system which is now broken worked, once upon a time, and it was well funded, once upon a time. It remains an ideal system in many ways. We'd like to good public schools back, we'd like to have city-run ambulance services back. It would be great to have more government workers with money and pensions to put into the economy.
But it's not going to happen anytime in the foreseeable future. We can't properly fund such levels of public service without broader economic activity to match, which is not forthcoming, and will not be forthcoming. Since we can't solve the under funding problem, we have no choice but to cut public pensions and regulation. It will happen. Already public pension funds are only holding on because we actually believe them when they say they will generate annual returns of 7% in a market that, since the Great Recession, has been returning much less. Pensions will be ended, and current beneficiaries will take a major haircut, and even that will require a significant bail-out from public funds.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Windows 7 Printing sends a Local Downlevel Document and will NOT Print

Problem: When printing from Windows 7 to a shared printer, a "Local Downlevel Document" appears in the print queue and nothing is printed.

Resolution: First try restarting the print server (whatever Windows machine is sharing the printer for others to use). If that doesn't work, on the client, open regedit and go to HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT. Create a key named Printers, then inside that create a DWORD value called EnabledProtocols. Set the value to 6 and restart the computer.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

IE only patches for Windows 7?

Today while creating a new image I waited until Windows 7 was completely updated (sans-IE11) before installing IE11.
To my surprise, three patches were still required by the IE11 installer:

1) Platform update for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 (2670838)

From Microsoft:
This update improves the range and performance of the following graphics and imaging components:
Windows Imaging Component (WIC)
Windows Advanced Rasterization Platform (WARP)
Windows Animation Manager (WAM)
XPS Document API
H.264 Video Decoder
JPEG XR codec

2) "0x00000050" Stop error after you install update 2670838 on a computer that is running Windows 7 SP1 or Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 (2834140)

3) An update for the Segoe UI symbol font in Windows 7 and in Windows Server 2008 R2... (2729094)

From Microsoft:
This update adds support for emoji characters and some control glyphs that are included in Windows 8 and in Windows Server 2012.

Given that update 2 is a fix for a problem in update 1, we basically have two different updates that appear to be necessary only if you upgrade IE. The only part of Windows 7 that would care about new graphics in Segoe UI symbol font would be IE, I guess. I'd love to know of any third-party apps on Windows 7 that take advantage of the new graphics on Segoe UI symbol font provided by that update.

The first update, 2670838, seems to have a storied history, judging by Google results. It was first required as a prerequisite of IE10 (Win7 shipped with IE8), and people had tons of trouble with it. Apparently it was related to hybrid graphics, thus the fix in 2834140.
The new graphics features introduced in 2670838 were first required to support IE. However apparently Oculus Rift requires it now as well. Looking at the list of updates that 2670838 replaced, it seems like a graphics intensive application like Oculus Rift would need it:

2484033 An update that improves the print performance of XPS documents in Windows 7 and in Windows Server 2008 R2 is available
2505438 Slow performance in applications that use the DirectWrite API on a computer that is running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2
2511250 You cannot print a Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) or level 3 Cascading Style Sheet (CSS3) file in Internet Explorer 9
2522422 Cannot print from Internet Explorer 9 using some Canon printers
2488113 An application that uses Direct2D or Direct3D may crash in Windows 7 or in Windows Server 2008 R2
2741355 You cannot start Windows Movie Maker 2012 when a graphics card that only supports DirectX 9 is installed on a Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2-based computer

However a number of these "replaced" updates seem like their applicability would extend far beyond IE or graphics intensive apps. My guess is that these "replaced" updates are still coming through Windows Update even without IE11, but that the superseding update 2670838 contains additional functionality that was considered optional by Microsoft, apparently these items which are referenced in the update but not in the replacement updates:

Windows Animation Manager (WAM)
H.264 Video Decoder
JPEG XR codec
..and maybe additional improvements to other related components?

It's hard to say without going back through and attempting to install the "replaced" updates on an otherwise fully updated image of Win7 (minus IE11).

It is likely that MS is not pushing 2670838 outside of IE11 due to the problems that require 2834140. It is entirely possible that 2670838 could bork someone's system before they have a chance to patch it with 2834140. You'd think MS would find a way around this, like an integrated installer for both? Anyway that's my best guess why this update, which seems useful far beyond IE, would not be required by MS otherwise.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Flag Tweaks to Speed Up Google Chrome

Flag Tweaks to Speed Up Google Chrome (at least as of version 53).

If you haven't installed an ad blocker start there. :)

Go to chrome://flags

"Experimental canvas features"
"Fast tab/window close"
"Experimental QUIC protocol"
"Simple Cache for HTTP"
"Enable the "stale-while-revalidate" cache directive"
"Enable loading IPC optimization for small resources"
"Override software rendering list"
"Accelerated 2D canvas"
"GPU rasterization"

"Number of raster threads" to 4

Friday, August 26, 2016

Google Cloud Printer Online but Print Jobs show "Error"

Running a Google Cloud Print "server" to host "Classic" printers is a very tedious thing.
It doesn't matter whether you are running the connector in Chrome or the service which requires Chrome anyway. There are simply no tools to operate on printers or jobs in batches. Everything is one by one.
Anyway, I started out with the idea that the Google Cloud Print connector would be print driver agnostic. I have come to find out that this is not the case, and if the GCP connector doesn't like a printer driver you will be in for a hard time. And there are plenty of cases where a printer particular driver meant GCP wouldn't work, even though the printer shows online and available. You send a job
and it starts processing but the status ends in Error with a red box. And of course the "advanced" info dropdown tells you nothing, nor does the connector log file.
After completely reloading everything from Windows on up, I figured this out. Specifically, GCP had a hard time with HP PCL6 drivers, including the Universal driver. With some printers the GCP/PCL6 combo would work fine. But the majority of the time it would not. However, the using the PCL5 Universal driver where applicable worked 99% of the time. The lone failure was one LaserJet P2055dn that wouldn't work at all (even with Windows print jobs)
until I disabled bidirectional communication in the Ports tab. In that case the status of the GCP print job was stuck at "In Progress".
In the past in times of trouble, I've taken to cursing GCP. Now I know the problem is more than likely a print driver compatibility or configuration issue.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Make Chrome work with WIndows Hi DPI scaling settings

Chrome will ignore OS scaling up to 125%. Make sure your scaling is set to 126% or more.
To set this for all users, go to the registry, and go to the following key:
HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Hardware Profiles\Current\Software\Fonts
edit the LogPixels value to be 121 (decimal) or more and restart.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

“Fatal! Inconsistent Data Read” Error booting from USB drive

Problem: When booting from a USB drive you get "Fatal! Inconsistent Data Read" errors. (In my case, after creating a boot drive with YUMI)

Solution: The problem is either the drive is bad or more likely was not formatted correctly. In Windows, open a command prompt and type diskpart. At the DISKPART prompt type list disk. Then type select disk x where x is the number of the disk that corresponds to your USB drive. Then type clean. After that type exit, and go into Disk Management to format as FAT32. Then you can rewrite your data.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Dell Inspiron M5030 Restore

Dell Inspiron M5030 Restore
Write the file to a 8GB or bigger USB drive using RMPrepUSB.

Thursday, April 28, 2016


So I am looking at upgrading to SSD drives in about a half dozen Lenovo ThinkCentre M93z All-in-One PCs. I can either get 2.5" drives and use a bracket, or use the mSATA connector on the motherboard. But which is faster? mSATA is typically based on the PCI Express 1x standard. The speeds for each are as follows:

PCIe v1 1x = 2.5Gbps
PCIe v2 1x = 5.0Gbps
PCIe v3 1x = 8.0Gbps
SATA 1 = 1.5Gbps
SATA 2 = 3.0Gbps
SATA 3 = 6.0Gbps

Now the question is if the mSATA slot conforms to PCIe v1, 2, or 3. If it is v3 it will be faster. The chipset on the M93z is the Intel 8 Series/C220. Intel's technical documents show that the SATA controller is capable of SATA 3 6.0Gbps speeds, while the PCI Express implementation is v2.
So this indicates that an SSD mounted on the mSATA slot would max out at 5Gbps, while the SATA connection would allow 6Gbps, making it faster.

The problem with going to SATA route is the way the hard drive is installed. Although many of the other components in this system are laptop form-factor like the RAM and optical drive, a full 3.5" desktop hard drive is being used. There are no SATA cables with the drive mating right up to the connectors. So I can either use a standard 2.5" to 3.5" bracket and find really short cables that may not make the clearance, or I can buy a bracket that features integrated SATA connectors that route down to the spot where they normally would on a 3.5" drive. Fortunately, these exist!

Lenovo just had to make it hard. But of course they probably don't care too much about making it easy to upgrade.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Windows 10 Psuedo-ESR/LTS Option

I am a fan of Extended Service Releases and Long Term Support releases since they tend to stay very stable and cause me less trouble, either personally or by way of the people I support. Which is why Windows 10 was always a bit concerning to me; they can change the OS anytime. However, as long as you are not on the "Home" edition of Windows 10, there is a setting whereby you can defer feature upgrades for several months, making you less of a guinea pig! Of course if you are in a company running the Windows 10 Enterprise Long Term Servicing Branch, you don't need this.

Go to Start > Settings > Update & Security and click on "Advanced Options".
Check the box for "Defer Upgrades".

Note that you can't access Windows Update options in Windows 10 through the classic Control Panel.

Honestly this little tidbit is going to result in me recommending that people avoid Windows 10 Home, so they can do this. Stability first!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Hillary Clinton and the End of the United States

Never underestimate the resentment of the disenfranchised.
I am speaking of the right-wing. Specifically, I am speaking of the traditionally dominant power group, conservative, older white people. They and their party, the GOP, are in terminal decline. The election of Obama marked the beginning of the end for their power. This is not news.
What is important to focus on is the reaction of this group. In the beginning of the Obama presidency this group decided on a scorched earth policy consisting of obstruction, lies and hate. They are ripping the sky from the ground in an attempt to check their loss of power.
Against this backdrop we approach the 2016 presidential elections. Who will win? Who knows! It is, however, important to note that the demographic shifts contributing to the decline of old, white conservative power are continuing unabated. If the GOP clinches the presidency in 2016 it will have won the battle but still be on track to lose the war.
The potential for a Trump presidency is greater than most people would believe. Trump knows how to play the game of hype and public perception, and his success in these areas has fooled him into thinking he could actually run the country. He's so good he's convinced himself!
Sorry everyone but Hillary is too waffle-y and slimy to trounce Trump. Trump will crucify her on the public stage, and mercilessly. She's an easy target for his type of invective. This doesn't mean Clinton couldn't win against Trump, but it will be harder than many people think, and not a sure thing.
Hillary would beat Cruz handily, though. A Hillary-Cruz matchup would be the kind of presidential election match-up we've gotten used to in the last few decades--bought and paid for politicians battling it out, kabuki theater style.
Either Sanders-Cruz or Sanders-Trump would be very interesting. Personally, I'd love to see a Sanders-Trump contest. It would pit the rhetoric of the right against the rhetoric of the left in a very stark way. Trump wouldn't be able to grab onto Sanders like he would Clinton; Trump would probably keep repeating "wacko commie" and "wacko socialist" lines while Sanders would show up how very hollow Trump really is. Trump will pander to the base too hard while Sanders will make more sense to most Americans.
Cruz has the substance to tie up Sanders with policy debates and then present himself to the American people as a champion of free markets and limited government while making Sanders look confused. I think Sanders would still win in this scenario because America knows Cruz is a Bible-thumper.
Ultimately I believe a Democrat will win the presidency in 2016. If you take the statistics for which states have voted Democrat in the last half-dozen presidential elections and which have voted Republican, the Democrats start out with a whole lot more electoral votes, making the Republican path to victory a hard slog. I don't know if Trump OR Cruz has what it takes, here.
Which brings me to my point: another Democratic presidency will take the old, conservative white right-wing from bad to worse. They will justify their hate and obstruction on the president being a commie (Sanders) or a traitor (Hillary). The only thing holding them back will be a time of economic prosperity stretching until after the 2020 elections. Nobody cares to revolt when things are "good."
An economic downturn in very late 2020 or 2021 will provide the fodder for the old, conservative white right-wing to move significant sections of the American public against the federal government. This will develop into significant social unrest bordering on if not turning into civil war. Our rivals (Russia and China) will take advantage of this discord to disrupt US military assets outside the country, severely compromising our ability to project force. There will be no elections in 2024. Sanders or Clinton, as the case may be, will invoke an FDR-esque third term in the face of what is quickly becoming WWIII, ensuring that our country maintains a fatal state of disunity. By the time WWIII begins in 2027, the US as we know it will be no more.
The intensity of disunity leading into these events suggests a little more than continued resentment, leading me to believe (unfortunately) that the winner in 2016 will be Hillary Clinton. Hillary has a unique ability to galvanize right-wing opposition. She is also the type to hold on to power even if it means the dissolution of the union.
A Hillary Clinton win in 2016 suggests that a Cruz nomination is likely. Dems who don't like Hillary will vote for Trump but never for Cruz. However Trump is only a little less likely.

OK this is officially the saddest post I've ever written!!   :`(

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

The Case for Xubuntu

I am using and recommending Linux more so of course I am presented with the question of which distribution to use. Of course Ubuntu gets all the attention. However the Unity desktop is polarizing and I don't like it. Next up is Linux Mint, which is very good. It builds off Ubuntu, providing a classic desktop environment with everything loaded for the average user. However the crazy gotcha in Linux Mint is that automatic updates are not configured by default. You have to install and configure it yourself.
This brings me to Xubuntu, a version of Ubuntu running the XFCE desktop. In days past, Xubuntu was the go to Linux distribution for older machines. Unfortunately, it is not so great on older machines anymore. But it is better than Ubuntu (no Unity desktop) and better than Linux Mint (automatic updates enabled by default). Xubuntu is not a heavy distribution in any case.

Friday, April 01, 2016

Stress Testing a Chromebook ( ChromeOS )

If you need to stress test the CPU and memory of a Chromebook, Chromebox, or other ChromeOS device, here are a few tools:

CPU test:
Make sure you use the KeepAwake extension so your Chromebook won't go to sleep during this test.
Close all apps and tabs.
Go to
and set the Folding Power to Full.
Let it run through at least one set of calculations after it downloads the software.
The nice thing about this test is that it works with the Google Native Client so it is running natively to the CPU, not through some layer like Javascript.
IMPORTANT: As of Chrome 57, background tabs will be throttled. So be sure to keep the tab running this in the foreground.

Memory test:
Close all apps and tabs.
Enter the crosh shell with Ctrl+Alt+T
run the command: memory_test
If the command is not available, run sudo dev_install to install it

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Existential Depression and Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

There are two types of depression: psychological depression and existential depression.
Psychological depression is what most everyone means when they talk about "depression." Psychological depression is a reaction to the stress and anxiety caused by a negative circumstance. It often clears up on its own, but sometimes it messes with brain chemistry and requires some help to pull out of, even after the original circumstances no longer exist.
Existential depression might also be understood as intellectual depression. It is the outcome of much careful consideration of life, its reality, and its meaning. To be sure, not everyone who ponders the mysteries of life comes to existential depression, but some do. One differentiating factor leading to existential depression is the experience and knowledge of circumstances that seem to contradict hopeful assessment of the human condition. Again, not everyone who ponders the problem of evil comes to existential depression, but some do. This brings us to probably the most particular differentiating factors leading to existential depression: high intelligence and emotional sensitivity. Emotional sensitivity combined with high intelligence create an individual that is both highly intuitive and empathic--a burden-bearer that eventually becomes consumed with the futility of life.
Existential crises arise when one's conception of the universe and life is no longer adequate. One example would be a believer in God who finds they can no longer believe in God. The facts as they see them point them to atheism, but the existential crisis comes when they realize that without God, there is no point. The resolution of this crisis comes when a person creates their own meaning, or borrows meaning from another belief system.
The core problem of those who experience existential depression is a lack of this existential meaning. This is not to say that these people have nothing meaningful in their lives; they may care greatly about a spouse and children, for example. However the ultimate meaning is missing. Awareness and/or experience of enough negative circumstances have convinced them that the situation is irredeemable or without meaning. (Their high level of intelligence commits them to the logical conclusion even if it ruins them.)
Ultimately, then, the task for those experiencing existential depression is to 1) join a religion or 2) create their own meaning. The high level of intelligence probably precludes joining a religion and very likely the person has already left religion in their personal quest for truth. So the more reasonable route is to create meaning.
The creation of meaning is a journey that begins with finding out oneself and applying those better principles and strengths in constructive ways that benefit the world around you. Candle in the darkness kind of stuff. It can be as simple as creating music or art. It could be creating a business or organization. It could be becoming a part of another organization that is doing or creating something. The core of this is creative, constructive, community-connected activity. People with existential depression have to realize that they could create the kinds of positive environments that demonstrate to others that life is something better than futile, if even just a little. The very fact that you have this existential depression means that you have just enough hope to not fill the existential void with the acts of selfishness and evil that make others despair and give up. Now just kick that up a notch or two!
It occurs to me that the freedom to create meaning is contingent on other life circumstances. For example, I am not going to be creating much "meaning" if I can't pay my bills. I am going to be worried about paying bills, or putting food on the table, or what have you. This is where Maslow's hierarchy of needs fits in.
Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a theory that claims that certain needs must always be fulfilled before higher needs can be attended to. In order from most pressing (lowest) to least pressing (highest), they are: physiological (bodily requirements), safety, love/belonging, esteem/respect, and self-actualization. Maslow's hierarchy of needs has been criticized on the grounds that these levels can be arranged differently or possibly even combined based on culture.
However the point to be made here is that self-actualization, or fulfilling one's personal potential, usually does take a back seat to the other needs, and it is precisely within this fulfillment of personal potential that those with existential depression may find their deliverance.
The question may arise that if self-actualization is precluded by other unmet needs then how it is that a person can even get to point of having existential depression. They wouldn't have the energy and time to think about it! The answer here is that the mind is not bound, and intelligence takes the mind far beyond mundane matters.
Lower level needs can provide a welcome distraction from existential depression. However, intelligence will continue to see beyond the distraction and the realization that the person is stuck in trying to just make it can make things worse. Usually in such a situation the depression goes underwater for a while then reappears for a while and so on. So it is important that such a person reach for self-actualization no matter what. I would dare venture that the majority of people with existential depression are no higher than lower-middle class for the simple reason that the need and opportunity for self-actualization are rather evident if the matter can be attended to without the distraction of other unmet needs. As a matter of fact the general lack of self-actualizing activity to those lower on the income scale may even precipitate an outcome of existential depression. It's like being fat because you have no idea what exercise is and all you've ever eaten is McDonald's.
A person stuck in existential depression has got to try to create and connect and self-actualize even if the cupboards are bare and the car is spewing smoke and the medical bills can't be paid.


Religion - I find it very interesting in Christianity, throughout the New Testament, that the message of Jesus Christ is held to be of little value to those with money or intelligence, specifically that these things are seen in the Bible as very nearly literal barriers to salvation. So then Christianity is for those who can't realize their own potential? This is analogous to Marx's conclusion that religion is the "opiate" of the people. Those with existential depression are likely to drop out of religion.

Politics - I think American right-wing politics is getting "responsibility" and self-actualization mixed up. There are plenty of "responsible" poor people who are so busy trying to make ends meet they can't seem to find the resources to bring out any greater inner potential. Should poor people try? Sure. However the deck is stacked against them. Those with existential depression are probably not right-wing in their political views.

Marriage - There have been studies showing that purpose for marriage over the years has changed from love to growth. In other words, people now seek a marriage partner that will allow both of them to grow (self-actualize). Younger people are getting married less, especially where they are farther down socioeconomically (less of a consciousness about self-actualization). Those with existential depression are married for love or necessity or not married at all.

Inequality only serves to exacerbate the negatives mentioned above. It's Maslow's hierarchy of needs in full force, especially with the phenomenon of poorly performing schools in low income neighborhoods (family and economic stability preclude an emphasis on educational attainment, or in teenage years a full existential crisis is being papered over with irresponsible behavior). Neighborhoods higher up on the socioeconomic ladder can transmit values of personal self-attainment better and better facilitate it as well.

Diagnosing Missing Internet Speed at Home

My internet service provider gave me a promotion to go up to 100Mbps speed. Sure enough when they made the change, I decided to run some speed tests to see how it performed. I was disappointed. Speedtests were coming up in the 30-40Mbps range, except for one test from a laptop near the router which gave me 80Mbps, but only once.

I decided to try to pinpoint if this might be a problem with the modem or the router. I checked over at the Small Net Builders website which told me that my router (ASUS RT-N16) was capable of WAN-to-LAN throughput up to 144Mbps. So that shouldn't be the issue, especially having installed custom Tomato (Toastman) firmware on it.

I tried hooking the laptop up to the cable coming from the cable modem. I had a hard time getting it connected because the laptop had a special cover over the network port, and the cable had a protective boot over the plug clip. So I grabbed another network cable and hooked the laptop directly to the modem. Speed testing gave results of 98Mbps.

I wondered if the custom firmware might be a problem and if I would have to load the manufacturer's firmware. I considered that unlikely since the firmware I've been using has been tested with much faster connections than mine. Then I thought about the fact that I had tested the WAN link with a different network cable than my router uses. My router is 12+ feet away from my modem and moving the router would have been a hassle. So I purchased a long Cat6 cable from Best Buy to see if that would solve the problem. It didn't.

The only thing left to do was reflash to ASUS firmware. Now I was getting 88Mbps over wired LAN. I figured I was losing a little bandwidth due to it being prime time, what with everyone down the street probably using their Internet.

The fastest wireless speed I could get was 50Mbps, and that over a 72Mbps single 20Mhz channel 802.11n connection. I'd need a better router to really improve that. The important thing to me is that the router can handle all the bandwidth I am paying for. I was able to do two 1080HD Netflix streams on different devices and still pull 4MB/sec on a file download from a computer connected with powerline ethernet in the back of the house. And I probably still had headroom, at least as far as my cable modem bandwidth goes.