LED lamps are great for the environment, but bad for our health

LED lamps are great for the environment, but bad for our health

Harsh words. I can’t dispute whether flickering lights are truly bad for our health, but it should be fairly easy to quantify the varying qualities of LED lamps by the amount they flicker1.

This would make for an interesting project at school. In my Computer Tech class, for instance, we could build a simple circuit with a light sensor and then display it on an oscilloscope (yes, I still use one!) or sample it into a computer at a high enough rate to measure the flicker rate.

Anyone else up to the challenge?

I keep wanting to type “flickr”. It’s the photographer in me trying to get out…

Google App Passwords

After applying an update to my UnRAID server a message popped up telling me that I didn’t have system notifications turned on.

2018-09-03 Unraid System Notifications

I popped into Settings > Notifications Settings only to have discovered that I didn’t have any notifications turned on. Well, that’s not good.

In the SMTP Settings sections Gmail was already listed, so this should be easy. Nope, it never passed the test. A quick search helped me find this forum where it showed me the proper SMTP settings for Gmail:

2018-09-03 UnRAID SMTP Settings

It still wasn’t passing the test however, likely because I have 2-factor authentication turned on. A little more digging on the forum, and that is where I learned about Google app passwords:

An App password is a 16-digit passcode that gives an app or device permission to access your Google Account. If you use 2-Step-Verification and are seeing a “password incorrect” error when trying to access your Google Account, an App password may solve the problem. Most of the time, you’ll only have to enter an App password once per app or device, so don’t worry about memorizing it.

I had never heard of this before, but it was the solution I was looking for. The service generated a simple 16 digit password that allowed me to send notification emails using my Gmail account.

This process only has to be done one time, and the password is never used anywhere else (I assume it’s locked to the sending device) so I don’t have to remember it.

The SMTP test passed. Problem solved.

Uninstalling Microsoft Photos

Every so often I hear my CPU fan spinning up wildly. A quick check of the Windows Task Manager reveals the culprit to be the Windows Photo App, an app I never use so I decide to delete it.

A quick Google search and I find the basic instructions to do so, summarized here:

  • Open PowerShell (Windows-X, then select PowerShell (Admin))
  • Enter the following command, then sit back and wait:
    • Get-AppxPackage *photo* | Remove-AppxPackage
  • All done!

My CPU can now rest peacefully.

Featured image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.