Carl T. Holscher fights for the customers.

Category: Tech Tinkering Page 1 of 2

One tiny screw

Tonight’s plan.

I’ve been planning to swap out the 256 NVMe drive for a 1tb drive. This should be quick and then I’ll have more storage on my desktop.

Then I dropped the tiny screw into the PC. And it was lost to another dimension. I scoured the floor and desk and everywhere nearby with a magnet.


It must be inside the computer. I worried about it wedging itself between the motherboard and case. Or getting wedged into the power supply and shorting it. All of the worst case scenarios.

I removed the optical drive. Then the drive cages. I unplugged everything. Then unscrewed and removed the motherboard.

Still nothing.

So… I resolved myself to it being gone forever and went to work putting it all back together. I powered it on before I put everything back in place and screwed the last screws in.

Then I grabbed the external hard drive, and the cables to plug it all back in and power it on to continue the restore of data with a temporary screw holding the drive in place.

And what do I find? Right under the cords and cables I moved three times and looked over, under and around?

One Tiny Screw with a screwdriver tip for size comparison.
One tiny screw.

Mulled Media

I’ve spun up a second Proxmox instance on an old Dell and have been moving my existing containers over from my current Proxmox Box in order to rebuild it entirely.

However, Plex and my other containers using the Multimedia NFS share kept failing to load even though they should be identical between instances.

I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong and spent a lot of time on it.

Turns out…
When you mount the NFS share Mulltimedia ≠ Multimedia

Can you spot the difference?

I cannot tell you how many forums I searched through and how much time I’ve spent trying to understand why my two identical proxmox installations are causing such issues when accessing my NFS.

Never underestimate the power of a single typo.

You may have seen Janet Jackson can crash your laptop, but has it ever played classical music at random?

In trying to help a friend with computer troubles remotely, I jokingly asked if he was playing Janet Jackson albums near his laptop. He thought I was joking but no. Computers and requencies are weird. Rhythm Nation has the power to crash computers (with spinning hard drives.)

It turns out that the song contained one of the natural resonant frequencies for the model of 5400 rpm laptop hard drives that they and other manufacturers used.

The manufacturer worked around the problem by adding a custom filter in the audio pipeline that detected and removed the offending frequencies during audio playback.

Janet Jackson had the power to crash laptop computers – The Old New Thing
Careful playing near old hard drives.

This reminded me of the time in college I had a roommate who’s computer would play classical music at random. One of the weirdest things I’ve ever encountered in my years of computing.

I had to look for an archived version of this support article because it last affected Windows 2000. (Which was like, 7 years ago, right?)

During normal operation or in Safe mode, your computer may play “Fur Elise” or “It’s a Small, Small World” seemingly at random. This is an indication sent to the PC speaker from the computer’s BIOS that the CPU fan is failing or has failed, or that the power supply voltages have drifted out of tolerance. This is a design feature of a detection circuit and system BIOSes developed by Award/Unicore from 1997 on.

Microsoft KB Archive/261186 – BetaArchive Wiki

Credit to fuzzynyanko on reddit for linking to a video of this in action.

How to edit custom feed on Reddit

I have a custom feed on Reddit where I collect nerdy topics like selfhosting, docker, Nextcloud and some other nerd fodder. Recently, I decided I to move some of the communities around from one main feed to many.

To do this, I had to figure out how to edit a list of communities in my custom feed.

And for all of the ellipsis (…) menus and pencil icons, what I wanted to do was nowhere to be found.

So here it is.

How to remove a community from your Reddit custom feed.

First, drop down your list of feeds and locate the custom feed you’d like to edit.

Second, look at the list of communities in the right-hand column. Ignore all of the ...s and pencil edit icons. None of those will help you.

Third, move your mouse over the community and a Remove button will appear. Click the Remove button and the community will vanish from the list.

Fourth, you’ll receive a message at the bottom of the page verifying the change.

And that’s how you edit a custom feed on Reddit.

Downloading audio from Youtube using youtube-dl

I saw Mike over at Initial Charge link to Listenbox Turns YouTube Channels Into Podcasts. This is a neat idea and something I’ve been doing sparingly with longer-form Youtube content that is mainly audio.

However, I don’t need to pay a subscription for another thing in my life I’ll use on occasion. So I tweaked my Youtube-dl setup to pull audio from Youtube videos instead of the video itself.

First, I have to thank Jason for his youtube-dl setup which I replicated in a container on my server at home. He’s updated his configuration to support M1 Macs and some fancy iPhone shortcuts.

I have mine running on Ubuntu sitting in a container in proxmox in my office.

I’ve created a small shell script called The contents are below, which I’ll explain.

# YTDL-Music Playlist - Audio Only - Goes to Music folder
/usr/local/bin/youtube-dl \
--extract-audio  --audio-format mp3  --embed-thumbnail --ignore-errors \
-o "/mnt/Youtube/Music/%(title)s.%(ext)s" \
--download-archive /var/www/video/music.txt \

The first line is a comment reminding me of what this is and does.

/usr/local/bin/youtube-dl – The location where I have youtube-dl installed.

--extract-audio – Downloads only the audio and discards the video.

--audio-format mp3 – Sets the format to MP3 for compatability.

--embed-thumbnail – Embeds the thumbnail from the Youtube video. Sometimes useful, sometime not. But it’s nice to have some kind of artwork on the file.

--ignore-errors` – Skips errors like if a video is removed or not able to be downloaded for some reason.

-o "/mnt/Youtube/Music/%(title)s.%(ext)s" – The -o stands for output and tells youtube-dl where to save the file. In my case, I have it saved to my NAS mounted through NFS at /mnt/Youtube/Music.

The title and extension are pulled right from an example output. I don’t know what the lowercase s means. I just used it because the examples showed it.

--download-archive /var/www/video/music.txt – I write a log of everything I download so if I delete it after watching it, it doesn’t get pulled back down every single time. The file logs the youtube ID as opposed to the title or something human-readable but it’s better than nothing.

Finally, the URL links to the Youtube playlist where I want to download from. This makes triggering the downloads as simple as adding a file to that playlist and letting youtube-dl do the rest.

How does youtube-dl know to check the list for new videos? I have a cron job set to run the script every 10 minutes. So anything newly added to the playlist will get downloaded.

*/10 * * * * sh /var/www/video/

Once I download the audio, it gets picked up by Plex. Plex is set to watch that folder and add new content it finds to the library as audio. So I can download music, podcasts uploaded to Youtube, or technical shows where the content is largely audio.

It works well other than the hiccups any self-hosted setup can run into and it costs my nothing additional since I’m already paid for the computer and pay for the electricity/internet anyway at home.

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