9-volt battery rant

I hate them! If I’m aware that a product uses them I try to find a similar product that doesn’t. This is a highly unscientific rant. Totally based on my own opinion based on my lifelong experience using them. They are relatively expensive, they are often awkward to install.

Why the rant? Because I just found a missing electronics meter, that was ruined because the 9-volt battery leaked and one of the posts totally deteriorated, to the point where I wouldn’t be able to replace the battery, because of it. Now that could happen to any battery. However in the case of a AA battery often there is still a nub remaining to provide some contact. Because of the length of time it has been missing…to some degree I expected it. So this rant isn’t so much to do with it leaking, but more to the fact as the necessity of this battery. Why is a 9-volt battery required for a device that is mostly off? You turn on every now and then for a brief test. Certain devices seem to require them. I think most of my old answering machines used them to provide backup memory protection, also electric clocks for the same reason. I think smoke alarms also often use them…and you are warned to replace them every year. If my memory is right…a lot of toys required them,

Why could my old CD player that had to spin a motor to spin the CD and had a LED display, run on 2 AA (rated at 1.5volts each) batteries. I admit it couldn’t run very long, but the operating requirements seemed pretty steep. Why can my analog clock that has to turn the hands run 2+ years, using 1 AA battery…last so long? The minute hand has to advance 1440 times a day. It also has a second hand that has to move 86,400 a day. That’s 2,635,200 movements a month. But an electronic meter that only has a LED display and is used very infrequently…in my case…require 9-volts? Is there anything that my electronics meter using a 9-volt battery could do that 2 AA batteries (3 volts) couldn’t do?

Is there a 9-volt consortium, convincing companies to use them?

In all likelihood there is some reason. Perhaps 99.999% of the parts could work fine with 2 AA batteries, but one specialty part requires a higher voltage for some reason? On the other hand I took out another digital multimeter I bought a few years ago, to replace the one I just found, that has largely been sitting for a few years. I didn’t have to open it up because I found a YouTube review video of the exact model and it showed installing 2 AA batteries. The review was very positive.

Considering Fedora

With my desire to change my backup distro from Manjaro to something else and recently considering Fedora because of Manjaro removing any 3270 offering…now may be a good time! Their latest release 34 has been getting a lot of good press. My tendency is to stick with KDE but I have seen many positive mentions about gnome 40.

Fedora negatives or concerns? Wayland does not work and play well with NVIDIA graphics. Pipewire which replaces PulseAudio and Jack is fairly new.

Linux Mints mystery background downloads

I’ve complained about this before, but it’s a problem I have with Mint’s mystery downloading. Because of a new HD I recently reinstalled Mint and Manjaro. So both distros should be fairly fresh. And Mint is still doing this crap! Below is shortly after I logged on and haven’t used any programs. WTH is it downloading. Why is Mint using the bandwidth I pay for to download something of size? I could understand checking for updates, a returned list would be very small…a small spike on the graph. The bandwidth used could and perhaps is actually doing some type of update. I disconnect for 10-20 seconds then reconnect and before long it’s doing this again. If I let it continue it maintains this for many minutes. This isn’t an simple query to tell me my system status. This is many many megabytes. Possibly a GB or more.

And how does Manjaro look?

Like this while watching a YouTube Livestream at 480K

Or like this while doing a big update…

A Manjaro big update…that I started looks like Mint’s mystery background download.

I need to dig into this more.

REXX testing Idea

I just had a Eureka moment…running it batch like the installation tests did. Even if it didn’t lead to a solution at least it would be quicker for me to write (then test) locally using an editor I’m familiar with. On the ISPF side I’m constantly pressing home to go to a line beginning, only to end up on the command prompt at the top of the screen. Then I can’t enter text because of invisible stuff at the end of the visible text, and press end to go to the end of the line…with no results! I think I read somewhere that, that is a 3270 emulation issue, that can be fixed in the settings.

Then after editing I have to swap to another screen to test it. I’m aware also that the ISPF editor has quite a lot of features (F1 to see them). And if I was familiar with them I’d be more productive.

OK, I guess this idea is sunk also…”TSO REXX functions are only available in TSO environments (online or batch) not in plain batch.”, which explains why my “ALLOC” command failed. Although I don’t understand “(online or batch) not in plain batch.” however I assume I’m attempting plain batch.

Assembler/REXX

Maybe with all the trouble Rexx is giving me I should go back to something easier like Assembler 🙂 Was the Rexx developer trying to look like he wasn’t using other peoples ideas? I mean really…EXECIO. Execute I/O I guess. I guess I’ll just let it process in the background, until I have a Eureka moment…or find an answer.

REXX

Just installed BREXX on TK4-/MVS. Now to read the manual! As they say…back in the day, I wrote many REXX execs in VM/CMS. Our shop used CA-Vollie, which was a VSE, ISPF like environment. I assume that, it’s been so long, I can only guess that, that’s what it was modeled after. It was a CICS application. Starting out I used it too because it was the shop’s standard. But it wasn’t long before I heavily favored using VM/CMS for administration and program development. I was developing REXX code in the hopes of switching the programming staff over to VM/CMS. Of course I would have to run it by my manager first. But, alas, we were outsourced.

Anywho with my recent efforts of separating TK4- source from the JCL, I thought for starters, creating compile and Link REXX execs, that would prompt you for your source then wrap the appropriate JCL around it, would be a good exercise.

Also it might be a good time to download/install the Regina Rexx Interpreter, for practice on Linux, or perhaps even better Open Object Rexx, which I just learned of.

They say, ooRexx is the open source version of IBM’s Object REXX Interpreter. It is upwardly compatible with classic REXX and will execute classic REXX programs unchanged. That sounds like a huge advantage. Except…hasn’t been updated since 2014…big red flag!

At a quick 1st glance tutorialspoint seem to default to a ooRexx installation, but they also mention Regina and even BREXX. I thought, but am not sure, that they used Regina a few years ago.

Assembler Disk to Print

Successfully fixed Assembler Disk to Print program I had typed in week or so ago. Was having problems with DCB macro. More specifically line continuation. Almost asked for help in the MVS forum. Finally solved by editing in VS Code and realize my source alignment was off by using the visual guides. It was a simple program that read a PDS member and printed it out.

Latest YouTube Video

I think my latest video has a lot of useful info. However it’s turned into a kinda of Frankenstein project. With pieces edited in. Then realizing I already said the same thing later…but not as good, pieces edited out to avoid being redundant. Also it was originally supposed to be a dry run. I’ll just go through it once, then do it better the next time. Also I noticed the volume was lower than the first video, but couldn’t figure out why, Then later when I rerecorded something it didn’t have any sound, and when I finally got sound working it was louder again. So there is a piece edited in at the beginning with decent sound and later the volume goes down. But once again I learned a lot, making it.

Oh well, at the moment I don’t have any more video ideas. When I made the first Virtual Tape video, I immediately thought of the second one, because of a point I brought up. But nothing comes to mind at the moment. Making the video felt like work and that felt good.

Nemo search

When did this happen? My recent Mint update? Did nemo search get smart? I did a search…see below

I thought it was for an exact match. But the 1st result doesn’t fit that. Obviously it could be useful, I just don’t remember it working like that.