Advice and Useful Quotes


2021-04-02

"There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult." - Warren Buffett


“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.” - Henry David Thoreau


I hope you can keep simple and stay honest in this society. I will bless you in another world. - Huixiang Chen


Some say that my teaching is nonsense. Others call it lofty but impractical. But to those who have looked inside themselves, this nonsense makes perfect sense. And to those who put it into practice, this loftiness has roots that go deep.

I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures. Simple in actions and in thoughts, you return to the source of being. Patient with both friends and enemies, you accord with the way things are. Compassionate toward yourself, you reconcile all beings in the world.

Chapter 67, Tao Te Ching, Stephen Mitchell translation


To laugh often and much; to win the respect of the intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that one life has breathed easier because you lived here. This is to have succeeded.

  • unknown

A rational person can find peace

by cultivating indifference

to things outside of their control. - @naval


  • When you're finally wealthy, you'll realize that it wasn't what you were seeking in the first place. But that's for another day. - @naval (twitter)

  • Redesign your life so the actions that matter most are also the actions that are easiest to do. - Atomic Habits, James Clear

  • It's easy to get forced into inaction by too many differing opinions. Sometimes trying things yourself and learning from the experience is the best way to expand your own skill set. - Marty from MCM

  • If anyone tells you that a person speaks ill of you, don’t make excuses about what is said of you, but answer: ‘He does not know my other faults, or he would not have mentioned only these.’ — Epictetus

  • "Only a fool trips over the rocks laid behind him." - Marcus Aurelius

Jordan Peterson:

Tell the truth.

Do not do things that you hate.

Act so that you can tell the truth about how you act.

Pursue what is meaningful, not what is expedient.

If you have to choose, be the one who does things, instead of the one who is seen to do things.

Pay attention.

Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you need to know. Listen to them hard enough so that they will share it with you.

Plan and work diligently to maintain the romance in your relationships.

Be careful who you share good news with.

Be careful who you share bad news with.

Make at least one thing better every single place you go.

Imagine who you could be, and then aim single-mindedly at that.

Do not allow yourself to become arrogant or resentful.

Try to make one room in your house as beautiful as possible.

Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today.

Work as hard as you possibly can on at least one thing and see what happens.

If old memories still make you cry, write them down carefully and completely.

Maintain your connections with people.

Do not carelessly denigrate social institutions or artistic achievement.

Treat yourself as if you were someone that you are responsible for helping.

Ask someone to do you a small favor, so that he or she can ask you to do one in the future.

Make friends with people who want the best for you.

Do not try to rescue someone who does not want to be rescued, and be very careful about rescuing someone who does.

Nothing well done is insignificant.

Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world.

Dress like the person you want to be.

Be precise in your speech.

Stand up straight with your shoulders back.

Don't avoid something frightening if it stands in your way — and don't do unnecessarily dangerous things.

Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them.

Do not transform your wife into a maid.

Do not hide unwanted things in the fog.

Notice that opportunity lurks where responsibility has been abdicated.

Read something written by someone great.

Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street.

Do not bother children when they are skateboarding.

Don't let bullies get away with it.

Write a letter to the government if you see something that needs fixing - and propose a solution.

Remember that what you do not yet know is more important than what you already know.

Be grateful in spite of your suffering.


“Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.” - Dalai Lama


Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt. Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench. Care about people's approval and you will be their prisoner.

Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.


"Be happy and fearless. Remember that you are a child of Divinity. Loss and gain cannot even touch your shadow." - Swami Rama

Fitbit Notifications with iPhone


2021-04-02

I recently decided to start using my Fitbit Charge 3 to receive notifications from my iPhone again. When activated, the Charge 3 can receive SMS, Calendar, and call notifications from your iPhone.

I had the settings in the Fitbit app on my iPhone set to “All Day Sync” and notifications turned on but I still was not receiving notifications on my Fitbit.

I searched online and followed all of the guides that would supposedly fix this, but none of them worked for me.

I finally realized the Fitbit itself had the Notifications setting set to off. All I needed to do was hold down the button when on the Notifications screen, pictured below:

So if you have exhausted other solutions, make sure the Fitbit’s setting is set to receive notifications on the device itself.

Nest Thermostat Can’t Connect to Nest Protect


2021-01-16

TL;DR: I had to delete the Nest Thermostat from the Nest app, then set up Nest Protect first. After that, I re-added Nest Thermostat in the Nest app.

I ordered a Nest Learning Thermostat and four Nest Protects at the same time. I ended up installing the thermostat a few days before I had time to install the Protects.

When I attempted to add the first Nest Protect in the Nest App, the directions never told me to pull the battery tab to power on the Protect, so of course the thermostat could not find it to assist in setting it up.

I figured the Protect at least had to have power, so I pulled the tab so the batteries could make the connection and power the device. Still, the Nest Thermostat could not find either of the first two Protects I tried to set up.

I figured the app also accounts for people setting up a Protect with no thermostat or other Nest device set up yet — so I deleted my thermostat from the app. Once it was gone and not “assisting” me, the Protects were added without trouble.

I re-added the thermostat using the app, the first Protect successfully “assisted” me in setting up, and we’re off to the races. I still don’t know what went wrong originally, but all five devices are set up now.

Setting up a Wyze Cam v2 with Zoneminder


2020-10-31

Updated with new Wyze firmware (Nov 30 2020)

I bought a Wyze Cam v2 on a whim today. I usually run PoE cameras that record to my local server running Zoneminder. I wanted to see what the other world was like: a wireless camera that records to the “cloud” (a.k.a. some other guy’s server). It has its perks:

  • No server to configure, maintain, etc.
  • Easy access to camera feed outside of your local network (don’t need to get your ISP to open ports).

Unfortunately, I wasn’t that impressed right off the bat. I should have read the reviews more closely. When setting up the camera, I realized if you don’t buy a Wyze Plus membership, the camera records 12 seconds on motion detection and then has a five minute cooldown! The 12 second recording didn’t bother me much, but you can miss a ton in the five minutes after that.

So I googled “Wyze onvif”, without much hope, to see if I could get this camera working with Zoneminder. Lo and behold, Wyze has kindly released a beta firmware version for their v2 camera. I followed these directions to get it set up to provide an RTSP feed for Zoneminder (original link from Wyze – Wyze Cam RTSP):

  • Download the beta firmware for the camera: Wyze Cam v2 RTSP Firmware or Wyze Cam Pan RTSP Firmware
  • Unzip and rename the file to demo.bin
  • Put the file on an SD card. Put it at the root directory, not inside any folder on the SD card.
  • Hold the “Setup” button on the camera as you are plugging the camera’s power cable in. When the status light turns blue, you can let go of the the “Setup” button.
  • Wait 2 to 3 minutes for the camera to install the firmware.
  • Open the Wyze app and go to Settings -> Advance -> RTSP
  • Enable RTSP and copy the url. It will have you enter a username and password for the RTSP feed. My url looked like rtsp://username:password@192.168.1.112/live
  • Enter that in the “Source Path” of the “Source” tab in Zoneminder’s monitor set-up window.

And bam! Mine was receiving the feed after those steps. The Wyze v2 Cam is 1080p so that’s what I set mine to in Zoneminder. I’ll be testing it over the coming days/weeks so I will add any other tweaks I find necessary to this post.

If you’re interested in the camera, you can check it out on Amazon here: Wyze v2 Cam (compatible with Zoneminder).

Zoneminder Fills /dev/shm 100%


2020-10-29

After adding a third camera (a Reolink RLC-520) to my Zoneminder server, I found that I couldn’t get all three cameras to come up at the same time. I would restart and 2 would successfully enter the “Running” state but a third (not always the same one, either) would not.

I then noticed that /dev/shm was red and at 100% in the status bar. After some research, I found that this is usually caused by the cameras’ resolution being set to high for the RAM the server has.

I lowered my resolution to 1080P on two cameras and 3MP on the third. This dropped the /dev/shm usage to what is seen in the screenshot above.

My server has 8GB of RAM, which I may upgrade soon. If you run into this problem, try lowering the resolution of your camera(s) in Zoneminder’s config for each one.