Clone Wars!

November 2008:

Clone wars!

At last back amongst the surviving packets on the grand isobaric terrain of the intArweb.  In my travels I have seen many lonely deserted packets, dropped needlessly from their groups… 8, 32, thousands… why do they not care for the feelings of a single packet, leaving them to separate into fragments of bits at our very feet.  But behold, I have before me packets folded to my bidding.  Networks staged on the very air over my living establishment are now mine, MINE, at my very bidding… my beckoned call to bow upon my every whim and desire.

Oh yes… I have internet access now.  Clandestinely perhaps, but I never claimed to be a Greenpeace activist.  I’m not armed enough for that role, yet.

June 2010:

Time progresses and this blog consists of things I have ran across and/or learned within the last 2 years.  In some cases, simply being a documentation for me to refer to later, along with sharing to the rest of the world.  I forget more than I ever type, sadly.
No longer am I clandestinely pirating airwaves to gain ‘net access.  I find my own connection to be far more sound.  That, and I can afford it now ;)

Hayes Sportster Modem Command Reference

Ever found yourself needing to dig up archaic documentation on Hayes modem commands?

You might, and if you do here is a reference.  It’s not often in your life you’ll need to dial up to another machine, but in those rare cases it’s nice to be able to diagnose the modem issue when it occurs.


HAYES(DEV)                      Devices                         HAYES(DEV)

    hayes - The hayes modems


    a/          - redo last command
    +++         - return to modem cmd mode from live connection


    ats11=75    - speed of tone dialing (in miliseconds. minimum 50)

    at&z0[tele#]        -stores a tele# in memory #0
    at&z1[tele#]        -stores a tele# in memory #1, etc
    atd\0               - dial tele# in memory #0

    at&v        - show all hayes command settings


    ata         - manual answer incoming call
    atd         - originate connection. Assumes number already 
                      dialed, remote has picked up
    ato         - go back online from +++
    ato1        - return to online state and retrain baud sync

    ath0        - hang up if modem off hook (esp. after a +++)
    ath1        - pick up, but do nothing

    atz         - reset modem to config profile 0
    at&f        - return all settings to factory settings
    at&w        - save current settings in non-volatile mem (?not sure)

    at\b        - send break
    at\b3       - send a 300ms break (number is x100ms)

    atl1        - low speaker volume
--> atl2        - medium speaker volume
    atl3        - loud speaker volume

    atm         - speaker off
--> atm1        - speaker on until carrier detected
    atm2        - speaker always on
    atm3        - spkr on until carrier detected except during dialing

--> atq0        - quiet off (enable messages)
    atq1        - quiet on  (disable messages)

    atv0        - verbal off (numeric messages)
--> atv1        - verbal on (word messages)

    atx[01234]  - various levels of word messages (default atx4)

    ate0        - no local echo
--> ate1        - local echo


    at&r0       - ignore RTS in command mode, CTS follows RTS in data mode
    at&r1       - force CTS active

    at&c0       - force DCD high always
    at&c1       - modem asserts DCD when carrier detected

    at&s0       - force DSR high always
    at&s1       - modem asserts DSR (when connection established?)

    at&d0       - ignores DTR line from computer
    at&d1       - goto AT command state on DTR on->off change, (no hangup)
    at&d2       - modem resets itself on DTR on->off change


    at&k0       - disable local flow control
    at&k1       - ?
    at&k2       - ?
    at&k3       - RTS/CTS bi-directional hardware flow control
    at&k4       - XON/XOFF bidirectional software flow control
    at&k5       - uni-directional XON/XOFF flow control


    ats0=0      - no auto answer
    ats0=1      - auto-answer on first ring


    ats7=30     - time to wait for carrier detect before giving up
    ats9=6      - recognize carrier by .6 seconds of carrier tone
    ats10=10    - hangup after 1 second without carrier tone

    ats0=0      - no auto answer
    ats0=1      - auto-answer on first ring

    ats7=30     - time to wait for carrier detect before giving up

    ats9=6      - recognize carrier by .6 seconds of carrier tone

    ats10=10    - hangup after 1 second without carrier tone

    ats11=75    - speed of tone dialing (in miliseconds. minimum 50)

    ,           - pause for 2 seconds (value of S7 register)
    ;           - return to command state after dialing
    !           - flash the hook for 1/2 second
    R           - reverse to 'answer' mode after dial (@ end of tele#)
    W           - wait up to 30 secs for 1 sec continuous dial tone
    @           - modem waits 30 secs for one or more ringbacks


    at&f                - return to factory settings
    ats0=1              - auto answer on first ring
    ats2=127            - disable +++ escape (allows binary file xmission)
    atl3                - loud spkr volume
    atm1                - spkr on until carrier detect
    ate0                - echo off
    atq1                - no messages
    at&c1               - DCD active on carrier detect, inactive on hangup
    at&d2               - modem resets when DTR dropped
    at&s1               - DSR active (when??)
    at&k0               - disable XON/XOFF flow control
    at&r0               - ignore RTS in cmd mode, CTS follows RTS in data mode
    at&w                - save these settings

    ats0=1              - auto answer on first ring
    ats2=127            - disable +++ escape (allows binary file xmission)
    atl3                - loud spkr volume
    atm1                - spkr on until carrier detect
    ate1                - echo on
    atq0v1              - disable quiet/enable verbose messages
    at&c1               - DCD active on carrier detect, inactive on hangup
    at&s1               - DSR active (when??)
    at&d2               - modem resets when DTR dropped
    at&k0               - disable XON/XOFF flow control
    at&r0               - ignore RTS in cmd mode, CTS follows RTS in data mode
    at&w                - save these settings

SEE ALSO - I think they have all models of modem settings 
    available online.

    Gregory Ercolano, Los Feliz California 08/28/93

Bootable OS X El Capitan on USB Stick

With the new version of OS X coming out shortly (El Capitan), here’s a way to make a bootable copy of it to your USB stick.  This process isn’t much different than previous versions, but I figured I’d post the instructions.  This wasn’t created by me, I just copied it from Lifehacker’s website because of the clean 1,2,3 layout already typed up.  Here it is.

The DIY Option: Terminal

  1. Download the El Capitan installer.
  2. Insert an 8GB (or larger) flash drive and give it a name. For this tutorial, we’ll use the name Untitled. Make sure the drive is formatted for OS X Extended (Journaled). If it isn’t, open up Disk Utility and format is so it is. Before you do so, back up any important data on that drive.
  3. Open up Terminal (Applications > Utilities).
  4. Type (or copy and paste) this command into Terminal, replacing Untitled with the name of your drive, then press Enter: sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ El\ --volume /Volumes/Untitled --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ El\ --nointeraction
  5. Type in your password when prompted and press Enter.
  6. Let the command line to its work and don’t interrupt it until you see the final line that says Done. This can take up to a half hour, so be patient.

When it’s done, you can insert your USB drive into any Mac and the launch the installer by holding down the Option key when you boot up your computer.

Reason to crack soybeans when making tempeh

I know quite a few people who continually talk about how you don’t need to do exactly what recipes say in order to get what the end result is.  I figured with tempeh I would create a real-world scenario where I did not crack or grind the soybeans before hand.

For a test, I used half a cup of soy beans soaked for 24 hours and steamed in a pressure cooker for 20 minutes.  Initially while looking at them you’d think that the skins would just fall off and or be loose enough where it wouldn’t matter. This is not true.  Here is an example picture of a 24 hour fermentation:


Notice the mycelium grew without any problems.  The real issue is that once you break this out of the Petri dish, you notice the soybeans were not readily penetrated by the mycelium.  Example:


In this picture you can see the structure was not able to be built by the mycelium. The reason is the mycelium cannot push the soybeans skin out of the way. There are some soybeans in this Patty that are without skin, and that is what is creating the body that does exist in this picture.


This is the patty broken in half.

My theory is also that the soybeans act as a brick style interface. Mycelium acts as a mortar, and the t work together.  Later I will do tests to see how the mycelium and soybeans react together when I grind the soybeans to a smaller scale.  (4-8 pieces per bean)

Inexpensive Sous Vide Solution

After thinking a bit about some people who aren’t into paying $200+ for a sous vide solution from a business, I decided I’d slap a quick solution together at the bottom of this article for those that are looking to put something together that would definitely work.  These are items I currently use for tempeh creation, which uses the same environment almost exactly as sous vide. (except the tempeh is held in a pan floating in the water)

I also do sous vide with the food container listed, when I’m cooking small to medium sized foods.  When I cook a full chicken, I have a larger (more expensive) cambro container that I purchased through Amazon.

The heater is the same wattage as the more expensive Anova sous vide cooker, and the heater is replaceable if anything happens to it.

Now, granted the Anova brand has a bluetooth interface where temperature and timer can be set, and if you’re willing to spend the extra money go for it!  I have it, and it works wonderfully quiet.  If it’s not in your price range, improvising is never a bad thing.  I’ve been there.  

If you’re looking to save money and not purchase a food cooking box, you can use anything that is at least 17.5 inches long, as that is how long the heater is.

The temperature controller listed has many settings on it.  A base temperature target, how far below the base to allow before the heater turns on, and temperature calibration.  This also has 2 circuits, one for heating and one for cooling, but that’s for other uses outside of sous vide.

That’s my recommendation.  There are obviously a million other things that could be used to replace these items, but these items I own and have used.  I know they work well, and I’ve been using them without fail.

800w heater – $47.99

temperature controller (1000w) – $38.99

food storage box 12″ x 18″ x 9″ (for cooking) – $16.93

(Optional: Food storage box 26″ x 18″ x 9”  – $38.48)

Air pump (circulation of water) – $5.99

4 inch air stone – $4.82

Air tubing – $3.51


Making Natto from scratch (well, mostly)

I tried a new food, natto.  It’s fermented soybean food, mostly Japanese.  I have been bored with the foods I’ve had over the years repeatedly, so I’m branching out into new foods from different countries.  Japan seems to fit me to a tee, it seems.

The first thing to note is there is a soybean variety specific to natto, even though it will work with normal soybeans… they’re just too big to ferment all the way through without troubles.  There’s a type sold called sprouting soybeans, or simply natto soybeans, that I’ve seen so far at Laura Foods ( ) but I’m sure many other places have them.

It’s actually relatively simple to make them, much like tempeh and other soybean fermentations.  First, the starter (culture) can be the pure version sold by Cultures for Health ( ) or simply using a package of natto sold at the store would suffice.  Since it’s my first time, I went with the pure version sold by Cultures for Health, but once that is used up I’ll use samples saved from the previous batch made.

For the fermentation unit, I have one I’ve made that is multi-purpose.  It’s a cambro insulated food holder, with a 800w submersible heater, air pump/air stone, submersible water pump with a mini aluminum radiator outside connected to the water pump.  I have a temperature controller that controls the cooling & heating when the temperature goes above or below the target temperature by a certain number of degrees.
I’ll do a full document on it soon, but in a nutshell it holds the temperature within 2 degrees, and keeps the environment high humidity.  Without the cooling unit, 800w heater, or temperature controller, this is basically it:

Note: I used 3 cups, but less can definitely be used with no changes.


  1. Set incubator temperature to 104 degrees fahrenheit. (40 degrees celsius)
  2. First, wash the soybeans a couple of times to get the dirt out.
  3. soak the soybeans for 12 hours
  4. Drain in a sieve or colander
  5. Steam the soybeans.  I steamed mine in a pressure cooker, for 20 minutes at “high pressure”.  (yours may be different)
  6. Once the steam cycle is finished, let it naturally depressurize.  Don’t mess with the floater.  It should take about 30 minutes.
  7. Place freshly steamed soybeans into a sterilized bowl.
  8. Boil 10 ml of water, let cool for a bit then place one of the special teaspoons of natto starter into the water and stir.
    If using natto as starter, place 2 teaspoon of the natto into your beans then pour the water evenly over your beans.
    Stir immediately, carefully so as not to smash the soybeans.
  9. Spread the soybeans evenly across the bottom of the pan, don’t press them together as air will need to flow between them as they ferment.
  10. Place pan into incubator, and set a timer of some form for 24 hours.
  11. Once the 24 hours is finished, pull the pan from the incubator, visually inspect, place a lid on the pan (or aluminum foil if you don’t have a lid)
  12. Put pan in the fridge, and age the soybeans for a couple of days up to 1 week.
  13. That’s it!  Now separate into small serving containers and enjoy.

The natto doesn’t go bad, it can stand around for as long as you wish.  However, it does dry out.  I’m not sure, I’d imagine adding a sparing amount of water to it and stirring would probably rehydrate it, but I haven’t experienced that yet.

UPDATE September 9th, 2015

After finishing my first fermentation of natto, I’ve had it in my refrigerator for 3 days to age.  I’ve tasted a bean on the first and third night, and each time was different and tastier.  Tonight when I was scooping some out for breakfast tomorrow at work, the smell was wonderful.  The stringiness is starting to become more prevalent, and it’s all together a good thing.  On Friday I’ll fill 8 of the 8-oz air tight containers I purchased, so they can age without any worries of dehydrating from the naturally dry refrigerator atmosphere.

Entag on Dremel power cable

I needed to pick up a Dremel PowerTool today to finish a task. I didn’t have one, so I figured why not now?  Everything went hunky-dory and I picked up a Dremel 3000 series.  Wonderful tool though it only comes with a tiny carving cutter instead of the carbon tungsten cutter that you usually see in commercials and television.  However the little carving cutter works fine for me as I bought it to simply cut a hole.

An interesting little strap on around the power cable was the largest piece of my life when I pulled it out of the package.  Simple black and strapped onto the power cable as if it was an RF frequency protector.  Simply labeled Emtag with do not remove on the back and in the front. I did look it up on the net and it ended up being a shoplifting tool to prevent people from stealing.  I simply insert it in my pocket knife into the edge of it, twisted, and pulled it off. Inside was a shoplifting sticker that you see on quite a few products in regular stores. Interesting that there is no mention of this in any of the documentation and leaving the customer with the idea that it has some sort of meaning.