USB Stick Frustrations

Recently I had a USB stick that had a live ISO written to it. On it were a few partitions, Linux formatted with the standard system files you would expect written to it.

I needed to wipe it and format it FAT to move a file. I happened to have a Windows system at the moment. Easy to do, right?

NO! Of course not!

Here was my experience:

  1. In File Manager, right-click the drive to try and erase and re-format it. Nope! That apparently cannot be done.
  2. Open Windows Partition Manager to try and delete the partitions. Partition Manager refused to perform any operations on the drive.
  3. I went and got a Linux system. Move the USB stick to it, and erase the partitions.
  4. I move the USB stick back back to the Windows system to format it and move the file.
  5. Open Windows Partition Manager again and try to make a new partition on this blank USB stick. It consistently locks up trying to make a new partition on it.
  6. Back to Linux! I make a new partition and format it FAT32.
  7. Back to Windows, try to drop the file onto it. File is too large. Ok, that is my fault, I forgot the 4GB limit. Right-click the USB stick to format it exFAT. NOPE! Doesn’t work.
  8. Back to Linux! I format it exFAT.
  9. Back to Windows, drop the file onto it. FINALLY!



New Weather Station

Not long ago, my old weather station died. My wife really enjoys walking downstairs and seeing the current weather on a display in the kitchen. So, I began shopping for a new one. Having experienced our last one, we knew there were some new features we wanted, such as the ability to see and track weather data remotely. I’ve always enjoyed using Weather Underground, and wanted to run my own station that uploads data to them, now was my chance.

After a bunch of research, I settled on an Ambient Weather WS-2902A. This thing is super cool for the price. Great color wireless display, with nearly every sensor you could think of. The sensor stack also runs primarily off of solar, with battery as a backup.

It also reports data to a handful of websites, including their own, which has a pretty nice interface. My primary concern was Weather Underground, which works great. I can also view my weather information on my phone, or via Alexa, which is great for an Amazon house like mine.

One note, make sure to check any network-level ad-blocking system you may have, such as Pi-hole. I noticed by default I was blocking, which is the data upload URL for Weather Underground.

It’s interesting to see the data now. You start to you realize how alive the earth is. For example, during the first night my station was running, my area had a small bit of wind in the middle of the night, like a breath.