nutrition log – doing it my way (MS excel)

I give up on and, they’re both crap as far as I’m concerned.
I just entered broccoli for lunch on and its coming up with different values for different meals. no deal. So I went back to the Excel sheet I downloaded from some apparent Australian nutrition authority, and made my own Nutrition Calculator in Excel.. This required learning the INDIRECT function in excel, which was a fruitful exercise in MS Excel. It’s pretty handy in that regard.

excel-imageSo this should be fine, looks like it’s working just fine 😀
I’ve checked the function values and yer seems all good.

All I have to do is search for a food in the database, and enter it’s row number into my foods sheet, then add that to any day. The file is here for any use requirements:

My nutrition plan-Excel template

Blocking websites easily on a home wifi router

For a few years I’ve found free to air TV to be painful. One time while holidaying with my Dad I was bored and resigned to watching TV – I was really surprised how shit it was. That can now compare to facebook, I don’t really use the website much recently, and I went as far as to block the domain on my home internet connection (instructions to follow). I blocked facebook for a few reasons:

  • When I have a moment to think of something to do, looking at facebook can turn into hours of distraction with various links plastered everywhere.
  • I don’t like comparing myself to others in an artificial way. It doesn’t really serve me to see all the interesting and cool things people I have met are up to – while I’m sitting in front of a computer screen (not standing – as I’m talking past tense).

So, I blocked facebook.

Mobile phone wireless tech

Was just thinking randomly about how many wireless transceivers my phone has.. there’s a lot

  • Cellular (several bands)
  • Wifi (2.4 and 5Ghz)
  • Bluetooth, including Bluetooth LE
  • NFC
  • GPS receiver
  • Ant+ receiver

That’s 6 RF radios, as well as infrared…

Also I might get a wireless changing thingo for inductive charging.. That’s another!

Although the only point of interest as far as health would be the radiated power.. people seem to get all hung-up about wifi, when cellular is a much more powerful signal.. A cellular signal has to travel all the way to the nearest phone tower, where as wifi might have 30-50m range tops.. From memory a cell radio in a phone may have 1-4W of power, where as wifi is maybe up to 200mW tops… 200 would be surprising. so likely more than an order of magnitude difference between wifi and cellular. People don’t seem to realise that. Although that being said, wifi is possibly used more frequently. I’m thinking I should disable cellular while I’m sleeping.

Syncing TrueCrypt Volumes (across a windows network)

I have been looking for a way to synchronize an encrypted Truecrypt  volume. This is a tricky problem, as a truecrypt volume is simply a large (possibly several GB) file, which appears as a disk drive when mounted with truecrypt. I have been looking into this technology lately as a method to have a safe location to store documents which which can’t be accessed by anyone else. Truecrypt is perfect for this, and as I have been listening on security now lately, it is still pretty much a very impressive solution for encryption on windows – and it’s free. I have heard bad things about dropbox being able to access your whole computer and similar things so truecrypt seems a perfect solution. So I’m very satisfied using the various simple to use options truecrypt has, the next problem is backup. I want to be able to backup my encrypted volume. The encrypted truecrypt volume is simply a large file sitting on my computer, each time I modify the contents of the volume, the encrypted volume changes. Herein lies the problem, I need to be able to backup only the part of the volume that has changed – otherwise for example if I change the name of a file in the truecrypt volume, the whole volume would need to be resynchronized with the backup location. This is called Block level synchronization, where only modified parts of a file are synchronized. Dropbox does Block level synchronization, so it is possible to use dropbox with a truecrypt volume – but that still has the problem of using dropbox… The best source of various solutions I found is here. The one I have got to work is Syncovery, there are others on GitHub which were free, but Syncovery seems the best option – even if it does cost ~$35.

This allows me to have a remote backup of a truecrypt volume – where the remote location doesn’t need access to the contents of the volume. With this solution only encrypted noise is sent out of my computer to the backup 🙂

To get this to work:

  1. Create Truecrypt volume (needs to be a volume not a partition so the sync software can access the encrypted data).
  2. Set truecrypt to change modification date when modifications are made. (Settings>Preferences>Windows>Uncheck Preserve modification…)
  3. Create Syncovery Profile (with block level mode).
    – Select Advanced Mode from the start screen
    – Create New profile with Standard Copying mode
    – Select Partial File Updating (in the Special tab sheet)
  4. Since my backup drive is portable, I attached it and synchronized it locally.
  5. After the first synchronization, it will create a database of the files, so the second time should be much faster. I tested this by putting the backup on a remote machine over wifi and making a small change to the contents of the source truecrypt volume. It ran through the whole 12GB volume in no time at all 😀