marsden_online: (Default)
Yesterday was a good day. I woke up feeling somewhat as if my brain had reset from the previous few days self-inflicted misery and ready to get on with some things. The weather was not conducive to planned gardening so I set out on an extended series of shopping errands, acquiring
- a socket set and impulsively a fairly comprehensive set of screwdriver heads / drill bits for my power drill/driver
- more half-price short-dated bacon than I am easily going to consume (good stuff from a butcher, not water-filled supermarket stuff).
- ditto discount bananas (from the supermarket, not the butcher)
- the real score of the day was visiting the EcoShop to find items useful for converting my home computing environment to a standing workstation. I picked out two items which between them came to somewhat more than I really intended to pay, not discovering until I reached checkout that the store was having a "five dollar furniture day". :D

The two bits cleaned up nicely, most of the markings coming off with a little Jif and elbow grease. The screwdriver heads I had impulsively bought earlier meant I had the bit I needed to remove the wheels from the horizontal cabinet :)

A lot of unplugging and replugging later, this is the result.

Photo of the new setup including resident cat

The monitor alignment is a bit odd but unlike like work where all 3 monitors are pretty much constantly in use at home the left one is usually off and the right is quite auxiliary. I am actually finding having it a little higher to be better than the lower it was before. If I had a touch screen in the array I would find it very tempting to experiment with that much lower angled up.

I've been wanting to experiment with a standing desk for some time, multiple reasons including
- less sitting / stronger posture (my sciatica has been playing up regularly over the past year)
- less getting "trapped" at the computer: just the few hours I have spent yesterday proved that once I have finished everything I have to do I am more likely to wander off and do something else than sit there flipping between social media channels
-- sitting time is more likely to be non-screen dominated eg reading an actual book (Terry Pratchett's "Men At Arms" this day), game prep (I have the laptop if I feel the need to sit and write something extended and again that will at least happen in another room)
-- also no more eating at the computer, which is another shake up to my routine.
- An improvement in my touch-typing as it is not quite as easy to just glance down at the keyboard.

An added bonus is that the powerboard and case now being at normal-desk height mean I no longer have a nest of cables gathering dust down on the floor beside the desk. I've put the chair in there for the moment and the room actually feels a little less cluttered as a result.

Dear diary

Dec. 8th, 2014 10:17 pm
marsden_online: (Cat Yarn)
Recording quite a surprisingly pleasant weekend. Somehow I found myself under pretty much no pressure to be anywhere or do anything which led to a lot of napping and a surprising amount of productivity in between
- picking up an Xmas present for the elder niblings
- some significant reading
- going to a party and dancing early and hard (which in retrospect may have been a bit of a mistake as it contributed to my fading off home early)
- some significant hedge pruning
- Some minor stuff at the Hall on Sunday - not what I had sort of planned due to the weather completely sapping my enthusiasm for the outdoors but cleaned up some glass indoors and emptied the water containers while photographer etc did their thing.
- catching up on writing game logs (several hours of writing there)

The reading and the writing in particular were aided immensely by finally managing to come up with a comfortable arrangement for sitting up in bed with either book or laptop. (This may in future also result in more media watching). Time spent out of the "office" and away from the preponderance of possible "to dos" on the main computer is good for me.

Today was also quite unusual - a Hall alarm at 5:15am (unusual time, unusual day), pretty much just on dawn meant by the time I got home again there was little point in going back to bed even though I had only managed 4-5 hours broken, dream-filled sleep (probably due to all of the aforementioned napping). This led to
- doing a load of laundry
- six fairly productive hours at work
- washing the dishes
- vacuuming

At this point I had to take a nap because while I could have pushed myself to do the next thing on the list it would not have been done well and it would not have been good for me I woke up with enough energy and more importantly determination to pick up momentum again.

- mopped the floors -> bringing me up-to-date on the household chores
- cooked a good dinner which will double for tomorrow night
- caught up the accounts (and discovered my recent foray into Bonus Bonds is starting to pay out - must make a separate spreadsheet to track ROI on that)
- dug up some information about our power usage and emailed it off to one of the companies I am talking to about Solar (and probably the one I am going to go with).
- made a dear diary post :)

I'd like to think I'll be able to get a good nights sleep and an early start for an equally good day tomorrow but as I remember all too well from the start of last week, that's actually probably going to prove pretty arbitrary and random.
marsden_online: (Cat Yarn)
... and I spend the first couple of hours lying in bed with my brain developing and cataloguing solutions to various coding challenges awaiting me at work. On the plus(er) side I strongly suspected that the sore throat and cough I have been holding at bay most of the week would have taken this opportunity to settle in properly but instead it seems to have receded.

Still this week has been much better than last, as is usually the case after I have vented a whole lot of angst into my journal. I have been calmer at work and usefully also spent the latter part of the week working on a project my brain was also ready for. (I may have not-asked if there were any external projects needing my attention before starting on this bit of an internal project ... ). Knowing ahead of time that my D&D game wasn't running on Tuesday was also a relief and freed up valuable brain cycles not having to worry about prep. And thanks to [ profile] jomas_45 for being a friend on Monday :)

The rest of today, to avoid spamming my FB wall with interesting links as I catch up with reading (and photo galleries), shall include at least some of the following:
Laundry (already washing load #1)
Perhaps some ironing
Gardening (green bin)
Offline-reading* and game prep
Finish setting up the "new" media computer**

* I haven't mentioned it here due to the convenience of FB but probably should - over the past few weeks a friend has been disposing of his dead-tree RPG collection and much of it has come the way of my library, including

- many Pathfinder Adventure Path Modules and supporting material

- An interesting looking (as in "I might run this") D&D3 module
- A D&D3 3rd party Bestiary (Monster Manual)
- D&D3 Expedition to Castle Ravenloft module (hardback mint condition still has the new book smell)

- AD&D2 2E DMs Campaign Guide and Catacomb sourcebook
- AD&D2 Ruins of Undermountain boxed set
- AD&D2 Forgotten Realms City of Splendours (Waterdeep) boxed set (mostly present)
- AD&D2 Ravenloft campaign setting (Domains of Dread) hardcover

Various print-edition Dungeon, Dragon, Polyhedron magazines circa 2001-2004

- "All the Worlds' Monsters" Chaosium generic fantasy RPG supplement, 1979 printing. Good or better condition, expertly durasealed (or equivalent) #collectorsitem

- A stack of RIFTS setting books and the hardcover rules, which I shall be passing on to an acquaintance but might yet return to my stash.

** Replaced the old computer which was serving the TV with another of similar age, slightly less powerful processor but 4x the RAM and a much better video card. Moved over the hard drive.
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
Everything I want to do right now seems like too much hard work. Or maybe there is no-thing I want to do right now just a list of chores / things I *ought* to do and an aching pit inside.

So I'm working through a list of things that need to be done because what else am I going to do?

Most of this week followed the pattern of "get through enough hours at work then accomplish one thing at home for the day". I can't clearly remember what/when those things were now. None of theme were very big things. Filling the green bin happened one evening - didn't take very long. Getting the photos from last weekend onto my computer may be one thing - I didn't manage to actually put together the gallery yet.

Around that I played through a very long game of FreeCiv until I'd eliminated a couple of the other civs and could easily have rolled over the remaining ones. I think that has sated my Civ craving for a while and hopefully reset my brain on some level.

By the end of yesterday I was completely exhausted and had to push myself to clean the place up for drinkies that was being hosted here. I as without the spoons to actually participate falling into be shortly after 8, emerging briefly around 11. Sleep eventually came, ironically after the drinkies wound up - but was very broken from neighbour-cat repeatedly coming in through the window I had left open for cat-guest and being met with hissing and spitting. I also had multiple bad dreams involving being late for work - importantly late like for meetings with clients - which ties in with it getting harder and harder to get to work "on time" as the week progressed. (As I don't have a formal start time this means getting to work later and later and repeatedly missing the time I've chosen to aim for.)
marsden_online: (Default)
First day back at work for the year. First day as an employee instead of a contractor for nearly 6* years. First time in a technically "senior" position.
- Not strictly formally "Senior", and the argument could be made that this is simply solidifying of an existing situation but it feels like a rather different dynamic actually working in the same office / collaborating directly rather than usually focussed on different projects.

* 2 weeks short

Most of yesterday disappeared unplanned into a game of FreeCiv. On reflection that is usually where I turn when I need to give my brain a reset. Determinedly hung on and finished the game somewhere after midnight. I would have liked another week off (common sentiment) as it is only this past week that I have actually begun to relax and wind down (following the same pattern as 2011-12). I'm still low on energy and just the last couple of nights started having lack-of-control dreams again.

Nevertheless woke comfortably, made my way to the office in no hurry and had what seemed like a low-impact day. There was very little code involved - mostly it was administration and showing other people how to do stuff. Which I rather enjoy but may take up a deceptive amount of spoons. At between the 5 and 6 hour marks my brain was really starting to fade though -not unusual but I had d thought I might do better / be fresher. Called it a day.

There were a number of errands on the way home including a (false) Hall alarm when I was already nearly there to do a patrol. Maybe one of the pigeons we say yesterday flew in front of a sensor or something. Shortly after 6pm I gave in and went for what was to be a short nap on the basis that even if I stayed up late as a result I could make some use of the time. Instead I was woken ... admittedly at the time I had been planning ... by the computer deciding to wake up from the sleep state I'd put it in and re-start playing music fairly loudly and then drifted* for about another two hours. I am still very tired but had to get up and eat. so I'm actually going to be going to bed about the usual time, and desperately hoping for some restful sleep.

* much of this drifting seemed to involve pondering how when you have the ability to "have"/"take" something(one) (or make a mess trying) it is so incredibly important that you are able to put what you want second to what other parties want, and how much energy I spend on -not- doing certain things I want to.

Don't drink don't smoke - what do you do?
Don't drink don't smoke - what do you do?
Subtle innuendos follow
There must be something inside
marsden_online: (Cat Yarn)
It's been an odd sort of a week for me. I've been waking early, getting stuff done first-thing or going into the office, spending quite a bit of time at work (average 5+ hours a day billable), getting more stuff done in the evening. Almost like a fully functioning person.

I think it's the sunshine. Anytime the weather has turned grey over the past few weeks my energy and spoons have plummeted. Which is a valuable reminder of how close to the edge I still am. But the money looks good and desk/computer are back in the office-room (which I'm going to have to rename as not only am I no longer working from here I'm not bringing the big bookcase back in either so "library" is also no longer appropriate); I have a 3rd screen on the computer and as a non-Civ distraction have Diablo II working after a fashion. Various other longstanding minor tasks have been dealt with and I am slowly working on the annual housekeeping (cleaning out cupboards etc).

Obviously haven't moved my journalling yet - I want to complete the Kiera's Thoughts series here before doing the big import and while I did get one knocked out this week there are still at least 2 to go. I may not get one doe over the weekend - all the time at work has aggravated my wrists and I ought to take a break from typing.

I have just finished scrubbing the kitchen floor (which isn't kind on the wrists either) and have the contents of a hallway wardrobe piled about (there was an old spill of some description in the bottom which also needed scrubbing). Later today my parents will be in with a load of firewood and will likely take away some rubbish.

Still a bit groggy after a disagreement with dinner last night and 11:30pm + 4am alarms at the Hall last night. But aware that things are looking bright and want to remember how it feels.
marsden_online: (Default)
Despite my generally-low spoon levels I have been waking early, rising early and getting chores done before going to work. Sometimes in the evening too but only after a substantial late-afternoon/early evening nap. I seem to have started early on the Xmas clean-and-sort - which as I didn't manage to complete it last year is probably no bad thing.

This is kind of aided by the fact that I am slowly moving back into the "office" and whereas moving out was a concentrated exercise in "move-all-the-things" this is a more gradual process done as I have the spoons / need to set up/access particular things. Actually working from "work" has cut way back on these things.

At the weekend I don't have work, so yesterday and today so far have seen
- a focussed forking weeding attack on a section of the garden
- intermittent sorting and repacking of one of the hallway cupboards
- dismantling and cleaning of a keyboard (grotty)
- putting away the gazebo
- some work at the Hall
- clearing my RSS backlog and some other tabs

Much of this is done with that kind of nervous energy which comes from being on a low-ebb plateau, where if you don't keep accomplishing things you might crash at any time. (There have been a couple of crashes/hard naps - I'm running out of energy easily.) I've also spent some time playing Civ though and I'm considering setting up the other computer and re-installing Diablo II or dropping a few dollars on something interesting from First though I actually need to get the desk moved back from the lounge.

What I am actually procrastinating (and I know it) is writing up the last of the Kiera's Thoughts journals, which I want to complete on LJ before I make the export/move to Dreamwidth. That's probably going to take a few hours, and I keep not-quite-having / not-quite-wanting to commit that block of time. Or something. Right now for instance it's half-past-11 and I need to be over at the Hall by 1pm, lunch in the interval.

Update: got the lawns done in that time.
marsden_online: (Maniac)
* although actually we updated so C could have more data before going over cap.

After a few technical glitches and two visits by a slightly frustrated technician can haz TelstraClear Warpspeed internet connection (100Mb/10Mb).
Of course since it's feeding into a router which can at best handle 100Mb wired and less by wireless we're not going to get the full benefit of that, but still an advance on 15/2 and I might look at upgrading the router next time I have a good month.

... of course the main issues with speed on this system remain software related - I don't know if it's windows, the browsers of the firewall/virus checker but my initial tabs are all really slow to load when I open a browser.
marsden_online: (Blueknight)
When Global PC redirects me to Dragon PC for a simple USB to PS/2 converter (I already checked Dick Smith, they only had them running in the other direction).

Dragon didn't have one (without a mouse) either, but did have a dual PS/2 to USB converter which should equally well solve the problem.
marsden_online: (Default)
Loot list: Handmade chocolates delivered Xmas Eve (Thanks J), an uber-fluffy woolen underlay (impressed that my parents managed to find such a thing in super-king, not sure it's exactly what I wanted but come winter will try it), a package of homegrown beef, several non-winning instant kiwis.
uncling )
Headed back to town before evening dessert (same as midday dessert) and got to Waifs & Strays just in time for 2nd dessert. Which pretty much topped me off for the day, I managed to avoid overeating for a change. Spent a pleasant couple of hours there.

Spent Xmas Eve day and until after midnight playing Civ. This is only worth mentioning because the game didn't follow the usual pattern - normally a series of wars results in my controlling most of the planet by the time I get to building a spaceship. This time none of my neighbours attacked me until after launch, instead devoting most of their attention through the game to some guy down the other end of the map. Until that point I didn't fire a shot except against some pirates.

What this meant was I had significantly fewer cities than usual but they were mostly maxed out (minimal production diverted to units) and it didn't actually take any longer to build the spaceship. The perception of time may have been because fewer cities and fewer units meant turns were going by faster.

Today is nominally designated for pottering around the house cleaning things, but I'm awfully tempted to start up another game.
marsden_online: (Blueknight)
The Swiftpoint Mouse
- Designed and made by a Christchurch company which has survived the quake
- something I saw reviewed some time ago and thought "I'd like to try one of those"
- serendipitously reminded by a mention from Russell Brown at the end of this weeks Media 7
- sorry lefties, it's handed :( (they justify this by saying "research showed us that a majority of left-handed people use a mouse in their right-hand." Don't know how true that is.)
marsden_online: (Default)
Also supposedly can haz car back later this afternoon.


Jan. 22nd, 2011 10:44 pm
marsden_online: (Blueknight)
an even 10 CDs of photo archive backup, and removed albums as far back as 2008 from my "Recent Photos" directory into the "Archive" directory.

If I had grouped things a little differently I probably could have made a DVD out of some of that, but I'm picky about how events are sorted. As I'm taking more (and higher quality/larger) photos these days I expect the next KAOS backup at least will be a DVD.

I could have left it longer, but the number of directories was getting unwieldy.

Enough for tonight, first thing tomorrow I must run a sync to make all the local copies line up with the new locations. This is an important step in clearing data off the tablet prior to a re-install.
marsden_online: (Blueknight)
In the process of upgrading I discovered my previous-er computer still lurking in the hallway cupboard. There because it had a working floppy drive and it's replacement didn't have one at all, and because I haven't made a trip to the recyclers since using it in my first attempts to connect the network/internet to the TV.

It's a little bit sentimental, with HDD and RAM upgrades the basic machine did me many years. In addition to the floppy drive it has an early memory-card reader, which niftily came as part of a DVD-ROM/CD writer drive (DVD writers were still rare as well) This was a later addition, it also has it's original 52x CD-ROM drive (I think that was original).

Anyway, since I'm doing a bit of a de-clutter and I also have a couple of non-functioning printers to dispose of, there will be a trip to Molten Media sometime in the New Year if anyone wants to add stuff.
marsden_online: (Blueknight)
I'm having "OMG so fast" moments, as you do. They started with boot up and log on this morning.

Today: synchronisation and backup. Bandwidth is no longer a limiting factor (we haven't gone over our cap since the last increase) so I spent some time checking out the services in this list.

iDrive won on the following counts
- 5G free matches any of the others and will easily hold me until the Xmas/NY crunch is over and I can justify a years subscription (these things need to be staggered and there are several coming due in January already)
- Real-time backup can be toggled on or off - I've had a local real-time service operating for the last year and have decided it's not necessary (and something of a resource hog) most of the time. Daily backups will be adequate, but it's great to have the option.
- you can restore back 30 versions (plenty for a daily, maybe not if you save religiously and backup in real time) but the historical versions don't count towards your storage limit, which could be a huge space-saver and is generally awesome :D

The one thing I'd like is the ability to have multiple backup sets on different schedules, which is how I manage my local backups (set that up today as well, inasfar as I have data stores copied to the new system). But that may be part of the paid version - in any case it's not a deal breaker.
marsden_online: (Blueknight)
So I spent much of today transferring to my new computer. Unlike previous moves it was not just much a matter of swapping in the hard drives, but I was glad to note that there is an IDE socket on the motherboard should I ever need it.

As I had hoped Windows 7 (already installed) allows for on-the-fly resizing of the primary partition - although the now seems to be a "System", "Boot" and "Primary" partition before you get into extended partitions). So I was able to quickly shrink it to a size which will hopefully be enough for the OS and then add back in my usual separations. They are of course somewhat larger than the old ones, but once they were set up I was able to just suck applications and data across the network from the old machine. Most of the settings came over as well, Firefox "portable" being a notable exception.

Media and photos are transferred, "work" will be done at a later date in conjunction with my annual tidy up / archive of inactive sites. I still have to set up synchronisation and backups for -anything-, but until there is new data that's not a big issue. I'm planning to more aggressively back up offsite to the cloud this year, so I have to spend some time checking out options.

Navigating two computers with only one monitor was/is entertaining (the old one in the VGA port, the new in the DVI). Also managing two mice and two keyboards, as I kept trying to use the primary keyboard no matter which computer was onscreen. I did have the new box up on the desk while this was going on - now it is down beside and the old box is tucked behind the desk, so there is more room.

The old box gets to hang around as an XP machine for browser testing until I get virtualisation sorted out.

I had issues reading text in Win7 all day, but I've just figured out to turn Cleartype *off* and it's made a world of difference to legibility. The "Favorites" taking up space at the top of the Navigation Pane and the additional "Libraries" and "User" items before you even get to you folder list are incredible annoying. I will look more closely at these "Library" things though, they could be useful.

Pinning to the taskbar is nice, I can -almost- do what I used to with the quick-launch bar but even at a "small" size the icons just have too much space around them. So I have a custom toolbar for the items I use once or twice a day. Chrome also seems to be having issues with launching from the taskbar, or more likely Windows is having issue launching Chrome from the taskbar.

Another issue is VLC not handling wmv files (or anything using WMV1, WMV3 and probably WMV2) encoding) - it'll play the audio fine and Windows Media Player (yuck) will play them, so that's an issue which can be addressed later.

Also left to do at this point/this evening:
- install printer and scanner, will doubtless want to download the latest drivers
- [edit: Fuck. Scanner is obsolete. 64 bit drivers are just not happening]
- install joystick (should be fine) and headset (will probably need drivers)
- see if my favourite configuration of Winamp still works of if I'm going to be looking for an alternative solution to that. Digsby docked to the side of the screen OK, so I have hope.


Sep. 25th, 2010 01:27 pm
marsden_online: (bomb)
Playing with Chromium OS (Flow) on the laptop. So far so good :D

[Edit: Some date issues.]
marsden_online: (Blueknight)
I spent the afternoon re-sorting all the unidentified faces in Picasa from one huge set (~2500 non-unique faces) to several smaller sets related to context like KAOS, SAGA, Family, (and one for the few years I attended Kapcon which has over 1000 unidentified faces all by itself. I remain puzzled by the way Picasa picks out faces from lower-resolution images far better than it does from high-resolution ones).

I also [Ignore]d quite a few which really didn't need to be there at all - passers-by and bystanders at stunts, etc.

This with actually appending names to the 900+ backlog of unnamed faces, as I haven't been keeping up. To be honest I remain pretty sure that it's wasted effort because of the data being stored in a central location external to the photos, and photos from about two years back get removed permanently to the external drive and out of Picasa just to keep the amount manageable.

If tomorrow is as quiet as today I may get around to installing and testing the latest version of Fotobounce - which has previously been far less useful for photo management than Picasa but can at least be set to store data files in the same directory as the photos.

Captions get stored internally in the meta-data in both cases. I think. This is a good thing and why I prioritise captioning over face-tagging. That and all the facial recognition applications I've tried are very hit and miss about picking faces in the first place, and manually adding them is too time consuming.
marsden_online: (Blueknight)
The computer failed to turn on this morning. It's had a problem for a while - the first time I push the power button the fans spin up and then down again, the second time it will boot. This morning nothing happened on the second time. I then went and had a shower before trying again, (while mentally reviewing my fallback plans - yes I haz them), and it sarted oK after the break.

I've had this problem before, oddly that time it cleared up after a reinstall of Windows but there should be nothing Windows is doing that close to boot (I don't think the hard drives have even spun up).

So I will shortly undertake step 1 - unplug and replug everything from the motherboard and button panel, especially anything to do with the power supply.

Edit: done and well vacumned - there was a lot of dust in there, probably wasn't helping anything
marsden_online: (Default)
So I didn't manage to get vanilla CivII working :(, but the Civ II: Test of Time CD I'd forgotten about installed and is running just fine (but sans video).

I'm not as enamored of ToT, The 3D animated units are cool & all but a lot harder to tell apart. They also tend to 'float' one higher above the square they're sitting in, which leads to moving them in the wrong direction a lot. Also it was obviously never designed to run on a screen this size/resolution.

Nevertheless it kept me occupied from shortly after my last post to about 2:30 am, and I'm sure I'll be back to it shortly at the expense of things I ought to be doing :-/ I am a very groggy Marsden at the present time.

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