Robert Mibus: And just how geeky are you??81% Geek
Robert Mibus: And just how geeky are you??81% Geek
Robert Mibus: "Foundation", questions...
A beautiful quote from Asimov's "Prelude to Foundation"
Why, he wondered, did so many people spend their lives not trying to find answers to questions - not even thinking of questions, to begin with? Was there anything more exciting in life than seeking answers?
Robert Mibus: Tuesday
Last day today...
Breakfast was uneventful. Missy headed out fairly soon to run some errands in the city, I looked after Rachael and Claire and one of their (cheeky :) cousins.
Most of my day was spent with the kids, mucking around (and, let's face it, cleaning up :).
Some of Claire's presents involved a train set... so we got to have a lot of fun playing with that!
Missy ran off to Jo's for some girlie-time, and she took the younger two kids - so Rachael and I watched Star Trek and Zoom before bed-time. It was hilarious when I mentioned to Rachael that we might watch Star Trek - Claire hadn't yet left, and yelled "STAARR TREEEEEEKKKKKKKK" as loud as I'm sure she could, before running full-speed across both lounge-rooms.
Overall, it's been a kinda weird experience having so much time off without a specific event or cause. I was hoping for more time to do geeky stuff, but that didn't pan out. I did get a good chunk of QL watched, at least. I hope to watch another ep or two tonight still - we'll see :).
I also found what looks to be a fast PSP-capable H.264 encoder, avidemux. Can do faster than real-time, even on my laptop. I'm not sure the quality is as good as my custom-hacked ffmpeg solution, but it actually works on the laptop, which is a plus. Lots of checkboxes to play with, too.
Back to work tomorrow... I'm scared about how my inbox will look :)
Robert Mibus: Monday - Claire's Birthday!!
Today was little Claire's birthday. My baby has just turned TWO! I have some photos on the camera, will have to post them later (it's nearly 1AM, and I need sleep!).
Missy and the girls cooked pancakes for breakfast - mmm! Claire poured an insane amount of maple syrup onto her pancakes while nobody was watching...
Morning tea was at Mum's; got to see the grand-folk also. Good visit, for sure. Lunch was back here for hot chips with Ben and Helen and the other set of munchkins.
A late afternoon tea with Missy's mum and grandma, followed by dinner at Cathy's (sorely lacking Matt, but I'll tease him about that later ;). I disappeared after dinner to match up against Matt's brothers on WiiSport - I sucked, unsurprisingly.
The girls were so tired they went to sleep easily - for once! Another movie with Missy, who then couldn't sleep and we watch some SGA. (Best episode of the season, IMO - but then I always did love McKay :).
Had to do some fiddling online before bed, thought I'd keep up the blog and make some quick notes before finally retiring. Tomorrow is my last day... I'm on kid-duty tomorrow, while Missy and Helen take care of some stuff in town.
Happy Second Birthday, my sweet angel Claire.
Robert Mibus: Sunday
Another pretty good day, albeit with some runarounds.
Toast for breakfast, we're running really low on cheese though. Public holiday tomorrow, and more importantly, Claire's birthday!!
We went to an open inspection this morning... not a bad house for the price, but it's more than we can really afford, even if we under-bid. I really doubt they would even accept a bid that we could afford. After lunching with Ben and Helen, we took care of something else... hint for now - fill a lot with 8 bits (unsigned) and you're still a few short.
Ali came over to give Claire her birthday present, more Thomas stuff - I'm so jealous! ;-)
Missy and I watched National Treasure - a great movie. Yet to watch #2, should be fun though I hope.
More Quantum Leaping tonight... last night's was much more in-line with what I want out of my QL! I saw some brief bits of ST:Enterprise tonight, was amusing watching Scott Bakula as the captain, I kept feeling like he was just pretending (more than normal actors ;).
I've also realised a few important things - the n810 should be about the size of my GPS unit, which is definately pocketable. My laptop's issue with not displaying the correct battery usage (and not correctly auto-suspending on low battery) is a symptom of the fact that it's not updating the internal battery information unless an external event triggers it. ie., if I plug and unplug the AC adapter, then the battery info updates.
Robert Mibus: Saturday
Another excellent day!
Ben came over with his kids, and we watched the combined six-kid circus while our respective wives strutted their stuff at the gym. Later, Ben and I took our two eldest children each to the pool. (Yes, I went to the pool again! :).
After thrashing around for the better part of an hour, we went home to hot chips for lunch. General chit-chat was followed by Ben and I escaping the rabble for a quiet drink and some browsing at JB's at the local mall.
I'm happy to say that my "requirements" for my next laptop should be easily met far cheaper than I'd anticipated. (I want at least a Core 2 Duo, 1GB RAM, Bluetooth, webcam). Alas, nobody has any n800s or n810s yet. I really just want to know if they're actually pocketable!? It looks like it is... just... Anyway, I'm planning on buying one for my birthday (early, if I can manage it ;).
Missy made us all some Chinese for dinner, yum! More chatting, then it was time to say goodnight to Ben, Helen, and all of the kids. Ours got tucked away, and were so worn out they nodded off pretty quick.
Missy recently went to bed, we got some great chatting time in-between.
I'm about to watch more Quantum Leap, but here's a quick recap of 5x01... I didn't like it. New music, ugh. Preferred the S3/S4 title sequences. The whole multi-leap thing was almost pointless, and the mixing of mesons etc. stuff annoyed me endlessly. It was needlessly different from a regular QL episode, and I can't say I liked it. It also dragged on longer than it needed to (it was a double-length ep).
Anyway, time to watch another ep or two before I fall asleep!! :)
Well, it's been a while since I blogged cos I've been SO BUSY!
Anyway, tomorrow I'm taking a day off work. Monday is a public holiday, and Tuesday I'm also having off. That makes a five day weekend. I've also just finished season four of Quantum Leap today - only one season left! It's amazing seeing all these now-stars, young! For example, Terry Farrell was in the season finale.
I moved to Virgin Wireless Broadband late last year, since I can't get DSL here. (RIM! And a very old one, at that). I was initially in love with the service ($60, no line rental costs, free local and national calls, 4GB quota). Speed is OK (I frequently get 70-80kbps on downloads). Latency is a bitch (~5x to the office, compared to the DSL2+ connection I often use).
However, lately I've been getting really frustrated. Really frustrated. Random drop-outs and glitches have been getting more common. There was a two-hour one on Monday when I was trying to work from home (I gave up after one hour). Just now, we had two separate minute-long outages while Missy was trying to do an online tute / live-chat.
Anyway, off to do some stuff. Night!
OK so I was sick in July last year, and went to see a doctor. (Tonsilitis will do that to you, eventually ;-).
Got some drugs, paid the gap, went on my merry way.
Fast forward a few months, get a reminder notice from the doctor's office. Hmm, it was around when I moved, so Medicare probably has the wrong address. Called Medicare, had the address changes and the cheque resent.
I forget about it and get on with my life.
Fast forward to this week. Another reminder notice from the doctor's office. WTF?
Called the surgery. I have to call Medicare, fine, they give me the number.
Medicare says that there was never a cheque resent, but the original cheque was cashed. It's made out to the doctor, so it can't be just stolen or anything. If the surgery has any problems, they can call and arrange a trace on the cheque.
Doctor's surgery; surprised they can ask for a trace but happily agree. Call back a couple of minutes later, they can't ask for a trace - only I can.
Medicare; The first cheque was bounced (return to sender, not at this address), it was not cashed.
So, I call the surgery to let them know of the latest in governmental stupidity, and return to my life.
If only I could sign a form allowing my doctor to get direct bank transfers from Medicare on my behalf. It's stupid!!
(this entry was made on my shiny new laptop, Theta)
So far, most stuff has gone really smoothly. Ubuntu did a fantastic job of auto-detecting stuff (display, ethernet & sound, for instance). Wifi wasn't so smooth; it's a bcm43xx chipset, that currently requires a binary-blob in the driver. There's a "Restricted Drivers" thing to turn on such drivers, but even after doing that it Just Doesn't Work (TM).
Some quick searches showed people having more success with ndiswrapper and the Windows drivers, which I can attest works. So, Wifi is good! Apparently, Linux 2.6.24 will include a new driver, which will be worth testing.
Some things are still problematic - suspend doesn't work properly (but hibernation does, at least). Compiz works, but I can no longer play videos back (known problem). Both of those I'd love fixed, but both I can live without.
Files are all copied from dear old Kappa - Missy's user account Just Worked (TM) after her files were copied in. I've started a fresh profile, and am just migrating individual app's data across as I want it. The CPU blows kappa's away (even in 32-bit mode) - video playback that dropped frames on kappa due to CPU exhaustion, doesn't even use 20% CPU on Theta. (For so many reasons - SSE/SSE2/SSSE3, extra L1 cache, extra optimisations on x86...).
It's also notable for not having wild video issues, having a battery life longer than 30 minutes, and supporting WPA. Whoo!
Finally - If I didn't manage to catch up with you already this week, Merry Christmas / Happy New Year. It's a busy week when you have three children and heaps of family to see, so I can't see everyone at once :). Ciao!
Early Christmas Present
I have an early Christmas present, to myself.
Missy decided that my laptop was finally dead enough to warrant an actual replacement. (The screen no longer displays mid-range grey as grey, it's bright blue. The display also goes utterly nuts if you dare adjust the angle of the screen).
She looked for an Eee PC, but none were available. Turns out she managed to get a Compaq C710tu for under $500 (after a cashback). Sweet! I was looking forward to the 7" form-factor, and the flash-only storage, but after looking at what this machine can offer I think this beasty is more useful for the price-point. (DVD burner, for instance!).
Since I didn't have my Ubuntu CDs that Anton thoughtfully procured before the holidays (they're at work still), I headed to Kerry's.
Since I wanted to eventually pass the laptop down to Missy and re-install Windows, I had to create recovery CDs. (They're too cheap to put them in the box...). That too around two hours, which is bizarre and ridiculous.
A quick reboot later and Ubuntu was running as a Live CD. I poked the installer and quickly answered all of the questions. It wouldn't resize the NTFS partition (not that I cared that much), so I've chosen a ~70GB root ext3 partition.
One neat advantage of using a LiveCD installer is that you can use the machine (eg. play games :) during the install.
Not 30 minutes later, I have my shiny new Ubuntu laptop - tonight I'll be setting up final drivers and migrating files over to it from poor dear kappa, who has little chance for a recovery at this point.
Long Live "theta"
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