October 2023 Entries

Monday, 30th October, 2023

I had fun with the mac mini yesterday. I reinstalled Tiger from the CDs I burnt, although to the hard drive and not the SSD. It took a while but worked fine. Even did updates over the internet once it was installed! Things seemed to work reasonably well. The internet, due to ancient crypto things, didn’t. However, tenfourfox browser fixed that. It’s not been updated in 2 years and isn’t going to be but it’s fine for now. Was funny looking at the firefox UI from 2021. It’s changed quite a bit but I’d also forgotten how it looked.

I also installed Tinderbox version 3, which I figured out from looking on archive.org. Mark Bernstein, the creator, told me which is the latest version that should run on Tiger/PPC, so I’ll try that out. I need to install the SSD and reinstall the OS. Hopefully that’ll speed things up, so that it’s not noticeably slow. It only has 1 GB of RAM and a 1.25 GHz PPC CPU from ~18 years ago.

Debating about the radio shack computer. The one I was thinking about getting a mac mini for. Well now I’m wondering if I should get a dedicated computer or just use my laptop. I saw a reasonable deal on a Dell 31.5” 4K monitor which I was going to pair with the computer. However, I don’t know if I really need to. Well I know I don’t need to, but how much do I want it?

What’s putting me off is that it’s a bit cold in the garage now (unsurprisingly). I sat in there last night taking part on the CQ WW DX contest, and had to wear a bug jumper, but my legs got cold, and so how much time am I really going to be spending in there? But equally, as it’s cold, I want to setup remote operation of it, and so then I’d want my laptop to remotely connect to the other computer!

I’d also rather spend the money on radio things vs. computer, and probably I don’t need a 4K monitor… a 27” 1440p is probably a good option and I’ll wait for a deal on one of those.

Think I just talked myself into getting a computer…let me see on ebay…

Oh dear, reading the reviews of MacDoppler, I want to get a mac (again) 😅

…and then I learnt/remembered about this software. Which is specifically for the radio I have…

I went to bed far too late last night.

Sunday, 29th October, 2023

I worked myself into a terrible black mood last night. Bought an O2 Joggler from ebay the other week for £20. It’s quite a nice device, especially for £20, to quote the wiki:

The O2 Joggler is a remarkable system for a number of reasons, not least that they are a highly capable touchscreen device for a bargain price. They are pretty robust, relatively easy to recover from the even most comprehensive of fails and fairly powerful. A Joggler consists of a 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z520 processor, Intel GMA500 graphics with hardware acceleration (yes, you can play 1080p H.264 video), 512MB RAM, a single-touch capacitative touchscreen and two small speakers in a ‘picture frame’ chassis.

They came out in about 2015 and were quite impressive at the time, although expensive. O2, the cell company, stopped supporting them. There’s quite the hacker community around them and O2 even gave them the firmware, which is nice.

Anyway, I wanted to make a browser kiosk mode display, which seemed easy enough. Anyway, I waste the whole evening on it and couldn’t get it to work. No doubt the issue of trying to use various (old)tutorials to combine together and something has changed since then. I should’ve added things one at a time and looked at their instructions to validate it works properly first.

I went back to loading hamclock image. I read the manual and found it did more than I realised so that’ll do for now.

I still want to have it as my node-red dashboard where I can control stuff from it. The touchscreen is very handy.

A popular use case is a squeezebox client. It has a nice display and audio out, or even plug in a USB DAC and get high quality audio out together with a nice interface.

I’m also burning OS X Tiger isos to CDs for my G4 mac mini. I hope to reinstall the OS on a SSD that’s in a special enclosure so it fits the PATA connector of the mac. The G4 mini is nice but it’s absolutely useless. All the SSL/TLS crypto stuff is too old to use the web. It’s also slow…although I’m hoping the SSD will make it feel snappier. Maybe it’s an offline device but why not use a typewriter or pen and paper. Probably I’d be better running PowerPC linux on it but at that point, why not just run a rpi or any other computer.

I’ve also burnt a OS 9 image that someone made that should just work as if by magic on the G4 mini and so I don’t have to do any messing about. That’s probably more interesting to do. Although I want to verify I can install Tiger first, as there’s no restore from internet etc. on these old macs. I suppose the worst case is I have to buy the Tiger install CDs from ebay…or just sell it as is and be done with it. Makes me regret selling the 2012 i7 mac mini, but then I think about it and maybe it’s better just to get the latest one anyway 😅 Round and round I go. Maybe a £100 mini might be okay, whatever model that is, vs. a £500 M2 or a £20 G4 mini.

Weather is terrible. Rain and wind, has been and seems it will continue to be.

Friday, 27th October, 2023

Home again. Wet and cold. Ugh.

Sounds obvious but I should make a list of things I want/need to do at home. Otherwise I just sit on the computer and the whole evening disappears.

Wednesday, 25th October, 2023

I’ve been browsing the tinderbox forums again. Tinderbox is an incredible tool, and I want to submerge myself into it. It could solve so many things. I can imagine myself becoming like Micheal Becker. When I get obsessed with something I’ll read, watch and research it endlessly.

At one time at work I’d use Spotfire to solve all problems. It wasn’t just Spotfire but several other databases and applications that all played their part and resulted in a great tool.

I don’t do that anymore and I’ve asked myself why. One part was competing with a friend to see who could make the smartest solution and we enjoyed learning from each other. Now I don’t have anyone like that and no one even seems to appreciate a good solution to a problem. So now I make crap spreadsheets, that are inefficient and waste so much time but I just live with them as I don’t care enough to do anything about it.

As I write this I think about all the other things I can complain about at work. But no one is really going to do anything about this except me. I have to make changes, set out goals and plans and then do them. Otherwise work will remain boring and I’ll waste my life there just counting down the years.

Tuesday, 24th October, 2023

I’ve never used tab groups in Safari until 10 minutes ago. Now I’m “why didn’t I do this sooner”. Gone of having 100 tabs on my phone open so I can remember something later. Now it’s multiple sets of 100 tabs.

But seriously, it’s useful.

I feel guilty. My wife and mother-in-law have taken all the kids off to get waffles and I was sufficiently grumpy at lunchtime to be asked if I wanted to stay here on my own. So I’m sat on a deck chair in the garden reading my book/writing this/looking at more ways to spend money in the bottomless pit that is ham radio.

Once I’m done here I should just put this down and read my book. Makes me feel better vs. wasting time on my phone.

Even though I decided, and was happy with the decision, that I should not get a Mac mini, I still think about it.

My sister in law has a mac and is on holiday with us. This is probably the reason why.

I’ve brought the Linux laptop with me and the kids are using it. I go on it and do think “ah this is how a desktop and computer should be”.

Maybe I just need one of each.

I also want a Voigtlander 50mm f/1.2 M mount…🥹

Monday, 23rd October, 2023

The kids are excited for Hallowe’en but I dread trick or treating. It’s always so awkward. The other year the weather was terrible so that decided it.

Started looking into how I might print this site. Given it’s a static generator I could build json or html pages, then load them into something else. I should look at book printing sites to see what they want. Even dumb stuff like a Word file would be fine. I suspect pandoc and latex would make it look nice. Even thought of DayOne.

I should figure it out so that by the end of the year I can print one of the past years. Maybe one per year or maybe just one for everything to date. I’ll see how big it is.

Reminds me of my satellite, QO-100, node red logging tool I was making. ie. something I start but then never finish, even if I have “great ideas” for it.

Do I keep liking radio as there’s a never ending number of rabbit hole I can go down and therefore buy stuff for? Should I try and concentrate on one thing or just enjoy trying all the rabbit holes?

I miss darkroom development of my films. Arguably the most boring part of a darkroom, but the joy of seeing a roll of frames appear as you take it out of the container is great. Never finished getting a scanning method. I sold the macro lens but never got anything in replacement. DSLR scanning wasn’t as great as I thought.

Saturday, 21st October, 2023

Stop buying the unnecessary. Toss half your stuff, learn contentedness. Reduce half again. List 4 essential things in your life, do these first, stop doing the non-essential. Clear distractions, focus on each moment. Let go of attachment to doing, having more. Fall in love with less. ― https://mnmlist.com/less/

I seem to write this everywhere. Mostly as I enjoy having less. Which is hard when I also enjoy buying more 😅

I’m writing this on 1Writer on my phone and I see I have my blot setup still on my phone. I then saw I missed my two year anniversary of using this site, which was back in August 2021. Although there was a time of using tiddlywiki again in between but then I returned here. I tried to import the journal tiddlers.

Ah thinking about journal tiddlers takes me back. I now think about using it for work. However, logseq is working well at work. I could do with clearing out some of the files and sorting out the sidebar. Think I tried doing it January this year but never really finished.

Just been browsing some of the historical entries. Reminds me that I want to print them into a book to peruse at my leisure. But like lots of things, I think of “a good idea” but then never do anything about it.

I often forget about Dave Rodger’s nice marmot blog. I don’t read it for several months and then I remember it again and go and look. I like it and it encourages me to write some more, maybe even some more personal things?

I forget its exact URL and I find searching for it yields nothing, perhaps why I don’t visit it often.

Thursday, 19th October, 2023

You may accumulate a vast amount of knowledge but it will be of far less value to you than a much smaller amount if you have not thought it over for yourself; because only through ordering what you know by comparing every truth with every other truth can you take complete possession of your knowledge and get it into your power.

  • Arthur Schopenhauer

More note apps.

I don’t often put quotes and links in here. It reminds me of drummer where it was quite easy to add them along with chit chat. Also if I put these things here they end up getting lost and I never find them again. Perhaps that’s not a bad thing, given the quote above 😅

There’s a red weather warning where we live although we’re not quite in the centre of it, so it’s just a lot of rain vs. having to evacuate.

Looking back at this year’s DayOne journal entries and it’s quite disheartening. I think about adding stuff to it but I’m always “too busy” and then never get round to it. Not sure how I get back on it again.

I need to find a routine to write in it. Sitting at the bureau with the iPad and cup of tea for a time each evening is a good option, I just need to make it work.

I do spend a lot of time obsessing over radio stuff and have done since about April. If I look at the DayOne calendar then it’s clear that my entries dropped off a lot from then. That’s okay but I don’t want it to go to zero.

I think everyone should keep a personal, daily blog. I find it enjoyable to write in when I do.

I enjoy writing in general. Which I find funny as historically I would’ve said I don’t like writing. I’m not good at writing but I enjoy it.

My wife isn’t keen on the physical appearance of radio antenna in our garden and she said “I wish you went back to typewriters”.

Speaking of which, my sister (she’s in twenties) asked me where I got my typewriter as she wants one! I’m so proud it makes me want to buy her one immediately. Unfortunately, finding a good but reasonably priced one is hard these days. I think it’s better than covid times, and there are some for £30-50 but of questionable functionality. May be lucky or not, I should keep an eye out for a good one for her. Would be a nice Christmas present. 🎄

Wednesday, 18th October, 2023

I talked myself out of getting the Mac mini. It’s nice but it’s expensive if you don’t need macOS. I then looked at some used mini pc Lenovo/HP things on eBay and felt better by seeing some £100 ones which are 8th gen intel and more ram/storage than the mini.

Plus I have way too many things to do to be bothering about a new computer. I’ll use it but not as my main computer, so why spend a lot. I also like the idea of having a Linux desktop that I use. My laptops are Linux but I tend not to use them, mostly the kids use them for homework or games and I’d rather sit on the nice monitor, keyboard etc.

Whereas this will be another desk computer in the radio shack. I can now spend more money on a monitor and not feel so bad. Debating over 4K or not. Probably need to be 32” or something to be able to use it at native resolution, otherwise a 27” 2560x1440 is probably a good setup.

I’d semi-planned to take a radio with me to France but the one I have requires a lot of paraphernalia and I don’t have time/space for that. Still makes me think of the KX2 that would be ideal…

Spoke to a nice chap in the middle of South Africa on 10m yesterday. Think it’s about 6,500 miles or so between us. Still amazes me. Yes I could speak to him over the internet (although not sure if i could as he is VERY rural!) but that requires a trillion dollars of infrastructure to enable that. Whereas it’s just my radio and 20m of wire in the garden.

Inflation in the U.K. was over 6% this month, again. Recent times are to account for it but ever since the gold standard was dropped and banks could literally create money out of the air for loans has set us on the road to financial distruction.

Unless you do something yourself, it’s always the cheapest possible solution.

Grump moan complain.

Our plane was delayed at there was a secure alert. We were loaded before they told us. So that they could take off if a slot opened sooner. Which it did, so we only waited 1.5 hrs vs 2.5…but now I’m very tired! 😴

Monday, 16th October, 2023

I’ve been running tinylytics on all my sites for a few weeks and it is interesting to look at. I don’t pay so they’re very basic, i.e. just visitor numbers, but that’s fine. Some days on this blog I get 5 visits, but there’s a consistent one visitor (can’t tell if the same person or not) every day. So I should try and maintain the daily nature of this site. October seems to have been quite a poor month for writing, 6 entries (including this one) and we’re half way through the month.

My new radio blog is doing quite well, up to 15 views per day. Peaks coincide with new blog posts and it probably helps it’s part of blogs.radio RSS site. Also likely that it’ll get views when I’m on the radio and talking with people (vs. using digital modes) as most people will look me up on qrz.com and I have the link there. Again, all the more reason to write stuff and add to it.

Surprising of all to me is that my main site is getting quite a few posts. I wonder if that’s just because it’s the oldest and maybe shows up more, or as I’ve been using my email with the same domain more that people are curious and go look. No doubt a combination of everything.

Today I’ve been debating a mac mini, the edu promo of a free £100 apple gift card ends this week, so if I’m doing it I should do it now. I even got right to the final stages of checkout for ordering one to collect today from the local Apple store. I hesitated and started reading reviews. The summary of which is, you should upgrade to the 512 GB model as the 256 GB SSD in the base one is really (relatively speaking) slow. That puts me at £739 vs. £539. Several reviews stated that for most people, they’ll never notice the issue, and I’d probably fall into that most people category. It’s also only noticeable when you run out of RAM and it starts swapping. I’m not going to be doing a lot of intensive work on it, usually I’ll just have too many browser tabs open but probably not a big deal, I can close those. So really the base model is probably fine…

I know I want to buy it as I like buying tech things…and macs are nice and macos is nice. I have iPhone and iPad and iCloud subscription already so why not make use of it with a mac. I sort of want to use Tinderbox (even though I probably won’t), and radio software like MacDoppler looks nice. I find that some mac software, whilst not free, is often high quality and a lot better than other things out there. It would be nice to use Photos.app for looking after my pictures. But it’s just going to be an expensive toy that I’ll rarely use.

If for some reason I lost all my computers, I often think I’d just get an iMac and have nothing else (well maybe a linux server) but to clear the desk of clutter.

But I still hesitate on the mini. I don’t need it, would I not rather run linux, it’s still quite expensive (vs. buying a used desktop for a linux box). I can wait. I’ll miss the edu promo, but they’ll probably be more of them in the future.

Sunday, 15th October, 2023

Had a great day catching up with old friends who now live a lot closer to us.

Still debating the mac for the shack. I kind of want to get it so I have a (modern) mac in the house. I still have the old G4 mini on my desk in parts as I’m meant to be swapping the hard drive for a solid state thing with some adapter to PATA or whatever it is. Was going to run System 9 on it. Anyway.

It just seems a bit odd to buy a computer that’s not going to get used all the time. I suppose I’ve bought laptops that fall into that category. They often sit for ages never being touched, and then one day they get used for something.

I also really like the idea of putting all my photos on Photos.app/icloud so then I can see them anywhere anytime on my phone/ipad.

I don’t have a mac, but I did watch this video on Arc. Gosh that looks good. Supposedly it’s coming Winter 2023 to windows though.

I also worry that I’ll want to use it for everyday computing, but I also worry I’m spending £500+ on a pointless device when I have a multitude of computers already.

I should just go to bed.

Wednesday, 11th October, 2023

Not been on here or general internet in a while. Not really sure what I’ve been doing. Started watching series 2 of Foundation on Apple. It’s easy watching. Actually been playing some computer games with a friend. Sea of Thieves and Rust. All multiplayer games where we mostly play whilst chatting, pretty much the only games I want to play these days, or Mario Kart with the kids.

That antenna I bought from a guy was fine but annoying and not what I wanted, so I spent more money and got what I wanted. It arrived today and I’ve yet to open it but even the package of it is much smaller and more practical to use. Should’ve done that the first time round.

Sort of want to buy another radio… 🙄 for satellite work but I also need more antenna and all sorts. Perhaps I should do one thing at a time and then see.

Want a mac for the shack too…

oh dear.

Friday, 6th October, 2023

Another week, again! ⌚💨

Meant to rain the whole weekend. Never going to get this conduit and coax up for the new radio shack.

A radio I really want, KX2, which is unobtainium, now seems to be available from a Swiss seller. Whilst I hyped myself up to buy it when it wasn’t available, now I’m not so sure I want/need it now that I could buy it. It’s probably circa £1500…which is a lot…and that’s the main issue. But it is pretty much an ideal radio. It’s not perfect but it’s one of the best portable radios. But do I need to buy it right now?

It’s like buying the M2 all over again. I don’t need it….but I want it and it is good…Maybe I’ll spend all night watching youtube videos on it and then email them at 11pm as I’ll have convinced myself I should just get it, one live once, blah blah. You email them to buy it, vs. an online cart so not fully committing…

Wednesday, 4th October, 2023

I need to go to bed earlier. Think every night this week I’ve gone to bed after 11pm, and now I’m feeling it. Last night was made even worse by the fact I was trying to finish my book. However I underestimated the amount I have left and even after 2 hours of reading (now it’s 1am) I’m still at 95%. It’s the last book in the this trilogy, which is the third trilogy so far. So the end of an epic adventure in the Realm of the Enderlings, although I still have 7 books left!

Being so tired means I can’t do anything this evening. Last night was productive, I fixed the baby play crib with some skirting off cuts. First time using my new jigsaw, which was fun.

I bought a handheld antenna from a guy online. It arrived today and it’s not quite what he made it out to be. I don’t think he deliberately mislead me, he probably just didn’t think there was much difference between what I was looking for and what he sent. It’s fine, it’s still a good price for what it is, but means I’ve got more things to make/buy before I can use it. So it won’t be this weekend I have a go with FM satellites.

Maybe I’ll watch the rest of Foundation series tonight.

I need to get my antenna hooked up in the new shack. Even though I don’t feel like talking to someone tonight, I could’ve been doing some digital modes and seeing who’s online and where I can get to.

Nearly bought a random film camera last night, but then I remembered I have a film camera, a very nice one, that I should just use rather than buying another.

Sunday, 1st October, 2023

My first workbench “project” completed today: repairing a set of headphones. Not exactly a huge task, just soldering wires together and putting heat shrink over it. But it was fiddly.

Only a £12 pair for the kids but still. Nice to fix stuff vs. throwing it away.

back home