Blog

The thoughts, opinions, happenings, and just plain ramblings of a seemingly boring person.

Google Is Shutting Down Their URL Shortener, so I Created a Custom One

I've used the goo.gl URL shortener for a while to create short links for all manner of things, but especially for sharing links to this blog on the social medias. So, it was to my surprise when I went to create one yesterday for my most recent post, that I saw the announcement that they are terminating their service, in favour of their Firebase product.

All I need is a quick way to create short URLs, and for the life of me I couldn't even figure out how to create one as they suggest using a 'dynamic link' … Read more →

5 Years as a Technical Writer

This past month saw me pass a significant milestone since my switch to a career as a technical writer. If you can believe it, and I barely can, it has now been five years since I started work as a technical writer.

I have learned so much in the past five years. Not just on the products that I write documentation for every day, but also the nuances of writing, user experience, Linux, as well as valuable skills like using Git.

I have worked with, and continue to work with, some fantastic people. Now that you could say that I … Read more →

2017: Year In Review

For me, 2017 continued in mostly the same way as 2016 did. Although I stayed out of hospital, my health has still been a day-by-day thing. Probably the biggest moment in that journey this year was the doctors telling me that a liver transplant is now a matter of 'when' not 'if'. I'm still not on the list yet, but it's now just a matter of time.

On a more cheery note, I have otherwise enjoyed this year. Although I haven't blogged much (probably my leanest on record!), below are the highlights of my blog posts in 2017.

MarchRead more →

Tweets for 2017

These are my tweets for 2017 (sans replies and retweets). All the URLs are still Twitter's 't.co' ones, as the Twitter API doesn't spit out the original URL text.

  • I think I've re-fallen back in love with Rocket League 💙 Jan 02, 2017
  • So that's it? Just Zelda as the proper launch title for the Nintendo Switch? You're not getting my money at launch just for that Nintendo! Jan 13, 2017
  • $470 for the Switch here in AU?! Yeah, nah. Jan 13, 2017
  • This is a chronicle of my life! https://t.co/TQUq4bIFTu Jan 27, 2017
  • Those drones did a pretty awesome
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The Best and Worst of 2017

Best and worst time! This is my personal review of 2017's media that I was exposed to, and the ones that I liked the most and the least.

GotG2 & LoganMovies

This year was quite a tough one to pick. There wasn't really anything that good that I can think of as being the stand-out, and by the same token, I can't remember anything that I saw that was really that bad. Nevertheless:

Best Movie: Two-way tie between Logan and Guardians of the Galaxy 2.

Guardians 2 gave me more of what I loved about the first: space, sci-fi, 80s, humour, … Read more →

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (spoilers!)

Star Wars: The Last JediIt's that time of year, again! No, I'm not talking about my usual 'Best and Worst', 'Tweets for 20xx', or 'Year in Review' posts. I'm talking about the annual Star Wars movie in this new era of Disney Star Wars. Being the second 'trilogy' movie, and the successor to my well-received The Force Awakens, I did have reasonable expectations for this movie.

As usual, be warned that there are SPOILERS AHEAD!

I don't totally share the critical acclaim this movie is getting. It's a good movie, not a great one. I was pretty frustrated after my first viewing, … Read more →

Mario Odyssey: Unpopular Opinion

Super Mario OdysseyI've just finished playing through Super Mario Odyssey, and I have had a bunch of fun with it.  However, I have a seemingly unpopular opinion: although Odyssey is fantastic, and it really is, I don't think it quite lives up to the standard of its predecessor, Super Mario Galaxy 2.

Let me start by saying that Odyssey is a great game. If you have a Switch, this game is a must buy. If you don't have a Switch, this game should make you seriously consider getting one. The game is deserving of its widespread critical acclaim, and I … Read more →

Switch-ing Things Up

Nintendo SwitchContinuing my history of badly titled blog posts when I purchase a Nintendo console, you can probably tell that I recently bought a Nintendo Switch.

I'm actually really fascinated by this device. I was intrigued back when it was announced and launched, but Zelda excepted, there just wasn't any games that launched with it (or soon after) that I was interested in playing. I wasn't going to buy a brand new console at full price just to play one game.

Fast-forward 6 months, and more games have come out (or are about to) that I am interested in. In … Read more →

Logging Solar Inverter Output with a Raspberry Pi

We've had a 3kW solar array on top of our house ever since we built it about 6 years ago.

Solar panels on our roof. Look at that perfectly competent builder person!

It came to our attention recently that one of our 12 solar panels had shattered glass (seemingly for a while), something you can even see from the latest Google Maps satellite imagery.

dodgy solar panel
Detective work; just like on CSI.

Surprisingly, when we had some guys out to replace it, it is pretty much impossible to source another panel with a similar voltage and current that wouldn't drastically affect the … Read more →

MusicBee: Finally Opting Out of iTunes

MusicBee LogoIt feels like I've been complaining for almost a decade about the bloated mess that is iTunes. Despite all those complaints, I've never really been bothered to move on to anything else.

About 5 years ago, I had a brief flirt with other stuff like DoubleTwist, but wasn't that impressed and quickly ended up back on iTunes. This wasn't really because of iTunes being any superior itself, but more-so the ubiquity of support from third-party devices and services in interfacing with an iTunes library.

I hear you ask: "Wait a minute, you still own and manage your own music Read more →