Blog

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

New NAS, Just In Time

Synology ds418playUntil just recently, the oldest still-serving piece of technology in our household was our two-disk Synology DS211+ NAS that we've been using since 2011. It's been a fantasticly reliable device, and still had one of the original HDDs operating in it.

The storage has only recently started to get full (we don't store that much data), and I know from experience that mechanical spinning HDDs don't last forever. Rather than try to increase the storage by just swapping out a drive - each drive in the NAS was configured as a separate volume - I decided to replace the … Read more →

Online Backups, Part 2: Duplicati + B2 = Win

Continuing on in my now-decade-old series of posts in how I manage my backups, things have changed once again. My last post in 2014 described how I started backing up to an online cloud service with Crashplan.

Unfortunately, about this time last year, Crashplan announced that it was exiting the home backup market. They offered to honour existing users' subscriptions and provide a steep discount on their 'Small Business' plans for a period of time, and that is what I have been using for the past year.

With the price increase imminent, there is also some long-term buginess … Read more →

New Mobile: HTC U11+

HTC U11+New phone time! I've taken advantage of the (somewhat) extra time during my parental leave to get a new phone. I've had the Sony Z5 for well over 2 and a half years, and it was showing its age: fingerprint reader faults, and poor battery life. Even when not doing much on it, it would struggle to get through a full 24 hours.

It did serve me well, though. It's probably my most consistent performer of a phone (and the longest serving) in the smartphone era.

The phone I've chosen to replace it is the HTC U11+. I considered the … Read more →

Family +1

Zoe is bornTwo weeks ago, Des and I welcomed into the world our second child, Zoe.

She gave us an awful scare when she came out: not breathing, and it made the midwife trigger a code blue in the birthing suites. But after she had the attention of everyone in the ward, and had her chest pumped a few times, she came around and turned a normal colour.

The name Zoe means 'life' in Greek, and it's not a coincidence that our children's names essentially mean 'life' and 'resurrection'. However, it is a cool coincidence that our children are A to Z … Read more →

Solo: A Star Wars Review (spoilers!)

Solo posterApparently, some people actually read my Star Wars reviews, and I've been a bit slack writing this one up.

If you asked me what stories I'd like to see in the Star Wars spin-off movies, I'd have to say a Solo origin story wouldn't have been very high on my list. Combined with the reported production problems that resulted in the original directors canned in the middle of the shoot, I didn't have very high hopes for this movie.

My overall impression after seeing Solo: meh. It wasn't a bad movie by any stretch, but nothing really struck me … Read more →

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 →