Blog

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

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 →

GOTY Contender: Horizon Zero Dawn

Horizon Zero DawnI've had an absolute blast playing through Horizon Zero Dawn over the past month or so. I enjoyed it so much that I even went to the effort of earning the platinum PSN trophy, something which I've never before done on a Playstation game. It's probably the most I've enjoyed playing a non-Nintendo console game since Burnout: Paradise on the PS3 all those years ago.

Horizon has a few rough edges, but overall, I thought it was spectacular, and well-earned the 60+ hours I put into it. I originally borrowed the game from a friend to play, but after having … Read more →

Arsenal Win the FA Cup, Again

Arsenal-FA-Cup-winners-2017For the third time in four years, Arsenal won the FA Cup last night!

Against the in-form and Premier League-winning Chelsea, I didn't expect them to do well, especially considering almost all of the regular Arsenal defenders were either injured or suspended. That, and we're talking about an Arsenal team that have been pretty abject for a lot of this season.

Instead, Arsenal dominated the game from start to finish, and the only thing that let them down was not making the most of the many, many chances that they had against a very off-looking Chelsea side, who looked like … Read more →

Mass Effect: Andromeda

Some might remember that I loved the original Mass Effect series of games, but hated the ending of ME3 with a passion. The soft reboot of the series in the form of Mass Effect: Andromeda came out recently, and I just finished playing it.

It took me 73 hours to complete it almost 100%, and overall I enjoyed it for what it was. It wasn't 'great', and I tend to agree with most of the criticisms out there on the internet, but it's definitely not terrible.

Let's start with the bad. Yes, the facial animations (especially pre-1.05 patch) are/were … Read more →

Building Tetrarch

I managed to hold off on building a new computer until now. My now-previous computer, Executor, is at the 3.5 year mark, and I've been wanting something even more quieter than it was. I have named this new one Tetrarch, as being my fourth build it is now the fourth ruler of my computing history :). The only reused part from Executor is the recent graphics card which I brought across.

There are three main features of this build: compactness, silence, and RGB LEDs. Compactness comes from this being my first build without an optical disc drive, and I … Read more →

2016: Year In Review

For a lot of people, 2016 has been a pretty crappy year for a number of reasons: politics, celebrities dying, terrible flops of movies, etc.. 2016 has actually been pretty good to me for a number of reasons, but it has also been pretty crap for one very big reason: my health.

This year has been my roughest year health-wise since I was diagnosed with PSC in 2010. In February, it saw me experience my first serious liver infection, and following a hospital stay and some extended time off work, for the rest of the year I have been riding … Read more →

Tweets for 2016

Twitter 2016

These are my tweets for 2016 (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.

Read more →

The Best and Worst of 2016

Geez, it's already that time of year again! My personal review of 2016's media that I was exposed to, and the ones that I liked the most, and the ones that I liked the least. As a result of having a small child, and also being unwell for a lot of this year, I haven't really seen/played as much as I would have liked. There are still a lot of movies that I want to see (including most of the December releases), so take this list with a grain of salt.

Movies

This year I saw a lot of very … Read more →

Star Wars: Rogue One (spoilers!)

It's another year, and another Star Wars movie in this post-Lucas Disney era. I have to admit, when it was announced I was quite apprehensive about these 'standalone' movies. This year it is Rogue One, the story of how the Rebellion managed to get their hands on the Death Star plans.

Like last year's Force Awakens review, I don't think I can properly put my thoughts down without containing spoilers, so you have been warned: SPOILERS AHEAD!

Let's start with the good. I liked the overall story, and I loved how it explained how the rebels got the … Read more →