Blog

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

Going On “The List”

Simpsons stupid liver

TL;DR version: After spending most of this year jaundiced, I'm now on the liver transplant list.

This post has taken a fair bit of mental and emotional energy to write, both of which are in short supply at the moment, so please forgive me if it isn't up to my normal (sub-)standards.

To say that this year has been challenging in terms of my health would be the grossest of all understatements. It's been a while since I last mentioned my liver disease on this blog, because for the most part, it has been pretty uneventful. It's just been the … Read more →

Making Split Pane Mode More Usable in the New Gmail Interface

tl;dr version: I made a userscript that forces the new Gmail interface to show the email list as the expanded 3-line-per-thread display. You can find the userscript on my GitHub gist.

Although I don't use it for my personal Gmail account, I have long used the 'Split Pane' visual mode (with a vertical split) for my work Gmail. I find it easier to go through a lot of email by having the list of email threads on the left, and the currently selected email thread showing on the right.

However, with the recent Gmail interface changes that landed around … Read more →

The Lego Movie 2

The Lego Movie 2 poster

Today I saw a preview screening of The Lego Movie 2. It was a preview screening, because although it was released globally a few days ago, it is not actually released here in Australia until the end of March. Yes, Village Roadshow are again pulling the whole "but kids don't watch movies outside of school holidays!" timing excuse. However, these limited preview screenings in sync with the global release are a compromise that I can live with.

Getting to the actual movie: I really loved it. I had pretty high expectations, especially considering how much I loved the first Read more →

2018: Year in Review

Well, that sure was an... interesting... year! I can't complain that 2018 didn't have its fair share of big events, because it sure did. So big, in fact, that I'm actually writing these 'end of year' blog posts in the middle of January 2019 and pre-dating them back to December.

Of course, the biggest event was the arrival of our second child, Zoe, but others were still notable, including ending an old job and landing a new one.

Blogging was very sparse this year for a number of reasons, but the underlying one was lack of time. Almost every post … Read more →

Tweets for 2018

Tweets for 2018

These are my tweets for 2018 (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 →

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 →