Blog

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

New Watch: Garmin Vivoactive 4

I've worn a Pebble Time on my wrist since 2015. That's over 7 years with the same device, and probably the longest for any 'mobile' device that I've owned. Even after the Pebble company's demise at the end of 2016, it was still the most usable smartwatch for what I needed. Only now that its battery life is going to roughly 3 days have I needed to replace it, and it was a somewhat begrudging replacement.

Why it took me so long

It took me so long because none of the 'new' smartwatches would be more functional than the … Read more →

Working on a MacBook Pro (take 2)

It's coming up on 3+ years that I've been working on a MacBook Pro, so earlier this year I was due for a computer refresh. I was extremely critical of the hardware of the 13" 2018 MacBook Pro that I received last time around, so I was very much looking forward to a replacement that would hopefully be better.

This timed well with Apple's migration from Intel chips to their own 'Apple silicon', but I was pretty sceptical of the architecture change. I worked in support when Apple migrated architectures from IBM PowerPC to Intel way back in the mid-2000s, … Read more →

Getting COVID

A positive COVID antibody RAT test
My positive test

After almost all the restrictions for COVID were relaxed earlier this year, we tried our best to remain COVID-free. We wore masks everywhere, stayed away from large social gatherings, and disinfected and sanitised everything coming in to our house.

Toward the end of last month, I received my 5th dose of the COVID vaccine. Because I'm a transplant recipient on a lot of immune suppressants, as per the government medical advice, I had 3 vaccine doses for my primary course as well as two booster shots (one at 4 months, and another for winter).

Despite our best … Read more →

Using a Stream Deck for Productivity

Steam deck mini on a desk next to a keyboard

The Elgato Stream Deck is a series of products that are basically a board of buttons with little LCD screens on each one. As the name implies, its main target customers are streamers, who often need quick access to buttons to control cameras, overlays, sounds, lighting, or special effects.

I am no streamer (ANGTFT), but I recently bought a Stream Deck Mini for productivity.

I work 100% remotely, and spend a lot of time on Zoom calls. I got sick of hunting for the audio and camera toggle buttons with my mouse in each meeting, as well as … Read more →

2021: Year In Review

😬 Only 4 blog posts for this year. A clear all-time low.

2021 was a bit nuts. The COVID-19 pandemic continued, and life rolled on. The first third of the year wasn't too bad: there were barely any cases in Queensland, and not many in Australia in general. Life seemed sorta normal in Brisbane.

That didn't—and was probably never going to—last.

In the past couple of weeks, after the great vaccination numbers in Queensland, the handbrakes have been taken off in terms of trying to keep the virus at bay. This is probably fine for regular vaccinated people, but for … Read more →

Tweets for 2021

These are my tweets for 2021 (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 →

Console Purchasing Wars: Xbox Series X

Last week, I finally got an Xbox Series X! I say 'finally' because despite working for a Microsoft company (I even have a Microsoft employee ID and email address), I have no special access (or pricing) to any Microsoft hardware.

Like everyone else desperately trying to find one, I've had to watch Twitter stock alert accounts, ring around tonnes of stores, and do everything else to try and secure a console ahead of scalpers. Even though the scalping price on eBay isn't too exorbitant—roughly about 25-30% above the retail price—I've refused out of principle to take that easy way … Read more →

Using a Cheap(ish) Android Tablet as a Digital Photo Frame

Like any regular family, we've taken a fair bit (probably too many) of digital photos over the years, especially since the kids came along.

I've dutifully put them all in organised folders on our home NAS, and of course, made sure that it is all backed up.

However, when do we actually look at our photos? Hardly ever, unless some special occasion prompts us to have a look back in time.

So, I thought I'd look into getting a digital photo frame that we could put in our living room and would randomly display photos directly from our … Read more →

2 Years Post-Transplant

This past Thursday marked 2 years since I had my liver transplant. It's been interesting living out this past year in our new-COVID-era world, but to be honest, I think it's made it easier.

I've never been the most social person, so an iron clad excuse to keep my heavily-immune-suppressed-self indoors and away from strangers is definitely welcome! It's now more than ever that I appreciate being able to work in a fully remote job.

Des and I also had the second dose of the Pfizer COVID vaccine yesterday. Despite not expecting much of an immune reaction because recent studies Read more →

But He’s Got a New Hat!

Smithers exclaiming "But she's got a new hat!"

People have gotten into some strange stuff during COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, and I was no exception. My newish thing is baseball hats, which is a bit weird considering that going outside is not really a thing you can do in a lockdown.

Nevertheless, sun safety is a big thing for me, especially because I am at increased risk of skin cancer as a result of the immune-suppressants I am on following my liver transplant. I need a hat whenever I go outside to protect my significant—and I believe this is a medical term—chrome dome.

I started off just wanting to … Read more →