Blog

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

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 →

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.

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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 →

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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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 →

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.

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.

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 rest of the array. So we ended up just removing the broken panel.

It came to mind that, … 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 →

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 →