Blog

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

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.

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

Graphics Update & Battlefield 1

XFX RX480 GTRI've had a pretty crappy few months with my health. I think it's a safe bet that if I don't blog in over a month, something is probably up.

Anywho, my main gaming desktop, Executor, recently hit its three year-old mark, and despite a few hiccups, it has held up really well up to this 'best before' date of tech reliability. However, one thing that has aged is the graphics card, which was brought over from the previous computer.

So it made sense to look at updating the graphics card; it's been struggling to keep up with recent … Read more →

Console Home Streaming is Great Too

PS4 Remote PlayI've blogged a bit on how great Steam Home Streaming is to be able to play PC games remotely in the living room. Today I experienced the reverse, and it's equally as convenient!

Although it's been available on XBox for a while, and for a few months on the PS4, I've previously never had the need to play a console somewhere else other than its usual spot in the living room. That is, until Anastacia needed the TV today and I was in the middle of a level of Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Setting up and getting … Read more →

PC Build History

As the three-year mark is starting to roll around on my current home PC, Executor, I am trying to resist the urge at looking at parts for a new computer. Having another +1 to take care of compared to before definitely helps ;).

To have a look back through history, like the mobile phone history page I put together at the start of this year, I have collated a page detailing the history of all the PC builds that I have done. This includes specs, any upgrades, and links to the relevant build blog post.

Without doubt, Executor has … Read more →

Steam Home Streaming Now Supports 5.1 Audio

I'm not sure when it was enabled in the stable Steam client, but it looks like 5.1 sound is now enabled for Steam Home Streaming on Windows hosts and clients. I said last year that this was a big missing feature for the platform, so I'm glad they actually did it.

It wasn't a smooth process to get it working, though. Although everything looked like it was configured correctly, whenever I tried the streaming there was no sound. I eventually found this forum post which said that the old DirectX9 runtimes ("DirectX End-User Runtimes (June 2010)") are need on the … Read more →