Blog

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

New Mobile: Google Pixel 7

Pixel 7 phone

Every two years, I have a budget from work to buy a new phone. My Pixel 5 has been a great phone for my usage, and for the most part, I've been really happy with it.

The only criticism that I did have at the time was about the screen size:

But I do kinda wish it was a tiny bit bigger.

And this did come up with some multi-day hospital stays that I unfortunately had to endure this year. Watching movies and TV shows from my bed had me wishing for a phone that had a bit bigger screen.… Read more β†’

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 β†’

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 β†’

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 β†’

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 exorbitantβ€”roughly about 25-30% above the retail priceβ€”I've refused out of principle to take that easy way … Read more β†’

Tweets for 2020

These are my tweets for 2020 (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 β†’

Converting my Flash Intros to HTML5

Adobe Flash (formerly Macromedia (RIP 😒) Flash) was once a staple of the web, but for various reasons (security issues, unnecessary software, etc.), it has almost been completely banished from the internet, with HTML5 animations now largely filling the gap.

Adobe is stopping maintenance of Flash at the end of this year, and this is definitely a good thing.

This site used a fair bit of Flash in the Web 1.0 days. The initial version even used Flash for the navigation buttons! 😱 However, the biggest (and most fun) use of Flash was when I made 'intro' animations for my … Read more β†’

New Mobile: Google Pixel 5

The two-and-a-bit year cadence of getting new phones continues! My previous phone, the HTC U11+, has performed admirably over the past two years, and for the most part, still is. It's been a great phone, especially for the multi-day hospital stays I've had over the past few years.

However, as seems to be the pattern with my phones, at the two-year mark little things start to creep in. With the U11+, its screen would sometimes show weird hues after touching it, and also leave horizontal lines that would take a few seconds to disappear. Very distracting.

Although I've been … Read more β†’

Ori & Remote Play Sequels

Ori and the Will if the Wisps

Ori and the Blind Forest is one of my favourite games of the past five years. I've played through it multiple times, and even purchased it a second time (as the Definitive Edition) not just to get more content, but to also give an extra bit of money to the devs (I had bought the original game with a heavy Steam discount).

I have always played the game using Steam's "Remote Play" feature (previously called "Steam Home Streaming"). The game runs on my Windows gaming PC in our study, but I play the game on my living room TV … Read more β†’

NUC Replacement: Nvidia Shield TV Pro

Nvidia Shield TV Pro

We've been using an Intel Celeron NUC for the past four years. It has served as a Plex client, a (buggy) Steam Home Streaming (now called Steam 'Remote Play') client, and occasional console emulator machine.

It did an admirable job over that time, but it was time for an upgrade. Windows Updates became an annoying – and on the Celeron – a time-consuming distraction. Steam Remote Play was buggy on it, and Plex had announced the intention to deprecate their desktop clients (I was using OpenPHT, which has also been mostly abandoned). Plus, the hardware wasn't keeping up … Read more β†’