Blog

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

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 →

Google Is Shutting Down Their URL Shortener, so I Created a Custom One

I've used the goo.gl URL shortener for a while to create short links for all manner of things, but especially for sharing links to this blog on the social medias. So, it was to my surprise when I went to create one yesterday for my most recent post, that I saw the announcement that they are terminating their service, in favour of their Firebase product.

All I need is a quick way to create short URLs, and for the life of me I couldn't even figure out how to create one as they suggest using a 'dynamic link' … Read more →

5 Years as a Technical Writer

This past month saw me pass a significant milestone since my switch to a career as a technical writer. If you can believe it, and I barely can, it has now been five years since I started work as a technical writer.

I have learned so much in the past five years. Not just on the products that I write documentation for every day, but also the nuances of writing, user experience, Linux, as well as valuable skills like using Git.

I have worked with, and continue to work with, some fantastic people. Now that you could say that I … 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 →

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 →

Monitor Colour Problems Over HDMI

colortestAlthough I've studied and worked in technology for over 15 years, every now and then an issue comes up which totally baffles me. Yesterday was one of those times.

The new monitor that I bought back in January started stuffing up a few weeks ago (weird lines, tint shifts), and I took it in for repair. Since then I've been using a borrowed monitor from work, and yesterday I got the repaired monitor back up and running again.

Ever since I got the new monitor back in January, the colours weren't quite right. They were generally dull, and I had … 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 →

Talking at the UQ Engineering + Technology Careers Evening

On Thursday night I had the privilege of speaking at the University of Queensland for an Engineering + Technology Careers Evening. It was aimed at high school students looking at studying engineering and tech at UQ, and I was (surprisingly) selected as a graduate success story to speak for 5 minutes on my academic and career journey. I have uploaded the slides from my presentation. It was the first time since our wedding that I've spoken in front of so many people! :S

I have to admit, it was a little strange talking about myself as a 'success' … Read more →