Blog

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

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†’

New Keyboard: Logitech MX Keys

Logitech MX Keys

In the time since my last post on getting a keyboard, I'm now on my second one since then. πŸ˜†

The Corsair Strafe that I was using since 2015 started stuffing up at the start of last year, with flickering lighting and key double-presses. It is quite disappointing for these Cherry switches to only last ~4 years.

At the time, I still wanted mechanical switches, and nothing came close to the silence of the Cherry MX Silent Reds. So I got a ten-keyless keyboard which I liked the layout of: the Fnatic miniSTREAK.

I really loved the smaller … Read more β†’

Why I Have Always Hosted My Own Blog

I started this blog in 2004. Since that time, there have been a lot of changes in writing and publishing your own online content.

To give a bit of perspective, back in January 2004, WordPress had only (by a matter of days) hit 1.0, and still wasn't really a thing yet. Back then, it was really only Blogger (newly acquired by Google), or older services like LiveJournal that allowed you to have a blog. To give even more perspective, even MySpace wasn't really a thing yet.

So, in the 16 years that I have maintained this blog, I have … Read more β†’

Working on a MacBook Pro

Regular readers could be forgiven for thinking that I have an anti-Apple bias. Although I'm definitely not a fan of the company, I'd like to think that I am mostly objective when it comes to my views.

I've been pretty consistent in my position that I would never buy an Apple computer for my own personal use. The price-to-value return for my own circumstances isn't justifiable. I like the flexibility and customisation of Windows/Linux PCs, not to mention things that are practically impossible on a Mac, such as high-end gaming.

The one area where I use what I'm given (although, … Read more β†’

Migrating to Zsh

A few years back, I posted on open-sourcing my .bashrc file on GitHub. Up until very recently, I'd been using the same configuration (with some additions and updates) ever since.

Now that I work on a MacBook Pro (btw, I've been meaning to write a blog post on that), and Apple recently announced that they will be changing the default shell in the next version of MacOS from bash to zsh, I decided to make the change myself.

I've always been tempted by the increased friendliness that Zsh has to offer. However, I couldn't really justify … Read more β†’

Getting on the NBN

Since having my transplant, I've been doing a lot of things around the house that I've put off for a while: cleaning out my wardrobe, comms cabinets, rewiring smoke alarm connections, to name a few.

Around the same time that I went into hospital, the NBN was made ready for connections in our area. I've posted on the NBN a few times over the years, but after originally expecting a FTTP (i.e. fibre) connection to be ready sometime around 2015, the Coalition government was elected in 2013, and it took until now to get a HFC connection (i.e. … Read more β†’

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 β†’

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 β†’

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 β†’

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 β†’