Blog

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

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 →

Work T450s and USB Switches

Lenovo T450sFor the past 10 months I have been using a Lenovo i7 T450s as my work laptop, and I have to say how impressed I have been with it. In my opinion, it's a great balance between portability and power. The SSD boots it up in a few seconds, and for the most part, it runs Fedora (with multiple VMs) admirably. The laptop keyboard is fantastic, and the dual batteries (one internal, one removable) last a while.

After my intense illness earlier this year, I have been doing a lot more working from home. As I use the same … Read more →

Open-Sourcing My .bashrc File on GitHub

gitprompt_Lucas_bullettrain_tags I've posted some pretty nerdy things on this blog over the years, but this would have to be one of the nerdiest things I've ever posted.

I use a Linux operating system on my work laptop (Fedora, to be precise). We're now fairly entrenched in a git workflow for the documentation we write: asciidoc(tor)-based source, and GitLab CE or GitHub as the hosted VCS.

For the non-uber-tech-savvy: because of the git workflow (amongst other things), I spend a lot of time running commands in a bash shell (or command prompt). One of the files that controls … Read more →

Similar Look, New Theme

After a slow start to the year, I've done a lot of posting in the past month. So I also thought it might be time to tweak the look of the site.

Although the look remains similar., I've just enabled a new theme. The older theme was a bit bloated and wasn't being maintained by its creator any more, but I think that I got good use out of it since I switched my blog to WordPress just over 4 years ago.

I wanted a more lightweight theme that was still easy to customise, and I think I found … Read more →

Now Secure! Enabling Let’s Encrypt HTTPS

LucasCosti.com SecuredWell, that was easy. It just took me about five minutes to get this website going with a free SSL/TLS certificate using Let's Encrypt as the certificate authority. LucasCosti.com now has a padlock! 😀

Side note:  here's a nice post explaining the confusing terminology of SSL vs. TLS, and I like Google's approach of sticking to HTTPS, where possible.

My host (Zuver, a VentraIP subsidiary) made the process of generating a Let's Encrypt certificate ridiculously easy. It was pretty much just logging into their admin portal and clicking a button for the domain.

The only things that … Read more →

Vale NoSquint

I wrote about four years ago that one of the main reasons I still use Firefox as my default browser is because of the fantastic NoSquint extension, which allowed me to persistently set a larger text size for readability.

It was with great sadness (and distress!) that I discovered today that NoSquint is no longer being maintained, and that it has stopped working as of Firefox v47.

Before I go on to alternatives, I have to publicly thank Jason Tackaberry for 10 years of fantastic support for this extension. That NoSquint has worked flawlessly over 10 years of browser … Read more →

Modding Rey’s Speeder

Rey's Lego SpeederA while back I got the Rey's Speeder Lego set, and although it's good to have the main character of The Force Awakens in Lego form, it always bugged me that the side of the speeder where the cargo net is in the movie, was just some stuff stuck on using 1x1 clips.

So I decided to do my first serious Lego mod! I noted down the parts I thought I'd need, and then went to BrickLink and ordered them. They arrived in the mail today, and I went to work modding.

I'm quite happy with the result. In … Read more →

Home UPS

CyberPowerUPSEver since we moved to this side of the train tracks, despite being only 500m away from our the unit we used to live in, the power reliability in this neighbourhood has been very dodgy. Although we live in a relatively affluent area in modern city in a first world country, I would not call the power in our area 'reliable'.

We seem to have a power outage roughly once every couple of months, and that's not including the ones caused by weather events. It's not like I expect the power to stay on during a major storm or heat … Read more →

Rough Few Months

I've had a pretty rough few months. Soon after getting back from our 10th anniversary trip to Melbourne in late February, I was admitted to hospital with an infection in my liver. It's the first one that I've experienced since being diagnosed with PSC 6 years ago. After starting to feel nauseous and increasingly itchy over a week, one night I vomited (very rare for me), and the next night I had intense uncontrollable shakes. I was taken to hospital, diagnosed with a liver infection, and put on IV antibiotics for the better part of a week before being discharged … Read more →