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Month: November 2020

Post TDay Post

Posted in Blog, and Gaming

My four days off went better than they usually do in that I actually took four days off.

I was technically at work until about midnight on Wednesday working out why these new (for work) Fanvil IP phones wouldn’t do VPN. Once that was resolved, I spent Thursday through Sunday either doing the food coma thing or playing World of Warcraft.

The holiday lunch/dinner/leftovers for several days went off without a hitch. There was ten pounds of bone-in glazed spiral-cut ham, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, turkey gravy, diner rolls, and a chocolate mouse cake for desert. I still have probably three pounds of ham, and most of the cake left.

The cake was amazing, but I’m not much of a sweets person and one slice was enough to sate me for another year. And I’m about ham’d out — I’ve had ham, ham sandwiches, ham cheese and crackers, ham and baked beans… I’m done.

I tend to set out a pretty big spread for the final two holidays of the year as I want to make sure I have plenty in case anyone I know doesn’t have anywhere to go. But with zombies and all this year, where the “Guestapo” has been breaking up family meals because of the lockdown mandates, it was just me and the roommate.

The rest of the time off was spent plumbing the depths of the afterlife in World of Warcraft’s latest expansion.

“Shadowlands” has been pretty good so far. I really like the look and feel of Ardenweald and Bastion, and accordingly that’s where I’ve spent most of my time. My Tauren Paladin is working with Ardenweald and my Draenei Mage is teamed up with Bastion, and both are level 60 and working on the “Torghast” quests to get access to the Runecarver.

As I surmised with the Endless Halls maze for the “Lucid Nightmare” mount, the Endless Halls was a tech-demo for procedurally generated dungeon content… And Torghast is, quite literally, the end-game for that tech demo.

Ultimately Toghast is pretty ‘rinse-repeat’ and I can already tell I won’t be spending a great deal of effort on it. For now though it adds enough variation to the theme to allow me to slog through it for specific quests.

Of the two characters I think the Mage is having the easier time. While the mage dies quite often and the paladin has yet to be killed, the improved damage output of the mage just improves the overall flow of the game.

Also the storyline for “Shadowlands” has been quite good; at least the two small slices I’ve seen so far have been. Ardenweald wins the contest though with one deft storytelling move; bringing back a beloved character in a well constructed non-cringe fashion.

WoW, as a game, has had a few deeply emotionally impactful quest elements over the years, such as “Crusader Bridenbrad”, and the death of Ysera in the Legion expansion. You can now add the return of Ysera in Shadowlands to that list.


Posted in Blog

Here we are, the day before the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s a 4-day weekend for me starting tomorrow, so I might actually get a chance to muck about with the new expansion for World of Warcraft over the next few days!

The Murano just ticked over 13000 miles this morning, so I’m averaging right about 464 miles a month since July 13th, 2018. That’s down from the 555 miles/month I was averaging in January, so I guess that’s one up-side to zombies; the Murano is still virtually new mechanically.

This week I deleted my last Google account, the one I was using to host a few YouTube videos, so I’m now a 100% free-range Internet User. I never really had a presence on Twitter, but I bailed on that back in January of 2018. And I’ve never had a Facebook account because I thought it was creepy from inception…

I also deleted my FA account this week; I never really used it save to contact artists for commissions, which I can do just as well without an account. See, FA is pretty much a porn site, and I’m just not into all that so I didn’t have much use for the place. That and while I don’t mind activism in-principle, I’m getting burned out on everything having to rub its HashtagYourCauseHere activism in my face 24/7… FA has been downing the koolaid at an epic pace for months now, and I got tired of it.

So, I’m down to just ye olde journal here for my ‘social media’ footprint.

I’ve been using the M1 MacBook Air for all things work for a week now. Performance-wise it’s tricky to spot the differences between the $1000 Air and the $5000 16″ Pro I used to use.

There are the typical bugs one would expect with such a major shift in architecture, but other than the Safari vs. Google Meet audio issue, I’ve been able to ignore most of them. And the Safari issue isn’t due to the M1 as it happens on my i7 iMac as well… It’s something to do with “Big Sur”, and it’s been reported extensively to Apple (myself included) — so I expect an update any day now.

I also ordered a case for the M1; it’s being made in Genève, Switzerland and should be here in a couple of weeks…

In other work-related news I got this year’s holiday card done and approved in record time; 5 hours total spread over two revisions. It was sent off to the printer and the 700 stamps were ordered yesterday. So, yay me!

PowerBook 5,3 (Special Project Update)

Posted in Blog, Computers, and History

My PowerBook G4 has been under the proverbial knife getting all of the worn parts replaced with new old-stock parts — which is a nice thing about the older laptops; user serviceable parts inside.

The G4 now has a new DC-in and left-side USB board, a new NVRAM battery and right-side USB board, a new bluetooth module, new battery to charge controller harness, a new battery, new 65w charger brick, and a new 8x “superdrive”.

Older 4x superdrive removed (the empty spot with the writing on it)

NOS 8x drive foreground and original 4x drive. The new M1 MacBook Air is in the background.

NOS NVRAM battery and USB board installed. There’s two Panasonic lithium coin cells under the plastic.

Old DC-in board removed - check out the scoring on the barrel connector. The ambient light sensor is in the clear plastic at the top of the board.

Old DC-in board removed – check out the scoring on the barrel connector. The ambient light sensor is in the clear plastic at the top of the board.

NOS DC-in board in place, as well as the NOS bluetooth module (small board on top of the speaker housing)

NOS DC-in board in place, as well as the NOS bluetooth module (small board on top of the speaker housing)

Once everything was done I buttoned her back up, ran the hardware checks to make sure everything was functional, and then re-installed OS X 10.5.8 to test the new drive.

Everything seems to be working fine.

The new charging system works — the light on the DC in from the wall wart now works and the battery took a full charge and tested to a 2.5 hour run time (back in the early aughts 2 hours was pretty good for a desktop replacement machine). And the system keeps time now when it’s unplugged… Bonus.

All in all, I’m fairly happy with how it all went. And the G4 is now pretty much new. 🙂

Lockdown Update

Posted in Blog

As of Friday we’re back to March lockdown levels:

Just when things were starting to feel ‘normal’ again…

And in case that wasn’t enough, this morning at 9am we all got the emergency alert on the phone:

I’m officially tired of zombies…