Sunday, February 18, 2018

Dear Diary #80: Found a Reason for an Alexa, RAM is Expensive?

Dear Diary,

Couldn't think of any use for a voice-activated home assistant or any use for light bulbs connected to Wi-Fi until recently. Coming home to a pitch-black home sucks. Having to feel around for the light switches in complete darkness also sucks. If only there were some device I could yell at to turn on a light or set of lights for me...

That patch for CPUs apparently came out weeks ago -- I was still waiting for it. If true, the good thing is that I haven't really noticed it while doing basic stuff on my computers. The bad thing is that a virus scan makes my system chug now. Maybe it's just this specific scanning program? My CPU core temperatures have jumped about 10-ish Celsius from what I remember during virus scans. Oh, and RAM prices have exploded higher -- chugging computer makes me think about upgrading. I could find 8 GB of DDR3 RAM like mid-2017 for CA$ 80 regular and CA$ 70 on sale. Now it's $90 and up. DDR4 was about $10 more than DDR3. Now I can't find anything under CA$ 120. Good times...

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Dear Diary #79: No Bass, Eye Infection Roulette

Dear Diary,

That feeling when the talk show people talk about how great the bass playing is but I can't hear anything coming out of the bass because I watch using my TV with built-in speakers -- I know it's there because I sometimes watch the clip on YouTube and my computer speakers can actually play bass.

Well, that sucks. The document I've been using has a bunch of bolded words to make certain things stand out. I printed to PDF cause I was reading something about PDFs and the bolded parts blend right in with the wall of text. Massive fail.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Dear Diary #78: Pineapples not on trees, Apps, USB Big-B

Dear Diary,

Watching the PBS and really missing commercials so that I can get up and do something. Could pause the TV but that just isn't the same.

Another credit card I got is being discontinued. This has to be my third or fourth now, twas one of those Bank + Store points partnerships. Note to self: never ever get another non-bank-only credit card unless you want to switch things around every few years.

Talk about brainwashing by the Microsoft... Ever since I upgraded to Windows 10, I've started calling all software and computer programs, apps. I don't really remember where it started, but something in the desktop referred to programs as apps and it has stuck. There goes 20 years of nomenclature.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Kolor Autopano Pro: Trial Versions Impressions

Short Summary: The Notes of Cliff
To make it clear, I wrote this after testing out the trial version of Kolor Autopano Pro, haven't purchased it yet, but there's a reasonably good chance I will. Anyway, went shopping for panorama stitching software and after an hour or more of googling, I narrowed it down to two options: Kolor Autopano Pro and another one I won't name. Both programs had trial versions available and I gave them a shot on my laptop. Autopano worked out really well and the other didn't.

How I used to Stitch Images Together
Stitching panoramas together isn't something I'm unfamiliar with. A few jobs ago, I spent hours stitching maps and other images together manually with stuff like Microsoft PowerPoint and Paint. It took a lot of time, but it worked and more importantly, I got paid for it -- thank you, tool that makes a color transparent when working with overlapping images. Having done that before, the idea of doing it manually again in large quantities as part of a regular workflow just didn't seem appealing. And I had heard about Adobe Photoshop having a built-in panorama feature, so it seemed like a good idea to look into it. A couple minutes into looking at Photoshop, it made no sense to pay for all the advanced features that I would never use. That made Photoshop a relatively quick "no."

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Dear Diary #77: Electric coil stove went kaboom-ish

Dear Diary,

Electric stove burner dropped dead in spectacular fashion: sparks, a very loud buzzing noise, and a bright yellow glow. Probably happened cause of arcing in the middle of the coil while a heavy pot was on it. Turning the switch off took care of it, luckily. Googling showed other people having similar problems. Stove's a bit over a decade old and that burner probably hasn't ever been replaced before, so that was interesting.

That feeling when you finish a call with someone and your mind is absolutely blown because you don't know what just happened. Got a call from "out of state" with very bad reception, voice cutting in and out constantly. Not entirely sure what I agreed to, what was said, and what the point of the call was. It feels like all those times I nodded yes at the fast food restaurant and ended up with stuff I didn't consciously order.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Dear Diary #76: Skipped movies, non-HD TV channel

Dear Diary,

A movie that I didn't give a crap about was on TV a few weeks ago, I distinctly remember seeing it on the cable guide and deciding not to watch it. Well, now I'm constantly checking the cable guide thing and hoping it comes on again. Ughhh.

The rotary switch on my TERTIAL lamp is starting to give out after at five-ish years. Turning the switch sometimes results in the lamp turning on momentarily and turning back off. First time it happened, I thought it was the bulb, but I just swapped it a few months ago even though the previous one hadn't died yet. Turning the switch a little bit more resulted in the lamp lighting up, so it's most likely the switch which I have no idea how to replace and don't feel like doing anyway. Replacement cost of the lamp is about $15 but I'm not in the mood to go get one. Sigh.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Where's the hospital in "Mary Kills People" (TV)?

After a couple episodes of "Mary Kills People", I started wondering where the fancy looking hospital they were using was. I think I found it but here's some backstory first.

It was semi-obvious from watching the show that at least some of the filming was done in Toronto, Ontario in Canada -- the actual city itself, not just a location within the entire metropolitan area. So, that gave me an idea of what specific features to look for and a starting point. The shots looking out the hospital's windows or out on the city from the roof also did not appear to be green-screened.

Wrong Guess
Initially, my thoughts were that it had to be the new-ish Humber River Hospital by Highway 401 and Keele Street. It started feeling less and less so because the buildings looking outside the windows on the show didn't seem to line up.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Dear Diary #75: Peak Laziness, Drinking from Bowls

Dear Diary,

I memorized the data rates for OFDM wireless tech. And I also know the cable layouts for all four pairs of CAT-5e and up cable. It feels very dirty for some reason. I also know the modulus of elasticity for steel but that never came in handy outside of school.

Bad luck: bought an eBook like a week ago and went with the older edition because it was half the price. Now, the price of the newest edition's eBook is only a few dollars more than what I paid. So, if I end up needing the new edition, I'll be paying a couple dollar premium compared to what I would have paid anyway. Why couldn't they cut the price a week ago...

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Dear Diary #74: Non-changing Page Numbers, Christmas Movies, OFDM

Dear Diary,

It's that time of the year again when they show "The Sound of Music" on TV... I still don't understand how it's a Christmas movie. On the other hand, I haven't seen it in a very long time and don't think I've ever seen it through from end to end.

That feeling when I'm reading a book on a Kindle app and turning the page doesn't change the page number because of the spacing/text-size formatting I'm using. It's devastating to know that I got through a page but it didn't bring me closer to the end.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Dear Diary #73: Triangles, Mach3 Run into the Ground

Dear Diary,

Just realized that Chrome turns the tabs into triangles when I have like 50 open at once. Cool and functional stuff. Why do I have more than a few tabs open?

Had that thing happen where I was between being asleep and awake: couldn't tell if I had went somewhere and done something or not. Rational, awake part was saying no, but sleepy, goof-balls part was saying that I did because the details were so vivid.

Noticing more and more, like many others, that "regular" news websites and TV appear to be running stories that I already read online with a day or two lag time. Now I remember why I got rid of all those magazine and newspaper subscriptions.