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Monday, 1 July 2019 Dereel → Ballarat → Dereel Images for 1 July 2019
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Into Ballarat again
Topic: general Link here

Into Ballarat today for a number of things. First to Bakery Hill to pick up some wine glasses that I had been offered on Freecycle. The place turned out to be only 130 m from the Dorevitch pathology centre where I have my blood tests done, but I had never noticed it before, nor the Coles supermarket set back from the road. The place is a legal aid centre, and it looks it, with large locked doors with 15 cm thick glass. I wonder what kind of clientele they get.

While in town, also had my hair cut.


New lens
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

My M.Zuiko DIGITAL ED 7-14 mm f/2.8 PRO lens, serial number AC8A22385, arrived today, one of the reasons I went to town. Since I was in town, thought of what I could take photos of. Nothing reached out and grabbed me, but then I thought of Sovereign Hill. Now that I can get in for free, there's no reason not to go for 15 minutes or so, so off there on the way home.

7 mm (14 mm “full frame equivalent”) is really very wide for a rectilinear lens. Not overly surprisingly, my photos were more unusual than good:


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But I did get one relatively impressive photo, which after straightening cropped to this:


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Of course, a lot is in the cropping:


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I suppose that's one of the unavoidable issues with extreme wide angle rectilinear lenses, though I suspect that the subject helped.

And maybe this one isn't so bad either:


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Back home, the obligatory three-way comparison with my Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye PRO:


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That's the fisheye lens converted to rectilinear, then the fisheye without remapping, and finally the new lens. The fisheye image is much wider, even after conversion to rectilinear coordinates. And surprisingly, there's little in the sharpness between the two, though I was impressed by the sharpness of the new lens. That's not something I usually pay much attention to, but this time it stood out:

 
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Woolworths renovation
Topic: food and drink, general, opinion Link here

Yvonne told me a while back that the Woolworths supermarket in Sebastopol has been renovated. She liked the result, and that I should take a look myself. I was looking for chilies, so in.

Not impressed. It doesn't help that the chilies I found were packaged in their own weight of completely unnecessary plastic, nor that they cost $150 a kilo! But the way they have laid out things means that you have to be about 80 cm tall to easily read the price labels. The trays are angled downwards to the front, and nobody has thought of where to put the labels, so they point downwards too. From my perspective, they're completely invisible:


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From the front it's not much better:


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You need to go to waist level to see them properly:


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Who thinks of these things? Supermarkets and labelling aren't exactly something new.


Video copy: done!
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

The video backup copy that I started completed today at 13:58:12, not quite 48 hours after starting. 5.4 TB, about 31 MB/s. Not spectacular, but of course it's a SMR disk, so it kept taking breaks to rearrange the mess it has collected.


More wine
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Rather to my surprise, a courier delivered the wine that I bought on 20 June today, significantly violating the delivery guarantee of 25 June. “Keenans Bridge”. Tried a bottle in the evening. Not bad; and that's for only $75 per dozen, including delivery and (apparently) storage.


Tuesday, 2 July 2019 Dereel → Ballarat → Dereel Images for 2 July 2019
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To the cardiologist
Topic: health, opinion Link here

Off with Yvonne to St John of God to talk with Rodney Reddy, a cardiologist: Yvonne has been having various pains that could point to heart issues. The result was good news and bad news. The bad news: yes, some valve insufficiency, but not (yet) very serious. Symptoms would be shortness of breath after exertion (which she doesn't have), but not any chest pains. And that was the good news: whatever the chest pains were, it wasn't the heart, though she has to go through further tests, including an X-ray today and a six hour perfusion test next week. As Yvonne said: this modern medicine is really a pain. In the Good Old Days you developed heart problems, you died, and you were done with it.


End of rein?
Topic: language, opinion Link here

While waiting at St John of God, “Pomegranate”, their in-house magazine, caught my eye. Why “Pomegranate”? I didn't find out. But they were talking about Virtual Reality for operations.

Virtual Reality? I have always associated that with the unreal. To quote Wikipedia:

Virtual reality (VR) is an experience taking place within simulated and immersive environments that can be similar to or completely different from the real world.

They were talking about it as visual assistance for surgeons. They claim that what they were doing was a first, but I think the “first” was really the use of the term in this connection.

But while leafing through the magazine, found this, which hit me in the face:


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“Hands over reigns”? Clearly his reign was at an end, but was he also at the end of his tether? I wonder if anybody noticed the spelling error.


Mouldy sourdough
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Started a loaf of bread today. More sourdough problems, mould in the corners:


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Time to look for a sourer, more vigorous starter?


Dark crystal
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

The wine glasses that I picked up yesterday were brand new, possibly a gift to a since-deceased parent, and quite pretty. These were advertised as being 12 cl, which roughly matches the crystal glasses that we already have that hold 100 ml of wine:


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But when I poured a normal glassful of wine, I only got 70 ml. OK, they'll do as sherry glasses, but why does the maker claim 12 cl? Volume full to the brim? No: on checking, I managed to get 106 g of water into one of them. I might have got a few drops more before it overflowed, but never 120 g:


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And is that the way you measure wine glasses? It's certainly not the way you measure beer glasses, which are measured (and marked, if they're not too polite) by the volume that they hold when filled normally:


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The mark about the number („Eichstrich“ or “Oak stroke”) is the point to which the glass is to be filled, leaving plenty of space for the head. Wine doesn't have a head, of course, but the glasses aren't intended to be filled to the brim.


Another power failure
Topic: general Link here

Another brief power failure this evening at 23:44:56.


Wednesday, 3 July 2019 Dereel Images for 3 July 2019
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NBN: three days planned downtime!
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

From time to time I get messages from Aussie Broadband telling me that the National Broadband Network is planning yet more downtime for my network link. The last ones were particularly draconian:

The details are:
  - Start date and time: Wed 10th July 2019 07:00 AEST
  - End date and time: Fri 12th July 2019 19:00 AEST
  - Window: 60.0 hours

You may experience the following interruptions during the maintenance
  - 90 min
  - 90 min
  - 90 min

The details are:
  - Start date and time: Mon 15th July 2019 23:00 AEST
  - End date and time: Tue 16th July 2019 06:00 AEST
  - Window: 7.0 hours

You may experience the following interruptions during the maintenance
  - 270 min

The best thing that I can say about that is that they're the first scheduled outages since the end of April. But so far I have saved 35 emails telling me of scheduled outages in the last 34 months. That's more than one a month!

Today, fortunately, no outage was planned. That didn't stop them, though: at 8:42 we went off the net. Bloody NBN! The was no signal on the NTD, so it pointed at the NBN.

The morning dragged by. The only difference was that the ODU light lighted up again, red: fault. Could it be that, by some coincidence, the problem wasn't with the NBN? Tried the Aussie Broadband App, which told me that there were no known outages. Tried to report a fault, with the same results as last time: stuck in a hanging test. Dammit, people, I can see that the thing isn't working! And why it says that loopback works when there's no connection just doesn't make sense.

Called up Aussie, worked my way through their menus, and got misdirected anyway: after 2 minutes I was connected with sales, who didn't understand when I said “My network link is down“, but promised to get me called back. That, it seems, wasn't possible, but she called me back and transferred me. 25 minutes to reach a support person (Chris), who confirmed (after some checking) that there was a scheduled outage, that they were upgrading the towers (what, again?), that it would continue for the next couple of days, that my service would then get better, and that they had had significant issues with fixed wireless. Why, oh why, didn't they install fibre 6 years ago? It would probably have ended up cheaper.

Chris also told me that I should reboot my NTD at regular intervals, and didn't believe me when I told him that that wasn't necessary. While we were talking, the link came back up (without reboot, as I pointed out). At 14:08:50, 19468 seconds (5.4 hours).

OK, I've had enough of this. Can I make a formal complaint? Yes, indeed, they'd be happy to, and I can expect a call back from NBN in one to two weeks. That's fast by NBN standards, as Chris laughingly agreed.

Still, there are issues that Aussie should address too:

And finally, of course: hopefully the planned outages for next week (9 hours!) won't happen.


Upgrading teevee
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

OK, time to upgrade teevee. Put the new 8 TB disk in my test box as a second disk, with the still-waiting eureso as the first. Partition, copy data, both the root file system from teevee and the video data from the backup disk.

Based on previous experience, time to turn off soft updates journaling on the file system. That's easy enough, but reenabling it requires removing the file .sujournal in the top-level directory. It's not easy: the file is protected by all sorts of strange flags that I've never heard of before. There must be room for improvement there.

That was all I could do today. Once again, days' worth of file copying. Tomorrow I'll upgrade the system on the root file system.


Thursday, 4 July 2019 Dereel Images for 4 July 2019
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Katong Laksa?
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

I eat two different kinds of laksa for breakfast: asam laksa and curry laksa. Well, that's what they're called nowadays. When I was a lad we called them Penang laksa and Singapore laksa respectively, and I greatly preferred the Penang laksa. But in the last few years I have developed a taste for curry laksa too.

I buy pre-prepared laksa paste, which typically only needs coconut milk and some kind of meat or fish, along with the noodles. I've more or less settled on the Richmond asam laksa and Tean's curry laksa pastes:


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But I'm always trying new things, and last time but one I was in Geelong I bought some “Katong laksa paste”, which somewhat put me off by wanting an addition of condensed milk:


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As a result, it took nearly a year for me to finally try it, today (without the condensed milk). It's very different! It has a nice smell of prawns, but it's hardly pedas at all, more like a coconut soup:


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Katong is known for its laksa, and it occurred to me: this is the Singapore laksa that I had when I was a boy. The curry laksa is something I haven't had before. And yes, I find the Katong laksa boring. It must be what we were given in Singapore in July 1995.


Upgrading teevee, day 2
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

So now I have the teevee file system on the new 8 TB disk, masquerading as tiwi.lemis.com. Boot up. Oh:


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