Greg
animals food and drink
gardening health
history general
language multimedia
opinion photography
politics Stones Road house
technology
Greg's diary
May 2019
Translate this page
Select day in May 2019:
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31
Select month:
2018 Sep Oct Nov Dec
2019 Jan Feb Mar Apr
2019 May Jun Jul Aug
Today's diary entry
Diary index
About this diary
Previous month
Next month
Greg's home page
Greg's photos
Network link stats
Greg's other links
Copyright information
    
Groogle

Wednesday, 1 May 2019 Dereel Images for 1 May 2019
Top of page
next day
last day

Power failure!
Topic: Stones Road house, general, technology, opinion Link here

While getting up this morning, heard a “beep” from outside. What was that? Yvonne resetting the RCD for the “non-UPS” circuits at the back of the house. It had tripped again, like it had three months ago.

Why? That's what I asked last time.

Then in to the office to discover eureka, my main computer, dead in the water. Why? That didn't happen last time. Coincidence? A quick look at dischord, the Microsoft box, showed that it was still in sleep mode. All pointed towards eureka shutting down spontaneously.

Recovering eureka was a story in itself, but later I discovered that dischord had been disconnected too—it just recovered automatically, something that I should set in the eureka configuration. The explanation, at least partially: previously I had had my office computers connected via a local UPS to the larger UPS in the shed, but that tended to fluctuate a lot, causing the office UPS to beep annoyingly. So after installing the solar power I had connected to the “non-UPS” power point in the office. And though it's not on the same circuit as the bedrooms, both circuit breakers are served by the same RCD. So the failure was understandable, though some of the details were not.

So what caused the failure? An outside pump sounded a likely culprit, especially as both times it happened in the middle of the night, when we spray the garden. Outside to check: no, the bore pump still had pressure, so it hadn't experienced a power cut while operating. House water pump? No, that had worked as well during the outage. Checked everything that I could think of, but to no avail.


Recovering eureka
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Rebooting eureka was an experience in itself. It failed to boot with an error I had never seen before, something about an inability to load some lua menu. I didn't think to take a photo: I was supposed to go be going into town for a blood test.

But all the parameters looked right. What happens with just boot? It booted! But at a snail's pace. I couldn't even enter more than about one character per second on the keyboard. And I got lots of messages that I have never seen before, roughly at 10 second intervals:

uhub_reattach_port: giving up port reset - device vanished

The good news was that the journals recovered the big file systems almost instantaneously. But the thing was still so slow, and in the end I shut it down to see if a power-off would help. That, too, took for ever, and it didn't help.

OK, try again and see if the BIOS UEFI setup could help. No, that all looked normal, but the system and keyboard response was just as slow as when running FreeBSD, so it wasn't related to FreeBSD. In the end, dammit, reset UEFI to defaults. Rebooted. And it worked.

What went wrong there? A power failure shouldn't cause that kind of problem. Is the motherboard on the way out? Time to think of a new machine: after all, this one is over 5 years old.


Solar power monitoring strangeness
Topic: technology, Stones Road house Link here

One of the problems that I had from the power outage was the loss of 2½ hours worth of data from the solar power inverter. Not much I can do about that, though it's interesting to note when the database updates finished: 6:40. That's when the office UPS died, of course. Was there anything of interest in the data in the hour before? Not that I could see. It would be really nice if the inverter would log things like mains voltage, which I suspect might play a part.

And how did the ingeconsunmonitor.com site deal with the lack of data? Superbly!


This should be Solar-use-1.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Solar use 1          Dimensions:          943 x 518, 90 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 1 May 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 1 May 2019, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 1 May 2019 Complete exposure details

 

It has complete usage data for the time of the outage, including the spike at 7:00 when I turned on the air conditioner, something that couldn't have been guessed. So somewhere the inverter is storing this information and supplying it when the network connection is restored.

But where? Started up an Wireshark to see what it was doing, but apart from discovering that it sends quite a bit of data, there wasn't much to be found.

So where is it stored? I know the pages http://inverter.lemis.com/ems/last7Days and http://inverter.lemis.com/ems/summary, but of course it's far too modern to give me anything useful at http://inverter.lemis.com/ems/. But clearly there's more to be found for him who searches.


The weather breaks
Topic: general Link here

The first 4 months of this year have been some of the driest on record, but with the new month that changed. We had a total of over 35 mm of rain today, including a quite violent thunderstorm with hail this evening. We can do with much more.


More power insights
Topic: Stones Road house, general, opinion Link here

We were watching TV when the thunderstorm passed through, and we had to raise the volume to hear anything over the noise of the storm. And then the TV turned off. Just the TV, not teevee (the computer that drives it) or the lights. Another RCD trip! Back into the garage to turn it on again, and got a few metres from the switchboard before it failed again. And later on it failed a third time.

One thing that's clear: it's nothing in my office. The UPS was now on the external UPS circuit again, and I've turned off the printer, which only gets used once a month and thus shouldn't be on anyway. On the other hand, it was raining this morning, too, when the power failed. So somehow it confirms my suspicion that it's related to moisture outside the house. But we only have three external power points. Two aren't connected, and the pump on the third is not turned on.

How are these external power points constructed? You'd hope a DPST switch. Maybe we should consider connecting them to a separate RCD.


Thursday, 2 May 2019 Dereel → Ballarat → Dereel Images for 2 May 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Blood test again
Topic: health Link here

Into Ballarat this morning for another blood test. For once, I wasn't attended to immediately: I had to wait 10 minutes. I had thought that this might be due to the relatively late hour (10:30), but it seems that they were short-staffed. And after all, 10 minutes is typical to good at other places. And somehow I couldn't think of anything else to do, so back home again.


Android navigation revisited
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

My GPS navigator has expired: it thinks that the date is some time in 1999, and there seems to be no way to adjust it. OK, it's over 5 years old, so it's probably time to replace it anyway.

But are standalone GPS navigators still the way to go? Nearly every mobile telephone, even my el-cheapo Nokia 3, has not only a GPS receiver, but also accelerometers and a compass. Why not use that instead?

An obvious reason would be my previous experience, which has brought nothing but frustration. Still, practice makes perfect. Finding my way to the Dorevitch collection centre in Victoria Street is not easy, since it's in a side road only accessible from the Bakery Hill roundabout. A good chance to try out Google Maps again. OK, Google, take me to 53 Victoria Street.

No reaction. When does this voice recognition work, when doesn't it? It took me 4 stops and a lot of messing around, and finally it found a route. One of the issues is that I normally have mobile data turned off, and it didn't like that. Did it say so? No, these things have voice recognition and only very limited voice output. When I stopped to look, I discovered a confusing message on the screen that I finally construed to mean “please turn on mobile data”. And of course, once it found the route, it said... nothing.

And the map was strange. It's convenient to put the phone horizontally in front of the speedometer, but then it only gave me half a display. Here the same place horizontally and vertically:

 
This should be Google-maps-1.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Google maps 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 693 x 390, 80 kB
Dimensions of original: 1280 x 720, 136 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Thursday, 2 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
This should be Google-maps-2.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Google maps 2
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 390 x 693, 134 kB
Dimensions of original: 720 x 1280, 241 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Thursday, 2 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Why is the left half of the map missing? Looks like a software bug to me. I considered stopping and restarting the app, but who knows how much work it would then be to get back to where I was?

While waiting for the blood test, did some more playing around, and finally found something like a settings menu, embedded far too deeply in the strange and non-uniform menu structure. Not much to set, but at least I got it to set North to up (since I can't find any way to get it to display the direction in which I'm going).

On the way home, tried a few more things, noting that it had a very different view of the route from my GPS navigator. Apart from choosing inappropriate routes, it had a strange view of “straight ahead”, like this display, taken while I tried in vain to find the settings menu again:

 
This should be Google-maps-5.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Google maps 5
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 390 x 693, 177 kB
Dimensions of original: 720 x 1280, 338 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Thursday, 2 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Why turn right? The road goes straight ahead! Ah, but I'm on the side of the road, and I need to get into the traffic again:

 
This should be Google-maps-8.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Google maps 8
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 693 x 390, 131 kB
Dimensions of original: 1280 x 720, 223 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Thursday, 2 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

So what's the real problem here?


How much power am I using?
Topic: Stones Road house, technology, opinion Link here

I'm still puzzled about the RCD trip that I had yesterday, so spent some time investigating. The first thing that occurred to me was the display from the inverter:

 
This should be Solar-use-1.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Solar use 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 567 x 476, 128 kB
Dimensions of original: 1216 x 1020, 190 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Thursday, 2 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
This should be Solar-use-1-detail.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Solar use 1 detail
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 695 x 388, 69 kB
Dimensions of original: 437 x 244, 12 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Thursday, 2 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

OK, I know about a number of bugs in this display, including the fact that the day are the wrong way round in the second image. The first entry, marked “Fr” is today. It seems that this always has tomorrow's day of the week. And the following ones, in correct weekday order, are the previous days. But look at the entry for “Th”, which must be Friday, 26 April 2019. Nearly 70 kWh! And “We” (Saturday, 27 April 2019) isn't much less. What does the external web site say?


This should be Solar-use-2.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Solar use 2          Dimensions:          851 x 317, 45 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 2 May 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 2 May 2019, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 2 May 2019 Complete exposure details

 

A couple of things: firstly, no, nowhere near 70 kWh. And Saturday's usage was more than Friday's. Time to look at the detailed reports, which show:

Consumption from 4/24/19 to 4/30/19 [sic]

      24/04       25/04       26/04       27/04       28/04       29/04       30/04
Self-consumption ratio       57.47 %       48.66 %       43.28 %       27.48 %       38.15 %       44.39 %       48.40 %
From PV       10.77       10.72       12.54       5.97       7.52       9.31       8.38
From storage       9.47       12.26       13.23       11.23       11.04       11.60       9.63
From public grid       11.07       18.98       27.59       37.59       23.60       21.01       15.09
Total       35.20       47.21       59.53       62.57       48.63       47.10       37.21

Generation from 4/24/19 to 4/30/19 [sic]

      24/04       25/04       26/04       27/04       28/04       29/04       30/04
Consumption       10.77       10.72       12.54       5.97       7.52       9.31       8.38
Battery Charge       6.13       7.81       7.62       4.19       5.11       6.50       6.30
Grid feed-in       7.15       3.66       0.02       0.01       0.03       8.32       7.37
Total       24.05       22.18       20.18       10.17       12.66       24.13       22.05

This is full of interesting information:

These numbers bear little relation to the graphs. For example, on 27 April the first graph shows roughly 54 kWh consumption, compared to 62.57 kWh in the report on the same page, and on 26 April the graph shows about 53 kWh, compared to reported 59.53 kWh. The generation statistics are correspondingly vague:

Date       26 April       27 April
Use, from inverter       67 kWh       69 kWh
Use, from report graph       53 kWh       54 kWh
Use, from report       59.53 kWh       62.57 kWh
Generation, from inverter graph       35 kWh       22 kWh
Generation, from report graph       20 kWh       10 kWh
Generation, from report       20.18 kWh       10.17 kWh

What does all this mean? Clearly the usage graphs are Just Plain Broken. The generation graphs are less so, I think. The values in the report are as good as the same. And the inverter output seems to lump battery charge of any kind together, so if I take just the “Photov.” column, it lines up quite well. But clearly it's difficult to trust the usage values; I'll have to brave Powercor and compare what they report with what Ingecon reports.

The report format (in PDF) is also particularly emetic: normally you can cut and paste it into an editor, but here the entries have been added out of sequence, requiring considerable corrections.

In passing, it's interesting to note the comment at the bottom of the report:

(*) System could not connect to inverter. It will try later.

That doesn't apply to this report, and they're too polite to draw attention to that fact, but it's a confirmation of what I experienced yesterday.

As if that wasn't enough, there was no report information for today. Why? My guess is software problems at their end. As it happened, I was tracing communications, so it was clear that there was (surprisingly much) traffic.


What power in the middle of the night?
Topic: Stones Road house, opinion Link here

The other issue with power consumption was: how much power do I use in the night? The background was whether the RCD trip had something to do with power consumption. And how about that, there were some surprisingly high peaks. That's visible from the daily summary:

 
This should be Solar-use-1-detail.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Solar use 1 detail
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 498 x 543, 87 kB
Dimensions of original: 355 x 387, 21 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 1 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
This should be Solar-use-1.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Solar use 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 701 x 385, 114 kB
Dimensions of original: 943 x 518, 90 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 1 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

The highest one was when I turned the air conditioner on round 7:00. But by the eureka was down. According to the graph, with its bizarre X axis markings, I must have used up to 3.8 kW round 4:00 and maybe 3.5 kW round 6:00. Why?

It's difficult to be sure from memory. Did I turn the air conditioner on at 7:00, or just turn the living room on, while the bedrooms had been heated through the night? I'll have to keep an eye on that for next time. What I did see was:

mysql> select tstamp, Pac, PacBat, W1
      from powerstats
      where tstamp > "2019-05-01 0:0:00" and tstamp < "2019-05-01 09:10:00" and Pac > 4000;

+---------------------+------+--------+-------+
| tstamp              | Pac  | PacBat | W1    |
+---------------------+------+--------+-------+
| 2019-05-01 01:29:24 | 4054 |   4301 |    -1 |
...
| 2019-05-01 03:29:54 | 4065 |   4359 |  -271 |
...
| 2019-05-01 03:51:17 | 4025 |   4290 |     8 |
| 2019-05-01 03:51:18 | 4039 |   4312 |    50 |
...
| 2019-05-01 05:24:34 | 4288 |   4680 | -2969 |
...
| 2019-05-01 05:28:48 | 5105 |   5426 |     4 |
| 2019-05-01 05:28:50 | 5105 |   5457 |    14 |
| 2019-05-01 05:28:51 | 4908 |   5249 |    27 |
| 2019-05-01 05:28:52 | 4734 |   5073 |   -88 |
| 2019-05-01 05:28:53 | 4453 |   4861 |   -80 |
| 2019-05-01 05:30:24 | 5517 |   3543 |  3646 |
...
| 2019-05-01 05:36:56 | 5221 |    714 |  2416 |
+---------------------+------+--------+-------+

So there were three occasions on which I used more than 4 kW, corresponding roughly to the three spikes. But those three spikes on the graph show considerably lower consumption than the inverter. Smoothing? And what are those negative W1 values? W1 is the “feedback to grid” value, separate from PacGrid, the feedback to the grid (which was 0 in all these records, and thus not listed). In particular, though, the values don't add up. In principle we have consumption (Pac) and three sources: PacPV (from the PV array), PacBat (from battery) and PacGrid (from the grid). They should add up, and at 05:24:34 they most certainly did not.

Could this have been a power surge? It would have potentially explained the RCD trip. Wouldn't it be nice to see at least the inverter's view of grid voltage?


Autofocus fun
Topic: photography, animals, opinion Link here

More kangaroos in the garden today:

 
This should be Kangaroos-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Kangaroos 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 785 x 344, 206 kB
Dimensions of original: 4958 x 2171, 4961 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 1 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
This should be Kangaroos-4.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Kangaroos 4
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 166 kB
Dimensions of original: 5184 x 3888, 5522 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 1 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

And one that showed the autofocus of the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II to perfection:

 
This should be Kangaroos-8.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Kangaroos 8
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 137 kB
Dimensions of original: 5184 x 3888, 5114 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 1 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
This should be Kangaroos-9.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Kangaroos 9
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 661 x 408, 153 kB
Dimensions of original: 2821 x 1743, 1274 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 1 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

But why? I decided a long time ago to set the autofocus to the middle of the field of view, and clearly that's where the kangaroo was. Panning, maybe? Still, it was the only autofocus failure.


Friday, 3 May 2019 Dereel
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Ingecon on line again
Topic: Stones Road house, technology, opinion Link here

So why didn't I have any output for my solar electricity system yesterday? I had guessed a problem at their end, and it seems that I was right. Today it was there, along with the data for today as well.

And how do I access that data directly? Spent some time sniffing the traffic, but nothing interesting went past. What about the source for the local display? An ngrep showed:

  GET /dashboard/main.html HTTP/1.1..Host: inverter.lemis.com...
  GET /dashboard/css/kendo.com...
  GET /dashboard/css/kendo.black.min.css HTTP/1.1..Host: inverter.lemis.com...
  GET /dashboard/css/main.css HTTP/1.1..Host: inverter.lemis.com...
  GET /javascript/head.min.js HTTP/1.1..Host: inverter.lemis.com...
  GET /javascript/head.min.js HTTP/1.1..Host: inverter.lemis.com...
  GET /version.js HTTP/1.1..Host: inverter.lemis.com...
  GET /dashboard/images/img_trans.gif HTTP/1.1..Host: inverter.lemis.com...
  GET /dashboard/images/PV.svg HTTP/1.1..Host: inverter.lemis.com...
  GET /dashboard/images/home.svg HTTP/1.1..Host: inverter.lemis.com...
  GET /dashboard/images/grid.svg HTTP/1.1..Host: inverter.lemis.com...
  GET /dashboard/images/bat.svg HTTP/1.1..Host: inverter.lemis.com...
  GET /dashboard/images/homeSaving.svg HTTP/1.1..Host: inverter.lemis.com...
  GET /dashboard/images/oil.svg HTTP/1.1..Host: inverter.lemis.com...
  GET /dashboard/images/CO2.svg HTTP/1.1..Host: inverter.lemis.com...
  GET /vendor.3.9.4.min.js HTTP/1.1..Host: inverter.lemis.com...
  GET /dashboard/js/linq.min.js HTTP/1.1..Host: inverter.lemis.com...
  GET /dashboard/js/kendo.core.min.js HTTP/1.1..Host: inverter.lemis.com...
  GET /dashboard/js/kendo.color.min.js HTTP/1.1..Host: inverter.lemis.com...
  GET /dashboard/js/kendo.drawing.min.js HTTP/1.1..Host: inverter.lemis.com...
  GET /dashboard/js/kendo.dataviz.core.min.js HTTP/1.1..Host: inverter.lemis.com...
  GET /dashboard/js/kendo.dataviz.themes.min.js HTTP/1.1..Host: inverter.lemis.com...
  GET /dashboard/js/kendo.data.min.js HTTP/1.1..Host: inverter.lemis.com...
  GET /dashboard/js/kendo.userevents.min.js HTTP/1.1..Host: inverter.lemis.com...
  GET /dashboard/js/kendo.dataviz.chart.min.js HTTP/1.1..Host: inverter.lemis.com...
  GET /dashboard/ems_dashboard.js HTTP/1.1..Host: inverter.lemis.com...
  GET /system/config/file/dashboard.json HTTP/1.1..Host: inverter.lemis.com...
  GET /system/events/sse/stream HTTP/1.1..Host: inverter.lemis.com...
  GET /ems/last7Days HTTP/1.1..Host: inverter.lemis.com...
  GET /ems/summary HTTP/1.1..Host: inverter.lemis.com...
  GET /ems/configuration HTTP/1.1..Host: inverter.lemis.com...
  GET /dashboard/images/Logo.svg HTTP/1.1..Host: inverter.lemis.com...
  GET /system/events/sse/stream HTTP/1.1..Host: inverter.lemis.com...

What's useful there? http://inverter.lemis.com/dashboard/ems_dashboard.js looks good, so I pulled that down:

!function(e){var t={};function o(a){if(t[a])return t[a].exports;var...

One line, 28247 bytes (roughly the size of a Unix Sixth Edition kernel). And of course optimized for transmission, not human intelligibility. How can I re-indent that and make it readable? A quick web search brought me to https://beautifier.io/, which helped, once I worked my way round its insistence on using the clipboard for everything, giving me something marginally readable:

        plantSummary: function()
        {
            var e = 0,
                t = 0,
                o = 0,
                a = 0,
                n = this.samples.pluck("W"),
                i = this.samples.pluck("PacPV"),
                s = this.samples.pluck("PacBat");
            this.samples.length > 0 && (e = _.reduce(n, function(e, t)
            {
                return e + t
            }, 0), t = _.reduce(i, function(e, t)
            {
                return e + t
            }, 0), o = _.reduce(s, function(e, t)
            {
                return e + t
            }, 0), a = this.samples.models[0].get("SOC")), this.globalSample.set(
            {
                W: e,
                PacPV: t,
                PacBat: o,
                SOC: a
            }), this.globalSample.calculate(), this.publisher.trigger("newSample", this.globalSample)
        }

Of course, there are no comments (for once they can even claim that this is a feature, not a bug), and there's a lot to look through. What I was really looking for was other URLs, and unfortunately that didn't work.


Accessing my money
Topic: general, opinion Link here

So I have $17,000 to pay to Effective Electrical for the solar electricity installation. OK, call up CVI and find out how to transfer that.

Connected with Sarah, told her my name, and she told me my balance. Who needs an account number? I'm still a little surprised. But sorry, they don't do transfers to third parties any more—presumably some legal issue. So she had to transfer it to my own designated account.

OK, we can do that. Send an (unencrypted) email and it was done in 5 minutes.

What are the security implications? No account numbers went over the wire, and clearly it still belongs to me. Yes, the email was signed, but the Real World doesn't understand signed emails.


Everybody knows me
Topic: health, general, opinion Link here

Time for a doctor's appointment. Called up the clinic, gave them my name, and was given an appointment at 14:45 on Thursday. And again the receptionist (Rebecca?) recognized me and just mentioned my address for confirmation. How does everybody know who I am?


Saturday, 4 May 2019 Dereel Images for 4 May 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Ploughing in autumn
Topic: general, animals, opinion Link here

Walking the dogs today, saw an interesting sight:

 
This should be Horse-training-6.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Horse training 6
Display location on map
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 616 x 438, 182 kB
Dimensions of original: 3667 x 2610, 3351 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Saturday, 4 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Where's the plough? There isn't one. That's Fiona Drayton training a horse for harness. It wasn't always happy about the situation:

 
This should be Horse-training-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Horse training 1
Display location on map
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 696 x 388, 196 kB
Dimensions of original: 4257 x 2374, 3651 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Saturday, 4 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry


Mushroom season?
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

Also while walking the dogs, saw this on the side of the road:

 
This should be Mushroom-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Mushroom 1
Display location on map
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 210 kB
Dimensions of original: 5186 x 3888, 6619 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Saturday, 4 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
This should be Mushroom-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Mushroom 2
Display location on map
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 205 kB
Dimensions of original: 5184 x 3888, 5312 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Saturday, 4 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Yvonne thought that it might be a Cèpe or Steinpilz. It looks like the same kind of mushroom that we found in Kuitpo Forest thirteen years ago, and which we ultimately identified as Suillus luteus (also Smörsopp, Butterpilz or масловка). But clearly that's a different mushroom:

 
This should be mushroom-3.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: mushroom 3
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 224 kB
Dimensions of original: 2816 x 2112, 2368 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 16 April 2006:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

It took me more time to discover that I had seen the same kind of mushroom in the house forest 2½ years ago.


Firefox annoyances
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

One of my best reasons for not migrating to newer software is that they've done everything they can to make data entry more painful:


This should be disabled-detail.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: disabled detail          Dimensions:          1465 x 184, 129 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 4 May 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 4 May 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 4 May 2019 Complete exposure details

 

Why did firefox come up with that message now? It has been running for days. And what was disabled? Nothing followed. Too polite to say? The links were, of course, generic, telling me what a great service they have done me by removing functionality upon which I depend. Dammit!


High resolution: too high for lenses?
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

I've wondered in the past how much use the 80 MP high resolution mode on my Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II is really worth. Can the lenses handle it? This article says no, in some detail, but a little too categorically for my liking:

Inexpensive lenses performed as well as expensive lenses with good reputations!

He followed it up with this graph:

OK, that matches the statement. But it doesn't match what DxOMark says. Its methodology is a little strange, but it comes up with resolutions of 7 “P Mpix”, which apparently means “perceptual MPix” (nothing?). But it gives the 75 mm lens double the P Mpix of the 14-42, which isn't surprising. So I'm left wondering if there's something in his test setup that limited things.

He did his testing on an Olympus OM-D E-M1X, which has effectively the same sensor as my E-M1 Mark II, 5240 x 3912 pixels. It's not immediately clear from the graph, but his scale is equivalent to vertical pixels, so he's saying that the best lens in his test (the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 40-150 mm f/2.8 PRO) has a vertical resolution of 2000 pixels with a sensor capable of double that, 3912 pixels. That corresponds to an absolute resolution of about 5.3 MP. So why should the increase in sensor resolution to 10368 × 7776 make any difference? And what he measures there is a maximum of 3200 pixels, or about 13.6 MP.

He also states:

It becomes more intuitive when one recognizes that FF camera sensors top out at about 50 MP and the Olympus High Res Mode generates a FF image equivalent of 200 MP – that lens optics and performance might become the limiting factor to the image’s final resolution.

“Intuitive”. This reminds me of the saying:

For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, elegant, intuitive... and false.

Sorry, the lenses are designed for that sensor size. They probably have a higher absolute resolution than any “full frame” lens. I don't seen any relevance here. If you follow that logic to a logical conclusion, a mobile phone lens for a 12 MP mobile phone with a “crop factor” relative to “full frame” of 7.6 (typical, according to this page) would correspond to a “full frame” camera resolution of 690 MP. Clearly that's absurd.

In principle I agree with the premise, that high resolution is limited by the lens. But there are too many dubious details in this article.


Sunday, 5 May 2019 Dereel Images for 5 May 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Now that's a bone!
Topic: animals, general, opinion Link here

Took the dogs walking down Grassy Gully Road again today, a place they haven't investigated much. Nikolai went sniffing and found the biggest pair of bones that I have ever seen:

 
This should be Dogs-and-bone-7.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Dogs and bone 7
Display location on map
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 213 kB
Dimensions of original: 5184 x 3888, 9295 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 5 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
This should be Dogs-and-bone-7-detail-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Dogs and bone 7 detail 2
Display location on map
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 547 x 494, 166 kB
Dimensions of original: 1588 x 1435, 788 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 5 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Niko took us back home in a hurry, where he kept it all to himself:

 
This should be Dogs-and-bone-10.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Dogs and bone 10
Display location on map
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 217 kB
Dimensions of original: 5184 x 3889, 7948 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 5 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Leonid was in his typical “OK, I'm sitting, now feed me” position. I wonder whether he expected Niko to honour it.

And what kind of animal was it? The most likely candidates are kangaroo and sheep. I don't think that sheep have any bones that long, and the fact that Niko found it near a fence suggests that it was a kangaroo that got caught in the fence, like so many others that we have seen.


Air fried spring rolls
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Yesterday Yvonne brought some pre-fried spring rolls along with sushi. We've had mixed experiences with spring rolls: they should be deep fried, but it's very easy for them to fill up with fat and become decidedly unpleasant. So yesterday we tried heating them in the smaller air fryer, with good results.

Repeated the experiment today, with deep-frozen spring rolls. Maybe not quite as good—probably because of the rolls themselves—but definitely better than with a deep fryer.

There's not much where air fryers are clearly the best choice, but we're finding a few. They're also much less messy than deep fryers.


Monday, 6 May 2019 Dereel Images for 6 May 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Saffron!
Topic: gardening Link here

This time last year I bought some Crocus sativus (saffron crocus) bulbs and discovered only too late that they were intended for planting in spring. Only one flowered:

 
This should be Crocus-sativus-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Crocus sativus 2
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 601 x 450, 208 kB
Dimensions of original: 5197 x 3888, 3880 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Thursday, 3 May 2018:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

I got a refund and thought no more of it. But today I found:

 
This should be Saffron.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Saffron
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 114 kB
Dimensions of original: 5186 x 3888, 3122 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Monday, 6 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Is that all from the one surviving bulb? At any rate it seems to have multiplied.


Microwave oven shielding
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

Question on Quora today: Is it true that if you put your phone in a microwave, then call it on another phone and if it rings then your microwave leaks?.

Clearly he's talking about a microwave oven. Interesting. In principle I'd say “yes”: the shielding on the oven is designed to keep out electromagnetic radiation in the order of 2450 MHz (wavelength a little over 12 cm). That's easy enough with the mesh in the door, which has openings round 3 mm, or λ/40. And mobile phones have lower frequencies (typically 900 or 1800 MHz, wavelengths 33 or 17 cm). So clearly a mesh that keeps out cooking microwaves should be able to keep out phone microwaves.

That's easy enough to test. Put my phone in a microwave oven. Call it. Hear it “ring”.

What? Not what I expected. Try the other microwave oven. Call it. Hear it “ring”.

What's wrong here? Put it in a saucepan. Call it. Get voicemail.

So it seems that mobile phones do work in a microwave oven. How much attenuation is there? Surely there must be an Android app that measures this stuff.

OK, check that and find How To Measure Cell Signal Strength on Android Phones. As usual, with instructions that don't relate in the slightest to the menu structure on my phone. Thanks, Android developers, for your Tower of Babel.

Ah, I don't need that, says Peter Jeremy. Just look at the debug logs. Where? What, you don't have developer mode enabled? No, how do I do that?

<pj> To enable developer mode: Settings -> About Phone -> tap on the "Build number" about 8 times
     (it will tell you when you've done it)

Now isn't that intuitive? But it worked. And what I didn't see until later was that it doesn't give me any logs; for that I need the equally intuitive workaround of generating a bug report.

Gave up instead and went looking for apps. The one I found was Network Cell Info Lite, and on startup it showed:

 
This should be Network-cell-info.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Network cell info
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 390 x 693, 143 kB
Dimensions of original: 720 x 1280, 205 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Monday, 6 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

OK, that looks straightforward enough, and it tells me that the -113 dBm signal level corresponds to two bars (as opposed to the one bar that the phone shows at the top of the screen). How do I measure inside an oven? Ah, a nice graphic display:

 
This should be Phone-in-Panasonic-microwave-oven.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Phone in Panasonic microwave oven
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 390 x 693, 93 kB
Dimensions of original: 720 x 1280, 127 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Monday, 6 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

That was inside the Panasonic microwave oven. Outside it registered -121 dBm, inside it was -136 dBm. An attenuation of 15 dB, corresponding to a factor of 30. If that were energy from the magnetron, 1100 W would be attenuated to about 36 W, considerably more than I would expect.

Try the ALDI microwave oven. That did better:

 
This should be Phone-in-ALDI-microwave-oven.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Phone in ALDI microwave oven
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 390 x 693, 102 kB
Dimensions of original: 720 x 1280, 136 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Monday, 6 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

140 dBm, an attenuation of 19 dB, or about 80 times. That would take the 720 W down to about 9 W, still more than I would expect.

OK, so that's at what frequency? Time to RTFM and find out what all these abbreviations mean:

 
This should be Phone-info.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Phone info
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 390 x 693, 97 kB
Dimensions of original: 720 x 1280, 149 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Monday, 6 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

That might also explain what the blue line in this graph means:

 
This should be Phone-in-saucepan-1.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Phone in saucepan 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 390 x 693, 99 kB
Dimensions of original: 720 x 1280, 151 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Monday, 6 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

That's the result of putting the phone into the saucepan; it seems that it dropped back to UMTS mode, but more investigation is needed.

So how do I measure attenuation at 2450 MHz? You'd expect the same app to be able to do it, but if it can, I haven't found out how. Instead downloaded a couple of other apps of dubious quality, which made up for it by smothering me with advertisements. One, which is not called “Wifi Signal Meter”, gave me these results:

 
This should be Wi-Fi-Panasonic.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Wi Fi Panasonic
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 390 x 693, 83 kB
Dimensions of original: 720 x 1280, 140 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Monday, 6 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
This should be Wi-Fi-ALDI.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Wi Fi ALDI
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 390 x 693, 78 kB
Dimensions of original: 720 x 1280, 132 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Monday, 6 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

And of course it's too polite to show any axes on the graphs. But clearly the first one (Panasonic oven) shows significant attenuation, while the second one (ALDI oven) is barely recognizable.

Why? The Wi-Fi access point is directly behind the microwave oven:

 
This should be Microwave-802.11-3.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Microwave 802.11 3
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 618 x 437, 74 kB
Dimensions of original: 4236 x 2993, 1337 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Monday, 18 March 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Can it be that the signal is so strong that even after attenuation it appears nearly full strength? Or are microwave ovens less well shielded at the back?

So how much does this tell me about stray radiation from the ovens? Clearly I can't repeat the test with the ovens running, but is there an app that measures the radiation? Yes, many, though I didn't find a good one. The two that I tried were useless: they were so smothered in advertisements that I wasn't able to establish with any certainty what I had. It might have been EMF Radiation Detector - Magnetic Field Detector (look at that URL! https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tm.radiation.meetr), which calls itself “Radiation Meter” in the icon. But it was so difficult to avoid the advertisements that I gave up. When my stomach has recovered I can try again.


Tuesday, 7 May 2019 Dereel Images for 7 May 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

MARION'S Laksa revisited
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Curry laksa for breakfast today, this time with “MARION'S KITCHEN” paste again. I've been eating this on and off for a couple of years, but forgot to check my notes, and diluted it far beyond what it can handle. I need to make a table for the various varieties.


Bill shortens pensions
Topic: politics, opinion Link here

The Federal elections are coming up at the end of the next week, and every morning the news carries the latest promises from the major parties. Bill Shorten of the Australian Labor [sic] Party has promised to address the negative gearing that has priced city dwellings out of the reach of most people: good. And he has promised to end cash payouts of franking credits, the tax credit on dividends from many stocks.

BAD! That's what makes the superannuation investments of many people usable. Without the franking credits, my income would be about $1000 a month less.

After checking, the sum is closer to $500. Still a very large sum of money for a pensioner

Does he understand that? Took a look at his justification page and came to the conclusion that he doesn't know what he's doing.

And so, of course, did the Coalition, which prepared this page.

What now? Maybe things aren't as bad as they looked. If pensioners can't redeem the franking credits, then it will have an effect on the value of the stocks. For them the alternative is obvious: don't frank the dividends. But it makes me wonder if Labor has any better idea of what they're doing than the Coalition.


Epazote progress
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

It's been six weeks since I planted my epazote seeds, and they took forever to germinate. Nearly 2 weeks later I discovered that my recently planted kniphofia seeds had overtaken the epazote.

But that was last month. Somehow the Kniphofia (on the floor) are no longer doing well, while the epazote (on the stand) are finally growing fast:

 
This should be Kniphofia-epazote-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Kniphofia epazote 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 189 kB
Dimensions of original: 5184 x 3890, 4806 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Tuesday, 7 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Why are the Kniphofia not doing any better?


Still more “air fryer” success
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

The original idea for an “air fryer” (really an intense forced convection oven) it seems, is to cook chips. In my experience, that's a complete and utter failure. But in the course of time I've seen other things where they work well.

First, let's consider the advantages of an “air fryer” over a real deep fryer: it's much cleaner (no fat), uses fewer raw materials (no fat), and it uses less power. If you include the heat-up time for the deep fryer, it's also often faster.

After yesterday's success with spring rolls, today I tried with papadams. How hot? Try 200° for 7 minutes. After 4 minutes I opened and found:

 
This should be Papadams-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Papadams 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 100 kB
Dimensions of original: 4608 x 3457, 2783 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Tuesday, 7 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
This should be Papadams-3.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Papadams 3
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 72 kB
Dimensions of original: 4608 x 3457, 2290 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Tuesday, 7 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Clearly too hot, but still edible. Interestingly, though, they had not increased in size. Tried again at 170° for 4 minutes. Before and after:

 
This should be Papadams-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Papadams 2
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 78 kB
Dimensions of original: 4608 x 3457, 3119 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Tuesday, 7 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
This should be Papadams-4.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Papadams 4
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 98 kB
Dimensions of original: 4608 x 3457, 3127 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Tuesday, 7 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

That looks better, and it doesn't taste too bad either. But of course it's an order of magnitude slower than a deep fryer for any reasonable number of papadams: 2 minutes per piece adds up quickly.


Wednesday, 8 May 2019 Dereel Images for 8 May 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Solar electricity: more labeling
Topic: Stones Road house, general Link here

Call from Tony of Effective Electrical this morning: it seems that the surprising number of signs on the components were still not enough for Powercor, and he had to come and add more. Things have evolved. Here is what it looked like on 3 April 2016:


This should be Switchboard-1-detail.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Switchboard 1 detail          Dimensions:          989 x 273, 112 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 3 April 2016, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 3 April 2016, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 3 April 2016 Complete exposure details

 

After installation, it grew:


This should be Solar-electricity-wiring-2-detail.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Solar electricity wiring 2 detail          Dimensions:          902 x 299, 120 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 19 April 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 19 April 2019, small
Diary entry for Friday, 19 April 2019 Complete exposure details

 

And here it is today:


This should be Switchboard-2-detail.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Switchboard 2 detail          Dimensions:          887 x 304, 125 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 8 May 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 8 May 2019, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 8 May 2019 Complete exposure details

 

Somehow I think that a circuit diagram somewhere handy would be safer.

In passing, discovered that the energy that I have fed back into the Powercor grid has not been credited to my account: that won't happen until their inspector (finally!) comes and takes a look; that should have happened at least 2 weeks ago. I think what this is really saying is that yes, Effective have received my voluntary payment, so they're (only) now doing the next step.

While the covers were off the switchboard, took a look at the wiring:

 
This should be Switchboard-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Switchboard 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 659 x 410, 183 kB
Dimensions of original: 4916 x 3059, 3782 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 8 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Yes, as Tony confirmed, I can remove the RCD in the middle and replace it and the three circuit breakers to the right with three RCDs, thus limiting the effect of any future trip like the ones we had last week and three months ago:


Aussie Broadband: not what they used to be
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

In the mornings I download videos from German TV broadcasters. It's not always plain sailing, and today a couple failed on me.

Why? The reasons are endless. But for once I received a specific error message: the proxy server was down.

What? Checked. Yes, no access. We were off the net! Dammit, this happens far too often (the last time was less than 4 weeks ago). And the procedure was the same: check my saved mail. No, no planned outage. Call Aussie Broadband support. “You are caller 33. Estimated wait time is 15 minutes and ... 40 seconds”. Damn, and that with a mobile telephone. Why can't they at least have a “press splat if you want a call back”, like many others have?

OK, fire up their app, and though the error status was clear on the NTD (ODU error indicator), go through their test, and once again hang:

 
This should be Test-hang-1.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Test hang 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 390 x 693, 72 kB
Dimensions of original: 720 x 1280, 120 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 8 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
This should be Test-hang-2.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Test hang 2
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 390 x 693, 78 kB
Dimensions of original: 720 x 1280, 129 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 8 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

What's the difference between these two displays? Ten minutes (top right hand corner: 11:31 and 11:41). Clearly nothing is going to happen there. OK, give up and hope that the system will come back soon.

It finally came back an hour later. Try the app and see what it says this time:

 
This should be NBN-outage-coming-detail.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: NBN outage coming detail
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 415 x 649, 103 kB
Dimensions of original: 494 x 773, 64 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 8 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

No current outages. The last one started 5 hours ago and will end in 7 hours' time. The next one will start on 22 May 2019 at 7:00 and will end on 29 May 2019 at 20:00. A total outage of one week, 13 hours!

Yes, it's clear that we won't be off the net anything like that long. But this level of reporting and reliability is just not acceptable. Currently I have:

Total 373 outages, total time 800662 seconds (9 days, 06:24:22)
Average time between outages: 442624 seconds (5 days, 02:57:04)
Average duration: 2146 seconds (00:35:46)
Availability: 99.52%

Yes, that's (marginally) better than my satellite availability:

Total 1684 outages, total time 792001 seconds (9 days, 04:00:01)
Average time between outages: 56449 seconds (15:40:49)
Average duration: 470 seconds (00:07:50)
Availability: 99.17%

But look at that average duration. The satellite outages were short and frequent. I've had far too many outages of an hour or longer with the NBN.

And Aussie Broadband, once exemplary, is gradually dropping significantly in my estimation.


The mildness of autumn
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

The north side of the north garden bed has been less than satisfying. I planted a Salvia microphylla there ten months ago, but while it didn't die, it didn't grow much, and only ever had one or two flowers.

That has changed, though it's still not overly effusive:

 
This should be Salivia-microphylla.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Salivia microphylla
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 280 kB
Dimensions of original: 5184 x 3888, 10219 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 8 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

But it is autumn; with a bit more fertilizer and watering it might look better next year.

The Eremophila nivea next to it is also looking better than it was:

 
This should be Eremophila-nivea.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Eremophila nivea
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 253 kB
Dimensions of original: 5184 x 3888, 11030 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 8 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

And the Banksia integrifolia next to it is doing very well:

 
This should be Banksia-integrifolia-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Banksia integrifolia 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 450 x 600, 146 kB
Dimensions of original: 3888 x 5184, 4842 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 8 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
This should be Banksia-integrifolia-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Banksia integrifolia 2
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 450 x 600, 113 kB
Dimensions of original: 3888 x 5185, 3395 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 8 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
This should be Banksia-integrifolia-3.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Banksia integrifolia 3
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 450 x 600, 114 kB
Dimensions of original: 3888 x 5184, 3608 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 8 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Maybe I should consider planting more Banksias. It's about the only tree that is growing normally.

The other salvia, though, appears dead:

 
This should be Salvia-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Salvia 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 449 x 600, 269 kB
Dimensions of original: 3888 x 5199, 13217 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 8 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

But it has self-seeded into the succulent bed, so all is not lost:

 
This should be Salvia-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Salvia 2
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 281 kB
Dimensions of original: 5184 x 3888, 9092 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 8 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

And the “Gallipoli” rosemary is also growing:

 
This should be Rosemary.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Rosemary
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 448 x 603, 276 kB
Dimensions of original: 3888 x 5230, 12761 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 8 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

I think I really need much more fertilizer for this soil.


“Air fried” chicken skewers again
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Chicken skewers for dinner tonight. As last month, I cooked them in the ”air fryer”. Last month I cooked for 12 minutes at 200°, and they weren't really crispy enough. Today I did them for 15 minutes at 220°. Yvonne's verdict: still not crispy enough. Next time 20 minutes at 230°?

I wonder how accurate the temperature settings are.


Thursday, 9 May 2019 Dereel → Ballarat → Dereel Images for 9 May 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Mediathek reliability
Topic: multimedia, technology, opinion Link here

The German „Mediatheken“ (multimedia libraries, it seems) offer a large amount of TV material for free download, and one of my first actions every morning is to check the updates provided by MediathekView. Today I discovered that they're re-running (so to speak) the first year of „Um Himmels Willen“. OK, start the download. Episode 2 failed for some unknown reason.

That has happened before, and there's an alternative: go straight to the broadcaster's web site, in this case ARD, and download from there with youtube_dl. Search for „Um Himmels Willen“. Nope, no hits:


This should be Um-Himmels-Willen-2.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Um Himmels Willen 2          Dimensions:          1063 x 254, 45 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 9 May 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 9 May 2019, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 9 May 2019 Complete exposure details

 

Huh? They've been broadcasting more recent years. What does their “Series” page say? It comes with this horrible server-side slider that you have to press several times to view, but then found the page, tastefully half obscured:


This should be Um-Himmels-Willen-3.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Um Himmels Willen 3          Dimensions:          1031 x 262, 324 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 9 May 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 9 May 2019, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 9 May 2019 Complete exposure details

 

 
This should be Um-Himmels-Willen-3-detail.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Um Himmels Willen 3 detail
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 429 x 629, 334 kB
Dimensions of original: 163 x 239, 55 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Thursday, 9 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Yes, there are episodes, but only recent ones. Why don't they list the other ones? And why didn't their search function find any mention of the series?

It seems that the original issue was some kind of network glitch; after downloading other videos, MediathekView went back and retried, and it worked. But this leaves me with at least three problems with the ARD site:

  1. Why doesn't the search function find the programme?
  2. Why doesn't the series page show the old episodes? What good are they if nobody knows about them?
  3. Why, oh why, do they replace functional web page infrastructure with something reminiscent of the smart of mobile phones?

To be fair to ARD, they're not the only people with this stupid scroll system. Just look at smart TVs and wonder what kind of brain damage led to the idea.


Anniversaries
Topic: history, opinion Link here

In my morning mail:

May  9  Greg Lehey and Doris Pischke marry in Hamm, Westfalen, 1975

I remember the date, of course, but 44 years! How time flies!

But there was more:

May  9  Yvonne arrives in Australia, 1997

I didn't remember that date. And just by coincidence, it was exactly half the time between my wedding with Doris and today.


To the doctor again
Topic: health Link here

Into town today to hear the results of my blood tests. Nothing unexpected: HbA1c 5.9, in the normal range, but fasting blood glucose 7.4 mmol/l. That's nothing new; I've had that for 12 years now. But Paul still can't make up his mind whether I'm diabetic or not.

Apart from that, MCV 104 fl again. Somehow that's the only anomaly, and since the Vitamin B12 parameters all seem normal (for once!), there seems to be no obvious reason for concern.

Had a influenza innoculation while I was there.


Internet signs of the times, 2019
Topic: general, technology, opinion Link here

I had nothing much to do after leaving the doctor's, so I took a somewhat roundabout way back to the car park, via the old Block Arcade, which has been looking down-at-heel for some years now. It looks quite different now from the photo they have on their home page:

In particular, the premises on the right are empty and to let, not the only one in the relatively short arcade; I'd guess that 40% of the premises are empty.

On through Myer, which has been looking in need of renovation for some years now, and in to Central Square It looks a lot better than the other two, but the writing is on the wall, literally. Coming in from the east, the place looks like this:


This should be Central-square.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Central square          Dimensions:          1251 x 216, 133 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 9 May 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 9 May 2019, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 9 May 2019 Complete exposure details

 

What's in the food court? Nothing much, but I discovered one shop, rather more tastefully covered up than in Block Arcade:

 
This should be Central-square-detail-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Central square detail 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 542 x 498, 116 kB
Dimensions of original: 943 x 866, 194 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Thursday, 9 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

That's the white wall in the background, which should be selling some kind of food. It's not the only one in the panorama above: on the right, in what should be one of the best positions in the shopping centre, is this:

 
This should be Central-square-detail-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Central square detail 2
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 445 x 607, 90 kB
Dimensions of original: 773 x 1055, 139 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Thursday, 9 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

That's roughly what I predicted in my paper The future of the Internet over 5 years ago. I've seen some of these shops change hands frequently, and I wonder if the current Flight Centre shop (barely visible on the left of the panorama) will last long. It's interesting that even food courts have difficulties, though the shops that are there don't look very exciting.


Strange bedfellows
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

I forget why, but today I discovered this page, a relatively recent photo of Julian Assange with... rms:

What's unusual about that? At the time Julian was in self-imposed exile, so rms must have gone to visit him. Clearly he never read the NetBSD fortune files:

NetBSD - free yourself from all Stallmanist thought!
                -- Julian Assange

I'm sure there are others, but I can't find them. I was left with a feeling of great antipathy from Julian towards all that is GNU and rms in particular.


Still more kangaroos
Topic: animals Link here

Seen from the lounge room:

 
This should be Kangaroos-4-detail.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Kangaroos 4 detail
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 764 x 354, 156 kB
Dimensions of original: 4173 x 1931, 2807 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Thursday, 9 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry


Real network problems
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

A rather surprising email this evening:

Date: Thu, 9 May 2019 17:52:30 +1000
From: Aussie Broadband <sales@aussiebroadband.com.au>
Subject: [Outage Ref: 49072] Our apologies - we're experiencing an outage

Apologies from the Aussie Broadband team - we're experiencing an outage in your region that may be affecting your service.
Our network team are investigating as fast as possible. We don't have an ETA for resolution yet.

Please keep in mind that our tech support call centre is likely to be pretty busy.
You can find updates on our website support page at https://www.aussiebroadband.com.au/support/, or on our Facebook page.

And yes, the support page did show an outage in the Ballarat area, and so did my network status page, here shown after the event (and thus also that it finished round 22:47):

NBN link statistics

Interestingly, despite the “outage”, I didn't completely lose connectivity. My status page didn't even register one.


More spring rolls
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Had another go at cooking spring rolls in the “air fryer” today, smaller ones (about 1.3 cm in diameter) at 170° for 5 minutes. Not enough, I think; I'll try 200° and 8 minutes next time.


Friday, 10 May 2019 Dereel Images for 10 May 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

The rains come!
Topic: general, opinion Link here

Somehow it seemed to have rained all night. That's probably because it did:

Click to see larger image Click to see larger image

According to the weather station (which is very inaccurate and on the low side), we've had a total of 141.3 mm of rain this year, of which 81.6 mm were in this month. Today the weather station registered “only” 40.5 mm, but the rain gauges came up with closer to 60 mm. And again the effects were to be seen:

 
This should be Rain-4.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Rain 4
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 601 x 450, 206 kB
Dimensions of original: 5198 x 3888, 8185 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Friday, 10 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
This should be Rain-5.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Rain 5
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 449, 192 kB
Dimensions of original: 5190 x 3888, 7415 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Friday, 10 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
This should be Rain-6.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Rain 6
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 601 x 449, 183 kB
Dimensions of original: 5202 x 3888, 7603 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Friday, 10 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
This should be Rain-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Rain 2
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 449, 183 kB
Dimensions of original: 5190 x 3888, 6275 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Friday, 10 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Spent a lot of time pumping water out of the pit in front of the house, being careful not to let it run dry, until I discovered that the float switch was working correctly. But I must have pumped hundreds of litres of water out from that area along. Time to talk to Warrick Pitcher about better drainage.


Ken Thompson interview
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Saw an interesting interview recently:

Brian Kernighan interviewed Ken Thompson on a range of subjects, only barely touching Unix. I had some new insights, though I suspect that Ken might have been deliberately misleading in some of the stuff he said. For example, in (northern) summer 1969 he spent 3 weeks hacking while his wife visited relatives. Peter Salus writes that he spent this time writing a file system, which seems a tough enough challenge. But Ken said in the interview that he spent a week each writing an editor, an assembler and an operating system. No mention of a file system, though clearly that would have been a big part of it.

Other things of interest: he barely mentioned dmr. Those three weeks in summer 1969 he was on his own, and then he mentioned people who joined the effort, including Doug McIlroy, Bob Morris and Dennis Ritchie. But from his interview you wouldn't have thought that Dennis was any more important than the other two.

And the there was his T-shirt:

 
This should be ken.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: ken
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 513 x 527, 356 kB
Dimensions of original: 949 x 974, 672 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Saturday, 11 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
.

What does that comment say? The closest I can come is “ΕΠΙΤΕΛΟΥΣ ΤΟ ΚΑΤΑΛΑΒΑ!”, which doesn't make much sense to me. Clearly you're not supposed to understand this: the real clue is the code underneath, capitalized for some reason, and that rang a bell: it's from the Sixth Edition Unix kernel, /usr/sys/ken/slp.c, lines 325 and on.

But to be on the safe side, I put it through Google Translate, which indeed was able to make some kind sense of it: it translates it as “the successful”. But pull the words apart and it changes its tune and says “At last the understood”. So somewhere there's a grain of truth in the statement. Now I need to parse it. And somehow I'm disappointed: it seemed cleverer before.

A few weeks later I received a message from Andreas Leitgeb, who translated it as “Finally I understand this”.

The funny thing is that the code is gradually starting to make sense. Together with dmr's comments it appears that they were hand-crafting a longjmp() with implicit reliance on the compiler implementation of stack frames.


Saturday, 11 May 2019 Dereel Images for 11 May 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Facebook pain again
Topic: photography, technology, opinion Link here

Question on Quora: “Does Facebook remove EXIF data from uploaded images?”.

That sounded like an interesting question, and simple enough to confirm or deny. OK, enter a post. But how? Nothing echoes in the box provided.

Gave up and tried again with Chrome, which echoed. And Facebook sent me a message:

We noticed a recent login for your account @Groggyhimself.
Device: Chrome
Location: Traralgon, Victoria
*Location is approximate based on the login's IP address.
If this was you
Great! There's nothing else you need to do.

Now isn't that clever? Yet another report of me being in Traralgon, 300 km away. But what if somebody there really tried to break in? It says “Location is approximate based on the login's IP address”, which is doubly irritating: firstly, since when do “logins” (an action of logging in) have an IP address? And what is the IP address that they used? That would make things much easier. Why do people omit things like this?

Entering my “post” was easier, up to a point. First, of course, I had to upload a photo, a pain in itself because all these stupid browsers don't have file name completion nor any concept of directory folder hierarchy. But finally I climbed the trees and pressed whatever the button is that means "upload":

 
This should be Farcebook-3.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Farcebook 3
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 565 x 479, 105 kB
Dimensions of original: 497 x 421, 46 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Saturday, 11 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

 


This should be Farcebook-3-detail.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Farcebook 3 detail          Dimensions:          1108 x 244, 121 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 11 May 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 11 May 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 11 May 2019 Complete exposure details

 

OK, people, what was the error (again)? And what kind of work are you doing to fix it? The obvious work would be to say what the problem is, but that's too obvious for modern systems. Once upon a time you'd end up with messages like this:


This should be xv-1.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: xv 1          Dimensions:          906 x 298, 65 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 11 May 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 11 May 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 11 May 2019 Complete exposure details

 

Isn't that ugly? Clearly we can't have anything like that in a modern system.

Finally, of course, there was the issue: how do I submit the message? No “submit” button. Ah, that's an old, worn-out magic word. Now it's “Share”, the same word these people use for remote file system access.

Finally, the result: yes, Facebook is too polite to publish the Exif data. Who knows what harm it might cause.


Sunday, 12 May 2019 Dereel Images for 12 May 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

New stables
Topic: general Link here

Seen at the gate this afternoon:

 
This should be Stable-construction.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Stable construction
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 181 kB
Dimensions of original: 5184 x 3888, 7230 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 12 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

That was CJ Ellis bringing a couple of posts for some new extension to Yvonne's stable area. At the end we had:

 
This should be Stables-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Stables 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 702 x 384, 188 kB
Dimensions of original: 5210 x 2853, 5896 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Monday, 13 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
This should be Stables-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Stables 2
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 193 kB
Dimensions of original: 5184 x 3888, 9983 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Monday, 13 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

That's going to be some kind of covered area to protect against the rain and wind, which come from that direction. I wonder if it will be more useful than this pen, which was built for Gabriela, the miniature horse, and which is apparently of no use for anything else:

 
This should be Stables-3-detail.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Stables 3 detail
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 608 x 444, 177 kB
Dimensions of original: 2104 x 1535, 1452 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Monday, 13 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry


Sheep parade
Topic: animals, opinion Link here

While walking the dogs today, saw:


This should be Sheep-parade-detail.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Sheep parade detail          Dimensions:          1654 x 163, 181 kB Display location on map
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 12 May 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 12 May 2019, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 12 May 2019 Complete exposure details

 

 

 
This should be Sheep-parade.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Sheep parade
Display location on map
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 174 kB
Dimensions of original: 5184 x 3889, 8180 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Sunday, 12 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Why are the sheep lined up like that? Preparing for inspection? No, clearly they have been issued with hay, and they're eating it.


Monday, 13 May 2019 Dereel Images for 13 May 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

International money transfer pain
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

Yvonne has booked a course in Queensland in early spring. Nothing unusual in that, but we have to pay in Canadian dollars, and they wanted something like a 10% surcharge for transfers from outside the country.

OK, I've been trying to arrange for cheaper international fund transfers for a couple of years now, and somehow I haven't got round to it. Most recently I found Transferwise and signed up with them, but never got round to doing any transfers. Finally started to do so a couple of days ago and ran into issues specific to the Canadian banking system—I think. So I sent off mail with questions and get replies today.

So: now do it for real. First, I needed to sign in again, and their web server was too polite to talk to my firefox, so I had to fire up a separate Chrome. Log in. “We have sent you an SMS”. Dammit, every time? It's a good thing that we now have mobile phone coverage.

Then filled out the form exactly as discussed with the other side. Nope, don't like your postal code (the one confirmed by the receiver of the transfer):

 
This should be Transferwise-1.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Transferwise 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 416 x 650, 48 kB
Dimensions of original: 521 x 814, 41 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Monday, 13 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

This should be Transferwise-1-detail.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Transferwise 1 detail          Dimensions:          970 x 278, 33 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 13 May 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 13 May 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 13 May 2019 Complete exposure details

 

Tried various combinations, including Canada Post's postal code search. It took me a very long time to realize that I had misparsed the text:

  Address: 338-5420 Highway 6 North, Guelph, ON N1H 6J2

ON is the province abbreviation and not part of the postal code. But how was I to know that?

Then more pain transferring money from my bank, but finally it was done. Only 2 hours! And the fee was $4.32. That looks like more than the 0.35% or 0.45% that I was quoted last year. What about the conversion rate? They gave me $0.938139, which I suppose compares favourably with the $0.9365 that OANDA gave for today's Interbank rate.


Red-flowering gum
Topic: gardening Link here

Seen while walking the dogs today:

 
This should be Flowering-gum-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Flowering gum 1
Display location on map
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 448 x 603, 207 kB
Dimensions of original: 3888 x 5233, 10749 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Monday, 13 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
This should be Flowering-gum-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Flowering gum 2
Display location on map
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 157 kB
Dimensions of original: 5184 x 3888, 5751 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Monday, 13 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

It's a pity they flower for so short a period. But maybe we should get one too.


Preparing for the Federal election
Topic: politics, opinion Link here

There will be a Federal election on coming Saturday. The satirists are preparing:

At least I hope that it's the satirists.


Tuesday, 14 May 2019 Dereel Images for 14 May 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

What network speed?
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Almost exactly 4 years ago I took part in a free trial of NBN's then-new 50/20 speed rating (50 Mb/s down, 20 Mb/s up). It seems that the trial lasted several months, because six months later I tested the speed pinging Google's name server 8.8.8.8 and came up with these results:

=== grog@eureka (/dev/pts/14) ~ 28 -> ping -c20 8.8.8.8
...
round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 38.503/51.678/62.721/5.839 ms

Things could have changed, of course: in particular, we now have two links from the Radiation Tower to the POP. So for the fun of it I tried again (actually paying $10 for the privilege). Now it looks like this:

=== grog@eureka (/dev/pts/16) ~ 74 -> ping -c20 8.8.8.8
...
round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 34.691/46.752/59.228/5.698 ms

Yes, that's marginally better. And the 1400 byte payload?

=== root@eureka (/dev/pts/9) ~ 21 -> ping -c20 -s 1400 8.8.8.8
PING 8.8.8.8 (8.8.8.8): 1400 data bytes
72 bytes from 8.8.8.8: icmp_seq=0 ttl=55 time=59.788 ms
wrong total length 92 instead of 1428
...
round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 42.306/52.864/59.993/4.588 ms

What happened there? It seems that 8.8.8.8 no longer responds with big payloads; the same ping to www.lemis.com returns the payload as requested. That makes the test pretty useless, except maybe to indicate that the performance problem that I mentioned last time was possibly not due to the link. With www.lemis.com I get with 1400 byte and 56 byte packets:

round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 299.498/306.932/316.082/5.683 ms
round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 289.057/298.828/314.335/5.624 ms

That's a difference of 8 to 10 ms, still more than you'd expect, but much better than the 100 to 130 ms I noted last time.

Of course, what I really need is a speed test site. But which one? Aussie Broadband have restyled their web site, and I can no longer find that sort of thing. And the page that I found via a Google search was of little help:

 
This should be speed-test-fail-detail.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: speed test fail detail
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 755 x 358, 74 kB
Dimensions of original: 422 x 200, 10 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Tuesday, 14 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Third-party tests were of limited value, of course. But one of them complained about my ad blocker. OK, I have a spare browser. That worked—and so did the Aussie speed test! So it seems that this was their polite way of saying “please disable your ad blocker”. Why did they want to spam me with advertisements?

The results were nothing to write home about:

Download Speed: 30122 kbps (3765 KB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 17710 kbps (2213 KB/sec transfer rate)
Latency: 30 ms

Download Speed: 31682 kbps (3960 KB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 17286 kbps (2160 KB/sec transfer rate)
Latency: 29 ms

Surprisingly, though, other servers did better. An unspecified Telstra server (“Windsor”) gave me a download speed of 42.7 Mb/s, but latency of 70 ms and upload of 15.28 Mb/s.

More to the point, though: what do I get for this speed? Marginally faster downloads from SRF, but at typically 15 Mb/s they were never the issue; some of the German sites are only about a tenth of that speed, and not surprisingly there was no difference there. The upload speeds are of no particular interest, especially since I need to tune my remote systems to get even 5 Mb/s upload. So, somewhat to my surprise, it'll be back to 20/5 at the end of the month.


Wednesday, 15 May 2019 Dereel Images for 15 May 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

Solar electricity installation accepted
Topic: Stones Road house, general Link here

Round 9:30 this morning a friendly inspector from Powercor came along to inspect last month's solar electricity installation. He showed me what he was looking for as he went (in particular, good anchors for the panels, which sounds like an excellent idea), expressed surprise that it had taken so long for him to be called (I still think they waited until I paid), and noted that Effective Electrical were usually pretty reliable, unlike some others whom he didn't mention by name. He took a look (apparently his first) at the inverter, and we discussed the display: it shows round 5 V more than in my office. So he went off and measured the voltage at a suitably placed power point near by; no significant difference. But it seems that our line voltage, once round 237 V, has gradually crept up, and now we're round 245 V. That's irritating, since it will climb further when I'm feeding power in.

And next? We'll hear from somebody. His job is done, system accepted without any issues.


Where's my pump?
Topic: general Link here

It's been five months since I brought my then 10½ month old pump in to the Ballarat Pump Shop for repair. I called them in January and was asked to wait. But that's enough waiting. Called up and spoke to Bruce who was—understandably—surprised. They appear to have lost my contact details, but he found a pump, still in bits, that matched the description. Will talk to Jeff and call you back.

Hopefully it won't take another 5 months.


MediathekView display issues
Topic: technology, opinion, multimedia Link here

I use MediathekView on a daily basis to choose which videos to download. The download screen typically looks like this:

 
This should be MediathekView-1.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: MediathekView 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 693 x 390, 138 kB
Dimensions of original: 1920 x 1080, 86 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 15 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
This should be MediathekView-2.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: MediathekView 2
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 656 x 412, 180 kB
Dimensions of original: 746 x 468, 39 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 15 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

The first image shows what it looks like on a full screen (1920x1080, and the second is reduced in size to make it legible. The bottom right is in two panes: the pane marked green in the second image (meaning “download finished”) is a list of selected videos. The pane below is a description of the selected line (dark green).

All well and good. But today, somehow, the description pane was gone. Why? Where? How do I get it back? Tried configuration and all sorts of potentially hidden sensitive areas, to no avail. Have they changed the software? There was no download, so it seemed unlikely.

OK, I have another instance running on teevee. Is it gone there too? No, it's there. And there's the x at the top left of the pane. OK, click on that. Gone? No, that would be too simple. If it is, I have two instances that don't have the pane any more. First save the configuration. Then click on it. Gone!

Stop program, compare configuration:

--- foo 2019-05-15 16:59:57.657580000 +1000
+++ mediathek.xml       2019-05-15 17:00:32.804712000 +1000
...
@@ -163,7 +163,7 @@
        <Programm-Linux-Shutdown>shutdown -h now</Programm-Linux-Shutdown>
        <Programm-Url-oeffnen>/usr/local/bin/firefox</Programm-Url-oeffnen>
        <system-anz-tage-filmilste>0</system-anz-tage-filmilste>
-       <system-download-beschreibung-anzeigen>true</system-download-beschreibung-anzeigen>
+       <system-download-beschreibung-anzeigen>false</system-download-beschreibung-anzeigen>
        <system-download-info-border>false</system-download-info-border>
        <system-download-info-top>true</system-download-info-top>
        <system-export-datei></system-export-datei>

OK, that's clear: the display is controlled by the variable system-download-beschreibung-anzeigen. I know how to turn it off. I don't know how to turn it on, and I'm not sure that there is a way from the program. But stop the program, frob the config file, and it works again.

In passing, yes, this is what the config file really looks like. It seems that they really have a config variable with the typo system-anz-tage-filmilste.


The smart of Android
Topic: technology, photography, opinion Link here

Somebody mentioned Google camera recently. It's for phones, of course, so off to the toyshop, where I found the description. OK, try it on the phone:

 
This should be Screenshot_20190515-135056-detail.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Screenshot_20190515 135056 detail
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 777 x 348, 63 kB
Dimensions of original: 695 x 311, 27 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 15 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

 

 
This should be Screenshot_20190515-135056.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Screenshot_20190515 135056
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 390 x 693, 119 kB
Dimensions of original: 720 x 1280, 176 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 15 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
This should be Screenshot_20190515-135108.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Screenshot_20190515 135108
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 390 x 693, 125 kB
Dimensions of original: 720 x 1280, 189 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 15 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Where is it? It comes up with all sorts of things, just not anything that's obvious Google Camera. What does Google Street View have to do with the search terms, for example?

I couldn't find it. I gave up. But when I went back to a real computer and checked, I found the fine print:


This should be Google-camera.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Google camera          Dimensions:          933 x 290, 68 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 15 May 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 15 May 2019, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 15 May 2019 Complete exposure details

 

“This app is incompatible with all your devices. Want to install?”.

O brave new world, that has such technology in 't!


Thursday, 16 May 2019 Dereel Images for 16 May 2019
Top of page
previous day
next day
last day

More solar power documentation
Topic: Stones Road house, general, opinion Link here

An unexpected email this morning:

Date: Thu, 16 May 2019 02:17:42 +0000
From: Geo Admin <do-not-reply@geocreation.com.au>
To: Greg Lehey <groggyhimself@lemis.com>
Subject: Email agreement for Greg Lehey's PV install at 29 Stones RD

 Effective Electrical have submitted a renewable energy or energy
efficiency certificate claim for a PV system recently installed and have
listed you as the owner of that system.

 The purpose of this email is to confirm that you are the owner of this
system and ask you to complete the system owner declaration required to
create certificates.

 Click here
<https://api.geocreation.com.au/agreements/5cbe7a22c30100265c48/sign?signingToken=KCVLOFxNHDQrq4WfBop0GXdtIU8>
and follow the prompts to accept the agreement for this installation.

Who the hell are they? Somebody who read my diary and wants to cash in on something? No, I also got an email from Effective Electrical telling me that they would contact me. But why? I thought I would have an agreement with Powercor.

OK, follow the link and get a pretty normal web form, except that ever address started with “MS: “MS, 21B Villiers DR, Wendouree VIC 3355”, “MS, 29 Stones RD, DEREEL VIC 3352” and so on. No way to fix it; just press “SUBMIT” to continue. “Thank you, your acceptance has been noted”. I didn't accept anything! Anybody could have “signed” this. And later I got a confirmation:

Date: Thu, 16 May 2019 03:07:25 +0000
From: Geo Admin <do-not-reply@geocreation.com.au>
To: Greg Lehey <groggyhimself@lemis.com>
Subject: System Owner agreement signed confirmation

 This is to confirm your digital signature for the System Owner agreement
has been received.

Digital signature? I did nothing of the kind. I wonder what legal validity the form has.


Flowers in late autumn
Topic: gardening Link here

Middle of the month, now late autumn. Time for the monthly garden flower photos.

The garden didn't fare well over the summer, and of course things still show. But now that it's cooler, some plants are recovering. I have a surprising number of hibiscus and similar:

 
This should be Hibiscus-rosa-sinensis-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Hibiscus rosa sinensis 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 450 x 600, 234 kB
Dimensions of original: 3888 x 5184, 9029 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Thursday, 16 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
This should be Hibiscus-rosa-sinensis-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Hibiscus rosa sinensis 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 94 kB
Dimensions of original: 5186 x 3888, 2770 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 15 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
This should be Hibiscus-rosa-sinensis-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Hibiscus rosa sinensis 2
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 450 x 600, 230 kB
Dimensions of original: 3888 x 5184, 8716 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Thursday, 16 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

The first two photos are the “Uncle Max” Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, which is still not very happy outside; possibly next spring will be better if it survives. The next is the Hibiscus with the erectile dysfunction and the prolific but small flowers.

Then there are the relatives:

 
This should be Alyogyne-huegelii.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Alyogyne huegelii
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 153 kB
Dimensions of original: 5184 x 3888, 5001 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Wednesday, 15 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
This should be Alyogyne-huegelii-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Alyogyne huegelii 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 257 kB
Dimensions of original: 5184 x 3888, 8462 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Thursday, 16 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
This should be Hibiscus-syriacus-4.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Hibiscus syriacus 4
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 134 kB
Dimensions of original: 5184 x 3889, 4961 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Thursday, 16 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

The first two are the Alyogyne huegelii that I planted in the spring, and the last is a Hibiscus syriacus flower. I hadn't noticed until now how similar the flowers are. I planted two Hibiscus syriacus trees a couple of years ago. One suffered at the hands of Mick's whipper-snipper, but proved equal to the challenge; after it recovered a little, we transplanted it to the north side of the house, where it has grown a lot but barely flowered (the last image above and the first below). The other one has flowered a lot but not grown as well, presumably because of the wind (second image).

 
This should be Hibiscus-syriacus-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Hibiscus syriacus 2
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 450 x 600, 240 kB
Dimensions of original: 3888 x 5184, 9770 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Thursday, 16 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
This should be Hibiscus-syriacus-3.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Hibiscus syriacus 3
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 450 x 600, 267 kB
Dimensions of original: 3888 x 5184, 10936 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Thursday, 16 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

The trees in the front garden have been a source of concern since we moved in. Two of three birches died, but this year the third has what looks like normal autumn foliage:

 
This should be Betula.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Betula
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 450 x 600, 245 kB
Dimensions of original: 3890 x 5184, 9717 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Thursday, 16 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Nothing special there. But that's not the way it was before. Last year it looked like this:

 
This should be Birch.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Birch
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 447 x 604, 206 kB
Dimensions of original: 3456 x 4671, 6668 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Friday, 16 February 2018:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

But that was in February!. After that it lost all its leaves.

The situation is similar with the Paulownia kawakamii:

 
This should be Paulownia-kawakamii.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Paulownia kawakamii
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 450 x 600, 252 kB
Dimensions of original: 3890 x 5184, 10478 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Thursday, 16 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

I don't seem to have taken any photos last autumn, probably an indication that there wasn't much to see, but in the middle of summer 2018 it looked like this:

 
This should be Paulownia.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Paulownia
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 259 kB
Dimensions of original: 5184 x 3888, 9079 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Monday, 15 January 2018:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Clearly it has grown a lot, but still far short of the way it should have (by now it should be 5 m tall).

The Clematis “General Sikorski” that was nearly strangled by the Tropaeolum is recovering well. I thought it might be forming a flower, but not quite. The first photo is from last month:

 
This should be Clematis-General-Sikorski.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Clematis General Sikorski
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 173 kB
Dimensions of original: 5184 x 3890, 4490 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Tuesday, 16 April 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
This should be Clematis-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Clematis 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 227 kB
Dimensions of original: 5184 x 3888, 5989 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Thursday, 16 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
This should be Clematis-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Clematis 2
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 143 kB
Dimensions of original: 5184 x 3889, 5242 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Thursday, 16 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Preparations for spring are well on their way. All of these bulbs are outside my bedroom window:

 
This should be Bulbs-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Bulbs 1
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 216 kB
Dimensions of original: 5184 x 3888, 5943 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Thursday, 16 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry
 
This should be Bulbs-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Bulbs 2
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 600 x 450, 240 kB
Dimensions of original: 5184 x 3890, 7232 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Thursday, 16 May 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry