Clicky Iphone Keyboard

(April 21, 2024)

A while back, I kickstartererd the Clicks keyboard for Iphone, and I got it a few days ago. My use case is basically just one thing: Duolingo. I’ve gotten pretty good a thumbing away at an onscreen Iphone Max keyboard over the last few months, but I still make an annoying number of errors — … Continue reading Clicky Iphone Keyboard

Translation, Apps, Comics, oh la la…

(February 17, 2024)

I’m learning French (so that I’ll be able to read French comics, as one does). I started absolutely from scratch (no high school French or nuttin), and after about half a year, I’m at that point where I can sort of kinda actually read some French comics. Sort of. If they’re for children. Of course, … Continue reading Translation, Apps, Comics, oh la la…

Washing Machine

(January 13, 2024)

Before you start reading, start this song: It should make reading the blathering nonsense below slightly less annoying. Aren’t I helpful. Anyway. We were chatting on irc the other day about this: And I was going “and that’s why I’ll never have an Internet-connected washing machine. Never! That’s totally insane and only total morons would … Continue reading Washing Machine

Sony’s Passion is App Development

(December 30, 2023)

So — I use an Android phone for most stuff, but I use an Iphone Max for Duolingoing (because of reasons), and I was wondering whether I could listen to music from my Android phone as the same time that I was listening to the French-ey voices from the Doulingo app on the Iphone. There’s … Continue reading Sony’s Passion is App Development

My New Home Decor Blog

(November 21, 2023)

A while back, I bought a couple of very small TVs, and I was going to put them somewhere permanentish… and now, after procrastinating for just two months, I’m gonna actually do it. It wasn’t all procrastinating — the TVs are powered via USB-C, so I wanted a USB-A to dual USB-C cable, and er … Continue reading My New Home Decor Blog

Jeanne Dielman, TinyTV 2, 0171 Oslo

(September 19, 2023)

A while back, I kickstartered (that’s a general verb now) TinyTV 2 on Indigogo, and I got my copies the other day. (I also got the TinyTV Mini, which is even smaller.) I have to say that they’re are even cuter than I thought. There’s just something really fun about these gadgets — their sheer … Continue reading Jeanne Dielman, TinyTV 2, 0171 Oslo

Raspberries & Screens

(July 19, 2023)

I’ve had a “Home Automation System” (i.e., thing that makes lights go on and off) based on Telldus Tellstick and Z-Wave for more than a decade, and it works fine. I’ve got a bunch of computers around the house, and I’ve installed the USB dongles and server programs on them, which seemed like the most … Continue reading Raspberries & Screens

My New Lamp Repair Blog

(July 18, 2023)

A week ago, I got a lamp called Midori from Artimide. It came shipped amusingly flat… … and with plenty of assembly to do, which is fun. It folds out pretty impressively. So what’s the problem? I have all my lamps plugged into wall sockets that are controlled remotely, so when I go to bed, … Continue reading My New Lamp Repair Blog

Sony a9 Cameras and Linux

(May 27, 2023)

When blogging, I usually sit on the couch with my laptop on my lap (as is logical), typing away in Emacs in ewp mode, snapping pics of stuff (mostly comics) in bad lighting conditions. Taking nice snaps of things is a breeze if the lighting is good (i.e., sufficient), or if you’ve got a camera … Continue reading Sony a9 Cameras and Linux

Home Improvements

(January 12, 2023)

Welcome to my new Home Improvements Blog. As I’m sure you remember from just four years ago, in my quest to create an Emacs-controlled alarm clock that doesn’t emit any light, I set up a Dasung Paperlike HD screen to use as an alarm clock in my bedroom: I then realised that er there’s no … Continue reading Home Improvements


(December 18, 2021)

I’ve been through a number of cheap record players in my life, and they’ve all had some kind of problem — buzzing sounds, low level rumbling sounds, etc. I thought I had found the perfect record player some years back, and indeed it fit all my requirements, which are: 1) Not suck, sound wise. (I’m … Continue reading Timber

Getting Organised

(September 3, 2021)

I’ve got a bunch of gadgets between the things that play movies and the TV (for screenshotting and controlling and stuff), so it now usually looks like this: Pretty! All the cable’s one thing, but the main problem is all the gadgets: Most of them are very light, and you can’t get them to stay … Continue reading Getting Organised

BroadLink RM4 Pro

(August 22, 2021)

A few years back, I set up a Rube Golbergesque HDMI production line to be able to watch streaming movies while also doing screenshots. After watching a whole lot of Netflix movies, I haven’t really touched the setup — because I just stopped watching streaming movies: the UX of an Apple TV and those apps … Continue reading BroadLink RM4 Pro


(July 19, 2021)

All the intertubes were atwitter about the Oda Speakers last year. The concept is pretty odd: You buy these speakers, and then you buy a subscription to a series of concerts. You can only listen to these concerts on these speakers, and the speakers don’t really do much else. They do have a line in, … Continue reading Oda

That Range, Tho

(July 17, 2021)

I thought I’d move to the balcony for some comics reading, so I wanted to set up a bluetooth speaker there, and so I opened up the bt panel on my laptop: And on and on and on. There’s about 60 devices in the list, and most of them are called “Tier” and “lime”, so … Continue reading That Range, Tho

Oddball Raspberry Pi Screen Resolutions

(March 13, 2021)

A couple years back I bought a Dasung Paperline HD to use as an alarm clock, and it’s worked perfectly. However, the little FitPC computer I was using died today. I was looking through the Cupboards of Mystery to see if I had anything here that I could replace it with, and I found a … Continue reading Oddball Raspberry Pi Screen Resolutions

Latency Is So Over

(February 14, 2021)

In our continuing look at issues that are of vital importance to everybody, and not just stuff I’m doing because I’m getting a bit stir crazy: Audio latency. It’s the worst, right? Here’s the backstory: When I moved in here ten years ago (gasp… ten years? huh…) I wired up all the rooms with Cat5, … Continue reading Latency Is So Over

Linux on the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Fold

(January 16, 2021)

For some reason I can’t quite imagine, I’m a bit bored these days? It’s a mystery. So I seem to be buying more … stuff, and today I got a Lenovo Fold. Yes, yes, I know. Epic unpacking sequence (on the couch; it’s cold): It folds! See? Anyway, I don’t quite know what I’m going … Continue reading Linux on the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Fold

New Gadget!

(December 29, 2020)

It’s been so long since I got a new gadget. So when I saw this e-ink frame the other week, I bought one immediately. And it arrived today: What’s appealing about this e-ink thing is that it’s freestanding: It’s got a battery (supposed to last a year), and communicates via wifi. So you can put … Continue reading New Gadget!

Changing the Input Source on a Sony A1 TV

(August 21, 2020)

I’ve got the most obscure and least important problem in the world, so I’ve just spent four hours investigate it and find a solution. So now you have to read about it! Hah! Share the pain! OK, backstory: I’ve got a Sony A1 TV, and it’s very nice: Nothing annoying about it, which is the … Continue reading Changing the Input Source on a Sony A1 TV

Useful Consumer Review

(May 25, 2020)

A few years back, I got a Dyson robot vacuum — the 360 Eye. I’d tried various other robot vacuums before, like the iRobot thingie, but the problem with those is that they’re… so noisy. I mean, not to me: I can just leave the room and sit somewhere else. But they seem to be … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Storage… To The Max!

(April 16, 2020)

For some years now, I’ve been ripping DVDs (and blu-rays) before watching, both for practical reasons and stupid reasons. One theoretical nice side effect of all this is that I can re-watch movies without rummaging through boxes of stuff… And I actually did re-watch something this year, although I should have re-bought it on blu-ray. … Continue reading Storage… To The Max!

Useful Consumer Review

(November 27, 2019)

All Emacs users, at one point or another, feel like they need a pedal to get all the keystrokes in. But now I could actually use one: I’ve got a blogging project that requires using a scanner, and triggering that with a foot would mean less bending to reach the keyboard. So I got an … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Useful Consumer Review

(November 13, 2019)

My wifi saga has been long and painful. Using a single AP, no matter how monstrous, just hasn’t worked in this flat: I’d get miserable bandwidth whenever not within two meters of the AP, and some parts of the flat got no coverage at all no matter where I put it. I guess wifi doesn’t … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Useful Consumer Review

(March 11, 2019)

I’m always in the lookout for new smart remotes, so when I saw this Turn Touch wooden thing, I thought it might go better with my living room table: Than the old remote I use to control the stereo (and the lights): Eh? Eh? Slightly better, huh? That Targus thing there has worked reliably for … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Paperlike HD

(February 24, 2019)

Since the first time I heard of e-ink products, I was pretty enthused: Imagine having something with the resolution of paper and the convenience of a very light tablet to read from! What a marvel! And then I saw an e-ink e-reader. They’re horrible! The resolution is way less than paper, and when you flip … Continue reading Paperlike HD

Adventures in Netflix

(February 14, 2019)

I’ve been watching a buttload of 40s movies over the past few months, and I was thinking about watching something really modern next. And then it occurred to me: How about if I watch all “Netflix Original” movies released in 2019? Sizzling fresh movies! And if you’ve ever read this blog before, you’ll know there’ll … Continue reading Adventures in Netflix

Useful Consumer Review

(January 26, 2019)

I’ve had an Epson Expression 10000XL for over ten years, and it works very well. I mainly use it to scan covers of LPs and the like, so the A3+ size is perfect. It’s only got two problems: It’s slow, and it has a noisy fan. I can live with the latter, because the fan … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Automated Turn-On Logic

(January 10, 2019)

Useful Consumer Review

(September 29, 2018)

In the last episode, I whined about how useless wireless earbuds are, with the main problem being that the typical range of these earbuds extends all the way from your left ear to your left shirt pocket, and not any further (when you’re outdoors and the blutooth signal doesn’t have walls to bounce off of). … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Useful Consumer Review

(September 1, 2018)

I walk a lot, and I used to listen to music while walking, using big, beefy, good wireless headphones or headphones with an mp3 player built in. That’s a solved problem; excellent products exist. Last year I started listening to radio dramas instead. Mostly mysteries, and quite a lot of stuff from the 50s. It’s … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Useful Consumer Review

(July 28, 2018)

When buying electronics, the range of products available is vastly superior in the US compared to any European country. Fortunately, power adapters are now almost all “universal”; that is, they accept 110V-230V. So the only problem is the physical interface. I’ve been using these teensy adapters for a while, but the problem is… .. that … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Everything Dies

(June 30, 2018)

Gah! I had the almost perfect machine for schlepping around the apt while cleaning, and then it goes and does this: Rebooting seems to help… sometimes. One out of five reboots it seems to come up alright again, but if I flip the orientation it goes back to that state again. It’s an HP Spectre … Continue reading Everything Dies

Useful Consumer Review

(May 26, 2018)

Some weeks ago I bought this Levimoon lamp. I didn’t really think it was going to work or anything, but hey: Unfortunately, despite being totally cool and fun, it makes a “BzbbbzbbzzHhghghzzbz” sound after it’s been switched on for about two minutes, so it’s a crapgadget instead of a useful lamp. And getting the moon … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Fast Music, or: USB Is Weird

(March 7, 2018)

I have my music on an USB3 RAID5 consisting of three external disks connected to one of these, which isn’t a bad little computer: It’s has a 1.7GHz i7-3517UE (Ivy Bridge) CPU, so it’s small, but not horribly slow. But then one of the disks went AWOL and I thought that perhaps it was time … Continue reading Fast Music, or: USB Is Weird

The Ever-Shifting Sands of udev.rules

(February 25, 2018)

I use Telldus Tellstick to do home automation *cough* I mean control the lights: It’s an unassuming USB stick that implements a serial interface so that you can talk to it by just sending some strings to it and read the response. Ideal for Linux! Yes! But. You do want the device to show up … Continue reading The Ever-Shifting Sands of udev.rules

Useful Consumer Review

(February 25, 2018)

I’ve had the vast majority of the lights in my apt. controlled remotely (from Emacs, of course) for like a decade. It’s a flexible system built on Telldus Telstick receivers and transmitters, and Nexa wall sockets. But… Look at the un-pretty: Yes, those outlets are fugly. Fortunately quite a few of them are hidden behind … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Useful Consumer Review

(February 17, 2018)

You know when you’re measuring out things for baking? So you put a mixing bowl on the kitchen scale and then measure out 300g of sugar, and then you tare it back to zero, and then you’re going to pour 500g flour into the bowl, but after pouring some flour, the flour bag is empty, … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Watch Repair Guy

(January 7, 2018)

In my 20s, I bought a bunch of cheap but fun watches. While tidying up the other month, I came across the watch cache, and I thought it might be fun to start wearing them again. The batteries had all expired decades ago, of course, and taking them all to the watchmaker sounded kinda silly, … Continue reading Watch Repair Guy

Useful Consumer Review

(December 11, 2017)

I’ve got most of the rooms in the apt. wired up for sound, but I’ve never managed to work up enough stamina to get the bathroom wired. So I’ve been using this Creative wireless blaster thingie for years and years, and it works OK. It sounds fine and it usually works. But it’s… kinda a … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

VHS, Linux, Problems

(October 29, 2017)

I’ve been trying to tidy up the storage locker in the loft this autumn, getting rid of old junk (so that I can put more, slightly newer junk up there). I happened unto this box: A nice stack of VHS tapes. If I remember correctly, the reason I kept these was that during the 80s … Continue reading VHS, Linux, Problems

Useful Consumer Review

(July 5, 2017)

I’ve been trying to get more walking in lately, but walking is boring. To keep parts of the brain entertained, I thought it might be nice to listen to radio theatre stuff, and it is.  Nice, that is. The great thing about plays instead of music is that it’s fine just listening with one ear … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

More Music Distribution

(July 3, 2017)

As I’m sure everybody remembers from this post just … six years ago, I have a cat 5 based music distribution thing going on in my apt. It works fine. This weekend I realised that the only thing I wanted to tweak here was having music near my workstation in the hall. I usually sit … Continue reading More Music Distribution

Isn’t 4K@60Hz HDMI possible in Linux?

(July 1, 2017)

I bought a spiffy new 4K TV the other week, and I wanted to set up a complete 4K pipeline. Not that there’s that much 4K stuff available: For instance, Netflix has a pitiful 101 list of shows, most of them made by Netflix themselves. Anyhoo! I was thinking a bit about how to set … Continue reading Isn’t 4K@60Hz HDMI possible in Linux?

Shimmery OLED Pixels

(June 23, 2017)

I upgraded to a not-so-bright and very shiny Sony A1E OLED 4K TV this week (from my ten-year-old Samsung). It’s basically very nice, but there’s one very, very weird effect that I’ve seen nobody mention: This is an episode of Doctor Who paused, but it’ll do those shimmery teal pixels even when the video is … Continue reading Shimmery OLED Pixels

My New Fashion Designer Blog x Useful Consumer Review

(June 16, 2017)

I’ve been trying to use an Android device as my “lug around the apt. while doing stuff” device, but it’s just not good enough. None of the apps for sshfs file browsing or video watching are beyond the “well, it kinda works” level. The ssh times out and doesn’t come back again until you do … Continue reading My New Fashion Designer Blog x Useful Consumer Review

Android Is Still Fucking Useless

(May 18, 2017)

I’ve been trying to use Android (instead of a Linux laptop) for various things lately, because some Android devices have a pretty nice form factor, and I don’t really need a keyboard for all things.  But time and time again, I find that the apps that are available on Android just aren’t good enough.  They … Continue reading Android Is Still Fucking Useless

… when we first practice to watch some movies

(April 29, 2017)

As I’m sure you remember from yesterday, I got an external HDMI screenshotting box to do screenshots while watching films from Amazon Video. That worked fine, but using an infra-red remote to trigger the screenshots is slightly awkward: The line of sight thing means that I either have to have the (not very pretty) box … Continue reading … when we first practice to watch some movies

The Tangled Webs We Weave…

(April 28, 2017)

My mission: To watch films from all around the world.  My problem: Many films are only available on Amazon Prime (US Edition).  My solution: Errr… In this part of this (seemingly never-ending series) I’ve reached the point where I’m able to watch Amazon Prime videos, but taking screenshots while doing so (AND I HAVE TO … Continue reading The Tangled Webs We Weave…

Ipad, Screenshots and Linux

(March 25, 2017)

It’s become increasingly clear over the past few months that many recent, fun-sounding films from countries with smaller film industries will never get a physical DVD release. The only way to see these films is via Amazon Prime, and since Amazon Prime isn’t conveniently available on Linux machines, I’m having to use an Ipad to … Continue reading Ipad, Screenshots and Linux

My New Concert Blog vs Useful Consumer Review

(March 14, 2017)

I’ve been using a Panasonic GH4 camera for a couple of years to do concerts.  It’s a very nice camera, but it has a few problems.  1) When recording video, it splits the video into 4GB chunks that I then have to piece together.  It’s not a biggie, but it’s annoying.  2) More seriously, the … Continue reading My New Concert Blog vs Useful Consumer Review


(February 25, 2017)

I’m extremely lazy, so using a remote control to switch the TV on or off is just out of the question. The remote is just languishing in a cupboard somewhere, and the TV is always on. Which seems like a waste, since I only use it (like) a couple of days a week or something. … Continue reading CEC HDMI ETLA

Blackest Night

(February 7, 2017)

Previously: I bought an HDMI OLED screen and determined that its black pixels emitted light. This made me start wondering: Do all OLED screens emit light from “black” pixels? So I did the simplest thing possible to test this: I made a little app that displays a black screen. It’s on Google Play and everything. … Continue reading Blackest Night

Blacker than Black? A Small Monitor Review

(February 2, 2017)

I’ve been using an Emacs-based alarm clock for almost a decade through various hardware incarnations. The main issue is the screen: It’s difficult to find a small screen that has a good black level. The last version used this USB IPS screen from MIMO, and it’s just about as good as you can get with … Continue reading Blacker than Black? A Small Monitor Review

Obelisk: A Monitor Review

(January 30, 2017)

I’ve had the same monitor in my stereo control system for many years. It’s a 20″ Dell that’s OK. It’s got an appropriate size for the living room. But lately it’s started having a high-pitched whine. If I play only punk music I can’t hear it at all, but otherwise it’s slightly annoying. So I … Continue reading Obelisk: A Monitor Review

Vinyl Noise

(January 4, 2017)

I’m still buying a lot of music on vinyl. Not because it’s hip: I was buying vinyl long before hipsters did. (That’s code for “old”.) I had one record player for decades that was cheap, but pretty OK. But it had one major problem: There was a lot of deep rumble. Not horrible-sounding, but still… … Continue reading Vinyl Noise

Useful Consumer Review

(October 4, 2016)

WIFI doesn’t work, but some wireless solutions work less than others.  After years of searching, I’ve been using an ASUS AC87 wireless access point (what other people for inexplicable reasons call “a router”, even if you’re just running it as a bridge), and it’s almost worked, most of the time. That is, even with a … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Useful Consumer Review

(June 25, 2016)

What with all these cocktails, I was getting tired of carrying bags of ice cubes from the store.  So I bought an ice cube machine today:  Logik L12IM14E. It’s not connected to the water mains, so it can be placed anywhere, but it’s on the kitchen counter for now.  And it’s kinda noisy.  I guess … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

The Horror!

(May 28, 2016)

This house had new doors put in a year or so ago, and I finally got around to getting a new (internal) doorbell. (We’re apparently supposed to have them for safety reasons or something.) So I got this wireless one: It works, which is unusual for something that’s wireless. But listen to it: It plays … Continue reading The Horror!

Down the Rabbit Hole

(March 24, 2016)

Aaargh! I was going to do a simple switcharoo.  The tiny firewall machine at home had shown itself to be slightly unstable.  Not egregiously, but it seems like it’ll die every four months or so.  That’s kinda annoying. So I got a new, spiffier tiny machine.  Copying over the setup from the old machine should … Continue reading Down the Rabbit Hole


(March 23, 2016)

I think that’s 15 different USB-As to USB-WTFs.

This is a Thing That Exists

(March 23, 2016)

(I’m tidying my cable storage.)

Useful Consumer Review

(December 20, 2015)

I’m travelling next month, so I thought it would be nice to have a really lightweight disk to carry movies around with. On. In. After. Under. <PREPOSITION>. So I got this rather spiffy-looking USB3 SSD: It shows up in Linux as [30759.597367] scsi 2:0:0:0: Direct-Access Samsung Portable SSD T1 0 PQ: 0 ANSI: 6 but … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Useful Consumer Review

(December 18, 2015)

I have several small USB-powered monitors for various things. They’re all from Mimo Monitors, and they work very well. Haven’t had a problem with any of them over the years. The only problem is that the displays suck. The viewing angle is horrible on them, and the contrast is worse than you can imagine. That … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Useful Consumer Review

(November 11, 2015)

I bought a bluetooth numpad today. It’s a fresh and exciting experience: Fresh! Scandinavian design! Thor!  Is that you!? Sure…  Or perhaps they mean the packaging? Perhaps not. Anyway, I can’t get it to pair with my Ubuntu laptop, so I guess it doesn’t work under Linux. Oh, well.  It it’s wireless, it doesn’t really … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Jolla, Keyboards and Apps

(September 12, 2015)

Oh, well. The search continues. Meanwhile I’ll just have to keep using my non-smart phone.

Further Adventures in Storage

(June 22, 2015)

In the last installment in this series, I had made a 4x 8TB eSATA RAID5 set, and performance was slow, and it was unstable. The disks went AWOL all the time with messages like   May 14 20:52:25 big-tex kernel: [ 3189.112594] ata5.03: hard resetting link … May 14 20:53:32 big-tex kernel: [ 3255.728753] ata5.03: … Continue reading Further Adventures in Storage


(May 14, 2015)

As you will recall (I command you!), I hit on the (frankly indefensible) idea of not deleting ripped DVDs and Bluray disks after I’ve watched them.  Because reasons.  So I ended up with a 12TB disk system to store all that. And, surprise, half a year later that’s beginning to look too small: big-tex:~# df … Continue reading Storage’R’Us

Useful Consumer Review

(May 1, 2015)

I read somewhere that Toshiba FlashAir (SD cards with wifi built in) was supposed to be kinda nice. And it is!  It’s very hackable and easy to configure from Linux.  You just mount the card, edit a simple text configuration file (to set the SSID and the passphrase), and it’ll connect to your wifi access … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Useful Consumer Review

(April 28, 2015)

I’ve been filming some concerts the last year or so.  I’ve been using mostly normal compact cameras, and they work quite well.  The Sony RX 100 II is probably the best one of the bunch. However, they either stop filming after 30 minutes because of tax reasons (apparently, in the EU there’s an additional tax … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Useful Consumer Review: A Correction

(April 27, 2015)

After discovering that Logitech wireless things work much better if I don’t plug the receiver directly into the computer (because science), it reminded me of another Logitech device that I’d dismissed earlier: The Logitech Cube. And by using an USB extension cord, it, too, has an acceptable range, so I could actually use it for … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review: A Correction

Linux, X and Logitech

(April 27, 2015)

I’ve had a Logitech diNovo Mini as my TV computer keyboard for a few years.  It works as well as you’d suspect a wireless keyboard to work: It loses contact with the receiver a couple of times a month and needs to be switched off and then on again, but otherwise it’s OK.  Doesn’t lose … Continue reading Linux, X and Logitech

Useful Consumer Review

(April 3, 2015)

I had to buy a new laptop.  I thought Lenovos were out of the question since they had eliminated the physical mouse buttons to become all modern and stuff.  But this year they’ve rolled back that horrible decision without announcing anything.  Perhaps it was too embarrassing? Anyway: Physical buttons!  That work!  Yay! Lenovo Thinkpad Carbon … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Useful Consumer Review

(April 2, 2015)

I’ve got a man bag made only from felt (and steel and a leather strap (it’s quite impractical, since there’s no stitching, so small things just fall out between the steel rivets, but it’s conceptual, I guess)). I bought it years ago, and (like all woollen things) it’s developed some…  er…  whatchamacall it…  “bumps”?  That’s … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Useful Consumer Review

(March 12, 2015)

The disk in my old kitchen computer broke.  Finally!  The machine was the only one in my apartment with a fan, so I was kinda hoping something in it would break so that I could get an excuse to buy a new fanless all-in-one machine. After binging around on the internet a bit, I found … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

My New Home Decorating Blog

(December 6, 2014)

I’ve got a lot of thingamabobs that need charging now and then. But rooting out the adapters and finding a vacant wall socket is boring, so I thought I’d make a permanent charging station. Finding a power strip that you can plug in all those wall warts is a bit of a challenge, because the … Continue reading My New Home Decorating Blog

Useful Consumer Review (feat. Rockvember)

(November 8, 2014)

I decided I didn’t want to go to a concert every day, after all.  But I did see Cat Power on Tuesday and The Thing on Thursday and Cloroform yesterday. Anyway, I gave the weird audio-recorder-with-a-camera thing a go at the The Thing concert. The video quality is, not surprisingly, pretty awful. This is what … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review (feat. Rockvember)

Qnap HS-210

(October 27, 2014)

As you all remember (you do, Blanche!  You do!), I was fussing around with some RAID stuff over USB3.  I had found a solution that worked (a Silverstone cabinet), but then somebody told me about the Qnap HS-210 RAID thingie.  It takes two disks and is fanless.  It seemed perfect, so I bought one to … Continue reading Qnap HS-210

The Pains of Storage

(October 24, 2014)

Oy vey. USB has always been “well, it kinda works”.  So I shouldn’t have been surprised at these pains. And I wasn’t. I decided to store my DVDs on disk for rapid access.  I bought USB3 devices.  This is my story. My first device was a single 6TB Western Digital Green disk in an Icy … Continue reading The Pains of Storage

Films 4 Ever

(October 11, 2014)

I’ve sort of stumbled into another CDO project that has even less utility than most of the other ones. I’ve been ripping DVD and BluRay films with makemkv before viewing, because 1) mplayer under Linux doesn’t really do BluRay, and 2) mplayer fails to play an ever increasing number of DVDs.  The joys of Digital … Continue reading Films 4 Ever

Small Volume

(October 5, 2014)

The tiny kitchen stereo amplifier (I know) has been making a high-pitched scare-away-all-teenagers (I assume; I haven’t seen any here) sound for about a month, so I finally got a new tiny amplifier. Look how tiny the new amplifier is!  It’s an Argon DAC1.  So cute. Ok, the wall wart is kinda big… And it’s … Continue reading Small Volume


(July 7, 2014)

I bought this cooking thermometer today. It says that it’s good for -50 to 150C.  But does that just mean that it can measure up to 150C, or it mean that the entire thermometer can withstand 150C? Inside an oven?  For hours? It feels awfully plastickey.  


(June 2, 2014)

I bought a “snowman” mains cable. Can you tell which one is the correct one? No, they aren’t interchangeable.  

Useful Consumer Review

(December 6, 2013)

I buy quite a few DVDs, and I’m even able to play some of them under Linux, even though I’ve paid for them.  (DRM is all about keeping people who pay for your stuff from watching your stuff.  Pirates find away around that stuff anyway.) But I’m going away on a holiday next month, and … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

My New Concert Blog vs Useful Consumer Review

(October 17, 2013)

So I wanted to test the camera again.  I mean, filming.  I decreased the HD-ness to perhaps save some battery life. There’s apparently no way to shut the screen off while filming.  That’s annoying, because a bright screen sitting on a table at the front is kinda annoying. The camera shut itself off every 20 … Continue reading My New Concert Blog vs Useful Consumer Review

Useful Consomer Review vs My New Concert Blog

(October 13, 2013)

I got a Canon S120 the other day, because I thought it’d be nice to have a camera small enough to actually schlep around again. So I went to the Deciders concert: After sixteen minutes the “I’m dying!!!” battery symbol started flashing in red, so I switched the camera off.  I switched it on during … Continue reading Useful Consomer Review vs My New Concert Blog

Useful Consumer Review

(July 2, 2013)

I’m going to the Kongsberg Jazz Festival this weekend, but the schedule on Saturday is the weakest it’s been in years.  So we thought we’d do a micro-hackathon.  And then I needed a laptop with functioning built-in 3G.  And I needed a new one for work purposes, anyway.  I’d never use it for anything but … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Useful Consumer Review

(December 12, 2012)

Whenever I’m out flying around, I needs my music. Sony NWZ-A845.  Nice mp3 player! I’ve been using this Sony Walkman NWZ-A845 for years.  It’s fine.  It boots up pretty fast, and the controls are nice.  No yucky touch-screen interface, but nice buttons that do what you expect them to do. It’s nice. But it only … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Ghost in the Alarm Clock

(October 9, 2012)

Yesterday my alarm clock started doing this: Er…  a timing issue? It’s freaky!

Ghosts in the Speakers

(September 28, 2012)

I’ve got two sets of D’Feldt Audioengine 5 “active” speakers (i.e., with built-in amplifiers). Yesterday one of the sets (in the office) started making a thunder-ish noise, but only in the “sattellite” speaker.  So I disconnected it. This morning I was awoken by an insane noise.  It sounded like someone were putting asphalt down in … Continue reading Ghosts in the Speakers

Useful Consumer Review

(June 15, 2012)

Micro SD playing headphones I have a love/hate affair with wiring. I love that stuff works.  That’s why I love ethernet cables.  Because wifi doesn’t work. But I hate getting tangled in cables.  And I love music.  So walking around is a conundrum. Micro SD card Fortunately, some geniuses came up with the idea of … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Useful Consumer Review

(April 1, 2012)

I bought this catch-and-release fly catcher…  gun… a few weeks back.  But, despite the warmest March ever (or something), I hadn’t seen a single fly since getting the device. Until today. It works!  I caught the fly and released it out the window. I didn’t really think it would work, because the suction kinda sucks. … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Useful Consumer Review

(January 2, 2012)

Ugly OS This year, I’m finally actually really (this time) learn to read French.  So I needed a dictionary by the couch, so I bought a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, which is the tablet with the longest battery life, allegedly.  (Apart from the tablets from The Company That Shall Not Be Mentioned.) The most immediately … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Music Distribution

(November 12, 2011)

The main issue when I moved to the new flat, oh, three-ish years ago? I think, was how to listen to music. I want to be able to walk between rooms, listening to the same music.  This means that there has to be some kind of way to distribute music between the rooms. I looked … Continue reading Music Distribution

Emacs Light Switches

(November 11, 2011)

Tellstick Duo Telldus launched a new version of their nifty USB-based “home automation” thingy a couple of months ago.  It’s mostly the same as the last version, but this one can receive signals as well as send signals. This means that you can buy stuff like this switch, glue it onto a wall somewhere, and … Continue reading Emacs Light Switches

Oh, Brando

(September 9, 2011)

I bought some USB3->SATA adapters from Brando.  They came with US->Euro plug adapters.  (Yes, the adapters had adapters with adapters.  Geez.) See if you can spot the problem. In addition, the speed I get when ripping CDs via these adapters is, as they say, teh sux. Oh, well.  It’s not as if I actually expected … Continue reading Oh, Brando

The Curious Case of the Box Fan

(April 30, 2011)

I bought an ESATA box to replace the crappy Synology RAID thing. It’s a very simple external enclosure with no brains whatsoever, so I can just string four ESATA cables out of the computer in the cupboard to the enclosure, and run standard Linux soft raid. I installed four 5900RPM Seagate Green disks into the … Continue reading The Curious Case of the Box Fan

More Input Devices

(April 24, 2011)

Targus Wireless Presenter and Emacs Volume Control Finding wireless input devices (for controlling the stereo) that are 1) not too ugly and2) works reliably and3) has a range over a few meters isn’t trivial.  I’ve experimented with a few thingamabobs, and one device I’m pretty satisfied with is the Targus …  er…  I can’t find … Continue reading More Input Devices

Digital Audio Extraction from Emacs

(April 21, 2011)

Triple Threat SATA Multilane Connector So my CD ripping situation is that I put a CD into the CD reading thing there (more about that in a thrilling later blog article), hit a key in Emacs, slap a CD cover onto the scanner, hit another key in Emacs to say that the format is (usually … Continue reading Digital Audio Extraction from Emacs

Useful Consumer Review

(April 19, 2011)

I got a new phone today.  The Nokia E7.  And look!  It’s perfect!  It runs Gnus under ssh! Look how pretty Gnus is on the phone! (The only thing that would have been perfecter would be if it actually ran Emacs on the phone itself, but I guess that’ll have to wait until somebody produces … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Sennheiser HDR 180

(April 11, 2011)

Headphones cradled on the charging cradle Most hardware seems to have been created in a “will this do?” mind set.  They have a bit of technology, and they have some economic restraints, and then they rush it to market.  It makes perfect sense, and I can’t envision that it’ll ever change, but it’s somewhat depressing. … Continue reading Sennheiser HDR 180

Synology DS409 RAID is Crap

(April 3, 2011)

Do you see that thing over there?  The Synology Disk Station DS409?  It’s crap. It’s not the usual hardware RAID problems that make it so crappy.  Yes, it’s slow.  Painfully slow.  Yes, it has a weird Linux kernel that, somehow, manages to do put all NFS clients into df: `/mirror’: Permission denied if you change … Continue reading Synology DS409 RAID is Crap

Tellstick Redux

(April 1, 2011)

I was whinging a lot about the terrible Tellstick range in my last post on the issue.  Deservedly so.  It’s terrible!  However, the Telldus people have released a new version of the device: The revolutionary new invention is the antenna!  Who would ever have thought that an antenna would give greater range?  Kids these days. … Continue reading Tellstick Redux

Emacs Home Automation

(January 9, 2011)

Nexa unit We all grow so very weary of having to switch lights on and off. Every day. On again and then off again. Will the madness never end? Technology comes to the rescue! There are companies that sell receivers (like the one pictured to the left, plugged into a wall outlet that I now … Continue reading Emacs Home Automation