Saturday, December 31, 2022

2022

Wrapping up 2022, and Welcome to 2023!

The image to the left takes you to the home screen which lists all major topics.

To search this blog you have to use the desktop version of this blog.

This link will show all 2022 posts.

Countdown to 2023... Worried yet Hopeful

Countdown / Column.

Today's the last day of 2022, and another year has gone by. It's New Year's Eve, and one is supposed to reflect on what has passed, and look  forward to what's yet to come.

I'm... confused. A little sad, somewhat lost, a little disappointed, a bit worried, and a tad hopeful.

Friday, December 30, 2022

Countdown to 2023... Solid Sound Models / Broken Amplifier / Broken Tape Deck / Marriage

Countdown / Column.

The most popular page on this blog is the Rock Solid page. I've updated the information on other related models, as I think I've finally figured out all variants.

As for 2023... I hope to enjoy my Home Theater setup for a long, long time to come. I feel no need to visit the cinema, and am considering even larger screen options... Though I'd probably have to win the lottery first. And get some stuff repaired...

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Countdown to 2023... Writing... no, procrastinating (creating yet another wallpaper)

Countdown / Writing.

For a year I've been mostly at a kind of stand-still when it came to writing. It's not that I don't want to write, but it just never happened. My health wasn't cooperating, I've been busy at work, and there have been so many other things to do. So, besides some editing, there was little work done on my novel(s).

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Countdown to 2023... Love Hina (1998)

Countdown / Anime Review.

Anime can be great. I love anime, though I'm not a hardcore fan. I did notice there's a lot of variation in anime, and though some of the topics have become more mature over time, anime as a whole genre seems to be moving back to its roots, ie. lately anime seems to be targeting a younger audience again.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Countdown to 2023... Corona - T plus 703 - Fxck you!

Countdown / Column.

745 days after I realized Corona was for real, 703 days after what I theoretically estimated to be the most dangerous day (I was probably wrong but sometimes that's a good thing 🤔) and I'm still alive.

I'm still alive. I had my shots. Got pretty sick of the first batch, less so from the second inoculation. Then, a couple of months ago, I caught Corona / Covid myself, in spite of the inoculations...

Monday, December 26, 2022

Countdown to 2023... Windows 11 Quadrophonic - RealTek / Asrock Ryzen 5 / Labtec 2514

Countdown / Datatalk / Windows.

My old Asrock mainboard has a RealTek audio chip onboard. I have an old Labtec 4 channel amp with its own little sub that's still going strong after 22 (!) years.

Under Windows 10, my setup would by default mirror stereo playback to the rear speakers. Not so under Windows 11. Even better: you can't tell Windows 11 that you have a quadrophonic setup. Well, you can, but it's a little hidden...

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Countdown to 2023... Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff - The Illuminae Files 01 - Illuminae (2015)

Countdown / Audiobook Review / Book Review.

I'll be damned. They did it again. (Or before. Time is relative.) The Aurora Cycle was great (still have to add the reviews for books 2 and 3) and this book, by the same authors, does it again. Although, in this case, it's... different.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Countdown to 2023... Why television will never get it right

Countdown / Column.

It’s perfectly normal for a series to be cancelled when the ratings drop, and the number of viewers dwindle. It’s all about making money.

But isn't it time for the show-runners to show some respect to their (potential) audience?

Friday, December 23, 2022

Countdown to 2023... Shortcuts to webpages using Chrome profiles

Countdown / Chrome.

You can launch Chrome with a specific user profile, but, unfortunately, there's no easy way AFAIK to discern which profile number matches a specific profile name. Here's a. how to figure out the profile number, and b. how to share batch files and scripts over different machines with different profile names.

Why? Because you might use the same website with different profiles, ie. settings, and you don't want to manually log out and in again.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Countdown to 2023... PS4 Controllers / charging / registering / USB cable length and extensions / adapters

Countdown / Gaming.

I wrote this ages ago... but never posted it. And now the PS5 era has arrived 😁 and still I post something about the PS4... Whatever. Sometimes the PS4 misbehaves with controllers and (longer / weird) USB cables. Here are my personal notes and observations. This also applies to a Logitech G29 Wheel and PCs.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Countdown to 2023... VirtualBox versus Hyper-V on Windows 10 and 11

Countdown / Datatalk / VirtualBox.

The countdown to 2023 has started. And I haven't reached my one hundred posts this year yet! Well, counting down is fine, but I prefer the majority of my posts to have some kind of usefulness... Some kind. Sort of 😏

So, 11 days... Let's start with VirtualBox 6.1.40 and spontaneous freezes on Windows 11...

Monday, December 5, 2022

Alan Dean Foster - Pip and Flinx 1 - The Tar-Aiym Krang (1972)

Book Review.

In 1972 (that's a long time ago) Alan Dean Foster wrote the first of the Pip and Flinx novels.

It's an easy read, which would probably classify as a YA, with left and right a bit of exposition (and somewhat old fashioned) but it is still imminently readable. 

Thursday, December 1, 2022

B&W Solid Sound Monitor... Transmission Line / Horn?!?

Music.

Look what I found on a Japanese (?) website... someone is selling his home-build transmission line / horn version of the B&W 'Rock Solid Sound' Monitor.

Hard to tell how it sounds, but the lack of dampening material, and the fact the seller wants to sell it... Oh well.

If it's still for sale (I think it's for sale, but my Japanese ain't what it has (n)ever been 😇) you'll find it here.

Wallpaper - Xbox

Wallpaper.

Okay, I'm a Sony PlayStation guy (in spite of also owning an Xbox One S) but this is a great wallpaper. (Click image to enlarge.)

I couldn't find a high-resolution version, but that doesn't bother me at all. In fact, I deliberately use dots and blur effects in WallX to make the background fuzzier so the wallpapers won't distract me from the job at hand. WallX parameters: dots blur round distort 15 expand 150 keep resident



Monday, November 28, 2022

Ben Aaronovitch – Rivers of London 2 – Moon over Soho (2011)

Book Review.

I didn’t like the first book in this series, but this one is better. The first half of book 2 had a more cynical, ‘detective noir’, ‘hard-boiled detective’ flavor, and I like that. The second half of the book was more in line with the first installment. Still, overall an enjoyable read, and an improvement. Maybe it’s all the jazz references that did it for me?

Sunday, November 27, 2022

WallX and WaitWindow updates

Datatalk / Software.

Updated versions of WallX and WaitWindow, and now also WaitFile (included with WaitWindow).


Monday, November 21, 2022

Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff - Aurora Cycle 1 - Aurora Rising (2019)

Audiobook Review.

Third Person Present Tense, Young Adult SF.

Most books in the YA category tend to be Fantasy, but this is a SF trilogy with some interesting aspects, and it's well written.

There are some not-entirely-believable scenes, but it ain't bad, and the character interaction is fun.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

TP-Link Deco M4 - Review / Bufferbloat / Reset

Datatalk  / Review.

Of course, one should carefully consider the amount of trust one places in a Chinese company like TP-Link. In general, their hard and software seem to be reasonable for the price point, but privacy is a bit of a thing these days...

Anyway, in case you would decide to buy a mesh Wifi network, TP-Link has a cheap(er) product called the Deco M4. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

F*ck*ng W*rkg*v*rs (en overheden) - Thuiswerken... of niet? (Dutch)

Column / Dutch.

Op je werkdag mag je niet thuiswerken, maar op je vrije dag wel?

Heeft dan niemand iets geleerd van de Corona golf? Nadat we een tijdje thuis mochten werken... nee, thuis moesten werken, is het eindelijk weer tijd om op kantoor te verschijnen. En dus staan we lekker collectief weer in de file.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Scott Baron - The Clockwork Chimera 1 - Daisy's Run (2018)

Audiobook Review

Daisy's part of a limited crew, on their way to earth. But the closer she gets, the more she starts distrusting her fellow shipmates. What doesn't help is her distrust of artificial limbs and cyborg implants, something which all her shipmates have...

Monday, November 7, 2022

Netflix - Outside the Wire (2021..2022)

Movie Review.

What could have been an interesting movie is nothing but your typical over-the-top robot-gone-bad military-are-good direct-to-video.

It's a pity, because some of the CGI is pretty good, and the movie does contain some very interesting elements. It's just that it doesn't work.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Home Server / WallX / TouchPortal / Power Saving Kludge

Datatalk.

Upfront: this is a bit of a kludge, and I'll be looking for a better option, as soon as I can find one. But it thought me things...

Anyway, with the ever-increasing price of electricity, I was wondering if I could not simply switch off my home server upon command. In the past, I used a timed-out, which worked fine, but there are other users in my household, and they're not always computer-savvy.

Wallpaper - Democracy

Wallpaper.

For those that vote Trump (idiots)...

(Click image to enlarge)

More wallpapers...

 

Monday, October 31, 2022

Claudia Grey - Defy the Stars (2017)

Audiobook Review.

It's another SF / Romance (it's almost hard to find non-romance novels these days) which is a bit more SF than romance. Yet another first-person present-tense novel, and that's probably the reason why I read it. The story itself wasn't that special.

Friday, October 28, 2022

Plonker

Writing.

Nine: "Have you done formatting before?"

Mathieu: "No."

Nine: "No... You've never done formatting before?"

Mathieu: "No, never."

Nine: "Fuck me."

Monday, October 24, 2022

Cinda Williams Chima - The Seven Realms - The Demon King / The Exiled Queen / ... (2009..2013)

Audiobook Review.

Romance / fantasy, but not overly 'soggy'... most of the time. Still, the core story is good, and that's what it's all about.

I've already reviewed book 1. Books 2, 3 and 4 are in the same style, same vein, same quality. What makes this series interesting is the different take on magic. What's missing is more history on what happened before what happened before this story. Yeah, that's a double before...

Monday, October 17, 2022

The Dark Crystal / The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (2019)

Series Review.

The Dark Crystal is an absolute classic. If you have never seen it, then go and watch this movie. Jim Henson (of Muppet fame) created it... and in its own way, it has stood the test of time.

There's a great prequel to it called The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance which (unfortunately) was canceled after a single season, in spite of good reviews. And still, I suggest you go and watch it. It's absolutely worth your time, even if we'll never get our second season.

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Repairing a Makita 6010D Cordless Drill

DIY.

The Makita 6010D was first released in 1978 or so, and it was a game changer. At one time I owned two, but I can't recall what happened to the second one 😒

I still own one, which I must have bought close to forty (!) years ago. Unfortunately, the power switch was starting to misbehave (pieces of the plastic broke off) and the unit became unusable. But... throwing away good tools is against my nature. Time to repair...

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Contour Jog Shuttle Pro V1 / Hitfilm Express / Windows 11

Datatalk / Video Editing.

Soft and hardware is sometimes made obsolete even when it still functions perfectly. If you're not stubborn, you're going to pay extra...

I like Hitfilm Express and I own an (older) Jog Shuttle Pro. They worked fine on my previous setup, so why not bring them over into this new Windows 11 era? Right...

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Wallpaper - Choose Your Weapon

Wallpaper.

Played any Dungeons & Dragons lately? Here's a suitable wallpaper.

(Click image to enlarge.)

More wallpapers...

Friday, September 30, 2022

Microsoft (Windows 11) Designers are Idiots - Rubbish on the Drag Bar

Column / Windows.

They are.

Microsoft just proudly proclaimed their latest version of Windows has a more seamless integration of Android apps inside the Windows environment, because Android apps can now finally place their own crap on the dragbar.

And they're proud of it?!?

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Amazon Publishing Notes - E-book vs. Print-on-demand - (Nett) revenue

Writing.

Of course my take might be wrong, outdated, or I might have used the wrong sources.

Decide for yourself...

Monday, September 26, 2022

Stephen R. Donaldson - The Gap into Conflict / ... (1990..1996)

Book Review.

Donaldson goes to space. And adds some abuse for good measure.

I'm doing a re-read, after finally picking up number 4. (I never finished this series, even though number 5 has been in my bookcase for ages.) I'm halfway book 1 now, and find it just as average as I remembered.

The later books should be better if memory serves me well. I'll find out soon...

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Monitor Cable Soup - (Mini) HDMI / DVI-A / DVI-D / Dual Link DVI-I / DisplayPort / VGA / Thunderbolt / USB-C

Datatalk / Video.

Not all displays are created equally.

With screens and video cards from different years you may end up with some weird combinations... and not all combinations work.


Monday, September 19, 2022

HBO Max – Raised by Wolves (2020..2021)

Series Review.

I’m not to sure if this is good or bad. It’s a bid of sci-fi with some bodily horror thrown in, and some of the graphics are below par. I also wonder where they want to take this.

Not impressed… yet.

And yet...

Friday, September 16, 2022

Argus Monitor - Software Fan Speed Control

Datatalk / PC Cooling.

If you're suffering from a whining CPU fan (speeding up and down all the time) and you're sure you have the right BIOS, then the only thing left to do is either install a hard- or software fan controller. I tried the free Fan Control but it kept asking for a username / password with admin rights.

Argus Monitor only asks for elevation once during installation, but doesn't ask anymore after that. More important, it can monitor temperatures and average multiple sources over, for example, 10 seconds, and that is exactly what I needed. Argus Monitor isn't free though.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Windows 11 (Virtual Drive service) eating up a drive letter

Windows 11.

Sometimes Windows 11 spontaneously gobbles up a drive letter, especially after adding an additional drive to your machine. There's no obvious way to recover that drive letter.

It turns out it's the virtual drive service that spontaneously decides to stop working, but only so after stealing your drive letter.

Monday, September 12, 2022

D&D - 5e in NL - Toch een inleiding? (Dutch)

RPG / 5e in NL / Dutch.

Wat moet je weten voordat je de regels in duikt?

Weet je, eigenlijk zijn de regels helemaal niet belangrijk... In principe zou je ook zonder regels kunnen spelen... uiteindelijk is het allemaal alleen maar 'make believe'. En toch hebben we regels, maar waarom dan?

Erik Schubach – Fixit (2016)

Audiobook Review.

A short sci-fi story on a (literal) down-below engineer, fixing her robots, serving the higher-ups that live above.

It’s actually a fun, well written story, so I looked for more stories by Schubach. Most of it is tagged as ‘F/F fantasy romance’ with a couple of ‘LGBT’ notes sprinkled left and right. That sometimes causes me pause...

Saturday, September 10, 2022

D&D - 5e in NL - Reactions & Opportunity Attacks (Dutch)

RPG / 5e in NL / Dutch.

Naast de reguliere geplande acties tijdens je beurt, kun je ook akties daarbuiten doen, als reactie op de acties van iemand anders.

Per ronde mag je 1 reactie nemen.

Friday, September 9, 2022

Potatoes!

RPG.

Found this on the Internet. Silly, little, fun game, which shows how hard it is to be a halfling...

(Click image to enlarge)

Source:

https://twitter.com/deathbybadger/status/1567425842526945280


 

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Projecting / (Mira)casting to Windows 11

Windows 11 / Casting & Projecting.

Sometimes Miracast hides under a different moniker. My Samsung Android tablet calls it Smartview (which is a pretty dumb name.) Often Miracast fails, regardless of its name.

I doubt MicroSoft will ever fix this, which is a petty for professional users, who could add a tablet and a pen for some quick notes and drawings. See here.

Casting TO the PC was never quite reliable, and it's even worse in Windows 11. The following work around seems to do the trick (or at least it does for me, 90% of the time).

TouchPortal 3.1 now supports OBS 28.

Datatalk / Touch Portal.

Touch Portal 3.1 now supports OBS 28. You no longer need to download and install the websocket, but you need to enable it inside OBS 28, and make sure the port is set properly in both TouchPortal and OBS 28 (default 4455)

Windows Security Alert - Without a Reason

Windows 11.

Well, it has a reason... It just won't show what the reason is 😒

After a fresh install, you may end up with a warning sign on the Windows Security tray, for no apparent reason. So, you double click the warning, and go through all your security options... and nothing shows. And the warning doesn't tell you what's going on.

Monday, September 5, 2022

Adam Wright - Harbinger PI 3 - Dark Magic (2016)

Audiobook Review.

After restoring most of his memory Alec Harbinger triggers a wave of zombies, then brings his team (friends? co-conspirators? vague acquaintances?)  to fight  and stop some human -- and some not-so-human -- monsters from taking over the world.

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Migrating the Forgotten Realms Interactive Atlas

RPG / Datatalk.

Remember this thing? 20-odd years ago, when CD-roms were still a thing, TSR released all the 2nd edition Forgotten Realms maps as a disc plus viewer. The viewer sucked (even then) but having those maps is a dream for RPG players.

Of course, getting it to install these days is a bit of a hassle, but (fortunately) you DON'T have to install it... maybe.

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Upgrading Asrock AB350 Pro4 - 1600X to 3600 - BIOS & CPU

Datatalk / Upgrade CPU / Windows 11.

A friend donated a Ryzen 5 3600 CPU from his dead PC. Should I upgrade my own machine? Perhaps not.

But I'm still going to do it 😁

Friday, September 2, 2022

D&D - 5e in NL - Surprise, Rounds & Actions (Dutch)

RPG / 5e in NL / Dutch.

Een deel van het spel draait om combat rounds, waarin de spelers en hun tegenstanders met elkaar vechten en schade aan elkaar uitdelen.

1. Bepaal wie er verrast is
2. Bepaal wie waar staat
3. Bepaal initiative
4. Speel de eerste ronde (waarbij karakters surprised kunnen zijn)
5. Speel de rest van het gevecht ronde na ronde

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Wallpaper - La Sagrada Familia

Wallpaper / Travel.

La Sagrada Familia... If you've never been there then just go! The place is amazing. And so is Barcelona as a whole. I've visited the Sagrada Familia back in 2000, when they were still building slowly and expected it to never be ready. I returned 20 years later, with my twenty-ish daughters, and found out the local government had a change of plans and mostly finished it.