3sailing the NorSea


WEEK 36 2017

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Saturday 9 September  2017
Saturday - Meh. Not feeling 100%. Didn't go to lunch with my friends when they called, a peanut butter sandwich seemed a lot more attractive.

FreeCAD from source is not going well.  I'm not a fan of or comfortable with   "git" and "Github", but I guess I need to come up to speed.

The Martinez house had its first day of open house and 57 separate groups showed up, I'm told. I thought it was massively under-priced, at $300k, so I'm not surprised.  Condo's go for more than that in the Bay Area. The siblings are delighted: I guess it hasn't occurred to them that if the realtor was wrong about the price then they might also be wrong about their advice not to do improvements.

I guess I'll just let it pass, I did the best I could for for everybody, if they want to carelessly throw it away - who am I to tell them no?

Between being ill, this and Pournelle's death, kind of feeling glum today.

Friday 8 September 2017
Friday - I took my walk in the morning, just after 8am, about 6 miles.

Worked a bit on STARS and NOPE stuff.  Not a lot of progress there. Reading up on Core Data stuff.  Trying to compile FreeCAD.

I read this morning that Jerry Pournelle has passed away.

He wrote science columns for years, for various magazines; and computer columns for a number of magazines - most notably Byte back in it's heyday, and books on computers  He wrote and edited science fiction as well, often with Larry Niven as a co-author.

He was a Catholic, and an old style Conservative, a patriot, a cold war warrior, and a careful thinker on a lot of issues.  I think it was reading Pournelle's Chaos Manor columns that I realized that there was actually a deep and intellectual foundation for conservatism.

Thursday 7 September 2017
Thursday - Average hot. Low 100's.  The humidity is starting to decrease, which means the swamp cooler is working better.

Cleaned in the garage for a few hours in the morning. 

I wanted to do my walk, but it was getting impassable in the garage again.  I literally had my boots and fanny pack on, but knocked so much stuff down on my way out of the garage that I decided that cleaning was the better morning task.

I cleaned out around the washer and dryer, and workbench, and emptied stuff out of the Probe and started sorting through it.  I finally found my reading glasses, which is nice.  Of course my prescription is massively out-of-date.

Worked on the app in the afternoon, until about 6pm. Made some progress.

I had mailed off my eclipse trip imagery to C, on an old SD card from my Sony Reader, in a standard mail envelope last week. He reports that he got it just fine, and is sending it back to me with his own imagery.

There had been a big fire near some property he owns near Topaz Lake, but apparently he was spared.

Wednesday 6 September 2017

Wednesday - Average hot. 105F on the patio.

U-cat (Ungrateful-cat) is now waiting for me in the morning, outside the garage side door.  He meows happily and follows me over to the polished-clean-overnight bowls and purrs as he eats. I actually stroked him a few times while he was eating, but he's still a bit skittish.

Hurricanes in the South-East, Forest-Fires in the Northwest, crazed commie dictators setting off H-bombs in the far east... Fall is not starting well.

Fires in the northwest
Western fires map.

T up in Idaho sent me a link for some land he's selling. It's nice, though it probably fails my 'no closer to another human than 500 feet" rule by a 100' or so... Also it's $133k, which stings a bit.  I wouldn't have much left over to build with.

Spent the entire day in the upstairs office updating the MacBook.  It had gotten so slow that I thought it was dying.  I should have remembered: when Apple decides that they want you to update they obviously eff with your system until you cry uncle and do it.  Been through that before.  So, new version of OSX, new version of iTunes, new version of Xcode, new version of Google Earth, and so on.

I was mentally drained by this, and it was 4:30pm, so I knocked off and decided to test Nv9 tomorrow. <start sarcasm> I'm sure Apple has fixed all the existing bugs in Xcode and the Simulator </sarcasm>.

Fiddling around with the new linux install. When I attached it to the HDMI 27" monitor directly, rather than use the adapter for HDMI to VGA for the old 19" monitor that I'd been using, all the graphics artifacts went away. Nice to know.  The 19" is still usable, but of course the 27" is easier on the eyes.

I put Eclipse on it, and Python, and some other stuff.  Kind of complicated.  I put the Brave browser on it, intending to avoid Google in the future for most things.

I downloaded and installed FreeCAD, but it turns out that this is ver0.15, not 0.16.  Tried to update the package, but the package updater itself was out-of-date.  Quit for the day in disgust. Free, and worth every cent...

I can probably do a 'daily build' thing, but I really wanted to work the 0.16, not the current 0.17, which is still unstable.

I was thinking I need to buy more RAM for it, but so far it hasn't swapped out.

Tuesday 5 September 2017
Tuesday - Hot, not quite as humid. Still, drenched after my walk of a sedate 5 miles.  Took an hour to cool down in front of the fan.

Checked on my friends house and pets in the morning, all well.  They should be back this afternoon.

I want to compile FreeCAD, so I re-purposed an used PC to do it in the last few days.  This has a more modern graphics card - a Radeon RX-460, and newer motherboard - AMD quad-core, but a limited amount of RAM, only 4GB. The seller had told me that it had a new and registered version of Win10 on it, but for some reason when I started it up recently it no longer worked. I was going to wipe it anyway, so I didn't really care, and wasn't really surprised.  You can still get free versions of Win10 if you look hard.

I decided to use Linux anyway, because Win10 and s/w development just don't play well.

Just getting Mint onto a USB stick (no CD/DVD drive on the "new" system) was a huge chore though. I tried Windows 10, and Mac OSX, and finally gave up: obviously these companies are trying to make using a different OS as hard as possible. I ended up using my out of date but still functional Pentium-D box that had a very old version of Linux on it.

This all took hours, then an hour or two longer for updates once Mint installed.  The box had a wifi dongle, but it didn't work with Linux.  Fortunately I still have a couple of the D-Link units and one of those worked just fine.

There were no real issues in upgrading Mint - the graphics drivers and such updated as soon as I ran the Update Manager, and things seem copacetic.  There are some artifacts in the display graphics, but I expected that - AMD graphics drivers are reported to need a bit of futzing with to get going right.

I did some basic system tests, and they put little strain on the CPU and memory - less than 1GB at idle, far far less than OSX or Windows.

Monday  4 September 2017
Monday - Labor Day.

Hot and humid. I got up early, showered, ate, turned off and unplugged all the critical electronics devices.

And...no electrical outage. Not so much as a flicker.


Checked on my friends house and pets morning and evening, all copacetic.

Sunday 3 September 2017
Sunday - Horribly hot and humid. 61%, and eventually a really good downpour that lasted for a solid half hour, with sprinkles for a bit longer.

That took most of the smoke out of the air - we had quite a bit from nearby fires yesterday, and it was still present until the rain.

Poor Suzy - she came downstairs and hid under the throw blanket on the couch next to me:

Suzy hiding under blankets during storm
Suzy really doesn't like Thunderstorms!

Read a bunch on the Swift language.

Book #33 was Good To the Last Drop, by Declan Finn.  This is the fourth in the christian vampire series. It was good light reading, though it felt kind of rushed, not quite as polished as the first few books.

My friends are having a good time up SF way. I guess it's pretty darn hot up there too.

I don't think I mentioned it, but S was involved in a neighborhood lock-down in her office Friday last, stuck there for hours while officers searched for an armed robber.  She called me, and I couldn't find *anything* on so-called local media about it - radio and TV are run out of LA now I guess.  I found a audio live-stream purporting to be the sheriff's, but there was, again, only stuff from the valley and downtown.

Late in the evening, 9-ish, they let everyone leave.

Picture of the Week

eclipse path
North of Rigsby, south of Rexburg -  our camp!

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