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November 2020
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Sunday, 1 November 2020 Dereel Images for 1 November 2020
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What makes Unix unique?
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

I'm currently reviewing a paper for publication. Amongst other things it talks about what made Unix different from other systems. I'm not happy with the paper as it stands, but it's a cause for me to step back and think, especially as the author doesn't seem open to my argumentation.

So what was unique about Unix? I think it was the first operating system to introduce easy-to-use interprocess communication, but probably the real thing was that it was a clean, small collection of the best things that had happened in computer science up to that point. Is there more? I need to think about it.


Anatomy of an accident
Topic: general, health, opinion Link here

In the afternoon, Yvonne came inside from working the horses, looking somewhat the worse for wear. Fallen off a horse? No, she tripped over a tyre while working Valeta on foot. And the PIXIO “Robot Cameraman” captured the entire incident:

Called up Melissa Wisbey, who despite a family event was able to take a look at Yvonne and confirm that nothing was broken. It reminds me of a similar accident 10 years ago. That took weeks to heal. Hopefully Yvonne will not have to go through that.


Monday, 2 November 2020 Dereel Images for 2 November 2020
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More garden work
Topic: gardening Link here

Paul Gallagher along again today to mow the lawn, which after only 2 weeks really needed it. But the signs are there: the weather is getting warmer—today the temperature reached 31.8° instead of the predicted 25°—and the grass is already beginning to brown. When he comes again in 2 weeks it might be for the last time this season.

Apart from that, he got through an amazing amount of weeding. Soon the garden will look good again. Now if our plants would just stop dying...


Tuesday, 3 November 2020 Dereel Images for 3 November 2020
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Yvonne's accident, two days later
Topic: health, technology, general, opinion Link here

Yvonne is still not feeling any better after her fall on Sunday. OK, time to get a doctor to take a look at it.

Oh. 20th-century US American tones when trying to call Health First. I'm not sure what the difference is between them and a normal “engaged” tone, but I think it means something like “this line inaccessible” or “this line not in service”.

Was it Health First or the phone system? Tried calling my other phone line. Same thing. So: MyNetFone? Tried calling Health First from my mobile phone. Same ancient tones. Tried calling my mobile phone from my VoIP phone. Worked. Asked people on IRC to call me on my VoIP numbers, and sure enough, a little later got a garbled call from *!@#@$. Who? *!@#@$. Or how about $*"++? Can you spell that, please? ^^#:~| More slowly please? eevin.

Ah, Edwin (Groothuis). Not the best mobile phone connection I have ever had, but it was a connection. Am I maybe going deaf? No, later Melissa Wisbey called and couldn't understand when I announced my name distinctly and clearly. Do I have issues with my phone or VoIP codec?

In the meantime Yvonne established contact with Paul—via Facebook! The clinic was closed today—of course! It's Melbourne Cup Day. That didn't explain the connection problems, which went away later in the day, but it meant that Yvonne called Melissa Wisbey and asked for a referral, which I picked up later in the afternoon.

Health care has been easier.


Nikon skins arrive
Topic: photography Link here

The new leatherette covering for my Nikon F arrived today. The good news: they're self-adhesive. How do I find out how long they took to get here?


Computers in the days of Facebook
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

It's relatively clear that Yvonne won't be riding for a while, so now seems like a good time to send off her riding vest for service. More contact via Facebook, this time with Michelle in Gisborne. A PDF document arrived by Facebook. How do you print it? Why would you want to print it when you can send it to a device (clearly not a printer)? I couldn't find any way to send it to a printer.

Yvonne asked Michelle. “Just download it”. I couldn't see a way to download it either. In the end I went searching for it with Google, found the PDF, displayed it with xpdf and printed it. But why is it so complicated for “normal” people? Or did I miss something that is intuitive for normal people?


Wednesday, 4 November 2020 Dereel → Ballarat → Dereel Images for 4 November 2020
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X-rays in Ballarat
Topic: health, general, opinion Link here

Off to Ballarat this afternoon to have Yvonne's arm X-rayed. While she waited, I did the weekly shopping.

The X-ray detected a hairline fracture in the wrist—I think. He referred her to the emergency department of the Ballarat Base Hospital to have a plaster cast on it. OK, take her there and continue my shopping.

As usual, the Base Hospital took forever. Round 16:30 it sounded as if she would be ready relatively soon—she was already (alone!) in the “plaster room” while they looked for somebody to attend to her. OK, off to the hospital, and was just parking when she called to say that it would take “one to two hours”. With the Base Hospital I automatically interpret that as “at least 2 hours”, so set off home. By the time I got to Sebastopol she called again: done! No fracture after all, just a sprain. Back to pick her up, noticing the signs of the times:


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What does that mean? My guess is that “visitors” means “visitors to the main hospital”, not “visitors to the emergency department”. You can get through to the hospital via that entrance, but they don't like it. But the message is anything but clear.

And then there's this one:


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What, no KN95 masks allowed, only the cheap ones? Or is it just an indication that the mask must cover all relevant orifices? I was coming to the conclusion that it was the latter when Yvonne appeared wearing a regulation mask, which she had been given to wear instead of the KN95 mask with which she arrived. Why?

On the way home, dropped in the new Chemist Warehouse in Sebastopol to buy some Ibuprofen, at least partially to see what the place is like: our normal chemist, UFS, is just down the road. I had hoped to be out quickly, but it took me at least as long. The place is Just Plain Unpleasant; I don't know why they build places like that.

Finally home, round 18:10. What a way to spend a day!


Woolworths checkout
Topic: general, technology, opinion Link here

Part of my shopping was at Woolworths, where I've had fun with their checkout machines in the past. To their credit, they've fixed one of the issues I had: how do you pay? Now they say it clearly:


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But to get there I first had to scan in the items. Six bottles of cherry juice. Please bag this item? Or Skip Bagging?


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Until I told it, it wouldn't proceed. Dammit, I have my own bags. Skip.

But I had to scan Every Individual Bottle. No way to tell the idiot machine that I had 6 of them. And for Every Individual Bottle I had to select “Skip Bagging”. An assistant came along and told me that I needed to put them in the bagging area to the left of the terminal:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201104/big/Woolworths-checkout-8.jpeg
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Why? My guess is that the terminal weighs the goods and does some kind of plausibility check. That would at least make it easier to stop people putting things there without scanning them. But it doesn't stop people putting them back in their trolleys, like I did. For that they need people. And a little explanation would go a long way. If I'm right, it has nothing to do with bagging.

And why do I have to scan Every Individual Bottle? Ah, she can help there. She can enter the number, but I can't. I tried to explain that this was an insult to the customer. She went and came back with somebody else, probably a supervisor, who explained that they had lots of theft at the self checkout terminals, and this was designed to limit it. But of course it does nothing of the sort.

Finally it was done:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201104/big/Woolworths-checkout-7.jpeg
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Where's the receipt? Ah, isn't that obvious? Next to your knees, of course:


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They did it right with the card reader terminal. Do they need to look at every minor detail? They should send their programmers to use the things themselves, and then to stand around for a day or two looking at the problems that customers have with their system.


Sightseeing in Ballarat
Topic: general, opinion Link here

I had plenty of time waiting for Yvonne, so rather than going to the hospital and kicking heels with her, I went to the Lake Wendouree precinct:

Swans were very much in evidence and the cygnets have just hatched:


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Also to the Ballarat Botanical Gardens, where things are relatively low-key. Came across the sundial behind the Statuary Pavilion and looked at it with new eyes:


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No seasonal markings, just a table:


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So though it was presented to the citizens of Ballaarat, the time is set to the Victoria time zone, and there's no correction for the equation of time.


Shooting from the hip
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

I've always been a little irritated about how long it takes my cameras to power up, nearly 2 seconds. Today while at Lake Wendouree I saw three swans take off and fly low over the water:


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And of course my camera was powered off. Turn on, shoot blindly, and how about that! Those two images were taken before the display came on. Of course, I had the wrong focal length set (12 mm), requiring ridiculous cropping, but they seem almost as good as the ones I got later:


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The whole thing only took about 10 seconds, so it's good to know that the power on sequence is faster than it appears.


The death of democracy
Topic: politics, opinion Link here

Today was the US General Election, the one where they also elect the president. Yes, they dated it yesterday, but they're always a day behind.

Finally a chance to get rid of the disaster that was Donald Trump. I was reminded of the 1952 election, where for the first time a computer (UNIVAC) was used to predict the results. The prediction quickly came up with an unexpected landslide for Eisenhower. Damn! What did we do wrong with the program? Tweak it. It still predicted a landslide.

But it was right. Eisenhower got 442 Electoral College votes out of a then total of 531. Now wouldn't that be something to repeat today?

The polls closed at—I think—13:00 our time, and we listened to the news on the way home. It's a cliff-hanger!

How could that be? That the US elected Trump 4 years ago is a quirk of their electoral system: Hillary Clinton got more votes. But after seeing him in action over 4 years, who would vote for him again? Far, far too many, it seems.

I don't know where to start in describing the damage that Trump has done. Arguably nobody cares if he does damage to me, but in fact he hasn't. He has damaged his own people—apart from other things, Covidly currently reports 236,951 deaths from COVID-19, many of which could have been avoided if the country had had any leadership. And just today the USA has withdrawn from the Paris Agreement. International relations will never be the same again.

Why do people vote for him? Clearly they're thinking about themselves rather than the broader community, but even then, what good has he done them? Do they believe his lies? We don't know who will win the election, but the fact that it is so close is a real concern.


Chicken tikka masala? No thanks
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

While shopping at ALDI, found a jar of chicken tikka masala mix, the British national dish. Not my sort of thing at all, but potentially it was something that Yvonne would like. Bought one, and since we were short on time, cooked it this evening.

It was edible, but not my thing. And Yvonne doesn't like it either. At least we know now, though.


Thursday, 5 November 2020 Dereel Images for 5 November 2020
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Some spring success
Topic: gardening Link here

I'm getting quite discouraged by the lack of success in the garden. But the tubers and bulbs and so on are clearly an exception. Here the view from in front of the garage today:


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Behind the Irises is the Camellia japonica that we bought over 10 years ago. It has hardly grown, but at least it's still alive.


Weißkrautsalat revisited
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

It's been years since I put up a page with a recipe for cabbage salad (Weißkrautsalat), but somehow it never worked well. Cutting the cabbage was a pain, and Yvonne found that I did it too coarsely.

But now we have mandolins, cutters that make not just slices, but also finely chopped pieces. Just what we need. Tried it today, and on the whole it was better. Probably I cut the cabbage too finely.


Towards a better mandolin
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

In the last few years I have found two kitchen items surprisingly useful: plastic spatulas and mandolins. In particular, mandolins with toothed cutter sections make it easy to chop things like onions finely.

But they're dangerous! And there's a lot of waste. In addition, most of them only have fixed cutting dimensions. Somehow there must be a way to make them safer and also more adjustable. But how?


Friday, 6 November 2020 Dereel Images for 6 November 2020
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The reason for Trump's success
Topic: politics, opinion Link here

By rights Donald Trump should have been fairly and squarely defeated in the US election, along with his party. In fact, the party did quite well, and 2 days after the election it's not clear to anybody except Donald Trump who won the presidential election.

Why? I've already marveled that he had any showing at all, let alone—still—a chance that he might win the election. But then I came across this statistic:

https://cdn.statcdn.com/Infographic/images/normal/23397.jpeg

So it's the economy, and there are enough misguided voters who think that unsustainable borrowing is good. Arguably this is an argument against term limits: Trump knew that he had no more than 8 years at the outside. If he had had the potential for unlimited terms of office, like in every country I have ever lived in, he might have been less extravagant in his borrowing.

But then, his personal history tells us otherwise.


Web site maintenance
Topic: technology, food and drink, opinion Link here

I've always shied away from content management systems, but it's clear that they address a real issue: how to ensure that everything is consistent. With 2400 odd text pages, I'm not always winning.

Spent some time today writing up my Weißkrautsalat; the recipe in my recipe index was just a copy of a broken German recipe. After some time I had the recipe pretty much ready, and just needed to link to the old version.

Damn! I've been there before! I just forgot to change the link in my recipe index. It was a certain satisfaction to discover that the recipes (in each case modified from the original) were as good as identical. But what a waste of time!


Watsonias
Topic: gardening, photography, opinion Link here

Watsonias are currently in bloom. There are three colours:


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The orange ones grow in the “nature strip” outside our house, and the others on the corner of Stones Road and Bliss Road. Are they all the same (sub)species? Today I took the trouble to take some focus stacked photos of them.

The most obvious difference is that the orange ones hang down, while the others are erect:


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And the petals of the orange ones seem to be thinner. But in particular, the stigma of the orange ones is much longer and more developed than on the other one. So my guess is that they're slightly different, though it's not clear whether it's enough to be a different species.


Pet heron
Topic: animals Link here

For quite some time we've had a heron round the house:


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My guess is that he's attracted by the freshly mown grass.


Saturday, 7 November 2020 Dereel Images for 7 November 2020
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Coming up roses
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

Lately the lack of progress in the garden has been quite discouraging, but there are some exceptions. The roses are already flowering well, for the most part:


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Only the “Lilli Marleen” is not doing well, not helped by the weeds:


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The Clematis “General Sikorski” is also flowering relatively acceptably:


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The mistreated “Edo Murasaki” is also growing, but has so far produced no flowers.


Optimizing recipes
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Cooked Chinese-style prawns and squid for dinner tonight. It's been some time since we last did so, and I found a surprising number of things that I wanted to change. In particular, the recipe called for up to three frying pans—enough to fill the bottom tray of a dishwasher. Nowadays, with the help of a microwave oven, I can get by with one.


Sunday, 8 November 2020 Dereel Images for 8 November 2020
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Le roi est mort, vive le roi
Topic: politics, opinion Link here

So they've finally called the US presidential election. Joe Biden is the US president-elect.

I've already commented on how strange it is that Donald Trump even stood a chance. But in fact he received more votes than any US presidential candidate before him, something that he will doubtless emphasize for years to come. On the other hand, Joe Biden's lead of 4.45 million is considerably larger than Trump's lead of 3.86 million 4 years ago. And on that occasion the results were known almost immediately. That can only mean more uniform voter behaviour this time.

The other thing of interest was that Yvonne wanted to watch TV news for the first time I can recall, both from Al Jazeera and ARD. If he has done one thing, Trump has managed to get people interested in politics. The large voter turnout is doubtless another indication of the same thing.


More wildflowers
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

Another wildflower is currently blooming in Stones Road:


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It's about 1 cm across.


Turkey Kiev
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Last week, Yvonne bought some “Turkey Kievs” in Sebastopol, a reasonably compromise between Turkey and Kiev:


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What are they? A kind of ball, about 4 cm in diameter. The “Kiev” appears to be a reference to chicken à la Kiev, and they're intended to be baked in an oven. But what's an “air fryer” for? Did them in the “coffee machine” for 15 minutes at 180°, which proved to be too long: the filling (whatever it was; ostensibly containing bacon and cranberry) melted. But they didn't taste bad. Maybe 10 minutes next time?


Monday, 9 November 2020 Dereel Images for 9 November 2020
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Another grid outage
Topic: Stones Road house, general Link here

Another 1 second grid power failure this morning at 2:53:19.


Why did BSD fail?
Topic: technology, history, opinion Link here

I'm currently reviewing a yet-unpublished paper about (effectively) how Linux “took over” from Unix (and thus also BSD). And clearly Linux is now an order of magnitude more important than BSD. Why did BSD fail?

Why, did BSD fail? No, it's still going strong, just not as strong as Linux. But why did that happen? I still don't really understand.

A couple of suggestions that have done the round:

The AT&T lawsuit scared people off

The AT&T lawsuit was over by 1994, long before Linux became usable. So it's easy to argue that it couldn't have had any effect.

BSD people are difficult to get on with

There's a certain truth here, but it seems that the Linux people at the time were no friendlier to each other or outsiders.

BSD people discouraged new blood

There may be some truth here, but is that enough?

BSD had no leadership

It's certainly interesting to note that Linus Torvalds presented a unifying influence in Linux. There was nobody quite that unifying in the BSD camp; the closest I can think of was FreeBSD's Jordan Hubbard, but he was nowhere near as strong.

But all that was in the early days (say, until 1995). By 1995, the first big companies were starting to use free operating systems, and my (admittedly distorted) recollection was that it was mainly BSD. Yahoo!, for example, was an all-FreeBSD shop. Google didn't exist. And from 1995, gradually the first big companies started to take free operating systems seriously.

And for some reason they mainly chose Linux, not BSD. Why? That's the nut that I'm currently trying to crack.


Spreading fertilizer
Topic: gardening Link here

Almost no work in the garden today, which makes a big difference from the last few days, where I did none at all. Spread fertilizer in the east garden, on the long-suffering Gingko biloba in the north, the row of Hebes between there and the garden, and on the Buddleja and a few other things in the north garden. The rosemary and the lilac seem to have completely died now.


Tuesday, 10 November 2020 Dereel → Ballarat → Dereel Images for 10 November 2020
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Blood test again
Topic: health Link here

Into Ballarat early this morning for a blood test, only to discover that I hadn't needed to fast.


Buying film in 2020
Topic: photography, general, opinion Link here

After the blood test, on to Sturt Street to buy a film (you know, those things you put in old-fashioned cameras). But of course the photography shop had closed down:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201110/big/Sturt-Street-1-1-detail-2.jpeg
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There's a double problem: first, people no longer need photographic supplies the way they did in the last millennium, and secondly bricks-and-mortar shops are going away too. It seems that since they closed down, another company (“Weddings—Debutante—Ballet”) set up in there, and they're gone too:


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Of course, as only occurred to me later, that could have been some of the services that the photographers provided.

When did they close? When I got back home, I checked and found that Harvey & Sons closed down nearly two years ago, mainly because the proprietors were so old. And there are, indeed, still photo shops in Ballarat: Camera House has a shop just a few hundred metres down Sturt Street, easy walking distance from Health First. They even claim to be the oldest shop in the country (1872), not quite what the Courier article about Harvey & Sons says.


Dish washer efficiency
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

2½ years ago our expensive (well, relatively expensive) Bosch dish washer broke down. A repair would take weeks. Nothing for it: we bought a new one pending the repair of the old one. That way we would be protected against such a problem happening again.

The new one was a Whirlpool WFE2B19XAUS, and it cost less than half the price of the Bosch. But it worked fine, and we postponed repairing the Bosch. A good thing, too: the problem was transient.

Swap the dish washers again? The new one was in the kitchen, the old one was in the laundry, and it hadn't been easy to install the one in the kitchen. What happens if the Bosch fails again? So we left them as they were, and we're still using the Whirlpool. On some days, like yesterday, we have enough to fill both.

And then I see things like this, after being through the (Bosch) wash:


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That's fat in the pan, and it has proven to difficult to remove. Maybe the relatively low temperature (45°) that I chose for the Bosch? It wouldn't explain the spatula. And after going through the Whirlpool (admittedly with some preparation), it was fine.


More insights into BSD vs. Linux?
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

While looking for reasons for Linux overtaking BSD, came across this page. There's a lot in there, and I haven't read it yet, but it quotes a number of people who were active early on. I should read it.


Wednesday, 11 November 2020 Dereel Images for 11 November 2020
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Another grid outage
Topic: Stones Road house, general Link here

Another 6 second grid power failure this afternoon at 16:01:43, interesting because it wasn't just a 1 second blip. To be fair to Powercor, their unplanned outages have become shorter, fewer and further between. Now if they would just stop planning outages.


“Coronavirus” “spikes”
Topic: language, health, technology, opinion Link here

I've heard from several sources recently that “Coronavirus” numbers are “spiking”. What does that mean?

First, Coronavirus, one of the main causes of the common cold. Do people really keep statistics on the kind of virus that people have? It seems highly unlikely. Clearly they're talking about one specific coronavirus, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Given that name, or even the abbreviation SARS-CoV-2, you could almost forgive the inaccuracy. But in fact they're not talking about the virus at all, but COVID-19. Why do they have to be so inaccurate? In Germany they tend to refer to it simply as „Corona“, which I thought was a crown or a beer or something.

And yes, the numbers are alarming. But not to worry, it's just a spike.

What's a spike? The Oxford English Dictionary, as usual, comes up with dozens of meanings: “A young mackerel”, “A prickly resentment; anger, venom”, “A young buffalo”. Clearly not what is meant here. My recollection of a spike is seeing one on an oscilloscope in the olden days: a sudden deviation from an otherwise relatively continuous signal. And yes, OED knows that too:

(a) An electrical pulse of very short duration in which a rapid increase in voltage is followed immediately by a rapid decrease; (b) a burst of electromagnetic radiation marked by short duration or great intensity, esp. one from space.

I'll go along with that. So what they're implying is that the numbers, steadily climbing, will deviate suddenly from that curve in one direction or the other, like the Swedish lack of cases at weekends, and then continue as if nothing had happened.

But of course that's not what they mean. They're using inappropriate terms to describe an increase in cases. Are they maybe thinking of the differential of the curve? I doubt it.

One day I should rant about “glitch”, which has long lost its original meaning.

While discussing on IRC, Callum Gibson pointed to this definition from dictionary.com.

4. an abrupt increase or rise:
a chart showing a spike of unusual activity in the stock market; a sudden spike of electrical current.

Clearly not as authoritative, and also not as clear.

In fact, it was almost impossible to find. dictionary.com is too polite to say “your browser is old and worn-out, and I won't disclose more than 3 meanings”. Another indication that I must finally continue with my system upgrade.


Clematis
Topic: gardening Link here

The Clematis “Edo Murasaki” in the north garden is flowering again:


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It was almost completely destroyed in May when the screen to which attached got blown away. And interestingly it's now flowering further down, so possibly it will spread better than it did the first time round.


Thursday, 12 November 2020 Dereel Images for 12 November 2020
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Two more grid outages
Topic: Stones Road house, general Link here

Our grid power uptime has certainly improved greatly over the past few months, if you exclude the extended “routine maintenance” periods. But somehow the number of outages has increased (“spiked”?) in the past few days. Today we had two grid power failures, both round 1 second, at 06:54:44 and 15:42:00.


Another use for the Nikon lenses
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

The Nikon equipment that I bought in September is nice to have, but the lenses are of only marginal use. Today, by chance, I found a question on Quora: What Nikon F lenses can be adapted for micro four-thirds cameras and with what limitations?. Do I have an answer!.

Of course, that involved checking some details, in particular pricing and what kind of adapter would work for D and G lenses (for which, I discover, I don't have a good link at hand). It seems that the most expensive adapter from B&H is the MTF Services Ltd Nikon G to Micro 4/3 Adapter for a measly $396 US. What can it do that my $9 adapter can't? Control the aperture ring. There are cheaper adapters that do that too, like the Metabones adapter for only $139. A bargain!

But in the process I came across “speed boosters”, an adapter with inbuilt optics something like a reverse teleconverter. That's what I really know Metabones for, but their prices, round $500 US, make it uninteresting. There are others, though, like the Viltrox NF-M43X for only $78.50 US. It converts the focal length by 0.71x, effectively changing the aperture by 1 stop. With that, my wide aperture Nikon lenses would change from 85/1.4, 50/1.4 and 35/1.4 to 60/1.0, 35/1.0 and 25/1.0. It would also make it much easier to do shallow depth of field photos like I failed to do a couple of weeks ago.

But how good are they? Viltrox isn't unknown: I have a ring flash from them. But this is optics. Off to look for some comparisons, and came up with this:

That compares three adapters: an el-cheapo adapter that isn't available for Micro Four Thirds system, the Viltrox and the Metabones. Bottom line: very little difference between the three, though the el-cheapo is marginally worse. What interested me in every case was a certain circular pattern in the background distortion, like this:


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It's really only visible when enlarged, but the leaves behind the person seem to be arranged in a circle. Since it happens with all the adapters, and the author doesn't mention it, maybe it's a problem with the lens.

Still, it sounds good. Took a look round and found one in Australia for $118, corresponding to about $84 US. That's clearly much cheaper than I could import it for, so bought it. I'll be interested to see what the results are like. If they're good, it could have saved me the cost of the Voigtländer 25 mm f/0.95, since the 35 mm Nikkor would end up with the same specs.


Acacia in bloom
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

There's some species of Acacia (Wattle) that flowers at any time of year, but I don't recall seeing many of our most common wattle in flower. What's it called? I thought Acacia melanoxylon, but that has phyllodes, while our wattles have real leaves.

But this year the trees seem to be flowering everywhere, even the volunteer between the house and the water tanks (first two images):


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201112/big/Acacia-melanoxylon-3.jpeg
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What species is it? The photos I've found of Acacia trachyphloia look similar:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/53/Acacia_trachyphloia_flowering.jpg

But that species only occurs in New South Wales.

Could it be an Acacia baileyana? As its common name “Cootamundra wattle” implies, it, too, comes from New South Wales, but it seems to have spread all over the world. But when I consider that we planted one when we moved in here, and watched it die, it seems unlikely.


Little garden work
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

Most of the tomatoes that I planted in July are still in pots, though they're growing well. High time to plant them outside. In the end, though, I only planted two: a “Beefsteak” in the wind break at the north-east end of the house:


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And a “Grosse Lisse” in the same frame as the one I planted outside two months ago:


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The older one is in front, a good indication that it's not a good idea to plant outside too early.

I had also planned to plant our second Buddleja to the south of the house, but the “soil” proved to be only 20 cm deep, under which is rubble, presumably waste from the house construction. More thought necessary.

Not everything is dying, though. The Strelitzia nicolai is flowering multiply:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201112/big/Strelitzia-nicolai-1.jpeg
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And to my surprise the long-suffering lime bush, which has only borne one or two fruit in something like 10 years, is covered in blossoms:


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Will any of them become fruit? Spread plenty of fertilizer in the hope.


Friday, 13 November 2020 Dereel
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Evolution of TV viewing
Topic: multimedia, technology, opinion Link here

Andy Farkas has a new DVD collection: “Get Smart”. He paid money for it; I downloaded my copies legally for free. That led to a discussion on IRC, which was interesting.

But first, a digression. It's been over 50 years since we first had a TV in the house. Times have clearly changed. Thinking back,

30 July 1964       Home TV (parents)
1 June 1972       TV in my home
10 December 1975       Colour TV
26 December 1983       Video recorder
1 April 1991       Satellite receiver
27 July 2001       TiVo
18 September 2004       Computer-based video recording
28 June 2005       Data projector
27 July 2015       Return to using (analogue) TV
1 April 2017       End of terrestrial TV

The dates in the 1970s to 1990s are guesswork, but they're close.

3½ years ago we gave up receiving terrestrial TV. The TV can still receive it, and on rare occasions we use it (breaking news, for example), but in general my method now is to download files and display them locally with a computer connected to the (real) TV. We started that with the first video recorder 37 years ago, but now it's the only way we do it.

But that's definitely not the way the content providers want it. Many don't want people downloading their content, presumably because of licensing issues based on concern that the content might be redistributed in violation of the license.

That's rather like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. Recently SBS has changed their interface so that you can only stream. Can I work around that? Possibly. But why bother? I've found so little of interest on SBS that I can't be bothered. Goodbye, SBS. The world is my oyster.

Other people go along with what the providers want them to do. Recently Jamie Fraser bought a Chromecast box. What's that? Google to the aid, followed by Google to the hindrance. It's far too polite to display https://store.google.com/au/product/chromecast_google_tv on my old, worn-out firefox: I had to go to teevee to display it at all.

And the result was emetic. What does the thing do? I still don't know. I know what the page does: it doesn't allow me to scroll normally, just showing part of an image even on full screen:

Scroll down? The remote control runs away, and the background image gets larger, showing the kind of programme that I would never think of looking at (“A lone gunfighter makes his way through the outer reaches of the galaxy”). What is the thing? It seems to be a dongle, possibly one that has an Internet connection, that plugs into an HDMI connector and displays the kind of menu that scare me off. Yes, there's a “see how it works” link, but that just takes me to a commercial video free of technical content. About the only inkling of a detail that I can get from that is that it has voice input, hopefully only as an option. What it's clearly lacking is a keyboard. OK, you can use your mobile phone for that. You could also rivet pancakes to your ears and call yourself a dachshund.

Clearly the Chromecast box is only part of the solution, hopefully one that can be improved on. It has an interface that appears completely useless, just a couple of buttons (for people confused by more buttons?). And it costs about half the price of a second-hand computer. How would I use it to find, say, „Die Küstenpiloten“, which I was downloading during this time? And how would it display it? The ARD Mediathek has become very slow lately, and it took me 5 hours to download a 90 minute video in 1080p. How can I stream that? Clearly I can't.

So, things don't seem to have changed much in the nearly 2 years since I bought a TCL Android-based smart TV. I grumbled about it then, and I'm sure I'd do so again. Ultimately there's a choice: simplicity at the expense of unnecessary complication and limitations. But as long as most TV broadcasters have web sites as broken as Google's Chromecast page, I see little hope.

Clearly I'm way off centre with my ways of doing things. I know what I like better my way. But what am I missing? There are other components too, names like radarr:

Radarr is a movie collection manager for Usenet and BitTorrent users. It can monitor multiple RSS feeds for new movies and will interface with clients and indexers to grab, sort, and rename them. It can also be configured to automatically upgrade the quality of existing files in the library when a better quality format becomes available.

Usenet? How old is this stuff? Reading the “features”, it seems just to be an interface to my download client: uTorrent, Deluge, rTorrent, NZBGet, SABnzbd, qBittorrent, Transmission and many more, most of which I have never heard of. Does it work with the German Mediatheken? I'd probably have to try out. But potentially it could be interesting.

And then there's sonarr. Their home page is too polite to assume that you don't know what it is, but this page quotes “their GitHub page”:

Sonarr is a PVR for Usenet and BitTorrent users. It can monitor multiple RSS feeds for new episodes of your favorite shows and will grab, sort and rename them. It can also be configured to automatically upgrade the quality of files already downloaded when a better quality format becomes available.

Haven't I seen that before? Clearly it's closely related to Radarr. Maybe they're something like MediathekView, in which case they could be useful. But somewhere I got the impression that they might work as a media server. Yes, NFS works fine, but it's not exactly portable, and people who visit and are scared by big screens can't use it to watch videos on their mobile phones, because the mobile phones are too polite to support obsolete protocols.

So: I think I'll have to investigate one of the arrs. I'm not expecting it to be fun.


Democratic transition of power
Topic: politics, opinion Link here

Seen on the German Quora site:

https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-5560f1e44a6424c21541b00777e5a83b

“Mr. President, your removal van is waiting".


Saturday, 14 November 2020 Dereel Images for 14 November 2020
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Still more grid fluctuations
Topic: Stones Road house, general, opinion Link here

Another transient grid power failure at 6:21:33 this morning. They don't do any harm, but why are we getting so many recently? We've had five in the past 5 days, as many as we had in the over two months previous to that.


He be thinking “arr”!
Topic: language, multimedia, opinion Link here

Decades ago I was with my father and sister somewhere in Devon. We saw an old man sitting near a bridge, watching life go by. My father asked, idly, “I wonder what he's thinking about”. My sister, in a Devonish accent: “He be thinking arr, that's what he be thinking”.

“Arr” is somehow Devonish, a typical fill word used by old people when recalling something. It seems to have been picked up by some people in conjunction with pirates, possibly Jamaica Inn, which takes place in that part of the world, though OED relates it to a Walt Disney filming of “Treasure Island”, dating back only to 1966.

Somehow that's what I think of when I hear names like radarr and sonarr. Today I installed them, mainly to find out what they are.

To my surprise, radarr installed with no problems and no dependencies! sonarr was even better: it was already installed, presumably as a dependency of some other package.

But how to start it? Just typing in the name brought the expected result:

=== root@teevee (/dev/pts/2) ~ 14 -> sonarr
su: sonarr: command not found

Daniel O'Connor recommended it, so he must know how to start it.

* groggyhimself wonders how to start it.
<Docco> "service sonarr onestart" ?
<groggyhimself> Right, that's the Unix way.
* groggyhimself marvels.
<groggyhimself> Is it supposed to say something?
* groggyhimself discovers a /usr/local/share/sonarr/NzbDrone.exe
<Docco> it runs headless
<groggyhimself> How do I access it?
<Docco> point a browser at localhost:8989
<groggyhimself> Ah, of course!
<groggyhimself> What about radarr?
<Docco> localhost:7878

Now that's amazing. It's certainly interesting to know that the standard system startup scripts can start it, but that's presumably because it's a server that interfaces via HTTP. But you need to know the port numbers.

Accessing the servers was relatively trivial, but understanding the interface wasn't. By comparison MediathekView is a model of clarity. Lots of icons with no explanation. radarr at least pointed to a setup guide, and it looks as if I will need to read it. Without it, I couldn't get much sense out of either of them. They both require an external program for downloads. The only one I had installed was rTorrent, so I tried that. User name? Password? I don't need no steenking authentication!

Oh yes, I do, at least for arr. But I've been using rTorrent for years without authentication. And my suspicion is that rTorrent will only work for (very?) few sources. So it looks as if both programs will have to wait in the tuit queue.

On the positive side, it passed the test I set yesterday: it found „Die Küstenpiloten“ (a new episode that was only released today). But it didn't find „Die Kanzlei“, which has been running for ever, and came up with some ridiculous alternatives: „Die Camper“, “Die Sterntaler”, “Die Kocharena”, all with the information that they had “Ended” (and thus presumably that no episodes were available). Still, it's one more tool, even if rather hard to use.


Rouladen
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Rouladen“ are a typical German dish, roughly equivalent to what I knew as “beef olives”, though I note that the Wikipedia page for beef olives redirects to Rouladen. I don't think we've ever eaten them at home before: it's a fair amount of work. First you need sliced beef to wrap up, and that's not easy. But that's what butchers are for, and the only thing we needed was to know how thick to slice the beef.

Yvonne bought the meat on Wednesday before I got round to checking on the thickness of the meat. No worry, she just bought 1.5 kg of “outside”, if she understood the term correctly.

Panic! How do we cut them? Will our slicer do the job? At least we could try, and if it didn't, we'd have to make something else from the meat. But it worked, even well:

The one on the right was sliced at 5 mm thickness, which seems the right thickness. The one on the left was sliced at 7 mm and hammered, which is more in keeping with the way these things are made.


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We took this recipe („Rinderroulade wie bei Oma“, “Beef Rouladen like grandma made them”) as a basis, and Yvonne modified them by wrapping them with smoked pork belly. In principle she was doing the dish, but her sprained wrist made it difficult, so I joined in after she had wrapped them:


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And they weren't at all bad. We had 7 of them, of which we ate three. And there are many more slices of beef in the freezer for next time. We'll probably update our recipe.


Printer pain
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Yvonne wanted to print the recipe for the Rouladen so that she could mark it up in the kitchen. It wasn't easy; in fact, I nearly gave up:

  1. First, her firefox didn't want to know about the printer. Why not? No idea. So I had to print to a file and then copy the file to the printer.

  2. But that didn't work as expected. I got three pages, the first only with headings, the second showing only the photo, and the third also almost empty.

  3. Ah, I'm too stupid to think that just pressing c-p will print the recipe. For that I have to find the greyed-out „ALS PDF DRUCKEN“ (“print as PDF”) button in the middle of the text. Did that on eureka to avoid the firefox problems on Yvonne's computer.

    The result: a single page:.

    Unsupported PDF data for Direct Print:1000

    What's that, apart from an obvious compatibility issue? My Brother HL-3170CDW has almost never had issues with valid PDF data, so I suspect the file.

  4. OK, what does xpdf think of the file? Yes, it can display it. Again an empty first page, then a relatively readable recipe entirely on the second page. Print it.

    ERROR NAME
       typecheck
    COMMAND
       image
    OPERAND STACK:
  5. Dammit, what about converting it to PostScript first?

    ERROR:
    invalidaccess
    OFFENDING COMMAND
    length
    Stack:
  6. Dammit, it didn't print any of the document. And the first page is empty. How about printing only the second page?

    YES! That did it.

Now wasn't that easy? How many non-computer people would even manage it?


Sunday, 15 November 2020 Dereel Images for 15 November 2020
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Visiting the horses
Topic: animals Link here

I don't have much to do with the horses on our property any more, especially since they mainly don't belong to us. Down with Yvonne this morning to look at the three that Chris Bahlo left here 10 days ago. It's easy to see which horse (Valeta) belongs here:


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Garden ups and downs
Topic: gardening Link here

How's the garden in late spring? Parts of it are excellent, like the Strelitzia nicolai and the Leucadendron cordifolium:


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The last surviving Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is recovering from winter, but it has taken a long time:


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I'll have to protect it better next winter.

But the tomatoes I planted only aa couple of days ago have not improved. Here then and now:


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We've had heavy winds lately, and I think that they may have damaged the stems. Moral: plant not too early, not too late. Maybe early October's the right time.


New road signs
Topic: general Link here

The road signs round here are interesting maybe because of their decrepitude, like this one, about 50 m from our house entrance:


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But it's been replaced, now replete with the Golden Plains emblem:


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Nice and shiny! Of course, anybody arriving there has almost certainly driven the length of Grassy Gully Road; what they want to know is where they have got to. Yes, the Stones Road signs are legible, but they're still the old ones. I'm left wondering if it was worth changing them at all.


From Unix to Linux
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Andy Oram, my old editor at O'Reilly, has published the first of a series of articles From Unix to Linux: Key Trends in the Evolution of Operating Systems. This is the series that I was reviewing last week, and which gave me cause to think. I told Andy about this in my review, of course, but it's clear that he sees things differently. He took some of the suggestions on board, but I'm left wondering whether the difference is simply our viewpoint. For my viewpoint, it looks a little uneven. Why the issue of upper and lower case? The one-letter options that we know and love? And the fact that C arrays are indexed starting at 0, not 1?

Ultimately, though, I think both of us missed an important point: Unix was the operating system chosen for the initial implementation of the Internet protocols. That allowed companies in the 1980s to network their systems cheaply and efficiently, and it led the way to today's view of computers.

I'll be interested to see how the other articles (there are three more) will turn out.


Monday, 16 November 2020 Dereel Images for 16 November 2020
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Drowned leucadendron
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

Paul Gallagher, the gardener, along today for lawn mowing and weeding—he's certainly doing a good job of the latter.

By coincidence found that the Leucadendron salignum at the house entrance was flooded. There was about 1 cm of water over the level of the soil. Had the drippers failed? No, all seemed well. Must have been the drain holes. With Paul's help, turned it over—it must have weighed 125 kg.:


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That's going to be difficult to fix. Clearly the bush is too big for its pot. But how do I get it out, and where do I plant it where it won't die like everything else? And how do I do it without destroying the relatively expensive pot?


SBS programme access: solved
Topic: multimedia, technology, opinion Link here

A couple of days ago I grumbled that I could no longer download videos from SBS. That's a challenge for some; Callum Gibson tells me that he can download them with , exactly the same tool that I use. Do I have an old version installed? No, for once it was newer than his, probably because it's necessary. OK, I can try upgrading, and of course there's a new version, but it didn't make any difference

OK, an example. Today was the 100th anniversary of the foundation of QANTAS, an acronym for the Queensland And Norther Territory Aerial Service. As Wikipedia says,

 
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99 years ago? That's 100 by my reckoning. But Wikipedia is in the USA, which is always a day behind. I got this information at 16:57, pretty much the end of the working day, so it should have shown 100 years ago. Even if you go by UTC, it was 5:57 this morning.

Half an hour later I refreshed. Today had dawned for Wikipedia. That suggests that its time is running on UTC-6, not what I would have expected.

Presumably in honour of the QANTAS anniversary SBS had produced a documentary about the evolution of air transport in Australia. But when I try to download it, I get the error:

ERROR: Unsupported URL: https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/?play=1797849667675

But Callum had a different URL scheme, which he demonstrated with https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/1798076995760/coronavirus-explained-in-english. OK, analyse that: the big difference was the /video/ instead of the /?play=. We can try that.

And how about that, it works! The text after /video/ seems not to be necessary. So the real issue was the URL change, probably not even deliberate.


Fraudulent web sites?
Topic: technology, animals, general, opinion Link here

It looks like we're going to have to feed Leonid 4Cyte for the rest of his life to treat his arthritis. It's expensive stuff—our vet charges $74 for 100 g. Melissa Wisbey gave Yvonne a cheaper source, PetCircle, offering it for only $62.95, post free. OK, we can do that. Signed up, added to my “cart” and went to checkout:

 
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Oh, signup didn't include an address, so I had to give at least the post code:

 
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Grr. Why do they ask for a postcode and then expect you to select your (capitalized) location from a long pull-down list? But it gets worse:

 
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Now they charge for postage! Somehow that seems underhand to me. And to add to the insult, it decided to put me down for a delivery every 7 weeks:


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I didn't ask for that! And it seems that I would have to jump through hoops to disconnect it again. No, thanks, PetCircle, I don't like being treated like that.

Off searching and found the stuff again, this time for “only” $59 from The Vet Shed. Again no mention of postage. OK, sign up, go to checkout. Sure enough, suddenly $9.49 postage on top of the price.

Are these people trying to annoy me? No, I think they're managing without trying. It's understandable that the postage depends on the composition of the order. Even the “every 7 weeks” might make sense. But that, of course, requires them storing my credentials. They should just come out with it up front, rather than waiting until you check out.

Tried a different approach: Pene Kirk. Yes, she can get the stuff for us, only $60. So we did that, rather stupidly paying another $8 because we called her 2 hours after she did her weekly order. But that's clearly the way to go.

In passing, it's interesting to note that 4Cyte is manufactured in New Zealand, and that the Australian distributors are in Ballarat (10 Skipton Street, +61-3-5330-0300).


Time for a new firefox
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Still more problems with my ancient firefox today. OK, bite the bullet, run it from dereel. Apart from mail interface problems (also on dereel), things now seem to work. I had to change my dobrowser script to put the web pages somewhere neutral (/eureka/var/tmp), and I needed to copy the ~/.mailcap to dereel.

Somehow the biggest issue of running like this is the maze of twisty little symlinks, all different.


Tuesday, 17 November 2020 Dereel Images for 17 November 2020
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Yet another transient grid failure
Topic: Stones Road house, general, opinion Link here

Another transient grid power failure today at 16:48:27. The most irritating thing about these is noting them in this diary.


Grass seed photos
Topic: gardening, photography Link here

A lot of grass is seeding lately, some of it quite pretty. But despite my best attempts, the best photos I could get look like this:


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That's amazing, because the background was in the shade and the sun was shining on the grass. And I even darkened the background, but the result is less than satisfactory.

So today we picked a number of grasses and I tried photos in the “studio”:


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Which is better? It's not made any easier by the fact that those are two different stems; the one on the left is riper. But clearly the background is uneven. That was taken with the studio flash units, which illuminate everything equally. Here I had made a backdrop of some black cloth that I bought years ago and never managed to use effectively:


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But another option is the ring flash, which has the advantage of differential illumination; in this case the difference between the subject and the background would be about 3 EV:


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But the exposure is more than ever guesswork. Which of these three is right?


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In principle it should be the last one, but there the background is lightening up. Maybe I should move the subject further from the backdrop, but there's only so far that I can go.

Or maybe with a bright backdrop after all (fold up the black cloth)?


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It makes surprisingly little difference, and for some reason (possibly flash coverage) the “light” background is uneven. Clearly there's more experimentation ahead of me.


Who coded the Internet?
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Somehow I have had this knowledge in the back of my head for decades: when IPv4 was finalized, DARPA gave contracts to BBN and University of California, Berkeley to implement it—on Unix. The university created a Computer Systems Research Group (CSRG) to do the work. And the first functional version of the IP stack was in 4.1cBSD, though it was really released in 4.2BSD.

Kirk McKusick put me right on one detail: it was 4.1aBSD, not 4.1cBSD. But in the course of my reviews I read the Internet protocol suite page on Wikipedia, and it barely mentions Berkeley. The only reference is:

The spread of TCP/IP was fueled further in June 1989, when the University of California, Berkeley agreed to place the TCP/IP code developed for BSD UNIX into the public domain.

Did that really happen? I thought that was all under the BSD license. But more to the point, apart from the fact that the page is missing any other mention of the BSD implementation (dates, for example), who did “code the Internet”? From the Wikipedia page:

DARPA contracted with BBN Technologies, Stanford University, and the University College London to develop operational versions of the protocol on several hardware platforms. During development of the protocol the version number of the packet routing layer progressed from version 1 to version 4, the latter of which was installed in the ARPANET in 1983. It became known as Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) as the protocol that is still in use in the Internet, ...

OK, that goes back before IPv4. But where are the Stanford and UCL stacks? And why no mention of Berkeley? It's beyond doubt that the CSRG was funded by DARPA (something of which the radical UCB people weren't universally in favour).


Wednesday, 18 November 2020 Dereel Images for 18 November 2020
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Bloody Android phone!
Topic: general, technology, opinion Link here

Yvonne went shopping today, and called me several times. I've more or less learnt to live with pain smart phones: pull gingerly out of my shirt pocket, being very careful not to touch the screen, then smash swipe upwards. Works if you're careful.

One time, though, I did it wrong and touched the screen. A completely different display appeared. OK, I've analyzed this one in the past: wait a few seconds for this glacially slow phone to produce a DISMISSACCEPT display, then accept.

And yes, it did that. Press ACCEPT. Display goes away, phone continues ringing. And that was all until Yvonne got bored and hung up.

This is RIDICULOUS! This is supposed to be a phone, not a children's toy. The very least it can do is allow me to answer it without jumping through hoops.

How did we get here? Older mobile phones had buttons, things that you press and that gave tactile feedback. Then there were the foldable phones, which I personally thought the best: phone rings, and opening it answers the call.

But foldable phones have the disadvantage of an even smaller screen size than modern “smart” phones. The modern chocolate bar shape maximizes what is still a tiny display, and to do that you need to get rid of the keyboard. Instead people need to make “gestures” (most of mine are obscene). A small price for the ability to watch barely visible videos on your phone.

Problem: other people do this on a regular basis without the problems I have. What's different about my situation? There are a number of possibilities:

But surely I'm not the only person who has these problems. Why don't they have a button that will answer the phone, no matter what the display? And should I buy a different phone that doesn't have these bugs? How can I know in advance? I'd revive my still-functional fold phone, except that it doesn't handle my contacts list.


Spring progress
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

Spring is coming on—in fact, in 2 weeks it'll be summer—and some new plants are flowering: the Cannas and the Kniphofias:


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What is definitely suffering is the Buddleja × weyeriana that I planted two months ago. Here then and now:


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I'll have to take it out again before it dies. But why is it having these problems? It's not alone. The weeds are happy, but the lilac next to it died off about a month ago, and two salvias and the Gallipoli rosemary died too. It's not lack of fertilizer, and it's not lack of water. Once again I'm considering the possibility that there's something in the soil.


Shallow depth of field
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

Taking the photos of the Buddleja wasn't easy: there's so much mess around it that it's difficult to distinguish what's left of the plant. Clearly a case for the wide-aperture lenses like the Nikkor 85 mm f/1.4 or the Voigtländer Nokton 25 mm f/0.95:


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Not exciting, but that's partially the subject. But how about even less depth of field? Where's my Viltrox NF-M43X adapter?

At the Napoleons post office, it proved. 90 minutes later Yvonne had brought it back with her. A lot more professional than the el-cheapo non-optical adapter that I got a few weeks back, and, as seems a requirement for these things, equipped with a tripod mount (why? It's too close to the camera to make any difference).

OK, try again, this time with my trees. Here the Nikkor 85 mm f/1.4, the Nikkor 35 mm f/1.4 and the Voigtländer Nokton 25 mm f/0.95, in that order. All at an equivalent f/1 (is that simply f?) aperture:


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These photos are unprocessed. The 35 mm Nikkor and the Nokton have pretty much the same aperture and the same focal length, so it's not surprising that they look similar. But though the Nikkor shows some vignetting, the Nokton has notably more. That's not surprising for the Nikkor, since the adapter supplies only then inside 50% of the angle of view. It's difficult to compare the 85 mm Nikkor (reduced to 60 mm), since the perspective has changed. The best I can say is that the image quality doesn't look noticeably worse, though I may do some pixel-peeping some time later.

The other thing of interest is the shutter speed. The camera can't know the aperture, so it just sets the shutter speed: “1/12800” (a misunderstanding for 1/12500) for the Nikkor lenses, and 1/10000 for the Voigtländer. Why? I had already noted that the “f/0.95” didn't deliver double the light of f/1.4, and in fact I accidentally set it to f/1.2 for the first photos. But the shutter speeds that the camera chose were:

Aperture       speed
0.95       1/10000
1.2       1/10000
1.8       1/6400
2.0       1/5000

That would suggest that the Nokton maxes out at effectively f/1.4. I have a better lens that can do that.


NiZn battery behaviour
Topic: general, technology, opinion Link here

Taking my ring flash photos yesterday ended up with what I expected: the batteries went flat.

Well, as usual, one battery went flat. These were Nickel-Zinc batteries, and I've already noted that in almost every case, only one went flat. While the other three had dropped to about 1.55 V, this one was round 0.6 V.

Throw it away? That's what I've done in the past. But this time I measured the voltage some hours later, and it was back to about 1.2 V. So I charged it, and it reached the same level of charge as the others. Has it survived the ill-treatment? It's certainly worth thinking about, and that I should replace the batteries on the first sign of weakness.


New kitchen scales
Topic: food and drink, technology, opinion Link here

Yvonne has been looking for new kitchen scales for some time. There are plenty on eBay, and they all seem to work well, but they're so tiny. This was significantly larger, and much more expensive—$80 compared to the $12 or so that I paid for the eBay offerings.

But it had been halved in price, and in addition they were offering 20% shop-wide, so she “only” paid $32 for it. From Soehnle, a well-known German company, with the rather silly name “Page Comfort 400”, and no indication of the resolution (which proved to be the expected 1 g).

Came with a single sheet of “instructions” that carefully avoided language, just pictures to interpret. How hard can it be? Put in the batteries, turn on. Nothing. Try again. Worked. I have the impression that the electronics needed to charge up before working.

I've had difficulties with expensive scales before, during our time in Echunga, though I don't seem to have mentioned the fact: the scales drifted so fast that it was impossible to get a good reading. OK, we have two other scales here. Compare them with, as it happened, a mixer jug. The ones we had showed 1469.8 g and 1471 g, close enough. Sonny boy showed 1458 g.

Played around a bit, and it changed its mind. Now it was 1471 g. Really? Take off the jug and it showed 6 g. Tare (which takes a surprisingly long time) and weigh again. 1458 g. That doesn't even add up.

Why are these things still on the market? At least it explains the sharp markdown.


Thursday, 19 November 2020 Dereel Images for 19 November 2020
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Still more grid outages!
Topic: Stones Road house, general, opinion Link here

Another two grid power failures today, both transients. Somehow it's not worth noting them in this diary, especially as it requires more effort than anything else. From now on I'll record them on the outages page, but not here, unless there's a special reason.


Cat caught after the event
Topic: animals Link here

Found on the kitchen work surface today, next to the stove:


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Australian houses are really terrible with their open, barn-like designs. There's no way to close off the kitchen.


Focus limitations
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

I took the photos of the cat pawprints with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 75 mm f/1.8. To my surprise, I couldn't focus that close. I had to use extension tubes, pretty much the first time I have had to do that for “normal” photos.


Still more wide aperture lenses
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

Yesterday's wide aperture lens experiments were interesting, but rather off the beaten track—I thought. Then today I discovered this news item: Cosina have announced a new lens for the Micro Four Thirds system, a Super Nokton 29 mm f/0.8. That's ⅔ stop wider than my Voigtländer Nokton 25 mm f/0.95, and possibly the widest aperture lens on the market at the moment.

Is it worth it? The f/0.95 Nokton isn't the sharpest lens I've seen, at least fully open (and how else would you use it?). And the new lens has a list price of $2,100 US. But unlike my current crop of Nikkor f/1.4 lenses, which become f/0.99 with the Viltrox adapter, there are no Nikon lenses with the f/1.1 that I would need to be able to reduce the aperture to f/0.8.


Sate ayam again
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Ate the remainder of a pack of sate ayam (chicken satay) today, this time grilling as Yvonne had wished, 20 minutes at 230° in the “hair dryer” “air fryer”. They seem to have come out well:


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Not so the ketupat, which I had also deep frozen. Usually deep frozen cooked rice comes out almost indistinguishable from fresh, but this tasted terrible cold. Heated up it was a little better, but not to be repeated.


Friday, 20 November 2020 Dereel → Ballarat → Dereel Images for 20 November 2020
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Cheese fish dofu?
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

On Wednesday Yvonne bought some fish dofu in town, and today I opened it for breakfast.


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What's that? Cheese fish dofu? What kind of idea is that? It's not the only strangeness: the stuff comes from Hutan Melintang, Perak, Malaysia, which sounds like it's somewhere out in the jungle. The name rings a bell, and on checking I discover that we set sail for it in the late 1960s, though at the time I spelt it “Utang Melantang”, probably a spelling given to me by our skipper. I had the impression that it was only accessible by sea. “Hutan” means “forest” (think of the forest people, Orang Utan). And the street address Jalan Tepi Sungai, the old spelling, means “river edge road”. Certainly not the big smoke.

And the text is in Chinese, English and French—but not Malay. And the packaging unit was 450 g, clearly a nod to the old avoirdupois pound measurement. What market is it designed for? If it were North America, you'd expect Spanish in addition to French.

It was edible, but not to be repeated.


More dental stuff
Topic: health, opinion Link here

Into town today for my six-monthly dental checkup. It seems that it's been 4½ years since my last dental X-ray, so he did another set today. And found that there's some decay in a hard-to-reach place on a molar (7 upper left, or however the dentists call it). Well, he noted that 4½ years ago, but it seems to have spread. He has given me a number of options:

  1. Do nothing, and it will probably require removal in 2 to 3 years' time.
  2. Clean with high-fluoride toothpaste, and it will probably require removal in 2 to 3 years' time.
  3. Drill through the chewing surface and fix it like that. Not a good idea for chewing.
  4. Drill from the front, very difficult.
  5. Remove number 8 molar and go from the side. Could be issues with the maxillary sinus, as 4 years ago with the number 7 on the other side.

So which do I do? They're going to send me the X-rays by email. Then I go to Lake Imaging for another X-ray, and then we discuss. I took the high-fluoride toothpaste in the meantimg


A film
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

While in town, dropped into Camera House in Sturt Street, apparently a franchise and otherwise the oldest camera shop in Australia (founded 1872). I had decided to put a film through my Nikon FM2, and ended up taking two. I had forgotten how expensive film is: with developing, and without printing, a 36 exposure roll of Fujicolor 200 will cost me $21, or about 58¢ per shot. That's such a difference from digital cameras.


Returning the sonny boy scales
Topic: food and drink, general Link here

Also while in town, brought back the scales that Yvonne bought on Wednesday. Fortunately they misbehaved for the sales staff too, so there was no problem returning them.


Saturday, 21 November 2020 Dereel Images for 21 November 2020
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“Lobster” bisque
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

We rather liked the “seafood bisque” that we bought from ALDI a couple of months ago, but it seemed like something that we could do better, so today Yvonne started on her own recipe, based on this recipe.

It wasn't bad:


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That is, apart from minor problems due to the use of using antiquated cookers:


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Air fried chicken
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

While Yvonne slaved away, I tried something simpler: roast chicken.

But why do it in the oven when we have an “air fryer”? That sounds ideal for it, in this case the “hair dryer”. . And sure enough, the “instructions” included roast chicken: 200°, 25-50 minutes, rotisserie with chicken forks.

Isn't that typical? What weight of chicken? OK, off looking for the chicken forks, thoughtfully supplied without attaching screws; I had to remove them from the skewer plates. Put the chicken (a relatively small one, 1.65 kg) on the rotisserie, and...


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It won't fit. Whatever the instructions person thought (if anything), it clearly related to an even smaller chicken. I don't think you can get anything smaller in Australia; a more typical size is 2.2 kg. OK, put it on the rack, inverted:


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Start cooking. After 3 minutes I had:


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3 minutes! OK, turn it over, turn the heat down to 170°, and continue. That was a lot better. After 45 minutes, it looked reasonable, but most definitely not cooked:


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Turn it over, insert the meat thermometer. 56°. It needs to get to 80°. OK, turn the temperature back to 180° and continue. It took a total of 100 minutes. So much for it being faster. In the oven I would have expected 83 to 91 minutes. OK, it was done at 170° for much of the time, but I had expected it to be faster than in the oven. No time to let it rest.


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On the positive side, it seemed to have been cooked more evenly than in the oven. Normally there's an issue that either the breast is overcooked or the legs are undercooked, but this time everything looked right:


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So it looks like it's worthwhile, at least for smaller chickens that fit into the device.


The Haeberlin of our garden
Topic: animals, gardening Link here

We've frequently found wattle birds eating from our Kniphofias (off to the left of this image):


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Next time I'll try to get it before it flies away.

What does that have to do with Haeberlin? Haeberlin is the name of the family that runs the Auberge de l'Ill, one of the best restaurants in France. Yvonne found that the attraction of the flowers suggested excellent taste.


Sunday, 22 November 2020 Dereel Images for 22 November 2020
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Garden flowers in late spring
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

It's a month until the December solstice, time for my monthly garden flower series.

Somehow the garden is not doing well. We've been here for 5½ years, and there's almost nothing to show for it. A comparison after the same time in Kleins Road makes that very clear.

In particular, the Paulownia kawakamii looks as if it will never grow. It's still only about 1 m high. Here it is next to the parent tree in Kleins Road taken at the same age:


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It's not dead; there are still leaves on it.


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But it seems to have gone backwards in the last month or so. Water? Took a look round and found:


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Both of those appear to have been accidents when Paul mowed the lawn. The first is on the corner of the riding arena, and while it didn't directly impact the Paulownia, it might have reduced the flow. The second is more direct: it's the dripper for the Corymbia ficifolia. Not surprisingly, it's not looking happy:


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And then there was an area round the entrance to the north garden, where it seems that a lot of water has got out:


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It'll be fun finding that.

But it's not all just watering. The Buddleja × weyeriana that I planted two months ago was already looking sick earlier in the week:


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But since then it deteriorated rapidly. I had planned to put it in a pot, but by the time I got round to it it looks as if it was too late:


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It was moist, it had fertilizer, but it just died. Why? In Kleins Road they grew like fury. It seems as if the roots had rotted away. Fortunately I have one more plant, but where can I plant it?

Plants that aren't doing quite as badly are the ornamental cherry tree and the Banksia integrifolia. The latter seems happier than last month, though there have been relatively few flowers:


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Then there are plants like the Camellia japonica, which has flowered, but despite large quantities of fertilizer, the leaves are still yellow. And it's hardly any bigger than when we bought it ten years ago.. I suppose the positive way to look at it is that it has survived that long.


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The bed around it is full of Tropaeolum, which is looking very happy:


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I wonder if it's a question of root competition.

Another plant that has—indirectly—survived 10 years is my last remaining cutting of the Hibiscus rosa-sinensis “Uncle Max”, which I got on my 60th birthday 12 years ago. The original cutting has died, but the one I planted outside is showing some signs of recovery:


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I suppose it's an indication of the sad state of affairs that that seems to be progress. But later in the summer I'll take some cuttings and try to cultivate it indoors again.

The Clematis are doing acceptably. The “General Sikorski” is flowering relatively well, while the mistreated “Edo Murasaki” is at least growing; hopefully we'll see some flowers in the autumn.


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About the only things that seem to be doing really well are the roses, as I've noted this time last year and the year before:


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If I continue with gardening—and currently I'm certainly not sure—it would make sense to plant more roses.


Fake lobster
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

More strange food that Yvonne bought on Wednesday:


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Lobster balls? On the face of it, that's similar to the fish balls, pork balls and other things that I put in Chinese and Malaysian soups. But reading the list of ingredients is instructive:


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No lobster at all, only 1.5% lobster flavour! Interestingly, though, it didn't taste bad.


Steak and kidney pie yet again
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

More out of lack of inspiration than interest, we ate steak and kidney pie again this evening.


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And once again there were things to change. One obvious thing was that the second pie wasn't evenly browned: some of the juice in the filling boiled over. So: less filling. That's particularly the case for Yvonne, who only managed half of half a pie.


Monday, 23 November 2020 Dereel Images for 23 November 2020
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Rain!
Topic: general, gardening, opinion Link here

Lots of rain overnight:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201123/big/Rain-2.jpeg
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In fact, I think it's a record, 55 mm:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201123/big/Rain-3.jpeg
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Thirteen years ago we had a record rainfall, which I calculated to be 53.1 mm, but looking at the photo I took at the time (first image), it looks as if it was considerably less. This time I took the same kind of rain gauge, measured the volume in two steps, and came to 52 mm. But clearly there was more water in the gauge today:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20071104/big/rainfall-2.jpeg
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201123/big/Rain-4.jpeg
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And despite the extractor pump, it looks like water flooded into the entrance of the house:


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At least I don't have to worry about plants that weren't getting enough water from the sprinkler system.


Tuesday, 24 November 2020 Dereel Images for 24 November 2020
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Huevos a la tigre again
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Breakfast today was huevos a la tigre again, my take on huevos a la flamenca, which I now discover is a variant on Shakshouka. I'm still refining the process. I think it needs more time, both cooking and then cooling down, probably 15 minutes and then up to 30 minutes for the cooling.


Singapore through the ages
Topic: history, opinion Link here

Five years ago I commented about geographical inaccuracies in US American documentary films, here one made by the prestigious National Geographic [!] Society:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20151119/big/Muenzig.png
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Leipzig? That's the Frauenkirche in München!

But it's not just the US Americans who can make such deliberate mistakes. We've just finished watching a German TV film, „Der letzte Patriarch“. It starts off in Lübeck, which Yvonne recognized from the view even before I did. But it was clear from the credits that it also took place in Singapore: names like Tan Kheng Hua don't come from anywhere else.

Wrong, fool! It took place in Shanghai. OK, Singapore actors can be in Chinese films too. But there's more. Most of the action in “Shanghai” takes place near this building:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201123/big/Singapore-2.jpeg
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That's the Singapore Post Office, though the surroundings don't look right. I recall it something like this:

https://www.roots.gov.sg/CollectionImages/1106115.jpg

But no, wrong again. That's the way I remember it, but it stopped being a post office in 1997. Now it's the Fullerton Hotel. Still, what's a Singapore landmark doing in Shanghai? Clearly the car above is registered in Singapore. From earlier in the same scene:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201123/big/Singapore-1.jpeg
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That's very clearly a Singapore registration plate. Elsewhere it's also clear that they drive on the left. But that's nothing that can't be fixed on the fly. Without stopping, it seems, it changes to:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201123/big/Shanghai-2.jpeg
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That looks like a Chinese registration plate, and the 海 is the second part of 上海, Shanghai. So it's really just a case of very poor continuity. From my point of view, I was glad to recognize the places.

Of course, that also meant looking at maps. Once upon a time, the post office was on the coast, at the mouth of the Singapore river. But that was in a different millennium. With some searching found a whole set of maps of Singapore, from the National University of Singapore, going back as far as 1846, and with some kind of comparative overlay system that I haven't quite understood yet. But these three views, from 1953 (the year before I first arrived in Singapore), 2005 and 2020 seem to give a good overview (run the cursor over an image to compare it with its neighbour):


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201123/big/Singapore-map-1953-cropped.png
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201123/big/Singapore-map-2020-cropped.png
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In passing, it's interesting to see the Adelphi hotel marked (with misspelling) on the oldest map. I stayed there on two occasions, at least in September 1965 and on one other occasion much earlier, before I started keeping a diary, but I can't decide when it was. By contrast, the Raffles Hotel, which has been there all along, is only marked on the last map (at the top, just right of the centre).


Xanthorrhoea in flower
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

The Xanthorrhoea are in flower down Grassy Gully Road:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201124/big/Xanthorrhoea-1.jpeg
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It's interesting to note how distorted the inflorescences can be:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201124/big/Xanthorrhoea-6.jpeg
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201124/big/Xanthorrhoea-5.jpeg
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Upgrading eureka: yet another tack
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Upgrading eureka seems to be a never-ending task. It's been well over 7 months since I came up with the bright idea of running two computers again, and gradually updating the second (dereel) as I go along. Clearly this isn't working either.

Why not? One obvious reason is that the configuration has proved much more complicated than I expected. Where do I put my files? I ended up with a maze of little twisty symlinks, all different. And of course modern programs like firefox and (especially) Google Chrome have issues with networks. Chrome won't work at all on a remote display.

So: looking back, one of my previous attempts had been to build a system in a virtual machine and then migrate the image, ports and all, to a second partition on eureka. And I even got that far, but ran into more pain with DNS than I could bear. So how about having backup services on dereel and trying again? Made the first step today: copy the eureka root partition to a new virtual disk on eureso.

Here's to the next 6 months.


Wednesday, 25 November 2020 Dereel Images for 25 November 2020
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Dry noodles
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

I eat a great variety of noodles, but one kind has been lying around for some time:


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In fact, they expired nearly 4 years ago. High time to cook them. The problem is that they're individual woven “baskets” of about 55 g, which I unfortunately didn't think of taking photos before I cooked them. I like portions of 180 g cooked noodles. My rule of thumb is that noodles approximately double in weight when cooked, so I would end up with 110 g or 220 g. These were the last two baskets. What to do?

Started cooking them anyway, in the process discovering on the package:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201125/big/Noodles-2-detail.jpeg
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OK, so I should end up with 440 g of noodles. I can do more with that. In fact, I ended up with 350, marginally on the low side for two portions. But the real problem was the cooking time: according to the packaging, they should be done in 3 minutes. In fact, they took 6.

Why? Noodles always seem to take longer to cook than the packaging suggests. Why? I don't like mushy noodles, but after 3 minutes the noodles were really hard. Time for a cooking times page.


Beetles!
Topic: animals Link here

While walking the dogs, found these Leptospermum bushes:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201125/big/Beetles-9.jpeg
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Somehow they didn't look right. On closer examination, they were covered in thousands of metallic green beetles:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201125/big/Beetles-1-detail.jpeg
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They flew off when I touched the bush. How do I get a good photo of them? I must really remember to take a macro lens with me when I walk the dogs.


Rearranging plants
Topic: gardening Link here

A bit of particularly frustrating gardening today. The tomatoes and chilis are not doing very well outside. The best thing I can say about the chilis that I planted out at the beginning of last month is that the Serrano isn't dead yet, though it's a shadow of its former self (first photo):


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201001/big/Chilis-3.jpeg
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201121/big/Chile-serrano.jpeg
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The arbol is dead, along with the “Tommy toe” tomato that I planted nearby. By contrast, the ones left inside aren't doing badly, so it seems reasonable to keep at least some of them inside. Planted the last “Beefsteak” tomato in the pot in which the original Hibiscus rosa-sinensis “Uncle Max” died:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201126/big/Tomato-Beefsteak.jpeg
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Somehow that was quite an effort. Is it my age? Or did just everything go wrong?

Also planted one each Chile Serrano and Chile de Arbol in bigger pots:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201126/big/Chile-serrano.jpeg
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201126/big/Chile-de-arbol.jpeg
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There are one more of each chile. Should I plant them in pots too, or outside? Last year's harvest of the Thai chilis was less than worthwhile: I could have bought that many chilis for less than the plant cost me.


eureso and other frustrations
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Finally got round to building a new world on eureso, the virtual copy of eureka. It didn't get far:

sh /eureka/home/src/FreeBSD/svn/stable/12/tools/install.sh -s -o root -g wheel -m 555   make make.amd64/bmake
install: make.amd64/bmake: No such file or directory
*** Error code 71

Stop.
make[2]: stopped in /eureka/home/src/FreeBSD/svn/stable/12/usr.bin/bmake

What's that? Do I have Yet Another Corrupt Source Tree? Established that there was no /usr/obj hierarchy. What is this crap? Is the system too old to build the current FreeBSD-12 system? How do I work around it? Enough frustration for one day. I'll look at it tomorrow.


Thursday, 26 November 2020 Dereel Images for 26 November 2020
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Frijoles de la olla revisited
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Time to make more frijoles de la olla (Mexican beans) today. I've been making them for a long time, but there's always room for improvement. Recently we've found a source of frijoles negros, so I used them, of course. And there's the question of epazote. How much? Initially, when it was expensive, I put in a couple of grams of dried epazote (the equivalent of the recommended “two bay leaves”), which had almost no influence on the taste. But now I have grown some, and I have lots of it in the freezer. Last time I used 8 g. I've seen videos where they used much more, so this time I used 72 g. And the idea of using bay leaves instead is just plain wishful thinking.

In addition, what about the chilis? I blend the onions and the garlic with the tomatoes, but in the past I cut the chilis into strips. Why? This time I blended them too, which certainly made a difference to the taste. Maybe I should reduce the quantity next time.


Upgrading eureso, 2nd try
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Why couldn't I build bmake on eureso yesterday? Could it be that FreeBSD 12 has changed too far from release 10? OK, how about an intermediate step of release 11?

cc  -O2 -pipe  -I/eureka/home/src/FreeBSD/svn/stable/11/lib/libnv -MD  -MF.depend.dnvlist.o -MTdnvlist.o -std=gnu99  -Qunused-arguments  -I/usr/obj/eureka/home/src/FreeBSD/svn/stable/11/tmp/legacy/usr/include -c /eureka/home/src/FreeBSD/svn/stable/11/sys/contrib/libnv/dnvlist.c -o dnvlist.o
/eureka/home/src/FreeBSD/svn/stable/11/sys/contrib/libnv/dnvlist.c:50:10: fatal error: 'sys/dnv.h' file not found
#include <sys/dnv.h>
         ^
1 error generated.
*** Error code 1

Stop.
bmake[3]: stopped in /eureka/home/src/FreeBSD/svn/stable/11/lib/libnv

What's that? I don't want to know. Quarter of a century later, and I'm still running into this kind of problem. This should Just Work.

More thinking. Let's build the system on dereel and install it onto eureso. Mañana.


Beetles again
Topic: animals, opinion Link here

Walked the dogs towards Bliss Road again today, armed with two cameras and a macro lens. Yes, the beetles are still there:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201126/big/Beetles-12-detail.jpeg
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201126/big/Beetles-3-detail.jpeg
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201126/big/Beetles-8-detail.jpeg
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What are they?


Greg's monitors
Topic: photography, general, technology, opinion Link here

Once again somebody wanted to see how my now monitors are arranged on my desk top. The obvious projection is cylindrical, since that's the way I view the monitors, but previous attempts have been less than successful:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200816/big/Office-monitors.jpeg
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Apart from the ever-present Moiré, which no software seems to be able to remove, there's a question of distance from the monitors and their relative height.

OK, dammit, take a single photo with an extreme wide-angle lens. Rectilinear or fisheye? Conventional wisdom is that fisheyes distort and rectilinears don't:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201126/big/Desktop-monitors-3.jpeg
Image title: Desktop monitors 3          Dimensions:          5033 x 1710, 1419 kB
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All images taken on Thursday, 26 November 2020, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 26 November 2020, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 26 November 2020 Complete exposure details

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201126/big/Desktop-monitors-4.jpeg
Image title: Desktop monitors 4          Dimensions:          6980 x 3888, 3576 kB
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Diary entry for Thursday, 26 November 2020 Complete exposure details

 

That is in fact the same photo, taken with the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye PRO, but the second time it was “defished”, making it look something like the output of a 5 mm rectilinear lens. Look at the right-hand monitor. So much for “distortion”!


Friday, 27 November 2020 Dereel Images for 27 November 2020
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Fixing the drippers
Topic: gardening Link here

It's been five days since I discovered significant damage to the sprinkler system:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201122/big/Sprinkler-leak-1-detail.jpeg
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All images taken on Sunday, 22 November 2020, thumbnails