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Monday, 15 January 2018 Dereel → Ballarat → Dereel Images for 15 January 2018
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Garden flowers in mid-summer
Topic: gardening Link here

Middle of the month, time for the monthly flower photos. There's certainly progress to be seen since last month. The Acer negundo (Box Elder) is growing happily. Here last month and this month:


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On the other hand, the birches seem to think that it's autumn.

 
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Not enough water? Too warm? Too much sun?

As expected, the Buddleja is flowering. Again the first image is from last month:

 
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The Clematis are also gradually recovering:

 
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On the other hand, the Hebes are doing differently. The white-flowering ones are happy, but the purple-flowering ones less so. Otherwise they look happy enough, so maybe this is just a seasonal thing:

 
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That's definitely the case for the Leucospermum cordifolium, which has reached the end of its flowering period:

 
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The roses weren't at all happy last month, but they're coming back in force:

 
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I think that was related to the problems we had with the irrigation.

The salvias in the north bed looked pretty much dead in early October, but they've recovered well:

 
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I'm somewhat ambivalent about this one, a thistle. On the one hand, it's pretty, but it's also a weed:

 
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The tree ferns are doing well enough, especially the one that Mick nearly killed off:

 
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Indoors, despite my expectations, the Phalaenopsis is still flowering, though it's on its last legs:

 
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As always, more photos on the photo page.


Yvonne's progress
Topic: health Link here

Call from Lara, a registrar (what do they do? Wikipedia seems vague, but this page, from the AMA, suggest that's it a trainee specialist) this morning. The MRI scan had shown that Yvonne also has a fractured scapula (shoulder blade), as we had feared, and that the crushing of vertebra T6 had resulted in fragments intruding into the spinal canal. In addition, the anterior ligament had ruptured.

It seems that operation is a last-ditch option for this sort of thing. The spinal cord has not been compromised, so they planned to fit a brace later this week, which she will need to wear pretty much all the time for the next three months. More to be determined by Mr. Tom Morris, the neurosurgeon.

Into town later in the day, first to take the water pump in for repair, then to the hospital. The new main entrance is open, and the entrance hall takes up enough space for a whole small hospital. Got directions to the ward (“Ward 2 North”). Getting out of the lift showed that I was in the right place:

 
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But where did I go from there? Looked around in all directions, and finally found it:

 
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Hand cleaning station? Danger? Keep out? That's just to fool intruders. It's the little red sign in the distance.

Yvonne is not feeling well:

 
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Since I spoke to Lara, it seems that things have changed. They want to try fitting the brace today, and if everything goes well, there's a possibility that she will be able to come home tomorrow. I'm not holding my breath. They have also told Yvonne that it'll be a year before she can ride again, which does nothing to help her frame of mind. I'm just glad that she won't be in a wheelchair.

I had brought euroa, the Microsoft laptop with me, and sure enough, the hospital has an 802.11 wireless network for patients. And sure enough, I couldn't connect. No WPA key, just a disclaimer to accept. Or so they say: I never got that far. Part of it seems to be that I had one of four wireless interfaces set up with a static IP, but even after I fixed that, I still couldn't connect. Never mind, Yvonne's not really in a position to use a computer at the moment.


Image stabilization in practice
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

Some of the photos I took this morning were in very limited light. Never mind, I was using the ultimate combination of image stabilized camera and lens: the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100 mm f/4.0 IS PRO. Together, they say, I should get roughly 6.5 stops of image stabilization. So the 1/6 s I used should have compared to about 1/500 s without stabilization.

Not quite:

 
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With flash, all was well. For once, the flash wasn't obtrusive:

 
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But why are the results that bad? I have relatively steady hands, and I was careful not to shake the camera. That's really quite disappointing.


Tuesday, 16 January 2018 Dereel Images for 16 January 2018
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Yvonne's progress
Topic: health Link here

Called up Yvonne in the early afternoon. No, they hadn't fitted the brace: they had decided that it wouldn't be necessary after all, and tomorrow they would let her get up and walk around. So she wouldn't be let out today. She was feeling quite nauseous, and didn't want to see me.

Later, as requested, I got a call from Emilia, who stressed that she was a junior doctor on the team, and for my liking a little too forcedly enthusiastic. The nausea came from the painkillers—they think—and there's a good chance that she'll be let out tomorrow. At least she was able to get up and walk around a little today. But I'm left wondering why they continually change their minds. Maybe it's the result of differing opinions from the myriads of people who have been looking at her.


Beer consumption and pricing
Topic: brewing, opinion Link here

I know that beer is expensive in Australia, and I know that they drink a lot of it in Czechia. But these statistics from Statista surprised me nevertheless:

https://www.statista.com/chart/12510/the-countries-drinking-the-most-beer/

https://www.statista.com/chart/12508/the-countries-spending-the-most-on-beer/

That suggests that beer costs USD 1.08 per litre in Czechia and USD 6.30 per litre in Australia. That seems reasonable (well, plausible: the price itself is unreasonable).


More XXX TV X configuration
Topic: multimedia, opinion Link here

I still don't have this XXX TV thing working properly with X. It seems that it continually reconnects, causing a brief delay in the output. The log files show continual blocks of this, about 2 to 3 times a second:

[  1798.037] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): XXX TV (DFP-1): connected
[  1798.037] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): XXX TV (DFP-1): Internal TMDS
[  1798.037] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): XXX TV (DFP-1): 340.0 MHz maximum pixel clock

What I've established so far:

So: where do I go from here? At some level it's an Nvidia bug. Try using the standard driver, like I did with lagoon in November. But the results were different: I couldn't get more than 1024×768 Yet Again.

OK, back to the nvidia driver. What about the devd claim? Stopped devd, and sure enough, I got this in the log file about every 10 seconds:

      [   496.411] (EE) config/devd: fail to connect to devd

But the connect messages continued. OK, RTFM time. One of the options is:

Option "ConnectedMonitor" "string"

Allows you to override what the NVIDIA kernel module detects is connected to your graphics card. This may be useful, for example, if you use a KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) switch and you are switched away when X is started. In such a situation, the NVIDIA kernel module cannot detect which display devices are connected, and the NVIDIA X driver assumes you have a single CRT.

OK, try that. I selected DFP because that's what's connected, but it seems that it wanted DFP-1. But that's incidental. It didn't do what I wanted and ignore anything else. It chose DFP-1, though I hadn't mentioned it, and hung for some reason that I don't want to investigate.

The next option is:

Option "UseDisplayDevice" "string"

The "UseDisplayDevice" X configuration option is a list of one or more display devices, which limits the display devices the NVIDIA X driver will consider for an X screen. The display device names used in the option may be either specific (with a numeric suffix; e.g., "DFP-1") or general (without a numeric suffix; e.g., "DFP").

At least it mentioned the suffixes here. It also mentioned the device TV, which sounded appropriate, though it didn't say what it meant. But the limitation didn't work:

[    17.158] (**) NVIDIA(0): Option "UseDisplayDevice" "TV"
[    17.158] (**) NVIDIA(0): Enabling 2D acceleration
[    17.989] (--) NVIDIA(0): Valid display device(s) on GPU-0 at PCI:1:0:0
[    17.989] (--) NVIDIA(0):     CRT-0
[    17.989] (--) NVIDIA(0):     DFP-0
[    17.989] (--) NVIDIA(0):     DFP-1 (boot)
[    17.990] (II) NVIDIA(0): NVIDIA GPU GeForce GT 710 (GK208) at PCI:1:0:0 (GPU-0)
[    17.990] (--) NVIDIA(0): Memory: 2097152 kBytes
[    17.990] (--) NVIDIA(0): VideoBIOS: 80.28.b8.00.45
[    17.990] (II) NVIDIA(0): Detected PCI Express Link width: 8X
[    17.992] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): CRT-0: disconnected
[    17.992] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): CRT-0: 400.0 MHz maximum pixel clock
[    17.992] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0):
[    17.993] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): DFP-0: disconnected
[    17.993] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): DFP-0: Internal TMDS
[    17.993] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): DFP-0: 330.0 MHz maximum pixel clock
[    17.993] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0):
[    18.052] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): XXX TV (DFP-1): connected
[    18.052] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): XXX TV (DFP-1): Internal TMDS
[    18.052] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0): XXX TV (DFP-1): 340.0 MHz maximum pixel clock
[    18.052] (--) NVIDIA(GPU-0):

Not surprisingly, nothing changed.

Then I looked at Option "IgnoreDisplayDevices" "string", but that didn't do anything either.

Then I noticed the URL of the documentation: http://us.download.nvidia.com/XFree86/Linux-x86/340.98/README/xconfigoptions.html. That's wrong for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it's for Linux, and less obviously, it's for an older version (340.98, while I have version 384.98). OK, let's find the right one.

That proved to be almost impossible. None of the implied directories in that URL exist, all the way up to the home page http://us.download.nvidia.com/. Why did they do that? But then, the logical URL https://www.nvidia.com/ doesn't work either, at least not for me at the time of writing: it redirects to https://www.nvidia.com/en-au/geforce/products/10series/store/, which is 404.

Finally went to /usr/ports/x11/nvidia-driver/pkg-descr, which gave me the URL http://www.nvidia.com/object/unix.html. Finally I was able to find the complete documentation for this driver at http://us.download.nvidia.com/XFree86/FreeBSD-x86_64/384.111/README/index.html (note the version mismatch), and from there I could find the options page. But by then I was out of time.

What a pain!


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