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Sunday, 23 January 2022 Dereel Images for 23 January 2022
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Disk copy: done
Topic: technology, multimedia, opinion Link here

Finally the copy of my video files from teevee to tiwi is done, after about 40 hours:

sent 6,737,984,445,407 bytes  received 1,008,718 bytes  49,277,153.17 bytes/sec
total size is 10,965,075,308,067  speedup is 1.63

Those are interesting figures, but one is clearly missing: how long did it take? I can calculate it (not quite 38 hours), but wouldn't it be easy to include it?

The other thing of interest is the total size, round 50% more than the size of the disk. It seems that it has been counting the size of every file name without checking if it is a link. That would also explain the “speedup” claim: it should have been very close to 1.0.

But somehow I had so much on my plate today that I didn't get any further.

Sourdough starter strangeness
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Time to bake bread today (in fact, it was yesterday, but I forgot). And for once there was no darkening on my starter. But it still looked strange:
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Is that some kind of fungus? We'll see: I used it anyway.

Catching the honeyeater
Topic: photography, animals Link here

The Kniphofia flowers outside the dining room attract a number of different honeyeaters. For some time I have been planning to get photos, but of course it's not easy. Place a camera on the other side of the window, put a flash where it won't reflect off the window, add a remote control, turn on the camera and wait:
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It wasn't easy. Getting the exposure right showed that I had serious issues with the remote flash trigger. Of 10 test photos, it only flashed 3 times, and that after much cleaning, screwing and cursing. OK, cable it is.

A little later, still no honeyeater. But the battery was dead! Yes, this is the old Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark I, now over 8 years old, and with equally old batteries. What should I do? Wouldn't it be nice to have a mains power supply? But it seems that for that I need a battery grip and power supply. Is it worth it?

Monday, 24 January 2022 Dereel
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Actron Air: No support
Topic: Stones Road house, general, opinion Link here

Our Actron Air air conditioner is not behaving correctly. It's not clear what the problem is, but when it gets warm (even as opposed to hot) outside, it no longer cools adequately.

The obvious assumption would be lack of coolant. But unlike our two deep freezers, arguably suffering from the same problem, it doesn't even try. In my office I have the temperature set to 24°, but the temperature rises to nearly 26°. If it were lack of coolant, it should run continuously, like the freezers, but it continually stops. On the other hand, the exhaust air from the coils of the external units is relatively cool, so it could be a combination of inadequate coolant and overheating elsewhere in the outdoor unit.

It's been six months since our the air conditioner started showing problems: first an E17 “peripherals error”, and from then on frequent E25 “ambient temperature not updated”. At the time I called up Mechtrol and got voice mail and no call back on my message.

Gradually the E25s went away, and so I ignored it, though it did seem that the temperature control was less accurate. But I can't ignore it any more. Found a real number for Mechtrol in Geelong, 5243 1036. Called up and spoke to Gene, who didn't want to know. They don't want to do residential air conditioners any more, and Actron didn't pay enough for the warranty calls. And nowadays air conditioners have more computers in them than in your phone. While that's quite an exaggeration, I can sympathize: I can't make up my own mind where the problem might lie, and that's one of the reasons I didn't want somebody coming on site, scratching his head and leaving because he couldn't find a fault.

It wasn't until I told Gene that the unit was out of warranty that he thawed slightly and told me that the people in Ballarat were really a separate operation, and gave me the phone number of Helen, the person I called last July. Told him so and he said “see, they don't really want to do it”. Then he gave me the number of Mark, 0418 993 460.

Called him. Voice mail. But he called back quickly and told me the same story: they don't want to know, and in any case they're booked out for 30 days. Other companies to try? Celsius, Ballarat refrigeration, Mt Clear refrigeration, ... He doesn't know any of them.

Dammit, that's not good enough. Time to contact ActronAir's service department on 1800 119 229. Yes, I can fill out a web form, but it requires a business name and all this nonsense that seem to be normal for web forms. So waited on the phone for 15 minutes before being connected with Katarina, who asked me for my serial number—not even the model—and had all my details. Now why can't the web forms do that?

OK, she says, the company you're looking for is Metrol. Not Mechtrol? Ah, yes, Mechtrol. Told her what they thought. Put me on hold, and finally came up with A1 Air Control, a company without a web site, in Camperdown, 90 km away! Phone number is 5593 1039, though Google gives me (03) 5231 6061, a Geelong number (120 km away) from Camperdown. And they, too, would have a wait of 30 business days (6 weeks)!

Somehow this is just not acceptable. Yes, January isn't the slowest time for air conditioner repairers, but they managed much faster two years ago. Maybe it's really time to install a second air conditioner from a different maker so that we don't have any down time.

Yet another NBN outage
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

A third National Broadband Network problem today. Unlike the high packet loss scenarios on Friday and Saturday, this was the well-known total outage, nearly 55 minutes. Was that maybe NBN repairing the underlying cause? In any case, let's hope that that's the end of it.

This page contains (roughly) yesterday's and today's entries. I have a horror of reverse chronological documents, so all my diary entries are chronological. This page normally contains the last two days, but if I fall behind it may contain more. You can find older entries in the archive. Note that I often update a diary entry a day or two after I write it.     Do you have a comment about something I have written? This is a diary, not a “blog”, and there is deliberately no provision for directly adding comments. It's also not a vehicle for third-party content. But I welcome feedback and try to reply to all messages I receive. See the diary overview for more details. If you do send me a message relating to something I have written, please indicate whether you'd prefer me not to mention your name. Otherwise I'll assume that it's OK to do so.

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