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Mikimoto was here.

Monday, October 29, 2007


No, not that kind. This kind. A while back, I put my surplus computer parts back into a functioning unit; a somewhat mediocre but something that should be enough to act as a media center/PVR. I tried to configure Mythbuntu since I didn't want to shell out big bucks for an OS. Well. At least I tried. But after finding out that I need to map freaking buttons on my remote that came with the TV tuner card, I gave up. Yeah. I used my wallet to solve the problem. I feel I was intellectually defeated, but at the same time, thinking about time wasted and saved, I'm sure I'm even. Now, I have to get a few cables so that I can connect the media center to my surround system...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

It's a small world

It's freakin' scary. I got back in touch with a guy back from my days in Adelaide; I used to live at the same hall of residents with him, and knew the guy relatively well. Since then I lost contact with him for about 10 years or so until the other day. Yay Facebook. He told me that he just got married. Sure. Fair enough. It's been long. Then I found out who his wife is. I happened to know the girl as well, but quite separate from the guy... Back from my days in Canberra. I lived at another hall of residents in Canberra, and she was on the same floor as I was. What's the chance of that happening? Congrats to both though.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


I had some surplus computer parts generated from my recent upgrade. What can I do with them...? Well. By just adding a case, I can make another computer out of them! And then why not throw in a DVD burner and a TV capture board to make it a media centre? So... I went ahead and bought all that, and somehow managed to drag the whole lot on the Link bus. It took me maybe an hour or two to put everything together that boots. What about software? I like Ubuntu, and I wanted to give a go at MythTV. I found out that there is a Mythbuntu, a distro based on Ubuntu that is optimized for use with MythTV. I downloaded it, burnt it on a CD then booted the surplus machine. It booted up alright, it installed alright but I just cannot configure it properly... The plan was to get it connected to my SkyTV STB using coax cable to the analog tuner on the WinTV PVR 150; SCART on my decoder doesn't seem to do S-VHS so there is no choice. But... It just isn't working. Tried a few things but to no avail. Network connection seems to be dodgey as well; update doesn't seem to work, though it is fetching weather forecast info okay. Remote is partially working but arrow keys and not much else; probably needs key mapping by hand or something. 10 years ago, probably I would've found all this as a challenge, and put in effort to make it work. But now? I got older, and got slacker. I don't find this fun anymore. If you cannot make it work, use your wallet; if you don't have money, use your brain; if you don't have brain, sweat it out, or so the Japanese proverb goes. I guess I am choosing to use my wallet... What a drag.

Monday, October 15, 2007


I've just upgraded my home computer... I'm just amazed how things got so cheap over the years. The first upgrade I've ever done was on an IBM PS/2 286 machine; increasing memory from 1 MB to whopping 2 MB! Enough to run that Windows 3.0... Those were the days! (on the reflection, no, not really) That was back in '89. It has come a long way since then, and my machine kept getting better. I went to 486 after that then to Pentium and Pentium II while I was at the grad school. I then went through a few Athlons while I was in the US. The other day though, I kept thinking about how my machine has become sluggish, and also a need for a retail therapy. So I've upgraded from an AMD Athlon64 3700+, 1.5GB mem and ATI Radeon X800 machine to an Intel Core 2 Quad, 3GB mem and nVidia 8800GTS machine. I just gutted my computer and replaced the guts of it. And oh my goodness it's fast. I mean, the previous set was no slouch, but... Anyway. I'm pretty happy with what I got, and hopefully this will speed up things like rendering stuff in Image/J... Well, I guess not just that program, but...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Nightmare returns

It's been a year since I moved in at my poxy little apartment. And it's this time last year I got struck down by that nightmarish creature from hell... My place got sprayed by an exterminator sent by my landlord, and the problem was gone for a year... Then they are back. I woke up with small insect bites! Yikes! They are back! It must be a seasonal thing... F*cking fleas. I'd better make another call to the landlord... Damn.