No rest over Christmas

Another study period is coming to a close. I think I have done okay in this session, but we’ll see in about 2 weeks when the last results start to filter in. One unit was very different from my others – Performing Arts had me writing AND singing a song and ALSO making up and dancing a dance. Very different from anything I have done before. But actually an enjoyable unit. The other unit was alright, but the assessments were somewhat vague (though I did get 75% on the first one).

I’m not sure that I wrote about this, but I did end up failing a unit in the previous session, so I have decided to repeat that unit this next period. I’ll only do one unit as it appears that there is no break over Christmas. With each period being 13 weeks, there are only 52 weeks in a year… do the maths…. there are only about 3 days free all year.

So by my calculations, my first assessment for the next unit will be due on December 30. Ouch.

So doing one unit, and it being a repeat I hope to be able to get stuck into the assessment early and really make a solid start of it well before then.

A busy lead up to Christmas then.

Watching the traffic

Something you can’t help but pay attention to while riding is other drivers. For obvious reasons, a rider’s life is much more dependent upon being aware of what the cars (and other vehicles) around you are doing.

So after a few years in traffic you get to pick up signs of what people are planning to do, often even before they even realise it themselves. The guy glancing to his right – there’s a strong chance he’s going to be changing lanes. The car slow or moving about in their lane – probably on their phone, all these signs are there and sometimes you don’t even realise you’re seeing them. But you’re slowing or checking your escape options.

So when the the guy in the ute next to me is driving along with his hand on his indicator I was pretty certain he was just waiting for a chance to change into my lane. I had only a car length a bit in front of me, so when the ute moved forward a bit and indicated right (into my lane) I was not surprised or very happy. I held my ground as there was plenty of room behind and there was no reason for him to cut in so tightly.

And I’m well glad I did, the ute dropped back and changed behind me. Immediately he then changed further right, slowing for a turn lane.

So if I had let him in, he would have immediately slowed with me less than a car length behind him, and changed lanes again. A good chance that I might have crashed into him.

Assignment Success

75%

30/40

That’s the mark on my most recent essay.

Pretty sure that it’s the best mark I have ever got in an essay. I mean ever! 

So I was pretty stoked with that. I think it might be the best I get but it was sure nice to get such a positive response.

Only the first assignment of 3 for that unit, and there’s a whole other unit right now, so onwards….

Post Track Day

It didn’t go how I expected at all. There weather was warm but fine, if a little windy. I didn’t crash and that was an excellent result. I also made it up to 195kmh and I am confident that the bike could go a lot faster, I wasn’t very good at fully opening the throttle as quick as I could. 

But I hated it. 

I was terrified the whole time. Not so much about the possibility of crashing or even of getting hurt so much. 

I think I was terrified that my bike would be damaged. 

I felt a lot of pressure from the other riders and I know that was only perceived pressure, not actual pressure and that didn’t help. 

I kind of feel that it was a combination of all of the things I don’t like about group rides and the only positive was the lack of things to run into. 

There were a couple of small niggles about my bike that could have been hurting my confidence, but if it had been a ride out the Putty or something they wouldn’t have bothered me so I don’t think they were a big factor, certainly apart from a single moment in one turn the bike was flawless. 

But coming down the main straight at 190kmh looking at the turn that others were taking at probably 180kmh I was terrified, slowing ages before the turn to I guess something like 100kmh. 

It’s even got me to the point that I am considering changing bikes – getting a VFR or something rather than having a supersport. I do miss the VFR terribly (yes silly I know, it’s just a bike). 

Do I try a track day again? I’m not sure. If I did I would want to fix those couple of things and they’re easy fixes. 

See how we go. 

Track Day

First track day is in about 3 hours. Can’t find the meme I was looking for… but here’s some others that I liked on the subject. So, apparently it’s like this (I’m mostly nerves actually).

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And with the forecast today I’m all a bit

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They have a top of 33C and possible showers later. I’m hoping much later….

I am hopeful I’ll get to the end and

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(Cube!!) But ever fearful that I might do this.

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Which has been a huge part of why I haven’t done one yet.

 

Dying of the Light

I said I had two WoW problems (of course, there is the unspoken – I have resubbed to WoWcrack problem as well). The second is of course the iMac. Levelling with Miss 9 means running the PC and the iMac (any thoughts of an iOS version of WoW, lol) together. Normally not a problem. The PC, an ancient first gen i7 with a 9500GT – it’s pretty noisy but still running ok. As it boots from an SSD it’s very quick to start up actually. And then there’s the iMac.

So I talked somewhat about the problems a couple of posts ago. Even WoW is enough to push it too hard. It can be as long as an hour, or as little as ten minutes before bad things start happening on the screen and I need to quit. As long as I quit before a complete failure (with usually a mostly blank display) it seems to be able to carry on doing word processing etc after I’ve quit.

Otherwise, a reboot gets it back running. Still, that won’t last forever.

The case, the main heatsink for these computers gets very toasty. It always has, but it seems if this cools down then I get a bit longer out of it than if I try to start WoW when it’s already warm. I’m sure that’s either the root cause of the problem (heat stressed components failing over time, it’s a late 2010 model after all) or a symptom of it (the dying video card working harder than it needs to).

So come on Apple, announce MacMini updates if you’re going to so I can decide what to do. I’m starting to lean back towards the cheapest MacMini (second hand?) I can get and spend the money on a PC instead. Either way, I have 2 keyboards, 3 mice and a display all ready for whichever box I head down. I may be dual boxing on one screen.

Of course, I have all my fingers and toes and eyes crossed hoping I won’t get a total failure of the iMac before I am ready. Heck it’s hung on for a year already (more than 2 if you count back to when my original problems started occurring!)

NOTE: I am not considering the smaller iMacs (21.5″) as there is no advantage over the MacMini. None of the smaller ones run a discrete video card, only the larger Macbook Pros and 27″ Macs do. So I would be paying extra money for a (nice) screen.

Little WoWers

So Miss 9 wanted to try WoW again. They mucked about with it a few years ago when I was playing. Mostly they made new characters and had fun with that.

Miss 9 actually got in and started questing. Being older now, she quickly got a handle on controlling her toon (Miss 7 stills struggles with the mouse/KB in each hand – interesting demonstration of development). And so she started a BE Mage.

Then she started pestering me to team up with her.

So I (didn’t resubscribe) dusted off my main account (you can play to 20 just like a trial account) and made a BE Paladin. So we got started and levelled quickly together. It was about this time that I remembered about RAF. Ah well.

As she had more time (damn study) she kept getting a level or two ahead of me, then most of our combined sessions was me catching up. So I thought, I’ll resub and bring one of my high toons to help out when needed.

So I resubbed and logged in. Erm I can’t remember how to get to Silvermoon City and started with a zep to UC. I planned to go from there. Pumatay was going to get a run (being that he was only 57, I’m still sure he would have been helpful. And the idea was that eventually she would catch up and Puma could level with her.

But got annoyed and confused trying that and went back to levelling with her on my new toon.

Though now she has switched to a Tauren Hunter (yeah!). At least getting to Mulgore is easy.

And I have resubscribed.

And I have no idea what I am doing! The spells are ALL different and I am trying to read icy veins with one eye while playing with the other eye!

There are a couple of other troubles too. One is of course study. The other is the next post.

If/When the iMac died!

I’ve mentioned it a couple of times, that I am seriously worried about how much longer this iMac is going to last. Being awkward to fix, both through age (mostly) and the way they are constructed I’m not really intending to look at fixing it again.

Currently I can’t use full screen for videos or games. Anything that pushes the card too hard soon ends in no picture at all. Now I am also suffering errors that seem to be related to the hard drive. Though admittedly the evidence actually suggests a bug in Microsoft Word is possible.

So making plans.

Again (I’m always making big IT plans that don’t happen)

I also want to shrink the mid-tower case that the other PC uses, and see if I can make it a bit quieter. So here is my current set up.

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Study set up with the Mac and screen. PC to the right (smaller screen). The PC itself is on the lower shelf to the right, under the printer.

My plan is to get two mini-itx cases. They can sit side by side on the shelf, replacing the mid tower. That case is mostly space anyway. I don’t use any expansion cards and the DVDRW installed aren’t used (but I can always get cases for them if required).

Doing it this way will look really nice and tidy. I just need really long cables for one, to reach across to left side of the desk.

And to convert myself back to Windows.

Unless I also get a MacBook at some point.

I do have some technical specs sorted for both new PCs. One will be a complete new build and the other is currently in flux, with a bit of the old and a bit of the new. Though I have changed the cases since I took these pictures.

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This is the plan for the new one.  I need to get Win10 as I missed the upgrade window for my other Win 7 copy which isn’t currently installed anywhere. Its not going to win any races, but it will work and I’m sure playing WoW or MWO will be fine. Who knows, maybe I could even try getting through some of my Steam list. If I didn’t spend all the time studying, netflixing, with family, at work…..

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And here is the bitsa. Basically I’ll keep the SSD and GPU (for now anyway) and shrink everything else.

So let’s see if this goes anywhere.