Progress is a funny thing

So when I was about 10, if I wanted to listen to music, I put a tape in my Walkman, put the headphones on and pressed play. If I wanted to listen in the lounge, I moved the tape in the Hi-fi in the lounge and pressed play.

Today to listen in the lounge I used my phone app to switch on the amp, and then remote control my iMac to select the playlist and play over the network.

The iMac dutifully fetched the songs from the NAS, then AirPlay across to the Amp, which played it out the speakers, while displaying the track info on the TV.

So, including the switch and the router (for the Wifi), that’s SEVEN devices, just to play a song.

It sounds silly like that, but then when you think that I can

  • play the same music upstairs or in the computer room (I can actually play different music in both if I get the Apple TVs involved) at the same time;
  • play music outside;
  • play a movie inside and music outside;
  • play a movie on the computer, a different one upstairs, another different one downstairs, while listening to music outside.;
  • and only have 1 copy of the music or movie on the NAS.
  • and listen to music on the phone on headphones.

maybe it isn’t so silly???

 

Good Morning Windows 10

Wow. I’ve used & installed (usually several times) pretty much every Windows version since version 2. Except I never used 8 but apparently no great loss there. 

Now that I am home I let 10 have its way with the PC, kicking off the upgrade from 7 as I went to bed. 

This morning I woke to find the upgrade complete bar a couple of setting requests (sending info to Microsoft and Favourites Importing type queries) and logged in. 

All the software seems to be running, Office didn’t need reinstalling, neither did Skype or well the new Edge of course. Actually that’s about all the PC gets used for.  Log in to a few websites like Facebook and TFC and its sorted. 

That was by far the best ever Windows upgrade or install in nearly 30 years. Very impressed. Can’t say much about the OS itself as I really haven’t used it in anger yet. 

Not the right colour :(

My iMac has been showing symptoms that I think may be terminal, or at least probably very expensive.

In the past couple of weeks there has been the occasional flashes of pink/orange/green squares appearing randomly on the screen. This Sunday, when I returned from Sydney, the screen was covered in them. And the iMac seemed to be running slowly.

I am fairly confident in diagnosing a graphics cards in its last days. There are always other possibilities, but that is the most likely. The iMac is about 5 years old and the card is pretty tight in there. Yes the aluminium unibody would act as a heat sink, but it still gets warm. Running a second screen (also 1440 27″) may have hastened it’s demise.

So I’m struggling to export and back up. That’s to add to the 2 other backups I have of course. Perhaps I am being a little paranoid, but there is the possibility that I won’t return to a Mac at the end of this. So stuff has be available in a format that Windows can also use.

A couple of hiccups in the copy have me doing some direct shell work on my NAS. Seems the most reliable way to delete things from the server (there are some duplicates of the iPhoto Library I’m trying to get rid of).

It is also screwing up my study. I have an essay due this week and I’m not looking forward to having to sort it out without a computer!

Telstra.. you almost sorted it

So on 2 July Telstra actually got it right. Well at least mostly. Almost 3 months to the day, they managed to line up a phone number they issued me and the physical connection to the house so that the Tech could actually connect the two and hence us.

I got home on Friday and set up the ADSL and…. we’re back on the Internet.

I also set up the switch so that all of the ports in the house are connected (there’s 13 and the modem/router is only 4 port). Initially this was troublesome as the default Switch IP was the same as the existing Modem/Router IP. It also forgot everything I set it up with when I unplugged it the first time. But eventually I had it on a different IP and the entire house was live with ethernet and wifi all connecting to each other and the internet

TVs asked for updates, phones could AirPlay to the Amp it was a wondrous weekend. I still need to go around and actually ID all of the ports, but I have enough leads to have them all connected at the same time.

I said Telstra almost got it right. Well in the throes of screwing it all up, they made up a new contract, without my consent and created a whole new account and email address for me. I’ve fixed the first one, and will have to live with the second. They also sent me a new modem.

They also decided that I wasn’t entitled to the Federal Service Guarantee fees as there was a “Extreme Weather Event” in my area. Its one of the ways they get out of paying this fine and after checking with the Ombudsman they may have something. Scum, but not a surprise.

But I have internet and so Mrs can watch her TV shows. And you know what they say about Happy Wives…..

Old School

Ha, there is one thing I need to post. It’s my eldest birthday soon and one of the things on her list is a Nintendo 3DS. Not too keen on that idea, She already uses the PS1, the Wii, and the PC. And a PS3 when I move back to Sydney. I don’t think another game machine is right just now.

So I dug about in my box of stuff and pulled out my old Gameboy Colour with Red Pokemon and Pokemon Pinball. Pinball got some action for a while.

But then as I dug through the box I decided it was time for a real lesson in history. Stashed away was something that is really showing my age.

Picked up some batteries from the shops and when we got home I broke out some other Nintendo products. You can see them in this picture.

History Time

History Time

Anyone know what they are? One is orange coloured, one white and I have another dark brown.* Early ancestors of the very 3DS that the eldest wanted for her birthday.

Let me tell you they were a hit. Way more interest in them than in the GB Colour.

*The original Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong II and Oil Panic.

So, Netflix huh.

I am finding a lot to watch in Netflix. Currently I’m watching

  • Falling Skies
  • Clone Wars
  • House MD
  • 3rd Rock from the Sun.

That’s a lot of TV :) Sure is filling the “void” of not playing WoW and not really finding another game to play. I’ve watched a bunch of movies as well, some that I hadn’t seen before and never got around to watching before. Some I’d seen before.

Sure it might not have Game of Thrones or the enormous range that the US one has apparently, but it has only just started. More gets added all the time too, for example “Guardians of the Galaxy” has just arrived.

So what are you guys watching on Netflix? Have you tried Stan or Presto as an alternative?

K.I.S.S follow up

OK. I measured out the distance and went out to find some options at the shops. I came back with a long cable and a connector to allow me to have RJ12 on one end and RJ45 on the other. As I was mucking trying to sort out the tidiest route to run the cable I tried one of the other sockets in the house, which also worked.

Then it dawned on me that the socket I had just tried was an RJ12 not the RJ45. I could run the big long cable without connectors (less signal loss) and put the routers exactly where I had planned in the first place.

Bonus was that the cable would run around the rooms in such a way that I wouldn’t be crossing (and likely tripping or pulling them out) the cables very often.

And all was good…..

K.I.S.S

Well after a non-stop drive down to Canberra, I’m finally in my place here… and probably should head to bed very soon.

I spent the afternoon building desks and unpacking, connecting computers, after carrying all of it upstairs. I then spent some time trying to work out why the internet wasn’t working. About 1930 I logged a job on the service desk and waited…

and waited…

and waited…

and waited…

I was just about to turn in for the night (about 2130) when the Tech Support guy rang me back. He was very helpful and we eventually established that the phone jack in the room I have set up as a study, isn’t connected to the phone line in the house.

So now I have the modem in one room, wifi to the iMac here and the server with my iTunes library and Time Machine backup is currently off the network (no wifi card in it).

I see several choices.

  • move rooms (means dismantling both desks and beds and swapping them, then putting them together again and setting it all up….. ugh). Though having the ensuite in my study sounds kinda cool.
  • get a tech in to look at patching the port in the study (I don’t think that would be cheap…)
  • some sort of complicated multiple router setup, I could do it easy enough, and I think I wouldn’t even have to buy anything, but I’d still have wifi to the internet.
  • What about a crossover cable to the server? Or is the iMac port smart enough to switch over itself. Of course that works until the new computer and PlayStation get set up here as well, grrrr…

Hmm, maybe I should just measure how long the phone cable needs to be to reach from that room to this one … heads off to start counting paces around the house.

Remember the principle – Keep it Simple, stupid.