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Saturday, 17 August 2019 Dereel Images for 17 August 2019
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Power fail!
Topic: general, technology, opinion Link here

Looking through my daily log files this morning, I saw:

lagoon.lemis.com kernel log messages:
+Copyright (c) 1992-2018 The FreeBSD Project.
+Copyright (c) 1979, 1980, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994
+       The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
+FreeBSD is a registered trademark of The FreeBSD Foundation.
+FreeBSD 11.1-STABLE #2 r327971: Mon Jan 15 16:30:36 AEDT 2018
...

Huh? Those are boot messages. What are they doing here?

=== grog@eureka (/dev/pts/31) ~ 1 -> date; ruptime
Sat 17 Aug 2019 09:57:52 AEST
eureka                     up   25+19:00,    17 users,  load 0.77, 0.80, 0.69
lagoon                     up       9:22,     3 users,  load 0.20, 0.15, 0.13
teevee                     up       9:22,     2 users,  load 0.07, 0.13, 0.14

Two machines rebooted at 0:35! Why? The obvious reason would be a prolonged power failure that drained the UPS that they're on. But there was no power outage. And the photovoltaic system showed no issues. The most obvious thing was a drop in grid voltage to “only” 241 V at 0:27, but at that time lagoon was running and logged an otherwise uninteresting event. And 241 V is still well over the nominal 230 V here.

That looks like this horrible Eaton UPS doing its own thing again. It saved me once while we were working on the system a few months ago, but just failing like that is pretty much the opposite of what it's there for. Maybe I should remove it after all.


More ABC investigation
Topic: multimedia, technology, opinion Link here

Is ABC iView worth the trouble? In the past I never thought so, but I have a way to download the programmes. So why don't I look at what I can find? Installed allavsoft on dischord, my Microsoft box, and tried downloading.

They want money! Yes, I can download 5 programmes for free, but that's it. And of course, like all Microsoft programs, I can't work out where it has put it. In a “folder” called Download. But it wasn't the Download “folder” that the GUI chose to show me. Why can't Microsoft finally adopt complete path names? Finally I found it, as suspected low resolution:

=== grog@teevee (/dev/pts/7) /spool/Series/Dirk-Gently 32 -> l
total 414
-rwxr--r--  1 grog  home       65,885 17 Aug 16:39 Dirk-Gently-s-Holistic-Detective-Agency---Series-1-Ep-1-Horizons.en.srt
-rwxr--r--  1 grog  home       61,558 17 Aug 16:39 Dirk-Gently-s-Holistic-Detective-Agency---Series-1-Ep-1-Horizons.en.vtt
-rwxr--r--  1 grog  home  433,446,897 17 Aug 16:39 Dirk-Gently-s-Holistic-Detective-Agency---Series-1-Ep-1-Horizons.mp4
=== grog@teevee (/dev/pts/7) /spool/Series/Dirk-Gently 33 -> mpid Dirk-Gently-s-Holistic-Detective-Agency---Series-1-Ep-1-Horizons.mp4
Dirk-Gently-s-Holistic-Detective-Agency---Series-1-Ep-1-Horizons.mp4    VIDEO:  [H264]  1024x576  24bpp  25.000 fps  949.3 kbps (115.9 kbyte/s)

Is it any good? I haven't looked at it yet. But while messing around, found this in the Wikipedia page:

In 2012 the ABC sent a legal notice to the author of an open source program called Python-iView which enabled users to download videos from the ABC.

OK, ABC, I get the message. Low res content where others offer higher res. And you want to tell me how I can watch it. Goodbye.

About the only thing that I did get to work was the newsletter, on the third attempt. At least that way I'll know what I'm missing.


Towards better analemma photos
Topic: photography, technology, opinion Link here

I still haven't worked out a good way to take my analemma photos, but I should at least experiment. Set up a tripod and head to point (hopefully) to the full range of the analemma, and took a number of photos. First, one with the infrared filter, 1/1000 s at f/8:


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How can I align that with anything else? I can't use control points, because the only one is the sun, and it would annul the purpose of the series to align on that. So I'll have to just hope that the camera (on a tripod) doesn't move between shots, and overlap them manually. But that, too, doesn't work well. Here's a corresponding shot, more or less correctly exposed:


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How do I do that? It proves that Hugin is not cut out to do this, and there's a second issue: yes, I can get them to align, but how do I remove the mess around the sun in the second image?

With difficulty. After a lot of messing around, the best I could get was this:


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Back to the drawing board.

In passing, it's interesting to note how exact you need to be. These two images were taken 136 seconds apart (run the cursor over an image to compare it with its neighbour):

 
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Under those circumstances, my intention of taking the photo at exactly 12:25:00 didn't quite work: the second one (the “real” one) was taken 37 seconds too late.


Circular walk: thwarted
Topic: general, animals Link here

As planned on Thursday, off today to try to close this loop:

 
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Up there to the fence that I found last month, noting in the process that it was less easy to cross than I had hoped. At first sight it's a flattened fence:


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But come up close and there's a single strand of barbed wire about 60 cm off the ground:


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Found a way across further to the north, but Yvonne didn't want to come. She decided that it must be private property. All that way for (almost) nothing: I did manage to get a view to the east:


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On the way back, ran into Fiona Drayton and friend on a—what? I call it a trap, but Yvonne tells me it's a gig:


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Skewered kidneys
Topic: food and drink Link here

Yvonne bought some lamb kidneys on Wednesday—high time to eat them. But how? In the past we've eaten them en casserole, though I note that I don't have a recipe for that online. But this time she wanted them on skewers, in the process forgetting that we already had a recipe. Never mind, this time we did it in the hair dryer (the larger of the two “air fryers”.

How long? After 16 minutes at 210° they looked OK, but they were somewhat underdone in the middle. Next time I'll give them 20 minutes.


Sunday, 18 August 2019 Dereel Images for 18 August 2019
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NBN slower?
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

For some time I've noted an interesting detail in my National Broadband Network monitoring data:

NBN link statistics

Some time round 11 July the link latency (blue trace) increased by 3 ms. Why? Are they going to do something about it in one of their never-ending “planned maintenances”?


Bubbles?
Topic: general Link here

Walking the dogs through very wet weather, found this:


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A surprising number of bubbles were rising from a puddle in the road. Why? How? The puddle must have been there for hours, and the road is generally wet enough to have no air pockets, in fact wet enough for me to wear a hat and inspire Yvonne to take a rare photo of me with the dogs:


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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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