Saturday, February 15, 2020

Low Distraction Lent 2020

Lent, 2020.  Wednesday, Feb 26, 2020 to Sunday, April 12, 2020.

It's 11 days from now.

And it's a perfect time to cut back on your internet and technology use.  A time of resetting.  A time of re-evaluating your relationship with technology.  And, importantly for 2020, a time of getting used to less internet use and distraction before the true core of Election Outrage Season 2020 begins.  Gets worse.  Continues.  Whatever it's going to do.

Why?  Because the distance allows you the time and space to evaluate what's of value on the internet, and what's just a shiny distraction that really, really wants to shove ads in front of your eyeballs and will do anything they can, regardless of the impact on you, to get you to view ads.

Join me?

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Finances, Technology, Repair, and "Enough"

This week's post is an attempt to summarize various thoughts and conversations I've had over the past few years with a variety of people.  I enjoy talking about the details of life with people, and some themes have come up repeatedly over the years - with one concept being "Enough."

In totally related concepts, one of the easiest ways to have a lot of stress in life is finances - and while this is far from a personal finance blog, apparently it's inevitable that, eventually, finances will come up in a long-lived blog.  But, beyond simple money, finances tie into a lot of other areas of life.  It's fair to say that one's finances reflect attitudes and habits accumulated over the years, and often these habits just aren't examined.  So, dive in and examine them with me!

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Makita and Rayovac Battery Pack Teardowns

It's once again time for everyone's favorite type of post!  Tool battery teardowns!  This week, I've got three seemingly identical batteries.  They've got the same connections, the same dimensions (except height - the center one is a smaller capacity pack), and so one would expect them to be very much the same on the inside.  Are they?

I assumed one thing going in, and was very much surprised when reality turned out to be something quite different!

Saturday, January 4, 2020

End of 2019/Start of 2020

Another year over.  Another year starting.  And this means yet another annual reflection blog post!

Or, in this case, "What the hell happened to 2019?"

I know the answer - he's about 18 months old and insanely active, but it still feels like the year slipped away without leaving much of a trace.  Just keeping up, not really making good headway on anything.  We had a lot going on, but keeping up with two kids took an awful lot more time than I'd anticipated.  But, I've still had some fun!

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Roomba i7+ Clean Base Teardown

It's been a little while since I did my Roomba i7 teardown, which must mean it's time for another Roomba related teardown!  This week, I'm diving into the "clean base" - the big vacuum base gizmo that sucks dust out of the bin, automating a lot of the cleaning process.  Plus, this base sits far better on carpet than the normal docking station - so what's inside?  Quite a bit!

Unfortunately, this teardown isn't just a teardown.  It's a postmortem analysis of why it's really, really important to not let this your Roomba anywhere wet - because if the clean base sucks water, it's likely to totally destroy the controller board.  Which, of course, you can't get separately.

So, join me at the end of the decade for a teardown and failure analysis!

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Building a Raspberry Pi 4 Desktop

The Raspberry Pi 4 has been out for about 6 months, and early reviews made it clear that the best option was just to sit back and wait for it to get a bit more stable.  That's happened, so now I'm going to dig into one and see what it looks like as yet another light desktop system!

My benchmarks showed that the Pi4 is a rather massive step up in performance from the Pi3 - and on paper, should outrun the Jetson Nano I've been using for a while.  Of course, I've got some of my tweaks...  so jump in and let's make a yet-more-capable desktop!

Monday, December 9, 2019

Being sick sucks.

So if you're wondering about Saturday's missing post, that's why.

I've been sick the past few days (and I basically hibernate when sick), and the kids have been varying degrees of sick as well - which isn't fun either.

I'll try to get my Pi4 Desktop post finished for Saturday and get back on track.

Question to debate in the comments: Will a 64-bit kernel on a Raspbian 32-bit userspace help or hurt performance?  I don't know the answer, and might do some testing if nobody has any conclusive data on the topic.