collection of Zeroes
Sunday, April 28 2019
This morning, I took the dogs on a walk up the Chamomile Headwaters Trail and then back on the Stick Trail. I had my nice Nikon camera with me, the one with the great telephoto lens allowing me to take incredible pictures of wildlife. I happened to notice that now there was a vertical black line in the fold-out LCD display I use to compose my shots. Such panel failure can never be fixed, though it's not very common. I've had a lot of LCD panels over the years and this is only the third to develop this problem. It's an annoying problem but doesn't really affect the usability of the device.
Since the weather was cold and rainy, I couldn't work on any of the household projects I normally do on the weekends. So instead I tinkered with electronics in the laboratory. I managed to set up both of my Raspberry Pi Zeroes as small surveillance robots, complete with 5 megapixel cameras and BMP280 I2C temperature/pressure module. I didn't bother with pan/tilt mechanisms because I didn't feel like assembling them from parts. (I have the kits, but I will need to watch a video to know how to fit them together.)
Another thing I managed to do was installing a 128 GB SSD in my old Compaq 2510p. It's a nice high-end subnotebook from 2007, and my plan is to use it as a Windows XP machine for situations where Windows XP is the best operating system. The last time I really used the 2510p for anything was during the Galapagos trip back at the end of 2015 (I'd taken it so it wouldn't be a big loss if it had fallen into the Pacific). It might be old, but it's fine for watching YouTube videos, light web development, and surfing the web (even if Google Chrome no longer updates on Windows XP). I've always wanted to have an SSD in that laptop, but was stymied by its weird 1.8 inch ZIF drive interface. Recently, though, I managed to get a ZIF-to-mSATA adapter. That together with the drive is significantly smaller than the mechanical drive it replaces, meaning I can now fit other electronics into the hard drive bay.
Despite the cold and rain that thwarted proper ventilation, this afternoon at some point I attempted to fix the hole I'd torn in the vent stack in the hole where the upstairs bathroom medicine cabinet will go. I needed some sort of filler material, so I opted to use some 3D printer filament, which I could feed manually into the heat air of the heat gun. This sort of worked, though it will take practice to actually fill a hole well enough to avoid leaks. I stopped when the fumes became too oppressive.
This evening Ray (who was all by himself) invited me over to see tonight's episode of Game of Thrones, the one featuring the epic battle of Winterfell pitting the living against the dead. So after taking my Sunday night bath, i gathered up the dogs and drove down into Old Hurley. Ray likes to equip friends with archaic weapons when watching the GoT, so tonight I wielded an 18-inch double-edged dagger and Ray had a heavy asymmetrical knife seemingly designed to disembowel. I actually don't like episodes like this one that are so jammed full of computer-generated visual spectacle, though it is always good when the plot advances substantially. Spoiler alert: holy shit, those White Walkers have a design flaw even more perilous than the Death Star!
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