Aug 16

Recently acquired a WD external USB3 8TB MyBook hard drive and two new Transcend 2.5” 1TB drives. I retired three 5+ year old 1TB drives that had been used for Time Machine backups as they were failing, repartitioned my 3TB WD Firewire drive to make a Time Machine partition and spent a couple of days copying and deleting files around the remaining drives and the new drives. I use the two Transcend drives as Time Machine backups with one plugged in and one off-site. A partition on the 3GB drive is a permanent Time Machine backup. Time Machine automatically rotates backups between the drives so I just have to remember to swap Transcend A and Transcend B offsite/onsite often enough to have a fairly up to date offsite backup of my boot drive.

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Protective film still on.

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Power supply and data cable.

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2.5” rugged drives and transport case.

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Jul 14

Prime day (July 12) came and went and I got an Amazon Fire TV Stick for £19.95. It shipped a day late with a book I had ordered earlier and arrived 14th. I already had a discounted Prime membership I got earlier so after hooking it up I am all ready to watch shows like Mr Robot, Preacher, Braindead & American Gothic.

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SKY HD on HDMI 1, Fire on HDMI 3 and Blu-Ray player on HDMI 4. Just one HDMI input left free!

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The biggest problem I had setting it up was typing my WiFi password incorrectly a few times due to being unable to read my own scribbles. There were no issues working with the YAMAHA receiver as expected. Apparently the Fire Stick doesn’t work properly with some makes/models of home theatre equipment but there is no official compatibility list.

Apr 24

Just a few hours until the first episode of season 6 of Game of Thrones. Just over a week since I finished rewatching season five on Blu-Ray at the rate of two episodes on Fridays. Rewatching S5 on Blu-Ray I realised that it was better paced and plotted than I had realised on originally watching the broadcast. Another show that benefits from binge-watching. Now that the show is (almost) completely past the published books (although I’m sure the show-runners are well-acquainted with the unpublished material) it’s hard to predict what might be in the first episode (beyond the unavoidable spoilers in trailers and such).

It seems the question of whether Jon Snow lives again might not be answered in the first episode either way, but if so it will need to be addressed by the second episode as he is too important a character to be in limbo for much of the season.

Which of the many characters appear in the first episode and which are left to be visited in episode two is also hard to guess. Now that many of the characters are beginning to meet up in larger groupings it is possible that all the important locales could be visited in a single episode. Except that new characters, and previous characters we haven’t seen for a while, are being (re)introduced so the scattering continues.

Since it has been publicised that the show hits the ground running this season rather than spending an episode or two re-establishing things it is also possible that fairly major plot developments and incidents could happen as early as episode one or two rather than further in to the season.

Feb 14

Some presents I got today. Blu-Ray Firefly update from old DVD set and a box from the Pi-Hut with 7-port hub.

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Aug 08

There was a noise in the night which was most likely this shelf collapsing on the left side as a support peg snapped.

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Unloading the shelf’s double layer of books.

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I had to raise the shelf one notch as one of the predrilled peg-holes had been damaged by the collapse. Then I restored the books in a slightly different way as the shelf height was too low for the taller books in the back layer (stacked horizontally instead of vertically).

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Fortunately I managed to find a pack of shelf support pegs from the last time I had a shelf collapse. Unfortunately I think they are the same pegs as the one that broke this time so it might happen again. Maybe I’ll get stronger pegs next time.

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Jul 31

Getting ready for when the current pair wear out (soon). I’ve had these before and they are quite good for the price.

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Jul 08

These both finished seasons recently so I thought I would comment on them. I much preferred Penny Dreadful of the two. It had a better cast, better writing, better production values and much better acting, direction and photography. JS&MN clearly suffered from a limited budget compared to PD. JS&MN had few and unspectacular special effects shots whereas in the finale of season two of PD they had Titanic scale visualisations of three different vessels at sea (did they get a three-for-one deal?) just to show three of the characters departing.

The darker and more adult tone of PD would have served JS&MN better than the whimsical BBC-costume approach they took. JS&MN had limited sets and locations some of which (faery in particular) looked very poor. The directing and photography of JS&MN was very basic compared to PD, and some of the acting was in bizarrely different register to the rest. Many of the problems with JS&MN could be attributed to lack of money, but it is surprising that the BBC cannot make genre drama as handsomely as Showtime. Of course the BBC has a long record of being bad at genre so this disappointment isn’t so surprising.

Jul 08

My predictions for the Game of Thrones finale were pretty accurate. There are many popular fan theories about what happens next and it seems certain that we will find out the truth of these early next season. I’m not hugely invested in any of them myself but I do think the most obvious is that Melisandre revives Jon Snow. The timing of having her arrive at Castle Black could be a tease of course. Jon Snow as a warged dire-wolf for the last two seasons seems unlikely.

Jun 09

Just one episode to go in Game of Thrones season five and some of my predictions have been correct. What’s left for the final episode?

Dany did fly on Drogon in ep 9 so I called that OK. It now looks like Arya’s killing Meryn Trant and blinding is still going to be included but in ep 10 rather than ep 9 as I previously predicted. It looks like my other two predictions (Cersei’s shaming and Jon Snow’s stabbing) are definitely on for ep 10 as well. It looks like they have some other stuff with Sansa/Boltons/Brienne lined up too. That will be a crowded episode.

Shireen’s immolation wasn’t something I had predicted and I expect there will be other major events in the final episode that I also didn’t predict. With Jorah surviving the coliseum battle but doomed by greyscale he could die anytime. And next season – well that will be all unknown all the time!

Jun 04

I previously made some predictions about major book storylines that might make it into this season of the TV show. With just two episodes remaining it looks like I wasn’t too far off.

From the published details of the final two episodes it appears that the betrayal and stabbing of Jon Snow will be in the final episode as will Cersei’s walk of shame. Daenerys’ flight on Drogon will be either in ep 9 or 10 and Arya’s blinding (if it happens this season) will be in ep 9.

So after ep 9 it will be pretty clear what is left for the finale!

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