Nov 21

I’ve been reading ebooks for many years now, and the ratio of ebooks to printed has been shifting in favour of ebooks until recently I’ve only been buying graphic novels in print form. So it made sense to finally get an actual reader to use apart from the computer screen and Mrs Wife kindly bought me a Kindle for my recent birthday. I added a case for it with a gift voucher I had.

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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.

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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May 21

As I previously mentioned I switched to using MacJournal for blogging as my previous blogging software ecto hadn’t been updated to use the new Photo software and so I could no longer post pictures easily. I did have a problem including html tags to interact with plugins such as the obfuscated text plugin used for the previous post. But an email to their support system soon gave me a response that solved the problem and now the software does everything I need.

May 08

Got a new gas lift for the office chair. Fitting it was slightly harder than the youtube videos made it look and as well as a rubber mallet I needed a mole wrench, hex key and needle-nose pliers. Still, it only took about twenty minutes and I had a seat that went up higher than before and shouldn’t randomly collapse on me 🙂

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Mar 27

A no brainer upgrade. Now I have a spare original B+

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Mar 21

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I got this for Xmas shortly before the new model came out 🙂

Mar 21

If you use (encrypted) sparse bundle disk images on Mac OS X and want to be able to keep backups of the images on a different external drive you can use the rsync command to copy/delete only the changed bands making the process very quick.

Assuming you have a sparse bundle disk image called IMAGE at

/Volumes/DRIVE1/images/IMAGE.sparsebundle and you want to back it up to

/Volumes/DRIVE2/backups/IMAGE.sparsebundle

Unmount the images if they are mounted. You will not need the password if the drives are encrypted as the drives are not mounted during the backup.

In the terminal use the following command

rsync -vaE –inplace –delete –progress /Volumes/DRIVE1/images/IMAGE.sparsebundle /Volumes/DRIVE2/backups

editing the command to match your paths and filenames. Note that you do not enter the filename of the destination sparse image, just the folder it is in. (Without trailing ‘/‘). If the destination doesn’t already exist then it will be created but since this involves copying the entire image it will take time. Once the destination image exists only changes are copied across and will be quick.

If the process is interrupted before it completes the destination image may be corrupted. Simply rerunning the command to completion should resolve this.

If you use the hdiutil compact command to free unused space on the source disk image then unused bands will be deleted on the destination image when you sync.

DISCLAIMER. I have successfully used these commands to back up and synchronise several encrypted sparse bundle images between various Firewire and USB3 external drives but if you choose to try this yourself it is your responsibility to ensure that it works correctly for your requirements.

Dec 11

New heating controllers for the winter. Five TRV heads, a window sensor and a remote control. Discovered a leaky TRV body when installing them so that will need a plumber.

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Installed window sensor using provided double-sided sticky pads.

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May get another remote so I can have one for the office and one for the living room.

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I got a ‘buy three get one free’ deal and got five for the price of four.

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