A review of 2022

So a quick review of 2022. Not done one for at least a decade.
I started writing this during Christmas, then a few updates. I wanted to add links and photos. But hey, it’s now February and I have not. I should learn from this. I either blog lightly, or not at all!

So I got more and more into regularly gaming. From starting again after not playing anything since Quake (the first), during the pandemic, to this year regularly playing games, and even treating myself to a Steam Deck (which is wonderful). Witcher II, Fallout 4, Elite Dangerous, God of War, and of course Minecraft with my daughter. I’ve got her into gaming as well. Starting the year with games that she’d played on Apple Arcade, Sneaky Sasquatch, then moving onto Minecraft with me (and others), then onto the Steam Deck. She loves Alba, Sonic, Stray and Slime Rancher. Other games she’s tried but failed to get into are Planet Zoo (which her cousin plays),

Apart from a new GPU (see above for the reasons, AMD RX 6600XT) and Steam Deck (also see above), then I’ve not done hardly anything. no RPI’s Arduino’s or anything properly geeky. However, we did upgrade to Gigabit FTTP which is very, very cool. I also switched my office switch from a dumb Netgear 16 port GS116 to a Netgear GS724t. Old tech, but quite reliable (and at £20 on Facebook quite affordable!). This is linked with two aggregated links between the house switch. Same router but an earlier hardware version.

I did switch most “home services, TVHeadend, Minecraft server, Motion cameras and a few other trivial things to Docker. I also moved these from my Gentoo workstation to a new headless Debian box made from bits and pieces I had lying around (well I did upgrade RAM and CPU from eBay!). I guess on that topic I also finally switched from Mythtv to TVHeadend, when I added a second satellite dish as I found that all French TV services are broadcast unencrypted on multistream feeds from the 5W satellite. I also switched from a pair of TBS tuner cards to using a completely separate Digitbit R1. That broadcasts the four tuners as DVB>IP, which means TVHeadend can use those as tuners over the LAN. TvHeadend also acts as a recorder. TVHeadend just does not have the legacy baggage that Mythtv does. Much less functionality, but much simpler to configure (no need for a Mysql db to store settings and recordings, just a fairly simple HTTPS interface).

The Digitbit’s firmware is quite ancient. but it is trivial to boot for a new firmware via a USB stick (without having to flash the onboard storage) and there are a quite a few forks of that older firmware that support Multistream.

Clients are a number of RPI’s (running OSMC) and a dedicated client from OSMC called Vero 4k. Which is a lovely bit of kit
I also got a Quest Pro II. Facebook blah blah but it’s cheap and standalone. I’m not easily impressed but some of the apps are pretty wonderful. Downside is that our house is quote small and we have so few spaces to walk around in VR! I could use the garden, but then I would look a bit of a tool! Resident Evil 4 in VR is bloody scary, but I’ve yet to acquire my VR legs and can only play for 20 minutes before nausea takes over.

I carried on with the outdoor kitchen and added walls (using rural style corrugated sheets) plus completely weather proof kitchen cabinets (using treated wood and marine ply. All exposed cut edges were soaked in epoxy, and topped with quarry tiles. I need to do the other side. but perhaps when it’s warmer.

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In sadder news our dog died. Zorro, our ten year old black lab, started wheezing and it turned out he had a mouth melanoma that was affecting his breathing. Treatment was possible but would have meant removing most of his jaw and chemo for months. Nothing you could put a dog through. Sadly he was put to sleep in the boot of a friend’s car and died in my arms.

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I had a pretty bad year for growing stuff. Potatoes, cabbages (in poly tunnel), strawberries and tomatoes (grow bags on the balcony) were great. But everything else did badly I can only blame my laziness in watering during the heatwave. Even our courgettes failed! Better luck next year.

Finally managed to get camping, both for a fortnight in France (super warm), and also at Bluedot festival (brilliant music, shitty weather! Again see below).
I also upgraded our camp kitchen, with a brilliant foldaway kitchen, and a camping stove (Cadac) that has double burners, two griddles, and connects to a gas unit that uses three cheap, ubiquitously available, aerosols gas canisters. It provides a regulator for them too. I’ve always thought they are a little on the dangerous side. But with this bit of kit it makes them very usable and very safe.
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We also had a good year for boating. The boat needs a LOT of work doing still. But we had a good few outings including one with the village.

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Our own health is decent. LN had Covid over NY (which made that quieter). I’ve still not had it (that I am aware of).
The world continued to become a scarier place. Both nationally and internationally. What is happening in Ukraine is beyond horrendous. However, I decided that ranting at the news is pointless. Whereas I’ll never forgive any unrepentant Leave voters, I guess I’m used to it. Still I had a good day out on the Rejoin March back in August.

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It was a good year for live music. Made the Bluedot festival, which had too many decent bands to list (although Yard Act are brilliant!). saw Billy Nomates, Fontaines DC, Scalpings and Working Mens club.

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I properly made the move to Mastodon. Twitter was only ever a pleasant social media community in the early years. For some time it’s been both essential to keep up to date with local and national news, but also very unpleasant to be in. Mastodon is some time away from replacing that function, but by being a pleasant place to be in, it works for me. I think Elon Musk has done us all a favour. Back when I joined Twitter (2006) I thought it was a bad move to put all our communication eggs in one company’s basket, but in those early years it seemed to work and before long everybody and their rabbits had an account.

Finally I decided I need to stop doing as much “community stuff” as I have been doing. As well as the village newsletter which I have done for over ten years, I am also a school parent governor and part of a local campaign to prevent a sewage works being built on Greenbelt just outside the village. I find myself spending a hell of a lot of time, but both those latter two tasks have a lot of frustration. One for an incredible lack of communication and the other for manipulative people that are quite incompetent too. If either were paying jobs I’d have left both a while ago.

Tapbots Tweetbot Memorial

Tapbots called it a day on their Twitter client Tweetbot. All quite sad really, but I guess inevitable. After I stopped using Tweetdeck, Tweetbot became my favourite Twitter client both on macOS and iOS. It was just so easy to swap between accounts and to tweet as a different accounts without switching accounts.
I got onto the beta of their new Mastodon client for iOS, Ivory, a week or so ago. I’ve just bought an annual subscription.

The Shit Show

Craig Hockenberry’s blog post about the last day of Twitteriffic working is acerbic and brilliant. It’s all because of Space Karen’s blocking of most popular third party Twitter clients from their API. I never used Twitteriffic. I used the web client, then Tweetdeck and finally settling on Tapbots set of iOS/macOS clients (which have also stopped working).
Since the buyout I’ve more or less stopped using my personal account. I’m reluctant to delete it as it’s been active since 2006, but it’s not been much fun over the past few years. I have kept three other accounts active. My work account, a campaign account and a village news account. I should let these die too really.
I opened a Mastodon account when Space Karen first hinted he wanted to buy Twitter (thanks Raj!) but never really used it. But since November I have. A much pleasanter place.
So far I’ve been using an iOS Mastodon app, Metatext, on iOS and macOS (Apple Silicon right!). Luckily Tapbots are working on an iOS Mastodon client, that I managed to get on the latest round of TestFlight beta apps yesterday.
Note: I’m posting this in an attempt to revive my blog. Instead of Marsedit (my usual blogging tool) I’m using Drafts with the WordPress Action.

Weekly tweets!

  • How times change. I have DVI and HDMI cables coming out my ears but can I find a VGA cable? #
  • Anyplace I can get brewer's yeast (for cider) in #Cambridge or should I just use baker's yeast (hey it's all S.cerevisiae right!)? #
  • need to rescan my Mythtv freesat box soon. http://t.co/x7rD8orC #
  • Looking for an access point to add to a Draytek2820n. Only need roaming. No WDS. Cat6 backhaul. Any suggestions? #
  • emailed a company's technical support only to be told blatant bollocks. What happened to good technical support? #
  • finished The Atrocity Archives (The Laundry Files) by Charles Stross http://t.co/eHgw3J8a #Kindle #
  • There's a Mountain Lion and Lion supplemental update this morning. That sneaked under the rader. Must be urgent. #
  • No builders on site today. It feels weirdly quiet. #
  • Voyager has left the building. http://t.co/5ZvlpnXU We are now a interstellar travelling race, almost. #

Weekly tweets!

  • .. and so the rain really starts #
  • Builders started early. I was out walking dog so did not hear the grinder start. Apologies to neighbours #
  • Anybody around #horningsea keep pigs? Will have a lot of apple pulp (after juicing) on Saturday. #
  • So the two tubs of ice cream are actually frozen stew. #
  • Finally. iOS6 syncs draft email. #
  • It's the #Horningsea Apple Day this Saturday http://t.co/f7nOs5fa #
  • The Prisoner's Dilemma and climate change http://t.co/cVOpEQnY #
  • I see an update to #skitch feeling hopeful. #
  • Ready to press some apples? #horningsea Apple Pressing Day is today #

Weekly tweets!

  • As a shedworker when winter comes it get's me down! Surely we can have a few more days of sunshine, pretty please! #
  • Why do I have to use "Messages", "Adium", IM+Pro" and "iOS Messages"? Apple should "buy" Adium. I would love that. #
  • Enjoyed Judge Dredd the movie. No Sly though the Chopper graffiti made up for that. #
  • iOS6 is downloading……! #
  • New versions of Skitch, iOS, OSX ML update AND SuperDuper. With these Fererro Rocher you are spoliing us etc… #
  • So cannot flag Gmail emails and I seem to have lost multiple Twitter accounts. Is iOS6 an upgrade? #
  • .@Skitch get it together. Two crashes after three screenshots. Why are you in the dock and not in the titlebar. #
  • Every single comment on the Skitch 2.0 blog is negative. http://t.co/eFMNnrYn I'm not enjoying this new version. Plus it crashes a lot! #
  • .@skitch how do I change the pen size for annotations? #
  • The oak frame has been sandblasted today. http://t.co/W4ylevxh #
  • A true mobile office http://t.co/aq3aACat Not sure I could do this. But I'd like to try. #
  • BBC NEWs just describe Nigel Farage as "charismatic". Do they know what the word means? #

Weekly tweets!

  • Shit. My credit card pin is on the leaked list http://t.co/0Qi1Q0dn #
  • with the Retina MBP and ML connecting to wifi is slower than my ZX81 #
  • New meter. http://t.co/pItH0fFE #
  • Looking at lighting for the extension. In this day of LED, CFL etc. why the fuck do manufacturers not quote lumens so you know brightness! #
  • Extension Building: Covering the oak frame http://t.co/PDh9fauN #
  • Extension Building: floor and dwarf walls http://t.co/JzJxXSMb #
  • Bloody winter. #
  • Zorro at home in the new Plough and Fleece, Horningsea. http://t.co/QrVILhm2 #

Weekly tweets!

  • Broadband down. Who spilt coffee in the exchange? #
  • Bloody hell. The harvesting of fields is dusty this year. The river is covered. #
  • RT @CambridgeNewsUK: Volunteers take over to rescue village pub http://t.co/o47h28Ue #horningsea #
  • Enjoyed first night in the now community pub Plough N Fleece #horningsea #
  • On the hottest day of the year why do I have to do cabling in the loft ? #
  • The Plough and Fleece is reopening tonight as a community pub http://t.co/0oDVVBWl #horningsea #community #

Weekly tweets!

  • Cracking day on norfolk coast. Dog went mental in the sea. #
  • Plough and Fleece Community Pub – Week One Events! #horningsea http://t.co/FY14lDAe #
  • Bloody Squeezebox has been shelved by Logitech. http://t.co/Ka2v6G72 #
  • So Logitech don't do OS X drivers for their webcams and they've shelved the best value multi room system out of a field of three. Idiots. #
  • I want two Trends T10 mini amps for the extension. Sounds awesome for price and size. Any Uk suppliers? http://t.co/hDBJSRhj #
  • running speaker cable in the extension. Why do I always purchase 2 metres less than I need? #