Michael Zucchi

 B.E. (Comp. Sys. Eng.)

  also known as zed
  & handle of notzed


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Monday, 14 December 2009, 07:55

Time and Change

Well time has been passing pretty fast lately.

After a visit to a mate who'd done a lot of work on his yard in the last few years I was convinced of the need to think a bit bigger in the back yard department. So i've ordered a shed and a new verandah and have spent the last month working on some site preparation. Well I still have plenty of time but a sense of urgency is starting to creep in since there is still just so much work to do. Originally I was just going to work on the site prep and worry about the rest of the yard later but I do have an awful lot of time and it would save work if I got a few things, like a long retaining wall, out of the way first. Rather than moving piles of dirt and things from one place to another multiple times, I can just move it where it needs to end up and leave it there. Might even be able to get some lawn going by then.

It's been damn slow going though. Weather is too hot or too wet, i'm too hungover, I don't really feel like getting covered in sweat and dirt that day, or lately i've just been extremely tired. I often fall asleep infront of the tv before going to bed. So sometimes I just need to sleep for half a day to catch up a bit. Blah. A few hours, a few days a week, using nothing but a bucket and a spade, well, it's slow and hard work. Disappointingly I haven't lost any weight mind you :-/

The front yard isn't dead but it isn't really flourishing. The thyme lawn is growing very slowly but at least the roses are about to flower again. I think I haven't been watering it enough. The vegetable patch is going pretty well though. Button squash are already fruiting regularly, as are the cucumbers. Tomatoes have a lot of growth and i've had a handful of tiny cherry tomatoes off this week, but they've just covered themselves in masses of flowers so maybe they'll kick in properly by Christmas or New Year. A few more bees around with the weather warming up and settling down too. The sweet potato slips are starting to grow at last - I think they need the ground to warm up a bit more first. I've tons of things in pots too, so just keeping everything alive takes an hour or so every day.

My house-mates just moved out on the weekend so things have gotten a lot quieter all of a sudden. Well it might help me sleep a bit more in the mornings, but the sudden lack of company will take a little while to get used to again. Another visit to another mate gave me the idea of putting in an en-suite for one of the bedrooms and renting it out to a professional woman, so I'm considering that too. Visiting friends is getting costly!

I never finished Uncharted 2 - although I still intend to one day. I'm a fair way through Ratchet and Clank: A Crack In Time too. The last one I played was a bit easy and lacking something new, but I think they did a much better job this time - if you were ever an R&C fan and lost interest, this one is worth a shot. Oh and they finally implemented triple buffering so no tearing and little slow-down when they drop a frame. I also got Dragon Age: Origins but haven't played it very much so far. Partly because others wanted to use the TV, and partly because it starts a bit slowly and feels a bit too 'pc-game' (I can barely read the typeface on most windows!). I think I played more of a neat little free game called 'Widelands' which I found when looking for a 'The Settlers' like game from the Amiga days. I was playing with UAE one afternoon and re-discovered that gem. Widelands has the mechanics all there but the lo-res graphics on the Amiga had a lot more personality and charm (and much better sound fx). Back on the PS3 I got a PlayTV - quite happy with it so far. Certainly a few things could be improved but it works quite well, and it's easier to setup than MythTV. I might get another one just to plug into my PC for MythTV since my USB tuner never worked properly (lots of broken data, particularly if both tuners are on but not specifically so). At $150 it's not bad for something that I KNOW works reliably and with Linux.

Haven't touch Haiku or the beagle boards or any coding at all for ages either. Well now I have an excuse in the yard ... but part of it is that many of the interesting things to do are just problems that are too big for a part-time hobby. Well there's still the idea of a little game, that could still be simple I guess - although my game-designing mate has dropped off the radar lately too. I suspect once I'm working on something interesting again I'll find coding as a hobby more interesting too. Perhaps!

And this period of what I like to call my `unpaid long service leave' finally has a cap to it. I've got some more work lined up early next year which hopefully will be more up my alley than the last few jobs I've had. Using CUDA or I would think more likely, OpenCL to do some image processing. CELL BE would've been fun but with the new PS3's not supporting Linux it would be a hard sell.

Tagged biographical.
Too many late nights, Dragon Age | Holidays are great ...
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