Summer Break

Instead of enjoying three unfettered weeks of vacation, I ended up having a chunk of that time blown out by numerous unscheduled events, so there wasn’t much time to hang around at the beach.

I miss this already.

Also, I decided I’d completely ignore work, to the extent where I wiped Outlook from all my mobile devices (only checked my work e-mail yesterday), muted a bunch of work-related Twitter accounts and RSS feeds, and put my work machines in storage for the duration.

So here’s an unsorted list of what I ended up doing, besides dealing with various housekeeping and family affairs:

  • Finally upgraded my ODROID-U2 to Ubuntu 16.04. Sadly, I would need to reflash uBoot to get it to run a kernel that is good enough to run Docker with the network layers I would prefer, but the one it’s stuck at is good enough to run a brand new SSH bastion and a few other things I’m working on.
  • Since I was on a roll, I also upgraded the Plex container I use for my new home media setup.
  • Swapped the battery on my iPhone 6, which was dying at 30% capacity and complaining about requiring maintenance. I think it was a good investment considering that I’m on the fence about buying a new one this year.
  • Read around a dozen books (between leisure and technology), topping off the list with Neil Gaiman’s brilliant Norse Mythology.
  • Bought a new printer to replace our OfficeJet 4500, which stopped being able to feed paper through due to what appears to be a worn down €2 bit of plastic (more on this later, if I can manage to muster enough vitriol).
  • Swapped my home office chair for a Nilserik stool/support, because my back has been killing me and I have a feeling I’ll be getting a standing desk at home as soon as I can afford it.
  • Bought a Lightdow LD6000 for the kids to use during vacation, which turned out to be quite good value for money although it obviously doesn’t hold a candle to the Canon SX710 I took along.
  • Both cameras yielded around 400 photographs, which I’m sorting through and processing using darktable – which, incidentally, is brilliant. I intend to write about that as well, since it is going to force me to make quite a few changes to my photo workflow due to the .xmp sidecar files. But darktable is certainly the best thing I’ve come across in photography this year, and it’s cross-platform to boot. I even got it to run on my Surface using the Windows Subsystem for Linux and an X server.
  • Finally updated my HOWTO on switching to the Mac, partly because it’s been five years since the last update and partly because I ended up caving in to the number of people who asked me to do something about it over the past year1.

Tomorrow I’m going back to work, so updates on the above might take a good while. But at least these highlights will provide me with a to-do list of sorts for my next few posts (as soon as iPhone seasonal fever dies down, that is).


  1. Yeah, I know it’s ironic for me to maintain it given my current employer. Life is interesting. ↩︎