Daylight Annoyance Time

As pandemic limbo continues we’re on the verge of loosening lockdown here in Portugal next week. There are already too many discussions about Easter break, family visits and, of course, how long/effective vaccination will really be, so setting the clocks kind of snuck up on me.

I have always been in favor of abolishing daylight savings time (which hasn’t happened yet, and is certainly a secondary concern these days), and plan to spend this Sunday woolgathering and doing hardly anything of consequence as a sort of buffer for a week’s worth of adjustment as my body clock rebels against what it perceives as fundamentally wrong.

I’m one of those people with an inner sense of time for whom breaks in routine are especially distracting, so I’m already nursing a headache…

This, by the way, is one of the reasons I always hated flying. It’s just not the ceremony and overhead around flying itself, it’s the abrupt changes in schedule and the disturbance in rest/nourishment cycles.

Tech Musings

left a gap in my personal projects that needs filling (even though I’ve yet to bite the bullet and just write a couple of for loops to generate archive pages and do other minor cleanups), but I’ve been spending so much time in the office that I feel disinclined to mess about with computers in general.

For instance, I keep thinking there has to be a simpler, nicer way to build low-latency services and distributed backing data stores. The industry has gone whole hog into doing things like running Spark and Ignite inside Kubernetes without having a proper way to manage the trade-off between compute resources, performance and cost (no, bin-packing more containers into less cores doesn’t really work, and you can still only get two out of three), and that smacks of long-term technical debt, but it’s become a tiresome pattern and I feel the need to tinker with stuff I can fix or derive enjoyment out of.

So I’ve been hacking away at sub-1K LOC mini-projects, reading books (finally managed to finish a couple this year) and trying to get back into music.

Mixing It Up

My almost completely stalled as my life was taken over by morning-to-nightfall Teams calls, and when I’m not on calls it is almost impossible to spend any amount of time with headphones as I have to remain aware of what is going on in the house (kids, doorbell, calls for chores, etc.), so I decided to try a little experiment.

I have a set of Logitech Z333 speakers that has decent sound (thanks to a standalone bass speaker tucked away under my desk) and two inputs (one for a computer, and another I for an Amazon Echo Listen). But I needed at least four inputs to plug in my little menagerie of synths, and although my AG06 works great, I wanted to be able to use the speakers without any (big) computers on.

So I rummaged around in Amazon a bit and got a Little Bear MC5 passive stereo mixer:

It's a little exposed (I would have preferred a minimal case around it to avoid dust piling up), but really tiny and unobtrusive.

So far it’s worked great. The little gadget has already unlocked a few hours’ worth of tinkering that would not have happened otherwise (as a sort of “ear candy”), and is such a great solution for sharing speakers that I will be ordering another one for my kids’ desks.

I might 3D print some side panels to keep the dust out, though.