They are my oldest and deadliest enemy. You cannot trust them.
If Hitler invaded Hell, I would give a favourable reference to the Devil.

Monday, July 25



One of the most striking things about new Doctor Who is how often the companions die.  In the old series, the only long-standing companion to die was Adric, though the First Doctor story The Daleks' Master Plan killed off short-timers Katarina and Sara Kingdom.

But they only died once each.

Amy Pond died in The Pandorica Opens; young Amelia died in The Big Bang; fake Amy was disintegrated in The Almost People; older Amy died and had her timeline erased in The Girl Who Waited, and finally, real Amy died not once but twice in The Angels Take Manhattan.

River Song died in Forest of the Dead, as a child in Day of the Moon, and as Melody in Let's Kill Hitler.

Rory died in Amy's Choice, died again and was erased from existence in Cold Blood, drowned in The Curse of the Black Spot, and died no less than three times in The Angels Take Manhattan.

And Clara died in Asylum of the Daleks, again in The Snowmen, again in Journey to the Center of the TARDIS, again in Last Christmas, again in Face the Raven, and from the glimpses we were given, at least sixteen other times in TV-series canon alone, before eventually swanning off with Ashildr, who is also dead.

Of course, this is because where the original series used time travel mostly as a plot hook upon which to hang the story of the week, New Who often involves time travel as a plot device, with every kind of time loop, divergent timeline, parallel universe, and temporal paradox cropping up at some point.

But maybe the next companion could just, you know, leave?

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Saturday, July 23


Let's Go Exploring


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Thursday, July 21


There Be Dragons

Dragon Age: Origins* is 60% off.

That's the full game, with all DLC and expansions, completely DRM-free, for just a few dollars.  Highly recommended if you like fantasy role-playing games even a little.

* The one that doesn't suck.

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Wednesday, July 20


Not All Monsters


Art by Tallychyck.

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Wednesday, July 13



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Saturday, July 09


My Hero Academia

Is actually really good.  It's pure Shounen Jump fare, but it's up there with the best of that genre.

Rather than reading through a lengthy review, watch the opening credits.  It's truth in advertising, what you see here is exactly what you get.

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Wednesday, July 06


New Toy: Momoko

I have a server!  Well, I've had a server since 2003 1997.  But this one is in Sydney, instead of hiding on the other side of the planet.

Australia is not generally a cost-effective location for server hosting, but thanks to the nice people at Exigent I was able to get a very good price on an older model Dell updated with new SSDs.

It only runs at 2.4GHz, but it has 8 cores (16 threads), 24GB ECC RAM, and a RAID-1 pair of SSDs, so it's very capable.  Plus a gigabit internet connection and 10TB monthly bandwidth.

But best of all, it's only 15ms from home (and about 3ms from the office).  That makes an enormous difference; my usual ping times to the servers are in the range of 170-200ms.

And I installed OpenVZ on it without breaking anything.  So as far as that goes I'm having a good day.


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Tuesday, July 05


Does Australia Have A Government Yet, Again

No Probably.

Currently the major parties are split 68/67, with 10 seats still undecided, and needing 76 to form a government.  There are also 5 independents who will obviously be getting sweet-talked to death right now.

Sadly, the site from 2010 now seems to belong to a Chinese bus company.

Update: Official but not final results have the Liberal (i.e. conservative) Party returned with a much reduced majority, down from 90:55 to 76:69.  One seat has not yet been declared, but that can't affect the overall outcome.

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Wednesday, June 15


Adventures In Windows 10 Land

I upgraded Chika (my ultrabook) to Windows 10 yesterday.  Azusa, my full-size notebook, already got Windows 10, but I did that as a clean install.

It...  Works.  Even Start 8 works, and that's a specifically Windows 8 only application.

You do need to go through and turn off all the default-on spy options but one.  The one to leave on is checking web pages against malware lists, but that only matters if you use Internet Explorer or the new Edge browser.

Meanwhile, Microsoft announced two new Xboxen, a little one which is the current Xbox One shrunk down and ships in August, and a new model which is a half-generation upgrade with four to five times the graphics horsepower - up from about 1.3 teraflops to 6 teraflops, due next year.  The original Xbox One has problems running some games smoothly at 60 frames per second.  The 2017 model should have no such issues.

If you want the same thing right now, just upgrade to Windows 10 (free) and get an AMD RX 480 (coming at the end of this month for around $199).

That just leaves Kei, my main desktop, which I shall remedy... Now.

Well, not now now, it takes ages to download.  But it's on its way.   

On all three I've installed StarDock's Object Desktop, which turns Windows 8 or 10 into a nicer version of Windows 7.  Or if you're feeling perverse, of MacOS or even BeOS. 

Tip: Just buy Start 10, which is $5.  On checkout, you'll get an offer for a 60% discount for the complete Object Desktop suite, which takes it down to $20.

Update: Kei is tenified.  I have one cheap netbooky thing around somewhere running Windows 8, and one survivor from ~2008 running Vista, but everything else is now well and truly sorted out.

Update: Except that suddenly I can't commit to Git.  Which puts just a teensy cramp in my workflow, since that's where all my work is.  It seems that Windows 8 can run a 64-bit executable from a 32-bit one, but Windows 10 doesn't, so I needed to install a 32-bit copy of Git to match the 32-bit version of Java that JetBrains ship with PyCharm.

Which is easy enough, except that all you get when this happens is the error "Resource temporarily unavailable" and a stack trace.

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Monday, June 13


Adventures In Ubuntuland

I changed some of the settings on my Ubuntu Venial Vermin VM, and broke it.  Rather than fiddle with it for an unknown amount of time, I zapped it and built a new one.

And found that Ubuntu desktop by default doesn't even install SSHD.

And once I got that working, and tweaked the settings on my terminal emulator (XShell) so it would work, realised that using the same OpenSSH-specific settings might allow me to SSH cleanly into Taiga, my iMac.

And they did.  Had that Mac for six months and only now am I able to log in remotely directly from Windows.  (Logging in from Linux always worked, because it was OpenSSH on both ends.)

Not much to show for a three-day weekend, though.

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