My Quest for Some Sanity

Okay — I’ve not published an article in what seems like ages.  I know – I’m not meeting one of my personal new year’s resolutions/predictions – that I would blog on at least a weekly basis – but (and there is always a but, isn’t there?) the story that was supposed to go here has grown to such proportions that I ended up lost down a rabbit hole.  Now that I’ve climbed out, I realize I will probably have to break that story up into several installments.  Additionally (the second but) I have been busy reorganizing my space to get maximum efficiency/benefit out of the resources I have because, looking at our finances we (when discussing finances I must always use the plural ‘we’ otherwise I get in trouble) determined that I am going to have to make do with the gear that I currently have on hand (that is the other personal goal/prediction that I’m going to be missing at the end of the year).

To that end I’ve been moving furniture, and rearranging cables, and relocating devices.  I’ve also been doing some selective cleanup on the old area that was my last office space — and managed at the same time to open up the space a bit while also bringing my electronic piano keyboard into the office.  It’s now cozy and useful.  In short I’ve achieved some level of sanity, and have more levels to go.  Which brings up a question, are there really levels of sanity?  I imagine they are much like the levels of Hell – certainly related in opposite measure (the more sane you are, the less hellish your existence).  So right now I’m mid level crazy on a caffeine jag.  I do, however have a plan and a budget.

The plan is to actually get stuff done.  To enable the doing – I’ve allowed myself a modest budget.  With it I’ve accumulated a few useful things.

First – I was thinking of getting a USB mixing board…but instead I decided to keep my old analog mixing board, and instead figured out what I needed to do to connect it to my computer more effectively than a mono- 1/4″ Phono Jack to USB cable that I happened to have laying around.  Instead, I got a purpose built stereo RCA In/Out to USB converter with cables to match – so I can jack into the mixing board and output stereo.  Additionally – the output provides a monitor link that I can feed to either speakers or the headphone jack.  Added a 4 port stereo headphones amp and cable to allow my friends and family to listen and participate  in the creativity (music, podcast, whatever).  I’m thinking maybe it would be easier just to podcast this blog…a ‘plog’?  Do people do that?  (I’ve only ever seen video blogs – not dedicated voice blogs before…perhaps it’s an antiblog?)  More to contemplate there.

Secondly – I got a 1 TB USB/Firewire external drive.  This allows me to do more work on the laptop without filling up the disk, and provides a target for backups/time machine.  With this in place I was able to backup my Windows 7 game box’s files – and then wiped it and reloaded with Debian Linux 64 bit.  This lead me through yet another adventure loading various applications on it to regain equivalent+ functionality to what was on the Windows machine (The only simulations I had going on it were Second Life, and Flight Gear – both of which I was able to get going again after a bit of coaxing – loading of 32 bit compatibility libraries and updating to the latest NVidia driver).  I was also able to get Code::Blocks, Blender, Gimp and various development tools loaded as well, including GCC, Python, Make, etc.  I have a few items I’m still trying to get working including a driver for my logitech joystick/keypad and a 3D world development framework.  This Linux machine now becomes my primary software development platform; my Macbook Pro is the video and audio recording/editing and drawing/writing platform.  Finally my ancillary machines will serve other purposes (DNS, Email, Webserver).  As a result of all this rearrangement, I’ll not be building a hypervisor laboratory as I originally intended.  I’m thinking it might be better to focus on the creative aspects more than the administrative aspects at home anyway.  We shall see.

So now I’m feeling saner and with some quiet focus time coming up soon(tm)- I should be able to make headway on my projects this year.  More on the project list in a future post.  Ciao for now.

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    • Loveley
    • April 17th, 2012

    Yo, thought you might find this interesting.

    an old 60 minutes special on Dungeons and Dragons from 1985.

  1. Wow – that was insane funny in retrospect. Nothing ever changes.

    Update: The Linux 64 bit system was sacrificed due to my wife’s machine going up in smoke. I salvaged what I could – and used my machine to restore her back to operation – this time with an additional fan from the old machine to keep it running cool. So far, so good…but even more limited resources for doing development…I’ll blog about the details of what I did after that setback a little later.

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