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Random Ramblings

Welcome Midnight

It's been almost a month since we adopted Midnight from Ten Lives Cat Shelter. She's an adorable little girl (1 year old) who loves cuddles and to play with her toys. She is a very gentle natured cat that has that cheeky side where she will tap you with a paw (no claws though) or double bat you cheeks if you get down low to her.

One of the main differences we are doing with Midnight is that she is an indoor only cat. We do not want a repeat of whatever happened to Maisie to ever happen again.

So no doubt there will be many posts to come about Midnight and the us hoomins (humans) 😉

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Random Ramblings

Typical Neglect!

Well I'm not real good with keeping things updated on this blog these days, it's one of those things that you can fully immerse yourself into or neglect it (I seem to do the latter) When I started this blog on January 1st 2009 it was more of a learning platform for me to gain a better understanding of how to configure everything from installing Linux, the initial installation was using Ubuntu server edition configured as a LAMP service (Linux, Apache, Mysql & PHP)

I started to tinker with all this after I had a brief stay in hospital for a course of antibiotics (staphylococcus infection) and Clare had bought me a Linux Magazine that had a feature on WordPress. After reading the article over a few times (I was in hospital for a week) I thought to myself that I could setup something like this for myself. I had plenty of old computers suited for the task. So once I was home I set to task sorting the old hardware to build the best out of what was available. What I had was by no means great (I forget the exact specifications) but it worked.

My employer was in the process of replacing the main server along with several computers used through out and once this was completed the old IBM eServer 220 was offered to me as it was only going to e-waste for recycling. Naturally I took it thinking that this is just what I needed for running my own blog. I wasn't happy with the PC I'd made up so this server would be ideal. Once I got the server home and disassembled it to get rid of years of dust bunny build up! I noticed that it was capable of supporting two CPU's and there was a spare hard drive bay available.

So we skip forward to now, and what has changed? I no longer host the server here at home (saves $99 per quarter on electricity) the server is still sitting in the corner! But only gets powered up to source the configuration or similar. I don't have to make sure that the host software is updated or worry if/when the hardware is going to fail. I miss that part, but it's much cheaper outsourcing that side of things.

Anyway that's where things are at…

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Random Ramblings

Time to face facts

As much as I don't want to admit defeat, reality is slapping me hard in the face. It's been three months since our much loved little girl Maisie didn't come home.

Your disappearance has had such a devastating impact on all of us (Clare, Nicholas & myself) I miss you Maisie, I love you even more than ever, and I'll never stop looking for you…

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Random Ramblings

42 Days

As I've previously posted on here that our much loved moggie Maisie is missing, I can't believe that it's been 42 days since I last cuddled her and told her how much I love her and that she's my best friend, whilst giving her a pat and kisses on her head (and listening to her purr)

Yes there's a massive void in my life that will take time to adjust too. There's not a moment that goes by that I'm thinking of you. I've gone through pretty much all the process of grief, but I still feel there's hope that you will turn up like nothing has happened! (wishful thinking I know)

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Nonprofit Random Ramblings

Still Nothing of Maisie 😢

It's now been 16 days since Maisie disappeared. We've done two letterbox drops of the street and I've been searching the local tracks close to our house and I've found nothing. No clumps of fur on the ground, no blood trails, it's just like she vanished.

Although I will never stop looking for Maisie, it's obvious that something or someone has taken or trapped her. As hard as it is to admit, I don't believe that Maisie is going to return…

Maisie will certainly be missed and I don't believe that I'll ever have such a strong bond with another cat…

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Random Ramblings

Maisie is Missing 😢

6am Tuesday morning Maisie was let outside and has not returned home. This is very unusual behaviour as she usually is back inside no later than 12pm. For food and a sleep. I'm devastated that she's not come home.

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Random Ramblings

Got Packet Loss?

Well I'm pretty sure it's time to get a new router!

There shouldn't be any red in this picture!

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Amateur Radio Random Ramblings

Radioddity GD-73A

The GD-73A (TYT MD-430) is a low powered dual timeslot UHF DMR/FM radio that's recently been released for the amateur radio use.

I believe that the original purpose of this radio was to fill the Family Radio System or the European 446MHz short range with limited power and a fixed antenna.

However Radioddity are targeting the hotspot roll where you are generally only a few meters away from the hotspot. So it has two power levels, 500mw (low) and 2w (high)

My first impression is that the radio is comfortable in the hand, but has a very light PTT button. So it's pretty easy to key the radio when you don't mean to! The battery life is approximately 2 days just receiving and around 8 hours on transmit on high power (2w)

The small form factor is a comfortable size, but that PTT needs to be fixed. The provided programing software is fairly typical for a Chinese built radio, it's not the best, but it does the job. It lacks any ability to import/export to CSV files like most other radio's support.

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Random Ramblings

Anna Calvi – Odeon Theatre Hobart

I first discovered Anna on YouTube back in 2012 where she did a series of songs in the "attic sessions" What caught my attention was the way she was playing the guitar that was almost like it was a harp by using a circular motion when strumming the chords. The other thing was the sound produced just using a VOX AC30 and a USA 90's made Fender Telecaster. It is a clean tone with just a hint of breakup and lots of reverb. I figured that I'd most likely never get the chance to see her live, as living just out of Hobart Tasmania not many of the big names in the music industry actually include Tasmania in their touring schedule. But I was certainly surprised to hear a few months ago that she was to be playing as part of the Dark Mofo (organised by Mona) The evening was awesome! This is her second time in Australia, the first being in 2014.

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Amateur Radio Nonprofit Raspberry Pi

Nextion 3.5 screen for Hotspots

I've used Pi-star now for around a year and a half. The first screen I used with the Zumspot was a 0.96" OLED screen (I thought it was awesome!) but after a while I started seeing other amateur radio guys were using the Nextion screen/s These are an amazing piece of equipment they run on 5v and have many uses, the main one I'll be using is the NX4832K035_011 this is the advance type. Basically the only difference between the two (normal & advanced) is the on board memory, RTC and GPIO available for use with external items (not used for MMDVM)

As you can see above there are six screens! I used a sheet of 400x400x8mm polycarbonate (plexiglass) and cut it down to make it match the border (25mm) There is still enough space to get access to the micro SD card for updating the screen code.

Here's the finished product in place, I'll need to do a bit of cable management as it's bit untidy but overall I'm happy with the end result.