2016 — 29 January: Friday

Having been detained on other business for a while this morning1 I've just amused myself by reading "An old git looks back at Tech". Very entertaining. (Link.)

I shall...

... quietly dodge the fact that I am even older. [Pause] My next, rather longer, read is related... but more future-oriented. (Link.) More here, too. (Link.)

It all ties in rather neatly with that series "The Brain". Cue the music from the Twilight Zone...

Acting on...

... a jolly useful tip yesterday, I have now disabled the 60" Kuro screen so Linux can never be tempted to allow any applications to venture on to its desktop space except when I actually want them to. It was pointed out to me that Linux neither knows nor cares about whether the Kuro is powered on or whether the HDMI signal path2 to it is "live" or not. All it knows is that, at some point, I made known to it "another" display screen — not my primary desktop, but nonetheless available for use.

Knocking out the Kuro

Had I been even half as aware as an emerging A.I. I would have spotted the only clue I needed. It's in the name Linux assigned to this extra display: Oppo Digital, Inc. 52". Linux only sees as far as the next physical device in the chain, which in this case is not the actual display device. Or so I assume. And it's perfectly happy to send video signals to that device (which is the Oppo Blu-ray player where the first section of the HDMI signal cable terminates).

Just don't ask me where that "52 inches" comes from! I haven't a clue.

It's been quite a while...

... since my last serious attack of the "time to upgrade my main PC" feelings:


I managed to fend off these feelings for a whole year before caving in and putting together BlackBeast Mk I. Of course, this was back in the wicked world of Windows. My mishap (some might say "stupid clumsiness") with a large CPU cooler led directly to BlackBeast Mk II a year later. And the catastrophic failure of my Win8.1 Pro Update 1 SSD led directly to (can you guess?) BlackBeast Mk III in March 2015. That was also the point at which I turned my back on Windows.

It's occurred to me that it would make quite a pleasant change to move to a new PC as a result of a calm, well-planned, deliberate act of Free Will (if such a thing exists) rather than as a result of struggling from the rubble of a previous PC train wreck. So I'm watching Len's progress like a hawk as he tries to keep a pair of curious cats out of his newest Games supercomputer. And I've also just read...

Latest Mag

... to give me a slightly better understanding of the current range of options. I still think that forthcoming Intel NUC will do me very nicely, though I also admit it's quite good fun to take the DIY route. Whatever I do, it will be a Linux PC of some flavour. Quiet (ideally, completely silent), fast, and small. It may not even be black!



1  It's already past 11:30, it seems.
2  For that path to be "live" firstly the Kuro has to be on, then the Oppo Blu-ray player also has to be on, and finally the Oppo has to be set to expect HDMI signal input on its rear HDMI input socket. Only then is there a continuous signal path from the graphics card in BlackBeast to the equally Black Beast at the far end of the living room.