Category Archives: computers

21 for 2021: week 15

Week 15/2021: week of 12 April 2021

21 for 2021 update

Working through the Change Journal (thing 4) I’m still working on the journalling chapter (Chapter 24), which relates to the new habit in Chapter 7 that I’m trying to form of doing 20 minutes of writing every morning. I didn’t start a new chapter this week.

I did a lot of work on one of my annoying undone things (thing 5) this week. Following my discovery about how to potentially address my Mac’s issues, I decided to post in the Apple support forums to see what the Mac gurus thought would work best in terms of getting an SSD to replace the useless hard drive. Before I did that I ran an Etrecheck scan, which they alway ask to look at before answering people’s questions. It came back with flashing red lights and the scary message that, not only is the hard drive useless, it is FAILING!

Nothing to see here

The Mac gurus’ advice was to get an external SSD as soon as possible, and one of them sent me some instructions on how to set it up as a startup drive.

After a bit of research, I decided which drive I wanted and went to order it. My delivery options were two weeks to have it delivered to my GPO box or I could pick it up from the post office shop on Tuesday. Two weeks to get it from the post office box or three days to get it from the counter AT THE SAME POST OFFICE.


It’s ordered.

The other thing I did from that list was to take Kramstable into the bank and open his new account.

I spent an hour on Sunday afternoon working on Kramstable’s video (thing 8) and I went to see my mum on Thursday (thing 9). We tried to work out from Google maps where her childhood farm was. I got a vague idea but not the exact spot. I didn’t think it would be that hard, I mean if Saroo Brierley can find his childhood home in India on Google Earth, surely we can pin down the location of a farm on South Riana Road. Apparently, we can’t.

I worked on lesson 7 of The Compelling Frame (thing 11) and started module 5 of the Brainsparker gym* (thing 17).

Sunday morning walk

21 for 2021 week 15 summary

  • Things completed this week: 0
  • Things completed to date: 1 (1)
  • Things I progressed: 7 (4, 5, 8, 9, 11, 17, 20)
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress: 8 (2, 6, 7, 10, 13, 14, 16, 18)
  • Things not started: 5 (3, 12, 15, 19, 21)

Blast from the past

Following on from my 10-year review of my blog, here’s another one of my favourite posts from 2011. This one is from 23 October 2011: Find your passion. The lesson I still need to take from this, ten years later, is

I need a big push to get me started on anything, even if it’s something I love doing. This can only come from me. There are no excuses. I can either take the easy way and procrastinate, do nothing and continue to feel bad about that, or I can push through the pain of the resistance barrier, do something and end up feeling good about what I’ve achieved.

When did I listen and what did I learn this week?

I’ve been working through the Wicking Centre‘s Understanding Dementia MOOC, and this week I learned more about caring for people with dementia and the approach called person-centred care.

I learned that there are many different definitions of person-centred care, but to me it’s about recognising that every person is a unique individual with their own likes and dislikes. They have things that make them happy, they have things that make them sad. And before we attempt to provide care or address behaviours in a person with dementia, we need to know who that person actually is and what matters to them. What is actually important to them? What makes their life worthwhile? What is it that they really can’t stand? Things like their background and their history, what their occupation was, what their hobbies were underpin person-centred care so we get to know them as a person rather than as a “dementia patient”.

I also learned that people with dementia can get offended when people brush off lapses in their own memory as “dementia” if they don’t actually have the condition. Dementia is a terminal condition, not something to make jokes about in that way.

Finally, I learned that what is good for your heart (in terms of exercise diet etc) is also good for your brain.

More Sunday morning walk

What was the best thing about this week?

I took part in an assessment for a community grants program, which I really enjoyed. I felt a bit out of my depth as I didn’t have a lot of knowledge about the program and what was expected, but the program team had prepared clear assessment guidelines and outlined their expectations really well. I felt a lot more confident meeting with the rest of the panel and finding that for the most part, my views and rankings were consistent with what others had thought and that I wasn’t way out of the ball park. I also felt more confident knowing I had picked up on points that the some of the others hadn’t noticed. It was great to meet new people and to come together for a process like this and I appreciated the opportunity to be involved. This is a program I expect to be more involved with in the next few months, so it was a great introduction for me.

What I’m reading this week

  • On Writing by Stephen King
  • Dæmon Voices: On Stories and Storytelling by Philip Pullman

Habit tracker

  • Days I did my morning planning routine at work (Goal = 4): 4
  • Days I did my post-work pack up routine (Goal = 4): 4
  • Days I worked on my art (Goal = 2): 6
  • Days I read a book (Goal = 7): 7
  • Days I did yoga stretches (Goal = 7): 7
  • Days I had a lunch break away from my desk (Goal = 4 work days): 4
  • Days I went for a walk or did other physical activity in the afternoon (Goal = 7): 2
  • Days I shut my computer down before 10.15 (Goal = 7): 7

21 for 2021: week 14

Week of 5 April 2021

I’ve split this week’s post into two because I wrote so much about my vege cooking exploits. You can find part one here.

Sprouts. I cooked them.

I’ve been working through several chapters of the Change Journal, as I was last week. This week, I completed Chapter 11 (Reading), which is obviously something I am going to continue, and I’m working on Chapter 24 (Journalling), which actually has space for 37 days writing rather than just a week.

I did some more behind the scenes work on my website (thing 13) and a bit more set up for my UK trip album (thing 10).

Monday morning walk. It’s not always bad when your plans don’t go according to plan.

There are several things on my list that I have made a regular commitment to doing in the hope that this will be more likely to make me do them. I worked on these ones this week.

Thing 5: Spend an hour a week working through my annoying undone things list. I worked on a couple of these things. One of the annoying undone things is to sort out why my computer is slow and do something to fix it. I had a list of suggestions from the Apple support people, which I finally tried on Saturday. Unsurprisingly, none of them worked, because I think that the problem has been that the hard drive is too slow for the software that I use. (This is a thing. I googled it.) I believe that the solution to this is either to get a tech person to pull out the hard drive and replace it with a new SSD or to get an external SSD and set it up to be the startup drive for the computer so it bypasses the internal hard drive. So that’s next week’s job. 

Thing 8: Spend an hour a week working on Kramstable’s videos. One hour on Sunday afternoon. I was going to do this then I discovered that someone had updated my movie editing app, which had deleted the version that I’d been working with, and the project wasn’t fully compatible with the new version so I couldn’t open it. Aaaaaaargh! After considerable panic and attempts to get the old version back, I finally managed to restore it from the backup. Who’d have thought.

Thing 9: Write my mother’s life story. I went to see my mum on Thursday and we talked some more about her school days.

Thing 17: Brainsparker gym*. This week, I finished module 4. We talked about the “helicopter view”. I have a friend who will be most amused by this.

21 for 2021 summary

  • Things completed this week: 0
  • Things completed to date: 1 (1)
  • Things I progressed: 9 (2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 13, 17, 20)
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress: 6 (6, 7, 11, 14, 16, 18)
  • Things not started: 5 (3, 12, 15, 19, 21)
I have a Very Important New Job. Or just a folder I found in the stationery cupboard. Take your pick.

Blast from the past

Following on from my 10-year review of my blog, here’s another one of my favourite posts from 2011. This one is from 25 September 2011: Let’s talk about housework. That three things to-do list is something I should consider doing again, I think. My lists these days seem to be getting longer and longer, especially on weekends. I don’t think it’s healthy to see a mass of undone things at the end of every day.

A morning rainbow. And a cloud that looks like a cat.

When did I listen and what did I learn this week?

I learned that if you hold down the ‘a’ key on a Mac keyboard a range of options come up and you can type the number according to the character you want. For æ, it’s 5. It works with c, e, i, l, n, o, s, u and z as well. In case you ever wanted to know how to type ł.

What I’m reading this week

  • Wanderlust: A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit
  • On Writing by Stephen King
  • Dæmon Voices: On Stories and Storytelling by Philip Pullman

Habit tracker

  • Days I did my morning planning routine at work (Goal = 3): 3
  • Days I did my post-work pack up routine(Goal = 3): 3
  • Days I worked on my art (Goal = 2): 4
  • Days I read a book (Goal = 7): 7
  • Days I did yoga stretches (Goal = 7): 7
  • Days I had a lunch break away from my desk (Goal = 4 work days): 4
  • Days I went for a walk or did other physical activity in the afternoon (Goal = 7): 3
  • Days I shut my computer down before 10.15 (Goal = 7): 7

the farmer and the musician

I wasn’t going to write a post today.

The 365 Project is over and I can relax and skip a few days, posting only when something that interests me happens, or when I want to talk about something.

But today had its moments so I wanted to share them.

Firstly, we have a huge yellow plum tree in our back yard, which has been sadly neglected and which we forget to prune every year, without fail.

It grows yellow plums – obviously – and Slabs turns them into plum jam and plum sauce. A few weeks ago they started dropping off the tree, and Junoirdwarf went around the yard picking them up and putting them in the back of his Tonka truck.

This was because, he said, he is now a farmer.

So this morning we found him standing on a chair picking the unripe plums from the tree and putting them into an empty pot.

All part of being a farmer.

Fast forward to this afternoon, when Juniordwarf and I had a little disagreement and he went outside. A bit later I went to look for him and found him in the vege garden pushing all the plums he’d picked this morning into the polystyrene box that his carrots are growing in.

He said he was planting the plums so they’d grow.

I really hope they don’t . . .

As well as being a farmer, Juniordwarf is also a musician. We make a lot of mix tapes (or whatever the CD equivalent is), and Slabs has made several for Junordwarf of his favourite songs of the moment.

The other day he announced that he would be making his own CD, with 16 songs on it, because that’s a good number. Not only does he name all the songs, but now he sets himself up a venue to perform, complete with drum and pedals, and sings the whole CD.

Here are some photos of today’s performance, in which the Tarja (former singer from Nightwish) song “Anteroom of Death” was followed by two of his own compositions: “Doodlebum” and “Race Your Feet so You’re the Bum”.

If you’re wondering about the outfit, so are we. 

Late this morning, Juniordwarf got changed. He said he wanted to dress up in green. Presumably no further explanation is necessary.

P365 – Day 157 poor neglected eMac, I haven’t seen you for a while

I worked from home again today, with the intention of turning what I’d written down last week into a document that made some kind of sense.

This meant a shift from my cosy reading chair to my ergonomic OH&S-approved-by-work computer desk, upon which my 2003 eMac sits forlornly, after having been upstaged by my MacBook last year.

I got it as part of an insurance settlement following a power surge that wiped out most of the electric and electronic equipment in our house. It took several months, and many phone calls to the insurance company (and possibly a couple of letters of complaint as well), before the electrical repairer that the insurance company had seemingly picked out of the phone book because it was the first one listed in our area admitted that he actually couldn’t repair my poor old fried Mac Performa, and the insurance company agreed to get me a new computer.

I can’t remember exactly which model of Mac Performa I had, but 580CD rings a bell. If that’s the one, according to, it

featured a 33 MHz 68LC040 processor, 5 MB or 8 MB of RAM, and either a 250 MB or 500 MB hard drive in a relatively-compact all-in-one case with a 14″ color display. The Performa 580CD was sold in Canada, Asia and Australia, and was discontinued in February 1996.

Yep, five MB of RAM and a hard drive measured in megabytes. A 33MHz processor.

I may well laugh now, but it was the first computer I ever owned, and I loved it. I was shattered when it was fried.

The replacement eMac has an 80 GB hard drive and came with 128 MB of RAM. As you can imagine, I was pretty over the moon with it eight years ago, and couldn’t imagine how I’d ever need anywhere near 80 GB of memory.

That was before I got a digital camera, a digital camcorder and had a child.

Say no more.

I don’t remember the last time I actually used it, and it felt weird to be using a desktop Mac again. I’m now so used to the MacBook trackpad that I kept reaching for the non-existent trackpad on the keyboard. (I don’t do that at work, mainly I think because I mouse with my left hand, whereas I trackpad and mouse at home with my right hand, so I don’t get confused at work.)

Apart from the fact that it had been so long since I’d used it (maybe we had a power outage since then) that it had reset itself to 1 January 1970, everything else was working fine, and I got a good amount of work done today.

And I took a couple of photos.

These pics are edited in Camera+ and put together in another nifty little app called PicFrame, which lets you make picture montages on your phone in different sizes and layouts. I like it a lot except for an annoying habit it has, of whenever you try and move a picture around in its frame, the Rotate/Mirror menu keeps popping up.

P365 – Day 151 sending an email

Juniordwarf hasn’t played with a lot of technology. He can operate his little CD player and the DVD player (with a nervous parent or two supervising).
I gave him a old computer keyboard that he does his ‘work’ on. (He doesn’t say what his work actually is; it’s just ‘work’ and he is sometimes very busy doing it.)
A couple of days ago he set the keyboard up on his dressing table, put the computer shaped squeezy stress toy that I gave him next to it and set up two chairs. He sat on one and Blue Teddy sat on the other and they both did some work on their computers.
He’s started very slowly typing words on his keyboard – mainly his name, ‘Mum’, ‘Dad’ and other words he remembers how to spell. He’s also had a few times typing on a real computer and seeing the words come up on the screen.
Today I was doing some stuff on my computer and I asked Juniordwarf if he wanted to send his aunt an email. So I helped him type it out. This was the result:


Subject:        hhhhhelloooooooooooo

Date:           31 May 2011 2:02:54 PM AEST


dear aunty lilsisssss





i 41112111111111111111111111ijjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj

Before he deleted the last 14 or so rows, each line following this was a number from 1 to about 14.
As he was typing each number he said, ‘when I was little I was 1.’ ‘When I was little I was 2.’ . . . ‘After my 4 I’m gonna be 5.’ ‘After my 5 I’m gonna be 6.’
And so on.
After we sent the email, he got his alphabet book and started typing out the words in that book. He got up to G for giraffe before he got bored, and that was the end of that.
It was fun helping him.

P365 – Day 90 backup

Let’s just say I’ve been a bit lax in backing up the external hard drive that all my movies of Juniordwarf’s life are stored on. I have multiple DVD copies but, until today, only one set of files.

They are currently in the process of being backed up to my new external hard drive. I’ll feel quite relieved when it’s done.

P365 – Day 59 i’m tired

In an attempt to juggle child care, school drop-offs and pickups and have the most possible time with Juniordwarf, while still working the same number of hours as I used to when I worked three days a week, Monday has become my ‘long day’ at work, at least temporarily.

This means that I am lucky enough to get up at 5.20 am, catch the 6.30 am bus and get into work a bit before 8.00 am. I still haven’t mastered the art of going to bed early, and if I get woken in the middle of the night, which I did last night, I find it very difficult to get back to sleep.
So this morning I felt pretty ordinary. 
You can imagine my delight then, this morning, when I arrived at work to see the building in darkness, people standing around the front door and murmuring ‘no power’.
Thoughts of having been able to stay in bed a bit longer swept through my mind as I sat on the front step clutching my coffee (in my funky red cup), willing the caffeine to energise my still-stupefied-with-tiredness brain. (I’d had a snooze on the bus, but as it got closer to town, had to force myself to stay awake, as I was worried I was going to sleep past my stop and end up who knows where. Maybe back home again, with a bit of luck.)
After a few minutes, power to the building had been restored and we were allowed in. Not convinced that the lift wouldn’t lose power on the way up, and put off a bit by the large number of people waiting, I took the plunge and decided to walk up the more than several flights of stairs to my floor. I figured that death by over-exertion would be preferable to death in a confined space.
When I made it up to the office, it became apparent that while the lights were on, the computers weren’t, so even having arrived, there wasn’t a lot I could actually do.
My next concern was whether the hot water was on. I was going to need more than one coffee this morning. Notwithstanding the fact that the office hadn’t actually started to function at this point, you could say that the public service would, er, grind to a halt without coffee.
Fortunately it was only the computers that were down, so more coffee was to be had.
While I was waiting – and what better time to organise my work for the coming week and catch up on some reading – the thought occurred to me that maybe a quick snooze under the desk might not be out of the question. But it really doesn’t look that comfortable. And even if I could sleep under there without being seen, the actual act of crawling under the desk would be sure to attract attention. In an open plan office, nothing is secret.
So I continue to consume vast quantities of coffee, while telling myself that next week will be different. I will go to bed early and I won’t be a tired mess.