Category Archives: Tech

The best camera is not a camera

I knew my new iPad would take better photos than my ancient iPad 2, but the ease of taking an excellent, well-balanced photo every single time makes using my Canon 6D now seem cumbersome and pointless. Wide angle, portrait, 4K video, it does it all equally well and effortlessly.

No filter.

The low-down on the upload

I took over the volunteer webmaster position for our community website when the previous person moved back to the US a few years ago. He was a coder and I am not, but he assured me I could learn all the PHP and HTML and ABCs easily enough. He was overly optimistic!

I managed to update the website he created a few times by copying and editing bits of code but, to be honest, the site changed so infrequently I had to relearn each time I made changes, and I wasn’t enjoying the experience.

Last year I figured out how to make a basic WordPress site and built a new community site. Today I messed something up and now need to restore the site using a backup I thankfully downloaded. Unfortunately this is my Internet connection speed right now:

By the way, the answer to the question is that I’m getting exactly what I expect to get.

The file is 575 MB, so I think a trip to Summerside (45 kilometres away) to grab some wifi will be in order next week, and fingers and toes crossed the backup works.

MiniDisc

Just found this promotional MiniDisc fridge magnet in the bottom of a box of historic detritus. It claims to be a non-functional sample, but perhaps it contains a secret code? Never got a MiniDisc player (not many did!), so I’ll never know. Can’t imagine where I got it or why. I have a vague memory of going to a theatre tech trade show in Toronto in the early 1990s, so I could have snapped it up there, or maybe Sony sponsored something at Roy Thomson Hall when I worked there around the same time. Rest in peace, MiniDisc, we hardly knew ye.

Higher and Higher Speed

Buried in the early shock of the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown was the exciting announcement on March 13 that areas of PEI with poor internet access would be getting proper high speed service by the end of June 2021.

We’ve been down this road a couple of times before and have been disappointed that it never came our way, but this time there are maps and lists and even talk of fibre op! We moved from dialup to 1.5 Mbps “high speed” at the end of December 2009 and that seemed like a miracle; 10 years later, it doesn’t seem as shiny and lovely. Here’s a speed test tonight:

That’s Mbps, folks!

For this “unlimited high speed internet” plus our home landline and my ancient phone plan (from 1999!) that doesn’t have any data OR texting, we pay $212.

Plan for our area.

If this promise of internet Nirvana wasn’t exciting enough, along comes Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starlink service, a plan to place thousands of satellites in low Earth orbit to make broadband internet available to the whole world by the end of 2021. Some of the satellites have been launched and are visible at night as a line of lights moving across the sky. They will be swinging by PEI tonight at 9:25 p.m., so I’ll be out having a peek at the future.

255.9 km/h

I was in Summerside yesterday when our Acurite 5-in-1 weather station recorded a 255.9 km/h wind gust just before 2 p.m. Just glad the house is still standing and the chickens didn’t blow away. What powerful spirit could have flown by and gave the anemometer a spin? Maybe the gitpu (eagle) I spoke to earlier this week as she flew over our house checking out our hens. Message received.

Force Favicons to Refresh

Having the wrong favicon on a Safari bookmark isn’t a big deal when facing an almost-pandemic and climate emergency, but a couple of websites I visit frequently both ended up with the YouTube favicon for some reason and it was driving me a bit squirrelly – I wanted to at least fix this one tiny thing!

I tried deleting a bunch of files that I probably shouldn’t have in my library and it didn’t make a bit of difference. A helpful thread on an Apple community forum lead me to this trick of visiting a website in private mode to force its favicon to refresh. I don’t understand why this magic spell works, but all the wonky little favicons are back to normal and I can now worry about stocking up for a pandemic in peace. I hope this helps some other distracted soul.

The Future is Now

The new fast charger in the Summerside Canadian Tire parking lot is now working. It costs a pretty penny, but I wanted to try it out to make sure I understood how it worked. It’s easy: plug in, wave pre-loaded Flo card at station, press green button, charge. The one at the O’Leary corner Tim Horton’s is also supposed to be online.

Had the funny experience again today of describing what it is like to own a GM product to someone who sells GM products. I’m not usually an early adopter of anything, so this is a funny place to be. Good thing I like to talk!

Shiny new station, filthy new car.
I’ve been calling this connection CHAdeMO, but it’s CCS/SAE…I think!