Week 93: Overcomplication
My talk at LRUG didn’t go nearly as well as I’d hoped. I had prepared my talk in plenty of time. I had my slides set up to show on the monitor, with notes on my laptop. I had a remote control. I felt calm and ready.
And then, instead of the sensible option of plugging in a cable, I had to connect to the projector right next to me over Zoom, which connected over the internet to another computer in the same room, which, presumably was wired into the projector.
It was a complete shitshow. There were whole minutes of latency between me changing a slide and the change appearing on the screen next to me, up until it stopped working entirely halfway through the talk. I had to change networks to try to find one with better bandwidth than the guest wifi, and then reconnect to Zoom. That took a good five minutes of faffing around.
Other people have told me that it went well despite all that, but I felt pretty angry and sabotaged by the whole setup, and I really felt I lost my grasp on the narrative.
I’m putting “physical HDMI cable” on my rider for any future talks.
In further woman dead at 96 news, I was sad to see that Angela Lansbury died, but it brought out a lot of really positive stories about her, like her fundraising for AIDS during the worst of the crisis, and how she gave old golden age actors roles on Murder She Wrote so that they’d continue to benefit from union insurance and pensions.
The UK has yet another Chancellor of the Exchequer. That’s the fourth this calendar year. So far. This country is doing a service to the world by showing how poorly the ideas of the free market ideologues translate into reality, but I’d rather not be living in the cautionary tale myself.
I feel extremely lucky that we have a mortgage fixed at a very good rate until 2026. Maybe things will be better then.
I spent a lot of the weekend designing PCBs in Kicad. It’s amazing how absorbing it is, and how quickly the hours pass. I had a few things to make, and I wanted to order them all together so that I’d be able to save on shipping. It was a relief to press the buy button and be able to stop thinking about them.
In the end, though, it only cost me £20 for all three boards (ten of one design, five each of the other two) including VAT and shipping. I spent too much time worrying about it, considering that the stakes are so low.
The things I have designed and ordered are:
- a MIDI in/out/thru board (with full-size DIN) for 3.3V circuits
- a backpack for 1602 LCD displays to allow contrast adjustment and/or simpler connections
- a Raspberry Pi hat to facilitate setting up a MiniDexed FM synthesiser
The MiniDexed board uses both of the other two boards, although I also have other plans for these, too.