Year of The Broken Desktop

This morning I attempted to start work on my desktop PC and couldn’t. The screen is black, it doesn’t want to wake up the displays. I used the old REISUB trick to restart, and it boots, but there’s no output on the display. I did some investigation and this post is mainly to capture my notes and so others can see the problem and perhaps debug and fix it. The setup is an Intel Skull Canyon NUC connected to an external GPU enclosure which contains an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060. [Read More]
ubuntu  nvidia  qa 

Adding giscus Comments

My blog at has gone through a number of iterations since I started it back in the 1990’s. First it was created using Microsoft FrontPage, and hosted on some free web space at CiX, and has morphed into a self-hosted WordPress site, Nikola static site, and now a Hugo static site. At various times I’ve had comment systems available underneath posts. Over the years I’ve used Microsoft FrontPage extensions (which, amusingly used to crash the entire Web Host at CiX back in the day), WordPress comments, and Disqus to facilitate visitor interaction. [Read More]

Visiting The Cave

If you only want to know about my visit to The Cave and not the nonsense about my aracde boards, feel free to scroll down to “Three Wise Men” Note: I’ve embedded some posts from Twitter (where there’s engagement with other Tweeps) and other posts from Mastodon, because, y’know. Yesterday I had cause to visit Bristol in the west of England. I live in Farnborough, in the South East of England, so it’s a two-hour journey each way. [Read More]

Find Your Twitter Friends on Mastodon

Depending on who you speak to, Twitter is (or isn’t) in turmoil, and Mastodon is (or isn’t) here to supplant (or backup (or not)) the “de facto town square”. Whether any of that is true or not, there’s been a surge in people signing up, and trying out the Mastodon experience. (via this tweet) For those who aren’t familiar with all this, learn more about Mastodon over at the friendly-looking main Join Mastodon site. [Read More]

Reading My Own Blog Posts (no bots!)

Download audio I had some fun when I blogged about using a bot to read my blog post. While fun, it wasn’t a particularly pleasant way to consume blog content. The audio is still a bit robotic, with little care for timing, ephasis and stress on words. So in my next blog post, in which I detailed how to setup Mimic 3, I actually read the blog post out loud, recorded that and attached it as an MP3. [Read More]

Setting Up Mimic 3

Download audio Yesterday I blogged about using Mycroft AI’s Mimic 3, an Open Source Text-to-Speech engine I used to generate audio of a blog post. One thing I didn’t mention, which might be useful, is how to setup Mimic 3. It’s pretty straightforward, so here we go. The Mimic 3 developers have some releases over on their mimic3 GitHub repo, which include deb packages. If you want the easy way, maybe use those, but I wanted to try the latest and greatest, so I grabbed the latest master branch. [Read More]

Blog To Speech - In My Voice

Recently my Internet friend Terrence Eden crafted a blog post titled Blog To Speech which you might want to also read. It serves as an inspiration for this post. In short, there’s a trend in blogging (and on some news sites) to add an audio transcription of the page you’re reading, usually at the top of the article. Mostly this is done semi-automatically using a bot to read in an “AI generated” voice such as Amazon Polly. [Read More]

Team Building via Chess

One of the things I really love about working at Influx Data is the strong social focus for employees. We’re all remote workers, and the teams have strategies to enable us to connect better. One of those ways is via Chess Tournaments! I haven’t played chess for 20 years or more, and was never really any good at it. I know the basic moves, and can sustain a game, but I’m not a chess strategy guru, and don’t know all the best plays. [Read More]

LXD - Container Manager

Preamble I recently started working for InfluxData as a Developer Advocate on Telegraf, an open source server agent to collect metrics. Telegraf builds from source to ship as a single Go binary. The latest - 1.19.1 was released just yesterday. Part of my job involves helping users by reproducing reported issues, and assisting developers by testing their pull requests. It’s fun stuff, I love it. Telegraf has an extensive set of plugins which supports gathering, aggregating & processing metrics, and sending the results to other systems. [Read More]

My Least Used Favourite App

I have so many applications on my Android Phone, I’ve lost count. Too many chat apps, multiple web browsers, tons of games, and other garbage. However, there’s one app, which is one of my favourites while probably being the least used application. It doesn’t technically benefit me at all, but is useful to others, when I use it. The app in question is “Be My Eyes”. It’s available for Android and iOS, and is very easy to setup. [Read More]