random complexity

with a side of crazy

Posts Tagged 'random'

The bitcoin distraction

Ok so with the surge in price of bitcoins in june-july spiking to USD30 each and then crashing back to about USD12 it got some decent media coverage.

Perhaps I was in a vunerable situation, looking for something hobby like and a decent distraction. See I needed a distraction from storage as that's a problem still sort of wrecking on the rocks waiting to sink. Mix into this the lack of a vmware box and I've sort of lost the plot again.

So I sank some cash into a box to mine bitcoins, which was fine, or would have been fine if the hardware didn't have issues. Basically I rushed into it and opted for something available right now vs shopping around for a quality product. So the Gigabyte board I have has a fault which took about 2 weeks to isolate, and one of 2 dimms is also faulty. Now I really hate returning stuff, and after dealing with gigabytes useless and slow support decided to never buy a product from them ever again, and I still have to convince the shop that there is a fault. So that will be downtime, and in bitcoin mining - all downtime costs money. Real money.

A further complication came from a software hang issue caused by ATI Catalyst drivers, OpenCL code and an accelerated video layer (or GPU call) on Windows. Basically a major bug in the ATI drivers causes a hang of the machine if a video plays while OpenCL code is running. This was after realising the driver bundle with control center caused crashes itself, so switching to the driver only pack at least let me isolate the problem. Oh and the fix has been committed for the driver release due out AFTER the next one. So October apparently. Thank's AMD/ATI. I'll never buy your products ever again too. For reference, this card was released in NOVEMBER last year.

The memory fault isn't such a problem now, but once this fad wears off (or becomes unprofitable due to the price of power going up due to failure of the government (to cater for population growth or restrict immigration)) I was hoping to use this box as a vmware host. But alas, it's again apparent that I'm not allowed to have things go well or to plan.

Further proof of this was the build up to the final Harry Potter film. My glasses broke, and not having spares anymore (long story) left me without sight. Skip forward a week and I'm still without, and now without more money too. Health insurance is such a scam. It barely covered 25% of the cost of replacement glasses. Sigh.

I'm not allowed to win. Someone please remind me why is it I try at all.

Perhaps I should move to some far away land which is cheaper than here. Perth's now in the top 10 most expensive cities to live, and it's higher up the list than New York. What the hell am I staying here for (apart from America being filled with americans).



Random life and philosophy update

fair trade logos and victory gin

Recently I noticed there's a lot of talk going on about fair trade coffee. Is it just me or does this sounds remarkably similar to Victory Gin from Orwell's 1984. In fact, even the fair trade logos (there's heaps) share some subtle similarties. I think I really need to read 1984 again, as it's been many years and even though it might have been written a long time ago in a totally different world to which we live today, maybe Orwell could see what was going to happen, perhaps it was already in motion for some time when he wrote.

Although I have recently watched another conspiracy documentary. All very scary, all very how could we let this happen. Sure take it with a grain of salt and all, but I still don't like the way so many things are heading. The writing on the wall isn't great (though I do appreciate artistic graffiti) and that makes you wonder if there is some grand plan being followed (religion or alien perhaps) or if it's just the illusion of power at the top that drives us all. Orwell touched on that, Equilibrium did too. Hopefully as in both, freedom and freewill will prevail. Without freedom what is the point?

Has anyone else noticed the gradual dumbing down of the workforce and population. It seems most people really are sheep and just do as they're told, think as they're told and essentially live their whole lives as someone/something else intended them to. I think we're losing the ability to make decisions and we're just stuck in a loop of a routine. At work people have even lost the view of the whole, maybe they never saw/understood the big picture, but I've seen a lot of "work" being done because higher up said so, despite it negatively impacting others work or even causing loss of service to the customers. No wonder IT in general has a bad image in most (if not all) workplaces. There's a total lack of consideration/compassion. To be part of this mess makes me feel bad inside. I pride myself in doing quality work, and when the powers that be dictate otherwise it actually hurts me.

That segues nicely into some great news. Recently I quit my job of 6(+2) years to focus on mental clarity and meaningful work. After some weeks doing stuff I've needed to do for ages, I've now entered the job search game, and hope to have a new, meaningful job sometime soon. With all this time on my hands I've actually achieved so much. I've finished some programming projects that have been shelved for ages, I've completed some other time consuming tasks that needed focus and time to achieve. Above all though is the process of clearing my mind. Part of this mental purge is to clean up the house. I've accumulated way too much crap, and a lot of it has to go. So I'm going to sell some stuff on ebay and reduce. Looking back it's easy to see what you use and what you don't. Even if you think you'd use something or would like to use something, if you haven't in years, what's the chance of you using it in the next few years and by then is it even still relevant. I'm not yet factoring in how much keeping things costs me in terms of volume occupied or mental effort to maintain it, that might be the tipping point from a good exercise to going somewhat crazy.

I've read a lot about Minimalism lately and most of it sounds great to me, I'm not sure how to apply all of the ideas to my life. Or warp my life around it to make things work. Sure it might just be a phase, but it does make sense to me, and I've been writing that less is more and the more you have the more problems you have, for quite some time now. It's just now I have the time to put it into practice, and it's making me feel really good. Forcing yourself to justify things seems to make you realise so much about yourself and how you even think. All very deep and meaningful, and the other benefit is the house has never been cleaner. I've been keeping notes on what I've been doing, and who knows I might even turn it into an ebook (to follow in the path of the other great successful minimalists).

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