New Things

  • Well, my earlier misgivings about Longmire have been surpassed by the unfolding story and its depth.  The build-up of season two was quite good in setting up several layers of suspense, and the finale was excellent.  Each season after that contained a wonderfully evolving story.  They’ve still made a gaping mistake here and there (don’t learn about the Castle Doctrine from this show), but the quality of the story makes it worth tolerating the screw-ups.  I have binge-watched through all five seasons now, and the finale has me salivating for more.
  • My desktop computer, on which I do all of my video and photo editing, was built in late 2010.  The motherboard has always been screwy, with symptoms that come and go.  I have been living with that and putting off an upgrade for years.  Well, today I have upgraded my computer with a new motherboard, CPU, and RAM.  I have also upgraded to Windows 10 (it was running Windows 7).  I wasn’t expecting a huge step forward in performance, but video renders are taking about a third of the time as before.  I’m eager to try some 3D ray tracing.
  • While I was spending money, I purchased and installed ESET NOD32 anti-virus software.  I have been running AVG for years, and I just got tired of it annoying me with things to buy.  I decided I was willing to pay for software that doesn’t harass me, and I wasn’t going to reward the makers of AVG for their bad behavior.  I had never heard of ESET before I started to research the question, but it reviews well in terms of effectiveness and performance, and it supposedly has a simple and well-mannered user-interface.  I guess we’ll see.
  • Another change I am considering is not installing iTunes.  It is such a bloated piece of software, and I’m sure it will screw up my collection if I try to reinstall.  I only use it for the store anymore, and I’m aggravated that the only format they offer is one that my car stereo doesn’t support.  I’m thinking about switching to Winamp and buying my music from Amazon.
  • It is surprising to see that a clearly more powerful computer draws less power at idle.  When I measured the power consumption of my last computer, it idled at 114 watts.  My new computer idles at 85 watts.  On the other hand, the old computer drew 193 watts under load (video rendering), while this one averages 240 watts doing the same task.
  • My brother and I have watched the two-part pilot episode of Star Trek: Discovery, and it was pretty good.  The visual style is very different from any Star Trek television series before it.  There are hints that it will be more character driven, and darker, but it is too early to know for sure.  I could have done without the re-imagined Klingons, who look more like the aliens in Prometheus than the usual (1979-2005) depiction of Klingons.
  • I am binge-watching season five of Elementary on Amazon so that I can begin watching season six episodes as they are released on CBS All Access.  I’m ticked off that I had to pay Amazon to watch season five because CBS All Access doesn’t have them.  Elementary is made by CBS, but all they had was “recap” paragraphs of each episode, and a few behind-the-scenes interviews.  CBS hasn’t really graduated to the streaming age.
  • It seems like I have been doing a lot of sewing, but somehow I can’t name off hordes of projects I have completed.  I’ve made five pairs of lounge pants.  Three sets of custom-fitted sheets for my hide-a-beds.  I made a storage bag in which to keep all the pillows.  I can’t think of much else, which defies logic, given how many times I’ve been in the fabric store recently.  I own a serger now.