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Dad

Posted 2014.07.06 6.51 in Family/Friends

Dad

August 1938 – July 2014

20 Days and Counting

Posted 2010.11.04 13.12 in Life On Drugs

By my estimation, it’s now been 20 days since I last had my meds. The abrupt drop-off from almost 2 years on significant dosages of mind-altering chemicals down to zero, continues to have side-affects. Though fortunately I think the affects might be starting to wane. Maybe.

It’s hard to say, actually. Maybe the effects are diminishing, or maybe I’m getting used to them. I’m hoping that my brain isn’t permanently broken, from suddenly going off the pillz.

I still get the dizziness and the ringing in my ears, though the ringing is not as loud I think. Instead I get a rushing in my ears, like I can hear blood flowing through my head. The rushing sound does correspond with increased dizziness, like I’ll get a Woosh! Woosh! Woosh! sensation in my ears at the same time as the world does a sommersault around me.

I’ve also found that sometimes I lose track of the here-and-now. It’s hard to describe. Like the other day I was driving along a road I am very familiar with, heading back to the office after visiting a supplier. There’s the WooshWooshWoosh in my ears accompanied by the moment of dizziness, and suddenly I don’t know where I am or where I’m going. I don’t recognize the road, nor do I remember why I’m there. So I just keep driving and after 30 to 60 seconds the details come back. I figure out where I am and then figure out where I’m headed.

There’s also frequent headaches and constant aches and pains, fevers, and what feels like swolen lymph nodes in my neck, but I can’t be sure now if that’s all part of the withdrawals, or if maybe these are symptoms of some other new and exciting condition that’s just coming up.

In any event, I’m glad to be off the meds. Hopefully it hasn’t broken my brain or caused permanent damage, what with running out and then the doc and his staff being unresponsive in producing more.

Dingoo Mod – to the EXTREEEM!

Posted 2010.06.02 18.32 in Computers/Internet/Technology

For no really good reason, I had to mod a Dingoo A320 with a memory upgrade. The 320 has 32MB of RAM, but the A330 has 64MB of RAM. IMHO the A320 has more going for it, fewer glitches, than the 330. But the 330 has more memory…

So you can see how I’d already be vaguely thinking about it. Then over on Dingoonity, a user named flaming_goat asked if it would be possible. Well you know there’s no turning back after that…

I read up on the chips in the 330, and the chips in the 320. I checked my 320 to see how it was wired. It looked feasable. None of my tests said it would fail, so the only way to know for sure was to try it.

DigiKey had the chips I wanted and they were only about $12.50 for a pair of them. No turning back now…

Detailed instructions follow below the fold…

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Dingoo A330

Posted 2010.05.31 20.26 in Computers/Internet/Technology

It’s the new release from Dingoo Technologies. I got one to satisfy my curiosity, but sadly it disappoints on many levels.

Dingoo A330

I made up a new version of Dingux that takes advantage of the added memory and faster clock speed. To do that, I needed to get a serial port in there for testing. Unlike the A320, the 330 seems to just have half a port; TX but no RX. So you can get debug data out, but you can’t interact with it. Sucky.

Probing for the RX Line

The TX data is found on a single unmarked testpoint that lies beneath the LCD screen, in the upper middle part of the motherboard. In hopes of finding the RX line, I did some probing to the copper traces around the CPU in the area of the TX line, but neither of my two most-promising candidates proved to be RX data. It is probably not connected at all. More sucky.

A330 Motherboard

I stuck the serial port on the left-hand side of the Dingoo, above the reset button. It was the only clear spot on the motherboard, but it turns out the left speaker wants to sit there, and the serial port keeps failing on me – I have to take it apart and fiddle with it to get it working again. The A330 disappoints on many levels.

Side Defects

Posted 2009.10.07 16.11 in Life On Drugs, Pointless Blather

It’s been about ten or eleven months since I started taking the cryptospam pills to combat depression. If I remember to take them every day like I’m supposed to, then things are moderately ok. Nominally.

Remembering to take them on schedule is the tricky part. Memories add up and play tricks. I remember taking them, but am I remembering yesterday’s memory or today’s? Or have I just visualized taking them with enough clarity to think I actually did it?

Of course, after a day or two of uncertainty, if I’ve forgotten then it gets very obvious, what with the dizzy spells, lack of focus, discombobulation, heebie jeebies, and general befuddlement.

Wierdly, and this is appearantly not uncommon among anti-depressants, one of the potential side-effects is more depression. And another potential side-effect is suicidal thoughts. Now, when I read that, I thought it was kind of a crazy ass thing to be giving depressed people. Like, if you were taking medicine for your heart, would you want it to list ‘heart attack’ as a possible side-effect? It’s counter-intuitive. Almost like they slip that in there just to mess with those of us who have to read everything infront of us. (That’s probably another whole episode there – about the compulsive reading thing.)

Anyhow, with the funky side-effect thing – it’s not just a joke they put in the fine print, it’s appearantly serious enough for doctors to mention it when they perscribe it at first, like if you get this to contact them at once. I wasn’t too worried about it because I like to think I’m pretty self-aware. Even if I can’t always react or control things, I’m at least congizant of them, you know? Or maybe I just believe I can. Either way, it works out.

It was wierd though – back during the first few weeks on the cryptospam, sure enough I started getting these thoughts and visions of hanging. There’s lots of big sturdy trees in my backyard and I’d think about which were the best ones for fixing ropes to. Some parts of my house are really well-built and I’d think about if there were some good solid joists or whatever they call the structural things, that would be a good place for a rope. It wasn’t so much like actively plotting, more like an idle or passive thought. Like daydreaming, when you just let your mind wander. Mine would wander to ropes and places to attach them.

Although I did realize it was probably due to the drugs, it still kind of freaked me out, because normally my idle-visions / daydreams are about getting shot. I don’t really like the thought of hanging, it was strange and unfamiliar.

So eventually, after a few weeks when the majority of the side-effects were going away and I was getting used to the drugs, the hanging thoughts went away and the getting-shot thoughts returned. So things have been fairly normal in that department ever since.

img_rope_hr12

Why Blog?

Posted 2009.07.26 10.23 in Computers/Internet/Technology, Pointless Blather

Here’s a meta-type question that has rattled around for a while. Why am I doing this? That is to say, why do I write this blog? And that could be extended a bit more to include, why do I even have this website? Obviously a lot of work has gone into it, and continues to go into maintaining, updating, and adding to it. So… why? What’s the point?

It isn’t for money – there are no ads or affiliate links or anything of the sort here. There’s no hidden pay-to-access section. It’s not so much that the idea of monetizing the blog/site hasn’t occured, but I mostly don’t like ads and haven’t felt the need to monetize anything. It isn’t for some kind of self-aggrandizement. To be honest, I’m actually a rather shy individual and sometimes get embarassed at the thought of people actually reading all this stuff.

I think ultimately there are a few reasons why I do all this. It really boils down to the fact that I like to learn and share knowledge; I like funny things and like to share the funny; I sometimes forget things and the blob is a good place to save information so I can find it again later. Finally, I like to create, and writing is an inexpensive way to be creative. In some cases, it’s also somewhat theraputic for myself, this writing stuff.

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A Memory Moment

Posted 2009.07.07 9.21 in Family/Friends, Pointless Blather

On the way to work this morning, I stopped at the Timmies drivethrough to get a coffee – a morning ritual for a great many Canadians. As I was getting my money ready, I noticed the date on a Loonie I had in my pocket – 1988. I didn’t realize the Loonie had been around that long. Twenty-one years, since that coin was minted. I handed it over (along with the rest of the change), got my coffee, and drove away, thinking about how much has changed since 1988.

In 1988 I was eighteen. Although the Loonie existed, there were still dollar-bills around too, and some people were refusing to use the new coins, hoarding or at least hanging on to the dollars they found.

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