Saturday, 29 January 2011

Blue-green stain in the bath is back

Blue stain is back.

We have had a lot of rain recently and the tanks are full with about 30 kL each.

Tanks read an uncalibrated pH of 5.7 as measured at the kitchen tap.

By uncalibrated I mean that the pH meter has not been used for a while and I should calibrate it before use - but I didn't.

I treated one tank with 500ml lime and instantly it rose to 9.2.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Mac to Linux: Ubuntu is better than good enough.

When I purchased my first Mac in 2005, my intention was to get some good hardware, avoid any Microsoft tax and run Linux.

The closest I came was Ubuntu 9.04 in 2009, but I was tied to iTunes for my Ipod Touch and a little stuck with iPhoto.

I tried again in 2010 but I could not get Ubuntu 10.04 working well enough.

More recently I purchased a Nexus One Android phone and gave away the iPod. To do this I had to divorce iTunes. This turned out to be easy. I hardly needed any apps or games and I never purchased any music. So all I had to do was copy music files from the iTunes directory into the Nexus One.

A good friend (who is really my beta tester for... well... everything) got Ubuntu 10.10 working nicely on his Mac and I quickly tagged along. I have not run OSX for 2 weeks now and I don't miss it.

Ubuntu is better than good enough.

Here is his How-To.

I am now moving my iPhoto pictures to Picasa and onto the web using 20GB of Google storage for $5/year. Then I'll clean up my files on OSX and do something else with the partition. I still have another small OSX partition to allow me to upgrade any Apple firmware and to check hardware such as the battery. It also means I have OSX should I need it.

I wonder if OSX will run under VirtualBox?

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Solar Panel Update

After a year, the performance did not seem to match what was estimated. We generated less than 2000 kWh whereas it should have been closer to 2700 based on mean solar hours. The data for the last 9 month indicated that this year would be no better.

I suspected a problem.

I contacted the supplier and they asked me to keep daily records which I more-or-less did for several weeks. I also obtained the solar radiation figures from the Bureau of Meteorology.

I was supposed to send them in, but I have not had time to do this.

Then, about a week ago, I noticed that the inverter was off - the circuit breaker had tripped and so had the one in the meter box.

Resetting them made no difference, so it seems that my inverter has died.

Last week, the inverter was replaced. It has a different UI which includes the energy generated so far for the current day down to 10Whr. Very useful.