[GEEK ALERT!] Who Needs Hard Drives?

My PC currently has almost 1TB of storage between 3 fast SSD drives. I’m really pleased with my 500GB NVMe stick, which holds the OS and a few games. It’s stupidly, unbelievably fast.

On top of that, my PC’s also got a couple of older, slower hard drives (HDDs) which between them provide a further 3TB of (slow) storage.

Those hard drives annoy me. They are noisy and they introduce multi-second delays when they power up just so I can access a single file stored on them.

Sure, I could configure my PC not to put my hard drives to sleep, but I’d rather be power efficient where I can.

And it dawned on me the other day – how about I just get rid of those hard drives?

The reason I still have those drives running in my PC is because my Steam gaming library is almost 1,000 titles strong and I used to store a fair number of those on my computer.

But I hardly play games any more, certainly no more than 1 or 2 titles at any given time.

And for a few months now we’ve had 80Mb fibre downloads, which are about 16 times faster than our old snail-pace ADSL. In other words, downloading a game now takes almost no time at all. So I can simply download games from Steam if/when I want to play them.

Decision made: I’m clearing all the data off those HDDs right now. It’s either getting moved onto the SSDs or I’m just deleting stuff I can easily download again.

Soon my PC will be leaner, meaner, quicker and more energy-efficient. And I might earn a few pennies selling the HDDs on eBay.

Maybe I’ll use the savings from our electricity bill to buy myself a cupcake and have a mini-celebration.

I’ve even been wondering if I need such a powerful graphics card any more. If I’m hardly playing games these days, could I make do with a cheaper model? Probably.

I’ll have to see what my 1070 Ti is worth on eBay. I wonder if I could survive just with on-board Intel graphics? Hmm…

Or maybe that’s just one step of efficiency too far. Not sure I could live with potato graphics.

Now please excuse me, I have some military-grade hard drive wiping software to run.

Kölsch

For the last 5 years, 99% of my music listening is done on Spotify. I rely on their Discover Weekly playlist to find cool new music. But it wasn’t always this way…

I used to listen to BBC Radio 1 Essential Mixes (EMs) all the time. In 2014, Porter Robinson‘s mix won the Essential Mix of the Year award. And that mix was my personal favourite for several years.

In the last few weeks I thought I’d catch up with some EMs and see if I recognised any of the DJ names… some of them are pretty obscure (or maybe I’m just getting old!)

Lots of the EMs I’ve listened to in the last few weeks have been really decent, but there’s one in particular which stood out…

Kölsch did an EM around Christmas 2018 and it’s an absolute stonker! I’ve listened to it several times now. Quality tracks, superb mixing.

Listen to it below via Soundcloud:

Getting Older

Now I’m in my 40s, increasingly I find myself doing or saying things which are very much not cool.

There’s a mini-roundabout in my town which is a potential deathtrap. It combines poor visibility with a confusing one way system. This is a recipe for catastrophe.

I’ve seen several near-misses on that roundabout, one of which involved an unmarked police car. The officer was only too eager to pull over the errant driver and give them a piece of his mind.

The male PC was tall, well built and had an aggressive manner as he delivered his reprimand. It was only appropriate that he take the opportunity to shout at and intimidate the young petite female who already seemed petrified by the near-miss she accidentally caused. Bullying – that’s my kind of policing.

From my own experience, I’ve had to brake sharply on approach to that roundabout many times as people seem to get confused about who has right of way. For those in doubt, it’s always me.

It’s only a matter of time before someone is killed, possibly in a 48-car pile up after a cat with a limp took a bit too long to cross the road.

Think of the children. This roundabout is in an appallingly fast 30 mph zone, clearly too swift and convenient for mothers dropping their children off at school. What we need is a 10mph zone and a suite of other traffic calming measures, so everyone can feel even more annoyed on a wet Monday morning when they’re running late.

I mean, as far as I’m aware, there have been no actual deaths on Deathtrap Roundabout, but it’s only a matter of time, mark my words.

And if there isn’t a real death soon, I shall drive in a manner so as to actively encourage one, just so I can say “I told you so!” to the local council’s Highways Department as I scrape a child’s innards from my bonnet.

The above is obviously tongue-in-cheek. But I really am seriously considering writing to the council and suggesting they do something about the theoretical deathtrap.

I feel it’s my duty as a 40-something male with too much time on his hands.

I'm OK

It never fails to surprise me how quickly my mood can reverse from 0/10 to a solid 7/10. It’s like a storm that stops in a heartbeat. The clouds part, the wind stops and the sunshine reappears.

Just for today, I feel OK.

I feel lucky – some forms of depression leave people feeling depressed all day every day for months. I’m grateful I tend to get respite fairly quickly.

One thing which seems to help me get out of a depressed state – having a project to obsess over.

Currently that’s Matched Betting (MB).

In early Jan when I still had a job, MB felt kinda boring to me.

But now it feels exciting – it’s my path towards some semblance of financial stability. And that helps the horizon seem brighter.

Thanks to MB, I’m able to be my own boss and work the hours I choose. I’m also 100% responsible for my own income – as my skill and efficiency increases, so do my earnings

Lots of people are in jobs where they can only really earn extra cash if they increase their hours. So I feel grateful to have this level of flexibility and autonomy.

For me, I’m expecting this obsessive phase to eventually fade. We’ll see if I’m able to stay consistent.

I’m counting on the fear of potentially having to get a “normal” job again to keep me motivated with MB.

Anyway, today is a good day. Just wanted to share that.

Romance

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I’ve bought a few lottery tickets for draws tonight. Fingers crossed! Not really romantic, but if we win big I’ll be awarded a billion Husband points.

Are you doing anything romantic for a loved one today?

Hollow Knight: Symphonic Suite | Orchestral Cover

I don’t like most orchestral music. But there’s the odd piece here and there which speaks deeply to my soul.

I remember listening to some pieces of classical music as part of compulsory music lessons at secondary school, aged around 12 or 13.

Suddenly I was crying… in front of my classmates! I tried my hardest to restrain my tears, my chest convulsing as I attempted to stifle the sobs.

Luckily the room had been darkened so as to enhance our sense of hearing. I don’t think anyone noticed my heightened emotions.

Was I the only one in the room who had been so affected by an ancient piece of totally uncool music? It appeared so.

Anyway, that’s my long-winded way of introducing an orchestral cover of the soundtrack from my favourite game, Hollow Knight.

I hope you enjoy this music as much as I do. And it’s OK if you cry a little. I know I did.