Friday, December 29, 2017

A beautiful sunset...

A beautiful sunset...  Debbie and I took a drive up Blacksmith Fork Canyon last night just before sunset.  We'd been wanting to go for several days, but there was an avalanche watch posted so we refrained.  Anyway, last night we got to Hardware Ranch not long after sunset, and were treated to the view at right.  I took that photo from the high end of the visitor's center parking lot, right where the road enters it.  Glorious, it was!

We also saw several large groups of does and yearlings, plus one doe with two yearlings, all near the road.  We didn't need our binoculars at all!  And of course the entire herd of elk is now in the enclosure at Hardware Ranch.  We didn't see any moose, though.

We love living here...


Genius!  If you live in an area with freezing temperatures, chances are that you find yourself spreading salt on icy walkways.  If so, then you need this product!  It makes it trivially easy to spread trhe salt in any density you want – far better than using a scoop or your hands.  It's basically a giant salt-shaker, with holes just the right size for the salt sold as de-icer.  The handle on it fits perfectly even if you're wearing thick mittens.  It holds plenty of salt for all our walkways.  Best of all, it's under $7!

iMac Pro update...

iMac Pro update...  It took me a while, because I screwed up a couple times, but I now have successfully moved my entire working environment over to my new iMac Pro.  I'm using it exclusively when working at my desk (on bills, at the moment).  What's it like?  The short answer: fast!

The only compute-intensive thing I've tried so far is OCR on scanned documents, and (quite predictably) that's very fast indeed, especially when there multiple documents queued up.  But other things are also notably zippy.  For instance, Firefox with 60 or so tabs isn't noticeably slowed down at all.  I'm sure that's basically because of the insane amount of RAM in this machine.  At the moment I'm running with 16 GB of RAM used (out of 128 GB).  The OS isn't even thinking about swapping :)  That's something I do every day (the tons of tabs), and that zippiness is most welcome.

Just playing around, I've loaded up both Chrome and Firefox (simultaneously) with 100 tabs.  Both of them are just as fast as they are with a single tab.  Woo hoo!  My development tools (Jetbrains' suite) have lost any noticeable lag in anything I tried (on the laptop quite a few things have noticeable lags).

Nothing I've done so far has caused the CPU to even break a sweat.  The CPU consumption graph looks like a flat line at zero.  I haven't heard any fans in the iMac, though I know they're present – I'm actually not sure whether they're just really quiet, or I haven't worked the machine hard enough for the fan to be required.  I haven't done anything that's working the GPU hard, either.

The three screens are magnificent to have available.  I'm experimenting with layouts.  Right at the moment I've tiled my right-hand screen with email, messaging, and iTunes; three things I'm constantly using.  My left-hand and center screens are for my work - plenty of screen real estate for anything I do.

My this is nice!

Nikola NZT...

Nikola NZT...  We plunked down a deposit on one of these when we first heard about them, roughly a year ago.  Originally delivery was estimated for early 2018, but that's been pushed out a year.  We're not too fussed by this, however, because this thing looks fantastic for the kinds of things we do in the boonies.  The company just released the marketing video at right, showing off what appears to be the same model (of ATV, not girl) that we ordered.

We're really looking forward to being able to tool around quietly in the remote areas we like to get to – even places with what could only barely be called a road.  We've looked at gas-powered ATVs sporadically for years, and we've always been turned off by the noise and smell.  It will also be interesting to be able to tow the Nikola NZT behind our Tesla Model X, getting us to the areas we want to explore in some comfort and style, while still being able to explore the boonies in the NZT.  Woo hoo!  We're definitely going to have to get a trailer to hold both a generator (for recharging both vehicles) and the NZT.  With that rig, we can go anywhere we want to...