Contents of the Site
The following list represents most of the pages available on the site at this time, all in all about a dozen pages. I have been through a process of updating and rewriting existing content, as well as culling content that was no longer relevant, and now the focus will be on adding new content. Exciting times for this site which is turning 14 years old this year!
- Urban Myths & the Iliad My sad and lonely effort to counter some common misconceptions about Homer's Iliad. Did you know that Achilles did not die in the Iliad, there was no wooden horse and that in ancient times Achilles was not even really a great Hellenic hero? Written on the tail end of my Ancient Greek studies at Armidale's University of New England this page is still one of my favourites while simultaneously being one of the least visited!
- abcde: Command Line Music CD Ripping for Linux I have been involved with abcde for many years, firstly as a user ripping audio CDs, then as a writer of some quite popular guides for abcde usage and finally as one of the developers of this fine command line ripper/encoder. Over 2 dozen well tested configuration files have been placed in this section so that both new and old users of abcde will have a smooth and productive experience with this very fine application.
- Using MXE under Slackware Linux... My newest page where I describe the process required to cross compile the great AAC encoder fdkaac using a Slackware Virtual Machine and the amazing set of cross compiling scripts MXE. Cross compiling for a Windows 10 target has always been black magic so hopefully this page will make the whole process a lot clearer.
- Using qaac under Linux... This is a page that aims to promote and facilitate the use of the great AAC/ALAC command line encoder qaac under a Linux environment. qaac is a frontend for Apple AAC that is believed to produced the best quality AAC audio possible in 2019.
- Using Mutt with Gmail This page gives a detailed set of instructions for setting up the Linux email client mutt (together with getmail, maildrop and msmtp) to receive, sort, read and send email using Gmail as a relay. The technique here is POP3 over SSL rather than the standard IMAP instructions, I use the older technique as it has served me well since 2008...
- FFmpeg and Blender's short movie 'Sintel'... This page has a look at video encoding using FFmpeg and an assortment of video and audio codecs that have caught my attention over the years. Covered at the moment is AV1 encoding, hardware H.264 encoding and encoding with an older codec: Theora.
- A story... I was trained as a Satyananda Yoga Teacher in the Mangrove Mountain Ashram and like many others I was devastated when I found out the dark past of the Ashram. Not just the past of course as the rotten core of the Ashram has caused pain over the ensuing decades and still causes pain today. This 'story' is a part of my own healing...
- Retirement, some thoughts... : I have put a handful
of pages together that are bound loosely by the theme of 'retiring
from the workforce'. My own retirement occurred at the end of 2020 and I
will be slowly adding up to about half a dozen pages to this area as I
look both backwards and forwards in time from what is always a pivotal
moment in a man's life. The following are presented in no particular
- Swimming in retirement... I will be retiring from the active workforce on December 6th 2020 and on this page I will be looking at the role swimming has played in my life up until now and the role it will play in my retirement years. One of a series of pages where I will be looking at the interests that will be filling my world for the next few decades of hopefully good health.
- Why don't old people run? My granddaughter asked me once 'Why don't old people run?' and this page is my own response to this question as I move from a Covid runner to a man committed to running in retirement. Using a Forerunner 935 and my trusty GymBoss I embrace the Run Walk Run strategy of Jeff Galloway as I move towards running my best 10K in early 2021.
- Nursing: Looking back... I spent almost all of my working life as a Registered Nurse with more than three decades working in a busy Intensive Care Unit. On this page I try to assemble many old memories and perhaps even some old trauma from this long, long time in a busy public Hospital.
- Building a Threadripper System for Slackware...
I have been building computers for a few years now and my latest build
is a second generation Threadripper build which is aimed fairly and
squarely at supporting my daily computer usage while using Slackware
- Slackware -current reloaded... A sequel to the Threadripper page where I demonstrate how Slackware -current is both installed and reinstalled on this latest of my computer builds.
- 7 Steps to safely updating Slackware -current... Some thoughts on the safest way to update Slackware -current on my Threadripper system. This page written after I managed to comprehensively brick my system after an ill-advised and careless update; just making sure this never happens again!
- Using fhgacenc under Linux... This is a page that aims to promote and facilitate the use of the AAC command line encoder fhgaacenc under a Linux environment. fhgaacenc uses the enc_fhgaac.dll of WinAmp to produce all forms of AAC except for xHE-AAC. Of special interest is the creation of the low bitrate, superb quality HE-AAC v2 files with fhgaacenc.
- Compiling and running slrn under Windows 10... In the twilight years of Usenet this page demonstrates how to install the MinGW-64 compiler and build slrn and slrnpull under Windows 10. This page has been completely revised and rebuilt in March 2020.
- Using l3enc in 2020... Installing and running the grandfather of all mp3 encoders l3enc on a modern Linux system. I explore how to still install this ancient encoder as well as give a few tips on how to use it effectively.