Christmas goodies

Nearly the end of 2008, and I’ve had a great Christmas.I’ve had some nice times visiting family, playing silly games, and drinking generally too much. And I’ve apparently been a very good boy this year as I’ve been treated to lots of things I really wanted.

One early Christmas present came for my geek side. I’ve been looking for some time at Navit on the n810. It has great potential but had not received an update for the n810 for most of the year.

Just before Christmas Gerrit responded to some forum posts I’d made and provided a new build. As well as updating the source to make it easier to build for maemo.

This was very good news, and I’m keen to have a go myself and see if I can tinker with the source. However first I must wait to return to work to get appropriate approvals in place (sometimes working for big corp is restrictive)

Additional updates from relatively recently were the new alpha 2 of fennec, mozilla’s mobile browser. Which is getting much better. But is still very much alpha. Looking forward to its development in 2009 I’m sure it will be able to overtake the built in browser.

And most recently an update to Mediabox media player
This has been my music player of choice on the n810 for some time. So it’s nice to see an update. However I’m not sure what to make of that update so far. Firstly it seems to be more buggy. I’ve had it crash on me a couple of times already. And secondly they appear to have removed the clock view which I really liked. I tend to use this as a bed side music player at night. Set something playing then switch to the big clock view.
I am hoping that further updates will be forth coming to improve stability, and maybe return the clock. Of course I should probably get off my arse and give them proper feed back.

So that has been my geek haul of Christmas presents.
But that all pales next to the great things the wood turner in me got.

First and foremost… my awesome girlfriend, light of my life, bought me a bandsaw. 🙂 I’ve been after one for sometime. Anyone that knows woodworking will understand the deep joy I have at finally having a bandsaw in my workshop. I’ve had it up and running for not much more than a day, and already I feel the benefit. This means in 2009 I can spend less time sawing (badly) by hand, and more time getting things done. I’ve particularly looking forward to being able avoid having to rough stock down from square on the lathe.

My family also obliged me with various things I’ve been after. A whole slew of new jigs for my tormek, allowing me to now do a perfect sharpening job on all my chisels. I’ve come to understand just how big of a difference it makes to have properly sharp tools to work with. And these will again mean I spend less time faffing about, and more time with sharp tools doing the fun part of turning.

And if that wasn’t all enough, I also got a few items for the lathe itself: a new bowl turning rest, a drill chuck for the tail stock, and, at long last, a live centre tail stock set.
This of course means I now have no excuses for a whole range of challenging projects. Until now I’ve been able to excuse my amateurish attempts by saying ‘ but I don’t have a live centre’.

Now my only problem is that my garage is rather cold at this time of year. and there is a limit to how long I can spend out there before my feet need recuperate in the warm. I’m currently considering whether it’s worth the effort to insulate the roof. Or just man it up, and know that the weather will soon get warmer.

It should now be clear why I’ve not blogged for a while, and if I don’t again for some time you know where I’ll be… in fact I’m heading there now.