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Christmas 2013 in WV

News ·Tuesday December 31, 2013 @ 08:12 EST (link)

We left for WV Tuesday night (17th); since the Tyco acquisition of Exacq, we have to use up all our vacation before the January 1, 2014 switch to Tyco's system, which fit fairly well with the plan to take two weeks for Christmas anyway. I had considered taking the Acura, but decided to leave it safe at home instead. We got in after midnight, and unloaded the car.

On Friday (19th) we went to The Char, a steak restaurant in Beckley, for Honey's birthday, and had cake afterwards at home in Mullens. Honey went Christmas shopping with Emily and her mother on Friday (she took the day off). I did some work from home; working on a parser generator for faster API catchup with the GUI client.

That night I also started building the Hedricks' Christmas gift: a media computer on which they could play Nintendo 64 games (emulated) and others, and watch some older shows (like Perfect Strangers), which we also provided. I bought all the components and we brought them with us: I went with microATX form factor, 8G RAM, a 1T HD, an AMD 3.4GHz (maybe 3.2?) FM2, HDMI of course, and a couple Xbox (compatible) controllers which I could map to the N64 buttons. I had a brief scare that the power supply was dead, but then I remembered the PS_ON pin had to be set high (borrowed a multimeter to check and then when I saw the pinout it came back to me). The case, a XON, was great with regard to fit and connections, except the supplied power cord was a dud, which was a shame because it had a flat head needed to keep it flush with the bottom where it attached. But it didn't look too bad with an alternate. I'll keep this brief since I plan to write more technical details on Code Visions, but I installed Arch Linux for the first time, which was mostly good (systemd took some getting used to), and decided to make XBMC the primary/default app, using Rom Collection Browser to run emulators (I had to put in a small fix for it, and write several small programs to help things along).

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On Christmas Day I opened up a nice pair of slippers to replace a pair that were giving up the ghost (holes and rubber falling off all over, despite gluing and stapling), a set of Sony headphones, and 6 more months of Sirius XM radio for the Acura (yes, including it was a good marketing ploy). Honey got some DS games and some clothes; Emily got a lot of clothes. Honey and mother both got Kindle Fires (mother had one, but Emily only let her use it occasionally).

We went over to papa's for Christmas dinner (early afternoon) later in the day. Emily's massive mound of mashed potatoes can be seen in the pictures.

We left on the 31st, in the morning, just before the snowpocalypse.

I introduced Emily to learn.code.org while we were there, and she was making good progress with it (so did Honey, earlier); she made it through the "hour of code" at least, which her school apparently didn't participate in.

Books finished: The Liberty Amendments, Focus, The Knight, Bring Me the Head of Prince Charming.