Tuesday, 31 December 2019

The year that was, 2019

It's the last day of 2019 and time to look back on what has been a trying year. This time last year I wrote "2019 needs to be a year where I focus on sorting out my personal life" and as I start writing this, I can honestly say by that metric 2019 has been a year of utter failure. Maybe as I write more I'll change my mind, but my overriding impression of this year has been work work work. This needs to change in 2020 and fortunately I've got a new creative outlet for this coming year which I find exciting. In the meantime, let's look at what I have achieved. Maybe next year it wont all be Star Trek Bridge Crew and Strange Brigade.

  • 16 posts on this blog (17 including this one) - fifth consecutive year of a post per month
  • weekly posts through November as part of NaBloPloMo2019
  • started running a weekly exercise class in the park in Bath
  • joined the hospitality team in church
  • ran a D&D game for a part of the year
  • another year of the Year in Pictures site, up to 27 photographers
  • 97 contributions to various projects on github (which is, on reflection, hardly an achievement)
  • loads of photos on my flickr stream

My writing has increased at the cost of ... more or less everything else. The list above is feeble, but I need to remember that it's not quite as bad as it looks. I am reading a lot more, and while I make the same joke every year about playing videogames they do help me relax and so playing more this year is actually a success in and of itself. Indeed, it was one of my resolutions. Speaking of which:

Resolution count: 4/10 - down on last year. Sad times.

Although I don't reflect on work here, I do need to remember that while exhausting this year has been a success - the high point being my becoming a Senior Civil Servant. I set myself two "work resolutions" and managed to score 1.5/2 which is much better and, unfortunately, demonstrates where too much of my focus has been. This year I need to work out how to manage to keep a life around work.

More importantly, next year needs to be about something other than work. As a priority, I need to sort out my health - both physical and mental - and I need to positively engage with a community. Fortunately I seem to have found one I like, so that is a good start. Ideally I'd like to re-engage with some positive social change outside of work - charity work or similar. But I need to sort out the foundations first, so we'll call that a stretch goal.

Brace for another decade.

Sunday, 15 December 2019

Fixing supercharging on a Huawei P10 Plus

I've been using a Huawei P10 plus for nearly two years. A while back I started having trouble with the supercharging capability. Sometimes it would work, sometimes it would just charge normally. A new cable sorted that, but would degrade. Eventually it reached the point where it would only charge normally and sometimes, not even then. The cable would drop out too. Very worrying.

I poked around online quite a bit early on and found various approaches for fixing this problem involving clearing caches and so on. They didn't work. However, finally I have a solution - using an arcane bit of tech and some mystic knowledge. However, before I share we need a DISCLAIMER. I am in no way responsible for loss of data, equipment, life, or sanity if you attempt this technique.

Ok, big reveal time. I took a sewing needle and dug around in the charging port.

Seriously. A frighting amount of pocket lint came out and now the cable fits snuggly, locks in place properly and charges perfectly - even supercharging is back.

Now, you are probably thinking "wow, I'm glad you shared your genius 'poke at it a bit' approach - that was totally worth a blog post". However, this forgets two important facts. Firstly - when I was looking into fixes last time, nobody else mentioned this. Genuinely, there might be someone out there who finds this useful. Secondly - I want to share my technical wins. Even when they are pathetic.

I'm convinced there is something of a design flaw here. I do not have dirty pockets and I've not had this problem with any other phone I've owned. I've had a friend tell me that he's had a lesser version of this happen to him and it's only happened since the switch to USB-C so maybe it's something to do with the shape of the socket. This sounds like a good reason to move to wireless charging to me.

Of course, now I don't have an excuse to buy a new phone that supports it...