Slow cooker gemsbok curry

I still had some gemsbok shin from last year. Started out with this allrecipes beef curry recipe, which ended up a bit watery — but that worked out fine, since I ladled all the liquid out of the slow cooker into a pan, and cooked some pumpkin in that, then added it all together.

And it was good.

So this is what you do. Get hold of some gemsbok shin. Or whatever. Cut into cube-like shapes and brown in the oil (with a lean meat like game you need to keep adding oil, don’t worry, it’s good for you). Meanwhile, slice an onion (or two if they’re small) into rings and put that in the bottom of your slow cooker. Put the browned meat on top, season with salt and pepper.

Cook two cloves of garlic, a teaspoon fresh ginger, and a chopped green chili for a few minutes, then add your curry powder (I used two tablespoons hot and one tablespoon extra spicy, but I suspect my hot curry isn’t, your mileage may vary). Add a tin of chopped tomatoes.

At this stage the recipe calls for stock, I mixed in two heaped teaspoons stock powder and added some water. Same thing. Spoon the mix over the meat, leave it to cook overnight.

If you use a slow cooker often, you’ll know that you need to add very little liquid. True, but for this recipe a bit more liquid is good. Because this is where you ladle off as much liquid as you can and cook about two cups of diced pumpkin in it until tender.

And then you add the pumpkin back into the curry and serve. Easy and pretty damn good. You probably want some rice on the side, sambals and raita can be good, poppadums always are.

The deeds of a man in his prime*

Stellenbosch, 1987. I built this 68000 computer, with 64 kilobytes of RAM and space for three times that much ROM. That’s infinitesimal in today’s terms, but at the time my “personal computer” was an Apple ][ with 64 kilobytes of RAM and 16 kilobytes of ROM, running at 1 MHz. The Apple ][ is an 8-bit computer and my 68000 is a full 16-bit computer, which runs at 8 MHz. Also, I had plans to expand my RAM by at least 256 kilobytes or so.

I’m typing this on a 64-bit computer with 8 gigabytes of RAM running at Idunno, 3 1/2 GHz or so.

The 68000 is more fun.

Here’s a picture of it. The picture itself is about 43 kilobytes in size, so it would take up about two thirds of my 64 kilobytes of RAM. But there would be no way to display it because I never implemented graphics (and state-of-the-art graphics at the time was VGA at 640×480 in 16 colors).

Here’s a picture of the three boards — processor at the top left (note the huge 64-pin DIP package that is the 68000), memory at the bottom, I/O on the right. It’s pretty close to 64 kilobytes. Here’s what it would have looked like in 16 colour VGA.

The first set of ROMs is a monitor, the second set of ROMs is almost empty — it has a copy of Gordon Brandly’s Tiny Basic as published by Dr Dobbs and typed in by yours truly. I can transfer it to RAM and run it from there. I had great plans but that’s as far as I got…

This memory brought to me by the guys over at Hack A Day, who are building something very similar but with some very modern twists.

You can learn a whole lot more on how to build 68000 systems by going through Peter Stark’s 68000 Hardware Course, as well as from this S-100 68000 board project.


* One of my favourite songs, from 1972.

Operation mincemeat

No, not the one where you find a corpse and drop it off the coast of Spain. This is the one where you find a container full of gemsbok intended for biltong at the bottom of your freezer, and realise that half of it is a bit chunky and / or stringy, and that mincing it would be a better idea.

Enter a handraulic meat grinder, originally acquired to mince perlemoen in the pre-poacher days when we still had perlemoen.

I’m going to end up with a right arm like a teenage boy.



Too good not to share

From Borepatch.

Maybe some clarification required. The traditional New Orleans Funeral with Music consists of two parts. It starts with a somber procession to the cemetery, transporting the Guest of Honour to the planting* ceremony, followed by a helluva big party on the way back.

Just a Closer Walk with Thee comes in two parts, one suited for the mourning and one suited for the party. Google will give you plenty versions of it, the one I’ve always liked is by The Preservation Hall Jazz Band — I might even prefer (blasphemy!)  (the jury is still out) the second half to that of Clapton et al. Not that it matters, these guys are stunningly good.

Of course Tanya hates it :-)

* In reality, tradition tends to favour above-ground tombs in New Orleans, because water table.

Worn Out

We’ve been networking with Microsoft Windows for pretty much 20 years. Two decades, starting with Windows 95 (Might even have been Windows 3.11 for Workgroups, can’t remember, it’s been… 20 years).

And for all of those 20 years, we’ve had the PCs on a workgroup called “FOO* SYSTEMS”. Note the space.

Because now I have a Windows 7 32-bit box, and a Windows 7 64-bit box, and my venerable Windows 2000 box**. And lo, the Windows 2000 box can see both Windows 7 boxes in the network neighborhood, and copy files from the one Windows 7 box to the other, but neither Windows 7 box can see (1) itself, (2) the other Windows 7 box, (3) the Windows 2000 box, or (4) pretty much anything else in the notwork*** neighborhood.

So I started experimenting (what the Brits would call a spanner and Erin would call knobdicking). Frobbed with the firewall settings, IPV6, homegroups, 56-bit encryption, enabling NetBEUI, standing on my head and holding my breath, and who knows what else.

And you know what the problem is?

That fscking space in the workgroup name.

That space has been supported for 20 years, and that support has finally worn out.

* Usage #2 of course.

** Which has absolutely nothing wrong with it. Except that it won’t run the latest version of FireChromePera. Which is required to run the latest version of Flash. Which in turn is required to browse anything running on port 80 these days, primarily to support their revenue stream.

*** Not a typo.

Mind Bender

So I recently retrieved my Argonaut 505 Amateur Radio Transceiver from storage. Turned it on, no hiss from the speaker. That’s… unusual, points to a dead audio amplifier.

Geek line, do not cross. Geek line, do not cross. (TLDR: I solved the problem)

Continue reading…

Never happened!

The Hobbit / Smaug. You can sit watching it and shout “Never Happened!” all. the. damn. time. and you’d be right more often than not.

OK, you also need “no FSCKING WAY!”, especially when barrels are involved. But impossible as it is, that also Never Happened.

Dayumn. There’s a book. And there’s a movie. And there’s a correlation with the name and most many of the characters.

Hell no.


(And is it just me or did they skimp on the CGI? Some of those wargs reminded me of Apple ][ games, just a bit)