Rather than relying on phones while travelling, I hope to be using iChat AV a fair amount. I picked up an iSight camera for Merry to use with her iBook. Then yesterday and today I spent some time debugging video chat with Merry, Kate, and a colleague of mine who just happened to be in Singapore this weekend. Looks promising.
(There was only one dumb ease-of-use issue: in order to video chat, it’s necessary to open up five ports in the OS X firewall, and for some reason there’s no preset configuration that you can simply check off. Instead you need to define a new profile associated with TCP ports 5060, 5190, 5297, 5298 and 5678. That didn’t feel very Mac-like.)
On Friday I was talking with Jim Waldo (of Jini fame) and I mentioned an iTunes playlist of mine called Music to blow your speakers out. He dragged me back to his office and introduced me to Tool. I was blown away, in more senses than one: I’ve only known Jim as a jazz enthusiast, and Tool’s Ænima was unexpected, to say the least. But I was intrigued, and this lunchtime, while running to the drug store to pick up a few items, I made a detour to Newbury Comics and picked up a copy of the CD. (Oddly it’s not available through ITMS.) I’ve ripped it into iTunes and added it to my iPod; I’ll listen to more of it over the Atlantic tonight.
Checking in. Well, trying to. I logged on to the British Airways website (after finally realizing which of the four or five ticket numbers and record locators to use), changed my seat on the BOM-LHR leg (no more 53J!), and then tried to check in. And tried. And waited, and tried again. After receiving a number of different error messages, I finally received a vaguely catatonic “Unfortunately our systems are not responding at this time.” Oops.
In spite of my earlier intentions, I decided not to get up to watch the Chinese GP. I didn’t even record it. (No, I don’t have a TiVo.) A pity – it would have been interesting to see Montoya’s car being ripped apart by a manhole cover (or grating, whatever), not to mention the delicious schadenfreude of watching Schumacher making a fool of himself twice in a single race (the first time before the race had even started!).