Catching up…

What with travel to China, and travel to the UK, and work, and holidays, it’s been a little hectic. So let me sip on this excellent Old Pulteney single malt from Wick, and catch up on a few items.

  • A month ago I blogged about the new HP laptop that I’d got for doing software development. I took it with me to the UK, since I knew I would need to be doing photo and video work which aren’t feasible on my work laptop. Unfortunately it started acting up while I was there, failing to come out of sleep or hibernate. When this happened, the disk and motherboard were powered up, but the screen was blank. Occasionally I’d see the CapsLock and NumLock lights blinking in a code that meant “CPU failure”. I nursed it through the trip, and checked in with HP when I got back. Yesterday I shipped it back for “repair”, which probably means simply replacing it. Fortunately I still have my Macs.
  • We went to see “Up In The Air” today. Brilliant. Great writing, excellent acting. The interplay between George Clooney and Vera Farmiga was simply delightful. Highly recommended.
  • That trip to England was hectic and unsettling in many ways. Lots of last-minute changes of plans, both family (my mother’s degree) and business. Yes, it was great to get together with family and friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen in 40 years. (Sorry I missed you, Jenny!) But there were two quiet moments that stand out. The first was visiting Ely Cathedral, just before sunset, with the choir practicing for a concert. And then on our way up to visit my mother for the last time before we left, we drove through Windsor Great Park, and pulled over for a moment to enjoy the wintry landscape, with Windsor Castle just beyond the trees.
  • When I got my iPhone 3G, I decided that the white model looked nicer than the black. That may have been a mistake. I’ve noticed a number of hairline cracks, at the corners of the connector cut-out, next to the mute switch, and along the sides. Apparently this is a known problem. It’s not clear whether all of the iPhones crack, or if it’s just that the cracks are only visible with the white plastic. I wonder if Apple will replace it.
  • During the short break between returning from China and departing to the UK, I managed to finish ripping all of my CDs into iTunes on my Mac Mini. (Many of them had been in storage, and I’d only just retrieved them.) The grand total: 14,522 items from 1,228 albums, performed by 2,082 artists. They occupy 78.46GB of a little WD USB hard disk (and yes, I back it up!) and to play every track would take 52 days. I know it’s not an extraordinarily large collection, but ’tis all mine. And I must confess that I find the idea of 52 days of music just a little bit disconcerting.