2007 — Day 89 - so much for January

Turns out, according to neighbour Peter, we missed seeing a buzzard (during Sunday's RSPB observation hour). Not that I'd know one if I saw one, but I must say it sounds a little exotic for Chandler's Ford. (Perhaps he said "bustard" or was just being rude about feathered things in general?)


Be that as it may, Chandler's Ford is also now the destination not only for the Nikon slide scanner (which, with luck, is en route already — yes it is, Amazon have just told me its Parcelforce tracking number) but also for Big Bro, though I gather he's coming from rather further afield, having just left Hong Kong. (Though, for all I know, that could have been where the scanner was actually made.) Remaining on the photographic theme, in case you wondered about yesterday's "Gorilla Pod" I have it in mind as Bro's birthday present. The legs are all bendy, (nearest thing I can think of is a flexicurve24) and can be wrapped around (for example) a tree branch to make a nice, stable camera tripod platform.

Balancing the minor triumphs

Sadly, I've been unable (so far) to persuade Junior's PC to play ball with my nice new Ubuntu desktop system that I'm all ready to put on it. But at least I've established it's a 2x 200GB RAID system. It just insists on booting into the Breezy Badger that he put on over a year ago, plus he's neglected to tell me a few vital account details, like password. Plus there are a couple of checksum errors reported on my CD though, judging by the noises the machine's CDROM drive makes, we could be looking at a knackered drive. It also fails to boot cleanly off two further live CDs, so I'm going to try a non-Ubuntu system to see if I can shock it into behaving more sensibly.

So far, I must say it's behaving worse than "Eddie, the on-board ship's computer" that Zaphod had to threaten to reprogram25 with a very large axe. But then, perhaps it senses I wish to lobotomise it?

Deep into the monitor peering,
    Long I sat there wond'ring, fearing,
Doubting, while the ROM kept churning,
    Turning yet, to churn some more.
"Load!" I said, "You blasted system!
    Load my data from before!"

One thing did the phosphors answer,
    Only this and nothing more.
Just: "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"26

Adapted slightly from Annoyances.org

Flying (Swiss cheese) monster

I'm guessing it was my passing reference to Microsoft not working on jet packs yesterday27 that prompted chum Len to send me the following link with a video segment of exactly that. Good music, too!

31 January 2007  


24  For any of you non-technical drawing folk, and/or people younger than me, picture a length of bicycle chain wrapped tightly in plastic. It can be bent in one plane. The Gorilla Pod is more than double-jointed by comparison. Sheer genius.
25  And that was just to get it to open the exit hatch. (Shades of "Open the pod bay door, Hal".)
26  Sadly, this being a broken Linux system, mostly all I get is a blinking cursor.
27  I was only passing on what Jon Stewart had asked Bill Gates.