2007 — 25 Feb: not missing anything

If my nefarious plans work out, I shall later today fill in the gap in my toy store, not with the Helios DVD player (stocks of which, according to their web site, seem presently to be stubbornly confined to the Antipodes), but rather (and following Big Bro's recommendation, and chats with the young lady in the requisite shop and my expert neighbours, and a modicum of Interweb thingy "research" of online reviews) with a digital SLR. One with some 10 million or so little pixies in it, whatever they are.

Plus (naturally) a quick snoop round the Apple store to see what software exists for the processing of its output. I've seen Photoshop Elements, of course, on the XP box, and have just managed to put it onto the iMac. But there may be something a trifle less (how to put this?) Adobey — I've never been a tremendous fan of their user interfaces.1 If you're listening, Adobe, I promise not to use it on both machines at the same time — which would be a neat trick, given the number of (human) digits available to me.

By the way, I've just been bitten by my first glitch in the iMac's web browser, Safari. Compare and contrast the appearance of the Xara Xtreme Open Source web page, upper right hand corner under Safari and under Firefox (on XP) and you'll see what I mean... What jolly fun this web lark is.

Last time I had an SLR in my hands was back in the days (pre-Junior, come to think of it!) of the Pentax ME Super (with, of course, the ubiquitous additional Vivitar 70mm to 210mm zoom2 that was de rigeur at the time). Both it and the zoom ended up in Big Bro's hands down in New Zealandland, funnily enough, as I had too many other active interests at the time. Now I have time!

Not going to work for eight hours per day, five days per week, 46 weeks per year: Priceless!

The kindness of friends

So there I am, listening to Tin Hat (again) while alternating what remains of my addled attention between the web pages on Running X11 and two of Junior's York University Unix text books (both of which, to give him credit, show far more signs of severe use than, say, one of my fluid mechanics books from a similar period of my own life) when chum Brian rings to point out that the episode of "Lewis" currently being broadcast was written by Alan Plater. Meanwhile chum Brack is offering further useful hints on some minor but crucial differences in UI behaviour betwixt XP and OS X. I must say, I find some of the more trivial things harder than some of the more twiddly ones! This business about ejecting a disk by dropping it in the trash, for example. Not one of their smartest paradigms.

Still, at least you can deduce my study hifi is back online. Unlike my cheque from ERNIE, which is (sadly) a definite "no, no". They didn't actually admit they had erred in any way, but wished me better luck in future prize draws. Next time, I shall capture the damn screen and attach it, though doubtless people have even tried that.

The toy department

I suppose it's become traditional for me to mention the results of my attempts to die with the most toys by now. I picked up a small clutch of DVDs and, more significantly, the digital SLR that is going to take more than a few minutes of study before I venture anywhere with it. Cover artwork scans will have to wait a bit longer as I have yet to work out the most ergonomic position for the Epson scanner. And I shall probably start with it on the XP box in any case. But the DVD titles are:

Day 114  


1  My favourite software house "Xara" could teach them a thing or three. In fact, not having Xara Xtreme on the iMac is going to hurt if I can't persuade its Linux variant to play nice in due course. (Chum Brack asserts almost anything that runs on Linux can, with varying degrees of effort, be persuaded to execute on Mac OS X — I wonder how right he is?)
2  For reasons I've not bothered to look into, it seems all lens focal lengths in this new-fangled digital world operate by different rules to those in the optical domain of my youth. We shall doubtless see.