2008 — 22 November: Saturday

Goodness me, a year ago today I was just putting the final touches to Christa's funeral service. And now it's 45 years since JFK...

OK, it's time for tonight's (non-clickable) picture of Christa, paddling near St Michael's Mount in Cornwall during our delayed honeymoon in September 1975:

Christa paddling

What a lovely smile! G'night. But wait! A few minutes ago I was bemoaning iTunes on both Windows and OSX. It's now busily downloading a 60MB update on the iMac to iTunes 8.0.2 (with "several important bug fixes"). Wonder what will happen next time I fire it up?


It's 09:58 and not raining. Not snowing, either. Not anything much, in fact. Curiously like November in other words. Brian Matthew is winding down with the only "chart topper" for Amen Corner and thus I'm left with the appalling prospect of this. I suspect five minutes will be about my limit.

Artless searches... dept.

In August 2007 I moved this web site from a local server running on a Celeron machine parked next to Christa's PC in her study. Molehole is now served from a somewhat oomphier machine somewhere in Texas. I also removed all my galleries of DVD cover artwork from the external view of the site because of the load they placed on the system. It hasn't stopped a "hard core" of people (or their systems) still attempting to link to them 15 months on.

Of the 844 "Document not found" errors1 so far this month (and I keep an eye on these, of course, just like a real webmaster) all but 50 or so are requests for artwork I've removed. The others may one day form the basis of a thesis on dyslexia.


Heavens, it's afternoon already! I'm enjoying the serendipity that is Winamp's shuffled playlist. It's just alighted on "Ride across the river" (Dire Straits) — it must be nearly 20 years... Hardly bears thinking about, does it?

Sounding off... dept.

Having satiated that relentless inner man yet again, I can turn some attention to the thorny issue of sound and sound cards. The HP MPC is behaving itself on simple playback duties, so I shall now add the external "Creative" USB sound card to the Gateway and see how that behaves with both playback and recording. I got the "Creative" originally for use with the (now retired) Shuttle PC because its own sound-handling capabilities were pretty woeful. Meanwhile, I've removed my two Sony minidisc recorders from the "upstairs" system and will plumb one of them back in "downstairs" to be fed, permanently, from a Sony Freeview box used as a digital radio, and a digital feed, too, from the Echostar satellite receiver that I leave tuned to the North American NPR Worldwide broadcast.

It's a hobby, and chaps (especially retired widower chaps) need hobbies! And, remaining on a musical bent, as I was listening to an Adiemus track at the time, I just "did a Google" for the combination ["Karl Jenkins", Soft Machine, Nucleus] and wound up at an awesome resource. Piero Scaruffi's "History of Rock Music". Now there's a chap with a hobby!

Where was that file...? dept.

I've decided it's time I dragged myself into the new millennium. Starting by tidying up some aspects of my cyberspatial life. To that end, I'd been researching Google's desktop search, but I didn't much care for the look of the six pages of close-packed licence terms, and I very much didn't like the tenor of a number of user reviews. I am therefore now watching as a rival product — Copernic Desktop Search — sets about making itself comfy in its new home on the Gateway machine and has a thorough sniff around to see what's in store for it, as it were. What better musical accompaniment than "Wish you were here" while it does the PC equivalent of a dog circling round three times to flatten the grass it's about to bed down on?

Good God! I've just heard a gentleman (by the name of Tim Guest) on the radio assert that "you can sit around reading all day, and waste your time"! Little does he know. I like what I've seen so far of this desktop search, by the way. It took about 90 minutes to suck everything up (as it were) and I then had to add the filetype ".shtml" to ensure it indexed all the priceless prose on my website, too.

Now back to that none-too-small pile of minidiscs I mentioned here, (which reference Copernic found for me in less than a second). It's time to sort out a couple of spare slots for an examination of the Beatles' White Album (40 years old this week!) and an overdue assessment of the comic genius also known as Kenny Everett. And while that's under way, I'd better rework my A/V system diagram before I lose track of what's interconnected to what. Just grabbed a quick snack (I suspect I really shouldn't eat more than one cooked meal a day) and have 10 minutes to relax with a cuppa.

Suddenly it's 22:31 and Bob Dylan's Theme Time radio hour is in full swing. Time for a(nother) cuppa. Tea? Tea? Is that your answer to everything? Let's have another cup of tea? (Well, yes, pretty much.)



1  Favourite unsatisfied requests are for Shrek, Thunderheart, Cannonball Run, Children of Dune, Spun, and Outfoxed.