2011 — 6 November: Sunday

As usual,1 six hours or so after switching off my bedside reading light I'm sitting downstairs listening to BBC 6Music and supping the first very welcome cuppa of the not-yet-bright new day. For some reason, my progress through "Sense and Sensibility" is proving rather sluggish, though the journey is as enjoyable as before.

As is the fact that it's pension day, which will give me an excuse to grapple with the revised login procedures2 of one of my online banks within the next 24 hours or so.

Speaking of grappling...

... I discovered that my preferred maker of Blu-ray players (Oppo) now has an even newer BDP-95 model available. It's annoying to find the US price ($999) translated into a UK price of £999. They also host a Wiki in which not only do I find a description of Java-related problems with the stupid BD-Java interface (that only Hollywood execs and spotty teenagers could have any desire to use), but also this delightful piece of advice:

What is the preferred power on sequence (display, receiver, BD93) to minimize HDMI handshake duration and issues?
In general, HDMI works best during power up if you turn things on in the reverse order of the HDMI chain — that is, display first, then AVR, then source device (the player in this case). This is simply because HDMI is an end to end protocol driven by the source device, and so if everything down stream of it has had a chance to wake up, have some coffee, read the paper, and change the cat there are fewer things standing in the way.


That "In general" doesn't inspire too much confidence. And does this mean I have to borrow one of Len's cats? That could be awkward.

Tim does Dallas

I was in that fine town a mere 27 years ago, but have had no desire to return to it.

The governor of this fine state is Rick Perry, the Republican presidential frontrunner and a genuine capital-C Conservative — anti-socialist, pro-guns, anti-gay — and yet quaintly enamoured of the aforementioned long-dead Semitic pacifist who said wealth was bad and that you should love everybody. (Perry is also a global-warming denialist — once you reject evidence as a source of knowledge, you don't gotta believe nothin' you don't like.)

Tim Minchin in The Observer

A timely phone call or two has reminded me of an upcoming birthday meal, a promise to demonstrate my natty little Tablet PC, the window of opportunity remaining to tidy up before Peter and Peter's g/f arrive for lunch, and my urgent need to buy another blasted birthday card. And it's lovely walking weather out there, too, right now. [Pause] Bed-building is now going on as I type. They are both slightly the worse for alcohol (tee-hee) so it will do them good.

Before I chuck out...

... the ancient book by Ed Yourdon on "Techniques of program structure and design" which Peter obtained from 'somewhere' and which I'm pretty sure I remember reading in ICL Beaumont the year it was published, I thought it amusing to share a tiny fragment from the Introduction:

Without meaning to be unnecessarily cruel, I feel that I must remind you of an important fact: As a programmer, you will always be working for an employer. Unless you are very rich and very eccentric, you will not enjoy the luxury of having a computer in your own home...

Date: 1975

With apologies to Cicero: "O tempora o mores."



1  For the last four years, now.
2  Their flawed reasoning for using one-time security text code messages to my mobile phone rather than opting for the card-reader PIN generators of the other two gangs of charlatans I abuse is that I already carry such a tool of the devil whereas, in truth, I rarely remember where I've put it. Which reminds me: it's time to phone home to my landline on it to make sure they don't assign its account to limbo yet again on the grounds of infrequent use (or insufficient profit, more likely). Where's it hiding this morning, I wonder?