2013 — 23 January: Wednesday

I'm almost getting used to waking up before dawn these days.1 It's just below freezing out there, so some ice is still sticking around. Next door's two snowmen have hardly diminished in stature. And the wake-me-up cuppa is doing its job well.

I woke from an oddly surreal dream with the perfect name for some form of enterprise in my head: "Unstrung Heroes". Question is, what enterprise?


Since unhooking the top fan from BlackBeast's case a week or so ago (and harvesting another fine crop of dust while I was at it) the system is now pleasingly almost totally inaudible. It's certainly quieter than both the fridge and the freezer out in the kitchen, and the central heating boiler further away beyond them, come to that. Nor does temperature seem to be an issue. It's a bracing 20.9C in the living room, and the Open H/W Monitor reports the hottest component, the GPU core, at a smidgen above blood heat. Mind you, it's also showing a "GPU fan" at 28.0% which — given the passively-cooled graphics card — doesn't ring quite true.

I'm pleased with the second Zalman CPU cooler. Its fan runs at or around 1000 rpm but is much like the mythical dashboard clock ticking2 away in a Rolls Royce.

I was browsing...

... the "My Europe" chapter3 in "My Lives" by Edmund White last night, and found an amusing anecdote about Michel Foucault. Picture the situation. It's November 1980 and Raygun has just been elected President, a dismal fact that has sent Foucault into a panic as he fears a return to fascism:

Michael Denneny got a call at four in the morning... from Mark Blasius... [asking] did he still have some of those tranquilizers they had once used to come down from bad LSD trips? "Michel Foucault is on a bad trip at Man's Country baths and we have to go down there to rescue him. He's forgotten all his English and the only thing he could remember was my phone number."
Mark and Michael taxied down to the East Village, checked in to the bath house, and went from room to room until they found a ball of naked French philosopher, crazed and hissing, in the corner of a cubicle. They went back with him to his New York University faculty apartment, made him take the tranquilizers and stayed with him for the next fourteen hours.

Date: November 1980

"Just say 'No'!" said Nancy Reagan. Well, it made me smile :-)

My new router has just been delivered... that was jolly quick!

If you can read this...

... it means Phase 1 of the Great Intranet and LAN clean-up operation has worked.

Still to come: Phase 2 — switching over BlackBeast to using DHCP. How hard can it be? Of course, both the Raspberry Pi web server and the Buffalo Terastation NAS may yet turn out to need "static" addresses, to avoid my having to run a local DNS server. Both those hard-working devices are now physically relocated nearer the kernel of Technology Towers, where I can better keep an eye on them.4 I've even managed to liberate one of my two Gigabit switches, so it's now spare "just in case".

I reckon I've earned some "lemonses". It's gone 11:45 after all. Speaking of "gone", I'm happy to see the ice now disappearing, and have tentatively arranged a lunch out for tomorrow.

I fail to understand...

... exactly what the boy Cameron is actually trying to achieve with his promise of an "In or Out?" UK referendum on Europe "if the next PM is a Tory". Some suggest it's merely placating his own fragrant back benchers. It's hardly Tantric policy-making, either. But if the Untied (sic) Kingdom is truly best driven by the demands of Tory back benchers then I think there probably should be red warning lights flashing somewhere.

I manfully ignored...

... the stinging blood gushing from the paper cut I sustained by over-eagerly ripping open today's Amazon delivery...


... to such good effect that it wasn't until the end of the 50 glorious minutes of Neil Ardley's jazz (the first such recording made with money from the Arts Council of Great Britain) and Norma Winstone's equally glorious voice that it occurred to me that not only had the wound clotted but my once-hot, fresh pot of tea was now a cold, stewed pot of rubbish. It's also entirely too sobering to think how many musicians from that June 1971 recording session are no longer with us...


... but then neither is the excellent writer under the microscope in these two titles. [Pause] Now, about that tea.

Speedy Gonzales is alive and well

I'm very pleased to discover that having the NAS and BlackBeast physically wired to the same Gigabit switch has more than doubled the disk writing speed from my PC to the RAID array. I think I can get by with slightly over 20 MB/sec. It's a speed, after all, that would have filled (or emptied) the entire original hard drive on my Acorn Archimedes A440 in, well, a second back in 1989.



1  Not liking it, you understand, but getting used to it.
2  Recall David Ogilvie's boardroom anecdote: "Gentlemen, we must do something about that damned clock!"
3  The one that precedes the one that even the author himself describes as "TMI" (too much information)... which may be TMI :-)
4  I refute any but the slightest suggestion that this is simply to stop Junior whining about the lights flashing in what he clearly (but, in my opinion, mistakenly) is happy to continue to regard as "his" bedroom. No way. It was all about tidying-up in readiness for the fibre installation. Honest.