2013 — 25 February: Monday

Well, I've been listening to the news1 this morning, but have yet to hear anything cheery. Back to Bach for me, I suspect, while I let my initial cuppa percolate through me, working its usual magic... Given that it's currently dry (and I refer both to the weather and my blasted blistered heel) I may just venture out on a little expotition at some point after breakfast.

Minor change of plan: I shall be scooting Gill and Chris into and back from hospital this morning, so I need to shovel in some oats, saddle up the Yaris, feed it some go-juice, and (maybe) throw on some suitable outdoor clothing. Oats first.

It's horribly cold out there... and I note the price of go-juice has crept back up. It remains more than a third higher than when I was first learning to drive back in October 2007. KBO.

I must say, it's...

... very nice to get back home, after first

to get my shoes off (thereby easing the considerable discomfort from my left heel) and appreciate, once more, not only my relative good health but also my nice, toasty central heating system. The front porch thermometer can tell me it's +2C until it's blue in the face but it still feels mighty cold out there. It's 15:04 and I know I now deserve a cuppa.

When I bought...

... my first laser printer, and the accompanying high-speed "video" interface card by which the Acorn RISC machine could directly address the print engine, turning it from a meek, mild-mannered Clark Kent of a Canon device (4 pages/minute, 300 dpi) into a 'hi-res' (only 3 pages/minute, but 600 dpi) device I remember it set me back what Dad used to describe as "money and fair words". This was just over two decades ago. Now look what you can get:

Colour laser printer

Long enough ago...

... that the precise details have already now fled my elderly cortex, I disabled the Dropbox stuff from starting up automatically as I so rarely use it. Hah! Can I now find how and where to re-enable it to receive a file I've been tipped off is on its way over to me? Of course not; don't be silly! However, my pathetic sleuthing did turn up this fairly priceless little snippet from the world's not quite favourite Operating System:

Friendly warning

It's beyond my capability to work out just how much useful processing can occur on a 3.4 GHz multi-core 64-bit system in 27.2 seconds of compute time. But I'm also pretty sure that I wasn't restarting Windows at 10:36 pm three weeks ago...

Task Manager showed me Dropbox was disabled, so I simply re-enabled it, restarted the system, and I'm now browsing the files that have arrived. But I still don't know where Dropbox is actually hiding itself. And I prefer to know exactly what is living where on my PC. Ho-hum. Nearly time to sort out an evening meal. Meanwhile, I note the upper echelons of that strange sect, the Catholics, seems to be at some risk of starting to look just a tiny little bit riddled, though with exactly what, I don't think I want to know.

Ikea meatballs made with bits of dead Dobbin? Whatever next?

The shades of night...

... were probably falling fast. I wouldn't know. I've been too busy this evening listening to a fascinating NPR interview with Michael Apted on the release of his latest film in the long-running "Up" series. When not watching another episode of "Dead like me". Or doing a spot of book list editing and catching up. And tinkering.

I've removed the Creative Soundblaster X-Fi card from BlackBeast and reset the default sound device to the built-in Intel HD audio and its Realtek controller on the motherboard. The sound from BlackBeast via its optical digital audio is indistinguishable in quality (to my ears) from that of the Soundblaster. It also gave me the opportunity to clear out several hundred MB of "Creative" software, none of which I actually need or use apart from the basic sound driver. This after realising that life is too short to attempt to convey hi-res audio via hdmi via the graphics card after very close study of the motherboard manual, which talks about a cable from the motherboard to the graphics card to convey digital audio to it in the first place. (Quite what does the assembly of digital audio and video into a coherent bitstream via hdmi is also a boggling thought, probably best left unthought.)

Besides, my Radeon came with no such cable, though I have spotted a likely digital audio take-off candidate point on the motherboard. Add in the fact that there seems to be about a 50-50 chance that even if I succeed in conveying audio hdmi input to the Audiolab without accompanying video it could well be muted on arrival unless I keep the plasma screen on all the time. I still blame HDCP.

I'm now more nearly certain of being able to fit the as-yet-undelivered PCI card that will add two eSATA ports for use with the two as-yet-undelivered HDD enclosures into which I shall be placing the two now-spare 1TB SATA II drives. See? All perfectly logical, Captain. Is it time for the grog ration yet?



1  "News" being what "they" don't want you to know, of course.