2013 — 7 March: Thursday

The rain has turned up on schedule1 and, I'm pleased to note, the "skin closures" also seem to be holding my battered heel together. This is goodness. Now if I could just work out why my web browser window leaps unbidden over to the 60" Kuro plasma when I switch it on — and, more importantly, how to stop it doing so — I'd be happier than the long-faced chaps in the IT department of the Royal Bank of Scotland group this morning.

Still, having all three screens working simultaneously is definitely progress. I don't doubt it's caused by the twiddly software buried in a driver on the graphics card as there are also differences in the response speed of the two identical Dell screens now that one of them is on a DisplayPort and the other is on DVI-D. And I still retain my doubts about the physical v logical "left to right" ordering of the three devices. But in truth I use the Kuro so rarely directly from BlackBeast it really doesn't matter... I was just determined to get it working because I knew it "should" be possible.

A minor-league compulsion of the sort I can now indulge :-)

My addiction to tea is an entirely different issue, and it's time (08:38) for my next cuppa.

Hell's (telephone) bells

I do wish people would stop lying to me. If it's not fake Payment Protection Insurance scams, it's fake energy survey scams and home insulation scams. And they've now got hold of my mobile number which is extra irritating. I use the word "fake" because a) I've never had any PPI, b) my home has been insulated for more than 30 years, and c) they invariably address me questioningly as "Mr Mounce?" and launch directly into a semi-literate scripted phishing expedition. I vary my replies for the sake of (my) interest, though I've given up the sport of stringing them along as it's my time they're wasting. So today I went with the simple "You're lying to me. Good day."

Having also listened to horrid tales of the "pay day loans" outfits yesterday I've decided one could become extremely cynical about the intrinsic goodness of members of the financial services industry. As young Geoff remarked a while back they are people who've decided it's easier for them to let you do the work for their living.

And, when...

... despite the best efforts and depredations of a range of commission-hungry financial advisors over the years I finally do manage to accumulate some savings more or less in time for the twilight of my glorious career, Junior comes a-knockin' needing help with his house repairs and ...

Bank rate

... I keep getting whacked by the guvmint, who make matters worse by running their money-printing presses at all hours. Talk about not worth the paper it's printed on.

There's an amusing...

... kitchen physics experiment described in a "Scientific American" I've been browsing. (My richer chums pass such items along to me.) I suspect Velveeta is simply a processed cheese, though it sounds disgusting:

Cover a cardboard disk from a frozen pizza with slices of Velveeta and microwave it at low power until several melted spots appear. The distance in metres between the centre of the spots is half the wavelength of the 2.45GHz radiation. Double it, multiply by 2.45 billion, and there's your kitchen's local value of 'c'.

Date: December 2011

In other wonderful technology news, I've just confirmed yesterday's wodge of cash is now tucked away in my new bank's account, all present and correct.2 I used a "LINK" ATM at Christa's bank before calling in to ask them to dig out my Will. Maggie failed to recognise me (though she remembered Christa when I showed her my wallet picture). I was on my regular3 household cleaning equipment renewal run, snaffling a useful pack of baby cotton buds to replace the set nicked by Junior. That was a full morning's work so I'm now on my tea break. It's 12:40 and the drizzle is the sort that soaks you if you give it half a chance.

My current keyboard (a Dell from one of Junior's machines, I suspect) is no longer quite so much like a Petri dish.

One day, someone from Microsoft...

... will explain why Win8Pro needed rebooting to remind it how Explorer's right-click context menus are supposed to work. The menu popped up, but its function had gone AWOL. Not "grayed out" as they say, but you couldn't persuade any of the little black pointy-off-to-the-right arrow things to lead you to the various peripherally-useful subfunctions, such as "Open with". How can Explorer, at the heart of the user interface, still harbour little idio(t)syncracies like this, so far down the development track? At this rate I shall be needing more tea. Happily that was something else I remembered to snaffle.

I've just walked to the nearest postbox — happy nearly birthday, Gill! It's moist but no longer drizzling out there. Now, about that cuppa... having fielded yet another cold call, this time from one of the 'Anglian' mob who purportedly was interested in my state of health. I can imagine using them for further double glazing work, but only after Hell has frozen over. And, even then, only if I no longer live here.

It's not just me

From an email exchange earlier:

While I was at it I replaced the duff DVD drive. Now I am short a DVD and I suspect it is in the drive I removed. Which I can't open. Ahhh, well, I've decided to order a front-facing USB3 panel like the one you have so when I hook that up I can power up the old drive without having to re-install it just by stealing the power connector. Idiot I am.
You think you're an idiot? Pah! I delved into my XP Hacks book (how different can it be, right?) and happened upon the happy idea of making a batch file "right-clickable" for local execution in whatever subdirectory I find myself wandering — like those machines on Magrathea — in between episodes of HoC. I created a batch file to do a subdir file listing and wanted to park it — as advised — in C:\WINDOWS
Up pops Mr Win8Pro's Savak, aka UAC, "You don't have permission to save files into this directory. Talk to your administrator."
I wouldn't mind... but I am the sodding administrator... Only later (as the red mist of outrage faded) did I realise I don't even need to do this since I have already edited one of the export configuration templates in mp3tag to churn out an SHTML file that looks and feels like any other molehole web page.

Date: Today

There's a way round the mysteriously-privileged entity (the "Trusted Installer") that jealously owns / guards all the files in C:\WINDOWS. (Link.)



1  Though not down in Fremantle, as I've just been reading in an email from niece #3.
2  Though I've just logged in to pay a monthly bill and noticed that the initial transfer yesterday was bounced back into my old bank's account, while the next attempt (not re-initiated by me) succeeded this morning. Still a few bugs in the system, it seems.
3  If twice in over five years isn't "regular" I don't know what is :-)