2013 — 28 March: Thursday

Not only is it already nearly the end of the week, but there's something strange, shiny, and unfamiliar happening1 out there. I shall have to discuss this with Len when we meet up for lunch.

I note the "Stardock" folks...

... whose Object Desktop caused me more than a fair amount of grief six years ago back in my late XP days (when I had a hankering to begin trying the then-new "Aero" desktop) are continuing to offer me a means of mixing traditional desktop applications and "modern Apps" — the nasty, full-screen things launched from the clunky Lego-style Tablet-optimised tiles that I banished about ten minutes after installation last November.

While I'm just about willing to admit the possibility that I may be missing out on some kewl nu stuff, I'm in no great hurry to explore. All I really wanted out of Win8Pro was a further-refreshed variant of Windows 7 and that's exactly what I have right now. On the other hand, $4-99 won't break the bank, will it?

How Time flies

It was six years ago exactly that I had cause to mention the now-jailed Christopher Huhne — who would have been my local MP2 had boundary changes in 2005 not just pushed me from Eastleigh into Winchester to help prop up the Tories there. (And they call this democracy?)

Chidgey (now a Baron!) was the first MP I actually had a chance to speak to when Christa took me along to a Chamber of Commerce meeting with him. Not impressed, I fear. I was idly browsing (I'm good at that) some old notes to see if I'd even bothered to mention David Chidgey to Carol. Sunk without trace, apparently. No matter... I found this, instead:

Made another enemy for life here yesterday. Some young chap from the finance community brought in a memo he'd been told to let me see. It contained a perfect gem of a sentence along the lines of We have solutioned this by provision of (matters not what)... and I gently suggested that this was a particularly poor piece of writing — which idiot had put this down on the paper?
Of course, said youngster had, and he compounded his sin by muttering about the English exam results that 'proved' he was a perfectly competent writer. I'm afraid I snapped back something along the lines of two decades' experience overtrumping exam results. (I'm not always a saintly chap with infinite patience, much as I try to emulate you!)

Date: 8 November 1994

No wonder I was never promoted :-)

Found it!

It was in one of my weekly letters to dear Mama, not in an email to Carol:

Christa keeps threatening to put grass seed down on the site of the late unlamented Pampas grass patch, but has yet to do so. She's probably too busy picking off all the blackfly. Speaking peripherally of which, we met our new MP last Friday. Seems the Eastleigh Chamber of Commerce has a regular monthly Friday lunchtime get-together, so Christa asked me along as the guest speaker was the newly re-elected Mr Chidgey (Lib Dem). Cor blimey, what a waffler! Let's just say he's got the easiest £43,000 a year plus expenses for the next five years that I've ever seen. No responsibility, no accountability, and endless free lunches at which he probably reads from the same set of generic notes each time. In the words of Yosser Hughes from Boys from the Blackstuff: 'I could do that.'

Date: 1 June 1997

Stardock's "ModernMix" app will have to wait until after lunch, methinks. Nearly time I set off.

Pause, for lunch and a chat

Alas, although ModernMix works fine, neatly and unobtrusively taming the small set of supplied Win8Pro 'modern' Apps that have been festering somewhere on my system hard drive since Day 1, all it clearly shows is how very little need I have for any of these Apps. Not to mention what a very poor job the "Music" App (for example) does when trying to handle well over 40,000 MP3 files. Though, to be fair, it did load them all much more quickly than Windows Media Player ever managed to.

I wasn't terrifically impressed by the Bing-underpinned "News" App turning up a 31-day-old item about the UK's credit rating being downgraded, either. News? Hardly! Still, it's nice to see some of the Apps behaving themselves in action and constrained to manageable windows before I revert to my tired, old-fashioned, Desktop way of working.

Old dog, new tricks, that's me.



1  Could it be the sun?
2  When we moved here in 1981, the Tory Sir David Price was the incumbent who'd held the seat since 1955. He was replaced by the unfortunate Stephen Milligan in 1992, and (after his death, apparently by auto-erotic asphyxiation) then by David Chidgey, who became the first Lib-Dem MP here.