2013 — 8 July: Monday

A bizarre NPR story1 about the ethics of Christian card counters ripping off casinos. They gave up, despite success, when it all got too boring. Weird. Still at least my IBM pension finally showed up, and the several hundred quid of non-interest-earning 'surplus' has just been shunted into my pittance-earning holding tank for a couple of weeks. Every little helps.

Master of High Finance, that's me. Christa would be proud :-)

David Mitchell is the guest on this morning's Essential Classics — a factoid that will interest my chum Brian more than it does me. Whether it will interest my chum Zeno remains to be seen.

You just can't...

... seem to get the staff you want these days:

NSA recruitment

Can't think why.

Given both the ease...

... and the horrifying regularity with which I can crash Windows Explorer, I have to wonder whether my talents also encompass its cousin on Linux...


Perhaps it was merely anticipating my malign powers when (by no means for the first time) it marshalled both itself and nine friends as soon as I pressed "Enter" after the last character of my password when logging in to my little virtual Mint 15 system. Not that it would let me browse the network. That would have been far too easy, obviously. Tell me again that joke about Linux being ready for Prime Time.

I stand corrected

It's apparently me who is unready for Prime Time. We shall see. I'm hosting an afternoon 'repair' session to see if the little blighter can be put back2 together in some semblance of well-behaved usefulness. Preferably complete with working wireless access. I thought I did quite well last night merely persuading it to use a pair of DNS servers that worked, as opposed to the ones it wanted to use by default.

I'm curiously relieved to hear (from another critic) that he, too, "got that weird 10 editor windows bug when I logged in earlier this morning" though he spoils the effect by going on to add "I'd hardly compare the minor annoyance of a few extra windows opening up with Windows explorer crashing. Both are annoyances but the Explorer crash is far more likely to cause grief". Faint praise indeed. Meanwhile, a third chum is keeping his opinions of my idiocy to himself, and cheering me up by pointing me to today's interactive "Roswell" Google doodle. I tend to miss these as I run a simple Google toolbar in my Firefox browser.

My guru had...

... barely driven away when off went the power for 30 minutes or more. I think it's fair to say that having BlackBeast running its system from an SSD is a Good Thing in such a case, as nothing too horrible seems to have occurred. Furthermore, the Laptop PC is now a well-behaved Linux Mint 15 with wireless access and reliable external awareness (though accessing the local NAS remains a little interesting). The VirtualBox Linux Mint 15 on BlackBeast, after a complete re-install, and a change to the 32-bit ISO, is in even better shape.

Over the last several days of trying to get Linux to recognise (let alone play nicely with) the network it had (with all the rebooting of various devices going on) slowly descended into a state of IP addresses chaos, but we've now done what we can to lock down those devices — the router, the Pi web server, and the NAS — that really need fixed abodes.

I expect I shall have to re-educate the WD HD TV media streamer, which I shall do later. I also need to reset a variety of clocks. Including the one on the water softener, which has a user interface almost as inscrutable as the one on the clock in my car... which is why it's nearly right for six months of each year.

It's far too hot (still 27.2C in the living room at 21:34 or so) to bother noting that it's far too hot. I don't sleep well when I overheat, and upstairs is rather warmer than down here.

I freely admit...

... possession of what dear Mama was always pleased to denigrate as a "butterfly mind", and have spent my life so far in a perpetual flight from boredom in any shape or form. This usually entails multi-tasking long before I knew the meaning of the term. So, for example, I will always have music (radio or whatever) as an accompaniment to reading, or writing, or pottering around, or (these days) web surfing and emailing. But for the last 30 minutes or so I've been stopped dead in my tracks, sitting in the dark, patio door and various windows open, tea neglected, simply listening — completely mesmerised — to Clive James. Absolute magic from the 'banzai bumblebee'.



1  Not for the first time.
2  Perhaps not quite le mot juste given the complete uselessness so far.