2013 — 13 September: Friday

An early shopping start to the day1 and back in good time to finish my initial cuppa after only a small burst of microwaves. But, riddle me this: how can it possibly be Friday, again, already?

Well, just look at me. Downloading my three-times-a-week dose of "Late Junction" and the most recent refresh of my online DVD collection to my phone. All at the same time, just like a real 'pro'. Though quite why adding one new title (yesterday's delivery of "Suburgatory", of course — did I happen to mention I'm now in love with Jane Levy?) to the latter bumps the collection total up by 30 or so is a bit of a mystery. Perhaps the most recent profile refresh added in some box set "children"? That would probably explain it.

Anyway, I continue to be as pleased with the Android App version of DVD Profiler as the Copernic support team were to receive my "very positive" first impressions of their Version 4 release. I remember (I still have the scars2) how useful it was to receive user feedback, so I generally continue to offer it. Except to MicroSpit (of course) who seem to do just fine without it.


... or something. Given the airlessness and temperature variations of the lunar surface:

IgNobel Physics prize

I strongly doubt this. But who am I to discourage science? :-)

Keep taking...

... ever bigger Tablets? Tasty. At least it would mean John Lewis not having to resort to visual trickery in their brochure next year.

Back in 1993...

... when it seemed quite likely that IBM was about to do what I'd left ICL for being about to do in 1981 (that is, plummet down the toilet) I read several of the rash of "business" books that came out at that time, all seeking to explain why what had happened was happening (not all were particularly edifying) or what (if anything) ought to be done to stop it from happening or further encourage it to happen, depending on the prejudices of the particular journalist or academic or business guru.

This paper by Steven Usselman of (I presume) Stanford is a very decent longer-term overview of the Unbundling of IBM. Oddly, despite working there for a little over 25 years, I always felt somewhat more akin to a Johnny-come-lately. Ben Riggins (for example) — the "father" of CICS whom I had the great pleasure of chatting to at IBM Hursley in 1989 — joined IBM the year I was born!

Today's post...

... brought me an invitation to subscribe to the Torygraph (never gonna happen), a reminder to pay the next annual car tax (bang goes another £125), and this little item of audio/visual entertainment:

Copying Beethoven BD

I've had a...

... soft spot for Ray Dolby ever since my first freelance magazine article was published in 1975 — for obvious reasons. (Obituary.)

I've also only belatedly been realising that I'm using my Android Tablet PC around Technology Towers more and more. Just at the moment, it's parked on the banister at the top of the stairs to give it direct line of (wireless) sight to the router while it, too, updates the data for my DVD collection although (mild curses) I've just realised I've yet to add Mr Beethoven to the mix. Yet alone Season #6 of "The Big Bang Theory". A completeist's work, you must understand, is never quite done. [Pause] Time for an evening bite to eat, methinks. It's currently (18:55) quite cool and rather moist outside. I can almost hear the brambles growing.

My short-lived...

... experiment with Bruschettina is over. I had no idea that, when toasted, it would assume some of the characteristics of granite... and I'd rather hang on (as it were) to my remaining teeth. Still, it tasted nice while it lasted.

It rarely pays to...

... deviate too far from the "norm". I was once again browsing Lesley Hall's always fascinating website, and thence her blog, and thence a too-rich-for-me (£95) book on Amazon, from which I gently extracted the following little gem:

The beginnings of mental disorder are usually noticed first in the family. Irritability, sleeplessness, violence, self-neglect, obsessions, irrational fears and hallucinations, are all likely to become evident in the first instance to the relatives and friends who spend most time with a person. It is they who are likely to face the decision of whether, when and where to refer someone for care and treatment. In the eighteenth century, the increasingly high evaluation of gentility, and close family relationships, helped to create a market for private asylum care...

Charlotte MacKenzie in Psychiatry for the Rich (1993)

Like the hapless narrator "J" of Three Men in a Boat I can lay claim to all but the violence. And the hallucinations :-)



1  Queue-dodging, now that the ankle-biters are back in their various schools and lots of them are being ferried around in their Chelsea tractors by their beautifully-coiffed suburgatory-dwelling mothers.
2  Happily, I only ever received positive ratings in all my IBM Reader's Comment Form feedback over many years. However, the first time I watched three of Hursley's smart, but blind, programmers struggling to use my oh-so-easy to use Java internal website in 1996 or so was about the worst two hours of my "computing career". Ever. It was worse, in fact, than the uncomfortable presentation I once had to give to an ICL programming team about the lousy performance of one of their word-processing products in Bracknell in the late 1970s. Talk about "don't shoot the messenger!"