2016 — 10 April: Sunday

I'd just switched off all the PCs and was peacefully reading for the evening. Bonus: I found, and guzzled, the young people's "Karamel Sutra" as my just dessert(s) last night. It was probably 99% sugar but, since they hadn't left me much, I feel little guilt. The stuff was taking up space in my little freezer compartment so clearly it's a case (or, in this case, a carton) of "Finders, Keepers..."

The sunshine...

... this morning (a nice change from yesterday's hail) has dispersed the frost. The music is flowing from the NUC. BB Mk III is my morning host. I'm back from delivering yesterday's switchbox and a spare DP cable over to Dr Frankenstein's Linux Lab where he thinks "it will be handy" in his situation.1 The switchbox works fine. The problem is with Linux, which cannot acquire / re-acquire the list of resolutions X needs via a DisplayPort connection to my 34" Dell screen unless that's already up and running (as it were).

We're both contending...

... with this bug — a kernel regression, since DisplayPort "used to work" — and there's plentiful Forum evidence of others with similar woes. No matter — I have my two PCs2 at this end of the living room, and my NUC beavering away to feed me sweet music at t'other.

Besides, I have a cuppa. Plus two further Jocelyn Pook CDs are both due today. A-ripping I shall go. That's one thing only BB Mk III can do (until I find my external DVD drive for Skylark to use). Who needs whirling bits in this day and age?

This made me smile:

They don't see the beauty and history, the irreplaceable preciousness of a building like East Barsham Manor, they're just looking for a large dehumidified garage in which to keep their diamante-studded Humvees and leopard-print Bentleys. The comparatively modest price tag on this amazing Tudor mansion is, I realised, a direct consequence of the vulgarity of the rich — of the shocking fact that 99% of the world's money is in the hands of people possessing 0.0001% of the world's taste.

David Mitchell in Grauniad

I'd forgotten...

... just quite how melancholy was Ms Pook's beautiful soundtrack music for Julio Medem's "Room in Rome":

2x Jocelyn Pook CDs

I need to hear "Untold Things" again, too, having played it only the once when I got the "Auto-Rip" files last Friday. But food first I fear. Somehow it's already 14:02 and, for some reason, I seem to be starving hungry. Again.

Yes, but...

... what does this actually mean?

We could reassure ourselves by noting that the balance sheet of the major central banks (which has risen from 10% to 25% of GDP) remains low in comparison with the total financial assets held by public and private actors over each other (approximately 1,000% of GDP or even 2,000% in the United Kingdom) and could rise further in case of need. In reality, this mainly reveals the persistent hypertrophy of private-sector balance sheets and the extreme fragility of the system as a whole.

Thomas Piketty in Le Monde

Having made a...

... good start on my third Kage Baker "Company" novel — "Mendoza in Hollywood" — and after lining up an ample amount of music (Kenny Loggins "Danger Zone", for example) on the NUC, I gritted my teeth (ahead of tomorrow's appointment with Dr Fang and his sidekick) and started turning Skylark3 into a useful PC. My preparation for, and the fallout from, the recent grand migration of 'molehole' into its new Great Storage Bucket in the Amazon Cloud had pushed this task aside. Then came the nonsense with DisplayPort and the Dell screen, plus the misbehaviour of the Intel NUC.

My cunning Master Plan is to do unto Skylark, one by one, all the Good Things I did unto BlackBeast Mk III, and as few of the Bad Things as I can manage. What could possibly go wrong? I'd also rather use MATE than Xfce, and I know mixing the two (as on BB Mk III) can have unfortunate consequences, so it was in with the 17.3 MATE ISO USB stick, and off to the races we go.

Skylark is once again...

... a "factory fresh" Linux Mint 17.3 system with all the accumulated updates. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Ripping the soundtrack album, Linux effortlessly detected and offered me the bonus 4-minute music video that was one of the tracks and a trailer rolled into one package. Nice.



1  This, despite his assertion that my new switchbox must be broken (made before he knew about an earlier experiment of mine).
2  Both the DisplayPort (BB) and the HDMI (Skylark) connections deliver full 3440x1440 on the 34" Dell at 60Hz. And the NUC's 1920x1080 is fine as I rarely need its desktop.
3  Never to be confused, of course, with the immortal Skylark Marc DuQuesne!