2016 — 29 May: Sunday

Part One of a minor-league experiment concluded successfully this morning. I'd left BlackBeast Mk III running overnight, just idling, but with the 34" Dell screen powered off.1 Pretty boring, I grant you, but power resurrected a working display. It will be Skylark's turn next. After that, I want to try the NUC.

I know that until a Kernel regression gets fixed the NUC cannot use the DisplayPort input on the Dell for a 'real' screen display. But — providing the physical DisplayPort connection is in place to yield the information the NUC needs to construct a full-resolution display — it might still be able to "construct" a 'virtual' display to show across the network in a NoMachine Remote Desktop window. This 'virtual' DisplayPort display would (if it works) allow me to free up the HDMI input on the Dell for Skylark's use. HDMI has never shown any time-out tendencies.

Of such incremental steps is Linux progress made, sometimes.

Looking back...

... through previous "on this day" entries in this still growing ¬blog, I was curious to revisit the BBC page here on "Life in the UK in numbers". I decided to see what I could find by way of more recent data (given the ongoing essential collapse and propping up of what's laughingly known as Western Capitalism during the period of my retirement so far). Where better to start than with our totally trustworthy Office of National Stats? And their, erm, Statistics pages. Of which, currently, there are 10,535 published. This might take a while.

Eventually, and more than somewhat circuitously, I found a "sort of" equivalent set of more recent data. Digging around in that (specifically, in Chapter 2, though I now suspect I could have been more enjoyably supping another cuppa and munching some brekkie), I discovered that my guvmint thinks my "median household wealth" is knocking around the £200,000 point.

Figure 2.13 on page 24 houses this curious "fact".

Better to contemplate...

... this shy, retiring chap:

This morning's poppy

And definitely better to smell this one!

This morning's rose

I was unaware...

... of "noctilucent" clouds. Cool image here.

Trust Daedalus to have got there earlier: 11th November 1976. "Last week my noctilucent friend Daedalus was designing large inflated balloon-lens satellites to focus solar radiation to a fixed point on the Earth as they orbited overhead every 90 minutes."

Ubuntu on the NUC...

... has just let me discover, the hard way, that it swallowed the "@" symbol. Either that, or (I suspect, more likely) some aspect of running it via the NoMachine Remote Desktop is eating this character for some arcane NoMachine purpose. Whatever the reason, it makes setting up Thunderbird on it with my email address, erm, challenging. If it decided I had a US keyboard I suppose it's just possible I've yet to stumble on the new location — but Ubuntu on Skylark didn't do this, dagnabbit.

Plugging in a spare keyboard and mouse has solved the problem in the short-term. Though longer-term I must re-examine the topics of keyboard mapping and NoMachine's special use of characters, it seems.

Having first encountered...

... Earl Kemp in the guise of an editor of The Proceedings; Chicon III2 — a lively account of the 20th World SF Convention held in Chicago in 1962 — imagine my surprise, nearly 46 years after buying my copy, to spot this little gem about him in one of John Preston's anthologies:

Lester3 began publishing with Greenleaf, one of the original hard-core houses. The head of the company was Earl Kemp. Kemp was able to maneuver (sic) through the seas of government interference for years until he made the mistake of publishing an illustrated version of the federal Report of the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography. The illustrations were far from official, and Kemp ended up being convicted to three years in prison for a sex offense (sic). The sentence was reduced to six months on the condition that he promise not to publish erotic material again. He hasn't been heard from since.

Date: 1992

Not quite true! (Link.)



1  There's a tiny hint of a minor suspicion that there may be a time-out problem between a too-long-untouched PC talking via a DisplayPort connection to the 34" Dell screen. I wanted to see what happens after switching back on the screen after a suitably long interval.
2  One of half-a-dozen or so quite expensive SF-oriented paperbacks published by Advent in Chicago that I could only ever seem to find in "Dark They Were and Golden-Eyed" quite deep within London's Soho.
3  "Lance Lester", a Walt Disney illustrator who used this pseudonym. His boss at Disney got him started, giving him a copy of an underground pornographic book and saying "You can do funnier than this." The result was Horny Corners, a gay town in the middle of the American heartland.